Archive for June, 2010

fans’ POV: the weird women’s wimby semis

June 30, 2010

Even for avid tennis fans, the Wimbledon women’s semifinal line-up evokes a certain amount of confusion. “Puh-ronk-oh-va?” “Pet-rah Kee-vote-who?”

In Tuesday’s quarterfinals at the All England Club, winners were expected to be named Williams or Clijsters, but only was that the case in a single of three matches, as Venus Williams went down in straight sets and Kim Clijsters lost in three.

Serena Williams held up her end of the bargain, beating Li Na of China in her match, the same player that took out her sister Venus in the quarterfinals at the Australian Open this year. Unknown Petra Kvitova came through in her match against Kaia Kanepi, 8-6 in the third set.

Women’s tennis has a history with unknown semifinalists, though few compare to what will take place on Thursday at the All England Club in London. Earlier this month, Francesca Schiavone and Samantha Stosur surprised all by making the semifinals (and then the finals) at Roland Garros, and earlier this year it was Na who beat Venus Williams while countrywoman Jie Zheng earned a final-four birth in Melbourne, as well.

Tsvetana Pironkova and Petra Kvitova are the least known of the bunch, much like Belgian Yanina Wickmayer was unknown in her march to the semifinals of last year’s U.S. Open.

Here’s a few thoughts from TSF followers on what exactly the Wimbledon semifinals mean for women’s tennis as a whole, TV ratings, business, the future and all that jazz:

I think all this means now is that Serena’s got an easy path to the title.  She clearly looks the most dominant, and she’s the only one of the four that’s even been to a Grand Slam final before.  I think if it were a situation of four unknowns, we’d get a Roland Garros re-do, but to me this just seems to clear the road for Serena to win. She also has that intimidation factor that could put a stop to any streaking player that otherwise has the momentum. Chances are, if Serena can get past her semifinal match (which she should), it’ll be a pretty boring final.  My pick: Serena takes the title easily in straight sets. –Hilary Scurlock, Co-Editor, Strawberries & Scream

As great as it is these lesser known/ranked players are having the tournament of their lives (and of most player’s lives) NBC has to be fuming because of potential ratings drops.  We could be seeing a lot of Isner/Mahut re-aired that day. Maybe if Zvonareva makes it to the finals they’ll do some soap opera story line about her crying and decombusting all the time.  It was just last year that Zvonareva won Indian Wells and made it to #5 in the world … can she get back up there?

As for the other girls, I know Pironkova had upset Venus at a grand slam some years ago [the 2006 Australian Open].  She beat Dementieva in Warsaw R16 earlier this year. At least with the French we had a storyline with the veteran Schiavone and the hot up and comer (even though she’s not a rookie) Stosur.  I think with Schivone and Stosur, while not the “biggest” names in the sport, they are established names with signifant wins under their belt. –Christopher Phillips, Contributing Writer, TSF
(more…)

we change our mind

June 29, 2010

Instead of all that stuff, we’ll just take one order of this guy.

Buy: Wimbledon Authentic Laurel Print T-Shirt, £20.00, wimbledon.org.

(image via wimbledon.org)

tsf picks from the rest of the wimbledon store

June 29, 2010

The rest: Towels aside, there are some fun finds at the 2010 Wimbledon e-store, including some intriguing items like throw pillows and bedding. If you’re willing to drop a few pounds (sorry, it never gets old!) here are some recommendations:

TSF picks: (top row, left to right) Strawberry socks, £6.00; Faux Silk Cushion, £20.00; Turquoise travel bag, £15.00; (middle row:) Classic Distressed Racquets T-Shirt, £23.00; Polo Ralph Lauren Wimbledon 10 Jersey T-Shirt, £45.00; Boy’s Print T-Shirt, £16.00; (bottom row:) Polo Ralpy Lauren Diagonal Stripe Polo, £100.00; Tennis Shorts, £33.00; Polo Ralph Lauren Big Pony Mesh Polo (in Empire Purple), £85.00.

(screengrabs via shop. wimbledon.org)

bury the hatchet or fuel the flame?

June 29, 2010

It has just been announced that this coming February’s BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden — in 2010 an event contested by Venus, Ana Ivanovic, Kim Clijsters, and Sveta Kuznetsova — will this time feature Agassi, Sampras, Lendl, and McEnroe in a renewal of their classic rivalries.

