Archive for the ‘james blake’ Category

something’s fishy in delray beach

February 20, 2009

The inventive folks at Delray Beach ITC are back at it again with additions to the graffiti artwork on their tourney’s show court.

As you may remember, they made a splash at last year’s tournament by painting waves on the court’s back walls.

This time, they’ve brought back artist Doug Hoekzema to embellish the side walls with iconic Florida fish like wahoo and marlin, and extending the “rippling water” effect on the court surface to cover the entire perimeter.

Sugar daddy: It wasn’t too long ago that the fate of this second round of tagging was in question because of the financial crisis. Thankfully, artist William Debilzan swooped in to underwrite the project.

Along with funding the murals, Debilzan, who has galleries in Delray Beach, Laguna Beach, and Santa Fe, will also paint two pieces during the tournament; they’ll be presented to the City of Delray Beach during TV coverage of the semifinals.

Other goods: We’ve also been asked to look out for some new-and-improved Volley Girls (this time dressed in sportier attire, courtesy of the Porsche Design Group). Also, they have a new trophy that, hopefully, will be a fine addition to the TSF Trophy Watch.

Quite a catch: Perrenial “comeback king” Lleyton Hewitt accepted a wild card to the ITC, marking the first time he’s been back to Delray Beach since winning the tournament’s inaugural title in this city back in 1999.

“It’s good to go back to Delray Beach; it’s been a long time since I’ve played there,” said Hewitt, who turns 28 on Tuesday. “The surface has changed as well. I won there on green clay courts, and it’s going to be good to go back and play on hard court. I’m looking forward to it.”

The Australian is currently battling for the Regions Morgan Keegan title in Memphis. He upset third seed James Blake in the first round and compatriot Chris Guccione in the round after. He next faces Belgian Christophe Rochus for a spot in the quarterfinals. Their half of the draw also includes Sam Querrey and top seed (and wildcard) Andy Roddick.

More: See some pics of the artists in action after the cut…

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shoeless in san jose

February 18, 2009

By Nick McCarvel

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Pete Sampras has been going exo-crazy recently (perhaps the coffers are a little emptier around tax season?), making a brief cameo at last week’s SAP Open in San Jose, battling it out with Tommy Haas; the German won 7-6(4), 4-6, 12-10.

During the Sampras avoided any talk of coming out of retirement by talking about every relevant tennis player but himself.

On Roger Federer: “He’s young enough. He’s fresh enough. He’s not 30,” Sampras said. “Having a few years left, I see him doing it. But there are going to be a few guys that are going to push him. It’s just inevitable that he’s going to do it here in the next probably year.”

On Roddick‘s and Blake‘s not being “Rafa” or “Nole” enough to beat Roger: “Andy’s got the power but maybe doesn’t have the athletic ability, and someone like James, who has the athletic ability, but doesn’t have the power… It’s kind of a tough matchup for them, for both those guys.

“Seems like James can stay with Roger. I just think they play similar games and Roger is a little bit better than James at it. And Roddick can overpower Roger at times, but at the same time doesn’t move well enough from the back court to really get into these exchanges, that someone like Djokovic can.”

Video: See Sampras’ SAP Open here, courtesy of Doug Schwartz.

And Pete gave the San Jose crowd a little wardrobe malfunction during his match, ending with a loose shoe on the court. He gave fans one reminiscent moment when losing his shoe on court. This time the ball boy didn’t have to dig in his shorts to rescue the on-court necessity like at Wimbledon ’01.

Choo choo: Sampras went on to Boston and downed John McEnroe to take that city’s Champions Cup title, but not before participating in a mixed doubles match with Anna Kournikova, among others. And in this week’s Regions Morgan Keegan tourney in Memphis, he lost to Lleyton Hewitt 7-5, 6-4.

blake flatlines, but fila’s baseline shines

January 26, 2009

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American James Blake had the misfortune of running head-long into the Tsonga train in the fourth round of this year’s Australian Open. Tsonga took out the ninth seed 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (3). While it didn’t seem like Jo-Wilfried would spring back to defend last year’s run to the finals, his game peaked at the right time (picking up a title along the way — over Nole Djokovic at the Thailand Open in September). He’ll be up against Fernando Verdasco in the quarters.

