fashion: li ning and ljubicic

In case you haven’t noticed, (ex-) Croatian sensation Ivan Ljubicic is no longer being sponsored by Diadora.

On September 24, it was announced that Ivan would begin wearing clothes from Chinese sportswear giant Li Ning — the same company endorsed by Shaquille O’Neal and a few other NBA players.

FYI: Eyebrows have been raised about Li Ning’s logo (if you squint enough, you might see a similarity to the Nike Swoosh) and how it piggybacked on that to a third place share of the Chinese market (behind Nike and adidas). It continues its charge with an agressive Beijing Olympics campaign: along with sponsoring some Chinese teams, Li-Ning has also landed the contract to outfit the Spanish delegation.

While it’s nothing mind-blowing, we love what they’ve put on Ljubicic so far… that fine checkered pattern on the left (last seen in Vienna earlier this month) is a breath of fresh air compared to the color blocks that have become Diadora’s complacent signature as of late.

What do you think of this partnership? Tell us!

'trophy watch' mourns loss of arbre de fanti

Oh Arbre de Fanti, we hardly knew ye. Your rugged oxidized copper branches (cradled and adored by Kolya) inspired us to start Tennis Served Fresh and our Trophy Watch. So I hope you know how devastated we are after learning that the BNP Paribas Masters (Paris) has replaced you; this year’s winner will hoist a trophy designed by ex-rugby player Jean-Pierre Rives.

I can only hope that this new creation lives up to your beauty. We’ll miss you.

(via tourney website; Fanti photo via Getty Images)

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>> TSF’s trophy watch

trophy watch: basel, linz, lyon, st. petersburg

This past week the men played in three tournaments (Basel, Lyon, St. Petersburg) while the women made a showing in Linz, Austria. Lots of shiny things were handed out, save for a purple oddity in Lyon…

lyon-stpetersburg-linz

At the Grand Prix de Tennis de Lyon, Sebastien Grosjean defeated fellow Frenchman Marc Gicquel 7-6 (5), 6-4 to capture his fourth career title (and first since Nottingham 2002). His trophy looks like it’s stuffed with tennis balls. What do you think?

In St. Petersburg, Andy Murray hoists a cup after winning his second title of the year. The runner-up in this 6-2, 6-3 match was Spaniard Fernando Verdasco. This title will keep Murray in the running for the final two spots in this year’s Masters Cup (Shanghai). FYI, St. Pete top seed Nikolay Davydenko got fined $2,000 for allegedly tanking in his 1-6, 7-5, 6-1 loss to Marin Cilic. Poor guy can’t catch a break! On the bright side, the Russian has already qualified for the Masters Cup. But on the other hand (call me a pessmist?), he likely won’t be able to defend his title at this week’s Paris Masters.

In Linz, Slovak Dani Hantuchova (still in Nike black) came out the winner in the final against Patty Schnyder at the Generali Ladies Open. The 6-4, 6-2 victory gave Hantuchova a spot at the WTA Championships in Madrid (starting Nov. 6). This is her second title of the year in four finals. Her other title this year is from Indian Wells.

basel-singles-trophy-federer-nieminen

And in Basel, Roger Federer took out Jarkko Nieminen at the Davidoff Swiss Indoors, thus defending his title (this one’s No. 52) and securing the year-end No. 1 spot for the fourth year in a row. By the way, the runner-ups were awarded with watches. Classy.

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>> TSF’s trophy watch

murakami + louis vuitton + marc jacobs + serena

All the frivolous things I love came together at last night’s event hosted by Takashi Murakami honoring current Louis Vuitton mastermind — Marc Jacobs. The party was held at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles, where a retrospective of Murakami’s work opens today. (More info here.)

serena williams-murakami-marcjacobs-louisvuitton-moca

Of course, just like during her last visit to this museum (which welcomed the Beckhams to Los Angeles), MJ fan Serena Williams looked beautiful in black.

What do you think of her outfit? Tell us!

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bring on the bling: wimbledon gets its own jewelry

Not to be outdone by the U.S. Open’s partnership with Tiffany & Co., the Wimbledon organizers join the luxury licensing fray by announcing their Wimbledon Jewellery collection.

gitanjali - wimbledon jewellery collection

Indian outfit Gitanjali Gems secured three-year license to promote and market jewelry under the Wimbledon brand. To begin their efforts, the company presented a diamond-encrusted 24-carat-gold tennis ball to Roger Federer. The ball’s valued at Rs 35 lakhs (approx. $90,000).

No word on when the collection will be available for sale. As soon as I find out, I’ll let you know.

(photo via DNA)

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short balls: ping pong in stilettos, masha up for vogue's best dressed, glow-in-the-dark kicks, etc.

reebok court victory pump - glow in the dark

Reebok reissue: Everything old is new again, and the Reebok shoes endorsed by Michael Chang isn’t immune. The company’s releasing the Court Victory Pump in a glow-in-the-dark colorway (see it in action). Available at atmos. (Hypebeast)

Paul Smith hits the slopes: UK designer Paul Smith has ventured into the sports world yet again (remember the soccer balls and cycling jerseys?), but alas he missed tennis yet again. This time, he’s partnered with Burton to come up with some stylish snow-friendly outerwear. (UrbanDaddy LA)

And speaking of soccer…: Nike flexes its world dominance muscle yet again with a takeover of the soccer-focused Umbro (via DTL)

wallets

Recycling: WATR dug up this cool wallet made from an old racquet cover.

