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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)