Archive for December, 2007

short balls: more banana, marat’s aussie open shirt, translating kolya

December 7, 2007

Kolya translated: When you have a sec, check out the translation of that Kolya Davydenko profile that appeared in l’Equipe. You won’t regret it. (Thanks to Stephanie and Marie)

I appreciate the gesture, but…” We received a note from the ballboy who tried to weave Andy Roddick‘s Davis Cup detritus into gold. With no one biting on the half-eaten banana, Aakash has changed things a bit and sends TSF this e-mail (hmm, I wonder what Andy thinks about this?):

“its me! that ball boy and it is in the fridge soo it should last until the auction! please bid, there is more with the asking of a fellow ebayer I am going to donate 50-75 percent of the proceeds to Andy’s charity! check my auction to find out more!”

For the holiday sourpuss: If you prefer not to see the Top Four as holiday elves, perhaps you’d like to see them as grinches? Nole‘s Grinch name is Peevishtroll Selfishbottom. (src)

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Marat’s Aussie Open look: Here’s Marat Safin‘s promo pic for the adidas Spring/Summer 2008 collection. He’s wearing the Competition Theme Polo. (pwp, via safinartenis.com / bubble)

La Jolla wants in: The owner of the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club (in San Diego, Calif.) wants to play host for the Fed Cup tie between the U.S. and Germany. In the story, the event was described as a “women’s Davis Cup”. Sadly, to most people, that metaphor won’t help. (TSDUT)

Brad’s a talker: John McEnroe chimes in on why Brad Gilbert and Andy Murray parted ways. One possible reason is Gilbert’s non-stop yapping. (Telegraph)

fashion and tattoos in tennis week‘s best of ’07

December 7, 2007

The new issue of Tennis Week (“The Best of 2007″) includes these two fun spreads on fashion… and tattoos!

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Tattoo watch: A mix of our usual suspects (the armband on Carlos Moya, Mark Philippoussis, Marat Safin‘s monkey) plus ones we hadn’t seen before, like the tattoos on Mara Santangelo and bad boy John McEnroe.

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Best fashion statements: Kudos for including Marat’s necklaces (Butter: are you paying attention?), Arnaud Clement‘s buffs, and the great style of Maria Kirilenko in adidas. But really, did we need to see Roger Federer‘s white Wimbledon get-up again? My choice would’ve been the U.S. Open tuxedo.

RELATED POSTS
>> tennisweek.com relaunches
>> sharapova to be tennis week contributing editor
>> more tennis week backlash

tennis in briefs

December 6, 2007

In case you’re bored with all those banner quizzes that ask you to guess the owner of celebrity lips (when in doubt, choose Angelina Jolie) I offer you an alternative…

The photos below are from Brflines, a site devoted solely to the VBLs of your favorite tennis players. Man, there really is a website for everything!

So, whose brieflines are these? Answers below, after the cut.

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#1: Lleyton Hewitt, Novak Djokovic, Tommy Haas

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#2: Andre Sa, Nikolay Davydenko, Mikhail Youzhny

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#3: Arnaud Clement, Feliciano Lopez, Tommy Robredo

Answers after the cut…

tennis makeovers: rod laver, stan smith, ilie nastase, etc.

December 6, 2007

We’re very excited about adidas Original‘s Spring/Summer 2008 line, a diverse collection which includes the eco-friendly adidas Grun; Handbags for Feet, a footwear and apparel collection inspired by handbags (I want the Fendi Spy Bag as a shoe!); Original Games, the Beijing-focused Olympics line; Sounds of the City, a collaboration with the music industry; and another round from Missy Elliott‘s Respect M.E.

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And of course there’s the Tournament Edition, a line of tennis-inspired sneakers. A gold version of the company’s trefoil logo appears on the tongues of all five shoes, while the signature three stripes show up in green and gold. Classic. (Buy: In a few months, they’ll be available here.)

