Archive for July, 2008

add this to the tsf wishlist:

July 31, 2008

One day, these Native American-inspired shoes from Gucci’s Spring 2009 footwear collection will be worn by Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova at Wimbledon.

One more photo after the cut…

practice makes perfect: roger in cincinnati

July 31, 2008

Roger Federer has his work cut out for him at this week’s Masters Series Cincinnati tournament. He’s looking to bounce back (still) after back-to-back losses to Nadal (Wimby) and Gilles Simon (Toronto). He beat Gineps 6-7 (2), 7-6 (5), 6-0 in the first round. Yikes.

On to lighter fare: let’s take a look at his practice tees from this week.

momma’s got a brand new bag

July 30, 2008

Prince plans to release new lines of racquet bags in conjunction with this year’s U.S. Open.

Inspired by Maria Sharapova herself, the new Sharapova Collection will showcase the Russian’s classic elegance through a striking, clean, all-white bag with black Prince logo and accents. Available in a triple and six-pack, both bags in the collection will also feature the iconic Sharapova seal embroidered into the side of the bag.

“The U.S Open is tennis’ biggest stage. The City comes even more alive for those two weeks, with all eyes fixated on Flushing Meadows so it is the perfect place for us to introduce the world to the new collection,” said Maria. “It is always fun to sit with the expert team at Prince and put our heads together to plan, develop and execute new products.”

“Of course my new racquet bag is coordinated with what I will wear on court at the Open, but because of its classic color scheme and clean, simple lines, it looks amazing with nearly every tennis outfit — giving female players a chic looking bag with incredible function.”

The rest of the Prince stable also gets some attention with a new Pro Team 100 line being produced for the Open. Each bag in the line will be made available in two distinct color options — black and green and black and white. While both will have a sleek, classic black base color, one version will feature — for the first time ever — the Prince logo in its updated green colorway accented by silver paneling.

The other version will feature a classic white Prince logo with white accents on the straps and underside. The Pro Team 100 collection comes in a triple, six, and twelve-pack racquet bag; plus a locker bag, wheeled duffle, and a backpack. Both the six and twelve-pack contain a thermal foil lining crucial for increased protection and temperature control.

Who gets what: The racquet each Prince player uses will dictate which version of the bag he or she carries. Those playing the O3 Speedport Black, O3 Speedport White, O3 Speedport Pro White or O3 White will carry the black/white version, while those playing the Ozone Tour, Ozone Pro Tour, O3 Hybrid Tour, and all other O3 models will carry the green/black version.

Players like Nikolay Davydenko, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Sam Querrey, Mike and Bob Bryan, and Jelena Jankovic will all carry their Pro Team 100 bags in events prior to New York.

Jankovic, who plays with the O3 Speedport Pro White, and currently sits at the doorstep of the world’s #1 ranking, will be the first woman on tour to sport the black/white bag.

“My life is pretty much packed into my racquet bag — it is my most valuable piece of luggage,” said Jankovic. “Whether in my hotel room, heading to an early morning workout or in the middle of a night match at the U.S Open, wherever I am, my racquet bag is usually with me so it has to be able to withstand what tennis players put it through, but also look great on court. I love the look and design of this bag line — and am proud and excited to be one of the first to carry the black/white version on tour.”

Buy: Pro Team 100 line and the new Sharapova Collection bags will be in stores starting September 15, 2008; black and white Pro Team version will drop on November 15, 2008. More info about pricing here.

cute shoes. wanna f**k tell me where you got that bag?

July 30, 2008

These adidas Micropacer Gore-Tex shoes are cute, but that racquet bag is cuter. Anyone with info on the bag, please send my way.

Buy: Pre-order the Micropacers here.

(image via hypebeast)

checking in with fred perry

July 30, 2008

Fred Perry continues to rack up its amazing list of collaborations with a 12-piece men’s line to be produced in conjunction with Raf Simons, who himself is busy as creative director of Jil Sander. The all-black collection is inspired by Perry’s 1960s skiwear and will include a short-sleeve mohair turtleneck sweater (!!); a patterned, knit polo shirt; a full button-down long-sleeve pique polo; and sleek trousers. Dropping in the fall.

On the tennis front, their brand got decent exposure this last month because of Andy Murray‘s decent showing at Wimbledon (quarters) and at Toronto, where he made it all the way to the semis, losing to Nadal but not before taking down Nole 6-3, 7-6 (3) in the round prior.

Fall goods: The Fred Perry e-shop doesn’t have much to offer right now. That landing page is pretty cute, though.

(raf simon image via hypebeast; andy murray images by Getty Images; website screencap from fredperry.com)

Tennis, anyone?

