Archive for February, 2009

feli’s forehead!

February 19, 2009

What is Feliciano Lopez doing playing without a bandana? Does that mean we still get six more weeks of winter?

He’s made it to the elite eight of this week’s Open 13 tournament in Marseilles after beating Dmitry Tursnunov 7-6 (4), 7-6 (1). Too bad Dima couldn’t seal the deal. Perhaps he was still thinking about Grigor

Up next for Feli is Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

(image via Getty Images)

razzano upsets zvonareva

February 19, 2009

virginie-razzano-dubai09a

Virginie Razzano reaches her second semi of 2009 by upsetting fifth seed Vera Zvonareva 7-6 (7), 7-5 at the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships.

Props to the normally utilitarian Asics for spicing up Virginie’s skort with some pleating.

Scoreline: Up next for the frenchwoman is JJ-killer Kaia Kanepi, who beat qualifier Elena Vesnina in another quarter in their half of the draw. The winner will face a Williams sister in the final.

(image via Getty Images)

grigor dimitrov shirtless? close, but not quite

February 18, 2009

asdkl;jf;alskdjfpoweuirpoqwiejfl;kasdjf!@#!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dmitry, Dimitrov: The D’s did their part to put on a show at Marseille’s Open 13, with Feliciano Lopez beating Tursunov 7-6 (4), 7-6 (1) to reach the quarters, and Dimitrov falling to French fave Gilles Simon 6-4, 3-6, 5-7 in the first round.

(Even off the court, these two are still working it. Enjoy the pic.)

Meanwhile, munchkin Arnaud Clement used the home court advantage to down Marat Safin 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in his opening match in Marseille; he lost to German Mischa Zverev in the second round. And Safin’s fellow swan-songer, Fabrice Santoro, bowed out in the first round to Julien Benneteau 6-4, 4-6, 2-6.

Is Grigor on your list? It’s probably about time to update my list — or at least expand it — to make some, uhm, accomodations.

(DTL; photo by Lorenzo Salemi)

fashion focus: checking in on li ning

February 18, 2009

That hazmat orange on Jelena Jankovic‘s dress spilled over from Ivan Ljubicic‘s kit from Li Ning. The former top-fiver has had a slow 2009 so far, losing in the second round of the Australian Open (to Tsonga) and in the first rounds of Zagreb, Rotterdam, and Marseille.

We love the Guga-esque orange/blue/gold colorway of his kit. The pictures above, from Zagreb, show the gold piping on his shirt and the scale texture on the side panels.

And in Marseille, where he lost to Feliciano Lopez, we get a peek at his blue warmup top.

On the women’s side, Li Ning works with Zi Yan, who lost to Vera Dushevina in the first round at Dubai.

(Zagreb images via MTF; images via Getty Images)

kanepi peels jankovic

February 18, 2009

Kaia Kanepi, wearing Australian by L’Alpina, claimed her first top-five scalp by taking out Jelena Jankovic 6-2, 7-5 in the third round of the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships; she’ll next face Elena Vesnina, who beat Dominika Cibulkova 4-6, 6-1, 4-0 after the Slovakian retired because of the heat.

Jankovic attributed her loss to a bad performance. “This was the worst match of my career. It was a horrible day. I kept framing the ball, kept making unforced errors and could not put two balls together on the court. I didn’t move properly, and I didn’t see the ball properly,” she said.

“[Kanepi] didn’t have to do too much. Basically, I beat myself. I don’t know what happened out there. I am ashamed of this performance.”

Aww. What about some praise for your Estonian opponent?

For this tourney, Jelena and ANTA switched back to their first dress silhouette, switching up the color from green to orange. And finally we got a look at her warmup jacket, with a pleated front and ruched cuffs. Does anyone have details on that red and white tote? Doesn’t look like her Bally bag to me…

Bonus round: Kanepi’s official website.

