Archive for February, 2007

sania mirza and the state of indian tennis

February 28, 2007

Sania Mirza
taken from Pickled Politics

Here’s an interview with Sania Mirza in this week’s issue of Sportstar (a weekly news magazine out of India). This is a good piece on Mirza, and has moved past the fatwa on her skirt and other controversies to instead talk about the current state of Indian Tennis.

adidas + porsche

February 28, 2007


The first sports collection developed by the two companies unifies functionality and style, featuring products that reflect the high technological standards of Adidas and the exacting design requirements of Porsche Design – in every detail. And in every product category offering the high-quality textiles and equipment for four different sports: tennis, running, golf and driving.

p5310 reebok shoe

You can view the collection here.


in other news…

February 28, 2007

dubai helipad dubai tennis on a helipad
Tennis courts on a helipad in Dubai
taken from Josh’s Flickr

The Laureus Academy, made up of the greatest athletes in the world, announced the nominations for its annual Laureus Awards. Tennis, being an international sport, received a few nominations, including Federer vying for male athlete of the year with buddy Tiger Woods, and Henin, Mauresmo, and Sharapova taking three of the five spots for female athlete of the year. If you’re going to pick the top crop from tennis in 2006, that sounds about right.

And the media gives doubles its due this week. CNNSI still has Lisa Raymond’s first column up on the main tennis page, and ESPN published a nice profile on tennis player-cum-golfer Scott Draper. I’m including it after the cut.


a mirage becomes a reality

February 28, 2007

map of dubayy
taken from GMT

The UAE (United Arab Emirates) Tennis Association today announced the launch of the UAE Tennis Ranking Circuit, the Khaleej Times reports. This is the Association’s first step in developing a generation of tennis players who can compete in the ATP and WTA tours (i.e., to continue playing past the age of 18) in both singles and doubles. The seven-tournament circuit goes from mid-April until May.

If you have a sec and you’re not already familiar with Dubai, you should read up (I’ll give you the Wikipedia link. I’d like to point you towards the Real Estate section. That shit’s crazy.)

mary carillo’s swan song?

February 28, 2007

mary carillo

Sometime after the Shahar Peer/Serena Williams match at the Australian, the internet was abuzz with how Mary Carillo had reached Paula Abdul-like status; she made comments, one more ridiculous than the other, and at one point — presumably thinking that her mic wasn’t hot — could be heard saying “I’ll be fired for this.”

While I didn’t follow the end of the thread to see if her job was indeed threatened — and really we won’t know until Roland Garros rolls around in the summer — I will post about her receiving the Gracie Allen award for her coverage of the Olympics in Torino.

Here’s a great profile of Mary published in the St. Petersburg Times right before last year’s U.S. Open. Cool tidbits, including how she got started as a tennis commentator. (After she’d retired, a producer placed her on the air as they scrambled to fill airtime before a match at MSG.)

Edit: Sports Media Watch gives us a little more insight into what viewers (and players) dislike about Ms. Carillo. le sigh.

from Sports Features Communications

guga watch 2007: tennis channel open

February 27, 2007

guga watch 2007 continues with a trip to Sin City. The ATP has a stop this week at the Darling Memorial Tennis Center.

guga in vegas

Guga defeated Wesley Moodie to continue on in this round robin tournament. He will be playing both singles and doubles (with Ramon Delgado).

You can follow the rest of his week — and the rest of the tournament — here.

tennis trophies – what henin should have hoisted

February 27, 2007

I really thought the trophy for this week’s Dubai Duty Free Open would look something like this:

dubai hotel
taken from Burj Al Arab‘s website

Instead, it took a more traditional route. I’m showing it to you after the cut. Ok let’s get started: this week’s trophies came from tournaments in Memphis, Rotterdam, and Buenos Aires for the men, and in Memphis, Bogota, and Dubai for the women. Nothing notable to point out, save for the Dubai trophy. For all the craziness that pours out of that emirate, you’d think they could have made a cool looking trophy. Justine beat Amelie in two sets, putting their career head-to-head at 7-6. Here’s the trophy:


a new ATP marketing plan

February 25, 2007

tennis masters cup 2006
taken from the Tennis Masters Cup website

Sounds like the ATP is off to a great start. Beginning in the spring, they will implement a marketing plan involving the 25 most popular players on the tour:

“The plan will be to allow worldwide sponsors to work specifically with a player of their choice for the first time, a practice that was forbidden by the organisation’s by-laws. The payout for a well-known identity…could be up to $US100,000 ($126,000) in extra annual income.

“There are players who are well known despite not having a top ranking,” says ATP chief marketing officer Phil Anderton, named to the post in 2006 after working in Scottish football and with a soft drink giant.

I’m all for this idea of milking the men as much as possible. This way, I assume they’ll get a cut of the deals made between their players and any advertisers.

So, who would be on your top 25?

puma ready to pounce in 2007

February 24, 2007

Stay tuned, folks: Puma “plans to introduce goods in 2007, like a range inspired by tennis players of the 1970s, to compete with larger rivals Adidas and Nike in a year without high-profile sporting events like the soccer World Cup.”

I can’t wait to see what they come up with!

via the International Herald Tribune

guga watch 2007

February 23, 2007

Kuerten and Saretta at the Athens Olympics, 2006
from the ITF website

uhm, how cute are those uniforms?

Guga continues his comeback with a wildcard at Indian Wells, The Age reports:

“Guga” was a finalist at Indian Wells in 2003, when he beat Roger Federer in the second round.

That was Federer’s last defeat at Indian Wells, where he has claimed the title the past three years.

