Mar 27, 2020

For Once We Do Have The Bandwidth

As promised, we’re back with part two of TBS Rewind. In this iteration, we take a look at some of the more serious topics and themes we’ve covered over the years, and reflect on what we think of what we said For the most part, we’re pretty proud of the work we’ve done, but James gets something off his chest that doesn’t sit well with him. We finish up by telling y’all about a couple things that we really really like at the moment.


02:25 Our mission statement/theme for the podcast

06:43 Why Andy Murray’s feminism still matters

22:24 USO 2018: What does it take for people to see blackness at play?

34:24 Revisiting Kevin Anderson’s comments to us about gays in tennis

39:56 One of our all-time fav bits: Helen Jacobs’ love letter

48:21 James corrects his record on our Colleen segment from 3 years ago

59:16 Riffing on equal prize money in tennis

71:49 Fandom as a fetish

78:44 Ending on a moment of levity: Things We Like!

Mar 18, 2020

TBS Rewind: Just For Laughs

Things are rough right now: there is no tennis, and the world is in panic mode over the COVID-19 pandemic, so we thought we’d bring a bit of levity to the proceedings. We dived into The Body Serve archives to find some of the more light-hearted moments we’ve had over our five year run. Some of the segments may be familiar, while you might be hearing of others for the first time (#NameTheTennisPlayer). Either way, we hope to brighten your day a bit. Be safe and take care of yourselves.   


00:32 Tennis is a whole ass mess right now, Rolly G leading the way

12:02 Things that stick out to us as we go back and listen to old episodes

16:49 Stakhovsky’s bonermeter and wayward gaydar

27:20 Tennis Divas revisited: Diana Ross and Ariana Grande

36:40 A throwback dramatic reading by popular demand (Letter To Santa)

42:17 Thirst Trap Olympics: The devil works hard, but Stan Wawrinka works harder

53:10 #NameTheTennisPlayer is back! Five one-word clues, you guess the player

54:53 Bloopers (FINALLY): Spoiler, James cusses a lot 

Mar 11, 2020

Much Ado About Something

We come to you on the heels of the huge tennis news that the Indian Wells event “will not be held,” has been cancelled, postponed, whatever. We are well and truly in the dark about what the tennis schedule will look like in the coming months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In short, we have no answers. But, we’re back to get you up to date as to what has been happening. After talking about ALL THAT, we get into the tennis results last week, the heinous International Women’s Day ATP video spot, before finishing with another TBS Mailbag. 


01:58 The BNP Paribas event in Indian Wells has been cancelled

30:44 Results: Svitolina, Zvonareva, Leylah, Jack Sock and more

36:01 Do ATP players know any women other than their mothers? 

42:02 Are we still going to Miami if the tournament is still on? 

45:35 Taking a 'bathroom break' to compose oneself mentally after losing a set

49:05 The Body Serve goes country! Who do we like?

56:30 FMK 90s edition: Sampras, Agassi, Rafter

60:53 A pop culture diversion: our thoughts on handling the Sherry Pie RPDR mess

69:09 What the ATP can do to ensure its players treat WTA players as equals 

74:14 Are we hopeful we’ll see an active, openly gay ATP player in the near future?

Mar 1, 2020

It’s Sharapover: A Complicated Affair

Maria Sharapova became the richest woman in sport, a 5-time Slam champ, and one of the most polarizing figures in tennis. We have not always been Masha proponents, but it's important for us to contextualize her excellent career, her clever self-branding, and the many contradictions and mysteries at the heart of Maria Sharapova, superstar. We'd be remiss if we didn't interrogate the textured relationship between Maria and Serena, and the complex racial and sexual dynamics that colored and drove their money, images, and matches. After that, we chat about the Persian Gulf swing (is that a thing?): Rybakina's 21 wins, Djokovic's 21-match win streak and Monfils' heartache, Sabalenka's huge performance in Doha, and Ons Jabeur's ever increasing confidence. We end with some mess, as is our wont. 


:45 Maria Sharapova announces her retirement from tennis in an essay for Vogue & Vanity Fair - let's look at her vast influence and great career

10:15 It's complicated! Talking about the Great White Hope myth; the contradictions at the heart of Maria's sparkling image and her gritty, pugilistic game

18:15 Constructing a sex symbol out of an underage girl

25:25 Meldonium - how has it changed the way we talk about her career?

37:00 Results! Rybakina & Halep in Dubai, Garin in Rio, Felix in another final

41:30 Acapulco: Watson & 17-year-old Canadian Fernandez in final; Mexican Renata Zarazua stuns; Venus & Sloane do not

45:00 Doha (Sabalenka! Jabeur!) and Dubai (Djokovic at 21 straight wins!) 

52:50 HEALTH: Roger gets surgery, Andy clarifies his injury problems

56:30 MESS: Nick takes his road most travelled (the low one), Naomi claps back, Youzhny writes a sonnet

67:30 RIP Jeanne Evert Dubin (1957-2020)

Feb 22, 2020

A Body Serve Over Troubled Water

It's been a while since we last brought you a mailbag episode. They're fun to do, and we get to rely on our listeners to drive the conversation. Thanks to your thoughtful questions, we cover everything topics like the role of Tennis Twitter in the sport, things we'd change about the Slams, to opinions we've changed and our favorite Mariah songs. The questions mentioned below are only a sampling of the whole thing:

1:30 Which cities would you like to see host a tournament? (@ShaneBullen)

4:30 Why are tennis players politically silent compared to athletes in other sports? (@bloodbaymare); AND, how do we reckon with the "platitudinous non-voice voices" of the Big 3 with regard to the Margaret Court controversy (@perspicaciousam)

17:25 What thing, person, incident have we changed our opinions on? (@AnnaClxxmxnn and @DamianTerbiler)

27:30 Tennis journalists we like, plus a tangent

32:40 FMK: Drama Kings (@SholzTalks10s)

35:28 An anonymously submitted question for Jonathan

37:15 What do we expect from Clijsters' return? (@fabianigiraneza)

46:35 What behind-the-scenes stuff in tennis would people be surprised by? (@AfrikaMsanifu)

55:00 How important is Tennis Twitter to the success of the sport? (@theswingvolley)

65:50 An extended meditation on our favorite Mariah songs; and picking just ONE from MC, Whitney, and Aretha (@hextreat)

Feb 17, 2020

Where’s the Beef?

February is always a frantic time on the tennis calendar. We've just gotten back from a quick vacation in Mexico, and are readjusting to the Toronto winter and the podcast grind. This episode has recaps of Fed Cup and two weeks of tournaments; a segment on the recent anti-doping developments with Farah and Spears; the WTA's new permissive policy toward coaching, and many more odds and ends.

3:00 Fed Cup qualifiers: USA d. Latvia amid concerning play from Serena, Swiss d. Canada, Russia d. Romania, and other notables

10:15 A quick note on the Clijsters comeback

14:50 Catching up on results: Monfils wins Montpellier and Rotterdam back-to-back, Felix reaches 4th ATP final, Pospisil's great runs, Bertens d. Rybakina to win St Petersburg

23:30 New York Open, that was a thing that happened

27:45 WTA implements coaching from the stands

33:00 Las drogas, la carne, las vitaminas malditas; and, the economic context that makes lower-ranked tennis players vulnerable to bettors and PEDs

44:00 Harrison and Sock, and the Benjamin of wild cards between them

48:30 Larry Ellison, owner of Indian Wells, to host a Trump fundraiser! Ok! 

