set two: wimbledon on the d list

Yesterday my alarm clock rang at an ugly hour: 4:30 A.M.! I was off to day three of The Championships after failing to get tickets on Tuesday. This time I was determined to get my show-court on. I caught the 5:11 bus and made it to the ground by 5:35, only to be the 1,490th queuer of the day. WTF?! These people are hardcore.

Know who else is hardcore? Wimbledon D-Listers. So hardcore in fact that I’m back with set two. Enjoy!

Maria Sharapova warmed up on Court No. 6 before her disastrous 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 loss to Gisela Dulko on Centre Court. I caught most of the warm-up, wondering why she was hitting so poorly, but definitely digging her new, abbreviated service motion. And no, Hashers, Maria doesn’t make the D-List, but her two hitting partners certainly do. They provided the most action of the session when one (we’ll call him Tweedle D) was returning Maria’s serve and smacked the other (Tweedle C) right in the groinage. There was a loud gasp from the crowd (Maria put her hand over her mouth), and then laughing at the two hitting partners giggled about it. Who knew Maria supplied them with cups and jock-straps?! I bet Yuri put that rule into action.

At the newly-christened Court No. 2 (my show court for the day) I took in Robin Soderling (of Rafa-beating fame). But my eyes were mostly on Soderling’s box, not the match, where my (and Martina Hingis’) former boyfriend sat- Magnus Norman. You remember Maggie, right? He was that cute, world no. 2 that made us all wonder: ‘how does such petite, regular-built guy compete at the top of tennis?’ He answered that question a couple years ago by completely falling off the map. But he’s re-emerged as a coach as Soderling has surged. Oh Maggie, how I’ve missed you and your Ross-inspired hair!

Picture 1

Later on Court 12, I took in a fierce battle between Michelle Larcher de Brito and Francesca Schiavone. While there was plenty to see (and hear) during this match, I couldn’t help but wandering my eyes back to the seats. There sat the Queen of Bad Calls, Mariana Alves. Mariana must’ve wanted to take in some of her compatriot’s match, and is obviously pissed that Michelle is stealing her spotlight. I mean, Mariana totally worked really, really hard for that spotlight, over-ruling balls that were three inches in and somehow still keeping her job. Look at her, you know she’s piiiiiiiiissed.

(image via atp web site)

definitely possibly: andy murray’s wimbledon run begins

robert-kendrick-wimbledon09a

Hometown hope Andy Murray shook off the British curse that plagued Day 1 of this year’s Wimbledon — no local survived to Round 2 — and gave American Robert Kendrick a little window of chance before taking their first round match 7-5, 6-7 (3), 6-3, 6-4.

A different strain of clothing: Kendrick’s wearing a clean kit from his sponsor, Athletic DNA. The brand is taking a non-conventional approach to its branding, eschewing the traditional (no lookbook, no product samples) and focusing instead on the juniors (Facebook, college tennis websites); Nike, for instance, won’t give a kid the time of day until they smell like a pro.

So what does this mean for us consumers? The only means to procure their goods is via the company website (the store should be up and running in less than a week). And for those of you wondering: yes, they will sell Kendrick’s awesome animal print crew tank — the one he wore at this year’s French Open.

(image via Getty Images)

chris’ note to james blake

Dear James Blake,

Why dont you try complaining about the ATP World Tour calendar when you’re winning and having to play a lot more (instead of when you’re losing)? It shouldn’t matter now that you have two weeks off! When was the last time you sucked at your job and were given two weeks paid vacay? Maybe you could use the time off editing all the spelling errors in your book!

xo,

C

Scoreline: The Fila-clad 17th-seed lost to Andreas Seppi 5-7, 4-6, 6-7 (5) in the first round of Wimbledon singles, 2009.

Buy: Fila Essenza Crew Neck Top, $45, fila.com. (C’mon, James — you looked so crisp and clean in that Nike polo you wore to Wimbledon last year. I’m sure you can drum up the same look with Fila!)

can you spare a cup of coffee?

