Archive for the ‘australian open’ Category

aussie preview: the power list

January 15, 2011

Since we’re done with our fashion coverage for the year (we only kid!), we decided to look a little bit closer at the tennis that will be played at the upcoming Australian Open, which begins Sunday night on American television.

Tomorrow: Who’s Up, Who’s Down and the Dark Horses of the AO | Follow us on Twitter @TSFtennis

The Power List – How the top men (and women) stack up

1. No one can come into the AO feeling better than Roger Federer. The Swiss Mister won his season-opening foray in Doha without dropping a set, beating Nicolay Davydenko in the final. Along with his win at the World Tour Finals, Federer has notched 10 straight matches. Federer played three exhibitions during the off season – all against Rafael Nadal – and looks primed to defend his title in Melbourne.

2. Serena Williams. It might be strange to see Serena’s name second on this list, but the current world no. 4 will be the biggest female force in this year’s draw - absent force, that is. The defending champion hasn’t played a match since winning Wimbledon, and the ladies look lost without her. Serena beat Justine Henin in the most memorable Slam final of last year here, and the sticky courts of Australia won’t have the same female ferocity without her.

3. Rafael Nadal is appropriately third on our list – especially seeing that he has won three straight Slams. And there are three factors that play into Rafa winning an illustrious, fourth straight Major: his health (most namely his knees); his focus against lurking dark-horses (there are plenty – check back tomorrow); and his ability to rise against the Roger challenge. He failed in two of those in losing soundly to Federer in London in November, but will look to build his confidence one match at a time at the AO.

4. There is hard to find a more like-able – or more important, match-savvy – player on the WTA right now than Kim Clijsters. Clijsters captured the US Open for the second straight year in 2010, and then went on to dominate the women’s season-ending event. Her loss in Sydney’s final on Saturday to Li Na? We say that’s a good thing: A more-focused Kimmie won’t produce any 6-0, 6-1 third-round catastrophes this year.

5. Robin Soderling and Andy Roddick and Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic. OK, it’s a little unfair that we bunched these four gents together, but at this point, it’s hard not to. Soderling had a hot start to 2011, winning Brisbane and once again proving that he is no flash in the pan. As for Roddick – who lost to Sod in the Brisbane final – the American is said to be in some of the best shape of his life had seems as hungry as ever. And it’s hard to believe that Murray and Djokovic have just one Slam between the two of them. How is that possible? (See Nos. 1 & 3 for answer.) Any of these fellas could walk away from Melbourne the champ, and few would be surprised…

6. Is there more of a mystery than Justine Henin on the women’s side? She is the female version of Juan Martin del Potro, hasn’t played since Wimbledon, but might be playing second fiddle to Kim’s current reign. Justine shocked us all by making the finals last year. It was in 2010 when she toughed through a straight-set win over now-retired Elena Dementieva, and again has a Russian seed (that’d be Kuzy) in the Round of 32. | Full women’s draw

7. While Tomas Berdych continues to be a mystery since his French-Wimbledon brilliance (he’s 12-13 since July), Nikolay Davydenko and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga have made their own noise to start 2011: Davydenko took out Nadal in Doha and Tsonga fell to Roger at the same tourney. Tsonga is a former finalist here (downing Fed in the semis in ’08), while Davydenko has (shockingly) still not been to the last two of a major. Any of these three could fit in with our group at No. 5, but do they have what it takes to run seven matches straight?

8. Here’s a new trio for you folks: Jelena JankovicAna Ivanovic and … Bojana Jovanovski. While we could have included Janko Tipsarevic in this line-up, but this new ladies three-some is sure to have the eyes of some WTA followers over the next two weeks. Our guess: the three gals will chalk up 7 total wins (AI 4, BJ 1 and JJ 2) over the two weeks. The ultimate question? Who will have the best year of the bunch? Jelena is a dismal 9-13 since a French open semis run and Jovanovski beat Kanepi, Pannetta and Rezai last week alone. And another new coach for Ana… | Ana just wants to have fun?

9. Venus Williams didn’t win a set in two round-robin matches last weekend in Hong Kong. She hasn’t played a WTA match since the US Open. And before that? Wimbledon. It’s anybody’s guess for Family Williams in Melbourne this year.

10. Three ladies who have a solid shot at a week-two run and a decent chance of a first-round crash out include Caroline WozniackiVera Zvonareva and Maria Sharapova. Wozniacki won just one game in an exo with Zvonareva last weekend, and both had bizarre early losses in Sydney. Sharapova’s ’11 debut? A second-round crash against Greta Arn. Just another (four) reasons that this might be Kim Clijsters’ Aussie to win.