(images via Getty Images)

shoeless in san jose

February 18, 2009

By Nick McCarvel

pete-sampras-sanjose09

Pete Sampras has been going exo-crazy recently (perhaps the coffers are a little emptier around tax season?), making a brief cameo at last week’s SAP Open in San Jose, battling it out with Tommy Haas; the German won 7-6(4), 4-6, 12-10.

During the Sampras avoided any talk of coming out of retirement by talking about every relevant tennis player but himself.

On Roger Federer: “He’s young enough. He’s fresh enough. He’s not 30,” Sampras said. “Having a few years left, I see him doing it. But there are going to be a few guys that are going to push him. It’s just inevitable that he’s going to do it here in the next probably year.”

On Roddick‘s and Blake‘s not being “Rafa” or “Nole” enough to beat Roger: “Andy’s got the power but maybe doesn’t have the athletic ability, and someone like James, who has the athletic ability, but doesn’t have the power… It’s kind of a tough matchup for them, for both those guys.

“Seems like James can stay with Roger. I just think they play similar games and Roger is a little bit better than James at it. And Roddick can overpower Roger at times, but at the same time doesn’t move well enough from the back court to really get into these exchanges, that someone like Djokovic can.”

Video: See Sampras’ SAP Open here, courtesy of Doug Schwartz.

And Pete gave the San Jose crowd a little wardrobe malfunction during his match, ending with a loose shoe on the court. He gave fans one reminiscent moment when losing his shoe on court. This time the ball boy didn’t have to dig in his shorts to rescue the on-court necessity like at Wimbledon ’01.

Choo choo: Sampras went on to Boston and downed John McEnroe to take that city’s Champions Cup title, but not before participating in a mixed doubles match with Anna Kournikova, among others. And in this week’s Regions Morgan Keegan tourney in Memphis, he lost to Lleyton Hewitt 7-5, 6-4.

it’s raining mail

February 17, 2009

orchard-street-reebok09

Our normally testy UPS delivery man must have been having a good day because we received a package on the first attempt! We are now the proud owners of a pair of Re-Up Lux sneakers, a collaboration between Orchard Street and Reebok.

This is one of two recently released “teaser” pairs for an expanded collab line, images of which can be seen here.

Buy: Re-Up Lux, $90, orchardstreet.com

And we also received packages from both the SEWTA and ATP World Tour that contained each group’s media guide, which includes pronunciation tips for players’ surnames. Hopefully, this’ll make us less of a tool at Indian Wells, where we spent most of the 2008 repeatedly sounding like a total gringo (“Gilles Simon“, “Camille Pin“, and “Alize Cornet” come to mind).

Dork out: The SEWTA has its own book, while the ATP provides an edition that combines the men’s and the ladies’ info. Get a copy of the latter here.

(shoe image via nytimes.com; media guide image via atp)

breaking up isn’t hard to do

February 17, 2009

bjorn-borg-breakup

Customer satisfaction, guaranteed: Bjorn Borg and his right-hand pimpster Bibi wouldn’t be the kind to leave you hangin’. If their matchmaking and lucky charms can’t help you through the romance, perhaps you just need an out.

And even that‘s been simplified with the help of their Break-up service.

After answering a few basic yes or no questions about the state of your love life (with visual aids to match), out comes Bibi’s recommendation for what to do with your ball and chain.

If she deems ‘em ill-fitting, you have the option of sending a pre-written dump SMS to the offending party, and back on the merry-go-round you go.

If you are already with your soulmate, she wants you to consider leaving them anyway, just to spice things up. (Bjorn Borg even designated Feb. 13 as Break-Up Day.)

Face the music: Take the quiz here.

the sleeping giant

February 17, 2009

Venus Williams is the subject of this month’s episode of Revealed on CNN. And what is it that we find out about this top SEWTAer?

She’s always sleepy.

As the sixth seed at this week’s Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships, Venus is through to the quarterfinals after beating Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-0, 6-1. She will face Alize Cornet for a spot in the final four.

