Archive for November, 2007

wimbledon jewelry collection debuts

November 30, 2007

Somewhere out there Serena Williams is breathing a sigh of relief. When she’s ready to dress up her Nike whites with some diamonds, she won’t need to look farther than the AELTC club shop for her bling.

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The Wimbledon Jewelry Collection finally makes its debut. According to the Chic Report, it will consist of necklaces, cufflinks, earrings, and of course, tennis bracelets. A portion of the proceeds will go to notable charities. It’s about time the most glamorous Grand Slam steps up to the Tiffany & Co. line exclusive to the U.S. Open.

As you may remember, the Wimbledon collection was announced in August and publicized last month by giving Venus Williams a diamond-encrusted tennis ball.

Browse: Another photo -after the cut…

(ot) pumpkin carving

November 30, 2007

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I’m so happy about the pumpkins my friends and I carved for Halloween. My friend James took this photo. More gourds after the cut…

tennisweek.com relaunches

November 30, 2007

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Tennis Week relaunched its website (www.TennisWeek.com) today. The site will serve up “24/7 breaking news, inside scoops, exclusive features, hundreds of photos of on-court and off-court action, plus continuously updated video” in a layout much more in line with other IMG properties like Fashion Week Daily. Its recently relaunched print counterpart will produce eight issues in 2008.

Read the full press release after the cut…

What happened to the “us” in USA?

November 30, 2007

Does anyone else feel shut out of tennis’ most nationalistic event?

I’m no expert on Portland, but I’ve read, and heard, that it’s a great place to live: beautiful surroundings; un-congested and easily commutable; and a down-to-earth and eco-conscious vibe. But it doesn’t come cheap. And the job market is apparently quite small and cramped.

If you were to read economist-cum-socialist Michael D. Yates‘ account of Portland in his recent travel memoir, Cheap Motels and a Hot Plate, you would likely be discouraged from moving to Portland without a good job in hand. Particularly challenging, says Yates, is the world of high-end restaurant work, in which talented workers were making $7 an hour in ’04, and where it “wasn’t uncommon for restaurants to replace sous chefs when their pay got into the upper $20,000s.” (Read more on a Portland from an excerpt on Yates’ blog).

It’s not surprising, nor inappropriate, in this light, that the U.S. is hosting this weekend’s Davis Cup tie final in Portland. Three-day passes ranged from $90-$600 in price, so the event will be filled with wealthy locals, even wealthier out-of-towners jetting in on “tennis tours,” plus a couple dozen nouveau riche Russians who are even wealthier still.

Isn’t it at least somewhat ironic, in a country where tennis has gradually, in fits and starts, become less of an elitist sport, that when it comes to its nationalist forum — the Davis Cup — its spectators will be made up mostly of retired and semi-retired WASPs (Patrick McEnroe, who’s Irish Catholic, excepted)?

When it comes to media coverage, meanwhile, tennis is clearly on the downswing: Not only is ESPN — in the past a standby for U.S. Davis Cup action — out of the picture, even Tennis Channel has been relegated to carrying the Tie only in its delayed form. To watch it live, you’ll have to have a thick cable/dish package that contains the scrappy little sports channel known as VERSUS, which would require an additional order to my current dish package.

I guess this fine little bottleneck for us devoted fans is due to the “waning interest in tennis for many Americans” that NPR’s Tom Goldman cites on today’s Morning Edition. Okay, American media conglomerate, I’ll take your hint. I’ve had my fill for now, and I’m fine with resting up for a good six weeks until the Aussie Open gets going, anyway.

As far as the Tie itself, thanks to the doubles lineup, you have to give the Americans the edge. As much as I respect Blake and would feel bad if he takes another tough Tie loss, Youzhny is my favorite player, and has a lot of Cup confidence, so sorry James, but you’re going down.

Michael Shaw writes about tennis and other subjects for the Los Angeles Times, and is also an artist. He can be reached at michaelshaw_sar AT yahoo DOT com. Read his previous posts for TSF here. And TSF’s Davis Cup coverage is here.

davis cup final: russia vs. usa

November 30, 2007

Davis Cup quickies:

The Oregonian‘s Davis Cup blog gave TSF a shout-out yesterday. We laughed out loud when our blogging was described as an “SI swimsuit-issue fantasy.” Le sigh. If only their swimsuit issue looked like this.

