But we’ll gladly pass it along: Contrary to the evidence, we had nothing to do with this one.
Pic taken while the ATPers visited the Avala Tower in Belgrade before the start of the Serbia Open.
And we’re not talking about Evgeny Korolev‘s pants. The draw ceremony for weekend’s Davis Cup World Group Play-off tie between Kazakhstan and Switzerland was held at the Norman Foster-designed Khan Shatyr Entertainment Center in Astana. The structure, which opened this past July, is the world’s largest tent. (Read: HuffPo’s write-up.) The matches will be played in the National Tennis Center, also located in that city.
Draw: See the country line-ups here. (Marco Chiudinelli is playing!)
(photo by Sergei Kivrin via daviscup.org)
Dinara Safina was greeted by a big fan club of one (see background) upon arriving in Beijing this last week. Well, that’s actually just Gumby’s blue cousin, Blumby. He’s waving with fervor, and Dinara is def doing her best to ignore him. She’s obviously supes embarrassed.
With the China Open officially under the way we did some perusing on their web site to find some 中网纪念品 - or, in English, “China Open souvenirs” Our first fave is these miniature key chains:
But they don’t top these gems below. These squishy friends are sporting tennis onesies (a skirt for the female and shorts for the male) and remind me of drawings I did as a child before I knew people had bodies and connected their legs to their heads. Loves it.
After the cut, see the Olympic Stadium all ready for the tourney. (more…)
We’re hoping to stop by the memorial service for Jack Kramer (it’s today at the UCLA Tennis Center @ 11am, for those of you in SoCal).
Lacoste and creative director Christophe Lemaire launched a store-in-store at the company’s Paris flagship store earlier this year, a space that carries rare Lacoste products for both sexes as well as one-offs created for the runway that never made it to the floor.
The details: The shop walls are covered in cork and felt; a leather punching bag hangs off to one side; a vintage tennis racquet juts out in front as the store’s sign — all “a decidedly luxurious take on sport,” says Lemaire. (See another interior pic here.)
Visit: The Lacoste in Lemaire shop is located at 28 rue de Poitou, Paris.
The AP is reporting that Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf will participate in an exo at Wimbledon, partly to help test out the playing conditions under the new Center Court roof.
They’ll be joined by Kim Clijsters and Tim Henman at the May 17 “Centre Court Celebration” event, which will include a men’s singles, women’s singles, and mixed doubles match.
Graf was quoted by the AP: “There is no tennis venue more special to me than Centre Court at Wimbledon,” the German said. “It just doesn’t get any better. I couldn’t be more honored to play there again with my husband Andre, and tennis greats Kim and Tim. It will mean so much to return to Wimbledon and … relive so many wonderful memories.”
As you may remember, the original roof was dismantled after the ’06 tournament and returned in 2008. Construction of the moving parts began in July. (Geek out: See how the retractable roof works.)
Buy: Tickets are $50, and will go on sale March 12 via Ticketmaster.
A tale of two cities: On one end, Shanghai, who’s ready to step out of Beijing’s architectural shadow with some record-breaking structures of its own. The showcase: the completion, after 14 (!) years, of the Shanghai World Financial Center — standing at 1,600 feet as the tallest building in China and the third tallest in the world. The Park Hyatt Shanghai has taken up shop in the 79th through 93rd floors of the 101-story skyscraper, just in time to welcome fans eager for another Roger/Rafa bout at the year-ending Tennis Masters Cup.
And down South, on Brazil’s Emerald Coast, the Ponta Dos Ganchos Resort is debuting five luxury seafront bungalows via an auction to benefit Instituto Guga Kuerten. The four new Emerald Villa Bungalows (2,455 sq. ft.) and one Special Emerald Villa Bungalow (3,210 sq. ft.), opening in the first week of December, feature dry saunas and jacuzzis with sea views, personal spa areas with massage tatamis, wine cellars, and private decks and plunge pools. The Special Emerald Villa Bungalow also includes an in-villa fitness center.
Bid: The silent auction for the PDG villas ends October 31, 2008. For more information, click here. One interesting note: “Cancellations are not accepted and are subject to total loss of payment as proceeds will be donated directly to Instituto Guga Kuerten.”
Book: See room rates (plus, on the landing page, a view from the hotel out to Shanghai) at the Park Hyatt website.
