Google Down the Line!: 2008-03-09

Saturday, March 15, 2008

FASHION FIX: Sharapova stays undefeated, has unfortunate "skort" moment

Picture perfect: Maria "Shriek"apova, who was recently called out by Martina Navratilova for her grunting ways, couldn't have asked for a better start to the season. The Russian is undefeated in 15 matches this year, adding Stephanie Cohen-Aloro to her list of victims with a 6-1, 6-0 thrashing at the Pacific Life Open yesterday.

The tennis fashionista's game may be on fire, but her outfit was pretty tame by Maria's standards. The 20-year old apppeared on-court working Nike's white Aussie Fauna tank + skort.

The outfit is pretty bland and boring - couldn't she have worn the logan berry with bright fuscia skirt to add contrast? What I really can't get over, though, is the skort moment - I can't even stand the idea of a skort. It's like a "spork", the spoon-fork combo. I just don't get it.

(image via AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Quote of the Day: Bob Costas on sports bloggers

[I]t's one thing if somebody just sets up a blog from their mother's basement in Albuquerque and they are who they are, and they're a pathetic get-a-life loser, but now that pathetic get-a-life loser can piggyback onto someone who actually has some level of professional accountability and they can be comment No. 17 on Dan Le Batard's column or Bernie Miklasz' column in St. Louis. That, in most cases, grants a forum to somebody who has no particular insight or responsibility. Most of it is a combination of ignorance or invective.

- Sportscaster Bob Costas on bloggers and their influence on sports journalism
Don't let that smile fool you...he's "the man"...

(via, image via google)

FASHION FIX: Vania King wins match but loses style points

Mix + match: Vania King continues to earn her tennis stripes on the WTA Tour. The 19-year old came from a set down to defeat veteran Anne Kremer 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 and advance to the second round at Indian Wells.

The American needs to settle on a clothing sponsor, however. The outfit is all over the place - a Prince cap, adidas trainers, and a pretty but unmarked striped sea-green and chocolate brown halter dress.

Can't a girl get some sponsorship 'round here?!

(image via Harry How/Getty Images)

SIGHTING: Vaidisova + Stepanek enjoy a break together at Indian Wells

Love is in the air: Nicole Vaidisova and Radek Stepanek took a break and made a very public outing together during this week's Pacific Life Open. The pair had been spotted spending time together in Sydney back in January and by the looks of this photo, things are going well.

The Czech may want to spend some time focusing on her tennis, though. Her best result this year? A semifinal showing at the Medibank International, losing to Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova.

(image via AP Photo/Mark Avery)

VIDEO VAULT: Nole visits Tonight Show, discusses playing "a girl's sport"

Noleno: Novak Djokovic's PR machine is gearing up for tennis' version of March Madness.

An admittedly nervous Nole hit up The Tonight Show with Jay Leno last night where he discussed winning his maiden Grand Slam and how tennis is "a girl's sport" in his native Serbia.

Hmmm - guess that explains the spot-on , but kinda boring, Maria "Shriek"apova impressions, which they had to show again.

In case you missed it:

FASHION FIX: Yellow fever hits Indian Wells, Federer springs into action

Spring has sprung: Roger Federer has been hit by the bug - again.

The yellow fever moment that overcame the ladies in Dubai has made its way to Indian Wells where the World No. 1 was spotted practicing in our favorite spring hue - though I'm not quite sure about the design on the shirt (is it Nike and are those eyeballs peeping out?) I'm def loving the white Nike Global Control Short with contrasting stripe on the back - nice touch.

Anyway, after a slow start to the season due to illness, the Swiss Stylist will look to get his ethereal game on track at the year's first Masters Series. Will his win over legend Pete Sampras this week give him any confidence?

(image via AP Photo/Mark Avery)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Fashion coverage seemingly more vital to ESPN The Magazine than tennis coverage

WTF: So did you hear the rumor floating around the blogosphere that ESPN The Magazine is ratcheting up its fashion coverage? Yay!

