Archive for October 11th, 2007

how tacky!: the ITF tests the viscosity of court surfaces

October 11, 2007

After reading about the latest Congress on Tennis Science and Technology held by the ITF Science & Technical Department, I thought I’d track down one of the guys who published a paper in conjunction with the event. Matt Downing, a student at the University of Bath, conducted studies that led to “The effect of temperature on the court pace rating of tennis surfaces” and “The effect of climatic changes on the properties of tennis balls”, both included in Tennis Science and Technology 3 (edited by Miller, S. and Capel-Davies, J. ITF: London). In plain English, he basically did a study on how tennis courts and tennis balls are affected by variations in temperature.

Over e-mail, we chatted with Matt about how he fell into working with the ITF, what his research was like, and what his plans are for future tennis-related studies. Read on.


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 editor Kamakshi Tandon) about the race to the year-ending Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai. This is why I love the statistician extraodinaire. (

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…

fashion focus: serena switches to charm hoop earrings

October 11, 2007

Omg, can I tell you how much I love these earrings on Serena? She wore them for today’s 7-5, 6-4 win against Ukranian Tatiana Perebiynis in the second round of the Kremlin Cup.

The charms framed by the heart-shaped hoops look like crowns… Perhaps a tribute to Russia’s imperial history?

Browse: Lately I’ve been eyeing the charm hoops of Juicy Couture. I know the brand’s synonymous with “dirty soccer mom” in some circles, but eff it — this jewelry rocks! If you feel like getting a pair like Serena’s, they have a few variations of the crown-medallion-as-earring. Check it out.

is the pope catholic?: a flashback to rafa’s aussie open ’07 outfit

October 11, 2007

Spaniard and World No. 2 Rafael Nadal‘s wonky winter hard court season included a 2-6, 4-6, 3-6 quarterfinal loss in the Australian Open to eventual finalist Fernando Gonzalez. (Rafa likely ran out of gas after a tough five-setter against Andy Murray — a 6-7 (3), 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 battle — in the fourth round.

Here he is wearing a great kit from Nike, of course in his trademark sleeveless shirt and capri pants. The yellow/white Macro React tank had the fish-scale pattern which helped release heat and sweat from Rafa. And the shirt’s light and stretchy mesh lining kept the polyester-spandex material from sticking to his skin.

And we loved the camouflage pattern on his green capris… Too bad he’s gone for plainer colors for the rest of his pants this year.

Buy: You can check out the most recent Rafa gear at Midwest Sports.

>> TSF’s look back to the 2007 australian open

the fun doesn’t stop: venus continues to unveil new eleven looks

October 11, 2007

Venus Williams continues her Asian run by participating in this week’s Bangkok Open after winning the Korea Open two weeks ago and making the finals of last week’s Japan Open.

Of course, as expected, we’re seeing more looks from her upcoming Steve & Barry’s line — EleVen — which will drop sometime in November.

Here she is wearing teal during practice at the Bankok Open, playing one of her matches at last week (against Caroline Wozniacki), and arriving to the throngs at the Bangkok Airport in an EleVen warm-up jacket.

And she wore a classic polo shirt/pleated skirt ensemble in her 6-4, 6-1 defeat of hometown fave Tamarine Tanasurgarn. She wore the all-black version at this year’s U.S. Open.

How many more outfits does she have left in her tank? I can’t wait to see!

>> TSF’s EleVen archive

ask and you shall receive: janko in moscow

October 11, 2007

Janko Tipsarevic got treated for a boo boo while playing against resurgent Andy Murray (whom he lost to in the first round of last week’s tournament in Metz, France). This time, Janko took out the 20-year old Scot 6-4, 7-5 in a match — sans Hawk-Eye — that saw many close line calls favoring the Serb.

Two cents: Murray has added fuel to the current match-fixing ado by alleging that it happens. Uninformed and outspoken or is he telling the truth? And what does this mean about his own experiences with match-fixing?

But let’s get back to more important things, like other pictures of Janko from Moscow. Below the cut!

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