trophy watch: a proper send-off



French Open tourney organizers gave one of their own, Fabrice Santoro, a proper sendoff after his first-round loss in this year’s event to Christophe Rochus. Santoro, who was appearing in his record-tying 20th French Open, lost to the Belgian 6-3, 6-1, 3-6, 6-4.

“Twenty years. That counts for something in a lifetime,” Santoro said after receiving this cross section of Roland Garros’ clay courts, presented after the Federer/Haas fourth-round match. “It has been a long road, a fantastic career. I had a lot of fun and learned a lot.” Gustavo Kuerten received a similar trophy last year.

Fabrice, known for playing two-handed groundstrokes off both wings and his crazy slices (enough to garner some attention at the 2007 U.S. Open), is playing 10 more events before hanging up his racquet.

At his presser, he left us another nugget about what’ll be different in his life next May: “So when you’ve played this tournament 20 years in a row, in May you start wearing your clay shoes, you start preparing to be able to play for three, four, five hours, even 6 hours 33 minutes for my longest match, so you feel next year in May I will no longer be a tennis player.”

(image via Getty Images)

serbia’s greatest export



Who knew that Victor Troicki could be as animated as his fellow Serbian, Novak Djokovic?

It’s hard to contain his excitement, perhaps, of finally making some noise in these past few weeks; he’s reached back-to-back quarterfinals, first losing to Andy Roddick at the Japan Open 6-3, 6-4 and then to German Mischa Zverev 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.

Now that he’s shown us a full range of facial expressions, we can’t wait to see him battle Nole in the striptease competition.

Rest o’ the draw: The semis — Santoro‘s through after Mathieu retired, and will face either Kunitysn or the gorgeous Chardy. Meanwhile, Kolya and Marat (de facto final?) are duking it out to see who’ll take on Zverev.

More: See more of Troicki’s fun faces after the cut…

short balls: santoro wants to shine, the fall of cruella de villiers, and centre court’s ready to go!



Ask and hope you receive? Since the clock’s a-tickin’ for Fabrice Santoro, he has asked Wimbledon organizers to schedule him a match on Centre Court — an honor that’s never been bestowed on this veteran in the 13 times he’s played this grass Grand Slam (espn.com)

Cruella de Villiers: It’s awesome to see the ATP’s top three — Roger, Rafa, and Nole — take charge and hope for spots in the Players’ Council. If they succeed in getting their hands in these dealings, it looks like CEO Etienne de Villiers will get the boot. (NYT)

Centre Court is ready to go: The fixed roof is back, along with the two main trusses for the retractable roof (which’ll debut in 2009). And a continued thumbs up for their increase in equal prize money for the men and the women.

Maria’s meek side: The Telegraph recently published an interview with the world No. 2. A few bits:

– She turned down a cameo role on Desperate Housewives.

– On her celebrity: “I still find my celebrity weird – it’s always weird, you know, when I see my image on the cover of a magazine. That’s very, very strange. I remember for a while I had been getting a lot of praise from people, but I never felt as though I deserved it until I had won grand slams and held the world No 1 ranking. And then I thought, ‘OK, all that talk, I understand it now’. But before then it was just random.” I hope she’s ready to possibly accept a Teen Choice Award for Female Athlete of the Year in early August.

– On the rigorous WTA travel schedule: “The worst thing about my life is not being able to see my friends and family for a long period. Living from hotel to hotel, it’s sometimes a nightmare. There have been numerous times when I’ve woken up in a hotel room and I’ve forgotten which city I’m in. So I’ll be phoning people at 2am to ask which city I’m in.”

Nole’s blogs: The Times‘s interview with Nole touches on his blog. “Well I like to have fun with it,” he says. “Most of my fans are younger people and I don’t think they want to read stuff like ‘I played a good match today. My forehand was going well. My backhand was not so good’. These things are not interesting. What is interesting is what the players are doing in the locker rooms. Are they good guys? Bad guys? How are they off court? Of course, I never go too far with these things but always to the limit, just to make them laugh. I get a lot of positive feedback.” Awesome.

