trophy watch: a bonus trophy for the ladies in doha

Nadia Petrova holds Diamond Ball trophy - Qatar Total Open 2013 -

A Girl’s Best Friend: The organizers of the Qatar Total Open 2013 in Doha are a bit more excited about this year’s draw, with the possibility of the Diamond Ball trophy being awarded at the end of the week. The secondary trophy can go to a player who wins the Qatar Total Open three times. Both Maria Sharapova and Nadia Petrova have each hoisted two Total Open trophies; Sharapova won Doha both in 2005 and 2008, while Petrova won Total Open titles in 2006 — in Doha and Berlin.

Trophy Watch: This isn’t the first time a special trophy’s been awarded to three-time winners. The Proximus Diamond Games, held for most of the 00′s in Antwerp, handed out a bedazzled racquet to Amelie Mauresmo.

(RELATED: TSF’s Trophy Watch archives)

Doha: Save for a few early dropouts in Kirilenko and Sloane Stephens — and breakthroughs in Barthel (over Kerber) and  McHale (over Safarova), it’s biz as usual. Results, draws, and orders of play available at the Qatar Total Open website.

(Photo Credit: Qatar Total Open)

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
[Read more...]

aussie preview: dark horses

Can Lleyton cruise through the draw? If son Cruz had anything to say about it, he would. (photo by getty)

No, “dark horses” is not the name of Martina Hingis‘ favorite Lifetime TV movie, it’s a look at the ladies and gents who might make a kangaroo hop in your draw into a round you just didn’t expect him or her to do. But before we get to those who have been springing spryly lately, let’s take a look at who’s been have a tough time chalking up any “Ws” lately.

Feeling down Down Under

Men: Things have been rough for Fernando Verdasco as of late. The current world no. 9 made quite the impression two years ago in Melbourne when he lost an epic semi to Rafael Nadal that many called the match of the year. But after a solid 2010 US Open, in which he made highlight reels with a spectacular around-the-net post shot to  beat David Ferrer in the round of 16 (he lost in the quarters to – you guessed it – Nadal) Verdasco is a jaw-dropping 2-6, unable to win a match against a player inside the top 50. He’s 0-1 in 2011 and has a tough draw with Rainer Schuettler in round one and a potential second-match against giant-slayer Janko Tipsarevic. | On TSF: Shirtless Fernando

Honorable mention: Juan Martin del Potro. The 2009 US Open champ is ranked no. 236 and is 1-3 since his return in September.

Women: What’s the deal with Sam? For much of 2010 it seemed like Samantha Stosur – the no. 5 seed here – had the whole mid-career transition thing figured out. She made her first appearance in a Slam final (the French), battled past big guns, and held her own in the best women’s match of the US Open in the quarters against Elena Dementieva. But now, the hometown gal seems to have fallen apart. She finished 2010 3-5 and has started this year 2-2. She has the game’s biggest serve and a wicked forehand, but if she can’t corral the power, her backers might not see her get out of week two.

Honorable mention: The Russian duo of Nadia Petrova and Svetlana Kuznetsova are the latest ladies to leave us scratching our heads. Sure, there are plenty of WTA head cases out there, but these two veterans should be a bit more steady.

On the up and up (Down Under, of course)

Let’s start with the ladies: There’s Jarmila Groth, the home-country lady who has a sudden following after winning Hobart on Saturday. Her round one opponent? The “other” Belgian: Yanina Wickmayer. Wickmayer was a finalist in Auckland on week one of the year, so the 2009 US Open semifinalist is a tough cookie to take. Big hitters: Expect Petra Kvitova and Alisa Kleybanova to threaten for spots in week two. And Andrea Petkovic is starting to walk the talk of a big-time player. Petko could face a shaky Venus in the third round. Oh right, Li Na! Li Na!

Where do we even go with the men? Most namely (and recently) there’s David Ferrer, who took out David Nalbandian to win over the weekend in Auckland. Another winner over the weekend was Gilles Simon (Sydney), who is making something of a comeback after missing much of the fall to be a new dad. Stanislas Wawrinka, Kevin Anderson, Xavier Malisse and Janko Tipsarevic all had good starts to the year, as did Lleyton Hewitt who won the exhibition tourney in Kooyong. And another Serb, Victor Troiki, was who Simon conquered in Sydney for the title. The big-serving tall fella could be a test for countryman Novak Djokovic in the third round.

what nadia should have worn at the us open + ellesse fall/winter 2010

Le sigh. A week after being shut out of the Open de Moselle’s website for not knowing any French, we’re left clicking randomly (uhm, what’s the surfing equivalent of grasping at straws?) to browse the japanese Ellese website.

Anywho, above is a snapshot of their fall/winter 2010 offerings for the ladies, keeping on with the frilly/girly aesthetic we expect from the brand. Note the stripey dress Nadia Petrova wore for competition at the 2010 US Open.

