Archive for September 21st, 2007

fashion focus: federer’s red feet

September 21, 2007

How funny that it’s when Roger Federer plays Davis Cup that his shoes don’t have flags (see: U.S. Open, Wimbledon).

He wears his Nike Air Vapor IVs in the red/white colorway. The rest of his outfit had a similar Swiss flag theme.

DC: federer hits it out of the park yet again

September 21, 2007

Some people are annointing Roger Federer the best player of all time, while others are waiting for a Roland Garros win. Some find him boring; others, totally exciting. With his total awe of Laver, humble; in his dismissal of Althea Gibson, tacky.

In the end, though, it doesn’t matter how you cut the gruyère — there’s no question that this guy can put together an outfit.

Here’s Federer in his defeat of flagged Czech Radek Stepanek in Day 1 of the Davis Cup World Group Play-offs (in Prague).

Clothing sponsor Nike decked Roger out in a white bandana with red swoosh, a red wristband, and red Heritage Polo. They also included white shorts and a version of his Air Vapor IVs in a white/red colorway.

What do you think of this color on him? Tell us!

Too bad this is the only tie he’s playing through the end of the 2008 season. Instead, he’s focusing his energy on finding a way to beat Nadal at the French, and winning gold at the Beijing Olympics.

(photos via DC gallery and Getty Images)

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DC mishit: stepanek takes patriotism too far

September 21, 2007

World Group Play-offs: Czech Republic vs. Switzerland in Prague

Poor Radek Stepanek. Why is no one from the Czech Davis Cup team telling him that he should dress in the theme of the country’s flag, but not as the country’s flag itself?

(In his defense, Stepanek gets brownie points for trying. Y’all know how much TSF loves it when players wear their country’s colors.)

FYI: Click here if you don’t know what the Czech flag looks like.

Scoreline: Stepanek fell to his much better dressed Swiss opponent, Roger Federer, in four sets: 3-6, 2-6, 7-6 (4), 6-7 (5). Berdych won his rubber against Wawrinka, which puts the tie at 1-1 after the first day of play.

(photos via DC gallery and Getty Images)

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davis cup: djokovic is such a goofball

September 21, 2007

World Group Play-offs: Serbia vs. Australia in Belgrade

Here’s Novak Djokovic cheering on teammate Janko Tipsarevic, who went down to Australian Lleyton Hewitt 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, 1-6, 1-6. Such a goofball. God bless.

You don’t even know how many of my friends dream about having Nole shirtless and with his whole head covered like that. Ladies? This photo’s a keeper!

Scoreline: Janko lost, but Novak won. So after Day 1, the tie is at 1-1.

(photos via DC gallery)

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davis cup: who’s paying attention?

September 21, 2007

Who watches Davis Cup these days, anyway? Not many serious tennis fans, I imagine (especially ones who don’t subscribe to The Tennis Channel — no more ESPN freebies, I’m sad to say). Sure, you’ll check in on the results throughout the weekend, but watching actual games, let alone a set? Maybe if you’re killing time.

I’m not suggesting this weekend’s tie between the U.S. and Sweden is totally inconsequential (it actually does get old seeing Roddick and his mates get humiliated at some point on their way to the Cup). It’s just that Davis Cup has been skating on a sheet of half-assedness and mediocrity for some years now: top players (Federer, Nadal) play, then don’t play; they’re injured (Sweden’s Soderling for this tie, among many others on other national squads); the latest powerhouse team (Russia) isn’t made up entirely of “Russians” (Tursunov has lived in California for well over a decade; he actually tried to get a U.S. green card, and when it didn’t happen, he said: “OK, I’m playing for Russia.”)

Outside of doubles — which, other than the Bryans, has a low Q rating -– tennis is an individual sport: we as fans like that about it. You’re out there on your own. Davis Cup, so we surmise, is a team sport, even if there’s singles play. Guys sit on the sideline and cheer their teammates on, which is either really cool, or just a tad creepy, depending on your sensibility.

Speaking of creepy, the (Swedish — or do all teams do this??) ritual of exchanging gifts with their opponents on the eve of a tie takes quite a bit of the piss out of the competitive element: it finally and completely destroys the façade of battling warriors duking it out in the Coliseum.

Not to mention their fraternizing with each other as if the Davis Cup were an ongoing international rush…

Lastly, let’s not forget that the Davis Cup tie between Britain and Croatia will feature Tim Henman’s last professional match. One more time, then, and with feeling:

“Come on, Tim!”

(photos via Davis Cup)

Michael Shaw writes about tennis and other subjects for the Los Angeles Times, and is also an artist. He can be reached at michaelshaw_sar AT yahoo DOT com. Read his previous posts for TSF here.


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