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Episode 317: Peng Shuai, China, and the End of WTAsia?

November 17th, 2021

Ben is joined by The Guardian's Tumaini Carayol to discuss the fallout of the accusations made by Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai against a senior government official, the WTA's strong stance, and the impact on tennis in China going forward.

Was the WTA's partnership with China always doomed to fail, as Tumaini predicted in 2019? And what would a reset of the tour without China look like for the future of women's tennis?

Plus, the new-look WTA year-end championship event in Guadalajara and the same-look-new-venue event for the ATP in Turin.

Thank you again for the incredible support for NCR we've received on the NCR Patreon which has powered us into our TENTH(!) ad-free season! Please consider joining in as we bring you the best shows we can this year! And thank you to the many listeners who have already given their support! (And thank you to G.O.A.T. backers J O'D, Pam Shriver, and Nicole Copeland!)

Episode 316: NCR Movie Club - KING RICHARD (2021)

November 11th, 2021

Ben and David Avakian are delighted to bring you an NCR Movie Club installment on what is set to be the biggest tennis movie in a long time, and perhaps ever: KING RICHARD, which stars Will Smith as Richard Williams and shows his early journey raising Venus and Serena into perhaps the greatest story in tennis history.

The movie comes out on November 19, so if you want to hold off listening until then you can (but since this is almost all based on a true story we don't think it's necessarily spoilable). Ben and David discuss their opinions on the movie (which are very positive!) and what role the Williams family's involvement in it should play in how we watch it.

We also discuss what the movie gets right, what it gets wrong, and what it leaves out. Also, what responsibility does a movie have to its audience when it says it is "based on a true story"?

Thank you again for the incredible support for NCR we've received on the NCR Patreon which has powered us into our TENTH(!) ad-free season! Please consider joining in as we bring you the best shows we can this year! And thank you to the many listeners who have already given their support! (And thank you to G.O.A.T. backers J O'D, Pam Shriver, and Nicole Copeland!)

Episode 315: Prague Progress Report (with Jannik Schneider)

November 5th, 2021

The first edition of the Billie Jean King Cup (née Fed Cup) is happening this week, and so Ben is joined by the German reporter Jannik Schneider, who was there in Prague covering the event.

We discuss how the event's atmosphere and organization has been, the impact of Billie Jean King's legacy on the competition, and why Russia is doing business as "RTF" at the event. 

We also discuss how the accusations against Alexander Zverev have been covered in Germany, and what challenges reporters there including Jannik have faced covering them.

Thank you again for the incredible support for NCR we've received on the NCR Patreon which has powered us into our TENTH(!) ad-free season! Please consider joining in as we bring you the best shows we can this year! And thank you to the many listeners who have already given their support! (And thank you to G.O.A.T. backers J O'D, Pam Shriver, and Nicole Copeland!)

Episode 314: Backroom Business (With Bret McCormick)

October 26th, 2021

There's been batches of backroom brouhahas brewing this year in tennis as the sport continues to be in a moment of flux and transition during the pandemic. To make sense of the landscape, Ben is joined by Sports Business Journal's Bret McCormick, who discusses his reporting on many issues.

Could changes to the calendar made because of the pandemic become long-term shifts? How are the men's and women's tours already coming together? How are the new leaders in men's tennis faring so far? Does the PTPA look poised to succeed? And what does this hotly debated long-range plan entail? And more.

Thank you again for the incredible support for NCR we've received on the NCR Patreon which has powered us into our TENTH(!) ad-free season! Please consider joining in as we bring you the best shows we can this year! And thank you to the many listeners who have already given their support! (And thank you to G.O.A.T. backers J O'D, Pam Shriver, and Nicole Copeland!)

Episode 313: ATP is Investigating Zverev; What Comes Next?

October 7th, 2021

Nearly a year after Olga Sharypova publicly accused tennis star Alexander Zverev of repeated physical and emotional abuse during their relationship, the ATP announced this week that it is opening an investigation into (one of the) accusations, which Zverev has repeatedly denied in blanket terms.

Ben, who has interviewed Sharypova and investigated the story for both Racquet and Slate, is joined by Mary Carillo and Jessica Luther to discuss the accusations and their impact on the sport.

What took so long for the ATP to act, and why is their scope limited to Shanghai 2019? Should we have faith in the ATP to do a proper investigation? What does an investigation need to do the job correctly? How important is Sharypova's continued participation and cooperation?

How has tennis dealt with the cloud over the sport in the past year? Why are tennis broadcasters so reluctant to discuss difficult topics? What to make of the select input from other players? And more.

Thank you again for the incredible support for NCR we've received on the NCR Patreon which has powered us into our TENTH(!) ad-free season! Please consider joining in as we bring you the best shows we can this year! And thank you to the many listeners who have already given their support! (And thank you to G.O.A.T. backers J O'D, Pam Shriver, and Nicole Copeland!)

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