dinara is going through old boxes

What else is there to do? Dinara Safina, who fell from No. 1 in the WTA rankings in an ugly crash and announced earlier this year that she would be taking the rest of 2011 off to re-assess her career, is using some of her free time to go through some old household items, it seems.

The 25-year-old Russian posted this photo, along with others, to her Twitter account today, writing about this one: “Marat and Mama !!!”

(photo via yfrog/dinara safina)

sunday survey: are the good old days of the young guns gone?

Fore! Look out ladies, the girls are comin’ up! Or, are they? Over the weekend, 16-year-old Lexi Thompson shocked the LPGA by winning the Navistar LPGA Classic event in Alabama. She was the youngest winner on the tour by over two years and sparked a whole new conversation in that sport about teenage prodigies, especially seeing that Lexi herself isn’t even a full-fledged pro (not until age 18 on the Lpeedg, y’all). Thompson is filing for membership into the sport’s top body come next week.

But what about the young ladies of the WTA? The tour was once dominated by teens — Tracy Austin, Monica Seles, Martina Hingis — they all had their big start at a young age. But this year on the WTA, as far as TSF can tell, there has been just teenage winner: 19-year-old Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who is now 20. Twenty-year-olds Polona Hercog and Ksenia Pervak have collected titles, as have 21-year-olds Alberta Brianti, Petra Kvitova and Sabine Lisicki. But the teens? Nada. So that has us curious: Are teenage champs a thing of the past? Weigh in below.

Oh right… and it’s Tuesday?! Oops. Call it our AOHO (After Open HangOver.)

(Getty Images photo)

is this suddenly a movie blog?!

It’s more than a movie… That’s the tag line Sports Illustrated is using to justify putting Brad Pitt on its cover. Pitt is playing Billy Beane, the Oakland A’s general manager in Moneyball, which is due out this week and has received rave reviews.

Pitt-as-Bean has also taken over the homepage at NYTimes.com, though in a more traditional sense: with a giant banner ad.

(SI cover; nyt screen grab)

trophy watch: american hardware

Slam season? It’s ova! I’m out of my let’s-research-this mindset from writing for USOpen.org after two glorious weeks with a great staff at the National Tennis Center, so I’ll give someone else a go at this stat: when was the last time a Slam included no “ova” winner? Barring one-half of the girls’ doubles winning team — that’d be Irina Khromacheva — and she’s an “eva,” so does she even count? For all I know it could have been the French this year, but it certainly seems like a shocker, no?!

The men’s tournament, in the end, wasn’t a shocker itself. Sure, it was shocking that Novak Djokovic for the second year in a row denied Roger Federer a shot at the title by saving match points (how ’bout that forehand?!), but in the end, it was a result that many in tennis expected: Djokovic defeats Rafael Nadal in the final. And what a final it was! Thanks for ending a semi-mediocre tournament with such a glorious match, fellas. ‘Til next time!

Sam-a-Slam: Let’s just talk about the tennis. Sam Stosur played lights-out ball for two sets against Serena Williams on Sunday night at the Open. For us it was reminiscent of the way Maria Sharapova pounded her way past Serena in the 2004 Wimbledon final. Sure, Stosur’s style is completely different that Maria’s, but the result was the same: she lost just five games against her heavily-favored opponent to win her maiden major. One can only wish that the Aussie will show up with similar form at her home slam come January.

TSF Vault: Trophy Watch | 2011 US Open

Cindarella story.  This one really was written in the you-can’t-make-it-up category. Melanie Oudin, two years ago the Open’s golden girl, had paired up with this year’s golden boy in Jack Sock, and the two just stormed through the mixed doubles draw. No, they didn’t smooch! But we sure wish they would have. More? Doubles and juniors after the cut! [Read more…]

happy as a sam

Say “stripes!” The US Open champ, Sam Stosur was reportedly running on some 90 minutes of sleep today — the day after she trotted past Serena Williams in an incredible display on Arthur Ashe Stadium court, winning 6-2, 6-3 for her first slam. The Aussie made a trip to Times Square for a I-just-won-the-Open photo-opp, donning an adorable striped red and white, loose-fitting dress by Lacoste.

Normally we’d want something like this belted, especially if you have a body like Sam’s. But it was 70 and breezy in New York today and somehow Aussie Sam made the concrete jungle feel quite beachy. And check out that sock tan, mate!

TSF Vault: Lacoste USO tees | Lacoste archives

(Photo by Angus Mordant via Detomix)

heineken’s capsule collection for the u.s. open

California-based apparel company Sol Angeles teamed up with the U.S. Open’s official beer sponsor, Heineken, to create a limited-edition apparel collection for this year’s event. Called the Heineken Tennis Classics by Sol Angeles, the collection is sold exclusively at the Heineken Lounge at the Tennis Center.

SA’s husband-and-wife design duo, Eli and Lindsey Myers, designed six pieces that include distressed tees, pullovers, windbreakers, canvas bags (our fave!), and hats priced between $30-$80.

Swag: Heineken also doled out 20,000 Sol Angeles-designed hats to attendees of the U.S. Open tournament.

More: Visit Sol Angeles’ website for a look at the brand’s non-tennis collections.

(images courtesy of Sol Angeles)