But, do you think this means an increase in tennis coverage, the most fashion-conscious sport on the planet? Probably not - because in the words of Steven Binder, VP of magazine sales at the sports mag, "People want to know what athletes are wearing to and from the ballpark."

Right - it's called a uniform, duh.

(image via jossip)

Navratilova to Sharapova: Shut it up!

Put a cork in it: Martina Navratilova, who recently regained Czech citizenship 30 years after defecting to the US, would like to silence the grunters for good, even calling out the girl she helped discover - Maria "Shriek"apova.

Speaking to the press in Tokyo where she's participating in an exhibition with Steffi Graf and Kimiko Date, the 18-time Grand Slam champion said,

"If I were the commissioner of tennis I would outlaw (screeching during matches.) Maria's level gets louder the closer the match and quite frankly it's not necessary, they aren't lifting 300 pounds, they're hitting a tennis ball."
The tennis legend even referenced the recent story of 9-year old Lauryn Edwards, who was banned from her local tennis club for excessive shrieking, to make her case saying,
"Here you had this little kid who was just barely getting the ball over the net yet the noise coming out of her made you think she was hitting the ball 200 miles an hour. She was concentrating more on making the noise than hitting the ball."
I'm all for Martina being the first tennis commissioner - and we all know the game needs one.

(image via AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

A-Rod launches Facebook page to (stank) applause

Andy Roddick, whose decision to skip the Olympics this summer is a mixed-bag, officially launched his Facebook page - an obsession of mine as well - which includes fan stories, personal pictures of A-Rod, and anecdotes. Here's the latest:

In austin for the day... have to switch out my bags. i thought i was only gonna be on the road for a week, but then i took the wildcard in memphis, so a weeks worth of clothes was made into 3 weeks... laundry day!! and maybe a little golf:)
Ewww - that's pretty stank...

(image via facebook)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

ALERT: ABC's Wife Swap searching for tennis-obsessed families now!

Are you part of a tennis-obsessed family? Do you need $20,000??

Well, I just received the following email from a producer for the ABC show Wife Swap:

I'm a Casting Producer for ABC's Primetime show, "Wife Swap." I hope you don't mind me contacting you, but we're currently into our fourth season at the moment and we're looking for one-of-a-kind families with plenty of personality.

Specifically, we’re looking for families who love the game of tennis! If your family is obsessed with tennis and welcomes the idea of sharing how you live with America , I want to hear from you! In addition, please feel free to forward this email on to any families you think would be interested in taking part in this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

In case you are unfamiliar with the show, the premise of Wife Swap is to take two different families and have the moms switch places to experience how another family lives. Half of the week, mom lives the life of the family she is staying with. Then she introduces a "rule change" where she implements rules and activities that are important to her family. It's a positive experience for people to not only learn but teach about other families and other ways of life. Wife Swap airs on Disney owned ABC television on Wednesdays at 8 pm- the family hour!

Requirements : Each family must consist of two parents and at least one child between 7 and 17 and should reside in the continental U.S. (There may be other children living in the home who are older or younger than the required age…as long as one child is in the required age range.)

Participating in the show is a very unique experience that can be life changing for everyone. In addition, each family that tapes an episode of Wife Swap receives $20,000 as compensation for their time. Anyone who refers a family that appears on our program receives $1000 as a 'thank you’ from us.
If you're interested, contact me at!

(image via

SIGHTING: Shirtless Ginepri tightens up game + body for Indian Wells

Robby is resurgent: We have a new member to add to the shirtless brigade, y'all! Kenneth who writes a blog called Kenneth in the (212) received these shots of a fit + resurgent Robby Ginepri as he practices for Indian Wells this week where he received a wild-card entry.

endured an intense off-season regimen with coach Jose Higueras which he attributes to his recent success, including a dominating 6-2, 6-2 win over compatriot James Blake at the SAP Open.

I think Robby can attribute the serious front and back he's working here to those off-season workouts. Now how could I be a responsible blogger and not provide you with gratuitous tennis eye candy to get you through the day? Tell me!

