Sep 26, 2022

It Doesn’t Even Matter

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!)

Sep 12, 2022

Barely Bleating: US Open Wrap

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 

Sep 5, 2022

Very Good, Serena Williams: US Open Week One

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

Aug 26, 2022

Looks Like We Made It: US Open Preview

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 

Aug 22, 2022

No Qualifier Needed

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

Aug 16, 2022

In The 6ix

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

Aug 5, 2022

Summer Renaissance: Hardcourt Preview

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

Jul 25, 2022

In Our (Mail) Bag

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?

Jul 11, 2022

The S#&% Show Must Go On: Wimbledon Wrap

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”

Jul 2, 2022

In Perfect DisHarmony: Wimbledon Week One

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

Jun 25, 2022

You Just Gotta Be Ready: Wimbledon Preview

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

Jun 20, 2022

Ted Tinling: Tennis’ Needle and Thread

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

Jun 6, 2022

Je Ne Comprends Pas

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 

May 30, 2022

If Is a Dangerous Word

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

May 21, 2022

Thoughts and Prayers: Roland Garros Preview

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

May 9, 2022

Out Here Ons Her Own

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!

May 1, 2022

I Don’t Know (and Other Insights)

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

Apr 25, 2022

Making The Ban

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

Apr 6, 2022

Doing The Most

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 

Mar 26, 2022

Bye Bye Barty

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

Mar 22, 2022

Indian Wells (Taylor’s Version)

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?

Mar 9, 2022

FFS, When Will It End?

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

Feb 27, 2022

Take Flight

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? 

Feb 14, 2022

My Funny Mail-entine: TBS Mailbag Part II

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

Feb 10, 2022

Winter Break: TBS Mailbag Part I

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

Jan 30, 2022

Dare To Dream

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

Jan 23, 2022

So Siuuu Me

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?

Jan 14, 2022

The Leaning Tower of Visa: Aus Open Preview

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?

Jan 10, 2022

Playing In Our Faces

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

Jan 7, 2022

Party Like It’s 1999

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

Dec 11, 2021

Dire Strai(gh)ts: ATP Wrap

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

Dec 3, 2021

Holy Spirit Activate: WTA Wrap

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

Nov 21, 2021

We’ll See

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

Nov 15, 2021

A Sensible Flat

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!

Nov 3, 2021

Forgive Me Jannik For I Have Sinned

We are well and truly in the final stretch of the 2021 season, rounding third and heading for home. The field for the WTA Finals in Guadalajara is set after Anett Kontaveit blitzed through Moscow and Transylvania. We chat extensively about Frances Tiafoe's great run in Vienna, but must wade into unholy waters filled with Jannik Sinner salt. Later, we've got updates but not really on the vaccine saga for the Australian Open, before finishing with a few detours into our own personal interests.

 

0:55 Anett Kontaveit decides not to lose anymore, snags final qualifying spot for WTA Finals

07:30 Frances Tiafoe’s fantastic run to the Vienna final

10:00 Jannik says the show must NOT go on

24:20 Tiafoe has the x-factor and that's that on that

33:15 Andy keeps on truckin, Emma gets a few wins and more fans in Romania

37:10 It's all governmental infighting and leaked memos in Australia! And Benoit Paire says he doesn't care who misses out, it's Benoit Time 

44:55 Where is Sofia Kenin?

51:15 Updates: Jared Donaldson; will Martina be on Real Housewives of Miami?! 

56:35 Niche cricket and baseball content for the brave and curious

Oct 21, 2021

The Straight Talk Express

October’s Very Own Indian Wells has concluded and we’ve got a surprising men’s winner in Cam Norrie and a surprising-but-not-really-surprising women’s champ in Paula Badosa. We take a ride on Reilly and Novak’s Straight Talk Express, where truth (or some version of it) reigns. Some quick thoughts on the current role of the press, one holdover question from our mailbag, thoughts on TT’s annual Hall of Fame nominations news cycle, and finally, the brief return of our Dramatic Reading segment. 