July 30, 2008

Who knew that Ashley Harkleroad could have so much impact in this world? Check out the window display currently up at Agent Provocateur shops in Soho in New York (pictured) and Melrose in Los Angeles.

(Thanks to Chris for the tip and to Hollister Lowe for snapping this photo)

how our mind works…

July 29, 2008

Now that I’ve successfully calmed myself down from that tiny (but long) earthquake that struck just outside L.A. earlier today, I thought I’d point out that our buddy Nick, the man behind Tennis Chatter, has now taken to doing video posts. He’s pretty insightful and speaks with good tempo and volume. Check it out!

Of course the first thing that pops into my mind is that Nick could totally be wearing different tennis clothes each week. I would have so much fun styling his vlog! He already started down that way by wearing the Marat Safin shirt from Stick it Wear?! in that video above…

…and a headband for this Wimbledon post.

For the rest, he’s gone mostly with solid screen-printed tees. See more below.

Varsity tees.

He likes green!

(images via Tennis Chatter)

ATP lawsuit could remake non-team sports

July 29, 2008

Daniel Kaplan at SportsBusiness Journal is all over the lawsuit filed the organizers of the Hamburg tournament against the ATP. At the core of this debate is whether the ATP is seen as a professional league (which, under U.S. law, is allowed to collude and pool television rights, set schedules, and set terms for athlete participation) or if it’s just a loose group of businesses who all happen to run tennis tournaments. A loss for the ATP could spell trouble for the WTA and other individual sport orgs like the PGA and LPGA tours. Here’s what Kaplan wrote up two weeks ago (on July 7). Subsequent articles to follow.

In 14 days, the ATP World Tour will square off against one of its tournaments in a Delaware courtroom. At stake: Not just the future of men’s tennis, but perhaps the governance of all non-team sports.

Barring a settlement, the antitrust case could determine just how far a rules-making body can go in setting tournament schedules, compelling players to compete in certain events, establishing a ranking system and awarding sanctions. These functions are claimed not only by the ATP, which is being sued to undo a series of schedule changes, but also by other entities ranging from the PGA Tour to Olympic federations.

“An ATP loss would set a dangerous precedent for professional sports governing bodies … that make all sorts of decisions that primarily affect the players regarding format of play, where they are going to play their tournaments, the number of events in which they will participate [and] how the players are going to be ranked,” said Rick Karcher, director of the Center for Law and Sports at the Florida Coastal School of Law. He also has written about the case as a contributor to the Web site sportslawblog.com.

“If any third party can challenge these decisions on antitrust grounds,’ Karcher said, “it puts these organizations at risk.” (Read on…)

when in montreal, do as the french do

July 29, 2008

Nadia Petrova has switched from being a form for Venus‘ EleVen line to wearing a mustard top from Babolat at the 2008 Rogers Cup. She beat local Marie-Eve Pelletier 6-0, 6-1 in the first round.

Babs isn’t exactly known for its clothes, so we’ll take what we can get — piping detail, graphic on the lower front — from this French gearmaker.

(photo by Getty Images)

Latin American Players give back

July 29, 2008

Prominent Latin American tennis players such as Argentina’s David Nalbandian and Carlos Berlocq, Chile’s Fernando Gonzalez, Brazil’s Gustavo Kuerten and Ecuador’s Nicolas Lapentti, have taken on the role of part-time philanthropists by investing part of their earnings and time in charity work for their native countries. In addition to these Latin American players, the Spaniard Rafael Nadal also partakes in these efforts.

Nalbandian, who is currently ranked number seven in the world, and has earned $8.8 million in the course of his career, recently launched the David Nalbandian Foundation, a non-profit organization which strives for the social integration of people with disabilities through programs and projects geared towards health and sports.

“I have long supported causes in my native town, Unquillo, and always wanted to start a foundation of my own. Today I can say it’s a dream come true. I want to help special people, that most need it,” stated the Argentine during the launch of his foundation.

Meanwhile, Chile’s Gonzalez, who is ranked number 14 in the world and has earned $6.6 million throughout his career, supported for the second consecutive “Copa de Tenis por los Ninos del Hogar de Cristo,” (Tennis Cup for the Children of the Home of Christ) by playing an exhibition match against Argentina’s Agustin Calleri last December in the center court of the National Stadium.

Proceeds from ticket sales were earmarked for the construction of a Residential Home in Tocopilla, capital of the Chilean province of the same name, for children at social risk and those affected by the most recent earthquake. Gonzalez also makes a donation to the foundation each time he wins a tennis match.

