Trophy Watch: Warm-ups wrap up

Even though most of the ATP and WTA tours have already flocked to Paris for the French Open (which started on a Sunday this year), there were still titles contested in some nearby warm-up tournaments.

Kolya announces his intentions to challenge Rafa and Roger for the French Open title with his win over Juan Monaco (6-2 2-6 6-2) in Poertschach, Austria.

Monaco failed to defend his title from last year. Nikolay was bothered by a thigh injury (he had to have it taped), but assured the press that it wouldn’t affect his play in Paris.

Robin Soderling, Robert Lindstedt, Thomas Johansson, and coach Peter Carlsson pose with their hardware after taking out the Russian tennis team (of Dmitry Tursunov, Igor Andreev, and Mikhail Youzhny 2-1 in the ARAG ATP tennis World Team Cup in Dusseldorf.

Anabel Medina-Garrigues shows off her trophy (from Baccarat) after winning the Strasbourg International against Katarina Srebotnik. Scoreline: 4-6 7-6 6-0.

23-year-old Gilles Simon beat countryman Julien Benneteau 7-5, 6-2 at the Grand Prix Hassan II in Casablanca, Morocco.

And Agnieszka Radwanska became the first Polish woman to crack $1 million in career earnings after winning the Istanbul Open over Elena Dementieva. Agnieszka beat the Russian 6-3, 6-2.

(photos by Getty Images)

Istanbul 2.0

This year’s Istanbul Open had a much better photo shoot than last year’s (remember the mismatched outfits?). Nadia Petrova and Agnieszka Radwanska join Elena Dementieva on the best-dressed list; the shoot took place in the Ottoman-era Dolmabahce Palace in the Turkish city.

More: Read more about the palace here.

(photos by Getty Images)

trophy watch: a diamond racket

Dear Istanbul Open,

Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, I know. But if you wanted a special trophy, couldn’t you have encrusted something else in diamonds?

Even your longevity gimmick isn’t new: the folks at the Proximus Games has the win-three-get- one-really-expensive-tennis-racquet-free deal covered.

How about bedazzling a tennis ball? A dampener? A cap? Wait. Someone’s done the cap already, too.

You’re on the right track with trying to differentiate from the pack, though. We really like that.

with love,

Tennis Served Fresh

(via tennis idols)