shirtless…. mardy fish?

Yep, a headline we never would have bet on. Mardy Fish is the 19th seed at the 2010 US Open. He’s in the bottom half of the draw (with Federer) and shares the same quarter as buddy Andy Roddick. Meanwhile, with his recent transformation (dedicating himself to fitness as he recovered from an injury sustained in the fall of 2009), we expect to see more pictures like this.

Draw: If you want to see what Mardy’s up against in New York this year, click here.

(Wimbledon ’10 image via Getty)

the justine diaries

Justine with her fellow Barricade-wearers (Tsonga, Ivanovic, Murray) pose with the giant shoe cake at the adidas party Friday night in New York.

TSF got a chance to sit down with Justine Henin last night, a surprise guest at the adidas party celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Barricade shoe. Henin injured herself at Wimbledon, and pulled out of the US Open earlier this summer before announcing that she wouldn’t be back to playing on the tour until 2011. We knew that Justine would be getting the run around about her injury, if she’s staying in New York to watch some of the Open and the like, so we thought we’d take a light-hearted approach and ask the Belgian a few off-the-wall questions and see if she might want to become NYC besties. -NM

TennisServedFresh: Justine great to see you. If you could own your own business after your tennis career, what would it be?
Justine Henin: I would like to have my own restaurant, I don’t know which kind, but I would have to have a place in Brussels. Maybe a place with nice wine, a place that I can go with my friends and have a nice dinner.
TSF: So maybe you could boss people around?
JH: Yes! Exactly! (Laughing.) I don’t know what kind of boss I would be. I don’t have that kind of experience so I’m not sure. But it interests me a great deal.

TSF: If you were stranded on a desert island, what one possession would you take with you?
JH: My phone. Even if it wouldn’t work. Me and my phone… I hate to be alone.
TSF: That’s surprising to me, since you seem so quiet.
JH: Right, that’s what you think! (Laughing.) I talk all the time. I always have my friends and family around. They are encouraging me to have alone time, but I love to be with them and to be social. I hate to be by myself. I know I look quiet, but that’s not the case. And maybe a book, too, I love to read.
TSF: What if you took an iPad? That way you could use Google phone and read your book.
JH: Perfect. I would love that.

TSF: What music are you listening to right now?
JH: I like French music. I listen to a lot of stuff from YouTube.
I really like a variety of stuff. I like Coldplay a lot, too.
TSF: Do you ever listen to yourself sing? You know, from your variety show days?
JH: Well I love to go sing karaoke and in the shower, yes.
TSF: What about having karaoke at your imaginary restaurant in Brussels?
JH: Oh yes! We’ll have karaoke after people have a few drinks. (Laughing.)

TSF: What’s your absolute favorite city in the world?
JH:
For me, it’s Paris. It’s the most beautiful place in the world. You can look in any direction in Paris and everything looks so beautiful. I love that place in terms of history – my mom was a history teacher – and it is a place of such great culture. I don’t think I could ever live there, but I love it. And I love Montreal, too.

TSF: You’re always so fit and eating so healthy. What’s one thing in New York that you’ll chow down on while you’re here?
JH:
I don’t know. I wouldn’t go for a big burger… maybe a nice big breakfast with waffles and pancakes. A big brunch? Or New York cheesecake sounds good.

(photo by TSF)

players manage balancing act while prepping for nyc’s big show

Kim Clijsters threw out the first pitch after meeting the Mets team in Queens on Friday in New York. A day earlier, she was the USTA’s guest of honor at the draw ceremony (AP photo via Yahoo! Sports).

RalphLauren.com pulled out all the stops on Thursday afternoon for an event featuring Venus Williams, in which Venus took questions from online submissions from around the world in a live clinic. At the Sportime Randall’s Island tennis center in New York, Venus was on court for the first time in a public setting since her eyebrow-raising loss to Tsvetana Pironkova in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon. But instead of thwacking errors and a look of confusion, Venus was all smiles and tennis knowledge in the clinic, which was hosted by the British TV personality (and former player) Annabel Croft.

Venus, who is the no. 3 seed at the US Open and one of the favorites though she hasn’t been on tour in two months, talked fitness, forehands and gave plenty of tennis tips from her 26 years of experience on the court. The event was hosted by Ralph Lauren and Mercedes Benz, based on RL’s homepage for viewers to log in and watch live while Venus answered questions relayed by Croft. (Watch a full replay of the clinic here or click on the image after the jump.)

“It’s good for me to remember the basics when I’m about to play a big tournament,” Venus said, referring to the Open. Venus partnered with Ralph Lauren in the design of the dress she wore, a white number emblazoned with the logo of Eleven, Venus’s clothing line.

Guests were greeted with sweet mint tea, pistachio ice cream sandwiches and caramelized popcorn on the upper deck at Randall’s Island, which hosts the New York Sportimes during the World Team Tennis seasons. Male models clad in red Ralph Lauren polos dished out the goods as Venus strode through the crowd on her way to hair and make up (this was a live, online clinic, after all).

The clinic was a part of a myriad of events happening in New York this week, which all lead up to the big show at Flushing Meadows starting on Monday.

[Read more…]

eleven’s gilt sale is on — what’s next?

Alright, ladies, you finally have a chance to own a Venus Williams dress via the EleVen sale on Gilt.com. Included in this drop are the buzz-worthy dresses that we’ve seen her wear in the last two years: the Tie Dye Slip Dress (aka the can-can dress) from Miami ’10, $99; the Goddess Dress from Wimbledon ’08, $79; the Tie-Dye Halter Dress from Miami ’09, $89; and the Slit Front Dress from Melbourne ’10, $89.

