kit count: australian open women’s QFs

Australian Open logo

The Women’s QF draw at the 2013 Australian Open: adidas (6), Nike (4), Lotto (2), and 1 each for Under ArmourFilaLacoste, and Qiaodan.

Breakdown: See the complete list after the cut…

top seed wozniacki sends off '04 winner kuznetsova

Top seed Caroline Wozniacki came back from a set and a break down to swat down 2004 champ (and 15th seed) Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-7 (6), 7-5, 6-1 and reach the quarterfinals of the 2011 U.S. Open. (Draw: Women’s Singles)

Sveta battled Danish scuba gear while wearing the Pierluigi pieces from Fila‘s fall Heritage collection. This is named after Pierluigi Rolando, Fila’s first designer and the creative lead from 1970-1984; he designed the brand’s famous logo and collections for Borg, Becker, Goolagong, and others.

As Fila brainstormed about how to celebrate its 100th anniversary (what made the cut: resurrecting Goolagong’s outfits for Clijsters in Melbourne and Seles’ for Roland Garros; staging an exhibit at the Tennis Hall of Fame; creating interactive marketing campaign), they also looked through Rolando’s archives in Italy for some inspiration.

Buy: Fila Pierluigi Women’s V-neck Top, $58; Women’s Racerback Tank. $64.

More: A few other looks at Kuznetsova’s Pierluigi pieces after the cut…

practice makes perfect: from russia, with love

Svetlana Kuznetsova lost in her opening round of the BNP Paribas Open to American (and wildcard) Christina McHale, who took her out 7-6 (4), 7-6 (7). While Sveta looked good — like, dropped-pounds-in-the-double-digits good — she was simply outplayed from the baseline by the more consistent McHale. McHale lost a three-setter to Nadia Petrova in the subsequent round. (Draw: Women’s Singles.)

For the curious: that Fila shirt on Sveta’s only for practice, alas, and is not for sale to the public. Sometimes a girl has to have something that’s just hers, yknow?

(image by TSF)

aussie preview: dark horses

Can Lleyton cruise through the draw? If son Cruz had anything to say about it, he would. (photo by getty)

No, “dark horses” is not the name of Martina Hingis‘ favorite Lifetime TV movie, it’s a look at the ladies and gents who might make a kangaroo hop in your draw into a round you just didn’t expect him or her to do. But before we get to those who have been springing spryly lately, let’s take a look at who’s been have a tough time chalking up any “Ws” lately.

Feeling down Down Under

Men: Things have been rough for Fernando Verdasco as of late. The current world no. 9 made quite the impression two years ago in Melbourne when he lost an epic semi to Rafael Nadal that many called the match of the year. But after a solid 2010 US Open, in which he made highlight reels with a spectacular around-the-net post shot to  beat David Ferrer in the round of 16 (he lost in the quarters to – you guessed it – Nadal) Verdasco is a jaw-dropping 2-6, unable to win a match against a player inside the top 50. He’s 0-1 in 2011 and has a tough draw with Rainer Schuettler in round one and a potential second-match against giant-slayer Janko Tipsarevic. | On TSF: Shirtless Fernando

Honorable mention: Juan Martin del Potro. The 2009 US Open champ is ranked no. 236 and is 1-3 since his return in September.

Women: What’s the deal with Sam? For much of 2010 it seemed like Samantha Stosur – the no. 5 seed here – had the whole mid-career transition thing figured out. She made her first appearance in a Slam final (the French), battled past big guns, and held her own in the best women’s match of the US Open in the quarters against Elena Dementieva. But now, the hometown gal seems to have fallen apart. She finished 2010 3-5 and has started this year 2-2. She has the game’s biggest serve and a wicked forehand, but if she can’t corral the power, her backers might not see her get out of week two.

Honorable mention: The Russian duo of Nadia Petrova and Svetlana Kuznetsova are the latest ladies to leave us scratching our heads. Sure, there are plenty of WTA head cases out there, but these two veterans should be a bit more steady.

On the up and up (Down Under, of course)

Let’s start with the ladies: There’s Jarmila Groth, the home-country lady who has a sudden following after winning Hobart on Saturday. Her round one opponent? The “other” Belgian: Yanina Wickmayer. Wickmayer was a finalist in Auckland on week one of the year, so the 2009 US Open semifinalist is a tough cookie to take. Big hitters: Expect Petra Kvitova and Alisa Kleybanova to threaten for spots in week two. And Andrea Petkovic is starting to walk the talk of a big-time player. Petko could face a shaky Venus in the third round. Oh right, Li Na! Li Na!

