Monday, March 09, 2020

Weekend Tennis Roundup

I didn't exactly understand how the latest Davis Cup qualifying round worked. But what matters is that 18 teams -- Croatia, Hungary, Colombia, U.S., Italy, Germany, Kazakhstan, Czech Republic, Austria, Ecuador, Sweden and, most notably based on the photos, Australia -- will now compete Nov. 23-29 in Madrid

Johnny Millman

USA is looking sharp, until Tommy Paul lost a bet and had to go out dressed as EDITH PRICKLEY.

Reilly and the coach ...

Hand jobs ...

Team Austria

... lifts its game.

Elina Svitolina narrowly defeated Marie Bouzkova 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 to win the Monterrey title. Her first title since the WTA Finals in 2018. The highly entertaining win puts Svitolina back in the Top 5. I had never seen the Czech woman Bouzkova play before, but was impressed by her flat and precise -- almost Tracy Austinesque -- groundstrokes.

No.1 seed Sofia Kenin became the first player to win two titles in 2020, beating unseeded Anna-Lena Friedsam 6-2, 4-6, 6-4  in Lyon. The Australian Open champion had come into the event seeking to snap a three-match losing streak, something I was very relieved to see her accomplish. (We already have one Ostapenko!) Here's hoping this restores her confidence.

In Challenger Land ...

And in what turned out to be the only event in Indian Wells this year, Irina-Camelia Begu took the Oracle Challenger Series title with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Misaki Doi. Begun had crashed No. 4 seed Taylor Townsend in the second round, 6-0, 6-2.

On the men's side, Steve Johnson beat an on-the-comeback-trail Jack Sock 6-4, 6-4. It was the studly American's second Challenger title of the year and the chubby American's best showing in years, having knocked out top seeded Ugo Umbert in the second round. (Also of note: Noah Rubin beat Lucas Pouille before falling to the eventual champ in the semis, in yet another example of how all my favorite players are second-tier!) 

Denis Kudla and Thai-Son Kwiatkowski captured the men's doubles, with a 6-3, 2-6, 10-6 win over Sebastian Korda (Petr's son) and Mitchell Krueger, who had knocked out the Zverev brothers in the first round. (Anyone know why Alex was playing in the challengers?)

Borna may have wasted his time going to California ...

But at least we got to see him teasing his sleepy "friend." 

But like most of us, Borna has his eye on the real prize.

Jonny O'Mara is a travelin' man ...

Beautiful Benoit got yet another TATTOO.

Is Vasek Pospisil dating Damir Daut, aka the Most Interesting Man in Vancouver?

Keeping time ...

Desert heat.

Desert heat II ... and he cooks.

Looks like a nice turnout for the exhibition between Rafael Nadal and Grigor Dimitrov.

  These two need to get a room.

I like Matteo Berrettini's camerawork.

Reilly and Tommy are cartoonishly hot ...

Funny, too!

Lorenzo Musetti is legal now, guys ... 

Nerman's head 

Marcos Giron's wildcard in vain 

Battle of the hot trainers puts Martin Nosko versus ...



Andrew Fitzpatrick. Fitz may have my vote this time!

I'm Hungary for Marton Fucsovics

See Karen Khachanov's Russian Vogue spread HERE.

Dominic Thiem's time in the desert wasn't a total waste -- and I'm not just talking about the Sun-In time!

Jan-Michael Gambill's eyes were bigger than his ...

I'm not sure what he's running for, but German cutie Andreas Mies has my vote.

Christian Harrison and Cesar Ramirez seem to be getting SERIOUS

Still hot for Stan

The Swiss champ seems to have moved on from Donna Vekic to someone more age appropriate, although I think this guy would be a better fit.

Brazil fell to Australia, but rising star Thiago Seyboth Wild seemed to enjoying the whole experience nonetheless.

Newly paroled Robert Farah and Juan Sebastian Cabal helped Colombia defeat Argentina to head to the Davis Cup finals ...

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