Archive for January, 2008

federer travels light + other fashion minutia

January 17, 2008

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Roger Federer packed light for this year’s Australian Open. He leaves the heavy baggage of modesty at home and in its stead brings a t-shirt that says “1″. Whoever at Nike thought this up did a good design. (Thanks to JNP for the tip.)

By the way, for those keeping track, I think Roger is using his same white gym bag from Wimbledon.

Quick notes: Pironkova is wearing Lotto… and Australian Casey Dell’Acqua, who before today bought all her on-court clothing from Target (bless!), has been wooed by Nike after her strong showing in the second round of her hometown Grand Slam. She took out Patty Schnyder 4-6, 7-5, 8-6.

(Roger photo via MTF)

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>> TSF’s australian open coverage

mishit: jelena jankovic’s headband

January 16, 2008

One step forward and two steps back for Jelena Jankovic. We love her pink and white Reebok dresses, but…

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…I’m sorry. No. That bow just isn’t right.

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>> TSF’s australian open coverage

a bare bones janko tipsarevic

January 16, 2008

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Wow. I think this is the first time in a very long while that I’ve seen Janko Tipsarevic without sunglasses, piercings, or a nose strip while playing a match.

He defeated Fernando Verdasco 7-5, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (3) in the second round to set up a showdown with Roger Federer. Oh well. At least they took some awesome pictures of Janko before he had to bow out.

Threads: Janko is wearing the men’s pieces from the same Spring 2008 Fila line worn by Agnes Szavay and Svetlana Kuzentsova. And again we see those long wristbands that all the men seem to be wearing.

More: Two more pictures after the cut…

(almost) shirtless: juan carlos ferrero

January 16, 2008

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22nd seed Juan Carlos Ferrero, in Lotto, took out Australian Alun Jones in a second round match in Melbourne. The Spaniard will next face 10th seed David Nalbandian or another Australian, Peter Luczak. (draw)

Whodathunk he’d be so freckly?

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>> TSF’s australian open coverage
>> our ‘shirtless’ file

reebok goes feminine — jelena jankovic

January 16, 2008

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Reebok continues its feminine run with the new outfits on Jelena Jankovic. She moves away from the short shorts (DTL was totally over it) and embraces a simple v-neck dress with assymetrical contrast piping.

The Strawberry Pink version appears most recently at Jelena’s second round match at the Australian Open. The third seed took out Edina Gallovits and next faces Virginie Razzano. Jelena was also the one who defeated the booby Tamira Paszek in the first round. (See their section of the draw here.)

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And she wore the white/black version during her run to the quartefinals at last week’s Medibank Sydney International.

What do you think of the dress? Tell us!

Buy: The RBK Pro Tradition Dress available at Tennis Warehouse for $39.99.

RELATED POSTS
>> TSF’s aussie open coverage continues…

wanted: juan monaco’s leg tattoo

January 16, 2008

Rowan at Yellowballin’ wrote to me last night:

“Did you know that Juan Monaco has a little tattoo on his leg, above the sock? I noticed it when I saw him play in Auckland last week. Might be a challenge to find a good close up picture of it, but that’s half the fun I’m sure.”

Alright, folks. I’m officially on the lookout.

serena in a bikini, sharapova’s fashion school plans, all the ATPers love Roger, etc.

January 16, 2008

No wonder she’s so svelte: Another reason to prove that Serena Williams is just like the rest of us — there’s not a better motivation to get into shape than a broken heart. (DTL)

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But she’s clearly on the mend: In case you need reminding, “it’s all about” her. (This photo of her in a custom-made bikini was snapped while while participating in the Hopman Cup in Perth. (The Age)

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Vintage tennis bag: Bidding has ended for this vintage tennis bag, but still worth a shout-out (via Refinery29)

A look at Maria’s Times: A nice quick read on Maria Sharapova and her thoughts on love, success, and her childhood. (src)

And Santoro’s, too: The French “Magician” Fabrice Santoro is officially the record holder for participating in the most number of Slams — 62. “I think I love the game more than many players or more than normally.” (Times)

