Masha battles some fashionistas

The Tiffany-ed Maria Sharapova has faced some close calls in the first three rounds of this year’s French but managed to eke out wins so far (and now it’ll get even easier with the Williams sisters out of the way).

It was a battle of fashion good vs. evil yesterday when Masha took on Bethanie Mattek in the second round. They played over two days, and Bethanie actually had a fairly respectable outfit from Bebe Sport for day one.

And the match (postponed due to darkness) resumed with Bethanie wearing her pink hooker dress which we first saw in March at Indian Wells.

God. Bless. America.

And her third-round opponent, Karin Knapp, gave a fight in the first set (even intimidating Masha with some second serve mindgames ala Azarenka) but sputtered 6-0 in the second. Oh well, at least she looked great in her pink and silver Fila separates. Fabric belts = trend du jour.

(Photos by Getty Images)

davydenko, out! + airness drops nadia?

Battle of the No. 3s: Poor Nikolay Davydenko got pushed to five sets by Ivan Ljubicic, the man who used to occupy Kolya’s spot as No. 3 in the world behind Rafa and Roger. The score, in Ivan’s favor: 4-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.

The Russian’s clothing sponsor, Airness, kept up its end of the bargain by giving him no less than three variations of their Spring ’08 shirt. That mock collar, which we also saw on Lotto this season, is a little too much with all the color blocks and stripes. Oh well, at least we won’t have to see it for a week.

Meanwhile, Nadia Petrova got dropped by Airness, it looks like. She showed up at Roland Garros wearing this drop shot top from Nike.

(photos by Getty Images)

towels galore: erwin’s picks from the RG store

These are the goods I’ve been eyeing at the Roland Garros online store

TOP CHOICE: Yes, friends — if you are thinking about getting me an early birthday present, this is the way to go. Beach towel, €63.

And here are the rest:

grey hoodie, €65; beige cap, €25.

keyring, €25; black leather shoes, €99.

mosaic t-shirt, €28; green trophy shirt, €35.

Men’s players towel, €38; Women’s players towel, €38.

clay beach towel, €63; clay beach towel, €63.

white beach towel, €63; white beach towel; €63.

seen around roland garros: mary pierce

A 2000 flashback: Not to be outdone by the cameo of fellow 2000 titlist Guga Kuerten, Mary Pierce also made an appearance at this year’s tourney. She stopped by the set of Tennis Channel’s French Open Tonight (with host Bill Macatee).

If you remember, both Guga and Mary showed up at last year’s singles trophy ceremonies…

(photo for TSF courtesy of Tennis Channel)

red scare? more like red annoyance

TSF had concerns about Nikolay Davydenko facing Davis Cup teammate and v-neck posterboy Marat Safin in the second round of the French Open, especially after Safin dismantled Jean-Rene Lisnard in the match prior (granted, Lisnard is ranked 228th in the world). But it turned out to be a clay cakewalk for Kolya, who won 7-6 (4), 6-2, 6-2.

Perhaps it was Marat’s lack of jewelry that did him in. Where are his necklaces?!

Buy: Marat’s adidas Spring Competition 6 Theme Polo in Scarlet Red, $44.99 at TennisExpress.

(photo by Getty Images)