Archive for May, 2007

sharapova FINALLY wears her new clothes

May 31, 2007

Oops. So we were a little premature in reporting Maria Sharapova‘s newest outfits back in March. We’d hoped that the blue Nike dress would make a Miami debut. Instead Masha opted to wear Gator colors that week and waited until the French Open to parade this new outfit.

The dress — reminiscent of what Stella McCartney designed for Maria Kirilenko at last year’s Wimbledon — can be worn with the black leggings. And Masha did that for her first round match. But she chose to go bare for the second round (photo, left). Yowza!

Also, that embroidered visor is a nice touch.

What do YOU think about the outfit? Tell us.

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another member of the spanish armada shows off his weapons

May 31, 2007

Lotto, clothing sponsor to Spaniard David Ferrer, joins the sleeveless shirt bandwagon with this white and red number.

Ferrer wears necklaces and bracelets, too, JFTR.

What do you think of his look? Tell us.

without murray, fred perry soldiers on

May 31, 2007

I’m sure Fred Perry is disappointed that it couldn’t show off Andy Murray‘s sponsored clothing at this week’s French Open (he’s out with a wrist injury). They’re not missing a beat, though: yesterday they sent out an e-mail reminding us about the tennis collection, which consists mostly of what Murray’s been wearing on the tour. Truth in advertising; I like it. (Mind you — they have some other collections that are also worth checking out.)

Here are my highlights (from left to right): pillow bag, grand slam jacket, and a medallion shirt.

Tipsarevic d. Safin, aka why I love tennis

May 30, 2007

Two of the sport’s more mercurial players squared off in the second round at the French Open. Serbian (and Patrick Rafter look-alike) Janko Tipsarevicsans glasses — emerged the winner, beating Marat Safin 6-4, 6-4, 7-5. Judging from these photos, it looked like a tight match. Did anyone see it?

Clothing: Marat’s in adidas and Janko wore Fila.

Tattoo watch: For another view of Janko’s “Beauty will save the world” tattoo, make sure to click on the second picture from the left, below.

fashion: russian dressin’

May 30, 2007

French clothing sponsor Airness still has top Russian Nikolay “Kolya” Davydenko to help boost its international profile at Roland Garros this week.

They’re really taking care of him. They had him in four different shirts in Hamburg earlier this month, and now this black/orange number. I’m not in love with it, but it’s not atrocious.

What do you think about this color combination?

(Their other player, Nadia Petrova, crashed out in the first round yesterday. Her injured back contributed to her loss against qualifier Kveta Peschke, and will likely keep her out of Wimbledon, too.)

RELATED POSTS
>> skip Gola, go straight for Airness sneakers
>> davydenko’s fashion show in hamburg
>> nikolay and airness

further reading: what separates Federer from the rest?

May 30, 2007

Roger Federer entered this week’s French Open with a 2300-point lead over world #2 Rafael Nadal. By now we all know the reasons behind this lead. We’ve seen him play. Winners from all over the court, on the defensive, from in between the legs, or around the net post. Backhand overheads. Clutch shots coming out of nowhere.

Science and our curiousity have tried to chip away at how great athletes like Roger come to be. Back in March, Daniel Coyle, via a NYT article attempted to explain the phenomena — not just that of amazing players, but of amazing players from the same geographical area: South Korean women golfers, Dominican baseball players, and seemingly endless supply of Russian tennis players (the latter an enigma that vexes U.S. Fed Cup team captain Zina Garrison everyday, I’m sure). Is it coincidence, or is there a scientific explanation?

Coyle travelled with Elena Dementieva back to her childhood training academy, Spartak (in Moscow), to get some more insight. The academy was the perfect research specimen: it spawned Dementieva, along with Anna Kournikova, Marat Safin, and Anastasia Myskina, all from the same group of kids. On one hand he attributes their talent to biology — “super-athletes” have more myelin in their nervous system — and on the other he cites intense parenting, training, and time investment. Nothing conclusive, but a well-written article.

