Google Down the Line!: 2008-01-13

Saturday, January 19, 2008

FASHION FIX: Black & silver Nike 'RF' cap now available to the masses

Calling all Fed fans: Originally sold in limited-edition quantities for some serious dough, the Nike 'RF' cap worn by Roger Federer is finally available to all through Here's the product description:

"The monogram of world No. 1 Roger Federer graces this unique hat. RF is embroidered on the face of the hat with silver thread. A velcro strap makes this hat adjust to fit most people. The underside of the bill is contrasting grey, and there's a mesh insert around the head to control moisture. The hat also features Dri-Fit fabrication to wick away perspiration. Swoosh design trademark embroidered on left side."

The hat is priced at a reasonable $20.00. To purchase one, click here.

(image via

PHOTO OP: James Blake rallies for 5-set win, joins shirtless brigade for fans

James Blake joined the shirtless brigade last night, giving his fans a treat after his impressive come-from-behind win over the crafty Frenchie Sebastien Grosjean. Down two sets and two breaks in the fourth set, James rallied for a 4-6, 2-6, 6-0, 7-6(5), 6-2. He'll next play the rising Croat Marin Cilic for a place in the quarterfinals.

(images via WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)

FASHION FIX: Novak Djokovic goes dark down under

Novak Djokovic, doing his best Darth Federer impression, has been steamrolling his opponents at the Australian Open. The World No. 3 upended American Sam Querry with an easy 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 win. He'll face the winner of the match between homeboy Lleyton Hewitt and Marcos Baghdatis that's still going on live this Saturday morning in the US.

We like this darker adidas gear for Nole's night matches, and we haven't seen the same clothing on anyone else (are you listening Nike?) The color really brings out his darker features - and we're definitely okay with that...

(images via PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images)

Friday, January 18, 2008

SIGHTING: Daniela Hantuchova takes a break, visits Versace boutique

Getting a break: Daniela Hantuchova enjoys shopping just like the next girl. The slender Slovak was spotted visiting the Versace boutique in the Crown Entertainment Complex on her day off from Australian Open competition. Dani looked stunning as she worked different outfits for the media that followed her around town.

The No. 9 seed fought off feisty Frenchie Alize Cornet with a 6-2, 7-5 win and reached the third round where she'll face Spanish veteran Virginia Ruano Pascual.

(images via Getty)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

THE LOW DOWN: Venus & Serena weigh in on Bootygate, "I'm sure it looked nice," says Serena

Not need for a rebuttal: So what did Venus Williams think of Roger Rasheed's public display of affection for her booty during his Aussie Open TV commentary? After her 7-5, 6-4 struggle past Frenchie Camille Pin the Wimbledon champ told the press,
"Well, I think Serena is the Williams sisters that is famous for her derrière. She makes all kinds of songs, Kanye West and Snoop Dog, all kinds of things. She's renowned. So I guess I'm getting a one‑up on her, maybe."
Serena, always a big supporter of her older 'sis, gave her two cents when pressed about the comments on V's "posterior" saying,
"Oh, yeah, we say booty, [...] I'm not quite sure about 'posterior.' [...] I'll try to keep that in the back of my mind. 'What are you doing?' 'I'm shaking my posterior."' [...] Venus definitely has a great posterior. I'm sure it looked nice."
Exactly - if you've got it, then by all means, zoom in please.

Bonus: Here's video of Rasheed's comments and fan reaction around Melbourne Park.

(image via AP Photo/Andrew Brownbill)

THE LOW DOWN: Maria Sharapova finally over Djokovic's impersonations, thinks they're "kinda boring"

Poking fun: Apparently Novak Djokovic needs to get a new schtick - well, at least according to Maria "Shriek"apova. The sexy Serb and his imitations of other tennis ballers, most notably Maria, have become a world-wide phenomenon, with every on-court commentator at the Grand Slams requesting a performance.

