Thursday, December 31, 2009

Bye Bye 2009, Hello 2010!

Hey ya'll!

It's that time of year again! NEW YEARS!

I cannot express how lucky I am to have all of these readers, and I never expected this blog to keep up for as long as it had.

We've had such an amazing decade, but we know the "2010's" will be even better!

Enjoy your nights, be safe, and PARTAYYYYY

Ferrer & Sod Advance in Abu Dhabi; Federer to Skip DC

The 2010 tennis season won't be officially kicked off until January 4th, when the year's first non-exhibition events begin, but the highly popular Capita World Tennis Championships in Abu Dhabi started today, and Robin Soderling and David Ferrer helped ring in the new year. It is just an exhibition, but the two were competing at their best for bragging rights, as the Swede and the Spaniard defeated Stanislas Warinka and Nikolay Davydenko, respectively, for the rights to take on the world's top 2 players. Soderling won 7-6 (4), 7-6 (2), and will play Roger Federer in the semifinals, while Ferrer triumphed 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 to set up a final 4 clash with countryman Rafael Nadal. Federer and Nadal both had 1st round byes.

The Swiss press is reporting that the much-anticipated Switzerland vs. Spain Davis Cup matchup, scheduled for March 5th to 7th, will not include Roger Federer. The world's top ranked player is reportedly hesitant to play on clay, the obvious surface for the Spaniard team, considering the U.S. hardcourt season gets underway just a week after the tie. The news comes as a huge disappointment, as I'm sure we were all eagerly anticipating the Fed/Nadal action.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like Serena

Gatorade has just released their newest ad campaign for their sports drink G2, referred to as 'sting', and the star is none other than tennis champ Serena Williams. Check out the 30-second spot above and some behind-the-scenes action below.

Look Ahead to 2010: 5 Bold Predictions

As we saw this past year, anything can happen in tennis. We ended the decade with a bang, and hopefully, we'll start the new one just as "umph". When I did this same post last year, I wasn't what you would call "right on", but I guess that's what blogging is for, right?

1. Both the WTA and ATP have 4 different Grand Slam Champions

The women's tour has been pretty mashed up for a while now, but with the return of Justine Henin, and Kim Clijsters' 2009 US Open run, things will only get crazier. On the men's side, it used to be Federer and Nadal, and no one else was even ,mentioned, but with the emergence of Juan Martin del Potro, and the presence of threats like Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Andy Roddick and Nikolay Davydenko, we could see 4 different male slam winners in a year for the first time since 2003. In fact, it's pretty likely. Buckle up, everyone.

2. Justine Henin, Kim Clijsters and Maria Sharapova All Return to the Top 10

Like I said, the women's tour will be one big smorgasbord in 2010. Henin dominated the tour before her unexpected retirement, and there is no reason she can't return to her previous level, or even better. Clijsters looked better than ever at 2009's end, and she proved that she can match the power and athleticism of any woman on the circuit. Maria Sharapova had a bright finish to the year, taking the Toray Pan Pacific Open title, and she will look to be a GS winner again. After all, she has won all her majors in even-numbered years.

3. Wozniacki Drops Out of the Top 10

Sure, Caroline Wozniacki's 2009 US Open run was impressive, but her inconsistency has lead me to believe that it was a fluke. With a new, more powerful generation of tennis rising, it seems to me that Wozniacki's style of play just won't be able to keep up. She is currently ranked 4th, but if heavy-hitters like Victoria Azarenka, Sharapova and Clijsters continue their ascents, look for it to be a long year for the Danish beauty.

4. James Blake's Misery Continues and He Retires

One of America's fan favorites, James Blake, didn't have the brightest 2009. He lost in the opening round at 3 of the 4 majors and was barely above a .500 winning percentage. Just 2 years ago, he reached the 4th spot in the rankings, and he now sits 40 spots below that. Look for the 30 year old's poor results to continue, and by year's end, expect the Tampa resident to retire.

5. Roger & Mirka Announce They are Expecting Another Child by December

Roger Federer and wife Mirka became parents to twin girls in July, but both have expressed desire to expand again. Perhaps the two will announce they are expecting a baby Roger near the end of 2009? I can hope, right?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Look Ahead to 2010: 5 Players to Watch For

We're just days away from ringing in the new year with family and friends, but more importantly, the beginning if the 2010 tennis season is inching closer and closer. The first week of tournaments is January 4th, so we have a few days to make our predictions and look ahead to the year's first slam, the Australian Open. We'll begin by looking for 5 players that will make big-time noise this year.

1. David Nalbandian- This Argentine had a crummy 2009, with a severe injury that shortened his campaign, and disappointing results, but with one of the best backhands in the game, and the experience to match it, Nalbandian will return to the elite. He now sits with a ranking of 64, but after surgery and a long 7 months of preparation, look for the former world number 3 to make a surprising run in Melbourne.

2. Sabine Lisicki- After winning her first ever title in Charleston, upsetting Caroline Wozniacki in the final, Sabine Lisicki continued her impressive play, finishing the season just outside the top 20. The 20 year old reached a GS quarterfinal at Wimbledon, and was 2nd on the WTA Tour in aces behind Serena Williams. Expect this German to make a lot of noise in 2010.

3. Richard Gasquet- Cleared if his now infamous cocaine scandal, Frenchman Richard Gasquet is ready to return to the ATP Tour with a chip on his shoulder. Once a fixture in the top 15, Gasquet career took a turn for the worse with zero titles in 2008 and a 2009 cut short by suspension. Now just outside the top 50, Gasquet, who is still just 23, will be a danger to the elite.

4. Shahar Peer- This Israeli has been on the tour for quite some time, but at just 22 years old, she has her whole career ahead of her. Shahar Peer won two titles in 2009 at recorded 39 match wins. She has said she plans to have an even better year in 2010, so the ladies of the tour should be aware of Peer and her fierce groundstrokes.

5. Petra Kvitova- Petra Kvitova made her mark on the WTA in 2009. At just 19 years old, she defeated then world number 1 Dinara Safina en route to the US Open 4th round. She won her premiere title earlier in the year in Hobart, and she reached the top 50. This Czech could definitely become a threat on the big stages.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Djokovic to Make a Cameo in Iron Man, Star in TV Show

Fame gotten to your head much?

