trophy watch: a lady on a harley

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Vroom: Russian Maria Sharapova proved that her Australian Open title was no joke, backing it up with her second title of the year at the $2.5 million Qatar Total Open. The Under Armour of opponent Vera Zvonareva was no match for Masha — she took Vera out 6-1, 2-6, 6-0.

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Vera takes home a nice trophy.

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The men: Andy Roddick — who looks a little… chubby? weathered? (Does he look different to anyone else? Is it facial hair?) — continued to wow the San Jose crowd with a winning performance, besting Radek Stepanek 6-4, 7-5 in the final. (FYI, Andy’s won this event twice before, and made the semis two other times.)

Meanwhile, David Nalbandian‘s back troubles disappeared this week during the Copa Telmex in Buenos Aires. He beat compatriot Jose Acasuso 3-6,7-6 and 6-4. I’m soooo ready for the next Yonex colorway. Yellow and red are too intense for the clay. Unless you’re Guga Kuerten.

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In Rotterdam, Michael Llodra and his mouth continue to build on their early-season confidence with a second title in 2008. Llodra beat Robin Soderling 6-7 (3), 6-3, 7-6(4).

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And this streaker, who made a statement at the Rotterdam final, is exactly why I am not vegan. Improper nutrition would lead me to do redundant things like writing “Vegan Streaker” on myself — as if the crowd could confuse me as a linesman. When he gets out of jail, can someone get him some beef?

tattoo watch: the flower on li na’s chest

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Tattoo Watch: It’s no surprise that the Chinese athlete who was voted “most difficult to work with” is also the one who has a tattoo.

What an inspirational story from Li Na, who has recovered from a rib injury which forced her to miss half of the 2007 tennis season. So far this year, she has compiled a 14-3 record (including a title at Gold Coast).

Scoreline: At this week’s Qatar Total Open, she took out fifth seed Anna Chakvetadze, twelfth seed Shahar Peer, and third seed Jelena Jankovic in succession before falling to Vera Zvonareva 6-3, 3-6, 3-6. Not bad!

(photos by Getty Images)

sharapova does doha and she’s in (a) penthouse

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Maria Sharapova totes Fendi on one arm, slings her gold Prince bag over the other, and cradles her Sony Ericsson phone. Oh, the burden of celebrity!

She scheduled to compete in this week’s Qatar Open as the fourth seed.

(I’m not sure if that’s the actual link to the tourney website. If it is, then FYI webmaster: there are all kinds of things wrong with it.)

New digs: Haaretz reports that Masha bought a 350-square-meter luxury penthouse for 7.5 million Israeli shekels ($2 million). With all her commitments in the Middle East, it’s about time she got a place nearby.

(via Open Court; photo via Getty Images)

shahar shines in doha — marcos baghdatis, are you listening?

Shahar Peer is letting her tennis do the talking at this week’s Qatar Open, and her racquet is quite the diplomat.

Groundbreaking: Peer, from Israel, has the spotlight on her for participating in a tournament hosted by an Arab state. The SEWTA gave Doha an event with the provision that players be allowed to participate based on merit (the Israelis are normally non grata), and the organizers complied, allowing Shahar to play. Many are wondering about the motivation behind this move; Doha is interested in bidding for the 2016 Olympics, and this is there way to make nice with the world.

So what’s Shahar’s take on all this attention? “I’m here to play tennis,” she said. “But if this opens up a window for the younger generation, with Arabs and Israelis working together for peace, I’d be happy.” (AFP)

But of course everyone’s on alert, and extra precautions are being taken to ensure Shahar’s safety.

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Fashion focus: Here’s Shahar wearing lots of silver during her first round match against Andreja Klepac, whom she beat 6-3, 6-4.

Today’s lesson: Hey Marcos Baghdatis, I hope you’re paying attention. Instead of being a turkey about Turkey, you should take your celebrity and make this world a better place. It’s not that hard to do.

sorry, stanislas wawrinka: andy murray has a bigger sword than you

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Andy Murray‘s 2008 is off to a good start, with nary a sign of that wrist injury that cut short his 2007 season. Andy beat Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 at the final of the Qatar Open in Doha on Saturday. The World No. 11 also took out top seed Nikolay Davydenko 6-4, 6-3 in the semis.

This is a good sign that his new training team (headed by Miles MacIagan) is meshing well with the Scot and his non-traditional style of play. If you get a chance, check out this piece in the Guardian by Jon Henderson on that subject.

Swords in sleeves: Runner-up Wawrinka received a sword for his troubles. Andy, Along with a golden eagle, also got the same. See them after the cut…