2013 check-in: who are your tennis HOATs?

Hottest Tennis Players of All Time

Time Capsule: When we first shared our Hottest-of-All-Time Tennis Players list back in 2007, our list had Lleyton Hewitt, Tommy HaasMarat SafinPatrick Rafter, and Arnaud Clement (with runners-up Nikolay DavydenkoAndy Murray, and Mikhail Youzhny.)

Our tastes have evolved over the years (and there are players whose looks and tennis talent have catapulted them into the TSF orbit). And so our HOAT list, updated for 2013: Grigor Dimitrov, Tommy Haas, Janko Tipsarevic, and Juan Monaco.

Who’s on your list? Tell us!

trophy watch: sometimes, we like what we see

Pieces, people. Working. Sometimes the right trophies land in the right arms with the rights outfits covering the right bodies. That was the case last weekend, as the WTA wrapped up its regular-season play and the ATP moved toward its World Tour Finals in London set for the middle of November. Above, Gael Monfils complemented his globe-and-box trophy with a well-chiseled bicep and a head of looks-just-right locks. He downed Jarko Nieminen in Stockholm 7-5, 3-6, 6-2.

Don’t harp on Vika. Seriously. We kind of love this one, too. The half tennis racket slash harp look works well with the stone texture. And, luckily Victoria Azarenka is wearing a well-matching dark tone. It was a bright week for the world no. 3 in Luxembourg, where she took care of Monica Niculescu in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2. Vika opens her Istanbul campaign tomorrow against Sam Stosur.

Double the fun. Since the US Open, Janko Tipsarevic has nabbed two ATP titles. Before it zero? Ever. Tipsy beat Viktor Troicki in the first-ever all-Serb final in Moscow, 6-2 6-4. Must be his new bod, right?

Saving the first for last. Last but not least: Dominika Cibulkova got her first trophy smooch of her career in Moscow. The pesky Slovakian downed Lucie Safarova, 3-6 7-6 (1) 7-5. | TSF Vault: More trophies to watch

(images by Getty; Azarenka photo by Fern Konnen via the WTA)

shirtless: rafa strips down (some more) for armani

Who’s got next? With Janko Tipsarevic joining the ranks of ATP fellas who have stripped down in front of the camera, Rafael Nadal needed to get his gusto back from the Serb’s sweaty six-pack. He did just that last week as Armani began to push out its fall campaign, full of swoon-worthy shots of a barely-clad Rafa. The ATP web site has the full set of Rafa photos here.


On court: This week has been a good one for Tipsarevic, who is into the semifinals in Kuala Lumpur. Meanwhile, a hurting Novak Djokovic has pulled out of the China Open due to a bad back.

For all you fans of good legs, check out the Spanish Davis Cup team from a couple of weeks ago. No Nair needed here.

[Read more...]

shirtless: bod by janko

Move over, Nole. And you too, Rafa… and Fernando. So Janko Tipsarevic made mention during the US Open that the reason for his recent success was that he had finally dedicated 100 percent of himself to tennis — and his body. The Serb isn’t joking around, appearing in a series of shots for the company Extreme Intimo, which makes underwear, nighties and other wear-at-home items. Janko and his total-toned bod can be seen on their Facebook page. Click the images below (or here) to visit the full gallery, which has 146 Facebook “Likes” and counting…

Oh right, and we couldn’t deprive you of the making-of vid, now could we? | TSF Vault: Shirtless

(via christopher phillips/photos from the extreme intimo facebook page)

SGs in the QFs

Os at the Open. While the persistent rain the last couple of days has left little room for sunshading gear — or play, for that matter — we couldn’t help but notice the fact that two of the game’s most popular sunglass wearers have made their way into the quarterfinals of the US Open: Janko Tipsarevic and Sam Stosur. While it wasn’t a great Open for fellow-Oakley teammates Bob and Mike Bryan, Tipsy and Sam have each had stellar weeks at Flushing Meadows, advancing to the final 8.

Sam didn’t much need her shades on Sunday night against Maria Kirilenko, outlasting the Russian in a three-hour grueling battle, 6-2 6-7 (15) 6-3. But when she does play under the bright glare of the sun, she opts for Enduring Edge glasses (see below), which you can find on Oakley’s site for $180 in both metallic black and pearl white, each of which Sam uses from time to time.

