Archive for January 6th, 2008

on this cold court, it’s no halter skelter

January 6, 2008

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The cold weather in Hong Kong has wreaked havoc on the ladies who participated at the JB Group Classic. Anna Chakvetadze (in adidas), Venus Williams, and a yoga panted Maria Sharapova all had contingency plans for the exhibition.

They were better prepared this time around, unlike last May’s Polish Open, when Venus ended up putting long sleeves under a halter. A halter.

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Elena Dementieva keeps herself toasty, too.

(photos by Getty Images)

sorry, stanislas wawrinka: andy murray has a bigger sword than you

January 6, 2008

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Andy Murray‘s 2008 is off to a good start, with nary a sign of that wrist injury that cut short his 2007 season. Andy beat Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 at the final of the Qatar Open in Doha on Saturday. The World No. 11 also took out top seed Nikolay Davydenko 6-4, 6-3 in the semis.

This is a good sign that his new training team (headed by Miles MacIagan) is meshing well with the Scot and his non-traditional style of play. If you get a chance, check out this piece in the Guardian by Jon Henderson on that subject.

Swords in sleeves: Runner-up Wawrinka received a sword for his troubles. Andy, Along with a golden eagle, also got the same. See them after the cut…

trophy watch: the ladies in auckland, gold coast

January 6, 2008

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Li Na made a triumphant return to the SEWTA Tour with a win in the finals of the Australian Women’s Hardcourts over Victoria Azarenka on Saturday. Li defeated the Belarusian 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in her first tournament after a six-month layoff due to a rib injury. She took out seventh seed Sybille Bammer, top seed Nicole Vaidisova, and pesky lefty Patty Schnyder.

Unfortunately, she’s already back to the sidelines with a right knee injury, and has pulled out of next week’s Medibank International in Sydney.

FYI: Na is her first name, Li is her last name. She’s listed as Na Li on the SEWTA website. The Chinese naming system puts the last name first, so she’s called Li Na when not on the court.

FYI, part two: This is the last year that the tournament will be played in Gold Coast. It will merge with the men’s tournament in Adelaide for a combined event in Brisbane.

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And in doubles, Dinara Safina and partner Agnes Szavay took out Zheng Jie (left) and Yan Zi (second left) 6-1, 6-2.

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Here’s Lindsay Davenport with her singles trophy after beating Aravane Rezai of France 6-2, 6-2, at the ASB Classic in Auckland. It goes without posting that there are also plenty of photos with Lindsay holding both her trophy and son Jagger.

(via WTB; photos by Getty Images)

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trophy: michael llodra in a wet, white t-shirt

January 6, 2008

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Frenchman Michael Llodra replaces Nole Djokovic as the singles champion of the Adelaide International on Sunday. Clad in Lacoste, Llodra defeated Jarkko Nieminen 6-3, 6-4 to take his second career ATP title.

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Llodra celebrated by jumping into the Torrens River. Much like Nole, this guy tends to take off his shirt when celebrating. So everyone wins when he does.

Doubles: Results after the cut…

trophy watch: youzhny salutes a fatigued rafa

January 6, 2008

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A fatigued Rafael Nadal fell to the always dangerous Mikhail Youzhny 6-0, 6-1 in the singles final of the Chennai Open on Sunday.

Mikhail conceded that he won the match only because Rafa couldn’t move well (uhm, negative mental state for the Russian?) and Rafa agreed; the Spaniard brushed off any talks of his chronic injuries affecting play. Instead, Rafa chalked up the poor performance to the marathon semifinal he played against compatriot Carlos Moya; that 6-7 (3), 7-6 (8), 7-6 (1) match lasted almost four hours. Okay, so we’re not worrying about Nadal’s foot and knees. Now we’re just worried about his conditioning.

More: A rare sight (i.e., Rafa in a polo shirt!) plus the doubles winners after the cut…

the hewitts expand their reach to fashion, web

January 6, 2008

The Hewitts are smartly using all the eyeballs currently on Australia to spread word about their future off-court ventures.

lleyton hewitt the vicht

First, Lleyton and his camp have trademarked the Aussie’s “C’mon” celebration along with the accompanying cobra-like hand gesture. His manager, David Drysdale, explained the plan: “I think it’s good that he has his own brand and that (the c’mon) is the one thing that’s most synonymous with him.” (The Age) They hope to slap that logo on various kinds of apparel, joining wife Bec, who already has plans to launch a line of children’s clothing.

More on “the vicht”: So it turns out that this on-court gesture is called “the vicht“, invented by Swedish player Niclas Kroon in the late 1980s and popularized by countryman Mats Wilander. The duo owned the rights for almost twenty years until a few months ago, when the trademark lapsed. After being orphaned for a few months, it was snapped up by Hewitt. Now Kroon is crying foul, especially because Kroon himself had planned to launch his own boutique line of vicht clothing at a tennis club in Houston, Tex. Kroon is ultra-pissed — he’s out and Lleyton stands to gain millions — and it showed: the wire story about this feud included a few expletives from the Swede.

There were reports that Wilander was going to talk to Hewitt while they were both at this week’s Adelaide International (Wilander coaches participant Paul-Henri Mathieu, and Hewitt himself is the tourney’s top seed). So far, no one’s written up on it.

(Our buddy Joe’s Stick It Wear?! had a shirt with the vicht on his website, but had taken the style down because of low sales. He probably shouldn’t put it back on…)

An online venture: The two-time Grand Slam champ and his actress wife are also using this time to help launch eSwap.com.au, a swapping and auctioning website with a separate storefront component (basically, a site similar to eBay). He spoke about it here.

Scoreline: Lleyton made it as far as the quarters of the tourney, losing to Jo-Wilfired Tsonga 4-6, 2-6.


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