Google Down the Line!: 2009-08-30

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Melanie Oudin continued to shock and awe with her inspiring play at this year's US Open taking out 3-time Grand Slammer and 2006 champ Maria Sharapova 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 in front of an electrified crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

After the epic win she told the cheering crowd ,

I've always been so competitive. I go out there and fight as hard as I can. I have 'Believe' on my shoes. That's what I did today. I ended up winning and I'm just so happy.

The 17-year old speedster already upset former finalist Elena Dementieva in the second round and will face her fourth successive Russian foe in Nadia Petrova for a coveted spot in the quarterfinals. She also defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the opening round.

If Mels recovers quickly from this obvious emotional victory she has a great shot against the always questionable veteran, especially in the key moments when Nads tends to freeze. And, as we've seen in the last two matches, when the going gets tough Mels gets FEARLESS.

(Photos: AP )

PHOTO OP: Say "Hallelujah!"

"I am saved."

Novak Djokovic praised the heavens after being pushed by qualifier and Toni Nadal look-a-like Jesse Witten in their US Open third round match today.

The fourth seeded Serb lost the first set in a tiebreak but his quality and a fatiguing foe pulled him through, closing out with 6-7 (2), 6-3, 7-6 (2), 6-4 win. He'll face Radek Stepanek for a spot in the quarterfinals.

Nole seems to be playing well but well enough to take his second major title? The jury's still out on that one.

(Photo: AP)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Vika falls to Francesca, ousted in US Open third round

Victoria Azarenka joined Elena Dementieva, Jelena Jankovic and a plethora of top seeds on the sidelines in another upset at the US Open.

The Belarussian eighth seed overplayed and couldn't cope with the variety of Francesca Schiavone in their third round match eventually succumbing to the Italian 6-4, 2-6, 2-6. Vika ended the match in style hitting a double fault and smashing her HEAD to the ground. Nice.

But the stats tell the tale: she hit 46 errors against only 18 winners while the Italian had much cleaner numbers hitting 32 errors balanced against 30 winners. Francesca will next face Na Li for a spot in the quarterfinals.

As I mentioned in my ladies' preview I've been waiting for a major breakthrough from Vika but I didn't think it would happen here. She's mental toast at the moment and understandably so: it's been her best year to date winning her first career title at Brisbane and capturing her biggest title at Miami defeating a hobbled Serena Williams.

If she wants to take the next step and contend for majors, though, she'll need to keep her emotions in check and have a better attitude on court. Vika has to realize she'll make errors with her go-for-broke game but if she can still control the points and set herself up for winning shots she'll end up with the big W.

Besides, why abuse your HEAD? It's the only way you'll get there.

(Photo: Getty)

Elena pulls no punches, gives credit where credit is due

Listen up lady ballers: Elena Dementieva was the picture of graciousness in her post-match presser after her disappointing second round loss to Melanie Oudin. Some of you (I won't mention names but you know who you are) could learn a few things here:

Q. Considering how well you've been playing this summer, if you could, just talk about your expectations coming in and just how disappointing it is to make an early exit.

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Yeah, for sure it is disappointing. You know, I was really hoping to play well here, but just didn't feel, you know, the way I should feel about the match today was not exciting. Maybe overplayed a bit in the summer.
But I think she played really well. She was very positive and going for the shots, going for the winners. Just was a very solid game from her.

Q. She's playing of course in front of a New York crowd, a largely U.S. crowd. Di you really feel that the feeling was that she had crowd support out there and just the atmosphere?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I feel she had a very good attitude today in the court. She was really using all the positive emotions from the crowd, you know, support and she was really into the game and, you know, really playing at her best today.

Q. She upset Jelena I remember at Wimbledon, and now you. What kind of future do you think she has? Not that I want to talk not about you and the others, but that's two big wins for her.

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Yeah, for sure. You know, I think she's very talented. She was in the court and not afraid to play. She was playing very aggressively, really enjoying this atmosphere, you know, the crowd support and really going for the winners.
So it's just the beginning, but it looks like she has a good future.

Q. Does she have enough power? If I remember right, Jankovic was saying she wasn't really doing much. I'm the one making the mistakes.

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: No, I feel she has a great variety. She can go for the slice, dropshot, and forehand winners, also. Today she was definitely in the court trying to hit down the line.
So no, I think she has a very solid game.

