Archive for the ‘martina hingis’ Category

short balls: digging deep on sergio (+ a visual version)

October 27, 2011


How’d they do it?
Bloomberg Businessweek posted a lengthy story last week on how Sergio Tacchini, the Italian brand that is now controlled by Chinese investors, saved itself — from itself. Their biggest move? Nabbing Novak Djokovic, of course. But our favorite part of the feature was this snippet on player-turned-fashionista Martina Hingis, who had a sour relationship with the company:

Hingis dominated the women’s tour during the second half of the ’90s. She seemed to fit well into the Tacchini firmament, appealing to wealthy, casually athletic, European-oriented fans. It didn’t work out. Three years into Hingis’s five-year deal, worth $5.6 million, Tacchini fired her, accusing Hingis of not wearing the clothes as contracted. Two years later, Hingis sued, claiming that the “defective” Tacchini shoes she wore had wrecked her feet and ruined her career. (Hingis had surgery in 2001 and 2002 to repair ligaments in her ankles.) A New York court dismissed the suit, ruling that the case should be heard in Milan, where Hingis had signed the contract and where another suit was pending. In 2006 her manager, Mario Widmer, told a German newspaper that “the Tacchini problem is resolved. We have come to a compromise and at the same time have agreed to keep silence on both sides.”

More from those financial folk: While Businessweek was focused on Sergio, The Economist‘s new “Game Theory” blog is paying plenty of attention to tennis. Who now? Andy Murray.

We’re a little biased, but… designer fashion at super marked-down pricers all in the name of a good cause?! We dig that, Housing Works. The New York-based non-profit is putting on its annual Fashion for Action sale starting Nov. 16 (which is sooner than you think!). NYers: Get your tix here.

That you, Princess B? Yes that’s Princess Beatrice. Yes, she needs to wax her mustache. Whatevs, it’s Halloween! What a fierce lady.

Look. Listen. Watch. Yes, we get the Siri craze. But a Scottish accent and a cute face. We’ll repeat anything he says, too. | TSF Vault: Short Balls

Short(er) balls: Want to have dinner with Roger Federer? Tennis Channel and Lindt, the chocolate company, are all about setting you up. You have til Tuesday, folks. | USA Today contributor Doug Robson goes searching for the best racket on the market and finds it. | Back in Newport next year? That’d be defending champ John Isner, who has committed to the grass court event. | Nike and Tennis Warehouse launch an exclusive partner shoe on Tuesday. 0:37 of anticipation! (We love this ad.)

(screengrabs via businessweek, housing works and time.com respectively. beatrice photo by getty. tennis warehouse video)

short balls: a ‘dead’ week in tennis

July 20, 2011

Summer sorrow? The three weeks between Wimbledon ending and the US Open Series beginning (Note: we understand that the USOS already began in Atlanta, but surely you can understand that it really feels like summer when Stanford and Los Angeles start, no?) can always be a bit awkward. Sure, there is the beautiful thing that is World TeamTennis, and yes, there are those random events in Europe and the historic after-Wimbledon beacon known as Newport. But this is the time of year that tennis usually takes a breather. Or, at least, tennis news. In 2011, however, not so much. Don’t believe us? Read your way through this week’s short balls – there’s plenty to be had!

Up in arms: Folks in Canada (and beyond) were up in arms over a Rogers Cup poster being used to advertise the women’s tournament as a lead in for a senior’s event that featured Andre Agassi and John McEnroe. The tag line? “[C]ome for the ladies, stay for the legends.” Wait, really? Yes, really. Busted Racquet has a good shot of the poster, which Chris Chase says isn’t really that big of a deal — arguing that the tag line just sort of sucks. And while we partly agree, it was a double slap in the face from the TSF POV: sexually charged (“come for the ladies”) and wait … you want folks to stick around for two retired legends? To us, it should be the other way around. But the Rogers folks changed it up after the outcry, instead using: “[M]aking history, re-living history.” Done and done.

