Google Down the Line!: 2007-12-30

Friday, January 4, 2008's Peter Bodo and Martina Hingis have more in common than just tennis

Bodo & blow: In the wake of Martina Hingis' 2-year ban from the tennis world,'s Peter Bodo wants us to know he's in no place to judge the Swiss Miss for her apparent misdeeds. In his blog, Mr. Bodo explains,
"I'd be the last person to advocate lynching people who have used or even just tried cocaine (among other things it would make me a horrible hypocrite, wink-wink), but the recreational drug is a prohibited substance and, at the end of the day, either you have rules or you don't. (Excuse me, I need to run to the men's for a moment!)."
Wow - we never thought so before, but Peter Bodo's Tennisworld sounds a lot more interesting now! Maybe we'll actually start reading it on a regular basis.

(image via

Serbians sustain injuries at Hopman Cup, Oz Open prospects in question

The Synchronized Serbs: These images of two of tennis' favorite Serbs, Novak Djokovic & Jelena Jankovic, must be worrying to their fans. In only the first tournament of the year, both ballers sustained injuries at the Hopman Cup - Nole was nursing a shoulder issue and fatigue (already?) while Jelena was dealing with a possible career threatening hamstring injury.

Both World No. 3's gave great effort throughout the tournament but fell in the final hurdle to the US team in the mixed-doubles match 7-6 (5), 6-2. What could this mean for their prospects at the Australian Open, beginning on January 14? Though Nole's injury seems minor, Jelena's injury is more worrying. For a player whose movement is one of her biggest weapons, she could be looking at a short stay this fortnight.

(images via TONY ASHBY/AFP/Getty Images, AP Photo/Jean-Marie Blase)

THE LOW DOWN: Venus Williams speaks out on Hingis ban, would give her "the benefit of the doubt"

Venus speaks out: After battling the cold Hong Kong weather and reaching the final of the JB Group Classic, Venus Williams was asked in the post-match press conference to comment on doping in tennis and the 2-year ban given to Martina Hingis today. The Wimbledon champion told reporters,
"There are very few (cases), [...] In tennis it doesn't matter what you might take, it doesn't keep the ball in, it doesn't calm your nerves. It doesn't do any of that, [...] I can see in track and field and other sports, but tennis is definitely a lot of mental and skill. There is no magic pill for that."
When asked if she believed Martina had taken drugs V said she would give the Swiss Miss "the benefit of the doubt."

Regardless of whether she truly took cocaine or not, Martina's Hall of Fame record and reputation are permanently tainted now.

(image via AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

FASHION FIX: Cold weather in Hong Kong wreaks havoc on player's outfits

Brrrr: Okay, so maybe Maria "Shriek"apova didn't have a holiday hangover when she sported those unflattering leggings at this week's JB Group Classic in Hong Kong. Venus "V" Williams and Elena Dementieva, who battled each other in the semifinals today, were clearly feeling the effects of some cold weather. Both tennis ballers donned long-sleeved shirts and workout pants to keep themselves warm.

The cold-weather wear may have not been enough for V, though. The Wimbledon champion suffered a possible back-related injury according to a trainer, though she believed it was her hamstring. In any case, the 6-time Grand Slam champ defeated Elena 6-3, 6-3 and reached the final where she'll face Maria for the title.

(image via MIKE CLARKE/AFP/Getty Images)

THE LOW DOWN: Martina Hingis officially banned from tennis for two years for doping

2 and out: Martina Hingis, who retired from tennis for a second time last season amidst accusations of doping and drug use, has been officially banned from the sport for 2 years. Though the Swiss Miss vehemently denied the allegations, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) is reporting an independent anti-doping tribunal has "rejected any suggestions there were doubts about her [urine] sample." Traces of cocaine were found in the 5-time Grand Slam champion's urine sample following a loss to Laura Granville at last year's Wimbledon.

Larry Scott, CEO of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, has released the following statement regarding Martina's ban:
"As a signatory to the WADA Code and a founding member of the Tennis Anti-Doping Program, the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour is committed to ensuring the integrity and competitive fairness of women’s professional tennis, and ensuring the heath and well-being of our athletes."

