Tennis, Ben Rothenberg, Ravi discussed on No Challenges Remaining
Welcome to new challenges remaining. I'm Ben Rothenberg as millions of folks around the world enter their third month of adjusting to working remotely I thought this might be a good time to share the experiences of what it's like to work remotely in tennis when tennis is a sport that sts professionally which doesn't really currently and much of the world feed commentary on the tennis matches you watch at home is delivered from a world away from the courts where the matches are taking place and one of the Veterans of this craft is. Ravi who also works on site at tournaments as a freelance reporter. So foot both the close the distant kind of work in Tennessee. So Ravi will describe here what. It's like working in broadcasting rotely at lifestyle of being distant from the courts and the challenges of creating atmosphere. A place that you're nowhere near so hopefully you will find this interesting. Maybe a little bit resident in these times of distance working that we're all living in and general distance. This interview was recorded near the end of this year's Australian. Open as you'll be able to tell but hopefully it has some some meaning residents or something in our lives. Today here is Ravi. I'm thrilled to be joined on this episode by my friend Robbie who is aware of many different hats in the tennis world. He is this week at the Australian Open. As we record this on my I'll and the pressroom and I'll made of mine as we walked back and forth press conferences and whatever else and share reactions to whatever missed overheads and such happened at once. He's one of those voices in unison gasping and signing and also a voice that I hear actually on the TV and watching at home as a frequent world feed commentator tennis Ravi. Thank you for being here. Ben My pleasure. Thank you for people who maybe more or less with you. Just how did you get into tennis? I in your life. How did you for make the jump into doing it as a career? In my life I grew up in Canada so It surprises me that I actually got into tennis. Because as you know. It's a big hockey country at my earliest memories at home when I was a little kid. Four or five watching the US Open in the background was on TV. Washington handle who? I think. He's my idol. When it comes to sportsman was younger so it started from that Played my whole life. Love playing very regularly and then got into it You know my profession and when I moved to London I was in the early two thousands. I is really a writer and thereafter going into the booth and doing You know share a picture of of commentating and TV work also. So how'd so the writing we've got a lot of show or other writing side of its. I'm more curious about how you make that. Jump how you go from being on the page. What was your first time being behind a microphone? I remember it well. It was a two thousand nine. I was asked to do a Davis Cup tie between Russia and Russia and Romania And so I did that s skew. Kinda thing. Yeah it was actually victor. S Q in McCall usually my first match. Oh I remember well and I think it was because they were looking for people who who just new tennis and covered tennis and as somebody who grew up broadcasting also. I was reported in Montreal where I grew up doing TV. I think they knew that. And they just stick. Okay let's Let's bring him in on something I wanted to do. So it really started from my point. According I've done a lot of tennis radio. Color Commentary. Saddam that different from doing TV. But I'm curious what as you got more into? Tv having been a writer having been a reporter. What skills are translated into what once? Don't translate what he to learn on that new in this new role well it For example the attention to detail that you have in imprinted writing. I think that's very helpful when it comes to being in the booth you know when digging up statistics knowing where to look and knowing how to get them to look for the inside stuff rather than just the basic statistics. I saw you antennas abstract on your computer just nine. Yeah for sure a great website. That's that's something that I bring with me. On the print side things that are different You know you know went to jump jump in and out to in went to Q. Out I'd also just broadcasting is a different is a different also voice. Really when you're as to when you're talking somebody like as we're chatting but now it's it's a different voice you put on. You also have to learn. Went to kind of hit your spots when it comes to nailing down for example phrases after a particular matches. Done you WanNa with a big extra It's not exactly the lead on when it's so important for peace pace but it's kind of the big finish in broadcasting so that there are little things like that they're different is that. I think you become more accustomed to as you do more shoe and actually imprint. They really don't emphasize most editors or papers or publications don emphasize ending so much. Onto a real sign off they most articles fade out or some editors sort of cut from the bottom which is frustrating when that happens because the idea try to put endings on Surrey generally. Bs that when did. When did it become a more full-time thing for you? And how did sort of adding work in that particular line? Is it same as other freelance work or is it different? Yeah no it's pretty much since the I would say two thousand thirteen fourteen and I I would say it's become more of doing that Rather than writing than before it was kind of opposite. He's been more of the writing than the broadcast. I always say since two thousand and thirteen and fourteen. I've lucky enough to to do a lot and it's something I love