Tennis podcast featuring casual, semi-respectable conversations about the ATP & WTA.
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It's a little bit of everything this week -- first, some thoughts on the first week of Indian Wells, whose courts are slower than Daniil Medvedev's bathroom breaks (his words). We chat about Murray, Medvedev, Raducanu, Muchová, and the undeniable Ben Shelton. In business news, we talk about the WTA's official partnership with CVC Capital Partners, a private equity firm that has just promised a $150m in new and better revenue streams for women's tennis. Plus, Denis Shapovalov goes all in on gender pay equity, Netflix's Break Point announces a season two, and Rafa's all-time top 10 record is lost. 0:30 Some housekeeping and a thank you 3:10 Indian Wells week one: Daniil says it's not a hardcourt (and is he really wrong?) plus some chatter about the women's draw 10:00 Jonathan's new fave Ben Shelton 12:50 Private equity firm CVC invests $150m in WTA Ventures, a new commercial subsidiary 17:50 The Tsurenko-Steve Simon story - where is the reporting? 23:00 You got nothing to say now? Holger Rune gives himself the rare Double L 26:40 Denis Shapovalov honors his mom and says equal pay for equal work NOW! 38:25 Big up Sloane Stephens Foundation! 39:40 We're getting a Break Point season two whether we like it or not 45:10 Rafa's record for consecutive weeks in the top 10 will end at 912 46:25 Injury updates: Kontaveit plus where is Jen Brady?
It's been a rough week in the Body Serve household, as we said goodbye to our beautiful 16-year-old beagle Vince. He's felt like a third co-host over the years, a presence who was always just off-mic (and sometimes on it when he snored). In tennis, Barbora Krejcikova did the thing – taking out #1-2-3, saving match points, serving and getting served bagels, and pummeling Iga's second serve to win Dubai. On the men's side, Medvedev won three titles in three weeks, getting back into the top 10 and stopping Novak's dominance of their head-to-head. Andy and Ruby have great weeks, plus Chaka comes for Mariah and Joe Biden catches strays over the literally endless Novak vaccine drama. 0:30 Vince
February in tennis: four continents, three Iga bagels, two male US Open champs winning titles, and one white woman wearing racially inappropriate hairstyles. This month is nothing if not eclectic. We also chat about Hsieh dropping in then dropping out of Dubai, what the hell is going with Schwartzman and Muguruza, and the breakout star who will change tennis in his country forever. 0:45 Iga generously doles out bagels; Sakkari Semifinal Segment 13:45 Wu Yibing becomes first Chinese man to win a title, also gets people to watch an Isner match 20:10 Carlos is back; plus a rankings factoid 22:50 Finance pro Matija Pecotić leaves work early to beat wild card king Jack Sock 25:45 What's going on with Diego Schwartzman and Garbiñe Muguruza? 28:45 The disingenuous comparison of men's records to women's 31:50 Counting inches: Novak, the Sunshine Double, and the “proof” that nobody needs 36:15 Hsieh resurfaces, Ostapenko's appropriation, and Eubanks' near miss 44:40 Things we like/dislike: withholding stars, oats, and beans
Post-Australian Open tennis continues around the world, but this week we're mostly talking about the seeming conclusions of the ATP's two highest profile domestic violence cases (but not their only cases, btw). The ATP quietly dropped a new release shortly after the AO that the Zverev investigation had concluded and that the results were, well, inconclusive. Days later, Nick Kyrgios pled guilty to common assault against his ex-girlfriend but the charges were dismissed. A lot of tennis talkers and front-office folks will likely be relieved, but where does this leave us? Are we any closer to tennis organizations handling DV with care and responsibility? Also, more about the business side of tennis: the spectacular collapse of the Davis Cup-Kosmos deal, billionaire “disruptors,” and looking at PTPA financing and its latest presentation. 01:55 Results: Parks, Zhu, Stanley! 05:40 ATP quietly drops the news of the Zverev investigation 17:40 Nick Kyrgios pleads guilty to common assault, court drops the charges 23:50 Lots of concern about the consequences to the perpetrator 26:00 What will the ATP do? …. Bueller? Bueller? 30:10 US says COVID is over, we're not paying for your shit anymore (and also Novak is coming) 32:40 ITF ends its Davis Cup contract with Kosmos a mere TWENTY years early 37:05 Money in tennis: the “disruptors” 40:30 What are the PTPA's goals? Looking at their recent presentation 51:20 Lepchenko ban reduced … these supplements get ‘em every time 53:45 The Grammys do it again!
On the 14th day since the Australian Open started, we rested while Novak wept. The victimhood tour is complete, Jonathan is annoyed, and we pay it as much (or as little) attention as we can muster. Meanwhile, Aryna Sabalenka did THAT. Wow, what a moment. From her grit, skill, and determination on court, to her goofy glamour the following day, we put some respect on that incredible women's final! Other matters of business: lots of geopolitical tensions boil over, the Djokovic pater creates yet more headache for his son, Tursunov comes for Pam, the ballkids work for free, and Babs and Kat simply don't lose Slam matches anymore. 3:00 Sabalenka & Rybakina give us an insta-classic 16:15 The men: so …… anyway 23:45 The bweh tragedy; and Shelton's upside and areas for improvement 31:15 Doubles: Krejcikova/Siniakova haven't lost a Slam match since 2021; Sania plays her final Slam 35:10 Et ceteras: so, nationalism eh? 43:05 Papa Djokovic ignites a flag scandal 52:05 Pam's tweet brings Tursunov out of the woodwork, why? 63:55 Is it work? Pay the ballkids 67:45 Tiafoe wins best dressed by a mile 72:00 ESPN keeps its team Stateside 74:30 Punting the Kosmos mess but staying for the strawberry jam 77:15 Extras: rankings movers, TBS fantasy, and a disclaimer
Welcome to the third installment of our Australian Open series! We're at the quarterfinals, and the men's draw is giving chaos while the women's seems kind of … correct? We talk about Djokovic's mini-battle with the press and overall less than sunny mood, the state of safeguarding against abuse on the WTA, and another induction into our Hall of Fame. Finally, we offer our review of episodes 4 & 5 of Break Point (much improved!) and our favorite segment, Alison Riske-Amritraj's vociferous defense of the rules. 0:00 Don't skip the intro this time 3:50 The women's quarters - being able to appreciate tennis as more non-partisan than ever 15:00 Azarenka captures magic again, Sabalenka fixes her f***ing serve 20:55 The men's draw has been a touch chaotic, no? 24:25 Novak Djokovic's resentment tour 32:40 Korda, Shelton, Ruby, Rune 42:20 The PTPA's nothing salads 45:40 That's Not The Rule, Kerrilyn 54:15 Sabalenka gets inducted into the TBS HOF 55:00 Recapping Break Point 4 and 5 - some depth and more real insights than the previous installments 63:50 Continuing to look at the effort to curb abuse and exploitation of women on the WTA Tour 70:35 The charges against Tsitsipas and why they don't stick
Hey there, just popping in to offer some thoughts on the first few days of the 2023 Australian Open and the first three episodes of Netflix's tennis docuseries Break Point! We talk about a few standouts from a pretty rocky and wet week one (don't be offended if we missed your fave, it's not comprehensive); we discuss the Netflix Curse chatter that seems to be dooming 8 of the 10 featured players; and we think about some fascinating press conference moments from Taylor Townsend, Rafael Nadal and, in a rather different way, Camila Giorgi. 2:50 The Netflix Curse or the Netflix picking the wrong players syndrome? 5:10 Standouts in the first few days: Parrizas Diaz, Volynets, Brooksby, Shelton 11:00 Let me complain for a minute: the AO app is not good; and the rain highlights tennis' built-in inequities 14:20 Andrew Murray plays for 10.5 hours over two matches 17:10 TBS Hall of Fame gets two new inductees! 21:35 Rafa leaves Australia with a new injury, smashes a cliche about athlete ‘sacrifice' 32:05 Taylor Townsend shines in doubles, gets real about tennis finances 34:25 Camila Giorgi faces the music about alleged vaccine fraud and blissfully exists on her own planet 40:25 Novak: hamstring, hamstrung 42:25 Recommendation for tennis from James' parents, only one of whom watches tennis 47:00 Discussing Break Point - who is it for, what's it meant to accomplish, and does it do that? 51:20 The tennis brat / bad boy trying to reform -- it's not giving us anything new 55:35 Go to the business center
The first Slam of the year doesn't give us many weeks of tennis to form opinions, but it's delivered on story lines, with one taking the cake: Naomi Osaka -- having already withdrawn from the Australian Open -- announced she's pregnant and will miss the 2023 season. This barely a week after defending champ Ash Barty announced her own pregnancy. Tournament director Craig Tiley is up to his usual hijinks, this year banning booing, rolling out NFTs in an inhospitable market, and extracting surplus labour from what used to be free (player practices). All that plus draw analysis, January standouts, PTPA news, a complete diversion on our take on Rolling Stone's greatest singers list. Ready? 2:30 Naomi Osaka is missing the Australian Open, yes … but why, pray? 10:50 What kind of mess will Craig get into this year? Well, funny you should ask 16:00 Booing Novak Djokovic is illegal. Is this a real thing? 19:50 Scamming scammers: extracting surplus value from player practices plus the AO NFT gallery 29:10 The PTPA announces an executive committee 33:50 Who's standing out in the first two weeks of 2023? Peggy, Sabs, Linda, Novak, Taylor, Cam 44:50 Carlos Alcaraz misses the Australian Open but gets an international Calvin Klein underwear spread 49:50 Women's draw analysis 60:55 Men's draw analysis 71:35 Our greatest singers - fie, Rolling Stone!
