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Archive for the 'Gossip / Non-Tour News' Category

Video: Williams sisters team up with Manning brothers in Double Stuf commercials

Saturday, August 30th, 2008

They’ve conquered England, were a dynamic duo in Beijing this August and are preparing for the U.S. Open…but that’s not enough for tennis greats Serena and Venus Williams! The power pair announced today that they’re taking on a “second sport” and putting their “twisting, licking and dunking” skills to the test, as the newest members of the Double Stuf Racing League (DSRL).

The sisters join famous quarterback brothers Peyton Manning and Eli Manning, the league’s first “two sport” athletes, who launched the DSRL earlier this year. The DSRL puts a new spin on the classic Oreo and milk ritual by bringing friends and families together to “lick race” — a friendly competition where racers see who can twist, lick and dunk a single Oreo Double Stuf cookie and drink a glass of milk the fastest.

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Harkleroad is Pregnant

Saturday, August 30th, 2008

John McEnroe seemed to break this story on air at the US Open a few days ago, but now the confirmations seem to be coming in that she is expecting her first child with coach and future husband Chuck Adams.

American player and playmate Ashley Harkleroad didn’t pull out of the US Open with a back injury, but because she is pregnant, the Fed Cup heroine confirmed to the WTA on Friday.

Harkleroad, who lives with her boyfriend and coach former ATP pro Chuck Adams in L.A., is believed to be at least six weeks pregnant. Her last event was Los Angeles at the end of the July, around the same time that she became the first tennis player to appear on the cover of Playboy, for which she was paid an estimated $250,000. The 23-year-old, who had to undergo emergency surgery to remove one of her ovaries back in April, is said to be thrilled.

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Ashley Harkleroad’s August 2008 Playboy Magazine cover

Saturday, August 30th, 2008

Outside of the Williams sisters, American women are not making news for their tennis - but one is getting a lot of attention by posing nude on the August 2008 cover of Playboy.

Here’s the cover - if you want to see more, you’ll have to go buy the magazine.

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Video: Sharapova’s new Canon commercial

Saturday, August 30th, 2008

Here’s the Canon commercial that is airing currently - it features Dolce and Maria Sharapova.

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Check out Djokovic’s new girlfriend

Saturday, August 30th, 2008

Leryn Franco, a track and field athlete from Paraguay, had a less than impressive showing at the Olympics, but managed to snag herself a new boyfriend - Novak Djokovic.
Franco, 26, and Djokovic, 21, have been seen walking around hand in hand in the Olympic village, leaving no doubt the athletic duo are in love.

“Djokovic looks to his new partner as if she were a trophy,” an Argentine athlete told La Nacion newspaper. “Is it official? Yes, of course. They go hand in hand everywhere,” he added.

Leryn, a part-time model and bikini contestant, and Djokovic, who was seeded No. 3 in tennis at the 2008 Olympics, have also been seen in a restaurant near the Olympic village where athletes reside during the Games. The Improper

Now she’s at the US Open, watching Novak’s matches. People are starting to wonder if she’s about to become a big distraction, but so far Novak is coming through in his matches.

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Nadal rejects Nike’s wardrobe change for now

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

Hours before his first U.S. Open match Monday, Rafael Nadal decided that his game was more important than his wardrobe, telling his advisers and corporate sponsor Nike Inc. that he wasn’t ready for an image makeover after all.

Over three days the exuberant Spanish star known as Rafa had practiced in a new wardrobe that included such radical adjustments as shirts with short sleeves and pants that stopped above the knee instead of a few inches below.

But Mr. Nadal ultimately decided that his first match at the final Grand Slam event of the year wasn’t the right setting for his planned sartorial reinvention — particularly after he had captured two Grand Slams, Olympic gold and the top spot in the world rankings in his old garb.

“Frankly, Nadal is on a roll,” said Kilee Hughes, a spokesman for Beaverton, Ore.-based Nike, which designs Mr. Nadal’s clothes. “We listen to the voice of the athlete.”

Nike had unveiled Mr. Nadal’s new look after months of careful planning that began with a trip by Nike’s design team to the star’s home in Majorca, Spain. The company put its new lightweight shirt through “numerous discussions and wear-testings” to ensure that it wouldn’t hinder his performance, and it created shorts designed to “move with him — from baseline to net — without chafing or bunching up.” It praised the final ensemble as a look that “balances his casual off-court personality with the technical precision and passion he brings to the game.”

