You bring both an independent voice to tennis and an artistic aesthetic. How do you achieve this and do you think it has had an affect on the sport outside of editorial?
The biggest sign of our success to me is that we’re influencing beyond editorial ideas—things like style, or pushing an agenda that tennis should modernize in the way it deals with issues like access, equality, diversity and sustainability. I see language around a lot of this that we were alone in using and championing five years ago being the industry standard now, and that makes me extremely proud. Our mission is to make this sport better, and that kind of conversation being the norm means we’re getting somewhere.
What are the biggest challenges in creating beautiful, meaningful and editorially sound content?
Creating the content is the easy part—we have so much we want to say, and that has only increased as we’ve gone along. The challenge is making sure the business is thriving but that we can stay independent and nimble enough to stay completely on mission.
Does managing the business side of a print magazine ever impact or hinder the creative freedom?
Of course—being a subscription-first business, we are mostly keen to satisfy and grow the group of people who buy our magazine and our products directly. That’s by far our most important measure of success, whereas most media (especially true at the time we were launching) serve advertisers first. We don’t sell ads in our magazine, but instead have positioned our business as an editorial outfit and creative agency, so we can pick and choose to work with brands who align with our philosophy and mission. This allows us to be storytellers first, and work with some commercial partners if and when we feel like our audience would be on board. We’re not selling yachts or stringing machines, you know?
How do you work with the photographers that feature in Racquet?
Every which way you can imagine. Sometimes we commission based on a particular assignment—my partner David is particularly keen on photography, design and art, so he’s incredibly involved at all points in this—and then sometimes it’s an archive we have access to that becomes curated into a feature. Sometimes photographers specialize in one weird thing, such as capturing miniatures, so we work out an assignment to showcase that world.