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SEASON 8 PREMIERE: "Party Like It's 1999"
Many of us look back at 1999 as the dawning of the modern golden age of women’s tennis, a season that saw four different Slam champs, the abrupt exit of one GOAT, and the breakthrough of a new one. Lindsay, Martina, Venus, Serena, and Steffi battled for the biggest titles and crafted historic, enduring storylines at every major event of the year. There was a changing of the guard, sure, but the shift from one era to the next is never quite as cut-and-dry as it seems. Plus, of course, the memes -- or, in this era before memes -- the off-court controversies and clownery that we still talk about: BeadGate, the formal education argument; and more darkly, the homophobic insults thrown at Amelie Mauresmo and the persistent, racialized "muscles vs. brains" narrative. Let’s take a walk down memory lane and discuss a season of women’s tennis that quite literally changed the sport forever.
03:10 Setting the scene: What is happening in women’s tennis and the culture at the fin de siècle? What does the teen pop explosion and Y2K have to do with tennis?
08:10 The WTA’s struggles with investors and why anonymous “analysts” doubted the marketability of women’s tennis
19:30 So what makes the ‘99 season so special?
22:55 Themes of the season: the Williams sisters are coming, and not everybody’s happy about it
29:55 Martina is #1, but the dominance is slipping
37:40 Australian Open: Hingis three-peats, Mauresmo comes out, and we endure BeadGate
55:25 Roland Garros: Graf wins final major in an almighty mess of a final
62:50 Wimbledon: Lindsay ain’t just a hardcourt wonder
69:45 Steffi calls time on one of the greatest careers in tennis history
72:25 US Open: Serena bags the first Williams singles Slam, beating a befuddled Hingis in the final; plus, why the ‘formal education’ dust-up is even more instructive than we remembered
83:50 The year-end rankings, some fun facts about the Slam season, and the signs of what’s to come
#WTA #Tennis #SerenaWilliams #VenusWilliams #SteffiGraf #MartinaHingis #LindsayDavenport
All episodes of The Body Serve are available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, podbean.com, and your favorite podcast apps
Episode 250: "Playing In Our Faces"
The Australia v. Djokovic saga has dominated new cycles for the past week in and outside of the tennis world; it highlighted many of the anxieties and political squabbles of the COVID-19 pandemic, spurred infighting between various levels of Australian government, and most importantly, was completely avoidable. There is plenty of blame to go around here: to Djokovic, to his family’s increasingly bizarre statements, to the Prime Minister's cynical political maneuvers, and to the head of Tennis Australia, who committed an astonishing number of unforced errors. We give you a timeline and the cast of characters as we attempt to contextualize this debacle as best we can.
00:30 Setting the scene, and why we don’t do emergency episodes
12:40 Jan 4-6: Today I’m heading Down Under with an exemption per-.... oop
22:30 Jan 8: The zero-sum game resulting from the positive PCR test
29:30 Jan 10: The hearing none of us understood
37:05 The dramatis personae: starting with Craig Tiley and Tennis Australia
40:20 The Victoria Government (and why state governments shouldn’t get immigration advice from a sporting organization)
45:00 Prime Minister Scott Morrison scoring political points, or; “rules are rules”
49:25 Learning about Australia’s refugee crisis and draconian immigration policies
58:00 Hubris, extremism, and strange bedfellows