No Challenges Remaining

No Challenges Remaining header image 1

Entries Tagged as 'maria sharapova'

Episode 185: What to Expect When Serena’s Expecting

April 21st, 2017 · Comments

00:0000:00

With best wishes, Ben and Courtney convene after Serena Williams' announcement that she is expecting her first child this fall, and may already be as far as 20 weeks into her pregnancy.

Does this change how we look back on her title at the Australian Open in January, when she already would have been roughly two months pregnant? And what does this mean for the tour going forward? And what is the state of the women's field now? We don't quite agree on this one, as you'll quickly learn.

And 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 #NCR185!), and subscribing/reviewing on iTunes on iTunes or whatever your podcasting app/platform of choice may be.

Tags: tennis · sports · wta · serena williams · maria sharapova · women's sports · pregnancy

Episode 184: Resembling an Ensemble

April 10th, 2017 · Comments

00:0000:00

With a quarter of 2017 now complete, Ben and Courtney try to make sense of it all. But does it make sense, really?

Daria Kasatkina won Charleston in an all-teen final, which should be a big result. But what are results anyhow, when every player seems to have a roughly equal share of success and failure these days? Which characters and plotlines are really relevant? Does TV have the answers?

The men's side is a completely different coin, because one beloved old dude (Roger Federer) has stepped up to fill the void. But just what is that void without Federer being there as a shiny glaze on top of an otherwise questionable confection?

Lastly, we make predictions for the French Open, an amusingly hopeless endeavor. 

And 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 #NCR184!), and subscribing/reviewing on iTunes on iTunes or whatever your podcasting app/platform of choice may be.

Tags: tennis · sports · atp · wta · rafael nadal · novak djokovic · maria sharapova · simona halep · angelique kerber · agnieszka radwanska · roger federer · caroline wozniacki · nick kyrgios · women's sports · venus williams · charleston · garbine muguruza · karolina pliskova · sascha zverev · johanna konta · daria kasatkina

Episode 182a: Maria Sharapova: The Ice Woman Cometh

March 20th, 2017 · Comments

00:0000:00

With Maria Sharapova's ban set to end in just over a month, we've assembled an all-star lineup to discuss her impending return and the many questions it raises in this our fourth episode (here are 1, 2, and 3) about Sharapova's saga.

First, Ben speaks with Markus Günthardt, the tournament director of the Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart where Sharapova will be making her comeback on Wednesday, April 26. We discuss why this tournament has grown so popular with top players (the car-as-trophy model seems to work), how important Sharapova is to it, the decision to give her a wild card, and how the contentious Wednesday start was made possible.

Next, Ben reunites 75% of our March 2016 roundtable on Sharapova by bringing back in Sports Illustrated/Tennis Channel's Jon Wertheim and fabulous French freelancer Carole Bouchard to discuss all sorts of issues and questions raised by the Sharapova brouhaha, what has changed as the story has evolved over the last year, and what should be considered in the decisions about wild cards and whatever else in her comeback.

Then, to bring the decidedly different British perspective on this case and anti-doping rigidity in general, Ben chats with BBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller about why reactions in attitudes in his country have been so different, and the ethical and logistical questions facing Wimbledon as it weighs whether or not to warmly welcome Sharapova with a main draw wild card.

We definitely want you to sound off on these issues, so more than ever, join in the conversation on Facebook (leave comments on the episode thread! Engage with other listeners!), follow and tweet us on Twitter (discuss this episode with hashtag #NCR182a!). And as always, please subscribe/review on iTunes on iTunes or whatever your podcasting app/platform of choice may be.

Tags: tennis · wimbledon · sports · wta · maria sharapova · andy murray · women's sports · doping · madrid · french open · ethics · stuttgart · porsche

Episode 180: Getting Turned Around

February 18th, 2017 · Comments

00:0000:00

It's been a slowish month of tennis, anthem nightmares notwithstanding, so Ben and Courtney turn to the ever-reliable mailbag to fill out most of this week's show.

With the popularity of the Australian Open, should hard court tournament directors adjust their court speeds accordingly? What are fair expectations for Maria Sharapova's return to tour in a couple months? And why don't people talk more about women's matches in the greatest matches of all time conversations? 

Also, because we love you, we do Take a Number. And because the world hates us in return, it's crazy high. 

And 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 #NCR180!), and subscribing/reviewing on iTunes on iTunes or whatever your podcasting app/platform of choice may be.

Tags: tennis · sports · andrea petkovic · atp · wta · maria sharapova · fed cup · women's sports

Episode 175a: Ana, Auckland, and Anamneses

January 3rd, 2017 · Comments

00:0000:00

It's our Season 6 premiere! This is our 217th episode, and golly do Ben and Courtney have lots to reflect on before we get started with 2017. Time to look back to move forward.

First, we look back at the career and legacy of Ana Ivanovic, who played excellent tennis at times and was a joy to be around always. We discuss the role she plays in our separate and joint tennis origin stories, and what made her such a welcome presence on tour. Then, Ben chats with Auckland tournament director Karl Budge about running a tournament that has attracted increasingly star-studded fields (including Serena, Venus, and Wozniacki this year), and the differences between running ATP and WTA events.

Then we get into the meat of the show, which is our annual nostalgia trip known as "Remember When...?" It's so meaty this time that we need to carve it into two pieces, so this #175a will be followed by #175b in the near future.

And 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 #NCR175a!), and subscribing/reviewing on iTunes on iTunes or whatever your podcasting app/platform of choice may be.

Tags: tennis · sports · wta · australia · brisbane · maria sharapova · australian open · 2016 australian open · women's sports · venus williams · ana ivanovic