mishit: mattek-sands and allaster ring nyse bell

Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Stacey Allaster ring NYSE bell 2013

 

Purple, like the logo: Not sure if Bethanie Mattek-Sands is the WTAer I’dve taken with me to the NYSE to ring the opening bell, Ms. Allaster. Is this the image we want to project to the world about who is playing tennis these days? I guess we can mix things up, seeing that Serena Williams and Vika Azarenka got a chance to thank SAP when that data partnership was announced in Cincinnati (Western & Southern Open).

(image via)

sorana and bethanie: paintball warriors

Great shot! The WTA has found the perfect mix between its “Strong is Beautiful” campaign and the ATP‘s creative sportraits for the year-end championships. It’s paintball. Yep, paintball! Here Sorana Cirstea and Bethanie Mattek-Sands take out some London frustration on two willing fellas in a back alley. Sure, there are a couple close ups we could do without, but the paint and music and fun of it makes it a great watch. The targets are Matthew Pritchard and Lee Dainton, two parts of a British comedy group (think of the Jackass boys) known as Dirty Sanchez. And yes, they get a little dirty here, too.

(WTA video)

short balls: wimbledon goes mainstream on week 1

There’s no doubt that the British press has a heyday when Wimbledon comes around. From the Monica Seles-inspired Grunt-0-Meter to headlines screaming (desperately) for a British champ. It really is the people’s Slam. But Stateside, it’s always nice to see the mainstream folks picking up on the secret we’re all privy to: tennis is damn cool. Below a collection of week one’s rumblings across the non-tennis media.

The grunting! Doesn’t this happen every year? Sure, this was a British-inspired headline. But The Daily Beast kept with it for a solid morning on Wednesday, even putting together a gallery of grunters themselves. We think they left off a key founding mother: Monica Seles.

More: The Daily Beast‘s “perfect matches” tennis couples


The return of the Sisters Williamses: With Venus and Serena back, The Huffington Post saw the perfect opening to do a gallery of the sisters from through the years — Wimbledon and beyond. | ESPN takes on V’s fashion

The BMS side show? Just when we thought Bethanie Mattek-Sands had cemented herself as a legit third- and fourth-rounder at the slams she unveils this (see below) which prompts headlines from Britain to the U.S. to Australia and crashes out in the first round. So long, Bethy. | More: BMS inks deal for eye black flare
(AFP image)

More headlines to come…

she shouldn't have smiled

Forget about Roger Federer‘s records possibly being broken by Nole or Rafa — we’re in awe of Bethanie Mattek-Sands finally snapping Jelena Jankovic‘s record for worst gimmicky outfit worn to a party. It only took three years to oust her shopping buddy. Congrats, BMS!

A scowl on Bethanie might have helped us all stomach this, uhm, dress, designed by the UK-based Alex Noble (who frequently works with Lady Gaga). But all the giddiness and excitement was too much to contain; she couldn’t help being the balls of the ball.

Browse: Check out Noble’s blog to see some his other work (including the main outfit worn by Gaga in the “Judas” music video).

(Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for WTA)

stylistically french

Style lady. While she barely escaped unknown Frenchwoman Caroline Garzia today on the tennis court (3-6 6-4 6-0), Maria Sharapova is easy to find on any newsstand in New York: she’s plastered on the front of the New York Times Thursday Style section. The article, a lengthy feature, talks about the brand Maria has grown (herself) and her work in fashion — Cole Haan being the highlight. | Draw: Maria survives

Is that a black eye? While Sharapova’s quarter was blown wide open with Kim Clijsters’ loss, American Bethanie Mattek-Sands sits on the top half of the draw and next has to deal with the always-testy Jelena Jankovic. The talk, however, has been less about BMS’ play (it’s been rather good lately) and more about her ever-famous face make-up (seen above). Everyone seems to be chatting about BMS’ face, and less about her game. Though, after her hard-fought second round win, the Times gave her this headline: “A Rising American Now Has a Game as Bold as Her Style.” Touche, folks. But what about in a few weeks’ time when BMS dons her Wimbledon players’ party Gaga-inspired dress? There will be no talk of her tennis, we predict. Or can she have her cake and eat it too? Either way, she’s happy.

