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Second Serve - A Tennis Now Blog

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My very first tennis assignment as a freelance photographer was the Indian Wells tournament in 2008.  I was so excited to dive right into the assignment but after a couple of missed flights and missing the press credential cut-off for the day, I found out I'd have to wait a bit longer to shoot my first assignment.  I was bummed but it was great to finally be in Palm Springs.

Palm Springs in March (from cold Washington, D.C.) was a treat in itself but being able to contribute to a online tennis publication and covering the top players in the world was even better.  It definitely was a learning experience.  Moving quickly with heavy equipment to get the right vantage point during changeovers is tough. You need to understand the game very well and be able to squeeze by slow moving fans on their way to the snack bar.  But I loved the challenge and getting back to the media room to see what I had captured was such a reward.    

One of my favorite photos from that tournament is this one of Tsonga.  He played an amazing match against Nadal and I snagged this after a Tsonga winner in the second set after he took the first from Nadal in a tiebreak.  He went on to lose the match in 3 tight sets.  It was the type of tennis that makes Indian Wells such a highlight of the year for tennis fans.  The raw emotion from Tsonga is the kind that makes him a fan favorite and it is moments like this that make me love sports.  

The final in 2008 was an unexpected match up between Mardy Fish (who beat Federer in semis) and Novak Djokovic who was starting to become a real contender at top tournaments and Slams.  Djokovic took the title on the Men's side while Ana Ivanovic took her first WTA title on the Women's side.  Needless to say, Serbian fans were out in full force on Finals Day - as well as some celebrity tennis fans such as Dr. Phil and Gwen Stefani (okay - some cooler than others).  Also, making big news that weekend was Mardy Fish's engagement to one of the "Deal or No Deal" models and more impressively, an attorney.      

Hope you enjoyed the journey back to Indian Wells 2008.  Although I am not on-assignment at BNP Paribas Open this year, I am excited for the week of tennis coming up.  This tournament will always be a special place to me.