Google Down the Line!: 2009-11-01

Friday, November 6, 2009

Wicky still looking to appeal while The X-Man hints at calling it a career

Yanina Wickmayer seemed none too pleased after getting approached by an Indonesian journalist at Nusa Dua in Bali a day after getting hit with a one-year ban for violating doping regulations. She voluntarily with drew from The Tournament of Champions today after learning the news.

Though she is still considering an appeal, the suspension would still stand during the process which would keep her out of the game for several months. Wicky would need to take her appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The U.S. Open semifinalist's spokesperson, Rudi Kuyl, said her lawyers are considering asking the CAS to suspend the ruling which, "[t]hey have never done this, but apparently they can do it," he said.

Xavier Malisse broke down in tears at a press conference in Antwerp, Belgium while discussing his ban. The former Top-20 baller was handed the year-long suspension after missing a test and failing to inform his whereabouts twice to national anti-doping officials.

The X-Man sounded defeated in the presser and wasn't sure if he would fight the ban:

It is very hard to come a year's time I will be 30 and a half. I will then have to play Challengers and Futures again. That is something I can't really see myself doing. It is hard to get a one-year suspension if you never used doping.
Tough times indeed. Stay tuned.

(Photos: Reuters, AP)

Will Broddick be moving to Brooklyn?

Guess who might be nabes?!!

Andy Roddick and wifey Brooklyn Decker were reportedly spotted scoping out apartments in my 'hood - Brooklyn, NY - recently.

According to the New York Post's Page Six, the couple visited the J Condominium complex in DUMBO near the Manhattan bridge which boasts high-end eminities and views of the Manhattan skyline. The gossip rag's sources said,

[...] they are looking for a Brooklyn apartment to complement their Texas spread and didn't want to buy in Manhattan.

Broddick already owns a pad in the Gramercy Park section of Manhattan which they bought for $1.19 million in 2008.

Ah, how great would it be to have them as neighbors, "accidentally" running into them all over the borough? Good times.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

(UPDATED) THE LOW DOWN: Wicky + The X-Man slapped with one-year suspensions - is "Agassi Effect" in play?

Compatriots Yanina Wickmayer + Xavier Malisse were both handed shocking one-year bans today by the Flemish Doping Tribunal after both Belgian ballers violated doping regulations.

The U.S. Open semifinalist, who is currently in Bali competing in the Tournament of Champions, is reportedly being accused of failing to fulfill the ADAMS (Anti-Doping Administration and Management System) three times. Under this WADA policy ballers must notify their national anti-doping officials about their whereabouts for one hour every day over a 3-month period. The X-Man was accused of missing required drug tests and was therefore handed the ban.

Both ballers can appeal the ruling.

I'm curious to hear their explanations, particularly Wicky's reasons for failing to report her whereabouts three times. It's a tough measure but a one-year suspension seems pretty harsh. As for The X-Man, it seems he missed actual tests which is a whole, different story. His ban isn't so surprising in this case. It looks like they're viewing both offenses as being equal, however. Interesting.

On another note, I wonder if Andre Agassi's recent revelation that he lied to the ATP about a positive drug test and escaped punishment in 1997 is playing out here in any way. Are they possibly setting an example with the two Belgians?

UPDATE: Wicky has voluntarily withdrawn from Bali and is planning an appeal.

(Photos: Getty)

PHOTO OP: Serena stock photo?

"I'm only getting butt-nekkid once this year kids. Grab it while you can."

Serena Williams strips down AGAIN this time as "The Athlete" and one of Glamour magazine's Women of the Year.

Billie Jean King explains why she was chosen telling the mag,
When most people would falter, she is able to raise her game a level, and that’s what you look for in champions. I feel confident she will win more major singles titles than my 12. And that makes me very proud.
Clearly this choice by the pub will be a controversial one for many especially in light of her US Open meltdown.

This photo is almost a carbon copy of her recent ESPN The Magazine cover for "The Body Issue." I find it really strange they would use a similar photo or have ReRe pose in almost exactly the same way as that cover.

So much for originality. Or clothes.

(Photo by Brigitte Lacombe for Glamour)

VIDEO VAULT: Rafa visits with CNN's Talk Asia

(videos via marmiaumiau)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

PHOTO OP: Magic Man

"By the power of Grayskull...I...have...THE POWER!"

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will need to reach into his bag of tricks if he wants to grab one of the final two spots at the prestigious Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London.

The Frenchie was forced to retire with a left wrist injury in the third set of his first round match against Mikhail Youzhny in Valencia. The Russian was leading 6-7(3), 6-0, 3-0 when the third seed called it quits.

Jo-Willy, currently ranked No.11, is 380 points behind Fernando Verdasco who's sitting pretty (and very) at the eighth spot in the rankings. Let's hope he gets fit in time for the final regular ATP World Tour stop of the year, the Paris Masters, next week or he can kiss 2009 buh-bye.