Janko switches things up from time to time with his sun-Gs, but lately has been sporting the Flak Jacket Transitions Solfx, which run for $220 on Oakley.com. Though these are a little pricier, we like their simple look — especially with all the brights happening in player kits these days.

Draw: Janko vs. Djoko in QFs | Sam-Vera

Above: Sam’s Enduring Edge glasses.

More browsing: Sunglasses on Tennis Express

(Stosur and Janko photos by Getty; Oakley screengrab)

shirtless: janko tipsarevic

Uhm, hi: Some practice pics we found of Janko Tipsarevic from this year’s U.S. Open. Lots of other images if you follow the links. (Please do!)

Up in the air: We really didn’t know which side to root for as we watched today’s 4th round match between Janko and Juan Carlos Ferrero. On the one hand, you want the Serb to break through and get past his first-week rut at the Slams. On the other, you want to give Juanqui a last hurrah before his impending retirement.

No upset: The 20th seeded Tipsarevic prevailed after a looong match — 7-5, 6-7 (3), 7-5, 6-2 — to reach the quarterfinals, making this his career-best performance at any major. Let’s hope he’s content getting that far because his next opponent is Novak Djokovic. (Draw: See how the quarterfinals are coming together for the men.)

(via Flickr by rip tides and achartoff)

let the slash fic-ing begin

We’d like what he’s having: Not sure how he swings it, but Philipp Petzschner ends up in the most opportune of places.

Tender: And while this Tipsarevic/Petszch post-match moment isn’t quite like the Dimitrov/Monfils mashfest that happened in the first round of U.S. Open play, we find it just as sweet.

Draw: 20th-seeded Serb beat Petzschner 6-0, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in their second round match.

(image via Getty Images)

18 crumbs from taste of tennis

And by “crumbs,” we mean people, of course. Thursday night, TSF made its way to Taste of Tennis, the yearly event that combines food, the chefs that make it and a line-up of US Open tennis players for an evening that’s quite delectable. It was our first time there, and we were lucky enough to be joined by the talented photographer Billie Weiss, who snapped all 13 of these images in this post. But while Billie took in the visuals, we worked the green carpet and nabbed a few folks for a word or two before they headed in to snarf and socialize.

Our leading man, Gilles Simon, above, worked the green carpet longer than anyone else, happily obliging to speak with every single reporter and blogger (and there were plenty of us!) along his way.

TSF: What’s been the most surprising thing about year one of fatherhood? Hardest?
Gilles Simon: Well, it’s not surprising because I wanted it. [Smiling.] The mother, she is fabulous. When I have a match and the baby is crying in the night, I don’t wake up, she will always do that. For me, I just have the good things during a tournament: I get to enjoy him and when I don’t win a match he makes me smile because he is always happy to see [me]. I tend to forget about tennis around him.

TSF: Are you guys always traveling as a unit?
GS: We are not always together. But when we are, the mother helps me a lot — she is very patient. I try to have them with me as much as possible, of course.

TSF: What’s one thing you love about coming to New York?
GS: I am from Paris so shopping is not a big deal here. [Smiling.] It’s just being here. You cannot see this city anywhere else in the world. Nothing is the same. At night, sometimes it is too much for me, but it’s only two weeks. I can do that. I really enjoy traveling in different parts of the world. New York? You can’t find it anywhere else.

TSF: Tell us what you’re doing here tonight.
Gigi Fernandez: I’m here as an ambassador for the event. I’m delighted that I get to combine my two passions: tennis and drinking. [Laughs.] No, no. Tennis and food. Rums of Puerto Rico [one of the sponsors] asked me to come tonight and I’ve done stuff with them before. I did an event with them in Washington DC that was an Iron Chef-style competition where the chefs had to prepare food using different rums. And I was one of the judges… we got to drink and eat. It was great! It’s always fun for me to represent anything Puerto Rican.

TSF: OK, you’ve made two drink reference so far. What’s your favorite drink?
GF: Mojitos. They’re my favorite.

