Google Down the Line!: 2008-02-17

Friday, February 22, 2008

THE LOW DOWN: Is it curtains for Mauresmo?

The end of the road: Amelie Mauresmo, who I think is on the fast train to retirementville, was interviewed by French sports paper L'Equipe recently and discussed the state of her game and whether it's time to call it quits on her tennis career. Speaking to the paper after her second round defeat in the Qatar Open this week, the former No. 1 said,

I want to keep on playing but at the same time I am wondering if it’s the right thing to do, [...] Just as soon as I get the feeling back that I am heading in the right direction, I get another heavy defeat like that. It’s been like that for the last few months. Obviously at some point that leaves you wondering whether it might be best just to pack it all in. [...] Obviously at some point that leaves you wondering whether it might be best just to pack it all in. But we are not quite there yet. For the moment I still want to keep trying.

Yes, of course she should keep trying but at the same time Amelie, who now sits at No. 22 in the rankings, needs to be realistic about her prospects. The 2-time Grand Slam champ was never a mental giant even during her best playing years, and those are most definitelty behind her now.

(image via

Donald Young hailed as next Federer by clueless writer

Ridiculousness: Rodney Hinds of the UK's The Voice may be writing about tennis, but he's surely not watching the game. In his recent article, Hinds leads with this stunning announcement:

RISING star Donald Young has been touted as the player to take over the mantle of Roger Federer.
Okay - I got it. The "mantle" he's referring to must be Donald's penchant for racquet throwing - just like a young Federer:

Mystery solved.

THE LOW DOWN: Nole gets political + wants the clothes stealing to stop!

No country for old men: Novak Djokovic is speaking out about the political unrest in his home country of Serbia, and even TIME magazine is taking notice. The Ausssie Open champ sent a videotaped message to his country, supporting a Serbian Kosovo and not the growing independence movement (in Serbian, translation below):

Hello to all of Serbia and all who are with us
This is the toughest of times in the history of Serbia
and I want to thank eveyone who has come here to this meeting
and to show the world that we are not small and weak,
that we are united and willing to defend what is ours
I am sad I can not be with you physically right now
and I want eveyone to know that my family and myself are with kosovo always
entire situation is very hard on me as entire history of serbian nation is stemming from kosovo
kosovo is serbian and shall remain so forever.
In other Nole news: Apparently, Team Djokovic is pissed that Nole's "official sports outfit" is being sold globally on certain websites. His website is featuring this image and the following message for the public and possible perpetrators:

In the last couple of months, the sale of Novak Djokovic’s official sports outfit has been wide spread through Online shops of certain internet sites.

We inform home and world public that the authorised seller of Novak’s outfit and other products is D.O.O. ‘Family Sport’ from Belgrade, and that in the following month, the Online shop of Novak’s official site will start selling them, too.

We point out that this kind of sales through unauthorised sites is offence, and legal proceedings will be instituted against perpetrators unless they stop this kind of illegal activity that directly violates rights of D.O.O. ‘Family Sport’, that doesn’t have authorised distributors.
Huh? I thought his "official sports outfit" was provided by adidas which is sold legally pretty much everywhere. Are they talking about the clothing in the image (which doesn't look very official to me) or the stank shirt from his Aussie Open run?

Confusion abounds!

(image via

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The baller with the best 'brows in the business...jealous much?

I was stopped dead in my tracks after seeing these eye-catching 'brows during my daily perusal through the tennis image banks. I thought to myself, "Which baller owns these incredibly well-sculpted 'brows?" Why, none other than Fabio Fognini.

The Italian pushed Argentine head-case David Nalbandian to three tough sets at the Copa Telmex tourney in Buenos Aires, but lost 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 6-3.

That's okay Fabio - you may have lost the match but you def won my "Best 'Brows Award" for sure - and, no, I'm not jealous...really!

(images via Getty)

Shameless Self-Promotional Moment: Summer Olympian

Hey y'all!

I'm excited to say that I've begun blogging for a site dedicated to this summer's Beijing Olympics called Summer Olympian, part of the TFS Media Network. I'll be covering all things Olympics including the athletes, opening + closing ceremonies, individual events, socio-political issues, art & design, fashion, and, of course, tennis news leading up to and during the Summer Games.

Here are my latest Olympic tennis posts:

Federer and Sharapova Seeking First-time Olympic Glory

Justine Henin Wants Focus on Athletes, Not Politics

Former Top Ranked Tennis Doubles Team Back Together for Olympic

Here are my latest posts focusing on Olympic news:

Water Cube Makes Debut, Draws Praise

The Makings of a Beijing Olympics Medal Presenter

2008 Olympics Fashion Revealed!

Behind the Olympic Torch Design

New Starting Blocks Cause Concern for Swimmers

Olympics News: Around the Grounds



Wednesday, February 20, 2008

FASHION FIX: Nadal gets the (Nike) blues

Change up: Our philanthropic friend, Rafael Nadal, is the top seed at this week's wordiest tourney: the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament 2008 (are all those words really necessary?) Anyways, the World No. 2 moved into the second round after defeating Russian Dmitry Tursunov 6-4, 6-4 in their first-ever meeting. He'll take on Italian Andreas Seppi in the next round.

