A humorous and informative podcast discussing the happenings in the wacky world of professional tennis. Hosted by Ben Rothenberg and Courtney Nguyen.
Episode 342: Rybakina and Djokovic Win Wimbledon
Ben and Tumaini Carayol (before he turns into a pumpkin) wrap up the Wimbledon that was, which featured both some feel-good and some uncomfortable storylines across the fortnight.
We begin with the women, with Elena Rybakina making good on her potential and breaking through for the title with a win over Ons Jabeur. We talk about the Kazakh tennis strategy, and what it says about Russia, particularly in the wake of Wimbledon's ban. We also talk about the delights of Jabeur, the shock run of Tatjana Maria, how to measure expectations for the suddenly returned Williams sisters, and the end of Iga Swiatek's stellar streak.
On the men's side, Novak Djokovic continued his increased dominance of this tournament with a seventh title at Wimbledon, beating Nick Kyrgios in the final. We talk about the odd feelings around both runs, the ugliness of Kyrgios-Tsitsipas, the anticlimactic finish to Rafael Nadal's Grand Slam bid, and Cam Norrie rising to the occasion.
We finish, as Tumaini puts on his glass slippers, with a quick chat about the legendary Women's Invitational Doubles field.
Thank you for listening to NCR!
Episode 341: Walking Around Wimbledon’s Century
On the 100th birthday of Centre Court, Ben is joined by Alexandra Willis, the director of communications and marketing for Wimbledon, and the two of them take a walk into Centre Court's most hallowed places.
Along the way, we discuss Wimbledon's continuing balancing between retaining history and progressing to the present, plans of growth ahead, and the circumstances and consequences of the ban of Russian and Belarusian players this year.
Spice up your ears and enjoy!
Episode 340: Wimbledon 2022 Draw Preview
Ben and Tumaini Carayol are back together again at Wimbledon for another look ahead at a Grand Slam draw, looking at the men's field, the women's field, and a concerning hole on the side of Court 14.
After a general look at the draw balance--and the intrigue missing from the field because of the ban of Russian and Belarusian players--Ben and Tumaini dig into the men's draw, in which balance emerged despite some misleading seedings, with Hubert Hurkacz and Matteo Berrettini landing in separate quarters from fellow contenders Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.
On the women's side, we discuss Serena Williams' unexpected return and her prospects, Ons Jabeur's comfort in this world, Bianca Andreescu reasserting her gifts, and Iga Swiatek's chances of extending her streak of dominance. Also, justice for Julia Pegula.
Thanks for listening, as always!
Episode 339: The Book on Emma Raducanu (With Mike Dickson)
As Emma Raducanu readies for her first Wimbledon as a Grand Slam champion, Ben chats with Mike Dickson, the man who literally wrote the book on the young British sensation's origin story and remarkably meteoric rise to stardom last year.
Emma Raducanu: When Tennis Came Home tells the story of Raducanu's origins and walks through the brief career she had until being thrust into an international spotlight in an unprecedented way.
We discuss Raducanu's remarkable rise, and the uncertainty surrounding her near and long-term future as her sophomore season brings struggles with Wimbledon on the horizon.
Episode 338: Swiatek and Nadal Roll Roland Garros
Ben and Tumaini Carayol meet back up just hours after the men's final at Roland Garros to discuss Rafael Nadal's record extending 14th title here and Iga Swiatek's streak extending 35th win and second French Open title.
We start with Swiatek, who has just been so dominant. Is the field anywhere close to her now? What will it take for a challenger to emerge? And what to make of the strong run by teen phenom Coco Gauff to the final?
Then we switch to the men--how to reconcile Nadal's dominance and his injury malaise? How much longer do we think he has left? And what will Djokovic regret about letting this one slip?
We wrap up with a look at why night sessions were not ready for prime time in Paris, and what to look for as the grass is green on the other side of the English Channel.
Thanks for listening, folks!
Episode 337: Draw Me Like One of Your French Opens, 2022
We are delighted to return to you, and to return to Paris, and to return our favorite annual episode title!
Ben and Tumaini Carayol start this French Open draw show with a bit first on the big news of the day, which was the ATP and WTA deciding to withhold ranking points from this year's Wimbledon Championships because of the tournament banning Russian and Belarusian players. What effect will this have on the tournament, the players, and the outlook for the #1 ranking in men's tennis?
We then break down the French Open draws, starting with the women and prohibitive favorite Iga Swiatek. Who or what can stop her from cruising onward to her second French Open title? We also discuss two of the most compelling floaters, Naomi Osaka and Bianca Andreescu.
On the men's side, we discuss the top-heavy draw, how the three-horse race of Djokovic, Nadal, and Alcaraz has set up, and who can take advantages of the openings on the bottom half.
Thank y'all for listening! Bonsoiree!
Grand Slam draw shows are fun, interviews with players are interesting. Highlights aspects of the tennis world I wouldn’t know about otherwise. They sometimes complain about dysfunctional aspects of the tennis industry too much for my tastes.
I refer you to an early chapter in The Hobbit.
Courtney should officially leave the show
I used to love this podcast so much because of the friendship of Courtney and Ben, and their knowledge of tennis. But now, I feel bad for Ben because there is no true consistency anymore. Courtney’s arrogance has become way more apparent as the years has gone on. I understand she prefers women’s tennis, and to me, it’s usually more of a better product that men’s tennis, but she is consistently unprepared to chat about men tennis stats and oftens owns her arrogance of not caring about mens tennis. I can understand having a preference, but if you are working in tennis, I believe you should be prepared to have conversations about both Tours. On top of that, with her racists and horrific articles on the Williams sisters and her often cocky comments on her withdrawal from the podcast, she has truly become a deterrent to the podcast. You can sense how that also bothers Ben, and he addresses, tho politely, the consistent a sense and hole that Courtney has left. This podcast should be the premiere tennis podcast, a podcast that compares to The Tennis Podcast, but it has lost its edge truly because of Courtney arrogance. And this is coming from a true fan of this podcast who has donated consistently to the patron. Ben, respectfully, I believe you should fully let go of Courtney. I respect how Ben always comes prepared, always is eager to speak facts about both tours, and most importantly, cares about the success and elevation of the podcast. Much respect to you, Ben, for your hard work. But Courtney is truly the one holding the success of the podcast back. Courtney should leave the show, or at the very least, watch her arrogance and racist remarks.