Baseline: TSF had initially reported Blake wearing pieces from Fila‘s Collezione line in Melbourne, but it turns out that they shipped him both Collezione and Baseline, and Blake went with the latter.

We’re happy for James’ first venture into the Fila world. He wore both the white/heritage blue and heritage blue/black versions of the Baseline Solid Polo throughout his run to the fourth round. The polo’s spruced up with vertical stripes screened down the front and back of the left torso, plus perpendicular lines on the sleeves. (It looks like the lines on a tennis court — get it?) We also like the similar Stripe Polo, whose added feature is a stripe pattern ghosted over the entire shirt.

What do you think of James in Fila? Tell us!

And there’s no worries about Collezione not getting love from Blake; Janko Tipsarevic and Marin Cilic did a fine job giving that collection some press time.

Buy: Fila’s Winter Baseline collection — Solid Polo, $41.99; Editor’s Pick: Striped Polo, $41.99; Crew, $36.99; first three items come in white/heritage blue and heritage blue/black colorways. Short, black with white trim, $36.99; Warm-Up with heritage blue top and black pants, $89.99; Terry Headband, $3.99.

(images via Getty Images)

more on james blake + fila

January 14, 2009

The Fila camp sent out a release this morning with more details about their new partnership with the un-swooshed James Blake.

The yet-to-be-named collection will incorporate the heritage of the Fila brand with a contemporary twist inspired by Blake’s signature style. And to that end they have started the process. “We have not started designing collection,” they told us by email. “[But] we spent hours w/ James to discuss apparel & footwear w/ our design team before he left for Australia.”

The co-branded collection targeting the active male will be the basis for developing a long-term licensing business for Blake. It’ll include apparel (tennis, golf, fitness, and lifestyle), footwear (performance and lifestyle), plus accessories. Fila and James Blake will also explore other product categories as opportunities arise in the market. (headshaving razors, maybe?)

And just like all great fashion milestones, the collection will debut in New York, with a limited release just before the 2009 U.S. Open. The clothes will be available the following spring.

He’s wearing Collezione: James will be wearing the Collezione collection at the season’s first Major. “Ever since Borg graced the courts of Wimbledon in Fila, I have always been attracted to the Italian style, grace and sophistication of the Fila brand.” He’ll look good in it! Pics of the kit will be posted mañana.

Bad break-up? Either that or Blake’s webmaster was too busy picking his nose while photoshopping these pics on James’ official site. You don’t need to be so obvious about deleting Nike from your life! (Make sure to scroll to the bottom.)

sponsorship musical chairs: blake to fila

January 13, 2009

James Blake - Australian Open 2009

TSF saved some champagne from our new year celebration (happy 2009, btw) in anticipation of some news from our folks at Fila. Of course, they did not disappoint:

Tennis Week is reporting that James Blake has finally left Nike, and will join Janko and Dima in the stud farm.

Blake’ll make the clothing and shoe debut at the Australian Open; there’s even word that they’ve produced a line inspired by the American. I wonder what they’re basing it on? One can only hope that the creative minds in Baltimore have decided to put the “J-Block” to rest.

For Blake’s Sake!

August 31, 2008

Men’s Vogue hosted a cocktail party on Thursday night for tennis player James Blake in honor of the recently established Thomas Blake Sr. Memorial Research Fund. James’ father, after whom the fund is named, succumbed to cancer at an early age. Blake, dressed in Hugo Boss, expressed gratitude for Men’s Vogue’s help with setting up an online auction at charityfolks.com. Prizes include a chance to hang out with Blake at a 2009 tournament in Miami, a trip to the Evian Resort in France, a Maurice Lacroix watch, and a Niketown shopping experience.

Read the rest of this post at Men’s Vogue Daily.

(Photo of Jay Fielden, James Blake, and Marc Berger by Joe Schildhorn/PatrickMcMullan.com)

mishits: the american men bore me

August 11, 2008

After that great Wimbledon kit, which had James Blake looking really classy, is this bagginess really all that Nike could do for American’s debut at the Olympics?

Since Under Armour isn’t really known for pushing the fashion envelope, we’ll let this one slide, Robby

Gineps lost to Nole 6-4, 6-4 in the first round, while James beat Chris Guccione 6-3, 7-6 (3).

(images via Getty Images)

kudos to james blake

June 26, 2008

Kudos to James Blake for finally deciding to cover up his arms, trading his usual Nike Global Power Sleeveless Top for the much classier and cleaner Dri-FIT London Polo shirt. (That terry cloth headband is another story.)