Tomorrow: Who’s Up, Who’s Down and the Dark Horses of the AO

(federer photo future capetown; soderling photo via getty)

mah-aking it work

January 13, 2011

Sad that you haven’t seen more fashion coverage from us this year? Well here it is. In one post. For the entire year. Now we’re hanging up our measuring tape, magnifying glasses and red pen and watching The Devil Wears Prada in German over, and over, and over again. Click image to watch the video.

Nicolas Mahut, the famous Frenchman who was on the losing end of the epic Wimbledon battle with John Isner last summer, made quite the ruckus at the Hopman Cup in Perth recently, donning matching outfits with mixed doubles partner Kristin Mladenovic. Even Bethanie Mattek Sands, the queen of quacky outfits was giving some giggles. And dang, isn’t Mahut looking good? We think so. | 28-year-old journeyman Mahut into round 2 of Aussie qualies

(image via youtube)

short balls: giving a damn

October 6, 2010

Giving a damn: We made note of Ellen’s powerful words last week after the disturbing rash of suicides among LGBT youth. The nation has banded together in a variety of ways, including the We Give a Damn project that was launched by the True Colors Fund. This past Sunday night, activists held a candlelight vigil in Washington Square Park in New York City.  Actor and blogger, Andrew Kennan Bolger, documented the evening on video.  More to watch: We Give a Damn has a few of their own videos, featuring some of our favorite big and small screen faces – among others. Check them out. Plus: Zachary Quinto says (Tweets?) the right thing after 50 Cent runs his mouth again.

Commercial offerings: There’s plenty to see on YouTube if you go and type in ‘tennis’ in the search bar and sift through the many (dozens? hundreds?!) of homes for sale that happen to include tennis in their property in one way or another. One good find we had this week was an old Heineken commercial that hadn’t crossed our path before. Watch the video – camera tipping and all – here. Meanwhile, we found the newly-released Australian Open commercial (below), tagged “A Whole New Level” via the ladies over at OntheBaseline. None other than Ms. Sam Stosur makes five appearances in the 31-second clip. Joining Serena, Roger and Rafa as the faces to be seen at the AO 2011.

The injury diaries: The injured Justine Henin is set to test the competitive waters in an exhibition against Kim Clijsters in Antwerp on December 9th. Things aren’t as peachy for Robby Ginepri, who broke his arm in a biking accident and will be out of the game for the rest of the season. We’re hoping for a Sam Querrey kind of return for the current world no. 118… not a James Blake kind of return.

Tennis shavings: Things are feeling a bit more Blake than Querrey over at NYC-based Tennis magazine. The publication announced earlier this week that they would cut four of nine editorial positions and begin outsourcing most of its art and photo work, focusing more in-house on Tennis.com. The magazine recently shuffled Sarah Unke from her role on the print side to be online editor following the departure of Abigail Lorge. It’s unclear who is still calling Tennis his or her work home, though assistant online editor Ed McGrogan posted an ESPN blog item earlier today. 10tenmedia, a New York creative firm, will handle much of the mag’s print design.

Body games: Former Tennis cover girl Anna Kournikova made an appearance on the small screen on NBC’s “Biggest Loser” last night. Kournikova served up some motivation for the contestants, and they seemed to inspire her, too. ESPN the Magazine hits newsstands this week with their annual “The Body Issue.” The mag always chooses several different covers to print (six this year), and wheelchair tennis queen Esther Vergeer got the nod for one of those covers in this cover print. The US women’s water polo team also has a cover, as does golfer Camilo Villegas (yeah, we’ve never heard of him either).

More of short balls, including a giggling Roger and an all-inclusive short(er) balls, after the cut.

(more…)

it must be lonely at the top 400

February 16, 2010

Caroline Wozniacki leads the field at this week’s Barclay’s Dubai Tennis Championships as the event’s top seed. She’s off to a decent start so far, beating Dominika Cibulkova 6-2, 7-6 (2) in the opening round. And in what could be a duplication of what happened last month in Melbourne, Caro next faces Dubai newbie Shahar Peer, whom the Dane beat at the Australian, and then faces Li Na in the round after, who Caro lost to. (Draw: Women’s Singles.)

And two snaps to the Woz for reaching a career-high No. 3 in the SEWTA rankings; she’s currently the only Dane in the top 400.

In the flesh: This live version of the tennis performance dress from adidas by Stella McCartney‘s spring/summer 2010 collection is more fun than we anticipated. The preview pics we saw didn’t show off the mesh on the upper back of the performance dress (it adds an extra layer of sexiness, no?). FYI, Caroline wore the bloomers-esque shorts for Fed Cup play last week.

