Archive for the ‘french open’ Category

tattoo watch: augustin gensse

May 24, 2011

Look at those calves! French qualifier Augustin Gensse didn’t make it past the first round of this week’s French Open. He fell to 14th-seed Stan Wawrinka 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 2-6. (Browse: See how the qualifiers made their way into the main draw)

TSF Vault: the TSF Tattoo Watch.

dunlop bounces back: “all balls aren’t created equal”

May 24, 2011

Odd man out: The new Babolat balls being used at this year’s French Open has gathered some buzz in the interview room, with players griping about their speed (faster) and heaviness (“harder”), and with Babolat responding that they haven’t noticed a difference. The issue’s more apparent since this is now the only major red clay tournament that doesn’t use Dunlop for balls (the FFT chose to end its relationship with Dunlop, instead choosing Babolat).

Now Dunlop’s chimed in to negate claims by the FFT that the ball specifications are exactly the same. “It is impossible to replicate our balls and we felt it was important to clarify this fact given the statement from the FFT and media interest in the matter,” said Barry Leach, Managing Director of Dunlop. Should the FFT decide they would like to provide the ball consistency that the players desire then we would welcome the opportunity to make it happen”.

Meanwhile, 117 people are dead after a tornado hit the city of Joplin, Missouri…

more moving and shaking: carillo joins tennis channel

May 12, 2011

As if we needed one more reason to restart our Tennis Channel subscription (since we got rid of our cable sports package during a “break” from blogging over the winter): first we had to twiddle our thumbs while that Nole/Nadal Madrid final was bowling everyone over (including Rafa!) and now it’s going to be the only place to hear the wacky commentary of Mary Carillo.

After ending her run with ESPN in 2010, she’s signed on with TC for both the French and U.S. Opens to work the tourney desk, conduct interviews, offer analysis, and occasionally handle play-by-play commentary during select matches. She’ll also get to do the human interest segments we’ve come to know her for. (What antics will she get into when they let her loose in Paris?)

For Roland Garros, Carillo’ll join a roster of on-air talent including John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova, Lindsay Davenport, Justin Gimelstob, and Corina Morariu. Mary will also work with Bill Macatee on “French Open Tonight.”

(screengrab by Nick via NBC)

mary, our lady of roland garrolupe

June 9, 2010

In case you missed our photoblog post of the French Open women’s trophy ceremony, TSF illustrator Troy Venechanos recaptured Mary, Our Lady of Roland Garrolupe floating down from her perch on the clouds to assist in the presentation of the trophies. She looks simply heavenly, doesn’t she?

(tsf illustration by troy venechanos)

live blogging the FO (men’s) final

June 6, 2010

5:39 PM 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 Game, set, match, Nadal I’m pretty happy for Rafa and that win. He definitely deserved it. Congrats, big guy.

5:24 PM 6-4, 6-2, 5-3 Nadal Time for the Robin Soderling to pull out the gladiator armor. He’s neeeeeeeeding it.

5:07 PM 6-4, 6-2, 3-1 Nadal No, we have no idea who the junior champions are, either. And so much for Bode Miller‘s U.S. Open bid. Kind of rough for the USTA‘s number one story line to flame out in the first round. McEnroe is really doing his best to verbally route for Sod to take this to four or five.

(more…)

photoblog: the trophy ceremony

June 5, 2010

We understand the photos might be low-quality, but we loved NBC‘s coverage of the trophy ceremony (the whole thing) and took advantage with some cell-phone camera action… let the comic commentary begin.

In case you missed it, Franny grabbed the mike a second time to make sure that she gave props to Mary, the Queen Mother of All Tennis.

Alicia Molik was in Stosur‘s box for the match. She displayed the sort of emotion that Sam had on court during the ceremony: sad and near-tears. Chin up, Mollie.

Remember that suggestion from the live blog about a spin-off Jersey Shore reality show starring Franny and The Fanatics?! Here’s your perfect promo poster…

Kiss that clay, Francesca. It’s all yours.

One more awkward group shot. Oh, how graceful Mother Mary is.

(crappy photos by tsf)

live blogging the FO finals

June 5, 2010

4:56 PM, Game, set and match, Schiavone 6-4, 7-6 (2) Well big props to Schiavone for closing out the match like she did. We really dig the whole kissing-the-clay thing. Upping Guga‘s classic heart by making love to the clay with your mouth, not your racket.

4:41 PM, Schiavone leads 6-4, 6-all There is now the potential for this thing to turn into a high-quality, dramatic three-set affair. Could the WTA actually see its saviors in the games of these two relative unknowns? It’s been dang fun to watch such good tennis for two sets and 90 minutes thus far. I’m also digging the extra-cheesy Geico and Billie Jean King commercial.

