gilles simon: look a little closer

In case you missed it, Parisian shopping snob Gilles Simon‘s adidas Adipure tennis polo has an tonal checkered print — easier to see on the blue and red colorways. (Buy: adidas Adipure Polo, $50.)

Draw: Sort of a mini-upset for the 12th-seeded Simon as he beat 18th seed Juan Martin del Potro 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2, 7-6 (3). This was Delpo’s chance to defend his 2009 title after being sidelined by a wrist injury last year. Simon plays the winner of the Isner/Bogomolov third round match, still being played. (Bracket: Men’s Singles)

(photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

18 crumbs from taste of tennis

And by “crumbs,” we mean people, of course. Thursday night, TSF made its way to Taste of Tennis, the yearly event that combines food, the chefs that make it and a line-up of US Open tennis players for an evening that’s quite delectable. It was our first time there, and we were lucky enough to be joined by the talented photographer Billie Weiss, who snapped all 13 of these images in this post. But while Billie took in the visuals, we worked the green carpet and nabbed a few folks for a word or two before they headed in to snarf and socialize.

Our leading man, Gilles Simon, above, worked the green carpet longer than anyone else, happily obliging to speak with every single reporter and blogger (and there were plenty of us!) along his way.

TSF: What’s been the most surprising thing about year one of fatherhood? Hardest?
Gilles Simon: Well, it’s not surprising because I wanted it. [Smiling.] The mother, she is fabulous. When I have a match and the baby is crying in the night, I don’t wake up, she will always do that. For me, I just have the good things during a tournament: I get to enjoy him and when I don’t win a match he makes me smile because he is always happy to see [me]. I tend to forget about tennis around him.

TSF: Are you guys always traveling as a unit?
GS: We are not always together. But when we are, the mother helps me a lot — she is very patient. I try to have them with me as much as possible, of course.

TSF: What’s one thing you love about coming to New York?
GS: I am from Paris so shopping is not a big deal here. [Smiling.] It’s just being here. You cannot see this city anywhere else in the world. Nothing is the same. At night, sometimes it is too much for me, but it’s only two weeks. I can do that. I really enjoy traveling in different parts of the world. New York? You can’t find it anywhere else.

TSF: Tell us what you’re doing here tonight.
Gigi Fernandez: I’m here as an ambassador for the event. I’m delighted that I get to combine my two passions: tennis and drinking. [Laughs.] No, no. Tennis and food. Rums of Puerto Rico [one of the sponsors] asked me to come tonight and I’ve done stuff with them before. I did an event with them in Washington DC that was an Iron Chef-style competition where the chefs had to prepare food using different rums. And I was one of the judges… we got to drink and eat. It was great! It’s always fun for me to represent anything Puerto Rican.

TSF: OK, you’ve made two drink reference so far. What’s your favorite drink?
GF: Mojitos. They’re my favorite.

TSF: What else are you up to these days?
GF: Being a full-time mom is a full-time job. I do a lot of corporate clinics and several events during the Open. I play in the Senior event at the Open and I did so at Wimbledon and the French Open, too.

TSF: Do you care to weigh in on the women’s side this year?
GF: I think if Serena can stay fit then she’s clearly heads above the rest. When she’s 100% she’s the best player in the world.

TSF: Have any of the younger American girls caught your eye at all?
GF: Yeah, actually. Monica Puig is a Puerto Rican player. She’s the highest-ranked American junior coming up and she’ll have a similar dilemma to the one that I had in trying to figure out who she will represent. She’s definitely the one with the most potential.

TSF: What is on the iPod these days?
Vera Zvonareva: Well, I like Rihanna a lot. I like Nickelback right now and Linkin Park. There are a couple new songs from Bruno Mars out there, too.

TSF: Do you ever try to see anyone live when you’re traveling?
VZ: That’s something that I would love to do one day. Unfortunately, it never really works out with the tournaments. When you listen to music live it’s a great feeling. It’s something that I really want to do eventually.

TSF: What about when you have an afternoon or evening to yourself? What is me-time for Vera?
VZ: I lock myself in the hotel room and put a movie on and I can watch three or four movies at a time.

TSF: And your fave?
VZ: Bodyguard.

TSF: Touché V!

