trophy watch: one of the year’s best trophies gets doled out yet again

Ana Ivanovic - Indian Wells 2008Ana Ivanovic - Indian Wells 2008

Ana Ivanovic made quick work of Svetlana Kuznetsova in their final match at Indian Wells. (The scoreline: 6-4, 6-3.) Ana took home the $332,000 purse, a bracelet from Jeffrey Scott Fine Magnetics, and that cute humpback whale trophy. Kuznetsova, meanwhile, took home $163,000.

Novak Djokovic - Indian Wells 2008Novak Djokovic - Indian Wells 2008

Novak Djokovic proved that he’s currently the best men’s tennis player in the world by taking his first Indian Wells title. He beat the en fuego Mardy Fish who, before Sunday, had beaten Roger Federer, David Nalbandian, Lleyton Hewitt, and Nikolay Davydenko in this tournament.

There were a few close calls (and Nole started to self-destruct), but the Serb pulled it together in the end for a 6-2, 5-7, 6-3 win. Props to Mardy for a good two weeks. I can live without his basketball shorts, though. Also: cover your ankles, and stop shaving your legs!

Novak Djokovic - Indian Wells 2008Novak Djokovic - Indian Wells 2008

Nole took home a $555,000 paycheck while Mardy raked in $277,500.

Their humps: “The Pacific Promise” Perpetual Trophy is 30 inches tall. It’s a replica of an 18-foot sculpture of a mother humpback whale and her calf. The original resides in Pacific Life’s main office in Newport Beach, Calif. The sculpture was created by artist Randy Puckett, who’s known for his whale work.

More: See more pictures from the men’s and women’s finals, plus photos from the doubles finals, after the cut…

tennis makeovers: rod laver, stan smith, ilie nastase, etc.

We’re very excited about adidas Original‘s Spring/Summer 2008 line, a diverse collection which includes the eco-friendly adidas Grun; Handbags for Feet, a footwear and apparel collection inspired by handbags (I want the Fendi Spy Bag as a shoe!); Original Games, the Beijing-focused Olympics line; Sounds of the City, a collaboration with the music industry; and another round from Missy Elliott‘s Respect M.E.


And of course there’s the Tournament Edition, a line of tennis-inspired sneakers. A gold version of the company’s trefoil logo appears on the tongues of all five shoes, while the signature three stripes show up in green and gold. Classic. (Buy: In a few months, they’ll be available here.)

Photos after the cut…

Why Roger Federer is the best player ever to swing a racquet, even if he never wins the French

As Wimbledon commences today, and Roger Federer walks out to defend his title, which if he does would make it five straight — equaling Bjorn Borg’s five in a row from ’76-’80 — there will still be some scattered chatter about Federer’s place in tennis history. With the French Open title still eluding him after this year’s loss to Rafael Nadal, his one and only nemesis, the pundits (it’s specifically the ones on the telly that I’m thinking of), in their infinite wisdom, will hesitate bestowing him the honor of “Greatest of All Time”; the talking heads currently believe that Australian Rod Laver currently holds this distinction.

Many would argue, myself included, that this year was Federer’s best opportunity to win at Roland Garros: he’d had two past experiences of playing (and losing to) Nadal on this big stage; he was in perfect health and relatively fresh; and he got a confidence boost by beating Nadal on clay for the first time, in the final of the ATP Masters event in Hamburg the week prior to the French. But all that wasn’t enough to overcome Nadal.

Even with this most recent loss, there’s no question that thus far Federer is the greatest, and here’s why: he is and has been dominant in a field of insane depth, on all surfaces except for one, one which is being dominated by the greatest player to ever play on that surface.

Allow me to elaborate…