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)

short balls: karlovic's shorts, stretch without booty, tennis on the big screen

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Talk to my shorts: Croatian giant Ivo Karlovic, tired of answering questions about his height, got it emblazoned on his clothes. And yes, he’s 6’10”. (The Examiner; photo by Allen Clark for offwing.com)

Other giants: American John Isner (6’9″) tears through the draw at the Legg Mason Classic, beating Henman and Ben Becker to get to the quarters.

Yikes, I’m old: I remember talking about Hingis beating Venus at the San Diego tourney back in 1997 (it was their second WTA meeting). THAT WAS TEN YEARS AGO. Matthew Cronin catches up with both players as they return to the final Acura Classic. This time around, it’s a given — Venus will kick some Hingis butt.

Speaking of cocky players: Here’s an article by Joel Drucker about the role confidence plays in tennis matches.

Not another tennis movie: A film about country club pros is in the works (THR)

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Stretch and Booty no longer: Did winning a Wimbledon mixed doubles title get to Jamie Murray? He’s parting ways with men’s doubles partner Eric Butorac aka Booty because of lackluster results (but jftr they won three titles together). Too bad; I was just starting to like those personalized shirts of theirs…

wimbledon: the 'iron chef' of tennis fashion

As I mentioned to Rick Stiles last week, I like calling Wimbledon the Iron Chef of tennis fashion. The theme ingredient is white, and players step up to the challenge with well-designed ensembles: some choose accent colors (gold, blue, red), others accessories (blazers, bandanas, wristbands), while others lean towards varying their hemlines, dress patterns, and fabrics.

I’ve been previewing the outfits for the last two weeks, and there’s so much more to cover. (I’m so excited!) I’ll post pics as they come in, and you can always catch up through the archives. In the meantime, here are some fashion bits.

The Italians band together: Fashion house Dolce & Gabanna will outfit ATP player Filippo Volandri for the tournament, giving him a respite from being overshadowed by fellow Sergio Tacchini-sponsored Tommy Robredo. (via wtopnews.com)

Sharapova’s dress is “‘Swan Lake’-inspired”: Masha says that when her coach saw the Nike dress she’ll be wearing this year, he started feeding it bread. It should look closer to this than what Bjork wore to the Oscars, I’m sure. (Wimbledon website)

With Twags in tow: That’s “tennis wives and girlfriends” to those “NITK” (that’s “not in the know”). A brilliant style-focused piece by The Independent that gets us up-to-date on who’s dating or married to whom in the tennis world.

Don’t add insult to injury: Telegraph‘s Bee Shaffer knocks Andy Murray‘s look, saying that “Scottish flag wristbands don’t count as personal style”. While he hasn’t quite harnessed the full potential of being backed by Fred Perry, he was at least smart enough to start the alliance. Give him some time to blossom.

How will we know who’s who?: Stretch and Booty, aka Jamie Murray and Eric Butorac, per ITF rules, will be without their usual uniforms for the Wimbledon doubles tournament. Jamie blogged about it for the Guardian.

On ruffled, lace-trimmed knickers: Here’s a profile in The Herald of Gertrude “Gorgeous Gussie” Moran, the woman whose underwear launched a thousand shutter clicks (and a BBC ban to keep cameras from sighting below a player’s waist).

On short shorts: Profile number two is on Jack Kramer, the first man to win Wimbledon not in pants. (Telegraph)

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>> Tennis Served Fresh’s Wimbledon coverage
>> our ‘short balls’ archive

trophy watch: croatians and little men

Croatian wins title, gets little man: The ATP Ordina Open (Rosmalen, the Netherlands) pitted Ivan Ljubicic against Dutchman Peter Wessels. Ljubicic won 7-6, 4-6, 7-6. Russia’s Anna Chakvetadze beat Jelena Jankovic 7-6 (2), 3-6, 6-3 in the women’s tourney.

Croatian beats little man, gets trophy: Croatian Ivo Karlovic downed the diminutive Arnaud Clement 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 at the Nottingham Open. The Frenchman, up a set, caved due to exhaustion; he played two matches the day prior (on an indoor court, due to rain), defeating Richard Gasquet and Jonas Bjorkman to get to the final. Rest up, Arnie! Wimbledon awaits. (Eric Butorac and Jamie Murray won the doubles title, and received vases similar to Clement’s.)

Grass rematch: At the Eastbourne International, the usual grass suspects duked it out in the final, with Justine Henin emerging the winner over Amelie Mauresmo after a tight 3-set match. The scoreline: 7-5, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (2).

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Stretch and Booty: the nicknames given to 6′ 3″ Jamie Murray and his doubles partner Eric Butorac (can you figure out who’s who?) by Brad Gilbert, who coaches Jamie’s brother, Andy.

The duo looks to repeat the success they had earlier this year (winning back-to-back titles in San Jose and Memphis) on the European grass. They are entered in this week’s Artois Championships at Queen’s Club.

(READ UP: Here’s a profile from The Independent.)

Props to adidas for experimenting with their uniforms. More players should have nicknames emblazoned on their shirts, don’t you think?

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