Archive for the ‘journalism’ Category

cnbc on nadal’s “wardrobe malfunction”

January 26, 2009

We had a chance to weigh in on Rafael Nadal‘s new Nike look when CNBC’s Darren Rovell put it under the business microscope.

So did the sports giant make the right move with this sartorial switch? Rovell thinks so. In fact, it’s the only way to make their relationship with this tennis thoroughbred financially viable.

Read: See the entire post at CNBC.com.

indian wells sightings: bud collins chats with charlie pasarell

March 26, 2008

Bud Collins and Charlie Pasarell in Indian Wells 2008

Unfortunately giving fodder for the argument that we don’t care about our elders (or the old), there was a sparse crowd at this casual chat between Bud Collins and Charlie Pasarell on the first weekend of the Pacific Life Open. (Pasarell, a former pro, is the tournament’s ATP director.)

As expected, Bud was in full regalia: green polo under a pink knit sweater paired with a pair of coral blue pants with big teal polka dots. Yowza.

For my fellow triviaphiles: The newest edition of The Bud Collins History of Tennis: An Authoritative Encyclopedia and Record Book will drop on June 1. You can pre-order if you wish.

(photo by Erwin)

short balls: seles is done, srichaphan is back, bricker is hopeful, the shirt is not for sale

March 26, 2008

Monica Seles - Dancing with the Stars elimination

Nick called it: Monica Seles and magician Penn Jillette were the first two to be eliminated on Dancing with the Stars this season.

Merger mania: The Sun-Sentinel‘s Charles Bricker keeps his fingers crossed for a merger between the ATP and the SEWTA.

Srichaphan’s last attempt? The powers that be have called on Paradorn Srichaphan to represent his country in the upcoming Davis Cup tie, and he’s said yes. The former world No. 9 is finally ready to play after a 14-month wrist injury layoff (and honeymoon). Srichaphan will make one more attempt at staying healthy. If he’s injured again, he’ll likely retire. (Xinhua)

The shirt is not for sale: Those of you jonesing for that grey adidas (“A. Dassler, State”) tee that the pros have been training in won’t be able to find it in stores (adidas made a very limited run for their VIPs).

Cry some more: Watch this animated and moving video about founder Adi Dassler.

And when you’re done… To lift your spirits, check out the latest adidas Originals pieces. Some of those windbreaker/track jackets are effin gorgeous!

trophy watch: one of the year’s best trophies gets doled out yet again

March 24, 2008

Ana Ivanovic - Indian Wells 2008Ana Ivanovic - Indian Wells 2008

Ana Ivanovic made quick work of Svetlana Kuznetsova in their final match at Indian Wells. (The scoreline: 6-4, 6-3.) Ana took home the $332,000 purse, a bracelet from Jeffrey Scott Fine Magnetics, and that cute humpback whale trophy. Kuznetsova, meanwhile, took home $163,000.

Novak Djokovic - Indian Wells 2008Novak Djokovic - Indian Wells 2008

Novak Djokovic proved that he’s currently the best men’s tennis player in the world by taking his first Indian Wells title. He beat the en fuego Mardy Fish who, before Sunday, had beaten Roger Federer, David Nalbandian, Lleyton Hewitt, and Nikolay Davydenko in this tournament.

There were a few close calls (and Nole started to self-destruct), but the Serb pulled it together in the end for a 6-2, 5-7, 6-3 win. Props to Mardy for a good two weeks. I can live without his basketball shorts, though. Also: cover your ankles, and stop shaving your legs!

Novak Djokovic - Indian Wells 2008Novak Djokovic - Indian Wells 2008

Nole took home a $555,000 paycheck while Mardy raked in $277,500.

Their humps: “The Pacific Promise” Perpetual Trophy is 30 inches tall. It’s a replica of an 18-foot sculpture of a mother humpback whale and her calf. The original resides in Pacific Life’s main office in Newport Beach, Calif. The sculpture was created by artist Randy Puckett, who’s known for his whale work.

