Oct 11, 2020

I Want Your Sets

The 2020 Fall French Open is in the history books! Iga Swiatek and Rafael Nadal swept through their respective fields on their ways to historic title runs in Paris. For Nadal, it was his 13th time lifting the Coupe des Mousquetaires, while Swiatek blitzed her way to a first Slam title, both efforts coming without the loss of a set. We go through most of the matches from week two that led to the weekend’s coronations, push back against the idea that the younger men are just “happy to be there,” and try to get to the bottom of why so many folks do not like Sofia Kenin. We finish the 2020 Grand Slam season with a dramatic reading of a captivating Danielle Collins moment.

 

4:00 Rafa wins his 13th at Roland Garros without losing a set

19:15 Fedal and the record books

26:00 Next Gen isn't breaking through quite yet, but not for lack of trying

37:25 Fly Like an Iga: the 19-year-old Swiatek stuns the women's draw

46:10 Flourishing without the benefit of wild cards

52:20 Why is Sonya Kenin so polarizing?

68:05 Mladenovic/Babos overcome coronadversity to win doubles; Jelena Djokovic and Neil Harman, partners in grievance; will FoxTenn Real Bounce be the solution?

81:50 Dramatic Reading: in which no grace was given

Oct 5, 2020

Kick Rocks, Eat Dirt

Welcome to our mid-Roland Garros 2020 dispatch. Those sounds you may have heard over the last few days were those of players often being loud and wrong. We’ve got a fairly predictable final eight on the men’s side, while the women’s draw has turned out some truly shocking yet inspiring results. We dive into the latest Zverev mess, Novak’s quip, Hawkeye misinformation, Sara’s cursing, retiring players before they’re ready, and finish with a rant on calling Naomi’s man her “rapper boyfriend.” Who’s deserving of being told to kick rocks and eat dirt?

 

5:00 A lot of surprises in the men's draw, but the quarterfinals are still pretty standard

10:30 Sooo many first-time third rounders on the men's side

14:40 Zverev has a fever. Oh?

27:50 Women's draw: Swiatek destroys the clear tournament favorite, among many surprises

32:30 Errani loses the match and her mind as Bertens cramps

44:00 Damn, it's tough to be an umpire these days: the HawkEye saga

56:20 Keep your saliva in your mouth; keep your dad in his seat

59:40 Et ceteras: don't retire players before they're ready

65:20 Why are we still telling players how to schedule and whom to date, during a pandemic?

Sep 26, 2020

Drip It Like It’s Hot

Roland Garros 2020 is upon us, en automne, barely two weeks after the US Open and perhaps against better judgment. But what happen-ed happen-ed and here we are in Paris. The cool, damp conditions will likely produce grinding and unpredictable tennis, which has made predictions futile. The best predictor is how players have fared so far during the restarted season. In addition to the draw preview, we've got a few Covid updates, several messes to check in on, and a Dramatic Reading full of Canadian Content.

 

0:30 Against all odds, Roland Garros is happening

4:50 Men's draw preview: who will benefit from these tough conditions? Rafa gets Thiem, Djoko gets Tsitsipas/Meddy/Berrettini

19:00 We both failed probability but no, Virginia, the draw's not rigged

28:20 Women's draw preview: for the first time in a while, there's a clear favorite (but her road's not easy)

37:20 Women's bottom half - what to expect of Pliskova's health? Will someone other than Simona win her third Slam here?

42:15 Covid updates: spectator limit reduced to 1000 per day; Paire is in, but Verdasco is out

47:10 Buckle up for lots of commentator talk about weather and new balls

52:50 An enduring, recurring mess by Boris Becker

55:35 Dramatic Reading, a tribute to the trap king of Vaughan, Ontario, Canada

Sep 15, 2020

Bubble Wrap: Women Save The Day

It wasn’t that long ago that we didn’t think we would -- or should -- have any tennis for the rest of 2020. Now, here we are recapping the final week of a fanless U.S. Open. Naomi Osaka and Dominic Thiem are your champions, a third Slam triumph for Naomi and a first at last for someone not named Federer, Djokovic, or Nadal. We cover the matches of week two leading up to the finals, as well as so much of the commentary and discourse surrounding the tournament. Sadly, and maddeningly, the commentariat simply did not meet the moment. All this and more on our Bubble Wrap!

