look-alike watch: andre goes to the dark side?

We knew that Andre Agassi was the driving force behind his new autobiography, Open, but who knew that the former Grand Slam champ had made the full transition to tennis journalist?! Guess he was jealous of Justin Gimelstob, no?

Above, at far left, Andre – or his evil twin - interviews JMdP at this week’s Championships. 

And if you don’t buy our assertion, at least give us an idea of who the guy on the right might be. Donald Trump?!

(photo via yahoo! sports)

new york calendar: l. jon, james and melanie

For tennis fans in New York, this week is going to be a grand one. The time of year that used to ring in the WTA’s Season Ending Championships has been frighteningly dead since the tour left early in the decade, leaving fans reeling after the excitement of the US Open.

On Monday, tennis journalist L. Jon Wertheim, author of Venus Envy and the more-recent Strokes of Genius, will be a part of a sports writers’ panel at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe in SoHo. The night will also feature author Jesse Katz and New York mag’s Will Leitch. The three writers will each read a selection from their respective books and then take questions from the audience at the event, which starts at 7 PM at the Bookstore Cafe. Check it out for free.

Also on this week, on Tuesday, James Blake will host a tennis exhibition at Pier 94 downtown. The night will feature Andy Roddick and is rumored to also include upstart Melanie Oudin. Tickets can still be found here, along with a full list of events for the evening. 

(photo by Arancia Project via Flickr.)

short balls friday

If you’re like me, you’re still full from yesterday, but nonetheless able to chow down on some left over for breakfast and lunch… and dinner, too. In any case, Happy (Late) Thanksgiving from your TSF crew.

A few short notes from a short week in the States…

Name Game: Didn’t know that Whitney Houston and Brittany Spears play college basketball? Well, they do, at University of Colorado. And no, that isn’t the correct spelling of thee Britney Spears, but hey, pretty funny, right? Speaking of famous names, the headline Federer to Return to Broadway caught my eye today but a little investigation proved Roger won’t be dialing in his singing skills for New York crowds this winter.

Tennislarity: The number of people who are now actively playing tennis in the country rose in the recent past, according to a new study out last week. We’ll take credit for that one. Everyone wants a body like Kolya’s… or Nole’s. Or maybe it’s that Arlen Kantarian just went out and paid people to play? Guess he could have afforded it.

Playing for Pride: Two American journeymen – Michael Russell and Taylor Dent – battled it out in the heartland last week for a satellite title. Who’s going to have a big 2010? Either of these guys… we’d like to see it. Russell won this encounter in two tight sets.

Ridiculously… Funny? We’re not sure. You tell us.

tuesday tease (sans tees)

Is that tongue?! Has the ATP joined forces with MAP for our London Balls idea?! We mean, it is the end of the season, so you can’t really blame us for wishful thinking, right?

Novak Djokovic took down Nikolay Davydenko 7-5 in the third set in their round robin encounter on Tuesday in London. The two have now met five times, with Djoko holding a 3-2 edge in the series. 

OK, yes, we agree, more pictures. After the jump. Go! [Read more…]

who wore it best?

(Click on image for a closer, clearer look.)

The boys do London, in suits. So… Who wore it best? And we’re sorry for saying this, but we can’t help but think this might be the opening shot of Men at Play‘s London Balls feature. You know you thought it too.

One more shot after the jump. [Read more…]

sunday survey: dig the new digs?

Novak Djokovic may be one of the hottest players on court headed into the season-ending championships this week in London, but the big news splash the Serb made over the last few days was his switch from clothing company adidas to Italian line Sergio Tacchini.

Current Tacchiniers include Flavia Pennetta, Tommy Robredo, Sara Errani, Ivo Karlovic, Steve Darcis and Victor Hanescu. Djokovic is by far the highest profile player to wear the line since John McEnroe and Pete Sampras sported the threads early in their careers. Martina Hingis wore Tacchini shoes and then sued the company for foot problems during her first “retirement”.

So what do you think? Are you excited to see Nole in ST?! Will you miss the snazzy colors of adidas on tennis’ brightest male personality? What do you think this means for Nole’s career? Let us know below.

short balls wednesday

Vera Gets Glittery: We’re a little confused with that background, Vera. The Russian most famous for her on-court meltdowns is trying to outdo her real self with a virtual self that is bright, sparkly and downright frightening. We do give Vera the credit for having her site available in three languages (English, Russian and Chinese), but these colors… Oh, these colors! They’re enough to make us want to rip tape off our knees and hit ourselves in the face repeatedly.

Career, Interrupted: We have to agree with Yanina Wickmayer that the timing of her ban from tennis couldn’t be worse. The Belgian star who made the US Open semifinals and had a successful end of the year is now facing a year away from the tour after having a fantastic fall. Don’t feel bad for the girl? Just read this article

On a Roll: He may be Slam-less in nearly two years, but we do have to agree, Novak Djokovic is on a roll. What’s next for Nole? A London title? He won’t have Andy Roddick to contend with

Shortest Balls: Sam Querrey is working on returning from his freak accident just seven weeks after it happened. Venus Williams was named “Sports Woman of the Year” by the March of Dimes in New York. And two teens in North Carolina played the longest (amateur) tennis match ever. Foofta.

(photo via the wta web site)