on the 8th day of giftmas: excess baggage



‘Tis the season of choices, no? We give you five (count ‘em, 5!) bags to pick from this holiday season. From the super-chic and trendy Soho choice to a bag that couldn’t be more Apple Pie America to another selection (after the cut) that you might want to buy alongside a pair of sunglasses. No, really… at least for the kids. Batter up: LAYERxlayer is catching our eye this year with their trendy, made-to-order approach of bags that you can really take anywhere. The Wayfarer pack, seen below, is $189 online and couldn’t be better for a city dweller that wants a good, sturdy bag that can withstand a daily commute on the 6 Train. 100% denim body.

Say what you will about the simplicity of the Fila (or Ralph Lauren) color palette, sometime tennis (with it’s bright yellow balls, purple courts and god-forsaken plaid shorts) needs a little grounding. That’s why this year, we’re digging this three-racquet bag from Fila, which is the perfect gift for any regular club or competitive player in your life. And serse, for $39.99, there just isn’t anything better than red, white and blue. (Available on Tennis Warehouse.)

And while after the cut we have two somethings for the ladies, we figured we’d throw a bone for our dudes on this next choice. While we were drooling over Roger’s RF bag earlier this fall, Nike has the next best thing in the small, classic duffel bag in black. The bag, just $60 on their web site, is the perfect carry-on, carry-to-the-court or carry-my-stuff-around-all-day selection for a sporty fella in your life.

After the cut: a look at a tennis bag that is (still) on our radar (and a nice surprise).

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on the 7th day of giftmas: duds for the dudes



While we can probably say that today’s developments in the long road to repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” can’t be bested as a holiday gift for 2010, here’s how we would’ve drowned our sorrows had things gone the other way:

Steven Alan teamed up with Dockers earlier this fall to dress up the classic American brand’s image, and the mens-only collection of button-down polos (Steven Alan’s specialty!), blazers, and pants don’t disappoint. Buy: Steven Alan for Dockers Workwear Chino in Jasper Grey, $128, stevenalan.com. (FYI, Angelenos can also pick this up from the Barney’s CO-OPs and at Steven Alan Annex shops.)

Etc: For the casual guys on your list, consider the tennis-themed tees from Nike (remember the trove they had on the grounds of the U.S. Open?); he doesn’t need to know that this one with Johnny Mac on a face card is now half-off. Buy: Nike John McEnroe Playing Card Men’s Tennis T-Shirt, $14.97, nike.com.

The classic pinstripe polos from Boast, the recently revived tennis brand, are also on our list. This green one’s our fave, though they also carry it in black, blue, and red. Buy: Boast pinstripe polos, $68, boastusa.com. Cantaloupe not included.

And for something a little less fabric-based, there’s always the line of colognes from Lacoste. Andy Roddick is now the face for Challenge (sorry, Hayden, you’re out!). Buy: Lacoste Challenge Eau de Toilette Sprays, $40-$60, lacoste.com.

this year, no merry carillo-mas (on espn)



In his yearly Baggies post, where Sports Illustrated writer L. Jon Wertheim hands out the best (and worst)-of the year, he also compiles a list of latest happenings in the tennis world. Among them this year: a good-bye to “Mary Carillo on ESPN”. So what gives? Your guess is as good as ours. Oh, it’s just not going to be a Merry Carillo-mas!

(image via opencourt)

cuz you know you wanna



We’re quite honored / surprised / in awe of the fact that we’ve made the list on OnTheBaseline‘s best-of for 2010. TSF is in the running for “Best Tennis Blog” along with host of real-deal folks, including Tennis.com powerhouses Peter Bodo and Steve Tignor. Big props to the litte-uns like Forty Deuce and Tennis Talk, Anyone? for scraping up a place alongside the big guns. We’d love your vote, <<curtsey.>>

See the full list below and click either image on this post to log in your votes on the entire selection of end-of-the-year categories.

(screen grabs via onthebaseline.com)

on the 6th day of giftmas: racquet racket



Remember the Wilson BLX Blade that we spotted in the city back in September? It’s still been on our mind. The series of Six.One Blades that Wilson has put out have been high quality as a pack, and we’re giving thumbs up to most of the collection. The racquet has a “classic Wilson feel,” which means that you get pin-point accuracy and a good connection with the ball, especially if you want to hit consistently from the baseline. Below the Six.One Tour BLX. And how can you not dig the tan-colored grip on this baby? Classic, indeed. Buy it: on TennisWarehouse for $199.

If you want a racquet with a little bit of a different feel from the Wilson but still the same results, we’re digging Yonex’s EZONE, with a 100-inch head and a 27-inch length. Big-hitters like Monica Seles have favorited these racquets for a simple back-swing and a frame that the ball bounces off of. Buy at TennisExpress for (also) $199.

See our kids’ picks after the cut.

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