short balls: tie goes to the winner



In this case, that winner was The West Side Tennis Club stadium at Forest Hills, which survived a club members’ vote to destroy the stadium and use the site to build luxury condos. A two-thirds majority was needed for the condo deal to go through, but members instead voted in a 123-123 tie. The future of the club, which hosted the US Open until its move to Flushing Meadows in 1978, is now unknown.

Potty Problem: In case you missed it, Ana Ivanovic had a little bathroom trouble in Linz while working her way to her first career title in two years. FortyDeuce has the video (second from the top). Ivanovic was docked a game for taking too long a break in her second round match against Barbora Strycova.

You betchya: Depending on which way you see it, Roger Federer‘s name was (or is?!) swirling in a betting controversy that claimed Fed provided insider info to IMG agent Ted Forstmann during the 2007 French Open. Federer claims to have no part in the scandal, but a few days after the story broke, Forstmann admitted to betting, but said he received no insider info.

Austrian alliance: Thomas Muster continues his comeback attempt in Vienna this week, where he lucked out by not only receiving a wildcard into the main draw, but then getting a lucky loser in the opening round after Ernests Gulbis pulled out for “personal reasons”. Our fave Austrian, Jurgen Melzer, is the tourney’s top seed.

More short balls including a survey of surveys, short(er) balls and another look at The West Side Tennis Club after the cut. [Read more...]

louboutins and lamborghinis in australia



Both Prince and IMG threw parties on the eve of this year’s Australian Open.

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Prince had everyone’s engines revving at their party, held at a Lamborghini shop in South Yarra. The main attraction was the sexy Jelena Jankovic, who showed up in a little black dress paired with electric blue Decolzep pumps from Christian Louboutin (we’re talking a steel heel and sole here, folks). Nikolay Davdenko, the Bryan Brothers, and David Ferrer were also there.

Le sigh: Of course the Decolzep, part of Louboutin’s f/w ’07 collection, is sold out. But at one point it was listed with a price of £325. Browse the rest of the shoes here.

Meanwhile, IMG held a cocktail party for its players at Crown, and the guest list included Nicole Vaidisova, Masha, Rafael Nadal, James Blake, Lindsay Davenport, and the adorable Michael Vartan (Big Shots).

Take a peek: The pictures from the parties are after the cut…

trophy watch, aussie open juniors



Madness going on in Melbourne, I know. But madness is also going on in my world. Good madness. One of my siblings is getting married tomorrow, so all eyes are on that for now.

I’ll check in with all the Aussie Open finals either Sunday night or Monday. But one last one before I head out — the juniors (with some help from contributor JNP)…

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Girls: Arantxa Rus from the Netherlands has started off 2008 with some huge leaps in her career; she reached the finals of a tune-up to the Aussie Open Junior Championships, defeating hot prospect Simona Halep in a classic 3-set battle. Unfortunately Halep lost her semi-final in the juniors draw to local Jessica Moore, erasing her chance to get Rus back. Rus, clad in adidas Edge separates, beat Moore with ease 6-3, 6-4 in the Championship match.

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Boys: For those tennis fans who don’t know about Bernard Tomic, he’s 15 and he just won the Aussie Opena Jr Boys championship — yup, only 15. After this notable result, expect him to start getting some Freddy Adu/LeBron-esque phenom buzz soon; the U.S. Open juniors is surely one of the most important dates on his calendar this summer. Oh, and if you were wondering, IMG has already signed him to a multi-year deal.

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Scoreline: Tomic beat Yang Tsung-Hua of Taiwan 4-6, 7-6, 6-0. Does anyone else think Tomic looks like the lovechild of Andy Roddick and Juan Carlos Ferrero?

tennisweek.com relaunches



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Tennis Week relaunched its website (www.TennisWeek.com) today. The site will serve up “24/7 breaking news, inside scoops, exclusive features, hundreds of photos of on-court and off-court action, plus continuously updated video” in a layout much more in line with other IMG properties like Fashion Week Daily. Its recently relaunched print counterpart will produce eight issues in 2008.

Read the full press release after the cut…

short balls tuesday



Woodforde’s back: Novak Djokovic‘s not quite done paying Aussie doubles specialist Mark Woodforde to help with the Serb’s serve-and-volley game. (SMH)

adidas will sponsor the 2012 Olympics: Now that Kim Clijsters and her Fila kit are off the map (or are they?), the Belgian Team won’t have to worry about clothing conflicts arising from adidassponsorship of the 2012 London Olympics. (SGB)

Serra Zanetti retires: Adriana Serra Zanetti announced her retirement from pro tennis, citing a foot injury from October 2005 that never healed. Career highlights include the round of 16 at the 1995 French Open and the quarters of the 2002 Australian. You’ll be missed! (AGI)

Heaven on earth: At the Thailand Open, Carlos Moya dons an apron (over us Nike U.S. Open t-shirt) and whips up some pad thai. Can he bring some to me? Oh yeah, Feliciano Lopez was there, too. (Bangkok Post, Getty Images)

Babolat’s dumb luck: See this story in NYT‘s Play magazine about how Babolat captured its share of the racquet market by being at the right place at the right time.

On the Federer brand: Roger Federer is a cash cow. And IMG knows it. Tony Godsick‘s his agent over there, but his primary manager is still Mirka. FYI. (IWtbaSA)

Sharapova gets crafty: See what Maria Sharapova considers her favorite restaurants all over the world. Included on the list is one of my personal loves, Craft Los Angeles, in Century City. (foodea.com)

Sloppy seconds: AmEx drops its partnership with Tiger Woods but the golfer shed nary a tear, I’m sure. And for good reason: he picked up a 5-year deal with Gatorade that’ll net him $100 mil. This arrangement is for selling at least three products, including a new proposed drink that’ll be named after him. (via The Austin American-Statesman)

Deuce questions for Federer: See this light Q&A.

On the last time he played a match that no one watched: “For a tournament match you’d probably have to go back to the juniors. It was only a practice set, but when I played Pete Sampras [at his house, before the Pacific Life Open in March] there were probably only three people watching.”

The last time he showed his badge at a tournament: “It happens all the time because they want to scan your badge. They go after plastic, not faces.”

And the last time he flew coach: “[Long pause] Yeah, it’s been a few years now.” Bless.