adding a hall of fame layer to world tennis day

Tennis Hall of Fame logo

Packing It In: Since all eyes (in theory) will be on tennis on March 4 — that’s World Tennis Day — it couldn’t hurt to highlight just one more facet of our sport. At the BNP Paribas Showdown in New York City, the 2013 inductees to the International Tennis Hall of Fame will be honored in a Center Celebration on the night of the exhibition. This year’s nominees: Martina Hingis, Michael Stich, Helena Sukova, Thelma Coyne Long, Cliff Drysdale, Charlie Pasarell, and Ion Tiriac.

WTD at MSG? BNP. And apart from the parade of vets will be a two-match line-up that will pit Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka (they’ve now played two three-setters in a row!) and Juan Martin del Potro against Rafael Nadal. This will be Nadal’s first American appearance since returning from his 8-month absence dating back from last year’s Wimbledon. Info: Tickets and other info on the BNP Paribas Showdown available at their website.

HOF: The Hall of Fame Class of 2013 will be inducted on July 13, 2013.

fila’s 100 years on display at the hall of fame museum


Fine time for Fila: Monica, Boris, Kim and others are all hanging out at the International Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum — well, at least their clothes are. As part of the celebration of Fila turning 100 years old, a rotating collection of the company’s clothes through the last century is on display at the museum over the next 10 or so months, after the exhibition began in mid June. Fila is also featuring an interactive microsite, Fila.com/100, which we wrote about last month. Fans can scroll through the outfits of Monica Seles, Bjorn Borg and Guillermo Vilas and click on whether they would wear such threads today (do we sense an upcoming retro line?!). Our fave part of the microsite? The umpire collections from past US Opens. Seriously, bring back those umpire polos from the 1989 USO! We love, love, love!

But the Fila folks didn’t just through this celebration together with a few fun things to click on and leave it at that. On the microsite is an entire interactive timeline of the 100 years of the company, which takes you through the brand’s early development starting in 1911 and then looks at its growth to eventually include tennis greats like Pam Shriver and Evonne Gollagong, while looking at the brand’s dabbling in sailing, golf, skiing, swim and other sports wear. We dig it. You can even watch old Fila commercial (we recommend Monica’s 1990 spot), as well. And the brand even explores its basketball roots, looking at famous 90s stars Grant Hill and Jerry Stackhouse. Remember when?! | TSF Vault: Fila

Browsing: But if you want more of an in-person experience rather than online, the Hall of Fame exhibition will be up until around June of 2012. While it features the likes of Seles (top of the post) and a look through the men’s wear on court through the years (above), it will include four totally different shows from the brand, each living in the museum for about three months. The Hall of Fame Museum is open 9:30 to 5 everyday of the year, sans Christmas and Thanksgiving. Plan your visit.

After the cut: our favorite pieces from the Fila 100 collection and a one more look at the Museum display. [Read more...]

trophy watch: those who bounce back

No Wimbledon hangovers here: For those players who choose to play the week after Wimbledon on the tours, they never know quite what they’re getting themselves into until they get onto the court and realize, Hey, this isn’t Wimbledon! For the men the surface transition might be a little easier (the only event offered is a grass court tune-down — is that what you call a surface-specific post-Slam small event?), though they go further geographically, crossing the Atlantic while the women stay in Europe (Sweden and Hungary, respectively). 

Newport: While John Isner was left off the losing US Davis Cup team, the 6-foot-9 big-serving American took a wild card into the Campbell’s International Tennis Hall of Fame Championships and won the tourney, the first top seed to do so in its 35-year history. And while he stood much taller than 5-foot-6 Olivier Rochus, the 26-year-old barely inched past the Belgian, 6-3 7-6 (6). The 15-inch difference between the two players was the greatest in ATP history.

Clay ladies: Polona Hercog and Roberta Vinci were happy to be back on the red stuff, winning titles in Bastad and Budapest, respectively. Hercog nabbed her first WTA win with help of an injured Caroline Wozniacki (who withdrew in the second round), beating local Johanna Larsson in the final, 6-4 7-5. Vinci, meanwhile, captured her third title of the year, defeating Irina-Camelia Begu, 6-4 1-6 6-4. See Vinci below.

