short balls: falling for tennis



Edible-Tennis-Balls

Less than 10 days after the completion of the 2009 US Open the tennis world has tumbled into the fall season with another round of Davis Cup drama, the autumn scheduling kicking off in far-off places around the globe and, oh yeah- Justine Henin announcing her comeback to the WTA Tour.

We’ll have more on the JuJu come back in the near futch, but for now let’s get to the always-entertaining world of the off-court game of tennis in this weeks’ edition of Short Balls:

Picture This: One of TSF‘s fave delish dish of tennis gossip is served up by Sarah Thurmond of Tennis.com. This week Sarah focused on Serena, Melanie and Kimmie in her post, and linked to a great Life.com photo gallery of tennis stars kissing their trophy, inspired by world-beaters Clijsters and del Potro last week. Our fave? That rando shot from the girls doubles champs at Wimbledon ’07. Who did your editing, Life?!

Conquistadora Speaks: Remember Conchita Martinez? Well, she won Wimbledon in 1994, but somehow never conquered the French. The one-slam wonder and Spanish junk baller spoke to New Zealand journo Michael Burgess this week. What’s Conchita up to these days? Apparently sleeping in and eating brunch in Barcelona. Sounds good to us.

Sweet 16: Thanks to Randy Walker for noticing that twelve years ago Roger Federer made his debut on the ATP rankings at number 803 at the tender age of 16. What a difference a dozen can make, eh? His challenge numbers are pretty dismal, though, writes Paul Kedrosky in an NYT op-ed.

On the rise: We’re digging the new tennis site, OnTheGoTennis, a blog that features off-court news full of photos. Kudos to Rachel for putting it together – we know a winner when we see one.

Tasty video: We’re loving this mock video put together for Wilson edible tennis balls. Yum?

Shameless plug: We can’t help but mention our always-trendy and fashion-savvy friend, Erin, who’s running in a marathon in the not-too-distant future to support an elementary school being built in Africa. Sport and support mixed in one? We’ll plug that any day.

'stretch' and mirnyi play doubles + more coaching news: monfils, mathieu, peer, murray



monfils-champion.jpg

French No. 2 (and world No. 25) Paul-Henri Mathieu is suddenly coachless one month before the Australian Open — and he’s not happy about it. Mathieu told l’Equipe that he feels like the “turkey being joked upon” (“dindon de la farce“) by being forced to share his coach, Thierry Champion, with the lower-ranked Gael Monfils, who recently returned to Team Lagardère after a 14-month absence. According to l’Equipe Monfils got hooked up with Champion to recreate the partnership that saw Monfils reach No. 23 back in June 2006.

Since Mathieu didn’t want to share (and rightfully so), Lagardère head Rémi Barbarin is actively searching a solution for “Paulo”, who in the meantime’s training with Patrice Hagelauer.

Speaking of: The striped Fabrice Santoro is also joining Lagardère with coach Lionel Zimbler in tow. Santoro turns 35 on Dec 9. His goal for next year is to set a new record for most Grand Slam tourneys played (he’s currently tied with Agassi at 61), and to compete at the Olympics for the fourth time.

Coach Conchita: Now free from military obligation, Shahar Peer can look forward to instruction from Gabriel Urpi and Conchita Martinez in 2008.

Murray’s next move: The currently-coachless Andy Murray will be doing off-season training with Miles Maclagan for the next three weeks, reports the Times. Murray is currently without a full-time coach since partly ways with Brad Gilbert earlier this month.

Stretch and… more strech: There’s gonna be a whole lot of lankiness in the 2008 doubles pairing of Jamie Murray and Max Mirnyi.

(Thanks to Chris and Patricia for their help on this post.)