Jan 23, 2016

Mid-Aussie Open Chat: Scandal, Upsets & Your Least Favorite Commies

We're attempting a rare mid-Slam podcast; we're chatting about the tennis and some bigger issues floating around tennis this week: match fixing, bad commentary, and Hewitt's retirement.

1:30 We wade into the match-fixing scandal

10:30 Unloading on ESPN for preempting Serena Williams for "journalism"
14:15 Poll results: your least favorite commentators, male and female
15:15 Your winner, the awful Justin Gimelstob (and that NY Times puff piece)
24:00 Your landslide female commentator winner (well, loser)
26:00 James' anti-Pam Shriver rant
32:00 Bad news first: Venus & Rafa upset
35:00 The (overcooked?) brouhaha over Venus skipping her press conference
41:00 Mouratoglou weighs in on Rafa's game
44:30 Having fun despite the carnage
47:00 How are the pre-tournament faves doing? (SW, Aga, & Igloo domination)
55:00 The top men have a great first week: breaking down the quarters
58:30 Talking through the Lleyton Hewitt retrospective


Jan 15, 2016

2016 Australian Open Preview: Return of the Happy Slam

Welcome to Season 2 of The Body Serve! It's time to preview the first major of the year:


:30 What's going on with us.
5:00 Oscar nominations, Golden Globes, RIP Alan Rickman
14:45 #SeeWhatHadHappenedWas is back! Muguruza steps in it.
18:00 Azarenka gets a new nickname, some grief from us
23:45 Other Week 1 winners - Sloane, Aga, Novak, Milos, Stan
34:00 Australian Open fashion: Double Milos Sleeve
38:30 Women's draw - 1st rounds and potential QF matches
47:30 Nobody's healthy and everybody's questionable (WTA injury report)
52:20 Men's draw - 1st rounds and potential QFs
55:30 Where are all the men's dark horses?

Dec 30, 2015

TV Special: Our Favorite Television of 2015

Our last episode of 2015 is completely tennis-free. Here's a discussion of our favorite TV of 2015, including James & Jonathan's individual top 10 shows, plus some surprises and disappointments.

2:00 The wealth of great TV & why TV is better than the movie industry right now
9:00 Shows on the bubble of our top 10s (Nashville, Americans, Parks & Rec, etc)
21:00 Jonathan's top 4-10 shows of the year
24:45 James' top 3-10 
25:15 UnReal is remaking the Lifetime network!
28:25 The wonderful final season of Downton Abbey
30:00 Some disagreement on season 3 of Orange is the New Black
37:00 Jonathan's top 3
40:00 James' top 2
47:30 Transparent & why it is singularly great
59:00 Debating Fargo's violence
1:04:30 The biggest disappointments of 2015
1:12:30 The biggest surprises (hint: Fargo and its women)
1:18:45 Even MORE TV shows we liked but didn't make the top 15-20
1:23:00 The huge number of impressive leading actress in comedies

Dec 15, 2015

ATP Year in Review: A Tale of Two Seasons

Episode 31 is our season finale, as we finally recap the ATP season. Plus, women's tennis always finds its way in, and we're talking about SI's choice of Serena as Sportsperson of the Year and Jennifer Capriati's twitter diarrhea.


1:00 Serena Williams is SI's Sportsperson of the Year! But how does the horse feel about this?
8:00 New York trip: Mariah's Christmas show and Lea Salonga!
18:00 Capriati's twitter. GIRL.
24:00 Back to tennis: Novak Djokovic's all-time great season
31:00 Rafa's, well, not as good season
35:45 Stan & his haters
38:00 Davis Cup: Murray goes undefeated
41:30 Where is the next generation?
49:00 Young men's drama far exceeds women's drama
53:00 Revisiting Andy Murray's feminism: complicating the concept of 'ally'
57:30 Our biggest surprises of the year
1:01:45 Murray's bad performances vs. Roger & Novak
1:04:30 Our favorite moments
1:06:30 Congrats to first-time title winners & farewell to the retirees

