nole djokovic = fashion’s new love?

Save for his early round loss at this week’s Sony Ericsson Open, Novak Djokovic‘s goal to supplant Roger Federer at the top seems to be on track. First, he defeated the World No. 1 at the Australian Open, then captured last week’s Masters Series title at Indian Wells.

Even in fashion, Nole is looking up (we thought it was a hopeless cause). He cleans up for April’s issue of Men’s Vogue — the one with A-Rod on the cover. No, not that A-Rod. The other one.

Novak Djokovic - Men’s Vogue - April 2008

The story by William Finnegan follows Nole in Belgrade in December 2007, when he was in town for that mixed doubles exo.

It gave a brief intro of the Serb (childhood during the war, tennis in a ski resort, knack for impersonations); talked about the increasing pressures of his celebrity (“People recognize me and — I don’t really want to say bother me — but they just come up. It’s not really relaxing. All eyes on you.”); and mentioned the Djokovics-run sports marketing firm, Family Sport, whose goal is do bring Nole to the world.

adidas’ Novak Djokovic line, 2008

The company has already collaborated with adidas, his gear sponsor, to produce a line with his name and silhouettes of his groundstrokes. It’s plastered on shirts, keychains, balls, and even a yo-yo. We’re not talking high refined concepts here, but I assume $$$ and curbing counterfeiting are the main priorities.

Shop: Browse and buy all the goods, including his first memoir, My first Grand Slam, at his store.

One more: Aside from the photo of Nole above (shot in Monte Carlo, where he resides), there’s another one of him in spiffier clothes. Once I scan, I’ll link to it.

Nike Air Zoom Mo GT Court

Getting its due: It’s refreshing to see that both Anna Wintour and Jay Fielden aren’t afraid to publish stories in Men’s Vogue which revolve around tennis. They’ve done a few stories on Roger (one cover, even), sponsored last month’s Sampras/Federer MSG exo, and even mentioned Francesca Schiavone in a piece. Francesca effin Schiavone. Who does that?! Only hardcore tennis fans, that’s who. Props to them. This month, along with the Nole piece, they also included a quick write-up on the history behind Nike‘s Air Zoom Mo GT Court — i.e., John McEnroe‘s kicks (pictured above).

(Nole photo via TIF; shirt photos via DTL)

fashion focus: nike’s miami kit for rafa

Rafael Nadal - Sony Ericsson Open 2008

It was an all-blue battle between defending champion Rafael Nadal and German Benjamin Becker in the second round of the Sony Ericsson Open. Nadal won the match 7-5, 6-2.

On track: With Novak Djokovic out of the way, top-ranked Federer still rusty, and a confident endorsement from Bjorn Borg (albeit for performance on grass), we expect to see Rafa as the last man standing next Friday.

BTW: My friends and I were chatting last week about which feat would be achieved first: Rafa winning Wimbledon or Roger winning the French. Like Borg, we think it’s the former.

Rafael Nadal - Sony Ericsson Open 2008

Rafa wore his Global Power Sleeveless in New Blue. This time, the folks at Nike moved the graphic print to the side and upper back of the tee, leaving it clean on the front (a welcome change). I’m all about this Land of the Rising Sun motif on his headband. And the blue swirls on his white wristband are a nice touch.

Becker wore a similar shade from the Boris Becker line.

nike-rafa-pants-spr08.jpg

Buy: Nike Global Power Sleeveless, $55; 3/4 pants, $55.

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>> TSF’s sony ericsson open coverage continues…

fashion focus: seppi wears more green

Andreas Seppi - Sony Ericsson Open 2008

Italian Andreas Seppi, the stylish male sheep of the Fila family — with the female being Akiko Morigami, of course — continues on his green streak with this crewneck accented with white lines. James Blake beat him in the second round of the Sony Ericsson Open 7-5, 6-3.

This is a welcome burst of color from the paler greys and purples that are dominating the rest of the Fila collection.

One more: A photo of Seppi’s white/green Fila tee from Indian Wells after the cut…

upping the ante with juan monaco

Juan Monaco - Copa Telmex 2008

Rich: I’ll see your Nole and raise you a Juan Monaco.

Here he is on Valentine’s Day hanging out at the courts of the Copa Telmex in Buenos Aires, Argentina, while recovering from the ankle injury that took him out of the running at the Movistar Open in Chile.

Bonus round: At this week’s Sony Ericsson Open, Juan went with Jesse Levine, Jonathan Erlich, Andy Ram, Flavia Pennetta, Katarina Srebotnik, Tamira Paszek, and Sabine Lisicki to the Miami Seaquarium where they enjoyed an afternoon with dolphins.

(Copa photo via La Nacion; dolphin photo via ATP)

fashion focus: serena’s spring

Serena Williams - Sony Ericsson Open 2008

Serena Williams began her title defense at the Sony Ericsson Open with an easy 6-1, 6-2 win over Edina Gallovits in the second round.

Serena continues the conservative and feminine look that Maria Sharapova started with her “librarian” from YEC 2007. The solid pastel separates are accented with thin contrasting colors at the hems, collars, and sleeves.

Nike - Serena Williams - Spring 2008

What do you think of the pieces? Tell us!

Buy: Nike Volley Top, short-sleeved, in Lilac Ice (shown), Blue Chill, and Dark Obsidian, $50; Rally Skirt, in black/white and white/black (shown), $50.

(photo by AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

if you’re planning marat’s retirement party…

Marat Safin - Sony Ericsson Open 2008

…you can put your good china away — for now.

Although the former World No. 1 is hanging around at No. 90, and has won only one match in six so far this year (he lost to American Bobby Reynolds at this week’s Sony Ericsson Open), he’s not going anywhere:

“I’m trying, and it doesn’t come out my way. But (that) doesn’t mean that I have to stop because I’m not winning matches. I enjoy what I’m doing… I have plenty of cash to do what I want to do, so what I want to do is play tennis.”

I was going to write a post about how much longer Safin can sustain these kinds of losses before he conteplates retirement, but clearly it’s of no concern. Whew.

Safin also reminded reporters to look on the bright side, highlighting his determination to keep playing even after a severe left knee injury three years ago that forced him to change his style of play.

“It takes a lot of courage, you know, to try and still go on the court when you’re ranked 85 in the world… So I need to get some credit for that. I could have retired after I got injured with the knee, I could have retired right there, but I was trying. I’m trying already for three years, so I deserve some credit for that also.

Yep, we’ll give you the credit you deserve. Speaking of giving: adidas, can you give Marat some new clothes? Lime’s time is over.

(photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images; story via Reuters)