Where do we even go with the men? Most namely (and recently) there’s David Ferrer, who took out David Nalbandian to win over the weekend in Auckland. Another winner over the weekend was Gilles Simon (Sydney), who is making something of a comeback after missing much of the fall to be a new dad. Stanislas Wawrinka, Kevin Anderson, Xavier Malisse and Janko Tipsarevic all had good starts to the year, as did Lleyton Hewitt who won the exhibition tourney in Kooyong. And another Serb, Victor Troiki, was who Simon conquered in Sydney for the title. The big-serving tall fella could be a test for countryman Novak Djokovic in the third round.

tattoo watch: svetlana kuznetsova gets another

Svetlana Kuznetsova gave us a little peep show before her early exit at this week’s China Open in Beijing. The Russian, seeded tenth at the event, lost to qualifier Roberta Vinci in three sets.

Can’t wait to see the site (or possibly another tattoo)!

China Open: The final four on the women’s side of this combined event: Caro vs. Peer and Li Na vs. Zvonareva. (Draw: here.)

More: Pic of the tattoo up close (but blurry, le sigh) after the cut…

the eye(let)s are the window into fila’s world

Fila chose to go with “zig zag mesh” as their theme for this year’s Wimbledon, putting the ladies in pieces from the Collezione line. They’ve got all the basics in simple silhouettes — cami, tank, polo, double layer tank, skort, dress — with eyelets, ruffling, and ric rac trim (on the skort) to add some flare. And props to Fila for coming up with a warm-up jacket that’s appropriate for covering up the ladies walk onto the court. (Nike didn’t fare so well with trying to dress Azarenka.)

Buy: Fila Collezione Dress, $65; Long Jacket, $75; Skort, $45; all at shop.fila.com.

Fila Draw: Clijsters, the eighth seed, is through to the third round after easy wins over Camerin and Sprem. Up next is Kirilenko before a fourth round match against Henin. The other ladies haven’t fared so well: Szavay lost in the first round to Makarova; Kuzie was upset in the second round by Rodionova. Browse: Ladies’ Singles Draw.

Bonus round: Sveta got her stylized monogram sewn onto the sides of her shoes. <3 Last pic in the gallery above.

(images via Getty Images)

sunday survey: your rome-ment

There were plenty of moments in Rome. Let us break them down for you:

Maria Kirilenko takes out French defending champ Svetlana Kuznetsova, sending Kuzzie’s clay court record this season to almost equal that of fellow ’09 champ Roger Federer in the “Dismal” category.

Ana Ivanovic marches to the semifinals with wins over Victoria Azarenka and Elena Dementieva.

Jelena Jankovic creams Venus Williams, losing just one game in their quarterfinal encounter.

JJ prevails over Serena in a dramatic three-set win, giving her back-to-back wins over the Williams sisters.

Maria Jose Sanchez Martinez beats Caroline Wozniacki, Ivanovic and Jankovic to take the Italian title as an unseeded player.

Which was your Rome-ment? Was one most surprising to you? Did you take pleasure in Ana’s run? Could you believe Sveta exited early again? What do you make of JJ’s wins over the Williams sisters? Is she a threat for the French? Are the Williams sisters a threat themselves? Let us know in the comment section.

(photo by getty images via wta web site)

jet-setting venus gives kelly first ticket

In the past month, Venus Williams has been all over the world. From Melbourne, she spent time in Miami before heading off to Dubai (where she won the title) and Mexico City (another week, another trophy). She arrived in New York today to do some promotion for the Billie Jean King Cup, which happens tomorrow night at the Madison Square Garden.

We couldn’t be more jealous of Kelly Bensimon, the non-tennis-playing housewife (of The Real Housewives of New York City) for getting the first ticket to this year’s event. Let’s just hope our press pass puts us close to ya, Kelkel!

After the cut: Kim and Sveta take in the Knicks game at MSG. [Read more…]

sunday survey: who’s your queen of the bjk?

The Billie Jean King Cup happens tomorrow night at Madison Square Garden, an event that features Venus Williams, Kim Clijsters, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Ana Ivanovic. While this is an exhibition that might not mean much on paper, there is some pride on the line (Ivanovic’s plummet; Kuzy’s ability to play with the top gals; Clijsters’s redemption for her fizzle at the AO; Venus’s continued success from Dubai and Mexico City). Don’t doubt these gals will giving it their all in the world’s most famous arena.

(photo by deleteyourself via flickr)