the tsf interview with laura robson

Walking up to the grounds for day one of Wimbledon in 2009, I was surprised to hear most English tennis fans weren’t really talking about Andy Murray or the Rafa-Roger rivalry, but instead about the new starlet of British tennis: Laura Robson.

The year before, Laura had won the Girl’s Singles title at Wimbledon, becoming the first home-grown champion in the singles bracket since 1984 and launching her into a kind of celebrity that garnered her an opening-day billing on Court No. 2 at the Championships in 2009. And this just wasn’t any opening-day match, but rather one that was opening the new stadium, making Robson the name to watch on the court’s first-ever match.

Since her run at Wimbledon in ’08 and her ’09 ceremonial opening, Robson has made a habit of playing a contained schedule mixed of both girlsjunior events and WTA and ITF circuit matches. The past two US Opens, the 16-year-old Brit has bowed out in the the third round of qualifying, just short of a shot at the main draw.

This week in Tokyo, however, Robson qualified for the main draw [PDF] of a WTA tournament for just the second time in her career (Birmingham, 2010). She lost in the opening round to Greta Arn, but some say the calculated approach by Team Robson to keep the young Brit on a light schedule and continue to grow her physically and mentally (she played one official tournament between Wimbledon and the Open) could pay dividends in her future.

But before we get all crystal ball on you, we were happy to get a few questions into Laura via email. She’s an active Tweeter, with a good sense of (dry, British) humor, and has professed love for Neil Patrick Harris, Chipotle, YouTube watching, Bikram yoga, fantasy football (soccer) and much, much more.

TSF: If you could meet Neil Patrick Harris in person, what would you ask him?

Laura Robson: I would ask “How did you get so cool?”.

TSF: After winning a match in the States, are you most likely headed to a Chipotle? How many times did you go there while in New York?

LR: After a match I am most likely to head anywhere that is going to be relatively quick, Chipotle is perfect for that reason. We must have gone there 5 or 6 times throughout the whole trip.

TSF: What’s your hidden talent? Like something that would make you a YouTube star?

LR: I can juggle pretty well. Really bad singers also become popular on YouTube. I could be one of those people.

TSF: Last year it was “Party in the USA.” What song are you jamming out to at this US Open?

LR: This US Open I was rocking out to Lenny Kravitz, Drake and I listen to a lot of Dubstep music (if you haven’t heard any Dubstep, YouTube ‘Four Floors (Diplo Edit) – Sunday Girl‘). Sounds amazing on massive speakers.

More with Laura Robson, BFF to FortyDeuceTwits, after the cut. [Read more...]

sunday survey: your summer story

There was lots of things happening on the pro tennis tours this summer. There were some strange storylines with confusion surrounding the injuries of Serena Williams and Juan Martin del Potro and a wild US Open culminated with two familiar champions winning in vastly different ways.

We asked earlier this summer what you thought would take shape for the US Open Series, now we’re curious – with the Series past and the year’s final Slam in the books: what was your summer story?

Was it the absence (and off-court activity) of Serena? Was it the mom-can-defend Slam run by one Kim Clijsters? Was it Rafa claiming his ninth major, completing the career Slam? Or did something altogether different capture your tennis eye (like, say, Nadia’s outfit)? Perhaps you were inspired by the runs of Vera or Novak, or loved the story that Sweet Caroline just may prove her #1 ranking after a title in New Haven and an impressive run to the semis. Dare we even mention the Andy Roddick debacle? Maybe that was your fave for other reasons…

Tell us in the comment section below.

(photo by kyliemm via flickr.)

flashback: robert kendrick’s dna shirt

Robert Kendrick qualified for the 2010 US Open but had the bad luck of drawing Gael Monfils in the first round. Kendrick was up 2-1 and 40-0 in the fifth but couldn’t hold on in the end.

The black/blue print on the American’s white Athletic DNA crew was a welcome deviation from the trend of solid colors and subtle detailing that dominated the players’ clothing at Flushing Meadows. (Others wearing graphics were Gael in K-Swiss, the boys of Joma and Venus Williams‘ dress from the Tide contest.) Buy: This shirt’s not online, but check out the rest of the company’s goods here.

More: Three other pictures from that first-round match against Gael after the cut…

zverev’s through to the finals in metz

Qualifier Mischa Zverev‘s through to the finals of the Open de Moselle in Metz after Richard Gasquet withdrew because of a fever. He’ll face Gilles Simon, who took out Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 6-2.

A long way: At the 2009 US Open, Zverev and Yanina Wickmayer were the only ones wearing Erke. A year later, their stable also includes Benjamin Becker and Tommy Robredo.