Someone give Nadia Petrova‘s seamstress some caffeine; she needs to stop falling asleep while working!

This Ellesse dress is churned out by the Japanese arm of this brand. The American licensee hoped for a big re-entry into the U.S. market to line up with the brand’s 50th anniversary this year. Unfortunately, the current economic climate has forced them to delay. We’ll sit tight!

Scoreline: The tenth seed made quick work of Anastasiya Yakimova in her opener at this year’s Wimbledon. She next faces Shahar Peer, who beat Maria Elena Camerin after a second-set tiebreak. (We expect Petrova to bow out in the third round, which is when she’ll face Maria Sharapova…)

(image via Getty Images)

finally, another ana dress we love!

We’d be happy, too: Oh, a smile and a sigh of relief for Serbian Ana Ivanovic, who’s languished in (top) tennis purgatory since that French Open title win in 2008. The 13th seed saved two match points to beat Lucie Hradecka 5-7, 6-2, 8-6 and looked faaaaaaabulous in her adidas whites. TSF’s relieved that she’s finally gotten rid of her boob mash dress, instead giving way to some tiered tulle (ala Masha‘s French Open outfit — but with much better results).

Scoreline: Next up for Ana is Sara Errani of Italy.

Buy: adidas adilibria Wimbledon Dress, white/red, $75, adidas.com.

(image via Getty Images)

tommy robredo, is that you?

More from the hairstyle files: Frenchman Jeremy Chardy became fodder for Andy Roddick‘s campaign for a Wimbledon singles title (Andy’s twice been a runner-up), falling to the American 6-3, 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-3. Roddick only had nine unforced error and hit 46 winners, including 20 aces.

Who knew that under all that hair would be a Tommy Robredo 2.0? Perhaps Jeremy’ll consider being more like Tommy and doing some, uhm, modeling

What do you think of Jeremy’s new ‘do? Tell us!)

Buy: Lacoste Short Sleeve Solid Super Dry Zip Polo, black/white/blue, $88, lacoste.com.

More: A few other action shots of Chardy after the cut…

Kohlschreiber takes out Federer in staggering 3rd round upset…

After showing Novak Djokovic an early exit at Roland Garros, Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber has…

Ok: let’s not get ahead of ourselves. As deep as the men’s game is these days, Rafa Nadal’s exceedingly unfortunate withdrawal from Wimbledon ’09 has shined a blindingly bright light on the fact that, after a series of sea changes this year, there appear to be no realistic challengers to Mr. Federer’s quest for Wimby #6 and major #15.

But I’m not here to make predictions (whether the latest betting odds, or just general predications); I’m here to mourn. First and most notably, I mourn Nadal’s absence. Now I’m the first guy to espouse the need for sharing the wealth, and that watching Roger and Rafa trade off winning Slams can get repetitive. On the other hand, last year’s Wimbledon and this year’s Aussie final offered nothing to complain about. As much as I would love to see a new champion emerge at this Slam and any of the next, one must feel that he’s earned it by going through the best. And with Rafa — the Rafa at the top of his game (his knees the exception) not around to be surmounted, this men’s draw has a bit of a consolation feel to it, even with Andy Murray around (though it doesn’t feel he’s quite ready to pose Fed a serious threat).

Here’s what else I’m mourning: a complete absence of anything resembling a serve-and-volley presence: gone are Jonas Bjorkman, Max Mirnyi, Tim Henman. There is good ol’ Taylor Dent, but he’s still making his way back from a long injury sabbatical, so we can’t expect much, though it will be interesting to see how he fares: how frequently he gets passed could be a bellweather of just how dominant backcourt tennis is this year.

On the women’s side, looking forward to seeing how Michelle Larcher De Brito plays out with her opponents and the fans. It’s safe to say no one will be mourning her seismic grunts after she gets bumped from the draw.

