ana ivanovic shows off the jumeirah hotel in dubai



Ana Ivanovic - Dubai Duty Free Championships ambassador

Talkin Dirty: DDFTC ambassador Ana Ivanovic starred in a video highlighting the Jumeirah Creekside Hotel, a sponsor for the tennis event, being held this week in Dubai. Those red sofas in that photo above, she points out, are designed by Zaha Hadid. (Nothing gets us going like a tennis star run-in with a starchitect!) Ana is also asked by the hotel to create a piece of tennis-themed art that will be displayed in the property’s gallery. It was reminiscent of the canvases painted by the ATPers who qualified for the Barclay’s ATP World Tour Finals in 2010. (Watch: Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships Feature – Ana Ivanovic)

Draw: Ivanovic beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-3, 7-6(5) in the first round of the tournament and will next face sixth seed Petra Kvitova. They share that bottom half of the singles draw with Serena Williams and Agnieszka Radwanska. The top half of the draw is up for grabs after top seed Victoria Azarenka withdrew from the event because of a foot injury.

(Photo Credit: image via emirates247.com)

our zoom was off. we promise.



But we’ll gladly pass it along: Contrary to the evidence, we had nothing to do with this one.

Pic taken while the ATPers visited the Avala Tower in Belgrade before the start of the Serbia Open.

(via MTF)

in kazakhstan, the world’s largest tent



And we’re not talking about Evgeny Korolev‘s pants. The draw ceremony for weekend’s Davis Cup World Group Play-off tie between Kazakhstan and Switzerland was held at the Norman Foster-designed Khan Shatyr Entertainment Center in Astana. The structure, which opened this past July, is the world’s largest tent. (Read: HuffPo’s write-up.) The matches will be played in the National Tennis Center, also located in that city.

Draw: See the country line-ups here. (Marco Chiudinelli is playing!)

(photo by Sergei Kivrin via daviscup.org)

in chicago, wilson anchors duty with design



In the outskirts of Chicago, tennis – and sport – behemoth Wilson calls part of an office tower home. The space, just a stone’s throw from O’Hare Airport, is non-descript from the outside: a big, just-out-of-the-city office building, expansive parking lot, Chicago wintry winds and the red ‘Wilson’ christening the side of the top the structure, seemingly simple and corporate.

Inside, however, the space is anything but simple. And to call it corporate would only be accurate in its ability to be a functional, inspiring space. Wilson occupies five floors in the building, including the top three. The 2007 move from the building next door provided the company to make thoughtful, sustainable and modern decisions on how to utilize its new space both as a workplace and an area to encourage creative interaction by those who work there and those who visit.

Said visitors are greeted in the Wilson lobby by a vast wall that hosts black and white photos of Wilson employees, coaches, trainers, athletes and superstars. The view provides a sort of story-telling for the Wilson name over the last 100 years, since the brand launched in 1914. Images of tennis players are aplenty, their equipment and dress anchored in their era and style. There’s Lindsay Davenport rocking her mid-90s Girl Next Door look. And there’s Pete Sampras winning the Open in 2002. The expansive space beyond the wall (pictured below) displays product in a minimalist, museum-inspired way, using outside light to brighten the room and create a feeling of excitement about the possibilities of sport, and, from Wilson’s point of view, their name.

Read more about the Wilson headquarters and find out what the day in a life of a Wilsontouring team memberentails after the cut.

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get ‘em while they’re squishy



Dinara Safina was greeted by a big fan club of one (see background) upon arriving in Beijing this last week. Well, that’s actually just Gumby’s blue cousin, Blumby. He’s waving with fervor, and Dinara is def doing her best to ignore him. She’s obviously supes embarrassed.

With the China Open officially under the way we did some perusing on their web site to find some 中网纪念品  - or, in English, “China Open souvenirs”  Our first fave is these miniature key chains:
Mad-colorful-balls-ChinaOpen09
But they don’t top these gems below. These squishy friends are sporting tennis onesies (a skirt for the female and shorts for the male) and remind me of drawings I did as a child before I knew people had bodies and connected their legs to their heads. Loves it.Squishy-onesies-ChinaOpen09

After the cut, see the Olympic Stadium all ready for the tourney. [Read more...]