Q. She's not the biggest girl in the world. Do you think in this time with a lot of bigger girls around that she can hang with some of them?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I think she moves really well. You know, the footwork is really great. She was really fighting for every point, playing everything back, just waiting for the you know, she's very patient on the court. She knows what is her strength. She's just waiting for the moment to attack the ball.
So even with she's not very tall, but still, you know, she's very athletic.

Q. Do you feel like you lost this match more than she won it, or...

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: No, I think she won it.

Q. Came with a good game plan?


Q. I think the first time she called the trainer was before your serve. I'm wondering if that disrupted your momentum at all?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: No, not at all.

Wow, not an excuse for miles and great words directed at the talented up-and-coming teen.

Nice moves, E.

(Photo: AP)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

PHOTO OP: JJ beaten by The Shvedor - is a hairy situation to blame?

Jelena Jankovic became the second consecutive top seed casualty on Arthur Ashe during second round play at the US Open today.

The Serb was all out of sorts getting out hit and out run by Yaroslava Shvedova during her 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-7 (8) defeat. Unfortunately she'll be taking a big hit in the rankings since she made the final last year. Her match followed Elena Dementieva's shock loss to Melanie Oudin earlier this afternoon.

According to tennis scribe Doug Robson's tweet after the loss, the WTA mentioned JJ's maternal grandmother passed away last night which could explain some of her play today. So sad and thoughts go out to her.

But I wonder if another reason is the hairy situation she wore? Please see Exhibits A-D and you decide.

(Photo: Getty)

PHOTO OP: Tommy's going to lick it up

"Wait, something's lickable. Oh it's me."

Tommy Robredo is currently in a battle with compatriot Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and he's up two sets to one in the US Open second round match.

However, I just saw this photo and just about fainted - it's the way Tommy looks like he's just about to tongue the hell out of something he's grasping in his left hand. Oh the Sergio Tacchini polo is getting me all hot + bothered, too.

I've got issues. Sue me.

(Photo: AP)


"I'm so happy I could swallow this stadium whole right about now!"

Melanie Oudin served notice that her shock upset of Jelena Jankovic at Wimbledon this summer was no fluke.

The 17-year old American lady baller, who was sporting her customized adidas Barricade V's, earned the biggest win of her career by ousting fourth seed and tourney fave Elena Dementieva 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 in the US Open second round. Mels was hobbled by a leg injury and was near tears at one point in the decider but managed to close out the Russian with a service winner on her third match point.

She told the uber-supportive Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd, "I don't even know what to say right now. I'm so excited. You have no idea."

Mels will face the winner of tonight's featured ladies' match pitting Maria Sharapova against another 17-year old American Christina McHale.

I'd say the future of American ladies' ball looks to be in pretty good hands.

(Photo: Getty)

FASHION FIX: DF makes return to prime time, subdues Simon

Roger Federer aka Darth Federer made his ominous return to prime time tennis at the US Open in what was an historic night.

DF entered as the first match of the night sesssion, the first time the boy's match was scheduled as the opening act since 1986. The Swiss Maestro was pushed by journeyman Simon Greul their second round match but his quality ultimately prevailed defeating the German baller 6-3, 7-5, 7-5. He'll face old nemesis Lleyton Hewitt, whom he's beaten the last 13 times, for a spot in the Round of 16.

DF also debuted his evening wear - the Nike Men's Fall Open Polo ($50) in black with challenge red + white - to go along with his challenge red + black dayfit for this Grand Slam campaign. He's also sporting a sneaky, matching belt to compliment the outfit (see top image.)

The 15-time Grand Slammer also unveiled these sick + sleek looking Nike Air Vapor VI Tour Men's Shoe ($115) which I absolutely loved.

After missing big time with the wannabe catsuit from last year's US Open, I'm relieved Nike returned Rog to his DF ways. Now, I can't imagine wearing this all black number in the heat of a midday match but maybe early mornings and/or night. Plus, each of these pieces could be worn off-court to make a casual outfit look a bit more sporty.

(Photos: Getty, Tennis Warehouse)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Will Amelie follow M&M into the sunset?

With all the talk of M&M's upcoming farewells, Amelie Mauresmo was asked about her thoughts on a possible year-end retirement after being ousted 6-4, 6-0 by Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak in the US Open second round.

