for the us open, some bold and some bright from PRL

Red, white and neon: For the US Open this year, the classic American brand Polo Ralph Lauren is going for a brighter, bolder look, meaning the tennis balls won’t be the only neon items on the court at Flushing Meadows. Above, PRL has outfitted the ball persons in these tops, with the always-large Polo logo on the breast and bright, in-your-face orange paneling on each side of the shirt. Ball persons, lines people and chair judges will all be giving a little bit of a brighter appearance, as PRL has chosen a neon green accent to accompany some of their orange in complementing the always-present navy blue.

Shop PRL: The Women’s Collection | Men’s Collection

TSF Vault: Polo Ralph Lauren To come: TSF chooses our fave items from this year’s collection

Us, too: But the brightness from PRL expands past just the officials at the Open to me and you. The brand is offering the highlighted colors in a variety of its pieces from this year’s US Open collection. Above: The US Open Slam Polo dress, $185. Below: Custom-fit US Open Neon polo, $98.

Weigh in: What do you think of the PRL look this year? Classy? Or too much?

(Images courtesy of Polo Ralph Lauren)

short balls: vogue's fashion through the years, twitter check-ins and the espys looks (and don't looks)

It’s Vogue, dahling: How did we miss this?! Just shy of Wimbledon, Vogue.com used their Vogue Daily outlet to post a 110-year history of tennis fashion, called the “Evolution of Tennis Fashion.” The 26-picture slide show scoots through the early 20th century as eventually makes it to today’s looks, punctuated by the Williams sisters and Maria Sharapova. Our favorite look? Katharine Hepburn rocking high-waisted shorts in the 1940s (above, with Ana Ivanovic). | TSF Vault: Vogue

Through the (on court) years: Yahoo‘s Busted Racquet tennis blog edited by Chris Chase is also giving a through-the-years look, but they’re focusing on classic matches. Recently they’ve looked at the classic Pete Sampras-Roger Federer Wimbledon 2001 encounter, and the last Slam Chris Evert would ever win: beating Martina Navratilova at the 1986 French Open. But our fave they’ve written up so far has been from another Martina: Martina Hingis. A look back at her meltdown against Steffi Graf at Roland Garros in 1999. Does it ever get old?!

Tennis trend? 
Planking has caught on in the tennis community. Hard core.On Tennis.com‘s Daily SpinJon Scott checks in on a Laura Robson favorite that kept the US Davis Cup team (too?) busy and entertained last weekend in Austin. And if you’re not quite sure what planking is, read away, folks!

Yes, Sloane does tweet. Our friends over at Adjusting the Net have a good write-up on Sloane Stephens‘ Q&A with reporters yesterday on a call for the Citi Open later this summer. While Melanie Oudin told TSF last week on a similar call that she kept the social networking tool at an arm’s length, Stephens is known as one of tennis’ best (and funnest) tweeters. She says:

I love Twitter. I post everything myself but my uncle been emailing me since I was 10 years old and on the bottom of his emails they have these quotes and I’ve always found them really cool. So I’ve kept all my uncle’s emails and I go back re-read the quotes on there and think “That’s a good one” so I’ll post that one or whatever. Initially it was just being funny and to just throw stuff out there, but then people responded to me saying I love your tweets and can relate to what you say so I started tweeting more and I’m glad people enjoy it.

More: Follow Sloane on Twitter | And TSF, too!

SI.com’s Twitter breakdown. Before we get to chatting up the ESPYs, SI.com has their “Twitter 100″ out today, a list of 100 sports writers, personalities and athletes that the site felt were the ones writing the sports story on Twitter. While Sloane didn’t make the cut, Serbian players Novak Djokovic and Janko Tipsarevic did, as did Andrea Petkovic. TennisReporters.net writer (and Mr. Do-It-All) Matt Cronin was on the list, as was gay sports outlet, Outsports.com. Next year, TSF, next year!

