short balls: drugs, retirees and juniors collide!

Drug-Ball-Newsclip 
A different ‘Drug Ball': We’re not talking tennis players ‘roiding up here, folks. More like the incarcerated using the most polite ball in sport do to the dirty work: import drugs. Tennis balls were found at a New Orleans jail that outsiders were throwing (hitting?!) over the fence to smuggle in drugs, hidden inside of the balls. Game, set, and catch, we guess.

Party like it’s 2003: Second seed and wild card Kim Clijsters defeated Meghann Shaughnessy at the Luxembourg Open today. As TSF contributor Troy Venechanos put it: “Clijsters defeated Shaughnessy? What year is this?!” It most certainly could have been 2003, the last year those two women met

More blasts from the past: Other tennis names from the past were most certainly filling the world’s sports web pages on Tuesday. Martina Hingis made it clear she was pulling no HingDavenKimHenin in the near future by ruling out the possibility of making a comeback to professional tennis. She cited her horses and home life as reasons to stay put. Meanwhile, Mats Wilander will no longer coach the Swedish Davis Cup team. Maybe it was due to such poor attendance at their spring tie? Just maybe.

Not to be left out, we dug up this video of John McEnroe being defaulted from a champion’s match last year in Newport. Talk about bringing the past to the present. And yes, we’re serious. Watch it. 

Small players, big deals: Junior female tennis players Kyra Shroff and Sloane Stephens made big news over the last week, respectively. Shroff, the 80th ranked junior in the world and a former student at Mahesh Bhupathi‘s tennis academy (is this girl an up-and-comer or what?! We’re not sure why she’s making headlines…) will be a brand ambassador for Nike Sportswear. Stephens, who has somewhat of a better noted history on and off the court, has been signed by BEST, a sports marketing company.BEST beat out Octagon and IMG, regulars in the tennis-rep realm.

The signing associates Stephens with another fresh American face, Melanie Oudin, and guarantees that Sloane, currently ranked 5th in the junior game, will play several SEWTA pro-level tournaments next year.

Rafa on the rise: Thought Rafa was popular? Not compared to gymnast Shawn Johnson. Forbes.com looks at athletes and their marketability (aka brand opportunity), and though Johnson didn’t earn gold at last year’s Olympics, she did come out on top of her fellow athletes in brand appeal. Rafa’s up there, but still has a ways to climb…

(screen grab via youtube.com)


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