in big china, it’s the little things we like

While the rain raged on in Beijing, delaying both the men’s and women’s final until Monday, we popped into the virtual China Open store for a glance and the goodies being offered up this year. It would be unjust to ignore what their store has to offer; while the clothing selection left something to be desired, there are a few diamonds of the fuzzy slash plastic slash “What is that, exactly?” variety. Just what we love…

This gorgeous and somewhat subtle (at least for the China Open online store… ) scarf has great detailing. If you look closely, you can see the tiny man chasing down a tennis ball. Buy for about $21 USD.

You may think it cheesy, but we love the top to this mug, which retails for about $8.

More of our picks from the China Open store after the cut… [Read more...]

fashion focus: novak’s dragon

Novak Djokovic won the Beijing Open this past week, beating David Ferrer in straight sets to defend his singles title. He’s also the third man to qualify for the ATP World Tour Finals in London. (Super curious to see what Nole pose they’re using as a stencil. Maybe this?)

We hadn’t had a chance to mention how much we love his current kit from Sergio Tacchini. The dragon imagery’s all over — from the hat, to the polo, to the shorts — but not overwhelming. The graphic itself doesn’t look junior-high in its tattoo-esque aesthetic. And that night outfit, in navy and red, was the perfect combination of colors to wear under the lights in Flushing Meadows (think back to Roger‘s “Darth Federer”).

Even his camp because part of the buzz at the Open. Dad Srdjan wore the airbrushed Nole shirt while watching his son play. That falcon’s a symbol which Nole has used throughout the years, first in his short-lived collection with adidas, which then transferred over to the Tacchini drop this year (photo).

There’s also the “Novache” shirt, seen here on one of Nole’s team as he hit with Andy Murray before making his Arthur Ashe Kids Day appearance on the Sunday before the Open. Djokovic’s mom wore this tee for her son’s matches.

Buy: Merch Polo, $74.99; Crew, $67.99; Shorts, $49.99; Novache Tee, $25.00; polo, crew, shorts available in black/white or navy/red; all at TW.

Draw: With two titles in 2010 under his belt (the other one being Dubai), Nole goes into this week’s Shanghai Rolex Masters as the tournament’s second seed. In his opening match, he’ll face the winner of the first-rounder between Ivan Ljubicic and wildcard Zhang Ze. (Draw: Singles.)

More: See some other pictures of Nole’s kit — including the warm-up jacket, his wristbands, hat, the “Nole” printed on the back of his polo — all after the cut…

trophy watch: beijing goes big, orbs in japan, and a little slice of belgium

Frenchie Adrian Mannarino (Troy!) took out Steve Darcis in straight sets to take this little slice of the Ethias Tennis Trophy in Mons, Belgium.

At the Rakuten Japan Open in Tokyo, Rafael Nadal beat Gael Monfils 6-1, 7-5 to grab his first post-US Open title this year. (He lost to Gigi Lopez in the Bangkok semis last week.)

On the doubles side, Eric Butorac and former Bruin Jean-Julien Rojer won the final match against Fila boys Dmitry Tursunov and Andreas Seppi. Two snaps to Prince and Nike for coordinating the colors on the kits of the winning team.

And in Beijing, rain-delayed finals didn’t produce any upsets, with defending champ Djokovic and Wozniacki fending off Ferrer and Zvonareva. Caro takes her second trophy this week (the first for reaching the world No. 1 ranking by overcoming break advantages from Vera in the first set. (The Russian even won the second set.) Both ladies can take this performance as a confidence boost going into the women’s year-end championships, held in Doha.

(images via Getty Images)

ljubicic upsets murray in beijing

The same color-blocking that appeared during Davis Cup (on the Colombians) has made its way to Beijing this week as Li Ning mascot Ivan Ljubicic vies for the China Open title. He upset Andy Murray 6-3, 6-2 and will next face David Ferrer (who took out Soderling). The other semi will feature Isner — who beat Kolya — and Djokovic (d. Simon). See the scorelines here.

(images via Getty Images)

id: what is anastasija sevastova wearing?

Qualifier Anastasija Sevastova is through to the quarterfinals of this week’s China Open after Nadia Petrova withdrew because of injury. Must be a welcome respite for the Latvian — she played three-setters both in upsets of both Sam Stosur and Dominika Cibulkova. Unfortunately, her next opponent is hometown fave Li Na. See the rest of the draw here.

Teachable moment: We first saw Sevastova at the 2010 US Open, where she lost in the first round to Regina Kulikova, and snapped these pics of her dress. Can anyone out there ID the brand for us?