Painted clothes: In the spirit of Mystique and Demi Moore, the members of Sisterhood — a rowing team based in the UK — have posed for a fundraising calendar as various athletes. The twist: their kits are painted directly on their naked bodies. A clothed Jamie Murray posed in one of the photos. (andymurray.com)

djokovic - table tennis - stilettos

Stilettos and ping pong: Of course it would be Novak Djokovic who’d be hardcore playing ping pong at the Madrid Masters (look at that extension!). And of course he’d be the one playing against a girl wearing stilettos. (photo by andymurray.com)

Andy Murray’s flickr page: By the way, the folks behind Andy‘s website are embracing Flickr and uploading vids onto YouTube. Here’s a pic of him right after a haircut that raised money for charity.

Masha still competes: But not on the court. Vogue puts Maria Sharapova in the running for 2007’s best-dressed. Other nominees include Sienna Miller, Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett, Chloe Sevigny, SJP, Gwyneth, some supermodels, and a smattering of socialites.

… while Roger makes another list: The World No. 1 ends up No. 4 in Askmen.com’s Top 49 Men of 2007. (Alas, there are no other tennis players on the list; AndyRoddick’s lost his mojo for good.) Like how we dreamed it, David Beckham is on top. (via DTL)

Why we love Karl: NYT‘s Stephen Holden writes up the new documentary on Chanel’s Karl Lagerfeld. The best quotes from the flick: “I love change; I’m attached to nothing”; “When I took on Chanel, it was a sleeping beauty — not even a beautiful one; she snored”; “Success nullifies; you have to do it again, and better.”

mishit: lukas dlouhy's ponytail

lukas-dlouhy

Alas, what TSF thought was a carefree summer trend towards long, unkempt hair has creeped into fall with Lukas Dlouhy leading the charge.

Ponytails can look alright — Xavier Malisse‘s is decent, while the half ponytails of Jurgen Melzer are so-so — but what Czech has done at this week’s St. Petersburg Open makes him look like a Dr. Seuss creation. How could the tournament referee have let him play? If an official can ask Tommy Haas to change out of a sleeveless shirt, I’m sure they could have asked this guy to adjust his hair.

Scoreline: Dlouhy took out Pavel Chekhov in the first round match 7-6 (5), 6-4 but lost in straight sets to another crazy-haired ATPer, second seed Andy Murray, in the next round.

(photo via the tourney website)

short balls: masha the editor and producer, what's in venus' fridge?, etc.

Someone is selling San Diego ash on eBay. Wow.

serena and venus - espn magazine shoot

A photo shoot: Bossip shows us a behind-the-scenes photo of Serena and Venus posing for ESPN The Magazine‘s 10th anniversary issue.

A piece of the publicity pie?: Former pro David Wheaton (now a Godcaster) thinks that our Federer-filled tennis days are boring compared to the late 80s/early 90s — when Lendl, McEnroe, Connors, Becker, Edberg came up against the American upstarts (Agassi, Sampras, Courier, Chang, and Martin). While he may have a point, I think Federer’s hold on No. 1 isn’t as strong. 2008’s going to be great. (Winnipeg Sun)

A media mogul: Tennis Week‘s Randy Master — getting ready for the magazine’s November relaunch — announces the addition of Maria Sharapova to the magazine’s masthead as an editorial contributor. The Siberian Siren is also in talks with CW to develop a drama set in the world of women’s tennis. (And it’s true — some of the stuff that happens, you can’t make it up!). She’ll be working with Jacob Epstein, whose writing credits include L.A. Law, Sliders, and Without a Trace. Epstein will be the executive producer, and Masha gets a co-executive producer credit. (via Kat)

A petition: An advocacy group passed around a petition to discourage Roger’s participation in the Davidoff Swiss Indoors. As you may know, Davidoff sells tobacco. I say cut Davidoff some slack. If we went out protesting the practices of every tennis tourney sponsor, we’d be out of ‘em. Also, who doesn’t love Cool Water?

A fridge full of water: Rachael Ray takes a look at what’s in the fridge of Venus Williams.

Further reading: Recent notes from ESPN’s Bonnie D. Ford. One of her mentions is the race to Shanghai, where twenty guys are vying for the last three spots.

(OT) A fashion blog: If you’re looking for another fashion blog to follow, consider V‘s online content. They scour the world for some pretty cool stuff, and their photographer JD Ferguson is great. (He has his own blog, too.)

(OT) A quick study of the Case Studies: This NYT article checks in on the current state of Case Study houses in the preservation-unfriendly world of Los Angeles.

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short balls: serena bananas over her 'berry, loving the aussie women, ncaa tennis, etc.

Serena goes bananas over ‘berry: Serena Williams blogged so dramatically about losing her Blackberry in Paris (realizing its disappearance while shopping at Fendi, no less) that Down The Line! thinks she’s just lost her marbles.

Coria’s quiet return: The Argentine accepted a wild card into a tourney this week, and he crashed out in the first round. (La Legion Argentina)

Articles are getting a bum rap: TTC drops one of its Ts (guess which one?) and announce it via a press release worthy of The Onion. There was really no way to make a big serious deal about this…

Aussie love: Ex-troubled teen Jelena Dokic finally speaks about her decision to return to pro tennis (with the help of Tennis Australia). Meanwhile, the adorable Nick McCarvel has been missing Molik and hopes she’ll make a strong start in 2008.

Partners in crime: Speaking of, Nick and his transatlantic sidekick, Troy Venechanos, brought us good blogging from the Madrid Masters. In part two, check out the photo of yet another big purse from Mirka

Over it: I’m so over the match-fixing scandal, so I’ll leave it to Stephanie Myles to keep you informed.

What difference a year makes: Ahh, it seems like the NCAA tennis season just ended, yet we’re already into the second major tourney of the new season. Colette Lewis lists the seeds and wonders what happened to the men of UCLA and to USC darling Lindsey Nelson.