Google Down the Line!: 2008-10-12

Friday, October 17, 2008

+ FRIDAY NETCORDS: Open Era flashback concludes...Billie Jean's split personalities...Sveta secures Doha

(Feliciano Lopez, Madrid)


Open Era 1998 - 2007 [ESPN]
Billie Jean King awards Billie Jean King Award to Billie Jean King! [WTA]
Martin mulls over young guns [TENNIS]
Sveta's Doha spot [tennis week]


J. Martin makes way past David [Tennis Diary]

(image via Getty)

Reason for Carlos + Flavia breakup revealed, doggie door installed in Verbier digs

So it seems even when Carlos Moya + Flavia Pennetta were together on-court (like in this picture from the '06 Aussie Open) the sexy Spaniard had a wandering eye. No wonder why their 3-year relationship ended so harshly.

According to an interview with Chris Bowers for Flavia, who defeated Katarina Srebotnik 7-5, 6-2 to reach the Zurich semifinals, made a surprise trip in 2007 to visit Carlos in Bastad where he was competing in the Swedish Open. But it was the Italian who was in for a surprise: she discovered the strapping Spaniard with another woman. Suffice it to say, Flavia kept the couple's shared digs in Verbier, Switzerland after the breakup.

Wow - who knew? It's good Flavia got to keep the pad at the very least and it's probably no coincidence she's having a late-career surge. Forget what I said about Potito Starace Flav.

And to Carlos: "woof woof" to you doggie.

(image via Getty)

Quote of the Day: Nole on his medical timeouts

I don’t like how I have got a reputation as a guy who asked for medical timeouts to intimidate opponents. It’s not me trying to provoke my opponent. It’s me trying to win.

- Novak Djokovic on his constant injury woes and withdrawals

Okay, so this quote could SO be misconstrued as Nole taking these medical timeouts to distract, not "provoke", his opponent so he can win the match. But I don't think that's what he meant here.

We've all been through this subject before so I won't sing you "Nole's Greatest Hits - The Injury Edition". The best thing the Serb can do to shut the talk up is get stronger, healthier, and only call the trainer if absolutely necessary - like his legs are literally going to fall out from under him (because that would be really gross.)

(image via Getty)

PHOTO OP: Venus + Serena hit the court in high-fashion for Harper's Bazaar

"I'm sure Serena would say I would win the fashion match." -- V
"Venus is so wrong. I mean, I'd win. Come on!" — ReRe

The Sisters Sledge, Venus + Serena Williams, heat up Harper's Bazaar with this high-fashion editorial shot by controversial photog Terry Richardson in Flushing Meadow, home to the US Open.

The sisters were shot cracking choice quotes and their trademark groundies while working Donna Karan, Oscar de la Renta, Versace, Ralph Lauren, Sonia Rykiel, Diane von Furstenberg, Celine, Herve Leger by Max Azria, and more.

Both sisters look incredibly glamorous here, though V is clearly the more natural model with her long lines and regal presence. Plus the sisters playing in high-fashion and stilettos set against the backdrop of Arthur Ashe Stadium is quite jarring - but what tennis-loving lady (or boy) hasn't dreamt about this scenario before (not me, I swear)?

"I feel like I would play a little better if I were as tall as I am in these stilettos." — ReRe

"High heels kind of hurt on the court, but fashion is pain." — V

(images via

Thursday, October 16, 2008

+ THURSDAY NETCORDS: Serena enters Sydney...Sveta gets new coach...Robson's call for a commissioner

(Gael Monfils, Madrid)


Open Era 1988 - 1997 [ESPN]
Serena picks Sydney [Eurosport]
Tignor takes Madrid notes [TENNIS]
Sveta settles on new coach [tennis week]


Calling for a commissioner? [Doug Sports Dish]
Mathilde Johansson who? [Drop Shots]
Beauty from within [GOTOTENNIS]
Almagro is a mess [Tennis Diary]

(image via Getty)

Fed tops list of career prize earners, passes Pete with $43.3 million

A huge congrats to Roger Federer who passed Pete Sampras on the all-time list of prize money earners.

The Swiss maestro hit $43,317,870 million with his third round win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Madrid, passing Pete's career mark of $43,280,489. If he grabs the Madrid title, his prize money earnings will reach $43.5 million.

