trophy watch: winners, coast-to-coast

How are these for awkward? If last week was the week of the amazingly awkward trophies, this week it’s the humans who take their turn at awkwardness. We love the trio above, as finalist Gael Monfils and winner Radek Stepanek pose with a parks official after their Legg Mason Classic title match. Stepanek upset Monfils, the top seed, 6-4 6-4. Meanwhile, below, Agnieszka Radwanska and Vera Zvonareva look o-v-e-r it in San Diego following Radwanska’s 6-3 6-4 win over Vera at the Mercury Insurance Open. Are these two friends? We can’t tell. But oy! Isn’t Aggie’s bandage an ugly sight?

Oops! He did it again. Stepanek celebrates another US Open Series title with “The Worm”

(Images via Getty)

stepanek plays munich doubles with haas

How refreshingly non-abrasive is this Alea polo currently on Radek Stepanek? Perfect complement to the clay courts in Munich at the BMW Open, definitely. The Czech’s is still in the running for singles, taking out Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 6-0 in the quarters and will next play Kolya (!!). The other semi will be all-German, pitting Petzschner against Mayer. Draw: BMW Open Singles.

It was also good to see Tommy Haas back in action after a long recovery from shoulder and hip surgery. (Haas went under the knife back in February 2010). He teamed up with Stepanek (Tommy’s neighbor in Florida) for doubles; they lost in the first round to Simon Aspelin and Paul Hanley. Looking forward: Haas is eyeing Halle, the French, and Wimbledon as tournaments to play this year.

(images by CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/Getty Images)

eureka: gold in miami

No Aravanes were hurt in the making of these clothes: Even with Aravane Rezai out early at the Sony Ericsson Open — the 20th seed got upset by Peng Shuai in her opener — golden fashion lived on via Maria (Nike); in that flattering Sergio Tacchini dress on Dinara Safina; in the simple details of Radek Stepanek‘s normally eccentric clothes from Alea; and on Marcel Granollers‘ crew, by Joma.

(images via Getty Images)

radek stepanek: the dragon, pt. 2

Radek Stepanek‘s reptilian Alea kit for the fall continues its showcase with this version in the black/orange colorway, appearing at this week’s Kremlin Cup in Moscow. There’s also a hoodie, seen in the gallery below at an autograph session.

Bracket: The Czech, fifth seed at the event, was upset by the spot-on Pablo Cuevas, who also took out top seed Kolya Davydenko in the round prior. The final four are set, with Cuevas playing Troicki and Baghdatis vs. Istomin. SRO in the stadium? We think so! (Draw: Kremlin Cup Men’s Singles)

(images, as always, by the almighty Getty)

radek stepanek: a study in scales

Novak Djokovic might be getting all the buzz for his avian- and dragon-themed polos from Tacchini, but let’s not forget about veteran Radek Stepanek in Alea. Save for a little bland hiccup for the 2010 US Open Series — where he wore mostly white with some gold detail — the Czech’s been playing in eye-popping kits, including his patriotic Davis Cup uniform, his purples from earlier this year, and now this orange/black scaley polo that’s giving Nole’s current take on reptilia a run for its money.

Tourney time: Stepanek’s playing at this week’s Rakuten Japan Open in Tokyo. He goes up against Jarkko Nieminen in the quarters. (Deets: Visit the tourney site.)

More: A few other shots from Radek’s match against Marco Chiudinelli after the cut…

stepanek couldn’t step it up

Even with a tired Novak Djokovic anchoring the Serbs, Czech workhorse Radek Stepanek couldn’t continue his winning ways at the Belgrade Arena for this weekend’s Davis Cup semifinal tie, losing the fifth rubber against Serbia’s Janko Tipsarevic 6-0, 7-6 (6), 6-4.

Serbia’s 3-2 victory will pit them against France in the finals this December (likely to be played on French soil).

More: See all the tie details here.

Radek’s rags: Meanwhile, check out Stepanek’s Alea kits — a polo with graphics (vintage Radek) for his singles rubbers and a more muted version for his doubles match with Tomas Berdych — all after the cut…

do not sit idly, berdych

It looks like the Serbians really want to get to the Davis Cup final. As if having 2010 US Open finalist Novak Djokovic on their roster isn’t enough, they brought the Langoliers along to nip at the Czech team’s heels.

Tie: Most of the Belgrade Arena (capacity: 16,842) will probably root for the home team. Nole and Radek Stepanek are up first; Janko Tipsarevic and Tomas Berdych will follow. Nenad Zimonjic and Viktor Troicki will play Jan Hajek and Ivo Minar in the doubles rubber, and the singles players will switch opponents. More info here.

(image via daviscup.com)

short balls: what’s your britney moment?