Q. Where is your thinking these days as far as rest of the year or next year?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Nowhere really. I'm sticking to the decision that I made at the end of last year to really sit and see how the year went and make a decision at the end of this season.

Q. So that will come...
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: At the end of the season, as I just said.

Q. You say you're going to reassess at the end of the year. One of the things you've got to bear in mind is maybe I might miss it in...
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Oh, yeah. That's for sure the thing that I don't want to make the decision to stop and then after two, six, eight months thinking, shit, I should have you know, it was not quite the time yet. Because then it's too hard, I would say, probably to make a comeback as Kim is making now, given the age. So for sure I don't want to be in this situation.

Q. What's the biggest factor for you in determining your future, do you think?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: The will deep inside to really have the energy and to go out there every day, and to work and being able to try to stay at the best level that I can be, being still able to be happy about doing this and having this still deep inside of me. It was hard after Wimbledon, and I found myself a little bit better last week playing some good matches and really finding the movement was good, and physically I was feeling good as well. So it gave me a little bit of extra will, I would say.

Let's see: 2 Grand Slam titles - Oz, Wimby - and some time perched in the WTA Penthouse. I'd say you've done yourself well Amelie. Grab that Harley and ride.

(Photo: STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

PHOTO OP: Yes, we're watching you disrobe and drooling - what of it?

"I'm too sexy for this shirt. No, really. I am."

Rafael Nadal played his first Grand Slam match since losing his crown at Roland Garros in May.

The Matador opened against a returning Richard Gasquet but showed no mercy in dismantling his Frenchie friend 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 in the first round at Flushing Meadows.

Ah, how nice to see Rafa back in full flight at a major - not to mention the requisite shirt changes and flashes of bronze.


(Photo: Getty)

(UPDATED) Marat + Magician call it a Grand Slam career

No on-court interview. No sentimental comments. Marat Safin, the 2000 champ, just packed his bag, waved good-bye, and exited the court closing out his Grand Slam career after falling to Jurgen Melzer 1-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 in the US Open first round.

Check out this Sports Illustrated article about the giant Russian which calls him "one of the game's great wastes." Nice.

Fabrice Santoro also played perhaps his last major match today going down to Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-4, 6-3, 6-3. Au revoir Magician - in case you don't change your mind.

UPDATE: Click here for Marat's post-match presser - classic stuff. Some highlights...

Q. What are you going to do?
MARAT SAFIN: I will see. But definitely I want to get out a little bit of tennis scene and try something completely different. I have plenty of time to think about it.
I just felt like it's it's been a long ride, so I need some time off, you know. It's enough. It was a great 12 years of my career. I don't think I played five years and I retired. I've been around for a long time.

Q. Djokovic said yesterday you told him you were going to go and climb a mountain South America; is that right?
MARAT SAFIN: Djokovic has the breaking news, huh? (Laughter) I think he should stick to his tennis and keep his mind into tennis instead of giving up my private life. (laughter.)

Q. Stefan Edberg, when he retired, he announces it a year before he did. He had a farewell tour.
MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, and he was getting tired of doing it every week.

Q. Very tired.
MARAT SAFIN: Bye bye, bye bye, and bye bye again.

Q. I'm sure you will not miss some of the questions. What will you miss most from the tennis?
MARAT SAFIN: Good question.
I think I need to get away from tennis for some time to realize what I will miss, what I'm missing about it. Right now, just difficult to decide what exactly I will miss. Because it's great traveling. It's pretty great life.
But also it's in one way. In second way, in a different way, you have to practice. You have to go to the courts. You have to, like for example, here first few days it's like a zoo. It's like a million people running around, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, grandmothers, so many people. That's pretty much annoying.
But at the same time you know you're going to New York and it's beautiful town. You're staying in good hotels. The people, they treat you well. You get the car service, which I think is great. You go to the great restaurants.
You can spend don't have to think how much I can spend on my dinner. So it gives you a good life. You have to pay for it being here on the court and stress out. 4 All in, I don't know, third set, the tiebreak, but you have to work your way through.
I will be able to give you a right answer in a year or so.

Q. How difficult was to be No. 1? You were young. And then you talk about your sister; she's No. 1. You told us also about the papers writing about your private life. And also you remember Safinettes, the girls?
MARAT SAFIN: Still remember?

