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)

 

short balls: those who follow us



D.Y. has had a great week in D.C. No, really he has. A semifinalist, y’all! Men’s draw | Women in San Diego

Oh, forgetful us: Sometimes it slips our minds that people really are reading this blog. No, we’re not trying to pat our own backs. But if you’ve ever written your own blog or contributed to one, you’ll know that it’s less about the numbers and more about wanting to crank out good, entertaining and — maybe just in our case? — semi-naked content. That’s always been our goal at TSF, but as Trophy Watch this week reminded us that, yes, we’re just here to watch the trophies, we got reminded that we’re being watched/followed/read/paid attention to, as well. That would be by many of you, and by Tennis.com’s Steve Tignor, who wrote the following about our trophy wrap-up and his own opinions on the metal, plastic and glass we measure success with on the respective tours:

Tennis Served Fresh provides a “trophy watch,” which is always an entertaining, and often a head-scratching, activity in tennis. Check out Marcel Grannollers receiving his own personal mountain in Gstaad on Sunday; I guess it beats a cow. It reminds me of one of the better tennis lines from my new Brooklyn neighbor, Martin Amis. The Brit writer once described the sport’s fall indoor tournaments as, “greed fests where the first prize is something like a gold helicopter.”

He’s a cracker jack, y’all. TSF got to re-connect with the always-entertaining James LaRosa while we were hanging around the Farmers Classic last week. James’ musings on Tennis Channel‘s website — the Sweet Spot — are a must-read, especially his LA ride with eventual-winner Ernests Gulbis. Our fave moment from the car-ride between the two quick-lipped fellas?

James: You know those Lindsay Lohans aren’t doing too good these days.
Ernests: Who is Lindsay Lohan?

JL: Shut the **** up. 
EG: I don’t pay attention to American stars.

JL: She was in Mean Girls. Freaky Friday..?
EG: I’m not watching these movies.

Nole’s media blitz. It’s the summer of Novak Djokovic. We should all pretty much accept such a fact. First it was the cover of Serbian Hello! magazine with GF Jelena Ristic, then it was both The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and the Conan O’Brien Show. To watch him with Jay, click here. For Conan, click here.

Feeling Lacosted? Seems as though the French brand that we heart “Lacosted” the Hamptons over the weekend — and that’s the Wall Street Journal‘s verbage, not ours. Lacoste used its American mainstay Andy Roddick to push its look for the summer at a social gathering that included quite the smattering of fashion folk at the fancy-pants Bridgehampton Beach and Tennis Club. Brooklyn Decker was even there, wearing Lacoste. “I don’t really play that much tennis. I leave it to Andy,” she told the Journal. | Browse: Lacoste’s men’s tennis wear

short(er) balls: Our friends over at Strawberries and Scream have stepped off the blogging stage for the time being. Even they said their retirement speech was more Henin (or Hingis?) than Agassi. | Polo Ralph Lauren has officially launched their 2011 US Open collection — expect much more from us on this soon. | The world is now a better place: Rafael Nadal has joined Twitter. Heres to epic broken-English tweets. “Paahsta y gambas!” | OUT magazine has an exceptional photo gallery (and articles) featuring straight athletes who have supported gay rights’ causes over the years. The batch includes Michael Irvin, Ben Cohen and our fave, Hudson Taylor. | Want to go to the US Open finals weekend this year? Panasonic will send you. Seriously, we don’t make this stuff up. | Probably one of the US Open’s best pre-tourney events, Taste of Tennis, is back this year and features a fine line-up: Roddick, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Victoria Azarenka among others. And we dig their logo. It’s a forquet. Or a racqork? | We really, really can’t wait for this Xperia Hot Shots vid. It’s looking like a Katy Perry meets Sorana Cirstea dance number. And we love!

(Donald Young image by lagosf via flickr)

after beating sharapova, caro takes on the world



A day after manhandling Maria Sharapova in the fourth round of the US Open, Caroline Wozniacki is on top of the tennis world. The whole world, that is. TSF noticed all the buzz today, and is here to chronicle it for you in one, easy-to-read blog post. Voila!

On the Twitter front, @carowozniacki, Caroline herself, power-tweeted all day long. First there was chatter about overtaking John Isner in followers, then she showed that she has stolen the lives of Maria and Serena Williams by being a fashionista, even in week two of a Slam.

If the prowess couldn’t be felt through Wozniacki’s tweets, surely an at reply congratulations would do the trick from the one and only Serena. And another tennis diva giving Caro props was Tennis Channel‘s James LaRosa, scolding anyone who still thought Wozniacki plays as a human backboard.

Not to be outdone, the mainstream media got on the WozniackiExpress today as well, with the USA Today churning out an article about Wozy as tennis’s new “It” girl; the New York Times featuring Caroline on its homepage for a good chunk of the afternoon (see screen grab after the cut); the WTA web site had a feature on her as long as Tweeting a year-old video of Wozniacki hanging out with soccer superstar David Beckham; the LA Times relegated its coverage to a blog post (how dare they!); the New York Daily News not only complimented Wozniacki’s play but her put-together look; and the New York Post couldn’t have been more blunt with its headline: “Wozniacki has look of future champ“.

More on the Wozniacki craze – including what was happening in the blogosphere after the cut.

[Read more...]

tipsarevic rolls to beat of his own drum



We already know that Janko Tipsarevic is different from the average bear, but he has shown this even more so while in Los Angeles for the Farmers Classic ATP Tour Stop. Over at Sweet Spot, James LaRosa got some taxicab confessions out of our munchkin Serb (something about sheep looking at doors?).

And earlier this week he mentioned a racquet bag change via Twitter. He rolled out the new look for his opening dubs match with Feli.

They’ll resume their partnership for a match today against the team of Ross Hutchins and Jordan Kerr.

Draw: See who’s left playing singles and doubles at the Farmers Classic in Los Angeles.

(bag image by TSF; screengrab from Twitter; match images via Getty Images)

larosa’s at it again



I spent a few minutes last night as that guy, LOLing — literally — while fiddling with my pink ‘Berry on the street. The reason for my giggles? James LaRosa is back at it, blogging about Roland Garros for Tennis Channel. All the posts are archived here.

Edit: the Day 12 post has a fashion conversation between LaRosa and yours truly. Check it out!