Google Down the Line!: 2007-09-09

Saturday, September 15, 2007

SIGHTING: Maria Sharapova and the Moscow media frenzy

Maria "Shriek"apova created a media storm during a visit to a Nike shop in Moscow this week. The World No. 4 was in town to practice with and support the Russian FED CUP team in the final against defending champion Italy.

The glamour girl took time out during her visit to the Russian capital to speak with fans and media at the shop.

(images via AP Photo, Getty Images)

Friday, September 14, 2007

+ FRIDAY NETCORDS: Roger, Dmitry, Marat, the fighting Hewitts...2008 Olympics news, David Beckham undresses and more

(image via smwarnke4)

- 2008 Olympics update: The surface for the '08 Olympics has been chosen - DecoTurf - which is the same surface used at the US Open. We know one player who is probably very happy about this decision: US Open champion Roger Federer who, surprisingly enough, has yet to sport the gold medal.

- Go vintage Borg in this reissued Matchday Jacket by Fila

- Meet DJ Dmi: Apparently Dmitry Tursonov can spin more than a tennis ball. The eccentric Russian is also a DJ and has posted his own mixes on his website. Check them out here!

- Should the tennis schedule revolve around having a "season" similar to baseball, football, (soccer for our US readers)? ponders this question.

- Ain't no mountain high enough: Marat Safin is putting his tennis aside for another challenge. The 2-time Grand Slam winner is part of a Russian expedition team scheduled to climb Cho Oyu, the 8,201-meter (26,906 ft) mountain on the Nepal-Tibet border.

- We'll be sad to see you go, Guga, if you decide to hang up the rackets...

- The Hewitts are fighting: Never a dull moment in the Hewitt household, is there? The famous Aussie couple are being accused by Channel 7 program, Today Tonight, about failing to fulfill their commitment to building an orphanage in Cambodia.

- Are you suffering from having excess balls? Here are 17 innovate things you can do with the balls you've used and abused.

- Jon Wertheim is certainly making a name for himself. Not only does he cover tennis in-depth, the Sports Illustrated writer is interviewed here about his book on pool entitled "Running the Table".

- Mind over matter: Peter Bodo delves into the mind of Roger Federer to explore his uncanny ability to focus so intensely in the moment...very interesting.

- OFF TOPIC ALERT: Becks releases 2008 calendar, undresses for you

Racing star Danica Patrick reacts to Kournikova comparisons

What do pro racing star Danica Patrick and tennis' Anna Kournikova have in common? 0 titles, but oodles of sex appeal (though you wouldn't know it from our latest Anna sighting...)

Do the comparisons to the Russian superstar bother the racing queen? "There are a lot worse people you could be compared to,'' said Danica. "She was a pretty darned good tennis player and obviously a very pretty girl. She was ranked in the top 10 in the world, and she won Grand Slam doubles titles. I feel badly for Anna because other people set the rules and expectations for her. It's sad that her (sex appeal) overshadowed her career. But she still was very successful financially. And why shouldn't she have made the best of that?"

We second that emotion, Dani...

THE LOW DOWN: Anna Wintour hearts Federer big time, becomes his personal stylist

Vogue fashionatrix Anna Wintour's obsession with Roger Federer continues to astound. Wonder how the World No. 1 stays looking so fashionably styled? According to gossip monger Page Six, Anna has become Fed's personal stylist. "Anna sends stuff to Federer with little notes that say 'This would look great on you,' " according to an insider. A Vogue rep pushed back saying, "Vogue certainly helps a number of people with fashion, but Roger's style is all his own."

However, New York magazine had a different take. Daily Intelligencer had this to say about the Men's Vogue cover shoot featuring the stylish Swiss: "Wintour draped Federer in over $4,000 worth of Prada, $2,500 worth of Gucci, $1,500 worth of Dolce & Gabbana and Michael Kors, and $2,500 worth of Dior Homme. Since much of that shoot took place at sea or on the beach, it wouldn't be outrageous if some of the clothes didn't get returned to the designers."

Having worked in the fashion business we know how beautiful, expensive things tend to "disappear." We guess it always helps to have a fashion cougar in your back pocket. But what we want to know is: what does Mirka, Fed's longtime girlfriend, think of all this attention?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The FED CUP Chronicles: Maria Sharapova joins Russian FED CUP team for final

We've been chronicling the continuing drama of this year's FED CUP and here we have the latest installment: tennis glamour girl Maria "Shriek"apova moved past her New York nightlife and made her FED CUP debut...well, sort of. Reports have been that Maria would be sitting a hitting partner for the team and sitting courtside only.