4:29 PM, Schiavone leads 6-4, 4-all Stosur is tightening up here as the Italian has won the last three games to even up the second set. Can we see the first three-set women’s final since 2001?

4:07 PM, Schiavone leads 6-4, 1-2 Loving the NBC editors for their choice of exit-out music for commercials, so far including the SATC2 theme song, Beyonce and Britney. Diva music for two non-divas.

Meanwhile, we’re thinking that the Franny Faithful would make a great Jersey Shore spin-off. The hair! The muscles! The sunglasses! Stosur has nothing on these boys.

3:57 PM, Schiavone wins first set 6-4 (Good news!) Schiavone is playing with heart and (bad news!) Stosur is playing with the weight of the world on her shoulders. Let’s see if a clean court can give Sammy a clean conscience. (BEST news!) Mary Pierce sighting in the first row of the far side of the court. Like a summer bride, she’s wearing all white.

(more…)

semifinalists and the city

June 3, 2010

Sam Catrall, Jelena Nixon, Elena Jessica Parker and Francesca Davis take the streets of Paris for the French Open semifinals. Only, Jelena forgot to change out of her playing outfit for a night out on the town. Rightfully so, Elena Jessica is pissed.

(tsf illustration by troy venechanos)

tsf podcast: week one’s worth

May 31, 2010

That’s Troy and me flanking Erwin today at Roland Garros. You can tell all three of us are in deep thought of what we’re going to say on the podcast. Good thing Troy and I slipped into the women’s bathroom to covertly record while Erwin was forced to watch mixed doubles. (Getty picture via Yahoo! Sports)

TSF Podcast French Open Wk 1

sunday survey: halfway there

May 30, 2010

Did a change of outfits do in Venus’ chance at a French title? (Getty photo via Yahoo! Sports)

We’re halfway done with the 2010 edition of the French Open and both the men’s and women’s draws are shaking out to ready for an entertaining week two. We took a collection of our biggest surprises from Week One and wanted you all to let us know what you thought was the shock of the tourney thus far.

short balls: trench foast

May 27, 2010

Well, day five of the French Open is already underway and you’ve got to be thankful for a little Grand Slam reprieve in your life! I know I am! It really is a blast to have all those scores coming in and matches to pay attention to.

Victoria Azarenka and Dinara Safina didn’t pay too much attention to their respective matches, and they were the only big (big) names to crash out in the first round of the tournament. Andy Roddick, Andy Murray and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga all survived five-set encounters to move on to round two.

If you were wondering about the Roland Garros poster, the New York Times Straight Sets blog has the nitty gritty from Pakistani-born Indian artist Nalini Malani, who designed it this year. I’ve gotta say it’s something I always look forward to – seeing what sort of art the French will include for their home slam. And if you’ve done a little digging on the Roland Garros web site, you’re probably a fan of My Little Roland Garros, under the Event Guide. Plenty of fun (TSF-inspired?!) stuff happening in there.

Laura Robson might be skipping out on the French this year (smart choice, we think), but the British gal isn’t skipping out on the opportunity to make good of her recent rise to stardom. She has partnered with Right to Play, a non-profit that encourages youth to take up sports as a way to community building and improved confidence. Robson is doing plenty with the project, including wearing the RTP wristband at Wimbledon and asking her fans to design what style she will wear during this year’s U.S. Open.

New York City is hosting the second annual Kicking and Screening film festival June 1-5 in honor of all things soccer on the screen. Good timing with the World Cup kicking off on June 6. We love to see such collaboration between art and sport, and the festival is just that: over five days ten films will be shown including an already-sold out day five. To add to the visual appeal, the organizers have booked a freestyle juggling group called FreestyleSoccer to wow the crowds on June 3.

Read more short balls after the jump and see the Right to Play image featuring Laura Robson. (more…)

she who walks on water

May 25, 2010

At age 39, it’s less surprising to see Kimiko Date Krumm beat Dinara Safina in the first round of Roland Garros 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 than it is to see her walk on water. Those are some winning abs, too! (Getty photo.)

early discussion: aravane the streaky

May 24, 2010

Canadian sports writer Stephanie Myles has a great anecdote on yesterday’s El Tabakh-Rezai match on Centre Court. (Screen grab via Twitter.)

We don’t do too much in-depth, let’s-talk-about-the-tennis coverage here on TSF, but every once in awhile it’s a healthy practice just us TSFers to dive into and we’re pretty sure you get a kick out of us trying to sound like we know what we’re talking about.

I’ve had high hopes for many a players on the WTA Tour, especially those with such salacious backgrounds. You know who I’m talking about: the Jelena Dokic‘s and Melanie Oudin‘s of the world. To me, there is nothing better than a mid-ranked player making a run for her country at her home Slam with the crowd (and the world) cheering her on. It’s something unique about women’s tennis that you can’t quite find elsewhere, and though it rarely happens, when it does it is purely magical.

