Google Down the Line!: 2010-07-25


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Letter to DtL readers: Miami awaits so I must go


As I mentioned earlier in the week, I'm off to sunny and super hot Miami, Florida this morning for a bit of vacay! *dances*

I'll be updating here and there on my personal Twitter account @RichlyDeserved but I probably won't be sending swarthy, half-nekkid pics of myself à la Fernando Verdasco. Those are for our private collection ONLY.

So have a great rest of the week and an awesome weekend. Regular Down the Line! posting will resume on Monday.

Laters!

RiCH

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

BALLER BLOGS: Caroline Wozniacki + Victoria Azarenka

Caroline Wozniacki was in Monte Carlo prepping for the North American hard-court season and celebrating her birthday, according to her latest blog. But she's now preparing for the E-Bok Sony Ericsson Open. Yeah, I don't know either. Maybe it has something to do Ewoks wearing Reeboks? WARNING: Geek alert.

Pssst! That's Wozzi on the right in her new (thank GAWD) adidas by Stella McCartney climalite dress. You can read all about it over at Tennis Identity if wearing dresses that look like lingerie are your thang, ladies. And gents.

Victoria Azarenka was also prepping for her assault on the hard-court season but she made her way to Saddlebrook in Florida. She also blogged about a few other deets she did before landing in Stanford but I'll let you read the rest. It's always better that way - I write and you read, no?

[Photo(s): adidas via TennisIdentity.com, Getty images]

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VIDEO VAULT: Juan Monaco talks Tandil, finding your footwork with ATP Uncovered



Wonder why a small city like Tandil, Argentina (population 101, 010) has produced a few of the current top ballers in the world including U.S. Open champ Juan Martin del Potro? Juan Monaco isn't so sure about the answer either. My guess? Winning breeds winning.



Modern tennis isn't a hitting game - it's a running game. So check out this video featuring some footwork + balance training techniques you could do at home starring former baller Justin Gimelstob.

[Videos: ATP World Tour]

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BALLER BLOGS: Jelena Jankovic

Injuries, yachts, San Diego and up-and-coming Serb Aleksandra Krunic.

World No. 2 Jelena Jankovic discusses them all and a little bit more in her latest blog. Oh, and that's her and Lefty sunning and styling (her version NOT mine) in Portoroz Venice, Italy.


[Photo(s): jj-jelenajankovic.com]
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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

(UPDATED) Andy Murray and coach Maclagan part ways - so who really wanted out?


Only days after Roger Federer announced the addition of a potential coach in Paul Annacone, Andy Murray announced the departure of head coach Miles Maclagan via his website today. Take a read above (click to enlarge.)

How nice. By their statements it seems the two met up, discussed the situation, came to a mutual understanding, made the decision then kissed, hugged and slapped boy buns. Uh, wait that's my personal version.

Anyway, according to an article by The Telegraph there have been rumblings for weeks and it wasn't so mutual though still amicable. The paper gathered recon from sources inside the Muzz camp (which I'm hoping is either Jez Green, Matt Little or Andy Ireland and not Kim Sears) that place the decision to split firmly with Miles. Apparently, he wasn't happy with the growing influence of former tour baller Alex Corretja, who was initially brought on as a part-time advisor to help develop the Muzz clay-court game - GREAT JOB btw - in March 2008. And so, Miles wanted out.

The Spaniard will continue to work with the Brit baller through the U.S. Open but isn't considered a likely candidate for the full-time coaching gig due to a "broadcasting commitment." That special someone is rumored to be none other than Darren Cahill who's contracted with adidas, Muzz's sponsor, and helps run their baller development program. He also offers brilliant on-air match analysis for ESPN.

I have to say I'm sad to see Miles go. No, not because he was the greatest coach that ever lived but because the coaching hawtness factor on the ATP World Tour just took a massive nosedive. At least I'll always have this. Thanks Miles, and stay wet forevah. Now, I must drink.

UPDATE: It looks like Alex is out, too, according to an updated version of The Guardian article I linked above (just click on the same link. You'll see.) Thanks to Erik over at the awesome blog Adjusting the Net, which you should surely take a peek at, for the tip off!

[Photo(s): AndyMurray.com]

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(UPDATED) PHOTO OP: The Folsom Street Fair has a stall with Ivanovic's name on it

 
"How can I make some cash off this thang?"

Ana Ivanovic + The Fist Pumps (think Gladys Knight and the...well, you get it) were in a winning mood last night. The former top lady baller defeated current nemesis Alisa Kleybanova 6-3, 6-2 in her opening match at Stanford. NaturAna had lost the last two matches to the Russian, including at Roland Garros in May.


For some reason, the Serb was looking something close to stunning yesterday - maybe it's the slightly longer locks, the lighting, the actual smile on her mug or a new found belief in her game. Who knows (edit: blame this.) But the FPF was in full effect, per the usual, and I guess it actually stood for something this time around.

NaturAna should count herself lucky that she's in Stanford and not in San Francisco. I'd hate for her to wander into the Folsom Street Fair while in FPF mode (yes, I imagine she fist pumps while shopping, sight seeing, and using the loo - "Fist pump, Ajde!, Flush...")

