trophy watch: hold up that boo-boo, boo

We know, we’ve been a little Andy-crazy the last 24 hours, but really y’all, the dude is holding this boring trophy, looking so dang proud of himself and flashing a battle wound. That. Is. So. Cool. Seriousssssssssly. (AP photo)

Oh right, the ladies were playing in Memphis, too. At left, winner Magdalena Rybarikova beat Canadian Rebecca Marino. (Getty Images)

Is it just us, or is Nicolas Almagro getting cuter? The Spaniard won in Brazil for his second-straight ATP title in two weeks.  (AP photo) More trophies (and their holders) after the cut.

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andy's dive

It was worth it, wasn’t it? Andy Roddick threw his body on the ground – perhaps symbolic of the way he’s played tennis during the Rafa-Roger dominance – to win in Memphis yesterday, 7-5 in the third set over red-hot Milos Raonic. Click image to watch a thrilling championship point.

More: Roddick pulls out of Delray Beach with flu-like symptoms | Raonic the new Dancevic?

(screengrab via atp web site)

spotted in the city: brooklyn, "working"

Above: an advertisement in Soho. This isn’t last year’s cover. This isn’t this year’s cover. We may have no interest in the swimsuit edition, but we understand that much. (TSF photo)

OK, we’ll admit it: Brooklyn Decker is gorgeous. But what is the deal with straight guys and blondes with big breasts? We don’t try to understand, but we do understand that this is Brooklyn’s career. And she’s pretty good at her job. That would mean she’s a model, not an actress. If you would like to fight such a claim, just read the reviews (of her debut in Just Go With It).

Brooklyn graced the cover of Sports Illustrated for last year’s swimsuit edition. This year, Irina Shayk (Cristiano Ronaldo‘s GF) got the nod.

We’re wondering: What’s the deal with Brooklyn’s Conan outfit?! | Brooklyn on TSF

WANT: tickets and (jessica's) hair

Don’t you want tickets to the BNP Paribas Showdown at the Madison Square Garden in less than 10 days’ time. We sure do. I mean, come on: John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl, Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi? There is going to be more drama and cat fighting on this night in New York than even Jelena Jankovic could handle. | Buy here | Watch on ESPN

Jessica Simpson looks way to cool on the cover of New York Magazine right now. Seriously? We want that hair. At least to see it on… say, Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Let’s see if BMS is into such a suggestion, k? And if you’re wondering how JSimp got her hair so big, just read the article. It’s where she keeps all her money.

(bnpps msg screengrab; simpson photo by ruven afanador via nymag)

the raonic-dancevic equation

by Benjamin Snyder

IS MILOS RAONIC THE READ DEAL? OR FRANK DANCEVIC, VERSION 2.0? Move aside Greg Rusedski, there’s a new (and real) Canadian hotshot in town. No, not you Frank Dancevic. You’ve already had your fifteen minutes. Well, okay, try most of 2007. But, apparently there’s only room enough for one top Canuck at a time. Now, we’re talking the big-serving, big-sized, giant-killer Milos Raonic, whose recent charge through the top-tier of the ATP tour has many talking, including Greg on his Twitter :

But before we get all hot and bothered by Milos the Great, let’s not forget Dancevic’s 15 minutes of fame. Is Raonic bound for a similar destiny? To find out, here’s a breakdown of the games, the fashions, and the Canadian quirks of the two.

Similarity number one: both Frank and Milos have failed to pass the first round at the U.S. Open. While Frank has lost in the qualifying the last couple years, Milos succumbed to Carsten Ball in 2010′s first round. Of course, with the way Milos is playing, that dismal record should soon be a thing of the past. For Frank: not so much.

Going along with Milos’ big results, we have our first key difference: the young Canadian gun has actually won an ATP title. Taking out Fernando Verdasco at the SAP Open, he got what eluded Dancevic on two separate occasions: a tour victory. Take that, Anna Kournikova! Not to mention there’s that surprise run to the Aussie Open fourth round versus Dancevic’s second round in ’07. Another difference: Milos is set to crack the top 50 after a recent semifinal showing at Memphis, besting Frankie’s career-high of 65 from 2007.

