short balls: aussie open edition

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ATP’s AO blogger: For the two weeks in Melbourne, Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis will blog for the ATP website.

A tennis roundtable: IHT‘s Christopher Clarey leads a discussion with journalists Lisa Dillman (Los Angeles Times, Philippe Bouin (L’Equipe), Linda Pearce (The Age), and Tom Tebutt (The Globe and Mail). And ESPN’s Bonnie D. Ford, in a separate piece, offers her Aussie Open talking points.

Star watching has begun: Kylie Minogue, Masha, and Roger were all seen dining at Nobu at Crown. (Herald Sun)

On courts and heat: Let’s hope the new courts don’t screw up too many ankles. This new court apparently gets sticky in heat (but Ana Ivanovic thinks it’s fine), so players should take extra care in this hot summer. Fortunately, Andy Murray is ready to face the heat since he’s been doing Bikram yoga in the offseason. (The Age, Guardian, IHT)

Navratilova + TC: Navratilova did such great work for Tennis Channel at last year’s French — “I’m really proud of what we accomplished,” she says — TC has signed her as a primary commentator for all the 2008 Grand Slam tournaments,.

Along with Martina, the network’s on-air team for the Australian will include Bill Macatee (with support from Leif Shiras, the recently retired Justin Gimelstob, and Renee Stubbs).

Mining the archives: Get your juices flowing with this photo blog of last year’s tourney. And TSF’s flashback is here.

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