no more sweaty mess: a classy daniela through to the semis

Drop it like it’s (not) hot: Those unflattering photos of Daniela Hantuchova wearing the brown version of Masha‘s Australian Open dress probably led to the wise decision of going with this simple white number.

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This is the Bloom Dress (as opposed to the Bloom Tunic worn by Serena Williams), paired with a variety of visors in pink, black, and white (seen here, as she beat 29th seed Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2, 6-2 for a place in the semifinals of the women’s draw).

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And she wears a white watch which reminds me of this one from Nixon that I’ve been eyeing for a few weeks.

Buy: Nike Bloom Dress, $80, at Tennis Warehouse.

(photos by Getty Images)

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youzhny splits, tsonga left standing in australia

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Jo-Wilfred Tsonga continues his amazing run Down Under (Chris called it) with his 7-5, 6-0, 7-6 (6) defeat of Mikhail Youzhny in the quarterfinals. That is one limber Russian.

Both Tsonga and Youzhny were wearing versions of the adidas Edge Theme Polo in white/black and white/blue, respectively.

More photos: One more set of Mikhail’s on-court faces after the cut…

fashion focus: maria and yuri dressed in nike

Wow. I didn’t think for a second that I would be waking up to news of Maria Sharapova blowing top seed Justine Henin out of the water. The 6-4, 6-0 women’s quarterfinals scoreline at the Australian Open gave Justine her first bagel since the 2002 French Open.

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All in the deets: Here’s a closer look at her visor this week; it reminds me of the one she wore at last year’s French but in white with gold accents. And those earrings of hers are significantly more diminutive than those of the Williams sisters, but do the job of keeping Maria’s look elegant.

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Out for blood: And her father Yuri brought his own fashion to the stands with the Bape-like camouflage hoodie from Nike (who’s Maria’s clothing sponsor).

“He (said) he has a cold so he had to put the hood on tonight,” Sharapova said of her father’s “unfortunate” hoodie. “I told him ‘you look like an assassin with that jacket on.”

And assassin he was as he “made a dramatic throat-slitting motion as his daughter blew kisses to the crowd” after her defeat of top seed Henin. Yikes, that’s intense.

One more: See a photo of Maria toting her new gold Prince tennis bag, plus a Nike gym bag in the Spring pink color. Both after the cut…

taking a break: youzhny and nieminen as australian tourists

Jarkko Nieminen and Mikhail Youzhny, two of the men’s quarterfinalists at the Australian Open, took time off Monday to enjoy the sights of Melbourne.

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Mikhail and his girlfriend, Julia Thomas, enjoy a water taxi ride. Youzhny will play against Jo-Wilfred Tsonga for a place in the final four.

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And the Asics-sponsored Nieminen visits the Melbourne Aquarium. [Insert pun about Finns here.] He’ll need all the distractions he can get before facing second seed Rafael Nadal.

One more photo of Jarkko after the cut…

checking in on the women’s draw

I picked six out of the eight quarterfinalists…

So Lindsay looked a little lazy and didn’t blow out Masha like I had suspected, for good reason: Sharapova has been doing really well and could give Henin some trouble.

Vaidisova gave Serena less of a challenge than I thought she would.

Radwanska, showing her US Open victory over Sharapova was no fluke, has played giant killer of the women’s side taking out Kuznetsova and Petrova.

My dark horse Michaella Krajicek went out early. I’m tired of believing in her.

Surprises thus far:

  • Outback favorite Dellacqua taking out Schnyder and Mauresmo before going down to Jankovic.

  • Wozniacki showing that she might make a name for herself once she gets out of her teens.

Looking forward: Based on who’s left, I’m still picking the Serena-Venus final with Serena taking it in three sets.

chris reworks his bold aussie open predictions

Sorry if you put money down on my picks for the men’s draw. Of the eight quarterfinalists, I had a remarkable three correct: Federer, Nadal, and Ferrer. I know I was stretching by going with Gooch, Baghy, and Wawrinka, but Marcos came close with his five-set victory over Safin, then his five-set loss to Hewitt.

I was pretty much on in saying that the winner of the Tsonga-Murray first round match would have a good shot at making it to the semis, and now only Youzhny stands in Tsonga’s way.

And maybe Djokovic isn’t due for a sophomore slump, or maybe it’ll kick in at the spring hardcourt tourneys or the French. I’m still waiting for the other adidas Barricade to drop.

Surprise of the tournament thus far:

  • Roddick crashing out so early (but we weren’t surprised about his potty mouth tirade)

  • Blake still hanging around (and coming back from two sets down against Grosjean in the process)
  • Hewitt looking like he’s a top 10 player again
  • Nieminen showing that the Scandinavians can do more than just ski
  • TSF fave Tipsarevic cementing his name on the list of Serbians sitting atop the pro tennis heap.

Some close quarters: Out of the final eight remaining, I think Fed gets an easy win over Blake, Djoko needs 4 to put out Ferrer, Youzhny takes out Tsonga in 5, and Nadal dispatches Nieminen in 3 easy sets. Then we have a Fed-Nadal final. I think Nadal is playing better than Fed this week so far. I’m saying Nadal in 5.

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roger and nike bring back stripes

Roger Federer‘s night match outfit at the Australian Open stays with the black he and Nike used during last year’s U.S. Open (remember Darth Federer?). This time, though, they infuse it with some more color, mainly the New Blue that’s part of the Spring 2008 line.

And they’ve also brought back vertical stripes — a staple pattern of tennis fashion back in the 80’s, It appears on Roger’s warmup jacket and his wristband. See both (plus his white gym bag) after the cut…

reebok goes feminine – amelie mauresmo

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Amelie Mauresmo continues her lackadaisical performance as of late by bowing out of the Aussie Open’s third round. She lost to Casey Dellacqua 6-3, 4-6, 4-6.

But we give her props for that lovely Reebok separates. The v-neck is significantly more flattering than the collar on her Wimbledon wear from last year.

Buy: The Spring RBK Pro Tradition skort and tank are both available for $39.99.

Casey hits the bullseye: Hometown darling Dellacqua, who will likely be signed by Nike after this tournament, also cashed in on her revelation that Target Australia was her favorite place to shop.

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Target did the logical thing and sent the 22-year-old on a shopping spree, with photographers in tow.

(photos by Getty Images)

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