suddenly sabine (is popular)



Sabineblogart

It certainly wasn’t “The Bump Heard Around the World“, but when Sabine Lisicki and Caroline Wozniacki ran into each other in the Fourth Round at this year’s Wimbledon, plenty of people took notice. One of those people was 21-year-old Londoner  Brad.

Imagining (and hoping for) a long-lasting Lisicki career, Brad predicts that if the fresh-faced German has any major rivals in her career, there’s only one he’s interested in: “Oh, definitely Wozniacki, those two are totally made for each other. It’s the whole ball-basher versus counterpuncher dynamic they’ve got going on…”

After reading such an opinion, it’s not hard to believe that Brad (himself as fresh-faced as Sabine) is the author of the new, slick-looking Sabine fan blog on Blogger. Brad promises to keep fans up to date on Sabine’s on and off court happenings via his week-old blog, but what caught our eye is the unique art (above) the blog-master produces and showcases on his cyberspace.

The graphic above is an original by Brad, and below is a creation by his friend, Louisa

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Find out more about Brad from our quirky interview, check out a couple more Brad originals and see for yourself the Lisicki-Wozniacki bump after the cut.

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the sandlot



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From grass courts to hard courts to beach courts?! It may sound a little crazy to you (and to us), but Beach Tennis is alive and swinging. So much that the ITF just held the first-ever World Championships this past May in Rome.

The game is markedly different from the one you and I know, but has grown in popularity in the recent past and is anchored with enthusiasm in Italy. Played with smaller rackets that are more alike to paddles used for table tennis, beach tennis is played over an elevated net – think volleyball, badminton – and no bounces are allowed.

So much for Hawkeye, right?

The sport draws similarities with beach volleyball when it comes to its lively, party culture. The IFBT (International Federation of Beach Tennis), which operates separately from the ITF-run tour, is holding its World Championships this week in Marina di Ravenna, Italy.

And while we doubt any cross-over stars will emerge in the near future, the sport has spread to the States and even Japan. Now let’s see if the whole barefoot thing ever catches on at Wimbledon

(screengrab via itf tennis web site)

short balls: npr makeover, tennishead2



Radio gets fresh on the net: NPR.org, the news web site of National Public Radio, got an overhaul on Monday morning. Editors promise the new site to be “brighter, lighter, faster, easier to use, easier to search and more fun to surf.” While NPR rarely covers sports (especially tennis), the site is full of goodies from its national stations and links to its local stations from all over the country. Nothing like a dying medium going for a re-do, right? Maybe Andy Roddick inspired them, huh?

Tennishead takes two: Tennishead, our fave tennis ezine… and the world’s only tennis ezine launched its second issue today. Though we love the interactive features – like an introductory video from British player Anne Keothavong (the mag is based in the U.K.) – we’re a little puzzled as to why their big launch for issue number two is all about Wimbledon. Previewing Wimbledon, that is… didn’t the Championships happen a month ago? Perhaps we’re a big confused, but in any case, peruse the 30 pages of bright delight (with pop-ups and sound effects, too!) and keep up with this pub. We expect them to keep churning out good, relevant and ahead-of-the-times content.
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MLdB is a little awkward in that SIM-ulated top, no?

Corn-fed Bromance?: What two American tennis personalities got all huggy-duggy in Indianapolis last week? Check the shot after the jump.

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when balls get catty



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If you like to use your claws on the court, Sequen tennis balls might be just for you. Sequen sells luxury tennis balls in leopard, tiger, jaguar and python prints, among others, giving the standard tennis ball its best make-over since it ditched white for yellow in the modern game.

The chic balls retail for $20 a can or $480 a case (24 cans). And while you may raise an eyebrow at the design (and the price), Sequen owner Jennifer Baker assures these fuzzy creatures aren’t just good to look at- they’re top of the line quality, too.

“We use the best felt out there,” Baker said. “Our manufacturer is certified and our felt people do all the big ball brands.”

Baker started the company in 2006, but used the last three years to develop the brand and get a “solid, professional team” behind Sequen. The company is based in the Palm Springs area, a tennis-obsessed valley that’s home to the yearly pro stop at Indian Wells. Baker plans to make her big reveal at this year’s USPTA buying conference in Florida.

Check out more of the felted felines after the cut.

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new yorker gets it bump on?



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Tweeting as usual, the Bryan brothers reported that a crew from The New Yorker invaded their house today for a photo shoot. What sort of article could the esteemed feature mag be planning on the brothers?! We can’t wait to see…

Two shots after the jump…

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