The Body Serve

The Body Serve Tennis Podcast


Tennis podcast featuring casual, semi-respectable conversations about the ATP & WTA.

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291 episodes

Gaslight, Gatekeep, Girlboss: Aus Open Wrap

On the 14th day since the Australian Open started, we rested while Novak wept. The victimhood tour is complete, Jonathan is annoyed, and we pay it as much (or as little) attention as we can muster. Meanwhile, Aryna Sabalenka did THAT. Wow, what a moment. From her grit, skill, and determination on court, to her goofy glamour the following day, we put some respect on that incredible women's final! Other matters of business: lots of geopolitical tensions boil over, the Djokovic pater creates yet more headache for his son, Tursunov comes for Pam, the ballkids work for free, and Babs and Kat simply don’t lose Slam matches anymore.    3:00 Sabalenka & Rybakina give us an insta-classic 16:15 The men: so …… anyway 23:45 The bweh tragedy; and Shelton’s upside and areas for improvement 31:15 Doubles: Krejcikova/Siniakova haven’t lost a Slam match since 2021; Sania plays her final Slam 35:10 Et ceteras: so, nationalism eh? 43:05 Papa Djokovic ignites a flag scandal 52:05 Pam’s tweet brings Tursunov out of the woodwork, why? 63:55 Is it work? Pay the ballkids  67:45 Tiafoe wins best dressed by a mile 72:00 ESPN keeps its team Stateside 74:30 Punting the Kosmos mess but staying for the strawberry jam 77:15 Extras: rankings movers, TBS fantasy, and a disclaimer

1h 29m
Jan 31
That’s Not The Rule, Kerrilyn

Welcome to the third installment of our Australian Open series! We're at the quarterfinals, and the men's draw is giving chaos while the women's seems kind of … correct? We talk about Djokovic's mini-battle with the press and overall less than sunny mood, the state of safeguarding against abuse on the WTA, and another induction into our Hall of Fame. Finally, we offer our review of episodes 4 & 5 of Break Point (much improved!) and our favorite segment, Alison Riske-Amritraj's vociferous defense of the rules.    0:00 Don’t skip the intro this time 3:50 The women’s quarters - being able to appreciate tennis as more non-partisan than ever 15:00 Azarenka captures magic again, Sabalenka fixes her f***ing serve 20:55 The men’s draw has been a touch chaotic, no? 24:25 Novak Djokovic’s resentment tour  32:40 Korda, Shelton, Ruby, Rune 42:20 The PTPA’s nothing salads 45:40 That's Not The Rule, Kerrilyn  54:15 Sabalenka gets inducted into the TBS HOF 55:00 Recapping Break Point 4 and 5 - some depth and more real insights than the previous installments 63:50 Continuing to look at the effort to curb abuse and exploitation of women on the WTA Tour  70:35 The charges against Tsitsipas and why they don’t stick

1h 22m
Jan 24
The Bushbirds Are Sh*tting

Hey there, just popping in to offer some thoughts on the first few days of the 2023 Australian Open and the first three episodes of Netflix’s tennis docuseries Break Point! We talk about a few standouts from a pretty rocky and wet week one (don’t be offended if we missed your fave, it’s not comprehensive); we discuss the Netflix Curse chatter that seems to be dooming 8 of the 10 featured players; and we think about some fascinating press conference moments from Taylor Townsend, Rafael Nadal and, in a rather different way, Camila Giorgi.      2:50 The Netflix Curse or the Netflix picking the wrong players syndrome? 5:10 Standouts in the first few days: Parrizas Diaz, Volynets, Brooksby, Shelton 11:00 Let me complain for a minute: the AO app is not good; and the rain highlights tennis’ built-in inequities 14:20 Andrew Murray plays for 10.5 hours over two matches 17:10 TBS Hall of Fame gets two new inductees! 21:35 Rafa leaves Australia with a new injury, smashes a cliche about athlete ‘sacrifice’ 32:05 Taylor Townsend shines in doubles, gets real about tennis finances  34:25 Camila Giorgi faces the music about alleged vaccine fraud and blissfully exists on her own planet  40:25 Novak: hamstring, hamstrung 42:25 Recommendation for tennis from James’ parents, only one of whom watches tennis 47:00 Discussing Break Point - who is it for, what’s it meant to accomplish, and does it do that? 51:20 The tennis brat / bad boy trying to reform -- it’s not giving us anything new  55:35 Go to the business center

1h 9m
Jan 20
Pregnant With Possibilities: Australian Open Preview

The first Slam of the year doesn't give us many weeks of tennis to form opinions, but it's delivered on story lines, with one taking the cake: Naomi Osaka -- having already withdrawn from the Australian Open -- announced she's pregnant and will miss the 2023 season. This barely a week after defending champ Ash Barty announced her own pregnancy. Tournament director Craig Tiley is up to his usual hijinks, this year banning booing, rolling out NFTs in an inhospitable market, and extracting surplus labour from what used to be free (player practices). All that plus draw analysis, January standouts, PTPA news, a complete diversion on our take on Rolling Stone's greatest singers list. Ready?     2:30 Naomi Osaka is missing the Australian Open, yes … but why, pray? 10:50 What kind of mess will Craig get into this year? Well, funny you should ask 16:00 Booing Novak Djokovic is illegal. Is this a real thing? 19:50 Scamming scammers: extracting surplus value from player practices plus the AO NFT gallery 29:10 The PTPA announces an executive committee 33:50 Who’s standing out in the first two weeks of 2023? Peggy, Sabs, Linda, Novak, Taylor, Cam 44:50 Carlos Alcaraz misses the Australian Open but gets an international Calvin Klein underwear spread 49:50 Women’s draw analysis 60:55 Men’s draw analysis 71:35 Our greatest singers - fie, Rolling Stone!

