radek stepanek: the dragon, pt. 2

Radek Stepanek‘s reptilian Alea kit for the fall continues its showcase with this version in the black/orange colorway, appearing at this week’s Kremlin Cup in Moscow. There’s also a hoodie, seen in the gallery below at an autograph session.

Bracket: The Czech, fifth seed at the event, was upset by the spot-on Pablo Cuevas, who also took out top seed Kolya Davydenko in the round prior. The final four are set, with Cuevas playing Troicki and Baghdatis vs. Istomin. SRO in the stadium? We think so! (Draw: Kremlin Cup Men’s Singles)

(images, as always, by the almighty Getty)

trophy watch: giant balls, david’s peak, jelena’s hat trick, and changing the russian guard

Another Philipp to watch: Sorry, Herr Kohlschreiber — you’ll have to save some space at the table for qualifier Philipp Petzschner, who nabbed his second career ATP title at the Bank Austria-TennisTrophy when he beat beat Gael Monfils 6-4, 6-4 after taking out Wawrinka, Moya, and Lopez in earlier rounds.

In Stockholm, David Nalbandian performed as expected, winning his second title of the year with a 6-2, 5-7, 6-3 victory over Robin Soderling. He’ll head into this week’s Mutua Madrilena Masters as the defending champion.

Marat Safin failed to convert his finals appearance in the 2008 Kremlin Cup into a title (this would have been his first since the ’05 Australian). Meanwhile, props to Igor Kunitsyn and his 7-6 (6), 6-7 (4), 6-3 victory over his veteran countryman for his maiden title. He even prepared a speech that congratulated Marat!

Hot potato: The top players of the SEWTA continue to keep us fans on our toes, making sure that whoever holds the No. 1 ranking isn’t the last woman standing at a tournament. In this week’s episode of “The Consistency Caper”, second-ranked Jelena Jankovic downs Vera Zvonareva 6-2, 6-4 for her fourth title of 2008. Meanwhile, top-ranked Serena is MIA. BTW, this is the third meeting in as many weeks between Jelena and Vera.

(Note: Apparently — see first comment below — this is no longer the case. TSF apologizes for the error. Congrats to victor Jelena, who now has all the spoils.)

It’s in the bag: The flip-flops of Roger Federer (first, he’s out “indefinintely”, next, he’s back on the schedule a week later…) played second fiddle to Rafa Nadal, who received a trophy from the ATP this week in recognition of his No.1 ranking. He’ll pretty much end the year in the top spot barring any missteps.

fashion focus: cibulkova’s lacoste outfit has us seeing spots

Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova adds to her strong year (two finals — Amelia Island and Toronto) by dispatching world No. 5 and reigning French Open champ Ana Ivanovic 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 in the second round of the Kremlin Cup. She showed up the Serb (sorry, Ana) by wearing a simple white Lacoste tennis dress trimmed with slate.

And in her loss to Beijing bronze medalist Vera Zvonareva in the following round, she traded her dress for the Interlock Skirt and a Dot-Printed polo.

Buy: Lacoste V-neck Dot Print dress, $145, lacoste.com.

One more look: See the polka dot detail on Dominika’s polo after the cut…

Cultural Learnings of Venus for Make Benefit Glorious Clothing of EleVen

Venus Williams followed in the footsteps of Serena‘s early round Stuttgart exit last week by tripping on her own opening match at this week’s Kremlin Cup in Moscow. The American lost to Flavia Pennetta 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 — but not before showing off her latest EleVen design.

Inspired by Borat, perhaps? Or maybe John Mayer

(photos by Getty Images)

fashion cameo: kirilenko’s latest adidas dress

I really wish the gods did more to help the career of Russian Maria Kirilenko, if only so her clothes would get more face time.

Maria’s latest adidas by Stella McCartney outfit combined the Fall ’07 tennis dress (in white) with the bra top and hot pants (in Electricity aka lime — take that, Tatiana Golovin). Unfortunately, she crashed out in the first round of the Kremlin Cup with a 4-6, 6-4, 1-6 loss to Agnieszka Radwanska.

Flashback: As you may remember, she wore the brown version of this dress earlier this fall. Brown or white — which looks better on Maria? Tell us!

Buy: The dress is $120; the bra top, $65; and the hot pants, $60 — all at adidas.com.

(photos by Getty Images)

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>> TSF’s kirilenko archive
>> TSF’s stella mccartney archive

fashion focus: serena switches to charm hoop earrings

Omg, can I tell you how much I love these earrings on Serena? She wore them for today’s 7-5, 6-4 win against Ukranian Tatiana Perebiynis in the second round of the Kremlin Cup.

The charms framed by the heart-shaped hoops look like crowns… Perhaps a tribute to Russia’s imperial history?

Browse: Lately I’ve been eyeing the charm hoops of Juicy Couture. I know the brand’s synonymous with “dirty soccer mom” in some circles, but eff it — this jewelry rocks! If you feel like getting a pair like Serena’s, they have a few variations of the crown-medallion-as-earring. Check it out.