Archive for the ‘novak djokovic’ Category

sunday survey: andy’s slam?

June 19, 2011

Question this: We figure that with the ladies trying to get their druthers about them, we’ll wait until next Sunday to let you weigh in on who’s going to run home with the title. But for the fellas, let’s check out who the TSF nation thinks is going to hoist high the Wimbledon trophy come July 3. Is it finally Andy Murray’s year?

TSF on Wimbledon: Men’s preview | Women’s preview

(adidas Murray image via Tennis Buzz/Flickr)

bracketology: chris breaks down sw19 (men)

June 19, 2011

By Christopher Phililps

For Wimbledon, our resident bracketologist, Chris Phillips, takes a look at both the men’s and women’s draws and breaks down who he thinks are going to be the winners — and losers — in the London this year. -NM

Rafael Nadal, above, practicing yesterday at Wimbledon: Ripped and ready. (Getty Images)
Prediction: Winner

Last year’s champion had a surprising QF loss to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga two weeks ago, but I think after a long clay court season and successful French Open, the extra days off will have served him better than the match play — even on grass. | More: The men’s draw

Novak Djokovic
Predition: SF

Nole is on his first losing streak of the year — one match. A two-time semifinalist here, including last year, his form this year should carry him through any problems he may have had in the past adjusting to the lawn. But a title? Not yet in London for Novak.

Roger Federer
Prediction: Finalist

Roger’s six titles here speak for themselves.  Even though he lost at Roland Garros to Nadal in the final, his quality of play there should keep him playing to the best of his ability. And everyone knows: Wimbledon is Roger’s favorite tournament of the year. | TSF Vault: Roger at Wimbledon

Andy Murray
Prediction: SF

This year’s AEGON champion made quick work of the field in London with wins over Tsonga, Andy Roddick, Marin Cilic and Janko Tipsarevic. I’m sure the British press doesn’t know how much extra weight they can put on their own man again.  The quieter they keep, the better the Brit will do. But are we kidding ourselves? Andy-mania has already hit the entire country! Here’s to two weeks of painful and pressure-building headlines in the morning papers. All the same, Murray will do what he usually does in London — make it to the semifinals.

Robin Soderling
Prediction: QF

Soderling’s best result here was the QFs last year.  You’d think the big man would do better on the lawns with that serve of his.  By skipping all the warmup tournaments, his first couple matches could be difficult. The Sod has Halle finalist Philipp Petzschner in the first round, then either Kei Neishikori (Eastbourne semifinalist) or Lleyton Hewitt (2002 Wimby champion) in the second.

Tomas Berdych
Prediction: R16

Last year’s surprise finalist has a relatively easy draw until he runs into unseeded German and this year’s Halle champion Philipp Kohlschreiber or no. 10 seed Mardy Fish in the fourth round. Has anyone else suffered more of a muted last 12 months than Berdych? His first-round loss at the French only punctuated what has been a disappointing spell for the Czech.

David Ferrer
Prediction: R16

The seventh-seeded Spaniard has never had his best results on the grass, only reaching the fourth here twice (including last year).  He’ll most likely run into this year’s AEGON finalist Tsonga in that same stage this year.

Andy Roddick
Prediction: QF

The American’s best days are behind him and Murray’s rather swift dismantling of Roddick in the AEGON QFs still has to be hurting. Having skipped most of the clay court season, I think Roddick would’ve been better off to get some extra match play and confidence-building wins in this past week rather than take more time off.

Gael Monfils
Prediction: R16

The Frenchman has underperformed here in the past, only going as far as the third round in four appearances. Monfils’ first formidable opponent would be no. 23 seed Janko Tipsarevic, with the winner most likely facing Roddick in the fourth round. Tipsarevic is questionable after an injury over the weekend in Eastbourne, and if Monfils can get through his first few rounds unscathed, the athletic speedster could pick up steam and surprise a few in the second week.

