Archive for June, 2009

tennis for the style set: a breakdown

June 22, 2009

Style.com takes a look at summer sports through their glasses, breaking down how the fashionistas view the worlds of surfing, tennis, golf, riding, and diving.

For tennis, special shout-outs go to Anna Wintour, L’Wren Scott, Alexandre Herchcovitch, curator Kohle Yohannan, Tina Chai, Hilary Rhoda, Sophia Hesketh, and Poppy Delevingne. Thakoon Panichgul apparently plays on public courts (LES ones are his fave), and Tory Burch does doubles all summer in Southampton.

Of course they toast Roger as the sport’s official mascot (is this the beginning of Rafa backlash?); Brooklyn Decker gets groupie-of-the-moment (we would’ve given it to Bec Hewitt), and give love to NYC’s Mason’s Tennis Mart (on 56 E. 53rd St.).

Not least is anticipation of how the tail end of the 2009 U.S. Open will conflict with the opening of the Spring 2010 runway shows.

More: See the slideshow here.

sightings in the stands: beck d. lopez

June 22, 2009

In case folks couldn’t get enough action during Karol Beck‘s 1-6, 7-5, 6-3, 4-6, 10-8 upset of Feliciano Lopez at the first round of the 2009 Wimbledon, they needed only to turn to their fellow fans.

You better watch out, Australian Matador — this woman is after your title of Best. Costume. Ever.

(image via Getty Images)

por que no pompa?

June 22, 2009

fernando-verdasco-wimbledon09a

Tennis isn’t the same without your pompadour, Fernando. Bring it back!

Scoreline: The seventh seed beat local (and wildcard) James Ward in four sets 6-7 (8), 7-6 (1), 6-2, 6-4. Up next for the Spaniard is Kristof Vliegen, who also beat a wildcard, Mahut.

(image via Getty Images)

a tennis glossary

June 22, 2009

Not sure if any of you other tennis bloggers have gotten this glossary sprinkled through your comments. It was left over three or four posts. I’ve compiled them here. The ones about ballboys and ballgirls gave me the creeps.

A Tennis Glossary

chris’ final four: federer, murray, haas (!), del potro (!!)

June 22, 2009

With the bottom half of the men playing out their matches, its status quo so far, save for the early exit of 21st seed Feli Lopez. (Congrats to Karol Beck for capitalizing on his lucky loser luck!)

So, as with every major, we’ve asked our resident bracketologist Chris to give us his predictions for this fortnight.

He’s expecting Haas to shine (a title win over Djokovic at Halle), Fish to have his 18-month check-in with the media (last time was Miami, right?), and Karlovic to serve his way through the round of 16.

Meanwhile, Del Potro should make a statement on the grass and Kiefer will run away with that protected 33rd seeding and make it all the way to the quarters.

See how it’ll all play out after the cut…

fed or murray: who has the weaker draw?

June 22, 2009

Roger Federer and Andy Murray will have cake(crumpet?)walks on their way to that men’s Wimbledon final, but it’s worth considering the Davids that could topple these grass Goliaths.

1R: Federer faces Yen-Hsun Lu of Taipei, who does better on faster surfaces. (Murray: Robert Kendrick)

2R: Murray will have to deal with either Gulbis or Dent. You can never discount the hard-serving (and tall) American on a surface like this, especially when he’s already warmed up by making it through qualifying. (Federer: Calleri or Gigi Lopez)

3R: Federer could face Kohlschreiber, who we expect to give the former champ the most trouble before the final.

4R: Murray has to deal with Wawrinka or Safin. You never know what you’ll get with those two. (Federer: Soderling)

Quarters: Murray will play Gonzo, Kiefer or Simon.

seriously murray

June 21, 2009

Andy Murray seems to have every single fan, journalist, mother, child, son, father, tube driver and bobby counting on him to win Wimbledon this year. Just check this post over at Straight Sets. The journalists aren’t just counting on Murray, they’re telling his this is it. Do or die.

So far Andy has taken the pressure much better than Tim Henman ever did, and last week his new commercial with EA Sports came out. The spot features Andy with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and a surprise cameo from John McEnroe for “Grand Slam Tennis” a new game for the Nintendo Wii.

Check it:

andy roddick’s staying power

June 19, 2009

andy-roddick-att

Andy Roddick can rest assured that he’ll have a spot in front of the camera once he’s hung up his pro racquet for good. Andy’s acting is waaaaaaaaaay better than most of the tennis players who’ve taken a stab at it (they will all remain nameless).

Here he is doing a spot for AT&T‘s Laptop Connect Wi-Fi service.

