live blogging the FO finals

4:56 PM, Game, set and match, Schiavone 6-4, 7-6 (2) Well big props to Schiavone for closing out the match like she did. We really dig the whole kissing-the-clay thing. Upping Guga‘s classic heart by making love to the clay with your mouth, not your racket.

4:41 PM, Schiavone leads 6-4, 6-all There is now the potential for this thing to turn into a high-quality, dramatic three-set affair. Could the WTA actually see its saviors in the games of these two relative unknowns? It’s been dang fun to watch such good tennis for two sets and 90 minutes thus far. I’m also digging the extra-cheesy Geico and Billie Jean King commercial.

4:29 PM, Schiavone leads 6-4, 4-all Stosur is tightening up here as the Italian has won the last three games to even up the second set. Can we see the first three-set women’s final since 2001?

4:07 PM, Schiavone leads 6-4, 1-2 Loving the NBC editors for their choice of exit-out music for commercials, so far including the SATC2 theme song, Beyonce and Britney. Diva music for two non-divas.

Meanwhile, we’re thinking that the Franny Faithful would make a great Jersey Shore spin-off. The hair! The muscles! The sunglasses! Stosur has nothing on these boys.

3:57 PM, Schiavone wins first set 6-4 (Good news!) Schiavone is playing with heart and (bad news!) Stosur is playing with the weight of the world on her shoulders. Let’s see if a clean court can give Sammy a clean conscience. (BEST news!) Mary Pierce sighting in the first row of the far side of the court. Like a summer bride, she’s wearing all white.

[Read more…]

trophies: more haarhuis, plus a russian flashback

haarhuis-blackrock-rah.jpg

Paul Haarhuis was last man standing at the year-end tournament for the BlackRock Masters Tennis tour. (He also won an Outback Champions event two weeks ago.) Haarhuis took out Frenchman Guy Forget 6-1, 6-7, 10-8. In case you’re wondering what’s in the background, that’s the pipe organ (UK’s largest) at the Royal Albert Hall.

russian-year-end-awards.jpg

Russian fete: Russia honored Igor Andreev and Anna Chakvetadze as the best Russian tennis players of 2007. Anna clearly earned her award after winning four singles titles this year (most of her compatriots only snagged one). Andreev’s distinction, on the other hand, is a headscratcher: he had no singles titles in 2007 (while Tursunova got two, while Youzhny and Davydenko bagged one each). A possible reason is his great singles performance in the Davis Cup semis against Germany.

Anastasia Myskina added emceeing this event to her list of non-tennis work (along with other emcee gigs plus soccer commentating). And the Fed Cup ladies won the Team of the Year award.

(haarhuis photo by Getty Images; Russa photos and story via TIB)

on your day off from the tennis court…

If you’re like me, and your tennis game isn’t quite up to snuff, you try to find ways to intimidate your opponent into losing. But what if the stare-downs aren’t giving you free points, and the elaborate pre-match stretches aren’t making the other guy cower? Don’t bother with all that. Next time, just get straight to the point by showing up looking exactly like a pro.

— Take a look at these masks from the BBC website. (I suggest having them printed onto fabric so you can actually wear them on the court.)

nadal-mask-bbc myskina-mask-bbc murray - mask - bbc

— And if you want to dress like a pro, the folks at Teamsugar have bookmarked a slew of tennis goodies that should make it easier for you to put together a fashionable outfit.

— And when you’ve gotten your look together, but you feel like your game isn’t quite up to pro par, just remember: you can dink that ball into the service box and still find a way to win.