Off Court Shenanigans

Billie Jean King Holds Twitter Q&A, Wins at the Internet

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Ahead of the Philadelphia Freedoms’ Mylan World TeamTennis match against the Boston Lobsters on Friday night, Billie Jean King once again proved that there is truly no opponent she can’t conquer.

Tonight’s foe?

The Twitter machine.

To raise awareness for the Mylan Aces charity initiative, in which the team that hits the most aces is awarded $1,000 for the charity of their choice after each match,  the league has held several Twitter Q&As with its players this season. Previous participants included Michael Russell, Marion Bartoli, Daniela Hantuchova, Aisam Qureshi and Leander Paes.

Since joining the social networking site last year, the tennis legend has fully embraced the medium – posting selfies with all of her famous friends (and one famous puppet), #tbt-ing with Eugenie Bouchard, and photobombing Victoria Azarenka.

Marked with the hashtag #MylanAces, BJK took time out of her pre-match preparations to answer a series of questions on a whole host of topics; she touched on everything from her famous ‘Battle of the Sexes’ against Bobby Riggs (the 40th anniversary of the match passed in September), to Andy Murray’s appointment of Amelie Mauresmo, to the age-old question: cats or dogs?

Game, set and match.

Maria Sharapova = Very Tall. Floyd Mayweather = Not.

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At ESPN’s annual ESPY awards on Wednesday, also known as the awards show that doesn’t actually mean anything, Maria Sharapova and Floyd Mayweather presented the fan-voted award for “Best Game.”

The 6’2″ Sharapova, “miffed” by her lack of introduction by master-of-ceremonies Drake, decided to take over the stage in the most hilarious way possible. She walked out in front of the 5’6″ boxing great, and then proceeded to prop herself up on him.

Awesome GIF is awesome.

860519337GIF: @cjzero

Sharapova won for Best Female Tennis Player while Rafael Nadal claimed the ESPY for Best Male Tennis Player.

Oh, and Grigor Dimitrov (duh) and Sloane Stephens were also there reppin’ tennis.

A fun night was had by all.

(Approximately) Half of WTA Tour Gets Stuck on British Highway, Lives to Tweet About It

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You never quite know what’s going to happen on a road trip. Just ask Britney.

On the way to Eastbourne from Birmingham on Friday, a bunch of WTA players found themselves on the struggle bus. Literally.

Because this is 2014, they took pictures and tweeted about it.

From left to right: Hao-Ching Chan, Lauren Davis, Madison Keys, Christina McHale, Gabriela Dabrowski, Mirjana Lucic-Baroni (plus a baby), Olga Savchuk, Lucie Safarova, Vesna Dolonc, Oksana Kalashnikova, Tamira Paszek, Alison Riske, Varvara Lepchenko and Yung-Jan Chan.

Saturday was a mixed for the weary travelers competing in the qualifying draw as McHale and Paszek both picked up wins, while Dolonc and Lucic-Baroni (l. by retirement) bowed out.

If Bernard Tomic Parties Hard, and Everyone Sees It, What Does It Even Mean?

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Bernard Tomic is back at it, kids. Photos from Tomic’s 21st birthday extravaganza have hit the internet. Tomic, whose birthday is actually on Oct. 21, presumably waited until his holiday to celebrate reaching this milestone at the Gold Coast-area night club Sin City. A fitting place for the Australian to celebrate his passage into adulthood, considering he also is the proud owner of a yellow Ferrari with the license plate S1NC1TY.

Photo credit: sincitynightclub.com.au
Photo credit: sincitynightclub.com.au

The discovery of the photos comes just 24 hours after Lleyton Hewitt challenged Tomic to step up on the ATP Tour.

After winning his first career title in Sydney in January and reaching the fourth round of Wimbledon, Tomic’s 2013 took a turn for the worse. On the court, he did not pass the second round in any of the ATP Masters 1000 events, lost his last five main draw matches and ended the year ranked No. 51. His controversial father and coach, John Tomic, was convicted of assaulting Bernard’s then-hitting partner Thomas Drouet in Madrid in May. The ATP banned the elder Tomic from all events in 2013 and will decide whether to lift the ban in May. He is also barred from entering the 2014 Australian Open.

