How to Cover Professional Tennis

Most major tennis tournaments are sponsored by the US Tennis Association (USTA) or sometimes a state division of USTA. Covering tennis can be very specialized and tricky because of limited space near the courts for members of the media to work. So do not expect to cover a major tournament in your first attempt to cover tennis. As with most other sports, start with a local or regional event to learn the ropes and perfect your skills. Get your work published at this level so that when you move up, you have a portfolio of work to present.  Often this is the key to getting into events with limited space as a member of the media.

1. Ask for the media guide published for this event, as well as for any press releases and fact sheets. The more informed you are, the better you will do.

2. You must be your professional best and always have your press credentials up to date. If you’re easy to get along with, behave professionally, and follow the rules, you’ll be accepted, make a few friends and contacts, and get some great shots.

3. It is very difficult to sit courtside next to a surface temperature that can reach 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Wear white shirts to reflect some sun, khaki shorts that don’t show dirt, and comfortable athletic shoes.

4. Treat all players and officials with respect. Never criticize players for any actions. You are working, not spectating.

5. Remember your subject will be tired after the game. If you take a shot, ask the player to pose and take your picture quickly and efficiently. Be aware that as with people, various players may be more accepting of the press than others.