© Ella Ling

Maria Sharapova

Oddballs and Oddities


A smattering of the strange and unusual from the tennis world this week

Happy Birthday
John McEnroe, who turned 53 this week. J-Mac, you’re an inspiration.

Blue to red?
The US Open Series could look a little different this year as the USTA announced a brand-new title sponsor, Emirates Airlines. In what is a mouth-watering seven-year, $90 million deal, the airline’s red branding could soon be adorning the back of hard courts all around North America, replacing the blue of Olympus Corp.

When Maria met Anna
Maria Sharapova’s been spending her time since reaching the Australian Open final in all sorts of places, one of which was New York Fashion Week. Sitting next to long-time tennis fan Anna Wintour at Vera Wang’s show,  Sharapova was dressed in Marc Jacobs. In case you were wondering.

In the life of that other typical tennis player, Serena Williams’ week went something like this…a night out with Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, then Clive Davis’ Grammy Awards party, all the while lamenting the passing of Whitney Houston.

Keeping it in the family
Jessica Korda became the latest sporting offspring to follow in a parent’s footsteps as she won the Australian Open golf title, 14 years after her father Petr won the Australian Open tennis title, both in Melbourne. “Maybe we ought to ask for citizenship?“, Korda senior joked.

Don’t tell your dentist..
One wonders what Rafael Nadal’s dentist feels about the way he shoves a piece of great big silverware in his mouth every time he wins a title. Now, another celebrity will be giving the curator of their teeth palpitations, as Justin Vernon, the frontman for Bon Iver, imitated Nadal when he picked up a Grammy award last weekend.

Interesting look, certainly.

Our thoughts are with…
Alisa Kleybanova, who Tennis.com reports has finished chemotherapy and is back in the gym as she continues her recovery from Hodgkins Lymphoma. We hope she’s back on the court soon.

Secondary thoughts with Jelena Jankovic, who apparently had her purse stolen last week. Dear thief. Shame on you.

Too good to miss
There is a band called Tennis. Who knew? And, according to tennis.com’s Jonathan Scott, their new album is worth checking out.

If you did miss it…
The playback of the BBC’s audience with the Murray family is the best 80 minutes listening you will spend in a little while. Fun and fascinating.

It was all in aid of their new Set4Sport App…great games to play with your youngsters anywhere, anytime.

Lights, camera…
Our friends at Beyond the Baseline had some fun working out which songs players should use for their ‘walk on court’ music. What do you think?

I for one will be quite happy never to hear London Calling again after three rounds of it at the O2…