Good choice, since his musculos would forever be in the shadow of Rafa‘s anyway. He should take advantage of his model looks and rock his own Nike style.

TSF wished to see James play a few more rounds at Wimbledon, but today he lost in his second match, to Rainer Schuettler of Germany 3-6, 7-6 (10-8), 6-4, 4-6, 4-6.

Buy: Nike London Polo in white, Comet Red, and Dark Obsidian, $65; Swoosh headband in blue, $4.50.

(photo by Getty Images)

RELATED POSTS
>> TSF’s wimbledon coverage

mishit: james blake

May 26, 2008

Instead of patting James Blake on the back for being an American who makes it past the first round of the French Open — he beat Rainer Schuettler 6-4, 6-1, 7-6 (3) — take that hand and just smack him upside the head. This Nike Summer Global Power Crew is in the running for most boring outfit of the fortnight!

Buy: Summer Global Power Crew, $55, available in Black/Pacific Blue and White/Olive Khaki.

(photos by Getty Images)

Andy’s mohawk

April 18, 2008

Andy Roddick was sporting a “mohawk” at the Davis Cup tie against France last weekend. He lost an NCAA bet against his fiancee, Brooklyn Decker. Oh, Andy, isn’t it true? Kids Fiancees make you do the darndest things!

(photo by Getty Images)

kick-off party photos: james blake and svetlana kuznetsova

March 28, 2008

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I don’t care if Svetlana Kuznetsova looks like Ashton Kutcher in this photo — this is the best I’ve seen her look off-court!

Save for the slightly-too-long cuffs on that jacket, James Blake, as usual, looks pretty darn good.

(photos by Getty Images)

RELATED POSTS
>> meanwhile, a vegas showgirl’s costume went missing…
>> party photo: serena williams at the seo kick-off party

trophy watch: i call him “melo yellow”; a japanese phenom; mama murray must be happy, etc.

February 21, 2008

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This one’s for you, Mikey: Our Sa Watch 2008 begins with the duo of Marcelo Melo and Andre Sa — locals — winning the Brazil Open doubles trophy over Albert Montanez and Santiago Ventura. Leave it to Andre to wear yellow socks on the court. Cute.

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Meanwhile, it was a battle of the lankies as British fourth seed Andy Murray took out Croatian Mario Ancic 6-3, 6-4, at the ATP Open 13 in Marseille, France.

In Delray Beach, Kei Nishikori surprised everyone (including finalist James Blake) with this impressive 6-3, 1-6 and 4-6 upset. Our buddy Ichizo took this video of Kei while playing against Zack Fleishman in Japan last October.

By the way, look out for Ichizo to launch his japanese language tennis blog sometime soon. This is one of the few times I’m sad that I don’t know Japanese. That, and everytime I can’t read anything in Men’s Non-No aka the best magazine in the world.

And we are sure that Mama Murray is proud of her other son, Jamie, who teamed with Max Mirnyi to upset the top seeded Bryan Brothers. (Watch: See Jamie use finger code to communicate with Max.)

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A beaut! The Proximus Diamond Games tops itself with a racquet encrusted with 2008 diamonds (get it?) totalling more than $1.5 million. 1,611 of those diamonds are on the ball itself. Unfortunately for Justine Henin, who beat Italy’s Karin Knapp, 6-3, 6-3 in the final match, she has to win the tournament three times in five years before she takes home that puppy. It’s not an impossible feat, though; Amelie Mauresmo did the same last year and took home the first diamond trophy.

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Singles: Sorry, guys. I was too crushed by the early loss of Guga Kuerten in singles (and doubles, actually) at the Brasil Open to care about who won. Props to Nicolas Almagro for besting mainstay Carlos Moya 7-6 (4), 3-6, 7-5.

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Lastly, Flavia Pennetta wore her multi-collared Sergio Tacchini all the way to a title at the Vina del Mar tourney in Vina del Mar, Chile. Her opponent: Klara Zakopalova.

