291 episodes

Tennis Unfiltered is a weekly podcast where we try to make sense - tactical, ethical, emotional sense - of the tennis world. And we don't hold back.

Tennis Unfiltered Tennis Unfiltered

    • Sport
    • 3.5 • 128 Ratings

Tennis Unfiltered is a weekly podcast where we try to make sense - tactical, ethical, emotional sense - of the tennis world. And we don't hold back.

    The ups and downs of Andy Murray, Kalinskaya's (almost) dream run and why grass ain't grass like it used to be

    The ups and downs of Andy Murray, Kalinskaya's (almost) dream run and why grass ain't grass like it used to be

    Eleanor Crooks, the Press Association's tennis correspondent, joins James Gray and Calvin Betton (with George temporarily unavailable). They discussed...

    Andy Murray's first win of 2024 before losing to Jakub Mensik - and then coming back next week and beating Denis Shapovalov. Is this still the game for him? Has he only got a few months left?

    Ivo Karlovic has finally confirmed his retirement after years out of the game. Was he really just an enormous server and nothing else? What other athletes's freakish size has made them a spectacle to watch?

    Anna Kalinskaya beat Jelena Ostapenko, Coco Gauff and Iga Swiatek consecutively to reach the Dubai final. Is she another woman we are going to have to consider in the melting pot of women's tennis?

    And speaking of, Calvin defends his take on Azarenka-Ostapenko handshake-gate


    PLUS
    Wildcards for Irishmen in Dubai, Cam Norrie's struggles in South America and paying $150,000 for a private lesson with Carlos Alcaraz

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    • 1 hr 7 min
    Is Jannik Sinner unstoppable, Swiatek's Serena streak, the death of the single-hander and more!

    Is Jannik Sinner unstoppable, Swiatek's Serena streak, the death of the single-hander and more!

    Calvin Betton, George Bellshaw and James Gray go through all the big tennis stories from the last seven days, including...

    Iga Swiatek becomes the first woman since Serena Williams in 2015 to win the same WTA title three years in a row, beating Elena Rybakina to win in Doha

    Maria Sakkari has dropped out of the top 10 for the first time in two years

    Jannik Sinner continues his unbeaten 2024, winning the title in Rotterdam and beating Alex De Minaur

    Carlos Alcaraz loses to Nicolas Jarry in South America


    PLUS we answer your questions on:

    The I formation in amateur doubles

    Andrey Rublev - the new David Ferrer?

    Felix Auger-Aliassime's ceiling


    LINKS

    The death of the one-handed backhand in The Times (£): https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/death-one-handed-backhand-tennis-roger-federer-pfl2gwwp6


    Gay doubles player Demi Schuurs talks about she has to go to Saudi Arabia because if she doesn't, someone else will: https://inews.co.uk/sport/tennis/saudi-arabia-womens-tennis-2874511


    Jelena Ostapenko's "handshake" with Victoria Azarenka: https://twitter.com/WTA/status/1757863285339177406



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    • 1 hr 28 min
    Passport switching, Sabalenka's second serve, Osaka resurgent, Rybakina wins a title, Raducanu bagelled

    Passport switching, Sabalenka's second serve, Osaka resurgent, Rybakina wins a title, Raducanu bagelled

    It's the Middle East swing and James Gray, George Bellshaw and Calvin Betton are back home in the UK, picking the bones out of the action.
    They answered your questions too, including:

    What does British tennis get from players switching allegiance to play under the Union Flag? And why does Kazakhstan do it? (Thanks to Matthew on email for that one)

    Can you remember anyone doing such a good job of improving on their weaknesses, at least so quickly, as Aryna Sabalenka has on second serve? (Nikos via email)

    Danny asks "What's the deal with the ITF events held in places like Monastir and Sharm El Sheikh, how do they afford to host tournaments every week of the year without the backing of wealthy federations, at the bottom tier of the sport with no TV or gate money?"


    And in this week's news

    Elena Rybakina wins the title in Abu Dhabi

    Naomi Osaka talks about failure - but then gets the best win of her comeback so far over Caroline Garcia in Doha

    Emma Raducanu is beaten by Anhelina Kalinina in a one-sided encounter


    And so much more!
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    • 1 hr 8 min
    Q&A with Calvin and George on Sky Sports, surface changes and Davis Cup venues + Murray bites back and Raducanu shows promise

    Q&A with Calvin and George on Sky Sports, surface changes and Davis Cup venues + Murray bites back and Raducanu shows promise

    Thanks to everyone who voted for us in the Sports Podcast Awards. We came SECOND, a one-place improvement on last year, but still losing out to Dan Kiernan. We shall overcome!
    We're back as a trio this week, a little later after James took the slow boat home from Australia, answering as many questions as possible from the bulging mailbag.
    Justin Cerny on Twitter/X asked: “Thoughts on the variety of surfaces & locations for events during weeks like this? (ATP, Challengers, WTA tour & 125s) Does it help bring opportunity & exposure or does it lack a uniform brand for professional tennis? Something in between? Keep up the good work”

    John Williamson on Twitter/X wrote: “After a joyful 2 weeks of loads of televised #tennis games courtesy of a month’s UK Discovery subscription, the potential spectre of Sky Sports thin pickings is appearing over the horizon – any chance of bluer skys?”