50:25 Naomi Osaka announces Netflix documentary about her life

Feb 3, 2020

She’s Got Spunk

The 2020 Australian Open has mercifully come to a close and we’re back to complete our coverage of the decade’s first Grand Slam tournament. Your winners: Novak Djokovic, for an 8th time in Melbourne; and Sonya Kenin, who shocked the tennis world for her first Slam, beating #1 Barty and the resurgent Muguruza for the title. We’ve also got old-timers taking on Tennis Australia’s dithering on Margaret Court, while Novak and Roger played from the crease and were trapped in front lbw. What else? The Big 3 would like to speak to your manager, the Muguruza and Zverev comeback stories, and what men’s tennis might look like over the next few months.


02:18 Djokovic conquers an ever improving Thiem to win his 8th AO

10:44 The ATP through March, Zverev’s turnaround & other week 2 results

18:53 The Big 3 would like to speak to the manager....of the umpires

32:55 James is feeling a bit hamstrung by a tenet of our show

40:08 Sonya Kenin has got spunk!

54:07 Ash Barty, and her niece, cause all that conversation 

60:26 Thomas Muster and Sam Sumyk have incredibly bad, forgettable fortnights

65:27 Martina and McEnroe protest Margaret Court, Novak and Roger remain feckless

74:47 Makarova retires, Delpo has knee surgery (again), and HoF inductees

Jan 26, 2020

I Am Not A Tennis Expert

The first week of this Australian Open has been something. Serena and Naomi lost on the same night Caroline Wozniacki retired from the sport, Milos Raonic is blasting his way through the men's draw, Rublev extends his win streak, and Novak Djokovic's dominance here shows no signs of slowing. We also take a few moments to ponder a certain 8th-seeded Italian, who allowed Sandgren to flourish. But mostly, we're looking at the many -- often delightful -- surprises of the first week. It's been a ride.

01:20 Camila Giorgi, minimalist tennis philosopher
3:20 Coco Gauff's run
12:15 Team Canada disappoints, except for Milos Raonic & Gaby Dabrowski
17:00 Honoring Caroline Wozniacki's great career: 71 weeks at #1, a heroic Australian Open title, a fighting spirit, and a juris doctor
25:30 Serena Williams loses to Wang Qiang
38:10 M----- B----tt--i enters tennis prison for allowing Tennys to prosper
42:55 Other surprises: Pliskova's Grand Slam problems;  Federer snatches victory from Millman; Raonic, Muguruza, Kontaveit, Fucsovics, Ernie
55:25 Zverev slides through the first week by figuring out his serve issues
57:15 Previewing the men's and women's second week
64:20 Swiatek: the pronunciation politics
67:30 What is happening in the press room? Fidanzata & fake feuds
71:15 Dramatic Reading: Serena explains her post-US Open schedule in the past 5 years

Jan 18, 2020

A Bespoke Approach to Natural Phenomena

The Body Serve is back with our 6th annual (!) Australian Open preview. We break down the soon-to-be-broken draws, key first round match-ups, the dozens of floaters in the women's bracket, and whether the Big 3 stranglehold shows any signs of ending (it doesn't). We also cover the Australian Open's reliably unique approach to internationally accepted science, with their roll-out of a new air quality policy. 

2:30 The Australian Open draw ceremony ... err, Power Point presentation?

8:40 Breaking down the women's draw, starting with the Serena-Venus-Naomi-Dayana-Coco-etc quarter

21:55 Women's bottom half - a tough out for #2 Pliskova in a fascinating fourth quarter

31:00 A few probably wrong predictions

32:00 Men's draw: Nadal and Medvedev's paths; Kyrgios, Zverev, Ruby, Dominic, and so much speculation

39:20 Men's bottom half: Djokovic and Federer stuck with each other

46:55 James takes you through the Australian Open's new bespoke air quality policy, "inspired" by science

54:10 Et ceteras: union talks rear their head again, Sir Andy injury, GoFundMe update

Jan 15, 2020

ATP Sippy Cup

Thank you to everybody for listening to our Monica Seles episode! We’re back to officially launch Season SIX of The Body Serve. If you’ve donated to our GoFundMe, please listen to the segment at the top of the show to find out what we’ve done, what we’re planning to do, and the prizes that we’ll be distributing at the end of the campaign. We start the tennis proceedings with a recap of a dizzyingly strange and moody ATP Cup before segueing into Serena Williams’ reassuring week in Auckland. Other topics on the docket: a note on climate change as it relates to tennis, the failures (thus far) of the Australian Open in dealing with the poor air quality in Melbourne, the need for unions in tennis, and a few predictions/wishes for the 2020 season. 


01:45 An update on our GoFundMe 

09:35 ATP Sippy Cup: an exercise in largesse and insolence

20:18 You get all these men together and they act a fool and a mess

31:44 Pliskova repeats in Brisbane

35:51 Serena has herself a tournament in Auckland, wins title #73

41:24 What this win could mean for Serena in 2020

48:05 A note from us on climate change in tennis and our coverage

51:25 Australian Open puts players’ health at risk & the need for unions 

63:02 Jarry and Farrah catch a pair of cases 

68:25 Breakout/comeback candidates and our tennis wishlists for 2020

Jan 4, 2020

How Do We Talk About Monica Seles?

It's clear that from the moment Monica Seles arrived on the tennis stage as a precocious teenager, the tennis world didn't quite know what to do or say about her. She's been constructed as, at varying times: the grunting and giggling wunderkind, an enigmatic superstar, a tragic victim of violence, a worldwide symbol of resilience, and the tour's elder stateswoman. In this episode, we try to make sense of the creation of Monica Seles as a public figure, by combing through the journalism written about her and several books written by her. How did we arrive at the Monica we 'know' today? How do we make sense of her incomprehensible stabbing? Does tennis know how to reckon with this superstar and her place in history? What this isn't: it's not a comprehensive biography, not a litigation of who's The Greatest, nor is it a deep dive into the Seles-Graf rivalry and relationship. This is instead about trying to understand how sports media creates celebrity, how patterns are repeated through generations, and a reminder that your heroes are complicated.


:30 Why are we doing this episode?

6:45 The first stage of Monica discourse: prodigy and peculiarity (1988-90)

15:45 Grand Slam debut at 1989 Roland Garros 

20:45 Seles' run of firsts in 1989/1990 and the Bolletieri falling out

30:25 The second phase: dominance and drama (1991-93)

33:20 The '91 Wimbledon withdrawal and reappearance at Mahwah

46:30 Let's talk about the endless grunting conversation, which blew up at 1992 Wimbledon

57:00 The stabbing and the subsequent 27-month hiatus (1993-95)

75:20 Monica's return to the WTA Tour, entering another phase of Monica discourse: embraced and beloved (but often underestimated) champion (1995-present)

83:00 Assessing Monica's post-comeback career: full of contradictions and lots of greatness

Dec 3, 2019

OK, We Move to 2020, Cause That’s Bull$#!t

Y'all, we made it to the end of Season FIVE! First, we MUST thank you for all your generous contributions to the GoFundMe we launched last week. Truly, we are bowled over and so grateful. As for this finale, we're back to recap the year on the men's tour, replete with your responses to our questions we threw at you on Twitter. The season closes with James taking a quiz on the men's season, and be sure to let him know if you fared any better! Thanks again for all your support this season and over the years; we are here only because of y'all! 


02:36 Our general thoughts and a rundown of the titlists

12:56 Bautista Agut the Forrest Gumpian bookend to the season?

16:45 Thinking out loud about Nadal and Djokovic's seasons

20:30 Andy Murray's wild ride this year

25:23 Davis Cup. That's it. That's the timestamp

37:45 Y'alls most memorable moments

40:39 Thirst trappers of 2019

44:09 "Federer one good swing from the greatest moment of his career?"

