jurgen melzer upsets roger federer in the monte carlo quarters

Not a fluke: Roger‘s likely as tired as we are to see this spun as Fed’s downward spiral. How about applauding Austrian Jurgen Melzer — a defending Roland Garros semifinalist — for the 6-4, 6-4 upset in the first major clay event of the year? (Flashback: This isn’t the first time Melzer’s served up a doozy.)

Draw: The other men through to the semis: Nadal (d. Ljubicic) faces Murray (d. Gil) and Melzer takes on Ferrer (who took out Troicki). More: Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters website.

Buy: Nike Men’s Roger Federer Trophy Tennis Top, in Concord (blue) or Tech Grey, $70.

even if only for that view…

…the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters is definitely on our tennis bucket list.

This year’s quarterfinal match-ups are now set, with the top four seeds — that’s Nadal, Federer, Murray, and Ferrer — making their way through along with Ljubicic (who upset fifth seed Berdych), Melzer, Frederico Gil, and Troicki (Robredo retired with a left adductor injury while up a set).

Tomorrow, Troicki plays Ferrer, Melzer goes up against Federer, then it’s Nadal vs. Ljubicic and Murray vs. Gil. FYI, Nadal is gunning for his seventh straight title in Monte Carlo.

More: Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters website.

(image via Getty Images)

ljubicic gains some traction in monte carlo

Ivan Ljubicic gets past the second round of an ATP event for the first time since early February with his upset of 12th-seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the second round of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters. Up next for the Croat is fifth seed Tomas Berdych; they’re both in Nadal‘s quarter.

That Li Ning green makes him blend in with the background. Maybe ninja stealth is the way to success? FYI, Ljubicic is now ranked 40th in the world. Yikes.

(images via Getty Images)

you can buy joma (via the uk)

Thanks to reader Luke for this tip: Joma shirts can be picked up via UK Website Saltire Teamwear. They have this Joma “Pro” shirt in red/black/blue (pictured above) and in blue gold (seen here). Masochists can also pick up the half-baked shirt currently on Feli Lopez. They also have headbands, wristbands, and the rest of the Joma offerings.

Monte-Carlo: At this week’s clay event in Monte-Carlo, both Lopez and Granollers lost in all-Spanish beatdowns, with Granollers going down to Nicolas Almagro in the first and Feli bowing out to fourth seed Ferrer in the second round. Draw: See how the rest of the men are faring here.

Buy: Joma Pro Tennis Shirt, £21.99; Feliciano Lopez shirt, £24.99; Feli wristband, £4.99; Feli headband, £4.99.

for the spring, lacoste does us a solid

No frills: The men of Lacoste are dressed in simple, solid colors for their clay runs. At this week’s Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, Milos Raonic won the second-round battle of the messy ‘dos between him and Ernests Gulbis and next faces the winner of Feli/Ferrer; that’s all in the same quarter as Verdasco (and the same half as Federer). On the other side, Gasquet faces GG Lopez and a potentially third-rounder against top seed Nadal. (Draw: Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters)

Buy: Lacoste Short Sleeve Outlined Croc Pique Polo, $85, lacoste.com.

(images via Getty Images)

death and dancing

Horrifically sad news today about Mathieu Montcourt, the French tennis player who has died at the age of 24.

Meanwhile, the City of Los Angeles and much of the world will have its eyes on the Staples Center, where a memorial will be held for the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson.

Tennis players mourned the loss of Jackson while at Wimbledon, including Serena Williams and Roger Federer. However, just over two months ago, Novak Djokovic payed his own tribute to Jackson while at the ATP stop in Monte Carlo.

In true Djoko fashion, Novak danced “Thriller” to add to his cadre of impersonations. It may have been a little premature, but you can see he worked hard on his moves (‘boy can dance!’), which is a testament to MJ himself.

We’ll miss you, Michael.

don’t take tennis too seriously…

….but don’t take it for granted, either.

In the middle of a serious post-match interview in Monte Carlo, Roger Federer comments on the upcoming exhibition between him and Nadal, to be played on a court that’s half-grass, half-clay.

We also enjoy playing tennis for fun for a change. It doesn’t always need to be crazy serious out on the match courts… The result is not the most important thing, it’s about having fun out there. And Mallorca, it’s a place I’ve never been to. It’s [Nadal’s] home city… It’s goin to be exciting and a good atmosphere.

federer-montecarlo.jpg At a time when everyone’s filing lawsuits left and right, it’s nice to be reminded of why we were even mired in this mess to begin with. The athletes enjoy playing against each other, and it gives them the opportunity to travel and see the world. There are many things to celebrate about the sport.

Let’s all take a moment and remind ourselves that, eh?

If that’s not enough, then consider yourself lucky that you can at least participate in tennis without harm, unlike in Iraq, where athletes (including three members of the Iraqi Davis Cup team) are being killed without reason; or in Sri Lanka, where Fed Cup team had to withdraw from their tie due to terrorist threats; or in Doha and Dubai, where Shahar Peer had to go it alone simply for being Israeli.

Throw out those lawsuits! We should be content that we can play without the risk of death.

(via todd and in charge; above picture of Akram Mustafa Abdulkarim via Yahoo! Sports)

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