Novak Djokovic is set to star in a 10 part mini-series about the life of Yugoslavian King Aleksancer I. Djokovic will play the man in charge, with his little brother Dordje playing the king in his younger years. Xinhua had the deets:

Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic will act as a king in a new TV series about the life of Yugoslav King Aleksandar Karadjordjevic (1888-1934), according to an announcement in Belgrade on Wednesday. Aleksandar Karadjordjevic was the first king of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia as well as the last king of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.

The series, comprising 10 episodes, will have a budget of 2,779,000 euros, while the role of King Aleksandar will be played by Novak Djokovic and the filming schedule begins in March 2010 and will be adapted in line with Djokovic’s.

Novak Djokovic’s youngest brother, Djordje, will be playing young Aleksandar Karadjordjevic.

The director Stojan Stojcic noted that the work on the series dated back to 2005, adding that it was an important project that would help promote Serbia in the world and that it would probably be aired in 2011.

And about the Serb's role in Iron Man 2, a message on Djoko's website said this:

The world number three has got acting offers. Novak said he had an offer for a major role in a series and a smaller role in a Hollywood movie, as well as in a series about King Aleksandar Karadjordjevic.

He should appear in the sequel of the Hollywood action hit “Iron Man” with Robert Downey Jr. in the title role. The world premiere of the film is expected in early May 2010.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Aussie Open Wildcards Given to Molik, Tomic

Australians Alicia Molik and Bernard Tomic were given wildcards into next month's Australian Open along with teenager Olivia Rogowska. Tomic, a two-time junior Grand Slam winner, advanced to the 2nd round of the year's opening slam last year. Jason Kubler and Carsten Ball were granted the other men's wildcards.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Serve and Return would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

Happy Holidays and be safe!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

2009 Wrap-Up: Player Awards

What better way to finish off our annual top-ten lists than giving out the player awards. 2009 was a hectic and exciting year on and off the court, with records broken and hot hookups, so bare with me as I try to make sense of it all.

Player of the Year (Male): This one's a no-brainer. After Rafael Nadal snatched the number 1 ranking away from him last Summer, Roger Federer came back with a vengeance, winning 3 of the next 4 majors, regaining his number 1 ranking, becoming just the 3rd man ever to complete the French Open-Wimbledon double, and most importantly, breaking Pete Sampras' record of 14 Grand Slam championships by beating Andy Roddick at the All-England Club. Off-court, Mr. Federer had a banner year as well, tying the knot with longtime girlfriend Mirka Vavrinec, and having twins, Myla and Charlene.

Player of the Year (Female): Once again, a no-brainer. Serena Williams dominated the competition this year, triumphing at the Australian Open for the 4th time, and beating her sister in the Wimbledon final. She lost to the eventual champion in the quarterfinals of Roland Garros and the semifinals in New York, but she went out with a bang, going a perfect 5-0 at the WTA Championships in Doha, beating her big sister twice, as well as Elena Dementieva, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Caroline Wozniacki. Off the court, Williams kept her longtime relationship with rapper Common going, while she expanded her fashion brand, continued her charity work, and expressed desire to move into the entertainment industry. Quite obviously, Serena is the ultimate woman.

Newcomer of the Year (Male): Although he has been a threat on the tour in recent years, 21 year-old Marin Cilic really made his mark on the tour in 2009. Winning two titles and massing a 45-20 record, the 6'6 Croatian shocked the world in defeating then number 2 Andy Murray at the US Open, 7-5, 6-2, 6-2. He reached at least the 3rd round at every major, and finished the year with a ranking of 14.

Newcomer of the Year (Female): With her incredible runs at Wimbledon and the US Open, Melanie Oudin proved to doubters that the future of American tennis is in good hands. With wins over top players such as Jelena Jankovic, Elena Dementieva, Maria Sharapova and Nadia Petrova, the 18 year old from Marietta, Georgia rose to fame and became a household name. She sits with a ranking of 48 right now, but look for the teeny tiny blonde to continue her ascent.

Grand Slam of the Year: Each major this year brought something different. One was all about ridiculous shotmaking and matches far into the night, while another was all about the upsets. One was implanted into the history books, while the final slam marked the installation of dangerous youngsters. In my opinion, my favorite slam, the Australian Open, was the year's most entertaining. Melbourne seems to always bring the highest level of play, perhaps because every player is fresh as can be heading in. The entertainment level is much higher than the other slams, and the matches seem to always be extremely thrilling. Roland Garros was also very exciting, but there is something about Oz that gets me every time.

Disappointment of the Year: Everyone wants an award, but definitely not this one, and the winner, or should I say loser, is Dinara Safina. The world number 2 was primed for success after 2008, and she ceased to reach the next level. She got obliterated in 2 GS finals, was completely and utterly embarrassed by Venus Williams in the Wimbledon semifinals and was ousted in the US Open 3rd round. She finished the year even worse, becoming the first ever number 1 player to lose twice to someone ranked lower than 180. She then relinquished the top spot to Serena. Hopefully, the pressure will be off in 2010, and the Russian will perform to the level we all know she can.

Best Dresssed: Hands down, Maria Sharapova was the style star of 2009. In a shortened year, she upstaged tennis' other fashionable stars like Serena and Wozzi to cement her status as the WTA's best dressed. From her comeback outfit in Warsaw, to her Navy Paris dress, to her striped ensemble in LA, and finally, her metallic silver and black get-up in New York, Shazza was, by a country mile, the fashionista of 2k9.

WTF of the Year: Most of us would kill to hit 76 aces in a match. Ivo Karlovic, on the other hand, would kill for a decent shot other than his serve. In a Davis Cup match against Radek Stepanek, the Croatian fired that many aces, and........lost. Many of you wonder ow that is humanly possible, but it happened. You could look at this with the glass half full and embrace just how good Dr. Ivo's serve is, but I'm sure the majority do not look at this positively. First step to success for Karlovic: Learn how to hit a groundstroke.

Most Improved of the Year: After being a fixture in the top 30 but failing to make a mark, Robin Soderling showed just how dangerous he is in 2009. He shocked the world by beating Rafael Nadal at the French Open and reaching the final, but he continued his stellar tennis throughout the rest of the year as well, reaching the quarterfinals of Wimbledon and the Round of 16 in New York. He was 1 spot away from qualifying for the World Tour Finals, but due to Andy Roddick's withdrawal, got a wildcard, beating Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic to reach the semis.