 

02:02 Mariah saves the day: Jonathan has a word for the haters

10:20 The road to the women's final

20:38 Naomi Osaka wins her 3rd Slam title, against a reborn Vika

30:27 Naomi starts a conversation, the commentators have no clue how to talk about it

46:08 The sloppy path to the men's final?

52:07 The "low quality" of the men's matches doesn't exist in a vacuum

59:54 What to make of the men's final  

65:18 Moments that made us cringe

78:14 Moments of levity: things we enjoyed from the fortnight

81:59 Dramatic Reading: Serena (out of nowhere) shades tf out of ______.

Sep 6, 2020

Double Bubble, Toil, and Trouble

We knew it would be an unusual first week of the US Open. It started with Benoit Paire's positive test, and continued with the double bubble regulations and warring health departments. We got non-stop drama surrounding Kiki Mladenovic's singles loss and last-minute ejection from the doubles draw. But no one was prepared for the default of the undefeated #1 seed Novak Djokovic after hitting a line judge with a ball. Nostalgic for five-set collapses and parent-coach-player psychodramas? Oh, we still have those too.

 

0:30 Djokovic defaulted in the 4th round

9:15 Highlights of the men's first week: Felix grows up, Tsitsipas melts down

18:00 Three Canadian men in the second week of a Slam, a first!

26:00 Women's side: Rogers and Brady stun, Pironkova parachutes in to torture your faves, and Vika gets that Vika mojo back

41:20 Some thoughts on Sloane-Serena

49:45 Benoit and the original 10 - a double bubble and a not-quite-double bubble

53:40 Kiki does not love the US Open

59:10 Inconsistency, jurisdiction issues, and a lack of transparency

70:10 Thoughts on Djokovic's statement  

Aug 30, 2020

Be Careful Who You Association With

This week saw many major stories come and go until one stuck: the breaking away of Novak Djokovic and others from the ATP Player Council to start a separate player association (not a union btw). Before that, we saw Naomi Osaka's solitary act of resistance stop the tennis world in its tracks; a strange and troubling end to Sakkari-Serena; the rebirth of Victoria Azarenka; and the rebranding of Milos Raonic as widely beloved. Oh yeah, and the US Open preview.

 

2:30 American sports react to the shooting of Jacob Blake

9:15 Naomi Osaka announces that she won't play her Cincinnati semifinal to draw attention to BLM

16:30 "Shut up and dribble" doesn't work in tennis, especially women's tennis

20:50 Meanwhile, the Western & Southern Open is happening under strange circumstances - Vika's resurgence

24:45 Milos Raonic: new hair, new thighs, new me

28:20 The bizarre end to Serena Williams-Maria Sakkari

33:50 The girl who cried wolf

39:15 Friday night news dump: Djokovic and others break away from the ATP Player Council to form the Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA)

53:30 Federer, Nadal, et al send a letter with some ... concerns (and some very good questions)

63:20 So what about women tennis players? #TennisUnited am I right

71:00 Oh, the US Open is happening in like two days? 

Aug 22, 2020

The Long Island Project

Tennis has resumed in the US and Europe as the pandemic rages on. We catch up on a few weeks' worth of news, including: recent title winners Brady, Ferro, and Halep; early life in the Cincy/NY "bubble"; the non-sensical ramblings of vaccine skeptics and conspiracy theorists; and that Novak interview. We close with a tribute to two titans of 20th century tennis, who contributed even more off-court than they did on: Bob Ryland and Angela Buxton. 

 

1:40 WTA site adds pronunciation guide - let’s try again,fail again, fail better

3:40 Tennis returns in Palermo, then Prague - Ferro is your first title winner of the resumed 2020 season

7:45 Lexington’s Top Seed Open gets a field they didn’t expect; thoughts on Venus’ new game, plus Coco, Serena, Vika, Jil, Ons, and Jenn

22:30 First-time titlist Jennifer Brady sweeps her side of the draw

25:00 Welcome to the bubble   

37:55 The NYT interview with Djokovic - ehrm, um, how do we put this 

46:15 Virologists and physicians are great and all - but let’s listen to vaccine-skeptic conspiracy theorists instead; also known as Occam’s Checkered Head Band

56:45 US Open:who’s in, who’s out

60:45 How are the rankings going to work this year?