Welcome to The Body Serve 9! We're recovering from our first-ever bout with COVID but tennis never stops and the show must go on. We offer some things to look out for in 2023 -- a true rival to Iga? A few more Big 4 retirements? -- and share some of our (and your) hopes and dreams for the upcoming season. We also catch up with the tennis news cycle, including the latest Camila Giorgi controversy, Simona's doping suspension, Venus' return, and the debut of United Cup. 00:28 Season NINE: Housekeeping & #NameTheTennisPlayer 07:25 Things to look out for this season (The Giorgi Syndicate) 18:53 Nepo babies & the sprawling United Cup 29:53 Queen Vee is BACK and looking evergreen 35:07 Wading into the homosexual waters 45:47 James is definitely going to reach his breaking point this season 51:52 Boris is back and updates on the Simona sitch 54:59 Breakout candidates for the 2023 season 60:35 Our hopes and wishes for the 2023 season
To cap off our 8th season and tide you over until 2023, we're bringing you the rare TBS culture episode. No tennis talk whatsoever -- we even had a few tennis-related items on the agenda which we deleted. We've got: an hour of TV talk including spoilers for The White Lotus and a few lightning-round rants; thoughts on “queerbaiting” and Kit Connor's forced coming-out; Mariah Christmas concert review; and takes on blackfishing, digital minstrelsy, T Swift, and more! 5:55 Spoilers ahead for The White Lotus, one of the few remaining watercooler shows 15:45 MVPs Aubrey Plaza & Meghann Fahy 20:50 Siamo tutti gay! 27:30 Is the Golden Age of Television over? It's ok if it is, all things must pass 31:50 Some shows we enjoyed: Mo, Industry, Better Things, Heartstopper, Somebody Somewhere, The Bear, P-Valley, and more 53:25 Each of us do a mini-rant about TV 01:02:00 Heartstopper and the extratextual: Kit Connor comes out after the fandom accuses him of queerbaiting 01:10:20 David Archuleta from American Idol comes out 01:15:15 So what happened with Bros? 01:20:55 Recapping Mariah's Christmas concerts in Toronto! 01:30:30 We need to talk about Taylor Swift (without losing half of our listeners) 01:40:00 Miss Patti has still got it at 78 01:44:30 Terrible news about Celine Dion's health 01:47:00 Kardashian-Jenner hegemony: when will it end? 01:57:30 Asking each other a tough and a not-so-tough question
It's time to wrap up the 2022 ATP season, and we're treating the guys with a healthy (and earned!) dose of suspicion, starting with a rundown of the most badly behaved children of the year. But it's not all bad - we also cover Rafa's personal-best start to the season, Carlos' rise, Novak's disappearing and reappearing acts, Felix fixing his finals bugaboo, Holger's Paris breakdown and later his Paris Masters title, and Roger's retirement. And since tennis news will stop for no one, we had to recap Canada's historic win at Davis Cup and the implosion of Team USA. 0:00 Cold Open Men behaving badly 4:25 Starting with the worst: That Guy 9:20 The Nick Kyrgios redemption nightmare 13:50 Craig! What the hell, dude?! 18:00 Jaaa-gate, Moutet, poop shorts, and Shapo gets scolded by Daddy 25:55 Davis Cup: USA cancels themselves, does the work for us 31:20 The Verdasco ban and Reilly's basement tweeting Notable Moments 40:30 Djokovic removed from Australia + Rafa wins a very memorable Australian final 48:35 Carlos Alcaraz breaks out in March; Rafa's injuries start and never end; weird Wimbledon 57:20 US Open was our first major (and Carlos' too)! 61:30 Laver Cup, frat behavior, G***k y*g*rt, Federer retirement 65:30 Other retirements: Del Potro, Tsonga, Anderson, and many more 68:55 Three other players we need to mention: Feliz, Casper, Holger 79:25 How'd we do on our choices for breakout players of 2022?
