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TENNIS.com Podcast

Introducing Kamau Murray as the new host of the Tennis.com Podcast. As a tennis coach and community leader, tune in each week to hear Kamau interview prolific guests and players, and discuss what really goes on behind the scenes of the tennis tour.

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Dominik Koepfer on forging his own path

"Some people just think they’re the best, they grow up knowing or getting told that they’re going to be No. 1 in the word, but I’ve never had that."This week we hear from Dominik Koepfer, a 26-year-old German who has taken one of the more unique paths to the Top 100. After barely competing as a junior, Koepfer played college tennis at Tulane University for four years before taking a shot at the pro tour. Now he's ranked No. 68 as he heads into the Australian Open. A talented athlete, Koepfer juggled golf, soccer, skiing, and tennis before focusing on the latter more seriously at 16. Tulane took a risk on him as his junior resume was lacking, but it paid off big-time as he would climb all the way to No. 1 in the ITA rankings. He shares his story from growing up as a sports-addicted child in rural Germany to maturing on- and off-court at Tulane, and setting up a training base in Tampa, Fla. with coaches Billy Heiser and Rhyne Williams. Having picked up his first ATP ranking point at the age of 21, and securing his first tour-level win a year later, he gives his take on the importance of college tennis and on being labeled a "late bloomer". This month will mark just his second main draw appearance in Melbourne Park, but Koepfer has already made a splash on the Grand Slam stage, having made it all the way to the fourth round of the 2019 US Open.Watch TENNIS.com Podcast episodes on YouTube and Facebook. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

33mins

5 Feb 2021

Rank #1

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The Past, Present and Future of Tennis Writing

In a special podcast for TENNIS.com's 20th Anniversary, Louisa Thomas of The New Yorker (and formerly of Grantland) joins Ed McGrogan to discuss the craft of tennis writing, today's trends and what tomorrow may bring. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

46mins

16 Jun 2016

Rank #2

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Tennis in 10: Novak Djokovic’s Return; Caroline Wozniacki’s Renaissance

After a day of less-than-compelling quarterfinals, Ed McGrogan considers what's next at the U.S. Open for the victors. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

11mins

7 Sep 2016

Rank #3

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Beyond the Baseline with Jon Wertheim — Chris Evert on 2019 Australian Open, Mental Health

At the start of the 2019 season ahead of the Australian Open, Chris Evert joins the Beyond the Baseline podcast and gives an update on her own life, including what it was like to attend the funeral of George H.W. Bush in December; her thoughts on mental health issues and her own personal experience with … Continue reading Beyond the Baseline with Jon Wertheim — Chris Evert on 2019 Australian Open, Mental Health → Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

55mins

5 Jan 2019

Rank #4

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Paul Annacone on how belief can set the greats apart from everyone else

"You better believe in what you're trying to do and the way that you’re trying to deliver it. Time and time again that philosophy has rung true in my mind because I’ve seen the greats do it. You can't teach the natural talent of a Federer, but you can teach the habits that he has around himself that have allowed that talent to blossom."Paul Annacone joins the TENNIS.com Podcast this week with Nina Pantic to try to help everyone understand what it is that separates the greats from everyone else. (Irina Falconi missed the episode while playing the WTA 125K Series in Houston). Annacone wears a lot of hats in the game, but he's best known as the former coach of Pete Sampras and Roger Federer. He coached Sampras from 1995 until the end of his career in 2002, winning nine Grand Slams together. In 2010, he started working with Federer, helping him return to No. 1 and win the 2012 Wimbledon title. The 56-year-old has also worked with Tim Henman, Sloane Stephens and now, Taylor Fritz. He started commentating for Tennis Channel five years ago, has been a part of the USTA, LTA and Tennis Australia, and wrote a book, Coaching for Life, in 2017. Watch the TENNIS.com Podcast episodes on YouTube and Facebook. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

38mins

27 Nov 2019

Rank #5

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Tennis in 10: Women’s Final, Men’s Semifinals

Serena loses, Pliskova vs. Kerber, Nole's true test, Gaels great opportunity. Ed Mcgrogan breaks it all down from the U.S. Open Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

11mins

9 Sep 2016

Rank #6

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Pre-U.S. Open Potpourri

Between the triumphs of Grigor Dimitrov, Nick Kyrgios and Garbine Muguruza, the struggles of Simona Halep, the strange location of an Arthur Ashe statue, on-court coaching and shot clocks in U.S. Open qualifying—and, last but not least, the season's final Grand Slam tournament itself—Steve Tignor has covered plenty of ground over the last week. On the TENNIS.com Podcast, we dig into each of his posts in greater detail. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

36mins

23 Aug 2017

Rank #7

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Nicole Gibbs opens up about depression, motivation and life outside of the court

