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)

short balls: aussie hangover

There is plenty to be said about this year’s Australian Open. We’ll leave most of the match breakdowns and this’s and that’s to the experts: On Tennis.com, Tom Perrotta is saying that this is a Major that the ladies should be proud of – and I quite agree. Isn’t it crazy what a quality tournament this was, even though the likes of Ivanovic, Venus, Justine and Maria couldn’t even crack deep into the second week? Kudos, gals. Now, let’s get to the good, juicy TSF stuff.

Speaking of Venus, how strange was the word-vomit Tweet barrage from her mother, Oracene Price on Friday? Oracene Tweeted around 60 times in a matter of hours, complimenting Novak DjokovicPetra Kvitova (which Oracene could never spell right) and Li Na along the way. But in the same breath, Oracene poked fun at Clijsters and said she hoped Li would “kick some butt.” That was as talkative as Oracene has been – both online or in person – ever. Here, she seems to make a strange (and confusing) claim that Clijsters is “dubious:”

Twitter-pated: More of Oracene on TSF | Follow Oracene on Twitter | Follow TSF

Hoping to catch Kimmie at the 2012 Olympics before she signs off for good? You probably will get to swig back a Heineken or two, as the London Games are supposedly close to signing a deal with the Dutch beer-producer, according to Marketing magazine: “Heineken will have pouring rights to the hospitality outlets at the 2012 Games and also have the marketing rights to the Olympics and Paralympics, reports Marketing magazine.” (via Sports City)

Close to Melbourne, but across the ocean… Ryan Harrison was victorious in an all-American final at the Honolulu challenger. He took down Alex Kuznetsov to capture the crown, $7,200 and 80 ranking points. Three American women (Julia Cohen, Irina Falconi and Madison Brengle) are doing the dirty work on the USTA Pro Circuit this week. They are the top three seeds in Rancho Santa Fe, California.

And if you haven’t seen this video of a streaker running into a bit of streaking bad luck, you must:

(ao photo by jheritage via flickr; oracene screen grab via twitter; video screen grab via youtube)

the need for speed

The folks at HEAD are wasting no time milking the newest member of their stable, Novak Djokovic, for some Q-rating padding. They have chosen Nole as the main vehicle for a new racquet technology named Speed. (Nevermind that they’ve already had Andy Murray and Marat Safin, right?)

The deets of the stick were hush-hush until Djokovic played with them at the Australian Open (pics), and HEAD moves onto the next step of their campaign with “Speed Lessons by Novak Djokovic”.

You can think of the site, found at speedlessons.com, as a cross between Teen Girl Squad and Palin as President — a mix of animated shorts and other mini-gags (including mouseovers voiced by Djokovic himself).

Look out for a total of six flash-based “tennis lessons”, released about once a week. Much like the hammy Serbian, these shorts should be taken with a grain of salt. Watch ‘em and you’ll know what we mean.

Mousing over the landing page induces a few cute sound bites (e.g., “With a two-handed backhand, you won’t have a free hand for a remote control.”). The folks we talked to at HEAD said that Nole had a good time recording the voiceovers for the site.

And finally, users can take a three-question quiz, after which they can enter to win one of ten Speed racquets autographed by Djokovic.

The global campaign, conceived by an Austrian agency, will culminate with the racquet’s retail launch in late April or May.

HEAD wanted something “new, fresh, and online based because that’s what everybody is,” said a company rep. They’ve included links for Facebook, del.icio.us, Technorati, and Google to help spread the word.

Visit: Speed Lessons.

Scoreline: Djokovic, who retired in the heat against Andy Roddick during the Aussie Open quarterfinals, bounces back after a two-week break to reach the quarters (vs. Mischa Zverev) in this week’s Open 13 in Marseille. Nole hasn’t been looking his best, but has yet to drop a set in two rounds.

$hort ball$: roger federer edition

Roger’s riches: Lots have been said lately about the massive amounts of moolah coming into the coffers of Roger Federer (pat yourselves on the back, Mirka and Tony Godsick!).

SportsBusiness Journal reports that R-Fed and his clothing sponsor, Nike, are extending their relationship for 10 more years. This arrangement could give Roger $13 million a year — one of the most lucrative deals in tennis history. The exact figure for the contract is up in the air because some of the payout could be performance-based.

What exactly is Nike paying for?

“In the U.S., probably less than 2 percent of athletic footwear sales are tennis… K-Swiss is a bigger tennis brand in America than Nike. [Tennis] does get a lot of publicity, a lot of mention in news articles, and a lot more people watch the sport than participate in it. Branding is probably a pretty good part of the deal, particularly in Nike’s European sector, where [tennis] is much more important.”

Huh. I didn’t know that K-Swiss had a bigger share of the market (fyi, I wear K-Swiss shoes for tennis).

Also, the suits are likely acknowledging that the screwed Roger back in 2002, when the agentless Swiss player signed a contract for $1 million a year. “It’s possible some of the money he is acing with the new deal serves in part as an acknowledgment on Nike’s behalf of the semi-free ride they have had with Federer during his rise.”

And Tages-Anzeigers (through Roger expert Rene Stauffer, of course) notes that adidas, Lacoste, and Polo Ralph Lauren all put in bids for Roger. A PRL rep denied the company’s involvement in the situation.

Other bits: According to SBJ, Roger charged $1 million for each of his appearances at the Asian exhibitions last fall. Ka-ching.