48:06 Your most surprising & funny moments

53:39 Vote for the pettiest moment of the year

57:17 Comeback player and Player of the Year

59:07 Farewell to these men and goodBYE to Tipsarevic

62:44 James takes a quiz

Nov 24, 2019

WTA Wrap 2019: But Wow, What A Moment

Our penultimate episode of 2019 is exciting for 2 reasons: we get to wrap this hugely entertaining WTA season and launch our first ever crowdfunding campaign. We're asking our loyal listeners to consider throwing a few coins our way to help us expand on our already 5(!) seasons of podcasting. 
But back to tennis -- we daresay that top tier of the WTA is shaping up a bit more clearly this year. Between stone-cold killers like Andreescu, a consistent no. 1 in Barty, up-and-comers like Gauff and Anisimova, and multi-Slam winners in Halep and Osaka, the WTA is in a great place. With help from our listeners, we chat about the most surprising, funniest, feel-good, and favorite moments of the WTA season. After that, cap off your WTA season by taking our quiz alongside Jonathan (and tell us how you did).
0:30 Announcing our first ever crowdfunding campaign  - #GoFundTBS - here's why we're asking and how we'll invest in the podcast
6:00 Assessing the themes of the WTA season: parity but the hierarchies are becoming clearer
10:00 The winners of the WTA's 14 big titles - Barty & Andreescu with 3 each
21:10 Our listeners' favorite moments of the WTA season: Murrena, Townsend, Su-Wei everything, Bianca-Angelique Drama Queen-Gate, Strycova's Wimbledon, and more
31:30 You Did That: Coco Gauff 
34:00 Feel Good Moments: Bianca comforts Serena in Toronto, Barty's entire season, Kristie Ahn's US Open
39:15 Most surprising moments: Konta's clay run, Barty/Halep/Andreescu's Slam wins, Serena-Pliskova at AO, Clijsters' comeback announcement
48:10 Funniest Moments: "If it's not one scam" ... you know the rest
55:00 Keeping ourselves honest - how did we do on our January predictions for the year-end top 10 and breakout players?
60:30 Checking in on the #HatchingandSnatching crowd
62:20 Comebacks, retirements, breakups, makeups
65:30 WTA Year-end Quiz - She said WHAT?

Nov 20, 2019

Back On That Bull$#!t

After this episode, we've only got two more to go before we wrap season FIVE of The Body Serve. We try and keep things on topic, but the TBS train gets a bit derailed on occasion in this one. First, we recap the ATP Finals, Tsitsipas' superb title run, and the ramifications from the week's play in London. We then segue into retirements, comebacks, and yet ANOTHER dramatic reading.


01:48 Stefanos soars to London ATP Finals title

17:29 Nadal finishes YE #1 for a 5th time

20:30 Bellis is back, so is Colleen, and Sinner wins again

22:58 An update on the India/Pakistan Davis Cup tie

26:40 Retirement wave begins: Cibulkova, Berdych & Blah Brothers

35:33 Kiki & Dominic call it quits

38:36 Dramatic reading: That's Bullshit!

42:18 An NFL diversion on the latest Kaepernick developments

58:37 James talks his basketball husband & Lizzo  

Nov 12, 2019

Letter To Santa

The ATP has a new fella on the rise after Jannik Sinner's bold win in Milan. Team France overcame Ash Barty and Australia in a thrilling Fed Cup final to put a bow on the WTA season. We wade into the latest Margaret Court shitstorm before delivering our latest book reports on John Millman and Ons Jabeur. Also, many many thanks to Sara Errani for providing the material for our latest dramatic reading!


02:20 Sinner blazes through Milan Next Gen field

07:20 A bit of background on Jannik Sinner

10:02 What to make of all this innovation?

15:48 Fed Cup delivers stellar WTA finale

26:24 A follow-up on last week's WTA prize money segment

29:05 Abigail Spears caught up in doping scandal

32:49 Brace yourselves for Hurricane Margaret's shitstorm

40:13 An update on the India/Pakistan Davis Cup tie

42:34 Book Report: Ons Jabeur & John Millman

53:02 An hors d'oeuvre before our dramatic entrée

56:51 Dramatic Reading: Go tell it to Santa

Nov 4, 2019

She Don’t Bat Now, She Make Money Moves

Ash Barty finesses the year-end number one ranking with a tidy and patient display in Shenzhen, with it snatching the largest ever payout in tennis history. Djokovic edges closer to both the year-end number one and the Masters 1000 record with a fifth victory in Paris. Plus, we chat about Shapovalov, Svitolina, and the surface problems that caused a slew of retirements in Shenzhen. Oh, and we've got a dramatic reading for you, too!


04:20 Djokovic dominates in Paris, closes in on year-end #1

14:42 Barty caps breakout year, makes money moves in Shenzhen

18:05 How Ash did it, and why people like/don't like her

23:09 The professionalism of Elina Svitolina

28:43 What's the deal with these retirements and slow ass courts?

33:45 WTA Legacy Fund & taking care of the Tour's elders

39:31 Evolution of WTA Prize Money: It takes more than $4.42 million

44:13 Mariana Alves retires after game-changing start to her umpiring career

46:36 Dramatic reading: Setting the record straight about Chicago's Kamau Murray  

Oct 29, 2019

Say It To My Face

Wow, what a moment: Episode 175. The 2019 season (our fifth doing The Body Serve) is coming to a close, and we're back to recap the last two weeks of play. The list of winners is all sorts of impressive: Roger Federer, Aryna Sabalenka, Dominic Thiem, Andy Murray, Andrey Rublev, and Jelena Ostapenko. We give these folks their due before laughing at Nick Kyrgios' absurd tough guy act, coaching changes, ATP leadership appointments, and the ongoing tournaments in Paris and Shenzhen. We close the episode with things we like and dislike, before teasing something exciting? on the horizon for us.


03:28 Catching up on the tennis results, Zhuhai first

07:23 Hats off to Federer on a 10th Basel crown & 103rd singles title

14:34 Dominic Thiem (home)coming of age in Vienna

18:38 Other winners: Andy Murray, Shapovalov, and Ruby

25:06 Wow, what a pairing: Ostapenko & Bartoli arrive

28:30 Current tennis talk: Paris & Shenzhen

35:10 We're not doing this again: Kyrgios flailing in the wind

40:57 The ATP gets new leadership: Andrea Gaudenzi & Mark Knowles

44:18 Spicy B, Sascha splits with Kiki, and Next Genning

52:34 Things we like, things we disklike

62:03 Our hand dem long out ah beg fi tings

Oct 14, 2019

The Kids Are All Fight

It's been a minute since we've covered tennis week-to-week. We're making up for lost time by speeding through the Asian/European fall swing, highlighting the huge steps taken by the ATP's younger generation, Coco Gauff's first title, and Naomi Osaka's dominance in Asia. That's followed by a rapid-fire segment, in which we discuss everything from Kim Clijsters' shocking comeback announcement to the Pospisil-led player movement toward better prize money.

1:45 Coco Gauff, age 15, wins her first WTA title at Linz

5:00 Next Gen steps forward at Shanghai, Medvedev cements his status as the next big thing

9:10 Grumpy Gramps makes an appearance in Shanghai

17:10 Catching up with the rest of the fall swing results - Djokovic recovers from shoulder injury, Thiem bounces back to win Beijing, and Grouchy Andy is back!

27:30 Naomi Osaka wins Osaka & Beijing, beats Andreescu; is this the launch of a new rivalry? Does the WTA "need" it? 

