short balls: open coverage explodes, around the parties and irene

Here we go! The all-out media blitz for the 2011 US Open has begun, the New York Times seemingly sounding the starting gun this morning when Novak Djokovic lived on its homepage for much of the morning with a piece written by Greg Bishop about the all-out transformation of Djoko over the last year: the diet, the game, the ranking and the media appeal. It doesn’t stop there with the Times, which has stories about Irene, finding tennis courts in NYC and qualies of course. But those are just the meat-and-potatoes posts. More? Andy Samburg dresses up (and celebrates like) the best champs from tennis’ past, though he didn’t pull a Djoko and sport a Maria-inspired wig. Check out the hilarious video here.

TSF Vault: Short balls | US Open

Time out: But don’t think the Times is the only one who has it going on. New York magazine has an entire US Open guide section while Time took the time to follow Djokovic around, too. Tennis.com is unsurprisingly all blinged-out, currently with a Richard Pagliaro Q&A with Andrea Petkovic. Their USO-specific page is a looking a little bit like it’s stuck in 1999, though we’re positive that Tignor, Bodo and the rest of the crew will be on the grounds and covering as they always do. TennisNow.com is looking more and more like Tennis.com these days, which isn’t necessarily a horrible thing. But we do enjoy their easy-to-read breeze through the fashion of the men and women at Flushin this year, which is heavily linked to outside sources. CNN/SI gives little/no cover play to the Open on this Friday, but we expect them to beef up coverage as the tourney actually gets underway. No doubt they have frontman L. Jon Wertheim‘s piece on the seeds (he’s all Serena on the women’s side) featured on the tennis page. Tennis Channel wants folks to play in its Racquet Bracket challenge – and we would — if only that meant a date with James LaRosa of Sweet Spot fame. His latest Spot? A drinking game, of course! Oh James! You keep us sober (in life)! ESPN.com doesn’t have any USO coverage on its homepage, either, and hasn’t even pulled the “Tennis” section from out underneath the “More Sports” bar. But the .com side always adds to what TV has going on — which is bigger than ever. ESPN3 went as far as sending out a release to tout their individual coverage that supplements TV. What can we say? We sort of love it.

And the little guys? On the blogosphere, it’s business as usual around the horn. The blogging has been slow for C Note, but the tweeting? Outta control. So much so that Merriam-Webster finally appeased and made “tweeting” an actual, real world. Way to go, C! 52,346 tweets and counting. Down the Line has this hilarious cartoon via Women’s Tennis Blog. Tennis Panorama braved the epic crowds at Macy’s yesterday for the Rafa unveiling of a (shirtless) billboard. Did we expect anything else? Number of Rafa billboards? One. Number of words he spoke on stage? One. (“Hel-lo.”) The-Slice has tasty crumbs from Taste of Tennis last night. And Adjusting the Net is all about Winston-Salem. Someone had to be, right?

short(er) balls: The Post calls Serena’s path (she has Vika in the third round) “easy” for title. | TSF contributor Lindsay Sakraida has NYMag.com’s official preview of the men and women. | We didn’t see this coming: the USTA cancelled Arthur Ashe Kid’s Day because of Irene. Won’t reschedule. | Richard Evans writes on FoxSports.com that this is Mardy Fish‘s big opp. | More 3D tennis from Panasonic and CBS. Should we care? | Pete Sampras and other fellas part of an “Old School” tennis event last night in Murray Hill, Manhattan. | New Haven got all shaken up (and evacuated) after Tuesday’s earthquake. | Lleyton Hewitt? Out of the Open. | Tennis Channel is still battling with Cablevision. #overit | But really, NYT? Who is eating around the grounds. People are just eating in the grounds. | The next great gay film? We sort of think this is it. | Shameless plug: Housing Works has plenty of good sales this fall. In the city for the Open? Live there? Have the ability to shop online? Do. It.

