v-necks!



I can’t believe it took me this long to figure out the je ne sais quoi (well, je sais quoi, now) behind the adidas quarter-zipped Edge Theme Polo that I love seeing on Paul-Henri Mathieu, Juan Monaco (both here), and Marat Safin (here).

In essence, all I really want are more v-neck shirts on the guys. Show off the collarbones, the chest, or (in some cases) the hair. You can even consider that Roger Federer photo we have on the TSF banner if you need another example. It’s a good way to mix things up, don’t you agree?

short balls: maria is bootylicious, mamiit wins medals, and wedding announcements galore!



masha-roddick-exo.jpg

Nole has some homework: Now that Masha has a bootylicious serve (to accomodate a right shoulder injury), funnyman Novak Djokovic will have to adjust his impersonation of the Russian. Get to work, Nole. (WTB)

Dear Harold: In the latest column by Harold Solomon for ZooTennis, he answers a question about choking.

Chris Evert engaged: Golfer Greg Norman and Chris Evert are now engaged. If you haven’t been following the drama surrounding these two sports icons, read up. (DTL)

Keeping it in Czech: Almost a year after getting engaged to Martina Hingis (and four months after calling it off), Casanova Radek Stepanek has applied for a marriage license with 18-year old compatriot Nicole Vaidisova. May-December, much? We’re waiting to get the “April Fool’s!” follow-up in our inbox. (BH via WTB)

yonex-fall07-dress.jpg

Sorry, Yonex: While this dress from Yonex might be a welcome surprise to some, I think it’s safe to say that loud prints shouldn’t have a place on the court. Too distracting, no? (WATR)

Mammiit’s medals: Cecil Mammiit cleaned up in the tennis events at the SEA games. He won gold in singles (beating a well-dressed Danai Udomchoke) and came up 2nd in both men’s and mixed doubles. Congratulations! (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Sharapova on Ellen: Ellen Degeneres, who’s been taking some heat for crossing the WGA picket line, will have Masha on her show this Friday.

Year-end thoughts: Chris Clarey offers his own, with the most memorable event being the five-set Wimbledon final between Roger and Rafa. (IHT)

Mathieu made whole: Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu, who had coach Thierry Champion taken away from him by the French Tennis Federation, is now working with Mats Wilander. Wilander’s most recent project was Tatiana Golovin.

we're feeling torn about the atp's newest campaign



(A tad late, but there’s too much other stuff to cover. So if you’ve seen your share of the ATP’s new blitz, my apologies…)

The ATP’s latest marketing campaign, the multi-million dollar — “Feel It” — was launched at the BNP Paribas Masters Series (Paris) a few weeks ago. With it, the tour will “showcase the sport’s core values as a one-on-one gladiatorial battle, full of intensity and passion” by bringing in themes of wild animals and natural phenomena such as fire and water.

The beauty of ‘Feel It’, created by Canadian ad shop Taxi 2, lies in its flexibility: the wide array of TV spots, billboards, online banners, virals, merchandise, fan giveaways, and PR stunts can be adapted for any ATP tournament and can feature any ATP player. (If you remember, they issued one for Tomas Berdych to help raise the Czech’s profile at the U.S. Open.) The Rogers Cup aka Masters Series Toronto has already expressed interest in using this to promote their event. This template can make it easier for tournaments to focus on other ways to beef up their event (perhaps better TROPHIES?) while keeping true to their participation in the tour.

Let’s hope that they can use this to deflect some attention away from all the scandals (Match-fixing! Gambling! Poisoning! Doping!) plaguing the game.

Now, onto the images, moving and not…

This is one of two video spots making the rounds. I get the idea behind the ad, but putting that girl in the line of danger is a little scary. Looked like a terrorist attack before I knew what was going on.

And there’s another video (here) of a guy walking away from a park bench right before it gets crushed by a gigantic tennis racquet. The stick, of course, came from a nearby billboard of David Nalbandian in racquet-thrashing pose. I’m not feeling intensity and passion (caused by competition); I’m feeling collateral damage. Sorry guys. (What do you think of this new campaign? Tell us!)

Why not ressurect “New Balls, Please”? (Was that not a hit?) That was more gladiator-like in feel.

The photos are pretty good, though…

atp feel it - rafael nadal

Paying homage to Nadal‘s Spanish roots.

See more of the cards after the cut…

before you say anything…



nikolay davydenko kremlin cup

…about this drop-to-the-knees thing being Federer-esque (it’s true), we’ll cut Nikolay Davydenko some slack. This is a very appropriate response from the Russian after he beat Paul-Henri Mathieu 7-5, 7-6 (9) to win this week’s Kremlin Cup. He’s had a so-so 2007 so far (this is his first title of the year), plus he’s mired in this match-fixing mess that isn’t quite ready to go away just yet.

Congrats, Kolya. But if you keep winning titles, you should get a different post-victory schtick. For now, we won’t mind.

p.s. We’ve got new winners for the ATP stops in Vienna, Stockholm and Moscow; and the women’s stops in Bangkok and Moscow. This week’s trophy watch will be up later today.

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courtside: grosjean at kremlin cup



A quick look at Sebastien Grosjean‘s racquet bag from Lacoste during his 2-6, 2-6 performance in the first round of the 2007 Kremlin Cup.

This loss to fellow frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu is on par with Sebastien’s year thus far; he’s title-less — with only 13 wins out of 29 matches played.

Buy: So don’t ape his game, but you can ape his style. Sporty bags with the brand’s signature crocodile logo are available at at Lacoste.com (look under Leather Goods/Men/Sport) or through amazon.