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08/13/2011

Rogers Cup Tennis

Rick Madonik, Staff Photographer

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Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ) ponytail flips forward during her serve as she goes on to defeat Maria Sharapova.

This year's instalment of the Rogers Cup at the Rexall Centre features the women. The men were hosted in Montreal. The finals are slated for Sunday, but weather may interrupt the plans. But, it is one of my favourite events to cover despite the pounding midday sun or the onslaught of torrential downpours as the skies unload an afternoon drenching.

This year's tournament is proving to be a bit different than past years. Venus Williams bowed out before the tournament began, and her sister Serena is the only really big name left. Other top seeds fell through the week, just as occurred in Montreal.

But it doesn't matter much. Tennis still offers great pictures, as long as you can keep a long lens trained on quickly moving athletes who tend to bend, stretch, or jump out of the frame. Getting the ball in the frame - preferably on the racquet or just off of it - tests your ability to concentrate and figure out the timing.

But one thing tennis does offer is "good face." Expressions run the gambit, depending on the player, and the emotions which can take over. Bad play causes outbursts, and anxious faces. Good play brings outbursts, but with joy or celebrtation.

The following is a look at some of the pictures shot through the first 4 days of competition. I elected to use facial expressions as the theme for this blog, but have thrown in a couple of other favorites to show it doesn't always have to be about the face. Sometimes, a shadow, or a player's hair, can also add to the visuals.

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Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) during her match against Agnieskza Radwanska (POL), has a scrunched up face as she returns a volley.

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Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) loses in straight sets to Roberta Vinci.

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Maria Sharapova (RUS) with a mighty yell on her backhand. 

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Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) celebrates match point as she defeats Andrea Petkovic (GER).

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Andrea Petkovic (GER) punches her bag after losing the 1st set. She would go on to lose in straight sets during Rogers Cup 1/4 finals action.

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Francesca Schiavone hits a ball as an umpire's hands shows the ball was good during Rogers Cup action.

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Roberta Vinci (ITA) hits a forehand with eyes solidly on following the ball. 

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Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ)  celebrates her straight set victory over Maria Sharapova.

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Agnieskza Radwanska (POL) returns a volley but goes on to lose in three sets at the Rogers Cup semi finals action.

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Agnieskza Radwanska (POL) is not too pleased with the results on a call.

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Samantha Stosur (AUS) follows through on her service during her match with Agnieskza Radwanska (POL), who she beat in three sets at the Rogers Cup semi finals.

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Serena Williams (USA) defeats SHENG, Jie (CHN) in 3 sets.

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Serena Williams (USA) looks toward her father (in the stands) as if to offer an explanation on losing a point.

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Serena Williams (USA) celebrates a  point in the last game before defeating SHENG, Jie (CHN).

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Serena Williams (USA) celebrates a point from the ground in the last set before defeating SHENG, Jie (CHN) in 3 sets.

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Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) hits a shot backwards near the net on her way to defeating Andrea Petkovic (GER).

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Victoria Azarenka (BLR) plays a net ball as she goes on to defeat Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ).

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Victoria Azarenka (BLR) hits near the end of her match where she defeats Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ).

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Francesca Schiavone (ITA) tosses her service ball during Rogers Cup action.

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Triple exposure of Andrea Petkovic (GER) during play.

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Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ) shadow as she awaits a serve during Rogers Cup 1/4 finals action.

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Really great collections of lens work. I really enjoyed the final match which Serena Williams won fairly convincingly. Good to see return of Serena.

The pictures are great although I must say the facial expressions would be hiliarious if not given the context of a tennis match. I noticed a typo however; the Chinese player Serena Williams played against is ZHENG Jie, not SHENG Jie.

I also have a few awesome shots from the Rogers Cup matches.. please check out www.kenlyphotography.com

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