sharapova launches tag heuer watch in vionnet

Maria Sharapova, before getting bounced out of this week’s Toray Pan Pacific Open by the renascent Kimiko Date, put on her endorsement hat by helping launch Tag Heuer‘s Formula 1 Steel & Ceramic Watch, which, as it sounds, has ceramic and steel both in the bracelet and on the studded bezel (count them: sixty diamonds!). More info here.

Meanwhile, Maria’s wearing burnt red and black checkered pieces (a billowy blouse, of course) from Vionnet and shoes from Cole Haan. Check out Vionnet’s site here.

The tennis: The quarters are set with some “no-names” who have definitely earned their way this far into the tournament (if not the entirety of 2010): Caro Wozniacki vs. A. Radwanska, Coco Vandeweghe against Azarenka, Schiavone will play Kaia Kanepi, and Dementieva plays Zvonareva. To refresh: Coco came through from qualifying, and Kanepi reached the QFs of both Wimbledon and the US Open this year. (Draw: Singles)

(watch info via Luxist)

the fierce 40s

Kimiko Date Krumm wowed us with a return in her late 30s, but her 40s are already looking that much better. A day after stunning top seed Maria Sharapova in the first round at Tokyo, KDK took down Daniela Hantuchova, 13 years her junior, 2-6 6-0 4-0, retired, to move into the third round. Oh, and did we mention it was her 40th birthday?!

History lesson: KDK has taken down the likes of Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, Lindsay Davenport, Iva Majoli and Conchita Martinez at her home tourney. The latter three wins came in 1995, when she was crowned Princess with a win, and the last time she advanced this far. She meets the resurgent Francesca Schiavone in the third round.

More: American Coco Vandeweghe won her fourth match in a row Tokyo with a second-round win over Aravane Rezai. She takes on Julie Goerges, who took down a sputtering Sam Stosur in a second-round clash. Prior to Tokyo, Vandeweghe had lost four straight matches after a quarterfinal run in San Diego.

(ap photo)

greta arn: let’s get clinical

Greta Arn had the distinction (at least around these parts) as the player who took out Laura Robson in the first round of this week’s Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo. She lost in the following round to top seed Caroline Wozniacki. Check out the tourney draw here.

Arn wore Reebok (with some fun eyelet detailing) in her first-rounder against Kim Clijsters at the 2010 US Open. She brought back the skirt for Tokyo, but that top — with nude-colored straps reminiscent of athletic taping — could be from somewhere else (unless she’s covered the logo with that SEWTA patch). Anyone out there with more info?

(image via Getty Images)

she’s killing me, larry!

I don’t even know what to say about that layering job. Whatever gets the job done, I guess? Marion Bartoli, 11th seed at this week’s Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, made quick work of Ana Ivanovic, beating the Serb 6-2, 6-1. Up next is Vika Azarenka. (Draw: Singles)

Buy: Nike Fall Challenge Glow Tank, Voltage Cherry, $50, TW.

(image via Getty Images)

in our next life, can we come back as graphite?

Maria Kirilenko notched a first round win versus Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez in the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo. She beat the tough Spaniard 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-1, and I’m seriously hoping for a good end-of-the-season run to close out a moderately successful season: two doubles titles — San Diego with Zheng Jie; Cincy with Vika — plus that singles QF appearance at the Australian Open. (Draw: Toray PPO Singles)

Buy: adidas Fall Barricade Tank, Collegiate Purple/Radiant Red, $32, TW.

(image via Getty Images)

jelena jankovic goes yellow and purple in tokyo

Jelena Jankovic‘s purple ANTA dress from the 2010 US Open has given way to a yellow version, showing this week at the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo. She’s pariing them with white shoes with purple detail.

Bracket: In the singles draw, Jelena is still on track to defend her finals appearance last year (she lost to Maria Sharapova) with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Alona Bondarenko. She’ll play the winner of Kanepi vs. peer in the the quarters. Meanwhile, Masha, the defending champ, bowed out to Kimiko Date-Krumm 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 in her first meeting against the Japanese veteran. (Draw: Singles)

(images via Getty Images)

the tsf interview with laura robson

Walking up to the grounds for day one of Wimbledon in 2009, I was surprised to hear most English tennis fans weren’t really talking about Andy Murray or the Rafa-Roger rivalry, but instead about the new starlet of British tennis: Laura Robson.

