Archive for May 7th, 2008

Rolling out the red clay for Federer?

May 7, 2008

Roger Federer now has a clearer path to a clay court title at this week’s Internazionali BNL d’Italia aka Masters Series Roma after Rafael Nadal was taken out by former World No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero 7-5, 6-1 in the second round.

David Ferrer‘s also out, as is Guillermo Canas and David Nalbandian (part of that cabal who chipped at Roger’s confidence in 2007, though these two are stronger on hardcourts). I think the only person who can currently pose a threat is Nicolas Almagro. Do y’all agree?

The longer Roger stays in the draw, though, the higher the likelihood that we’ll see more practice shirts. For now, he’s used two:

Nice yellow bandana from Nike to go with his ringer tee.

This second one has two perpendicular white lines mimicking those of a tennis court. There’s also a graphic on the back of the shirt, but I can’t find a photo that shows it off properly…

(photos via MTF)


monaco’s tournament is now just a figurehead…

May 7, 2008

The Monte Carlo tournament might only have a ceremonial “1000” title when the ATP revamps its calendar for 2009 and beyond, but that view is still going to be worth a million bucks.

(Roger Federer photo via MTF)

murray wants his internet q rating back

May 7, 2008

Mark Sanger, the founder and webmaster behind, recently got a letter from the lawyers of scrappy Scot Andy Murray threatening legal action if Sanger didn’t take down pictures “leeched” off Andy’s official site and posted on Sanger’s.

Sanger, of course, is pissed. And he feels that Murray’s camp is using copyright infringement as an excuse to suppress “a website that is… often critical of Murray’s career.” On the other hand, Andy’s site “reports only on the positives and even goes as far as to censor the public when they post direct criticism at Murray,” he writes TSF via e-mail. Whatever happened to tough love?

As of this post, Sanger’s site still stands. And it’s a good one, at that. Why Murray’s legal team is threatening this guy is beyond me. Sanger’s has been running this website (non-commercial, btw) since 2005, a year before Andy Murray launched C’mon, people — lemons:lemonade::crazy passionate fan with great web publishing skills:webmaster.

(I know, I know — there’s also something ot be said about *stealing*. I can only hope that Mark has posted visible notes on his forums telling readers to consider netiquette when sharing pictures of Andy from other websites…)

T-shoes get love from T Mag

May 7, 2008

A recent Help Desk column at T Magazine answers a reader’s plea for sneakers that can pass off as fashionable in a conservative professional environment.

The finalists: tennis shoes, of course! (What else would we write about?) adidas‘ Tournament edition (see our write-up here), the designs of Superga, and a line called Common Projects were all mentioned. There are others, too, so take your pick. When you do, just make sure to keep a few rules in mind: no shoes that can actually survive a hitting session, stick with dark and solid colors, no logos, leather instead of canvas, and please — stick with dressing up a casual style instead of dressing down a lace-up. Trust me on that last one.

Purple-lover Venus to face off with Maria in sports-drink battle

May 7, 2008

USA Today reports that Venus Williams will start hawking PowerAde, the sports drink second only to the Maria Sharapova-endorsed Gatorade in market share.

By Theresa Howard, USA TODAY

NEW YORK — Coca-Cola’s PowerAde is giving Gatorade a run for its calorie count.

On the heels of Gatorade’s rollout of low-calorie G2, No. 2 sports-drink brand PowerAde is going all the way — to zero calories. Trying to build on the success of diet drinks Coke Zero and Sprite Zero, PowerAde Zero is going into stores now.

Traditional sports drinks, such as regular PowerAde, provide calories for energy as well as electrolytes to replace those lost in vigorous exercise.

“PowerAde offers carbohydrates for those with intense workouts,” says Matt Kahn, vice president of marketing. “But there’s a whole group of calorie-conscious gymgoers. This is the first major brand to give hydration and electrolytes with zero calories.”

Tennis star Venus Williams will endorse the drink in print ads next week. Other ads in Us Weekly and Men’s Health will tout its zero calories vs. Gatorade products by showing calories per 8 ounces: 50 for Gatorade, 25 for G2 and 10 for flavored Propel Fitness Water.

Williams drinks pink lemonade PowerAde on the court, but says she’s wanted a lower-calorie alternative for less intense workouts.

“I have a nutrition plan and need to rehydrate without the calories,” says Williams by phone from a photo shoot for Shape magazine.

Says Kahn, “We think even an elite athlete is going to be careful about consuming wasted calories.”

Zero comes in strawberry, mixed berry and grape, artificially sweetened with sucralose and acesulfame potassium.

“I can’t keep it in my refrigerator — everyone takes them,” Williams says. “Grape is my favorite. Purple is my favorite color, and grape is the best flavor, and that’s the one that’s always gone.”

PowerAde sees Zero as a way to revive growth. Volume for PowerAde’s line, which has 19% of the sports-drink market, slid 1.5% in the first quarter, according to trade publication Beverage Digest, while volume for all sports drinks grew 1.3% and Gatorade rose 2%. Reduced-calorie G2 has been out just four months and already has captured 8% of all sports-drink sales.

In addition to the push for Zero, PowerAde is ramping up its marketing overall for summer. It recently became a Little League Baseball sponsor and added 15 new athlete endorsers, including NBA star Carmelo Anthony of the Denver Nuggets and Philadelphia pro baseball player Ryan Howard.

Entering the peak season, Kahn says, “We think we have the right strategy… to take PowerAde up a notch. We expect big things from PowerAde Zero.”


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