trophy be damned, oudin and sock smooch

Love me, Melanie: It was a big night for Melanie Oudin and Jack Sock at the US Open. The two won their maiden slam, stunning the mixed doubles draw by coming through for the title. No. The two didn’t actually smooch. But there seemed to smooching tension. Smoochsion? We crafted up some photoshop guile to bring them a little bit … closer.

Congrats, kiddos.

(TSF illustration. Yes, illustration)

julien farel – the u.s. open's on-site hairstylist

Stylist Julien Farel has been taking care of players’ hair at the U.S. Open for five years running (and, for 2011, blogging about it at Tennis Channel). We asked him a few questions this week.

TSF: How did you get started working with tennis clients?
Julien Farel: I use to do it for Roland Garros and always thought it was a great tournament and sport for JF Group. Now we’re in our fifth year at the Open.

TSF: Whose hair is the most fun to style?
JF: Cutting Rafa Nadal, or styling Lauren Bush or Gwyneth Paltrow is tough to compare, they are all great — and the best in their fields!

TSF: And whose are you dreaming of working on?
JF: Federer and Sharapova. Penelope Cruz and JLo.

TSF: Do you follow the sport?
JF: Yes I am I big fan of tennis and try to play as often as I can. I prefer singles and I like the back hand passing shot.

TSF: How much does a player’s outfit for a particular tournament play into how you cut/style their hair?
JF: A lot. I particularly like Wimbledon because it is all-white: very classic and elegant. I love the classic! I love Nadal’s haircut with a very fitted outfit. It’s very trendy, sexy, and cool.

TSF: What about accessories?
JF: I like men’s hair accessorized with headbands or sweatbands; for the women, a fishtail or classic braid. They can control frizz with a little JF Relaxing Balm and that will do the trick.

TSF: What are players most concerned about with their hair?
JF: Keeping the hair off their face and controlling the frizz. JF styling products work great because they all contain an UVA protection to keep the hair hydrated and healthy.

voskoboeva in ellesse

Fluffy: One of our favorite looks from this year’s U.S. Open women’s draw is the ruffled dress on Russia’s Galina Voskoboeva. It teeters enough on being a caricature of tennis whites — with its Peter Pan collar and tiers of fabric — that it might’ve ended up on our “worst” list had it been on Nads Petrova.

Sadly, the dress didn’t last long, with Galina losing in the opening round to 7th seed Francesca Schiavone 3-6, 6-1, 4-6. (Draw: Women’s Singles)

More: A few looks at Voskoboeva’s dress — with pics from New York and Toronto — after the cut…

men's best at the 2011 u.s. open

Testosterone treatment: The folks at adidas have done well to integrate current streetwear trends — geometric patterns, color blocking, neons — into their men’s adiZero collection. As a whole, this was the best look for the 2011 U.S. Open, seen on Juan Monaco, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Fernando Verdasco, Alexandr Dolgopolov, among others.

More: See the individual pieces (that triangled warm-up’s our fave) — after the cut…

fashion focus: tacchini designs with nole's shoulder in mind

Free-swingin': Top seed Novak Djokovic is still in the running for the 2011 U.S. Open — he faces Roger Federer in the semis — and he’s going through the draw in surprisingly plain gear from Sergio Tacchini. (Did they peak too early?)

Recycling: The orange piping from his spring hardcourt run — one of our fave looks for the year — returns along with some white stripes to decorate his navy blue evening kit; the day polo gets navy piping. Of note is the single-panel, all-mesh construction under the sleeves that continues seamlessly down the side of the shirt — a result of careful ergonomic studies into how Novak moves his shoulder. Everyone’s worried about that part of his body, eh?

Buy: ST Men’s Nax Tennis Polo, $85, tennisexpress.com.

More: Pics of his day/night kits — along with a close-up of his adidas shoes and “Nole” logo — all after the cut…

before the gloomy weather, some bursts of yellow at the u.s. open

Golden Girls: Both Jelena Jankovic and Elena Baltacha opted to wear shades of yellow at this year’s U.S. Open. Jankovic, who lost in the third round to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, played in a gold ANTA dress. Note the boning detail, the ruching at the bust, and all that busy-ness (which we love!) at the top: a set of straps for the dress and one for the mesh bra.