TSF Vault: All about Bethanie

Soft core porn? And leave it to the eds at the Huffington Post to come up with this headline, teasing out the WTA‘s new “Strong is Beautiful” campaign: “Is This Ad Campaign ‘Soft Core Porn That Has Nothing To Do with Tennis’?” The headline itself was from a blog post from back in September, when the original Times photo shoot ran that inspired the campaign. The Post asked readers in a poll about the campaign, an overall response (through Thursday afternoon) is below:

(BMS image via the AP; Huffington Post screen grab)

another pic of bethanie's under armour

Good to see an American presence deeper into a clay tournament, but it had to end at some point: Li Na beat Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 in the quarterfinals of this week’s Mutua Madrid Open. (Video: See how Li has been training on the dirt)

Going forward: Li’s semifinal opponent will be either Kvitova or Cibulkova, both of who had huge scalps this week: Zvonareva for the former and Kuznetsova for the latter. (Draw: Mutua Madrid Open Women’s Draw)

UA: Bethanie — with her best lothario make-up — already showed off the purple version of this stripey Under Armour tank, and here it is in the black/white colorway.

(Image by Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP/Getty Images)

(… we actually like what bethanie is wearing!)

We won’t even bring up pre-match sex: Third seed Francesca Schiavone‘s prep for a defense of her French Open title continued to sputter as she was ousted by Bethanie Mattek-Sands 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 in the third round of this week’s Mutua Madrid Open. (Schiavone lost her first clay event — Stuttgart — to Radwanska.) Up next for Mattek, who also upset Ivanovic in the opening round, is eighth seed Li Na. With Zvonareva and Caro both out, we’re picking Cibulkova to come out of that half. What do you think? (Browse: Mutua Madrid Open Women’s Singles Draw)

Video: Bethanie took some time in Madrid to soak up some local color. Here’s a video of her and hubby Justin getting their caricatures drawn. She really wanted that dimple in there, eh? (What, no eyeblack?) Click on the image above to watch.

Clothes: Under Armour prints can get pretty busy, but we’re loving this one that’ll stay around through the summer. Buy: UA Summer Print Tank; white; $49.99; TW.

More: Two other photos from the Mattek/Schiavone match after the cut…

we want her to go to there

Bethanie Mattek-Sands needs to take her eyeblacking to the next level. Can we make a suggestion?

American on clay: At this week’s Mutua Madrid Open, she’s continuing her run into the single’s draw by beating qualifier Vania King 6-0, 6-2 in the second round. This, of course, after taking out Ana Ivanovic in three sets to start out the event. BMS’ll face the winner of the all-Italian battle between Schiavone and Errani. (Does Sara have the same Fed Cup beef as Vinci?)

Bracket: Mutua Madrid Women’s Singles.

(BMS image via Getty; Tyson image via src)

short balls: jewelry gets ballsy inspiration

By Benjamin Snyder

We’d hit and wear that: Sure there’s tennis ball furniture, but how about some accessories, too? Simone Preuss of 1-800-recycling.com reveals some “creative uses” for worn-out tennis balls. Preuss writes, “Tennis balls are probably the most difficult of any kind of sports ball to recycle, as the rubber used is not biodegradable. However, about 300 million balls are produced each year, contributing to some 20,000 metric tons of rubber waste.”

Never quite imagined that more could be done than simply tossing those dead balls after an intense hitting sesh, did ya? Well, from bracelets (above) to jar holders to tripods and purses look no further than this post for ideas to glamify your world with a little more tennis love. The only problem, Simone, where’s the how-to guide to make these ballin’ beauties ourselves? Needing it.

We get hashtag fatigue sometimes, too: Looking to check up on the tweets of even more players than usual suspect Serena Williams (who BTW now has over 2 millions followers)? Check out Tennis Players on Twitter. The new website allows fans to check in on all players at all times – in real time! Links go directly to players official pages, just in case you want to further investigate on Twitter itself. Really, this is cool. Oops: #reallythisiscool.

Big game, but how about Playboy fame? Caroline Wozniacki apparently denied Playboy and Maxim, which both wanted the Dane to grace their pages naked, according to a report from Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet. She told reporters, “I’m not going to take off all my clothes,” while agent John Tobias continued, “She is still only 20 years [old]. That kind of photo series we’ll keep away from right now.” For more, click here.

Take us with you, BMS?

So maybe her attire is a little outrageous, but that’s why we love you, Bethanie. Well, girl can write, too.

Top 10-er, still: Besides fashion sense, American tennis in general seems to be on a bit of a decline up top with Serena Williams being the only top-ten ranked player after the latest rankings were revealed. Somehow, Serena managed to move up a couple spots despite having not played for months. Go figure. Then again with Serena, it’s better to stop trying and just roll with whatever story she headlines next, especially when it deals with the WTA ranking system.

(Images from 1-800-recycling.com and Twitter)