Archive for the ‘martina navratilova’ Category

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)

35,681 strong

July 8, 2010

Kim Clijsters and Serena Williams set a world record on Thursday, playing an exhbition before 35,681 fans at King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels, Belgium.  Serena was a replacement for Justine Henin, who pulled out of the match because an elbow injury sustained at Wimbledon.

The match was originally titled the “Best of Belgium” but didn’t turn out that way as Serena replaced Justine. Martina Navratilova was honorary chair judge, while French Open champ Francesca Schiavone was also in attendance. This was the first meeting between Kim and Serena since their infamous 2009 US Open encounter.

The previous record was set when Billie Jean King beat Bobby Riggs in the Battle of the Sexes in 1973 at the Astrodome. 30,472 people were in attendance for that brawl.

Two more shots from the record-setting exo 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)

short balls: evgeni makes friends with richard’s fantasy world

February 23, 2010

It’s Platinum, Baby: The tennis world has long enjoyed the wacky one-liners of Richard Williams, and it seems as though Olympic figure skating silver medalist Evgeni Plushenko is trying to join Williams in the creative-story realm. Plushenko’s web site had its entry image (seen above) stating “Platinum of Vancouver”, taking a jab at his second-place finish last week. Though the site now looks differently upon entry, Yahoo! Sports and other outlets nabbed the image before it was taken down. Now the site reads “What’s Next?” while scrolling over the medals, which links to the 2014 Sochi Olympics web site. Does that mean Evgeni will stick with skating until then? Guess you can never be sure with him.

Sticking to the ice, American speedskater Ryan Bedford was supposedly convinced by older teammates to shave and dye his hair to resemble the American flag. See his ‘do after the jump.

Rights Fighting: University of Maryland wrestler, Hudson Taylor, is a top-ranked grappler in the NCAA. The straight 23-year-old and his wife-to-be are also avid supporters of LGBT issues and support gay marriage. In an interview with OutSports.com, Taylor calls himself a “feminist”. You go, boy.

Candied Britney: Britney Spears, in case you didn’t know from her music video for “Radar”, is a spokeswoman for Candies products.  She offered fans a behind-the-scenes peek at her latest photo shoot for the brand. What do you think? We’re not sure this one is gunna be a winner, y’all…

Martina’s Gallery: The WTA has a great gallery up chronicling the career of Martina Navratilova. Not only do you get a good chunk of information out of the captions, but you get a wonderful view of Martina’s fashions throughout the year. Our favorite is after the cut.

Differences Aside: Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi will put their differences aside in a couple weeks to participate in a “Hit for Haiti” fundraiser at Indian Wells alongside Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Sampras said he would like to “sit down” with Agassi after he was portrayed in poor light in Agassi’s recently-released autobiography.

(more…)

player, politicized: martina navratilova

October 12, 2009

Martina Navratilova at last Sunday’s National Equality March, which was also attended by our own Nick McCarvel.

(photo by Austin Riggs for TSF)

legends go ballin’

September 19, 2009

Legends-Ball-Legends
(Legends Dick Savitt, Stan Smith, Monica Seles, Martina Navratilova, Buch Buchholz, Pam Shriver and Tony Trabert)

Last Friday night, while rain was wreaking havoc on the U.S. Open‘s schedule and a dramatic weekend of tennis had yet to be played out, the legends of the sport descended on the International Tennis Hall of Fame‘s Legends Ball in Midtown Manhattan for a night of celebration.

The event was held at Cipriani, across the street from Grand Central Station, a beautiful space with “towering marble columns and soaring ceilings” as its web site says. 

While there were plenty of celebs at such an event, the tennis legends themselves were really the ones who guests had their eyes on. TSF stole the ear of a few of the former tennis greats to ask a few questions and find out just what they were thinking about the current state of the sport of tennis.

Tracy Austin
TSF: What do you think of Melanie Oudin’s run to the quarterfinals?
TA:
What a fairy tale run for Melanie, a sweet girl that’s so spunky. She’s got a lot of speed and heart. If she continues to play like this for the rest of the year she can establish herself. It’s refreshing to see someone like her make such a run.

