wilson: on their way to a finnished product



Wilson needs to hustle in order to bring their men’s line up to par with the terrific women’s Fall 2010 collection. At this week’s Rakuten Japan Open, Jarkko Nieminen wears a blue/white/grew crew, the same shirt he wore for the year’s final major. Note the dotted line that gives more definition to the Finn’s back.

Draw: In Tokyo, Jarkko faces Radek Stepanek in the final eight. He shares the same half of the draw as Gael Monfils and Andy Roddick. Meanwhile, Nadal, Gigi Lopez, and Melzer are still alive in the top half. (More: See all the stats here.)

trophy watch: in asia, the week of three-setters



Malaysian Open: Fourth seed Mikhail Youzhny bagged his second title of the year by taking out Andrey Golubev 6-7 (7), 6-2, 7-6 (3) in Kuala Lumpur. “I cannot say I showed by best tennis here,” shared Youzhny, “but, although it’s good when you show your best tennis and win the tournament, it’s probably better sometimes when you don’t show your really best game but you have a really good result.” The Russian also won the BMW Open, on clay, back in May.

PTT Thailand Open: All the big players bit the dust — including Rafael Nadal and the rusty Juan Martin Del Potro, Verdasco, Melzer — leaving Guillermo Garcia-Lopez to square off against Jarkko Nieminen in the finals. The scoreline, in Gigi’s favor: 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. This was the Spaniard’s second final of 2010 and the first title. “It has been an unbelievable week for me, from the first round to the final. Every match is different. I think I played relaxed, enjoyed my game and everything was perfect. It’s hard to express what it means, I’m really happy inside.”

Toray Pan-Pacific Open: Over in Tokyo, top seed Caroline Wozniacki fended off an upset by Elena Dementieva with a 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory.

Exo: And Nole won an exo over Andy Roddick in Seoul. The blooper reel’s here.

(images via Getty Images)

strawberries and cream



While there are crazier things going on across la Manche, the ATPers are doing their part to hold up Wimbledon’s end of the fashion bargain. It’s not quite like the noisemakers of years’ past — with Federer et al embroiled in more serious tennis matters (like premature five-setters and faulty knees) — the military jackets and the dress pants were all left at home. Still, others are stepping up to play with the event’s strict, all-white dress code.

Left to right: Gilles Simon in adidas Barricade Collection; Florent Serra in Wilson; Jarkko Nieminen in Asics.

(images via Getty Images)

tattoo watch: jarkko’s unveiling



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Jarkko Nieminen and his tattoo tease has a sequel, apparently. As the Finn collapsed on the court after his 6-3, 6-7 (9), 6-2 loss to David Nalbandian in the Sydney International final on Saturday, he let us in on another inking, this time on the underside of his right arm.

(photo by Getty Images)

tattoo watch: jarkko nieminen



jarko-nieminen-sydney09

Finn de siècle: Is Novak Djokovic‘s 6-4, 7-6 loss to Jarkko Nieminen in the semis of the Medibank International in Sydney a sign that the Serb won’t defend his maiden major title? It must be sophomore slump time!

In case you’re curious, per wikipedia: “Sisu is a Finnish term that could be roughly translated into English as strength of will, determination, perseverance, and acting rationally in the face of adversity.”

Further reading: Here’s Wertheim‘s Aussie Open seed report for SI.

(photo from Getty Images)