186 episodes

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

The Body Serve The Body Serve Tennis Podcast

    • Tennis

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

    Where's the Beef?

    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

    • 59 min
    She's Got Spunk

    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

    • 1 hr 19 min
    I Am Not A Tennis Expert

    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

    • 1 hr 20 min
    A Bespoke Approach to Natural Phenomena

    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

    • 1 hr 6 min
    ATP Sippy Cup

    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

    • 1 hr 23 min
    How Do We Talk About Monica Seles?

    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

    • 1 hr 38 min

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