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2019 Met Gala Co-Chair Serena Williams Dons A Unique Combo Wearing Versace and Nike During Fashion's Biggest Night Out

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

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Ellen To Serena: "Your Boyfriend Is So 'UnCommonly' Good"

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

If you missed the "Ellen" show when Serena Williams made a recent appearance, you missed a lot of fun.

Two particularly funny segments were the first part of the interview when the two had a shamelessly sponsor plugging moment, and then Ellen inquired about Serena's significant other.

Black Tennis Pro's Serena Williams on Ellen
Ellen: (Regarding the Australian Open) It was hot there right?

Serena: Oh my God, it was so hot. At one point it was like, I think they said it was 125 degrees on the court. And it was just like, literally I was running and like thinking this is almost not worth it... is this worth it? (laughs)

Ellen: How long does a set like that last, a match?

Serena: Well, ummm, it depends like, cause if it's that hot, normally you just, you know, no more than two hours - but that's just crazy.

Ellen: But two hours in 125 degrees, I mean... how are you not melting to the court? How, how are your shoes not melting onto the...

Serena: Well, I mean, Niki makes the best shoes so I clearly (laughs)... all the other people have lots of problems but I was fine.

Ellen: Good answer - you should buy them with American Express cards - and when you're done playing, put on Cover Girl makeup.

Black Tennis Pro's Serena Williams on Ellen
Then, Ellen surprises Serena by beginning the segment with something that clearly was not true.

Ellen: Alright, we're back with Serena Williams, and you were talking about you wanted to mention your boyfriend's name.

Serena: (Looks at her in surprise) I don't, no...

Ellen: Well, anyway... but when he calls you it just must be music to your ears... cause he's so "unCommonly" good.

Okay, so she's going to play a little game called 'Smash My Face,' and here's how it's going to work.

Serena: Okay, I'm ready to smash your face. (Serena clapping) Let's play! Let's play!

Black Tennis Pro's Serena Williams on EllenBlack Tennis Pro's Serena Williams on Ellen

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Harvard Law Grads Are Everywhere, ATP Appoints One - Adam Helfant

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

New ATP Executive Chairman and President Adam Helfant London, UK - The ATP, governing body of the men's professional tennis circuit, today announces the appointment of Adam Helfant as ATP Executive Chairman and President. Mr Helfant, 44, will begin his role with the ATP immediately and will be based in London. Mr. Helfant, an MIT and Harvard Law graduate, brings a wealth of global sports, business and legal experience following 12 years as a senior executive with NIKE, three years with the National Hockey League (NHL) as an attorney and four years as an associate at the international law firm Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton. Most recently he served as NIKE’s corporate Vice President, Global Sports Marketing a role in which he was responsible for NIKE’s relationships and contracts with athletes, clubs, teams, universities and sports governing bodies throughout the world. Previous to that, he held a number of senior roles at NIKE including Director of Global Sports Marketing and Vice President of U.S. Sports Marketing.

Adam Helfant, ATP Executive Chairman and President, said:
“There is no doubt that men’s professional tennis is one of the world’s most popular sports and, as a lifelong fan, it is a great honour to have been given the opportunity to take the helm at such an exciting time for the ATP. The ATP World Tour is a truly global sporting event, featuring some of the world’s best athletes and followed by millions of the most dedicated sports fans and I could not be more excited about being its new Executive Chairman.”


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Serena, Spike And Roger Party With Nike

Friday, August 22, 2008

Nike Sportswear at 21 Mercer - Block Party

Nike Sportswear celebrated its store opening with a New York block party on the evening of August 21st. Invited guests saw Mercer Street transformed into a New York stadium and experienced the store before it opened today.

Black Tennis Pro's Nike SportswearSerena Williams

Black Tennis Pro's Nike SportswearSerena Williams and Spike Lee

Black Tennis Pro's Nike SportswearSatchel Lee, Serena Williams, Jackson Lee and Spike Lee

Black Tennis Pro's Nike SportswearSerena Williams

Black Tennis Pro's Nike SportswearSerena Williams and Roger Federer

Black Tennis Pro's Nike SportswearSpike Lee, Serena Williams and Roger Federer

Photos WireImage

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James Blake Announces Cancer Research Fund In Father's Memory

Sunday, July 13, 2008

It was about five years ago that James Blake and his family received the kind of heartbreaking news that everyone hopes they never have to hear about someone they love.

His father, Thomas Blake Sr., with whom he was very close, did not have long to live.

Thomas Blake Sr. died in 2004 after battling gastric cancer that was not detected until it had reached an advanced stage. If Blake Sr., like every cancer patient, had been diagnosed sooner, it would have greatly improved his chances of surviving.

