Like we Needed More Reasons to Love Grigor Dimitrov

Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov has given us plenty of reasons to love him (we count six, maybe eight), but here’s the nail on the coffin: His favorite designer? Alexander McQueen. (See the Q&A here.)

BTW, congrats to Grigor for cracking the ATP Top 150 — he’s now at 136 — after winning back-to-back-to-back Challengers this year. (ATP: Grigor’s stats).

And speaking of McQueen, Sarah Burton, who’s succeeded Mr. McQueen (RIP) as creative director, presented the Spring 2011 men’s collection this past June in Milan. The women’s collection will show in Paris this week. One thing we’ll know not to expect from Burton are the fashion house’s infamous, over-the-top presentations. “That was very much [his] territory — the spectacular show,” Burton told Elle.

(photo from Wilson‘s FB)


Like we mentioned yesterday in our post: Victoria Azarenka and Caroline Wozniacki are close friends and attended dinner together. I went out and tried to find some good photos of that. But photos of the event, unfortunately, are scarce. Lucky for me, I did find one and it’s a beauty.

@vika7 Seriously girl! You looked great! You will look good even in a potato sack! And you looked cool!

I couldn’t have said it better myself. I tried, honest!

And don’t they look cute together? I do think so. I’d dine with them any time. Well ofcourse that would require an invite to a dinner party in the first place. But I have a vivid imagination.  Ofcourse that would mean I’d have to vividly imagine Caroline, the dinner table, the other attending guests, the wine and so forth. Anyway you get the picture. No wait, I get the picture.  A very very vivid picture…

Enjoy the photo!


As Justine Henin soars in her comeback to tennis at the 2010 Australian Open, it again begs the question – why REALLY did she come back to tennis? She ended her a 20-month retirement be venturing down to Australia to return to the WTA Tour and do what she does best – play tennis. As the following video clips show, we certainly know that what Justine does not do best is acting, singing and being a television presenter… Justine may have come to this conclusion and realized tennis wasn’t so bad after all….



Television Presenter


From the December 13 chapter of the book ON THIS DAY IN TENNIS HISTORY ($19.95, New Chapter Press,

1992 – Michael Stich of Germany concludes an otherwise disappointing season winning the $2 million first prize at the Grand Slam Cup in Munich, Germany, defeating Michael Chang 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 in the final. One year after winning the singles title at Wimbledon, Stich struggles throughout the 1992 season, winning only one title in Rosmalen, the Netherlands, before winning the final tournament of the year with the biggest first prize in the sport. Says Stich after winning in Munich, “I would be much happier winning Wimbledon and getting $10,000 than winning here and getting two million. It counts more for me now that I won the tournament and beat four top ten players. The money comes afterwards, when I’m going to realize just how much I made.”

A Smash Hit In Baton Rouge

There was great fun and great tennis had Tuesday night in Baton Rouge, La., as Elton John and Billie Jean King captained their respective teams at the annual WTT Smash Hits event. Elton John’s team, that featured Serena Williams and Tommy Haas, defeated Billie Jean King’s team that featured Andy Roddick and Lindsay Davenport. Smash Hits entered its 17th year looking to build on the more than $9 million it has raised for the Elton John AIDs Foundation and various AIDs charities in host cities. For more information on World Team Tennis, go to For more detailed information on the evening, read here –

Photos courtesy of Susan Mullane/Camerawork USA.

SM_SMASH_HITS_09_021SM_SMASH_HITS_09_004Serena Elton press conferenceAK-Smash-Hits-2009-B2009-Smash-Hits-group-shot2009-Smash-Hits-group-shot

Not For The Squeamish – Three Years Ago Monday

It was three years ago on October 26, 2006 that Mary Pierce’s tennis career took a serious blow. The following is the excerpt on the happening from the book ON THIS DAY IN TENNIS HISTORY ($19.95, New Chapter Press,

Mary Pierce of France, the 1995 Australian Open champion and the 2000 French Open, endures a career-altering injury, falling and tearing her cruciate ligament in her left knee in a second-round match against Vera Zvonareva in Linz, Austria. Pierce is leading 6-4, 6-6 – after having three match points the previous game – before she suffers the injury in the tie-break.