More: The CNN story includes pics from her Koto Bolofo shoot for Italian Marie Claire here.

Watch: Venus Williams Revealed:
ALL TIMES GMT
Wednesday, February 18: 0930, 1830
Saturday, February 21: 0830, 1900
Sunday, February 22: 0530, 1830
Monday, February 23: 0400

(images via cnn.com)

not your momma’s kuznetsova

February 17, 2009

svetlana-kuznetsova-elite09

Another Svetlana Kuznetsova, of Elite, is making waves in New York City for the f/w ’09 fashion week.

Height: 5’10″
Bust: 32
Waist: 23.5
Hips: 34.5
Shoe: 7.5
Hair: Dark Blonde
Eyes: Green

(image via models.com; Thanks, Paddy!)

we’ve come a long way, but there’s a lot left to do

February 17, 2009

Le sigh. Why is this still happening in 2009?

I’m sure you’ve already heard about the madness going on in Dubai: Shahar Peer was denied a visa to enter the United Arab Emirates even though SEWTA head Larry Scott had discussed with the tournament — essentially run by the government — that any player who qualifies to play must be able to do so.

The 45th-ranked Peer did qualify, and was already set to play a first-round match against Anna Chakvetadze. After this last-minute development, lucky loser Ayumi Morita replaced her in the draw.

While there was no exact reason from the government about the visa denial, organizers cited anti-Israeli public opinion in light of the Gaza conflict, the risk of a spectator boycott, and a potential threat to the well-being of a player.

Wall Street Journal Europe, a sponsor of the event, pulled out of its sponsorship obligations. Title sponsor Barclays, though, is sticking to their guns and backing the decision to keep Peer out of the event.

Stateside, Tennis Channel has dropped its coverage of the tournament. Here’s the statement from CEO and Chairman Ken Solomon:

Tennis Channel regrets to inform our viewers and tennis fans that we are canceling our upcoming coverage of the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships in Dubai, U.A.E, originally scheduled for this weekend. Unfortunately the event will exclude a single player who has been blocked from entering the country due to her nationality. This is despite her having qualified for the competition via her on-court performance and current ranking.

“Tennis Channel recognizes that this exclusion has been made by state authorities and neither the tour nor tournament directors themselves. However we also honor the role and proud tradition that tennis has always played as a driving force for inclusion both on and off the courts. Preventing an otherwise qualified athlete from competing on the basis of anything other than merit has no place in tennis or any other sport, and has the unfortunate result of undermining the credibility of the very nature of competition itself.”

Meanwhile, other SEWTA players are siding with Shahar even as they play the tournament (Venus Williams, Amelie Mauresmo). I’m not sure that the solution would have been to boycott the event completely since we don’t know why Shahar was denied a visa. But if it comes to light that the government is simply being intolerant, then the WTA and its players must be sure to skip Dubai next year.

We had such high hopes, especially since Peer got to play in Doha last year. TSF hopes that Dubai makes the right move and allows Israeli player Andy Ram to play in the ATP’s Dubai stop next week.

GQ’s 2009 menswear designer: will tennis be their muse?

February 13, 2009

benjamin-bixby-fall2009

And then there were six: GQ and CFDA have narrowed down their nominees for Best New Menswear Designers in America down to a sextet of talents: André Benjamin (Benjamin Bixby); Robert Geller; Alex Carleton (Rogues Gallery); David Mullen (Save Khaki); Sam Shipley and Jeff Halmos (Shipley & Halmos); and Yigal Azrouël.


Shipley, GQ EIC Jim Nelson, and Halmos

The winners will be announced in a few weeks, with the coveted prize being $50,000 and an opportunity to create a collection to be exclusively sold at Bloomingdale’s and Levi.com for a month; after that, other retailers can get a piece of the pie.

Edit: Geller takes the cake. Congratulations!

