Monthly Archives: January 2019

Inside the Tour with Nina and Irina — A look at the most memorable storylines from the ’19 Australian Open

The Australian Open was memorable to a lot of players and for a lot of reasons. Inside the Tour co-hosts Nina Pantic and Irina Falconi dissect the fortnight by pointing out the storylines that grabbed their attention.

Of course, we must first give accolades to the two champions left standing: Naomi Osaka and Novak Djokovic (01:13). But some credit should go to the finalists, Petra Kvitova and Rafael Nadal, for not dropping a set before their seventh matches (02:35).

Serena Williams made a lot of headlines early, but fell in the quarterfinals after holding four match points against Karolina Pliskova. A foot fault was called in her first match point and it was largely brushed off, but raises the question: Should players be able to challenge a foot fault using Hawk-Eye? (05:25)

After all the hoopla over changing the rules, only six matches came down to a deciding set super tiebreaker. (07:35) Pablo Carreno Busta may have made the biggest headlines of his career with a meltdown after losing a fifth-set tiebreaker to Kei Nishikori. But who was in the wrong in that controversial call? (08:33)

Though Garbine Muguruza’s win over Johanna Konta didn’t get to a deciding tiebreaker (it was 6-4, 6-7 (3), 7-5), it was arguably the match of the tournament—that finished at 3:15 a.m. Should there be a rule restricting late-night match start times? (12:35)

Americans really made their mark in Melbourne this year with University of Virginia grad Danielle Collins reaching the semifinals, Frances Tiafoe making the quarters on his 21st birthday and 17-year-old Amanda Anisimova getting to the fourth round—to name a few. What is it about the Happy Slam that works for players? (15:32)

And last but not least, why do a lot of the sponsored players wear the exact same outfit? It’s confusing to new fans that are just trying to learn who is who, but there’s a pretty good reason behind the matching madness. (22:10)

Beyond the Baseline, with Jon Wertheim — Martin Blackman on the state of American tennis

From the grounds of the Australian Open during the second week of the tournament, Beyond the Baseline’s Jon Wertheim sits down with USTA general manager of player development Martin Blackman to discuss the breakout performances and disappointing results from the American contingent in Melbourne, including the remarkable run of Danielle Collins and the impressive showing from Frances Tiafoe. Blackman talks about how he (and the USTA) define and measure success for American tennis; the new installation of Mardy Fish as U.S. Davis Cup captain and why he believed he was the right person for the job; and much more. Blackman also addresses the 2019 ITF Transition Tour—now called the ITF Pro tour—and shares details on how the USTA is dealing with the changes; what impact he thinks the changes will have, both on the rankings and U.S. tennis; and more.

Inside the Tour with Nina and Irina — An in-depth chat with Madison Keys

“I have gotten to a point where if I don’t make make a quarter of a Slam or a tournament, it wasn’t good, and even then it’s still not great, it’s barely acceptable. So I’m pretty tough on myself.”

This week, Madison Keys joins the Podcast Inside the Tour with Nina Pantic and Irina Falconi. The world No. 17 talks about life in Lake Nona, Fla. (00:49) and how she went about furnishing her brand new home—which happens to be two doors down from Irina’s house (02:55).

Keys reveals the places she dreams of one day visiting as a tourist (06:20) and laments the struggles of New Years Eve colliding with the start of the season (08:25). The American, a 2017 US Open finalist and two-time Slam semifinalist last year, gives her brutally honest take on her past two years and lists her 2019 goals (09:49) as well as how she deals with her anxiety over tournaments (11:37).

We then get a little personal diving into the 23-year-old’s relationship with fellow pro Bjorn Fratangelo (13:31). She shares how she has adapted to becoming more famous, though she shies away from the term “celebrity” (17:37). The young American is using her growing social platform for good (19:35) and she tells us why she got involved with Fearlessly Girl (20:22) along with how she deals with keyboard warriors (21:56).

With her growing fame has come more commercial and photoshoot opportunities, as well as a spot on Forbes 30 Under 30 (26:49). We close the episode on her strong friendship with 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens (30:18).

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 depression and anxiety; how she has re-established herself as a commentator and voice in the tennis community after her career and more. Also on the podcast, Wertheim and Evert discuss the 2019 Australian Open and make picks and predictions for the first major of the year.