trophy watch: beijing goes big, orbs in japan, and a little slice of belgium

Frenchie Adrian Mannarino (Troy!) took out Steve Darcis in straight sets to take this little slice of the Ethias Tennis Trophy in Mons, Belgium.

At the Rakuten Japan Open in Tokyo, Rafael Nadal beat Gael Monfils 6-1, 7-5 to grab his first post-US Open title this year. (He lost to Gigi Lopez in the Bangkok semis last week.)

On the doubles side, Eric Butorac and former Bruin Jean-Julien Rojer won the final match against Fila boys Dmitry Tursunov and Andreas Seppi. Two snaps to Prince and Nike for coordinating the colors on the kits of the winning team.

And in Beijing, rain-delayed finals didn’t produce any upsets, with defending champ Djokovic and Wozniacki fending off Ferrer and Zvonareva. Caro takes her second trophy this week (the first for reaching the world No. 1 ranking by overcoming break advantages from Vera in the first set. (The Russian even won the second set.) Both ladies can take this performance as a confidence boost going into the women’s year-end championships, held in Doha.

(images via Getty Images)

do not pass go, do not collect $200

Gael Monfils upset No. 2 seed Andy Roddick at the Rakuten Japan Open in Tokyo this week. The 7-6 (5), 4-6, 7-6 (6) victory puts Monfils’s head-to-head with the top American 5-3.

Gael will face Stepanek in the semis. The top-half match-up is Nadal vs. Trocki. (Draw: Singles)

(Monfils image via Getty Images; Jimbo image src)

radek stepanek: a study in scales

Novak Djokovic might be getting all the buzz for his avian- and dragon-themed polos from Tacchini, but let’s not forget about veteran Radek Stepanek in Alea. Save for a little bland hiccup for the 2010 US Open Series — where he wore mostly white with some gold detail — the Czech’s been playing in eye-popping kits, including his patriotic Davis Cup uniform, his purples from earlier this year, and now this orange/black scaley polo that’s giving Nole’s current take on reptilia a run for its money.

Tourney time: Stepanek’s playing at this week’s Rakuten Japan Open in Tokyo. He goes up against Jarkko Nieminen in the quarters. (Deets: Visit the tourney site.)

More: A few other shots from Radek’s match against Marco Chiudinelli after the cut…

wilson: on their way to a finnished product

Wilson needs to hustle in order to bring their men’s line up to par with the terrific women’s Fall 2010 collection. At this week’s Rakuten Japan Open, Jarkko Nieminen wears a blue/white/grew crew, the same shirt he wore for the year’s final major. Note the dotted line that gives more definition to the Finn’s back.

Draw: In Tokyo, Jarkko faces Radek Stepanek in the final eight. He shares the same half of the draw as Gael Monfils and Andy Roddick. Meanwhile, Nadal, Gigi Lopez, and Melzer are still alive in the top half. (More: See all the stats here.)

santiago’s yummy tummy

That’s shotmaking face is pretty intense, but I’m not looking up there anyway.

Santiago Giraldo lost to top seed Rafa Nadal in the first round of the Rakuten Japan Open in Tokyo. Up next for Nadal is Milos Raonic.

Draw: See how the rest of the seeds are doing — including Andy Roddick, Tsonga, Melzer, Monfils — by browsing the bracket.

(image via Getty)

trophy watch: in asia, the week of three-setters

Malaysian Open: Fourth seed Mikhail Youzhny bagged his second title of the year by taking out Andrey Golubev 6-7 (7), 6-2, 7-6 (3) in Kuala Lumpur. “I cannot say I showed by best tennis here,” shared Youzhny, “but, although it’s good when you show your best tennis and win the tournament, it’s probably better sometimes when you don’t show your really best game but you have a really good result.” The Russian also won the BMW Open, on clay, back in May.

PTT Thailand Open: All the big players bit the dust — including Rafael Nadal and the rusty Juan Martin Del Potro, Verdasco, Melzer — leaving Guillermo Garcia-Lopez to square off against Jarkko Nieminen in the finals. The scoreline, in Gigi’s favor: 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. This was the Spaniard’s second final of 2010 and the first title. “It has been an unbelievable week for me, from the first round to the final. Every match is different. I think I played relaxed, enjoyed my game and everything was perfect. It’s hard to express what it means, I’m really happy inside.”

Toray Pan-Pacific Open: Over in Tokyo, top seed Caroline Wozniacki fended off an upset by Elena Dementieva with a 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory.

Exo: And Nole won an exo over Andy Roddick in Seoul. The blooper reel’s here.

(images via Getty Images)

ellesse on court

To those who geek out over this stuff, what the chair umps and ballgirls are wearing at this week’s Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo. By Ellesse, of course. (Under that track jacket is a polo in the same shade. On the chest is just the Ellesse logo with no fancy crest.)

More: Another few pics — including the ballgirl outfit — after the cut…

for k-swiss’ fall, a potent purple

The second drop of clothes from K-Swiss for Fall/Winter 2010 includes a darker purple than the hyachinth worn by Kateryna Bondarenko earlier this fall. (Flashback: K-Swiss at the US Open.) This shade — called Potent Purple — appears in the line’s every offering, with each piece having its own special detail, like the thumbhole on the cuffs of the half-zip, the ribbon trim on the pleated skort, and the straps on the a-line dress, the tankini, and the tank. Take a gander below and you’ll see what we mean.

Draw: Meanwhile, Vera Zvonareva‘s great runs within the last calendar year have cemented her reign atop the Russian WTA rankings. Unfortunately, compatriot Elena Dementieva sent her down memory lane with straight-set upset in the quarterfinals of this week’s Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo. Dementieva next plays Schiavone. (Draw: Singles)

Browse: Check them the goods out — including product info — [Read more...]

elena dementieva reaches the semis in tokyo

Elena Dementieva is through to the semifinals at the Toray Pan Pacific Open after taking out second seed Vera Zvonareva 7-5, 6-2. Up next for Elena is Francesca Schiavone. On the other side, Caroline Wozniacki advanced to the semis after Agnieszka Radwanska retired with a left foot injury; the Dane’s slated to face Azarenka. (Draw: Singles)

Meanwhile, Dementieva’s shed that muumuu everyone groaned about (from the US Open), replacing it with separates in the same shade but with a shiny layer of fabric to help accentuate her shape.

Update: This set won’t be available for sale stateside. Our next Yonex option will be what Lena’s wearing for the 2011 Australian Open.

More: A few other pics of Dementieva after the cut…