Google Down the Line!: 2007-10-28

Saturday, November 3, 2007

THE LOW DOWN: Chris Evert speaks out on Hingis controversy, "I'm not shocked, but I was very surprised," says Chris

Martina Hingis may have been named after the legendary Martina Navratilova, but her game resembled that of a different legend - Chris Evert. Chris, who famously called out Serena Williams in an open letter in TENNIS magazine, is the first high-profile player of the past or present to comment on the Swiss Miss' recent doping charges and subsequent retirement.

, who is conducting a pro-am this weekend at the Boca Resort and Club in Florida with some other tennis stars including Mark Philippoussis and Jana Novotna, had these very interesting comments about Martina and the charges:

"I'm not shocked, but I was very surprised. [...] I think Martina in the past has always shown herself to be the consummate professional [...] But since she came back [from a three-year injury hiatus], I don't know her. I don't know her lifestyle, who she hangs out with. [...] You can't believe it, but you can't not believe it. [...] You know what, I don't like to make judgments about her [...] But, how many athletes have gone on and denied and denied and denied steroids and stuff. The truth always comes out."

Not shocked? Reading between Chris' very carefully chosen words, it sounds like there were signs people in the inner-circle of tennis were witnessing. Clearly Martina changed after coming out of retirement. Maybe that's why other players have been quiet about the accusations - no one is really that surprised.

Friday, November 2, 2007

SIGHTING: Boris Becker attends MTV Europe Awards, visits with Nelson Mandela

Tennis champion Boris Becker and his current girlfriend Sharlely Kersenberg are never ones to shy away from the spotlight - whether showing PDA on a beach or giving it up for charity. The duo attended the MTV Europe Music Video Awards in Munich, Germany where tennis star was a presenter.

Earlier in the week the former World No. 1 posed with South Africa's former president Nelson Mandela and some of the local musical talent who will be performing at the 46664 AIDS benefit concert on December 1st. The performance line up also includes Peter Gabriel, Annie Lennox, Corinne Briley Rae, Razorlight, Ludacris, and the Goo Goo Dolls.

SIGHTING: Anna Kournikova helps kick off Art Basel Miami Beach

Former tennis teen-queen Anna Kournikova was spotted at the Cartier Bal Harbour boutique last night to help the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) kickoff the Art Basel Miami Beach. The international art show takes place from December 6 - 9 and is the sister show to the ultra-important Art Basel in Switzerland.

We wonder what Anna K. thinks about the still-shocking drug charges against another teen-queen, and former doubles partner, Martina Hingis?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

THE LOW DOWN: Maria Sharapova exhibits best shot off the tennis court

Apparently Maria "Shriek"apova's best shot was off the tennis court. According to the NY Daily News Toyo Shigeta, head of a japanese ad agency, took secret, candid crotch shots of the Russian star during a photoshoot for Canon in 2005. has the full claim and the infamous shot now known as "Exhibit B":

Shitega is being sued by his former creative director Steve Biegel who claims the company fired him after he complained about Shigeta's propensity for pornographic picture-taking. Biegel also alleges that he was forced to go to a bathhouse and a Prague brothel, where Shigeta urged the married Biegel to have sex with a prostitute.

Talk about taking one for the team - and we're not just talking about the photo...

Martina Hingis speaks out about doping claims, "I have tested positive, but I have never taken drugs and I feel 100% innocent," says Martina

Here is some of what Martina Hingis had to say about today's claims:

"I have tested positive, but I have never taken drugs and I feel 100% innocent," [...] "The reason I have come out with this is because I do not want to have a fight with anti-doping authorities." [...] "When I was informed I had failed my 'A' test following my defeat at Wimbledon I was shocked and appalled. I find this accusation so horrendous, so monstrous that I've decided to confront it head on." [...] "I have no desire to spend the next seven years fighting doping officials. I'm frustrated and angry, and accusations such as these don't provide me with the motivation to continue." [...] Because of my age and my health problems, I have also decided to retire from professional tennis."

WTA Tour chief executive Larry Scott had this to say about today's news:

"We have not received any official information regarding the positive doping test result referred to by Martina Hingis, and as a result we are not in a position to comment on the matter." [...] "However, it is important to remember that in the area of anti-doping, all players are presumed innocent until proven otherwise."

To read Larry Scott's full statement, click here.

