Google Down the Line!: 2007-07-15

Saturday, July 21, 2007

FASHION FIX: Maria Sharapova works the red carpet for charity

Maria "Shriek"apova caused the Down the Line! rumor mill to buzz after attending Matt Leinart's 1st annual Bowling With the Stars charity event also attended by Andy Roddick and Serena Williams. Whether the rumors of Leinart's intentions towards Maria are true or not, we can certainly see why the Arizona Cardinals quarterback would be smitten.

Maria attended the charity event looking chic and sophisticated in her graphic white and khaki tank, cuffed olive green short-shorts (showcasing some serious leg), smart snakeskin satchel, and bright red stilletos.

I'll take Maria working this look than her Xena-inspired moment from The ESPYS any day.

(images courtesy of

Enrique Iglesias talks tennis, Federer, and wrestling Anna Kournikova

Tennis' original Russian glamourpuss, Anna Kournikova, is keeping busy this summer playing an exhibition event in Toronto and accompanying her hottie boyfriend, Enrique Iglesias, on tour as he supports his album Insomniac.

Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch caught up with Enrique for the magazine's Q & A. Here's what he had to say about tennis, Anna, and her possible return to the sport:

SI: Why are people interested in your relationship?
Iglesias: I don't know. I think it's because of her, not me. Mainly, I think it's because she's an athlete and I am singer. We live a pretty normal life, though.

SI: Is there a sport you can beat Anna at?
Iglesias: Anything except tennis and wrestling. Her reflexes are disturbingly good. You throw anything at her, and she catches it.

SI: Before you started going out with Anna, did you follow tennis?
Iglesias: I did, but now I can analyze it a bit. I like watching women's tennis more than men's, though watching Roger Federer is like watching something perfect.

SI: How much do you think Anna misses tennis?
Iglesias: I don't know if she misses playing. She has played since she was 4 years old.

SI: Do you ever see a time Anna would try to play full time again?
Iglesias: I hate answering those questions because I feel like it's her career. But I'll tell you, I think she's an amazing athlete. I'm not saying this because she is my girlfriend. From the little I know, and have analyzed, in the past five years watching tennis, I think with women what I've learned is it is a lot more mental than with men.

(image courtesy of

Friday, July 20, 2007

+ FRIDAY NETCORDS: Rafa's new Nike spot...Justine, Andy, FED CUP, Serena on the radio...Venus is hungry, and more

(image courtesy of photographphil)

- Want a sneak peek of Rafael Nadal's hot new commercial for Nike? Click here!

- A new book "Charging The Net: A History of Blacks in Tennis from Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe to the Williams Sisters" outlines the struggle for black players inside the traditionally white walls of tennis

- Withdrawals: World. No 1 (for 74 total weeks now) and new fashionista Justin Henin is suffering from a wrist injury and has pulled out of San Diego; Serena Williams pulls out of the Bank of the West Classic

- The British Journal of Sports Medicine reports intense training can cause spine damage in young players. Fear tactics or rationalization for the Brits poor showing at Wimbledon this year?

- Does tennis need a commissioner? Discusssss....

- Mother Russia has chosen fast indoor carpet for the FED CUP final against the clay-loving Italianos

- Project 36/60: Andy Roddick has built a scaled-down tennis court just for kids...and he's cute. What more could you want?

- Get Sirius: Serena visits Jamie Foxx on his radio show this weekend

- PHOTO OP: Hungry much?

FASHION FIX: Bjorn Borg + Chinese army = Acne Jeans Stroll sneaker

What do you get when you cross tennis legend Bjorn Borg and the Chinese army? A sleek, modern sneaker of course. Swedish sneaker company Tretorn has collaborated with fellow Swedish design house Acne Jeans to create a cool sneaker-shoe hybrid called the Acne Jeans Stroll.

Inspired by the classic Tretorns Borg sported back in the day and a vintage sneaker worn by the Chinese army, the Strolls come in 2 styles, a classic high top and low top, and 4 colors - electric blue, navy, white and black. Details include Oxford shirt fabric interior lining and a characteristic eyelet.

Visit Acne Jeans online for more information.
(images courtesy of Kevin Barry)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The evolution of Justine Henin: tennis fashion or faux pas?