Tomic has crafted quite the reputation for himself off the court in his young career, from standoffs with the police, traffic violations and….naked rooftop wrestling. On the court, he’s had his commitment questioned; the brothers McEnroe accused him of ‘tanking’ against Andy Roddick at the US Open in 2012, and Australian Davis Cup captain Pat Rafter called him ‘disgraceful’ during the period of their dispute.

179 photos will live in infamy on the internet forever courtesy of the nightclub’s website. They feature Tomic in varying stages of undress receiving lap dances from some women (who are, oddly enough, fully clothed) and posing with an oversized bottle of Belvedere vodka.

Here’s the thing. Is anyone really in the position to condemn him for going out and doing something stupid on his 21st birthday? Probably not. However, because it’s Bernard Tomic, it matters. Last year on Tomic’s birthday, a fight erupted between him and a friend which needed to be broken up by police.

Maybe next year, his friends can just buy him a cake.

Quick Quotes: Redfoo Getting More Attention from ESPN Than Some Athletes

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If I could go back in a time machine to the 2012 US Open and tell the WTA that celebrating Redfoo’s birthday was a terrible idea, I’d do so in two seconds. Since he wasn’t forced upon us enough during the Australian Open fortnight, or even over the past six months, Charles Curtis of ESPN: The Magazine interviewed him upon his return from Melbourne. He talks about why he loves tennis, Azarenka…and other things.

On how he supports Azarenka:

When I root for stuff, I watch to see what she does and then I just do it louder…

It’s [also] knowing to stay out of the way. It’s just understanding when she’s focused and in her mode that she’s not going to be the same way. Once she puts her headphones on, you can forget it.

On where his passion for tennis came from:

My mother actually used to play. When she was pregnant with me, she was playing tennis. They make a joke — I don’t know if it’s true — her water broke on the tennis court…

When I was born, I lived with my dad for two years. I was always watching him on a tennis court as a kid, he was a fanatic. Boris Becker would come to the house and play chess. They’re still friends with Monica Seles…

On his and Azarenka’s….whatever they have:

Yeah, I think so [that they're dating]. It’s pretty out there. I hope so! We don’t talk about it that much, but if I saw her with another dude, I wouldn’t be happy about it. We just try to do our thing and have fun and laugh.

I don’t think I’m physically capable of making comments about him anymore, so I present you with this GIF of my emotions:

Consider this my white flag.

BREAKING: Bernard Tomic is Still…Something.

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Fret not, people of Australia – it’s now safe to take the roads again.

Tomic, who was granted a stay of execution a 12-month one point license for good behavior after his “hooning” incident in an obnoxious orange BMW (which he later sold), was caught speeding at 78 km/h in a 60 km/h zone in an even more obnoxious yellow Ferrari (with the license plate S1NCITY on it) Tuesday. As a result, a $220 fine was levied against him and he lost three points on his license, leading to its suspension.

Photo: Mike Batterham, The Herald Sun

I find this incredibly entertaining. After simultaneously proclaiming himself the next GOAT and begging us to take him seriously for his tennis at the Australian Open, he goes and does this barely two days later.

As if his behavior wasn’t already offensive enough, he’s also single-handedly trying to bring cutoffs back in.

Bernie, since you’re not going to be using that Ferrari for a while, I heard a certain Sergiy Stakhovsky is still in need of one.

Rafa in Your Living Room: First Google+ Hangout in the #HIS7ORY

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We finally found a use for Google+. Rafael Nadal hosted his first “Google+ Hangout” video conference on Friday. The live video-chat included a select group of fans and tennis journalists from around the world, who asked Nadal a whole host of questions. Topics ranged from the Olympics and the recent David Nalbandian drama, to Disneyworld and his wardrobe choice.  Neil Harman successfully videobombed and a good time was had by all. If you missed it like I did, the full video is below.

