L.A. Laker To Keep This Seat Warm On The Bench

On November 9, 2009 we first informed you that Sasha Vujacic and Maria Sharapova were dating.

Maria Sharapova

The L.A. Laker confirmed this week that less than a year later, the relationship has been consumated.

Maria Sharapova

Wow, that was fast! Read more…

L.A. Photo: Sharapova And Vujacic Holding Hands

As I first told you last Wednesday afternoon, Sasha Vujacic and Maria Sharapova are now “dating”, and Flashcity.com has a photo of them yesterday holding hands in Los Angeles.

Maria Sharapova Sasha Vujacic Photographed Holding Hands

Very strange to see a L.A. Laker showing genuine affection for a female when reality show producer Ryan Seacrest hasn’t scheduled the cameras to be trained on him.

Lamar Odom Khloe Kardashian Fake Marriage a Scam All Along

Has Sashapova learned nuthin’ from KhlOdom?

Sources “Confirm” Sharapova Is “Seeing” Vujacic

Lakers beat reporter Kevin Ding of the ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER confirmed last night what I told you yesterday afternoon. Maria Sharapova is dating Sasha Vujacic of the Lakers:

“Other sources confirmed the Manhattan Beach neighbors have been seeing each other.”

Maria Sharapova Now Dating Sasha Vujacic Of The Lakers

Ding and L.A. DAILY NEWS reporter Eliot Teaford asked Vujacic about the relationship, which reportedly included the two attending a U2 concert together. Read more…

Maria Sharapova, Laker Sasha Vujacic Are ‘Dating’

Two different online journos report today that Maria Sharapova and Sasha Vujacic have recently been seen together.

Maria Sharapova Now Dating Sasha Vujacic Of The Lakers

(Vujachick and Sashapova)

At noon today, CNBC’s Darren Rovell reported that the two were observed “cuddling” at a recent U2 concert.

Maria Sharapova Now Dating Sasha Vujacic Of The Lakers Cuddling At The U2 Concert

Okay, no biggie. But another tennis reporter took it a step further. Read more…

Insane Tennis Rants Good For The Sport, America

Despite a pair of unlikely champions in Kim¬†Clijsters and Juan Martin del Potro, USTA officials have to be wearing their happy pants over the success of the U.S. Open. CBS got a 2.4/5 Nielsen rating for the men’s final, up 41.2% from last year. ESPN also got great ratings, and the economy failed to dent attendance.

The tournament, however, will probably be most remembered for the maniacal ranting of Serena Williams and Roger Federer, the former who inspired the product pictured above as seen on last night’s “Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien.” But was Serena’s profane outburst a bad thing? Depends on how you look at it. Read more…

Sharapova Ousted By Oudin In US Open Thriller

If there’s one gripe to have about the US Open, it’s that the timing is less than optimal, seeing as how today is Football Christmas. So nobody can blame you, then, if you missed the epic duel between Maria Sharapova and American teenager Melanie Oudin.

Melanie Oudin Maria Sharapova

It was everything the crowd could have asked for: a high-profile (even if only seeded #29) star taking on a plucky, aggressive American underdog. Who just so happens to be attractive (NOTE: she’s only 17, so try not to rub one out to her yet). Oudin went toe-to-toe with the Russian and came out a winner, taking the match at 3-6, 6-4, 7-5.

Read more…

Speed Read: Another Ivanovic Bust At U.S. Open

Back in January 2008, the Australian Open finals featured Ana Ivanovic and Maria Sharapova in one of the most eagerly-anticipated women’s tennis matches ever. Sharapova won the match, but it seemed like the sport was set for one of the hottest - in every sense of the world - rivalries in recent memories.

Ana Ivanovic

Now flash forward to last night. While a Bedazzled Sharapova (more on that in a minute) started her comeback from shoulder surgery with an easy straight set win over Tsvetana Pironkova, Ivanovic continued her freefall into oblivion by getting bounced by unheralded Kateryna Bondarenko. That makes a tidy zero titles for Ivanovic this year and no appearances past the fourth round in any major - and another early round exit from the U.S. Open after last year’s shocking loss to Julie Coin in the second round.

