on the 5th day of giftmas: more from santa’s helpers

OK, so those glistening ladies aren’t Santa’s helpers, but they could be, right?! On the 5th day of TSF’s 12 Days of Giftmas, we hear from four more WTA ladies on what they’re hoping for from Santa, what they’re getting their loved ones and their hopes for the year to come.

The other elves: Caro, Jelena, Elena and Vika tell us about their Christmas plans

TSF: What is one of your favorite Christmas presents from the past? Or something you look forward to during the holidays? A present you’re hoping for perhaps?!
Sam Stosur: “I haven’t even thought about it! Actually one of the best presents I’ve had was a few years ago when my brother brought me a ‘swim with the seals’ ticket for SeaWorld which was really cool.”
Kim Clijsters: “What I would really love is for Jada to draw or paint something for us, now that she’s getting old enough, and we can continue to do that every year. Maybe we could send that out as a Christmas card. What we’ve done in previous years is have a group photo with all the family and our 5 dogs! The thing I like most at Christmas is time at home with the family.”
Francesca Schiavone: “The most important thing for me every year at Christmas is to be there with all my family. In terms of presents, we’re not so focused on them, because it’s more important that for this one day of the year we can all be together. For sure I’ll be asking my parents for something! I just don’t know yet! Usually I arrive home on the 23rd or 24th and I think ‘what am I going to do now for presents?!’ So I go to the big mall and at the very last moment I buy everything!”
Vera Zvonareva: “A voucher for a spa, just spend the whole day relaxing, that would be nice! I’m not sure if it will happen this year, but I love spending that time with my friends out in the snow with all the decorations up and a hot chocolate in my hand.”

TSF: What are your 2011 resolutions?
SS:
I was thinking about that the other night and I was considering giving up French fries for a year…but I’m not sure I’ll be able to stick to that….so maybe safer not to make that my resolution! So I think mine will be to stay healthy, fit, happy, and enjoy what I’m doing.
KC: “I’m not really good with electronics, and I’ve never been great at keeping track of my personal schedule on a computer or phone, I still use a diary to write everything in. I always start the year so neatly and I want to keep it like that but I usually find that by one month in I have scribbles and crossings out everywhere and it’s all messy, so that’s going to be my resolution – be more organized with my planning!”
FS: To be better and improve every day of my life.
VZ: To keep improving myself every day, keep fighting and keep my courage – that’s the most important thing.

on the 4th day of giftmas: design between the lines

Hugh Hayden is by no means new news in the tennis design world, but he certainly keeps us interested. The designer of all things comfy (and recycled) continues to churn out tennis-inspired furniture, like the dog bed that can be seen below. Hugh hit it big this year in landing the gig to design Lacoste’s boutique window at the US Open. Now Hayden is personalizing the design concept for his adoring fans. A custom set is available for $325. The dog bed is available on the same link to the left for $285.

Rainbow row: Hayden can get colorful, too.

While the Hall of Fame chairs that you can nab at SportsMemorabilia.com aren’t half as comfy as what Hayden is churning out, they come along with some pretty good history and sentiment along with them. Chairs from the International Tennis Hall of Fame come (signed) from faves like Johnny Mac, Pete Sampras, Jim Courier, Mats Wilander and Tracy Austin. Cost? It’s a pretty penny: around $600 each.

All right you budget shoppers, we’ve got you covered after the jump, so get a-clickin’!

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on the 3rd day of giftmas: the kiddie kind

There are those tennis-loving kids out there who are going to be expecting more than just a can of tennis balls in their stockings. Yep, we get it: they’re greedy! But look, tennis is pretty dang hard to play when you’re using lumps of coal. We’ve gathered together our best pint-sized gems (no, we’re not talking about our new BFF Justine) for a little kiddie shopping on the third day of TSF‘s 12 days of Giftmas.

We’ve always been big fans of the things that bubble over at Stick it Wear?! in SoCal. (No really. We. Are. Big. Fans.) This year SIW?! is getting young and hip – and we mean young as in they’ve got stuff for the little ones! And that rocks. Our faves: the no-nonsense AnaTank is a good option if you’re dreaming about sunny and warm weather in December (retails for $24.99) and, for the boys, the OurSaviour (can you guess who?!) is offered in the performance line for boys. Cost? $34.99.

And not just tennis: SIW?! now goes for the greens of the golf world too. Because you know those kiddies love g-o-l-f.

Remember when the rules changed for the kids of tennis? Well, now shopping has, too. TennisWarehouse has put together a portal that points shoppers to different landing pages by age and by products themselves. For kids from 5-10 and and products like racquets and shoes and balls and apparel can all be found via the link. What’s the best way to get your kid excited about 10 and Under Tennis?? Buy them some goods and get out there on the court with them! Our pick? A 12-pack of foam tennis balls for $29.95, seen below.

