It had to be the most startling picture of 2015 – or certainly it was for Canadian tennis followers.
On September 6, the middle Sunday at the US Open, an anxious and expectant media gathered to await the arrival of Genie Bouchard after her fall in the locker room the previous Friday night.
She was scheduled to play Roberta Vinci later that day and, after she withdrew from both her doubles and mixed doubles matches on Saturday, there was tremendous anticipation to get a look at her as word spread that she was on her way to the site.
This shutterbug was late getting to a position near her arrival spot at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Most people were already set up expecting her to turn left and head toward the players entrance. So it looked as if the only option would be a wide shot of all the camera-people and photographers shooting back toward her.
Instead she headed right, walking the shorter distance to the VIP entrance. Suddenly she was just a couple of feet away and that made it possible to take the picture here. It was shocking to see Bouchard in a hoodie and dark glasses looking so vulnerable. You had to feel for her. At that moment, it was pretty clear there was not going to be any more tennis for her at the 2015 US Open.
During the Canada – Japan opening round Davis Cup tie in Vancouver in March, Michael Chang, the 1989 French Open champion and a former world No. 2, was present working with Kei Nishikori.
One day during practice, Chang hit balls to his four-year-old daughter Lani. She comes from good tennis lineage – her mother, Amber Liu Chang, was NCAA singles champion in 2003 and 2004 while at Stanford University.
It wasn’t the best of European clay-court springs for Rafael Nadal. He failed to win an event on the terre battue for the first time in 12 years.
It’s easy to see here on the face of his girlfriend Maria Francisca Perello, and in the score (lower left), that things weren’t going well for him during his Rome quarter-final against Stan Wawrinka. The Swiss wound up winning 7-6(7), 6-2 over Nadal, a seven-time Italian Open champion.
Marie-Philip Poulin was the star of Canada’s gold-medal triumph at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. She scored the tying and then the winning goal in overtime as Canada defeated the USA in the final.
Above, Poulin, who took part in the ball hockey game during the Coupe Rogers in Montreal, closes in on goalie (Czech former player) Martin Damm much to the amusement of Swedes Thomas Johansson, Magnus Norman and Jonas Bjorkman watching on the right.
The Canadian team stayed in Ostend during its Davis Cup World Group quarter-final versus Belgium in July. Mikkelkerke was the actual town where the matches were played and the fastest way back to Ostend was on a commuter train that ran along beside the more than 50 miles of North Sea beaches. This shot was taken from the train on one of the dreary overcast afternoons preceding the tie.
Suzanne Lenglen is a true legend of tennis. Her enormous popularity was partly responsible for Wimbledon moving to a new and larger grounds in 1922. She also won one of the most celebrated matches of all time – beating American star Helen Wills in Cannes on the Riviera in 1926.
This statue of the flamboyant Frenchwoman is situated outside the stadium that bears her name at Roland Garros.
The Indian Wells Tennis Garden has a grassy area that provides the players with a large space where they can start off their day in leisurely fashion with some lighting jogging and/or exercising. In the picture here, Sam Stosur is about to catch a ball, Victoria Azarenka is tossing a football and Garbine Muguruza is having a drink – all with the San Jacinto mountains as a backdrop.
This was a scene on York Street in downtown Sydney, Australia, in January on the way to Melbourne for the Australian Open. There was just something about the positioning of the young woman’s right leg that made taking the picture irresistible.
There followed quite a tempest in a teapot when Genie Bouchard was asked, “can you give us a twirl?” by Channel 7’s Ian Cohen following her second round 6-0, 6-3 victory over Kiki Bertens at the Australian Open. “A twirl, like a pirouette,” Cohen added, hoping Bouchard would give Margaret Court Arena fans a better look at her new outfit.
This sign on St. Paul’s Cathedral at the corner of Swanston and Flinders Streets in central Melbourne seems more timely than ever now – almost 12 months later. The picture was taken in mid-January, 2015.
There was always lots of activity outside the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre on the campus of the University of British Columbia when Canada played its opening 2015 Davis Cup round against Japan in March. Here a juggler, in front of a pounding, rhythmic drum corps, shows off his skills with three tennis racquets.
