Google Down the Line!: 2007-10-07

Friday, October 12, 2007

SIGHTING: Novak Djokovic dresses up, visits Vienna zoo

Dress you up: We've been very un-closeted about our admiration for Novak Djokovic's game, not to mention Nole himself. Clearly we'll take the Serb shirtless and packing, but we'll also take him all gussied up - looking smart and sexy - while playing with furry things at the Vienna zoo during the BA-CA Tennis Trophy tournament in Austria. What is it about hot guys in glasses that puts us over the edge?

But just one request Nole: No more Vegas moments, okay?

(images via

THE LOW DOWN: A shocked Roger Federer speaks out about match-fixing allegations

We were asking today and we finally got our wish: World No. 1 Roger Federer spoke out publicly today about the match-fixing allegations brought about by Andy Murray. Roger told the AP:

"I'm surprised by all of these stories, shocked really that this might be happening,» the top-ranked Federer told The Associated Press on Friday. «I've been around for the last 10 years and have never been approached or ever heard anything about it until these comments came out."

"Before I make any serious comments about this I'm going to speak with Andy" [...] I'm going to speak with the federation and all the bodies so I can get a better idea of just what exactly is going on with this right now."

"I haven't read into the whole circumstances surrounding these stories, but I will be these days" [...] "I hope that this isn't happening. I think I would have heard something sooner if it had been."

THE LOW DOWN: Firestorm of criticism engulfs Andy Murray, retracks comments on website

The firestorm surrounding Andy Murray and his recent match-fixing comments is building, and some of the top players are speaking out. Rafael Nadal became the first high-profile player to dispute the Scot's claims.

And on the heels of Rafa's remarks, Russian Nikolay Davydenko, who is at the center of the biggest match-fixing allegations, took a swipe at Andy's comments:
If Murray says that he knows, that means that he gambles himself,” said the Russian. “Because people who start talking out loud have their fears disappear. And they know that if they speak out loud, it means that they are free, they have not done it. Since Murray was describing in detail how it goes on, it means he went deep into it. As if he was never involved, but he knows how it works in detail. It was folly of him to say this.”

The usually soft-spoken Ivan Ljubicic also spoke out and had this to say about Andy's remarks:
"I think Andy Murray talked more about what he heard than about what he knows," [...] "I am absolutely sure that none of the top players is involved in betting or match-fixing."

And today comes news that Andy, speaking through his website, has back-tracked on his claims:

"The comments that I made with regard to betting in tennis have been taken out of context and I would like to clarify them," [...] "When I said 'everyone knows that it's going on,' I meant that everyone has probably heard that three or four players have spoken out about being offered money to lose matches -- which they refused."

As World No. 1, we believe Roger Federer has a responsibility to speak out on these allegations to protect the integrity of tennis. Roger, where are you these days???

HOT or NOT: Feliciano vs. Stefan

Here we have our latest HOT or NOT candidates. Feliciano Lopez and local favorite Stefan Koubek played a second round match at this week's BA-CA Tennis Trophy in Vienna, Austria. The Spaniard emerged the victor in this battle 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. Unfortunately, they were both sporting the same Nike threads in this match - another one of our pet peeves (tour stylist, anyone?)

Feliciano is a self-proclaimed metrosexual and is BFF's with World No. 2 Rafael Nadal. We've always thought he was sexy, maybe a little TOO pretty, but sexy just the same. His striking blue eyes, chiseled face, and fit body - hello, check out those arms!

Stefan also has a great body - here we get another peek at his six-pack and the sexy belly-button surprise we first noticed at the US Open this summer. He's fiery too - the Austrian was the latest player to get booted from a match - this time for foul language. Though we don't condone cursing out the umpire, we do think his stubborness is intriguing for all the wrong reasons- yes, we have issues.

HOT or NOT: Feliciano vs. Stefan

Tell us!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

FASHION FIX: When in Russia, doo as the Russians doo

We're not feeling this look at all: Igor Andreev, competing at the Kremlin Cup this week, has decided that the Under Armour doo-rag works much better than a baseball cap, a headband, nothing at all? It seems the Russian decided to go back to his roots - it definitely gives him the bubushka look, that's for sure.

At least Igor has his notorious hair situation finally under control. Maybe the doo-rag IS much better than nothing when you have those kinds of issues...

Injuries derail Martina Hingis, calls it quits on '07 season

Yes, it's been that kind of year for Martina Hingis. The sophomore year of her return from retirement has not been kind to the 5-time Grand Slam champ. A lingering hip injury sustained in March at the Sony Ericsson Open has hindered the once fleet-footed tennis prodigy. Her results this year speak to her woes: 1 title at Tokyo and 1 Grand Slam quarterfinal.

