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Entries from August 2020

Episode 273a: 2020 U.S. Open Day 0 - Blair Henley, Inside the Bubble

August 30th, 2020 · Comments

As Ben and Courtney prepare watch and cover this U.S. Open from home, they check in with a buddy who has been on the ground in New York for "Cincinnati" and will be for the U.S. Open as well: Blair Henley, on-court interviewer to the stars and a woman of many varied talents in tennis.

Blair discusses her journey through tennis from teaching pro to writer to YouTuber to on-court emcee, what makes for the best on-court exchanges with players, and how much preparation it takes to pull off a MarioKart win on social media.

She also discusses what it's felt like on the largely empty grounds of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center so far, and how she and players are adjusting to the new protocols. She also asks for a reiteration of "PTPA" pronunciation, and we marvel over Novak Djokovic's ability to compartmentalize.

If you'd like to support our show during this odd, disruptive year, 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 listeners who have already given their support! (And thank you to G.O.A.T. backers J O'D and Mike!)

As always, thanks for following us on Twitter and subscribing/reviewing on iTunes on iTunes or whatever your podcasting app/platform of choice may be.

Tags: tennis · sports · novak djokovic · us open · media · communication · social media · nick mccarvel

Episode 272: 2020 U.S. Open Draw Breakdown!

August 30th, 2020 · Comments

Ben and Courtney break down the U.S. Open draw amid a tournament build-up which feels very different to that of a normal Grand Slam, particularly as we aren't even in New York this week. 

We discuss the women's draw first, where 2018 champ Naomi Osaka impressed on and off the court during "Cincinnati" but comes in carrying a hamstring injury. What to make of Serena's form since the shutdown? Can Kim Clijsters make an impact? Also, Dayana Yastremska is very much.

On the men's side, after a helpful pronunciation guide to the new "PTPA," we discuss Novak Djokovic, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Reilly Opelka, Daniil Medvedev, Milos Raonic, Bobby Bautista, and more. Also, hear Courtney's thoughts about night trains! 

This is the first of many, many shows we have planned for the U.S. Open, so stay tuned!

If you'd like to support our show during this odd, disruptive year, 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 listeners who have already given their support! (And thank you to G.O.A.T. backer J O'D!)

As always, thanks for following us on Twitter and subscribing/reviewing on iTunes on iTunes or whatever your podcasting app/platform of choice may be.

Tags: sports · atp · wta · novak djokovic · serena williams · us open · victoria azarenka · angelique kerber · andy murray · women's sports · venus williams · garbine muguruza · milos raonic · karolina pliskova · dominic thiem · petra kvitova · kim clijsters · alexander bublik · sascha zverev · johanna konta · madison keys · sloane stephens · john isner · marin cilic · tennys sandgren · elise mertens · usta · sports law · ryan harrison · naomi osaka · diego schwartzman · ons jabeur · stefanos tsitsipas · marketa vondrousova · petra martic · felix auger-aliassime · coco gauff · alison riske · tim smyczek · hubert hurkacz · daniil medvedev · kristie ahn · matteo berrettini · vasek pospisil · sofia kenin

Episode 271: Naomi Osaka Takes a Stand and Tennis Follows

August 27th, 2020 · Comments

UPDATE: After Osaka initially withdrew from Thursday's semifinals, she has agreed to play on Friday after the entire day of play was postponed on Thursday.
 
Postponing the semifinals of the Western & Southern Open because of continuing police violence against Black people, Naomi Osaka joined an escalating wave of anti-racism athlete activism that began in basketball and has echoed across North American sports. Tennis has been seen as remedial in recent years when it comes to athlete engagement, so Osaka's gesture was especially striking. 

Tumaini Carayol of the Guardian joins to discuss Osaka's action, what if any precedents there are for it in recent tennis memory, and where the sport goes from here, now that Cincinnati has canceled play on semifinal Thursday out of deference to the moment and that the U.S Open main draw is only days away. 

You'll also hear in this episode from Milos Raonic, who was strikingly forceful on the topics in the moments after his own quarterfinal win. 

If you'd like to support our show, particularly as our normal work has disappeared along with the sport, 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 listeners who have already given their support! (And thank you to G.O.A.T. backer J O'D!)

As always, thanks for following us on Twitter and subscribing/reviewing on iTunes on iTunes or whatever your podcasting app/platform of choice may be.

Tags: tennis · sports · wta · us open · women's sports · milos raonic · usta · naomi osaka

Episode 270: Courtney’s Back! (And So Is Tennis)

August 20th, 2020 · Comments

For the first time in two-months-but-feels-like-much-longer, Courtney returns to an NCR episode! She graces us with her presence as we discuss tennis getting back underway in earnest now with a few weeks of the WTA Tour behind us and the New York swing of "Cincinnati" and the U.S. Open rapidly approaching.

What do we make of the challenge of covering the sport remotely? Who has stood out in the on-court action we've seen so far from the women? Will this U.S. Open be "asterisked," and what does an asterisk even mean? And what do we expect and want from players in the New York bubble?

Also, Courtney discusses her burgeoning career as a Twitcher.

If you'd like to support our show, particularly as our normal work has disappeared along with the sport, 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 listeners who have already given their support! (And thank you to G.O.A.T. backer J O'D!)

As always, thanks for following us on Twitter and subscribing/reviewing on iTunes on iTunes or whatever your podcasting app/platform of choice may be.

Tags: tennis · sports · atp · wta · rafael nadal · serena williams · us open · simona halep · women's sports · venus williams · milos raonic · media · journalism · sascha zverev · roland garros · communication · sloane stephens · billie jean king · social media · usta · naomi osaka · marco cecchinato · chris evert · hubert hurkacz

Episode 269: Sendhil Ramamurthy of “Never Have I Ever”

August 18th, 2020 · Comments

The most talked about TV show in the tennis world during this long stretch of indoor entertainment, without doubt, has been the Netflix comedy "Never Have I Ever," narrated by John McEnroe and featuring Sendhil Ramamurthy as the tennis-loving father of protagonist Devi Vishwakumar.

Sendhil doesn't just play a tennis lover on TV; the dude seriously plays and knows his tennis, and we're delighted to have him on NCR to discuss his love for tennis, working with John McEnroe, the relative lack of tennis in pop culture, and much more fun.  

If you'd like to support our show, particularly as our normal work has disappeared along with the sport, 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 listeners who have already given their support! (And thank you to G.O.A.T. backer J O'D!)

As always, thanks for following us on Twitter and subscribing/reviewing on iTunes on iTunes or whatever your podcasting app/platform of choice may be.

Tags: tennis · sports

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