Archive for December, 2007

if you blinked, or szavay wearing her fila

December 31, 2007

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2008 is officially starting slow for Agnes Szavay, who’ll need to wait until next week to gain match experience after her 3-6, 7-5, 2-6 first-round loss to Yuliana Fedak at the Mondial Australian Women’s Hardcourts in Gold Coast.

Which is too bad, because TSF wishes her great successs… and we’re not going to lie: we were also jonesing to see plenty of her new Fila clothes. The little we saw of it left us unimpressed.

Of course, her partnership with Fila is still in its infancy. Hopefully, they’ll work with her to produce more feminine pieces, like her white Makany dresses from last season.

Bonus round: How much do you know about Gold Coast? Read up.

(photo by Szavay’s official website)

RELATED POSTS
>> TSF interviews agnes szavay

serena’s oz open series – nike

December 31, 2007

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Serena‘s delayed debut at the Hopman Cup has her in Nike‘s early spring colors — that’s Dark Stone (brown) and Red Grape. She teams with Mardy Fish to beat the Czech team, lovebirds Safarova and Berdych.

Results: This match-up was a cakewalk for the Americans; Safarova lost in three sets to Serena, while Berdych retired from the mixed doubles match because of a stomach flu (and also forfeited his singles match against Fish). Next thing you know, the Americans move forward with a 3-0 win.

Buy: The Nike goods in these new colors will be available very soon (January). Hang tight, ladies…

More pictures: See a photo of her Flourish skirt, her bling, and her manicure after the cut

for your asb classic reading list: yellowballin’

December 31, 2007

I should point out that TSF reader R. C. French is writing about his hometown tourneys — the ASB Classic (women) and the Heineken Open (men) — in his blog, Yellowballin’. Make sure to bookmark or RSS the sucker.

Notables from the first day of this Auckland, New Zealand, tournament (the ASB Classic happens first) include sixth seed Tamira Paszek‘s 7-6 (7), 6-1 win over boldly clothed Yanina Wickmayer; and the unseeded Lindsay Davenport‘s defeat of fellow American Laura Granville, 6-2, 6-3. But what I’m really excited about is tomorrow’s line-up: Maria Kirilenko (hopefully) will debut the Spring 2008 line of adidas by Stella McCartney.

(I was also hoping for a peek of Fila‘s 2008 goods for Akiko Morigami, but she lost in her first round match today. Le sad.)

maria ends the year with some bangs

December 31, 2007

Sharapova in Singapore: The flurry of Asian post-season exhibitions continue with Maria Sharapova Live!, a Dec. 30 match in Singapore featuring the Russian and Anna Chakvetadze. Masha won 6-0, 7-6 (10) — so much for exo “gimme” games, eh?

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Everything but the toilet seat: To help sate the Maria-mania sweeping the continent, organizer Entertainment Group Limited has arranged to auction off certain disposable items she uses during her one-night stay at the Fullerton Hotel‘s presidential suite; this includes bathrobes, towel slippers, bedsheets, and even a bathing suit. (While this all sounds twisted already, EGL did draw the line by refusing to auction toilet seat covers.)

The photo above (right) was taken at the hotel’s rooftop deck.

Her two cents: In press interviews, Maria gives the SEWTA Tour a clean bill of health (as far as match-fixing goes), and doesn’t give lip service to the New Paper during their six minutes with her.

Anna not yet 100%: Meanwhile, Anna has not yet recovered from last week’s home-invasion robbery. (WTB)

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We’re loving the bangs: These pictures above are from her various appearances. The one on the right is from the exhibition (she reprises her Nike librarian look). And she makes yet another smart hair move by getting bangs — a far cry from this past July’s feral ‘do. Remember this?

More photos here.

(photos by AP and Getty Images)

k-swiss gets fish

December 30, 2007

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Mardy Fish has switched clothing camps from adidas to K-Swiss.

This week he’s playing on the American team at the Hyundai Hopman Cup, partnering with Meghann Shaughnessy to win against the Indian team of Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna.

Mardy next faces the Czech team of Lucie Safarova and Tomas Berdych. He’ll be joined by original teammate Serena Williams, who delayed her appearance at the tournament because of a stomach virus. (See full schedule here.)

