Lacoste

Top 5 items in the Roland Garros shop

We’re just one week away from the French Open. Cue the excitement! Don’t worry, if you haven’t booked your tickets yet, you can still get the Roland Garros experience (or at least pretend you did) by visiting their shop online.

For the Fashionista

 

If you’re looking for a little more than your average souvenir t-shirt, you may want to check out this great Lacoste blazer, emblazoned with the company’s signature croc and the words “Roland Garros” underneath. Fashion doesn’t come cheap though, this lovely jacket will set you back a 168 euros, or the equivalent of $215, plus shipping…

For the T-Shirt Collector

 

There are plenty of people, me being one of them, who like to bring back a t-shirt from each tournament they visit. Personally, I would usually go with the Roland Garros poster shirt of the year, but the 2012 design just doesn’t do it for me. This shirt, on the other hand, has a cool vintage feel, and even though it’s billed as a men’s shirt, athletic t-shirts can really go either way.

For the Hardcore Fan

Can’t make it to Paris? Bring a little bit of Paris to you with this jar of red clay. What? You think a $20 bottle of dirt is a little much? That’s why it’s for hardcore fans only.

For the Timepiece Enthusiast 

Are swatches still popular? I’m not really sure, but I would definitely sport this special Roland Garros edition. It even comes in a novelty tennis ball case! Plus, the numbers on the dial glow in the dark, so you will always know when to wake up for those early morning matches.

For the Bargain Hunter

Every good shop has a sale section, and that includes RG. You’ll find your pick of last year’s designs as well as this lovely Lacoste number, which doesn’t include a year so it’ll never go out of style. The best part? It’s marked down to more than half off the original price and it’s available in three colors.

Andy Roddick Comments on Djokovic-Nadal and Kickstarts Super Bowl Festivities

Andy Roddick hasn’t been seen on a tennis court since retiring to Lleyton Hewitt in the second round of the Australian Open, but he was in full force this weekend in Indianapolis, Indiana, kickstarting the Super Bowl festivities with his wife Brooklyn Decker. The star-studded event sponsored by GQ, Lacoste, and Patron Tequila featured musical entertainment provided by LL Cool J and The Roots drummer Questlove, who manned the deejay booth, as well as appearances by Terrell Owens, Erin Andrews, and Adam Levine among others.

On Thursday, Roddick disclosed to the media that an MRI showed a partial tear in his hamstring tendon that he sustained during the Australian Open, but that he expects to be ready for the SAP Open tournament in San Jose, California with his first-round match schedule for February 15th.

“It’s a concern. I haven’t hit a ball since Australia. We’ve just been working on different types of treatment trying to get it right. The MRI came back probably not as good as we were hoping. I’m hoping to be hitting balls for the first time next Monday, and that should get me. If all goes well there, that should be plenty of time to be ready.”

Roddick was also asked if he watched the six-hour battle between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal for the Australian Open title, but the American said he found it hard to set his alarm for one in the morning when not playing in a tournament. But he was impressed by what he did see of that final.

“It almost looks like the kind of tennis you see when you play Xbox where the guys really don’t get tired and they hit whatever shot they want. It’s pretty remarkable. I know probably at no time in my career, and I’ve been in pretty good shape throughout it, I don’t know if I could play back to back six hour matches of that intensity. What they’re doing is physically impressive.”

But all was not lost as Roddick was able to celebrate during the pre-Super Bowl party in Indianapolis this weekend, and the highlight of the night came in the form of Decker’s “date.” She ditched her husband Roddick for her “Battleship” director’s 12-year-old son Emmett Berg who cheerily obliged for a kiss from the model/actress. Decker went casual, looking comfortable in a Proenza Schouler dress with Net-a-Porter shoes to complement an edgy feel.

Likewise, Roddick dressed-down and looking dapper in a Lacoste polo and jeans.

Both made the rounds and got cozy with LL Cool J …

… and Andy finally shined his smile when catching up with football players Hines Ward, Greg Jennings and good friend Terrell Owens.