Did she just wear that? And no, we’re not talking about Maria Sharapova in this one. Serena Williams was quite the sight to be seen last night at the ESPYs, where Seth Meyers hosted. Serena wore a number that gave quite a peek to her front side and her back, and we can’t quite say we were the biggest fans of such an option. Serena, along with Rafael Nadal, won awards for Best Female and Male Tennis Player, respectively. | More: Who looked better? Maria or Brooklyn Decker?

The (fashionably) tall kids:
It’s rare to see Maria Sharapova not be the tallest one in the room, but as she chatted about her eye-popping heels backstage, Amar’e Stoudemire joined her and the New York Knick had her by a couple inches — even with heels on. Watch below:

More Amar’e: He’s a pretty fashionable guy | Plus: ESPY fashion report card … in which MLB pitcher Brian Wilson — channeling Serena’s pink spandex bodysuit — got a surprising F. Shouldn’t he get a D- for accessorizing well? Erwin?!

OK, one more! The Biebs was giving us a NASCAR look. And come on, you gotta sorta appreciate it, right?!

short(er) balls: They were rocking the (more distinguished) fashion in Newport last weekend at the festivities surrounding the International Tennis Hall of Fame weekend. An Angelea Moore fashion show raised funds for the Hall. | Rihanna is replacing Megan Fox in the Armani underwear campaign, joining tennis’ Rafael Nadal. | AOL has a good gear and apparel guide for tennis fans — everything under $100. | Sybille Bammer retires from the tour after losing her final match in her home country of Austria. Remember two years ago when the mama was a tour force to be reckoned with? No comeback for her, she says. | Feel better, Miles! Miles Raonic, Canada’s new star, is out for six weeks after hip surgery. That puts his US Open in clear doubt, and definitely means he misses out on the Masters stop in Canada next month. | Caroline Wozniacki‘s dad and coach, Piotr, lashes out over criticism that she should replace him as the guide to her game. He did not join her in Bastad last week, where Wozy withdrew due to injury.

(Vogue.com screengrab; Serena/Maria, Wilson and Biever all Getty Images)

short balls: just short of sw19

Ruffled around the edges. Serena is 1-1 heading into Wimbledon, 2011. She got bright colors (and losing?) out of her system before descending upon London. | More Serena: The younger Williams has promised fans some karaoke sessions while at her first Major in a year. Yep, she’s got a portable karaoke machine. And yes, she’s trying to corral Andy Murray into doing it with her.

Tennis, meet fashion. | Obviously we (and you!) know that tennis fashion is a year-round sort of gig, but the biggest events are Wimbledon and the US Open — at least from a fashion POV. So for tomorrow night’s players’ party at Richard Branson’s digs, the Telegraph in London is laying out which ladies are wearing which designers. Caroline Wozniacki is unsurprisingly rocking Stella McCartney while Serena will be sporting some Burberry. Vivienne Westwood? That honor goes to one Jelena Jankovic. Work it, ladies!

Bring it, Yao! | Li Na is certainly set up for life. Imagine if this chick wins another Slam?! China might demand that it be able to host its own Major. Experts are saying that with her win at the French, Li will surpass Yao Ming, the NBA star, in marketing prowess. We’re a little blown over by that claim, but the Nike-sponsored hard-hitter already has several offers up and running with IMG,  her reps. Li, who currently has contracts with Nike, Rolex and — get this! — Haagen-Dazs ice cream could start to clean up. An industry expert in China puts it this way: “She will bring you the ‘light bulb moment’ as an international professional athlete. She is good at her sports, and her personality combines western civilization and oriental wisdom. She is frank, sincere with a steady and relaxed style,” explained Qiang Wei, a sports marketing director.

Clijsters withdraws from Wimbledon | No, seriously. She’s out. And WTT? They’ve already gone looking for a summer replacement.

Heather Watson is 2011′s Laura Robson … just sayin’.