 

2:25 Indian Wells a kingmaker / queenmaker? Let’s look at the receipts

6:20 The men’s side finally gets a taste of WTA-style unpredictability

13:30 Vika tries for IW #3, but Badosa takes the next step in her rapidly blossoming career

27:00 More Aussie vaccine news and what it means for Novak. An “inappropriate inquiry?” Be that as it may ...  

35:20 Reilly Opelka has opinions. Not sure if you heard 

42:20 British journalists pen an open letter on ending the “Zoom era” of pressers -- so what should the player-press relationship look like post-pandemic?

51:40 Mailbag question about player scheduling and the decisions that go into it

57:55 Dramatic Reading: Serena Williams on her bestie-frenemy 

61:45 Tennis Hall of Fame nominees: reliably making tennis fans mad year after year

Oct 6, 2021

Taking Steps

Indian Wells is underway, in autumn, after a two-and-a-half-year hiatus, but the big story this week is the ATP’s revelation that they’ve begun an investigation into the abuse allegations against Alexander Zverev. It’s a year or so too late, but it’s a big step nonetheless. That’s the theme of this episode -- steps, mostly in the right direction, as small and plodding as they might be. We also talk about some recent results, persistent vaccine hesitancy among tennis players, the WTA’s race to its new Finals site in Guadalajara, and the ATP’s survey of players on their attitudes toward LGBTQ issues. 

 

1:30 Cute results: Muguruza wins Chicago; both she and Jabeur get closer to the WTA Finals

9:25 Kim Clijsters’ comeback continues

13:10 Ruud works on his hardcourt bona fides; Sinner wins title #4 in his young career

19:30 Previewing Indian Wells: where have all the top boys gone

26:50 The ATP announces that it has begun an investigation into the Olya Sharypova accusations -- why was Laver Cup not mentioned in the press release? Oh, and that injunction doesn’t mean what AZ thinks it means 

37:00 Mary Carillo’s decision to quit her Laver Cup broadcasting gig -- why we need prominent people to take a stand

44:30 Aryna Sabalenka - positive for COVID, out of Indian Wells

47:10 Will the Australian Open be off-limits for the unvaccinated?

58:30 Remember that gay survey players mentioned at the US Open? Well, it happened!

Sep 22, 2021

TBS Mailbag: We Were JUST Talking About You

This week we outsourced the agenda-building to you, our listeners, and you provided a set of fascinating and tough questions. Come take a break from the weekly grind of current tennis events. We’ve got a modest proposal for how to choose new tennis TV commentators, plus we talk about areas of the game we might consider changing and why the age eligibility rule is important. By popular demand, we open with the momentous Williams-Sharapova reunion at the Met Gala and the photos that broke the tennis internet for a day or two.   

 

01:35 Vee, Ree, and Masha at the Met Gala: WHAT?!

08:05 Laver Cup’s blocking spree as social media strategy

13:20 Is the game missing something without challenges? Did automated line calling sap some drama from matches? 

20:30 Between Serena and Novak, whose legacy is most affected by missing out on the Grand Slam?

26:50 A question on the teen breakthroughs at the US Open and the WTA’s age eligibility rule

34:15 A memorable FMK - Met Gala Baes

44:10 You all had a lot of thoughts and questions about tennis commentators, as usual!

62:55 A perennial question: where are all the gays in men’s tennis? Do they just not exist?

69:10 A question that threatened the peace in our household: the Whitney-Mariah duet

75:00 Happy 24th anniversary to an album that sounds even better with age: Butterfly

Sep 12, 2021

Hatched and Snatched: US Open Wrap

Will history see this US Open as a watershed moment? On the women's side, is this just the most extreme example of a years-long trend of youngsters managing the moment and storming to victory? On the men's side, many felt Novak Djokovic was inevitably marching to a Calendar Year Grand Slam. But, whether it was due to fatigue from his long matches, the unfathomable weight of the moment, or Daniil Medvedev's mental and physical fortitude, the Grand Slam remains unfulfilled since 1988 (or 1969). Regardless of its place in history, this year's Open gave us storylines for the ages: the coronation of a longtime hardcourt menace and two young superstars to add to the WTA's already formidable roster.

