Monday, August 02, 2021

Weekend Tennis Roundup

Alexander Zverev and Belinda Bencic captured the gold in Tokyo, plus all the week's other highlights BELOW.

The same duo as 2013 ITF Junior World Champions

Can't imagine anyone would have bet on Mischa Zverev's little German brother capturing the gold, Karen Khachanov winning the silver and Pablo Carreno Busta beating the top 2 seeds and taking home the bronze, but that's what happened this week in Tokyo.

On the women's side, Belinda Bencic became the first Swiss woman to win a tennis gold medal at the Olympics with a victory in the singles final on Saturday over Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic 7-5, 2-6, 6-3. Bencic, who has long been slated for greatness, also became the first Swiss to win an Olympic singles title since Marc Rosset(!) won the men's event in 1992.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Andrey Rublev of the ROC ended their dream week in Tokyo with a 6-3, 6-7(5), [13-11] win against natives Aslan Karatsev and Elena Vesnina to capture the Olympic mixed doubles gold medal. (Poor Vesnina also squandered four match points in the bronze women's doubles match and also twice served the Wimbledon women's doubles crown.) 

It wasn't meant to be with Novak Djokovic's epic meltdown, but it would have been great to see both World No. 1s on the court together had he and partner Nina Stojanovic competed for the bronze against Ash Barty and John Peers. (Nole withdrew citing a sore shoulder.) 

The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming!

Croatians Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic’s dream season continued on Friday as they battled past countrymen Marin Cilic and Ivan Dodig 6-4, 3-6, 10-6 to claim a historic first gold medal in tennis for Croatia at the Tokyo Olympics.

Marcus Daniell and Michael Venus ended a strong week at the Tokyo Olympics on Friday by defeating Americans Austin Krajicek and Tennys Sandgren 7-6(3), 6-2 to capture a historic first Olympic tennis medal for New Zealand.

Nice effort by the Americans, though

Barbora Krejcikova's dream season continued as she and Katerina Siniakova lived up to their No.1 seeding in Tokyo, bringing the gold back to Czech Republic. (Or is it Czechia?) The duo defeated Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic and Viktorija Golubic, 7-5, 6-1, in the one-hour and 25-minute final, becoming the first team from Czech Republic to claim the women’s doubles gold medal.

Brazil's Luisa Stefani and Laura Pigossi made the most of their historic Olympic medal after winning an edge-of-your-seat women's doubles match over over ROC's Elena Vesnina and Veronika Kudermetova -- bronze medal 4-6, 6-4, 11-9 -- to secure the bronze medal. The duo's journey was an astonishing story in itself after they entered the competition with just one hour before the cut-off time.

As exciting as it was to watch the duo rally to win, the most exciting news was learning Pigossi is the girlfriend of none other than KIT212 fave Benjamin Lock ...

One bronze medal in Tokyo and one gold waiting for her at home? Nice work if you can get it!

Over on the ATP tour: Sean Hannity fanboy John Isner served Brandon Nakashima 21 aces and a dose of revenge on Sunday evening. One week after losing against his #NextGenATP countryman in the Los Cabos semifinals, Isner beat Nakashima 7-6(8), 7-5 to win his sixth Atlanta Open title.

In doubles, American Reilly Opelka and Italian Jannik Sinner made the most of their team debut this week in Atlanta, defeating American Steve Johnson and Australian Jordan Thompson 6-4, 6-7(6), 10-3 to lift the trophy.

He and Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela had a good run in the Atlanta doubles before losing to eventual win 6-3, 6-4 in the semis

Top seed Casper Ruud became the first player in a decade to complete an ATP Tour hat-trick after defeating Pedro Martinez 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 to win the Generali Open in Kitzbühel – Ruud's third title in as many weeks. The Norwegianh had saved a match point earlier in the week, in the quarterfinals against Sweden's Mikael Ymer before reaching the final.

I voted for Pedro

After struggling with wrist and knee injuries for the past two years, Aussie Jason Kubler and his amazing rack claim their first title since 2019, defeating Alejandro Tabilo of Chile, 7-5, 6-7(2), 7-5 in the Lexington, Ky., Challennger

French cutie Benjamin Bonzi claimed his third ATP Challenger title of the year, beating Tim van Rijthoven of the Netherlands 7-6(10), 3-6, 6-4 in Segovia

Tomas Martin Etcheverry took the title of the Citta Di Trieste Challenger, in Trieste, Italy. The No. 3 seed emerged victorious from Sunday’s all-Argentine singles final against qualifier Thiago Agustin Tirante, winning 6-1, 6-1.

In doubles, the Brazilian duo of Orlando Luz and Felipe Meligeni Rodrigues Alves edged past Antoine Hoang and Albano Olivetti from France (below) 7-5, 6-7(6), 10-5. 

I'm guessing it was Bring Your Girlfriend to Work Day in Italy

Grigor Dimitrov readies for play in D.C.

Working out with Franko Skugor

Cam Norrie's winning streak finally ended, but his body hasn't stopped

Holger Rune hit the practice court with Austrian hunk Dennis Novak in Kitzbuhel 

Autographs in Austria

Tommy Paul and his favorite influencer in Washington. (You can almost hear her using a baby voice -- I don't know how straight guys do it.) 

Kevin Krawietz shows off his mirror moves

While erstwhile doubles partner Andreas Mies aims to be the German Julia Childs 

Jan-Michael Gambill looking fit packed into his suit on The Tennis Channel

Almost golden

Did Marius Copil set up a table in Chinatown to pay for diapers?

Taking it easy with Filip Krajinovic

Training with Thomas Fabbiano 

Neal Skupski's ass in motion

How do you say "the luckiest girl on earth" in Serb-Croatian? 

Franko Skugor has influencer potential, no?

Egor Gerasimov and Andreas Seppi get ready in the nation's capital

Now Cesar Ramirez is just pandering to me 

Speaking of Cesar, I'll bet he's missing Christian Harrison about now 

Olympic life with John Millman

Vasek Pospisil is back in Canada

Croatians gone wild! 

Now what?

I was hopeful when I saw Borna Coric was back on the practice court ... until I realized he was just hitting with gal pal Ana Konjuh

Who is James McGhee's hot friend in blue?

Just one word for this photo: Brave

Taylor Fritz defeated his "best man" for the third time in a row -- bringing their head-to-head to lopsided 5-1 -- in Atlanta

Speaking of weddings: Did you know Taylor Fritz, who knocked up his girlfriend and got married in 2016, got divorced in 2019? His hair has never been the same.

(With wire services.)

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