Author: Deshawn

  • Agnieszka Radwanska Survives First Round Scare

    It was a long day at the office for Pole Agnieszka Radwanska in her first round match at the Australian Open. The #8 seed fought hard for three long sets against American veteran Bethanie Mattek-Sands and was able to pull through 6-7(10), 6-4, 6-2.

    It was the quintessential WTA style match. Breaking-to-hold. Lots of emotions. Bad calls. No Hawkeye. Let me break it down…

    Agnieszka Radwanska

    Under tough conditions – the sun was blazing and the win was blowing – BMS jumped out of the gates and quickly was up 5-2. At this point all eyes were on Court 2, and the first upset of the Australian Open was looming in every one’s minds. How silly we all were. Up 5-2, Radwanska broke BMS to make it 5-3. The Pole held for 5-4, then broke the American again for 5-5. At this point we all knew it would be one of those matches… We head into the tie-break. Radwanska got a couple breaks and she looked to be cruising quickly getting two set points. We all got our hopes up for the #8 seed to hold true to form and take control. Radwanska had three set points in the tie-break but miraculously BMS was able to take the breaker 12-10.

    Cool. First set in the bag. Maybe the American was actually going to pull off the first upset of the tournament? Silly me. Did I forget how WTA matches work? Next thing you know BMS calls the trainer out to the court. It was hard to make out what exactly she said, but it appeared to be that the American was struggling with a groin or hip flexor. There was no physical wrapping applied to BMS but she did leave the court to receive some treatment.

    After Radwanska took the 2nd set 6-4 (after a slight comeback from BMS), Radwanska finally looked to be in control… And she did stay in control. Somewhat. The Pole struggled with painstackingly long service games throughout the match. Especially when it came to her 2nd serves, BMS was just eating them up and often converted many 2nd service-returns into winners.

    Overall the match was messy, but there were many entertaining points, especially from BMS who employed a play often seen from Radwanska – a drop shot followed by a lob. In the end BMS just couldn’t string together enough points to stay with Radwanska.

    Radwanska was lucky to pull this match out. It would have been a big shame for her to bomb out of Melbourne in the first round, considering she stated at the end of 2011 that she would make slams a higher priority on her list.…

  • Serena Williams Debuts 2012 Australian Open Nike Tennis Dress In Melbourne

    Last Thursday, Nike Tennis and Serena Williams debuted her dress for the 2012 Australian Open.

    When I first brought to you a sneak peak of Serena’s Australian Open dress back in December, I felt a little underwhelmed by the design. And now looking at it in person… I still feel the same way.

    Serena Williams

    There isn’t anything particularly special about the dress’ dresign and I’m not that huge of a fan of the shade of blue chosen for the dress. It’s a little too much on the purple side of the spectrum for my tastes. But, what do I know? It’s not like I don’t know fashion or what looks good on Serena…

    I will say this however… The dress does make Serena look fierce. The vertical piping on the bodice really accents her ridiculously fit figure. I mean, have you seen the woman’s mid-section? Get it right, get it tight honey.

    Hopefully, she maintains this fitness throughout 2012 – that would only mean more tournaments and more titles!

    Nike is also celebrating it’s 40th anniversary of being in tennis. As part of Serena’s presentation of her dress, Nike also displayed every other Nike Tennis dress that Serena has worn when winning the title down in Melbourne. When Serena took to the mic to detail to the press how she (meaning the Nike Tennis creative design team) came up with the design for her 2012 Australian Open, the concept was pulling from the past or in her words “going retro.” …Which I just take as them as recycling old ideas – but that’s fashion for you!

    Serena took a moment to describe how her style has changed over the years. When she first started with Nike, her outfits were very “fun and outgoing” which (if you can recalled) translated into a lot of cut-outs and denim on the court… How I miss that Serena. Her style now she says is conservative, but not boring.

    Serena’s 2012 Australian Open look is reminiscent in it’s structure to her 2004 Wimbledon dress which is one of Serena’s all-time favorite Nike dresses. It has a similar gladiator-type structure with its vertical piping on the bodice, short pleats along the skirt, and strong wide stripes.

    Check out each Nike Tennis dress Serena has sported whenever she won the Australian Open below:

    SWNike

    My personal favorite would honestly have to be the dress Serena wore in 2009. The proportions and cut of the dress were so perfect for Serena’s body and frankly would be flattering on every woman out there no matter the shape.

    Which Nike Tennis dress was your favorite when Serena took the title in Melbourne?…

  • 2011 Tennis Fashion: Venus Williams

    Yet again, Venus Williams (@VenusESWilliams) debuted another look at the Australian Open (@AustralianOpen).

