stylistically french

Style lady. While she barely escaped unknown Frenchwoman Caroline Garzia today on the tennis court (3-6 6-4 6-0), Maria Sharapova is easy to find on any newsstand in New York: she’s plastered on the front of the New York Times Thursday Style section. The article, a lengthy feature, talks about the brand Maria has grown (herself) and her work in fashion — Cole Haan being the highlight. | Draw: Maria survives

Is that a black eye? While Sharapova’s quarter was blown wide open with Kim Clijsters’ loss, American Bethanie Mattek-Sands sits on the top half of the draw and next has to deal with the always-testy Jelena Jankovic. The talk, however, has been less about BMS’ play (it’s been rather good lately) and more about her ever-famous face make-up (seen above). Everyone seems to be chatting about BMS’ face, and less about her game. Though, after her hard-fought second round win, the Times gave her this headline: “A Rising American Now Has a Game as Bold as Her Style.” Touche, folks. But what about in a few weeks’ time when BMS dons her Wimbledon players’ party Gaga-inspired dress? There will be no talk of her tennis, we predict. Or can she have her cake and eat it too? Either way, she’s happy.

TSF Vault: All about Bethanie

Soft core porn? And leave it to the eds at the Huffington Post to come up with this headline, teasing out the WTA‘s new “Strong is Beautiful” campaign: “Is This Ad Campaign ‘Soft Core Porn That Has Nothing To Do with Tennis’?” The headline itself was from a blog post from back in September, when the original Times photo shoot ran that inspired the campaign. The Post asked readers in a poll about the campaign, an overall response (through Thursday afternoon) is below:

(BMS image via the AP; Huffington Post screen grab)

street fashion photography at its finest

Make sure to check out the documentary on photographer Bill Cunningham, whose images have been gracing the pages of The New York Times since the late 1970s. He has two photo-heavy columns — one on street fashion, “On the Street“; another on society, “Evening Hours” — that appear in the newspaper’s Sunday Styles section.

Because he celebrates those who make a statement, we wonder: which players’ styles would make a tennis edition of “On The Street”? Venus? Nadia? Bethanie?

More info: Including trailers, bios, reviews, and other bits — Bill Cunningham New York.

nyt’s wta shoot: behind the scenes

The WTA’s release some fluffy behind-the-scenes footage from that photo shoot accompanying the long article on the current state of the women’s game in last Sunday’s New York Times (was that really just one week ago??). View: Click on that photo above to watch the YouTube vid.

Thankfully no one chose that mesh short-sleeved tank that was on the rack — though Kimmie got awfully close! And does anyone else think that this seems like an awful lot of glitter and powder for athletes to be inhaling?

(link courtesy of WTA)

finding grace and beauty in power

This Sunday’s New York Times Magazine has an article in this Sunday's edition about the power game dominating women's tennis. It's bundled with slo-mo video of top WTA players — Serena, Dementieva, Stosur, Clijsters, Jankovic, Zvonareva, and Azarenka — wearing designer dresses while hitting balls. Our fave is Jelena in Herve Leger. Meanwhile, wtf is Sam wearing???

Can’t wait to buy the paper on Sunday!

(image via NYT)

taylor makes a comeback

Two snaps for Taylor Dent, who’s still searching for his groove after a long-term absence from the ATP Tour to address a serious back injury (it left him in a body cast for nine months). He is also a wild card in the main draw of this year’s U.S. Open, which starts next week. In the meantime, he’s trying to get match-tough by working his way through the Pilot Pen Tennis tournament this week.

And two snaps for Nick, who got Dent’s story in the NYT‘s Straight Sets blog. Read it here.

nyt mag: rafael nadal

rafa-nyt-cover

Those aren’t tumbleweeds you’re seeing, folks. They’re crumpled up pages from this Sunday’s New York Times Magazine, torn apart in by frustrated fans who wanted to see Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer duke it out for another major title in 2009.

I think Roger will have more pressure on him this year than last. If he can’t string together seven wins in the next two weeks, he doesn’t have a Rafa to blame (will Murray make his mark?). That record-breaking 15th ‘slam is just around the corner…

I haven’t finished reading the profile yet, but it seems to offer the same stuff we already know about Rafa. At this point, it’s more about enjoying the writing of Ms. Gorney. My fave quotes thus far:

Referring to Nadal v. Federer: “But let me just suggest that if there were ever a time to understand why people invoke Shakespearean tragedy and ancient gladiators and so on when they carry on about competitive tennis, now is that time.”

