nikolay rolls over for irina… or when it’s vodka straight up

In a charming display of devotion to his wife, Nikolay Davydenko didn’t give up the goods when asked if there’s any Russian tennis player he would want to marry. “Man or woman?”, he wanted to clarify, before explaining that he already has a “beautiful wife”. Good for him, since Irina was in the press room at the time.

We know how Kolya he likes his guys (nice eyes, nice hair), so in case those reporters are still wondering: we’re thinking he’ll pick Igor Andreev.

Another fun Davydenko fact: he’s weak sauce.

“I don’t drink so much because, you see, I’m skinny. I mix only, sometimes I drink clear vodka, sometimes mixed with Red Bull to give me a little boost in night club or disco.

“Because if I drink only vodka I go straight to sleep.”

Status quo: No new drops from Kolya’s clothing sponsor, Airness.

(image via Getty Images)

eleVen spreads its wings

Venus Williams must be getting excited that her clothing line, EleVen is finally catching on. Russian Nadia Petrova, who is no longer with French company Airness, is through to the fourth round of these Championships wearing EleVen whites. The press asked Venus for comment after her first round match.

Q. You brought out a new clothes line here, but you have Petrova wearing your clothes, right?
VW: Uh-huh.

Q. Is that the first time you’ve had another player wearing your clothes? Talk about how you worked that out with her.
VW: I think she’s just in transition between — was in transition, so she I think wanted — she was doing me a favor. So I’m hoping to see her in the clothes. I saw her in some warmups yesterday, but I haven’t seen her in the match clothes. I’m hoping to see her. She’s a great girl. I have a lot of respect for her on and off the court. She’s a good person.

Scoreline: 21st seed Petrova upset the 16th seed Victoria Azarenka to reach the fourth round of Wimbledon. There she will face either Shuai Peng or the Sharapova-thrashing Alla Kudryavtseva.

(transcript via ASAP Sports; photo via Babs)

davydenko’s nightmare isn’t over

Kolya Davydenko was the first top casualty at this year’s Wimbledon Championships with his straight set (4-6, 4-6, 4-6) loss to the 116th-ranked Benjamin Becker. It’s really sad that his titles in Miami and Warsaw were nowhere to be found in any of the post-match articles. Instead, the questions still focused on the match-fixing scandal that has rocked the Davydenko world for a very long time.

“It is like a bad dream. Not one day but months,” he says of the experience.

Too bad he bowed out early (but really, apart from his 4th round appearance last year, Kolya has lost in the first round of Wimbledon five of the last seven years), because that Airness polo he wore is the best and cleanest thing I’ve seen come out of the French company’s performance collection so far this year.

By the way, I heard from a colleague that Nadia Petrova, a former Airness beneficiary, was seen at Wimbledon wearing EleVen. Can anyone confirm with pics?

(photos by Getty Images)

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davydenko, out! + airness drops nadia?

Battle of the No. 3s: Poor Nikolay Davydenko got pushed to five sets by Ivan Ljubicic, the man who used to occupy Kolya’s spot as No. 3 in the world behind Rafa and Roger. The score, in Ivan’s favor: 4-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.

The Russian’s clothing sponsor, Airness, kept up its end of the bargain by giving him no less than three variations of their Spring ’08 shirt. That mock collar, which we also saw on Lotto this season, is a little too much with all the color blocks and stripes. Oh well, at least we won’t have to see it for a week.

Meanwhile, Nadia Petrova got dropped by Airness, it looks like. She showed up at Roland Garros wearing this drop shot top from Nike.

(photos by Getty Images)

flashback: kolya at indian wells

In the next few days (maybe weeks) I’ll be posting some photos that Matt or I took while we were at the Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells….

Nikolay Davydenko - Indian Wells 2008

It was such a treat to see Nikolay Davydenko hitting on Saturday afternoon, especially because he wasn’t even scheduled to play that day! He looked nice and tan. Much sturdier in person than in pictures.

As expected, he didn’t have much of a crowd watching him (maybe 20 people, max). But that meant there was more room for us to move around.

Too bad I wasn’t wearing a “Free Kolya” shirt. I wonder what he would have thought of it?

Irina Davydenko - Indian Wells 2008

Of course, devoted wife Irina sat there quietly and patiently waited for Kolya to finish his practice. Her icy death stare was contained only by those enormous sunglasses.

One more: One more photo of Davydenko after the cut..

davydenko’s in the quarters + an update on the match-fixing scandal

Nikolay Davydenko - Miami 2008

Nikolay Davydenko seems to be shaking away his demons left and right.

