ana ivanovic: eat, play, love



To celebrate Ana Ivanovic‘s victory in Bali, we thought we’d release the cover of her new book, Eat Play Love. Everyone knows what an affable, sweet girl Ana is, and now you can read about her journey to find herself – and her game – across five continents.

(troy venechanos illustration)

short balls: dent says farewell to tennis



Taylor-made: Taylor Dent announced his retirement from pro tennis this week, following a 12-year career that saw him reach as high as no. 21 in the world. Dent, now 29, won four career titles but saw his progress cut short due to a high volume of injuries. He returned to the tour over the last 18 months after being out for much of 2006 and 2007, amassing a 12-19 record in 2010 and a ranking of no. 85. We’ll miss ya, Mr. Serve-and-Volleyer. TSF Vault: The Dent Diaries.

The way of the ladies: Ana Ivanovic ended 2010 unlike any recent ending she’s had to a season, winning the title in Bali with three impressive victories and vaulting herself back into the top 20. Ivanovic won 13 of her final 15 matches of the year with her title in Linz. Ravi Ubha gave Ana the thumbs up to become a major Slam contender in 2011 or 2012, while giving the exact opposite forecast for countrywoman Jelena Jankovic (who finished 2010 6-11). Ubha had his crystal ball out for the WTA contingent on ESPN.com. The WSJ Weighs in: The Wall Street Journal had a piece last week on how – just how? – Caroline Wozniaki took the top spot in tennis.

A geographical version of ‘Whatever happened to…?’ Now that Dent and Elena Dementieva have said farewell (as has Martin Damm to coach Ryan Harrison), we got to thinking about some former (and current) pros and wanted to check in on see where folks have landed. Dustin Brown, our favorite wearer of the neon-color palette, is taking his allegiance to Germany from Jamaica. The top 100 player cited a lack of funding for the move. His mother is German. The Uberoi sisters, Shikha and Neha, both former top 200 doubles players, have made the return to the academic world and are at Princeton finishing their undergraduate degrees. Both sisters contribute on their dual web site, and recently Neha had an entry up on her own blog about an interview with Venus Williams in her journalism class, taught by the one-and-only L. Jon Wertheim. Picture this: Ana & Enrique taking it easy in Hawaii.
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Before the jump: We wanted to wish the hard-working and always-on-top-of-a-story Aaress Lawless the best of luck as she departs from her operating gig at OnTheBaseline.com. OTB will be managed now by Justin Pohn, and will continue to be the source of all things women’s tennis.

sunday survey: would you rather?



Four big-time tennis events are taking/ took place today. Where would you most like to sit down to take in the action in person?

(photo by julian finney via getty images)

spotted in the city: the uso in november



Quiet please, just kidding: Walking up Lafayette Street yesterday in NoHo, I spotted this Heineken billboard still clinging to behind-the-scaffolding life from this year’s USO. This spot is just blocks away from the 40 Great Jones, which hosted the Boast party earlier this fall, and the adidas store where I became besties with Justine. Bestines.

(tsf photo)

brotherly love



For just the second time in this year, Andy and Jamie Murray are joining forces this week in Valencia on the doubles court. The Murray clan took out Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco in the opening round of play 6-3, 7-6 (3). Doubles draw here.

The two were awarded a wild card into the event, marking the first time they’re playing double together outside of their home country since Madrid in October of 2008. The two paired up often early in their careers, even making a final together in Bangkok in 2006. But as Andy’s singles career exploded, he played less and less dubs, pairing every so often with big guns like Greg Rusedski, Tim Henman, Lleyton Hewitt and Novak Djokovic.

Jamie Murray has also had a variety of partners, but mostly has settled on Jonathan Marray, a fellow Brit in 2010. The Murray-Marray duo floats their ranking around no. 90 in doubles these days. None of these three gents, Andy, Jamie or Marray have taken the court for the British team in Davis Cup doubles in the last two years, though Andy and Jamie teamed up for one win at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Perhaps the brotherly love springs from the recent Murray wedding? Are these bros past their water-in-the-face days? Wedding pic after the jump. [Read more...]