sightings in the stands: mathieu vs. youzhny, wimby 2nd round



Layman’s Runway: We love the makeshift hat of this fan watching Paul-Henri Mathieu upset 13th seed Mikhail Youzhny in the second round of Wimbledon. The score: 6-4, 2-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.

This is only Mathieu’s first time past the first round since his 2010 season opener (at Indian Wells). He next faces Thiemo De Bakker, who had a cakewalk of a match against John Isner. The American, who was embroiled in that three-day first-round match that lasted just over 11 hours, could only muster winning five games before bowing out in 74 minutes. (Draw: Men’s Bottom Half)

(image via Getty Images)

ticked off slavs are hot



spectators-aussie09d

Rowdy nationalistic tennis fans became the talk of the Australian Open after today’s second-round matches. Paul-Henri Mathieu facedoff against Amer Delic (an American of Bosnian descent), Croat Marin Cilic defeated Serbian Janko Tipsarevic, and Delic is slated to face off against Serbian Nole Djokovic in the succeeding round. The tension today was enough to spur Delic to post a message on his website urging his fans to keep politics out of the the tournament.

In the Cilic/Tipsarevic match, spectators “were a little bit incorrect,” said Janko, “singing songs that had nothing to do with tennis because of the history [both countries] have with each other. I think two or three times I even said to the Serbian crowd, don’t call [Marin] names. It’s OK to cheer for me but don’t say bad things about him.”

“What I liked and was surprised about was there was no clapping between the first and second serve or no mobile phones ringing at an important part.” Good point, Janko. I’d take aggro-but-considerate douchebags over inconsiderate WASPs any day of the week.

By the way, I’m going to throw my hat in the ring for Melbourne ground security next year. I’m prepared to rough some of these guys up if things get out of hand.

(photos by Getty Images)

serbia’s greatest export



Who knew that Victor Troicki could be as animated as his fellow Serbian, Novak Djokovic?

It’s hard to contain his excitement, perhaps, of finally making some noise in these past few weeks; he’s reached back-to-back quarterfinals, first losing to Andy Roddick at the Japan Open 6-3, 6-4 and then to German Mischa Zverev 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.

Now that he’s shown us a full range of facial expressions, we can’t wait to see him battle Nole in the striptease competition.

Rest o’ the draw: The semis — Santoro‘s through after Mathieu retired, and will face either Kunitysn or the gorgeous Chardy. Meanwhile, Kolya and Marat (de facto final?) are duking it out to see who’ll take on Zverev.

More: See more of Troicki’s fun faces after the cut…

men dress down for the atp calendar



TSF was lucky enough to drop by the launch party for the ATP World Tour 2009 Calendar at the W Times Square. The tour enlisted the help of a few good men — Dmitry Tursunov, Juan Monaco, Ivan Ljubicic, Paradorn Srichaphan, Paul-Henri Mathieu, Mikhail Youzhny, Tommy Haas, Marcos Bagdhatis, Tomas Berdych, Mike and Bob Bryan, Fernando Gonzalez, and Tommy Robredo (who isn’t so green about disrobing for the camera) — to pose for the 13-month skin-baring pin-up. We were joined for champagne by Dima, Juan, and Juan’s doubles partner Maximo Gonzalez.

Too bad French photographer Corinne Dubreuil, who shot these guys in Paris last year, wasn’t around for the event; you bet we wanted to ask her about shooting these shower pics of Arnaud Clement and these of Kolya Davydenko.

ATP jokester Tursunov (above, right) felt confident in his decision to pose shirtless for the calendar, and is ready for any locker room pranks pulled by his fellow athletes. “Bring ‘em on,” he said. “We tennis players work hard for our bodies, and it’s definitely not in vain. So it’s nice to do something like this.” He added, “I’d rather people make fun of me for being fit than for being out of shape.”

And what did the scruffy Mr. Monaco, through a translator — sorry, my Spanish can’t cut it — think of his experience? “It was very important for me to develop my image outside the sport and have people outside the sport get to know me.” And showing skin didn’t faze him: “I just had fun with it.”

The ATP’s Chris O’Neill came up with the idea for the calendar while roaming the grounds of the Countrywide Classic. He watched Dima get mobbed by women (“who wanted to have his baby, who wanted to marry him” — all these crazy things) and realized that there was a side of the sport that wasn’t getting showcased. And we’re grateful for his idea.

Buy: Pick up the calendar for $13 at TW.

More pics: See some more pages from the calendar after the cut…

Trophy Watch: Guga’s final splash on Court Philippe Chatrier



Trophy watch: Three-time French Open champion (and TSF fave) Guga Kuerten bid adieu to the red clay of Roland Garros for the final time, accepting a wild card that his body couldn’t back up. He lost to Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-3, 6-4, 6-2. And when it was all over, they awarded Guga with a cross-section of the court that propelled him to the upper echelons of tennis.

As a good luck charm, Guga wore the same Diadora kit as when he won his first French Open title in 1997. That title was the first of 20 that he would eventually rack up in his 13-year career.

Take that, Roger Federer!

Here are a few more pictures, plus a link to Chris Clarey‘s NYT write-up of the match — all after the cut…