16: Roland Garros & Modernising Tennis /w John Inverdale


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In episode 16 of Baseline Exchanges, Andrew Raeburn, Craig Viner and Anna Smith talk to veteran sports broadcaster John Inverdale, presenter of ITV’s coverage of the French Open.
John, who in 2021 will be working at his 36th Wimbledon Championships, discusses his earliest memories of SW19, the transformation of Roland-Garros, and foresees an end to Rafael Nadal’s domination in Paris.
He also expresses his fears about the sport’s future unless it modernises its formats and comes out from behind TV’s paywall.
Meanwhile, analyst Mike James talks about working with French Open champion Iga Świątek and the secrets of her success.

- John’s early love of tennis and how he only completed his 1977 Wimbledon autograph collection 23 years later!
- The new-look Roland Garros being “one of the great sporting venues in Europe.”
- Anna and John on how the presence of fans makes such a difference
- John’s worry that tennis’s next generation won’t be as visible to fans if not on free-to-air TV
- His belief that only a shorter format can attract a new, younger audience
- Mike James on working with French Open champion Iga Swiatek
- On This Day: May 26th
- Predictions for this year’s Roland Garros

19 episodes