Martina Navratilova
TSF: Will a player as young as 14 or 15 ever make a big splash in tennis again? We saw it up through the beginning of this decade, but are those days over?
MN:
I don’t think it’ll ever happen again. There is too much power in the game right now for someone that young to come up and play with these women. I hope a girl like Hingis will come along again who has creativity variety in her game. 

Monica Seles
TSF: What is one thing you can NEVER leave home without while traveling?
MS:
My dog. Definitely my dog. It was the same when I was playing, I can never the poor thing at home. 

We weren’t too surprised Monica answered like that, and the recent Hall of Fame inductee was by far the most popular gal of the evening, having her shoulder tapped at every turn. She palled around with good friend Mary Joe Fernandez, sipped on Diet Coke and greeted everyone with a sincere “It’s so good to see you!”

Check out more of the legends’ attire after the cut. (more…)

anyone from puma out there?

September 4, 2009

Reader Andy is jonesing for this Puma outfit worn by Martina Navratilova during her 1983 U.S. Open win. The tennis great tucked the brown and white polo into a high-waisted skirt. Does anyone out there know how Andy can get one?

Too bad the sports company is out of the tennis business; they had some good stuff, most recently with Serena. (And it’s not like Puma’s lacking in the design department: they’ve had great collabs with Alexander McQueen and kozyndan.) Off the court, the closest Puma comes to tennis are the reissues of Guillermo Vilas shoes — the GV Love — as part of their archive collection.

dream match 2008

March 17, 2008

Tennis greats Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf, and Kimiko Date came together for the “Dream Match 2008” exhibition at Tokyo’s Ariake Stadium on Saturday, March 15.

Kimiko Date - Steffi Graf - Dream Match 2008

Steffi lost to Date 6-2, 6-3. FYI: In 1996, Date beat Steffi for the first time (at a Fed Cup), and pushed her during a 2-day Wimbledon semi (that’s the match where Steffi got a wedding proposal).

Steff Graf - Dream Match 2008

Steffi wore all-white adidas during her match against Martina. Steffi won in a tiebreak. I miss that eastern forehand!

Martina Navratilova - Dream Match 2008

Martina in Under Armour.

One more: A pic of the ladies during their Friday practice session after the cut…

short balls: aussie open edition

January 9, 2008

ATP’s AO blogger: For the two weeks in Melbourne, Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis will blog for the ATP website.

A tennis roundtable: IHT‘s Christopher Clarey leads a discussion with journalists Lisa Dillman (Los Angeles Times, Philippe Bouin (L’Equipe), Linda Pearce (The Age), and Tom Tebutt (The Globe and Mail). And ESPN’s Bonnie D. Ford, in a separate piece, offers her Aussie Open talking points.

Star watching has begun: Kylie Minogue, Masha, and Roger were all seen dining at Nobu at Crown. (Herald Sun)

On courts and heat: Let’s hope the new courts don’t screw up too many ankles. This new court apparently gets sticky in heat (but Ana Ivanovic thinks it’s fine), so players should take extra care in this hot summer. Fortunately, Andy Murray is ready to face the heat since he’s been doing Bikram yoga in the offseason. (The Age, Guardian, IHT)

Navratilova + TC: Navratilova did such great work for Tennis Channel at last year’s French — “I’m really proud of what we accomplished,” she says — TC has signed her as a primary commentator for all the 2008 Grand Slam tournaments,.

Along with Martina, the network’s on-air team for the Australian will include Bill Macatee (with support from Leif Shiras, the recently retired Justin Gimelstob, and Renee Stubbs).

Mining the archives: Get your juices flowing with this photo blog of last year’s tourney. And TSF’s flashback is here.

pics from the hopman cup new year’s eve ball

January 3, 2008

New Year’s Day landed smack-dab in the middle of the 2008 Hopman Cup calendar, so there was no doubt that they’d throw a good party to celebrate.

hopman-clement.jpg

This year’s organizers chose a nautical theme, with 750 guests boarding the “Hopman Princess” for the gala. Tournament Director Paul McNamee surprised everyone with his Love Boat attire (a costume he kept under wraps, even to his wife). To those who came in more formal garb, like French team member Arnaud Clement (above), they provided leis to spice up the crowd.

