Monday, April 26, 2021

Weekend Tennis Diary


Titles for Matteo Berrettini, Rafael Nadal, Ash Barty and Sorana Cirstea(!), plus all the tennis beefcake that's fit to post HERE.

ATP Manspread Monday: Lorenzo Claverie

Second seed Matteo Berrettini completed an emphatic return to form with a 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(0) victory over Aslan Karatsev on Sunday to clinch the Serbia Open title. Playing in his first final since Stuttgart in 2019 (d. Auger-Aliassime), Berrettini improved to 4-1 in ATP Tour championship matches after taking down Karatsev. 

When Karatsev outlasted Novak Djokovic in the semis, my first thought was that Nole has officially become Serena Williams -- meaning he only really cares about the majors. But when I read that Novak had had 28 break points -- 23 of which were saved -- it got me rethinking things. Maybe it's not that he's any different from week to week, it's that his opponents can only get over the hump in less-important events.

On the other hand ... Rafael Nadal saved one championship point on Sunday to defeat Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-7(6), 7-5 and collect a record-extending 12th Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell trophy. The top seed was one point from defeat at 4-5, 30/40 in the decider and he carried the momentum from that moment to win three straight games and overcome the Monte-Carlo champion after three hours and 38 minutes. The championship match was the longest best-of-three-set ATP Tour final since statistics started being tracked in 1991. This was perhaps the same situation as Novak's match but in reverse: Nadal got psyched out against Stefanos in Melbourne -- he was never the same after shanking that over head -- but felt more comfortable on the red clay in Barcelona. 

Meanwhile, Ash Barty defeated Aryna Sabalenka, 3-6, 6-0, 6-3 to claim the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix title in Stuttgart on Sunday, to notch her third title of the season.

Barty came back later to take the doubles title in Stuttgart as well. She teamed with Jennifer Brady to upset No.1 seeds Desirae Krawczyk and Bethanie Mattek-Sands, 6-4, 5-7, [10-5] in the doubles final. Brady's single ranking was just shy of being seeded, so this was a nice consolation prize after having drawn and lost to Petra Kvitova in the first round.

And in one the dumbest results in recent memory, Sorana Cirstea, who has one title to her name that was won 13 years ago, defeated No. 1 seed Elise Mertens 6-1, 7-6(3) to win her second career title at the TEB BNP Paribas Tennis Championship Istanbul on Sunday. Cirstea won her first in 2008, when she triumphed in Tashkent as an 18-year-old. Way to go, Elise!

In men's doubles, Juan Sebastian Cabal celebrated his 35th birthday in style on Sunday when he captured his second Barcelona Open trophy alongside Robert Farah with a 6-4, 6-2 win against Kevin Krawietz and Horia Tecau.

Wild cards Ivan Sabanov and Matej Sabanov clinched their first ATP Tour title without dropping a set after defeating Ariel Behar and Gonzalo Escobar 6-3, 7-6(5) in the Serbia Open final. Coming into the event, the 28-year-old twin brothers had only won one tour-level doubles match, reaching the quarter-finals in Montpellier last year. But they made good on their wild card opportunity to complete a dream week in Belgrade.

Around the net ...

Damir Dzumhur announced the he's going to be an actual daddy, but I wasn't sure what the most surprising part of the news was: That a trans woman was able to get pregnant -- I know science has come a long way, but ... -- or that he could get it up for someone who looks like this. Either way, bravo! 

Is that a human being?

Juan Martin del Potro is standing up!

All the right Struff!

Borna Coric is the cutest former tennis player around

John Millman may have come up short against Taro Daniel in Belgrade ...

but his ass quickly turned things around in Munich ...

where he was the life of the BMW party 

Shiny happy practice partners

Corentin Moutet looked impressive reaching the round of 16 in Barcelona 

The rapping Frenchman will take on fellow hunk Marcos Giron today in Estoril

Sunglasses model Marton Fucsovics

Alex Erler is 6 feet, 4 inches of Austria cuteness

Guido Pella looked good losing to Kei Nishikori in Barcelona

I caught some of the Champions Series event last week and boy does Tommy Haas make everyone else look really old. 

Maybe this is why ...

Tommy and his crew

Dreamy Belarusian Egor Gerasimov is the Fit Thomas of the ATP

I can see where J.J. Wolf gets his looks ...

Three days until Holger Rune is legal

Aspire a little higher, Tommy!

I sure hope Jan-Michael Gambill's brother got his love for Donald Trump out of his system. 

Daniel Masur prepares for the Challenger in the Eternal City

No one can resist Filip Krajinovic

Benoit Paire finally faced some sort of repercussions for his behavior ...

But he still looks like this in shorts, so ...

David Vega Hernandez and his hot "hitting" partner 

Cameron Norrie had a nice run in Barcelona before coming up against Nadal

Janko Tipsarevic and his fashion masks

The only Karen we never tire of

I'm suddenly a big fan of Valdosta State University ...

Which not only recruited Cameron Henricy Trigolos, but also hunky Christian Wedel

Has Cabal been workin' out?

Quentin Halys is pumped

And last but not least, hunky Jenson Brooksby is the champion in Tallahassee, claiming his third ATP Challenger 🏆 of 2021.

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