2019. Ready? Play.
The calendar hasn’t even ticked over to 2019 yet, but the new tennis season is officially here and that can only mean one thing: Catherine and David are back together on The Tennis Podcast to preview it!
Most of the top players appear to be in better health than they were twelve months ago, but two men with question marks still hanging over their physical condition are Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal. Is there cause for concern after Nadal withdrew from an exhibition match in Abu Dhabi? (09:56) And what should we make of Murray’s recent comments about his hip injury? (19:50)
Novak Djokovic, on the other hand, looked sharp during his matches in Abu Dhabi. Is there anyone in the locker room who won’t feel intimidated by Djokovic’s form and aura ahead of the Australian Open? (14:10)
In Brisbane, Jo Konta has yet another difficult-looking first-round match against Sloane Stephens. But could it actually be the ideal time to play the American? (28:48). Stephens is currently “on a break” from her coach Kamau Murray. Is that a wise move? How will Stephens and Simona Halep cope Down Under without their long-term coaches in their corners? (49:29)
Looking ahead to the year as a whole, David and Catherine give their wishes and predictions for the 2019 season (54:44).
There’s also plenty of reaction to various bits of news from the off-season, including Wimbledon’s expansion plans (38:10) and the WTA rule changes aimed at helping players returning from maternity leave and long-term injury (40:16). The introduction of a 10-point final-set tiebreak at the Australian Open is also discussed (41:29).
The Tennis Podcast is produced in association with The Telegraph.
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