Michael Shaw writes about tennis and other subjects for the Los Angeles Times and is also an artist. He can be reached at michaelshaw_sar AT yahoo DOT com. Read his previous posts for TSF here.

wimbledon, on the d list

TSF note: Tennis Chatter’s Nick McCarvel is in London this week, doing his time as a Wimbledon fan by queueing up for tickets. He’s graciously offered report back through TSF even though he’s also writing for the New York Times’ Straight Sets blog (Mazel tov!). Read on…

The tennis was in full force yesterday at the All England Club for day one of the 2009 Championships. As play was called to start over the loud speakers just before noon, there were bright blue skies above head – an unusual sight. Maybe that roof wasn’t necessary, after all?

If you’ve never been to a professional tennis event, one of the funnest things about them is how close you can get to the players. “Oh! There’s James Blake practicing on Court 5″ and “Whoops! Sorry Maria, didn’t mean to bump into you on the way to the bathroom.” It’s like a little town and you’re all just chum-chum with each other.

But, my favorite part of being at big tourneys like this is the D-List sightings. You know what I mean. Not the Andy, Roger, Rafa and Serena sightings… more like the “Isn’t that Sesil’s mom?!” and “OMG I think that’s Jill Craybas’ hitting partner!” Here’s a few of my Monday bump-ins:

Tracy Austin in a hideous, leprechaun green get-up courtside during Michelle Larcher de Brito’s first round encounter on Court 17. Austin appeared to be doing some sideline commentating off-and-on during the match (fact check, anyone?!). But Austin was most definitely not happy when Ms. Grunty herself walked past her after the match without so much as a head nod. Inter-generational bitch fight? I sure hope so. Divas got ‘tude!

Paradorn Schrichapan and Miss Universe wife (Natalie Glebova) hanging out outside of Centre Court while wifey tried to argue her way in without a pass. Paradorn looked sexy in street clothes (a black tee and jeans), while Natalie must’ve been saying: “Look, my name totally sounds like one of these tennis phenom names. I’m an OVA! Just let me in and I’ll let you see my Miss Universe crown.”

[Read more…]

fashion focus: maria’s 2009 wimby earrings

zellige-paloma-picasso

Note: We had reported that Masha’s earrings were available for sale. Only the sterling silver version is available. We apologize for the error.

Sign of the times: Even Tiffany & Co. is tightening the purse strings by showcasing an (ahem) affordable pair of earrings on Maria Sharapova — to match the white and tan Nike Wimbledon dress (complete with Sgt. Pepper jacket!).

Or should we say an affordable pair for us, but special for her (isn’t that always the case?). Maria’s version of the Paloma Picasso Zellige drop earrings are custom-made, with 18 karat yellow gold, based on centuries-old mosaic patterns that surround the fountain at Paloma’s home in Morocco. For the rest of us, earrings similar to Masha’s gold custom drops are available on the Tiffany website — in sterling silver form.

Buy: Paloma Zellige Drop earrings; sterling silver, for pierced ears; $250; tiffany.com.

Scoreline: The 2004 champ slipped and slid her way to a 7-5 6-4 win over Ukrainian qualifier Viktoriya Kutuzova in the first round of Wimbledon 2009. The Russian observed that the grass on Centre Court was damp and longer than when she won the title five years ago, making the conditions like that of a clay court. Up next for her is Gisela Dulko, who beat Stephanie Foretz 6-3, 7-5.

(image courtesy of Tiffany)

love roger in 140 chars or less

roger-site-nike09a

Roger Federer XV: Tomorrow, the folks at Nike are launching a special site to commemorate Roger Federer‘s 14 major titles and his potential 15th here at Wimbledon 2009.

For geeks, the site will feature an interactive display of info about Roger’s 14 slams.

For fans, the most important feature is the ability to send Roger their love via the site or through Twitter (#goroger). These messages can also be shared on Facebook via Facebook Connect. The site will have a centralized image that will be constructed with a grid of boxes; each box will display a fan’s message to Roger.

The site: For now, just displaying the RF monogram — niketennis.com/rf

(image courtesy of Nike)