Dec 4, 2015

WTA Year in Review: It’s A Williams World

We've reached 30 episodes! Here's our recap of the year in women's tennis:

4:30 Serena's year in review
9:00 Is it fair to compare her season with Novak's?
14:30 The intangibles of Serena's season, especially Indian Wells return
18:00 All hail Queen Vee's triumphant season
22:00 James' controversial pick for favorite Venus moment
26:00 Czechs win 4th Fed Cup in 5 years
28:30 Underachievers: Petra & Caroline
32:30 Topsy-turvy Top 10
39:00 Sharapova, the consummate pro
41:45 A quick recap of doubles: Hingis/Mirza and Safarova/Mattek-Sands
44:30 Bouchard's career quagmire & USTA lawsuit
53:30: Quickly, where's Vika at?
55:00 Our biggest surprises of the 2015 WTA season
59:00 Kerber's banner year
1:06:30 Bloopers

Nov 9, 2015

Tennis Divas: Venus Vaults Back into Top 10

In Episode 29, we're celebrating Venus' big win in Zhuhai and her return to the top 10. In #TennisDivas, we try to find diva counterparts for tennis players.


:30 Effervescing because of Venus' Zhuhai win
5:00 Venus' run to the title: Madison, Saisai, Vinci, Pliskova
7:00 Final vs. Pliskova
14:00 Jonathan does some serious rankings math, Olympic qualification scenarios
18:30 Venus as ambassador for the WTA, taking advantage of WTAsia
25:30 Tennis Divas: what is a diva?
31:00 Which diva is Venus? 
34:00 Is Serena a Mariah? Or a Beyonce?
40:00 The non-divas: Ariana, Ashanti, Demi, Selena Gomez
44:00 Sorry, Caroline
46:30 Who gets to be Aretha?
50:30 Sharapova's perfect diva match
55:00 A few male tennis divas: Roger & Rafa get paired with all-time musical greats
1:00:00 The perfect opportunity to shade Justine
1:02:00 Adele and her tennis equivalent, with a digression on Sam Smith

Nov 4, 2015

Mixed Bag: #Fedal, TV, and Side-Stepping Race


1:30 First things first: Justin Bieber is making good songs. What is going on?
5:00 Toronto is winning pop culture right now
7:00 Masculinity and fandom: how men perform gender through watching sports; excluding women from sports fandom
15:00 TV time! Why Jane the Virgin works (especially for James)
19:00 Nashville, Jonathan's non-guilty pleasure
23:30 James Blake on Jon Wertheim's podcast; avoiding the topic of race
31:30 A sort-of tangential discussion of desegregation and racism in Normandy, Missouri (see This American Life's "The Problem We All Live With")
39:00 Talking Singapore
41:00 Does winning the WTA Finals predict a Grand Slam win?
43:00 Radwanska a victim of bad press for winning fair and square
47:00 Fedal is back!!!
54:00 Our hopes for the rest of the season
56:30 Venus: #thankful #blessed #bringiton

Nov 4, 2015

Dispatch From Singapore: WTA Finals Wrap-Up

Episode 27 features an interview with Twitter friend Frith (@pluckyloser), who attended the WTA Finals in Singapore:


2:45 Interview with Frith, correspondent in Singapore
7:30 Frith's impressions of Singapore, the tournament facilities, fan experience
13:30 Serena's absence
18:00 Pros of the round robin format
23:45 Sharapova's form and warm reception: biggest takeaway of the tournament?
29:30 Muguruza: "she looked scary"
33:50 Hingis-Mirza: Sania Superstar
37:30 Pennetta's farewell: "I didn't want her to Bouchard the tournament"
41:00 Our favorite WTA moments of the year
46:45 Tournament attendance, the Serena effect?