First, he’s standing up against the ATP anti-corruption team (“Tennis Integrity Unit”) investigating the match-fixing scandal, refusing to hand over phone records of his brother, Edouard, and his wife, Irina, until the ATP decides to foot his legal bill. His lawyer, Frank Immenga, told BBC Sport that charges will be dropped very soon, and that it’s not out of the question that Kolya will sue the ATP for damages.

Meanwhile, he just reached the quarters at the Sony Ericsson Open for the first time in his career, taking out Mario Ancic 4-6, 6-3, 7-5. Ancic was on a roll before falling to the Russian, beating 13th seed Andy Murray and 18th seed Juan Monaco (le sigh) in the previous two rounds. Kolya has yet to face a seed, and will take on Janko Tipsarevic in the quarters. The only time the two have met was in the hard courts of Russia in last year’s Davis Cup tie. (Kolya won that one 7-6, 6-1.)

As usual, he’s wearing a ho-hum kit from Airness.

(photos by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

wearing red didn’t help their luck

The slippery slides of Roger Federer and Nikolay Davydenko couldn’t be helped by the good luck, in Chinese culture, brought by wearing red. Both are playing in their first round-robin matches at the Tennis Masters Cup Shanghai this week.

nikolay davydenko and roger federer - shanghai

Andy Roddick (in Lacoste) beat Kolya (in white/red Airness) in a 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 match. The American (is that ok with you, Shain?) had a second-set blip that left him throwing down his racquet, but found his mojo in time to make a run of five straight games in the third set to go up 5-1.

Meanwhile, R-Fed suffered his first back-to-back loss since Hamburg/Roland Garros in 2003. This year, he lost in the third round of the Paris Masters Series to David Nalbandian, and in this first round-robin match in Shanghai against Fernando Gonzalez, who notched his first win against Federer in 11 tries. The scoreline: 4-6, 7-6 (1), 7-5.

(photos by Getty Images)

australian open: the russian charge

The Russian guys have a special place in our heart even though they rarely hit high marks for their fashion choices (except for Marat‘s necklaces, Igor Andreev‘s new Under Armour kit, and the occasional gem from Kolya Davydenko). So their attire at this year’s first Slam — the Australian Open — was no different. Take a look.

Safin, the 26th seed, went down to sixth seed Andy Roddick 6-7 (2), 6-2, 4-6, 6-7 (2) in the third round wearing red adidas three-stripes.

We had high hopes for Mikhail Youzhny on the Rebound Ace courts after his semifinal appearance at the 2006 U.S. Open. Alas, Roger Federer denied him a seven-salute run by winning 6-3, 6-3, 7-6 (5) in the third round. Mikhail wore simple white as he did the splits and gave us a little show.

The speedy Davydenko was the fashion debutante in his new Airness threads, thus snapping what probably was the longest no-clothing-sponsor streak held by any Top Fiver. This sleeveless number was only worn in training.

As the third seed, he lost to German Tommy Haas 3-6, 6-2, 6-1, 1-6, 5-7 in the quarters.

(photos of sleeveless Kolya by atpchica)

Meanwhile, Calif.-based blogger Dmitry Tursunov donned Fila solids as he lost to 13th-seed Tomas Berdych 2-6, 1-6, 1-6 in the third round. (photos by atpchica)

Dmitry being cute with a camera; being cute with a koala.

(Except for Tursunov in play and sleeveless Kolya, all photos are from the MTF Russian fan forums)

davis cup: russia downs germany

The Davis Cup tie between Russia and Germany (in Moscow) ended up 3-2 in favor of the home team. (See full results here.)

Davydenko wore Airness in his straight-set loss to Philipp Kohlschreiber. Kolya’s probably still distracted by the match-fixing scandal that emerged at the Polish Open. (Investigators were scheduled to talk to him next week.)

That’s a photo of Kohlschreiber and his gorgeous lips; German team captain Patrik Kuhnen wears the German-themed wristband that we love. Awesome.

Mikhail Youzhny, in adidas, does his traditional post-win salute after beatng Davis Cup rookie Philipp Petzschner 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

Youzhny redeemed his loss in the doubles rubber (with teammate Dmitry Tursunov). Look at that… Fila and the three stripes of adidas sync up for a nice doubles look.

Igor Andreev, in his new style from Under Armour, clinched the win by beating Kohlschreiber 6-3, 3-6, 6-0, 6-3.

“It’s an amazing feeling playing here in Moscow and it’s the second time I won the deciding point … it’s great,” said Andreev. “I like this feeling of adrenaline in your body before going on the court, it’s so exciting to play here and it’s great for our country to reach the Davis Cup Final for the second year in a row.” (source)

The final will be played against the U.S. on American soil.

And here’s Marat Safin, fresh (stale?) from his trek up the mountain, knowing how important it is to cheer on his teammates.