Archive for the ‘nick mccarvel’ Category

short balls: california girls (and boys)

July 27, 2010

TSF takes over the West Coast this week as I made the drive from Cottonwood, Idaho, (yeah, it exists) to San Francisco yesterday for a little R&R and a day at the Bank of the West Classic tomorrow in Palo Alto, at Stanford. Meanwhile, Erwin is holding court in LA for the Farmers Classic, making sure that the boys adhere to the warm weather shining on SoCal and going shirtless on the practice courts.

This week’s version of short balls comes on Tuesday, a little earlier than usual. Enjoy!

I’ll make the drive down to Palo Alto tomorrow for a day at the 40th annual Bank of the West Classic, now the longest-running women’s event on tour. Bank of the West has been the title sponsor since 1992 at this event, something that is unheard of in the days of fast-moving money. (Remember the Lipton Championships? Or the Kraft WTA Tour? Seems like centuries ago… ) The Bank of the West has been at Stanford’s Taube Tennis Pavilion since 1997, and just this year announced partnership with Rebounces, a green company that runs a tennis-ball recycling program nationwide. Balls brought in by members of the public (and those used in the tournament) will be collected and recycled by Rebounces, with the help of FedEx to get them shipped and donated to a local youth tennis program. Thumbs up to that!

There’s always plenty of tennis action on the pages of Twitter, and this week a few more tennis names added themselves to the never-ending world of Tweets. Janko Tipsarevic asked his followers to “bare” with his bad English (gladly, Janko, gladly). WTAers Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Alisa Kleybanova have also joined the Twitter ranks. Anastasia is playing in Istanbul this week, whiles Kleybs was already dismissed from Stanford by a studious Ana Ivanovic. Before she was bounced outta the Bay Area, Kleybs sat down with Chris Oddo for an interview featured on On The Baseline.

The USTA announced yesterday that it is partnering with longtime supporter American Express for a program called Fresh Courts. The program will invest money in 17 different tennis courts in three urban centers, including Los Angeles, DC and New York. In NYC, the benefactors will be our friends over at McCarren Park in Brooklyn. The USTA will head up the fixing up of the courts themselves, as it oversees around 700 refurbishing projects each year.

For a little bit of a fashion fix, I’m digging this Lacoste v-neck (and the model!) I ran across yesterday. $40 online. Meanwhile, Serena might be questionable for the US Open itself, but that’s not keeping Nike from prepping itself for her outfit at said tourney. The Control Court dress (seen here via TennisConnected) is $85 and might – just might – be made famous by ReRe if she’s able to show at Flushing Meadows come late August. This is the black version of her Wimbledon get up, which helped her to her 13th slam title.

short(er) balls are happening after the cut. (more…)

sunday survey: your summer thoughts

July 25, 2010

Novak Djokovic and Vera Zvonareva have already pulled out of their respective first stops on the US Open Series calendar. Vera won’t be popping in at Stanford for The Bank of the West Classic, and Novak isn’t heading to LA for the Farmers Classic. As the draw shows [PDF] and Chris Oddo notes, the BOTW isn’t hurting too much without the Wimbledon finalist on hand. And Andy Murray is headed down to LA to fill Djoko’s slot.

Andy Roddick is already struggling in his summer season, losing in the semifinals at the Atlanta Tennis Championships to a slimmed-down Mardy Fish. Will it be a ho-hum summer for A-Rod or will he pack at the Open like he wants to?

Sunday Survey: What do you think the big story lines will be for summer 2010? Injuries galore? Serena missing? A Delpo comeback? What woman can break away from the pack and become a favorite for the year’s last Major? And who of the men will make their claim for a Slam title in New York? Rafa? Roger? Andy(s)? It’s your turn to tell us in this week’s version of the Sunday Survey.