Mardy Fish
Prediction: R2

Of the leading Americans, Fish has the toughest draw. He could face Kohlschreiber in second round, then Fernando Verdasco, Radek Stepanek or Robin Haase in the third round, the furthest he’s previously gone at Wimbledon. The streaky German will get the best of the American, we think, in the round of 64.

Read Chris’ “Best of the Rest” as well as the most anticipated first-round match-ups after the cut. (more…)

trophy watch: and the na’s have it

June 6, 2011


The King and Queen of Clay: Between Rafael Nadal and Li Na, the Na’s had it over the weekend in Paris. It was a tremendous finish to a grand clay-court major, Na coming out on top of what some called a depleted field but one that saw four semifinalist who could have all easily claimed their last two matches in straight sets and everyone would have said, Yeah, we guess that makes sense. It did make sense for Na, who fought off a poor-serving Maria Sharapova in the semifinals and then just barely rose above the defending champ, Francesca Schiavone, to win in China’s first singles Major.

As for Rafa, he fought off all the usuals: Andy Murray and Roger Federer at the end. He also fought off a testy first week, a doubting press (and a doubting self) and the streak of Novak Djokovic (thanks to Rog). Nadal now has ten Slams to his name, creeping into the double digits along with Federer. Whichever the two of them end up with more is yet to be seen (for years), but Nadal equaled Bjorn Borg‘s record of six Roland Garros trophies. Kudos, kid.


(Nadal image from Getty; Na from PacificCoastNews.com)

novak is open for business

June 2, 2011

A few slogans “Nole: I Love His Game,” “No Joke,” “I (heart) Nole” — along with Novak Djokovic‘s image — are slapped on shirts, caps, mugs, scarves, posters, throw pillows(!), and eyeglass-cleaning cloths(!!) at the Official Novak Djokovic Online Shop. We’re keeping our fingers crossed for this shirt to come to life.

Visit: Novak Official Online Shop.

(images via Novak Shop)

practice makes perfect: novak djokovic

June 2, 2011

Nole switched to his French Open kit during the warm-up tourneys leading to the year’s second major, so no need to rehash (here it is, in case ya need a refresher). So instead, here’s a few looks at his practice gear.

BTW: Nole has dropped only one set (to del Potro) in his run to the semis, which included a retirement from Victor Hanescu and a walkover against Fognini (who injured himself in that marathon vs. Montanes). Djokovic will play Roger Federer tomorrow.

Too much red! Aside from this olive green tee, a Stepanek-esque polo/shirt ensemble after the cut…

sunday survey: week one’s 1-2 punch

May 29, 2011

Fabulous Franny: There’s been no stopping the Italian at this year’s French — so far. (Getty)

Era’s first. For the first time in the Open era the women’s no. 1 and no. 2 seeds are out of the tournament before the second week has even begun. For Kim Clijsters it was a dismal performance against unheralded Dutchwoman Arantxa Rus (who was promptly dispatched in the next round by Maria Kirilenko 1 and 1, thank you very much), in which she blew second-set match points. And for top seed Caroline Wozniacki it was an almost-as-bad showing against the always-lurking Daniela Hantuchova, bowing out 1-6 3-6.

But what was the biggest story line of the first week of the year’s second Slam? Novak Djokovic continued his impenetrable run through the men of the tour — a run not even 2009 US Open champ Juan Martin del Potro could stop. Roger and Rafa looked to be in all-right form thus far, though last year’s semifinalist Tomas Berdych continued his downward slide in a first-round loss to a French qualifier. And what about Francesca Schiavone? The defending champ that no one gave a chance was work-lady-like in her week one at Roland Garros, finding a spot in the QFs with a convincing 6-4-in-the-third win over Jelena Jankovic. And has everyone already forgotten about Sam Stosur??

What was the biggest story of week one? Your pick, below.

 

shirtless: novak djokovic

May 26, 2011

ATPer Novak has stopped tearing off his clothes (literally) after match wins — and thank god for that; otherwise we’dve had 40+ casualties (and counting!) in 2011 — but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t found other outlets for his ham.