More: A few more pics after the cut…

for once, something made in china didn’t suck

No melamine here: Congratulations to Caroline Wozniacki, who’ll replace Serena Williams as the top WTAer when the rankings are released on Monday; she’s the first Dane (man or woman) to hold the number one ranking. Caro’s 6-3, 6-2 win over Petra Kvitova in the third round of the China Open put her ahead of Serena, who’s scheduled to return to the tour at the Generali Open in Linz, Austria next week. (Draw: See how the China Open quarters are stacking up.)

Although Wozniacki still doesn’t have a Grand Slam title to her name, we think that there isn’t a question about whether this top ranking is deserved. Five titles in 2010, a consistent performance throughout the year, and a game that’s still growing. It should only be a matter of time before she bags one. (Even before Jankovic, no?)

And while we still think that Kirilenko‘s bod would do better in these adidas by Stella McCartney outfits, you can’t fault adi for the switch; Caro’s already given these clothes more camera time than Makiri ever did.

(images via Getty Images)

li na stealthily makes her way through the draw

I guess all that pressure to win the hometown tournament is making Li Na go for some miiltary-grade suport. At this week’s China Open in Beijing, is she wearing a camouflage-print sports bra under that blue Nike tank?

Looking forward: After dispatching of Alisa Kleybanova 6-1, 6-4 (no slouch — Kleybs won Seoul last month), Li will next face Angelique Kerber, and likely Nadia Petrova in the quarters. Nads is 6-0 lifetime against Li, but the last time they played was in 2008. Draw: See the China Open draws here.

Nike: Not much to write home about for the Nike women’s post-US Open goods. The most notable detail comes in the contrast collar on this top. Buy: Accuracy Top, in black, mega blue, and white/red plum, TW. Browse: The rest of the Nike women’s offerings.

(image via Getty Images)

kolya hits 400 match wins

Two snaps to Nikolay Davydenko for joining a small group of active ATP players who’ve hit the 400 match win mark in their careers — a list that includes Moya, Federer, Nadal, and Hewitt, among others. This achievement has to be a welcome boost for the Russian, who’s slated to defend title wins at the Shanghai Masters and the ATP Tour finals. (On the flip side, keep in mind that Kolya’s finished strong at year-ends prior; in 2008, making the semis of Bercy and the finals of the men’s YEC.)

Draw: As the fourth seed at this week’s China Open in Beijing, Davydenko beat Cilic for that 400th win and will face Isner in the quarters. See the rest of the match-ups here.

Crew: For Beijing, Dunlop switches from the white/blue 2010 US Open polo to this bright blue crew, a shade that works well to give Davydenko’s anemic features some pop. (And earlier in the North American summer, there was a blue polo but had a white right sleeve.) For now, the kits are still not for sale as far as we know.

More: Two other pics of Kolya [Read more...]

dear nole

Alright, Novak, we get it. Just because we gave Santiago Giraldo some air time doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten about you, so you don’t need to try and win us back. We must admit it’s tough; now that we’ve been relegated to third fiddle (after your gf Jelena and now that shadow over Ashe), sometimes we have to get our fix somewhere else.

xoxoxo,

TSF

p.s. It’s smoggy over there in Beijing, so we hope the extra rest you get from that Fish walkover (hope your ankle recovers well, Mardy!) gives you a leg up in your quarterfinal against Gilles Simon. Pro: Simon had a tough three-setter against Berrer. Con: he’s probably more tennis-focused now that he’s had a chance to meet his newborn son. (Brackets: China Open Draws)

(image via Getty Images)

green, and maybe with envy

Jelena Jankovic got booted from this week’s China Open in the second round. She lost to qualifer and fellow Serbian Bojana Jovanovski in three sets: 6-4 2-6 2-6. As the de facto third seed, Jovanovski will face Shahar Peer in the next round. Other notable third round matches: Dementieva vs. Ivanovic, Zvonareva plays Kirilenko, and Li Na squares off against the weight of the Chinese hometown crowd. (Brackets: See them all here.)

Seesaw in sea foam: Jankovic continues her sloppy second half of 2010 (after running deep into events up until Wimbledon, including a title at Indian Wells), losing to Kanepi twice, to Yakimova, Kleybanova, Benesova, and Akgul. Jelena wore a sea foam Anta dress with a flora print at the neck. It reminded us of the Maria Sharapova skyline-inspired day dress from the 2007 US Open.

Up close: See a few more pics of the dress after the cut…