Q. So for your sister, it is not the same problem. At least she doesn't have all these boyfriends and pictures.
MARAT SAFIN: Well, everybody is hard on her why she's No. 1. You have this contest issue, is she a real No. 1 or not? You open the page, she made eight double faults, 43 unforced errors. She struggled, almost lost to 18 years old.
Who cares? I mean, she's No. 1 in the world. I have to protect my sister. The poor girl, she's trying her best. She's doing really well. She gets the attention, but not the kind of attention that a person deserves, especially when you're No. 1 in the world.
Everybody is giving her hard time about, Are you really No. 1 in the world? Yes, yes, she's really No. 1 in the world. Go check on the ranking. She didn't do the ranking.
Apparently there is some guy who made the ranking. On this ranking, she's No. 1 in the world. Serena, she didn't say even though she won two Grand Slams this year, she's No. 2. Sorry, but that's the way. Deal with that.
I'm just personally, I'm really like, I have to protect her. I feel like she deserve a little bit more than what she's getting right now. I think she's playing you can't imagine how crazy she is about sport. I don't think there is one person in the world who is more professional than her.
Everybody is like hitting on her and giving her a hard time about this, how many, what happened to this serve, what happened this, what happened with that? Leave her alone. Give her a little bit less questions. So it's just all to you guys. Make her happy. That's it.

Q. Luckily she doesn't have all those boyfriends as you had girlfriends.
MARAT SAFIN: Yeah. Yes, she's opposite of me.

(Photos: AP, Getty)

PHOTO OP: Give that girl a fish

"Look ma, no hands!"

Svetlana Kuznetsova was spotted doing a balancing act during a recent practice session at Flushing Meadows.

The 2004 champ defeated Julia Goerges 6-3, 6-2 in her opening round match and will face Latvian Anastasija Sevastova for a spot in the third round.

(Photo: AP)

QUOTES: US Open - Day Two

Q. With all you've been through, do you sometimes feel older than 21?

A: Yes. Yeah, definitely. Yeah, sometimes I have to think how old I am. Yeah, definitely.

Q. About how old do you feel right now?

A: 25 maybe (laughter.)

Q. That's not so bad.

A: And probably in a few days I will look like that with bags under my eyes.

- NaturAna on how she feels after her struggles this year

Q. Are you curious how the fans would welcome you this year after what happened last year?

A: Well, look, I mean, this is past. What happened last year, the way I get it, to be honest, was like, I don't know, a fight with a girlfriend. Just a little fight with a girlfriend. These things happen. It was something that everybody can learn from it.
I always felt like at home here. I played so well last three years. I see no reason for me thinking about something that happened already.
So today was great. I just hope that the fans will behave nice, you know, in the next rounds.

- Nole on the NY crowd's reception after last year's debacle

Q. How did you feel when you looked over at your coach at times in the match presumably for support, and he had very negative body language?

A: Well, I guess I had to think what I'm doing wrong that he's so negative. (laughter.)

Q. Do you respond more to a negative approach or a positive?

A: We'll skip this answer.

- Dinara on her coach Zeljko Krajan

Q. You have your sponsorship with ANTA now. Can you talk a little bit about what the relationship is right now? Are you still giving a lot of input about what kind of clothes you wear?

A: I really like my clothes. They're much different than some of the other dresses that are out there. I'm wearing at this moment a red dress, which it's a color that I like. Bright colors suit me. I wore last week yellow, now red. Red is a color of good luck, so hopefully I will have some luck in that way.
And, you know, ANTA is a great company. Hopefully we will grow bigger and bigger and get the promotion worldwide. Hopefully by wearing all of these nice and beautiful dresses, and they are very comfortable as well, hopefully the relationship will be very successful.

- JJ on clothing sponsor ANTA

Q. Unless I've missed something, this was the first time Frank Garry has been referred to in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

A: Well, he should be. He's a legend.

Q. Talk about beautiful, flowing buildings. What are your thoughts about his work?

A: I think he's a genius. When I was young, ever since I was 12 years old, I started admiring his work. Unfortunately I haven't gotten to see too much of it around the world.

When Tiffany approached me and told me that he wanted to work on my earrings for the US Open, I was completely blown away. When his collection came out ‑‑ actually, it came out a few months before I won the US Open. That was my first stop after I won. I think I bought like five pieces from his collection. I went to his studio a little bit ago.

Q. Is that in Malibu?

A: In Santa Monica. I was completely blown away. I mean, he has about a hundred‑and‑something projects that he works on at the same time. This whole table, a little part of each table had just things thrown together or papers thrown together in a certain way, and materials. In the middle of it all he had some ideas for some earrings that I was going to wear at the US Open. It was completely crazy.

- Shrieka on working with architect Frank Gehry

Q. There's one thing you do have to overcome. You're a Clippers fan.

A: Yeah, brutal. They just got Blake Griffin.

Q. But you are a Clippers fan, you admit that publicly?

A: Yes.

- Sam on his LA Clippers fandom

(image via Susan Mullane/Camerawork USA)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

FASHION FIX: Wozzi beats Galina, makes adidas by Stella McCartney debut

Caroline Wozniacki made her debut at the US Open and unveiled her new adidas by Stella McCartney gear.

The Danish ninth seed was made to work in the first set by Galina Voskoboeva but then cruised in the second set for a 6-4, 6-0 win. She'll face Petra Martic for a spot in the third round.

Wozzi came out wearing the adidas by Stella McCartney Tennis Dress ($130) in smoked pink which features a double layer top, racer back, and layered/ruffled skirt. This design definitely has its flaws (think: paper bag) but I like the intricate design elements including the delicate but clearly sturdy fabrication and billowy skirt especially in motion.

But the color on Wozz? Not so much.

(images via getty)

SIGHTING: JR caught fanning her HAWT self

Holy WAG.

Jelena Ristic was spotted in the baller box watching her high-orange man Novak Djokovic rout Ivan Ljubicic at the US Open today.

I know I said Brooklyn Decker maybe the hottest WAG on tour after her recent GQ shoot but JR takes my top prize after this sighting. Seriously - the shades, the fan, the tan? TO DIE.

I guess I can't be too mad she's with Nole. Well, maybe a little bit.

(images via getty)

FASHION FIX: Nole knocks Ivan out, goes high orange in adidas

Novak Djokovic looked all the part of a top contender in his opening round match at the US Open today.

The Serb absolutely overwhelmed a lethargic-looking Ivan Ljubicic during his 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 rout. His numbers were equally impressive: 26 winners against only 7 errors, 9 aces, and 79% success on first serve deliveries. It looks like someone's feeling kinda good.

Nole also debuted his a bright new hue in the Men's Fall Edge Djokovic Top ($65) for his US Open campaign: high orange. I think it looks great against his skin tone and darker features. *swoon* He'll be working the pure steel version during his night matches this tourney:

So Nole's back to his sexy ways is he? Well, let's just hope his game continues to follow.

(images via tenniswarehouse, getty)

QUOTES: US Open - Day One

Q. How did you injure your ear?

A: I have no idea. I have absolutely no idea.

Q. Come on, tell the truth.

A: No, I have no idea. I didn't go out there with it like that, I don't think. And then, I don't know, I saw like blood on my towel. I was looking around like this. No idea.

Q. Possible shaving accident?

A: No. My ears aren't actually that hairy.

- A-Rod on his mystery ear injury last night

Q. The occasion didn't call for it, but can you still do the splits that you were so famous for?

A: I can. (laughter.) Yeah. I'm not going to do them right now, but...

- Kimmie on her trademark on-court acrobatics

Q. The Samurais, were they up there at the other tournament or who's...

A: Kind of. They're mainly at LA Open, Indian Wells and some will be here this week. Most are back at school now, but a couple of my friends and kind of cousins of some friends live in New Haven, so they came out last week and took their shirts off and put some body paint on.

Q. Do you think you'll get some of them to come down here?

A: Yeah, actually some of my friends are flying out and staying for the week. So they'll be out.

- Sam on the (welcomed?) return of The Samurais

Q. Finally, what did it feel like when six of you in that van sort of went down and sort of descended on the park and sort of took it over as your own?

A: It was great. I love going to trunk tournaments. We used to travel in the bus, Volkswagen buses, really old. Sometimes we'd barely get there. We would get there, and I remember I used to always go watch play Venus play and I desperately wanted to be on the court. When I finally got my chance, I knew that's where I belonged. I still belong there, so I'm glad to still be there.

- ReRe on the early years

Q. You were having some problems with your serve. Commentators started talking about serving in women's tennis. One of them said the person who serves best will win the tournament. Do you agree with that?

A: I don't know. I don't care what commentators say. So it's just all, you know, like they aren't on the court winning championships. I don't really... Yeah.

- V on the talking heads of tennis

Q. You have to give Mirka more attention these days now?

A: Well, I did before. (laughter.) That's part of the deal, you know. I like spending time with her, and that doesn't change. We had a great relationship beforehand. Now it's the same, you know. There's just two babies involved, as well. We're trying to do our best. It's a lot of fun. When I go back to the hotel. Yeah, I mean, I'll see how it goes the next few months and years.

- Rog on life after the mangoes

Q. You showed a lot of support for Gasquet when he was suspended. He says he appreciates that very much from you. Can you talk about the reason, what went through your mind? You showed so much support for him.

A: The true is I support him a lot. First thing, because I believe in him. Second thing, because I think he's a very nice guy. I know him since 13 years old or 12 years old. I talk with him what happen. He told me he didn't take nothing. So I believe him 100%, and I think you know, it is open. I don't want to speak a lot about that and a lot of history is out about when I speak about that, but it's not 100% perfect sometime. If someone wants to kill you, somebody can kill you, you know? And you didn't do nothing. That's the true, no? That's my feeling what happened with Richard, and of course they say that, no? He won. In the beginning, it was three years, and then it was three years because he didn't take nothing. So I'm very happy for that, and I am sure a lot of players are very happy for Richard.

- Rafa on Reeshard

(image via Paul Slater/

FASHION FIX: Bennie and the dress, Reebok that is

As I mentioned earlier, I got a chance to check out some of the first round match between Iveta Benesova + Bethanie Mattek-Sands live and took some pictures during my visit to opening day of the US Open.

The American won their tennis battle but Bennie certainly won the fashion game between the two lady ballers. The Czech worked this smooth looking razor back Reebok dress in a beautifully rich and deep plum color with fluorescent green piping on the straps and down the back. I have to say it was pretty striking in person and really stood out amongst the other "fashion" of the day.

It's actually a bit reminiscent of the design concept behind Maria Sharapova's Nike day dress but I think this look would've been a better choice, especially the plum over the dusty-pink colorway, for the Russian even in the day.

In any case, great dress Reebok but too bad we won't get to see it anymore.

*wears sad face*

(image via Andrew Ong/, DtL)

FASHION FIX: Sam + Mel get personal with their adidas Barricade V's

Sam Querrey + Melanie Oudin will be debuting new one-of-a-kind adidas Barricade V's personally customized by the American ballers for their US Open campaigns.

The US Open Series champ was looking for a style that really stood out and announced his arrival as a contender on tour while Mel's inspiration was more introspective and features the word "BELIEVE" on the side which is a manifestation of her motivation to succeed.

You can check out more details on their designs and customize your own Barricade V's over at

(images via adidas)

FASHION FIX: Some ladies were looking lovely, some others not so much

Venus Williams struggled mightily in first round match at the US Open last night and I'm not just talking about her game. The 2-time champ was pushed to the brink by a left knee injury and Russia's Vera Dushevina but pulled through with a 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-3 victory. She cracked 54 errors - a defeat for most lady ballers - but balanced it out with 53 winners.

Papa Richard was interviewed by ESPN's roving reporter Pam Shriver (buh-bye Michael Barkan and your awkward interviews) and revealed V has been dealing with the injury for 5-6 weeks now but refused to pull back on her practices. Tsk, tsk.

The latest EleVen by Venus Williams dress was also a mess last night with its pepto pink color and strange looking etched hairy crown design on the back. I was dead serious when I wondered if this line should be retired and this latest look did nothing to change my mind.

Here's a first look at Daniela Hantuchova working her new adidas duds during her 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 opening round win over American Meghan Shaughnessy. The slender Slovak is wearing the Fall Adilibria Tank ($55) paired with Fall Adilibria Skort ($50). Now that Dani is with adidas, she may have been a better pick for adidas by Stella McCartney than Caroline Wozniacki but I guess they have a longer term prospect with Wozzi who's only 19-years old.

Former "It Girl" for the aforementioned adidas by Stella McCartney line, Maria Kirilenko, crushed the Ukraine's Mariya Koryttseva 6-2, 6-1 in her first round match. Fine she may have been given the boot from the brand's more fashion focused line but Kiri still looks great in the regulation adidas Fall Competition Tank ($60) and the Fall Competition Skort ($50).