(Photo: Getty)

DtL POLL: And the most stylish on-court lady baller outfit of 2009 is...

It's been a long season of styles - both good and (very) bad. But let's focus on the positives today, k? So here's the question:

Which one of these lady ballers worked the most stylish on-court outfit this season - Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Sorana Cirstea, Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Jankovic or Caroline Wozniacki?

The poll is living on the right side of the DtL home page, starts today and ends on Monday, November 9 at 12:00 am.


(Photos: Getty, AP)

VIDEO VAULT: I will be your father figure...

The ATP World Tour sits down with Novak Djokovic, who defeated Andrea Beck 6-3, 7-5 in the Basel first round, as he discusses his relationship with coach Marian Vajda, who he calls his "second father." I guess having a dad like Srdjan is not enough. Right.

Anyway, remember Nole's side of sex moment in Montreal? Well, check out what else we missed:

Ah HELL NO. His Serbian arse is lucky I wasn't in that audience. I would've bitten off more than I could chew. And liked it. Lots.

(video via atp world tour)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

So about that date with Charlie to the Lakers game Shrieka...

It seems Maria Sharapova has given the boot (or stiletto as it were) to former flame Charlie Ebersol for Slovenian-born Sasha Vujacic, the #18-wearing guard for the LA Lakers according to Matt Cronin's tweet today.

I guess Shrieka had other reasons for wanting Charlie to take her that Lakers game for a "date." Sneaky.

(screen grab via twitter)

(UPDATED) Muzz to make leap from Fred Perry to adidas starting in 2010

Those whispers I mentioned about Andy Murray leaving Fred Perry for adidas became a loud official statement today.

The Brit baller will be joining the German sports apparel giant beginning in January, according to adidas spokesperson Linda Murphy, and will be wearing the triple-striped Competition gear and Barricades in his own exclusive colorways when he represents his country at the Hopman Cup in January.

In a joint press release on their site Muzz said he was looking forward to working with the historic brand:

I’m really excited to be joining Adidas as they are a massive global sports brand with a credible heritage in tennis. Joining a list of stars who have worn the brand, including Muhammad Ali and David Beckham, is an honor. I’m in no doubt that this deal will help me both on and off the court.
VP of Global Sports Marketing, Jocelyn Robiot, said the World No.4 is the right fit for adidas:
We are delighted to welcome Andy Murray in to the adidas tennis family. Andy is a young, dynamic player that embodies adidas’ pure performer qualities. He is a very driven and dedicated athlete and we look forward to working with him on developing our Barricade products and helping him achieve his Impossible in 2010.
Okay so now we've confirmed this sponsorship news. Will Novak Djokovic star in his own "Sam Sequel" and leave adidas for K-Swiss?

UPDATE: The deal with adidas is reportedly worth 15 million pounds or $24.8 million over 5 years. Gah.

(Photo: Getty)


Gael Monfils is still in the running for one of the two spots left at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals and made a good start to his campaign in Valencia today.

The Frenchie pushed aside homeboy Marcel Granollers 6-4, 6-2 in 71 minutes and will face his second consecutive Spaniard in Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in the next round.

As we all know La Monf likes to perform some "interesting" acts. So what the HELL is he doing here?

Please 'splain.

(Photo: Getty)

VIDEO VAULT: Bonnie D. Ford breaks down Serena + Andre

(Edit: To view the video click on the headline to open the post.)

One of my fave tennis journos, Bonnie D. Ford, talks to's Jennifer Williams and gives some good insight on two of the sports biggest and most controversial figures.

Bonnie discusses the effect of Serena Williams' Doha win on women's tennis and how it will effect her image after the US Open debacle.

She also talks Andre Agassi, who will give his first interview since the controversial admissions from his autobiography "Open" were released on 60 Minutes this Sunday. Set the DVR peeps.

(video via

FASHION FIX: Rog rocks Rochus in Basel, goes mahogany + white for Nike

Roger Federer kept it close to home in his return to tennis action and made a winning start as he begins his end-of-season campaign.

The 3-time defending champ at Basel defeated qualifier Olivier Rochus 6-3, 6-4 in the first round wrapping up his 30th win at his hometown tourney. Next up: Andreas Seppi.

The 15-time Grand Slammer also debuted some new duds for the indoor season including the Nike Men's Winter Masters Polo ($65) in mahogany + white and featuring contrast trim on the collar and body-mapped venting on the spine. This polo has a true vintage feel and seems to be channeling brands like Original Penguin.

The polo is paired with the Nike Men's Winter Classic Athlete Woven Short ($50) in white.

This look is def a slight departure from Fed's usual modern stylings. But it's a refreshing change and the mahogany colorway is good fit for this time of year.

(Photos: Julian Finney/Getty Images, Tennis Warehouse)

Monday, November 2, 2009

PHOTO OP: Boys do LOVE their toys

Gilles Simon, Nicolas Almagro, Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco visited the Wii Fit station before the start of the Valencia Open and tried their hand at some other sports besides tennis.

