short balls: wednesday



Does Dubai have a shortage of Nadal mimics?: Gator Jesse Levine got a call from Roger Federer, who flew the lefty out to the Middle East for some hitting sessions. (Times Leader)

Because Roger could be in trouble: A blogger points out that Nadal is nipping at the heels of R-Fed. The Swiss’ number one spot could be in danger.

Grasping at straws: The USTA wants to toughen up their juniors so they signed ‘em up for boot camp. It’s not quite like hitting sessions in a drained out swimming pool, but… (SFSS)

We all have a type, don’t we?: Some hardcore journalism from the Daily Mail, who’s discovered that Boris Becker and ex-wife Barbara Feltus were destined for a romance of some sort; “no fewer than five of (his) lovers have borne a striking similarity” to Barbara, and her current boyfriend is also a scandal-plagued redhead.

Young and out on the field: A great story in the L.A. Times about the current climate for LGB athletes in high school sports programs. For some, it’s good; for some, it’s bad. My one criticism: it would’ve been nice to see how transgender folk are being received…

Stanford through 2012: Unlike its San Diego counterpart (RIP), the Bank of the West Classic in Palo Alto will be around through 2012. (Palo Alto Daily News)

The LTA tries to quantify tennis potential: Tennis mom Judy Murray and the rest of the British gang are really serious about finding future pros. And so they’re having kids go up against a metronome. Let’s hope it works. (Zoo Tennis)

Asia on the fashion map: Much like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka embraces its contribution tennis fashion — i.e., Reebok‘s hot pants look for Venus Williams. MAS Active received the order for the whole outfit (layered top, skirt, and short shorts) four months before Wimbledon. (The Sunday Times)

FYI: Coach Nick Bollettieri charges $900 an hour for his tennis services at his academy in Western Florida. And that’s on top of the $41,100 annual boarding fee. (Times)

WTA and Beijing Olympics hammer out a deal: Countries can send up to six players to the Beijing Olympics. Like in Athens, ITF hammered out a deal to award rankings points for the women’s competition. (IHT)

short balls: no more rebound ace? what's next — astroturf at wimbledon?



We’re into the second week of a Slam, when matches are fewer and further between, so I figured it’s time to whip out some bits I’d stored for a rainy day…

Ripping out Rebound Ace: Tennis Australia announced that they’re switching from Rebound Ace to Plexicushion courts for next year’s Aussie Open. Hometown hope Lleyton Hewitt welcomes the change (likely because it’ll play much like the U.S. Open, where he won his first GS title), but the traditionalists are up in arms for the exact same reason: the court’s X factor — i.e., how the court behaves depending on the weather, will be no longer. What’s next? Are we letting Wimbledon change to astroturf? (AFP via news24.com)

Cyclops maybe one-eyed, but still scrappy: An interview with another oldie that’s been given the boot at Wimbledon. (via the Times)

Checking in on Sania Mirza: Indian tennis star Sania Mirza has recovered from knee injury in time for Wimbledon, and reunites with Israeli Shahar Peer to play women’s doubles.

In case you’re keeping track: Of the Serbians, Novak Djokovic practiced in Munich, Ana Ivanovic in Basel, Jelena Jankovic in Brandenton, Florida, and Janko Tipsarevic in Barcelona. (Roland Garros via Bob Larson)

More on a Serbian: Nole keeps tapes of all his matches. (Charles Bricker)

ATP ‘fraid of fixing: The ATP recently sent out a memo warning its members of the perils of gambling. “You could be the target of organised crime and/or professional gamblers… Gambling on your sport and/or match fixing will corrupt the sport and ruin your career…” (Telegraph)

It refuses to be the red-surfaced stepsister: Not to be outdone by the Brits, Roland Garros will also undergo its own makeover. They hope to have a retractable roof by the 2011 tournament. (Reuters)

Fashion flashback: Remember Balzac? Is that the same company that made skirts for Steffi Graf and Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario?

Janko on Marat: “Well, Marat is, in my opinion, maybe the most talented player in the world. I think for him — this might sound a little bit harsh, but for him tennis is like a toy, because when it’s interesting for him, no one in the world can beat him. But then when it’s not interesting for him, he just doesn’t, you know, show his talent or his tennis the way he can play, you know.” (Roland Garros, via Bob Larson)

A Kiwi sets us straight: As Marina Erakovic tells The New Zealand Herald, pro tennis can be a lonely venture.

RELATED POSTS
>> Tennis Served Fresh’s Wimbledon coverage
>> short balls archive

short balls, wimbledon edition



BETTING WIMBLEDON: Curious to know what the bookies are thinking? At Readabet.com, Henin gets crowned the women’s fave, and Federer (surprise!) rules the roost.

ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING WIMBLEDON: The folks at Off The Baseline are real pros. Check out this scrumptious, trivia-filled post.

A FASHION HISTORY: Here’s a nice summary of Wimbledon fashions through the years. (Sporting Life)

ONE LAST TIME: 36-year-old Australian Wayne Arthurs, who considered retiring after this year’s Aussie Open, will give Wimbledon one last chance. He qualified for the main draw after a 5-set win over a Rochus brother. (Herald Sun)

NO ROOF: Centre Court at Wimbledon won’t have a roof at all this year; they’re in the middle of constructing that retractable roof with a completion date of 2009. (Reuters)

short balls: a SECOND federer/sampras exhibition, a russian tennis flick, and more french open



Pete Sampras booked through the fall: Pistol Pete has already announced his second date with Roger Federer, this one at the Malaysian Open. (As we mentioned yesterday, the other exhibition will be in Macao.) (via The Star)

Hewitt’s chances at the French: The weight of an Australian Roland Garros title sits squarely on the shoulders of “Little Lleyton” Hewitt. (via The Age)

Some baguettes in the oven: The French Tennis Federation (FFT) hopes to crank out some Grand Slam champs in the near future. They’ve already got an amazing coaching infrastructure. They’re hoping that new facilities in Cannes and Aix-en-Provence will help the cause. (via Bloomberg.com)

Another tennis movie: The latest attempt at big screen success — From Russia With Racquet. Clips galore here. (via Talk Tennis)

Ready yourself for the water cooler: (or the Flavia machine?) Bone up on the French Open with SI.com’s quick preview.

short balls: serena talks, federer hits heavy, IMG makes a move, vietnam falls flat



Hey, all: I’ve been having lots of fun writing this thing. I hope you’re having fun reading it! Also, we’re on MySpace, so feel free to friend us if you have one.

Now onto the good stuff…

Federer hits a heavy ball: The Advanced Tennis Research Project developed a way to quantify the “heaviness” of a tennis ball. The record holder? By the study’s end, it was one R-Fed hit at Indian Wells in 2004. Bonus: another Men’s Vogue article on Roger, this one from Fall ’05. (via SportsFilter)

Serena shoots off: The Guardian‘s Gaby Wood does a two-part profile on Serena Williams. Serena talks about her sister’s death, her injury layoff, her faith (Jehovah’s Witness), etc. On comparing herself to other tennis greats: “If I thought, ‘Oh, I’m historic,’ my head would be crazy. Honestly, at the end of the day I come home to my dogs and my sister. I have friends, and I cry when I see movies, and I watch reality TV… I’m Serena and that’s all I am. I’ve never considered history.”

(photo of Serena at a party launching Louis Vuitton‘s Spring LOVE collection, and benefitting for Oxfam America)

Tennis from around the world: We’ve told you about tennis in South Africa, tennis in the Middle East, and now we bring you tennis in Vietnam: they’re not doing so hot over there.

Meanwhile, the UAE Tennis Association in Dubai is chugging along; they’re holding a tournament at the gorgeous Jumeirah Beach Hotel.

IMG, always on the move: The sports management firm recently acquired Collegiate Licensing Co., a college trademark licensing agency whose brands includes the Final Four, the Bowl Championships Series, and logos of universities such as Notre Dame and UT. (via Oligopoly Watch)

Tennis Mailbag: Lots of good questions answered by Jon Wertheim in his column this week.