short balls: trench foast



Well, day five of the French Open is already underway and you’ve got to be thankful for a little Grand Slam reprieve in your life! I know I am! It really is a blast to have all those scores coming in and matches to pay attention to.

Victoria Azarenka and Dinara Safina didn’t pay too much attention to their respective matches, and they were the only big (big) names to crash out in the first round of the tournament. Andy Roddick, Andy Murray and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga all survived five-set encounters to move on to round two.

If you were wondering about the Roland Garros poster, the New York Times Straight Sets blog has the nitty gritty from Pakistani-born Indian artist Nalini Malani, who designed it this year. I’ve gotta say it’s something I always look forward to – seeing what sort of art the French will include for their home slam. And if you’ve done a little digging on the Roland Garros web site, you’re probably a fan of My Little Roland Garros, under the Event Guide. Plenty of fun (TSF-inspired?!) stuff happening in there.

Laura Robson might be skipping out on the French this year (smart choice, we think), but the British gal isn’t skipping out on the opportunity to make good of her recent rise to stardom. She has partnered with Right to Play, a non-profit that encourages youth to take up sports as a way to community building and improved confidence. Robson is doing plenty with the project, including wearing the RTP wristband at Wimbledon and asking her fans to design what style she will wear during this year’s U.S. Open.

New York City is hosting the second annual Kicking and Screening film festival June 1-5 in honor of all things soccer on the screen. Good timing with the World Cup kicking off on June 6. We love to see such collaboration between art and sport, and the festival is just that: over five days ten films will be shown including an already-sold out day five. To add to the visual appeal, the organizers have booked a freestyle juggling group called FreestyleSoccer to wow the crowds on June 3.

Read more short balls after the jump and see the Right to Play image featuring Laura Robson. [Read more...]

short balls: thoughts from miami



Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Now we are seeing where Jada gets that hair. We were starting to wonder a little… (WTA photo via web site)

The past couple weeks were full of tennis glamour in Miami, and Andy Roddick and Kim Clijsters came away from the beaches of Florida with smiles on their faces as they won big-time titles in impressive fashion. We’ve got to hand it to Roddick for continuing to change his game and try to break the top crop of the ATP Tour. Wimbledon 2009 may not have been his final stand in a Major. We’ll stay tuned.

Measuring Beauty: A New York Times article out yesterday touched on feminine beauty taking on a new role as Baylor star basketball player Brittney Griner becomes a household name. Griner stands 6 feet, 8 inches, and has had her sexuality – and gender identity – questioned. But even Stella McCartney insiders recognized her unique look as gorgeous, the article says.

Oh-des-don’t! Things are looking rather bleak for Wayne Odesnik’s tennis future after news broke that vials of human growth hormones were found in his luggage in Australia. Want the full story? Bonnie D. Ford has a tremendous summary here, complete with quotes from other American players. Wondering why Odes is still playing in Houston this week? The charges against him are being investigated and no formal ATP rulings have been made.

Robson, Mississippi: A few hundred miles away from Wayne-mania in Houston, Britain’s Laura Robson is playing in her first event since making the junior final at the Australian Open. Robson joins top-seeded American Lindsay Lee-Waters and second seed Julia Cohen in Jackson, Mississippi for the 25K ITF circuit event.

An unexpected Miami trio and more after the cut. [Read more...]