Last year, two such runs captured the attention of tennis fans as Dokic and Oudin made respective runs to the quarterfinals at their home Slams. The back stories were mostly inspiring and the chance for us to ride with them on their incredible journey felt refreshing and new in a women’s tennis tour that can often feel like another tattered episode of Beverly Hills 90210.

At the French Open, it has been a while since such a run has been made. A decade ago, Mary Pierce finally capped off a tumultuous Roland Garros record by winning the title over Conchita Martinez, and she surprisingly made a run to the finals in 2005, taking out Lindsay Davenport along the way before being humbled by one Justine Henin in the title match.

So this year, as Aravane Rezai makes her march through the women’s draw, she cannot do so as a dark horse. Her win two weeks ago in Madrid was a dazzling display of Pierce-like Big Babe tennis, where she hit through the likes of Henin, Jelena Jankovic and Venus Williams. The thing about Rezai seems to be that she really can hit through her opponents with little regard (unlike Oudin) but also has her head squarely screwed on after five years on tour (unlike Dokic).

Her history is that of a Dokic-Pierce storybook, chalk full of stories of an over-involved father and threats of playing for a different country (Iran) and spats with the French Tennis Federation. Perhaps such histories have plagued girls on the WTA in the past, but if Rezai continues to play with the resolve she showed Sunday in a 6-1, 6-1 drubbing of Canada’s Heidi El Tabakh, then the French could get their first home-grown story line in quite a while.

Amelie Mauresmo could never quite enjoy her experience at Roland Garros because of her distaste for the pressure of the French. But to watch the powerful strokes of Rezai is something special. Few players are not physically intimidated by the Williams sisters, but Rezai can go toe-to-toe with them in a baseline brawl, and if she doesn’t suffer from the Frozen Foot Syndrome that plastered Pierce’s feet to the clay in the 2005 final against Henin, she has a legit shot at being a threat for this tournament.

Like peers Sania Mirza and Shahar Peer, Rezai makes the internationalization of women’s tennis feel more enlightening. And though she can be a streaky player, Rezai seems to be enlightened herself by the journey thus far, something that could prove vital for a shot at Roland Garros glory: “When you play tennis, you make sacrifices to reach that level so this pressure, you like it, it comes with the reward.”

A reward next Saturday for Rezai? First she has to get past Angelique Kerber, a player who drubbed her at this year’s Aussie Open.

timeless faces

May 23, 2010

When I used to blog over at Tennis Chatter, Troy did incredible work for me in the Photoshop department. Well, I’m glad I’ve corralled him to be a part of what we do at TSF, because he’s plain brilliant. This TIME cover features a soccer-playing Rafa, a dapper Roger and the one and only Lady JuJu. She might be able to hold court with Justine Spears, a good friend from our Chatter days.

(more…)

sunday survey: your champs in pah-ree

May 23, 2010

Well the 2010 edition of Roland Garros has already begun and there’s a few upsets to speak of (Victoria Azarenka, Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez!) on the opening Sunday. I’m surprised that Svetlana Kuznetsova worked her way past Sorana Cirstea so easily (3 and 1) and both Robin Soderling and Aravane Rezai have opened their Paris campaigns in convincing fashion.

So before the draws take too much shape, post your picks for the men’s and women’s champion at this year’s second Slam. It’s going to be a wonderful one, right? I can’t wait!

(screen grab via roland garros web site)

short balls: paris says au revior to the french?

March 23, 2010

Once little-confirmed rumors have reached the top of tennis’s tier, as this week the tournament director for the French Open said that there is a good chance that the tournament might say good bye to its current grounds inside the Paris city limits because of future growth plans. A bigger tourney means a new place? We’re not sure if we like that.

Tennis. It’s healthy. The USPTA, the professional organization of tennis teaching pros, announced a re-design of tennis-health.com. Though the layout doesn’t threaten the design of today’s top pro’s sites, we’ve gotta hand it to the folks at the USPTA for their continued commitment to health and tennis. Forgot tennis was a lifelong sport? Shame on you!

Partytown, USA. We’re sad to be missing a barrage of parties this week in Miami that are happening in line with the Sony Ericsson Open. FILA‘s Friday Night bash will be most missed on our calendar, along with their fashion show on Saturday. There’s two mixology sessions that have our mouths watering. Best we get to Miami for some fashion and drinks (and yes, some tennis!), next year.

So Long, Butch. The founder of what is known today as the Sony Ericsson Open, Butch Bucholz, is retiring from his position as chairman of the event after nearly three decades with the event, which many called tennis’s “Fifth Major”.

Missing Serena? Venus is there. Venus Williams will be the lone sister in Miami competing for the family. She takes a ten-match win streak into the tournament. Her last loss came to Li Na at the Australian Open.

(photo via getty images)

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…

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)


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