35,681 strong

Kim Clijsters and Serena Williams set a world record on Thursday, playing an exhbition before 35,681 fans at King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels, Belgium.  Serena was a replacement for Justine Henin, who pulled out of the match because an elbow injury sustained at Wimbledon.

The match was originally titled the “Best of Belgium” but didn’t turn out that way as Serena replaced Justine. Martina Navratilova was honorary chair judge, while French Open champ Francesca Schiavone was also in attendance. This was the first meeting between Kim and Serena since their infamous 2009 US Open encounter.

The previous record was set when Billie Jean King beat Bobby Riggs in the Battle of the Sexes in 1973 at the Astrodome. 30,472 people were in attendance for that brawl.

Two more shots from the record-setting exo after the cut. [Read more…]

short balls: mac does the times, djoko the big screen and serena is no justine (!)

John McEnroe might not act like one any more, but he still knows how to dress like a teenager. The tennis legend got front-page billing on NYTimes.com with a story about his new New York-based academy. (Screengrab via NYTimes.com)

Action! No Djoking Around. Serbian star Novak Djokovic has struggled in the last couple of years with his on-court stamina (will this be the issue that haunts his career?). He hasn’t struggled, meanwhile, with the ability to garner big-time acting roles in his home country. Djoko is starring in a documentary about the 1923 Serbian World Cup team, and fellow tennis buff Nenad Zimonjic is putting his footwork on display, too.

I’m no Justine. There were plenty of moments in Rome last weeks (Rome-ments?!). But one of our faves was Serena making sure that Jelena Jankovic know that she wasn’t pulling a Justine on the Serb. After the match, Serena assured Jankovic that she didn’t intentionally try to distract her opponent by putting her hand up while Janky was serving in the third-set tie-break, an exchange Serena knows plenty about.

[Read more…]