Photographers' Blog

Roger and out: Wimbledon 2012

By Toby Melville

After two weeks of rainy, cold and windy tennis, somehow kept on schedule courtesy of early starts, late finishes and a much used Centre Court roof, the traditional tournament highlight of the Men’s Singles Final took place on Sunday.

For the first time in 75 years a Briton would contest the match. The only obstacle in Scot Andy Murray’s path to glory was the huge boulder in the shape of sixteen grand slam winner and six time Wimbledon victor, Switzerland’s Roger Federer.

I was lucky enough to have my name pulled out of the hat for the East Pit photographer’s position at ground level, with Reuters colleague Dylan Martinez shooting the game from one end, near the coaches, and where players often react to provide strong images.

SLIDESHOW: BEST OF WIMBLEDON

Despite this being Murray’s best chance at a Slam after three previous dismal performances in Grand Slam finals, I already had a sense of foreboding after our top London-based Swiss tennis shooter Stefan Wermuth – fellow countryman of Roger Federer – had NOT had his name pulled out of the draw between the three Reuters shooters for the two photo positions. Small retribution for this bad luck would at least be if Federer blew Murray away…I should have guessed!

Prime Ministers (David Cameron), Princesses (Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, wife of Prince William) and Performers (The Beckhams) – none necessarily known as tennis aficionados – found prime spots in the Royal Box on centre court, such was the British appetite for a home-grown (-ish!) winner…

Let there be light

It’s after 9:00 pm on a Sunday night, Centre Court, Wimbledon.

I am up on platform B with about 15 other photographers. This position often produces the best celebration photos as players turn and face their family and coaches seated above us upon match point.  But match point is no guarantee tonight.

Despite the thrill of what is taking place before our eyes (later to be called the greatest Wimbledon final ever) we are all extremely fearful of the two scenarios we face. Firstly, and most likely, as darkness falls, will the match be suspended until Monday morning?  Or secondly, will this match actually finish on time, making our big match point photo an extremely difficult technical challenge due to insufficient light.

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Rafael Nadal returns the ball to Roger Federer in their finals match. Picture by Kevin Lamarque