spotted in the city: rafa on the cover of webmd (?!)




So… Apparently Rafael Nadal is on the cover of the current WebMD magazine, on newsstands now. TSF contributor and screenwriter/director Tobin Addington (who also alerted us to Slate‘s amazing grunt quiz) sent this picture with the commentary, “…WebMD magazine?!” Our thoughts, exactly, Tob.

The article, Rafael Nadal’s Secrets for Success, dives into how Rafa balances his health and his game and all the goings-on that the WebMD crowd would want to know about. Check out a crisp cover shot here.

TSF Vault: More city spottings here | Have a sighting of something tennis-esque? Send it to us!

(TSF image by Tobin Addington)

short balls: skipping the tennis



This is the first photo that matches the search term “short balls” on Flickr. Igor Andreev putting away a short one at Wimbledon, 2008. (Photo by Mark Brocklehurst via Flickr.)

While we’re plenty impressed by all the Davis Cupping that happened this past weekend, the tennis season is in a bit of a lull 10 days after the completion of the US Open and before the big-time fall tournaments get under way. The women are in Seoul and Tashkent this week, while the men are swinging their way through Bucharest and Metz. While we’ve been doing a little bit of swinging of our own, we’ve been making the non-tennis rounds of the internet and finding plenty of good, juicy bits to fill the short balls plate for this week. Nibble up, djya’ll!

Before we get to the non-tennis stuff there is a few tennis items to make mention of. David Rosenberg has an item on Tennis.com about Ana Ivanovic‘s strange relationship with the U.S. Backgammon Federation. The Federation has presented Ivanovic (a first-round loser in Seoul) with a lifetime honorary membership. Game, Set, Backgammon? | Kenneth in the 212 is giving us a peek of Gilles Simon‘s … well, just click the link. Meanwhile, Kenneth gives thumbs-up to the Chrissie & Martina documentary, Unmatched, that debuted last week. | Anna Kournikova is gracing the cover of the current issue of Maxim. The Russian is feeling rather American in the spread, no? | Amelia Island, which hosts a USTA event and used to be home to a much-loved WTA stop, has been sold to Omni, which has 45 luxury destinations throughout North American. (via TennisWire.org). | The ladies of Spain are boycotting the Fed Cup team in their country. Or, as Courtney put it, Ladycotting. Well chosen. | The USTA has donated 21,000 pounds of food left over from the USO to NYC agency City Harvest. | The Bryan Brothers are hosting a tennis-fun weekend near their hometown of Camarillo, northwest of LA this Saturday. Partnering with K-Swiss, the boys will be joined by Davis Cuppers Sam Querrey (another local talent) and Mardy Fish for an exhibition and wine tasting at Spanish Hills Country Club. Tickets here. | And no surprise here: Serena walks the catwalk at Fashion Week.

And some number crunching before we abandon our tennis roots for the rest of the web: at last week’s Bell Challenge in Quebec City, American women notched 12 match wins among 10 players (nearly one third the draw). Anchored mostly by Bethanie Mattek-Sands‘s final run and helped out by a semifinal appearance by our favorite Jersey girl Christina McHale and a quarterfinal result from Melanie Oudin. At the USO, there were also 10 American women in the draw, winning a total of 9 matches, three less than in Canada. All hail the Maple Leaf, we guess.

Now, the non-tennis-ing begins. We’re loving this children’s book Dad Dad Mom Mom that promotes same-sex couples as parents. It’s even got a video up on YouTube. Storks get us every time. | TSF contributer and everything-extraordinaire Tobin Addington has his re-vamped web site up, which features musings on his blog and links to his writing, which is downright fantastic. His stuff is available here on Amazon. Check it. | The New York Times has a fantastic slideshow up of the good stuff at Burlington Toys in New York. Toy geeks rejoice! | While the DADT fail was disappointing yesterday, it’s encouraging to see a pop star take such a stance, isn’t it? | The New Yorker Festival kicks off next weekend (Oct. 1-3). The event features a sit-down with famed sports writer Bill Simmons. Too bad said talk is already sold out, but nice to see the intellects of the world wanting to hear/ see Bill in action. | We’ll just steal Gawker‘s headline on this one: “Bristol’s Grody DWTS Debut“. | It’s NYC Climate Week. That is all.

And if you’re ever wondering who to turn to for all your tennis and sporting business news, it’s tough to beat this guy. [Read more...]

short balls: tobin’s picks



Tobin Addington returns with a second installment of his fresh perspective column by taking a look back at the 2010 Australian Open.

My first major as a true tennis fan has come to an end. All in all, a great experience. Plus, now I have something to look forward to in the doldrums of January for years to come. Here are a few of my impressions:

Good Sport Award: Andy Roddick, laughing along with the expletive-laden ESPN fake commercial. Well handled.

Biggest Disappointment: Kim Clijsters exiting the tournament so early. I was looking forward to seeing her play more. Can’t help it; she’s got a compelling story.

Funniest Moment: I can’t decide. Either Venus‘s underpants or Victoria Azarenka‘s squeal-grunt. Seriously, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing!

Most Worrisome Moment: Nadal‘s knee injury. I’ve developed real affection for the glowering 12-year-old-at-heart, and I’d hate to see him play less (or, God forbid, retire) now that I’m paying attention.

Coolest TV Coverage: The slow-motion shots of the players’ facial contortions as they hit the ball. Awesome!

Most Annoying Aspect of Aussie Open: The finals airing at 3:30 AM EST. Are you kidding me?! I know it’s Australia and all, but my bio-rhythms don’t allow those kinds of hours anymore.

Tennis Move I’m Now Trying to Incorporate into Daily Life: The fist pump. Every time something goes well at work, in the kitchen, on the street – I’m going to give that a shot. I’ll let you know how it works out.

What are your memories of the year’s first Slam??

(si photo via getty images)