once you’re toast, you get toasted



Guga was awarded with the Cruz do Mérito Desportivo (Cross of Sporting Merit) yesterday in Brasilia. This is the the Brazil’s highest honor awarded to athletes.

And at this week’s Open GDF SUEZ tournament in Paris, the women celebrated the recent retirement of two-time Grand Slam champ Amelie Mauresmo, whose post-pro life will be devoted to everything (including running the NYC Marathon) — but coaching. Read an account of this tribute (including a video clip!) over at DtL.

(via WTB)

two hotels: one reaches up, one reaches out



A tale of two cities: On one end, Shanghai, who’s ready to step out of Beijing’s architectural shadow with some record-breaking structures of its own. The showcase: the completion, after 14 (!) years, of the Shanghai World Financial Center — standing at 1,600 feet as the tallest building in China and the third tallest in the world. The Park Hyatt Shanghai has taken up shop in the 79th through 93rd floors of the 101-story skyscraper, just in time to welcome fans eager for another Roger/Rafa bout at the year-ending Tennis Masters Cup.

And down South, on Brazil’s Emerald Coast, the Ponta Dos Ganchos Resort is debuting five luxury seafront bungalows via an auction to benefit Instituto Guga Kuerten. The four new Emerald Villa Bungalows (2,455 sq. ft.) and one Special Emerald Villa Bungalow (3,210 sq. ft.), opening in the first week of December, feature dry saunas and jacuzzis with sea views, personal spa areas with massage tatamis, wine cellars, and private decks and plunge pools. The Special Emerald Villa Bungalow also includes an in-villa fitness center.

Bid: The silent auction for the PDG villas ends October 31, 2008. For more information, click here. One interesting note: “Cancellations are not accepted and are subject to total loss of payment as proceeds will be donated directly to Instituto Guga Kuerten.”

Book: See room rates (plus, on the landing page, a view from the hotel out to Shanghai) at the Park Hyatt website.

(via UD; screengrabs from each property’s website)

Trophy Watch: Guga’s final splash on Court Philippe Chatrier



Trophy watch: Three-time French Open champion (and TSF fave) Guga Kuerten bid adieu to the red clay of Roland Garros for the final time, accepting a wild card that his body couldn’t back up. He lost to Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-3, 6-4, 6-2. And when it was all over, they awarded Guga with a cross-section of the court that propelled him to the upper echelons of tennis.

As a good luck charm, Guga wore the same Diadora kit as when he won his first French Open title in 1997. That title was the first of 20 that he would eventually rack up in his 13-year career.

Take that, Roger Federer!

Here are a few more pictures, plus a link to Chris Clarey‘s NYT write-up of the match — all after the cut…

kuerten in miami



Guga Kuerten lost his first round match against Sebastien Grosjean in the first round of the Sony Ericsson Open. The scoreline: 6-1, 7-5.

While his game might not have held up, his fashion sense sure did. He wore a bright orange/red kit (with red hat, red shoes) from Diadora Guga Kuerten. Le sigh, we’ll sure miss his flair when he retires.

In doubles, he wore white and won one match with Nicolas Lapentti against Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco. They lost in the next round to Aspelin and Knowles. Lapentti also presented Kuerten with an award at an ATP banquet during the tournament.

Looking forward: Kuerten’s next stop on his farewell tour is a Challenger-level tournament in Florianopolis, Brazil. That event begins on April 14.

(photos by Getty Images)

short balls: the hewitts’ marriage on the rocks?, venus and hank engaged! shorts too short? guga to retire!



If they can’t join you, beat them: Woman’s Day continues to feed Hewitt-mania even after Bec Cartwright declined to renew her column for the Australian magazine. This week’s cover story: Bec’s marriage meltdown — “Stress, boredom and the loss of a successful, glamorous career have many wondering how long the pair will last…”

Le sad: The Estado de S. Paulo newspaper reports that Guga Kuerten will play his last season in 2008. Tourneys in his schedule include the French Open, the Brasil Open, and the Masters Series Miami. After retirement, perhaps he can devote more time to his clothing line. I want to see them do both the spring/summer and fall/winter shows! (src)

(Too) short shorts?: We bitch when the shorts are too long, and we bitch when the shorts are too short. Let’s make up our minds, shall we?

Planets are aligning: Venus Williams and golfer boyfriend Hank Kuehne are engaged. Mazel tov!

askjdflakjsdf: I’m over it.

For aspiring tennis journos: Blogging has given us a foot in the door, perhaps, but it still doesn’t compare to getting published online or in print. If you’re ready to take that next step, mediabistro’s How To Pitch section recently profiled Tennis magazine’s freelancing opportunities (reg. req’d.). On the fence? The sport doesn’t exactly have the highest Q rating, but sports journalists, as a whole, are very much in demand.

Cayman, the next frontier: The Outback Champions Series continues its expansion outside the U.S. by holding The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman Championships (April 16-20, 2008). Courier, Arias, and Ferreira have committed to play.

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>> TSF’s short balls archive