Hingis Is Over Dating Athletes
Showtime In The Park
By Alberto Amalfi
Maria Sharapova played doubles with successive showings. Martina Hingis served up insight on tennis and relationships from a front-row spectator seat and Roger Federer received a rousing ovation simply by stepping into the arena. How did three of tennis' top stars decompress after the demands of playing the U.S. Open?
They each occupied a front-row seat to enjoy another brand of Showtime.
Federer, Sharapova and Hingis joined a slew of celebrities, including Robert DeNiro, Dustin Hoffman, Jennifer Lopez, Demi Moore, Victoria Beckham, LL Cool J and Snoopy in attending some of the fashion shows during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week inside the tent at New York City's Bryant Park.
Hingis, who accompanied Tennis Week Associate Editor Valentine Uhovski to the BCBG Show, found herself seated next to her U.S. Open musical muse: British pop singer Natasha Bedingfield.
"I prepared for the U.S. Open listening to your music. Itís so lively and relaxing. And now here you are, sitting next to me!" Hingis told Bedingfield.
She's been single since splitting with former fiance Radek Stepanek last month and Hingis has already established some ground rules for her future relationships: she's done dating tennis players.
"I'm so over athletes!" Hingis told Uhovski. "Bring on the good guys and entertainers!"
Intently eyeing the fast flow of fashion down the runway left the five-time Grand Slam champion wishing organizers could incorporate a primary piece of tennis technology used throughout the U.S. Open ó the Hawk-Eye replay system ó to fashion shows.
"You have to be on time to see a tennis match, but you get to digest it," Hingis told Uhovski. "Everything happens so fast here and thereís no replay. Iíll have to get an extensive catalog of the Spring line."
Asker her her thoughts on Vogue's Anna Wintour, a good friend of Federer's and frequent presence at his matches throughout the U.S. Open, Hingis said she's looking forward to hitting with the fashion icon in the future.
"Iíve never met her, but I love the movie thatís supposedly based on her. Sheís fascinating," Hingis said of Wintour. "I donít usually wake up early, but I would just to hit some tennis balls with her."
Clad in a black BCBG dress, Giuseppe Zanotti heels, a Lulu Frost necklace and a Valentino bag, Hingis met with models and designers and completed her Fashion Week debut with a mission: to complete her own Grand Slam of fashion.
"PETA is going to hate this, but I have this fancy chinchilla shawl that is very elaborate. What can I say? Itís cold in Switzerland!" Hingis said. "Now all I have to do is obtain the dress to preserve my marvelous first Fashion Week experience...I want to do this again and again! Bring on London, Milan, and Paris!"
Sharapova, who watched Sunday's men's final seated behind Djokovic's parents and DeNiro and his wife, displayed her stamina in attending Peter Som's noon show followed by an appearance at Michael Kors' show an hour later. Wearing a fitted black dress designed by Kors, the 2006 U.S. Open champ said the "Project Runway" personality is an avid tennis fan.
"Michael is a huge tennis fan and I wanted to return the favor," Sharapova said. "As for Peter, I love him!..I definitely draw inspiration for my tennis outfits from these collections. I enjoy the glamour and excitement of Fashion Week."
Though Russian Fed Cup captain Shamil Tarpischev did not select Sharapova to represent Russia in this weekend's Fed Cup final against visiting Italy on the hard court of Moscow's Luzhniki Arena, Sharapova left New York City to fly to Moscow to serve as a hitting partner for the Russian squad.
"I'm going to Russia this week to support the Fed Cup team, but I won't be playing," said Sharapova, who has set her sights on representing Russia in the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games.
The tennis court has long served as a sports style runway for new trends in fashion. Famed tennis dress designer Ted Tingling, affectionately nicknamed "the leaning tower of pizzazz" by Hall of Fame writer Bud Collins, caused a Wimbledon scandal when he outfitted Gertrude "Gorgeous Gussy" Moran with lace panties. Tingling distinctive dresses for a series of champions including Maureen Connolly, Billie Jean King, Margaret Court and Evonne Goolagong.
In 1985, American Anne White created a stir by wearing an all-white skin-tight body suit at Wimbledon. Andre Agassi earned international attention when he took the court clad in blue denim shorts and more recently Anna Kournikova's midriff-baring belly shirts, Serena Williams' black spandex cat suit and Tommy Haas' sleeveless Nike t-shirt have all attracted attention. Tennis Week blogger Bethanie Mattek caused quite a stir at last week's U.S. Open with her black leopard-print dress with matching gold conductor's cap that looked looked a bit the fashion progeny of a marriage between Victoria Secrets and Tarzan.
Fashion fan Federer and girlfriend Mirka Vavrinec joined Vogue's Wintour in the front row for designer Oscar de la Renta's spring collection show the day after Federer swept Novak Djokovic in straight sets to capture his Open Era record fourth consecutive U.S. Open championship.
"I always liked Oscar's show," said Federer who received loud applause from those in attendance as he walked in to take his seat. "This is my second one ó I went last year. I think he's got beautiful dresses."