The 2022 WTA season had everything: a 37-match win streak, the retirements of the current #1 (abrupt) and the GOAT (expected), a Wimbledon with no ranking points, and a major drug suspension. Iga Swiatek's dominance didn't leave much room for her competitors, but other highlights included Ons Jabeur's steady rise to world #2 and two Slam runner-up finishes, Caroline Garcia's singles renaissance and WTA Finals title, and utter doubles dominance from Krejcikova/Siniakova. We've also got some juicy listener-generated “things you loved/hated” content and the kind of typically bizarre moments that keep us coming back every year. Plus, we've just launched our GoFundMe - please read a bit about we do and donate if you can! 0:30 Announcing our GoFundMe 2022 and reiterating our mission 6:05 Three key moments: Ash's Australian win + retirement, Iga's win streak, and Serena's evolution 11:00 The other major stories: the instability at the top for everyone but Iga, Simona Halep's remarkably odd year, and the total breakdown of COVID protocols 18:40 Starting the year with Barty as the undisputed #1 25:20 Ash's retirement coincides with the start of Iga's 37-match win streak 34:45 Grass season: Serena dominates the conversation from Eastbourne to the US Open; Rybakina wins the points-less Wimbledon 42:00 Summer hardcourt stretch: our own return to live tennis; Halep & Garcia grab titles but Swiatek restores order in New York 54:55 Discussing the WTA year-end award nominees 60:45 Our own picks for 2022 breakout players - how'd we do? 63:25 Remember when? A broken necklace, a broken doubles team, and Ostapenko's ... everything 72:45 Things you loved about WTA tennis in 2022 81:50 Things you loathed in 2022: no points at Wimbledon, no more business buns 85:55 The WTA's finances: Hologic sponsorship and a potential deal with private equity
The WTA regular season comes to a close with comeback kid Caroline Garcia grabbing her biggest career title, dispatching Iga-vanquisher Aryna Sabalenka in a boom-boom final. We discuss the last-minute nature of the event and the tough financial and ethical positions the WTA continues to occupy in light of the China situation. On the men's side, Holger Rune caps a momentous autumn swing that brings him from #33 to the brink of the ATP Finals, but not without a lecture from daddy. Elsewhere in bad behavior, the FFT disowns Moutet, Reilly earns lifelong haters, and Kyrgios settles a silly (disclaimer: this is James' opinion; please don't sue) defamation suit. 0:45 Garcia's Finals title and Sabalenka's upset of #1 Swiatek add unexpected layers to this WTA season 8:35 Some props for Sakkari, Kasatkina, and doubles champ and singles-almost-made-it Kudermetova 17:30 Lots of commentary about attendance and the choice of venue – what the WTA has been up against vs. what is of their own making 28:55 Holger beats Djokovic, ends Felix's win streak, and becomes first alternate for Torino 33:30 Magic potions and goofy huddles; it's not actually a ‘thing' but it's no surprise that people think it's a thing! 39:00 WTA CEO Steve Simon's strange and conflict-heavy statements on the ongoing Halep doping situation 41:10 James' tormentor Gilles Simon finally retires 47:45 Et ceteras: Moutet loses the bag; WTA institutes coaching program to attract and develop female coaches; safeguarding against abuse in tennis 57:00 Reilly thinks telling people to vote is cringe and that tennis used to be free of politics … ok hun 63:50 The biggest merch sale of the year: The Body Serve's RedBubble Store
Canadian King Félix Auger-Aliassime. As Rihanna said, let's start there. Félix has turned around his final-round performances to the tune of three straight titles, beating world #1 Alcaraz twice in the past few weeks. Elsewhere, in Texaaaas, the world's best women have a blast dressing up but will soon look to take on the dominant force of Iga Swiatek at the WTA Finals. We're also covering Rune's on-court and online hissy fits, previewing Paris and the ATP Final scenarios, and getting the Iga starfish case off the docket to make room for worse offenders. 01:45 Félix with 13 straight wins! Momentum is a hell of a drug 06:15 Holger's temper tantrum(s) 14:00 Medvedev steadies the ship in Vienna, Shapo on a consistent run 16:00 ATP Finals qualifications: Wimbledon is the tournament that is and isn't 23:30 The WTA women dress up and have a blast … stop with the amateur fashion critiques unless you're being nice! 29:25 James takes a shot at WTA social media marketing and Jonathan is way more fair 35:50 Is anyone beating Iga? 41:00 United Cup, what's it all about? 47:00 Case dismissed: Iga addressed the handwaving and yes, we must move on 49:00 Coaching carousel: Garcia's coach splits with literary flair and Stan & Magnus are back together 52:20 What's next for TBS
Just when we thought we could go away for a spell without anything crazy happening, the ghost of an ugly hotel carpet threw things into disarray with Simona Halep testing positive for a banned substance. We begin the episode by wading through these doping waters, before catching up on the 7,000 tournaments since we last dropped an episode. Just take a look at the timestamps for the remainder of the docket: a lot of MESS before we finish with a salute to two all-timers who left an indelible mark on this fraught world we live in 01:55 Simona Halep tests positive for a banned substance 17:44 Catching up on the results 23:36 When are the authorities going to arrest Belinda Bencic? 28:45 WTA Finals qualifiers and James' obsession with the Napoli mess 36:40 An update on one of the handful of ATP players accused of domestic violence 38:16 Coaching carousel: Tursunov's self-serving MESS 44:10 Does pickleball want the sloppy seconds of tennis? 52:12 TENNIS BABIES!!! 55:00 Our top three Mariah studio albums 58:24 In memorium: Queer icons Dame Angela Lansbury & Leslie Jordan
This is a hodgepodge episode, catching up with the recent tournament results across four continents, including Tunisia's first WTA event, Djokovic's clearing of the Next and CurrentGen, and Tiafoe's continuing run of good form. We spend a good amount of time on Ostrava - the destined-to-be-a-classic final, Iga's status as an activist #1, and Krejcikova's return as a top singles player. All that plus some news about the Kyrgios case, WTA Final qualification scenarios, and a WTA coming-out (Happy National Coming Out Day!). 1:00 So who's been winning all these tournaments around the world? 5:45 Novak clobbers an incredibly stacked ATP 500 draw 10:35 Fritz wins Tokyo, he and Tiafoe reach career high rankings 15:45 Thanks to Ons Jabeur and IMG, WTA tennis comes to Tunisia! 19:35 Ostrava has become a real autumn highlight - Krejcikova and Swiatek deliver a classic 25:40 Why do some see Iga as the complainer-in-chief? 33:30 Kiki Mladenovic knows her brand! 35:25 Kyrgios' lawyers will ask his case to be dismissed on mental health grounds 40:35 Et ceteras: RaducanuOUT, Podoroska *out*, tour finals qualification
Thanks to you, our listeners, we're back with a special mailbag episode, answering your questions about any and everything. You asked about tennis, of course – lots of questions lingering from Laver Cup and Roger's retirement, and about the states of various players' games on the women's tour – but you also allowed us to be self-indulgent and talk about what we're watching and listening to, our favorite breads and cheeses (a new one!), and our nerdiest qualities. 1:40 Rapid-fire from @SamsBiceps: Federer matches, Beyonce, desserts, and Oscar best actress predix 13:50 Daria Saville's IG post after her injury: interesting insight or just too much honesty? 18:15 What's up with Naomi? Will she be back in form next year? 24:00 Dream WTA Team World - Team Europe lineups (and we added thoughts about what a dream Laver Cup should set out to accomplish 32:15 What are we watching/listening to/reading lately? It's been a great year for horror fans 41:35 Pair any five tennis players with a Mariah track, which would then be their theme song (hey, Grigor) 46:25 Us as commentators: what's our green room rider? How will you diplomatically call out your colleagues for bad takes? 53:15 What is the nerdiest non-tennis thing about each of us? Well, there's a lot 59:10 If one of the Big 3 never played tennis, how many majors would the other two have won? 65:00 Our favorite breads and cheeses! Amazing question! 69:20 An FMK from our most reliable contributor 71:40 What is happening with Garbine? And some thoughts on a coach's role 78:45 Our own tennis playing styles
And just like that, another GOAT says goodbye. This time, it's Roger Federer at Laver Cup, giving tennis and his fans one last glimpse at his greatness. Confession: we haven't always been the biggest FedFans, but we're still paying respect to the man and his genius, offering some of our most enduring Federer memories. Along the way, we chime in on Laver Cup itself, the tender Fedal moments, where the event worked, and where it falls short for us. ‘Til next time, Roger! 0:30 Federer retires: regret over letting stan wars cloud our appreciation 14:35 Federer's imperial period: if you know, you know 17:05 Our favorite Roger memories 21:10 A non-recap of Laver Cup 29:40 The racist abuse leveled at Frances Tiafoe; fans now trying to find their next prop to prove they're not racist 37:40 The touching retirement punctuated by truly absurdist theatre 41:20 Rafa & Roger's unique and genuine bond - men showing affection! 52:20 Big Three or Big Four? Yes, we want to go there, just for a minute 55:10 What exactly is Federer's legacy? What did he bring to tennis that no one had before? (thanks @seasaltandrum for the question!)
