feli’s forehead!

What is Feliciano Lopez doing playing without a bandana? Does that mean we still get six more weeks of winter?

He’s made it to the elite eight of this week’s Open 13 tournament in Marseilles after beating Dmitry Tursnunov 7-6 (4), 7-6 (1). Too bad Dima couldn’t seal the deal. Perhaps he was still thinking about Grigor

Up next for Feli is Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

(image via Getty Images)

razzano upsets zvonareva

virginie-razzano-dubai09a

Virginie Razzano reaches her second semi of 2009 by upsetting fifth seed Vera Zvonareva 7-6 (7), 7-5 at the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships.

Props to the normally utilitarian Asics for spicing up Virginie’s skort with some pleating.

Scoreline: Up next for the frenchwoman is JJ-killer Kaia Kanepi, who beat qualifier Elena Vesnina in another quarter in their half of the draw. The winner will face a Williams sister in the final.

(image via Getty Images)

grigor dimitrov shirtless? close, but not quite

asdkl;jf;alskdjfpoweuirpoqwiejfl;kasdjf!@#!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dmitry, Dimitrov: The D’s did their part to put on a show at Marseille’s Open 13, with Feliciano Lopez beating Tursunov 7-6 (4), 7-6 (1) to reach the quarters, and Dimitrov falling to French fave Gilles Simon 6-4, 3-6, 5-7 in the first round.

(Even off the court, these two are still working it. Enjoy the pic.)

Meanwhile, munchkin Arnaud Clement used the home court advantage to down Marat Safin 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in his opening match in Marseille; he lost to German Mischa Zverev in the second round. And Safin’s fellow swan-songer, Fabrice Santoro, bowed out in the first round to Julien Benneteau 6-4, 4-6, 2-6.

Is Grigor on your list? It’s probably about time to update my list — or at least expand it — to make some, uhm, accomodations.

(DTL; photo by Lorenzo Salemi)

fashion focus: checking in on li ning

That hazmat orange on Jelena Jankovic‘s dress spilled over from Ivan Ljubicic‘s kit from Li Ning. The former top-fiver has had a slow 2009 so far, losing in the second round of the Australian Open (to Tsonga) and in the first rounds of Zagreb, Rotterdam, and Marseille.

We love the Guga-esque orange/blue/gold colorway of his kit. The pictures above, from Zagreb, show the gold piping on his shirt and the scale texture on the side panels.

And in Marseille, where he lost to Feliciano Lopez, we get a peek at his blue warmup top.

On the women’s side, Li Ning works with Zi Yan, who lost to Vera Dushevina in the first round at Dubai.

(Zagreb images via MTF; images via Getty Images)

kanepi peels jankovic

Kaia Kanepi, wearing Australian by L’Alpina, claimed her first top-five scalp by taking out Jelena Jankovic 6-2, 7-5 in the third round of the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships; she’ll next face Elena Vesnina, who beat Dominika Cibulkova 4-6, 6-1, 4-0 after the Slovakian retired because of the heat.

Jankovic attributed her loss to a bad performance. “This was the worst match of my career. It was a horrible day. I kept framing the ball, kept making unforced errors and could not put two balls together on the court. I didn’t move properly, and I didn’t see the ball properly,” she said.

“[Kanepi] didn’t have to do too much. Basically, I beat myself. I don’t know what happened out there. I am ashamed of this performance.”

Aww. What about some praise for your Estonian opponent?

For this tourney, Jelena and ANTA switched back to their first dress silhouette, switching up the color from green to orange. And finally we got a look at her warmup jacket, with a pleated front and ruched cuffs. Does anyone have details on that red and white tote? Doesn’t look like her Bally bag to me…

Bonus round: Kanepi’s official website.

(images via Getty Images)

shoeless in san jose

By Nick McCarvel

pete-sampras-sanjose09

Pete Sampras has been going exo-crazy recently (perhaps the coffers are a little emptier around tax season?), making a brief cameo at last week’s SAP Open in San Jose, battling it out with Tommy Haas; the German won 7-6(4), 4-6, 12-10.

