tv: australian open on espn (men’s SFs + champs weekend)

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For your DVR: The semi between Roger Federer and  Andy Murray at the 2013 Australian Open will be broadcast on ESPN (that’s the main stage, my squirrels) tonight at 3:30 a.m. ET.

The winner of this match will face two-time defending champion Novak Djokovic, who reached the finals after a comfortable, straight-set win over David Ferrer. The men;s final will be broadcast on Sunday early morning, at 3 a.m. ET (12 a.m. PT).

The ladies’ championship, already set between former finalist Li Na and No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, will air on early Saturday morning, also at 3 a.m. ET.

Reruns: Both championship matches will receive two encore presentations on ESPN2, at 9 a.m. and in prime time. If you’d rather be off your couch and online, the matches will also stream on WatchESPN.com and via the WatchESPN app. More: Get all the info here.

short balls: rog’s b-day, serena’s love life, worst fashion and more

Oh, Canada! It’s been a wacky and weird week in Canada — both at the women’s event in Toronto and for the men in Montreal. Andy Murray, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal all saw early exits, as did top women Kim Clijsters and Caroline Wozniacki. Are we in for such a tumultuous two weeks at Flushing Meadows, too?! Hopefully the top tier will have their games a little more finely tuned for the USO. Oh right, and did we mention the power outages? Yes, there were several. Draws: Men | Women

Better with age: Federer wasn’t the only one celebrating a birthday this last week. The Swiss Mister turned the big 3-0 in Canada and while there have been plenty of questions surrounding the aging of the GOAT, the Tour took a few days to celebrate the former world no. 1’s turning of age. While Federer is under increased pressure as he grows older, 90-year-old Donald Van Blake doesn’t have such weight on his shoulders. The teaching pro who helped motivate a generation of tennis players was celebrated this last week in Central Jersey, over 100 people attending the festivities at a local tennis complex.

The Serena Times: While it’s great to have Serena Williams back on the court for tennis’ sake, the first female of the sport never disappoints headline-wise off the court, either. This week, there was plenty of ink action for SW: a pilot for a reality TV show that centers around a nail salon that Serena has supposedly been rejected (reported by New York Daily News) by Lifetime (and OWN). But Serena got to do Oprah‘s toes, so that’s enough, right?! Additionally, Serena was spotted hanging and hitting a few balls with rapper Drake at a South Florida resort recently. Dating?! Is Common officially outta the picture? | TSF Vault: Serena

Fashion, now: The crew at TennisNow.com has put together a slideshow of the worst tennis fashion of all time, but with a little twist. It’s their “non-Williams” edition, meaning both Venus and Serena didn’t get considered for wacky outfits for the summer. Cue the Bethanie Mattek-Sands shots!

short(er) balls: Before she bowed out from play in Canada, Clijsters had a great Q&A with SI’s Jon Wertheim. One take away: girl’s got no time for Snooki. | Eating curry can help cure tennis elbow? One study says so. | Just over a week away, New Haven makes final preparations and checks in with two-time defending champion Wozniacki. Plus, the tourney has offered a wildcard to Venus Williams, who pulled out of Cincy. | A tennis dad beats up a player in the stands — for cheering against his daughter. Take that, Jim Pierce! The beaten player, Elise Tamaele, is listed on the WTA site. | Crowds in DC for the Legg Mason Classic were down this year, from 75,039 last year to 67,161 this year. | Martha’s Vineyard tennis fashion? WASPs have never been so WASP-y. | Elena Dementieva — and that Yonex dress — play in an exhibition in Russia.

(ot): paris walks the plank?

Paris, unplugged: We haven’t checked in on the world of Hollywood lately on TSF and felt as though it was about time. And what better way than with Paris Hilton, the Queen of Them All? But it seems as though Queen has become Princess? Or worst yet, Minion?! Here, Paris walks out on Good Morning America when it’s suggested that Kim Kardashian might be better at life than her. Awww, Paris.

Click the image above to watch the video.

