Google Down the Line!: 2007-10-21

Friday, October 26, 2007

+ FRIDAY NETCORDS: Maria, Justine, Rafa vs. Nole...Nikolay gets fined, Venus eats (but doesn't cook) and more

(image via pushtoflush)

- Fine, fine day: Nikolay Davydenko can't seem (or isn't willing?) to stay away from controversy. The usually feisty Russian was actually fined $2,000 for "lack of best effort" during a 1-6, 7-5, 6-1 defeat by Croatian qualifier Marin Cilic in St. Petersburg. More stunning was his response to the claim: "I was simply shocked to hear him say that. This is just outrageous. How does he know what I was trying to do?...I was so upset with the whole thing I started crying...The reality is that I started feeling tired. My legs were just dead by the third set. Maybe my problems are psychological, maybe it's in my head." Maybe???

- Falling off the bandwagon: After David Nalbandian's enthralling win over World No. 1 Roger Federer tennis media, including blogs, were heralding his return. Slow down Tonto - in his return to the court at this week's Swiss Indoors, the enigmatic Argentinian lost his first round match to homeboy Stanislas Wawrinka. Time to park the bandwagon for now. In the meantime, check out Peter Bodo's interesting comparison between David and another much-maligned but supremely talented player: Marat Safin.

- "Shriek"apova update: Last time we posted about tennis' high-profile glamour girl, Maria "Shriek"apova was auctioning off the cursed Nike dress to some (un)suspecting fan. Now word comes that ever-evolving Maria will sharpen her writing chops as guest "lifestyle" editor for tennis week magazine while also looking to produce a sport-centric TV show for the CW network.

- 10 is tops: World No. 1 Justine Henin claims she's "not a machine" but she's sure playing like one these days. And is the Belgian satisfied with her title count this year? “I would prefer 10 titles to nine this year for sure but [the WTA Championships are] probably for me the most difficult tournament of the year." said Justine.

- 18-time Grand Slam champion Martina Navratilova will be a guest panelist on the political talk-fest known as Real Time with Bill Maher. The show is scheduled to air this Friday, October 26th.

- Celeb chef and Oprah Winfrey disciple Rachel Ray takes a peak inside Venus Williams' fridge and does a quick Q & A with the Wimbledon champ. And who would be V's dream dinner guests? "I'd invite my favorite band, 311. I'd cook the guys whatever they wanted—no matter what!" (via TSF)

- Matt Cronin for thinks World No. 2 Rafael Nadal needs to step up or be stepped on by rising Serb Novak Djokovic.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

FASHION FIX: Lacoste loungewear dooms Gisela Dulko in Linz

Gisela Dulko became the latest player to support clothing sponsor Lacoste's unfortunate loungewear moment from this summer. We like the Lacoste brand but we've never hidden our dislike for these pajama-style get-ups they've had their female tennis players wear.

The loungewear may have had an unfortunate effect on the Argentinian, though. Seemingly sleepwalking through her match against Slovak Daniela Hantuchova in the Generali Ladies Linz today, Gisela was slammed 6-3, 6-1. The Lacoste gear will come in handy now since she'll be getting more rest than she was hoping for this week.

(images via AP Photo)

War of Words: TENNIS mag's James Martin attacks Marat Safin, "You're a mess, man," says Martin

It seems the normally innocuous TENNIS magazine is finally ruffling some feathers. Editor-in-chief James Martin recently wrote a scathing open letter on the mag's website to 2-time Grand Slam champion Marat Safin in his "Viewpoint" column. In the piece, Martin lays into the Russian saying, "You’re a mess, man. You haven’t won more than two matches in a row since mid-July, and your best result this season was in February when you reached the semifinals of Las Vegas. Fitting, since you’ve been coming up craps ever since." He goes on to question his commitment to the sport comparing Marat to a certain playboy ("Lately, you’ve been as committed to tennis as Hugh Hefner is to monogamy."), his lackluster attitude ("You’re like a teenager who’s way too self-absorbed for his own good.") and even makes mention of Marat's recent failed attempt to climb Nepal's Cho Oyo ("I can only imagine how miserable you were, and how miserable you made your fellow hikers on that journey, when you discovered that climbing a mountain is, like, real work.")