The final Slam of the season sees Iga Swiatek troubleshoot and learn now to extend her dominance, and the coronation of the (not very) long awaited Carlos Alcaraz as a major winner and youngest male #1 in history. As always, we try to be skeptical of hype and take a fresh look at the results and what they might mean for the near future. Also at this US Open: the shambolic choice to have Supreme Court Justice Patrick McEnroe helm the women's doubles presentation, profiteering off Serena's name, and more awful revelations about sexual abuse in women's tennis. 2:30 Iga Swiatek doesn't always play her best but proves why she's the dominant #1 14:40 The women's draw gets a wonderful crop of quarterfinalists, representative of many of the year's best 21:45 Are we in the Iga Era? How do we define a deserving number one? What do we want from women's tennis? Who cares! Sit back and watch 24:35 Men's champ: from barely bleating to curry-ready 35:10 Frances Tiafoe! Not to say I told you so but … 42:50 Listen to Jonathan stretch a subordinate clause far past its breaking point 44:55 Women's doubles: Krejcikova/Siniakova win the Career Slam; plus, the massive insult of Patrick McEnroe presiding over this trophy ceremony 56:10 TW: SA - Fiona Ferro's case against her former coach puts another spotlight on abuse and exploitation in women's tennis 60:55 Et ceteras: bootleg Serena merch, the too-late night matches, and the partisan but only partially engaged US Open crowd 69:25 WTA Finals is moving to … Texas? 73:11 Randomly, our favorite and least favorite types of pasta
Well folks, that was quite the first week of the US Open, wasn't it? Jonathan is back from his trip to Flushing Meadows, and we are back to talk about Serena's last dance (or at least our first stab at it). There's a lot to unpack from the first week of the season's last major, so grab a honey deuce and join us for the ride. 2:35 Serena d. Kontaveit 12:00 The Farewell: Serena bows out to Ajla Tomljanovic in the third round 26:10 Jonathan's observations from the US Open: Venus, Danielle, The Penko Experience 43:00 Thoughts on Arthur Ashe Stadium 54:40 Indulge me for a moment: the sound mix and off-court coaching 64:45 Commentary, a lifetime appointment? 69:20 Quickly running through where we're at in the draw: women's round of 16 is stacked 81:35 Rafa's first week: nerves and a shocking smack in the nose
We're piecing together a preview for the US Open on precarious hotel wifi, but the show must go on! After all, this is Serena's final Slam. Jonathan is in NY taking in the action, while James holds down the TBS fort (i.e. Vince) in Toronto. Hear Jonathan's initial thoughts on TBS's first trip to a Slam, plus we're talking about Novak's eleventh hour withdrawal, this year's version of the bathroom break distraction, and of course the just released US Open draws, seemingly some of the most balanced draws in recent memory. 01:05 Jonathan's initial thoughts on Flushing Meadows and the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center 12:25 To no one's surprise the entry requirements did not change and Novak Djokovic pulls out of the US Open at the last minute 20:00 Kyrgios legal update plus a perfect distraction, a ridiculous defamation suit 27:30 WTA draw: hey, it could have been a lot worse 30:30 Women's top half: cracking first rounds, including Queenwen vs. Ostapenko and Raducanu vs. Consecutive Slam Queen Cornet 42:00 Women's bottom half: Madison gets a tough road early on; Serena's fourth quarter … what to make of it 48:30 Men's draw: a historic #1 seed leads a wide open draw
Cincinnati lost its stars early but still brought us a wickedly good weekend, with comeback kids Borna Coric and Caroline Garcia taking the titles. We talk new shoulder (Borna), new confidence (Caro), new professionalism (Stef?), and the resurgent Petra and Madison. We take a stab at the ball controversy and how it speaks to a larger battle in tennis governance. The second part of this episode features an interview with author and illustrator Tom Humberstone, whose gorgeous graphic novel Suzanne hits bookstores in September. Suzanne Lenglen was one of the very first sporting superstars; Tom tells Suzanne's story with specificity, avoiding comparisons with today's greats, exploring what made her so compelling and how the well worn cliches about her fail to do justice to her life and accomplishments. 3:30 OG NextGen kid Borna Coric is back in the conversation, wins Cincinnati with his new serve (and new shoulder) 14:30 Iga, Ons, Serena out early? No problem - Petra, Caro, and Madison are getting butts in seats 21:20 Tennis ball controversy: Iga Swiatek vs. Wilson Regular Duty 27:00 Whom does it serve to tweet about someone skipping a press conference? (Check the replies, that's who) 30:05 Jonathan's preferred Serena match-up and Vika's slightly anticlimactic announcement 35:10 Interview with Tom Humberstone, author of Suzanne and Body Serve illustrator! 47:45 Translating the unique visual spectacle of Lenglen to the page 55:15 How to balance “legacy” while honoring a person's specific life experiences 59:20 Lenglen forced the skeptical press to respect women's sport
We're back after attending our first live tennis in THREE YEARS! Wow, what a moment. A moment most pleasing to us in our podcasting careers. The happy feelings didn't last long as we had to grapple with the end of Serena's career when she announced her imminent retirement at the US Open. We also chat about Simona and PCB's wins in Canada before sharing a few of our observations from seeing the women in person last week. Buckle up folks, it's going to be a hell of a ride the next few weeks 01:53 Serena rocks our world with news of her impending retirement 10:52 The relief, the joy, and the pain of grappling with this announcement 15:16 Simona Halep fightergirls herself to the Toronto title 17:33 The pusher discourse has gotten way out of control 20:32 Putting some respect on Haddad Maia and Zheng Qinwen's names 23:45 PCB wins his biggest career title in Montreal 32:53 Observations: Watching Serena live in Toronto 36:36 Sloane's defence, Kenin's comeback, and endless deuces 44:32 Loving Bianca off the court and struggling with the mess on it 49:44 Why is it always MEN who are super loud and clueless at tennis? 58:19 Let serves and Giorgi/Ostapenko live lasers
The unbearable August heat and humidity means it's time for the North American hardcourt swing, for a brief magical period known as the US Open Series. Instead of a typical recap, we decided to present a summer hardcourt preview to mark this distinct segment of the season. Who are the old reliables on this surface? Will Medvedev extend his mastery over these courts? Will Iga add some more titles to that expanding hardcourt resume? What will Venus and Serena's matches look like? Will Djokovic become a wedge issue in the midterms? (No.) Plus a snapshot of our favorite moments from Beyonce's stunner, Renaissance. 2:55 What are the main storylines going into the greatest rrrrroad trip in esport? 11:20 DC: Serena descends upon the capital, creates confusion 16:55 Venus' first match since last August - what's the takeaway? 25:35 Hardcourt preview: the comebacks, reboots, redos, and those with something to prove 35:25 The hardcourt stalwarts of the past few years, women first: Naomi, Iga, Vika, Aryna, and more 41:20 The hardcourt “kings” and we use the term loosely 45:20 Novak Djokovic and US Republican members of Congress: with their powers combined … 52:35 Medvedev and the race for the men's #1 54:05 Raducanu's choice of coach riles the British press 58:35 Our upcoming tennis plans 62:35 Beyonce's Renaissance - a postmodern tour of Black dance music and reveling in the face of a plague
It's the hottest part of the summer and the post-Wimbledon haze is the perfect time to outsource our agenda planning by asking our readers for questions. Fortunately, your questions were well in sync with important topics of the day and what we wanted to cover. We discuss the documentary/vlog featuring Dasha Kasatkina and Andrey Rublev; the intimacy of the format; and the considerable fallout caused by Dasha's coming out and their tough words on their home country. We spend a little time chatting about recent tennis news but that's really not the focus – look out for questions on the world track and field championships, climate change, R&B covers of songs from other genres, and our current favorite snacks and TV shows. 2:00 Etceteras: Coaching splits, Matteo's racist IG story, and TBS pet merch! Mailbag 7:35 The Kasatkina-Rublev doc and the immediate fallout 19:35 What to make of the ATP's partnership with You Can Play to improve LGBTQ inclusion? 23:25 The Jamaican women continue to dominate sprinting; Shelly-Ann is the GOAT 33:45 Climate change as an existential threat to tennis 39:45 We're not here for the scamming 42:25 Quick diversion about snacks 45:20 What are our favorite R&B covers of songs from another genre? 48:30 Why pundits are critical about Serena's comeback(s) and fitness level 55:00 New TV we've been watching 61:50 To live and *let* live? To asterisk or not to asterisk?