There's some serious sports marketing goin' on, people. Recently, the ordinarily aggressive Aussie Lleyton Hewitt appeared in Women's Weekly and showed us a loving, affectionate husband and doting father.

Now, World No. 1 Justine Henin takes her turn on the "spin" machine. Gone is the stone-cold stare and rigid posture. Looking relaxed, her petite face made up, her outfit styled out, and sporting Jessica Simpson style hair extensions, Henin is the picture of cosmopolitan cool.

But, we're not completely convinced. We could've done without the pseudo-seductive stare from the bed. But it's a nice change for the usually reserved Belgian.

These recent image makeovers beg the question: who should be next? My vote goes to Svetlana Kuznetsova, hands down. (images courtesy of Tennis Served Fresh)

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: depression, thoughts of suicide, and her fight to survive

Former child prodigy and 3-time Grand Slam champion, Jennifer Capriati, has been sidelined for almost 2 1/2 years with debilitating shoulder and back injuries. Her last professional match was a 6-0, 6-1 loss to Vera Zvonareva of Russia in November 2004. In a very personal interview with The Olympian, Jennifer, now 31 years old, discusses the injuries, her past struggles with burn-out and drugs, thoughts of suicide, and the struggle to come to terms with her life now.

On her depression:
“If I was at the height of my game, beating Serena Williams, I was on top of the world, but something was still missing inside,” Capriati says. “The happiness factor wasn’t there. I’m still struggling to find out what that is. I’ve always been self-critical. I struggle with trying to like and love myself on a daily basis.”

On the suicidal thoughts:
“Sometimes you get to a point where you can’t stop what you are thinking,” Capriati says. “It’s like you’re being taken over by a demon. You just feel there’s no way out of this space you’re in. It feels like the end of the world. When you are just so exhausted and tired of feeling that way, you (think), ‘I want to be off this planet right now, because I just feel disgusting inside. I can’t even stand my own skin, and I just want to get out.”’

On her injury-induced withdrawal from tennis:
“When I stopped playing, that’s when all this came crumbling down,” Capriati says. “If I don’t have (tennis), who am I? What am I? I was just alive because of this. I’ve had to ask, ‘Well, who is Jennifer? What if this is gone now?’ I can’t live off of this the rest of my life.”

On her outlook for the future:
"I have a choice. Am I going to let this defeat me, and make me not even want to be here? Or am I going to do something to not let this break me down, and maybe help other people? That’s the mission I’m on now, to find happiness and positiveness in the future.”

(image courtesy of Allsport)

Rafael Nadal autographs his likeness for charity

(images courtesy of FanTurf)

As Spanish World No. 2 Rafael "Rafa" Nadal continues his preperation at the Mercedes Cup for the North American hardcourts and the US Open, he took time out to attend the The Laureus Charity Gala at the Mercedes Benz Museum and autograph his portrait.

Other tennis luminaries in attendance included 6-time Grand Slam champion Boris Becker with his stylish girlfriend Sharlely Lilly Kerssenberg (love the white Gucci flap.) Tennis players sure do clean up well.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

+ WEDNESDAY NETCORDS: Lindsay Pt. II, Bjorn, Lleyton rebranded...confessions, and more

- Don't call it a comeback, Part II: 3-time Grand Slam champ Lindsay Davenport has entered the doubles draw at the Pilot Pen, the tournament preceding the US Open.

- The rebranding of Lleyton Hewitt continues with the addition of Coach Roche

- "Confessions of a Tennis Stage Mom"

- Bjorn Borg, the champion and now the brand

10. We have good ball control.
9. We can do it with two people or four.
8. We have good hands.
7. We grunt when the action heats up.
6. We know how to make a racket.
5. We can hit it from all angles.
4. We have the endurance to last 3 hours-straight!
3. We are good at giving and receiving.
2. We know just how to aim for the right spot.
1. We always start out with Love.

UPDATE: SMACKDOWN: Anastasia Rodionova gets defaulted from her match

(images courtesy of AP Photos)

Russian Anastasia Rodionova was defaulted from her 1st round match against Angelique Kerber of Germany at the Western & Southern Financial Group Women's Open. According to officials she smacked a ball towards fans that were rooting for Kerber in a display of frustration.

She is only the second player ever to be defaulted from a WTA main draw tournament. The first was Irina Spirlea, who was disqualified in 1996 at Palermo for directing abusive language at an official.