The link to the video – not for the squeamish – can be seen here – Pierce is still planning to make a comeback, but has not announced any comeback tournament plans as of yet.

Justine Needs To Comeback, For Her Own Sake

The Belgian media have recently been speculating that former world No. 1 Justine Henin is preparing for a return to professional tennis at the beginning of next year. Henin, who will compete in an exhibition in Dubai this December, has denied the rumors through her former coach, Carlos Rodriguez.

However, based on her recent forays into the workforce outside of tennis via acting, singing, and as a television presenter, we hope she hasn’t truly quit her day job.



Television Presenter

I Have Seen Your Pictures, Your Name In Lights Above It

Maria Sharapova attended the Tiffany & Co. and InStyle Honor Maria Sharapova and Frank Gehry, New York City, August 25.  And she wasn’t alone either.  Next to her is none other than Blake Lively. You know the star of Gossip Girl.

Not was it just another nice evening out for Maria Sharapova but yesterday was also Blake Lively’s birthday. She turned 22.

Putting the two of them together surely was a good idea. Enjoy the pics!

Jelena Jankovic upends Dinara Safina to win Cincinnati title

Former world No. 1 Jelena Jankovic of Serbia knocked off current world No. 1 Dinara Safina of Russia, 6-4, 6-2, in one hour and 25 minutes to claim the championship on Sunday afternoon at the Western & Southern Financial Group Women’s Open in Cincinnati.

Despite having played late into the evening last night during her semifinal victory over No. 4 Elena Dementieva, Jankovic looked very fresh from start to finish in the extremely hot temperatures.

“When I did the interview before the match, Pam Shriver asked me how I felt today after such a tough one last night. I said I wanted to believe I wasn’t tired, that I’m fresh and ready to play,” said Jankovic, who has now won two titles this season, winning the Marbella title on clay in April. “I was feeling sore this morning, but when I went on the court I felt fine. I’m really pleased I was able to play well and beat the No.1 player in the world. This is very good for my confidence going into Toronto and the US Open.”

Both players served very well, but it was Jankovic who was able to come up with crucial service breaks of Safina’s serve. Jankovic, who earned her first career win over a reigning No. 1, broke serve once in the third game of the opening set and followed it up by breaking serve three times in the second set. The 24-year-old Serbian won 30 of 39 first serve points and 50 percent of points on her second serve. Safina wasn’t as steady, winning just 22 of 37 first points and 36 percent of points on her second serve. Jankovic hit three aces and three double faults compared to five aces and seven double faults by Safina.

“I’m really pleased that I was able to play well today and beat the No. 1 player in the world, and yesterday beat Elena Dementieva,” said Jankovic, who earned her 11th career Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles title. “I got quite a few good wins under my belt this week, which is very good for my confidence coming into Toronto, and especially US Open.”

The Russian had won both previous meetings all played last season on hard courts, but Jankovic was more consistent throughout. When Safina fired a shot long beyond the baseline to give the Serbian the title, Jankovic put her hands on face in excitement. Jankovic was immediately rushed off the court to the opposite side of the Lindner Family Tennis Center to have an interview at the ESPN desk with Cliff Drysdale, Mary Jo Fernandez and Pam Shriver.

In the post-match press conference, Jankovic praised her father for the victory after being asked if her coach contributed to the title run.

“My dad contributed a lot to this,” said Jankovic, a finalist at last year’s US Open.

Both Jankovic and Safina will play next week at the Rogers Cup in Toronto before taking a week off to prepare for the US Open in New York.

