High Fashion Tennis

Tennis started off as a very conservative sport. Whites with very few details were the choice of apparel as it was the clean and sophisticated look. In this modern era, players have stronger bodies and have progressed into more of an aggressive style of play. To match the trend of this sport, tennis fashion has evolved into chic and glamorous looks.

Could there be apparel that brings the glitz and glamor to the court? Well yes.. yes there is! Featured below are my favorite “bling” outfits that we carry. Eliza Audley, Down the Line, and Tail shine in women’s design with their new additions. You can accessorize and get dolled up not only for the courts, but off as well!

Featured Apparel (Click to go to the product page):
Tail Flamenco Medalist Vest
Eliza Audley Zebra Leggings
Eliza Audley Gold Bomber Jacket
Tail Flamenco Tango Dress
Down the Line Lucky Girl Vegas Tank
Down the Line Lucky Girl Vegas Skort
Down the Line B2B 3 Diamond Dress

Peace Sign,
Kana

My First ATP Point!

Andy in Laos

Andy in Laos

November 2, 2010

I earned my first ATP point yesterday! I drew the sixth seed, Frenchman Dorian Descloix in the first round here in the Laos Open. I was very nervous, very anxious, and very excited to take the court.

I started the match on fire, breaking my opponent’s serve in the first game. However, I might have been a little too “amped” up, and I got broken right back in the next game. We took turns holding serve until I broke him again to go up 4-3 in the first set. Feeling strong and confident, I held and broke yet again, taking the first set 6-3.

The tall, lanky Frenchman showed his determination by responding with a more aggressive game in the second set, attacking the net and utilizing his slice backhand a little more than he had in the first set. The adjustment caught me off guard, and he got up an early break in the second set. I began to struggle a bit off my forehand side, and I never could regain control of the set. He took it by the same score, 6-3.

The third set began, and I began struggling with my first serve, along with my ailing forehand. The games in the third set seemed to follow a certain pattern…Descloix would hold easily, and I would stumble through my service games, fighting off break points but somehow getting out of each game unscathed. It seemed like I was fighting off break points in every game while at the same time I was getting none of my own on his serve. The set progressed with no breaks of serve, and suddenly I’m serving at 4-5 to stay in the match.

I play a very tight first few points and find myself down 15-40, and two match points. After a long rally and a good serve I fight them off. I play another nervous point and I’m down a third match point. We get into a rally, he rips a forehand cross court into the corner, and follows it into the net. I barely retrieve it, and stumble in the process. He has an easy backhand volley, and I’m out of position and off balance. The ball seems to take 10 minutes to reach the other side of the net. I concede defeat in my head. However, I look up from my shot just in time to see his high backhand volley strike the net tape, and fall harmlessly onto his side of the net. I look up at my buddies Brad and Charlie sitting courtside and smile, realizing the good fortune I just received to have another chance at the match. I have to make him pay for his careless mistake…

Another deuce point later and my back is right up against the wall, facing another match point. I fight it off. Match point number 4 saved. I do this two more times, and after saving six match points in the game I get a game point of my own and capitalize, scraping by to get the hold and even the match at 5-all.

Descloix hits a couple big serves, I play a couple solid points, and we are at 30-all on his serve. He misses his first serve and catches me off guard with a second serve wide to my forehand. I step in anyway and take an aggressive cut at the return. Live by the sword die by the sword. I get a bit lucky as my return strikes the net tape, and dribbles over to his side, awarding me with a break point. 30-40. After a long rally, the Frenchman’s down the line backhand sails long, and I had the break of serve I needed in the third and final set.

I’m now serving for the match, a win over the six seed, a berth in the round of 16, and my first ATP point. Unfortunately, all these thoughts scurry through my head as I step up to the line to serve, and I play a sequence of very tight points once again. I find myself down another break point, 30-40. I’m noticing though that he is struggling with my kick serve up to his one-handed backhand. I use one to save the break point. Deuce. A long rally followed by an inside-out backhand volley winner awards me my first match point. Why mess with a good thing? I go back to the kick serve out wide to the backhand, and this time follow it in with a serve and volley. As soon as he strikes the return I know the ball is sailing long. I don’t even bother looking back. I let the ref call it out, and collapse onto the net, exhausted, relieved, and slightly in disbelief at the match I was able to weasel away from my opponent. I had done it! Fought off six match points, defeated the six seed in the tournament, and earned my first ATP point!

