sa watch 2009: off to a good start in melbourne



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Doubles partners Marcelo Melo and Andre Sa are vying for their first title in 2009 as the eighth seeds at the Australian Open. They’re off to a good start, taking out the local team of Brydan Klein and Matthew Ebden 6-2, 7-6 (5) in the first round.

Behind their backs are three titles from their successful 2008: Costa do Sauipe, Portschach, and New Haven immediately before the U.S. Open (where they reached the third round). The duo also made the semis in Memphis and Metz; and the quarters of Vegas, Stockholm, and the Paris Masters.

Kit: Sa joins Melo in wearing Centauro. One less person wearing Diadora?

(photo by Getty Images)

eight men, five rubbers, one weekend…



Bulging biceps, tag teams, marathon sessions, tattoos, bears, Eastern Europeans, Brazilians…

Yes, my friends, it must be Davis Cup!

World Group 2008 – Semifinal
Argentina v Russia, 3 – 2
Tarpischev’s doubles trick couldn’t shake off del Potro.

Spain v USA, 4 – 1
America’s rich Davis Cup history gets blown to bits when a tie is contested on clay. Against Spain.

World Group, Play-offs 2008
Chile v Australia, 3 – 2
Gonzo distracted the Aussies with his chest.

Great Britain v Austria, 2-3
For British newbie Bogdanovic, playing in front of the home crowd at AELTC caused some performance anxiety against Peya.

Switzerland v Belgium, 4 – 1
The dream team of R-Fed and S-Waw cleaned up.

Croatia v Brazil, 4 – 1
Save for a clutch doubles match by Melo and Sa, Croatia takes all the matches.

Israel v Peru, 4 – 1
Harel Levy, Andy Ram, Noam Okun, and the Smurf-esque Dudi Sela all did the home crowd proud.

Netherlands v South Korea, 3 – 2
Hyung-Taik Lee swept his singles matches, but it wasn’t enough.

Romania v India, 4 – 1
As expected, Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi win their doubles match.

Slovak Republic v Serbia, 1 – 4
Novak Djokovic kept his clothes on.

trophy watch: winners at Pilot Pen



Caroline Wozniacki defeated Anna Chakvetadze in the women’s singles final at Pilot Pen. The 18-year-old is currently the only Dane in the Top 400 of the SEWTA Tour.

Meanwhile, Brazilians Andre Sa and Marcelo Melo won their doubles final over Mahesh Bhupathi and Mark Knowles 7-5, 6-2.

And Croat Marin Cilic downed Mardy Fish 6–4, 4–6, 6–2 to win his first ever ATP singles title. Congrats to him.

(photos by Getty Images)

trophy watch: i call him “melo yellow”; a japanese phenom; mama murray must be happy, etc.



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This one’s for you, Mikey: Our Sa Watch 2008 begins with the duo of Marcelo Melo and Andre Sa — locals — winning the Brazil Open doubles trophy over Albert Montanez and Santiago Ventura. Leave it to Andre to wear yellow socks on the court. Cute.

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Meanwhile, it was a battle of the lankies as British fourth seed Andy Murray took out Croatian Mario Ancic 6-3, 6-4, at the ATP Open 13 in Marseille, France.

In Delray Beach, Kei Nishikori surprised everyone (including finalist James Blake) with this impressive 6-3, 1-6 and 4-6 upset. Our buddy Ichizo took this video of Kei while playing against Zack Fleishman in Japan last October.

By the way, look out for Ichizo to launch his japanese language tennis blog sometime soon. This is one of the few times I’m sad that I don’t know Japanese. That, and everytime I can’t read anything in Men’s Non-No aka the best magazine in the world.

And we are sure that Mama Murray is proud of her other son, Jamie, who teamed with Max Mirnyi to upset the top seeded Bryan Brothers. (Watch: See Jamie use finger code to communicate with Max.)

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A beaut! The Proximus Diamond Games tops itself with a racquet encrusted with 2008 diamonds (get it?) totalling more than $1.5 million. 1,611 of those diamonds are on the ball itself. Unfortunately for Justine Henin, who beat Italy’s Karin Knapp, 6-3, 6-3 in the final match, she has to win the tournament three times in five years before she takes home that puppy. It’s not an impossible feat, though; Amelie Mauresmo did the same last year and took home the first diamond trophy.

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Singles: Sorry, guys. I was too crushed by the early loss of Guga Kuerten in singles (and doubles, actually) at the Brasil Open to care about who won. Props to Nicolas Almagro for besting mainstay Carlos Moya 7-6 (4), 3-6, 7-5.

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Lastly, Flavia Pennetta wore her multi-collared Sergio Tacchini all the way to a title at the Vina del Mar tourney in Vina del Mar, Chile. Her opponent: Klara Zakopalova.

(Mirnyi/Murray video via ATP; photos by Getty Images)

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>> TSF’s trophy watch

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tennis in briefs



In case you’re bored with all those banner quizzes that ask you to guess the owner of celebrity lips (when in doubt, choose Angelina Jolie) I offer you an alternative…

The photos below are from Brflines, a site devoted solely to the VBLs of your favorite tennis players. Man, there really is a website for everything!

So, whose brieflines are these? Answers below, after the cut.

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#1: Lleyton Hewitt, Novak Djokovic, Tommy Haas

tennis-in-briefs1.jpg

#2: Andre Sa, Nikolay Davydenko, Mikhail Youzhny

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#3: Arnaud Clement, Feliciano Lopez, Tommy Robredo

Answers after the cut…