I was lucky enough to be at the Birmingham National Indoor Arena earlier this month to witness Andy Murray’s 5-set win over Kei Nishikori to wrap up the Davis Cup win over Japan. It was a long, long match and Andy won more by sheer effort of will than anything else. Nishikori was excellent and had the beating of Andy in most of the long rallies.
As is my wont at such events, I try to get some photos of the action. I was in the public viewing area but we had good seats and I get just enough reach with my Olympus OM-D and the 75-300mm which is the full frame equivalent of a 600m lens at the long end. The main challenge was, as ever, that the lens is not that fast and the indoor light levels were limited at the NIA (now called the Barclaycard Arena). I had to rack the ISO up to 6400 and set the shutter to 1/800. I could never have used that high an ISO with my old Sony A100 but with the OM-D that is perfectly usable, specially with the noise reduction available from recent versions of Adobe Lightroom.
I looked at pictures of Andy Murray on Flickr and they nearly all feature him pumping his fist, snarling or otherwise displaying emotion. Understandable but somewhat clichéd. Surprisingly few pictures of Andy actually playing tennis. The latter either failed to include the ball in the shot or had Andy at absolute full stretch. I wanted something different so I tried to capture the level of concentration he puts into his game.
In a similar vein…
The image below tries to capture both Andy’s depth of concentration and the power he winds up in preparation for a serve. I was surprised just how high he throws the ball.