Wow - good going Fed! Now, I'm not your financial adviser but just make sure you get this in euros or pounds. That dollar thing isn't going so well these days...just saying.

(image via Getty)

PHOTO OP: Nicole spotted in Radek's box - is she wearing an engagement ring?

Nicole Vaidisova was spotted this week following boyfriend Radek "Ladies Love" Stepanek to Madrid where the Czech baller lost to Roger Federer in yesterday's second round.

So late last year there were many rumors the pair had filed a marriage application in Florida where the two keep residence. Now whether or not they actually did has been speculated but the ring Nicole is sporting here surely looks like an engagement ring to me (and a nice chunky one too.)

What says you? Do tell!

(image via Getty)

Nole confirms plans to buy Dutch Open, most likely to debut in Serbia next May

In Madrid, Novak Djokovic confirmed the recent news that his family - more specifically papa Srdjan, uncle Goran, and Nole - are in the process of purchasing the Dutch Open in Amersfoort, where a then 19-year old Nole won his maiden ATP title, and moving it to Serbia.

After his second round win over an injured Victor Hanescu (he retired in the third set), the world no. 3 told the press,

We have bought the licence from them and to have the tournament in Serbia next year is our big goal. We have some administrative work to do in the next few weeks, but we would like to have the tournament in May from next year.
Apparently the tourney lost their title sponsor Krijco, a casino chain, and had been desperately looking for a replacement. In the meantime, the ATP has agreed to the deal in principle and will ratify when it's completed.

Well I have to say this bold move falls completely in line with their history. It couldn't hurt to have a small tourney in Serbia since it's becoming a huge player in the game and could funnel much needed revenue into their development program. I wonder what, if any, conflicts of interest may be involved here besides the obvious one involving Djoko boys actually entering the draw.

And even though Srdjan and Goran will most likely manage the bulk of the administrative aspects, let's hope it doesn't become too much of a distraction to Nole's game.

(image via Getty)

Serena blogs from Hawaii, can't understand fascination with her picturesque posterior

Serena Williams finally updated her blog, writing during her recent Hawaii surfing "rehab" with boyfriend Common. Warning: ReRe's (lack of) writing skills may shocking - proceed with caution.

Can u guys believe?!!! I'm back!!!

I've been so busy! But I wanted to write something real quick.

I'm in Hawaii surfing, and practicing and having fun!

What do u think of my technique?

Will I come back tonight! I promise to keep u updated!

Why do people always take pictures of my A$$??? Ughhh

Until next time
Why are people always taking pictures of your "A$$"? Well, I think you said it right there: your ass = $$. But you have no one to blame but yourself, some pervish paparazzi, and the infamous catsuit moment. It's picturesque:

(image via Getty +

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

+ WEDNESDAY NETCORDS: A-Rod's grind...More Open Era flashbacks...Boris builds on a beach

(Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Madrid)


Giving props to A-Rod [ESPN]
Open Era 1978 - 1987 [ESPN]
Jon Wertheim, you've got mail [SI]


Boris feeling beachy [Daily Racquet]
Anastasia Pivovarova who? [Drop Shots]

(image via Getty)

FASHION FIX: Fed returns from "hiatus" in elegant black + white Nike moment

Roger Federer made his return from his self-imposed exile in Madrid today. The Swiss stylist defeated Radek "Ladies Love" Stepanek 6-3, 7-6 (6) in the second round, avenging his loss to the Czech in Rome earlier this year.

Fed also debuted some new Nike duds for his opening match - he's working the Winter Master Polo in white with a contrast black placket, the Winter Control 9" Short in black featuring an extended-tab waist, and new-fangled Vapors in black + white (which I'm loving and will be purchasing, btw.)

The whole ensemble looks really elegant on the former no.1 actually (sans the sweat of course) and you can never go wrong with a simple black + white look.

Nothing fancy here folks - just the usual straight stylin' from Fed.

(image via Getty)

VIDEO VAULT: Marat + Nastya get all huggy and kissy at movie screening

Here's some footage of Marat Safin and his latest love, Russian pop singer and fashion flabbergaster Nastya Osipova.

It looks like the pair are attending a movie screening and shows the couple getting all huggy and kissy and stuff.

