mason’s master of tennis fashion

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Though her favorite part of the day is making her customers smile, there are a few of them that Dana Mason has never even seen.

“I have a few customers that just trust me,” she said outside the Manhattan tennis store last week. “I have a customer in Chicago that has never even been in the store. I just know what she likes and we ship out boxes. She never sends anything back.”

Dana is VP of Mason’s Tennis Mart, one the few tennis goods stores in New York City, and a primary destination for U.S. Open products this year.

According to Dana, the Open brought “absolute insanity” to the store, but the place itself has been humming for the past 35 years, thanks to Dana’s father, Mark, who first opened the shop in Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

The boutique now sits comfortably in Midtown on the east side, just south of where many affluent New Yorkers live, and just north of many corporate offices, where Dana says many of her customers work.

“This is a perfect location for us,” she said, eyeing the store as midday traffic zips through the doors.

While her dad might be the tennis guru in the family business, Dana has always had an eye for fashion. As a young girl, she would hang around the store, but said her interest lay mostly in the clothes. 

When her dad brought her on as a buyer seven years ago, Dana flourished in the position.

“I’m so lucky that my dad brought me into the business,” Dana said. “Picking out merchandise for the store and watching it come off the shelves, I love that. Those are my picks, and I love when the customers love them.”

Dana knows her tennis fashion: from Fred Perry to Fila, adidas, Nike, and Polo Ralph Lauren, Dana has dealt with the big guns of the tennis fashion world.

Which isn’t to say that this is all fun and games. Her biggest frustration?

“Not getting the players outfits! I can’t tell you how many people come in wanting Sharapova‘s dress or Roger‘s jackets. But those things just aren’t available. It makes me sad!”

Read more about Dana’s picks for what’s next in tennis fashion, who shops Mason’s and her tennis DON’T for on-court fashion. [Read more...]

tsf presents: an illustrated pov

TSF is glad to have Troy Venechanos on board with our team. The former Tennis magazine intern and Northeastern grad is now an AmeriCorps volunteer in New Orleans, Louisiana. That doesn’t stop Troy from following the tour with gusto, where his two favorite players are Venus and (no shocker here) Akgul Amanmuradova. You can find Troy perusing J. Crew catalogs for clothesguys and he likes to spend summers on the lake with Yaya.

wta-comeback-oct09

The Comeback Bandwagon: WTA Looks to Past for Future Success
Co-starring Davenport, Date Krumm, Clijsters and Henin, illustrated by Troy Venechanos

Enlarge: Make sure to click on the pic above for a closer look!

what should’ve been: the k-swiss switch

TSF let out a squeal when we saw this dress hanging in the K-Swiss showroom, and smiled when we learned that it would have a fall drop. Unfortunately, it didn’t appear at the 2009 U.S. Open as we’d expected, though its bright color and sexy silhouette would’ve been worthy of the tennis catwalk that is Flushing Meadows.

Instead, the dress debuted after the slam: at this week’s Toray Pan Pacific Open, K-Swiss mascot Kateryna Bondarenko fell to Li Na 6-2, 7-5, 6-3 after she upset Elena Dementieva in the second round. Take a look at the draw (pdf) to see how the rest of the ladies have fared.

Buy: K-Swiss Women’s Fall Dress, clover pink/black and white/ebony grey, $74.99. (Note: we had incorrectly reported the price of this dress as $59.99; the retail price is $74.99.)

More: A few other views of the dress in action after the cut…

robby ginepri is the baby bear…

… to our Goldilocks — he’s just right!

One of the treats of the Thailand Open is the ATPers doing some Muay Thai. This year they had the suuuuuuuper pasty John Isner, Gilles Simon, and Robby Ginepri get into some silk shorts and spar for the photographers.

It’s funny to see the martial artists turn Lilliputian next to Isner (they’re up to his nipples!), but they can probably still kick his butt without breaking a sweat.

More: A few more pics of John, Gilles, and Robby after the cut…

vampire stylin’

Has anyone ever seen this Nike commercial? It looks rather ’90s, but I couldn’t quite tell when it was from. And though the tennis character has both Agassi and Sampras qualities, I’m pretty sure he’s a Joe Schmoe, right?

