tattoo watch: potito starace

Potito Starace got tangled in Andy Murray‘s medusa at this week’s Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. Potito went down 2-6, 3-6 to the fourth seed, who next faces Florian Mayer. The other six quarterfinalists are Nadal/Cilic, Gasquet (who beat Federer in three with two tiebreaks going his way)/Berdych, and whomever wins these third-rounders: Soderling vs. Almagro and Djokovic vs. Wawrinka. (Draw: Rome Men’s Singles)

Tattoo watch: We hadn’t seen that one on his upper right arm before. Archives: Potito’s shoulder.

(image by Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images)

trophy watch: how sweet-ing it is

Sweet success: American Ryan Sweeting won his first-ever ATP title yesterday, capping a great week in Houston by beating Kei Nishikori in the final of the U.S. Men’s Claycourt Championships, 6-4, 7-6 (3). After his victory, Sweet took a little celebratory swim.

Moving up: Sweeting’s win vaults him from no. 93 in the world to no. 67, the biggest leap of any top 100 player this week.

Chasing Charleston: While defending champ Samantha Stosur continued to sputter, world no. 1 Caroline Wozniacki had a solid week, including a this-should-be-the-final win over former world no. 1 Jelena Jankovic in the semis. Woz actually took out Russian Elena Vesnina in the title match, winning 6-2, 6-3 for the green clay vcitory.

After the cut: Vika wins in Spain and a Spaniard takes Casablanca. [Read more...]

atp players + italian clothing, pt. 2

It doesn’t smolder quite like Nole‘s photo shoot for the fall/winter 2010 Sergio Tacchini collection, but Potito Starace does his part to sell us the clothing of Italian brand Caster Bleige.

On the court: Potito lost in the first round of the 2010 US Open to 14th seed Nicolas Almagro in four sets. Earlier last month, he made it to the finals of the Croatia Open in Umag before going down 6-4, 6-4 to Juan Carlos Ferrero.

More: A few more looks at Potito — in a robe, with a cute tennis knapsack, wearing a t-shirt with tennis’ version of a bomber girl — all after the cut…

(ot) le coq sportif: joakim noah’s pro model replica

We never tire of hightops, and this one from Le Coq Sportif is no exception. Originally designed by the French company for Chicago Bulls forward-center Joakim Noah back in May, the Joakim Noah Pro Model switches from an all-red shoe to a Frenchified blue/red/white for the replica version, available in limited runs starting this week. The shoes went on sale September 10 at stores in France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal.

More: Photos and stockist info here.

And as far as we know, none of the big-time ATPers are playing in LCS right now. Potito Starace was in it for a while, but now he’s wearing clothes from Caster Bleige.

(via lecoqsportif)

short balls: bausch & lomb’s blurry future, the pain of college sports, wanna be on wife swap?

Potito Starace - Maradona

Kiss and make up: Italian player Potito Starace holds up a jersey signed by former Napoli forward Diego Maradona, who heckled Potito at his quarterfinal loss against David Nalbandian at the Buenos Aires tournament last month. Apparently, it got heated enough that Starace, a fan of Napoli, threatened to bash a racquet in Maradona’s teeth. With the autograph, Potito will make this water under the bridge. (Reuters)

By the way, I saw Potito at Indian Wells (playing doubles with partner Juan Monaco) and the guy is bigger than I thought!

Bausch & Lomb has a blurry future: Due to recent legislation preventing Bausch & Lomb from using their Amelia Island event to entertain physicians, the medical company will step down as the title sponsor after this year. If you have $450,000 lying around, buy yourself a tournament! (TW)

What Andy wants: Besides a new coach (likely), Andy Roddick also wants some changes made to Davis Cup. Team USA will face France in North Carolina April 11-13, 2008.

Richard Williams hates “the white man”: Were we really surprised?

College isn’t all it’s cracked up to be: For athletes in non-revenue sports (e.g., tennis), college life can be a beeyotch, as documented in the New York Times‘s three-parter, The Scholarship Divide”. ZooTennis‘ reaction: “I’ve probably been guilty myself of romanticizing the college experience; for a student-athlete, it is a very demanding four years, especially when your ‘play’ has become your ‘work.’”

