graf (and agassi) to play at wimbledon!

The AP is reporting that Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf will participate in an exo at Wimbledon, partly to help test out the playing conditions under the new Center Court roof.

They’ll be joined by Kim Clijsters and Tim Henman at the May 17 “Centre Court Celebration” event, which will include a men’s singles, women’s singles, and mixed doubles match.

Graf was quoted by the AP: “There is no tennis venue more special to me than Centre Court at Wimbledon,” the German said. “It just doesn’t get any better. I couldn’t be more honored to play there again with my husband Andre, and tennis greats Kim and Tim. It will mean so much to return to Wimbledon and … relive so many wonderful memories.”

As you may remember, the original roof was dismantled after the ’06 tournament and returned in 2008. Construction of the moving parts began in July. (Geek out: See how the retractable roof works.)

Buy: Tickets are $50, and will go on sale March 12 via Ticketmaster.

short balls: men of brown… in pink; dress for the sun; usta’s march madness

Keep it cool: ZooTennis asks Harold Solomon about tips on how to beat the heat when playing a match.

“We all know that light colored clothing tends to help keep the body cooler… Often players do not wear clothing protection around their necks because the manufacturers determine the type of clothing worn.”

(And really, not everyone can pull off this look.)

And shoes matter, too:

“Also, a player’s feet are often one of the primary areas to be effected by extreme heat. It is essential to wear shoes with soles that are thick enough keep the feet cool and to keep socks as dry as possible, to keep blisters from forming.”

Read the rest of the Q&A here.

Tennis on duty: Musicians On Call, dedicated to involving music in the healing process via bedside and hospital performances, will be hosting their 5th Annual Benefit Concert tonight at the Hard Rock in Times Square. Headlining the event will be James Taylor. MOC’s also running an online auction in conjunction with this concert; you can bid on this one-hour hitting session at Arthur Ashe Stadium if you wish.

Color combo: The men’s tennis team at Brown recently wore pink.

Puns intended: Look out for the USTA to leverage the upcoming U.S. hardcourt tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami with a new PR campaign. Called “Game, Set, March”, the media blitz will promote the BNP Paribas and the Sony Ericsson Opens, whose combined attendance last year reached 600,000s.

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shoes: adidas x tsf, cdg x tretorn, audrina x fila

adidas x TSF: Hah. Wouldn’t it be fun if this was an actual collab?

Instead, after an initial soft launch that restricted access to only shoppers in their Chicago, SF, and NYC Sports Performance brick-and-mortar stores, adidas is finally expanding a limited version of their miadidas service to their online customers.

If you can forgive not having a custom fitting, everything else is at your disposal: color options for every part of the shoe including the uppers, the sole, the stripes, the eyelets, the claws, the tongue.

There’s even an option for personalizing with text.

adidas x TSF Check out the TSF Barricade V. Or, if you prefer to go at it yourself, churn out a one-of-a-kind Performance or make your original Originals. (Barricade Vs are $140 — that’s $30 more than getting a run-of-the-mill version. Shoes take 3-4 weeks to manufacture and ship.)

Formal tenniswear: Comme des Garcons had these wingtip tennis sneakers as part of their Spring/Summer 2009 collection. Would’ve been good to pair with a formal Roger Federer/Nike outfit, no? (via High Snobiety)

CDG x Tretorn: And CDG SHIRT’s also teaming up with Tretorn, the brand which produced Bjorn Borg‘s pro tennis shoes, for a Fall/Winter 2009 offering — one high-top, one low-. (via HS)

Fila’s fall ’09: In Vegas, with everyone in town for PROJECT and MAGIC, Audrina Patridge continued her duties as Fila‘s pin-up girl with a cameo at their fall line’s preview party at The Bank Nightclub at Bellagio. Here she is cradling a Melrose sneaker in the fall colorway.

(CDG images via highsnobiety.com; Audrina images courtesy of Fila)

trophy watch: llodra keeps his clothes on, venus makes her case, roddick hits back, etc.

Robredo rolls: Spaniard Tommy Robredo has been slowly compiling a successful 2009 (he’s 15-3 in match wins so far), adding to last week’s Brasil Open title a trophy from the Copa Telmex in Buenos Aires. As a part of a nine-match winning streak, Tommy took out 2007 champ Juan Monaco 7-5, 2-6, 7-6 (5).

Roddick’s revenge: Early bird got The Worm this week when Andy exacted revenge on Radek Stepanek‘s title win over the American at last week’s SAP Open. This time around, at the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships, the top seed only needed two sets to take out Stepanek: 7-5, 7-5.

As you may have heard, Roddick is skipping this the ATP Dubai stop in support of Shahar Peer. Good for him.

Teenage triumph: And on the women’s side of this combined tournament, Belarusian Victoria Azarenka upset top seed Caroline Wozniacki in the finals of Memphis 6-1, 6-3. This is Victoria’s second title of the year (and of her career). She was merely playing catch-up to Wozniacki, whose breakout 2008 produced three titles.

Venus and Virginie: Speaking of Dubai, a gracious (and henna-free) Venus Williams addressed Shahar’s situation during her trophy ceremony after beating Virginie Razzano 6-4, 6-2.

“I am not here to rock any boat or upset people, I am just here to do things that are right,” Williams said. “And I think right things are already happening next week and right things will happen next year.”

Props to Virginie and Asics for maxing out her airtime. They had her in another colorway of her separates, this one in black with pink trim.