(photo via Getty Images)

RELATED POSTS
>> k-swiss signs tommy haas and a new ad agency

trophy watch: even thirty years after the fact, it’s just as sweet

December 30, 2007

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Congrats to Evonne Goolagong Cawley, who has been officially recognized by the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour as one of 16 women to hold the No. 1 ranking in the Open era. The distinction came over thirty years later because not all of Goolagong’s points were transferred onto computers when the rankings system debuted in 1975. Goolagong held the No. 1 spot from April 26 to May 9, 1976, after beating Chris Evert 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 at the prestigious Virginia Slims Championships in Los Angeles.

From her home in Australia, Goolagong told the SEWTA that she was delighted to receive the award. For those months in 1976, she felt she was playing the best tennis on tour. “I am happy and gratified that what I felt at the time has now been recognised officially. It’s personally very satisfying and this has been the best Christmas present.”

And Bud Collins chimes in:

“Hurrahs to the diggers who discovered that Evonne Goolagong should have been ranked No.1 during 1976, not No.2. It took a while, but never too late for justice. This fact will be noted in the next edition of my Tennis Encyclopedia in 2008.”

Nice plug, Bud! (And yes, for those factoid nuts out there, Bud will be releasing a new edition of his tennis tome in 2008.)

(SEWTA)

k-swiss signs tommy haas and a new ad agency

December 28, 2007

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From three-stripe to five-stripe: The pre-2008 moving and shaking continues with SoCal sports outfitter K-Swiss announcing a three-year partnership with German Tommy Haas beginning at the 2008 Australian Open.

Tommy will wear K-Swiss threads for his matches and make personal appearances on behalf of the brand. He’ll also assist in the design of future athletic collections, a task he looks forward to. “I am obviously excited about the performance tennis styles,” says Haas, “but [am] also eager to collaborate on off court opportunities as well.”

And K-Swiss, of course, is just as excited. Erik Vervloet, Director of Sports Marketing, adds, “Tommy will be an invaluable asset in showcasing our current product offerings and developing future styles. We look forward to working closely with him and are proud to have him representing K-Swiss in the upcoming Grand Slams.”

No longer Limited: This is a big jump for Tommy, who had been wallowing (at least stylistically) in his partnership with Limited Sports in recent years (he was with Nike before that); Limited had provided him with a lackluster collection only made interesting by the occasional monogrammed cap. As he told Tennis Week, he moves to the big leagues with K-Swiss and is excited to be involved with the company:

“K-Swiss is making a big jump within the last year promoting the brand with a lot of the athletes, like Anna Kournikova, appearing in magazines and television commercials. K-Swiss is known for their shoes, which are very good ones. [...] I got to look at the new K-Swiss stuff for next year, the new technology they’re using in their tennis shoes, which is all very exciting stuff so I’m very happy to be a part of it.”

And while it was he got on board too late to give feedback about the Spring 2008 line, Tommy will definitely give notes for future collections. He tells Tennis Week, “They’re interested in your ideas so if you have a favorite color or the kind of quality of material you like to wear, they try to incorporate that.”

Sleeveless scandal: This K-Swiss collection will include a sleeveless top (pictured above), a style which the German was instrumental in bringing to popular tennis consciousness. In a widely documented to-do at the 2002 U.S. Open, Tommy walked onto the court for his first round match in a sleeveless shirt. Court officials deemed the attire inappropriate per Grand Slam rules, so he was asked to change. (Mind you, this is the same year Serena played her matches in a catsuit. The outfit obtained the necessary approvals, so it was okay to wear on court.)

And at that point, for better or for worse, the sleeveless shirt began its appearance on the ATP Tour. (Read more on Tommy’s reaction to the situation.)

New ads, new agency: Also part of Tommy’s agreement will be to appear in a global K-Swiss ad campaign debuting in February. It’ll feature the company’s other sponsored athletes, and will make rounds on TV, in print, on the web, and outdoor venues. The company has tapped Toth Brand Imaging out of Cambridge, Mass., to handle the campaign.

Cross your fingers: Here’s hoping the switch works. K-Swiss suffered a third quarter earnings drop to $12.8 million on $107 million in revenue compared to earnings of $21 million on $133 million in revenue for the same quarter in 2006.