Watch: See the ad here.

(screengrab via YouTube)

nyt mag: rafael nadal

June 19, 2009

rafa-nyt-cover

Those aren’t tumbleweeds you’re seeing, folks. They’re crumpled up pages from this Sunday’s New York Times Magazine, torn apart in by frustrated fans who wanted to see Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer duke it out for another major title in 2009.

I think Roger will have more pressure on him this year than last. If he can’t string together seven wins in the next two weeks, he doesn’t have a Rafa to blame (will Murray make his mark?). That record-breaking 15th ‘slam is just around the corner…

I haven’t finished reading the profile yet, but it seems to offer the same stuff we already know about Rafa. At this point, it’s more about enjoying the writing of Ms. Gorney. My fave quotes thus far:

Referring to Nadal v. Federer: “But let me just suggest that if there were ever a time to understand why people invoke Shakespearean tragedy and ancient gladiators and so on when they carry on about competitive tennis, now is that time.”

And about tennis in general: “‘You must remember,’ [L'Équipe writer Philippe] Bouin said gently, in his lovely accented English, ‘that in tennis you have to kill the other.’ Not just play better. Sometimes the one who plays better can lose. It’s a sport of splendid cruelty, for all its decorum and finicky trappings; every winning point comes when the other guy, in front of a whole stadium of people staring directly at him, is forced by his opponent into inadequacy. He lunges for the ball but whiffs, he whacks it long, he hits it into the net, he screws up. From the stands, you sometimes see players surrender not because they don’t know how to return the shots coming at them but because the specter of this impending inadequacy has suddenly just taken over their brains. It transpires right in front of your eyes: something sags, and they go sort of limp; you can see their faces and their posture start registering get me out of here.”

Read: Ripped. (Or Torn Up?) by Cynthia Gorney, NY Times Magazine, June 21, 2009.

(screen grab via nytimes.com)

rafa’s out of wimbledon

June 19, 2009

We’re sad that Rafa is not going to be defending that Wimbledon title of his (after he hussled for five hours to get it), but we’re glad that everyone’s abuzz about it.

People who I didn’t think even paid attention to tennis have been forwarding me links/tweets/emails for the last hour.

Here’s to tennis finally being in the spotlight!

(Rafa, get well soon! xoxo, TSF)

rafa’s pink shoes

June 10, 2009

Here are pics of the shoe Nike produced to go with the pink/blue/yellow kit they produced for Rafael Nadal‘s abbreviated Roland Garros run. These Courtballistecs 1.3 Clay Court shoes have a bull logo on the back of the left shoe, “Rafa” written on the back of the right shoe, and four fireballs for each of the four years that he’s won the tourney.

A closer look: More pics after the cut…

neon, knees off: rafa unravels at the french

June 10, 2009

I think there are mixed reviews out there about Rafael Nadal‘s bright pink shirt from Nike, but we’re going to side with the Mallorcan and give it a thumbs up.

Meanwhile, he opted to wear a much tamer shoes — the off-motif ‘ballistecs in black/white/red — rather than the limited edition version that’s currently available in stores. It’s almost as if he still has one foot in the old world of Rafa (the one that was free of the pressures of being No. 1) and still isn’t quite ready to embrace the trappings of the top spot (this isn’t the first time he’s hesitated). Is Rafa not ready to go the way of Roger?

Or maybe he’s already there. Even though he (ghost)blogged for the Times during the French, that Vogue piece showed us that he’s stayed insulated from the press more than not.

And of course there’s the issue with his knees. This maelstrom likely pushed him out of the fourth round against 23rd-seed Robin Soderling in a 2-6, 7-6 (2), 4-6, 6-7 (2) match. And it didn’t help that the Swede has gotten under Rafa’s skin in the past.

So he pulled out of Queens at the advice of his physio, leaving a title defense at Wimbledon defense (and another short shorts showing) in doubt. We hope he recovers in time; after last year’s performance, TSF is pretty sure that the world is gunning for a Roger/Rafa rematch.

Buy: Nike Bold French Open polo, light rose/electrolime, $60; shorts, $55; wristbands, neo turquoise/electrolime, $10; headband, $15; Courtballistec 1.3, Charcoal/vivid pink, $120; Limited Edition Courtballistec 1.3 Clay Court shoes, neo turquoise/pink/electrolime, $120.

More: See pics of his kit in action, all after the cut…

grigor dimitrov: clothed, so no cigar

June 10, 2009

Not until he has to: Russian Grigor Dimitrov (clothed, le sigh) lost to third seed Gilles Simon in the AEGON Championships Round of 16 in two tiebreak sets.