Speaking of ham, someone get this guy some food.

nole’s spring tacchini kit in action

May 26, 2011

Novak Djokovic switched to a new Sergio Tacchini uniform as he hit the clay in Rome earlier this month. We thought that it’d be hard for him to top that black/orange kit — we consider that the best of that season, btw — but this current Serbia-inspired design is playful but not too juniors. From what we can tell, a coat of arms appears on the front lower-left corner of the polo and of course “Nole” printed on the back. The mass-market version has his initials where the coat of arms would be.

Rolling through Roland Garros: Nole’s still undefeated this year, having beaten Thiemo de Bakker and Victor Hanescu (ret) in the opening rounds of the French. He will face 25th seed Juan Martin del Potro in the third round. Draw: RG Men’s Singles.

Browse: Polo (“Nuell”), crewnecks (“Nur”), and warm-ups (“Nettuno”) from this collection available at Tennis Express.

We also hadn’t posted a pic of the “night” colorway (in black). Here’s a few looks of both versions after the cut…

roland garros bracketology: the fellas

May 19, 2011

By Christopher Phillips

[Ed note: Chris Phillips, part of TSF West, files his thoughts on who's hot, who's not and who might just make a run at this year's Roland Garros. -NEM]

With the men’s and women’s most significant clay court tournaments just completed and a handful of players getting their last bit of match time in this week, let’s take a look at some of the contenders for the 2011 French Open.  I’ve listed my top 10 favorites below in my own rank order as well as some other players to watch who’ve had notable achievements this year or in the past.

Rafael Nadal | While the tennis talk of the town has definitely been focused on Djokovic the past five months, I still believe this title is Nadal’s to lose. Djokovic has beaten Nadal four times this year with his last two on clay, but beating Rafa three out of five sets is much tougher of a challenge than beating him two out of three.  If anyone can do it though, Nole’s your man. Result: Champ (d. Djokovic in five-set final)

Novak Djokovic | I think at some point “streak pressure” has got to get to him.  Once people start asking how long can you keep it going is usually about when it stops, especially when it becomes the only question (in 20 different forms) in the media room. I detected a bit of panic on his face when he was two points away from losing to Andy Murray in the Rome SFs.  If you’re looking for more reasons he won’t beat Rafa, Nole lost to Jurgen Melzer last year in the QFs after holding a two-set lead.  Additionally — and one of the reasons why I think Murray was as successful against Novak as he was in Rome — is that nobody on the tour expects to beat this guy right now, giving them an increased ability to feel like they can swing away at their shots.  That being said, anything less than a trip to the final for Djoko would have to qualify as the biggest upset (for whoever snacks on him) of the year so far. Result: Runner-up

Roger Federer | As the oldest of the top three, the great one is past his prime … but this doesn’t mean another major (or two or three) are beyond him. But I just don’t see it happening here, nor do I see him as the victim of an upset.  He’s played eight tournaments this year winning one (Doha) and losing five to either Nadal or Djokovic.  What should be most troubling for Roger however is his straight-set loss to Melzer in the Monte Carlo QFs and losing two tiebreaks to Richard “Baby Federer” Gasquet in the third round at Rome. Result: Quarterfinals

Andy Murray | Murray’s year has been up and down, but the most encouraging thing for him going into the next two weeks should be the fact — not that he’s 13-7 on the year — but that he’s 7-3 on clay with two of those three-set losses to Nadal and Djokovic, respectively.  Hopefully these semifinal runs in Monte Carlo and Rome will give him the encouragement he needs to turn his game around for the year. More: Will Andy be OK despite his ‘injury?’ Result: Semifinals

David Ferrer | Ferrer is 15-3 (Update: DF upset by Alexandr Dolgopolov in Nice) on clay this year with his losses coming solely to … Nadal and Djokovic.  He’s had wins on the dirt over Melzer (twice), Nicolas Almagro (twice), Serb Victor Troicki, Jaun Monaco and Feliciano Lopez.  It’s going to take one of the big four to take him down. Result: Semifinals