1h 27m
Jan 13
A Positive Start

Welcome to The Body Serve 9! We're recovering from our first-ever bout with COVID but tennis never stops and the show must go on. We offer some things to look out for in 2023 -- a true rival to Iga? A few more Big 4 retirements? -- and share some of our (and your) hopes and dreams for the upcoming season. We also catch up with the tennis news cycle, including the latest Camila Giorgi controversy, Simona's doping suspension, Venus' return, and the debut of United Cup.   00:28 Season NINE: Housekeeping & #NameTheTennisPlayer  07:25 Things to look out for this season (The Giorgi Syndicate) 18:53 Nepo babies & the sprawling United Cup 29:53 Queen Vee is BACK and looking evergreen 35:07 Wading into the homosexual waters 45:47 James is definitely going to reach his breaking point this season  51:52 Boris is back and updates on the Simona sitch  54:59 Breakout candidates for the 2023 season  60:35 Our hopes and wishes for the 2023 season   

1h 17m
Jan 06
How Did We Get Here? TBS Culture Edition

To cap off our 8th season and tide you over until 2023, we’re bringing you the rare TBS culture episode. No tennis talk whatsoever -- we even had a few tennis-related items on the agenda which we deleted. We’ve got: an hour of TV talk including spoilers for The White Lotus and a few lightning-round rants; thoughts on “queerbaiting” and Kit Connor’s forced coming-out; Mariah Christmas concert review; and takes on blackfishing, digital minstrelsy, T Swift, and more!   5:55 Spoilers ahead for The White Lotus, one of the few remaining watercooler shows 15:45 MVPs Aubrey Plaza & Meghann Fahy 20:50 Siamo tutti gay! 27:30 Is the Golden Age of Television over? It’s ok if it is, all things must pass 31:50 Some shows we enjoyed: Mo, Industry, Better Things, Heartstopper, Somebody Somewhere, The Bear, P-Valley, and more 53:25 Each of us do a mini-rant about TV 01:02:00 Heartstopper and the extratextual: Kit Connor comes out after the fandom accuses him of queerbaiting 01:10:20 David Archuleta from American Idol comes out  01:15:15 So what happened with Bros? 01:20:55 Recapping Mariah’s Christmas concerts in Toronto! 01:30:30 We need to talk about Taylor Swift (without losing half of our listeners) 01:40:00 Miss Patti has still got it at 78 01:44:30 Terrible news about Celine Dion’s health 01:47:00 Kardashian-Jenner hegemony: when will it end? 01:57:30 Asking each other a tough and a not-so-tough question

2h 6m
Dec 16, 2022
The Merchants of Menace: 2022 ATP Wrap

It’s time to wrap up the 2022 ATP season, and we’re treating the guys with a healthy (and earned!) dose of suspicion, starting with a rundown of the most badly behaved children of the year. But it’s not all bad - we also cover Rafa’s personal-best start to the season, Carlos’ rise, Novak’s disappearing and reappearing acts, Felix fixing his finals bugaboo, Holger’s Paris breakdown and later his Paris Masters title, and Roger’s retirement. And since tennis news will stop for no one, we had to recap Canada’s historic win at Davis Cup and the implosion of Team USA.       0:00 Cold Open Men behaving badly  4:25 Starting with the worst: That Guy 9:20 The Nick Kyrgios redemption nightmare 13:50 Craig! What the hell, dude?! 18:00 Jaaa-gate, Moutet, poop shorts, and Shapo gets scolded by Daddy 25:55 Davis Cup: USA cancels themselves, does the work for us 31:20 The Verdasco ban and Reilly’s basement tweeting   Notable Moments 40:30 Djokovic removed from Australia + Rafa wins a very memorable Australian final 48:35 Carlos Alcaraz breaks out in March; Rafa’s injuries start and never end; weird Wimbledon 57:20 US Open was our first major (and Carlos’ too)! 61:30 Laver Cup, frat behavior, G***k y*g*rt, Federer retirement 65:30 Other retirements: Del Potro, Tsonga, Anderson, and many more 68:55 Three other players we need to mention: Feliz, Casper, Holger 79:25 How’d we do on our choices for breakout players of 2022?

