short balls: robert’s over and out

Next time, just grab a cup of Joe, Robert. American Robert Kendrick was banned by the ITF yesterday for one year’s time for testing positive at the French Open for the banned stimulant methylhexaneamine. Kendrick said the substance was in a capsule that he had taken to combat jet lag. Guess one day of energy equals one year off the tour for the world no. 105. The 31-year-old Kendrick will not be able to play any sanctioned matches until May 22, 2012.

From the Farmers: Tennis.com‘s Steve Tignor is of the belief that the new American-in-residence in the top ten — that’d be Mardy Fish – should set his expectations a little higher. The dude is sort of on a hot streak.

222 of ‘em. TSF contributor Jon Scott brought this vid to our attention on his Daily Spin column on Tennis.com. Yep. 222 winners at Wimbledon for Petra Kvitova. Captured in a almost-seven-minute vid. (Who has such time?!)


short(er) balls: Carmelo Anthony is added to a rather fierce US Open Kids’ Day line-up. Joining Melo is his wife La La, Kim Clijsters, Rafael Nadal and Bradley Cooper. Suffice to say we’re as excited as we’ve ever been for a day meant for the kiddies. | Tignor says that the tennis players are in need of a union. Agree? Might make for better bargaining in the future, eh? | Who is bringing the Tacchini brand back from the brink? That’d be Novak Djokovic, says Marketwatch. And fun fact: Sampras wore the brand early on in his career. | Blake Strode has deferred again from Harvard Law School. He remains in the hunt for a second straight birth into the US Open qualifying tourney via the National Playoffs competition. | Milos Raonic is recovering from shoulder surgery and hopes to be ready in time for the Open. Too bad Canada’s new no. 1 can’t make it to their always-fun Masters event. | We can’t get enough: more reasons to love Heather Watson. | USTA doles out $1.3 million in community tennis grants. It’s called grassroots, y’all. We dig it. | The World TeamTennis season wraps up with the Washington Kastles team ending a perfect season in Charleston, downing the St. Louis finals in the final. | Maria Kirilenko fails to catch the bouquet at Elena Dementieva‘s wedding. No one ever said she was good with her (catching) hands, OK?

(Getty images photo)

guerilla artist combines russian pols with tennis whites

Dear Anonymous (Guerilla) Artist,

We are obsessed with the fact that you concocted these illustrated posters — with the country’s most well-known pols dressed up in tennis whites — and hung them all over Moscow. Can you come and do that to Dubya and Obama, too?

We heart you like Beyonce loves the First Lady. Wanna come work for TSF? We pay nothing, but get rewarded with shirtless fellas and dramatic ladies. Please submit headshot, too. Seriously — you’re brilliant! And the Russian government called you out?! That’s so … Johnny Mac bad ass.

Xoxo,

TSF East

(Image by Monolog.tv)

this kid has no job (home?!) anymore


We know where you live (the streets). OK, so it’s not quite that dramatic, but this poor little fella isn’t thinking about how he pissed off Viktor Troicki — he’s thinking about how he won’t ever work Court Suzanne Lengglen again. How he might be out of a (summer) job. And how he probably doesn’t have a place to sleep tonight — or at least until some other ball-kid scandal pops up to make him forgettable. Oh, if you’re not sure what we’re talking about, see below.

But truthfully, Andy Murray should have volunteered the point. C’mon, Muzz. Where’s the sportmanship?

Result: Troicki won that game in the fifth set but blew a 5-2 lead, losing 6-4 6-4 3-6 2-6 5-7.

(screen grab via tennis channel)

new footwear, same social calendar

The boot that was strapped on Serena Williams‘s foot recently (see above) might have the world’s top-ranked player out of the US Open Series and in doubt for the US Open, but it certainly hasn’t slowed down the social part of her life. Serena was spotted yesterday in LA, hanging out at the Farmers Classic while taking in James Blake‘s first round match.

The social engagements don’t end at tennis for ReRe. Last weekend she lunched with Olympic gold medal figure skater Evan Lysacek and the two have remained in touch via Twitter, Evan asking her about her injured foot and suggesting that they train together sometime (when Serena is better, of course).

She even added a girls’ night into her socializing repertoire, hanging out with pop star (can we say that if she hasn’t had a hit since 2004?!) Christina Milian. According to the UK Daily Mail, the two were out at “the swanky Madeo restaurant in Beverly Hills” over the weekend.

Spotted by the paps: We’re wondering about that stain on Christina’s dress… And why, oh why, is Serena sporting a single heel with her boot at the Farmers Classic?! The girl’s a trooper. (Or an idiot.)

And if socializing with those who she actually likes seems to get old, we’re told that Shino Tsurubuchi, the line judge that made the call heard around the world at last year’s US Open, was calling Blake’s match that Serena was in attendance for. A source said the lines people were “teasing Shino” in the tunnel as she exited. Maybe they went to Peet’s together afterward to catch up?

(la photo by TSF; millian photo via the daily mail)

yanina wickmayer: you should go read “open”

Belgian Yanina Wickmayer — 13th seed at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells — was the last of her countrywomen to stand ground in the singles draw: wildcard Justine Henin was “upset” in the first round by Gisela Dulko; Kim Clijsters‘ plan to play no matches (save for the BJK Cup) between the Aussie ’til now failed against Alisa Kleybanova; and Kirsten Flipkens couldn’t hold her own against Elena Dementieva, who we’re hoping will take this whole thing.

