Poor Andy’s back

A clay curse continues to plague American Andy Roddick as he was forced to pull out of his semifinal match against Stanislas Wawrinka at last week’s Masters Series Rome tournament. The culprit? Back spasms.

We would never wish an injury on anyone (ever) and especially not against Andy, but if an injury can lead to photos like this…?

(Photo by Getty Images)

Trophy Watch: the race to the French shapes up

Nole Djokovic was the last man standing after a week of upsets and injuries at the Masters Series Rome. He beat Stanislas Wawrinka 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 on the Italian dirt.

About Wawrinka’s getup at the trophy ceremony, Randy “Sky” Walker wrote, “Ugh!” Those Adi Dassler tributes aren’t exactly for such a grand occasion, I guess.

It’s deep: The clay season is totally up in the air, with the men in the top seven spots having no more than two clay titles a piece: Federer, Estoril; Nadal, Monte Carlo and Barcelona; Djokovic, Australian and Rome; Ferrer, Valencia; Nalbandian, the Copa Telmex. Davydenko (Miami) and Roddick (Dubai, San Jose) have none. So who is going to take Roland Garros?

Insert me here?

Dinara Safina had a crazy week, taking out Justine Henin (Trivia: who was the last woman to beat Justine Henin and possibly forced her retirement from tennis?), Serena Williams and then Russian Elena Dementieva 3-6 6-2, 6-2 in the final.

Elena in Yonex. This is the same pink that she wore during the Australian Open but just in a different cut; this one has pleats. <3

(photos by Getty Images)

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

murray-doha1.jpg

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…

dc: switzerland vs. czech republic

Radek Stepanek and Tomas Berdych are hometown heroes after taking down the Swiss team (including Roger Federer) 3-2 in this weekend’s World Group Play-offs.

See full results here.

But while the Czech Republic might have won a spot in next year’s World Group, they lost the fashion tie. Berdych wore his usual Nike kit while Stepanek came out as a flag. And in case you were’nt sure which country he was playing for, he wrote it on the back.

And Roger Federer didn’t miss a style beat, dressing in a Nike kit themed to Swiss colors (red, white) — everything down to his shoes.

The Swiss warm-up jackets were pretty cute, too.

And even their fans dressed well. See the pics after the cut.