short balls: paris says au revior to the french?

Once little-confirmed rumors have reached the top of tennis’s tier, as this week the tournament director for the French Open said that there is a good chance that the tournament might say good bye to its current grounds inside the Paris city limits because of future growth plans. A bigger tourney means a new place? We’re not sure if we like that.

Tennis. It’s healthy. The USPTA, the professional organization of tennis teaching pros, announced a re-design of tennis-health.com. Though the layout doesn’t threaten the design of today’s top pro’s sites, we’ve gotta hand it to the folks at the USPTA for their continued commitment to health and tennis. Forgot tennis was a lifelong sport? Shame on you!

Partytown, USA. We’re sad to be missing a barrage of parties this week in Miami that are happening in line with the Sony Ericsson Open. FILA‘s Friday Night bash will be most missed on our calendar, along with their fashion show on Saturday. There’s two mixology sessions that have our mouths watering. Best we get to Miami for some fashion and drinks (and yes, some tennis!), next year.

So Long, Butch. The founder of what is known today as the Sony Ericsson Open, Butch Bucholz, is retiring from his position as chairman of the event after nearly three decades with the event, which many called tennis’s “Fifth Major”.

Missing Serena? Venus is there. Venus Williams will be the lone sister in Miami competing for the family. She takes a ten-match win streak into the tournament. Her last loss came to Li Na at the Australian Open.

(photo via getty images)

who says you can’t buy maria sharapova’s love?

Zheng Jie put on a show in front of the Southern California crowd in attendance at last weekend’s session at the BNP Paribas Open when she took out Maria Sharapova in the third round. The loooong match, which Zheng won 6-3 2-6 6-3, lasted for about three hours; it didn’t help that Masha has a Mary Pierce-like pre-serve ritual; neither did the multiple games with multiple deuces.

But what does it matter when you’ve got a hot baller boyfriend? Or when you’ve out-accesorized your opponent? There were the green drop earrings; the warm-up jacket in a Victorian silhouette; the Prince racquet bag, prettier (in person) than we’d expected it to be; and the gym duffle (“Valentine”) from her line with Cole Haan. The duffle reminds us of Masha’s black and silver dress from the 2009 U.S. Open.

Buy: Cole Haan Valentine Large Duffle, $228, also available with patent leather detail; Small Tote, $198, also available in black patent leather (our choice!); colehaan.com.

Bracket: Zheng made it to the quarters before losing to Caro, who’s now in the semis. (Singles Draw). And her doubles team with Chan upset top seeds Huber/Black in the opening round but they couldn’t get past Peschke/Srebotnik in the semis. (Doubles Draw)

More: Detail shots of Maria’s Indian Wells outfit — all after the cut…

in the hot desert sun, a cool and refreshing nadia petrova

Nadia Petrova must have heard about our dislike for desert heat (yeeeahah, we don’t “dry” heat a consolation) because she came out dressed as an orange creamsicle for her second-round match against Patty Schnyder at the BNP Paribas Open, happening at Indian Wells this week.

Nadia’s Ellesse outfit is the same she’s worn so far this year (including the 2010 Australian Open); there’s also a black version of this dress as well as a sleeker (i.e., non-ruffled; non-rouched) counterpart.

Bracket: Petrova, the 16th-seed at Indian Wells, lost to Caroline Wozniacki in the fourth round. The Dane’s set to face Agnieszka Radwanska in the bottom-half semi; Jankovic and Sam Stosur will duke it out in the top half. (Draw: Women’s Singles)

Up close: See a few more shots of Nadia’s dress after the cut…

tattoo watch: philipp kohlschreiber

German Philipp Kohlschreiber fell to second seed Nole Djokovic at the 2010 BNP Paribas Open — but not without a fight. He took the second set and pushed Djokovic to a tiebreak in the third, exposing the Serb’s weakened game; Djokovic lost to veteran Ivan Ljubicic 7-5, 6-3 in the round after. Up next for Ivan in the quarters is Juan Monaco (!), who beat Gigi Lopez in three sets. (Draw: Men’s Singles.)

Buy: adidas Men’s Spring Competition Crew, in black/core teal/white, $38.99; the Barricade-esque Tirand III, $59.95.

