Tennis Channel Inside In - Dani Klupenger

It's never about where you start on the path to achieving your goals. Yet in Dani Klupenger's case, you have to be impressed with the distance covered in such a short period of time.

Klupenger is known to the tennis world as the host of Tennis Channel's onsite coverage of the Masters 1000 events around the world. But there's so much more to her story, which is has featured the right amount of hard work and opportunistic timing. She grew up on a nursery in Oregon, and the street she lived on was also her last name. Appearing on the Inside-In podcast, Klupenger explained how this former basketball player with an unmatched drive was relentless in securing a successful media career.


It was basketball, not tennis that first captured Klupenger's heart. She realized she had skills at a young age, and then set a high but attainable goal. It was D1 scholarship or bust, and it took the girl from rural Oregon to Long Island, N.Y. after she accepted an offer to play for Stonybrook.

"I've never met a three point shot that I didn't love," said Klupenger, who finished her career fourth all-time in school history from behind the arc. But the focus wasn't solely on athletics for the Oregonian. She had a dream of making in on TV, and used the limited free time she had to set those wheels in motion. Klupenger hosted a student radio show, interned at a TV station, and walked out of Stonybrook with a journalism degree. That's when the real fun began.

There's an old adage that luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. Klupenger lived that out when she discovered an opportunity with the University of Tennessee as the SEC TV Network was just getting off the ground. It was the repetition she needed before a bigger opportunity, with the NFL's Rams (then in St. Louis) became her biggest break to date.

"There were so many intangible lessons that I learned from having that job beyond just what I got to do on the field & reporting wise, that I still look back to," Klupenger recalls.

And while there sadly isn't the full support of females in the sports industry that there should be, she fully appreciates the helping hands that were present in her own journey. "I know there's others who haven't, but I have really been so fortunate to have so many men stick their neck out for me, and give me opportunities."


2017 was the year that Klupenger became part of Tennis Channel's family, but it was by no means a fast track to her current position. She started out as a news update anchor, and then expanded upon that role with some single hosting duties during the wee hours of the morning on the Pacific time zone. There's no other way the former athlete would have wanted it, earning her stripes before being selected to team with Prakash Amritraj to anchor the network's coverage during the Masters 1000 events. And that's when Klupenger's appreciation for the tennis community and game's greatest athletes deepened immensely.

"These are people and players that I have to admit that, while they're speaking, I'm actually getting chills while sitting there," she shared. And the legends of the sport continue to impress Klupenger, with not only the expertise in their fields but their mutual respect and admiration for other greats. Novak Djokovic came right to her mind given the frequency they've interacted at the desk after his victories.

"He had a great relationship with Kobe Bryant, and that one really stuck with me," she explains. "Those people surround themselves with each other because only they know what it's like to breathe that air up there."

Klupenger continues to perform at a high level. She hosts "Live on the Line" for Bally Sports, a daily gambling show that is on the forefront of the sports betting wave. The future is undoubtedly bright for the young broadcaster who boasts as much radiant energy as pairs of sneakers in her personal collection. The podcast includes her goals, interests away from work, and why she'll always ride for Oregon State in the college football rivalry in her home region.

Tennis Channel Inside-In is a show that features the past, present, and future of individuals in the tennis sphere. This week's guest is going to be on the rise for quite some time. Klupenger might not be on the court anymore, but she's always ready to shoot for the stars.