I can enjoy the self deprecation of John McEnroe, the calming intellect of Darren Cahill as well as the fan-like enthusiasm of Brad Gilbert but when it comes to my one and only, it’s Jason Goodall. Besides having a nearly perfect British cadence for the booth he is quite possibly the most thorough and in turn, most versatile active commentator. This realization really hit home when he started working for ESPN and doing coverage here in the US for the Grand Slams. He’s always had a banter-ific partnership on the BBC and Tennis Channel with the eclectic, but no less excellent, Robbie Koenig, but it was a joy to be able to enjoy him as lead commentator instead of the likes of the college-football-centric Chris Fowler or as a color commentator instead of the catty Mary Carillo.
He has the right combination of player point of view (his career was cut short due to injury), coaches perspective (he coached Mary Joe Fernandez tot eh Aussie Open final in 1990), and broadcasting experience (he’s been a media member since 2000). It’s tough to find the time to sit down and catch a whole tennis match, but if you’re going to do so be sure Jason Goodall is in the booth.
Here’s is an example of his tactical analysis, which ultimately held true.
There are countless examples of him breaking down players strokes, something beginners and advanced players alike can appreciate.
Another great tactical tidbit explaining the nuances of Roger’s famous “SABR”.
The early days cracking jokes.
Even in a notorious ESPN fluff piece Goodall brings the analytical heat with a bit of panache. I see you top two buttons unbuttoned.