Google Down the Line!: 2011-06-05

Saturday, June 11, 2011

+ NETCORDS: Quick hits from around the grounds

- Do you like your women beautiful and athletic? Well, you'll get that and more in Nike's 'Make Yourself Girl Power' campaign shot by famed photog Annie Leibovitz and starring Grand Slammers Maria Sharapova + Li Na along with track-and-field stars Allyson Felix + Perri Shakes-Drayton, soccer's Hope Solo, dancer Sofia Boutella, and surfer Laura Enever. The Double Bagel has additional shots, including Shrieka getting her crunch on.

- Speaking of Li Na, has a good piece on the influence her win at Roland Garros will have on sports in China. One person who's happy about the changes in the Chinese system is Zheng Jie. "I am so thankful for this mini-truce," she said.

- showcased some of the best and worst styles worn by Rafael Nadal over the years (pirate pants!) while says Nike's decision to move the Mallorcan Matador towards more conservative attire helped retailers' bottom line.

- Andy Roddick knows how to deal with those pesky rain delays in London. With - what else? -  Angry Birds! Oh, and if you need to know what's been on his iPod while there, click here. For reals.

- So, this is what happens when you reach 20,000 fans on Facebook, for better or worse:

- Andre Agassi was interviewed for The New York Times and discusses everything from his charter schools, Roger Federer, Andy Murray, his controversial memoir "Open" and the 1999 French Open where he and wife Steffi Graf reigned as singles champs: "We don’t really talk about it, but the memory is so alive. But you also live with the fact her experience was way different than mine. This was a hard tournament for me, so to get over the line at that moment was something special."

- Federer likes it FAST.

- Deadspin's Dylan Stableford talks Borg-McEnroe and JMac's man-crush on the iconic Swede: "But did you know McEnroe had something of a heterosexual man-crush on Borg when he first saw Bjorn? 'I'd never seen a tennis player look like this," McEnroe admits in HBO's 'McEnroe/Borg: Fire & Ice,' documentary, which airs on Saturday night. 'He had this sort of perfect Viking godlike look, and I certainly wanted to get the same type of things that he seemed to be getting, which was a lot of interest and a lot of girls. … I think everyone wanted to look like Bjorn. Certainly he had the cool clothes and the sweet headband and the great locks.'"

- Dinara Safina on Rafael Nadal + Novak Djokovic for "I like them both, I know them both, and they are both nice guys. What I like about Nadal is how he turns the audience on, charges everyone with his emotions, even when something is not going right. But if we take the beauty of the game Djokovic has the advantage."

- TOTALLY OFF-TOPIC: Tracy Morgan still feeling the heat for homophobic rant; Britney Spears covering Madonna's 'Burning Up' on tour (just kill me); Congressman Weiner's sexts get the dramatic (and hilarious) treatment; Well, hello there Jessie Williams; Brief-tastic Francesco Totti moments courtesy of Kickette of course; MTV cans 'Skins'

[Photo(s) credit: Nike]

Friday, June 10, 2011

PHOTO OP: The British are coming! The British are coming!

"You're shittin' me right?!?!

Well, yes and no.

No, it's not a full-on British invasion in tennis yet but, yes, they have reason to be psyched. Wild card James Ward squandered 8 match points (7 in the second set TB alone) but eventually defeated Adrian Mannarino and his hairy situation 6-2, 6-7(14), 6-4 to reach his first ATP World Tour semifinal at Queen's Club. He joins fellow Brit baller Andy Murray, who faces off against Andy Roddick, in the final four - the first time two Brits have made it to an ATP semifinal since 1999 (Rusedski + Henman - Rotterdam). JW also took out defending champ Sam Querrey.

If I didn't know any better I'd say these Brits have their 'O' faces down pat. Right Muzz? But seriously, they must be pinching themselves seeing two of their boys in a big semifinal on their home turf. It's like a bad dream turned good. Or maybe it was the luck of Prime Minister David Cameron who was in attendance today. Who the hell knows but, in any case, go hit the pub and drink up Britters. It's a good day!

In other Queen's Club news, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga upset top seed Rafael Nadal and will face off against JW. Rafa looked def looked fatigued towards the end but full credit to the Frenchie for some spectacular play including a tremendous dive volley on a Rafa passing shot up the line. I guess this win will make him think this whole coachless thing is working. Don't believe the hype, Jo-Willy. Not just yet.

[Photo(s) credit: Michael Regan/Getty Images]

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Mannarino's hairy situation needs managing - stat!

Yes ladies, gentlemen and those in between. This is the baller who beat Juan Martin del Potro 7-6(3), 7-6(7) at Queen's Club today. His name is Adrian Mannarino, a Frenchie who sits at 54th in the rankings, and he's got a hairy situation like no other.

I mean, how could the Argentine lose to someone whose hair role model is obviously Michael Myers?? Fine, it was great win for Manna but if he's going to deplete the Delpo HAWTNESS of a tourney like Queen's Club he should tame that whispy helmet and give us something pretty to look at. Or use conditioner. For the love.

More proof of Manna's hairy situation after the jump. And, remember: YOU'VE BEEN WARNED.

VIDEO VAULT: Nadal's ass impersonates an anchor

Here's Rafael Nadal hitting the skids during his 6-3, 5-7, 6-1 win over Radek Stepanek at Queen's Club today.

I knew that caboose would ground him down one day and I was soooo right. NEVER DOUBT ME. EVAH.

[Via: Lady Venom Tumblr]

FASHION FIX: Kim Sears + Pippa Middleton go retro while watching the Andys

Kim Sears was spotted watching boyfriend, Andy Murray, edge out the always tricky Janko Tipsarevic 6-4, 7-6(3) at Queen's Club. As you guys know I've always loved seeing Kim work my fave shades - the Ray Ban Aviator. In fact, the Aviator was considered serious WAGwear after being spotted on the likes of Xisca Perello and Brooklyn Decker.