Let's start with the good news: Elena Rybakina powered her way to a major title, and Ons Jabeur reached another career milestone while winning hearts and eyeballs around the world. The men's side was, uh, less appealing. Nick Kyrgios reached his first major final on the heels of an assault accusation (that's 4 ATP players currently accused of domestic violence if you're keeping count); a cursed bromance emerges; Rafa pulls out with an abdominal tear; and the younger generations fail again to capitalize on legends who weren't even close to their best tennis. 3:05 Elena Rybakina, another surprising but not surprising Slam winner on the WTA 14:45 Ons Jabeur, self-proclaimed Minister of Happiness – and this government ain't falling 26:25 Tatjana Maria and reconsidering the narrative surrounding mothers in tennis 31:45 An unconventional recap of the men's final 33:05 Nick Kyrgios is accused of assault by his ex-girlfriend, will face charges in court 38:35 Bromance from hell 49:30 The greatest fighter narrative works for Rafa but should we be celebrating the suffering? 58:50 Doubles: Krejcikova/Siniakova earn legend status 63:05 The ranking jumps are a little more dramatic than usual 65:40 The Telegraph spun the Serena Williams controversy wheel and came up with “five cars”
Wimbledon week one saw a GOAT come and go, her sister light up the doubles court, the two male legends anchor their sides of the draw, and the loquacious Cornet end Swiatek's 37-match win streak. Saturday lit up the tournament for reasons good and bad; after Anisimova notched an impressive win over Gauff, Kyrgios and Tsitsipas gave an absolute shit show of code violations, toxic behavior, and occasionally compelling tennis. All the while, COVID reared its ugly head despite the tournament's determination to ignore it. 2:05 Serena, queen of net rushing and accepting her tennis mortality 14:30 Tami Korpatsch: a social media star is born 18:35 Venus & Jamie: you bring me joy 25:15 The upsets: the surprising (Hubi) and the less so (Muguruza & Kontaveit) 34:10 Round of 16 match-ups: Cornet ends Iga's streak 41:40 Men's draw: Covid wreaks havoc on the bottom half 48: 50 Covid is still here, surprise! On tennis' players' “civic spirit” 54:05 The All England Club as an extension of the British government 56:20 Novak's new tennys text buddy 58:55 The men get messy: ADF, Rafa, Nick & Stefanos
2022 Wimbledon prep had been dominated by the ban of Russian and Belarusian players, and then Serena Williams stopped the world by announcing her return to competitive tennis, first in Eastbourne doubles (OnsRena 4ever) and ultimately the Wimbledon singles draw. She joins a crowded field with no clear favorite, with Iga, Ons, Angie, Coco, a few Karolinas, and Petra all in with a shot. The men's side sees Rafa and Djokovic on opposite sides, with Rafa attempting to continue his 14-match Slam win streak and Djokovic trying to upend the year's narrative and further complicate the best-ever conversation. 1:10 Stop the world; world, stop: the birth of OnsRena and Rena's surprising return to Wimbledon 11:55 Another unlikely return to Wimbledon: Rafa's foot procedure allows him to play SW19 14:40 Tara Moore popped for alleged doping 19:50 Women's draw: RG was a sure thing for Iga, but not so at Wimbledon 27:05 The Serena quarter (well, technically the Badosa quarter): LOADED 36:50 The women's bottom half offers huge opportunity (*whispers* but it should be Ons) 46:40 Men's draw top half: Djokovic, Alcaraz, and a few seeds who've never won a match here 52:05 Bottom half: Berrettini, Fritz, and Tsitsipas rounding into form at the right time
Cuthbert Collingwood "Ted" Tinling was a man whose unlikely story threads throughout the eras of twentieth century tennis like no one else's. A product of a patrician English family who moved to the French Riviera, Ted found himself umpiring for Suzanne Lenglen at 13 years old. He would grow to become a successful London couturier in the interwar period, and in the late 1940s found tennis pulling him back, this time as a designer of tennis fashion. Tinling wed ultra-feminine design with functionality, creating outfits unique to each wearer and which emphasized the need for sportswear to work and move like a tennis player. Much has been written about his rebellious nature and his banishment from Wimbledon -- and we certainly cover that -- but we're also interested in the contradictions of a man with great respect for the codes of tennis tradition but who repeatedly strained against it. 0:45 Ted Tinling: tennis' great multihyphenate 7:20 The Tinlings move from Eastbourne to the Riviera, the hotbed of Jazz Age tennis 11:55 Suzanne Lenglen, France's homegrown superstar 16:45 The end of his Riviera boyhood – from child umpire to Mayfair couturier 20:40 Post-war: a revolution in colour 23:45 Tinling and Dior's New Look - a regression or a rebellion? (Or both?) 27:35 The panties that altered history 36:45 The 1960s: Tinling as the premier designer of women's tennis 42:50 You've Come a Long Way, Baby 48:25 The Tinling Slam: all four plus the Battle of the Sexes 53:20 Wimbledon Act II: Back in the Club 56:20 Infinite sites of rebellion - chipping away at tennis' strictures 63:10 A few more stories we want to tell: Elizabeth Ryan and Bill Tilden
Iga Swiatek and Rafael Nadal are joint winners at Roland Garros for the second time, with Iga extending her dominance over women's tennis and Rafa entering truly uncharted territory as a 14-time RG winner and extending his lead in the all-time Grand Slam count. In keeping with the episode title, we're trying to understand how Nadal did that in the face of a tough draw, poor preparation, and a career-threatening foot condition. Twenty-one-year-old Iga, on the other hand, is making it look easy. We take you through the major moments of week two, making plenty of time for the Battle of Scandinavia, Mauresmo's unfortunate comments, doubles results, and Rafole #59. 1:15 Racquet Bracket results: sometimes mediocre is all we can hope for 5:20 Unbeatable Iga 11:50 The streak: let's let the active players live without comparing them to GOATs 20:25 The makeup question … che schifo! 27:00 The men's quarters on: the endless Ruud-Rune dust-up, an at times imperious Cilic 37:05 Nadalovic didn't quite live up to expectations 42:20 Nadal-Zverev, that injury, and that weird discourse that resulted 50:50 The final is what we needed – a low-stress denouement to a very tough tournament 62:30 Retirement watch was on but we fight on - more info on the foot 69:25 Men's double makes history and the reunion of Garcia/Mladenovic 72:55 Rankings watch: lose in the first round, earn a career high ranking! 76:45 Amelie Mauresmo's turbulent fortnight
The Roland Garros quarterfinals are set, and despite a brief scare, Iga Swiatek continues her stunning win streak as the lone remaining top 10 seed in the women's draw. But fear not, the quarterfinal match-ups are cracker (RIP Derry Girls). On the men's side, we still have the promised Djokovic-Nadal quarterfinal, Alcaraz is still winning, and the once-presumptive finalist Tsitsipas has crashed out. We get serious about an issu important to us: Martina's appearance on Piers Morgan's show, the ongoing fight against trans women in women's sport, and what we're not talking about when we talk about this issue. 01:15 Women's quarterfinals: they may not be what you asked for, but they're still pretty good 10:25 Simona Halep opens up about panic attacks and emotional setbacks (PMo centers himself) 13:30 Women's first week roundup: Queenwen, Kasatkina, Kerber, Coco, Sloane, Leylah 25:25 Men's quarters: some of the top guys were tested but they (mostly) came through 30:30 Felix takes Nadal to five sets (allez!) amidst the Toni drama (it's not that big a deal) 37:35 What's the deal with this night session? One match? 48:20 Et ceteras: a mini Covid scare and Begu & Rublev's near-misses 51:15 Talking about the movement against trans women in women's sport and why they're missing the forest for the trees 68:25 Quick follow-up on the language of discrimination + the damned subjunctive tense
Not more than four short months ago, we were reveling in Rafa and Ash's Australian Open glory. Now that we've been abandoned by Ash, and Rafa's foot has set alarm bells ringing, we enter the year's second Slam with that familiar feeling of dread. Iga has taken the baton from Ash and sped through the Spring season; who can catch her? On the men's side, things are a bit more focused…on one very concentrated half of the draw. Join us for our 2022 Roland Garros preview where we parse through the draws, give updates on the latest Wimbledon mess, and finish with the glowing debut of Drag Race All-Stars 7! 3:20 Women's draw: name one player who can beat Iga (well, the few who might be able to are in her section LOL) 14:25 Women's bottom half: Is Ons the favorite to reach the final? 20:10 Babs is back but the fourth quarter is the land of opportunity 26:50 Men's draw, first quarter: I would like a recount 41:45 Men's bottom half: Stefanos, it's yours, take it 48:50 Et ceteras: RG makes changes to post-match media process, GEMS Baby is dropping in October, Naomi Osaka forms her own agency 55:00 ATP, WTA, ITF will not award ranking points at Wimbledon due to the Russian/Belarusian ban 68:10 Appreciating the Drag Race All Stars All Winners season
Two drop shots to rule them all: Ons Jabeur wins her first WTA 1000 title and Carlos Alcaraz slices through two GOATs and a [redacted] to win his fourth title of the year. In a shorter episode than usual, we chat about Madrid, the ongoing comebacks and retirements, Shapo Music's spectacular unraveling in Rome, and more. 3:50 Ons Jabeur wins Madrid! 10:00 What were we saying about the WTA top 10 a few months ago? Well … 17:10 The final weekend scheduling in Madrid makes the women an afterthought, again 22:30 Carlos' achievements are undeniable – but some context, please! 31:00 Et ceteras: Murray, Wawrinka, Thiem; Andreescu's break and return 35:05 Kevin Anderson & Gilles Simon retire 40:05 Denis Shapovalov's absolute shit fit in Rome 43:45 WTA is getting a 1000 tournament in Mexico!
