short balls: the geography edition


Fall is coming to fruition across the country. Well, that is if you don’t live in the Los Angeles area. Southern Cal was hit with quite the heat wave earlier this week – temperatures topping around 113 degrees around downtown. On this week’s short balls, we’re staying away from the heat and traveling around the country (and world!), region by region, to bring you tiny tidbits in URL-linked style.

The Midwest is losing one of its tennis gems, as the stadium that hosted the (formerly-named) RCA Championships – the Indianapolis ATP stop for 21 years – was put to the wrecking ball this past week. (via jon_wertheim) Remember: Better times in Indianapolis, which lost its tourney to Atlanta this past year.

The Southeast | The WTA celebrated the 40th anniversary of what it describes as a day of “rebellion” and “independence” last Thursday, September 23rd. In 1970, Billie Jean King and “The Original Nine” broke away from the tennis czars to form the WTA with help from a few business-savvy folks (and Virginia Slims cigarettes). The total purse at the 1970 Virginia Slims Invitational in Houston? $7,500. The winner took home $1,600, which is one about one tenth the money first-round losers are awarded at today’s majors.

Meanwhile, in the Southwest, Mirjana Lucic continued her winning ways this past week by capturing the title at the USTA Pro Circuit swing in Albuquerque. Lucic took out three Americans on her way to the championship. This week, she’s in action up north at the $50,000 event in Las Vegas.

Further west of Lucic’s success in Big Sur, California, Bob Bryan announced he was engaged to longtime girlfriend Michelle Alvarez. And west coast companies Diesel (Los Angeles) and Nike (Portland, Ore.) have new ad campaigns out. The Diesel campaign, “Kick Ass” takes a sarcastic approach to their shoes kicking ass (literally) and not being fitted for running. Nike’s “BOOM” campaign features several well shot (and edited) commercials. In all those split-second shots of different sports, your not missing a tennis moment. The sport didn’t make the cut for this promotional track, FYI. More FYI: Nike’s Q1 profits were up 9% overall. Maybe thanks to Rafa? Or the bed bugs? Probably Rafa…

More geographical adventures (including a dive into New York City!) after the cut…

On the East Coast, World Team Tennis announced another Smash Hit event, this one to be held in Washington, DC November 15th. The night of tennis and fun will feature Sir Elton John, BJK, Anna Kournikova, Andre Agassi, Steffi Graf, James Blake and more. Quite the line-up, no? Tickets are here. And while the USTA already had Jonathan Vegosen slated to take over for Lucy S. Garvin as board president come 2011, the Pilot Pen in New Haven is still searching for a new sponsor to take over its event, held on the Yale campus.

In the Big Apple itself, there’s still good stuff spilling over from the US Open.‘s Peter Bodo takes a look at the Rafaversus-Roger/ Monica-versus-Steffi rivalry similarities on his TennisWorld blog. Bodo’s colleague, David Rosenberg has collected his favorite shots from the USO (along with some great caption commentary). And speaking of good commentary, in case you missed Bethanie Mattek Sands‘s USO blogging for, its worth a glance. Andrea Petkovic isn’t the only gal on tour with some good wit and charm. (BMS item via FortyDeuceTwits)

More of the borough world: The Village Voice gives a sneak peek into the ‘gay urban oasis’ that is planned for the Midtown West/ Times Square area. | ESPNRise, the for-kids magazine and online version of sports news giant, had a great piece on Sloane Stephens in their back-to-shcool/ USO issue. You can read it online here. | Johnny Weir will always will be our favorite. | So will James Franco (for different reasons). (Franco item via Kennethinthe212) | Boast party pics are here. | And remember all that discussion about a roof at the US Open?! How about here, at an artistic space? TSF is all for the art and tennis worlds colliding…

Where in the world?! We’re not quite sure where Serena Williams snapped this photo. But we’re pretty sure it wasn’t Tokyo… or Beijing.

Speaking of Asia, Jelena Jankovic gets her ninja on. And the men get their paparazzi on in the Bangkok airport.

[OT] Among the Other Thread topics of the week: the OK Go “White Knuckles” music video is worth a watch, especially if you’re a dog lover. | Tennis aficionado and media columnist John Koblin is leaving the New York Obverser for a job at Conde Nast. | Buy it: Dolphin studio calendars for the year 2011. Hand-crafted in Massachusetts. | Don’t buy it, just marvel at it: Journalism Barbie, that is. After 124 jobs, Barbie gets her senses about her and goes all Anne Curry on us. | Below, a glimpse of the Metropolitan Opera’s opening night on Monday from Sarah Morrow’s flickr page. A few of Sarah’s USO shots here, too.

(autumn picture by ming chai via flickr/ park ave armory picture by tina fineberg for the nyt/ the met picture by sarah morrow via flickr)


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