A highlight from Tennis.com Podcast 8/12/21: Leslie Allen


Perspective. Because i know that's what got me through when i was probably in those same shoes feeling so frustrated and perspective is interesting. You said that word. Because i think that you know the perspective com from just your history in the game right and sort of your experience and seeing how the tour has evolved. How tournaments has evolved. How the athletes have evolved to play the money. Everything and i think that knowledge in that perspective is what allows you to sort of always become always Have a well educated response to things that are going on in world. Tell me your sort of perspective on how tennis was in the seventies and early eighties compared to what it has evolved to which is now a big business What i would say that tennis has evolved to what we dreamed about. And when i walked into the locker. Room billie jean was there and so she immediately told me as a player what my responsibility was and it was to put the best product out on the court to interact with fans with the media with the sponsors and also the politics or the organizational structure of the game. So we knew what we were doing in all phases and so when we sat in those board meetings We drained of players being able to make this amount of money to play in stadiums. Like this the generation when i played tennis had just transitioned from being in country clubs to playing in iconic. Arenas like you know the forum garden. The boston garden that kind of thing so so just to see what is happening now. warms my heart. And no and. I know that i had something to do with that is well. Now what did you do. Because you know i all the time he mentioned. Billy i talked to me all the time and she always talks about the work and how a players had to like. Go out there. Interact sponsors try. I like you said used product right. have understand that this is sort of a game and it's a product and we want to sell this product. You want people to buy buy tickets by media etc. Tell me some of the things that you know right now. A lot is done four players right now. Wti is a big organization with marketing. And all other stuff but back then you all were sort of the wta like all the board meeting. You all sort of craigslist product. Tell me the things that you all had to well. Firstly the the deputy to our board was made up of player so that was a little bit frightening to be sitting in the room and making business level of decisions when i return to the to the board of the two thousands. I had much more business acumen. And we're confident in that space but there are a couple of things that were going on in the late seventies early eighties even for women athletes to be professionals to have a viable career. That was unusual. So we were a little bit of an oddity and to normalize what we were doing Just in the greater community at large we had to be willing to speak to the media at any time because it was almost like wait. Somebody wants to speak to us. Okay will do. We'll we'll do the interview. You need us to do a clinic. Okay we'll go into the clinic and Didn't have to go through channels and channels of let my people talk to your people that can happen. It can only last for fifty nine seconds because the bills into a minute than something else is going to happen. So i can remember going and doing clinics before had matches. You know you just. You just did what you had to do. Because i felt like. I was building the game and the more exposure that i could get and women's tennis could get the more viable product. It could be seen air go. We could get better sponsors more prize money and the like so we approached it. We were the generation that approached it of we had worked to and then as a tennis began to grow a few generations later. People got in their bubbles with their coterie and players didn't even talk to one another so to speak the generation when i played We practiced with one another. We didn't travel with coaches so when we came downstairs in the hotel lobby to breakfast. We sat with another player. We practiced with another player. Not with a hitting partner We might give advice to one another

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