Google Down the Line!: 2007-12-09

Friday, December 14, 2007

THE LOW DOWN: The inauspicious start to Chris Evert's relationship with Greg Norman

The marrying kind: Today tennis legend Chris Evert and golf legend Greg Norman, who got gushy on a recent NBC Sports show, announced their engagement; this will be Evert's third marriage and the second for Norman. The new power couple's relationship did not, however, have an auspicious beginning.

(Greg and ex-wife Laura with Chris and ex-husband Andy, 2001)

The couple have known each other for many years - in fact, Norman was best friends with Evert's last husband Andy Mills. This past August, Mills claimed Norman ruined his 18-year marriage to the 18-time Grand Slam champion in an interview with News Ltd. newspapers. The reason? Evert filed for divorce from Mills in November 2006 but the media were already spotting the new couple together in October. Mills told the paper,
“Greg Norman at one time was my best friend and a year-and-a-half ago I would have taken a bullet for this guy, [...] But I didn't realise he was the one who was going to pull the trigger.”
Evert and Aussie Norman publicly came out at the start of 2007 with a high-profile date at Doyles fish restaurant which is within sight of Sydney Harbour in Australia.

It's good to know Evert and Norman, who will have 5 marriages between them, are continuing to exercise their right to marry and keeping the institution of marriage alive and well. Who wouldn't want to have that right?

Venus Williams earns fashion design degree, celebrates in Miami

Renaissance woman: The whirlwind life of Style Maven Award winner Venus Williams continued as the 6-time Grand Slam champion finally graduated from The Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale, FL with an associates degree in fashion design. The whole Williams family joined in the graduation ceremonies including sister Serena, mom Oracene Price, and dad Richard Williams. We bet no one else was working the kind of bejewelled 'graduation heels' V was wearing to cross the stage - wow.

The day's celebration continued into the evening with the graduation after party and launch of V's EleVen clothing line in Miami. Never one to miss a party, Serena, looking stunning in a red halter dress joined V's boyfriend, golfer Hank Kuehne, to help the former World No. 1 celebrate her great achievements.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

+ THURSDAY NETCORDS: Jelena, Boris, A-Rod, Venus vs. Serena...Sania makes amends, Becks makes us cry and more

- End of the road? What are Venus & Serena Williams' chances at next month's Australian Open? Franklin L. Johnson for says, "Is this the last major hurrah for the Williams sisters? These extraordinary athletes have been around so long many of us take them for granted. But, nothing lasts forever, including the legendary careers of Venus and Serena." But before calling it a day on their careers, let's take a trip back to the early Williams' days courtesy of Women's Tennis Blog.

- And she acts, too: Serbian Shank Award recipient Jelena Jankovic will co-star with "Hairspray" star Brittany Snow in a new, original Reebok Entertainment-produced TV show titled "Framed" that will debut Friday night on the IFC channel.

- Self-promoter: Bellezza at All About Becker found the former Wimbledon champ pimping his own clothing line. We suppose someone has to wear it.

- Get all the dirt and details on the ASB Classic and Heineken Open with R.C. French and tennis blog Yellowballin' (we're loving that name).

- Indian sensation Sania Mirza was busted for shooting an ad in the premises of a mosque in her hometown Hyderabad and then later apologized saying, "I would like to apologise to all my brothers and sisters and respected elders who are anguished by my unwittingly entering a portion of the land belonging to Mecca Masjid." The assistant police commissioner accepted the apology saying, "The girl has sent an e-mail saying sorry and her mother also went to the mosque and has given a letter." The 'girl'? How dismissive of them.

- Wishful thinking: Sports Central released the Annual Tennis Holiday Wish List. Their biggest instance of wishful thinking? "4. A grand slam sweep for Maria Sharapova. She proved to be a true professional this year, and the world can use a few more of those. Maybe the holiday season will provide her with enough magic to win all four big ones in the same year, as well." We don't think so (see comments - we even told them so!)

- The end of the tennis year wouldn't be complete without Sports Illustrated's Jon Wertheim and his Baggie Awards.

- Some kinda threesome: It's all love, love, love for Chris Evert, Greg Norman, and some guy at NBC Sports.

- Speaking of love...Though his love life seems to be in order, Gasquet & Racquet fears for Andy Roddick's professional one and offers some analysis on the former US Open champ.

OFF TOPIC ALERT: David Beckham for Emporio Armani Underwear - holy crap.

(images via AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus,

Gallery of the Unknown Tennis Player #7

So the answers to last Wednesday's GUTP quiz were Martina Hingis and Marat Safin. Congrats if you guessed correctly!

Here's today's GUTP quiz. Can you guess who the tennis players are behind the masks? Good luck...