The brutal letter did not go unnoticed by Marat's camp, however. A response to the "insulting article" appeared on his website attacking James Martin and accusing the editor of "trying to put a smear on Marat's situation." The post goes on to question the integrity of TENNIS magazine and the site saying the article was "written on a 'respected' website and this article was full of hate - really patronizing and vicious in its comments and aimed at hurting Marat, his reputation, his past contribution and achievements in the field of tennis."

We wholeheartedly agree Marat Safin, with his immense talent, is an ultimate underachiever and we're all for "tough love". So let's not stop with him. Let's add in Kim Clijsters, Amelie Mauresmo, Andy Roddick, and David Nalbandian. And these are just the more recent underachievers. Where are their scathing open letters Ja
mes Martin?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Elena Dementieva talks traveling, fashion, and serving with PEACE magazine

Elena Dementieva is the featured cover story for Canada's street-style mag PEACE this month. The Russian, who most recently won the Tier 1 Kremlin Cup with a shocking win (her first) over Serena Williams, looks stunning in the photo spread and has much to say about her tennis, life on the WTA Tour, her recent injury-induced layoff, fashion, and her most infamous stroke: the side-armed serve.

You had a set-back this year. Can you tell us about the injury?
"Well, I had a very weird injury ‘cause I started to work with a new physician. After three weeks I realized that I had three broken ribs and I was off for, like, seven weeks. That was really depressing, probably because there is not much you can do with broken ribs. You just have to wait, just take some time to recover. So I missed popular tournaments, big tournaments. It was tough to come back, to get your confidence back and play well again."

Do you hold any resentment towards your trainer for continuing to push you forward while you were injured?
"I think that he was just not a very professional guy. I didn’t know what he was doing. I was just according to my special needs. I was doing that because he’s very famous in Moscow. Lots of different good athletes are working with him. Even with my experience, it didn’t stop them from working with him."

When you are traveling do you have a favourite city where you actually get to experience the art, food or shopping and not just the tennis?
"For shopping, the best place would be New York, in Manhattan. There are a lot of nice places, like Melbourne, and Sweden, because I like nature and there are lots of things to see."

What’s the hardest thing about what you do?
"To travel all the time. To be away from your family, that’s the most difficult. But that’s just part of the job that I have to do."

If you weren’t a tennis player, what do you think you would do?
"I don’t know. It’s hard to say because my grandmother is a doctor and my uncle is a doctor. They always wanted me to go the medicine university to be a doctor. So maybe I would be one."

Are you a fashionista?
"I’m not too crazy about it. I think a person has to be more beautiful inside than outside, I think it’s more important. But, yeah, as a girl I like to go shopping. I like to dress well, but I don’t go too crazy about it."

What’s the most awkward question you get asked? Is it about your serve?
"People actually think I hate answering it, but it’s okay with me. I know it’s not perfect and I know most of the people don’t understand how come it’s still not perfect for so many years. I’m also surprised. But it’s a small process. Every time they ask me, I just say that it’s getting better. And it is getting better. It just takes some time."

(images via PEACE magazine,

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

THE LOW DOWN: The (unequal) objectification of Daniela Hantuchova

Today Nike announced its all-cash purchase of Umbro, a leading UK-based global football (soccer) brand, for $582 million. Umbro famously partnered with British menswear designer Kim Jones for Umbro by Kim Jones, one of our fave recent fashion collaborations.