However, the World No. 4 was invited by coach Shamil Tarpishchev to play in the final but she declined due to her nagging shoulder injury.

"It's great, " said Maria. "It's the first time I am playing tennis as part of a team."

SIGHTING: Boris Becker brushes up on golf game

Tennis champion Boris Becker broke away from gorgeous girlfriend Sharlely Kersenberg long enough to participate in the pro - am of The Mercedes-Benz Championship at The Gut Larchenhof Golf Club in Pulheim, near Cologne, Germany.

We can't tell from these photos how Boris' golf game is these days, but his fashion game is out of control. We much prefer the "dapper" Boris from The Laureus Charity Gala this past summer.

Juan Carlos Ferrero talks hotels and interior design

The new digital version of Deuce magazine just launched it's first run of editorials. One of the features from this premiere issue is a profile of Spain's Juan Carlos Ferrero and his lastest investment, a high-end boutique hotel aptly named Hotel Ferrero. Located in the Valencia municipal of Bocairente, the former French Open champion bought the land four years ago after visiting his coach Antonio Martinez in the summer. Here's some of what J.C. had to say:

On the inspiration behind opening the hotel:

“My coach and I were thinking of doing something important after tennis so we started to think about hotels [...] We wanted something close to the [Juan Carlos Ferrero] academy. We looked for a long time and finally found an old house about 15 minutes away from the academy. It was perfect."

On the interior design for the hotel:

“It was impossible to use my experiences of staying in a lot of hotels during my tennis career,” [...] “It is a small hotel, but there were thousands of things to decorate. I decided on some things of course… little things!”

On his life after tennnis:

“I think the career of a tennis player is very short and of course we have to think in the future,” he wisely commented. “I don’t know what is next. My tournament in Valencia is very important to me – that is where I was born – and is also one of the important businesses I want to develop in the future. [...] We are thinking of new projects, new business. Just thinking. Maybe we’ll plan for a big gym in Valencia, but we’ll see.”

(images via Deuce)

Ana Ivanovic is TENNIS magazine's new cover girl

Speaking of TENNIS magazine's covers, Serbia's Ana Ivanovic will be the face on the mag's newest issue, continuing her Global Domination Tour. Here's an excerpt from the article written by Peter Bodo:

"When Ivanovic was a youngster, the Belgrade athletic club where she trained and played sports could not afford to heat its Olympic-size swimming pool in the winter. Club officials decided to have it drained and lay down carpet, and that’s where Ivanovic got her first taste of indoor tennis. Practicing there made her game lethal because the walls of the pool were just 18 inches from the sidelines of the court. Down-the-line, often the most difficult shot to hit, was the only way to go."

Did Bodo just give Down the Line! a shout-out? Probably not...but we'll take it!


SIGHTING: Serena Williams checks out Tommy Hilfiger's Spring 2008 collection

Fashion fiend: Serena "ReRe" Williams continued her fashion-hopping ways this week. After getting front row duties at Zac Posen's show, the former tennis World No. 1 checked out Tommy Hilfiger's Spring 2008 collection. This time around, ReRe went the casual route, opting for a khaki cotton trench coat, chocolate brown scoop neck tee, and jeans. The hair, one of our favorite styles on ReRe, was still working as well.

THE LOW DOWN: TENNIS magazine plays gay

One of our fave gay media blogs, Queerty, found an eerie similarity between TENNIS magazine's latest cover look and gay mag The Advocate's 40th anniversary issue redesign. Have queer people finally infiltrated the corporate tennis ranks? Duh, of course...we're everywhere!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

THE LOW DOWN: Arthur Ashe movie in the works, to star Nick Cannon

A new biopic about the life of tennis legend Arthur Ashe looks to finally be on track. Will Smith will be producing the film with relative unknown Nick Cannon grabbing the leading role of the tennis pioneer.

Not familiar with Nick? We weren't either, so we looked up his past roles and the only movie titles that stood out to us were Bobby and Men in Black II - not exactly Oscar winners. Here's to hoping Mr. Cannon does this role justice...because that's what it deserves. (via supernegro)

SIGHTING: Anna Kournikova looking healthy, dressing badly

We reported a few weeks back about former tennis glamourpuss Anna Kournikova and her rumored struggles with an eating disorder. However, based on these recent shots of the Russian in Miami Beach, she's looking healthy to us. What we can't get over is her styling - head to toe. What's up with the platformy leopard-print heels, red shapeless babydoll dress, and lifeless hair? She used to bring IT to the tennis court but apparently those days were long ago.

She may want to get herself back in gear, though. According to cutie boyfriend Enrique Iglesias, "I'm as comfortable with women as I am with men. Of my closest friends, three are men and two are women. I learned a lot about women from my mother and my nanny, but I don't think you really get to know what makes women tick until you have a romantic relationship." Beware the wandering eye, Anna... (via Hollywood Rag)

Sania Mirza on hand to unveil trophy for Sunfeast Open

India's Sania Mirza was on hand to unveil the Oil on Canvas painting and trophy for the upcoming Sunfeast Open taking place in Kolkata from September 17th - 23rd. The rising tennis star was joined during the presentation by Indian actor Shah Rukh Khan.

Slender Slovak Daniela Hantuchova is the No. 1 seed for the tournament while Sania takes the third seed.

SIGHTING: Serena Williams takes in Fashion Week, visits Zac Posen

Fashion fan: Roger Federer and Maria "Shriek"apova weren't the only tennis heads who stuck around New York to catch Fashion Week. Serena "ReRe" Williams, who took time out to visit Times Square, was a special guest at Zac Posen's Spring 2008 show. She took her place in the front row next to Ingrid Sichy and Sandy Brant, Editor in Chief and Publisher of Interview magazine, respectively.

We think ReRe looks great in this shimmery navy tank-dress by Zac Posen. But she's definitely not carrying a baby bump here. I guess the rumor was just that...a rumor. Or is it? (via Bossip)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

+ TUESDAY NETCORDS: Roger, Rafa, Reebok recycles...Mark plans return, Davis Cup and more

(image courtesy of Green Putty in My Armpit)

- Reebok recycles: Reebok has taken old tennis balls and made special edition pump sneakers out of them. We like this idea, though we wouldn't be caught dead wearing them. We're reminded, though, of the way women sell their hair to make wigs...we get it!

- We were sad to see Rafael Nadal leave the US Open so early, but was it his opponent or is his schedule to blame?

- World No. 1 Roger Federer will be playing Davis Cup at the end of this month against the Czech Republic. And, the media lovefest continues for the future G.O.A.T. - though some aren't ready to give him that just yet.

- You cannot be serious: Aussie reality TV personality Mark Philippoussis is still targeting a return to the pro tennis circuit. Estimated time of arrival: January 2008, Australian Open.

- "Tennis is NOT dead!" announces The New Republic. Wow, it's good to be in the know...

- We love lists, especially from SI's Jon Wertheim.

- Keeping up with the times: Deuce magazine, the ATP's official pub, finally goes digital on a quarterly basis and will cover the personalities and lifestyles of the ATP players. WAIT - isn't that our job?

FASHION FIX: adidas goes global with Stan Smiths City Series

Gettin' your kicks: adidas' ever popular Stan Smiths have become the latest template for their City Series. The sneakers showcase iconic imagery for the cities they represent including Las Vegas, NV; Brussels, Belgium; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Seville, Spain.

We'd be more likely to wear these sneaks than their recent attempts at tennis on-court fashion.

(via conope)

SIGHTING: Jake Gyllenhaal takes in US Open men's final

We somehow missed hottie Jake Gyllenhaal checking out the US Open action this past weekend. And, the Oscar-nominated actor wasn't alone: he was sporting cute arm candy in the form of longtime friend Chris Fischer, a sous chef at popular NYC eaterie Babbo.

Though we'd like to think our usual thoughts about Jake ("he IS gay!") we don't think this is the proof in the puddin'...*sigh*

(via Towleroad)

She's back: Lindsay Davenport wins in return to singles competition

Tennis' most famous mom is back. 3-time Grand Slam champion Lindsay Davenport made her official return to singles competition at the Bali Open this week. After a total of 51 weeks away, the former No. 1 posted an impressive 6-2, 6-2 victory over fifth-seeded Eleni Daniilidou.

"It did exceed my expectations," Davenport said. "I know that I can play good tennis, and I know that if I stay healthy and play well, I can do well."

Now that's what we call a comeback (are you listening Britney?)

THE LOW DOWN: Maria and Novak hang out, romance rumors grow

Budding romance: Major New York gossip mongers Page Six and Rush & Molly have both reported today on the growing romance between Maria "Shriek"apova and Novak Djokovic. Though the sexy Serb was quoted as saying they were "just friends" after Maria was spotted in his player's box at the US Open final, the two were seen getting cozy and hitting the town together later that evening.

Page Six is reporting that the two tennis hotties showed up together at Wakiya in the Gramercy Park Hotel after the US Open final, though they mostly missed the opening night party. Afterwards, according to both rags, the couple headed to to Unik's karaoke party at Downtown Cipriani, site of the recent Legends Ball. The song the couple chose to perform together? "Love Is in the Air."

Hmmm - I guess coming in second place wasn't so bad for Nole...

(images courtesy of AP Photo, Viewimages)

Monday, September 10, 2007

SIGHTING: More of Roger Federer and the media merry-go-round

Media frenzy: World No. 1 Roger Federer created quite a stir in New York City today. After stopping in Times Square for a photo-op and some questions from the press, the US Open champion hit the morning show circuit. The Swiss stylist made stops at the Live with Regis & Kelly and the Today Show.

Fed topped off the day by catching Oscar De La Renta's Spring 2008 fashion show with girlfriend Mirka Vavrinec and Anna Wintour, Vogue fashionatrix and obsessesed Federer fan.

The China Open begins, Ivan Ljubicic and wife enjoy festivites

While the US Open was winding down this weekend, the China Open was gearing up for some tennis action. The Chinese went all out to celebrate the start of the tournament, with dancers working tennis rackets as props and giant-size blow ups of some of our favorite players.

Croatia's Ivan Ljubicic and his wife, Aida, hold candles before making wishes and releasing them onto the water during a boat cruise at Shishahai Lake in Beijing, China. Ivan is the No. 3 seed at the tournament.

SIGHTINGS: Andy, Maria, and Serena take on New York

Man vs. Machine: New York gossip monger Page Six is reporting some tennis sightings in the city recently. In today's edition Andy Roddick, speaking to a fan at the one-year anniversary of Tenjune, said "At least if you are going to lose, lose to a robot" in reference to his loss to Roger Federer in the US Open quarterfinals.

I guess you'd have to come up with some excuse for losing to someone 14 times out of 15 matches...ouch.

Also, Maria "Shriek"apova was spotted throwing down some cocktails at Whiskey Blue, and Serena Williams checked out the Ripley's Believe it or Not! Times Square Odditorium. No mention if she was sporting the rumored baby bump on the visit...

SIGHTING: Roger Federer visits Times Square, talks to media

US Open champion Roger Federer began the media merry-go-round today after winning his 12th Grand Slam title, only 2 behind Pete Sampras' record 14 major titles. Here is the dominant Swiss talking and posing for reporters at the "Crossroads of the World" known as Times Square, NYC.

(images via AP Photo)

FASHION FIX: Maria Sharapova checks out Fashion Week, works Peter Som

Maria "Shriek"apova, who lost early at this year's US Open, not only stayed in town to support "friend" Novak Djokovic during yesterday's men's final. The fashion fiend is also hitting Fashion Week in NYC and was spotted sitting in the front row of Peter Som's fashion show. Clearly, the Russian is a big fan of the designer having sported his duds at a pre-US Open event to benefit The Maria Sharapova Foundation.

We think she looks amazing in this chiffon graphic print dress from his Fall 2007 collection.

(via GettyImages,

Andre Agassi becomes Ambassador of Elegance for Longines

Tennis' favorite philanthropist Andre Agassi, honored with the Eugene L. Scott Award at this past weekend's Legends Ball, is the new ambassador for Longines, a high-end Swiss watch company. Andre will be the "worldwide Ambassador of Elegance" for the watch company; the watch maker will provide support to The Andre Agassi Foundation, beginning at the Grand Slam for Children gala in Las Vegas this October, and will continue throughout the coming year.

Longines' contributions will also include the creation of special limited-edition sport timepieces to benefit The Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation.

(via MarketingDaily)


Total sacrilege: Separated at birth or is Liza Minelli doing her best "Darth Federer" impression, headband and all? (images courtesy of AP Photo)

Novak Djokovic loses final, wins "Most Intriguing Player's Box" Award

Novak Djokovic may have lost the US Open final to 4-time champion Roger Federer, but he definitely won the Down the Line! award for "Most Intriguing Player's Box." Firstly, most of his supporters were supporting the red, white, and blue adidas shirt he's been sporting the entire tournament (also the colors of Serbia.) Cute. Secondly, his famous guests included Russian glamourpuss Maria "Shriek"apova - working the current Ray-Ban sunglass hipster trend - and legendary actor Robert De Niro.