Of course, no tennis gala would be complete without its charity component. This event’s beneficiaries were the Variety Club and the Kids Tennis Foundation, who’ll split the 35K raised from an auction (items bid on: racquets from Serena Williams and Roger Federer, original artwork from Martina Navratilova and Juraj Kralik, a 2008 Australian Open package, etc.).

Scores: The Serbians (after beating Argentinians Gisela Dulko and Juan Ignacio Chela) will face Mardy Fish and Serena in the final. The Americans won in the semis over Alicia Molik and Peter Luczak. Jelena suffered an upper leg strain in an early match and hasn’t quite recovered. Meanwhile, Nole’s back problems have carried over from last season. Who’s going to take the title?

Take a peek: Player pics from the event (Serena, Tatiana, Lucie and Tomas, Nole and Jelena, Sania and Rohan, etc.) after the cut…

glaad + martina navratilova: “be an ally”

December 17, 2007

navratilova-glaad-psa.jpg

GLAAD — that’s the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation — has enlisted the help of Martina Navratilova for its “Be an ally and a friend” campaign. With this latest project, GLAAD wants to remind the straight community that their support of LGBT friends, family, peers, and co-workers can go a long way.

(Our hats are off to GLAAD’s Entertainment Media Department for putting these great PSAs together.)

Watch it: You can view Martina’s PSA here, and see others (by Grey’s Anatomy‘s Sara Ramirez and TR Knight; Ugly Betty‘s Eric Mabius; and Dayanara Torres, etc.) on this YouTube page.

More to come: Rebecca Romijn and Lance Bass will have their own PSAs released in the coming months.

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>> navratilova teams up with aarp

navratilova teams with aarp

December 4, 2007

navratilova-aarp.jpg

Tennis legend Martina Navratilova has agreed to be AARP‘s first Health and Fitness ambassador, and in the process will share tips with AARP members in online chats, conduct Q&As and video segments on the group’s fitness website, and speak at events.

This deal, along with ones from Subaru and Prince, makes Martina’s current endorsement portfolio larger than the one she had while playing on the WTA Tour (as an out lesbian).

While there is a trend towards signing retired professionals (with solid Q Ratings) in the wake of scandals (steroids, or Michael Vick‘s dogfighting ring), Navratilova points out that retired female athletes are still getting the short end of the stick. “Once you hit 30, the agents lose interest and the advertisers lose interest — they start looking for the next starlet,” she tells WSJ. “Let’s just say I’m still waiting to get a call from Wheaties.”

(WSJ; photo via Czech Republic)

whatever happened to… monica seles?

September 17, 2007

Monica Seles played an exhibition match against Martina Navratilova in the final weekend of the ATP BCR Open Romania in Bucharest.

Did anyone else think that 33-year-old Seles looked significantly older than the 51-year-old Navratilova?

Anyone?

UPDATE: According to monica-seles.com, Seles beat Navratilova 3-6, 6-3, 10-7.

The duo had also played an exo in New Orleans three days earlier.

RELATED POSTS
>> aipt: monica seles at the 2007 u.s. open
>> TSF’s monica seles archive

sightings from the stands: venus d. jelena

September 6, 2007

Venus Williams, in another new EleVen outfit, upset third seed Reebok-clad Jelena Jankovic 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (4) in last night’s quartefinals at the U.S. Open.

Among those in the stands:

snezana jankovic

Snezana Jankovic cheers on her daughter.

jerry seinfeld and larry david

Jerry Seinfeld flanked by wife Jessica and Larry David.

natalie portman u.s. open 07

Natalie Portman with friend.

navratilova and tony bennett

Martina Navratilova and Tony Bennett.

(photos via Getty Images)

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

I won the French Open women’s title three years in a row…

June 9, 2007

What Justine Henin must be thinking: “I won the French Open women’s title for the third year in a row, and all I got was this lousy painting.”

martina’s “art grand slam” gets its due

June 6, 2007

Now that Roland Garros is under way, Martina Navratilova‘s Art Grand Slam, which we told you about back in March, is finally getting a boost in traffic.