Most Exciting of the Year: With his rowdy fist pumps, electric shotmaking, mind-boggling speed and loud personality, Gael Monfils most definitely brought entertainment to every tennis match he contested this year. He did the slip n' slide on every surface possible, and he ran down every ball, resulting in ridiculously long points. His night match with Rafael Nadal at the US Open was a thriller indeed, and the Frenchman clearly understands how to get a crowd involved.

Drama Queen of the Year: Jelena Jankovic usually wins this category, but she fell short this year. Her "woman problems" at Wimbledon weren't enough to upstage Vera Zvonareva and Serena Williams. Zvonareva went bananas in her night match against Flavia Pennetta at the US Open, smacking and punching herself, hoping somehow she would be able to convert one of her many match points. It didn't work. Neither did sitting on the court, crying, and ripping her leg tape to shreds. Serena on the other hand, went about causing a scene differently. Her New York outburst will surely be remembered as one of the craziest occurrences in tennis history. Other dramatic scenes such as her accusations that Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez cheated at the French Open catapulted the American to co-number 1 on this list.

Tell me what you think, and check back soon for 2010 predictions!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Holidays from the Federer Family!

Those little girls are growing up so fast!

The Federer family decided to give us a holiday treat, and post a picture of their beautiful family on the world number 1's facebook.

He wrote, "Many friends and fans have asked for an updated picture of our
girls so we thought we'd post this picture for the holiday season. Our
entire family wishes you a safe and happy 2010!"

Serena Named AP Female Athlete of the Year

Atleast they got it right this time.

After Roger Federer was robbed by Tiger Woods for AP Athlete of the Year, Serena Williams brought tennis a victory, after the American was named the prestigious honor in the female category by an absolute landslide.

The U.S. newspaper editors that cast their votes clearly overlooked the world number 1's recent US Open tirade, as she won over 66 of the 158 voters. That's more than a third!

The always humble Serena told the AP, "People realize that I'm a great player, and one moment doesn't define a person's career. And I was right, for the most part: It wasn't right the way I reacted - I never said it was - but I was right about the call.''

Williams triumphed at the Australian Open and Wimbledon in singles, bringing her career Grand Slam tally to 11. With sister Venus, she won the doubles titles at the Aussie and Wimbledon, too, as well as at the US Open, bringing that total to 10. She put the cherry on top of her fantastic 2009 by winning the WTA Year-End Championships and finishing this season with a record-setting $ 6.5 million in prize money.

And about that embarrassing night in New York against Kim Clijsters, Serena has this to say:
"(The outburst) got a lot more people excited about tennis.'' And we'll have to agree, not that we're condoning it, or anything.

The 2nd place finisher was Zanyatta, who had a perfect 14-0 record for her career, and became the 1st female horse to be crowned Breeder's Cup Classic champion. And for a little perspective, she finished 48 votes shy of Serena.

The WTA's Ceo, Stacy Allaster, pretty much said it all: "An incredible performance. Her game just continues to improve through this long career she's had. Serena really peaks for those big moments on big stages"

You can say that again. And as for Williams' plans for next year, "My goal is to have a better year than '09 - and to stay healthy, and I think if I can do that, I'll be fine.''

Be scared, WTA.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Best of '09- Moments

2009 was a banner year for tennis. It saw Roger Federer finally do what was inevitable, and break Pete Sampras' Grand Slam title record. It saw tirades, and weird celebrations, and heartwarming trophy ceremonies. 2009 pretty much had it all, and as difficult as it may seem, I'm here to narrow it down to the top 10 moments of the past year, good, bad or ugly.

10. Jelena Dokic's Inspiring Australian Open Run

Jelena Dokic went from 0 to 100 when she made an astonishing return to the tennis world during this year's Australian Open. Free of the manipulative and forceful influence from her estranged father Damir, Dokic carried a chip on her shoulder and made it all the way to the quarterfinals, defeating Anna Chakvetadze, Caroline Wozniacki and Alisa Kelybanova, all in 3 sets, before nearly defeating Dinara Safina. With the home crowd behind her and the tears running, this was a truly heartwarming tale of adversity.

9. The Australian Open Women's Trophy Ceremony

Perhaps many fail to remember the joyful spirit Serena Williams and Dinara Safina had following their Aussie Open final because of just how incredible the men's ceremony was, but even after Williams handed the Russian an absolute beatdown, they remained civil, and cracked jokes with eachother during the directors' speeches. It was good to know, coming out of that final, that two of the grittiest and most hard-headed women on the tour know how to keep the competitiveness on court, and bring a playful vibe to the sport. How can you NOT love both of their speeches?

8. Federer's Indian Wells Outburst

As a Federer fan, this wasn't easy to watch. I started the match confidently sitting upright on the couch after Roger won the first, but it all went downhill from there. Eventually, the little devil came out and Roger exploded, and lost the match to Novak Djokovic. I'm not putting this infamous racquet smash in here because it's great, and we all no it's not. But, after I got over the late match demise, it was good to know that even Roger Federer is human. Even Roger Federer crumbles. Even Roger Federer demolishes his racquet in frustration, and then gives the media a little piece of his mind. You really can't help but laugh.

7. Juan Martin del Potro wins the US Open

Juan Martin del Potro's US Open championship came straight out of left field. The not so little Argentine went into the final against Roger Federer a heavy underdog, but the youngster came back, and brought his country home it's 2nd ever US Open. And it was even better to see Roger Federer so proud of his peer. JMDP really deserved this one. Now, if Dick Enberg would have only let DelPo speak in Spanish at the ceremony, things would have gone even more smoothly.

6. Melanie Oudin's Miraculous US Open Run

Now here's the story that everyone heard about. And you know it's huge when you get texts from non tennis-watching friends about it. That's the kind of buzz Melanie Oudin created when the tiny then 17 year old fought her way through Alisa Kleybanova, Elena Dementieva, Maria Sharapova and Nadia Petrova to reach the US Open quarterfinals. With her family by her side, and her trademark "believe" shoes, the American outplayed some of tennis' best and quickly became one of the best stories of the year. FF to 9:10 for the good stuff.