Here's what Nole had to say about his special guests:

Q. Maria Sharapova was in your box and also Robert De Niro. What are those two relationships with you? Somebody had to ask.
A: Yeah, I was expecting that question on the first place (laughter).
No, let's not go too much with Maria. It's just a friendship we have. It was nice from her to come and support me. As well, Robert, he was yesterday on the match, and today.
I mean, it's amazing feeling to see such a successful people, you know, in my box supporting me, playing with me I can say, living every emotional moment. It's great. It's great

Q. What does she think of your imitation?
A: She said she's going to kill me. Of course, she accepted it on the right way. Of course, she found it funny, not offended.

Q. How did you meet Robert De Niro? Did he just show up in your box?
A: I met him randomly on the street. I was sitting in a bar. He was coming, smoking a cigarette (smiling). No, no.
We were invited ‑‑ I went with a couple of players, Ana Ivanovic, we got invited from he and his wife to come to the dinner. It was really nice. He owns the Japanese restaurant, so we went there for dinner. We met. We talked.
As well, his wife is a very big fan of tennis. She's a great woman. He's, you know, a great person. I'm really happy that they showed up and supported me.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Andre Agassi honored with Eugene L. Scott Award at Legends Ball

Andre Agassi was given the Eugene L. Scott Award during last night's Legends Ball held at Cipriani in New York City. Looking dapper in his all-black suit, the legendary Agassi was presented the award for embodying Scott’s commitment to communicating honestly and critically about the game, and significantly impacting the tennis world. Scott founded Tennis Week magazine and wrote the most widely read and well-respected column about the sport, “Vantage Point.” Last year, John McEnroe received the inaugural award.

Other tennis luminaries in attendance: Stan Smith and Guillermo Vilas

Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, Pam Shriver, and Jim Courier

(images via Getty Images and

PREVIEW: US Open Men's Final

Roger Federer vs. Novak Djokovic
Head-to-head: Federer 4, Djokovic 1
Last meeting: Montreal Masters Series, Djokovic 7-6(2) 2-6 7-6(2)

Here we have what will hopefully become a great rivalry between a living legend and dynamic up-and-comer. No. 1 seed Roger Federer will be going for his 12th Grand Slam title in 5 years (and tying Roy Emerson on the all-time Grand Slam title list) when he takes on rising star and No. 3 seed Novak Djokovic for the US Open title. Fed battled a very game Nikolay Davydenko but came out with a 7-5, 6-1, 7-5 semifinal victory. Nole finally got his explosive game on track and defeated Spaniard David Ferrer easily 6-4, 6-4, 6-3. The last time these two players met was last month at the Montreal Masters Series where the sexy Serb shocked the tennis world by defeating the No. 1, No. 2, and No. 3 players in the world in succession.

Here's what Fed had to say about Nole:

"Well, I mean, he's been now playing the tour for one and a half years. I mean, the players know him. I've played him already five times, so it's not like it's totally new, you know, for all of us. But, yeah, I mean, he's done an incredible job, because I remember the first time I played him in Monaco. I beat him in three sets. Everybody was wondering, What do you think? I was like, Not crazy impressed. But he's had a great run and he's really improved his game. Yeah, I mean, he's done a great job the last six months or one year now."

Nole had this to say about playing Fed:

"Well, a lot of people ask me what it takes to win against him. But I think one of the crucial things is you got to be mentally very steady and very consistent and you just have to believe in yourself and believe in the victory. Now everything else is a matter of, of course, mental condition, physical condition. You have to be a hundred percent ready physically to challenge him, especially if you play him in the finals of any tournament and a Grand Slam where he performs his best tennis. But, you know, I'm gonna try, if I play him, to be myself, be aggressive, try to be in the control of the match, which is going to be difficult, and just believe in the victory."

Nole was brilliant, focused, and confident in Montreal and he'll need to be all that and more to defeat the legendary Swiss in a Grand Slam final. Matt Cronin for says look out for a battle, but he gives the edge and a 12th Grand Slam to Fed, but Bud Collins for is giving Nole the title. We're picking Nole - if for nothing else but to see him celebrate a first Grand Slam by taking it ALL off!

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