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Episode 166: Keeping the Faith in Tennis

September 21st, 2016

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With the Istanbul final between Tunisian Malek Jaziri and Israeli Dudi Sela on Sunday, the cross-section of religion and tennis again came into focus this week. To look at it from several angles this week, we welcome three guests: Israeli Jew Shahar Peer, American Catholic Tim Smyczek, and Pakistani Muslim Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi, about how their respective faiths (and sometimes their intertwined nationalities) have affected their lives playing tennis on tour in various ways. 


And as always, thanks for liking us on Facebook (leave comments on the episode thread!), following us on Twitter (discuss this episode with hashtag #NCR165e!), and subscribing/reviewing on iTunes or whatever your podcasting app/platform of choice may be.

Episode 165f: U.S. Open - Kerber, Wawrinka Win; We Punch Out

September 13th, 2016

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Recording late the night after the U.S. Open concluded, Ben and Courtney are low on energy (and occasionally coherence) but high on thoughts about the tennis that transpired, and the two parallel champions who emerged in Angelique Kerber and Stan Wawrinka. Can their every(wo)manness inspire the rest of the tour? And will Kerber be able to hang onto the #1 spot for the rest of the year, or can Serena Williams be counted on to make her reign a short one?

Also, we discuss why we are (both, now) so over best-of-five and why tennis would be smart to phase it out. Also, the highs and lows of the Slam season in retrospect, plus Yakko, Wakko, and Dot.


And as always, thanks for liking us on Facebook (leave comments on the episode thread!), following us on Twitter (discuss this episode with hashtag #NCR165e!), and subscribing/reviewing on iTunes or whatever your podcasting app/platform of choice may be.

Episode 165e: U.S. Open - Finals Reckoning

September 10th, 2016

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The finals of the U.S. Open are upon us, and so Ben and Courtney discuss what we can look for and how we got here. On the men's side (for which we are joined by the emerald of our eyeLeigh Walsh), we start with a contemplation of Gael Monfils, and the tactics (tanking?) that drew so much ire in his semifinal performance against Djokovic. Speaking of Djokovic, everybody seems to think he's going to lose to Stan Wawrinka. Why?

On the women's side, we discuss Serena Williams' straight-set loss to Karolina Pliskova, and Angelique Kerber's subsequent ascendancy to #1, as well as who is better equipped to win that final.


And as always, thanks for liking us on Facebook (leave comments on the episode thread!), following us on Twitter (discuss this episode with hashtag #NCR165e!), and subscribing/reviewing on iTunes or whatever your podcasting app/platform of choice may be.

Episode 165d: U.S. Open - The Women in the Room

September 6th, 2016

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The U.S. Open is proud to have been a leader in gender equality in terms of prize money (and it's the only Slam with the same number of male and female competitors), but how does that translate to the press room? Carl Bialik of FiveThirtyEight joins Ben and Courtney to discuss his analysis of the data regarding this, and our pal Carole Bouchard, quoted in the article, also weighs in.


And as always, thanks for liking us on Facebook (leave comments on the episode thread!), following us on Twitter (discuss this episode with hashtag #NCR165d!), and subscribing/reviewing on iTunes or whatever your podcasting app/platform of choice may be.

Episode 165c: U.S. Open - Halfway Home

September 4th, 2016

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With pudding and beer in hand, Ben and Courtney wrap up their main thoughts from a first week of the U.S. Open that mostly went without major disruption. Raonic, Kyrgios, Cilic and Muguruza being out is surprising, as is Caroline Wozniacki and Anastasija Sevastova being in. But mostly, it's business as expected, which should set up for a grand second week. We hope. 

Also, there's a roof and it makes things louder.


And as always, thanks for liking us on Facebook (leave comments on the episode thread!), following us on Twitter (discuss this episode with hashtag #NCR165c!), and subscribing/reviewing on iTunes or whatever your podcasting app/platform of choice may be.