malisse swings for sports center’s top 10 plays

Xavier Malisse pulled a trick out of the tennis bag last night in a first-set rally against Andy Roddick at the Atlanta Tennis Championships with an in-between the legs shot. Roddick was there to pounce at the net (click image above to watch the video), and the American won the match in three sets. The shot was #9 on Sports Center‘s Top 10 Plays reel from last night.

Delpo UPDATE: In Spanish on his Twitter account, Juan Martin del Potro told his fans: “I haven’t picked up a racquet yet so I can’t tell an exact date. When I know I’ll tell you the news here. I’m improving, that’s a good thing.” (Translation via Tennis-X blog.) Delpo musta read our timeline and decided it was time to clear things up.

(screen grab via espn.com)


please hold our calls: tennis channel’s summer coverage

In an effort to bring our readers better service, the west coast offices of TSF recently signed up to get Tennis Channel.

DecoTurfin’ U.S.A.: The network’s 2010 Olympus U.S. Open Series coverage will cover nine tourneys starting July 23: the Atlanta Tennis Championships (Atlanta), Farmers Classic (Los Angeles), Legg Mason Tennis Classic (Washington, D.C.), Rogers Masters (Toronto) and Western and Southern Financial Group Masters (Cincinnati); on the women’s side, they’ll cover the Bank of the West Classic (Stanford, Calif.), Mercury Insurance Open (San Diego), Western and Southern Financial Group Women’s Open (Cincinnati) and Rogers Cup (Montreal). FYI, they will not be covering Pilot Pen (at Yale).

Schedule: Dates, times, and info about commentators all after the cut…

short balls: the epic edition

Brooklyn gets wind-swept on the Bravo TV show Double Exposure. See more of Brooklyn, and what hubby Andy thinks of LiLo’s jailing in this week’s short balls. (screen grab via BravoTV.com)

Who said the week after Wimbledon was a dead one on the tennis news front? There is plenty of stuff going on, from the on-court happenings at Newport and beyond to plenty (and we mean plenty) of off court news. Here’s TSF‘s edition of short balls for the week.

If you are a Pam Shriver fan and still a little miffed by all the negative press the ESPN analyst got for her run-in with James Blake in the first round of Wimbledon a couple of weeks ago, we thought we would cheer you up by digging out this video clip of one of Pam’s big-time wins on the WTA singles circuit. The victim? Steffi Graf at the 1988 Virginia Slims Championships at Madison Square Garden. It was one of only three wins Shriver notched against Graf in 12 career meetings, and it’s a pretty good look at old-school, serve-and-volley tennis from PS herself.

Perhaps you miss Wimbledon mightily and have watched the many replays available on the official web site and on YouTube. Hopefully you’ve also had the chance to check out the “Off Court” section of the Wimby web site, which was sponsored by the bottled water company Evian. A trendy British gal roams the grounds in search of the good, bad and quirky in respects to fan fashion at this year’s tournament. I enjoyed every clip.

Andy Roddick’s wife, Brooklyn Decker (top) was on the Bravo TV show Double Exposure this last week and dang, girl looked good! We were digging the wind-blown hair. See a clip of the video by clicking the image above or here. Just to be clear, Brooklyn is the second girl, not the first who is, well, a little frightening. Recently, celeb Lindsay Lohan was on Double Exposure as well, though her shoot didn’t go as well as Brooklyn’s did. If you didn’t think Brooklyn’s hubby, Andy Roddick, had any opinion on Lohan’s recent court saga (she’s been sentenced for 90 days in jail for violating probation), think again:

Not to be outdone, Andy Murray also made the TV cut this week, appearing on the James Corden show in Britain. Murray chatted tennis and soccer, if a “Hawkeye” system should be used in soccer, and hit some tennis balls at fancy, over-sized cones. Not to be outdone by Brooklyn (or Lindsay!), Andy also slow danced with an adoring fan. Awkward picture after the cut.

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weekend programming: let the live blogs begin

We know you’ll be glued to your TV and the last thing on your mind will be to hit the “Refresh” button on the TSF page, but just wanted to let you folks know that we’ll be live blogging both the women’s and men’s finals at Wimbledon this weekend. No, that’s not the keyboard we use, but we decided with all the white happening at the All England Club that we need a little color in our lives. Check back later this weekend to read just how we saw and heard the 2010 edition of Breakfast at Wimbledon!

(photo by noeltykay via flickr)

with drama-filled week 1, bravo mulls wimbledon reality show

OK, so that’s not true! But it could be, right? With five days gone from the 2010 edition of Wimbledon, the dramatic scripts have been writing themselves. We brainstorm a few pilots to pitch to our friends over at Bravo. Forget the Tennis Channel, we’re going big time!

An Epic Encounter
Starring John Isner and Nicolas Mahut
This one is pretty simple: basically each 30-minute episode is 30 minutes from the gent’s now-famous match, the longest in tennis history. That’s at least two seasons of tennis bliss, and all the drama is built-in. Character development revolves around Isner‘s down-home Southern charm (his mom will obviously give testimonials), while Mahut‘s fierce, always-in-place hair will leave make-up and styling costs at zero dollars. Plot twists: Two sunsets approaching with quick feet; a language barrier; and a chair umpire who has had to use the bathroom for almost 7 episodes.