39:15 Rapid-fire topics: the Clijsters & Golovin comebacks (?!); revisiting a bad take on Nadal's Hilfiger campaign; Gold badge umpire Moscarella suspended for a whole mess of things

55:30 Players, led by Vasek Pospisil, demand bigger piece of the pie from Grand Slams

64:45 Race to Shenzhen; Shout-outs to all-time greats Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Simone Biles!

Oct 1, 2019

Toward A Better Understanding Of Pre-Open Era Tennis

TBS Special: In the vein of our Pride episode from last year, we've gone and done a bit of research into the history of tennis and are coming to you with our findings on what tennis was like before and leading into the Open Era.


04:28 What was amateurism and why did it exist?

18:36 So, what did tennis look like in the first 90 years or so?

21:48 What happened when a player turned professional in the pre-Open Era?

29:34 Jack Kramer, professional kingpin & thorn in side of amateur tennis

34:48 The relative quality of amateur vs pro tennis

43:43 The rumblings of professionalization/Open Tennis

51:59 What about the women, you might be asking?

57:50 Margaret Court's record gets a bad rap? It's complicated

64:40 Richard Pancho Gonzalez and his undervalued place in history

71:37 A trio that stood out to us and a story about BJK

Partial Reading List:

“Open the Door, Stockholm!” - Martin Kane, Sports Illustrated, July 10, 1961

"Goodbye Billie Jean, With Love From Nancy" - Kim Chapin, Sports Illustrated, April 8, 1968

“Open Season For a Test of Time” - Kim Chapin, Sports Illustrated, August 26, 1968

“The Lone Wolf” - S.L. Price, Sports Illustrated, June 24, 2002

“For Love or For Money: A History of Amateurism in the Olympic Games” - L.A. Jennings, Vice, June 7, 2016

The Right Set: A Tennis Anthology, Caryl Phillips.

Sep 10, 2019

Racing With Destiny

Bianca Andreescu busted out in a big way at the U.S. Open, beating Serena Williams in straight sets to win her first Slam title. For Serena, it was a 4th finals loss since coming back from having baby Olympia. And for Rafael Nadal, it was an emotional 19th career Slam title, leaving him just one behind Roger Federer for the all-time lead. All this is to say, Championship weekend at the U.S. Open was A LOT! Join us as we recap the action and fill you in on some of the etceteras from week two of 2019's final Grand Slam action.


01:28 Just a bunch of tangential gibberish about the women's final

06:25 The women who were complicit in Bianca's rise

24:21 James makes a case for the similarities between Bianca & Daniil

33:54 Is Nadal playing better than ever or differently than ever?

38:55 Berrettini & Dimitrov get their due

48:41 Crowd control, trashy crowd behaviour, and umpiring discretion

55:11 James gets a better understanding of the Serena/Patrick relationship

58:35 Doubles results and a dramatic reading!

67:57 Jonathan gets DUPED by Naomi Osaka


Sep 2, 2019

D.A.R.E. to Dream

We come to you midway through the US Open after a first week stuffed with feel-good stories and breakout stars on the women's side, and lots of miserable, crabby men (with the exception of Gael Monfils). We chat extensively about Coco Gauff, the powerful people pushing to relax the age eligibility rule, and that complex and emotionally loaded post-match interview with Naomi. You can also hear about the 22nd meeting of Serena-Maria, the breakouts of Townsend and Ahn, that wild men's third quarter, and Medvedev fully embodying the villain archetype.

4:30 Some thoughts on the Serena-Maria match and why everyone is always mad

11:30 Alexis is everyone's petty spouse

14:00 "I don't know who that is"

20:30 Jonathan institutes the Hall of Shame, major disagreements follow

23:50 Two great American stories: Taylor Townsend and Kristie Ahn

30:00 Coco Gauff dominates headlines again, but Naomi Osaka shows why she is #1

35:45 Why is there a "debate" about waiving the age eligibility rule, when it's been shown to work?

42:40 The unprecedented, emotionally charged post-match interview with Coco and Naomi

49:30 Carla Suarez Navarro is the latest victim of the First Round Performance penalty

50:35 Men's draw stuff: Grigor, Shapo-Monfils, Nick says j'accuse

59:20 Daniil Medvedev becomes cartoon villain, actual villain

67:30 WTA Player Council shakeup, more info on Puig-Murray-Stephens triangle, quick women's draw assessment

Aug 24, 2019

Brace Yourselves

We're back to preview the US Open, the final major of the year. Can Naomi defend? Will last year's umpire drama dominate the fortnight? Did the summer tell us anything about who's a real contender on the men's side? Plus, we have a bit of fun with the Sachia Vickery tweetstorm and the clout-chasers who decided to stick their noses in (only for them to be chopped off). Finally, check out our essential R&B Spotify playlist!

:30 Buckle up, it's gonna be a bumpy 2 weeks

5:05 Women's draw: Naomi Osaka attempts to defend her first major title

10:15 Women's bottom half: Serena-Maria to play at US Open for the first time

22:10 Men's draw: Djokovic and Federer on the same side

28:15 Men's third quarter is the most exciting quarter of both draws 

36:45 Kamau Murray leaves Monica Puig on the eve of US Open, reunited with Sloane Stephens

41:20 #SeeWhatHadHappenedWas: Sachia Vickery is wondering why would you try her, why would you bother

48:55 The Body Serve's first Spotify playlist

Aug 20, 2019

From Cincy To Cow Corner

We're back safe and sound in Toronto after covering the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. On episode 169, we put a bow on the event chatting everything from the quarter-finals onward, culminating in Madison Keys and Daniil Medvedev as your champions. On deck: the actual matches, stray observations around the grounds, thanking listeners we met along the way, and finally...DRAMATIC READINGS, back by popular demand.  


02:40 Madison Keys wows to win the biggest title of her career

09:26 What more to say about Sveta & QF matches

17:10 Medvedev vs Goffin making us look like fools

19:25 Getting to the bottom of the Cincy crowd & Nole

23:11 Can we stan Medvedev? Should we stan Medvedev?

27:38 Thoughts on players we saw for the first time

35:20 Stray observations around the grounds

40:14 Sloane dumps Sven? Stray observations, and shout outs

44:35 Cow Corner: DRAMATIC READINGS from Cincy

Aug 16, 2019

If It’s Not One Scam, It’s Another

We're pleased to bring you a chat with 2-time major champ Svetlana Kuznetsova, who was one of our first player interviews back in 2016. She chats with us about the problems with her visa, her beautiful dog Dolce, and her outlook on tennis as a 34-year-old veteran. Also on the docket: stories from Cincinnati, how the draws have shaken out, the surprising runs of Rublev and Kuznetsova, and more. 

:30 Happenings in Cincinnati - some big upsets but a great women's quarterfinal roster

8:00 Sloane goes in

11:10 Court 10 was lit: Sabalenka-Sakkari, Osaka-Hsieh

18:40 The men's draw kind of fell apart ... but there's still defending champ Djokovic, Medvedev, RBA

24:30 Some very quick thoughts on the latest Kyrgios time-waster

31:15 Kamau Murray talks about the Sloane split and how he started working with Monica Puig

37:30 Our interview with the resurgent Svetlana Kuznetsova, returning to our show after 3 years

Aug 12, 2019

Looks Like We Made It

This weekend we took the deeply boring journey from Toronto to Cincinnati. First, we recap what we saw on the ground at the Rogers Cup, what had happened in the finals, and what we expect to see at the Cincinnati Masters. Then, we've got exclusive audio from Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic regarding ATP politics. Federer and Nadal have recently been elected to the Player Council, while Djokovic remains its president during a particularly tempestuous year. 