doing. I mean I sat on the air sometimes tournaments that you know. It's such an honor privileged to be doing it because as a tennis fan my whole life you know. Don't consider it a job. I'm very lucky doing something I really really love. And that's all really can ask for you. Mentioned sort of how the attention to detail in the writing can help the TV. Tv helped the writing effort to go the other direction too. Well helps in the sense that I get to watch a lot of tennis I believe and so I think I have a pretty good grasp of the players so it helps to foster ideas because you know for example. I'll give you an example I was watching an accommodated a master on the Brazilian player. A couple of years ago Eliane Pereira And I was digging up homework doing research for her master when she was playing at home. And I just read Interesting stuff about her. How she grew up in really extreme poverty you know. She didn't have a bathroom in her house. She had her bathroom in kind of the back garden. And so I thought well that'd be nice idea to do a longer feature a long story on inside that Saranda presumably written for the time. Remember that So it does help I mean and I think Ben as you know the more you homework you do on any subject on any play you realize that every player has a great story or has a story to tell I think that's the lesson that I learned. I try to bring them in the booth especially at times when a match is getting out of hand when it's not it's not as dramatic in oak at six one five two or six one three love. Matt out of Control. I think you want to sprinkle in those nuggets Talk about other stuff rather than you know the rallies techniques stuff. Yeah that was GONNA be one of my questions. What do you do to prep for a match especially? Let's say it's a give you two examples that say there's one that you're doing a final in its ASAKA versus talent or something. Which would be very familiar with. And then also if it's you know I think he did this. Shenzhen Final Speaker of the WPA World Rebecca versus Alexandra or two players who are much less known to each of those cases. Where would you try to do You know I've been at it doesn't it doesn't shift for me. I put the same amount of time for whether it's a first round with lesser players or or big final. I try to do the basic stuff I which is What they've done in the week cups good stats What they've done at that tournament the activity that tournament would have good stats to you. For example I'll give you an example so a couple of years ago Mona bartell won the Thailand. Prague I did that event Start to finish. She was a qualifier. I was looking scores in the qualifying and I recognized. There might have been a match. You know where she could have faced matchpoint just looking by the score. I think it was. She lost the first set and the second set was other seven six seven five hundred favor so is always interested. What happened and I matched was there. Matchpoint turned out. It was there was a match point. I said it on the air than you know. People of picked up on it. She ended up winning the tournament. So I think that don't stuff like that resonates with the audience. That it really. It really brings it to life. I'm nine build story. I mean those story. I mean Mona bartending. The prog Takes much more significance when you throw on the fact that he saved a match point in qualifying right. So that's the stuff that I that I look at the very good websites out there where you can see score point by point so you know exactly what's happening you know that But in terms of going back the prep same thing. You know what? What are the data tournament activity for example? In years past you can dig up some good themes for examples. Lana of a was taking on Madison keys so I also look at the heads and the previous two times. They face off the metastatic last year. Who's had leads in the first set on one of the point and ended up losing no sets and the same thing happened last year when they faced off so you you put that kind of behind you and you bring it up if it happens again and it did happen again. So it's a theme that was picked up on and then after doing kind of the basics I would say I really look for the Nice Features and and your act dotes whether idols growing up. Just stuff. That the I think is nice sprinkling what? I'm just curious Nerd PREP plenty. What is your view that notebook? Laptop you PRONUNCIA computer and what I do is i. I say all my matches on the computer. Prep so for example. The next time they play I'll just put it into my system and then I'll look at all cut and paste background stuff. The background stuff. Update the background. Stop and then. I'll updated to basically see what they've done at that tournament in the Current Day. And then you get notes from. Torah also noticed mature also. I'll read that as well. Yeah when you're going into the booth for a day. What is the your London to sort of talk through an entire day from when you get assigned to what happened to get there For doing the remote commentary for world feed. And where in? Just talk about where that is not Heathrow. Yeah most most feeds Are Done in In London the men's side and the women's side women's side actually moving to Leeds So we're doing that leads this time around so a typical day You know just get up and it depends on the match. Start right because Different time zones different different countries. All nine o'clock ten o'clock the morning all the time. It's it's a little bit different so I'll give you an example of Shenzhen. You mentioned that I did that. Earlier on those were getting up Getting up anywhere from one thirty. Am to around four am in the morning. I am to change your.