short balls sunday

Did Sara Bareilles‘s Gravity really play at the end of tonight’s Brothers & Sisters? How exciting. Congrats to her!

Anyway, onto the short balls…

On Nole, Fed Cup, and her shoulder: Women’s Tennis Blog is on doodle patrol, and we get some Maria Sharapova questions answered by the player herself.

Nole gives back: Davis Cup hero Novak Djokovic understands how important he will be (along with fellow players Janko Tipsarevic, Ana Ivanovic, and Jelena Jankovic) in shaping the future of Serbian tennis. And he takes this role seriously. (via SMH)

Roger and Masha get ranked again: BusinessWeek releases its Power 100, a list of the most influential people in the world of sports. Of course, Roger and Masha make the list (and are the only two tennis players to do so). (via TennisInfoBlog.com)

You can add this to Roger’s appearance in Time, and Masha’s many mentions in Forbes.

Match-fixing spills to WTA: Tennis Diary’s Nina Rota does some legwork to find out more about possible match-fixing on the WTA. This time, the match involved Tatiana Poutchek and Mariya Koryttseva in the quarterfinals of the Sunfeast Open two weeks ago.

Is there really no room for beer and pizza?: LTA juniors David Rice and Naomi Broady had their funding suspended after photos of them binging on alcohol and junk food surfaced on the internet. I guess it makes sense to work hard before you get to the top. But when you’re there… it’s a whole other story.

Slide show: The New York Times breaks down how clay king Rafael Nadal has been improving his hardcourt game.

He’s no square peg: Bonnie D. Ford tells us that the 6’9″ John Isner is fitting into the pro tennis world just fine.

focus: graphic designs for guga kuerten

I found some more graphic designs for Guga Kuerten. Not sure if they’re for t-shirts or ads. Either way, they are a perfect representation of the company’s laid back, surfer/skater attitude. These first three are from TavinhoCosta. (source)

This is a great take on a company crest.

On the left, using the famous Japanese woodblock print by Hokusai.

And a literal mixture of Guga Kuerten’s presence in tennis and skateboarding.

[Read more…]

trophy watch: more asian fun

The Hansol Korea Open had two tennis fashionistas duking it out in the final: on one side was the EleVen-clad Venus Williams. On the other, Maria Kirilenko and her adidas by Stella McCartney outfits.

After it was over, both 2007 winner Venus and runner-up Kirilenko changed into hanboks (the country’s traditional dress) for the awards ceremony. Venus’ hanbok is worth approximately $3,200. The ladies received bouquets and these great vases — yet another welcome change to ho-hum silver cups and glass prisms we’re so used to seeing.

Other photos of Venus and Maria. The American beat the Russian 6-3, 1-6, 6-4, ending her eight-match winning streak. Good to see both of these women doing well. (FYI, this is Venus’ third title of the year out of 11 tournaments entered.)

The final in Luxembourg also went to three sets, with Ana Ivanovic taking her third title after her 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 win over Daniela Hantuchova. The Slovak has lost no earlier than the semis of her last three tourneys; she’s found her form after a disappointing hardcourt summer.

Photoless: Virginie Razzano beat Tzipora Obziler 6-0, 6-3 to become the 2007 Guangzhou International Women’s Open Champion.

In Mumbai, Richard Gasquet redeems his disappointing summer (the highlight: getting flack for withdrawing from the U.S. Open because of a sore throat) with his 6-3, 6-4 defeat of Belgian Olivier Rochus. This is his first title of the year.

In doubles, Robert Lindstedt and Jarkko Nieminen are the champions.

Dmitry Tursunov took out Benjamin Becker in an easy, breezy, 6-2, 6-1 match at the Thailand Open. He makes a cute face for Josh! (Giving him the trophy is Thailand Tennis Association prez Suwat Liptapallop.)

As usual, Tursunov was wearing Fila and Becker was wearing clothes from his sponsor, Boris Becker.

(photos by AP and Getty Images)

RELATED POSTS
>> TSF’s trophy watch archive

fashion: monfils in Sport & Style

French ATPer and Hottie McHotterson Gael Monfils appears in the most recent issue of Sport & Style, the Bruno Danto-helmed insert in L’Equipe.

Gael poses in clothes from Givenchy, Giorgio Armani, Alexander McQueen, Chanel, as well as his own sponsors, Nike and Head. And in the article, he talks about his non-tennis passions: music and breakdancing. “I often organize freestyle ‘battles’ with my group of friends. I’ve been brought up under the MTV culture. Music and dance are my life.”

Accessories: The house of Chanel, under Karl Lagerfeld, continues to top itself with the ball-as-necklace on the left. They’ve dabbled in tennis-themed accessories before, including racquets and the stiletto pump.

