Archive for the ‘fed cup’ Category

fed cup: jankovic is one step ahead of the law

April 21, 2011

Can you convict her of a fashion crime if she’s already in prison stripes? Sneaky, Jelena!

We’ve already pointed out a few highlights from this past weekend’s Fed Cup ties, including Yanina Wickmayer‘s parade and the ladies with their patriotic manicures. Below’s what’s left, including Jankovic in Anta, Sabine Lisicki in geometric Under Armour, and Aravane Rezai toning down but spicing up where it counts: there’s a flirty lace hem on her black skirt!

Photos: after the cut…

fed cup fashion: nailing it!

April 20, 2011

WTAers wore patriotism on their nails at this past weekend’s Fed Cup ties. Sabine Lisicki contributed one point in Germany’s sweep of the US in the World Group Playoffs by beating Christina McHale in straight sets — all while painted in black, red, and yellow. In Melbourne, the green and yellow fingertips on Australian Anastasia Rodionova contributed to three defeats in the hands of of a Ukranian team anchored by Olga Savchuk and Lesia Tsurenko. As for Vika Azarenka, her outfit matched that of the Belarus flag (red up top, green down below) so the blue manicure must’ve just been for show.

(images via Fed Cup)

yanina wickmayer’s purple hearts no match for the czechs

April 20, 2011

Fed Cup fashions: Belgian Yanina Wickmayer had outfit changes as she fought alongside Kirsten Flipkens against the Czech Republic at this past weekend’s Fed Cup World Group semis. For her match against Barbora Zahlavova Strycova — which Yanina won 6-4, 6-4 — she brought out a black Erke bubble skirt to help play the pink accessories. She lost her reverse singles rubber (to Kvitova in three sets) wearing a grey tank and a white skirt. The pink drop earrings from her hardcourt run were replaced with purple hearts.

More info: The Czechs won 3-2 (details) and will play Team Russia in the November final.

(images via Getty Images)

zvonareva’s bunnies

April 13, 2011

Sequined bunnies showed up for Vera Zvonareva‘s presser on the eve of the 2011 BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells. Buy: A similar Bad Bunny Sweatshirt, $59.99, from French Connection.

Fed Cup: Vera is on the Russian Fed Cup team that faces Italy in this weekend’s semi, to be played in Moscow. Others on the Russian squad: Kuznetsova, Pavlyuchenkova, and Makarova. On the Italian side, they’ll be without Fed Cup regulars Schiavone and Pennetta. Schiavone opted out in order to focus on defending her Roland Garros title; Pennetta’s nursing a shoulder injury. The roster’s made up of Vinci, Errani, Brianti, and Camerin. The Russians should take this, no prob. What do you think?

Read up: All the tie details are here.

(image via Getty Images)

stay, don’t go

March 9, 2011

By Jonathan Scott

Another brand of March Madness is upon us: With the unisex goodness that is the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells tournament, the 2011 pro tennis campaign kick-starts into high gear. This 1-2 punch of Cali and Miami makes for a full month of top-notch tennis. Indeed, spring’s done sprung.

Now a curious trend seeped into tennis again in 2010: jumpy observers of the sport seeking to retire players -– good, even great stars who reaped some solid results -– before they themselves are ready to hang up their racquets. The guilty parties: too many tennis writers and other observers and “personalities” involved to various degrees. Their victims? Among them, Andy Roddick, Venus Williams, and even Roger Federer, proving that not a single star is exempt from these hasty calls to exit.

But Roddick won Memphis last month, dousing the ballyhooed, raging fire that is young Milos Raonic and coming up with possibly the best championship-point winner ever. He also ignited his fellow Americans’ effort on the Chilean clay in Davis Cup, punctuating his clinching win with a scissor kick (Video: here) that would make Sally O’Malley salivate. Too many quickly forgot that Venus seized some early 2010 titles and vaulted to no. 2 in the world before injuries in part derailed both her autumnal and 2011 Aussie exploits. (Oddly, she’s now singing 311 karaoke on a MIA-to-Turks cruiseship and showing off some fly dance moves for someone with chronic knee issues.). Fed himself ran the table at the London year-end championships in December, outdoing even Rafael Nadal in the final, and snagged an early 2011 title before a taking-all-comers Novak Djokovic rolled over him in Melbourne.

