Paul Annacone was a terrific participant, rising to No. 12 within the Pepeprstone ATP Rankings (singles) and profitable 14 doubles titles, together with the 1985 Australian Open. He went on to educate Pete Sampras, who gained 14 Grand Slam singles titles, and Roger Federer, who broke that document and completed with 20. He’s an astute analyst for Tennis Channel, providing cerebral, nuanced commentary — and, together with Michael Russell, helps coach rising American Taylor Fritz.
He additionally offered perspective for the Netflix sequence Break Level, which dropped Friday.
What was your expertise with the Netflix crew over the 2022 season?
We had important conversations at Indian Wells, Paris, simply after Wimbledon and one other one a month in the past. In all probability a half a dozen [sit-down interviews] general and 4 fairly prolonged ones. And quite a few occasions, simply onsite after we had been on the similar tournaments on the similar time. The producers are attempting to present folks an understanding of who these athletes are apart from what they see on TV. We’re going to see plenty of views. And we’re going to see the stuff that goes by gamers’ minds — good, dangerous or detached.
What do you assume the primary takeaways will probably be for the viewers?
The easy theme that these athletes are human beings. They’re rather a lot like all people else — they’re simply extraordinarily gifted with tennis racquets of their arms. And the human situation will get misplaced in extraordinary folks and extraordinary athletes and this hopefully will give folks an understanding that, on the finish of the day, they’re human beings. They really feel and do and act similar to we do. However they do it in entrance of hundreds of thousands of individuals, so it’s somewhat bit completely different.
Speaking with govt producer James Homosexual-Rees and showrunner Kari Lia, their takeaway was one thing you already know as somebody inside the sport — that skilled tennis is admittedly arduous.
Yeah, it’s. And many individuals don’t realise that in any respect. We’re additionally at a time the place I feel it’s actually attention-grabbing, while you see new superstars bounce on to the scene all of these human traits come into play much more, as a result of it’s a completely new panorama for them. So, the following 12 to 36 months goes to be actually attention-grabbing.
The F1 sequence modified the temperature dramatically for fan help in America. Do you assume “Break Level” can do the identical for tennis?
The actual fact this sequence will level on the human nature of this endeavor. They’ll see simply how particular a few of these different gamers who don’t have the identical recognition as Serena and Roger did after they had been taking part in. They’ll see what they’re making an attempt to perform and simply how arduous it’s. It may carry new consideration.
How do you seize the informal tennis fan?
Perhaps this lens will give folks a distinct perspective. Perhaps the those who occur to like Netflix and aren’t big tennis followers will see how Taylor Fritz gained the massive match in Indian Wells and beat Rafa — and ask ‘What’s that child like?’ Or how gamers like Ons Jabeur have come on to the scene and wish to know extra about her off the courtroom. Perhaps that would be the bait and we get the hook within the mouth of extra followers. That’s the objective.