lacoste brings back the blocks

Michael Llodra is the lone Lacoste man at this week’s Mutua Madrid Open, where he’s facing Rafal Nadal in the quarters after taking out Daniel Gimeno-Travers 1-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4). (The rest: Mutua Madrid Open Men’s Draw)

Polos: The guys are switching from their classic solid polos to these, of the chest-striped variety. We prefer it in blue; works better against the orange clay.

Buy: Lacoste Super Dry Chest Stripe Tennis Polo; $85; in blue and white colorways; TE.

(Llodra image by Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP/Getty Images; Wawrinka image via madrid-open.com)

a quiet year for michael llodra

Michael Llodra lost 6-1, 6-4 to 14th seed Tommy Robredo in the first posted to WP.com: a quiet year for michael llodra round of this week’s Shanghai Masters tournament. Not a good year for the Frenchman so far; his ranking has dropped a career-high 34 (June, 2008) to 129.

Buy: At least that Lacoste Super Dry Stripe Polo looks refreshing. This was the company’s standard issue for all the men at the U.S. Open. Note the “tennis ball” green accent at the cuff and the solid block of the collar. TSF prefers the black version. $95 at Midwest Sports.

More: A few more pics of Llodra after the cut…

trophy watch: llodra keeps his clothes on, venus makes her case, roddick hits back, etc.

Robredo rolls: Spaniard Tommy Robredo has been slowly compiling a successful 2009 (he’s 15-3 in match wins so far), adding to last week’s Brasil Open title a trophy from the Copa Telmex in Buenos Aires. As a part of a nine-match winning streak, Tommy took out 2007 champ Juan Monaco 7-5, 2-6, 7-6 (5).

Roddick’s revenge: Early bird got The Worm this week when Andy exacted revenge on Radek Stepanek‘s title win over the American at last week’s SAP Open. This time around, at the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships, the top seed only needed two sets to take out Stepanek: 7-5, 7-5.

As you may have heard, Roddick is skipping this the ATP Dubai stop in support of Shahar Peer. Good for him.

Teenage triumph: And on the women’s side of this combined tournament, Belarusian Victoria Azarenka upset top seed Caroline Wozniacki in the finals of Memphis 6-1, 6-3. This is Victoria’s second title of the year (and of her career). She was merely playing catch-up to Wozniacki, whose breakout 2008 produced three titles.

Venus and Virginie: Speaking of Dubai, a gracious (and henna-free) Venus Williams addressed Shahar’s situation during her trophy ceremony after beating Virginie Razzano 6-4, 6-2.

“I am not here to rock any boat or upset people, I am just here to do things that are right,” Williams said. “And I think right things are already happening next week and right things will happen next year.”

Props to Virginie and Asics for maxing out her airtime. They had her in another colorway of her separates, this one in black with pink trim.

French fracas: We’re a little sad that the French smorgasbord in Marseille has come to an end (Arnaud Clement, Youzhny, Tursunov, Dimitrov, Vliegen, Seppi, Safin, Chardy, Bolelli), and even sadder that Jo-Wilfried Tsonga denied us a post-win striptease from runner-up Michael Llodra. But thumbs-up to Tsonga for bagging his second title of the year.

Maria’s maiden title: In Bogota, Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez beat Gisela Dulko 6-2 6-3 for her first SEWTA title at the Copa Colsanitas tournament.

(images via Getty Images)

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>>archives: trophy watch

only a frenchman…

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Just when you thought that Michael Llodra‘s all-grey Lacoste kit was a little too Dead Man Walking, he turns it into a Cabaret with one simple move.

(Not that we didn’t expect it; the Australian summer is his time of year to show some skin.)

Scoreline: Llodra lost to David Nalbandian 6-1, 6-3 in the second round of the Sydney International.

olympics: adidas standard issue + country kits

Here’s a look at the black and white Olympics standard issue by adidas that we wrote about last week. Thankfully, the kits they’ve provided individual federations are much more colorful. Here are three below:

Andy Murray put aside his Fred Perry to wear the uniform provided by the LTA.

And the French team showed off a variety of pieces, including this polo on Michael Llodra

…this tank on Gael Monfils

…and the women’s separates on Pauline Parmentier.

And Chris Guccione and the rest of the Australians get a version in their national sports colors: green and yellow.

