Monday, August 31, 2020

Day One at the U.S. Open

It's nice to be able to have the tennis on while working from home, even if I can't exactly concentrate on the matches. But here are a few moments I was able to focus on ...

Diego's face says I just lost a five-set match. 

Alexander Zverev got a warm reception from brother Mischa after defeating 2017 finalist Kevin Anderson in four sets.

Someone got shy when he realized people were looking ...

Stefanos Tsitsipas looked sharp in his win over Albert Ramos Vinolas.

And how about  the young Greek's hot box? 

In addition to Patrick and Daddy, pretty sure that's French physio Lefebvre Frederic putting on the man-spread show.

Meanwhile, somewhere in Europe ...

Remains of the Day (08/31)

An important step in defending the rule of law.

I thought noncompliance equals death?

Just so everyone is clear, an army of far right Trump supporters took a caravan into Portland last night & were terrorizing people on the streets. That was their intention. Now one of them is dead b/c of it. Unlike Trump cultists, we aren’t praising the shooter.

Show me the example of how "both sides" do this crap?

Dead Herman Cain tweets that Covid-19 isn't all that deadly

In a speech Monday afternoon in Pittsburgh, Mr. Biden condemned both the use of “excessive force” by police and violence in the nation’s streets that he said would only bring destruction and not change. “Fires are burning and we have a president who fans the flames rather than fighting the flames,” he said. “This president long ago forfeited any moral leadership in this country. He can't stop the violence because for years he's fomented it.”

Remember: We go to the polls in 64 days.

Mug Shot Monday

WUSA reports that a former Montgomery County, Md., teacher, who also coached boys' lacrosse and football, has been charged with multiple counts of sexual misconduct with one of his eighth-grade students, police said.

Maxwell Bero, 30 -- who was a former Maryland congressional candidate -- taught at Col. E. Brooke Lee Middle School from 2013-2016 before transferring to Watkins Mill High School.

Montgomery County Police arrested and charged Bero after discovering multiple inappropriate offenses with a 14-year-old student from August 2014- June 2015.

Police said the interactions occurred after school hours and on school property, with Bero as the student's teacher. The allegations came forward on July 28, and after investigating, officers arrested Bero Aug. 26.

He is charged with sexual abuse of a minor and multiple counts of committing a third-degree sexual offense, Montgomery County Police said. Bero was most recently teaching social studies at Watkins Mill High School in Gaithersburg, but has since been placed on administrative leave.

One of the most stunning allegations: Bero sent the 14-year-old a nude picture of himself from his own bachelor party, according to court records.

On Wednesday, Montgomery County Public Schools sent a statement to parents and students saying the behavior is unacceptable and a breach of their trust.

"These charges are deeply concerning and unacceptable and represent a complete breach of trust, responsibility, integrity and the law," it read. "We hold our employees to a high standard of character and these allegations violate that. Please know that the safety of our students is our top priority and we are committed to ensuring we maintain a safe learning environment for all."

Detectives with Montgomery County Police are worried there might be additional victims. They are urging anyone who might have more information, or who might be a victim, to call their detectives at 240-773-5400.

Weekend Tennis Diary

Novak Djokovic continued his unbeaten run in 2020, writes Matt Trollope, beating Milos Raonic in three sets to claim the Western & Southern Open title in New York on Saturday. The world No.1 recovered to beat Raonic 1-6 6-3 6-4 to win his second Western & Southern Open title, an event normally played in Cincinnati but this year moved to Flushing Meadows to mitigate the risks presented by the coronavirus pandemic. The victory improved his win-loss record in 2020 to 23-0, and takes his winning streak to 26 matches, dating back to last year’s Davis Cup Finals in Madrid.

Earlier on Saturday, Victoria Azarenka was crowned women’s champion when opponent Naomi Osaka withdrew before the match due to injury. The stage had been set for a blockbuster final between two-time Grand Slam champions and former world No.1s, but the hamstring injury Osaka felt worsen in her semifinal win over Elise Mertens did not settle in time. The win gave the Belarusian her first title since becoming a mother in 2016, and will propel her back into the Top 30 on the WTA computer rankings. 

ATP reports that Pablo Carreno Busta and Alex de Minaur completed their team debut week by lifting the Western & Southern Open title on Saturday. After breaking serve at 5-5 in the second set on Grandstand, rain forced the unseeded duo to wait until the conclusion of the singles final to complete a 6-2, 7-5 victory against Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski on Louis Armstrong Stadium.


