sightings from the stands: almodóvar



pedro almodovar - tennis - mutua madrilena masters series - madrid

Cinematic genius Pedro Almodóvar (along with his amazing hair) made a cameo at last week’s Mutua Madrilena Masters bullfight between triumphant torero David Nalbandian and the slain Roger Federer.

(photo by Getty Images)

short balls: serena cartoon, federer's fall, janko in the hot seat, and off-topic galore!



Things have been crazy out here the last few days: I helped out at AIDS Walk Los Angeles over the weekend (they raised over $3.9 million!). I had the honor of being Deidre Hall‘s escort. That’s right — Marlena from Days of our Lives! She was so nice and so kind. Kenneth put some photos up… And I’m sending good vibes to everyone stressed out about these SoCal fires. I know what it’s like to have a home threatened by fire… Oh and p.s. chili cheese yam fries are my new love. Now, the tennis…

Number crunching: At the rate that Rafael Nadal is crashing out matches, the Spaniard might soon end his record-setting streak as the World No. 2. And Novak Djokovic‘s march to the top isn’t helping the Spaniard’s cause. (Tennis Diary)

It’s no longer just her TITLES: The folks at HP are giving us more Serena, this time in the form of advertising splayed across Times Square billboards (and on HP’s Serena site). They’re blaxploitation cartoons featuring Serena “Super Fly” Williams in episodes like Knowledge is Power and (my personal fave) Quite a Racket. Check ‘em out.

Federer’s fall: Tennis planet does a quick write-up on David Nalbandian‘s amazing performance against Roger Federer, plus the Argentine’s defeat of Nadal in their first match against each other. We always talk about Federer being tested as the No. 1 player. Perhaps now Nole and Nalbandian can test Nadal as No. 2?

Federer enshrined: His racquet and all-white Nike outfit from the 2007 Wimbledon tourney are all on display at that Grand Slam’s museum. (jetsetters)

String It Like Roger: The latest issue of Play writes about the racquet customization phenomenon, but warns us common folk from getting a racquet just like R-Fed’s, i.e., a “Wilson [K] Factor Six One Tour with a 90-square-inch head” strung with “a Wilson 16 gauge gut main string and a Luxilon Big Banger ALU Power Rough cross string”. It’s super-hard to control, and takes a talent like Roger to use. FYI, the full arsenal of 12 racquets he carries at each tourney costs $3,500 to keep up.

Tipsarevic in hot water: An early-round match between Lleyton Hewitt and Janko Tipsarevic from last January’s Adelaide International is one of the 140 matches under investigation as the ATP continues to try and clear its sullied name. (SMH)

gael garcia bernal and bjork

(OT) Gigi and Bjork: My first love Gael Garcia Bernal and Bjork struck a pose at a premiere of Gig’i’s movie El Passado in Rio. See a NSFW trailer here.

(OT) Old prints, new tricks: NYT‘s Cathy Horyn reflects on the last round of fashion weeks.

(OT) Low-cost long-haul: A new airline — Oasis Hong Kong — wants to give my love Cathay Pacific a run for its money. I can only hope that there’s room for both to play. (NYT)

(OT) Can Taste Be Taught?: As much as we’d like to think that taste can be taught (I will home-school Radek Stepanek if I have to), it’s just hard to shake off old habits. (NYT)

(OT) Shulman downtown: The Getty Institute is showcasing the work of architecture photographer Julius Shulman at the L.A. Central Library through Jan. 20. Check it out. (LAT)

(OT) From a favela rises a Gaudi: This one’s for you, Mikey. (BBC)

(OT) And this one, too: A new species of dinosaur has been found in Argentina — the plant-eating, 100-foot-long Futalognkosaurus dukei. (BBC)

(OT) Pissin’ my pants: The Economist economizes by changing their model for delivering content. A good chunk of their archive will now be free to access. (Guardian)

tennis pros: stop ruining your clothes!



An inactive Maria Sharapova (who pulled out of Zurich and Linz) is hoping that ridding herself of her cursed Nike U.S. Open day dress will help her at the Year End Championships. The dress will be autographed and auctioned, with proceeds benefitting the Maria Sharapova Foundation. (via DTL)

Ok, can we talk about this for a sec? I don’t understand why she has to autograph the dress (over the right bust), thus rendering it unwearable. Perhaps she doesn’t want anyone else wearing it? Perhaps the autograph adds more value to the item? It would be MUCH better if they just left it as is (a la the protocol of Hollywood-driven Clothes Off Our Backs.

Roger Federer fans were griping about the same thing when his “RF” hats went for auction on his site. They were totally willing to shell out the big bucks to get the limited-edition goods, but many were turned off because the hats would have a visible Federer autograph (and who wants to wear that?). They even started a petition

more trophies: ferreira beats courier in dallas



wayne ferreira - stanford championships 2007

McEnroe Declares “The Age of Love Is Over” In Third-Place Win Over Philippoussis That He Dedicates To “The Old Girls”

DALLAS, TEXAS -– Wayne Ferreira of South Africa defeated Jim Courier of the United States 2-6, 6-3, 11-9 (Champions Tie-Break) Sunday to win the $142,000 Stanford Championships, his second title of 2007 on the Outback Champions Series and his third career title on global circuit for champion tennis players over the age of 30.

Ferreira collected a paycheck of $46,000 for winning two round-robin matches and the championship match. He also (Continue reading after the cut…)

trophy watch: kissing crystal



trophies - david nalbandian - madrid - justine henin - zurich

More boring trophies from this week’s tournaments: the Zurich Open and the Mutua Madrilena Masters in Madrid. David Nalbandian beat Roger Federer 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 to win his first title of the year. He equaled Novak Djokovic‘s feat of defeating the Worlds No. 1 and 2 back-to-back in the same tournament. (Nole did it at the Rogers Cup.)

And Justine Henin continues her dominance of the women’s tour with her ninth title of the year. (She racked up four of them in this latest 20-match winning streak.) Justine took on Tatiana Golovin in the Zurich Open and won in straight sets — 6-4, 6-4.

More photos — plus men’s doubles results — after the cut…