Archive for the ‘billie jean king’ Category

a royal visit to wimbledon

June 27, 2011


Here hunny, you sit here.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, better known to us as Kate and Will, made their first visit to Wimbledon today as a married couple. The two took in Andy Murray‘s rather straight-forward match against Richard Gasquet, the Scotsman winning 7-6 (3) 6-3 6-2. Kate looked stunning in off white (don’t you love that shoulder pattern, too?) and Will looked regal in a classic navy suit with a patterned red tie. Billie Jean King joined them in the royal box, as well.

More Murray: The world no. 4 has Kubot or Lopez in the quarterfinals

(Getty Images photo)

strokin’: when tennis met music

March 23, 2011

By Jonathan Scott

It may not be tabloid fodder like every Taylor Swift dalliance, and it’s not nearly as insufferable as Brangelina, but the marriage between music and tennis is itself a storied love affair. It stretches across decades and genres, and it knows no bounds – well, none other than those pesky white lines.

Try to set aside the disappointment that the artist Sergey with the song “Tennis” on iTunes is actually not Vera Zvonareva‘s ridiculously good-looking model/coach. And, however possible, repress the memory of Justine Henin‘s song-and-dance scareoke on TV. Yes, Novak Djokovic and Ivo Karlovic have tried their tongues at rapping, as has Vince Spadea with amusingly deplorable results, but that doesn’t mean you should try it at home after perfecting your Djokovic-ian down-the-line backhand, does it?

As the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival just wrapped its annual song-a-thon in Austin, Texas – soon to be the site for a volatile USA vs. Spain Davis Cup tie in July – here’s the skinny on the latest hot shots in tennis-tinged music and an homage to some of the greats.

Best Newcomer: James Blake is a dub-step soulman and a veritable crooner. The British JB, that is. His American counterpart is a best-selling author and owner of a laser forehand whose best days are past, but Blake the Brit is taking the music world by slow-burning storm, releasing his rave-reviewed eponymous debut in February and – well before that – igniting the blogosphere with his faithful but quirky cover of Feist‘s “Limit to Your Love.” Let’s just pray that, when we hit up a James Blake concert sometime, his fans aren’t half as annoying (adorable?) as the American Blake’s J-Block can be in the tennis stands.

Dainty she is not. Our fave album cover from Blonde Readhead’s 23. (Image via band website)

Best Dressed: Sometimes it’s okay to judge a band by its cover. Oxymoronic indie rockers Blonde Redhead out of New York City put out the best, most elegant tennis-themed album art when they dropped 23 in 2007. But, no, the song “Top Ranking” has nothing to do with disputed no. 1 Caroline Wozniacki.

Worst Dressed, but Best Sound: Yea, there is a band simply called Tennis, a married duo specializing in ’60s surf-pop for 2011. This act released its debut Cape Dory in January, and though the song “Marathon” doesn’t harbor the words “Isner,” “Mahut” or “Wimbledon” anywhere in the lyrics, it’s solid stuff. Consider it your soulful throwback soundtrack for this summer – but steer clear of wearing skintight aqua as with the album cover. It looks like leftover fabric from a hideous Nadia Petrova creation.

Best Tournament Run: This has to go to the ginger-haired heroine in the video for Vampire Weekend‘s “Giving Up the Gun.” She rips through a draw that includes Joe Jonas, a Daft Punk-helmeted doubles team, and even a flask-swilling Jake Gyllenhaal in tear-away pants. It’s a great song, and the immaculately-white indoor court is sharp – even if the choked-up strokes from the damsel look laughably bad in reality. Girl, who taught you to grip a racquet like that? Topping it off: RZA from Wu-Tang Clan serves as the chair umpire, and Lil Jon offers astute on-court coaching. Brill.

TSF Vault | The many lives of tennis-themed music vids

Best Clay-Court Match: French DJs Martin Solveig — oddly in tasteful Wimbledon whites — and Bob Sinclar, sporting some hot-magenta vintage-Agassi styles, squared off on Roland Garros‘ red dirt for the video for Solveig’s dance track “Hello” sung by Dragonette. The match and music video are both visceral, a veritable heartbreaker. Check out the cameo by that flashiest of the current French tennis stars as he comes on the scene and devastates the darling DJ.