(nytimes.com screengrab; hw photo provided)

 

after beating sharapova, caro takes on the world

A day after manhandling Maria Sharapova in the fourth round of the US Open, Caroline Wozniacki is on top of the tennis world. The whole world, that is. TSF noticed all the buzz today, and is here to chronicle it for you in one, easy-to-read blog post. Voila!

On the Twitter front, @carowozniacki, Caroline herself, power-tweeted all day long. First there was chatter about overtaking John Isner in followers, then she showed that she has stolen the lives of Maria and Serena Williams by being a fashionista, even in week two of a Slam.

If the prowess couldn’t be felt through Wozniacki’s tweets, surely an at reply congratulations would do the trick from the one and only Serena. And another tennis diva giving Caro props was Tennis Channel‘s James LaRosa, scolding anyone who still thought Wozniacki plays as a human backboard.

Not to be outdone, the mainstream media got on the WozniackiExpress today as well, with the USA Today churning out an article about Wozy as tennis’s new “It” girl; the New York Times featuring Caroline on its homepage for a good chunk of the afternoon (see screen grab after the cut); the WTA web site had a feature on her as long as Tweeting a year-old video of Wozniacki hanging out with soccer superstar David Beckham; the LA Times relegated its coverage to a blog post (how dare they!); the New York Daily News not only complimented Wozniacki’s play but her put-together look; and the New York Post couldn’t have been more blunt with its headline: “Wozniacki has look of future champ“.

More on the Wozniacki craze – including what was happening in the blogosphere after the cut.

[Read more...]

T-shoes get love from T Mag

A recent Help Desk column at T Magazine answers a reader’s plea for sneakers that can pass off as fashionable in a conservative professional environment.

The finalists: tennis shoes, of course! (What else would we write about?) adidas‘ Tournament edition (see our write-up here), the designs of Superga, and a line called Common Projects were all mentioned. There are others, too, so take your pick. When you do, just make sure to keep a few rules in mind: no shoes that can actually survive a hitting session, stick with dark and solid colors, no logos, leather instead of canvas, and please — stick with dressing up a casual style instead of dressing down a lace-up. Trust me on that last one.

(off-topic) more photos: ryan mcginley and annie leibovitz shoot hollywood, julian schnabel’s pink giant, polaroid shutters, etc.

Shake it while you can: The higher-ups at Polaroid have decided to get out of the instant camera business. They are shuttering their operations in Massachusetts, making enough film to last only through next year. You can keep your fingers crossed, though — there’s a likelihood of the technology being licensed for third-party production. But until that happens, you might as well stock up!

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Vanity Fare: The pictures shot by Annie Leibovits for VF‘s March Hollywood issue are impressive as always (one here). But our reason for snapping up the pub are images of Julian Schnabel‘s pink WeVil monstrosity, the Palazzo Chupi.

Everyone was up in arms about how tacky the pink would look. I haven’t seen it in person, but it’s at least better than a Paul Smith store on Melrose or that obnoxious Pink Taco storefront in Century City. (What they lack in subtlety they make up for with a good happy hour.)

Hollywood, pt. 2: The New York Times got in on the Hollywood (aka Oscar) buzz with last Sunday’s NYT Magazine. Ryan McGinley shot the cover story. They’ve posted a behind-the-scenes video, also directed by McGinley, online. And I’ve posted the mag’s cover here.

(photos via Vanity Fair Goes to the Schneighborhood”, New York Magazine)

short balls: from both sides of the pond, juniors tennis, masha mania continues, etc.

Girls — read it and weep: Junior tennis titles do not serve as a predictor of pro success. Of the 20 champions at a Virginia Beach tourney, only two — Lindsay Davenport and Meghan Shaughnessy — cracked the Top 20 and won SEWTA titles. Two others cracked the Top 50. The rest didn’t do so hot. (The Virginian-Pilot via Zoo Tennis)

But it’s not all bad: Tennis.com’s Peter Bodo reminds us that Donald Young is a man who can back up the hype. Justin Gimelstob also chimes in about this 2007 Wimbledon juniors champ.

