david ferrer springs back



David Ferrer has had a great year so far, being in an elite group of four guys who’ve won more than one singles title in 2011 — Nole has four, Soderling has three, and Ferrer and Almagro each have two.

After coming so close to winning Monte Carlo, Ferrer’s vying for his second clay title of the year in Barcelona. He opened with a quick match against Carlos Berlocq and will face Hanescu in the third round. He could meet Melzer in the quarters after that. Draw: See how all the guys are doing at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell.

Lotto: After playing with yellow and color blocking to start out the year, Lotto’s moved on to showcasing the chest by adding lines and patterns to polos and crews. They used orange (“Fanta”) during Ferrer’s swing through Indian Wells and Miami, and have gone back to teal for his clay run. Buy: Shirts available at Pro-Direct Tennis.

(images via Getty Images)

trophy watch: roger retreats to routine while rafa rolls on with record



The Queen’s Cup

Rafael Nadal continues to make his case for winning this year’s Wimbledon title with a 7-6 (6), 7-5 victory over Novak Djokovic at The Artois Championships in London. Rafa, who took home $133,000, is the first Spaniard to win a grass court title in 35 years (bookending Andres Gimeno‘s 1972 Eastbourne feat).

Does Rafa already have a toothpaste endorsement deal? It could be very lucrative…

Meanwhile, Roger Federer scurried back to the teat of the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, Germany, where he tried to erase last week’s French Open drubbing with his fifth title at this smaller grass event. He beat Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 6-4. He didn’t drop a set in five matches, helping extend his record to 25-0 at this event (and to 59 straight wins on grass dating back to 2002).

Looking forward: Roger will seek his sixth straight Wimbledon title this coming week.

Top seed Nikolay Davydenko chips away some more of that (unfounded) match-fixing notoriety with another title, this time at the Orange Prokom Open in Warsaw. He has racked up three titles so far in 2008, tying Nole and trailing only Rafa’s five. Kolya beat second seed Tommy Robredo 6-3, 6-3. Great track jacket from Airness!

Kateryna Bondarenko switched to a more even K-Swiss outfit for the DFS Classic final. Kateryna overcame Yanina Wickmayer 7-6 (7), 3-6, 7-6 (4).

In this week’s only clay contest, Maria Kirilenko made quick work of Maria Martinez Sanchez (6-0, 6-2) in the Barcelona Open. Maria turned this around with a first-round exit at Eastbourne this week.

(photos by Getty Images)