reebok's fruit: purple peer is in season

It’s no Sharapova Swan Dress, but we smiled just the same upon seeing the pleats on this purple Reebok dress, currently worn by WTAer Shahar Peer. TSF ran into her — in uniform — at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, giving us a chance to see the detail on the tank’s straps and the skirt’s hem. The dress from this Vibrance Statement collection has pleating all around the bust.

Buy: Reebok Vibrance Statement Dress, $53.95; Tank, $41.95; Skirt, $37.95 in Malibu Blue (teal), Black, or Purple, midwestsports.com

Hitting the dirt: Peer is seeded fifth at this week’s Family Circle Cup in Charleston. The rest of the top eight: Wozniacki, Stosur, Jankovic, Bartoli, Wickmayer, Petrova, and Kleybanova. Get all the tourney info on their website.

(images via Getty Images)

oh, shahar!

It’s been a while since we’ve put up a fashion mishit — nay, a fashion shank — on TSF, but this one caught our eye. Too bad, because we were in the middle of writing a post praising Shahar Peer‘s current purple Reebok dress, and this had to pop up: a pic from last month’s BNP Paribas Open Players’ Party. That sock tan! And are those loafers?

TSF Archives: Previous mishits on and off the court — including Jankovic‘s pink bow, Spadea‘s leopard print backpack, and a lot of Mattek.

On the tour: Shahar’s done decently this year, ranked just outside the top 10 and with two quarterfinal appearances (Dubai, Indian Wells). She lost in her opening round match at this week’s Sony Ericsson Open to Anabel Medina Garrigues. As you may know, AMG gave Sharapova trouble in Masha’s opening match at Indian Wells.

(image via Getty Images)

if a dress drops in the store but no pro is around to wear it, did it make a sound?

Reebok has been banging out some solid stuff for the pros as of late. It’s too bad that their ladies aren’t hanging around long enough to show case the goods.

To be fair, Shahar Peer did put on a good show as she clashed against former Reeboker Venus Williams in the fourth round of the 2010 US Open, giving the third seed a scare by taking that first set to a tiebreak. Fortunately for Venus, she overcame all that dress-tugging (so. much. tugging.) and ran away with the second. The scoreline: 7-6 (3), 6-3. At this week’s Toray Pan Pacific Open, Peer lost in the first round to Kaia Kanepi, who fell in three sets in the quarters to Francesca Schiavone. (Draw: Toray PPO Singles.)

As is Shahar’s style (we think of her kinda like Justine Henin sometimes), she chose the short-sleeved top with a three-buton collar and constrasting stripes (diagonal at the neck and horizontal at the torso). The rest of the goods from the company’s fall line add that feminine touch to athletic wear: the spaghetti-strapped tank, with the embossed design around the neck; the racerback dress with detailing on the skirt and the left strap.

Props: While we would never wear a sweater in the sweltering North American summer, honorable mention goes to the cable-knit design on Shahar’s red separates from earlier in the US Open series. Also, check out the super-crisscross design on the back of the Summer Radiant Tank (similar to adidas men’s crew from last summer).

And then there was the red outfit worn by Iveta Benesova. Simple, with the tank and a pleated skirt. Not much else you need to do on a body like hers, no? (In Tokyo this week, Benesova lost to Olga Govortsova in the first round.)

Buy: Reebok Fall Textured Top, $29.99; On the Move Tank, $33.99; Dress, $49.99; Skort, $33.99; most in Glacier Blue, Rose Red, and White; Summer Radiant Tank in Heroine Pink, Black, and White, $30; available at TW.

Pics: See our other Benesova pics — plus the Reebok On the Move goods from Fall 2010 — afer the cut…

short balls: anne tweets from memphis

Tweet Me A Tune, Oh Annie: Anne Keothavong is returning to the WTA after a long layoff due to injury, and she’s creating quite the storm in Memphis, Tenn. of all places. The current British No. 3 had been as high as number 48 in the world last year before being knocked off track, but she opened her Midwest campaign with a straight-set win over German Kristina Barrois and now takes on the always-noisy Michelle Larcher de Brito. For a small tournament, the draw is seeping with intrigue, if not top-quality talent.

Keothavong added to that intrigue yesterday when she Tweeted on her account: “A certain tennis player is so rude, it’s embarrassing. There’s only so much you can do to be nice before you don’t bother. Strange stuff”. She followed that up by saying: “Not naming names but it’s not your obvious choice”.

Who could Keothavong be making a racket about? Maria Sharapova is in Memphis, a player who has often been at odds with her peers. Check out the Memphis draw and see who you think it might be. We only can guess along with you!

