are you ‘team serena’?

Serena Williams receives jersey from Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al Khelaifi

Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al Khelaifi awarded Serena Williams with a customized PSG jersey after she locked down the No. 1 ranking while playing the Qatar Total Open in Doha last week.

Les Plus Dores x VFILES fashion celeb team jerseys

Merch, please: We’re still waiting for the ATP/WTA to come up with jerseys like how Les Plus Dorés and VFILES did it with fashion designer celebrities. Someone step up already!

(Photo Credit: Serena pic via Qatar Tennis Federation)

wta considers monterrey, tianjin, and singapore as yec host cities

WTA Announces Finalists for 2014 WTA Championships Host City

The WTA has announced the three remaining cities bidding for the year-end WTA Championships for 2014 and beyond: Monterrey, Mexico; Singapore; and Tianjin, China. WTA Chief Stacey Allaster will visit each of the cities in the coming weeks, culminating in an announcement of the host city in April.

“The WTA Championships provide cities around the world a stage on which their cities can be showcased. I am very pleased with the amount of international interest the Championships bidding process has received,” said Allaster. “I look forward to meeting with each finalist city and having the opportunity to review, in-person, the details of each bid.”

After receiving more than 40 initial expressions of interest for the 2014 WTA Championships, the field was narrowed to four (4) cities in November 2012 — Kazan, Russia; Mexico City; Singapore; and Tianjin. Monterrey replaces Mexico City as the official candidate city from Mexico.

picks from the australian open e-store

australian open 2013 online store

Merch, merch, merch everywhere: The tournament organizers for the 2013 Australian Open are dialing in their merchandising skills, this year coming up with a few souvenirs we wouldn’t mind having around the house (clockwise, from the top left): player towels ($55AUD), girl’s heart t-shirt ($30AUD), player towel keychain ($10AUD), personalized mugs ($17.95AUD) Wilson jumbo pink ball ($35AUD), Men’s 2013 Event T-Shirt ($40AUD).

A Closer Look: This. Model.

Also: The hears in that girl’s tee is made out of players’ silhouettes — hitting groundstrokes, hosting a trophy, etc. Fun times.

The Tennis: Follow 2013 Australian Open live scores and results at Tennis Now.

(screengrabs via australianopenshop.com)

ad space for sale

Rolex? Check. Visa emblem? Check.

Looks like two-time 2011 titlelist Juan Martin del Potro is making the most of his sideline time, having signed up to be one of the mascots for Visa‘s sports sponsorship program. (But JFTR, that muscle tear in his left thigh leaves participation at this year’s French up in the air. TSF wishes him a speedy recovery.)

Here’s the Visa landing page.

…and the image on the campaign’s Facebook. (Rough translation: “He’s not controversial, he doesn’t complain, he’s not into gamesmanship, yet he doesn’t go unnoticed.”)

Next time: They can do better than an embroidered dress shirt. How about snapping some papp pics of him shopping with a Black Card?

Visa Deportes: On the Twitter and the Facebook.

(image by Juan Mabromata/AFP/Getty Images)

glamming up the gals

Fashionable fella: The WTA recently announced a global partnership with Oriflame, a Sweden-based cosmetics company. For the Player Party in Miami, Oriflame sent its Global Beauty Artistic Director, Jonas Wramell, to glam up Caroline Wozniacki and Victoria Azarenka. Wramell discussed the looks each of the ladies like – color for Caro and “classy” black for Vika – and put his team to work. Can we just say we were digging hairstylist James Stafford below? When does TSF get the Oriflame treatment?

Wramell knows how to doll up the best of ‘em. The world-famous make-up artist joined Oriflame in the fall of 2009 after a dozen years of doing make up for the stars. WATCH below.

(Image and video courtesy of the WTA)

short balls: tie goes to the winner

In this case, that winner was The West Side Tennis Club stadium at Forest Hills, which survived a club members’ vote to destroy the stadium and use the site to build luxury condos. A two-thirds majority was needed for the condo deal to go through, but members instead voted in a 123-123 tie. The future of the club, which hosted the US Open until its move to Flushing Meadows in 1978, is now unknown.

Potty Problem: In case you missed it, Ana Ivanovic had a little bathroom trouble in Linz while working her way to her first career title in two years. FortyDeuce has the video (second from the top). Ivanovic was docked a game for taking too long a break in her second round match against Barbora Strycova.

You betchya: Depending on which way you see it, Roger Federer‘s name was (or is?!) swirling in a betting controversy that claimed Fed provided insider info to IMG agent Ted Forstmann during the 2007 French Open. Federer claims to have no part in the scandal, but a few days after the story broke, Forstmann admitted to betting, but said he received no insider info.

Austrian alliance: Thomas Muster continues his comeback attempt in Vienna this week, where he lucked out by not only receiving a wildcard into the main draw, but then getting a lucky loser in the opening round after Ernests Gulbis pulled out for “personal reasons”. Our fave Austrian, Jurgen Melzer, is the tourney’s top seed.

More short balls including a survey of surveys, short(er) balls and another look at The West Side Tennis Club after the cut. [Read more...]

short balls: the geography edition

Fall is coming to fruition across the country. Well, that is if you don’t live in the Los Angeles area. Southern Cal was hit with quite the heat wave earlier this week – temperatures topping around 113 degrees around downtown. On this week’s short balls, we’re staying away from the heat and traveling around the country (and world!), region by region, to bring you tiny tidbits in URL-linked style.

