London’s O2 was recently the final stop on this year’s ATP Tour – the season’s grand finale for men’s tennis – and I was privileged to once again be part of the ATP Media team working on the event’s radio and TV output.
Primarily I was there as part of a great ATP Tennis Radio team providing fans around the world with live coverage all day every day, but I was also delighted to conduct some of the on-court ‘house’ interviews for the O2 crowd and the TV audience towards the end of the event.
There’s something special about sharing that moment with the players after they’ve won a big match. It’s easy to forget sometimes that these guys are professional tennis players, not public-speakers, but I’m constantly amazed by how composed they are.
If you’re into your tennis but missed the finals and want to watch any of it back, get yourself a subscription to the ATP’s award-winning OTT channel, Tennis TV. You can literally watch every event live, plus all the highlights and best bits and the new ATP Tour starts all over again at the turn of the year.
Tennis ends, rugby sevens begins
And as one season draws to a close, another starts in a sport that’s becoming more popular for highlights and digital viewers. In a couple of weeks time I’ll be voicing the first of the highlights shows for the 2018-19 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series events, the Emirates Dubai Sevens.
This November it’s been great – and important – to see England and Ireland follow South Africa’s lead in challenging New Zealand’s stranglehold on the men’s international game. Their dominance has been so complete and so sustained that it’s almost overshadowed everything else for the past 10 years.
By contrast, their guaranteed place at the top of sevens ended a long time ago. Having won 12 of the first 15 world series, New Zealand have played second fiddle to Fiji (2) and South Africa (2) over the past four years, while others like USA have also started winning titles. There literally is no guessing who will win in Sevens, which will be in its second Olympics in 2020, and that is what makes it a great product.
If you like rugby but sometimes find the 80-minute matches a bit long, watch a bit of sevens and you’ll probably see something far more like what your kids are playing on a Sunday morning. If my kids are anything to go by, they’ll also enjoy it more too.