Now comes news today that the Swiss Miss is shutting down her game for the remainder of the year to heal her body. "I've done everything I can to be able to compete, but since Key Biscane I've had problems with my hip which are stopping me from playing any more tournaments this year and even from practising properly," said a dejected Marty.

Who knew that when we saw her waving good-bye at the China Open it would be for the last time this year?

A champion like Marty deserves better...

THE LOW DOWN: Rafael Nadal rebuffs match-fixing claims, "I'm not so stupid as to not know what is going on," says Rafa

Rafael Nadal has come out swingning against the match-fixing allegations brought by Andy Murray.

Recently the Scot was quoted as saying, "It is pretty disappointing for all the players, but everyone knows that it goes on," [...] "It's difficult to prove. They can try their best until the last games in each set and then make some mistakes, hit a couple of double faults and that's it."

Hold up, says Rafa. Firing back at Andy's claims, the World No. 2 told the Spanish media, "I think he's gone overboard, I don't think anything like that happens," [...] "I'm the number two in the world, I've been in all the meetings, I see what goes on the circuit just like him and I'm not so stupid as to not know what is going on." [...] "I doubt very much that he (Murray) knows more than anyone else. I think that everyone gives it 100% and that there are no fixed games."

Does Rafa really believe there's no match-fixing occuring on the tours these days? We think the Spaniard is being naive. In any case, the drama continues...

FASHION FIX: Venus Williams wins two matches in a day, goes clean & classic

Twice as tough: Venus Williams continued her recent good form at the Bangkok Open this week. V needed to play two matches today as bad weather in Thailand has wreaked havoc with the schdule. No worries - the Grand Slam champ pulled out two comfortable wins, defeating Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki 6-2, 6-2 and later bouncing local favorite Tamarine Tanasugarn 6-4, 6-1.

She also continued her recent good form in another area - fashion. V did all this winning while looking clean and classic in her white polo shirt and flirty skirt by her eponymous label EleVen. We love how the graphic design on the back gives the outfit a young, modern feel as well - not to mention the afro puff!

(images via AP Photo, Getty)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

+ WEDNESDAY NETCORDS: Justine, Andy, Lindsay, Billie and Elton...Pete vs. Andre, match-fixing update and more

(image courtesy of J R E Y)
- On top of the world: A huge "congrats!" to World No. 1 Justine Henin for clinching the year-end No. 1 ranking (for the third time in her illustrious career) and winning the United States Sports Academy’s Female Athlete of the Month for September. Plus, she's an astonishing 54-4 this season.

- All bets are off? The tennis gods are gathering in London this Friday to hash out all this match-fixing business. In addition Tennis Diary has reported that players' cell phones may be banned from the locker rooms to avoid inside information from leaking to betters. And, Hall-of-Famer Pam Shriver has some choice words for those prone to betting. Can it be stopped? Stay tuned...

- New chief in town: Arlen Kantarian has been newly named CEO, Professional Tennis for the USTA. What does this mean exactly? As part of his new duties, Arlen will oversee the development of a new USTA elite player development program, focused on identifying and developing the next generation of American champions. He will still lead the USTA's Professional Tennis operations, and serve as the lead executive overseeing the USTA's involvement in the professional sport, including the US Open, US Open Series, USTA Pro Tour events, U.S. Davis Cup, Fed Cup, and Olympic teams, and the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

- Music superstar Sir Elton John and long-time friend Billie Jean King will host the 15th annual Advanta WTT Smash Hits, a special night of tennis featuring superstars including Andy Roddick, Lindsay Davenport and Anna Kournikova. The event, which benefits the Elton John AIDS Foundation and the local charity ActionAIDS, will be held in Philadelphia on Oct. 10. Visit Ticketmaster to purchase tickets to this event and to support AIDS research and charities.

- Getting to know: Stefan Koubek

- If it ain't broke...: In the "What were they thinking?" file, the ATP announced it's 2009 schedule to include the new format of giving tournaments ranking points to determine they're importance (1000 = Master Series level, 500 = Tier II). Is that even correct? We're confused just writing about it...oy...

- Think pink: Daily Racquet has been supporting October's Breast Cancer Awareness month by posting on all things pink and tennis. Check it out!

- Wanna know more about the history of the Lacoste brand? Click here.

- Video vault: Reminisce about the good ol' days of tennis with this great, classic Nike commercial featuring legends Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi playing an improptu set of tennis in a New York City intersection.

