holiday james



James Blake will give New York tennis fans a reason to love winter come this December: indoor tennis. The Billie Jean King Cup tried to fill the void this past March left by the WTA Championships, and even got snow for their early-spring event. But Blake and his crew have scheduled an exhibition for December 1st at Pier 94, and you bet the winter winds send people inside as fast as a Blake forehand.

Blake’ll be joined by one Andy Roddick at the December event, along with what promises to be a host of New York celebrities and well-known faces. The exhibition, BackOffice Associates Serving For A Cure with James Blake will raise money for the cancer research fund in his father’s name, Thomas Blake, Sr., who passed away several years ago.

pier-94

It wont just be a Roddick-Blake tennis evening, the event will also include an after party that will feature a celebrity musical performance, a selection of food from a variety of high profile New York City restaurants, and fashion show featuring Blake’s new clothing a press release said.

That clothing line, the Thomas Reynolds Collection by Fila, will be on our radar after Fila threw a high-brow event this past August prior to the US Open. Here’s hoping to James walking the catwalk…

Tickets for the exhibition can be found a few places online, but check this link to nab your own for the mid-winter tennis fest.

(pier 94 photo by bsblacky via panoramio)

shoulder powder, be gone!



gasquet-shoulder-powder

Guilty or not, Richard Gasquet will have to shoulder the burden of his bizarre cocaine-positive test from this year for a long, long time. Leave it to his countrymen and their dry, quirky humor to make sure the former Top 10 player won’t forget such a thing in the near future.

TSF contributor Troy Venechanos sent me this video for my viewing pleasure and I had to share. Watch the hilarious faux commercial “Coke en Shoulders” after the jump. [Read more...]

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)


nono bags first win since the french



Munchkin Watch: Two snaps for Arnaud Clement for snapping a six-match losing streak that dated all the way back to this year’s French Open. Now he’s into the second round of the IF Stockholm Open after defeating fifth-seed Andreas Beck 6-4, 6-2 — this, after successfully getting through qualifying and earning a spot in the main draw.

Buy: Clement’s wearing the Short Sleeve Solid Super Dry Lacoste polo in black. Check out all the colors (starting at $51.99) at lacoste.com.

(image via Getty)

the cutest barbed wire i have ever seen



The folks at Athletic DNA have given Aussie Peter Luczak a patriotic version of their Warrior tee (yes, we quiver in the face of all that barbed wire!). Unfortunately, this tough exterior was no match for the fresh Joachim Johansson, backed by his hometown crowd in their first-round battle at this week’s IF Stockholm Open.

Buy: Athletic DNA warrior tee, in white/grey, $49.95 at athleticdna.com.

(image via Getty)