Hello? Could Martin Solveig look any cooler? We think not. (YouTube screengrab)

Best Charity Hit: Andy Murray and Thom Yorke of Radiohead teamed up for charity single “Two Minute Silence” to benefit serving and former British troops and their families. Strangely enough, its title is no lie. “Hear” — but really just see — it here. British Prime Minister David Cameron and more also got in on this quiet riot. Truly the oddest not-quite-a-band lineup ever, but hey, can’t wait for their episode of “Behind the Music.” Finalist: Wozniacki put out a charity single called “Oxigent” (or “Oxygen”) to benefit Danish and Polish Paralympic athletes. Because, you know, she has oodles of free time.

Top Passing Shot: Meg Baird‘s lovely, lilting “Waltze of the Tennis Players.” It’s just pretty, and we do pretty.

More of Jonathan’s music musings (including “Best Grunt” and “Best Musical Ode to a Tennis Player”) after the cut. (more…)

sunday survey: a hitting partner for the ages

November 14, 2010

Tomorrow night the DC metro area will host arguably its biggest tennis event of the year as World Team Tennis puts on its annual Smash Hits charity event at American University. Billie Jean King will play the honorable hostess, joined by a cast of tennis (and non tennis!) greats: Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf, Andre Agassi, Anna Kournikova and Elton John. A good friend of TSF is DC-bound for the evening of big time tennis and big(ger) personalities.

It got us thinking: If you could play tennis with any one individual from throughout history, who would it be and why?

Don’t like our options here? Create your own in the comments section.

(photo by Patty Boh via flickr)

short balls: the geography edition

September 29, 2010

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… (more…)

tennis’ reception line for queen elizabeth II

June 24, 2010

…And ‘Best Dressed’ goes to: Perhaps it’s the American in us, but we were all about Andy Roddick and his wearing a white blazer to meet Queen Elizabeth II at Day 4 of the 2010 Wimbledon tournament. (The tailored Federer suit is so predictable!) QEII attended the day’s session to watch Andy Murray play his second-round match against Jarrko Nieminen.

Roddick and his jacket (we can only assume it’s Lacoste) was part of a reception line which included Martina Navratilova, Billie Jean King, Elena Baltacha, Anne Keothavong, Laura Robson, Jelena Jankovic, Novak Djokovic, Caroline Wozniacki Kai-Chen Chang, Roger Federer, and Serena Williams (who’d been practicing her moves in anticipation of this meeting!).

As Nick said earlier, Her Majesty wore the perfect color to complement the bright green grass of the AELTC. It’s a boost to the sport to see her around these parts.

(images via AP)

live blogging the FO (men’s) final

June 6, 2010

5:39 PM 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 Game, set, match, Nadal I’m pretty happy for Rafa and that win. He definitely deserved it. Congrats, big guy.

5:24 PM 6-4, 6-2, 5-3 Nadal Time for the Robin Soderling to pull out the gladiator armor. He’s neeeeeeeeding it.

5:07 PM 6-4, 6-2, 3-1 Nadal No, we have no idea who the junior champions are, either. And so much for Bode Miller‘s U.S. Open bid. Kind of rough for the USTA‘s number one story line to flame out in the first round. McEnroe is really doing his best to verbally route for Sod to take this to four or five.

(more…)

live blogging the FO finals

June 5, 2010

4:56 PM, Game, set and match, Schiavone 6-4, 7-6 (2) Well big props to Schiavone for closing out the match like she did. We really dig the whole kissing-the-clay thing. Upping Guga‘s classic heart by making love to the clay with your mouth, not your racket.

4:41 PM, Schiavone leads 6-4, 6-all There is now the potential for this thing to turn into a high-quality, dramatic three-set affair. Could the WTA actually see its saviors in the games of these two relative unknowns? It’s been dang fun to watch such good tennis for two sets and 90 minutes thus far. I’m also digging the extra-cheesy Geico and Billie Jean King commercial.

4:29 PM, Schiavone leads 6-4, 4-all Stosur is tightening up here as the Italian has won the last three games to even up the second set. Can we see the first three-set women’s final since 2001?

4:07 PM, Schiavone leads 6-4, 1-2 Loving the NBC editors for their choice of exit-out music for commercials, so far including the SATC2 theme song, Beyonce and Britney. Diva music for two non-divas.

Meanwhile, we’re thinking that the Franny Faithful would make a great Jersey Shore spin-off. The hair! The muscles! The sunglasses! Stosur has nothing on these boys.