More: See more pictures from the men’s and women’s finals, plus photos from the doubles finals, after the cut…

sampras and federer duke it out at the garden

March 11, 2008

Pete Sampras, Roger Federer, Billie Jean King

Mano a mono: It’s already in the running for Most Overanalyzed Meaningless Tennis Match in History, but Bonnie D. Ford makes no apologies for chiming in. Roger Federer beat Pete Sampras 6-3, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (6).

Roger Federer, Pete Sampras, both in Nike

Fashion: We enjoyed the revival of Roger’s tuxedo look (from last year’s U.S. Open), and we were ecstatic that Pete finally came out with a new look. As of Saturday, while playing an exo against Todd Martin in Columbus, he was still wearing a style from 10 months ago.

Tick tock: How appropriate that Roger came out wearing a Rolex (which he has endorsed since 2006). Is he counting down his time at the top?

In case you missed it: Roger’s lackluster play in 2008 (no titles for him so far) was attributed to some food poisoning before Kooyong, and also to mono. He keeps himself relatively injury-free, but you can’t really escape the microscopic things, I guess. (Read a letter from Roger to his fans addressing his illness.)

And perhaps we’re all just suffering from a little too much Roger. (Even fan club prez Anna Wintour was seen with another athlete — gasp! — LeBron James.)

The rest push back: He wasn’t even doing so well with the media, who’ve tried to bait his peers to comment on his observation of Andy Murray‘s game after losing to the Scot in Dubai.

Murray wouldn’t get into it. Nole: “Murray has a great style and talent and knows how to play at any one moment… Roger doesn’t like it when you get a lot of balls back against him.” Nadal:: Murray “is getting very good results with his style and if you are doing well why do you have to change?”

Junior Ore, Dennis Kudla

Warm-up: Jordan and I had a talk the other day about who would be picked to play the warm-up match before the NetJets Showdown. Jordan was hoping Donald Young or someone like that. Instead, the audience got treated to Denis Kudla and Junior Ore. Ore says Marcelo Rios is his idol. That’s pretty awesome; you don’t hear Rios mentioned that much anymore. (Tennis Week via Zoo Tennis)

Pete Sampras - Roger Federer - Press Conference

Another: Here’s a photo from the press conference for the exhibition.

know your tennis mothers: dragana ivanovic

January 22, 2008

While it might not have been an upset, I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only one banking on Venus Williams making it past her quarterfinal match against Ana Ivanovic. Instead, the seedings held, with the Serbian and fourth seed dispatching Venus, the eighth seed, 7-6 (3), 6-4.

(Presumptuous of me, perhaps, but I was waiting until later this week to document Venus’ EleVen outfits for the fortnight!)

dragana-ivanovic-aus08.jpg

Know her mother: That’s Ana’s mother, Dragana Ivanovic, watching today’s match. She looks fierce. “I wouldn’t want to mess with her,” said Mary Carillo. I agree.

Ana’s website did a three-part interview with Dragana a while back. Find out more about this customs lawyer and devoted mother of two (Milos is the other Ivanovic) as she talks to journalist Gavin Versi (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3).

(screencap via ESPN360)

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bud collins’ laptop: we wouldn’t have expected anything less

December 2, 2007

bud-collins-laptop.jpg

We wouldn’t have expected any less from Bud Collins, the man who made paisley a press room staple. Yep, that’s his laptop as shot by Jonah Sandford of the Wilamette Week at the Portland Memorial Coliseum.

I found the WW‘s Davis Cup coverage very insightful. I don’t really consider Portland a tennis town so it was nice to see how the locals viewed hosting such a milestone in recent U.S. tennis history. (More on that later.)

