Google Down the Line!: 2009-04-19

Friday, April 24, 2009

PHOTO OP: Four men in a tub - but where's Ross (double drats)?

Team Murray, minus Rossie Hutchins, spent part of their week off in between tourneys sharing stories (read: getting naked and scrubbing each other off) in an ice bath during a recent training session.

Ahhh - just another weekend at my place. Any takers???

(image via

VIDEO VAULT: Shrieka makes Matt feel more awkward than is humanly possible

E:60 Maria Sharapova and Matt Stafford Preview from ESPN Communications on Vimeo.

Maria Sharapova took part in an ESPN the Magazine cover shoot with University of Georgia quarterback (and potential No.1 NFL draft pick) Matt Stafford and E:60 was on hand for some behind-the-scenes footage.

Clearly Shrieka LOVES this glamorous photoshoot thing, going full-on into her fashion zone and seemingly forgetting about uncomfortable Matt. Or maybe it's because the footballer is so dull she mistook him for a piece of on-set lighting.

Poor Matt.

The full segment airs April 28th at 7pm on ESPN.

(via ESPNmediazone)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

VIDEO VAULT: JuJu gives it up for Rafa

From one dominant dirt baller to another, 4-time French Open champ Justine Henin expresses her admiration and respect for Rafael Nadal's achievements, especially off clay, as he works towards a fifth straight Roland Garros title in the coming weeks.

Damn, was JuJu great on the slippery stuff or what? *sigh*

(via Eurosport)

VANtage Point: Monte Carlo musings, FED CUP preview

Ahhh, nothing like basking in the glow of victory!

After picking the first correct champ in weeks here at VANtage Point, I decided to treat myself to a mini-vacation: I figured since I was down in Monte Carlo watching VP pick Rafael Nadal storm his way to victory, I might as well stay down there a few extra days. I deserved it after all those missed calls. And let me tell you, there’s nothing like Monte Carlo in the springtime!

(I can dream, can’t I?)

Anyway, now that I’m back (to reality) it’s VP time!

A Look Back: So this might’ve been the biggest no-brainer pick of them all that I’ve made, but Rafa took home his fifth Masters 1000 Monte Carlo title in a row, beating Novak Djokovic in a pretty decent three-setter. Nadal was my only semifinal pick to get that far: Andy Murray, Djoko and Stanislas Wawrinka, who beat the newlywed Roger Federer, all had better runs than I expected. I might have to revise my original train of thought about Murray on the dirt this year. And I think Djokovic will have a pretty strong clay-court season, too.

This Week’s Spotlight: “Hey, where are all the WTA tournaments this week?” you might be asking yourself. Well, readers, the answer is the calendar’s cleared off this week for Fed Cup. (“VANtage Point: Where we have all the answers”!) The WTA’s Davis Cup counterpart is down to the semifinals this weekend with national powerhouse and defending champs Russia traveling to Italy and the little-underdog-that-could U.S. squad heading to the Czech Republic. There’s also some intriguing playoff ties, such as Serbia vs. Spain and France vs. Slovak Republic, among the match-ups.

Players to Watch: Russia has three top 10 players it’s throwing out there—Vera Zvonareva, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Nadia Petrova—but I’m not tagging them as the ones to watch. (New world number-one Dinara Safina and number-three Elena Dementieva aren’t making the trip.) Rather, I think you should watch out for their Italian opponents, particularly Flavia Pennetta, Francesca Schiavone and Roberta Vinci. Schiavone and Vinci have been playing really well the past few weeks, and Pennetta’s always pretty tough. Even though on paper, they’re the underdogs, you have to wonder what playing at home will do for them on their favorite surface.

As for the other semifinal, the top U.S. player on the team, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, is making her Fed Cup debut—and doing that on the road in a later round is always tough, no matter who you are. For the Czech squad, I really want to see what Lucie Safarova does. She was supposed to be a solid top-tenner by now, but we all know that hasn’t happened. If she’s chosen to play, can she be a possible weak link?

And while it’s just a playoff tie, that Serbia-Spain one can be a dogfight with all the players on both squads going all-out.

And the Winners Are:
You know what? I’m going to go with Italy in the upset, taking the tie 3-2. As for the other one, I think the matches will be closer than anyone would expect, but I still see the Czech Republic beating the U.S. 4-1.

Van Sias writes the blog Tennis Talk, Anyone?

(images via getty)

PHOTO OP: Enjoying some Spanish chorizo on Miami Beach

The Spanish chorizos (minus the biggest chorizo of 'em all) took part in a sexy photoshoot in Miami last month for Elle Spain.

Fernando Verdasco, Feliciano Lopez, Tommy Robredo, David Ferrer, and Nicolas Almagro hit the beach and got all shirtless for our viewing pleasure.

Check out more images from the shoot below and more here.

A big thanks again to Lana over at Great Tennis Photos and DtL reader Narik!

(Photos by Bernardo Doral via,

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

PHOTO OP: NaturAna goes from sexy to shy in Vanity Fair Spain

Ana Ivanovic is finding her form.

The sexy Serb is featured in a scrumptiously beautiful 6-page story for Vanity Fair Spain's May issue. NaturAna was photographed by photographer Perry Ogden while Andres Aguayo put pen to paper for the story.

I have to say, this is the BEST NaturAna has ever looked - hands down. She's absolutely stunning here, sexy yet shy, and seemingly more comfortable in her own skin. TO DIE.

Big hair + pageant gowns be damned.

(via great tennis photos, images via

PHOTO OP: Drunken eyebrowing has dire consequences

Rafael Nadal made quick work of his opening round match in Barcelona crushing Portugeuse qualifier Frederico Gil 6-2, 6-2. He'll next face either Richard Gasquet or Christophe Rochus in the next round.

Really Rafa? One NEVER does their eyebrows while loaded. NEVER.

Me thinks it's time for less visits to that Mallorcan dungeon. Just sayin'.

(image via getty)

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