Google Down the Line!: 2007-09-16

Friday, September 21, 2007

Letter to our readers: we're taking a vacation!

Hello readers,

Down the Line! is taking a much needed vacation from life for the next week. We are traveling to Tuscany, Italy for some good ol' R & R but will return on Monday, October 1st with more fun, irreverent coverage from the world we love - TENNIS.

Have a great week!!!


SIGHTING: Rafael Nadal takes in Eurobasket, cheers for Spanish basketball team

Thanks to our reader Maxwell for sending us these great pics of sexy Rafael Nadal watching the Spanish basketball team compete and win in the semifinals of Eurobasket, the European basketball championships in Madrid. Unfortunately they lost to Russia in the finals the next day - boo!

We agree with Maxwell - we think Rafa looks hot in his black military-style button down shirt and jeans.

One other question: who's the cutie in the white shirt sitting to Rafa's left in the very top picture? Hmmm....

(images via Polfoto,

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Lindsay Davenport talks tennis, working motherhood, and Kim Clijsters

We've been covering the very successful return of Lindsay Davenport to the WTA Tour. She's competing this week at the China Open and has reached the quarterfinals with a win over Greece's Eleni Daniilidou, 7-5, 6-3. In a recent interview, the former World No. 1 spoke about being a working mom, getting the balance right, and her thoughts on another mom-to-be, the now-retired Kim Clijsters:

On being a working mom:

"It's been really fun to do both, " [...] "At the beginning when I would leave and go and play tennis for a couple of hours I would have all this guilt" [...] "But I've learned that it's probably been good for both of us." [...] I feel like my life on the road is more fulfilled now I have my son with me" [...] "Once the tennis is over all my attention is on him and I think that helps me focus on the court."

On the challenges of coming back:
"Just physically, your body is really different after giving birth and I'm definitely not back to where I was before," [...] "It will probably take a few months ... I'm definitely not the fastest player out there so I have to rely on my anticipation."

On Kim Clijsters:

"[...] I just have to talk Kim (Clijsters) into coming back," [...] "I don't think she has any plans to do it but we'll try."

On her goals for tennis:

"It's been a wildly successful trip for me whatever happens here," [...] "For me it's just about the challenge of trying to get back to the top, of trying to win tournaments and being a force on the tour again."

(source, images via AP Photo)

Maria Kirilenko trades out adidas for a sari at the Sunfeast Open

Taking a page out of Daniela Hantuchova's fashion book, Russia's Maria Kirilenko traded out her Stella McCartney for adidas and threw on a sari for a press conference at the Sunfeast Open. Maria is the No. 4 seed at the tournament and moved into the semifinals with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Ekaterina Ivanova.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

PHOTO OP: Martina Hingis says goodbye to China Open

Which one of these kids is doing her own thing? Swiss Miss Martina Hingis has a game all her own and looks to be the odd man out at this event for the China Open. Unfortunately, Marty lost to homegirl Peng Shuai 7-5, 6-1 the next day in only her second match of the tournament. It's as if she knew she would be going home - say "bye-bye" Marty...and don't look so happy Amelie!


SIGHTING: Elena Dementieva arrives for China Open, looks to resurrect game

Former top 10 player Elena Dementieva arrived in Beijing alongside mom and coach (not to mention baggage handler) Vera for the China Open. The Russian with the incredible groundies but sketchy serve is the No. 4 seed this week and hopes to get on track this fall. Elena is now sitting at No. 15 in the world after a rough summer - she lost in the 3rd round at both Wimbledon and the US Open.

Her first match is a very tricky one - she plays up-n-coming slugger Tamira Paszek, a 16 year old from Austria, who defeated Elena in their first and only meeting at Wimbledon this past summer.


Ana Ivanovic featured in Serbia's Story Magazine, continues Global Domination Tour (sort of)

I suppose this media placement for Ana Ivanovic wouldn't technically fall under her Global Domination Tour since it's from a Serbian rag and she's quite the star there already. In any case, the World No. 6 was was the subject of a Q & A by Serbia's Story Magazine.