During the Sampras avoided any talk of coming out of retirement by talking about every relevant tennis player but himself.

On Roger Federer: “He’s young enough. He’s fresh enough. He’s not 30,” Sampras said. “Having a few years left, I see him doing it. But there are going to be a few guys that are going to push him. It’s just inevitable that he’s going to do it here in the next probably year.”

On Roddick‘s and Blake‘s not being “Rafa” or “Nole” enough to beat Roger: “Andy’s got the power but maybe doesn’t have the athletic ability, and someone like James, who has the athletic ability, but doesn’t have the power… It’s kind of a tough matchup for them, for both those guys.

“Seems like James can stay with Roger. I just think they play similar games and Roger is a little bit better than James at it. And Roddick can overpower Roger at times, but at the same time doesn’t move well enough from the back court to really get into these exchanges, that someone like Djokovic can.”

Video: See Sampras’ SAP Open here, courtesy of Doug Schwartz.

And Pete gave the San Jose crowd a little wardrobe malfunction during his match, ending with a loose shoe on the court. He gave fans one reminiscent moment when losing his shoe on court. This time the ball boy didn’t have to dig in his shorts to rescue the on-court necessity like at Wimbledon ’01.

Choo choo: Sampras went on to Boston and downed John McEnroe to take that city’s Champions Cup title, but not before participating in a mixed doubles match with Anna Kournikova, among others. And in this week’s Regions Morgan Keegan tourney in Memphis, he lost to Lleyton Hewitt 7-5, 6-4.

it’s raining mail

orchard-street-reebok09

Our normally testy UPS delivery man must have been having a good day because we received a package on the first attempt! We are now the proud owners of a pair of Re-Up Lux sneakers, a collaboration between Orchard Street and Reebok.

This is one of two recently released “teaser” pairs for an expanded collab line, images of which can be seen here.

Buy: Re-Up Lux, $90, orchardstreet.com

And we also received packages from both the SEWTA and ATP World Tour that contained each group’s media guide, which includes pronunciation tips for players’ surnames. Hopefully, this’ll make us less of a tool at Indian Wells, where we spent most of the 2008 repeatedly sounding like a total gringo (“Gilles Simon“, “Camille Pin“, and “Alize Cornet” come to mind).

Dork out: The SEWTA has its own book, while the ATP provides an edition that combines the men’s and the ladies’ info. Get a copy of the latter here.

(shoe image via nytimes.com; media guide image via atp)

breaking up isn’t hard to do

bjorn-borg-breakup

Customer satisfaction, guaranteed: Bjorn Borg and his right-hand pimpster Bibi wouldn’t be the kind to leave you hangin’. If their matchmaking and lucky charms can’t help you through the romance, perhaps you just need an out.

And even that‘s been simplified with the help of their Break-up service.

After answering a few basic yes or no questions about the state of your love life (with visual aids to match), out comes Bibi’s recommendation for what to do with your ball and chain.

If she deems ‘em ill-fitting, you have the option of sending a pre-written dump SMS to the offending party, and back on the merry-go-round you go.

If you are already with your soulmate, she wants you to consider leaving them anyway, just to spice things up. (Bjorn Borg even designated Feb. 13 as Break-Up Day.)

Face the music: Take the quiz here.

the sleeping giant

Venus Williams is the subject of this month’s episode of Revealed on CNN. And what is it that we find out about this top SEWTAer?

She’s always sleepy.

As the sixth seed at this week’s Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships, Venus is through to the quarterfinals after beating Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-0, 6-1. She will face Alize Cornet for a spot in the final four.

More: The CNN story includes pics from her Koto Bolofo shoot for Italian Marie Claire here.

Watch: Venus Williams Revealed:
ALL TIMES GMT
Wednesday, February 18: 0930, 1830
Saturday, February 21: 0830, 1900
Sunday, February 22: 0530, 1830
Monday, February 23: 0400

(images via cnn.com)