serena steals the show

Serena Williams in pink leopard

 

Looking fabulous in a pink leopard print dress, Serena Williams stole the show in the US Open quarter finals with a comprehensive 6-3, 6-2 victory over Flavia Pennetta to book her place in the final-four. In his 19th consecutive win at the tournament, Serena kept alive her hopes of winning the 18th Grand Slam title that would see her join an elite group containing Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova as the most successful players of all time. If Williams can go on to win a sixth US Open title, she would also become the first woman to win the tournament three times in a row since Evert in the late 1970s.

After an injury-hit season in which the American has maintained her place at the top of the rankings without winning a Grand Slam, there had been some betting fans writing off Williams ahead of this year’s US Open. On the evidence of her performances so far, though, it’s unsurprising to see Serena heading into the latter stages of the tournament as the stand-out favourite with the likes of Betfair, Paddy Power and others.

The 32-year old hasn’t dropped a set in her first five matches at Flushing Meadows this year, dropping just 22 games in total. But despite her impressive form, Serena had to shake off some early wobbles before coming through her quarter final against Penneta. After losing her first two service games, Williams grabbed the tie by the scruff of the neck and did it all while looking her usual sensational self.

The US Open has always given both Serena and Venus Williams the chance to push the limits of tennis fashion in the past, and this year has been no different. While Serena was sporting her leopard print outfit in her quarter-final, she had stolen the show throughout her career with a string of eye-catching dresses.

evert will help relaunche ellesse in the u.s.

We can’t wait!

Chris Evert will serve as brand ambassador for the newly-formed Ellesse North America. The six-time U.S. Open champion, 56, will be actively involved in design, promotion and marketing, as well as the development of a signature collection,”Chris Evert for Ellesse.”

She will host a cocktail party at the Town Tennis Club on the Upper East Side Friday to help relaunch the Italian sportswear label Ellesse in the U.S.

Ellesse North America has acquired the master license for the Ellesse brand in all product categories for the North American market from Pentland Group plc. Ellesse will relaunch in the U.S. in the fourth quarter.

In addition to tennis wear, Ellesse will offer clothing and shoes for other “lifetime sports” like fitness, skiing, golf and equestrian. There are plans for an online store and freestanding stores, and the collection will also be carried in specialty stores, pro shops, ski shops, tack shops and hotel and resort shops.

(via SGB Update)

presidential practice

Hitter in chief: Before President Obama had to prove to the world where he was born, take on Donald Trump or take down Osama bin Laden … he was playing a little tennis. The commander in chief participated in a little 10 and Under tennis at the White House as part of the Easter Egg Roll activities on the Monday after the holiday, April 25.

At right you can see Chris Evert rallying with the prez and at the bottom left is Katrina Adams, a former pro and current on-air talent for the Tennis Channel. The 10 and Under activities were part of Mrs. Obama’s active Roll day for the “Let’s Move!” campaign. If you look closely, you’ll notice the prez is, indeed, a lefty.

More: The USTA is giving away a free 10 and Under tennis kit everyday until the U.S. Open. Click for a chance to win one for your family

(Image provided by the USTA)

short balls: maria is bootylicious, mamiit wins medals, and wedding announcements galore!

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Nole has some homework: Now that Masha has a bootylicious serve (to accomodate a right shoulder injury), funnyman Novak Djokovic will have to adjust his impersonation of the Russian. Get to work, Nole. (WTB)

Dear Harold: In the latest column by Harold Solomon for ZooTennis, he answers a question about choking.

Chris Evert engaged: Golfer Greg Norman and Chris Evert are now engaged. If you haven’t been following the drama surrounding these two sports icons, read up. (DTL)

Keeping it in Czech: Almost a year after getting engaged to Martina Hingis (and four months after calling it off), Casanova Radek Stepanek has applied for a marriage license with 18-year old compatriot Nicole Vaidisova. May-December, much? We’re waiting to get the “April Fool’s!” follow-up in our inbox. (BH via WTB)

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Sorry, Yonex: While this dress from Yonex might be a welcome surprise to some, I think it’s safe to say that loud prints shouldn’t have a place on the court. Too distracting, no? (WATR)

Mammiit’s medals: Cecil Mammiit cleaned up in the tennis events at the SEA games. He won gold in singles (beating a well-dressed Danai Udomchoke) and came up 2nd in both men’s and mixed doubles. Congratulations! (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Sharapova on Ellen: Ellen Degeneres, who’s been taking some heat for crossing the WGA picket line, will have Masha on her show this Friday.

Year-end thoughts: Chris Clarey offers his own, with the most memorable event being the five-set Wimbledon final between Roger and Rafa. (IHT)

Mathieu made whole: Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu, who had coach Thierry Champion taken away from him by the French Tennis Federation, is now working with Mats Wilander. Wilander’s most recent project was Tatiana Golovin.

florida memory project: chris evert

As a countdown to the Sony Ericsson Open next week, I’m posting some pictures from the Florida Photographic Collection. Today’s photo is of Chris Evert.

Chris Evert - Florida Memory Project
Chris Evert, photo by Roy Erickson

Someone needs to bring that look back. I’m thinking this is something for Maria Sharapova or Daniela Hantuchova. Thoughts?