andy roddick added to Mylan World TeamTennis Smash hits field

Former world No. 1 Andy Roddick has joined the all-star lineup for Mylan World TeamTennis Smash Hits in London. The event, which benefits the Elton John AIDS Foundation and is co-hosted by Sir Elton John and Billie Jean King, will be Sunday, December 7 during the final session of the Statoil Masters Tennis at the Royal Albert Hall. Andy Roddick

Roddick is a longtime supporter of the event and returns for his 10th Mylan WTT Smash Hits appearance. Roddick won 30 singles titles on the ATP World Tour, including the 2003 US Open and was ranked in the top 10 for nine consecutive years. He is also a member of the Austin Aces, the Mylan WTT professional team based in his hometown of Austin, Texas.

The field for Mylan WTT Smash Hits also includes former world No. 1s John McEnroe and Kim Clijsters, former British No. 1 Tim Henman and 2013 Wimbledon runner-up Sabine Lisicki. The players will form two teams, coached by King and John, and will play a Mylan World TeamTennis match. The one-night event will be during the final session of the IMG-owned and staged Statoil Masters Tennis tournament. More players to be announced in the coming weeks.

Since 1993, Mylan WTT Smash Hits has raised more than $12 million for the Elton John AIDS Foundation and various local AIDS charities throughout the United States. This is the first time in the event’s 22-year history that it will be staged outside the U.S.

Tennis action is set for 6:00 p.m. and Team Elton has the edge in the overall series 11-10 after defeating Team Billie Jean in Orlando, Fla., in 2013.

Tickets are available from £18.50 through www.WTTSmashHits.com, www.statoilmasterstennis.com or through the Royal Albert Hall Box Office on +44 (0) 20 7070 4404.

Sponsorship and Group VIP packages are also available by contacting Natalee Jarrett at njarrett@wtt.com or 212-586-3444 x. 111.

For more information on Mylan WTT Smash Hits, visit www.WTTSmashHits.com.

For more information about the Statoil Masters Tennis tournament, go to: www.statoilmasterstennis.com.

For more information on the Elton John AIDS Foundation and how you can help create an AIDS-free future, go to ejaf.org/London. Elton John AIDS Foundation is a registered UK charity – No. 1017336

trophy watch: paris & pattaya + dc rubbers

Mona Barthel wins the 2013 Open GDF Suez in Paris over Sara Errani

Paris: German Mona Barthel took out top seed Sara Errani 7-5, 7-6(4) to win her second career title — and first at a Premier-level event. She is now 2-1 in finals, with her other title coming at Hobart in 2012. Russian Elena Vesnina stopped Barthel from taking the title this year, knocking out the defending champion in the final.

“When I came here [to Paris] I wasn’t expecting to win the title at all,” said Barthel, who is the second German to win the title in the past two years (Kerber chose not to defend). “I was just taking it round by round, hoping to win the first round, then hoping to win the second round, and so on. When I got to the final I knew it would be tough, because Sara had such an amazing year last year and is playing so well – she just doesn’t give anything away.”

Errani did not leave empty-handed, teaming with Roberta Vinci to take the doubles trophy over the team of Hlavackova and Huber. The 6-1, 6-1 victory gave the Italian duo their 15th career title as a team.

More: Kirilenko wins Pattaya and Davis Cup rubbers — after the cut…

fashion focus: australian open highlight(er)s

The fashions on the courts of Australian Open are a little more subtle this year, but a few things have stood out, most notably the presence of bright yellows and greens — the highlighter shades — for match play.

Alexandr Dolgopolov - Gael Monfils - Andy Murray - 2013 Australian Open

Gael Monfils (center), now a member of the Asics stable (he was previously with K-Swiss), played in a sleeveless crew — the Frenchman’s trademark — as he upset 18th seed Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-7(7), 7-6(4), 6-3, 6-3 in the first round. Andy Murray, on the right, is wearing this season’s Barricade crew, with the same shoulder detail that carried through from the end of last season.

Maria Sharapova - Nike - 2013 Australian Open

Grey was also the accent color of choice, with the straps on Maria Sharapova‘s Premier Tennis Dress from Nike in that shade (but we’re in love with the futuristic lines at the check and in the racerback), as well as the trims on the men’s adidas adiZero (on Dolgo) and Barricade (Murray) lines for the Australian summer.