1h 26m
Dec 01, 2022
The Inroads (and Outroads?) of the 2022 WTA Season

The 2022 WTA season had everything: a 37-match win streak, the retirements of the current #1 (abrupt) and the GOAT (expected), a Wimbledon with no ranking points, and a major drug suspension. Iga Swiatek’s dominance didn’t leave much room for her competitors, but other highlights included Ons Jabeur’s steady rise to world #2 and two Slam runner-up finishes, Caroline Garcia’s singles renaissance and WTA Finals title, and utter doubles dominance from Krejcikova/Siniakova. We’ve also got some juicy listener-generated “things you loved/hated” content and the kind of typically bizarre moments that keep us coming back every year.    Plus, we’ve just launched our GoFundMe - please read a bit about we do and donate if you can!      0:30 Announcing our GoFundMe 2022 and reiterating our mission 6:05 Three key moments: Ash’s Australian win + retirement, Iga’s win streak, and Serena’s evolution 11:00 The other major stories: the instability at the top for everyone but Iga, Simona Halep’s remarkably odd year, and the total breakdown of COVID protocols 18:40 Starting the year with Barty as the undisputed #1 25:20 Ash’s retirement coincides with the start of Iga’s 37-match win streak  34:45 Grass season: Serena dominates the conversation from Eastbourne to the US Open; Rybakina wins the points-less Wimbledon  42:00 Summer hardcourt stretch: our own return to live tennis; Halep & Garcia grab titles but Swiatek restores order in New York 54:55 Discussing the WTA year-end award nominees 60:45 Our own picks for 2022 breakout players - how’d we do? 63:25 Remember when? A broken necklace, a broken doubles team, and Ostapenko's ... everything 72:45 Things you loved about WTA tennis in 2022 81:50 Things you loathed in 2022: no points at Wimbledon, no more business buns 85:55 The WTA’s finances: Hologic sponsorship and a potential deal with private equity 

1h 37m
Nov 22, 2022
Muchas Garcías

The WTA regular season comes to a close with comeback kid Caroline Garcia grabbing her biggest career title, dispatching Iga-vanquisher Aryna Sabalenka in a boom-boom final. We discuss the last-minute nature of the event and the tough financial and ethical positions the WTA continues to occupy in light of the China situation. On the men’s side, Holger Rune caps a momentous autumn swing that brings him from #33 to the brink of the ATP Finals, but not without a lecture from daddy. Elsewhere in bad behavior, the FFT disowns Moutet, Reilly earns lifelong haters, and Kyrgios settles a silly (disclaimer: this is James’ opinion; please don’t sue) defamation suit.    0:45 Garcia’s Finals title and Sabalenka’s upset of #1 Swiatek add unexpected layers to this WTA season 8:35 Some props for Sakkari, Kasatkina, and doubles champ and singles-almost-made-it Kudermetova 17:30 Lots of commentary about attendance and the choice of venue – what the WTA has been up against vs. what is of their own making 28:55 Holger beats Djokovic, ends Felix’s win streak, and becomes first alternate for Torino 33:30 Magic potions and goofy huddles; it’s not actually a ‘thing’ but it’s no surprise that people think it’s a thing! 39:00 WTA CEO Steve Simon’s strange and conflict-heavy statements on the ongoing Halep doping situation 41:10 James’ tormentor Gilles Simon finally retires 47:45 Et ceteras: Moutet loses the bag; WTA institutes coaching program to attract and develop female coaches; safeguarding against abuse in tennis 57:00 Reilly thinks telling people to vote is cringe and that tennis used to be free of politics … ok hun 63:50 The biggest merch sale of the year: The Body Serve’s RedBubble Store

1h 5m
Nov 10, 2022
Félix Aviation Administration

Canadian King Félix Auger-Aliassime. As Rihanna said, let’s start there. Félix has turned around his final-round performances to the tune of three straight titles, beating world #1 Alcaraz twice in the past few weeks. Elsewhere, in Texaaaas, the world’s best women have a blast dressing up but will soon look to take on the dominant force of Iga Swiatek at the WTA Finals. We’re also covering Rune’s on-court and online hissy fits, previewing Paris and the ATP Final scenarios, and getting the Iga starfish case off the docket to make room for worse offenders.    01:45 Félix with 13 straight wins! Momentum is a hell of a drug 06:15 Holger’s temper tantrum(s) 14:00 Medvedev steadies the ship in Vienna, Shapo on a consistent run 16:00 ATP Finals qualifications: Wimbledon is the tournament that is and isn’t 23:30 The WTA women dress up and have a blast … stop with the amateur fashion critiques unless you’re being nice! 29:25 James takes a shot at WTA social media marketing and Jonathan is way more fair  35:50 Is anyone beating Iga? 41:00 United Cup, what’s it all about? 47:00 Case dismissed: Iga addressed the handwaving and yes, we must move on 49:00 Coaching carousel: Garcia’s coach splits with literary flair and Stan & Magnus are back together 52:20 What’s next for TBS

Nov 01, 2022
The October Surprise

Just when we thought we could go away for a spell without anything crazy happening, the ghost of an ugly hotel carpet threw things into disarray with Simona Halep testing positive for a banned substance. We begin the episode by wading through these doping waters, before catching up on the 7,000 tournaments since we last dropped an episode. Just take a look at the timestamps for the remainder of the docket: a lot of MESS before we finish with a salute to two all-timers who left an indelible mark on this fraught world we live in    01:55 Simona Halep tests positive for a banned substance 17:44 Catching up on the results 23:36 When are the authorities going to arrest Belinda Bencic? 28:45 WTA Finals qualifiers and James’ obsession with the Napoli mess 36:40 An update on one of the handful of ATP players accused of domestic violence 38:16 Coaching carousel: Tursunov’s self-serving MESS 44:10 Does pickleball want the sloppy seconds of tennis? 52:12 TENNIS BABIES!!! 55:00 Our top three Mariah studio albums 58:24 In memorium: Queer icons Dame Angela Lansbury & Leslie Jordan 

1h 4m
Oct 25, 2022
25 Languages But Is Arabic One?