Some of the choice - and strangely interesting - questions and answers from the interview:

Q: Do you wish to fall in love?
A: No, I am sure that falling in love is something you cannot plan, it comes naturally, most often when you least expect it.

Q: What does the term “love” mean to you?
A: There are different kinds of love, but they all have one thing in common that involves understanding, respect and unreserved support for each other.

Q: Is that what life is all about, for you?
A: That is a philosophical question, but for me life makes sense if a person uses it to expand their knowledge, capabilities, discover new things and shares it all with the people they are close to.

Q: How do you react to male suitors?
A: I remember that one time, at the airport in Bali, a guy came to me and said that he followed my matches. He added that he liked the way I played tennis, and that we would meet each other some day and then I would definitely marry him! It really surprised me, I replied to him shortly and left. Later on, it turned out that he was on the same plane with me. A couple hours into the flight, the stewardess brought me an unsigned letter. The unknown guy presented himself nicely in that letter and apologised for the way he came to me, and for the words he shocked me with!

Daniela Hantuchova at the Sunfeast Open, works sari at press conference

World No. 11 Daniela Hantuchova spoke to the press this week at the Sunfeast Open. The slender Slovak is the No. 2 seed at this event and looks stunning in this sari.

Dani has launched her fall campaign in great fashion, reaching the final of last week's Bali Open but losing to mom-of-the-moment Lindsay Davenport in 3 sets.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Terracotta army invades Masters Cup, first look at Warrior Federer

The ATP has commissioned life-size Terracotta Warrior statues to made of the top 8 players to reach the Masters Cup in Shanghai, China at the end of the (tennis) year.

French sculptor Laury Dizengremel is creating these statues in China and they will be unveiled as a group at an event for the Masters Cup, which begins November 11.

Some interesting background on the statues:

The Terracotta Warriors are symbolic of China’s history and internationally recognized around the world. The Terracotta Army were originally created to be buried with the Emperor of Qin in 210-209 BC and it is believed to have taken some 700,000 workers and craftsmen 38 years to complete. The Army was only rediscovered in 1974 and 8,099 figures have since been unearthed around the Emperor’s tomb. The site in China has become a major tourist attraction with nearly two million people visiting annually.

Here's a first look at Warrior Federer. How fun would it be to see the stylish Swiss compete in that outfit? Someone call Ralph Lauren, stat!

(image via AP Photo)

Bad blood: Maria Sharapova criticized publicly by FED CUP teammates, Serena Williams

Tough week, tough year: Seems like there's a lot of heavy criticism following Maria "Shriek"apova these days. Her recent appearance at the FED CUP final was questioned, with Svetlana Kuznetsova and Anna Chakvetadze being the most vocal.

"To be honest, I don't know why she came," said Sveta. "What's the point of coming here all the way from America if you can't play. She said she wanted to help our preparation and be our practice partner but, to me, if you can't play how then can you practice? It just doesn't make sense."

Chaky was more direct and said, "If you haven't played Fed Cup all year, it wouldn't be fair just to show up for the final," [...] "It's not fair to all the other girls who committed themselves to the team's cause."

And today The Chicago-Tribue is reporting on People magazine's newest issue where Serena Williams offers free-association answers on a number of topics. When asked for "Something Overrated", ReRe answered "Maria Sharapova".

Though this may be true to a certain extent, we also think it's time for ReRe to get a good publicist, especially after her last post-match press conference.

SIGHTING: Serena Williams attends premiere of The Kingdom

Hollywood player: The Serena Party Watch is heating up again this fall. After confirming the pregnancy rumors were just that, the 8-time Grand Slam champion made the premiere for the film The Kingdom starring Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Garner. Here she is accompanied by Foxx, Will Smith, and Jada Pinkett Smith.

Staying true to recent form, ReRe opted for an empire waist halter top dress in pewter with ribbon waist band and bejewelled strappy heels. Let's not discuss the hair again today...ay...