Clijsters continues winning ways; Jankovic survives as Ivanovic falls in Cincinnati

Former world No. 1 Kim Clijsters continued her remarkable comeback to the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour with a second consecutive win over a Top 20 player, this time defeating world No. 20 Patty Schnyder, 6-2, 7-5, on Wednesday afternoon to advance to the third round at the Western & Southern Financial Group Women’s Open in Cincinnati.

Quickly getting in front 3-0 in the opening set, Clijsters eventually took the opening set 6-3, backed by winning 15 of 16 first serve points and breaking serve twice in the 23-minute set.

“I’m very happy that I’m starting the matches off well,” said Clijsters, a winner of 34 career singles titles including the 2005 US Open. “

The 26-year-old Belgian continued showing the signs of consistent tennis and superb fitness that was clear during her first round triumph over No. 12 seed Marion Bartoli.

“The main thing I was happy with today was the first serve percentage was a lot better than in the first match,” said Clijsters.

Schnyder picked up her game in the early stages of second set, before Clijsters broke in the 12th game and never looked back.

“She just had a great start,” said Schnyder, who won the title in Cincinnati in 2005. “She’s striking the ball great. It was really tough to get the rallies going and to get some advantage in the rallies.”

Clijsters’ was able to win the match without facing a break point on her serve, while smashing four aces and only two double faults. Schnyder, who was making her fourth appearance in Cincinnati, falls to 2-6 lifetime against Clijsters.

Next up for the newest mother on tour, is a third round match-up against reigning Roland Garros champion and No. 6 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia. Clijsters has dominated Kuznetsova in the past, winning six of seven meetings.

In other matches, No. 5 seed Jelena Jankovic saved two set points in the opening set tiebreak to edge past Russian wild card Maria Kirilenko, 7-6(6), 6-3, in one hour and 45 minutes. A match full of serving problems featured 13 service breaks and a combined 10 double faults.

“First match for me, it’s never easy,” said Jankovic, who finished the 2008 season as the top-ranked player in the world. “You know, I had trouble holding my serve, especially in that first set. I was returning well, but I wasn’t putting many first serves in, and kept playing with the second serve almost throughout the whole first set.”

Jankovic will next square off against No. 9 seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus for a place in the quarterfinals. Azarenka stormed past Russian Anna Chakvetadze, 6-4, 6-2, in one hour and 21 minutes. Jankovic leads the head-to-head 2-1, winning both matches on hard courts in 2007.

Eleventh seed Ana Ivanovic’s struggles since winning the 2008 Roland Garros title continued, as she was bounced by in-form Melinda Czink, 7-6(6), 7-5. Ivanovic struggled with her ball toss for the second straight match, hitting 11 double faults and dropping her serve five times. The loss marked the second early exit in as many weeks, after losing in the third round last week to Samantha Stosur in straight sets in Los Angeles.

In the late match, No. 2 seed Serena Williams sailed past Ukrainian qualifier Kateryna Bondarenko, 6-3, 6-2. Williams, who won her 11th Grand Slam singles title earlier this summer at Wimbledon, smashed 12 aces, while dropping just three points on first serve. The Florida native was also able to break serve on three of six occasions. Williams will next clash with Sybille Bammer in the third round. Bammer won the only previous meeting in three sets in Hobart in 2007.

Other winners on Wednesday in Cincinnati:
No. 4 Elena Dementieva def. (Q) Yanina Wickmayer, 6-3, 6-3
No. 7 Vera Zvonareva def. Alisa Kleybanova, 6-4, 1-6, 7-5
No. 8 Caroline Wozniacki def. Aleksandra Wozniak, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
Sybille Bammer def. No. 13 Agnieszka Radwanska, 6-0, 7-5
No. 14 Flavia Pennetta def. Agnes Szavay, 6-2, 6-2
Sorana Cirstea def. Anna-Lena Groenfeld, 6-3, 6-2
Daniela Hantuchova def. Alona Bondarenko, 7-5, 1-6, 6-4
Peng Shuai def. Maria Jose Martinez Sanchzez, 5-7, 6-2, 6-1