 

02:15 Emma Raducanu & Leylah Fernandez stun the world 

09:10 Raducanu’s win -- while unprecedented due to ranking and number of matches won -- is actually the rule rather than the exception on the WTA these past few years. Are the kids just built differently these days?

28:35 It turns out it’s really, really hard to win the Grand Slam

33:45 Daniil Medvedev has been the solid #2 hard court player for a few years, and today he came with a game plan and incredible poise

49:00 Doubles: Stosur wins 8th Slam title; Krawczyk won ¾ of a Grand Slam this year; Salisbury doubles in men’s and mixed 

52:05 Other stories: Zverev story gets more mainstream media attention

58:00 Coaching during matches - it happens, so what should they do about it?

62:50 The Players Lounge: the Racquet magazine-produced roundtable on mental health

Sep 6, 2021

Oh Yeah, They‘re All Scammers

It was a first week for the US Open history books, full of entertaining matches and high-profile breakthroughs. Youngsters Fernandez, Raducanu, and Alcaraz notch huge wins, qualifier van de Zandschulp reaches the quarterfinals, and the undeniable stars Tiafoe & Auger-Aliassime face off in a blockbuster fourth round. BathroomGate threatened to overshadow the entire week, as fans and mainstream reporters became gamesmanship detectives and amateur clock-watchers. Oh yeah, and Djokovic is still on the hunt for the Grand Slam. 

 

0:35 Week one -- well, day one even -- exceeded all expectations

9:20 #HatchingandSnatching update: Fernandez, Alcaraz, Raducanu

17:40 Women’s fourth rounds - plus a tangent on the Krejcikova-Muguruza controversy

26:40 Men’s fourth rounds: the Tiafoe-Auger-Aliassime match was a blast

32:35 Zverev finally has to answer to the Sharypova abuse allegations, he deflects to BathroomGate, and the broadcasters comply

39:30 Accusations of scammery follow Tsitsipas all week, and to be honest they have merit; or, “you can be mad about two things at the same time”

54:05 US Open Pride Day sees various players wear rainbow gear and otherwise show support

58:05 Sloane Stephens was one of the best stories of the first week

Aug 26, 2021

Withdrawal Symptoms: US Open Preview

The year's final Grand Slam is upon us, and for the first time since the 90s, we won't see a Williams sister, Nadal, or Federer at the US Open. In two weeks, we'll know if Djokovic has completed the historic Calendar Year Grand Slam against a group of young challengers (Novak and the Seven Trees?). We also discuss the recent publication of part two of the Olya Sharypova story and why the ATP and tennis broadcasters will have a harder time ignoring it this time around. Plus: Barty surging in time for NY, Stef's laughably bad vaccine stance, and some lucky loser drama in Winston-Salem. 

 

1:15 Reflections on Cincinnati FOMO

7:00 Wrapping up the Canada results: Giorgi stuns the field and Medvedev beats Opelka

10:50 Cincinnati: Barty allows no doubt about who’s #1

21:30 Also happening last week: *that* Naomi presser, Yastremska gets called something mean, Lepchenko popped for a doping violation

33:00 Cincinnati men’s draw: the less said the better

38:20 The Tsitsipas Family’s wild and reckless vaccine takes

44:35 A lucky loser fracas at Winston-Salem 

47:15 Draw analysis: starting with the women. So … how about that third quarter?

70:55 Men’s draw: is there anyone here who will beat Novak in best-of-five?

85:10 Part two of Ben Rothenberg’s story on the Zverev allegations -- why he said/she said is a dog whistle and why tennis might finally be forced to reckon with this

98:30 Another historic week in women’s sprinting! From your faithful tennis / Jamaican track correspondents

Aug 15, 2021

Bot On A Hot Tin Roof

Tennis’ second pandemic summer gets us a bit closer to “normal,” but the absence of many of the biggest stars leaves room for other players to create compelling narratives. Danielle Collins runs off 12 matches in a row, Reilly Opelka transcends servebotism and outfoxes Tsitsipas in Toronto, and Karolina Pliskova resuscitates a career that many (us?) were calling over the hill. We also talk about some egregious stunts (ciao, Fabio & Mo), the WTA Race to [somewhere?], and the post-Big 3 landscape. 