The shotmaker’s problem: We were more than a little crushed to find out that Andy Murray lost his first round match to Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, a match that the Scot admits he should have won hands-down (no
offense to Tsonga, of course). Andy suffers from the problem of having too many strokes to choose from each time he hits the ball. In this 7-5, 6-4, 0-6, 7-6 (5) loss, he simply chose wrong. (Times)

Maria’s fashion future: Sharapova has grand plans when she’s done vying for Grand Slams. She’d like to enroll in the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design — alma mater of Stella McCartney and Matthew Williamson. (Reuters)

A degree means nothing: It’s a sad state of affairs that a college degree means nothing these days. When asked about her future plans in the fashion industry, recent graduate Venus Williams replied, “I’ll be able to get an entry position getting coffee for hopefully Anna Wintour.” (Gawker)

Video time!: A quick look at eating habits of ATP players, and a circle jerk about Roger Federer‘s style.

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Grand Slam (surface) showdown: Take a look at these New Balance CT470 Grand Slams. The two colorways, blue and green, are might as well have been named Plexicushion and Rebound Ace! Available at Hanon Shop for around $90 a pop. (via Hypebeast)

(off-topic): With my computer down, I had some time to read the New York Times this morning (paper version, even). Highlights in my latest OT post.

(Serena photo by Ron Angle, The Age)

technical difficulties…

January 16, 2008

Hi everyone,

My computer has been wonking out on me these last two days. It’s the worst timing ever, I know, especially since we’re in the early rounds of a Grand Slam. There’s a lot to talk about and a lot to point out. I’m going to do some rough posts (i.e., photos won’t be cropped, resized, etc.) and fix them when I get my powers back.

In the meantime, I hope everyone’s enjoying the Australian Open!

xoxoxoxo – E

reebok goes feminine — shahar peer

January 15, 2008

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Reebok is finally showing signs of fashion potential! Take a look at this geranium-colored tank worn by 17th seed Shahar Peer at this week’s Australian Open. This flowy collar is so much better than the sports giant’s usually subtle (and utilitarian) women’s sports apparel.

Scoreline: The Israeli needed three sets to beat Czech opponent Renata Voracova in the first round on January 14. Peer won 6-2, 2-6, 6-0. (See Shahar’s section of the draw here.)

Browse: While Shahar’s top isn’t available, you can check out the rest of Reebok’s spring line at Tennis Warehouse.

RELATED POSTS
>> TSF’s australian open coverage continues…

tatiana fuschia lacoste

January 14, 2008

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Ultra-feminine shades dominated the SEWTAers’ apparel during this Australian summer, and Tatiana Golovin is no different. She pulls out a 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 win over compatriot Stephanie Cohen Aloro wearing Lacoste in solid fuschia. Sadly for France, Tati faces Aravane Rezai (another Frenchwoman) in the second round.

Not too pink: Golovin tempers the ensemble with a black sports bra and wristband. She played the Hopman Cup in the same style but different colors.

What do you think of the look? Tell us!

RELATED POSTS
>> TSF’s aussie open coverage continues…

serena’s nike dress in the flesh

January 14, 2008

I feel a little sad that the Golden Globes didn’t happen. Yes, I dread being stuck in awards show traffic, but it’s usually offset by the occassional validation of a great artist (this year’s example: Tina Fey chosen as Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical for playing Liz Lemon in 30 Rock) and some amazing photos from the red carpet. The fashion vacuum is being filled by the Australian Open, thank god.

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Richard Pagliaro already previewed Serena WilliamsNike outfit for us, and here it is in the flesh. The American No. 1 took out wildcard Jarmila Gajdosova 6-3, 6-3 in her white tunic (paired with fuschia cycling shorts and a berry-colored wristband).

Buy: The Serena Serve Tunic, available at Midwest Sports ($60).

More: Of course she had on some great earrings. See them after the cut…

before and after: melbourne park’s new logo

January 14, 2008

In case you hadn’t noticed, there are new court logos to go with the new blue Plexicushion court surface at this year’s Australian Open.

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On the court itself, the logo is blue and white. Here’s Andy Roddick playing his first round match against Lukas Dlouhy (Andy won 6-3, 6-4, 7-5).

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And along the walls of the behind the baseline they add black. Here’s Kolya practicing (sleeveless!) on the eve of the tourney.