BONUS: Spirlea gained notoriety in another controversial tennis match involving a current Grand Slam champ and featuring unsportsmanlike conduct. Does anyone know what that match was? Tell us!

UPDATE 7/19/07: The Enquirer, a Cincinnati publication, reports a fan who was in the stands and involved in the verbal exchanges with Rodionova emailed the pub and said, "... We, like the rest of the people in the stands, were calling to the referee to warn her rather than have a defaulted match." She goes on to say, "At one point (Rodionova) approached us and asked, 'Do you want the ball? Come down here and play.' I responded, 'No, Thank you.' It was after loosing (sic) the 2nd set that she turned and slammed the tennis ball into the backstop below where we were sitting. I believe she had no intentions of hitting us but just wanted to scare us."

Rodionova has responded by saying, "That's wrong," she said. "I did not say that, and I did not try to hit anyone. I just let out my frustration."

She was fined $5,000 by the WTA Tour.

FASHION FIX: The latest styles of Andy Roddick

It seems cutie Andy "A-Rod" Roddick isn't one to miss a good party, either. After being sensationally ousted from Wimbledon by Frenchie Richard Gasquet in one of the marquee matches of the tournament, A-Rod followed the lead of Serena Williams and Maria "Shriek"apova and hit the LA party circuit. He stopped by The ESPYS last week and then joined Maria to bowl for charity at Matt Leinart's 1st annual Bowling With the Stars, sporting new threads along the way.

On-court A-Rod is always working French label Lacoste, his clothing sponsor, but off-court he goes effortlessly from casual to classy. Let's take a look...

(edit: A-Rod is holding up a t-shirt by a brand called Smet on the far left. Anyone have any info on them?)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

+ TUESDAY NETCORDS: Lindsay, Kim, Serena gets naked...Dmitry blogs, French kisses, and more

(image courtesy of bloodycanvas)

- Don't call it a comeback: Lindsay Davenport, 3-time Grand Slam champ and new mom, is considering a return to tennis.

- Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and the doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan have already claimed their spots in the Masters Cup in Shanghai.

- White wedding: Kim Clijsters has released her wedding photos (via women's tennis blog)

- Serena Williams gets naked for Jane (via Off the Baseline)

- WARNING: For the tennis obsessed only...

- Quirky Russian Dmitry Tursonov talks blogging, Babs, and walnuts (bonus: check out his myspace "fan page")

- OFF TOPIC PHOTO ALERT: The French do it better (image via

FASHION FIX: Rafael Nadal feeling nostalgic, sports vintage Nike tee

Rafael "Rafa" Nadal is gearing up for his assault on the North American hardcourts. The Spanish World No. 2 took a much needed vacation after his determined return to the Wimbledon men's final, pushing Roger Federer to his first 5-set Grand Slam final battle ever.

Here's Rafa signing autographs for fans at this week's Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart, Germany. We're LOVING the vintage inspired Nike t-shirt (circa 1980's) - very cool.

(images courtesy of AP Photos)

FASHION FIX: Serena Williams at the Louis Vuitton & Details party in LA

After her disappointing, injury-plagued exit from Wimbledon, Serena "ReRe" Williams followed Maria "Shriek"apova's lead and hit the Hollywood party scene.

First up were The ESPYS. Always one to "shock & awe" with her fashion (catsuit anyone?) ReRe hit the red carpet looking suprisingly, um, virginal. Next was the Louis Vuitton & Details magazine "Sunset on the Rooftop" party on July 12. The look: a simple, black and white floral printed frock, gold hoop earrings, and strappy black heels (pictured with R&B singer Robin Thicke.)

The jury is out on ReRe's latest fashion choices. Tell us what you think.

(images courtesy of

Monday, July 16, 2007

+ MONDAY NETCORDS: US Open Series, A-Rod, Maria the Indian icon...Britney Spears wants to play, and more

- US Open Series notes: USA Today asks, "Who's watching and what are the players saying about the Series?

- Andy Roddick is cute, but goofy - a sexy combo in our books.

- 3 out of 4: The Tennis Channel has nabbed Wimbledon, to go along with their Australian and French Open coverage, beginning next year.

- India "HEARTS" Maria: Not only do they dream of dressing the Russian fashionista, but Maria "Shriek"apova's story is required reading for Indian children now.