63:15 Tributes to the late, great Bob Ryland and Angela Buxton

Jul 31, 2020

What’s The Point Of The WTA If We Don’t Stick Together?

We are back from hiatus to bring you an episode that we have been working on for months, one that serves as a continuation of our previous dive into Pre-Open Era tennis. With tennis players now able to earn a living while also competing against the best at all the tournaments, we follow the development of the WTA Tour after its inception, the persistent struggles for equality over the decades, and the players who played major roles in making it happen.

 

04:02 Why do this episode now?

07:21 Cultural context for equal prize money and conditions under which movement arose

20:25 Tennis at the onset of the Open Era & the emergence of the women’s tour

37:51 Chris Evert emerges at the exact right time for women’s tennis

43:43 The WTA takes off; the women take Wimbledon to task

57:42 What were the arguments back then surrounding equal pay?

71:08 Ebbs and flows in the 80s and 90s, but the fight continues

83:00 Wimbledon’s decades-long petty misogyny against EPM

97:20 Our cautions and takeaways from this episode

Jul 7, 2020

When Zina Speaks, You Listen

We've just had the pleasure of chatting with the legendary Zina Garrison, gold medalist in Seoul, 3-time major mixed doubles champ, and the 1990 Wimbledon runner-up. Zina chats about her origins in tennis, shares her experience as a black woman in a very white sport, and takes us through some of the highlights of a great career. As Zina herself says, "Zina doesn't say much but when she does . . . " -- well, you listen.

 
4:10 Our chat with Lady Z

8:50 Zina takes us through her introduction to tennis, the first all-black WTA final (with Lori McNeil), and getting a kick out of her own record against Martina Navratilova 

18:00 That Monica Seles flowers incident (lol) and beating Chris Evert in her final match

22:00 Zina's 1990 Wimbledon run, 30 years later

26:00 "Now people can't say those things didn't happen" - how Black Lives Matter has shone a light on inequality in tennis

34:10 Althea Gibson as more than just an icon

38:00 So ... about the wiggle

41:00 The game since Zina retired - who's she watching now?

Jul 2, 2020

The Doughnut Chronicles

Well folks, this is not how we envisioned bringing up our double century, but here we are! Truly, we never imagined still being here, and we owe you everything for your support in making it happen. Now, the ATP men remain a hot mess, and it’s the latest round of shenanigans that bring us to your ears today. We're bringing you our thoughts on the Adria Tour Covid collapse (crazy that it feels like old news now), plus Zverev’s very public dumbassery and the doughnut chronicles between an out-of-pocket Boris Becker and his target, Nick Kyrgios. 
 

4:00 A brief diversion to celebrate our double century, on cricket legend Brian Lara

7:00 Adria Tour results in several players testing positive for COVID-19

19:40 Fandom has made this conversation all but impossible

30:15 Blame game between players, coaches, Djokovic's dad, heads of state

32:30 Dominic Thiem, king of obliviousness

34:45 Alexander Zverev spotted acting the fool, stans jump ship

42:25 We're in trouble because managing this pandemic requires people caring about others

48:15 A dramatic reading of The Doughnut Chronicles, starring Boris Becker and Nick Kyrgios

Jun 20, 2020

A Pandemic Dahhhling, Do You Know What That Means?!

So ... anything interesting happen lately? This week, tennis has swiftly put itself back together again, introducing an ambitious summer/fall schedule that includes the US Open, Roland Garros, and smaller tournaments on three continents, with nary a week of rest in between. We discuss the risks, the stakeholder concerns, and the simple WTF of the US Open's bombastic announcement. Because it's Pride month, we also address the sorry state of content coming from the tennis institutions and how it can be done better.

 
2:30 US Open is going full steam ahead 

11:50 USTA trusts players to be "judicious" and careful about public safety ... where is the evidence tho

22:30 Novak Djokovic continues to take L after L after L 

30:00 Revised WTA and ATP schedules: Quarantine? Never heard of her

40:30 Revisiting the 2018 US Open trophy ceremony- does it read differently now?

57:10 Venus Williams turns 40! Also, what is Tennis Majors?

