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Ben and Tumaini Carayol (before he turns into a pumpkin) wrap up the Wimbledon that was, which featured both some feel-good and some uncomfortable storylines across the fortnight. We begin with the women, with Elena Rybakina making good on her potential and breaking through for the title with a win over Ons Jabeur. We talk about the Kazakh tennis strategy, and what it says about Russia, particularly in the wake of Wimbledon's ban. We also talk about the delights of Jabeur, the shock run of Tatjana Maria, how to measure expectations for the suddenly returned Williams sisters, and the end of Iga Swiatek's stellar streak. On the men's side, Novak Djokovic continued his increased dominance of this tournament with a seventh title at Wimbledon, beating Nick Kyrgios in the final. We talk about the odd feelings around both runs, the ugliness of Kyrgios-Tsitsipas, the anticlimactic finish to Rafael Nadal's Grand Slam bid, and Cam Norrie rising to the occasion. We finish, as Tumaini puts on his glass slippers, with a quick chat about the legendary Women's Invitational Doubles field. Thank you for listening to NCR!
On the 100th birthday of Centre Court, Ben is joined by Alexandra Willis, the director of communications and marketing for Wimbledon, and the two of them take a walk into Centre Court's most hallowed places. Along the way, we discuss Wimbledon's continuing balancing between retaining history and progressing to the present, plans of growth ahead, and the circumstances and consequences of the ban of Russian and Belarusian players this year. Spice up your ears and enjoy!  
Ben and Tumaini Carayol are back together again at Wimbledon for another look ahead at a Grand Slam draw, looking at the men's field, the women's field, and a concerning hole on the side of Court 14.  After a general look at the draw balance--and the intrigue missing from the field because of the ban of Russian and Belarusian players--Ben and Tumaini dig into the men's draw, in which balance emerged despite some misleading seedings, with Hubert Hurkacz and Matteo Berrettini landing in separate quarters from fellow contenders Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. On the women's side, we discuss Serena Williams' unexpected return and her prospects, Ons Jabeur's comfort in this world, Bianca Andreescu reasserting her gifts, and Iga Swiatek's chances of extending her streak of dominance. Also, justice for Julia Pegula.  Thanks for listening, as always! 
As Emma Raducanu readies for her first Wimbledon as a Grand Slam champion, Ben chats with Mike Dickson, the man who literally wrote the book on the young British sensation's origin story and remarkably meteoric rise to stardom last year. Emma Raducanu: When Tennis Came Home tells the story of Raducanu's origins and walks through the brief career she had until being thrust into an international spotlight in an unprecedented way. We discuss Raducanu's remarkable rise, and the uncertainty surrounding her near and long-term future as her sophomore season brings struggles with Wimbledon on the horizon.
Ben and Tumaini Carayol meet back up just hours after the men's final at Roland Garros to discuss Rafael Nadal's record extending 14th title here and Iga Swiatek's streak extending 35th win and second French Open title. We start with Swiatek, who has just been so dominant. Is the field anywhere close to her now? What will it take for a challenger to emerge? And what to make of the strong run by teen phenom Coco Gauff to the final? Then we switch to the men--how to reconcile Nadal's dominance and his injury malaise? How much longer do we think he has left? And what will Djokovic regret about letting this one slip? We wrap up with a look at why night sessions were not ready for prime time in Paris, and what to look for as the grass is green on the other side of the English Channel. Thanks for listening, folks!
We are delighted to return to you, and to return to Paris, and to return our favorite annual episode title! Ben and Tumaini Carayol start this French Open draw show with a bit first on the big news of the day, which was the ATP and WTA deciding to withhold ranking points from this year's Wimbledon Championships because of the tournament banning Russian and Belarusian players. What effect will this have on the tournament, the players, and the outlook for the #1 ranking in men's tennis? We then break down the French Open draws, starting with the women and prohibitive favorite Iga Swiatek. Who or what can stop her from cruising onward to her second French Open title? We also discuss two of the most compelling floaters, Naomi Osaka and Bianca Andreescu. On the men's side, we discuss the top-heavy draw, how the three-horse race of Djokovic, Nadal, and Alcaraz has set up, and who can take advantages of the openings on the bottom half. Thank y'all for listening! Bonsoiree! 
Wimbledon took the drastic step of banning all Russian and Belarusian players from this year's tournament, escalating the impact that Russia's invasion of Ukraine has had on the world of tennis. Tumaini Carayol joins Ben to discuss this decision, where it fits into the British political context, and how it might further divide an already fractious sport. Is fairness a possible concept amid a war? What can we learn from past precedents? And what might tennis authorities have to do next as this war shows no sign of abating? Thank you for listening to NCR! We are on Patreon, Twitter, and your favorite podcast apps.  
