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Episode 343: Serena’s Sunset

August 9th, 2022

Ben and Tumaini Carayol convene to discuss Serena Williams, the greatest women's tennis player of our lives, calling time on her career.

Well, she didn't exactly call Time; she called Vogue, and penned a first-person cover story explaining her thoughts and making it clear that she believes the end of her career is in sight.

Ben and Tumaini discuss Serena's decision to retire at long last, what she said--and didn't say--in her essay about the decision and the context around it, some of our favorite Serena memories, and what to expect from her send-off in New York, which figures to be a massive cultural event.

Let's enjoy this last dance, y'all!

Episode 342: Rybakina and Djokovic Win Wimbledon

July 10th, 2022

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

June 26th, 2022

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

June 24th, 2022

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)

June 18th, 2022

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.

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