This is a hodgepodge episode, catching up with the recent tournament results across four continents, including Tunisia’s first WTA event, Djokovic’s clearing of the Next and CurrentGen, and Tiafoe’s continuing run of good form. We spend a good amount of time on Ostrava - the destined-to-be-a-classic final, Iga’s status as an activist #1, and Krejcikova’s return as a top singles player. All that plus some news about the Kyrgios case, WTA Final qualification scenarios, and a WTA coming-out (Happy National Coming Out Day!).    1:00 So who’s been winning all these tournaments around the world? 5:45 Novak clobbers an incredibly stacked ATP 500 draw  10:35 Fritz wins Tokyo, he and Tiafoe reach career high rankings 15:45 Thanks to Ons Jabeur and IMG, WTA tennis comes to Tunisia! 19:35 Ostrava has become a real autumn highlight - Krejcikova and Swiatek deliver a classic 25:40 Why do some see Iga as the complainer-in-chief? 33:30 Kiki Mladenovic knows her brand! 35:25 Kyrgios’ lawyers will ask his case to be dismissed on mental health grounds 40:35 Et ceteras: RaducanuOUT, Podoroska *out*, tour finals qualification

Oct 11, 2022
Question: Tell Me What You Think About ...

Thanks to you, our listeners, we’re back with a special mailbag episode, answering your questions about any and everything. You asked about tennis, of course – lots of questions lingering from Laver Cup and Roger’s retirement, and about the states of various players’ games on the women’s tour – but you also allowed us to be self-indulgent and talk about what we’re watching and listening to, our favorite breads and cheeses (a new one!), and our nerdiest qualities.    1:40 Rapid-fire from @SamsBiceps: Federer matches, Beyonce, desserts, and Oscar best actress predix 13:50 Daria Saville’s IG post after her injury: interesting insight or just too much honesty? 18:15 What’s up with Naomi? Will she be back in form next year? 24:00 Dream WTA Team World - Team Europe lineups (and we added thoughts about what a dream Laver Cup should set out to accomplish 32:15 What are we watching/listening to/reading lately? It’s been a great year for horror fans 41:35 Pair any five tennis players with a Mariah track, which would then be their theme song (hey, Grigor)  46:25 Us as commentators: what’s our green room rider? How will you diplomatically call out your colleagues for bad takes?  53:15 What is the nerdiest non-tennis thing about each of us? Well, there’s a lot 59:10 If one of the Big 3 never played tennis, how many majors would the other two have won? 65:00 Our favorite breads and cheeses! Amazing question! 69:20 An FMK from our most reliable contributor  71:40 What is happening with Garbine? And some thoughts on a coach’s role 78:45 Our own tennis playing styles

1h 24m
Oct 02, 2022
It Doesn’t Even Matter

And just like that, another GOAT says goodbye. This time, it’s Roger Federer at Laver Cup, giving tennis and his fans one last glimpse at his greatness. Confession: we haven’t always been the biggest FedFans, but we’re still paying respect to the man and his genius, offering some of our most enduring Federer memories. Along the way, we chime in on Laver Cup itself, the tender Fedal moments, where the event worked, and where it falls short for us. ‘Til next time, Roger!     0:30 Federer retires: regret over letting stan wars cloud our appreciation  14:35 Federer’s imperial period: if you know, you know 17:05 Our favorite Roger memories 21:10 A non-recap of Laver Cup 29:40 The racist abuse leveled at Frances Tiafoe; fans now trying to find their next prop to prove they’re not racist 37:40 The touching retirement punctuated by truly absurdist theatre 41:20 Rafa & Roger’s unique and genuine bond - men showing affection! 52:20 Big Three or Big Four? Yes, we want to go there, just for a minute 55:10 What exactly is Federer’s legacy? What did he bring to tennis that no one had before? (thanks @seasaltandrum for the question!)

