But we’ll gladly pass it along: Contrary to the evidence, we had nothing to do with this one.
Pic taken while the ATPers visited the Avala Tower in Belgrade before the start of the Serbia Open.
German Mischa Zverev had to retire from his first-round match against tenth seed Fernando Gonzalez at the Shanghai Masters Tennis Tournament this week. A right wrist injury, sustained during a fall early in the third set, left the score at 7-5, 6-7 (0), 2-2 — which sucks, since Zverev won that tiebreaker against Gonzo.
But before his departure, we got another peek into the wonderful world of Erke; Zverev’s the tennis face of this Chinese brand, which also calls Yanina Wickmayer one of its athletes.
Bracket: Roger Federer and Andy Murray pulled out of the tourney due to exhaustion and a wrist injury, respectively. Roddick and Nadal are grumbling about how long the tennis season is (with reason: have anyone play grueling tennis for 11 months a year and their body will surely fall apart).
Okay, I tried to find the bracket on that user-unfriendly tourney website. I will love you forever if you can help me track it down.
Deets: Note the color gradation detail down the sleeves of Mischa’s polo. Cute monochromatic wristbands, too. See more pics after the cut…
World No. 52 Marat Safin is ambling his way to retirement (we’ll be Marat-less after 2009) but don’t let the impending racquet-hanging fool you — the Russian’s game still packs a punch.
The former World No. 1 showed glimpses of his former tennis life by upsetting Fernando Gonzalez in the second round of this week’s China Open. Too bad this good streak is part of his post-retirement outlook.
“It’s easy to play when you have nothing to lose, no points to defend, so you have no pressure at all so you can just play, just go for it.”
And this carefree style was enough to beat Gonzalez.
“I was expecting to win but I’m not surprised that I lost because Marat is a great player and didn’t do too much wrong,” shared the Chilean after the match.
Up next for Marat is Rafa Nadal, who needed three sets to overcome James Blake. Perhaps Rafa’s rustiness coupled with Safin’s worry-free tennis will get him through to the semis?
The duds: adidas did well paying homage to the North American hardcourt season with the light print on this competition crew. We see a blurry image of the NYC skyline. Buy: Men’s Summer Competition Theme Crew, in black, red, and white colorways for $39.99 at TW.
(image via Getty)
fullerton: I have decided that Murray is going to win the French Open.
fullerton:and take his shirt off
fullerton:and it is going to be lovely
The newly minted World No. 3 Andy Murray didn’t get to this upper crust of tennis society by playing on clay, and it showed during his fourth round match against Fernando Gonzalez. Feña blew the Scot out of the water with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-0, 6-4 upset.
“I’ve got to give a lot of credit to him,” said Murray after the match. “I’d played against him before and he hits the ball hard, but today he was hitting it huge. If that happens, sometimes you’ve got to say ‘Too good’. It’s quite easy sitting on the side to look and think ‘you could’ve have done this, you could have done that’ but the guy is hitting ball so hard — no one hits the ball that big.”
Looking ahead: Gonzo is set to play Robin Soderling, who solidified his victory over Nadal with a straight-set drubbing of Kolya Davydenko.
Kudos to Andy and his Fred Perry kit, btw. He mixed things up by alternating his v-neck crew between an all-black colorway (with a green laurel) and a navy/blue version. Buy: Fred Perry French Open Tennis Shirt, navy/scottish blue, £35.00.
More pictures: Shots of Andy during his 2009 French Open run after the cut…
Efficent kid, this one. While he wasn’t using his Sharpie to amass players’ autographs, he used it for some good, old-fashioned huffing.
Meanwhile, his dad sat in front of him totally engrossed in the competitive first set of the second-round match between Lleyton Hewitt and Fernando Gonzalez.
Scoreline: Hewitt lost that match; Gonzalez has since lost — to Federer in the fourth round.
More: Two more pics after the cut…
As if the folks at Nike knew what would go down in Australia, Roger Federer‘s kit for the North American spring swing is tail-‘tween-legs muted. He wears a navy blue ribbed v-neck with white trim at the sleeves. He pairs this with herringbone shorts (the white “tux stripes” are back).
Key accessories are his classy and classic Rolex and a white belt. A monogrammed white warm-up jacket and his Australian Open duffel round out the look.
Tag-teamed by Fernandos: With weight off Roger’s shoulders both on the court (now shared with colleagues Nole, Rafa, and A. Murray) and off (he’s distracted by preggers Mirka, I’m sure), he can now swing that one-handed backhand with abandon and get back to his winning ways. At this week’s BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif., Roger beat Fernando Gonzalez 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 in the fourth round and will face Fernando Verdasco in the quarters.
(image via Getty Images)
The inaugural South African Open in Johannesburg saw an all-French final between hitting partners Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Jeremy Chardy. Tsonga, who did not drop a set all week, earned $79,000 for his 6-4, 7-6 (5) performance. This is his third career title and first of 2009.
Props to the tourney organizers for coming up with a one-of-a-kind memento of Tsonga’s achievement, however Lord of the Flies it may be. I’m just going to think that those aren’t real horns; I’ll sleep better at night.
