kimberly yee to receive national award at International Tennis Hall of Fame

With Hall of Fame inductees Grand Slam champion Lindsay Davenport and famed coach Nick Bollettieri looking on, Las Vegas’ Kimberly Yee will accept the nation’s highest junior tennis award this weekend at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I.

The 17-year-old Odyssey Charter High School senior has been named a recipient of the prestigious Bill Talbert Junior Sportsmanship Award, which is presented each year by the Board of Directors of the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

The award began in 1987 and is given to a “junior player who exemplifies the finest qualities of sportsmanship in tournament play and the finest traditions of the great sportspersons of tennis past and present.” Past winners include current WTA and ATP American players Alexa Glatch, Alison Riske and Las Vegas’ Sam Querrey.

“The credit for this award is really for the team that helped me: my parents, my USTA friends from NJTL and the USTA Serves Foundation and all my teammates at NO QUIT Tennis Academy,” Yee said. “Since I was 9 the USTA has been helping my family and made much of what I do possible.”

Yee has been No. 1 in the USTA national rankings in the girls’ 12s, 14s, 16s and Top 10 in the 18s. She came through the local Las Vegas NJTL chapter called the Marty Hennessey Jr. Tennis Foundation. She is also part of Team Bryan, a USTA NJTL Excellence Team in partnership with the Marty Hennessy Jr. Foundation where she mentors and tutors children 3-4 times per week and teaches the next generation of players on how to be a polite, kind and respectful champion. She is coached by her father Adam Yee and Tim Blenkiron from the NO QUIT Tennis Academy.

Bob and Mike Bryan have been Kimberly’s heroes since she was young,” said Ryan Wolfington, who started the Foundation 10 years ago as a volunteer. “Like Bob and Mike, Kimberly has always had all A’s, incredible sportsmanship and an amazing desire to help other people.”

Yee’s efforts will be honored at the Friday night awards dinner that will be attended by all of this year’s Hall of Fame inductees. On Saturday, Yee will attend the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies of Lindsay Davenport (former No. 1 player); Chantal Vandierendonck (wheel-chair great); Nick Bollettieri (coach); Jane Brown Grimes (industry leader); and John Barrett (tennis historian/journalist).

“Kimberly’s desire to help others is so significant that I was afraid it would interfere with her training,” Blenkiron said. “But then she explained that giving back is what motivates her. I think she wants to do for other children what the Bryan brothers did for her.”

Bob Bryan commented in a video done on Yee that, “One of the best things you can do in tennis is win an award for sportsmanship and character,” he said. “She is a great role model and we really look up to her. We thank her for leading Team Bryan.”

Wolfington concluded, “I’ve been involved in tennis for the past 15 years, and I’ve never come across a student like Kimberly Yee. “She’s No. 1 in the country; the top tennis recruit. She gets good grades and continually sets an amazing example to others in the Foundation by volunteering and mentoring children.”

short balls: the post-wimbledon edition

Changing of the (screen) guard: While the victories of Petra Kvitova and Novak Djokovic marked somewhat of a changing of the guard on the respective tours, the biggest change at Wimbledon came in the week after the tournament was over: in its TV coverage. It was announced earlier this week that ESPN had outbid NBC for full TV rights of the tournament, meaning the peacock network was pushed out of a gig it had held for some 43 years. And for ESPN? They’ll have the whole shebang for the next 12 Championships. The network team of ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC will take over from London starting next year.

That’s a wrap? Did you miss the slew of Wimbledon post ops? If so, here’s a collection: Tignor’s A-List. Tignor’s the rest of them. Wertheim’s mail bag. ESPN’s Wimbledon grades. ESPN’s power rankingsWTA’s video highlights. Forty Deuce’s hilar “pic this.” The Guardian. Oh! The list goes on and on…

Too sexy for ya?  Time ran an interesting piece from its business section on the WTA‘s ad campaign, “Strong is Beautiful.” The thrust of the article: what the ?!?#?#%% Well, not exactly. But, the article points out that sexualizing the women the way this campaign does undermines women’s sports in a sense, and their ability to compete as athletes on court. We certainly see such a point.