But, lately, she's been donning another throwback style popular in the '80's - the Clubmaster. I had a pair back in the day that I wore with my stonewash (no acid-wash for me, I swear) pegged jeans and jean jacket. I know I'm not alone when I say I can't wait for the 80's revival to just curl up and die in some dark, dank corner already. Once is enough for me. Uh, no offense Kim.

Speaking of stonewash jean jackets, Pippa Middleton, who's becoming somewhat of a tennis watching whore (join the club, gurl) after also getting photographed in Paris taking in the French Open, showed up at Queen's Club to watch the other Andy, that being Roddick, take out Kevin Anderson 6-4, 6-4 to advance to quarterfinals where he'll meet Fernando Verdasco.

Looks like Pippa's got on the Ray Ban RB3386 which, according to the brand, is another retro style. I'm not loving these so much. Plus, the jean jacket is giving me bad flashbacks. Like, pop-up-the-collar-throw-on-some-concert-pins-blow-out-the-bangs bad.

[Photo(s) credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images, Getty Images via The Slice]

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

PHOTO OP: Mardy Fish - Fashion Influencer

"Mine ankles be nekkid."

It was all the rage on Twitter this morning. No really, it was.

Andy Roddick, sans crew socks and ankle braces, took to the court for his second round match against Feliciano Lopez at Queen's Club in a look obviously inspired by Mardy Fish. AND PEOPLE LOST IT. In less important news, he survived 35 aces from the (other) Spanish lefty and pulled out a 7-6(2), 6-7(5), 6-4 win. It was his first win since getting past the third round at Indian Wells.

Now, don't tell me A-Rod's not in his happy place on the slick stuff. Meanwhile, I'm in my happy place 'cause I get to see his gams in all their glory. Yums.

[Photo credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images]

Lady ballers: BEWARE

 They're baaaaack!

[Photo(s) credit: Getty Images]

Monday, June 6, 2011

VIDEO VAULT: In the shower and in bed with Andy Murray

Click here to watch the full video

Yeah. It's exactly how it sounds. The Brit baller is starring in a new short film going viral for his sponsor HEAD. It's a promo for their Facebook page in which fans can interact with Muzz throughout Wimbledon.

Here's how: Fans should visit and "LIKE" the HEAD FB page (click here) to gain access to exclusive content, prizes and tweets by Muzz. They can leave personalized messages for him on the page and his faves will be adorned on the racquet bag he carries out for his matches at the All England Club.

Boy, if this is a day in the life of Muzz then I'm def surprised. I thought he was a one woman kinda guy (hiya, Kim) but he's got all kinds of different people with him in all kinds of interesting places. And, apparently, it's ALL WORTH IT. What a man whore.

Check out Muzz in the new adidas duds he'll be wearing at Wimby after the jump...

Sunday, June 5, 2011

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Roger Federer

Obviously I'm the one that's playing with smaller margins, so obviously I'm always going to go through a bit more up and downs; whereas Rafa is content doing the one thing for the entire time. So it's always me who's going to dictate play and decide how the outcome is going to be. If I play well, I will most likely win in the score or beat him; if I'm not playing so well, that's when he wins.

- Serena, er, Roger Federer on Rafael Nadal

GAWD. Does this quote really need any explanation?

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The Finish

What's that saying? Oh yes: It's not how you start but how you finish that matters. A Rafael Nadal mantra if ever there was one this fortnight.

The Mallorcan Matador won his sixth French Open championship - tying the legendary Bjorn Borg - and 10th career major, topping off what was widely considered an atypical clay court season for the Spaniard. The usually dominant Rafa came into this year's French Open with a couple of bruising losses to Novak Djokovic on clay in the finals of Madrid + Rome - the Serb's first EVAH wins against the world's top baller on the slippery stuff (the losses at Indian Wells + Miami didn't help either). And the effects of these defeats showed early on in Paris including a 5-set opening round battle - a first for Rafa at Roland Garros - against the towering American John Isner and a shaky 3 set win against the HAWTNESS known as Pablo Andujar.


Slowly but surely, though, the Spaniard's level began to rise and by the time he hit the quarterfinals he seemed primed and ready for another shot at history. He took out Robin Soderling then defeated Andy Murray to reach the final where an all too familiar rival, Roger Federer, awaited. However, as he had done to open his defense, he started quite slowly and fell behind early due to some spectacularly aggressive play from the Swiss. But it would be short-lived. Rafa built his momentum and upped his level methodically until he was dictating the pace and play of the match. And aside from a burst of brilliance by the 16-time Grand Slammer to clinch the third set, Rafa's date with destiny was all but sealed.

Like in life, it's these tough moments - the slow starts, the uncertainty, the drive to overcome - that make the biggest, most lasting impact and the victories even more satisfying. And sometimes ballers, including Rafa, prefer it that way:
"Sometimes when you fight a lot to win, when you try your best in every moment to change the situation, it makes the title more special. For example, in 2008 I think I played better than ever, but I finished the tournament and, you know, I didn't feel that I won Roland Garros because I won in three sets. Not that difficult fourth round, quarterfinals, semifinals, with not many tough moments. Playing fantastic tennis, (and) every tournament is very special. But when you come back after not easy situation, that makes the tournaments and the victories more special for sure."
It's not how you start but how you finish that matters. Huh, maybe there is something to it after all. Duly noted, Rafa.

Check out Nike's tribute to the 6-time Roland Garros champ after the jump.

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