On Court
1 On Court Sources: The Daily Mail

Kader Nouni – sex symbol

Velvet-voiced chair umpire Kader Nouni has been around forever. But for some reason this Wimbledon, he’s turning into a sex symbol on the basis of a speaking voice that evokes baritone soul singer Barry White. The Daily Mail writes an breathless tribute to the 46-year-old Frenchman, complete with Tweets from starstruck online tennis fans enraptured by Nouni’s … score calling. “To describe his voice, think drowning in a vat of chocolate, golden syrup and fine brandy,” one fan Tweeted. ‘I want Kader Nouni to umpire/narrate my life,” Tweeted another.

2 On Court Sources: BBC Sport

Pinpoint serving by Federer

If you wondered why Milos Raonic had to much trouble generating anything against Roger Federer in their quarterfinal match Wednesday, look no further than Federer’s serving. No body serves for Federer. Instead, he aimed for the outer edges of the service box and, nearly every time, hit his spots. That study in pinpoint accuracy is big reason why, when debate about the best servers on the ATP Tour comes up, the 35-year-old’s name is always mentioned with the players who can hit 140+ miles an hour like Raonic and Ivo Karlovic.

3 On Court Sources: ITF

Tough (double fault) day at the office

There are some dubious records in tennis.  Anna Kournikova hitting 31 double faults in a match at the 1999 Australian Open (91  in her first four matches of the season), is up there.   But in Campos do Jordao, Brazil on Thursday, there was a team effort. A second-round match between two Americans resulted in a total of … 62 double faults. Akilah James, 24, (ranked No. 760), who had 25 of them, defeated qualifier Rushri Wijesundera, 25 (no ranking), who had 37. There’s some altitude (about 5,300 feet). Still a tough day. James, the No. 5 seed, is still alive. She’s in the semifinals.

4 On Court Sources: Tennis.Life

Sharapova back on court in 2 days

The grass-court season is almost a wrap.  Time for a tennis breather, right?  Fuggedaboudit. In two days, Maria Sharapova is expected back on court after missing the grass-court season with a thigh injury. Sharapova plans to play some matches for the Orange County Breakers of World Team Tennis before her official return in Stanford. And the first one is scheduled for Sunday, at the rival San Diego Aviators’ home opener. The 30-year-old Russian should take on American Shelby Rogers in the singles. Hopefully she’s thinking about mixed doubles, too.

5 On Court Sources: Wimbledon

Ladies’ legends go wild at Wimbledon

Some of the lady legends take the invitational event kind of seriously. Others kind of get the point. And so when a portly fellow from the audience Friday wanted to play, Kim Clijsters – who could barely talk, she was laughing so hard – obliged. The players got the man all kitted out in white, so as not to have the Wimbledon underwear police out tut-tutting. And off they went. It’s hard to know who enjoyed it more: the crowd, the man himself, or Clijsters. Probably a three-way tie.

Off Court
1 Off Court Sources: ESPN

Serena proclaims Andy Murray love

Serena Williams has been on an interview binge for her sponsor, Tempur-Pedic. And while most of the answers have been obligatory, her reaction to Andy Murray’s “reporter correction” was heartfelt. “I don’t think there’s a woman player … that is not totally supportive of Andy Murray. He has spoken up for women’s issues, and women’s rights – especially in tennis – for … forever,” Williams said on ESPN. “He has such a wonderful mother, who’s been such a strong figure in his life. And he’s done so much for us on our Tour. “So we love Andy Murray.”

2 Off Court Sources: Twitter

Ivanovic celebrates a year of wedded bliss

Time flies when you’re crazy kids in love. And the retired Ana Ivanovic has seemed to be having a crazy-good time for the last year. Ivanovic and her husband, soccer star Bastian Schweinsteiger, celebrated their first wedding anniversary on Thursday. Also celebrating on Sunday – anniversary No. 2 – are Tomas Berdych and wife Ester Satarova. The perfect anniversary gift would have been for Berdych to be on Centre Court playing the Wimbledon men’s singles final. But a fellow named Roger Federer spoiled that plan.

3 Off Court Sources: WTA Tour

WTA best-dressed: fair, or foul?

There certainly was a lot of reaction on social media to a WTA Tour poll asking fans to vote for their best-dressed player at Wimbledon. Most of it was negative. When the WTA tries to emphasize the glamor over the athletic abilities of their players, that’s not unusual. The WTA’s statement on that is in this story. The options on the pic were: two Nikes, two adidas, and one Brit in New Balance. While we wait for the ATP to counter-Tweet, so far Simona Halep (adidas) has a slight lead over Kristina Mladenovic (adidas).

4 Off Court Sources: US Open

Tired of Phil? Here’s Shania!

The synergy between recording artists, ESPN and the US Open reached Defcon level last year, as the strains of “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins could be heard, oh, every five minutes. Well, if you got tired of Phil last year, here’s … Shania! The Canadian country singer will be this year’s Phil Collins, as she’s the opening-night entertainment in conjunction with the release of her first new album since 2002.   If you hear “Man! I feel like a Woman!” one too many times during the Open, remember Phil fondly.

5 Off Court Sources: Wimbledon

Henin gets Hall of Fame ring

Justine Henin was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame last summer. She finally got her ring this week at Wimbledon. It was a little special, Henin said, because Wimbledon was the one Grand Slam she never won. Henin’s countrywoman Kim Clijsters is set to be inducted into the Hall of Fame in a few weeks. Two from a small country like Belgium is the motherlode. Clijsters is playing the Wimbledon legends invitational this week; they really need to get Henin on board for 2018.