 

0:35 Rafa and the glaring absence of the Old Guard this summer - what’s next? Does the Next Gen *have to* snatch the tour from the Big 3 or no?

9:10 Results in Cluj-Napoca & DC: Petkovic back in top 70, Sherif becomes first Egyptian woman in WTA final, Sinner & a few lesser known American men show out in DC

12:15 Danielle Collins wins a second title and more fans - why does Collins inspire such charged cultural conversations?

22:20 Montreal: Pliskova, Giorgi, Collins-Pegula, Jabeur

30:00 Reilly Opelka makes the case for himself

36:25 Pure stunts from the ATP’s king of stunts. Lasciami in pace, Fabio!

41:15 A brief retrospective on a Whitney & Mariah moment

45:15 Final thoughts on the blazingly fast women’s 200m and then we’ll leave you alone

Aug 1, 2021

Set Fire To Their Tears

Just to get it out of the way: we're not the biggest fans of Olympic tennis. Nevertheless, the Games brought up some interesting stories, old and new -- the fairy-tale endings that failed to happen for Novak and Naomi, the "mental health" conversation (or the seeing-athletes-as-human-beings conversation) that is changing sports discourse around the world, and the men's gold medal that wasn't. We've also got some thoughts on Naomi's Netflix docuseries, the extremely busy post-Wimbledon non-Olympics tennis calendar, and the blazingly fast women's 100m final.

 

 
2:15 Naomi lights the torch! There's a metaphor in there somewhere

7:10 Bencic is finally in "the talk," in her words

10:00 So, about the men's gold medalist and the allegations that are finally gaining traction outside of Tennis Twitter

17:45 Djokovic's Golden hopes end as a racquet is javelined into the stands

27:30 Final thoughts on Olympic tennis and 'prestige'

32:00 Simone Biles kicks off a conversation/uproar similar to Naomi -- the ground is shifting on how we talk about athletes, mental/physical health, and self-sacrifice

42:00 Post-Wimbledon events: Collins wins first title, Ruud vultures the entire summer clay season

47:05 Bertens & Bacsinszky bid farewell

50:00 Meet me at the altar in your Off White dress - GEMS Life is married!

54:10 Thoughts on Naomi's Netflix special

61:54 Our resident Jamaican track and field fan recaps the women's 100m race, which lived up to very high expectations 

Jul 12, 2021

Hateration, Holleration In This Wimblery

The first Wimbledon since 2019 ends with Ash Barty and Novak Djokovic leaving London victorious, both clear #1s at very different stages of their careers. Pliskova should be mighty proud of her tournament, and Berrettini reaches a new height in a very promising career. So how long will Djokovic dominate? What will the next generation have to say about it? All that plus doubles, PTPA stuff, Olympics conjecture, and how the ATP can hold onto those eyeballs Berrettini brought in. 

 

1:25 Introducing our newest line of merch, the Bandwidth Collection

3:00 Ash Barty wins Wimbledon 50 years after her mentor, Evonne Goolagong; cements no. 1 status whether you like it or not

11:50 A great semifinal lineup: former winner Kerber, perennial top 10-er (until recently) Pliskova, and Sabalenka's big breakthrough

16:20 Djokovic has 3/4 of the Calendar Year Slam, Berrettini acquits himself well in final

28:10 Berrettini and Hurkacz bring new eyes to the sport, but the youngsters still have work to do

34:05 Doubles: Mektic/Pavic are back from Covid; Krawcyzk gets the Channel Slam; Hsieh/Mertens save match points to win

38:15 Et ceteras: Roger, Felix, Raducanu, PTPA update

47:00 So who exactly is going to the Olympics?