TSF: Pilates or yoga? What would you go for?
Janko Tipsarevic:
I would go for yoga. I tried it once on P90X and I only made it to two days because of my schedule. I was imagining that it was going to be really easy but it really is not. It’s all about focus.

TSF: What about starting a line of your own roller-bags at some point?
JT: I would, but the company — Technifibre — they were not really a big fan of that bag. But I always say, “Why wear it over your shoulder when you can roll it on the ground?” I know I look like I’m going to the airport but it’s so much easier.

TSF: Do you think that Djokovic’s run has motivated the rest of you Serbians to play better as well?
VZ: With winning the Davis Cup, it really inspired all of us to play better. With Novak, I’m really happy to have him as a friend. I have a front row seat to see what he is doing. I’m not afraid to talk to him and see what he is doing and what he is thinking. It’s only helped me improve.

TSF: What if you could make one meal? Where would it be? What would it include?
Tamira Paszek: One meal? That I cook? I love risotto, especially before the beginning of a tournament. Like a mushroom risotto with truffle oil. I cook sometimes … it’s relaxing. At Wimbledon we rented a house and we cooked then.

Tommy Haas chatted with a few folks on the line, then made a dash for the food. Leftovers? Loved the just-showered wet-hair look.

Rafael Nadal MUST have had a change-of-shirts after sporting the same outfit at Macy’s earlier in the day. He looked surprisingly fresh-faced after the mob on 34th. Leftovers? Benito responded to a question in Spanish with Italian.

Fernando Verdasco is really looking his best we’ve seen in a long while. Love the hair, love the (lack-of) facial hair. Leftovers? Has he lost weight?!

Click for more crumbs from TOT — and Billie Weiss’ photos. [Read more...]

trophy watch: he who stands taller

Two straight for Fishy: Mardy Fish denied John Isner from pulling a Mardy Fish yesterday in Atlanta. Last year, Fish had won Newport and Atlanta to kick off a hot summer, and with Isner taking the North American grass court tourney this year, he was trying to pull a Fish and double dip to start his own US Open campaign. But Fish, the no. 9-ranked player in the world, fended off Isner in Atlanta at the Atlanta Tennis Championships, beating his countryman 3-6 7-6 (6) 6-2. John doesn’t look too happy now, does he? The reason? It was the second straight year Fish had beaten Isner in the final here, saving match points this time around to take a cup over a platter (better to drink out of!). There’s still a few weeks before the big show in NYC! Cheer up, Johnny boy!

Vera, unplugged. It was the turnaround that Vera Zvonareva was in desperate need of. The Russian had struggled through Europe, whimpering out of Wimbledon where she so forcefully made the final last year, losing out to Tsvetana Pironkova in the third round, 6-3 6-2. But Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Vera’s countrywoman, made the biggest Baku headlines for the week for her 25-double fault match that she WON. More importantly? Vera was the week’s winner. Zvonareva took down the tough Anna Tatishvili, 7-5 6-7 (4) 6-2.

Gilles, too. Meanwhile, on clay, Gilles Simon took Nicolas Almagro to task, winning in Hamburg, 6-4 4-6 6-4.

(Isner and Fish via Getty; Vera via the Baku Cup/WTA; Simon via the AP)

gilles simon keeps roddick’s clay at bay

Andy Roddick‘s strong start to 2011 — with deep runs into Brisbane, the Aussie Open, and Memphis — did nothing for him at Indian Wells and Miami, and it’s translated into more weak performances on clay. Last week’s flameout against Flavio Cipolla now sits alongside another first-round “L” against Gilles Simon, who took out the 12th seed 6-3, 6-3.

Draw: Sharing that quarter with Simon are Melzer, Troicki, Kolya, and Murray, among others. Who’s going to be the last man standing? (Browse: Internazionali BNL d’Italia draws)

Striped: The Spring 2011 Adipure line’s all about the collegiate look, putting these plain stripes on the Traditional Pattern Polo (in varying navy/green/white combo’ed colorways). There’s also some argyle and a faux cardigan. Our pick: The Traditional Cotton Tennis Polo — complete with a crest (img) — $42.99, tennisexpress.com. The rest: adidas Adipure Spring 2011.

