on the 12th day of giftmas: we give you rest

Yes, oh tired tennis fan, we know: you’re oh, so sleepy. Fear not, because on the twelfth day of Christmas we give you rest and wish you all the best of a holiday weekend/ week/ hour/ day/ minute/ fortnight. We’ll be back in early 2011 to give you all the goodies of the tennis fashion world. Thank you for reading. Thank you for being you. Thank you, Bethanie Mattek Sands.
-Erwin, Nick & Co.

(picture by aleftina via flickr.)

on the 11th day of giftmas, the ladies get their due

Best Dress: The adidas dress worn by Caroline Wozniacki during the last leg of the 2010 WTA season gets top marks in our books, and you should pick it up (even just as a collectible!). Buy: Tennis Performance Dress, $120.

Ruffled, but in a good way: NYC-based Loup has a sale through December 31 — 15% off your purchase (just enter the code “Holiday” at checkout). Our picks include the Sweatshirt Jacket (left) and the Ruffle Sweatshirt (right).

Icing on the cake: Who can turn down dessert? Links of London‘s Wimbledon-themed charms, including this one of a strawberry (representing the iconic dish served on the grounds of the AELTC) are a good addition to any bracelet. Buy: Enamel Strawberry Charm, $85.

on the 10th day of giftmas: who needs the court?

Online offerings: There really is nothing better than getting out on the tennis court and playing some tennis. But before you do that, there’s plenty of tools online to maximize just how – and why – you play. Sure, the web is full of tennis news, but there is a unique niche that exists that helps you with your game and find out more about the sport you love than just the latest ATP scores.

The kids are all right: We’ll start at the bottom – or at least those who are closest to the ground. 10andundertennis.com was launched by the USTA this summer, and the site goes along with the rule changes that the national organization is starting to phase into the instructional world and will see at the competitive level in its entirety in 2012. Why do we love this site so much? The USTA has created such a wide-reaching hub for parents (and kids!) that you can head there to find out everything about how the game will change for the little tikes: from new equipment and gear to training, programs and events that kids can tap into, it’ll no longer be a dang big court for the first few years of swinging.

All you need is a racket, a ball and a screen: But for those of us who are over 10 (and we guess most (most!) of our readers are), there is a dang big court out there that we have to deal with. We’ve always been fans of FuzzyYellowBalls, the instructional web site that takes the games of the pros – in video! – and helps you learn how to improve your own. Head instructor Will Hamilton has been around since 2007, and the site has grown to be the most popular instructional site in the world. We dig the site for its visual advantage: if you learn best from watching and then doing, this is the place where you can watch how to do it right, and then put the practice to work out on the court.

Find a partner: Especially when you’re new to a place, the web can be the perfect place to find a tennis partner to play tennis. We’re going with LetsPlayTennis.com, where you can find profiles and USTA ratings of potential battle mates.

Rebounces has been around for a while, but this holiday season we’re digging their replay option, which allows you to ship balls to them and get them rebounced and playable once again. That’s seriously green. Or bright yellow. Or whatever color tennis balls are. Reasonable rates: 100 balls for $45, 250 for $100 or 500 for $185. And you’re saving plastic.

(photo by Ligia Cuevas-Johnson via usta.com)

on the ninth day of giftmas…. a brief pause

Much like storm drains here in rainy, rainy Los Angeles, we here at TSF are a little backlogged today. The ninth installment of our holiday gift guide (clothing for the ladies!) should be up before day’s end. Stay dry!

top chefs at the u.s. open

Flashback: Check out Bravo’s Top Chef for a peek into the food at the 2010 U.S. Open. As you may know, this latest, all-stars season of the reality competition is set in NYC, and this Wednesday’s episode was filmed this past September at the year’s final major.

Taylor Dent and Chef Tony Mantuano (who helms Spiaggia in Chicago and worked on the menu at Wine Bar Food at the USTABJKNTC) are guests on the episode. They’ll join host Padma Lakshmi, head judge Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons, and Anthony Bourdain.