short balls: molik, philippoussis, IMG, etc.



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)

peter bodo on davis cup uniforms



The ITF today announced the official nominations for the World Group Quarterfinal ties next month.

After the last Davis Cup round in February, Tennis.com’s Peter Bodo chimed in — like all columnists did — about how to resuscitate interest in this event in the U.S. His ideas? (1) Install Hawk-Eye cameras in all courts used (which should be easy, since all 5 matches are played on the same court) and (2) create team uniforms:

National teams have uniforms, period. Yet there was Roddick in black-and-white, and Berdych in red-and-blue yesterday in Ostrava… Davis Cup is about tradition, pageantry and playing for your country. Why have the guys dressed like two hackers at the local park?”

Yesssssssss. Bodo’s on the right track. In case he didn’t know, I should point out that every team has warm-ups that already play on flag colors. But when the players are on the court, everyone wears their own gear, likely because they still have to adhere to sponsorship contracts (remember that Kim Clijsters Olympics disaster?).

So an on-court uniform will take some effort to figure out. And as Lleyton Hewitt and Marat Safin (and Yonex and adidas) showed us, you can still sport your country’s colors — or at least slap your country name on the back — while keeping allegiance to your sponsor.

Hewitt in two shirts silkscreened with ‘Australia’:

hewitt - davis cup - yellow
hewitt, playing doubles, in white

and Safin’s team did a slapdash job putting ‘Russia’ on the back of this adidas shirt. You know someone got sent to the gulag after the match:

safin in white - davis cup

Perhaps Bodo is onto something. If each country designed uniforms from scratch — uniforms in the palette of a country flag, and would jump off from there to include stripes, coats of arms, and any other element that would evoke national pride — the ITF could use this to keep the Davis Cup brand afloat throughout the year. After each tie, put the shirts up online and sell, sell, SELL.

I might offer you some suggestions for designs in the coming weeks.

RELATED POSTS
>> speaking of ralph lauren
>> davis cup 2007, first round: switzerland vs. spain
>> davis cup 2007, first round: sweden vs. belarus

guga watch 2007



Gustavo Kuerten is currently preparing to compete in next month’s Davis Cup. His 2007 ATP record isn’t too hot (his current record is 2-6), and he’s getting beef from naysayers breathing down his back.

Leave him alone and let him play on the tour as long as he wants. He’s enjoying himself, and has used his celebrity into founding a non-profit and starting a clothing line. He’ll quit when he’s ready.

short balls: for tomorrow's water cooler



pony logo Kevin wants a Pony: Former WTA head Kevin Wulff was announced as the CEO of Pony International, LLC. I can only hope this will lead to a renaissance in Pony’s relationship with the sport of tennis; they once sponsored Tracy Austin.
(via PR Newswire)

Ana Ivanovic is on the cover of Inside Tennis‘ April issue. A paragraph excerpt available here.
(via The Ana Ivanovic Official Website)

Photomosaics are so over…: But I have a soft spot for the Japanese, so here’s an Onitsuka Tiger shoe made of photos of Japan. Every photo “links to something Japanese on the internet today…Onitsuka Tiger cannot be responsible for what you find.”

When I told you they were hot, I wasn’t kidding: Some more tidbits on Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray — Nole now has retired Australian doubles player Mark Woodforde in his camp, and Andy is learning lots about exploiting his opponents’ weaknesses from his coach, Brad Gilbert.

fashion: florida oranges



venus venus radek stepanek sharapova hantuchova

How fitting that orange showed up everywhere in Miami this week, with Venus Williams, Daniela Hantuchova, Maria Sharapova, and (oddly enough) Radek Stepanek all sporting cute outfits with the bright color. It even appeared on visors, headbands, earrings, and tennis rackets.

Click here to see all the photos.