The tennis buzz always picks up nicely around the time of the U.S. Open. Here are some random player sightings/goings on:
More juicy deets after the jump..
Amelie Mauresmo is officially winning again! The two time Grand Slam champ, currently ranked 33 in the world, is having success at the Pilot Pen warm up event in New Haven this week, yesterday scoring a tough three set victory over rising Estonian player Kaia Kanepi. This is a good sign that the form she showed in making it to the semis last week in Cincinnati is more than a fluke. Is she finally ready to take advantage of the tour’s current chaos? Here are some choice quotes:
“I just couldn’t see myself being out of it. I didn’t want to stop being a tennis player.”
“Last summer I had to take a break, I wasn’t feeling the motivation to continue. But I missed the emotions and the adrenaline that is part of the game. I also missed practicing because I was so used to it.”
“I did a lot of big preparing in the winter and I did it with a big smile on my face.”
“I thought she (Maria Sharapova) was going to be the one to be dominant this year, but it could be an opportunity for me to really try to get back to the highest level and see what I can do there.”
Yay, Mauresmo! I’d love to see you back at the top.
If you’re in Manhattan today and love slick corporate promotions and injured tennis players, you can “meet” Maria Sharapova at the South Street Seaport as she unveils the latest rhinestone encrusted Canon camera and soon to be over-played television commercial. Here’s the info :
Those visiting Canon Center Court on Wednesday, August 20 (10:00 am – 4:00 pm) or Thursday, August 21 (10:00 am – 8:00 pm) will have the opportunity to pose for photos with Maria look-alikes, play tennis against the phenom in a game of Nintendo Wii Top Spin 3, try the latest in Canon technology and enter to win one of Maria’s Diamond Collection cameras.
I realize that players have commitments, but it’s just so tacky to be selling yourself when you’re not healthy enough to play. (Although note that there’s no mention of when, exactly the real Maria Sharapova will be in the building.) I’m not hatin’, I’m just stating the obvious. And tell me, who the heck wants a photo with a Maria “look alike,” anyway? Wait, I’m officially available as a Nathalie Dechy lookalike, minus the toned thighs. Any takers?
Tomorrow, August 21 at 9:30 a.m., Novak Djokovic will preside over the Opening Bell at the NASDAQ Stock Market in New York (is this the same as the NYSE and am I a dummy for not knowing this?). All you rabid Nole fans can watch it live by clicking here.
On Thursday, August 21, Andy Roddick will be at the Lacoste Store in Macy’s Herald Square from 6:00 – 7:30p.m. Really? He’s going to sit around for an hour and a half? That’s longer than most of his matches. I’m guessing he shows at 6:30 and stays for twenty minutes, especially since he’s making an appearance at . . .
The 9th Annual BNP Parisbas Taste of Tennis, also on Thursday, August 21 at the W New York Hotel. This one actually sounds pretty fun, with a jaw-dropping roster of players (David Ferrer! Jelena Jankovic! Max Mirnyi!) and a promised “action-packed cooking demonstration” with kitchen “novice,” Andy Roddick, and Food Network “star,” Ingrid Hoffman. Hey, the event benefits the Food Bank of New York City, which in itself makes it worthwhile. Click here for more.
Arthur Ashe Kids Day on Saturday, August 23, features some great players: Andy Roddick, a confirmed (not infirm!) Ana Ivanovic, James Blake and Roger Federer! It also includes performances by a whole bunch of “musicians” that I have never heard of except for the “up-and-coming boy band, Menudo.” I must be ahead of the curve, because I’ve been Living La Vida Loca for sometime now. . .Click here for more.
By now you’ve probably checked out the photos from Rafa Nadal’s smoking New York Magazine cover shoot (the article is subtly titled The Beefcake in the Backcourt – click here for more), but did you know that he’s sharing the space with Christie Brinkley as part of some “double cover” scheme? Is that not the dumbest pairing ever? I guess they’ve got their ex-trophy- wife/cougar-on-the-prowl demographic to think about, but really, one of the best tennis players of all time should not have to share anything with a washed-up model who makes news with her nasty divorces instead of her career.
Looking ahead to the post-season, Venus Williams will appear on the next season of Sundance’s Iconoclasts t.v. show, where two stars from different fields get together to talk about what they do. She’ll be paired with musician Wyclef Jean. The program airs on The Sundance Channel on November 13 and 10p.m. ET/PT.
Looking forward to the Open! Whoo hoo!