TSF Vault: Hollywood

(Screen grab via YouTube/GMA)

short balls: the post-wimbledon edition

Changing of the (screen) guard: While the victories of Petra Kvitova and Novak Djokovic marked somewhat of a changing of the guard on the respective tours, the biggest change at Wimbledon came in the week after the tournament was over: in its TV coverage. It was announced earlier this week that ESPN had outbid NBC for full TV rights of the tournament, meaning the peacock network was pushed out of a gig it had held for some 43 years. And for ESPN? They’ll have the whole shebang for the next 12 Championships. The network team of ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC will take over from London starting next year.

That’s a wrap? Did you miss the slew of Wimbledon post ops? If so, here’s a collection: Tignor’s A-List. Tignor’s the rest of them. Wertheim’s mail bag. ESPN’s Wimbledon grades. ESPN’s power rankingsWTA’s video highlights. Forty Deuce’s hilar “pic this.” The Guardian. Oh! The list goes on and on…

Too sexy for ya?  Time ran an interesting piece from its business section on the WTA‘s ad campaign, “Strong is Beautiful.” The thrust of the article: what the ?!?#?#%% Well, not exactly. But, the article points out that sexualizing the women the way this campaign does undermines women’s sports in a sense, and their ability to compete as athletes on court. We certainly see such a point.

The Journal recommends some tennis whites — including Boast — this summer. (WSJ)

Feeling Boastful? You guys know that TSF isn’t the only place online that talks about tennis fashion. OK, but we admit it: we’re the only ones that talk about it everyday. Anyway, the Wall Street Journal got in on the tennis fashion game during Wimbledon, running a piece that examined the cultural shift of the industry as it’s moved through the decades. Nope, tennis isn’t a rock-star sport driven by John McEnroe anymore, but the clothes he wore might be making a bit of a comeback. Featured in the article were one of TSF’s faves, Boast. | TSF Vault: Boast

Doesn’t it vibrate? While most of us have learned to silence our phones or at least put them on vibrate while at work or in public, it doesn’t seem as though Alize Cornet has attained such a habit. The Frenchwoman was down match point in the first round of the Swedish Open this week against world no. 1 Caroline Wozniacki when a phone started ringing. Wozy first tried to ignore the noise, but it persisted, and she stepped back from the line to see if someone would answer/silence/ignore the call. It was then that her opponent, Cornet, ran to her bag to switch off the phone that had been ringing — hers! Hilarity. Video below:

Roll the tape: Seems as though the fellas at Tennis.com — Peter Bodo, Steve Tignor and Ed McGrogan — have a new outlet for their weekly chats. The trio has teamed up with BNP Paribas for a sit down in a round-table discussion called “The World of Tennis.” This week they talk about Andre Agassi, who will be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame tomorrow in Newport, R.I. | ESPN: Agassi’s top 10 moments

Short(er) balls: It ain’t “Wimble-TIN.” Sportscaster raises money for charity by fueling PSA over pronunciation of Wimble-DON. | In case you forgot, Novak Djokovic is no. 1 in the world now. HEAD hails the king. | Are you reading Jonathan Scott‘s musings on Tennis.com’s “The Spin?” If not, you should be. | Lindsay Davenport is preggers and (tastefully) pulls out of the WTT season, via doctor’s orders. | This might be a little old, but who cares? It’s Maria Sharapova talking about Cole Haan. Take note, Martina Hingis. | Shouldn’t every short(er) balls end with Djoko dancing on stage? We think so.

(Image by George Ellison via Flickr.)

short balls: french’s franny folly


Can you give that back please? It wasn’t enough that Francesca Schiavone lost the women’s final at Roland Garros on Saturday — the tourney had one last snub for her: they gave her the wrong trophy. Schiavone was handed the small replica (which the winner is given to take home) of the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen while her actual runner’s up plate (see it just behind her right hip), sat on the table behind her. Later in the ceremony officials fixed this little gaffe.

An anniversary, nonetheless. Did you miss this on Sunday? It was the 30th anniversary of the Center for Disease Control first publishing a report on a mysterious epidemic of what we would come to know as the AIDS virus. To see a good round up of what took place to ring in this grim date marker, head to Towleroad.

Tennis tube. How’s this for encouraging? The Rafael Nadal-Roger Federer final at the French Open received its highest US TV ratings in 12 years. While the women’s final tied its number from last year, Nadal-Federer were way up over Nadal-Robin Soderling last year. Who played in that 1999 final that got such high ratings? Oh right, that’d be Andre Agassi.