“I feel very fortunate to be able to help others by doing what I like best. It’s a blessing to be able to entertain people and, at the same time, benefit the children of my country,” commented Gonzalez regarding the Cup.

On his part, Brazil’s Kuerten, formerly ranked No. 1 in the world and a three-time winner of the French Open who has earned $14.8 million during his career, has the Gustavo Kuerten Institute, which develops educational and sports-related projects for people with disabilities.

“The task we have undertaken at IGK seeks to offer real opportunities for the development and social integration to those in need. At the same time, we want to strengthen a culture of solidarity among the members of our society,” said Kuerten about his institute.

Nicolas Lapentti, ranked 74th in the world and with a total of $5.8 million earned to date, decided to create the Nicolas Lapentti Foundation (F.N.L.), with the goal of helping children with cancer and athletes with the potential to compete internationally.

Among the highlights of the events held by the F.N.L. is the Guayaquil Fashion Concert; the funds raised at this event go to a different foundation each year. Another event is the F.N.L. circuit, which allows children of different provinces to compete for scholarships to train abroad, and win a trip with Nicolas to one of his tournaments.

Likewise, Berlocq, who currently holds the 90th ranking in the world and has earned $712,000 in his career, holds tennis clinics and donates the money to the Chascomus Athletic Club, where he started playing, and to municipal schools in the area.

“I always do some fundraising, because as little as it may seem, for the municipal schools every little bit helps. I would like to give more, but for that you have to win, to be in the top 40 or 50 in the world. And maybe it can be done,” said Berlocq, who was born in the municipality of Chascomus, in the province of Buenos Aires.

On the other hand, Spain’s Rafael Nadal, ranked number two in the world by the ATP, has earned more than $17 million in his career and has started the Rafa Nadal Foundation. The purpose of this foundation is to provide social assistance and cooperation for the development and promotion of sports as an integration tool for the members of society who are most in need, with special attention to children.

“I feel privileged and fortunate to work in what I like to do. This situation has given me unique experiences, traveling throughout the world and seeing many people in need of help. I think this is the first step towards putting my desire to help into practice,” said Nadal during the inauguration of his foundation.

Nalbandian, Gonzalez, Kuerten, Lapentti, Berlocq, Nadal not only are tennis stars who have remember those in need, but have become pillars of their communities, examples of what can be called Personal Social Responsibility — role models to be followed.

is this thing on?

July 21, 2008

Hey, all —

Things have been quiet on TSF these last few weeks… I had to recharge the batteries and tend to my non-tennis life.

Anyway, I’ll be posting regularly again this week. I hope everyone’s alright out there!

-Erwin

Schadenfreuderer and Nadal

July 11, 2008

“Greatest final ever.”

I don’t think I have ever heard that description used for matches that have happened in my lifetime. Some have been memorable, like Hingis combusting at Roland Garros against Graf, or suffering heat-induced hysteria against J-Cap Down Under; or Sampras barfing on the court (and winning!) against Corretja at the U.S. Open. But not until Nadal vs. Federer have I experienced such a significant and well-played match in 12 years of following tennis.

[I didn't get to see the last two sets live. I was driving to Vegas to see Bette Midler play at Caesar's Palace!]

And the stars aligned last Sunday, giving our under-appreciated sport (at least in the U.S.) a chance to show the world why we obsess.

So — why this match?

1) Roger’s run had to end. The World No. 1 was vulnerable more than ever, following his shaky 2007 (multiple losses to David Nalbandian and Guillermo Canas) with an unbelievable 2008 that saw him lose to Nole in Australia and go without a title until Estoril. The media sensed blood and fed the insecurity. Federer pushed back, reminding the press that “his time” comes on the faster surfaces at Wimbledon and throughout the North American hardcourts. It somehow didn’t click in my mind that he was speaking the truth.

2) The French Open final. We didn’t think that Nadal would win his fourth French Open title so quickly — and with a bagel in the third set! If anything, it indicated that Roger’s level of play lagged against Rafa’s.

2) God bless the rain. At least on the west coast, the bad weather played a part in Rafa-mania. If it wasn’t for this, the match would have been over by 9am. on a Sunday. when we’re all still asleep. The fact the eight-hour coverage stretched into the late morning (and the afternoon for the East Coast) guaranteed that more people would be watching. And it worked.

3) The media-friendly Rafael Nadal. We here at TSF aren’t really into the Mallorcan. Too muscle-y, too much hair, an unconventional fashion sense. People go gaga over him, though, and he knows how to work it: he’s blogged for the ATP website multiple times and even reprised his role as columnist for The Times at Wimbledon. A tennis player writing about Wimbledon — shouldn’t that have been Roger’s deal?