Wozy’s new boo? Always a flirt on Twitter, Caroline Wozniacki might actually have a boy following through on all those winky faces and nudge, nudge LOLs. Who’s the new fella? That’d be Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, the 22-year old who stormed through the golf world earlier this summer to win the US Open — you know, just around the time that Caro was crashing out of Wimbledon. But Rory has a complicated (and catty?!) ex GF (Holly Sweeney — they were childhood boos!) and when trying to make an international relationship work in the 21st century, there are only so many #missubabe hash tags that will suffice. Stay tuned.

Dulko, Lena tie the knot (but (k)not to one another): Both Gisela Dulko and Elena Dementieva were married recently, Lena’s nuptials being quite the gathering of Russian tennis royalty. WomensTennisNow.com has a bevy of pictures, and Jon Scott wrote in the Daily Spin on Tennis.com that Safina, Kirilenko, Kuzentsova, Dushevina, Vesnina Zvonareva, Kudryavtseva and Igor Andreez (Kirilenko’s beau) were all in attendance. Dementieva married Maxim Afinoginov, a Russian hockey palyer, at the Ritz-Carlton in Moscow.

Johnny be good. Seems as though John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg can still bring in the big bucks — and crowd. Their well-documented encounter on the World TeamTennis court last week in NYC helped raise more than $300,000 thanks to a sell out crowd. Where does the money go? To the youth, of course! “The funds raised will benefit the Johnny Mac Tennis Project, which provides scholarships, coaching, tournament travel and introductory programs for area youth who would not otherwise have the opportunity to attend the Academy or to participate in recreational tennis programs,” a Sportimes release said. Dunlop and Nike are corporate sponsors of the academy, which starts its second school year this coming September.

Do you think she did it herself? Pakastani doubles expert Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi announced his engagement to Faha Akmal Makhdoom. The two, above, celebrated over the weekend. Quite the tattoo, right?! But seriously, Erwin, that should make our tattoo watch list, right?!

Time-lapse goodness. Before short(er) balls, a bit of other thread (ot) delight: the video below shows the NYTimes.com homepage in time-lapse from September of last year until this month. Be amazed.

Short(er) balls: Andy Roddick and Mardy Fish have signed up to play an exhibition match in Oklahoma City — near where Andy’s bro John Roddick is the University of Oklahoma coach — on Steptember 25. John will join the gents for a doubles exo, as well. Ticket info here. | Things are shaping up well in Cincy. The Mason, Ohio-based stops gets the men and women at the same time this year (Aug. 13-21) and has six new courts, including a 4,000-seat show court. | Remember Robby Ginepri? The oft-injured American is on somewhat of a mini-comeback. The 2005 USO semifinalist beat former world no. 2 Tommy Haas in Atlanta this week and remains in the draw. Oh, and he’s engaged, too. | Ice cream sandwiches are all the rage in NYC right now. And for good reason. | The Museum at FIT in New York is currently showing a fashion exhibit that focuses on sports wear and its (huge) influence on the rest of the fashion and clothing industry. | A 17-year-old Lexington, Ky., tennis stand out is the new face of Hollister. The teen — Chad Buchanan — has no relation to American upstart Chase. Though, his mom was runner-up in the Miss America pageant in 1984.

(Serena-Hingis image via the AP; Elena image via Sports.ru; and Qureshi image via Getty)

sunday survey: martina’s next move?

July 17, 2011

More tennis from Martina? Martina Hingis has spent the last few months playing tennis, something she hasn’t really done in years. She’s re-kindled her friendship with old rival Lindsay Davenport, helped lead the New York Sportimes during the World TeamTennis season, announced her own clothing line with Canada-based Tonic and mulled an Olympic mixed doubles bid with Roger Federer in 2012. So it got us wondering here at TSF: what’s Martina’s next move? Choose from our choices below. | TSF Vault: Martina Hingis

(Getty Images photo)

short balls: vogue’s fashion through the years, twitter check-ins and the espys looks (and don’t looks)

July 14, 2011

It’s Vogue, dahling: How did we miss this?! Just shy of Wimbledon, Vogue.com used their Vogue Daily outlet to post a 110-year history of tennis fashion, called the “Evolution of Tennis Fashion.” The 26-picture slide show scoots through the early 20th century as eventually makes it to today’s looks, punctuated by the Williams sisters and Maria Sharapova. Our favorite look? Katharine Hepburn rocking high-waisted shorts in the 1940s (above, with Ana Ivanovic). | TSF Vault: Vogue

Through the (on court) years: Yahoo‘s Busted Racquet tennis blog edited by Chris Chase is also giving a through-the-years look, but they’re focusing on classic matches. Recently they’ve looked at the classic Pete Sampras-Roger Federer Wimbledon 2001 encounter, and the last Slam Chris Evert would ever win: beating Martina Navratilova at the 1986 French Open. But our fave they’ve written up so far has been from another Martina: Martina Hingis. A look back at her meltdown against Steffi Graf at Roland Garros in 1999. Does it ever get old?!