(Isner and Vinci via the AP; Hercog image by the Swedish Open via the WTA)

flashback: agassi wins his first, 1992

The same outfits today? Andre Agassi gets inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame today in Newport, R.I. It’s no surprise that Agassi, who won eight career Slams, was the no. 1 trending topic on Yahoo! this morning. The dude has done a lot, no? We couldn’t help ourselves from putting up this pic, which has several meanings. Our first thought? That’s really a wig?! Yep, according to Andre it was. And there he is with Steffi Graf, seven years before they would both win the French Open and kindle their romance for good. As for tennis significance? Wimbledon 1992 was Andre’s first Major, and one that he wrote in his book was most unexpected for him — he wasn’t favored to win — and he finally shook off the disbelievers when it came to his early success translating onto the big-time court. Oh right, and the next year Barbara Streisand was there, too. Who doesn’t love a Wimbledon champ?! Congrats, Andre! | TSF Vault: Flashbacks | Andre Agassi

Favorite Agassi moment? Vote on TennisFame.com

(Image via AELTC archives)

short balls: the post-wimbledon edition

Changing of the (screen) guard: While the victories of Petra Kvitova and Novak Djokovic marked somewhat of a changing of the guard on the respective tours, the biggest change at Wimbledon came in the week after the tournament was over: in its TV coverage. It was announced earlier this week that ESPN had outbid NBC for full TV rights of the tournament, meaning the peacock network was pushed out of a gig it had held for some 43 years. And for ESPN? They’ll have the whole shebang for the next 12 Championships. The network team of ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC will take over from London starting next year.

That’s a wrap? Did you miss the slew of Wimbledon post ops? If so, here’s a collection: Tignor’s A-List. Tignor’s the rest of them. Wertheim’s mail bag. ESPN’s Wimbledon grades. ESPN’s power rankingsWTA’s video highlights. Forty Deuce’s hilar “pic this.” The Guardian. Oh! The list goes on and on…

Too sexy for ya?  Time ran an interesting piece from its business section on the WTA‘s ad campaign, “Strong is Beautiful.” The thrust of the article: what the ?!?#?#%% Well, not exactly. But, the article points out that sexualizing the women the way this campaign does undermines women’s sports in a sense, and their ability to compete as athletes on court. We certainly see such a point.

The Journal recommends some tennis whites — including Boast — this summer. (WSJ)

Feeling Boastful? You guys know that TSF isn’t the only place online that talks about tennis fashion. OK, but we admit it: we’re the only ones that talk about it everyday. Anyway, the Wall Street Journal got in on the tennis fashion game during Wimbledon, running a piece that examined the cultural shift of the industry as it’s moved through the decades. Nope, tennis isn’t a rock-star sport driven by John McEnroe anymore, but the clothes he wore might be making a bit of a comeback. Featured in the article were one of TSF’s faves, Boast. | TSF Vault: Boast

Doesn’t it vibrate? While most of us have learned to silence our phones or at least put them on vibrate while at work or in public, it doesn’t seem as though Alize Cornet has attained such a habit. The Frenchwoman was down match point in the first round of the Swedish Open this week against world no. 1 Caroline Wozniacki when a phone started ringing. Wozy first tried to ignore the noise, but it persisted, and she stepped back from the line to see if someone would answer/silence/ignore the call. It was then that her opponent, Cornet, ran to her bag to switch off the phone that had been ringing — hers! Hilarity. Video below:

Roll the tape: Seems as though the fellas at Tennis.com — Peter Bodo, Steve Tignor and Ed McGrogan — have a new outlet for their weekly chats. The trio has teamed up with BNP Paribas for a sit down in a round-table discussion called “The World of Tennis.” This week they talk about Andre Agassi, who will be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame tomorrow in Newport, R.I. | ESPN: Agassi’s top 10 moments

Short(er) balls: It ain’t “Wimble-TIN.” Sportscaster raises money for charity by fueling PSA over pronunciation of Wimble-DON. | In case you forgot, Novak Djokovic is no. 1 in the world now. HEAD hails the king. | Are you reading Jonathan Scott‘s musings on Tennis.com’s “The Spin?” If not, you should be. | Lindsay Davenport is preggers and (tastefully) pulls out of the WTT season, via doctor’s orders. | This might be a little old, but who cares? It’s Maria Sharapova talking about Cole Haan. Take note, Martina Hingis. | Shouldn’t every short(er) balls end with Djoko dancing on stage? We think so.

(Image by George Ellison via Flickr.)

short balls: finals weekend awaits


Two to go.
Before we turn the corner to the weekend, there’s plenty happening outside of Paris that has caught our eye the last few days. The June/July issue of Tennis View has Andre Agassi on its cover (full disclosure: I wrote one of the articles in the mag), talking about the American’s upcoming induction into the Hall of Fame. Agassi made his own headlines just yesterday, announcing that he  has teamed up with investors to form a fund for independent schools to use for building new or improving old facilities. Agassi is famous for his charter school in Las Vegas, and will join forces to form the Canyon-Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund, which has some $750 million in the bank to fund projects it pre-approves.