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FYI, This is how the courts looked last year…

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>> TSF’s aussie open coverage
>> i love umlauts!

fashion focus: as expected, a nike switcheroo for masha’s australian open dress

January 14, 2008

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The case of the mystery tennis dress Nike designed for Maria Sharapova‘s Australian Open appearance was solved today when Maria played first round match against Croatian Jelena Kostanic Tosic. By the way, the scoreline: Masha wins 6-4, 6-3.

Wimbledon flashback? So Maria takes care of business with a white version (reminiscent of what adidas by Stella McCartney put on Maria Kirilenko for Wimbledon ’07). The pleats and other detailing keep it classy, and it’s offset by the youthful embroidery in the visor and the berry accents in the visor. Even Maria’s underwear (picture) channeled Tati‘s red knickers. FYI: Berry is a shade from Nike’s spring palette.

What do you think of Masha’s dress? Tell us!

By the way… We speculated, based on Nike’s Spring 2008 retail plan, that brown pleated wonder would be the outfit (after all, it was called the “Sharapova Dress”), but then it showed up on Dani Hantuchova at last week’s Sydney Medibank International.

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Of course Masha wouldn’t be caught dead wearing the same dress as anyone else. That, and the fabrics ended up with sweat patterns that were ultra-unflattering. I hope Dani finds something else for the next two weeks.

(photos by Getty Images)

RELATED POSTS
>> TSF’s australian open coverage

no more singles for arnaud, but will play doubles with llodra

January 14, 2008

FYI, I’m not entirely in love with “Nono” as a nickname for Arnaud Clement, but it might stick over time…

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He lost to Rainer Schuettler in the first round of the Australian Open. The German prevailed 4-6, 2-6, 7-6 (3), 4-6. Arnaud had a couple of costume changes with that bandana, wearing the purple, the baby blue, and this red/yellow one I haven’t noticed before.

More left: Lucky for us, there’s more of Clement to see this week. He’s entered in doubles with Michael Llodra as the seventh seeds.

(photo by Getty Images)

trophies: heineken, hobart, kooyong, sydney

January 13, 2008

The girls and boys warmed up for the start of the Australian Open with another week at various tournaments Down Under. The usual fare of crystal and silver were doled out, save for minikegs in Auckland…

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Philipp Kohlschreiber ends up with a silver trophy and a keg (yes!!!!) for winning the Heineken Open in Auckland, New Zealand. He beat Juan Carlos Ferrero 7-6 (4), 7-5 in the finals.

More photos: Kooyong, Sydney, and Hobard (plus Auckland doubles) after the cut…

shirtless: verdasco in australia

January 13, 2008

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More for the shirtless files: (Nick and Chris — this one was for you!)

Spaniard Fernando Verdasco practices on the eve of the Australian Open.

Last week, he lost in the second round of the Medibank Sydney International to Sebastien Grosjean.

(photo by Getty Images)

trophy watch, exo edition: jb group classic and hopman cup

January 13, 2008

Forgive us for being a week behind with the trophies from last week’s exhibitions (Hopman Cup and the ladies’ JB Group Classic). But the Hopman trophy is cool, so here we go…

First, the Hopman Cup, won by the American team of Serena and Mardy over injured Serbians Jelena and Nole.

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Team USA also went home (or to Melbourne, I guess) with these diamond-encrusted tennis balls. According to ABC, a new design by Doris Brinkhaus is conjured up each year, always with an Australian map and a diamond marking Perth’s location. It takes 8 months to construct.

The balls cost $35,000 each. The last one Serena won (back in 2003) ended up a gift to her mother, Oracene.

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Venus Williams started off strong in 2008 with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Maria Sharapova in the finals of the JB Group Classic on January 5.

More photos: Hopman Cup trophies plus JB Group players’ party and press conference photos after the cut…

tattoo watch: a public service announcement

January 13, 2008

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From Tattoo Watch, a word to the inked: the Melbourne climate has brought about unrelenting summer heat, so make sure to keep your tattoos under plenty of sunblock as you compete at the Australian Open.