(images via Getty and GQ)

Roger Federer And The Ghost Of Bill Tilden

Roger Federer is looking to join Bill Tilden as the only player to win six straight U.S. men’s singles titles when he plays Juan Martin del Potro in the 2009 US Open final Monday. Tilden won his six straight men’s singles titles from 1920 to 1926 – and he earned a seventh title again in 1929 in a final that was played 80 years ago exactly to the day of Federer’s match with del Potro.

In that match in 1929, Tilden, 36, won his seventh – and final – U.S. men’s singles crown, defeating fellow “oldie” 35-year-old Francis Hunter 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 in the championship tilt. Tilden’s seventh title tied him with Richard Sears and Bill Larned for the record of most U.S. men’s singles titles. At age 36, Tilden became the oldest U.S. singles champion since Larned won his last two titles in 1910 and 1911 at ages 37 and 38. Wrote Allison Danzig of the New York Times, “The match went to five sets, with Tilden trailing 2 to 1, but there was never any question as to the ultimate reckoning and the final two chapters found the once invincible monarch of the courts electrifying the gallery as of yore with a withering onslaught of drives and service aces that brooked no opposition.” Bud Collins, In his book THE BUD COLLINS HISTORY OF TENNIS, calls the 1929 U.S. men’s final “The Geezer’s Gala” as the combined age of both finalists – 71 years – ranks second only to the 1908 Wimbledon final played between Arthur Gore, 40 and Herbert Roper Barrett, 34.

Collins, in his book THE BUD COLLINS HISTORY OF TENNIS tome, summarizes the career of Tilden below in his book excerpt.

Bill Tilden

United States (1893–1953)

Hall of Fame—1959

If a player’s value is measured by the dominance and influ­ence he exercises over a sport, then William Tatem “Big Bill” Til­den II could be considered the greatest player in the history of tennis.

From 1920 through 1926, he dominated the game as has no player before or since. During those years he was invincible in the United States, won Wimbledon three of the six times he com­peted there, and captured 13 successive singles matches in the Davis Cup challenge round against the best players from Austra­lia, France and Japan.

With the Bills, Tilden and Johnston, at the core, the U.S. seized the Davis Cup from Australasia in 1920, and kept it a record seven years. But by 1927, the Bills were no longer impervious, and France took over, 3-2, on the last day, in Philadelphia—Rene Lacoste beating Big Bill, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, and Henri Cochet floor­ing Little Bill, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.

As an amateur (1912-30), Tilden won 138 of 192 tournaments, lost 28 finals and had a 907-62 match record—a phenomenal .936 average. His last major triumph, the Wimbledon singles of 1930, gave him a total of 10 majors, standing as the male high until topped by Roy Emerson (12) in 1967. Bill missed another by two match points he held against René Lacoste in the 1927 French final. He won the U.S. mixed with Mary K. Browne in 1913-14, but had been beaten in the first round of the 1912 singles at New­port by fellow Philadelphian Wallace Johnson (whom he would defeat in the 1921 final). He didn’t feel sure enough of his garne to try again until 1916, in New York. He was 23, a first-round loser to a kid named Harold Throckmorton. Ignominious, tardy starts in an illustrious career that would contain seven U.S. titles and 69 match victories (a record 42 straight between 1920 and 1926).

By 1918, a war-riddled year, he got to the final, to be blown away by a bullet-serving Lindley Murray, 6-3, 6-1, 7-5. But he’d be back: seven more finals in a row. In 1918, Big Bill’s electrifying rivalry with Little Bill Johnston began—six U.S. finals in seven years, more than any other two men skirmished for a major. After losing to Little Bill in 1919, 6-4, 6-4, 6-3, Tilden, disgusted with his puny defensive backhand, hid out all winter at the indoor court of a friend, J.D.E. Jones, in Providence, retooling. He emerged with a brand new, fearsome, multifaceted backhand and com­plete game, and was ready to conquer the world. He did not lose to Little Bill again in a U.S. final, and held an 11-6 edge in their rivalry. His concentration could be awesome, as during a two-tournament stretch in 1925 when he won 57 straight games at Glen Cove, N.Y., and Providence. Trailing Alfred Chapin, one of few to hold a win over him, 3-4 in the final, he ran it out, 6-4, 6-0, 6-0. Staying in tune on the next stop, he won three straight 6-0, 6-0 matches, then 6-0, 6-1. Another 6-1 set made it 75 of 77 games.

