our zoom was off. we promise.



But we’ll gladly pass it along: Contrary to the evidence, we had nothing to do with this one.

Pic taken while the ATPers visited the Avala Tower in Belgrade before the start of the Serbia Open.

(via MTF)

mischa zverev: before the fall, another erke peek



German Mischa Zverev had to retire from his first-round match against tenth seed Fernando Gonzalez at the Shanghai Masters Tennis Tournament this week. A right wrist injury, sustained during a fall early in the third set, left the score at 7-5, 6-7 (0), 2-2 — which sucks, since Zverev won that tiebreaker against Gonzo.

But before his departure, we got another peek into the wonderful world of Erke; Zverev’s the tennis face of this Chinese brand, which also calls Yanina Wickmayer one of its athletes.

Bracket: Roger Federer and Andy Murray pulled out of the tourney due to exhaustion and a wrist injury, respectively. Roddick and Nadal are grumbling about how long the tennis season is (with reason: have anyone play grueling tennis for 11 months a year and their body will surely fall apart).

Okay, I tried to find the bracket on that user-unfriendly tourney website. I will love you forever if you can help me track it down.

Deets: Note the color gradation detail down the sleeves of Mischa’s polo. Cute monochromatic wristbands, too. See more pics after the cut…

marat safin: no more pressure



World No. 52 Marat Safin is ambling his way to retirement (we’ll be Marat-less after 2009) but don’t let the impending racquet-hanging fool you — the Russian’s game still packs a punch.

The former World No. 1 showed glimpses of his former tennis life by upsetting Fernando Gonzalez in the second round of this week’s China Open. Too bad this good streak is part of his post-retirement outlook.

“It’s easy to play when you have nothing to lose, no points to defend, so you have no pressure at all so you can just play, just go for it.”

And this carefree style was enough to beat Gonzalez.

“I was expecting to win but I’m not surprised that I lost because Marat is a great player and didn’t do too much wrong,” shared the Chilean after the match.

Up next for Marat is Rafa Nadal, who needed three sets to overcome James Blake. Perhaps Rafa’s rustiness coupled with Safin’s worry-free tennis will get him through to the semis?

The duds: adidas did well paying homage to the North American hardcourt season with the light print on this competition crew. We see a blurry image of the NYC skyline. Buy: Men’s Summer Competition Theme Crew, in black, red, and white colorways for $39.99 at TW.

(image via Getty)

the french open is scot-free



fullerton: I have decided that Murray is going to win the French Open.
fullerton:and take his shirt off
fullerton:and it is going to be lovely

The newly minted World No. 3 Andy Murray didn’t get to this upper crust of tennis society by playing on clay, and it showed during his fourth round match against Fernando Gonzalez. Feña blew the Scot out of the water with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-0, 6-4 upset.

“I’ve got to give a lot of credit to him,” said Murray after the match. “I’d played against him before and he hits the ball hard, but today he was hitting it huge. If that happens, sometimes you’ve got to say ‘Too good’. It’s quite easy sitting on the side to look and think ‘you could’ve have done this, you could have done that’ but the guy is hitting ball so hard — no one hits the ball that big.”

Looking ahead: Gonzo is set to play Robin Soderling, who solidified his victory over Nadal with a straight-set drubbing of Kolya Davydenko.

Kudos to Andy and his Fred Perry kit, btw. He mixed things up by alternating his v-neck crew between an all-black colorway (with a green laurel) and a navy/blue version. Buy: Fred Perry French Open Tennis Shirt, navy/scottish blue, £35.00.

More pictures: Shots of Andy during his 2009 French Open run after the cut…

sometimes, sports don’t keep kids out of trouble



Efficent kid, this one. While he wasn’t using his Sharpie to amass players’ autographs, he used it for some good, old-fashioned huffing.

Meanwhile, his dad sat in front of him totally engrossed in the competitive first set of the second-round match between Lleyton Hewitt and Fernando Gonzalez.

Scoreline: Hewitt lost that match; Gonzalez has since lost — to Federer in the fourth round.

More: Two more pics after the cut…