3:57 PM, Schiavone wins first set 6-4 (Good news!) Schiavone is playing with heart and (bad news!) Stosur is playing with the weight of the world on her shoulders. Let’s see if a clean court can give Sammy a clean conscience. (BEST news!) Mary Pierce sighting in the first row of the far side of the court. Like a summer bride, she’s wearing all white.

(more…)

sunday survey: who’s your queen of the bjk?

February 28, 2010

The Billie Jean King Cup happens tomorrow night at Madison Square Garden, an event that features Venus Williams, Kim Clijsters, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Ana Ivanovic. While this is an exhibition that might not mean much on paper, there is some pride on the line (Ivanovic’s plummet; Kuzy’s ability to play with the top gals; Clijsters’s redemption for her fizzle at the AO; Venus’s continued success from Dubai and Mexico City). Don’t doubt these gals will giving it their all in the world’s most famous arena.

(photo by deleteyourself via flickr)

garden party

March 4, 2009

It wasn’t exactly red carpet glam on Monday night at the Madison Square Garden, but there were plenty of faces (and outfits) that came out for the Billie Jean King Cup.  Take in some more tennis shots and enjoy a few off-court ones, as well.
msg-court09
(more…)

outside winter, inside spring

March 2, 2009

Serena Williams captured the inaugural BNP Paribas Billie Jean King Cup on Monday night at the Madison Square Garden, beating her sister Venus in the final 6-4, 6-3.

While it may have been winter outside in the middle of Manhattan, spring was in full bloom inside the arena. Even President Bill Clinton and Billie Jean joined in the color brigade, sporting patterned purple and soft mint, respectively, on a snowy night.

The color wheel keeps spinning after the cut…

msg: the arena, not the flavoring

March 2, 2009

Nick here, parked deep in the confines of Madison Square Garden in the Press Room, awaiting the Big Show to get underway for the Billie Jean King Cup. If there’s little to write about the significance of tonight’s tennis, there’s plenty to write about the place – and the meaning – of where these great female athletes are going to perform. And what it could mean beyond these famous walls, if the tennis did end up mattering tonight.

garden-aerial-bjkcup09

The MSG has long been known as “The World’s Most Famous Arena” because of its size, its location, its experience and its tradition. But in the last decade, tennis has lost its vital connection to said holy place: the WTA Season Ending Championships went overseas, and the storied men’s and women’s tournaments of winter persuasion found different venues and sponsors to bear their names.

If you’re at all familiar with tennis in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, you’ll remember the name Virginia Slims. VS was a title sponsor of the tour for awhile, and was head sponsor for the SECs through 1994. It wasn’t the greatest combo – a cigarette brand and a professional sport – but it worked for a long, long time.

(more…)

powder park views

March 2, 2009

City digs: The women competing in tonight’s Billie Jean King Cup are staying warm and cozy during New York City’s March blizzard at the Jumeirah Essex House on Central Park South. The Essex House, which overlooks Central Park, is an iconic New York landmark, and has rooms from $299 and up per night.

essex-house-bjkcup09
At the press conference this morning at the Jumeirah, Ana Ivanovic was giddy to see snow, saying the warm weather gets a little old. “Everywhere we travel is always so hot, it’s fun to wake up to snow!” 

Coming from a pratice session, Ivanovic was dressed most casually of the four women, wearing a gray wide-shouldered tee and bright-pink adidas warm-ups. Serena, Venus and Jelena all wore more business-y attire, as did Billie Jean King, who will be honored tonight by President Bill Clinton along with a host of former great athletes, including my personal fav Nancy Kerrigan.

Comedian Dave Hill even got his shoe in the door, shooting a hilarious promotional video with the gals of the cup. 

(more…)

serena: queen of the garden?

February 28, 2009

Chasing greatness: Seles was the last to play at the Garden.

Winter gardening: Believe it or not, Serena Williams has never played at Madison Square Garden. In fact, of the four players competing in this Monday’s Billie Jean King Cup in New York, only Venus has played at the mecca of all sports – and just once, in 1999.

The last time pro women swung tennis racquets at the Garden was in 2000, at the WTA’s Season Ending Championships. In that tournament, then-20-year-old Martina Hingis outgunned fan fave and Garden gal Monica Seles in three tight sets, 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-4. 