Speaking of — Team USA clinched the tie with The Bryan‘s straight-set win over Igor Andreev and Mikhail Youzhny. There are still two reverse-singles matches to be played (but they’ll be shortened to best-of-three). Andy Roddick says he won’t play, so which of the Bryans will step up to the plate? (Can Patrick McEnroe use this opportunity to test out Donald Young or John Isner?) Here’s Mike’s take:

I’m just hoping I don’t have to front up for the dead singles rubber on Sunday. Andy says he’s not playing so either Bob or I will have to step up and play on no sleep. Bob’s done this three times before so I’m hoping he’ll be the one. I’ve only played one singles match in the past five years (against Thomas Johansson at this year’s World Team Cup). Bob has always been ranked higher than me, so I say we make him the sacrificial lamb :)

(photo via WW; blog via ATP. Thanks, Mikey and pb)

short balls: more u.s. open bits

September 12, 2007

Novak makes it: As I’ve said before, you know you’ve made it big when make a regular appearance in the pages of the New York Times. That, and when you get your own Towleroad sportrait. Congrats, Nole!

Wertheim’s list: Of Jon Wertheim’s 50 post-Open notes, three stand out:

  • “I saw one player brandishing a book during this event and it was….Janko Tipsarevic.
  • “She didn’t get the fanfare of Justin Gimelstob (much less Tim Henman) but a tip of the cap to Corina Morariu, who retired quietly after her last match. One of those people who make the tennis firmament a more pleasant place. Same for Paola Suarez and Nicole Pratt, who also played their final Open.” Which is sad, because I wanted to see Lindsay Davenport play doubles with Morariu.
  • Roger Federer‘s Nike deal is expiring soon. Stay tuned for some drama on this one.” So, is this what Rick Vach was talking about last week?

On a roll: Our buddy Nick (AIPT) writes this piece for Sportingo wondering why women don’t produce great tennis in the second week of the Slams. Go read it and comment!

Nick — I don’t quite agree with the gripe. First, there were many tight three-setters on the women’s side (Jankovic-Venus, Henin-Serena, and Henin-Venus all come to mind). These matches didn’t all happen in the second week (unfortunately) because of that top-heavy draw. But even if the seedings held, there were many players seeded lower than they should’ve been, turning them into dark horses. (If they seeded a la Wimbledon, the second week at the Open might have turned out differently.)

On the flip side of this subjective seeding is rewarding a seed with what they’ve done in the last 52 weeks. If they’re rusty from injury, they get picked off in the early rounds anyway. And then the tourney’s left with a hot lower-ranked girls (the Radwanskas of the world) who might end up deer-in-headlights in the final. They tighten up and get steamrolled 1 and 1.

So if you fix the schedule (to prevent injury) and get more flexible with the seeding, it’ll get better.

Living in my bubble: Here I go thinking that the final between Federer and Djokovic was watched by everyone (the world stopped for a few hours, didn’t it?). Apparently, this was not the case.

Sister, sister: While we’re on the subject, I spoke to a couple of people who were sad the Williams sisters didn’t end up on different halves, which could’ve meant a Williams final. uhm, what? Ratings might have been better, but the quality of play would have sucked. They’re likely to keep playing awkward, error-filled matches against each other for the rest of their lives. Let’s dream about other rivalries, ok?

(OT) Happy Birthday, A Train!: It turned 75, and the MTA rolled out the rattan. Fun!

short balls: mardy’s fans, prince nabs isner, and other u.s. open bits

September 4, 2007

We all don’t have our J-Blocks: Here’s fun story of how a college student became part of Mardy Fish‘s cheering section (“Mardy’s Party”?) at the 2003 U.S. Open.

Center Court muzak: Nole Djokovic enjoyed yet another perk of playing the main stage at the U.S. Open. (TNYO)

Sightings: Celebrities might have sheets with threadcounts larger in number than your weekly paycheck, but they love tennis as much as you do. In the past week, Michael Musto interviewed folks about fashion, Gavin Rossdale sat next to Mirka during the Federer-Isner match, while Collin Farrell, Martha Stewart, Newt Gingrich, and the fashionistas from night one all took in some matches.

Prince holds court: Racquet maker Prince announced its addition of John Isner to their stable of players. While this move is a boost for the company (and sales numbers this year are their highest for the decade), Darren Rovell points out that “the very top players who don’t currently use the racket are scared to switch” and they can’t fake their endorsement (i.e., by stencilling Prince’s logo on another brand’s strings) because the O3‘s structure is unique.

