Archive for May 7th, 2007

fashion round-up: nole, mathieu, clement, and the ladies in poland

May 7, 2007

paul-henri mathieu in estoril

Paul-Henri Mathieu goes for a Steve McQueen look at Estoril this week. He wore a very flattering adidas top all the way to the all-French semifinal against Gasquet. I could live without that seam running down the front of the torso, but the simplicity of the buttonless v-neck collar wins. (above, left)

– This might be old to you, but news to me: Arnaud Clement has cut off his mane. Good for you, Arnie. It’s about time you stopped hiding behind the sunglasses and the hair. (above, right; against Kohlschreiber, wearing Lacoste)

Novak Djokovic, ever the showman, went soccer-crazy for his fans. He won over the Lisboans by wearing a SL Benfica jersey earlier in the week (right), and he followed it up by wearing one from the Serbian national team for yesterday’s final (left). Portuguese soccer star Eusebio was even on hand at the trophy presentation.

nole and richard nole in sl benfica jersey

– And as Off The Baseline pointed out, some of the ladies in Warsaw were unprepared for the freakishly cold weather at the J&S Cup in Poland. They layered with long-sleeved shirts under their halter dresses. It did not look pretty.

Venus Williams playing against Michaella Krajicek:

krajicek vs. v. williams - poland v. williams vs. krajicek - poland

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this week’s trophies + Sa watch

May 7, 2007

It was a busy week for small tournaments, since they pretty much won’t be heard from until early June (when the French ends). Let’s take a look at the trophies. At least they all looked different this time…

SEWTA: At the J&S Cup in Warsaw, Justine Henin beat Alona Bondarenko in straight sets for the gold trophy (photo, left), and Greta Arn (wearing blue) got a crystal cup for beating Victoria Azarenca (in orange) at the Estoril Open.

justin henin - warsaw greta arn and victoria azarenca

ATP: Estoril did slightly better on the men’s side with these white and green urns painted with guys in old-school sporting outfits. Nole beat Richard Gasquet in a three-setter, 7-6 (9-7), 0-6, 6-1. Doubles winners Marcelo Melo and Andre Sa received the same:

melo and sa

And Philipp Kohlschreiber (left) beat Justin Timberlake doppelganger Mikhail Youzhny in three sets to win the BMW Open in Munich. What is giong on with that trophy? It looks like a car phone my dad had in the early ’90s.

Philipp Kohlschreiber mikhail youzhny

Finally, Champions Cup Boston is DEAD to me. But Kudos to Pete Sampras on his win:

pete sampras - champions cup boston

RELATED POSTS
>> trophy watch: battle of the surfaces
>> trophy watch: open letter to Boston
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>> CBHM main trophies page
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the girl who cried “retirement”?

May 7, 2007

If you haven’t already heard, Belgian Kim Clijsters announced her immediate retirement from professional tennis. She made the decision after losing to Ukranian qualifier Julia Vakulenko at this week’s J&S Cup in Warsaw.

People I’ve talked to are split in their reaction. Is Kim really done with tennis? Or does she just need a break?

clijsters in poland - last matchI don’t think she’s done with tennis quite yet. The sport’s grueling schedule painted her into a corner, with no other choice but to retire. The same way Martina Hingis was driven away. But Hingis ended up with a broken foot, while Kim ended up with a broken spirit. I expect Kim to join Sybille Bammer in the mother-and-active-player club in a few years.

As we reflect on her absence, we should talk about another benefit to SEWTA’s Roadmap 2010: the shortened tour schedule will decrease the rate of injuries and (hopefully) lessen mental exhaustion. The tour forces players to think about tennis 24/7, making it hard for those who want to pursue other interests (i.e., lead a balanced life). Perhaps Kim wouldn’t have retired as early if the seasons were shorter. Or maybe we wouldn’t give Serena so much flack for acting, since she’d do it when no one’s looking.

The SEWTA should go even further and allow players a “leave of absence” — for up to one season — to give players a chance to better plan their careers. (Their ranking should be protected with a formula tied to how long they’re out, and how many points they have t defend.) Let them stay fresh and participate in some “extra-curricular” activities. It’ll raise the profile of the player, and they will most likely bring a new crop of fans to the courts when they’re back on the tour.

Photo: Clijsters playing her last match, at the J&S Cup in Warsaw, Poland.

RELATED POSTS
>> kim clijsters: one of the nicest players i’ve met
>> DirecTV a boon to The Tennis Channel, tennis
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kim clijsters: humble in her celebrity

May 7, 2007

kim clijsters at the u.s. open

Kim Clijsters leaves women’s tennis as one of the top 50 greatest players of all time. Her terrific footwork and strong strokes helped her gain 34 singles titles, including the 2005 US Open, where she won over $2 million dollars in a matter of weeks.

Kim is one of the nicest people I have ever met, signing thousands of autographs at each tournament she played in, and giving out her sweat bands to anyone who asked for them. Her smile lit up stadiums after tough matches, and she always looked like she enjoyed what she did for a living. “It is time for a new life. Time for marriage. Time for children. Time also to relax and to play with my dogs. And especially to spend a lot of time with my family and friends’,” she explains on her website.

Aussie Kim, have fun and hope to see you around again!

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

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>> DirecTV a boon to The Tennis Channel, tennis
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