Monday, July 29, 2019

Weekend Tennis Roundup


Alex de Minaur and his prepubescent mustache had a great week in Atlanta, dropping just 10 points on serve to defeat second-seeded American Taylor Fritz 6-3, 7-6(2) and clinch his second ATP Tour title. The 20-year-old lost a mere seven first-serve points throughout the week (116/123) to become the youngest winner in tournament history -- not facing a break point in his four matches and held in all 42 service games. De Minaur is only the third player (since stats started being kept in 1991) to win a tournament without facing a break point (Haas 2007 Memphis, Isner 2017 Newport).


 “This one is really special to me. I felt like I really needed this. To start the year with a bang and then be slowed down by injuries… you expect your level to be right there once you come back, but you have to slowly grind your way back,” said De Minaur. “I’ve been playing great tennis and felt like if I could keep it all together, the good results will come. This is a week that will really help me out.”


Couldn't help but notice that the young Aussie's game has some very Steffi-esque qualities. From his big flat serve and big flat Eastern-grip forehand to his tricky slice backhand, it was like watching a mini Graf out there! (By the way: The semis were a regular jizzfest, with de Minaur beating Reilly Opelka -- who had knocked out five-time champ John Isner) and Fritz beating dreamy Cameron Norrie.)


The highlight of the tournament, however, happened in the first round when unheralded 28-year-old Kevin King -- who had never won an ATP-level match -- beat Grigor Dimitrov, 7-5, 6-4. 


While it might be more fair to say the Bulgarian beat himself, everyone was a winner watching the 6-3 Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket getting interviewed by this hunk. (Anyone know him?) 


And though he immediately lost in the next round to Taylor Fritz ...


I won't be forgetting him anytime soon.


Nikoloz Basilashvili arrived at last year’s Hamburg European Open at No. 81 in the ATP Rankings with a place in the qualifying draw. On Sunday, the Georgian lifted his second straight trophy at the ATP 500 event with a 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 victory against Andrey Rublev. Basilashvili hit 26 forehand winners to claim his 12th straight win in Hamburg, which includes 10 main-draw victories (including humiliating Alexander Zverev in the semifinals). He improved to 2-0 in his FedEx ATP Head2Head series against the 21-year-old. “When you have achievements, people want more and expect more,” said Basilashvili. “Everybody is writing to me, everybody is happy. I have a lot of support from home and it is a great feeling.”


Dominic Thiem got his ass whooped by Rublev in Hamburg ...


But he didn’t seem too broken up about it.


Albert Ramos-Vinolas and the dark circles under his eyes were too steady, too persistent and too experienced against Germany's Cedrik-Marcel Stebe, allowing the Spaniard to won his second ATP Tour title, 6-3, 6-2 at the Swiss Open Gstaad. The 2017 Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters finalist tracked down everything and was more than happy to stay in rallies with Stebe, who was playing in his first ATP Tour final after winning two matches on Saturday because of earlier rain. “I feel great. After a long time waiting for this moment again, I'm really happy. I think I did a great match today, also a great tournament. So I think my game was perfect... and I will never forget Gstaad,” said Ramos-Vinolas, who won his first ATP Tour title at 2016 Bastad.


Anastasija Sevastova came from a set and a break down to beat Polish qualifier Katarzyna Kawa to win the inaugural Baltic Open on her home soil. The top-seed Latvian served to stay in the match in the second set before going on to win 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 in Jurmala on Sunday.


And Kiki Bertens continued her streak of only losing when I want her to win, falling to Jil Teichmann of Switzerland on Sunday in the final of the Palermo Ladies' Open, 7-6)3), 6-2 . The No.8 seed captured her second title of the year and scored her first Top 10 victory


And on the Challenger circuit, Ernesto Escobedo won his first challenger singles title in over two years by defeating Yasutaka Uchiyama 7-6(5), 6-4 in Granby, Quebec. Working with coach Jan-Michael Gambill seems to be paying off! Jan-Michael got tongues wagging at Cross Fit and Escobedo's ass got the boys worked up HERE.


Damian and I have been religiously recording World Team Tennis -- mostly to see Sam Groth and his tight polo in the booth. (LZ Granderson substitutes for him from time to time and I haven't been that disappointed since I was a kid and the opening credits of "Batman" revealed it was an episode without Yvonne Craig.)


Fabrice Martin's big pecs and bigger ass ...


have got us rooting for the Philadelphia Freedoms ...

Around the net ...


Quentin Halys looks like he knows what he's doing here ...


Noah Rubin shared this throwback, when Halys clearly got the better of him!


Noah, of course, has moved way past his awkward phase.




Pospisil lost in the round of 16 in Granby to Escobedo ...


My guess is that he couldn't wait to get back to his favorite playmate ...


Davis Cup captain Frank Dancevic, who has long been on MY RADAR.


Stan Wawrinka aims to recycle ... 


Look for Karen Khachanov this week in Washington ... 


Damir Dzumhur has a new coach ...


Borna’s been out of commission for weeks now ...


Will he be able to find his footing?


And after suffering one of the worst losses of his career, Dimitrov is looking to regain his form in Los Cabos, where he will face Stevie Johnson in the first round.


And finally, here's a cute flashback to when Novak Djokovic won his first ATP title, beating Nicolas Massu to capture the Dutch Open in 2006. It would take a few more years before he stopped "cramping" and otherwise being a head case. But look at him now. 

(With wire services)

1 comment:

demc7 said...

oh Alex- NO! That haircut with a little mustache has a Hitler vibe/look to it. He's so cute- PLEASE don't go there!

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