how we survived in tursunov's absence

TSF was heartbroken to find out that Dmitry Tursunov wasn’t going to play at Indian Wells and Miami this year. Tournaments just aren’t the same without his pastiness hanging out in the practice courts (exhibits A and B). So as we felt the withdrawal kick in during our first days in the desert, this man saved the day.

Ridic.

Anyway, Igor Andreev made it as far as the second round at this week’s Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, where he lost to John Isner 4-6, 7-5, 6-7 (2). But that’s okay, Igor: winning isn’t why we keep you on our radar.

The tennis: Roger and Rafa play their quarterfinal matches today (vs. Simon and Berdych, respectively). The winner in that top half of the draw will play the winner of the Fish/Djokovic semi. We expect Nole to take this whole thing. Who’s your pick for the winner? (Browse: SEO Draws)

And in case you’re interested in seeing Igor clothed, some pics of his current Sergio Tacchini kit below.

(practice image by TSF; match images via Getty Images)

may igor andreev’s biceps rest in peace

Igor Andreev got the distinction of being Roger Federer‘s opening round opponent at the 2010 Australian Open. He even took away a set from the top seed before falling 6-4, 2-6, 6-7 (2), 0-6.

And more notable is the Russian’s switch from wearing Under Armour, where we got full view of his wares, to the more classic polos of Sergio Tacchini (replacing Tommy Robredo, who’s now with Los).

Thankfully, Igor’s wearing a polo in a size that’s proportional to his body. And he leaves all but one button undone (are you taking notes, Andy Roddick?).

Andreev’s duties at the Aussie Open aren’t done, though. Now he gets to play the supportive bf while Maria Kirilenko plays in a quarterfinal match against Zheng Jie.

More: Two more pics of Igor after the cut…

anti-murphy’s law: igor andreev

Lots of things are going right in Igor Andreev‘s book:

1) The 22nd seed at this week’s BNP Paribas Open just upset 11th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the third round (and will face Ljubicic in the fourth).

2) He’s wearing some nice Under Armour right now. That Dropper Sleeveless Crew, in azure/sunlight, is $39.99.

3) Who knew he had pecs like throw pillows? <3

(IW photo via Getty Images; practice photo via Craig Hickman)

fashion: in acapulco, the greens and yellows of spring

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Yellow: The bright kit of David Nalbandian‘s from Yonex finally has some company. At the Abierto Mexicano Telcel this week, he was joined by fellow yellows Alize Cornet, playing in Lacoste against Jill Craybas in the first round; and Mexican Daniela Muñoz.

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Green: Nicolas Lapentti wearing adidas in the first round against Potito Starace; Carlos Berlocq playing against Guillermo Canas; and Igor Andreev (in Under Armour) defeated by Alberto Montañes.

This week’s MVP: A better pic of Cornet’s hat and wristband after the cut…

trophies: more haarhuis, plus a russian flashback

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Paul Haarhuis was last man standing at the year-end tournament for the BlackRock Masters Tennis tour. (He also won an Outback Champions event two weeks ago.) Haarhuis took out Frenchman Guy Forget 6-1, 6-7, 10-8. In case you’re wondering what’s in the background, that’s the pipe organ (UK’s largest) at the Royal Albert Hall.

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Russian fete: Russia honored Igor Andreev and Anna Chakvetadze as the best Russian tennis players of 2007. Anna clearly earned her award after winning four singles titles this year (most of her compatriots only snagged one). Andreev’s distinction, on the other hand, is a headscratcher: he had no singles titles in 2007 (while Tursunova got two, while Youzhny and Davydenko bagged one each). A possible reason is his great singles performance in the Davis Cup semis against Germany.

Anastasia Myskina added emceeing this event to her list of non-tennis work (along with other emcee gigs plus soccer commentating). And the Fed Cup ladies won the Team of the Year award.

(haarhuis photo by Getty Images; Russa photos and story via TIB)

davis cup: cast o’ characters

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Okay this is my last Davis Cup post. We can’t end things without talking a little fashion. The Russian team, as expected, showed up in their white/red Bosco Sport warm-ups. And all the guys just wore kits from their sponsors. Everyone stayed white except for Dmitry Tursunov (in bright red Fila) and Mikhail Youzhny (in adidas). And the one mishit was James Blake‘s Nike sweatband. It looked too busy with his Global Power tank.

Some photos of the weekend after the cut…

davis cup final: russia vs. usa

Davis Cup quickies:

The Oregonian‘s Davis Cup blog gave TSF a shout-out yesterday. We laughed out loud when our blogging was described as an “SI swimsuit-issue fantasy.” Le sigh. If only their swimsuit issue looked like this.

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– Hitting partners for the American team of Andy Roddick, Mike Bryan, James Blake, and Bob Bryan include an excited John Isner, Donald Young, Mardy Fish, and Robby Ginepri.

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– The much more evenly-built Russian team consists of Nikolay Davydenko, Mikhail Youzhny, Igor Andreev, and Dmitry Tursunov.

– The draw is now set, with notable absence of Kolya in the singles rubbers. (He’s still dealing with the match-fixing investigation, this week turning over phone records.) This obviously quiets all the speculation that Marat Safin would be a late replacement by coach Shamil Tarpischev. But the Americans won’t be surprised if the Russian line-up changes after the opening day.

– Tarpischev, on the likelihood of his team defending their title: “So I rate our chances 40-60 in favour of the U.S. but you never know.” And Patrick McEnroe dubbed him a “tennis genius” at a press conference earlier this week. (Reuters)

– The event starts at 1pm with live coverage on Versus.

– When asked about the cultural similarities (and differences) between his home country and the U.S., Tursunov responds: “Both owned Alaska at one point. [...] We don’t have bears running in the streets, you don’t have Indians camping by the fire in the streets either.” (AFP)

(Thanks to Patricia for helping with this post.)

davis cup: russia downs germany

The Davis Cup tie between Russia and Germany (in Moscow) ended up 3-2 in favor of the home team. (See full results here.)

Davydenko wore Airness in his straight-set loss to Philipp Kohlschreiber. Kolya’s probably still distracted by the match-fixing scandal that emerged at the Polish Open. (Investigators were scheduled to talk to him next week.)

That’s a photo of Kohlschreiber and his gorgeous lips; German team captain Patrik Kuhnen wears the German-themed wristband that we love. Awesome.

Mikhail Youzhny, in adidas, does his traditional post-win salute after beatng Davis Cup rookie Philipp Petzschner 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

Youzhny redeemed his loss in the doubles rubber (with teammate Dmitry Tursunov). Look at that… Fila and the three stripes of adidas sync up for a nice doubles look.

Igor Andreev, in his new style from Under Armour, clinched the win by beating Kohlschreiber 6-3, 3-6, 6-0, 6-3.

“It’s an amazing feeling playing here in Moscow and it’s the second time I won the deciding point … it’s great,” said Andreev. “I like this feeling of adrenaline in your body before going on the court, it’s so exciting to play here and it’s great for our country to reach the Davis Cup Final for the second year in a row.” (source)

The final will be played against the U.S. on American soil.

And here’s Marat Safin, fresh (stale?) from his trek up the mountain, knowing how important it is to cheer on his teammates.