a little fight club action

Mikhail Youzhny - Miami 2008

Watch this clip of Mikhail Youzhny totally losing it after squandering a break point opportunity at 5-4 in the third set against Nicolas Almagro at the Sony Ericsson Open.

He smashes his head with his racquet. Three times. Turned out to be a bloody mess. Let’s hope he doesn’t play a brainy game ala Andy Murray because that didn’t do his head any good.

Misha eventually pulled it together and won 7-6 (4), 3-6, 7-6 (6) to advance to the fourth round, where he lost to Janko Tipsarevic.

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vintage janko tipsarevic

Janko Tipsarevic - Miami 2008

So much for the clean-cut look of Janko Tipsarevic. After spending the first part of 2008 sans piercings, glasses, and breathing strip, he’s fallen back to his usual ways — likely to help deal with the heat and the humidity of Florida in the spring.

Yay: Tipsy’s on a roll so far, knocking out two seeds (No. 29 Fernando Verdasco and No. 11 Mikhail Youzhny) to get a spot in the quarters. He took out Yooz in three sets: 3-6, 6-0, 6-3.

(photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

the gift of bespoke + stars ailing in moscow

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Marat, I’m not sure what is that you’re giving Nole as part of the Davis Cup gift exchange, but I can only hope it’s the number of your tailor.

Oh well, at least Nole’s moved on from draping himself in a couch cover at last year’s U.S. Open…

It was too good to be true: It’s as though the laws of time and space couldn’t handle all the beauty that descended onto Moscow… Janko Tipsarevic withdrew from the tie with a stomach bug, thus putting a win for Serbia squarely on Nole’s shoulders. But Nole was also under the weather so their doubles specialist, Nenad Zimonjic, is left to bear the Russian brunt. Meanwhile, Marat withdrew with a fracture in his leg. yikes.

But perhaps the Russians poisoned the other team (again). This is what Zimonjic said in the press conference:

“When we arrived we were good and everything was fine and, all of a sudden, two days later Tipsarevic pulled a muscle, Novak is sick. I also didn’t feel good last night – I also had a fever,” Zimonjic said. “It’s not easy in these circumstances.”

Uhm, I don’t think you were poisoned, Nenad. You just swallowed a bitter pill.

Scoreline: Mikhail Youzhny beat Zimonjic and Kolya Davydenko struggled — but beat — Viktor Troicki. Follow the rest of the tie here.

(photo from Tennis-Russia via Marie; Zimonjic quote via AP)

a closer look at bosco sport + hear the russians speak

I ran across a few more photos of the gear provided by Bosco Sport to the Russian Davis Cup team.

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Here’s Marat Safin during their practice on Monday. He wears a long-sleeved polo from Bosco’s f/w ’07 line.

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And we are very much into the mock turtleneck on this sweater worn by Kolya Davydenko. Instead of the floral stencil that defines their warmup suit, this piece incorporates the Russian coat of arms.

Hear ‘em speak: Instead of Marat’s screams of frustration, treat yourselves to this Russian TV clip, which shows him calm, collected, and ready to play against Serbia this weekend. Youzhny and Tursunov also get some mic time.

(src via src)

davis cup: moscow is currently the center of my universe

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Mikhail Youzhny. Marat Safin. Kolya Davydenko. Dmitry Tursunov.

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plus Nole Djokovic. and Janko Tipsarevic. all under one roof. That’s a heart attack waiting to happen.

Match-up: 2007 Davis Cup finalist Russia faces Serbia in the World Group first round tie at the Luzhniki indoor arena in Moscow. Russia has the experience (they’ve won this before) but Serbia has the momentum (with Nole taking the 2008 Australian Open singles title, Nenad Zemonjic the mixed doubles title, and Janko taking Federer to five sets).

More photos: See a few more pictures from the pre-tie press conference after the cut…

youzhny splits, tsonga left standing in australia

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Jo-Wilfred Tsonga continues his amazing run Down Under (Chris called it) with his 7-5, 6-0, 7-6 (6) defeat of Mikhail Youzhny in the quarterfinals. That is one limber Russian.

Both Tsonga and Youzhny were wearing versions of the adidas Edge Theme Polo in white/black and white/blue, respectively.

More photos: One more set of Mikhail’s on-court faces after the cut…

taking a break: youzhny and nieminen as australian tourists

Jarkko Nieminen and Mikhail Youzhny, two of the men’s quarterfinalists at the Australian Open, took time off Monday to enjoy the sights of Melbourne.

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Mikhail and his girlfriend, Julia Thomas, enjoy a water taxi ride. Youzhny will play against Jo-Wilfred Tsonga for a place in the final four.

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And the Asics-sponsored Nieminen visits the Melbourne Aquarium. [Insert pun about Finns here.] He’ll need all the distractions he can get before facing second seed Rafael Nadal.

One more photo of Jarkko after the cut…

trophy watch: youzhny salutes a fatigued rafa

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A fatigued Rafael Nadal fell to the always dangerous Mikhail Youzhny 6-0, 6-1 in the singles final of the Chennai Open on Sunday.

Mikhail conceded that he won the match only because Rafa couldn’t move well (uhm, negative mental state for the Russian?) and Rafa agreed; the Spaniard brushed off any talks of his chronic injuries affecting play. Instead, Rafa chalked up the poor performance to the marathon semifinal he played against compatriot Carlos Moya; that 6-7 (3), 7-6 (8), 7-6 (1) match lasted almost four hours. Okay, so we’re not worrying about Nadal’s foot and knees. Now we’re just worried about his conditioning.

More: A rare sight (i.e., Rafa in a polo shirt!) plus the doubles winners after the cut…

tennis in briefs

In case you’re bored with all those banner quizzes that ask you to guess the owner of celebrity lips (when in doubt, choose Angelina Jolie) I offer you an alternative…

The photos below are from Brflines, a site devoted solely to the VBLs of your favorite tennis players. Man, there really is a website for everything!

So, whose brieflines are these? Answers below, after the cut.

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#1: Lleyton Hewitt, Novak Djokovic, Tommy Haas

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#2: Andre Sa, Nikolay Davydenko, Mikhail Youzhny

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#3: Arnaud Clement, Feliciano Lopez, Tommy Robredo

Answers after the cut…