Serves & Volleys: Rhode Island ATP World Tour Event Going Without Title Sponsor
The Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport, R.I., will not have a title sponsor this year, but instead five major sponsors, including two new ones -- EMC and Alex and Ani, a jewelry maker. Returning sponsors, but at a higher level, are Rolex, Chubb, and Corona. The official announcement will be made this afternoon at the Int'l Tennis HOF. Campbell's had titled sponsored the event -- the only ATP grass court competition in the U.S. -- from '04-12. This year’s event is scheduled for July 8-14 and will award $445,775 in prize money, though events of its level frequently pay out guarantees to attract players, making the total financial outlay more than just prize money (Daniel Kaplan, SportsBusiness Journal).
THE PINK PANTHER? In London, Liv Lee notes Roger Federer in his second-round Australian Open match against Nikolay Davydenko today "took to the court ... in an outfit that showed something of a departure from his usual attire," as he wore "bubblegum pink shoelaces." He wore them with "jet black Nike trainers and socks for maximum impact." His shirt and headband "tied the colour theme together, with the zipper and Nike tick lit up in baby pink against the backdrop of a silky looking blue-grey shirt" (DAILYMAIL.co.uk, 1/17). ESPN's Brad Gilbert was asked his thoughts about Federer's attire and said, "Thumbs up, because no yellow. I’m just disheveled with all the guys and girls wearing so much yellow. There’s no yellow in his attire, therefore he gets an A+. Are those pink laces? Would you wear those kicks?” ESPN's Chris Fowler responded, “If it were part of a contract maybe” (“Australian Open,” ESPN2, 1/17).