short balls: dent says farewell to tennis

Taylor-made: Taylor Dent announced his retirement from pro tennis this week, following a 12-year career that saw him reach as high as no. 21 in the world. Dent, now 29, won four career titles but saw his progress cut short due to a high volume of injuries. He returned to the tour over the last 18 months after being out for much of 2006 and 2007, amassing a 12-19 record in 2010 and a ranking of no. 85. We’ll miss ya, Mr. Serve-and-Volleyer. TSF Vault: The Dent Diaries.

The way of the ladies: Ana Ivanovic ended 2010 unlike any recent ending she’s had to a season, winning the title in Bali with three impressive victories and vaulting herself back into the top 20. Ivanovic won 13 of her final 15 matches of the year with her title in Linz. Ravi Ubha gave Ana the thumbs up to become a major Slam contender in 2011 or 2012, while giving the exact opposite forecast for countrywoman Jelena Jankovic (who finished 2010 6-11). Ubha had his crystal ball out for the WTA contingent on ESPN.com. The WSJ Weighs in: The Wall Street Journal had a piece last week on how – just how? – Caroline Wozniaki took the top spot in tennis.

A geographical version of ‘Whatever happened to…?’ Now that Dent and Elena Dementieva have said farewell (as has Martin Damm to coach Ryan Harrison), we got to thinking about some former (and current) pros and wanted to check in on see where folks have landed. Dustin Brown, our favorite wearer of the neon-color palette, is taking his allegiance to Germany from Jamaica. The top 100 player cited a lack of funding for the move. His mother is German. The Uberoi sisters, Shikha and Neha, both former top 200 doubles players, have made the return to the academic world and are at Princeton finishing their undergraduate degrees. Both sisters contribute on their dual web site, and recently Neha had an entry up on her own blog about an interview with Venus Williams in her journalism class, taught by the one-and-only L. Jon Wertheim. Picture this: Ana & Enrique taking it easy in Hawaii.
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Before the jump: We wanted to wish the hard-working and always-on-top-of-a-story Aaress Lawless the best of luck as she departs from her operating gig at OnTheBaseline.com. OTB will be managed now by Justin Pohn, and will continue to be the source of all things women’s tennis.

short balls: hawk-eye, underachievers, lacoste watches + off-topic galore

On Hawkeye: China Daily: Some umps don’t feel so hot now that Hawk-Eye can check up on their work. WTB: Speaking of, Aussie Open director Craig Tiley has announced an three-plus-one challenge system for the 2008 tourney. A two-for-one system — meaning, a player gets two incorrect challenges per set and one more if it goes to a tiebreak — has been the standard so far.

Missing out: Here’s a list of the underachievers: Safin, Berdych, Gasquet, Haas, Monfils, Dementieva, and Hantuchova. Do you agree? (Betfair)

Pillet for the masses: The limited-edition watches designed by Christophe Pillet for Lacoste (which debuted at Collette) have now made their way to Lacoste’s website. (Woman’s Swing, $150; Mens’ Mainsail, $235.)

Now for OT galore:

Art-chitecture: The mid-century modern designs of architect Richard Neutra get a boost with a planned sale of the Kaufmann House (Palm Springs, Calif.). The home will be part of Christie’s evening sale of postwar and contemporary art in May. Owners Brent and Beth Edward Harris opted away from giving the house to a public institution or trust. Instead, they hope that their move will usher will promote architecture as “a collectible art worthy of the same consideration as painting and sculpture.” (NYT)

Thumbs up: EW.com gets an endorsement from AdAge.

More time-sucking: W magazine now has a website — Wmagazine.com.

shipley-halmos-spring08.jpg

We can’t wait: The Spring ’08 collection of Shipley & Halmos looks pretty good. Jeff Halmos (left) and Sam Shipley (right) are half of the foursome who started Trovata. (style.com)

Lacroix’s return: Fashion designer Christian Lacroix is back. (UnBeige)

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>> TSF’s short balls archive

the scud's not a playboy, lleyton fails to prove he can beat roger, roger still doesn't like hawk-eye

Isner-mania continues: The Western & Southern Financial Group Masters in Cincinnati awarded giant(-killer) John Isner a wildcard for this year’s tourney. (The Cincy Post)

The Scud’s not a playboy?: Age of Love runner-up Jennifer Braff, a 48-year-old executive assistant to Lakers owner Jerry Buss, talks about Mark:

“(The producers) kept saying he was a little dense and kept trying to get me to say it. I think in a lot of ways he’s not as socially conditioned to be out there dating. He’s been playing tennis since he was 8 years old, and was trained by his father.

“It seemed as though he’d been more sheltered. NBA players seem to kind of get thrown out there when they’re young. The girls approach them and are always around. That’s a big difference, socially.” (LAT)

Lleyton got his chance: The new and improved Lleyton Hewitt has been dying to prove his worth by playing Roger Federer. He got his chance at this week’s Rogers Cup. Yep, he has a lot more work left before the U.S. Open. (Tennis News)

R-Fed and Hawk-Eye not a match: The World No. 1 continues to speak about not trusting the line-calling system. And he copes with close calls like a true champion. “Well, what other choice do you have? Can’t go drink coffee with the guy and say, ‘Let’s discuss this line call.’” (transcript via Tennis News)

Shaking it off: Czech Radek Stepanek leaves behind injury and wedding engagement to play his best tennis in a long time. The results: he makes the semis at Gstaad, wins L.A., and loses to Federer in the Montreal semis.

short balls thursday

Nadal’s made it: A four-page spread in this month’s GQ followed by his very own article in The Onion. To Americans, Rafa Nadal is no longer just that “tennis player with the massive biceps”.

Guillermo Coria sues over suspension: Another esteemed member of the Argentina Drug Suspension Corral is back in the news. Guillermo Coria is accusing Universal Nutrition of contaminating its multivitamin, which Coria was taking, with steroids. Coria is suing for $10 million in lost prize and endorsement money. (via Sporting News)

She’s a tall drink of Russian…water?: Smirnoff’s new Smirnoff Source comes in what looks like a water bottle, but it’s still 3.5 percent alcohol by volume — a godsend to those underage celebrities, I’m sure. Anyway, Anna Kournikova heads to NYC tonight to host a fundraiser sponsored by this new drink to benefit the Nature Conservancy. (via Business Wire)

Dubai, still: Along with acquiring the season-ending Outback Champions Series event, Dubai might also add Barneys New York to its asset portfolio. (via Tennis Served Fresh and NYT)

NYC tennis, good idea: This event will coincide with Wimbledon. (There are two i’s — get it?)

NYC tennis, bad idea: Can someone explain to me how this relates to the sport at all?

If it ain’t broke, then make it better: Line-calling technology Hawkeye makes its ATP debut in the UK. This time, each player gets three line challenges, plus the extra one if the set goes to a tiebreak. (via BBC)

If the British want champions, the LTA should stop sponsoring them: Uhh, what? (via the Guardian)

HawkEye under fire?

hawkeye in dubai

Did Rafael Nadal just bark up the wrong umpire chair while playing against Mikhail Youzhny in the Dubai semis? He lost 7-6 (5), 6-3, but only after questioning a call that was questioned: Nadal seemed to have gotten to 6-6 in the first set tiebreak when Youzhny’s shot was called out, but Youzhny challenged, and the HawkEye called the shot in. Nadal saw that it was out, the umpire saw that it was out, (and apparently there was a mark, but I’m not sure how there can be a mark on the “fairly fast hardcourt”) but HawkEye called it in. wtf? Nadal says that having the Hawkeye at the French will bring its ineffectiveness to the surface. Can’t wait to see how this turns out.