short balls: what’s your britney moment?

Leave it to Andy Roddick to make a head shave seem hilarious and semi frightening all at once. The top American, who lost in shocking fashion to unknown Yen-Hsun Lu in the fourth round at Wimbledon, told the ATP that “There was no deep reasoning. I had a Britney Spears moment after Wimbledon.” No deep reasoning?! Andy! Didn’t you follow the 12 months of Brit’s life before that head shave?? Her reasoning couldn’t have been deeper. It seems as though Roddick was mightily bummed by his disappointing performance at the All England Club, capping off a topsy turvy 12 months himself. Southern refreshment: Andy has taken his new hair (and new game?!) to the Atlanta Tennis Championships with a wildcard into the new event. See the draw here.

While Roddick may be into head shaving, Serena is into nail-doing and Nicole is into marrying. In a recent Vogue online feature, writer Marina Rust, interviews Williams while she gets her nails done – by Serena! The manicurist (Serena aka Kandse) chatted about life outside of tennis while the two breathed in polish fumes, Rust making a good point when she said it was a better way for them to chat then trading a few groundstrokes. Meanwhile, former (yes, former) pro Nicole Vaidisova traded vows with Radek Stepanek over the weekend. Who knew that Vaidisova, who was locked in a tough semifinal battle with Serena just three years ago at the Australian Open, would be retired and married at age 21. Such is the life of a WTA superstar, we suppose.

Martina Hingis is no WTA superstar anymore (nor is she involved with Stepanek… though she once was), but the Swiss Miss is continuing her post-tennis life by exploring the different pleasures of life. Her most current obsession? Polo. Hingis was spotted in Florida getting some polo lessons last weekend. Maybe Britney will cast her (or Andy?!) in her next video.

After the cut: two online screen grabs that grabbed our attention this week plus a full (and plentiful!) version of short(er) balls, the best never-ending paragraph you’ve ever come across. [Read more…]

trinity a holy being, in squash

We still don’t understand the rules of squash, but the boys at Trinity College certainly do. For the 12th straight year, the Bantams won the NCAA title, extending its winning streak to 224 matches, the longest streak in U.S. athletics.

In a cross-state battle, Trinity, based in Hartford, Conn., took out Yale University in New Haven. If only Nicole Vaidisova could take some of Baset Chaudhry‘s confidence…

UPDATE: This is what our reader, Mark, was referring to in his comment. Shame, shame.

(photo by richard messina via hartford courant)

reebok makes good use of peekaboo blue

Unlike last year’s discordant showing at Wimbledon (gold on Jelena Jankovic and Nicole Vaidisova, and Amelie Mauresmo with her own line), Reebok decided to rein it in with a white and teal combo on all its ladies.

Jelena’s dress had teal detail on the bust and a wraparound hem. She hobbled with this all the way to her fourth round loss to grass court perrenial Tamarine Tanasugarn 3-6, 2-6. It didn’t help Jelena (but no less credit to Tamarine) that she’d hyperextended her knee in her previous match against 31st seed Caroline Wozniacki.

Amelie wore separates in her match against Serena Williams in the third round. Mauresmo fell 6-7 (5), 1-6.

And Nikki Vaidisova wore the cutaway version. The 18th seed upset the 8th seed Anna Chakvetadze 4-6, 7-6 (0), 6-3, booking her a berth in the quarters for the second year in a row. Last year, the Czech lost in the finaleight to Ana Ivanovic.

Speaking of, did you get a chance to see Nicole’s pre-Wimby outfits?

A black Reebok dress contrasted the red clay of the French Open. Notice the bifurcating straps on the back of her dress…

…and the frilly hem! The way it was cut made it look like grandma’s nightgown.

She wore the white version (and the separates) at Birmingham.

(images by Getty Images)

I’ll let you in on a secret

I have a thing for people who can breakdance.

But I think I will draw the line at the Worm. Put it back in the hole, Radek!

Here’s the Czech celebrates after defeating top seed Roger Federer in the quarters of last week’s Masters Series Rome. (Stepanek’s fiancee, Nicole Vaidisova, was there to cheer him on.)

In his press conference, Roger cut short any questions about the loss, making sure to point out that the straight-set match was close — two tiebreaks — and that he had led in both before losing 7-4 and 9-7.

The extra days of rest will hopefully get him revved and ready to defend his title this week in Hamburg.

louboutins and lamborghinis in australia

Both Prince and IMG threw parties on the eve of this year’s Australian Open.

jelena-jankovic-louboutins.jpg

Prince had everyone’s engines revving at their party, held at a Lamborghini shop in South Yarra. The main attraction was the sexy Jelena Jankovic, who showed up in a little black dress paired with electric blue Decolzep pumps from Christian Louboutin (we’re talking a steel heel and sole here, folks). Nikolay Davdenko, the Bryan Brothers, and David Ferrer were also there.

Le sigh: Of course the Decolzep, part of Louboutin’s f/w ’07 collection, is sold out. But at one point it was listed with a price of £325. Browse the rest of the shoes here.

Meanwhile, IMG held a cocktail party for its players at Crown, and the guest list included Nicole Vaidisova, Masha, Rafael Nadal, James Blake, Lindsay Davenport, and the adorable Michael Vartan (Big Shots).

Take a peek: The pictures from the parties are after the cut…

bows bow out at the aussie open, aka vaidisova in reebok

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Rich at Down the Line! has been working double-duty the last few days (and thank god for that, because TSF’s been doing to much holiday partying and not enough blogging!).

One of his more recent posts is a peek at the spring 2008 dress of soon-might-be-married Czech Nicole Vaidisova. The coral dress, from Reebok, will probably make an appearance at next month’s the Australian Open.