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– Hitting partners for the American team of Andy Roddick, Mike Bryan, James Blake, and Bob Bryan include an excited John Isner, Donald Young, Mardy Fish, and Robby Ginepri.

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– The much more evenly-built Russian team consists of Nikolay Davydenko, Mikhail Youzhny, Igor Andreev, and Dmitry Tursunov.

– The draw is now set, with notable absence of Kolya in the singles rubbers. (He’s still dealing with the match-fixing investigation, this week turning over phone records.) This obviously quiets all the speculation that Marat Safin would be a late replacement by coach Shamil Tarpischev. But the Americans won’t be surprised if the Russian line-up changes after the opening day.

– Tarpischev, on the likelihood of his team defending their title: “So I rate our chances 40-60 in favour of the U.S. but you never know.” And Patrick McEnroe dubbed him a “tennis genius” at a press conference earlier this week. (Reuters)

– The event starts at 1pm with live coverage on Versus.

– When asked about the cultural similarities (and differences) between his home country and the U.S., Tursunov responds: “Both owned Alaska at one point. [...] We don’t have bears running in the streets, you don’t have Indians camping by the fire in the streets either.” (AFP)

(Thanks to Patricia for helping with this post.)

short balls: hawk-eye, underachievers, lacoste watches + off-topic galore

November 30, 2007

On Hawkeye: China Daily: Some umps don’t feel so hot now that Hawk-Eye can check up on their work. WTB: Speaking of, Aussie Open director Craig Tiley has announced an three-plus-one challenge system for the 2008 tourney. A two-for-one system — meaning, a player gets two incorrect challenges per set and one more if it goes to a tiebreak — has been the standard so far.

Missing out: Here’s a list of the underachievers: Safin, Berdych, Gasquet, Haas, Monfils, Dementieva, and Hantuchova. Do you agree? (Betfair)

Pillet for the masses: The limited-edition watches designed by Christophe Pillet for Lacoste (which debuted at Collette) have now made their way to Lacoste’s website. (Woman’s Swing, $150; Mens’ Mainsail, $235.)

Now for OT galore:

Art-chitecture: The mid-century modern designs of architect Richard Neutra get a boost with a planned sale of the Kaufmann House (Palm Springs, Calif.). The home will be part of Christie’s evening sale of postwar and contemporary art in May. Owners Brent and Beth Edward Harris opted away from giving the house to a public institution or trust. Instead, they hope that their move will usher will promote architecture as “a collectible art worthy of the same consideration as painting and sculpture.” (NYT)

Thumbs up: EW.com gets an endorsement from AdAge.

More time-sucking: W magazine now has a website — Wmagazine.com.

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We can’t wait: The Spring ’08 collection of Shipley & Halmos looks pretty good. Jeff Halmos (left) and Sam Shipley (right) are half of the foursome who started Trovata. (style.com)

Lacroix’s return: Fashion designer Christian Lacroix is back. (UnBeige)

RELATED POSTS
>> TSF’s short balls archive

when I’m done freeing kolya…

November 29, 2007

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Okay, that’s it. When I’m done freeing Nikolay Davydenko (currently in Portland for the DC final) from his match-fixing mess, I will turn my efforts to banning leopard print from tennis. Because for every foxy Jelena Jankovic ensemble that’s on display, there are disasters from Bethanie Mattek, a racquet bag from Vince Spadea, and this dress (above) from Lindsay Davenport.

The Californian (posing with event chair Sean McManus on the left and Billie Jean King on the right) was awarded Sportswoman of the Year at the March of Dimes’ 24th Annual Luncheon at the Waldorf Astoria last night. Hmmm, seeing that she’s only played in three tournaments this year, I wonder how far down Linds was on their ask list?

A healthier-looking Monica Seles presented an award to Ted Forstmann of IMG, while USTA head Arlen Kantarian got this year’s Sports Leader Award. Congrats to all.

