A very warm welcome to longtime readers and new arrivals.

This is Christopher Clarey, and it’s time for me to take a deep breath and exhale slowly, just like they teach you to do before you hit a first serve.

This is a new space and place in my life, and we are off to a promising start. Substack has named Tennis & Beyond a “Featured Publication”, and we already have thousands of subscribers from 98 countries and 48 U.S. states (come on Alaska and South Dakota!).

For more than 30 years, I have written full-time about tennis, the Olympics and global sports for the New York Times and its Paris-based sister publication The International Herald Tribune. It has been a dream job, particularly if you can sleep on planes, and it has taken me to six continents, 14 Olympics, 10 Ryder Cups, nine world track and field championships, six soccer/football World Cups, four America’s Cups and above all, more than 100 Grand Slam tennis tournaments.  Which means I have literally spent four full years of my life watching tennis balls fly – or not fly – across nets at the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open.

Each of us is free to decide whether that is four full years well spent. It certainly has my stamp of approval even if I could have done without Andy Murray’s 4:05 a.m. finish in Melbourne and would also have preferred quite a bit more serve and volley.

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But on balance, I have been a happy sportswriter and a very fortunate man, and now it is time to pursue another dream. The international success of The Master, my best-selling biography of Roger Federer, has given me the opportunity to become a full-time author. I have left the New York Times staff of my own accord with nothing but gratitude to work on my next book, The Warrior, a biography of Rafael Nadal that will explore his mindset and achievements.

As part of that move, I am pitching my tent on Substack to open a direct connection with you, dear readers. I will continue writing here in large part on tennis, the game I know best, with an emphasis on the Grand Slam tournaments that continue to define players’ careers and legacies. I will offer behind-the-scenes perspective on my books, and as I have throughout my time as a reporter and columnist, I will also write about other themes and sports and provide some windows into my life away from the keyboard. The volume will fluctuate depending on whether I am deep into a manuscript, but the commitment and enthusiasm are real.

This will be tennis and beyond, and I invite you to join me on the journey by becoming a subscriber or, dare to dream, a paid subscriber, which will give you access to all my material and the chance to interact with me about tennis and other topics through the comments section. For now, I am alternating paid and free posts, but the comments section is open only to paid subscribers.

Exhale complete. Time to hit the first serve! Thanks for being here.


Hope you’ll join us by subscribing to Tennis & Beyond. Your support helps make this site & my books possible. Thanks from Christopher.

More about Christopher Clarey:

*More than 30 years as an award-winning tennis & global sports correspondent for The New York Times & as the chief sports correspondent & columnist for The International Herald Tribune from bases in France, Spain and the U.S..

*Author of The Master, a biography of Roger Federer, a New York Times bestseller & international bestseller published in 20 languages & named one of the best sports books of the year by The Times of London, The Daily Mail, Booklist and others.

*Author of the upcoming biography The Warrior, a profile of Rafael Nadal who has ruled Roland Garros like no player has ruled any major tournament.  The Warrior, published by Twelve & John Murray, is to be released in 2025.

*Frequent TV, Radio & Podcast guest with hundreds of major media appearances, including CNN, NPR, ESPN & the BBC. Live match commentary for Eurosport, the BBC & Australian broadcaster SEN.

*Speaker & presenter with appearances at Williams College, Longwood Cricket Club, La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, Coronado High School, the American Club of Paris & the International Tennis Hall of Fame Legends Ball.

*Recipient of the Eugene L. Scott Award from the International Tennis Hall of Fame, a career prize awarded for “communicating honestly and critically about the game” and for “making a significant impact on the tennis world”.  Previous winners include Arthur Ashe, Billie Jean King, Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova. Clarey is also a past winner of the Associated Press Sports Editors contest in the breaking news category. He is one of the few to have received both the ATP’s Ron Bookman Award and the WTA’s Ted Tinling Award for media excellence in coverage of tennis.

*He and his wife Virginie are the proud parents of three multilingual children. Clarey attended Punahou School in Honolulu, Coronado High School in Coronado, Calif. and Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., where he played soccer, volleyball and tennis and majored in English and History. He remains an active tennis and platform tennis player, swimmer, skier, biker, hiker, runner and body surfer, and was a longtime youth soccer coach.

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Christopher Clarey, the longtime New York Times tennis & global sports correspondent, writes about pro tennis and more


More than 30 years as a tennis & global sports corespondent for the New York Times & The International Herald Tribune. Author of The Master, a biography of Roger Federer that was a New York Times bestseller and has been published in 20 languages.