Monday, June 22, 2020

Weekend Tennis Roundup

No sooner did we get the news that the U.S. Open and other hard-court tournaments were a-go did Novak Djokovic's Adria Tour resume action, this time in the Croatian coastal city of Zadar. But as was the case during the stop in Belgrade, no coronavirus precautions were in place -- no one had masks, the players were touching one another, the stands were packed, the officials were everywhere -- and as was to be expected, the first player tested positive.

Grigor Dimitrov looked unwell during his match against local boy Borna Coric, and opted to return to Monaco after losing 4-1, 4-1.

It was there he got his diagnosis, and quickly posted this contrite message on Instagram -- something we have yet to see from the world number one who persuaded Grigor and others into playing. 

Djordje Djokovic, looking extra adorable, and Goran Ivanisevic came out Sunday to announce the final between Novak and Andrey Rublev had been canceled, as Twitter ripped into Nole. Still no official word on the next scheduled stop in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina, in two weeks.

It didn’t take long before Borna announced that he too had tested positive, as had Viktor Troicki, Dimitrov coach Christian Groh and Djokovic fitness trainer Marko Paniki. (Alexander Zverev and Marin Cilic have tested negative.) 

Some Balkan reader who is stuck in the 1990s accused me of being "anti-Serbian"(!) for pointing out how backward the country is responding to the pandemic. But the truth of the matter is that Djokovic and the organizers may have been following the country's guidelines, but they knew very well that they were not strict enough. Why does Novak think he didn't get to defend his Wimbledon title? 

Noah Rubin has been trolling Novak quite a bit, because it seems no one else affiliated with the game will.

All the excitement in the world can't erase the unnecessary risks the players were exposed to.

With all this in mind, I hope this doesn't scare more people off from playing in New York. (Simona Halep has already bowed out.) We here have been handling this crisis quite well for months, and a fanless event using proper social-distancing guidelines should offer all of the protections participants in Novak's tour were not afforded.

Over at Patrick Mouratoglou's academy in Nice, France, the Ultimate Tennis Showdown  continued with its funky format. Most disturbing is that Dominic Thiem joined the action there after having been on the Novak tour the previous week, thus increasing the chances of cross-contamination. (Dom says he’s been tested in Austria and France and thus far is negative.) On the plus side, they seemed to be taking the situation more seriously, even if Apostolos Tsitsipas couldn't figure out how to wear a mask to save his life! 

The moment Matteo Berrettini found out Dimitrov tested positive after being around Thiem.

Around the net:

There were plenty of player-dad posts, including the man whose jizz we have to thank for these two.

This has never added up ...

Vasek's dad is cute

I know Janko Tipsarevic isn't the best guy around. But he's quite a daddy!

Does Daddy Stan even remember his child's name?

Thomas Fabbiano returns to the practice court

Quentin Halys has won three more ATP matches ...

than the number of photos of him I've posted here.

Diego's brother is cute, despite the bad tattoos

It sounds like Britain is ready for its tennis re-opening. Here's hoping it follows the lead in Florida rather than Serbia.

Tommy Paul spends a lot of time with "friends" in West Hollywood and the Hollywood Hills. 

If you saw this IG story then you'd know he came this close to knocking his front teeth out.

I sure wish Vasek's "man" would unlock his IG.

Here's hoping Nerman Fatic is available to nurse Damir back to health if he caught the Nole flu.

How is Gumby going to stretch his way out of this one?

This is what I like to see: A guy like Cameron Henricy Trigolos, who puts his physique and his health first 

I'm a short hair man, but I might have to vote for his corona 'do!

I might have known Christian Harrison would know where the balls and the boys were!

Marton Fucsovics is just getting warmed up

Never a dull moment with this one.

We love tennis, but not in a completely uncontrolled environment. 

Borna makes an ass of himself

Father of the year?


James Dwight Williamson said...

Djokovich is a loser and a joke !

JP Aragon said...

These tennis guys can't seem to keep their hands off each other

Steve said...

Djokovic has completely ruined his reputation in my eyes. First he was skeptical about coronavirus vaccines; then he whined for weeks about the safety measures to be imposed at US Open; now he recklessly held this event without any safety measures causing other players to get infected. He should resign as the President of the ATP Players Association because obviously we cannot trust his judgment.