The year before, Laura had won the Girl’s Singles title at Wimbledon, becoming the first home-grown champion in the singles bracket since 1984 and launching her into a kind of celebrity that garnered her an opening-day billing on Court No. 2 at the Championships in 2009. And this just wasn’t any opening-day match, but rather one that was opening the new stadium, making Robson the name to watch on the court’s first-ever match.

Since her run at Wimbledon in ’08 and her ’09 ceremonial opening, Robson has made a habit of playing a contained schedule mixed of both girlsjunior events and WTA and ITF circuit matches. The past two US Opens, the 16-year-old Brit has bowed out in the the third round of qualifying, just short of a shot at the main draw.

This week in Tokyo, however, Robson qualified for the main draw [PDF] of a WTA tournament for just the second time in her career (Birmingham, 2010). She lost in the opening round to Greta Arn, but some say the calculated approach by Team Robson to keep the young Brit on a light schedule and continue to grow her physically and mentally (she played one official tournament between Wimbledon and the Open) could pay dividends in her future.

But before we get all crystal ball on you, we were happy to get a few questions into Laura via email. She’s an active Tweeter, with a good sense of (dry, British) humor, and has professed love for Neil Patrick Harris, Chipotle, YouTube watching, Bikram yoga, fantasy football (soccer) and much, much more.

TSF: If you could meet Neil Patrick Harris in person, what would you ask him?

Laura Robson: I would ask “How did you get so cool?”.

TSF: After winning a match in the States, are you most likely headed to a Chipotle? How many times did you go there while in New York?

LR: After a match I am most likely to head anywhere that is going to be relatively quick, Chipotle is perfect for that reason. We must have gone there 5 or 6 times throughout the whole trip.

TSF: What’s your hidden talent? Like something that would make you a YouTube star?

LR: I can juggle pretty well. Really bad singers also become popular on YouTube. I could be one of those people.

TSF: Last year it was “Party in the USA.” What song are you jamming out to at this US Open?

LR: This US Open I was rocking out to Lenny Kravitz, Drake and I listen to a lot of Dubstep music (if you haven’t heard any Dubstep, YouTube ‘Four Floors (Diplo Edit) – Sunday Girl‘). Sounds amazing on massive speakers.

More with Laura Robson, BFF to FortyDeuceTwits, after the cut. [Read more…]

trophy watch: kerchiefs, gang signs, pearl studs, and gold crosses

Moscow, represent: Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova bagged her first title since tearing it up on the clay courts in early 2009 (with titles in Stuttgart and Roland Garros) by defeating Agnieszka Radwanska in the final of the China Open. Not sure if it’s this new positive aura of hers, but she was lookin’ damn good in the cap-sleeve top from Fila‘s fall Heritage collection. (Buy: $38.99 at TW)

Nole, unveiled: Were we really surprised that there was a Serbian striptease after Novak Djokovic won the men’s singles title at the China Open? He took out Marin Cilic 6-2, 7-6 (4) in a rain-addled final. Nole now has three titles (Dubai and Serbia Open); he heads Shanghai to take part in the Shanghai Masters tourney (this week).

If you know what’s going on with the bandana wrapped around their wrists, hit me up.

Stud, studded: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and his pearl studs were no match for Mikhail Youzhny in the Japan Open. The Frenchman won 6-3, 6-3. Props to Youzhny, though, who beat Gilles Simon, Tomas Berdych, and Lleyton Hewitt on his way to the final. That one-handed backhand was smokin’!

Seal of approval: That chinese name stamp the China Open tourney organizers gave to Marat Safin after his swan song in Beijing was a cool concept.

i snooze and i lose, but lleyton wins

We probably can’t teach old dog new tricks, so we’re stuck dozing off while looking at pics of Lleyton Hewitt languishing in Yonex. (Can he retire already? Please?)

The Aussie won his first rounder at this week’s Rakuten Japan Open, taking out wildcard Tatsuma Ito 6-1, 7-5. Couple this with top seed Juan Martin del Potro‘s first-round loss to Edouard Roger-Vasselin and Lleyton has a decent shot to get to the quarterfinals!

Buy: For those absolutely interested, you can pick up versions of the Yonex New York Crew for $44.99.

(image via Getty)