(via UD; screengrabs from each property’s website)
The bullring, designed by architect Jose Espeliu, took nine years to realize. Note the Mozarabic style, defined by the horseshoe-shaped arches among other things. The structure has five gates from which bulls can enter, the most revered of which is the Puerto Grande (“Big Door”), an exit door used by matadors who have won their fight.
That relief behind Rafa is pretty awesome.
(Indoor and Nadal photos via Getty Images; facade photo via dk)
The dedicated-but-ailing Maria Sharapova appeared at the South Street Seaport on the eve of the U.S. Open to launch a new camera, the PowerShot SD1100 IS, for Canon. In conjunction with this latest model they are giving away five bedazzled one-offs, each encrusted with 88 white diamonds for a total of 2.2 carats per camera. (Enter the sweepstakes.)
Masha wore a crazy “I’m-a-little-teapot” design by Lanvin and was flanked by look-alikes dressed in black and white versions of what would have been the Russian’s Nike outfit — had she not pulled out of the tournament due to injury.
A temporary 50-foot white dome built specifically for the event (event logistics deets here) also housed a Wii loaded with Top Spin 3, a photo station, and a flatscreen that premiered Maria’s latest TV ad for Canon which, of course, starred her beloved Dolce (view).
We had a chance to chat with Masha about the Beijing Olympics and Fashion Week:
On the Olympics: “I was really excited to see Nastia Liukin win because she and I share the same history. She was born in Russia and also came to the U.S. at such a young age.”
On her Fed Cup teammates sweeping the tennis medals: “It’s pretty crazy that three of the four [Russians who were] in the draw were on the podium. It’s so wonderful. I haven’t had a chance to talk to them, but I’m very happy.”
On which shows she’s eyeing for Fashion Week: “I’d love to go to Vera Wang. She’s a good friend of mine. and Peter Som as well.”
On following men’s fashion: “I have a hard time women’s trends as it is. It changes every single week. It’ll take me a while to get that point.”
Domed if you don’t: Speaking of, you should check out the Buckminster Fuller exhibit at The Whitney if you can. It’s on view through September 21.
(tent image via BizBash)
The Empire State Building has been shining its tower lights with “tennis ball yellow” color throughout this year’s edition of the U.S. Open (partly to commemorate the 40th year of Open tennis at the event). The tower first got lights in 1932, to alert people for 50 miles that FDR had been elected president of the United States.
The building currently lights up for major holidays, including EU Day (blue and yellow), Lunar New Year (red and yellow), Veterans’ Day (red, white, and blue), and Earth Day (green).
And for the Olympics, the ESB lit the four sides of its tower the flag colors of countries participating in the Beijing Games. The top 66 countries (based on delegation size) were honored through the 17 nights of the event.
You’ve probably heard about all the cool structures erected in Beijing in time for the Olympics — including the bird’s nest-esque National Stadium by Herzog & de Meuron, PTW’s water cube aquatic center, the single-roofed Norman Foster-designed international airport, and the new CCTV building (innards here) — but you probably haven’t heard what they’ve given us tennis folks.
We get a yawner of a flower.
Unlike the peony-style stadium in Shanghai, this stadium has three main courts (out of 10) with a flower petal design, with the spectators at a steep angle on each of the 12 petals to give them maximum viewing space. They also create a natural ventilation system that reduces the court temp by 5 degrees Celsius.
The main court holds 10,000 people, while Number One court seats 4,000, and Number Two court 2,000. There are another 1,400 spectator seats that overlook the other seven preliminary competition courts.
All of the courts’ water will be recycled by treating it through membrane biological reactors to remove contaminants. The treated water will then be used to water the tennis center’s foliage.
Show Court No. 2
(stadium info via CBC; photos via TW)
While it could be said that there were times Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams walked on water — he owns three back-to-back French Opens and she has already racked up eight Grand Slam titles so far — the organizers of the Sony Ericsson Open took it a step further by staging this exhibition on Monday.
It took a team five days to construct invisible (acrylic) platforms at either end of the Hotel Gansevoort’s rooftop pool. It would’ve been so much cooler had they brought in people to make it seem like it was business as usual; as if tennis on water happens all the time.
By the way: Gansevoort South, the South Beach sister to the Hotel Gansevoort in the Meatpacking District, is opening quietly this month after some delays. It’ll be worth the wait, though. The hotel’s main kitchens will be helmed by the ladies of the ONE Group; they’ve even scheduled to open a branch of their STK restaurant there in November.
Duly noted: Are those the new Nike kits Rafa and Serena will be wearing later this week?