Model citizen Arnaud Clement sets an example while practicing at last week’s Medibank Sydney International, where he played the qualies. (Nono faces German Rainer Schuettler in the first round of the Australian.)

(photo by Via. Her photo gallery is bookmark material, folks. so do it.)

aussie open: chris sees a venus/serena final

January 12, 2008

Chris has told us his picks for the men’s draw (and about ruing the loss of Rebound Ace). Now he does the women…

Top half, first quarter: (draw)

Okay, let’s get the match we all want out of the way first -– Lindsay Davenport vs. Maria Sharapova. I pick Davenport to blow Sharapova out of the water much the same way Serena did last year. Davenport rides high on emotion, momentum, and motherhood into the quarterfinals.

Unfortunately she’s going to run into perpetual party-pooper Justine Henin. Expect the Belgian to coast through her first three rounds, dropping no more than five games total. She won’t even be challenged until facing Tati Golovin or Sybille Bammer. Tati will breeze through her early rounds just as easy as Henin, but’ll go down to Henin in two close sets.

Top half, second quarter: (draw)

The next quarter opens with the most interesting first round match-up in the women’s draw: Jankovic vs. Tamira Paszek. Despite Jankovic’s poor play at the Hopman Cup and the Tour Championships, she’ll make it to the quarters (with a few three-setters, I’m sure). Jelena’s biggest threat is the winner of the Mauresmo-Schnyder match in the the third round. Mauresmo’s ’06 Australian Open title means nothing now; I question her desire to win and compete. Schnyder takes this one.

Serena makes her way to the quarterfinals by beating Nicole Vaidisova in a tight match in the Round of 16. Serena takes out Azarenka on her way there while Vaidisova goes through Zvonareva and hometown favorite Alicia Molik.

The semifinals will feature yet another rematch between Henin and Serena. The stakes here are a little higher (this being a semi and all), and now these girls have a history. Serena’s hunger and drive (plus her trim bod) pushes her through to the finals.

Bottom half, first quarter: (draw)

The top quarter here comes down to Venus Williams and Ana Ivanovic. As usual, Venus will struggle with her first round opponent (Yan Zi) but gains momentum as she goes deeper into the tournament. Gold Coast champ Li Na continues her excellent post-hiatus form and (barring injury) defeats Marion Bartoli on her way to the Round of 16. Ivanovic will go through Safina and Srebotnik with little difficulty to get to the quarters, but will hit the Venus wall for the third consecutive slam. (Why aren’t these two getting the same attention as Serena and Henin?)

Bottom half, second quarter: (draw)

The final quarter is a little more open. Kuznetsova is my only lock for the semis. On her way she takes out Dechy, and teenagers Radwanska and Szavay. Her quarterfinal opponent is a little more up in the air but I’m going to go with Dani Hantuchova. Chakvetadze needs more time to shake off the robbery (which left her hands injured, from being bound) and will go out to Krajicek in the third round, if not earlier. Krajicek, as my dark horse pick, will make the Round of 16.

I see a Venus-Kuznetsova semi and, despite her success this year at Sydney, I see Kuzie clamming up and going down in two disappointing sets.

Quarterfinals: Henin d. Davenport, Serena d. Jankovic, Venus d. Ivanovic, Kuznetsova d. Hantuchova

Semifinals: Serena d. Henin, Venus d. Kuznetsova

Final: Serena d. Venus. Yes, I am predicting a Serena and Venus final, their first since the 2005 US Open. This will be one of the sister’s better slam finals against each other. I expect Serena to win in three.

What are YOU thinking? What do you think of Chris’ picks? Who do you think is ripe for success Down Under? Who’s ready to get upset? Which match-ups are you looking forward to? Tell us!

aussie open: chris’ picks for the men’s draw

January 12, 2008

Below are Chris’ picks for the men’s singles draw. (Printable draw here:

Top half:

You can’t bet against top seed Roger Federer. He opens against the dreamy Diego Hartfield, who gave R-Fed two tight sets in the first round at Roland Garros in 2006. This time, Diego will be blown out of the water.

One of the most interesting first round match-ups is Fabrice Santoro against John Isner. Isner hasn’t quite developed his slam chops, so I’ll tip my hat to Fabrice. That, and I’m secretly gunning for the guaranteed entertainment of Federer versus the Frenchman in the following round.