Here are the media stats for the match and its aftermath: Sports Illustrated put Rafa and Roger on the cover this week (Jon Wertheim described the match as “a four-hour, 48-minute infomercial for everything right and virtuous about tennis”). NBC’s numbers were up 44% from last year, and this match was the highest featuring non-Americans since the 91 final between Stich and Becker. The official tournament website drew 11.7 unique visitors over the fortnight, which is 3 million more people than in 2007. They viewed nearly 300 million pages in 46 million visits spending an average of 70 minutes per visit. Tennis.com had 1.5 million unique visits during the tournament, a 57% increase in daily uniques over last year. On the day of the final, they had 105% audience increase from last year.

This is a very important time in tennis. We have the world’s attention. TMZ.com is blogging about Nadal. We’re on the cover of SI. Before this week we only made the news for match-fixing or getting booted from the tour for alleged cocaine use. Our mainstream ambassadors were either retired greats (Borg, McEnroe, Sampras, Agassi) or ones who I begrudgingly embraced (the title-less Anna Kournikova). Now we have a compelling sport with a player who wins Grand Slams (on multiple surfaces), can make the women and men swoon, and has excellent media appeal.

But while we are all about toasting Nadal, let’s not forget to thank Roger Federer for getting us there.

He brought press to tennis with his amazing talent and his glamorous life. In New York, he created a synergy with the fashion industry by getting Anna Wintour to ditch a fashion show for the U.S. Open. He sat front row at the Valentino show, and has Gavin and Gwen sit in his box on a regular basis.

Roger also brought buzz through his relationship with Tiger Woods. We watched from afar as they transformed their insular careers into a fraternity of athletic elite. What do you think they texted each other?

The focus shifted from celebrating a potential GOAT to turning him into the scapegoat for our sport. As the win-loss percentage hugged ever-so-close to the high 90s, we wanted to see more scalps. We cheered him on to greatness but secretly expected him to fall. The story is more compelling that way.

I really hope that this does good things for our sport. Tape up those knees, Rafa. And ease up on that tourney schedule of yours. We want you to have the long career that you deserve.

And Roger, we haven’t forgotten about you yet. You’ll break Sampras’ record and have your place in the Hall of Fame. You’ll rack up a few more titles and stay around for a few more years. Think of it this way: it must have been lonely at the top. Now, you have company.

(additional info from Liza Horan/tenniswire.org)

you know you’ve made it….

July 10, 2008

…when you end up on TMZ.

Roger Federer never got coverage like this! (Someone over there has the hots for the Spaniard. Harvey Levin, perhaps?)

Hmm… will Rafa Nadal boost the sport’s profile in a way that Roger never could?

(photos by INFdaily.com via TMZ.com; thanks, Chris!)

“overheard” at the wimbledon final

July 9, 2008

I cracked up reading what the ladies at DISGRASIAN™ thought happened in Roger Federer‘s player’s box during his 4-6, 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (10-8), 7-9 loss to Rafael Nadal at this year’s Wimbledon final.

MIRKA: O-kay. Time to regroup.

GAVIN: Bummer. I can’t believe my boy lost.

GWEN: Dude. I thought Roger was supposed to be, like, hella good.

MIRKA: There’s always the U.S. Open. No need to panic. (beat) Fuck. I need a donut.

GAVIN: Hey, look! Messages on my BlackBerry! I wonder who called. This could be exciting.

GWEN: Oh shit, I feel a fart coming on.

(Read the rest here.)

nicky kiefer’s new hair

July 8, 2008

Is that you, Nole? Maybe it’s the headband, but this is one of the few times that I’m actually favoring longer hair on a dude. Nicolas Kiefer, what did you do?!

Pre-cut, at Wimbledon.

How are we feeling, folks? Time to weigh in

(photos by Getty Images)

disappear, appear, repeat

July 6, 2008

Much like Maria Sharapova’s post-U.S. Open behavior last year, which saw her hanging out at New York fashion week and in Nole‘s player’s box, her early Wimbledon loss quickly turned into cameos at a few places in Paris and London.

She made a showing at the Valentino Fall 2008 couture show — the first one by young designer Alessandra Facchinetti (who replaced the recently retired Valentino Garavani himself). The hyper-embroidered collection reinterpreted the fashion house’s classic silhouettes and included the requisite red dress.

And she took in a night at the Tiki-themed Mahiki Club in Dover Street. (src)

Stella McCartney courted this Maria (instead of her tennis muse, Maria Kirilenko) when she hosted a party at Harvey Nichols‘ Fifth Floor Restaurant to expand her organics collection, which currently includes make-up and lingerie.