"For all of the trolling we get on social media, I find it fascinating how positive and supportive people are when you talk about mental health issues."  Nicole Gibbs comes on the TENNIS.com Podcast this week with Nina Pantic and Irina Falconi. Gibbs, a former Stanford multiple NCAA champion, has been ranked as high as No. 68 in the world and has reached the third round of two Grand Slams. Last week, she won the $25,000 ITF Pro Circuit event in Rancho Santa Fe, marking her seventh career ITF title.  With Indian Wells just around the corner, the American is excited to get back to the site of her best result, which was the round of 16 in 2016 as a qualifier (01:23).  The 25-year-old shares what keep her motivated, especially when tournaments don’t go her way and when her ranking dips (03:14). She talks about the importance of work ethic and how she recently changed her perspective of what her game style should look like (09:05). She also dives into why she connected so strongly to Andre Agassi’s book Open (11:32).  Gibbs tells us about her Behind the Racquet post about her battle with depression, and stresses the importance of managing your mental health (18:20). She has got a huge platform on social media and isn’t afraid to use it, yet even she was surprised by the support she has gotten after opening up (27:54).  While tennis is the focus of her season, Gibbs also has a huge personal milestone coming up in 2019. She’s getting married to her longtime boyfriend Jack Brody in November. He proposed with one of the most well-thought-out videos of all time and she reveals her expectations for the wedding (30:13). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

36mins

26 Feb 2019

Rank #8

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Jim Courier on making tennis better for everyone

"The business side has been something that I’ve been really educated in. I didn’t go to college, so for me it’s been a real learning curve and a real wonderful one to understand how the world of tennis actually operates. It's made me a better person in general."This week's TENNIS.com Podcast guest is former No. 1 Jim Courier. The four-time Grand Slam champion may be better known these days for commentating as he's now 20 years into a full-fledged broadcasting career. With his company InsideOut Sports & Entertainment, Courier has helped bring tennis to more people, first with the Powershares Champion Series (now the Invesco Series QQQ) and now by partnering with the Oracle Pro Series. The 49-year-old American shares how he knew it was time to retire, the ins and outs of commentating and his most memorable on-court interviews, including with Petra Kvitova and Rafael Nadal in Melbourne.He gets into some of the more complex debates of the sport like the delegation of prize money at Slams, which ranking groups should be making a better living and why the American minor league needs a more level playing field with Europe.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

44mins

9 Oct 2019

Rank #9

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Danielle Lao on pro life from the perspective of The Little Giant

"I told myself, Danielle, if you can make a Grand Slam qualifying [draw] you are totally overachieving in life."  American pro Danielle Lao turns her writing skills into podcasting magic to share her story with Inside the Tour co-hosts Nina Pantic and Irina Falconi. The University of Southern California alumna (Class of ’13) just hit a career-high of No. 169 after five years on tour thanks to her recent results, including reaching the final of a $60,000 ITF in Stockton, Calif.  She’s had a strong last few months highlighted by qualifying for her second straight US Open by beating the same player in the last round, Jana Fett (01:18). The 27-year-old explains how her college career helped her mature as a person (07:25) and how she came to write her Amazon eBook "The Invaluable Experience" (08:41) as well as how she learned to not compare herself to anyone else and just keep chasing her dream (12:54).  As Danielle gets ready to play the Australian Open for the first time, she has a painful story to tell about her history with the not-always-so-happy Happy Slam (19:55). It’s the tale of being an alternate for a Grand Slam qualifying draw and going through hope, heartbreak and, eventually, validation.  The Californian also shares some fun facts about herself like how her boyfriend, Nam Gip, holds a Guinness World Record for fastest 4-person marathon in a costume (25:33), her passion for baking—nothing is off limits, even French macarons (26:24), how she would have worked in finance had she not given pro tennis a chance (30:15) and why her Twitter handle “@TheLittleGiant” is appropriate because she’s 5’3” — just like Irina. (31:40). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

37mins

20 Nov 2018

Rank #10

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Sascha Bajin on working with Grand Slam champions

"Getting paid playing with Serena Williams on a daily basis, I don't care if it's in Palm Beach Gardens or a stadium, it doesn't get much than that."Sascha Bajin joined the TENNIS.com Podcast with Nina Pantic and Irina Falconi while he was in New York for the US Open. The 34-year-old has a decorated resume, having worked with Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Caroline Wozniacki, Sloane Stephens, Naomi Osaka and now, Kristina Mladenovic. The German reflects on how he got his start as a 21-year-old hitting partner for one of the greatest athletes of all time. He would be part of Serena's team for 13 of her 23 Grand Slam wins. He explains how he made the shift to coaching, as he was in Osaka's player box as her coach for her 2018 US Open and 2019 Australian Open victories.Coaching was a natural fit for him thanks to a selfless demeanor that makes him eager to help his player with everything and anything she needs, from picking up laundry to figuring out how to win a match during a changeover. The 2018 WTA Coach of the Year has come a long way, and he's driven to do even more in the months, and years, ahead.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