As we get older, we get more comfortable existing in the “I don't know” space, which might be a strange thing to say while also producing a podcast where we share our opinions. But as the debate about Wimbledon rages on, as Boris Becker is sentenced to prison, and in light of your great but tough questions, we're comfortable remaining equivocal on some things lately. We catch up with the tennis in Europe, check in on some woeful but on-brand missteps, and discuss the Ukrainian players' response to the Wimbledon decision (something we missed last week). Finally, we end by answering some excellent listener questions – fun, challenging, or both. 1:00 Simona slaying in Madrid, Rafa is back with a tough draw, and catching up w/ Estoril & Munich 8:25 More on Wimbledon's decision to ban Russian & Belarusian players 10:50 What have the Ukrainian players been saying? 21:30 Raducanu splits with coach Torben Beltz 26:35 A few of the week's worst: the PMo self-promo machine, Cirstea, and homophobia from “allies” 35:55 Boris Becker sentenced to prison for hiding assets - another chapter in a sad post-tennis saga 48:05 Madrid asks, how do we employ a creepy private security and surveillance regime while also making it *adorable*? Mail 50:35 What's going on with the WTA/ATP collaboration? 59:25 Which tennis players would you recruit during a zombie apocalypse? 66:00 Our cringiest tennis moments 71:30 FMK Bridgerton Brothers 75:20 Ending on some Williams sisters questions
Thank you all for your patience while we've been away! We're back to recap all the tournaments we've missed – almost three weeks of them. Iga Swiatek wins her 23rd straight match by beating repeat runner-up Sabalenka in Stuttgart, while Carlos Alcaraz wins his 23rd match of the year, taking the Barcelona title from PCB. The biggest off-court story has been Wimbledon's decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players, and the fallout from players, the WTA and ATP, and the larger political stakeholders. 2:55 Wimbledon acts unilaterally (shocking, I know!) and bans players from Russia and Belarus 22:20 Pam Shriver opens up about problematic and abusive relationships on tour 25:50 Not another wild card drama. I don't have it in me 33:00 Alcaraz falls into the lap of the ATP 40:30 Putting the comparisons between Carlos & Iga into context 46:55 All she does is win: 1ga still soaring 57:10 The core of Stefanos' problem 61:25 Results carousel: Marrakech, Houston, Charleston, Bogota 65:30 Etceteras: WTA Finals, Gail Falkenberg; Kim & Tommy retire 68:40 Serena unfollows Patrick on IG & a word on Willow Pill
It's been barely two weeks since Ash Barty's retirement and already Iga Swiatek is answering our questions about what's next for the WTA. Riding a 17-match win streak, she knocks out fellow heiress apparent Naomi Osaka to win her third straight WTA 1000 title. Carlos Alcaraz generated a truly astonishing level of buzz on the men's side with his Miami title -- and while we always caution against too much hype, tennis is truly in a fascinating spot right now. 1:15 Iga fills in the blanks after Ash's retirement 8:35 Let's enjoy the present: on the WTA especially, it's not Next Gen, it's Now Gen 20:25 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga announces his imminent retirement from tennis 23:35 Carlos Alcaraz wins Miami, generates well-earned excitement; but let's cool it with the hype, ok? 33:40 Injuries, absences, instability among the ATP top guys have created a perfect void for a young gun to swoop in 37:00 A few more racquet throws in Miami and the ATP finally says enough! (well, we think) 41:40 Et ceteras: Clay baes Thiem & Wawrinka make their return in Andalucia; rumors swirl about a Russian ‘ban' from Wimbledon but what's actually going on? 45:00 IMG snags Frances Tiafoe and purchases the Mutua Madrid Open 52:10 The Oscars - and no, we're not talking about that
Ash Barty shocked the tennis world this week by announcing her departure from the game as a 25-year-old dominant #1. After the shock wore off, though, it started to make sense based on what we know about Ash, as a player who's planned her career intentionally and who was upfront about how she approached the sport. What were her greatest moments? What does Ash's retirement teach us? What is her legacy? 0:40 Getting over the initial shock 8:30 Ash's early career and first break from tennis 14:00 Ash returns to tennis in 2016 and steadily builds a world-beating resume; post-COVID dominance 27:00 Career achievements: those weeks at #1 and talking about her successor 31:20 The retirement announcement 36:25 What did we learn from Ash's retirement? What's the precedent for this? 39:00 Rethinking work and setting boundaries after a pandemic and the myriad disruptions of millennial and Gen Z life 48:30 Reframing authenticity 54:40 Our favorite Ash Barty memories
The finals may not have lived up to their billing, but Indian Wells advanced a number of the season's major storylines: the continued growth of Iga Swiatek, the battle to stick out from the WTA pack, Rafa's hardcourt win streak, Alcaraz's series of firsts, and the Netflix effect. We cover the tennis, plus a discussion on the Nick rinse-and-repeat, the tennis world's response to Naomi Osaka's response (again, rinse, repeat), and the parallels to Jane Campion's flippant 'joke.' 0:40 Welcome to Tennis Para- well, purgatory 3:20 Swiatek wins 5th title and cements her new #2 status 17:40 Taylor Fritz d. Rafael Nadal in the battle of the walking wounded 31:15 Carlos Alcaraz tries his best to snatch that torch from Rafa 40:10 No, we are not entertained, thanks tho 53:20 Anisimova swiftly exeunts her match, leaving confusion in her wake; partnership with Darren Cahill ends abruptly as well 56:00 Heckling at Indian Wells and why it's not the same as heckling at other places … 69:15 Jane Campion - ma'am, what?