Ana Ivanovic Topless Photo

(Ana Ivanovic in happier times…for everyone)

It’s not just that Ivanovic lost - at times, she looked absolutely lost, seemingly unable to do something as simple as throw the ball into the air correctly during her serves. Call it the tennis equivalent of Rick Ankiel’s pitching yips, although more attractive to watch if just as awkward. Ivanovic took to burying her head in a towel during changeovers, which is probably what a lot of fans wanted to do after watching her stumble to defeat.

Maria Sharapova

Meanwhile, Sharapova was confident and poised in her easy victory. Her tennis game looked great, while her outfit … let’s just say it looked like something you might have seen in a teen dance competition in Sioux City, Iowa, in 1987. And not to go Mr. Blackwell on your here, but honey, Cher called from 1975 and she wants her beaded headband back. Unless you are planning on belting out a rousing version of “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves” after winning your next match - in that case, it’s all yours.

Sharapova said that her outfit was “inspired by the architecture of New York.” Which is a perfect transition to talk about one of the other great metropolises of the Americans: Saskatoon. Because FACEOFF.COM says that one of the bidders for the Phoenix Coyotes has already booked five dates at the Credit Union Centre (the Madison Square Garden of Saskatchewan) to hold games there if they get the team next season.

Downtown Saskatoon

(There really is nothing quite like Saskatoon in December…)

Which leads to the question: what other events would possibly be happening in Saskatoon so you would need to save the date? A quick look at the Credit Union Centre event schedule shows a lot of minor league hockey…and not much else. Somehow I think that the arena would be willing to postpone the Saskatoon Blades vs. Moose Jaw Warriors showdown for an NHL game.

A partner for Ice Edge Holdings said that the team would be playing most of its games in Phoenix and not moving to Saskatoon permanently, which is too bad: it would be great to see NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman get an involuntary eye twitch every time he tries to explain how having a team in Saskatoon is good for the league.

Finally, Adrian Beltre returned to the Seattle Mariners last night after learning a valuable lesson about wearing a cup while playing third base on August 14 - as in “for the love of all things good and holy, wear one!” You might remember that Beltre thought his testicle had “exploded” after taking a scorching drive to the crotch.

Adrian Beltre nutcracker

After sitting out a few weeks (and probably getting some counseling for his lingering trauma issues), Beltre was back, and the Mariners decided to have a little fun at his expense. Ken Griffey Jr. had said he had the “perfect” music for Beltre’s first at-bat, and the person in charge of the songs being played over the PA delivered. Our own Scott Sepich was at the game, so I’ll pass along what he relayed to me:

“I was at the Mariners-Angels game tonight, and in Adrian Beltre’s first at-bat since coming off the DL, the music they played for him when he came to the plate was the “Nutcracker Suite.” A few of us in the press box caught on, but I’m not sure that the crowd got it. I thought it was pretty brilliant.”

Brilliant, indeed. In case you need further proof, the SEATTLE TIMES game blog not only mentions the musical cue but has audio of it as well. While I find it ironic that Ken Griffey Jr. - a man who once suffered a season-ending groin injury while fielding a fly ball - thinks that Beltre’s situation is hilarious. But it was a good choice of music, certainly more subtle than what I would have selected.

  • SPORTS HERNIA seems to think that David Wright’s new mega-helmet makes him look like Dark Helmet or The Great Gazoo. Personally, I think that he should be paying royalty money to Mark Kelso for infringing on his “dorky guy in a giant helmet” trademark.
  • David Wright

