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Maria Sharapova
Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Extra points: Does Maria Sharapova have a backup plan?



Maria Sharapova, above, is dabbling in a second sport: American football. The 2004 Wimbledon champion, who had shoulder surgery in October, frequently tosses a ball when it's time to practice tennis.

"I always do that just to warm up my shoulder," she said.

Maybe Lions rookie QB Matthew Stafford gave her pointers during his makeover for ESPN the Magazine, eh?

Sharapova faces Viktoriya Kutuzova today in the first round of Wimbledon.

Instant classic

This was a baseball game for the ages -- from 90-year-old Bob Feller to 11-year-old Zach D'Errico.

The Baseball Hall of Fame Classic featured five Hall of Famers and more than 20 other former major leaguers staging an old-timer's game in Cooperstown, N.Y.

That it was Father's Day made the game more special, especially for D'Errico and his dad, Rich, of Schenectady. Steve Lyons grabbed Zach out of the stands and stationed Zach beside him at shortstop, and D'Errico helped turn a 6-4-3 double play in the first inning.

"He saw me and said, 'Get on my shoulders,' " Zach said afterward. "I thought that was cool."

It was special for another father-son duo.

"This is a dream come true, being on this field," said Ryan Robinson, 23, whose dad, former major leaguer Ron Robinson, pitched batting practice and played for the visitors, Team Collins. "It's the best Father's Day ever."

Posted by tenniswta at 12:53 PM EDT
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Monday, 22 June 2009

Maria Sharapova models Bluetooth dress

See More... is just another celebrity who has lots of passions and interests beside her main job. ashion is what she likes much and she has proved that once again modeling a Bluetooth dress intended to let the wearer know her phone rings.

You might want to ask me why we need that dress. And the answer is: the dress is perfect to wear to a bad or another noisy place where it’s almost impossible to hear the mobile phone ringing.

Other creative innovations include a metal bag that doubles as a phone charger, and a garment containing concealed cameras that can send video updates to your phone of your whereabouts.

As Global Brand Ambassador for Sony Ericsson, was to introduce the dress to the public.

Sony Ericsson has been collaborating with the School of Fashion Design and Technology at London College of Fashion for along time. The goal was to find out what kind of relationship can be between technology and fashion.

The Sony Ericsson LCF partnership has involved more than 80 students from 4 degree courses, three year groups and from different countries across the world - all competing and aspiring for a chance for their creations to be displayed in the display window of Liberty. Besides, it was a great opportunity to meet in person and receive a special prize from Sony Ericsson.

All students were instructed by the Sony Ericsson design team and supported by Maria, who sent them a personal message in order to help inspire future designs and ideas.

The design that was considered the best was made by British student Georgie Davies, 20-year-old second year student, who is studying for a BA in Fashion Design and Development.

Georgie’s idea was to determine a way in which a person could be alerted when their cell phone rings in a noisy bar, club or restaurant.

The idea realized in a tail dress made up of interactive scales, inspired by wings of a butterfly.

The Bluetooth-enabled lights are placed in this group of small, white translucent scale embellishments that run from top to the bottom of one side of the dress, from the shoulder to the hip.

When the wearer’s mobile phone rings, the scales light up.

Davies explains what her inspiration was:

When you are in a pub or a bar, you can never, ever hear your phone.”

Georgie received a prize that included two tickets to London Fashion Week, two tickets to the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Club and entry to the Sony Ericsson WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party, in association with Ralph Lauren.

Unfortunately no one can say for sure whether the dress will hit the market or not.

was very excited about the project as well.

She said:

I’m thrilled to be involved in such an innovative project that encourages creativity and pushes the boundaries of fashion.”

is a tennis superstar and fashion icon. Since October 2007 she has been a Sony Ericsson’s Global Brand Ambassador.

She has shown her interest and good knowledge of fashion and glamour by working closely in a team with Sony Ericsson to create and work on various fashion projects. Design Collection was launched in 2008.

It was the line including cell phone designed to compliment any woman’s outfit.

In future, Sharapova plans to keep up working with Sony Ericsson’s design team and create lots of other products and .

Posted by tenniswta at 6:49 PM EDT
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Wimbledon 2009: Maria Sharapova survives first test to relief of almost everyone

Television producers and fan-site proprietors can breathe again. Maria Sharapova survived her first-round match on Court No 1 and can only improve as the tournament goes on.


Maria Sharapova survives first Wimbledon test to relief of almost everyone
Serving up success: Maria Sharapova, a former Wimbledon champion, survived the first round Photo: PA

The lanky Russian, who only recently returned to the tour following a lengthy break for shoulder surgery, was given a tough workout by Viktoriya Kutuzova, of Ukraine.

Sharapova won 7-5, 6-4, but it took her the best part of 1hr ¾, and for much of the first set it looked as if the 2004 champion would be making an early exit from Wimbledon. 

"I think there's still work to be done," Sharapova said afterwards. "I think all the matches that I've been playing have really helped me, not just with my tennis but physically too, getting used to the movement on the court. But I always feel like I move pretty good on grass."

That may be true, but like a rusty machine, Sharapova was slow to get started and never really found a reliable rhythm.

Kutuzova, a 20-year-old from Odessa ranked No 79 (and who has never been higher than No 76) served for a 5-1 lead in the first set, and her eminent opponent seemed unable to put together a convincing run of winners.

Unsurprisingly, though, the Ukrainian tightened up on her serve, double-faulting and allowing Sharapova a way into the match.

Kutuzova proved that she is no pushover, though, hitting the ball deep, with power, and forcing the Florida-based Russian to work hard to secure the first set after almost an hour.

The players are remarkably similar, not only physically but aurally. Kutuzova, who had come through three matches in the qualifying tournament, looks like a 90 per cent scale model of Sharapova, but the sound-effects are 100 per cent accurate: grunt for grunt, these two gave it all they had.

The second set demonstrated, as if it needed proof, that who is serving is practically irrelevant in contemporary women's matches at Wimbledon. In the latter stages of this match, serve was a contra-indicator of progress, as breaks were considerably more frequent than holds.

Sharapova eventually pulled herself together to close out the match, but she has had to reconstruct her service action following the surgery and her delivery is no longer the weapon it once was.

Repairs to a rotator cuff sound like remedial work on an element of the Sharapova wardrobe, but in medical terms it means shoulder surgery that necessitated a nine-month lay-off from the game. She no longer wears the heavy dressing that she sported on her return to action in Warsaw a month ago, but clearly Sharapova is yet to return to full physical confidence.

"It's funny, because sometimes in the middle of the match I'll find myself thinking: 'The progression of the shoulder: How's it feeling'? But I think it's just a matter of forgetting about it and just playing," she said.

Easier said than done. Sharapova seemed tentative in her movement around the court, understandably perhaps as she twice lost her footing and landed up in an ungainly heap behind the service line before returning, gingerly, to her feet.

Both times Sharapova was applauded as she rose: the Wimbledon crowd have already lost one champion to injury in Rafael Nadal, and they are clearly aware that the tournament's remaining talents must be cherished.

Sharapova will no doubt be the better for this match, as her confidence grows and her serve starts to find its groove. But she will need to be, because this was a far from assured performance.

But unlike Nadal, she is here, and playing, and over the first hurdle. For that she is grateful, as are her fans. "I've said, and I'll say it again, I'm so thankful. If someone told me four months ago that I'd be here playing Wimbledon, I wouldn't be surprised, but I would be really happy about the fact. And I am happy to be here."

Posted by tenniswta at 6:44 PM EDT
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