Tennis trend? 
Planking has caught on in the tennis community. Hard core.On Tennis.com‘s Daily SpinJon Scott checks in on a Laura Robson favorite that kept the US Davis Cup team (too?) busy and entertained last weekend in Austin. And if you’re not quite sure what planking is, read away, folks!

Yes, Sloane does tweet. Our friends over at Adjusting the Net have a good write-up on Sloane Stephens‘ Q&A with reporters yesterday on a call for the Citi Open later this summer. While Melanie Oudin told TSF last week on a similar call that she kept the social networking tool at an arm’s length, Stephens is known as one of tennis’ best (and funnest) tweeters. She says:

I love Twitter. I post everything myself but my uncle been emailing me since I was 10 years old and on the bottom of his emails they have these quotes and I’ve always found them really cool. So I’ve kept all my uncle’s emails and I go back re-read the quotes on there and think “That’s a good one” so I’ll post that one or whatever. Initially it was just being funny and to just throw stuff out there, but then people responded to me saying I love your tweets and can relate to what you say so I started tweeting more and I’m glad people enjoy it.

More: Follow Sloane on Twitter | And TSF, too!

SI.com’s Twitter breakdown. Before we get to chatting up the ESPYs, SI.com has their “Twitter 100″ out today, a list of 100 sports writers, personalities and athletes that the site felt were the ones writing the sports story on Twitter. While Sloane didn’t make the cut, Serbian players Novak Djokovic and Janko Tipsarevic did, as did Andrea Petkovic. TennisReporters.net writer (and Mr. Do-It-All) Matt Cronin was on the list, as was gay sports outlet, Outsports.com. Next year, TSF, next year!

Did she just wear that? And no, we’re not talking about Maria Sharapova in this one. Serena Williams was quite the sight to be seen last night at the ESPYs, where Seth Meyers hosted. Serena wore a number that gave quite a peek to her front side and her back, and we can’t quite say we were the biggest fans of such an option. Serena, along with Rafael Nadal, won awards for Best Female and Male Tennis Player, respectively. | More: Who looked better? Maria or Brooklyn Decker?

The (fashionably) tall kids:
It’s rare to see Maria Sharapova not be the tallest one in the room, but as she chatted about her eye-popping heels backstage, Amar’e Stoudemire joined her and the New York Knick had her by a couple inches — even with heels on. Watch below:

More Amar’e: He’s a pretty fashionable guy | Plus: ESPY fashion report card … in which MLB pitcher Brian Wilson — channeling Serena’s pink spandex bodysuit — got a surprising F. Shouldn’t he get a D- for accessorizing well? Erwin?!

OK, one more! The Biebs was giving us a NASCAR look. And come on, you gotta sorta appreciate it, right?!

short(er) balls: They were rocking the (more distinguished) fashion in Newport last weekend at the festivities surrounding the International Tennis Hall of Fame weekend. An Angelea Moore fashion show raised funds for the Hall. | Rihanna is replacing Megan Fox in the Armani underwear campaign, joining tennis’ Rafael Nadal. | AOL has a good gear and apparel guide for tennis fans — everything under $100. | Sybille Bammer retires from the tour after losing her final match in her home country of Austria. Remember two years ago when the mama was a tour force to be reckoned with? No comeback for her, she says. | Feel better, Miles! Miles Raonic, Canada’s new star, is out for six weeks after hip surgery. That puts his US Open in clear doubt, and definitely means he misses out on the Masters stop in Canada next month. | Caroline Wozniacki‘s dad and coach, Piotr, lashes out over criticism that she should replace him as the guide to her game. He did not join her in Bastad last week, where Wozy withdrew due to injury.