1h 7m
Sep 27, 2022
Barely Bleating: US Open Wrap

The final Slam of the season sees Iga Swiatek troubleshoot and learn now to extend her dominance, and the coronation of the (not very) long awaited Carlos Alcaraz as a major winner and youngest male #1 in history. As always, we try to be skeptical of hype and take a fresh look at the results and what they might mean for the near future. Also at this US Open: the shambolic choice to have Supreme Court Justice Patrick McEnroe helm the women's doubles presentation, profiteering off Serena's name, and more awful revelations about sexual abuse in women’s tennis.    2:30 Iga Swiatek doesn’t always play her best but proves why she’s the dominant #1 14:40 The women’s draw gets a wonderful crop of quarterfinalists, representative of many of the year’s best 21:45 Are we in the Iga Era? How do we define a deserving number one? What do we want from women's tennis? Who cares! Sit back and watch  24:35 Men’s champ: from barely bleating to curry-ready 35:10 Frances Tiafoe! Not to say I told you so but …   42:50 Listen to Jonathan stretch a subordinate clause far past its breaking point  44:55 Women’s doubles: Krejcikova/Siniakova win the Career Slam; plus, the massive insult of Patrick McEnroe presiding over this trophy ceremony 56:10 TW: SA - Fiona Ferro’s case against her former coach puts another spotlight on abuse and exploitation in women’s tennis 60:55 Et ceteras: bootleg Serena merch, the too-late night matches, and the partisan but only partially engaged US Open crowd 69:25 WTA Finals is moving to … Texas? 73:11 Randomly, our favorite and least favorite types of pasta 

1h 18m
Sep 13, 2022
Very Good, Serena Williams: US Open Week One

Well folks, that was quite the first week of the US Open, wasn't it? Jonathan is back from his trip to Flushing Meadows, and we are back to talk about Serena's last dance (or at least our first stab at it). There's a lot to unpack from the first week of the season's last major, so grab a honey deuce and join us for the ride.   2:35 Serena d. Kontaveit 12:00 The Farewell: Serena bows out to Ajla Tomljanovic in the third round  26:10 Jonathan’s observations from the US Open: Venus, Danielle, The Penko Experience  43:00 Thoughts on Arthur Ashe Stadium 54:40 Indulge me for a moment: the sound mix and off-court coaching 64:45 Commentary, a lifetime appointment? 69:20 Quickly running through where we’re at in the draw: women’s round of 16 is stacked 81:35 Rafa’s first week: nerves and a shocking smack in the nose

1h 31m
Sep 05, 2022
Looks Like We Made It: US Open Preview

We're piecing together a preview for the US Open on precarious hotel wifi, but the show must go on! After all, this is Serena's final Slam. Jonathan is in NY taking in the action, while James holds down the TBS fort (i.e. Vince) in Toronto. Hear Jonathan's initial thoughts on TBS’s first trip to a Slam, plus we're talking about Novak’s eleventh hour withdrawal, this year’s version of the bathroom break distraction, and of course the just released US Open draws, seemingly some of the most balanced draws in recent memory.     01:05 Jonathan's initial thoughts on Flushing Meadows and the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center 12:25 To no one’s surprise the entry requirements did not change and Novak Djokovic pulls out of the US Open at the last minute  20:00 Kyrgios legal update plus a perfect distraction, a ridiculous defamation suit 27:30 WTA draw: hey, it could have been a lot worse 30:30 Women’s top half: cracking first rounds, including Queenwen vs. Ostapenko and Raducanu vs. Consecutive Slam Queen Cornet  42:00 Women’s bottom half: Madison gets a tough road early on; Serena’s fourth quarter … what to make of it 48:30 Men’s draw: a historic #1 seed leads a wide open draw 

1h 0m
Aug 26, 2022
No Qualifier Needed

Cincinnati lost its stars early but still brought us a wickedly good weekend, with comeback kids Borna Coric and Caroline Garcia taking the titles. We talk new shoulder (Borna), new confidence (Caro), new professionalism (Stef?), and the resurgent Petra and Madison. We take a stab at the ball controversy and how it speaks to a larger battle in tennis governance. The second part of this episode features an interview with author and illustrator Tom Humberstone, whose gorgeous graphic novel Suzanne hits bookstores in September. Suzanne Lenglen was one of the very first sporting superstars; Tom tells Suzanne’s story with specificity, avoiding comparisons with today’s greats, exploring what made her so compelling and how the well worn cliches about her fail to do justice to her life and accomplishments.     3:30 OG NextGen kid Borna Coric is back in the conversation, wins Cincinnati with his new serve (and new shoulder) 14:30 Iga, Ons, Serena out early? No problem - Petra, Caro, and Madison are getting butts in seats 21:20 Tennis ball controversy: Iga Swiatek vs. Wilson Regular Duty 27:00 Whom does it serve to tweet about someone skipping a press conference? (Check the replies, that’s who) 30:05 Jonathan’s preferred Serena match-up and Vika’s slightly anticlimactic announcement 35:10 Interview with Tom Humberstone, author of Suzanne and Body Serve illustrator! 47:45 Translating the unique visual spectacle of Lenglen to the page  55:15 How to balance “legacy” while honoring a person’s specific life experiences 59:20 Lenglen forced the skeptical press to respect women’s sport

1h 14m
Aug 23, 2022
In The 6ix

We’re back after attending our first live tennis in THREE YEARS! Wow, what a moment. A moment most pleasing to us in our podcasting careers. The happy feelings didn’t last long as we had to grapple with the end of Serena’s career when she announced her imminent retirement at the US Open. We also chat about Simona and PCB’s wins in Canada before sharing a few of our observations from seeing the women in person last week. Buckle up folks, it’s going to be a hell of a ride the next few weeks    01:53 Serena rocks our world with news of her impending retirement 10:52 The relief, the joy, and the pain of grappling with this announcement 15:16 Simona Halep fightergirls herself to the Toronto title 17:33 The pusher discourse has gotten way out of control 20:32 Putting some respect on Haddad Maia and Zheng Qinwen’s names 23:45 PCB wins his biggest career title in Montreal 32:53 Observations: Watching Serena live in Toronto 36:36 Sloane’s defence, Kenin’s comeback, and endless deuces 44:32 Loving Bianca off the court and struggling with the mess on it 49:44 Why is it always MEN who are super loud and clueless at tennis? 58:19 Let serves and Giorgi/Ostapenko live lasers