And this week’s Wired brings up the idea of field sense, a skill “which mixes anticipation, timing, and an acute sense of spatial relations”, and a skill which the writer deems untrainable. But not if Australian Instute of Sport scientist Damian Farrow has anything to say about it. In tennis, he’s developing ways for players to anticipate a serve as early as possible (perhaps even before the ball toss), thus giving the receiver extra milliseconds to react.

The article also mentions unstructured play as a way of developing good field sense (a skill perfected by Martina Hingis during her childhood — her coach/mother Melanie Molitor would feed her balls to hit from all over the court, leaving Hingis to scramble and anticipate where each ball would land).

Roger and Rafa: in blue on the terre battue

May 30, 2007

For the French Open, Nike has dressed both Rafael Nadal and Roger Feder in the same Nike palette.

I prefer this color on Roger. The red version of the shirt wasn’t doing him good. And the blue/white version of Rafa’s shirt is better than the blue/black, which they’ve given back to Carlos the Cursed and poor James Blake (WHAT is going on with that blouse?!).

Which color do you prefer on Roger — red or blue? Tell us.

From left to right: Nadal, Federer, Blake, Moya

RELATED POSTS
>> nike and serena: variations on a theme
>> nike’s new ad with rafa
>> woe is carlos moya

Venus reserved in black

May 29, 2007

Perhaps Venus Williams wants her game to do the talking at this year’s French Open? She and Reebok left all the color at home and opted for a muted, all-black look. (and again, the purse.)

What do you think about her Roland Garros look? Tell us.

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an excerpt from Federer’s new biography: peek into his life with girlfriend, Mirka Vavrinec

May 29, 2007

Tennis Served Fresh got an advanced look into the biography of Roger Federer hitting the shelves in about a month.

Quest for Perfection: The Roger Federer Story covers his childhood, his days as a temperamental junior, and his early days at the top of the ATP tennis heap.

Here’s an excerpt on Roger’s life with girlfriend Mirka Vavrinec:

Roger and Mirka lead a quiet, harmonious life together and seem compatible with each other. “Mirka likes to cook and I like to eat. That’s a perfect arrangement,” he said. “I help from time to time, make the beds, vacuum or dry the dishes. We make sure that we divide the work evenly.” He knows that his girlfriend sacrifices a great deal for him and he tries to do something in return whenever the opportunity presents itself. He goes with her to the movies, to the theater, to concerts. He said that “on vacation, I’m willing to change roles. Then she’s the center of attention.”

Quest for Perfection: The Roger Federer Story, New Chapter Press, $24.95, by Rene Stauffer. Release date: June 25. Available for pre-sale through www.rogerfedererbook.com.

(Click here to read a few more paragraphs on Roger and Mirka…)

Variations on a Theme, by Serena Williams

May 28, 2007

Serena Williams and Nike continue their study of pink and purple, this time in the form of a sports bra with a halter dress (and a long sleeved layer for when it gets cold).

What do YOU think about her look? Tell us.

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fashion: if you’re looking for new sneakers…

May 28, 2007

airness-2.jpg

If you’re looking for new shoes, skip the Gola craze and go straight for Airness.

Let’s add to what we already know about this French sponsor of Nikolay Davydenko and Nadia Petrova: here’s a profile from Time about the six-year-old company and the astute entrepreneur who’s behind the whole thing.

(photo via the Airness website. The mini-documentary they’ve uploaded is waay to long, so watch at your own risk.)

this week’s trophies from around the globe

May 28, 2007

Here’s a round-up of the trophies from last week’s tournaments… Be warned — they’re all yawners:

Juan Monaco hoists the Hypo Group International crystal tennis racket after defeating Gael Monfils 7-6 (3), 6-0 to win his second career title.

(Look at that hair! Monaco gets added to my fantasy list of players on Fila‘s sponsorship roster.)

Argentina’s World Team Cup (left). Anabel Medina Garrigues beat Amelie Mauresmo in three sets at the Strasbourg Open (right).

Elena Dementieva won the Istanbul Cup after Aravane Rezai withdrew with a knee injury.

fashion: galoshes and shorts

May 27, 2007

The Southern California drought needs to end so we can rock this look.

A maintenance worker cleans the line after a rain delay. Roland Garros Stadium – Sunday, May 27, 2007.

