i <3 wimbledon

fan-wimbledon09a

A fan at the Kunitsyn/Roddick second-round match. Roddick took it 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2. He next faces 26th seed Jurgen Melzer, who beat Beni Becker in three sets (two tiebreaks).

Now that JM Del Potro has been ousted by perennial grass threat Lleyton Hewitt (yay! more fun pics of Bec Cartwright!), this is looking like the Wimbledon quarterfinal clash o’ the year.

sa watch, roland garros edition

The Brazilian doubles team of Marcelo Melo and Andre Sa — seeded 10th at this year’s French Open — lost in the first round to an unseeded pair, Igor Kunitsyn and Dmitry Tursunov. The Russian team fell in the quarters to top seeds Zimonjic and Nestor. And in the finals, Lukas Dlouhy and Leander Paes will face Wesley Moodie and Dick Norman.

trophy watch: giant balls, david’s peak, jelena’s hat trick, and changing the russian guard

Another Philipp to watch: Sorry, Herr Kohlschreiber — you’ll have to save some space at the table for qualifier Philipp Petzschner, who nabbed his second career ATP title at the Bank Austria-TennisTrophy when he beat beat Gael Monfils 6-4, 6-4 after taking out Wawrinka, Moya, and Lopez in earlier rounds.

In Stockholm, David Nalbandian performed as expected, winning his second title of the year with a 6-2, 5-7, 6-3 victory over Robin Soderling. He’ll head into this week’s Mutua Madrilena Masters as the defending champion.

Marat Safin failed to convert his finals appearance in the 2008 Kremlin Cup into a title (this would have been his first since the ’05 Australian). Meanwhile, props to Igor Kunitsyn and his 7-6 (6), 6-7 (4), 6-3 victory over his veteran countryman for his maiden title. He even prepared a speech that congratulated Marat!

Hot potato: The top players of the SEWTA continue to keep us fans on our toes, making sure that whoever holds the No. 1 ranking isn’t the last woman standing at a tournament. In this week’s episode of “The Consistency Caper”, second-ranked Jelena Jankovic downs Vera Zvonareva 6-2, 6-4 for her fourth title of 2008. Meanwhile, top-ranked Serena is MIA. BTW, this is the third meeting in as many weeks between Jelena and Vera.

(Note: Apparently — see first comment below — this is no longer the case. TSF apologizes for the error. Congrats to victor Jelena, who now has all the spoils.)

It’s in the bag: The flip-flops of Roger Federer (first, he’s out “indefinintely”, next, he’s back on the schedule a week later…) played second fiddle to Rafa Nadal, who received a trophy from the ATP this week in recognition of his No.1 ranking. He’ll pretty much end the year in the top spot barring any missteps.

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…

davis cup: don’t let kolya’s pink scarf fool you — the russians play dirty

The Russian doubles pair of Dmitry Tursunov and Igor Kunitsyn hacked their way into a 6-2, 6-1, 6-7(9), 3-6, 8-6 win over Guillermo Canas and David Nalbandian using some unusual tactics:

For the first two sets, Tursunov and Kunitsyn bamboozled their opponents with very little pace. In fact at times it was almost as if they were playing pat ball. With Kunitsyn staying back after most of his serves, and eschewing the chance to come to the net even when it presented itself, the visitors were playing almost a badminton formation of front-court back-court, Tursunov looking for the interceptions, Kunitsyn rallying from the baseline and covering when Cañas and Nalbandián tried to wrongfoot Tursunov. It was fascinating, if unusual.

And Tursunov said that it was Shamil Tarpischev‘s plan all along to make David stay on the court as long as possible, thus making fatigue a factor during tomorrow’s reverse singles. (audio)

Nikolay Davydenko next to wife, Irina, snug as a bug in a pink scarf.

Sunday: The Argentines are up 2-1 going into Sunday, and the sched posted on the DC website lists Kolya playing David (though Dmitry might sub…) and del Potro against Andreev.

(photos by Getty Images)