547 episodes

Hosted by Nina Pantic and Irina Falconi, tune in to hear players, coaches and experts talk about everything tennis, from happenings on the court to trending topics, as well as what goes on behind the scenes both on the tour and in the pressroom.

TENNIS.com Podcas‪t‬ TENNIS.com Podcast/Tennis Channel Podcast Network

    • Tennis
    • 4.2 • 135 Ratings

Hosted by Nina Pantic and Irina Falconi, tune in to hear players, coaches and experts talk about everything tennis, from happenings on the court to trending topics, as well as what goes on behind the scenes both on the tour and in the pressroom.

    Blair Henley on getting the best out of players virtually and inside the stadium

    Blair Henley on getting the best out of players virtually and inside the stadium

    "It’s those times where you’re sort of sitting there figuring out what can we do to make the most of this tournament in terms of publicizing our sport? It's just finding the different avenues to tell people about our game."
    Though a lot of focus has been on the players and all of the obstacles they’ve had to endure this past month and year, reporters like this week's guest Blair Henley have had to adjust, too. Henley is a recognizable face on the tour as one of the top digital media creators and stadium hosts out there.
    After her own playing career wrapped up at Rice University, Henley got her start making instructional videos for Tennis Now and writing for outlets like TENNIS Magazine. Since 2015, she has been a stadium host at some of the most popular calendar stops like the US Open, Cincinnati, Indian Wells and Delray Beach.
    Her job is to put the players, and the tournaments, on the map. She tells us all about her career and what it has been like to get quality time with big names like Roger Federer while building relationships with new faces like Coco Gauff and Sebastian Korda. 
    To start of the year, she was one fate lucky few on site at Delray Beach. Then during the Austrian Open swing, she did online interviews called “Quarantine Chronicles” with Victoria Azarenka, Stefanos Tsitsitpas and Rajeev Ram for her YouTube channel. 
    She explains how her work has been impacted by the pandemic, though it hasn’t been all bad: Zoom has made reporting and content creation possible from anywhere in the world.
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    • 36 min
    Martin Blackman on Jennifer Brady's Australian Open run

    Martin Blackman on Jennifer Brady's Australian Open run

    “When we see an American player have a breakthrough, have a good result, we’re all high-fiving and texting and jumping up and down. It really means a lot for us, this is way more than just a job for us."
    The Australian Open has been one for the history books and Martin Blackman joins the show to help put things in perspective. He's the general manager of player development at the USTA and has a lot to be proud of this month. 
    It’s an exciting time for the USTA with 18 American women inside of the Top 100. Though the men haven’t fared as well Down Under, it’s still been a breakthrough fortnight for former UCLA Bruin Mackenzie McDonald as he made the fourth round. Blackman shares how, soon after his arrival, the USTA adapted to better support emerging college players.
    He has relished in seeing three American women make the Australian Open quarterfinals, Serena Williams, Jennifer Brady and Jessica Pegula (another American, Shelby Rogers, reached the fourth round). Brady, also a former Bruin, and Serena would advance to the semifinals, with Serena losing to Naomi Osaka and Brady topping Karolina Muchova to appear in her first career Grand Slam final.
    Brady trained at the USTA National Campus for three years before she began working with German coach Michael Geserer in 2019. Blackman and the USTA are still on hand to support the 25-year-old with anything she needs, and even hopped on Zoom to give her some tips during her 14-day hard lockdown. As is to be expected, Blackman has only great things to say about Brady and her team.
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    • 26 min
    Sharon Fichman on competing on her own terms

    Sharon Fichman on competing on her own terms

    "Doubles is more enjoyable for me in the sense that it just feels kinder on my heart and my soul when I play."
    This week's show features world No. 57 doubles pro Sharon Fichman. The Canadian calls in from Melbourne where she talks about her quarantine experience, the reason she quit the tour for two years, and how she rediscovered her love for competition.
    Competing this week at the Australian Open (she and Giuliana Olmos upset No. 5 seeds Hao-ching Chan and Latisha Chan and are through to the third round), Fichman shares what it has been like traveling Down Under and preparing for a major in unprecedented circumstances. The 30-year-old gives an honest take on what it’s like to be a doubles specialist through all of the chaos and uncertainty surrounding the new normal.
    Growing up in Toronto, Fichman was a junior phenom, peaking at No. 5 in the world. She'd turned pro as a teenager, rising as high as No. 77 in 2014. But she began dealing with injuries and setbacks, and ultimately stepped away from the game for two years.
    After getting into coaching and broadcasting, she made a comeback—in only doubles—in 2018. Rising back up the rankings fast, she has claimed two WTA doubles titles in her second career, and has returned to the Grand Slam stage. 
    Fichman's career has taken a lot of twists and turns, and everyone can learn from her zen-like, optimistic attitude as she continues to play the game she loves, the way she wants to play it. 
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    • 28 min
    Dominik Koepfer on forging his own path

