The Straits Times speaks to the people who work away from centre court and behind the scenes to find out the quirky details of their jobs.
Today: American Julie Rabe, 46, a stenographer who has been transcribing media conferences at the WTA Finals this week.
Q How long does it take to learn this skill?
A Everybody's different. I took 31/2 years. You first learn the language and then you go up in speed increments.
Q So how fast are you?
A You graduate at 225 words a minute. But you have to have an extra turbo in the tank because it can get faster than that for a lot of players. You have to constantly groom your dictionary in the machine.
Q So the stenograph machine is personalised?
A Yes, there are basics and the keyboard is the same but anything that gives you a moment of hesitation, you've got to change it. It goes with me when I travel. Nobody touches it.
Q How long have you been doing this?
A 20 years.
Q Have you always been working at tennis events?
A I started with tennis when I was in court reporting school and worked in the courts for a few years before getting back to tennis. I do some golf over the phone and some football teleconferences.
Q Which accent is hardest to understand?
A Scottish, but not Andy Murray. He's very easy to understand. Indians can have difficult accents too.
Q What are some words you've had to "decipher"?
A Rafael Nadal used to say, "If I'm not coming with confidence, I'm coming with 'doo-bits'." That's 'doubt'.
Tomas Berdych said once, "If you have the 'ree-seep' you will know how to do it". He meant 'recipe'.
Q Who talks the fastest?
A The Americans and Australians.
Q What's the longest day you've had?
A It was Marcos Baghdatis and Lleyton Hewitt one day at the 2008 Australian Open. We started at 11am and left at 5.30am in the morning.
Q How many languages do you speak?
A I speak "Steno" and English fluently. I understand French and Italian but I'm shy to speak it. One of these days...
Q Which player always gets a laugh from the reporters?
A Svetlana Kuznetsova. She's just very open and self-deprecating.
Q What's your turnaround?
A It's usually minute for minute, but it's probably half of that.
Q What's the most disastrous thing to have happened during a conference?
A The software freezing up or you get no audio. The players sometimes say they can't find a rhythm and on Tuesday night with Maria Sharapova I was just all over the keyboard. I had to tell myself, "Calm down, Julie. Mellow out and write."