Party like it’s fashion week: The annual Hall of Fame Legends Ball holds its own at Cipriani on September 7 (right in the middle of fashion week). Along with toasting this year’s inductees, they’ll also honor Andre Agassi with the Eugene L. Scott Award. (Tennis Week)

(photo via Hansen Report)

in print and online, serena steps up

August 30, 2007

While CNBC’s Darren Rovell has spent a lot of energy covering the many marketing moves of Ana Ivanovic (and what a great job he’s done), I feel like the recent developments in Serena‘s world deserve mention…

Back on the web: First, after being MIA at least since the beginning of 2007, her official website is back up and running. I’m not in love with that cursive font she uses in her note to fans, but hey it’s a start. Not sure what’s going to happen with her blog. (It’s been cited in a few media outlets — who I can only assume fact-check — so we’ll go with it.)

HP’s “Hands”: Serena is also the latest star of HP’s ads which have previously featured Shaun White and Vera Wang. The TV ad focuses on her passions, “including tennis, fashion, movies, video games, animation, and music.” They’ll run on USA and ESPN (and online at SI.com).

The ad also plays when users visit the “Serena Web Experience” — a mash-up of vlogs (from friends and family), downloadable ringtones (her grunts!!), and clips of her Jackass moment with Wee Man — involving a pineapple, of all things.

FYI: The ads were created by Omnicom Group‘s Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco.

How does Serena choose endorsements?:

I don’t take every offer that comes along — I get a lot of them. I think sometimes my agent (Jill Smoller) gets mad at me! Not really; she understands, but she does kid me about it: “Are you going to turn down everything?” I don’t want to attach my name, like some athletes or celebrities or whatever, to just anything. It has to fit my values, my personality. … And my partners are always involved in philanthropic things. They’re companies that give back, and that goes well with me. It’s not really about the money. … [The brand of] Serena Williams is not for the now; it’s for a lifetime. (via Ad Age)

Boobs, schmoobs: And Serena takes part in a series of ads by Nike Women which comment on the place of women in sports. Manhattan got a billboard from the campaign in time for the U.S. Open. It’s a picture of Serena Williams wearing a blue shirt printed with the word “ATHLETE”. The accompanying text asks, “Are you looking at my titles?” Titles, titties — get it?

AdRants wonders why Nike would stoop to the level of objectifying women if the point is to move away from that. (But female fans drool over male athletes all the time, so I guess it’s okay…)

FYI: As a part of the campaign, Nike founded the Let Me Play Fund with $425,000 in cash and equipment. The fund will benefit women’s sports orgs.

(via DTL)

fashion preview: venus’ u.s. open outfits

August 23, 2007

Funny that this morning I was wondering what Reebok was making for Venus to wear at this year’s U.S. Open. As you might know, Venus’ crazy sponsorship deal — which paid $40 million over five years starting in 2000 — wasn’t renewed because of all her injuries (poor thing). But she had worked out a deal that paid her to wear these short shorts at Wimbledon.

Now she’s bounced back by partnering up with Steve & Barry’s for her clothing line EleVen (at an announcement that overshadowed the Masha/Nike red dress junket yesterday, I might add). Venus will wear some of pieces on the court in Flushing Meadows, including this dress and $15 (!) pair of shoes above.

I think that color will look good on her. And I LOVE the collar on that sleeveless top. Brava!

Bonus round: CNBC’s Darren Rovell did a great interview with Howard Schacter, Steve & Barry’s Chief Partnerships Officer. Read it here.

trouble at TENNIS magazine

August 21, 2007

In the internet age, whistleblowing, well, blows.

