SGs in the QFs

Os at the Open. While the persistent rain the last couple of days has left little room for sunshading gear — or play, for that matter — we couldn’t help but notice the fact that two of the game’s most popular sunglass wearers have made their way into the quarterfinals of the US Open: Janko Tipsarevic and Sam Stosur. While it wasn’t a great Open for fellow-Oakley teammates Bob and Mike Bryan, Tipsy and Sam have each had stellar weeks at Flushing Meadows, advancing to the final 8.

Sam didn’t much need her shades on Sunday night against Maria Kirilenko, outlasting the Russian in a three-hour grueling battle, 6-2 6-7 (15) 6-3. But when she does play under the bright glare of the sun, she opts for Enduring Edge glasses (see below), which you can find on Oakley’s site for $180 in both metallic black and pearl white, each of which Sam uses from time to time.

Janko switches things up from time to time with his sun-Gs, but lately has been sporting the Flak Jacket Transitions Solfx, which run for $220 on Oakley.com. Though these are a little pricier, we like their simple look — especially with all the brights happening in player kits these days.

Draw: Janko vs. Djoko in QFs | Sam-Vera

Above: Sam’s Enduring Edge glasses.

More browsing: Sunglasses on Tennis Express

(Stosur and Janko photos by Getty; Oakley screengrab)

strokin’: when tennis met music

By Jonathan Scott

It may not be tabloid fodder like every Taylor Swift dalliance, and it’s not nearly as insufferable as Brangelina, but the marriage between music and tennis is itself a storied love affair. It stretches across decades and genres, and it knows no bounds – well, none other than those pesky white lines.

Try to set aside the disappointment that the artist Sergey with the song “Tennis” on iTunes is actually not Vera Zvonareva‘s ridiculously good-looking model/coach. And, however possible, repress the memory of Justine Henin‘s song-and-dance scareoke on TV. Yes, Novak Djokovic and Ivo Karlovic have tried their tongues at rapping, as has Vince Spadea with amusingly deplorable results, but that doesn’t mean you should try it at home after perfecting your Djokovic-ian down-the-line backhand, does it?

As the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival just wrapped its annual song-a-thon in Austin, Texas – soon to be the site for a volatile USA vs. Spain Davis Cup tie in July – here’s the skinny on the latest hot shots in tennis-tinged music and an homage to some of the greats.

Best Newcomer: James Blake is a dub-step soulman and a veritable crooner. The British JB, that is. His American counterpart is a best-selling author and owner of a laser forehand whose best days are past, but Blake the Brit is taking the music world by slow-burning storm, releasing his rave-reviewed eponymous debut in February and – well before that – igniting the blogosphere with his faithful but quirky cover of Feist‘s “Limit to Your Love.” Let’s just pray that, when we hit up a James Blake concert sometime, his fans aren’t half as annoying (adorable?) as the American Blake’s J-Block can be in the tennis stands.

Dainty she is not. Our fave album cover from Blonde Readhead’s 23. (Image via band website)

Best Dressed: Sometimes it’s okay to judge a band by its cover. Oxymoronic indie rockers Blonde Redhead out of New York City put out the best, most elegant tennis-themed album art when they dropped 23 in 2007. But, no, the song “Top Ranking” has nothing to do with disputed no. 1 Caroline Wozniacki.

Worst Dressed, but Best Sound: Yea, there is a band simply called Tennis, a married duo specializing in ’60s surf-pop for 2011. This act released its debut Cape Dory in January, and though the song “Marathon” doesn’t harbor the words “Isner,” “Mahut” or “Wimbledon” anywhere in the lyrics, it’s solid stuff. Consider it your soulful throwback soundtrack for this summer – but steer clear of wearing skintight aqua as with the album cover. It looks like leftover fabric from a hideous Nadia Petrova creation.

Best Tournament Run: This has to go to the ginger-haired heroine in the video for Vampire Weekend‘s “Giving Up the Gun.” She rips through a draw that includes Joe Jonas, a Daft Punk-helmeted doubles team, and even a flask-swilling Jake Gyllenhaal in tear-away pants. It’s a great song, and the immaculately-white indoor court is sharp – even if the choked-up strokes from the damsel look laughably bad in reality. Girl, who taught you to grip a racquet like that? Topping it off: RZA from Wu-Tang Clan serves as the chair umpire, and Lil Jon offers astute on-court coaching. Brill.

