The Koz had the pleasure to interview Bud Collins at the US Open last week for Indie Tennis and Tennis Ledger.
Experiencing the US Open from any perspective is special but working in the media room during the Open is one of the few ways to see the tournament from every perspective. For every 2010 US Open night session I worked in the USTA media room and helped assist over 1700 media credentialed guests by distributing stats and interview transcripts. Although this job was categorized as work, I never thought of it as that.
The media personalities I met, the people I worked with and the contacts I made, in addition to being a part of the fanfare, made my first US Open experience one that I will never forget. It’s true that maybe I was easily thrilled because I moved to the big city only a month ago from North Carolina so I’m still amused by everyday life in New York, but this excitement was on another level.
The diversity of the tennis media is one of the things that sets tennis apart from other sports. Tennis is played on every continent in the world, so imagine a room full of people from hundreds of different cultures and nationalities participating in an industry that is more laid back and casual than most other professions. It’s a culture clash to say the least, but the beauty of it is that the love of the game brought everyone together for those two weeks. Household tennis names like Bud Collins were seen in the media room as often as everyday. Two-time Grand Slam champion and former World No. 1 Amelie Mauresmo was present during the second week, working with the French media. Patrick McEnroe even stopped by on the day that he stepped down as Captain of the United States Davis Cup Team to talk about his resignation.
Walking on the Open grounds is something that every tennis fan should experience at least once in their lifetime. Making my periodic visit to the umpire’s office was always an adventure. On multiple occasions I walked past Brad Gilbert and said “BG!” and every time he gave me a smile and a head nod. Several times I followed a crowd of people rushing to the practice courts to find Nadal, Federer, Djokovic or another top contender preparing for their next match. Fans are eager to find another rising star with the personality to match and the Open grounds give players the chance to build their fan base. Dustin Brown, the 25 year old Jamaican who put on a show in Ashe Stadium during his second round loss to Andy Murray, took full advantage of the opportunity. He walked around the grounds after his loss and happily signed autographs and took pictures with fans while his Jamaican entourage tagged along.
One of the more interesting things to watch over the two weeks was the buzz around Rafael Nadal and his official coming out party as a sports icon. Yes, Nadal had eight Grand Slam titles and a solid fan base coming into this year’s Open, but there’s always been a slight resistance to make him the fan favorite. As he advanced through each round of the Open, you could hear the buzz surrounding Nadal grow louder and louder. By the end of the second week it seemed that every person on the grounds was wearing an article of clothing with Rafa’s Bull logo or some other piece from Nadal’s Nike-endorsed US Open wardrobe. There’s no question who will be the fan favorite when Nadal comes back to defend his title in 2011, and I hope to also come back and do it again next year.
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Tennis Ledger is proud to offer our readers a new partnership with Dave “The Koz” Kozlowski of IndieTennis.com. Today The Koz interviews Boston Globe reporter and tennis analyst Bud Collins . He recorded it live today at the US Open.
Dave “Koz” Kozlowski is the host of “Inside Tennis With The Koz” one of Tennis Channel’s original show series now airing on www.indietennis.com. Koz is one of the initial 17 Master USPTA Professionals in the world. He was named the 2000 USTA Tennis Broadcaster of the Year. The 2001 National Pro of the Year has the distinction of being the first American tennis broadcaster to interview Andy Roddick and Maria Sharapova.
NEW YORK – Bud Collins, the man who many call the walking encyclopedia of tennis, has released a second edition of his famous tennis encyclopedia and record book THE BUD COLLINS HISTORY OF TENNIS.
The 816-page second-edition volume – the most authoritative compilation of records, biographies and information on the sport of tennis – is dedicated to John Isner, Nicolas Mahut and chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani, the three principles from the record-breaking longest match of all-time at 2010 Wimbledon, won by Isner 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (3), 70-68 in 11 hours, five minutes, featuring a record 113 aces from Isner.
“Has the Isner – Mahut match ended yet? You can find out in this book!” quipped Collins.
Collins, the Hall of Fame tennis journalist, broadcaster and personality, is the longtime columnist for the Boston Globe and a 1994 inductee into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. He is covering the U.S. Championships for a 56th time in 2010. He will be signing books at the US Open Bookstore during the duration of the 2010 US Open.
THE BUD COLLINS HISTORY OF TENNIS ($35.95, New Chapter Press) is the ultimate compilation of historical tennis information, including year-by-year recaps of every tennis season, biographical sketches of every major tennis personality, as well as stats, records, and championship rolls for all the major events. The author’s personal relationships with major tennis stars offer insights into the world of professional tennis found nowhere else.
Among those endorsing THE BUD COLLINS HISTORY OF TENNIS include the two women who hold the Wimbledon record for most total titles – Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King – who both won 20 Wimbledon titles in their careers. Said Navratilova, “If you know nothing about tennis, this book is for you. And if you know everything about tennis—Hah!—Bud knows more, so this book is for you too!” Said King, “We can’t move forward if we don’t understand and appreciate our past. This book not only provides us with accurate reporting of the rich tennis history, it keeps us current on the progress of the sport today.” Also endorsing the book is author, commentator and Sports Illustrated contributor Frank Deford, who stated,“No tennis encyclopedia could be written by anyone but Bud Collins because Bud Collins is the walking tennis encyclopedia—the game’s barefoot professor. The only thing missing about the sport from his new edition is a section about Bud himself. But everything else is there—and it’s easy to open and use for the whole family.” Said Dick Enberg of CBS Sports and ESPN, “Did you ever see an encyclopedia walking? That’s Bud Collins (who sometimes runs, too). Plunge into his book and swim joyfully through the history of tennis. It’s all here.”
Founded in 1987, New Chapter Press is also the publisher of “The Roger Federer Story, Quest for Perfection” (www.RogerFedererBook.com) by Rene Stauffer, “The Education of a Tennis Player” by Rod Laver with Bud Collins, “Acing Depression: A Tennis Champion’s Toughest Match” by Cliff Richey with Hilaire Richey Kallendorf, “Tennis Made Easy” by Kelly Gunterman, “Jan Kodes: A Journey To Glory From Behind The Iron Curtain” by Jan Kodes and Petr Kolar, “Boycott: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games” by Tom Caraccioli and Jerry Caraccioli, “The Lennon Prophecy” by Joe Niezgoda, “Bone Appetit, Gourmet Cooking For Your Dog” by Susan Anson, “The Rules of Neighborhood Poker According to Hoyle” by Stewart Wolpin, “People’s Choice Cancun – Travel Survey Guidebook” by Eric Rabinowitz and “Weekend Warriors: The Men of Professional Lacrosse” by Jack McDermott, among others. More information can be found at www.NewChapterMedia.com.