(photo via Tennis Week and Newscom; additional reporting via Adweek, Tennis Week)

RELATED POSTS
>> anna kournikova’s k-swiss campaign
>> a glance at k-swiss’ print ads

adidas signs sania mirza

December 26, 2007

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The musical chairs of clothing sponsorship continues with adidas announcing on Monday that it has signed Sania Mirza as its first Indian Global Brand Ambassador. This explains the photo we posted earlier.

Sania’s multi-year agreement is effective immediately. I haven’t found out yet which line she’ll be wearing (my two cents: her bustiness will make the Competition tops look awesome; sorry, Justine).

In Sania, adidas has one of the most outspoken and polarizing athletes in Asia. She constantly butts heads with religious conservatives who look down on her piercings and “short” skirts. None of the fatwas issued against her have gained popular support, so it’s smart for the sports clothing company to harness this celebrity.

Sania: You’re no longer with Lotto — you’re playing with the big girls now. Tame your forehand, plan a smarter schedule so you’re less injured, and don’t let adidas down!

Press release after the cut.

is sania with adidas?

December 24, 2007

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Indian tennis star Sania Mirza poses for a photo shoot on a yacht in the Arabian Sea. She is clearly wearing adidas. Does this mean anything about her sponsorship (at least on the court) with Lotto?

(photo by Getty Images; thanks Magnus!)

bows bow out at the aussie open, aka vaidisova in reebok

December 21, 2007

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Rich at Down the Line! has been working double-duty the last few days (and thank god for that, because TSF’s been doing to much holiday partying and not enough blogging!).

One of his more recent posts is a peek at the spring 2008 dress of soon-might-be-married Czech Nicole Vaidisova. The coral dress, from Reebok, will probably make an appearance at next month’s the Australian Open.

Bows bow out: This very feminine accent was all over the ladies dresses last year — on Serena (briefly) at the U.S. Open, on Masha’s corset at the Aussie Open, and on the various shades of Vaidisova’s 2007 dress. Nicole will start out the year sans bow, as will Serena, who’ll begin her year tunic-style.

Bright and solid: As we mentioned last month, Reebok’s other shade for 2008 will likely be the aqua on Jelena Jankovic.

(photo by vaidisova-nicole.com via DTL)

tsf interview: agnes szavay

December 20, 2007

Hungarian tennis player Agnes Szavay (pronounced SHAH-veye) had a whirlwind 2007 on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. She started the year ranked 185 and catapulted herself into the 20th spot with two singles titles (Palermo, Beijing) and strong showings on the North American hardcourts (losing to Svetlana Kuznetsova both at the Pilot Pen final and the U.S. Open quarterfinals).

This success has not gone unnoticed; Ági, as she is affectionately called, was recently signed to a clothing deal by Fila. TSF talked to Ági over e-mail about her plans and goals for 2008, dealing with newfound celebrity, and — now that she’s signed with Fila — what will happen to those cute dresses from last season.

TSF: How did you go about choosing Fila as your sponsor?

Agnes Szavay: I really liked Fila’s style, I think it is very neat and fashionable. When they contacted me I did not hesitate to say yes. Fila’s designer is a very nice person and we can discuss about what I like to wear. I love working with them and I cannot wait to wear the new Australian (Open) outfit.

TSF: During the U.S. Open 2007, many people were impressed by the clothes you wore on the court. Who designed them? Were they made specifically for you?

AS: The clothes that I was wearing from July was designed especially for me by Marta Makany, who is a famous Hungarian designer. She has her own salon in Budapest called Nara. Marta will keep designing me more clothes but just off-court. I hope you will see those at player’s parties. Actually, I have already got two or three very nice dresses that I could wear at parties in Budapest. She is a very funny person and I’m very pleased to work with her.

TSF: What are your goals for 2008? Are you planning to participate in the Beijing Olympics?

AS: My goal is for the next season to keep my position and to reach the best 15. My childhood dream is to participate at the Olympics so I can promise you I will be definitely in Beijing to represent my country. It is an honor for me to be part of the Hungarian national team and I will work hard to show my best performance.