Next move: Monica Seles capitalizes on her current celebrity upswing by selling her untitled memoir to Avery, an imprint of Penguin. Expect the tome on shelves by March 2009. (TW)

Did you know? Swede Jonas Bjorkman has two children, Max and Bianca. The only other tennis father I know of his Lleyton Hewitt. Who am I missing? Further reading: Check out Jonas’ official website.

(OT) Did you know? Before this week, Versace had not had any floor space at Barney’s for 15 years. Donatella Versace was on hand at a party to commemorate this occasion. The current collection, advertised with a Patrick Dempsey-centric campaign, can be seen here. (FWD)

FYI: For the Beijing Olympics, Rodney Harmon — not Patrick McEnroe — will coach the U.S. men. (src)

Flippin’ through: March issue of GQ, “Guide to Betting on Sports”: Rule #15: Russian tennis players can be bought. Ouch.

Are you a tennis family? If you and your family are hardcore into tennis and would like to be featured on Wife Swap, send me an e-mail.

(photo via Gazzetta dello Sport)

the italian gambling team: keeping the seat warm

potito-starace-acapulco-spr08.jpg

Potito Starace has barely gotten out of a six-week suspension for betting on tennis matches and there’s already another Italian in the hot seat.

According to the AP, Federico Luzzi put down 273 bets on 836 matches between May 2004 and April 2007. He even placed a bet on himself for $4.50. The investigation found no evidence that he tried to influence the result of that match.

Luzzi will be out 200 days and $50,000.

The other Italians who’ve been through the wringer:

  • Giorgio Galimberti began a 100 day suspension on February 18. He also got slapped with a $35,000. All this for betting on matches from 2003 to 2006.
  • Starace’s ban started January 1, 2008; six weeks and $35,000
  • Daniele Bracciali was banned for three months and fined $20,000
  • Alesso Di Mauro‘s nine-month suspension started in November and cost him $60,000.

Scoreline: By the way, Starace lost to top seed David Nalbandian 3-6, 3-6 in the quarterfinals of the Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco, Mexico.

(photo by Getty Images)

it’s all true: le coq sportif’s myth will drop in spring 2008

le coq sportif myth

The rooster crows: French brand Le Coq Sportif has a busy spring this year. They plan to release a new line of performance shoes called Myth and they’re also relaunching their sports and lifestyle collections in North America (more deets on that later). All this ado is perfectly timed with the 25th anniversary of Yannick Noah‘s 1983 French Open singles title — a big deal since it was the last time a Frenchman has won a Grand Slam (Jo-Wilfried Tsonga came pretty close last month).

Italian Potito Starace, who contributed to the shoe’s design, had this to say about the new kicks:

“It is a privilege to be one of the few players wearing Le Coq Sportif apparel and footwear. I almost feel like I have a unique style when I walk on the court. Comfort is key for me but I also appreciate the ‘elegance’ of the tennis line.”

Details: Myths have two innovative features: the “ERGO +” flexibility system in the instep, supporting the foot; and the “DS2″ patented inside sole which keeps the foot dry — no stink! And as far as colorways, a black version is available for men while pink and lime are for the women. (Le sigh… sometimes, a guy just wants to wear lime. Or pink.) What do you think of the shoes? Tell us!

Take a closer look: See the black/white and pink/white versions of the Myth after the cut

not so fast: footage from inside the u.s. open locker rooms

TSF had to up our Paxil intake after we got word that media would have no access to the U.S. Open locker rooms this year.

Thankfully, some goofsters were cool enough to film Nole Djokovic hamming it up yet again, this time folding more impersonations to his repertoire.

His latest victims are: Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo, Andy Roddick, Filippo Volandri, Rafael Nadal, Maria Sharapova, and Roger Federer.

Nole pulls up his sleeve to do Ramirez and pulls down his shorts to get an authentic Nadal clamdigger look (left, middle). He ended the joke with a great impersonation of Roger.

And our favorite Italian, Potito Starace, laughs and eggs on the Serb throughout the video.

Watch: The clip is here, via segundosaque.com.

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