going home: memphis, dubai, bogota, buenos aires, marseille



U.S. National Indoor Championship - Homepage

Homepages: Not much going in the world of homepages this week, though we are into the country club cuteness of the banner for the U.S. National Indoor Championship — a combined tournament in Memphis. We also wished that their results pages was a little more dynamic. We had to scroll through a lot to find the draws for the various titles being contested.

More: The landing pages for Open 13 (ATP, Marseille), Copa Claro (ATP, Buenos Aires), Dubai Duty Free Championships (WTA, Dubai), and the Copa Claro Colsanitas (WTA, Bogota) –

after the cut…

memphis: istomin ousts isner



Denis Istomin ousts John Isner in Memphis

Memphis: Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin gets a full two snaps for his takedown of John Isner in the first round of the U.S. National Indoor Championships, held this week in Memphis. Istomin, who beat the American in straight sets, next faces Lleyton Hewitt, and shares that bottom half of the draw with last week’s finalists in San Jose: Milos Raonic and Tommy Haas. Meanwhile, everything’s looking dandy for a semifinal clash between top seed Marin Cilic and fourth seed Sam Querrey. (Draw: Memphis Men’s Singles)

Mishit: We’re handing out demerits with this get-up though. In head-to-toe Lotto, he’s channeling some Wayne Knight circa Jurassic Park.

(Photo Credit: via Memphis FB)

they really do make a difference



Study in stripes: In case ya don’t think it matters, here’s a case where stripes would’ve helped slenderize the Yonex‘ed Brit Elena Baltacha. If this dress looks familiar to you, it’s because that other Elena — Elena Dementieva, is wearing a different piece from the same collection.

But notice how the wide swaths of white on Baltacha’s top make her torso look wider, while on Dementieva, the stripes serve to give her upper body some more definition (she’s not as bossomy as, say, Serena or Svetlana). In Baltacha’s case, she might have benefited more from the thin lines of Dementieva’s tank.

Bracket: Onto more serious things. Top seed Maria Sharapova beat Baltacha in the second round of this week’s Regions Morgan Keegan Championships in Memphis, Tenn. Masha’s still on track to a title, facing Petra Kvitova in the semis and either Sofia Arvidsson or Page Six tweeter Anne Keothavong. We’re hoping that this is a good confidence boost as the Russian moves further into the hardcourt season with Indian Wells and Key Biscayne just around the corner. (Draw: Women’s singles [pdf])

More: Two more pics of Baltacha after the cut…

short balls: anne tweets from memphis



Tweet Me A Tune, Oh Annie: Anne Keothavong is returning to the WTA after a long layoff due to injury, and she’s creating quite the storm in Memphis, Tenn. of all places. The current British No. 3 had been as high as number 48 in the world last year before being knocked off track, but she opened her Midwest campaign with a straight-set win over German Kristina Barrois and now takes on the always-noisy Michelle Larcher de Brito. For a small tournament, the draw is seeping with intrigue, if not top-quality talent.

Keothavong added to that intrigue yesterday when she Tweeted on her account: “A certain tennis player is so rude, it’s embarrassing. There’s only so much you can do to be nice before you don’t bother. Strange stuff”. She followed that up by saying: “Not naming names but it’s not your obvious choice”.

Who could Keothavong be making a racket about? Maria Sharapova is in Memphis, a player who has often been at odds with her peers. Check out the Memphis draw and see who you think it might be. We only can guess along with you!

The Southern Belle: American darling Melanie Oudin is also in action at the Cellular South Cup after her eyebrow-raising performance in Fed Cup and a scintillating week in Paris last week. Oudin will have the chance to continue her surge in April, when the U.S. team hosts Russia for Round 2 of the Fed Cup in Birmingham, Alabama. The site, which was picked earlier this week, is just a two-hour drive from Oudin’s hometown of Marietta, Georgia.

While captain Mary Joe Fernandez called Birmingham’s love for tennis “rampant”, the choice seemed a bit odd of the USTA, seeing as Birmingham was the same city to host the Davis Cup tie between the U.S. and Switzerland last April.

Andy’s Atlantic: Speaking of Americans, Andy Roddickwon’t be anywhere near Alabama in April. Instead, the No. 1 American man will take part in an exhibition that features Mats Wilander, Ivan Lendl and Marat Safin. It seems as though Safin is playing more post-retirement than he ever did on the tour. Good money, those exhibitions… and he still can lose his first match.

SweetStruggling Caroline: It hasn’t been a friendly 2010 for U.S. Open finalist Caroline Wozniacki, who bowed out in her first match in Dubai to a spirited Shahar Peer. Peer’s denial to play in Dubai rocked tennis’s political realms last year, but the Israeli is determined to make her trip this time all about her tennis. Barry Flatman has a great piece in the The Times‘ website.

Give the Gift of (Stereotyped) Gays: Gawker.com has an entertaining – if not limiting – “Guide to All Gay Men” written by Brian Moylan. In Moylan’s interpretation, all gay men are bottoms and Serena Williams didn’t make any type’s “Diva” list. Shame shame.

Them’s Fightin’ Words: In Vancouver, where tennis courts of ice would be of season, Evgeni Plushenko is going all Johnny Weir on Evan Lysacek after the short program of the men’s figure skating competition. Talk about diva! Our fave Johnny is in a respectable sixth heading into Thursday’s long program, within striking distance of a medal.

with peacock tail ‘tween her legs, masha wins in memphis



Top seed Maria Sharapova played her second match in 2010 at this week’s combined tour stop in Memphis, Tenn. (FYI, the WTA event is the Cellular South Cup.) Maria beat Shenay Perry 6-0, 6-2 and will play Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the second round. (Draw: Women’s Singles [pdf])

This is also Masha’s first win of 2010. As you may remember, eventual quarterfinalist Maria Kirilenko upset her in the first round of the Australian Open.

The dress: I bet that no one’s squawking about the Nike outfit she’s wearing this week — the tamer version of the Australian Open peacock dress that drew a lot of bad press. And especially with all the talk about Venus‘ skin-colored undies, it’s nice to see some neon lime hot pants to go with that teal blue skort.

(image via Getty Images)