The 2020 Fall French Open is in the history books! Iga Swiatek and Rafael Nadal swept through their respective fields on their ways to historic title runs in Paris. For Nadal, it was his 13th time lifting the Coupe des Mousquetaires, while Swiatek blitzed her way to a first Slam title, both efforts coming without the loss of a set. We go through most of the matches from week two that led to the weekend’s coronations, push back against the idea that the younger men are just “happy to be there,” and try to get to the bottom of why so many folks do not like Sofia Kenin. We finish the 2020 Grand Slam season with a dramatic reading of a captivating Danielle Collins moment. 4:00 Rafa wins his 13th at Roland Garros without losing a set 19:15 Fedal and the record books 26:00 Next Gen isn't breaking through quite yet, but not for lack of trying 37:25 Fly Like an Iga: the 19-year-old Swiatek stuns the women's draw 46:10 Flourishing without the benefit of wild cards 52:20 Why is Sonya Kenin so polarizing? 68:05 Mladenovic/Babos overcome coronadversity to win doubles; Jelena Djokovic and Neil Harman, partners in grievance; will FoxTenn Real Bounce be the solution? 81:50 Dramatic Reading: in which no grace was given
1 hr 28 min
Welcome to our mid-Roland Garros 2020 dispatch. Those sounds you may have heard over the last few days were those of players often being loud and wrong. We’ve got a fairly predictable final eight on the men’s side, while the women’s draw has turned out some truly shocking yet inspiring results. We dive into the latest Zverev mess, Novak’s quip, Hawkeye misinformation, Sara’s cursing, retiring players before they’re ready, and finish with a rant on calling Naomi’s man her “rapper boyfriend.” Who’s deserving of being told to kick rocks and eat dirt? 5:00 A lot of surprises in the men's draw, but the quarterfinals are still pretty standard 10:30 Sooo many first-time third rounders on the men's side 14:40 Zverev has a fever. Oh? 27:50 Women's draw: Swiatek destroys the clear tournament favorite, among many surprises 32:30 Errani loses the match and her mind as Bertens cramps 44:00 Damn, it's tough to be an umpire these days: the HawkEye saga 56:20 Keep your saliva in your mouth; keep your dad in his seat 59:40 Et ceteras: don't retire players before they're ready 65:20 Why are we still telling players how to schedule and whom to date, during a pandemic?
1 hr 12 min
Roland Garros 2020 is upon us, en automne, barely two weeks after the US Open and perhaps against better judgment. But what happen-ed happen-ed and here we are in Paris. The cool, damp conditions will likely produce grinding and unpredictable tennis, which has made predictions futile. The best predictor is how players have fared so far during the restarted season. In addition to the draw preview, we've got a few Covid updates, several messes to check in on, and a Dramatic Reading full of Canadian Content. 0:30 Against all odds, Roland Garros is happening 4:50 Men's draw preview: who will benefit from these tough conditions? Rafa gets Thiem, Djoko gets Tsitsipas/Meddy/Berrettini 19:00 We both failed probability but no, Virginia, the draw's not rigged 28:20 Women's draw preview: for the first time in a while, there's a clear favorite (but her road's not easy) 37:20 Women's bottom half - what to expect of Pliskova's health? Will someone other than Simona win her third Slam here? 42:15 Covid updates: spectator limit reduced to 1000 per day; Paire is in, but Verdasco is out 47:10 Buckle up for lots of commentator talk about weather and new balls 52:50 An enduring, recurring mess by Boris Becker 55:35 Dramatic Reading, a tribute to the trap king of Vaughan, Ontario, Canada
1 hr 1 min
It wasn’t that long ago that we didn’t think we would -- or should -- have any tennis for the rest of 2020. Now, here we are recapping the final week of a fanless U.S. Open. Naomi Osaka and Dominic Thiem are your champions, a third Slam triumph for Naomi and a first at last for someone not named Federer, Djokovic, or Nadal. We cover the matches of week two leading up to the finals, as well as so much of the commentary and discourse surrounding the tournament. Sadly, and maddeningly, the commentariat simply did not meet the moment. All this and more on our Bubble Wrap! 02:02 Mariah saves the day: Jonathan has a word for the haters 10:20 The road to the women's final 20:38 Naomi Osaka wins her 3rd Slam title, against a reborn Vika 30:27 Naomi starts a conversation, the commentators have no clue how to talk about it 46:08 The sloppy path to the men's final? 52:07 The "low quality" of the men's matches doesn't exist in a vacuum 59:54 What to make of the men's final 65:18 Moments that made us cringe 78:14 Moments of levity: things we enjoyed from the fortnight 81:59 Dramatic Reading: Serena (out of nowhere) shades tf out of ______.
