Published on July 25th, 2018 | by Landon Buford0
Talking Tennis with Kerry Feirman
“Talking Tennis… it’s more than the score,” says show host Kerry Feirman. “Talk Tennis with Kerry” is a digital platform that provides a new and unique look into the world of tennis. Feirman delivers the play by play and the stats, but she also provides coverage to stories and gossip that is not typically talked about in mainstream media. Allowing Feirman to find her niche by digging deeper on topics off the court is appealing not only to avid tennis fans but average sports fans as well. “Whether you’re an avid tennis fan or just a casual viewer, TALK TENNIS is engaging and entertaining for everyone!” said Feirman.
I recently had the opportunity to speak with the “Talk Tennis” host Kerry Feirman about covering Wimbledon In London, which is one of the most prestigious events in tennis. Feirman also discussed some of her favorite interviews and the process she went through to build her platform, “Talk Tennis with Kerry.”
You were covering Wimbledon in London. Can tell us which underdog you had your eyes on?
Yes! So exciting! In regards to the men, I was really pulling for American Taylor Fritz. His match with #3 in the world, Alexander Zverev, got split into 2 days as a result of being suspended due to darkness. Fritz was playing unbelievably the first night and was up a set on Zverev when the match was halted. The intensity and focus that he had looked like he perhaps could pull this one out, which would have been massive! I think the break in the middle of the match threw him off of his streak though, because his game was simply not the same when he returned. He ended up losing in 5 sets.
I would have loved to see Gael Monfils go the distance. He’s such a charismatic player, and his personality and attitude are great for the game. He’s particularly engaging to watch. He’s unseeded at Wimbledon, and his win against Sam Querrey was big. It would definitely be exciting to see a couple more big wins.
As for the women – there were so many upsets! I like Donna Vekic. She’s yet to get past the 3rdround of a slam, and at Wimbledon, she has had some major wins to finally get there!
Big fan of Dominika Cibulkova as well, who just had a solid win against Johanna Konta.
However, watching relatively unknown Belgian player, Alison Van Uytvanck take out last year’s champion and world ranked #3, Garbine Muguruza, in the second round at this year’s Wimbledon was absolutely colossal!!. I’ve seen her play a few times before, but never was too excited about her. This match however entirely changed my mind, as I’m sure it did many other’s as well. This match was one of the more exciting women’s matches I’ve watched in a while. Her calm, and attitude on the court is admirable. And her serve! WOW! Van Uytvanck also recently came out with being in a same sex relationship with fellow player, Greet Minnen. I must say, I find it especially gratifying that her biggest win to date, that has made some major sound waves, has come shortly after this announcement, at a slam, and at the most conservative of the tournaments. With this win she brings attention to more than just her athleticism and promise in the sport, which I personally think is fantastic.
For those of us that have not been able to be in attendance or cover Wimbledon, would you discuss the experience of this prestige event?
The experience is really incredible. This is actually my first Wimbledon! I’ve been to and/or covered the other slams multiple times, but for whatever reason, I’ve never attended Wimbledon until this year. So, for me, this is just as new and thrilling as it would be for anyone else! I’m a little bit like a child at Disneyland, with my eyes so big that I don’t know which attraction to go to first! Haha! Wimbledon being one of the most prestigious events in the world, even to non-tennis enthusiasts, is quite the honor to attend. The venue is pristine, and the ambiance is quite unique with its traditional values. Wimbledon is the only tournament left where the players are still required to wear all white, among other traditional rules and values that they continue to implement, unlike other tournaments. It’s the oldest tournament in the world! It’s an experience like no other, that’s for sure.
At the beginning of the planning stages of creating, “Talk Tennis With Kerry,” what were somethings that you considered?
First and foremost, I was working another full-time job when I started creating, “Talk Tennis,” so time was particularly a concern. But, as they say, where there’s a will there’s a way! “Talk Tennis” pretty much became a second full-time job for quite some time. The ability to balance the two was definitely a task and challenge. Going out with friends, dating, and just generally having, “me time,” became non-existent for a bit, lol. Of course, financially sustaining this passion until I could turn this passion into a profitable career was something that was always lingering. And just generally how I would go about executing the many things I needed to do in order to create an engaging series. Obviously, the risk factor was always something in consideration as well. There definitely was a chance that a lot of time, money, and effort could ultimately go to waste here. But, for me, the overwhelming desire and drive to live the best life I possibly could, trumped any fears of failure. Everyone wants to be immersed in their passion every day of their life, right? But a lot comes with making that feasible for most. In the end, it hasn’t been an easy road. There were a lot of hurdles and obstacles, and a TON of time, effort, and financial investments creating, “Talk Tennis.” Looking back, I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s all part of the journey. It’s those things that make the successes all that much more satisfying.
Aside from your platform being focused on tennis how did you want to set it apart from other sports and entertainment platforms?
In particular with tennis, there really aren’t any, “entertainment,” platforms. Tennis is one of those sports that is laser-focused on the statistics but doesn’t dig much into the player’s off the court, or the sport behind the scenes. Tennis tends to be SO serious. In creating, “Talk Tennis with Kerry,” I wanted to break the mold a bit and focus more heavily on the pop culture elements, more on the players and the “scene” off the court, instead of just the scores. Especially in this digital age, the scores of tennis matches around the world can be found on thousands of different networks and platforms, or people’s live streams, etc. I felt like it was time for something new. As a viewer myself, I have always wanted to see and know more. That is where the idea originated: What did I, as a spectator, want to see more of? What did the younger generation growing up with so much more access to information as a result of the internet and social media, want to see more of? Fun, personality, insider information, gossip, activities . . .”Talk Tennis With Kerry,” combines the facts and the stats with engaging, fun content. Each episode gives the viewer something new and exciting and often unexpected. The show isn’t just about one thing, such as; only in-studio conversation, or interviews, or red carpets, or events, or tournaments…it’s EVERYTHING! What’s especially different about, “Talk Tennis with Kerry,” is that, unlike many other sports shows, you don’t necessarily have to be a tennis fan to find, “Talk Tennis,” compelling to watch.