5. Serena Williams' US Open Tirade for the Ages

Jaws dropped. Parents covered their kids' eyes. Most looked on in shock. I personally screamed "wtf just happened?" to my sister. It was a 'WTF' moment indeed. Call it whatever you want, tirade, outburst, blowup, but Serena Williams' US Open WTF had to be one the most intriguing moments of the year. It was uncalled for, dirty, unproffessional, blasphemous and many more things, but we all know that we wish we could say how much entertainment it brought us without condoning it. It will probably go down as the most insane 'wtf' in sports history, but after years and years of bullshit calls, what else could Serena do?

4. Roger Federer's Record-Breaking Wimbledon Victory

There is no need to summarize the match, considering I did that in the "best matches of '09" post, but Roger Federer and Andy Roddick's never-ending duel in the 2009 Wimbledon final was a memorable one. If you think of how unfortunate Federer has been against Nadal, Roddick has been 10x more unfortunate against Federer. He had won just 2 out of 21 matches heading into the final, and gave Federer the fight of his life. With Pete Sampras watching, Roger held on to take the match 16-14 in the 5th, and he became the winningest male in Grand Slam history.

3. Roger Federer's Record-Tying French Open Victory

After Rafael Nadal's shocking 4th round loss at the French Open, possibly the biggest upset of all time, the doors were open for Roger Federer to complete the career Grand Slam and tie Pete Sampras' all time major record. The path wasn't easy though. Federer had to battle past Tommy Haas and Juan Martin del Potro in 5 sets before the finals, where he played Robin Soderling, the man who beat Rafa. Tears were visible on the final changeover, and after Federer won 4 more points, they were flowing. It took him long enough, but the one slam that kept Federer from the G.O.A.T. was finished, and that title can rest assured.

2. Kim Clijsters' Comeback Win at the US Open

Who could have expected Kim Clijsters to return to tennis the way she did? After a 2 year retirement, Mama Clijsters returned and took little Jada on the ride with her. In her 1st GS since the 2007 Australian Open, Kimmie stormed the competition and played miraculous tennis to capture her 2nd US Open crown. Unseeded, unranked and completely disregarded, Clijsters beat the best of them, Venus, Serena, and Caroline Wozniacki, to shock the world and win. Even better, mama's little girl got to hop on the court and do the champion's photo op with her. :37 is ADORABLE.

1. Australian Open Men's Singles Trophy Ceremony

For Federer fans, it was devastating. For Nadal fans, it was monumental. For tennis, it was the best moment of 2009, and probably of the decade. The two best tennis players on earth had just put on an array of shotmaking and obviously, only one could come out on top. That one was Rafael Nadal. The non-winner? Roger Federer. Just moments after the finish and the handshake, a ceremony was to ensue, and not one person in Rod Laver Arena knew what was about to happen. Nothing else mattered, except for Federer and Nadal. Sure, Rod Laver watched as Federer broke down into tears, obviously mentally annhialated, but the outcome didn't matter anymore. Rafael Nadal saved the day. He won, but like the top-notch sportsman he is, the Spaniard saved the champagne for another day in an effort to give a little support to his friend, his peer, his rival, who was helplessly bawling, staring at the beloved trophy that was once his out of the corner of his right eye. At a modest 22 years old, Rafael Nadal contained the compassion to go do a simple act of justice, that went a long, long way. Just an arm around a buddy for a few seconds, right? Wrong. "The hug" as it will forever be known, defined "Fedal". Federer completes Nadal. Nadal completes Federer. Mano y Mano. There is a reciprocated respect somewhere in their relationship that is rare. From the 1st point until the last point, they can't stand the fact that the other has an answer to everything, but once the buzzer sounds, these two transform like DNA, and this very moment sums it all up.

Wawrinka Weds!

The "other Swiss", Stanislas Wawrinka married his longtime girlfriend, 34 year old Ilham Vuiloud, a television reporter who is 7 months pregnant (not fat), at the Lausanne Palace Hotel in Switzerland in a small ceremony. It is reported that a blowout party was planned for later on. had the deets:

The private civil ceremony took place on December 12, Vuilloud – herself a television presenter – told a local television programme on Monday.
“We shall celebrate our union in a church ceremony with lots of guests when our child (due in February) is able to carry our rings,” she said.

Wawrinka is 24 years old, and his new wife is 11 years older. He currently stands 21st in
the ATP world tennis rankings.

Switzerland’s number one tennis star, Roger Federer, married his partner Mirka in April. She gave birth to twin girls in July.

ATP Indianapolis Event Moving to Atlanta

The ATP Tour will return to Atlanta in July 2010. The tour bought the rights to the US Open Series Indianapolis event customarily played by American stars like Andy Roddick and Mardy Fish, but sponsorship conflicts created problems for the tournament, prompting the move to Atlanta. Atlanta last played host to an ATP event from 1986-2001. The move was announced on Thursday.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Roger Robbed by Tiger for AP Athlete of the Decade Award

Forget about Tiger's media storm, and his douchiness, and his infidelity, and his dishonesty, and his......ok, I'm rambling now, but just forget all of that, and compare his accomplishments from 2000-2009 with that of fellow sporting greats Roger Federer and Lance Armstrong. The Associated Press revealed their pick for Athlete of the Decade, and they chose Tiger.

Personally, this irritates me. And I'm sure it pisses off many of you guys as well. In 6 years, 2003-2009, Federer won an all-time record 15 Grand Slams. He has won 61 titles dating back to 2000, has reached 22 consecutive Major semifinals, reached 10 straight Major finals from 2005 to 2007, and while doing it all, the Swiss didn't have a caddy giving him tips. He also had to move his body in more than one rotation. SHOCKER!

In a perfect world, the argument would be finished, but the classic Golf/Tennis debate had to be brought up. The typical "golfers have to play the course and the entire field of players" debate.

Well, here is an argument for all of you who support the AP's choice. It's called the "tennis players actually have to break a sweat."

I'm not trying to negate Tiger's achievements, because he most definitely is one of the elite "athletes" in sports, but just because he took golf to a new level by being extremely fit, it doesn't necessarily mean his opponents were without a beer-belly of their own.