(Image by AFP PHOTO/Alberto Pizzoli)

short balls: serena's out, 3d's in and mac's prodigy

By Benjamin Snyder

You know behind those smiles that they’re actually pissed on how their outfits clash.

The WTA’s number one saga continues as Caroline Wozniacki and Kim Clijsters head to the BNP Paribas Open. But, get this: The not-so-intense rivalry between the two smile-y blondes started much earlier than people imagined, reports Matt Cronin. In fact, it was Kim’s late dad who first picked up on Caro’s “sunny disposition,” reminding him of his daughter’s own. Okay, so maybe that does not a rivalry make, and it’s more corny than anything. We can still hope for some drama between the two, can’t we? We’re ready for those pink dresses to get a little dirty.

The ATP doesn’t have any dirty pink dresses (well, at least not that we know of… ) but there’s plenty of controversy swirling around the boys these days. Davis Cup sparked quite enough juicy, male drama, especially from France’s Gilles Simon. He recently called out French Captain Guy Forget‘s coaching style, saying, “Guy has a vision for action and I play more in response. Guy was an attacking player. He won the Davis Cup and Bercy with aggression. That’s how he sees the game and I respect that, but it does not stick at all to my game.”

For more, check out FootFault‘s take here. Our thoughts? Simmer down, Simon. You might want to keep your mouth shut until you actually get a W out of a big-time Davis Cup match. But otherwise, how’s your kid, Gilles? Hopefully he’s as cute as you.

Serena Williams, as we all know by now, isn’t returning to court any time soon, although she’s raring to get back to hitting. She recently thanked us, the little people, on her website. And here we were convinced Serena thought only she existed in the world… “I am overwhelmed, and teary eyed by all the love and support from everyone. I am so blessed to have caring love from everyone.” Yes, guys, feel special. It’s the first time Serena has written something over 140 characters since her failed screenplay.

In Fenville, Michicgan, the tragic death of a high school basketball player has rocked the small town. Wes Leonard, 16, passed away shortly after securing a 65-64 win and a perfect, 20-0 season for the Black Hawks. For a moving tribute, read this powerful piece from ESPN.com’s LZ Granderson on Wes’ wisdom beyond his years.

In the wake of these heartbreaking stories, some pretty cool, uplifting ones are on the radar in the tennis world, too. There’s Wimbledon‘s move to stream the finals in 3D around the world. It’s time to exchange the strawberries and cream for popcorn and soda. Then there’s the tale of an up-and-coming John McEnroe prodigy in the form of a 12-year old girl. This girl, Ingrid Neel, is the real deal – according to McEnroe.  “The way she played, the look in her eye, made me think that maybe it was the 2011 version of what I would look like now, only a girl,” he says.  We’re ready when you are, Ingrid. The juniors could certainly use some tiny, pre-teen drama.

trophy watch: simon’s egg, kleybanova’s unveiling, etc.

It doesn’t really matter to us who ends up winning that trophy from the Open de Moselle in Metz, as long as it gets a photograph taken once a year. Of course it doesn’t hurt that daddy Gilles Simon, who took out Mischa Zverev 6-3, 6-2, is the one in the picture.

More: Winners in Bucharest, Seoul, and Tashkent — all after the cut…

short balls: skipping the tennis

This is the first photo that matches the search term “short balls” on Flickr. Igor Andreev putting away a short one at Wimbledon, 2008. (Photo by Mark Brocklehurst via Flickr.)

While we’re plenty impressed by all the Davis Cupping that happened this past weekend, the tennis season is in a bit of a lull 10 days after the completion of the US Open and before the big-time fall tournaments get under way. The women are in Seoul and Tashkent this week, while the men are swinging their way through Bucharest and Metz. While we’ve been doing a little bit of swinging of our own, we’ve been making the non-tennis rounds of the internet and finding plenty of good, juicy bits to fill the short balls plate for this week. Nibble up, djya’ll!