(photo by MartinWorster via flickr)

malisse swings for sports center’s top 10 plays

July 24, 2010

Xavier Malisse pulled a trick out of the tennis bag last night in a first-set rally against Andy Roddick at the Atlanta Tennis Championships with an in-between the legs shot. Roddick was there to pounce at the net (click image above to watch the video), and the American won the match in three sets. The shot was #9 on Sports Center‘s Top 10 Plays reel from last night.

Delpo UPDATE: In Spanish on his Twitter account, Juan Martin del Potro told his fans: “I haven’t picked up a racquet yet so I can’t tell an exact date. When I know I’ll tell you the news here. I’m improving, that’s a good thing.” (Translation via Tennis-X blog.) Delpo musta read our timeline and decided it was time to clear things up.

(screen grab via espn.com)


delpo’s comeback? a twitter timeline of the question lingering over tennis

July 23, 2010

In the last 30 hours, the web has been abuzz with news that defending US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro, who hasn’t played a match since the Australian Open because of an injured right wrist, will make an appearance in New York a month from now to defend his title.

TSF breaks down the news and timelines of just how things panned out on Twitter and beyond.

Thursday, July 22nd, 9:17 AM – In what we see as the first evidence of JMdP’s comeback, SI writer L. Jon Wertheim Tweets:

Thursday, 9:30 AM Montreal Gazette writer Stephanie Myles responds to Wertheim’s Tweet and provides her own analysis from the news:

Thursday, 11:25 AM – The USTA releases its “provisional entry list” for the 2010 tournament on its web site.

Thursday, 11:29 AM Doug Robson, a tennis writer who regularly contributes to USA Today, Tweets that a USTA contact has confirmed that JMdP is already hitting:

Thursday, 11:50 AM – Less than a half hour later, an Associated Press story written by tennis writer Howard Fendrich appears on the web with Del Potro as the headline catch.

Thursday, 10:85 AM to early afternoon — Freelance writer Kamakshi Tandon follows the story on her account, but between her first Tweet about it (at bottom) and her last, doubt has popped in about the current status of JMdP:

Thursday, 12:04 PM – Tandon’s doubt was started by the Argentinean tennis blog, Fue Buena:

Thursday, mid afternoon Tennis Magazine writer and former Tandon colleague Tom Perrotta weighs in:

Friday, July 23rd, 11:41 AM – Esteemed tennis writer Peter Bodo posts on ESPN.com about Del Potro’s return.

Friday, mid afternoon — On Twitter, marcos_z, an Argentiean writer says that USO won’t happen for JMdP and that Bangkok is earliest return:

Friday, 2:14 PM – Fuebuena blog posts that “The Idea is Bangkok” for Del Potro’s return.

Thursday, July 15th – The last time Del Potro himself had Tweeted, saying that the doctor was happy with his progress and he would pick up a racquet soon.

The Del Potro Twitter feed is quite active throughout this timeline.

(screen grabs via twitter)

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: tears of joy

July 15, 2010

Dressing, acting and crying like a 12-year-old boy (all so charmingly, might we add!), Rafael Nadal embraced the World Cup in all its glory by cheering on his champs, Spain, in South Africa on Sunday. The Spanish team downed The Netherlands 1-0 to win the country’s first-ever World Cup title, and Rafa got all giddy (and shed some tears) over the futbol success. Looks as though Rafa will keep one foot on the soccer field in the near future as it was also announced last week that he is now a partial shareholder of the Real Mallorca club team.

While one future Hall-of-Famer was in Africa rooting on his countrymen, seven tennis personalities were inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame over the weekend in Newport, R.I. Most notably were the doubles tandems of Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge and Natasha Zvereva and Gigi Fernandez. Brad Parks, one of the founding fathers of wheelchair tennis in America, was also honored, as were Derek Hardwick (a pioneer in modernizing the game to its current Open format) and Owen Davidson (a doubles specialist) were also inducted.