“She’s As Much of a Fairy Princess as I Am” – 2012 Wimbledon Players’ Party

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One of Wimbledon’s many glorious traditions is the annual WTA players’ party, which takes place on the Thursday before the tournament begins. There is no tennis to tear apart until Sunday, so we can slam the outfits instead! Presenting: Your Obligatory WTA Fashion Police Blog Post!

Petra Kvitova

The defending champion continues to shine when given the chance. After being thrust into the public eye following her Wimbledon win in 2011, the soft-spoken Czech has embraced her outer sparkle off the court.

Jelena Jankovic

As we know, the only reason why Jelena even bothers to play tennis these days is for extra spending money, clothes and parties. She can’t even do that right anymore.

Venus and Serena Williams

Venus and Serena’s fashion choices over the past decade have sometimes wowed us, and other times, have left us scratching our heads. Both opted for classic options, but the jury’s still out on the hair.

Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova doing what Maria Sharapova does with commanding presence as always. She wouldn’t look out of place on a Hollywood red carpet. Bonus points for the shoes.

Victoria Azarenka

Azarenka, who also opts for casual looks at these events more often than not (yes, that debacle at Indian Wells excluded), sports a new layered hairdo to go with her trusty black leggings.

Caroline Wozniacki

If you’re experiencing deja vu, don’t fret! I am too. Wozniacki sported a similar off the shoulder black dress and up-do at last year’s players’ party. Stella, get the girl another look, stat.

Li Na

Take me to your leader. China’s first Grand Slam champion rocks the makeup and hair as always, but I do wonder if the dress picks up radio signals. Or at one time sustained alien life.

Ana Ivanovic

Ivanovic, unlike her compatriot Jankovic, never fails to disappoint. Although this picture does. The only negative of this dress was the fringed monstrosity on the bottom that I’ve spared you from seeing. Thank me later.

Agnieszka Radwanska

Radwanska rocking a simple, black floor length gown. Although, if I were her, I’d lose the number of Kuznetsova’s hair dresser.

Elena Vesnina

The Russian knocks it out of the park, and the dress really brings out her eyes. My winner for sure.

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Remember when I told you about Caroline Wozniacki’s recent transformation into musical genius?

The music video for Wozniacki’s single, “Oxygen” has finally arrived. Experience the magic.

….I don’t get it either. I wonder what Kanye West would have to say about this?

Oh, What’s Your Name Girl? My Name is Rebecca – Oh Wait, it’s Caroline

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“It’s Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday! Everybody’s looking forward to the weekend! Partying, partying yeah! Partying, part-

Oh, it’s not Friday? ….It’s Tuesday. Will the real Rebecca Black please stand up?

Introducing “Oxygen” – the first recorded single by former WTA #1, and current world #6, Caroline Wozniacki. The heavily auto tuned single, recorded by Wozniacki for charity, was long speculated about but little information regarding it was released. Proceeds from the single will benefit Polish and Danish Paralympic teams.

The receipts are in, and the reviews are not kind. Translated from Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet:

“Wozniacki Single Gets Bageled” – Her (Wozniacki’s) debut single is a double fault…To no surprise, the song is neither avantgarde jazz nor death metal but rather dumb blonde pop. Completely hopeless and bereft of musicality…makes the star sound like Minnie Mouse after falling into a bucket of Bacardi Breezers.

In truth, the song isn’t THAT bad…except it is. It’s for a good cause, but let your ears be the judge. Wozniacki, ever the linguist, rivals the cereal-eating, hard partying tale of Ms. Black with poetic heartfelt lyrics including:

“You’re in the air so I can keep on breathing, breathingYou know exactly how to keep my world spinning, spinningWon’t let you go, boy don’t you know you are the air I breathe, the air I need.”

Rebecca Black, meet Caroline Wozniacki. You two might have more in common than you think. The video for the song is to be recorded in the upcoming weeks. For Wozniacki’s sake, let’s just hope she finds a car with enough seats.