Tennis With An Accent: Skip Schwarzman

Tennis with an accentSkip Schwarzman attended the ATP Finals in London last month and filed three stories for Tennis With An Accent. Host Matt Zemek, filling in for Saqib Ali this week, engages Skip in a three-part conversation.

Part I: Skip’s up-close observations of the ATP Finals.

What is it like to watch a tennis match from the nosebleed seats and from a courtside seat five rows behind the players’ boxes? What separates the experience of watching a match in person from the experience of watching a match on television? Skip delves into the details on those questions and more.

Skip discusses the ability to see the spins and speeds players use when watching a live match in person. He talks about the way Dominic Thiem hits his shots and how it relates to the limitations Thiem faces at this point in his career. Skip uses Juan Martin del Potro and Simona Halep to explain how tennis players are liberated and limited in what they can do when they hit a ball.

Skip, who watched the Roger Federer-Sascha Zverev semifinal in London, comments on the way Zverev carried himself at the ATP Finals and how much Ivan Lendl had to do with the German’s demeanor. Also, he offers notes on the experience of being a fan walking the concourses inside the O2 Arena. He talks about his adventures when trying to purchase a pint. You might be surprised at what he reveals.

Part II: The end of Davis Cup and the switch to the Pique and ATP Cups

Skip discusses the delicate balance of wanting to reform the traditional Davis Cup without getting rid of its essential qualities. Skip celebrates the time-honored virtues and attributes of Davis Cup while mentioning the tweaks which could have been made on the periphery of the event, but weren’t. He expresses skepticism about the Pique Cup by questioning the methods of Pique’s Kosmos group. Find out what Kosmos needs to do in order to be more accountable and inspire more confidence from a skeptical tennis community.

Will these new “Cups” — Laver, Pique and ATP — be around in five years? Whether they will or not, which constituency in men’s tennis is central in shaping the future of the sport?

Part III: What Skip Schwarzman learned about tennis from his mentor and his peers

Meet Frank X. Brennan Sr., former coach of tennis icon Billie Jean King and the mentor of Skip Schwarzman. Find out more about “Mr. Brennan’s” insights, which are as layered and nuanced as tennis itself.

What did Mr. Brennan teach Skip about coaching tennis and developing players? What is the central essence of a winning brand of tennis? What has Skip passed on to the many players he has coached as a tennis instructor? What has Skip learned from his friends and peers in a life spent teaching tennis and spreading a love of the game to others?

Get an intimate set of answers to these profoundly personal questions.

ATP Finals. Davis and Pique Cup. Skip Schwarzman’s life in tennis.

All this and more on the new Tennis With An Accent podcast.

Thanks for listening!

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Music provided by Teknoaxe and used under the terms of CC (Creative Commons) 4.0 license.

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