55:05 We finally get the trailer for Naomi Osaka's Netflix documentary

Jul 4, 2021

Slippy Cup

It was a wet, wild, and slipp(er)y first week at Wimbledon, which felled a 7-time champion within minutes and saw some electrifying home country heroes show out for their local fans. The faves in the men's draw have sauntered into week two, while a few top clay performers have continued their good form on the women's side. Special shout-outs to Ons Jabeur's stannable barfing moment, the more-fun-than-is-reasonable Venus Williams-Nick Kyrgios mixed doubles pairing, and great stuff from Shapo, Gauff, Samsonova, and more. 

 

1:20 Upsets of Petra, Kenin, Andreescu, Tsitsipas (hey Frances!) -- were they *surprises* or just upsets?

9:10 Surprises: who is quietly sliding into the second week? Garin, Ivashka, Hurkacz, Khachanov

13:40 The women's round of 16 matches and how we got there; Jabeur vs Swiatek is the one we're looking forward to

25:00 Men's round of 16: the three faves -- Djokovic, Fed, and Berrettini -- are still here

33:35 So about the grass ... Mannarino and Serena slip on Centre Court and pull out within an hour of each other. How many slips are too many?

42:55 Andy Murray's electrifying Centre Court matches - it's great theatre 

47:15 The critique of Coco Gauff's court assignments 

52:40 Favorite moment of week one: Venus-Nick mixed doubles, it was great while it lasted

58:55 Ostapenko's very eventful second and third rounds

66:35 Et ceteras: good on Fowler & Gilbert for talking honestly about Zverev & Basilashvili; Alexandra, what are you doing?

74:45 Thanks to everyone who bought Body Serve merch!

Jun 25, 2021

It’s A Bop, It’s A Jam, It’s A Banger

Before we get to the Wimbledon preview, we're proud to debut our first line of Body Serve merch: t-shirts, magnets, stickers, mugs, hoodies and more, all adorned with Tom Humberstone's exclusive Body Serve artwork. Back to tennis -- Wimbledon is upon us, as we move back to the traditional two-week gap between Roland Garros and the grass major. We'll walk you through the draws and the grass results, highlighting top recent performances from Jabeur, Berrettini, and Kerber, plus Sonego's musical and athletic prowess. And to wrap, a few queer et ceteras for #PrideMonth. 

 

0:35 Introducing The Body Serve's online store

5:30 Grass results from this week: resurgent Ostapenko, Kerber, Giorgi, and Querrey; plus Dasha, Petra, and Daniil

18:20 Halle, Birmingham, Queen's, Berlin -- Jabeur wins first title, is the first Arab woman to do a lot of things in tennis

26:55 Men's draw: it's Novak and then a big drop-off -- who else is a contender?

41:00 Women's draw - a lot more early-round intrigue, lots of question marks in the first quarter

46:50 Women's third quarter presents a huge opportunity for somebody

51:20 Yastremska's sexcuse worked! The suspension is over

54:30 PTPA has resurfaced with an executive director, new branding, and an advisory board

65:20 #Pride et ceteras: Carl Nassib; Love, Victor; women's 100m; and a story!

Jun 14, 2021

Are Your Clay Sensations Nourished?

Are your clay sensations nourished? Ours certainly are NOT, but we hope to summon the requisite energies to bring you this French Open recap. Barbora Krejčíková and Novak Djokovic are your 2021 Roland Garros singles champions, both surprise winners in their own rights, but also two champions that make varying degrees of sense. Krejčíková became the fourth active WTA player to win Slams in all three disciplines (Venus, Serena, and Stosur), while Djokovic captured his 19th Slam title, a stone’s throw from Nadal and Federer’s record of 20.

 

01:20 Krejčíková beats Pavlyuchenkova for her first Slam singles title

05:45 Questionable (line) decisions, sportsmanship, and giving the benefit of the doubt

15:00 How did we get to this women’s final? 

