Podcast Episode 14: Wimbledon Preview

Episode 14 of the Tennis Abstract Podcast is Carl Bialik’s and my Wimbledon preview! We highlight the favorites, the overrated, and the underrated, along with a look at some of the most intriguing matchups. Along the way, we talk about the difficult of making grass court forecasts, and speculate about how players’ consistency changes with age.  Enjoy!

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Podcast Episode 13: Kvitova vs Barty, Serena vs McEnroe, and Federer vs The Field

In the Episode 13 of the Tennis Abstract Podcast, Carl Bialik and I start with Petra Kvitova’s first title back from injury, and her chances as a floater in the Wimbledon draw, along with other returning grass-court threats Victoria Azarenka and Sabine Lisicki.

We move on to what we hope is a sensible, fact-based discussion of John McEnroe’s comments about how Serena Williams would fare on the men’s tour. It runs from about 19:00 to 50:00 — if you want to skip it, we understand. Finally, we talk Federer’s title in Halle, and how much his Wimbledon chances are aided by Wimbledon’s seeding formula, which moves him into the top four. (For more on that, see my post from earlier today.)

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Podcast Episode 12: Fed’s Match Points, Vika’s Return, and Wimbledon’s Seeding Formula

In the Episode 12 of the Tennis Abstract Podcast, Carl Bialik and I get excited about grass season, both for the glories of the surface itself and for the great players it has brought back, including Roger Federer and Victoria Azarenka. We talk Fed’s surprise loss, the arcane (but worthwhile) Wimbledon seeding formula, the returning WTA stars who will threaten on grass, David Goffin’s injury, and the debut Challenger title for 16-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime.

We had a lot of fun recording this one. Hope you enjoy it as well!

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Podcast Episode 11: The French Open in Review

In the Episode 11 of the Tennis Abstract Podcast, Carl Bialik and I celebrate the 2017 Roland Garros with a lot to say about the perils of forecasting. Could we have seen Rafa’s resurgence coming? What are the career prospects for Latvian sensation Jelena Ostapenko and women’s runner-up Simona Halep? And what on earth are we supposed to conclude about Andy Murray right now?

It’s a super-sized episode, clocking in just under 80 minutes … and we still couldn’t fit everything in. Enjoy!

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Podcast Episode 10: On and Off Script at Roland Garros

In the Episode 10 of the Tennis Abstract Podcast, Carl Bialik and I check in on the French Open at the halfway point. Some of the topics we touched on:

  • what Pablo Carreno Busta will need to do to knock off Rafael Nadal
  • whether the rest of the top four seeds can round into form
  • Carlos Ramos’s audacity in calling time violations on Djokovic and Nadal
  • Simona Halep’s status as favorite
  • surprise quarterfinalist Caroline Wozniacki
  • the upset-ridden men’s doubles draw, and some clay-specialist teams to watch

Enjoy!

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Podcast Episode 9: Roland Garros Preview and the Value of Surface-Specific Forecasts

In the Episode 9 of the Tennis Abstract Podcast, Carl Bialik and I preview the upcoming fortnight at Roland Garros. We discuss possible threats to Rafael Nadal, likely beneficiaries of some wide-open sections of the draw, and a number of lesser-known names worth watching in Paris.

We apologize for the sound quality this week–due to personal commitments, we had to improvise a bit, and it was either a podcast with subpar sound quality or no podcast at all. I think it’s still very listenable, but if you’re sensitive to that sort of thing, you may disagree. In any case, thanks for listening!

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Podcast Episode 8: Zverev’s Title, Emerging WTA Favorites, and a New Match Format

In the Episode 8 of the Tennis Abstract Podcast, Carl Bialik and I survey the men’s and women’s fields in Rome and consider what last week’s top-tier events have to tell us about Roland Garros. We touch on Alexander Zverev’s maiden Masters title, the mixed signals of Dominic Thiem’s and Novak Djokovic’s tournaments, the rise of Elina Svitolina, and the continued relevance of Venus Williams.

We also have even more to say about wild cards (not Sharapova’s, I promise!) and dive into the potential of the best-of-five, first-to-four-games format set to debut at the NextGen ATP event in November.

Thanks for listening!

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