Two of the game’s greats, Zina Garrison and Chanda Rubin, have combated the absence of tennis by launching the ‘Game Set Chat!’ podcast.
Garrison, who reached the final of Wimbledon in 1990, and Rubin, a former WTA World No.6, began their endeavour on March 28, shortly after the coronavirus pandemic wiped out the global tennis schedule, with a one-hour chat with the legendary Billie Jean King.
The pair has subsequently held discussions with major figures from around the sporting world, with three-time Olympic gold medal winner Jackie Joyner-Kersee and NBA legend Clyde Drexler among the stars to have made guest appearances.
Naturally, however, there has been plenty of tennis interest. Former French Open champion Mary Pierce, who celebrated the 20th anniversary of her title Roland Garros this year, three-time Grand Slam champion Lindsay Davenport and prolifically successful doubles star Gigi Fernández are three of the ex-players to have joined the podcast, while emerging American ATP star Frances Tiafoe has also dropped in.
But beyond athletes past and present, the podcast takes a look behind the scenes at the state of the game at all levels. Kamau Murray, the coach of Sloane Stephens and founder of the XS Tennis program in Chicago, Katrina Adams, the former president of the USTA, and award-winning columnist LZ Granderson have given the show a broader perspective.
Another highlight of the show to date has been the Town Hall Special Edition, which was set up as a response to the Black Lives Matter protests that took place around the world but most notably in the USA.
Introducing the discussion, Rubin says: “One of the goals we had in setting this up was to create conversation -conversations about the ongoing injustice, the continued fight for equality and to hopefully create some positive solutions, some productive actions we can take individually and collectively.”
The chat brought insight from several key figures, including James Blake, a former ATP World No.4 who has branded himself “an accidental activist”.