Tennis Photographers Groan as Maria Sharapova Exits Australian Open

Melbourne – To the bitterly disappointed groans of professional photographers, Maria Sharapova once again exited a major tournament before the quarterfinal stage yesterday at the Australian Open.

Photographers scramble for one last photo of Maria before she leaves Australia.

Photographers scramble for one last photo of Maria before she leaves Australia.

“It’s such a shame, really,” said Bryan Wilson (45), a career tennis photographer who follows the circuit photographing Sharapova’s slender legs and willowy body from a variety of angles. “I mean, I’m just such a big tennis fan and I think a player of Maria’s talent deserves to be in the big tournaments all the way to the end.”

“I really feel for her,” he added, rummaging in his pockets for a tissue.

Sharapova has previously won three Grand Slam events, but a shoulder injury in 2008 has seriously hampered her game, meaning that she now struggles to make it to the second week of any major tournament, much to the chagrin of press photographers who are such fans of her tennis technique.

“It’s just the quality of her groundstrokes,” said Shane Vickery (39), a professional tennis photographer for Sports Illustrated. “I am so impressed by the way she plants her long tanned legs in a wide open stance for extra power with her forehand. I just really want to capture that grace and athleticism for sports fans.”

Unfortunately, Sharapova's forehand technique also induces tendonitis in imitators.

Unfortunately, Sharapova's forehand technique also induces tendonitis in imitators.

“Studying her play has really helped me with my forehand as well,” he said, to general nods of agreement around the table that studying photos of Maria’s technique can really help one’s eye-hand coordination.

“What particularly impresses me is how deeply she bends over when preparing to return serve,” said Kenneth Algernott (61), the doyen of tennis photographers, while the others listened in respectful deference to his wisdom.

“I don’t know if you noticed, but for a tall girl Ms. Sharapova really does bend over most impressively when waiting for her opponent’s serve.”

“It’s a crucial element of one’s tennis technique,” he added by way of explanation. “From a lower perspective one can see right up the alley of the coming serve, observe the point where it comes together and see if there are any cracks in one’s opponent’s game.”

“And she does sway her buttocks from side to side quite impressively, too, to make sure her weight is evenly distributed. I’ve tried to capture this in my photographs, but I can never seem to get it right. Ah, well, I guess I’ll just have to keep trying,” he said with a heavy sigh.

Sharapova burst onto the scene at the tender age of 17 when she won the Wimbledon title in 2004. At the photographers’ table in the press lounge, many old hands warmed at the memory of the 17 year-old blonde bombshell in her tiny white miniskirt.

"This shot really captures Maria's incredible atheleticism," said Algernott appreciatively.

"This shot really captures Maria's incredible atheleticism," said Algernott appreciatively.

“Well, that was just an amazing two weeks,” said Rob Livery (36). “I’d only just started as a tennis photographer and was wondering how much of a career I could make out of it. Then Maria appeared, and I knew that I could make a really long career out of it.”

“I don’t know as much about tennis as Kenneth or some of the others here,” he said. “So I don’t mind saying that, what really struck me about Maria, was how different she was from the grumpy old lesbians who had previously dominated the sport.”

“She just had such a sunny personality! Her presence is just so infectiously uplifting. Certainly I always experience an uplift whenever I’m in her presence,” he said, looking around at the others who agreed unreservedly that Maria was a charming delight.

“I’ve really tried to capture that aspect of her in my photography, and I think now it comes out best in a full-frontal body shot with her miniskirt billowing around her hips like a flimsy piece of cloth that could simply fly away at any moment,” he said, reviewing some of his favourite pictures of her.

All agreed it was a shame Maria would not be around for the second week of the Open, then suddenly became emotional and dashed off to the toilets for some privacy and tissue paper.

One Response to Tennis Photographers Groan as Maria Sharapova Exits Australian Open

  1. Never put a hot babe on a cold slab!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: