Google Down the Line!: 2007-08-12

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Serena Williams plays it up for The New York Times

8-time Grand Slam champion Serena "ReRe" Williams recently pulled out of the Pilot Pen, the last warm-up before the US Open. Her chances of showing up at the year's final Grand Slam and making a run are, at this point, slim to none.

This news didn't stop The New York Times from profiling ReRe in their Sunday supplement, PLAY. The article is a familiar story: Serena the player, the part-time actress, the party-hopper, and champion. However, the images are beautiful.

"If you think of the tennis world, it's not that big," said ReRe. "There's the big picture, people dying overseas in the war, and people giving to charities, and people changing lives. . . . Tennis, in comparison, is not that big. And if you keep it in perspective, you can play even better. If I lose, you know what? I lose."

(images courtesy of NYT)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Jelena Jankovic guts out a tough schedule

World No. 3 Jelena Jankovic may finally be feeling the effects of her brutal 2007 schedule. She is playing at the Rogers Cups this week, her 21st tournament of the year (to compare, Justine Henin is playing her 10th tournament at the Rogers Cup.)

According to Jelena, "In the middle of the second set, I started to have pain in my stomach, like somebody put a knife in it," [...] "I can be honest. I think I am getting women's thing." The Serbian went on to say, "Obviously, I didn't expect to win this many matches, but I think I've done quite well and it's been a great year so far for me," [...] "I will play a lot less in the second half of the season. I don't want to play like I did in the first half, because it was too much and I don't think my body can hold up."

Ouch - sounds painful. We hope she learns from another notorious tennis overplayer - Kim Clijsters - whose overloaded schedules over the years most likely contributed to the injuries that curtailed her career.

The ATP's hairy situation hits epidemic proportions

The hairy situation on the ATP tour has now reached epidemic proportions. Latest offender: Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina.

Jonathan Antin, if you're reading this, please help...

(image via Peter Bodo's Tennisworld)

The ATP's hairy situation grows...

The hairy situation on the men's tennis tour continues with the latest offender: Aussie Lleyton Hewitt. Back when he was World No. 1 and winning Wimbledon, he sported the crop-top which was our fave look for him.

C'mon Lleyton, cut that shag!

HOT or NOT: Roger vs. Andy

We're never quite sure whether we think Roger Federer is hot or not. It usually all depends on the angle of the image. We think he looks best from the side...and shirtless isn't so bad either.

Andy Roddick, on the other hand, is most definitely hot.

HOT or NOT: Roger vs Andy. TELL US what you think!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

+ THURSDAY NETCORDS: Amelie, Ivan, Rafa answers...NYC needs courts, no love for US Open Series and more

(image courtesy of James Gilbody)

- Rafa news: Readers of TIME magazine ask Spain's Rafael Nadal 10 Questions - including one about the whole wedgey thing. Also, when media at the Cincinnati Masters ask the Spaniard about besting Roger Federer for World No. 1, he says, "I am not thinking about number one," [...] "I will play the two Masters Series in Madrid and Paris, and also in Bangkok, (but) I don't want to go to another place to try to be number one.”

- No surprise here: Frenchie Amelie Mauresmo pulls out of the US Open

- American Express will be offering, among many other benefits, personal TV's at the US Open which will enable fans to tune into multiple matches on different courts, watch CBS/USA Network coverage, view instant replays and access draws without leaving their seats

- No love: Bruce Jenkins of The San Francisco Chronicle, commenting about the US Open Series, said, "We're in the middle of what is known as the "U.S. Open Series," and the concept remains as pointless and off-putting as ever. Essentially, it means nothing and leads to nothing." The USTA, in response, says, "Ouch."

- New York tennis players, be damned: Though interest in tennis has increased in NYC, the availability of tennis courts is shrinking. Blame the "bowling alley" effect - courts require a lot of space, and the cost to operate them versus their potential revenues don't match. We New Yorkers blame greed and the overdevelopment that is pervading the entire city. Down with the man!

- Okay, not the prettiest picture of "Shriek"apova...

- Daily Racquet reports that legend Ivan Lendl is the new spokesperson for Trion:Z bracelets, which when worn counteract the positive ion build-up which leads to excess fatigue, heightened sensitivity to pain, and reduced focus and concentration. Our order is already in for the cute blue & yellow version...