Tattoo Watch: TSF ran into Kohlschreiber during one of his practice sessions. Did you know he has a tattoo on his right shoulder? Up close: See it after the cut…

yanina wickmayer: you should go read “open”

Belgian Yanina Wickmayer — 13th seed at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells — was the last of her countrywomen to stand ground in the singles draw: wildcard Justine Henin was “upset” in the first round by Gisela Dulko; Kim Clijsters‘ plan to play no matches (save for the BJK Cup) between the Aussie ’til now failed against Alisa Kleybanova; and Kirsten Flipkens couldn’t hold her own against Elena Dementieva, who we’re hoping will take this whole thing.

Yanina fell to the Twitter-unfriendly Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez 6-4, 6-4 in the fourth round. MJMS next faces eighth seed Sam Stosur, who booted (coachless!) defending champion Vera Zvonareva from the tourney. (Draw: Women’s singles)

Wickmayer’s drug-related off-court battles are still in the air; she has an appeal pending with Belgian courts as well as with the Court for Arbitration of Sport. It could be months before rulings are handed down by those institutions. (Speaking of, the president of the ITF has been asked if anything’s going to happen to Andre Agassi after he revealed in his autobiography that he’s used meth during his career and lied to officials about it. Unfortunately, the statute of limitations is eight years and has already expired [just the right timing for publication?]. Thus, he’s off the hook.)

And now for the serious stuff: As usual, Yanina looked good in her Erke get-up, this time using a palette of blue and grey with pops of pink (and some graphics). See some detail shots (including her Nike shoes and her pink gym bag) — all after the cut…

(ot) what’s been on our mind

Judging by the pics we saw via Refinery29 of photographer Ryan McGinley‘s latest exhibit, we’re all about his refreshing move away from landscapes and towards raw portraits. Visit: “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere”, Team Gallery, New York City; through April 17, 2010.

And over at Recession Rags, they’re mining the nooks and crannies of clothing manufacturers all over the city for scrabs of fabrics then turned into shorts, pants, scarves, and suspenders. Look at the fun patterns they’re using for neckwear. Browse: Wrap your head around the goods here. (via Thrillist)

roger and nike at indian wells

Keeping with the usual plan of keeping R-Fed’s Nike outfits fairly low-key, the top seed’s clothes at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif. didn’t distract from his game. (Still, he was upset by Marcos Baghdatis in the third round.)

Note a few deets: first up is that stripe that breaks up the collar of his All Court polo; also note the horizontal contrast line that runs along the placket of the shirt. His black Vapors are pretty darn shiny and have an “RF” monogram on the heel. TSF saw a pair of these on site (worn by a spectator) and it’s very reminiscent of his Darth Federer from the 2007 U.S. Open.

And in case you’re keeping track, he’s traded his diaper bag from the Australian Open with this more demure gym bag.

Buy: Nike Lunarlite Vapor Tour, $120; Spring All Court Polo; $80.

(Federer images via Getty Images; bag photo by TSF)

sightings in the stands: gwen and gavin

Moral support: Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale were on hand to watch their besty Roger Federer — top seed at this week’s BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif. — lose to 27th-seed Marcos Baghdatis 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (4). Roger had a match point in that twelfth game of the third set but couldn’t convert. TSF was on hand to watch Marcos smoke Arnaud Clement 7-6 (7), 6-1 in the second round and he’s playing pretty well this week.

Looking forward: Marcos next faces Tommy Robredo (in the fourth round) and possibly Andy Roddick in the quarters. (Men’s Draw [pdf])

(image via Getty Images)

girls just want to have fun (moms included)

14th seed Kim Clijsters became the latest high seed casualty at the 2010 BNP Paribas Open when she fell to 23rd seed (and head-jerker) Alisa Kleybanova 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (7-4). Up next for the Russian is Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro, who took out top seed Sveta Kuznetsova in the round prior.

“What got me to be ahead was I was playing aggressive tennis and being dominant,” Clijsters said about her performance, which saw her get back into the match by winning the second set but losing a 4-0 lead in the third. “[Kleybanova] put me under pressure during those long rallies and I kind of just backed off a little bit.” Clearly her rust from not having played competitively since the Australian Open (save for two matches at the Billie Jean King Cup earlier this month) was showing.

But before she bowed out, Clijsters played to her girlier side by joining the rest of the WTAers who’ve been toting cute gym bags onto the court. From the current batch of accessories at Fila, Kim chose the brand’s Signature Quilt Bowler. We’ve been eyeing the gold version of that same bag…

Buy: Fila Signature Quilt Bowler, available in white, black, chinese red, and gold, $49.99, at buy.com. And her outfit: Center Court Sleeve Top, in ebony/white and white/hot coral, $48; Wrap Skort, ebony/white/hot coral, $45; Jacket, $68.

(photo courtesy of Fila)