Author of The Circuit and award-winning poet Rowan Ricardo Phillips joins Finn to explain why he is not watching tennis right now.

Rowan unpicks the ethics of tennis’ return to his hometown, New York, and tells us why we should celebrate the sport’s socially conscious players when tennis so often pretends disengagement from the world. This was recorded before Naomi Osaka’s withdrawal from the Western and Southern Open, but hopefully it is more pertinent than ever.

Naomi Osaka, Tournoi de Madrid 2019, Simple Dames, 2eme Tour, Photo : Antoine Couvercelle / FFT

He also reveals how he created his epic, a lyrical record of the bewildering and inspiring 2017 season, and describes what the events of that year – in tennis and the world – mean for him now. Listen to “The State of Play with Rowan Ricardo Phillips” below or Subscribe on Apple and Spotify.

The Circuit: A Tennis Odyssey won the 2019 PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing and is available from Picador for $17.00.

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