As promised, Rafael Nadal and his abs have made their way to Montreal to begin training for next week's Rogers Cup.
So no knee tape = no knee issues? I guess we'll see.
UPDATE: Well, well. It looks like Rafa + I have more in common than our *cough* washboard bellies. *dies*
(images via AP)
Friday, August 7, 2009
Via RF Facebook: As promised, here is a family picture that my dad took. He thinks he's becoming a professional photographer. It was very funny as both girls had the hiccups while we were trying to take a decent picture. The girls and mom are doing great. Thanks for all your warm wishes.
Thanks to katsada for the tip.
UPDATE: Guess who's playing Montreal next week? You got it - confirmed via the Rogers Cup tweet:
Color me SO excited!
BTW, if you're not following DtL on Twitter feel free to do so by clicking here. It's pain free but oh so good - pinky swear.
"Fashionable but not trendy" is how James Blake describes his style in this promo video for the debut of his collection Thomas Reynolds with sponsor Fila.
The description also captures the stylistic sensibility featured in the new line, named after his late father who died of cancer in July 2004. The Fall 2009 tennis offerings, which James will be debuting at the US Open later this month, mixes high-performance lux fabrications and intricate detailing. Styles include polo shirts, t-shirts, shorts, warm up suits, and reversible hoodies and jackets.
On a side note, the tennis collection is part of a larger offering slated to debut in Spring 2010 and will also include golf, lifestyle pieces, footwear, and accessories.
For those of you in the New York City area, James will be appearing at Lord & Taylor on August 27th for an autograph signing session.
For more on the Thomas Reynolds Collection, check out Fila.com over the coming weeks!
BODY BONUS: It doesn't hurt that the American baller gives us a shirtless slow mo showcase in the video. I mean, who's complaining?
Nike has just released the John McEnroe Collection for Fall 2009, a sporty group featuring shorts, warm up jackets, and accessories in bright colors and loud prints - how appropriate. The collection also showcases cheeky t-shirts with the tennis loudmouth's likeness and his most famous, dare I say infamous, saying, "You Cannot Be Serious!".
I love this collection because it's functional for on-court play but also has pieces which could be worn on the street. Plus, the design and detailing is inspired and truly captures the spirit and attitude of the 7-time Grand Slammer with its mix of performance + style.
(images via tennis-warehouse.com)
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Dinara Safina knew something we didn't know - she was playing with pain.
After easily defeating Daniela Hantuchova 6-2, 6-4 in LA, the world's top lady baller revealed she's been competing with pain in the patella of her left leg beginning at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix back in April through Wimbledon and had been taking anti-inflammatory meds along the way. The pain was so bad a times she would "see stars" every time she would bend.
Dinara explained why she never revealed the information publicly saying,
I don't like to find excuses. This is my personality. On the court, I will never call trainer if I have a headache. If I call for somebody, it must be really bad.
I can appreciate that reasoning and it could explain why she lost so badly in big matches. But why has Dinara decided to reveal this information now? Is it to "explain" some of her recent, crushing defeats at the majors and rebuff the claims she doesn't have what it takes to be a "true" No. 1?
Let's be honest, though. By her own account she wasn't dealing with this patella issue in January during the Oz Open when she couldn't serve her way out of a corner and was routed by Serena Williams in the final. But it certainly couldn't help the serving issues having her left knee, which is used to push off during serving for a righty, get wonky.
Dinara isn't a great mover and her serve, like Shrieka's, is vital and sets up the rest of her game. Without it, she's toast. However, now that the issue is resolved it'll be interesting to see how her game evolves during the US Open Series and whether her on-court issues were due more to her knee problems or to her shaky mentality.
UPDATE: Congrats to D for becoming the first lady baller to qualify for the year-end WTA Championships!
(image via getty)
Team Muzz, which still includes Alex Corretja, have been in Miami training Andy Murray for his return to the ATP World Tour next week in Montreal (color me SO excited for this tourney.)
It's steaming hot in the South Florida city at the moment so what does sexy coach Miles Maclagan have to do to stay cool? GET ALL WET of course and make sure to have the cameras going for our viewing pleasure.
See more of Muzz's Miami training sessions over at AndyMurray.com!
(images via andymurray.com)
Jelena Jankovic has finally updated her blog.
After her shock defeat to a trash-talking Marion Bartoli in Stanford, the Serb traveled down to LA to train (she isn't competing at the Women's Tennis Championships due to the new Roadmap.)
JJ lets us in on her activities since Wimbledon including a much-needed break, a stint at Nick Bollettieri's, and a update on her family including her dad who is accompanying the former No. 1 while mama Snezana recovers from surgery.
She's also got a new perspective on her training + nutrition:
One thing that has been quite different is my eating. I used to like drinking so much Coke. I have such a sweet tooth ;) I had to have chocolate every day. I had to! Luckily for me, I have a good metabolism, so it didn't really bother my weight much, but when it comes to having energy and eating the right things, it wasn't good at all. I've now stopped drinking Coke - I haven't had any since Wimbledon! Instead of that it's water, maybe lemonade. I've stopped eating the sweets, too. People have been telling me I look more fit now. I was thinking why, and it's because I cut those things out... Everyone has something they like that isn't good for them, and I was one of those people! I would sometimes eat hamburgers... Here in California I like those In & Out Burgers... Now since my break I've changed completely though. I want to pay attention to all of these little things. Eating right, sleeping right, training right and knowing my limits; eventually they all make a huge difference.
JJ's right - those In & Out burgers are TO DIE. Yum. And as a fellow chocoholic, I feel her pain (as does Dinara.)