It was a match that I’ll remember forever. The twists and turns, the struggles I managed to overcome, and the joy I felt after finally obtaining my first ATP point. But now I have to move on, and prepare myself for my next match tomorrow morning, against another very formidable opponent. I’m on a mission, because now that I’ve got one point, I’m hungry for more…

Thanks for reading…

-AG

A Familiar Opponent in a Foreign Land

Andy and Brad at the Laos Open

Andy and Brad at the Laos Open

October 31, 2010

Vientiane, Laos

Hey everyone! I’m writing to you from Vientiane, the capital city of Laos, and the host city of the Laos Open. It’s Halloween over in the States, but over here it feels just like a normal Sunday in Laos. The streets are empty, the sun is shining, and the locals are sitting around with their friends drinking Beerlaos (the national beer of Laos) at their favorite neighborhood hang out. I’m sitting in our hotel lobby right now with a group of Laotians growing increasingly louder the more drinks they consume, listening to American and Asian pop music all afternoon.

I won my first, last, and only round of the qualifying today, earning a berth into the main draw, which will begin either tomorrow or Tuesday. The qualifying draws for these Asian tournaments are only draws of 32 (as opposed to the draws of 64 and 128 in the States), meaning you only have to win two rounds to receive a qualifying berth into the main draw. Since the turnout in Laos was pretty small, I received a bye in my first round, putting me in the last round of qualifying right off the bat. And in that last round of qualifying I played none other than one of my best friends, travel partner and practice partner over the last couple months, Brad Bator. Ironic, huh? We came all this way, all the way to freaking Laos, to play each other!! We were pretty bummed when we learned we would have to compete against one another for a qualifying spot, knowing that one of us would come up empty handed. But business is business, as there was nothing we could do to avoid it, and we took the court just like we always do in practice together, except this time we were halfway across the globe in Laos, in a professional tournament.

I came out very nervous, thinking not only about playing one of my best friends but also about the valuable spot in the main draw, and the opportunity to compete for precious ATP points. However, I handled the nerves well, playing high percentage tennis with a keen focus on my precise game plan that I had devised from years of practicing with my familiar opponent. We both came out of the gates playing very well, holding serve back and forth until we exchanged breaks late in the first set. At 4-4 I was able to get another break of serve, and had the opportunity to serve for the set up 5-4. But Brad kept battling, came out firing, and took a love-40 lead in the game, with three break point opportunities to even the set. I took a little bit extra time here between points, going to my towel and taking my time to pick the balls I wanted to serve with. A couple big serves and a big forehand later, I had evened the game at deuce, swinging momentum in my favor and seeming to rattle Brad a little bit. That was the edge I needed, and two points later I had clinched the first set 6-4.

Taking the first set eased my nerves quite a bit, and I was able to relax and let loose on my shots a little bit more in the second set. I was hitting my groundstrokes a little harder, serving a little bigger, and was able to take a little more risk on my shots comfortably. I got a break of serve midway through the second set and ran with it, closing the match out 6-4 6-2.

Like I said, we were bummed that we had to play one another, knowing that one of us would come up short of the main draw. The win was tough and bittersweet. But we both felt we played very well, and we were both very respectful and sportsmanlike throughout the match, making it a pleasure and a great experience to look back on. It’s going to be pretty cool to say that we got the opportunity to play each other in a professional tennis tournament in Laos. That’s a cool story we are going to have for the rest of our lives, and what is most important about this trip…

The tournament has been a joy to compete in so far…The site that we are playing at is beautiful, the new Laos national stadium, which was built just last year specifically for the SEA Games, a multi-sport event that takes place once every two years, like an Olympics for the nations of Southeast Asia. However, it’s evident that once the SEA Games were over, the facility had been neglected and unused in the last year. No one hits on the tennis courts during the year, and the huge two-story office building that looms over the courts is completely barren, with cobwebs over the doors and mud in the hallways. But to their credit, the Lao Tennis Federation has done an incredible job with the tournament and cleaning up the facility, and there will be a grand “re-opening” ceremony of the stadium tomorrow morning before the main draw begins. They do a great job taking care of the players, providing ball kids and linesmen for every match, including the qualifying. They provide us with a huge buffet breakfast, very comfortable transportation to and from the tournament (the site is 25 minutes from the hotel, way on the outskirts of town), and all the bottled water we could need. And I’m sure as the main draw begins the amenities will increase even more! There are only a couple people in the tournament staff that speak English, but the ones that do are very helpful and accommodating.

So now I’m in the main draw of singles, and am awaiting the draw and schedule of play to be released. Brad and I attempted to get into the doubles draw, but we were denied because we both don’t have any ATP points. However, it will give me a good chance to focus on my singles this week, as I have been playing extremely well and feel that I have a real good shot at this tournament. I will play my first round match either today and tomorrow, and I’ll found out whom I’m playing later this evening. Stay tuned for updates from the Laos Open, and thanks for reading!!

-AG