Any cream, too? There’s been plenty of talk around Andy Murray‘s chic white HEAD bag that has been sprinkled with his favorite messages from fans through a creative Facebook campaign his racket maker has put on. But for Dunlop, it’s going the traditional — but fun — route with Dominika Cibulkova‘s bag for this year’s Championships, making her a colorful bag adorned with miniature strawberries for Domi, and Domi only. The bag isn’t for sale, Dunlop told TSF, but it looks great strapped over the diminutive Czech’s shoulder. The next scalp she’d like to throw in that bag? That’d be world no. 1 Caroline Wozniacki. The two are second on Court No. 2 (after Sharapova) on Monday. | More: Women’s draw
Archive for the ‘dunlop’ Category
Shirtless: Croatia’s Antonio Veic did his part to make a name for the qualifiers who reached the third round of this year’s French Open (the others: Leonardo Mayer, Lukasz Kubot, Lukas Rosol). In the process, Veic took down 28th seed Nikolay Davydenko 3-6, 6-2, 7-5, 3-6, 6-1. Veic next plays Nadal. (Draw: RG Men’s Singles)
More: A few more shots of Veic in (and out) of his Lotto gear, plus Kolya in his Dunlop kit. Nothing to see there, really. It’s just for my records…. See it all after the cut…
Odd man out: The new Babolat balls being used at this year’s French Open has gathered some buzz in the interview room, with players griping about their speed (faster) and heaviness (“harder”), and with Babolat responding that they haven’t noticed a difference. The issue’s more apparent since this is now the only major red clay tournament that doesn’t use Dunlop for balls (the FFT chose to end its relationship with Dunlop, instead choosing Babolat).
Now Dunlop’s chimed in to negate claims by the FFT that the ball specifications are exactly the same. “It is impossible to replicate our balls and we felt it was important to clarify this fact given the statement from the FFT and media interest in the matter,” said Barry Leach, Managing Director of Dunlop. Should the FFT decide they would like to provide the ball consistency that the players desire then we would welcome the opportunity to make it happen”.
Meanwhile, 117 people are dead after a tornado hit the city of Joplin, Missouri…
Anyone else ready to make this Donald Young vs. P-Mac story about Tim Smyczek instead? (Aside from Forty Deuce, we mean.) After all, Tim’s the guy who beat Young 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 in that USTA six-man playoff in Boca West to nab a wildcard spot into Roland Garros this year. FYI: Smyczek’s never played the French. On the women’s side, top seed Irina Falconi beat third seed Julia Boserup 4-6, 7-6 (6), 6-3.
More news: Dunlop announced today that they’re making Tim a part of their roster (though he’s been playing with their racquets even before the signing). His apparel and shoes are via adidas.
Shirtless: Here’s Smyczek getting sun and practice at this year’s BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells. On the other side of the net: Ryan Sweeting. Enjoy!
(images by TSF)
The photos rotating at the Dunlop landing page include some awkward poses from Cibulkova, Almagro, and Verdasco — all posing with nature to promote the company’s Biomimetic line — but also this old-school photo of a lady holding wooden racquets. See some other images from their archives (along with a narrative of Dunlop’s history) here.
(screengrab via dunlopsport.com)
Yep, we’re pretty much just as bored about Nikolay Davydenko as he looks in that picture. Powder couldn’t capitalize on that Qatar final appearance to start of the year. He’s languished since then, stringing no more than two victories back-to-back in eight consecutive tourneys. At this week’s Barcelona Open, Powder got bounced by Nicolas Almagro in the third round; Nico will play fellow Spaniard Juan Carlos Ferrero in the quarters. Humpty Dumpty: This is JCF’s first tourney since undergoing left knee and right wrist surgeries in October 2010. It’s good to have him back on the tour! (Draw: Barcelona Men’s Singles)
Buy: This red polo’s not for sale on the Dunlop site, but you can check out the rest of the goods here.
