One on One with Pam Shriver

TV tennis analysts Cliff Drysdale (left) and Pam Shriver talk to the crowd at the Family Circle Cup tournament.

How does a former professional tennis player become a minority owner of the Baltimore Orioles?

"When your hometown is a city like Baltimore and you grow up in the '60s and '70s and you love sports, it's a natural thing to do. The Orioles were huge for a while like Cincinnati and maybe Oakland. They were the teams to beat. When Peter Angelos bought the team in 1993, he really wanted to have a lot of minority owners. People like Jim McKay, the famous sports announcer, Barry Levinson, the film director, and Tom Clancy, the writer, stepped up. Quite a few of the pillars of the community and businesses came through. He put together a dozen or so of us, and I decided to keep my interest the whole time even though it's been a tough time the last 10-15 years."

What are your impressions of Matt Wieters, a player who grew up in the Lowcountry and is now the starting catcher for the Orioles?

"Living in Los Angeles and having three little kids, it's hard following the Orioles. I know the name and I know he has a lot of great potential. The Orioles have a lot of great players, and the pitching is coming around. Ten years ago, I could have talked about Matt Wieters for 20 minutes. I would have known his batting average, where he came from and what college he attended."

What would you do to improve the game if you were the commissioner of baseball?

"The pace of play is very important whether I'm watching baseball, tennis or golf. Sometimes, I think the pace of play gets dragged down. I probably would make sure pitchers -- relief pitchers who came in with the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth or ninth inning -- had to make a pitch in a certain amount of time. I think in this day and age, the pace is slow. I think the strategy and the overall core of the game is fabulous."

What would you do to improve tennis if you were president of the WTA?

"The key is to get the players to continue to relate to the public through the media, through one-on-one interaction. The most important thing is the fan -- the people who watch it on TV, who buy the tickets, who read the sponsorship signs. The fans have to feel as if they know and they want to care about the players like Caroline Wozniacki, quirks and all. You have to make sure the players know to be accessible, and that's part of their job. That's why you earn a lot of money. There's a public relations, fan-friendly part of it. I'd also make sure they spent a few minutes reading about the history of women's tennis."

What is your biggest memory as a tennis player?

"There are two things, and both involve (Martina) Navratilova. One was beating her in the semifinals of the U.S. Open in '78 as an amateur getting through to that final. The other was winning our first major (doubles title), '81 Wimbledon. It was the first of 20 we won together. If I could throw in another one, it would be winning the gold medal, the first time tennis was back as a full-medal sport in the Olympics. Winning a gold medal in '88 was wonderful."

What is your biggest memory as a tennis analyst?

"Working play-by-play live on ESPN in the Australian Open when (Jennifer) Capriatti won her first major (in 2001). Knowing her journey and what she had been through, and to see her win the Australian was epic. It turned out to be the first of three majors she won in 12 months. I'll also add that working the U.S. Open the last couple of years has been phenomenal. To be part of the big picture, whether it's celebrity interviews or seeing how big the U.S. Open is in New York or on the world stage, is amazing."

You played during one of the golden eras of women's tennis. Who is the best player you faced?

"Well, I'm partial because I played doubles with Martina for 10 years. She's got my vote for best of all time. If you look at her singles and doubles, mixed doubles records, her longevity and performance on all surfaces, she's the best. Of course, Steffi Graf was phenomenal. Chris Evert was great, and I think the three years Monica Seles dominated were impressive. The three years she dominated, that was probably the most intimidating three years I've witnessed. Unfortunately, I never got to play Serena (Williams). Playing Serena in her prime, that would be scary."