Monthly Archives: December 2010

Photo gallery from the Aegon Masters by Paul Cunningham…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet Paul….

 

In the heat of the moment, at the heart of a triumphant celebration of the winning team or athlete, to keep a cool head and capture those moments that live forever is the passion of photography.

As a freelance photographer, I’ve had the extreme honour and absolute pleasure of capturing those moments and working with some truly outstanding, creative and talented people that has generated an enormous variety of photographic situations, from the studio setup to wiring images to picture desks minutes after an event – sleek product images and posing models – to live corporate events, film sets and
auto shows – from London to New York and Sydney and many fantastic places inbetween.

Recent accreditations include; AEGON Masters Tennis, the London
stage of the FIS World Cup Ski and Snowboarding, Twickenham England Rugby Open Training Sessions, the London stage of the Tour of Britain cycling, ITU Dextro Triathlon UK, the Mastercard Final Trophy – Barbarians v All Blacks & the Friends Provident Cricket Trophy Final.

Rising to the next challenge; if you are planning your next project and would like an informal chat about your ideas or would like to discuss my work, my folios and contact details can be reached at: www.paulcunningham.co.uk

Other contact details –
youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/paulcunninghamphoto

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Goran Ivanisevic sets up another Wimbledon rematch against Pat Rafter…

 

 

Goran Ivanisevic set up yet another mouth-watering Wimbledon rematch at the Aegon Masters event, by beating Greg Rusedski in the quarter-final stage at London’s historic Royal Albert Hall yesterday.

 

Today, the popular Croatian will face Aussie Pat Rafter in the semi finals: a rematch of their epic Wimbledon final in 2001, a turning point in Ivanisevic’s career which he now believes ‘saved his life’.

 

Ivanisevic continued to crush the Brit contingent by beating Rusedski 7-6(6), 7-6(6) in a frenzied exchange of aces, saving set points in both sets, a familiar moment in their rivalry which dates back to 1994.

 

Rusedski said: “I’ve only beaten him once on tour. Goran for me is always a challenge.”

 

In the post match press conference, I was eager to know whether Goran had changed his game at all to suit the new slower courts and technology of the rackets.

He said: “I don’t mind to stay back but still I always like to serve my aces and go for the big shots.”

 

The Croatian is doing a great job of reminding tennis fans of why he was such an asset to the tour with his attacking all-or-nothing style of play at the Royal Albert Hall; a rare glimpse of tennis as it was played in the 90s
juxtaposed with the recent Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at London’s
contrasting O2 Arena where Rafael Nadal and co punished each other with long baseline rallies and formidable topspin.

 

Ivanisevic said: “You can’t serve and volley in tennis now. The courts are too slow. The top ten guys, I don’t want to mention any names, but a lot of them haven’t got a clue how to volley. They don’t come to the net enough.”

 

“You have to come in on the right ball. The guys are so quick.”

 

Another player providing an exhibition of exquisite approach play is none other than Britain’s, Tim Henman, who defeated ATP Champions Tour Rankings leader, Thomas Enqvist 6-3, 3-6, 10-7 to reach the semi final stage of his first competitive tournament since his retirement three years ago.

 

“It’s always a pleasure to play at home,” said Henman. “This is my first
event on the Champions Tour and there’s no better way to start than at the Royal Albert Hall with a crowd like this.”

 

Henman looked remarkably sharp against Enqvist in his quarter-final yesterday, but unusually had to ask the patriotic British crowd to start cheering for him, as the “silence” was making him nervous (the chant ‘c’mon Tim’ is so ingrained into the British collective consciousness, that some even say it when Andy Murray is on court, such is his enduring appeal).

 

It’s all set for Tim and Goran to meet for a second time in the final on Sunday, unless Pat Rafter or Champions Tour veteran, Todd Martin can produce something special today.

Rafter said: “Goran’s serve is ridiculous and so hard to return. I’ll probably come dressed in cricket gear and see what
happens!”

Coverage of the event is on ITV4 for British viewers.

 


Henman – Ivanisevic: the Wimbledon rematch…

Tim Henman and Goran Ivanisevic faced each other at the
Royal Albert Hall in London last night for the first time since their epic
three day semi-final at Wimbledon in 2001.

Credit: Tim Edwards

Ivanisevic broke the hearts of the British public by beating
Henman in a thrilling five set match spread across three days due to the
unpredictable British weather. I clearly remember listening to the commentary secretly during lessons at my school in North London on my vintage Sony Walkman, nerves on edge.
This was arguably Henman’s most promising opportunity to be the first British man since Fred Perry to lift the Wimbledon crown, as a certain American, Pete Sampras, had been knocked out in the fourth round by none other than recent ATP Tour Finals champion, Roger Federer, leaving the path clear or so we had thought.
However, the stars were shining favourably on the
charismatic Croat, who famously ate at the same table at the same restaurant every night during the Wimbledon fortnight en route to his well deserved Wimbledon title: the pinnacle of any professional tennis player’s career, after three tough Wimbledon final losses to Andre Agassi in 1992 and Pete Sampras in 1994 and 1998 (I witnessed both heartbreaking finals at Wimbledon as an aspiring junior tennis player).
Ivanisevic won back the heart of the British crowd in his
fairytale win against Aussie, Pat Rafter, in the final as a wild card entry,
ranked world number 125 due to a recurring shoulder injury.
He famously said to reporters: “If some angel comes tonight
in my dreams and says: ‘OK Goran, you’re going to win Wimbledon tomorrow, but you’re not able to touch the racket ever again,’ I will say: ‘OK, I’d rather take that and then never play tennis again in my life.’”
But yet, the changeable Croat with his dual personalities is
back. And what a comeback it has been for the 39-year-old as a regular on the seniors tour winning two titles in Barcelona and Knokke this and recording his fastest ever serve this year. He was one of the many players who encouraged Henman out of retirement to join legends such as Stefen Edberg, John McEnroe and Britain’s own, Greg Rusedski on the ATP Champions Tour in a more jovial yet competitive atmosphere.
“I saw him at the World Tour Finals in London last year and
I told him he should come back and play with us,” Ivanisevic said of Henman. “He’s a great tennis player and we miss players like him.”
The players certainly didn’t disappoint the animated crowd
last night. In fact, with the pressure off, they produced an outstanding level of tennis, with Ivanisevic serving as well as I’d ever witnessed, winning the first set 6-4.
Indeed, Henman said in the post match press conference that no one had ever served as well against him in his entire career in that first set, heady praise for the Croat who revealed he is serving faster than ever before with the “new technology” of rackets these days.
With “good” Goran serving on all cylinders, this could have
been a baptism of fire on the fast indoor court for Henman, only in his second match out of retirement, but the Brit held his nerve well and showed many glimpses of his former glory, with great net play and feel around the court, winning the second set 7-5 and bringing the match to an exciting deciding championship tiebreak.
Despite the hecklings of the old Tim faithful, Goran served
his way to the match with an 11-9 victory in the tiebreak, looking impressively sharp on his backhand returns too.

Credit: Tim Edwards

Both looked exhilarated and liberated by the atmosphere of
the ATP Champions Tour, particularly in the historic setting of London’s Royal Albert Hall. In the post match press conference Henman revealed his “body felt good” and was pleased with the “good quality of tennis out there.”
Similarly, Goran was beaming as he said “today I felt great”
and emphasized how much he is enjoying his tennis without the mental pressure of the tour.
To my question of whether he still enjoyed playing up to his
loveable villain reputation, he laughed and said:
“People have always called me so many things. I don’t mind.”
Well, last night Goran, you were quite simply
brilliant.