Sexy Beauty Secrets of the ATP
Hair we go, hair we go
Ask female tennis fans which male players they like and invariably the answer will have a lot to do with macho appearances rather than how well they strike the ball. Is it any wonder then that some of the best players on the international circuit are caring more and more about how they look. But what shocked us yesterday was to learn of the incredible lengths these men go to, to achieve the perfect body and face. According to Armadale hair stylist Gidget Ricca and South Yarra beauty therapist Debbie Mitzia, who have been caring for the Australian Open competitors at Melbourne Park for the past six years, these days the men care about their looks as much as the women, right down to facials, manicures and (wait for it) waxing their armpits. Now, exactly which of the players goes to these under-arm extremes will perhaps never be known because both Ricca and Mitzia have confidentiality clauses in their contracts - and wouldn't want to dob in their famous clients anyway - but as a clue perhaps we should look at the players who instead of wearing the traditional polo-style shirt have switched to the sleeveless top look, among them Tommy Haas, James Blake and emerging star Robby Ginepri. American Ginepri has so far not taken up the hairless armpit style, which perhaps is not surprising because, according to Mitzia, the trend has been mainly adopted by the European players. "The players say it's all the rage among the European guys so maybe we will have to officially include it on our list of jobs that we do," said the beauty therapist. But sprucing up the world's best players doesn't end there, Mitzia also revealing many of the men call in for facials, some even asking for their eyelashes to be coloured. "Most say, 'Don't you dare tell any of the other blokes, will you'," she said. "I reckon the higher ranked they are the more conscious they are about their appearance. But they're a wonderful group of people and we love working with them."
Cutting up rough
The hairdressing salon is where women are prone to pour out their personal problems and, it would seem, the hair salon/beauty shop at Melbourne Park is no exception. "Once we had a player who had just learned that her partner back home had broken up with her," said Ricca. "It was just before she was due to play and she was shattered and not surprisingly, she lost. People don't realise how hard it is for these players to be away from their home and their loved ones for months on end." As we talked, Daniela Hantuchova popped in to make an appointment for later in the day. A hairdressing appointment, that is, not a beauty treatment appointment. Why were we not surprised?
Game, set, girls
At 17 years of age, Lachlan Ferguson is one of this country's better tennis prospects - and a competitor in the national titles that started at Melbourne Park on Monday - but we wonder just how determined he is to make it right to the top. In his player profile, not only does the Adelaide-born teenager list his ambition as "to make a comfortable living from playing tennis" (rather than make millions of dollars from it like many of the stars do) but his personal interests are "golf and girls". Wonder what his coach thinks about all that?
Battle of the you know whos
If today's women quarter-finals follow the form book, some of us in the media are eagerly awaiting what we're tipping will be a classic semi-final showdown between Kim Clijsters and Lisa Raymond. No, no, forget the tennis form - we'll leave that to the experts - we're referring to their performances in their post-match press conferences, in particular their tendency to use the phrase "you know" in almost every sentence. And so far their "form" has been quite outstanding, Raymond in particular hitting on the phrase at an unbelievable rate, including a match-winning 67 times in just 1525 words - a rate of one "you know" for every 22.76 words uttered - during her chat to the media after her latest win over over Tatiana Golovin. Clijsters will need to be at her best if she can beat Raymond but a win is certainly not beyond her. Her lead-up form includes a "you know" score of 27 in 1045 words after her win over Farina Elia, equating to one "you know" for every 38.7 words. Should they go head to head in the semis we're tipping a win to Raymond, but, you know, it could go either way.
This one takes the cake
Security has been a high priority at this Australian Open and that includes no packages making their way inside Melbourne Park unless staff know exactly what is inside. And that includes the parcel that arrived this week from the kitchen of the Grand Hyatt Hotel. Eventually some red tape was cut so that the box could make its way into the offices of Tennis Australia's president. It was just as well it did - inside was a tennis-court-shape cake saying "happy 60th birthday, Geoff Pollard".
And memo Andre Agassi: Once again we're relying on you delivering on your latest promise, the one you made in your post-match interview yesterday, that you will try to persuade your good wife, Steffi Graf, to play with you in mixed doubles, this time at Melbourne Park next January, should you win your fifth Australian title. Last year, of course, you said if you won you would entice her to do so at the French Open, but she consequently couldn't deliver because she became pregnant. But, Andre, don't think we haven't since worked out when what happened, simply that Jaz Elle was born in October, meaning that she was conceived around the same time you made your first promise. Maybe if you win on Sunday Open officials should insist that for the next few months you and Steffi have separate rooms.
Who said that?
If I could imitate that look, I'd have it on the tennis court.
- ANDRE AGASSI, explaining that sometimes when he gets home, wife Steffi Graf "can say more without saying anything".
Last edited by star; 01-28-2004 at 02:54 PM.