John and Ivan will play a one-set pro match (first to eight) and the Agassi/Sampras matchup will be a best-of-three. TSF’s curious to see how the latter will pan out, especially in light of Andre’s malfunction at Indian Wells this year. (Hey, if Kournikova and Hingis can kiss and make up, why can’t these two?)

But not to take away from the event’s a noble cause: to bring awareness to our sport through the “Tennis Night in America” initiative, a collaboration between BNP Paribas and the USTA.

Info: For more info about the event, to be held on February 28, 2011, visit tennisshowdown.com.

practice makes perfect: the men get ready for the quarterfinals

June 29, 2010

The men are set up for their quarterfinal match-ups at this year’s Wimbledon; the final eight still include the top four seeds. (Draw: Men’s Singles.) See their practice pics after the cut…

boldly going where no woman has gone before

June 29, 2010

The 2010 Wimbledon women’s semifinals now set: it’s Serena against Kvitova and Zvonareva (d. Clijsters!) against Pironkova (d. Venus!!!!!!!!!!!).

I once thought about bedazzling a band-aid to put on my eyebrow (after I took out a piercing). I never went through with it, but Serena’s nails are making me think about the lack of Swarovski in my home medical kit.

(image via Getty Images)

rafa gets called out for on-court coaching

June 28, 2010

Rafael Nadal‘s been having a tough time at this year’s Wimbledon: his knees have been acting up (credit to Philipp Petzchner, but that match might not have gone to five had Nadal been injury-free) and he was given a warning during that match for communicating with his coach (and uncle) Tony. Fortunately, he righted that ship in his fourth-rounder against Paul-Henri Mathieu, which he won 6-4, 6-2, 6-2. Unfortunately, he next faces Robin Soderling, his opponent in the finals of Roland Garros last month — and a man known to get under his skin. (Nadal/Soderling head-to-head). Draw: See the men’s draw here.

Varsity bluesoranges: Nike chose to accent Rafa’s gear with a shade of orange they call “Light Wild Mango”. We had higher hopes than the sporty v-neck tee they put on him, but they made up for it by topping off his white duds with that ginormous all-white Race Day duffel. LOVES.

Buy: Nike Rush and Crush Rafa Graphic Tee, $30; Vamos Lawn Crew Men’s Tee, $65; Knit Tennis Jacket, $90; Shorts, $60; Courtballistec 2.3 Men’s Shoe, $120; nike.com.

(images via Getty Images)

caro lost in the frill

June 28, 2010

Save for being a British buzz word now that she’s the mascot to Stella McCartney‘s adidas line (and becoming collateral damage in Serena‘s complaints about a royal snubbing), Wimbledon third seed Caroline Wozniacki has gone unnoticed in this past week of play at Wimbledon.

And she bowed out quietly in the fourth round, with Petra Kvitova needing only 46 minutes (and surrending only two games) in a match that sets up the Czech with Kaia Kanepi in the quarters (Draw: Women’s Singles). It also didn’t help that Caro’s dress looked flat next to the ones worn by her top-tier counterparts.

We hope she figures it all out in time for the North American hardcourt swing, when she can rack up points until her New Haven title win and her U.S. Open finals appearance come knocking on her door.

Buy: adidas by Stella McCartney Tennis Performance dress, alloy, $105, adidas.com. (FYI: The dress is now only available in the grey color she wore in Melbourne.)

(image via Getty Images)

roddick, out!

June 28, 2010

Asian men, represent!: In one of the biggest upsets so far in the 2010 tournament, the 82nd-ranked Yen-Hsun Lu beat Andy Roddick — last year’s finalist — 4-6, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4), 6-7 (5), 9-7. Each man’s serve was broken only once during the match. Lu next faces Novak Djokovic. (Draw: Men’s Singles)

Same shirt, different day: The dejected Andy, who attributed his loss to three sets of “horrendous” play, is in the same Lacoste polo he wore in Melbourne earlier this year.

(images via Getty Images)

shirtless: no animals were hurt in the making of this tennis match

June 28, 2010

Too bad we can’t say the same about Nole‘s Tacchini clothes.

