he said, he said: davydenko and the sand man



Nikolay Davydenko said nothing of importance this week, but that certainly didn’t stop us from running this brilliant picture of him and his wife Irina at the Jumeirah Zabeel Saray a resort and spa located in Dubai.

It wasn’t good news leading up to the Acapulco event this last week in Mexico, after 13 people were killed by gun violence. The ATP and WTA event has gone off without a hitch, however, after the ATP released this statement earlier in the week explaining their decision to keep the tourney as is: “Following an independent security assessment and discussions with tournament organizers, we are satisfied that responsible measures are being taken, and that the event has the full support of the authorities of Acapulco, the state of Guerrero, and the Mexican federal government.” Above: some sand art on the beach that we’re definitely digging.

(getty images photos)

he said, he said: delray tourney director & andre agassi



Above, a previously unshared photo of Douglas Hoekzema‘s work at the Delray Beach ITC. Check out that wall, y’all. (photo by Peter Vahan via primaryflight.com)

“We do this to embrace community and show off the talent this town has. It’s the smallest city of any on the ATP Tour, but has the most flavor block for block for sure. It’s all about creating a lasting positive memory that people can leave with whether they’re a core tennis fan or someone seeing our space and athletes for the first time. Amazing art, VolleyGirls, killer local bands, on-court seats, convertible Porsches on-court that fans watch matches in… it’s all groovy at ‘the beach.’” -John Butler, Executive Director of the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships

Agassi arrives yesterday in DC to shoot a USTA promo with First Lady Michelle Obama. (Max Blodgett)

Andre Agassi today gave a teleconference in preparation for the BNP Paribas Showdown. When asked about Pete Sampras and the two stars’ awkward moment at last year’s Hit for Haiti, Andre had this to say: “Our relationship is strictly platonic, I’ll say that.” [Laughter] “Hit for Haiti was an unfortunate night that was of my doing. I had a microphone at my mouth for too long… I just called him and apologized. No one regretted it more than me.”

she said, he said: petko & j-willy



On Monday, the folks of the WTA asked players in Dubai what a good Valentine’s Day date would be. Leave it to one Andrea Petkovic to have the best answer. By light years. “Well first of all I have to say I hate Valentine’s Day. I don’t know why… but, it’s too pink-y girly for me. My perfect date would go to a concert and jump around a little bit. And then go and have a beer.”

We grabbed this image from Petko’s rockin’ web site, which you should definitely check out if you haven’t already. The photo was taken by famed German photog Markus Hintzen for Der Spiegel.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga really doesn’t have to say anything. Just shake those hips, brother.

(tsonga photo via atp by yohan brandt)

she said, she said: justine & caro



TSF is happy to introduce “she said, she said” (or “he said, he said,” or “he said, she said,” or “she said, he said” … it all depends on the day!) a regular installment in which we’ll take two images (see below) that you wouldn’t find from the playing courts and match them up with a couple of juicy quotes. Enjoy! -NM

Today, rumors swirled around Justine Henin ending her career because of doping allegations. The now-retired former world no. 1 didn’t want anything to do with such reports. Above, at a press conference in Belgium.

“I regard ending my career more like a sentence that’s been handed down than a decision I’ve made,” said Henin, who retired for the second time because of elbow problems. “I’ve had to deal with a lot of injuries throughout my career but this time, at 29, I just can’t go on. You have to be reasonable about things. When I came back from Australia, I had consultations with three different doctors. The will is there, but physically I can’t do it. It got to the point that I needed 10 minutes in the morning just to get my elbow functional. The ligament wasn’t solid enough to handle the intensity of the game. For me, it’s like a sentence. Now I have to mourn the end of my career.”

Has anyone ever been happier not to be world no. 1? Certainly Caroline Wozniacki is relieved.

“At least I won’t get this question over and over again: ‘How does it feel to be number one without winning a grand slam?’,” the Dane told reporters on Monday at this week’s Dubai Tennis in which she is the top seed. “I don’t feel a difference (as number two). The sun is shining, I’m still playing the same way and I’m still here to compete in the tournament and try to win it. There’s absolutely no difference.”

“At the end of the year you always see who was the number one of the year, who played the best in the whole year. At the end of the year you want to make it to the year-end championships. That’s the goal.”

(photos via the ap)