Google Down the Line!: 2009-08-09

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Muzz makes move towards World No. 2 ranking - can he pull it off?

So the time has finally come for Andy Murray.

The Brit baller is one match away from becoming the world's second-ranked baller after defending champ Rafael Nadal was beaten by Juan Martin del Potro 7-6(5), 6-1 in their Montreal quarterfinal. Muzz will battle Jo-Wilfried Tsonga today for a chance to take that coveted spot in the rankings which has been held by either Roger Federer or Rafa since July 18, 2005. Pretty incredible.

Ah, yes - Muzz on his fave surface against a baller he has a 1-all H2H record against at the moment. I'm feeling pretty good about his chances though I was feeling good about him taking the spot a while back.

But can he handle the moment better than Novak Djokovic did last year? Stay tuned.

(image via getty)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Jo-Willy shocks Rog in Montreal, will face Muzz in the semis

"I know, I know. You've been out for a while, had twin mangoes, blah blah. But a win's a win RF."

A big congrats to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who overcame an apparent arm injury and a 1-5 deficit in the decider to defeat top seed Roger Federer 7-6 (5), 1-6, 7-6 (3) in the quarterfinals of Montreal. The Frenchie baller won the match on an unfortuately timed double fault on match point from Fed. He" ll face Andy Murray for a spot in the big final.

After the loss Fed told the press,

All in all I thought it was a decent match. I didn't think it was bad, but it wasn't great, either. It's one of those matches I can live with.

I've had a lot happening the last few months and so it's not a complete disappointment, because I still thought I played all right.

I guess it's not a huge surprise the Swiss lost today since I'm sure the prep time was cut short big time. But Jo-Willy deserves props for fighting back and creating an opportunity to win the match - and then he did. It's the biggest win for him since he shocked Rafael Nadal on his way to his first major final at the Aussie Open last year.

Sign of good things to come Frenchie?

(image via getty)

PHOTO OP: My moobs are leather, eh, better than yours

"OMFG, I totally don't want to look to my right."

Michelle Larcher de Brito visited her old stomping grounds at the Bollettieri Tennis Academy and spent some on-court time with the man himself.

Eh, the Florida sun has NOT been kind to your moobs Nick unless you wanted them to resemble these. (NSFW)

(image via nickspicks)

Get your drool ready: Rafa + Nole to play doubs in Cincy

Rafael Nadal + Novak Djokovic will be paired for doubles action next week in Cincinnati. No, really.

According to The Globe and Mail,

For next week in Cincinnati, where Nadal is expected to play doubles with Novak Djokovic, some of the white sleeved shirts, which he was supposed to wear at Wimbledon, will be shipped in.

LOL. Good thing those Wimby Nike shirts for Rafa are being recycled and not ending up at the Nike outlet, though eBay would be a better choice.

Should be good fun watching Rafole - and yes, I'm jealous of all of you going to the Cincy Masters. I admit it. Talk about eye candy GALORE.

Thanks to Djangoo!

(image via getty)

FASHION FIX: Nole mutes Misha, goes red + khaki for adidas

Ever the entertainer, Novak Djokovic not only dropped trou this week but he also made a wardrobe change mid-tourney in Montreal from his Wimby duds to what we have here. Gawd, can he BE anymore talented?

The Serb defeated Mikhail Youzhny 6-3, 6-4 and will attempt to break a 2-match losing streak to Andy Roddick when they meet in ANOTHER highly-anticipated quarterfinal.

Nole also debuted some new adidas duds for his match including the Men's Edge Top Djokovic ($47) in red + orange featuring a mesh back and Nole's falcon logo on the right shoulder.

The shirt is paired with the Edge Bermuda Shorts ($39) in brown + white though the brown is definitely mixed with grey as well. More of a khaki I say.

Although it's basically the same style he's been wearing, it's good to see adidas give him some fresh color combos especially since the Nike boys 1 + 2 have been working some new gear themselves. This outfit is my fave of the year for him so far because the red is a beautifully deep shade and the pairing with the khaki compliments nicely. Plus, no one else on the tour is wearing anything similar at the moment - what a crazy concept!

His Aussie Open look comes in second for me now.

(images via getty, prodirecttennis)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Venus, Serena, and Sveta hit the skids in Cincinnati

Venus + Serena Williams were both knocked out of Cincinnati's third round today within hours of each other.

V fell to current nemesis Flavia Pennetta 7-6 (2), 6-4 while ReRe was knocked out courtesy of Sybille Bammer by a similar score of 7-5, 6-4. The Sisters Sledge hit a combined whopping 82 unforced errors in their match. No, I didn't stutter peeps. I said 82 UNFORCED ERRORS. Ugh.