And about tennis in general: “‘You must remember,’ [L’Équipe writer Philippe] Bouin said gently, in his lovely accented English, ‘that in tennis you have to kill the other.’ Not just play better. Sometimes the one who plays better can lose. It’s a sport of splendid cruelty, for all its decorum and finicky trappings; every winning point comes when the other guy, in front of a whole stadium of people staring directly at him, is forced by his opponent into inadequacy. He lunges for the ball but whiffs, he whacks it long, he hits it into the net, he screws up. From the stands, you sometimes see players surrender not because they don’t know how to return the shots coming at them but because the specter of this impending inadequacy has suddenly just taken over their brains. It transpires right in front of your eyes: something sags, and they go sort of limp; you can see their faces and their posture start registering get me out of here.”

Read: Ripped. (Or Torn Up?) by Cynthia Gorney, NY Times Magazine, June 21, 2009.

(screen grab via nytimes.com)

short balls: haas canoodles, blake dishes, tursunov makes a plea

From the sidelines: Yep, that’s German Tommy Haas at last night’s match between Safin and Bastl at UCLA. Haas isn’t defending his Countrywide Classic title due to a shoulder injury. He’s nursing it with some lovin’ from…Sandy Woelden? …Sara Foster? Who is it? (Thanks for the photo, Chris.)

Glowing shuttlecocks!: While night tennis might have failed, everyone’s a-ravin’ about Blackminton.

Bollietteri’s New York outpost: He’s joining the staff at CityView Racquet Club, the newest addition to NYC’s tennis scene. Now accepting applications, the club will have valet parking, limo service, and a tiny membership — which’ll guarantee you a court when you want one. (via UrbanDaddy NYC)

Tursunov rallies for support: At a tournament overshadowed by the arrival of Becks, Norcal-based Dmitry Tursunov makes a plea to his fellow players: promote the sport any way they can, be a little friendlier with the fans, and do things to keep them coming back.

Revealing the secrets of celebrity: You want to become the next Anna Kournikova? Follow this L.A.-based agent’s instructions.

Tennis non-whites: The New York Times Book Review wrote up James Blake‘s Breaking Back and Charging the Net by Cecil Harris and Larryette Kyle-DeBose. While Blake doesn’t reveal much dirt in his own book — likely because he still needs to show his face on the tour — he makes comments about the racial battles being fought on the courts in Charging the Net. On the brouhaha surrounding his ’01 U.S. Open match against Lleyton Hewitt:

“(Lleyton and I) talked about it in the locker room, and he did apologize. … He said he didn’t mean for it to come out the way it did. … I knew we would both be on the tour for a long time, and I told him that if he said anything like that again, I wouldn’t be so kind.”

(via NYT)

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if you can't say anything nice…

I’m sure the ATP Tour players are all in love with Pete Sampras right now. In a New York Times article published yesterday, he scoffed at how Wimbledon has unfolded so far this year:

In summary, Sampras doesn’t think much of the grass-court tennis currently being played. He doesn’t sound terribly convinced that he — soon to turn 36, five years after he walked away from tennis after winning his 14th Grand Slam title at the United States Open — couldn’t still get to the net against these guys, put away vintage Pistol Pete volleys.

The “sad” problem, as Sampras sees it, is that players have surrendered to the slower conditions, the stronger rackets, the fear of risk. He has been watching Federer hang on the baseline, toy with lesser players who won’t dare push him the way Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg and Goran Ivanisevic and Patrick Rafter used to chip, charge and challenge Sampras across the 1990s.

Smart move, Pete. Put your mouth where the money is. Now I can’t wait to see you play Federer in those Asian exhibitions this fall.

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NYT is my porn

nyt-cowboy.jpg

Today’s slightly off-topic post comes from the New York Times and their article about Wrangler and the fashionization of cowboy denim — like, pants that can actually withstand the rigors of rodeo. Two things to note: their main style for that line is 13MWZ (which stands for “men’s Western zipper”) and they have a premium brand called Wrangler47, which is carried at Barneys New York and other stores.

Bonus round: There’s also a video by Collier Schorr, who interviews some cowboys staying at the Cinderella Motel during a competition. Why do I feel like I’m watching a Sean Cody clip?

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