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Rolex? Check. Visa emblem? Check.

Looks like two-time 2011 titlelist Juan Martin del Potro is making the most of his sideline time, having signed up to be one of the mascots for Visa‘s sports sponsorship program. (But JFTR, that muscle tear in his left thigh leaves participation at this year’s French up in the air. TSF wishes him a speedy recovery.)

Here’s the Visa landing page.

…and the image on the campaign’s Facebook. (Rough translation: “He’s not controversial, he doesn’t complain, he’s not into gamesmanship, yet he doesn’t go unnoticed.”)

Next time: They can do better than an embroidered dress shirt. How about snapping some papp pics of him shopping with a Black Card?

Visa Deportes: On the Twitter and the Facebook.

(image by Juan Mabromata/AFP/Getty Images)

serena’s future, polished

While most of us tennis folks have known of Serena Williams‘ manicurist aspirations for a little while now, she gave the rest of the world a whiff of her moonlighting by giving Oprah a pedicure on national TV two weeks ago. Not missing a beat, it’s now confirmed that Serena’s inked a deal with nail giant OPI. Nope, it’s not just “major news” — it’s “mayjor.” And judging by what we’ve seen of Ms. Williams’ nail work (exhibits A, B, and C), we can’t help but agree!

(via Racked)

sharapova launches tag heuer watch in vionnet

Maria Sharapova, before getting bounced out of this week’s Toray Pan Pacific Open by the renascent Kimiko Date, put on her endorsement hat by helping launch Tag Heuer‘s Formula 1 Steel & Ceramic Watch, which, as it sounds, has ceramic and steel both in the bracelet and on the studded bezel (count them: sixty diamonds!). More info here.

Meanwhile, Maria’s wearing burnt red and black checkered pieces (a billowy blouse, of course) from Vionnet and shoes from Cole Haan. Check out Vionnet’s site here.

The tennis: The quarters are set with some “no-names” who have definitely earned their way this far into the tournament (if not the entirety of 2010): Caro Wozniacki vs. A. Radwanska, Coco Vandeweghe against Azarenka, Schiavone will play Kaia Kanepi, and Dementieva plays Zvonareva. To refresh: Coco came through from qualifying, and Kanepi reached the QFs of both Wimbledon and the US Open this year. (Draw: Singles)

(watch info via Luxist)

davydenko in dunlop: for your eyes only

Wanting what we can’t have: That sleek red Dunlop polo worn by Nikolay Davydenko at the 2010 BNP Paribas Open (last week) is purely for show; while there are other Dunlop tennis clothes available for sale in the U.S., the ones on Nikolay are from the European collection.

And speaking of things that are only for our eyes only, it seems that the optical illusion that is the Dunlop/Prince/Davydenko sponsorship triangle isn’t quite over. To recap:

The top Russian’s sponsorship deal with Dunlop was announced just before the start of Indian Wells. Especially in light of being in limbo with Prince, we were happy that Nikolay had monetized his achievements in some form for 2010.

Now you see it…: The deets of the agreement came in a press release via the Dunlop and ATP sites. Along with endorsing racquets, clothing, and accessories, Kolya would also speak up for the company’s junior talent identification program, called D-Squad.

Two days after the Dunlop announcement, Prince countered with their own releases stating that Kolya had signed a deal to be “an exclusive endorsee of Prince tennis racquets and Prince racquet bags” through 2010. This requires him to have a Prince stencil on his Ozone Tour rackets during the four slams. Off the court, there’s also a clause giving Prince the right to use the Davydenko image for advertising.

So both companies are sticking to their guns, but it doesn’t matter since Davydenko pulled out of Indian Wells. He felt pain in his wrist while playing Rotterdam in February (he lost in the semis to Soderling) but it was misdiagnosed. He continued playing through the injury until he got to the desert; after a hard-fought win over Ernests Gulbis in the second round, Kolya discovered a more serious condition — a broken wrist bone — and pulled out.

Now you don’t…: The Dunlop press release, along with the rest of the Dunlop site, is currently down because of a revamp. The Dunlop release is also no longer available via the ATP website. I wonder if this is any indication of which company successfully courted Kolya?

