a new custom

Customization and personalization are all the rage in clothing these days, and tennis is not above the fray. From Roger‘s “RF” monogram at Nike to the seal on Sharapova‘s tennis bags to the embroidery on many of the pros’ footwear (lest they get confused about whose shoes are whose — it’s a big locker room out there), everyone’s doing something to make their product unique. Up until now, these services have only been peddled to the pros — tennis is an elite sport, after all. But in time for the US Open, the rest of us get to eat cake.

Read the rest of this post at Men’s Vogue Daily.

For Blake’s Sake!

Men’s Vogue hosted a cocktail party on Thursday night for tennis player James Blake in honor of the recently established Thomas Blake Sr. Memorial Research Fund. James’ father, after whom the fund is named, succumbed to cancer at an early age. Blake, dressed in Hugo Boss, expressed gratitude for Men’s Vogue’s help with setting up an online auction at charityfolks.com. Prizes include a chance to hang out with Blake at a 2009 tournament in Miami, a trip to the Evian Resort in France, a Maurice Lacroix watch, and a Niketown shopping experience.

Read the rest of this post at Men’s Vogue Daily.

(Photo of Jay Fielden, James Blake, and Marc Berger by Joe Schildhorn/PatrickMcMullan.com)

Redesigning Rafa

In case you didn’t know, there’s been a lot of talk in the last few months about Rafael Nadal overhauling his image, at least as it comes to fashion on the court. He and Nike want to move away from the muscle shirt and Capri pants — a “hunky rebel” look — to that of a more traditional tennis player: polos and shorts.

Read the rest of this post at Men’s Vogue Daily.

trophy watch: winners at Pilot Pen

Caroline Wozniacki defeated Anna Chakvetadze in the women’s singles final at Pilot Pen. The 18-year-old is currently the only Dane in the Top 400 of the SEWTA Tour.

Meanwhile, Brazilians Andre Sa and Marcelo Melo won their doubles final over Mahesh Bhupathi and Mark Knowles 7-5, 6-2.

And Croat Marin Cilic downed Mardy Fish 6–4, 4–6, 6–2 to win his first ever ATP singles title. Congrats to him.

(photos by Getty Images)

Polo Ralph Lauren: shopping 3.0

As if you don’t already have enough widgets on your iPhones (I’ve never seen so many phones shaken violently in my life!), Polo Ralph Lauren adds to the mix by introducing the first luxury American mobile commerce website.

Customers can download software to their camera phones, which in turn will scan codes displayed in print ads, mailings, and instore displays. The codes will direct the users to a phone-friendly version of the PRL site, where they can watch video, read web articles, and shop for their cable knit sweaters and Big Pony polos from anywhere they can get reception (at Arthur Ashe Stadium, waiting for the ATP trainer to finish taping up a player’s leg?).

The launch is going to coincide with the apparel maker’s sponsorship of the US Open, which begins at the end of this month.

As with most things mobile, the US is way behind trendy Asia and even old-fashioned Europe when it comes to customers adopting some of the latest and greatest mobile technology. In Japan, it is quite common for people to buy tickets and vending machine products using their mobile phones. But hey, later is better than never.

(RL via Red Herring)

for ana’s u.s. open run, a limited edition adidas barricade V

Those of you who’ve picked up the September issue of TENNIS might have noticed an ad for a limited edition Summer Slam Barricade V from adidas.

This shoe, made with Ana Ivanovic in mind, incorporates the colorways of her fall petal Edge Dress in slate/orange — the second good use of orange we’ve seen this week.

It’s all in the details: Much like her adilibria shoes, which had Swarovski crystals adhered to its eyelets, this line has some feminine accents, including sparkles on that slate sole and a ghosted female silhouette throught the shoe’s white upper. (Ghosting is this summer’s trend, apparently.)

Buy: adidas Barricade V, multiple colorways, $120, midwestsports.com.

(scan from TENNIS)

janko tipsarevic: our munchkin gets injured

Sad to see Serbian Janko Tipsarevic retire with an injured ankle from his second-round match against Olivier Rochus 6-7 (5), 3-2 at the Beijing Olympics.

He attended his presser in a wheelchair with a super-swollen ankle. About the injury, Janko said: “Now I know how Ana felt when she withdrew. Maybe it’s too hard word to say that this is the worst day in my life, but it is certainly the worst day of my career…Olympic Games mean a lot to every sportsman, especially as they take place once in 4 years. I played really well in my first match, my confidence was on the highest level, and I felt I could reach far. But sometimes things like this happen and you just can’t do anything about it.”

Janko will now focus on getting ready for the U.S. Open.

During his time off his feet, perhaps he’ll consider trimming his hair?

(image via hcfoo.com)

u.s. open ’08 preview: ana ivanovic’s dress?

Ana Ivanovic withdrew from the Olympics with an injured right thumb sustained during play in Montreal the week prior. While her participation at the U.S. Open might be in doubt (ostheopathic medicine, don’t fail us now!), we’re pretty sure that her petal-hemmed adidas Edge Dress will appear in slate/orange colorway. Product info tk.

Buy: adidas Summer Edge Dress, white/mauve tint, $65.

(scan from TENNIS)

fashion focus: federer’s olympic quest

Here’s a look at Roger Federer‘s Olympics kit from Nike in action through three rounds in Beijing.

He beat Dmitry Tursunov 6-4, 6-2 in the first round, Rafael Arevalo of El Salvador 6-2, 6-4 in the second round, Tomas Berdych 6-3, 7-6 (4) in the third, and will run into eighth seed James Blake in the quarters.

Other matchups are Mathieu vs. Gonzalez, Monfils vs. Djokovic, and Melzer vs. Nadal. (Draw here.)

More: See the detail shots of Roger’s outfit — wristband, headband, bag, belt, etc. — all after the cut…