WASHINGTON, April 12, 2020 (by Michael Dickens)
Tennis United, a new weekly show hosted by Grand Slam doubles champions Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the United States and Vasek Pospisil from Canada, debuted Friday on both the ATP and WTA Tours digital platforms.
A joint venture of both tennis tours, the show is designed to feature interviews and discussions by Mattek-Sands (at home in Phoenix, Arizona) and Pospisil (from his home in Whistler, British Colombia, Canada) with ATP and WTA players and other movers and shakers from throughout tennis as well as providing a round-up of the best social media posts of the week, plus highlights of charitable and philanthropic work being doing within the tennis community.
“We are coming together right now as tennis united,” Mattek-Sands said during the opening segment of the show. “Both tours, the men and women, the ATP and WTA. We’ve had a few cancelled events. We have a lot of players who aren’t playing tennis right now who don’t know what the future holds. We rely on the tours and tournaments being up and running – and right now, we’re living in limbo.
“I think now more than ever, it’s time the tours came together and got an inside look at how everyone is handling this.”
Pospisil adds: “I’m relatively young, but I’ve never seen the world be this united. This is the first time I really feel everyone is in synch. There’s a lot of teamwork all around the world.”
The 20-minute debut of Tennis United began with a montage of player messages thanking health care workers, saying “thank you” in their native languages. Guests included Felix-Auger Aliassime of Canada and Sofia Kenin from the United States plus Donna Vekic of Croatia and Jannik Sinner from Italy. During the final segment, Mattek-Sands and Pospisil commented on their favorite social media posts of the week posted by tennis players, including Roger Federer’s volley challenge and Elina Svitolina‘s dancing skills. Throughout, the show was fun, it was nicely paced and edited, and it included plenty of slick graphics.
New episodes are scheduled to post each Friday.
This is bigger than tennis.
Ready? P̶l̶a̶y̶.̶ Stay.
— ATP Tour (@atptour) April 11, 2020
A Candid conversation with Stan and Benoit
On Friday, Stan Wawrinka and Benoit Paire shared their fourth in a series of candid and wide-ranging conversations among good friends. Topics don’t always include tennis, but when they do, Stan shares refreshing and honest thoughts, like he recently did about Roger Federer (translated from French): “There are negative sides to Federer’s shadow, but I always took the positive side. I was able to ask him for a lot of advice. … I learned a lot from the best players, actually, from all of my training with Novak, Rafa.
– Wawrinka : On s’était joués l’année dernière à Rotterdam.
– Paire : 7-6, 6-2 ? J’ai mouillé encore.
– Wawrinka : Petit craquage !
— L’ÉQUIPE (@lequipe) April 11, 2020
What they’re tweeting
Mihaela Buzarnescu, Romania, ranked No. 120
Each time I think about my sacrifices and all the hard times I had in my career, I know I can overcome anything! And like all bad things, this pandemic will come to an end! It ’s important to keep our spirits high and stay optimistic!
Photo @abubusworld #mikiwta #mikibuzarnescu pic.twitter.com/PYUAjny1Ue
— Mihaela Buzarnescu (@MikiBuzarnescu) April 11, 2020
Dominic Thiem, Austria, ranked No. 3
— denise 🐧 (@huggingvamps) April 10, 2020
Johanna Konta, Great Britain, ranked No. 14
Getting all dressed up for my dog walk/ food shopping combo – I’m already missing my sweatpants… 😬😂 pic.twitter.com/YWZskS0ZuZ
— Johanna Konta (@JohannaKonta) April 11, 2020
Ashleigh Barty, Australia, ranked No. 1
Brick wall, golf ball, technique bat and forehand volleys. Sir Donald inspired 🏏
— Ash Barty (@ashbarty) April 11, 2020