60:35 Tennis United and the general failure of tennis orgs to confront LGBTQ issues and racism

Jun 11, 2020

I Hope That Fish Eats You

The past few weeks have felt like a watershed moment in confronting anti-black racism across the US & the world. Tennis is not impervious to this. Players like Naomi Osaka, Coco Gauff, and Sloane Stephens have stepped forward as key leaders and activists in a moment when this sport truly needs them. Beyond tennis, we talk about the larger movement for transformative justice and the destruction of systemic racism in the U.S. The non-tennis stuff begins around the 1-hour mark.

 

2:40 A timeline: how did we get to the present moment?

6:45 How has tennis responded? Naomi & Coco assert themselves

15:50 Venus, Serena, and faith; Frances Tiafoe, Sloane Stephens, Sachia Vickery, Taylor Townsend

27:00 We expect a lot of black players - but what about non-black players? What say the Big 4?

36:45 Look over there! The Art of Distraction by Lisa Raymond and her side Kiick; Chanda Rubin sets her Twitter fingers to stun 

44:30 An example of how to move toward allyship: is Chris Evert becoming the Jane Fonda of tennis?

48:55 What to make of Alexis Ohanian relinquishing his seat on the Reddit Board?

54:45 Our comment on Courtney Nguyen's apology for past use of transphobic language

63:50 The non-tennis section of the episode - how the current anti-racist movement is a reaction to centuries of structural & state-enforced racism in the US

70:35 What does "defund the police" mean? Well, a few different things

May 25, 2020

TBS Live: The Remix

Welcome to our second ever Zoom session - The Remix, where we take listener questions, talk about Dominic Thiem's unfortunate comments and clarifications on those comments, and the larger inequities built into professional tennis. There's not much actual tennis news to talk about, so kick back and enjoy a much more relaxed Body Serve chat.

2:15 Catching up with player social media exploits: Venus, Naomi & Stef, Nick & Andy

7:25 The Dominic Thiem controversy - how to support lower-ranked players and how to answer this question better

11:15 The Ines Ibbou video response sheds light on the inequalities built into international tennis

18:30 This is bigger than Dominic! Bootstraps individualism and tennis' flawed governance

29:15 The WTA/ATP have announced how they will distribute player relief money

33:55 Merger updates

46:40 Please indulge us while we play a "newlywed game," guessing each other's favorite stuff & more

64:00 Live questions - which results would you reverse? Will tennis resume before a vaccine is available? 

May 17, 2020

For the Quarantainment

The Body Serve is back with a tennis-free episode meant to entertain you during these trying times. We've broken this rather long episode into three parts: 1) trending topics, in which we take up a few non-COVID-related topics that have grabbed our interest recently; 2) TV talk, which is just us having fun talking about the long list of TV series we've been watching; and finally, 3) Body Serve and Soul, our first crack at an audio advice column, answering five questions submitted by listeners. Sending everyone our best wishes and strength while we all do our best to make it through this mess.

 

Part One: Trending Topics

2:45 Do you remember how messed up Tyra's shows were? Twitter does

10:20 A conversation about "cancel culture," how powerful it is, and who actually deserves it

22:30 Verzuz battles: who would we pick?

29:15 What is going on with Karens and Chads across America?!

Part Two: TV Talk - *Warning: spoilers ahead for Hollywood and How to Get Away With Murder (the other series are mostly safe from spoilers)

35:00 Hollywood on Netflix

40:00 Shows we enjoy: We're Here, Normal People, Little Fires Everywhere

51:20 Real Housewives of Atlanta does its first online reunion

55:40 Insecure looks at a friendship in decline

61:40 RuPaul's Drag Race

67:00 The Good Fight, Upload, Never Have I Ever, and the finale of How To Get Away With Murder

Part Three: Body Serve and Soul, our advice column 

79:40 We answer listener questions on relationships, love, social media, and quarantine issues

Apr 26, 2020

TBS Live!

This week, we attempted our very first live show on Zoom. We recorded a live TBS episode covering the bizarre news of the past week or so (think vaccines, mergers, missteps), and followed that up with some games and live Q&A. Thanks to the folks who joined in, contributed to the live chat, and submitted questions. If you weren't able to make it, here's the entire session along with a quick intro. 

0:30 Intro - the fandoms had quite a week, huh?

