Wimbledon Hugh Routledge

Wimbledon photographer Hugh Routledge

Wimbledon photographer Hugh Routledge

Having photographed the world-famous Tennis Championships for over 40 years, Hugh Routledge has built up an incredible collection of iconic images. They’re on display this summer in Richmond at Bingham Riverhouse…

How did you choose which photos to display?

It was difficult! And maybe another week, I would have chosen differently. But I wanted to choose those from when I first started right up to the present day. There is Jimmy Connors, and my favourite Björn Borg, and of course, Martina Navratilova. Then the recent players – Serena Williams, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

The pictures are very striking. What do you think makes your images so successful?

As a newspaper photographer, you always have to go for something that stands out on the page. I like close-up punchy images so a lot of my work is like that. And there’s there’s the moments in tennis which are absolutely vital: the serve and then the actual contact of the ball on the racket. It’s about capturing that.

What do you think are some of the challenges of photographing Wimbledon?

It’s trying to capture the story of the day, and the personalities. You always want to be in the right place at the right time and so you need to be in contact with your office or in contact with other photographers to know what’s going on over all those courts.

What have been some of the other highlights of your career?

The Olympic Games was very special. But in my job, every day is different so every day is special, whether it is the Open Golf Championships or the FA Cup Final. With newspapers, the current day is the only day that matters, you see your pictures in the paper the next day and then you’re already on to the next event.

What advice do you have for aspiring young photographers?

Practice makes perfect: even if you’re not selling your pictures, just keep on going. And have a passion for what you do. If you haven’t got the passion, it’s not going to work. I was lucky. I have two hobbies, sport and photography, and I was able to make a living out of both.

Wimbledon Legends is on until the end August at Bingham Riverhouse

You can also pop in to the hotel’s Wimbledon Lounge during The Championships to watch the action on screen, while enjoying Pimm’s and small plates.