Tennis is one of the few sports that can be compared to a life course: a match can be short, or very long. There is no buzzer-beater. The longest one, in Wimbledon 2010 between Frenchman Mahut and American Isner, it was finished on a 70-68 score in the 5th set after 11 hours and 3-days play.
As a former player and now photographer I’m interested what’s behind the game, what are player’s feelings.
The player has to travel to worldwide tournaments alone or with a reduce team. They must create the game, think, dare, manage stress, regain confidence, nurture his motivation, suffer fatigue, face adversity and regain control of the game. Players fight alone with the opponent but mainly with themselves, with their minds. Being focus and mentally high is as important as hitting the ball. Shiny moments could be followed by dark periods or vice versa.
Tennis is about feeling the ball, and when it happens, the racket becomes and extension of your arm.
As a professional photographer I found a strong similarity between tennis and photography. Taking pictures is mainly looking for the right feeling above all. Getting to the point, shoot, control and create the ‘game’, being mentally connected. The camera is an extension of the body – physically and spiritually speaking.
These set of pictures were taken from Marseille ATP 250 Championship (2016-2017 and 2019) and is a chapter of an ongoing project on what’s behind sport values.