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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)

asian tennis: nino gets hometown love, indians in australia, and noppawan the number one.

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We do want to send some love to Filipino Francis Casey “Nino” Alcantara for winning the Australian Open junior doubles title with Taiwanese partner Cheng-Peng Hsieh. This is the first time in a very long while that the Philippines has actively participated in tennis not as fans (anyone else aside from Maricris Fernandez)?

The Philippine Senate even adopted a resolution to express their pride for the teenager’s accomplishment.

In that pic above, Nino is the one on the right (reminds me a little bit of Fernando Verdasco).

Speaking of the Asian Slam, the Indians did their fair share of title-takin’, with Sania Mirza and Mahesh Bhupathi winning mixed doubles and Yuki Bhambri nabbing the junior boy’s title. Congrats.

I wasn’t being Rick-rolled after all… So it turns out that Nick wasn’t punking me, and Noppawan Lertcheewakarn is a real person. With results, even.

The junior world no. 1’s hometown paper, The Nation gives her a little love. Read it here or (in case the link goes dead) after the cut…

(off-topic) more photos: ryan mcginley and annie leibovitz shoot hollywood, julian schnabel’s pink giant, polaroid shutters, etc.

Shake it while you can: The higher-ups at Polaroid have decided to get out of the instant camera business. They are shuttering their operations in Massachusetts, making enough film to last only through next year. You can keep your fingers crossed, though — there’s a likelihood of the technology being licensed for third-party production. But until that happens, you might as well stock up!

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Vanity Fare: The pictures shot by Annie Leibovits for VF‘s March Hollywood issue are impressive as always (one here). But our reason for snapping up the pub are images of Julian Schnabel‘s pink WeVil monstrosity, the Palazzo Chupi.

Everyone was up in arms about how tacky the pink would look. I haven’t seen it in person, but it’s at least better than a Paul Smith store on Melrose or that obnoxious Pink Taco storefront in Century City. (What they lack in subtlety they make up for with a good happy hour.)

Hollywood, pt. 2: The New York Times got in on the Hollywood (aka Oscar) buzz with last Sunday’s NYT Magazine. Ryan McGinley shot the cover story. They’ve posted a behind-the-scenes video, also directed by McGinley, online. And I’ve posted the mag’s cover here.

(photos via Vanity Fair Goes to the Schneighborhood”, New York Magazine)

la legion sigue ganando

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La Legion keeps up with patriotic garb in Agustin Calleri‘s special kit from Diadora, which has the the Sol de Mayo graphic off-center on the front of the shirt. And David Nalbandian does his part wearing Yonex.

Scoreline: Calleri and Nalbandian both won their first singles rubbers in Argentina’s Davis Cup tie against the Andy Murray-less Great Britain. Calleri beat Alex Bogdanovic 6-3 6-1 6-1, and Nalbandian took out Jamie Baker 6-1 6-3 6-3.

Nalbandian teamed with Jose Acasuso to take out Jamie Murray and Ross Hutchins in the doubles rubber. Argentina now has a spot in the quarterfinals.

More: See the full details here.

(photos by Getty Images)

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know your tennis mothers: dragana ivanovic

While it might not have been an upset, I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only one banking on Venus Williams making it past her quarterfinal match against Ana Ivanovic. Instead, the seedings held, with the Serbian and fourth seed dispatching Venus, the eighth seed, 7-6 (3), 6-4.

(Presumptuous of me, perhaps, but I was waiting until later this week to document Venus’ EleVen outfits for the fortnight!)

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Know her mother: That’s Ana’s mother, Dragana Ivanovic, watching today’s match. She looks fierce. “I wouldn’t want to mess with her,” said Mary Carillo. I agree.

Ana’s website did a three-part interview with Dragana a while back. Find out more about this customs lawyer and devoted mother of two (Milos is the other Ivanovic) as she talks to journalist Gavin Versi (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3).

(screencap via ESPN360)

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>> TSF’s australian open coverage

short balls, wimbledon edition

BETTING WIMBLEDON: Curious to know what the bookies are thinking? At Readabet.com, Henin gets crowned the women’s fave, and Federer (surprise!) rules the roost.

ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING WIMBLEDON: The folks at Off The Baseline are real pros. Check out this scrumptious, trivia-filled post.

A FASHION HISTORY: Here’s a nice summary of Wimbledon fashions through the years. (Sporting Life)

ONE LAST TIME: 36-year-old Australian Wayne Arthurs, who considered retiring after this year’s Aussie Open, will give Wimbledon one last chance. He qualified for the main draw after a 5-set win over a Rochus brother. (Herald Sun)

NO ROOF: Centre Court at Wimbledon won’t have a roof at all this year; they’re in the middle of constructing that retractable roof with a completion date of 2009. (Reuters)

short balls: rafa seeks DC change, wade on british tennis, USTA job opening, etc.

When he speaks, Davis Cup should listen: Spaniard Rafael Nadal, a dedicated Davis Cup participant, calls for a change in the event’s schedule. Other players may have hemmed and hawed, but if a high-profile player like Rafa offers this advice, the ITF should seriously consider a schedule switch. (Reuters)

The USTA tries a new approach to ‘saving’ tennis: See this post from Zoo Tennis on breeding tennis phenoms. We’re too soft on our kids, they say. I agree.

Djokovic under the influence: Enlisting the help of Australian Mark Woodforde hasn’t quite paid off yet for Nole Djokovic; he crashed in the early rounds of the Artois last week. I hope they cash in during Wimbledon. (The Age)

Tim Henman’s advice: If you choose not to smell the s*&%t, it’s less likely to stink. (Telegraph)

Virginia Wades in: The last British winner of a Wimbledon singles title (1977) says, among other things, that she would not have chosen tennis as a career had there been more opportunities for women in the ’70s. (Guardian)

USTA has an opening: Director of Online Content. (via psfk.com)

amelia island: pretty in pink (and purple)

bammer petrova ivanovic golovin

The Bausch & Lomb Championships at Amelia Island brought out the pinks and purples. From left to right: Sybille Bammer in Erima, Nadia Petrova in Airness, Ana Ivanovic in adidas, and Tatiana Golovin in Lacoste.

(All four made it to the semis, with Petrova beating Bammer and Golovin–in her bumblebee outfit–edging Ivanovic in three.)

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short balls: for tomorrow's water cooler

pony logo Kevin wants a Pony: Former WTA head Kevin Wulff was announced as the CEO of Pony International, LLC. I can only hope this will lead to a renaissance in Pony’s relationship with the sport of tennis; they once sponsored Tracy Austin.
(via PR Newswire)

Ana Ivanovic is on the cover of Inside Tennis‘ April issue. A paragraph excerpt available here.
(via The Ana Ivanovic Official Website)

Photomosaics are so over…: But I have a soft spot for the Japanese, so here’s an Onitsuka Tiger shoe made of photos of Japan. Every photo “links to something Japanese on the internet today…Onitsuka Tiger cannot be responsible for what you find.”

When I told you they were hot, I wasn’t kidding: Some more tidbits on Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray — Nole now has retired Australian doubles player Mark Woodforde in his camp, and Andy is learning lots about exploiting his opponents’ weaknesses from his coach, Brad Gilbert.