A highlight from ATP Finals - Zverev's title - what happens next? Peng Shuai latest, and some news from us

The Tennis Podcast


So the ATP finals are over, Catherine Whitaker spent most of the day. Asleep. But she's here. Awakened just the Nick of time. Hello, Catherine. Just about scrambled myself into the land of the living in time for the podcast. You're welcome. Well, it's obviously to see you. How's your week been? Tiring, tiring, but good. Successful. Good. Yep. Yeah. Well, we've enjoyed watching you, Matt and I, you know, we watched on the TV and we say, oh, we know her. And yeah, no, it's been, it's been an interesting week of tennis that we can bring you up to date with obviously last time we were with you with Friday night. We'd just seen all the group stage matches apart from Novak Djokovic against Cameron nori, which in all honesty didn't mean an awful lot and as expected Djokovic sailed his way through that. And so that left us with semifinals and final to catch up on. And good to also have Catherine on for the first time because she's been a swanning around on TV for the last week and not enough time for us. So, you know, it's nice to see her again. Yeah. Blame the extra hour gap between sessions, David and the hour later. Much start time in Turin. Do I sense Catherine that of all the things that you experienced of Turin's staging that maybe that's the one that has got to go? The session timings. Yes. Yeah, I mean, spoiler alert, I wasn't out in Turing. Our studios in hounslow, we had done about Croft out there for us and we were similar. Crossing out there frequently, but I wasn't out there. So the time difference meant that night session much in the night session. Singles match for us in the UK was starting at 8 p.m., but locally they were starting at 9 p.m. and I know that cultures are different in I'm not quite sure what it's like in Italy. I know in Spain, you know, everything's different people go out for dinner far far later than they do here. But I just think that's too late. I think it's too late. It's too late the year after new session starts too early, and the evening session starts too late. And there's a big old gap in the middle. Yep. And well. And now it's an app. So it's always a time. That's perfectly perfectly sort of packaged. It's you can't nap when you've got two mic packs and an ear pack attached to your waist. And you can't lie down because there's all sorts of stuff going on in your hair. Anyway, get the violins out for all my first world problems. There was a lot of could have been nap time that wasn't. Although I have to say if Catherine can't nap through that, then nobody can. Matt's not here today. He's in Madrid. We'll be catching up with him in a couple of days time when we are building up to the Davis Cup finals. He's out there for that. He's all right. He's successfully got himself over there and he's raring to go. So I can't wait to speak to math about what all that's like. Before we get on to talk about the actual ATP finals, we should bring you up to date with the latest as we know it at least, regarding punctual, because obviously it's a story we've been following all over the last week. And the very latest is that we've at least seen pictures of her. We've seen video footage of her at first of all a dinner and then at a tennis event, what we're told was in Beijing and then finally in a video called which was shown and pictured on the Olympics, the official Olympics website with punctual apparently having a conversation via video link with the IOC president Thomas Bach and in that 30 minute call as it was detailed. She said to have thanked him and the IOC and everybody who's inquiring about her well-being and informed them that she is safe. Well, at home in Beijing and requesting privacy at the end of the article, we are told that he invited her to dinner in the call and that she's accepted. In that article, there is no mention of any of the allegations that she made on her Weibo account, which started this entire situation and the concern over her well-being and the fact that all of her post and subsequently lots and lots of search references to her into tennis seemed to disappear from the Internet in China. And it seemed that they had been in the words of many of the China correspondents for the BBC that they had been scrubbed to use that terminology. This has not put the minds at rest of the WTA. Steve Simon, again, has been, or at least the spokesperson for the WTA is again set today that this is an insufficient information for us. We still want to be able to speak and for us to be absolutely assured that she is speaking without any influence over her. And that an investigation can take place into the allegations that she initially made. So they are still concerned. The AOC Catherine seemed to take a very different approach to this throughout. They've talked about quiet diplomacy being their way forward. I heard a lord co this morning talking on ready a four on the today program. And being pretty defensive of that position and kind of warning against the more combative adversarial, I suppose approach that the WTA have taken the ultimatum really that they've thrown down. But really this is not over the ad. I mean, it's great to see that she's at least seemingly if those are current pitchers and if they are reliable that she is okay physically. But that isn't enough, is it? No, no. No one near. I feel like I've learned more about the IOC and Thomas Bach in the last 24 hours than I have about punctual status. It is, as you say, these developments are. Reassuring of her physical state. But there's still no certainty in that because there is no absolute guarantees of the verified ability of the timing of these images, but assuming that it is reassuring of her physical state and nothing more and there is an awful lot more to this. That I admire and respect Steve Simon for it would be so easy now with the IOC and with Thomas Bart getting proof of life as it were and let's be honest, it would be very easy to go, okay, great. We've done we've pat ourselves on the back. We've done a good thing. We've done our bit. We can still salvage all our relationships and all our financial interests. And move on. And I think, you know, the easy bit is at the start saying, hey, this isn't right.

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