Monday, April 30, 2018

Weekend Tennis Roundup

Rafael Nadal won his 11th title in Barcelona on Sunday, letting it be known it's gonna take a miracle to beat him in Paris. The victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas was the Spaniard's 19th straight victory on clay, having won another crown in Monte Carlos the previous week. Although he was blown out in the final it was a great week for the Greek teenager, who racked up wins over four seeds -- Thiem, Carreno Busta, Schwartzman and Ramos-Vinolas -- all in straight sets.

Probably not his last splash ...

Rafa celebrated by taking a shirtless-plunge with the tournament's ball boys and girls. 

Novak Djokovic made a rare appearance in Barcelona -- his first since 2006 -- but came up very short ,losing to No. 140 Martin Klizan in the second round. The Slovakian stud ended up losing to Nadal in the quarters, but was the only one all week to extend the Spaniard to a 7-5 set.

The early exit gave Nole some time to spend with his brothers, Marko and Djorde.

Lucky loser Marco Cecchinato claimed his first ATP Tour title on Sunday, with a 7-5, 6-4 victory over John Millman in the Hungarian Open. Cecchinato converted four out of eight break points to beat his Australian opponent in an hour and 47 minutes. The world No. 92 became the first lucky loser to win a title since Leonardo Mayer triumphed in Hamburg last July, which really wasn't that long ago.

Karolina Pliskova ended CoCo Vandeweghe's incredible week in Stuttgart with a 7-6 (2), 6-4 win in the final of the Porsche Grand Prix on Sunday. The sixth-seeded Czech held her nerve to win her first title of the season and her 10th overall in just under two hours. Pliskova, who fired 41 aces over four matches on her way to the final, added another 11 against the big-cocked American, who devastated Sloane Stephens (1 and 0!), Simona Halep and Caroline Garcia along the way. Although I know it's unpatriotic of me, I can't say I wasn't delighted with final's outcome. I was this close to giving up on Pliskova, but am ready to give her another chance now!

And Pauline Parmentier -- who I was just saying was kind of an unfortunate pick to represent France in last week's Fed Cup semifinal against the U.S. -- ended a decade-long title drought on Sunday as she battled past Polona Hercog 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in the Istanbul Cup final on Sunday. Parmentier, who defeated Carolina Wozniacki in the semis, last won a title at Bad Gastein, Austria, in 2008.

This week some of the men are in Portugal, and sexy surfing champ Frederico Morais gave sexy players Joao Sousa and Kyle Edmund some lessons in Estoril, which you can watch HERE.

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