The Serb, seeded third at this year’s Wimbledon, dropped a set against Lleyton Hewitt before booking his place in the quarters, where he’ll play the winner of the Lu/Roddick match. (Speaking of, Roddick lost the second and third set in tiebreaks… yikes.)

Draw: See how the final eight are shaping up here.

(image via Getty Images)

(sunday) survey: a better day in tennis?

June 28, 2010

As Geoff MacDonald notes on the NYT’s Straight Sets tennis blog, today is a good day to be a tennis fan. We’d have to agree. And if you’re a smart tennis fan, you’v efigured out someway to get out of the Monday work day to take in all 16 fourth round encounters on the men’s and women’s sides of the draw. Already there have been surprises (Wozniacki and Jankovic win a combined three games in their respective matches) and the eye-popping match ups seem to be producing (Henin/Clijsters, Serena/Maria, Hewitt/Djokovic, Murray/Querrey).

So here’s our survey question for the week (day): In the last year, has there been a better day to be a tennis fan? Enlighten us in the comments section…

(photo by getty images via yahoo! sports)

those JJ bags: for now, only in serbia

June 27, 2010

(Off to enjoy my middle Sunday by taking in the Buena Vista Social Club and Goldfrapp at the Hollywood Bowl. Get some rest for that action-packed Monday!)

Jelena Jankovic is quietly through to the fourth round of this year’s Wimbledon. She had to face Robson, Wozniak, and only gave up three games against Alona Bondarenko. Jelena’s next opponent is Zvonareva and potentially a Belgian (it’s Henin vs. Clijsters) in the quarters. Draw: Women’s singles [pdf]

ANTA‘s been doing a good job outfitting their ladies (Janks and Zheng Jie) with some cute warm-ups, include this one with the cropped sleeve and oversized collar (it’s been done, but we’ll never tire of it). And like the rest of the top ladies, the ruffles on Jelena’s dress look wonderful and perform well during match play. They even look great when she’s sitting idle during a medical timeout.

For your eyes only: Jelena’s racquet and gym bags are from her line. We got to see another set — bedecked with bows — from earlier this year, at Indian Wells. (Check out the close-ups we took in the gallery below.) During one of Jelena’s matches, we spoke with Snezana, who was carrying a purse from the JJ line, and she mentioned that the bags are currently just available in Serbia (Marija, have you seen these around?). Oh wells, I’m sure the Floridians will eat this up when the Jankovics are ready to expand stateside.

(images via Getty Images; photos of bag close-up by TSF)

wimbledon blues

June 27, 2010

James Blake debuts new pieces from his Fila Thomas Reynolds line; Philipp Petzschner, who played two amazing sets against Rafa Nadal before losing his third-round match in five sets, wears Erke; Lukas Lacko in Diadora.

(images via Getty Images)

strawberries and cream

June 27, 2010

While there are crazier things going on across la Manche, the ATPers are doing their part to hold up Wimbledon’s end of the fashion bargain. It’s not quite like the noisemakers of years’ past — with Federer et al embroiled in more serious tennis matters (like premature five-setters and faulty knees) — the military jackets and the dress pants were all left at home. Still, others are stepping up to play with the event’s strict, all-white dress code.

Left to right: Gilles Simon in adidas Barricade Collection; Florent Serra in Wilson; Jarkko Nieminen in Asics.

(images via Getty Images)

oh, mirka!

June 27, 2010

Tennis wives …and girlfriend: As we move into the second week, the roster of glam wives and gfs are still intact, with Mirka Vavrinec, Kim Sears, Bec Hewitt, and Brooklyn Decker rooting for their respective men.

Hewitt still in it: We were convinced that the grueling match between Lleyton Hewitt and Gael Monfils resulted in an upset (yes, we are that cynical), but the 15th-seed (and former champ) won in three sets and will face Nole Djokovic in the fourth round.

Mirka recycles: On Mirka’s an old-school shoulder bag from Louis Vuitton‘s Antigua collection. Husband Federer barely broke a sweat against Nono Clement. He next plays 2010 French Open semifinalist Jurgen Melzer.