ESPN continues to tout Sharapova: Even though Serena Williams and Roger Federer have much better tennis credentials than Sharapova, the Russian continues to eclipse them in pop cultural significance. This time, she’s the only tennis player left standing in Page 2′s “Who’s Now” contest.

From both sides of the pond: British Prime Minister shows off his tennis guns while Britney Spears beefs up her arsenal. The pop star was spotted at a toy store picking up a racquet and some balls. Perhaps she’s made another play date with former hitting partner Howie Day?

(OT) From Pringles to Papier Maché: Rumors abound that an Olympic stadium in London could be built out of papier maché. As long as it doesn’t crumble like potato chips, we’ll be fine with it. (Sports Management magazine)

(OT, pt. 2) The new gilded age: Check out this New York Times article on how modern day robber barons deal with their wealth.

short balls: venus' necklace, Sochi grumbles, tiger's lame, blake pens a tearjerker, etc.

Venus’ jewelry: A few of you asked about Venus‘ Wimbledon necklace. Unfortunately I have no information about where she got it from. Instead, I offer the New York Timesrecent slideshow on current necklace styles. Ellen Tien has an amazing eye for this stuff.

Venus and Reebok: CNBC’s Darren Rovell talks about the relationship between Venus and Reebok (basically, that her endorsement — the largest in women’s sports history — was not renewed in 2003 because of her erratic playing schedule; she still gets paid to wear Reebok even though she’s not on their athlete roster).

A tearjerker: Rovell also gives a great review of the new James Blake memoir, Breaking Back: How I Lost Everything and Won Back My Life. Blake has had a rough last couple of years…

Sochi grumbles: We’re all aware of Maria Sharapova‘s endorsement of Sochi as an Olympics site. Now the other side speaks up. (Spiegel)

More grumbling: This time from the All-England Club, who didn’t appreciate that London Mayor Ken Livingstone planned the beginning of this year’s Tour de France on the same Sunday as the Gentlemen’s Singles Championships. The cycling tournament caused road closures that hassled spectators trying to get to Wimbledon. And the AELTC didn’t want to share the spotlight with any other event with such an international focus (which make sense).

Tiger is lame: I think Tiger Woods is a great guy, but did he really need to be such a douchebag in that Gillette commercial that aired during Wimbledon? In it, Roger Federer strokes Tiger’s presumably smooth (post-shave) cheek, and Tiger turns to Thierry Henry with an awkward “uhh, did he just do that?” reaction.

For you French77 lovers, a treat: Puma is having an online sale (which includes items from the French77 collection); take 20% off your order when you use the coupon code PUMA20 during checkout. Expires July 23. (via Puma)

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short balls friday: grass in NYC, open call for ballkids, racquet stringers, etc.

A stringer on stringers: Here’s a New York Times profile on racquet stringers Nate Ferguson and Ron Yu. Interesting tidbit: “(Roger) Federer usually requests three different tensions: high, medium and low. Each racket has three little stickers telling him which it is. He changes rackets every time the balls are replaced by a fresh batch — after the first seven games, then every nine games after that. There is an exception: Federer does not want to serve with fresh strings and fresh balls. If the ball swap is going to occur on his turn to serve, he changes rackets the game before.”

Dress like Bethanie: Tabio in London is where Bethanie Mattek picks up socks for her crazy wardrobe. (via Tennis Week)

Ballkids at the U.S. Open: The audition process is arduous, the job is taxing (throwing balls overhand across the whole court!), but unlike the folks at other Slams, they get paid. (via newsday.com)

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Crazy fluff photo opp of the week: Hopeless on grass, Rafa Nadal challenges Federer to an underwater match. (via Daily Mail)

Chew on this: Writer Michael Kimmelman takes a trip to New York City’s only grass courts at the West Side Tennis Club; the site hosted the U.S. Open before it moved to Flushing Meadows in 1978. (via NYT)