Oct 13, 2015

Excuse Me? #VenusRising in Asian Swing & Listener Mailbag

Fall means a million tournaments in Asia, and players scrambling to snatch last minute points for the year-end championships. Here's episode 26:


1:00 The Good Wife, The Fall, and fall TV 
6:30 Road to Singapore: James says get rid of tour championships
11:30 Who really gets round robin, anyway?
13:30 The top players of the Asian swing: Muguruza, Venus, and Radwanska
15:00 Venus' Wuhan win
17:30 #SeeWhatHadHappenedWas: Vinci gets out of hand and Venus shuts it down
24:15 Talking tennis in China: sparse crowds, stifling smog, and diversifying the sport
32:00 Shanghai ROLEX Masters twitter drama
35:50 Speeding through the ATP side of the fall swing
39:00 Rafa finally beats whats-his-name Pennetta's fiancee; Rafa vs. Nole
43:00 We read your tweets! Which player do you despise most?
49:30 James' mini-rant about Justine Henin
55:00 The usual suspects: Stako, NK, Dolgopolov, Fognini, and listener hate for Djokovic

Oct 1, 2015

Talking Race, Serena, and Sexism in Tennis With Lindsay Gibbs

In episode 25, we welcome our special guest Lindsay Gibbs, co-founder of The Changeover and sports reporter at ThinkProgress.

2:30 Lindsay's introduction
3:30 Lindsay talks The Changeover and the online tennis landscape
8:15 "How To Talk About Women's Tennis"
15:00 The infamous Inside Tennis "autopsy" of SW which is racist racist racist
20:00 Media literacy & learning to listen
24:30 "That's not how, like, feelings work" OR checking your privilege
27:00 Serena Williams, Viola Davis, and the burden of history
34:00 Julie DiCaro's piece on online abuse targeting women in sports writing - dealing with Twitter trolls
39:45 Stakhovsky and the ATP's failure to address lgbt issues
43:30 Can the WTA teach the ATP anything about handling lgbt issues?
45:30 Patenting the Erecto-meter, coveting Ferraris
50:30 Our questionnaire: first up, Lindsay's dream tennis comeback
55:30 Who would you put in tennis time-out?
59:00 The most important question: Whitney, Mariah, or Celine?
1:02:00 Remembering the Bravermans and the Gilmores

Sep 14, 2015

US Open Recap: Djokovic At 10, Stakhovsky’s Gaydar & Fish’s Farewell

Episode 24 marks the end of our Grand Slam season. Here's Part 2 of our US Open recap:


1:30 The men's tournament: maybe a bit boring?
3:15 Retirements, the heat, cashing that 1st round check
9:00 Mardy Fish's farewell; his courage turns sports cliches on their head
16:30 James Blake and the NYPD
23:00 Apology does not equal justice
25:00 Stakhovsky update: statements from ATP Players' Council & Sergiy himself
28:30 The inadequacy of "be-who-you-are" politics
31:45 Stako's gaydar and locker room hijinks
37:00 Talking actual tennis: a tough tournament for our faves
38:30 Fabio Fognini def. Rafael Nadal
43:45 Men's QFs; hear Jonathan's (unfair?) disdain for Gasquet
46:30 Tsonga's untapped potential, again
51:00 Men's final - SABR drama and Jonathan lets loose on Boris
57:00 Letting go of resenting Federer
59:45 James on why he can't love Roger, and why he does love Serena
1:03:00 Late-era Roger vs. Sampras
1:06:30 Djokovic's dominance and the nasty NY crowd
1:08:00 Putting the GOAT debate to bed for now

Reading list:

Mardy Fish in The Players Tribune

Stakhovsky, USA Today

Stakhovsky, New York Times

Sep 13, 2015

US Open Recap: Pennetta Peaks As Serena Stumbles

In episode 23, we're recapping the women's side of the US Open:

1:00 James gets a special celebrity serenade for his birthday
4:00 Depth on the women's tour, weakness of the top 10?
14:00 Bouchard and the Kyrgios curse
16:30 Althea Gibson documentary
21:30 Serena-Venus XXVII
29:00 Venus' year and what we can expect in 2016
33:00 Perceptions of the Williams sisters from non-tennis fans
37:30 Simona-Flavia semifinal
39:00 Serena-Vinci, "upset of the century"
48:00 Don't blame Drizzy! The real enemy: Kim K
52:30 Women's final
57:30 Chrissie the hypocrite
59:00 The Flavia/Roberta lovefest & Flavia's big announcement
1:05:00 Max Eisenbud's rude tweet, since deleted

