short balls: feddy whatty?

British politician Nick Clegg, second from left, is pictured back in the day playing some prep school tennis in Westminster. He’s almost as pissed as Liezel Huber. Almost. (Photo via the AP.)

Is the Fed Cup Broken? There was plenty of debate early this week about how much attention was paid to the Fed Cup ties this past weekend. I’ve got to say I was a little surprised that overall coverage wasn’t happening a little more consistently across the board. Even on the Birmingham News‘s web site you had to seek out links for the U.S.-Russia tie, which was happening right there in town! The most complete coverage? That came on the Fed Cup web site itself. Which, as an international event, is not a good sign. Bruce Jenkins pointed out some major flaws in the system (playing for next year’s groups in April; a six month gap between the semis and finals) in a piece on CNNSI.com.

Fashion in Action. We showed you last week that Vince Spadea is designing his own tees, so you gotta love this number inspired by Rihanna‘s pop-tastic hit, “Rude Boy“. If that doesn’t do it for you, head over to Brooklyn’s Union Hall next week to hear USTA employee and fashion buff Andrew Feldman talk about “how (and why) professional tennis players attire themselves for competition at the US Open and other major tennis events” as part of the Adult Ed series. You know we’ll be there. But if you can’t make it to NYC, the NYT has this confusing (and low budget) shoot to give you your fashion fix for the day.

Serena Honored, Still Missing. The WTA is celebrating Serena Williams‘s 100th week at the helm of the rankings. She becomes just the seventh woman in tour history to complete such a feat. It doesn’t seem like Serena has played in 99 weeks, but I guess we should celebrate he Slam success instead of harping on a Hingis-Ivanovic-Safina #1 sitchu, right?

Liezel, The Angry. We’re not sure if Jon Wertheim finds all these gems on the web himself or if he gets a little help from his Mailbag faithful, but he posted this video of Liezel Huber freaking out at Wimbledon a few years back after being hit by a ball struck by Nadia Petrova. The ironic thing, Wertheim notes, is that Huber and Petrova have now partnered together on the dubs circuit.

michael stich and serena williams

San Francisco Chronicle‘s award-winning journalist Bruce Jenkins wrapped up the latest ado about Serena quite nicely, explaning that the two-time Wimbledon champ had no reason to “act” her way to a fourth round win over Daniela Hantuchova. And it makes sense: who would want to fake a leg cramp that likely led to a slip (and a sprained thumb) that later cost her the quarterfinal match against Henin?

I could have lived without Serena saying that she could have beaten Justine if she was healthy. While that might be true, prize money and titles aren’t handed out in hypotheticals. There was no need for her to cheapen Henin’s win in a match that was contested fair and square. Serena is a great athlete “full of integrity”, but sometimes she’s also “full of herself”.

She continues to make people talk, and former champion (and BBC commentator) Michael Stich, who called Serena out on being disrespectful, became the latest pariah. Speaking of Michael, he has a non-profit devoted to HIV/AIDS awareness working extensively with infected children in German-speaking countries.

[via Kenneth in the (212) -- link NSFW]