(almost) shirtless: juan carlos ferrero

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22nd seed Juan Carlos Ferrero, in Lotto, took out Australian Alun Jones in a second round match in Melbourne. The Spaniard will next face 10th seed David Nalbandian or another Australian, Peter Luczak. (draw)

Whodathunk he’d be so freckly?

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trophies: heineken, hobart, kooyong, sydney

The girls and boys warmed up for the start of the Australian Open with another week at various tournaments Down Under. The usual fare of crystal and silver were doled out, save for minikegs in Auckland…

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Philipp Kohlschreiber ends up with a silver trophy and a keg (yes!!!!) for winning the Heineken Open in Auckland, New Zealand. He beat Juan Carlos Ferrero 7-6 (4), 7-5 in the finals.

More photos: Kooyong, Sydney, and Hobard (plus Auckland doubles) after the cut…

juanqui wears in bright red lotto

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World No. 24 Juan Carlos Ferrero shakes off his off-season rust in New Zealand; he’s made it to the finals of the Heineken Open after defeating Julien Benneteau 6-3, 6-4. His opponent is Philipp Kohlschreiber, who crushed our favorite Argentinian Juan Monaco 6-2, 6-1 in the other semi.

FYI: Juanqui’s wearing the new Spirograph-inspired Lotto style which we saw previously on David Ferrer at TMC Shanghai.

the perils of round robin

Humility at the top

For as many perks allowed by reaching the year-end top eight of men’s tennis — the glory, the attention, the serious cash, not to mention those crazy year-ending suits — participating in the Tennis Masters Cup (Shanghai) also has a potential downside: losing multiple matches in a week.

In fact, the round-robin draw makes it so a few players have to lose two matches in the week. There’s even a chance that at least one formerly-confident fellow will take an ego beat-down and lose three. I recall Juan Carlos Ferrero in 2003 walking off the court humbled and frustrated after losing his third (and final) match. More recently, Guillermo Coria racked up consecutive 0-3 TMC records — in ’04 and ’05.

This year, thanks to Kolya squeaking out a round-robin win over the spent Gonzo, the 0-fer honor went to Nole Djokovic. If it weren’t for the signs of burnout that Novak had coming into the Masters Cup, he’s about the last player of the octet you’d expect to get served a big slice of that humbling pie.

Novak put up a good fight in each performance — and he had his overzealous stage parents cheering him on — so I’m pretty sure the showman and athlete we got to know this year hasn’t disappeared. Something tells us that after some rest in a place “far, far away from everybody”, he’ll come out alright in ’08.


Michael Shaw writes about tennis and other subjects for the
Los Angeles Times, and is also an artist. He can be reached at michaelshaw_sar AT yahoo DOT com. Read his previous posts for TSF here.

short balls: masha's trainer, underground tennis, gay bloggers, bottle or tap?

Behind the scenes: The folks who run Juan Carlos Ferrero‘s Equelite Tennis Academy in Spain have started a blog to show what it’s like for the folks behind the scenes. In one post, they interview physical coach Javier Capitaine, who trains with Juanqui and Maria Sharapova (above).

Gay bloggers: Ken of Kenneth in the (212) and Jim Buzinski of OutSports get their due in this funny article by Greg Hernandez (Out in Hollywood, Deuce!) on gay sports bloggers drooling about mostly straight professional athletes. (L.A. Daily News)

Straight writers, too: The Daily News surveyed the women, too. Apparently, female athletes are okay with exploiting their sexual power and the attention they get from male fans. Daniela Hantuchova‘s comment on posing for magazines: “(Female tennis players) all agree and always say we do the talking with our racquets… (but) we can take some time outside the sport to show people a different side of us. In that way, I think it’s a good thing.”

Towards even stronger racquets: Aerogel, one of the world’s lightest solids, has made its way into tennis and squash racquets developed by Dunlop The material can withstand a direct blast of 1kg of dynamite and protect against heat from a blowtorch at more than 1,300 degrees Celsius. Can it help the guys win a match against Roger? (Times)

Having a ball: The Sunday Times features London’s most lavish, with the wealthy now looking to renovate by digging down — sometimes up to four stories (!!) down — to create screening rooms, indoor tennis courts, and swimming pools (some even with diving boards). I guess at some point you just get bored by the conventional ways of spending your cash…

(OT) Ending the “bottled or tap?” question: Talking Tennis writes an ode to NYC’s tap water, and PepsiCo owns up to a smart marketing ploy. (CNN)

For posterity’s sake: A Bud Collins-less NBC Sports extends its broadcasting deal with Wimbledon to include digital media rights to the championships plus online coverage live on NBCSports.com and on mobile. (via The Hollywood Reporter)

(photos via Equelite)

tattoo watch: juanqui ferrero

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Spanish player Juan Carlos Ferrero has a permanent tattoo on his lower abdomen. (Of a dragon? an archer? a scorpion? Speculation abounds…)

That devil on his shoulder was temporary; he got it right before the 2004 Australian Open.

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(close-up via JCF Online, others via MTF)

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juan carlos ferrero's hotel


Spanish tennis star Juan Carlos Ferrero enters the luxury hotel landscape — a currently-hip trend blazed by George Clooney, Mick Jagger, Richard Branson; fashion houses Bvlgari, Ferragamo, and Armani, etc. — with his own intimate operation.

Hotel Ferrero was an old Valencian mansion that Juanqui, as he is affectionately known, converted into a fabulous 12-suite property.

OGLE: See the photos here.

(Hola via OTB)

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