The May 2011 issue of Details includes a spread on furniture design inspired by sports: curling stone as sidetable; basketball floorboards turned into a cabinet; baseball bats become a chair; a pommel-horse bench, etc. Tennis’ contribution is this “Wimbledon” barstool by Broberg and Ridderstrale for Nola. (Flashback: French Open furniture.)
The little engine that can’t: Too bad that Janko Tipsarevic keeps falling apart mid-tourney. He had to pull out of a semi at this week’s Serbia Open because of a thigh injury, thus giving Novak Djokovic a spot in the final against Feli Lopez. This also means that Nole’s 26-match winning streak is still intact. Get better soon, Janko!
More: A few other views of the most adorable sad face in tennis — after the cut…
Looks like Juan Martin del Potro is endorsing Rolex; he’ll join other tennis stars in the watchmaker’s stable (Ana Ivanovic, Justine Henin, Zheng Jie, Li Na, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Roger Federer) by wearing the Datejust watch during press conference and off-court.
Estoril: The Argentinian beat Pablo Cuevas 6-2, 7-6 (6) to reach the final and will face Fernando Verdasco, who made it through after Milos Raonic retired from the semi due to an injured back. (Draws: Estoril Open)
(src; screengrab via rolex.com)
Janko Tipsarevic‘s run into the Serbia Open singles draw continues with his 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 win over Somdev Devvarman. He next faces Nole Djokovic, who’s now won 26 straight matches. The other match will feature Feli Lopez and Filippo Volandri.
Not so fast (jacket): Tipsy’s sporting a new style of Oakleys that debuted back in Key Biscayne. The Fast Jacket model is not yet available for mass consumption, but sign up on Oakley’s site to be the first to know.
Buy: This bright blue (“vivid”) is one of the staples for this spring’s men’s line from Fila. The Baseline Piped Crew is also available in black and white; $36.99 at TW.
(image by Srdjan Stevanovic via serbiaopen.rs)
Community service: VMAN‘s Summer 2011 issue has coverboy Alex Pettyfer all prettied up (or maybe that’s just how he rolls out of bed?). To save us all a trip to the ER, the mag’s handing out softserve for those who nab their copy either tonight or tomorrow night in in SoHo.
See it all: Rest of the photos here.
(image via vman.com)
How refreshingly non-abrasive is this Alea polo currently on Radek Stepanek? Perfect complement to the clay courts in Munich at the BMW Open, definitely. The Czech’s is still in the running for singles, taking out Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 6-0 in the quarters and will next play Kolya (!!). The other semi will be all-German, pitting Petzschner against Mayer. Draw: BMW Open Singles.
It was also good to see Tommy Haas back in action after a long recovery from shoulder and hip surgery. (Haas went under the knife back in February 2010). He teamed up with Stepanek (Tommy’s neighbor in Florida) for doubles; they lost in the first round to Simon Aspelin and Paul Hanley. Looking forward: Haas is eyeing Halle, the French, and Wimbledon as tournaments to play this year.
(images by CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
By Lindsay Sakraida, on Twitter
Hangin’ above the crowd: This week, the tennis tour hits the Madrid Open, the most controversial stop on the clay-court schedule. And while much focus has been on Rafael Nadal‘s disapproval of playing in the high altitude before Roland Garros, there’s more to the Madrid cache than a public disagreement with its most famous compatriot. At every opportunity, the Madrid Open creatively and strategically aims to differentiate itself in a very modern way — and the tennis tour is all the better for it.
Mastered differences: Madrid has always been unconventional. It changed from hard courts to clay in 2009, at which point the tournament director announced that he was considering forgoing the iconic rust-colored dirt for a thoroughly modern blue. (It never came to fruition, to Nadal and Federer’s approval.) Long before the surface change, the tournament began using models as ball kids during the later stages of the draw, and the fetching — in more ways than one — “kids” continue to raise eyebrows nearly a decade later. (But just to be clear: these are no “kids.”) And just this year, the event was publicized by dangling racket-wielding acrobats off the side of a court-covered building. In all manners, Madrid aims to get people talking with arresting visuals.
But the most telling distinction between Madrid and the rest of the tour lies in its most accessible marketing device: their website. It combines vibrant graphics and Flash-based design to convey a unique energy and atmosphere, and there’s even a custom animation at the top that pays tribute to the distinct form of the Caja Magica. It’s fairly obvious that the site isn’t your typical tournament’s digital home, but the most significant deviation from the norm is quite subtle; Madrid doesn’t use the ATP template (nor the WTA template, for that matter) in its design. Take a look at the Rome, Monte Carlo, or Indian Wells sites. Each uses the same architecture and rotating carousel of top stories and images. Madrid isn’t the only tournament to shun the standard — both Cincinnati and Paris are moderately different, for example — but it’s one of the few locations, especially among the big nine Masters Series, to forgo the status quo in favor of something truly unique. And with continuous debate about what tour stop should be bequeathed the “Fifth Slam”, Madrid’s deliberate branding seems like a move for the title.
TSF Vault: Our love for the webby Madrid
Along with its home page, the tournament also has a vibrant YouTube channel. It’s not unusual for a tournament to post press conferences, daily recaps, and occasional behind-the-scenes content, but — despite YouTube’s history of creating viral phenomenons — few use the video service to genuinely engage the audience. But in the lead up to the main draw, Madrid has done just that. It challenged its Spanish-speaking audience to submit videos proving why they are the ultimate “Super Fan,” which resulted in a plethora of charming tournament tributes. It remains to be seen what sort of content they will provide during the tournament proper, but if this promo video (which features Feliciano Lopez) is any indication, it’ll be just as vibrant and lively as its carefully-cultivated image.
Above all, Madrid serves as an example of what the sport can become in this new age — a Europeanized (and better version) of a US Open Series event. Tennis has always stood on the shoulders of the many cities that host it, but quite often, standardized tournament branding fails to effectively represent each location’s diverse nature. Hopefully, with its constant attempts to break the mold, Madrid will inspire its fellow tournaments to modernize and engage the global audience. After the jump: More high-flying pics from Madrid’s on-the-wall acro-tizing. [Read more...]
Seeing this bandana on Johanna Larsson (and viewing pics of Nenad Zimonjic playing with pocket-sized furry creatures at the Belgrade Zoo) made us wonder: where the eff is Arnaud Clement? We miss you! We really do.
Estoril: Onto more important things, like tennis! Larsson lost her semifinal match at the Estoril Open to Kristina Barrois, who will face Anabel Medina Garrigues for the title. And mazel to Barrois for breaking into the top 70 (when rankings are released on Monday). Draw: Estoril Open Women’s Singles.
BTW: can anyone ID Johanna’s ruffly black tank?
(image by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP/Getty Images)
Ahh, nothing better than using YouTube as DIY therapy, no? (See what wonders it did for that UCLA student de-stressing before finals!). In the case of the recently divorced Jarmila Gajdosova, it gets a little creeeeepy as she professes her feelings for her true love from across that California King Bed.
On the flip side, we like it when people can make light of super-serious situations.
(video via Wilson)
Wimbledon white: Kate rocked a Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen dress on her wedding day. (AP photo)
In case you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably aware that there was a little wedding across the pond today in London. While we love us some royals (remember the Queen at Wimbledon?!), we were most digging the hats being sported by the lovely ladies in Westminster Abbey. I built this photo gallery for BLTWY.
And while some tennis fans may poo-poo the royal nuptials, rumors are floating around that Kate — now known as the Dutchess of Cambridge — might become the de-facto royal rep at the grounds of the All England Club. We’d dig that.