tattoo watch: potito starace

Potito Starace got tangled in Andy Murray‘s medusa at this week’s Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. Potito went down 2-6, 3-6 to the fourth seed, who next faces Florian Mayer. The other six quarterfinalists are Nadal/Cilic, Gasquet (who beat Federer in three with two tiebreaks going his way)/Berdych, and whomever wins these third-rounders: Soderling vs. Almagro and Djokovic vs. Wawrinka. (Draw: Rome Men’s Singles)

Tattoo watch: We hadn’t seen that one on his upper right arm before. Archives: Potito’s shoulder.

(image by Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images)

stefan koubek retires

One less for Tattoo Watch to keep tabs on now that pseudo-tramp-stamped Austrian Stefan Koubek has announced his retirement.

The 34-year-old ATPer, ranked 261st, plans to finish his pro career off with an exhibition match on July 30. “I wanted to play Roland Garros and Wimbledon one more time but I won’t make it,” he told the press. “Once you’ve decided to quit, you lose your motivation.”

More: Here are pics we took of Koubek back in March. Yes, you saw that correctly: it’s a chinese character superimposed over a tribal pattern. He has his cake and eats it, too!

(photos by TSF)

tattoo watch: adrian ungur

Romania’s Adrian Ungur has made it through to the second round of this week’s Serbia Open by beating Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in the first round (and qualifying for a spot in the main draw). Unfortunately, that’s probably where it’ll end; he faces Novak Djokovic in the hometown hero’s opening match tonight.

Tattoo watch: Ungur told TSF (by way of the Serbia Open media folks) that the hip tat you see peeking out of his shorts means “respect” and “honor” in Chinese. Open season: And he also revealed that he has four more: a star on his hand; the initials of his wife; a bracelet on his upper right arm; and an old Georgian saying on his arm. Let the photo hunting begin!

(images via serbiaopen.rs)

tattoo watch: simone vagnozzi

Consolation prize: As sad as it is that Pico peaced out early at this week’s Barcelona Open, TSF found the silver lining: an inner-arm tat on Italian Simone Vagnozzi, who upset 16th seed Monaco 6-3, 6-2 in the second round. Vagnozzi fell in the subsequent round to Juan Carlos Ferrero. (Archives: TSF Tattoo Watch)

If anyone out there has a better pic, we’d love to see it!

Read up: Vagnozzi’s page on the ATP site.

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tattoo watch: the right hand of god on daniel koellerer

A close-up of another tattoo on tennis bad boy Daniel Kollerer. Written on his shoulder is the phrase “La Mano Destra Di Dio” — the right hand of god. (Flashback Here’s the one on his forearm.)

This year, the ATP website lists him as having played only one tournament (and winning it!) — a futures event in Turkey last month.

(photo via tennis.it)

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…

tattoo watch: bethanie mattek-sands

The inside of Bethanie Mattek-Sands‘ right arm has a colorful floral tattoo. Here she is during yesterday’s second-round match at the Pilot Pen Tennis at Yale against Nadia Petrova (Sands lost 6-3, 6-2.) Nads faces Sam Stosur in what has turned out to be a solid quarterfinal line-up at this year’s tourney: Wozniacki / Pennetta, Dementieva / Bartoli, Kirilenko / Safina, and Nads/Stosur. (Draw: Women’s event)

the girl with the roger federer tattoo

(Editor Update: As of July 2012 we are focusing our tennis coverage — yes, including a tattoo watch! — over at Tennis Now. Check us out there.)

Just in time for Wimbledon, TSF discovered a big-time Roger Federer fan who wears her pride on her sleeve… er, to be exact, the underside of her wrist. Always.

Michele Drohan is avid tennis player who lives in Manhattan and works for a video and TV product company called Sling Media. She also happens to have the RF logo tattooed onto her wrist, something few fans can claim. We bring you the story of Michele, her tattoo, and the way it all came about.

TSF: When did you get the tattoo?
Michele Doran: I got the tattoo the same day Fed (finally!) won the French Open, in 2009.

TSF: Good timing. Tell me about the thought process of why you got it.
MD: The fact that Fed had completed the career grand slam and tied Sampras‘s record was a special moment for me as a long-time, die-hard fan. My best friend, Caroline, jokingly bet me that if he won I should get a tattoo. And it just made sense at the time. It might sound strange to the non-fan, but I did it, in part, because I felt I wanted to honor his accomplishments, like I owed him. He’s brought me so much joy, and a fair share of anxiety, watching him play and I truly believe there will never be another like him.

TSF: Fair enough. But what about those people in your life who have brought you joy (and anxiety) personally? Weren’t there a few that were completely against it?
MD: Nobody influential was against it, but I have friends who bristle at it, mostly because they’re jealous, frustrated Roddick fans. (Insert sly laughter here.) Again, Caroline my best friend — and fellow fanatic — was totally for it and with me when I got it. She got a tattoo, too, but nothing tennis related. It was definitely a celebratory day. Maybe we were a little drunk. But I don’t regret it at all.

TSF: More power to you (and Caroline)! Do you have other tattoos?
MD: I have three other tattoos. A small rose on my back, a snake on my arm (which I tried to get removed unsuccessfully — long story) and another flower on my ankle. So getting the RF tattoo wasn’t a stretch per se. Once you have one tattoo, getting another isn’t a huge deal.

TSF: OK, got it. I haven’t delved into that yet. But I was thinking of a vintage Mary Pierce pony tail down my neck and back. No? For you, why the RF? Do you have a big obsession with Roger? Or just love the design? Or both?
MD: As for the RF, it was totally and completely for Federer. Yes, some would say I’m obsessed. I guess I’m just lucky he has such a fabulous logo.

More from Michele and shots of her RF ink after the cut. [Read more…]

tattoo watch: philipp kohlschreiber

German Philipp Kohlschreiber fell to second seed Nole Djokovic at the 2010 BNP Paribas Open — but not without a fight. He took the second set and pushed Djokovic to a tiebreak in the third, exposing the Serb’s weakened game; Djokovic lost to veteran Ivan Ljubicic 7-5, 6-3 in the round after. Up next for Ivan in the quarters is Juan Monaco (!), who beat Gigi Lopez in three sets. (Draw: Men’s Singles.)

Buy: adidas Men’s Spring Competition Crew, in black/core teal/white, $38.99; the Barricade-esque Tirand III, $59.95.

Tattoo Watch: TSF ran into Kohlschreiber during one of his practice sessions. Did you know he has a tattoo on his right shoulder? Up close: See it after the cut…