And now James Blake, the No. 8 tennis player in the world, is trying to help other cancer patients fight the disease and improve their chances of survival. On Thursday at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan, where his father was treated, James Blake formally announced the launch of the Thomas Blake Sr. Memorial Research Fund that he has established with a goal of raising at least $1 million over the course of the next year for cancer research at Sloan-Kettering, especially improving early detection and screening.

Blake’s mother, Betty, was also among those present on Thursday and commented on how proud she is of her son and his efforts in his father’s memory. Those on hand also included Dr. Harold Varmus, the president of Sloan-Kettering, and Burke King, the president of Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield in Virginia.

"My father did everything he could, but it was detected too late,” Blake said. "If someone does have that energy in them to fight and the will to live, then if you can detect it early, you give them that better chance and the opportunity to survive and spend more time with their family. I feel early detection is one of the most important roles in cancer research.”

"If they had caught this (his father’s cancer) earlier – the reason I am doing the early detection – they think he would have had a better chance. He did everything he could once they told him what they could do, whether it was experimental, working out more, staying off his feet. Anything he could do, he was doing it,” Blake added. "I just wish his hard work had paid off, but the sentiment that he was still working hard up until the last opportunity just spoke volumes to me about his character; that no matter what, he never gave up, and he definitely practiced what he preached.”

The fund has already raised more than $500,000 and hopes to reach the goal of $1 million through several initiatives. Blake and Nike have partnered to create a line of merchandise called "J-Block," with 100 percent of all proceeds going to the fund. "J-Block" comes from the name of a group of Blake’s friends who come out to tournaments, especially the US Open, to support him.

In addition, Blake, 28, has teamed up with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Virginia to host a tennis exhibition called Anthem LIVE!, which is now in its sixth year. The exhibition will feature Blake and his good friends and Davis Cup teammates, Andy Roddick and Bob and Mike Bryan. It will be held Sept. 12 in Richmond, Va., just one day before the U.S. Davis Cup team leaves for Madrid to face Spain in the 2008 Davis Cup Semifinals.

This year, Anthem LIVE! will benefit Sloan-Kettering, as well as cancer research at Eastern Virginia Medical School and Virginia Commonwealth University’s Massey Cancer Center.

In deciding which friends to ask to join him in the exhibition this year, Blake thought of his friends from the U.S. Davis Cup team, which won the title in 2007.

"We really do enjoy spending time with each other. It has been talked up in the media how much fun we have, and it's nothing but the truth,” Blake said of himself, Roddick and the Bryans. "We will have a great time down in Richmond and just continue that on the plane to Spain and hopefully celebrate then after winning the semifinals.”

As a whole, the tremendous amount of support and commitment Blake has received from friends, family and sponsors has meant a great deal, as he tries to make a difference. Anthem LIVE! was first held in 2003, and Blake teamed with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield for the first time in 2005.

When Blake joined Anthem LIVE! in 2005, he invited Roddick, as well as music stars John Mayer and Gavin DeGraw but thought joining the event would be just for that year. When he saw the support he received and the money raised, keeping it going was an easy decision.

"I wanted to make a difference and put on some sort of exhibition, some sort of show, to commemorate my father, and I thought it was going to be a one-time thing because I realized how packed my friends’ schedules were,” Blake said. "When I saw the response from the crowd, my friends, it just clicked that I have to continue doing it. After I saw how much money we raised, as well, I felt we need to just build on this. This can make a difference one time, but it can make such a greater difference from then on. Hopefully this year Anthem LIVE! again will continue that process and get to a million dollars, and then who knows from there.”

"(When) I asked John Mayer, Andy Roddick and Gavin DeGraw, not one of them checked their schedules before they said yes,” he added of his friends. “With the support I got then and Andre Agassi saying he would do it the next year and this year, when I asked Andy again, he came on board to support me, (it) made it so easy for me to continue doing this. I think they know I feel the same way if the roles were reversed and they had a cause they were passionate about and needed my help."

Also in the way of fundraising this year for Blake is a kickoff party at the 2008 US Open with the help of the magazine Vogue. A Thomas Blake Sr. scholarship fund has also been created at Fairfield Warde High School in Fairfield, Conn., Blake and his older brother Thomas’ old high school.

"I hope other people can see he (Blake Sr.) would be a great role model for anyone, not just his own sons. That is why it means so much to have a fund named after him," Blake added. "I just want the kids that do get that scholarship to know what he stood for and how much he stressed academics and how much he wanted kids to be prepared for the life they were going to lead."

Before Anthem LIVE! and Davis Cup in September, Blake will compete this summer in several tournaments in the Olympus US Open Series and then travel to Beijing as a member of the U.S. Olympic Team for the first time. After the Olympics, he will be back in New York for the 2008 US Open.

Blake was unable to compete in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, after he fractured vertebrae in his neck during an accident at a practice session in Rome with Robby Ginepri in May. Shortly afterwards was when his father died, and then Blake came down with a virus called Zoster, similar to shingles. It paralyzed part of his face temporarily and affected his senses, including hearing and taste.

