trophy watch: serena's (and nole's) sizzling summer



Streak this: While Novak Djokovic may be 53-1 this year and 29-0 on hardcourts, he doesn’t have as many wins this summer as Serena Williams. Serena hasn’t lost since Wimbledon, winning her second straight US Open Series tournament in Toronto over the weekend, running through the field with a only hiccup here or there — much like she had in Standford at the Bank of the West Classic. Serena’s final triumph was over Sam Stosur, who beat Williams in the French Open quarterfinals last year in a tight affair. Not this time: Serena won the Rogers Cup for the second time, 6-4 6-2.

King Nole: While it is clear that Serena is having a banner summer, so, too, is Nole. You just can’t take it away from him — he’s having a banner year. Prior to his final yesterday against Mardy Fish, Djoko had dropped just 20 games in four straight-set matches. Remember: this dude hadn’t played since Wimbledon! Seriously: undisputed world no. 1 on l-o-c-k. The final was a good one, thanks to a gamely Fish, who we hope will show up in similar form in two week’s time at Flushing Meadows. Nole, as he has 52 other times this year, emerged the winner with a 6-2 3-6 6-4 effort.

Clear as day: As for the trophies, we can’t say we’re the biggest fan of the clear glass look, but if we had to choose, we’ll take Serena’s lighter, thinner option over Nole’s marginally phallic offering. But the real question? Who had the better celebration?!

TSF Vault: Serena Williams | Novak Djokovic | Trophy Watch

(Serena images by the AP; Djoko images by Getty)

trophy watch: watching the trophies



Back to the basics: It took this week on TSF for us to remember that Trophy Watch is just that: watching the trophies. The tour trots the globe and the globe is a creative, eccentric place. And where better does it come out than the trophies we get to see every weekend?! Sure, the clothes are great. The tournament sites are entertaining. But these trophies? There is nothing better.

Mountain mayhem: Spanish man Marcel Granollers climbed a big one this weekend, downing Fernando Verdasco in the Swiss Open at Gstaad, 6-4 3-6 6-3 to win his second career title and first since 2008.

Include us next time, please. On the creative process to come up with this gem. Alexandr Dolgopolov (and his head band) ruined the chances of hometown hero Marin Cilic in Umag, Croatia. Dolgopolov won 6-4 3-6 6-3.

Smile, Mr. Bear. Serena Williams and Marion Bartoli were smiling just fine for the camera, though that brown bear on the right looks rather bummed out that he, too, wasn’t awarded a crystal bowl. Next time, fuzzy buddy! Serena tore through the field at Stanford, beating Bartoli 7-5, 6-1 in the final.

Earnestly Ernests: He ernested that one, right? OK, we’ll stop. But is there a more fun name to say than Ernests Gulbis on the tour right now? The hard-hitting Latvian upstaged hometown boy Mardy Fish in the final, winning the Farmers Classic with a 5-7 6-4 6-4 win on Sunday at UCLA. | More: TSF’s LA coverage
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fish and chipper



Spreading cheer and love, that one. I guess that’s what you do when you’re having a great start to your summer.

Buy: K-Swiss MS Awesome Day Tee; in black, heather grey, and white; $25; kswiss.com.

(photo by TSF)

the boys of summer



It’s summatime. You know, that part of the year that LFO loves when the girls stop by … and when they wear Abercrombie & Fitch. But what about the boys of summer? For the Americans, it’s so far been a rather decent one: John Isner won in Newport before Mardy Fish took him down in Atlanta. This week in Los Angeles three of the four semifinalists — Fish, Ryan Harrison and Alex Bogolomov Jr. — were Yanks themselves. Sure, there was that whole Davis Cup thing, but as Mardy himself says, we don’t like to even think about it.

But Fish, who is set to expand his lead in the US Open Series standings this week regardless of how he plays tomorrow, isn’t take much time off: he’ll play the Legg Mason Classic next week in D.C. (where, Fish noted, he has been guaranteed a Wednesday start) before going to both Masters events in Montreal and Cincinnati. If you include Davis Cup, that will mean Fish six weeks of solid tennis between Wimbledon and the US Open. A rather heavy sched, isn’t it, Mardy?

TSF Vault: Ryan Harrison | Mardy Fish

“It doesn’t feel like I’m on the road,” Fish said at the Farmers Classic, sighting sleeping in his own LA-area home with his wife Stacey and their dog, Charlie. “I’m hoping this week is going to feel like an off week … but I guess you can ask me about it again at the US Open.”

Fish isn’t the only one who has had success in his home country during the last few weeks. The aforementioned efforts of Isner haven’t gone unnoticed, though the North Carolina native did blow a match point in his final appearance at the Atlanta Tennis Championships. Harrison, too, has been loving the sun: his first two ATP semis have come in the last two weeks, both against Fish.

“I want to be in another semifinal,” Harrison said. “There are a lot of good players out there.”

Andy Roddick isn’t one of them — at least not in DC. The American has pulled out of the Legg Mason, siting an abdominal injury. After skipping the French, a lackluster performance in London and a devastating Davis Cup effort, Roddick is the one American that the question marks are really revolving around. Ah, how the stars have re-aligned themselves.

Bogolomov Jr. reached his first ATP semi with his effort in LA, and James Blake looked pretty good in his second-round loss to Juan Martin del Potro. Robby Ginepri‘s making a go at a return. Reason to celebrate? We’ll take it.

Fish (unsurprisingly) still tips his hat to Roddick as America’s top player, but might the other fellas be making their own cases this summer? You betchya.

(Getty Images photo)

trophy watch: he who stands taller


Two straight for Fishy: Mardy Fish denied John Isner from pulling a Mardy Fish yesterday in Atlanta. Last year, Fish had won Newport and Atlanta to kick off a hot summer, and with Isner taking the North American grass court tourney this year, he was trying to pull a Fish and double dip to start his own US Open campaign. But Fish, the no. 9-ranked player in the world, fended off Isner in Atlanta at the Atlanta Tennis Championships, beating his countryman 3-6 7-6 (6) 6-2. John doesn’t look too happy now, does he? The reason? It was the second straight year Fish had beaten Isner in the final here, saving match points this time around to take a cup over a platter (better to drink out of!). There’s still a few weeks before the big show in NYC! Cheer up, Johnny boy!

Vera, unplugged. It was the turnaround that Vera Zvonareva was in desperate need of. The Russian had struggled through Europe, whimpering out of Wimbledon where she so forcefully made the final last year, losing out to Tsvetana Pironkova in the third round, 6-3 6-2. But Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Vera’s countrywoman, made the biggest Baku headlines for the week for her 25-double fault match that she WON. More importantly? Vera was the week’s winner. Zvonareva took down the tough Anna Tatishvili, 7-5 6-7 (4) 6-2.

Gilles, too. Meanwhile, on clay, Gilles Simon took Nicolas Almagro to task, winning in Hamburg, 6-4 4-6 6-4.

(Isner and Fish via Getty; Vera via the Baku Cup/WTA; Simon via the AP)