The trend of wearing capris on the court seems to have some (excuse the lame play on words) legs. Back in 2010, I spotted Kim Clijsters at the BNP Paribas Open wearing her Fila capris on the practice courts. Last year, Brittany spied Maria Kirilenko and Jelena Jankovic wearing them there as well. We even saw Victoria Azarenka wear them in the finals.
They’re worn on their own or beneath shorts or a skirt. The look is so popular, you can buy skirt-capri combos: skapris, anyone? Lucky In Love, Fila and Wilson (just to name a few) offer these pre-assembled skort-capri combos. The advantages of the combo are there’s only one piece of apparel to keep track of, price (usually cheaper) and some, like the Fila and Wilson versions, come with a built-in ball pocket.
The U.S. Open is only a few days away, and I cannot wait. It’s my hands down favorite Grand Slam of the year. Why? Maybe because it’s on U.S. soil, maybe because I don’t have to wake up at 4 am to watch the matches or maybe because it’s the only Slam I’ve actually attended in person. Or maybe it’s all three reasons. We like to get pumped up for these Slams by making our picks in our Tourneytopia Racquet Bracket (which you can sign up here for men and here for women). And once our picks are in, we like to do a little trash talking and friendly betting. Now I cannot fully disclose what these bets entail, but let’s just say it rhymes with nappy hour.
This year, I think there are two major storylines for both the ATP and WTA. On the ATP side, the most obvious headliner is that Rafael Nadal will not be playing because of knee issues. Which, as a Nadal fan, is very worrisome for his future, but that’s a whole ‘nother blog.
I think the other big story is going to be Federer and Murray. No disrespect to Djokovic, but he’s been put on the back burner because of the outstanding play from the ageless Federer and from Andy “Always the bridesmaid, never the bride” Murray. Federer has been playing like the Federer of old the past few weeks, save the Olympic finals, and looks like this could be his best chance to win another Major because his nemesis is sidelined with a knee injury. And for Murray, this could be his best chance to win his first Major. Here’s why: He’s riding high from his Olympic gold medal, Djokovic is not nearly playing as well as he did last year and Murray won’t have the pressure of an entire nation on his shoulders. Which is a lot of weight considering the United Kingdom has a population of 60 million people at an average weight of 156 pounds. That equals to 9.36 trillion pounds! Sorry for the math tangent.
On the WTA side, we say goodbye to one of the great ambassadors of the sport, a truly great champion and human being, Kim Clijsters. After 41 WTA singles titles and 4 Grand Slams, Kim is walking away from the game a second time.
And at the ripe old age of 29 (yes, that was sarcastic), this time is the last time. Can she retire on top with a U.S. Open title? There is one big obstacle standing in her way, which brings us to…..
The second major headliner? One word: Serena. Is there a more heavily favored No. 4 seed in the history of women’s tennis? Me thinks not. It seems like all the top players have been on the receiving end of Serena’s wrath lately. Just look at the Olympics. She rolled through Victoria Azarenka 6-1, 6-2 and then shellacking Maria Sharapova 6-0, 6-1. There’s nothing scarier than a healthy and motivated Serena. And believe you me, nothing motivates Serena like Grand Slams.
Be sure to check out more U.S. Open previews and blogs from Andy and Siobhan in the upcoming days.
Enjoy the Open!
A few weeks ago, I got in the lab, put on my lab coat, took out the bunsen burners and created the perfect male tennis player. This week, I’m back with my ultimate female tennis player. She’s got a huge serve, a wicked forehand and wheels for legs. My only restriction was that no one player could be put in more than 2 categories. Without further ado, here she is.
Serve: Serena Williams
Full disclosure: I originally had Sam Stosur here, but after Serena’s performance at Wimbledon, I had no choice but to put her in this category. She hit more aces at Wimbledon than any other player, and that’s for both the women AND men. ‘Nuff said.
Forehand: Kim Clijsters
When it’s on, it’s on! She hits this shot with pace, depth, spin, angle, while on the run, standing still, or doing the splits. What more could you ask for?
Backhand: Victoria Azarenka
This shot is probably the main reason why she’s as successful as she is.
Slice: Roberta Vinci
Well, considering she doesn’t hit a single flat or topspin backhand, her slice better be pretty good to be ranked as high as 18 in the world.
Volley: Cara Black
And perhaps even more impressive, here she is at 16 years old:
Return: Serena Williams
She hits her returns with so much aggression it’s almost angry-like. To add to the intimidation factor, she stands right on the baseline or inside of it. Hit it to her forehand, and this is what happens:
Speed: Caroline Wozniacki
To be a counter-puncher or defensive player is one thing, but to do it at a level where you eventually become the #1 player in the world means you’re getting to a hell of a lot of shots. Agneiska Radwanska would be 1A here.
Heart/Mental Toughness: Maria Sharapova
I was torn on who to pick but Tiffani made a great case for Sharapova. It takes a lot of mental toughness and heart to work your way back from shoulder surgery, to becoming once again, the #1 player in the world (after winning the French Open). It was 3 long years of struggling and rehab before she was fully back to her winning ways. Now that takes some mental fortitude.
Charm: Kim Clijsters
The sweetheart of the WTA tour. Is there anyone that doesn’t like Kim Clijsters?! We’ve had her come sign at our tent at the BNP Paribas Open a few times, and each and every time, she was the perfect role model. She smiled and interacted with all her fans, and even when her time was up and her agent is asking her to go, if there was still a line, she’d go overtime just to make sure everyone got an autograph that wanted one.
Do you agree with my picks? Build your own ultimate tennis player in the comments below.