The Journal recommends some tennis whites — including Boast — this summer. (WSJ)

Feeling Boastful? You guys know that TSF isn’t the only place online that talks about tennis fashion. OK, but we admit it: we’re the only ones that talk about it everyday. Anyway, the Wall Street Journal got in on the tennis fashion game during Wimbledon, running a piece that examined the cultural shift of the industry as it’s moved through the decades. Nope, tennis isn’t a rock-star sport driven by John McEnroe anymore, but the clothes he wore might be making a bit of a comeback. Featured in the article were one of TSF’s faves, Boast. | TSF Vault: Boast

Doesn’t it vibrate? While most of us have learned to silence our phones or at least put them on vibrate while at work or in public, it doesn’t seem as though Alize Cornet has attained such a habit. The Frenchwoman was down match point in the first round of the Swedish Open this week against world no. 1 Caroline Wozniacki when a phone started ringing. Wozy first tried to ignore the noise, but it persisted, and she stepped back from the line to see if someone would answer/silence/ignore the call. It was then that her opponent, Cornet, ran to her bag to switch off the phone that had been ringing — hers! Hilarity. Video below:

Roll the tape: Seems as though the fellas at Tennis.com — Peter Bodo, Steve Tignor and Ed McGrogan — have a new outlet for their weekly chats. The trio has teamed up with BNP Paribas for a sit down in a round-table discussion called “The World of Tennis.” This week they talk about Andre Agassi, who will be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame tomorrow in Newport, R.I. | ESPN: Agassi’s top 10 moments

Short(er) balls: It ain’t “Wimble-TIN.” Sportscaster raises money for charity by fueling PSA over pronunciation of Wimble-DON. | In case you forgot, Novak Djokovic is no. 1 in the world now. HEAD hails the king. | Are you reading Jonathan Scott‘s musings on Tennis.com’s “The Spin?” If not, you should be. | Lindsay Davenport is preggers and (tastefully) pulls out of the WTT season, via doctor’s orders. | This might be a little old, but who cares? It’s Maria Sharapova talking about Cole Haan. Take note, Martina Hingis. | Shouldn’t every short(er) balls end with Djoko dancing on stage? We think so.

(Image by George Ellison via Flickr.)

caterpillar rolls and cat-eye glasses: bryan bros concert tonight!

Hey, Angelenos: if you find yourself without plans tonight (put off assembling that Halloween costume!), consider dropping by Wokcano to hang with the Bryan Brothers. The duo’s teamed up with the Bogart Pediatric Cancer Research Program for a weekend of programming including a concert and a tennis tournament.

You’ll stay: Doors open at 7:00 p.m. for tonight’s show, which’ll feature performances by Lisa Loeb, Pete Yorn, and the Bryan Brothers Band (featuring Counting Crows drummer Jim Bogios), among others. They’re taking a $25 tax deductible cover at the door. Get more info and plan your dinner.

The tourney: Tomorrow (Saturday), the twins are hosting the inaugural Bryan Brothers Grand Slam Jam, fka the WME2 Tennis Classic, at the Malibu Racquet Club. Events include a round-robin doubles tournament, a family clinic, and a pro-am (with Sam Querrey). There’s also a silent auction and an exo with Lindsay Davenport.

Info: Bryan Brothers Grand Slam Jam, Saturday, October 23, 2010, 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; 23847 Stuart Ranch Road, Malibu, Calif.; benefitting The Bogart Pediatric Cancer Research Program and the Bryan Brothers Foundation. More info at the event website.

(poster courtesy of K-Swiss)

adatbotw (a day at the bank of the west)

I wrote this post a couple weeks ago the day after attending the Bank of the West in Palo Alto. Please excuse its tardiness! -NM

Eight years ago I attended a professional sporting event for the very first time at the age of 16. It was the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford, and my dad and I took in two night session matches on the stadium court(s). Back then, the tennis facility at Stanford kept its two-courts-in-one-stadium format for the tournament, allowing fans to watch two high-quality matches going on at once. While part of that set up was maddening, the other part was refreshing and invigorating: two tennis matches happening side by side and one crowd to enjoy them at once.