Summer cinema.
To our readers who are in the Northeast, perhaps you might like this social activity from the International Tennis Hall of Fame. The Newport-based org is hosting a preview screen of the HBO Sports documentary McEnroe/Borg: Fire & Ice. The screening is happening this coming Thursday, the 9th, at the Casino Theatre on the ground of the HOF. More about the movie: “Thirty-one years after the stirring Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Final that earned Hall of Famers John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg a place among history’s great sports battles, HBO Sports looks back at their unforgettable rivalry of the ’70s and ’80s.” How do you get in? The 7 PM screening is free for ITHF Members, and included with Museum admission of $11 for Non-Members. Seating is limited and reservations may be made by emailing programs@tennisfame.com. The documentary will premiere on HBO on Saturday, June 11 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

Boxing on Broadway.
Love the Rocky theme music? How about Rocky the musical? It’s actually in the works. The production, which went through a New York reading this spring and is in the beginning stages of production, hopes to land on Broadway by spring of 2013. Sylvester Stallone is no doubt involved in the project, which will first debut in Germany before coming to Manhattan.

Not enough Nike.
Think the Swoosh dominates the world? They don’t. Nike looks to move into sports it hasn’t penetrated much yet, like skate boarding and surfing. | TSF Vault: Nike

Inspire us.
Sometimes sports stories can just change the way you think about life, period. Strong stuff on Yahoo’s high school site, RivalsHigh.

Want.
Nothing better than a little Friday retail therapy. We’re loving these locally-made mini wallets from Seattle. These Laura Bee Designs ditties are made by hand with lace and leather (no, really) and just $14 + shipping.
(Agassi image via robtee7 on Flickr; Laura Bee Designs screen grabs)

feeling peachy

The International Tennis Hall of Fame followed up their announcement of Andre Agassi joining the Hall in 2011 by adding another name to the list: Peachy Kellmeyer. “Peachy,” whose real name is Fern Lee, was the first employee and director of the WTA way back in 1973 and still serves the organization today as Operations Executive Consultant. She will be inducted alongside Agassi on July 9 in Newport, R.I. | TSF Vault: Hall of Fame

(photo by getty images)

on the 4th day of giftmas: design between the lines

Hugh Hayden is by no means new news in the tennis design world, but he certainly keeps us interested. The designer of all things comfy (and recycled) continues to churn out tennis-inspired furniture, like the dog bed that can be seen below. Hugh hit it big this year in landing the gig to design Lacoste’s boutique window at the US Open. Now Hayden is personalizing the design concept for his adoring fans. A custom set is available for $325. The dog bed is available on the same link to the left for $285.

Rainbow row: Hayden can get colorful, too.

While the Hall of Fame chairs that you can nab at SportsMemorabilia.com aren’t half as comfy as what Hayden is churning out, they come along with some pretty good history and sentiment along with them. Chairs from the International Tennis Hall of Fame come (signed) from faves like Johnny Mac, Pete Sampras, Jim Courier, Mats Wilander and Tracy Austin. Cost? It’s a pretty penny: around $600 each.

All right you budget shoppers, we’ve got you covered after the jump, so get a-clickin’!

[Read more...]

short balls: tears of joy

Dressing, acting and crying like a 12-year-old boy (all so charmingly, might we add!), Rafael Nadal embraced the World Cup in all its glory by cheering on his champs, Spain, in South Africa on Sunday. The Spanish team downed The Netherlands 1-0 to win the country’s first-ever World Cup title, and Rafa got all giddy (and shed some tears) over the futbol success. Looks as though Rafa will keep one foot on the soccer field in the near future as it was also announced last week that he is now a partial shareholder of the Real Mallorca club team.

While one future Hall-of-Famer was in Africa rooting on his countrymen, seven tennis personalities were inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame over the weekend in Newport, R.I. Most notably were the doubles tandems of Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge and Natasha Zvereva and Gigi Fernandez. Brad Parks, one of the founding fathers of wheelchair tennis in America, was also honored, as were Derek Hardwick (a pioneer in modernizing the game to its current Open format) and Owen Davidson (a doubles specialist) were also inducted.

In this economy, it might be good to be a tennis player. The US Open announced that the winner of its men’s and women’s singles titles will walk home with $1.7 million each, with the chance of each winning an extra $1 million for talking the US Open Series crown during the summer. The tournament had a 7% increase overall in payout, bringing its total purse to $22.6 million. Ka-ching!

Donnay, once the racquet of champions, is trying to make a resurgence in the global tennis market. The company launched nine new racquets recently, and will use the success of Yanina Wickmayer (their only notable player) to help market the brand. The company once was a big-time player in tennis as the club of choice for Bjorn Borg, Andre Agassi, Margaret Court and Cliff Drysdale.

There’s a whole lotta short(er) balls and (OT) after the cut.

[Read more...]

trans-atlantic flight shorter than his match, mahut delivers tee to the hof

Nicolas Mahut is in Newport, R.I., this week for the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships along with Americans Sam Querrey, Taylor Dent, Ryan Harrison and Mardy Fish and stopped by the Hall to deliver a piece of tennis history.

Mahut, who lost his record-setting five-set match with John Isner in the first round of Wimbledon, signed one of the many shirts he wore during the match and handed it off to HOF CEO Mark Stenning. Hopefully he washed it once or twice before the flight, no?

One more shot of Mahut and his historic polo after the cut. [Read more...]