(Vogue.com screengrab; Serena/Maria, Wilson and Biever all Getty Images)

more martina: on tonic, social networking and her fave to-dos in nyc

July 12, 2011

Martina, unplugged: TSF was able to nab an elated (and somewhat breathless) Martina Hingis last night following her World Team Tennis triumph in NYC. We got a few Qs in before the five-time Slam winner was whisked away to sign autographs for kids. They’re below.

TSF: Tell us more about your line with Tonic. What has been your favorite part?
Martina Hingis: We signed at Wimbledon and I’m really excited about working with them. I already wore a collection at Wimbledon (see above) and am wearing them every night [during WTT]. The line will come out in March [2012] in stores.

TSF: How involved have you been in the process?
MH: I have help from the designer, who I’m excited to meet after WTT, when I head to Vancouver [BC] to work on the next line. We have added the finishing touches for this line as I’ve practiced in the clothes. It fits really well for tennis and for yoga or other sports, everything is really comfortable.

TSF: So you’ve been doing yoga all over NYC in Tonic?
MH: (Laughs) I’ll do [yoga] when I go to Vancouver. I did a lot of yoga when I was young, but lately I have been playing tennis more and investing my time differently.

TSF: What about social media: Facebook, Twitter. Do you have interest in joining?
MH: With Tonic, I will be partially involved [on social media]. I hope to help in getting the brand going to be strong and independent [from the rest of Tonic's lines].

TSF: Separate from Flushing Meadows or playing here at WTT, what do you love to do in NYC?
MH: (Eyes lighting up.) I love musicals. I’ve seen so many of them — maybe 20 already? I love Lion King and Mamma Mia. I want to see Sister Act so badly. I hope I have some time to get to Times Square.”

Two more shots of Martina in Tonic after the cut. (more…)

martina’s masterful night

July 11, 2011

Martina Hingis, serving up a WTT ‘W.’ (TSF image)

Hingis, circa 1997: There was a point tonight when I sat in the bleachers at the Sportimes’ World Team Tennis match on Randall’s Island just outside of Manhattan and thought: Oops, Martina Hingis really has lost it. That was in the middle of Hingis and partner Travis Parrott‘s mixed doubles loss to the St. Louis Aces, putting New York down 10-15 as Hingis headed into the women’s singles bout.

And then Martina Hingis proved me wrong.

If you’ve never been to a WTT tie before, they can be up-and-down affairs. Sets are played to five games, not six, and scoring is a no-ad system, meaning if the game goes to three-three in points (we might call that “Deuce”), it’s a receiver’s choice point that decides the game. Hingis had to win all five of her game to give New York even a tie against the Aces.  | TSF Vault: Martina Hingis

Which is exactly what she did. Taking the court against Maria Sanchez (nope, not Caroline Sanchez. Maria. Yeah, we had never heard of her, either … ) Hingis rolled out four straight games, causing the St. Louis team to sub in doubles expert Liezel Huber in a last-ditch effort to save the match. Huber couldn’t do it and it was game and match to Hingis, 5-0. Team score? 15-15.

That meant the ladies would play a first-to-seven-point tie-breaker, sudden death. If the match reached 6-all, it was down to a final point. After some awkward (and nervous) play from both, the ladies locked in at 6-all. Surprise!

Let me just say for a second that this is exactly when you think Martina Hingis might buckle. She hasn’t played competitively in years, hasn’t been in a tight Grand Slam situation in nearly a decade. And here’s Liezel who is still active on the women’s doubles circuit getting her to 6-6 in a tiebreak. Eek.

But biting down on Huber’s loopy balls, Hingis attacked the way the Williams sisters and Lindsay Davenport did her own strokes in the early 2000’s. She came into the next and punctuated the win with a headstrong crosscourt forehand volley that was a little bit of a “Take that!” sort of finish to the whole night, which saw Huber at one point hit Hingis rather hard with a volley in mixed.

The small crowd went crazy, and TSF guesses this is just when WTT might feel a little bit like winning, say, the 1999 French Open. Or at least close to it. Especially at the age of 30.