In any case, we thought we could give you your daily dose of vampire this morning… enjoy!

short balls: it never really ends

Erwin’s proved over the last few days that the tennis news never really ends. If you haven’t been to the site in a few days, you might want to scroll all the way to the bottom of the page – there’s a lot of fresh content, folks! Now for some balls of shortness, brought to you by local lazy man, yours truly.

Fashion goes East: As Erwin proved with Venus’ headbands and Caroline’s Stella stuff, WTA fashion has hit the Eastern hemisphere with full force. Diva Asia, a Singapore-based news and gossip outlet, is all a-gabbin’ about the do’s and dont’s of the WTA tour. But to compare tennis fashion with golf?! Puhh-lease.

The Stars Come Out: For Andre and Steffi, so it appears. This weekend’s Tennis Classic, hosted by Mr. and Mrs. Graf brings together former pros Michael Chang, Corina Morariu, the Jensen brothers, Conchita Martinez and Brad Gilbert. The event, held in Mill Valley, California, is a benefit and happens this Friday through Sunday. 

Stamp of Approval: Oops, he did it again. Roger Federer‘s triumph at the French Open this year, which assured him a title at each of the four grand slams, will now be commemorated by the Austrian postal service via a Federer stamp, out next February. All those women (and men) jealous of Mirka will be buying them in droves… they get to lick Rog’s backside!!!

A Trio’s Tootles: Fabrice Santoro said good-bye to tennis at the U.S. Open last month, while Andrei Pavel and Ai Sugiyama also wrapped up long careers this month with a bid of retirement. All three had long careers, so we doubt any of them will be pulling a HingDavenKimHenin anytime soon (aka, coming out of retirement). But if they do, wouldn’t they love a return like Kimko Date Krumm has had this fall?

Never Say Die: The Serena-Williams-freaked-out-at-a-line-judge story just won’t die, being fueled over the last week by the online release of a Tampax commercial Serena shot prior to the Open where she smacks tennis balls at a petite woman and calls her “5 foot nothing”. The New York Times, Post and Daily News all weigh in on the ad campaign, which Tampax decided to run following her tirade, calling the American’s handling of the situation a demonstration of her strength of character.

Spin Offs: The Daily News even went as far to put together a photo gallery of “Sports’ Greatest Mental Meltdowns and Temper Tantrums” (our fave is Tonya Harding, of course!) and The Onion took a rare dip into the world of sports with a this racy (but funny?!) headline.

(post corrected 10/9)

sweet but short: caro’s second outing with stella

Canuck Aleksandra Wozniak‘s been on a mini-roll this week at the Toray Pan Pacific Open, first dispatching Korea Open winner Kimiko Date Krumm in three sets before getting to the quarters after Caroline Wozniacki retired in round two due to a viral infection.

But it was enough time for Caro to show off her second outfit from the adidas by Stella McCartney line, the same pieces she debuted at the 2009 U.S. Open, but this time in onyx (grey).

The two-tiered performance skirt is sold out (le sigh!), but the hyper-stitched, chunky-zippered jacket is still available via TW for $175. See another view of the jacket here.

We wish Caro the best and hope she makes a full recovery.

(image courtesy of adidas)

fashion focus: verdasco’s caught (homegrown) branding fever

fernando-verdasco-fever

Blogger HC Foo caught up (vid) with Fernando Verdasco at the Proton Malaysia Open and asked him about the timeline for his own line of merch, an idea that first manifested itself last month when some fans snapped this photo above.

The “FeVer” line (get it?) will get a bigger push at the beginning of next season, probably sold via a yet-to-be-launched website for the Spaniard.

The branding may seem a little forced — riding on the fumes of the Nike “RF” monogram created for Roger Federer — but we’re confident that it’ll lead to good things. Remember when Nole made these shirts? And now he’s lookin’ all sexy in his adidas Falcon line. Look at how far he’s come!

Meanwhile, we hope that Melanie Oudin gets on that bandwagon soon, because this s**t needs to stop. Stat.

(image via Forty Deuce via HC Foo)