Monday, August 05, 2019

Weekend Tennis Roundup

Hot Argentine midget Diego Schwartzman stepped up when it counted most on Saturday in Los Cabos, saving three set points en route to clinching his first title of the year over fifth-seeded Taylor Fritz 7-6(6), 6-3.

I was kinda bummed that the 21-year-old American daddy lost two finals in a row  -- he looked so hot when he broke his racket in half over his knee! -- but it's always nice to see David beat Goliath. 

Dominic Thiem captured his 14th career ATP title and first in Austria when he beat Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain 7-6 (0), 6-1 at the Generali Open on Saturday. The fourth-ranked Austrian, who didn't drop a set all week in the last clay-court event of the season, called it "a big childhood dream of mine" to win the high-altitude tournament in the Austrian Alps. "It is absolutely incredible, one of my biggest dreams since I play tennis," said Thiem, adding he always wanted to win the event since visiting the venue as a 6-year-old. Thiem had reached the final in Kitzbuehel once before, in 2014, but lost to David Goffin. The 25-year-old Austrian joined Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer as the only players who have won three tournaments this season.

Bipolar poster child Nick Kyrgios overcame a bothersome back and used two of his 18 aces to close things out, defeating No. 3 seed Daniil Medvedev 7-6 (6), 7-6 (4) to win his second title of the year and move his ranking back into the top 30. "This has honestly been one of my favorite weeks of my life, to be honest. I've made massive strides," said Kyrgios. "A week to remember." (Maybe the table tennis helped!)

Kyrgios was in full clown mode all week, having delighted the crowd by by delivering a repaired sneaker to his semifinal victim -- Stefanos Tsitsipas. Nick celebrated one key shot against the No. 1 seed with a shimmy and marked the last point by shaking a fan's hand. In the final, Nick sought advice from an audience member on where he should serve on match point -- "out wide," she suggested -- and then gave her a hug when he sealed the deal. As for the shoes, Tsitsipas says friction from the way he slides on hard courts leads to problems with his sneakers' laces, which is why he has been changing footwear during matches. 

That bothered his quarterfinal foe, Benoit Paire, so much that Paire went and yanked off a shoe himself in a sort of protest. This time, a ball boy brought a problematic shoe to Tsitsipas's father -- who is also his coach -- up in the stands for fixing. Kyrgios leaned on a screen at the back of the court, then decided to help things along by getting that sneaker from his dad and carrying it across the court to Tsitsipas. Kyrgios presented it on bended knee, with head bowed, as if to say, "Here, my lord." Kyrgios smiled. Tsitsipas gave him a thumbs-up. Spectators reveled in it all. "I just wanted to speed the process up," Kyrgios said later, adding: "By the way, Adidas sucks."

On the women's side in Washington, Jessica Pegula added her name to the roll of WTA singles titlists, claiming her first-ever crown at the Citi Open on a toasty Sunday afternoon with a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over Italy’s Camila Giorgi. I was excited for the 25-year-old American until I read she was the daughter of the owner of the NFL's Bills and NHL's Sabers, then got turned off by her "white" privilege.

Zheng Saisai completed her dream week in San Jose with her first WTA crown, stunning No.2 seed Aryna Sabalenka, 6-3, 7-6(3). "I played every match on Stadium Court, and from the first match, I heard so many people cheering for me, and I was surprised because I felt like I was far from home, playing in the States. It turns out there are a lot of Chinese fans and even the local people started to support me after my second match. I really appreciated that." With her win, the 25-year-old French Open doubles runner-up -- who beat four seeds along the way -- will move up to No. 38 in the world, her new career high.

And in Challenger land, it was nice to see that after more than five months on the sidelines, Hyeon Chung has returned to the tour, winning the 2019 International Challenger Chengdu. The 23-year-old from South Korea defeated Yuichi Sugita of Japan in Sunday’s singles final 6-4, 6-3. Welcome back to one of the Next Gen's most promising players.

In doubles actions ...

American teens Coco Gauff and Caty McNally won their first pro tournament as a doubles team by beating the fourth-seeded duo of Maria Sanchez and Fanny Stollar 6-2, 6-2. "For both of us," said Gauff, who was ejected in the first round of singles after her Cinderella run at Wimbledon, "it means a lot." McNally's impressive showing in Washington included a run to the semifinals in singles -- but that's where it ended in that event Saturday with a 7-6 (5), 6-2 loss to Camila Giorgi of Italy.

Raven Klaasen and Michael "Daddy" Venus lifted their third ATP Tour title as a team on Sunday, beating Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau 3-6, 6-3, 10-2 at the Citi Open. The dynamic duo had defeated the Murray brothers in a quarterfinal nail-biter, 6-7(3), 7-6(6), 10-7.

Around the net ...

Vasek Pospisil refuses to stop being hot ...

Marton Fucsovics may have lost his 'stache, but not his sex appeal ...

Damir Dzumhur got a good haircut ...

Filip Krajinovic brings his manspread to the high seas ...

And his abs to the pool.

And in World Team Tennis: Jonny O'Mara and Neal Skupski were the hottest and the MVP, respectively. 

But Jonny fucked things up for the San Diego Aviators while Neal lost big time for New York Empire ...

Which ultimately let the Springfield Lasers defend their crown.

P.S. Although he got injured, it was sure nice to see Mardy Fish back in action with the Empire, looking Daddy-riffic! 

(With wire services)


Russ said...

“Hot Argentine midget Diego Schwartzman stepped up when it counted most on Saturday in Los Cabo.” Really....Midget???? How about little person or not descriptor at all. I know it’s splitting hairs, but I thought I would say something. Thanks.

jaragon said...

I usually like your humor but at 5'7" cute Diego Shchwartzman is not a midget- I mean you could have called him compact hottie, or portable stud.