Monday, August 31, 2020

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.

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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

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