After the match, Hingis was wearing Tonic and a smile. “I just thought, ‘I’m not missing it!'” Hingis told TSF excitedly. “I took my chance on a match point, I feel so much relief! The other girl [Sanchez] I had her figured out, but they put her in and I had to be both aggressive and patient. She played smart.”

But not as smart as you, Martina. Hey 2011, Martina’s back! And she’s brought 1997 along with her.

tonic, clothing line by hingis, to launch next spring

June 30, 2011


Launching a line: Martina Hingis
is. The former world no. 1 said today that she hoped folks had heard about the line, which debuts in March of 2012. Above, the landing page for Tonic. Click the image or here to check it out. | TSF Vault: Martina Hingis

(Screen grab via Tonic)

who needs wags? tsf has your habs right here

September 3, 2010

Husbands And Boyfriends, that is. With all the love for the Wives And Girlfriends out there, we figured it was about darn time to make sure that this game of payment equality was also about equality in and about the scouring of the player boxes for attractive looking people – of both sexes. Ladies and gentlemen, enjoy the HABs of the 2010 US Open.

We’re leading off the pack with a known entity: Tomas Berdych. You can find Berdych in the corner for longtime-GF Lucie Safarova. Both are Czech. Both are beautiful.

WTA looker Dominika Cibulkova - herself included in Urban Daddy’s list – has tattooed fella Miso Navara giving her thumbs up during her matches.

Are these two still together?! Mladjan Janovic with Jelena Jankovic. What a household the Janovic-Jankovic home would be, no?

More BAHs after the cut. (It’s worth the click.)

(more…)

short balls: what’s your britney moment?

July 20, 2010

Leave it to Andy Roddick to make a head shave seem hilarious and semi frightening all at once. The top American, who lost in shocking fashion to unknown Yen-Hsun Lu in the fourth round at Wimbledon, told the ATP that “There was no deep reasoning. I had a Britney Spears moment after Wimbledon.” No deep reasoning?! Andy! Didn’t you follow the 12 months of Brit’s life before that head shave?? Her reasoning couldn’t have been deeper. It seems as though Roddick was mightily bummed by his disappointing performance at the All England Club, capping off a topsy turvy 12 months himself. Southern refreshment: Andy has taken his new hair (and new game?!) to the Atlanta Tennis Championships with a wildcard into the new event. See the draw here.

While Roddick may be into head shaving, Serena is into nail-doing and Nicole is into marrying. In a recent Vogue online feature, writer Marina Rust, interviews Williams while she gets her nails done – by Serena! The manicurist (Serena aka Kandse) chatted about life outside of tennis while the two breathed in polish fumes, Rust making a good point when she said it was a better way for them to chat then trading a few groundstrokes. Meanwhile, former (yes, former) pro Nicole Vaidisova traded vows with Radek Stepanek over the weekend. Who knew that Vaidisova, who was locked in a tough semifinal battle with Serena just three years ago at the Australian Open, would be retired and married at age 21. Such is the life of a WTA superstar, we suppose.

Martina Hingis is no WTA superstar anymore (nor is she involved with Stepanek… though she once was), but the Swiss Miss is continuing her post-tennis life by exploring the different pleasures of life. Her most current obsession? Polo. Hingis was spotted in Florida getting some polo lessons last weekend. Maybe Britney will cast her (or Andy?!) in her next video.

After the cut: two online screen grabs that grabbed our attention this week plus a full (and plentiful!) version of short(er) balls, the best never-ending paragraph you’ve ever come across. (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)


testy tanlines

September 24, 2009

Ramirez-Hidalgo

Spaniard Rubin Ramirez-Hidalgo was sleeving it like it was 2001 and he was Martina Hingis today at the BCR Open in Romania. Or maybe he was just sporting that right bicep?

In any case, we’re not quite sure how Ramirez-Hidalgo — or Hingis, for that matter — evens out his tan lines after a day on the court like that. You’ve gotta like the creativity though, right?

Hingis-Martina-Sleeves

Martina wore this adidas top through much of 2001, including at the Aussie and French. It never really did catch on, but we’re loving Ramirez-Hidalgo’s effort of resurrecting it. What’s next? Crazy tees saluting Santoro?! Can’t wait.