Tennis Players and cyclists have to be in prime physical shape at all times, or they suffer the consequences. Not one competitor in these two sports could ever gain a few pounds and hide it in their next tournament or race. Golfers, on the other hand, can completely get away with it. Just ask John Daly.
Conclusively, I really like golf, and I have played a few times and really enjoyed it, but comparatively to what tennis players and cyclists have to go through in their sport, I don't see it as appropriate for a golfer to win the title of 'Athlete of the Decade'. To tell you the truth, I would have been fine if Armstrong was ahead of Federer, considering his incredible feats in the cycling world, but to give this award to Tiger is almost immoral.

Who do you guys think is Athlete of the Decade?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

ITF Removes Ban; Malisse and Wickmayer Allowed to Play

Just a few months ago, Belgians Yanina Wickmayer and Xavier Malisse were suspended from competing professionally due to whereabouts regarding doping, but the ITF has now lifted the ban and the two will be allowed to play. Wickmayer just recently reached the semifinals of the US Open while Malisse was a Wimbledon semifinalist in 2002. Wickmayer, ranked in the top 20, received a wildcard to the ASB Classic, a tuneup to the Australian Open, immediately following the court ruling, and the 2o year old is hoping to receive another wildcard into the year's 1st Grand Slam. "As a signatory to the WADA Code, the ITF is required to give wider recognition to decisions within the authority of other signatories,'' said the ITF on Wednesday.

Wicky is a fun one to watch, so I'm happy about this, but what needs to end is the ITF's constant, and when I say constant, I mean constant, stalking of it's players. I mean, it's okay if you wanna test your players frequently, but to force them to be available 365 days a year is rediculous. Also, they have to give three months' notice of where they are going to be in case a test is needed. Who the hell knows where they are going to be 3 months from now. For all I know, Novak Djokovic could be modeling mankinis in a fashion show, with Roger Federer and Anna Wintour sitting front row, and the ITF will come walking in to take a test.

Something needs to be done. Pronto.

Azarenka and Van Grechen Split

The Jornal do Tenis is currently reporting that Victoria Azarenka and her longtime coach Antonio van Grechen have split. "Those were four rewarding years. We kind of grew up together both professionally and personally... she went from being junior world champion to number 6 in the WTA," the former coach said. "I can only wish her the best."

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Best of '09- Style

It's time for the next top ten list, and this time we're recalling the most stylish on-court outfits of the past year. This countdown will only include women, considering it's pretty hard for the men to look fashion-savvy in a shirt and shorts, unless of course, you're Roger Federer.
Here we go:

10. Venus Williams in Australia

Venus debuted this bright yellow dress at the Australian Open this year. Although she had worn this neckline at 2 Grand Slams in 2008, this ensemble was my favorite version, and it contrasted perfectly against the blue courts down under.

9. Caroline Wozniacki in Doha
Wozzi's Stella McCartney dresses were a huge hit this year, and she most definitely saved the best for last, as the Danish beauty wore this teal ruffled tank-dress at the last tournament of the year, in Doha. Let's hope she can keep her stylish ways going in 2010.

8. Viktoriya Kutuzova in New York

Kutuzova isn't very well-known, but her opening round match against Kim Clijsters at this year's US Open got her national recognition for her Nike green dress, with charcoal ruffles cascading down the bottom. It was originally meant for Maria Sharapova at the 2009 Australian Open, but Kutuzova was the perfect gal to debut the outfit.

7. Serena Williams in Paris

Serena Williams' styles have always been somewhat outlandish, but the world number 1's French Open Nike color-block dress was tamed down, and perfect for the clay courts at Roland Garros.

6. Ana Ivanovic in New York

Ana Ivanovic had a miserable year tennis-wise, but that didn't mean the Serb couldn't redeem herself fashionably. She bowed out in the first round at the US Open, but her dark blue asymmetrical ruffled Adidas dress was a knockout.

5. Jelena Jankovic in Fed Cup

JJ started her own line of dresses with Chinese sporting-brand Anta in the beginning of the year, and the pairing was very successful, producing cute and fashionable outfit's like the royal blue one Jankovic wore in Fed Cup play.

4. Maria Sharapova in New York

Maria Sharapova is a consistently stylish dresses on the WTA Tour, and her US Open Nike night dress was no exception, with metallic silver strips asymmetrically striped around the neckline. Her long matching headband complimented the outfit.

3. Maria Kirilenko in Australia

Maria Kirilenko is a regular in the best-dressed lists, and her Stella McCartney get-up in Australia proved that the Russian can almost do no wrong. The high-waisted skirt was pleated to perfection and the color worked well with her skin tone.

2. Maria Sharapova in Paris

Sharapova's first Grand Slam back from her layoff from a shoulder injury proved to be a stylish one, with the Russian wearing a one-shouldered two-toned blue dress with a light overlay
at the bottom. The color was a stellar pairing with the red clay courts of Roland Garros and it fit Shazza like a glove.

1. Maria Sharapova in Warsaw
And the number 1 outfit of 2009 is.......Maria Sharapova's Warsaw ensemble. This was the 23 year old's first tournament back after 9 months, and she returned with a bang, wearing this white dress with a bright-orange high-waisted overlaying skirt. Every part of this outfit was relevant and extremely stylish, proving Maria's dominance over The WTA in style standards.
Leave a comment and tell me what you think!

Henin Looking Good in Exos; Safina Out of Brisbane

Justine Henin is set to make her comeback to tennis in less than a month, and to prepare herself for the fierce competition shell be returning to, the Belgian has been playing a few exhibitions in Cairo. She started with a defeat of Kristen Flipkens, then she went on to beat world number 12 Flavia Pennetta. She continued her impressive play today, by beating Nadia Petrova 7-6(4), 6-2. Looks to me like Justine really has a fire lit in her. Can't wait for the Australian!

World number 2 Dinara Safina has withdrawn from the Brisbane International, a popular tune-up to the Australian Open, due to a back injury. The Russian was forced to emotionally pull out of her match at the WTA Championships in October, and the pain has not relieved. The injury has cast a shadow of doubt on Safina's chances of participating in the year's 1st Grand Slam, but hopefully the 23 year old can get herself together in time.

Happy Hannukah!

Hey everyone!

Just wanted to say Happy Hannukah to all my Jewish readers. My Hannukah dinner was last night, and I am still recovering. The only possible way to sum it up is in Yiddish. 'Oy Gavult'

Here's to 8 crazy-ass nights!


