US Open Notes: Sharapova’s Little Red Dress; Lefty Leverage
by Richard Vach | August 29th, 2007, 1:40 pm

NADAL, SPINNY LEFTIES STILL HOLD ADVANTAGE — Left-handers who know how to utilize their spin still hold a huge advantage on tour (up to a free point a game over right-handers as the legend goes?). Ask Roger Federer concerning Rafael Nadal. Ask Sam Querrey, who after losing tbadly to Stefan Koubek in the first round at the US Open threw out the gem that he has yet to beat a lefty at the tour level, and has always had problems with them. Maria Sharapova doesn’t like playing lefties, but her experience should be required reading for Querrey. “Yeah, it’s very tricky,” Sharapova said of facing the southpaws. “When I was younger especially I had a lot trouble, like an opponent today [Roberta Vinci] that comes in and chips and volleys, when I was younger I had a lot of trouble with those. Those are tougher opponents for me than big hitters or big servers because when I was younger I tried to go for the bigger shot so much faster than I do now and as I’ve grown as a player, I’m more patient, more consistent and I try to find the opening when it’s there.” Nadal’s game has been under Federer’s skin ever since the young Spaniard beat the Swiss in their first meeting, then went up two sets to love in the 2005 Masters Series-Miami final on hardcourts before eventually falling to Federer in five sets. “I was very worried today. Especially the first set, I don’t lose sets very often 6-2, so this really shows you that I was struggling,” Federer said after toughing out the Miami five-set win. “But I think it’s got a lot to do with his game. He’s left-handed, I had to get used to, and couldn’t quite do that.” The Swiss has yet to fully figure it out, judging by the career head-to-head with Nadal, trailing 8-5 (2-2 in 2007). While an Andy Roddick or James Blake would obviously be a boost for American tennis in the US Open final, a Federer-Nadal final would see the Swiss and Spaniard meeting in three of the four Slam finals this year, which would be a first in the Open Era. Back in the days before tennis became a sport open to all, Rod Laver and Neale Fraser met in three Slam finals in 1960, Laver and Roy Emerson met in three Slam finals in 1962, and Emerson and “Fiery” Fred Stolle met in three Slam finals in 1964.

LITTLE RED DRESS — Maria Sharapova didn’t hide her excitement about debuting her new red Nike dress Tuesday at the US Open: “I was trying to get through my warm-up as fast as I could so I could put the dress on actually. Not a joke,” Sharapova said. “Was pretty excited about putting it on. So I told my coach, I was like, ‘Last return and I’m out of here. I’m going in the locker room.’…When you feel good about what you’re wearing and you feel good about putting it on, yeah, you know what it’s like. Put on a nice outfit and some makeup and you’re the bomb.” And on the little black overcoat: “It’s very couture. It’s actually, the material comes — okay, if I say I think it’s Italian or either from Paris or Milan and they’re going to kill me if I got this wrong. But I think it’s from Milan. I only have two because they didn’t have enough material. But that’s really useless information in here,” said Sharapova, who enjoys talking fashion and then telling the mostly-older-male media that they don’t care. “But, yeah, it was — the idea of couture from the French couture shows.”

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8 Comments for US Open Notes: Sharapova’s Little Red Dress; Lefty Leverage

chris Says:

I’m thrilled to have an opportunity to express my ongoing irritation toward this fashion focus in women’s tennis. Most of these dresses look ridiculous and often malfunction (such as Serena’s pick bow the other night). Women are forever pulling and yanking on their couture because it’s too tight or just ill fitting. Why not give it up and just play tennis– and stop turning the courts into a silly fashion runway?

jane Says:

chris –
just to play devil’s advocate – who cares what players are wearing if they’re playing good tennis?

i agree the focus should be more on the tennis than the clothes, but heck, even roger federer plays with his “look” (recall his embroidered jacket at wimbie?). and what about rafa’s capris?

so it’s not only women’s tennis.

andrea Says:

with the rest of the world trying to somehow cross market themselves or find different platforms to exploit (such as the new universe spinning with ‘c’ and ‘d’ level reality show celebrities who are all ‘working on their record deal’ or ‘meeting with spielberg to dicuss a movie role’) it is no suprise that sports figures now are also doing the same thing.

everyone’s time at the top is fleeting – particlary in sports – so they all cash in now while they can. there is so much more opportunity these days to do this type of thing. money is a powerful elixir…

it boils down to branding yourself, which, whether you like it or not, is part of today’s marketplace no matter what industry you are in.

jane Says:


you sound like a culture-jammer or ad buster or no logo-er. and for sure, you’re right that to a degree it’s about the branding and the cash.

but don’t you think maria might simply enjoy fashion, and playing around with her style? she seems to off the court, so why not on it?

peg Says:


you go girl!! i am going to sound hard core here, but were it up to me, i would put a regulation on clothing worn on the court during grand slam tournaments. no jewelery, no stupid girly dresses, nothing distracting. isn’t being a great tennis player good enough? go to paris during fashion week, if thats what you want. but lets keep tennis about tennis.

jane Says:

i like freedom of choice in the garb – to a degree – but i’m with you on the “bling”. too much jewellery is too distracting. and perhaps maria’s “crystals” are a bit much.

Dancevic FAN! Says:

Maria’s dress was cute to me. Tennis needs more of this to attract more younger people IMO.

jane Says:

Why are there no “US Open notes” about Roger’s shorts – huh Richard Vach??

We’ve had two postings on Maria’s red dress – why not have some discussion about Roger’s little black tuxedo shorts?

There wouldn’t be a double standard here, would there?

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