Bjorn a champ?
Below, American Bjorn Fratangelo (yes, he was named after Borg) sits in disbelief after winning the boys’ singles title on Sunday in Paris. The last American teen to win this junior title? John McEnroe in 1977. Seems like you’ve got some good ties, BF! Oh, and for good measure: Bjorn beat Dominic Thiem of Austria, 3-6 6-3 8-6.

(Images via Getty)

short balls: finals weekend awaits


Two to go.
Before we turn the corner to the weekend, there’s plenty happening outside of Paris that has caught our eye the last few days. The June/July issue of Tennis View has Andre Agassi on its cover (full disclosure: I wrote one of the articles in the mag), talking about the American’s upcoming induction into the Hall of Fame. Agassi made his own headlines just yesterday, announcing that he  has teamed up with investors to form a fund for independent schools to use for building new or improving old facilities. Agassi is famous for his charter school in Las Vegas, and will join forces to form the Canyon-Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund, which has some $750 million in the bank to fund projects it pre-approves.

Summer cinema.
To our readers who are in the Northeast, perhaps you might like this social activity from the International Tennis Hall of Fame. The Newport-based org is hosting a preview screen of the HBO Sports documentary McEnroe/Borg: Fire & Ice. The screening is happening this coming Thursday, the 9th, at the Casino Theatre on the ground of the HOF. More about the movie: “Thirty-one years after the stirring Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Final that earned Hall of Famers John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg a place among history’s great sports battles, HBO Sports looks back at their unforgettable rivalry of the ’70s and ’80s.” How do you get in? The 7 PM screening is free for ITHF Members, and included with Museum admission of $11 for Non-Members. Seating is limited and reservations may be made by emailing programs@tennisfame.com. The documentary will premiere on HBO on Saturday, June 11 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

Boxing on Broadway.
Love the Rocky theme music? How about Rocky the musical? It’s actually in the works. The production, which went through a New York reading this spring and is in the beginning stages of production, hopes to land on Broadway by spring of 2013. Sylvester Stallone is no doubt involved in the project, which will first debut in Germany before coming to Manhattan.

Not enough Nike.
Think the Swoosh dominates the world? They don’t. Nike looks to move into sports it hasn’t penetrated much yet, like skate boarding and surfing. | TSF Vault: Nike

Inspire us.
Sometimes sports stories can just change the way you think about life, period. Strong stuff on Yahoo’s high school site, RivalsHigh.

Want.
Nothing better than a little Friday retail therapy. We’re loving these locally-made mini wallets from Seattle. These Laura Bee Designs ditties are made by hand with lace and leather (no, really) and just $14 + shipping.
(Agassi image via robtee7 on Flickr; Laura Bee Designs screen grabs)

anna k officially the 'biggest loser'

Make ‘em run lines! Should Team Anna have re-thought this decision before agreeing? The former tennis star, often cited as the most famous player to have ever hit a ball without actually winning a title, is confirmed to have her hand in the upcoming season of NBC’s The Biggest Loser. Though we are pretty sure of folks out there that are excited about Anna K being back on their TVs on a weekly basis.

TSF Vault: Anna Kournikova

(Image by Music4Mix via Flickr)

short balls: open hangover

We don’t know this guy, but he’s serving our post headline brilliantly with this beer-carrying pose. Great concentration on the step up, wouldn’t you say? (Photo by feltonamus via flickr.)

If you’re having a little bit of a US Open hangover like us, make sure to check out our week 2 podcast if you haven’t already. Erwin and I are chatting it up about all things TSF cares about at the USO. Which is all you should care about, too. Now, the short balls:

There’s nothing like curing a good tennis hangover with some non-tennis news. This version of (OT) is gay-tastic, which shouldn’t come too surprising to most of our readers. The VMAs happened on Sunday night in LA, and as a prep before the big show (in which Lady Gaga wore a meat dress – yes, meat), OUT.com put together a list of the gayest moments from the show’s nearly 30-year history. OUT also compiled photos from photographer Jeff Sheng that chronicles service men and women who have been effected by the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. The exhibit is opening at the Kaycee Olsen gallery in LA on September 28th.