(photos by WireImage via DTL)

‘stretch’ and mirnyi play doubles + more coaching news: monfils, mathieu, peer, murray

November 29, 2007

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French No. 2 (and world No. 25) Paul-Henri Mathieu is suddenly coachless one month before the Australian Open — and he’s not happy about it. Mathieu told l’Equipe that he feels like the “turkey being joked upon” (“dindon de la farce“) by being forced to share his coach, Thierry Champion, with the lower-ranked Gael Monfils, who recently returned to Team Lagardère after a 14-month absence. According to l’Equipe Monfils got hooked up with Champion to recreate the partnership that saw Monfils reach No. 23 back in June 2006.

Since Mathieu didn’t want to share (and rightfully so), Lagardère head Rémi Barbarin is actively searching a solution for “Paulo”, who in the meantime’s training with Patrice Hagelauer.

Speaking of: The striped Fabrice Santoro is also joining Lagardère with coach Lionel Zimbler in tow. Santoro turns 35 on Dec 9. His goal for next year is to set a new record for most Grand Slam tourneys played (he’s currently tied with Agassi at 61), and to compete at the Olympics for the fourth time.

Coach Conchita: Now free from military obligation, Shahar Peer can look forward to instruction from Gabriel Urpi and Conchita Martinez in 2008.

Murray’s next move: The currently-coachless Andy Murray will be doing off-season training with Miles Maclagan for the next three weeks, reports the Times. Murray is currently without a full-time coach since partly ways with Brad Gilbert earlier this month.

Stretch and… more strech: There’s gonna be a whole lot of lankiness in the 2008 doubles pairing of Jamie Murray and Max Mirnyi.

(Thanks to Chris and Patricia for their help on this post.)

some cool t-shirts: orchard street x claremont

November 29, 2007

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New York shop Orchard Street is back with some more tennis-themed shirts as part of their 2007 Holiday Collection. This tattoo-esque flower/tennis ball design is a far cry (but a great follow-up) to the simple silhouettes and bright block colors from their “ode to the Open” shirts earlier this summer.

What do you think of the designs? Tell us!

Browse: Click on the photos below to enlarge. No word yet on when the holiday collection will appear on the Orchard Street site. (Edit: The shirts are now available.)

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RELATED POSTS
>> fashion bits: ‘free kolya’ shirt, fred perry+emma cook, reebok’s revival
>> reebok and alife keep going at it
>> a quick t-shirt round-up
>> brand focus: stick it wear?!”

reebok and alife keep going at it

November 29, 2007

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Once again Alife gets together with Reebok, this time presenting the Court Victory Ball Out in black and neon pink (the pink one has candy-striped soles!!). In the first Reebok x Alife collaboration, they presented the Ball Out in tennis ball yellow. Expect more styles (like this one) to drop in 2008.

As you may remember, Reebok also reissued this once Michael Chang-endorsed shoe in a glow-in-the-dark style not too long ago.

Buy: The black and pink colorways are available through Alife NYC online store for $200 a pop.

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Or you can spend less dough picking up one of the commemorative tees, available at Alife NYC, Alife LA, and Alife Vancouver.

(via Hypebeast)

lydia hearst + puma = more lydia bags!

November 28, 2007

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As we mentioned back in June, Puma has revisited its partnership with model Lydia Hearst to release another round of Lydia bags — a designer take on the racquet grip bag from the company’s French 77 line. The unveiling happened at Puma’s Union Square store yesterday.

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Unlike the limited-edition bag Ms. Hearst designed with Heatherette back in February (that’s her above, left), this round of bags runs $125 a pop and is constructed from eco-friendly materials (read: no leather). That earlier version was made of custom leather; most of 100 were given away to friends of Hearst, and the leftovers went on sale for $500 each.

So how did Hearst feel designing for the masses? “It’s much easier to create a high-end bag than a mass market bag that everyone can afford,” she shared with WWD. “But by looking at the bag, you wouldn’t know it’s mass market. I wanted to make sure anyone and everybody can enjoy my designs.”

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Here’s a photo of former rentboy (and Marc Jacobs‘ ex) Jason Preston. And a photo of what the Union Square store.

