fresh (and exclusive) strawberries for domi

Strawberries for Domi and the men get classic green from Dunlop this year at Wimbledon. (Photo provided)

Any cream, too? There’s been plenty of talk around Andy Murray‘s chic white HEAD bag that has been sprinkled with his favorite messages from fans through a creative Facebook campaign his racket maker has put on. But for Dunlop, it’s going the traditional — but fun — route with Dominika Cibulkova‘s bag for this year’s Championships, making her a colorful bag adorned with miniature strawberries for Domi, and Domi only. The bag isn’t for sale, Dunlop told TSF, but it looks great strapped over the diminutive Czech’s shoulder. The next scalp she’d like to throw in that bag? That’d be world no. 1 Caroline Wozniacki. The two are second on Court No. 2 (after Sharapova) on Monday. | More: Women’s draw

TSF Vault: Dunlop | Dominika Cibulkova

kolyateral damage

Shirtless: Croatia’s Antonio Veic did his part to make a name for the qualifiers who reached the third round of this year’s French Open (the others: Leonardo Mayer, Lukasz Kubot, Lukas Rosol). In the process, Veic took down 28th seed Nikolay Davydenko 3-6, 6-2, 7-5, 3-6, 6-1. Veic next plays Nadal. (Draw: RG Men’s Singles)

More: A few more shots of Veic in (and out) of his Lotto gear, plus Kolya in his Dunlop kit. Nothing to see there, really. It’s just for my records…. See it all after the cut…

dunlop bounces back: "all balls aren't created equal"

Odd man out: The new Babolat balls being used at this year’s French Open has gathered some buzz in the interview room, with players griping about their speed (faster) and heaviness (“harder”), and with Babolat responding that they haven’t noticed a difference. The issue’s more apparent since this is now the only major red clay tournament that doesn’t use Dunlop for balls (the FFT chose to end its relationship with Dunlop, instead choosing Babolat).

Now Dunlop’s chimed in to negate claims by the FFT that the ball specifications are exactly the same. “It is impossible to replicate our balls and we felt it was important to clarify this fact given the statement from the FFT and media interest in the matter,” said Barry Leach, Managing Director of Dunlop. Should the FFT decide they would like to provide the ball consistency that the players desire then we would welcome the opportunity to make it happen”.

Meanwhile, 117 people are dead after a tornado hit the city of Joplin, Missouri…

shirtless: tim smyczek

Anyone else ready to make this Donald Young vs. P-Mac story about Tim Smyczek instead? (Aside from Forty Deuce, we mean.) After all, Tim’s the guy who beat Young 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 in that USTA six-man playoff in Boca West to nab a wildcard spot into Roland Garros this year. FYI: Smyczek’s never played the French. On the women’s side, top seed Irina Falconi beat third seed Julia Boserup 4-6, 7-6 (6), 6-3.

More news: Dunlop announced today that they’re making Tim a part of their roster (though he’s been playing with their racquets even before the signing). His apparel and shoes are via adidas.

Shirtless: Here’s Smyczek getting sun and practice at this year’s BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells. On the other side of the net: Ryan Sweeting. Enjoy!

(images by TSF)

photo feed: at dunlop, the lady has landed

The photos rotating at the Dunlop landing page include some awkward poses from Cibulkova, Almagro, and Verdasco — all posing with nature to promote the company’s Biomimetic line — but also this old-school photo of a lady holding wooden racquets. See some other images from their archives (along with a narrative of Dunlop’s history) here.

(screengrab via dunlopsport.com)

davydenko lulls us to sleep in barcelona

Yep, we’re pretty much just as bored about Nikolay Davydenko as he looks in that picture. Powder couldn’t capitalize on that Qatar final appearance to start of the year. He’s languished since then, stringing no more than two victories back-to-back in eight consecutive tourneys. At this week’s Barcelona Open, Powder got bounced by Nicolas Almagro in the third round; Nico will play fellow Spaniard Juan Carlos Ferrero in the quarters. Humpty Dumpty: This is JCF’s first tourney since undergoing left knee and right wrist surgeries in October 2010. It’s good to have him back on the tour! (Draw: Barcelona Men’s Singles)

Buy: This red polo’s not for sale on the Dunlop site, but you can check out the rest of the goods here.

(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…]

irinaaaa

2010 US Open Nikolay Davydenko ran into that gorgeous backhand of Richard Gasquet and fell in straight sets. Nothing to write home about re: his Dunlop kit, and even now that he’s officially a face for that company’s new line of Biomimetic racquet’s, he played through two rounds in Flushing Meadows with an unstenciled Prince.

In that first photo, the crew; in this one, the polo.

His wife, Irina, hanging out on the practice court while Kolya did his thang.

(match images via Getty Images; irina photo by TSF)

from melzer, a makers and diet (our final drink, we swear)

2010 Roland Garros semifinalist (and one-half of the reigning Wimbledon men’s doubles champ team) Jurgen Melzer came out as part of Dunlop‘s launch party for their new Biomimetic line of racquets.

Draw: At the 2010 US Open, the 13th-seeded Melzer will open with a match against Dimitry Tursunov. He’s in the same quarter of the draw as Roger Federer. See the rest of this draw here.

(photo by TSF)

dominika cibulkova’s gin and tonic

Dominika Cibulkova was the only WTAer who made an appearance at last night’s Dunlop party, an event to launch the company’s new Biomimetic racquets. After a brief presentation, the players went behind the bar to serve up drinks for guests. We went with “bartender’s choice” for our cocktail made by the Slovakian, and Dominika gave us a gin and tonic. Cheers!

Draw: The unseeded Cibulkova, who s faces Stefanie Voegele in the first round and will meet the winner of the Li Na/Kateryna Bondarenko first-rounder. (Whoa, that’s def one of our picks for a good opening match.) See Dominika’s section of the draw here.

(photo by TSF)