In some tennis news, the IOC has decided to add a mixed doubles event to the 2012 Olympics, which will be held in London, and played at the All England Club! It can't hurt, so they mine as well.

Can you say 'Laura Robson and Andy Murray' for the Brits?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Best of '09- Matches

'Tis the season for.........TOP TEN LISTS!

Yes, you may have been expecting me to say jingle bells, egg nog, presents and potatoe latkes, but the best part of winding down the year is counting from 10 to 1 on the annual lists bloggers excite over partaking in. There will be plenty more lists to come, but to start, we'll count down the best matches of 2009. And BELIEVE ME, there were enough late night (or early morning) 5-set epics to finish an entire pack of red bull (or two) in an effort to not daze off during the mind-boggling tennis. Drop a comment or two about what you think of the list, or if I missed something.

10. Flavia Pennetta def. Vera Zvonareva (US Open 4th Round) 3-6, 7-6, 6-0:

I'll admit, I was on a train back from a long day watching the Open live while this match was happening, but it's not like the massive flooding of texts I recieved while Vera Zvonareva blew her top weren't an easy sign that this match had drama. The crazy Russian came out of the gate firing, dominating the first set, but after letting 6 match points slip away in the 2nd set breaker, Zvonareva was at her boiling point. Pennetta than ran away with the match in the deciding set, but that didn't take away from the drama this 4th rounder included. Watch as the poor Zvonareva inflicts pain on herself *cringe*

9. Nikolay Davydenko def. Robin Soderling (World Tour Finals Round Robin) 7-6, 4-6, 6-3:

This match hasn't gotten the recognition it deserved, but, boy, was it impressive tennis. Soderling's relentless groundstrokes were the perfect counterpunch to Davydenko's consistent power, resulting in routine 25-shot rallies and a blockbuster of a contest. These two were clicking on all cylinders, and someone had to give. Ultimately, it was the Swede, who still made the semifinals anyway.

8. Serena Williams def. Svetlana Kuznetsova (Australian Open Quarterfinals) 5-7, 7-5, 6-1:

Few may remember this match, as it seems like ages ago, but it was quite the thriller. The heat was excruciating and the points were enthralling, as Kuznetsova came within 2 points of sealing her spot in the semis before Serena, whose shoes were melting away right before our eyes on the near 150 degree court, snatched away the victory en route to the title. Kuznetsova strongly criticized the AO's decision to shut the roof due to the heat, benefiting Williams, but we'll never know if it would have made a difference. These two would surely meet again in another quarterfinal......

7. Svetlana Kuznetsova def. Serena Williams (French Open Quarterfinals) 7-6, 5-7, 7-5:

The first GS encounter between these two may have been on Serena's favorite surface, but this one, no matter what the seedings beside their names said, was Kuznetsova's to lose. She was playing dynamite tennis leading up to the match, and, accepting nothing less than perfection against Williams, proved just how good she can be in her 3-set epic win. The rallies were ridiculous, the drama was sky-high, and just like the fairy tale goes, it was en route to the title for Kuzzie.

6. Rafael Nadal def. David Nalbandian (Indian Wells 4th Round) 3-6, 7-6, 6-0:

It's really too bad we didn't get to see more of David Nalbandian in 2009 because of an injury, because the Argentine has always brought countless epics (not to mention a world class backhand) to the tennis world, just as he did in his Indian Wells encounter with Rafael Nadal. Not having lost a set in his previous two matches with Rafa, Nalbandian came into the contest with sky-high confidence. He left extremely disappointed, having had played a beautiful match until the Spaniard saved 5 match points in the 2nd set and ran away with the 3rd.

5. Roger Federer def. Juan Martin del Potro (French Open Semifinals) 3-6, 7-6, 2-6, 6-1, 6-4:

It may have been an unfortunate ending for the Argentine this outing, but Juan Martin del Potro really made a name for himself after this match. He was completely manhandled by Federer in their Aussie Open clash, so to really put up a fight against the world's best this time around was a big deal. Just not big enough. DelPo held a 2 sets to 1 lead as I was having a seizure facing the probability that Fed might lose in his only chance to win Roland Garros. Thankfully for me, The Swiss recovered from his deficit with an unmatched grit, and went on to make history.

4. Serena Williams def. Elena Dementieva (Wimbledon Semifinals) 6-7, 7-5, 8-6:

This was women's tennis at it's finest. Not only did it seem like a men's match based on the power and pop Serena and Elena were wacking the ball with, but the instant classic was filled with screaches and screams that only added to the gut-wrenching intensity. Williams and Dementieva both REEAALLLLYYY wanted to win this match, and it took incredible anticipation and a historic volley, both on match point, for the American to pull it out. It may even go down as the best womens match of the decade, but regardless, it was the best of this year, and it could not have occured on a better stage.

3. Rafael Nadal def. Novak Djokovic (Madrid Open Semifinals) 3-6, 7-6, 7-6:

It was 3 sets, and it lasted over 4 hours. Is that enough said? Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic battled, and battled, and battled in the longest 3 set match EVER. We had incredible shot-making, high stakes, Rafa's fist pumps, Novak's ecstatic jumping up and down, and, best of all, just great tennis. This one could easily be the top match of '09, if it weren't for a few other classics, but it had some negative implications as well, as it didn't lead to the brightest times for these two. It was pretty much Rafa's last stellar match of the year, and it resulted in a lack of motivation for Nole at Roland Garros and Wimbledon, but let's appreciate it for the fact that it had tennis fans around the world tapping their fingers and stomping their feet in anxiety, waiting to see what else these two could possibly have up their sleeves.

2. Roger Federer def. Andy Roddick (Wimbledon Final) 5-7, 7-6, 7-6, 3-6, 16-14:

If I asked you what your expectations were heading into this final, I'm almost positive 90% of you weren't expecting what ensued, pretty much because of Roddick's dismal record against Federer heading into the Wimbledon final, but we got much more than paid for. It started early, and went on, and on. At moments, I wasn't sure if anyone was going to break in that final set. In fact, I was banking on me not being able to ever write this post because the match would still be going on. Well, that's a tad bit exaggerated, but if you were watching this final, you know what I mean. Roddick really stepped up to the plate and showed the millions watching that his Grand Slam glory days weren't finished yet. Federer was pushed to his brink, as Pete Sampras looked on from the first row. After 77 games, the longest length of any Grand Slam final ever played, Federer triumphed and won his record-setting 15th major. Game. Set. History. Much easier said than done.