FASHION FIX: Nike goes minimal in black + white

We have been very vocal about our dislike for adidas and the "color-by-numbers" tennis gear for their players this season. Here's something we can get into: Nike's black + white moment. While we do appreciate some color on the court, we'll take this classic look any day. This style sets the stage for the tours' lead-up to the bright lights, big city feel of New York and the US Open.

Roger Federer, Maria Sharapova, Daniela Hantuchova, and James Blake look chic and sophisticated in their stylish tennis fashion.

What's wrong with a little minimalism people? TELL US what you think...

FASHION FIX: Le Coq Sportif relaunching in the US

Breaking news: French sportswear label Le Coq Sportif is relaunching in the US. Under new ownership the label, famous for its iconic rooster logo and retro European tennis styles, will carry a small distribution in the States and focus primarily on fashion and sport (mostly tennis, of course.)

Tim McCool, CEO of Le Coq Sporitf, said "[...] who remembered us in the U.S.? We think they are 25- to 30-year-olds who play tennis. And who knows us in the U.S.? That's 20- to 30-year-olds who travel and know us from abroad. Together these higher income young men and women make up the pillar of our target in the U.S. market."

Here is a peak at the Twenties-inspired tennis dress from their latest collection.

For more on their tennis gear, check out Tennis Served Fresh.

(via WWD)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

ROUND ROBIN: Andy feels the pressure, Roger takes his time, Justine wants revenge

A-Rod still believes: With Novak Djokovic's extraordinary win and performance at last week's Rogers Cup, Andy Roddick was definitively bumped to No. 4 in the world. However, A-Rod believes the hardcourts of the US, where he's had his best results, will reward his big game. "I still feel like I have at least another Grand Slam title in me," said A-Rod. But, he also knows time is running out. "It's getting to the point where you want to make that happen sooner rather than later," said the American. "This is probably the first year where you reflect back and say it's gone by too fast," [...] "You have to re-evaluate at some point. And pushing toward another Slam is the prominent goal." (via Courier News Online)

To coach or not to coach: Roger Federer recently let go of Aussie legend Tony Roche as his coach (he now coaches fellow Aussie Lleyton Hewitt.) Though he's gone successfully without coaching before (2004 = 3 Grand Slams) he's taking the decision to bring on someone new very seriously. "Do I want a coach? If so, do I want a guy to pick up balls or someone to travel with me all the time?" asked the dominant Swiss. "I'm world number one and I don't want to take chances. Everything I decide has to be thought out. I have to take all of my decisions wisely and slowly." He is sure of one thing: the 2012 Olympics. "I admire the way that (Andre) Agasssi (sic) played through three tennis generations," [...] "I know I want to play the 2012 London Olympics, when I will almost 31." (via Yahoo! Eurosport UK)

Justine's hangover: Justine Henin is still caught up in her Wimbledon misery. Playing in this week's Rogers Cup, the World No. 1 says she wants vindication for that loss. "Wimbledon, it seems far away from me now, but it's true that I have also a feeling that I need a little bit of revenge from that," said Henin. "I could be very calm and understand what did happen. It's tough, you need a lot of humility." (via CBS Sportsline)

FASHION FIX: Svetlana Kuznetsova flirts with fashion

Sveta styles out: Down the Line! is thrilled, and a bit surprised we might add, to welcome Svetlana Kuznetsova into the flirty skirt crew (courtesy of her clothing sponsor, Fila.) We're loving the style and the color blocks on the back of the shirt.

A while back we voted Sveta the next best candidate for a makeover and we think this is a great start. Could a swan-lake dress be next?

VENUS WILLIAMS: A champion faces up to her challenges

After her disappointing loss at the Acura Classic to Russian Anna Chakvetadze, 6-time Grand Slam champ Venus "V" Williams has decided to lay low until the US Open starts. But V is the subject of a current Newsweek article which discusses her past achievements and current marks on the sport, including her much-publicized fight to get equal pay for the women of the WTA Tour. Here's what she had to say...

On her first Wimbledon experience:
"The first time I played at Wimbledon, I was so young and so sure I was going to win that I bought a ball dress to wear to the championship parties."

On her efforts to get equal pay for women at Wimbledon:
"I asked [the committee] to imagine their daughter out there," [...] "playing equally hard as men and not getting the same reward."

On why her parents believe change has been absent for African-American players on the tennis tours:
"Both of my parents are from the South, and that shapes the way they think about and see things'' [...] "I know what they and my ancestors experienced, so I get it. But it has been slightly different for my sister and I. We've had opportunities and breaks our parents never had."

On dating and marriage:
"I don't worry about it too much" [...] "As Beyoncé says, 'I could have another you in a minute'." [...] "I don't really spend a lot of time thinking about marriage and kids. I'm not a normal girl like that."

On the murder of her half-sister, Yetunde, in 2003:
"That took a lot out of all of us" [...] "I think the worst part was getting back to feeling safe after she died. For a long time after that I would call all my sisters daily to make sure they were OK."

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

+ TUESDAY NETCORDS: Roger, Anastasia, the Grafassi's on HBO...Althea Gibson honored and more

(image courtesy of imagine24)

- A champion's tribute: Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Aretha Franklin, Carol Moseley Braun, and other African-American women who broke barriers will be on hand at this year's US Open to honor Althea Gibson's 50th anniversary win at the Grand Slam.

- Michael Chang, who won the French Open at 17, is reportedly opening a tennis academy in the Chinese city of Shenzhen

- Mag bag: Bruno Danto, former editor in chief of Vogue Hommes International, is launching a US version of Sport & Style, a lifestyle magazine looking at the relationship between fashion and sports. French newspaper L’Équipe currently distributes a European version in France, Dubai, and select markets in China.

- Before the stunning results of the men's Rogers Cup this past weekend, Roger Federer told reporters, "It's very hard for one player to beat [Rafael Nadal and me consecutively]," [...] "I don't think it has ever happened. If he's not playing well, I am, or vice versa." I guess the Djoker wasn't listening...

- Grafassi update: The Grafassi's, Steffi & Andre, will be interviewed by Mary Carillo in a segment on HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel on August 14. BONUS: Tennis Served Fresh has a peak at their much anticipated ad campaign for Louis Vuitton.

- Anastasia Myskina, Russia's first ever Grand Slam champion, will appear in a Russian reality series called “Stars on Ice,” a skating competition that partners celebrities with professional figure skaters and pits the pairs against one another.

ROUND ROBIN: Anna K. designs new line, Jelena thinks back, and Elena scares people

Anna expands: Original Russian glamourpuss Anna Kournikova isn't playing much tennis these days (aside from some exhibition matches here and there) but that doesn't mean she's just sitting pretty. The former Wimbledon semifinalist is partnering with sponsor K-Swiss on a new clothing line for 2008. "It will be tennis, workout stuff, yoga stuff," said Anna. "It will basically be stuff that you can be in the gym in and then go to a coffee shop in. It is a lifestyle line and stuff. So you can mix and match it. It will all be together and hopefully it will be cool." We hope so too, Anna...we'll be watching. (via Tennis Week)

Jelena speaks up: Not to be outdone by the Serbian dynamic duo, fellow Serb Jelena Jankovic, appearing as defending champion at this week's Roger's Cup, takes her turn talking to the media about her experiences growing up. Though she attended The Bollittieri Academy during the bombings in 1999, her family was still living in the former Yugoslavia. "I escaped the bombing raids, but my whole family was in Belgrade," said the World No. 3. "I was worried sick, hoping no harm would come to them." About her loss to eventual champion Ana Ivanovic at last week's East West Bank Classic, Jelena said, "I wasn't moving well even in the early rounds. I had a cold and spent some time in bed, which weakened my body. In the semi-final against Ana my legs wouldn't carry me properly. I just couldn't play well." Sour grapes or reality check? (via SLAM! Sports)

Japan plays favorites: Guess who's the second most recognized and popular tennis player in Japan (I guess the photos above are a giveaway, huh?) Believe it or not, Russian Elena Dementieva, and not for the obvious reasons (first is, of course, Federer.) A Japanese reporter gave her the low-down in a press conference this week.

Reporter: "The problem with the Japanese people is that they're intimidated by people like you. How can you suggest people from Japan might be less scared of you?"
ED: "Oh really, they're scared of me? Why, because I'm too tall?"

Reporter: "Because you're taller, you're tough and you're so beautiful."
ED: "I don't know what to say," [...] "I'm not that scary."