(image via kennethinthe212)

FASHION FIX: adidas reissues classic styles for Spring '08 limited-edition Tournament Pack

Back to the future: adidas' Stan Smiths, a personal fave and one of the best-selling sneakers off all-time, is being reintroduced this spring in its original 1977 silhouette for the forthcoming limited-edition Tournament Pack.

Details of the spring reissue include "perforated upper, quality leather, sparing use of forest green and subtle laser etching."

The additional styles included in the Pack are the G.S. original (1981), Forest Hills Vintage original (1977), Nastase Master original (1976), and Rod Laver vintage original (1970).

Can you say hot?

(images via sneakerfiles + hypebeast)

+ WEDNESDAY NETCORDS: Roger, Martina, Lleyton vs. Bec...NetJets roundup, Maria best dressed, Olympics news and more!

- NetJets roundup: The historical clash between Roger Federer and Pete Sampras on Monday gained tons of press around the blogsphere. Check out the write-ups by New York Mag's Daily Intelligencer, USA Today, Sports Illustrated, NBC Sports, TENNIS mag, Tennis Week, Peter Bodo, Tennis Diary, Tennis Served Fresh, Kenneth in the (212), and Deadspin.

- Indian Wells: The first Masters Series of the year for the men and another Tier 1 tourney for the ladies begins today at the Pacific Life Open. Check out the draws here and Nate Cunningham's rundown of the men's draw for Tennis Diary. For viewers in the US, the event will be broadcast on the Fox Sports Network this year beginning Saturday, March 15.

- Olympics 2008 news: Though rumors that Roger Federer may skip this summer's Olympics in Beijing haven't been confirmed, another baller has decided not to make the trip: Andy Roddick. The American wants "to focus on preparing for the U.S. Open by playing at the hard-court Legg Mason Tennis Classic." Elena Dementieva, however, is determined to represent Russia at the Games saying "[t]hat's why I'm not playing Fed Cup this year. For me [the Olympics is] the most important tournament of the year." In any case, celebrity athletes competing in China won't receive special treatment in the Olympic Village according to Beijing officials.

- Feeling lazy: Have you ever dreamed of having your own personal ball kid at the park? Well, here's the Playmate Super Deluxe Ball Mower, the next best thing (though the ballers next to you might not enjoy the noise):

- Keeping it in Czech: Martina Navratilova regained her Czech citzenship in January, 30 years after defecting to the US and becoming an American citizen.

- Making the list: Maria "Shriek"apova, who was spotted on the red carpet for friend Camilla Belle's 10,000 BC movie premiere, was named to Vogue's 10 Best Dressed of the Week list for the Lanvin double-layered chiffon dress she wore to the event.

- The worst is over? Apparently, all has not been well in the Hewitt household - who knew? In any case, the marriage is back on track according to New Idea magazine.

- Opinions matter: Though Doug Adler is seeing signs of a Federer decline after his recent losses, Roger begs to differ and so does's Tom Perrotta.

- OFF-TOPIC ALERT: Congrats to Madonna for entering the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on Monday night and for this great Steven Klein shot for Interview mag - love it.

(image via

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Tennis fan eager for "private" moment with A-Rod

More blogging ballers: Andy Roddick gave us a peak into his political closet recently and now the newly crowned Dubai champion tells us that a "happy" fan tried to get a peak at something else during his trip to the Memphis tourney:

We went to Ruth Chris after my match against Mardy and there was some of the tennis crowd there from the tournament. I signed a couple of things before I sat down and it wasn’t a big deal….so I am on my way into the bathroom and an overzealous lady-fan who may (definitely) have had a couple of drinks sees me go in and decides to follow. So she sticks her head in the door and asks for an autograph while I am in the middle of it…. I told her I would see her in just a second when I was finished and she said okay and just stood there… it wasn’t until another dude walked in that she realized she had made things a tiny bit weird….
You can't blame a girl for trying!

(image via photobucket)

Serena is a player...and not just the tennis kind

Apparently, Serena "ReRe" Williams likes to play the field on the court as well as off.