In this economy, it might be good to be a tennis player. The US Open announced that the winner of its men’s and women’s singles titles will walk home with $1.7 million each, with the chance of each winning an extra $1 million for talking the US Open Series crown during the summer. The tournament had a 7% increase overall in payout, bringing its total purse to $22.6 million. Ka-ching!

Donnay, once the racquet of champions, is trying to make a resurgence in the global tennis market. The company launched nine new racquets recently, and will use the success of Yanina Wickmayer (their only notable player) to help market the brand. The company once was a big-time player in tennis as the club of choice for Bjorn Borg, Andre Agassi, Margaret Court and Cliff Drysdale.

There’s a whole lotta short(er) balls and (OT) after the cut.

(more…)

double(s) duty: an interview with novelist nic brown

July 6, 2010

One of the upsides to working at a bookstore is stumbling across hidden gems of the literary world. The gem I happened upon a couple of weeks ago, Nic Brown‘s new novel, Doubles, isn’t exactly hidden: the acclaimed author of Floodmarkers takes his sophomore swing with a story entrenched in the world of tennis. I got my hands on a copy of an uncorrected proof a customer was buying just long enough to jot down the title and author, and found that Brown had the thumbs up of many a folk, including The New York Times Book Review (from his prior work): “What Brown does so expertly is to summon the brief, intimate moments—the single word shared between two characters, the simple gesture that quietly reveals hope.”

Doubles was released last week, and TSF got the chance to interview the tennis-loving author via email. Check out our revealing and candid exchange from this bright writer below.

TSF: First and foremost, why name your main character “Slow Smith?” We’re obsessed with it, but there’s gotta be some calculations behind such a name. Explain.
Nic Brown: Slow is almost seven feet tall and has a ridiculously long service routine. His doubles partner, Kaz – who started playing with him when they were five years old – coined the nickname when they were kids. At the time, Kaz didn’t know much English, but he did know the word “slow” and would yell it at Smith when he took too long between serves. Hence, the nickname. It stuck. Also, because of Slow’s height, he just sort of lopes around the court in these big floppy steps.

TSF: Golden. And sure as heck better than “Bepa.” Did you take into consideration the name of famous American tennis player Stan Smith? There’s some similarity there…
NB:
Yeah, the name is a nod towards Stan Smith. I mean, I knew Slow was going to be the character’s first name, so I figured I’d make it alliterative and give him a last name that echoed Stan Smith. Also, Stan Smith’s kids played college tennis in the area [Brown is a North Carolina native] – his daughter played at UNC and his son at Duke. It seemed a fitting allusion, albeit one that is totally unrelated to the actual narrative.

We’re digging the Doubles cover, photographed by Michael Rolph.

TSF: Before we dive too far into your narrative work in Doubles, tell us a little about yourself.
NB: I grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina. I spent most of my time playing drums and skateboarding, but – barring skating – the only sport I played or was even remotely into was tennis. I did play quite a bit of it – losing 100% of my matches against my primary foil, Ralph Brabham from down the street – but was never on any teams or leagues or anything. I was a fan, but it wasn’t until later, when I became very close friends with the tennis player Tripp Phillips, that I started to become really obsessed with the sport, both as a spectator and player.

Read more about Doubles, and Brown’s adventuring in the world of Challenger tennis, his thoughts on tennis relationships, who his favorite players are and how he discovered John Isner 10 years before his 11 hours of fame-making.

(more…)

tsf podcast: wimbledon (w/ david thorpe)

July 3, 2010

What moment created this sort of celebration from Serena? It wasn’t Championship Point. Find out in this installment of the TSF podcast.

Freelance tennis writer David Thorpe joined me and Erwin this morning to talk about the 2010 edition of Wimbledon that, with Serena Williams‘s clinical win on Saturday, is almost over. Click the file to upload to your iTunes and hear us rattle off our thoughts on everything from NBC‘s commentary quality, to the roller coaster that is Venus Williams, why the Queen makes us hungry and just who will make good on their Wimbledon breakthrough and become a top-tier player.

