Monday, February 14, 2022

Weekend Tennis Roundup

Nice tournment wins for Felix Auger-Aliassime, Casper Ruud, Reilly Opelka and Anett Kontaveit, plus all the ATP flesh that's fit to post BELOW.

Very rude of Casper to beat home-crowd favorite Diego Schwartzman 5-7, 6-2, 6-3 on Sunday to win his second Argentina Open. Does the Norwegian Mr. Ruud even know how to drink the the trophy?

The ninth time was the charm for Felix Auger-Aliassime, who won his maiden ATP Tour final slash title in Rotterdam by defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-2.

Reilly Opelka never looked to be in much trouble as he defeated Jenson Brooksby 7-6(5), 7-6(3) to win the inaugural Dallas Open, the 7-foot American's third ATP Tour title. 

Couldn't help but notice the H-O-T umpire during the final. But in more depressing news, I also recently learned that Opelka's uncle is a rightwing radio troll whose claim to fame -- which it sounds like was the brainchild of Reilly's dad -- is the pro-Goya campaign during the previous administration. (He's also "famous" for his anti-Biden rants, questioning the Democrat's priorities,, aka: doesn't really have any legitimate complaints.) I can't fault Reilly or Jenson for being polite to a former president, but here's hoping they're bright enough to know the damage W inflicted on the world, making him one of the worst Western leaders in recent memories.

Marcelo Arevalo and Jean-Julien Rojer won the title, defeating pretty boy Lloyd Glasspool and Harri Heliovaara in the final, 7–6, 6–4

Marcelo looks like a winner, all right

And here he is getting encouragement from a multilevel marketing scam!

No.2 seed Anett Kontaveit of Estonia won her 20th straight indoor match, and her fourth consecutive indoor title, with a grueling 5-7, 7-6(4), 7-5 victory over No.1 seed Maria Sakkari of Greece at the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy on Sunday. Happy for the Baltic babe, but sincerely hope she can start having results in majors that match her tour successes 

Ryan Harrison's segue into exurban dad status is complete (hubba hubba)

With the ole ball 'n' chain

Borna Coric is still pretending to be a tennis player so he can hang out with the likes of Pedja Krstin and Mate Delic, and who can fault him?

Refer to my earlier comment about the hot ump in Dallas. (Good to see Jack Sock's big ass again, too!)

Dreamy Javi Pulgar keeps an eye on his charge

Robert Farah still can't put it away

All the espresso in the world couldn't get Tom Hill's star pupil over the finish line in St. Petersburg

How do you solve a problem like Maria? 

How fun! J.J. Wolf -- sans mullet -- is the new co-star of "My Tennis Life"!

Watch HERE.

26 candles for Daniil Medvedev, the new champion nobody cares about 

It was a bittersweet hello and goodbye for Juan Martin del Potro, who fell to good friend and countryman Federico Delbonis 6-1, 6-3 in Buenos Aires. 

I've heard he may still attempt to play Indian Wells -- site of his last big win -- while seeking further help for his knees, but the end is nearby either way. Great to see the tennis world send so loving wishes to the gentle Argentine giant. 

Andreas Mies and Kevin Krawietz teamed up again, reaching the round of 16 in Rotterdam

Hot couple alert: Marko Andrejic and Leon Benedict 

I'd sure enjoy a birthday greeting (in June) from Stefano Travaglia!

Marius Copil tracked down recently retired salt-water crocodile and Unicef ambassador Horia Tecau

In praise of Liam Broady ...

and his hair

Someone had to ASK!

Marton Fucsovics turned the big 3-0

and seems to have his post-tennis career as a model already in the works 

Former tennis player(?) Kyle Edmund glows

Benoit Paire's ass on grass

Tommy Paul would (apparently) give you the shirt off his back 

Federico Coria -- the match-fixing younger brother of 2004 French Open finalist Guillermo -- had a good run in Buenos Aires. And boy has he grown into his body

Karen Khachanov is big leggy

Feels like adorable Denis Shapovalov is at a tennis crossroad 

Holger Rune is just a kid, but he's a kid who would be wise to delete his social-media accounts

Guido Andreozzi gets a goodbye pic with Juan Martin del Potro

Look for a special Tennis Tuesday starring Vasek Pospisil soon! 