(images by Getty Images)

lacoste standard issue: the women pull ahead

We’re always eagerly anticipating the standard issues that Lacoste doles out for each Grand Slam, and the ones for Roland Garros turned out just fine — at least for the ladies.

Gisela Dulko wore the halter from the Fine Stripe line in her loss to Alize Cornet in the second round. Cornet, the 19th seed, also wore the tank but spaghetti-strap style; she lost to Agnieszka Radwanska in the round after.

Buy: Fine Striped Tennis Halter, $68.

Mathilde Johansson faced Serena Williams in the second round. She wore the Racerback Tennis Dress with detachable flower, $145. Meanwhile, Petra Cetkovska (middle and right) put on a layer when it got a little chilly.

And Mike Frey over at Tennishead continues to help out TSF with this photo of this player (can anyone help me out with a name?) wearing the polo.

Unlike the 2007 French Open, which saw Lacoste give their male sponsors the cutest orange and white polos, 2008 was way bland. Michael Llodra and Jeremy Chardy — as delicious as they are — couldn’t quite bring this Heritage Check Print Polo to life. (If you want to grab the jacket, it’s still available at lacoste.com.)

As usual, Arnaud Clement and Fabrice Santoro are off doing their own things.

(photo by Getty Images and Tennishead)

trophy watch: three-set finals all around

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Aww. Look at these two. I would make the same faces if I took out the Bryan Brothers 6-4, 4-6, 10-8 in the finals of the Tennis Channel Open in Las Vegas. Michael Llodra teamed up with fellow Frenchman Julien Benneteau because Llodra’s regular partner, Arnaud Clement, has been nursing a left ankle injury (among other things).

The rest: See the rest of the week’s trophies — including the ones from Dubai and Bangalore — after the cut…

trophy watch: a lady on a harley

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Vroom: Russian Maria Sharapova proved that her Australian Open title was no joke, backing it up with her second title of the year at the $2.5 million Qatar Total Open. The Under Armour of opponent Vera Zvonareva was no match for Masha — she took Vera out 6-1, 2-6, 6-0.

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Vera takes home a nice trophy.

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The men: Andy Roddick — who looks a little… chubby? weathered? (Does he look different to anyone else? Is it facial hair?) — continued to wow the San Jose crowd with a winning performance, besting Radek Stepanek 6-4, 7-5 in the final. (FYI, Andy’s won this event twice before, and made the semis two other times.)

Meanwhile, David Nalbandian‘s back troubles disappeared this week during the Copa Telmex in Buenos Aires. He beat compatriot Jose Acasuso 3-6,7-6 and 6-4. I’m soooo ready for the next Yonex colorway. Yellow and red are too intense for the clay. Unless you’re Guga Kuerten.

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In Rotterdam, Michael Llodra and his mouth continue to build on their early-season confidence with a second title in 2008. Llodra beat Robin Soderling 6-7 (3), 6-3, 7-6(4).

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And this streaker, who made a statement at the Rotterdam final, is exactly why I am not vegan. Improper nutrition would lead me to do redundant things like writing “Vegan Streaker” on myself — as if the crowd could confuse me as a linesman. When he gets out of jail, can someone get him some beef?

trophy watch: doubles and wheelchair action at the australian open

As with any Grand Slam, plenty of silver (both as cups and platters) were doled out to runner-ups and winners of the various events at the Australian Open.

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The team of Jonathan Ehrlich and Andy Ram capped a historic weekend for Israeli sports by becoming the first Israeli team to win a Grand Slam title. Their opponents in the 7-5, 7-6 (4) win were the defending Wimbledon champs, Michael Llodra and Nono Clement. Suffice to say Ram and Ehrlich’s celebration is exactly how the Frenchmen would’ve done it.

More: The women’s doubles. mixed doubles, and quad wheelchair winners after the cut…

partners, in repels, closer to a title

At the risk of becoming hyper-homoerotic

Michael Llodra and Arnaud Clement, the reigning Wimbledon champs, can beef up their trophy case with an Australian Open title this year. They’ll face the Israeli team of Andy Ram and Jonathan Ehrlich in the finals after beating Jeff Coetzee and Wesley Moodie 6-3, 7-6 (9).

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Aww, look at them celebrating their semifinal win. FYI, they’re both wearing Lacoste Repels. I was weary of the honeycombs at first… but it’s a cool design pattern. (By the way, I know I said the shoes would drop in the Spring, but I haven’t seen them for sale stateside yet.)