short balls: (surprise!) tennis gets dramatic

As Sania’s World Turns: There’s no better soap opera on tennis tour right now than Sania Mirza. She was married on Monday to Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik in an affair that has been showered in controversy.

One Story, One Match: The One Story series, which publishes out of Brooklyn, has its latest publication singing game, set and match. The story is set in the Federer-Sampras battle of Wimbledon circa 2001, with a fictional twist involving three ball kids. After reading it, I give Cheston Knapp two thumbs up for his crafting of the epic changing-of-the-guard match and the story he entwines within Centre Court.

Second to Sania and Shoaib, there’s Todd and Novak: For some reason, the player-coach break-up between Todd Martin and Novak Djokovic seems to be the tennis story of the century. While the break-up doesn’t have quite the political ramifications that Sania and Shoaib carry into their marriage, this story has gotten an absorbent of attention. For Novak, something had to change if he wants to be considered for another Slam. For Todd, well… for Todd, any press is good press.

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sightings in the stands: sampras and federer’s netjets showdown

A few celebrities spent their Monday night at the NetJets Showdown at Madison Square Garden.

Robert, Lynettee, Mirka

Roger Federer‘s parents, Robert and Lynettee, sit next to longtime girlfriend Mirka Vavrinec.

Tiger Woods and Elin

Roger’s besty Tiger Woods watches the match with Elin Nordegren.

Rupert Murdoch, Anna Wintour

Heavyweights: Rupert Murdoch and Anna Wintour.

Not shown: Barry Diller, Donald Trump, Ivan Lendl, Stan Smith, John McEnroe, Patrick McEnroe, Chloe Sevigny, etc.

short balls tuesday

Woodforde’s back: Novak Djokovic‘s not quite done paying Aussie doubles specialist Mark Woodforde to help with the Serb’s serve-and-volley game. (SMH)

adidas will sponsor the 2012 Olympics: Now that Kim Clijsters and her Fila kit are off the map (or are they?), the Belgian Team won’t have to worry about clothing conflicts arising from adidassponsorship of the 2012 London Olympics. (SGB)

Serra Zanetti retires: Adriana Serra Zanetti announced her retirement from pro tennis, citing a foot injury from October 2005 that never healed. Career highlights include the round of 16 at the 1995 French Open and the quarters of the 2002 Australian. You’ll be missed! (AGI)

Heaven on earth: At the Thailand Open, Carlos Moya dons an apron (over us Nike U.S. Open t-shirt) and whips up some pad thai. Can he bring some to me? Oh yeah, Feliciano Lopez was there, too. (Bangkok Post, Getty Images)

Babolat’s dumb luck: See this story in NYT‘s Play magazine about how Babolat captured its share of the racquet market by being at the right place at the right time.

On the Federer brand: Roger Federer is a cash cow. And IMG knows it. Tony Godsick‘s his agent over there, but his primary manager is still Mirka. FYI. (IWtbaSA)

Sharapova gets crafty: See what Maria Sharapova considers her favorite restaurants all over the world. Included on the list is one of my personal loves, Craft Los Angeles, in Century City. (foodea.com)

Sloppy seconds: AmEx drops its partnership with Tiger Woods but the golfer shed nary a tear, I’m sure. And for good reason: he picked up a 5-year deal with Gatorade that’ll net him $100 mil. This arrangement is for selling at least three products, including a new proposed drink that’ll be named after him. (via The Austin American-Statesman)

Deuce questions for Federer: See this light Q&A.

On the last time he played a match that no one watched: “For a tournament match you’d probably have to go back to the juniors. It was only a practice set, but when I played Pete Sampras [at his house, before the Pacific Life Open in March] there were probably only three people watching.”

The last time he showed his badge at a tournament: “It happens all the time because they want to scan your badge. They go after plastic, not faces.”

And the last time he flew coach: “[Long pause] Yeah, it’s been a few years now.” Bless.