short balls: masha's trainer, underground tennis, gay bloggers, bottle or tap?

Behind the scenes: The folks who run Juan Carlos Ferrero‘s Equelite Tennis Academy in Spain have started a blog to show what it’s like for the folks behind the scenes. In one post, they interview physical coach Javier Capitaine, who trains with Juanqui and Maria Sharapova (above).

Gay bloggers: Ken of Kenneth in the (212) and Jim Buzinski of OutSports get their due in this funny article by Greg Hernandez (Out in Hollywood, Deuce!) on gay sports bloggers drooling about mostly straight professional athletes. (L.A. Daily News)

Straight writers, too: The Daily News surveyed the women, too. Apparently, female athletes are okay with exploiting their sexual power and the attention they get from male fans. Daniela Hantuchova‘s comment on posing for magazines: “(Female tennis players) all agree and always say we do the talking with our racquets… (but) we can take some time outside the sport to show people a different side of us. In that way, I think it’s a good thing.”

Towards even stronger racquets: Aerogel, one of the world’s lightest solids, has made its way into tennis and squash racquets developed by Dunlop The material can withstand a direct blast of 1kg of dynamite and protect against heat from a blowtorch at more than 1,300 degrees Celsius. Can it help the guys win a match against Roger? (Times)

Having a ball: The Sunday Times features London’s most lavish, with the wealthy now looking to renovate by digging down — sometimes up to four stories (!!) down — to create screening rooms, indoor tennis courts, and swimming pools (some even with diving boards). I guess at some point you just get bored by the conventional ways of spending your cash…

(OT) Ending the “bottled or tap?” question: Talking Tennis writes an ode to NYC’s tap water, and PepsiCo owns up to a smart marketing ploy. (CNN)

For posterity’s sake: A Bud Collins-less NBC Sports extends its broadcasting deal with Wimbledon to include digital media rights to the championships plus online coverage live on NBCSports.com and on mobile. (via The Hollywood Reporter)

(photos via Equelite)