The pair were joined on the sidelines by Svetlana Kuznetsova, who became the third Top 20/first Top 10 victim of Kim Clijsters' remarkable return to the WTA tour. At least the Roland Garros champ managed to get to a deciding set but eventually succumbed 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 to her Belgian foe.

Great day for the tennis balling MILFs and the Italian, who now owns a 4-3 edge in her H2H with V.

As for ReRe, well, I think you answered your own question today about why you're not No. 1 yet. It still may happen by default, though, if Dinara Safina doesn't defend all of the points she accumulated from last summer.

(images via ap, getty)

PHOTO OP: Nando + A-Rod's MOMA moment

Fernando Verdasco + Andy Roddick shared some lovely MOMA after their entertaining and well played third round match in Montreal.

There was nothing between these two ballers but A-Rod played the key points better and edged out Nando 7-6(2), 4-6, 7-6(5). The American will next face a possibly coach-changing Novak Djokovic in the next round whom he's beaten the last two times they've played.

Me thinks someone may have revenge on the noggin.

(image via ap)

(UPDATED) THE LOW DOWN: A coaching switch for Nole in the works?

Rumor has it Novak Djokovic will have a new coach soon - former ATP baller Todd Martin.

According to the ESPN boys, the former Aussie Open + US Open finalist was spotted with Nole and his entourage on Wednesday in Montreal when speculation began to surface of a coaching switch. The Serb has been coached by Marián Vajda.

I guess this decision, if it becomes official, has been coming especially since Nole's game has clearly plateaued and he's moving in the wrong direction on the rankings ladder.

Stay tuned!

UPDATE: Thanks to reader vw for tipping me off what Nole had to say about the rumors of a coaching change. Via BLIC:

It’s been speculated a lot that I will be changing my coach, but I’m not considering the option at all. What’s true is that I will soon be reinforcing the coaching staff – currently composed of coach Marian Vajda and fitness coach Gebhard Phil-Gritsch – with an advisor-coach. I cannot disclose the name now, but the public will find out all about it within a few weeks.

Hmmm - seems he's beginning to follow Andy Murray's lead here. A new tour trend perhaps? I mean, if you can afford it and all.

(image via getty)

(UPDATED) FASHION FIX: Rafa wins when Ferru retires, debuts polka-dotted Nike polo

Rafael Nadal made his highly-anticipated return to the ATP World Tour last night in Montreal.

The former top baller, who hasn't played an official match since going down to eventual finalist Robin Soderling at Roland Garros, faced compatriot David Ferrer in the second round. The match was short but not sweet for Ferru who had to retire, ironically enough, because of a knee injury with the first set at 4-3.

Rafa was asked about the state of his knees after the match and he told the press:

My knees are OK. Maybe I need more days to do a real test, but good.

Phew. But with the US Open right around the corner let's hope former semifinalist Ferru has a speedy recovery!

The Matador also debuted his newest latest style from Nike's Fall 2009 collection - the Men's Fall Double Bold Polo ($60) in glass blue with white + black (the images here look more like teal unfortunately.) The most prominent design element here is the printed dot stripe graphic across the chest which adds some nice texture. I'm also loving the contrast yellow head and wrist bands he's wearing - nice touch.

I figured the sleeveless he wore for his doubles play wouldn't last. Drats.

UPDATE: Thanks to reader Tony for the info on the actual color Rafa's wearing here - Hyper Blue. You can find it here and here!

(images via getty, tenniswarehouse)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

FASHION FIX: Pretty or piñata? You decide.

Let's start with the positives - shall we? (Note to Sara: pipe in at ANY time here. Oh wait, you can't. See you in the DtL Peanut Gallery I guess.)

Jelena Jankovic got past Maria Kirilenko in Cincinnati today, besting the Russian cutie 7-6 (6), 6-3 in the tourney's second round. Good stuff.

Now for the bad: WTF is up with this ANTA dress JJ? *pulls out hair* The color is a bit too canary yellow for my taste but that's not the worst part. The dress is a manic mess of ruffles, raised seams, layers, and frills. The designers need to pick one concept or two at the most and stick to it. The color with a simple design would suffice here.

I swear there's a crying child somewhere longing for their party piñata so give it back JJ. Or at the very least tie a rope around your waist, hoist yourself up onto a tree branch, and let the kiddies have at it.

(images via getty)

PHOTO OP: A Billie meets a Barack, receives Presidential Medal of Freedom

"I'm cool but you're the coolest EVAH."

A HUGE congrats to tennis legend Billie Jean King who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award, from U.S. president Barack Obama today at the White House.

The prestigious honor is given out to individuals who have made "an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors."

I'd say BJK has more than earned this award.

*clap, clap, clap*

(image via ap)

(UPDATED) PHOTO OP: Have boat, will travel with Rafa

Before leaving for Montreal Rafael Nadal took part in another promo ad shoot for the Balearic Islands. The Majorcan Matador became the ambassador and face for the campaign back in December and the dreamy first spot was released in January.

I'm hoping the ad agency will be doing their magic with this footage as they did the last time (see behind-the-scenes footage) though the shirtlessness is doing just fine on its own.

See more images below!

UPDATE: Video proof of Rafa at sea...

(via tennislust, images courtesy of

FASHION FIX: Fed makes winning return in Montreal, works glass Wimby polo

Roger Federer played his first match since his record-breaking win at Wimbledon and the birth of his twin mangoes and - guess what? - he picked up where he left off . With a win.

The 15-time Grand Slammer was understandably rusty but managed to defeat homeboy Frederic Niemeyer 7-6, 6-4 in his opening round in Montreal.

The Swiss stylist also debuted a new colorway in his Wimbledon Nike polo aka the Men's Fall Court Polo ($65) - glass + black. And, for all of you who rage at the typical sausage American sizing in athletic gear here in the U.S. you'll be thrilled to know the polo features a European cut with a slimmer body and slightly shorter sleeves. *cheers*

Make sure to check back for a preview of Fed's US Open duds later this month!

(images via ap, tenniswarehouse)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

PHOTO OP: Rossie caught with his pants off

Okay - what the HELL is going on in Montreal? It's like a drunken frat party gone absolutely right.

The Bryan Brothers ran into a pantless Ross Hutchins in their hotel lobby today, snapped and then tweeted this photo.

So first Nole flashes his bikini line and now Rossie is caught running around in his boxer briefs. The BryBros said the Brit lost a bet (most likely to Team Muzz - did I say "thank you" yet?) but I'm thinking there's also something sneaky in the water and both ballers drank it. I say pass that shite around the locker room boys - cheers!

Whatever it may be doesn't change this fact: I need to book a ticket to Montreal and pack my zoom lens. Stat.

(image via bryanbros)

PHOTO OP: Sveta gives good face (no, seriously)

Brace yourselves peeps: meet the new and highly improved Svetlana Kuznetsova.

The Roland Garros champ is featured in the August 3rd issue of PROsport magazine and she looks absolutely stunning here. I can't believe I just said that.

Anyway, check out the second pic below. Nice moves Sveta.

(Womens Tennis Blog via Tennis Info Blog)

Monday, August 10, 2009

(UPDATED) PHOTO OP: Nole keeps it (in the) brief

Novak Djokovic has finally returned to his stripping ways and that can only mean one thing: HE'S BACK.

The sexy Serb hit the runway again in Montreal this time for designer Yves Jean Lacasse and again offered up little (or big?) Nole with a side of sex.

No complaints here. I mean, NONE.

*scampers off for private Nole time*

UPDATE: Thanks to vw for sending the video link to Nole's strip tease. It's always so much hotter in motion...

(via craighickmanstennisblog courtesy of getty)

PHOTO OP: Bringing back the guns - drool much?

"Oh, how I missed thee. Mwah."

Rafael Nadal and traveling coach Francisco Roig teamed up for doubles action in Montreal, and the pair defeated the Serbian team of Novak Djokovic + Dusan Vemic 7-5, 6-4 in the first round.

Great win and all but what about the return of the sleeveless?! Are you dying??!

I'm pretty sure it's not going to last long so feel free to drool ALL over the screen. You know, in celebration and all.

(images via ap)

Kimmie makes winning return, beats Bart in Cincinnati

It was a successful return to the WTA tour for Kim Clijsters in Cincinnati!

The former top lady baller, who is returning after 2 years away, downed Stanford champ Marion Bartoli 6-4, 6-3 in the tourney's opening round after an hour and 23 minutes of play. I'd say that's a pretty big win especially since Bart has been playing some good ball of late. Impressive indeed.

I'm not the only one who's impressed, though. You can count Serena Williams in that camp:

I look like I’m the one who had a kid more than her. She looks amazing.

It seems ReRe may have found some inspiration from Kimmie's life as well:

I mean, I plan on playing a long time so if that means I have to pop one out and keep going, I guess so.

I guess being a married pro-tennis playing parent is the newest trend on the tours so why not? I mean, just ask Fed.

(image via getty)

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