1 hr 26 min
We knew it would be an unusual first week of the US Open. It started with Benoit Paire's positive test, and continued with the double bubble regulations and warring health departments. We got non-stop drama surrounding Kiki Mladenovic's singles loss and last-minute ejection from the doubles draw. But no one was prepared for the default of the undefeated #1 seed Novak Djokovic after hitting a line judge with a ball. Nostalgic for five-set collapses and parent-coach-player psychodramas? Oh, we still have those too. 0:30 Djokovic defaulted in the 4th round 9:15 Highlights of the men's first week: Felix grows up, Tsitsipas melts down 18:00 Three Canadian men in the second week of a Slam, a first! 26:00 Women's side: Rogers and Brady stun, Pironkova parachutes in to torture your faves, and Vika gets that Vika mojo back 41:20 Some thoughts on Sloane-Serena 49:45 Benoit and the original 10 - a double bubble and a not-quite-double bubble 53:40 Kiki does not love the US Open 59:10 Inconsistency, jurisdiction issues, and a lack of transparency 70:10 Thoughts on Djokovic's statement
1 hr 14 min
This week saw many major stories come and go until one stuck: the breaking away of Novak Djokovic and others from the ATP Player Council to start a separate player association (not a union btw). Before that, we saw Naomi Osaka's solitary act of resistance stop the tennis world in its tracks; a strange and troubling end to Sakkari-Serena; the rebirth of Victoria Azarenka; and the rebranding of Milos Raonic as widely beloved. Oh yeah, and the US Open preview. 2:30 American sports react to the shooting of Jacob Blake 9:15 Naomi Osaka announces that she won't play her Cincinnati semifinal to draw attention to BLM 16:30 "Shut up and dribble" doesn't work in tennis, especially women's tennis 20:50 Meanwhile, the Western & Southern Open is happening under strange circumstances - Vika's resurgence 24:45 Milos Raonic: new hair, new thighs, new me 28:20 The bizarre end to Serena Williams-Maria Sakkari 33:50 The girl who cried wolf 39:15 Friday night news dump: Djokovic and others break away from the ATP Player Council to form the Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA) 53:30 Federer, Nadal, et al send a letter with some ... concerns (and some very good questions) 63:20 So what about women tennis players? #TennisUnited am I right 71:00 Oh, the US Open is happening in like two days?
1 hr 30 min
Tennis has resumed in the US and Europe as the pandemic rages on. We catch up on a few weeks' worth of news, including: recent title winners Brady, Ferro, and Halep; early life in the Cincy/NY "bubble"; the non-sensical ramblings of vaccine skeptics and conspiracy theorists; and that Novak interview. We close with a tribute to two titans of 20th century tennis, who contributed even more off-court than they did on: Bob Ryland and Angela Buxton. 1:40 WTA site adds pronunciation guide - let’s try again,fail again, fail better 3:40 Tennis returns in Palermo, then Prague - Ferro is your first title winner of the resumed 2020 season 7:45 Lexington’s Top Seed Open gets a field they didn’t expect; thoughts on Venus’ new game, plus Coco, Serena, Vika, Jil, Ons, and Jenn 22:30 First-time titlist Jennifer Brady sweeps her side of the draw 25:00 Welcome to the bubble 37:55 The NYT interview with Djokovic - ehrm, um, how do we put this 46:15 Virologists and physicians are great and all - but let’s listen to vaccine-skeptic conspiracy theorists instead; also known as Occam’s Checkered Head Band 56:45 US Open:who’s in, who’s out 60:45 How are the rankings going to work this year? 63:15 Tributes to the late, great Bob Ryland and Angela Buxton
1 hr 12 min
We are back from hiatus to bring you an episode that we have been working on for months, one that serves as a continuation of our previous dive into Pre-Open Era tennis. With tennis players now able to earn a living while also competing against the best at all the tournaments, we follow the development of the WTA Tour after its inception, the persistent struggles for equality over the decades, and the players who played major roles in making it happen. 04:02 Why do this episode now? 07:21 Cultural context for equal prize money and conditions under which movement arose 20:25 Tennis at the onset of the Open Era & the emergence of the women’s tour 37:51 Chris Evert emerges at the exact right time for women’s tennis 43:43 The WTA takes off; the women take Wimbledon to task 57:42 What were the arguments back then surrounding equal pay? 71:08 Ebbs and flows in the 80s and 90s, but the fight continues 83:00 Wimbledon’s decades-long petty misogyny against EPM 97:20 Our cautions and takeaways from this episode
1 hr 49 min
We've just had the pleasure of chatting with the legendary Zina Garrison, gold medalist in Seoul, 3-time major mixed doubles champ, and the 1990 Wimbledon runner-up. Zina chats about her origins in tennis, shares her experience as a black woman in a very white sport, and takes us through some of the highlights of a great career. As Zina herself says, "Zina doesn't say much but when she does . . . " -- well, you listen. 4:10 Our chat with Lady Z 8:50 Zina takes us through her introduction to tennis, the first all-black WTA final (with Lori McNeil), and getting a kick out of her own record against Martina Navratilova 18:00 That Monica Seles flowers incident (lol) and beating Chris Evert in her final match 22:00 Zina's 1990 Wimbledon run, 30 years later 26:00 "Now people can't say those things didn't happen" - how Black Lives Matter has shone a light on inequality in tennis 34:10 Althea Gibson as more than just an icon 38:00 So ... about the wiggle 41:00 The game since Zina retired - who's she watching now?
Well folks, this is not how we envisioned bringing up our double century, but here we are! Truly, we never imagined still being here, and we owe you everything for your support in making it happen. Now, the ATP men remain a hot mess, and it’s the latest round of shenanigans that bring us to your ears today. We're bringing you our thoughts on the Adria Tour Covid collapse (crazy that it feels like old news now), plus Zverev’s very public dumbassery and the doughnut chronicles between an out-of-pocket Boris Becker and his target, Nick Kyrgios. 4:00 A brief diversion to celebrate our double century, on cricket legend Brian Lara 7:00 Adria Tour results in several players testing positive for COVID-19 19:40 Fandom has made this conversation all but impossible 30:15 Blame game between players, coaches, Djokovic's dad, heads of state 32:30 Dominic Thiem, king of obliviousness 34:45 Alexander Zverev spotted acting the fool, stans jump ship 42:25 We're in trouble because managing this pandemic requires people caring about others 48:15 A dramatic reading of The Doughnut Chronicles, starring Boris Becker and Nick Kyrgios