Maybe he’ll get a stab at that whale!

between now and march…

February 23, 2007

… while you’re waiting to see what wonders Ms. Kournikova will bring to the K-Swiss line, I leave you with some ways to pass the time, in case Wii Tennis has already loosened its grip on your life:

Play the K-Swiss Classic Tennis Challenge!

Andy Roddick vs. Pong

or if you think that’s too girly, you can help Andy beat Pong.

more anna

February 23, 2007

Anna Kournikova - from the Grand Haven Tribune

Ok, so I’ve just been living under a cave, perhaps, because who knew that Anna Kournikova still makes the news regularly! And not for stupid things like dying in the Bahamas or grabbing clippers from a hairdresser and then shaving her own head. She’s in the news for raising money and awareness for good causes, and for smart business decisions.


wii tennis outfits

February 22, 2007

wii tennis from city magazine

City Magazine harnessed the popularity of Wii Tennis and has pushed it in a new fashion direction. The hypothetical puts a Mii into real life shopping hands, getting a makeover that includes a Ralph Lauren vest and a Lacoste tennis dress. That map dress is kinda crazy, but I can totally see some of the WTA gals wearing it to practice.

via geeksugar

davydenko’s endorsement with ‘aimess’

February 22, 2007


Poor thing. Even with the backing of tennis journalist JJon Wertheim, russian Nikolay Davydenko can’t get a media break (not that he really wants one). Jon wanted to give Nikolay his due with a version of the Tennis Mailbag devoted solely to this underappreciated top fiver. It took an extra week to get the issue up on the site, and even then, Jon effed up; Nikolay’s endorsement is with a brand called Airness, not Aimess. Yeah, that’s AIRNESS (incorrect) vs. AIMESS (correct). Even the most advanced copy editor could’ve missed that. (I had to do a few double-takes myself).

I only did some light googling to fact-check, so please write me if I’m going crazy (i.e., aimess actually exists).

more information about Airness here.

short balls: lacoste in dubai, etc.

February 21, 2007

from ronnyg's flickr
From ronnyg’s flickr

Lacoste sponsors a children’s clinic at the Dubai Duty Free Women’s Open this week. It’s just an article from a press release, but a few factoids: The crocodile logo came from a wager that Lacoste made with his team captain that if a certain match was won, the captain would buy him an alligator suitcase. Alligator turned into crocodile, and there you have it. His logo was the first ever used on the outside of a shirt. He also invented the ball machine and the first steel tennis racquet. (via Dubai City Guide)

And Orange County Register‘s Jeff Miller expounds on the ever-growing madness of clothing lines for athletes, including ping pong players and professional fishermen, and Anna Kournikova (she gets press, even in 2007!).

davis cup 2007, first round: switzerland vs. spain

February 20, 2007

Spain d. Switzerland, 3-1.

What should have been one of the most amazing first round ties (worthy of a tournament final) turned out to be page 8 news when the world’s no. 1 and 2 — Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal — pulled out. Nadal cited an injury (hip, I think), while Federer reasoned that his schedule would be too grueling with the addition of Davis Cup. So instead he spent his time in Dubai (his homebase) promoting a new five-blade men’s razor. wtf. For a snappy dresser who’s a wizard on the court, he can sure be a bore sometimes.

Ok, so now let’s talk to the men that were actually there: Fernando Verdasco lost his first singles match against against Chiudinelli, but turned it around against Bohli on Sunday. I’m exccited for them! Spain lost in the first rounds in 2005 and 2006. Now they can set their sights on winning the Cup, like they did in 2004 (Remember Moya?). They face the U.S. in the next round, in the United States. We all know that this tie will not be played on clay.

Now, the clothing tie: (more…)

tennis trophies

February 19, 2007

This week’s trophies — from tournaments in Brazil, Marseilles, Bangalore, San Jose, and Antwerp — range from simple (read: generic) to extravagant. Of course, I would be crazy not to highlight the Proximus Games’ diamond-encrusted tennis racket, a prize awarded to any player who wins the tournament 3 times in 5 years. Mauresmo achieved this feat this past Sunday:

The racket has 1,700 diamonds and is worth 1 million euro.

The rest of this week’s trophies are below the cut.


davis cup 2007, first round: sweden vs. belarus

February 18, 2007

Sweden d. Belarus, 3-1.

Belarus’ amazing home record — they had been undefeated in home ties since 1995 — was tarnished when both Max Mirnyi and Vladimir Voltchkov lost their singles matches on Friday. Johansson beat Mirnyi 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 and Soderling took down Voltchkov. While the Belarussians won the doubles match on Saturday, the Swede Soderling took down the gigantic Mirnyi on Sunday, ending the tie with a 3-1 victory against the Belarussians.

and who won the clothing tie? (more…)

moya and nalbandian: exhibition

February 17, 2007


I just love this photo… it captures the things I love about the perfect tennis match: carving out an intimate setting amid all the hustle and bustle of the city, getting the crowds up close and personal (though I don’t know about sitting on the ground next to the sidelines), and having two of top players in the world duke it out.

The exhibition was set up to promote the ATP stop in Buenos Aires (Feb. 18-25).

battle of legends

February 16, 2007


Two early 20th century tennis legends are still duking it out in 2007. Fred Perry and Rene Lacoste faced each other today in San Jose… each donned by the Andys — Murray and Roddick, respectively. And while Fred Perry-clad Murray came out on top with a 7-6 (10-8), 6-4 win, we need to discuss who won the equally-important clash of clothing sponsors:


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