Archive for August, 2007

fashion focus: maria kirilenko in stella mccartney

August 29, 2007

Unseeded Russian Maria Kirilenko impressed us with her 6-3, 6-1 win over Martina Muller in a first round match at yesterday’s U.S. Open.

She wore the Dark Bronco (that’s “chocolate”) tennis dress from the adidas by Stella McCartney Fall/Winter ’07 collection — a much better choice than her 2007 white Wimbledon dress, the fabric of which was gathering awkwardly at her hip with every lunge.

The dress has lace detail on the straps and along the collar. Kirilenko paired it with a Bronco (that’s “light brown”) visor and pearl earrings.

Buy: $120 from


short balls: blogging, scalping, gambling, etc.

August 29, 2007

Blogging at the Open: Many many to follow, but my hats are off to the New Yorker’s The Sporting Scene, the New York Times’s U.S. Open blog, and The New York Observer’s take on the Grand Slam. (Le sad that Gawker can’t get into it.)

Heaven forbid Ticketmaster lose money: NYPD cracks down on scalping at the Open.

Apples and oranges: The American Heart Journal publishes a study which concludes that baseliners and serve-and-volleyers have different hearts.

Kolya candid about controversy: Nikolay Davydenko faced the press after his first round dismantling of wildcard (and junior) Jesse Levine. He talked openly about how he’s been dealing with the gambling scandal that he’s the center of.

Speaking of juniors: Irvinian Michael McClune is also out. (ZooTennis)

fashion focus: maria’s red dress in action

August 29, 2007

During yesterday’s first evening session at the 2007 U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows, Russian superstar Maria Sharapova trounced Roberta Vinci, 6-0, 6-1 as she debuted her red dress.

Glam, 2.0: Maria paired the dress with nice pearl drop earrings and a black warm-up jacket with sheer sleeves. I must say the dress looked as good on her last night as it did atop Rockefeller Center last week.

Other notes: Did anyone else think that the crystals on her dress were catching the lights funny? I hope she doesn’t blind any of her opponents.

She served some double faults at the end of her match, showing some signs that her shoulder’s acting up. Will she have enough to go through seven matches?

Buy: The red dress available for $125.

(photos via Daily Mail and Getty Images)

>> the busy (and fabulous life) of maria sharapova
>> TSF’s u.s. open coverage

fashion focus: morigami in fila

August 29, 2007

Fila Japan dresses Japanese tennis star Akiko Morigami in another innovative design for her U.S. Open appearance.

The white and turqouise-striped sleeveless tank (with a ruffled v-neck collar and a gathered waist) doesn’t quite mesh with the chocolate skirt. (Chocolate was MUCH better used by Maria Kirilenko in her dress adidas by Stella McCartney; more on that later.)

Perhaps it looks good in person, but doesn’t photograph well? Unfortunately, TSF won’t get a chance to scrutinize this fortnight: Agnieszka Radwanska, the tourney’s 30th seed, easily beat her 6-2, 6-1.

What do you think of her outfit? Tell us!

(photos via Getty Images)

>> TSF’s u.s. open coverage continues
>> fashion focus: the many looks of akiko morigami

roger and rafa: fire and ice

August 29, 2007

Fire and Ice: I’ve never really heard of the world number one and two labeled as “Fire and Ice” until these two Nike shirts above were named as such. They’re pretty straightforward metaphors, I guess; Rafa is all about the fist pumps and the stare-downs, while Roger is the ice princess who can’t be bothered to give lip service about Althea Gibson.

I am so not an 8-year-old boy: Because nothing of me finds these next two shirts even remotely cool. Both make references to the Open (“NYC 2007”) — one with a Roger’s image and the other with Rafa’s.

Buy: Available at TW; $18 for Fire and Ice, $22 for NYC 2007 shirts.

fashion focus: roger’s nike bag?

August 28, 2007

I’ve heard through the grapevine that this bag above is what Roger Federer‘s using to lug around all his tennis goods for the 2007 U.S. Open. (I haven’t seen it in person… can anyone confirm?)