And the best tennis match of 2009 is..............

1. Rafael Nadal def. Fernando Verdasco (Australian Open Semifinals) 6-7, 6-4, 7-6, 6-7, 6-4:

These kinds of matches aren't an everyday occurence, so we must cherish them for what they brought us. Their wasn't one shot that defined the match, or a specific point tat lasted forever. It was everything. Every point featured two world class tennis players with a relentless determination to advance to the Australian Open final. This match had shotmaking, of course, but it was the heart, the desperation to win, on the part of both Verdasco and Nadal, that defined it. These two went above and beyond, with Verdasco firing a rediculous 95 winners, and with Nadal scrambling all over the court to try and somehow return those 'Nando forehands. Once the 5 hours were over, and Nadal was the winner, it was he who described the match as simply, yet as perfectly as possible. "Today was one of those matches you're going to remember a long time. In the last game, at 0-40, I started to cry. It was too much tension. Fernando was playing, I think, at his best level. He deserved this final, too."

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Serena Ain't Goin' Down Without A Fight

She's a little delayed on this, but considering the length of this new blog post regarding her huge-ass fine for her US Open tirade, Serena Williams' tardiness is excused. Check it out:

Hey Guys!

As the world seems to know or for those who don't I want to speak about my recently dubbed "outburst" and how I feel.

I have recently been fined by the Grand Slam Committee of the ITF (International Tennis Federation) over 82 thousand dollars for getting mad and using the "F-bomb" at a line Judge.

To clear things up FIRST I was NOT fined 82 thousand dollars. I was fined 92 thousand dollars! I paid 10 thousand dollars on site immediately after the U. S. Open. So for the record, I was fined $92,000 not $82,000! The biggest fine EVER in tennis.

Also for all those that don't know, I felt incredibly bad, and miserable for losing my cool, and most importantly not representing the person I really am spiritually and the role model I want to be to my young fans. I have been a very feisty player all my life, but when the time came for me to be calm and cool, I did not exercise a
mild temper. How I regret not being a better role model and person to all of my
fans. I apologized to my fans and even wrote a personal letter to the lines
woman with my apologies. She understood as she often witnesses this as it is not
uncommon in my sport, or any other sport. She was extremely supportive and said
that she did not think any further actions should be taken against me.

A few years ago in a most important match being watched my millions; I was blatantly cheated and robbed of a US Open title by yet another official. I was again on the wrong side of not one or two, but several other bad calls. This incident however changed tennis. Because of what was incorrectly done to me, the whole sport of tennis adapted new technology for a player to challenge the calls lines persons make if the player feels they were wronged. I was expected to take solace in the fact even though I lost the U.S Open title (a dream I've been working for since I was 2 years old). At least others won't be wronged in the future. I am always happy for the next person. I always am. I received apologies from the USTA, the Lines Official, and the Head of the US Open. However I don't recall EVER receiving a note, a phone call, a letter even a text from anyone at the Grand Slam Committee ITF apologizing about the wrong and disastrous call one of THEIR officials made.

When I was a teenager I was booed by an entire packed stadium at Indian Wells. In my new book "On the line" I talk about how I remember crying on every changeover in the towel. Praying and wishing I could lose and the match would just be done with. When the match was over I thanked the crowd those that cheered for me, and even those that did not. Looking back I am still amazed how I remained so calm and positive, and even managed to come out on top.

The fact is every professional athlete gets wronged in one way or another. And every athlete gets upset. We have been working, sacrificing, missing out on numerous things, things we will never get back or experience for the sake of our careers. For the sake of that one moment in time where we have a chance to shine through.

Imagine for 20 years working day in, day out, sacrificing on countless things to get this job, that will make all your hard work and endless efforts worthwhile. Try to imagine having that promotion in one moment being taken away from you because of a slight over sight, by someone overseeing your work. 20 years gone away. Time to start over, dust yourself off and try again. You work harder make positive changes. It happens again.

"Dust yourself off" you say. "Try again"

You do just that. You work even harder than before, spend longer hours. Then it happens yet again. Another slight oversight.

Well this is what happened to me, and to be honest I believe I reached my boiling point. After yet ANOTHER wrong call I began to wonder- Was I being "overlooked" or wrongly judged on purpose!??? Is this being done to keep me from achieving my best? Why does this keep happening at the same place?

Throughout my career I have remained calm. But I guess I finally reached my breaking point. A point I should have never allowed myself to get to. Everything seemed to have surfaced. As you know, losing my cool cost me over 92 thousand dollars. 92 thousand dollars! This is more than most people make in a year. 92 thousand dollars! Answer this: Why is it another player who also lost HIS cool not to a line judge - like I did - but to the main officiating judge- using the same "f word" why was HE only fined 10 thousand dollars. Was what I did 10 times worse than what he did?!

There is another HE who was fined less than half of what I was fined after someone in his camp actually physically ATTACKED an official!!!!

What about the famous HE who made arguing with officials "cool". Cool for "MEN" I guess. Is it because they are all HE's and not a SHE like me?

It is indeed a massive difference. Being American I guess the 1st amendment, freedom of speech, does not apply to a SHE in this case? In any event the Grand Slam Committee, ITF and its staff did not hesitate to call, send a note, text, nor write letters after this incident. Ironic is it not?

I don't mind being fined. If I did wrong I accept the repercussions. All I ask for is to be treated equal.

When I was fined the 92K, I asked to see if I could donate some of it to different schools, and programs I'm involved in. My request was denied. So, I decided to match the fine by raising money and donating an additional 92K to my 2nd school that I am opening up in Africa, as well as to schools that I am helping here in the United States. I also want to educate women about what I learned from this whole experience. How we as women are still treated as less than equal. I am going to turn this 92K into a positive!!! And I have decided to call it Serena's 92K mission!!! Go to to learn more about my 92K mission.

Serena Williams

Serena, thank you for explaining, but was it necessary to write ANOTHER entire book. I read your first one, and I refuse to completely read this. But, the time and effort you took away from tweeting to write this is greatly appreciated.

Oh, and don't try to bring Roger into this, and we all know that is who your first 'HE' is about. He was fined 10x less than you were because what he said to the ump WAS way more excusable than what you said.

