Archive for September 22nd, 2009

short balls: falling for tennis

September 22, 2009

Edible-Tennis-Balls

Less than 10 days after the completion of the 2009 US Open the tennis world has tumbled into the fall season with another round of Davis Cup drama, the autumn scheduling kicking off in far-off places around the globe and, oh yeah- Justine Henin announcing her comeback to the WTA Tour.

We’ll have more on the JuJu come back in the near futch, but for now let’s get to the always-entertaining world of the off-court game of tennis in this weeks’ edition of Short Balls:

Picture This: One of TSF‘s fave delish dish of tennis gossip is served up by Sarah Thurmond of Tennis.com. This week Sarah focused on Serena, Melanie and Kimmie in her post, and linked to a great Life.com photo gallery of tennis stars kissing their trophy, inspired by world-beaters Clijsters and del Potro last week. Our fave? That rando shot from the girls doubles champs at Wimbledon ’07. Who did your editing, Life?!

Conquistadora Speaks: Remember Conchita Martinez? Well, she won Wimbledon in 1994, but somehow never conquered the French. The one-slam wonder and Spanish junk baller spoke to New Zealand journo Michael Burgess this week. What’s Conchita up to these days? Apparently sleeping in and eating brunch in Barcelona. Sounds good to us.

Sweet 16: Thanks to Randy Walker for noticing that twelve years ago Roger Federer made his debut on the ATP rankings at number 803 at the tender age of 16. What a difference a dozen can make, eh? His challenge numbers are pretty dismal, though, writes Paul Kedrosky in an NYT op-ed.

On the rise: We’re digging the new tennis site, OnTheGoTennis, a blog that features off-court news full of photos. Kudos to Rachel for putting it together – we know a winner when we see one.

Tasty video: We’re loving this mock video put together for Wilson edible tennis balls. Yum?

Shameless plug: We can’t help but mention our always-trendy and fashion-savvy friend, Erin, who’s running in a marathon in the not-too-distant future to support an elementary school being built in Africa. Sport and support mixed in one? We’ll plug that any day.

pushing puma

September 22, 2009

Puma-Subway

While Puma once had the most sought-after name in tennis – Serena Williams – the brand has recently all but disappeared from the tennis court. That doesn’t mean the brand has floundered into oblivion, however, as the company has launched a nationwide ad campaign that doesn’t feature any big-name athletes, but instead, fresh-faced (and oh-so-trendy) retail workers in what they’re calling “Employees Only“.

The campaign is plastered along subway stations all over New York City (above), and includes other sites nationwide. And while the brand may not be a Serena seller anymore, they may have the world’s most famous athlete on their side: Usain Bolt.

Bolt has pushed Puma back to its running roots, as the company once sponsored Olympic medalists throughout the 20th century. Their soccer presence has always been solid, anchored by the legendary Pele, and worn still today by clubs and players all over the world.

Long a running and soccer brand, Puma delved into tennis when Guillermo Vilas started wearing the brand in the ’70s. The Argentinian won three slams decked out in Puma gear, though the line never got much tennis notice outside of the big man from down south.

As recently as 2006, the company had Vilas Puma retro shoes, though they aren’t available on the web site anymore. (Can anyone verify they still sell the shoe?!?).

You may recall Puma and its infamous catsuit design they did for Serena at the 2002 Open. But as it turns out, the brand was leaving the sport with a bang when the younger Williams sister signed a contract with Nike the following year.

Can Puma push its way back into tennis? For now, we’re only left of sweet (and skin-tight) memories of the catsuit and the brand’s short-lived relationship with the sport of tennis.

Catsuit reminiscing? Check out the jump. (more…)

tennis: what’s not to love?

September 22, 2009

serena-williams-usopen09a

A shout-out to Nick for adding meat to this U.S. Open piece over at The National, which talks about how tennis has finally gone mainstream. And it’s true: before the year’s final major went viral with such classics as Federer‘s “best shot ever” and Serena‘s meltdown (YouTube gold, I tell ya!), our sport was being forwarded on in the form of Mikhail Youzhny‘s Soviet spazzfest.

Ladies and gents, we’ve arrived!

Read more: Tennis: What’s Not to Love? The National, September 17, 2009.


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