Sep 5, 2015

Mid-US Open Chat: Michael Lewis Reports From Flushing Meadows

:30 Intro - Rafa's loss
4:30 Interview with sports journalist Michael Lewis
8:00 Talking U.S. junior Reilly Opelka, 2015 Wimbledon junior champ
14:00 Comparisons with current American players
24:00 Opelka's future and potential
30:00 Jessica Pegula and James' hometown newspaper
33:00 Michael at the US Open: court surfer
34:30 Madison Keys as the next evolution of Big Babe tennis
38:30 Serena's longevity
42:00 Can you stand the heat? Retirements and just how hot it was
44:00 Best of 3 vs. best of 5
51:00 Federer's comments from his ivory tower
58:00 Balancing sportswriting and fandom - how do players' personalities affect how writers cover them? 

Aug 28, 2015

US Open Preview: Serena’s March to Herstory

1:00 Jamaica's success at the track world champs: Bolt, Shelly-Ann, VCB, and Segway drama (see videos below)
8:15 Rafa's Tommy Hilfiger campaign/US Open promotional events
16:00 What is herstory?
19:00 Claudia Rankine's "The Meaning of Serena Williams": Serena as symbol; black feminism; pop stars and "uppity-ness"
29:30 Women's draw analysis: the loaded first quarter & notable 1st rounds
35:30 Quarterfinal match-ups
43:30 Simona Halep's chances and criticism of her
49:45 Men's first rounds
51:00 Rafa's draw
54:00 Murray vs. Kyrgios and a quick wrap-up of the NK saga
58:00 Jonathan's men's pick

Aug 25, 2015

Cincy Recap: Rena, Drake, and $3 Long Islands

We're back from Cincinnati to regale you with tales from the final leg of our summer tennis odyssey! 


1:00 Drake + Serena = Aubrena

6:00 The Mason, Ohio Applebee's, tennis hangout
10:00 Meeting new friends!
20:00 Food food food
23:30 The tournament venue
28:30 Rafa's much bigger in person 
32:00 Pospisock doubles & new fave Vasek
39:00 Madison-JJ
41:00 A "what-in-the-actual-fuck" moment
43:30 Venus-Diyas
45:45 Serena
50:30 Annoying fans
54:00 Some things we didn't like

Aug 14, 2015

#NKFalling & Anecdotes From Rogers Cup Toronto

We wade into the NK fracas, but first we recap our only day at Rogers Cup Toronto this year, highlighted by a Petkovic Q&A, a Vika-Petra night match, and Halep's efficiency.


1:45 Our day at Rogers Cup Toronto: Simona Halep vs. Jelena Jankovic
5:00 The Toronto crowd & tennis etiquette
8:00 Petko vs. Watson
11:00 Stosur practice (and autograph!), Safarova holding babies
16:00 Azarenka vs. Kvitova, Wednesday night's marquee match
20:00 Lahyani superstar
23:00 Petkovic Q&A!!! And our high-tech audio clip
28:45 He Who Must Not Be Named takes over Tennis Twitter
33:00 Stanley's official response 
36:00 Why do folks assume tennis "needs" a character like NK?
41:00 The Kyrgios Family Attack Squad
43:00 Hewitt as mentor
49:00 Bandwagonists is a word, says Jonathan
50:00 Sincerity vs. irony, the great postmodernist battle

Aug 11, 2015

In Search Of Rafa: Dispatch From Montreal

Listen to our thoughts on the city of Montreal, the Uniprix Stadium grounds, practice court hangouts, and our observations on the early days of the 2015 Coupe Rogers. 