1h 11m
Aug 16, 2022
Summer Renaissance: Hardcourt Preview

The unbearable August heat and humidity means it’s time for the North American hardcourt swing, for a brief magical period known as the US Open Series. Instead of a typical recap, we decided to present a summer hardcourt preview to mark this distinct segment of the season. Who are the old reliables on this surface? Will Medvedev extend his mastery over these courts? Will Iga add some more titles to that expanding hardcourt resume? What will Venus and Serena’s matches look like? Will Djokovic become a wedge issue in the midterms? (No.) Plus a snapshot of our favorite moments from Beyonce’s stunner, Renaissance.     2:55 What are the main storylines going into the greatest rrrrroad trip in esport? 11:20 DC: Serena descends upon the capital, creates confusion 16:55 Venus’ first match since last August - what’s the takeaway? 25:35 Hardcourt preview: the comebacks, reboots, redos, and those with something to prove 35:25 The hardcourt stalwarts of the past few years, women first: Naomi, Iga, Vika, Aryna, and more 41:20 The hardcourt “kings” and we use the term loosely 45:20 Novak Djokovic and US Republican members of Congress: with their powers combined …  52:35 Medvedev and the race for the men’s #1 54:05 Raducanu’s choice of coach riles the British press 58:35 Our upcoming tennis plans 62:35 Beyonce’s Renaissance - a postmodern tour of Black dance music and reveling in the face of a plague

1h 14m
Aug 05, 2022
In Our (Mail) Bag

It’s the hottest part of the summer and the post-Wimbledon haze is the perfect time to outsource our agenda planning by asking our readers for questions. Fortunately, your questions were well in sync with important topics of the day and what we wanted to cover. We discuss the documentary/vlog featuring Dasha Kasatkina and Andrey Rublev; the intimacy of the format; and the considerable fallout caused by Dasha’s coming out and their tough words on their home country. We spend a little time chatting about recent tennis news but that’s really not the focus – look out for questions on the world track and field championships, climate change, R&B covers of songs from other genres, and our current favorite snacks and TV shows.    2:00 Etceteras: Coaching splits, Matteo’s racist IG story, and TBS pet merch! Mailbag 7:35 The Kasatkina-Rublev doc and the immediate fallout 19:35 What to make of the ATP’s partnership with You Can Play to improve LGBTQ inclusion?  23:25 The Jamaican women continue to dominate sprinting; Shelly-Ann is the GOAT 33:45 Climate change as an existential threat to tennis  39:45 We’re not here for the scamming 42:25 Quick diversion about snacks 45:20 What are our favorite R&B covers of songs from another genre? 48:30 Why pundits are critical about Serena’s comeback(s) and fitness level  55:00 New TV we’ve been watching 61:50 To live and *let* live? To asterisk or not to asterisk?

1h 10m
Jul 25, 2022
The S#&% Show Must Go On: Wimbledon Wrap

Let's start with the good news: Elena Rybakina powered her way to a major title, and Ons Jabeur reached another career milestone while winning hearts and eyeballs around the world. The men's side was, uh, less appealing. Nick Kyrgios reached his first major final on the heels of an assault accusation (that's 4 ATP players currently accused of domestic violence if you're keeping count); a cursed bromance emerges; Rafa pulls out with an abdominal tear; and the younger generations fail again to capitalize on legends who weren't even close to their best tennis.    3:05 Elena Rybakina, another surprising but not surprising Slam winner on the WTA 14:45 Ons Jabeur, self-proclaimed Minister of Happiness – and this government ain’t falling  26:25 Tatjana Maria and reconsidering the narrative surrounding mothers in tennis 31:45 An unconventional recap of the men’s final 33:05 Nick Kyrgios is accused of assault by his ex-girlfriend, will face charges in court  38:35 Bromance from hell 49:30 The greatest fighter narrative works for Rafa but should we be celebrating the suffering? 58:50 Doubles: Krejcikova/Siniakova earn legend status  63:05 The ranking jumps are a little more dramatic than usual 65:40 The Telegraph spun the Serena Williams controversy wheel and came up with “five cars”

