stepanek plays munich doubles with haas



How refreshingly non-abrasive is this Alea polo currently on Radek Stepanek? Perfect complement to the clay courts in Munich at the BMW Open, definitely. The Czech’s is still in the running for singles, taking out Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 6-0 in the quarters and will next play Kolya (!!). The other semi will be all-German, pitting Petzschner against Mayer. Draw: BMW Open Singles.

It was also good to see Tommy Haas back in action after a long recovery from shoulder and hip surgery. (Haas went under the knife back in February 2010). He teamed up with Stepanek (Tommy’s neighbor in Florida) for doubles; they lost in the first round to Simon Aspelin and Paul Hanley. Looking forward: Haas is eyeing Halle, the French, and Wimbledon as tournaments to play this year.

(images by CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/Getty Images)

tommy haas, en fuego



Speaking of our HOATs (it’s that kind of a day), Tommy Haas was locked in a five-set battle against Janko Tipsarevic, which rendered us useless (and awake) for a few hours last night. Haas won and will now face Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the third round. Draw: View his section of the draw here.

Tommy’s smokin’: The German’s no longer peddling K-Swiss goods, instead wearing pieces with the flame logo of Solfire, a Miami-based clothing company founded by artist Brendan Murphy. Note the use of graphics on the side and back of Tommy’s shirts. Check out some of the line (though not these specific performance pieces) on their site. We haven’t asked K-Swiss about who’s taking over Tommy’s place, but we’ll let you know when we find out anything more.

Uhm, can someone get him an underwear sponsor already? All that running around from side to side — it must hurt.

Bonus round: Yep, we couldn’t stop staring at his tummy, either.

(images via Getty Images)

short balls wednesday



Tennis players are human, too: Some need hookers, some need meth. Others need a better immune system. It was revealed earlier this week that touring pro Tommy Haas is recovering from swine flu and is out of Basel and Paris to finish the season. See ya next year, TomTom.

B-listed in Bali: It’s strange that the women’s tour, which had its season-ending tournament last week, has another tour stop in Bali this week, don’t you think? We think so. The girls looked a little overworked in this photo gallery put together by the WTA. Ready for holiday and rest time, ladies? You deserve it. And shouldn’t it be called the “Tournament of Almost Champions“? Just seems a little more appropriate… 

Inside peek, hold the cheese: The ATP has put together a solid video package for it’s “Uncovered” series, and this week features Novak Djokovic. The videos come with sit-down interviews and a look at the players’ off-court lives. While lots of stuff the tours put together can sometimes seem forced and overdone, we’re liking the professionalism and simplicity of these vids. James Blake was last week’s star. Now let’s talk about re-working that intro…

Talking heads: Two gals – Jennifer Williams and Brittany Umar – have been talking up tennis the past couple of weeks on the web. Williams is a regular reporter for ESPN.com’s Digital Serve, while Umar was a fill-in for TennisWeek.com‘s regular host, Carrie Milbank. While we respect these ladies for chatting up the tour online, we’re wondering if this is the future of tennis media online? Williams has her wits about her, but Umar seems to mostly be entrenched as a business reporter.

Painful good-bye: Stephanie Myles writes in the the Vancouver Sun that the WTA season has limped to a close this year. Good thing the girls are done battling. But the men? They still have three weeks left.

Au revoir, Roland?: A delayed stadium project in Paris could end up moving the French Open completely. Officials are trying to work with city council members to avoid having to move the beloved clay major, but it might be inevitable, one official said. So where to, we wonder?

too much tommy



Tommy Haas reached the third round of the 2009 French Open by defeating Leonardo Mayer in five sets: 6-3, 7-6 (2), 3-6, 4-6, 6-3. Up next is Jeremy Chardy, who also needed to go all the way with a 6-2, 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-1 victory over Simone Bolelli.

Buy: Tommy played in the K-Swiss Summer Sublimated Crew, available in white/black and white/online lime for $44.99 at TW. (A polo version is available for $10 more.)

Meanwhile, I’d tell you where to buy Tommy’s underwear, but we’re not entirely sure he was wearing any.

shoeless in san jose



By Nick McCarvel

pete-sampras-sanjose09

Pete Sampras has been going exo-crazy recently (perhaps the coffers are a little emptier around tax season?), making a brief cameo at last week’s SAP Open in San Jose, battling it out with Tommy Haas; the German won 7-6(4), 4-6, 12-10.

During the Sampras avoided any talk of coming out of retirement by talking about every relevant tennis player but himself.

On Roger Federer: “He’s young enough. He’s fresh enough. He’s not 30,” Sampras said. “Having a few years left, I see him doing it. But there are going to be a few guys that are going to push him. It’s just inevitable that he’s going to do it here in the next probably year.”

On Roddick‘s and Blake‘s not being “Rafa” or “Nole” enough to beat Roger: “Andy’s got the power but maybe doesn’t have the athletic ability, and someone like James, who has the athletic ability, but doesn’t have the power… It’s kind of a tough matchup for them, for both those guys.

“Seems like James can stay with Roger. I just think they play similar games and Roger is a little bit better than James at it. And Roddick can overpower Roger at times, but at the same time doesn’t move well enough from the back court to really get into these exchanges, that someone like Djokovic can.”

Video: See Sampras’ SAP Open here, courtesy of Doug Schwartz.

And Pete gave the San Jose crowd a little wardrobe malfunction during his match, ending with a loose shoe on the court. He gave fans one reminiscent moment when losing his shoe on court. This time the ball boy didn’t have to dig in his shorts to rescue the on-court necessity like at Wimbledon ’01.

Choo choo: Sampras went on to Boston and downed John McEnroe to take that city’s Champions Cup title, but not before participating in a mixed doubles match with Anna Kournikova, among others. And in this week’s Regions Morgan Keegan tourney in Memphis, he lost to Lleyton Hewitt 7-5, 6-4.