David Thorpe joins to talk on the TSF Wimby Women

short balls 2.0: like a train, we’re still going

July 1, 2010

Who knew today would be such a busy tennis news day?! And here we were thinking all we’d have to do is count how many times John McEnroe used “she” in his commentary instead of identifying Zvonareva, Pironkova or Kvitova by name. We think it was somewhere in the ball park of 2,000 or so.

My first-person account of trying out to be a US Open ballperson is up on the New York Times Straight Sets tennis blog. No, I haven’t heard back yet, but I can assure my tryout wasn’t quite as entertaining as Jimmy Fallon’s from last year’s Open. Hilarity.

In case you haven’t heard yet, Justine Henin has sustained an elbow injury at Wimbledon and has already stated she’s likely not to play the US Open. So much for that comeback, eh? Oh, and remember the 35,000-seat stadium that was going to host the Justine versus Kimmy exhibition? 34,999 people are breathing a sigh of relief that Serena signed on to take her place.

(OT) The Target Corp. is opening a new store in Manhattan’s Spanish Harlem nabe, on 116th and Pleasant Avenue. The company is going all out with advertising, including buying and entire 6 Train (which runs on the east side through Spanish Harlem) – inside and out – for brand advertising. Click the image above to see video.

Pardon our forgetfulness, but we had somehow lost track of the kennethinthe212 blog, a witty and well-written corner of the web that dedicates a good deal of virtual ink to the world of tennis. Or, more importantly, the catfights of tennis. Most recently, Kenneth made sure to post Sandra Bernhard‘s angry Tweets scolding Pam Shriver for existing… er, we mean, for ridiculing Venus Williams. You tell ‘em honey!

And in a not-so-surprising move, the Huffington Post has selected Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic as the top two male hotties at Wimbledon. #3? John Isner. We’re not so sure about that one…

short balls: wimby’s week 2

July 1, 2010

Week two at The Championships, Wimbledon is coming to a close. It’s most certainly been a wild ride, and TSF is pretty sure that this is one of our more favorite slams from the last few years. Can the final weekend produce the high-quality tennis (and drama!) that would put the cream on top of the strawberries?? We hope so. For now, let’s get to those short balls that haven’t quite been bouncing on the court but have been getting plenty action off of it…

Thumbs up to the folks over at Flavorwire for coming up with the seven films that are longer than the Isner-Mahut match. Didn’t know they existed? Neither did we. At first we didn’t think there could be anything more boring than watching two men serve bomb after bomb at one another for 11 hours, but The Longest Most Meaningless Movie in the World (48 hours) sounds absolutely torturous. But don’t worry, that’s just a third the length of Cinematon, which is almost a week long (150 hours). Hand over the popcorn and the triple shot cappuccino, y’all, we’re gunna need it!

The city of San Diego is double fist-pumping after it was announced earlier this week that it will host the Fed Cup final between the US and Italy. San Diego lost its beloved WTA Tour stop two years ago during a restructuring by the tour, but it was announced earlier this year that the Mercury Insurance Open would return to the tennis hotbed, and with the announcement of the Fed Cup final San Diego is swagging like Birmingham, Ala., did a few months ago.

The days of teen domination of the WTA Tour? Probably over. At least that’s what Doug Robson wrote this week in USA Today, siting the success of veterans Francesca Schiavone, Sam Stosur and Vera Zvonareva at recent slams. Want other evidence that the teens are going the way of the dinosaur on tour? Robson notes just one teen is in the top 10 (can you name her?!) and six are in the top 100. Speaking of the youngsters: Brit Laura Robson (no relation to Doug) has advanced to the semifinals of the juniors draw at Wimbledon.