Buy: Shop for the adidas by Stella McCartney goods here.

More: A few detail shots from Wozniacki’s outfit — including her Delibuta gym bag and pom-pom socks in those Lucrari shoes (with a Barricade V skeleton) — all after the cut…

how many pleated plackets could a placket pleater pleat?

February 12, 2010

Tathiana Garbin is the main mascot for Sergio Tacchini now that Flavia Pennetta has switched over to adidas.

Say that ten times fast: At the 2010 Australian Open, Garbin wore both a tank top and a polo for competitive play; the pieces both have some bold detailing (a pleated placket for the polo; pleated vents for the tank).

And at this week’s Open GDF Suez in Paris, Garbin’s switched to a white polo with more classic construction (but also with a brighter — teal — color). She lost in the quarterfinals to former STer Pennetta 6-1, 6-3 in the quarterfinals. Flavia will be facing Lucie Safarova (wha??) in the semis.

More: A few looks at Garbin’s Sergio Tacchini after the cut…

alize cornet’s fed cup warm up jacket

February 5, 2010

A cute pic of Alize Cornet as she gets ready to play in this weekend’s Fed Cup tie against the United States. She’ll play the tie’s first rubber (against Bethanie Mattek-Sands). The varsity lettering on the french warmup jackets are cuuute.

In Melbourne, Cornet bageled 17th-seed Francesca Schiavone before losing 6-0, 5-7, 0-6. Ouch. At least we liked her orange and white Lacoste separates. Note the horizontal orange stripes near the hem of her skirt.

(Fed Cup photos by Corinne Dubreuil; aussie images via Getty Images)

feliciano lopez’s heavy breathing

February 4, 2010

… and nope — it has nothing to do with those pictures of Fernando Verdasco in CK chonies.

Instead, this other Spaniard is struggling with the high altitude of Johannesburg, South Africa, where a bunch of the ATP dudes are currently playing in the SA Tennis Open. Feli will face Rajeev Ram in the third round before possibly facing top seed Gael Monfils in the semis. Waiting on the opposite side of the draw is second seed David Ferrer.

We’re not quite sure what’s going on with this filmstrippy print on his Joma crew — his first kit of 2010 — but it was fun variation from the usual color blocking they’d done in years past. Lopez made it as far as the third round of the Australian Open before falling to Andy Roddick.

Joma adds a second: And speaking of the Spanish clothier, they’ve added former No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero to their roster. The partnership began at the beginning of this year. He was previously with Lotto.

More: A few more looks at Feli’s Joma kit after the cut…

short balls: tobin’s picks

February 4, 2010

Tobin Addington returns with a second installment of his fresh perspective column by taking a look back at the 2010 Australian Open.

My first major as a true tennis fan has come to an end. All in all, a great experience. Plus, now I have something to look forward to in the doldrums of January for years to come. Here are a few of my impressions:

Good Sport Award: Andy Roddick, laughing along with the expletive-laden ESPN fake commercial. Well handled.

Biggest Disappointment: Kim Clijsters exiting the tournament so early. I was looking forward to seeing her play more. Can’t help it; she’s got a compelling story.

Funniest Moment: I can’t decide. Either Venus‘s underpants or Victoria Azarenka‘s squeal-grunt. Seriously, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing!

Most Worrisome Moment: Nadal‘s knee injury. I’ve developed real affection for the glowering 12-year-old-at-heart, and I’d hate to see him play less (or, God forbid, retire) now that I’m paying attention.

Coolest TV Coverage: The slow-motion shots of the players’ facial contortions as they hit the ball. Awesome!

Most Annoying Aspect of Aussie Open: The finals airing at 3:30 AM EST. Are you kidding me?! I know it’s Australia and all, but my bio-rhythms don’t allow those kinds of hours anymore.

Tennis Move I’m Now Trying to Incorporate into Daily Life: The fist pump. Every time something goes well at work, in the kitchen, on the street – I’m going to give that a shot. I’ll let you know how it works out.

What are your memories of the year’s first Slam??

(si photo via getty images)

another pretty in pink: victoria azarenka

February 3, 2010

Don’t think we weren’t going to give Victoria Azarenka‘s 2010 Aussie Open performance any ink.

The seventh seed (from Belarus) made it all the way to the quarters — battling Vera Zvonareva in the fourth round — before falling (tragically) to eventual champion Serena Williams.

