Archive for February 24th, 2009

all quiet on the eastern front

February 24, 2009

There’s enough to deal with: In light of all this Shahar Peer and Sweden vs. Israel Davis Cup madness, you better believe we’re glad that we’ve heard nary a peep about Marin Cilic and Janko Tipsarevic‘s first-round match in Dubai. (Tensions ran high at Serbia-Croatia matches at the Australian Open…)

Scoreline: The Fila-clad Slavs needed to go three sets to decide a winner; Cilic took it 2-6, 7-6 (3), 6-4 to reach the second round, where he’ll face Julien Benneteau. They’re all in the top half of the draw along with top seed Nole Djokovic.

(photos via Getty Images)

in dubai, marat continues to sputter

February 24, 2009

Writing the epilogue: The unpredictable career of Marat Safin has reached some consistency now that he’s steered himself toward retirement sunset.

At this week’s Barclay’s Dubai Tennis Championships, the eighth seed — bumped up by the absence of the injured Federer (back), Nadal (knee), Davydenko (ankle), Verdasco(ankle), and Roddick (Dubai slapped him in the face).

Too bad he fell in three sets — 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 — to Richard Gasquet.

“I struggled in the beginning with the serve, especially, and returns from the baseline, but I started to get used to it and I started to get better and better,” Safin said. “But unfortunately, it’s a lack of confidence and I didn’t play for a long time after Australia. I played in Marseille, and it’s my second match.”

Meanwhile, after giving his neck a little breather, Marat’s back in business with his charms. Is that the imperial crown?!

Scoreline: Djokovic and Murray are doing just fine in Dubai. We’re expecting these top two seeds to face each other at Sunday’s final.

(photo via Getty Images)

graf (and agassi) to play at wimbledon!

February 24, 2009

The AP is reporting that Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf will participate in an exo at Wimbledon, partly to help test out the playing conditions under the new Center Court roof.

They’ll be joined by Kim Clijsters and Tim Henman at the May 17 “Centre Court Celebration” event, which will include a men’s singles, women’s singles, and mixed doubles match.

Graf was quoted by the AP: “There is no tennis venue more special to me than Centre Court at Wimbledon,” the German said. “It just doesn’t get any better. I couldn’t be more honored to play there again with my husband Andre, and tennis greats Kim and Tim. It will mean so much to return to Wimbledon and … relive so many wonderful memories.”

As you may remember, the original roof was dismantled after the ’06 tournament and returned in 2008. Construction of the moving parts began in July. (Geek out: See how the retractable roof works.)

Buy: Tickets are $50, and will go on sale March 12 via Ticketmaster.

short balls: men of brown… in pink; dress for the sun; usta’s march madness

February 24, 2009

Keep it cool: ZooTennis asks Harold Solomon about tips on how to beat the heat when playing a match.

“We all know that light colored clothing tends to help keep the body cooler… Often players do not wear clothing protection around their necks because the manufacturers determine the type of clothing worn.”

(And really, not everyone can pull off this look.)

And shoes matter, too:

“Also, a player’s feet are often one of the primary areas to be effected by extreme heat. It is essential to wear shoes with soles that are thick enough keep the feet cool and to keep socks as dry as possible, to keep blisters from forming.”

Read the rest of the Q&A here.

Tennis on duty: Musicians On Call, dedicated to involving music in the healing process via bedside and hospital performances, will be hosting their 5th Annual Benefit Concert tonight at the Hard Rock in Times Square. Headlining the event will be James Taylor. MOC’s also running an online auction in conjunction with this concert; you can bid on this one-hour hitting session at Arthur Ashe Stadium if you wish.

Color combo: The men’s tennis team at Brown recently wore pink.

Puns intended: Look out for the USTA to leverage the upcoming U.S. hardcourt tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami with a new PR campaign. Called “Game, Set, March”, the media blitz will promote the BNP Paribas and the Sony Ericsson Opens, whose combined attendance last year reached 600,000s.

RELATED POSTS
>> TSF’s short balls archive

sightings: my best friend’s valentine

February 24, 2009

Here’s a photo snapped at the semi between Rafael Nadal and Gael Monfils at the ABN AMRO tournament in Rotterdam. Nadal won 6-4, 6-4 but lost in the finals to Andy Murray.

Who do you think was more in love with Rafa — the guy or his besty?

(photo by Getty Images)


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