TSF: What else are you up to these days?
GF: Being a full-time mom is a full-time job. I do a lot of corporate clinics and several events during the Open. I play in the Senior event at the Open and I did so at Wimbledon and the French Open, too.

TSF: Do you care to weigh in on the women’s side this year?
GF: I think if Serena can stay fit then she’s clearly heads above the rest. When she’s 100% she’s the best player in the world.

TSF: Have any of the younger American girls caught your eye at all?
GF: Yeah, actually. Monica Puig is a Puerto Rican player. She’s the highest-ranked American junior coming up and she’ll have a similar dilemma to the one that I had in trying to figure out who she will represent. She’s definitely the one with the most potential.

TSF: What is on the iPod these days?
Vera Zvonareva: Well, I like Rihanna a lot. I like Nickelback right now and Linkin Park. There are a couple new songs from Bruno Mars out there, too.

TSF: Do you ever try to see anyone live when you’re traveling?
VZ: That’s something that I would love to do one day. Unfortunately, it never really works out with the tournaments. When you listen to music live it’s a great feeling. It’s something that I really want to do eventually.

TSF: What about when you have an afternoon or evening to yourself? What is me-time for Vera?
VZ: I lock myself in the hotel room and put a movie on and I can watch three or four movies at a time.

TSF: And your fave?
VZ: Bodyguard.

TSF: Touché V!

TSF: Pilates or yoga? What would you go for?
Janko Tipsarevic:
I would go for yoga. I tried it once on P90X and I only made it to two days because of my schedule. I was imagining that it was going to be really easy but it really is not. It’s all about focus.

TSF: What about starting a line of your own roller-bags at some point?
JT: I would, but the company — Technifibre — they were not really a big fan of that bag. But I always say, “Why wear it over your shoulder when you can roll it on the ground?” I know I look like I’m going to the airport but it’s so much easier.

TSF: Do you think that Djokovic’s run has motivated the rest of you Serbians to play better as well?
VZ: With winning the Davis Cup, it really inspired all of us to play better. With Novak, I’m really happy to have him as a friend. I have a front row seat to see what he is doing. I’m not afraid to talk to him and see what he is doing and what he is thinking. It’s only helped me improve.

TSF: What if you could make one meal? Where would it be? What would it include?
Tamira Paszek: One meal? That I cook? I love risotto, especially before the beginning of a tournament. Like a mushroom risotto with truffle oil. I cook sometimes … it’s relaxing. At Wimbledon we rented a house and we cooked then.

Tommy Haas chatted with a few folks on the line, then made a dash for the food. Leftovers? Loved the just-showered wet-hair look.

Rafael Nadal MUST have had a change-of-shirts after sporting the same outfit at Macy’s earlier in the day. He looked surprisingly fresh-faced after the mob on 34th. Leftovers? Benito responded to a question in Spanish with Italian.

Fernando Verdasco is really looking his best we’ve seen in a long while. Love the hair, love the (lack-of) facial hair. Leftovers? Has he lost weight?!

Click for more crumbs from TOT — and Billie Weiss’ photos. [Read more...]

tipsarevic withdraws from serbia open

The little engine that can’t: Too bad that Janko Tipsarevic keeps falling apart mid-tourney. He had to pull out of a semi at this week’s Serbia Open because of a thigh injury, thus giving Novak Djokovic a spot in the final against Feli Lopez. This also means that Nole’s 26-match winning streak is still intact. Get better soon, Janko!

More: A few other views of the most adorable sad face in tennis — after the cut…

that painting is brill

Upper right corner, my friends. Nole posing next to his Pacific Life Open trophy. Amazing.

(God, how we miss that whale.)

This photo was taken during the ceremony held at this week’s Serbia Open in Belgrade to hand diplomatic passports to Ana Jovanovic, Bojana Jovanovski, Janko Tipsarevic, Nenad Zimonjic, Viktor Troicki, and Novak Djokovic.

“I am honored to promote to diplomatic service people who have contributed to the popularity of Serbia in the world,” said Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic. “There is not a single country in the world which wouldn’t be honored to have you as ambassadors.”

More: See the whole story at the Serbia Open site and the full gallery here.

(img by Pedja Milosavljevic via serbiaopen.rs)