Moller’s sights on Mel­bourne

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

Ev­ery Jan­uary, Greg Moller gets to carry out his ul­ti­mate ten­nis fan­tasy.

The Ti­tahi Bay Ten­nis Club vol­un­teer and coach is gear­ing up for his fifth stint as a pho­tog­ra­pher for New Zealand Ten­nis at the Aus­tralian Open. He will be in Mel­bourne from Jan­uary 8 till Fe­bru­ary 5 – the only an­nual leave he will take from his job at Porirua’s KMart in 2014.

He pays his own air­fare and ac­com­mo­da­tion – he will stay at a cheap back­pack­ers in Mel­bourne’s city cen­tre – and Ten­nis New Zealand en­dorse his me­dia ac­cred­i­ta­tion.

He wants to snap as many New Zealan­ders as pos­si­ble in ac­tion, so Ma­rina Erakovic will get plenty of at­ten­tion.

‘‘While it’ll be great to see the big names on cen­tre court, my fo­cus will be the Ki­wis. So if Ma­rina’s on court 17, that’s where I’ll go.’’

Moller is not a pro­fes­sional pho­tog­ra­pher. He grate­fully picks up Nikon lenses and tripods from the com­pany’s ‘‘sheds’’ at the open.

He said there was ex­cel­lent ca­ma­raderie among the pho­tog­ra­phers and that he gets tips aplenty as he strives to get play­ers’ ex­pres­sions, pro­files and ‘‘rac­quet on ball’’ shots for the Ten­nis New Zealand web­site.

His day starts at 8am and he is of­ten home af­ter 1am. Moller might then spend an hour or two down­load­ing the thou­sands of im­ages he has col­lected dur­ing his day. And he loves ev­ery minute. ‘‘This is my pas­sion. I love ten- nis and photography and can’t wait for Jan­uary. I’ve got full ac­cess to ev­ery part of Rod Laver Arena and the rest of the com­plex and it’s an in­cred­i­ble few weeks.

‘‘Get­ting close up is what it’s all about.’’

His favourite player is Roger Fed­erer be­cause of his tech­ni­cal bril­liance. The best match he’s wit­nessed is the 2013 fi­nal, a five­hour marathon in which No­vak Djokovic tri­umphed over Andy Mur­ray.

‘‘Some­times you’re stand­ing in an in­side area, watch­ing a match on the TVs, and next thing there’s a top 10 player stand­ing next to you, watch­ing it as well. I think, ‘I’m from Porirua and work at KMart – this is amaz­ing’.’’

Photo: KRIS DANDO

Ten­nis tragic: Ten­nis and photography are Greg Moller’s two big­gest pas­sions, so spend­ing his own time and money to be a pho­tog­ra­pher at the Aus­tralian Open ticks a lot of boxes.

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