The boys, ladies and "ladies" would put her talent to good use. Well, good for some and TERRIFYING for others. Like me. Icks. No, seriously - ICKS.



UPDATE: NaturAna made her first remarks about the whole Montreal/Wildcard brouhardyha (via Rogers Cup FB):
“Montreal was the first big tournament that I won and it was a special place for me and I do feel a little hurt and dis...appointed by their decision and it’s hard, but I have to prove otherwise and play well,” she said.

“When I need a wildcard I see how low is my ranking and that’s the hard part. But even though my ranking is quite low I feel I’m playing better than that, I just have to go out and prove it. Other players went through that like Agassi going back to playing Challengers, so you have to stay tough and not feel sorry for yourself.”
I love that she made the Agassi comparison as did I when I wrote about it. Yes, it's a sport (and her job) in the end and there's no room for feeling self-pity. Maybe it's me but I can't imagine going to my boss and getting upset because I wasn't given a project I wanted or my favor wasn't granted.

Like the champs always say, that great win or moment was in the past and today is a new day with new challenges. Right the ship, NaturAna, and all will be well.

[Photo(s): Getty Images] 

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Monday, July 26, 2010

FASHION FIX: More Nike U.S. Open styles for Nadal, Federer and Serena

Now that we've seen what Betty Draper is slated to wear to the party, let's check out some of the brand-spanking new Nike duds their other big ballers - like elephantiasis BIG - will be working (thanks TheSkinny.) Just click to enlarge the pics:

Rafael Nadal

Roger Federer

Serena Williams (black "Control Court" dress, presumably for night matches)

I'll do more of my usual in-depth coverage of their Nike duds as soon as more images and info are available.

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FASHION FIX: Maria Sharapova as Betty Draper for U.S. Open daytime?


Thanks to Down the Line! reader Nathan for sending me this image of the Nike Striking Court Day Dress from the Striking Clothing Collection that Maria Sharapova will likely wear at the U.S. Open according to this piece of marketing material from the sports apparel brand:


Here's a description:
The Striking Clothing Collection is a gorgeous feminine range to be worn by Maria Sharapova during the last two Grand Slams of 2010. Featuring unique style and beautiful colours bound to make a statement on the court.

An eyecatching Court Day Dress as worn by Maria, this dress is a beautiful new colour and a fantastic new style with lots of attractive assymetrical features. The button plackets on the chest and right hem are non-functional, providing an eye-catching style to this dress. The black hem of the dress is delicately ruffled with a pop of colour shimmer under the dress.
I usually like to take the wait-and-see approach on these dresses because sometimes they pull a switch-a-roo last minute and other times the flat doesn't look as good (or horrific) as it does on her and in motion. That being said, it seems Nike design was watching too many repeats of Mad Men in preparation for last night's season premiere - which was FANTASTIC - and got a bit too inspired by Betty Draper (who can blame them really.) But again, WAIT-AND-SEE.

Of course, the next logical question would be: Which character will Shieka play for her night matches - Joan Harris or Peggy Olson? She'll need double 'D' chicken cutlets for the former while this could work just fine for the latter. But, good question indeed.

*taps temple*

[Photo(s): Nike] 

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Roger Federer "looking to add someone", brings in Paul Annacone

Roger Federer sent the following update via his website:
Dear Fans

I've been looking to add someone to my team and I've decided to spend some days with Paul Annacone. As Paul winds down his responsibilities working for the Lawn Tennis Association, we will explore our relationship through this test period. Paul will work alongside my existing team and I am excited to learn from his experiences.

See you soon

Roger
My thoughts? Great move. The signs are glaring that a new perspective is needed in his game, and who better than someone with the vast experience of Paul Annacone? If you don't know, now you know.

But I hope he enjoys the sweltering heat of Dubai and has time to travel half way around the world. Darren Cahill couldn't do it and we all know what happened to him. Like, see ya.

What are your thoughts on this move by Fed? Do tell!

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PHOTO OP: Fernando Verdasco sends his shirtless love from Las Vegas

 
"So I'm bronzed + beautiful. And?"

Happy Monday! Just a couple of shots of a shirtless, glistening-in-the-sun Fernando Verdasco during a recent training stint with Gil Reyes in Las Vegas to kick-start your week and mine. I'll be joining my LP Kalil, who's flying down to Miami for work, later in the week and these pics are getting me in the right mood for a number of things having to do with sunbathing by the pool and, er, near-nekkidness.

You can find more Nando porn at his Twitter account @FerVerdasco83. You won't be sorry, obvs.


[Photo(s): Fernando Verdasco Twitter] 

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Sunday, July 25, 2010

SIGHTING: Tommy Haas. That is all.


Tommy Haas and girlfriend actress Sara Foster were spotted at the Stars Under the Stars gala held at the Los Angeles Tennis Center last night watching Andre Agassi defeat John McEnroe 6-4, 6-2.

Seriously, the man never ages. Or looks bad.  *sigh*

[Photo: Jeff Golden/Getty Images]

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