Still, retirement happens. It’s inevitable. Justine Henin’s departure has itself turned into a piece of music with multiple movements, the strings swelling and falling at different points. Henin has been like that lover who breaks it off and then loiters for attention: Mercy. And merci.

All of the brouhaha catalyzed a thought: Who or what in the sport truly needs to go?

Without further ado, a few items –- persons, peccadillos, and other pesky minutiae –- that best get gone. Now. Conversely, some other talents and trends are welcome to get comfy. So there it is: Stay, or Go.

GO: Foremost, let’s be done with the freak injuries. Some stars are making the maladies on TV hospital dramas seem realistic: Victoria Azarenka scarily passed out on court after bopping her head during a warm-up run, and then Anna Chakvetadze did her best Vika impression. Meanwhile Andy Murray strained his hand by playing video games excessively (okay, that one proved a fib). It seems a few players just need to be grounded.

Granted, Serena’s recent pulmonary embolism/hematoma scare is more than legit. Anyone who relishes compelling tennis, even if no fan of hers, whether onlooker or media, can only hope she makes it back into the mix again. Tennis needs her fight and her bite. Not every player needs to be Mama Kim Clijsters, portrait of civility.

Speaking of, GO: Can we just be done with all the talk about Clijsters’ motherhood? Cute turned to precious in a hurry there, and not in a good way.

GO: That hand-strain hoax aside, Murray might want to consider tempering his video gaming: Girlfriend Kim Sears reportedly already broke up with him once over the habit. Word to the wise, young gun: the lady has you on watch.

Judy Murray, we heart thee.

GO. STAY. Good dog: Not to pick on the Murray familia too much (see below), but what of these tweets from the family’s resident cur, this Maggie? So let it be written, so let it be done: No more Murray mutt tweets, at least not until Andy bags that virgin Major. It’s no less lame to put your pet on Twitter than it is to fashion a Facebook profile for it.

STAY: Judy Murray, British tennis coach and mom to Andy and Jamie. Yes, she advises her son. She also isn’t afraid to shoot a witty retort at a former player who yaps about her spawn’s chances at winning big with her on board.

GO: Boris Becker. Just let it be, Boorish. You were a fine player, a flame-maned, serve-and-volley stud on grass. Then you knocked Murray and his mum for his underperforming at Slams, chiding him for his closeness to Judy and (good grief!) for standing by his girl at age 23. So a former player cheats on his pregnant wife with a Russian model (in a closet), resulting in a lust child, and then doles out unsolicited relational advice? Laughable. Not content to merely stand by his statements from the fall, BB waxed on again after Murray’s mopey, one-sided loss to Nole in the Aussie final. Sigh. Everyone’s a Carillo. Click to read more, kids. You don’t want to miss these musings.

(more…)

quick draw: courier gets dc capt’n post

October 27, 2010

Not so slow: Doug Robson‘s piece on USAToday.com about Jim Courier being chosen for the Davis Cup captaincy. We’re excited for ya, Jimbo, but hoping you cut that mane a little before you take the bench! (screen grab via usa today)

Ladies’ choice: The American squad for the Fed Cup final has been named by captain Mary Joe Fernandez and include Bethanie Mattek Sands, Melanie Oudin, Liezel Huber and Coco Vandeweghe. Fernandez is hoping that home-court advantage will help her ladies conquer the mighty Italians next week.

short balls: it’s not over until the (small) lady sings

October 13, 2010

Justine Henin made her return to Belgian television earlier this week by singing and dancing on a variety TV show. Singing the song “Now It’s Time” on the show Cap 48. Was that lip synching we saw there, JuJu? Might have to refer to this video to figure it out. Hopefully Lady Henin didn’t re-injure her elbow in said dance routine, in which she wore a bright white pant suit, black dance shoes and had her hair put up. Now we get why she wants her phone on a desert island: she has the Autotune app.