The black bag (with a blue swoosh) is similar to the what R-Fed used at Wimbledon. Great colorway, but I would have preferred it in a matte finish.

What do you think of the bag? Tell us!

(photo via Midwest Sports)

>> roger’s u.s. open shoes: a closer look
>> roger’s wimbledon outfit

JNP’s day two wrap

August 28, 2007

No big upsets today at the U.S. Open, but we did see some good tennis. James Blake won sweating a bit 7-6 6-3 7-6, and David Nalbandian won his match 7-5, 7-6, 7-6. Andy Roddick won his night match against Justin Gimelstob. It was a little awkward having Justin interview Andy right after his loss, but it shows that Justin is grace under pressure as a commentator.

On the women’s side Dani Hantuchova was upset by veteran Julia Vakulenko. Julia took the match in the third set (winning 6-4, 3-6, 6-1).

Who’s hot:

  • Maria Sharapova
  • Martina Hingis
  • Shahar Peer
  • Ivan Ljubicic
  • Donald Young
  • Ahsha Rolle

Big Upset Call: I say Aravane Rezai over Ana Ivanovic.

TSF contributor JNP is in the trenches and checking in with us everyday.

fashion focus: volandri in armani… on the court

August 28, 2007

It’s too bad 29th seed Filippo Volandri lost to Frenchman Michael Llodra 3-6, 6-4, 4-6, 4-6 in the first round of this year’s U.S. Open. At least the Italian crashed out in style; he partnered with Emporio Armani for the duration of the tournament, agreeing to wear a well-tailored red t-shirt from the company’s EA7 sportswear line.

What do you think of the shirt? Tell us!

This isn’t the first time Volandri’s flirted with fashion on the court. At this year’s Wimbledon he wore a simple-yet-cute Dolce & Gabbana shirt. (He got booted early there, too.) And he’s modeled for Armani before.

Perhaps he’s just getting ready to shake off the too-bland Sergio Tacchini. They can’t handle sponsoring a mod Italian!

Here’s a close-up of the EA7 logo (and I guess Volandri’s nipple).

>> TSF’s u.s. open coverage
>> volandri models for armani
>> volandri wears dolce & gabbana at wimbledon
>> sergio tacchini stifles volandri

bethanie mattek shines

August 28, 2007

That’s Bethanie Mattek playing her first round match at the 2007 U.S. Open. This shiny gold dress is relatively tame for her (she once wore an argyle cowboy hat on court), but in a good way. It’s a great balance between letting out her inner Elton John and dressing like the other great tennis fashion icons.

Update: All of Mattek’s four Open outfits are from the Eva Longoria-endorsed Bebe Sport collection. (The Star-Ledger)

What do you think of her gold get-up? Tell us!

>> more on bethanie mattek
>> TSF’s u.s. open coverage…
>> masha’s u.s. open dress
>> serena’s u.s. open dress

making the cut

August 28, 2007

Michael Shaw shares his memories of the U.S. Open’s qualifying tournament

Ten years ago, Aussie Pat Rafter won the U.S. Open men’s title, defeating Canadian-turned-Brit Greg Rusedski in four sets. Though Rafter was known as a very talented player and received ample attention going into the Open that year, he certainly wasn’t among the favorites. Frequently self-aggrandizing commentator John McEnroe made the mistake of calling Rafter a “one slam wonder” after his win. Rafter responded by dominating the following year’s summer hardcourt season, taking titles in Montreal and Cincinnati before winning his second Open title (over Mark Philippoussis). As it turned out, those two U.S. Opens were Rafter’s only slams, though he did make the finals of Wimbledon, also in consecutive years. This past summer he was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

As the landscape of the game has shifted over the last decade, it’s highly plausible that Rafter will be the last unheralded player to win a men’s slam title. OK — if not that, then at least the last winner of a Slam who had at some point in his career played in the qualifying of the same event. In 1993, during Rafter’s first year with a full schedule on the tour (he turned pro in 1991), I was able to see him play the qualies — the tournament of 128 players competing for 16 spots in a tournament’s “main draw”.


roger’s u.s. open shoes: a closer look

August 28, 2007

I (heart) NY: More from New York Magazine’s coverage of the 2007 U.S. Open, this time a close-up of Roger Federer‘s shoes.