Want some French fashion to make your Wimbledon feel complete? Yeah, we understand that doesn’t make complete sense, but if Serena can don her nails in diamonds and strawberries, then we can help reveal the secrets of a French woman’s style. What’s stylish for a former Wimbledon champ from France who’s now retired? See above. She couldn’t look better, even as a coach.

And yes, we heard about Jennifer Capriati this week. Who didn’t? But, what to write? It’s impossible to know whether the claims of a suicide attempt are true, or if Capriati was indeed taking prescription medications or if it was another type of overdose. In any case, this might have been the kind of incident that will turn Capriati’s life for the better. As far as we knew here at TSF, she was still mulling a comeback to the tour, but it might be safe now to officially write “Retired” next to her name and see her blossoming in new and different ways. We can only hope.

(photo by getty images)

wimbledon gets catty in the queue

June 24, 2010

Wimbledon.org, the official web site of The Championships, got a little catty with its queue fashion video – and we love it! The vid itself, which looks to be sponsored by Evian features a fashion-savvy London lady critiquing (in secret) the fashion choices of the queuers. We LOVE this idea! Too bad she mostly stuck to the gals…

See the video by clicking here. Scroll two thirds down the page to find it. And, go to page 2 of the Wimby videos to find an equally-entertaining fan hat video. Lovely, just lovely!

(screen grab via wimbledon.org)

an empty summer day at the bjkntc

June 24, 2010

Was out at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center today in Queens, New York, and snapped this phone shot of an empty grounds. Weird sight. Two months!!

(tsf photo)

curtsy from afar

June 23, 2010

Serena Williams will have to over night the Queen a pair of binoculars slash see-through-buildings glasses if she wants the Queen to see her well-practiced curtsy on Thursday. Not only was Serena bounced from Centre Court, the defending champion has been relegated to Court 2 for play, being upstaged by Caroline Wozniacki for Queen’s-court bidding.

In all seriousness, we wouldn’t be surprised if the Queen, who is making her first visit to Wimbledon since 1977, will only sit through the Andy Murray match (up first) and then do the Venus Royalty Wave (cup the hand) and peace out.

(image via wimbledon web site)

in pictures, the match that stretched a lifetime

June 23, 2010

The John Isner-Nicolas Mahut match might not still be going if the players didn’t make these grave mistakes during their nearly nine hours on court…

At one point, Mahut let the ball boy play a game for him while he crouched on his knees in the middle of the court. Not only did the ball boy suck at tennis, he tried to hold the racket head and hit with the handle. After much begging, the ball boy got Mahut to continue, but only after Isner had served four straight aces.

Isner took a bathroom break on court. This is extremely inappropriate, especially for Wimbledon. Mahut serves up two aces and the crowd did the wave several times to create some air flow on Court 18.

(more…)

james speaks for hundreds of players, still can’t quiet pam

June 22, 2010

James Blake spoke out for hundreds of players who, over the last ten years, have heard Pam Shriver‘s voice carry on to the court, by shushing the ESPN correspondent today, but Shriver’s decibels didn’t drop after his initial rant.

While Blake was clearly irritated on his way to a three-set flop-out, he called out Shriver on being too loud while doing sideline commentary above Court 5. Shriver relays the details, but as she does so, she speaks at the same volume she had been the entire time, choosing to continue to get under the skin of the American. He let her know again how frustrated he was, and P-Shrive still couldn’t get a clue. (Click image to watch video.)

Later, we suspect, James received hundreds – if not thousands – of appreciative text messages from fellow players for his actions. He also, we (still) suspect, is crafting a Commentate-o-Meter to measure the decibels of on-court reporters. Shriver is expected to give Michelle Larcher de Brito a run for her high-pitched money.

(screen grab via youtube)

the girl with the roger federer tattoo

June 18, 2010

(Editor Update: As of July 2012 we are focusing our tennis coverage — yes, including a tattoo watch! — over at Tennis Now. Check us out there.)