When he first won Wimbledon in 1920, over defender Gerald Patterson 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4, he was 27 years old, an advanced age for a champion. But he had a long and influential career, and at the age of 52 in 1945, he was still able to push the 27-year-old Bobby Riggs to the limit in a professional match.

Tilden, a right-hander, born Feb. 10, 1893, in Philadelphia, had the ideal tennis build, 6-foot-2, 155 pounds, with thin shanks and big shoulders. He had speed and nimbleness, coordination and perfect balance. He also had marked endurance, despite smok­ing cigarettes incessantly when not playing. In stroke equipment, he had the weapons to launch an overpowering assault and the resources to defend and confound through a variety of spins and pace when the opponent was impervious to sheer power. Surface didn’t matter. He won the U.S. Clay Court singles seven times: 1918 and 1922–27.

Nobody had a more devastating serve than Tilden’s cannon­ball, or a more challenging second serve than his kicking Amer­ican twist. No player had a stronger combination of forehand and backhand drives, supplemented by a forehand chop and backhand slice. Tilden’s mixture of shots was a revelation in his first appearance at Wimbledon. Patterson found his backcourt untenable and was passed over and over when he went to the net behind his powerful serve.

The backcourt was where Tilden played tennis. He was no advocate of the “big game”—the big serve and rush for the net for the instant volley coup. He relished playing tennis as a game of chess, matching wits as well as physical powers. The drop shot, at which he was particularly adroit, and the lob were among his disconcerting weapons.

His knowledge and mastery of spin has hardly ever been exceeded, as evidenced not only on the court but also in his Match Play and the Spin of the Ball—a classic written more than half a century ago. Yes, Tilden was a writer, too, but he longed to be an actor above anything else. Unsuccessful in his efforts to the point of sinking most of his family wealth, his tennis earnings and his writing royalties into the theater, he was happiest when playing on the heartstrings of a tennis gallery.

Intelligent and opinionated, he was a man of strong likes and dislikes. He had highly successful friends, both men and women, who were devoted to him, and there were others who disliked him and considered him arrogant and inconsiderate of officials and ball boys who served at his matches. He was con­standy wrangling with officers and committeemen of the USTA on Davis Cup policy and enforcement of the amateur rule, and in 1928, he was on the front pages of the American press when he was removed as captain and star player of the Davis Cup team, charged with violating the amateur rule with his press accounts of the Wimbledon Championships, in which he was competing. So angry were the French over the loss of the star member of the cast for the Davis Cup challenge round—the first ever held on French soil—that the American ambassador, Myron T. Herrick interceded for the sake of good relations between the countries, and Tilden was restored to the team.

When Tilden, in the opening match, beat René Lacoste, 1-6, 6-4, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3, the French gallery suffered agony and cursed themselves for insisting that “Teel-den” be restored to the team. It all ended happily for them, however as the French won the other four matches and kept the Davis Cup. On Tilden’s return home, he was brought up on the charges of violating the rule at Wimbledon. He was found guilty and was suspended from play­ing in the U.S. Championships that year.

Eligible for the U.S. title again in 1929, after the lifting of his suspension, he won it for the seventh time, defeating his doubles partner, Frank Hunter, 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4. In 1930, he won Wimble­don for the third time, at the age of 37, over countryman Wilmer Allison, 6-3, 9-7, 6-4. After the U.S. Championships, in which he was beaten in the semis by champion John Doeg, he notified the USTA of his intention to make a series of motion pictures for profit, thus disqualifying himself for further play as an ama­teur. He was in the world’s Top 10 from 1919 through 1930, No. 1 a record six times (1920-25)—equalled by Pete Sampras in 1998—and in the U.S. Top 10 for 12 straight years from 1918, No. 1 a record 10 times, 1920–29.

