short balls: giving a damn

Giving a damn: We made note of Ellen’s powerful words last week after the disturbing rash of suicides among LGBT youth. The nation has banded together in a variety of ways, including the We Give a Damn project that was launched by the True Colors Fund. This past Sunday night, activists held a candlelight vigil in Washington Square Park in New York City.  Actor and blogger, Andrew Kennan Bolger, documented the evening on video.  More to watch: We Give a Damn has a few of their own videos, featuring some of our favorite big and small screen faces – among others. Check them out. Plus: Zachary Quinto says (Tweets?) the right thing after 50 Cent runs his mouth again.

Commercial offerings: There’s plenty to see on YouTube if you go and type in ‘tennis’ in the search bar and sift through the many (dozens? hundreds?!) of homes for sale that happen to include tennis in their property in one way or another. One good find we had this week was an old Heineken commercial that hadn’t crossed our path before. Watch the video – camera tipping and all – here. Meanwhile, we found the newly-released Australian Open commercial (below), tagged “A Whole New Level” via the ladies over at OntheBaseline. None other than Ms. Sam Stosur makes five appearances in the 31-second clip. Joining Serena, Roger and Rafa as the faces to be seen at the AO 2011.

The injury diaries: The injured Justine Henin is set to test the competitive waters in an exhibition against Kim Clijsters in Antwerp on December 9th. Things aren’t as peachy for Robby Ginepri, who broke his arm in a biking accident and will be out of the game for the rest of the season. We’re hoping for a Sam Querrey kind of return for the current world no. 118… not a James Blake kind of return.

Tennis shavings: Things are feeling a bit more Blake than Querrey over at NYC-based Tennis magazine. The publication announced earlier this week that they would cut four of nine editorial positions and begin outsourcing most of its art and photo work, focusing more in-house on Tennis.com. The magazine recently shuffled Sarah Unke from her role on the print side to be online editor following the departure of Abigail Lorge. It’s unclear who is still calling Tennis his or her work home, though assistant online editor Ed McGrogan posted an ESPN blog item earlier today. 10tenmedia, a New York creative firm, will handle much of the mag’s print design.

Body games: Former Tennis cover girl Anna Kournikova made an appearance on the small screen on NBC’s “Biggest Loser” last night. Kournikova served up some motivation for the contestants, and they seemed to inspire her, too. ESPN the Magazine hits newsstands this week with their annual “The Body Issue.” The mag always chooses several different covers to print (six this year), and wheelchair tennis queen Esther Vergeer got the nod for one of those covers in this cover print. The US women’s water polo team also has a cover, as does golfer Camilo Villegas (yeah, we’ve never heard of him either).

More of short balls, including a giggling Roger and an all-inclusive short(er) balls, after the cut.

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page work

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(Above, an illustration by DeTorres for a Tokyo theatre festival.)

Carl DeTorres plays ping pong a lot. At least, that’s what he answers after being asked to talk about his tennis experience. It might be safe to say the guy is a little green when it comes to the sport of racquet and net, but that didn’t stop him from rolling out two eye-catching illustrations (one seen via the link) for the U.S. Open issue of Tennis magazine.

The San Francisco-based DeTorres has actually played tennis twice in his life, and says when he got the opportunity to do work for the mag, he studied up on the game he knew so little about. Surprisingly, it was the color of the court that got this illustrator’s utmost attention.

“The blue tennis court fascinated me – I’ve never seen that before,” he told TSF in a phone interview. “I never knew that there was clay and grass and all that. I had no idea!” 

Wait until he sees the purple courts in Miami, huh? And let’s not even tell the guy about the mutli-colored things they play on in WTT, right?

After the color, then came the heads. The heads of the fans, that is. DeTorres was mesmerized by their mesmerization. 

“They all move in perfect unison, it’s pretty cool,” DeTorres, 32, explains. “Back and forth, back and forth.”

DeTorres used that image for his illustration, his first work for a sports magazine. As senior art director for Wired, DeTorres does a lot of illustrating with his art team on stories that don’t necessary have the pop and flash that a U.S. Open-preview image would, which is what excited the illustrator about the challenge.

