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   21 episodes


Comments Podcast Podcast/Tennis Channel Podcast Network

21 episodes

Nov 25, 2020

Vasek Pospisil on the mission of the PTPA 

"The whole purpose of the PTPA is strictly to organize and unite the players and be represented in a proper way where we actually have the ability to impact major decisions that are made that affect our livelihoods."

A few weeks removed from a final run in Sofia to end his 2020 season, Vasek Pospisil joins the Podcast to talk all things on court and off. 

The 30-year-old Canadian turned pro back in 2007 and would make his biggest splash in 2014 when he won Wimbledon (with Jack Sock) and climbed to No. 25 in the world in singles. Now he's soaring back up the ranks after returning from back surgery in 2019.

This year, Pospisil reached the final of Montpellier and Sofia, and the fourth round of the US Open, helping him finish his best season since 2015 at No. 61.

He's been even more busy off the court. During his injury hiatus, on top of gaining 24 pounds (something he laughs at now), he began creating the Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA). That's not all the off-court developments for Pospisil. When the tour was shut down, he co-hosted the digital ATP-WTA showTennis United with Bethanie Mattek-Sands and co-founded a functional mushroom supplement company called Hekate. Though he gained viral fame for chugging maple syrup in Montpellier, he swears by the mushroom powder that eases inflammation and boosts recovery efforts. 

In August, Pospisil and Novak Djokovic launched the PTPA with the support of most of their peers. It hasn't been easy as the power struggle on the ATP tour intensifies, and recently, Djokovic and Pospisil were in the news for trying to return to the ATP Player Council. 

Pospisil clears the air about the PTPA's intentions and his reasons for accepting nomination for the Council, which was quickly blocked by the ATP. He gives an inside take on why tennis needs the PTPA, how he gained support and what the association's status is going into 2021.

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Nov 19, 2020

Evan King on facing a career crossroads 

"I'm still trying to figure out myself really and see what 2021 is: if I'm a doubles player or if I'm a singles player because I'm definitely going to be one or the other."

Evan King is on the show this week to discuss life at the crossroads as he decides if he's going to drop his singles pursuits for a doubles career. 

Ranked No. 420 in singles and No. 126 in doubles, King is not ready to give up on his dreams. Since graduating from the University of Michigan in 2013, the Chicago native has won six ITF titles and was ranked as high as No. 185 in singles in 2018. On the doubles court, he has won seven ATP Challengers and 22 ITF crowns, and earlier this year, he was on the cusp of breaking the Top 100. 

Calling in from Austin, Texas, the 28-year-old has embraced the nomad lifestyle to the fullest, but it wasn't always such a simple choice. In 2013 and 2014, he struggled at the ITF level and abandoned the tour for a volunteer assistant position at Michigan. Not able to give up the game, he eventually threw himself into a full-time career and played as many weeks as he could in places like Uzbekistan, India, Zimbabwe, the Dominican Republic, China, Portugal, Japan and more. 

But now, King hasn't had the same dedication for competing anywhere, anytime, as he faces what he calls an "identity crisis." Though tournament options are limited for a player in his ranking bracket, there are places he could have gone, including in the United States. Instead, he's taking his time and preparing for 2021. 

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Nov 5, 2020

Maria Sakkari on being part of a tennis family 

"I think I'm one of the few players that have made it here without being a good junior. So it's not like I was super good or I'm going to make it for sure."

This week brings Maria Sakkari as she discusses her unique path to the Top 20 and how her tennis-rich family history has influenced her. Admitting she wasn't the best junior, Sakkari gave herself until the age of 22 to make it. She cracked the Top 100 in 2016 just before her 21st birthday, and she hasn't looked back.

This year, she entered the Top 20 for the first time, reached two WTA semifinals and picked up a huge win over Serena Williams at the Western & Southern Open. The 25-year-old would make the second week at two majors, the Australian Open and Roland Garros, and is poised for a bigger breakthrough in 2021. 

The Greek opines on the new normal and shares what it's like to work with a coach (Tom Hill) and physical therapist (Daniel Pohl) that are the same age as her, as well as why they actually enjoy being in bubble environments. 

While she was never her full-time coach, Sakkari's mom Angeliki was ranked as high as No. 43 in the 1980s before retiring at the age of 25, a retirement age Sakkari cannot imagine. Sakkari shares how her mom influenced her career and what it was like to have her grandfather Dimitris, also a former pro, as her first coach. 

Sakkari and her team ended the 2020 season in Ostrava and she'll next begin preparations for the 2021 Australian swing. 

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Oct 15, 2020

Dana Perino on why she picked up tennis 

"Look at Billie Jean King. Would the three of us be sitting here having this conversation about tennis on if it hadn’t been for women like her?"

News anchor Dana Perino joins the show to share how tennis enriched her life during one of the most challenging periods of her career. She talks about her newfound love for the game, her White House experiences, how she deals with haters on Twitter, the power of the athlete voice, and why she's writing a third book to help young women navigate through the dreaded quarter-life crisis.

Nicknamed "The Voice of Reason", Perino was appointed White House press secretary by President George W. Bush in 2007. That made her just the second female in history to hold the position. The 48-year-old is currently an anchor for Fox News covering her third presidential election, and is the host of "The Daily Briefing" and "The Five". She's also the author of two books, "And the Good News Is..." and "Let Me Tell You About Jasper", the latter of which focuses on her beloved Vizsla, Jasper.

Tennis came into her life during the 2016 presidential election when she says she went from being America's sweetheart to America's ex-wife. She and her husband Peter McMahon began taking lessons together and even attended a tennis camp in South Carolina on vacation. Like the quality time spent with her famous dog Jasper, tennis became a way to balance out her hectic work life, and while it's a sport she picked up late, she's planning to play for life.

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Sep 23, 2020

Danielle Collins on pursuing her passions 

"Whether I’m at Court 7 at Jack Puryear Park in St. Pete, Florida or I’m on Arthur Ashe at the US Open, I’m going to bring the same energy and effort."

Danielle Collins joins the show this week to give her take on the new normal, reveal her off-court interests and explain why her famous competitive spirit won't be dimmed by a lack of fans. 

The American had humble beginnings growing up on public courts and she would opt for the college route partially due to family finances. She would start her college career in 2012 near home in Florida before transferring to the University of Virginia where she won the NCAA individual championships, twice. 

Currently ranked No. 57 in the world, Collins has made huge waves since breaking through in 2018—just a couple of years into her pro career. That year, she won a WTA 125K Series title and made two WTA semifinals to finish inside of the Top 50 for the first time. She carried that momentum right into 2019 when she enjoyed a memorable semifinal run at the 2019 Australian Open. 

Armed with a Bachelor's degree, Collins is dedicated to her education and has just enrolled in an online Master's program. With her eye on the future, the 26-year-old dives into her interest in sports management and explains why she thinks her unique skillset is valuable. 

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