In 1931, he entered upon a professional playing career, join­ing one-time partner Vinnie Richards, Germans Hans Nusslein and Roman Najuch, and Czech Karel Kozeluh. Tilden’s name revived pro tennis, which had languished since its inception in 1926 when Suzanne Lenglen went on tour. His joining the pros paved the way for Ellsworth Vines, Fred Perry and Don Budge to leave the amateur ranks and play for big prize money. Tilden won his pro debut against Kozeluh, 6-4, 6-2, 6-4, before 13,000 fans in Madison Square Garden.

Joining promoter Bill O’Brien, Tilden toured the country in 1932 and 1933, but the Depression was on and new blood was needed. Vines furnished it. Tilden and O’Brien signed him on, and in 1934 Tilden defeated Vines in the younger man’s pro debut, 8-6, 6-3, 6-2, before a turnaway crowd of 16,200 at Madison Square Garden. That year, Tilden and Vines went on the first of the great tennis tours, won by Vines, 47-26.

The tours grew in the 1930s and 1940s, and Tilden remained an attraction even though he was approaching the age of 50. For years he traveled across the country, driving by day and some­times all night and then going on a court a few hours after arriv­ing. At times, when he was managing his tour, he had to help set the stage for the matches.

Tragically, his activity and fortunes dwindled after his convic­tion on a morals charge (a time less understanding of homosexu­ality), and imprisonment in 1947, and again in 1949 for parole violation (both terms less than a year). He died of a heart attack under pitiful circumstances, alone and with few resources, on June 5, 1953, in Los Angeles. His bag was packed for a trip to Cleveland to play in the U.S. Pro Championships when perhaps the greatest tennis player of them all was found dead in his room.

MAJOR TITLES (21)—Wimbledon singles. 1920, 1921, 1930; U.S. singles, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1925, 1929; Wimbledon doubles, 1927; U.S. doubles, 1918, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1927; French mixed, 1930; U.S. mixed 1913, 1914, 1922, 1923. OTHER U.S.TITLES (19)—Indoor singles, 1920; Indoor doubles, 1919, 1920, with Vinnie Richards; 1926, with Frank Anderson; 1929, with Frank Hunter; Indoor mixed, 1921, 1922, with Molla Mallory; 1924, with Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman; Clay Court singles, 1918, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1925, 1926, 1927; Pro singles. 1931, 1935; Pro doubles, 1932, with Bruce Barnes; 1945, with Vinnie Richards. DAVIS CUP—1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930, 25-5 singles, 9-2 doubles. SINGLES RECORD IN THE MAJORS—French (14-3), Wimbledon (30-3). U.S. (69-7).

Wimbledon in New York City

Anyone in Manhattan this week could have attended Wimbledon – from
Rockefeller Center’s big screen. Food, Wii, talking…and oh yeah,
tennis. If you went to watch that. It was a great event for families
to see.
The crowd thinned out from an earlier match when I went a few days ago,
with people interested in eating the free snacks, getting up every few
minutes. And eating. Eating. I felt like saying, “There’s a game on!
Sit down!” If they wanted to do this a week, it might have made a
better idea to run it during the quarter and semi-finals to peak more
interest. The place would have been packed for a grand Nadal-Federer
showoff!
People were talking among themselves, some about tennis, some about
visiting Rockefeller Center.
Recently, I’ve been fascinated by playing surfaces. I took back
everything I said about court preferences against grass that day. You
could walk around the grass court set up for an exhibition match, and
seeing how the grass ripped up, smelled, looked, etc. I understood why
the surface is unplayable for some on a wet day. I asked someone about
playing on clay the past weekend. It’s supposed to create lots of dust
that makes you cough as you play, make a horrible mess for a few wash
machine cycles, and is generally “gross. Grass is better.” I’m curious
now about the benefits of a grass court experience.
I, of course, grabbed a complimentary strawberries and cream the HSBC
Bank employees insisted was “the same they eat at Wimbledon.” It was
really frozen Cool Whip, not anything I would ask for a load of like the
others, but good fresh strawberries all the same. I guess free food
does that to people.
Over in a corner, the bank had set up about six televisions hooked up to
Wiis. The Wii tennis matches were really interesting for me, having
never played anything on Wii. The last time I remember playing a sports
Nintendo game was on an already old back then Nintendo Entertainment
System in eighth grade. I must have been the single person over 18
trying the Wiis.
The row of TVs had kids with full Lacoste sets I am sure will be
tomorrow’s commentators and tennis fanatics. Not our other row. My
“opponents” were an elementary girl and a high school guy who didn’t
follow tennis much but had probably won Wimbledon in the Wiis they had
at home. The guy was winning at the beginning from having set mine on
right-handed! I made sure to correct that to left – I’m right-handed
and forgot I am left-handed in tennis. I played as Roger Federer. I
felt like being someone who has hair left. The high school guy wanted
to be Ana Ivanovic, and we joked about the reasons for that.
The sport? Oh, right. The person I wanted to win lost that day.
Everything is elevated watching it on a bigger screen. The ties, set
losses, the wanting to egg on your player, is more intense than watching
it in your living room. I really wish people would continue this for
another week to watch the bigger matches.

