In this session, we talk about Ricky Dimon, who has turned his long term passion for Tennis and writing into The Grandstand; his blog dedicated completely to Tennis. His ultimate desire to write about sports and his incredible love for Tennis, brings the best Tennis news to his readers through his blog posts. And his main aim is to make The Grand, the ‘best seat in the house’. Let’s see what else he has to say more about his journey with The Grandstand.
Hello Ricky, tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m a 32-year-old sportswriter from Atlanta, Georgia. I have always loved sports, both playing and watching. I still play tennis competitively and also run a few races every year, while also coaching both tennis and running at my high school in Atlanta. A graduate of Davidson College near Charlotte, North Carolina, my favorite sports teams are Davidson basketball, the Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta Hawks, and Georgia Tech football and basketball. I follow the ATP Tour religiously and travel to approximately seven tournaments per year, mostly in the United States but also the World Tour Finals in London as well.
How did your blog, The Grandstand, start?
I have been a huge tennis fan ever since I started going to the U.S. Open with my dad and brother in 1999 (we’ve been going every year since then). It is named after my favorite court, the Grandstand at the U.S. Open – which is being torn down and replaced in a different location on the grounds in 2016. It was the best spot to watch tennis, and I like to think that my blog is one of the best sites at which to follow tennis. I have written for various tennis websites in the past but a few years ago I wanted to have my own blog so I could take control of what aspects of tennis I want to cover and so that I could start creating my own identity as a tennis writer.
4. Who/what has inspired you to built-up your success?
Mainly I want to keep the blog going and make it more and more successful simply for the love of it. I love tennis and I love writing, so naturally maintaining the Grandstand is something that I love doing. The occasional monetary benefits through advertising are certainly nice, and getting media credentials to cover tennis tournaments is another great perk. I have a loyal following of readers who seem to enjoy the site and actively participate by posting comments, so the fact that other people are appreciating it definitely inspires me to keep it going.
How do you manage to give the best for your readers?
As stated above, I get more and more comments from the readers every year. Getting feedback from them is beneficial that it lets me know how to improve the site–either through the layout, content, adding or subtracting certain features, etc. So it’s sort of a give-and-take scenario. I can produce content high on quantity and quality not only because it’s something I love doing, but also because the readers are active participants. This isn’t just a one-man show!
Are you also a sports tipster? Can you tell us how it started?
Not really, no. I just provide tennis analysis and picks with the Grandstand. I wasn’t really sure what the Grandstand would be when it started, but I quickly realized that what my audience enjoys the most and what brings in the most viewers are the predictions and previews. So I continue to do analysis and picks on a daily basis because that is what the readers want to see.
Let’s talk about tennis – why do you think Federer missed winning US Open 2015 Final even though he had potential this season?
It was more about what Novak Djokovic did as opposed to what Federer didn’t do. Federer is the undisputed second best player on tour right now, arguably leaps and bounds better than everyone except Djokovic. Unfortunately for the Swiss, the world No. 1 is his kryptonite right now. Nobody puts pressure on Federer like Djokovic does and nobody makes the 34-year-old play longer points and hit more shots. In a best-of-five situation, it is difficult for Federer to maintain a high enough level from start to finish to get the best of Djokovic. I still believe Federer can win a slam, but he will likely need a path to the title that does not include either Djokovic or Rafael Nadal on the other side of the net. Someone else will have to take them out first.
Finally, can you make a prediction for Davis Cup 2015 finals – Great Britain vs Belgium?
I am tempted to go with Belgium, but this just feels like Great Britain’s year. Andy Murray has been an absolute hero for the British team in 2015 and he should be able to finish the job. It will come down to Murray vs. David Goffin. Great Britain will lose the singles matches that don’t involve Murray and they will win the doubles rubber. That will make it either 2-1 Great Britain or 2-2 when Murray and Goffin play on the third day, depending if they are first or second up. Goffin will have a chance against the world No. 3 because it is on clay and at home in Belgium, but I think Murray will manage to come out on top for his country.
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