Of course we had to start our Pic of the Day series with what is arguably the most beautiful shot in tennis–the single-handed Federer backhand. Plucked from the literally thousands of photos I took at the Western and Southern Open, Cincinnati Masters in 2012, this gem immediately stands out from the rest.
Roger Federer is the epitome of elegance in tennis, and really, it’s tough to get a bad photo of him during a match. The most likely flaw will be a blurring effect, since he’s so fast around the court. Capturing those perfect moments where he looks to be in the middle of a ballet, though, those are a treasure. This shot above reminded me instantly of a passage from the tennis photo book “A Game to Love,” by professional photographer Mike Powell:
“Another great shot in tennis is Federer’s backhand follow-through, which is huge. However, while he will play it a lot, the thing you need to get is when he is under maximum pressure and brings the shot off when he is way off the ground, getting up over the ball. In that split second he looks like he is flying, with his arms completely outstretched, his chest sticking out, and his hair going up. It takes something special to push Federer that far.”
In this case, the something special was the Cincy Masters final against Novak Djokovic. There were those pivotal moments in the second set when you could feel that Nole could turn the tide, but Federer stamped out those chances and took the title with a 6-0, 7-6(7) victory.
It took a lot of full-flight backhands to achieve that victory, but perhaps none as pretty as this one.
Go on to Pic of the Day 2.
Go on to the next Federer pic.
PHOTO: c2012 Valerie David, TennisInsideOut.com