Photo of the Year 2018

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Steve Line, Squash Player's globetrotting photographer, has chosen his top 10 photos from events he covered in 2018. Fans can pick their favourite and vote for the Photo of the Year here.
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1. May: Raphael Kandra (Ger) v Nick Matthew (Eng) - British Open, Hull, 2nd round.
Kandra ruined the script, and upset the home crowd, by beating Matthew in his last ever British Open in a huge anti-climax for England’s most successful ever player . They say a picture should tell a story….just look at Kandra’s elation compared to Matthew’s frustration.

2. May: Ali Farag (Egy) v Max Lee (Hong Kong) - British Open, Hull, 2nd round.
Just a classic squash photo – Farag showing great concentration with his eye still on the ball, enlarged as its caught on its way towards the front wall, with Lee caught flat footed behind, in a seemingly helpless position. The diagonal orientation of Farag’s body greatly adds to the dynamic impression of the photo.

3. April: Marwan Elshorbagy (Egy) v Karim Gawad (Egy) – El Gouna International Open, El Gouna, quarter-final.
One of the great appeals of photographing squash, compared to other racket sports, is having 2 players in close proximity to each other on the same side of the ‘net’ and the resulting interaction between them. The best shots are where the opponents are at their closest and here Elshorbagy is close to taking out Gawad on his follow through with great expressions on both their faces.

4. April: Miguel Rodriguez (Col) v Gregory Gaultier (Fra) – El Gouna International, El Gouna, quarter-final.
It is not always the striker that provides the most interesting shots. Here the ankle of Rodriguez has been caught by Gaultier on his through to the front wall causing him to spin and leap up from the floor – the pain of contact is all too evident on the Columbian’s face.

5. September: Tarek Momen (Egy) – Oracle Netsuite Open, San Francisco, quarter-final.
Photography has the beautiful ability to capture an instant of time that shows details that would be missed by the naked eye. Here Tarek Momen is captured at full stretch retrieving a ball in the front corner – just look at the perfect balance, with the weight of the body on the end of the shoe’s heel, and the arms and leg muscles extended to their extreme maximum.

6. September: Gregory Gaultier (Fra) – Oracle Netsuite Open, San Francisco, quarter-final.
Sometimes a photograph captures the attention by posing the question ‘what happened next?’ Here Gaultier is going to try and hit the ball as it arrives between his legs….but the viewer is left wondering if he actually managed it with the ball being higher in its flight than Gaultier expected with a possibly embarrassing result!

7. January: Nicolas Muller (Swi) - Tournament of Champions, New York, 2nd round.
You can’t beat a great celebration shot! Muller scores the greatest win of his career by beating the holder and 4th seed at the stunning Grand Central Terminal and shows the crowd and tv viewers just what it means to him.

8. October: Amanda Sobhy (US) v Nour El Tayeb (Egy) - US Open, Philadelphia, 3rd round.
It’s not quite the classic ‘Ali v Liston’ photo, but Sobhy, cheered on by the home crowd, shows her determined delight by clenching her fist over the floored Egyptian after winning a decisive rally on her way to beating the holder and 3rd seed.

9. October: Cesar Salazar (Mex) v Miguel Rodriguez (Col) - US Open, Philadelphia, 3rd round.
Being in the right place at the right time helps, but great concentration is vital, as well as having the right lens on your camera. By zooming out quickly on my 24-70 lens I managed to capture this highly unusual situation where Salazar accidentally hits the ball back at himself when close to the front wall and then severely arches his back to get out of the way of the returning ball. Stroke I think!

10. October: Miguel Rodriguez (Col) v Simon Rosner (Ger) - US Open, Philadelphia, quarter-final.
Miguel Rodriguez is a photographer’s dream with his dynamic dives. In this shot, however, it is the moment before he actually takes off that is most intriguing, with the end of his left foot just giving him enough purchase to launch himself towards the ball with the extreme effort of trying to get to the ball showing clearly on his face.

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