short balls: dent says farewell to tennis

Taylor-made: Taylor Dent announced his retirement from pro tennis this week, following a 12-year career that saw him reach as high as no. 21 in the world. Dent, now 29, won four career titles but saw his progress cut short due to a high volume of injuries. He returned to the tour over the last 18 months after being out for much of 2006 and 2007, amassing a 12-19 record in 2010 and a ranking of no. 85. We’ll miss ya, Mr. Serve-and-Volleyer. TSF Vault: The Dent Diaries.

The way of the ladies: Ana Ivanovic ended 2010 unlike any recent ending she’s had to a season, winning the title in Bali with three impressive victories and vaulting herself back into the top 20. Ivanovic won 13 of her final 15 matches of the year with her title in Linz. Ravi Ubha gave Ana the thumbs up to become a major Slam contender in 2011 or 2012, while giving the exact opposite forecast for countrywoman Jelena Jankovic (who finished 2010 6-11). Ubha had his crystal ball out for the WTA contingent on ESPN.com. The WSJ Weighs in: The Wall Street Journal had a piece last week on how – just how? – Caroline Wozniaki took the top spot in tennis.

A geographical version of ‘Whatever happened to…?’ Now that Dent and Elena Dementieva have said farewell (as has Martin Damm to coach Ryan Harrison), we got to thinking about some former (and current) pros and wanted to check in on see where folks have landed. Dustin Brown, our favorite wearer of the neon-color palette, is taking his allegiance to Germany from Jamaica. The top 100 player cited a lack of funding for the move. His mother is German. The Uberoi sisters, Shikha and Neha, both former top 200 doubles players, have made the return to the academic world and are at Princeton finishing their undergraduate degrees. Both sisters contribute on their dual web site, and recently Neha had an entry up on her own blog about an interview with Venus Williams in her journalism class, taught by the one-and-only L. Jon Wertheim. Picture this: Ana & Enrique taking it easy in Hawaii.
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Before the jump: We wanted to wish the hard-working and always-on-top-of-a-story Aaress Lawless the best of luck as she departs from her operating gig at OnTheBaseline.com. OTB will be managed now by Justin Pohn, and will continue to be the source of all things women’s tennis.

federer to fish: a trickle-down theory

Nick: in your update about the current happenings in the life of Mardy Fish, you can add that he’s adopted the style of the great Darth Federer (but with adidas gear instead of R-Fed’s Nike).

This photo was taken during his second-round match against Ivan Ljubicic at the BA-CA Tennis Trophy in Vienna. The Croat won the match 6-7 (4), 6-2, 7-6 (4).

And speaking of “where are they now?”, Ljubicic should be on that list. He’s now been replaced by Nikolay Davydenko as the guy keeping the hotshots company in the top 5 and he’s slipped into a No. 13 ranking. On the bright side, we love the kit provided by his new clothing sponsor, Li-Ning. Goodbye, Diadora.

(photo by Getty Images)

speaking of teenagers playing ten years ago…

lucic - indian wells
from The Desert Sun

There’s someone else to add to the list of teenage phenoms from the late 90′s:

Along with Guga, Mirjana Lucic accepted a wildcard into Indian Wells to start her comeback. She had a good start yesterday, defeating Southern Californian Lindsey Nelson 6-4, 7-6 (5) in the first round. Props to Lindsey, though. She’s working hard herself, but just ran into someone who’s been to the semifinals of Wimbledon.

Here’s a sad (comprehensive) account of Mirjana’s life after that run-in with Graf. A lot of terrible things happened, but now she’s back and focused on her tennis.

When she’s a little more in her groove, we can talk to her about that outfit. No thank you, Martha!

via OutSports.com

more anna

Anna Kournikova - from the Grand Haven Tribune

Ok, so I’ve just been living under a cave, perhaps, because who knew that Anna Kournikova still makes the news regularly! And not for stupid things like dying in the Bahamas or grabbing clippers from a hairdresser and then shaving her own head. She’s in the news for raising money and awareness for good causes, and for smart business decisions.

[Read more...]