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08/21/2009

Saved by an Intern

I messed up.

I hate messing up, but sometimes it happens. Luckily, one of our summer interns (Adrien Veczan) saved the day and came up with the picture.

Often, I find the first day of a multiple-day sporting assignment as "practice day." So, on MY first day of Rogers Cup tennis I was trying different things and attempting to make an image which would fit the Big Picture hole which runs on page A3 for the month of August, when I got caught with my proverbial pants down.

I had just pulled my camera off the long lens when I heard the #1 seed Marina Safina let loose with a hefy scream. With a camera body in my hand, and a lens in the other, I was left "watching" her very expressive, and long winded, yelp. Safina, who is currently ranked #1 in the world, was on the way to defeat at the hands of Aravane Rezai, of France. Safina losing in her first match would be news - especially since the Williams sisters (Venus and Serena) have been vocal about their opinion she didn't deserve her ranking having never won a Grand Slam event.

Luckily, Adrien had come to shoot tennis on a day-off and was in a better postion to capture her emotional outburst. Although I didn't have a frame of the scream, I was happy he did. It was by far, the most emotional moment Safina had on court. The earlier, and later, pictures of her being upset didn't come close in comparison. In the end, Safina lost in 3 sets and left the court in near tears with her head buried in a towel. But Adrien's picture was still better.

AV_Safina01

It was one of those situations where I chose to try something, and I missed the most emotional picture of the day. It bothered me for a little while, but had to brush it off and get back to making images of the next games.

Such is the reality of shooting sports. You can spend endless hours of a day at an event and still manage to miss the most telling moment.

Rick Madonik

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