Fine - she's not as horrid as she looked in those pictures but she's moving in on Pamela Anderson/porn star territory with the bleached white blonde hair. I guess it all makes sense now.


(via Tennis Served Fresh)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

+ TUESDAY NETCORDS: Open Era flashback...Djokos buy tourney...Shooting from the hip

(Ernests Gulbis, Madrid)


Open Era 1968 - 1977 [ESPN]
Djokos buy Amersfoot tourney [TENNIS]


Giving weight to your shot [Tennis Diary]
Frustrating five, ladies' edition [Tennis Talk, Anyone?]

(image via Getty)

THE LOW DOWN: WTA CEO responds to Safina boycott threat, "Dinara was misinformed...," says Scott

It seems the WTA Tour CEO Larry Scott and Dinara Safina have cleared up some of the confusion over the Roadmap 2010.

Dinara had threatened a possible "boycott" next year after being told that top lady ballers would be allowed to enter limited tourneys while the rest get to pick and choose where to play:

If they [WTA] don't listen to what we have to say, we might even choose to boycott the new tour. They said the leading players would have to play in designated tournaments while lower-ranked players would be able to enter any event they like. There's no logic in that at all.
At issue is Moscow, which will not be a required stop for the top ballers but one of twenty "Premiere" tourneys of which they must play ten. As reported by the AFP, Scott said there was misinformation being communicated to the Russian baller:
Dinara was misinformed when she stated that the Kremlin Cup in Moscow was going to have a limited player commitment in 2009.
It is in fact one of five tournaments which falls the week immediately before a Grand Slam or the Sony Ericsson Championships that will have unlimited player commitment, meaning any number of top 10 players can play the event. We have since spoken with Dinara and clarified this detail.
The world no. 2 acknowledged the error and is hoping that she and the other top lady ballers "will have an opportunity to sit with the Tour leadership in the coming weeks to discuss certain elements of the Roadmap where I think there is still room for improvement."

Yes, a meeting might be a good start here folks. These miscommunications are unfortunate and reveal a worrisome disconnect between the WTA administrators and the ballers - no surprise there. But, why is this information, which is supposedly so important to the future of the Tour, getting lost in translation and misconstrued in such a public way?

Scott did a great service by responding to Dinara's concerns so quickly but the ballers, on both Tours in fact, are feeling disempowered in this situation. I'll guess we'll all have to wait and see how this Roadmap starts to play out.

(image via Getty)

SIGHTING: Serena + Common hit the surf, ankle injury and all

Serena Williams and boyfriend Common were spotted in Hawaii hitting the surf together during her break from the WTA Tour.

Hmmm - didn't ReRe just pull out of Moscow with an ankle issue? Oh yes, here's her quote:

My left ankle has been bothering me since the U.S. Open and I need to take a break now to get it back to 100 percent.
So I guess the "injury" is 100% healed now? Good news - and good thing ReRe's not doing anything that could make it worse.

(image via

THE LOW DOWN: Tennis Australia CEO responds to reports about Aussie Open move, "It's a good event in Melbourne," says Woods

The Aussie Open organizers have responded to the questions surrounding the possibility of their major being moved.

As reported, a source at Tennis Australia was quoted as saying the organization was "dead worried" about losing the Slam because it lacks a unique surface and doesn't house the same standard of facilities and activities the other majors offer.

But not according to Tennis Australia CEO Steve Wood:

We’ve got a business case study going on right now as to what the future needs to deliver for us. We are very happy with the way in which things are operating.
Australia is really behind the event as a Grand Slam. It’s a good event in Melbourne.
Melbourne Park, the Aussie Open's location since 1988, is contracted to host the major until 2016 though backers at a new facility in Sydney have publicly stated they will try to grab the tourney.

Wood's statement is murky at best and is not definitive in answering any of the specific questions about the surface or the reports of other regions/organizations wanting to host the major. Tennis Australia is happy but what about shareholders, sponsors, ballers, etc. ?

I'd say, based on his answer, that the Aussie Open's status is still very much up in the air but we may know more once this "business case study" is completed.

Stay tuned!

(image via Getty)

Confessions of a Madrid Masters ballgirl - would you leave the house with a puffy face?

So we've been given an insidery look into what it's like for a ballkid at the US and Aussie Opens. Now we get a peek into the challenges facing the models-turned-ballgirls at the Madrid Masters.

