dc: andreev appears in under armour, ditches reebok (thank god!)

Is the dawn of a new era? Russian Igor Andreev showed up for his Davis Cup rubber in an Under Armour kit — different from the Reebok stuff we usually see him wear (and not wear well, at that). His hair looks so much better under that buff compared to the cap, and I’m feeling this look on him.

Good riddance to Reebok. Speaking of — is it just me or can they not figure out how to design gear for male tennis players? Remember the scary shirt they made Andy Roddick wear a few years ago?

Scoreline: On Day 1 of Russia’s tie against Germany, Andreev took out Tommy Haas 6-2, 6-2, 6-2.

What do you think of Andreev in Under Armour? Tell us!

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in slovenia, golovin earns her stripes

Frenchwoman Tatiana Golovin has had a lackluster summer and fall so far — she’s still feeling the effects of that horrible ’06 ankle injury, I imagine — but she’s definitely earned her stripes at this week’s Slovenia Open, where she’ll face Katarina Srebotnik in the finals after beating Vera Dushevina 7-6 (5), 6-2.

Tati’s wearing a striped tank from her clothing sponsor, Lacoste, who (as we know) doesn’t shy away from that pattern. They put a blue version of it on Camille Pin earlier this year, and of course we can’t forget the crazy candy shirt Fabrice Santoro wore in his match against Blake at the Open.

We’re glad to see that she’s replaced the crazy bracelets with a more utilitarian two-colored sweatband.

Good luck tomorrow, Tati!

DC: federer hits it out of the park yet again

Some people are annointing Roger Federer the best player of all time, while others are waiting for a Roland Garros win. Some find him boring; others, totally exciting. With his total awe of Laver, humble; in his dismissal of Althea Gibson, tacky.

In the end, though, it doesn’t matter how you cut the gruyère — there’s no question that this guy can put together an outfit.

Here’s Federer in his defeat of flagged Czech Radek Stepanek in Day 1 of the Davis Cup World Group Play-offs (in Prague).

Clothing sponsor Nike decked Roger out in a white bandana with red swoosh, a red wristband, and red Heritage Polo. They also included white shorts and a version of his Air Vapor IVs in a white/red colorway.

What do you think of this color on him? Tell us!

Too bad this is the only tie he’s playing through the end of the 2008 season. Instead, he’s focusing his energy on finding a way to beat Nadal at the French, and winning gold at the Beijing Olympics.

(photos via DC gallery and Getty Images)

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DC mishit: stepanek takes patriotism too far

World Group Play-offs: Czech Republic vs. Switzerland in Prague

Poor Radek Stepanek. Why is no one from the Czech Davis Cup team telling him that he should dress in the theme of the country’s flag, but not as the country’s flag itself?

(In his defense, Stepanek gets brownie points for trying. Y’all know how much TSF loves it when players wear their country’s colors.)

FYI: Click here if you don’t know what the Czech flag looks like.

Scoreline: Stepanek fell to his much better dressed Swiss opponent, Roger Federer, in four sets: 3-6, 2-6, 7-6 (4), 6-7 (5). Berdych won his rubber against Wawrinka, which puts the tie at 1-1 after the first day of play.

(photos via DC gallery and Getty Images)

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davis cup: djokovic is such a goofball

World Group Play-offs: Serbia vs. Australia in Belgrade

Here’s Novak Djokovic cheering on teammate Janko Tipsarevic, who went down to Australian Lleyton Hewitt 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, 1-6, 1-6. Such a goofball. God bless.

You don’t even know how many of my friends dream about having Nole shirtless and with his whole head covered like that. Ladies? This photo’s a keeper!

Scoreline: Janko lost, but Novak won. So after Day 1, the tie is at 1-1.

(photos via DC gallery)

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davis cup: who's paying attention?

Who watches Davis Cup these days, anyway? Not many serious tennis fans, I imagine (especially ones who don’t subscribe to The Tennis Channel — no more ESPN freebies, I’m sad to say). Sure, you’ll check in on the results throughout the weekend, but watching actual games, let alone a set? Maybe if you’re killing time.