(image via jj-jelenajankovic.com)
In the Headband Hall of Fame's most high-profile lady baller battle thus far, Maria Sharapova grabbed the biggest win in her comeback to date knocking off World No. 9 and third seed Victoria Azarenka 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-2 in LA's second round.
Apparently, the Russian relished the challenge Vika presented:
I loved it. You expect that against her. She's a great retriever and makes you hits tons of balls. I had to come in with a good game plan and a smart one. I think I did good job adjusting out to the circumstances. I am pleased.
I knew I was going to have to dig deep and try to find ways. I'm pretty happy with the way I was able to hang in with her and really step up when had to. That was the difference between us.
And what of the unexpected third shrieker in the match: the crying baby in the crowd? "Did I hear the baby? My mother in Russia heard the baby," the 3-time Grand Slammer replied.
Sarcastic much? Anyway, great win for Shrieka. This victory should do well for her confidence going forward since Vika is a strong ball striker on the rise and fights to the end. As for the Belarussian, the loss shouldn't hurt her too much since she's playing her first tourney since Wimbledon. She'll have plenty of time to get her game in gear for Flushing Meadow.
And what of this fist pumping, headband-wearing craze? Well it seems the ladies aren't alone in their love this week:
(images via getty)
I'm still wondering why it took so long for the USTA to release Rafael Nadal's US Open promo video and this one by Novak Djokovic?
'Fess up! Anyway enjoy this Nole spot, especially the shots of a little Nole getting his hit on. The boy ALWAYS had that killer backhand swing.
But I wonder: with this video containing retro footage of a cute, probably very sweet, young Nole could the USTA be trying to soften his image up for the US fans after last year's debacle?
Team Ana Ivanovic have released official images of the adidas duds she'll be wearing during her campaign towards a first US Open title and second career major.
It's her Wimbledon dress (which I LOVED) in lilac for day and eggplant for evening. I actually prefer the night version though the day version may stand out better against the blue courts.
What do you guys think of NaturAna's US Open gear - LOVE IT or LEAVE IT?!
(image via anaivanovic.com)
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
So not only does Caroline Wozniacki now get to be the only lady baller to officially wear adidas by Stella McCartney on the WTA tour but the Dane got to meet none other than David Beckham, who is also sponsored by adidas, while in LA for the Women's Tennis Championships.
It's either me or the pic's perspective but Wozzi's making Becks actually look, eh, human size. Slight even. Who said the footballer is larger than life?
(image via SEWTA)
The Samurais would like to make an amends with Tommy Haas Obama-style.
The German was visibly irritated by the rowdy supporters of eventual LA champ Sam Querrey during their semifinal bout and described the group as having "no class" afterwards.
But now the shirtless wonders are trying to calm the stormy waters, though they still disagree on the matter at hand:
First off, we would like to extend an apology to Tommy Haas for what he he believes was 'inappropriate' and 'classless' behavior.... Contrary to what Tommy Haas asserted, we were not cheering his errors and missed serves (our restraint is something we actually take pride in), but, simply applauding (yes, in a pretty boisterous fashion) the unbelievable effort from our former classmate and good friend, Sam Querrey. We understand that this line can easily be blurred in a competitive tennis match and therefore apologize to Haas for the confusion. To make up for it, we would like to follow in the steps of the White House, and offer to take Haas out for a beer (Beck's of course) and reconcile our differences at the upcoming U.S. Open Championships.... Again, we are simply trying to direct some passion and spirit toward the great game of tennis that we all love.... The Samurai.
Ah, just what tennis needs - a little back and forth. If the ladies can do it, why can't the boys?
Let's just say I can't wait for the rematch.
(images via getty)
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
True enough. The media will build you up so they can tear you down.
The jury's still out, though, on whether A-Rod's Wimby final appearance was a springboard to bigger things this year or the high point of what's been a good season so far.
I guess we'll see in the coming weeks.
(image via getty)
Yes Fed - pics please!
(via RF facebook page)
The USTA finally released Rafael Nadal's US Open promo video for their "It Must Be Love" series where he discusses his love of fishing versus tennis.
So, was it worth the wait?
PS - Montreal is confirmed via his website today!
Monday, August 3, 2009
Novak Djokovic took to the green as a guest at the opening of Kempinski Golf Adriatica in Savudrija, an 18-hole course near Umag, Croatia.
LOVE the golfing outfit Nole but your shiny, hairless legs are weirding me out. I know, you're an athlete, blah, blah, blah. It still weirds me out. I wonder how Jelena Ristic feels rubbing up against them?
Wait, forget I asked. TMI.
See more images below + here. Thanks djangoo!
UPDATE: "He knows what girls want...he knows what girls like...d-da-d-da-da...d-da-d-da-da..." (via novakdjokovic.rs)
Q: Do you feel powerful? Do you think you are in position you can do some things that other people cannot?
‘Every man wants to be powerful and successful. I think women like such men only. The feeling you have after you win a tournament, there is nothing to be compared with it’.
(via Great Tennis Photos, images via 24sata)
Thanks to the guys over at Fue Buena for sending me info on the vlog they started for Diego Hartfield, a 28-year old baller from Argentina who's beginning his comeback after tearing ligaments in his knee . They'll be following him as he works his way back into shape and, hopefully, to better days on the ATP World Tour.
El Gato currently sits at World No. 369 after peaking at No. 73 back in 2007. Oh yeah, and we share the same birthday - not that this tidbit or the fact he's a fellow Aquarian had ANYTHING to do with me covering this comeback story.
(via Fue Buena)