(Mirnyi/Murray video via ATP; photos by Getty Images)

RELATED POSTS
>> TSF’s trophy watch

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masha gives andy roddick’s mom a gift

December 10, 2007

andy-roddick-charity-event.jpg

This weekend was big for socially-conscious tennis. In the Palisades, the Jensen Brothers hosted their first Bank of the West Pro-Celebrity Tennis Classic. And in Boca Raton, Fla., Andy Roddick and his camp just wrapped up another successful Andy Roddick Foundation Charity Weekend (their seventh). 475 guests attended the dinner-dance on Saturday night (with the Davis Cup trophy there, make that 476). Maria Sharapova won a silent auction to have the first dance with Andy, which she bought for Andy’s mom. How sweet!

And 2,000 people showed up to watch a mixed doubles match between Andy and Brenda Schultz-McCarthy, and James Blake and Masha (who was wearing the Drop Shot Cable Top from Nike).

(andyroddick.com; photos by Getty Images)

davis cup final: russia vs. usa

November 30, 2007

Davis Cup quickies:

The Oregonian‘s Davis Cup blog gave TSF a shout-out yesterday. We laughed out loud when our blogging was described as an “SI swimsuit-issue fantasy.” Le sigh. If only their swimsuit issue looked like this.

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— Hitting partners for the American team of Andy Roddick, Mike Bryan, James Blake, and Bob Bryan include an excited John Isner, Donald Young, Mardy Fish, and Robby Ginepri.

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— The much more evenly-built Russian team consists of Nikolay Davydenko, Mikhail Youzhny, Igor Andreev, and Dmitry Tursunov.

— The draw is now set, with notable absence of Kolya in the singles rubbers. (He’s still dealing with the match-fixing investigation, this week turning over phone records.) This obviously quiets all the speculation that Marat Safin would be a late replacement by coach Shamil Tarpischev. But the Americans won’t be surprised if the Russian line-up changes after the opening day.

— Tarpischev, on the likelihood of his team defending their title: “So I rate our chances 40-60 in favour of the U.S. but you never know.” And Patrick McEnroe dubbed him a “tennis genius” at a press conference earlier this week. (Reuters)

— The event starts at 1pm with live coverage on Versus.

— When asked about the cultural similarities (and differences) between his home country and the U.S., Tursunov responds: “Both owned Alaska at one point. […] We don’t have bears running in the streets, you don’t have Indians camping by the fire in the streets either.” (AFP)

(Thanks to Patricia for helping with this post.)

fashion flashback: tennis masters cup’s opening ceremonies

November 11, 2007

The opening ceremonies at this week’s Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai (which starts today) reminded me of the silk outfits the guys had to wear back in 2005.

andre agassi and alberto costa

While I’m all for using a tennis tourney to spread the host city’s culture to the world, I just didn’t find the clothes flattering on Andre Agassi and Alberto Costa at TMC 2005.

Top 8 men of 2006

In 2006 the organizers smartened up and went sleek. They put all the guys in black mandarin collar suits with boutonnières. (Blake, Davydenko, Federer in the front row; Mirnyi, the Bryans, Damm, and Leander Paes in the back)

Tommy Robredo, Nikolay Davydenko, Roger Federer

Charlie’s Angels: Robredo, Davydenko, Federer.

davis cup: lest you thought we forgot…

September 27, 2007

The Davis Cup finals are now set — Russia and the U.S. will square off in the December at some venue (Rose Garden?) in Portland. I’ll be making a trip up and meeting with Pacific Northwestern TSF’ers. If you’re gonna be around — we should meet up! The Russians are looking to defend, but the American team seems as hungry and ready as they’ll ever be.

Some of you mentioned (ahem, Craig) that I made no mention of the semifinal tie between the U.S. and Sweden. It got lost in the fray — there were eight other ties going on last weekend, and two of them involved Roger Federer and Serbian ham Nole Djokovic — but it didn’t help that there was so much bland attire on the court. Thomas Johansson, Andy Roddick, and James Blake gave us nothing to talk about.

But then there was Joachim Johansson, who teamed up with Yonex to properly represent his country in flag colors. Roddick might beat him 7-6 (4), 7-6 (3), 6-3, but the Swede wins ‘best dressed’ in our book. Cheers.

RELATED POSTS
>> TSF’s davis cup coverage…

short balls: “this and that” edition

September 5, 2007

Tennis and Latinos: While lots of folks in Latin America might be catching tennis fever, those living stateside are relatively immune — until the U.S. Open comes to town. VivirLatino rode the 7 train to get to the action. “(The 7’s) crowded with working class people of color to begin with, (and) becomes even more crowded, now with wide eyed mostly white tennis fans, most looking a little lost and scared. Most won’t give a lady with a baby in a sling their seat either.” Ugh, what is the world coming to?

