short balls: digging deep on sergio (+ a visual version)


How’d they do it?
Bloomberg Businessweek posted a lengthy story last week on how Sergio Tacchini, the Italian brand that is now controlled by Chinese investors, saved itself — from itself. Their biggest move? Nabbing Novak Djokovic, of course. But our favorite part of the feature was this snippet on player-turned-fashionista Martina Hingis, who had a sour relationship with the company:

Hingis dominated the women’s tour during the second half of the ’90s. She seemed to fit well into the Tacchini firmament, appealing to wealthy, casually athletic, European-oriented fans. It didn’t work out. Three years into Hingis’s five-year deal, worth $5.6 million, Tacchini fired her, accusing Hingis of not wearing the clothes as contracted. Two years later, Hingis sued, claiming that the “defective” Tacchini shoes she wore had wrecked her feet and ruined her career. (Hingis had surgery in 2001 and 2002 to repair ligaments in her ankles.) A New York court dismissed the suit, ruling that the case should be heard in Milan, where Hingis had signed the contract and where another suit was pending. In 2006 her manager, Mario Widmer, told a German newspaper that “the Tacchini problem is resolved. We have come to a compromise and at the same time have agreed to keep silence on both sides.”

More from those financial folk: While Businessweek was focused on Sergio, The Economist‘s new “Game Theory” blog is paying plenty of attention to tennis. Who now? Andy Murray.

We’re a little biased, but… designer fashion at super marked-down pricers all in the name of a good cause?! We dig that, Housing Works. The New York-based non-profit is putting on its annual Fashion for Action sale starting Nov. 16 (which is sooner than you think!). NYers: Get your tix here.

That you, Princess B? Yes that’s Princess Beatrice. Yes, she needs to wax her mustache. Whatevs, it’s Halloween! What a fierce lady.

Look. Listen. Watch. Yes, we get the Siri craze. But a Scottish accent and a cute face. We’ll repeat anything he says, too. | TSF Vault: Short Balls

Short(er) balls: Want to have dinner with Roger Federer? Tennis Channel and Lindt, the chocolate company, are all about setting you up. You have til Tuesday, folks. | USA Today contributor Doug Robson goes searching for the best racket on the market and finds it. | Back in Newport next year? That’d be defending champ John Isner, who has committed to the grass court event. | Nike and Tennis Warehouse launch an exclusive partner shoe on Tuesday. 0:37 of anticipation! (We love this ad.)

(screengrabs via businessweek, housing works and time.com respectively. beatrice photo by getty. tennis warehouse video)

short balls: open coverage explodes, around the parties and irene

Here we go! The all-out media blitz for the 2011 US Open has begun, the New York Times seemingly sounding the starting gun this morning when Novak Djokovic lived on its homepage for much of the morning with a piece written by Greg Bishop about the all-out transformation of Djoko over the last year: the diet, the game, the ranking and the media appeal. It doesn’t stop there with the Times, which has stories about Irene, finding tennis courts in NYC and qualies of course. But those are just the meat-and-potatoes posts. More? Andy Samburg dresses up (and celebrates like) the best champs from tennis’ past, though he didn’t pull a Djoko and sport a Maria-inspired wig. Check out the hilarious video here.

TSF Vault: Short balls | US Open

Time out: But don’t think the Times is the only one who has it going on. New York magazine has an entire US Open guide section while Time took the time to follow Djokovic around, too. Tennis.com is unsurprisingly all blinged-out, currently with a Richard Pagliaro Q&A with Andrea Petkovic. Their USO-specific page is a looking a little bit like it’s stuck in 1999, though we’re positive that Tignor, Bodo and the rest of the crew will be on the grounds and covering as they always do. TennisNow.com is looking more and more like Tennis.com these days, which isn’t necessarily a horrible thing. But we do enjoy their easy-to-read breeze through the fashion of the men and women at Flushin this year, which is heavily linked to outside sources. CNN/SI gives little/no cover play to the Open on this Friday, but we expect them to beef up coverage as the tourney actually gets underway. No doubt they have frontman L. Jon Wertheim‘s piece on the seeds (he’s all Serena on the women’s side) featured on the tennis page. Tennis Channel wants folks to play in its Racquet Bracket challenge — and we would — if only that meant a date with James LaRosa of Sweet Spot fame. His latest Spot? A drinking game, of course! Oh James! You keep us sober (in life)! ESPN.com doesn’t have any USO coverage on its homepage, either, and hasn’t even pulled the “Tennis” section from out underneath the “More Sports” bar. But the .com side always adds to what TV has going on — which is bigger than ever. ESPN3 went as far as sending out a release to tout their individual coverage that supplements TV. What can we say? We sort of love it.