Starting off on a difficult subject - the invasion of Ukraine and the response from tennis authorities and the players affected by it. As always, it's fair to ask who sets the moral standards and what's the right thing to do, even if we don't have easy answers. On to more positive news, the WTA gets a new title sponsor at a critical time, going from cigarettes to a women's health company in 50 years. The ATP has some rhetorical fun with the Zverev non-decision and leaves umpires out to dry. Plus, did Novak attempt another stunt in this never ending saga? 1:10 Tennis' response to the war in Ukraine - what should a sport's leadership do in wartime? 11:40 Is there any precedent? Banning South Africa and the trouble of who sets moral standards 20:00 WTA gets a new title sponsor and … a Mary J. Blige crossover? 31:40 The Zverev decision -- a suspension and fine, just kidding lol 43:30 Novak Djokovic will sacrifice titles for his principles but would, like, prefer not to 52:10 Ash & Babs pull out of Indian Wells 59:55 Leylah Fernandez defends Monterrey amidst a lighting crisis! It's always something 64:55 Federer return, Lepchenko's 4-year ban, and Kristie Ahn's retirement
It's not exactly your average February on the ATP: we've got a new #1; a recent #1 and GOAT doing (dubious) damage control as he struggles to find tournaments that will have him; a different 35-year-old GOAT starting the year on a 15-match win streak; and a top player defaulted for a gross display of rage at an umpire. Acapulco said don't let la puerta hit you on the way out, and further penalties from the ATP could be looming for Zverev. Meanwhile on the women's side, it's Jelena Ostapenko's world and we're just living in it. 2:15 Medvedev takes #1 7:45 Rafa's blazing start to the season continues in Acapulco 19:05 Acapulco was fun. You know what's not fun? AZ and the escalating abuse of umpires 34:00 Djokovic's BBC interview: yes, I guess we're still talking about this 45:10 Felix wins his first ATP title! 51:05 Sport is never safe from politics and world crises … let's have some understanding for players dealing with the invasion of Ukraine 57:30 Ostapenko beats -- in some cases, destroys -- six Grand Slam champions over the past two weeks 62:30 Are the Doha quarterfinals a sign of *some* stability near the top of the women's game?
Welcome back for the second part of our mailbag episode, made possible by February boredom and listeners like you. This time around we're talking about the changes to tennis during pandemic times and whether we'd like to see them stay; our thoughts on Bravo, Drag Race, and TV in general; our Tennis Housewives dream cast; and a bunch of other thought provoking tennis questions. 02:00 Our thoughts on the changes to tennis (Covid-related or not) - electronic line calling, towels, no-ad, etc. 13:35 FMK: Tennis HABs 16:00 Has your bandwidth increased for the ATP after the Australian Open? 22:40 Thoughts on Drag Race season 14 27:40 Favorite TV of the year so far + Bravo updates 38:25 Which tennis pro's shot would you want for yourself? 42:35 How to assess a player's success outside of the Slams? What are the other metrics even if you're not a Slam winner? 52:00 Real Housewives of Tennis dream cast 56:50 Janet Jackson finally gets her flowers – she is the blueprint, kids! 65:05 Reiterating The Body Serve's mission statement, if you will
We asked for your questions, and wow, did you deliver. So much so that we've decided to stretch this mailbag into a two-part super episode. The post-Australian Open hangover is real, so we've got some light-hearted and non-tennis subject matter here, but we also tackle your tennis questions on commentators, our Grand Slam wish list, Delpo, and dream tennis apparel designers. 3:30 Which designer or brand do you want to see try tennis apparel? 5:50 If the Slams did anthems, which artist would you want to do the anthem for each Slam? 14:00 A perennial topic: What makes for a good tennis commentator? 20:50 Now let's talk about us: how has our approach to fandom evolved over the years? Did we learn anything new with Nadal's win in Australia? 26:45 A question on our process, how we record, the magic of editing, etc. 31:50 Favorite tennis player forays into music 34:10 Favorite comfort foods … how long do you have? 39:00 What tennis stories would we like to see as movies? 44:20 Tennis and NFTs: et tu, Stanley? 50:20 Now here's an original one: ranking the types of tennis headwear 54:25 Honoring Juan Martin del Potro with our fave Delpo moments
Ash Barty and Rafa Nadal are your 2022 Australian Open champions -- Barty winning her third Slam and further cementing her #1 status, and Nadal notching an unlikely victory from a two-sets-to-love hole against a much younger opponent, leading the Grand Slam tally for the first time. Danielle Collins leaves Melbourne with many new fans while Daniil Medvedev leaves a bit shattered. We'll take you through the final rounds of the tournament and what it means for the players and the state of the tours, plus we chat about doubles, unruly crowds, corporate Pride celebrations, dreams deferred, and the fashions. 2:55 How did that happen? A men's final of disbelief 18:20 Medvedev's stunts catch up to him? But the crowd was bad, really bad 22:45 Tennis looks amateurish again: make a decision on coaching 32:20 The other notable men's matches and wrapping up this men's tournament 44:10 Women's final: Ash Barty wins her 3rd Slam on as many surfaces 55:55 DanYell's fanbase is growing despite some initial skepticism 63:30 Doubles: Azealia - err, Nick & Thanasi 67:10 Dylan Alcott retires as the only Golden Slam winner in his discipline 69:05 So who will become the ‘hero' of this next generation? 75:00 AO Pride Day: great idea, so-so execution 78:00 Fave fashions and fave tweets of the tournament 84:15 Ranking updates: there's a lot of movement and it's not pretty
Week one of the Australian Open is in the books, with Barty carving her way through the draw, Sam Stosur retiring from singles, and most of the men's contenders surviving. Although many feared the tournament would be overshadowed by the Djokovic visa saga, once play started the tennis began to speak for itself. We've gotten blockbuster match-ups that live up to the hype (Osaka-Anisimova), veterans rediscovering their magic (Monfils, Keys), and recent Slam champs Krejcikova & Medvedev reminding us why they're great at tennis and very meme-able. 0:44 The Nole decision: Get yourself a friend like Vasek & a frenemy like Kyrgios 07:40 Adelaide 2 & Sydney winners, plus week one upsets 13:15 Notable week one matches 15:35 The Kyrgios sideshow makes another appearance 20:35 Did you get the attention you ordered, Nick? 25:40 Krejcikova's problematic necklace plus Naomi-Amanda 31:35 Madison, Felix, Rafa 38:45 Where we're at the in the draw 47:50 Farewell to Sam Stosur and oh hey, Craig 55:45 Et ceteras: Ash's serve, Naomi's IG declaration, Liam represents 61:00 Netflix said to That Guy thanks, luv, we're good; but also, ATP - where's the investigation, boo?
The 2022 Australian Open is around the corner and guess what is still dominating headlines: visa cancellation 2.0, appeal 2.0, and the various foibles and f- er, muck-ups of Djokovic and co. After discussing that for a moment, we focus on some of the excellent stories coming out of the Australian lead-up tourneys: Ash's domination, Kokkinakis' brilliant stretch, and statement wins from Andy, Madison, Amanda, Simona, and Elena R. We finish up with perhaps our most equivocal draw analysis ever, as Djokovic's shadow looms large. 02:00 Hawke strikes upon the hour: Immigration Minister cancels Djokovic's visa, citing the “public interest” 09:04 Djokovic's various fumbles have made grace an impossibility here 14:56 Week 1 Winners: Vets Rafa, Simona, Gael; plus Anisimova is back and Barty steamrolls 26:17 Week 2 gives us a day to remember: Keys-Gauff, Murray lobs Opelka, and BathroomGate is decidedly not behind us 33:23 Odds and ends: Bernie wins a bet by getting Covid; Rafa & Vee step in it; Reilly, dude … let it go 43:40 Our breakout picks for 2022: no, I will not be explaining myself 46:42 Women's draw: that first quarter is rude and it ruined James' dream final 58:13 Men's draw: an Australian judge will decide who fills the no. 1 slot. Could the men's bottom half see a major breakout?