According to her latest blog post, the 8-time Grand Slam champ says when you're dating someone, you should keep some spares on the side, or as she so eloquently puts it, you should have "boyfriend insurance":

It is indeed important to have insurance: car insurance, various types of home insurance, health insurance, and life insurance. The list goes on and on but has anyone ever thought about having boyfriend insurance? And what exactly is "boyfriend insurance"?

Boyfriend insurance is simple. It's when you are dating someone but you are not sure what the future holds so you also have one or a few "insurance policies" or boys on the side just in case your main squeeze doesn't work out.

This is crazy you may be saying but think about it? Who can afford to live in our society without healthy insurance? It's surely a kiss of death! They won't even look at you in the emergency room with a gunshot wound if you don't have insurance! So, why not protect your personal life?

My friend "Paige" introduced me to the idea of insurance. She was dating a guy who she carelessly started to like and care for deeply when one day he stopped calling her. She was a mess. Nothing to do, her mind could not stop thinking about him. When it suddenly dawned on her "if I had other guys to talk to I wouldn't have this problem".

When her boyfriend did decide to call her she realized she can't put herself through those emotions she needed a back up plan... She needed boyfriend insurance. Just in case something happens, she will be fully covered.

Now she has 3 insurance policies. In case her boyfriend starts acting up she's covered! The best thing about boyfriend insurance is its FREE!!!!!!
I think everyone should have at least 2 policies! Why not? If you are young don't sell yourself short! Go out and get yours!!!!!!!


*Important note- I do not recommend insurance for husbands, wives, fiancés, etc. Also if you are truly in love u should only have one! :)
Beware Common - ReRe has surely taken out some boyfriend insurance on you.

(image via AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

NetJets Showdown: Roger defeats Pete, but tennis wins in the end

Still in awe: To say last night's event was an exciting, memorable one would be an understatement. For a tennis fanatic, the NetJets Showdown featuring Roger Federer and Pete Sampras was a sight to behold. The crowd of 19,000 created an electric atmosphere and the players fed off the energy, playing a thrilling, high-quality match that went to a third set tiebreak won by Fed - what more could you ask for?

As I mentioned at the end of my live blogging from the match, it was truly a privilege to watch these two greats of the game play each other.

TENNIS was the big winner last night!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Fed hits 4 aces...

in a row! We're even at 5-all.

Pete takes a 6-5 lead with some aggressive playing.

Incredible shot making from Fed and we're going to a final tiebreak!

Big serving, big hitting, big breathing from Pete...and the Rocky theme comes out

Pete gets the minibreak to 4-3! Fed gets it back with a passing shot off the return

Pete saves match point with a huge serve up the tee.

Match point for Fed with a great inside backhand pass!

Fed wins! Great match - what a privilege to be here.

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It's 5-2 for Pete

Roger is serving to keep the match alive...

Federer held to 5-3.

Pete was down love-30 but got he's down break point!

BIG ACE for Pete it's deuce.

Another sick passing shot from Fed...he breaks Pete and now we're on serve!
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Pete just broke!

Pete just broke for a 4-2 lead! He's on a SERIOUS roll now...
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Can Pete pull this out?

Pete was broken to open the set but just broke and held for a 3-2 lead in the third. He may just take this one...
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We're going to threeeee!

Pete pulled out the tiebreak with some great serving...
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Tie break tension

Who's going to pull this tiebreak out?
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Mirka sighting!

Mirka is sitting with Fed's parents next to Tiger and his wife...
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Tiger's in the house

Fed's professional BFF Tiger Woods is sitting courtside cheering on the Swiss - he could use a haircut though (Fed too for that matter.)
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So I haven't seen Mirka but I did see Bridget Wilson Sampras and my partner swears he saw Owen Wilson.

There must be more celebrities here - I'll have to investigate!
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Food or tennis?

I'm feeling the hunger pangs since these guys sitting in front of me are eating some yummy smelling but nasty looking nachos with cheese. Tennis or food - what to do?
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Federer takes the first set

Wow - Federer took the set with some incredible passing shots. The acceleration on his groundies is pretty sick I must say...

