Monday, February 15, 2021

Weekend Tennis Diary


We're officially into the second week of the Australian Open. And while things there haven't all been pretty -- embarrassing upsets, slippery courts and tournament-ending injuries -- the Challenger event in Biella, Italy, was a little slice of beefcake heaven. Keep reading HERE.

Poor Andy Murray. The oft-injured Brit was easily dismissed by Illya Marchenko in the final of the ATP Challenger in Biella (6-2, 6-4).

Murray last won an event at the European Open in Antwerp in 2019 but he played only seven competitive matches in 2020 because of injury and the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic. This tournament was his first since October -- and he only opted for the second-tier Challenger Tour after losing his place in the Australian Open following a positive Covid-19 test. Murray had last won a Challenger event in 2005 when he was 18. 

The hunky Ukrainian joked afterward that this was his revenge for the Brit's win over him at the Aussie Open, exactly 10 years ago.

Looks like he and his prize had quite a romantic evening afterward

Meanwhile in Melbourne ...

Novak Djokovic was all smiles during his entertaining match against Frances Tiafoe ...

But then everything was turned upside down when he was wrong-footed by Taylor Fritz in the next round. While he speculated he'd "torn" something, he disposed of Milos Raonic in the next round in four sets, so the jury is still out on whether he's just being a drama queen

Matteo Berrettini was having a great start to the year before he too got injured. His proved to be an actual tear, forcing him to default his round of 16 match against Stefanos Tsitsipas after embarrassing Karen Khachanov despite hurting himself.

Diego Schwartzman's third-round loss to Aslan Karatsev doesn't seem so random now that the unheralded Russian has advanced to the quarterfinals, where he will face Grigor Dimitrov, who advanced over a blank Dominic Thiem.

Marton Fucsovics celebrated his 29th birthday with a trip to the third round that included a win over former champ Stan Wawrinka. The hunky Hungarian came up short against Raonic, though,

Not a great tournament for Aussies Alex de Minaur or Jordan Thompson, but their hair and 'stache, respectively, were spot-on

Not feeling hopeful about Reilly Opelka's career after an epic meltdown Down Under. But he's a good liberal, so I can forgive his straight beard 

With countryman Tommy Paul

who seems to be distracted these days

Miomir Kecmanovic, who fell in the second round of doubles with Casper Ruud, is my latest Serbian crush

Loved Stan's 75th anniversary Yonex kit 

and his birthday suit

Filip Krajinovic had a nice run to the third round, extending Daniil Medvedev to five sets before the wheels came off the Serbian wagon

Bernard Tomic stunned everyone by winning a round before falling to Denis Shapovalov in Melbourne. But all eyes were elsewhere on the enfant terrible turned OnlyFans star ...

Norbert Gombos was brought to his knees by Alex Bolt in the first round, just where we want him

Nikola Mektic cleared his head as he prepared for his doubles quarterfinal with Mate Pavic

Robert Farah will be needing more of these influencer deals as he and Sebastian Cabal bowed out in the first round Down Under. (Maybe he needs more "tainted" steak?)

Perhaps Laslo Djere would have had better luck in a sword fight with Rafael Nadal

A hundred bucks says this guy offers to do Sam Groth's laundry

Not that I'm judging him

It's always nice when Matt Ebden stops by

Marcelo Arevalo is thrilled (and chilled) to be in the quarters with Matwe Middelkoop. They face Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares next.

I can't even remember whose box this was -- I just know I jumped out of bed to take pics

Jan-Michael Gambill channels his country roots

Nick Kyrgios -- who is still a big pain in the ass -- has the look of love in his eyes for partner Thanasi Kokkinakis, who came up just a little short versus Tsitsipas

Another shitty major for Borna Coric 

Jonny O'Mara fell in the first round of doubles 

Benjamin Bonzi, took out Liam Broady 7-5, 6-4 in Potchefstroom for the sexy Frenchman's first Challenger crown

Broady got some play under his belt in South Africa ... 

And then gave the people what they want: "Don’t act surprised. You all knew it was coming."

Father-to-be Ruben Bemelmans is the champion in Cherbourg, claiming his sixth ๐Ÿ† on the ATP Challenger Tour. In three weeks, Ruben and his wife are expecting their first child. ๐Ÿ‘ถ

Benjamin Lock is still a tall drink of water

It was hard to think of Albano Olivetti as a loser even if he and  Antoine Hoang did come up short in the final of the Challenger de Cherbourg

There's one lucky gal in Cincy 

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