Robin Soderling | Soderling’s made the past two finals at Roland Garros, but given his play this year, it’s difficult to see him going for a three-peat. He’s won three hard court titles (Brisbane, Rotterdam and Marseille) but has gone 5-4 on clay with his deepest run to quarterfinals in Rome, Madrid and Estoril.  Three of those losses were to Djokovic (losing most recently 3 & 0), Federer and Del Potro … but the other was to Ivan Dodig.  He also struggled against Almagro, Fernando Verdasco and Jeremy Chardy.  If any of the top eight are ripe for an early upset, it’s the Swede. Result: Quarterfinals

Scalp man: Soderling has had big wins the last two years. Don’t expect him to make it three in a row.

Tomas Berdych | Berdych made it to the SFs here last year, but hasn’t won a title in over two years. His record on the dirt this year is 5-3 with his most significant wins over Monaco (twice), falling at or before the QFs in all three events. His record going into Roland Garros last year wasn’t entirely dissimilar, but it’s hard to see him reaching the SFs again. Result: Quarterfinals

Nicolas Almagro | Many have considered Almagro to be the Spanish clay court successor to Nadal, but he’s yet to live up to any of that hype.  He’s 20-4 on clay this year with two South American titles (Buenos Aires and Costa Do Sauipe) with wins over Sam Querrey, Juan-Ignacio Chela (twice), Tommy Robredo, Nikolay Davydenko, Ferrero and Jose Acasuso. His clay success has helped him crack the top ten for the first time in his career. In seven trips to Paris, he’s lost to top 10 players on five of those occasions and twice been a quarterfinalist. The real question seems to be: Can Almagro finally break through to his predicted potential? Result: Quarterfinals

Richard Gasquet | While he’s 4-7 lifetime at Roland Garros (yep! You read that right.), four of those losses have been to top ten players (Murray last year after leading two-sets-to-none, Nadal and David Nalbandian (twice) and a fifth to eventual champ Albert Costa in 2002 (Right, we forgot about Albie, too).  So far this year on the dirt, Richard is 8-4 with three losses to top 10 players (Nadal twice and countryman Gael Monfils).  His play in Rome (with victories over Federer and Berdych) was inspiring and should serve him well in Paris. But will the home crowd be too much once again? Result: Third round

Stanislas Wawrinka | He’s 10-6 at Roland Garros, but — similar to Gasquet — three of those losses were to top ten players (Federer, Ivan Ljubicic and Nalbandian) and the other three losses were to future top ten players (Davydenko and Fernando Gonzalez) and eventual 2002 finalist (the now-forgotten Mariano Puerta).  Even though his 7-5 clay court record this year leaves plenty to be desired, needless to say it takes a considerable player to take out the second-highest Swiss player in Paris. Result: Third round

For a list of other players to watch, click to keep reading. (more…)

no djoke: novak goes shirtless in vogue

May 19, 2011


Consider it the ultimate tennis bitch slap. Sure, Novak Djokovic is by far the hottest thing on the tennis circuit right now, but for Anna Wintour to go as far and shoot the world no. 2 for a spread on the mag’s website and a bikini shot worth two (three if you want to study hard) glances, is so … un-Federer.

Is Mirka seething? Well, we can’t quite know. But Djoko looks fantastic in the black swim trunks, seen above on the entrance of Vogue.com today and below in the image, which was taken by Norman Jean Roy. Roy has plenty of high-quality fashion accolades to his name, including Vanity Fair and Details alongside Vogue, of course. He took this well-known image of Lindsay Lohan for the cover of Vanity Fair.

So is Anna over Rog? Naw. We doubt it. But would he ever pose in a tiny black swimsuit like that? We sort of doubt. Below, another look at the bikini and after the cut, Djoko wears … clothes. The shoot took place in Miami during the Sony Ericsson Open.