Roger’s semi appearance is a given, but it’s tough picking for the other slot because there are seven former slam finalists in this half. Instinct says to pick one of those guys…

Djokovic: Nole is the highest seed and the logical choice, but I think he’s due for a sophomore slump and I didn’t find his play at the Hopman Cup all that impressive. [Erwin: not to mention his back is already misbehaving.]

Hewitt: God bless him, but surface change or not (and backed by Tony Roche or not), the Aussie hope will be lucky to get to the Round of 16. He should just pass things on to Chris Guccione and have some fun.

Safin: With Marat, as always, it all depends on who shows up, plus he comes in with not having played a professional match since his loss to Ivo Karlovic in last October’s TMS Madrid. He could very easily go out to his first round opponent, up-and-comer (and Aussie Open first-timer) Ernests Gulbis. Hey Vern, I pick the kid to win this one.

Johansson: The Swede hasn’t mattered since his eye injury and he plays Baghdatis in the first round.

Nalbandian: The Argentine is suspect due to his back.

Ferrero: Juanqui has a tricky first round against Kiefer, but the Spaniard should get through.

Baghdatis: Marcos has played well at Kooyong this week and will come into the Open with that momentum. I pick Baghdatis him to make it past Johansson and Gulbis on his way to the semifinals.

Aside from those seven, there’s also David Ferrer. He’s mellowed significantly compared to his year-end play (vying for TMC Shanghai against Roger), but if he gets hot he has a chance to get to the semis.

Dark horses: My dark horses in this half are Dmitry Tursunov and Gooch -– who just happen to be meeting in the Sydney finals this week. This match will probably be an indication if my dark horse selection is accurate.

Tursunov’s biggest challenge would be Djokovic in the third round, but maybe that’s when Djoko’s sophomore slump fails the Serbian? And if the seeds hold up, Guccione has big upset potential against streaky Gonzo in the second round; then Almagro, who’s never made it out of the first round in Melbourne; then either Blake or Ljubicic in the Round of 16. I’m going to bet (which I can do. But not you, Potito Starace!) on James or Ivan not playing their best. Gooch makes it to the quarters.

Bottom Half

Mostly a boring bottom (hyuk) half, but there are a few gems like the potential Round of 16 match between Richard Gasquet and this year’s Doha champ, Andy Murray. Andy will be tested by his tough first round match-up against surging Jo-Wilfred Tsonga. If the Scot makes it through that, he’s through to the semis.

Murray’s quarterfinal opponent won’t be fourth seed Kolya Davydenko, who hasn’t shaken off the betting scandal and could lose to Adelaide champ Michael Llodra. Despite Youzhny and Karlovic (that’s the Croatian word for “tie breaker”), I pick Stanislas Wawrinka to make it through to the quarters for a rematch of the Doha final.

In the final two quarters, only three names matter: Andy Roddick, Rafa Nadal, and Mardy Fish. I like the way Mardy looked at the Hopman and he did well in Melbourne last year. He’ll go out to Roddick in the Round of 16 in a fun and friendly encounter.

Nadal’s health and fitness I think will be a non-issue here and his biggest roadblock to the quarterfinals is fellow mallorquín Carlos Moya. They had a tight match (three tiebreaks) sets earlier this year in Chennai, but Nadal should take this one in four.

Despite Murray’s recent form, the Australian heat takes it’s toll on him and we see the Murray of old — Crampy McCramps — lose to Roddick in three. [Erwin: but what about all that Bikram yoga he's been doing?]

Quarterfinals: Federer d. Guccione, Baghdatis d. Ferrer, Murray d. Wawrinka, Roddick d. Nadal

Semifinals: Federer d. Baghdatis, Roddick d. Murray

Final: Roddick d. Federer. I know, I know, that’s a pretty big limb I’m on but I don’t think Federer is coming into the Open at 100% and Roddick will be riding his wave of confidence from his Kooyong success. Making it all the more bittersweet will be the fact that Roddick finally gets his win in Melbourne, and not under the Flushing Meadows.

What do you think of Chris’ picks? Tell us!


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