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Episode 346: Men of the Year (With Ricky Dimon)

November 1st, 2022

Ben is stepping back briefly from book writing hiatus on the occasion of being joined by Ricky Dimon of The Grandstand for a look back at the year that was in men's tennis, and how it's setting up for the finals. We talk about each of the top eight guys, and also Novak Djokovic, whose Wimbledon title will leapfrog him into the field in Turin.

It's been an odd, transitional year in men's tennis, and it's not clear quite where anything is heading in the near future, so we decide it's a good time to make predictions. 

Thank you for listening to NCR, we've missed you and we'll be back more often soon!

Episode 345: Swiatek, Alcaraz Reach New Heights at US Open

September 14th, 2022

Ben and Tumaini Carayol reconvene a bit after the U.S. Open to reflect on the tournament that was, with two winners who capped off great seasons with their first titles in New York. And they've only just begun?

First, Iga Swiatek won on the women's side, overcoming a doubt-filled lead-up and solidifying her position as a bona fide star in the sport. What impressed us most about this win, and where does she go from here? Also thoughts on Jabeur, Pegula, and, of course, the fantastic farewell of Serena Williams.

Then on the men's side we discuss Carlos Alcaraz's ascendancy to the top, the "oatmeal stallion" that is Casper Ruud, the long-awaited breakthrough of a player like Frances Tiafoe, the missed opportunity by Nick Kyrgios, and more!

Thanks for listening!

Episode 344: U.S. Open Draw Show 2022!

August 28th, 2022

Ben and Tumaini Carayol are courtside at the U.S. Open to give you the outlook on how the year's last Grand Slam and Serena Williams' last tournament is shaking up.

We start with the women, where we discuss Iga Swiatek cooling off from her lava-hot spring swing, her complaints about the balls, the Azarenka-Kostyuk situation, Emma Raducanu, Osaka-Collins, and more. 

We finish, of course, with a discussion of Serena, and what her last singles matches could look like.

On the men's side, it seems like a very open draw due to notable absences, except for that Rafael Nadal guy who seems to win every time he's overlooked this year.

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!

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