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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)

Photo Feed: Jeremy Chardy in Bucharest

BCR Open Romania: Frenchman Jeremy Chardy, eighth seed at this week’s BCR Open Romania in Bucharest, is through to the third round and faces top seed Albert Montanes in the quarters. (Draw)

A ring on his left finger, hmmm?

(photo by Anca Tudosa from the BCR Open Romania website)

The Homage To Federer Continues

Nevermind that Roger Federer‘s Grand Slam semifinal streak has been snapped, nay, smashed by Tomas Berdych 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 in the quarters of this year’s Wimbledon — because the rest of the world’s celebration of the tennis champ keeps on going. A few weeks after we unearthed the woman with the RF tattoo, we’ve come across a Chicago-based artist who’s sculpted R-Fed’s likeness in clay.

Raul Gautier, a recent immigrant from Mexico, took a day and a half to create this piece. Up next are figurines of Nadal and Agassi. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a Federer toy, of course. Nike collaborated with Michael Lau to come up with this Hulk-esque plastic mound in 2007.

For sale: Federer figurine, $650. Mr. Gautier’s website will be up soon. Contact TSF if you’d like to get in touch with him.

Photos courtesy of Raul Gautier.

This article was reprinted from TSFtennis.com

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KIRILENKO EXITS BUT NOT WITHOUT A FIGHT

By Luís Santos

Sad day today at Roland Garros as beautiful Maria Kirilenko says goodbye to the singles’ tournament. She went down to Franny Schiavone 6-4 6-4 but it was a great match to watch!

Maria can play every shot in the book and we got to see some great volleys and dropshots today from her. Adding to that she managed – on occasions – to be as explosive off the ground as she can get. However, Schiavone was not letting this chance of getting to the quarters slip by and saved 8 out of 10 break-points throughout…

Maria has become somewhat of a giant-killer in slams, beating the likes of Sharapova and Safina Down-Under and now sending defending champion Kuznetsova back home as early as the third round.

Today was not to be her day but it still marked Maria’s best French Open to date.

LOOKING AT THE SONY ERICSSON OPEN IN MIAMI

With the dust settling on yet another fantastic Indian Wells event Ivan Ljubicic will slowly be coming to terms with his first record-breaking ATP Masters title and I bet that smile hasn’t faded one inch on those rugged, ageing lips.

Almost as soon as one showcase finishes, another is set to begin: such is the modern game of tennis.

Miami is the stage this time around as the Masters makes its way across North America before leaping over the Atlantic to Europe.

Featuring 16 of the world’s top 20 players it promises to be as vivacious and tantalizing as its western brother just gone and all eyes will be on the big stories of the last two weeks.

Can Andy Murray build on his 2009 victory? Will R-Fed be looking to banish the ghosts of Marcos Baghdatis? Will Rafa finally return to the form we know he can so breathtakingly produce? Can Ljubicic become only the seventh player since Jim Courier to win these two titles back-to-back? Now that would really be turning back the clock for the Croatian freight-train.

The four quarters of the draw make your mouth simply gush water as you cast your eyes through each one.

Starting with the first, we see that the potential of a Federer-Cilic quarter final is on the cards. Holy smokes! Having only met once before on the hard courts of Paris in 2008 Federer holds the advantage. Yet two years has seen the young Croat grow in stature to match his vast frame and his performances Down Under in January certainly make this no easy feat for the greatest player of all time.

And who would write off Marcos Baghdatis after his exploits over the past two weeks? He seems to revel in being the underdog, the unknown. Perhaps people talking up his chances once more may be detrimental. Or maybe I’m being a little hard on a guy whose career has been tragically ravaged by injury.

Should he make it that far and overcome the likes of Cilic, Fernando Verdasco, Jurgen Melzer and Juan Ignacio Chela then Victor Hanescu could meet Federer again in that quarter final.

In the second quarter, third seed Andy Murray will begin his defense by facing the winner of Mardy Fish and Leonardo Mayer. Certainly not an easy ride, such is the strength of the men’s draw these days. Overcoming that he could face Lukas Lacko, Michael Berrer or the Spaniard Feliciano Lopez.

Stanlislas Wawrinka, Nicolas Almagro, Mikhail Youzhny, Fernando Gonzalez and Murray’s Indian Wells conqueror Robin Soderling also provide exciting prospects for a quarter final berth.

Rafa and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga head a very talented third quarter which also includes American of the moment John Isner and returning Argentinean wildcard David Nalbandian.

A possible third round match between Isner and Spain’s Juan Carlos Ferrero is on the cards with the pair never having met before. Ferrero has arguably had the better start to 2010 with two titles and a record of 15/4 but many will be excited by the battle of strength vs. panache.

The final quarter gives us a possible fourth round Ljubicic-Andy Roddick rematch but A-Rod must first overcome possible encounters with Igor Andreev and no. 32 seed Julien Benneteau. Ljubicic may also face Spaniard Tommy Robredo in round three.

Brazilian Thomaz Belluci is looking to build on his impressive start to 2010 at Miami but could face a tough second round encounter with James Blake before the prospect of Novak Djokovic in round three.

Argh! I’m shaking with excitement already. So, being a betting man, it’s time to put my money where my mouth is, my neck on the block. Predictions time!

Quarter Finals:

Roger Federer v Marin Cilic

Andy Murray v Juan Monaco

John Isner v Rafael Nadal

Tommy Robredo v Novak Djokovic

Semi Finals:

Roger Federer v Andy Murray

John Isner v Novak Djokovic

Final:

Roger Federer v Novak Djokovic

But then, how many predictions have I got wrong this year? OK, so I’ll make a safer one: Miami is going to be damn good! And with Sky Sports broadcasting so much of the Masters Series in to British homes this year I canny wait for Saturday. Bring it on!

Williams Sisters In Same Half of 2009 US Open Draw

Top seed Dinara Safina faces Oliva Rogowska of Australia in the first round of the 2009 US Open. Safina and could face Virginie Razzano or Patty Schnyder in the fourth round.

Safina could face Jankovic in the quarters and is in the same half of the draw as Elena Dementieva and Maria Sharapova.

Serena Williams and Venus Williams are in the same half of the draw and could face each other in the semifinals.

Venus opens with Vera Dushevina of Russia. Serena opens with Alexa Glatch of the US in the first round.

Kim Cljisters is also in the same half as the Williams sisters.

For the full women’s draw, go to www.usopen.org.