Karly Baptista is taking her turn throwing balls and handing towels to the biggest ballers on the ATP Tour. But this wasn't the gig she was expecting when she got the call:

The truth is that it was pure coincidence. I received a call from a friend to attend a casting like any other, when they told me it was to work as a ball-girl in of the most important tennis tournament's in Spain I was somewhat astonished.
Karly described the rigorous preparations the models must go through before hitting the court:
The truth is that, we have to get up very early so that when we eventaully (sic) get there our faces are not puffed. Then we go through hairdressing, make-up and the internal review to check that our clothing and appearance are perfect - the modeling things.
Sounds like my morning ritual - I never leave the house before my face has un-puffed. Anyway, the 27-year old also revealed who she'd like to be stranded on a deserted island with:
On a deserted island I would go with Djokovic and Federer, the first for his great humor which characterises him and the second for the class and elegance he exudes.
What, no Rafa? At least we know this ballgirl isn't allowing blind allegiances, bad hair, or screwy makeup to disrupt her important responsibilities on-court. Phew.

(image via

Monday, October 13, 2008

+ MONDAY NETCORDS: Flink vs. Gilbert...a record-breaking 25,944 shot rally...Agassi still giving back big

(Rafael Nadal, Madrid)


40 years of Open Era tennis [ESPN]
JJ on cusp of year-end no. 1 [WTA]
Ad-In, Ad-Out [SI]
Gilbert gauges the baller boys [Tennis Channel]


Tennis fights back [Daily Racquet]
The Rossetti's record-breaking rally [Nick's Picks]
Hewitt still hanging on [Tennis Diary]
A frustrating top five [Tennis Talk, Anyone?]
Agassi's charity bash [Richard's Court]

(image via AP)


Andy Roddick was spotted at the Advanta WTT Smash Hits charity event this weekend (which raised more than $400,000 for the Elton John AIDS Foundation and Atlanta AIDS Partnership Fund) sporting a newly cropped noggin' and working a cute argyle moment - similar to a look Nikolay Davydenko showed off earlier this year.

I guess we all know what A-Rod's going to look like when he hits, oh, 90-years old. No offense to Kolya, my sympathies to Brooklyn.

(image via, ATP)

Quote of the Day: Martina on Radek

You have a relationship and you are trying to get that going, and then Radek was injured and I tried to spend a lot of time with him and I put myself on the side. He had a hard time there and couldn't play and was going to doctors and then re-injured himself in Marseille and I was there with him.

I didn't spend enough time practicing because I felt that I won Tokyo and I felt — that's not going away! I beat all the top players again, got to No. 6 and although I never won the French Open, I was thinking, 'What more was out there for me?' From there, it was difficult to get back into it. I had all the mental confidence, but the hunger was more toward other things. Tennis wasn't the priority anymore. (Radek) became more important.

- Martina Hingis on her relationship with Radek Stepanek

Ok people I've been dying to ask this question: What the fuck does "The Worm" have going on that he can get these lady ballers (like you, Nicole) to shelve their careers to attend to his needs? Should we be calling him "The Anaconda"??

Obviously Marty's game was in already in decline but her relationship with The Worm didn't help her situation and became a distraction, according to her description.

Will someone please, please tell me what is so special about this guy.


Very Confused Tennis Blogger

PHOTO OP: Nicole follows Radek to Madrid, leaves game in the pits

Nicole Vaidisova accompanied boyfriend Radek Stepanek, who'll face a returning Roger Federer on Wednesday, on the press line for the Madrid Masters baller party.

First of all, Nicole wore this same outfit on the press line in Moscow last week - NOT GOOD. Secondly, why is she following "The Worm" around the globe when her game is in the pits?

Seriously Nicole, get a grip.

(image via atp)

Marat reportedly dating Russian pop singer, fans left flabbergasted

Is Marat Safin really off the market? Apparently so.

The Russian press are reporting the former no. 1 is dating Nastya Osipova, a pop singer who he's known for less than a year.

O...M...G. Either she takes really awful photos or the camera isn't really to blame. Plus, her outfit is just horrific. I can safely say this is NOT the woman I would've pictured Marat dating.

And, why does it look like he's choking her in the last picture? None of this makes sense!