MSG is good for you: Another exo between Roger and Pistol Pete has been scheduled, this time for a March date at Madison Square Garden. At least through this seller, it looks like tickets range from $70 (nosebleed) to $16,050 for a pair of front row, dead center, courtside VIP seats. No word on how much Roger is getting paid for this match. Jordan, are you going?

And since we’re on the topic of seats, I don’t know who decided that the sidelines are great — for some reason, those always sell out first, don’t they? I’m all about sitting behind the baseline a few rows up.

roger-federer-hat.jpg

Answered prayers: The powers that be at Nike have finally released a mass-market version of his hat. We first saw Roger with the black version at the 2007 U.S. Open. Buy: The hat is avalable for $20 at Tennis Warehouse. Autographed hats, if that’s your style, might still be available through Roger’s website.

Delusion: The Onion writes up a spoof on Roger’s loss in the Australian Open semis.

RELATED POSTS
>> TSF’s short balls archive

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fashion focus: when a frog turns to prince

aus08-vince-spadea.jpg

Eccentric American Vince Spadea is still in the running for an Australian Open title. He reached the third round by taking out Denis Gremelmayr in five sets: 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 2-6, 9-7. Spadea took out 30th seed Radek Stepanek in the first round.

Prince charmed him: Vince is cleaning up after all! He recently signed a sponsorship contract with Prince, which, along with a racquet deal, gives him official Prince tennis clothing to wear at ATP Tour events.

Le sad. We cringed at the sight of those (bedazzled) trucker hats from his own line, but they had a place at the table.

Going 2.0: “The Vindawg” has embraced the web full-on. Watch YouTube videos of his rapping (but really, more like spoken word). And now that I think about it, I hope his homepage layout doesn’t change. At this point, it’s so outdated that it’s hip again!

Buy: If you’re not in America right now, you probably still have money to spend. Browse the latest Prince goods here. Enjoy.

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>> TSF’s australian open coverage…
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adidas signs sania mirza

sania_shoe.jpg

The musical chairs of clothing sponsorship continues with adidas announcing on Monday that it has signed Sania Mirza as its first Indian Global Brand Ambassador. This explains the photo we posted earlier.

Sania’s multi-year agreement is effective immediately. I haven’t found out yet which line she’ll be wearing (my two cents: her bustiness will make the Competition tops look awesome; sorry, Justine).

In Sania, adidas has one of the most outspoken and polarizing athletes in Asia. She constantly butts heads with religious conservatives who look down on her piercings and “short” skirts. None of the fatwas issued against her have gained popular support, so it’s smart for the sports clothing company to harness this celebrity.

Sania: You’re no longer with Lotto — you’re playing with the big girls now. Tame your forehand, plan a smarter schedule so you’re less injured, and don’t let adidas down!

Press release after the cut.

the women's final: henin wins but sveta shines

Congrats to Justine Henin for taking her second U.S. Open title (her first came in 2003) by beating Svetlana Kuznetsova — the 2004 U.S. Open champ — 6-1, 6-3.

Henin wore her ho-hum orange adidas separates, and Kuznetsova wore the same outfit from Fila that she’s been sporting all week.

We did notice a few more things this time around: Kuznetsova has a necklace with an “S” in cursive lettering, and her bandana was personalized with a monogram.

I love these little touches that make the ensemble hers. (Do you agree? Tell us!)

Bonus round: In case you’re wondering, that Mary Cohr badge on her red tank is from sponsor Baronesse Cosmetiques, whose stable includes Sveta, Thomas Johansson, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Paul Capdeville, and Tamira Paszek.

(photos via Getty Images)

RELATED POSTS
>> TSF’s u.s. open coverage continues…

a top 10 player to be stripped of his clothes?


Will adidas make a monkey out of Gonzalez?

The blind item mill churneth and its latest product is this: a current top-10 player will be dumped by his clothing company “when his contract runs out at the end of the year”.

So who will be mired in a fashion mess in a few months? Here’s the current list of sponsors, players (and their ranking):

Nike: Roger Federer (1), Rafa Nadal (2), Blake (6), Berdych (9)
adidas: Nole (3), Fernando Gonzalez (7)
Airness: Davydenko (4)
Lacoste: Roddick (5)
Sergio Tacchini: Tommy Robredo (8)
Limited: Tommy Haas (10)

It’s not Rafa, Roger, or Blake — who all have crazy-high Q ratings right now. Lacoste is still getting mileage out of Roddick. And adidas would be stupid to drop Nole. Even though he strips after every title win, the clothes stay on during matches.

So my picks are the inconsistent Fernando Gonzalez (finals of Aussie Open and Masters Series Rome but early exits everywhere else), Tomas Berdych, and Tommy Robredo. Robredo should really be with Fila anyway. Perhaps this’ll be his chance to do so?

(photo via AP)

djokovic makes a run to the finals

The Serbians continue to rip through the ATP and SEWTA Tours. Ivanovic will play Petrova in tomorrow’s final at the East West Bank Classic while the lickalicious Nole will try for hist first win against Roger Federer (he’s currently 0-4) after downing Nadal in straight sets. Novak will also be vying for his first Rogers Cup title.

Djokovic is wearing the adidas Men’s Summer YOC Theme Polo for the hardcourt season. Available in two colorways: Dark Orange w/ White & Yellow (pictured above) and White w/Dark Orange & Navy.

Buy: $38.99 at TW.