trophy watch: simon’s egg, kleybanova’s unveiling, etc.

It doesn’t really matter to us who ends up winning that trophy from the Open de Moselle in Metz, as long as it gets a photograph taken once a year. Of course it doesn’t hurt that daddy Gilles Simon, who took out Mischa Zverev 6-3, 6-2, is the one in the picture.

More: Winners in Bucharest, Seoul, and Tashkent — all after the cut…

short balls: california girls (and boys)

TSF takes over the West Coast this week as I made the drive from Cottonwood, Idaho, (yeah, it exists) to San Francisco yesterday for a little R&R and a day at the Bank of the West Classic tomorrow in Palo Alto, at Stanford. Meanwhile, Erwin is holding court in LA for the Farmers Classic, making sure that the boys adhere to the warm weather shining on SoCal and going shirtless on the practice courts.

This week’s version of short balls comes on Tuesday, a little earlier than usual. Enjoy!

I’ll make the drive down to Palo Alto tomorrow for a day at the 40th annual Bank of the West Classic, now the longest-running women’s event on tour. Bank of the West has been the title sponsor since 1992 at this event, something that is unheard of in the days of fast-moving money. (Remember the Lipton Championships? Or the Kraft WTA Tour? Seems like centuries ago… ) The Bank of the West has been at Stanford’s Taube Tennis Pavilion since 1997, and just this year announced partnership with Rebounces, a green company that runs a tennis-ball recycling program nationwide. Balls brought in by members of the public (and those used in the tournament) will be collected and recycled by Rebounces, with the help of FedEx to get them shipped and donated to a local youth tennis program. Thumbs up to that!

There’s always plenty of tennis action on the pages of Twitter, and this week a few more tennis names added themselves to the never-ending world of Tweets. Janko Tipsarevic asked his followers to “bare” with his bad English (gladly, Janko, gladly). WTAers Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Alisa Kleybanova have also joined the Twitter ranks. Anastasia is playing in Istanbul this week, whiles Kleybs was already dismissed from Stanford by a studious Ana Ivanovic. Before she was bounced outta the Bay Area, Kleybs sat down with Chris Oddo for an interview featured on On The Baseline.

The USTA announced yesterday that it is partnering with longtime supporter American Express for a program called Fresh Courts. The program will invest money in 17 different tennis courts in three urban centers, including Los Angeles, DC and New York. In NYC, the benefactors will be our friends over at McCarren Park in Brooklyn. The USTA will head up the fixing up of the courts themselves, as it oversees around 700 refurbishing projects each year.

For a little bit of a fashion fix, I’m digging this Lacoste v-neck (and the model!) I ran across yesterday. $40 online. Meanwhile, Serena might be questionable for the US Open itself, but that’s not keeping Nike from prepping itself for her outfit at said tourney. The Control Court dress (seen here via TennisConnected) is $85 and might – just might – be made famous by ReRe if she’s able to show at Flushing Meadows come late August. This is the black version of her Wimbledon get up, which helped her to her 13th slam title.

short(er) balls are happening after the cut. [Read more…]

girls just want to have fun (moms included)

14th seed Kim Clijsters became the latest high seed casualty at the 2010 BNP Paribas Open when she fell to 23rd seed (and head-jerker) Alisa Kleybanova 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (7-4). Up next for the Russian is Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro, who took out top seed Sveta Kuznetsova in the round prior.

“What got me to be ahead was I was playing aggressive tennis and being dominant,” Clijsters said about her performance, which saw her get back into the match by winning the second set but losing a 4-0 lead in the third. “[Kleybanova] put me under pressure during those long rallies and I kind of just backed off a little bit.” Clearly her rust from not having played competitively since the Australian Open (save for two matches at the Billie Jean King Cup earlier this month) was showing.

But before she bowed out, Clijsters played to her girlier side by joining the rest of the WTAers who’ve been toting cute gym bags onto the court. From the current batch of accessories at Fila, Kim chose the brand’s Signature Quilt Bowler. We’ve been eyeing the gold version of that same bag…

Buy: Fila Signature Quilt Bowler, available in white, black, chinese red, and gold, $49.99, at buy.com. And her outfit: Center Court Sleeve Top, in ebony/white and white/hot coral, $48; Wrap Skort, ebony/white/hot coral, $45; Jacket, $68.

(photo courtesy of Fila)

fed cup 2010 – first round

That’s Bojana Jovanovski, Ana Jovanovic, captain Dejan Vranes, Jelena Jankovic, and Ana Ivanovic at the official Fed Cup dinner on the eve of the tie between Serbia and Russia. As you can see from the schedule below, the headcase Ivanovic will go up against Svetlana Kuznetsova first, and then Jelena, whose back injury could hamper her performance, will then face the hard-hitting Alisa Kleybanova.

Russian team: Captain Shamil Tarpischev, Vera Dushevina, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, and Alisa Kleybanova.

If the tie was based solely on footwear, the Serbians win. What is up with Anastasia’s red bra??

Who’s playing whom + TV: Here’s the line-up for all four World Group ties (plus TC’s coverage of the US/France tie) — after the cut…

charmed, i’m sure

jelena-dokic-aussie09a

I’ve got to be honest: I never would have thought that the Jelena making the quarterfinals of the 2009 Australian Open would be Dokic and not Jankovic.

The Yugoslav-born Australian, who received a wildcard after winning a qualifying event, has become the Cinderella story of this tournament. She overcame years of depression, injuries, and emotional abuse from her father to reach the final eight. Her scalps along the way: Anna Chakvetadze, Caroline Wozniacki, and Alisa Kleybanova (who took out Ana Ivanovic).

The high-quality fourth-round match between Kleybanova and Dokic ended with a 7-5, 5-7, 8-6 scoreline. She next faces Dinara Safina, who held off two match points to win over 19-year-old Alize Cornet 6-2, 2-6, 7-5. (Cornet had match points serving 5-3 in the third set.)

Lucky charms: Dokic will need all the luck she can get. She’s been pushed to three sets for all her matches so far, and rolled her ankle in the third set against Kleybanova. Will she one of the last women standing at Saturday’s final?

(image via Getty Images)