(photos via getty)

serena: queen of the garden?

February 28, 2009

Chasing greatness: Seles was the last to play at the Garden.

Winter gardening: Believe it or not, Serena Williams has never played at Madison Square Garden. In fact, of the four players competing in this Monday’s Billie Jean King Cup in New York, only Venus has played at the mecca of all sports – and just once, in 1999.

The last time pro women swung tennis racquets at the Garden was in 2000, at the WTA’s Season Ending Championships. In that tournament, then-20-year-old Martina Hingis outgunned fan fave and Garden gal Monica Seles in three tight sets, 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-4. 

If Monica owned the Garden in the early 90s, Serena hopes to own it in 2009. Friday, during a conference call, the Australian Open champ was asked by NYT‘s George Vecsey what she felt about the MSG, and had this to say: 

“Growing up I’ve always watched tennis [being played at] Madison Square Garden. There was the WTA there [and] for as long as I can remember I’ve always wanted to play there. It’s for a great event. I think women’s tennis right now is the mecca of female sports and to have an event like this put on … just shows how amazing women’s tennis is. These New Yorkers can get to see such high quality tennis for one night.”

The queen of the Garden will be crowned Monday on HBO, which is broadcasting the event live beginning at 730 EST. We’ll be there to cover it live.

(image via ALLSPORT)

short balls: sketches, socks, and stripes

February 22, 2008

philip-burke-tnyo-usopen07.jpg

RePRINTed: Our buddy Jordan snapped this photo of Philip Burke drawings in the February issue of PRINT. The images of Ana Ivanovic and Novak Djokovic originally appeared in The New York Observer‘s coverage of the 2007 U.S. Open. God bless iPhones.

All in the family: Just FYI — Kellie Kuehne, the golfer sister of Venus Williams‘s golfer boyfriend Hank, plays the green wearing EleVen clothing. Whodathunk the clothing would be so versatile?

mauresmo-socks.jpg

Amelie inspires socks: Dear Miss Mauresmo, I know you’re a little down these days — contemplating retirement, even) — in your latest slump you should know that (a) you lost a very streaky-but-good player in Tamarine Tanasugarn at this week’s Qatar Total Open, and that you’ve (b) inspired Claire to knit some socks. That’s right: socks. In your honor. Based on the dress you wore when you won the Australian in 2006. xoxo – TSF

The higher they go… The sullied career of Martina Hingis gets dealt another blow (hee) in the wake of her testing positive for cocaine at last year’s Wimbledon. According to Tennis Week, adidas dropped its endorsement contract with the former No. 1 because of a zero-tolerance policy on substance abuse.

short balls thursday:

October 11, 2007

I decorated an heirloom pumpkin last night. God bless having friends who own craft kits. I got burned by a glue gun, though :( Not fun. Anyway, here we go with some short balls…

Robert Waltz won’t answer my e-mails: My friend Chris passed along this article co-written by him (and Tennis.com editor Kamakshi Tandon) about the race to the year-ending Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai. This is why I love the statistician extraodinaire. (Tennis.com)

The Scud hits the skids: As a true testament to his focus on the sport (or perhaps conveniently hiding behind it), Aussie Mark Philippoussis — via IMG rep Carlos Fleming — has rubbed out Age of Love flame Amanda Salinas from his life. His focus is now the upcoming Stanford Championships in Dallas.

(OT) Romanticizing rail travel: It’s good to know that train stations this gorgeous are still being built. (Gabion)

Swiss Miss to miss rest of 2007: Sad end to Martina Hingis‘ revived career? (ESPN via women’s tennis blog)

More short balls…

party pics: china open serves up the ladies

September 18, 2007

The top crop of ladies vying for the China Open title this week — Svetlana Kuznetsova, Jelena Jankovic, Amelie Mauresmo (welcome back!), Elena Dementieva, Lindsay Davenport, and Martina Hingis — were all present at this promo event which had them clad in cheongsams (traditional Chinese dresses). All except for Lindsay, who was wearing her LBD. I wonder why?

This is the first off-court dress I’ve LOVED on Amelie. As usual, Jelena and Elena were looking good.

