short balls: good doubles news, bad doubles news, what brad gilbert will do after a second andy dumping

Williams sisters to play doubles: The pair will participate in the Australian Open draw. Does this mean they’ll be able to play Beijing?

The Gilbert/LTA saga: Esteemed tennis coach Brad Gilbert will stay with the LTA even after his split with Andy Murray (that’s his second “Andy”… the first being Andy Roddick… and his third “And”… the other being Andre Agassi). The Scot will replace Gilbert with a team of experts. Meanwhile, LTA chief exec Roger Draper announced that Gilbert, whose contract has been renegotiated (just its duration — NOT his £750,000 in guaranteed earnings), will focus on getting British No. 2 Alex Bogdanovich to move up in the rankings (he’s currently at No. 161) and training other coaches. Of this move by Draper, critics are speaking out.

Wow: So. Many. Air Quotes.

Chasing a Canuck: Junior Jesse Levine has a suitor in Tennis Canada. (ZooTennis)

Checking in at Chennai: Rafa Nadal gives a Q&A for the Chennai Open. (Indiatimes)

Sometimes, it’s better after a break-up: A falling-out between Mark Knowles and Daniel Nestor in May didn’t stop the duo from success. In fact, after losing their first 13 tourneys in 2007, they went on to win three — Roland Garros, Queen’s Club, and Tennis Masters Cup — of their last seven. (Nestor, who broke off the partnership, will play with Serbia’s Nenad Zimonjic; Knowles will play with Mahesh Bhupathi. (The Globe and Mail)

(OT) Live from New York: Just because TV writers have struck doesn’t mean their creative juices have stopped flowing. SNLers performed at the Upright Citizens Brigade on Saturday night (with Michael Cera hosting), while a live version of 30 Rock played on Monday night. (NYT)

(OT) Child Matadors: Good read. (NYT)

(OT) Choking on growth: For those who want to get depressed, follow NYT‘s series on China’s growing pains.

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trophy watch: all roger, all the time

roger federer - trophy - shanghai 2007

Even with Roger Federer‘s late-2007 hiccup (which saw him lose back-to-back matches for the first time since 2003), the Swiss and World No. 1 came out on top this year.

He beat sixth seed David Ferrer 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 to win his fourth Tennis Masters Cup title in five years.

federer - mercedes c-class - shanghai

Another record: Roger collected $1.2 million and a Mercedes-Benz C-Class for the win, putting his 2007 prize money pot at $10 million plus — an ATP record.

roger federer - trophy - shanghai 2007

Earlier in the week, Federer also picked up another trophy by clinching the year-end No. 1 spot for the fourth year in a row.

See a photo of Ferrer (plus doubles winners) after the cut…