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Episode 201: Australian Open Wrap

February 6th, 2018

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Ben and Courtney fled to opposite corners of the globe after the Australian Open, so just now bring you this show on the Grand Slam that was, in which second seeds Roger Federer and Caroline Wozniacki won their 20th, and first, respectively. 

First, on the men. Why was closing the roof a correct, obvious decision? And indoors or outdoors, has it all gotten a bit too easy for Roger Federer at an age when it shouldn't? And on the flip side, does Rafael Nadal have grounds to complain as much as he does about schedules and surfaces and such? 

Also, we delve into the Tennys Sandgren saga, what parts of it were fair and not, and what lessons there are to be learned.

Then, onto the women, where champion Caroline Wozniacki may have somehow had the least impressive tournament of any of the semifinalists? On her breakthrough, what we learned about Simona Halep, the joys of Hsieh Su-wei and the underwhelming major results of Elina Svitolina. 

As always, thanks for liking us on Facebook (leave comments on the episode thread! Engage with other listeners!), following us on Twitter (discuss this episode with hashtag #NCR201!), and subscribing/reviewing on iTunes on iTunes or whatever your podcasting app/platform of choice may be!

Episode 200: Mary Carillo

January 14th, 2018

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Ben and Courtney are delighted to see their ersatz odometer click over to 200 with their dear friend Mary Carillo at the Australian Open (the 200th Grand Slam of the Open Era, no less!). She's our kind of people. 

Mary, in Melbourne for Tennis Channel, is also in the midst of reporting for HBO's Real Sports about the controversy surrounding the Australian Open's Margaret Court Arena, which has faced calls for a name change or boycott as its namesake, the Grand Slam champ-turned-pastor Margaret Court has continued to escalate her crusade against gay and transgender people, including children.

We discuss many of the sides of this complex issue, the perspectives of Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King, as well as how BJK serve-and-volleyed Tennis Australia before the tournament began.

We end with Mary's enduring love for tennis, as well as her iconic moment regarding another racquet sport: badminton.

As always, thanks for liking us on Facebook (leave comments on the episode thread! Engage with other listeners!), following us on Twitter (discuss this episode with hashtag #NCR200!), and subscribing/reviewing on iTunes on iTunes or whatever your podcasting app/platform of choice may be!

Episode 199d: 2018 Australian Open Preview

January 13th, 2018

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Ben and Courtney are back in your ears after far too long, and are in Melbourne ready to tee up the first Grand Slam of 2018.

On the women's side, we discuss the women who have surged to start the year (Halep, Kerber, Bencic...Giorgi?) and go through the draw thoroughly to find where openings might emerge. 

On the men's side, Rafael Nadal is a clear draw winner, but there still manage to be lots of exciting early round match-ups throughout. And is it Roger's to lose, or can 2,000 points go to Goffindor?

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

Episode 199c: Keep the Dream Alive

November 26th, 2017

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Ben and Courtney reunite on this packed episode and start with a discussion of the legacy of the late Jana Novotna, who passed away at age 49 due to cancer. How should her legendary breakdown and resilience continue to influence how we see the sport today?

As the WTA and ATP seasons wrapped up, what did we learn about the respective year-end champs, Caroline Wozniacki and Grigor Dimitrov? Will either be able to carry their results into next year? And is 2018 primed to be a year full of first-time major champions on either or both tours?

We then touch on the ATP Next Gen event in Milan, its tasteless draw ceremony, and the reactions to mid-match coaching with headsets. Our takes vary here.

Then we introduce you all to the #NCRBookClub, which is starting with Venus Envy by John Wertheim, which you should read!

Lastly, Courtney gives all sorts of movie recommendations and Ben talks about his game show experience and recent Jeopardy closure.

As always, thanks for liking us on Facebook (leave comments on the episode thread! Engage with other listeners!), following us on Twitter (discuss this episode with hashtag #NCR199c!), and subscribing/reviewing on iTunes on iTunes or whatever your podcasting app/platform of choice may be!

Episode 199b: ATP Rundown (with Ricky Dimon)

October 25th, 2017

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While the best women battle it out in Singapore, we look ahead to the men's season wrapping up with guest Ricky Dimon back on the show to talk some men's tennis. How did everything get so flipped around in the Big 4 this year, and how does it set up 2018?

Also, we go over our (unsubmitted) ATP awards ballots and dish out some before-and-after fun (full thing on our Facebook page).

As always, thanks for liking us on Facebook (leave comments on the episode thread! Engage with other listeners!), following us on Twitter (discuss this episode with hashtag #NCR199b!), and subscribing/reviewing on iTunes on iTunes or whatever your podcasting app/platform of choice may be!