Azarenka had Serena on the ropes being up 6-4, 4-0, but Serena fought back and won in the third set. At least Victoria looked good for that last hurrah. Along with Alona Bondarenko and Vera Zvonareva (both in K-Swiss), this Nike mascot went with a bright pink outfit that played well with Melbourne Park’s blue courts.

Buy: Nike Break Point Tank, $50; and Skirt, $55; pink flash/cool grey; at nike.com.

More pics: Detail shots after the cut…

tsf talks: aussie round-up

January 31, 2010

I know our readers were a little sick of seeing my face doing Aussie Open updates, so the TSF boys put our heads together and decided to do a roundtable discussion wrapping up the year’s first Slam. Sadly, Erwin had some technical difficulties, so Troy and I ended up chatting about everything from Venus’ undies to Jelena’s issues at 35,000 feet. Check out our TSF podcast by clicking the link below. It takes just a couple minutes to download to your iTunes and we promise your listening pleasure. -N

Aussie Open Round-Up featuring Nick McCarvel and Troy Venechanos: TSF Feb 10 Podcast

papa’s got a brand new bag

January 31, 2010

As expected, Roger walked onto the court in his Nike kit (without a warm-up jacket) with a white and blue version of his custom gym bag. Loves.

(image via Getty Images)

live blogging: everything but the tennis

January 31, 2010

TSF is up early (late?!) with you to watch the epic final between Andy Murray and Roger Federer Down Under. While we’ll be captivated by what’s sure to be high-quality tennis, we’ll be updating you with all our thoughts of apparel choices, activities in the crowd, failed Hawk Eye challenges and (one can hope) all the drama that ensues in a men’s major final.

7:31 PM, Melbourne: Could Murray look more serious walking out onto the court? We think that’s a good thing, especially since he’s been called ‘too passive’ in the big moments. And it looks like Serena has lent Roger one of her bags. Don’t you love the Fed bringing the metro to the court?! We do.

7:45 PM, Federer 1-0: The Times of London’s Neil Harman is sporting quite the sweater over the shoulders in his interview with Mary Joe. It looks looks a little more baby blue (read: “Federer”) than blue blue (read: “Murray”). Trader.

8:05 PM, Federer 3-2: These boys have seemingly already run three miles each on the court, and we’ve only played five games. It seems to be neck-and-neck in the Who-Can-Sweat-Through-Their-Shirt-First Competition. We might be in for a record in outfit changes. Don’t mind that.

8:16 PM, Federer 4-3: Chris Fowler confirms that Federer is first to change his shirt, “seven games in”. Chris must be reading TSF. Love ya and your sexy face, Fowlies.

8:44 PM, Federer 6-3, 3-2: We thought that Andy changing into the white shirt was a sign of surrender, but the Scot actually breathed a little life into his game with that last hold. We’re still waiting for a big-time fist pump, but don’t mind the camera flashes to Murray’s box over Federer’s. (more…)

trophy watch: serena’s name on the daphne akhurst cup

January 30, 2010

We can always count on Serena Williams to get dolled up for her trophy photo session. This fifth title in Melbourne is no exception. Here she is posing with the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup. (Read: Akhurst an Aussie tennis legend)

Can you imagine how these pics would have turned out if Justine had won the title? We shudder to think.

(image via Getty Images)

for laura, it’s a second second

January 30, 2010

Last year’s Girl’s runner-up, Laura Robson, had her hand in the final again in 2010, falling to Karolina Pliskova 6-1, 7-6 (5) in the championship match.

Robson had a strong run in the 2010 Australian, going 9-3 in the three events she entered. She won five matches in the Girl’s draw after winning her opening Women’s Qualifier a couple weeks ago. Most surprisingly – and perhaps most impressive – was her run to the Women’s Doubles quarterfinals with unknown Aussie Sally Peers.

Robson tried to pull a Serena in the final against Pliskova, falling behind 1-6, 1-3 before rallying to take the second set to a tiebreak. It wasn’t meant to be for the Melbourne-born British 16-year-old, however, falling in straight sets.

Her remarks when receiving her second-place trophy: “I’m tried. I’m just tired.” Get some sleep, Robby. We expect big things from you this year in the senior ranks…

(photo via ao.com) (corrected version)

serena wins her fifth australian open title

January 30, 2010

Congrats to Serena Williams for winning her fifth Australian Open women’s singles title (and 12th career major singles title) by defeating Justine Henin 6-4, 3-6, 6-2. Man, that third set was ug. ly.