Leave it to Andy Roddick to make a head shave seem hilarious and semi frightening all at once. The top American, who lost in shocking fashion to unknown Yen-Hsun Lu in the fourth round at Wimbledon, told the ATP that “There was no deep reasoning. I had a Britney Spears moment after Wimbledon.” No deep reasoning?! Andy! Didn’t you follow the 12 months of Brit’s life before that head shave?? Her reasoning couldn’t have been deeper. It seems as though Roddick was mightily bummed by his disappointing performance at the All England Club, capping off a topsy turvy 12 months himself. Southern refreshment: Andy has taken his new hair (and new game?!) to the Atlanta Tennis Championships with a wildcard into the new event. See the draw here.

While Roddick may be into head shaving, Serena is into nail-doing and Nicole is into marrying. In a recent Vogue online feature, writer Marina Rust, interviews Williams while she gets her nails done – by Serena! The manicurist (Serena aka Kandse) chatted about life outside of tennis while the two breathed in polish fumes, Rust making a good point when she said it was a better way for them to chat then trading a few groundstrokes. Meanwhile, former (yes, former) pro Nicole Vaidisova traded vows with Radek Stepanek over the weekend. Who knew that Vaidisova, who was locked in a tough semifinal battle with Serena just three years ago at the Australian Open, would be retired and married at age 21. Such is the life of a WTA superstar, we suppose.

Martina Hingis is no WTA superstar anymore (nor is she involved with Stepanek… though she once was), but the Swiss Miss is continuing her post-tennis life by exploring the different pleasures of life. Her most current obsession? Polo. Hingis was spotted in Florida getting some polo lessons last weekend. Maybe Britney will cast her (or Andy?!) in her next video.

After the cut: two online screen grabs that grabbed our attention this week plus a full (and plentiful!) version of short(er) balls, the best never-ending paragraph you’ve ever come across. [Read more...]

mo’ mono: radek stepanek

The funky clothing of Radek Stepanek goes to the next level with this monogrammed polo from Alea with a slight graphic print on the front — tame compared to the Czech’s usually outlandish outfits. (Read up on other players in the monogram club.)

Shanghai’ed: Stepanek looked on track to win the head-to-head against Nikolay Davydenko before this quarterfinal match at this week’s Shanghai ATP Masters (they were 4-4 previously). He frustrated Kolya by attacking second serves and coming in constantly as part of his serve-and-volley game. Alas, the Russian eventually prevailed 6-1, 4-6, 6-1. “He destroyed me in the second set,” Davydenko said during the post-match presser. “In the third set, I find my game and play better and better, good concentration, and he start again to do mistakes from the baseline.”

Browse: See the other Alea goods on their website. omg that czech flag bathrobe is craaaaaaazy.

A few more: A few more shots of Radek and his clothes after the cut…

trophy watch: llodra keeps his clothes on, venus makes her case, roddick hits back, etc.

Robredo rolls: Spaniard Tommy Robredo has been slowly compiling a successful 2009 (he’s 15-3 in match wins so far), adding to last week’s Brasil Open title a trophy from the Copa Telmex in Buenos Aires. As a part of a nine-match winning streak, Tommy took out 2007 champ Juan Monaco 7-5, 2-6, 7-6 (5).

Roddick’s revenge: Early bird got The Worm this week when Andy exacted revenge on Radek Stepanek‘s title win over the American at last week’s SAP Open. This time around, at the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships, the top seed only needed two sets to take out Stepanek: 7-5, 7-5.

As you may have heard, Roddick is skipping this the ATP Dubai stop in support of Shahar Peer. Good for him.

Teenage triumph: And on the women’s side of this combined tournament, Belarusian Victoria Azarenka upset top seed Caroline Wozniacki in the finals of Memphis 6-1, 6-3. This is Victoria’s second title of the year (and of her career). She was merely playing catch-up to Wozniacki, whose breakout 2008 produced three titles.

Venus and Virginie: Speaking of Dubai, a gracious (and henna-free) Venus Williams addressed Shahar’s situation during her trophy ceremony after beating Virginie Razzano 6-4, 6-2.

“I am not here to rock any boat or upset people, I am just here to do things that are right,” Williams said. “And I think right things are already happening next week and right things will happen next year.”

Props to Virginie and Asics for maxing out her airtime. They had her in another colorway of her separates, this one in black with pink trim.

French fracas: We’re a little sad that the French smorgasbord in Marseille has come to an end (Arnaud Clement, Youzhny, Tursunov, Dimitrov, Vliegen, Seppi, Safin, Chardy, Bolelli), and even sadder that Jo-Wilfried Tsonga denied us a post-win striptease from runner-up Michael Llodra. But thumbs-up to Tsonga for bagging his second title of the year.

Maria’s maiden title: In Bogota, Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez beat Gisela Dulko 6-2 6-3 for her first SEWTA title at the Copa Colsanitas tournament.

(images via Getty Images)

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