But Pete is getting lots 'o love from the NYC crowd so maybe he'll pull out the second set...
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The match

First thing I noticed is Fed is taller and bigger than he looks on TV - interesting - and Pete's serve is huge!

Federer got the first break in the first game.

We get to keep the tennis balls if they fly into the crowd - people better watch their backs!

Federer is def feeling his game. He looks the sharper of the two so far.

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Here they come...

Fed is coming out first...smoke is dramatic! Darth Federer has arrived. He comes out in his all black Nike outfit from the US Open.

Pete is next...more smoke...he's in mostly white - nice contrast to Fed's look.

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Fashions - what are they wearing tonight?

Well we know it's going to be Nike but I'm excited to see if they'll break out anything new.

Lendl isn't giving up his pick for who'll win this match.

They're replaying their only pro meeting at Wimbledon when Fed won in 5 sets.

Ok here they come!!!

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Interviews are happening now

John McEnroe is interviewing the guys in the lockerroom. Fed mentioned Dubai and his recent illness.

The guys seem really excited to be playing at the Garden - sold out with 19000 people here.

Now the tribute to Davis Cup...
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The event is about to begin

This place is packed and you can really feel the excitement in the air- the atmosphere is electric.

What's also exciting? Our seats!

Justin Gimelstob is interviewing legend Ivan Lendl to great applause.

They're auctioning off autographed racquets tonight - don't have that kind of money though. Drats!
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On the way to Madison Square Garden!

We're on our way to see history in action- Fed v. Sampras live.

I'll be giving some reports from the inside...stay tuned!
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Quote of the Day: A-Rod on media criticism

"Sometimes I tell people that I'm the best bad tennis player of all time."

- Andy Roddick answering the never-ending criticism about his game after his Dubai championship run
Yes, I'm guilty of criticizing A-Rod recently so a big "congrats!" to him on one impressive week. Now, can he keep this form through the upcoming Indian Wells + Miami Master Series?

(image via AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

Roger vs. Pete: Live blogging from the historic NetJets Showdown!

Witnessing history: I'm super excited to say that I'll be one of the 19,000 tennis fanatics attending the historic NetJets Showdown tonight at Madison Square Garden featuring tennis greats Roger Federer + Pete Sampras.

In addition, I'm going to attempt to bring you guys a personal, inside look at the event by live blogging throughout the evening - keep your fingers, toes, and everything else crossed that it works out!

As we all wait for the showdown to start, take a look at a rundown of the event by The New York Times' Play magazine called "They Cannot be Serious!" and the promo video by producer StarGames.

(image via

SIGHTING: Serena works the runway to launch limited-edition HP notebooks

Fashion finish: Hewlett-Packard's
global ambassador Serena "ReRe" Williams, who defeated sister Venus and Patty Schnyder on her way to the Bangalore Open title this weekend, helped the computer giant launch three new limited-edition computers with Imprint designs in New Dehli, India today. The three designs include Verve, Thrive, and Asian Odyssey and were unveiled during Wills India Lifestyle Fashion Week.

And, of course, no ReRe press moment would be complete without a runway show - and she was clearly happy to oblige...

(images via AP)

Housekeeping moment brought to you by Down the Line!

Hello readers,

Down the Line! got another facelift - well, more of a touch up I'd say - and is now carrying the ATP Master Series Flash Player on the right hand side of the page. The player will showcase:

- Daily highlights during all ATP Masters Series tournament

- Player Interviews

- In-depth features

I've also created a third column on to accommodate the player + Google ads and darkened the background of the page a bit.



Sunday, March 9, 2008

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


The ladies are feeling sari in Bangalore
Rafa climbs up while Nole slides down
Fed and Jelena give good quote
An Olympics no-show?
Pat hits the runway for Melbourne Fashion Week
The third time may be the charm
A-Rod + the Williams sisters come out, politcally speaking
Nike athletes feelin' the (new) blues
Maria hits red carpet for Camilla
She's pretty in pink, isn't she?
Maria takes Ocean Drive
Fed fights illness


A-Rod, Maria, Mary goes home...chairs + balls, Men's Vogue hearts tennis and more

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