The bag comes in two colorways: black/bright blue and silver. They go on sale on Friday at Puma concept stores. (Edit: Buy the bag here.)

More to come: Hearst and Puma will also team up for an eco-friendly activewear line to launch in the fall of 2008.

(photos by WireImage)

roger, rafa, richard

November 28, 2007

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Rafa and (still-not-gay) Richard: I’m always a sap for fan stories like this from the Malaysian exhibition match between Rafa Nadal and the straight Frenchman, Richard Gasquet; and the one with Sampras and Federer:

And now: an unnamed deputy prime minister and his family are so fricking lucky. This unnamed minister had lunch with Nadal and Gasquet. His daughter was sitting NEXT TO GASQUET and discovered he was a shy guy. And Nadal said to her that they had never received such a warm welcome and reception anywhere before! The aforementioned daughter also says that Mirka, the ubiquitous fiance of one Mr. Federer is such a nice lady and they EXCHANGED E-MAILS. Oh, and here’s the biggie: the son of this minister PLAYED WITH FEDERER. He helped Federer warm up for his match and stroked with him. Oh! I only know this because my coach is the coach of said son and daughter.

(Outsports.com, RR)

Is Roger SI worthy?: Journalist (and biographer) Rene Stauffer makes a case for Sports Illustrated to award Roger their “Sportsman of the Year” award. If SI had a worldwide circulation, all of Roger’s feats and records add up. But with the magazine’s readership mainly American, the award’ll probably go to someone like Tom Brady, no?

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Roger films UNICEF ad: The World No. 1 continues his philanthropic ways by appearing in a PSA (in Real Audio here) to raise awareness about mother-to-child HIV transmission for UNICEF. (DTL) Other celebs attached to the campaign are Susan Sarandon, Shakira, and David Beckham. UNICEF filmed Roger’s PSA during the 2007 U.S. Open.

Roger and Rafa differ on year-end tennis: Roger would prefer the year-end tourney to be indoors (since all the other surfaces get special treatment via Grand Slams) while Rafa wants the surfaces to change every year. Something tells me he’ll gun for slow, slow clay. (AS.com)

wednesday short balls

November 28, 2007

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Hewitts stateside: Another photo of the Hewitts — that’s Lleyton, Bec, and daugher Mia — from last week’s issue of Woman’s Day. (CBB)

Maria tops again: Russia’s Finans magazine puts Maria Sharapova atop the list of Russia’s Richest Athletes for bagging $25 million in the last year — that’s $11 million more than the second-place Andre Kirilenko of the Utah Jazz. Kuznetsova (No. 29, $2.3m), Kolya (No. 32, $2.1m), and Chakvetadze (No. 50, $1.4m) also made the list. (TennisInfoBlog)

Dentsu hits back: Remember that crazy lawsuit filed by adman Steve Biegel after he was fired by Dentsu? The sexual harassment allegations including skinny dipping, whorehouse visits, and that unfortunate picture of Masha’s underwear? Now the ad shop has responded by filing a motion to dismiss the case. (Adweek)

OMG AnDy r u 4 real?: A company called Kre8tiveworz (wtf?) has been tapped by the Andy Roddick foundation to create “reality rhymed” poems for James Blake and Sharapova. They’ll receive the gifts at the 7th Annual Andy Roddick Weekend at Broken Sound Country Club on Dec. 8. (PR Leap)

More double trouble: Add to the list of high-profile Olympics doubles teams the Serbian pairing of Ana Ivanovic (currently training in London) and Jelena Jankovic (MiroSport.net, WTB)

short balls: mcenroe and bryan brothers get davis cup spotlight, etc.

November 27, 2007

Coming into his own: It’s been a few years now that Patrick McEnroe has etched his way into tennis history (and not as John McEnroe‘s younger brother). As the U.S. gets ready to face Russia in the 2007 Davis Cup finals (this weekend, in Portland), bone up with this quick profile in USA Today.