0:30 Impressions of Montreal, Uber adventures, and much smoked meat
11:00 Uniprix Stadium and the tournament grounds
18:00 Practice court hijinks
27:00 Rafa's practices
36:00 Our quixotic quest to see the Rafa/Verdasco doubles match
41:00 Wrap-up

 

Jul 15, 2015

Wimby Recap: Grass Greener Than Ever For Serena & Novak

4:00 Serena Slam 2.0

10:00 A note on Sharapova and being the butt of jokes
14:30 Women's final
22:30 Martina Hingis
25:45 Kvitova/Halep/Jankovic
29:30 Men's side - the supremacy of Djokovic
33:00 Federer
37:00 Great returners vs. servers
39:00 Rafa: what's next?
43:00 Court assignment drama
45:15 Having some fun with stodgy Wimbledon traditions

Jul 14, 2015

Wimbledon Aftermath: Sexism, Homophobia, and Misogynoir

In Episode 16, we're grappling with some of the social and cultural issues that popped up during Wimbledon. Specifically: the controversial New York Times piece on body image in women's tennis; Stakhovsky's homophobic comments and the ATP's role in dealing with them; and the circus surrounding Nick Kyrgios.

2:30 NY Times story on body image in women's tennis
18:00 Rothenberg's response to the controversy
32:45 Sergiy Stakhovsky's homophobia
37:30 The ATP's responsibility
44:30 The Nick Kyrgios Show (and our evolving views on it)
49:00 Kyrgios and race (and blackface)
Reading material: 

Jun 25, 2015

Why Andy Murray’s Feminism Matters

08:40  What is feminism and why does it matter?

17:15  Andy Murray and feminism; what has he done to earn the label?
22:00  Women in sports - why Mauresmo's appointment matters
28:00  Complicating Murray's feminism
30:00  Why men (and women) fear identifying as a feminist
33:00  Andy vs. his colleagues in men's tennis
34:00  Spanish Davis Cup and Rafa Nadal showing his ass, and not in a good way (Hi, @TrollandGarros!)
38:30  A few final thoughts on defining feminism, and how misogyny limits both women and men

Jun 8, 2015

Rolly G Recap: Serena Turns 20 & Stan Brings His Best

We're recapping the wild, bizarro, and ultimately rewarding 2015 Roland Garros:

- Celebrating the extraterrestrial accomplishments of Serena Williams, and her unrepentant, flawed, and pioneering Serena-ness.
- We marvel at Stan Wawrinka's power, backhand, and competitive will.
- We tout our wisdom in avoiding predictions.
- In #SeeWhatHadHappenedWas, we give our perspective on the Tara Moore Twitter Catastrophe. Consequential? Not really. It's tea, though.
- Learn what to bring to a verbal knife fight with Jonathan.

May 23, 2015

French Open Preview, Part 2

It's a prediction free French Open preview!
- The controversy machine that is the British tennis press 
- We recount a favorite shady men's tennis moment
- Getting to the bottom of the Rafa time violation hoopla in #SeeWhatHadHappenedWas
- Most importantly, we look at the highlights of the 2015 Roland Garros singles draws: the loaded top halves,      Federer's luck, the Nadal-Djokovic quarter from hell, and the chances of some dark horses.

May 20, 2015

French Open Preview, Part I

It's Episode 12, and we're reviewing the clay season, including the Nadal narrative, Serena's disappointing swing, and the other standouts.

BUT FIRST: 
- we chat about Mad Men's finale and the fates of our heroes: Peggy and Joan.
- we lament Game of Thrones and its unimaginative reliance on sexual assault.
- we generally go way off-topic! 

May 5, 2015

See What Had Happened Was …

In #SeeWhatHadHappenedWas, we:

- Introduce a new segment, in which you'll hear our expertise on a salacious happening in the tennis world, past and  present (starting with Andy Murray's dressing-down of Lukas Rosol)
- Indulge our nostalgia by recounting what sparked our interest in tennis.
- Talk about our favorite players from yesteryear.
- Discuss why tennis inspires such a devoted following.

Apr 21, 2015

L’affaire Bouchard & Gearing Up for Rolly G

On the docket for episode 10:

- Eugenie Bouchard's fateful snub.

- Professionalism, likeability and comparing successful women (or, the Mariah effect).

- Rafa's hard road on clay and Novak's dominance.
Featuring our impersonations of Genie and Rafa.

