No Challenges Remaining

No Challenges Remaining header image 1

Entries from February 2020

Episode 246: Louisa Thomas on Writing About Tennis

February 28th, 2020 · Comments

We are delighted to have Louisa Thomas, one of the most wonderfully writerly writers about tennis in her work for The New Yorker, on this week to talk about all sorts of things to do with tennis and writing, and answer bunches of listener questions.

We discuss how she got into writing about tennis, how to make tennis relevant to a general audience, the Kim Clijsters comeback, her favorite athlete to profile, the Big Three and how to compare greatnesses, tennis books, and much more. (Recorded before the Sharapova retirement announcement, which Ben discussed with Tumaini Carayol here).

If you'd like to support our show, we've launched an NCR Patreon where you can do just that! Check out our five tiers and see which might be right for you! And thank you to the many who have already given their support! (And thank you to G.O.A.T. backer J O'D!) 

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 #NCR246!), and subscribing/reviewing on iTunes on iTunes or whatever your podcasting app/platform of choice may be.

Tags: tennis · sports · simona halep · roger federer · nick kyrgios · kim clijsters · nick mccarvel · felix auger-aliassime

Episode 245a: Maria Sharapova Retires (with Tumaini Carayol)

February 26th, 2020 · Comments

After Maria Sharapova announced her retirement on Wednesday morning, Ben is joined by Tumaini Carayol of The Guardian for an emergency episode to discuss her career and its many highs, lows, and controversies.

After expressing some relief that she's stopped, we discuss what made Sharapova keep pushing on through the pain so long, and also what our early memories of her career were. We discuss her arrival as a star, and then the darkening of that when she tested positive for a newly-banned substance in early 2016, which complicated and muddled a career which was already likely on its downhill. 

We also share some of our favorite memories of Maria, and what made her such a tremendously satisfying antagonist on the tour--particularly for Serena Williams, whom she was a distant second behind in the end.

If you'd like to support our show, we've launched an NCR Patreon where you can do just that! Check out our five tiers and see which might be right for you! And thank you to the many who have already given their support! (And thank you to G.O.A.T. backer J O'D!) 

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 #NCR245a!), and subscribing/reviewing on iTunes on iTunes or whatever your podcasting app/platform of choice may be.

Tags: tennis · wimbledon · sports · wta · serena williams · lindsay davenport · victoria azarenka · maria sharapova · australian open · andy murray · women's sports · doping · venus williams · ana ivanovic · andy roddick · bernard giudicelli · genie bouchard · anna kournikova · coco gauff · diabetes

Episode 245: The Path to WTA Coaching (with Tom Hill)

February 21st, 2020 · Comments

Ben is joined on this week's show by Tom Hill, the coach of Maria Sakkari (who is set to make her WTA Top 20 debut on Monday), to hear more about the path of a young coach onto the WTA Tour.

Tom takes you from his beginnings as a young Brummie boy who ventured off to the Bollettieri Academy in Florida and then worked his way through the college ranks before getting an unexpected break into elite women's tennis.

First with Danielle Collins and then with Maria Sakkari, Tom has slowly but surely proven himself as a coach on the tour, and we hope you'll enjoy coming along for the ride.

If you'd like to support our show, we've launched an NCR Patreon where you can do just that! Check out our five tiers and see which might be right for you! And thank you to the many who have already given their support!  

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 #NCR245!), and subscribing/reviewing on iTunes on iTunes or whatever your podcasting app/platform of choice may be.

Tags: tennis · sports · wta · women's sports · madison keys · birmingham · danielle collins

Episode 244: A Picture Perfect Tour, with Jimmie

February 14th, 2020 · Comments

This week we bring to your ears a conversation with one of the sharpest eyes on tour: traveling women's tennis photographer Jimmie, who follows the tour year round with a dedication to the sport no other photographer can match.

We talk about how Jimmie worked his way onto the tour, building himself as a trusted person in the fabric of the tour, and what his days and weeks look like as he depicts the women of the WTA in new and fresh ways with an unrelenting schedule (which even included some off-season ventures).

If you'd like to support our show, we've launched an NCR Patreon where you can do just that! Check out our five tiers and see which might be right for you! And thank you to the many who have already given their support!  

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 #NCR244!), and subscribing/reviewing on iTunes on iTunes or whatever your podcasting app/platform of choice may be.

Tags: tennis · sports · women's sports · media · journalism

Episode 243g: Australian Open - Novak Djokovic Eight ‘Em Up

February 6th, 2020 · Comments

Ben and Courtney wrap up the Australian Open with a look at the end of the men's event, which finished for the eighth time with Novak Djokovic as champion. He sure seems to be closing in on that G.O.A.T. count, huh?

Also, we discuss runner-up Dominic Thiem, who is establishing himself as the new Andy Murray, Sascha Zverev, who made a first Slam semifinal and generated a lot of donation talk, and Roger Federer, who toughed out a win over Tennys Sandgren and then gamely took court to face the music against Djokovic.

We also discuss Nick Kyrgios, the female officials who drew praise, and how the protesting of Margaret Court is being led by two retired players.

If you'd like to support our show, we've launched an NCR Patreon where you can do just that! Check out our five tiers and see which might be right for you! 

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.

Tags: tennis · sports · atp · rafael nadal · lgbt · australia · australian open · roger federer · nick kyrgios · 2020 Australian Open · dominic thiem · sascha zverev · margaret court · tennys sandgren · nick mccarvel · umpires · martina navratilova