(MORE (OT)) As if you couldn’t get enough we have plenty of (OT) news up our sleeves this week. The blog we once loved to love is still churning out content, even after getting a book deal and getting published. Stuff White People Like is a hilarious and satirical blog. The latest ‘stuff’ white people like: The TED Conference. Hilarity. The US Olympic web site is celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the Sydney Olympics (remember Cathy Freeman? And Michael Johnson?!). And the New York Times flexes its graphic muscle with this panoramic view of the new Meadowlands Stadium, home of the Jets and Giants.

There’s been much (tennis) controversy following ESPN2‘s decision to cut away from the trophy ceremony at Flushing Meadows to commentary before the second Monday Night Football game of the night (yes, the second) between the Chiefs and the Chargers. Chris Chase laments on the Yahoo! tennis blog Busted Racquet about the debacle. We agree: us tennis fans are greatly outnumbered by the NFLers, but give our boys a little credit for the work they’ve done, and the history they’re making. Pretty sure no history was made on the gridiron on Monday night, no? Luckily, Forty Deuce has us saved with the full trophy presentation here. (And kudos on that post title, Courtney… )

While Serena (and Fashion Week) had/have nothing to do with the 2010 Open, there’s still plenty of connection between the two events. Fashion Week mainstay and Vogue editor Anna Wintour is a constant face (force?) in Roger Federer’s box and yesterday, Wintour’s right-hand man, Andre Leon Talley, penned a note for the Vogue Daily about Serena walking the runway for Fashion Week. As we write this, it’s 3 PM on Wednesday, so the big event’s already taken place (1 PM catwalk call time for ReRe at LaQuan‘s show at the Peninsula Hotel). Hopefully pictures soon. Meanwhile, this picture of Wintour and Serena at the Michael Kors show will have to do.

Serena and sister Venus both were a part of the Huffington Post‘s recent online musings. Venus’s US Open fireworks dress, which we talked at length about in our TSF podcast, was the subject of a photo gallery on the Huff‘s web site, while Serena is one of eight athletes selected by the Post as part of their Game Changer’s series.

Read more short balls with an epic version of short(er) balls after the cut. [Read more…]

amelie, the holy and glowing one

Yes, we know Amelie Mauresmo is glowing in this picture. And no, it’s not the lighting. Or make up. Or video editing. It’s her natural glow. Her new, natural glow.

I caught a glimpse – well, a thousand glimpses – of Amelie at the US Open this week, and the gal hasn’t looked this good since she exorcized her demons at the 2006 Wimbledon and bowed to the tennis gods in thanks.

Here’s what we think Amelie’s secret is, now that she’s working for Eurosport and living the life of the rich and famous, with no pressure on her goddess-like shoulders:

Amelie doesn’t sleep at night, instead, she does yoga for two hour periods, only taking breaks to smell sunflowers that she grows on her windowsill, that – oddly enough, don’t get any sun – and she waters with red wine, exclusively. Each morning she wakes up and reads Eat, Pray, Love and then goes out and has gelato for lunch – usually pineapple berry with chocolate sorbetto – before returning to her lodge (yes, she lives in a lodge) and watches Eat, Pray, Love the movie, which she got boot-legged by Julia Roberts herself. As a favor for Amelie. In the afternoons she usually does gymnastic routines in a leotard onesie, something that Reebok would never let her wear. She has 17 such leotards. She’s sworn off coffee so she only drinks grapefruit juice, straining the pulp first and drinking it from a hollowed out coconut. Before bed… er, we mean her 8 hours of yoga… Amelie high-fives the poster she has hung over her loft bed. It looks like this:

That, folks, has produced such glowing. It’s a simple recipe. Try it.

(screengrab via facebook.com; getty images photo)

on 9/02/10 celebrating 90210

Kudos to my friend Sarah for noticing this, but today’s date gives homage to everyone’s favorite ’90s TV show, Beverly Hills 90210. And don’t worry, we dug up a tennis-inspired clip featuring the handsome guest star, Matthew Perry, from the show’s first season. Brandon is such a reporter! Go get that scoop, Walsh! We bet this is the episode that started the Perry-Capriati bond, no?

Full episode description and clips here.