Yanina fell to the Twitter-unfriendly Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez 6-4, 6-4 in the fourth round. MJMS next faces eighth seed Sam Stosur, who booted (coachless!) defending champion Vera Zvonareva from the tourney. (Draw: Women’s singles)

Wickmayer’s drug-related off-court battles are still in the air; she has an appeal pending with Belgian courts as well as with the Court for Arbitration of Sport. It could be months before rulings are handed down by those institutions. (Speaking of, the president of the ITF has been asked if anything’s going to happen to Andre Agassi after he revealed in his autobiography that he’s used meth during his career and lied to officials about it. Unfortunately, the statute of limitations is eight years and has already expired [just the right timing for publication?]. Thus, he’s off the hook.)

And now for the serious stuff: As usual, Yanina looked good in her Erke get-up, this time using a palette of blue and grey with pops of pink (and some graphics). See some detail shots (including her Nike shoes and her pink gym bag) — all after the cut…

we all know exactly where yanina wickmayer is

Yanina Wickmayer had to qualify for the 2010 Australian Open — even though she’s the world’s 16th-ranked player — because of her alleged violation of the WADA’s whereabouts rule. She said they were looking for her in the wrong place (uhm, this sounds like a vicious cycle) and the anti-doping agency just slapped her with a one-year ban. She got it overturned, but not before it forced her to miss the entry deadlines for tournaments in Auckland and Melbourne.

Wickmayer’s quickly righting the ship, winning Auckland as a wildcard (defeating Flavia Pennetta in the final) and reaching the third round in Melbourne after beating the un-Tacchini-ed Pennetta again — this time 7-6 (2), 6-1.

Looking forward: Wickmayer has essentially taken over Flavia’s 12th seed spot in the bottom half of the women’s draw. We expect her to fall to fellow Belgian Justine Henin in the fourth round or to Clijsters in the quarters.

Lovin’ them drop earrings. She’s also put some light pink into her teal/white/black Erke rotation.

(images via Getty Images)

short balls: andre admits, mary acts and dinara ditches

mary-wears-pearls

Doha Dust: The biggest news out of Doha today was that Dinara Safina withdrew from the event with a back injury. She was tied 1-1 in the first set with Jelena Jankovic when she pulled out, and now she is in doubt for the Australian Open in January. Let the debate begin… who had the more devastating end to the year: Safina or Ana Ivanovic? Too close to call.

Doha Dust (pt 2): The (good) news out of Doha today was the the Williams sisters put on another masterful show, Serena beating Venus 7-6 in the third set in what was a tense, tight battle, that included a saved match point. That ups Serena to 2-0 in round robin play, while Venus falls to 0-2 (she lost in three to Elena on day one).

Andre’s Book Deal is Crackin’: There is plenty of buzz around the November 9th release of Andre Agassi’s autobiography, “Open: An Autobiography“. It was revealed yesterday that Agassi admits to using crystal meth in 1997 in the book, during the low point of his tennis career. It was also leaked today that the now-father talks of the abuse of his own dad. Gotta buy us a copy of that one, eh?

’10 Bucks: Things are looking good for the US Open come 2010. The year’s final Slam signed a partnership with the car company Mercedes-Benz to be the tournament’s presenting sponsor on the men’s side and the offish vehicle of the tourney. A lucrative deal like this one the Open struck with Mercedes is hard to come by these days, so a big thumbs up to the Flushing Meadows event and tennis in gengen. We’re so popular.

Mother Mary of the Silver Screen: The behind-the-camera maven was pleasantly hilarious in this mockumentary, which features comedian Paul Mecurio as a part of his web series for HBO Sports. “Our breasts would compromise our backswings.” Hil-ar, Mare. We loves it.

Good Angle: We also loved this writing, from TennisWeek.com this past week. Chris Oddo penned a lengthy piece on Juan Martin Del Potro being the tallest Grand Slam winner ever and how his rise to new heights might be a sign of bigger (and taller) things to come.

(screen grab via you tube.)

tgif: doha already?! and two-faced funnies after the jump

Can you believe Doha starts next week?! We certainly can’t. The drama of the WTA has certainly followed the US Open; it seems this tour can’t live without it. Lasting just until the SECs are to begin, the drama lived on when another bizarre instance occurred in Luxembourg this week as Caroline Wozniacki pulled out of her first-round match leading 7-5, 5-0. Her reasoning? She was injured and wanted to let her opponent (hometown girl Anne Kremer) play in the next round, which Caro didn’t think she could do physically.

Good gesture, we say. Her reward? Accusations of throwing the match. Betfair politics. Tennis gambling. And an investigation, oh my! It also clunked her record to 3-4 since her inspiring run at Flushing Meadows. Ho hum.

Another US Open inspiree, Yanina Wickmayer, has had opposite fortunes since leaving NYC. She’s 6-1 on tour and is still in action in Luxembourg. A player to watch in 2010? We think so.

A writer we’re watching this week is Bobby Chintapalli, who penned the Doha preview for Peter Bodo’s TennisWorld. Not only did the BC come up with some solid and intriguing stats for the piece, we’re jealous of the made-up nickname used for the wave of Eastern European players of the WTA Tour: Mynameis Somethingpova.

Two snaps for Bobby, whose online writing profile says, “I love tennis. I love writing. I love cupcakes.” Well put BC, well put. Hungry now? Check out NYC’s “Best Cupcake” according to the Village Voice. 

And it wouldn’t be Friday without a little fun, this time in the form of a little Look-Alike action. Check the jump to see just who in tennis has a twin (or two) out there. [Read more...]

shoulder powder, be gone!

gasquet-shoulder-powder

Guilty or not, Richard Gasquet will have to shoulder the burden of his bizarre cocaine-positive test from this year for a long, long time. Leave it to his countrymen and their dry, quirky humor to make sure the former Top 10 player won’t forget such a thing in the near future.

TSF contributor Troy Venechanos sent me this video for my viewing pleasure and I had to share. Watch the hilarious faux commercial “Coke en Shoulders” after the jump. [Read more...]