Apr 7, 2015

Boys Will Be Boys, If We Let Them

It's episode 9, and we're looking at:

- The perceived weakness of the WTA vs. one player's historic dominance.
- Sexist double standards as they apply to dominance and parity.
- Simona Halep's continued ascent and the question of rivalry with Serena.
- Djokovic's bad behavior and the "boys will be boys" ethos.
- Our new game: #NameTheTennisPlayer

Mar 31, 2015

Do The Work: Race, Tennis & Society

In Episode 8, we revisit racism in tennis:

- Re-assessing Serena's return to Indian Wells
- Why we're just a tad skeptical
- What it means to do anti-racist work
- Rafa's struggles, Federer's future, and Djokovic's dominance

- Why are we so obsessed with choking? Revisiting Jana Novotna

Mar 17, 2015

The Tennis Commie Manifesto

We're back for episode 7:

- What makes an effective tennis commentator?
- The assorted errors, gaffes, and malapropisms of the ESPN set (or: The McEnroe Effect).
- Tennis' complex web of conflicts of interest.
- Our takedown of Justin Gimelstob, the Teflon Commentator.
- How has Gimelstob managed to keep his job(s)?
- Failure of leadership, and the organizational chaos that keeps tennis directionless.

Mar 7, 2015

Late-Winter Tennis Blues

Late-Winter Blues:

- Requiem for a fruitful tennis partnership: Serena & Big Sascha part ways

- Caroline tried it, but Vika prevails yet again
- The fortunes of the Big 4 heading into the Fifth Slam(s)
- James' brush with fame: a tweet from his Queen
- Checking in with Venus, Hingis, Daveed, and Juan Martin
- James confesses his disgust at the current crop of ____ players.

Feb 11, 2015

Talking Race: Serena’s Return to Indian Wells

In this episode, we discuss Serena Williams' decision to return to Indian Wells:

- The 2001 IW final and the Williams' ensuing boycott
- How race and racism have shaped the Williams' careers
- Serena's legacy and her evolving politics
- Does the U.S. celebrate its black athletes like it does white athletes? Are there strings attached? 
- How do blackness, patriotism, and racial politics intersect?

Feb 3, 2015

19 Jewels In Her Crown

In episode 4, we recap the Aussie Open:

- Serena gets 19, Maria tries but fails to overcome the coughing SW. 
- Madison Keys slams her way to the semis.
- Venus re-emerges as a contender?
- What, if anything, does Rafa's showing in Australia mean for his quest for 10 in Paris?
- Jennifer Capriati's twitter woes and the horror of watching your heroes become human.
- Andy Murray the mental case? Andy succumbs to Novak's bizarre dramatics.
- Hingis wins first slam since 2002, Mladenovic is unimpressed.

Jan 26, 2015

The Final 16

In this episode, we chat about the first week of the Aussie Open:

- Notable scares, battles, flops, and the dearly departed
- Venus' resurgence and Serena's conservative play
- Kyrgios and nationalism in sports
- We preview our favorite quarterfinal match-ups
- What have we learned this week? 

Jan 17, 2015

Australian Open Preview

Our preview of the Happy Slam:

- Who are the favorites? Does anyone outside the top 4 seeds have a chance? 
- Who is poised to have a breakthrough year, and who will endure a sophomore slump?
- The difficulties of analyzing the draw - and the folly of predictions.
- Nonetheless, we name our men's and women's picks!
- Our tribute to Li Na and that sweetest of backhands.

Jan 8, 2015

A Formal Education

In which we discuss the top stories of 2014 and what we're looking forward to this year:

- In Praise of Her Holiness Venus Williams, Queen of the WTA
- Rafa and Serena's roller coaster seasons
- Federer's comeback from the brink to reach 11 finals & almost win Wimbledon
- Doling out controversial forgiveness to Stanford
- A bit of light Sharapova bashing (we are much gentler than Serena would be)
- Speculating what the future holds for the Big 4
- The present and future of Canadian tennis, or: what's in store for Milos' arm sleeve


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