trophy watch: hello to rafa, goodbye to san jose, and the ladies switch it up



Juan Martin del Potro defeats Julien Benneteau in 2013 Rotterdam tennis event

ABN AMRO: Juan Martin del Potro was last man standing at the ABN AMRO WTT, the stacked ATP 500-series event in Rotterdam led by tournament director Richard Krajicek which saw Roger Federer ousted by finalist Julien Benneteau and had semifinal runs by Gilles Simon and Grigor Dimitrov. Delpo earned his 14th career title by downing Benneteau 7-6(2), 6-3.

Qatar Total Open 2013 trophies: Serena Williams vs. Victoria Azarenka

Vika wins two: The plot thickens in the battle at the top of the women’s game between Victoria Azarenka and Serena Williams. At this past week’s Qatar Total Open, contested in Doha, Serena regained the No. 1 ranking but Azarenka notched her second career win over Williams (in 13 tries) and defended her Doha title. The scoreline: 7-6(6) 2-6, 6-3. Azarenka is taking the week off to heal a foot injury, while Serena is playing in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

Serena praised Victoria for her work in the final:

“I always respect Victoria. I think she’s a really good player. Obviously she’s so consistent and she plays well. She’s such a solid player. It’s nice to always play someone and go home and you’re like, ‘Okay, I didn’t do great, but let me work harder.’ I think that she inspires a lot of people to work harder, and definitely me.”

2013 SAP Open - San Jose - Trophy - Milos Raonic defeats Tommy Haas

Bon voyage: The final edition of the 125-year-old SAP Open, held in San Jose, Calif., featured a three-peat for top seed, and two-time defending champ Milos Raonic. He defeated fourth seed Tommy Haas 6-4, 6-3. Raonic won all three titles without dropping a set.

Raonic, from Canada, wore a New Balance tee with a black-and-green print. “Today, I’m more of a complete player,” he said after winning the title. “I was able to put pressure on [Haas] in most of his service games. I was able to hold quite handily, which I’ve shown I can do in the past. I was able to create pressure every game. It wasn’t just one game. I was getting to a lot of deuce games.”

Rafael Nadal wins the 2013 Brasil Open

Chippin’ off the old block: The story of Rafael Nadal has finally come full circle. After disappearing from the circuit for about eight months after losing to Lukas Rosol in the early rounds of Wimbledon 2012, the Spaniard took home the Brasil Open (Sao Paolo) title last week. The 6-2, 6-3 victory over David Nalbandian was Nadal’s first since beating Novak Djokovic in the final of the 2012 French Open.

It’s all about the titles: “It’s very nice and important because at the end of your career what’s left are the titles,” Rafa reflected after his win, “and depending on certain moments there are some titles that you appreciate very much. This one I appreciate it the most because of all the struggles I went through during the week, with some problems with my knee some days.”

(Photo Credit: Rotterdam photo via ABN AMRO WTT Facebook; Nadal photo via Brasil Open; San Jose photo via SAP Open website; Vika/Serena photo via Qatar Tennis Federation)

fashion focus: simone bolelli wears italian brand hydrogen



Simone Bolelli - Brasil Open 2013

Skeleton chic: It’s been a while since we’ve checked in on Italian Simone Bolelli (or any of the Italian men, for that matter — it’s been all about the ladies!), so it was fun times seeing photos of him playing at this week’s Brasil Open in Sao Paolo (aka Rafael Nadal‘s second tournament since MIA-ing after the 2012 Wimbledon event). The tattooed Bolelli‘s been wearing clothes by the Italian brand Hydrogen, and was written up as a Hydrogen player in a company blog post published during the 2013 Australian Open. Nothing schmancy about his kits, save for the brand’s skull logo making appearances here and there.

Hydrogen Jeans - Spring 2013 - Simone Bolelli

Browsing: Our faves from their spring ’13 offerings are the camouflage handmade gym skull trousers and the jersey skull polo. Everything’s on their website at hydrogenjeans.com.

Brasil Open: Bolelli took out fellow pretty boy Tommy Robredo and will face third seed Juan Monaco in the second round. They share that bottom half with Nicolas Almagro. (Draw: Brasil Open Men’s Singles)

(Photo Credit: Bolelli via the Brasil Open photo gallery; hydrogen screengrabs via hydrogenjeans.com)

going home: rotterdam, sao paolo, doha, san jose



Brasil Open 2013 (Sao Paolo) website

Sao Paolo: My, what a big banner you have! That stuff poking out at the bottom of our screengrab — that’s the slider for their content, pretty much below the fold. Again, we get the point of showcasing your star attractions (including Rafael Nadal in his second tourney back!), but the rest of the event is also giving you newsworthy bits, including Ricardo Mello‘s retirement from professional tennis and, you know, actual matches. (Along with Rafa, the top four seeds are AlmagroMonaco, and Chardy.) Props: Their photo gallery is pretty varied, navigable, and has good pictures. Bonus: The tournament has a smartphone app (for Google, Windows, and iPhones).

ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament 2013 - Rotterdam

Rotterdam: This is how you tell your fans who’s showing up to a tournament. It might even be downplaying the event’s ATP Tour 500 level cache; along with Roger FedererJuan Martin del Potro, and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, you have players like MonfilsDimitrovTomicKlizanJanowicz, and Davydenko — all of whom can produce some great matches this week. Feedback: could you keep the seeding/wildcard/qualifier notations in the draw sheets?

ABN AMRO homepage

The other thing to note about Rotterdam is how hard they push the business/hospitality end of their tournament. The event’s main page, www.abnamrowtt.com, gives much real estate to wooing sponsors and getting businesses to scoop up packages and suites for the tournament. We know these deals are what grease the wheels, but we’d prefer the solicitations for event sponsorship to get toned down the week of the tournament, if only to give their current clients a chance to enjoy their investment and letting the fans experience the tennis.

Qatar Total Open 2013 (WTA Tournament)

Doha (WTA): The Qatar Total Open 2013‘s pages live within the Qatar Tennis Federation website. Everything’s housed in the same place, but it probably couldn’t hurt to get a separate URL for the tournament. Fingers crossed: No action yet, but we’re hoping to see lots of images come through via Instagram.

SAP Open 2013 - San Jose tennis tournament

 

San Jose: Nothing much to note re: the final installment of this Bay Area ATP stop. The SAP Open website is pretty straightforward, and includes video content and a daily blog featuring different players entered in the tournament. (Monday’s blog entry was by Tim Smyczek.)