Brooklyn relaxes: Mrs. Roddick already has her major title of 2010 in the bag, so now it’s Andy’s turn to produce. He’s up against the sleeper Taiwanese player Yen-Hsun Lu in the round of 16.

Kim steps up: With all eyes on her boyfriend (even the Queen!), Sears has done a good job of mixing up her outfits worn to watch Murray play: off-the-shoulder black for the warm-up against Jan Hajek; a floral print dress for the second round against Nieminen; a big colorful necklace for the third-rounder with Gilles Simon.

Draw: See the 2010 Wimbledon Men’s Singles Draw here.

(images via Getty Images)

sharapova’s wimbledon

June 26, 2010

Maria Sharapova has secured her place in the second week of Wimbledon 2010 by beating Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 7-5, 6-3. Her opponent in the Round of 16: Serena. We can’t wait!

With no options for wacko color combos like in Melbourne and at Roland Garros, Nike played with the construction of Masha’s Lawn Women’s tennis dress, pulling the same petal theme that’s worked Maria in past outings up to the bust. To complement her long frame, they threw on a cropped warm-up blazer. Maria rounds everything out with a Cole Haan satchel with the grey snakeskin handles and gold hardware.

Speaking of hardware, Tiffany‘s provided her with the $1,500 sterling silver version of Elsa Peretti’s Diamond by the Yard drop earrings. Detail pic below in the gallery.

Buy: Lawn Women’s Tennis Dress, $120, nike.com; Elsa Peretti Diamonds by the Yard Sterling Silver earrings, $1,500, tiffany.com; Prince Sharapova Collection Racquet bag in Rose/Grey/White, more info at Prince; Cole Haan info not available at posting time.

(Sharapova images via Getty Images; earrings image via tiffany.com)

vogue: amp up the tennis in your closet

June 26, 2010

The British edition of Vogue, clearly with Wimbledon on its mind, offers a list of pieces to step up the tennis look in your closet (with pieces from Gant, Lacoste, and Ralph Lauren).

(screengrab from vogue.com.uk)

sa watch 2010 – wimbledon 2010

June 26, 2010

Andre Sa and his partner Vera Zvonareva beat hometown faves Jamie Murray and Laura Robson 6-3, 6-3 in the first round of mixed doubles (that’s the way to endear yourself to the Brits, right?).

FYI, he and partner Huss are out of men’s doubles; they lost lost to Aussies Ball and Gooch.

with drama-filled week 1, bravo mulls wimbledon reality show

June 25, 2010

OK, so that’s not true! But it could be, right? With five days gone from the 2010 edition of Wimbledon, the dramatic scripts have been writing themselves. We brainstorm a few pilots to pitch to our friends over at Bravo. Forget the Tennis Channel, we’re going big time!

An Epic Encounter
Starring John Isner and Nicolas Mahut
This one is pretty simple: basically each 30-minute episode is 30 minutes from the gent’s now-famous match, the longest in tennis history. That’s at least two seasons of tennis bliss, and all the drama is built-in. Character development revolves around Isner‘s down-home Southern charm (his mom will obviously give testimonials), while Mahut‘s fierce, always-in-place hair will leave make-up and styling costs at zero dollars. Plot twists: Two sunsets approaching with quick feet; a language barrier; and a chair umpire who has had to use the bathroom for almost 7 episodes.

When the Queen Comes
Starring The Queen, Serena Williams, Andy Murray and all of England
The royalty comes to Wimbledon! Watch as the media pepper players with more questions about their off-court curtsy and bows than forehands and follow throughs. Serena must find her way through the maze of the All England Club bureaucracy to find a place on Centre Court, while Andy bites his nails to the nubs with nerves over the appropriate handshake. Plot twists:
Jelena Jankovic ends up wearing the same color as the Queen to the meet and greet; the Queen’s hat wreaks havoc on Tim Henman‘s tennis-watching; and Caroline Wozniacki wakes the Queen from a nap with a booming overhead sparking a monarchy controversy between the Danes and the Brits.

Two more brilliant show ideas after the cut.

(more…)

we want: wimbledon’s 2010 towels

June 25, 2010


Wave Beach Towel, £18.00, 76x152cm


Juice

Beach Towel, £18.00, 76x152cm

More: See the three players towels (the ladies get a pink and a red version) after the cut…


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: