Welcome to “Hold On to Your Racket,” the podcast for Gen Z tennis fans, hosted by Josefina Gurevich and Shravya Pant. Shravya and Josefina are two highschool gals and tennis fanatics united together by their on-the-court and off-the-court companionship. Their episodes include the latest tennis news, tournament developments, and fun tennis-themed games and tidbits, never without a good laugh. They’re the female Gen Z voices in modern day tennis you’ve been looking for, so get ready to serve it out.
Episode 111: I Reckon It's About Time
44:48After yet another hiatus, HOTYR has an episode for you… and jeez was it a good time to make one. So… NAOMI OSAKA IS HAVING A BABY?? Yes, so just by that you should tune in to this episode and hear our thoughts on her bun in the oven, as well as her newfound drive for tennis. In addition to that massive piece of news, we are counting down the days until the release of Break Point, Netflix’s tennis docuseries. January 13! Save the date! P.S. We have some BTS content of the Netflix series from Morgan Riddle’s episode with us (Ep. 93). Also, watch Morgan’s vlogs on Youtube – so insightful and entertaining, true inside look into the tennis world. We close out the episode with regularly scheduled Tennis Talk, discussing last week’s AO warm up tournament results (Sebi with the final!) and who to look out for going into the Australian Open from Taylor Fritz to Aryna Sabalenka (yes, you heard that right). Tune in for some insight and a great start to the new year. Happy 2023! --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/holdontoyourracket/message
Episode 110: Fort Totally Worth It
39:33It has been way too long!! Do not worry, the Hotties are back with some WTA Final action and Hot Headline catch-up. We just took an intermission to settle into our very demanding academic lives, but we promise the podcast is not going anywhere. Very eager to get back into the groove, we start by discussing some Halep drama regarding her not being aware of taking an illegal enhancing substance (??), then the three babies born to former #1 players, and the other baby born in October belonging to Gael and Elena…very, very busy season. Then we jump straight into Tennis Talk with the tournaments we’ve missed: Iga avenging her loss to the dreaded Barbie K. in San Diego and FELIX ABSOLUTELY KILLING IT with three consecutive titles. All that’s left for us is waiting for Paris Masters and enjoying some Fort Worth magic. Tune in for a revival like no other! --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/holdontoyourracket/message
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Episode 109: This One's for Roger
38:22There has only been one headline on everyone’s minds this week. Roger. Federer’s. Retirement. As GenZ’ers, Roger’s career has meant something different to us, but he has had an undeniable cross-generation impact on tennis. In this episode of Hold On to Your Racket, we’re paying homage to not only an absolute legend, but the era of tennis he and Serena are taking with them. There’s no saying what’ll be in the future, but one thing is for sure: Josefina is still very much in denial about this ordeal. This one’s for the history books, so tune in and enjoy our emotional babbling. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/holdontoyourracket/message
Episode 108: Damn, Gravy, USO Vicious
36:44It’s a magical weekend at the US Open as we’ve got two exciting finals upon us. We discuss what to expect with Carlos’ electrifying game, Iga’s continued dominance, Casper’s solid play and admirable humility, and Ons’ impressive consistency on the big stage. With a new era of ATP tennis peaking through and 2022's top two in form WTA players facing off in the last grand slam of the year, the US Open once again does not disappoint! Be sure to also tune in for Hot Headlines, where we bid a final farewell to Serena and discuss Fiona Ferro’s brave words about being sexually assaulted by her former coach. Last few nights of tennis in the Big Apple; show us what you got. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/holdontoyourracket/message
Episode 107: Big Apple, Big Dreams
51:17HOTYR’s favorite slam is finally here and we couldn’t be more excited. My dear co-host, Josefina, is away on a well deserved vacation this week so instead I, Shravya, am joined by a HOTYR local, dear friend and loyal Nolefam member Miller. We begin our lively conversation with a rundown of some of the latest headlines, namely Djokovic confirming his absence from the US Open (a tough pill to swallow for my crocfam guest cohost) and Victoria Azarenka being booted from the Tennis Plays for Peace exhibition. As is HOTYR tradition, Tennis Talk this episode is dedicated to unpacking the men's and women's singles US Open draws; Daniil and Emma’s title defense, pressure on Iga and Carlos, and exciting potential for the likes of Pegula, Coric, Fritz, Garcia, and more are all topics we discuss in this segment. And of course, fingers crossed for a promising Serena run; it’s the GOAT’s last dance. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/holdontoyourracket/message
Episode 106: Rockin' With Robin
47:58We are so excited to share this interview with you all. For the first time in HOTYR history, we got to sit down with a real life professional tennis player (yes, they actually exist): Robin Montgomery! What better perspective to hear from than a fellow tennis obsessed GenZ-er? We discuss Robin’s young tennis career, including her impressive 2021 US Open girls singles and doubles championship double whammy and the transition from the junior to the pro circuit. We discuss the day in the life of a pro athlete, building a supportive team, and the WTA's mental health efforts, as well as Robin’s favorite memories on tour, including the times she got to hit with Venus and Naomi, World Team Tennis, her US Open main draw experience, and being graced by a particular Italian’s presence. It’s always a pleasure to highlight GenZ talents, and we are so grateful to have gotten the chance to speak with Robin – enjoy! --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/holdontoyourracket/message
Episode 105: Having a Ball
33:59Cincy tennis baby! We start with a little blast from the past; while getting ready to leave for college, Shravya discovered a little elementary school project, a book she wrote in first grade titled “How to Be a Good Tennis Player.” Next time your fave is in their flop era, lend them this book. We then chat about the action in Cincy this week, with a resurgent WTA field (and some drama about balls?) and an exciting array of ATP players coming through strong this year. Caroline Garcia's hot streak, Madison Keys' strong play, Carlitos' reliable Masters 1000 game, and our favorite octopus' pre-US Open defense journey are all on the list in this episode. As the US Open is upon us, the stars in Cincy are sure to guide us to Flushing Meadows’ next success stories. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/holdontoyourracket/message
Episode 104: O Canada! O Serena!
