Crazy about the blue

I’ve decided that a blue tennis court is my new most favorite thing right now. Last year Recanati had a fine-looking green hard court, this year they painted it blue (and still green on the outs). I like the new color so much that this morning not even the 40 degrees (centigrades!) discouraged me from getting out there and shoot, shoot, shoot.

As one comedian used to say: I like it.

ATP Challenger Recanati

The tournament is midway through, tomorrow the second round will be completed, leaving only 8 players fighting for the title. Among them won’t be Riccardo Ghedin, who put up a good fight today against the number two seed Sergey Stakhovsky. Ghedin is a fun player to watch, he’s very aggressive and serves & volleys pretty often, at least on this surface.

Stakhovsky isn’t boring, either and not the waiting type, even though my picture shows him on the defense, scrambling:

Tomorrow play will star at 6 pm, which kinda sucks because there’s only one good hour of light to shoot at 200 or 400 ISO with high shutter speeds (I like to keep at least 1/1600 with tennis if I can). Of course I can up the ISO and later on the light is beautiful (the magic hour, you know) but harsh and bright do help with action.

Qualifying in Recanati

Amazingly enough, two posts in one day. I almost feel like a blogger :D

Recanati’s ATP Challenger is on this week and I’m there with my beloved camera. Recanati’s the only Italian Challenger played on hard-courts and this year they have been painted a nice combination of green and blue (it used to be all green) which looks fantastic. And very US Open-ish ;)

The weekend saw the qualifiers fighting for a place in the Main Draw, which starts this afternoon. Here’s a few shots, first Morocco’s Rabie Chaki:

Then his “victim” in the Qualifying second round, Italian Thomas Fabbiano:

Young up-and-coming Grigor Dimitrov, who lost in the first round Saturday:

And Nikola Mektic, who ousted him:

And can I just say I hate when players wear a hat that casts a shadow on their faces? Well, I do.

ATP Challenger San Benedetto

Ideally I should have posted this at least a week ago, but my internal clock said it was time to do anything BUT. I also slept a lot. The tournament, btw, went great. The stands were always full for the night sessions and that was a beautiful thing to see. The only snag were the early upsets and retirements: the tournament lost 7 of its 8 seeds in the first two rounds. Things straighten up in the end, though, with the victory of the young and promising Italian Fabio Fognini, the number 1 seed. Here’s a nice (I think) picture of him during the final:

Fognini’s opponent in the final match was Argentina’s Cristian Villagran, one of the nicest guy ever. He also won the Doubles with Stefano Ianni, so he didn’t go home empty handed. On court, he’s a fighter:

I’ll finish with my most favorite tennis shot… ever! The player is Marco Crugnola. The linesman keeping his eyes on the line behind him is what makes the shot, in my very amateurish opinion.