australian gothic: wilson fetes vika azarenka’s australian open win



Victoria Azarenka wins the 2013 Australian Open using a Wilson Juice tennis racquet

Fight to the Finish: The road to the second consecutive Australian Open title for World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka was long and hard. Not only was everyone trying to topple her, they came close to doing so: Jamie Hampton pushed Vika to three sets in third round but eventually lost because of a back injurySloane Stephens couldn’t continue her momentum after Azarenka’s 10-minute medical timeout in the semis; and Li Na rolled both ankles and hit her head — enough for the 2011 finalist to lose any edge she might have had over Vika in the final. And add to that the already anti-Vika crowd who became rabid after that questionable timeout and was out for Schadenfreude and blood.

But these were all mere distractions which Azarenka’s “fighter” mentality swatted away. She ground out a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory over Li in Saturday’s final.

FYI, Azarenka’s playing a Juice racquet from sponsor Wilson. (Review: Tennis Now’s Robert Martin on the Juice 100 BLX.)

Australian Gothic: Meanwhile, this ad sent out by the Wilson folks after Vika’s win is creeping us out. What happened to her eyes? Full version of the tribute after the cut…

maria sharapova shares her style tips with vogue australia



Maria Sharapova discusses her fashion style with Vogue Australia

A Q&A between 2013 Australian Open semifinalist Maria Sharapova (she lost to Li Na) with Vogue Australia’s Carmen Hamilton. Our favorite tidbit: Maria loves working with Alexander McQueen‘s Sarah Burton (this red dress comes to mind). The Russian also shares fashion tips for tall women: wear your flats (gladiators), and rock those wide leg trousers like its your job.

Carmen Hamilton: How do you choose an outfit for a big event, both on and off court?

Maria Sharapova: Off court, it usually depends on the event. I’ve had a few Sugarpova launches in the last few months so a lot of the things I’ve worn have been quite colourful and fun to go with the personality of the candy. For an event during the evening, I would go towards something like Alexander McQueen. I love working with Sarah Burton. I think she’s incredible. It’s been really amazing to see her creations come alive. Overall, I usually try to go for something more feminine and elegant.

(Photo Credit: Maria Sharapova for Tag Heuer; via vogue.com.au)

victoria azarenka wants australian open title



Victoria Azarenka at the Australian Open 2013

Victoria Azarenka had a lot to endure in the past couple of days: she was overcome by nerves and blew five match points in her semifinal match against teen sensation Sloane Stephens. Criticasters booed her for that but Azarenka would like to use the Australian Open finale to shush the naysayers and gain back some of that goodwill.

That 10-minute timeout, which the World No. 1 took during the 5-4 changeover right after she lost her serve, was necessitated by an apparent rib injury. Vika denies that she took a medical timeout to get an extra break to recover from the match. (Was Azarenka right in taking the medical timeout at 5-4 for nerves? Tell us!)

Azarenka told the press that it wasn’t nice to read and hear the criticism revolving her timeout but added that there are sometimes things that we don’t have control over and that the best you can do is learn from it.  Azarenka further added that the most important thing for her is to put up a great finale versus Li Na.

Stats: Azarenka and Li have played each other 9 times so far in their careers. And head-to-head is 5-4 in Vika’s favor. Azarenka has won the last four encounters.

tv: australian open on espn (men’s SFs + champs weekend)



espn-logo

For your DVR: The semi between Roger Federer and  Andy Murray at the 2013 Australian Open will be broadcast on ESPN (that’s the main stage, my squirrels) tonight at 3:30 a.m. ET.

The winner of this match will face two-time defending champion Novak Djokovic, who reached the finals after a comfortable, straight-set win over David Ferrer. The men;s final will be broadcast on Sunday early morning, at 3 a.m. ET (12 a.m. PT).

The ladies’ championship, already set between former finalist Li Na and No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, will air on early Saturday morning, also at 3 a.m. ET.

Reruns: Both championship matches will receive two encore presentations on ESPN2, at 9 a.m. and in prime time. If you’d rather be off your couch and online, the matches will also stream on WatchESPN.com and via the WatchESPN app. More: Get all the info here.

fashion focus: sharapova’s blue stud earrings — tiffany?



Maria Sharapova - 2013 Australian Open - earrings

What say you about Maria Sharapova‘s blue stud earrings from the 2013 Australian Open? These look to us like Tiffany & Co. hardware – Elsa Peretti‘s Color by the Yard Earrings, $395.

Melbourne Miss: The World No. 2, also seeded No. 2 at the first Slam of 2013, charged through the draw Down Under, serving up two double bagels in her first two matches and dropping only nine games en route to the semis, where she lost 6-2, 6-2 to Li Na.

Li will face Victoria Azarenka in the final.

(Photo Credit: Michael Dodge/Getty Images)