Not pictured is a pink version of the beautiful Double Cross Back Dress, which appeared during Venus’ doubles play (with Serena) at Wimbledon ’09, $79.

We caught up with Venus at the Ralph Lauren Legends Clinic yesterday to ask her about the Gilt sale. She expressed excitement about seeing her designs again come to life; her team has taken a long time (and is still in the process of) replacing Steve & Barry, the now-defunct company that used to manufacture and sell her line.

And what’s the next step for Venus? She hinted at new EleVen designs appearing in future Gilt sales. For now, we’ll occupy ourselves with what’s been put out.

(screengrabs via Gilt)

maria sharapova contributes her two cents

Interview magazine and Cole Haan threw a party to celebrate the launch of Maria Sharapova‘s latest collection, designed in collaboration with the footwear company.

The event, held last night at the New Museum’s Sky Room, also featured an auction of pieces by artist Todd Selby to benefit Common Cents. Selby, who photographed the campaign for this collection, created watercolors of a penny, a taxicab, a portrait of Maria, plus paintings of ballerina flats and the Air Swan sandal — both shoes that feature in this, Maria’s latest crack at designing shoes.

Buy: Dress by Suno. Air Swan sandal, $198; small Swan Crossbody, $228; both at colehaan.com.

(Maria image by Chance Yeh/PatrickMcMullan.com courtesy of Cole Haan)

short balls: around the world (wide web) in 60 seconds

There’s a routine I have every time I open my Safari browser that has probably raped me of dozens (hundreds?!) of hours in my life: I go through a handful of web sites and peruse from top to bottom, gathering every little bit of information I can along the way. Most often, it’s facebook and Twitter that trip me up, people posting links that I just have to click on and then one thing leads to another and it’s past midnight and I should have gone to bed at 10:30. The only good that really comes of this is for short balls, when I get to feel like I’m “working” while I’m browsing and clicking, thus digging for the goods that we like to share here at TSF.

First item to share is related to that picture above, captured by Suzy Allman for The Wall Street Journal. The WSJ put together a slideshow of Allman’s pictures, most of which I thought were jaw-dropping. Nice to see some high-quality artistic photography happening via the Open, even during qualifying, which has been interrupted by rain and is still operating on a delayed schedule.

Within the qualy draws themselves are several intriguing match-ups, including first rounders between Jelena Dokic and Laura Robson, Tamira Paszek and Michaella Krajicek and a second-round bout between Sania Mirza and Elena Bovina. Meanwhile, Nicolas Mahut just got out of a two-month post-match massage after his epic match with John Isner at Wimbledon in time for the qualies, and former top 100 players Kei Nishikori and Harel Levy are battling the rain and ruggeds for a spot in the main draw. (Qualy draws: Men | Women)

With the Legends Clinic happening this afternoon, Polo Ralph Lauren has taken out the big cash to advertise what they’re calling “a groundbreaking live web event.” Since yesterday evening, a large banner ad and two ads flanking the masthead of the New York Times homepage has been up.

More: after the cut, another shot of the Ralph Lauren ad and short(er) balls. [Read more…]

be careful what you wish for

TSF got giddy on the train ride to New Haven upon realizing that hard-hitting fashionistas Nadia Petrova and Bethanie Mattek-Sands (yes, their dresses can literally push you around a court) had a second-round meet-up at this year’s Pilot Pen Tennis at Yale.

They didn’t disappoint.

We asked Nadia about her dress, and she thought it cool that she’s the only one wearing Ellesse for competition (no cookie cutters here). She also praised Bethanie’s style (that pink/black/white outfit is from Under Armour, of course), the creativity afforded to the sport by their on-court fashion, and hopes to have a hand in designing her clothes in the future. Will that mean more or less creamsicles? We’re not sure…

Draw: Nadia’s through to the quarters. Draw here.

(photos by TSF)

dreaming about eleven? gilty as charged

Venus WIlliams moves closer to making her designs, under the EleVen brand, available to the masses. As she mentioned in an interview with Sports Illustrated earlier this summer, she’s partnering with Gilt Groupe to sell a limited run of her dresses. They go on sale tomorrow.

Nude-colored undies? No thanks: Which dresses are you hoping to see? Our top pick: that flapper dress from this year’s Wimbledon. (And perhaps she’ll surprise us with that crocheted dress that appeared in our dreams last month…)

On your mark…: The sale starts on Friday, August 27, at 9am Pacific. We hope you snag something good!

(screengrab via Gilt.com)

tattoo watch: bethanie mattek-sands

The inside of Bethanie Mattek-Sands‘ right arm has a colorful floral tattoo. Here she is during yesterday’s second-round match at the Pilot Pen Tennis at Yale against Nadia Petrova (Sands lost 6-3, 6-2.) Nads faces Sam Stosur in what has turned out to be a solid quarterfinal line-up at this year’s tourney: Wozniacki / Pennetta, Dementieva / Bartoli, Kirilenko / Safina, and Nads/Stosur. (Draw: Women’s event)

finding grace and beauty in power

This Sunday’s New York Times Magazine has an article in this Sunday's edition about the power game dominating women's tennis. It's bundled with slo-mo video of top WTA players — Serena, Dementieva, Stosur, Clijsters, Jankovic, Zvonareva, and Azarenka — wearing designer dresses while hitting balls. Our fave is Jelena in Herve Leger. Meanwhile, wtf is Sam wearing???

Can’t wait to buy the paper on Sunday!

(image via NYT)