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.)

anna k officially the 'biggest loser'

Make ‘em run lines! Should Team Anna have re-thought this decision before agreeing? The former tennis star, often cited as the most famous player to have ever hit a ball without actually winning a title, is confirmed to have her hand in the upcoming season of NBC’s The Biggest Loser. Though we are pretty sure of folks out there that are excited about Anna K being back on their TVs on a weekly basis.

TSF Vault: Anna Kournikova

(Image by Music4Mix via Flickr)

weekend programming: let the live blogs begin

We know you’ll be glued to your TV and the last thing on your mind will be to hit the “Refresh” button on the TSF page, but just wanted to let you folks know that we’ll be live blogging both the women’s and men’s finals at Wimbledon this weekend. No, that’s not the keyboard we use, but we decided with all the white happening at the All England Club that we need a little color in our lives. Check back later this weekend to read just how we saw and heard the 2010 edition of Breakfast at Wimbledon!

(photo by noeltykay via flickr)

live blogging the FO finals

4:56 PM, Game, set and match, Schiavone 6-4, 7-6 (2) Well big props to Schiavone for closing out the match like she did. We really dig the whole kissing-the-clay thing. Upping Guga‘s classic heart by making love to the clay with your mouth, not your racket.

4:41 PM, Schiavone leads 6-4, 6-all There is now the potential for this thing to turn into a high-quality, dramatic three-set affair. Could the WTA actually see its saviors in the games of these two relative unknowns? It’s been dang fun to watch such good tennis for two sets and 90 minutes thus far. I’m also digging the extra-cheesy Geico and Billie Jean King commercial.

4:29 PM, Schiavone leads 6-4, 4-all Stosur is tightening up here as the Italian has won the last three games to even up the second set. Can we see the first three-set women’s final since 2001?

4:07 PM, Schiavone leads 6-4, 1-2 Loving the NBC editors for their choice of exit-out music for commercials, so far including the SATC2 theme song, Beyonce and Britney. Diva music for two non-divas.

Meanwhile, we’re thinking that the Franny Faithful would make a great Jersey Shore spin-off. The hair! The muscles! The sunglasses! Stosur has nothing on these boys.

3:57 PM, Schiavone wins first set 6-4 (Good news!) Schiavone is playing with heart and (bad news!) Stosur is playing with the weight of the world on her shoulders. Let’s see if a clean court can give Sammy a clean conscience. (BEST news!) Mary Pierce sighting in the first row of the far side of the court. Like a summer bride, she’s wearing all white.

[Read more...]

mary the olympian

If you’ve watched more Olympics than me (and I only got to the most important three hours of it, the women’s free skate), then you were sure to have had the pleasure of watching my favorite tennis commentator — and esteemed journalist — Mary Carillo in one of NBC’s delightful featurettes.

Carillo’s sports knowledge is obvious, and her word-choice is always that of a well-educated, thoughtful commentator. She’s a natural — even in nature!

Enter our Mary The Olympian photo gallery, where we chronicle the many trials and tribulations of the great Carillo in her coverage for NBC’s peek into life as a Canadian as an Olympic contest all of its own. They were, after all, Mary’s Olympics…

Things looked suspicious at first — and so did Mary — but her training for the Olympics were about to hit full stride. [Read more...]

have you bought a lottery ticket this week?

Leave the suit at home: Our favorite tennis commentator, Mary Carillo, gets glammed up during her time in front of the camera at the Beijing Olympics. She, along with a other analysts covering the for the U.S. market (including Melissa Stark, Alex Flanagan, and Lindsay Czarniak), got outfits especially designed by label Ports 1961.

I think she looks pretty good. What do you think? Tell us!

“When I was first approached to create a capsule collection for the NBC Olympic commentators, I was honored,” said Ports 1961 creative director Tia Cibani. Cibani honed her design aesthetic in China during the nineties (while working under then-design heads Dean and Dan Caten).

This collaboration was announced last month along with the release of these sketches above.

Know your Ports: See Ports 1961’s Fall 2008 and Resort 2009 collections. (via NY)

(screengrab source: TF)

short balls: masha's trainer, underground tennis, gay bloggers, bottle or tap?