TSF buddy and former TENNIS magazine intern Nick McCarvel was the talk of the New York magazine scene on Monday after this question appeared in The Ethicist (a column published in the New York Times Magazine):

A journalism major at college, I was delighted to land an internship at a national magazine. My editor asked me to post comments on one of the magazine’s online blogs, being sure not to mention my working for the magazine but to write in a style that suggests I’m a reader. That felt dirty to me. Advice? — Nick McCarvel, Seattle

Of course Randy Cohen, the column’s author, didn’t agree with the practice. And of course people wanted to know which pub was behind this skeevy policy. Some quick Googling by FishbowlNY led to TENNIS‘ doorstep. So much for blind items.

(BTW, Nick’s internship ended the day after the column appeared, so he’s in the clear as far as dealing with awkward fallout at the magazine. The editor in question has since left. I hope he wasn’t the one I was pitching to!)

Seriously, though: this is all very unfortunate, especially because the magazine’s blog, which features well-written (and bylined) posts by McCarvel, have received their fair share of readers’ comments. If the intent was to steer comment threads in a different direction, I’m sure Nick could have posted as an intern with the same effect. There was no benefit in creating these anonymous personas.

I’d like to give Nick a pat on the back for letting people know that this was happening. TSF will still be reading Steve Tignor and Peter Bodo, but perhaps we won’t pay attention to readers’ comments so much…

graf/agassi LV ad, becker sells estate, canadian tourney pampers

August 13, 2007

Magazine invasion: I stopped by the newsstand tonight and saw the Catherine Deneuve ad for Louis Vuitton in this month’s Vanity Fair. Which led me to dig up the Agassi and Graf ad, above.

I also saw the Masha Shape magazine cover story. (DTL)

The women are pampered: The Rogers Cup in Toronto has plenty in store this week, including an Aveda Spa in the players’ lounge and a three-day fashion show “featuring the history of women’s tennis fashions from the early 1900s until today, including a spoof on John McEnroe. (Toronto Sun)

Becker’s house for sale: Son Coll, the Mallorcan estate of Boris Becker, is on the market for £10m as he tries to straighten out his finances after a paternity settlement and a divorce. The estate has a Rebound Ace court. (Times)

(photo via all women’s talk)

short balls: tennis aprons, djokovic struts in underwear, bud at espn, gold racquets for sale, etc.

August 10, 2007

Fashion trivia: Did you know that women back in the day wore aprons on the tennis court? It was used to hold balls and to protect their dresses from grass stains.

Did you feel it? It might have felt like an earthquake, but don’t worry: it was just some folks fainting after hearing that Nole did a skivvy strut at the end of the ATP Fashion Show in Montreal. I believe a pub used the phrase “butt-hugging underwear”. It goes without saying that Tennis Served Fresh would like a copy of the photo (for achival purposes only, of course). Please send our way.

Fun with Photoshop: The lovechild of J-Cap and Harry Potter is none other than Billie Jean King. (Talking Tennis)

Bud Collins joins ESPN: Just like everyone predicted, there were no qualms with picking up NBC Sports’ sloppy seconds. Bud Collins will now be a part of ESPN (that’s ESPN, ESPN2, SportsCenter, ESPN Radio). Duties will begin with the 2007 U.S. Open and expand to other Grand Slams beginning in 2008. (source)

Ball busters: To confuse us with yet another list (along with rankings, the race to the year-end tourney, and the Lever 2000 Challenge), the WTA puts out a power index which takes into account the speed of a player’s hardest strokes (including forehands, backhands, serves, returns, volleys). The biggest hitters? Venus Williams (94.5 mph), Maria Kirilenko, Victoria Azarenka, and Maria Sharapova (90 mph). (via cnnsi.com)

Buying “bling”: If you’re looking to score one of the limited-edition 22k gold [K]Factor racquets made for the Venus and Serena, a few will be available at the Wilson booth at tonight’s East West Bank Classic.

(photo via Manchestser City Galleries)

For the love of the sport (and shirtless men), don’t shut the doors!