And the little guys? On the blogosphere, it’s business as usual around the horn. The blogging has been slow for C Note, but the tweeting? Outta control. So much so that Merriam-Webster finally appeased and made “tweeting” an actual, real world. Way to go, C! 52,346 tweets and counting. Down the Line has this hilarious cartoon via Women’s Tennis Blog. Tennis Panorama braved the epic crowds at Macy’s yesterday for the Rafa unveiling of a (shirtless) billboard. Did we expect anything else? Number of Rafa billboards? One. Number of words he spoke on stage? One. (“Hel-lo.”) The-Slice has tasty crumbs from Taste of Tennis last night. And Adjusting the Net is all about Winston-Salem. Someone had to be, right?

short(er) balls: The Post calls Serena’s path (she has Vika in the third round) “easy” for title. | TSF contributor Lindsay Sakraida has NYMag.com’s official preview of the men and women. | We didn’t see this coming: the USTA cancelled Arthur Ashe Kid’s Day because of Irene. Won’t reschedule. | Richard Evans writes on FoxSports.com that this is Mardy Fish‘s big opp. | More 3D tennis from Panasonic and CBS. Should we care? | Pete Sampras and other fellas part of an “Old School” tennis event last night in Murray Hill, Manhattan. | New Haven got all shaken up (and evacuated) after Tuesday’s earthquake. | Lleyton Hewitt? Out of the Open. | Tennis Channel is still battling with Cablevision. #overit | But really, NYT? Who is eating around the grounds. People are just eating in the grounds. | The next great gay film? We sort of think this is it. | Shameless plug: Housing Works has plenty of good sales this fall. In the city for the Open? Live there? Have the ability to shop online? Do. It.

(nytimes.com screengrab; hw photo provided)

 

wimbledon on the water 2011: a housing works fundraiser

So much going on out in NYC between Wimbledon starting next week and folks drumming up interest for the U.S. Open. If there ever was an argument for me to move out east, it’s how much tennis-mania hits the city in the summer!

You’re already gawking at LES tennis fashion this Saturday, and stopping by the HSBC event on Monday (of course!). One more thing to add to your list: our favorite non-profit, Housing Works (which I’m still waiting for L.A.’s Out of the Closet to mimic), is hosting a tennis tournament this Tuesday at the Roosevelt Island Racquet Club. $50 to play, $20 to watch.

More info: All the details after the cut…

short balls: design(ed) to entertain

What’s good design without good people: Designer James Huniford, Iman and GMA‘s Lara Spencer. (Getty)

For the few fervent TSF readers we have out there (what, are there a couple dozen of you?), you’ll know that our TSF East team (that would be me, Nick) worked at Housing Works for two years in SoHo. The AIDS non-profit has a different way of doing things with their social entreprenuerial outlets and also hosts one heck of a party, which is where I found myself on Thursday night.

The Design on a Dime event happens every spring and brings together interior designers from across the industry. Nate Berkus was a host this year (he’s shorter in person than you would think, but the hair doesn’t disappoint!) and brought together a few dozen designers to put together rooms (bathrooms, kitchens, living and bed rooms) that are then for sale — that’s right, every item in each room, from each lamp to table to painting to rug — is for sale. And all the money goes back to Housing Works’ AIDS programming.

As I volunteered on Thursday night, I got to tour around with Bravo’s Andy Cohen and go through a couple rooms with him. We debated on a couple chairs that he was eyeing, and when I saw him later he whispered “I got that chair!” with a little bit of hesitation in his voice. I approve, Andy. The piece he bought was a striped deck chair with gorgeous, 70s-inspired dark wood in the arms and legs. A picture? Don’t have one. But  my fave item of the whole night (I think it was retailing for $1,000) was a Cohen-influenced piece of art: the original six from The Real Housewives of New York City. Knock a zero off that price and I’m there!!!

Ramona and Alex made (late) appearance at the event, and though we couldn’t get the gals to go pose by their own portraits, you can bet that they were making the party rounds. More drama: If you haven’t been following the Sampras-Agassi blow up recently, it’s reached the level of Real Housewives dramatics. Jeez! These boys could even tire out the Countess!

For New Yorkers: The Free Public Sale goes on today through 6 PM

More shopping: NYMag‘s full line-up of New York sales this weekend

Tennis, too: It’s been a good year for Blake Strode. Last year, the now-23-year-old looked bound for (Harvard!) law school before entering the USTA’s first ever national play-in for a spot at the U.S. Open qualifying draw. He won nine matches to claim his spot in the qualies, where he won his first round match before bowing out. Not bad, eh? Well the journeyman is still at it in 2011, making a second go around at the playoff starting next weekend at Yale, the site of the New England Sectional. Plus: Blake’s ATP page

(Painting image by TSF)

housing works gets athletic

First off, let me be professional for just a minute… and say that, for full disclosure, I work for Housing Works at their bookstore in Soho. Housing Works is a tremendous non-profit in New York that benefits homeless New Yorkers living with HIV AIDS. As a non-profit that runs on a social entrepreneurship model, we’re always looking for new ways to bring in bucks for the tremendous services that we offer our clients. Below are two events over the next four days that NYers can plug into. If you’re not in NYC and just want to learn more about HW in general, here’s our homepage.

Wimbledon on the Hudson – A Tennis Tournament Benefitting Housing Works is the first-ever tennis tournament fundraiser that Housing Works has put on and it’s happening this coming Monday, June 14th from 6 to 9 PM. Though the tourney itself is happening on the East River (Roosevelt Racquet Club, to be exact) and not the Hudson, we still thought the name rang well with the big thing happening across the pond in one week’s time. This isn’t a tournament for the serious of the serious though, it’ll be a light-hearted affair to hit and giggle over some strawberries and cream. Players are asked to pay a $150 entry fee (all money benefitting HW), while audience members are welcome to buy $25 tickets to chomp on those strawberries and sip on some flutes of champagne.  A raffle includes prizes from the USTA, Wilson, Fila, Tennis Magazine and Mason’s Tennis Mart.

More slammin’ Housing Works events after the cut. [Read more…]