szavay earning her stripes: fila collezione’s spring 2008 line

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As Fila‘s new face, Hungarian Agnes Szavay is doing her best to get the most on-court time for her clothing. She tripped up in the season’s Australian swing (losing back-to-back first round matches at Gold Coast and Melbourne), but rebounded quite well this week, beating Hantuchova and Dementieva before losing to Anna Chakvetadze in the Open Gaz de France finals.

Dress like Agnes: The Collezione Jacket, $57.99; Spring Colezione Polo, $44.99; and the Cap Sleeve Top, $39.99.

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More: Browse the rest of the line, including the Collezione Tank, Racer Tank, and Cami Tank, at TW.

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>> TSF’s agnes szavay archive

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on this cold court, it’s no halter skelter

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The cold weather in Hong Kong has wreaked havoc on the ladies who participated at the JB Group Classic. Anna Chakvetadze (in adidas), Venus Williams, and a yoga panted Maria Sharapova all had contingency plans for the exhibition.

They were better prepared this time around, unlike last May’s Polish Open, when Venus ended up putting long sleeves under a halter. A halter.

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Elena Dementieva keeps herself toasty, too.

(photos by Getty Images)

maria ends the year with some bangs

Sharapova in Singapore: The flurry of Asian post-season exhibitions continue with Maria Sharapova Live!, a Dec. 30 match in Singapore featuring the Russian and Anna Chakvetadze. Masha won 6-0, 7-6 (10) — so much for exo “gimme” games, eh?

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Everything but the toilet seat: To help sate the Maria-mania sweeping the continent, organizer Entertainment Group Limited has arranged to auction off certain disposable items she uses during her one-night stay at the Fullerton Hotel‘s presidential suite; this includes bathrobes, towel slippers, bedsheets, and even a bathing suit. (While this all sounds twisted already, EGL did draw the line by refusing to auction toilet seat covers.)

The photo above (right) was taken at the hotel’s rooftop deck.

Her two cents: In press interviews, Maria gives the SEWTA Tour a clean bill of health (as far as match-fixing goes), and doesn’t give lip service to the New Paper during their six minutes with her.

Anna not yet 100%: Meanwhile, Anna has not yet recovered from last week’s home-invasion robbery. (WTB)

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We’re loving the bangs: These pictures above are from her various appearances. The one on the right is from the exhibition (she reprises her Nike librarian look). And she makes yet another smart hair move by getting bangs — a far cry from this past July’s feral ‘do. Remember this?

More photos here.

(photos by AP and Getty Images)

trophies: more haarhuis, plus a russian flashback

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Paul Haarhuis was last man standing at the year-end tournament for the BlackRock Masters Tennis tour. (He also won an Outback Champions event two weeks ago.) Haarhuis took out Frenchman Guy Forget 6-1, 6-7, 10-8. In case you’re wondering what’s in the background, that’s the pipe organ (UK’s largest) at the Royal Albert Hall.

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Russian fete: Russia honored Igor Andreev and Anna Chakvetadze as the best Russian tennis players of 2007. Anna clearly earned her award after winning four singles titles this year (most of her compatriots only snagged one). Andreev’s distinction, on the other hand, is a headscratcher: he had no singles titles in 2007 (while Tursunova got two, while Youzhny and Davydenko bagged one each). A possible reason is his great singles performance in the Davis Cup semis against Germany.

Anastasia Myskina added emceeing this event to her list of non-tennis work (along with other emcee gigs plus soccer commentating). And the Fed Cup ladies won the Team of the Year award.

(haarhuis photo by Getty Images; Russa photos and story via TIB)

blacks, metallics, and leopard print (!!) at the yec party

(My thoughts go out to those affected by the earthquake that hit Chile today…)

The SEWTA Tour hosted their Year-End Championships Players’ party in Madrid on Sunday night (after the longest three-set final which saw Justine Henin defend her title).

Black was the evening’s shade, found on LBDs, floor-length skirts, and a sexy halter bubble dress on Serena Williams. Metallics showed up on Ana Ivanovic and Sharapova (in Thakoon). There were lots of gold accessories, too: a belt on Ana, a brooch on Anna Chakvetadze, and chains adorning Serena’s Louis Vuitton bag. And Jelena Jankovic separated herself from the pack with a body-hugging leopard print dress that puts Bethanie Mattek to shame.

Here are some photos from the shindig. Make sure to check out the entire gallery on the WTA website.

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Anna punctuated her black half turtleneck knit top with a gold brooch at the bust and toted classic quilted leather purse. Meanwhile, her oft-braided hair got some air.