Just in time for Wimbledon, TSF discovered a big-time Roger Federer fan who wears her pride on her sleeve… er, to be exact, the underside of her wrist. Always.

Michele Drohan is avid tennis player who lives in Manhattan and works for a video and TV product company called Sling Media. She also happens to have the RF logo tattooed onto her wrist, something few fans can claim. We bring you the story of Michele, her tattoo, and the way it all came about.

TSF: When did you get the tattoo?
Michele Doran: I got the tattoo the same day Fed (finally!) won the French Open, in 2009.

TSF: Good timing. Tell me about the thought process of why you got it.
MD: The fact that Fed had completed the career grand slam and tied Sampras‘s record was a special moment for me as a long-time, die-hard fan. My best friend, Caroline, jokingly bet me that if he won I should get a tattoo. And it just made sense at the time. It might sound strange to the non-fan, but I did it, in part, because I felt I wanted to honor his accomplishments, like I owed him. He’s brought me so much joy, and a fair share of anxiety, watching him play and I truly believe there will never be another like him.

TSF: Fair enough. But what about those people in your life who have brought you joy (and anxiety) personally? Weren’t there a few that were completely against it?
MD: Nobody influential was against it, but I have friends who bristle at it, mostly because they’re jealous, frustrated Roddick fans. (Insert sly laughter here.) Again, Caroline my best friend — and fellow fanatic — was totally for it and with me when I got it. She got a tattoo, too, but nothing tennis related. It was definitely a celebratory day. Maybe we were a little drunk. But I don’t regret it at all.

TSF: More power to you (and Caroline)! Do you have other tattoos?
MD: I have three other tattoos. A small rose on my back, a snake on my arm (which I tried to get removed unsuccessfully — long story) and another flower on my ankle. So getting the RF tattoo wasn’t a stretch per se. Once you have one tattoo, getting another isn’t a huge deal.

TSF: OK, got it. I haven’t delved into that yet. But I was thinking of a vintage Mary Pierce pony tail down my neck and back. No? For you, why the RF? Do you have a big obsession with Roger? Or just love the design? Or both?
MD: As for the RF, it was totally and completely for Federer. Yes, some would say I’m obsessed. I guess I’m just lucky he has such a fabulous logo.

More from Michele and shots of her RF ink after the cut. (more…)

short balls: the magic of andy

June 16, 2010

The entire British population is hoping that Andy Murray can bring the kind of magic to Wimbledon that video editors brought to his new, catchy ad for Head.

The nearly-two-minute spot has a sort of Powerade-impossible feel to it, as Murray saunters through the streets of (what seems to be) London and performs trick after trick with racket and ball. Could this thing go viral? A day after I found the link, it gained 9,000 views online. Kudos to the folks at Head, who need to re-think the entry page to their web site using the same brain that made this video, which – no surprise – is on the jump page inside the site.

The World Cup has seemingly captured the world’s attention, though some folks quite disagree with that fact. As Ben Bergman writes on NPR, he’s flat out bored with the soccer, and thinks most of America is, as well. Several sports journalists that TSF follows on Twitter have mentioned how few goals have been scored in this year’s Cup thus far (9 scoreless halves, to note). Maybe that’ll up the chances for folks to turn the tube to another sporting event on grass next week, no? Just in case you’re still interested, the Village Voice has a hilarious guide on how to pretend to know what you’re talking about while watching the world’s game played out in bars across the country. Brush up on your futbol facts!

Prince’s apparel (and footwear) digital catalogue is out, and while we’re not necessarily sure what to think of what’s inside, we do dig the looks of Alina Jidkova and Kveta Peschke. The girls are lookin’ good in ‘P’!

See our favorite new Chinese trend and speed read what has been happening in the two-week sandwich known as the “grass court season”. (more…)

sunday survey: the comeback kid(s)

June 12, 2010

Click the image to watch video of Mauresmo displaying her masterful hands at Queens. Will Amelie pull a Clijsters-like comeback?!