Wimbledon greats. Ten of them, to be exact. The best ten matches from SW 19′s history. They’re stacked up — oddly? — by BestCollegesOnline.net. This is a great selection! And the video clips are surreal to watch one after the other.

More surreality: Andy Murray hits two (two!) tweeners in win over JWS

Tennis in Times Square. If you wanted more visuals from our post about the US Open tickets sales event in Times Square, TSF contributor and Tennis.com intern Benjamin Snyder put together a pretty snappy gallery. And how about his one-on-one with Judah Friedlander in the captions? We dig.

Pimms with lemonade? On the Tennis Channel website, columnist James LaRosa has conjured up the most hilarious (and ridiculous) Wimbledon drinking game we’ve even encountered. And we love it.

Short(er) balls: Because we know Erwin (and Troy!) care, just a note to say that Mary Kate and Ashley turned 25 on Monday. OMG! | Jon Wertheim? He picks Serena to win Wimbledon. | Sure, Roger Federer is a cute dad, but we don’t think he falls into the “hot” realms of David Beckham. | ATP Executive Chairman Adam Helfant will step down at the end of 2011. | The new home of British heiress Petra Ecclestone? Don’t worry, it has a tennis court. (And cost over $100 million.) | We’ll be at the HSBC exo on Monday with Monica Seles and Jim Courier. We’ll bring the sunscreen (for Jim!) and you guys bring the Grunt-o-Meter.

(Serena image via Getty; Watson vid via WTA)

flashback: loup & the volley girls at the delray itc

Loup’s lady, Danielle Ribner, chic in the middle of a VolleyGirl sandwich. VolleyGirls wearing the classy 2 Layer black dress.

Tee-time: Loup-sponsored player Sydni Katz looking (and throwing) good in a pale Army green gathered skirt dress. Buy: $95 online

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gisela the hottie

Any of our Italian fans up for a bit of translation? Gisela Dulko is featured in the latest issue of SportWeek, Italy’s sports magazine. The article (as far as we can tell), focuses on Gisela and her partnership with Italian Flavia Pennetta and their victory at the Australian Open in doubles this year. Ladies look goooooooood! Above and below: Dulko.

UPDATE: Reader Palbi weighed in, giving us a synopsis: “[Gisela] says that Flavia and her are best buddies and speaks about her boyfriend Fernando Gago, from Real Madrid. He saw her on TV and asked someone to get him her number. Apparently that’s how soccer player rolls these days. In other news, she’s a Federer fan and she thinks that winning a Grand Slam in double is the same as winning one in singles.” Thanks Palbi!

(via @PennettaWebsite on Twitter)

mah-aking it work

Sad that you haven’t seen more fashion coverage from us this year? Well here it is. In one post. For the entire year. Now we’re hanging up our measuring tape, magnifying glasses and red pen and watching The Devil Wears Prada in German over, and over, and over again. Click image to watch the video.

Nicolas Mahut, the famous Frenchman who was on the losing end of the epic Wimbledon battle with John Isner last summer, made quite the ruckus at the Hopman Cup in Perth recently, donning matching outfits with mixed doubles partner Kristin Mladenovic. Even Bethanie Mattek Sands, the queen of quacky outfits was giving some giggles. And dang, isn’t Mahut looking good? We think so. | 28-year-old journeyman Mahut into round 2 of Aussie qualies

(image via youtube)

short balls: uso week 1 version

Venus was clad in a new number from Eleven. (photo by richard perry/nyt via nytimes.com)

Beyond the tennis world, the US Open takes on a life of its own in the New York media when it comes to town. Most impressive so far has been the UrbanDaddy scoop on the WAGs of tennis players (wives and girlfriends, just in case you weren’t sure). While we haven’t heard of half these ladies, it was nice to see someone talk positive about Nicole Vaidisova for once. The best line? This one about Brooklyn Decker: “The woman so beautiful they named not only one of the Five Boroughs after her, but also a popular and affordable line of power tools.” We’re still wondering, though: who wins a cage match, Mirka or Kim Sears?!