When the Queen Comes
Starring The Queen, Serena Williams, Andy Murray and all of England
The royalty comes to Wimbledon! Watch as the media pepper players with more questions about their off-court curtsy and bows than forehands and follow throughs. Serena must find her way through the maze of the All England Club bureaucracy to find a place on Centre Court, while Andy bites his nails to the nubs with nerves over the appropriate handshake. Plot twists:
Jelena Jankovic ends up wearing the same color as the Queen to the meet and greet; the Queen’s hat wreaks havoc on Tim Henman‘s tennis-watching; and Caroline Wozniacki wakes the Queen from a nap with a booming overhead sparking a monarchy controversy between the Danes and the Brits.

Two more brilliant show ideas after the cut.

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james speaks for hundreds of players, still can’t quiet pam

James Blake spoke out for hundreds of players who, over the last ten years, have heard Pam Shriver‘s voice carry on to the court, by shushing the ESPN correspondent today, but Shriver’s decibels didn’t drop after his initial rant.

While Blake was clearly irritated on his way to a three-set flop-out, he called out Shriver on being too loud while doing sideline commentary above Court 5. Shriver relays the details, but as she does so, she speaks at the same volume she had been the entire time, choosing to continue to get under the skin of the American. He let her know again how frustrated he was, and P-Shrive still couldn’t get a clue. (Click image to watch video.)

Later, we suspect, James received hundreds – if not thousands – of appreciative text messages from fellow players for his actions. He also, we (still) suspect, is crafting a Commentate-o-Meter to measure the decibels of on-court reporters. Shriver is expected to give Michelle Larcher de Brito a run for her high-pitched money.

(screen grab via youtube)

live blogging the FO finals

4:56 PM, Game, set and match, Schiavone 6-4, 7-6 (2) Well big props to Schiavone for closing out the match like she did. We really dig the whole kissing-the-clay thing. Upping Guga‘s classic heart by making love to the clay with your mouth, not your racket.

4:41 PM, Schiavone leads 6-4, 6-all There is now the potential for this thing to turn into a high-quality, dramatic three-set affair. Could the WTA actually see its saviors in the games of these two relative unknowns? It’s been dang fun to watch such good tennis for two sets and 90 minutes thus far. I’m also digging the extra-cheesy Geico and Billie Jean King commercial.

4:29 PM, Schiavone leads 6-4, 4-all Stosur is tightening up here as the Italian has won the last three games to even up the second set. Can we see the first three-set women’s final since 2001?

4:07 PM, Schiavone leads 6-4, 1-2 Loving the NBC editors for their choice of exit-out music for commercials, so far including the SATC2 theme song, Beyonce and Britney. Diva music for two non-divas.

Meanwhile, we’re thinking that the Franny Faithful would make a great Jersey Shore spin-off. The hair! The muscles! The sunglasses! Stosur has nothing on these boys.

3:57 PM, Schiavone wins first set 6-4 (Good news!) Schiavone is playing with heart and (bad news!) Stosur is playing with the weight of the world on her shoulders. Let’s see if a clean court can give Sammy a clean conscience. (BEST news!) Mary Pierce sighting in the first row of the far side of the court. Like a summer bride, she’s wearing all white.

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kelly ready to out-tennis ramona, jill

In the past few weeks, Real Housewife Kelly Bensimon has made a push to become the most tennis-savvy of the New York ladies, first appearing with Venus at the Billie Jean King Cup in New York, and yesterday hosting a celebrity exhibition match in Miami.

TSF spoke with Kelly’s cast mates Ramona Singer and Jill Zarin at the Night of Legends tennis event in September. We wondered who Jill might pick as a doubles partner in a re-match of the two reality stars’ tennis duel. Maybe she should consider Kelly, no?

The ladies of the Real Housewives of New York are back on the small screen with their third season of cat fights and caviar.

(screen grab via wta web site)

mary the olympian

If you’ve watched more Olympics than me (and I only got to the most important three hours of it, the women’s free skate), then you were sure to have had the pleasure of watching my favorite tennis commentator — and esteemed journalist — Mary Carillo in one of NBC’s delightful featurettes.

Carillo’s sports knowledge is obvious, and her word-choice is always that of a well-educated, thoughtful commentator. She’s a natural — even in nature!

Enter our Mary The Olympian photo gallery, where we chronicle the many trials and tribulations of the great Carillo in her coverage for NBC’s peek into life as a Canadian as an Olympic contest all of its own. They were, after all, Mary’s Olympics…

Things looked suspicious at first — and so did Mary — but her training for the Olympics were about to hit full stride. [Read more…]

ellen goes big time (with her racket)

With Melanie Oudin swinging into Los Angeles, Ellen DeGeneres had her on the show Tuesday to talk tennis. The two chatted for a bit in the studio before Ellen took Melanie outside for a little back alley tennis. Ellen’s secret weapon? Her massively oversized racket, of course.

DeGeners-Ellen

You can catch the full video here that includes Ellen’s other guest for the day, Queen Latifah. And see the interview here. To check out the fashion-inspired gift Ellen handed over to Mel, check out the jump.

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