Now, if you recall I wrote in length about how much I disliked Rafa's Aussie Open Nike gear - something about 'roadkill'. But I'm def liking this version - it's still the Global Power Sleeveless top and Global 3/4 pant, but the shades of blue mixed with white + grey are much more appealing than the orange-red + grey disaster from earlier in the season. I'd still love to see a more interesting, innovative design on the shirt than the tire track mess, but all in all much better.

(images via Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

FASHION FIX: Qatar is cold! Break out the cool-weather tennis gear

Warming up: Though the tennis may be hot, the chilly temperatures at this week's Qatar Open in Doha are destroying any sense of style on our fave ballers, forcing the fashionistas to cover up their tennis duds (and bodies) with long-sleeved shirts and scary leggings.

In any case, Venus Williams + Maria "Shriek"apova got through to the third round, but Amelie Mauresmo continued her inevitable slide towards retirement with a 7-6(7), 7-5 loss to veteran qualifier Tamarine Tanasugarn.

(images via Getty)

THE LOW DOWN: Hewitt tired of media scrutiny, "I'm really a shy, down-to-earth lad, " says Lleyton

PR 911: Lleyton Hewitt is getting all sensitive on us now, and he wants us to know it. The Aussie hot-head spoke out recently against the constant media spotlight surrounding his family, including wife Bec and daughter Mia. The former No. 1 told The Times newspaper,

"We are on the front cover of a certain level of magazine every week, [...] The last story was `Bec's Breakdown', full of lies and made-up quotes, but then a lot of people believe it. It's hard to deal with it all, which is why I don't like having to leave them alone. Whatever people might think, I'm really a shy, down-to-earth lad who just likes being with my mates and whose favourite way of spending a weekend is a family barbecue."
Seriously - shy and down-to-earth? You're right, Lleyton, I can't imagine you spending a relaxing weekend BBQing with the fam. But that has nothing to do your belligerent attitude on and off the court or past racially-motivated remarks...nothing at all.

(images via AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

TENNIS mag's ill-fated attempt at relevancy, boots sports labels for fashion brands

Fat of the land: March is an important month for lifestyle mags - usually the major pubs ship out their "Spring Preview" issues, fat with fashion pages and, hopefully, advertisers with product to show and money to burn. The archaic TENNIS magazine makes sure it doesn't miss that boat and attempts to stay relevant with this editorial featuring major fashion labels Shipley & Halmos, Trovata, Marc by Marc Jacobs, and Band of Outsiders, Y-3, American Apparel, + Superga.

While the images are beautiful and the clothing stylish, where are the true sports labels? Is Marc Jacobs or Trovata, for that matter, advertising with the magazine?? It seems pretty ballsy for TENNIS magazine to completely ignore real sports brands in a feature editorial at a time when ad dollars are few and far between these days. Plus, who exactly does TENNIS mag think it's readers are when they feature this type of spread?

Biting the hand that feeds - now that's a great marketing strategy!

(via TSF, images courtesy of Williams + Hirakawa)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Quote of the Day: Roger Federer

"My goal is to play for as long as possible, hopefully until I'm 35."
- Roger Federer on his playing years
The rest of the ATP Tour says, "Shitballs..."

(image via

+ TUESDAY NETCORDS: Monica dances, Boris vs. Andy...Pete embarrasses Tommy, Ballers Gone Wild!, baby Mia and more

- Retirement rocks: Monica Seles is not even a full week into her post-tennis life and she's already blowing up her PR machine. The former No. 1 already has a TV gig with CBS' The Early Show and now she's signed on as a contestant for this season's Dancing with the Stars. As we all know, movement was never a strength for the 9-time Grand Slam champ - will she be fighting two left feet?

- Crime doesn't pay: Beginning this week at tourneys in Doha and Bogota, the WTA Tour is now requiring parents, agents, coaches and other entourage members to undergo criminal background checks if they want full access at tournaments. According to Tour CEO Larry Scott, "...I think there’s a recognition that leading professional sports bodies, especially those dealing with young women like we are, have to do everything possible to ensure a safe environment for the players.”

WTT news: For the two of you who care, The Washington Kastles are the new franchise in World Team Tennis.

- Italians do it better: World No. 1,009 Giorgio Galimberti was found guilty of betting on tennis from June 2003 to January 2006, was suspended for 100 days and fined $35,000 for his actions. He becomes the fourth Italian baller to be caught betting on matches, joining countrymen Potito Starace, Daniele Bracciali and Alessio Di Mauro.