We were unsettled, however, by this image that has been circulating around announcing the Nike acquisition:

Could they have picked another image besides Nike's iconic 'swoosh' on the ass of slender Slovak Daniela Hantuchova next to a fully-clothed frontal of footballer John Terry? We all know sex sells but this objectification of women in sports is still disturbing. At the very least they could have shown John Terry with no shirt on. Here's what we'd want to see:

Now that's some equal opportunity objectification. We like this much better.

Do you? Tell us what you think!

A man's man: Roger Federer makes's Top 49 Men of 2007

Movin' up: Roger Federer is apparently a man's man. Uber-popular has just announced their annual list of the Top 49 Men of 2007 chosen by their readers. The World No. 1 comes in at No. 4 on the list besting the likes of friend Tiger Woods (#26), Brad Pitt (#11), George Clooney (#8), and Justin Timberlake (#5). The Swiss stylist made a huge leap this year after coming in at No. 37 for 2006. The month-long survey received over 1 million votes with David Beckham grabbing the top-spot.

And what does count as Fed's Most Manly Moment of 2007? According to the site, "After losing to Nadal in the Battle of Surfaces, Federer retaliated as only he can: He ended Nadal's winning streak on clay three weeks later, and again at Wimbledon."

No other tennis players made the list...seems the rest of the "boys" on the ATP Tour have lots o' catching up to do.

Monday, October 22, 2007

FASHION FIX: Maria Sharapova purges bad energy, auctions off Nike US Open day dress

Ask and you shall receive: Wow, this never happens. We previously posted about Maria "Shriek"apova's unfortunate deja vu moment - wear the Nike US Open day dress and get unceremoniously booted by an 18-year-old upstart, this time at the Tier 1 Kremlin Cup.

Well, it looks like the Russian has taken our advice: according to her website, the dress has been autographed by Maria and is being auctioned off to benefit her Foundation. The auction will end on Wednesday, October 31st, at 3pm eastern time.

To bid on the dress, click here. Caution: buyer beware.

Serena Williams' blackberry is stolen, 'I feel raw and alone now..." says Serena

When tennis players blog: Not only do they play a sport professionally (a dream for many of us) and make millions, they now want to act, model, and blog. Exhibit A: Serena "ReRe" Williams. Following in sister Venus' recently heralded turn at the blogosphere, ReRe is spilling her beans on everything from "jerk offs" who don't call back to her missing/stolen blackberry.

According to her website, the former No. 1 was visiting Paris and dropped by the FENDI store to check out these "fabulous boots" and use the ladies' room. We'll let ReRe tell the rest:

"I saw some fabulous boots there that I thought would go great in my fall repertoire. Well I also had to use the bathroom really bad... so the driver dropped me and my friend *Paul off at the corner and we walked to the FENDI store. I asked the employee if I could use the bathroom. I went to the bathroom with my purse and came out and looked at a dress. I never set my purse down I just was holding it. Later I tried on the boots and put my purse down. I liked the boots so I decided to buy them. I picked up my purse and noticed my blackberry was missing."

The 8-time Grand Slam champion goes on to say:

"I feel raw and alone now that I don't have my bb. My bb is out there all alone cold and scared. She had a great life a warm bed and a wonderful mom that took great care of her. I wish I could just see her one more time. I did not even get chance to say goodbye."

Has she lost her marbles? We understand sport celebrities have a tendency to live in an insular world, but this smells of straight-up crazy. Maybe the blackberry ran for it's life - a more grounded life than what ReRe seems to have...

(image courtesy of

Sunday, October 21, 2007

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


A homeboy in his hometown
Stupid is as stupid does
A legend honors the best female athletes in the world
The prodigal daughter returns
Two friends share a tender moment
Andy gets under Niko's skin
Justine does it her way
The Spanish have the right idea
Fed, fans, & a frenzy
Ana talks to Teen Vogue
Too much of a good thing


WEDNESDAY: Lindsay, Kim, Nole vs. Andy, Lleyton bags season...Mario returns, Roger dreams of gold and more

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