(image via Getty Images)
Two snaps to Nikolay Davydenko for joining a small group of active ATP players who’ve hit the 400 match win mark in their careers — a list that includes Moya, Federer, Nadal, and Hewitt, among others. This achievement has to be a welcome boost for the Russian, who’s slated to defend title wins at the Shanghai Masters and the ATP Tour finals. (On the flip side, keep in mind that Kolya’s finished strong at year-ends prior; in 2008, making the semis of Bercy and the finals of the men’s YEC.)
Draw: As the fourth seed at this week’s China Open in Beijing, Davydenko beat Cilic for that 400th win and will face Isner in the quarters. See the rest of the match-ups here.
Crew: For Beijing, Dunlop switches from the white/blue 2010 US Open polo to this bright blue crew, a shade that works well to give Davydenko’s anemic features some pop. (And earlier in the North American summer, there was a blue polo but had a white right sleeve.) For now, the kits are still not for sale as far as we know.
More: Two other pics of Kolya (more…)
2010 US Open Nikolay Davydenko ran into that gorgeous backhand of Richard Gasquet and fell in straight sets. Nothing to write home about re: his Dunlop kit, and even now that he’s officially a face for that company’s new line of Biomimetic racquet’s, he played through two rounds in Flushing Meadows with an unstenciled Prince.
In that first photo, the crew; in this one, the polo.
His wife, Irina, hanging out on the practice court while Kolya did his thang.
(match images via Getty Images; irina photo by TSF)
2010 Roland Garros semifinalist (and one-half of the reigning Wimbledon men’s doubles champ team) Jurgen Melzer came out as part of Dunlop‘s launch party for their new Biomimetic line of racquets.
Draw: At the 2010 US Open, the 13th-seeded Melzer will open with a match against Dimitry Tursunov. He’s in the same quarter of the draw as Roger Federer. See the rest of this draw here.
(photo by TSF)
Dominika Cibulkova was the only WTAer who made an appearance at last night’s Dunlop party, an event to launch the company’s new Biomimetic racquets. After a brief presentation, the players went behind the bar to serve up drinks for guests. We went with “bartender’s choice” for our cocktail made by the Slovakian, and Dominika gave us a gin and tonic. Cheers!
Draw: The unseeded Cibulkova, who s faces Stefanie Voegele in the first round and will meet the winner of the Li Na/Kateryna Bondarenko first-rounder. (Whoa, that’s def one of our picks for a good opening match.) See Dominika’s section of the draw here.
(photo by TSF)
Dunlop‘s unwrapped the bandages after a recent facelift of their website, which had been out of commission for a few months starting around Indian Wells time. It’s the usual fare for companies like this: player/product info, press releases, etc. There’s a page of wallpapers on there, too. Sadly, they went with some so-so photos of the usually photogenic Jurgen Melzer, Tommy Robredo, and Ross Hutchins.
And speaking of Dunlop, their most recently acquired mascot, Kolya Davydenko, still appears on rival Prince‘s roster of players. And another one of Dunlop’s sponsorship issues was covered by CNBC’s Darren Rovell, who discussed 2010 Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych‘s racquet ruckus, using Head sticks even though he’s paid to play with Dunlops.
Two clutch performances by David Nalbandian at this past weekend’s Davis Cup World Group quarterfinals in Moscow moves Argentina into the next round. Even though he’s been sidelined by injury for the past few months, the former World No. 3 won the opening singles rubber (vs. Davydenko) and the decisive fifth rubber (upsetting the unflappable Mikhail Youzhny), both of which contributed to their 3-2 victory against the Russians. (Read up: Tie Details)
Top clothing marks go to Leonardo Mayer in Lotto. Everyone else came predictably dressed (Eduardo Schwank in Topper‘s standard issue; Nalbandian in Yonex; Davydenko — with costume changes — in Dunlop; Kunitsyn and Youzhny in Fila and adidas whites, respectively).
Click on the pics below to see more.
(images via Getty Images)
Wanting what we can’t have: That sleek red Dunlop polo worn by Nikolay Davydenko at the 2010 BNP Paribas Open (last week) is purely for show; while there are other Dunlop tennis clothes available for sale in the U.S., the ones on Nikolay are from the European collection.