Anyone in Manhattan this week could have attended Wimbledon – from Rockefeller Center’s big screen. Food, Wii, talking…and oh yeah, tennis. If you went to watch that. It was a great event for families to see.

The crowd thinned out from an earlier match when I went a few days ago, with people interested in eating the free snacks, getting up every few minutes. And eating. Eating. I felt like saying, “There’s a game on!

Sit down!” If they wanted to do this a week, it might have made a better idea to run it during the quarter and semi-finals to peak more interest. The place would have been packed for a grand Nadal-Federer showoff!

People were talking among themselves, some about tennis, some about visiting Rockefeller Center.

Recently, I’ve been fascinated by playing surfaces. I took back everything I said about court preferences against grass that day. You could walk around the grass court set up for an exhibition match, and seeing how the grass ripped up, smelled, looked, etc. I understood why the surface is unplayable for some on a wet day. I asked someone about playing on clay the past weekend. It’s supposed to create lots of dust that makes you cough as you play, make a horrible mess for a few wash machine cycles, and is generally “gross. Grass is better.” I’m curious now about the benefits of a grass court experience.

I, of course, grabbed a complimentary strawberries and cream the HSBC Bank employees insisted was “the same they eat at Wimbledon.” It was really frozen Cool Whip, not anything I would ask for a load of like the others, but good fresh strawberries all the same. I guess free food does that to people.

Over in a corner, the bank had set up about six televisions hooked up to Wiis. The Wii tennis matches were really interesting for me, having never played anything on Wii. The last time I remember playing a sports Nintendo game was on an already old back then Nintendo Entertainment System in eighth grade. I must have been the single person over 18 trying the Wiis.

The row of TVs had kids with full Lacoste sets I am sure will be tomorrow’s commentators and tennis fanatics. Not our other row. My “opponents” were an elementary girl and a high school guy who didn’t follow tennis much but had probably won Wimbledon in the Wiis they had at home. The guy was winning at the beginning from having set mine on right-handed! I made sure to correct that to left – I’m right-handed and forgot I am left-handed in tennis. I played as Roger Federer. I felt like being someone who has hair left. The high school guy wanted to be Ana Ivanovic, and we joked about the reasons for that.

The sport? Oh, right. The person I wanted to win lost that day. Everything is elevated watching it on a bigger screen. The ties, set losses, the wanting to egg on your player, is more intense than watching it in your living room. I really wish people would continue this for another week to watch the bigger matches.

With Hayden, Lacoste steps up with a “challenge”

hayden-christensen-lacoste09b

Lacoste looks back at its tennis roots in its latest men’s scent, the Lacoste Challenge. The unique bottle features a tennis racquet design, referring toRene Lacoste’s long-ago innovation of adhering plaster to his sticks to improve their grips.

Actor and tennis fan Hayden Christensen will represent the scent in TV and print ads.

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The top notes are tangerine and lemon with a burst of lavender (one of the classic ingredients in masculine perfumery). Middle accord is driven by ginger and other spices. Base note combines rosewood, teak, and ebony.