Why America is fat: Read about EaterLA’s post on the birth of the Starbucks Frappucino.

Beautiful acne: The oft-bowtied Alber Elbaz has jumped into bed with Acne, the Swedish denim brand who is also behind the reissue of Bjorn Borg‘s iconic Tretorn shoes. This collaboration will drop at Barney’s and Bergdorf in November with jeans, dresses, tuxedo jackets, belted trenches, and a few accessories.

lacoste standard issue: the women pull ahead



We’re always eagerly anticipating the standard issues that Lacoste doles out for each Grand Slam, and the ones for Roland Garros turned out just fine — at least for the ladies.

Gisela Dulko wore the halter from the Fine Stripe line in her loss to Alize Cornet in the second round. Cornet, the 19th seed, also wore the tank but spaghetti-strap style; she lost to Agnieszka Radwanska in the round after.

Buy: Fine Striped Tennis Halter, $68.

Mathilde Johansson faced Serena Williams in the second round. She wore the Racerback Tennis Dress with detachable flower, $145. Meanwhile, Petra Cetkovska (middle and right) put on a layer when it got a little chilly.

And Mike Frey over at Tennishead continues to help out TSF with this photo of this player (can anyone help me out with a name?) wearing the polo.

Unlike the 2007 French Open, which saw Lacoste give their male sponsors the cutest orange and white polos, 2008 was way bland. Michael Llodra and Jeremy Chardy — as delicious as they are — couldn’t quite bring this Heritage Check Print Polo to life. (If you want to grab the jacket, it’s still available at lacoste.com.)

As usual, Arnaud Clement and Fabrice Santoro are off doing their own things.

(photo by Getty Images and Tennishead)

short balls: jelena’s new website, santoro to break a record, what happened in singapore, etc.



jelena-jankovic-website.jpg

Jelena’s website: Jelena Jankovic finally rejoins the 21st century with the launch of her official website. (via WTB)

So, what happened in Singapore? The Maria Sharapova Live! event has come and gone (see Regentville’s review of the event here), and now Singapore is dealing with its effects. To capitalize on tennis-mania, some folks are planning to bring a tourney to the country by 2009. (via WTB)

Lindsay’s GS sched: Lindsay Davenport, this week competing at the ASB Classic, has committed to play only through the U.S. Open, and has announced that she won’t participate in this year’s French Open. (TNZH)

Santoro to break a record: Frenchman Fabrice Santoro, this week playing at the Qatar Open, will break a record he currently holds with Andre Agassi — that of appearing in 61 Grand Slam tournaments. Santoro will participate in his 62nd at the 2008 Australian Open. FYI, his first Grand Slam appearance was at the 1989 French Open. (CNN.com)

Ladies, take notice: Serena Williams came back from the off-season looking fit and trim. This could spell trouble for anyone else trying to win the Australian Open women’s titles (in both singles AND doubles) this year.

Maria’s Mama: We see father Yuri all the time, but never Momma Yelena. She made a rare appearance next to Maria‘s Christmas tree (at her Manhattan Beach pad?). DTL dug up this photo from Masha’s official website.

Plexicushion gets a thumbs down: Players are speaking out against the newly-installed Plexicushion surface at Melbourne Park. But really, Tennis Australia had no choice but to dump Rebound Ace after 20 years of not-so-good results for that country’s tennis future.

In case you’re keeping track: Spaniard Carlos Moya endorses Rolex. (newindpress.com)

…and Andy Murray makes some more additions to his training camp by signing Miles MacIagan (The Guardian)

…and Xavier Malisse does some charity work in between competing at this week’s Chennai Open. (The Hindu)

Enrique’s gift to Anna? Enrique Iglesias, longtime boyfriend of Anna Kournikova spent Christmas Day in a red thong. (Now)

An Australian Open Court: Open Court will leave her Canadian outpost later this month to cover the Australian Open. We can’t wait!

(photo via www.jj-jelenajankovic.com)