Photos after the cut…

short balls wednesday

December 5, 2007

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Hard times with hardcourts: The Age reported that Lleyton Hewitt‘s camp goofed on installing a non-Deco Turf (aka Aussie Open-esque) hardcourt, thus botching Lleyton’s prep plans for his hometown Grand Slam. But Hewitt quickly denied the error, saying he got exactly what he wanted. (Herald Sun)

Bec shuts down: Bec Hewitt does her share of shutting down gossip, too. She’s spoken out against pregnancy rumors… (MSN)

Bec shuts down, pt. 2: …and she chose not to renew her two-year contract with Woman’s Day, the magazine which shelled out more than a million dollars for exclusive rights to baby Mia‘s birth. (Defamer)

Clay: We always gripe about how rain wreaks havoc on tennis play, but no one ever talks about what drought can do to clay courts. Global warming: you win again! (The Age)

Aussie Open heat rule: Speaking of dealing with heat, the Aussie Open eases up on its extreme heat rule. For 2008, once it’s invoked, players need only complete the rest of the set (and not the match, as in years past). (NewstalkZB)

Jelena under the knife: Nose surgery was on Jelena Jankovic‘s agenda recently, with the World No. 3 trying to fix some breathing problems. Perhaps this will put her on the same path as Nole Djokovic, whose post-nose surgery results were significantly improved. Jelena still plans to play a charity event in Belgrade against Ana Ivanovic this Friday. (WTB)

Tennis as an individual sport: Reason #25 that I’m okay not being on a team: If I really need to go, I can always retire from a match. (Deadspin)

Xmas wish list: Aaress at OTB tells Santa what she wants for Christmas. (My faves: “Better multimedia section on the [WTA] Tour website” and getting Venus and Serena to play Indian Wells.)

Roger humbled: SI names Brett Favre (my friend Debbie is excited, I’m sure!) their Sportsman of the Year, leaving Roger Federer out of the picture yet again. R-Fed came close last year (Dwayne Wade? Really?), but not only did he lose out to the Packer, he’s also losing the SOTY endorsement from Jon Wertheim. Bonus: Roger was interviewed by CNN on the day of his last exo with Pete Sampras. Here’s the transcript.

(OT) Shepard Fairey: I ducked into the opening of Shepard Fairey‘s latest show in Los Angeles. Here’s some video of the night, plus my fave section: the album cover wall.

Another Seles comeback?: Monica Seles spoke to Bill Dwyre as press for her upcoming appearance at the Bank of the West Pro-Celebrity Tennis Classic (Riviera Country Club in the Palisades). The good news? She wants to be back on the tour in time for Miami. (LAT)

(photo via The Age)

davis cup: cast o’ characters

December 5, 2007

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Okay this is my last Davis Cup post. We can’t end things without talking a little fashion. The Russian team, as expected, showed up in their white/red Bosco Sport warm-ups. And all the guys just wore kits from their sponsors. Everyone stayed white except for Dmitry Tursunov (in bright red Fila) and Mikhail Youzhny (in adidas). And the one mishit was James Blake‘s Nike sweatband. It looked too busy with his Global Power tank.

Some photos of the weekend after the cut…

davis cup bits

December 5, 2007

Davis Cup VIPs: So as not to have an “I don’t know who Althea Gibson is” moment, Patrick McEnroe should make this Pete Bodo post on DC legends required reading for his team. (ESPN)

Bonnie D. Ford: “If you’re an American, you’re not given a lot of room to enjoy this victory. The bubbly is barely out of the bottle before people are demanding to know whether the event is relevant.”

Ego doesn’t rule the day: I’m glad James Blake, who might not be remembered for his Grand Slam success, has found a way to carve out a very satisfying — and memorable — tennis career. (Bloomberg)

Etcetera: SPI: Andy Roddick is one up on Federer now that he has a Davis Cup title. SI: Andy’s feat should make him a Hall of Fame shoo-in. MS2: Team USA hitting partners Ginepri partied hard (see No. 7).