33mins

11 Sep 2019

Rank #11

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Joel Drucker on Roger Federer and the 2020 Australian Open

"I love it. I still keep all my credentials and I get excited when I get my credential and I think, wow, yeah, they’re paying me this time."As writer Joel Drucker heads to Melbourne for his 12th Australian Open, he joins Nina Pantic to preview the first Grand Slam of the year, and dive into his recent TENNIS Magazine cover story about Roger Federer. The 59-year-old author of two books is entering his fifth decade of covering the game. He shares his tips and tricks to reporting, including how he found out that Ken Rosewall writes a handwritten letter to Federer ahead of every Australian Open. Drucker talks about his experiences interviewing Federer, including a memorable Indian Wells encounter. A preview of the Happy Slam wouldn't be complete without discussion of the Big Three, as well as defending champion Naomi Osaka. Australian favorite Alex de Minaur pulled out, but Nick Kyrgios and Ashleigh Barty are two homegrown stars poised to make an impact this fortnight.To donate to the American Red Cross for the Australian bushfire relief effort, go to redcross.org/tennischannel. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

34mins

19 Jan 2020

Rank #12

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Tennis in 10, French Open Day 15: La Decimation as Nadal wins his 10th French Open title

What more can be said about Rafa at Roland Garros? Ed McGrogan tries his best, in less than 10 minutes. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

11mins

12 Jun 2017

Rank #13

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Andy Roddick on playing in New York as a home favorite

Former US Open champion Andy Roddick talks about playing as a home favorite in Flushing Meadows and the state of American men's tennis. The Hall of Famer also shares his opinion on the new Fan Voting initiative for the Class of '19. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

25mins

28 Aug 2018

Rank #14

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Craig Acker on working out the top talent at the USTA National Campus

"I can never want it more than the athlete, like it starts and ends there. If they're a pro [with] all these opportunities that they have, which I envy a lot, the life of a pro athlete is pretty incredible. But I can't want it more than them."The 2020 season of the TENNIS.com Podcast kicks off with USTA strength and conditioning coach Craig Acker. Based in Lake Nona, Fla. at the home of American tennis, Acker works with players of all ages and levels. He played an integral role in helping CiCi Bellis get back on the court after her four arm surgeries, and worked with Reilly Opelka well before he made his way to the Top 40. He tells us about his day-to-day life in the gym at the USTA National Campus, and the rewards and challenges of working out for a living. His job requires a lot of attention to detail with each player having different needs and goals. He gives us his opinion on tennis players doing Olympic weight lifting, and the importance of having a full team to help an injured player properly recover.And how much of his job involves yelling at players to run faster or lift more? Luckily for Acker, he works with an inspired group of players that don't need to be pushed to work hard. Watch the TENNIS.com Podcast episodes on YouTube and Facebook. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

30mins

2 Jan 2020

Rank #15

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Beyond the Baseline, with Jon Wertheim — WTA CEO Steve Simon

Following the WTA's decision to cut the U.S. part of its worldwide rights deal with beIN sports, the Tour's head Steve Simon discusses the move to Tennis Channel, which includes a five-year deal for television and digital streaming broadcast rights, and what it means for American fans, how it can help build excitement and growth around the sport and more. Wertheim and Simon also talk about the future of the WTA in Asia, what Serena Williams means to women's tennis and what will happen when she decides to move on from the sport, the tour schedule and impact of injuries, and much more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

38mins

11 Oct 2018

Rank #16

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What to make of the WTA?

With Serena out—and, for now, Maria, Vika and Petra on the outside—there's more uncertainty in the women's game than ever. We take a deep dive into the WTA to assess the landscape, determine French Open favorites and predict the tour's future. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

28mins

24 May 2017

Rank #17

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CiCi Bellis on enduring four surgeries and planning a comeback

“Each one I was like, no, I’m not doing the surgery. I’m done with tennis. I’m not going to do this. I’m not going to put my body through this anymore. It’s just not worth it… But I ended up doing it. My gut told me to do it and fix it and try to … Continue reading Inside the Tour with Nina and Irina — CiCi Bellis on enduring four surgeries and planning a comeback → Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

31mins

26 Jun 2019

Rank #18

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Tennis in 10: After two rounds, who are the U.S. Open’s big winners?

Ed McGrogan doles out some first-week awards in his daily recap. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

11mins

2 Sep 2016

Rank #19

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Beyond the Baseline, with Jon Wertheim — Taylor Fritz on Innovations in Tennis

Ahead of his appearance at the ATP Finals Next Gen in Milan, Taylor Fritz joins the Beyond the Baseline podcast to talk about the year-end event; his thoughts on innovations such as on-court coaching, towel racks on the court, the shot clock and more; his expectations and goals for the 2019 season; his approach when it comes to coaches; his experience with Paul Annacone and what he's learned from him; his relationship with other players on tour, particularly the young Americans; his plans for the offseason and more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

25mins

2 Nov 2018

Rank #20