trophy watch: i call him “melo yellow”; a japanese phenom; mama murray must be happy, etc.

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This one’s for you, Mikey: Our Sa Watch 2008 begins with the duo of Marcelo Melo and Andre Sa — locals — winning the Brazil Open doubles trophy over Albert Montanez and Santiago Ventura. Leave it to Andre to wear yellow socks on the court. Cute.

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Meanwhile, it was a battle of the lankies as British fourth seed Andy Murray took out Croatian Mario Ancic 6-3, 6-4, at the ATP Open 13 in Marseille, France.

In Delray Beach, Kei Nishikori surprised everyone (including finalist James Blake) with this impressive 6-3, 1-6 and 4-6 upset. Our buddy Ichizo took this video of Kei while playing against Zack Fleishman in Japan last October.

By the way, look out for Ichizo to launch his japanese language tennis blog sometime soon. This is one of the few times I’m sad that I don’t know Japanese. That, and everytime I can’t read anything in Men’s Non-No aka the best magazine in the world.

And we are sure that Mama Murray is proud of her other son, Jamie, who teamed with Max Mirnyi to upset the top seeded Bryan Brothers. (Watch: See Jamie use finger code to communicate with Max.)

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A beaut! The Proximus Diamond Games tops itself with a racquet encrusted with 2008 diamonds (get it?) totalling more than $1.5 million. 1,611 of those diamonds are on the ball itself. Unfortunately for Justine Henin, who beat Italy’s Karin Knapp, 6-3, 6-3 in the final match, she has to win the tournament three times in five years before she takes home that puppy. It’s not an impossible feat, though; Amelie Mauresmo did the same last year and took home the first diamond trophy.

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Singles: Sorry, guys. I was too crushed by the early loss of Guga Kuerten in singles (and doubles, actually) at the Brasil Open to care about who won. Props to Nicolas Almagro for besting mainstay Carlos Moya 7-6 (4), 3-6, 7-5.

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Lastly, Flavia Pennetta wore her multi-collared Sergio Tacchini all the way to a title at the Vina del Mar tourney in Vina del Mar, Chile. Her opponent: Klara Zakopalova.

(Mirnyi/Murray video via ATP; photos by Getty Images)

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fashion focus: save for one black white sheep, the spanish shine at davis cup

Perhaps it was because their country now has a bigger stake in Davis Cup, or perhaps they knew they could easily brush aside Luis Horna and friends. Whatever the case, the Spanish team of Tommy Robredo, Feliciano Lopez, Fernando Verdasco, and Nicolas Almagro looked good in play and in clothes during this weekend’s Davis Cup tie.

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Team: We already posted the Spanish warm-up suits, so here’s a look at it from the back (with the “Espana” logo), and a shot of the team in their red polos with yellow cuffs/collar. By the way, what happened to their red/yellow flag wristbands?

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Fashion V.I.P.: Feliciano Lopez gets our fashion VIP award again, this time for his well-coordinated outfit from new sponsor Joma Sport. (Our other fave was his Nadal-esque outfit from Nike.) Do you agree? Tell us!

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Spain’s white sheep: I don’t know why Reebok couldn’t figure out a away to give Almagro a red shirt. Perhaps their fax machine ran out of thermal paper when the memo went out. Props to adidas for dressing Verdasco, and to Sergio Tacchini for Robredo’s Davis Cup gear.

Scores: Click here to see the details of how Spain beat Peru 5-0.

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>> TSF’s davis cup archive

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roitman’s "no brand" clothing

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Sergio goes gaucho: The background behind Argentinian Sergio Roitman‘s clothing sponsor, No Brand: Roitman’s buddy runs the line, whose goal is low-key promotion of national icons such as cattle (on his bandana, above), Che Guevara, the bandoneón (pictured on his shirt, above), mate (the country’s favorite drink), and Carlos Gardel. Upcoming designs include Guillermo Vilas and Gabriela Sabatini.

Players like Nicolas Almagro, Filippo Volandri, Nicolas Lapentti, and Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo are all fans of the line. At tournaments, Roitman usually brings extra gear to hand out as gifts.

(ATP Blog via Vivi el Tenis)

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trophy watch: the swiss and swedes got it right + hall of fame

While the women of France were busy representing their country in a Fed Cup tie against Italy (alas, they lost), the men were busy in finals; three of the six ATP-ers vying for titles were French: Fabrice Santoro, Nicolas Mahut, and Paul-Henri Mathieu. Félicitacions!

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At the Swiss Open orangefest, Mathieu (in adidas) lugs home a piece of rock for beating Andreas Seppi (wearing Fila)…

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… and Santoro won the Hall of Fame Championships over mutton-chopped Mahut. (Mahut had a very good grass season… remember he lost to Andy Roddick in the Queen’s Club final? Here’s his very gracious post-match interview.)

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David Ferrer (in Lotto) wins what looks like a deer enveloped in crystal at the Swedish Open. He dropped only three games in his final match against Nicolas Almagro.

See more trophy photos (plus the Hall of Fame induction) after the cut…

valencia: the trophy + fashion show photos

Nicolas Almagro took this trophy home after defending his title in Valencia. Wesley Moodie and Todd Perry, the doubles winners, received the same. (via Yahoo! Sports)

And here are photos from the fashion/style show (sponsored by American Crew) at the tournament:

Creepy.

(via Open de Tenis Comunidad Valenciana)

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