2:20 Rogers Cup Toronto, as we saw it

6:40 Serena retires to Andreescu in horrible scene 

9:00 Bianca Andreescu's run to her hometown title coming back from injury ... damn, what would she be like at 100 percent?

14:20 Coupe Rogers in Montreal: Nadal def. Medvedev

20:00 Nick Kyrgios' magical week in Washington, DC

25:45 The state of the Williams sisters

31:00 To look forward to in Cincinnati: Andy Murray returns to singles! 

35:30 Roger Federer speaks to us about his return to the ATP Player Council

41:45 Novak Djokovic, Player Council president, answers a few of our questions about this wild year on Player Council

Jul 31, 2019

Hall of Fame Pettiness

We're back from the Wimbledon wilderness to tackle the results and major tennis stories of the past few weeks. On the docket for this episode: a doping suspension, Hall of Fame inductees, and Sveta's visa woes. We also debut a new segment, "Book Report," before bringing back last episode's smash, "Dramatic Reading," to finish the show.


00:50 We're heading back to Cincy & Love Island

05:15 Catching up on ALL the winners

11:11 Haddad Maia's doping scandal

17:38 Andy Murray, Kyrgipas, and Lendl leaves Zverev

22:43 Where in the world is Svetlana Sandiego?!

29:50 Williams social blitz & Franckie/Leylah beef

34:25 Comebacks & remembering Peter McNamara

37:36 HOF Inductees: Li Na, Mary Pierce, and Kafelnikov

43:05 Book Reports: Prajnesh Gunneswaran & Jil Teichmann

49:15 Dramatic Reading: the pettiest of letters

Jul 15, 2019

The Chill Is Gone

Novak Djokovic is your repeat, and now five-time champion at Wimbledon. He was joined by Simona Halep at the Champion's Ball, after the Romanian swept aside Serena Williams in the women's final. We sort through both finals, and the notable matches of Wimbledon's second week, before wading into some of the notable off-court happenings since our last episode. Chief among these: the Konta press conference and Serena addressing the 2018 U.S. Open.


01:00 The much talked about Djokovic-Federer final

16:20 How we got to the men's final

19:40 What in the HELL happened to the younger guys?

23:12 How Simona did THAT

26:54 Where it went wrong for Serena

34:43 The Simona-Tiriac-Nastase nexus as strong & troubling as ever

41:46 How we got to the women's final

45:38 Don't patronize me: the Jo Konta press conference

52:00 Doubles results, Tomic docked, and Muguruza dumps Sumyk

60:01 Serena writes about U.S. Open final, we discuss

Jul 8, 2019

Nowhere To Hide

Week one of Wimbledon is in the books and we're back to recap the carnage, the drama, and the surprises. Without question, Coco Gauff was the biggest story through the first three rounds; her win over Venus Williams was part of an onslaught of suffering for some of the biggest names. We talk her magical run, the Nadal-Kyrgios match, the latest ATP Council drama, before taking a look at the remaining 32 players in the men's and women's draws.


02:05 Seeds and such: oh, the carnage

08:34 Segueing into Coco Gauff's dream run

22:42 Nadal-Kyrgios delivered on the court

30:12 Parmentier dances on Maria's grave & Fabio's latest

36:31 Stan's doing the MOST. Why?

37:46 Novak, Gimelstob, and more ATP Council DRAMA

47:55 What we're not being told: reading between the lines

53:41 Andy and Serena headline Mixed Doubles

58:04 Serena caught up in manufactured drama

61:44 Perusing the remaining singles matches

Jun 29, 2019

On the Road to Wimbledon

It's a short turnaround and a holiday weekend in Canada, so we're bringing you our Wimbledon preview from the car, driving down I-90 in Upstate New York. We touch on a few of the off-court rumblings from the past few weeks, including the history-repeats-itself row over Wimbledon seeding, Coco Gauff's historic achievement, and Serena's Wheaties debut. We finish with an analysis of the men's and women's draws, armed with the knowledge that our predictions could be moot in a matter of days.

1:50 Let's get the seeding drama out of the way

6:30 Fed Cup gets the Davis Cup treatment - 12-team final in Budapest in April
9:15 Herbert pauses the Mahut bromance to play doubles with Sir Andrew Murray
12:05 Serena on the Wheaties box!
14:35 Coco Gauff becomes youngest Wimbledon qualifier in Open Era, gets Venus Williams in Round 1
19:30 What's on the agenda for ATP Players Council?
23:00 37-year-old Feliciano Lopez wins Queens Club singles and doubles, stays on court for roughly 95 hours over the weekend
26:00 Getting to the draws - who has a shot here?
34:30 Women's draw analysis: I know we've said this before, but the women's top quarter is absolutely, historically stacked
44:20 Men's draw analysis: Rafa and Roger land on same side, Anderson's grass performance does him a huge favor in the seedings

Jun 22, 2019

On That Gay Flex Again

As tennis transitions to grass, we're scrambling to catch up on the post-Roland Garros results, beefs, surprises, and clunky, poorly conceived solutions to ongoing problems. Barty is steps away from the no. 1 ranking, Berrettini eases onto the turf, Felix's rise continues unabated. Since it's Pride Month, we're giving a mini-reprise of last year's Pride episode: looking at the difference between genuine allyship and tokenism, how capital subsumes real LGBTQ issues, and what Taylor Swift has to do with it.

2:00 ATP retroactively counting Laver Cup matches in head-to-heads ... huh?
5:50 A thought experiment on alternative ranking systems
16:00 A propos of nothing, the US Open says they want to allow coaching during matches, delighting Patrick Mouratoglous everywhere
24:45 Grass results: Garcia wins, Vekic gets frustrated, Berrettini & Felix take to the grass 
31:30 More grass: Venus charms in Birmingham, Barty eases into the grass season, Sir Andrew Murray returns!
36:35 WTA finally acknowledges its LGBTQ fans
42:30 Marco Trungelliti blows the whistle on match fixing, gets trashed by fellw players
46:00 What Jonathan is mad about: Sania Mirza getting blamed for the Pakistani cricket team's loss
51:20 Discussion: how to feel about the proliferation of corporate Pride branding? What is for-profit queerness? Do we risk straight people co-opting and blunting the force of queer politics? You know, really laidback stuff like that.

Jun 11, 2019

A Duo Décimation in Paris

What happen-ed at Roland Garros: Rafa Nadal leaves Paris with a TWELFTH title and Ash Barty with her unexpected first. Dominic Thiem made further strides up the ATP mountain, but fell just short to a ruthless Nadal, again. The women's draw saw a stampede of dark horses make the second week, cementing the WTA as a tour ripe with would-be winners. All that plus wind, rain, scheduling mishaps, and Madison Keys hunting down a towel snatcher on this recap episode of the 2019 French Open.


01:59 Ash Barty surprises and delights in her maiden Slam singles run

16:45 The weather causes poor scheduling, yet again

21:39 Konta's resurgence, fatigue in defending the WTA, and defending Jo

32:43 The other decimation that happened in Paris: Nadal's duodécimo

46:41 Fed's ball launch: subjectivity falls in favour of some while it doesn't for others

49:23 In defence of Nole, despite his "I'd like to speak to your supervisor" disposition

53:51 Holding organizers responsible for their shit decisions rather than blaming players

61:49 Double take: Kiki's TIME at world #1 and Thiem's #1 supporter

69:40 Rankings watch: Naomi & Ash top the WTA & a pair of new ATP top 10 entrants

73:29 Madison rectifies, James judges Simona, and G.E.M.S. Life vanishes   

Jun 3, 2019

Circling the Wagons & Ballmarks

We've made it through the first week of the 2019 French Open, and as you might imagine, there is LOTS to talk about. Before the tournament even began, we were dealt a few high-profile withdrawals that affected the shape of the draws. We discuss those as well as the big upsets in the opening rounds. Nonetheless, both the men's and women's fields are nicely poised heading into Championship Weekend, with breakthrough runs mixed in with some of the usual suspects doing what they do best. As usual, some of the biggest news was made off the court; we cover the latest Serena Williams drama after her third round loss.


