short balls: bad blood — old and new

by Benjamin Snyder

When it rains… After a gay Sunday night spent feteing the Oscars — both at the Elton John AIDS Foundation viewing party and at the beautifully lit Vanity Fair party at the Sunset Tower hotel — Serena’s week has turned sour. The 13-time major champion, who’s been sidelined with a foot injury since last June (her last match was the 2010 Wimbledon final), will likely be out for at least six months because of a pulmonary embolism, as reported by People.com. Williams’ representative, Nicole Chabot: “Monday Serena Williams underwent emergency treatment at Cedars [-Sinai Medical Center, in Los Angeles] for a hematoma she suffered as a result of treatment for a more critical situation. Last week, Serena suffered from a pulmonary embolism [a blood clot in the lungs] which was discovered upon her return to L.A. She had been in New York for doctor appointments for the ongoing issues with her foot.”

If it’s any consolation, Serena, you looked fabulous on those red carpets. We want that brown clutch!

Tour breakdown: The clot raises a slew of questions for the form of the WTA tour, writes ESPN analyst Greg Garber. It looks like Serena’s feeling it, too, according to a recent tweet. We wish you a speedy recovery, Serena!

Well, not all are broken: On a lighter note, former top WTAer Dinara Safina got some buzz by actually winning a match. In her 6-2, 6-0 beatdown of China’s Han Xinyun at this week’s Malaysian Open, Dinara collected her first victory since September. The question is: can she capitalize on the confidence and knock out perennial darkhorse Lucie Safarova?

Presidential treatment: In the second installment of First Lady Michelle Obama‘s “Let’s Move” campaign, tennis is touted as a way to prevent and reduce the rates of obesity in American children. The clip also features the acting chops of Andre Agassi (as ball boy) and Steffi Graf (as Shimizo). Further reading: TSF’s Nick McCarvel writes it up for Straight Sets.

In case you’re not convinced… If you prefer that microsuede La-Z-Boy to DecoTurf, check out Top Spin 4, which drops on March 15 for Wii, Xbox 360, and Playstation 3. We’re getting our hands on a review copy and will tell you what we think. Until then, all we know is that it’s more of the same (hey, if it ain’t broke…). Coolest are the “bonus features”, aka additional trailers, developer diaries, and all that fun back-end stuff that warm our cockles, available here: topspinassets.com. (Bonus: one of the trailers.)

Who wears short shorts? In a night of exhibition woes and old rivalries renewed, John McEnroe was leading Ivan Lendl 6-3 in their first-to-eight set match at the BNP Paribas Showdown before retiring with an ankle injury. In retro style, he sported his trademark “circa 1985” short shorts, as he told Patrick McEnroe in an on-court interview after the match. Andre and Pete also played… a better showing than their Hit for Haiti exo, don’t you think?

(images via Getty Images; serena tweet screengrab from Twitter)

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