practice makes perfect: roger federer at indian wells ’09

Roger Federer might have a lost a spring in his tennis step, but he’s business as usual when it comes to his Nike practice tees at this week’s BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

TSF narrowly missed his Saturday practice (but Cipolla as a consolation isn’t so bad), so we didn’t get a chance to see things up close. Thank god for the hundreds of other digital cameras that snapped all these pics.

Scoreline: He’s facing Andy Murray in the semis after beating Verdasco. Roddick and Nadal are playing the other semi.

More: Plenty more shirts (and warm-up jackets) after the cut

public service announcement: tretorn nylite

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If any of you are out in the desert and in need of some simple shoes, consider the Tretorn sale going on at the Puma outlet in Cabazon. The Tretorn Nylite was designed in 1967 and became the “it” tennis shoes in the 70s.

I picked up this pair of white/yellow Nylite for $25 (they normally retail for $55). FYI, the outlet has seven or eight other styles that are all marked down 50%.

fashion focus: royal blue for a royal shirt

TSF normally doesn’t look twice at the offerings over at Prince (sorry), but that’s not the case this year. We’re totally in love with the tops from their Spring Gold Collection. The line’s distinguished by a playful take on plackets — basically, putting one where one needn’t be.

We first saw this shirt on Bjorn Rehnquist at the 2009 Australian Open. The Sweded drew Andy Roddick in the first round and went down in three quick sets, but not before getting photographed (the only perk of playing a top seed early, probably) and letting us see the Prince kit in action.

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Austrian Oliver Marach wore the sleeveless version at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells this week, where he was entered in the doubles draw. TSF sat next to him at the Haas/Schuettler match last Saturday, and later spotted him as a hitting partner to the hitchy backhand of quarterfinalist (and compatriot) Sybille Bammer.

Scoreline: Poor Bamma Mamma had to withdraw from the quarters with a shoulder injury, giving Ana Ivanovic one less reason to NOT be hoisting the trophy tomorrow. The Serb will face Pavlyuchenkova (who took out the seventh [!!] seed, Agnieszka Radwanska). Meanwhile, the other semi features Vera Zvonareva — whose groundstrokes were lookin pretty darn good when we saw her practice — and Victoria Azarenka (the lady who downed Dinara).

Buy: Prince Spring Gold Collection, in Cloud/Ocean (blues), Anthracite Grey/Black, Flame/Japan (red), White/Black; Crew, $37.99; Polo, $45.99; Sleeveless, $33.99; Knit Short, $36.99.

(top image via SI.com)

you can stick it wear the sun shines a lot

Congrats to our buddy Joe Durica and his Stick It Wear?! for getting some pretty prime retail space at the BNP Paribas Open tennis shop (it’s in that tent that’s neither TW nor Fila).

He chose to bring in four player-inspired shirts: Swiss Superstar, Number One, Russian Meltdown, and Original Rebel in a variety of styles and colors.

If you’re at the tourney, go check out his goods!

sometimes, sports don’t keep kids out of trouble

Efficent kid, this one. While he wasn’t using his Sharpie to amass players’ autographs, he used it for some good, old-fashioned huffing.

Meanwhile, his dad sat in front of him totally engrossed in the competitive first set of the second-round match between Lleyton Hewitt and Fernando Gonzalez.

Scoreline: Hewitt lost that match; Gonzalez has since lost — to Federer in the fourth round.

More: Two more pics after the cut…

sightings in the stands: rainn wilson

It’s always fun to see the world’s role models patronizing tennis, isn’t it? The Office‘s Rainn Wilson was a few boxes away from TSF at the second-round match between Andy Roddick and Daniel Koellerer at this week’s BNP Paribas Open. That was the same night that Roger lost his doubles match.

Mr. Wilson scurried out of Stadium 1 as soon as the umpire called the match (perhaps not wanting to get mobbed).

He is taller than we expected.

nalbandian pushes rafa with five match points

Rafa Nadal had to work for his place in the quartefinals of the BNP Paribas Open. The top seed fended off the always dangerous David Nalbandian, who now has a 2-1 record against the Spaniard (with two wins in 2007 — Madrid and Paris).

Another kit: Nadal and Nike came up with another variation of his Bold Crew Men’s Tee, this time in white/neon turquoise/charcoal.

Scoreline: Nadal saved five match points (four on his own serve, one on Nalbandian’s) to take the second set to a tiebreaker. The third set did not start until 1:30 a.m. The final score: 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-0. After this test, Rafa will face Juan Martin del Potro in the quarters. Del Potro beat John Isner 7-6 (4), 7-6 (3) in the battle of the beasts.

Buy: Nike Bold Crew Tee, $45; Re-Invent Shorts, $55.

(images via Getty Images)

david ferrer: biohazardous to roddick’s game

Andy Roddick got his first taste of trouble in the hands of fiery Spaniard David Ferrer, who took the top-ranked American to three sets — 7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-3 — in the fourth round of this week’s BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells.

Lotto’s new look: We’re not quite sure what to think of this biohazard-esque graphic splayed on David Ferrer‘s spring Lotto kit, but its definitely a welcome change from the teal/white colorway he sported in the last few months.

He wore a red/white version during last week’s Davis Cup tie between Spain and Serbia; the white/mustard colorway during his matches earlier this week, and the mustard-only made its debut last night.

Looking ahead: Still, Andy got through and will next face Novak Djokovic in the quarters. They’re even in their head-to-head with two apiece. They’re most recent match was at this year’s Australian Open (Nole retired in the fourth).

(images via Getty Images)

oh, mirka!

Here’s Gwen Stefani with son Zuma (in his Burberry check bloomers, of course) sitting next to Mirka Vavrinec during Roger Federer‘s fourth round match vs. Gonzalez at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

Be patient, Mirks — you’ll have your own baby soon enough! By the way, TSF’s been wondering: will you be picking up a Silver Cross (though be careful, you might end up mired in a legal mess), or is Marc Jacobs already working on your monogrammed Louis Vuitton baby carriage?

Another pic of Gwen and Zuma here.

(image via Getty Images)