Noan Rubin is cute and fun

Cesar Ramirez longs for his Christian Harrison

So am I, Chris

While Zlatan Dzumhur travels the world ... 

while poor brother Damir tends to his baby / mama

Matteo Berrettini is Boss

Stefanos may have lost the Rotterdam final, but his shirt was the big winner of the week

Mask4Masc with Franco Agamenone

and Juan Bettancourt

Another view

I heart Enzo Couacaud

Everybody loves Juan Martin

How do I join Team Guillermo Alcaide?

I wonder why Lloyd Glasspool also follows Tobias Simon?

Sam Groth: Big man, big thirst

Legman Cam Norrie

That's quite a birthday present for Jerome Kym

How do we get Cristian Garin in a pair of Thiago Monteiro's shorts?

Illya Marchenko is my favorite somethin'!

Always fun to see Jan-Michael Gambill playing in one of the seniors events

Playing over 40 has its costs

Benjamin Lock in action

Matteo & and his cute friends

Uruguay's finest: Pablo Cuevas

Can't imagine walking all over Marcel's pretty face

How do I play this game with Albano Olivetti?

36 candles for Jamie Murray

Hot orphan alert: Laslo Djere

Farah's sniffing around Carlos Alcaraz

Cutie Benjamin Bonzi lifts the 🏆 at the Challenger de Cherbourg, celebrating his seventh #ATPChallenger title.

Cristian Garin to his coach: It's not you, it's me

I said I was worried about the bad influences in his life, not that he wasn't handsome

Lastly, still not sure what this is about. I'm guess something pretty lame, but it doesn't change the fact that he was granted a medical exemption then was held in detention twice before being thrown out of the country the day before the Australian Open began. And speaking of lame: Wish I could say I was surprised by the continuing flow of silly comments that continue to come in on my posts about l'affaire Djokovic, most of which I've either deleted or not read at all. Once again: No one ever said Djokovic was a shoo-in to WIN the Australian Open. What people are saying is winning would have been A LOT HARDER for Rafael Nadal had Djokovic remained in his half of the draw. Also, no one ever said Nadal's win deserves an asterisk but Steffi Graf's post-stabbing wins do not. I said IF Graf deserves one -- and I have never heard a tennis pundit or fan hesitate to bring the "if" word up -- then Nadal's 2022 Australian Open also deserves one. (Monica Seles had every right to handle her situation the way she did, but the bottom line is she opted not to play even after her physical injuries healed a few weeks later. Djokovic was in the draw and practicing on the grounds when the government reneged on its agreement to let him play.) Intellectual consistency seems to be the missing ingredient from Nadal fans on this topic, which I find sad. (You really want your guy to be ahead this way?)

And as I've said in the comments: Imagine if Nadal had shown up in Paris but then had been defaulted the day before the tournament began, and then Djokovic ended up winning. You can say "Well he would have never done XYZ" or pretend to be all high and mighty about the reason behind the default. But the bottom line is simple: You'd be pissed -- with good reason -- and you know it. If I can own that Djokovic is an anti-vax nut, why can't you own the simple truth that Australia's mishandling of the situation was a disservice to the sport -- and a huge gift to Nadal -- and that you'd be furious if it were the other way around? 


And here we have it. Nothing surprising here. As I've said before, no one in the 2022 Winter Olympics is required to be vaccinated -- nor is anyone in the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, etc. -- so I don't understand why some sort of quarantine/regular testing regimen can't be put in place for Djokovic. I completely disagree with his stance. But I'm also not an elite athlete whose self-confidence determines whether or not I succeed, so I don't feel I am in a place to judge him for not wanting to do something with his body he's uncomfortable with. 

As with his losses, it seems Djokovic is handling the situation with own brand of integrity.

Amol Rajan: "Your experience in that detention hotel was far from pleasant?" 

Novak Djokovic: "It definitely wasn't pleasant but I don't want to be sitting here and complain about the conditions in the detention Centre because I stayed there seven days and some people stayed for years."

No comments: