trophy watch: never been kissed

OK. Not never. But almost never. Jelena Dokic kissed a WTA trophy for the first time in nine years (Sarasota, 2002). Dokic shot up 30 spots from no. 91 in the world to no. 61. In Kuala Lumpur, she took out top seed Francesca Schiavone in the first round before rolling into the final. It was there that she beat B-Lister Lucie Safarova, 2-6, 7-6(9), 6-4, saving two championship points en route. Tough day for the Safarova-Berydch family.

Pablo Cuevas gets a little hoist from his teammates following his tie-clinching win in Montevideo. None of those gents on the sidelines seem to care much for the celebration. Uruguay beat Colombia 4-1 in a Group I Americas clash. Davis Cup: All results

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quietly, dokic does the dirty work

Jelena Dokic has put together an impressive run in the minor leagues, winning three straight ITF circuit titles in the summer swing. Call it the I’m-Gunna-Make-This-Comeback-Work Series. And Jelena is the leader.

After losing in the second round at the Wimbledon Qualies, Dokic has won 15 straight matches in three different countries: France, Romania and Canada. Among those players, six were ranked in the top 200, including former top 20 player Virginie Razzano, whom Dokic beat in straight sets Sunday to win the tournament at Vancouver.

Dokic started the year at number 57 in the world, but slipped to as low as number 136 with a 7-10. With the 15 wins, she’s now at 22-10, and has reached number 82 in the world. She will still have to qualify for the main draw of the US Open in a couple of weeks, as her ranking was outside the top 100 when the entry list was made.

Catch a peek at our favorite this-is-how-I-feel tee from Vancouver after the cut. [Read more…]

a quiet tank crushes the draw

This mellow racerback dress from Lacoste‘s spring line has gotten a lion’s share of airtime in the ten days of French Open play thus far. Jelena Dokic wore it as she fell apart with a back injury in her second round match while ahead against Elena Dementieva. “Obviously it’s not my time at the grand slams,” said Dokic, who suffered a similar fate with an injured ankle in the fourth round of the 2009 Australian. “I’m not 15 anymore, so it’s time probably to take more care now and I just really, really hope it’s nothing serious.”

The dress, with its contrasting white tank and blue skirt, took matters into its own hands with the fourth-seeded Dementieva, using Sam Stosur as the vehicle to avenge Dokic’s defeat. Stosur is still in the draw, defeating Virginie Razzano in the quarters and will face Svetlana Kuznetsova in the semis.

BTW, Kuznetsova won the big-babe battle between her and Serena Williams that took three sets: 7-6 (3), 5-7, 7-5. The American, as expected, gave no credit to her opponent. “I pretty much gave it to her. It was like, Here, do you want to go to the semis? Because I don’t. She was like, Okay.” Hey — I guess that’s what you can do when you’re BBM buddies, right?

Meanwhile, Dominika Cibulkova‘s been swatting down her fellow blondes all week, eager to be the prettiest one hosting the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen by fortnight’s end. She fended off unseeded Argentine Gisela Dulko in the third, Agi Szavay (bye!) in the fourth, and upset couture queen Maria Sharapova in the quarters. Sharapova almost notched a double bagel loss if not for Cibulkova’s nerves; the Russian managed to win two games down 0-5 in the second set. Sadly, we’re unsure of how Dominika will hold up against her semifinal date with Dinara Safina. (At the very least, she can comfort herself knowing that Safina needed to go the distance to defeat Victoria Azarenka.)

Buy: Lacoste Sleeveless Racerback Dress; white/eclipse blue; orig. $145 now, $99.

(images via Getty Images)

fashion focus: fila’s last stand

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Stopping on a quarter: The dream run of Jelena Dokic at the 2009 Australian Open ended in the quarterfinals at the hands of No. 3 Dinara Safina. (By the way, TSF is picking Marat‘s younger sister to face Serena Williams in Saturday’s final.)

With Dokic’s amazing performance came a chance for Fila to showcase their spring women’s collection. We’re not going to lie — it’s taking us some time to warm up to it. The season’s loud print worked best as trim and accents on solid-colored pieces — this is no Cavalli runway show, after all — worn by Dokic and Anna Chakvetadze in their second-round match. Dokic won 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-3.

Up close: See pics of Fila girls Anna, Jelena, and Svetlana Kuznetsova after the cut…

charmed, i’m sure

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I’ve got to be honest: I never would have thought that the Jelena making the quarterfinals of the 2009 Australian Open would be Dokic and not Jankovic.

The Yugoslav-born Australian, who received a wildcard after winning a qualifying event, has become the Cinderella story of this tournament. She overcame years of depression, injuries, and emotional abuse from her father to reach the final eight. Her scalps along the way: Anna Chakvetadze, Caroline Wozniacki, and Alisa Kleybanova (who took out Ana Ivanovic).

The high-quality fourth-round match between Kleybanova and Dokic ended with a 7-5, 5-7, 8-6 scoreline. She next faces Dinara Safina, who held off two match points to win over 19-year-old Alize Cornet 6-2, 2-6, 7-5. (Cornet had match points serving 5-3 in the third set.)

Lucky charms: Dokic will need all the luck she can get. She’s been pushed to three sets for all her matches so far, and rolled her ankle in the third set against Kleybanova. Will she one of the last women standing at Saturday’s final?