(images vis masalatalk, getty)

Monday, September 17, 2007

THE LOW DOWN: Serena Williams not pregnant says magazine

Ok, fine: The baby bump is a no-go, apparently. Gossip weekly OK! magazine, reporting on the Serena Williams' pregnancy rumors, contacted her representative for a comment. According to the article, the rep confirmed "Serena is not pregnant."

I guess that's that...

The FED CUP Chronicles: Russia wins third FED CUP title, Svetlana moved to tears

The FED CUP Chronicles have come to a close for 2007. Mother Russia won their 3rd FED CUP title in 4 years by defeating defending champions Italy. US Open finalist Svetlana Kuznetsova became emotional during the trophy ceremony after she led the team to victory by winning both of her singles matches. In the 2004 final against France, the World No. 2 lost both singles matches and watched Anastasia Myskina become the FED CUP heroine.

"I really wanted to bring the victory and this time it worked," said Sveta.

(images courtesy of AP Photo)

Fernando Gonzalez wins China Open, shows off "sexiest legs in tennis"

Fernando Gonzalez won his first title in almost 2 years by defeating Spain's Tommy Robredo for the China Open title this weekend. We've always been admirer's of the handsome Chilean and these photos reaffirm our thinking. Wow - Fernando has some incredibly sexy legs. We won't divulge the visuals running through our mind right now...ouch.

(images via AP Photo)

Monica Seles and Martina Navratilova play exhibition match in Romania

Two legends of the game, Monica Seles and Martina Navratilova, played an exhibition match in Bucharest, Romania recently as part of a special series featuring these two greats of tennis. Monica, a 9-time Grand Slam champion, defeated 18-time Grand Slam champ Martina 3-6, 6-3, 10-7 and, based on these photos, looks to be in great physical shape again. Keep it up Mon!

Lindsay Davenport wins Bali Open, celebrates with son Jaggar

A mom's moment: After almost a year off from competitive play, Lindsay Davenport surprised everyone, including herself, by winning the Bali Open. The 3-time Grand Slam champ defeated slendar Slovak Daniela Hatuchova in the final 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.

After announcing her return to the tennis tour recently with son Jaggar at her side, the former World No. 1 came full circle and brought her son out again to help her celebrate the win. "I'm a little bit in shock," said Davenport. "It's just overwhelming and exciting. I swear this is probably the first tournament I've played in four years where I didn't have anything wrong with my lower extremities."

(images via AP Photo)

SIGHTING: Serena Williams attends HBO Emmy Awards party

Serena Party Watch: Serena "ReRe" Williams picked up her partying ways this weekend. The former World No. 1, who was a staple at New York fashion week, attended HBO's Emmy Awards party last night. ReRe opted for a lavender halter top dress, black clutch, black Christian Louboutin peep-toe stiletto heels, and unfortunate hair extensions. We were really loving the messy bob she was sporting recently, but clearly she's over it.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

INSTANT REPLAY: a look back at this week's top tennis plays


A living legend is recognized
Nole has a hot box
Even Liza wants to be like Roger
Andre as Ambassador of Elegance
A fashionista visits Fashion Week
A king and his court
Tennis stars take a bite of the Big Apple
The Chinese get psyched for the China Open

Love is in the air
A mom makes her return
Jake and friend take in some tennis
Stan Smiths take a world view
Serena visits Zac and Tommy
talks Sunfeast
What's up with Anna?
A legend's life coming to the big screen
Gay for pay?
A cover girl continues to grow
The tennis afterlife for a Spanish star
Boris hits a birdie
The continuing saga that is FED CUP...
Roger and the women who love him
To be like Anna
A starlet has eyes for the camera


TUESDAY: Roger, Rafa, Reebok recycles...Mark plans return, Davis Cup and more
FRIDAY: Roger, Dmitry, Marat, the fighting Hewitts...2008 Olympics news, David Beckham undresses and more

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