Chris Clarey and Harvey Araton tag team at NYT:

  • How fitting that Bob and Mike Bryan, probably the most successful American tennis players in the last few years, are the ones who clinched the Davis Cup title for Team USA.
  • Patrick McEnroe, unlike his older brother John, figured out how to work with Andy and James.
  • And the guys are carving out their own story in the wake of what Blake calls “the greatest generation probably in the history of the American game.”
  • The USTA is eager to make this win resonate globally. An uphill battle, I say.
  • Davydenko‘s in need of repair, and will spend some time in Thailand during the off-season. Plus this re: the latest round of scandals…

    The sport operates in an expanded and increasingly complex environment, new stars emerging from Eastern Europe, countries with developing economies, and where the potential for underworld growth parallels free-market expansion.

    “It’s true, we are dealing with less-sophisticated areas of the world, and in that context it makes this more difficult,” said Arlen Kantarian, the chief executive of the United States Tennis Association. “But this issue at the end of the day is not Western or Eastern, it’s about honesty and integrity, and it’s worldwide.”

    I hope you were misquoted, Mr. Kantarian, because I think you may have called Russia less sophisticated.

Willammette Week brought us local coverage:

  • They posted lots of video. (Nick, have you seen these?)
  • Portland loved being a rare USTA pit stop.
  • Live-blogging from dead rubbers.
  • How drunk can you get in 45 minutes? Very.
  • “Tennis is like NASCAR — but without asphalt and with more teeth.”
  • Portland is different from Moscow.

bid for roddick’s banana!

December 4, 2007

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I can’t say I knew this was going to happen. In the wake of Team USA’s win over Russia in the Davis Cup finals, an enterprising ballboy snagged a half-eaten banana from the trash and put it up on eBay.

Anything that has touched Andy Roddick‘s lips is worth at least $.99, I say. (Plus $8 in shipping.)

“The banana was taken from the players garbage it was eaten by Andy Roddick! yes the HOT ANDY RODDICK for all you female fans out there! I put it in with a picture of Davis Cup Ball Boy gear as proof of me being a ball boy! The Item is Sold AS IS, and returns are NOT ALLOWED. Please don’t bid if you are NOT a serious buyer and intend to not pay for the item.”

And in case the winner had plans to display this prized piece of Americana on their mantle, a clarification from the seller:

“NOTE- I MAKE NO PROMISES OR GUARANTEES ON THE CONDITION OF THE BANANA AFTER SHIPPING AND YOU MUST BID AT YOUR OWN RISK. [...] Also the banana is a souvenir NOT TO EAT! IT IS A SOUVENIR”

(Thanks for the tip, Randy!)

navratilova teams with aarp

December 4, 2007

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Tennis legend Martina Navratilova has agreed to be AARP‘s first Health and Fitness ambassador, and in the process will share tips with AARP members in online chats, conduct Q&As and video segments on the group’s fitness website, and speak at events.

This deal, along with ones from Subaru and Prince, makes Martina’s current endorsement portfolio larger than the one she had while playing on the WTA Tour (as an out lesbian).

While there is a trend towards signing retired professionals (with solid Q Ratings) in the wake of scandals (steroids, or Michael Vick‘s dogfighting ring), Navratilova points out that retired female athletes are still getting the short end of the stick. “Once you hit 30, the agents lose interest and the advertisers lose interest — they start looking for the next starlet,” she tells WSJ. “Let’s just say I’m still waiting to get a call from Wheaties.”

(WSJ; photo via Czech Republic)

more masha listage

December 4, 2007

The Masha Machine (mashine?) keeps churning ‘em out, this time putting Maria Sharapova in recent editions of Vogue and Forbes.