"The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to doping in sport, and fully supports the Tennis Anti-Doping Program, which is globally recognized as a world-class program in protecting the integrity of professional tennis. We support and will enforce the ruling of this independent tribunal under the Tennis Anti-Doping Program."

"All of this said, we are saddened by this news as Martina has meant so much to fans the world over and made many positive contributions to the sport."
(image via

Thursday, January 3, 2008

FASHION FIX: Rafael Nadal debuts at Chennai Open, gets messy with Nike

Too much of a good thing: Rafael Nadal made his 2008 debut this week competing at the Chennai Open. The World No. 2 has had an easy time of it, reaching the quarterfinals after defeating American qualifier Rajeev Ram 6-4, 6-1.

arrived wearing the Nike threads we questioned when images of the gear began floating around tennis sites. Now that we've seen him competing in the new gear, we have to admit our minds haven't changed. This outift is a mess of confusing patterns and over-the-top graphics.

We get it - Rafa's a swashbuckling rebel (though apparently he'd like to change that image.) But we'd prefer to let the Spaniard's personality speak for itself.

(images via DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images)

FASHION FIX: Serena Williams wears two different outfits, wins two different matches

She's back: Along with sister Venus' debut this week in Hong Kong, a fit and trim-looking Serena "ReRe" Williams made her first appearance of 2008 at this week's Hopman Cup, partnering with the recently engaged Mardy Fish. The 8-time Grand Slam champion is looking to hone her tennis skills this week as she prepares to defend her title at the Australian Open which begins on January 14.

In typical fashionista style, ReRe made a requisite outfit change between her singles and doubles matches, opting for a khaki and hot pink Nike number for her winning match against Aussie Alicia Molik, and then an eye-straining all-pink outfit for her doubles play with Mardy.

But wait, there was a third! The World No. 6 found time to visit the Perth Zoo, looking relaxed in a white tank, cap and oversized sunglasses. We admire ReRe's ability to make these changes look so easy and effortless - unlike her game.

(images via Paul Kane & Ella Ling/Getty Images)

FASHION FIX: Venus Williams makes 2008 debut in Hong Kong, works EleVen tennis gear

Venus Williams, recently voted one of Vogue magazine's best dressed for 2007, made her 2008 debut at the JB Group Classic exhibition in Hong Kong. The former tennis World No. 1 took on China's Peng Shuai and won easily 6-1, 6-2.

V, who also recently graduated with a degree in fashion design, is continuing to wear her EleVen clothing line in tournaments which she debuted at last year's US Open. This outfit is reminiscent of her past outfits from the line - nothing new but still clean and classic.

(images via AP)

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

FASHION FIX: Jelena Jankovic keeps it short with Reebok

Say it isn't so: Not only is the men's hairy situation continuing into 2008, the women have continued another unfortunate moment from 2007: shorty-shorts. The latest culprit is none other than Jelena Jankovic. Sponsor Reebok has given the Serb, who is competing at this week's Hopman Cup, some pretty jewel colors to work with this season (similar to Nicole Vaidisova's dress) but the shorts have to go.

We think this style is very boyish and reminds us of warm-up gear - not something to wear in world-class tennis competition. Let's hope the World No. 3 leaves these shorts in Perth and brings something cool and interesting to Melbourne for the Oz Open.

(images via AP)

THE LOW DOWN: Is Mardy Fish engaged to a gameshow model?

What's the deal: Can someone tell us what's up with American male tennis players dating models? First, Andy Roddick hooked up with Sports Illustrated's Brooklyn Decker and then James Blake was rumored to be seeing Victoria's Secret model Selita Ebanks.

Now comes word that Mardy Fish is engaged to Stacey Gardner, a briefcase-holding model on the NBC hit gameshow Deal or No Deal. Clearly Mardy's hairy situation hasn't hurt his prospects with the ladies.

UPDATE: We got a tip from The Big Lead to check Mardy's Wikipedia page for confirmation on the engagement and here's what we found: "In November of 2007, Mardy became engaged to Stacey Gardner, a California attorney and a "Briefcase Model" on NBC's 'Deal Or No Deal'." Case solved.

(images via and

FASHION FIX: Maria Sharapova's holiday hangover?