Before we get to the non-tennis stuff there is a few tennis items to make mention of. David Rosenberg has an item on Tennis.com about Ana Ivanovic‘s strange relationship with the U.S. Backgammon Federation. The Federation has presented Ivanovic (a first-round loser in Seoul) with a lifetime honorary membership. Game, Set, Backgammon? | Kenneth in the 212 is giving us a peek of Gilles Simon‘s … well, just click the link. Meanwhile, Kenneth gives thumbs-up to the Chrissie & Martina documentary, Unmatched, that debuted last week. | Anna Kournikova is gracing the cover of the current issue of Maxim. The Russian is feeling rather American in the spread, no? | Amelia Island, which hosts a USTA event and used to be home to a much-loved WTA stop, has been sold to Omni, which has 45 luxury destinations throughout North American. (via TennisWire.org). | The ladies of Spain are boycotting the Fed Cup team in their country. Or, as Courtney put it, Ladycotting. Well chosen. | The USTA has donated 21,000 pounds of food left over from the USO to NYC agency City Harvest. | The Bryan Brothers are hosting a tennis-fun weekend near their hometown of Camarillo, northwest of LA this Saturday. Partnering with K-Swiss, the boys will be joined by Davis Cuppers Sam Querrey (another local talent) and Mardy Fish for an exhibition and wine tasting at Spanish Hills Country Club. Tickets here. | And no surprise here: Serena walks the catwalk at Fashion Week.

And some number crunching before we abandon our tennis roots for the rest of the web: at last week’s Bell Challenge in Quebec City, American women notched 12 match wins among 10 players (nearly one third the draw). Anchored mostly by Bethanie Mattek-Sands‘s final run and helped out by a semifinal appearance by our favorite Jersey girl Christina McHale and a quarterfinal result from Melanie Oudin. At the USO, there were also 10 American women in the draw, winning a total of 9 matches, three less than in Canada. All hail the Maple Leaf, we guess.

Now, the non-tennis-ing begins. We’re loving this children’s book Dad Dad Mom Mom that promotes same-sex couples as parents. It’s even got a video up on YouTube. Storks get us every time. | TSF contributer and everything-extraordinaire Tobin Addington has his re-vamped web site up, which features musings on his blog and links to his writing, which is downright fantastic. His stuff is available here on Amazon. Check it. | The New York Times has a fantastic slideshow up of the good stuff at Burlington Toys in New York. Toy geeks rejoice! | While the DADT fail was disappointing yesterday, it’s encouraging to see a pop star take such a stance, isn’t it? | The New Yorker Festival kicks off next weekend (Oct. 1-3). The event features a sit-down with famed sports writer Bill Simmons. Too bad said talk is already sold out, but nice to see the intellects of the world wanting to hear/ see Bill in action. | We’ll just steal Gawker‘s headline on this one: “Bristol’s Grody DWTS Debut“. | It’s NYC Climate Week. That is all.

And if you’re ever wondering who to turn to for all your tennis and sporting business news, it’s tough to beat this guy. [Read more...]

strawberries and cream

While there are crazier things going on across la Manche, the ATPers are doing their part to hold up Wimbledon’s end of the fashion bargain. It’s not quite like the noisemakers of years’ past — with Federer et al embroiled in more serious tennis matters (like premature five-setters and faulty knees) — the military jackets and the dress pants were all left at home. Still, others are stepping up to play with the event’s strict, all-white dress code.

Left to right: Gilles Simon in adidas Barricade Collection; Florent Serra in Wilson; Jarkko Nieminen in Asics.

(images via Getty Images)

fashion focus: lacoste spring 2010

We’ve been watching a lot of Tennis Channel at Chez TSF — especially those classic matches from the 80s — and’ve been totally fascinated by the short shorts worn by Borg, Connors, Ashe, et al. We want them to come back!

Our only concern is how they’ll keep junk in the trunks, but it worked back then, so it must work now. How about starting off with the men of Lacoste?

The French company’s Spring 2010 goods made a showing in New York last month, and creative director Christophe Lemaire churned out the classics: blazers and polos for the men, and flirty skirts and jumpsuits for the women.

We can totally see Gilles Simon wearing that white outfit on the very left. Do you agree? Tell us!

View: The Lacoste 2010 rtw slideshow is here.

(images via style.com)

SPRING 2010 SHOWS WE LOVE
>> bottega veneta
>> max mara
>> thakoon
>> fendi
>> marc by marc jacobs
>> giorgio armani
>> burberry prorsum