More photos: Click here for more pics.
Okay, Rafael Nadal earns some brownie points with me by leaving his mark on the Burj Dubai, which will be the tallest artificial structure in the world once it is completed later this year. The 160th floor of the skyscraper will sit at 2,066 feet above ground level!
Nadal is taking part in this week’s Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships. He struggled in the first round but got by Philipp Kohlschreiber 3-6, 6-1, 6-4.
I really like that white Nike tee on him. If you know where we can find it, leave a comment.
Shake it while you can: The higher-ups at Polaroid have decided to get out of the instant camera business. They are shuttering their operations in Massachusetts, making enough film to last only through next year. You can keep your fingers crossed, though — there’s a likelihood of the technology being licensed for third-party production. But until that happens, you might as well stock up!
Vanity Fare: The pictures shot by Annie Leibovits for VF‘s March Hollywood issue are impressive as always (one here). But our reason for snapping up the pub are images of Julian Schnabel‘s pink WeVil monstrosity, the Palazzo Chupi.
Everyone was up in arms about how tacky the pink would look. I haven’t seen it in person, but it’s at least better than a Paul Smith store on Melrose or that obnoxious Pink Taco storefront in Century City. (What they lack in subtlety they make up for with a good happy hour.)
Hollywood, pt. 2: The New York Times got in on the Hollywood (aka Oscar) buzz with last Sunday’s NYT Magazine. Ryan McGinley shot the cover story. They’ve posted a behind-the-scenes video, also directed by McGinley, online. And I’ve posted the mag’s cover here.
(photos via “Vanity Fair Goes to the Schneighborhood”, New York Magazine)
The party and mini-fashion show put on by Venus Williams (to celebrate her graduation from fashion school) happened at Hotel Victor in South Beach. This gorgeous Art Deco hotel, like many of the other structures on Ocean Drive, has a well-designed interior and a raised infinity pool, among other cool designs.
And who can say “no” to a hotel with a jellyfish swimming across its home page. Impractical? Perhaps. Beautiful? Definitely.
More photos of the hotel and Venus’ party after the cut…
On Hawkeye: China Daily: Some umps don’t feel so hot now that Hawk-Eye can check up on their work. WTB: Speaking of, Aussie Open director Craig Tiley has announced an three-plus-one challenge system for the 2008 tourney. A two-for-one system — meaning, a player gets two incorrect challenges per set and one more if it goes to a tiebreak — has been the standard so far.
Missing out: Here’s a list of the underachievers: Safin, Berdych, Gasquet, Haas, Monfils, Dementieva, and Hantuchova. Do you agree? (Betfair)
Pillet for the masses: The limited-edition watches designed by Christophe Pillet for Lacoste (which debuted at Collette) have now made their way to Lacoste’s website. (Woman’s Swing, $150; Mens’ Mainsail, $235.)
Now for OT galore:
Art-chitecture: The mid-century modern designs of architect Richard Neutra get a boost with a planned sale of the Kaufmann House (Palm Springs, Calif.). The home will be part of Christie’s evening sale of postwar and contemporary art in May. Owners Brent and Beth Edward Harris opted away from giving the house to a public institution or trust. Instead, they hope that their move will usher will promote architecture as “a collectible art worthy of the same consideration as painting and sculpture.” (NYT)
More time-sucking: W magazine now has a website — Wmagazine.com.
We can’t wait: The Spring ’08 collection of Shipley & Halmos looks pretty good. Jeff Halmos (left) and Sam Shipley (right) are half of the foursome who started Trovata. (style.com)
Lacroix’s return: Fashion designer Christian Lacroix is back. (UnBeige)
>> TSF’s short balls archive
Since 2005, Shanghai has hosted the Tennis Masters Cup, the ATP Tour’s year-end tournament. It wasn’t lost on TSF that the facility, completed in October ’05, was erected specifically for this purpose.
Scorelines: Rafa Nadal and David Ferrer have reached the semifinals from the Gold Group. Had Ferrer not routed Richard Gasquet 6-1, 6-1, the Frenchman would be in the semis instead of Rafa. Meanwhile, the Red Group semis are still up in the air, with Roger Federer, Andy Roddick, and Fernando Gonzalez still in contention. Barring injury withdrawals from these three, Nikolay Davydenko is officially out of the tournament.