Speaking of Maria "Shriek"apova, here she is battling Denamark's Caroline Wozniacki at the JB Group Classic in Hong Kong, which the Russian won 6-2, 6-2. Maria wore this Nike plum + pink color combo at last season's Sony Ericsson WTA Championships, and we fell in love.

We still like it, as well as the top and skirt, but what's up with the leggings? Is the tennis fashionista, who we spotted working this trend in a picture with her mom in front of her Christmas tree, having a holiday hangover??

(images via AP)

FASHION FIX: A closer look at Maria Sharapova's Aussie Open Nike dresses

So here are the two Nike tank dresses Maria "Shriek"apova will be wearing at the Australian Open this month, one of which we previewed earlier (though we thought it looked more grey in the sketch drawings.) This khaki dress is most likely what last year's finalist will be wearing in the day.
For the evening, the tennis fashionista will wear another khaki dress with long center pleating in the front and back, pleating at the hem and a hint of a white slip underneath. Additionally the outfit looks to be made of a softer, more fluid fabric for ease of movement. This dress is clearly the better of the two because of its design and elegance, but we're not so sure about the color overall. We think it's a bit flat and we're not sure if it'll wash the Russian out. But against the new blue plexicushion courts, the dress could work well.
We were lucky enough to get a sneak preview of Maria in the evening dress from our reader Kimmy who forwarded us a Nike ad featuring the former No. 1 in the design.

(outfit images via thru

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Letter to our readers: HAPPY NEW YEAR

Wishing you all a safe and prosperous New Year!

(or at least a well-rested one, which is why we won't be posting today)

Monday, December 31, 2007

PHOTO OP: Mardy Fish's got a hairy situation on his, eh, head

We're bowled over: The ATP's 'hairy situation' from 2007 looks to be bleeding into the New Year. The latest offender: Mardy Fish. Competing at this week's Hopman Cup, the American looks to be working his 7th grade 'bowl' cut and some serious scruff on the face. What gives Mardy?

(image via AP)

Sunday, December 30, 2007

FASHION FIX: The ladies of Lacoste return, and so does the brand

Resurrected: Two ladies of Lacoste, Pocahontas wannabe Tatiana Golovin and Argentine Gisela Dulko, have returned at the Hopman Cup and, by the looks of things, so has the brand. When reminiscing about last season's Lacoste tennis duds, one word comes to mind: loungewear. We also remember some unfortunate polka-dots.

Anyway, this season the Frenchwear label has gone the more classic route of polo shirts with skirts while managing to keep the looks feminine with long, deep plackets on the tops and flirty fabrics on bottom. Nice start for ladies' Lacoste, we think.

(images via AP Photo)

PHOTO OP: The mystery of Maria Sharapova's mom is solved

Mystery mom: We don't know about you, but we've never seen the woman who gave us Maria "Shriek"apova. Rumor has it she doesn't enjoy watching Maria's matches and only likes to hear the scores afterwards.Well, ladies and gentlemen, from the "Maria Does the Holidays" photo series here she is...

Our first thought was, of course, where did she get her height from (jealous much?) Father Yuri is pretty short so we imagined her mom to be another 6' 2" Russian bombshell but, alas, we were wrong. Maria's even wearing ballerina flats and mom is in heels and she still doesn't come close to matching her height.

So one mystery is solved...onto the next...

(image via

FASHION FIX: adidas hits high mark with Alicia Molik, confuses with Novak Djokovic at Hopman Cup

FINALLY: Though we thought Sania Mirza's new adidas threads were fine, we are LOVING what the sports label has given Alicia Molik to wear at this weekend's Hopman Cup. Of all the so-called 'new' looks and styles we've seen for Australia, this is our favorite by far.

We're impressed with the white + wine color combo and the innovative details including the ergonomic dotting, the peek-a-boo florescent accents at the cap sleeves, and the hint of white border on the skirt. These subtle elements take the brand forward without trying too hard, plus it's obviously functional. We guess adidas gave the hometown girl something special to wear - smart.

Where we're left scratching our heads is why Novak Djokovic is sporting 2007 adidas duds at the start of 2008? We'd rather have him play shirtless than have him wear this over-the-top number again - and who would disagree? Not smart.

(images via AP Photo,

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