If a picture is worth a thousand words A Game to Love: In Celebration of Tennis is worth 500,000. Mike Powell, an award winning sports photographer, has filled this coffee-table masterpiece with a luscious array of modern day tennis images so loaded with raw character, emotion and detail I literally stopped my day to enjoy every page on the spot.
"Television," Powell says, "is dominant in its positions, and leads how most of us can see [an] event, but the power of the great still image is that it will freeze a memory and make it iconic, in a way that a moving image does not."
I ached over a shot of Roger Federer. I've watched hours of the guy, both live and on tv; never have I seen an expression like this.
The close-ups are to die for: Serena Williams' focus (and perfect manicure) mid-point; Rafael Nadal's hands holding a gleaming US Open trophy, the stained and frayed finger bandages, vestiges of the raging battle that got him there. Dinara Safina's anguish and utter frustration mid match.
A Game to Love takes you to and through the four majors: Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon and US Open and is interspersed with images from tournament grounds, quotes from tennis greats and observations by Powell himself, a clear connoisseur of the game.
Buy it on amazon or at bookstores everywhere beginning April 1, 2011, $40 USD. Currently available for pre-order.
Images: Mike Powell