2007’s Ten Best Dressed: Vogue, for their weekly Ten Best Dressed, chose to ask their readers whom they thought deserved to be the Best Dressed of 2007. The style mavens: Nicole Kidman, Sarah Jessica Parker, Masha, Christy Turlington, Cate Blanchett, Uma Thurman, Sienna Miller, Charlize Theron, Sofia Coppola, and Kate Moss.

Editors chose to feature the Peter Som dress Sharapova wore to the Land Rover Event that benefited her eponymous charity.

While some of you might be surprised by this distinction, let’s make a case: her support of relative newbies Som and Thakoon (at the YEC), while not ignoring mainstays like Michael Kors and Chanel, gives her plenty of chances to show off her fashion sense. And let’s not forget all her Nike dresses.

20 under 25: I have to give props to Forbes for finding creative ways to tell us that the same 100 people own all of the world. Masha has already been on a few of their lists (highest paid female athlete, top Russian celebrity) but they’re not done. Now the $23 million she banked between June ’06 and June ’07 puts her third on the “20 under 25” behind LeBron James ($27 million) and Reggie Bush ($24 million). She edged out Michelle Wie (in fourth with $19 million) for highest-ranked female. No-brainers: Miley Cyrus, the Olsens, the Harry Potter actors. Surprise: Mischa Barton.

Read up: See the complete list here.

RELATED POSTS
>> TSF’s maria sharapova archive

housekeeping: new banner = roger federer

December 4, 2007

That picture of Roger Federer, shot by Liz Collins for the December issue of GQ, was too good to pass up. I’ve made it the current banner for TSF.

Enjoy!

trophy watch: davis cup

December 4, 2007

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Team USA won their 32nd Davis Cup this past weekend after beating Russia 4-1. How much do you know about the Davis Cup? Here are some tidbits from the USTA’s profile of this 107-year-old trophy:

That’s Mr. Davis Cup to you: The trophy’s official name is the International Lawn Tennis Challenge Trophy.

Lots o’ silver: In 1900, a man named Rowland Rhodes used 217 ounces of silver to create the 13-inch-tall cup which is 18 inches in diameter. The top edge of the Cup is carved with primroses and acanthus leaves.

How it works: “Names of the players from both the winner and runner-up teams are engraved on the trophy,” which means a constant need for surface area. The lmost recent plinth — the third tier — was added in 2002. With that, the trophy now stands at 3’7″ and weighs 231 pounds.

Hanging out: “The Davis Cup spent both World Wars in a bank vault in New York.” “The Cup is now in the care of the International Tennis Federation and travels to the Davis Cup Final each year.”

(USTA; photo by Getty Images)

RELATED POSTS
>> TSF’s trophy watch archive
>> davis cup: sightings in the stands
>> andy’s feet
>> bud collins’ laptop

nole’s aussie open shirts?

December 3, 2007

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More pics comin’ around of what the guys are wearing at the Aussie Open. This time, it’s Novak Djokovic‘s adidas kit — part of the Spring ’08 line we wrote about earlier.

While black/neo-blue might be harsh under the Australian Summer sun, it will work pretty well under the lights of the Rod Laver Arena. I like this colorway the best.

See the Edge Theme Polo + Crew after the cut…

j’aime l’equipe

December 3, 2007

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Not being able to read articles in l’Equipe is one big reason I regret not learning French. (The other? Not understanding all of Eddie Izzard‘s stand-up routines.)

Here’s a story that the French paper did on Nikolay Davydenko back in May. Can someone help with a translation?

Read: Page 1, page 2. And an uncropped version of the Kolya photo here.

(via MTF)

junior fashion, maria in the hot seat, venus graduates!

December 3, 2007

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Edge dress buzz: This girl wore the new adidas Edge Dress all the way through the Eddie Herr 14s final this past weekend. Junior tennis expert Colette Lewis snapped this photo and sent it to us. “She bought it at a pro shop and everybody is asking her where she got it.”