Aussie mates Nick Kyrgios (black reversed ballcap) and Thanasi Kokkinakis were watching their friends Jack Sock and Vasek Pospisil play doubles on an outside court at Roland Garros when a young girl approached during a change-over and asked Kyrgios for an autograph. She was obviously thrilled as her reaction shows.
At this stage of the game Daniel Nestor, two months from his 43rd birthday in the picture above at Wimbledon on July 7th, can’t be sure how many more times he will be in the main draws of events at the All England Club.
Above his parents Anna and Ray, ever anxious about the youngest of their two sons when he’s on court, are looking happy that he has just won his third-round mixed doubles match.
Mauricio Paiz, a great friend of Tebbutt Tuesday, has not been doing as much tennis photography as in the past. But he did send along this cool shot from the Miami Open of a player so well known his name need not be spoken.
Croissants are a staple of a Parisian breakfast – and/or a café treat – and can be a work of art in and of themselves.
The picture above shows the outside and inside of the best croissant to be found at the Porte d’Auteuil, the Parisian neighbourhood adjacent Roland Garros. Noteworthy is how flaky the croissant is inside. Sadly, that’s not always the way with many of the ‘doughy’ versions available in North America.
Rafael Nadal and Tomas Berdych have not always been the best of pals on the tour. But that seemed a thing of the past when Berdych walked past the Spaniard during practice prior to the Rogers Cup in Montreal last summer. It was Berdych’s first tournament after getting married and it’s not hard to imagine that he was getting a bit of a ribbing about it from the Nadal camp.
The draw for the Canada – Japan first round tie in March was done at the Cecil Green Park House on the campus of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. It provided a picturesque view out over English Bay and a solitary tugboat chugging along.
Night matches at the Australian Open are one of the treats of the tennis year. There’s always a festive feel about them and in the picture above it’s the 2015 opening night with Roger Federer and Caroline Wozniacki as the featured players.
Lorne Main on the left and Brendan Macken on the right were stalwarts of Canadian tennis in the middle of the last century. Main won the 1954 title at Monte Carlo and Macken the Canadian championships in 1950. This shot of Main, 85, and Macken, 92, was taken last summer.
The picture is here partly because it was “brass monkey” weather last February when Canada hosted the Czech Republic in a Fed Cup tie in Quebec City. An intrepid photographer got up at 8:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning in minus-18 degree Celsius (zero Fahrenheit) temperatures to take the short ferry trip across the St. Lawrence River to Lévis to get this picture of the ice floes and historic Quebec City.
Tommy Haas did not end up playing the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells last March, but he was around and nice enough to pose for this selfie for a woman and her very young daughter.
It was one of the most-anticipated happenings of the tennis year – the moment when it would be determined which of the French Open’s No. 5 to No. 8 seeds would come out to potentially play top seed Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals. It turned out to be many people’s worst nightmare – No. 6 seed and nine-time champion Rafael Nadal. Above is the moment Nadal, and French Tennis Federation president Jean Gachassin seated next to him, saw that he would be in Djokovic’s quarter of the draw. The two did in fact meet with Djokovic beating Nadal 7-5, 6-3, 6-1.
French Open poster
Here is the 2016 French Open poster commissioned by the Galerie Lelong in Paris. The artist is 55-year-old Marc Desgrandschamps, who says he has never played tennis but recalls following the sport during Bjorn Borg’s heyday when the Swede was winning six Roland Garros titles between 1974 and 1981.
This year’s poster is 37th in a series that began in 1980.
Genius/Joker quiz reaction
Just to check out the answers to the third annual Genius/Joker Quiz, Tebbutt Tuesday answered all the questions and – no surprise – got them all correct.
It was what happened next that was a surprise. The following final tally popped up: “You Must Be Inside Tom Tebbutt’s head – 25 out of 25.”
A scary thought – I am inside Tom Tebbutt’s head!
NOTE: Tebbutt Tuesday will be coming from Australia next week.
Best wishes to everyone for 2016.