Sunbeams or headlights? Serena’s Nike dress definitely did its part to enhance her curves in all the right places. See the details of her outfit (including jewelry, red shoelaces, and leopard-print fingernails) — all after the cut…

cilic: letting the game do the talking

January 29, 2010

One loss so far this year (to Andy Murray) should be encouraging to Marin Cilic; after winning Chennai, the Croat made his way to his first major semifinal at this year’s 2010 Australian Open and stared down some big guns along the way, including the slicey (and un-retired) Fabrice Santoro, hometown fave Bernard Tomic, fellow beast Juan Martin Del Potro, and the hard-serving Andy Roddick (whom TSF picked as the men’s titleist this year). Here’s hoping for an exciting 2010 for Marin. Maybe a crack into the top 10?

Buy: Fila Spring Heritage piped polo in white, $46.99, fila.com.

sightings in the stands… and on the sidelines

January 29, 2010

I’ve been with Marin” would’ve been a more interesting sign, no?

These fans showed up to cheer for the Croat Marin Cilic‘s first appearance at a major semi. Too bad he ran right into fifth seed Andy Murray‘s freight train, which caused a 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 scoreline. The Scot’s in the final against Roger Federer, who beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets. Does anyone else think that this is Roger’s year to pick up all four major titles?

Meanwhile, an uber-excited Croatian fan (wearing his best Bob’s Big Boy) walk onto the court as the match ended, getting a chance to shake hands with Marin near the chair umpire. Can we make an example of one of these guys? Make them be a ballboy for an entire two hour match in the hot Australian sun? Have them be in charge of Rafael Nadal‘s sweat? Get their head dunked in cold water every time we “see” Venus Williams “flashing us”? Respect the access we get, people. We got off easy after Monica. Let’s keep it that way.

might we have sung a different bird call?

January 29, 2010

Maria Sharapova got into all sorts of dung for debuting her Nikepeacock” dress at the 2010 Australian Open. Fanfare about clothing is usually great for media — we can only write about backhand winners so many times — but if the athlete strays too far from the matter at hand (that’s playing tennis, in case you’re wondering), she’ll end up with a disparaging reception.

But there’s nothing we can do about a shaky game — a first-round exit, upset by fellow Russian Maria Kirilenko. An alternative could have been wearing the supporting cast to her Maria Sharapova Collection, aka the “separates” version of each of the seven Nike outfits she’ll be wearing this year.

The Golden Set tank has some mini-ruffles around the collar (taking from her Wimbledon swan dress of 2007) and there is a tactful slit on the Golden Set skirt that should set an example for how Venus will design clothes for future tournaments.

Buy: Nike Golden Set Tank and Skirt; $65; both in bluegrass/vibrant yellow and white/cool mint colorways; nike.com.

(screengrabs from nike.com)

here come the semis

January 27, 2010

We’re selfish: a Federer-Murray final sounds just about as good as a Serena-Justine one. And don’t you love the headband?! Click the image for our preview of the men’s and women’s semifinals.

short balls: a uso trip for you? (or bode.)

January 26, 2010

Grassroots game: The USTA has taken a page out of the American Idol playbook, and Bode Miller is doing his best to be the Kelly Clarkson of the gang. The USTA announced today that a playoff-type tournament will take place across the country from April through June, then continue through the U.S. Open Series schedule, culminating with the winner of the final earning a birth in the U.S. Open qualifying draw. Sound crazy? Miller doesn’t think so. We’re going to go with Jennifer Love Hewitt on this one. All three parts of her name are already tennis-familiar…

Big screen, small screen: If you missed our plug for skater Johnny Weir (and his new documentary) on last week’s short balls, here’s another shot. And who knew the Olympian had his own TV show?! I wonder what he would say about Wimbledon’s all-white rules… ?

William (not Williams) does the AO: Prince William made quite the visit to the Australian Open last week, taking in a Roger Federer match and chatting with the likes of Oracene and Serena; Serena spilled all the beans on SerenaTV. Meanwhile, Mirka might have to worry about Rog and Willy metrosexing it all over the globe together. Who would Harry match up well with?!

Picture this: If you’re ever in search of great sports photos, look no further than the daily collection that the New York Times puts together. And we’re not just saying that because we work there sometimes. But hey, we work there sometimes.

Freeze-frame fanny: Tobin’s right. What is with Venus’s skin-tone undershorts?! So confused.

Spin me, darling: Tennis.com has debuted a new feature to its web site in 2010 called “Daily Spin”. We’re digging the behind-the-scenes sort of coverage, but especially love the commentary from Photo Editor David Rosenberg. If TSF hosted an online panel with Chelsea-Lately-like tennis wit, David would be our first invite.

(photo by M De Vries via flickr.com)


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