like we needed more reasons to love grigor dimitrov



Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov has given us plenty of reasons to love him (we count six, maybe eight), but here’s the nail on the coffin: His favorite designer? Alexander McQueen. (See the Q&A here.)

BTW, congrats to Grigor for cracking the ATP Top 150 — he’s now at 136 — after winning back-to-back-to-back Challengers this year. (ATP: Grigor’s stats).

And speaking of McQueen, Sarah Burton, who’s succeeded Mr. McQueen (RIP) as creative director, presented the Spring 2011 men’s collection this past June in Milan. The women’s collection will show in Paris this week. One thing we’ll know not to expect from Burton are the fashion house’s infamous, over-the-top presentations. “That was very much [his] territory — the spectacular show,” Burton told Elle.

(photo from Wilson‘s FB)

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)

the way of the samurai: tsf interviews sam querrey



By Krystle Russin

TSF chats with Sam Querrey about tennis, his new condo, his goals for 2009, and wanting a date with Taylor Swift.

sam-querrey-lasvegas07

Sam Querrey is driving his Range Rover en route to the Home Depot Center, an enormous athletic training facility in Carson, Calif. It’s where you might find David Beckham bending it on the soccer fields. Today, though, it’s all about Sam.

“I just got off a little while ago to get breakfast. I have to practice from 11:00 to 12:30 and then again from probably 1:30 to 3:00, and then I’m going to work out with a trainer from 3:00 to 4:00, and I’ve got to pick up some new ankle bracelets,” Querrey says, firing off a to-do list with nothing but tennis, tennis, tennis.

But this regimen is not without its rewards: Querrey is now the fourth-ranked American men’s tennis player, and in 2008 racked up some notable achievements, including his first title at the Tennis Channel Open in Las Vegas, putting up a fight against Nadal at the US Open, and participating in the Beijing Olympics.

When he’s not focusing on his craft, the 21-year-old Southern California native stays busy adjusting to life on his own. He recently bought a condo in the coastal city of Santa Monica. “It’s cool to have my own place and accomplish that at a young age, and I feel good about myself,” he says. The best part of his pad? “The hot tub.”

[Read more...]

masha bits, althea gibson's book, rip brooke astor



Chernobyl to get a visit: After getting a surprise from some Russian children at the Acura Classic (above), Maria Sharapova plans to return the favor by visiting Chernobyl — as a U.N. ambassador — sometime after next year’s Wimbledon. (IHT)

The grunting stays out of the bedroom: Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine, who had a brief romance with Masha after her 18th birthday, reveals why they broke up. Apparently, the “Shriekapova”, as DTL calls her, is totally silent in bed! (Fact or not, this made me chuckle…)

“She wouldn’t make any noise during sex…said. “I can’t tell you how disappointed I was. I really thought, like a lot of guys, that she’d be the loud screaming type. But instead, she just lay there like a dead frog. She even got angry if I started to moan, said it ‘ruined her concentration.’ It was so disillusioning that I went on Paxil for a month afterwards. Really, it was much more of a shock than when I found out there’s no such thing as the Easter Bunny.” (The eXile)

Althea Gibson gets her due: While she may have gotten left out of Venus‘ acceptance speech at this year’s Wimbledon, tennis pioneer Althea Gibson gets her due with Sue Stauffacher’s Nothing but Trouble: The Story of Althea Gibson. The author chose to write about a great athlete with a compelling story: “Given all our American history, I would guess that most kids in the United States haven’t heard about Althea Gibson,” she said. “I’m 45 and I can talk to people my age, and they’ve never heard of her.” (Knopf, $16.99, Buy.)

RIP: New York philantropist and socialite Brooke Astor died yesterday. She was 105.

a gentler hewitt returns in a bowling shirt, plays with rafa



Doubles: It’s weird to see two baseliners — Lleyton Hewitt and Rafael Nadal — play on the same side of the net. The duo’s entered in this week’s doubles draw at the Rogers Cup.

Lleyton’s renaissance: This most recent chapter in the Aussie’s career — showing off his softer side — can be credited to his new manager, David Drysdale. (SMH)

Yonex’s Summer ’07 lookbook: Clearly someone was watching a little too much of The Big Lebowski during the idea meetings for this summer’s Yonex line. These gawdy U.S. Open Polos are available here.

(Racqonteur did better than me, managing to pry eyes away from the shirts long enough to rant about David Nalbandian‘s “samurai wrap”. While it might not look so hot on this Argentinian, his countryman Juan Monaco and the stylish Roger Federer look just fine in them.)

(photos via Getty Images)