Justine is scheduled to take on Kim Clijsters in an exhibition in December, though she hasn’t made her 2011 schedule public yet. Guga Kuerten is due to play an exhibition in his home country of Brazil in December as well, flying down former rival Andre Agassi for a little hit and giggle. Fame bound? Meanwhile, Andre headlines the 2011 ballot for the International Tennis Hall of Fame. The last time Andre was in Newport? To help honor his wife Steffi during her own induction in 2007.

With the tennis season winding down, the exo season is picking up. The Belgians will do battle in their home country and Guga has Andre going south. Roger has invited Rafa up to Switzerland for a duel of their own, which, if the trailer runs true, will be mostly giggling and not much hitting. Stateside, no less than four exo’s will take place in November and December, with players like Anna Kournikova, Martina Navratilova, Mark Philippoussis, Mardy Fish and the Bryan Brothers participating in one event or another. (Line up: Surprise, Ariz. | Delray Beach | DC | Vero Beach, Fla.) (Exhibition info from tenniswire.org)

The season is prematurely over for a myriad of WTA ladies, including Venus, Serena and Maria Sharapova. The Williams sisters will not only miss the Season Ending Championships but also the Fed Cup finals, which they had expressed interest in playing after controversy swirled in their lack of participation in the team’s ties earlier in the year.

More of short balls – featuring short(er) balls – after the cut. (more…)

short balls: nearly french

May 19, 2010

Is that Mary we see?! Upon closer inspection, no… no, it isn’t. Does this mean Troy can tell the future?? (TSF illustration by Troy Venechanos)

We wonder if Aravane Rezai could become this decade’s Mary Pierce at the French Open? It’s been a decade since Pierce, the on-again, off-again French citizen (according to tennis enthusiasts), won the title at Roland Garros much to her fans’ pleasure. Rezai has already allowed controversy to swirl around her young career, and her Iranian heritage runs parallel to Mary’s history with Canada. Both are bigger-built girls who belt off the baseline and use their hard, flat strokes to make up for less-than-best movement.

It will be interesting to see if this really could develop. Rezai has been steadily rising in the WTA ranks for the last three years, and might use 2010 as her breakthrough year after winning in Madrid last week. In what has mostly been a lackluster year, Rezai beat Justine Henin, Jelena Jankovic and Venus Williams to win the tournament. Rezai is a respectable 9-6 at Roland Garros, and this year is a guaranteed seed now that she is in the top 20. Could she be a week two contender? Guess we’ll see which Mary… we mean Aravane, shows up.

Looks like the USTA will have plenty of choices when it comes to this year’s Fed Cup final between the U.S. squad and the Italian team. 11 cities have entered bids to hold the November tie. Among the bidders are three cities in Texas (San Antonio, Dallas and Fort Worth) and two in California (Pacific Palisades and San Diego). Looks like Montgomery, Ala. decided to sit this one out (surprise!). Our guess: one of the Texas sites. No WTA event is held within a solid 1,000 miles of said state.

(more…)

short balls: feddy whatty?

April 28, 2010

British politician Nick Clegg, second from left, is pictured back in the day playing some prep school tennis in Westminster. He’s almost as pissed as Liezel Huber. Almost. (Photo via the AP.)

Is the Fed Cup Broken? There was plenty of debate early this week about how much attention was paid to the Fed Cup ties this past weekend. I’ve got to say I was a little surprised that overall coverage wasn’t happening a little more consistently across the board. Even on the Birmingham News‘s web site you had to seek out links for the U.S.-Russia tie, which was happening right there in town! The most complete coverage? That came on the Fed Cup web site itself. Which, as an international event, is not a good sign. Bruce Jenkins pointed out some major flaws in the system (playing for next year’s groups in April; a six month gap between the semis and finals) in a piece on CNNSI.com.

Fashion in Action. We showed you last week that Vince Spadea is designing his own tees, so you gotta love this number inspired by Rihanna‘s pop-tastic hit, “Rude Boy“. If that doesn’t do it for you, head over to Brooklyn’s Union Hall next week to hear USTA employee and fashion buff Andrew Feldman talk about “how (and why) professional tennis players attire themselves for competition at the US Open and other major tennis events” as part of the Adult Ed series. You know we’ll be there. But if you can’t make it to NYC, the NYT has this confusing (and low budget) shoot to give you your fashion fix for the day.

