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Mid-match interview causes surprise. Reactions pour in

Posted in Sports

Published on September 04, 2015 with No Comments

Coco Vandeweghe defeated Sloane Stephens 6-4 6-3 at the US Open but it was her decision to grant a television interview mid-match that has caused a stir.

After wrapping up the first set on Louis Armstrong Court, the 23-year-old American was joined by ESPN analyst and former player Pam Shriver for a courtside chat during the changeover.

Vandeweghe admitted she could not remember what she told Shriver but insisted that although she had agreed to ESPN’s request on the eve of the match, she retained the option to change her mind at the last minute. “I could say it two seconds before I walked out on the court. I gave her the nod to go ahead, and then it happened,” she added.

Vandeweghe said that she believed the brief 30-second interview, which covered basic tennis conversation fillers such as being focussed and aggressive, could be a winner with fans. “Well, before it happened I was thinking maybe I might lose focus doing it. But then at the same time we have on-court coaching for WTA events,” she said. “You could also lose focus in that way because you’re speaking to someone. I think any innovation, it is a positive.”

However, not all players shared her enthusiasm, with former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki dismissing it as a fad. “Did I just see Coco do an interview on court, mid match, after the first set?? Surely you would wanna focus on the game out there? No?” tweeted Wozniacki.

Men’s top seed Novak Djokovic said the idea had merits, although he would not be tempted to break his routine, especially at a Grand Slam contest. “What I think they’re trying to do here is kind of implement the same kind of media interaction as in, for example, other sports, like basketball after the first or second quarter,” said Djokovic.

“I don’t know how much it can really work in tennis, but I think the impression of this first interview has been made. I think most players in the locker room are talking about it. It’s going to be interesting to see if somebody is going to follow up and accept to do the same. I will not, definitely, this tournament.”

Roger Federer said: “Well, I’ve done it in exhibition matches, never in a real match. In the beginning also we didn’t have interviews going onto the court. That was already weird, but we got used to that. Who knows moving forward what’s going to happen. I understand the idea, but what’s too much? What’s enough? For me, in some ways it’s… I haven’t done it in 17 years, so why start now?”


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