I won’t turn down a facial from james blake!

First, some bits:

  • Saw Juan Martin del Potro up close and personal playing doubles with munchkin partner Fabio Fognini.
  • James Blake, who along with Frank Dancevic is a spokesguy for Evian, designed a facial spray bottle (“Brumisateur”) that’ll be sold throughout the U.S. Open Series. Pick it up at evian.com for $5.50.
  • Maria Sharapova is leaving the athlete haven that is Manhattan Beach for the much more celeb-appropriate Topanga Canyon.

Donald Young‘s white Nike Advantage Polo. See the subtle detail in the mesh backing. The 19-year-old took out Tommy Haas 6-2, 6-4 in the first night match.

Papparazi moved into the seats right behind me not during a changeover (boo) but waited until the changeover (yay) to start snapping pics of Kate Hudson, who sat next to Haas’ gf Sara Foster. Look at that bracelet!

Tommy had no less than three K-Swiss shirt changes, treating us to white/black and navy blue crewnecks plus a navy blue polo during the last game of the match.

Switcheroo: In case you didn’t notice — I didn’t until last night! — Xavier Malisse switched from K-Swiss to Lotto prior to Wimbledon. He wore the black Kontact tee with shiny screenprint against Carlos Moya. The Belgian had a shiny ring on his left middle finger to match.

trophy watch: carson and montreal

Too bad that such a boo trophy followed a memorable and exciting three-set match between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer at the Rogers Cup. The Serb won 7-6 (2), 2-6, 7-6 (2). And in a classy move that disappointed half the free world, the adidas kit stayed on after his win. Is shirtless Novak not a winning tradition?

Meanwhile, the East West Bank Classic handed out a crystal vase to Ana Ivanovic for beating Russian Nadia Petrova 7-5, 6-4. Congrats to Nadia for recovering strongly from the shoulder injury that kept her out of Wimbledon.

If this is what the U.S. Open Series will do until the Open, I will claw my eyes out. Give us some fun trophies!

djokovic makes a run to the finals

The Serbians continue to rip through the ATP and SEWTA Tours. Ivanovic will play Petrova in tomorrow’s final at the East West Bank Classic while the lickalicious Nole will try for hist first win against Roger Federer (he’s currently 0-4) after downing Nadal in straight sets. Novak will also be vying for his first Rogers Cup title.

Djokovic is wearing the adidas Men’s Summer YOC Theme Polo for the hardcourt season. Available in two colorways: Dark Orange w/ White & Yellow (pictured above) and White w/Dark Orange & Navy.

Buy: $38.99 at TW.

quickie before i head out to east west bank classic night 2

Venue: The Home Depot Center is definitely a great facility. There is one way for everyone to get to their seats (how egalitarian) and the space was very compact. My only beefs: the VIP suites look like guard towers and the Tennis Center is only accessible by freeways. Uhm, has anyone heard of rush hour traffic? No wonder the stands were empty at 7. Tournament organizers should really consider how spectators get to the event. I suggest setting up park-and-rides. The East West Bank Classic had gluttonous amounts of parking but no access by public transportation. That’s another for the green file.

Wrap-up: Chris and I got more than we bargained for at yesterday’s visit to the East West Bank Classic. The two outer courts (plus all the practice courts) were pretty much just open to the public by 3:00 p.m. We saw Flavia Pennetta and Maria Kirilenko hitting on one court as Sharapova (with Yuri) drilled at another. Jelena Jankovic finished up her session as we got there, and I sat courtside while Chucky worked on her serve (for a doubles match later that day with Dani Hantuchova). They beat the Chinese team of Peng Shuai and Yan Zhi).

FYI: I’ve been running into a bunch of people confused about these Chinese names. In their case, Peng and Yan are the surnames. but in Chinese you always say last name first.

Other sightings: Shaughnessy lost to Azarenka, Sugiyama lost to Safarova, and the team of Mirza and (a surprisingly untacky) Mattek beat the team of Krajicek and Husarova. I don’t know what was going on with Michaella. She was totally dead weight yesterday.

Night match was Sharapova winning when Eleni Daniilidou retired with breathing problems. (I hope she’s okay.) After that, Ana Ivanovic, wearing her pink adidas summer hardcourt outfit, beat a scrappy Ashley Harkleroad. There were a couple of good points in that match, but the rallies during the Sharapova/Daniilidou match were significantly more entertaining.

(photo via Irwin Seating)

americans in l.a. + coaching updates…

kendrick-countrywide.jpg
(Kendrick — left, middle; Fleishman — right)

An All-American match-up: Z. Fleishman d. R. Kendrick 7-6 (4), 6-3 at the Countrywide Classic. Zack is cleaning up on his home court, and will face Radek Stepanek in the quarters.

Shamil drops a bomb: Russian Fed Cup captain Shamil Tarpishchev didn’t invite Maria Sharapova to play in the finals against Italy because she’s been unreliable in the past.

Roche Coach: Hyuk. (Sorry, had to do it.) Lleyton Hewitt announced that he’s hooking up with Australian tennis legend and former Federer coach Tony Roche in time for the U.S. Open. Roche says he wouldn’t have signed on if he didn’t think Hewitt could still win a slam. (via The Age)

Safin smartens up, too: Another former U.S. Open winner, Marat Safin, signs up a new coach, Hernan Gumy. Argentinian David Nalbandian goes with Martin Jaite. (via BBC)

tuesday night treats at the countrywide classic

From the frontlines: Well, far behind the baselines, really. I was at UCLA tonight watching James Blake brush off his rusty game to beat Alexander Peya in two sets. Turns out that was just a warm-up for the upset of top seed Fernando Gonzalez by hometown fave Zack Fleishman. This is the former Bruin’s best scalp in five years of playing the Tour’s UCLA stop. He was blasting his forehands just as well as Gonzo. I hope Fernando’s okay… it looked like he was having some right arm trouble.

Sex selling sex: there were some delicious fellas hawking tickets for the upcoming ULTIMATE TENNIS CELEBRATION!!!! EastWest Bank Classic in Carson. They’ve got a decent promo, too: $20 gets you two tickets to an early round match PLUS an “I (heart) SHARAPOVA” or “I (heart) SERENA” shirt. (Guess which shirt I picked.)

Favabean sighting?: I think I saw TSF reader in the stands behind me. Section 16, Chris — was that you?

Others I saw: Amer Delic after winning his doubles match, Paul Goldstein after winning his singles match, Robert Kendrick battling Wesley Whitehouse in the Grandstand Court, and Serena Williams sitting five seats over from Kevin Garnett, both watching Blake.