What we're wondering is why she decided to announce her official retirement today while announcing these doping claims? We don't think this makes much sense for the 5-time Grand Slam champion and looks very suspicious from a PR standpoint.

BREAKING: Martina Hingis accused of cocaine use at Wimbledon, officially retires from tennis

Did Martina Hingis hit the nose candy at Wimbledon this year? MSNBC is reporting that the Swiss Miss, who ended her season early this year, tested positive for cocaine after a match at Wimbledon. After revealing the claims against her today, Martina then officially retired (again) from professional tennis. She denies the accusation.

More to come...

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Royal makeover: Roger Federer plays King Arthur for Disney

A king is crowned: Gay news blog Towleroad is reporting that Disney Parks has released new images from the latest Disney Dreams portrait series. Tennis World No. 1 Roger Federer takes his turn as King Arthur in the latest images shot by famed photog Annie Leibowitz.

Towleroad also reminded us that soccer star David Beckham played Prince Charming in last year's series.

Actresses Julie Andrews and Rachel Weisz join Fed in the series as Pinocchio's Blue Fairy and Snow White, respectively.

Here's a behind-the-scenes shot of Fed (working some serious hair) playing King Arthur:

(images via towleroad and dailymail)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The ATP asks fans to 'FEEL IT' for new global marketing campaign

The ATP is giving the world a preview of its new multi-million dollar 'FEEL IT' campaign at this week's Paris Masters tournament. The ad campaign, which will officially launch in 2008, stars many of the top player's in the men's game including Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Roddick. The spots highlight the sport as a "one on one gladiatorial battle, full of intensity and passion."

Here's some of what the players starring in the spots had to say about the campaign:

Roger Federer -
“I think ‘FEEL IT’ is a very good idea and I like the legends aspect with all the other great players on my photo. It makes me proud as I'm not only playing against the current players but also against history. The ‘FEEL IT’ campaign looks good and we need something like this as there are a lot of new players coming up as well as players that are well established. I think it's great to try it as a test at the BNP Paribas Masters tournament in Paris.”

Andy Murray -
“I think ‘FEEL IT’ is a really good idea. Sometimes when you watch tennis on TV you don't understand the intensity that the players are playing with. This kind of campaign can really show that to the fans. I like the flames coming out of my racket. I like to think that when I hit the ball, there's a bit of fire coming off my racket!”

David Nalbandian -
“’FEEL IT’ is a very good idea. It shows fans what we all feel for the sport and anything that can help the sport of tennis, whether it's through the ATP or the players, to attract more fans is excellent. The video showing me smash a giant racket into a bench is very funny.”

The campaign has developed a full line of executions including TV spots, billboards, online banners, virals, merchandise, fan giveaways and PR stunts. The ‘FEEL IT’ campaign is one part of a wider marketing initiative to support the extensive changes being undertaken by the ATP including a new global calendar for 2009, added investment into facilities, increased prize money, and a new brand look and identity.

Monday, October 29, 2007

FASHION FIX: Nike continues their tedious tennis sponsorship

This is getting bad: We harped on Nike's recent repeat performance with their players' tennis gear at the Madrid Masters and now they're at it again. Feliciano Lopez and Juan Martin Del Potro played against each other at the Paris Masters today, but they might as well have been playing with themselves.

How boring for the fans, frankly, to see two players battling it out on the same tennis court looking like mirror images of each other. If you're sitting in the nose bleed sections, you can't tell who's who.

Nike - tennis is not a team sport, it's an individual sport. Get it?

Tennis gives back: Justine, Goran, and Ana join Steffi and Andre for benefit tennis match

World No. 1 Justine Henin and former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic joined the Grafassi's - tennis power couple Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi - in a mixed doubles match for the BASF Festival for Children on October 27, 2007. The charity match raises money for the foundation "Children for Tomorrow" founded by Graf.

Serb Ana Ivanovic also participated in the event, playing a singles match against Andre. "It's hard to describe how I felt. I was so excited," said Ana via her website. "He was a big idol for me when I was a kid. I was obviously very nervous before the match, but I was surprised how quickly I was able to relax, and I feel I played well."

(images via AP Photo)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

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


Serena wants her "bb" back
Maria banishes bad energy thinks Fed is a manly man
Equal opportunity objectification
Elena talks to PEACE magazine
James Martin gives Marat a spanking
Gisela wears jammys, sleepwalks to a loss


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

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