au revoir, marat



Safin-Paris-Aurevoir

Marat Safin waved good bye to the world of tennis today at the Paris Masters Series, losing in a hard-fought battle to Juan Martin del Potro, 6-4 in the third. Will the King of Moods be back? Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

(photo by Alison Haltenhof via flickr)

too soon?



maratsafin-thisisit

Is this really it? This fall the world will see the final performances of two very different showmen for two very different reasons. Because Halloween is a time to blur the line between good taste and bad and between reality and fiction, we bring you Marat Safin’s farewell tour. This Is It, folks. Whether we are talking about the King of Pop’s untimely demise or the end of Marat Safin’s supposedly unfilled career, we are all left with the same question: Too Soon?

(tsf illustration by troy venechanos)

a little rough around the edges



…and we’re not even talking about the softening (but still crankypants) Marat Safin!

TSF loves what has been planted as the seeds of some cool branding/logo work for the Shanghai ATP Masters tournament. The brush drawing of that floral main tennis stadium alongside the Chinese characters for the city has a lot of potential. We can’t wait to see where they take it.

Which isn’t to say that it’s all a (moon)cakewalk: the tourney’s website’s hard is to find (google “shanghai atp masters” and see how many results and/or links you have to click through — ours was two — before getting to the event homepage) and there’s not a lot of meat when you get there. Perhaps this is part of why the stands are emp. ty.

Draw: Marat lost in the second round to Tomas Berdych in three sets, but didn’t go down without a fight. He criticized the Czech’s gamesmanship (calling a medical timeout) and Andy Roddick‘s whining about the too-long ATP playing schedule. Apparently, Marat called attention to this during the Olympics in 2004, but they just all told him that he was just playing too much. (What’s in the water this month? First Masha calling Azarenka a “Jankovic” for calling on a trainer twice in a match, and now this…) Up next for Tomas is Gilles Simon. See the draw here.

(image via Getty)

(maybe) haaay! gong mao-xin



He’s not quite HOAT, but we’re keeping our eyes on Shanghai Masters wildcard Gong Mao-Xin, who lost in the opening round to Marat Safin 6-4, 6-4. Consider us intrigued.

Draw: Safin will next face Tomas Berdych, who beat last week’s Beijing finalist, Marin Cilic. If he gets past Berdych, he’ll potentially face Simon in the third round and then Djokovic in the quarters. See it all here. (pdf)

(image via Getty)

trophy watch: kerchiefs, gang signs, pearl studs, and gold crosses



Moscow, represent: Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova bagged her first title since tearing it up on the clay courts in early 2009 (with titles in Stuttgart and Roland Garros) by defeating Agnieszka Radwanska in the final of the China Open. Not sure if it’s this new positive aura of hers, but she was lookin’ damn good in the cap-sleeve top from Fila‘s fall Heritage collection. (Buy: $38.99 at TW)

Nole, unveiled: Were we really surprised that there was a Serbian striptease after Novak Djokovic won the men’s singles title at the China Open? He took out Marin Cilic 6-2, 7-6 (4) in a rain-addled final. Nole now has three titles (Dubai and Serbia Open); he heads Shanghai to take part in the Shanghai Masters tourney (this week).

If you know what’s going on with the bandana wrapped around their wrists, hit me up.

Stud, studded: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and his pearl studs were no match for Mikhail Youzhny in the Japan Open. The Frenchman won 6-3, 6-3. Props to Youzhny, though, who beat Gilles Simon, Tomas Berdych, and Lleyton Hewitt on his way to the final. That one-handed backhand was smokin’!

Seal of approval: That chinese name stamp the China Open tourney organizers gave to Marat Safin after his swan song in Beijing was a cool concept.