Hi everyone, I'm Andy Ram.

I'm new to Reddit and very excited to answer your questions. I'll be around for 1-2 hours starting at 10AM EST, 5PM IST.

Twitter Verification: https://twitter.com/theandyram/status/610061204837560320

Alright! Let's get this started.

[Update] Thanks so much guys. It's been fun! Off to eat dinner with my family. See you here again soon!

Comments: 107 • Responses: 32  • Date: 

imhereforwork12 karma

Andy,

What is the last program you binge watched?

theandyram20 karma

I don't watch much TV. The last series I watched was Entourage. That's how you know I'm not kidding.

SmallFemale8 karma

Hi Andy! :) Whose your current favourite male tennis player in the top 10?

theandyram31 karma

I grew up with Federer. I've been playing with him since I was a junior player. I'm also good friends with Djokovic. It's tough to choose between them, so I'll choose Nadal.

MisterVortex5 karma

It's cool to see a fellow tennis player doing a AmA! I was 1st singles on my high school team, but I'm not good enough to move on to college tennis. I do look forward to playing recreational though! Do you play much now that you're retired? If so, how much?

theandyram2 karma

I don't play much. I'm trying to play once a week with friends or kids who are trying to become professionals one day.

These days, I might lose playing you.

ki10_butt5 karma

Hi Andy! What was your favorite event to win? Wimbledon? French Open? Why?

theandyram14 karma

The boring answer is that each Grand Slam was a special moment in my career. The first one at Wimbledon in 2006 was special because it was the first. The 2007 French Open was special because it was a win on my worst surface - clay - and because I played it with a French woman, Nathalie Dechy, so we had the crowd's support.

But, really, my favorite was the 2008 Australian Open because I played it with my long-time partner Jonathan Erlich and the second after we won, the President and Prime Minister called us. When we got back to Israel, there were 200 reporters waiting for us - it was the biggest press conference I ever had. That was the day that we changed from being just another team on tour to being one of the top teams.

HyperHorse5 karma

Andy, How do you feel about polyester strings, and do many doubles players use them?

theandyram8 karma

Most of the singles and doubles players are using the Luxilon strings. They're the best strings out there. I remember Agassi once saying that either all the players should play with Luxilon or they should take them out of the tour. Personally, I play with half Gut and half Luxilon.

PhtevenHawking3 karma

Hi Andy! It's great to see a tennis player doing an AMA. My questions:

How do you see technology changing tennis? We've seen a couple big names, like sony, entering the 'trackables' market with their sensor. Your pulse play has a similar concept. Do you think this 'digitalization' will affect pro players? Will we see real-time stats of say, Nadal's spin rate, power, etc, with live tv coverage?

Do you see tennis integrating any other technology? An idea I've had is that they should run software on video feeds to emphasise the ball more, to make it more viewer friendly on tv. The balls could be painted with a photo sensitive pigment that really lights up on screen, making it appear larger, or really bright, but looks normal otherwise.

Another idea is to line major center courts with an array of say 50-100 GoPro cameras to create real time matrix-like 3D angle swinging. It could be interesting to track the ball in this way, or for replays.

Hawkeye should run real time and immediately call out balls, eliminating the need for line judges.

Do you see technology significantly affecting tennis in these ways?

theandyram4 karma

Yes, but it will take decades. It will take a lot of testing, but I'm sure in the far future it will definitely be a part of the game.

I believe technology is missing in tennis. It's very difficult to make changes in rules & technology to traditional, classical sports.

I actually think the amateur world needs technology more than professionals. Professionals already have those tools in some way even if all the potential of technology hasn't been reached yet. There's a much bigger gap for amateurs.

lmi62 karma

Hi, Andy! Thanks for doing this AMA! What is your favorite tournament and favorite place that you've traveled to? Also, how much equipment would you go through in a tournament, and is it different for clay court tournaments (it seems like the clay always stains players' shoes and socks, but their shoes usually look new every match)?

theandyram11 karma

Probably Australia. Melbourne and Sydney are two of my favorite cities. The people are very friendly. I like the beaches. I just really love the relaxed atmosphere of the country.

To tournaments, I traveled with 3 bags: 2 bags of clothing and 1 bag of rackets, strings, and equipment. It's not different for clay tournaments.

Singles tennis players change shoes every 3-4 days. That's why they stay white. Doubles players use the same shoes for 7-10 days. Most of the time, my sponsors gave me shoes and each player has his or her own sponsor, so fresh shoes is never a problem.

PhtevenHawking3 karma

What happens to used shoes? Hypothetically, where would Federer get rid of his shoes? I'm asking for a friend.

theandyram10 karma

We leave them in the locker room. I honestly don't know what happens to them but I hope they're going to a good place.

lmi61 karma

That makes sense now! Thanks for responding! Also, what are some of your favorite moments from competing at the Olympics?

theandyram15 karma

My favorite moment was in 2012 when I beat Federer in the second round.

lmi61 karma

Thanks again!

bergamer7 karma

For those interested, Andy Ram / Yoni Erlich beat Federer / Wawrinka in London 2012: the moment.

theandyram10 karma

Thanks for posting this. First time I saw it from the audience.