  • If there was one team in the NFL that had to be screwing the fans over by selling tickets directly to scalpers, it had to be the Washington Redskins, right? Too bad they can’t do the same thing with Six Flags tickets to prop up sales numbers.
  • Your nightly NFLPA train wreck update: the Department of Justice is confirming that they are investigating collusion claims by the union’s former HR director. She says that former player representative Troy Vincent had illegal meetings with Roger Goodell and Texas owner Robert McNair where he divulged classified information. Troy Vincent had a trouble keeping information private? That sounds strangely familiar.
  • Ladies, Rafael Nadal is playing at the U.S. Open in see-through shorts. Why can’t we get this technology in the women’s side of things (except for Serena Williams)?
  • Sometimes being a”football hero” takes on a different connotation: Kaleb Eulls, a star player at Yazoo High in Mississippi who has committed to Mississippi State, is being praised after disarming a 14-year-old girl who pulled out a loaded semi-automatic weapon on a full school bus.
  • Former Kentucky basketball star Edward Davender has been arrested as part of a ticket scalping scam involving Wildcats basketball tickets. If convicted, he could be sentenced to work for the Washington Redskins.
  • Adam “Pac-Man” Jones and Charles Rogers on the same CFL football team? Can someone please tell me how I can get Winnipeg Blue Bombers games on TV here in the lower 48?
  • Andy Roddick is less than thrilled with the U.S. Open trying to clamp down on players Twittering because they are concerned about players giving up “inside information.” Roddick’s retort (via Twitter): “you would seriously have to be a moron to send ‘inside info’ through a tweet.”
  • Anheuser-Busch plans to switch sports advertising tactics, targeting specific beer brands with demographics based on major sports. Bud Light to be linked to the NFL, while Budweiser will feature heavily in MLB advertising. No word on if Natural Ice will now be the Official Beer of Competitive Binge Drinking.
  • If they are going to start sending people to jail for 30 days for socking an opposing coach at a baseball game for 8-year-olds and then swinging a bat at people trying to break it up, then I just don’t know what baseball is anymore.

Best song for a player returning from a “bruised testicle”:

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Speed Read: Did Mayweather Beat Female Boxer?

When the cops come to your house, it doesn’t look good when they find you physically holding down a woman who is screaming and crying while trying to break free. Especially if she then proceeds to go to the kitchen and starts “coughing and spitting up blood.” I don’t know if Roger Mayweather tried the “hey guys…this isn’t what it looks like” move, hoping that the cops would think it’s a wacky mix-up like you would see on “Three’s Company.” But if he did - it didn’t work.

Melissa St Vil and Roger Mayweather

Mayweather - the uncle and trainer of Floyd Mayweather Jr. - was taken into custody on Sunday and charged with coercion with force and strangulation after allegedly attacking boxer and aspiring model Melissa St. Vil, who had moved to Las Vegas to train with Mayweather. But she had split with Mayweather as a trainer recently, although she was staying at an apartment owned by him and shared with Corneluis Lock, a contender who had lost in the main event of an ESPN Friday Night Fight on July 24.

Melissa St Vil

According to the police report, St. Vil claimed that Mayweather was unhappy with her continuing to live in the house and had begun harrassing her, which Lock corroborated by saying that Mayweather had been “bothering her at the residence, as well as following her to her new gym.” (Side note: I’m guessing that if you roll over on your trainer to the cops, you’ll be doing some extra roadwork next training session.)

It all apparently came to a head on Sunday afternoon. While Lock was at church (which St. Vil says is no coincidence), Mayweather allegedly tried to forcibly remove St. Vil from the house. When she refused and tried to go to her room, police say Mayweather started punching her in the ribs and then choked her until she nearly lost consciousness. St. Vil said was able to free herself by grabbing a lamp and delivering a lead right straight to Mayweather’s head, which is right about when the cops showed up.

So where does this leave everyone? For Roger Mayweather, it leaves him in a lot of trouble. It also casts doubts on Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s scheduled comeback fight against Juan Manuel Marquez in September - with what appears to be both criminal and civil cases pending, can Roger Mayweather actually prepare his nephew for the fight? Even for the three-ring circus that is the Mayweather family, this is pretty ridiculous.

Also ridiculous: that Cristiano Ronaldo can blow off women who look like his former girlfriend Nereida Gallardo and who enjoy taking topless pictures of themselves making out with other hot women in nightclub bathrooms. And just blow off, but publicly humiliate her with tabloid photographers capturing everything.

Cristiano Ronaldo

According to the DAILY MAIL, Gallardo happened to spot Ronaldo going into a nightclub in Majorca while he was on vacation. She tried to get his attention, but she was “tackled by a security guard as she made a beeline for the 24-year-old sportsman and promptly whisked away” while Ronaldo treated her like a ghost.

Then again, she did tell reporters after they split that he was “a vain mummy’s boy, who waxed his chest,” so anyone who has ever run into a crazy ex while out can relate to Ronaldo’s dilemma. Then again, most of us don’t have teams of beefy security guards to help us out.

Finally, in some positive news: Maria Sharapova is back in action, which is a good thing. She easily beat Jarmila Groth in the early rounds of the L.A. Women’s Tennis Championships, her first tournament back since surgery on her right shoulder ten months ago. But somehow, that wasn’t the big news story of the day. Because there was a catfight brewing, and it was about it go off!