- Could A-Rod beat you at tennis armed only with a frying pan? Ex-ESPN writer Todd Gallagher did some investigating and compiled a list of hysterical but hypothetical sports scenarios into a book entitled "Andy Roddick Beat Me with a Frying Pan".

- Ballers Gone Wild! Goran Ivanisevic will be questioned by police after a photographer accused the former Wimbledon champ of attacking him and smashing his camera with a baton. Anger management much?

- The Independent had a lengthy e-mail conversation with embattled Russian Nikolay Davydenko about the toll the Sopot match-fixing investigation has had on his life, including the unfair treament he's received by the ATP:

Do you think the ATP has been fair during its investigation? No. From the first moment I felt isolated and left on my own to deal with everything. I felt I deserved better protection from the ATP.
- Tommy haas nothing on Pete: The very-retired Pete Sampras kept up his exhibition-winning ways, humiliating Tommy Haas in San Jose 6-4, 6-2. "Show some mercy, Pete," said an embarrassed Haas.

- Bec Hewitt and baby Mia were spotted getting some family time in at Melbourne Park recently.

- Second that emotion: Brian Lutz, The Slycer, thinks TENNIS magazine is stale and unoriginal. Talk about hitting the ball in the sweet spot.

- Words of wisdom: Boris Becker has some advice for Andy Murray - step it up. The tennis legend, who spoke to the press at the recent Laureus Awards, said Andy needs to raise his level of play saying, "He said he was injured for Argentina and nobody can argue with that, but if he missed it because he was saving himself for Marseille this attitude is not going to win him a Grand Slam."

(images via
AP Photo/Yves Logghe +

Monday, February 18, 2008

THE LOW DOWN: Qatar Open goes Tier 1 but draws controversy

The Qatar Open has brought out some of the biggest stars on the WTA Tour, most likely due to the fact that the tourney was promoted to Tier 1 status this season, increasing the purse and the amount of ranking points a baller could earn here. The event isn't without controversy, however.

Israel's Shahar Peer is the first person from her country to compete at an event in one of the Persian Gulf states. The 20-year old was asked about playing in the region and said,

"If I can help for the political things to go better and have peace in the world, of course I'll be happy to do it, [...] But I am not going there for political reasons. It's a big tournament, I've never been in this country, and I'm really excited to go and I'm happy to compete."
But is she concerned about her safety while participating in the tourney? "I have no concerns," said Shahar.

(images via KARIM JAAFAR/AFP/Getty Images)

FASHION FIX: Federer + Henin capture top Laureus Awards, arrive in black-tie best

Dynamic duo: Tennis World No. 1's Roger Federer and Justine Henin earned the prestigious Laureus Sportsman & Sportswoman of the Year awards today for their dominant 2007 seasons. Fed made more sports history by becoming the first athlete to win the award four times and in consecutive years.

Both ballers looked their black-tie best - Fed, going all dapper with an elegant tuxedo featuring a beautiful fitted velvet jacket, arrived with girlfriend Mirka while Justine hit the right mark with her soft, layered locks and black cocktail dress.

Serb Novak Djokovic was also nominated for Breakthrough of the Year but lost out to Formula One racer Lewis Hamilton.

(images via getty +

Qualifier Nishikori wins Delray Beach, earns first ATP title

Taking his chances: 18-year old qualifier Kei Nishikori announced his arrival in tennis world this weekend, defeating top seed James Blake 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 in the final of Delray Beach and earning his first senior-level title. The Japanese baller, who's another product of the Nick Bollettieri factory, became the youngest winner on the ATP Tour since 1998 when a 16-year old Lleyton Hewitt won in Adelaide.

Now, how does Kei's progress compare to that of fellow 18-year old American "prodigy" (and racquet launcher) Donald Young?

(images via AP Photo/Jon Way)

FASHION FIX: Sharapova arrives for Qatar Open, works eclectic style

Maria "Shriek"apova was spotted arriving in Doha for the Qatar Open this week, which this season has been promoted to a Tier 1 event for the first time. The Aussie Open champ is the No. 4 at the tourney.

Maria's outfit, however, is causing confusion. The casualness of her look, the color combo, and the Fendi satchel are great but the white suit vest seems strange, not to mention the oversized sunglasses. Plus, what is she actually carrying in the Prince Gold Collection tennis bag since co-coach Michael Joyce is clearly carrying her racquets?

In any case, it's good for her sponsor and that's all that counts.

(image via STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

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


ReRe can't write or compete, but she sure can party
Lucky Maria gives it up for charity
The Frenchies put on a show
Dani has change of heart, hits the runway
A-Rod & girlfriend spotted in the Big Apple
Monica ends first career, begins second one
Rafa prepares for his future
A family feud continues
A tennis no-brainer
Justine gives good quote


Monday: Sania, Viktor, Bodo vs. Rafa...Chris on Venus & Serena, fun with felt and more

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