Nike continues with style from Wimbledon (photo) but switches to a white/silver/blue colorway to match Roger’s blue polo. They used black for the monogram and red for the three marks on each shoe (that’s one mark one for each U.S. Open title Roger has won so far).

What do you think of his shoes? Tell us!

(photo via New York‘s Daily Intelligencer)

>> TSF’s u.s. open coverage
>> federer at arthur ashe kid’s day
>> nike’s fall ’07 heritage collection – inspired by the u.s. open

around the u.s. open grounds: dominik hrbaty

August 28, 2007

Dominik Hrbaty serves it up FRESH at the Open

2007 U.S. Open: We’ve been watching the qualies, practice sessions, talking to coaches, photographers, and everyone else out here… Not that many big upsets on Day 1, but some good matches took place on Monday. Americans Donald Young and John Isner won their first round matches, leading me to think at least one of them will make a run to the quarters. Tommy Haas also won.

On the women’s side Henin and Jankovic won their matches in straight sets. Caroline Wozniacki (who played in the juniors last year) won her first round showdown with Tzipora Obziler in three sets. Also Ahsha Rolle upset Tatiana Golovin under the Louis Armstrong stadium lights.

Look for the Day 2 wrap tonight and stay tuned for more pics.

TSF contributor JNP is in trenches and checking in with us everyday.

>> TSF’s u.s. open coverage

wardrobes malfunction and shine on the first day

August 27, 2007

With talk of fabulous clothes dominating the week leading up to the 2007 U.S. Open, how funny that the first day of matches had people talking about wardrobe issues:

Now you see it, now you don’t.

Pesky German, pesky bow: During Serena Williams‘ win 6-3, 7-5 against German Angelique Kerber, the seesaw second set found Williams ripping off the bow on her Nike dress out of frustration. Ripping. off. the. bow. So much for keeping this “young, hip and fun” outfit intact for two weeks.

What do you think of Serena’s dress? Tell us!

TSF owns up: Okay, okay. So we merely speculated that Serena would be wearing this dress. We’re much happier with her current choice — a conservative hybrid between Vaidisova‘s bow-at-the-bust dress from Reebok and Ivanovic‘s pink and brown outfit from Roland Garros ’07.

Jelena’s left shoe: And Serbian Jelena Jankovic, clad in simple pink Reebok, struggled un poquito in her defeat of Slovakian Jarmila Gajdosova 6-2, 7-6 (2). On top of dealing with heavy hitting from her opponent, Jankovic also had to deal with her faulty left shoe:

“I got tight at the end, but I managed to kind of recuperate and do my best as much as I can and finish the match. Because also I broke somehow my shoe. My shoe broke at the end of the first set. I kind of lost my concentration a bit because I was thinking, you know, what am I going to do if this shoe completely wears out? Can I play barefoot? What am I supposed to do (laughter)?

“It was a little bit — it was difficult. The trainer came out. I didn’t even know if she was allowed to come if the shoe breaks because that’s not a medical timeout.

“She helped me. She put some glue, which she stuck my sock to the sole, so I had some other problem there. I managed to get through everything and win the match.

EleVen does good: The new Steve & Barry’s line by Venus Williams — EleVen — looked even better on the tennis superstar than it did on the mannequin. She wore it tonight for her first round match which followed a tribute to tennis legend Althea Gibson. Aretha Franklin performed and in the audience sat Janet Jackson (also clad in EleVen).

Roger needs a do-over: When the number one seed was asked what he knew about Althea Gibson, he answered: “I don’t know. You’re putting me on the spot. I don’t know what you’re talking about.” The reporter clarified that Gibson was being honored tonight, and Roger clarified his answer, too: “(I know) nothing, to be honest. It’s before my time. Isn’t much I can really say about it. I don’t know, I’m sorry.”

Uh, what?! Aren’t there reading prerequisites to joining the tour? Tennis legends’ biographies should be on it. In the words of my friend Wally, “this is unacceptable”.