What do YOU think? Tell us.

it might be dry where you are, but it’s raining in paris

May 27, 2007

How about overcoming your Roland Garros withdrawal pains with a stroll down our memory lane?

Check out the Tennis Served Fresh archives:

April 2007

March 2007

February 2007

-Erwin

JNP puts in his two eurocents about the French Open draw

May 26, 2007

It’s that time of the year again! The time when dirt, grit, and, wit determine who will be champ. Roland Garros 2007 starts this Sunday, with Rafael Nadal and Justine Henin both going for their 3rd straight French Open titles. Nadal will likely face Roger Federer in the finals. Both have lots at stake: R-Fed could complete a “Roger Slam” (i.e., win all four Grand Slam tournaments consecutively) if he triumphs in all of the seven matches on the terre battue. And if Nadal wins the championship, he will extended his world-record clay winning streak on the surface’s biggest stage.

Here are my predictions for the tournament:

Champion, Men: Federer. Originally I thought he would win in 2008, but after his shocking streak-ending win against Nadal, I think he can pull it off this year. On the other hand, I would not be suprised if Nadal won ten of these things.

Champion, Women: Ana Ivanovic. Look for a big break out this year for this Serbian, who has the game to beat an aging Henin, a mentally recuperating Sharapova, and a still out-of-shape Serena Williams. Venus Williams is a non-factor.

Sleepers, Men: Fernando Gonzalez! With all the hype and buzz surrounding Federer, Nadal, and Guillermo Canas the usually highly-regarded Gonzalez may be able to pull off a few upsets and go far in the tournament.

Sleepers, Women: Caroline Wozniacki, Maria Sharapova (I put her in the Sleeper category because everyone is convinced she is injured), Elena Likhovtseva, Italian Tathiana Garbin, Tsvetana Pironkova (who has a victory over Venus Williams), and Na Li all have a shot in my opinion.

BRACKETOLOGY:

Women’s quarterfinals: Ivanovic over Kuznetsova, Sharapova over Lucie Safarova, Serena over Henin, and (another) Serbian Jelena Jankovic over Nicole Vaidisova

Women’s semis: Ivanovic over Sharapova, Serena Williams over Jankovic

Finals: Ivanovic over Serena Williams

Men’s quarters: Novak Djokovic over Florian Mayer, Nadal over fellow Spaniard Carlos Moya, Federer over Filippo Volandri, and Gonzalez over Canas

Semis: Nadal over Djokovic, Federer over Gonzalez

Finals: Federer over Nadal

(Do you agree with JNP’s picks? Tell us.)

Tennis Served Fresh is hosting former TennisJuicer JNP as a guest blogger. JNP can be reached at tenniscbh AT gmail DOT com.

RELATED POSTS
>> flirting with punditry: Erwin’s picks for the 2007 French Open

fashion: Orchard Street’s grand slam shirts, Nike’s new ad, and lacoste opens in Guam

May 25, 2007

What would I do without Hypebeast? They bring us these first two delicious bits of the day.

Summer Harvest: Orchard Street just released their Summer ’07 collection, which features some Grand Slam-inspired shirts. I’m particularly in love with this one:

Take a look at the rest of the line and tell us your fave.

A new commercial: Nike has a new TV ad (for the “Tu Momentum” campaign) with basketball star Pau Gasol, Rafael Nadal, and soccer player Ronaldinho, all showing off their skills in an Amores Perros/Fight Club-type setting:

Crocodiles in Guam: The Pacific Island gets its own Lacoste store on Saturday. (via Pacific Daily News)

RELATED POSTS
>> previous posts on fashion

short balls: a SECOND federer/sampras exhibition, a russian tennis flick, and more french open

May 25, 2007

Pete Sampras booked through the fall: Pistol Pete has already announced his second date with Roger Federer, this one at the Malaysian Open. (As we mentioned yesterday, the other exhibition will be in Macao.) (via The Star)

Hewitt’s chances at the French: The weight of an Australian Roland Garros title sits squarely on the shoulders of “Little Lleyton” Hewitt. (via The Age)

Some baguettes in the oven: The French Tennis Federation (FFT) hopes to crank out some Grand Slam champs in the near future. They’ve already got an amazing coaching infrastructure. They’re hoping that new facilities in Cannes and Aix-en-Provence will help the cause. (via Bloomberg.com)

Another tennis movie: The latest attempt at big screen success — From Russia With Racquet. Clips galore here. (via Talk Tennis)

Ready yourself for the water cooler: (or the Flavia machine?) Bone up on the French Open with SI.com’s quick preview.

ncaa: don’t forget your tennis athletes!