French fracas: We’re a little sad that the French smorgasbord in Marseille has come to an end (Arnaud Clement, Youzhny, Tursunov, Dimitrov, Vliegen, Seppi, Safin, Chardy, Bolelli), and even sadder that Jo-Wilfried Tsonga denied us a post-win striptease from runner-up Michael Llodra. But thumbs-up to Tsonga for bagging his second title of the year.

Maria’s maiden title: In Bogota, Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez beat Gisela Dulko 6-2 6-3 for her first SEWTA title at the Copa Colsanitas tournament.

(images via Getty Images)

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rugby served fresh?

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Burly men with sleeve tattoos wearing pink. And we’re not talking about tennis!

As if the gods were speaking to me, this pic was accidentally included in the tennis photo wires today. It’s of Paris team playing a home game vs. Toulon in a Top 14 match-up.

(photo via Getty Images)

to layer or not to layer?

I’m headed to New York City for the weekend, so posting will be slow(er). One of my goals for the trip is to figure out what it means to dress comfortably for 20-degree weather. (To be honest, I have no clue!)

xoxoxo – Erwin/TSF

something’s fishy in delray beach

The inventive folks at Delray Beach ITC are back at it again with additions to the graffiti artwork on their tourney’s show court.

As you may remember, they made a splash at last year’s tournament by painting waves on the court’s back walls.

This time, they’ve brought back artist Doug Hoekzema to embellish the side walls with iconic Florida fish like wahoo and marlin, and extending the “rippling water” effect on the court surface to cover the entire perimeter.

Sugar daddy: It wasn’t too long ago that the fate of this second round of tagging was in question because of the financial crisis. Thankfully, artist William Debilzan swooped in to underwrite the project.

Along with funding the murals, Debilzan, who has galleries in Delray Beach, Laguna Beach, and Santa Fe, will also paint two pieces during the tournament; they’ll be presented to the City of Delray Beach during TV coverage of the semifinals.

Other goods: We’ve also been asked to look out for some new-and-improved Volley Girls (this time dressed in sportier attire, courtesy of the Porsche Design Group). Also, they have a new trophy that, hopefully, will be a fine addition to the TSF Trophy Watch.

Quite a catch: Perrenial “comeback king” Lleyton Hewitt accepted a wild card to the ITC, marking the first time he’s been back to Delray Beach since winning the tournament’s inaugural title in this city back in 1999.

“It’s good to go back to Delray Beach; it’s been a long time since I’ve played there,” said Hewitt, who turns 28 on Tuesday. “The surface has changed as well. I won there on green clay courts, and it’s going to be good to go back and play on hard court. I’m looking forward to it.”

The Australian is currently battling for the Regions Morgan Keegan title in Memphis. He upset third seed James Blake in the first round and compatriot Chris Guccione in the round after. He next faces Belgian Christophe Rochus for a spot in the quarterfinals. Their half of the draw also includes Sam Querrey and top seed (and wildcard) Andy Roddick.

More: See some pics of the artists in action after the cut…

the need for speed

The folks at HEAD are wasting no time milking the newest member of their stable, Novak Djokovic, for some Q-rating padding. They have chosen Nole as the main vehicle for a new racquet technology named Speed. (Nevermind that they’ve already had Andy Murray and Marat Safin, right?)

The deets of the stick were hush-hush until Djokovic played with them at the Australian Open (pics), and HEAD moves onto the next step of their campaign with “Speed Lessons by Novak Djokovic”.

You can think of the site, found at speedlessons.com, as a cross between Teen Girl Squad and Palin as President — a mix of animated shorts and other mini-gags (including mouseovers voiced by Djokovic himself).

Look out for a total of six flash-based “tennis lessons”, released about once a week. Much like the hammy Serbian, these shorts should be taken with a grain of salt. Watch ‘em and you’ll know what we mean.

Mousing over the landing page induces a few cute sound bites (e.g., “With a two-handed backhand, you won’t have a free hand for a remote control.”). The folks we talked to at HEAD said that Nole had a good time recording the voiceovers for the site.

And finally, users can take a three-question quiz, after which they can enter to win one of ten Speed racquets autographed by Djokovic.

The global campaign, conceived by an Austrian agency, will culminate with the racquet’s retail launch in late April or May.

HEAD wanted something “new, fresh, and online based because that’s what everybody is,” said a company rep. They’ve included links for Facebook, del.icio.us, Technorati, and Google to help spread the word.

Visit: Speed Lessons.

Scoreline: Djokovic, who retired in the heat against Andy Roddick during the Aussie Open quarterfinals, bounces back after a two-week break to reach the quarters (vs. Mischa Zverev) in this week’s Open 13 in Marseille. Nole hasn’t been looking his best, but has yet to drop a set in two rounds.

tattoo watch: venus stays noncommittal in dubai

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Venus Williams applied an elaborate henna tatto for this week’s Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships party. It’s not the first time Venus has flirted with tattoos — remember the disappearing act of 2007?

Scoreline: As she had wished before the beginning of this tournament, Venus will get to play against sister Serena in the Dubai semis. Venus took out Elena Dementieva 6-3, 6-3 while top-seeded Serena had no problem overcoming the go-for-broke strategy employed by Ana Ivanovic (Serena won 4 and 4).

Browse: See the rest of our tattoo watch blotter here.

(image via Getty Images)