S&S is slowly making its way stateside, and we can’t wait to see it on the newsstands!

(via ATP; photos via MTF’s Monfils forum and ATP)

what's in this week's water?: justine henin cleans up

Can someone check the charts for me? Something weird is definitely going on.

First, Vince Spadea proved to the world that he could put together a decent outfit at the Thailand Open, and now the normally ho-hum Justine Henin follows in the fashion week footsteps of Roger Federer (at de la Renta), Maria Sharapova (at Peter Som and Michael Kors) and Serena Williams (at Tommy Hilfiger and Zac Posen) with her own front-row appearance at Milan Fashion Week.

Justine looked great as she sat front row at the Giorgio Armani Spring 2008 ready-to-wear show. She was decked out in a white pantsuit (which seems to be her glam staple), and two necklaces.

Bonus round: The collection, inspired by the “languid, sensual summers of Southern Italy”, saw its share of trousers tied at the knee, beaded scarves (glittering), and harem-pant gowns. See it all here. (via style.com)

Kudos, pt. 2: Justine, we love your red glasses, too.

Right sentiment, but…:” Did anyone else find it funny that in this list of Most Overrated/Underrated athletes, it’s the overrated ones who get the ink? Regardless, props to Mike Freeman for giving Justine credit for her achievements.

(Milan photo from Elle Belgium via the Justine Henin forums; red glasses photos via the forums)

RELATED POSTS
>> justine wears armani
>> serena at zac posen
>> fashion week: tennis bags and visors at michael kors
>> masha licks her wounds at peter som’s show
>> roger (with a g) at de la renta

at the korea open, more from eleven

Most of the women are taking a break this week except for World No. 9 Venus Williams, who is quietly working towards a title at the Hansol Korea Open.

She’s showing off some more pieces from her Steve & Barry’s collection, EleVen.

Venus wore a pink pleated skirt and a white sleeveless top (with pink shawl collar) in her 6-2, 6-1 defeat of fast-court specialist Tamarine Tanasugarn in the second round.

And she went all-white in her 6-2, 6-3 win over Marta Domachowska.

Into the weekend: Venus will next face Flavia Pennetta in the semis, while defending champion Eleni Daniilidou squares off against Russian Maria Kirilenko, who’s on a roll after taking the Sunfeast Open last week. I predict Maria and Venus will make the finals, and Venus will win the whole thing.

RELATED POSTS
>> see all of Venus’ EleVen tennis outfits here

davis cup: lest you thought we forgot…

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…

shirtless: arnaud clement

Hey all — posting has been a little slow just because there’s not much going on (and I have lots of non-TSF things to deal with). Also, I’ve been working on some posts that require interviews, phone calls, etc. So hopefully it will turn into good reading for y’all.

Anyway, I’ve been mining discussion boards for an Aussie Open post, and I ran across this photo of Arnaud Clement. Enjoy!

(from MTF’s Arnaud Forum)

fashion hit: spadea sparkles

As much as we rag on Vince Spadea for his prosti-totes, bedazzled trucker hats, or wearing basketball shorts on the court, we have to give credit where it’s due.

See how well this eccentric American cleans up? It’s like an episode of Extreme Makeover all up in hurrrr. Here he is playing a first round match at the Thailand Open (losing to Tommy Haas 6-4, 4-6, 1-6 in the first round). Put a non-obnoxious shirt on him (from his own line, of course) and he looks great. That hair is another story…

But we should enjoy this while it lasts. Back in May, Bethanie Mattek had the crazy notion that she’d tone down her on-court fashion style. It got her a title, but it didn’t last long. She was back to her old ways by the 2007 U.S. Open.

Buy?: You can check out some of Vince’s goods at his Pro Shop.

ukranian fashion show


Striking a pose (left to right): Katerina Bondarenko, unknown, Alona Bondarenko, Tatiana Perebiynis, Oksana Teplyakova, unknown.

The $100k Kharkov tourney from earlier this month hosted a fashion show for the ladies.

Because of the bright blue and yellow pastels (read: Ukrainian flag), some fans are speculating that these were designed for upcoming Fed Cup ties. How fun — we’re all about it!

Whodunit?: does anyone know who designed these outfits?

Our faves: Teplyakova in a spaghetti strap top, Perebiynis in an empire waist dress and in a tiered ruffle skirt, and Alona in assymetrical blue.

Bondarenkos wear the mishits: Alona in a purple dress which takes the tennis theme too far; Katerina wears a cutaway dress. That’s gonna make for some horrible tan lines.

What do you think of the dresses? Tell us!

One more photo after the cut…