And in Croatia, two lanky locals — Marin Cilic and Mario Ancic — played in the finals of the PBZ Zagreb Indoors. Cilic’s 6-3, 6-4 win gives him his second title in five weeks and his third overall. He also now has a 13-1 match record for 2009, an ATP-best.
In Vina Del Mar, Chile, Fernando Gonzalez took home his fourth Movistar Open title by beating Jose Acasuso 6-1, 6-3.
(photos via Getty Images)
No matter what you think about chair-throwing, face-painting, flag-waving, appendage-swinging Australian Open tennis fans, you gotta hand it to ‘em. Where else would you see a matador in the stands? A MATADOR.
It’s going to be a long time before this sighting in the stands can be toppled as the best ever.
Scoreline: Rafael Nadal continues to bulldoze through the draw, taking out Tommy Haas-been 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 in the third round. The top seed will next face the hard-hitting Fernando Gonzalez. Unfortunately for Gonzo, he had to play 22 games in that fifth set before defeating Richard Gasquet. Alas, he won’t be facing Rafa with a full tank o’ gas.
(image by Getty Images)
Bulging biceps, tag teams, marathon sessions, tattoos, bears, Eastern Europeans, Brazilians…
Yes, my friends, it must be Davis Cup!
Great Britain v Austria, 2-3
For British newbie Bogdanovic, playing in front of the home crowd at AELTC caused some performance anxiety against Peya.
Switzerland v Belgium, 4 – 1
The dream team of R-Fed and S-Waw cleaned up.
Croatia v Brazil, 4 – 1
Save for a clutch doubles match by Melo and Sa, Croatia takes all the matches.
Netherlands v South Korea, 3 – 2
Hyung-Taik Lee swept his singles matches, but it wasn’t enough.
Romania v India, 4 – 1
As expected, Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi win their doubles match.
There is a place where the t-shirt ends and before Gonzo‘s hair begins…
…but I haven’t quite figured out where that is.
Davis Cup: Fernando Gonzalez and there rest of the Chileans — Nicolas Massu, Carillo lookalike Paul Capdeville, and Guillermo Hormazabal — play in Antofagasta (their home turf) against the Aussies: Guccione, Peter Luczak, the cute Carsten Bell, and Robert Smeets. More info on the tie here.
This tie is a World Group playoff, which means that they are vying for a spot in the 2009 draw. The Davis Cup 2008 semifinal ties are Spain vs. USA and Russia vs. Argentina. I don’t want to hear anymore op-ed pieces on how confusing this tournament is, okay?
(photo via Getty Images)
The organizers of the BMW Open hosted a players’ party on Monday night at P1 in Munich. Since you weren’t there, I will summarize the party in five words: mustachioed racquet-jugglers in short shorts.
More: Click here to see pictures of Gael Monfils and Gonzo in lederhosen, Tommy Haas playing Wii, and Marat Safin flanked by the ladies.
(photo by ATP/ATPtennis.com)
This week Punxsutawney Phil came out of his burrow while tennis trophies went into hiding. The scant number of prizes doled out had to do with a skeletal women’s calendar — they were all playing Fed Cup ties — while the men only played one tourney, in Chile.
And even then, the singles final at the Movistar Open got decided by a walkover due to Juan Monaco‘s ankle injury. Thus, no on court ceremony for winner Fernando Gonzalez. Doubles winners Jose Acasuso and Sebastian Prieto (pictured above) won when Monaco injured himself in the final playing with partner Maximo Gonzalez.
Back in business: Meanwhile, Bulgarian Sesil Karatancheva continues her post-ban winning streak with a second title in as many weeks (that’s 19 consecutive match wins). The first tourney was in Surprise, Arizona, where she had to play three matches in a day to win the pre-qualiifying event — yep, that’s the qualifying for the qualfying(!).
Fernando Gonzalez won the Movistar Open title in Vina del Mar, Chile, after fellow finalist Juan Monaco withdrew from the tournament with an ankle injury.
Monaco sustained the second-degree sprain in the second set of the doubles final. He hit his foot against a referee chair while running down a ball. The subsequent on-court treatment finally revealed the tattoo we’d been looking for.
A gracious winner: This bittersweet victory for Gonzalez is the first ATP singles final walkover since 2003. “I’m happy to have won this tournament once again but a little sad for Juan, who wasn’t able to play the final,” Gonzalez told reporters at his post-match conference. “He is a great player and even better person. It’s tough for him not to be able to play (Sunday’s) final and probably miss the Davis Cup next week. We are good friends and I hope he recovers fast from this injury.”
Career hiccup: And of course Monaco was devastated: “It’s very unfortunate that this happened to me in such a good moment of my career. I’m sad that I won’t be able to play the final here in Vina del Mar and the Davis Cup tie against Great Britain next week. I’m hoping to make a comeback at Buenos Aires.”
The Copa Telmex, to be held in Buenos Aires starting on February 18, is the first of three titles that Monaco will be defending in 2008. His 28 clay victories last year was second only to the 31 of Rafael Nadal.