Best dressed award goes to Hingis, though. Maybe it’s the dress + the curly hair + devilish smile? Whatever she did, it worked!

Who do you think dressed best? Tell us!

(photos by O Sports)

style short balls: tennis week magazine, sunfeast fashion, hingis’ gear, agassi’s sandals, etc.

September 18, 2007

Back in the fray: IMG-backed Tennis Week Magazine furthers its makeover plans by announcing an eight-issue publication schedule for 2008 and a relaunch of its website (tennisweek.com) in November. The publication will be headed by Randy Master. TSF can’t wait to see the goods! (via marketwire)

Speaking of IMG: LAT reports that ex-HBO Chief Executive Chris Albrecht has been brought in to IMG to beef up domestic distribution of programming surrounding the agency-owned events (such as fashion weeks, sporting events, etc.).

[Insert slicing pun here]: This cute chopping board via hopehope.

Hingis decides on racquet: TSF doesn’t usually talk racquets, but it piqued our interest that Martina Hingis did not have a racquet sponsor for most of the summer — she played with an all-black demo (with a white grip) — but that has now changed. Per Stephanie Myles, Hingis is now playing with the Yonex RQiS 2.

PETA, Can You Hear Me?: Hingis owns up to owning a fancy chinchilla shawl. It’s cold in Switzerland, she says. (via Tennis Week)

(OT) Patrolling London: The Times‘ London Fashion Week coverage has this great bit on the eccentric men darting around at the shows.

Agassi flips out: Andre Agassi slapped Target with a lawsuit for continuing to market flip-flops with the Agassi name even after his reps had told the retailer to stop. The sandals, once sold under “Mossimo Agassi”, are now just Mossimo. (Buy the sandals.) (via sportsonesource.com)

Rebound Ace RIP: It makes sense (timing-wise) that the Australian Open’s courts are already being torn up in time for 2008’s first Grand Slam.

Speaking of effed up courts: Unlike the entire Serbian team, the clay courts used for the Davis Cup tie between Australia and Serbia (hosted in Belgrade) aren’t so hot.

Calcutta serves up a fashion ‘Feast: The Sunfeast Open in Calcutta rode into town a week after the latest India Fashion Week. And so to open this week’s tournament, the ladies participated in the Miss Players Fashion show on Sunday night. Maria Kirilenko, wore an evening dress from Wills Lifestyle. Other players who walked down the runway: Marion Bartoli, also in a black dress; Yaroslova Shvedova and Hana Smorova, both in capris and t-shirts; Sunitha Rao, dressed in red and white; Tara Iyer; Alexandra Wosniak; and Vania King.

Kirilenko’s photo: See a photo of Kirilenko in her black dress after the cut…

short balls: “this and that” edition

September 5, 2007

Tennis and Latinos: While lots of folks in Latin America might be catching tennis fever, those living stateside are relatively immune — until the U.S. Open comes to town. VivirLatino rode the 7 train to get to the action. “(The 7’s) crowded with working class people of color to begin with, (and) becomes even more crowded, now with wide eyed mostly white tennis fans, most looking a little lost and scared. Most won’t give a lady with a baby in a sling their seat either.” Ugh, what is the world coming to?

Tennis and the rest of the world: Americans might never dominate tennis again, but that’s okay. It’s not that we’re producing less greats. It’s really just that the rest of the world is catching up. So just sit back, and make sure you know how to pronounce Agnieszka Radwanska. (NYT)

Tennis and college football: Scoop Jackson lists 25 reasons why pro tennis is better than college football. (“No. 23: Because women receive equal pay.”)

Tennis and booze: An Ad Ager complains about the recent partnership between Grey Goose vodka and the USTA.

Tennis and gambling: SI‘s S.L. Price keeps the conversation going about match-fixing on the ATP Tour.

Martina and Max: Swiss Miss Martina Hingis took in BCBG‘s Spring 2008 fashion show in New York before heading back home. She looked great in her gold sequin top under a black jumper dress (paired with a gold pendant neckace and some black booties). Martina lost to Victoria Azarenka in the third round of this year’s U.S. Open. (WWD)

Roddick and Brooklyn: Texan Andy Roddick was apparently spotted dining with SI swimsuit model Brooklyn Decker at Nobu. (MTF)

Between a rock and a hard place: How should James Blake deal with his African-American heritage?