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Bryan Brothers blogging: Speaking of Davis Cup, the ATP passes the blogging baton to Mike and Bob Bryan for new insight into this weekend’s Davis Cup tie. Bob wrote the inaugural post. What you need to know: the twins went to a Blazers game with James Blake, Mike spent too much money at Whole Foods, Bob is impressed with what he’s seen as of late from the likes of Donald Young and Robbie Ginepri, and can’t wait to pull some pranks on giant (and rookie) John Isner. (ATP)

Pete backs Pete: Year-long touring pro he ain’t, but Pete Sampras‘ serve-and-volley game — played on fast indoor carpet — can still match up with today’s best. (ESPN.com)

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Poker? I hardly knew her!: Newly-single Boris Becker will join Pokerstars as one of their sponsored pros. He’ll participate in the European leg of the Poker Tour at the end of January. (Poker News)

Exhibition ecstasy: The folks at Tennis Channel will air a bunch of exhibitions in their entirety (and for free) through the end of 2007. The schedule is as follows: Monday, Dec. 3, Rafael Nadal vs. Richard Gasquet (first U.S. showing); Tue., Dec. 4, Sampras vs. Federer No. 1; Wed., Dec. 5, Sampras vs. Federer No. 2; Thurs., Dec. 6, Sampras vs. Federer No. 3. In the meantime, you can watch clips (with German commentary) here.

(OT) Opening Ceremony: Quick write-ups in Refinery29 and NYT about Opening Ceremony co-owner Humberto Leon, who, aside from running one of the best boutiques in Los Angeles, is busy ressurecting 90s surf label Maui & Sons.

(Davis Cup photo via ATP; Becker photo via Poker News)

we squinted, and we saw some funky stencil jobs

November 27, 2007

These were neither Chanel logos nor portraits of Andre Agassi, but still we were intrigued…

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Tommy Haas played with a barebones Dunlop stencil on his racquet at the Stockholm Open last month (right), and used a proper stencil at the Paris Masters Series the week after.

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Meanwhile, The Legends Rock Dubai had some fun ones, too: Jim Courier rocked the Stanford Financial logo (an silhouette of a crest) on his racquet. Stanford sponsors the rankings on Courier’s Outback Champions senior tour.

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And winner Paul Haarhuis played with a… smiley face?

RELATED POSTS
>> racquet stencil: karl lagerfeld’s chanel
>> racquet stencil: agassi’s mug shot

adidas’ edge line (men’s) spring 2008

November 27, 2007

Nole and Marat are in for another few months of ho-hum clothing. The spring/summer 2008 line for adidas dropped yesterday, and as expected we are seeing very conservative looks with two crewneck shirts and a polo in colorways involving white, black, neo-blue (baby), and macaw (lime). This is a far cry from the innovative women’s collection, which this season has a great Edge dress and beautiful designs from Stella McCartney.

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Mesh (both for performance and looks) are strategically placed on the tops and shorts. It looks awkward Competition Shorts (left). Meanwhile, the graphic print on the Edge Bermuda (right) gives it an awkward, hit-and-run look.

That being said, they’re not fixing what ain’t broke: adidas kept the quarter-zip collar (worn well by Paul-Henri Mathieu and Juan Monaco).

What do you think of adidas’ s/s 08? Tell us!

From left to right: Competition Theme Polo ($55) and Shorts ($45); Competition Traditional Polo ($50) and Bermuda ($45); Edge Theme Polo ($50) and Edge Bermuda ($45).

(via adidas.com)

RELATED POSTS
>> TSF on fashion for 2008
>> photos from stella’s s/s ’08 show
>> the winter blues: an adidas/reebok 2008 preview

flashback: hantuchova at the linz player party

November 27, 2007

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Say what you will about Daniela Hantuchova not knowing how to pose for a camera, but this girl can put together an outfit. Here’s Dani at the players’ party thrown by the organizers of last month’s Linz tourney, which she won.

(photos via WTAworld)

RELATED POSTS
>> miami heats up: more players party photos

carlos moya cleans up

November 26, 2007

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Here’s Mallorcan hunk Carlos Moya attending the 2007 Sports Awards hosted by Diario AS last week in Madrid.

