Archive for July 6th, 2010

trans-atlantic flight shorter than his match, mahut delivers tee to the hof

July 6, 2010

Nicolas Mahut is in Newport, R.I., this week for the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships along with Americans Sam Querrey, Taylor Dent, Ryan Harrison and Mardy Fish and stopped by the Hall to deliver a piece of tennis history.

Mahut, who lost his record-setting five-set match with John Isner in the first round of Wimbledon, signed one of the many shirts he wore during the match and handed it off to HOF CEO Mark Stenning. Hopefully he washed it once or twice before the flight, no?

One more shot of Mahut and his historic polo after the cut. (more…)


double(s) duty: an interview with novelist nic brown

July 6, 2010

One of the upsides to working at a bookstore is stumbling across hidden gems of the literary world. The gem I happened upon a couple of weeks ago, Nic Brown‘s new novel, Doubles, isn’t exactly hidden: the acclaimed author of Floodmarkers takes his sophomore swing with a story entrenched in the world of tennis. I got my hands on a copy of an uncorrected proof a customer was buying just long enough to jot down the title and author, and found that Brown had the thumbs up of many a folk, including The New York Times Book Review (from his prior work): “What Brown does so expertly is to summon the brief, intimate moments—the single word shared between two characters, the simple gesture that quietly reveals hope.”

Doubles was released last week, and TSF got the chance to interview the tennis-loving author via email. Check out our revealing and candid exchange from this bright writer below.

TSF: First and foremost, why name your main character “Slow Smith?” We’re obsessed with it, but there’s gotta be some calculations behind such a name. Explain.
Nic Brown: Slow is almost seven feet tall and has a ridiculously long service routine. His doubles partner, Kaz – who started playing with him when they were five years old – coined the nickname when they were kids. At the time, Kaz didn’t know much English, but he did know the word “slow” and would yell it at Smith when he took too long between serves. Hence, the nickname. It stuck. Also, because of Slow’s height, he just sort of lopes around the court in these big floppy steps.

TSF: Golden. And sure as heck better than “Bepa.” Did you take into consideration the name of famous American tennis player Stan Smith? There’s some similarity there…
Yeah, the name is a nod towards Stan Smith. I mean, I knew Slow was going to be the character’s first name, so I figured I’d make it alliterative and give him a last name that echoed Stan Smith. Also, Stan Smith’s kids played college tennis in the area [Brown is a North Carolina native] – his daughter played at UNC and his son at Duke. It seemed a fitting allusion, albeit one that is totally unrelated to the actual narrative.

We’re digging the Doubles cover, photographed by Michael Rolph.

TSF: Before we dive too far into your narrative work in Doubles, tell us a little about yourself.
NB: I grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina. I spent most of my time playing drums and skateboarding, but – barring skating – the only sport I played or was even remotely into was tennis. I did play quite a bit of it – losing 100% of my matches against my primary foil, Ralph Brabham from down the street – but was never on any teams or leagues or anything. I was a fan, but it wasn’t until later, when I became very close friends with the tennis player Tripp Phillips, that I started to become really obsessed with the sport, both as a spectator and player.

Read more about Doubles, and Brown’s adventuring in the world of Challenger tennis, his thoughts on tennis relationships, who his favorite players are and how he discovered John Isner 10 years before his 11 hours of fame-making.


with tennis, nike chugs along

July 6, 2010

adidas has the FIFA World Cup in a lock but we’re pretty sure Nike‘s not losing any sleep. They can rest comfortably in the fact that they clothed some of the biggest stories at this year’s Wimbledon, including both singles champs (Rafa, Serena) and the marathon match with Isner.

(images by Nike via The Slice.)

(OT) <3: gucci spring 2010

July 6, 2010

While no one can possibly think about layering in this sweltering heat, we’re still gonna show you what we liked from Gucci‘s Spring 2010 runway shows. Click on the images above to see the slideshows from

Posts about the men’s stuff from Paris (plus this week’s couture) coming soon!

(images via

tick tock: marton fucsovics

July 6, 2010

For those keeping count, 2010 Wimbledon juniors singles champ — Hungarian Marton Fucsovics — turns 18 on August 2, 2010.

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