21:15 Rafole, hyperbole, and the context of that semifinal

33:35 Novak’s gonna Novak, and that Novak is on a higher plain

42:30 The grass season started *during* Roland Garros this year 

44:30 Is coaching allowed during matches? If you’re a commentator who is also related to the player, yes

49:15 Taylor Townsend writes an illuminating piece for The Players’ Tribune

Jun 7, 2021

Right In Front Of My Salad?

Has the 2021 French Open felt a bit . . . strange? Clouded? Cursed, even? (Yes) But aside from the weirdness floating above the tennis, we've actually got a fascinating lineup of quarterfinals in both the men's and women's draws. The men have more familiar faces, but the women's side sees the success of a bunch of great performers during this clay season, including several first-time Slam quarterfinalists and the defending champion. In the interest of efficiency, in this episode we wrap week one, talk about the prevalence of betting culture on Tennis Channel, the virtue of a good apology, and how The Good Place and Roland Garros intersected in a most humorous way. 

 

03:15 Quarters are set on both draws: how did we get here?

06:10 Men's draw: a historic Slam for Italian men, Medvedev king of trolls, plus the usual suspects

13:55 Federer's withdrawal and Musetti's retirement -- honest to a fault

25:30 Women's draw: huge upsets; great stuff from Pavlyuchenkova, Gauff, Zidansek, Sakkari, and more

39:10 Et ceteras - betting is even more entrenched at Tennis Channel, Sizikova arrested for match fixing ... any irony there or nah

46:05 Rune proves that the cover-up -- err, non-apology -- is often worse than the crime. All this during Pride Month?!

54:20 Danielle Collins' great narrative arc and Jameela's valued tennis opinions

Jun 2, 2021

Does This Apply To Me?

Since our last episode, the conversation around Naomi Osaka's withdrawal from press conferences grew so loud that it led to an actual withdrawal: her decision to pull out of Roland Garros completely to preserve her mental well being. The past few days have presented so many important questions -- especially around mental health, mental strength and the "bootstraps" mentality, race, gender, and the role of the press in tennis -- that we felt it warranted another stand-alone episode. Let's leave the mess in WhatsApp and instead have a real conversation about what we can do better and why tennis' first reaction was punitive rather than empathetic.

 

0:30 Catching up on the events of the past few days: a media frenzy that culminated in Naomi's withdrawal from Roland Garros

12:05 Naomi's statement and the French Federation's response - how did we get here, and how can we do better?

17:30 "Press conferences are part of the job description" - well, since you mentioned tennis being a workplace ...

24:30 Should the Player's Councils and the PTPA be vocal about this?

28:45 Many reporters took Naomi's initial statement as a personal or professional attack -- where is the reflexivity?

38:40 The demand for a disclosure from Naomi - the act of "confession"

42:30 What has this situation taught us about how society and sport view mental health awareness?

50:30 The unavoidable question of race and gender, and how Black athletes are expected to entertain without complaint

May 28, 2021

Pressed: Roland Garros Preview

Naomi Osaka is a paradigm shifter, regardless of whether you agree with her decisions. We spend a good chunk of our Roland Garros preview thinking through Naomi's decision to skip press and how it affords the sport an opportunity to rethink how it conducts journalism and creates news. Why did it inflame such impassioned responses? What does the press conference accomplish? What are the alternatives? Amidst all this, we have the year's second Grand Slam to preview, which will happen among the most "normal" conditions we've seen since the pandemic began. Rafa, Ash, and Iga are faves, but they're not the only ones with a fighting chance.

 

0:45 Naomi Osaka's bombshell: she won't be doing press conferences at Roland Garros

8:30 "It's part of the job" - but why? Is this an opportunity to rethink how tennis does journalism?

20:25 What we don't want to see: personal axe-grinding against "the press" in general

35:10 Some ideas on how to rethink tennis journalism

39:50 Roland Garros men's draw preview!

55:25 Women's draw: two clear favorites and a lot of great performers right behind them

64:15 Women's bottom half -- especially the fourth quarter -- is ripe for a dark horse breakthrough

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