The night that we went was a crowd-pleasing one: Anna Smashnova versus Anna Kournikova on one court and Lindsay Davenport versus Anne Kremer on the other. The crowd was highly entertained by the presence of Kournikova, and everyone split their watching time between her match and the Davenport drubbing of former Stanford player Kremer, who got encouraging calls from the bleachers.

Today marked somewhat of a full circle for me as I arrived back in Palo Alto for the first time to attend this tournament again, this time as a member of the media. I feel semi-adult, wearing an “M” media badge and sitting in the press room typing away at important documents (read: “a puppet’s ode to lynn welch“). The thrill is still child-like for me, though. Going from the stadium to the practice courts, I’m not necessarily analyzing ground strokes and checking out who is practicing with whom, but rather just watching the tennis take place, taking in the action like a giddy teenager.

There was plenty to be giddy about on this day: the walk through California-big trees from parking to the tournament grounds; watching Melanie Oudin practice the day after another harrowing win; finally seeing Kimiko Date Krumm in person; judging Christina McHale for her Jersey-ness; wondering what happened to Dominika Cibulkova; Palo Alto-perfect weather; and meeting fellow bloggers along the way.

More than anything, this tournament reminds me of watching my childhood hero, Monica Seles, battle through a tough three-set encounter with Tamarine Tanasugarn from the second row. I could see the sweat beads dripping off Monica’s forehead as she battled that night, and was impressed by the will and determination of Tanasugarn. Much of that was brought back in the Date Krumm-Dementieva battle that occurred Wednesday night, three sets of I-won’t-give-this-up tennis in which KDK fought with all her might to get Elena off balance for the win.

Spending the day at Stanford was an absolute joy, something I don’t think all media folk can say for another weekday at a WTA event. For us tennis geeks, there’s nothing better than a small-time tournament with big-time names that make us feel like we’re running into Madonna on her way to pick up some groceries or her morning coffee. Not much drama, just some pretty good match tennis to take in, and some practice court fun to be had and some players to cross paths with in between. Maybe the WTA should go with that as their new marketing campaign?

(photo by amorimur via flickr)

short balls: the epic edition

Brooklyn gets wind-swept on the Bravo TV show Double Exposure. See more of Brooklyn, and what hubby Andy thinks of LiLo’s jailing in this week’s short balls. (screen grab via BravoTV.com)

Who said the week after Wimbledon was a dead one on the tennis news front? There is plenty of stuff going on, from the on-court happenings at Newport and beyond to plenty (and we mean plenty) of off court news. Here’s TSF‘s edition of short balls for the week.

If you are a Pam Shriver fan and still a little miffed by all the negative press the ESPN analyst got for her run-in with James Blake in the first round of Wimbledon a couple of weeks ago, we thought we would cheer you up by digging out this video clip of one of Pam’s big-time wins on the WTA singles circuit. The victim? Steffi Graf at the 1988 Virginia Slims Championships at Madison Square Garden. It was one of only three wins Shriver notched against Graf in 12 career meetings, and it’s a pretty good look at old-school, serve-and-volley tennis from PS herself.

Perhaps you miss Wimbledon mightily and have watched the many replays available on the official web site and on YouTube. Hopefully you’ve also had the chance to check out the “Off Court” section of the Wimby web site, which was sponsored by the bottled water company Evian. A trendy British gal roams the grounds in search of the good, bad and quirky in respects to fan fashion at this year’s tournament. I enjoyed every clip.

Andy Roddick’s wife, Brooklyn Decker (top) was on the Bravo TV show Double Exposure this last week and dang, girl looked good! We were digging the wind-blown hair. See a clip of the video by clicking the image above or here. Just to be clear, Brooklyn is the second girl, not the first who is, well, a little frightening. Recently, celeb Lindsay Lohan was on Double Exposure as well, though her shoot didn’t go as well as Brooklyn’s did. If you didn’t think Brooklyn’s hubby, Andy Roddick, had any opinion on Lohan’s recent court saga (she’s been sentenced for 90 days in jail for violating probation), think again:

Not to be outdone, Andy Murray also made the TV cut this week, appearing on the James Corden show in Britain. Murray chatted tennis and soccer, if a “Hawkeye” system should be used in soccer, and hit some tennis balls at fancy, over-sized cones. Not to be outdone by Brooklyn (or Lindsay!), Andy also slow danced with an adoring fan. Awkward picture after the cut.

