practice makes perfect: the boys fight for flags



David Ferrer

See more Davis Cup practice tees after the cut…

eight men, five rubbers, one weekend…



Bulging biceps, tag teams, marathon sessions, tattoos, bears, Eastern Europeans, Brazilians…

Yes, my friends, it must be Davis Cup!

World Group 2008 – Semifinal
Argentina v Russia, 3 – 2
Tarpischev’s doubles trick couldn’t shake off del Potro.

Spain v USA, 4 – 1
America’s rich Davis Cup history gets blown to bits when a tie is contested on clay. Against Spain.

World Group, Play-offs 2008
Chile v Australia, 3 – 2
Gonzo distracted the Aussies with his chest.

Great Britain v Austria, 2-3
For British newbie Bogdanovic, playing in front of the home crowd at AELTC caused some performance anxiety against Peya.

Switzerland v Belgium, 4 – 1
The dream team of R-Fed and S-Waw cleaned up.

Croatia v Brazil, 4 – 1
Save for a clutch doubles match by Melo and Sa, Croatia takes all the matches.

Israel v Peru, 4 – 1
Harel Levy, Andy Ram, Noam Okun, and the Smurf-esque Dudi Sela all did the home crowd proud.

Netherlands v South Korea, 3 – 2
Hyung-Taik Lee swept his singles matches, but it wasn’t enough.

Romania v India, 4 – 1
As expected, Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi win their doubles match.

Slovak Republic v Serbia, 1 – 4
Novak Djokovic kept his clothes on.

fashion focus: elena denimentieva



Yonex decided to flex its design muscle by using “denim” — printed on a moisture-wicking synthetic — for its fall ’08 collection, which debuted in time for the fashion-forward U.S. Open. They even opted for orange thread as contrast stitching, giving the pieces a more authentic and rugged look.

Elena Dementieva played in the separates at the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, where she lost to Katarina Srebotnik in the quarters. Notice the knot on th front lefft tank strap.

And this Russian wore the halter version during her semifinal run in New York. (She’s had a pretty good summer, following her semi @ Wimbledon with a gold medal from Beijing and the semi in NYC.)

More: See her kit from Beijing and the Yonex men’s denim line after the cut…

trophy watch: while the men are away, the russian women take names



The Russian men might be bamboozling their opponents down in Argentina, but the women mean serious business. Dinara Safina has beaten Svetlana Kuznetsova in all their 2008 meetings, including the 2008 final of the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo. The score: 6-1, 6-3.

In doubles, Nadia Petrova teamed with Vania King to win over Lisa Raymond and Sam Stosur 6-1, 6-4.

Across the Sea of Japan, Vera Zvonareva took down local Peng Shuai 6-7 (4), 6-0, 6-2 at the Guangzhou Open. This is Vera’s second title, after taking Prague earlier this year.

(photos by Getty Images)

flashback: tennis masters cup, 2004 (houston)



I was looking for old tennis photos online, and I ran into these pictures taken of the nine guys (including the alternate) who descended upon Houston for the Tennis Masters Cup in 2004.

The Argentines: Guillermo Canas and Gaston Gaudio

The boys: Andy Roddick and Guillermo Coria

The daddies (DILFs?): Lleyton Hewitt and Tim Henman

The ILFs: Marat Safin and Carlos Moya

and Roger Federer

Roger beat Lleyton in straight sets — 6-3, 6-2 — to take his 11th title of 2004 and his second consecutive year-end title.

(photos by Getty Images)