Monday, October 12, 2020

Weekend Tennis Diary

Another Grand Slam season has come to an end, and the world of tennis has yet to find the middle ground between boringly predictable and embarrassingly fluky. On Saturday, Iga Swiatek barely broke a sweat in her 6-4, 6-1 defeat of the No. 4 seed and (inexplicable) Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin in their French Open singles final. And then Rafael Nadal steamrolled Novak Djokovic 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 on Sunday, to tie Roger Federer's record of 20 major titles. (I woke up at 6-0 and a break and immediately went back to sleep.) 

Don't get me wrong. I feel lucky being alive to see what makes the Big Three so special, with prime Federer at Wimbledon and Djokovic in Melbourne nearly as sure a thing as Nadal in Paris. (Well, about half as sure.) And not since Mary Pierce when she was "on" have I seen someone play more convincingly than Swiatek, who didn't drop a set to become the lowest-ranked women's titlist in history. (Her hitchy forehand is so masterful it ought to be illegal.) But it took a fluke accident to get a new men's champ in 2020. And if history is any indication, I could just as easily see Swiatek never win another title as win 20 more. Neither of these scenarios makes for the most compelling storyline -- unless, of course, your favorite man or newcomer woman of choice wins. (But even then a little drama would be nice, however predictable the outcome.)

Roger reacts

Meanwhile, hunky duo Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies retained their French Open doubles crown as they beat Croatian Mate Pavic and Brazilian Bruno Soares 6-3 7-5 on Saturday. (Who knew Germans could be so demonstrative?) 

And No.2 seeds Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic -- who was ejected from the U.S. Open because of coronavirus contact -- also defended their French Open title with a 6-4, 7-5 victory over No.14 seeds Alexa Guarachi and Desirae Krawczyk in Paris on Sunday.

So this is what our new champion looks like?! 

Lucky kid. (Pospisil plays Rublev in the first round in St. Petersburg.)

Damir wasn't allowed to play in Paris because of what turned out to be a false-positive test in his circle, but made the most of the situation by reaching the final of the Challenger event yesterday in Barcelona (see down below).

Luca Pouille turned to what he's best at -- modeling -- while still recovering from surgery

When you've got men who look like Christian Harrison and Michael Venus, which one's which?

After skipping Paris, Kyle Edmund looks to refresh himself in Cologne

Guido "Fiaca" Andreozzi

After a great run in Paris, Marton Fucsovics takes on Gilles Simon today in Cologne

J.J. Wolf enjoyed some time with the boys back in Columbus ...

Before flying to St. Petersburg and qualifying for the main draw. 

Poor guy got to practice with Sam Querrey then drew Milos Raonic in the first round

After crapping out in the first round in Paris, Borna Coric went home and set up a TikTok account. Today he'll play Feliciano Lopez in St. Petersburg

Lloyd Glasspool can't stop being beautiful

Who were those masked ATP men?

Carlos Alcaraz battled back to defeat Damir Dzumhur for his second ATP Challenger Tour title on Sunday. The 17-year-old Spaniard needed one hour and 48 minutes to prevail 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 under sunny skies in Barcelona.

Tristan-Samuel Weissborn and Szymon Walkow looked good winning the Barcelona doubles crown

Ditto for Parma doubles winners Tomislav Brkic and Marcelo Areevalo Gonzalez. 

Update: Frances Tiafoe beat Salvatore Caruso 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 to secure his fifth Challenger Tour title in the rescheduled Parma final on Monday.

And last and mostly bitchily, friends and family helped Nicolas Massu celebrate his 41st birthday over the weekend. I always wondered why the Chilean was such a misanthrope -- but after seeing what his little brother Stefano looks like, it all makes sense!


JP Aragon said...

JJ hangs out with potential San Cody models

JP Aragon said...

Congratulations to Nadal! Kevin and Adreas make a cute couple.

Claude Remains said...

Rafa was on another level at Roland Garros!!!!!

David said...

when they announced the French would be moved back in April to October...I said to a friend- 'Why bother- just write in Nadal's name now and close your eyes and point at a name on the women's top 100.' Pretty much hoiw it turned out.