8:30 TBS Live: starting with Roger Federer's bombshell tweet on ATP/WTA merger

18:30 Billie Jean weighs in: "The WTA on its own was always Plan B"

26:05 Novak's no good very bad week

37:00 ND clarified: I said what I said

40:00 Tennis powers announce a $6 million player support fund

49:15 A live F-Marry-Kill from @SholzTalks10s

53:00 Name the Tennis Player

55:20 A live mailbag from the Zoom live chat - starting with best player social media accounts

59:30 Who benefits the most and least from the suspension of tennis?

75:30 Flukiest Slam champ of the century? 

Apr 22, 2020

Hidden Figures in Tennis

While tennis remains on hiatus, we're diving back into the history of tennis by highlighting some fascinating players you may not be familiar with. We look at: Ora Washington, one of the premier women athletes of the 20th century, ignored and overlooked even in her own sport; Richard Russell, Jamaican tennis icon; Ruia Morrison, the Maori trailblazer finally getting her due in her 80s; and the Amritraj tennis family, major stars in India, but who we wanted to learn more about.

 

0:30 Another Body Serve special presentation - what choice do we have?

3:00 Ora Washington, of whom Arthur Ashe said in 1988, "she may have been the best female athlete ever"

13:20 While dominating tennis, Washington decides to dominate basketball as well

19:30 Richard Russell puts Jamaican tennis on the map

37:50 Ruia Morrison, pioneering Maori tennis star

46:30 The Amritraj family, Indian sporting dynasty

Apr 13, 2020

Wiggle It Like Zina

What do you know about Zina Garrison? We undertook this episode because we knew we didn’t know enough. Zina Garrison is often seen as a bridge between Althea Gibson and the Williams sisters, a trailblazer along with Lori McNeil; but, we want to spend some time highlighting her own accomplished career and electrifying game. We look at Garrison’s unique story and ask what it tells us about tennis history and where we are now. With the benefit of hindsight, how do we view Zina differently in 2020 than journalists did in 1985? How do we situate her achievements? And why doesn’t the tennis world -- including us, up until a few days ago -- know more about Zina Garrison?

 

0:30 What we hope to accomplish with this episode and what our reservations are

6:10 Zina’s resume - gold medal, 14 titles, Wimbledon runner-up

10:10 Zina’s origins - Houston, Texas baby

14:00 What did her game look like? The speed, volleys, slice, overhead, and the wiggle

22:15 Wimbledon 1990, a run for the ages: Zina beats Sukova, Seles, Graf and garners a million in endorsements

35:15 You can’t tell Zina Garrison’s story without Ora Washington, Althea Gibson, and of course, Lori McNeil

43:00 How Zina was covered by the 1980s/90s sports media: poverty, insularity, and underachievement

53:40 What was it like to be a black woman in the 1980s WTA?

60:45 Zina’s post-career philanthropy and activism: the Zina Garrison Academy welcomes tens of thousands of kids, free of charge

72:00 Reflecting on what we learned, and Garrison’s place in the game

Apr 4, 2020

Stay the F#@* at Home

These are strange times for the world and for tennis. We look at the rolling cancellations, the narrowing possibility that tennis will be played at all this year, and the consequences for players, tournaments, and fans. James takes you through the complicated governing bodies of tennis - hopefully he's not the only one who enjoys it. Does anyone have a responsibility to support out-of-work players? We say yes, but who is in the position to help? We finish up with some fun: bored players getting creative on social media, things we like, and what's in the pipeline for us.

 

1:55 USTA says get off the tennis court

4:30 Wimbledon is officially cancelled in 2020, players see an opportunity for self-promotion

17:25 What are the chances we see any more tennis in 2020? What could be the impact of cancelling the 2020 season?

29:00 How can players support themselves during the shutdown? Sofia Shapatava’s petition

34:30 Let’s learn! The complicated organization structure of tennis

41:00 The national federations, governing bodies, media partners, sponsors, tournament owners. Who, if anyone, is responsible -- and who is able -- to support tennis players during this crisis?

53:20 Lightening the mood: players cut up on social media

67:00 The Thiem/Bresnik feud, Tatishvili retires

70:40 Thing we like & what’s next for The Body Serve

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 then...now. 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

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