My broadcast of the Shanghai Rolex Masters
So the penultimate Masters event of 2017, the Shanghai Rolex Masters, ended with the top 2 in the world fighting for the title and Roger Federer coming out comfortably on top.
Rather than focus on the tennis I through I'd give you a little insight into how we at SKY Sports cover these events when we are in the London studio.
Shanghai is brutal because of the hours. We were up at 3.30am on Thursday and Friday but special guest and former World number 5 Henri Leconte kept Annabel Croft and I entertained (and refreshed with a couple of bottles of champagne.)
It's very much a team effort behind the scenes with all contributions most welcome. Good chemistry is essential when you are broadcasting for up to 12 hours at a time and luckily, I haven't had to deal with many awkward characters in the tennis world...there are one or two but you will have to ask me "off the record" about them!!1
The producer, in this instance Trisha, is responsible for the content of the programme and all behind the scenes details from selecting guests to making sure satellite links etc. have been booked. The director, Will takes charge of the look of the show with appropriate camera moves mixed in with the pictures being sent back from China. Sky is very good at promoting young talent and Lily, also in the picture, is an emerging star who is learning different aspects of the job and may go in front of the camera one day.
One vital aspect of the job as I get older is make up……Look at me before and you’ll see why!
A good dusting is essential in these days of high definition. Good lighting is also crucial.
I’m lucky to spend so much time with people I genuinely like. Annabel is a star in so many ways and she and Greg Rusedski enjoy winding each other up while remaining good friends off screen.
Of course the week ended on a real high for all Federer fans. We have a contract to interview the winner down the line after finals so it was a pleasure for me to chat with Roger minutes after his triumph.
His win keeps the race to be year- end number one alive. More on that when the road show moves to Paris in a few weeks.
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Till then, all the best