Archive for October, 2009

sunday (spooky) survey

October 31, 2009

robin-soderling-halloween

Happy Halloween, y’all! We hope you’re celebrating all weekend long!

If you’re dressing up for Halloween, send us your pics! We’d like to post our faves up, especially if they’re tennis-inspired. We’re thinking Robin Soderling as a Gladiator might be a good choice.

So we’re just wondering, what were YOU for Halloween?!

jankovic earned her fashion stripes

October 30, 2009

Not over yet: Serbian Jelena Jankovic could end her year on a high note — the rest of it hasn’t been the best (titles in Andalucia and Cincinnati; a finals appearance in Tokyo) — since she’s still jankovic earned her fashion stripesin the running for the 2009 Sony Ericsson Tour Championships, happening this week in Doha.

The tour’s final outing of 2009 brings out another outfit from the partnership between JJ and ANTA. This time, she let the fabric do the talking, staying away from complicated details and instead placing a monogram on the back of the pink wrap dress.

Scores: Jelena got shut down by Victoria Azarenka in their opening round robin, but rebounded with a win over Safina (well, Dinara withdrew with a back injury) and Caroline Wozniacki. In case you’re actually following the results…

(image via Getty)

elena’s little black dress

October 30, 2009

Elena Dementieva played in her eighth WTA Tour Championships — dating all the way back to 2000 — wearing a little black dress from Yonex. Way to show off those gams!

The Russian failed to make it out of the event’s round robin stage, winning her match against Venus Williams but losing to Serena and Kuznetsova.

Looking ahead: In the semis, Venus will play Jelena Jankovic and Serena will go up against Caroline Wozniacki. In doubles, the team of Cara Black/Liezel Huber will vie for a spot in the final, and Stosur/Stubbs will try to down the second-seeded Williams sisters. More: Scores here.

(image via Getty)

this is how you do it: doha edition

October 30, 2009

Tournament organizers in doubt about how to stage a draw ceremony can now use the 2009 SEWTA Tour Championships as a reference.

They dolled up the ladies, threw them in the Museum of Islamic Art, and snapped away. The results? Venus gets our vote for “Best Style”, Elena gets “Most Glam”, and we are all about Azarenka‘s big bow. (Is that you, Blake Lively?)

Who was your fave?

Up close: Pics of each lady after the cut.

(more…)

tgif: the wta does “most popular”

October 30, 2009

The WTA is a touring circus of high-school- and college-aged women. Fittingly, it’s ending the season yearbook style– with a voting of Most Popular on the tour.

The tour web site has launched a photo gallery of the “Top 20 Fan Favorites“. The gallery countdowns the 20 most popular players on the tour, according to the number of hits each player’s “re-launched page” has received.

While you’ll find familiar faces like Serena, Maria and Jelena in the Top 10, we were surprised at the number one billing, which went to US Open finalist Caroline Wozniacki. The likeable Dutch gal beat out Serena and Dinara Safina for top spot.

Meanwhile, Venus was not in the Top 10, landing at #11. Fellow American Melanie Oudin found herself at the sweet 16 position, though she recently turned the big 1-8 following her US Open run. Oudin is readying for her third Fed Cup appearance in next week’s final against Italy.

And it seems as though Sorana Cirstea’s unlucky fall continues. Or does it? She came in at #13, perhaps a sign to some  that the fall just hasn’t been kind to one of our tour faves. Or maybe, according to others, a turning of fortunes? We hope so. Cirstea went 0-6 to finish the year, winning just one set out of thirteen. She ends the year at number 43 in the world, after being ranked as high as 23rd in August.

short balls: andre admits, mary acts and dinara ditches

October 28, 2009

mary-wears-pearls

Doha Dust: The biggest news out of Doha today was that Dinara Safina withdrew from the event with a back injury. She was tied 1-1 in the first set with Jelena Jankovic when she pulled out, and now she is in doubt for the Australian Open in January. Let the debate begin… who had the more devastating end to the year: Safina or Ana Ivanovic? Too close to call.

Doha Dust (pt 2): The (good) news out of Doha today was the the Williams sisters put on another masterful show, Serena beating Venus 7-6 in the third set in what was a tense, tight battle, that included a saved match point. That ups Serena to 2-0 in round robin play, while Venus falls to 0-2 (she lost in three to Elena on day one).