(photos via AP and Getty Images)

short balls: roddick watch, ferrer is 7th best, adidas vs. nike, we love lleyton, etc.

August 27, 2007

Roddick gossip: I’m loving the Andy round-up over at Roddick Watch (the August 26 post). RW also links to a quick interview which reveals Andy’s favorite TV show (The Office) and his favorite food (of course, since he’s Texan, it’s steak).

Perhaps Kolya should be worried: Sports giant Nike has ended its relationship with football superstar Michael Vick following his guilty to charges of running a dogfighting ring. As Nike said in previous statements, the company considers any cruelty to animals inhumane, abhorrent, and unacceptable. Let’s hope they don’t sell any leather goods?

Well, if Airness decides to drop Davydenko, they should at least wait until he pleads guilty to match-fixing. If not, let him keep his clothes!

Ferrer seventh best?: A quick glance at this year’s race to the ATP Championships shows Spaniard David Ferrer as the seventh-best player. Crazy, eh? (via Chris)

adidas trumps Nike: Interesting stats based on the ATP and SEWTA data show that adidas has more (clothing) sponsored players in the U.S. Open draw than Nike. (WATR)

Bonus round: You can never go wrong with picturing Lleyton Hewitt in a suit. (photo via Order of Play)

Totally jelly: Oh you better believe I turned green when I saw the Lacoste alligator plastered all over the New York Post‘s tennis section. I can only hope TSF gets the gator one day…

Times they are a-changin’: And it’s not necessarily a bad thing. People can hem and haw about tennis going to the dogs: technology (Hawk-Eye, non-wood racquets), policy changes (on-court coaching?!), an increasing similarity to Hollywood (Masha had a press conference for her dress? and everyone BLOGGED about it?!) — but in the end, as long as the players keep showcasing amazing tennis ability and passion for the sport, we’ll continue to love it.

Where are all the Latin American women?:’s Gustavo Goitia wonders, and chalks it up to a downward spiral:

“There are very few sponsors willing to pour money into programs, so that makes it hard to organize certain competitions and/or help the girls with the economic costs of the trips to Europe and United States to play with the best. And as the talent pool decreases, there is less and less sponsor interest in opening their wallets.”

Juniors go pro: Teens Jesse Levine and Kevin Anderson have announced their moves to the pro circuit. Levine will be taking home his prize money from the Open’s main draw (he’s in it as a wild card). (via ZooTennis)

fashion from arthur ashe kids day

August 27, 2007

All Nike: The Nike stable did their fair share for yesterday’s Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day at the 2007 U.S. Open. Rafa came out in casual tennis attire, while Roger raised charity money (and entertained the kids) in this cute blue/white ensemble.

Meanwhile, Serena appeared in pink plaid (from the women’s Heritage Collection), and Dani Hantuchova (not pictured) wore black.

At least for Rafa, Roger, and Serena, the clothes they wore yesterday will not be what they’re wearing for the actual tournament.

Costume change: Texan Andy Roddick wore his white Lacoste outfit (this) for one exhibition match, and changed into this super-blousy red crew neck shirt (above) for another.

What are you hiding in there, Andy? Why so baggy?

(photos by Getty Images)

fashion focus: szavay in simple white

August 27, 2007

Hungarian qualifier Agnes Szavay looked amazing as she retired with a back injury at the fashion-forward Pilot Pen final. Congrats to her on almost winning the Tier II — it would’ve been a first for a qualifier.

All week she’s been wearing a label-less white sleeveless tank (left) and pleated skirt. She mixed it up at the final, donning a halter with a metal clip accent at the bust (middle).

Does anyone know who makes her clothes?

Also, on the right is a closer look at Svetlana‘s most current Fila outfit (which we pointed out last week). We really love the stripes!

bracketology: chris’ Open picks (women’s ed.)

