two hotels: one reaches up, one reaches out



A tale of two cities: On one end, Shanghai, who’s ready to step out of Beijing’s architectural shadow with some record-breaking structures of its own. The showcase: the completion, after 14 (!) years, of the Shanghai World Financial Center — standing at 1,600 feet as the tallest building in China and the third tallest in the world. The Park Hyatt Shanghai has taken up shop in the 79th through 93rd floors of the 101-story skyscraper, just in time to welcome fans eager for another Roger/Rafa bout at the year-ending Tennis Masters Cup.

And down South, on Brazil’s Emerald Coast, the Ponta Dos Ganchos Resort is debuting five luxury seafront bungalows via an auction to benefit Instituto Guga Kuerten. The four new Emerald Villa Bungalows (2,455 sq. ft.) and one Special Emerald Villa Bungalow (3,210 sq. ft.), opening in the first week of December, feature dry saunas and jacuzzis with sea views, personal spa areas with massage tatamis, wine cellars, and private decks and plunge pools. The Special Emerald Villa Bungalow also includes an in-villa fitness center.

Bid: The silent auction for the PDG villas ends October 31, 2008. For more information, click here. One interesting note: “Cancellations are not accepted and are subject to total loss of payment as proceeds will be donated directly to Instituto Guga Kuerten.”

Book: See room rates (plus, on the landing page, a view from the hotel out to Shanghai) at the Park Hyatt website.

(via UD; screengrabs from each property’s website)

maria sharapova, version 3.1



Maria Sharapova might be out of the running for the rest of the season (darn that nagging shoulder injury!), but it hasn’t stopped her from hitting the town — especially in the name of a good cause.

Last weekend she came out to Thousand Oaks, Calif. in full fashion regalia — a green dress from 3.1 Phillip Lim, shoes by Dior, and a brown hyper-zippered Stella McCartney clutch — in support of brothers Mike and Bob Bryan, who’ve taken a page out of Andre Agassi‘s philanthropic book with the establishment of their eponymous foundation.

Saturday’s All-Star Tennis Smash raised money for local and national charities supported by the twins, including City Impact, an organization supporting at-risk youth in Ventura County. The half-day event started with a pro exhibition featuring celebs and athletes, including Agassi (in his public playing appearance this year), Jon Lovitz, Jimmy-Jean Louis, Melissa Rivers, Lindsay Davenport, James Blake, Justin Gimelstob, Thomas Blake, and Robby Ginepri.

Afterwards, the brothers feted Agassi for his charitable endeavors at a gala dinner attended by Masha, among others. The evening began with an auction (autographed racquets, days with tennis players) and was capped off with performances by Evan and Jaron and Brandi Carlile.

More: Ventura County Star via hcfoo.

(photo by Selma Fonseca/Celebrity Vibe courtesy of ATP)

bjorn phau: I’d like to happa some of that



Bjorn Phau made it all the way to the semifinals of last week’s China Open before falling to Andy Roddick 2-6, 6-7 (4), 1-6. This is the same guy who gave Rafa Nadal some trouble in the first round of the 2008 U.S. Open, pushing Rafa to two tiebreaks with his stinging one-handed backhand.

Family tree: That gorgeous mug of his is a German (mom) and Indonesian (pops) combination. <3

U.S. Open 2007 and Stuttgart 2006.

(training pics by rrfnpump)

peta can suck on a dead bird



After they’re done wiping the breastmilk coming out their noses, I’m sure the folks at PETA are going to have a field day with Alessandra Meyer-Wolden‘s Oktoberfest hat.

The fiancee of legend Boris Becker donned a traditional costume to festivities in Munich — complete with an alpine hat made of bird parts. Meanwhile, Becker stuck to a cardigan-and-lederhosen ensemble.

More: Oktoberfest goes from September 20 through October 5 in Munich. The first one was held in 1810 to honor the Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig’s marriage to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen.

(via Daily Mail)

trophy watch: the post-Open asian swing



Trophy watch: The men and the women stopped by Asia this week to contest titles in Beijing, Bangkok, Korea. We saw rematches and familiar faces from last week and last year. A roundup of the winners, their trophies, and what they wore — all after the cut…