I do HEART watching boys play with their toys, especially when it's like this. *faints*

(images via

PHOTO OP: Thumbs up

"My hair? It's working. FINALLY."

Serena Williams flew to London to sign copies of her book "Queen of the Court: An Autobiography" at Harrod's department store a day after winning the season-ending Sony Ericsson Championships in Doha over sister Venus.

Okay this is def ReRe's best hair in a long time. It surely beats her Doha draw ceremony moment which a DtL commenter described at its hilarious best: "I'm Rick James, bitch!!!"

*still dying*

(Photo: CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)

So long adidas: Sam signs seven-figure deal with K-Swiss

Sam Querrey will be adding a fourth stripe to the three he currently sports with adidas.

According to Sports Business Journal, the 22-year old American has signed a seven-figure apparel and shoe deal with K-Swiss and will debut the new duds beginning in 2010. Sam's contract with adidas is set to expire at the end of the year and discussions were held with a number of high-profile companies about a possible sponsorship deal according to his agent, John Tobias, who confirmed the details with Tennis Week this morning:

We are very excited about Sam's new partnership with K-Swiss. We had discussions with several other companies including Nike, Lacoste and Li Ning. Ultimately, adidas had the ability to match any offer and they passed on matching the K-Swiss proposal. Sam is excited to be with a smaller company where he will join Mardy Fish as the lead endorser in the U.S.
Along with the two Americans K-Swiss also houses The Flying Bondarenko Sisters Alona + Kateryna, Tommy Haas, Vera Zvonareva, and Anna Kournikova.

Of course, the end of the year is always ripe with rumored sponsorship switches as current contracts expire and lucrative offers hit the table. Novak Djokovic is said to be considering a "Sam Sequel" and taking his own leap from adidas to K-Swiss while whispers have been growing about Andy Murray leaving Fred Perry for the German sports giant in the very near future.

Stay tuned!


RogReport: Keeping it close to home

After 6 weeks off to enjoy Mirka & The Mangoes, Roger Federer is ready for a return to action.

The Swiss maestro is the top seed in Basel and will be chasing his fourth title at home this week. He made sure to send FedFans a video message via his Facebook page (above) before the start of the tourney.

Rog also attended an FC Basel football match, his fave team of course, looking all kinds of stylish. Nice looks.

The 15-time Grand Slammer also became global ambassador for Swiss premium chocolate maker Lindt & Sprungli. Ok, as a chocoholic with a serious addiction I'm officially jealous.

(Photo via GoToTennis)

PHOTO OP: Shrieka and "look-a-like" launch Sony Ericsson Equinox in LA

Maria Sharapova stopped by the new T-Mobile store in Canoga Park, LA, on Saturday to help launch their latest model, the Sony Ericsson Equinox phone.

The Russian glamazon, who looked pretty flawless that afternoon I must say, took part in a meet-and-greet with fans and got to judge the Maria Look-A-Like contest. The winner (below with Shrieka) won first prize and grabbed "A Night in the Life of Maria", a VIP night on the town with five friends who'll all receive a Sony Ericsson Equinox phone.

Uh, maybe it's that angle but I'm not convinced they resemble each other THAT much. I wonder what the other contestants looked like...

Anyway, check out more images from Shrieka's appearance below!

(Photos: Jean Baptiste Lacroix/

Sunday, November 1, 2009

(UPDATED) Serena sets it straight, defeats Venus for second Sony Ericsson Championship

So can we all agree on who deserves the keys to the WTA Penthouse now?

Serena Williams set the record straight in a dominating performance in Doha capping the year off in grand style by winning the year-end Sony Ericsson Championships, her first since her title-run back in 2001. She beat sister Venus 6-2, 7-6 (4) in the final, inflicting a second loss on the older Williams and defending champ this week and fourth consecutive going back to their semifinal showdown in Miami earlier this year. Their H2H now stands at 13-10 in the 28-year old's favor. Oh, she also bagged $1.55 million for her efforts. Nice.

It seems ReRe was determined to make a statement this week and answer the critics who believed she wasn't deserving of the top-ranking, even with 2 majors under her belt this season, because she hadn't won a tourney outside the majors since Charleston '08. She went 5-0 in her matches and secured the year-end No.1 ranking after Dinara Safina withdrew. The 11-time Grand Slammer even made reference to the criticism saying afterwards saying,

I haven't won a tournament that wasn't a Grand Slam in a while, so that was even more exciting. My losing streak in [other] tournaments is over.
TRUTH. It just goes to show you no matter how many smaller tourneys a baller grabs, the mentally toughest win the biggest prizes in tennis and get to write the history.

Congrats to you, ReRe, and thank you for finally righting the rankings ship.

UPDATE: ...AND she broke the single-season record for prize winnings racking up $6.5 million and besting previous record holder Justine Henin who topped out at $5.5 million in 2007. Nothing more needs to be said on this subject. Case closed.

(Photo: Getty)

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