Masha showed up in a white chiffon cocktail dress with friend Camilla Belle. Masses of pink peonies occupied the dining room, with each of the lucky guests receiving a bespoke napkin ring embossed with their name.

Eco-conscious: We are sick of green-movement marketing as much as writing off Roger, but Stella’s ahead of the pack. The collection will debut at Harvey Nichols and Stella’s flagship store on London’s Bruton Street in June. It’s will be a 20-piece collection made up of loose tunics, slouchy suits, knits and versatile coats — all exuding Stella’s signature, laid-back look, in her favorite color palette of muted tones, taupe, blush pink, grey and stone. (and FYI, Stella uses wind energy — from the grid — to power her studio and e-commerce site. She also has an option with her online store where you can decide to ship your order carbon neutral.)

LeSportsac: The Spring/Summer 2008 collaboration between McCartney and LeSportsac has been out for a while. If you haven’t had a chance to browse, look at detail shots here and the full collection (shop) here.

oh, mirka!

July 5, 2008

Mirka Vavrinec hangs out with besties Gavin Rossdale and the pregnant Gwen Stefani during her boyfriend’s semifinal match against Marat Safin on Friday.

Looking forward: Roger will overcome the mental hurdle that is his losing streak against Rafa Nadal and win his sixth Wimbledon title. This “Roger is over” talk is all bunk.

(photo source)

photos: arnaud clement at wimbledon

July 5, 2008

Arnaud Clement had too slow a start in the post-rain delay continuation of his Wimbledon quarterfinal match against Rainer Schuettler. Our favorite French munchkin lost 3-6, 7-5, 6-7 (6-8), 7-6 (9-7), 6-8. He could’ve been in the semis!!

Bless that Lacoste duffel of his. Notice the zip collar on his white polo.

More: See a few more pictures after the cut

On lucky net cords, and more than you ever wanted to know about [Derrick] Rostagno

July 4, 2008

Before being summarily dismissed by China’s Jie Zheng in the 3rd round of this year’s Wimbledon, soon-to-be-former-but-still-current No. 1 Ana Ivanovic’s claim to fame was the miraculous netcord that saved her while match point down against Natalie Dechy in the prior round.

Several ESPN pundits were all over the potentially perfect reference: the 2nd round of the 1989 US Open, when Boris Becker was down match point to Hollywood’s own Derrick Rostagno.

Up a match point in the fourth-set tiebreaker (the first of two match points), Rostagno served and volleyed; Becker’s passing shot — which Rostagno was well in place to knock off — hit the net cord and took a severely angled bounce well over Rostagno’s head. Becker went on to win the tiebreak, the match, and marched all the way to the championship over Lendl. Becker was 21 at the time, so we could give Ivanovic, at just 20, a bit longer to come into her own.

And what about Mr. Rostagno? He rode his VW bus around to tournaments in the West (an RV in the East), and wore puka-shell necklaces. Often referred to as a “free spirit,” he was perhaps lucky in that there wasn’t anywhere near as much dug up on players as there is today. But there is some additional lore with Rostagno that has lingered: in 1986, he was in Mexico City on a flight layover before returning back to the States. At the last minute, he decided to stay in Mexico and play in a satellite tournament there. The MEX to LAX leg of the flight crashed in Cerritos, Calif., killing everyone on board and then some.

Another recollection features Michael Joyce — now famed as Maria Sharapova’s coach — back when he was struggling to move up through the challenger circuit. Joyce had just taken the players’ bus to the event where he was entered, when who should pull up than none other than Mr. Rostagno, driving a Porsche no less; here’s a fellow American who’s made it, drawing Joyce’s admiration and envy.

Rostagno has since gone on to get an MBA, work in leveraged buyouts, gone to law school, and passed the California bar. The latest report mentions him following his father into litigation. No one said life after tennis is pretty.

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.

fashion focus: lotto goes back to its roots

July 4, 2008

Lotto takes advantage of the Italian flag palette for its Wimbledon men’s gear. Red and green stripes adorn the shirts, shorts, and wristbands of Simone Bolelli, David Ferrer, and Juan Carlos Ferrero. Same goes for the shoes.

Juanqui wears the crewneck version of the tee, and joins the land of the double-wide wristband with his own slapdash version…

Ferrer adds a bandana to his outfit.

Meanwhile, Simone went with the polo version. Look at his jewelry!

Browse: This Wimbledon collection isn’t available for sale yet, but you can check out the rest of Lotto’s goods (including the fleur de lis-branded Leggenda collection) here.

(images by Getty Images)


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