July 23, 2007

locker-rooms.jpg

No press in the U.S. Open locker rooms: First the USTA started a campaign to systematically take down every single U.S. Open-related clip on YouTube — a bad move for a sport still struggling to gain mainstream popularity (why miss out on the chance to go viral?) — and last week they added another barrier between athlete and public by barring press from the locker rooms at this year’s tournament.

Instead, reporters will get to chat with players in their dining hall. Hopefully this won’t adversely affect the news, because coverage of tennis in mainstream media is laughable enough as it is…

But hey, at least we have Nole footage from the Roland Garros locker room. Cherish it while it lives in the internet.

(Sports Business Journal)

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short balls: nike online and in print, roger’s on-court meltdown, a taste of bud, etc.

July 10, 2007

nike-terry-maria.jpg

Nike in print: A recent issue of Arena Homme Plus goes behind the scenes of Terry Richardson‘s photo shoot for this Nike campaign by W+K Studio. Tennis players included in the shoot were Maria Sharapova and (I believe) Roger Federer.

Bonus round: The issue also has a great editorial based on John Galliano‘s fall 2007 show. Some NSFW photos here. (via Made in Brazil)

Nike on video: The newest ad that opens the Nike website is a tribute to 11-time Grand Slam titleist Federer. A surprisingly humorous Tiger Woods voices the piece. I guess the stone-cold best friends are finally showing a range of emotions, eh?

Roger? Emoting?: None of you missed the post-victory sobfest, but you might have missed Federer falling apart in the hands of Hawk-Eye during Sunday’s match. Mark Hodgkinson of the Telegraph recaps:

Federer, a tennis conservative, has always been against the introduction of Hawk-Eye, and he was as angry as he had ever been on Centre Court when an ‘out’ call on one of Nadal‘s shots was successfully challenged by the Spaniard in the fourth set. The Hawk-Eye replay suggested that the ball had hit the baseline; Federer thought otherwise. It was then that Federer asked umpire Carlos Ramos whether the machine could be turned off. Ramos declined but also seemed to suggest that he had thought the ball had landed long.

The Hawk-Eye review gave Nadal a break point, which he converted for a 3-0 lead, and Federer continued to complain during the change of ends. “How in the world was that ball in? S***. Look at the score now. It’s killing me, Hawk-Eye is killing me,” the Swiss said. So, a system which was introduced to prevent McEnroe-style rants at officialdom actually left one of the sport’s gentlest champions fuming.

Hometown girl: adidas by Stella McCartney will present its spring/summer 2008 at London Fashion Week. McCartney plans to close Fashion week with a special event (but not a runway show) on September 20. Maria Kirilenko — Stella’s tennis muse — must be ecstatic!

Have you tasted Bud?: For those of you unfamiliar with the print work of journalist and former (le sigh) NBC Sports member Bud Collins, here’s his latest article in The Boston Globe.

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short balls: venus’ necklace, Sochi grumbles, tiger’s lame, blake pens a tearjerker, etc.

July 9, 2007

Venus’ jewelry: A few of you asked about Venus‘ Wimbledon necklace. Unfortunately I have no information about where she got it from. Instead, I offer the New York Timesrecent slideshow on current necklace styles. Ellen Tien has an amazing eye for this stuff.

Venus and Reebok: CNBC’s Darren Rovell talks about the relationship between Venus and Reebok (basically, that her endorsement — the largest in women’s sports history — was not renewed in 2003 because of her erratic playing schedule; she still gets paid to wear Reebok even though she’s not on their athlete roster).

A tearjerker: Rovell also gives a great review of the new James Blake memoir, Breaking Back: How I Lost Everything and Won Back My Life. Blake has had a rough last couple of years…

Sochi grumbles: We’re all aware of Maria Sharapova‘s endorsement of Sochi as an Olympics site. Now the other side speaks up. (Spiegel)

More grumbling: This time from the All-England Club, who didn’t appreciate that London Mayor Ken Livingstone planned the beginning of this year’s Tour de France on the same Sunday as the Gentlemen’s Singles Championships. The cycling tournament caused road closures that hassled spectators trying to get to Wimbledon. And the AELTC didn’t want to share the spotlight with any other event with such an international focus (which make sense).

