Monday, March 08, 2021

Weekend Tennis Diary

Big wins for Andrey Rublev, Diego Schwartzman, Petra Kvitova and rising Danish star Clara Tauson, Novak Djokovic broke Roger Federer's record for most weeks at Number 1, plus all the highlights from around the tour HERE.

Andrey Rublev of Russia recorded his fourth ATP Tour singles title in seven months on Sunday with a 7-6 (4), 6-4 victory over Marton Fucsovics of Hungary in the final Rotterdam. Rublev, 23, has won 20 consecutive matches at the ATP 500 level. That equals the third-longest streak since 2009, behind Roger Federer (28 from 2014-16) and Andy Murray (21 from 2016-17), yet I'm still not convinced he's a contender.

Top seed Diego Schwartzman completed a dream week at the Argentina Open with a 6-1, 6-2 victory against qualifier Francisco Cerundolo on Sunday to claim his long-awaited first ATP Tour title on home soil. (That combo trophy-gourd said it all!) The Buenos Aires native had previously reached two finals in Argentina, including one here at the ‘Cathedral of Argentine Tennis’ in 2019, but he had yet to taste victory at home. 

You may recall that Cerundolo's brother (Juan Manuel) stunned the tennis world by winning the tournament last weekend in Cordoba. 

Petra Kvitova stormed to her 28th career title and second at the Qatar Total Open with a 6-2, 6-1 rout of GarbiƱe Muguruza. Three years ago, Kvitova had needed 2 hours and 16 minutes to down Muguruza 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the final at this same event. On Saturday, Kvitova struck 11 winners to 18 unforced errors for a victory that clocked in at a more comfortable time of 66 minutes. The result also extends Kvitova's dominance in her rivalry with Muguruza to 5-1, including the last five meetings, and makes me wonder what it will take for the Venezpaniard to win a title again.

In the first all-qualifiers final since 2017, 18-year-old Clara Tauson completed a dream week at the Lyon Open with a championship victory on Sunday, defeating Viktorija Golubic, 6-4, 6-1 in the final for her first WTA singles title.

In doubles, Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic added a third title to their 2021 collection on Sunday with a 7-6(7), 6-2 triumph against Kevin Krawietz and Horia Tecau in the Rotterdam final. 

Prior to their title run in Rotterdam, the Croatian duo lifted ATP Tour crowns at the Antalya Open and the Murray River Open. Mektic and Pavic’s only loss of the year came against eventual champions Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek in the Australian Open semifinals.

Krawietz's regular partner, Andrea Mies, put on a brave face as his man ran to the final with a replacement partner ...

But probably wasn't all that sad when they didn't bring home the crown as he continued to recuperate from his knee surgery back home.

In Buenos Aires, Tomislav Brkic and Nikola Cacic claimed their first ATP Tour title as a team on Sunday after toppling fourth seeds Ariel Behar and Gonzalo Escobar in the Argentina Open final. The unseeded Bosnian-Serbian duo dropped only one set en route to the trophy, and needed one hour and 16 minutes to defeat the Delray Beach champions 6-3, 7-5.

Marton made have come up a little short in the final. But he made a lot of fans muscling his way past Reilly Opelka, Tommy Paul and Borna Coric -- three jizzfests -- on the way. Here's hoping his ranking lifts enough so he won't also have to win qualifying matches as he did here. 

Elsewhere around the net ...

In other rankings news, Russia's Daniil Medvedev will take the world number two ranking on March 15, the ATP said Saturday, and become the first man outside the sport's "Big Four" to occupy the spot in almost 16 years. The 25-year-old Russian will replace Rafael Nadal as the number two behind Novak Djokovic who on Monday set a record himself for total weeks in the top spot with 311.

Got a hint of what Stefanos Tsitsipas would look like with a decent haircut when he played doubles with little bro Petros in Rotterdam

Borna looked good in Rotterdam ... until he didn't

Ass-Eating Contest: Stefanos Tstitipas and Laslo Djere 

Vasek Pospisil took the week off to work on his multilevel marketing schemes

Karen Khachanov blew his match against Stefanos in Rotterdam, so returned to his true calling : 


A frosted Tommy Fabbiano arrived in Qatar and won his opening qualifying match ...

and also made a new friend!

And speaking of pretty boys: Liam Broady hit the courts in Cairo ...

and then did some sightseeing 

Filip Krajinovic got some much-needed R&R 

... before heading to Qatar

Jonny O'Mara took a break before heading to Marseille this week

And speaking of sexy Brits ...

Lloyd Glasspool couldn't wait to share these "topless" photos

Matt Ebden heated up St. Petersburg 

Brian Kelly flaunted his umpire skills during the Dimitrov vs. McCormack match

J.J. Wolf shows off another one of his smokin' hot friends

Franko Skugor, influencer in training

Sleepy-eyed Jan-Michael Gambill calling 'em like he sees 'em for the Tennis Channel. (What a great addition to their team!)

What's Reilly referring to, wrapped around his neck?

And last but not least, Tommy Paul had a nice run in Rotterdam before a flat quarterfinal loss to Fucsovics. 

He didn't seem to take it too hard, though, returning to yacht life  his hot friends ...

and his influencer gal pal

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