Buy: Available at Macy’s and other department stores later this summer. Eau de Toilette Spray, 1.6 fl. oz. ($40), 2.5 fl. oz. ($50), 3.0 fl. oz. ($60), After Shave Lotion, 2.5 fl. oz. ($42), After Shave Balm, 2.5 fl. oz. ($37), Shower Gel, 5.0 fl. oz. ($27), Deodorant Stick, 2.4 oz. ($21).

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Let’s Go Exploring

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Andy Roddick’s lunging reminds me of Calvin & Hobbes.

He’s through to the third round of Wimbledon.

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Fashion Focus: Cibulkova’s Lacoste outfit has us seeing spots

Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova adds to her strong year (two finals — Amelia Island and Toronto) by dispatching world No. 5 and reigning French Open champ Ana Ivanovic 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 in the second round of the Kremlin Cup. She showed up the Serb (sorry, Ana) by wearing a simple white Lacoste tennis dress trimmed with slate.

And in her loss to Beijing bronze medalist Vera Zvonareva in the following round, she traded her dress for the Interlock Skirt and a Dot-Printed polo.

Buy: Lacoste V-neck Dot Print dress, $145, lacoste.com.

Holy FCUK!

French Connection, from whose teat TSF sucked a LOT of clothes, makes an appearance at these Wimbledon championships on British player Elena Baltacha. I never would have thought that their in-your-face branding campaign (”FCUK”, which stands for French Connection United Kingdom) could have a place in the hallowed grounds of this uber-traditional event.

But I guess an almost-obscenity is on par with mensy-looking get-up Dominika Cibulkova wore for her first round match against Jie Zheng. (Zheng won 6-4, 6-3.) Cibulkova subs for Tati Golovin as the 2008 Lacoste bunny. Sadly, this flashy underwear is now year-old news.

Browse: You can check out the latest offerings from the FCUK online store here.

(player photos by Getty Images; FCUK banner by fcuk.com)

Fashion: Rochus wears turquoise Tacchini

Olivier Rochus - Sergio Tacchini - Indian Wells

That turquoise makes yet another appearance, this time in the battle of the shorties, aka Olivier Rochus d. Arnaud Clement 6-4, 6-4 in the first round of the Masters Series Indian Wells.

Rochus’ polo from Sergio Tacchini has the Italian company’s staple — horizontal stripes. Clement, meanwhile stayed in white Lacoste. (What do you think of Olivier’s shirt? Tell us!)

Sergio Tacchini - Dallas Group - Spring 2008

Browse ST this season: Sergio Tacchini Dallas Polo, $37.99; Dallas Crew, $29.99. Available in blue, green, red, black, and white.

Brr! The desert cold brings out the long sleeves and leggings

The cold weather in Doha (in the 60s) got the ladies layering during their matches at last week’s Qatar Total Open.

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Leggings: Maria Sharapova in Nike‘s Tight Capris (available in New Blue and Logan Berry, $50); Venus Williams in EleVen. Venus lost to Dominika Cibulkova 3-6, 3-6. Masha took home her second title of the year.

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Jelena wears the Reebok Pro Tradition Jacket. The third seed lost to the tattooed Li Na 3-6, 4-6 in the quarterfinals.

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Still sans sponsor: Polish teenager Agnieszka Radwanska, now in the Top 20, fell to Sharapova in the semis 4-6, 3-6 (the Russian got to avenge that shocking second round loss at the 2007 U.S. Open). And yes — you should not adjust your TV set; she wore those three different outfits on the court this week. A sponsorship deal has GOT to be in the works. Anyone out there with tips? E-mail me.

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Dominika Cibulkova wore purple stripes from Lacoste, and lost in the quarters to Radwanska.

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Reebok: The troubled Frenchwoman Amelie Mauresmo wears the Pro Vision Seamless Jacket, $59.95. She lost in the first round to Tamarine Tanasugarn 6-7 (7), 5-7.

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Shahar Peer wore a white track jacket from Reebok (likely the BOBO Full Zip, $64.99) during her historic week. She lost 1-6, 3-6 to Na in the third round.

(photos by Getty Images)