Andre’s Book Deal is Crackin': There is plenty of buzz around the November 9th release of Andre Agassi’s autobiography, “Open: An Autobiography“. It was revealed yesterday that Agassi admits to using crystal meth in 1997 in the book, during the low point of his tennis career. It was also leaked today that the now-father talks of the abuse of his own dad. Gotta buy us a copy of that one, eh?

’10 Bucks: Things are looking good for the US Open come 2010. The year’s final Slam signed a partnership with the car company Mercedes-Benz to be the tournament’s presenting sponsor on the men’s side and the offish vehicle of the tourney. A lucrative deal like this one the Open struck with Mercedes is hard to come by these days, so a big thumbs up to the Flushing Meadows event and tennis in gengen. We’re so popular.

Mother Mary of the Silver Screen: The behind-the-camera maven was pleasantly hilarious in this mockumentary, which features comedian Paul Mecurio as a part of his web series for HBO Sports. “Our breasts would compromise our backswings.” Hil-ar, Mare. We loves it.

Good Angle: We also loved this writing, from TennisWeek.com this past week. Chris Oddo penned a lengthy piece on Juan Martin Del Potro being the tallest Grand Slam winner ever and how his rise to new heights might be a sign of bigger (and taller) things to come.

(screen grab via you tube.)

too soon?

October 27, 2009

maratsafin-thisisit

Is this really it? This fall the world will see the final performances of two very different showmen for two very different reasons. Because Halloween is a time to blur the line between good taste and bad and between reality and fiction, we bring you Marat Safin’s farewell tour. This Is It, folks. Whether we are talking about the King of Pop’s untimely demise or the end of Marat Safin’s supposedly unfilled career, we are all left with the same question: Too Soon?

(tsf illustration by troy venechanos)

in doha, serena has lipstick

October 26, 2009

serena-doha-lipstick

Don’t worry folks, Serena definitely bought a lipstick pack on the ground at Doha, you know she has to re-apply that stuff every few minutes! The world’s “second best player” fielded questions from the media prior to the tournament’s Tuesday start.

Check out the girls all glammed up here. UPDATE: Watch (awkward) video here.

sunday survey: your pick for doha

October 24, 2009

Another topsy, turvy WTA season has come to a close… well, almost. This coming week Doha will take place in all its glory, though it was recently voted by players as the 10th most important stop on the tour. Ouch. So much for that “5th Slam” status.

Last year’s finalist, the always-emotional Vera Zvonareva, was 9th in race points, and will miss an opportunity to play mind games with the high-ranking ladies of the tour the way she did a year ago (unless someone pulls out).

Speaking of possible puller-outers, Caroline Wozniacki will make her maiden appearance at the round-robin formatted stop, as will Victoria Azarenka. Dinara Safina arrives as the top points-winner, top seed and world number one, though it’s hard to imagine her confidence is bursting after the fall she’s had. Serena Williams is the number two seed, a position she usually thrives in.

So what do you think? Will Venus defend her crown? Can Serena end the year as number one in the world and win her first non-Slam tournament in 18 months? Will Caroline or Victoria surprise us all? Or do Jelena, Elena, Dinara or Sveta have what it takes to end their up-and-down seasons on a high note?

Leave your comment below and let us know just who you think will be the Doll of Doha.

Correction made 10/26.

tgif: doha already?! and two-faced funnies after the jump

October 23, 2009

Can you believe Doha starts next week?! We certainly can’t. The drama of the WTA has certainly followed the US Open; it seems this tour can’t live without it. Lasting just until the SECs are to begin, the drama lived on when another bizarre instance occurred in Luxembourg this week as Caroline Wozniacki pulled out of her first-round match leading 7-5, 5-0. Her reasoning? She was injured and wanted to let her opponent (hometown girl Anne Kremer) play in the next round, which Caro didn’t think she could do physically.

Good gesture, we say. Her reward? Accusations of throwing the match. Betfair politics. Tennis gambling. And an investigation, oh my! It also clunked her record to 3-4 since her inspiring run at Flushing Meadows. Ho hum.

Another US Open inspiree, Yanina Wickmayer, has had opposite fortunes since leaving NYC. She’s 6-1 on tour and is still in action in Luxembourg. A player to watch in 2010? We think so.

