Google Down the Line!: 2007-11-04

Thursday, November 8, 2007

SEPARATED AT BIRTH: Venus Williams vs. Zac Efron

Tennis' chameleon Venus Williams showed up in Madrid this week channeling her inner Zac Efron, star of High School Musical & Hairspray.

Separated at birth? We think so, though someone isn't looking too happy about it...

SIGHTING: The men of the Masters Cup arrive in Shanghai ready to rumble

The men of the Masters Cup began arriving in Shanghai this week ready to compete for the big season-ending prize:

One question: where in the world is Richard Gasquet?

(images via, getty)

No love: German tennis federation refutes Tommy Haas' claims of poisoning, "'s no more than speculation," says federation

The Tommy Haas poisoning case seems to be losing steam - mostly due to lack of support from his own countrymen. The German tennis federation (DHT) refutes the claims that Tommy may have been poisoned during Davis Cup since no evidence has been found nor has the informant been named.

Here's what DTB spokesman Oliver Quante had to say:

"There is no medical reason that justifies further, targeted tests with regard to poisoning, [...] As an association, we must rely on facts in judging and assessing the situation and not on speculation, [...] Therefore, because we have no evidence of poisoning and because we do not know how reliable the informant is, we must assume that it's no more than speculation."

Alexander Katsnelson, general director of the Kremlin Cup who was responsible for organizing the Davis Cup semi-final from the Russian side, had this to say about the poisoning claims:

"We don't take them (poison rumors) seriously. This is just usual stuff coming from a guy who lost, [...] Since he (Haas) arrived in Moscow and began training it was evident he was not in good shape physically, he was huffing and puffing on the court."

If you don't have support at home, Tommy, then what do you have? Could it be a sour grapes moment on your part for not performing well under the pressure or a blown up case of upset stomach??

(images via AP Photo)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

UPDATE: Tommy Haas discusses poisoning allegations, "I have never felt so miserable in my whole life..." says Tommy

Update: Here's more of what Tommy Haas had to say following allegations he may have been poisoned right before his Davis Cup match against Mikhail Youzhny:

"I have never felt so miserable in my whole life as I did on the Saturday and Sunday nights in Moscow," [...] Of the eight hours I should have been sleeping, I spent six of them on the toilet. [...] My stomach is still doing some strange things. [...] I tried everything from swallowing tablets to syringes, nothing worked, [...] It just made me feel worse, I really thought I would end up in hospital.''

Tommy was asked if the symptoms could have been caused by nerves from the big occasion:

"Of course, every sportsman suffers from nerves, but I have dreamed my whole life of playing in a Davis Cup semi-final and I wouldn't have been nervous for such a game. [...] I gave everything I had in order to win there. If I could have done anything else, I would have done. [...] But I couldn't help the team from my seat on the toilet.''

The German tennis star will fly to New York on Friday to undergo blood and hair tests to determine what may have been used to poison him.

(image via AP Photo)

BREAKING: Was Tommy Haas poisoned out of his Davis Cup match against Mikhail Youzhny?

Developing: The tennis world is in true turmoil these days - match-fixing, doping - and today is no exception. is reporting that Tommy Haas may have been poisoned before Germany's Davis Cup match against Russia. Tommy had to default his match against Mikhail Youzny with a suspected stomach virus. German teammate Alexander Waske said he was told by a Russian who manages numerous athletes that it was poisoning, not a virus.

Here's some of what Tommy had to say about the allegations:

“I’m shocked that something like that appears possible, [...] When I think of how bad I felt, I can imagine it. I’ve been feeling weak for weeks.”

(image via AP Photo)

SIGHTING: Venus Williams visits Madrid to support womens' leadership and gender equality

Though she pulled out of the WTA Championships following doctors orders after her recent dizzy spells, the chameleon known as Venus "V" Williams isn't one to drop her obligations. The 6-time Grand Slam champion still packed her bags and traveled to Madrid to launch the UNESCO/Sony Ericsson womens leadership programs and global gender equality ad campaign at City Hall.

Here's V sporting shorter locks and rocking an EleVen t-shirt that says, "strong - smart - confident - equal". We agree.

FASHION FIX: Ana Ivanovic devastates with power game and turquoise adidas dress in Madrid

Birthday surprise: The women are turning out some great tennis fashion at the WTA Championships in Madrid this week. First Maria "Shriek"apova goes all lady-like in her plum + pink Nike gear, and now Ana Ivanovic shines in this turquoise tank dress from clothing sponsor adidas. The Serbian beauty celebrated her 20th birthday with a tremendous 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 win over World No. 2 Svetlana Kuznetsova.

