Ted Robinson: What Does Tennis Look Like When It Returns?

Beyond The Baseline


I talk with Ted Robinson. He has podcast for Youtube. And I said you know what? Let's just talk between ourselves all. Take the audio you take the audio. We could both use it for our own purposes. So this is a fun discussion. You know. Ted Of course from his longtime working tennis on. Nbc USA Tennis Channel often alongside. John McEnroe great friend of the sport. Great broadcaster journalist the sport little backstory about ten years. Ago Ted Rope me into joining him on a segment. We call passing shots for tennis channel. Then Nathan tennis gentle. This essentially is my intro to Tennis on TV. Luckily he covered for my for my amateur habits. We have revised passing shots. Hopefully it's a little better than it was in in two thousand eight or whatever when we debuted this. But this is ted in T- Ten and I are talking here and it's a number of tennis topics. Ted is in northern California. I am hold up on the East Coast. We Talk About Tennis. We asked the question. Does this break benefit anyone? What is tennis? Look like when we return. Is there such a thing normalcy? What is the role of society in a pandemic where we didn't go that far but A lot of fun tennis talk with Ted Robinson and here. We are all right. Let's so we're GONNA try to keep this mayor John. I had the one of those people from the very beginning when the rolling gap. So the ED T. said we're moving. I was my first reaction. Was that's awesome. Somebody is actually taking a proactive step to give something positive. I understand the means. Were not necessarily the best the end though. I think it was well worth it. Yeah I'm Kinda with you. I mean this is one of the four pillars of the sport. And everybody's saying well. There was a breach of etiquette. What about the communication? Could you imagine what would have happened if the F. T. had gone through these channels and asked all of the events that it conflicted with if they might be okay there would be threats of Litigation? There would be board meetings. There would be conference calls. They just said you know what? We're the big dog. We're putting up fifty million dollars in prizemoney. Two hundred fifty six players are going to get fifty grand. If they don't win a point we think the players are gonNA play. Here's our date deal with it and I get it. I don't think this was particularly healthy to tennis in the long term. I understand why people are upset but also I understand from their perspective. They're one of the four biggest events and they've got a right to wield a little bit of power. Well he means we're great we also though. I think we've all been around the French Roland Garros and Fritz Federation enough to know. They NECESSARILY CARE. They just do what they want to understand that that people's feelings of these are extraordinary times. They they do what they do and they do it more so when they have whatever how many hundreds of million dollars of debt service on on a new roof and they do it when they don't have insurance unlike Wimbledon where they don't get any sort of recompense if they don't hold the event I get it I mean we we can talk about Means versus ends and we can talk about process versus outcome. But I understand why did with did. I reminded I say this to you. I think you've read the story for the years. That and it was the early twenty tens I forget which year but Joe Vision. Doll ended up playing the final into Monday. So on Friday of that final weekend it was about six hundred percent chance of rain on Sunday. And you saw that was probably gonna be joking reaching the dollar. Appoint where you thought they could easily take five hours to play so NBC sort of gently a little bit of my father with our great phrase. John McGuinness producer Think about bumping up the star time because they start at three basically three ten I ball which gives you six hours to play five hours a grueling larger fair and maybe WANNA bump it up and started a couple of hours of REC- hits rain delay. No we cannot interfere with lunch so many of the high end sponsors spend any they promote the final day lunch for your day higher very highly successful shafts planks was menus. We do not wrestlers lunch. I always joke that the media Cafeteria Roland. Garros has its paige day and they have a wine steward and they have different chief selection of in your Houston media dieting. Usually being you know you're you're eating soup with their hands in the you know the meadowlands. If the media dining has their own pyeho chef you can only imagine the dining options for the people that have Spent tens of thousands of dollars for the courtside seats but no lunches sacred which is also the review. No this lunches. That's also why they say I can't believe this it's a grand slam. Semifinal in the stands are only half packed those tickets have been sold and those people are on the ground. They just have a fork in one hand in a night and the other and they'll get to the tennis when they finish their last declare and of course. I joke final. They ended up getting burned by the way the Dow Stock Dazzling. It's not play that day but the referee to stop late Dawson. I'm out and in cost everybody in the cost us a lot of money to pay for everybody's flies to change in extra day but across the federation allowed light right to reopen the grounds the next day to two thousand one. Wimbledon I was told was one of the pats at the club. Now getting certainly they can absorb this. There's a million ounce to real the Nicole on Monday with zero revenue coming in to play raft refereed. Amici's explain what's interesting about all this including this whole discussion we've been having about closed-door events where you just hold the events for for TV and not for fans in the stands this has really been an interesting referendum on how much do these events and these leagues Value TV and media. How much do they value sponsors? How much they value common fans. And how much do they value the sweets? And if appeasing the guys who are buying your sweets me more than TV. I I can see why they would renew it the next thing. I mean what's interesting? I this is other rumor so I WANNA informal setting and I hope this won't be used against the the rumor I've heard a few times now. Is that the US Open. A really are hell bent on playing the event this year. They've even look into alternative dates in one of the big holdups is they've got to do right by. Espn AND IS ESPN want the US Open? Deep in the fall when they have all their college football. They've got Monday night football they don't And I think the. Usda has got to figure out. How much do they want to put on this event in how much they willing to do it even if it means pissing off their biggest TV partners you? John that's by next passing shot and the point is you just touched on. I think every sport is going through this. How do we come back? I think it's imperative for chance to come back with competition as soon as they can't sake safely's the obvious caveat here but safely meaning there may not be for a very limited fans but competition. And I'm coming this John Lewis standpoint of players ranked and we can all week each throw a dart and say seventy five hundred below. I know you've already touched on this on. Tv lied about this but those players and by the way there is sorting teams physios trainers administrators the Chiro bars. The administrators of the tourists broadcast entities around the world. All sorts of lamb chops alive. And I stayed. It's imperative for tennis when safe to have competition even if it means competition with limited X. over to play devil's advocate there. I mean I I I agree with you but the one thing I've heard is is the counter to that is look. You're talking about athletes from all over the world from different countries with different health. Standards you're talking about T as you say teams and Physios and journalists and tournaments to have an even if you have a closed door scenario and even if you don't have doubles juniors you're still talking about hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people walking around the grounds given what we know about these spread rates and given what we know about how many fatalities result from these rates. If they're a thousand people at a major which is a conservative. That's pretty low estimate given their two hundred fifty six players in the May draw a thousand people. You're still probably likely to have a few fatalities Do we do. We risk that it. What do we do for a global sport where Western Europe might be on the man but other parts of the world might be behind? Do we say we're GONNA have the US Open but if you're from India Iran I'm just making up countries but if you're from five countries you can't play. Is that fair to still hold an event L. Rasiah and I think this is what's going on hold is this is my dead and company. Has FOR WITH BILL? Walton took me to see the dead New Year's Eve Senator San Francisco and I think everybody should have to add. Lorries is what I'm saying. I think whenever we come at everybody's GonNa be tested right and you're gonNA have to have a badge. The crucial so. I think that's GonNa be the answer at how this plays out. I'm researcher Techni- Martha but I believe that's how it's going after before you have any competition whether it's domestic or international status everybody's GonNa have to have some badges

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