Monday, April 16, 2018

Weekend Tennis Roundup

Another bizarre result from the world of men's tennis: World No. 355 Pablo Andujar -- playing under a protected ranking after a string of injuries -- dismissed rising star and Aussie Open semifinalist Kyle Edmund 6-2, 6-2 to capture Marrakech, his first title since 2014. 

"I always believed that I could come back," Andujar said. "Otherwise, I wouldn't have tried."

Andujar is a two-time champion at the event, having claimed back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012, and his 81-minute demolition of the British No. 1 gave him the hat-trick. Nothing against Andujar, but it just seemed like the perfect time for Edmund to capture his first title. Instead, an oft-injured 32-year-old -- who was ranked No. 1,824 two months ago -- finds himself with his fourth. (The rain forced some people to double up on matches, so perhaps it was past the 23-year-old's bedtime.)

If they had given out a "best hair" award in Morocco, Nikola Mektic and Alexander Peya would have been the obvious recipients. Instead, the duo won their second match of the day to capture the doubles crown, defeating Frenchmen Benoit Paire and Edouard Roger-Vasselin 7-5, 3-6, 10/7 on Saturday.

More importantly, though, Steve Johnson defended his U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships title, winning 7-6, 2-6, 6-4 over Tennys Sandgren in an all-American final in Houston. Although I don't approve of the sexy American's lifestyle -- I've recently noticed he seems a little Jesus-y for me and is getting married to a WOMAN next weekend -- I was pulling for him all the way against the Trump-loving dolt from Tennessee.

All kidding aside, in addition to being incredibly hot, Johnson appears to be one of the best guys on the tour. Following his thrilling three-set win over Taylor Fritz in the semis, Johnson accepted the tournament's annual sportsmanship award. ATP reports that the Langston Trophy is given to the player or players who demonstrate great sportsmanship during the competition, and this year’s award went to a group of players -- Johnson, John Isner, Sam Querrey, Frances Tiafoe and Bob and Mike Bryan -- who participated in kids clinics at Sunnyside Park this week after donating money to support the resurfacing of the park’s courts following Hurricane Harvey. (Great job, guys!)

Despite defending his title, Johnson actually dropped a spot on the ATP Rankings on Monday (#52) while Sandgren made his top 50 debut (#47).

Now the real clay season begins in Monte Carlo ...

Where slumping Novak Djokovic has reunited with Marian Vajda, who coached him from June 2006 until May 2017. The two-time former champion is looking to rebuild his game this week, having compiled a jaw-dropping 3-3 record this year following an injury to his right elbow. (Remember when he won all four majors in a row?)

Also returning to competition are 10-time champion Rafael Nadal -- who is in Djokovic's quarter (or should I say Djokovic is in his) -- and Dominic Thiem, who seems to have a new little friend. The Austrian heartthrob has been out of commission since retiring with an ankle injury in the third round of Indian Wells.

Apparently that ass doesn't just happen ...

P.S. Nole and Luca Pouille played against Ginger Spice and other "celebrities" in support of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. Read HERE.

Always The Djoker ...

It was kind of a low-rent week on the women's tour with Anna Karolina Schmiedlova ending a dry spell stretching back almost three years by upsetting Lara Arruabarrena in the final of the Bogota Open. Schmiedlova downed fifth seed Arruabarrena -- runner-up for the second year in succession -- 6-2, 6-4 in the Colombian capital to claim her first title on the WTA Tour since the Bucharest Open in July 2015. 

And lastly, AP reports that second-seeded Elise Mertens won the Samsung Open in Lugano, Switzerland, on Sunday, beating Aryna Sabalenka 7-5, 6-2 to take her third career WTA Tour title. The 20th-ranked Belgian clinched on her first match point when the 19-year-old Sabalenka from Belarus netted a two-handed, backhand approach shot.

1 comment:

Ung said...

Low rent? Honey, the Bogota Open between those 2 women is practically Section 8.

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