Taking the face of your tennis scrolling into your ears, Ben is joined by José Morgado, the Portuguese reporter and commentator who has become the most complete and comprehensive stop on Tennis Twitter for news and information about this never-stopping sport. José discusses the state of tennis in Portugal, how he got into the sport, building a presence on Tennis Twitter, and the prizes and pitfalls from being an increasingly visible figure in this strange space. Thank you for listening to NCR!
Harvey Fialkov, a veteran sportswriter who covers the Miami Open with more gusto than anybody, joins Ben to share his contagious excitements for all things tennis. Chatting before the women's final, Ben and Harvey discuss the pros and cons of the move from Key Biscayne to the Dolphins' stadium, memories of tournaments past, South Florida's status as a hotbed of world tennis, and who catches his eye on the current tour. Harvey is a delight to share a press room with, and we hope you also can feel his effervescence in this audio medium. We have paused our crowdfunding efforts while Ben's focus is taken up by his book project, but we thank you for your support!
In a week where the Williams family got a bizarre twist on what should have been a Hollywood ending for their cinematic journey, Ben traveled to the Rick Macci Tennis Academy in Boca Raton to chat with Rick Macci, whose work with the Williams family is portrayed in 'King Richard.' Rick discusses the impact of the film on his life, working with the family, how actress Saniyya Sidney was able to portray Venus so well on court, that slap, and the other tennis story he'd most like to see made into a movie. We have paused our crowdfunding efforts for the time being, but we thank you for all of your support!
Emergency Episode! Top-ranked Ash Barty's surprise announcement that she is calling it a career at only 25 years old and less than two months after winning the Australian Open was urgent cause for our first emergency episode in a long while, folks! Reem Abulleil joins Ben to discuss our immediate reactions to the news and Barty's initial explanations, how we process it, Barty's legacies of looking out for herself and maintaining firm control over her career, and what the tour now looks like in its sudden post-Barty era. We're gonna miss you heaps, Ash.  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!)
Just back from the desert, Ben chats with David Avakian about the weeks that were at Indian Wells, with culminated in a surprise triumph for Taylor Fritz over Rafael Nadal, and an increasingly expected victory for Iga Swiatek, over Maria Sakkari. For the men, we discuss Fritz and where American men's tennis is at globally right now, what lies ahead for Nadal and the field, Kyrgios' strong run and awkward finish, Norrie's banishment to Stadium 5. On the women's side, we discuss Swiatek emerging as a dominant force on the tour and the room she might have to go even higher, if Sakkari can push higher, and some other breakout performances from the week. Oh, and Holland's Got Tallon, in case you missed it. 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!)
(Reuploading this episode as a duplicate because of issues with iTunes and Apple Podcasts services) With war suddenly raging in Ukraine after Russia's invasion, Ben is joined on this episode by Dayana Yastremska, the 21-year-old WTA player who had to flee her hometown of Odessa, Ukraine, after the bombs began dropping on her city. Yastremska tells her journey of escaping via boat to Romania alongside her 15-year-old sister, her attempts to focus on tennis this week at a WTA tournament in Lyon, France, and her hopes and fears for what is happening back home in Ukraine, where her family remains. Organizations you can support to help people in Ukraine include Amnesty International, Doctors Without Borders, and The Kyiv Independent.
Acapulco has turned into one of the biggest tennis destinations on the ATP calendar, and our buddy Mike Cation is there this week, checking in on a week of festive fun, new highs, and distressing lows. We discuss the atmosphere at this unique resort, night-time event, the wild day Stefan Kozlov had that contributed to the latest finish in ATP history, the violent outburst that got Alexander Zverev kicked out of the tournament, Daniil Medvedev's ascent to the No. 1 ranking, and more. 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!)
Ben is joined by NCR's intrepid Middle East and North Africa correspondent Reem Abulleil to discuss the tennis happening in Dubai this month, where she enjoyed more access to players than she has been able to get at any time before since the pandemic began. Reem discusses the women's week that was in Dubai, starting with her interview with Danielle Collins and Collins' mentor, and then Jelena Ostapenko storming through a loaded field. We then discuss the week ahead in the men's draw, and what questions might still remain as Novak Djokovic returns to the tour (and interviews).  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!)  
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!)
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!)
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!)
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!)
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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