For this Wimbledon stretch, adidas has its Competition collection in red, blue, and white. I guess Grigor will stay as far away from the all-white rule until he absolutely has to follow it!

Buy: Check out the goods here.

(image via Getty Images)

the ultimate in player consideration

June 10, 2009

ballgirls-fila-queens09a

Floating heads: The lines/ballfolks at this week’s AEGON Championships (aka the Queen’s Club tourney in London) are decked out in Fila blue, matching the backdrop and the furniture of this Wimbledon warmup.

Goings on: Top seed Andy Murray is through to the round of 16 after beating Andreas Seppi in the second round. (Up next is Gigi Lopez.) Meanwhile, a record is on the line with the next match between Andy Roddick and Lleyton Hewitt; both have won this event four times in the last nine years — Hewitt in 2000-2002 and 2006; Roddick in 2003-2005 and 2007. Whoever wins that battle should end up in the finals and with a fifth Queen’s Club title.

And yes, we are saying that Murray will be in the final. (Maybe JC Ferrero?)

Browse: Tourney website here.

(image courtesy of Fila)

fashion focus: where he played second fiddle, so did roger’s clothes

June 9, 2009

No one expected Roger Federer to hoist that French Open trophy last weekend and it’s as if he dressed the part, staying back with a Classic Open Polo in blue and grey while the prince of clay, Rafa Nadal, pranced around in his pink Nike gear.

But a closer look shows us Roger’s actual intentions: bright orange accents in his wristband, under his monogrammed placket, and on that faaaabulous gym bag; a white/red warm-up; his sleek Rolex — as if he knew that there’d be a photo opp involving a certain trophy he had yet to see on his mantle… until now.

This guy is sneaky!

Buy: Nike Summer Classic Open Polo, Sterling Blue/Classic Charcoal, $65.

More: A closer look at the outfit — belt, shoes, fur, bag, tuxedo stripe down his shorts — all after the cut…

smokey… and smokin

June 8, 2009

She looks good, no? By the way, all the excitement that she couldn’t express immediately after her win was let out right here.

(image via Getty Images)

trophy watch: kuznetsova clears her head (and her mantle) for a second slam title

June 8, 2009

Pretty in pink: Svetlana Kuznetsova remained subdued on Court Philippe Chatrier after Dinara Safina double-faulted and handed her the 2009 French Open singles title. It wasn’t worth it for Sveta to rub the lopsided 6-4, 6-2 match in the face of her friend, who currently holds the world No. 1 ranking.

Apart from playing a worthy opponent — Kuznetsova gave her her only loss in 21 matches from Stuttgart through the French — Safina was also battling the pressure of the top spot and her nerves. “I was a little bit desperate on the court,” said Safina, who appeared to be fighting tears late in the 74-minute match and during the on-court trophy presentation.

During Sveta’s speech, she made sure to thank her former posse in Barcelona, who’ve since been replaced by a Moscow-based team headed by coach Larisa Savchenko. And in her post-match interview with Mary Carillo, she talked (like a seasoned veteran) about how a newfound outlook on her life has made her a better player. It has pretty much taken her five years to turn this around, and it has carried her to this, her second slam title. The biggest test of this new Kuznetsova is whether she can take this momentum into New York and win a second U.S. Open title.

Bonus round: Six-time French Open singles title winner Steffi Graf was on hand to present Sveta and Safina with their wares.

(images via Getty Images)

trophy watch: consider our interest piqued

June 8, 2009

Seeing this picture of Brendan Evans sent us on a hunt for info about the adorable American. Turns out he looks more like that squirrel from Ice Age. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.

Kidding aside, he gets our support for winning the singles title at the AEGON Trophy Nottingham. He beat Ilia Bozoljac 6-7, 6-4, 7-6. (pic)

(image via Getty Images)

don’t count out the flyover states

June 8, 2009


Props to Midwest Sports for picking up our need for practice tees. Many of you write TSF asking about retail info for what our favorite players wear as they train for a tourney. Usually, we have to scour specialty stores for the goods. But now this Ohio-based outfit is cutting out the middleman and bringing the shirts straight to the masses.

Buy: Nike Love PRS Tee, black/yellow, $28; Icons Sunburst, anthracite and heather grey, $35; NSW Summer Sportswear Tee, in anthracite, electrolime, and white, $35; Let’s Play, $20.

join us on twitter — TSFtennis

June 7, 2009

We’re now on Twitter, folks! Follow us: TSFtennis.


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