"I'm, like, so totally psyched that I got rid of this dress. Seriously, great design but bad luck. I lost to a couple of 18-year olds in this dress, and one lost happened when I was defending champ at the US Open. Who am I?"

"Match-fixing? Ha! Illegal betting?? Ha! They can't prove these accusations, but they'd sure love to blame the Russian mafia - or at least one loud-mouthed person we all know. Who am I?"

(images via AP Photo, Getty)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Serena, Mardy, and Tatiana join James Blake for Anthem LIVE!

Last week, Davis Cup champion James Blake hosted Anthem LIVE! in Norfolk, VA. a benefit tennis match that supports cancer research (James' father, Thomas, died of stomach cancer in 2004). The event was held at the Old Dominion University's Ted Constant Convocation Center and also featured Serena Williams, Mardy Fish, and Tatiana Golovin.

Here's how it went down via James' site:

"On Thursday it was Anthem LIVE! day in Norfolk. I got there in the late afternoon right as Serena and Tatiana Golovin were hitting a few balls. Then it was off to the player lounge where James dedicated a few of his books for fans like Onsaya, who happened to be in the audience! James also explained the intricacies of the IPhone to Tatiana. You can still get book dedications if you are interested, just email me. James went out first to square off for a set against Mardy Fish. James pulled it out 6-4."

"Then Serena and Tatiana played a set, with Serena winning by the same score. After a short performance by native Virginian Elliot Yamin, which mesmerized the players, James, Serena, Mardy and Tatiana all came out for a little mixed doubles fun. A good time for all, especially super fan Cristen Leaper, and plenty of money raised to help fight the battle against cancer. Afterwards, everyone convened in the restaurant/bar of the hotel, and Norfolk resident and perennial pro bowler Bruce Smith joined the group. It's fun hanging out with this crew!"

(images via

SIGHTING: Andy Roddick steps out with Brooklyn Decker in NYC

Andy Roddick's romance with Brooklyn Decker is still going strong. The pair were rumored to have met during this year's US Open and it seems things are going well for the Davis Cup champion and the Sports Illustrated swimsuit model.

A-Rod, sporting a black skull-cap from sponsor Lacoste, and Brooklyn were spotted in the Union Square section of New York City stopping at Starbucks and then grabbing lunch at the Coffee Shop.

(image via

THE LOW DOWN: A player's publicist gets pissed at our post

A pissed publicist: We received a not-so-encouraging email response from a certain publicist for a certain player after we critiqued the player's rumored Australian Open gear. We emailed the publicist asking, in our oh-so open way, if he could confirm what his player would be wearing and send us images, after photos surfaced online. The PR flack was none-too-pleased with our opinion on the player's gear saying,

"What I don't like is your comment abut that particular gear so it really surprises me you ask me for a photo..."
Didn't seem so surprising to us. Alas, the images never came.

Aren't we doing our jobs by stating our opinions and providing a forum for discussion about the players, tennis sponsors, tournaments, etc.? It's unfortunate said publicist couldn't accept our opinion because we still think it's pretty bad - the clothing, not the player! Geez...

NOTE: Opinions expressed on Down the Line! are ours, and ours alone - unless you'd like to take credit too!

(image via

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

TENNIS 2007 AWARDS: Male and Female Style Maven of the Year

With Nike revealing their players' Australian Open '08 tennis gear, we thought this would be a good time to reveal our next TENNIS 2007 Awards: Male & Female Style Maven of the Year. These honorees will join Serena Williams and Jelena Jankovic as recipients of TENNIS 2007 Awards.

Style Mavens - Roger Federer & Venus Williams

From on-court fashion to off-court style, these two greats of the game express their personalities with the ease and flair of two people comfortable in their own skin.

Congratulations Roger and Venus on your TENNIS 2007 Style Maven of the Year Awards!

(images via bossip, AP,

FASHION FIX: Will Rafael Nadal be wearing this Nike gear at the Aussie Open?

Is this what Rafael Nadal will be wearing at the Australian Open next month? We're hoping not. This promotional photo, though, has been floating around tennis forums and blogs recently. The Spanish speedster looks like a victim of a hit-and-run - are those tire tracks on his shirt? Tennis Served Fresh has more details on the individual pieces, including the sneakers and headband.

So far Nike, in our opinion, has underwhelmed with Serena Williams' and Roger Federer's gear and now it looks like they've gone over-the-top with Rafa's. Maybe they'll find a happy middle ground with Maria Sharapova's tennis fashion - let's hope.