But now the Russian has pushed back. She told former Jim Courier the imitations were "kinda boring" then went on to say,

"He's got his own little thing going on. So let him do it, I'm sure you guys are going to get bored of it. But it's fun any time you can get some entertainers out there."
For his part, Nole has been hesitant to continue the antics. After again doing the "Sharapova" for the crowd following his 1st round win at the Australian Open, the World No. 3 told the press,
"I didn't [feel comfortable doing the imitation], 'cause there was a lot of talks in the last couple months about me doing these impersonations. As I was saying many times before, I wasn't really trying to, you know, make fun of anybody or offend anybody."
Okay, people need to lighten up. Nole's just having a little fun at the expense of others. Plus, we don't mind seeing him in that pose.

(image via women's tennis blog & AP Photo/Rick Stevens)

FASHION FIX: Morigami battles Kirilenko in stylish showdown

Fashion fight: Here's a matchup that was surely easy on the eyes - fashionably speaking. Japan's Akiko Morigami battled No. 27 seed Maria Kirilenko for a spot in the third round at the Australian Open. Although the Russian dismantled Akiko 6-1, 6-1, the fashion scoreline was much closer.

Both women showed up in one of our favorite trends -the flirty skirt. Maria was working a white tank-top and yellow skirt from Stella McCartney for adidas while Akiko showed up in a super-cute pink, white, and black Fila number. LOVE.

(images via Getty)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

THE LOW DOWN: Roger Rasheed bums out Aussie Open viewers

What a bummer: Roger Rasheed, former coach of hot-head Lleyton Hewitt and current TV commentator for Channel Seven in Australia, received numerous complaints for making suggestive comments about Venus Williams' booty during her match against China's Yan Zi at the Australian Open.

Using a slow-motion shot of V's butt, Rasheed told fellow commentators Tracy Austin and Nicole Bradtke,
"Take a look at this now. Make or think as you will, ladies, but for me, that's a pretty good sight.''
You see? This is the very reason we oppose those shorty-shorts. Well, not really, we just think they're f-ugly.

(image via The Daily Telegraph)

THE LOW DOWN: Sania Mirza struggles to focus amidst criticism, "A lot of thoughts went through my of the thoughts was (quitting)."

Pushing through: Sania Mirza avoided the perils of the 1st round by defeating Uzbekistan's Iroda Tulyaganova easily 6-4, 6-2; she'll play Switzerland's Timea Bacsinszky today for a spot in the Australian Open 3rd round. Though she's smiling here, the No. 31 seed has talked recently about her struggles to stay focused amidst the firestorm of criticism from her home country of India, where her commitment and loyalty to her country have been fiercely questioned.

The scrutiny hit a high point during last week's Hopman Cup when Sania was photographed with her bare feet in front of the Indian flag. Consequently, a social worker who viewed the image requested a judge in Bhopal issue a summons under the 'Prevention of Insult to the National Honor Act' arguing she disrespected the Indian flag by "sitting in a manner so that her feet pointed at the flag, which he felt was derogatory and had hurt him."

For her part, Sania said,
"I wouldn't do anything to disrespect my country, I love my country, [...] I wouldn't be playing Hopman Cup otherwise. But other than that, I am not allowed to comment because it is before the courts."
But the controversy has had an impact on the India sensation, even prompting thoughts of quitting tennis altogether. Sania told the press,
"It does play on your mind, you do start to think that at the end of the day, I am not a politician to outsmart people, [...] That's not what I am trying to do, which is to play tennis. I'm 21 and trying to be the best I can be. [...] A lot of thoughts went through my head in the past couple of weeks, and one of the thoughts was (quitting). But I wouldn't say that they were serious enough that I would quit right now."
She has been the object of criticism since arriving on the WTA Tour in 2005 when Sania, a Muslim, was called out by the orthodox clergy for baring too much skin with her tennis fashions.

(images via GREG WOOD & TONY ASHBY/AFP/Getty Images)

FASHION FIX: Aravane Rezai mixes it up, outfit included

Mixing it up: Frenchie Aravane Rezai caused a mild upset at yesterday's Australian Open, taking out countrywoman and No. 13 seed Tatiana Golovin 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in the second round. The rising 20 year-old's next opponent will be Taiwan's Su-Wei Hsieh.