Serena Honored, Still Missing. The WTA is celebrating Serena Williams‘s 100th week at the helm of the rankings. She becomes just the seventh woman in tour history to complete such a feat. It doesn’t seem like Serena has played in 99 weeks, but I guess we should celebrate he Slam success instead of harping on a Hingis-Ivanovic-Safina #1 sitchu, right?

Liezel, The Angry. We’re not sure if Jon Wertheim finds all these gems on the web himself or if he gets a little help from his Mailbag faithful, but he posted this video of Liezel Huber freaking out at Wimbledon a few years back after being hit by a ball struck by Nadia Petrova. The ironic thing, Wertheim notes, is that Huber and Petrova have now partnered together on the dubs circuit.

from fed to fed cup (with a spadeator in between)

April 24, 2010

Roger Federer is on the cover of ESPN The Magazine with tagline: Who’s the World’s Greatest Athlete? Roger Federer Looks the Part.

Click the image above to see a quality video of the photo shoot Fed did with the sports mag.

After the cut: Spadea shows us his t-shirt design skills and The Birmingham News captures some Fed Cup draw images you don’t want to miss. (more…)

digging cincy’s new digs

April 22, 2010

Thanks to media man Pete Holtermann for posting this updated picture of the construction happening in Cincinnati for this summer’s play there. Check out a full roll of pictures on the Western & Southern’s facebook page.

After the cut: who’s out of Fed Cup (other than Venus!) and what the (completed) construction looks like at the Italian Open. (more…)

sunday survey: birmingham or bust?

February 20, 2010

This last week, the USTA announced that Birmingham, Ala., will host the Fed Cup semifinal tie between the U.S. and Russia in late April. While I’ve never been to Birmingham, I’m sure it’s got plenty of Southern charm and warmth – exhibited first-hand by this caboose downtown in the historic district. But does a town of 220,000 people deserve such a tie one year after hosting the Davis Cup? It seems peculiar.

What do you think of Birmingham hosting Fed Cup this spring? Is it fair to the rest of U.S. tennis? Do you have an inside scoop as to why a site like Birmingham was awarded another big U.S. tennis event? Let us know what you think.

(photo by Southernpixel via flickr.)

jelena jankovic’s fed cup garb

February 9, 2010

Our hats are off to Jelena Jankovic and the folks at ANTA for producing one of the better Fed Cup outfits of 2010 so far. (I know Nick wasn’t really a fan, but I will stick to my guns!) She and the rest of the Serbian gals couldn’t fight off the hard-hitting Russians in this first round tie of the World Group I bracket.

Especially with all the talk of Venus‘ skin-colored undies at the Australian Open, it’s refreshing to see someone take a step back and go with sheer instead. (See the panels on the chest and the side of her dress.) We could have lived without those awkward slits that made Jelena’s dress look like it got caught in an escalator, though.

FYI, she wore a white version during her doubles match with Ana Ivanovic.

Again, the details: We love the red nails, the red and gold in her bracelet and necklace, and the same color motif in her shoes. See ‘em all after the cut…

sam stosur’s patriotic glasses

February 8, 2010

We’re all about Samantha Stosur‘s patriotic Oakley glasses, which show off Australia’s national sporting colors. Sam helped her country defeat Spain 3-2 in the 2010 Fed Cup World Group II first round by winning both her singles rubbers and the doubles with partner Renae Stubbs. Further reading: Read the Fed Cup write-up about the tie here.

Lacoste: This dress is part of the same spring collection that includes the orange separates Alize Cornet wore during the 2010 Australian Open last month.

(image via Getty Images)

ivanovic gets tenure, loses fed cup rubbers

February 8, 2010

I know it’s turning out to be a heavy flow day from adidas, but we have one more bit…

Silver lining: In the wake of her dismal Fed Cup performance against Russia (which saw her lose both singles rubbers and the doubles rubber), Ana Ivanovic can take a breather after an announcement today that she’ll extended her partnership with adidas to last for her whole career — and she’ll even become a brand ambassador once she retires. “I feel thrilled to be a member of the adidas family and I am very much looking forward to working with adidas on many projects in the future,” she shared through a press release.