If Monica owned the Garden in the early 90s, Serena hopes to own it in 2009. Friday, during a conference call, the Australian Open champ was asked by NYT‘s George Vecsey what she felt about the MSG, and had this to say: 

“Growing up I’ve always watched tennis [being played at] Madison Square Garden. There was the WTA there [and] for as long as I can remember I’ve always wanted to play there. It’s for a great event. I think women’s tennis right now is the mecca of female sports and to have an event like this put on … just shows how amazing women’s tennis is. These New Yorkers can get to see such high quality tennis for one night.”

The queen of the Garden will be crowned Monday on HBO, which is broadcasting the event live beginning at 730 EST. We’ll be there to cover it live.

(image via ALLSPORT)

attack of the 500-foot women

February 8, 2009

bjkcup-advert-timessquare09

We’re not quite done with NYC phone photos: Nick McCarvel snapped this pic of a billboard that just went up in Times Square to promote the upcoming BNP Paribas Showdown for the Billie Jean King Cup.

Venus, Serena, Ana, and Jelena will compete for $1.2 million in prize money in one-set single-elimination semis before a three-set final.

Oops: Let’s hope ANTA is okay with Jelena still wearing her U.S. Open ’08 Reebok dress for the promo…

More: Get more info about the exo here.

books: any BJK fans out there? + the tennis olympic book is not available for sale :(

August 12, 2008

The Borders Columbus Circle will hold a discussion/book signing with Billie Jean King next week. In her new book, Pressure is a Privilege, the tennis legend shares life sessons that led to her success in the Battle of the Sexes match, in sports, and in the world at large. Heck, she got a tennis complex named after her; she has to be doing something right!

Deets: Billie Jean King discussion and book signing for Pressure is a Privilege (Lifetime Media Inc., $19.95) on Tuesday, August 19 at 7pm.; Borders Columbus Circle in the Time Warner Center; 212.823.9775.

That sexy tennis photobook that the ITF published in time for the Beijing Olympics is not for sale. A limited number of books were produced as a media gift and that’s about it.

sampras and federer duke it out at the garden

March 11, 2008

Pete Sampras, Roger Federer, Billie Jean King

Mano a mono: It’s already in the running for Most Overanalyzed Meaningless Tennis Match in History, but Bonnie D. Ford makes no apologies for chiming in. Roger Federer beat Pete Sampras 6-3, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (6).

Roger Federer, Pete Sampras, both in Nike

Fashion: We enjoyed the revival of Roger’s tuxedo look (from last year’s U.S. Open), and we were ecstatic that Pete finally came out with a new look. As of Saturday, while playing an exo against Todd Martin in Columbus, he was still wearing a style from 10 months ago.

Tick tock: How appropriate that Roger came out wearing a Rolex (which he has endorsed since 2006). Is he counting down his time at the top?

In case you missed it: Roger’s lackluster play in 2008 (no titles for him so far) was attributed to some food poisoning before Kooyong, and also to mono. He keeps himself relatively injury-free, but you can’t really escape the microscopic things, I guess. (Read a letter from Roger to his fans addressing his illness.)

And perhaps we’re all just suffering from a little too much Roger. (Even fan club prez Anna Wintour was seen with another athlete — gasp! — LeBron James.)

The rest push back: He wasn’t even doing so well with the media, who’ve tried to bait his peers to comment on his observation of Andy Murray‘s game after losing to the Scot in Dubai.

Murray wouldn’t get into it. Nole: “Murray has a great style and talent and knows how to play at any one moment… Roger doesn’t like it when you get a lot of balls back against him.” Nadal:: Murray “is getting very good results with his style and if you are doing well why do you have to change?”

Junior Ore, Dennis Kudla

Warm-up: Jordan and I had a talk the other day about who would be picked to play the warm-up match before the NetJets Showdown. Jordan was hoping Donald Young or someone like that. Instead, the audience got treated to Denis Kudla and Junior Ore. Ore says Marcelo Rios is his idol. That’s pretty awesome; you don’t hear Rios mentioned that much anymore. (Tennis Week via Zoo Tennis)

Pete Sampras - Roger Federer - Press Conference

Another: Here’s a photo from the press conference for the exhibition.

when I’m done freeing kolya…

November 29, 2007

davenport-marchofdimes.jpg

Okay, that’s it. When I’m done freeing Nikolay Davydenko (currently in Portland for the DC final) from his match-fixing mess, I will turn my efforts to banning leopard print from tennis. Because for every foxy Jelena Jankovic ensemble that’s on display, there are disasters from Bethanie Mattek, a racquet bag from Vince Spadea, and this dress (above) from Lindsay Davenport.

