Thursday, September 6, 2012

us open 2012 : are you aiming at me?



benoit paire, on court 8
queens, ny
sept 2, 2012

***

i could understand benoit paire's frustration.

he was getting that losing feeling --he and his partner edouard roger-vasselin had split sets, but were down a break in the 3rd against the team of robert lindstedt and horia tecau.

and...he'd lost a heartbreaker of a singles match--wrapping close to the midnight hour--the night before, to the no. 19 seed, philipp kohlschreiber 6-7(4), 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 7-6(4). it wouldn't have necessarily surprised me if he'd pulled out of the doubles, an early match, the next day.

i was thrilled that he didn't.

i was inspired first by this roland garros piece, but a more recent account of the first round encounter between paire and grigor dimitrov at the usopen ("an afternoon with benny and grigs") had me convinced that the stylish, combustible frenchman, could be my new tennis muse. my hope: that he'd advance through the weekend and i'd be in position to photograph him creating some kind of beautiful, sweeping arc with his arms or a wacky angle with his wrist and racquet...or in a writhing, torquing, tortured moment.

the doubles match would be my last chance for the 2012 season. i arrived at court 8 late. could i hope for a few good shots?

within the first 10 minutes, paire had thrown his racquet 3 times. the 3rd time in my general direction.

he earned a code violation.

i got some of my favorite shots of the day.

(eventually, even after the loss, he smiled...)

all photos © anita aguilar