Behind the scenes: The folks who run Juan Carlos Ferrero‘s Equelite Tennis Academy in Spain have started a blog to show what it’s like for the folks behind the scenes. In one post, they interview physical coach Javier Capitaine, who trains with Juanqui and Maria Sharapova (above).

Gay bloggers: Ken of Kenneth in the (212) and Jim Buzinski of OutSports get their due in this funny article by Greg Hernandez (Out in Hollywood, Deuce!) on gay sports bloggers drooling about mostly straight professional athletes. (L.A. Daily News)

Straight writers, too: The Daily News surveyed the women, too. Apparently, female athletes are okay with exploiting their sexual power and the attention they get from male fans. Daniela Hantuchova‘s comment on posing for magazines: “(Female tennis players) all agree and always say we do the talking with our racquets… (but) we can take some time outside the sport to show people a different side of us. In that way, I think it’s a good thing.”

Towards even stronger racquets: Aerogel, one of the world’s lightest solids, has made its way into tennis and squash racquets developed by Dunlop The material can withstand a direct blast of 1kg of dynamite and protect against heat from a blowtorch at more than 1,300 degrees Celsius. Can it help the guys win a match against Roger? (Times)

Having a ball: The Sunday Times features London’s most lavish, with the wealthy now looking to renovate by digging down — sometimes up to four stories (!!) down — to create screening rooms, indoor tennis courts, and swimming pools (some even with diving boards). I guess at some point you just get bored by the conventional ways of spending your cash…

(OT) Ending the “bottled or tap?” question: Talking Tennis writes an ode to NYC’s tap water, and PepsiCo owns up to a smart marketing ploy. (CNN)

For posterity’s sake: A Bud Collins-less NBC Sports extends its broadcasting deal with Wimbledon to include digital media rights to the championships plus online coverage live on NBCSports.com and on mobile. (via The Hollywood Reporter)

(photos via Equelite)

tennis on the boob tube

Move over, Mark Philippoussis: Whodathunk that the gays would be really into the sport? References have popped up in some recent reruns of Will & Grace. One joke mentioned Andy Roddick (and his then-romance with Mandy Moore), while another one included Lleyton Hewitt. “Lleyton Hewitt” is blurted out on an American sitcom. Isn’t that wild?

Speaking of boobs…: The Today Show ended their news round-up today with a mention of Tiger Woods‘ latest PGA Championship, after which host David Gregory casually mentioned the golfer’s friendship with Roger Federer. Al Roker, ever with a stick up his ass, teased Gregory by pointing to the front of their desk and sayin, “It doesn’t say SportsCenter, it says Today.” Uh, ok. That’s your reward for David giving the broadcast a personal touch? I swear, Al’s been such an ornery diva since his gastric bypass surgery.

Did you see that Emirates Airlines commercial?: Playing during the Djokovic/Federer match, it showed an old woman getting into a chopper from the Burj Al Arab helipad. The tagline: “When was the last time you did something for the first time?” It was so sweet. Good job, Emirates.

Bonus round: Roger received the World Tennis Award at the Champions’ Dinner in London (post-Wimbledon). It was presented to him by Emirates Palace (out of Abu Dhabi). I guess they want a piece of the sporting events pie, too. Why should Dubai get all the attention?

You think pairing plaid pants with a floral print bowtie is a bad decision? Think again.

bud-collins-mug.jpg

In a decision more horrible than wearing purple pajama pants to a formal fundraiser (run by Chris Evert, no less), NBC Sports has decided to end its contract with Bud Collins after this year’s Wimbledon. The tennis broadcasting mainstay, after 35 years of service to the network, won’t be part of the NBC team as it heads “in a different direction”. Boo.

Love him or hate him (I personally can’t stand the guy — his outfits drive me crazy!), you have to admit that he’s done a lot for the sport:

He’s part of that old style of sensational journalism that made reading tennis news fun. He coined the nicknames Fraulein Forehand, Barcelona Bumblebee, Sisters Sledgehammer (can you tell who he’s referring to?). And the world has not been the same since the publishing of The Tennis Encyclopedia.

Like Charles Bricker, I’m less worried about where Bud will end up and more concerned about who’ll take his spot at NBC. My vote? Darren Cahill. He’s been amazing on ESPN so far this week.

(If you’d like to give NBC your two cents, do so here.)

(Charles Bricker, via On the Baseline)

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