bethanie mattek shines

That’s Bethanie Mattek playing her first round match at the 2007 U.S. Open. This shiny gold dress is relatively tame for her (she once wore an argyle cowboy hat on court), but in a good way. It’s a great balance between letting out her inner Elton John and dressing like the other great tennis fashion icons.

Update: All of Mattek’s four Open outfits are from the Eva Longoria-endorsed Bebe Sport collection. (The Star-Ledger)

What do you think of her gold get-up? Tell us!

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short balls friday: grass in NYC, open call for ballkids, racquet stringers, etc.

A stringer on stringers: Here’s a New York Times profile on racquet stringers Nate Ferguson and Ron Yu. Interesting tidbit: “(Roger) Federer usually requests three different tensions: high, medium and low. Each racket has three little stickers telling him which it is. He changes rackets every time the balls are replaced by a fresh batch — after the first seven games, then every nine games after that. There is an exception: Federer does not want to serve with fresh strings and fresh balls. If the ball swap is going to occur on his turn to serve, he changes rackets the game before.”

Dress like Bethanie: Tabio in London is where Bethanie Mattek picks up socks for her crazy wardrobe. (via Tennis Week)

Ballkids at the U.S. Open: The audition process is arduous, the job is taxing (throwing balls overhand across the whole court!), but unlike the folks at other Slams, they get paid. (via newsday.com)

nadal-underwater.jpg

Crazy fluff photo opp of the week: Hopeless on grass, Rafa Nadal challenges Federer to an underwater match. (via Daily Mail)

Chew on this: Writer Michael Kimmelman takes a trip to New York City’s only grass courts at the West Side Tennis Club; the site hosted the U.S. Open before it moved to Flushing Meadows in 1978. (via NYT)

fashion: mattek tames her dress, wins a title

mattek-florida-today.jpg Bethanie Mattek won the MIMA Foundation/USTA Pro Tennis Classic yesterday (her first one in 18 months).

Florida Today reports that she’s been working with her coach to improve her strokes and playing style. “I see (tennis) now as a chess match,” she says. Good for her. More players need to realize that blowing someone off the court isn’t the only way to play.

It looks like she’s working on her outfits, too. That teal bandana/ruffled skirt look is an improvement from last year’s Wimbledon tunic ensemble, and from that argyle cowboy hat(!) she wore at the U.S. Open. Now she’s at least in Guga Kuerten/Arnaud Clement/Vince Spadea territory — wild, but palatable.

(top photo via floridatoday.com; argyle hat photo via the Volkl website)

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it finally happened

Tree huggers rejoice. If you ever thought that glowsticks go straight to a landfill, fear not: they found a second home in Miami this week.

Yep, Night Tennis finally happened, and it pretty much looked exactly as expected. Click here for photos of Bethanie Mattek in her blacklight attire.

If this is how she plans to bump up interest in tennis, then she is sadly mistaken. Let’s go back to the drawing board, eh?

I am very curious to know how Night Tennis will pan out in Thailand. That is, if they’re still even considering it at this point. If they back out, it’s cool. Ridding yourself of crazy ideas seems to be all the rage right now.

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