sunday survey: your clay gal

We understand that isn’t winning fashion that Aravane Rezai is sporting in Madrid, but that doesn’t seem to matter much. Girl took home gold over Venus in straight sets and could be a dark horse at the French Open starting in a week’s time.

It got us thinking: Who has had the best clay-court season in preparation for the big ball in Paris?

(photo via yahoo! sports)

short balls: mac does the times, djoko the big screen and serena is no justine (!)

John McEnroe might not act like one any more, but he still knows how to dress like a teenager. The tennis legend got front-page billing on NYTimes.com with a story about his new New York-based academy. (Screengrab via NYTimes.com)

Action! No Djoking Around. Serbian star Novak Djokovic has struggled in the last couple of years with his on-court stamina (will this be the issue that haunts his career?). He hasn’t struggled, meanwhile, with the ability to garner big-time acting roles in his home country. Djoko is starring in a documentary about the 1923 Serbian World Cup team, and fellow tennis buff Nenad Zimonjic is putting his footwork on display, too.

I’m no Justine. There were plenty of moments in Rome last weeks (Rome-ments?!). But one of our faves was Serena making sure that Jelena Jankovic know that she wasn’t pulling a Justine on the Serb. After the match, Serena assured Jankovic that she didn’t intentionally try to distract her opponent by putting her hand up while Janky was serving in the third-set tie-break, an exchange Serena knows plenty about.

[Read more...]

sunday survey: your rome-ment

There were plenty of moments in Rome. Let us break them down for you:

Maria Kirilenko takes out French defending champ Svetlana Kuznetsova, sending Kuzzie’s clay court record this season to almost equal that of fellow ’09 champ Roger Federer in the “Dismal” category.

Ana Ivanovic marches to the semifinals with wins over Victoria Azarenka and Elena Dementieva.

Jelena Jankovic creams Venus Williams, losing just one game in their quarterfinal encounter.

JJ prevails over Serena in a dramatic three-set win, giving her back-to-back wins over the Williams sisters.

Maria Jose Sanchez Martinez beats Caroline Wozniacki, Ivanovic and Jankovic to take the Italian title as an unseeded player.

Which was your Rome-ment? Was one most surprising to you? Did you take pleasure in Ana’s run? Could you believe Sveta exited early again? What do you make of JJ’s wins over the Williams sisters? Is she a threat for the French? Are the Williams sisters a threat themselves? Let us know in the comment section.

(photo by getty images via wta web site)

eroddickly yours

Over the past few years, TSF has closely followed the path of Stick It Wear?!, a California-based sports apparel company run by designer Joe Durica. And for good reason: SIW has continuously churned out trendy tennis-inspired tees that feature a myriad of former and current tennis stars in classy illustrated stick form, including our all-time fave, El Toro.

Recently, Durica has expanded his coverage to the lower regions, revealing the aptly-named Eroddick women’s underwear line. The bottoms come in black or white and can be donned with a pink or gray Nadal, Agassi, Safin or Ivanovic illustration for just $16.99 a pair.

“Orders are non stop on this,” Durica said of the Eroddick, whose shop at Indian Wells is shown above.

But butts aren’t the only thing SIW is covering these days. In addition to the new Eroddicks and already-established t-shirts, a new line of zip-up sweatshirts called Rivalries. The Rivalries line centerpieces great rivalries (Borg/Mac, Sampras/Agassi, Roger/Rafa) with two stick characters divided by the zipper itself. A true fashion battleground.

See shots of the Eroddicks (we know you want to!) after the cut. [Read more...]

short balls: the clay is upon us

In my hometown of Helena, Mont., they hold a parade each spring known as the Vigilante Day Parade. The event commemorates Helena’s history as a mining community, and high school students get together in groups or 8 or 10 to put together historical floats. From remembering mining expeditions to drive-in restaurants to classic sports teams, it’s always a fun affair on the downtown walking mall. I was happy to see there were a couple of tennis floats this year. Even Montanans can get their tennis on. And how about that old-time fashion?

Speaking of fashion, I took in Adult Ed‘s program, “Success Stories” last night with a few friends, including fellow blogger Rich, of Down the Line! fame. Andrew Feldman‘s talk on tennis fashion was superb. He gave shout outs to the likes of Bill Tilden, Serena Williams and Bethanie Mattek-Sands. The mixed crowd of Brooklyn hipsters was thoroughly impressed (and somewhat shocked?) by all the chatting about tennis fashion. Yes, us geeks are out there, everyone. They’ll get used to us eventually.

Sport itself got a great fashion nod this month as World Cup competitors took to the cover (and insides!) of Vanity Fair. Meanwhile, Seattle’s weekly paper, The Stranger, ran a great feature on the fashionistas (and designers and handy people and on and on) that make the Seattle art world tick. An injured Kim Clijsters got her fashion on last week, as well, debuting her Fila summer clothes and even showing some undershort in the process. Mama is bold!

There’s plenty going on in the human-interest side of things this week. Sports Illustrated‘s Gary Smith called recently-out rugby player Gareth Thomas the “bravest man in the world” and the boys of Slate.com‘s podcast backed that statement up. Slate’s crew also talked about the early retirement of Mexican L0rena Ochoa from golf, throwing in some Henin/Clijsters comparisons along the way.

Shahar Peer opened up in a New York Times piece about a Holocaust site visit with her grandmother, who is a survivor. It was a feel-good story in tennis that delved a little deeper, something we haven’t seen in the recent past from a injury- (and drama) filled tour. And if you haven’t heard about Electron Boy yet, you need to. Or watch here.

Briefly: The Feliciano Lopez drama is now approaching Sania Mirza-like levels. Writer Maria Burns Ortiz takes down Jim Courier (in Wii tennis). And it’s been a tough go for Robert Dee on the court and in court, too.

(vigilante day parade photo by dylan brown/the helena independent record)

sunday survey: who’s your favorite?

Justine Henin and Rafael Nadal were both victorious at separate big-time clay events today, taking out formidable opponents to garner wins in May. Later this month, both will look to re-vamp their careers with campaigns at the French Open.

It got us thinking: who do you think has a better shot at Roland Garros? Henin or Nadal? Or, if you think neither of them have much of a chance at all, tell us who you think looks like a good bet to leave Paris with a Slam title.

(photo by afp via getty images from the 2007 french open draw ceremony)