Carlos had a decent 2007. He racked up one title (Umag), made two finals (Acapulco, Sydney), and got some SF and QF appearances at Grand Slams and Masters Series events. Not bad for a 30-year-old…

(photos by Getty Images)

short balls: reality bites sania, rafa swallows bitter pill, vaidisova returns, etc.

November 26, 2007

Reality bites: In response to Mahesh Bhupathi advising Sania Mirza to “concentrate on her physical abilities and training methods to prevent injury rather than to cure them,” she says:

Injuries happen to everyone. I mean Sharapova has struggled with so many injuries this year. Also Indians are not genetically as tough as the Europeans are. We are not cut out to be in a totally physical sport. That’s a fact. A lot of people may disagree with me but I still believe that. And because of that we have to push our bodies a lot more. And hence if you are going to punish your bodies everyday I don’t think then it’s humanly possible to remain injury free. I lost three months this year because of my knee but that is something which happened when I was the fittest. (CNN-IBN)

Fan fave: The fans of Maria Sharapova weigh in on their favorite outfit of 2007. I agree with their pick. (WTB)

More Maria: While in town for promo work with Tag Heuer, Masha takes in some Hong Kong sites with gal pal Camilla Belle. (Celebrities Stars)

Nadal owns up to bum foot: After months of brushing off questions about the source of his (relatively) poor performance in 2007, Rafa finally speaks out about his chronic injury. Now that the Aussie Open has traded Rebound Ace for DecoTurf, will he have the same problems he faced during this past U.S. Open? DTL: Nadal reflects on a tough 2007.

A fellow grinder rests up: Lleyton Hewitt is hoping his ankle soreness will disappear in time to play in his home country’s Grand Slam. Meanwhile, Tennis Australia hopes that the two-time Grand Slam champ will benefit from the surface change; Lleyton’s first win was on ‘Turf at the 2001 U.S. Open. (Herald Sun)

Becker splits with GF: Boris announced the end of his relationship with Sharlely Kerssenberg. (DTL)

King’s gold: Billie Jean King thinks that the WTA is free of match-fixing and sides with Martina Hingis on that cocaine scandal. (WP, WTB)

First Borg, now Sampras: C’mon, wrist — heal yourself! Clearly your owner, Andy Murray, has been pegged with lots of potential by tennis greats Borg (here) and now Sampras. (The Scotman)

Vaidisova’s back?: Mono washed away most of her 2007, but Nicole Vaidisova should be back on track in 2008. (ESPN)

What can’t he do?: First it was Novak the actor, then Novak the disco diva, now Novak the baritone?

Geek love: If you haven’t yet fallen for the number-crunching ways of Robert Waltz, then take in this latest article analyzing the performance of top WTA players. (tennis.com)

sampras vs. federer: trophy watch + pete goes down swinging

November 26, 2007

The clash of the titans came and went… did anyone really feel it? Pete Sampras and Roger Federer performed in the much-anticipated Asian exhibitions this past week. First in Seoul, where Roger easily won 6-4, 6-3.

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Then there was Kuala Lumpur, where Roger was probably a$ked to act less smug and make it a closer match. The scoreline: 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5).

Couldn’t Nike have given Sampras something from this season to wear on the court? That black/white shirt is almost a year old!

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And in Macao — where they staged the exhibition at The Venetian, — Sampras finally wins 7-6, 6-4.

A few press conference bits…

Sampras talked to AP/Reuters about his plans to stay retired, and also commented on the state of tennis:

“Serve and volley is extinct,” he said. “In my day, we had some great serve-and-volley players. There was myself, Stefan Edberg, Boris Becker, Goran Ivanisevic and others. But with the size of racquets getting bigger, junior players these days are only taught to hit the ball as hard as they can. There are some players who come in, but they are not natural serve-and-volleyers.”

And he knocks all the Federer GOAT talk?

Sampras insists Federer’s opposition falls short of the standard of Rafter, Agassi, Edberg, Becker and Courier, who formed the American’s main challengers when he dominated in the 1990s and early part of this decade. “I had more major winners up against me versus the rising stars behind Roger.” (The Scotsman)

Below (left to right): Macau trophy ceremony, Kuala Lumpur trophy ceremony, Kuala Lumpur Press Conference.

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(photos by Getty Images)


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