YvernPlays2 karma

Hi Andy,

I hope you dont sound offended but do you come from a rich (or at least above average) household? I was a decent school tennis player but gave up due to the time and cost needed for training, events, equipments, etc. In my mind, sports is something you can only do if you have the time and money

theandyram12 karma

I didn't come from a rich family. When I was a kid my family immigrated to a new country and we had to start over completely.

The only reason I was able to practice so much was that the Israel Tennis Centers, a non-profit organization whose mission is to get more kids playing tennis, believed in me and sponsored me.

I really believe that if you want to keep playing, you can and should find a way. When there's a will, there's a way.

YvernPlays2 karma

Great sry if it sounded that I implied anything. Anyway, did you feel like you had talent for the game or was it a constant effort from zero

theandyram5 karma

Talent can be technical skills and physical skills, but in my opinion talent can also be the mental ability to put in a lot of hard work and be dedicated. Not every player can do that. It's the combination that will take you to the top.

Zylago2 karma

Hi Andy, What were your tennis workout regimens like?

theandyram13 karma

3 hours in the morning, 3 hours in the afternoon.

The routine was 2 hours of tennis, 1 hour of fitness, and in the afternoon another 2 hours of tennis and 1 hour of stretching and physiotherapy. The fitness was everything: running, lifting weights, yoga.

VIIx072 karma

What kind of tech company do you now run? How has your life changed from being a professional athlete to a tech entrepreneur?

theandyram4 karma

It's called Pulse Play and it's a smart watch for tennis and other racket sport players. The idea is for the smart watch & app to give amateur and recreational players the things that professionals take for granted: live scorekeeping, match history and statistics, finding opponents, and ranking players among their friends, club, league, city, etc. I'm no longer a professional tennis player but I haven't left the tennis world.

I co-founded it 6 months ago and we actually just reached the goal on our crowdfunding campaign yesterday. We'll be launching later this year.

The good part of being an entrepreneur is that I get to see my family a lot more than when I was traveling 8 months each year. But really my whole schedule has changed. I used to train 6 hours a day and have the whole day free; now I work constantly. Both jobs require a lot of mental stamina, but physically now I don't do nearly as many sports and I miss it sometimes.

ZenZibbeh2 karma

Hi Andy!

Thanks for doing this, One question. What is one bit of technology that you wish was never invented?

theandyram15 karma

Honestly, the reply button on emails.

When I was a tennis player, I never really had to answer emails. I got maybe 3 emails everyday. Now, running a tech company, I get hundreds.

LulusPanties2 karma

If you played singles, do you think you could qualify for a grand slam?

Do you think doubles players are just good but not top players who were smart enough to realize they couldn't make it in singles?

theandyram6 karma

I don't live in the world of "if." As a singles player, I qualified for the Grand Slam and that was during my doubles career. I was 180 in singles and I got injured for a year. When I came back and made it to the semi-finals of Wimbledon doubles, I realized I could be number 1 in the world in doubles and I decided to focus on my doubles career.

Singles and doubles are different games and you need different skills. For example, in doubles I beat Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Murray, and almost every player on tour these days, which would be tougher in singles.

gooneruk1 karma

What's the biggest difference between playing men's doubles and mixed doubles? Can you almost take a breather to some extent when receiving the woman's serve, given the change in its speed, or is it more tactical in terms of getting it back in an advantageous position?

Just how much of a difference is there between clay and grass nowadays? Have you found a certain degree of homogeneity creeping in across all surfaces?

theandyram5 karma

Men's tennis and women's tennis are completely different games, and so are doubles and mixed doubles.

The secret of a mixed player is that you always have to keep the woman happy. The more relaxed the woman is, the better your chances are of winning.

Definitely, the gap between clay and grass is getting smaller. At the same time, they're still completely different surfaces. On clay you still have much more time and the effect of spin is much stronger. As for grass courts, the ball stays low and the effect of slices and flat shots is stronger. But these days more people are playing from the back because the taller grass and bigger balls have slowed down the match.

Mr-Xela-481 karma

Hey, Andy.

Just letting you know there were a few errors in the intro of your Wiki page so I've sorted those out for you.

Question: how are you today?

theandyram1 karma

Thanks so much! Appreciate it.

I'm very happy these days. I feel fortunate.

informareWORK1 karma

Why do you think networks hardly show any doubles matches? Even the Tennis channel doesn't show much. My family is a big tennis family, and I played doubles all through school. I love the dynamic both as a player and a spectator, and it's frustrating to see the same old tennis matches on TV. Do you think it's because most of the big tennis names aren't doubles players? But isn't that a problem created by not showing doubles matches?

theandyram3 karma

Yes, definitely. It's a problem partly because the stars focus so much on singles and only play a few weeks of doubles every year. Since they're leading the sport, most fans don't develop an interest in doubles.

It's a problem not just in doubles, but also in singles. The most promoted players are just the top 4 or top 8. If there's a guy who is top 30, few are interested (unless he plays one of the top 8).