1h 13m
Jul 12, 2022
In Perfect DisHarmony: Wimbledon Week One

Wimbledon week one saw a GOAT come and go, her sister light up the doubles court, the two male legends anchor their sides of the draw, and the loquacious Cornet end Swiatek's 37-match win streak. Saturday lit up the tournament for reasons good and bad; after Anisimova notched an impressive win over Gauff, Kyrgios and Tsitsipas gave an absolute shit show of code violations, toxic behavior, and occasionally compelling tennis. All the while, COVID reared its ugly head despite the tournament's determination to ignore it.    2:05 Serena, queen of net rushing and accepting her tennis mortality 14:30 Tami Korpatsch: a social media star is born 18:35 Venus & Jamie: you bring me joy 25:15 The upsets: the surprising (Hubi) and the less so (Muguruza & Kontaveit) 34:10 Round of 16 match-ups: Cornet ends Iga’s streak  41:40 Men’s draw: Covid wreaks havoc on the bottom half 48: 50 Covid is still here, surprise! On tennis’ players’ “civic spirit” 54:05 The All England Club as an extension of the British government  56:20 Novak’s new tennys text buddy  58:55 The men get messy: ADF, Rafa, Nick & Stefanos

1h 23m
Jul 03, 2022
You Just Gotta Be Ready: Wimbledon Preview

2022 Wimbledon prep had been dominated by the ban of Russian and Belarusian players, and then Serena Williams stopped the world by announcing her return to competitive tennis, first in Eastbourne doubles (OnsRena 4ever) and ultimately the Wimbledon singles draw. She joins a crowded field with no clear favorite, with Iga, Ons, Angie, Coco, a few Karolinas, and Petra all in with a shot. The men’s side sees Rafa and Djokovic on opposite sides, with Rafa attempting to continue his 14-match Slam win streak and Djokovic trying to upend the year’s narrative and further complicate the best-ever conversation.    1:10 Stop the world; world, stop: the birth of OnsRena and Rena’s surprising return to Wimbledon 11:55 Another unlikely return to Wimbledon: Rafa’s foot procedure allows him to play SW19 14:40 Tara Moore popped for alleged doping 19:50 Women’s draw: RG was a sure thing for Iga, but not so at Wimbledon 27:05 The Serena quarter (well, technically the Badosa quarter): LOADED 36:50 The women’s bottom half offers huge opportunity (*whispers* but it should be Ons) 46:40 Men’s draw top half: Djokovic, Alcaraz, and a few seeds who’ve never won a match here 52:05 Bottom half: Berrettini, Fritz, and Tsitsipas rounding into form at the right time

1h 5m
Jun 25, 2022
Ted Tinling: Tennis’ Needle and Thread

Cuthbert Collingwood "Ted" Tinling was a man whose unlikely story threads throughout the eras of twentieth century tennis like no one else's. A product of a patrician English family who moved to the French Riviera, Ted found himself umpiring for Suzanne Lenglen at 13 years old. He would grow to become a successful London couturier in the interwar period, and in the late 1940s found tennis pulling him back, this time as a designer of tennis fashion. Tinling wed ultra-feminine design with functionality, creating outfits unique to each wearer and which emphasized the need for sportswear to work and move like a tennis player. Much has been written about his rebellious nature and his banishment from Wimbledon -- and we certainly cover that -- but we're also interested in the contradictions of a man with great respect for the codes of tennis tradition but who repeatedly strained against it.   0:45 Ted Tinling: tennis’ great multihyphenate  7:20 The Tinlings move from Eastbourne to the Riviera, the hotbed of Jazz Age tennis 11:55 Suzanne Lenglen, France’s homegrown superstar  16:45 The end of his Riviera boyhood – from child umpire to Mayfair couturier 20:40 Post-war: a revolution in colour 23:45 Tinling and Dior’s New Look - a regression or a rebellion? (Or both?) 27:35 The panties that altered history 36:45 The 1960s: Tinling as the premier designer of women’s tennis 42:50 You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby 48:25 The Tinling Slam: all four plus the Battle of the Sexes 53:20 Wimbledon Act II: Back in the Club 56:20 Infinite sites of rebellion - chipping away at tennis’ strictures  63:10 A few more stories we want to tell: Elizabeth Ryan and Bill Tilden

1h 13m
Jun 21, 2022
Je Ne Comprends Pas

Iga Swiatek and Rafael Nadal are joint winners at Roland Garros for the second time, with Iga extending her dominance over women’s tennis and Rafa entering truly uncharted territory as a 14-time RG winner and extending his lead in the all-time Grand Slam count. In keeping with the episode title, we’re trying to understand how Nadal did that in the face of a tough draw, poor preparation, and a career-threatening foot condition. Twenty-one-year-old Iga, on the other hand, is making it look easy. We take you through the major moments of week two, making plenty of time for the Battle of Scandinavia, Mauresmo's unfortunate comments, doubles results, and Rafole #59.    1:15 Racquet Bracket results: sometimes mediocre is all we can hope for 5:20 Unbeatable Iga 11:50 The streak: let’s let the active players live without comparing them to GOATs 20:25 The makeup question … che schifo! 27:00 The men’s quarters on: the endless Ruud-Rune dust-up, an at times imperious Cilic 37:05 Nadalovic didn’t quite live up to expectations 42:20 Nadal-Zverev, that injury, and that weird discourse that resulted 50:50 The final is what we needed – a low-stress denouement to a very tough tournament 62:30 Retirement watch was on but we fight on - more info on the foot 69:25 Men’s double makes history and the reunion of Garcia/Mladenovic 72:55 Rankings watch: lose in the first round, earn a career high ranking! 76:45 Amelie Mauresmo’s turbulent fortnight 