He rebounded in 2005, and his tennis career has been flying high since. He is looking forward to his first Olympics.

"It is something I think every kid dreams about. You see the Olympics on TV -- see the track stars, swimming, all the different events -- and you realize those people have worked four years to get to that one moment and how thrilled they are. You see so many tears on the podium and how much it means to compete for your country," Blake said.

"For me, it is an unbelievable honor to be part of the Davis Cup team and now to finally be part of the Olympic team, as well. It might be one of the only times I'll be nervous on a tennis court again," he added. "Davis Cup is one time where it gets you a little bit when you hear 'Advantage U.S.A.,' and it will be similar for the Olympics, I think. It will also be exciting for me to see how the others train, see the other athletes and what their routines are and how it differs from tennis and maybe learn something."

In the Olympics, Blake will compete in singles and doubles with Sam Querrey. The end of the Olympics conflicts slightly with the Pilot Pen (of the Olympus US Open Series) in New Haven, where Blake won titles in both 2005 and 2007, so he will be unable to compete there, near where he grew up in Fairfield (after moving there as a child from Yonkers, N.Y.).

He hopes to return to the Pilot Pen in the future, but on his list of tournaments he is playing in the Olympus US Open Series this year are Indianapolis, Toronto and Cincinnati, as he looks to win his first singles title in 2008.

Blake had a tremendously successful summer in 2007, reaching finals at three Olympus US Open Series events – Cincinnati, Los Angeles and New Haven (where he won the title) – and he finished second in the overall points standings to world No. 1 Roger Federer. He then went on to reach the fourth round at the 2007 US Open.

The summer hardcourt season is Blake’s favorite and is best suited to his power game. He is confident he will rebound on the hardcourts from a disappointing second-round loss recently on the grass at Wimbledon.

“I love the Olympus US Open Series. The surface is great for me. (Hardcourt) is what I play the best on. It is what I feel the most comfortable on, and also the fans, being in America, are very supportive of me,” he said. “I seem to do the best when I have that support, my friends are around me, it is my favorite time of the year, and I have done well.”

In terms of goals for the rest of 2008 and beyond, Blake of course wants to do his best in every tournament he enters, and he will work very hard not just to win on the court but off by raising enough money to reach the $1 million benchmark.

“I want to be prepared for every match, every situation I go into, and that is something in my control and I set as a goal,” he said. “That is going to be the most important thing for me when I am done in my career -- that I was prepared and I did everything I could and I can hold my head high knowing I accomplished everything my talent would afford me.

"The other goal, the attainable goal, is I do believe my talent, my effort and my voice will be able to raise $1 million for this fund. That is something I believe is attainable, and I will work tirelessly to make sure that does happen.”

Photos © Ron Terner/Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

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Venus and Serena: The Sisters Bring Their Fashion To France

Monday, May 26, 2008

As usual, the very fashion conscious and fashion forward Williams sisters have arrived in Paris at Roland Garros ready to play tennis - and look good doing it.

Serena displayed her Nike style in a lovely "Doubles Women's Tennis Dress" in "chalk/dark obsidian/dark obsidian" (unless they have a men's tennis dress, why call it a 'women's tennis dress?' we know! *shoulder shrug*).

I'm really liking the fabric on this dress. If you'll notice Serena in action, the dress isn't crawling up or bunching anywhere. Those of you who want to look "cute" yet get your tennis on know that clothes crawling all over you during play is most annoying.

Plus, if your game truly sucks, they'll be so busy admiring your fashion sense, your game won't get beat up on so bad (yeah right).

Black Tennis Pro's FashionBlack Tennis Pro's Fashion
Nike also offers the "Paris Women's Tennis Dress" in a "dark obsidian chalk/chalk" option for those who wish to be a bit more daring.

Black Tennis Pro's Fashion*Black Tennis Pro's has no Nike affiliation, just letting you know how to cop this style if you wish.

Venus on the other hand is rockin' part of her very own collection, EleVen, which opened to big fanfare and high praise. I personally love it and own a couple of pieces. Venus' entire collection can only be purchased at Steve and Barry's. There are some very nice coordinates in a variety of styles. It's well worth the look!

I tend to like some structure in athletic attire, the polos in this collection are incredible. If you just must sweat, ehhh "glow" and carry on, you might as well look well put together throughout the process.

Black Tennis Pro's FashionBlack Tennis Pro's Fashion
*Black Tennis Pro's has no EleVen or Steve and Barry's affiliation. Once again, just letting you know how to cop the style.

Photo of Venus:
Reuters Francois Lenoir
Photo of Serena:
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

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Serena Unveils 2008 Nike Clothing Line

Thursday, April 24, 2008

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