Alas, we've arrived at your fave fashion disaster and mine Bethanie-Mattek Sands. The American grabbed a nice looking win over a great looking, Reebok-wearing Iveta Benesova ousting the Czech 6-3, 6-4. I suppose BMS wouldn't be the same if she didn't scare us a little with her Grand Slam stylings, though these knee socks are tame in comparison to some of her past violations.

I got to see some of this match live and took some pics of both lady ballers which I'll post later. Bennie was looking quite lovely.

(images via ap, tennisforum)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Who let Oprah in the house and why is she asking questions?

I'm thinking the USTA let Oprah visit Roger Federer's + Serena Williams' post-match pressers at the US Open today. How else do you explain these questions asked of both defending champions?

I mean, REALLY. She should be banned.

Q. You were just talking about young players, but what do you think the young Roger Federer who was trying to win the Orange Bowl and trying to somehow figure out the pro tour and get a rhythm, the young boy, what do you think he would think of Roger Federer today with all your records, all your accomplishments, your fame? What do you think his thoughts would be on Roger today?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I think I've come a long way. I didn't ever expect to be this successful. I knew I had something special in me, more talent that other players. Maybe the belief, you know, that I could play at a very high level on any given day. But I knew I had many problems of showing that day in and day out, because I struggled a lot in practice. So I think where I've come, it's absolutely amazing. Yeah, I mean, if my career to end today, you know, I'm a happy man. I achieved everything I could ever ask for, really.


Q. You mentioned 10 years ago, but what do you think the little girl Serena Williams who signed herself up for her own first tournament would think of Serena Williams today with all the Slams, all the accolades?

Q. What do you think she would think of all this?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think when I first signed up with that tournament, what you read about in my book, I think that I would just be really I would think that this Serena Williams today is super cool. I would love to get her autograph. I think she would have been my idol, because it would have been like growing up there weren't too many black people. I loved Zina Garrison and Lori McNeil. I would have had a little favorite toward myself and Venus.
*sniffle, sniffle*

(image via smh)

Letter to DtL readers: Flushing Meadows bound

Hey y'all,

Color me SO excited for opening day of the year's final major, the US Open!

I'll be traveling to Flushing Meadows + the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center this morning to check out all the day's action and will be sending updates via Twitter. Also, I'll be announcing the winner of the Dick's Sporting Goods Reader Giveaway on the social media site so if you're not following DtL yet, click here.

I LOVE meeting readers so if you happen to be at the US Open today and see me make sure to say "HELLO!"

Okay, time to get ready.

Have a good one and enjoy opening day!!!


Sunday, August 30, 2009

(UPDATED) ROUND ROBIN: Tennis news from around the grounds

Since there's been so much tennis news to cover recently (more than one man with two hands can handle alone), I felt a quick roundup was in order. And by no means is this an exhaustive list:

- SI's Jon Wertheim's US Open seed reports for the boys + ladies are up...and so are mine!
- Rafa takes in Mamma Mia!, gets a shot with Kimmie Clijsters
- ReRe featured on cover and inside story of Hamptons Magazine
- Dani jumps ship, lands with adidas and will work with Sven Groeneveld + Darren Cahill in the brand's baller development program
- Check out The New York Observer's US Open coverage - good stuff
- A-Rod calls TIU's Twitter policy for US Open "lame"; visited David Letterman this past week; Q&A with Straight Sets; spotted locking lips with Brooklyn; has a fan in RHONY's Bethenny Frankel
- Arthur Ashe Kids' Day was a smash
- Nando + Wozzi are Pilot Pen champs
- Gonzo does Mason's meet-and-greet
- What's in a name or initials? Ask RF. Oh, and check out his interview with Gimel for CBS.
- Word has it US Open Series winner Elena is officially a New Yorker.

Also, today is the last day to enter the Dick's Sporting Goods DtL Reader Giveaway to win a $100 gift card to the retailer. The winner will be announced tomorrow.

Enjoy the US Open everyone!!!

PS - Thanks Nirali for your tips.

UPDATE: I totally forgot to mention the official baller party for this year's US Open sponsored by Heineken and held at Skyline Studios. I guess it slipped my mind because no one aside from Venus Williams, Tommy Robredo, James Blake, and Bethanie Mattek-Sands managed to show face. Maybe the USTA should consider making it a mandatory event for the tours. Just a thought.

(image via Hamptons Magazine)

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