The Californian (posing with event chair Sean McManus on the left and Billie Jean King on the right) was awarded Sportswoman of the Year at the March of Dimes’ 24th Annual Luncheon at the Waldorf Astoria last night. Hmmm, seeing that she’s only played in three tournaments this year, I wonder how far down Linds was on their ask list?

A healthier-looking Monica Seles presented an award to Ted Forstmann of IMG, while USTA head Arlen Kantarian got this year’s Sports Leader Award. Congrats to all.

(photos by WireImage via DTL)

short balls: wednesday edition

July 11, 2007

Before you croak…: Of the 101 things ESPN.com suggests that all sports fans must experience before they die, three tennis events made the list: Wimbledon (No. 9), the U.S. Open (No. 30), and — to Collette Lewissurprise — the USTA boys tennis championship (No. 71) in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Venus’ significant win: I wish more headlines reminded us that Venus was the first recipient of prize money at Wimbledon. And kudos to her for thanking Billie Jean King during the trophy ceremony.

Chasing Borg: Speaking of past champion in the stands, Bjorn Borg made a long-awaited appearance at this year’s tournament to bid farewell to one of his few remaining records. But even before Roger Federer was chasing the record of five Wimbledon titles, another man was after the Swede. Here’s a journalist’s recount of how he nabbed Borg’s first post-retirement interview, a task that took him all the way to Kathmandu.

On watching old tennis matches: James Fallows of The Atlantic weighs in on watching classic tennis matches. Perhaps this is what broadcasters use to justify tape-delaying all those matches during the second week.

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>> short balls archive
>> a look back: Tennis Served Fresh’s Wimbledon coverage

short balls: billie jean king for HRC, sharapova on chernobyl, jon wertheim, etc.

March 28, 2007

Billie Jean KingBillie Jean King’s men are hustling, too: Not to be outdone by all the recent activity of the other out gay retired tennis player, Billie Jean is making the rounds, earlier this month accepting the Alan King Passion Award at the Pacific Life Open, and today announcing her endorsement of Hillary Rodham Clinton as president. Clinton, on King: “[She is] an inspiration to women everywhere [who] spent her life breaking down barriers, and I’m honored to have her support.” (via The San Francisco Examiner)

Sharapova, the ambassador: The Telegraph published a story about what motivated Maria Sharapova to become a U.N. ambassador. (It was Chernobyl.) Here’s her take on philanthropy:

“The coolest thing about making money is that you are able to give back,” Sharapova said. “You have the opportunity to help people. You can only buy so many cars, so many houses, so many dresses and so many pairs of shoes, but it’s not going to make you happy. But helping to save lives is incredible. I can’t even begin to explain how amazing that is.”

(via Tennis News)

It’s Wednesday: So it’s time to read — on your break — Sports Illustrated columnist Jon Wertheim’s mailbag. You should read it every week.

Laureus Awards Presenters: Oscar winner Morgan Freeman and Desperate Housewives stars Eva Longoria and Kyle MacLachlan, along with Argentinian supermodel Valeria Mazza and Spanish flamenco dancer Joaquin Cortes, are all scheduled to present at the Laureus World Sports Awards. Tennis players nominated include: Federer, Henin, Mauresmo, Sharapova, and Serena. (via the Southern Daily Echo)

You get a treat for reading all the way through the post! Click here to learn how to wrap a burrito.

short balls: molik, philippoussis, IMG, etc.

March 28, 2007

Queen of Nice trumps King: The HBO documentary Billie Jean King: Portrait of a Pioneer was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award, but lost out to Rosie O’Donnell’s gay cruise documentary. Rosie acknowledged BJK in her acceptance: “If it hadn’t been for Billie Jean King, there wouldn’t have been a gay movement.” For once, Rosie says something nice. (via pinknews.co.uk)

molik-dancing with the starsFlashback: A year ago this month, Alicia Molik (left) was booted off the Australian version of Dancing with the Stars. (via The Age)

The Scud’s return: Mark Philippoussis will be playing a Challenger tournament next month after successfully undergoing yet another knee surgery. He’s also changed management; he has dropped IMG and now turns to his dear friend and Sydney broadcaster Alan Jones. (via The Age)

Speaking of IMG, Philippoussis isn’t the only one they’ve dropped from their roster. A few higih-profile agents have jumped ship, taking their clients with them. Casey Wasserman of Wasserman Media Group is taking advantage of this fallout. (via BusinessWeek)


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