    Dominik Koepfer on forging his own path

    "Some people just think they’re the best, they grow up knowing or getting told that they’re going to be No. 1 in the word, but I’ve never had that."
    This week we hear from Dominik Koepfer, a 26-year-old German who has taken one of the more unique paths to the Top 100. After barely competing as a junior, Koepfer played college tennis at Tulane University for four years before taking a shot at the pro tour. Now he's ranked No. 68 as he heads into the Australian Open. 
    A talented athlete, Koepfer juggled golf, soccer, skiing, and tennis before focusing on the latter more seriously at 16. Tulane took a risk on him as his junior resume was lacking, but it paid off big-time as he would climb all the way to No. 1 in the ITA rankings. 
    He shares his story from growing up as a sports-addicted child in rural Germany to maturing on- and off-court at Tulane, and setting up a training base in Tampa, Fla. with coaches Billy Heiser and Rhyne Williams. Having picked up his first ATP ranking point at the age of 21, and securing his first tour-level win a year later, he gives his take on the importance of college tennis and on being labeled a "late bloomer". 
    This month will mark just his second main draw appearance in Melbourne Park, but Koepfer has already made a splash on the Grand Slam stage, having made it all the way to the fourth round of the 2019 US Open.
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    • 33 min
    Jessica Pegula on preparing for a Grand Slam in quarantine

    Jessica Pegula on preparing for a Grand Slam in quarantine

    While her Buffalo Bills have ended their 2021 season, Jessica Pegula is just starting her campaign Down Under. The world No. 64 has been in modified quarantine for two weeks as she prepares for the Yarra Valley Classic WTA 500 in Melbourne. 
    Pegula turned a corner in her career in 2019 when she cracked the Top 100 for the first time and won her first WTA title in Washington, D.C. The 26-year-old started 2020 with a run to the Auckland final and during the summer in New York she picked up wins over Jennifer Brady, Amanda Anisimova and Aryna Sabalenka. 
    Pegula has big goals in mind on the court, but she's also got a lot going on off it as she's planning to get married this fall. She explains what went into postponing her wedding from 2020 and how she's kept very zen about it all. 
    She's just nine spots shy of her career-high ranking of No. 55 and gives her perspective on how rankings can affect a player's mindset.Though preparing for a Grand Slam in quarantine isn't ideal, Pegula and her coach David Witt have been making the most of it with five hours of outdoor time per day (72 players weren't so lucky).
    Pegula teamed up with Witt, the former longtime coach of Venus Williams, just before her title win in D.C. She zoned in on working as hard as possible during all of the time off last year with great results, and she hopes it pays off in 2021, too. 
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    • 32 min
    Chanda Rubin on making the most of the new normal

    Chanda Rubin on making the most of the new normal

    This week we catch up with Tennis Channel's own Chanda Rubin and get her take on covering tennis in the new normal. While she has been in the US Open and Roland Garros bubbles, she will cover the upcoming Australian Open from the new Los Angeles studio.
    Rubin brings a lot of personal experience to her current broadcasting gig after reaching as high as No. 6 in the world, winning the 1996 Australian Open doubles crown, and claiming seven career WTA titles. The Melbourne heat suited her just fine as she reached the 1996 singles semifinals in her best Grand Slam showing.
    The 44-year-old checks in from her home where she's juggling two children, a (mostly) virtual broadcasting career, and her own YouTube show with Zina Garrison called "Game. Set.Chat!". She gives insight into how she launched her WTA and broadcast careers (Roger Federer was her very first on-court interview), and discusses the challenges facing players in 2021.
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    • 36 min

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5
135 Ratings

135 Ratings

@jay_lass ,

Lousy audio

Fun podcast with lively guests but....It’s 2020, phoning in on a scratchy mobile phone that sounds crappy is not nice to listen to.

(Update! The audio got better so I added a star)

82732 ,

Awesome Podcast!

I absolutely love listening to this podcast. Irina and Nina are so knowledgeable on the sport which makes it even better.

tennisfan175 ,

Great podcast!!!!!

Amazing tennis insight!!!

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