August 27, 2007

Chris’ picks for the women’s draw at the 2007 U.S. Open (men’s picks here):

Quarters: Serena d. Henin, Jankovic d. Venus, Kuznetsova d. Hantuchova, Sharapova d. Chakvetadze

Semis: Jankovic d. Serena, Sharapova d. Kuznetsova

Final: Sharapova d. Jankovic

Heavy at the top: The women’s draw is very top heavy. Until I watched the Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day yesterday on CBS, I had Henin over Serena. But liked Serena’s form and attitude (hitting targets on a court is such a wonderful gauge for this, I know!). Being the first hard-hitter that Henin would face, the fresh Serena (coming back from an injury break) will be too much for Henin to handle.

If Serena doesn’t shape up, an on-form Safarova could give Henin some trouble in the fourth round.

In the bottom quarter of the top half, I think Venus will get hot again and upset Ivanovic in the fourth round but I see Jankovic returning to New York with too much confidence from last year to lose to Venus or Ivanovic in the quarters. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Jankovic only loses six or seven games through the fourth round (where she’d face Dementieva or Bammer).

The lower half: In the top section of the lower half, I see Azarenka making some noise until she runs into Kuznetsova in the fourth round. I also pick Hantuchova over Petrova in that round; the Slovakian is due for a good slam result (plus I wasn’t impressed with what I saw of Petrova in LA). I think Kuznetsova’s win at New Haven will give her the confidence to power past Daniela and into the semifinals.

Re: Sharapova’s draw — it’s not that easy as you might think. Radwanska, her possible third round opponent, won on the hard courts in Stockholm earlier this summer. In the fourth round Masha could face Peer, a fan favorite and always capable of a big win. Then she’d have to play Chakvetadze, who I would say maybe had the best summer over all, in the quarters. If Chakvetadze loses early, it’ll be to Mirza (who has also been playing her best lately) or Schnyder (always dangerous). If she makes it through that, then she’ll get a break facing Svetlana in the semis before a tough match against Jankovic in the final.

Oh yeah, that Vaidisova chick — she’s my first round upset special going out to Kudryavtseva.

What do you think of Chris’ picks? Tell us!

>> chris’ picks for the u.s. open: men’s draw
>> JNP’s u.s. open preview
>> TSF’s u.s. open coverage

trophy watch: more u.s. open series crystal

August 27, 2007

Trophy watch: The Pilot Pen tournament in New Haven doled out these cups to winners James Blake (7-5, 6-4 over Mardy Fish) and Svetlana Kuznetsova (who won when Hungarian qualifier Agnes Szavay retired at 6-4, 0-3).

Really, another ho hum trophy? Surely you could have found some other shape to sculpt. Why don’t you start here (or maybe here) for inspiration.

p.s. that’s a nice bracelet on James.

(photos via AP)

a top 10 player to be stripped of his clothes?

August 27, 2007

Will adidas make a monkey out of Gonzalez?

The blind item mill churneth and its latest product is this: a current top-10 player will be dumped by his clothing company “when his contract runs out at the end of the year”.

So who will be mired in a fashion mess in a few months? Here’s the current list of sponsors, players (and their ranking):

Nike: Roger Federer (1), Rafa Nadal (2), Blake (6), Berdych (9)
adidas: Nole (3), Fernando Gonzalez (7)
Airness: Davydenko (4)
Lacoste: Roddick (5)
Sergio Tacchini: Tommy Robredo (8)
Limited: Tommy Haas (10)

It’s not Rafa, Roger, or Blake — who all have crazy-high Q ratings right now. Lacoste is still getting mileage out of Roddick. And adidas would be stupid to drop Nole. Even though he strips after every title win, the clothes stay on during matches.

So my picks are the inconsistent Fernando Gonzalez (finals of Aussie Open and Masters Series Rome but early exits everywhere else), Tomas Berdych, and Tommy Robredo. Robredo should really be with Fila anyway. Perhaps this’ll be his chance to do so?

(photo via AP)

fashion: roger and nike design shirt for charity

August 26, 2007

Roger Federer checked in with his fans through an e-mail newsletter (he’s having a good time in New York, and he got great birthday presents from his fans, thankyouverymuch), and it reminded me of this shirt that’s for sale at It’s a good shirt to wear if you’re cheering on Roger at the U.S. Open this week.

Proceeds from this limited-edition shirt benefit the Roger Federer foundation.

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