craig shapiro

Craig Shapiro: Beyond the Mic

Right now, he’s in London. Before that? Paris. And in between? Exclusive interviews, podcast recordings, newsletter blasts, and fulfilling his dreams of creating an online community in and around the game of tennis. Craig Shapiro grew up playing, watching, and working within the sport of tennis, and now he’s leveraging his filmmaking skillset and his racquet sports connections to produce a podcast and newsletter in a league of their own.

craig shapiro

How it all began

Shapiro’s father was engrained in the sport of tennis in Rhode Island, so naturally he grew up in and around the sport. After playing high school tennis and attending tournaments that his dad ran from a young age, Shapiro started customizing and stringing racquets in his 20s for world-class players like Andre Agassi. From 1997 – 1999, he traveled the world with the professional tour and worked at all of the Majors and other global tournaments, continuing to grow his network. After a friend suggested he start a podcast in 2018 as a compliment to his documentary filmmaking background, Shapiro took the encouragement and ran with it – 200 episodes in, and he’s never looked back.

Where in the world you can find Craig

With his international following, Shapiro describes his podcast as “journalistically sound, respectful, and serious but fun.” He explains that he hits on all of the hot topics and learns about players’ paths, but he takes a unique spin on the sport and seeks to build upon the history of it in tandem with following today’s newsworthy stories. When he’s not recording interviews, you can find him on the grounds at most of the major tennis tournaments, giving his followers behind-the-scenes knowledge and inside stories that others can’t access and, in many instances, didn’t know existed.

Where to next?

When asked about the future of his business, Shapiro discusses a focus on creating a community that honors the past while staying in tune with the present. He’s not only focused on professional tennis, but he is entranced with recreational tennis and everything that comes with the sport – from fashion to equipment to the destinations. He shares his podcast pursuits with his newsletter, which not only includes behind-the-scenes coverage similar to his interviews, but they also feature his opinions that are typically left out of his episodes. With a varied approach to topics, each newsletter has a distinct take on current tennis events, from Shapiro’s point of view. “I don’t think anyone else across the tennis landscape is doing anything close to what we’re doing,” Shapiro said.

craig shapiro

Getting to know Craig through 10 rapid-fire questions:

  1. What’s something we wouldn’t know about you from looking at your podcast, website and social media?
    • Let’s see, math gives me anxiety. I love to watch films in the movie theater, and I spend a massive amount of time thinking about the content I put into the world.
  2. Pickleball or Padel (if you’re not playing tennis?)
    • I support all racquet sports; I think there is a way for Pickle to compliment tennis in a gentle way that our sport has not figured out yet. I will play the beach paddle-the one that’s played on Venice Beach with a punctured tennis ball.
  3. Favorite country to visit?
    • Right now I’m running hot on Italy.
  4. Hard or Clay court?
    • Clay. Always.
  5. Indoor or Outdoor Courts?
    • Outdoors, but I consider myself a good bubble player. I’m an east coaster so I have played a lot of indoor tennis. I love a well-lit, temperature controlled, nice bubble.
  6. Favorite Grand Slam / Tournament you’ve been to (and why)
    • I love them all for different reasons, but hearing the French spoken, and being in Paris is terribly hard to beat.
  7. Best tennis resort you’ve been to (and why)
    • I have an affinity for Saddlebrook, mostly because of it’s history.
  8. Best tennis city, in your opinion
    • Wherever I am! Rock with me and set yourself free!
  9. Your best tennis shot?
    • Inside In Forehand. I cannot hit it, but that’s the shot that separates the level in pro tennis.
  10. Favorite tennis player (past and then present)
    • Borg and Lendl now and forever. Past present future.

If you’re intrigued with the content coming from Craig, be sure to follow his accounts, subscribe to his newsletter, and be on the lookout for his next podcast releases. Here’s where you can find them:

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Jordana Klein

Jordana has blended her passion for racquet sports with her on-court skills as Tennis Resorts Online's Travel Editor. After competing at the Division 1 collegiate level, Jordana's journey led her to hold marketing positions with organizations such as the USTA, IMG's Miami Open, and IMG Academy. She continues to share her love for the game across TRO's network and on tennis and pickleball courts in the Tampa Bay area.

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