“Real Housewives of New York City” LuAnn de Lesseps and Jill Zarin vied for a spot at the US Open

LuAnn de Lesseps and Jill Zarin of “The Real Housewives of New York City,” each vied for a chance to compete on tennis’ biggest stage—the US Open—by playing mixed doubles in the 2014 US Open National Playoffs USTA Eastern Sectional Qualifying Tournament . The US Open National Playoffs provide the opportunity for all players 14 years of age and older to earn a berth into the US Open.

Both de Lesseps and Zarin lost their matches, but enjoyed their time playing for a spot in the US Open.

LuAnn de Lesseps, who played mixed doubles with Elliott Pettit, a teaching pro at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, lost 6-1, 6-1, to former George Washington University standout Richard Blumenfeld of Boca Raton, Fla., and Nina Pantic of Lake Worth, Fla., who played tennis at the University of Missouri.

Jill Zarin, played mixed doubles with Kyle Owens, a teaching pro at the Murphy Jensen Tennis Academy in Sea Island, Ga., and lost 6-0, 6-1, to former Wake Forest standout Cory Parr of Jericho, N.Y., and Elizabeth Kobak of Old Westbury, N.Y., who played for Columbia.

And even though the news is a tadbit old, we wouldn’t to keep you from watching the videos and photos that were taken that day. So enjoy and feel free to share the posts on the interwebs.

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Photo credit credit to Mike LeBrecht USTA

short balls: design(ed) to entertain

What’s good design without good people: Designer James Huniford, Iman and GMA‘s Lara Spencer. (Getty)

For the few fervent TSF readers we have out there (what, are there a couple dozen of you?), you’ll know that our TSF East team (that would be me, Nick) worked at Housing Works for two years in SoHo. The AIDS non-profit has a different way of doing things with their social entreprenuerial outlets and also hosts one heck of a party, which is where I found myself on Thursday night.

The Design on a Dime event happens every spring and brings together interior designers from across the industry. Nate Berkus was a host this year (he’s shorter in person than you would think, but the hair doesn’t disappoint!) and brought together a few dozen designers to put together rooms (bathrooms, kitchens, living and bed rooms) that are then for sale — that’s right, every item in each room, from each lamp to table to painting to rug — is for sale. And all the money goes back to Housing Works’ AIDS programming.

As I volunteered on Thursday night, I got to tour around with Bravo’s Andy Cohen and go through a couple rooms with him. We debated on a couple chairs that he was eyeing, and when I saw him later he whispered “I got that chair!” with a little bit of hesitation in his voice. I approve, Andy. The piece he bought was a striped deck chair with gorgeous, 70s-inspired dark wood in the arms and legs. A picture? Don’t have one. But  my fave item of the whole night (I think it was retailing for $1,000) was a Cohen-influenced piece of art: the original six from The Real Housewives of New York City. Knock a zero off that price and I’m there!!!

Ramona and Alex made (late) appearance at the event, and though we couldn’t get the gals to go pose by their own portraits, you can bet that they were making the party rounds. More drama: If you haven’t been following the Sampras-Agassi blow up recently, it’s reached the level of Real Housewives dramatics. Jeez! These boys could even tire out the Countess!

For New Yorkers: The Free Public Sale goes on today through 6 PM

More shopping: NYMag‘s full line-up of New York sales this weekend

Tennis, too: It’s been a good year for Blake Strode. Last year, the now-23-year-old looked bound for (Harvard!) law school before entering the USTA’s first ever national play-in for a spot at the U.S. Open qualifying draw. He won nine matches to claim his spot in the qualies, where he won his first round match before bowing out. Not bad, eh? Well the journeyman is still at it in 2011, making a second go around at the playoff starting next weekend at Yale, the site of the New England Sectional. Plus: Blake’s ATP page

(Painting image by TSF)

short balls: the sunday pull-out edition

Third is charming, at least for Rog: While he may be the world’s no. 3 tennis player now, Roger Federer is still living the high life. Credit Suisse, one of his sponsors, has a whole page dedicated to the Rog. A Mario Testino photo shoot? Doesn’t mind if he does. But more importantly: is that David Ferrer holding the reflector? Geez, Rog really does live it good.

Oh, how the weekend gets away from us: We certainly wish that we could spend our time wasting away in a coffee shop all weekend, but that never actually seems to be the case. A lovely lament from a real-life barista on Thought Catalog on why hipster barista give you an eye roll when you chirp out your order.

