(June 29, 2015) Brad Gilbert has a new series of unique video shorts entitled “Gilbert’s Glossary,” which will air online during Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. The former world No. 4 and ESPN Tennis commentator puts his own spin on explaining tennis terms such as “Buggy Whip,” “Love,” “Breadsticks” and “Bagels,” “Can Opener” and Moonball to name a few. These video shorts are produced by Voya Financial and coincide with the company’s sponsorship of ESPN’s telecasts of the last two majors of the year.
Tennis Panorama News asked Gilbert a few questions about his own personal tennis glossary and about his tennis nicknames.
Tennis Panorama News: Brad, you have a unique set of glossary terms of your own, including a number of player nicknames, how did that begin? Was Bud Collins an influence on why you do it, since he’s done it for ages?
Brad Gilbert: The glossary of terms and nicknames has been more of a natural progression of having fun. I always kind of did it as a player and then as I progressed into coaching I used it for levity and memory/code words, etc. For TV it really took off, just because I feel it’s important to have fun and keep things simple for the viewer and fans. It’s just my thing. It’s always respectful and more to the strengths of the player than anything else. Plus there are so many players, it’s a way to remember and keep it fun. As far as it stemming from anyone, not really, but if anybody, I’m a Chris Berman fan.
TPN: What’s your favorite term from your “own” glossary?
BG: Favorite terms:
FEARhand: Massive Forehand
SURF & TURF: A one-two term for a big serve and big fearhand winner.
LARGE & IN CHARGE: Refers to a player dominating on the court.
BACHHAND – (always liked it Vic Braden accent as a kid.) Just a beautiful looking shot on the backhand side.
All-time favorite: DISHEVELED when a player looks gone in the match (plus it irritates the grammar police)
TPN: Any plans to produce a master list of your unique nicknames any time soon?
BG: No, it’s more of a cult following approach. My Twitter followers always attempt at creating one, but it’s a never ending thing and should remain elusive. Also, I don’t have a staff – with the exception of Mrs. G and doubtful she’d be in agreement, she has her limits!
TPN: With this new Voya Financial sponsorship for the U.S. Open and Wimbledon will you do different glossaries for each?
BG: Throughout Wimbledon and the US Open, Voya will distribute a total of 12 ‘Gilbert Glossary’ videos, six for each tournament. In the videos I hope to change the way people think about tennis just like Voya is helping change the way consumers think about retirement.
TPN: With both slams being very different, what new types of glossary terms would you use to describe each of them?
BG: Wimbledon Terms? Grass related, it’s a Cathedral of Tennis. It’s unique because it’s a club. The US Open and Wimby are two completely different events, atmospheres, fans, and flow. I’ll have to come up with something for the weather during the “Fortnight” (one of the unique Wimby terms), as they are anticipating an unprecedented heat wave. I’m predicting I’ll have a lot of weather references…something will come from that I’m sure. In general, The Glossary is spontaneous, there’s no forethought, no over-thinking, no planning – it just comes to me. It’s what the moment speaks – it’s just my style.
Look out for Gilbert’s videos throughout the summer. Each video ends with a tag line, “Brad Gilbert: Changing the Way You Think About Tennis. Voya Financial: Changing the Way You Think About Retirement.”
Follow Brad Gilbert on Twitter at @bgtennisnation
Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama News