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Guest US Open Radio Commentator Enjoys Long Shift

September 16, 2009 04:54 PM
Lisa Rappaport with Marc Ernay, left, of 1010 WINS, and Justin Shackil in the US Open broadcast booth.

Recreational tennis player Lisa Rappaport went to the US Open and talked for 10 hours straight during the matches at Arthur Ashe Stadium and nobody seemed to mind.

Why? Because she was a commentator on www.USOpen.org radio.

Rappaport, who plays on a 3.5 USTA League in the Atlanta suburb of Roswell, Ga. and on other teams, made the successful bid for the guest radio gig at the US Open. The bid was submitted through the www.USOpen.org auction web site and money was donated to USTA Serves. USOpen.org radio was streamed from the tournament web site and is heard by hundreds of thousands of listeners in the United States and around the world.

Perched atop the stadium in the broadcast booth, Rappaport spent the long day session glued to her seat and behind a microphone on the first Saturday of the tournament.

“I called the match that Melanie [Oudin] beat Maria Sharapova. That was such a great thrill for me,” she said. Oudin lives and trains in nearby Georgia cities.

“I picked my session and it was the longest day session. I was on the radio for 10 hours.”

She worked with two professional broadcasters, Marc Ernay of 1010 WINS, a leading New York City news and sports station, and Justin Shackil.

“They called the match and I just listened. That’s what they do for a living. But then they let me do the intro.” Then, during our phone interview, Rappaport changed into her radio voice and boomed the introduction that she had repeated whenever the broadcast came back from commercials.

As the hours past, Rappaport rarely moved from her top-level booth seat. “Then I did some play-by-play. It’s hard, trying to keep up with the strokes,” she explained.

Additionally, she threw in her own take on the players and matches. “I talked about my own knowledge and my own opinions. It’s pretty easy to just state an opinion. … I was nervous when I first got there. But, it’s easier to be in front of the microphone, not like being in front of a [TV] camera.

“We got all sorts of e-mails from people all around the world. It was amazing. There were people who were listening at 2 a.m., 3 a.m. their time.” The site encouraged interactivity with fans with its “E-mail the Booth” function.

“I got one e-mail from my son [Blake]. He wrote, ‘Mommy, you’re doing a great job.’ That was really fun.”

“I came there and I was so excited. I was so enthralled. I was so happy. I was not tired when I was in the booth. But, when I left, I was pretty tired.”




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