- Popular tennis journalist Joel Drucker gives his Top 10 most important people in tennis history

- Tennis fans worst nightmare: Britney says, "Isn't my tennis outfit cute, y'all?"

From pools to Peugeot: Ana Ivanovic's quest for global domination

Ana Ivanovic is in the "zone" and we don't mean just on the tennis court. After her inspired run to the final of the French Open and her march to the semifinals of Wimbledon, the Serbian beauty, and World No. 5, is in serious global demand.

As a prelude to the US Open Series, USA Today detailed Ana's triumphs this year, her well-documented "pool practices", and her chances at this year's Series (she was the '06 champ) and US Open. (Fun fact: her website received more hits last month than a certain Russian glamourpuss.)

And, according to her website, Ana today signed "what is believed to be the biggest ever endorsement deal for an athlete in Serbia." She will be the face of Peugeot through a 3-year deal with Verano Motors which distributes Peugeot in Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia (pictured top-right in her new Peugeot 207, compliments of Verano Motors.)

Let Ana-Mania begin!

(edit: in case you missed it, click here for the CNN World Sports segment featuring Ana)

(image courtesy of AP Photos)

Is there a softer side to Lleyton Hewitt?

Not to be outdone by former flame Kim Clijsters' pregnancy and recent early morning nuptials to American Brian Lynch, tennis hot-head Aussie Lleyton Hewitt has decided to publicize his "softer side." In a recent interview with Australian mag Women's Weekly (think Redbook), Hewitt talks about his life with actress Bec Cartwright, his wife, and 20-month old daughter Mia. He also tries to distance his on-court (belligerent?) personality from the man-at-home saying:

"I think I'm two different people — the tennis player and the person away from the court," says Lleyton. "Most of the time, when the public sees me, it's when I'm in a press conference. You can't be open about yourself in that situation and it's hard for people to see the real you."

Bec does her part as the supportive wife saying:
"Lleyton is such a great dad. You couldn't find a batter [sic] father, or one who loves their daughter as much. He is so hands-on with her. He comes home from training and, as he walks through the door, Mia runs to him, yelling 'Dad! Dad!' It's beautiful. And he's always making her laugh. He's the same as a husband. My phone calls are greeted with, 'And how's my beautiful wife?' It's wonderful to know that you're so loved."

These inside photos reveal a playful side to him.

C'mon! Lleyton Hewitt in pink?
Is this a PR play or is he just truly misunderstood??

(Images via Women's Weekly)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

THE LOW DOWN: Does Maria Sharapova have a new admirer?

The Down the Line! rumor mill is buzzing with the latest gossip surrounding tennis' current glamourpuss Russian World No. 2 Maria "Shriek"apova.

Maria has been keeping herself busy post-Wimbledon. For the 2007 ESPY's, she hit the party circuit in Hollywood, channeled Xena, the Warrior Princess on the red carpet, and took home 2 awards - Best International Female Athlete and Best Female Tennis Player. Finally, Maria attended Arizona Cardinals quarterback, and Hollywood playboy, Matt Leinart's 1st annual Bowling With the Stars charity event at Lucky Strike Lanes in Hollywood this weekend (pictured here with Maria.) Leinart has been linked with everyone from Britney Spears and Paris Hilton to actress Scarlett Johansson. He's also fathered a son, Cole, with USC women's basketball player Brynn Cameron.

Word is spreading that Leinart is targeting Maria as his latest conquest.

Watch out Maria - this guy definitely knows how to play the field.

(image courtesy of Wire Image)

FASHION FIX: The latest looks of Venus Williams

After battling for a 4th Wimbledon title last week, Venus "V" Williams took her place on the U.S. FED CUP team this weekend and showcased a new look for their semifinal brawl against mother Russia. Gone were the white short-shorts from her Wimbledon triumph. Reebok, her clothing sponsor, hooked her up with a classic tennis look in partial U.S. colors - white tank top and navy pleated skirt - to go along with her latest (au natural?) hairstyle.

V has always been known as a fashion enthusiast, but lately she's been switching styles faster than we can count. Let's take a look...

Do you like V's tennis fashion? Then check out her player page at Tennis Warehouse for her recent Reebok tennis styles.

(images courtesy of AP Photos)

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