(photo of Hingis with Natasha Bedingfield, left, and Nigel Barker, right, both by AP via PDN)

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the scud’s not a playboy, lleyton fails to prove he can beat roger, roger still doesn’t like hawk-eye

August 12, 2007

Isner-mania continues: The Western & Southern Financial Group Masters in Cincinnati awarded giant(-killer) John Isner a wildcard for this year’s tourney. (The Cincy Post)

The Scud’s not a playboy?: Age of Love runner-up Jennifer Braff, a 48-year-old executive assistant to Lakers owner Jerry Buss, talks about Mark:

“(The producers) kept saying he was a little dense and kept trying to get me to say it. I think in a lot of ways he’s not as socially conditioned to be out there dating. He’s been playing tennis since he was 8 years old, and was trained by his father.

“It seemed as though he’d been more sheltered. NBA players seem to kind of get thrown out there when they’re young. The girls approach them and are always around. That’s a big difference, socially.” (LAT)

Lleyton got his chance: The new and improved Lleyton Hewitt has been dying to prove his worth by playing Roger Federer. He got his chance at this week’s Rogers Cup. Yep, he has a lot more work left before the U.S. Open. (Tennis News)

R-Fed and Hawk-Eye not a match: The World No. 1 continues to speak about not trusting the line-calling system. And he copes with close calls like a true champion. “Well, what other choice do you have? Can’t go drink coffee with the guy and say, ‘Let’s discuss this line call.'” (transcript via Tennis News)

Shaking it off: Czech Radek Stepanek leaves behind injury and wedding engagement to play his best tennis in a long time. The results: he makes the semis at Gstaad, wins L.A., and loses to Federer in the Montreal semis.

davenport can teach hingis a thing or two…

July 20, 2007

Josh pointed out that Lindsay Davenport has signed up to play doubles with Lisa Raymond at Pilot Pen, at which point she’ll have been two months out of the hospital after delivering her son Jagger. What a smart way of easing back into the game.

Speaking of, I think Martina Hingis should seriously consider playing more doubles in her second tennis life. The Swiss Miss’ welcome wagon ran out of gas months ago; she’s settled into the #8-#15 rankings after making a good run in tournaments earlier this year. With the game how it is now — women are still hitting with way more power than she can take — her days of winning Grand Slam singles titles are over. Even Tier I titles will be tough. She would make a greater mark on the doubles circuit, and her body would hold up better, too.

the girl who cried “retirement”?

May 7, 2007

If you haven’t already heard, Belgian Kim Clijsters announced her immediate retirement from professional tennis. She made the decision after losing to Ukranian qualifier Julia Vakulenko at this week’s J&S Cup in Warsaw.

People I’ve talked to are split in their reaction. Is Kim really done with tennis? Or does she just need a break?

clijsters in poland - last matchI don’t think she’s done with tennis quite yet. The sport’s grueling schedule painted her into a corner, with no other choice but to retire. The same way Martina Hingis was driven away. But Hingis ended up with a broken foot, while Kim ended up with a broken spirit. I expect Kim to join Sybille Bammer in the mother-and-active-player club in a few years.

As we reflect on her absence, we should talk about another benefit to SEWTA’s Roadmap 2010: the shortened tour schedule will decrease the rate of injuries and (hopefully) lessen mental exhaustion. The tour forces players to think about tennis 24/7, making it hard for those who want to pursue other interests (i.e., lead a balanced life). Perhaps Kim wouldn’t have retired as early if the seasons were shorter. Or maybe we wouldn’t give Serena so much flack for acting, since she’d do it when no one’s looking.

The SEWTA should go even further and allow players a “leave of absence” — for up to one season — to give players a chance to better plan their careers. (Their ranking should be protected with a formula tied to how long they’re out, and how many points they have t defend.) Let them stay fresh and participate in some “extra-curricular” activities. It’ll raise the profile of the player, and they will most likely bring a new crop of fans to the courts when they’re back on the tour.

Photo: Clijsters playing her last match, at the J&S Cup in Warsaw, Poland.

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