do not pass go, do not collect $200

Gael Monfils upset No. 2 seed Andy Roddick at the Rakuten Japan Open in Tokyo this week. The 7-6 (5), 4-6, 7-6 (6) victory puts Monfils’s head-to-head with the top American 5-3.

Gael will face Stepanek in the semis. The top-half match-up is Nadal vs. Trocki. (Draw: Singles)

(Monfils image via Getty Images; Jimbo image src)

k-swiss x undefeated = the “deuce” shoe

K-Swiss is the latest collaborator working with Undefeated on footwear, having their “Deuce” shoe re-imagined in five new colorways for the fall. It’s a pretty simple shoe; note the placement of that gum toebox, covering a larger surface area than what we’re used to. TSF’s pick, btw, is the bright blue one in the back!

The shoe’s now for sale at the Tokyo Undefeated store; eveyrone else gets ‘em on October 29.

A Vera good year: Meanwhile, K-Swiss workhorse Vera Zvonareva has booked her berth in the WTA Year-End Championships, joining Caroline Wozniacki, Serena Williams, and Kim Clijsters in this 8-woman field held in Doha. (Info: Tournament site.)

(image and info via Hypebeast)

for k-swiss’ fall, a potent purple

The second drop of clothes from K-Swiss for Fall/Winter 2010 includes a darker purple than the hyachinth worn by Kateryna Bondarenko earlier this fall. (Flashback: K-Swiss at the US Open.) This shade — called Potent Purple — appears in the line’s every offering, with each piece having its own special detail, like the thumbhole on the cuffs of the half-zip, the ribbon trim on the pleated skort, and the straps on the a-line dress, the tankini, and the tank. Take a gander below and you’ll see what we mean.

Draw: Meanwhile, Vera Zvonareva‘s great runs within the last calendar year have cemented her reign atop the Russian WTA rankings. Unfortunately, compatriot Elena Dementieva sent her down memory lane with straight-set upset in the quarterfinals of this week’s Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo. Dementieva next plays Schiavone. (Draw: Singles)

Browse: Check them the goods out — including product info — [Read more…]

flashback: gael monfil’s quarterfinal run

Ana Ivanovic wasn’t the only one flirting with backgammon at the 2010 US Open. While she was being toasted by the US Backgammon Federation, Gael Monfils had points detailing his white/black kit from K-Swiss.

Results: At the Open, Monfils made his way to the quarterfinals with wins over Tipsarevic (who’d downed Roddick) and Gasquet before losing to Djokovic. And in the Davis Cup World Group semifinal against Argentina, he did his part to send the French team to the finals against Serbia with a singles rubber victory over David Nalbandian. (Of course, Gael whipped out his breakdancing moves in the post-tie celebration.)

Buy: See that Fall Checkprint Short — along with the rest of K-Swiss’ fall items — at TW.

More: Few other pictures we took of Gael after the cut…

short balls: skipping the tennis

This is the first photo that matches the search term “short balls” on Flickr. Igor Andreev putting away a short one at Wimbledon, 2008. (Photo by Mark Brocklehurst via Flickr.)

While we’re plenty impressed by all the Davis Cupping that happened this past weekend, the tennis season is in a bit of a lull 10 days after the completion of the US Open and before the big-time fall tournaments get under way. The women are in Seoul and Tashkent this week, while the men are swinging their way through Bucharest and Metz. While we’ve been doing a little bit of swinging of our own, we’ve been making the non-tennis rounds of the internet and finding plenty of good, juicy bits to fill the short balls plate for this week. Nibble up, djya’ll!

Before we get to the non-tennis stuff there is a few tennis items to make mention of. David Rosenberg has an item on Tennis.com about Ana Ivanovic‘s strange relationship with the U.S. Backgammon Federation. The Federation has presented Ivanovic (a first-round loser in Seoul) with a lifetime honorary membership. Game, Set, Backgammon? | Kenneth in the 212 is giving us a peek of Gilles Simon‘s … well, just click the link. Meanwhile, Kenneth gives thumbs-up to the Chrissie & Martina documentary, Unmatched, that debuted last week. | Anna Kournikova is gracing the cover of the current issue of Maxim. The Russian is feeling rather American in the spread, no? | Amelia Island, which hosts a USTA event and used to be home to a much-loved WTA stop, has been sold to Omni, which has 45 luxury destinations throughout North American. (via TennisWire.org). | The ladies of Spain are boycotting the Fed Cup team in their country. Or, as Courtney put it, Ladycotting. Well chosen. | The USTA has donated 21,000 pounds of food left over from the USO to NYC agency City Harvest. | The Bryan Brothers are hosting a tennis-fun weekend near their hometown of Camarillo, northwest of LA this Saturday. Partnering with K-Swiss, the boys will be joined by Davis Cuppers Sam Querrey (another local talent) and Mardy Fish for an exhibition and wine tasting at Spanish Hills Country Club. Tickets here. | And no surprise here: Serena walks the catwalk at Fashion Week.

And some number crunching before we abandon our tennis roots for the rest of the web: at last week’s Bell Challenge in Quebec City, American women notched 12 match wins among 10 players (nearly one third the draw). Anchored mostly by Bethanie Mattek-Sands‘s final run and helped out by a semifinal appearance by our favorite Jersey girl Christina McHale and a quarterfinal result from Melanie Oudin. At the USO, there were also 10 American women in the draw, winning a total of 9 matches, three less than in Canada. All hail the Maple Leaf, we guess.

Now, the non-tennis-ing begins. We’re loving this children’s book Dad Dad Mom Mom that promotes same-sex couples as parents. It’s even got a video up on YouTube. Storks get us every time. | TSF contributer and everything-extraordinaire Tobin Addington has his re-vamped web site up, which features musings on his blog and links to his writing, which is downright fantastic. His stuff is available here on Amazon. Check it. | The New York Times has a fantastic slideshow up of the good stuff at Burlington Toys in New York. Toy geeks rejoice! | While the DADT fail was disappointing yesterday, it’s encouraging to see a pop star take such a stance, isn’t it? | The New Yorker Festival kicks off next weekend (Oct. 1-3). The event features a sit-down with famed sports writer Bill Simmons. Too bad said talk is already sold out, but nice to see the intellects of the world wanting to hear/ see Bill in action. | We’ll just steal Gawker‘s headline on this one: “Bristol’s Grody DWTS Debut“. | It’s NYC Climate Week. That is all.

And if you’re ever wondering who to turn to for all your tennis and sporting business news, it’s tough to beat this guy. [Read more…]

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…]

fashion focus: alona bondarenko’s fruity dress, not quite ripe

Alona Bondarenko bagged the first upset during Day 5 of play at the 2010 Australian Open with her defeat of eighth seed Jelena Jankovic in the third round.

The rusty (and “clogged-up”) Serbian never round her rythm, and the Ukranian took advantage, running away with a 6-2, 6-3 win. Up next for Alona is a match with Zheng Jie, who took out 11th seed Marion Bartoli. After that, it’s either Safina or Kirilenko. (Draw: Women’s Singles)

Pretty in pink: The “Raspberry Rose” halter dress has that faux layering at the chest (which everyone’s doing), chunky pleating, and grey and white stripes at the high waist to give the dress some extra shape (not that Alona needs the help). One of the cutest dresses of the tournament. Note that her shoes also have grey/pink detail.

Buy: K-Swiss Halter Dress, $75, in rose and white colorways; available February 3rd at kswiss.com. At some point I wish they’d figure out that this should go on sale the same day the tournament starts.

More: More pics of Alona after the cut…

what should’ve been: the k-swiss switch

TSF let out a squeal when we saw this dress hanging in the K-Swiss showroom, and smiled when we learned that it would have a fall drop. Unfortunately, it didn’t appear at the 2009 U.S. Open as we’d expected, though its bright color and sexy silhouette would’ve been worthy of the tennis catwalk that is Flushing Meadows.

Instead, the dress debuted after the slam: at this week’s Toray Pan Pacific Open, K-Swiss mascot Kateryna Bondarenko fell to Li Na 6-2, 7-5, 6-3 after she upset Elena Dementieva in the second round. Take a look at the draw (pdf) to see how the rest of the ladies have fared.

Buy: K-Swiss Women’s Fall Dress, clover pink/black and white/ebony grey, $74.99. (Note: we had incorrectly reported the price of this dress as $59.99; the retail price is $74.99.)

More: A few other views of the dress in action after the cut…

good idea, bad idea: novak djokovic

Nick’s away for well-deserved R&R over on the left coast this weekend, so it’ll be a fashion-heavy while I’m bloggin’ by my lonesome…

Good idea: Novak Djokovic opens up another NovakCafe, the Djokovic restaurant venture. The fourth branch is located near the MGM tennis court, the site of the Djokovic-owned Serbia Open. (Pics: interior and exterior — pretty cute, no?)

View: See pics from all four outposts of Novak Cafe at the restaurant’s official website.

Marko’s looking more delicious by the minute. So is the restaurant. If only we could get Nole to stick with adidas, and not switch over to K-Swiss like he’s been rumored to?

Bad idea: Where do we sign the petition TO NOT MAKE THIS HAPPEN? Nole just began to hit his mark with his Falcon line (above) — it was one of the U.S. Open’s best outfits, along with Rafa Nadal‘s checker cab polo. (Pics: Nole’s day and night kits) He should really hang around and give it time to grow. Perhaps K-Swiss has better shoes?

On the flip side, K-Swiss will get a benefit from having a top male player on their roster. (No offense, Tommy Haas.)

Bonus round: Good Idea, Bad Idea from Animaniacs

(via HC Foo and TW; novakcafe images via HCFoo; djokovic image courtesy of adidas)