graf (and agassi) to play at wimbledon!



The AP is reporting that Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf will participate in an exo at Wimbledon, partly to help test out the playing conditions under the new Center Court roof.

They’ll be joined by Kim Clijsters and Tim Henman at the May 17 “Centre Court Celebration” event, which will include a men’s singles, women’s singles, and mixed doubles match.

Graf was quoted by the AP: “There is no tennis venue more special to me than Centre Court at Wimbledon,” the German said. “It just doesn’t get any better. I couldn’t be more honored to play there again with my husband Andre, and tennis greats Kim and Tim. It will mean so much to return to Wimbledon and … relive so many wonderful memories.”

As you may remember, the original roof was dismantled after the ’06 tournament and returned in 2008. Construction of the moving parts began in July. (Geek out: See how the retractable roof works.)

Buy: Tickets are $50, and will go on sale March 12 via Ticketmaster.

flashback: tennis masters cup, 2004 (houston)



I was looking for old tennis photos online, and I ran into these pictures taken of the nine guys (including the alternate) who descended upon Houston for the Tennis Masters Cup in 2004.

The Argentines: Guillermo Canas and Gaston Gaudio

The boys: Andy Roddick and Guillermo Coria

The daddies (DILFs?): Lleyton Hewitt and Tim Henman

The ILFs: Marat Safin and Carlos Moya

and Roger Federer

Roger beat Lleyton in straight sets — 6-3, 6-2 — to take his 11th title of 2004 and his second consecutive year-end title.

(photos by Getty Images)

dc: great britain vs. croatia



Tim Henman put icing on his retirement cake this weekend by helping lead Great Britain to a 4-1 win over Croatia in Davis Cup. This victory puts them in the World Group for 2008. (Results.)

Hey, at least Henman got a chance to have a glorious moment on the surface (and the venue — the All-England Club) that haunted his career the most; Tim was burdened with the pressure of being a hometown Wimbledon winner. Unfortunately, even his great serve-and-volley game crumbled under this expectation.

The threads: Henman’s never wacky with his clothes anyway, so the adidas kit (with the country name on the shirt’s back) was as expected. And Andy Murray continued the color theme with his muted black and white Fred Perry kit. (Mourning the loss of his 2007, I imagine?) The Scot won both his singles rubbers, and his brother Jamie teamed with Tim to win the doubles rubber — and clinch the tie.

The perfect accessory: Little Rosie Henman was also on hand to help celebrate her dad’s win.

RELATED POSTS
>> TSF’s davis cup coverage

short balls: u.s. open edition



The kids are alright: We’re happy to know that the junior tennis players are cultivating their clothing style as much as their playing style. Australian Stephen Donald leads the pack. (via DTL)

What about Tim: Was there ever really a good time to announce Tim Henman‘s retirement? The Times points out that NYT barely mentions the news.

Players’ lounge sightings: Nole loves him some foosball (TNYO)

Ana’s new lover?: Deadspin comments on Darren Rovell‘s obsession with Ana Ivanovic.

JNP was right: There’s a reason why Richard Williams has kept mum about his predictions so far — he’s not happy with Venus‘ play this week.

Sound bites: Richard Dietsch compiled some good press conference quotes from Week One, and Marat‘s was the best.

“At age 17 I had nothing planned, no cash, my sponsor dropped me and nobody wanted to help me in the [Russian] Federation because it was difficult times. The last source was my mother. She gave me $500 and said, ‘You have luck or you don’t have luck. This is your last hope. Take the $500 and go to the French Open and try to look for some money.’ This is tough situation. So sitting here and asking about speculation about how many Grand Slam I should have won, it’s a little bit funny.”

(photo via Yahoo! Sports)

RELATED POSTS
>> TSF’s u.s. open coverage continues…

short balls: rafa seeks DC change, wade on british tennis, USTA job opening, etc.



When he speaks, Davis Cup should listen: Spaniard Rafael Nadal, a dedicated Davis Cup participant, calls for a change in the event’s schedule. Other players may have hemmed and hawed, but if a high-profile player like Rafa offers this advice, the ITF should seriously consider a schedule switch. (Reuters)

The USTA tries a new approach to ‘saving’ tennis: See this post from Zoo Tennis on breeding tennis phenoms. We’re too soft on our kids, they say. I agree.

Djokovic under the influence: Enlisting the help of Australian Mark Woodforde hasn’t quite paid off yet for Nole Djokovic; he crashed in the early rounds of the Artois last week. I hope they cash in during Wimbledon. (The Age)

Tim Henman’s advice: If you choose not to smell the s*&%t, it’s less likely to stink. (Telegraph)

Virginia Wades in: The last British winner of a Wimbledon singles title (1977) says, among other things, that she would not have chosen tennis as a career had there been more opportunities for women in the ’70s. (Guardian)

USTA has an opening: Director of Online Content. (via psfk.com)