CZiemba1 karma

What is the best piece of tennis specific advice you've ever been told?

theandyram4 karma

Hit the ball with the strings and get it over the net.

Just kidding. Probably it's just enjoy what you do and have fun with it. If you're not having fun, it's not worth it.

AnchezSanchez1 karma

What do you think is the biggest difference in being a doubles specialist over singles? Is it quite a different skillset? For example, if Djokovic and Andy Murray formed a doubles team would they demolish everyone or would they struggle?

Congratulations on having two awesome careers!

theandyram3 karma

You need different skills to be a good doubles player. You need to be quicker, better at the net, have a good serve and volley, and know how to play it right tactically. And at the same time the most important thing is the chemistry with your partner and you build it over years. That's one of the reasons why the Bryan Brothers are the best team to ever play the game and I believe they'll beat any two singles players you put in front of them.

mf_dk431 karma

What were some of your failures as a tech entrepreneur and what have you learned from those?

theandyram1 karma

Only six months in and hasn't happened yet. Knock on wood. But learning something new every day.

SurfandLurk1 karma

Hi Andy,

Thanks for this AMA. As an avid tennis player and tech/startup enthusiast this is really awesome!!!

So here are my questions:

I'm assuming you don't have an engineering background? How did you go about starting up your company?

What are your hopes for this company in terms of exit, value, etc...?

Change of gears... What was the toughest thing you had to deal with in general as a tour player?

Finally, can I have a job please :) Just graduated with a degree in Finance!

theandyram1 karma

I teamed up with a startup studio called sFBI. They're filling the technological gaps, but I'm learning a lot as I go.

Honestly, right now, we just want to get Pulse Play on the courts and we want it to be something that gives players real value. If it becomes a "household name" on tennis courts, we will have succeeded.

The toughest thing was being on tour for eight months of the year and missing my family.

Send us your CV, but just so you know we're based in a village outside Tel Aviv. Might be better after we open an office in the States.

heebit_the_jeeb1 karma

What was the hardest part off changing fields? If you end up doin well in tech might you try something else?

theandyram5 karma

The hardest part of changing fields was buying clothes to go to work. I used to get clothes for free from sponsors. Now I have to buy everything and it's a lot of responsibility.

Oh, and sitting in an office for 10 hours straight. That wasn't easy at all and I'm still getting used to it.

As for your second question, when I start something, I'm completely focused on it. Right now all I live, eat, and breathe is Pulse Play. It was the same way with tennis when I was a professional player.

thefullmonty_burns1 karma

Did you choose your profession because it fit so well with your last name or the other way around?

theandyram4 karma

I never thought about it and I'd have to ask my dad who passed away 10 years ago to know for sure. We'll have a seance after the Reddit AMA and get back to you ;)

Makoshark051 karma

Hey Andy. Who was your toughest opponents and what do you consider your most exhausting match?

theandyram8 karma

The Bryan Brothers were my toughest opponents even though I beat them a few times in my career. They are the best team in the world by far.

The most exhausting loss: after beating Federer and Wawrinka in the Olympics, we lost to the Bryan Brothers 7-6, 7-6 and they took the Gold Medal.

The sweetest win: beating them at the Finals in Cincinnati, their hometown.

tpcrb1 karma

Watching you at Cincinnati the past few years has been a great time! I hope you enjoyed it here

theandyram2 karma

One of my favorite tournaments. I have a lot of great memories.

survivalsnake1 karma

Ever consider playing doubles with Rajeev Ram? :)

What do you think the ATP and ITF should do to promote doubles?

What did you think of the scoring changes (no-ad, super-tiebreaker) they did to tour doubles a few years ago?

theandyram3 karma

They need to spend more money on promoting doubles stars. They need to put their matches on the central courts more & give them extra exposure.

I loved the changes. I think it put more pressure on the players and important points and brought more interest to the matches overall. I think they should do it to singles matches too which are too long for TV and spectators.

theandyram2 karma

After I retired, the first tournament Erlich played with was with Rajeev because he missed me.

Rajeev is a great friend of mine and unfortunately I never had the chance to play with him.

JesseClark18081 karma

Who do you think will win this year Wimbledon single? both male and female!

theandyram5 karma

Novak or Grigor.

Serena or Serena.

nypr131 karma

Ever thought about packaging your tennis technology promotion with a final 8 badge? I bet that would up your sales really quick.

Seriously, though, Universaltennis.com is gaining a ton of support in the US here for rankings and with technology like PlaySight, how will your product fit into the evolving tennis technology landscape?

theandyram1 karma

That's a great idea for the packaging. We'll look into it. Thanks!

We hope to become something that every player will enjoy, whether it's a kid just starting out, a college tennis player, adult league players, or seniors who play a lot of doubles. We're open to cooperation with other companies to bring a better experience to all players.

avaseyrockz-5 karma

What do you want from us? I am champion too. Want to play one game with me?

theandyram3 karma

Sure! It's one of the perks on our indiegogo campaign, but it will cost you. Or come to Ramat Hasharon Tennis Center tomorrow at 10AM and we can play a match.