Click here to read the rest of the interview.

fashion focus: adidas by stella mccartney s/s ’08

December 19, 2007

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We caught a glimpse of the adidas by Stella McCartney tennis outfits for spring/summer 2008 (at her fashion show back in September), and we’re happy to report that, judging from the lookbook, this is going to be a great line.

I must sound like a broken record, singing praise for adidas’ women’s clothes (while the men keep me yawning) but if Nike or Reebok created the same fashion-forward pieces and made them accessible to the masses, I’d be giving them props, too.

FYI: Russian Maria Kirilenko will be the face of this line on the tennis court. The other adidas darlings (Ana Ivanovic, Anna Chakvetadze, and Justine Henin) will be wearing pieces from the Competition and Edge lines.

See more from the spring/summer 2008 lookbook after the cut

‘merry christmas!’ from the atp, part deux

December 19, 2007

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The ATP got a bunch of the guys to sing ‘Jingle Bells’ on camera. They’re such good sports… Many of them didn’t even know the lyrics to the American Christmas song, but they played along anyway.

Jarkko Nieminen has trouble with the word “dashing”, Marcos Baghdatis discovers a discrepancy in the song’s rhyming scheme; and Mardy Fish feels a little lost singing a version of it without the word “Batmobile”.

But they all work through it. Ivo Karlovic carries a lot of the song, as do the Bryans and Tommy Robredo (can he visit me on Christmas morning?). Andy Murray and his shag make a brief appearance, too.

And of course what ATP bit would be complete without prom queen Roger Federer, who swoops in all suave at the end, greeting the viewers “a merry Christmas and a happy new year.”

Hmmmmm, where was Nole during all this? He would’ve given us a shirtless carol, no doubt.

Watch it: ‘Jingle Bells’, by the ATP Tour.

RELATED POSTS
>> “happy holidays” from the atp top four
>> roger’s home movie in gillette’s holiday ad

fashion flashback: nike’s agassi tees

December 18, 2007

While you might be falling asleep at your computer while browsing the Andre Agassi collection for adidas, let’s not forget that Nike had a cash cow on their hands back in Andre’s heyday.

Here are some eBay listings from the past year which featured vintage pieces from this line.

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First up are the Challenge Court T-shirts. It doesn’t get any more retro than this (if it’s the 90s we’re talking about). I feel like I’m watching the theme sequence from Saved by the Bell. The second one from the right says “Agassi’s Rock & Roll Tennis Camp”, and the one on the left says “‘That Oughta Wake-up the Country Club’” [sic]. All the listings, now expired, are here.

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And this is a delicious windbreaker from the same vendor.

It seems like Nike’s been heading — successfully — in that direction (with Rafa’s orange warm-up from the grass season and all those big logo throwbacks). But there have also been some missteps. Remember Fire & Ice?

(Kicks Finder)

yikes: chakvetadze tied up and robbed!

December 18, 2007

World No. 6 Anna Chakvetadze was the victim of a home invasion robbery in Moscow early Tuesday. Five to six men jumped a fence where she and her parents live, tied them, and made off with about $200,000 in money and valuables.

I hope she doesn’t get too unnerved by this…

(Reuters)

fashion focus: the other jewel from adidas ‘edge’

December 18, 2007

One last thing I’d like to point out with the adidas Spring 2008 women’s line (before we actually see them in action, I mean)…

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Add to our list of faves this Edge Cap Sleeve Top. Everything from the halter bra, to the contrast piping, to that wide (six-inch) hem and the combination bat/cap sleeves. It could be an alternative for Ana Ivanovic if she decides not to wear the tank or dress from the same line. (So far, she’s worn the dress.)

Buy: adidas Winter Edge line via TW — tank, $33.99; cap-sleeve top, $37.99; skort, $37.99; dress, $54.99; warm-up jacket, $54.99.

RELATED POSTS
>> adidas spring ’08 competition group
>> adidas originals tournament edition
>> nole’s aussie open shirt
>> adidas edge line (men’s) spring ’08

roger’s home movie in gillette’s holiday ad

December 18, 2007

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Gillette recently released a holiday commercial as part of their Gillette Champions campaign. (Remember the original spot? The one where Tiger gets weirded out when Roger touches him on the cheek?)