The Australia v. Djokovic saga has dominated new cycles for the past week in and outside of the tennis world; it highlighted many of the anxieties and political squabbles of the COVID-19 pandemic, spurred infighting between various levels of Australian government, and most importantly, was completely avoidable. There is plenty of blame to go around here: to Djokovic, to his family's increasingly bizarre statements, to the Prime Minister's cynical political maneuvers, and to the head of Tennis Australia, who committed an astonishing number of unforced errors. We give you a timeline and the cast of characters as we attempt to contextualize this debacle as best we can. 00:30 Setting the scene, and why we don't do emergency episodes 12:40 Jan 4-6: Today I'm heading Down Under with an exemption per-.... oop 22:30 Jan 8: The zero-sum game resulting from the positive PCR test 29:30 Jan 10: The hearing none of us understood 37:05 The dramatis personae: starting with Craig Tiley and Tennis Australia 40:20 The Victoria Government (and why state governments shouldn't get immigration advice from a sporting organization) 45:00 Prime Minister Scott Morrison scoring political points, or; “rules are rules” 49:25 Learning about Australia's refugee crisis and draconian immigration policies 58:00 Hubris, extremism, and strange bedfellows
Many of us look back at 1999 as the dawning of the modern golden age of women's tennis, a season that saw four different Slam champs, the abrupt exit of one GOAT, and the breakthrough of a new one. Lindsay, Martina, Venus, Serena, and Steffi battled for the biggest titles and crafted historic, enduring storylines at every major event of the year. There was a changing of the guard, sure, but the shift from one era to the next is never quite as cut-and-dry as it seems. Plus, of course, the memes -- or, in this era before memes -- the off-court controversies and clownery that we still talk about: BeadGate, the formal education argument; and more darkly, the homophobic insults thrown at Amelie Mauresmo and the persistent, racialized "muscles vs. brains" narrative. Let's take a walk down memory lane and discuss a season of women's tennis that quite literally changed the sport forever. 03:10 Setting the scene: What is happening in women's tennis and the culture at the fin de siècle? What does the teen pop explosion and Y2K have to do with tennis? 08:10 The WTA's struggles with investors and why anonymous “analysts” doubted the marketability of women's tennis 19:30 So what makes the ‘99 season so special? 22:55 Themes of the season: the Williams sisters are coming, and not everybody's happy about it 29:55 Martina is #1, but the dominance is slipping 37:40 Australian Open: Hingis three-peats, Mauresmo comes out, and we endure BeadGate 55:25 Roland Garros: Graf wins final major in an almighty mess of a final 62:50 Wimbledon: Lindsay ain't just a hardcourt wonder 69:45 Steffi calls time on one of the greatest careers in tennis history 72:25 US Open: Serena bags the first Williams singles Slam, beating a befuddled Hingis in the final; plus, why the ‘formal education' dust-up is even more instructive than we remembered 83:50 The year-end rankings, some fun facts about the Slam season, and the signs of what's to come
In our season seven finale, we're recapping this odd and transitional year on the ATP Tour, a year in which Novak Djokovic came very close to winning the first Grand Slam since 1969 and a bunch of youngsters shook the table of Big 3 hegemony. We take an honest look at our breakout predictions – not great, Bob – and reminisce about some truly wild (and some depressing) Remember When moments. Although there's much levity, you know us – we're not going to recap the ATP season without talking about the dark shadow cast by the ATP's repeated fumbling of the Zverev & Basilashvili abuse allegations. Thanks for your support this year and every year – see you in 2022! 04:00 In Australia, Russians make history and Djokovic wins his 9th 14:00 The spring gives us a sign of what's to come (Rublev, Karatsev, Hurkacz, Sinner) plus a quick chat on PTPA progress this year 20:55 Clay season: Tsitsipas announces himself as a favorite for Roland Garros alongside Nadal & Djokovic 22:35 Novak screams and hollers his way to the Roland Garros title, beats Tsitsipas from 2 sets down 27:20 Grass season: Djokovic's Wimbledon win seemed kinda … easy? Golden Slam Watch is on 41:40 US Open: BathroomGate went on way too long; breakouts galore; Medvedev kills the dream 46:15 Fall season: Norrie wins IW, Frances captures our attention, Russia bookends its year with a dominant Davis Cup win 49:00 Let's look at the receipts: titles and rankings 52:50 How'd we do on our breakout picks? 55:15 Remember When? Hecklers, innocent bathroom breaks, the code-cracking racquet launch, YawnGate, and the unfortunate trend of ATP players using homophobic slurs 65:05 The ATP's Integrity Problem
Friends, we're finally at the end of our WTA season. So much of what we recapped didn't even feel like it happened in 2021. Kenin signing with Motorola but tweeting about it from her iPhone? 2021, really? Badosa and Kostyuk broadcasting from their Fox News bunker in Australia? Feels like forever ago. Nonetheless, we try to make sense of a truly unique year in tennis, in which the sport learned to live with the pandemic to varying degrees of success. We asked for help with our “Remember When” segment and boy, did y'all deliver. We finish with our mini-review of “King Richard” and then a taste test of Mariah Carey's venture into Irish creams: her latest stone cold smash hit wonder! Above all, we are so incredibly grateful for all your support and sticking with us through seven seasons. To the OG listeners, we can't even know what to say. To those who just joined us, it's a privilege we don't take lightly. 02:10 An update on our GoFundMe: We can't even know what to say 08:10 The princesses and the paupers: a super quarantine and one persistent mouse almost derail the Australian Open 17:20 Mugs, Sabalenka, Jabeur, Gauff, and Badosa steadily build their impressive seasons in the spring 25:55 Naomi Osaka's withdrawal from Roland Garros, plus … you thought Barbora Krejcikova was just a great doubles player? 35:15 Grass season: vets find success but Barty cements her #1 status 46:30 Still reeling from that wild US Open 56:00 Stats in review: A not-so-clear-cut POTY and year-end rankings 66:40 Remember when: tennis players can't control God, talk to Him 77:00 How'd we do on our breakout picks? 81:10 A dispiriting Peng Shuai update 87:55 It's time to finally make good on the calls for #TennisUnited 89:20 Our King Richard review: It OUTSOLD! 97:35 A nutty taste test: Black Irish Mimi edition
First things first: we are officially announcing the launch of our GoFundMe campaign! Thank you to our listeners for the past 7 amazing years, and we're looking forward to great stuff to come. Since our last episode, the Peng Shuai story has received widespread coverage in US media, with Chinese state media offering some video clips as “proof” of Peng's well-being. The WTA has done a great job pushing the issue, but we wonder what's next if the WTA's demands are not met. We also celebrate the successful Guadalajara WTA Finals, spend a good 10 seconds on the ATP Finals, chat about WTA historiography and why they're so good at, and cover a few odds and ends about Australia and Federer. 01:50 GoFundMe - it's awkward to ask for money but here we go! 04:20 Peng Shuai situation -- Story blows up in US media; Chinese state media offers some seemingly orchestrated appearances. What's next? What can we do from here? 16:35 Muguruza's win caps off a fun and diverting WTA Finals in Guadalajara; much praise to her opponent, new #7 Anett Kontaveit 23:00 Ever notice that the legends of women's tennis are always around to promote the sport? Here's why (at least in our view) 32:50 ATP Finals: If a tree falls in a forest . . . anyway 38:50 Australian Open confirms vax stance and Novak demurs 42:15 Roger Federer updates his fans, and it's tough to hear
Episode 245 features a potpourri of tennis happenings. We begin with a discussion of the harrowing Peng Shuai news and the response from tennis' governing bodies. After getting caught up on ALL the tennis since our last episode, we end with a bit of levity -- thanks to our generous listener, Kaitlyn -- our first ever live taste test on The Body Serve! Oh, and we've also got the soft launch for our second ever GoFundMe for the podcast. Thanks to all of you for supporting us as we finish up season seven! 01:05 Launching our 2021 fundraising drive: help us fund the podcast 07:45 Peng Shuai makes a brave allegation, disappears from public view. What can (and should) tennis orgs do? 17:25 Novak shakes off his US Open vanquisher and secures year #7 as the best 21:30 BJK Cup: the perpetually aggrieved is re-aggrieved 29:50 WTA Finals - lay off the fashions, eh? 36:15 Our dream final spoiled in Stockholm 39:35 NextGen Finals - innovation for innovation's sake does actually work sometimes 52:40 We asked: What's one player tic or habit that annoys you (irrationally)? Boy, did you deliver 61:35 Taste test / ASMR session -- trying a holiday specialty from New Brunswick!