(more…)

trophy watch: roman warriors

May 16, 2011


A (now) familiar picture:
Who could have guessed that this is how the men’s pro tennis book would have been written so far this year? Novak Djokovic is an unprecedented 37-0 going into Roland Garros, now having beaten Rafael Nadal in four straight Masters Series finals, two of them on Rafa’s beloved clay. Djokovic’s 6-4 6-4 win in Rome on Sunday sent out another warning cry to the rest of the tour: watch out, boys.

Doubles drama: Roddick, Fish pull out of dubs final against Querrey, Isner

More Nole: The Djoker is ‘Uncovered’ by ATP video crew

It’s beginning to feel good to be Maria: Could the Russian be headed for the Sharapova Slam? Maria won her 23rd career title on Sunday, capping a big week in Rome with a 6-2 6-4 win over Sam Stosur. Next up for Maria: a title in Paris? She holds three majors and now has a legit shot to nab a fourth in three week’s time at Roland Garros. Two more shots of the title-winners after the cut. 

(more…)

tacchini folds serbian flag into nole’s rome kit

May 11, 2011

The Serbian flag served as inspiration for the latest Sergio Tacchini kit on Novak Djokovic. The red, white, blue, and yellow are reworked into a rainbow-esque version of the Tacchini stripe. It’ll also appear in a black colorway for night matches.

Keepin’ on: Djokovic’s winning streak is still alive at the kit’s debut in Rome’s Internazionali BNL d’Italia. He beat Lukasz Kubot 6-0, 6-3 in the opening round. Up next is a match against Wawrinka with a potential quarterfinal against Soderling. (Draw: Rome Men’s Singles)

(match photos by the wandering lens of Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images)

trophy watch: untouchable nole

May 9, 2011

A notch for each win? How cool is the Ion Tiriac trophy at the Mutua Madrid Masters in Spain? Sure, the home crowd wanted their boy Rafael Nadal to pull through in this one, but Novak is hot right now. H-O-T hot. 32 straight matches? No prob. The world no. 2 now takes his unblemished 2011 record to Rome after beating Rafa 7-5, 6-4. Look: Rome draw

Before we step away from the men, this between-the-legs lob winner from Rafa might be one of the best shots you’ve ever seen. We’re serious. Click. Play.

Bracing for a win. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a big winner sporting some metal on her teeth on the WTA. Great to see Petra Kvitova, the Czech who had a phenomenal 2010, rise above the rest in Madrid. Will she be the Aravane Rezai of 2010 and slump for the rest of the season? We hope not. Here, she smiles after a 7-6 (3), 6-4 win over Victoria Azarenka.

It’s no Rome for the new member of the top ten. Kvitova will forego the top tier WTA event for a smaller ITF event in Prague. No, we’re not kidding. Draws: Ladies in Rome | Prague (… ?)

After the cut? Nole cuddles with the ballkids after his Madrid W. (more…)

our zoom was off. we promise.

May 9, 2011

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.

(via MTF)

30 and counting

May 4, 2011

Nole‘s winning streak is now at 30, the latest being his opening round at the Mutua Madrid Open against Kevin Anderson. We’re not really seeing any threats in his quarter (or even half) of the draw this week. What do you think? (Draw: Mutua Madrid Open Men’s Singles)

(image via Getty Images)

trophy watch: furry nice to see you

May 3, 2011

For your vest interest: We were all set and ready to make a trophy-bearing Nole, now 27-0 this season, our lead picture on this week’s Trophy Watch. That was until we saw this gem of a photograph with Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario with Barcelona doubles winners Iveta Benesova and Barbara Zahlova Strycova. We want, Arantxa! She’s holding her 2-year-old daughter … Arantxa. Now that we know you wear fur and have named your child after yourself, we must come to Barcelona and sip champagne with you, ASV. Loves it! Oh right, and Roberta Vinci won the singles crown. See her boring troph(ies) here.

Kissing the fellas: How about that artwork on Juan Martin del Potro‘s Estoril trophy? We sure dig it. The painted (porcelain?) cup is what we’d sip our champagne out of while hanging out with a fur-wearing Arantxa in Barcelona. JMdP overwhelmed Fernando Verdaso 6-2, 6-2 in the men’s final.

