fashion focus: maria kirilenko in stella mccartney

Unseeded Russian Maria Kirilenko impressed us with her 6-3, 6-1 win over Martina Muller in a first round match at yesterday’s U.S. Open.

She wore the Dark Bronco (that’s “chocolate”) tennis dress from the adidas by Stella McCartney Fall/Winter ’07 collection — a much better choice than her 2007 white Wimbledon dress, the fabric of which was gathering awkwardly at her hip with every lunge.

The dress has lace detail on the straps and along the collar. Kirilenko paired it with a Bronco (that’s “light brown”) visor and pearl earrings.

Buy: $120 from adidas.com

short balls: blogging, scalping, gambling, etc.

Blogging at the Open: Many many to follow, but my hats are off to the New Yorker’s The Sporting Scene, the New York Times’s U.S. Open blog, and The New York Observer’s take on the Grand Slam. (Le sad that Gawker can’t get into it.)

Heaven forbid Ticketmaster lose money: NYPD cracks down on scalping at the Open.

Apples and oranges: The American Heart Journal publishes a study which concludes that baseliners and serve-and-volleyers have different hearts.

Kolya candid about controversy: Nikolay Davydenko faced the press after his first round dismantling of wildcard (and junior) Jesse Levine. He talked openly about how he’s been dealing with the gambling scandal that he’s the center of.

Speaking of juniors: Irvinian Michael McClune is also out. (ZooTennis)

fashion focus: maria's red dress in action

During yesterday’s first evening session at the 2007 U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows, Russian superstar Maria Sharapova trounced Roberta Vinci, 6-0, 6-1 as she debuted her red dress.

Glam, 2.0: Maria paired the dress with nice pearl drop earrings and a black warm-up jacket with sheer sleeves. I must say the dress looked as good on her last night as it did atop Rockefeller Center last week.

Other notes: Did anyone else think that the crystals on her dress were catching the lights funny? I hope she doesn’t blind any of her opponents.

She served some double faults at the end of her match, showing some signs that her shoulder’s acting up. Will she have enough to go through seven matches?

Buy: The red dress available for $125.

(photos via Daily Mail and Getty Images)

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fashion focus: morigami in fila

Fila Japan dresses Japanese tennis star Akiko Morigami in another innovative design for her U.S. Open appearance.

The white and turqouise-striped sleeveless tank (with a ruffled v-neck collar and a gathered waist) doesn’t quite mesh with the chocolate skirt. (Chocolate was MUCH better used by Maria Kirilenko in her dress adidas by Stella McCartney; more on that later.)

Perhaps it looks good in person, but doesn’t photograph well? Unfortunately, TSF won’t get a chance to scrutinize this fortnight: Agnieszka Radwanska, the tourney’s 30th seed, easily beat her 6-2, 6-1.

What do you think of her outfit? Tell us!

(photos via Getty Images)

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>> TSF’s u.s. open coverage continues
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roger and rafa: fire and ice

Fire and Ice: I’ve never really heard of the world number one and two labeled as “Fire and Ice” until these two Nike shirts above were named as such. They’re pretty straightforward metaphors, I guess; Rafa is all about the fist pumps and the stare-downs, while Roger is the ice princess who can’t be bothered to give lip service about Althea Gibson.

I am so not an 8-year-old boy: Because nothing of me finds these next two shirts even remotely cool. Both make references to the Open (“NYC 2007″) — one with a Roger’s image and the other with Rafa’s.

Buy: Available at TW; $18 for Fire and Ice, $22 for NYC 2007 shirts.

fashion focus: roger's nike bag?

I’ve heard through the grapevine that this bag above is what Roger Federer‘s using to lug around all his tennis goods for the 2007 U.S. Open. (I haven’t seen it in person… can anyone confirm?)

The black bag (with a blue swoosh) is similar to the what R-Fed used at Wimbledon. Great colorway, but I would have preferred it in a matte finish.

What do you think of the bag? Tell us!

(photo via Midwest Sports)

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>> roger’s u.s. open shoes: a closer look
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JNP's day two wrap

No big upsets today at the U.S. Open, but we did see some good tennis. James Blake won sweating a bit 7-6 6-3 7-6, and David Nalbandian won his match 7-5, 7-6, 7-6. Andy Roddick won his night match against Justin Gimelstob. It was a little awkward having Justin interview Andy right after his loss, but it shows that Justin is grace under pressure as a commentator.

On the women’s side Dani Hantuchova was upset by veteran Julia Vakulenko. Julia took the match in the third set (winning 6-4, 3-6, 6-1).

Who’s hot:

  • Maria Sharapova
  • Martina Hingis
  • Shahar Peer
  • Ivan Ljubicic
  • Donald Young
  • Ahsha Rolle

Big Upset Call: I say Aravane Rezai over Ana Ivanovic.

TSF contributor JNP is in the trenches and checking in with us everyday.

fashion focus: volandri in armani… on the court

It’s too bad 29th seed Filippo Volandri lost to Frenchman Michael Llodra 3-6, 6-4, 4-6, 4-6 in the first round of this year’s U.S. Open. At least the Italian crashed out in style; he partnered with Emporio Armani for the duration of the tournament, agreeing to wear a well-tailored red t-shirt from the company’s EA7 sportswear line.

What do you think of the shirt? Tell us!

This isn’t the first time Volandri’s flirted with fashion on the court. At this year’s Wimbledon he wore a simple-yet-cute Dolce & Gabbana shirt. (He got booted early there, too.) And he’s modeled for Armani before.

Perhaps he’s just getting ready to shake off the too-bland Sergio Tacchini. They can’t handle sponsoring a mod Italian!

Here’s a close-up of the EA7 logo (and I guess Volandri’s nipple).

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>> TSF’s u.s. open coverage
>> volandri models for armani
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bethanie mattek shines

That’s Bethanie Mattek playing her first round match at the 2007 U.S. Open. This shiny gold dress is relatively tame for her (she once wore an argyle cowboy hat on court), but in a good way. It’s a great balance between letting out her inner Elton John and dressing like the other great tennis fashion icons.

Update: All of Mattek’s four Open outfits are from the Eva Longoria-endorsed Bebe Sport collection. (The Star-Ledger)

What do you think of her gold get-up? Tell us!

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>> more on bethanie mattek
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making the cut

Michael Shaw shares his memories of the U.S. Open’s qualifying tournament

Ten years ago, Aussie Pat Rafter won the U.S. Open men’s title, defeating Canadian-turned-Brit Greg Rusedski in four sets. Though Rafter was known as a very talented player and received ample attention going into the Open that year, he certainly wasn’t among the favorites. Frequently self-aggrandizing commentator John McEnroe made the mistake of calling Rafter a “one slam wonder” after his win. Rafter responded by dominating the following year’s summer hardcourt season, taking titles in Montreal and Cincinnati before winning his second Open title (over Mark Philippoussis). As it turned out, those two U.S. Opens were Rafter’s only slams, though he did make the finals of Wimbledon, also in consecutive years. This past summer he was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

As the landscape of the game has shifted over the last decade, it’s highly plausible that Rafter will be the last unheralded player to win a men’s slam title. OK — if not that, then at least the last winner of a Slam who had at some point in his career played in the qualifying of the same event. In 1993, during Rafter’s first year with a full schedule on the tour (he turned pro in 1991), I was able to see him play the qualies — the tournament of 128 players competing for 16 spots in a tournament’s “main draw”.

[Read more...]