And in Elena Baltacha we have the heir to the Yonex throne once occupied by that other Elena — Dementieva. The Brit lost to 15th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova in the second round. The slit and the white stripe down the dress’ right side tones down the hard blue-collar feel of the contrasting black trim; ultimately, we’dve rather seen this in the dark blue version that Yonex printed in their catalog.

More: Pictures of Elena and Jelena’s clothes after the cut…

wta headshots: part 3 (ladies of east coast)

Matt Trollope began covering tennis in 2008, a natural extension of his childhood obsession for the game that included hitting for countless hours against his bedroom wall and self-producing and editing a fictitious tennis magazine. Based in Melbourne, he has covered four Australian Opens and one Wimbledon championship, and his tennis writing has featured in Australian Tennis Magazine, the Australian Open Official Program, and Alpha Magazine.

In this latest instalment of TSF’s WTA Headshots series, we take a look at some players who have posted solid results this past fortnight in New York. Given some of them have since been dumped from the women’s draw, they might have time to source new photographs. And remember, folks, this is just pure, unadulterated fun and fiction. We lack all seriousness in below post. Enjoy!

Sabine Lisicki | When Lisicki missed most of 2010 with a severe ankle injury, instead of lying around feeling sorry for herself, she went out and scored a role as an extra in the film Just Go With It. “I figured if Brooklyn Decker and Andy Roddick could be in it, why couldn’t I?” She explained to TSF. “I asked them to put in a good word for me, and the director said I could be involved in scenes set in Hawaii.” This photo shows that Lisicki pulled off the Pacific Island look brilliantly, and like every good extra, you don’t even notice her when you watch the film. Yet ever the ambitious young lady on court, Lisicki struggled to quash her competitive instincts in the acting arena, with an insider quoting her as saying: “Seriously, Brooklyn’s acting was such crap, as if I wouldn’t totally own that character! All she had to do was get a massage for half the movie and look pretty in front of the camera. I already do that as a professional tennis player!” After watching the film –- which copped a resounding thumbs-down from critics –- we have to agree.

Jelena Jankovic | It’s always been about the drama and the performance for Jelena. Forget the tennis –- JJ’s performances have been largely forgettable for three years anyway. Instead, Jelena’s current focus is on shoring up her post-tennis career options. We at TSF have dug up her submission –- a resume complete with a suitable headshot –- to take part in Celine Dion’s show-in-residence at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. Jankovic notes parallels between herself and the Canadian diva: “My application shows that I clearly rock the wind-machine look, I’ve got my fist-pump down pat and I’m very comfortable being in the spotlight,” she says. “She’s always using back-up dancers, and with my body, I could easily fit in with them. And who cares if I can’t sing? It’s all about lip-synching these days.” Further investigation by TSF confirms that Dion’s management has yet to respond to Jankovic’s application.

TSF Vault: More WTA headshots

Vania King | Ever watched Glee and thought the Asian-American character was an unconvincing actress, a dud singer, and generally pretty annoying? Well, it seems the WTA does, and it’s propping up one of its own as a viable replacement. Proud of the fact that King can sing, but keen to strip her of her prissy choir-girl image –- certainly not aligned with the tour’s sweat-soaked, pheromone-charged Strong Is Beautiful campaign –- CEO Stacey Allaster told TSF about the inspiration behind the push to “vote Vania” for Glee. “What better way for the WTA to position one of our players than in such a sassy, sexy and culturally-relevant program? We’re taking it up a level from Xperia Hotshots. Glee is totally where it’s at now.” So far, the Vote Vania campaign features a poster –- with Vania’s coquettish pose serving as the foundation –- but no slogan as yet.

Andrea Petkovic | Petko will continue to make her presence felt on the East Coast following her deep run at the US Open, lending her face to a tourism campaign promoting The Hamptons as an idyllic year-round escape from the frenetic pace of New York City life. This photo –- a still from the television advertisement –- shows Petkovic leaning luxuriously against the wall of a rustic timber home, her amber eyes glinting as the sun sets over the Atlantic Ocean. “Maybe your body is weary from lots of dancing,” she says dreamily in the voiceover. “Perhaps you want to disconnect from technology after tweeting, Facebooking, blogging and vlogging. You might want to rest your mind after tackling the works of Goethe and Wilde, or brushing up on your four languages. Whatever your reason, you’ll find your sanctuary in The Hamptons.” Given the German is an increasingly dominant force on the women’s tour, many of her opponents may be hoping for an escape themselves.

(Photos via the WTA; Humor via TSF)