The Midwest is losing one of its tennis gems, as the stadium that hosted the (formerly-named) RCA Championships – the Indianapolis ATP stop for 21 years – was put to the wrecking ball this past week. (via jon_wertheim) Remember: Better times in Indianapolis, which lost its tourney to Atlanta this past year.

The Southeast | The WTA celebrated the 40th anniversary of what it describes as a day of “rebellion” and “independence” last Thursday, September 23rd. In 1970, Billie Jean King and “The Original Nine” broke away from the tennis czars to form the WTA with help from a few business-savvy folks (and Virginia Slims cigarettes). The total purse at the 1970 Virginia Slims Invitational in Houston? $7,500. The winner took home $1,600, which is one about one tenth the money first-round losers are awarded at today’s majors.

Meanwhile, in the Southwest, Mirjana Lucic continued her winning ways this past week by capturing the title at the USTA Pro Circuit swing in Albuquerque. Lucic took out three Americans on her way to the championship. This week, she’s in action up north at the $50,000 event in Las Vegas.

Further west of Lucic’s success in Big Sur, California, Bob Bryan announced he was engaged to longtime girlfriend Michelle Alvarez. And west coast companies Diesel (Los Angeles) and Nike (Portland, Ore.) have new ad campaigns out. The Diesel campaign, “Kick Ass” takes a sarcastic approach to their shoes kicking ass (literally) and not being fitted for running. Nike’s “BOOM” campaign features several well shot (and edited) commercials. In all those split-second shots of different sports, your not missing a tennis moment. The sport didn’t make the cut for this promotional track, FYI. More FYI: Nike’s Q1 profits were up 9% overall. Maybe thanks to Rafa? Or the bed bugs? Probably Rafa…

More geographical adventures (including a dive into New York City!) after the cut… [Read more...]

players manage balancing act while prepping for nyc’s big show

Kim Clijsters threw out the first pitch after meeting the Mets team in Queens on Friday in New York. A day earlier, she was the USTA’s guest of honor at the draw ceremony (AP photo via Yahoo! Sports).

RalphLauren.com pulled out all the stops on Thursday afternoon for an event featuring Venus Williams, in which Venus took questions from online submissions from around the world in a live clinic. At the Sportime Randall’s Island tennis center in New York, Venus was on court for the first time in a public setting since her eyebrow-raising loss to Tsvetana Pironkova in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon. But instead of thwacking errors and a look of confusion, Venus was all smiles and tennis knowledge in the clinic, which was hosted by the British TV personality (and former player) Annabel Croft.

Venus, who is the no. 3 seed at the US Open and one of the favorites though she hasn’t been on tour in two months, talked fitness, forehands and gave plenty of tennis tips from her 26 years of experience on the court. The event was hosted by Ralph Lauren and Mercedes Benz, based on RL’s homepage for viewers to log in and watch live while Venus answered questions relayed by Croft. (Watch a full replay of the clinic here or click on the image after the jump.)

“It’s good for me to remember the basics when I’m about to play a big tournament,” Venus said, referring to the Open. Venus partnered with Ralph Lauren in the design of the dress she wore, a white number emblazoned with the logo of Eleven, Venus’s clothing line.

Guests were greeted with sweet mint tea, pistachio ice cream sandwiches and caramelized popcorn on the upper deck at Randall’s Island, which hosts the New York Sportimes during the World Team Tennis seasons. Male models clad in red Ralph Lauren polos dished out the goods as Venus strode through the crowd on her way to hair and make up (this was a live, online clinic, after all).

The clinic was a part of a myriad of events happening in New York this week, which all lead up to the big show at Flushing Meadows starting on Monday.

[Read more...]

oops! she did it again?

Oudin knows the camera (phones) will be turned on her over the next two weeks. “Crazy things happen in NYC.” (TSF photo)

Brand Oudin is making its biggest push in New York this week, one year after Melanie Oudin wowed the New York crowds and captured the nation’s attention with her eye-popping upsets. Oudin is part of campaigns with adidas, American Express and Virgin Mobile in and around NYC to promote the Open (and said products), even though the American teen is a dismal 3-11 on tour since May.

The web was buzzing earlier this week with the announcement that Oudin would wear customized adidas shoes, this year with the word “Courage” emblazoned on them. Last year, her “Believe” shoes were a US Open obsession, spawning what many called “Melanie Mania” and setting Oudin up for commercial success with deals with companies like Virgin Mobile. The Women Who Serve blog said if it were really up to Oudin she might have wanted to chose “Forget” to go on her shoes this year… as in forget last year’s Open.

But if Oudin wants to Oops! Do it again, she’ll have to do all those things: have courage, believe in herself and forget. The New York media will be shameless in the coverage and glamorization of Oudin in her return to New York, even the girl has obviously worked hard in the gym (check the adidas link… those biceps!) but hasn’t seen results on the court. Can’t we all just leave her alone? C Note thinks that’ll help, too.

After the cut: ad shots from Oudin’s adidas customized shoe and the American Express video. [Read more...]