Alex De Minaur won his third title of the season and of his career on Sunday, beating the 31-year-old Frenchman Adrian Mannarino in the Huajin Securities Zhuhai Championships final 7-6(4), 6-4. The young Aussie took out Borna Coric and Andy Murray in nail-biters. But I was happy Borna was back on the court after last week's back injury -- and even happier that Murray beat white nationalist Tennsys Sandgren in the first round, Murray's first tour-level win since hip surgery.
Pablo Carreno Busta lifted his first tour-level trophy in more than two years on Sunday, outlasting Alexander Bublik 6-7(5), 6-4, 7-6(3) at the Chengdu Open. The 28-year-old didn't even chuck his racket bag across the court once during the event!
If this week is any indication, Aryna Sabalenka has rediscovered the form that propelled her to the Top 10. On Saturday, Sabalenka became the first player to successfully retain the Wuhan Open crown, defeating Alison Riske, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1. After splitting the first two sets, the reigning champion stormed ahead in the decider, firing six aces and breaking the American twice to lock up the victory in one hour and 54 minutes. Sabalenka split and then appeared to consider reuniting with her coach, Dmitry Tursunov, during the U.S. Open. The two have been working together at Wuhan, but Sabalenka was by herself the previous week at Guangzhou and found she could not blame others for her problems.
Belgium's Alison Van Uytvanck -- the tour's only openly gay player, if you can believe it -- captured her second title this year, edging Sorana Cirstea of Romania 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 at the Tashkent Open in Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan.
And in two notable doubles finals: Sexy Serbs Nikola Cacic and Dusan Lajovic captured their first team title at the Chengdu Open on Sunday, defeating Jonathan Erlich and Fabrice Martin 7-6(9), 3-6, 10-3. Hubba hubba!
Never heard of Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen, but I won’t forget them anytime soon.
Was surprised to see Novak is back in action in Tokyo. I know he wants to ensure he gets the yearend No. 1, but thought his left shoulder injury was going to require surgery. Here’s hoping he’s fully recovered. More HERE.
Sure was fun seeing him play doubles with Filip Krajinovic ... even if they blew the match tiebreak again Pavic and Soares.
Around the net:
Rafael Nadal and longtime girlfriend Maria Francisca Perello are spending their last days of living in sin in the Bahamas ... ahead of their wedding that will take place near Mallorca on Oct. 19. Read HERE.
If Serena's hubby thinks it's a "struggle" for him to be a working parent, he should see what millions of non-billionaires without drivers, cooks, housekeepers, assistants and nannies go through. Read HERE.
Not sure, but it looks fun!
Lots of eye candy at the Masters seniors event in Marbella.
Of course Feliciano López won it all -- isn't he still on the tour?! -- but it was fun to see recently retired David Ferrer,, Tommy Robredo (who is still hanging on in the Challengers) and Tommy Haas in action.
The Asian leg of the tour seems to agree with Karen ...
What the duck?
Lucky Nemanja Maksic got to massage my Bosnian boyfriend, Damir Dzumhur! He gets his hands on a lot of hot players.
Marton Fucsovics: Practice (or genetics) made him perfect.
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