02:05 Kicking things off with some notable WTA performances

14:53 Let's talk about Sloane Stephens

21:00 Assessing Serena's three matches & where she's at

28:15 Virgil A-blah & our lukewarm reaction to Serena's kit

33:15 Unnecessary sets, and the top men progressing nicely

36:34 Zverev is still alive and kicking, and condescending

39:37 Tsitsipas' pedigree on full display, so too his gamesmanship

51:21 A not-so-good, pretty bad tournament for the Canadians

59:35 Fandom as a fetish: tennis twitter going off the rails

63:24 The Serena-Thiem affair: the misinformation campaign

78:54 Lucie Safarova, one of the good ones, hangs up her racquet

May 25, 2019

What Do We Say to the Gods of Clay? Roland Garros Preview 2019

Roland Garros starts with a cracking schedule on Sunday ... settle in for our draw analysis and wide-ranging conversation about the clay season, the democratization of the men's clay events, and some odds and ends. How will Naomi fare as a first-time no. 1 seed? Will Novak complete Novak Slam 2.0? Will we get another first-time women's Slam winner?  


3:00 A Redistribution of wealth in the clay season

6:15 Men's draw: Djokovic gets Thiem, Rafa gets Fed/Tsitsipas
12:00 The unpredictable men's 3rd quarter and Rafa's soft draw
20:30 What it means that Roger is back; and resisting "grace"
24:50 Women's draw: first time no. 1 Osaka gets a wild draw
30:20 What to make of Serena, troll extraordinaire
36:30 3rd quarter: Sloane the star, Venus/Elina, Muguruza, Bertens, Bencic
49:40 4th quarter: will dark horses Vondrousova or Mladenovic take out the consistent Pliskova?
53:35 Nick Kyrgios spends a week "managing expectations," then withdraws
55:30 Sir Andrew Murray expects to play doubles at Wimbledon
58:00 We asked y'all what you were looking forward to
1:05:50 Katie Boulter didn't do anything wrong, for the record ...
1:09:00 Bigging up #KinderGirlWorld Day, props to Madison Keys

May 20, 2019

(Sh)it Happen-ed In Rome

We're back from our big trip with a big (way too long) episode. It's not entirely our fault, there were two massive tournaments the past two weeks, and some major off court happenings to cover as well. We begin with a recap of Madrid and the questionable dealings of Ion Tiriac before getting into the action in Rome. While it was a pretty tragic time for us at the Foro Italico, it was the site of a return to glory for Rafael Nadal. We segue into the Nick Kyrgios drama that dominated the tennis news cycle as well as the latest updates from the ATP Board election saga. We couldn't end the episode without a few (disappointed) words about the Game Of Thrones final season and even worse finale.


01:20 Thanks for the well wishes, a few words on our trip

06:04 Ion Tiriac, Madrid, and his war against the WTA

11:37 Where the Madrid women's trophy at?!

14:26 Our dire thoughts on the Rome tournament

25:19 What happen-ed in Rome happen-ed

35:50 A resurgent turn for many of the women in Rome

41:06 A tale of two gay stories: Janowicz and Ferrer

48:41 Nick Kyrgios had a WEEK

59:13 Djokovic and the latest ATP Board developments

76:41 Game of Thrones finale: yes or mess?

May 7, 2019

Spring Mailbag: You Asked, We Attempt to Answer

The Body Serve is back, answering your thoughtful and tough questions with -- we hope -- a bit of knowledge and a lot of honesty. Although we recorded this previously, we believe the questions are still topical, relevant, and fascinating. Thanks to all who submitted questions; the below list doesn’t even cover all of them!


2:20 Jonathan asks James a gotcha question!

6:45 What are our 3 favorite pop duets? (or in Jonathan’s case, like 10 (Thuan, @delsarto13)

13:00 Who is the player you most disagree on? Any players one of us is a big fan of, and the other is not? (Stuart Masheter, @topsmmash)

22:15 What is the deal with appearance fees? (Julian, @holdmyracquet)

29:00 Tackling the many questions on the Gimelstob situation

37:45 Which women should the ATP be recruiting to run for its board? (Tyler Green, @TylerGreenBooks)

41:00 Which tournaments would you add, remove, upgrade, or relocate? (Arun, @arknight12)

47:00 Game of Thrones characters as tennis players (Peter, @thaiguy84)

50:55 Do you think any young WTA player (<20) can make a sizable dent this season? (Francisco Vargas Carranza, @francheski59)

52:50 Who are your favorite non-tennis athletes? (DT3, @dabigjoker)

54:00 An FMK from the reliable Dr. Sholz (@SholzTalks10s), Clay Title Winners Edition

56:40 James asks Jonathan a tough question

Apr 30, 2019

Get Them Bodied

Dominic Thiem absolutely bodied the Barcelona field to join Federer as the only two-time titlists on the ATP Tour this season. Petra Kvitova's turn as renaissance woman and most consistent player of the WTA continued in Stuttgart, leaving her oh-so-close to finally ascending to world #1. Of course, we revisit the ongoing Justin Gimelstob saga and get you updated on the latest shenanigans. Oh, and have you heard, Sloane Stephens got engaged!


01:21 Dominic BODIES his way to the Barcelona title

08:53 Petra Kvitova the WTA renaissance woman

12:18 Vika's back? A chat about her comeback

22:30 Rafa makes it CLEAR where he stands on equal pay yet again

31:37 From queer excellence to straight fuckery

33:08 Gimelstob can't stop, won't stop

38:48 Gimelstob's narcissism stays jumping out

48:04 Fiiiiiiinally, folks in tennis are starting to speak up

51:59 Why are we still here? For what? And at what cost?

57:10 #RoadToRome candidates and some juicy petty tidbits

61:40 Andreescu injury, Genie coaching split, and Sloane's big news!

Apr 23, 2019

No Contest

This week on The Body Serve, we've got a surprising week in Monte Carlo to recap, an exciting weekend strewn across the globe in Fed Cup, and a resolution to the Justin Gimelstob court case. Fabio Fognini beat Rafael Nadal in the Monte Carlo semis on his way to a maiden Masters 1000 title. Meanwhile, Ash Barty and Sam Stosur headlined the Fed Cup action, leading Australia to its first final in over 25 years! We finish the episode with an expanded discussion on the developments in the Justin Gimelstob case, and what it means for his place in tennis going forward, among other things...


01:01 A surprising loss for Rafa in Monte Carlo?

04:59 The Princes of Clay not up to the task in week one

09:00 Fognini's past and how it frames his present

15:32 Team Australia headlines Fed Cup semifinal weekend

20:46 The reunited Garcia/Mladenovic tandem take out Romania

23:15 Great Britain, despite the drama, advances to World Group II

32:02 Gimelstob pleads no contest to felony assault

35:52 The weak responses from Tennis Channel and the ATP

43:25 Gimelstob begins the process of re-integrating himself into tennis

48:00 What is it about this situation that renders so many mute?

Apr 16, 2019

I’m Tired Of F#@*ng Losing!