>> TSF’s tattoo watch
I, for one, can forgive him for not making the schlep from Argentina to Shanghai — a trip which would have demanded a minimum of 32 hours travel time from Buenos Aires, one way — to be the first alternate. True, he won the Cup as an alternate in ’05, but he’s just won two Masters Series events in less than 3 weeks; why risk jet lag if all he’s going to do is keep the bench warm (Tommy Robredo is doing a mighty fine job of doing so, by the way)? This way, Nalbandian gets to end his 2007 season on a high note.
This year’s eight-man draw seems to be missing an ingredient -– a sauce, or perhaps some spices -– to make things interesting. Despite the close contest between Roddick and Davydenko, I slogged through it impatiently. Maybe there’s more to be said for style — both in fashion and play -– than some (at least those not familiar with this blog) may think. Without a stylist to counter their respectively stiff presences, there’s little flavor to find here.
The exception, of course, was the match between Roger Federer and Fernando Gonzalez, a battle so moist, it needed extra bread to soak up all the sauce. Once the inevitable (Federer taking his 11th straight win over Fernando) turned into the impossible (Gonzo upsetting in three sets), the whole Cup has taken on a vastly different tone. It hasn’t hurt that the ATP’s latest darling, Nole Djokovic, has also stumbled.
There’s no sheriff in town now. Let’s see who can find their gun.
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.
Photographer Quentin Shih took this photo above of the players — that’s David Ferrer, Nole Djokovic, Roger Federer, Nands Gonzalez, Nikolay Davydenko, Rafa Nadal, Richard Gasquet, and Andy Roddick — standing next to their likenesses.
Artist Laury Dizengremel, commissioned to work on these pieces, wrote to TSF two weeks ago from China.
“This [project] is a very exciting commission,” she said. “I’ve been to China 16 times over the last 6 years (am here right now creating the last few ‘heads’ as they qualify, working with two Chinese sculptor friends). I have made several monumental sculptures as a guest of the government, toured the country extensively for research, and love China!”
See close-ups of the players next to their warriors after the cut…
Have you seen those photos from Tennis Masters Cup Shanghai’s opening ceremonies?
Simple lapel-less dark grey suits with light blue cheongsam-cut dress shirts on David Ferrer (above), Fernando Gonzalez, Richard Gasquet, and Nikolay Davydenko; while Andy Roddick and Novak Djokovic decided to pair their shirts with tuxedo jackets… what?!? Of course, prom queens Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal stood out in their black suits.
Gone are the silk fabrics and the flowers — a marked improvement from what they wore in 2006 and 2005.
See pics of the other seven guys (and a list of seedings and predictions) after the cut.
Don’t kiss the trophy — it might have lead!: Chilean Fernando Gonzalez defeated Tommy Robredo at the China Men’s Open Tennis Tournament in Beijing. Gonzalez needed three sets — 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 — to clinch his first title of 2007 (after a title-less 2006).
And the BCR Open Romania also produced a three-set final. Frenchman Gilles Simon (right) down local fave Victor Hanescu 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 to earn his second career singles title.
Golden doorstop: New mom Lindsay Davenport won in her first singles tournament back from maternity leave by beating Dani Hantuchova 6-4, 3-6, 6-2. But what’s $32,000 when you have a cute baby like Jagger?
And in Bali Open doubles, Shengnan Sun, left, and Chunmei Ji took the crown.
We’ll save Fed Cup (congrats, Russia!) for another post.
From the frontlines: Well, far behind the baselines, really. I was at UCLA tonight watching James Blake brush off his rusty game to beat Alexander Peya in two sets. Turns out that was just a warm-up for the upset of top seed Fernando Gonzalez by hometown fave Zack Fleishman. This is the former Bruin’s best scalp in five years of playing the Tour’s UCLA stop. He was blasting his forehands just as well as Gonzo. I hope Fernando’s okay… it looked like he was having some right arm trouble.
Sex selling sex: there were some delicious fellas hawking tickets for the upcoming
ULTIMATE TENNIS CELEBRATION!!!! EastWest Bank Classic in Carson. They’ve got a decent promo, too: $20 gets you two tickets to an early round match PLUS an “I (heart) SHARAPOVA” or “I (heart) SERENA” shirt. (Guess which shirt I picked.)
Favabean sighting?: I think I saw TSF reader in the stands behind me. Section 16, Chris — was that you?
Others I saw: Amer Delic after winning his doubles match, Paul Goldstein after winning his singles match, Robert Kendrick battling Wesley Whitehouse in the Grandstand Court, and Serena Williams sitting five seats over from Kevin Garnett, both watching Blake.
Thanks to my buddy Chris, I’m seeing the Blake/Peya and Gonzo/Fleishman matches tonight. It’ll be awesome to see Zack play on his home court. He should put up a good fight against Fernando…
Janko, who took the match 6-8 in the fifth set, looked good in his white Fila kit peppered with the brand’s classic red, blue, and white logo.