Simon, singing: If you are still in love with the trashy brilliance that is Bravo‘s “Real Housewife” series, then you’re probably soaking up the first few glorious (hideous?!) episodes of the New York installment over the last few weeks. But here’s something for everyone … er, NO ONE. Simon, hubby to one Alex McCord, has a single. Yep, it’s called “I Am Real” and as far as we can tell, none of it is real. Or really him. Or really good, whatsoever.

Click the image below to listen. More: Tennis-inspired music on TSF

Donald’s middle finger gets tweet-happy: Good Friday has never been better for Donald Young. The American journeyman, once a hot commodity for the “future of American tennis” has always had a rocky relationship with the USTA because of reportedly over-zealous parents and a poor work ethic. Now we’re guessing his aforementioned relationship is plainly non-existant after this tweet on Friday, which was followed by an apology and then — deletion of his account. “Fuck USTA!! Their full of shit! They have screwed me for the last time! #enoughsaid” – Donald Young at 5:01:14 pm ET Apr 22nd

Patrick McEnroe‘s supposed response? Not. Happy.

Tina Fey? Is, well, brilliant.

Draw(n) conclusions: A few musings from the draw of the USTA Pro Circuit event in Dothan, Alabama. (1) Stephanie Foretz Gacon, once ranked as high as no. 63 in the world (now no. 145) reaches the final. (2) Michelle Larcher de Brito, once of grunting infamy, wins five games in a first-round loss. She’s still Portugal’s no. 1 gal at no. 174. No reports on how loud she is now that she’s outta the top 100. (3) Alexandra Stevenson, 12 years after her run to the Wimby SFs, wins two matches before bowing out in straights to eventual winner, Melinda Czink. Stevenson is now ranked no. 250 and has won one WTA-sanctioned match this year (compared to zero last year). (4) Americans were 8-9 overall, mostly thanks to Stevenson and a run to the semis by Allison Riske.

Big props for DFW: The Infinite Jest author David Foster Wallace, who committed suicide in 2008, is getting rave reviews for his piece of work released posthumously, an unfinished manuscript called The Pale King.

Read: DFW’s NYT piece on Federer — a ‘religious experience’

Melzer’s tour BBF? That’d be Philly Petzscher: Following his jaw-dropping win over Roger Federer in Monte Carlo, the ATP had Jurgen Melzer take FB Qs from fans. Our fave exchange is here: Question: Since you stopped wearing your White Adidas hat, you’ve gone on some great runs. Any coincidence? -Nick Leone, United States Melzer: Well… maybe! I thought I was practising really well without the hat so I was a little superstitious in Monte-Carlo, so I stopped wearing it and it went well. Until I start to have a losing streak, I will take the hat away.

The many freaked-out faces of Klaus Goerges: We’re loving this video that Stephanie Myles of the Montreal Gazette put together of Julia Goerges father, using screen grabs from the TennisTV.com livestream. Click Klaus’ frowning face below to watch the whole hilarious thing.

Swinging out: On OutSports.com Cyd Ziegler writes about Bowdoin College’s openly gay tennis coach Colin Joyner and his push for the acceptance of LGBTQ athletes at the collegiate level. Prompting this was the story of openly gay Bowdoin lacrosse player Ben Chadwick. A tough tale: “When Joyner heard about Chadwick, he harkened back to his time as the only openly gay male athlete on campus. It was a lonely time for Joyner in many respects, and he didn’t want Chadwick to be the only one anymore.” Therefore, Joyner started Anything But Straight in Athletics (ABSA) “to help closeted athletes come out by dismantling homophobia in Bowdoin athletics.”

Contributing from Benjamin Snyder

(Federer screengrab via Credit Suisse website; Simon screengrab via NYMag.com; Goerges screengrab via the Open Court blog on MontrealGazette.com)

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)

jet-setting venus gives kelly first ticket

In the past month, Venus Williams has been all over the world. From Melbourne, she spent time in Miami before heading off to Dubai (where she won the title) and Mexico City (another week, another trophy). She arrived in New York today to do some promotion for the Billie Jean King Cup, which happens tomorrow night at the Madison Square Garden.

We couldn’t be more jealous of Kelly Bensimon, the non-tennis-playing housewife (of The Real Housewives of New York City) for getting the first ticket to this year’s event. Let’s just hope our press pass puts us close to ya, Kelkel!

After the cut: Kim and Sveta take in the Knicks game at MSG. [Read more…]