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The Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham Hotspur news and links for Tuesday, January 24

Let’s talk tennis

Aston Villa v Tottenham Hotspur - Barclays Women’s Super League Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

good morning good morning -

I know how much you all want to talk about tennis the day after a Tottenham match, and so I will oblige your wishes.

I’ve recently started watching Break Point, a Netflix documentary that follows a handful of tennis players throughout the season (which is about 10-11 months).

Among the themes I’ve picked up on, and one that I’ve experienced myself, is how lonely the sport is. Tennis is an individual sport, really. You’re out on the court by yourself. And for professionals, if you don’t win you’re not making money. How can you pay your coaches, trainers, flights if you aren’t making money?

Andre Agassi once said tennis was probably the most lonely sport.

What strikes me most about this documentary is how this is how the game’s elite are feeling. These players are millionaires with large support teams, coaches. Now, let’s look at the thousands of other tennis players. If you aren’t in the Top 100 in the world, you aren’t making money. It’s that simple.

This documentary captures how taxing the season is on these top-ranked players.

Paula Badosa stands out as, previously, she spoke on her own mental health struggles and experiences with depression. The documentary does a good job highlighting the struggles that tennis players go through mentally and emotionally.

She speaks about it here:

Heck, I mightily struggled with this when I was a junior player. Unfortunately this was before the mental health revolution.

Maria Sakakri said she retired for a few days after losing a tennis match because it was so mentally taxing. And Nick Kyrgios also spoke on his own mental health struggles.

There was a point Badosa was speaking to her coach about the mental health problems she was experiencing. Her coach responded by saying if she ever felt that way again, then to stop playing the match.

It’s admirable how the dialogue on mental health has developed in recent years, and it is incredibly important in a sport as lonely as tennis.

Fitzie’s track of the day: Tico Tico, by Charlie Parker

And now for your links:

Dan KP: Harry Kane is more important to Tottenham than ever

The BBC looks at who the next manager of Everton could be after Frank Lampard sacked

Alejandro Zendejas and some fresh-faced call-ups for the USMNT