So we wanted to discuss this tennis outfit but we were left speechless - at least momentarily. The shirt's mix of patterns left us dizzy and distracted - we can't even imagine what Tati was going through on the opposite side of the net.

Could this outfit be considered a form of gamesmanship?

(images via ROMEO GACAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Women's 1st Marquee Matchup: Australian Open 2nd Round

Mixed bag of emotion: It's with great excitement and disappointment that we bring you our first Women's Marquee Matchup of this year's Australian Open: Maria "Shriek"apova vs. Lindsay Davenport in the 2nd round. We'd love to see Maria and Lindsay continue their paths through the draw and meet up somewhere around, oh, the quarterfinals. Alas, it wasn't meant to be - someone will be going home early.

Maria's 1st round match was a relatively routine affair, defeating journeywoman Jelena Kostanic Tosic 6-4, 6-3 in 89 minutes. In contrast, Lindsay struggled mightily in her 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 win over the pesky Italian Sara Errani. The last time these two Grand Slam champions met was in 2006, when the Russian won a 3-6, 6-1, 6-3 semifinal in Dubai.

Here's what Maria had to say about playing Lindsay:

"[Lindsay is] a completely different opponent than the opponent I played today. You know, [she's] a big hitter, has a big serve. You know, she's more of a 1‑2 ball combination type of player. It's going to be very important to serve well and return well and hopefully get a good hit on the first ball. [...] Yeah, I do [have a good record against her.] Yeah, I do. But this is a completely different match. We haven't played in a while. It's going to be a new match."
Lindsay had this to say about playing Maria:

"[Maria] will be the first grand-slam winner I've played since being back. [...] She's a great player. She's one of the few players I don't have a winning record against probably in the draw. We play very similar styles. She's outplayed me the last couple times we played."
Matt Cronin for believes a high first-serve percentage and aggressive returning will be key for both players, whose styles are quite similar due to their tudorship under famed groundstroking coach Robert Lansdorp. We agree with Cronin and also think Lindsay's not quite ready for this level just yet - we'll take Maria in 2 tight sets.

(images via AP Photo/Rob Griffith & Andrew Brownbill)

THE LOW DOWN: Unruly fans pepper-sprayed during Gonzalez match, 5 fans ejected from stands

Peppered for passion? Is this the Australian Open or the World Cup? Apparently, it's a little of both. Yesterday, during Fernando Gonzalez's 6-4, 7-6 (2), 6-1 first-round victory over Greece's Konstantinos Economidis, police used pepper spray to subdue 3 apparently out-of-control spectators before ejecting 5 fans from the stands for unruly behavior. The offenders could be charged with "assault, failing to obey police or using offensive language."

Fernando, last year's surprise finalist, said,
"It was very noisy from both sides, but the police came in, [...] I don't know exactly what happened with them. I saw that they threw spray. [...] They (did) say a few things, but it's part of the crowd, [...] For me it's fun to play like that. It's like a Davis Cup match. I think the people enjoyed it."
Can you imagine if the match went to 5-all in the 5th set, Gonzo? Good times!

(images via AP Photo/Andrew Brownbill)

FASHION FIX: Venus Williams embodies cheap-chic, works diamond chandeliers

Blingin' it: Seriously, how does Venus Williams play elite-level tennis wearing two diamond chandeliers on her head, not to mention the possible engagement rock on her left hand? The entire pink + grey EleVen outfit she's working here, including accessories and sneakers, probably costs under $100, so we're thinking V's feeling her own version of cheap-chic.

In any case, it's a strange look - and we haven't even talked about the dreaded shorty-shorts. Ewww. Regardless, the Wimbledon champ made the second round, defeating Zi Yan of China 6-2 7-5.

(images via AP Photo/Rick Stevens)

FASHION FIX: Darth Federer returns, serves two bagels in his first conquest

The man in black: Roger Federer made an ominous start to his campaign for the Australian Open title and 13th major. Fed, who debuted as Darth Federer in the Nike Black Collection at last season's US Open, made a breakfast date of his 1st round matching, serving Argentine Diego Hartfield two bagels in a straight set 6-0 6-3 6-0 victory. Most importantly, the Swiss Stylist left notice that he's completely healthy and recovered from the stomach virus which threatened to derail his quest.