A writer we’re watching this week is Bobby Chintapalli, who penned the Doha preview for Peter Bodo’s TennisWorld. Not only did the BC come up with some solid and intriguing stats for the piece, we’re jealous of the made-up nickname used for the wave of Eastern European players of the WTA Tour: Mynameis Somethingpova.

Two snaps for Bobby, whose online writing profile says, “I love tennis. I love writing. I love cupcakes.” Well put BC, well put. Hungry now? Check out NYC’s “Best Cupcake” according to the Village Voice. 

And it wouldn’t be Friday without a little fun, this time in the form of a little Look-Alike action. Check the jump to see just who in tennis has a twin (or two) out there. (more…)

holiday james

October 22, 2009

James Blake will give New York tennis fans a reason to love winter come this December: indoor tennis. The Billie Jean King Cup tried to fill the void this past March left by the WTA Championships, and even got snow for their early-spring event. But Blake and his crew have scheduled an exhibition for December 1st at Pier 94, and you bet the winter winds send people inside as fast as a Blake forehand.

Blake’ll be joined by one Andy Roddick at the December event, along with what promises to be a host of New York celebrities and well-known faces. The exhibition, BackOffice Associates Serving For A Cure with James Blake will raise money for the cancer research fund in his father’s name, Thomas Blake, Sr., who passed away several years ago.

pier-94

It wont just be a Roddick-Blake tennis evening, the event will also include an after party that will feature a celebrity musical performance, a selection of food from a variety of high profile New York City restaurants, and fashion show featuring Blake’s new clothing a press release said.

That clothing line, the Thomas Reynolds Collection by Fila, will be on our radar after Fila threw a high-brow event this past August prior to the US Open. Here’s hoping to James walking the catwalk…

Tickets for the exhibition can be found a few places online, but check this link to nab your own for the mid-winter tennis fest.

(pier 94 photo by bsblacky via panoramio)

shoulder powder, be gone!

October 20, 2009

gasquet-shoulder-powder

Guilty or not, Richard Gasquet will have to shoulder the burden of his bizarre cocaine-positive test from this year for a long, long time. Leave it to his countrymen and their dry, quirky humor to make sure the former Top 10 player won’t forget such a thing in the near future.

TSF contributor Troy Venechanos sent me this video for my viewing pleasure and I had to share. Watch the hilarious faux commercial “Coke en Shoulders” after the jump. (more…)

short balls: drugs, retirees and juniors collide!

October 20, 2009

Drug-Ball-Newsclip 
A different ‘Drug Ball': We’re not talking tennis players ‘roiding up here, folks. More like the incarcerated using the most polite ball in sport do to the dirty work: import drugs. Tennis balls were found at a New Orleans jail that outsiders were throwing (hitting?!) over the fence to smuggle in drugs, hidden inside of the balls. Game, set, and catch, we guess.

Party like it’s 2003: Second seed and wild card Kim Clijsters defeated Meghann Shaughnessy at the Luxembourg Open today. As TSF contributor Troy Venechanos put it: “Clijsters defeated Shaughnessy? What year is this?!” It most certainly could have been 2003, the last year those two women met

More blasts from the past: Other tennis names from the past were most certainly filling the world’s sports web pages on Tuesday. Martina Hingis made it clear she was pulling no HingDavenKimHenin in the near future by ruling out the possibility of making a comeback to professional tennis. She cited her horses and home life as reasons to stay put. Meanwhile, Mats Wilander will no longer coach the Swedish Davis Cup team. Maybe it was due to such poor attendance at their spring tie? Just maybe.

Not to be left out, we dug up this video of John McEnroe being defaulted from a champion’s match last year in Newport. Talk about bringing the past to the present. And yes, we’re serious. Watch it. 

Small players, big deals: Junior female tennis players Kyra Shroff and Sloane Stephens made big news over the last week, respectively. Shroff, the 80th ranked junior in the world and a former student at Mahesh Bhupathi‘s tennis academy (is this girl an up-and-comer or what?! We’re not sure why she’s making headlines…) will be a brand ambassador for Nike Sportswear. Stephens, who has somewhat of a better noted history on and off the court, has been signed by BEST, a sports marketing company.BEST beat out Octagon and IMG, regulars in the tennis-rep realm.