I’m not suggesting this weekend’s tie between the U.S. and Sweden is totally inconsequential (it actually does get old seeing Roddick and his mates get humiliated at some point on their way to the Cup). It’s just that Davis Cup has been skating on a sheet of half-assedness and mediocrity for some years now: top players (Federer, Nadal) play, then don’t play; they’re injured (Sweden’s Soderling for this tie, among many others on other national squads); the latest powerhouse team (Russia) isn’t made up entirely of “Russians” (Tursunov has lived in California for well over a decade; he actually tried to get a U.S. green card, and when it didn’t happen, he said: “OK, I’m playing for Russia.”)

Outside of doubles — which, other than the Bryans, has a low Q rating -– tennis is an individual sport: we as fans like that about it. You’re out there on your own. Davis Cup, so we surmise, is a team sport, even if there’s singles play. Guys sit on the sideline and cheer their teammates on, which is either really cool, or just a tad creepy, depending on your sensibility.

Speaking of creepy, the (Swedish — or do all teams do this??) ritual of exchanging gifts with their opponents on the eve of a tie takes quite a bit of the piss out of the competitive element: it finally and completely destroys the façade of battling warriors duking it out in the Coliseum.

Not to mention their fraternizing with each other as if the Davis Cup were an ongoing international rush…

Lastly, let’s not forget that the Davis Cup tie between Britain and Croatia will feature Tim Henman’s last professional match. One more time, then, and with feeling:

“Come on, Tim!”

(photos via Davis Cup)

Michael Shaw writes about tennis and other subjects for the Los Angeles Times, and is also an artist. He can be reached at michaelshaw_sar AT yahoo DOT com. Read his previous posts for TSF here.

photos from the adidas by stella mccartney s/s ’08 show

Photos from the adidas by Stella McCartney collection are up, folks.

She presented the clothes sans the traditional catwalk, instead creating outdoor scenes (pool, golf course, grassy area) where the models could show off the full range of athletic wear in action.

The tennis look is the one shown on the left. The bib front polo has puffed sleeves, and the belted skort looks like it might gather funny on the run (like last year’s Wimby dress). We’ll have to wait and see.

The bathing suit’s ho-hum, but the dress that goes with it. And Stella continues the cropped look with the sweatshorts and yellow hoodie, both of which scream “casual sporty”.

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fashion focus: kirilenko shines at sunfeast

Ok lest you think I eat, drink, sleep Maria Kirilenko‘s clothes, you can browse the archives and know that I am capable of discussing other players (and topics).

But she’s hitting good marks at the Sunfeast Open and it’s worth commending. First, she dressed up in a sari and looked great (note that she wore the appropriate footwear — sandals — unlike other fashion mavens who’ve tripped in this sitch).

Putting together outfits is clearly something she’s hip to. ”I follow fashion and always like to wear the latest styles. My favourite designer, of course, is [Stella] McCartney,” she told United News of India. ”I am honoured to be chosen to wear Stella’s creations. They are attractive, stylish and comfortable. It is nice if people find me attractive, but I want to be known for my tennis.”

So she brought back her f/w ’07 adidas by McCartney dress — which we ever-so-briefly saw at the U.S. Open — for this week’s tournament. Let’s hope she sticks around a little longer; as the fourth seed, she took out Ekaterina Ivanova 6-1, 6-4 in the second round (after a first-round bye).

For a mixed doubles exo with Indian cricket player Sachin Tendulkar, Kirilenko wore cute puffy shorts from the s/s ’07 collection.

fashion focus: adidas by stella mccartney – ss08

London Fashion Week closes out today with a show for adidas by Stella McCartney‘s spring/summer 2008 ready-to-wear collection.

Her event caps an exciting week that saw Luella Bartley present a collection after a six-year absence, and toasted Matthew Williamson‘s tenth year on the fashion scene.

Can’t wait to see what Stella comes up with. As usual, the collection will feature items for running, gym, yoga, tennis, swimming. It’ll also have dance gear (which she first addressed in her f/w ’07 collection).

Whatever tennis-related pieces we see are likely what’ll comprise (adidas-sponsored) Maria Kirilenko‘s outfits in 2008.

We will post pics once we get ‘em.

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