FASHION FIX: US Open Nike dress brings Maria bad luck, loses at Kremlin Cup

Maybe it was per Nike's request, but we thought this Nike day dress was made especially, and only, for Maria "Shriek"apova to wear at the US Open. She may not want to wear it again, though - it's bringing all sorts of bad luck.

She worked this dress for the first time at the Open as defending champ and lost to 18 year old Agnieszka Radwanska. This week at the Kremlin Cup, the Russian fashionista, looking to reestablish her game, donned the dress again. The result: a loss in the second round (her first match though) to another 18 year old - Belarus's Victoria Azarenka.

We think it's time to retire this dress - for good.

FASHION FIX: The latest looks of Venus Williams, part II

Tennis media machine: All we need to do these days is follow 6-time Grand Slam champ Venus Williams around the world and we'll have everything we need to write about. The fashion, the blogging, the hair-dos!

And what about V's latest look? LOVE IT! She mentioned in her latest blog post that she's feeling the 70's and it shows with this afro puff moment.

We took a look back at sister Serena's recent looks and V's looks right after this year's Wimbledon. Now let's focus on V's latest winning moments:

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

ROUND ROBIN: A-Rod & Serena tag team, Nole wants to relax, Andy talks match-fixing

Charity tennis tag team: Andy Roddick and Serena Williams are teaming up and playing doubles for the first time to benefit the Andy Roddick Foundation. The two Grand Slam champs are partnering for Rock-n-Rackets, an annual tennis exhibition that combines tennis and music. Other players participating include Sam Querry and Ashley Harkleroad. "From the start, I wanted to create an event that featured my passion for both tennis and music in markets that typically do not have the opportunity to see the sport at the highest level," said A-Rod. "It is especially exciting for me to finally be able to bring the event to Omaha since it has so much meaning for me and my family personally." For her part, ReRe said, "Andy and I are close friends so I look forward to playing with him and giving the fans an evening of great entertainment." (via talkabouttennis)

Winding down: World No. 3 Novak Djokovic has had an amazing year by anyone's standards and now he feels ready to relax - but not when he's on the tennis court. "For me it's not about getting the points, the money or whatever. It's about winning," said the sexy Serb. "I qualified for Shanghai, and looking at this year's results I don't need to try logically anymore. But it's not about that. Whenever I get to the court I try to win. It's that hunger for success, so I can really assure everybody that I'm going to try 100 percent at every tournament." (via citizen)

Murray makes noise: Brit Andy Murray is the latest player to bring match-fixing allegations to the table. According to Andy, "It is pretty disappointing for all the players, but everyone knows that it goes on," [...] "It's difficult to prove. They can try their best until the last games in each set and then make some mistakes, hit a couple of double faults and that's it." And, what does the Brit give as the reason for illegal activity? "A career lasts probably only 10 or 12 years and you have to make all your money while you're still playing." (via BBC)

(images via AP Photo, Getty)

FASHION FIX: Jeepers, creepers where you get them peepers?

We're starting to notice a new accessory trend in the tennis world these days: eye glasses. Players on both the men's and women's tours are beginning to warm up to the look. The style is very reminiscent of what racquetball and squash players wear when competing. We're definitely into the sleek, sporty look of these peepers.

Serbia's Janko Tipsarevic and Romania's Edina Gallovits have been spotted rocking these glasses recently.

LOVE IT or LEAVE IT? Tell us!

Monday, October 8, 2007

THE LOW DOWN: Maria & Serena look to recapture early season magic

A tale of two seasons: When the 2007 tennis season began, Maria "Shriek"apova was the reigning US Open champion on the brink of becoming the World No.1. Serena "ReRe" Williams was coming off a mostly inactive 2006 and looking to get her career back on track. These 2 champions worked through their respective Australian Open draws and met in a much-anticipated final with a shocking result: ReRe demolished Maria for the title, 6-1, 6-2. Regardless, they established themselves as the players to beat after the first Grand Slam of the season.

Fast foward to the Fall indoor European season - Maria lost her US Open crown to a relative newcomer in the 3rd round and, sitting at No. 4 in the world, was rumored to be retiring for the season to rest her sore shoulder. ReRe was beaten handily by Justine Henin in the quarterfinals of the Open and last week suffered a disappointing 6-3, 6-3 loss to Svetlana Kuznetsova at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. Both players are competing at this week's Kremlin Cup, a Tier 1 in Moscow, Russia. A win here could help build some confidence for both women going into the Sony Ericsson Championships and 2008.