Maria Sharapova

OK, not really. But defending champion Dinara Safina spent most of the day defending her world No. 1 ranking after Serena Williams had earlier questioned how Safina - who has never won a major - could be ranked No. 1 by saying sarcastically “Dinara did a great job to get to No. 1, she won Rome and Madrid.” However, anyone expecting a battle royal to break out had to be disappointed, as Safina “just answered questions pleasantly” when asked about the comments. Apparently someone doesn’t understand how PR works.

  • Suspected first-round bust Darrius Heyward-Bey is at Oakland Raiders training camp, and he’s acting…well, exactly like a first-round bust would, dropping passes and basically reaffirming the notion that Al Davis has gone from eccentric to “pouring castor oil into a bowl of Froot Loops and then dumping them on his head while singing ‘Strangers in the Night’” crazy.
  • Darrius heyward bey

  • Remember how we mentioned yesterday that Andy Reid’s notorious training camps had already claimed two Eagles players with “minor” injuries? Turns out one of them wasn’t so minor, as starting LB and leading tackler from 2008 Stewart Bradley is out for the season after tearing his right ACL. Meanwhile, Reid has invented some controversy with the media for - gasp! - trying to find out about the injury.
  • PUCK DADDY compares the Phoenix Coyotes’ ownership trial unfavorably to an episode of “Night Court.” I can see his point, since this trial does not involve Markie Post’s breasts. But then again, Mel Torme is nowhere to be seen.
  • Three days after his grandmother passed away, Denny Hamlin picked up his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win in 50 races at the rain-delayed Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono.
  • Clete Thomas said he didn’t know what to do when he hit a walk-off homer to lift the Tigers over the Orioles 6-5 on Monday night. Here’s a hint: running the bases so we could go home would be nice.
  • The Eagles and first-round draft pick Jeremy Maclin finally seal the deal, inking a five-year contract worth $15.5 million. If I were him, I’d stay away from Andy Reid’s Bataan Death March and hold out a few more weeks.
  • Here’s one way to make sure you come out ahead in poker: a dealer at the Bellagio in Las Vegas was apparently arrested for allegedly taking two $1,000 chips from a split pot.
  • As Scott Wolf of the LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS reports, nothing says excitement like a small handful of reporters disinterestedly checking their email while new Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott addresses them during Media Day. Why do they have these things again, other than to get free lunches?
  • Indoor soccer + short, fat, balding guy + kid flying in at 100 mph = comedy gold.

  • If you believe that Urban Meyer’s new six-year, $24 million deal with Florida means he’s never, ever, ever leaving the Gators, think again: the buyout penalty if he leaves for another school is only $500,000. Some Notre Dame alums carry that around as tip money for their caddies.

In five years Urban Meyer will be coaching:

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Cuter Competitors Get Wimbledon’s Centre Court

Earlier this week, we reported how tennis commentator Michael Stich ruffled a few feathers when he, um, commented about how women players at Wimbledon are there to “sell sex” (well, not literally). Although it sounds sexist & unfair, it seems there’s a kernel of truth to his statement. And maybe not just a kernel, but a whole bag of Orville Redenbacher’s Gourmet Popping Corn.

Victoria Azarenka Sorana Cirstea

(Victoria Azarenka vs. Sorana Cirstea - low Wimbledon rankings, but high Wimbledon ratings)

Turns out that when selecting which match-ups will play at Wimbledon’s Centre Court, it’s not always the higher-seeded ladies that get to play in the main arena. Instead, it’s the lower-seeded cuties that are often the ones courted to take Centre stage.

Read more…

Wimbledon: When Ball Girls, Gisela Dulko Attack

Apparently we have a new poster girl of tennis (why was I not informed sooner?) after Argentine Gisela Dulko upset Maria Sharapova in the second round of Wimbledon on Wednesday. But lovely Gisela took a back seat today to a ball girl who got swamped by the press after having played against Tommy Haas on Wednesday. Hmm, that’s odd.

Here are the action photos of Michael Llodra colliding with ball girl Erin Lorencin on Wednesday during his match with Haas. Llodra was injured and had to withdraw, so Haas decided to make the best of things and challenged random ball girls and boys to play against him at Court No. 1, including Chloe Chambers, who hit with him for about five minutes. Read more…