The Southern Belle: American darling Melanie Oudin is also in action at the Cellular South Cup after her eyebrow-raising performance in Fed Cup and a scintillating week in Paris last week. Oudin will have the chance to continue her surge in April, when the U.S. team hosts Russia for Round 2 of the Fed Cup in Birmingham, Alabama. The site, which was picked earlier this week, is just a two-hour drive from Oudin’s hometown of Marietta, Georgia.

While captain Mary Joe Fernandez called Birmingham’s love for tennis “rampant”, the choice seemed a bit odd of the USTA, seeing as Birmingham was the same city to host the Davis Cup tie between the U.S. and Switzerland last April.

Andy’s Atlantic: Speaking of Americans, Andy Roddickwon’t be anywhere near Alabama in April. Instead, the No. 1 American man will take part in an exhibition that features Mats Wilander, Ivan Lendl and Marat Safin. It seems as though Safin is playing more post-retirement than he ever did on the tour. Good money, those exhibitions… and he still can lose his first match.

SweetStruggling Caroline: It hasn’t been a friendly 2010 for U.S. Open finalist Caroline Wozniacki, who bowed out in her first match in Dubai to a spirited Shahar Peer. Peer’s denial to play in Dubai rocked tennis’s political realms last year, but the Israeli is determined to make her trip this time all about her tennis. Barry Flatman has a great piece in the The Times‘ website.

Give the Gift of (Stereotyped) Gays: Gawker.com has an entertaining – if not limiting – “Guide to All Gay Men” written by Brian Moylan. In Moylan’s interpretation, all gay men are bottoms and Serena Williams didn’t make any type’s “Diva” list. Shame shame.

Them’s Fightin’ Words: In Vancouver, where tennis courts of ice would be of season, Evgeni Plushenko is going all Johnny Weir on Evan Lysacek after the short program of the men’s figure skating competition. Talk about diva! Our fave Johnny is in a respectable sixth heading into Thursday’s long program, within striking distance of a medal.

on valentine’s day weekend, some love for shahar peer

We’re glad that the folks behind the Dubai Tennis Championships made sure to get a visa for Shahar Peer for this year’s tournament. You may remember all the flack they received after carelessly letting her papers for entry into the United Arab Emirates slip, causing the top Israeli player to sit out the event.

Peer pressure: But thanks to those who rallied around Shahar last year — the Wall Street Journal withdrew its sponsorship, Tennis Channel canceled its coverage, the SEWTA slapped the event with a $300k fine, Andy Roddick backed out of the men’s tourney in Dubai, and defending champ Venus Williams made her 2010 contingent on whether Shahar would be able to play — Shahar’s facing Yanina Wickmayer in the first round.

FYI, she’s getting no special security detail for her time in Dubai. Here’s hoping it all ends well.

Draw: Shahar’s half of the draw includes top seed (and world No. 3) Caroline Wozniacki, Venus, Na Li, and Elena Dementieva. The rest of the top eight — Jankovic, Azarenka, Aggie Radwanska, and second seed Sveta Kuznetsova — are in the other half. (Draw: Women’s singles.)

trophy watch: monfils hatches a green egg, date set a date with history, etc.

Proud achievement or slap in the face? Japanese phoenix Kimiko Date-Krumm became the oldest SEWTA winner since BJK in 1983 by beating Spaniard Anabel Medina Garrigues 6-3, 6-3 at the Korea Open. Set this win beside Kimmie‘s U.S. Open triumph (and alongside Dinara‘s first round disaster in Tokyo) and what you get is fodder for naysayers of the deflated WTA Tour. Either way, congrats to Kimiko!

You can’t Photoshop that even if you tried: Israeli Shahar Pe’er beat local (Uzbekistani) Akgul Amanmuradova 6-3, 6-4 at the Tashkent Open. Shahar also won the singles title at last week’s Guangzhou Open.

More: The men, and toasts to Agassi and Kramer after the cut…

we’ve come a long way, but there’s a lot left to do

Le sigh. Why is this still happening in 2009?

I’m sure you’ve already heard about the madness going on in Dubai: Shahar Peer was denied a visa to enter the United Arab Emirates even though SEWTA head Larry Scott had discussed with the tournament — essentially run by the government — that any player who qualifies to play must be able to do so.

The 45th-ranked Peer did qualify, and was already set to play a first-round match against Anna Chakvetadze. After this last-minute development, lucky loser Ayumi Morita replaced her in the draw.

While there was no exact reason from the government about the visa denial, organizers cited anti-Israeli public opinion in light of the Gaza conflict, the risk of a spectator boycott, and a potential threat to the well-being of a player.

Wall Street Journal Europe, a sponsor of the event, pulled out of its sponsorship obligations. Title sponsor Barclays, though, is sticking to their guns and backing the decision to keep Peer out of the event.

Stateside, Tennis Channel has dropped its coverage of the tournament. Here’s the statement from CEO and Chairman Ken Solomon:

Tennis Channel regrets to inform our viewers and tennis fans that we are canceling our upcoming coverage of the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships in Dubai, U.A.E, originally scheduled for this weekend. Unfortunately the event will exclude a single player who has been blocked from entering the country due to her nationality. This is despite her having qualified for the competition via her on-court performance and current ranking.

“Tennis Channel recognizes that this exclusion has been made by state authorities and neither the tour nor tournament directors themselves. However we also honor the role and proud tradition that tennis has always played as a driving force for inclusion both on and off the courts. Preventing an otherwise qualified athlete from competing on the basis of anything other than merit has no place in tennis or any other sport, and has the unfortunate result of undermining the credibility of the very nature of competition itself.”

Meanwhile, other SEWTA players are siding with Shahar even as they play the tournament (Venus Williams, Amelie Mauresmo). I’m not sure that the solution would have been to boycott the event completely since we don’t know why Shahar was denied a visa. But if it comes to light that the government is simply being intolerant, then the WTA and its players must be sure to skip Dubai next year.

We had such high hopes, especially since Peer got to play in Doha last year. TSF hopes that Dubai makes the right move and allows Israeli player Andy Ram to play in the ATP’s Dubai stop next week.

fashion focus: reebok cuts away the fat

Amelie Mauresmo might not be doing so well — she got beat by Dominika Cibulkova back-to-back: 6-0, 1-6, 6-7 (8) at the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo and 6-3, 4-6, 3-6 at the China Open this week — but she can take solace in looking awesome wearing Reebok‘s fall KFS line. They’ve hit the mark with these flattering greys, pinks, and blues, and with those slimming side panels (which shows off Mauresmo’s awesome stomach).

Shahar Peer continues with the cutout separates (that square hole on the back of her tank) while mixing up her wristband choices: blue at the U.S. Open, black and pink at the Korea Open this week.

But of course the toast of the fall was Jelena Jankovic‘s limited edition U.S. Open dress, also designed by Reebok. The yellow layered dress’ first incarnation involved an asian-inspired bat sleeve capelet — this would have made for a better choice for the Beijing Olympics, no? — and a silver sash.

Jelena pared it down to the basics at last week’s tourney in Japan, where she lost 6-2, 5-7, 5-7 in the quarterfinals to eventual finalist Svetlana Kuznetsova.

On the left, her shoes from the Open; she switched to a busier pair during this current Asian WTA swing.

Buy: Jelena US Open dress, $75, sold out; Fall Cutout Dress, $49.99; Fall Shimmer Dress, $49.99; Fall Cutout Tank and Shimmer Tank, $36.99; Fall Skort, $32.99. Colorways: Endurance Blue/Caspian Sea Blue, Soft Black Grey/Cool Shadow, Sassy Pink/Pompous Pink, White/Endurance Blue.

(photos by Getty Images)

reebok’s summer/fall shimmer dress

It’s funny how Reebok steps it up after letting the fashion-forward Venus Williams out to make her own clothing line… They trade in the aqua from Wimbledon with some red for the North American summer.

Soon-to-be No. 1 (ouch) Jelena Jankovic switched to the pink version of the Fall KFS Shimmer dress for her quarterfinal run at the Rogers Cup in Montreal.

And Shahar Peer wore the separates (Cutout Tank) during her 2-6, 2-6 loss to Ai Sugiyama, also at the Rogers Cup.

Buy: Fall KFS Shimmer Dress, $49.99; Shimmer Tank, $36.99; Cutout Tank, $36.99. All styles available in Endurance Blue/Caspian Sea, Sassy Pink/Pompous Pink, and White/Endurance Blue.

shoes: the next frontier + novak’s nike switch

Venus Williams and her less-than-$20 shoes have a place in the finals tomorrow. The four-time (and defending champ) took out the grumpy (and possibly misinterpreted) Elena Dementieva in the semis.

No chances for a mix-up over at Fila, who marked Sveta Kuznetsova and Dmitry Tursunov‘s shoes this week.

And here’s a look at those Alfas designed by Fila especially for Wimbledon court staff.

While Nike gets top honors for its design of Roger Federer‘s shoes, we have to point out these Lotto kicks customized for Simone Bolelli. Notice the “Bole” (his nickname) incorporated into the shoe. The designers at Fila need to go in this direction…

Shahar Peer and Reebok bring back the Israeli flag, seen here in her match against Dinara Safina.

Andy Murray playing in Nike against Ricky Gasquet of France.

Much ado about Nike: Our buddy Darren Rovell at CNBC wrote about Novak Djokovic‘s silent switch in tennis shoes from adidas to Nike Air Max Breathe Cage IIs at this year’s Championships. Nole did a fine job white out the swooshes on his shoe.

Here’s a photo of the grass court shoe he wore the week prior at The Artois Championships in London (he lost to Rafa Nadal in the finals). He apparently slipped and slid too much and decided to give Nike a try…