P.S.- 92K everybody!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Spanish Armada Strike a Pose

The Spanish Davis Cup team + Tommy Robredo posed for pictures w/ Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero with their 2nd straight trophy at the Moncloa Presidential Palace in Madrid.
Congratz on the win, ya'll!
What a way to end a GRUELING season. Just what Rafa and 'Nando needed after a disastrous WTF showing.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Spain Captures 2nd Straight Davis Cup Title

Before we get into Spain's dominant performance over the Czechs, I would like to announce the we got our 1st inches of snow in Baltimore this morning....and it keeps on coming. LOVE this time of year.


After Friday's impressive performances, Spain needed just 1 more match win to capture it's 2nd straight Davis Cup trophy, and it was up to Fernando Verdasco and Feliciano Lopez, who were to take on Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek. On their favorite surface, clay, in Barcelona, Lopez and Verdasco did just what they needed to, beating the Czechs 7-6 (7), 7-5, 6-2 to build an insurmountable 3-nil lead and keep the DC trophy in Spain for at least 1 more year. The victory moves Espana into the 6th place, with 4 titles, on the list of most successful DC countries, behind the U.S., Australia, France, Britain and Sweden. Spain also became the first country to defend it's title since Sweden. With Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer and a conspicuously stellar dubs team, Spain will surely be the favorite to bring home their 3rd title next year.

Felicitaciones Jugadors!

Rafa and Ferrer Win; Espana Jumps Out to 2-0 Lead in DC Final

The Spaniards jumped out to a 2-0 lead on the first day of their Davis Cup final against Czech Republic at the Santi Jordi Stadium in Barcelona. The day started with Rafael Nadal opening a good old can of ass whopping on Tomas Berdych, crushing the Czech 7-5, 6-0, 6-2. After the tight 1st set, Nadal cruised to victory on his favorite surface. In the 2nd singles match, Radek Stepanek was destroying David Ferrer before the Spaniard found his A game to win the match 1-6, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, 8-6, and give his country a comfortable lead. “It was maybe the most important (win) of my career; it’s the final of the Davis Cup,” said Ferrer, who will play Berdych if necessary following Saturday's doubles encounter. “(But) it all depends on if we win.”

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Rafa Says Leave Tiger Alone; I Say NO

HSBC Champions - Final Round

Rafael Nadal, who referred to Tiger Woods as his idol following the golfers 2008 US Open win on one knee, has offered his opinion on Tiger's admitted "transgressions", " I am surprised you talk about that,” Nadal responded to the media. “That’s my surprise . . .we aren’t nobody to talk about his privacy life, no? He don’t have to say, explain to nobody about what he’s doing in his private life. That’s my think(ing). I think he’s a big champion and we have to respect his private life.”
Ummm, perhaps Rafa's idol shouldn't have alledgedly cheated on his drop-dead gorgeous wife with two hoebags, and run his car into a tree at 2:30 in the morning. And since when does being "a big champion" excuse him from being faithful? After all, we all know that being a celeb comes with it's consequences, rightttt Tiger. Good luck with the ensuing media storm you'll be recieving, Mr. Woods. Wait...I take that back. You deserve allll the crap your gonna get.

Au Revoir Amelie

The tennis world was hit hard today. The graceful, ground-breaking 2-time Grand Slam champion, Amelie Mauresmo, announced her retirement from the sport she simply lost desire in. The emotions were running high at the announcement, which came in Issy-Les Moulineaux. The former number 1 said this at the press-conference:

I don't want to train anymore. I had to make a decision, which became evident in the last few months and weeks. When you grow older, it's more difficult to stay at the top. It's a bit sad, but this is the right decision. I was lucky enough to have an exceptional career and to experience very strong feelings on the court.

It became very hard in build-up to the US Open. If I were able to enter the court, play and shine, of course I could continue, but to achieve this you need to put in such hard work. And I'm not capable of that. I dreamt of this career, I dreamt of winning a Grand Slam title. I lifted trophies in every city in the world and I lived 10 magical and unbelievable years.

In the early stages of her career, Mauresmo broke boundaries by publicly coming out as a lesbian, an outing praised by legends like Billie-Jean King
and Martina Navratilova. Through abuse of her sexuality, Mauresmo stayed strong, though, and started to compete with the elite of the women's tour. In 2004, the Frenchwoman became the number 1 player in the world, and the first of her country to do so. She held that spot for 39 weeks, but in 2006, she exceeded expectations, winning the GS titles in Australia and London. After hovering around the top for the majority of the last 3 years, Mauresmo has looked unmotivated, but she without a doubt will leave a legacy that will be forever appreciated.

Mauresmo may be mostly remebered for her incredible year in '06, but had she not won those GS titles, her on-court grace and unique playing style would do the trick as well. Besides arch rival Justine Henin perhaps, noone hit a more artistic and effortless one-handed backhand. The 30-year old had a pure all-court game, from the serve, to the groundstrokes, to the vollies to the footwork. She may have a record for choking in big matches and ceasing to impress before her home crowd at Roland Garros, but Mauresmo will have countless positive aspects of her decade-long tennis career to cherish.

We'll miss you!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Roger's New Spot with Gillette's Big 3

So, if you have cable, internet service, read the newspaper or don't live under a cave, I'm sure you've heard about the Tiger Woods scandal that has been rocking the media lately. You might be wondering, what does this have to do with tennis. Well, Tiger's BFF is Roger and the two, along with another cheater, Thierry Henry, shot a Gillette ad in Prague recently. The new ad is shown above.

Anyways, any guesses as to whether Rog has reached out to his buddy? I wouldn't count on it, considering the golfer has been extremely reserved about his 2:30 am car crash and the numerous women who has allegedly ruffled the sheets with Woods, but all I can hope for is that Mr. Federer doesn't get struck by the curse his Gillette buddies have.

Sharapova Arrives in Chile; Participates in Cachantun Fashion Show

The beautiful Maria Sharapova arrived in Santiago, Chile this morning for her exhibition match against Gisela Dulko. The Russian later participated in the Cachantun fashion show, wearing a grey dress with exquisite black lining throughout. The US Open, Australian Open and Wimbledon champion later gave a press conference and showed off some of her pieces from collab with Cole Haan.