I was asked to have a crack at sketching the local tennis competition late last year.
There was a problem though – I had an eye injury at the time and wasn't sure I would be able to draw anything let alone some moving tennis players. I considered avoiding the event, but feeling housebound and frustrated from several weekends at home, I decided to go for it. In the end it just felt good to get out and about.
If I pulled my cap down low, wore my darkest sunglasses and closed the left eye from time to time to improve the double vision and painful light sensitivity it was almost bearable. It did take me longer to warm up than the players, so sketches started rough and got better as I went, finishing with the sketch at the top of Finn Tierney serving to Ajeet Rai.
This one was sketched from the bottom of the stand behind the catered tables, almost on the edge of the court, here punters are kicking back with the bubbly and canapés while the players are literally grunting it out in front of them. As far as I know no sweat ended up on anyone's blinis.
Billed as the biggest NZ tennis tournament outside of the big ASB and Heineken Classic, The West End Cup usually has most of the top kiwi players and sometimes people from offshore which makes for pretty good tennis (by our standards anyway!). This year there seemed to be more Australian players than Kiwis and a couple from further afield like Julia Glushko from Israel who took out the women’s title this year.
For some more sketches from the day, including the appetisingly named 'Brûlée Bike', go to my blog.