The Body Serve

The Body Serve Tennis Podcast

Tennis podcast featuring casual, semi-respectable conversations about the ATP & WTA. read less

The Bushbirds Are Sh*tting
Jan 20 2023
The Bushbirds Are Sh*tting
Hey there, just popping in to offer some thoughts on the first few days of the 2023 Australian Open and the first three episodes of Netflix’s tennis docuseries Break Point! We talk about a few standouts from a pretty rocky and wet week one (don’t be offended if we missed your fave, it’s not comprehensive); we discuss the Netflix Curse chatter that seems to be dooming 8 of the 10 featured players; and we think about some fascinating press conference moments from Taylor Townsend, Rafael Nadal and, in a rather different way, Camila Giorgi.      2:50 The Netflix Curse or the Netflix picking the wrong players syndrome? 5:10 Standouts in the first few days: Parrizas Diaz, Volynets, Brooksby, Shelton 11:00 Let me complain for a minute: the AO app is not good; and the rain highlights tennis’ built-in inequities 14:20 Andrew Murray plays for 10.5 hours over two matches 17:10 TBS Hall of Fame gets two new inductees! 21:35 Rafa leaves Australia with a new injury, smashes a cliche about athlete ‘sacrifice’ 32:05 Taylor Townsend shines in doubles, gets real about tennis finances  34:25 Camila Giorgi faces the music about alleged vaccine fraud and blissfully exists on her own planet  40:25 Novak: hamstring, hamstrung 42:25 Recommendation for tennis from James’ parents, only one of whom watches tennis 47:00 Discussing Break Point - who is it for, what’s it meant to accomplish, and does it do that? 51:20 The tennis brat / bad boy trying to reform -- it’s not giving us anything new  55:35 Go to the business center
The Merchants of Menace: 2022 ATP Wrap
Dec 1 2022
The Merchants of Menace: 2022 ATP Wrap
It’s time to wrap up the 2022 ATP season, and we’re treating the guys with a healthy (and earned!) dose of suspicion, starting with a rundown of the most badly behaved children of the year. But it’s not all bad - we also cover Rafa’s personal-best start to the season, Carlos’ rise, Novak’s disappearing and reappearing acts, Felix fixing his finals bugaboo, Holger’s Paris breakdown and later his Paris Masters title, and Roger’s retirement. And since tennis news will stop for no one, we had to recap Canada’s historic win at Davis Cup and the implosion of Team USA.       0:00 Cold Open Men behaving badly  4:25 Starting with the worst: That Guy 9:20 The Nick Kyrgios redemption nightmare 13:50 Craig! What the hell, dude?! 18:00 Jaaa-gate, Moutet, poop shorts, and Shapo gets scolded by Daddy 25:55 Davis Cup: USA cancels themselves, does the work for us 31:20 The Verdasco ban and Reilly’s basement tweeting   Notable Moments 40:30 Djokovic removed from Australia + Rafa wins a very memorable Australian final 48:35 Carlos Alcaraz breaks out in March; Rafa’s injuries start and never end; weird Wimbledon 57:20 US Open was our first major (and Carlos’ too)! 61:30 Laver Cup, frat behavior, G***k y*g*rt, Federer retirement 65:30 Other retirements: Del Potro, Tsonga, Anderson, and many more 68:55 Three other players we need to mention: Feliz, Casper, Holger 79:25 How’d we do on our choices for breakout players of 2022?
The Inroads (and Outroads?) of the 2022 WTA Season
Nov 22 2022
The Inroads (and Outroads?) of the 2022 WTA Season
The 2022 WTA season had everything: a 37-match win streak, the retirements of the current #1 (abrupt) and the GOAT (expected), a Wimbledon with no ranking points, and a major drug suspension. Iga Swiatek’s dominance didn’t leave much room for her competitors, but other highlights included Ons Jabeur’s steady rise to world #2 and two Slam runner-up finishes, Caroline Garcia’s singles renaissance and WTA Finals title, and utter doubles dominance from Krejcikova/Siniakova. We’ve also got some juicy listener-generated “things you loved/hated” content and the kind of typically bizarre moments that keep us coming back every year.    Plus, we’ve just launched our GoFundMe - please read a bit about we do and donate if you can!      0:30 Announcing our GoFundMe 2022 and reiterating our mission 6:05 Three key moments: Ash’s Australian win + retirement, Iga’s win streak, and Serena’s evolution 11:00 The other major stories: the instability at the top for everyone but Iga, Simona Halep’s remarkably odd year, and the total breakdown of COVID protocols 18:40 Starting the year with Barty as the undisputed #1 25:20 Ash’s retirement coincides with the start of Iga’s 37-match win streak  34:45 Grass season: Serena dominates the conversation from Eastbourne to the US Open; Rybakina wins the points-less Wimbledon  42:00 Summer hardcourt stretch: our own return to live tennis; Halep & Garcia grab titles but Swiatek restores order in New York 54:55 Discussing the WTA year-end award nominees 60:45 Our own picks for 2022 breakout players - how’d we do? 63:25 Remember when? A broken necklace, a broken doubles team, and Ostapenko's ... everything 72:45 Things you loved about WTA tennis in 2022 81:50 Things you loathed in 2022: no points at Wimbledon, no more business buns 85:55 The WTA’s finances: Hologic sponsorship and a potential deal with private equity
Muchas Garcías
Nov 10 2022
Muchas Garcías
The WTA regular season comes to a close with comeback kid Caroline Garcia grabbing her biggest career title, dispatching Iga-vanquisher Aryna Sabalenka in a boom-boom final. We discuss the last-minute nature of the event and the tough financial and ethical positions the WTA continues to occupy in light of the China situation. On the men’s side, Holger Rune caps a momentous autumn swing that brings him from #33 to the brink of the ATP Finals, but not without a lecture from daddy. Elsewhere in bad behavior, the FFT disowns Moutet, Reilly earns lifelong haters, and Kyrgios settles a silly (disclaimer: this is James’ opinion; please don’t sue) defamation suit.    0:45 Garcia’s Finals title and Sabalenka’s upset of #1 Swiatek add unexpected layers to this WTA season 8:35 Some props for Sakkari, Kasatkina, and doubles champ and singles-almost-made-it Kudermetova 17:30 Lots of commentary about attendance and the choice of venue – what the WTA has been up against vs. what is of their own making 28:55 Holger beats Djokovic, ends Felix’s win streak, and becomes first alternate for Torino 33:30 Magic potions and goofy huddles; it’s not actually a ‘thing’ but it’s no surprise that people think it’s a thing! 39:00 WTA CEO Steve Simon’s strange and conflict-heavy statements on the ongoing Halep doping situation 41:10 James’ tormentor Gilles Simon finally retires 47:45 Et ceteras: Moutet loses the bag; WTA institutes coaching program to attract and develop female coaches; safeguarding against abuse in tennis 57:00 Reilly thinks telling people to vote is cringe and that tennis used to be free of politics … ok hun 63:50 The biggest merch sale of the year: The Body Serve’s RedBubble Store
Question: Tell Me What You Think About ...
Oct 2 2022
Question: Tell Me What You Think About ...