Tennis and the rest of the world: Americans might never dominate tennis again, but that’s okay. It’s not that we’re producing less greats. It’s really just that the rest of the world is catching up. So just sit back, and make sure you know how to pronounce Agnieszka Radwanska. (NYT)

Tennis and college football: Scoop Jackson lists 25 reasons why pro tennis is better than college football. (“No. 23: Because women receive equal pay.”)

Tennis and booze: An Ad Ager complains about the recent partnership between Grey Goose vodka and the USTA.

Tennis and gambling: SI‘s S.L. Price keeps the conversation going about match-fixing on the ATP Tour.

Martina and Max: Swiss Miss Martina Hingis took in BCBG‘s Spring 2008 fashion show in New York before heading back home. She looked great in her gold sequin top under a black jumper dress (paired with a gold pendant neckace and some black booties). Martina lost to Victoria Azarenka in the third round of this year’s U.S. Open. (WWD)

Roddick and Brooklyn: Texan Andy Roddick was apparently spotted dining with SI swimsuit model Brooklyn Decker at Nobu. (MTF)

Between a rock and a hard place: How should James Blake deal with his African-American heritage?

(photo of Hingis with Natasha Bedingfield, left, and Nigel Barker, right, both by AP via PDN)

RELATED POSTS
>> TSF’s u.s. open coverage continues…

fashion focus: tommy haas + limited

September 4, 2007

James Blake‘s U.S. Open hopes has been dashed yet another year. (I’m beginning to think of him as our Tim Henman.) German Tommy Haas beat Blake 4-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-0, 7-6 (4). Yep, a fifth set tiebreak.

FYI: Tommy, in Limited Sports, wore a monogrammed cap. Blake, of course, was in Nike.

Two things:

1) Early in the match, the tempermental German ran down a drop shot (one of many effective ones) from Blake and almost ran into the players’ chairs while doing so. He proceeded to gripe to the chair ump about how close the chairs were to the court. He’s getting beat up by Blake and all he can think about is interior decorating. Hilarious.

2) At the end of the match, both players had to wait as Blake challenged Haas’ service ace. I don’t like how these challenges interrupt (or subdue) post-match celebrations. Having the ump reverse a match point is one thing, but using up your challenges “just because you can” is another story.

RELATED POSTS
>> TSF’s u.s. open coverage continues…

santoro slices and lobs his way to five sets

August 31, 2007

The match of the 2007 U.S. Open‘s first week will likely be tonight’s five-set — that’s 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 — win by hometown hero James Blake over Frenchman Fabrice Santoro.

The Frenchman is nicknamed “The Magician” for his shotmaking abilities; his arsenal of slices, lobs, and angles created by two-handed grips on both wings regularly frustrate his opponents (and have propelled him to Doubles Grand Slam titles on more than a few occasions).

Santoro is also known for his wacky Lacoste outfits — we’re talking almost Vince Spadea-level here. But for some reason it works on Fabrice (perhaps because it goes with his unconventional playing style).

FYI: His candy shirt from tonight’s match has been in his closet for most of this year (I remember seeing it on him as far back as Miami). It’s just a piece from the company’s casual collection (i.e., it’s not a Lacoste Sport polo).

Buy: Lots of folks are asking where they can get this shirt. Most retailers have already removed this from their inventory since it’s an item from a past season. Sadly, I have no other leads right now but I am still waiting to hear back from two people. If you can help us out, write me: tennisCBH AT gmail DOT com. Also, there are other companies who’ve produced similar styles. Artful Dodger, etc. You might be better off shopping that way.

trophy watch: more u.s. open series crystal

August 27, 2007

Trophy watch: The Pilot Pen tournament in New Haven doled out these cups to winners James Blake (7-5, 6-4 over Mardy Fish) and Svetlana Kuznetsova (who won when Hungarian qualifier Agnes Szavay retired at 6-4, 0-3).

Really, another ho hum trophy? Surely you could have found some other shape to sculpt. Why don’t you start here (or maybe here) for inspiration.

p.s. that’s a nice bracelet on James.

(photos via AP)


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