    This look was less dress and more shirt than her previous looks in the second round and first round. Take a look for yourself:

    Venus Williams

    This black look shares the same mesh style that her first look had. It’s short and very tight, but instead is studded out. Like I said, this dress is more of a shirt, and Venus wore a longer black short to compensate.

    We all know that Venus had to retire from her match, so I guess we will never get to see what other dresses Venus would have debuted should she have continued on in the tournament. Sad.…

  • Caroline Wozniacki Gets Proactiv

    Two weeks ago it was announced that current world number 1, Caroline Wozniacki, would become a new spokesperson for Proactiv solution, a product of Guthy-Renker. It has been reported that Wozniacki’s deal will last a period of two years and is worth several million dollars. This is a bit funny, considering Caroline recently usurped the world number 1 title from Serena Williams, who was a pervious Proactiv spokesperson as well.

    Caroline has proven herself as a contender on the court this 2010… Unless you take into account that she still hasn’t won a grand slam yet. But, Caroline has been the most consistent on tour, in addition to having won the most tour titles this 2010. More importantly for brands, Caroline now has the world’s attention as the game’s golden girl. Tall. Blonde. Beautiful. Sound familiar? Anna Kournikova perhaps? Caroline referenced Anna as one of her idols during a post-match interview at the 2010 US Open.

    Now some may say she’s selling out. Some may say that she’s going to lose focus on her tennis just like Anna did. I say, more power to Caroline. Yes, all athletes’ number one priority should always be their craft, however it is possible to be successful on the court and expand yourself as a brand. All the top athletes in the game have done it at some point or another. I may not be crazy about Caroline’s game on the court, however I do think that her presence with brands can be good for tennis. She has exemplified some great qualities in her personality in interviews, and her smile is always a joy to see on the court.

    Take a look a Caroline’s commercial for Proactiv for yourself:

    Some of my notes from the commercial:

    • Did you notice how the format of the commercial is different other Proactiv commercials e.g. non-informercial?  Compared to a Proactiv commercial of say… Justin Bieber.
    • The first half of the commercial features Caroline on the court and off.  On the court she’s doing the usual looking pretty while swinging the tennis racquet.  Off the court, she’s featured doing a couple of workouts, including her doing one of her favorite non-tennis workouts–-shadow boxing.
    • The second half of the commercial goes into an interview format and Caroline is filmed being interviewed by a mysterious voice off camera.  Her answers do sound true and honest. I mean the dad comment?  That’s a little sad and but hilarious!  I’m not so much a fan of this interview format because I don’t think it could carry viewers through to view the rest of the commercial.  I’m wondering if this was done because Proactiv didn’t think Caroline could carry herself through the commercial by narrating it on her own.
    • Will Caroline’s Proactiv commercial air in the US at all?  I’ll be sure to keep my eyes open during late night television commercials.  My initial thinking is that this commercial most likely won’t see much airtime in the US.  Though Caroline is a huge star around the world, Caroline is still a stranger to the US, if not unknown.  Also, did you notice how there were no pricing portions to the commercial, or a 1-800 number to call?
    • I’m still holding out that this is still a rough cut of the commercial.  If you noticed during the interview portion that the way it’s cut is not so clean.  Or maybe this is a commercial that was made for the internet so viewers could get to know Caroline a little more than an infomercial would.
    • Pet peeve: eyebrows.  1.) The make-up artist that worked the commercial should not be hired again for Proactiv commercials 2.) Somebody please take the tweezers away from Caroline.  For as much money as Caroline is making for this Proactiv deal, couldn’t they have given her some better (even) eyebrows?
    • Overall, I thought the commercial was cute, and I loved the vibrant colors.

    So what’s next for Caroline?  Will she go the Maria Sharapova route and release a perfume?  Will she appear in a music video a la Elena Dementieva (this is a must see)?  If so, for what artist?  McDonalds?  Energy drinks?  I don’t doubt that whatever or whoever Caroline partners with in the future it will be huge.  She has a big January/February ahead of her.  She had a slow start to the beginning of her 2010 campaign so there are plenty of points up for grabs for her.…