A recent “best menswear” award (s/s 09 NY Fashion week) went to British designer Nico Kubisch, whose collection was inspired by “gentlemen’s sports, particular tennis in the 1920s and 30s, where sportswear was just a softer version of formal menswear with its tailored jackets and trousers.” Will the GQ/CFDA winner follow in his footsteps? Or those of Thom Browne‘s s/s 09 collection?

(GQ party pics via style.com; NC pic via fashioncapital)

fed cup fashions

February 12, 2009

Fed Cup ties were contested last weekend. Here’s a photo review…

grigor dimitrov

February 12, 2009

Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov is officially on TSF radar after the Bulgarian teenager took a set off Rafael Nadal in the second round of the ABN AMRO World Indoor Tournament.

Dimitrov turned pro last year after taking the junior Wimbledon and U.S. Open titles. He’s currently ranked in the 400s. In case you’re wondering, he turns 18 in May.

More: A few more photos of Grigor after the cut…

ivanovic poses for rolex

February 12, 2009

We’re all about Darren Rovell‘s obsession with Ana Ivanovic. He just posted a Rolex ad that ran in the program for last week’s Fed Cup tie between Serbia and Japan. (Marija — were there other juicy bits in there?)

Lest you think that TSF is just about the ladies (there’ve been an awful lot of pics of them in the last few days!), I would like you to ease your worries.

short balls: maybe tennis should test for valium, sampras feels roger’s woes, help fight a forest fire, etc.

February 12, 2009

Venus on steroids: As part of yesterday’s presser, Venus Williams was asked to comment on the recent controversy surrounding A-Rod‘s use of performance-enhancing drugs:

“Umm, you know, I think tennis is a completely different sport,” she said.

“You have to hold your nerve, and I don’t know if there’s a drug for that.” Brilliant.

Meanwhile, the guys of the ATP are having a hard time adjusting to tour’s new drug testing protocol, being managed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

The stringent rules requires anyone in the top 50 to report where they’ll be for one hour a day, making them accessible to drug testers. Miss three pop quizzes in 18 months and you’re slapped with a two-year ban.

Rafael Nadal, among others, has voiced his dislike for the new system, which was adopted in order to keep tennis’ status as an Olympic sport. “They make you feel like a criminal,” he said at the ABN AMRO this week. “Not even my mother knows where I am every day. It is very difficult to know where you are going to be tomorrow especially in a sport like tennis.”

Besides, winning an Olympic medal can’t get you an Aston Martin, right?

roger-federer-aussie09cry

Kick him while he’s down: Don’t put away the Kleenex box just yet, Roger — your former coach, Pete Lungren, is already molding Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov to be better than you. Would you like to talk smack about him, too? But it’s okay, Pete Sampras can feel your pain.

Fanatics can fight fires: Bid on a lot of tennis caps signed by Roger and Rafa — plus a poster signed by all four singles finalists from the 2009 Australian Open — in an auction by Fox Sports Australian that benefits Victorian brushfire victims. Bidding starts Friday; more info here.

BBC’s Wimbledon well dries up: The BBC will tone down its slam-related entertainment in light of the recent economic downturn. Great — the queues at the food stands will be that much longer. (OTB)

paulandjoe-spring09

(OT) Paul & Joe: These three tees from Paul & Joe‘s most recent collection are tickling Mr. Squid’s fancy. Pick ‘em up at asos.com.

venus: walking in serena’s swimsuit footsteps + what to expect from eleVen in 2009

February 11, 2009

venus-williams-siswimsuit09

As we wrote about earlier, Venus Williams will be participating in the BNP Paribas Showdon at MSG next month, vying for $1.2 million in prize money to be split among her, sister Serena, and Serbians Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic.

“I’m hoping for an all-Williams final,” she told the press today. She’s also looking forward to playing at the storied tennis venue for the first time since the 1999 WTA year-ending championships.

In light of tennis’ contribution in this year’s SI swimsuit issue, TSF asked Venus about her own experience posing for the magazine, back in 2005.

“I did it because Serena did it,” Venus shared. “I want to be like her.”