Maria had this to say at a press conference for the Kremlin Cup this week:

"I have been training in a normal regime and I am physically 100 % fit [...] But for me the main thing is health. I am 20 years and I have a long career ahead of me". [...] I have been spending more time in Moscow than at home lately [...] It was great to be here and see our girls to win the Fed Cup."

ReRe also spoke to the press and had this to say:

"I am happy to come to Moscow - I was here way back when so now it feels like it's my first time here" [...] "The surface of the court is kind of weird [...] It is rather slow and the ball bounce is sometimes high, sometime low, it is kind of unusual for me because indoor courts are typically faster. The tournament in Moscow has a strong draw - but I feel fit and am ready to fight for the victory."

(source, images courtesy of AP Photo)

Venus Williams blogs from Thailand, talks sleep and afros

(Is this kid really nervous or has he never seen an afro this close before?)

Venus Williams is continuing her tour of Asia with a stop at the Bangkok Open this week. After a disappointing loss to Frenchie Virginie Razzano in the Japan Open final, V will look to rebound in Thailand and solidify her chances at the year end Sony Ericsson Championships. Continuing her blogging ways, V had some things to say about...

Her loss in the Japan Open final:
"I was disappointed I lost in the Tokyo final, but you can always learn from your losses and fight for your next win. That's pretty much my attitude and so I'm just focused on playing my best here in Bangkok, and hopefully winning another title. That's the goal."

Her night out after the Japan final:
"After the final we just went out and enjoyed Tokyo. Obviously we went to karaoke, and obviously I did "Call Me" by Blondie - I'm a huge Blondie fan. I didn't last too long that night because I was so tired from the final. I had a few songs and that was it for me. I guess we're making going to karaoke a tradition when we're in Asia..."

Getting some sleep:
"We were travelling pretty much all day and I was sleeping quite a while. I even got mad at [sister] Isha because she woke me up asking if I wanted to eat. Everybody who knows me knows that I'd choose sleep over eating. Everybody's banging on my door, trying to get into my room. I think I'll be doing some of that back to them soon so they can see how it feels! So, I just don't answer the door. People can text or e-mail me, and if I'm not there I am not getting up. Even at home I don't answer my door. I need my sleep!"

Her latest hair-do:
"Oh and you may have noticed from the picture that I've switched hairdos - I just got tired of my old one. I've had the afro a few times this year in Fed Cup; and some people have been asking if I'd be doing it again. So for the moment, I'm in the '70s. And it's righteous."

Andre Agassi hosts star-studded concert to benefit Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation

Boy, Andre Agassi has some serious pull in the celebrity world. The tennis legend hosted the The Grand Slam for Children concert to benefit the Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation (AACF). The event raised $9.1 million for the charity - wow.

We've always been impressed with Andre's philanthropic efforts and this is no exception. What we're also impressed with? Steffi Graf and her glamorous makeover, even for just one night. Love it!

Here's a rundown of the starpower that came together to make this event a huge success:

Kelly Clarkson and the Goo Goo Dolls

Carlos Santana & Rob Thomas, matchbox 20

Comedians Jerry Seinfeld & George Wallace

Actresses Tia Carrere & Emily Proctor

VIP sponsors were treated to a pre-concert dinner and live auction. Wanna know what was up for grabs? The exclusive items included a Porsche Cayenne from the Sopranos signed by James Gandolfini and Edie Falco; Robin Williams' movie premiere and after-party; a Dale Chihuly chandelier; an in-home food and wine pairing for 12 with Emeril Lagasse; a special Victoria's Secret fashion show, concert and trip; an evening at a Six Flags park for 500 friends; a Malibu beach adventure and Kreiss backyard furniture; and a state-of-the-art Dellacasa kitchen, Paula Deen cooking lessons and a trip to Sicily, Italy. Other vacation packages included a Costa Rican getaway with private tennis lessons from Agassi and Stefanie Graf, adventures in South Africa and British Columbia; and a Geneva, Switzerland trip to the House of Harry Winston, along with a custom designed Harry Winston watch.

We're not stingy - we'll just take the private tennis lessons with Andre & Steffi, pleassssse!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

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


India's girl has style
Venus blogs and eats tongue
Separated at birth?
Australia gets the blues
Players party in Japan
Where in the world is Serena and how is she looking?
Stefan gets the boot
The year according to Lacoste

Anna works a bikini


WEDNESDAY: Rafa, Andy, Pete vs. Roger...ATP gets dumped, Serbia's rise and more

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