Here’s hoping Ana will find her game soon. Otherwise, she’ll be a brand ambassador before she knows it!

See-through: We’re all about that ton-sur-ton jacquard white top that she wore for her doubles match (alongside Jelena Jankovic), though we were hoping she’d have picked a different, bolder color for her singles rubbers.

(image via Getty)

for flavia, a logo finally emerges

February 8, 2010

Flavia Pennetta and the rest of the Italian girls swept past Fed Cup Team Ukraine at this weekend’s tie in Kharkiv. (The only point to the Ukranians came during Alona Bondarenko‘s win over Francesca Schiavone.)

After a logo-less January, which saw Flavia wearing purple and white at the Australian Open, she emerged for the Fed Cup tie in adidas‘ adilibria line, which is the one headlined by Ana Ivanovic.

Pennetta, who was previously with Sergio Tacchini, has a partnership with adidas through 2012.

More: See two more pics — the back of Flavia’s shirt and her warmup suit (by Australian by L’Alpina) — both after the cut…

sunday survey: fed cup madness

February 7, 2010

It was a wild weekend on the Fed Cup front as Melanie Oudin led the American charge in a 4-1 upset over France. Bethanie Mattek Sands contributed the biggest W for team USA, charging back from a first-set deficit to defeat the tough Alize Cornet in the opening rubber.

The US will now take on Russia, which withstood a spirited challenge from Jelena Jankovic. Luckily for the Russians, Serbia was bogged down by a error-ridden Ana Ivanovic (surprise!).

Belgium rode the talents of two youngsters in World Group II, and China’s Aussie bliss couldn’t carry over into the Fed Cup weekend. For full results, visit the Fed Cup web site.

We’re wondering: What did you think was the most compelling story of the Fed Cup weekend? Oudin’s double victory? Ivanovic’s implosion? Jankovic’s win over Sveta? Italy’s overwhelming of Ukraine? World Group II’s rowdy results? Wickmayer’s incredible upset?

Check out Daniela Hantuchova‘s wild hair and a couple other Fed Cup shots after the break.

(more…)

alize cornet’s fed cup warm up jacket

February 5, 2010

A cute pic of Alize Cornet as she gets ready to play in this weekend’s Fed Cup tie against the United States. She’ll play the tie’s first rubber (against Bethanie Mattek-Sands). The varsity lettering on the french warmup jackets are cuuute.

In Melbourne, Cornet bageled 17th-seed Francesca Schiavone before losing 6-0, 5-7, 0-6. Ouch. At least we liked her orange and white Lacoste separates. Note the horizontal orange stripes near the hem of her skirt.

(Fed Cup photos by Corinne Dubreuil; aussie images via Getty Images)

fed cup 2010 – first round

February 5, 2010

That’s Bojana Jovanovski, Ana Jovanovic, captain Dejan Vranes, Jelena Jankovic, and Ana Ivanovic at the official Fed Cup dinner on the eve of the tie between Serbia and Russia. As you can see from the schedule below, the headcase Ivanovic will go up against Svetlana Kuznetsova first, and then Jelena, whose back injury could hamper her performance, will then face the hard-hitting Alisa Kleybanova.

Russian team: Captain Shamil Tarpischev, Vera Dushevina, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, and Alisa Kleybanova.

If the tie was based solely on footwear, the Serbians win. What is up with Anastasia’s red bra??

Who’s playing whom + TV: Here’s the line-up for all four World Group ties (plus TC’s coverage of the US/France tie) — after the cut…

oudin’s chance to bounce back

January 29, 2010

Melanie Oudin has been on our mind lately. First, she was one of the big stories at the 2009 U.S. Open, where her pink “Believe” adidas shoes look dangerously close to our own version of the custom-designed Barricades. And after a dismal post-Open slump that saw her go 1-6 (including an early loss at the 2010 Australian Open last week), Oudin’ll have a chance to regain her momentum at the upcoming Fed Cup tie against France. Finally, a silver lining to the Williams sisters buying a stake in the Miami Dophins.

Further reading: Our blurb on Ms. Oudin for The Moment. Enjoy!

(image via nytimes.com)


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