[Read more…]

tsf presents: an illustrated pov

TSF is glad to have Troy Venechanos on board with our team. The former Tennis magazine intern and Northeastern grad is now an AmeriCorps volunteer in New Orleans, Louisiana. That doesn’t stop Troy from following the tour with gusto, where his two favorite players are Venus and (no shocker here) Akgul Amanmuradova. You can find Troy perusing J. Crew catalogs for clothesguys and he likes to spend summers on the lake with Yaya.

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The Comeback Bandwagon: WTA Looks to Past for Future Success
Co-starring Davenport, Date Krumm, Clijsters and Henin, illustrated by Troy Venechanos

Enlarge: Make sure to click on the pic above for a closer look!

lindsay davenport trims the fat for baby no. 2

Lindsay Davenport and hubby Jon Leach are making room for a companion to baby Jagger by placing two of their homes on the market, reports The Real Estalker.

Listings are below, but click over to TRE for their insight into the homes.

SELLERS: Lindsay Davenport and Jon Leach
LOCATION: Emerald Bay, Laguna Beach, CA
PRICE: $6,395,000
SIZE: 4,999 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms

DESCRIPTION: Revel in chic California Riviera style and impressive ocean views from this very private Emerald Bay residence. An abundance of space – a luxury within Emerald Bay – is found here, amid 5 bedrooms, 5.5 baths and an open, flowing floor plan…Each room in this tastefully appointed home is finished with luxe materials, including artisan stone and tile, custom paint finishes, plank hardwood flooring, plantation shutters. Finished garaging for 3 cars plus golf cart and world-class Emerald Bay amenities.

SELLERS: Lindsay Davenport and Jon Leach
LOCATION: Solimar Beach, Ventura, CA
PRICE: $5,500,00
SIZE: 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms

DESCRIPTION: Beach front property located on a wide lot with 60ft of ocean frontage. Extensively remodeled, this Cape Cod style property has sweeping ocean and coastline views. 4 surf spots and access to sandy beach, this is an exclusive surfer’s paradise. Outdoor patio with BBQ area and gas fireplace.

(via The Real Estalker)

trophy watch: wta tour’s 2007 player awards

SEWTA Tour 2007 Players Awards

The SEWTA Tour gave out their 2007 Players Awards in Miami on Thursday.

Comeback player of the year: Lindsay Davenport

Newcomer: Agnes Szavay

Most improved: Ana Ivanovic (who jumped from No. 14 to No. 4 within the season)

Player of the year: Justine Henin, wearing a grey cropped tuxedo jacket and a rhinstoned Armani tee

Doubles team of the year: Cara Black (short) and Liezel Huber (tall)

(photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

trophy watch: the ladies in auckland, gold coast

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Li Na made a triumphant return to the SEWTA Tour with a win in the finals of the Australian Women’s Hardcourts over Victoria Azarenka on Saturday. Li defeated the Belarusian 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in her first tournament after a six-month layoff due to a rib injury. She took out seventh seed Sybille Bammer, top seed Nicole Vaidisova, and pesky lefty Patty Schnyder.

Unfortunately, she’s already back to the sidelines with a right knee injury, and has pulled out of next week’s Medibank International in Sydney.

FYI: Na is her first name, Li is her last name. She’s listed as Na Li on the SEWTA website. The Chinese naming system puts the last name first, so she’s called Li Na when not on the court.

FYI, part two: This is the last year that the tournament will be played in Gold Coast. It will merge with the men’s tournament in Adelaide for a combined event in Brisbane.

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And in doubles, Dinara Safina and partner Agnes Szavay took out Zheng Jie (left) and Yan Zi (second left) 6-1, 6-2.

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Here’s Lindsay Davenport with her singles trophy after beating Aravane Rezai of France 6-2, 6-2, at the ASB Classic in Auckland. It goes without posting that there are also plenty of photos with Lindsay holding both her trophy and son Jagger.

(via WTB; photos by Getty Images)

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