This time, ad shop BBDO chose to go sentimental by showing Tiger, Roger, and Thierry Henry each playing their respective sports as kids. Roger loved the concept and himself provided the a clip from his family’s home movies.

Tiger did some decent voiceover work for this spot, too. When his golfing career is over….

glaad + martina navratilova: “be an ally”

December 17, 2007

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GLAAD — that’s the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation — has enlisted the help of Martina Navratilova for its “Be an ally and a friend” campaign. With this latest project, GLAAD wants to remind the straight community that their support of LGBT friends, family, peers, and co-workers can go a long way.

(Our hats are off to GLAAD’s Entertainment Media Department for putting these great PSAs together.)

Watch it: You can view Martina’s PSA here, and see others (by Grey’s Anatomy‘s Sara Ramirez and TR Knight; Ugly Betty‘s Eric Mabius; and Dayanara Torres, etc.) on this YouTube page.

More to come: Rebecca Romijn and Lance Bass will have their own PSAs released in the coming months.

RELATED POSTS
>> navratilova teams up with aarp

short balls: australian open edition

December 17, 2007

Aussie Open in trouble?: A report published by Tennis Australia recommends much-needed upgrades to Melbourne Park. TA is asking for $300 million in funding for capital improvements so they can stay competitive with other tournaments that could soon vie for major status. As you may know, there have been grumbligs about a Grand Slam in Asia, the Middle East or Central/Eastern Europe. (Herald Sun)

Flipping out: It’s a story all-too familiar in the life of Mark Philippoussis: he is making his way through the Aussie Open qualies but could have his journey ended by his nagging knee injury. And it’s probably not helping his psyche that some juniors are writing him off. (ABC, The Age)

Prodigal Aussie: And the once-estranged Jelena Dokic, who earlier this year decided to accept help from Tennis Australia, is on track to nab the women’s wild card for the Australian Open (The Age)

With a little help from my friends: Hotlantan Robby Ginepri is none closer to the Aussie Open wild card, even after his Davis Cup buddies (Andy Roddick, James Blake, et al.) sent a letter to the USTA asking for them to grant Ginepri the spot. Unfortunately, the governing body’s age-limit rule — wild cards can’t go to guys over 22 years of age — took him out of the running. He’ll make his way down to Melbourne for qualifying, with coach Jose Higueras in tow. (Florida Sun-Sentinel)

R.I.P. Fellow Socal blogger Kat, aka Lady Hooligan, will take down her 18-month-old webzine at the end of the year (you can browse it ’til then.) Thankfully, she hasn’t given up on publishing completely. She’ll continue to blog here.

Andy and Serena: A write-up on Andy Roddick‘s homecoming exhibition in Omaha. (via Craig)

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More tattered jeans: Andy really loves his beat-up denim. He wore it out taking Brooklyn Decker to Manhattan. (JustJared via DTL)

Judy Murray at the LTA: The Evening Standard checks in with super tennis parent Judy Murray and how she’s slowly revamping the LTA’s junior program.

adidas hits out of (melbourne) park with competition group

December 17, 2007

So we were already pretty happy with the Edge Dress adidas is releasing for Spring 2008, so imagine our elation when we saw the rest of the collection…

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Our fave from the Competition Group is the Competition 4 Cap-Sleeve Top, with its draped mock turtleneck, contrast side ties, and the three-stripe design on the cap sleeves. And that quarter zip, which also appears on the men’s polos, have been placed on the back of the women’s top.

And we’re relieved for Justine Henin, who will likely wear items from this group for the early part of 2008, including the Australian Open. (The group also has a tank and skort.) Justine hasn’t exactly blown us away with her past fashion choices, so I’m glad to know adidas is taking care of her. Yeah, I know what you’re saying: “who cares what she wears?” If she’s going to win all those Grand Slams, she might as well dress nicely while doing it.

Colorways: the vibrant colors this season are Aqua, Lemon Peel, White, Lucid Pink, and Cherry Wood. The 4 Cap-Sleeve top comes in four colorways.

Browse: As usual, you can check out the other colorways and pick up this item at Tennis Warehouse, for $41.99.

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(photos via TW)


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