We're relieved tennis' World No. 1 decided to go monochromatic in black, aside from the shots of blue piping and the Nike headband, and not the messy multi-colored moment that we saw in his preview.

We've got to hand it to Fed - he knows his style. Let's just hope there aren't any wannabe's at this Grand Slam, though.

(images via AP Photo/Rick Stevens)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Ana Ivanovic's Domination Tour continues to build as she gossips about gossip

More Serbian stuff: Ana Ivanovic is really bringing her Global Domination Tour to a new level in 2008. The new World No. 3 (a career high ranking), who recently took the UK by storm, is providing inside scoop on the Australian Open for and blogging for the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, all the while still giving her fans (and bloggers) the personal touch via her own website.

Here's a highlight from the latest diary entry on her site:

"Gossip. Everyone loves it, and the tennis world is no different. The corridors of Melbourne Park, and all other tournaments, are full of people telling each other the latest rumours, especially when we haven’t seen each other for a long time. Who is dating who, who said nasty things about who, whose muscles just doubled in size…"
"For the best gossip, the player lounge/restaurant is the place to be. The majority of it is probably untrue, and the funny thing is that the media seem to be pretty much in the dark – they only find out the stories a couple of months later."

"I do like the occasional bit of gossip myself, so I would be a hypocrite if I complained when the stories are about me. I try to have a sense of humour about it. I guess I am still young, and it’s all very new to me. It’s hard to describe how it feels when you read a story about yourself and a player that you barely know, that claims that you are dating. You just have to laugh about it and not take it too seriously."

"The biggest gossips are the coaches and agents. The players themselves don’t gossip half as much as them, at least not in my experience. It’s no secret that the tennis world isn’t the friendliest of places, with a lot of rivalry, but the atmosphere in the women’s locker room is actually quite pleasant. Of course, there are some players who keep their heads down, avoid eye contact with anyone and never say “hello”, but there will always be someone in there you can have a chat with."

Damn! Ana makes the tennis tour sound like so much fun. We'd love to know which player's muscles just doubled in size, also. Do tell...

Oh, to be a fly on the wall of that players' lounge.

(image via AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

SIGHTING: Serbian water churns out another beauty, but can't slay the beast

Another one: Okay, question - what's in the Serbian water? We're curious because they keep churning out these athletically-inclined beauties.

Here's another one - 21 year old Viktor Troicki. The Serb took on another 21 year 0ld - Rafael Nadal - in the first night session of the Australian Open. Viktor put up an admirable fight, pushing the World No. 2 to a tie-break in the first set, but eventually succumbed to the Spaniards' raw power and superior movement in a 6-7 (3), 5-7, 1-6 loss.

Oh, one more question - what do you think his lucky tennis racquet is thinking right now?

(images via WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)

SIGHTING: Tennis' brightest stars attend IMG's Aussie Open player party

Party time: The start of a Grand Slam always means one thing: player parties! Some of the biggest tennis ballers in the world dropped their racquets and picked up a cocktail (or soda water - whatever) at IMG's party player on the eve of the Aussie Open at Breezes, located in the Crown Towers. They gathered to toast the start of a (hopefully) successful season and the first Grand Slam of the Year.

Rafael Nadal & James Blake

Xavier Malisse & Joachim Johansson

BTW - when did Joachim Johansson become so model-boy cute? We need you back!

UPDATE: Thanks to our readers for letting us know these images were from a previous year's event. We're on the search for this year's IMG party pics and will post them if we find any!

(images via getty)

FASHION FIX: Nike pulls semi-switch-a-roo, puts Maria Sharapova in white Flora Dress

The reveal: So as we could all finally see, Nike didn't pull a complete switch-a-roo of Maria "Shriek"apova's dress for the Australian Open. She's still wearing the 'Sharapova Australian Open Flora Dress' but, luckily, the Russian fashionista showed up on Vodafone Arena working a pristine white version for her 1st round match - not the bland, tan version that leaves unfortunate sweatmarks on its unsuspecting victims.

We like this one much better overall - clean + classic with a touch of elegance.

(images via AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

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