TSF Vault | The many lives of tennis-themed music vids

Best Clay-Court Match: French DJs Martin Solveig — oddly in tasteful Wimbledon whites — and Bob Sinclar, sporting some hot-magenta vintage-Agassi styles, squared off on Roland Garros‘ red dirt for the video for Solveig’s dance track “Hello” sung by Dragonette. The match and music video are both visceral, a veritable heartbreaker. Check out the cameo by that flashiest of the current French tennis stars as he comes on the scene and devastates the darling DJ.

Hello? Could Martin Solveig look any cooler? We think not. (YouTube screengrab)

Best Charity Hit: Andy Murray and Thom Yorke of Radiohead teamed up for charity single “Two Minute Silence” to benefit serving and former British troops and their families. Strangely enough, its title is no lie. “Hear” — but really just see — it here. British Prime Minister David Cameron and more also got in on this quiet riot. Truly the oddest not-quite-a-band lineup ever, but hey, can’t wait for their episode of “Behind the Music.” Finalist: Wozniacki put out a charity single called “Oxigent” (or “Oxygen”) to benefit Danish and Polish Paralympic athletes. Because, you know, she has oodles of free time.

Top Passing Shot: Meg Baird‘s lovely, lilting “Waltze of the Tennis Players.” It’s just pretty, and we do pretty.

More of Jonathan’s music musings (including “Best Grunt” and “Best Musical Ode to a Tennis Player”) after the cut. [Read more...]

venus, ralph lauren make eleven (brand) babies + macy’s appearance

Venus Williams is teaming up with Polo Ralph Lauren to put on the Legends Clinic tomorrow on Randall’s Island, an affair that will feature interactive instruction (streamed live on RalphLauren.com) and a limited-edition dress in partnership with Williams’ apparel brand Eleven to be worn by the champion during the clinic.

TSF will be there to strut our tennis stuff (or just gawk at V herself) and check out the Eleven/Ralph Lauren offspring first hand. Submit your questions for Venus via this link and she just may answer them live tomorrow.

See Venus: Tomorrow night in NYC, at the Herald Square Macy’s when Venus herself will be on the 2nd floor (the men’s department of all places!) at 6 PM. More details are here, including how you can score awesome Venus/tennis stuff with Macy’s purchases.

Two more Venus shots after the cut. [Read more...]

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)

dry goods

While the ladies of the Billie Jean King Cup will descend on New York this weekend to prepare for Monday’s exhibition, they might want to stock up on one thing they almost never need on their global tennis tour: snow boots.

Much of New York flocked to one shoe outlet or the other on Thursday and Friday as an onslaught of big, sticky and wet snow blanketed Manhattan. Not only was this a genuine winter storm, but the kind of storm that left the sidewalks and streets of the city slush haven. Enter, snow boots.

I made my way to Tretorn boutique in SoHo, where I found a pair of reasonably-priced boots in bright yellow. To my pleasant surprise, Tretorn has display cases up throughout the store chalk full of custom tennis balls. The balls are stamped with a large “Z” and in small writing say “Tretorn Trainer” below. Small glass cases line the shelves and display racks with the balls, which added a nice glow on a particularly dark winter day.

See the (tennis) balls up close and a couple of Tretorn selections after the cut. [Read more...]

nike begins cole haan push with masha

sharapova-cole-haan

That partnership between Cole Haan and Maria Sharapova announced on the eve of the 2008 U.S. Open is finally sprouting: the company’s spring ad campaign will feature Maria, marking the first time a Nike fashion subsidiary has used a Nike athlete for advertising.

The campaign, shot by Martyn Thompson for Assouline, will make its first appearance next week in Vanity Fair, and will also make cameos in other Conde Nast titles (Vogue, Lucky), plus Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, and Travel + Leisure.

The April issue of Elle will come with a catalog of the collection.

The collection has 40 styles for women and 30 for men: ballet-style Mary Janes, elevated wedges and sandals in fuschia, orange, and cobra for women and boat shoes and lace-ups for men in bold and neutral shades — all ranging in price from $115 to $200.

Innovations include Flywire, a weaving technology first seen at the Beijing Summer Olympics that creates strong but lightweight shoes, and their handbags will go the “green route” by using Bionic Yarn, a textile spun from recycled glass and plastics.

Per a WSJ blog, Masha will also add “design consultant” to her Cole Haan duties this coming fall.

(via Brandweek and WSJ.com; image from brandweek.com)