We have an idea. How about distracting them with some good serving, Elena? (via

(images courtesy of AP Photos)

SIGHTING: Roger Federer has another vintage Nike moment, our obsession grows

Check it: Our obsession with vintage Nike fashion is out of control. We first spotted Spain's Rafael Nadal at the Mercedes Cup this summer rocking an 80's-inspired Nike t-shirt and we were hooked. After discovering more t-shirts recently we came upon our newest find: World No. 1 Roger Federer, fresh off his defeat to Serb Novak Djokovic at The Rogers Cup, practicing at this week's Cincinnati Masters tournament in another great vintage Nike tee.

We became inspired to search for more information on Nike's vintage moment and stumbled upon this brilliant site: Nike Vintage Running.

The site features all things vintage including their 2007 vintage running collection, downloads, iron ons, campy imagery, and more.

Tennis Served Fresh opened the debate recently on this style.

Is this a BIG HIT or BAD MISS for Nike? Tell us...

(images courtesy of Nike Vintage Running)

Monday, August 13, 2007

Maria Sharapova is Shape magazine's new cover girl

Russia's tennis superstar Maria "Shriek"apova endured another injury this weekend, this time to her shin, and had to default from her match at the East West Bank Classic against countrywoman Nadia Petrova. Already dealing with a bum shoulder, Maria is hoping this one is nothing serious especially with the defense of her US Open title right around the corner.

Here's the World No. 2 looking fit and healthy as the cover girl for SHAPE magazine's September issue.

+ MONDAY NETCORDS: Daniela, Radek leaves Martina, Bjorn on Novak...Player progress report, Gwyneth Paltrow in W and more

(image courtesy of lynn.berenbaum)

- Heartbreak hotel: Czech Radek Stepanek calls off his engagement to Swiss star Martina Hingis and no reason has been given. Isn't the not knowing the worst part?

- The heir apparent: Ted Robinson says to Novak Djokovic: "This is your NOW." And Bjorn Borg believes the Djoker has Grand Slam written all over him.

- Pro tennis players are giving advice on how to stay healthy on and off the courts. Daniela Hantuchova says, "I think taking just as much time for regeneration as you do for practice, is the key to being healthy all the time," [...] "Most of it comes down to staying positive and being at balance with yourself - I think that can really help to prevent a lot of injuries."

- The much beloved, yet much maligned (read: Federer), Hawk-Eye line calling system will make its FED CUP debut in the upcoming final between mother Russia and defending champions Italy

- Progress report: Yahoo! Eurosport grades the players on their summer so far and, no surprise, the Serbians are head of the class

- Doing nothing to dispell the image of the pampered pro-athlete, the ladies of the WTA Tour will be receiving Caribbean hand and foot treatments, seaweed masques, facial cleansing, and more at The Rogers Cup this week, all courtesy of Aveda

- Scoring Serena: Here's a peak inside the player wheeling-and-dealing that goes on behind the scenes to get top players at tournaments

- Even World No. 1's have bad luck

- OFF TOPIC ALERT: Gwyneth is W magazine (images courtesy of

ROGER FEDERER: Reigning with grace and integrity

World No. 1 Roger Federer's tennis life is getting a little bit more complicated. This weekend, the Swiss stylist lost an absorbing 3-setter to Serb Novak Djokovic at The Rogers Cup and, with Rafael Nadal nipping at his heels, the king's reign is being threatened.

But always gracious in defeat, Fed called the Djoker's win a "breakthrough" and suspected the Serb may be challenging for Grand Slams soon.

This weekend, The New York Times published a profile on Fed which positioned him as the anti-sports celebrity, most notably because of his trademark affable, understated manner. The World No. 1 had some things to say about his popularity in the U.S., being a role model, and his theory on iPods:

On gaining popularity in the U.S.:
In some ways, yes, what I’m looking for is definitely recognition in the States,” [...]“I hope they appreciate my achievements and results, but I don’t want to force it on the public because that is always up to them to decide.

On being a role model with authenticity:
I take being a role model seriously,” [...] “So I hope I can fit that spot that is maybe missing at the moment. I don’t know.

On his theory about iPods:
I think they’re a great creation, but if you put them in,” [...] “you can’t speak to anyone. You’re isolating yourself, and I don’t like that.

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