Tennish: Should tennis fans listen to the new podcast on the block?

Do you want another tennis podcast in your arsenal for when you’re on your way to work? If the answer is yes then you might be in luck as a brand new podcast has just been created for your listening pleasure.

Tennish is hosted by experienced journalist and commentator Gigi Salmon – who helps on The Tennis Podcast on occasion – and former professional player Naomi Cavaday. Introduced to bring “their off air conversations on air”, the show is the latest of the ever-growing list of podcasts but is it worth a listen?

What is Tennish?

The name is explained throughout the podcast and sets up the listener so they know exactly what they’re going to receive. The tennis part is mainly brought to you by Naomi Cavaday, who I’m excited to hear more from given her recent openness about life on the tour and the relationship between the sport and mental help. The ‘ish’ part is the off-topic ramblings, with both getting involved.

The subject matters of episode one are certainly different. Whilst it’s a bit difficult to listen to an opening episode filmed prior to the Wimbledon men’s quarter-finals one week after the tournament finished, the hosts take you in with their experienced commentary. You can’t doubt their knowledge, but what is also refreshing is how slick the opening episode is.

A lot of the first show is based on sponsorship and tennis gear, with Kei Nishikori taking up the majority of the first half of the episode. Rather than discussing his tennis ability, the conversation leads down the road of how ‘valuable’ the player is to sponsors. The topic of equal pay also crops up, although both hosts wanted to open that particular can of worms for a later podcast.

The conversations were genuinely insightful and I found it refreshing that the show didn’t solely focus on matches. This might change in the future, as the podcast becomes more regular, but for now it’s a refreshing change of scenery.

The ‘ish’ part is fun too. When it was first introduced, I slightly rolled my eyes. I find that tennis isn’t always taken seriously as a sport, and certainly one that isn’t followed by mass audiences throughout the year. So when the hosts implied that there would be some off-topic parts, I wasn’t looking forward to them.

But when it came to it, I really enjoyed being part of their conversation. The hosts have an ability to draw you in, even if they’re talking about dogs having the snip of wearing Christmas jumpers in July. It has nothing to do with tennis, but I didn’t really care because I knew they’d somehow bring it back to the subject that they were discussing.

That brings me to structure. Whilst at first listen it feels random, the way the episode played out was clearly ordered and had a structure which was adhered to. So many podcasts steer off-topic and forget to return to what they were originally talking about. The early signs from Tennish are positive on this front, with a controlled – yet natural-feel – show.

Should you listen to Tennish?

As opening episodes go, Tennish makes an impressive debut with its slick editing, nice sound quality and balanced conversation. If you’re a tennis fan that doesn’t want to listen to the same topics being discussed, then Tennish brings something refreshingly different to your podcast library.

The hosts have a great aura between them and are clearly clued up on their sport. It’s no wonder given their experience commentating and playing, and I’m looking forward to learning more about the tour as they record more episodes.

The first episode is certainly lacking on the women’s side, and this could be a long-standing issue given that both Naomi and Gigi work closely on the ATP tour.  However, it’s only episode one and this could and hopefully will change, especially given Cavaday’s experience on the professional circuit.

So the answer is yes, give it a listen. Don’t be put off by the ‘ish’ and enjoy the entertaining insight from these two experienced tennis commentators.

You can follow Tennish on Twitter (@Tennishpodcast) and download and subscribe to the podcast here.

Image: Kertojan ääni

 

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