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rafa’s dispatches from key biscayne

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It has been brought to our attention that Rafa Nadal will be blogging for TENNIS.com during this week’s Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Fla.

He’ll talk about his matches and share personal photos that he takes and poses for during the next week-and-a-half.

“We’re thrilled to have Rafael Nadal, one of the most exciting players in the game, blogging for TENNIS.com during the Sony Ericsson Open,” said TENNIS.com and TENNIS Magazine editor-in-chief James Martin. “Rafa will take our fans behind the scenes for exclusive content that they can’t get anywhere else.”

Archives: This isn’t Rafa’s first stab at blogging. He’s done it twice for the ATP, even getting an “Editor’s Choice” distinction for his posts in June 2006. He also wrote from Roland Garros last year.

agassi interview in the april issue of tennis

Almost two years after leaving the sport, tennis icon Andre Agassi has found new challenges as a father and businessman, and admits while he still loves the game, “I don’t feel like a tennis player anymore.” He tells Peter Bodo in an exclusive interview in the April issue of TENNIS Magazine, “When I dig out my racquets because I’ve donated a lesson for charity or something, I’ll look at them and say, ‘Wow, this is what I used to do for a living.'”

Although he did say he still watches a lot of tennis. “We don’t have the television on in the house unless we’re watching something specific, but during the Australian Open, I had it on all the time, tuned to Tennis Channel.”

Interviewed in an empty classroom of the eponymous College Preparatory Academy, the school he founded in Las Vegas to help disadvantaged children, Agassi talks in depth about his life after retirement, his children (with wife Steffi Graf), Roger Federer, drug testing and gambling in tennis as well as his latest sporting adventure — snowboarding.

Read more: Highlights from the article after the cut…

fashion focus: my fantasy tennis closet; shipley & halmos’ fall 2008 rtw

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Tennis magazine’s Spring Fashion editorial reads like the storeroom of a Barney’s CO-OP: Shipley & Halmos. Trovata. Marc by Marc Jacobs, and Band of Outsiders.

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The shoot’s stylist, Jessica de Ruiter, threw in some Y-3, American Apparel, and Superga shoes for good measure.

(photos by Williams + Hirakawa)

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Fall 2008: Above are the pieces from S&H’s Fall 2008 RTW collection. Refinery29 checked in with Sam and Jeff some days before their show. (Definitely worth watching, if only to see their decoder ring invitations.)

Browse: See all the Alfred Hitchcock-inspired pieces here. But if you’re just ready to buy, then know that their much-anticipated Spring 2008 goods are now available for consumption.

(photos via style.com)

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trouble at TENNIS magazine

In the internet age, whistleblowing, well, blows.

TSF buddy and former TENNIS magazine intern Nick McCarvel was the talk of the New York magazine scene on Monday after this question appeared in The Ethicist (a column published in the New York Times Magazine):

A journalism major at college, I was delighted to land an internship at a national magazine. My editor asked me to post comments on one of the magazine’s online blogs, being sure not to mention my working for the magazine but to write in a style that suggests I’m a reader. That felt dirty to me. Advice? — Nick McCarvel, Seattle

Of course Randy Cohen, the column’s author, didn’t agree with the practice. And of course people wanted to know which pub was behind this skeevy policy. Some quick Googling by FishbowlNY led to TENNIS‘ doorstep. So much for blind items.

(BTW, Nick’s internship ended the day after the column appeared, so he’s in the clear as far as dealing with awkward fallout at the magazine. The editor in question has since left. I hope he wasn’t the one I was pitching to!)

Seriously, though: this is all very unfortunate, especially because the magazine’s blog, which features well-written (and bylined) posts by McCarvel, have received their fair share of readers’ comments. If the intent was to steer comment threads in a different direction, I’m sure Nick could have posted as an intern with the same effect. There was no benefit in creating these anonymous personas.

I’d like to give Nick a pat on the back for letting people know that this was happening. TSF will still be reading Steve Tignor and Peter Bodo, but perhaps we won’t pay attention to readers’ comments so much…