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Entries from May 2021

Episode 299g: French Open Day 2: Naomi Osaka Steps Back (with Mary Carillo)

May 31st, 2021 · Comments

It was a sad day at Roland Garros on Monday as Naomi Osaka's stand against mandatory press conferences ended with her withdrawal from the tournament, posting an eloquent statement that cited not wanting to be a distraction as well as mental health struggles that have included long bouts of depression.

To discuss this somber news, how this impasse arrived, and what if anything could have been handled differently, Mary Carillo of NBC Sports joins Ben after having been on-air on NBC when the news broke. After the mental health discussion, we discuss the media ecosystem of tennis, which is under scrutiny from all sorts of corners, and also what press conferences are all about.

Thank you again for the incredible support for NCR we've received on the NCR Patreon which has powered us into our TENTH(!) season! If you'd like to join in as we bring you the best shows we can during the French Open, 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, Mike, Pam Shriver, and Nicole Copeland!)

Tags: tennis · sports · french open · media · roland garros · mary carillo · naomi osaka

Episode 299f: French Open Day 1 - Slams Dig In Against Osaka’s Stand

May 30th, 2021 · Comments

While there was certainly on court news on Day 1 at the French Open, led by #4 Dominic Thiem exiting in the first round and further opening up the men's draw in its already wide-open bottom, the news of the day again revolved around Naomi Osaka, against whom the Grand Slams responded forcefully with a $15,000 and threat of further, escalating sanctions if she does not end her boycott of mandatory post-match media obligations.

Ben is joined by Andrew Eccles of The Spin to discuss the standoff, why it has escalated, and why it has resonated so widely beyond tennis. We discuss why more understanding of both sides is warranted, the unclear but important mental health side of this situation, and how it all might resolve itself.

Plus a bit on Thiem, Sabalenka, Kvitova, and Eurovision, natch.

Thank you again for the incredible support for NCR we've received on the NCR Patreon which has powered us into our TENTH(!) season! If you'd like to join in as we bring you the best shows we can during the French Open, 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, Mike, Pam Shriver, and Nicole Copeland!)

Tags: tennis · wta · women's sports · french open · media · elena vesnina · naomi osaka

Episode 299e: Draw Me Like One of Your French Opens, 2021

May 29th, 2021 · Comments

It's our favorite annual episode title! Ben and Courtney dive deep into the draws of Roland Garros to cover themselves in tidbits and terre battue about this draw.

Defending champions Rafael Nadal and Iga Swiatek hit together on Saturday; how likely was it that Nadal was going to know anything about possible Swiatek first round opponents? We explore.

On the women we go into folks including Barty, Swiatek, Kenin, Pliskova, Stephens, Muguruza, Sabalenka, Serena, Andreescu, and Osaka, while the men's side is more a conversation about how loaded the top half is around Rafael Nadal, and the opportunities it presents for the lads on the bottom.

Thank you again for the incredible support for NCR we've received on the NCR Patreon which has powered us into our TENTH(!) season! If you'd like to join in as we bring you the best shows we can during the French Open, 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, Mike, Pam Shriver, and Nicole Copeland!)

Tags: sports · atp · wta · rafael nadal · novak djokovic · serena williams · juan martin del potro · victoria azarenka · roger federer · women's sports · garbine muguruza · karolina pliskova · iga swiatek · dominic thiem · petra kvitova · alexander bublik · grigor dimitrov · johanna konta · elena vesnina · daria kasatkina · roland garros · jelena ostapenko · sloane stephens · john isner · marin cilic · naomi osaka · stefanos tsitsipas · danielle collins · lucas pouille · bianca andreescu · carla suarez navarro · petra martic · ash barty · coco gauff · hubert hurkacz · daniil medvedev · jannik sinner · matteo berrettini · sofia kenin

Episode 299d: Naomi Osaka Chooses Silence

May 27th, 2021 · Comments

The surprising story that has dominated the week's tennis conversation is Naomi Osaka's statement that she will not be doing press conferences at the French Open, citing "mental health."

To discuss Osaka's decision, which seems small but pulls on many different threads, Ben is joined by Tumaini Carayol of The Guardian. Where did this choice come from? Does it make sense, based on how Osaka has been treated by the press? What does it say about celebrities increasingly controlling their content? How will other players react to her decision? And more such conundrums.

Thank you again for the incredible support for NCR we've received on the NCR Patreon which has powered us into our TENTH(!) season! If you'd like to join in as we bring you the best shows we can each week, 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, Mike, Pam Shriver, and Nicole Copeland!)

Tags: tennis · sports · media · naomi osaka

Episode 299c: NCRvision Spotlight: Dan Bern

May 20th, 2021 · Comments

It's that wonderful time of year, for the first time in two years: Eurovision!

At NCR, Eurovision means NCRvision, our celebration of the intersection of tennis and music--main show here; results show here--where we've found this episode's troubadour.

Dan Bern, the singer-songwriter whose song "Isner and Mahut" closed out NCRvision, joins Ben to chat and play a live concert of several of his original songs inspired by tennis players of the past and present.

It's a show like none we've ever done before on NCR, and we do hope you enjoy it.

If you want to hear more from Dan, he has newly bundled 15 of his original tennis songs together on his Bandcamp for you to check out.

Thank you again for the incredible support for NCR we've received on the NCR Patreon which has powered us into our TENTH(!) season! If you'd like to join in as we bring you the best shows we can each week, 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, Mike, Pam Shriver, and Nicole Copeland!)

Tags: tennis · sports · rafael nadal · novak djokovic · andy murray · roger federer · nick kyrgios · french open · eurovision · john isner · jannik sinner

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