short balls: wimby’s week 2

Week two at The Championships, Wimbledon is coming to a close. It’s most certainly been a wild ride, and TSF is pretty sure that this is one of our more favorite slams from the last few years. Can the final weekend produce the high-quality tennis (and drama!) that would put the cream on top of the strawberries?? We hope so. For now, let’s get to those short balls that haven’t quite been bouncing on the court but have been getting plenty action off of it…

Thumbs up to the folks over at Flavorwire for coming up with the seven films that are longer than the Isner-Mahut match. Didn’t know they existed? Neither did we. At first we didn’t think there could be anything more boring than watching two men serve bomb after bomb at one another for 11 hours, but The Longest Most Meaningless Movie in the World (48 hours) sounds absolutely torturous. But don’t worry, that’s just a third the length of Cinematon, which is almost a week long (150 hours). Hand over the popcorn and the triple shot cappuccino, y’all, we’re gunna need it!

The city of San Diego is double fist-pumping after it was announced earlier this week that it will host the Fed Cup final between the US and Italy. San Diego lost its beloved WTA Tour stop two years ago during a restructuring by the tour, but it was announced earlier this year that the Mercury Insurance Open would return to the tennis hotbed, and with the announcement of the Fed Cup final San Diego is swagging like Birmingham, Ala., did a few months ago.

The days of teen domination of the WTA Tour? Probably over. At least that’s what Doug Robson wrote this week in USA Today, siting the success of veterans Francesca Schiavone, Sam Stosur and Vera Zvonareva at recent slams. Want other evidence that the teens are going the way of the dinosaur on tour? Robson notes just one teen is in the top 10 (can you name her?!) and six are in the top 100. Speaking of the youngsters: Brit Laura Robson (no relation to Doug) has advanced to the semifinals of the juniors draw at Wimbledon.

Want some French fashion to make your Wimbledon feel complete? Yeah, we understand that doesn’t make complete sense, but if Serena can don her nails in diamonds and strawberries, then we can help reveal the secrets of a French woman’s style. What’s stylish for a former Wimbledon champ from France who’s now retired? See above. She couldn’t look better, even as a coach.

And yes, we heard about Jennifer Capriati this week. Who didn’t? But, what to write? It’s impossible to know whether the claims of a suicide attempt are true, or if Capriati was indeed taking prescription medications or if it was another type of overdose. In any case, this might have been the kind of incident that will turn Capriati’s life for the better. As far as we knew here at TSF, she was still mulling a comeback to the tour, but it might be safe now to officially write “Retired” next to her name and see her blossoming in new and different ways. We can only hope.

(photo by getty images)

in ‘you know’ battle, jennifer proves she’s queen

Remember, you know, when Jennifer Capriati, you know, did press, you know, conferences? We do. The transcripts were littered with ‘You know’s’ all over the place. Though she’s one of the darlings of American tennis, J-Cap never really got, you know, fluid speaking down just right.

In a new PSA for the American Tinnitus Association, Jennifer and her mother, Denise, square off in The Battle of You Know’s. The elder Capriati proved no match for her daughter Jenny. In just three and a half minutes, Jennifer logged in 11 ‘You know’s’ to Denise’s two. We hope this is a sign that her shoulder is healed and, you know, she’s ready to make a comeback.

After the cut: Re-live the cute and refreshing Capriati American Express commercial, circa 2002. [Read more...]

the controversy train

If Serena Williams‘ outburst on Saturday night caused anyone surprise, hopefully it was only for the way she acted out, and not for the controversial act itself. For as long as she has been a professional, bizarre controversy has followed Serena (and Venus) onto the court.

It started way back in 1997, when Venus and Irina Spirlea had their famous bump at the U.S. Open in the semifinals. But over the last six years, Serena has had four major controversies happen on court, all during late-round grand slam matches. One of them, the 2004 U.S. Open quarterfinal against Jennifer Capriati spurred what you and me know today as Hawk-Eye.

What next? Hawk-Eye for foot faults? It’s not that far fetched…

2003 French Open Semifinals versus Justin Henin – The Hand
With the French crowd wildly behind Justine and sometimes rooting against the American Williams (George W. had just sent us to war…), Serena served at 4-2, 30-0 in the third set when JH clearly put her hand up to wait for crowd noise to die down. When Serena’s serve was long and the umpire didn’t award Serena two deliveries, the American looked to her opponent for recognition that she had, indeed, put her hand up. There was no such acknowledgement, and the moment is widely credited to Serena’s implosion in the match, which she lost 7-5 in the third. 

2004 U.S. Open Quarterfinals versus Jennifer Capriati – The Call(s)
At deuce in opening game of the third set, Serena hit a backhand down the line that was clearly (and called) in. Mariana Alves in the chair, however, overruled the call, spurring Serena to (rightfully) argue her case to no avail. Later in the set, Serena would receive three more 
horrific calls (by linespeople) and lose to Capriati in a charged affair.

2009 French Open 3rd Round versus Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez – “I’m Gunna Get You”
At 2-2 in the first set, Serena faced break point and approached the net after her opponent hit a drop shot. Firing the ball at Martinez Sanchez, Serena hit her in the arm, the ball bouncing back on Williams’ side. Instead of the chair awarding Serena the point and the game going to deuce, the game went to MJMS and on-court mics caught Serena saying “I’m gunna get you in the lockerroom. 
Serena won 6-4 in the third.

2009 U.S. Open Semifinals versus Kim Clijsters – Foot Fault
While it may never be clear whether the call was correct or not (Serena has said she believes the lineswoman was correct), Serena was called for a footfault at 5-6, 15-30 in the second set, on her second serve. Down two match points, Serena berated the lineswoman not once, but twice, towering over the seated, petite woman, waving her finger and cursing her. Serena would be defaulted because of the warning rule, and the drama continues to play out over what’s next for tennis’ former queen, and current diva.

denise does the open

capriati-denise-usopen09

It’s a backside view folks, but that’s none other than Denise Capriati digging through her bag at the Sam Querrey-Kevin Kim Thursday afternoon match at the US Open.

D-Cap was sporty in an athletic blue tee that she had bunched up on her shoulders to reveal shapely arms. Wondering where Jennifer got those biceps? Definitely not from Stefano, at least from what we’ve gathered.

Denise sat alone, texting on her iPhone constantly, wearing big bling on her wedding finger (are her and Stefano still together?!) and both wrists and flipping through a Ralph Lauren catalog from a purchase bag. What was in it? We’re not sure.

We are sure, however, that D-Cap makes the A-List in our book. This ain’t no D-List post, my friends.

And what does this mean about a Jennifer comeback?! Oh, the agony!

(tsf photo)

miami heats up: more players party photos

As I was falling asleep from looking at Andy Roddick at the Sony Ericsson players party, I mustered enough energy to gather everyone else’s pics. They showed up manicured, primped, and ready to kick off their week in Miami.

(If you are interested in joining a discussion about the photos from the party, you can do so at this WTA World page.)

Let’s start off with Venus and Serena Williams, looking elegant in their black (and white) dresses.

venus and serena - sony ericsson players party

More photos: Hantuchova, Jankovic, etc.