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Ana went Victorian with her lacy silk top, gold belt, and floor-length skirt (is that a key around her neck?); and Jelena pulled off a leopard print ensemble.

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Momma long-legs Daniela Hantuchova let her hair down and wore a fur caplet over her little black mini dress.

See Serena, Sveta, Justine, and Marion after the cut…

filling in the gaps: trophy watch

I planted the seed for TSF once the calendar turned to 2007, but of course it took a while for the blog to germinate. This meant that most of January, tennis-wise, was a wash; we have no posts of fashions and trophies from the Aussie Open and its warm-ups tournaments. So in this series I’ll attempt to fill in the gaps in my OCD-induced catalog one tennis season.

First, a trophy post:

Trophy watch: Russian Anna Chakvetadze took home her third singles career title by beating Vasilisa Bardina 6-3, 7-6 (3) in Hobart in January of this year. She’s since racked up three more titles — ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Cincinnati, and Stanford — for a total of seven.

Bonus round: You can read up on Chakvetadze here, and on runner-up Bardina here.

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>> TSF’s trophy watch

masha might have gotten the cold shoulder…

…but she looked good while it was happening.

As was reported in the Guardian and other papers, the 2004 Wimbledon champ’s Fed Cup teammates saw right through her cameo at the final tie, chalking it up as a self-serving publicity stunt and part of the Siberian’s master plan to make a go for next year’s Beijing Olympics.

Maria dutifully hung out courtside in her Bosco Sport outfit, cheering on teammates Svetlana Kuznetsova, Anna Chakvetadze, Nadia Petrova, and Elena Vesnina in their victory over Italy in the finals. But she also made sure to get in some autograph sessions. (And of course she did it in style, accesorizing the white mandarin collar blazer with pearl drop earrings).

She seemed genuinely engaged in what was going on this past weekend, but you know she got some “A-frame” hugs from Sveta and Chakvetadze, neither of whom wanted Masha around.

“To be honest, I don’t know why she came,” [Kuznetsova], who has never been the best of friends with Sharapova, told Russian media on the eve of the tie.

“What’s the point of coming here all the way from America if you can’t play? She said she wanted to help our preparation and be our practice partner but, to me, if you can’t play how then can you practise? It just doesn’t make sense.”

After clinching victory for Russia on Sunday, Kuznetsova again was asked about Sharapova’s presence. “Oh please, don’t ask me that question again,” she snapped back. “I had enough already.”

oh snap. And Chakvetadze adds her two cents:

“If you haven’t played Fed Cup all year, it wouldn’t be fair just to show up for the final,” she said. “It’s not fair to all the other girls who committed themselves to the team’s cause.”

Aww, they look like such a happy family.

(photos by Getty Images)

fed up with fed cup

It really pisses me off when conflicting clothing sponsorships reduce tennis players to slapping on these white “country name” patches and expect them to pass as “uniforms”.

Meanwhile, Bosco Sport continues to churn out awesome team uniforms for the Russians. (Here’s how they dressed the Russian men.) They were also involved with outfitting the Russian Olympic contingents who participated in the Winter Games in Torino and the Summer Games in Athens.

Browse: See some Bosco Sport goods here.

Can’t Fed Cup do better? (Davis Cup suffers from similar problems.) Or are the clothing sponsors to blame? I don’t care who’s at fault — someone just needs to fix this ASAP. The white patch looked awful with the rest of Chakvetadze‘s adidas outfit!

P.S. Sveta looked good in this all-white version of her Fila Collezione outfit. (She wore the red tank for the U.S. Open.)

/rant

trophies: indianapolis, umag, austria, stanford, rio, etc.

The trophy gods worked hard to give us some good ones this week:

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In the hotfest over at the Austrian Open in Kitzbuehel, Argentinian Juan Monaco (in adidas) got taken to three sets by Potito Starace (wearing Le Coq Sportif). Bonnie was right: Juan should have been in my top 5. Really, I’ve never noticed a six pack bursting out of a shirt like that…

Pictureless: Italian Francesca Schiavone won her first career title in Bad Gastein, but we are without pictures. Congrats, Francesca!

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In Umag, veteran Carlos Moya tells us not to write him off just yet with his 6-4, 6-2 win over Andrei Pavel. Gap-toothed or not, he’s still hot. And kudos to the tourney organizers for coming up with that offbeat blue trophy.

Other trophies: Stanford, Pan-American Games, and Indianapolis trophies after the cut…