Recently there has been plenty of comeback speculation on the WTA Tour. Lindsay Davenport is playing mixed doubles at Wimbledon (with Bob Bryan) and two tour events (with Liezel Huber) in California this summer. Martina Hingis is playing World Team Tennis, which Billie Jean King thinks will lead to a return in doubles for the Swiss Miss. And Amelie Mauresmo was spotted at Queen’s helping out with Michael Llorda‘s grasscourt campaign.

With Kimiko Date Krumm stunning Dinara Safina in the first round of the French Open and Francesca Schiavone taking the whole enchilada, is there any reason to believe that none of these ‘over the hill’ gals could not come back?! We’d love to see that happen…

If you could pick just one to make a return, it would be…

(screen shot from acetennismagazine’s youtube page)

short balls: the in-between edition

June 10, 2010

Ed note: We were planning on getting a podcast up for djy’all’s enjoyment this week, but real life got in the way. Check out TSF early next week for a Roland Garros wrap-up and a look-ahead to The Championships, Wimbledon. -NM

In case you missed it in our last post, there is something called the World Cup going on in South Africa. It’s the biggest athletic event of its kind on the globe, and will be happening for the next month (!) as 32 teams battle it out for the cup. The media has covered this event from every possible angle, and I wanted to share a couple of those with you faithful folk. The first is a bit historical and artsy: the history of the World Cup soccer ball (compiled by the NYT). The second is a bit of the shallow variety, but it’s worth it.

While some people might not be very impressed with Maria Sharapova‘s Birmingham warm-up frocks (and we sort of agree), the Russian lady was out in the community supporting the game of tennis for youth and unveiling a mural put together by local artists. The WTA put together a video of the scene (linked above in the image, too).

One former player who knew how to paint the court with winners, Monica Seles, was featured on the WTA’s web site last week. Can she joing the comeback train, too?! She’s our second pick behind Mary, Our Lady of Roland Garrolupe. Seeing as though there are now two Italians in the WTA’s top ten, it wouldn’t be the craziest of things to happen.

Laura Robson was in a bit of hot water over the weekend for quotes that she provided to Vogue UK for an upcoming article in the British pub. From the looks of her Twitter account, Robson got the memo from her PR team to issue some sort of response (later a full press release was issued) and since then has been a rather silent Sally while winning four matches (three in qualifying) at Birmingham. Talk about adding to the pressure for this year’s Championships.

After the cut: Shorter balls and a look at the second-ever outdoor WNBA game (along with the first!). (more…)

housing works gets athletic

June 10, 2010

First off, let me be professional for just a minute… and say that, for full disclosure, I work for Housing Works at their bookstore in Soho. Housing Works is a tremendous non-profit in New York that benefits homeless New Yorkers living with HIV AIDS. As a non-profit that runs on a social entrepreneurship model, we’re always looking for new ways to bring in bucks for the tremendous services that we offer our clients. Below are two events over the next four days that NYers can plug into. If you’re not in NYC and just want to learn more about HW in general, here’s our homepage.

Wimbledon on the Hudson – A Tennis Tournament Benefitting Housing Works is the first-ever tennis tournament fundraiser that Housing Works has put on and it’s happening this coming Monday, June 14th from 6 to 9 PM. Though the tourney itself is happening on the East River (Roosevelt Racquet Club, to be exact) and not the Hudson, we still thought the name rang well with the big thing happening across the pond in one week’s time. This isn’t a tournament for the serious of the serious though, it’ll be a light-hearted affair to hit and giggle over some strawberries and cream. Players are asked to pay a $150 entry fee (all money benefitting HW), while audience members are welcome to buy $25 tickets to chomp on those strawberries and sip on some flutes of champagne.  A raffle includes prizes from the USTA, Wilson, Fila, Tennis Magazine and Mason’s Tennis Mart.

More slammin’ Housing Works events after the cut. (more…)


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