The WTA reports that No.3 seeds Kveta Peschke and Demi Schuurs won the women's doubles at the Western & Southern Open with a strong performance against No.2 seeds Nicole Melichar and Xu Yifan. The Czech-Dutch pairing, who were both two-time runners-up in Cincinnati with previous partnerships, took one hour 18 minutes to seal victory, 6-1, 4-6, [10-6], making just five unforced errors over the course of the match. Not unlike Sam Stosur, Schuurs has been out on social media for a few years but just recently came out publicly about her relationship with Carmen Kuijer in an interview with the WTA earlier this year

Despite the narrow loss in the final, Raonic had an incredible week -- and not just because of his pornographic shorts

(The hair I'm not so sure about. I'm a 2015 man!)

Ditto for Neal Skupski, who with Jamie Murray came up short in the doubles final but could hardly be called a loser

Ons Jabeur had a nice run in Cincy, reaching the quarters before losing to eventual champ Azarenka. 

As enjoyable as it was to see her play, it was what was in her box that really caught my eye. 

Figured out it was her husband,  Karim Kamoun, a Russian-Tunisian former fencer who has also served as her fitness coach since 2017. (Way to go, girl!) 

And speaking of boxes ...

There was a lot of manspreading and leg stretching in Djokovic's

Andreas Mies and Kevin Krawietz had a nice run in Cincy, reaching the quarters before losing to Murray and Skupski.

Who had upset top-seeded Robert Farah and Juan Sebastian Cabal in the first round

Dennis Novak received a lot of birthday love week -- including an explicit declaration from countryman Dominic Thiem. (I wonder how he showed him?)

Or do you think Dennis opted for some Oscar Otte lovin'?

The Bachelors: Christian and Vasek 

Vasek Pospisil takes on Philipp Kohlschreiber in the first round on Tuesday.

His bubble includes fellow Canadian Frank Dancevic

Pupil-coach play it safe

Diego Schwartzman faces Cameron Norrie first thing on Monday

 Marton Fucksalot takes on Hugo Dellien of Bolivia this afternoon

(He looks more than ready.)

By now I'm sure you've heard that Novak Djokovic, Vasek Pospisil and others are attempting to form new men's tennis union of sorts. Although I find tennis politics extremely boring, it does seem odd that the same organization representing the tournaments represents the players, so I guess we'll see how this shakes out. 

Meanwhile, Benoit Paire tested positive for the coronavirus on the eve of the event. I understand he tested negative three times leading up to this -- and wasn't Guido Pella's test a false positive? -- but it sounds like he's out of the draw. What's weird is that everyone's acting like the Frenchman was asymptomatic yet he retired last week against Borna Coric, trailing 6-0, 1-0 and not looking well.

Andreas Seppi and his wife at their daughter's baptism 

Grigor, Borna, Johnny O'Mara and Alex Robein fuel my mask fetish

Half-mask: Andreas Mies

Let's see how loose Tommy Paul feels when he squares off against Grigor Dimitrov this evening on Armstrong.

Doubles troubles

Reilly Opelka celebrated his 23rd birthday by having to retire with a groin injury during his quarterfinal match against Stefanos Tsitsipas; Berrettini gives the "while you're down there" look

 Here's hoping he's feeling better this afternoon when he takes on seventh-seeded David Goffin

Jan-Michael Gambill and his boyfriend are the ab kings of Los Angeles

Cored stiff

As ready as Borna can be, that is

So this is the secret to J.J. Ward's HOT BODY?

Another week, another batch of HOT FRIENDS. Watch J.J. prepare for his first U.S. Open match HERE.

I wonder if Chris Worman's manuscript is about being a homophobic bodybuilder?

After capturing the Challenger title last week, Stan Wawrinka withdrew from Prague with an injury. Here's hoping this guy was the real reason for the abrupt exit!

Christian Harrison had some fun on the practice courts with doubles partners Michael Venus and John Peers, who play their first match on Wednesday against Americans Nicholas Monroe and Nathaniel Lammons.

Liam Broady and Lloyd Glasspool doth protest too much methinks about their trip to "romantic" Venice not having any "romance" ...

Bridge of thighs

It must be love ...

My cute Dane didn't post a followup

Phil Kar looks plenty fit to me, as do Steve Rettl and Sebastian Ofner