More: Lisicki, Caro, Tomic, and the boys of Lotto all wear the brights — see ‘em  after the cut…

wta headshots: part 3 (ladies of east coast)

Matt Trollope began covering tennis in 2008, a natural extension of his childhood obsession for the game that included hitting for countless hours against his bedroom wall and self-producing and editing a fictitious tennis magazine. Based in Melbourne, he has covered four Australian Opens and one Wimbledon championship, and his tennis writing has featured in Australian Tennis Magazine, the Australian Open Official Program, and Alpha Magazine.

In this latest instalment of TSF’s WTA Headshots series, we take a look at some players who have posted solid results this past fortnight in New York. Given some of them have since been dumped from the women’s draw, they might have time to source new photographs. And remember, folks, this is just pure, unadulterated fun and fiction. We lack all seriousness in below post. Enjoy!

Sabine Lisicki | When Lisicki missed most of 2010 with a severe ankle injury, instead of lying around feeling sorry for herself, she went out and scored a role as an extra in the film Just Go With It. “I figured if Brooklyn Decker and Andy Roddick could be in it, why couldn’t I?” She explained to TSF. “I asked them to put in a good word for me, and the director said I could be involved in scenes set in Hawaii.” This photo shows that Lisicki pulled off the Pacific Island look brilliantly, and like every good extra, you don’t even notice her when you watch the film. Yet ever the ambitious young lady on court, Lisicki struggled to quash her competitive instincts in the acting arena, with an insider quoting her as saying: “Seriously, Brooklyn’s acting was such crap, as if I wouldn’t totally own that character! All she had to do was get a massage for half the movie and look pretty in front of the camera. I already do that as a professional tennis player!” After watching the film –- which copped a resounding thumbs-down from critics –- we have to agree.

Jelena Jankovic | It’s always been about the drama and the performance for Jelena. Forget the tennis –- JJ’s performances have been largely forgettable for three years anyway. Instead, Jelena’s current focus is on shoring up her post-tennis career options. We at TSF have dug up her submission –- a resume complete with a suitable headshot –- to take part in Celine Dion’s show-in-residence at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. Jankovic notes parallels between herself and the Canadian diva: “My application shows that I clearly rock the wind-machine look, I’ve got my fist-pump down pat and I’m very comfortable being in the spotlight,” she says. “She’s always using back-up dancers, and with my body, I could easily fit in with them. And who cares if I can’t sing? It’s all about lip-synching these days.” Further investigation by TSF confirms that Dion’s management has yet to respond to Jankovic’s application.

TSF Vault: More WTA headshots

Vania King | Ever watched Glee and thought the Asian-American character was an unconvincing actress, a dud singer, and generally pretty annoying? Well, it seems the WTA does, and it’s propping up one of its own as a viable replacement. Proud of the fact that King can sing, but keen to strip her of her prissy choir-girl image –- certainly not aligned with the tour’s sweat-soaked, pheromone-charged Strong Is Beautiful campaign –- CEO Stacey Allaster told TSF about the inspiration behind the push to “vote Vania” for Glee. “What better way for the WTA to position one of our players than in such a sassy, sexy and culturally-relevant program? We’re taking it up a level from Xperia Hotshots. Glee is totally where it’s at now.” So far, the Vote Vania campaign features a poster –- with Vania’s coquettish pose serving as the foundation –- but no slogan as yet.

Andrea Petkovic | Petko will continue to make her presence felt on the East Coast following her deep run at the US Open, lending her face to a tourism campaign promoting The Hamptons as an idyllic year-round escape from the frenetic pace of New York City life. This photo –- a still from the television advertisement –- shows Petkovic leaning luxuriously against the wall of a rustic timber home, her amber eyes glinting as the sun sets over the Atlantic Ocean. “Maybe your body is weary from lots of dancing,” she says dreamily in the voiceover. “Perhaps you want to disconnect from technology after tweeting, Facebooking, blogging and vlogging. You might want to rest your mind after tackling the works of Goethe and Wilde, or brushing up on your four languages. Whatever your reason, you’ll find your sanctuary in The Hamptons.” Given the German is an increasingly dominant force on the women’s tour, many of her opponents may be hoping for an escape themselves.

