TENNIS.com Podcast: Drug tests, rankings and juggling motherhood

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Serena Williams raised the topic of drug testing procedures after five tests in 2018. (AP)

Serena Williams has been drug-tested five times already this year, and has raised the issue on Twitter. What's it like to be tested on tour?

Ranking is everything, especially when main-draw berths are at stake in big-money tournaments. But what happens when you obsess over your position too much?

WTA pro Irina Falconi and TENNIS.com editor Nina Pantic answer those questions, chat about moms on tour, as well as what Venus Williams recently talked to Irina about in the locker room. 

Here are the timestamps for Episode 3: 

 1:13

— There's a tournament in Washington and San Jose this week. How do players decide which event to play? Irina explains why she's in California. 

3:40

— Serena Williams tweeted about being drug tested five times already in 2018. What's it like to actually be drug tested on the WTA tour? Is it really discrimination, as Serena posits, or something else? 

6:00

— Peeing in a cup in front of a doping official doesn't sound like a fun thing to do. It's not. 

9:23

— Serena has brought on change for the seeding process after her maternity leave, and she's been part of a trend of moms killing it on tour. Mandy Minella, Andreea Mitu and Gail Brodsky are just some of the moms enjoying success. Irina reveals that the tour acts like a big family for their children.

13:44

— Irina's ranked outside the Top 100, just outside the cutoff for the US Open main draw. How tough is chasing that elite, main-draw status?

15:20

— Ranking is everything; some players obsess over the numbers weekly, or even daily. It gets old, and exhausting. Sachia Vickery is one that found a way to move past the stress of ranking points. 

17:14

— The prize money can be really, really good at certain events (hello, US Open). Imagine thinking about a paycheck while you're on court trying to get a first serve in! 

19:37

—One of the biggest things Nina has noticed in the pressroom is players don't dwell on their wins, but focus quickly on the next match, tournament or goal. Caroline Wozniacki stressed that she's still hungry and motivated—before unfortunately pulling out of Washington with a leg injury. 

21:24

—Venus Williams and Irina shared a locker room in San Jose, and the seven-time Grand Slam champion expressed genuine interest in Irina's life. Not too shabby for a colleague right?

That's it for this episode of The TENNIS.com Podcast: Inside Tennis. Subscribe on iTunes and follow the TENNIS.com Podcast on SoundCloud so you don't miss a single second.

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