Read more on Milos and Frank (and see Frank flexing some bicep) after the cut. [Read more...]

he said, he said: delray tourney director & andre agassi

Above, a previously unshared photo of Douglas Hoekzema‘s work at the Delray Beach ITC. Check out that wall, y’all. (photo by Peter Vahan via primaryflight.com)

“We do this to embrace community and show off the talent this town has. It’s the smallest city of any on the ATP Tour, but has the most flavor block for block for sure. It’s all about creating a lasting positive memory that people can leave with whether they’re a core tennis fan or someone seeing our space and athletes for the first time. Amazing art, VolleyGirls, killer local bands, on-court seats, convertible Porsches on-court that fans watch matches in… it’s all groovy at ‘the beach.’” -John Butler, Executive Director of the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships

Agassi arrives yesterday in DC to shoot a USTA promo with First Lady Michelle Obama. (Max Blodgett)

Andre Agassi today gave a teleconference in preparation for the BNP Paribas Showdown. When asked about Pete Sampras and the two stars’ awkward moment at last year’s Hit for Haiti, Andre had this to say: “Our relationship is strictly platonic, I’ll say that.” [Laughter] “Hit for Haiti was an unfortunate night that was of my doing. I had a microphone at my mouth for too long… I just called him and apologized. No one regretted it more than me.”

she said, he said: petko & j-willy

On Monday, the folks of the WTA asked players in Dubai what a good Valentine’s Day date would be. Leave it to one Andrea Petkovic to have the best answer. By light years. “Well first of all I have to say I hate Valentine’s Day. I don’t know why… but, it’s too pink-y girly for me. My perfect date would go to a concert and jump around a little bit. And then go and have a beer.”

We grabbed this image from Petko’s rockin’ web site, which you should definitely check out if you haven’t already. The photo was taken by famed German photog Markus Hintzen for Der Spiegel.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga really doesn’t have to say anything. Just shake those hips, brother.

(tsonga photo via atp by yohan brandt)

short balls: ladies in wanting

Aussie Open contributor Benjamin Snyder is back for more. Taking on the longest of tasks: short balls.

Back in the habit: Vera – circa USO 2009 – got the meltdown bug again last week in Thailand. (Getty Images)

Well, it looks like we’re back to some shaky form for the top women — and, man, you girls were all looking so sharp in Australia, according to Tennis.com’s Tom Perrotta. Check out how world no. 3 Vera Zvonareva allowed a line call and a swearing violation get the best of her big game. She lost it versus Daniela Hantuchova in the Pattaya Open semis, prompting this charged statement: “There is a big difference between being mentally tough and being emotional. It’s a huge difference. I will always be emotional. As long as I use those emotions to my advantage, that’s only a plus to me. If I need to break the racquet to pump myself up, then I will break the racquet. I don’t care.” | Watch the drama

At least Vera stayed on her feet. This week in Dubai, Anna Chakvetadze collapsed due to a stomach bug against Caroline Wozniacki. Déja vu? Good thing she chopped her pony or she really could have hurt herself.

Before you call Petra Kvitova the next big thing, waiting for her to win everything, Federer-style, get this: she choked in her first-round match in Dubai.

Speaking out. Former world no. 1 Amelie Mauresmo isn’t scared to voice her opinion, especially when it relates to her home Slam at Roland Garros. She recently lowered the boom on French officials who bid to keep the clay-court major in Paris. “We are the smallest of the four grand slams and I think it is important to have the chance to grow, and for the public to have more room,” she said.

Ana Ivanovic split with coach Antonio van Grichen (just what we were thinking… who?!) last week, saying she plans to keep the solo mojo going for longer. Maybe that’s not working too well, Ana. The ’08 FO champ lost to veteran Patty Schnyder in the first round of Dubai, just three short months after snacking on her in the final of Linz.

delray does art, once again

Once again the brilliant folks at the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships (aka the ITC) are at it again, paying homage to good art on the tennis court. This year, the painting is the work of local artist Douglas Hoekzema. Need we say more? Images of the artwork are by Peter Vahan, who offers a full selection here. Find them below and after the cut. TSF Vault: ITC art 2009 | 2008

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