(Photos via the WTA; Humor via TSF)

trophy watch: and the glass has it

Glass happy: Before we get too deep into the US Open, let us not forget about the winners from last week: Caroline Wozniacki, John Isner and Sabine Lisicki. The trio all got awarded with glass trophies, clearly a good sign for the glass industry, no? Isner followed up his semifinal win over Andy Roddick by downing Julien Benneteau in the final, 4-6 6-3 6-4. Wozniacki beat a one-Slam wonder in the semis, as well, eliminating Francesca Schiavone before beating unheralded Petra Cetkovska 6-4 6-1 in a rain-interrupted final. It was Caro’s fourth straight title in New Haven.

At the inaugural Texas Tennis Open in Dallas, it was Sabine Lisicki winning in fine form, beating Aravane Rezai 6-2 6-1 in the final. Has anyone else enjoyed the steady rise that Lisicki has?

More: Lisicki has Alona Bondarenko in the 1st round of the USO

(Isner and Wozy via Getty; Lisicki AP)

from stanford to cincy: sabine's silly vid makes its debut/xperia winner unveil

It happens tomorrow: The Xperia Hot Shots video series will unveil the hottest shot of them all. The six ladies — Alize Cornet, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Sorana Cirstea, Dominika Cibulkova, Sabine Lisicki and Heather Watson – battle out for a $100,000 payday. Fans could submit their votes up until Aug. 22. But this is all about popularity, right? We’re going with Lisicki on this one… and not because we want her to win, only because we think she is going to win.

Above: Sabine takes a few fans’ questions and then one suggestion — serving blind-folded in her final vid.

After the jump: Dani joins in on the fun, too. [Read more…]

sabine gets the giggles (and throws a frisbee)

Creative juices, please. The WTA is doing something different with new-found star Sabine Lisicki. And we sort of love it. Sure, Sabine isn’t new to most insider tennis fans, but her semifinal appearance at Wimbledon has vaulted her into quite the public eye in tennis terms, and also has inched her ahead of the blossoming talents of Andrea Petkovic and Julia Goerges, who — among the three of them — are trying to bring somewhat of a women’s tennis renaissance to Germany post the Steffi Graf (and Anke Huber?!) era.

So, what are they doing exactly? The tour has teamed up with Lisicki this week in the beautiful Bay Area at the Bank of the West Classic, asking tennis fans to submit creative, quirky, fun, off-beat ideas for a tennis video that features none other than Miss Lisicki herself.  Have an idea? Post it on the WTA’s YouTube page and watch to see if they take you up on your creative juices…

Here at TSF we’re still brainstorming. But something involving Lisicki, a frisbee, the Stanford swim team and a Gladiators-like course just won’t leave our thinking space…

More: Lisicki on TSF | Stanford draw

wta pre-wimbledon party: hot explosion of vivid brights

Springtime in London: A crop of last night’s WTAers attending the pre-Wimbledon party at The Roof Gardens stepped out in bright shades of red, pink, and orange — and everyone looked pretty darn good. Top marks go to Sabine Lisicki, Elena Vesnina, Maria Sharapova, and the tight-bunned Ana Ivanovic. We could’ve lived without the pink wrap attached to Jelena Jankovic‘s dress, but she gets brownie points for not falling to the dark side); same goes for the too-shiny fabrics on Vania King and Sania Mirza.

Images: See the pics from the WTA pre-Wimbledon party after the cut…

fed cup: jankovic is one step ahead of the law

Can you convict her of a fashion crime if she’s already in prison stripes? Sneaky, Jelena!

We’ve already pointed out a few highlights from this past weekend’s Fed Cup ties, including Yanina Wickmayer‘s parade and the ladies with their patriotic manicures. Below’s what’s left, including Jankovic in Anta, Sabine Lisicki in geometric Under Armour, and Aravane Rezai toning down but spicing up where it counts: there’s a flirty lace hem on her black skirt!

Photos: after the cut…