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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!

Episode 199a: The Rises and Falls of Fall

October 18th, 2017

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With the field set for Singapore, Ben and Courtney look back at the fall that was, including the sudden surge of Caroline Garcia to defy the odds and grab a spot among the elite eight.

On the men's side, Roger beat Rafa yet again--that means he's the best player of the year, right? And who gets our player of the year votes on the women's side? And how can we assess the field of play when it's all so tightly packed together on the women's side and when almost no men seem to be playing all that well?

Lastly, would the WTA benefit from a Milan-style showcase for its youngest stars? Or is that event, alternately, detrimental for the men?

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 #NCR199a!), and subscribing/reviewing on iTunes on iTunes or whatever your podcasting app/platform of choice may be!

Episode 199: Laver Cup (With Reem Abulleil)

September 26th, 2017

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As she returns from covering the inaugural Laver Cup, NCR's Middle East correspondant Reem Abulleil chats with Ben about the new competition, which proved to be stunningly successful and compelling despite being an exhibition made out of thin air by Roger Federer's marketing team.

What did Laver Cup get so right in its first try? Why were players so invested in it? And how can the stale and neglected Davis Cup learn from it to adapt for this changing tennis landscape?

Reem is the hero of our times.

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 #NCR199!), and subscribing/reviewing on iTunes on iTunes or whatever your podcasting app/platform of choice may be!