    Fab Miss Ana asked on Twitter/X: “What are possible penalties for (WTA / ATP) players for complaining about tour or tournament? Have they ever been enforced? Asking as Daniela Hantuchova (now appointed the infamous Madrid WTA director?) criticised players for complaining and asked for penalties to be enforced."

    Andy Lee on email asks: “Looking at the results from the Davis Cup this weekend, including a shock for Serbia (will that affect Novak's plans post US Open this year?) and to a lesser extent Croatia I noticed the finals group stages venues haven't been announced. I'm completely biased being from here but do the panel think Manchester should be a permanent finals venue as per last year? Yes, there were attendance problems at say Switzerland v Australia but the GB games were bouncing. Fill the other games with schools and club tickets if necessary. We suffer from a lack of top class tennis in the North, we have the Ilkley Challenger and then it's down to Nottingham/ Birmingham pre Wimbledon. This would fit the bill very nicely in my opinion.”

    We also discussed...

    Andy Murray's savage reaction to an article questioning whether his current form threatens to "tarnish his legacy"

    Emma Raducanu is one and done in Abu Dhabi, but with no added injury concerns and a win under her belt

    Heather Watson is back in the headlines, making a run at AD to return to the top 150

    Holger Rune has got rid of Boris Becker and Severin Luthi, and signed for IMG

    Saudi Arabia is going to offer eight top players up to £5m to play an exhibition there later this year, more on the story here from Simon Briggs of the Telegraph: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/tennis/2024/02/06/saudi-atp-rules-6-kings-slam-novak-djokovic-rafael-nadal/


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    • 1 hr 37 min
    Australian Open review: How many slams will Sinner win? How much credit does Sabalenka deserve for obliterating a weak draw?

    Australian Open review: How many slams will Sinner win? How much credit does Sabalenka deserve for obliterating a weak draw?

    That's it! The Australian Open is in the books once and for all. Jannik Sinner and Aryna Sabalenka are the champions (the first men and women's champion at any slam since the early 1990s to share the same first letter of their surname) and James, George and Calvin have (almost) caught up on their sleep.
    They ask...

    Having broken his duck, how many grand slams will Jannik Sinner go on to win?

    Will Daniil Medvedev ever add to his solitary US Open victory?

    What's going on with Andy Murray?

    Can anyone stop Aryna Sabalenka?

    What else has the women's game got to offer?

    Will Emma Raducanu get back to her US Open heights?


    Remember to leave us a positive review if you enjoy the podcast - and if you want to ask Calvin a question, email us at tennisunfiltered@gmail.com
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    • 1 hr 15 min
    Australian Open finals, day 14+15: Sinner's comeback and Sabalenka's Serena-like dominance

    Australian Open finals, day 14+15: Sinner's comeback and Sabalenka's Serena-like dominance

    THANK YOU to everyone who voted for us in the Sports Podcast Awards. The results will be revealed later this year and we look forward to seeing the fruits of your endeavours.
    To review both singles finals, George Bellshaw in London joins James Gray in Melbourne to discuss...

    Jannik Sinner beat Daniil Medvedev 3-6 3-6 6-4 6-4 6-3, coming from two sets down to become Australian Open champion and win his first grand slam title

    Medvedev has now lost five of his six major finals, and twice been two sets up in a final in Melbourne before losing

    Aryna Sabalenka dominated her Australian Open final, losing just five games to continue her streak of 14 matches unbeaten at Melbourne

    Zheng Qinwen would rather her first grand slam final had gone better, but does she have what it takes to sustain a lucrative Chinese presence in the top 10?


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    • 29 min

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5
128 Ratings

128 Ratings

DaisyMapp ,

Good pod but tricky attitude to the WTA

I like these guys and the way they talk about the ATP - so many interesting takes on the tennis. But the recent AO review was hard to hear. I don’t think the WTA is suffering because female players are lazy or have kids, and it would be amazing if they didn’t call women “girls”. I really love what they do and it would be so cool if they thought a bit more carefully about the way they talk about the women’s game.

Seagull 68 ,

Number one podcast on tennis

Certainly the best podcast around about tennis. Considered, constructive opinions and those of the listeners also shown respect, regardless of whether the hosts agree with them. This is probably because this podcast on tennis doesn’t appear to be recorded in an echo chamber …… unlike some.

ACuriousQuest ,

Not bad

Not terrible but i wish George would learn how to pronounce Chinese player names properly

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