44:26Another classic episode of HOTYR with your two favorite teenage mutant ninja turtle hosts, minus the mutant ninja turtle part. This episode has an extra layer of pizzazz because Shravya made a little trip up to Toronto to watch some tennis, so we have some up-close and personal accounts of the tennis in the Maple Leaf Country. We open up with a heartfelt discussion of an icon leaving the sport, that icon being Serena Williams. We go into her article with Vogue, and what role gender has played in the circumstances that led her to choose between her family and her athletic career. A really prevalent issue today, we feel it is important to highlight that Serena’s freedom to make the choice to retire was awarded because of how hard she has worked for it. Either way, definitely a tough conversation to have considering we are saying goodbye to the woman who has shaped the modern tennis world; simply put, there will never be another Serena. We could talk about Serena for hours on end, but we then get into some Canadian Masters tennis thats taking place right now and who to look out for as we move into the semis in both Montreal and Toronto (especially PCB aka Mr. Solid). From British baes to Brazilian breakouts, this bonkers bunch brings the banter. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/holdontoyourracket/message
Episode 103: The Blair Flair
1:08:20It’s like we’ve met our idol…because the one and only Blair Henley was our guest this episode! Blair has become one of the most recognizable faces in tennis media, working at some of the top tournaments (including the Grand Slams, tour finals, Masters 1000 events, and much more) to bring the player content we know and love. We chat with Blair about her career, all the way from her college tennis experience, freelance tennis writing days, and first tournament media trips to jet setting around the US and world to interview the ATP and WTA’s biggest stars as she does today. As we go-over her career overall, we hone in on her unique perspective of the sport and unique experiences that came with it, for example what her experience covering the USA vs. Ukraine BJK Cup match just days after the Russian invasion. What makes working in tennis so special? Who have been some of her favorite and most difficult players to interview? We discuss all this and more, including, of course, some of Blair’s insights into the tennis going on this week at the Citi Open and in San Jose and Los Cabos, as well as a fun rapid fire at the end. The two of us were so grateful to be able to sit down with Blair, someone who we are truly inspired by and whose passion for her career is evident in all of her content, including this episode. Come for the lively conversation and hard court swing chatter, stay for the laughs. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/holdontoyourracket/message
Episode 102: Little Miss Random Clay Swing
52:29Seriously…we thought we were done with the dirt. Nevertheless, we persisted. This GenZ tennis podcasting duo is back to chat some of the best tennis highlights, both on and off the court, of the past two weeks. Recent action has shown us Musetti magic, Bernarda on fire, Fran’s title debut, Domi’s return to form, and some strong play from Anett, Matteo, and Casper; faves doing well all around! Off the court, we have some important developments to discuss, namely Daria Kasatkina and Andrey Rublev’s bombshell YouTube interview. The Russian tennis stars discussed issues ranging from Russia-Ukraine to homosexuality, with Kasatkina coming out as gay and Rublev discussing his openness towards changing citizenship if it means being able to play on the pro circuit without facing restrictions. We talk about the role of independent media, censorship, and the press in Russia, all topics that became relevant to the tennis world following this vlog. We also chat about the success of Iga Swiatek’s charity event for Ukraine, Serena and Venus’ impending returns to the US swing, a certain petition for a certain unvaccinated someone, and a hardcourt swing wishlist…Soak up the July sun with this episode as we eagerly await the US Open swing – enjoy! --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/holdontoyourracket/message