'stretch' and mirnyi play doubles + more coaching news: monfils, mathieu, peer, murray



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French No. 2 (and world No. 25) Paul-Henri Mathieu is suddenly coachless one month before the Australian Open — and he’s not happy about it. Mathieu told l’Equipe that he feels like the “turkey being joked upon” (“dindon de la farce“) by being forced to share his coach, Thierry Champion, with the lower-ranked Gael Monfils, who recently returned to Team Lagardère after a 14-month absence. According to l’Equipe Monfils got hooked up with Champion to recreate the partnership that saw Monfils reach No. 23 back in June 2006.

Since Mathieu didn’t want to share (and rightfully so), Lagardère head Rémi Barbarin is actively searching a solution for “Paulo”, who in the meantime’s training with Patrice Hagelauer.

Speaking of: The striped Fabrice Santoro is also joining Lagardère with coach Lionel Zimbler in tow. Santoro turns 35 on Dec 9. His goal for next year is to set a new record for most Grand Slam tourneys played (he’s currently tied with Agassi at 61), and to compete at the Olympics for the fourth time.

Coach Conchita: Now free from military obligation, Shahar Peer can look forward to instruction from Gabriel Urpi and Conchita Martinez in 2008.

Murray’s next move: The currently-coachless Andy Murray will be doing off-season training with Miles Maclagan for the next three weeks, reports the Times. Murray is currently without a full-time coach since partly ways with Brad Gilbert earlier this month.

Stretch and… more strech: There’s gonna be a whole lot of lankiness in the 2008 doubles pairing of Jamie Murray and Max Mirnyi.

(Thanks to Chris and Patricia for their help on this post.)

fashion: more on santoro’s striped shirt, adidas dragon shoes, felt watches, etc.



I want candy: A quick e-mail to the folks at Lacoste turned up some (hopefully helpful) info about Fabrice Santoro‘s famous candy-striped shirt of 2007: it’s called Yohann and came out for the spring/summer collection. There could still be some stores/outlets that carry it…

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More recycled fun: In case you were jonesing for that racquet cover wallet (sold out), channel your energy towards this one made of tennis ball felt ($65). If wallets aren’t your thing, you can try out the watch ($55). (via Greater Green Goods)

Move over, Nike: Iron-ons aren’t usually my thing, but I have to give props to this DIY’er who made his own “Federer is Betterer” and “Rafalution” shirts.

adidas IV barricade red shanghai shoes

Dragon design: Shoemaker adidas plans to cash in on the Tennis Masters Cup (TMC) Shanghai buzz by releasing a limited edition Barricade IV Men’s shoe. A gold dragon runs from the heel across the lateral side of the shoes (which come in both red/gold and black/gold colorways); the eyelets, tongue, and anke collar are all gold-trimmed. Buy: Tennis-Warehouse carries ‘em for $104.95.

Endorsed by a people, not a person: Speaking of special (limited) edition shoes, see this article in Corpwatch about the current trend away from endorsement deals with big names (Nike can no longer rely on Michael Vick and Marion Jones) and towards collaborating with “under the radar” influencers (such as tattooer Mr. Cartoon and duo Os Gêmeos).

Li Ning won’t be left behind: And even Li Ning, sponsor to Ivan Ljubicic jumps in with an exhibit by James Jarvis (Hypebeast)

(OT) Go wild at H&M: Designer Roberto Cavalli, known for his wild prints, created a collection for H&M that goes on sale today. (NYT)

(OT) Camera phone, 1; Banksy, 0: A sight once rarer than that of Janko Tipsarevic’s back tattoo have apparently surfaced. Graffiti art darling Banksy was allegedly photographed in East London while working on a project. Of course, his rep has no comment. (Times)

(OT) The skinny: Today’s fun building stands in Madre de Deus, Brazil — a three-story house that’s supposedly one meter wide. (Ah Boon via Planetizen)

fashion flashback: at the '07 aussie open, lacoste stays mellow



Much like the Russian men, the young guns of Lacoste stayed relatively tame with their fashion choices at this year’s Australian Open.

Frenchman Richard Gasquet lost to seventh seed Tommy Robredo 4-6, 2-6, 6-3, 4-6 in the fourth round while wearing that shade of royal blue that’s become his signature.

And Fabrice Santoro stayed plain in his third round loss to third seed Nikolay Davydenko 6-7 (1), 2-6, 2-6. He didn’t pull out his candy-colored stripes until the French.

Poor Andy Roddick. He had such high hopes at the year’s first Grand Slam after he beat Roger Federer at the Kooyong exhibition a few weeks prior. In true Federer fashion, the Swiss creamed the Texan 6-4, 6-0, 6-2 in the semis, thus reminding the whole world why he’s been the world’s No. 1 men’s tennis player for 192 consecutive weeks (as of October 1, 2007).

The normally bandana’d Arnaud Clement left his buffs at home as he also opted for a virginal look. He crashed out of the Australian in a second-round, all-French (and all-white) match against Santoro 2-6, 4-6, 4-6.

Buy (sale!): You can check out the latest Lacoste goods on their website. Here’s a coupon for $25 off on purchases of $150 and up. Expires on October 14.

(photos via the MTF forums for Gasquet, Roddick, and Santoro; photos of Clement by atp chica)

Edit: Reader Shain points out that Roddick is a Cornhusker, and not a Texan (as I’d pointed out above). Sorry to all the Nebraskans who felt slighted by this.

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>> TSF’s australian open flashback

santoro slices and lobs his way to five sets



The match of the 2007 U.S. Open‘s first week will likely be tonight’s five-set — that’s 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 — win by hometown hero James Blake over Frenchman Fabrice Santoro.

The Frenchman is nicknamed “The Magician” for his shotmaking abilities; his arsenal of slices, lobs, and angles created by two-handed grips on both wings regularly frustrate his opponents (and have propelled him to Doubles Grand Slam titles on more than a few occasions).

Santoro is also known for his wacky Lacoste outfits — we’re talking almost Vince Spadea-level here. But for some reason it works on Fabrice (perhaps because it goes with his unconventional playing style).

FYI: His candy shirt from tonight’s match has been in his closet for most of this year (I remember seeing it on him as far back as Miami). It’s just a piece from the company’s casual collection (i.e., it’s not a Lacoste Sport polo).

Buy: Lots of folks are asking where they can get this shirt. Most retailers have already removed this from their inventory since it’s an item from a past season. Sadly, I have no other leads right now but I am still waiting to hear back from two people. If you can help us out, write me: tennisCBH AT gmail DOT com. Also, there are other companies who’ve produced similar styles. Artful Dodger, etc. You might be better off shopping that way.

trophy watch: the swiss and swedes got it right + hall of fame



While the women of France were busy representing their country in a Fed Cup tie against Italy (alas, they lost), the men were busy in finals; three of the six ATP-ers vying for titles were French: Fabrice Santoro, Nicolas Mahut, and Paul-Henri Mathieu. Félicitacions!

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At the Swiss Open orangefest, Mathieu (in adidas) lugs home a piece of rock for beating Andreas Seppi (wearing Fila)…

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… and Santoro won the Hall of Fame Championships over mutton-chopped Mahut. (Mahut had a very good grass season… remember he lost to Andy Roddick in the Queen’s Club final? Here’s his very gracious post-match interview.)

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David Ferrer (in Lotto) wins what looks like a deer enveloped in crystal at the Swedish Open. He dropped only three games in his final match against Nicolas Almagro.

See more trophy photos (plus the Hall of Fame induction) after the cut…