Serena posed in 2003 and 2004.

But in the end the fashion isn’t the higest priority. “I like tennis more than anything. I would give up all the clothes and makeup for tennis.”

Even so, gallivanting in the sand sounds like a lot of fun. Would she consider giving it another shot?

“I would do it if Serena did it.” (C’mon, Serena — take your sister up on the offer!)

And Venus will soon fly to Dubai and participate in the Barclays tourney.

The American No. 2 (second only to her sister) gave us a small taste of what to expect from her EleVen outfits for the upcoming tennis season. She’ll wear more prints, perhaps taking another cue from Serena, who did the same for the Australian Open in January.

Browse: See Venus’ SI pics here.

More info: The BNP Paribas Showdown, March 2, 2009 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Tickets ranging from $1,000 to $50 available at ticketmaster.com. The event will be shown live on HBO (7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT) and will be called by Mary Carillo, Billie Jean King, and John McEnroe. This marks the first time since 1999 that the premium channel has broadcast a tennis event; they carried Wimbledon from 1975-1999.

(image by SI)

sports illustrated’s 2009 swimsuit issue

February 11, 2009

SEWTA bombshells Daniela Hantuchova, Maria Kirilenko, and Tatiana Golovin appear in this year’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. Joining them in the magazine is Brookly Decker, Andy Roddick‘s fiancee.

The three tennis ladies were photographed by Walter Iooss in Cap Cana, Juanillo, Dominican Republic.

Here are the pics — a million times better than the non-HD preview we posted two days ago:

daniela-hantuchova-siswimsuit09

Among many costume changes for Dani was this pink number from V del Sol.

“Being a part of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue was a unique experience that gave me a rare and fun opportunity to let the people see me in a different light, away from the tennis court,” Hantuchova commented to the SEWTA website.

maria-kirilenko-siswimsuit09

Meanwhile, Maria was shot wearing this print bikini from adidas by Stella McCartney.

From Kirilenko’s site: “I have very good memories of the photo shooting for Sports Illustrated. I went to Dominican Republic with my mother. I was there for three days and I had a great time ! All days on the beach posing I can tell I was busy all the days but it was so nice ! A great team worked with me. The great photographer Walter Iooss, I think it is a greatest photographer I ever work with.”

tatiana-golovin-siswimsuit09

Tati looked comfortable (has she recovered from her injury?) in this Rachel Pappo suit.

“It is such an honor to be a part of the Swimsuit issue and while I have done lots of photo shoots in my career, none of them can compare to the fantastic atmosphere of this shoot and the positive energy of the crew,” Golovin said on the tour site. “It was a fantastic experience that will stay with me for a long time.”

brooklyn-decker-si09a

…aaaaaaaand Brooklyn Decker blows them all away. Just keep this picture in your wallet, Andy!

(Decker photographed by Raphael Mazzucco in Canouan Island, The Grenadines. Swimsuit by Elizabeth Kosich; all images via si.com)

icing on rafa’s cake

February 11, 2009

rafael-nadal-astonmartin09

Papa’s got a brand new ride!

(TMZ via Chris)

fed cup: in belgrade, jankovic welcomes us to her home

February 9, 2009

Jelena Jankovic‘s second outing with Chinese clothing sponsor ANTA is another boudoir-inspired piece (the first: a green teddy), this time a white sleeveless dress with ruffle detail on the straps. Jankovic wore it while respresenting Serbia in the Fed Cup World Group II tie vs. Japan.

As expected, the Serbian team, which also included Ana Ivanovic, Ana Jovanovic, and Teodora Mircic, played well in front of the hometown crowd in Belgrade. They rolled over the Japanese team of Ai Sugiyama, Akiko Morigami, Rika Fujiwara, and Ayumi Morita. The lone Japanese victory was the doubles point.

From the trenches: Marija of Women’s Tennis Blog was at the event. Check out her coverage.

(images via Getty Images)


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