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on the 2nd day of giftmas: if the shoe fits

There was no glass slipper to be worn on the tour this year, not – at least – for the professionals. Melanie Oudin did her best at that last year at the US Open (as did the much-forgotten Jelena Dokic at the Aussie), but no such slipper was happening this year. There were, however, plenty of good shoes to be worn by the pros and we give you a good line-up to find over the next two weeks, just in case you have a Christmas Day tennis match with Pete Sampras (or his trophy stealer).

The adidas Barricade (shown above) has been alive and well for awhile now, and the sixth version of the shoe launched this fall. Oudin sported her “Courage” pair at this year’s USO, and a bevy adidas-wearing players were together to tout the shoe before the start of play at the US Open. But you don’t need to be at Flushing Meadows to sport these kicks, find them online starting at $115.

Remember when? TSF was besties with Justine. We do: The Justine Diaries | Part 2 (We’re famous in Belgium!)

If you’re not looking for competitive kicks, we would have loved to have recommended you landing on the K-Swiss collaborative shoe, Deuce. But the shoe, which we gave a thumbs-up to in October, sold out in three weeks after a successful collaboration with Undefeated, a quirky SoCal.  Therefore, we’re giving the nod to the aptly-named “Classic Hiker” from K-Swiss, which was just named one of Complex‘s 18 Best Boots for Winter. What’s even better than the look of this no-nonsense shoe is its price: $75 online.

Below: a look at the Ariake, a K-Swiss running shoe that we’re digging. Online for $100.

Hop the jump for our other shoe picks this holiday season.

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on the 1st day of giftmas: tennis lit

2010 has been a pretty good year for the tennis literary community (if you can even call it a “community”). There was an as-always this-is-what-my-tennis-life was (and is!) book in Patrick McEnroe’s Hardcourt Confidential, while Venus Williams put out a best-selling business book called Come To Win. Right, we said business book. We give you a few other selections that might fit well as fit-in-your-suitcase take-home gifts this holiday season.

Hardcourt Confidential might be the only book on this list that I’ve actually completed, and after a bit of skepticism to start, I surely appreciated it. McEnroe write with Tennis‘s Peter Bodo and Bodo’s signature phrases can be found throughout the book. But it’s still McEnroe’s voice that shines through and tells some good stories. The book follows a calendar format (Jan. to Dec.) instead of a biographical one, which grew on me as I progressed. A great read from – what a tennis friend recently told me – “one of the nicest guys in tennis.” | Hardcover on Amazon.com for $10.40

Come to Win is Venus’s take – along with a host of other “visionaries” – on how to rise above the rest in whatever you choose.”Every single story in this book is very motivating. Sports give you knowledge that you can take with you and apply into other fields,” says Mihaela Hagiu in her review of Come to Win on Bookstove.com. “Many people do not realize the benefits of playing a sport. The lessons that could be learned are too valuable.” | Hardcover on Amazon.com for $17.15

Doubles Agatha Donkar’s take on the book on the Art & Literature blog: “Taking the reader along for the ride as Slow tries to crawl out from this bottom that he’s hit, Doubles explores tennis, friendship, and love, and the truly strange lengths human beings go to in pursuit of those things — the idea that we’re all just muddling along, and there’s only so much indulgence you can take before you have to do something else.” | Paperback on Amazon.com for $11.41

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tsf presents the 12 days of giftmas

We realize that we’ve been a little MIA lately, but don’t blame us, blame all that Thanksgiving tofurkey that has been weighing us down for the last two weeks (and that is sure to weigh us down two weeks from now). But said tofurkey hasn’t – and won’t! – disallow us from helping all you last-minute shoppers find the perfect gifts for the tennis-loving loved ones in your life. With that, we present our 12 Days of Giftmas where we present to you a cache of gift ideas from the year that has passed and the year that is to come. But first, oh – first! Some Christmas thoughts from those ladies dangling above.

We asked the ladies of the WTA Season Ending Championships what thoughts they had on the upcoming holiday and luckily, even among the palm trees of Doha (in October, no less), they let us know what was on their minds.

Holiday wishes: The now-retired Elena Dementieva wants to be with her family for the holidays and get a dog next year. Well, you’re taking the right steps by shucking your career, lady! Victoria Azarenka is hoping to learn some French to communicate with… her coach: “I really want to learn French! It will really help my communication with my French coach, Sam Sumyk.”

Caroline Wozniacki wishes “for a new Sony Ericsson phone,” wait, really?! No… maybe not: “Actually, I really like to give gifts. I like to buy them something special from me that I know they’ll like. Something unique. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it’s important that it means something.” And what about 2011, Caro? “This year my resolution was to focus on something positive from each day, even if every now and then you might be feeling a bit sad, it’s just important to find something positive. So I think for next year I’ll be continuing to do that and focusing on being happy.” Being no. 1 in the world might help too, right? And what about the down-on-her-luck Jelena Jankovic? “You know the only thing I ask for this Christmas is something you can’t buy, and that’s health for my family and for myself. It’s the most important thing. [For the new year], I promise not to be so lazy at times! People don’t know, but I can be quite lazy sometimes, so I’m going to be working on that for 2011.”

(illustration by Troy Venechanos)