Bows bow out: This very feminine accent was all over the ladies dresses last year — on Serena (briefly) at the U.S. Open, on Masha’s corset at the Aussie Open, and on the various shades of Vaidisova’s 2007 dress. Nicole will start out the year sans bow, as will Serena, who’ll begin her year tunic-style.

Bright and solid: As we mentioned last month, Reebok’s other shade for 2008 will likely be the aqua on Jelena Jankovic.

(photo by vaidisova-nicole.com via DTL)

short balls: maria is bootylicious, mamiit wins medals, and wedding announcements galore!

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Nole has some homework: Now that Masha has a bootylicious serve (to accomodate a right shoulder injury), funnyman Novak Djokovic will have to adjust his impersonation of the Russian. Get to work, Nole. (WTB)

Dear Harold: In the latest column by Harold Solomon for ZooTennis, he answers a question about choking.

Chris Evert engaged: Golfer Greg Norman and Chris Evert are now engaged. If you haven’t been following the drama surrounding these two sports icons, read up. (DTL)

Keeping it in Czech: Almost a year after getting engaged to Martina Hingis (and four months after calling it off), Casanova Radek Stepanek has applied for a marriage license with 18-year old compatriot Nicole Vaidisova. May-December, much? We’re waiting to get the “April Fool’s!” follow-up in our inbox. (BH via WTB)

yonex-fall07-dress.jpg

Sorry, Yonex: While this dress from Yonex might be a welcome surprise to some, I think it’s safe to say that loud prints shouldn’t have a place on the court. Too distracting, no? (WATR)

Mammiit’s medals: Cecil Mammiit cleaned up in the tennis events at the SEA games. He won gold in singles (beating a well-dressed Danai Udomchoke) and came up 2nd in both men’s and mixed doubles. Congratulations! (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Sharapova on Ellen: Ellen Degeneres, who’s been taking some heat for crossing the WGA picket line, will have Masha on her show this Friday.

Year-end thoughts: Chris Clarey offers his own, with the most memorable event being the five-set Wimbledon final between Roger and Rafa. (IHT)

Mathieu made whole: Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu, who had coach Thierry Champion taken away from him by the French Tennis Federation, is now working with Mats Wilander. Wilander’s most recent project was Tatiana Golovin.

short balls: reality bites sania, rafa swallows bitter pill, vaidisova returns, etc.

Reality bites: In response to Mahesh Bhupathi advising Sania Mirza to “concentrate on her physical abilities and training methods to prevent injury rather than to cure them,” she says:

Injuries happen to everyone. I mean Sharapova has struggled with so many injuries this year. Also Indians are not genetically as tough as the Europeans are. We are not cut out to be in a totally physical sport. That’s a fact. A lot of people may disagree with me but I still believe that. And because of that we have to push our bodies a lot more. And hence if you are going to punish your bodies everyday I don’t think then it’s humanly possible to remain injury free. I lost three months this year because of my knee but that is something which happened when I was the fittest. (CNN-IBN)

Fan fave: The fans of Maria Sharapova weigh in on their favorite outfit of 2007. I agree with their pick. (WTB)

More Maria: While in town for promo work with Tag Heuer, Masha takes in some Hong Kong sites with gal pal Camilla Belle. (Celebrities Stars)

Nadal owns up to bum foot: After months of brushing off questions about the source of his (relatively) poor performance in 2007, Rafa finally speaks out about his chronic injury. Now that the Aussie Open has traded Rebound Ace for DecoTurf, will he have the same problems he faced during this past U.S. Open? DTL: Nadal reflects on a tough 2007.

A fellow grinder rests up: Lleyton Hewitt is hoping his ankle soreness will disappear in time to play in his home country’s Grand Slam. Meanwhile, Tennis Australia hopes that the two-time Grand Slam champ will benefit from the surface change; Lleyton’s first win was on ‘Turf at the 2001 U.S. Open. (Herald Sun)

Becker splits with GF: Boris announced the end of his relationship with Sharlely Kerssenberg. (DTL)

King’s gold: Billie Jean King thinks that the WTA is free of match-fixing and sides with Martina Hingis on that cocaine scandal. (WP, WTB)

First Borg, now Sampras: C’mon, wrist — heal yourself! Clearly your owner, Andy Murray, has been pegged with lots of potential by tennis greats Borg (here) and now Sampras. (The Scotman)

Vaidisova’s back?: Mono washed away most of her 2007, but Nicole Vaidisova should be back on track in 2008. (ESPN)

What can’t he do?: First it was Novak the actor, then Novak the disco diva, now Novak the baritone?

Geek love: If you haven’t yet fallen for the number-crunching ways of Robert Waltz, then take in this latest article analyzing the performance of top WTA players. (tennis.com)

fashion preview: a closer look at vaidisova's u.s. open outfit

Reebok threw a birthday party for Nicole Vaidisova back in April and announced her U.S. Open attire on the same night. We posted photos of the outfits but none were detailed. Here’s a closer look:

Day matches: Nicole will wear the Fall Premier Dress (but in a powder blue) for her day matches. This dress’ white version made an appearance at Wimby ’07.

Warm-up: The dress will be paired with the Premier Jacket, which has gold zippers and piping plus a tonal print on the back.

Under the lights: Vaidisova will play her night matches in the Premier Tank and Skort. The tank, like her day dress, has a racerback. It’s sewn from a fabric with heat-embossed floral pattern. It also has stretch gold ribbon binding with bow at center of neckline (cute!!!) and shimmer mesh side panels.

Of course, all items feature Reebok’s PlayDry technology, which accelerates evaporation, increases ventilation, and reduces abrasion without trapping the body’s thermal energy.

Buy: Reebok Fall Premier Dress, $53.99; Fall Premier Jacket, $65.99; Fall Premier Action Tank and Skort, $36.99 and $44.99 respectively. All available here.