(image via Getty Images)

short balls: australian open edition

Aussie Open in trouble?: A report published by Tennis Australia recommends much-needed upgrades to Melbourne Park. TA is asking for $300 million in funding for capital improvements so they can stay competitive with other tournaments that could soon vie for major status. As you may know, there have been grumbligs about a Grand Slam in Asia, the Middle East or Central/Eastern Europe. (Herald Sun)

Flipping out: It’s a story all-too familiar in the life of Mark Philippoussis: he is making his way through the Aussie Open qualies but could have his journey ended by his nagging knee injury. And it’s probably not helping his psyche that some juniors are writing him off. (ABC, The Age)

Prodigal Aussie: And the once-estranged Jelena Dokic, who earlier this year decided to accept help from Tennis Australia, is on track to nab the women’s wild card for the Australian Open (The Age)

With a little help from my friends: Hotlantan Robby Ginepri is none closer to the Aussie Open wild card, even after his Davis Cup buddies (Andy Roddick, James Blake, et al.) sent a letter to the USTA asking for them to grant Ginepri the spot. Unfortunately, the governing body’s age-limit rule — wild cards can’t go to guys over 22 years of age — took him out of the running. He’ll make his way down to Melbourne for qualifying, with coach Jose Higueras in tow. (Florida Sun-Sentinel)

R.I.P. Fellow Socal blogger Kat, aka Lady Hooligan, will take down her 18-month-old webzine at the end of the year (you can browse it ’til then.) Thankfully, she hasn’t given up on publishing completely. She’ll continue to blog here.

Andy and Serena: A write-up on Andy Roddick‘s homecoming exhibition in Omaha. (via Craig)

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More tattered jeans: Andy really loves his beat-up denim. He wore it out taking Brooklyn Decker to Manhattan. (JustJared via DTL)

Judy Murray at the LTA: The Evening Standard checks in with super tennis parent Judy Murray and how she’s slowly revamping the LTA’s junior program.

short balls: serena bananas over her 'berry, loving the aussie women, ncaa tennis, etc.

Serena goes bananas over ‘berry: Serena Williams blogged so dramatically about losing her Blackberry in Paris (realizing its disappearance while shopping at Fendi, no less) that Down The Line! thinks she’s just lost her marbles.

Coria’s quiet return: The Argentine accepted a wild card into a tourney this week, and he crashed out in the first round. (La Legion Argentina)

Articles are getting a bum rap: TTC drops one of its Ts (guess which one?) and announce it via a press release worthy of The Onion. There was really no way to make a big serious deal about this…

Aussie love: Ex-troubled teen Jelena Dokic finally speaks about her decision to return to pro tennis (with the help of Tennis Australia). Meanwhile, the adorable Nick McCarvel has been missing Molik and hopes she’ll make a strong start in 2008.

Partners in crime: Speaking of, Nick and his transatlantic sidekick, Troy Venechanos, brought us good blogging from the Madrid Masters. In part two, check out the photo of yet another big purse from Mirka

Over it: I’m so over the match-fixing scandal, so I’ll leave it to Stephanie Myles to keep you informed.

What difference a year makes: Ahh, it seems like the NCAA tennis season just ended, yet we’re already into the second major tourney of the new season. Colette Lewis lists the seeds and wonders what happened to the men of UCLA and to USC darling Lindsey Nelson.

short balls: aussie edition

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Flip the Fungible: If Mark Philippoussis decides to disappear into tennis oblivion, then I’ll be content replacing him with the similar-looking ATP-er, Spaniard Paul Andujar. (Here he is in Le Coq Sportif while losing to Nole at the Croatian Open.)

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The Scud at an Age of Love viewing party in the Planet Hollywood Casino surrounded by his girls: Jayanna, Adelaide, Lauren, Tessa, Lynn, Angela, Jodi, Mary, and Kelli Brook. (photos via Getty Images)

Flip the TV Star: Mark takes another step into firming up his tennis prospects — FYI, he’s working out of his Vegas base camp with former Agassi trainer Gil Reyes — by considering another reality TV series. (Herald Sun via DT)

Rafter the Wise: Two-time U.S. Open titleist Pat Rafter, who gave some great advice to James Blake early in the American’s career, speaks out in favor of the newly-formed union between Lleyton Hewitt and Tony Roche (who is also Pat’s former coach). I wonder if he has opinions about his former doubles partner Philippoussis?

Courier the Impresario: American Jim Courier has joined Darren Cahill and Roger Rasheed as investors in a new three-day exhibition that leads up to the 2009 Australian Open. The tournament will pair retired ATP players with current ones of the same nationality. McEnroe and Roddick vs. Pat Cash and Hewitt? I like it!

Tourney trivia: the last Adelaide tourney will be played in 2008, after which it will fold with the women’s Gold Coast event. This new exhibition will have the same plexi-cushion courts (Rebound Ace, R.I.P.) as the Aussie Open. The promoters will face competition for players from Kooyong, the Sydney International, and the Auckland tournament.

Dokic (not yet) the Prodigal Daughter: The reunion of Tennis Australia with troubled and hard-headed former prodigy Jelena Dokic hit another snag when she rejected the governing body’s latest offer to help out. (Herald Sun)

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