May 24, 2007

The National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) and the NCAA have released a report on injury rates in collegiate athletics, with the hopes of reducing such rates through preventive medical treatment and changes in a sport’s rules.

Through their Injury Surveillance System (ISS), both organizations analyze data collected from trainers in 15 collegiate sports over 16 years. The initial version of ISS focused on sports with higher instances of acute (vs. repetitive motion) injuries and on team sports with a higher likelihood of physical contact, thus ruling out swimming, tennis, and cross country. In 2004, they switched to a web-based system which monitored all sports.

Randy Dick, Associate Director of Research at ISS, hopes to have enough information within a year to include tennis in their findings. “There is a learning curve to the new system,” he wrote to Tennis Served Fresh via e-mail. “A few schools (have begun) to report tennis data and we hope that number increases as more people become aware of the system’s expansion.”

The findings will appear in the Journal of Athletic Training. You can find raw(er) data here.

NCAA tennis players suffer from the same ailments that have plagued professional tennis. Injuries, as you may know, affect not only the players, but also spectators and tournament organizers. Also, it’s been a big thorn on the side of pro tennis for a few years. (Currently most glaring is the French Open’s withdrawal list: Hingis, Haas, Murray, Golovin, Peng, Zvonoreva — just to name a few — have dropped out.)

We look forward to seeing how the NCAA will deal with this issue.

in strasbourg, a show of hands

May 24, 2007

The Strasbourg Open’s blog came up with an innovative (or is it just half-baked? I can’t decide…) quiz: match the hand to the player.

The brave souls who had theirs photographed up close are Amelie Mauresmo, Emilie Loit, Jolie Blonde, and Marion Bartoli.

If you feel like putting in your two cents, do it here. They’ll announce the answers by the tournament’s end.

Who Which number has the best hand? Tell us.

short balls: james blake splits with prince, tennis in india, geeking out over k-swiss, etc.

May 24, 2007

More bumps on Blake’s road: Prince and James Blake have parted sponsorship ways. The culprit? Blake couldn’t get used to the company’s racquet technology. The interesting twist: instead of keeping this mum and having Blake fulfill his contract (easily remedied by stenciling Prince’s logo on the strings of Blake’s Dunlop racquets), they decided to scrap the whole thing. (via CNBC)

China makes Macao a player: The Venetian Hotel‘s outpost in this Chinese island will host an exhibition match between Roger Federer and Pete Sampras. The only other time they played on a world stage was at Wimbledon in 2001. Federer beat Sampras in that five-set, fourth round match. (via Earth Times)

davydenko-red.jpgDavydenko wants Austria: TennisReporters.net mentions that Nikolay Davydenko has decided to leave his hassle-ridden Russian passport (and not-so-ideal training facilities) in exchange for calling Austria home. If this goes through, rest assured that he will still look good while playing Davis Cup: Austria’s flag is two-thirds red (a flattering color on him).

Breeding an Indian Grand Slam champ: Mahesh Bhupathi hopes to have a contender in the field by 2018 through the Apollo Tennis Initiative. (via India Times)

Style.com doles out racquet advice: With the help of American pro Brian Vahaly, the fashion site lists pointers on how to pick the right stick.

Table tennis wants in: Who’s to say the sport can’t have it’s own Danica Patrick, Anna Kournikova, or Natalie Gulbis? We’ll see how they do trying to make ping pong more palatable to the masses. (via ITTF)

What are the bookies thinking?: Read this story about how the odds are shaping up for Roland Garros. (via the Herald Sun)

Geeking out over K-Swiss: Here’s a look into the performance of the company who’s banking on Kournikova to turn their ship around. (via Seeking Alpha)


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