Blank slate: Nikolay has yet to test out any Dunlop racquets (he was using an unstenciled Prince stick during Indian Wells). And since he’s out for a few months — he’ll likely miss all of the clay season — it’ll be a while before he gets matched up with a Dunlop racquet (if at all).

(Davydenko image via Getty Images; Dunlop screengrabs via dunlopsports.com)

masha opens tag heuer’s melbourne boutique

Show pony: Before crashing out in the first round of the 2010 Australian Open with a 6-7 (4), 6-3, 4-6 loss to fellow Russian Maria Kirilenko (another short-lived cameo for those fab Tiffany drop earrings, sadly), Maria Sharapova helped open the first Melbourne boutique for Tag Heuer.

Maria wore a white Chloe shirt dress and black pumps from her Cole Haan collection.

(image via Getty Images)

if serena could ****ing shove a ****ing ball down mother nature’s throat…

serena-williams-tampax-09

The infamous scuffle with that US Open Ewok is already yesterday’s news to Serena Williams; she’s now focused on a new confrontation, this time with Mother Nature about the latter’s, uhm, unwelcomed monthly gifts.

The print ads for this Tampax campaign, which start appearing next month, look pretty absurd, but this behind-the-scenes vid cracked us up. Whodathunk that mensies personified could be so fun? She’d make a good happy hour gal pal, no?

Serena was brought in as part of the company’s “commitment to celebrating today’s women and empowering them to live life on their own terms”, and surely this agreement was lined up before Serena’s US Open semifinal. So while Tampax might not be buoyed by (what could have been) the buzz of a Serena U.S. Open title, they’ll still get some lift in the wake of that non-existent foot fault.

Never in our lives would we have expected to type this, but here it goes: Kudos, Tampax.

Watch: Serena Slams Mother Nature (vid)

(image courtesy of Tampax)

ivanovic poses for rolex

We’re all about Darren Rovell‘s obsession with Ana Ivanovic. He just posted a Rolex ad that ran in the program for last week’s Fed Cup tie between Serbia and Japan. (Marija — were there other juicy bits in there?)

Lest you think that TSF is just about the ladies (there’ve been an awful lot of pics of them in the last few days!), I would like you to ease your worries.

La Monf switches to Prince in 2009

Gael Monfils

Breakdancer Gael Monfils might not be making as much noise as compatriot Jo-Wilfried Tsonga these days, but he’s still being pegged as one of the sport’s future stars. Racquetmaker Prince recently signed the Frenchman to play with the company’s new line of racquets, slated for release in spring 2009.

He first picked up the new sticks prior to the ATP event stop in Vienna and has notched two top 15 scalps and a finals appearance since.

Prince has been mum about what’s behind this new technology, only saying that it “breaks the laws of physics.” Even Monfils didn’t give us much to work with. “I knew as soon as I hit the first ball with it, there was something different, something better,” he said via a press release. “It is hard to explain, but the holes and the technology made a difference. It just felt right.”

We’ll let you know as soon as we hear more about the new racquets.

(photo courtesy of Prince)

short balls: endorsement edition

Don’t forget to print out your bingo cards for tonight! She’s a piece of work, isn’t she?

Now, for some endorsement short balls…

Consider us tickled: In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October), Canon spokesperson Maria Sharapova announced that the company would donate $150,000 to the American Cancer Society. They’re also releasing a special “pink bundle” — a PowerShot SD1100 IS Digital ELPH, a photo printer, a ribbon charm and a mammogram reminder magnet — available for $279.99 here.

Bottle it up: Fans of Rafael Nadal will be happy to know that he’s signed a deal with Inter Parfums to develop a fragrance line called Lanvin L’Homme Sport. He’s already wearing Lanvin anyway, so he might as well get paid for doing so. (tennis.com via DTL)

He’s top ramen: According to Tennis Week, Kei Nishikori has signed an endorsement deal with Cup noodles — the instant meal that got TSF through much of its childhood. (TW)

(image via Canon)