Meanwhile, she might have been able to get away with the print had it been reduced to a skirt and paired with a quieter top, seen here above. We hope you’ll get to mix and match before the season’s over, Nadia!

(screengrabs via Ellesse)

flashback: nads, never again.

Not that we really wanted to go back to that bad place, but out of obligation to all that is right and just in this world, we figured that this 2010 US Open outfit, brought to you by Nadia Petrova and Ellesse, deserved its own blog post. Just so we never forget.

And not that we expected anything less from Ellesse as they continue to dress Nads in the wackiest s*&$ out there, but this one, so far, takes the cake. (Yep, the one-upped themselves after this — Nads’ dress from New Haven!)

And German Andrea Petkovic was clearly moved by all of it, putting the 17th seed Petrova out of her misery (Kudryavtseva-style) by winning the third set in a tiebreak. Petkovic made it all the way to the round of 16 (with the help of a walkover from Peng Shuai) before falling to eventual finalist Vera Zvonareva.

(img via @SIOpenSource)

be careful what you wish for

TSF got giddy on the train ride to New Haven upon realizing that hard-hitting fashionistas Nadia Petrova and Bethanie Mattek-Sands (yes, their dresses can literally push you around a court) had a second-round meet-up at this year’s Pilot Pen Tennis at Yale.

They didn’t disappoint.

We asked Nadia about her dress, and she thought it cool that she’s the only one wearing Ellesse for competition (no cookie cutters here). She also praised Bethanie’s style (that pink/black/white outfit is from Under Armour, of course), the creativity afforded to the sport by their on-court fashion, and hopes to have a hand in designing her clothes in the future. Will that mean more or less creamsicles? We’re not sure…

Draw: Nadia’s through to the quarters. Draw here.

(photos by TSF)

attack of the 50-foot woman

Frilly fun: Wimbledon twelfth seed Nadia Petrova got the memo about tiered skirts (along with Masha, Venus, and Jelena Jankovic), but didn’t quite put it together. The layers on her Ellesse dress came up short and is totally unflattering for her brickhouse frame. Oh well, at least she tried.

Draw: Ms. Petrova’s been hanging out in the bottom half of the ladies’ singles bracket and now faces Justine Henin in the third round. The two have only met once this year — at the beginning of the season, in Brisbane — and Henin took that one 7-5, 7-5. Nadia had a solid clay run (QFs: Charleston, Roma, Madrid, Roland Garros) but will be no match for Justine, who took last week’s UNICEF Open. The field might have been weak at ‘s-Hertogenbosch, but a grass title’s a grass title. Browse: Women’s Draw.

(image via Getty Images)

in the hot desert sun, a cool and refreshing nadia petrova

Nadia Petrova must have heard about our dislike for desert heat (yeeeahah, we don’t “dry” heat a consolation) because she came out dressed as an orange creamsicle for her second-round match against Patty Schnyder at the BNP Paribas Open, happening at Indian Wells this week.

Nadia’s Ellesse outfit is the same she’s worn so far this year (including the 2010 Australian Open); there’s also a black version of this dress as well as a sleeker (i.e., non-ruffled; non-rouched) counterpart.

Bracket: Petrova, the 16th-seed at Indian Wells, lost to Caroline Wozniacki in the fourth round. The Dane’s set to face Agnieszka Radwanska in the bottom-half semi; Jankovic and Sam Stosur will duke it out in the top half. (Draw: Women’s Singles)

Up close: See a few more shots of Nadia’s dress after the cut…

petrova upsets clijsters + tattoo watch and fila heritage

The comeback story of Kim Clijsters hit a little bit of a snag when she ran into Nadia Petrova in the third round of the 2010 Australian Open. Many had high hopes that she’d join fellow recent unretiree Justine Henin — and the newbie Yanina Wickmayer — in a Belgian battle in the bottom half of the draw.

Instead, Petrova — who trained for six weeks leading up to Melbourne — gave Kim her worst loss in a very long time: a 6-0, 6-1 drubbing that booted the Fila mascot off the court in less than an hour.

“I was completely off,” Clijsters told reporters after the match. “I think tenniswise, I didn’t feel the ball at all.”

Henin and Wickmayer face each other in the round of 16; the winner of that match will play the winner of Petrova vs. Kuznetsova. (Draw: Women’s singles.)

Honorable mention: There weren’t really any good shots of it, but we are all about Fila’s Heritage skort. It’s got pleats just on the front left side, giving us a refreshing take on a classic tennis outfit.

Buy: Fila Heritage Cap Sleeve Top, white or red, $45; Heritage Skort, in white or peacoat (navy blue), $45.

More: See pics of Kim’s shoes and her two tattoos (!) — all after the cut…