The signing associates Stephens with another fresh American face, Melanie Oudin, and guarantees that Sloane, currently ranked 5th in the junior game, will play several SEWTA pro-level tournaments next year.

Rafa on the rise: Thought Rafa was popular? Not compared to gymnast Shawn Johnson. Forbes.com looks at athletes and their marketability (aka brand opportunity), and though Johnson didn’t earn gold at last year’s Olympics, she did come out on top of her fellow athletes in brand appeal. Rafa’s up there, but still has a ways to climb…

(screen grab via youtube.com)


nono bags first win since the french

October 20, 2009

Munchkin Watch: Two snaps for Arnaud Clement for snapping a six-match losing streak that dated all the way back to this year’s French Open. Now he’s into the second round of the IF Stockholm Open after defeating fifth-seed Andreas Beck 6-4, 6-2 — this, after successfully getting through qualifying and earning a spot in the main draw.

Buy: Clement’s wearing the Short Sleeve Solid Super Dry Lacoste polo in black. Check out all the colors (starting at $51.99) at lacoste.com.

(image via Getty)

the cutest barbed wire i have ever seen

October 19, 2009

The folks at Athletic DNA have given Aussie Peter Luczak a patriotic version of their Warrior tee (yes, we quiver in the face of all that barbed wire!). Unfortunately, this tough exterior was no match for the fresh Joachim Johansson, backed by his hometown crowd in their first-round battle at this week’s IF Stockholm Open.

Buy: Athletic DNA warrior tee, in white/grey, $49.95 at athleticdna.com.

(image via Getty)

pimpim primps: joachim’s new look at stockholm

October 19, 2009

No more Yawn-ex: It seems that Swede Joachim Johansson has switched from Yonex to the much more prim-and-proper Fred Perry.

He’s competing in this week’s IF Stockholm Open as a wildcard — only his second tourney of 2009 — and has won his first round match against Peter Luczak 7-5, 6-2. He next faces Juan Monaco.

Bits: The event’s top three seeds are Soderling, Haas, and Ferrero. See the draw here.

(image via Getty)

who wore it best goes east (and west)

October 19, 2009

Traditional1

As we learned from FierceTennis over the weekend, the ladies of the SEWTA love to play dress-up on tour. In Linz last week, the ladies got traditional in Austrian dirndls (dresses) for a lead-up event prior to the tournament. Meanwhile, on the eastern side of the globe in Osaka, the fashion was a bit more subdued in the form of a simple accessory: the flower pin.

WozyFlowerCloseUp

Check out all the fashion after the jump. And you tell us: who wore it best? (more…)

sunday survey: the doha dash

October 18, 2009

WTA-SECs

Which of the three SEWTAers can finally claim the final spot at the Season Ending Championships in Doha? This week, all three of the women still in contention – Jelena Jankovic, Verz Zvonareva and Agnieska Radwanksa – are playing in Moscow.

Who’s your pick to win the Doha dash?

Tell us what you think.

(photo by getty via wta web site)

tour of duty: irina davydenko

October 17, 2009

It wasn’t Bec Cartwright, Xisca Perello, Jelena Ristic, Mirka Federer, or Kim Sears cheering in the players’ box this week in Shanghai. Instead, it was Irina Davydenko‘s turn to fill airtime between points at the Shanghai ATP Masters tournament. The cameras would normally focus on the fans in the stands, but no one’s been showing up to the fill the cavernous, 15,000-seat Qizhong Stadium. Thankfully, the bejeweled Irina was up to the task, even occasionally staring up at the jumbotron and smiling when her mug’s been enlarged for the entire arena’s viewing consumption.

One last shift: her husband, Nikolay Davydenko, will be playing for the Shanghai singles title tomorrow against Rafael Nadal.

(image via Getty)

wickmayer in erke: one more

October 17, 2009

Yanina Wickmayer and Erke aren’t quite done showcasing the Chinese sportswear company’s women’s tennis attire. Yanina wore yet another tank during her semifinal upset of top seed Flavia Pennetta at the Generali Ladies Linz in Austria. The score: 7-6 (5), 6-3. Wickmayer will face Petra Kvitova in the finals. Kvitova upset second seed Agnieszka Radwanska 6-3, 6-2.

This third outfit (see first and second) keeps with the same teal color scheme, but adds asymmetrical color blocking on that right shoulder.

(image via Getty)


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: