“pearl crown” dress can’t save the china open queen



The Shuai-caused upsets continue at the China Open, with Shuai Zhang‘s defeat of Dinara Safina preceding the fizzling of Jelena Jankovic‘s tourney run. The defending champion lost 6-4, 5-7, 2-6 to local Shuai Peng. Jankovic was still being bothered by the wrist injury that forced her to retire from the Toray Pan Pacific Open final last week; she “couldn’t hit the ball hard enough” to keep the match competitive in the third set.

ANTA, Jelena’s sponsor, created a special dress just for their hometown event (Zheng Jie got the same treatment). They created a “pearl crown” pattern on the layered purple dress, which made references to Jelena’s title reign for this past year.

“I love this design very much,” Jelena said about the design. “I am very touched.” Not touched enough to defend! (Jay kay! xo – tsf)

We really do love this dress, and think that Jelena and ANTA have created a great collaboration that we expect to see more of in the coming weeks — if Jelena is fit enough to play. What do you think of the dress? Tell us!

Bracketology: Meanwhile, Serena won her third-round match and will be back at the No. 1 spot once the rankings are published on Monday. We expect Ms. Williams to survive her half of the draw (taking out Russians Petrova, Sharapova, and Kuznetsova along the way) and then face Dementieva in the finals. See the draw here (pdf).

(images via Getty)

chang can’t hang, drops out as shuai peng’s coach



michael chang - shuai peng coach

Could he look more bored? He saw this pic and realized that it was time to quit…

More coaching news: Michael Chang has stepped down as the tennis coach to Chinese player Shuai Peng, citing disagreements with Peng and the China Tennis Association (CTA) about how much time Chang would devote to coaching. “They wanted me to travel with her to all the events and I just don’t have the time to do that,” he said. “Obviously we would always keep our door open if she ever needs anything.”

He made this blunt announcement at a press conference for his 50-court Mission Hills Michael Chang Tennis Academy, set to open next year in southern China.

Chang is giving plenty of details on what was not working with Peng. (Basically, he wanted Peng to train harder than she wanted to.) Chang also continued to express his interest in helping CTA develop some Olympic hopefuls, especially in light of Beijing hosting the Summer Olympics next year. So far, his requests have been rebuffed.

FYI: Peng is China’s top-ranked doubles player (No. 20) and second-ranked singles player (No. 45). The WTA lists her as an amateur (can someone help me out with that one?). She plays two-handed off both wings.

(via Reuters and AP; photo via Yahoo!)

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