Thanks to you, our listeners, we’re back with a special mailbag episode, answering your questions about any and everything. You asked about tennis, of course – lots of questions lingering from Laver Cup and Roger’s retirement, and about the states of various players’ games on the women’s tour – but you also allowed us to be self-indulgent and talk about what we’re watching and listening to, our favorite breads and cheeses (a new one!), and our nerdiest qualities.    1:40 Rapid-fire from @SamsBiceps: Federer matches, Beyonce, desserts, and Oscar best actress predix 13:50 Daria Saville’s IG post after her injury: interesting insight or just too much honesty? 18:15 What’s up with Naomi? Will she be back in form next year? 24:00 Dream WTA Team World - Team Europe lineups (and we added thoughts about what a dream Laver Cup should set out to accomplish 32:15 What are we watching/listening to/reading lately? It’s been a great year for horror fans 41:35 Pair any five tennis players with a Mariah track, which would then be their theme song (hey, Grigor)  46:25 Us as commentators: what’s our green room rider? How will you diplomatically call out your colleagues for bad takes?  53:15 What is the nerdiest non-tennis thing about each of us? Well, there’s a lot 59:10 If one of the Big 3 never played tennis, how many majors would the other two have won? 65:00 Our favorite breads and cheeses! Amazing question! 69:20 An FMK from our most reliable contributor  71:40 What is happening with Garbine? And some thoughts on a coach’s role 78:45 Our own tennis playing styles
Barely Bleating: US Open Wrap
Sep 13 2022
Barely Bleating: US Open Wrap
The final Slam of the season sees Iga Swiatek troubleshoot and learn now to extend her dominance, and the coronation of the (not very) long awaited Carlos Alcaraz as a major winner and youngest male #1 in history. As always, we try to be skeptical of hype and take a fresh look at the results and what they might mean for the near future. Also at this US Open: the shambolic choice to have Supreme Court Justice Patrick McEnroe helm the women's doubles presentation, profiteering off Serena's name, and more awful revelations about sexual abuse in women’s tennis.    2:30 Iga Swiatek doesn’t always play her best but proves why she’s the dominant #1 14:40 The women’s draw gets a wonderful crop of quarterfinalists, representative of many of the year’s best 21:45 Are we in the Iga Era? How do we define a deserving number one? What do we want from women's tennis? Who cares! Sit back and watch  24:35 Men’s champ: from barely bleating to curry-ready 35:10 Frances Tiafoe! Not to say I told you so but …   42:50 Listen to Jonathan stretch a subordinate clause far past its breaking point  44:55 Women’s doubles: Krejcikova/Siniakova win the Career Slam; plus, the massive insult of Patrick McEnroe presiding over this trophy ceremony 56:10 TW: SA - Fiona Ferro’s case against her former coach puts another spotlight on abuse and exploitation in women’s tennis 60:55 Et ceteras: bootleg Serena merch, the too-late night matches, and the partisan but only partially engaged US Open crowd 69:25 WTA Finals is moving to … Texas? 73:11 Randomly, our favorite and least favorite types of pasta
No Qualifier Needed
Aug 23 2022
No Qualifier Needed
Cincinnati lost its stars early but still brought us a wickedly good weekend, with comeback kids Borna Coric and Caroline Garcia taking the titles. We talk new shoulder (Borna), new confidence (Caro), new professionalism (Stef?), and the resurgent Petra and Madison. We take a stab at the ball controversy and how it speaks to a larger battle in tennis governance. The second part of this episode features an interview with author and illustrator Tom Humberstone, whose gorgeous graphic novel Suzanne hits bookstores in September. Suzanne Lenglen was one of the very first sporting superstars; Tom tells Suzanne’s story with specificity, avoiding comparisons with today’s greats, exploring what made her so compelling and how the well worn cliches about her fail to do justice to her life and accomplishments.     3:30 OG NextGen kid Borna Coric is back in the conversation, wins Cincinnati with his new serve (and new shoulder) 14:30 Iga, Ons, Serena out early? No problem - Petra, Caro, and Madison are getting butts in seats 21:20 Tennis ball controversy: Iga Swiatek vs. Wilson Regular Duty 27:00 Whom does it serve to tweet about someone skipping a press conference? (Check the replies, that’s who) 30:05 Jonathan’s preferred Serena match-up and Vika’s slightly anticlimactic announcement 35:10 Interview with Tom Humberstone, author of Suzanne and Body Serve illustrator! 47:45 Translating the unique visual spectacle of Lenglen to the page  55:15 How to balance “legacy” while honoring a person’s specific life experiences 59:20 Lenglen forced the skeptical press to respect women’s sport