We think the turquoise color against her raven hair and tanned skin is stunning. Ana takes on Daniela Hantuchova in her next match.

(images via AP Photo)

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

FASHION FIX: Maria Sharapova sports lady-like look, wins opening match in Madrid

Maria "Shriek"apova, who barely squeaked through to the WTA Championships when Venus Williams pulled out, blasted past her first opponent in the red group today. The Russian defeated Slovak Daniela Hantuchova 6-4, 7-5.

We're loving this Nike tennis gear - the plum + pink color combo, the lady-like styling including the bow and cap sleeves, and the high-waisted flap skirt with oversized buttons - everything. Kudos to Nike for getting Maria's clothing let's work on the men's issues.

(images via AP Photo)

+ TUESDAY NETCORDS: Maria, Daniela, Bjorn vs. Andy...Tommy wants full disclosure, recycled tennis goods and more

- Full-disclosure: Tommy Haas is fanning the flames of controversy. The German tennis star has asked fellow players to start disclosing names after an unidentified German player accused another of match-fixing during a television interview. The player also claims he witness betting occuring in the players' lounge at tournaments. "It's time people start naming names, [...] Every day someone says something: Andy Murray, Werner Eschauer, Michael Llodra, Arnaud Clement, now someone anonymous. [...] I'm telling them, be concrete -- then we can undertake something concrete. All this talk isn't bringing us further."

- Slam success: Bjorn Borg believes Brit Andy Murray is in line for his first Grand Slam trophy - maybe sooner than we think. "Maybe he’s going to be the first British winning Wimbledon since Fred Perry," said the Swede. "I like the way he plays, I like his attitude."

- First there were wallets made from old tennis racket covers, and now come wallets made from old tennis balls. We're thinking we'll stick with our Marc Jacobs' version and leave the arts n' crafts to Martha "Ice Queen" Stewart. Speaking of homemade, check out these t-shirts of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal...

- Perfectly fine: What does Daniela Hantuchova give as the reason for her recent good form, placing her back into the top-10? "I have realized it is not necessary to be perfect," says the slender Slovak. "I was putting much too much pressure on myself. Now I am more relaxed and calm. I understand things better."

- Read up on the challenges of marketing a world-class athlete like Maria "Shriek"apova then find out what TENNIS mag writer Jon Levey thinks of Maria and all of her pet projects

Monday, November 5, 2007

Moments from Madrid: Justine Henin discusses her year, match-fixing and Martina Hingis

Defending champion Justine Henin arrived in Madrid this week for the Sony Ericsson WTA Championships and received a trophy from WTA CEO Larry Scott to commemorate her year-end No. 1 ranking. The World No. 1 spoke with the press about her incredible year and her views on the match-fixing and doping clouds hovering over tennis these days.

On her most challenging but successful year to date:
"I keep coming back to this unbelievable story that impossible is nothing and I proved it again this year. It's been a difficult year, [...] When I came back to competition in February in Paris it was like I had to start (over) again. I really grew up a lot, [...] I have no problem to say it's been the best season of my career so far."

On the recent match-fixing allegations:
"On match-fixing the only thing I can say is that I've never been approached by anyone about anything and I've never heard about anything like it."

On the doping news including Martina Hingis' revelation:
"For doping it is the same. I don't want to make any comment about Martina's situation but the thing is we want to keep a clean sport and a healthy sport because we all give our best when we play. [...] "I have been tested around 10 times this year but that is no problem for me. I'm all in favor of it as long as the authorities respect the private life of the athletes."

(source 1 & 2)

SIGHTING: Gavin Rossdale and Mark Philippoussis partner for doubles tennis action

Gavin Rossdale, Bush frontman & husband to Gwen Stefani, and tennis star turned reality TV chump Mark Philippoussis partnered for doubles action at this past weekend's The Chris Evert/Raymond James Pro-Celebrity Tennis Classic held at the Delray Beach Tennis Center.

Based on these images, which one of these men looks like he actually played professional tennis?

Sunday, November 4, 2007

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


Tennis stars give back
Nike continues to confuse fans with clothing sponsorship
Will tennis fans 'FEEL IT' for
ATP's new global marketing campaign?
Fed plays king for a day
A champion falls from grace but claims innocence
Maria flashes one for the camera
Anna K. parties with Cartier
Boris visits with MTV & Nelson Mandela
A legend speaks out

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