How do you want to use your platform to inspire the next generation?
It sounds a little cliché but ultimately, I think the next generation can find the, “Talk Tennis,” platform inspiring in the sense that having a vision and a passion IS attainable. Making change is tangible. But also, “Talk Tennis,” is the product of A LOT of hard work. I did not receive any handouts or have anyone influential in the sports world ushering me into strategic positions. In the words of Drake, “I started from the bottom.” Hehe. So, the next generation can also see the platform as an example of hard work, determination, drive, and TIME. So many people, especially the younger generation, give up on things so easily. When endeavors don’t happen overnight, people often simply move on. When in reality, sticking things out is what separates the people who succeed and those who never do. In many cases it’s not solely all about talent, but rather ambition and commitment, and the desire to take the time to learn and grow. Additionally, “Talk Tennis,” can be seen as an example of believing in oneself. If YOU don’t definitively believe in yourself and your ability to succeed, then how can you expect others to? I had to pick myself up off the floor many times and will myself to continue. But I always believe, so no matter what, I will always move forward. Hopefully, the next generation can be inspired by, “Talk Tennis,” in this sense as well.
Can you describe what your perfect intern would look like?
I do not necessarily need someone who is exceptionally knowledgeable about Tennis and sports. Sure, that would be a plus, but most importantly I need someone who is excited about the platform and to be a part of something bigger. Excited about the concept. Someone who believes in the platform and the bigger picture. Someone who is enthusiastic, full of positive energy, ambitious, motivated, and most importantly – as stated above – willing to put in the TIME to learn and grow!!
What has been your favorite interview and what did you take away from it?
Oh geez! I’ve had so many great ones!
- Lindsay Davenport – I asked her what the best advice she’s ever been given was. Her answer: “ONLY listen to people that you know care about you and have your best interest at heart. That will only be a very small group of people. Everyone has something to say and everyone thinks they know what’s best, but more often than not, they don’t know and don’t actually have what’s best for you in mind. As hard as it is to ignore all of the outside chatter, do your best to only take advice from those select few that you know really truly do care.” That’s some great advice!
- Jim Courier, Mary Carillo, Paul Annacone – humility. That no matter how incredibly famous you are, remaining humble is what separates a hero from a celebrity. I have had the honor of working with many many “big names”, some of which were pleasant to work with, some of which were a lot of fun to work with, and some of which I’d rather not have to work with again. All 3 of these legends, however, have been incredible to work with. Always welcoming, never arrogant or entitled, always willing to give time, never condescending, and a whole lot of fun to be around and interview as well! These are the kinds of names that will be remembered forever, because they are so much more than just “celebrities.”
- Feliciano Lopez – that it’s not appropriate to drool while interviewing someone
- Ivo Karlovic – that I really need some taller heels
- Eugenie Bouchard – I said to her: “You have to do so many interviews like this one, what questions are you tired of being asked?” She replied as if she couldn’t be happier to finally answer a different kind of question, “OMG soooo many!!!! How do I prep for a match, what do I eat, am I nervous to play so and so . . . .” – she went on for a while firing off the many different things she is tired of talking about. I then asked, “So, what questions do you wish you were asked more.” Genie’s answer, “I’m a human being, how about asking about me and my life off the court.” – POINT AND CASE!
Who is someone that you haven’t had the opportunity to interview in the sport of tennis, where would be the perfect place, and why?
John McEnroe – I’ll take him wherever I can get him! Who wouldn’t want to interview this guy?!
Maria Sharapova – She’s been through a lot in the past few years, yet she has persevered and is one of the most financially successful female players on the court and off the court. In Los Angeles, we are basically neighbors, there so that’s certainly convenient.
Steffi Graf + Andre Agassi – not only were they both icons during my whole childhood growing up in the sport, but let’s be honest – #CoupleGoals.Since they’re basically on my list of top ten cutest and most admirable couples ever, I’d like to interview them at their favorite date spot. Help usher along some good memories and feelings so I can get the real secrets 😉
You contributed a lot of content to TennisIdentity.com the Magazine, as a journalist and digital producer. What was the process you went through to land a position with the platform?
The editor of TennisIdentity.com Magazine actually found me online, enjoyed my videos and work, and reached out to me directly. By this time, however, I had a lot of content online that I had hosted and produced, and my youtube and facebook platforms were starting to pick up speed as a result. It certainly was a lot of work to get to the point where my online presence was really being noticed and picking up attention from other tennis outlets and associates such as tennisIdentity.com magazine.
Last year you were a part of the television movie, ‘Besties’. Can talk about that project and do you have any others that you have in the works?
This was a fun webseries to be a part of in front of, and behind the camera. I currently don’t have anything else like this on the books, it is very possible that this will pick back up and continue sometime soon though. Other than, “Besties,” I’m always open to ideas and opportunities that allow me to be expressive and creative.
What are some things you would like to pursue outside of the entertainment business?
Broadcast journalism, writing, and production certainly keep me incredibly busy right now. It has always been a dream of mine though to open an animal rescue facility. I have a massive soft spot in my heart for animals. I worked in animal rescue for quite some time, and have such great respect for animal rescuer’s, as this world can be a very cruel one that is especially magnified in that line of work. At some point in my life, I would like to open a facility where animals can be adopted out to loving homes. If not adopted, I would like for this facility to also be a place where animals can still happily live out their lives with fields to run and play, with fellow dogs/cats/rabbits etc to bond with, and plenty of nourishment and love.