Nike’s Ms. Hughes said Mr. Nadal’s change of mind was “not a setback at all” for Nike but rather the byproduct of a “highly unusual” schedule. She said Mr. Nadal is still committed to switching to the new gear, perhaps at one of the smaller tournaments after the U.S. Open.

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that after months of consultation with designers at Nike and his management team, Mr. Nadal had decided to shift his image. Now that he was the top player on the planet, Mr. Nadal was ready to bid farewell to the adolescent muscle T-shirts and Capri-style pants that had garnered nearly as much renown as his lightning strokes and adopt a more traditional tennis look. WSJ

Good for Nadal! Right now he should avoid the mistakes that players of the past have made - getting too caught up in their sponsorship. Ultimately, he should focus on practice and not on doing interviews on the new clothes, etc. Yes, that was a cheap shot at Federer, who finally is blaming lack of practice on his inability to fend off Nadal and others this year.

I suspect Nike just wants to put a stop to the wedgie picking, which I am convinced is now just a habit of Nadal’s game and won’t be going anywhere. They know they aren’t selling any man-capris with the wedgie pick being mentioned in any article about them.

Leave the traditional tennis wear to Federer. He seems to like the ridiculous cardigans.

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Roddick’s wedding plans

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008
It appears as if it is an “all systems go” report for Andy Roddick and Brooklyn Decker’s wedding, a report from Life & Style Weekly details this week. “It might be next spring,” Andy, 26, told Life & Style at the BNP Paribas Taste of Tennis event in NYC on Aug. 21. “It’ll probably be down in Texas; that’s where we spend most of our time.” National Ledger

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Photos: More Nadal with girlfriend, beach vacation

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

Since my previous posts of photos of Rafael Nadal and his girlfriend Xisca seemed to be pretty popular, I decided to post a few more from earlier this month.

I never want to see this hairstyle again:

Much better:

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Venus on Shape Magazine cover - August 2008

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

Venus Williams has a really nice cover on Shape magazine’s August 2008 issue:

The site also mentions her workout thoughts:

You’ve heard all about her Grand Slam titles and friendly competition with her sister Serena, but there’s a whole other side to Venus Williams. In the August issue of Shape, she reveals who, and what, inspires her most. In the process, Venus reveals the tools she uses every day to stay on top of her game.

As the Shape photo shoot is being set up Venus, 28, and her sister (and housemate) Serena, 26, stand with their arms draped around each other, laughing conspiratorially. After years of watching them compete on the court, seeing how close they are—not to mention witnessing the two giggling like schoolgirls over text messages—makes it clear there’s much more to the Williams sisters than just tennis. As Serena leaves for practice, Venus sits down to discuss where she is in her life and how she got there.

To kickoff Venus’ list, she recommends you practice and practice more! It’s the key to confidence, says Venus. “You have to practice to develop your talents-and learn to enjoy putting the effort in,” she explains. She doesn’t just practice on the court; her gym routine keeps her in the winner’s circle.

As far as motivation goes, Venus tells us who has inspired her the most. It’s Serena, no question. “Without her, I couldn’t have achieved anything. She’s helped me believe in myself.” Serena loves to give Venus little sayings to remember, such as, ‘If you take your opportunities, more opportunities will come.’ “That got me through one final at Wimbledon,” recalls Venus. “It was a ridiculously difficult match and I was behind until the last three minutes. I kept saying that line over and over in my head: ‘If I take the opportunities on the court, more will come.’ I was also thinking, ‘I want to be like Serena; I want to win like Serena.’ And I did.”

Check out the August issue of Shape for Venus’ workout. Do it two or three times a week and you’ll notice a stronger core and a boost in your performance in and out of the gym! Shape

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Photos: Nadal with girlfriend

Thursday, July 10th, 2008

Attention is really turning to Nadal now!

Here’s a few more Celebrity Gossip photos of Nadal and Xisca.

There are additional photos if you follow the link.

Here’s some more info about Xisca and her relationship with Nadal:

Both have been a pair for three years, but are determined not to become a “celebrity” couple.

Xisca, a student, has always sought to keep Rafa grounded, though he has won four French Open titles and Wimbledon this year.

The Daily Star quoted a pal, as saying: “She likes to keep a low profile – so low that until recently many of Rafa’s pals didn’t even know who she was. Xisca is a quiet girl who likes dinner with her girlfriends, Hollywood movies and just spending tender moments with Rafael. She knows there is a lot of hype surrounding him but won’t let it go to their heads.”

Nadal, 22, said recently of Xisca, whose full name is Maria Francisca: “She is ­perfect for me, because she is very relaxed and easy-going.” MSN

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