And speaking of things that are only for our eyes only, it seems that the optical illusion that is the Dunlop/Prince/Davydenko sponsorship triangle isn’t quite over. To recap:
The top Russian’s sponsorship deal with Dunlop was announced just before the start of Indian Wells. Especially in light of being in limbo with Prince, we were happy that Nikolay had monetized his achievements in some form for 2010.
Now you see it…: The deets of the agreement came in a press release via the Dunlop and ATP sites. Along with endorsing racquets, clothing, and accessories, Kolya would also speak up for the company’s junior talent identification program, called D-Squad.
Two days after the Dunlop announcement, Prince countered with their own releases stating that Kolya had signed a deal to be “an exclusive endorsee of Prince tennis racquets and Prince racquet bags” through 2010. This requires him to have a Prince stencil on his Ozone Tour rackets during the four slams. Off the court, there’s also a clause giving Prince the right to use the Davydenko image for advertising.
So both companies are sticking to their guns, but it doesn’t matter since Davydenko pulled out of Indian Wells. He felt pain in his wrist while playing Rotterdam in February (he lost in the semis to Soderling) but it was misdiagnosed. He continued playing through the injury until he got to the desert; after a hard-fought win over Ernests Gulbis in the second round, Kolya discovered a more serious condition — a broken wrist bone — and pulled out.
Now you don’t…: The Dunlop press release, along with the rest of the Dunlop site, is currently down because of a revamp. The Dunlop release is also no longer available via the ATP website. I wonder if this is any indication of which company successfully courted Kolya?
Blank slate: Nikolay has yet to test out any Dunlop racquets (he was using an unstenciled Prince stick during Indian Wells). And since he’s out for a few months — he’ll likely miss all of the clay season — it’ll be a while before he gets matched up with a Dunlop racquet (if at all).
(Davydenko image via Getty Images; Dunlop screengrabs via dunlopsports.com)
For those unfamiliar, the 24th South East Asian (SEA) Games is unfolding in Thailand.
In men’s singles tennis, Danai Udomchoke of Thailand will meet Cecil Mamiit of the Philippines to vie for the gold.
Congratulations to the host country for breaking the mark of 100 gold medals in a single games. They currently have 116 (with more events to be contested).
Dunlop does well: I’ve always relegated Dunlop‘s clothing to the same group as Prince and Babolat — utilitarian but never designed with aesthetics in mind (see: anything worn by Ai Sugiyama). But we did a double-take when we saw Udomchoke’s all-Dunlop ensemble on the hard courts of Korat. See the whole shebang after the cut…
More bumps on Blake’s road: Prince and James Blake have parted sponsorship ways. The culprit? Blake couldn’t get used to the company’s racquet technology. The interesting twist: instead of keeping this mum and having Blake fulfill his contract (easily remedied by stenciling Prince’s logo on the strings of Blake’s Dunlop racquets), they decided to scrap the whole thing. (via CNBC)
China makes Macao a player: The Venetian Hotel‘s outpost in this Chinese island will host an exhibition match between Roger Federer and Pete Sampras. The only other time they played on a world stage was at Wimbledon in 2001. Federer beat Sampras in that five-set, fourth round match. (via Earth Times)
Davydenko wants Austria: TennisReporters.net mentions that Nikolay Davydenko has decided to leave his hassle-ridden Russian passport (and not-so-ideal training facilities) in exchange for calling Austria home. If this goes through, rest assured that he will still look good while playing Davis Cup: Austria’s flag is two-thirds red (a flattering color on him).
Breeding an Indian Grand Slam champ: Mahesh Bhupathi hopes to have a contender in the field by 2018 through the Apollo Tennis Initiative. (via India Times)
Style.com doles out racquet advice: With the help of American pro Brian Vahaly, the fashion site lists pointers on how to pick the right stick.
Table tennis wants in: Who’s to say the sport can’t have it’s own Danica Patrick, Anna Kournikova, or Natalie Gulbis? We’ll see how they do trying to make ping pong more palatable to the masses. (via ITTF)
What are the bookies thinking?: Read this story about how the odds are shaping up for Roland Garros. (via the Herald Sun)
Geeking out over K-Swiss: Here’s a look into the performance of the company who’s banking on Kournikova to turn their ship around. (via Seeking Alpha)