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By: Lucky Letcord Podcast, Wednesday March 4, 2020

On this edition of the Lucky Letcord Podcast host Chris Oddo is joined by tennis journalist, author and historian Joel Drucker at the historic Berkeley Tennis Club in Northern California.

Find more about Joel's work here:
Check out Joel's books here:

We begin the interview with a bit of a rundown of the club's history. As it turns out we happened to be sitting by a two-foot tall photo of the great Helen Wills Moody, a 19-time major winner who used to play that the club, which was founded in 1906.

We move into a deep dive into the career and legacy of the recently retired Maria Sharapova, discussing:

1. The gut reaction to Sharapova's announcement.

2. Sharapova's earning power and how that will pay into her legacy.

3. Sharapova as Claypova -- what made her so special on the clay surface in her 20s?

4. Meldonium and the ban -- what does it all mean?

5. Sharapova's inability to win against Serena -- does it say more about Maria or Serena?

6. Sharapova's competitiveness, where does it rank?

In the second half of the podcast we discuss Joel's career in tennis, from his formative years as a young player in Southern California to his early days in tennis journalism, when Jimmy Connors became his spirit animal.

We also talk about both of Drucker's books, "Jimmy Connors Saved My Life" and "Don't Bet On It" and the process that he went through in each.

There's a discussion about today's tennis media, the use--or overuse--of analytics, and what tennis could potentially look like in 2030.

All the while, Drucker sprinkles in the wit, wisdom and historical perspective that has made him one of the premier tennis journalists for over three decades.

Thanks for listening and thanks to Joel Drucker for coming on the show!


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