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Episode 327: Adiós, Delpo

February 15th, 2022

With Juan Martín del Potro playing what is set to be the last match of his career last week in Buenos Aires, Ben and Courtney reflect on the career of the gentle giant who had an outsized presence and popularity in the sport to match his enormous on-court gifts.

Ben then has a longer chat with Alfredo Bernardi, a longtime Argentine tennis correspondent who closely followed Delpo's career from its beginnings, about his rise, triumphs, struggles, and future.

Thank you again for the incredible support for NCR we've received on the NCR Patreon which has powered us into our ELEVENTH(!) ad-free season! Please consider joining in as we bring you the best shows we can this year! And thank you to the many listeners who have already given their support! (And thank you to G.O.A.T. backers Pam Shriver and J O'D!)

Episode 326: Australian Open - Nadal and Barty’s Fairytale Endings

February 4th, 2022

The stormy lead-up to the Australian Open ended with two great resplendent victories, with Ash Barty becoming the first Aussie champ in Melbourne in four decades, and Rafael Nadal winning just his second Australian Open to win a record 21st Grand Slam men's singles title.

On Barty, we discuss her win, the catharsis after a lack of tension, parallels to Andy Murray, and how the field could try to disrupt her dominance. We also discuss runner-up Danielle Collins, who breaks into the Top 10 after a run of self-driven power tennis.

We then move to the men's side, where Nadal's win was seen as obvious from the outside but as a longshot inside the sport. What does this remarkable comeback win mean for him and the sport? Was Medvedev right to be aggrieved at the crowd? And what should be done to police mid-match coaching after seeing the Tsitsipas sting operation in the semifinals?

Thank you again for the incredible support for NCR we've received on the NCR Patreon which has powered us into our ELEVENTH(!) ad-free season! Please consider joining in as we bring you the best shows we can this year! And thank you to the many listeners who have already given their support! (And thank you to G.O.A.T. backers Pam Shriver and J O'D!)

Episode 325: Australian Open - Semifinal Showdowns

January 27th, 2022

Ben and Tumaini Carayol are back to discuss the four women and four men still in contention to win this Australian Open, which has held up to set up for some surprisingly unsurprising semifinals.

On the women's side, can anyone derail Ash Barty, or even approach the dimension of her game? How much has the heat been a factor in the success of Madison Keys and Danielle Collins? And what is Iga Swiatek showing us that she didn't during her French Open run?

On the men's side, why are folks sleeping on Matteo Berrettini? Can Rafael Nadal win 21? Why is Daniil Medvedev such a troll, and why is Stefanos Tsitsipas so cold?

Thank you again for the incredible support for NCR we've received on the NCR Patreon which has powered us into our ELEVENTH(!) ad-free season! Please consider joining in as we bring you the best shows we can this year! And thank you to the many listeners who have already given their support! (And thank you to G.O.A.T. backers Pam Shriver and J O'D!)

Episode 324: Australian Open - The Slam After the Storm

January 22nd, 2022

Now that the Djokovic debacle has ended and the tennis has begun, Ben and Tumaini Carayol wrap up the big stories of the first week of the Australian Open.

What did we see from Naomi Osaka in how she won and in how she handled defeat? How did Emma Raducanu manage to slice her way into Romanian hearts? Can anyone stop Barty and Medvedev?

Thank you again for the incredible support for NCR we've received on the NCR Patreon which has powered us into our ELEVENTH(!) ad-free season! Please consider joining in as we bring you the best shows we can this year! And thank you to the many listeners who have already given their support! (And thank you to G.O.A.T. backers Pam Shriver and J O'D!)

Episode 323: Djokovic’s Deportation Debacle is Done

January 17th, 2022

The Djokovic deportation drama dragged deliriously Down Under, feeling a whole 'nother Grand Slam's worth of drama and intrigue before finally resolving itself on Sunday with a panel of judges upholding a second deportation order and sending Djokovic on a flight out of Australia soon after.

Paul Sakkal, whose coverage of the political sides of this story has been extraordinarily insightful, and who got rave reviews for his first appearance on NCR at the onset of this saga, joins Ben once more to explain what happened, and to contemplate questions ahead.

Why did the government change its tactics so drastically for Round 2 of proceedings? Does this case raise civil liberties concerns? What will the fallout be for Tennis Australia? And will this do anything to help the plight of the refugees?

Thank you again for the incredible support for NCR we've received on the NCR Patreon which has powered us into our ELEVENTH(!) ad-free season! Please consider joining in as we bring you the best shows we can this year! And thank you to the many listeners who have already given their support! (And thank you to G.O.A.T. backers Pam Shriver and J O'D!)

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