(image via

Monday, December 10, 2007

FASHION FIX: A preview of Roger Federer's Australian Open '08 tennis gear

tennis week keeps coming with the goods - first a preview of Serena Williams' Aussie Open gear and now World No. 1 Roger Federer. Here's a preview of what Fed will be wearing for the Australian Open courtesy of Nike. According to the TW blog, the Swiss stylist is "wearing the blue polo shirt for day matches and the black version at night. Both have a slimmer, sleeker, tailored fit than the Nike shirts Federer wore at the U.S. Open and the sleeves appear to be shorter. Attention to detail is evident in the “no-sew technology” on the button placket to prevent chafing from thread against the skin. The back of the shirt feature’s Federer’s RF logo that doubles as a 'zoned cooling' vent."

The day outfit is okay but the night outfit seems very busy - black shirt and shorts, blue head and wrist bands, white socks and sneakers. All in all we think it's fine, but like Serena's duds, nothing special. We actually prefer the US Open Darth Federer look over this one.

Who will save us from these tennis fashion doldrums?

(image via

Anna Kournikova hits the beach for K-Swiss, takes trip back to Russia

Though she rarely steps foot on a professional tennis court these days, Anna Kournikova isn't hurting for sponsorships. The original Russian glamour girl still has K-Swiss under her wing and recently shot a new commercial for the athletic brand in LA - check out these behind-the-scenes shots.

And speaking of Russia, the former top-tenner just got back from a holiday trip back to her homeland and said,

"I just got back from my trip to Russia visiting my family and friends. It's been a while since I had been back to Moscow, and I had such an amazing time! I wasn't used to the cold weather and the snow at first, but it was actually a nice change for me, and it really got me into the holiday spirit. I had a chance to relax and spend a lot of time hanging out with my friends and family,so it
was the perfect holiday gift I could give myself!"
Hmmm - no mention of boyfriend Enrique Iglesias tagging along on the trip. How can she break the news of their rumored engagement without him there? Maybe it's just that then...a rumor...*sigh*.

(images via

FASHION FIX: Preview of Serena Williams' Australian Open '08 tennis gear

tennis week grabbed a preview of Serena "ReRe" Williams' Nike tennis fashion for next month's Australian Open: a white tunic-style tennis dress with a deep v-neck and side slits and worn over purple spandex biker shorts with matching purple wrist bands.

And who does the 8-time Grand Slam champ think she's representing with her on-court style?

"I just think I represent all females out there who believe in themselves, [...] It doesn’t matter what you look like, it’s all about having confidence in you. That’s not necessarily having to wear some short shorts or extremely small top, its just about believing in yourself. I think I represent the woman that believes in herself and has confidence in herself to be unique."
ReRe also believes, though, that fashion is more important than function saying,
"When I first went to meet with Nike, I told them the best thing about me is I don’t have to be extremely comfortable, I just want to look nice out there, [...] I don’t want to be in the basic white skirt and white shirt with the collar. I want to look different. I’m OK if I have to wear a fabric that’s not your basic nylon and spandex. Let’s mix it up, try different fabrics. If I’m slightly uncomfortable, that’s OK. I’m usually able to play through it."
We aren't loving this look for ReRe. The dress is cute on its own, slightly boring, but fine. The purple spandex biker shorts seem like an afterthought and out of place. We vote for shorter shorts under the dress.

Sharapova, Blake, and Schultz join Roddick for Charity Weekend

Andy Roddick held his 7th annual Charity Weekend in Boca Raton, FL this past weekend. Maria "Shriek"apova, James Blake, and Brenda Schultz joined the American for some slipping and sliding on the green clay. According to Andy's website:

"On Saturday evening at the dinner-dance and auction, Andy, Boyd Tinsley of the Dave Matthews Band, Maria Sharapova, and Brenda Schultz all came together to
help raise funds and have a good time with all 475 guests in attendance."
"A variety of silent auction items such as sports memorabilia, vacations, and dinner certificates were up for the taking during cocktail hour, followed by thelive auction during dinner with 13 lucky winners. One of those winners was Mrs. Roddick, and she was the lucky lady who won the first dance with Andy, which was purchased by Maria Sharapova for her. Then, a dance with Maria was auctioned off."

"With everyone’s dancing shoes on in the season of giving, they celebrated their success by burning up the dance floor. On Sunday, the foundation had the free Kids Zone in the morning and then Andy played in celebrity exhibition
matches with Maria, Davis Cup compatriot James Blake, Brenda, and Boyd."

(images via

Sunday, December 9, 2007

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


The US brings the Cup home, share some tender moments
Maria catches some Heat
Monica mulls a return
Andy's hairy situation
TENNIS 2007 Award:
Shank Award

Old-school Federer
To be young and rich
Is Anna K. gettin' hitched?
Gallery of the Unknown Tennis Player
"OMG, you so look like ___________ !"
Cleaning out her closet
Jelena joins UNICEF
Has a dark underworld infiltrated tennis?
Marketing Maria


THURSDAY: Andy, Lleyton, James vs. Serena, Pete vs. Steffi...Team Andy criticized, Puma plays tennis and more

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