Google Down the Line!: 2011-06-12

Friday, June 17, 2011

FASHION FIX: Lady baller looks from pre-Wimbledon party purple carpet

Here we go again. The lady ballers of the WTA tour attended the annual pre-Wimbledon party at the Kensington Rooftop Gardens in London last night with the usual mixed results (read: HOT, NOT AND WTF WERE THEY THINKING?!). Ahem.

Maria Sharapova looked incredibly chic in her red Alexander McQueen dress. The cut-outs on the shoulders are fucking brilliant. But what really pulled the whole look together were the stunning accessories including the gold collar, cuff and shoes by British accessories designer Lara Boinc and the clutch by McQueen. So delish.

More purple carpet looks with commentary (duh) after the jump!


The Championships, Wimbledon
ATP World Tour, WTA tour: Grand Slam
Defending champions: Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams
Singles draws: Gentlemen's & Ladies'

All Novak Djokovic had to do was make the French Open final. Well, we all know what happened. Rafael Nadal won and kept his No. 1 ranking. But try this on for size: If Nadal wins and defends his title at Wimbledon and Djokovic makes the final, the Serb will still ascend to the No. 1 spot. Even if Nadal makes the final and Djokovic only makes it to the semifinals they will change spots, but if the Spaniard makes (or wins) the final and Djokovic only reaches the quarterfinals, their rankings will stay the same. Here is another scenario: Were Nadal to lose in the first round and Federer win the title, Nadal would fall to No. 3. Talk about crazy!

No. 7 Tomas Berdych not only had a terrible French Open but he also has Wimbledon finalist points to defend and No. 8 Gael Monfils, who reached the third round last year, on his tail. If they both lose in the first round, they would actually switch places in the rankings. One American nugget: If No. 10 Andy Roddick summons the tennis Gods and claims the title, he could move as high as No. 7. Lucky?

With No. 2 Kim Clijsters pulling out, there will be no drama at the top of the women's rankings. Caroline Wozniacki could be a no-show and still remain the world's No. 1. However, the women's rankings are interesting because there are three distinct clusters of players that could see movement: New French Open champion and World No. 4 Li Na and No. 5 Victoria Azarenka are only separated by 70 points (pending the tournament leading into Wimbledon and their expiring 2010 Wimbledon points); a slight hickup or run by either woman will give them a bump in the rankings.

Similarly, No. 6 Maria Sharapova and No. 7 Francesca Schiavone are only separated by 100 points (again pending the week's tournaments) and with both of their games trending up, they could both move as high as No. 3 if they win the title and No. 3 Vera Zvonareva loses early. Finally, there are the No. 8 - 10 players, Petra Kvitova, Marion Bartoli and Sam Stosur, who are separated by 300 points. Stosur only has 5 points to defend while Kvitova has 900 points to defend. The Czech will need to make the round of 16 to even hold her points. Needless to say, there are a lot of possibilities on the women's side. But there's one person who could destroy everything: defending champion Serena Williams.

About Richard: A life-long tennis fan, Richard offers thoughts on rankings for both the ATP and WTA. He runs a tennis blog, The Let Tennis, and is the author of two books, including his latest, Anything is Possible. You can visit his website at

[Photo(s) credit: Getty Images]

Monday, June 13, 2011

PHOTO OP: A Serena Williams face-off

It's so great to have Serena Williams back in the WTA mix not only because she scares the living hell out of most lady ballers but because of shots like this one. You can always count on ReRe to give good face. Or whatever you want to call that.

Seriously, whenever you're in a bad mood and you feel like smashing a racquet or shoving a few tennis balls down someone's unsuspecting throat, think of ReRe (you may already have) and these faces. You'll be happy you did.

More shots of ReRe from her Eastbourne presser after the jump. You won't be disappointed. BELIEVE ME.

Talk about shiny, happy people

Honestly, I don't think I've ever seen Andy Murray as happy/excited/toothy as I did today after he won his first title of the year over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 3-6, 7-6(2), 6-4 at Queen's Club. He even sounded genuinely happy talking about how actually enjoyed his tennis this week after struggling in the early rounds. Notice the word 'fun':
"It's been one of the most fun weeks for me because the tennis, the last two matches was very good. It was relaxing. I said everyone thinks at this period of the year it's so stressful, you can't play, you can't enjoy yourself, you can't do anything. But I felt like I expressed myself on the court. I felt like I was hitting the ball really good. I enjoyed it."

Fun? Who IS this person? It's like someone shoved a happy pill down his throat or, better yet, something clicked and he now knows his game is right up there with the very best. I saw signs of this new attitude over the clay season especially during that 5-setter against Viktor Troicki at Roland Garros. He didn't seem overcome with frustration about an injury, missed opportunities or errors. Rather, he just dug in his Barricades and went to work. And now the Brit baller is even talking like he actually believes he could win the big ol' Wimbledon thingy:
"I'm going to Wimbledon with the feeling that I'm going to win the tournament. I don't think you can go in with any other attitude. I feel like I'm playing good tennis. I'll need to improve the next week or so and work on some things going into Wimbledon." 
Oh my GAWD. His gonads just dropped and he's already talking like he's ready to kick some baller ass. He's ready for the fight and believes finally his best is good enough to win his first major, even at the All England Club. Fuck. Now wouldn't THAT be something???

Just a quick shout out to Sabine Lisicki who won her first title since 2009 defeating Daniela Hantuchova 6-3, 6-2 at Birmingham. I didn't see the match but apparently she served lights out against the slender Slovak. I mean, talk about someone who's been through it. I still can't get the image of Lissie being carried off on a stretcher at Roland Garros out of mind and here she is winning her first title in two years. Go ahead and drink yourself silly, girl. You earned it.

More celebratory shots of Muzz + Lissie after the jump!

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