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…

short balls: (surprise!) tennis gets dramatic

As Sania’s World Turns: There’s no better soap opera on tennis tour right now than Sania Mirza. She was married on Monday to Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik in an affair that has been showered in controversy.

One Story, One Match: The One Story series, which publishes out of Brooklyn, has its latest publication singing game, set and match. The story is set in the Federer-Sampras battle of Wimbledon circa 2001, with a fictional twist involving three ball kids. After reading it, I give Cheston Knapp two thumbs up for his crafting of the epic changing-of-the-guard match and the story he entwines within Centre Court.

Second to Sania and Shoaib, there’s Todd and Novak: For some reason, the player-coach break-up between Todd Martin and Novak Djokovic seems to be the tennis story of the century. While the break-up doesn’t have quite the political ramifications that Sania and Shoaib carry into their marriage, this story has gotten an absorbent of attention. For Novak, something had to change if he wants to be considered for another Slam. For Todd, well… for Todd, any press is good press.

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gallery perusing

There is always plenty of interesting (and sometimes questionable) photos to peruse on the WTA’s photo gallery from each tournament each week. This last week, the folks at the tour put together a couple of gems from Hobart and Sydney. We picked out a few of our faves.

Alicia Molik and Sania Mirza try on some cricket gear with a couple of beefies.

We really do believe that Daniela Hantuchova belongs in the ’70s. According to her tee, so does she.

Svetlana Kuznetsova and Jelena Jankovic on the red carpet at Sydney. Which outfit do you like better?

(photos via WTA.com/getty images)

asian tennis: nino gets hometown love, indians in australia, and noppawan the number one.

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We do want to send some love to Filipino Francis Casey “Nino” Alcantara for winning the Australian Open junior doubles title with Taiwanese partner Cheng-Peng Hsieh. This is the first time in a very long while that the Philippines has actively participated in tennis not as fans (anyone else aside from Maricris Fernandez)?

The Philippine Senate even adopted a resolution to express their pride for the teenager’s accomplishment.

In that pic above, Nino is the one on the right (reminds me a little bit of Fernando Verdasco).

Speaking of the Asian Slam, the Indians did their fair share of title-takin’, with Sania Mirza and Mahesh Bhupathi winning mixed doubles and Yuki Bhambri nabbing the junior boy’s title. Congrats.

I wasn’t being Rick-rolled after all… So it turns out that Nick wasn’t punking me, and Noppawan Lertcheewakarn is a real person. With results, even.

The junior world no. 1’s hometown paper, The Nation gives her a little love. Read it here or (in case the link goes dead) after the cut…

the sewta players’ party: wimbledon edition

Richard Branson hosted a pre-Wimbledon event for the ladies of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour on Thursday night at his Roof Gardens in West London.

Serena Williams keeps her pets secure in a Matthew Williamson gown while wearing 2.5 million Euros in Duttson diamonds.

Venus Williams looking glam in black.

Dani Hantuchova poses in off-the-shoulder brown.

Maria Sharapova, Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Jankovic (no cell phones died in the making of her dress), and Sania Mirza.

(photos by Getty Images, Wireimage, Belga Picture)

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adidas names a line after sania

The Economic Times

Kolkata — After David Beckham, Germany’s iconic sports goods maker, the e10.3-billion Adidas Group, is poised to come up with an apparel and accessories collection named after glamourous tennis ace Sania Mirza. The group will roll out the Sania Mirza collection under its namesake ‘adidas’ brand. This is the first time that Adidas will globally roll out a dedicated merchandise line after a tennis star.

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jelena, don’t fall to the dark side!

Okay. I must admit that I had a change of heart about Jelena Jankovic‘s Bjork-at-the-Oscars dress once I found out the context; basically, it’s a gown crafted by Kelly Kealy Mayton entirely out of cell phone parts (brilliant!) and she was to wear it accompanied by Dancing with the Stars alum Helio Castroneves.

But I’m sticking to my guns about her shopping with Bethanie Mattek at bebe. Janks, who knows what kind of fashion tips you’ll pick up even by just breathing the same air as her? Stay away!

Folks, you might have already seen the American’s silver sequined singles dress, but not many of you got a chance to see this pink prosty-worthy outfit:

Bethanie Mattek - Indian Wells 2008

She wore this playing doubles with Sania Mirza at Indian Wells. While Sania was busy covering most of her torso in that adidas Edge Cap Sleeve top, Bethanie was busy busting out. This was certainly one of the highlights of my trip to the desert.

From the back: See the dress from the back after the cut…

a woman with big earrings and bold moves — and it’s not a williams sister

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Is success getting to Sania Mirza? The recently-annointed adidas global ambassador held a press conference in her home a few days ago to announce skipping all tennis tournaments held in her home country, including next month’s Bangalore Open. This decision was made in light of her recent run-ins with Indian political and religious officials — there was that fatwa on her clothes, a citation for tresspassing into a mosque, and most recently for playing footsies with a flag.

Already the current sage of Indian tennis, Leander Paes, has given his two rupees about the sitch, basically telling Sania to suck it up and understand her place in the bigger picture of the sport. I say let her make this statement. Perhaps a sparser 2008 schedule will help her stay healthy.

Sounds like… Hmm, haven’t we been through this scenario before? I’m talking about ladies with big earrings telling everyone to eff off.

(AP via Taipei Times; DTL)

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trophy watch: doubles and wheelchair action at the australian open

As with any Grand Slam, plenty of silver (both as cups and platters) were doled out to runner-ups and winners of the various events at the Australian Open.

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The team of Jonathan Ehrlich and Andy Ram capped a historic weekend for Israeli sports by becoming the first Israeli team to win a Grand Slam title. Their opponents in the 7-5, 7-6 (4) win were the defending Wimbledon champs, Michael Llodra and Nono Clement. Suffice to say Ram and Ehrlich’s celebration is exactly how the Frenchmen would’ve done it.

More: The women’s doubles. mixed doubles, and quad wheelchair winners after the cut…

fashion: finally, sania shines in adidas!

Does anyone feel like we’re going though tennis storylines faster than the clackers go through handbags? (Btw, if you don’t want to buy, you can always rent…) In the olden days, we’d still be debating whether Martina Hingis was really reckless enough to do blow at Wimbledon. (Imagine her snorting the lines from her Venus Rosewater dishes!) But fear not, Swiss Miss. You can stay safely in retirement. First, the publicists are doing their jobs; in the SEWTA media guide, there’s no indication of why you retired the second time. Second, we’ve since replaced you with other scandalous bits, like Sania Mirza‘s latest run-in with Indian officials.

Apparently, someone filed a complaint after seeing this photo of Sania at the Hopman Cup with her bare feet almost touching the Indian flag. This is in violation of the country’s Prevention of Insult to the National Honour Act, but not in violation of the Harass Athletes Proudly Representing Your Country Act. Uhh, have you seen the picture? It’s called depth perception, folks. Figure it out. I’m more over this than Masha is over Nole‘s impersonations.

But since we’re talking about grievances, I totally had beef with Sania’s pre-Aussie Open adidas gear. I had high hopes, wanting her to break free from Lotto, but instead she played in some standard issue three-stripes from her new clothing sponsor.

Alas, all I had to do was wait, because she’s been rocking the s**t out of this Edge Cap Sleeve Top. It flows and works well with her sizeable rack.

Up next for Sania is Venus Williams in the third round.