(image via Getty Images)

spotted in the city: vintage does 2010

TSF is introducing a new series of posts that we’re calling “spotted in the city”. These posts will be full of the random stuff that your TSF editors come across in the daily world of New York and Los Angeles. From shoe sightings on the street to storefronts to a tennis celeb on the pavement, we’re ready with our low-quality cell phone cameras to capture tennis fashion off the courts. See something you think might work for the series? Snap a pic and send us a note! The best part is you don’t have to be in NYC or LA… or any city for that matter! Tennis fashion is happening all over the place, and  we always love to hear from our readers. -NM

We spotted this vintage HEAD tennis racquet and cover at a Housing Works Thrift Shop in SoHo a few weeks ago. The thing was going for $6. The strings were intact and the grip felt good. We’re a little disappointed we didn’t swipe it for leisure play with friends this fall! Remember: another HEAD sighting in SoHo, earlier this year. (Full disclosure: I work for Housing Works, Inc.)

The back wall at the Boast party this past week in NoHo was covered in stylish, old-school photos aplenty. The re-launch party – cleverly tagged “Back in play” – was at the art space 40 Great Jones.

A model holds court (or street) outside the Boast party in NoHo. She was sipping on a Southside cocktail – oh so delicious!

(tsf photos)

flashback: youzhny, like ginepri, remembers a tragedy

Russian Mikhail Youzhny, seeded 12th at the 2010 US Open, joined fellow ATPer Robby Ginepri in remembering the 9/11 tragedy from ten years earlier. Unlike Gineps’ specially made Under Armour kit, Mikhail chose a somber ribbon to (awkwardly) pin on the left shoulder of his blue adidas Barricade crew.

In Flushing Meadows, he swatted off upset attempts by John Isner, Tommy Robredo, and Stan Wawrinka — two four-setters; one five- — and eventually ran out of steam as he went up against top seed Rafa Nadal. Still, props to Mikhail for equaling his best result at a major (he also reached the Open semis in 2006, beating Nadal in the quarters and losing to Roddick).

Buy: adidas Barricade Crew, in Blue Beauty/Red, at Midwest Sports.

More: A few other pics of Youzhny’s US Open after the cut…

while you’re drooling over federer’s balls, i’ll be over here with his bag

Video: A TV ad for Lindt with Roger Federer, who’s traveling through an airport security line with some balls in his bag. He gets questioned by two agents, and awkwardness ensues.

While the gals were busy ogling Federer’s behind, I was drooling over this — one of his “RF” bags from Nike. <3

fashion focus: starfish in a little blue box

You know about our affinity for all things aquatic (what’s the word for “lover of dead zones”?), so it should come as no surprise that we’re into designer Elsa Peretti‘s line of starfish jewelry for Tiffany. Peretti is also the one behind the drop earrings worn by Maria Sharapova as part of her 2010 Wimbledon get-up.

Browse: Our fave is that simple brooch, available in 18k gold ($2,200) and sterling silver ($350). Rest of the goods are here.

(screengrab via tiffany.com)

in metz, a beautiful museum

Speaking of Metz (where ATP this week has a tour stop, the Open de Moselle), the city is now home to the Centre Pompidou-Metz, an outpost of the museum in Paris and designed by Shigeru Ban and partner Jean de Gastines.

The structure — in all its glue lam glory — is situated in the center of the city, making everyone ask whether it’ll do the same for Metz what the Guggenheim did for Bilbao. (Read: Christopher Hawthorne’s take in the LAT)

Brackets: The men are playing the quarterfinals today (Kohlschreiber upsets top-seeded Cilic; Simon needs three to beat Malisse; Zverev over Nieminen). See the results here.

(museum img src; player pic via Getty Images)

flashback: robby ginepri wears UA (with a cause)

Robby Ginepri found out about his fellow Under Armour athletes wearing pieces from the UA Freedom line, a brand initiative launched by UA in collaboration with the Wounded Warrior Project to honor American folks in the service (and also public safety officials) via monetary, product, and volunteer support. And since the 2010 US Open was happening during the 9th anniversary of 9/11, Gineps asked UA to make him a special version of his Edge Crew — this time with the UA Freedom logo on his right sleeve — to wear for the tournament. Robby lost in the first round to Eduardo Schwank 6-4, 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-3.

The UA Freedom logo.

No word yet on whether Robby will keep wearing UA Freedom gear (or if this was a one-time thing for the Open).

Read up: Find out more about the Wounded Warrior Project.

Buy: Under Armour Edge Crew, $31.99, tennisexpress.com.

More: Ginepri pics after the cut…