1h 30m
Jun 07, 2022
If Is a Dangerous Word

The Roland Garros quarterfinals are set, and despite a brief scare, Iga Swiatek continues her stunning win streak as the lone remaining top 10 seed in the women’s draw. But fear not, the quarterfinal match-ups are cracker (RIP Derry Girls). On the men’s side, we still have the promised Djokovic-Nadal quarterfinal, Alcaraz is still winning, and the once-presumptive finalist Tsitsipas has crashed out. We get serious about an issu important to us: Martina’s appearance on Piers Morgan’s show, the ongoing fight against trans women in women's sport, and what we're not talking about when we talk about this issue.    01:15 Women’s quarterfinals: they may not be what you asked for, but they’re still pretty good 10:25 Simona Halep opens up about panic attacks and emotional setbacks (PMo centers himself) 13:30 Women’s first week roundup: Queenwen, Kasatkina, Kerber, Coco, Sloane, Leylah 25:25 Men’s quarters: some of the top guys were tested but they (mostly) came through  30:30 Felix takes Nadal to five sets (allez!) amidst the Toni drama (it’s not that big a deal)  37:35 What’s the deal with this night session? One match?  48:20 Et ceteras: a mini Covid scare and Begu & Rublev’s near-misses 51:15 Talking about the movement against trans women in women's sport and why they're missing the forest for the trees 68:25 Quick follow-up on the language of discrimination + the damned subjunctive tense

1h 12m
May 31, 2022
Thoughts and Prayers: Roland Garros Preview

Not more than four short months ago, we were reveling in Rafa and Ash’s Australian Open glory. Now that we’ve been abandoned by Ash, and Rafa’s foot has set alarm bells ringing, we enter the year’s second Slam with that familiar feeling of dread. Iga has taken the baton from Ash and sped through the Spring season; who can catch her? On the men’s side, things are a bit more focused…on one very concentrated half of the draw. Join us for our 2022 Roland Garros preview where we parse through the draws, give updates on the latest Wimbledon mess, and finish with the glowing debut of Drag Race All-Stars 7!   3:20 Women’s draw: name one player who can beat Iga (well, the few who might be able to are in her section LOL) 14:25 Women’s bottom half: Is Ons the favorite to reach the final? 20:10 Babs is back but the fourth quarter is the land of opportunity 26:50 Men’s draw, first quarter: I would like a recount 41:45 Men’s bottom half: Stefanos, it’s yours, take it 48:50 Et ceteras: RG makes changes to post-match media process, GEMS Baby is dropping in October, Naomi Osaka forms her own agency 55:00 ATP, WTA, ITF will not award ranking points at Wimbledon due to the Russian/Belarusian ban  68:10 Appreciating the Drag Race All Stars All Winners season

1h 13m
May 22, 2022
Out Here Ons Her Own

Two drop shots to rule them all: Ons Jabeur wins her first WTA 1000 title and Carlos Alcaraz slices through two GOATs and a [redacted] to win his fourth title of the year. In a shorter episode than usual, we chat about Madrid, the ongoing comebacks and retirements, Shapo Music’s spectacular unraveling in Rome, and more.     3:50 Ons Jabeur wins Madrid! 10:00 What were we saying about the WTA top 10 a few months ago? Well … 17:10 The final weekend scheduling in Madrid makes the women an afterthought, again  22:30 Carlos’ achievements are undeniable – but some context, please! 31:00 Et ceteras: Murray, Wawrinka, Thiem; Andreescu’s break and return  35:05 Kevin Anderson & Gilles Simon retire  40:05 Denis Shapovalov’s absolute shit fit in Rome 43:45 WTA is getting a 1000 tournament in Mexico!

May 10, 2022
I Don’t Know (and Other Insights)

As we get older, we get more comfortable existing in the “I don’t know” space, which might be a strange thing to say while also producing a podcast where we share our opinions. But as the debate about Wimbledon rages on, as Boris Becker is sentenced to prison, and in light of your great but tough questions, we’re comfortable remaining equivocal on some things lately. We catch up with the tennis in Europe, check in on some woeful but on-brand missteps, and discuss the Ukrainian players’ response to the Wimbledon decision (something we missed last week). Finally, we end by answering some excellent listener questions – fun, challenging, or both.   1:00 Simona slaying in Madrid, Rafa is back with a tough draw, and catching up w/ Estoril & Munich   8:25 More on Wimbledon’s decision to ban Russian & Belarusian players 10:50 What have the Ukrainian players been saying? 21:30 Raducanu splits with coach Torben Beltz 26:35 A few of the week’s worst: the PMo self-promo machine, Cirstea, and homophobia from “allies” 35:55 Boris Becker sentenced to prison for hiding assets - another chapter in a sad post-tennis saga 48:05 Madrid asks, how do we employ a creepy private security and surveillance regime while also making it *adorable*?  Mail 50:35 What’s going on with the WTA/ATP collaboration? 59:25 Which tennis players would you recruit during a zombie apocalypse? 66:00 Our cringiest tennis moments 71:30 FMK Bridgerton Brothers 75:20 Ending on some Williams sisters questions

1h 23m
May 01, 2022