The clay season is upon us and Sloane Stephens is tired of f#@*ing losing! We recap the last two weeks since we've been away, starting with the action in Charleston where Madison Keys scored an impressive title win on the green clay. Other tidbits: Sveta is back! Muguruza bosses Monterrey, and Anisimova wins her maiden WTA title. We offer an ATP clay season preview, before segueing into a spirited discussion on Patrick Mouratoglou's latest bout of opinions. Also, look out for the return of The Rant at the end of the episode!


01:50 Madison matures on the green clay of Charleston

07:40 WTA roll call: Muguruza, Azarenka, Anisimova, Sveta, Swiatek

12:28 ATP roll call: Paire, Andujar, Garín, and Sandgren's big streak (of losing)

19:54 ATP clay court preview: much of the same but a bit more

23:58 Alexander Zverev in a precarious position

32:32 Mouratoglou has opinions on how to save tennis, and so do we

53:43 The Tsitsipas/Medvedev feud LIVES!

55:24 A golf diversion: Tiger Woods wins The Masters

63:42 The Rant: you'll have to tune in to find out

Apr 1, 2019

Barty In The U.S.A.

Ash Barty and Roger Federer closed out the Sunshine Swing with titles at the Miami Open. For Barty, it was the biggest win of her career, and one that catapulted her into the WTA top 10 for the first time. Federer, fresh off a finals loss the week before at Indian Wells, went one further to add trophy #101 to his collection. The Canadian takeover of tennis continued to take hold as Auger-Aliassime made the semifinals before losing to repeat finalist, John Isner. We cap the episode with a discussion on the difficulties of making a living from covering tennis, and why it's vitally important to welcome as many diverse voices to the table as possible.


02:51 Vegemite Queen dripping in power and finesse

08:31 In celebration of the superb, underestimated Hsieh

12:56 The weekly battle for WTA #1 continues

15:35 A whole, grown ass, salty loser: Kerber v Andreescu

24:25 The potpourri of f*^kery surrounding Isner and his "niceness"

28:22 Federer wins #101 in tip top form

33:33 Felix just can't wait to be king

41:29 HOW DARE YOU?! say anything bad about the Miami Open

46:27 A discussion on covering tennis for a living...or not

Mar 20, 2019

She The North

Bianca Andreescu's coming out party continued in a big way by winning the Indian Wells title. The breakthrough theme in the "tennis paradise" also featured a first Masters 1000 title for Dominic Thiem, rendering Roger Federer beaten finalist for a second successive year. We recap some of the other notable performances on both sides of the draw before getting into a discussion of how the ATP is failing in its efforts to police the dissemination of its product on social media. Lastly, James takes a quiz about his favourite tournament on the tennis calendar.


03:05 She the north, but where can we watch her?

17:33 Other notable performances from the women at Indian Wells

19:30 Venus vs Petra: to squawk or not to squawk or when to squawk

27:50 Serena's illness & her terrible volleys?

32:08 The harnessing of Dominic Thiem

37:50 Nadal's knee, Nole's loss, and Denis' rapping

46:31 The ATP policing dissemination of its product on social media

50:57 James takes a quiz on his beloved Indian Wells

Mar 10, 2019

Indian Well Actually

The calendar is ratcheting up - March brings the Sunshine Double, with all its excesses, star power, and crackling match-ups. Our IW ambivalence aside, this week has already given us the Vika-Serena reunion, Petra & Venus, and Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime achieving yet another first. We also cover the ATP governance drama, Martina's wheel-and-come-again on the trans athlete argument, and Osaka's strikingly perceptive words in The Undefeated.

2:30 The star power of Nick Kyrgios, when he wants it

14:20 Roger Federer joins the 100 club! Jimmy Connors is shaking

18:00 Naomi Osaka names Jermaine Jenkins head coach

21:30 Serena & Vika reignite their rivalry, and it doesn't disappoint

31:15 Felix Auger-Aliassime quietly, methodically gets his first top 10 win

37:30 An update on the ATP governance shake-up: Kermode is out, but who is in?

50:45 Martina Navratilova is back with another essay on trans women in sport ... but is it better? Taking on the straw man argument.

60:10 Genie Bouchard moves into film production - a rom-com classic is coming

64:10 Will Smith to play Richard Williams on screen

67:00 The fascinating, thoughtful Osaka interview from The Undefeated - her place in things


Feb 27, 2019

TBS 150: Bend It Like Bencic

On the occasion of our Sesquicentennial, we thank all our listeners, both old and now, who have been along for the ride. We recap all the tennis news from the past two weeks and the winners on both tours: Bencic, Monfils, Opelka, Mertens, Cecchinato, Albot, Djere, Tstitsipas, and Van Uytvanck. We chat about the Osaka-Tsitsipas social media mess, as well as Naomi's words on her split with Sascha Bajin. Finally, we try to grapple with the mess that Martina Navratilova has gotten herself into.  


03:26 Recapping a long list of winners the last fortnight

06:25 The dire Long Island Open gets a lift

13:52 Bend it like Bencic in Dubai, if you can!

20:14 Our Québécois fav busts out in Rio

27:44 Tsonga to miss Indian Wells due to Sickle Cell Trait

31:29 What in the hell was Stefanos thinking?!

36:47 Osaka talks Bajin breakup

45:18 Martina Navratilova and her controversial op-ed

68:55 Sometimes you need to call something by its name

Feb 12, 2019

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

February can be a moment for tennis to catch its breath. But Fed Cup brought us some cracking match-ups, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga re-entered the top 200, and everyone's favorite maybe-catfish started and suspended a GoFundMe. Naomi Osaka stopped the world (momentarily) when she announced that her winning partnership with Sascha Bajin has ended. Plus, we finally catch up with the shakeups and infighting in the ATP Players' Council and Board of Directors.

1:20 Tsonga is back and he's spectacular (or; I will be your father figure)

5:45 Fed Cup blockbusters: Czech team loses at home, Ash-stralia takes out USA

13:30 The Darko saga continues - stop snitching and enjoy the drama, folks

21:45 Serena re-enters the top 10

23:35 Naomi Osaka shocks the tennis world by announcing split with Sascha Bajin 

27:00 Maybe there's not actually any "there" there

40:00 Catching up with the ATP governance shakeup

54:45 Questions to consider moving forward: does the anti-Kermode wing reflect the views of most players? Is there a push for unionization among the rank and file?

57:00 Things we dislike (we disagree on that) and things we like (Netflix's One Day at a Time)

Jan 28, 2019

Australian Open Finale: The Blessing, The Curse, The Manspreading

We're here to wrap the 2019 Australian Open: crowning a new WTA number 1 and watching Novak make history with his 15th major. Petra Kvitova came close to her first major off grass, Rafa Nadal stunned until he didn't, and the ATP Next Gen inched forward; while one member of the WTA Next Gen won 2 straight majors and took over the sport entirely. Stick around for a critique of "race science," the minefield of Naomi's racial identity, and why the locker room needs to remain private (oh hi, John McEnroe). 

02:30 Naomi Osaka becoming the woman to beat

10:30 Petra! Don't call it a comeback!

17:00 The other women's late-stage women's matches: Pliskova's improved movement, Serena's loss 

22:45 Why do y'all want us to drag Danielle Collins?

30:00 Men's final: Novak raises his level to neutralize Nadal's strengths

41:45 Other happenings on the men's side: Tsitsipas stared into the abyss and doesn't like what he sees

44:00 Stosur & Zhang win doubles title - Zhang's first major and Stosur's first Aussie

46:20 When what happens in the locker room doesn't stay in the locker room

49:00 Talking about black athletes with race pseudoscience

57:30 John McEnroe's naked obsession with Rafa's naked body ... wtf?