Tiger is lame: I think Tiger Woods is a great guy, but did he really need to be such a douchebag in that Gillette commercial that aired during Wimbledon? In it, Roger Federer strokes Tiger’s presumably smooth (post-shave) cheek, and Tiger turns to Thierry Henry with an awkward “uhh, did he just do that?” reaction.

For you French77 lovers, a treat: Puma is having an online sale (which includes items from the French77 collection); take 20% off your order when you use the coupon code PUMA20 during checkout. Expires July 23. (via Puma)

RELATED POSTS
>> short balls archive

michael stich and serena williams

July 5, 2007

San Francisco Chronicle‘s award-winning journalist Bruce Jenkins wrapped up the latest ado about Serena quite nicely, explaning that the two-time Wimbledon champ had no reason to “act” her way to a fourth round win over Daniela Hantuchova. And it makes sense: who would want to fake a leg cramp that likely led to a slip (and a sprained thumb) that later cost her the quarterfinal match against Henin?

I could have lived without Serena saying that she could have beaten Justine if she was healthy. While that might be true, prize money and titles aren’t handed out in hypotheticals. There was no need for her to cheapen Henin’s win in a match that was contested fair and square. Serena is a great athlete “full of integrity”, but sometimes she’s also “full of herself”.

She continues to make people talk, and former champion (and BBC commentator) Michael Stich, who called Serena out on being disrespectful, became the latest pariah. Speaking of Michael, he has a non-profit devoted to HIV/AIDS awareness working extensively with infected children in German-speaking countries.

[via Kenneth in the (212) -- link NSFW]

You think pairing plaid pants with a floral print bowtie is a bad decision? Think again.

July 2, 2007

bud-collins-mug.jpg

In a decision more horrible than wearing purple pajama pants to a formal fundraiser (run by Chris Evert, no less), NBC Sports has decided to end its contract with Bud Collins after this year’s Wimbledon. The tennis broadcasting mainstay, after 35 years of service to the network, won’t be part of the NBC team as it heads “in a different direction”. Boo.

Love him or hate him (I personally can’t stand the guy — his outfits drive me crazy!), you have to admit that he’s done a lot for the sport:

He’s part of that old style of sensational journalism that made reading tennis news fun. He coined the nicknames Fraulein Forehand, Barcelona Bumblebee, Sisters Sledgehammer (can you tell who he’s referring to?). And the world has not been the same since the publishing of The Tennis Encyclopedia.

Like Charles Bricker, I’m less worried about where Bud will end up and more concerned about who’ll take his spot at NBC. My vote? Darren Cahill. He’s been amazing on ESPN so far this week.

(If you’d like to give NBC your two cents, do so here.)

(Charles Bricker, via On the Baseline)

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>> Craig Hickman on Wimbledon’s talking heads

short balls: ana ivanovic quickies, fernando gonzalez q & a, etc.

June 12, 2007

Tennis bits and pieces from the interwebs:

On Ana Ivanovic: (I only used six different letters of the alphabet to write that heading!) For those who are new to this new round of Ana-mania: bone up. Here are two profiles of Ms. Ivanovic, one from ESPN.com’s Bonnie DeSimone (here) and the other from CNBC.com’s Darren Rovell (here). And P.S. in case you weren’t around for the last round of Ana-mania, this is who we’re talking about.

There are no grass courts in Chile: Here’s a quick e-mail interview with Gisela Dulko‘s boyfriend, Chilean Fernando Gonzalez. (via the Independent)

But they carry live tennis matches in China: or so says James Fallows of The Atlantic.

The ice queen melts after her meltdown: We certainly appreciate having a more personal relationship with Justine Henin, who seems to have opened up after years of being very secretive about her non-tennis life. The turning point: her divorce from husband Pierre-Yves Hardenne, which forced her to miss the 2007 Aussie Open. Since then, she’s been more chatty with the press, and has talked about a reunion with her father and siblings. (via the Guardian)


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