FYI: The Shanghai Qizhong Forest Sports City Tennis Center is located in the Minhang District, southwest of the city. The environmentally-conscious design was the brainchild of architect Mitsuru Senda and his Environment Design Institute (EDI). “In many cases, sports facilities involve very big spaces,” says EDI’s design policy, “and it is therefore necessary to consider closely just what influence they will have on the surrounding environment.”
From this philosophy came a 15,000-seat arena considered the largest tennis venue in Asia. A bird’s-eye view of the arena’s roof shows a peony, which is an homage to the country’s national (favorite) flower. The roof, capable of withstanding typhoon-strong winds, consists of eight retractable “petals” which take 8 minutes to retract or cover the stadium.
See more photos of the stadium (plus a virtual tour) after the cut…
Guga lives on: Columnist Charles Bricker lets us know that Guga is still months away from recovery, and likely can’t take advantage of a U.S. Open wildcard. In the meantime, you can enjoy this fan art.
Monte Carlos Masters stays put: The organizers of this Masters Series tourney get to keep their mid-April date, their ranking points, and prize money levels. Unfortunately, the ATP won’t enforce player commitments for the event, which could mean a lackluster field. But with plenty of players calling the Principality of Monaco home, perhaps recruiting players won’t be so hard to do… (IHT, DT)
Someone loves you, Andy: Andy Roddick‘s still smarting about his quarterfinal loss to Richard Gasquet at this year’s Wimbledon, but he can take consolation in ranking 59th in AfterElton’s Hot 100 list.
It’s not just ‘tennis elbow’ anymore: Spine injury can rear its ugly head early on, so teens: be careful!
A sports lover’s haven: After the sixth hour on the couch watching Wimbledon coverage, I dream about a house like this, too. (LAT)
The U.S. Open Series coverage begins: When something gets a New York Times mention, you know it’s got it made. (Talking Tennis)
Hyuk of the day: Yes, we chuckled when we saw this headline. Did she tie her shoes too tight? Do you hear that frog? (via OTB)
Nike and adidas should watch out: As sneaker companies sense that China will soon become a big-time market, the sponsorship agreements doled out get more and more creative. (Slate)
>> Tennis Served Fresh’s short balls archive
Spanish tennis star Juan Carlos Ferrero enters the luxury hotel landscape — a currently-hip trend blazed by George Clooney, Mick Jagger, Richard Branson; fashion houses Bvlgari, Ferragamo, and Armani, etc. — with his own intimate operation.
OGLE: See the photos here.
(Hola via OTB)
Along with being the highest ranked ATP player without a Grand Slam title, our favorite under-the-radar Russian, Nikolay Davydenko, can add another distinction to his name: the man’s a ham.
I’ll forgive the cheesy poses because he went out of his way to visit the Oceanario de Lisboa while in town for the Estoril Open.
(By the way, if you’re into fish — or just creatures in general, really — and happen to be in Los Angeles, check out the Tim Hawkinson Zoopsia exhibit at the Getty. I highly recommend the octopus photocollage. And the found object sculptures at the Skirball’s new Noah’s Ark installation are just up the street. But I digress…)
This beautiful aquarium sits on the Targus river. Designed by Cambridge Seven Associates for the Expo 1998, the structure is comprised of stone piers, steel masts, and cables supporting a roof of glass sheets.
from the Estoril Open website.
The LTA National Tennis Centre opened today in Roehampton. Greg Rusedski and Judy Murray, among others, were on hand to greet the Queen Mum, who paid visit to the Centre. She looked absolutely cute in her purple skirt suit (photos here).
This hopefully will be a boon to UK tennis. They seem to be in the process of righting some wrongs, at least with their juniors program — problems that have resulted in having only a handful of men (two, and no women) briefly occupy the top 10 in the last 30 years. And by visiting the Centre on Thursday, perhaps the Queen is reaching out. She still has a way to go, though: she has met neither the former (Tim Henman) nor current (Andy Murray) hopes of UK tennis. And both have been playing tennis for a very long time. WTF? Get your handlers on it. Now.
But back to this wonderful complex designed by Hopkins Architects. Give them thumbs up for taking steps to ensure the safety of animal habitat (bats, badgers) and to minimize the effects of rainwater drainage on nearby Beverley Brook.
And kudos, too, to the Centre’s Deuce Cafe, which prepares food using fair trade, organic, and local ingredients. They also recycle, and choose biodegradable products when possible.
(photos from the LTA website)
>> jamie murray is no ‘haylie duff’, and other stories
>> makeover at wimbledon