63:00 Men's tennis manspreading into women's tennis -- how microaggressions become a 50-year pattern

71:05 Naomi Osaka's fraught and contested racial identity

Jan 20, 2019

Mid-Australian Open Check-In: It’s Like BBQ Chicken

We're checking in midway through this Australian Open, marked by a few welcome breakouts but high quality match-ups on the horizon. This episode's title borrows from Frances Tiafoe's impromptu description of Amanda Anisimova's decimation of Aryna Sabalenka. We recap the matches, the controversies, the fashion, and the issue that won't die: mid-match coaching.   


1:00 Andy Murray says goodbye ... for now ... maybe

5:30 Tsitsipas takes down 2-time defending champ Federer
8:40 Frances Tiafoe, an American many forgot
15:00 5 US women in the 4th round, and not who we thought
20:25 #HatchingandSnatching: Anisimova snatches the wig snatcher
25:45 Danielle Collins, a curious but certainly not boring figure
31:10 Serena storms through first few rounds
35:45 What's left in this draw: who is going to be the women's number one? Is RBA the real deal?
48:45 Walk walk fashion baby: Serena's romper; Rafa's sleeveless; and Nike rocks the classic black & white but misses with bunchy, ill-fitting skirts and shorts
54:00 Vika's revealing press conference
55:45 The "rules are rules" brigade created a monster: the double standard detectives
1:04:50 Get your G.E.M.S. life 

Jan 12, 2019

Australian Open Preview: Say It Ain’t So, Andeh

It's not easy to say goodbye to Andrew Murray -- and we're not saying goodbye yet. But, we begin our Australian Open preview with a tribute to the authentic, generous, straight-to-the-point Scot who has changed our sport forever. It's not all doom and gloom: we also talk through this week's results and the Australian Open Heat Stress Scale, followed by an analysis of both the men's and women's draws. We conclude with an update on the ever-tempestuous ATP leadership battles; this time, the Board will vote on Kermode's future, and what a Board it is.


1:00 Appreciating Andy Murray: present tense only

18:00 Results from this week: Kvitova and Barty beat a boatload of AO contenders between them

21:45 The new Australian Open heat protocol: you down with AOHSS?

26:40 Women's draw - "dangerous floaters" and the Simona-Serena-Venus quarter of death

38:15 Women's bottom half - we disagree on whether the women's draw is lopsided

43:40 A diversion on Sloane Stephens and star power - the mainstream press isn't sure what to do with her

52:15 Men's draw: who could possibly stop Novak from getting to the final?

1:01:00 Men's bottom half is crowded af

1:03:30 ATP Board set to vote on Kermode's contract ... digging into the almighty mess that is men's tennis governance

Jan 7, 2019

Season Five Premiere: Still Here

Welcome to our Season FIVE opener. Our brief offseason is over and week one of the 2019 season caught us off guard with SO MUCH action right off the bat. We recap the seven titlists who emerged from the first week of play before tackling some of the offseason happenings while we were away. We have a message for the fandoms, a few things we're keeping our eyes on for the season, as well as a few predictions. The episode wraps with a dip into our listener mailbag as we attempt to tackle your questions with a bit of (hopefully) levity.


02:59 Week one results: 7 champions crowned

22:45: #SaveHopmanCup and its unique place in the tennis landscape

29:40: Injury updates & Sveta's Insta prowess

32:37 AO super tiebreak rule change

36:50 To the left, to the left: Venus cleans house

39:23 This is who they are: ATP elects Stakhovsky AGAIN

41:08 Calling all fandoms: let Naomi be, sit there & eat your food

47:45 A few things we'll be keeping our eyes on in 2019

53:23 Our 2019 year-end top 10 picks & breakout/comeback candidates

60:46 Listener mailbag: thanks for all your submissions!

Dec 10, 2018

Season 4 Finale: What the Boys Got up to in 2018

As our fourth cycle comes to a close, we recap the men's tour with its continued Big 3 dominance, Djokovic's herculean comeback, and NextGen banging on the door (well, more like politely ringing the doorbell). We look at the latest Gimelstob debacle as a mess that tennis governing bodies made for themselves, one that echoes MeToo stories across every industry, and which the sport continued to ignore and pave over until things blew up spectacularly. Finally, we finish with some levity: our TBSMoments awards, including feel-good moments, WTF moments, and most bizarre off-season story.


01:00 Who won the big titles this year? Is the Big 3 still a thing? Yep.

13:00 Rankings leaps and tumbles: NextGen isn't quite here yet, but they're really close
22:40 The Gimelstob Debacle: Tennis has a whole mess on its hands, much of its own making
33:30 Tennis governance and how conflicts of interest can rot an organization from the inside out
38:50 Why the resounding silence from the tennis world?
48:35 Other controversies: Novak sparks unionization rumors, Sandgren comes out as an Alt-Right dabbler, Darko gets exposed(?)
55:40 Retirements and comebacks
57:45 Our favorite and most impactful matches of the year
61:00 Jonathan takes a quiz on the ATP season - play along at home!
68:15 The #TBSMoments awards, starting with Denis Shapovavovavorlov, WTF moments, and wildest off-court story
72:00 Men being d---s ... as always, fertile ground on the ATP Tour
75:55 Finishing this season with Feel-Good Moment and the You Did THAT Moment

Dec 4, 2018

WTA Moments of 2018

We consider a WTA season that was by turns tumultuous and gratifying, full of tedious controversies and long-awaited breakouts. This episode takes on the major themes of 2018, the title winners, the comebacks and retirements, a few surprising events that almost faded from memory, and our #TBSMoments. Oh, and as if 2018 wasn't annoying enough, take our WTA Quiz alongside James.


02:00 Who won what? Parity was the name of the game

13:10 How'd we do on predictions? Well, there's a reason we don't usually make them

17:00 Moving on up (and down)

23:45 Matches that stood out ... most of them feature Simona

27:40 #RememberTheTime

35:55 Moments that had people mad this year: Miami crowd, Pliskova lumberjack, the endless Serena controversies, Peng gets snitched upon

51:15 Your favorite comebacks of the year, and a few farewells

56:30 Quick update on WTA streaming and Tennis Channel

58:05 James takes a quiz on the WTA season!

68:00 Our #TBSMoments: first up, funniest moment of the year

72:00 WTF Moment: the Plisko-chop

75:10 The You DID THAT Moment and Feel-Good Moment

Nov 21, 2018

Look At Us, We’re Going The Distance

Y'all know by now we're a pair of Mariah stans, and we are HERE for her new album. We chat briefly about her tightly spun new effort at the top of the show, before segueing into the tennis action. Zverev and Tsitsipas won the ATP & Next Gen Finals respectively, two banner results for the future of the ATP. The meat and potatoes of this episode is a convo about conflicts of interests in tennis, precipitated by an interview given by Julien Benneteau. We finish with a new segment called, "Yes or MESS," before bidding adieu to Aga Radwanska and Lucie Safarova.  


03:15 Going the distance: Zverev wins ATP Finals

13:47 Proceed with caution: On-court advertising boards

16:14 Thank you, next (gen): Tsitsipas runs the board in Milan

18:26 A No No: Federer & conflicts of interest

29:05 GTFO: We ain't buying it, Craig Tiley

40:00 Giving Me Life: Yes or MESS (New Segment!)

50:50 (No longer) With You: Coaching carousel continues

53:46 Portrait of a career: Farewell, Aga & Lucie

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