You’d be hard pressed to find more comprehensive coverage of the Open than the New York Times (full disclosure: I’m helping with said coverage). The paper even went as far as to send a food critic out to sample the food court. While the Times does have gargantuan coverage, SI.com has a new tennis blog, Open Source, that’s operating during the tournament. Meanwhile, our fellows bloggers are providing stand-up coverage. FortyDeuceTwits has us in fits of laughter daily, DowntheLine! is always quotable (and has a great post/video of the Azarenka collapse) and Kenneth in the 212 couldn’t provide better tennis shirtless pics (rivaling ours?!) on a weekly basis.

Oh, and before the cut, another look at the arm art, er, tattoo, from one, Bethanie Mattek-Sands. This time, it matches her top.

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players manage balancing act while prepping for nyc’s big show

Kim Clijsters threw out the first pitch after meeting the Mets team in Queens on Friday in New York. A day earlier, she was the USTA’s guest of honor at the draw ceremony (AP photo via Yahoo! Sports).

RalphLauren.com pulled out all the stops on Thursday afternoon for an event featuring Venus Williams, in which Venus took questions from online submissions from around the world in a live clinic. At the Sportime Randall’s Island tennis center in New York, Venus was on court for the first time in a public setting since her eyebrow-raising loss to Tsvetana Pironkova in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon. But instead of thwacking errors and a look of confusion, Venus was all smiles and tennis knowledge in the clinic, which was hosted by the British TV personality (and former player) Annabel Croft.

Venus, who is the no. 3 seed at the US Open and one of the favorites though she hasn’t been on tour in two months, talked fitness, forehands and gave plenty of tennis tips from her 26 years of experience on the court. The event was hosted by Ralph Lauren and Mercedes Benz, based on RL’s homepage for viewers to log in and watch live while Venus answered questions relayed by Croft. (Watch a full replay of the clinic here or click on the image after the jump.)

“It’s good for me to remember the basics when I’m about to play a big tournament,” Venus said, referring to the Open. Venus partnered with Ralph Lauren in the design of the dress she wore, a white number emblazoned with the logo of Eleven, Venus’s clothing line.

Guests were greeted with sweet mint tea, pistachio ice cream sandwiches and caramelized popcorn on the upper deck at Randall’s Island, which hosts the New York Sportimes during the World Team Tennis seasons. Male models clad in red Ralph Lauren polos dished out the goods as Venus strode through the crowd on her way to hair and make up (this was a live, online clinic, after all).

The clinic was a part of a myriad of events happening in New York this week, which all lead up to the big show at Flushing Meadows starting on Monday.

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eleven’s gilt sale is on — what’s next?

Alright, ladies, you finally have a chance to own a Venus Williams dress via the EleVen sale on Gilt.com. Included in this drop are the buzz-worthy dresses that we’ve seen her wear in the last two years: the Tie Dye Slip Dress (aka the can-can dress) from Miami ’10, $99; the Goddess Dress from Wimbledon ’08, $79; the Tie-Dye Halter Dress from Miami ’09, $89; and the Slit Front Dress from Melbourne ’10, $89.

Not pictured is a pink version of the beautiful Double Cross Back Dress, which appeared during Venus’ doubles play (with Serena) at Wimbledon ’09, $79.

We caught up with Venus at the Ralph Lauren Legends Clinic yesterday to ask her about the Gilt sale. She expressed excitement about seeing her designs again come to life; her team has taken a long time (and is still in the process of) replacing Steve & Barry, the now-defunct company that used to manufacture and sell her line.

And what’s the next step for Venus? She hinted at new EleVen designs appearing in future Gilt sales. For now, we’ll occupy ourselves with what’s been put out.

(screengrabs via Gilt)