  • #DigitalDeath #FAIL

    On December 1, BuyLife.org, an organization dedicated to the fight against AIDS worldwide launched a social media campaign entitled “DIGITAL DEATH.”  In short, the campaign gathered up some of the world’s most followed Twitter/Facebook using celebrities, and laid them to rest on Twitter and Facebook until $1 million dollars is raised.  (You can read the website’s entire explanation here.)
    I think this a novel idea, but I just do not believe that BuyLife.org will be garnering the response it may have hoped for.  Here are some of my notes on the campaign:
    • Usually when I donate something to charity it is out of the goodness of my heart.  With the Buy Life campaign, it is a cross between fighting against AIDS, and buying to get our beloved celebrities back to tweeting about that turkey sandwich they’re eating.
    • When I think of the word “buy” I think of something that is palpable to me in the present.  Of course I understand the play on words and the concept to the campaign, but I just don’t feel the word “buy” invokes charitable feelings inside of me.
    • While these celebrities are absent from Twitter, how will more of their fans find out about their cause.  The assumption is that followers will flock to these celebrities Twitter pages.  In reality a large percentage of people are using third-party applications to tweet from, or tweet from their mobile phone.  Users on Twitter will not receive any notifications that these celebrities have “died” unless these celebrities actually tweet about it.
    • When you research statistics on the usage of Twitter in the US, you will find that the engagement by users is far lower than what you might assume.  A large percentage of Americans have heard of Twitter, but still far less are registered members, and even less are actively taking part in tweets.  (This is one of the many articles I referenced on this matter.)
    • Of the 18 celebrities that are taking part in this campaign, according to TweetLevel, a website that calculates users’ influence on Twitter, only 1 (Kim Kardashian AKA @kimkardashian) lands in the top 20.
    • What happens when these celebrities come back to life?  Of course the return is that the money spent is going to save lives.  However, the truth of the matter is that people will actually want something in return.  Think about charitable contests in school.  Will these celebrities be throwing us a gigantic pizza party sponsored by Pizza Hut?  Will they entertain us double of that which they did on Twitter by telling us where they are spending their loads amount of money?  It just doesn’t add up.
    • If I were to embark on a charitable campaign that played on the idea of consumerism, I would make sure that the return to the consumer is something that is palpable or can be available to them at some point.  A concert perhaps?  A special apperance?  A meet-and-greet?  (Margaret Lyons over at EW.com reminded me of a great example done by Stephen Colbert for Donors Choose.)

  • 2010 Davis Cup Final: Starring Novak Djokovic

    This time of the year it is rather quite on the tennis front.  Let’s be honest, after the US Open, almost all tennis fans fall asleep and return to hibernating in the warmth and comfort of their indoor tennis facilities.  Unless you subscribe to the TENNIS channel, then you’ve probably been ignorant to the fact that some fabulous tennis has been going on.
    Check out this highlight reel of the epic Federer–Nadal ATP World Tour Final.The one final event taking place is the Davis Cup Final. (Seriously, who really cares about Davis Cup?) France and Serbia are duking it out for a trophy that looks a lot like the Stanley Cup trophy.  Serbia has recently leveled the score at 1-all after Novak took the 2nd rubber against Gilles Simon.  Gael Monfils topped Janko Tipsarevic (who is one of my favorite tennis tweeters and tweeters overall) in the first rubber.  Next up will be the doubles rubber.

    If you don’t care for Davis Cup, much like me, what reason do you have to pay attention to the tennis. One thing: Novak Djokovic’s clothing. Yes. Do whatever you have to. YouTube it. Google images. Anything.  If you recall, not to long ago did we all see Novak wearing his “signature” Sergio Tacchini line of dragon tattoo-themed tennis gear. THANKFULLY, that was the last time the line would be seen.  Any tattoo-themed clothing warn on the court needs to be burned.  This whole dragon-theme reminded me of Serena William’s 2006 US Open dress, another Far-East inspired outfit.

    Novak has traded in the dragon for a classier and much cleaner tennis outfit for the Davis Cup Final against France.  It’s cleaner, and the distribution of color on Novak’s body is much more flattering.  Let’s just hope those dragon shirts never return.…

  • Pet Peeve: Twitter No-No’s

    Over time I’ve become well educated on some do’s and don’t’s when it comes to tweeting. But there are 2 things that bother me:

    1. If you’re tweet ends with a “…” and a link to more of your tweet, then it’s not a tweet in my book.  True tweets are 140 characters in length, and are short, timely messages.  It’s okay to attach links to blogs, images, and videos, because that is part of the message you’re sharing.  But if you’re message cannot be edited down to 140 characters or less, then you are failing yourself on Twitter.  The more you tweet, the easier it will get to edit down tweets.  It’s like coming up with a good newspaper headline.  The message should get your point across quickly.
    2. If you’re in the business of Twitter, and you protect your tweets, you are also failing yourself on Twitter. Maybe your thinking is that you don’t want people to see what you have to say?  Well, in that case you probably shouldn’t be tweeting about it in the first place.  Leaving your Twitter account open to the public allows you to engage with people with similar interests, and thusly helps you expand your reach.  Isn’t that why you joined Twitter in the first place?  You have to remember Twitter is a 1-to-many platform.  What you say has the potential to reach so many people, so don’t limit yourself.

    That’s all, for now……