No one but Nole: While Novak won his home event for the second time in three years, he was aided by Janko Tipsarevic, a valid challenger who had to skip out of their SF match up because of injury. In the final, Djoko took down Feliciano Lopez 7-6 (4), 6-2.

One more shot of Arantxa in our favorite new outfit and Anabel Medina Garrigues’ crystal bowl in Estoril. (more…)

team marko

April 28, 2011

Joe Jonas, Taylor Hanson, Marko Djokovic. It’s always about the middle brother, isn’t it?

(image from Family Sport via serbiaopen.rs)

want: novak shirt from the serbia open store

April 26, 2011

Window shopping: TSF’s had its moments of “hunh?” with the hairstyles of Novak Djokovic — especially when he lets a buzzed head overgrow into Chia Pet territory — so we smiled upon seeing this shirt that is all about that. These are the goods being sold on-site at this week’s Serbia Open. (Flashback: An old shirt with a Nole-specific ‘do.)

Fingers crossed: We can only hope they dove off the deep end and actually printed this one.

Brackets: Nole headlines the night match tomorrow. He’ll go up against qualifier Adrian Ungur. OOP is below.

SERBIA OPEN – ORDER OF PLAY – WEDNESDAY, 27 APRIL, 2011

CENTER COURT start 12:00 noon
B Kavcic (SLO) vs R Mello (BRA)

Not Before 2:00 PM
M Berrer (GER) vs [4] A Montanes (ESP)

Not Before 4:00 PM
F Lopez (ESP) vs [WC] F Gonzalez (CHI)

Not Before 8:00 PM
[1] N Djokovic (SRB) vs [Q] A Ungur (ROU)
C Fleming (GBR) / D Martin (USA) vs S Gonzalez (MEX) / I Zelenay (SVK)

COURT 1 start 12:00 noon
S Devvarman (IND) / T Huey (PHI) vs [2] J Erlich (ISR) / A Ram (ISR)
Y Lu (TPE) / M Zverev (GER) vs F Ferreiro (BRA) / A Sa (BRA)
[4] O Marach (AUT) / A Peya (AUT) vs M Elgin (RUS) / M Kukushkin (KAZ)

Not Before 5:00 PM
[1] M Granollers (ESP) / N Zimonjic (SRB) vs K Nishikori (JPN) / L Zovko (CRO)

(image by Pedja Milosavljevic at serbiaopen.rs)

that painting is brill

April 25, 2011

Upper right corner, my friends. Nole posing next to his Pacific Life Open trophy. Amazing.

(God, how we miss that whale.)

This photo was taken during the ceremony held at this week’s Serbia Open in Belgrade to hand diplomatic passports to Ana Jovanovic, Bojana Jovanovski, Janko Tipsarevic, Nenad Zimonjic, Viktor Troicki, and Novak Djokovic.

“I am honored to promote to diplomatic service people who have contributed to the popularity of Serbia in the world,” said Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic. “There is not a single country in the world which wouldn’t be honored to have you as ambassadors.”

More: See the whole story at the Serbia Open site and the full gallery here.

(img by Pedja Milosavljevic via serbiaopen.rs)

big brother nole

April 25, 2011

It’s almost a little creepy how omnipresent Nole is at the Serbia Open, no? Even when he’s not around, there’s a statue to take his place. If you remember, this is the terra cotta replica commissioned by the ATP for the players participating in the 2007 year-end championships. (Flashback: See all eight statues — for Nole, Ferrer, Federer, Gonzo, Kolya, Rafa, Gasquet, and Roddick)

Work it: All the Serbia Open fashion show pics here.

Work it: The singles draw has Nole, Troicki, GG Lopez, Montanes, Isner, Gulbis, Janko, and Pico as the top eight seeds. Draw: Serbia Open.

(image via serbiaopen.rs)


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