fashion: if you’re looking for new sneakers…

airness-2.jpg

If you’re looking for new shoes, skip the Gola craze and go straight for Airness.

Let’s add to what we already know about this French sponsor of Nikolay Davydenko and Nadia Petrova: here’s a profile from Time about the six-year-old company and the astute entrepreneur who’s behind the whole thing.

(photo via the Airness website. The mini-documentary they’ve uploaded is waay to long, so watch at your own risk.)

this week's trophies from around the globe

Here’s a round-up of the trophies from last week’s tournaments… Be warned — they’re all yawners:

Juan Monaco hoists the Hypo Group International crystal tennis racket after defeating Gael Monfils 7-6 (3), 6-0 to win his second career title.

(Look at that hair! Monaco gets added to my fantasy list of players on Fila‘s sponsorship roster.)

Argentina’s World Team Cup (left). Anabel Medina Garrigues beat Amelie Mauresmo in three sets at the Strasbourg Open (right).

Elena Dementieva won the Istanbul Cup after Aravane Rezai withdrew with a knee injury.

JNP puts in his two eurocents about the French Open draw

It’s that time of the year again! The time when dirt, grit, and, wit determine who will be champ. Roland Garros 2007 starts this Sunday, with Rafael Nadal and Justine Henin both going for their 3rd straight French Open titles. Nadal will likely face Roger Federer in the finals. Both have lots at stake: R-Fed could complete a “Roger Slam” (i.e., win all four Grand Slam tournaments consecutively) if he triumphs in all of the seven matches on the terre battue. And if Nadal wins the championship, he will extended his world-record clay winning streak on the surface’s biggest stage.

Here are my predictions for the tournament:

Champion, Men: Federer. Originally I thought he would win in 2008, but after his shocking streak-ending win against Nadal, I think he can pull it off this year. On the other hand, I would not be suprised if Nadal won ten of these things.

Champion, Women: Ana Ivanovic. Look for a big break out this year for this Serbian, who has the game to beat an aging Henin, a mentally recuperating Sharapova, and a still out-of-shape Serena Williams. Venus Williams is a non-factor.

Sleepers, Men: Fernando Gonzalez! With all the hype and buzz surrounding Federer, Nadal, and Guillermo Canas the usually highly-regarded Gonzalez may be able to pull off a few upsets and go far in the tournament.

Sleepers, Women: Caroline Wozniacki, Maria Sharapova (I put her in the Sleeper category because everyone is convinced she is injured), Elena Likhovtseva, Italian Tathiana Garbin, Tsvetana Pironkova (who has a victory over Venus Williams), and Na Li all have a shot in my opinion.

BRACKETOLOGY:

Women’s quarterfinals: Ivanovic over Kuznetsova, Sharapova over Lucie Safarova, Serena over Henin, and (another) Serbian Jelena Jankovic over Nicole Vaidisova

Women’s semis: Ivanovic over Sharapova, Serena Williams over Jankovic

Finals: Ivanovic over Serena Williams

Men’s quarters: Novak Djokovic over Florian Mayer, Nadal over fellow Spaniard Carlos Moya, Federer over Filippo Volandri, and Gonzalez over Canas

Semis: Nadal over Djokovic, Federer over Gonzalez

Finals: Federer over Nadal

(Do you agree with JNP’s picks? Tell us.)

Tennis Served Fresh is hosting former TennisJuicer JNP as a guest blogger. JNP can be reached at tenniscbh AT gmail DOT com.

RELATED POSTS
>> flirting with punditry: Erwin’s picks for the 2007 French Open

fashion: Orchard Street's grand slam shirts, Nike's new ad, and lacoste opens in Guam

What would I do without Hypebeast? They bring us these first two delicious bits of the day.

Summer Harvest: Orchard Street just released their Summer ’07 collection, which features some Grand Slam-inspired shirts. I’m particularly in love with this one:

Take a look at the rest of the line and tell us your fave.

A new commercial: Nike has a new TV ad (for the “Tu Momentum” campaign) with basketball star Pau Gasol, Rafael Nadal, and soccer player Ronaldinho, all showing off their skills in an Amores Perros/Fight Club-type setting:

Crocodiles in Guam: The Pacific Island gets its own Lacoste store on Saturday. (via Pacific Daily News)

RELATED POSTS
>> previous posts on fashion

short balls: a SECOND federer/sampras exhibition, a russian tennis flick, and more french open

Pete Sampras booked through the fall: Pistol Pete has already announced his second date with Roger Federer, this one at the Malaysian Open. (As we mentioned yesterday, the other exhibition will be in Macao.) (via The Star)

Hewitt’s chances at the French: The weight of an Australian Roland Garros title sits squarely on the shoulders of “Little Lleyton” Hewitt. (via The Age)

Some baguettes in the oven: The French Tennis Federation (FFT) hopes to crank out some Grand Slam champs in the near future. They’ve already got an amazing coaching infrastructure. They’re hoping that new facilities in Cannes and Aix-en-Provence will help the cause. (via Bloomberg.com)

Another tennis movie: The latest attempt at big screen success — From Russia With Racquet. Clips galore here. (via Talk Tennis)

Ready yourself for the water cooler: (or the Flavia machine?) Bone up on the French Open with SI.com’s quick preview.

ncaa: don't forget your tennis athletes!

The National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) and the NCAA have released a report on injury rates in collegiate athletics, with the hopes of reducing such rates through preventive medical treatment and changes in a sport’s rules.

Through their Injury Surveillance System (ISS), both organizations analyze data collected from trainers in 15 collegiate sports over 16 years. The initial version of ISS focused on sports with higher instances of acute (vs. repetitive motion) injuries and on team sports with a higher likelihood of physical contact, thus ruling out swimming, tennis, and cross country. In 2004, they switched to a web-based system which monitored all sports.

Randy Dick, Associate Director of Research at ISS, hopes to have enough information within a year to include tennis in their findings. “There is a learning curve to the new system,” he wrote to Tennis Served Fresh via e-mail. “A few schools (have begun) to report tennis data and we hope that number increases as more people become aware of the system’s expansion.”

The findings will appear in the Journal of Athletic Training. You can find raw(er) data here.

NCAA tennis players suffer from the same ailments that have plagued professional tennis. Injuries, as you may know, affect not only the players, but also spectators and tournament organizers. Also, it’s been a big thorn on the side of pro tennis for a few years. (Currently most glaring is the French Open’s withdrawal list: Hingis, Haas, Murray, Golovin, Peng, Zvonoreva — just to name a few — have dropped out.)

We look forward to seeing how the NCAA will deal with this issue.

in strasbourg, a show of hands

The Strasbourg Open’s blog came up with an innovative (or is it just half-baked? I can’t decide…) quiz: match the hand to the player.

The brave souls who had theirs photographed up close are Amelie Mauresmo, Emilie Loit, Jolie Blonde, and Marion Bartoli.

If you feel like putting in your two cents, do it here. They’ll announce the answers by the tournament’s end.

Who Which number has the best hand? Tell us.

short balls: james blake splits with prince, tennis in india, geeking out over k-swiss, etc.

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-red.jpgDavydenko 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)