(image via Great Tennis Photos)

PHOTO OP: Jo-Willy arrives in Madrid, makes stylish stop at Hugo Boss

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga looks to be recovered from the strained abdominal muscle he picked up in Tokyo - great news for the ATP Tour.

The Frenchie baller made his way to the Spanish capital for the Madrid Masters but made time to stop by the Hugo Boss store first for a photo op and some much needed shopping.

You might be asking why I mentioned it was a "much needed" shopping spree. Well, just check out his "before" outfit:

Shop on on. PLEASE.

(imageS via Getty)

THE LOW DOWN: Dinara voices concern over Roadmap 2010, "...we might choose to boycott the new tour," says Safina

How frustrated are the top lady ballers about the WTA's new Road Map 2010?

Well, Dinara Safina dropped a hint after her 6-2, 7-6 loss to Vera Zvonareva in the Moscow semifinals on Saturday:

If they [WTA] don't listen to what we have to say, we might even choose to boycott the new tour. They said the leading players would have to play in designated tournaments while lower-ranked players would be able to enter any event they like. There's no logic in that at all.

What if all the top players choose to enter the same tournament? What will the WTA do then? We want to know.
Svetlana Kuznetsova also chimed in about her feelings about the revamped schedule:

I was told only two players from the top 10 could enter a smaller tournament like the Kremlin Cup next year.

What if [No. 1-ranked] Jelena Jankovicand Serena or Venus [Williams] want to play here? Then all the top Russian players, and there are five of us in the top 10, will not be able to play in their home tournament. That's nonsense.

A boycott is a very serious matter and not something to just throw out there lightly. But the Roadmap has some grey areas and forcing these ballers to play tourneys is always a little tricky because if they don't want to play, they won't play and they'll eat the fines.

Questions do remain: How involved were the baller reps in the development of Roadmap 2010? Plus, did the WTA Tour and the ballers, or at the very least the baller reps and Tour, have a major sit down since the Roadmap was announced to breakout this new schedule and answer any questions or concerns??

From the outside it seems like a very disjointed process where the WTA is making important decisions without real input from the ballers - a certain recipe for disaster.

(image via Getty)

WEEKEND WINNERS: David, Igor, Philipp, JJ

David Nalbandian - Stockholm

Here he goes again. Last season the Argentine came out of nowhere to win back-to-back Masters Series shields at Madrid + Paris defeating Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in both tourneys. The 26-year old earned his ninth career title in Stockholm this weekend pulling out a 6-2, 5-7, 6-3 win over homeboy Robin Soderling. Can he make another surprising run this year?

Igor Kunitsyn - Moscow

The Russian baller earned his first career title when he snuck out a 7-6 (6) 6-7 (7) 6-3 over hottie headcase and good friend Marat Safin.

Philipp Petzschner - Vienna

The German baller joined Igor in winning his first ATP title when he shocked Frenchie Gael Monfils 6-4, 6-4. The 24-year old came in as a qualifier and had never made it past the quarterfinals of an ATP tourney before this win.

Jelena Jankovic - Moscow

Can we give JJ some props now? The top lady baller won her third straight title, and second Tier 1 of the year (Rome), dismissing Vera Zvonareva 6-2, 6-4 at the Kremlin Cup. It seems the slidin' Serb has figured out how to not only be consistent within a tournament but between tournaments, closing out matches she should win and finding ways to close out tighter ones. Unless Serena Williams or Dinara Safina grab wildcards into Linz or Luxembourg, JJ will most likely keep the keys to the WTA Penthouse until next year.

(images via Getty + AP)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

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

(Igor Kunitsyn, Moscow)

Weekend Winners: Tomas, Dmitry, JJ, Caroline, Sorana
Ballers hit the Moscow party line
Robby's hairy situation
The Aussie Open's big plan for its big worry
Courting Couteau
Justin and A-Rod give good quote
Latin lover
Maria K's bubble burst
Super Mario's big ballin' cut short in Stockholm
What to do with $26 million?
Murray and a strap-on
JJ spotted with her boy toy
Milbank's bikini moment
Dominika gets sandwiched in Red Square, polka-dotted at Kremlin Cup
Fed wins Best Actor in his own drama

+ NETCORDS: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday

(image via Getty)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...