Like the painting above, most of the artwork involved pressing tennis balls onto canvas. It reminds me of a sweatshirt my friend Alex made not too long ago (below, right). One of my favorite paintings is the one of the green shirt (left).

CHECK IT OUT: You can see some of the paintings at the exhibition’s official website. Which are your favorites? Tell us.

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>> short balls: martina kicks, stretches, and kicks!

federer in Time magazine, puma’s french77 sale, tursunov’s blog, etc.

May 3, 2007

Tennis bits from around the web:

Time‘s list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World came out today, and it includes Roger Federer. (via Rachel Sklar for Eat The Press)

– Get 10% off Puma French 77 gear via the Puma website. (Here are my top picks.) Just make sure to enter the code FR77 when you check out.

– Here’s a little peek from The Independent into the life of the ATP’s most famous blogger, Dmitry Tursunov. His blog turns one this week.

– China finally gets to hang with the big boys. The Xinhua news agency reports on SEWTA CEO Larry Scott’s visit to Beijing. The tour will open a regional office there next year to help with marketing and promoting the sport.

– Equality Forum, a Philadelphia-based LGBT advocacy group, will honor Martina Navratilova at their International Equality Dinner this Saturday.

and p.s. Have you played Wario Ware yet? If not, get yourself to a Wii as soon as you can. You’ll thank me later.

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>> navratilova receives glaad award
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navratilova receives glaad award

April 17, 2007

bass-navratilova.jpg
Photo from GLAAD

Martina Navratilova received the Stephen F. Kolzak Award at last Saturday’s GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles.

The media nonprofit did a good job getting A-list TV stars to attend (photos via Just Jared here), including castmembers from Grey’s Anatomy, Ugly Betty, Brothers & Sisters, Desperate Housewives (very ABC-centric), plus a smattering of others, including Eva Mendes, Jennifer Aniston, Jake Gyllenhaal, and former Miss Universe Dayana Torres, whose Edward Lucero-designed dress my friends obsessed about — up close and personal — at a WeHo bar later that evening.

A few tidbits from the ceremony, via Planet Gossip:

Lance Bass, on [presenting to Martina]: “When I came out in People magazine, she wrote a letter to the editor calling me courageous.”

[Martina], after watching a video retrospective of her career: “Those hairstyles! Sanjaya has nothing on me—but at least I can play tennis.”

The Stephen Kolzak Award is presented to an openly lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equal rights for the LGBT community.

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(OT) A step in the right direction

April 12, 2007

navratilova subaru ad A New York Times article debunks some car owner stereotypes — specifically, the one associating Miatas and Mini Coopers with the gays.

The conclusion? While we can afford two-seaters (no kids) and more expensive monthly payments (again, no kids), at the end of the day, we end up buying the same cars as everyone else.

…which isn’t to say that you won’t see the occasional blue Miata speeding down the main drag of your local Boys’ Town, its presence announced by the Deborah Cox song blaring from the speakers…

…which isn’t to say we aren’t grateful for Subaru: they led the pack of car manufacturers with direct advertising to gay consumers. Martina Navratilova began endorsing the brand in 2000. Other car companies have followed suit.

(via Gay Market News)

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short balls: navratilova kicks, stretches, and kicks

March 25, 2007

Navratilova's Art Grand SlamMartina Navratilova‘s people are clearly hard at work. First, the fifty-year-old opened a tennis-themed art exhibit, Art Grand Slam, at Roland-Garros (home of the French Open). She teamed up with artist Juraj Kralik, and spawned artwork whose concept lies somewhere between Jackson Pollock and Stephen Murmer.

This and this are two of my favorite pieces.

Martina also just announced plans for a tennis academy in the Czech Republic. She inadvertently criticized the current power hitters — and even the sport’s current magicians — by saying that she wants “to concentrate on a more varied form of tennis, more subtle than the style displayed by Martina Hingis, Justine Henin or Roger Federer.” Wow. Bold statement. Let’s see if she can deliver.

She’s also slated to receive a special award from GLAAD at next month’s Media Awards in Los Angeles.

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