Maria in the hot seat: A harmless trip to a Heat game churns HMM’s rumor mill — is Maria Sharapova dating a basketball player? Probably not. Is she a fan of swag? Yes. (DTL)

She graduates!: Fashionista Venus WIlliams is the best thing that happened to a little art school in Florida. She’ll receive her associate’s degree in Fashion Design on December 13. (PR Newswire)

Now some OT…

Late adopter? Don’t care: A friend passed along the MySpace of musician Val Emmich, whose career renaissance can be attributed to roles on 30 Rock and the upcoming Cashmere Mafia. My favorite song of his: I Spend My Whole Life Waiting.

Redesigning design: Starchitects like Richard Meier, Zada Haddid, and Frank Gehry are flexing their high-profile muscle and applying their visions to sweaters, vases, and jewelry. (Portfolio.com)

Heaven Hell on earth: China tried to make a Shangri-La, but all they ended up with was a tourist trap. (CSM)

(photo by Colette Lewis)

davis cup: sightings in the stands

December 3, 2007

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While it might be the case that this past weekend’s Davis Cup title was invisible to most Americans (there was lots of football to be watched), there’s no doubt that the fans who got to see it live were having a blast.

More photos after the cut…

if you’ve ever wondered about roddick’s feet…

December 3, 2007

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Andy Roddick puts up his feet after a job well done (contributing one point in USA’s 4-1 win over Russia in the Davis Cup finals). Here he is watching Sunday’s dead rubbers.

Scorelines: Doubles specialist Bob Bryan lost to Igor Andreev 3-6, 6-7 (4), while James Blake beat Dmitry Tursunov 1-6, 6-3, 7-5.

6-1? Man, Blake is streaky!

RELATED POSTS
>> TSF’s davis cup coverage…

bud collins’ laptop: we wouldn’t have expected anything less

December 2, 2007

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We wouldn’t have expected any less from Bud Collins, the man who made paisley a press room staple. Yep, that’s his laptop as shot by Jonah Sandford of the Wilamette Week at the Portland Memorial Coliseum.

I found the WW‘s Davis Cup coverage very insightful. I don’t really consider Portland a tennis town so it was nice to see how the locals viewed hosting such a milestone in recent U.S. tennis history. (More on that later.)

Speaking of — Team USA clinched the tie with The Bryan‘s straight-set win over Igor Andreev and Mikhail Youzhny. There are still two reverse-singles matches to be played (but they’ll be shortened to best-of-three). Andy Roddick says he won’t play, so which of the Bryans will step up to the plate? (Can Patrick McEnroe use this opportunity to test out Donald Young or John Isner?) Here’s Mike’s take:

I’m just hoping I don’t have to front up for the dead singles rubber on Sunday. Andy says he’s not playing so either Bob or I will have to step up and play on no sleep. Bob’s done this three times before so I’m hoping he’ll be the one. I’ve only played one singles match in the past five years (against Thomas Johansson at this year’s World Team Cup). Bob has always been ranked higher than me, so I say we make him the sacrificial lamb :)

(photo via WW; blog via ATP. Thanks, Mikey and pb)

happy holidays from the atp top four

December 1, 2007

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A holiday performance from the ATP’s top four elves — Federer, Nadal, Nole, and Kolya. Click on the photo to watch them dance! Roger has such great extension…

Join in: You can all go elf yourselves here.

(MTF)

kolya — you’re s**tting me, right?

December 1, 2007

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Okay, Kolya: Remember when you were were accused of tanking a match in Sopot? When there were an unusual amount of betting activity on Betfair.com? Well, it doesn’t help your case when there’s this photo of you. Taken at Sopot.* I’m just saying…

Davis Cup update: A very tan Nikolay Davydenko (the Maldives did you well!) plays with partner Igor Andreev against the Bryans for today’s very important Davis Cup Finals rubber. The U.S. is up 2-0 after Andy Roddick‘s win against Dmitry Tursunov and James Blake‘s victory over Mikhail Youzhny.

*or so says the original post on MTF.


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