Monday, April 11, 2022

Weekend Tennis Roundup

Big wins for Belinda Bencic, Reilly Opelka, David Goffin and Tatjana Maria; Roger Federer sends fans into a meltdown; Borna Coric continues to take it lying down; and more in my weekly tennis roundup BELOW.

Huge relief that Reilly Opelka beat fellow American John Isner 6-3, 7-6 (7) on Sunday to win the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championship. It was bad enough that two big servers were in the final, but I don't think I could have handled having the president of the Sean Hannity Fan Club win yet another title. (I still haven't gotten over Miami 2018.)

What's the opposite of a belly flop?

And it was a nice return to form in Marrakech for former world No. 7 David Goffin, who defeated Alex Molcan in the final 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 to win his first title of the year and sixth overall. 

Belinda Bencic won the Charleston Open Sunday, narrowly defeating Ons Jabeur 6-1, 5-7, 6-4. Although I prefer Jabeur, it was nice to see Bencic rise to the occasion, something she rarely does. If Ostapenko, Kenin and Raducanu can win majors, why can't she? 

And how about the Zurich final: Tatjana Maria of Germany won her second career WTA title with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 over fellow qualifier Laura Pigossi. (You may recall Pigossi is the Brazilian girlfriend of dreamy Benjamin Lock.) Maria is the first mother-of-two this century to lift a WTA trophy!

In the Marrakech doubles, Svetlana Kuznetsova impersonator Rafael Matos and David Vega Hernandez capped off their tour-level team debut with a 6-1, 7-5 victory over Andrea Vavassori and Jan Zielinski.

I was so titillated by the Brazilian/Spanish duo that I saved as many photos as I could find to mark the occasion!

In Houston doubles, top-seeded Australians Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell captured their first ATP Tour title as a team in their fourth tournament as a duo, defeating twin Serbs Ivan Sabanov and Matej Sabanov, 6-3, 6-3, to cap a dominant week in which they lost just 21 total games across eight sets.

Elsewhere around the net ...

Is this 40-year-old Roger Federer comeback really happening?

Danish teenager Holger Rune joined an exclusive club by winning his fifth ATP Challenger title on Sunday in Sanremo, outlasting Italian qualifier Francesco Passaro 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 ... while simultaneously competing in the qualification rounds in Monte Carlo, where he reached the main draw by defeating Radu Albot and Maxime Cressy in straight sets. The poor kid drew Aslan Karatsev, whom he'll play tomorrow morning. (I think Cressy made it in anyway as a lucky loser.) 

Stan Wawrinka came up short against Alexander Bublik in Monte Carlo today, but it was definitely an improvement over last week's Challenger loss

Novak Djokovic is back and the tour is already a million times more fun, as seen HERE and HERE.

Croatian dreamboat Nino Serdarusic finally got around to posting photos of his runner-up result last week at the Oerias Open Challenger event, where he lost to Gastao Elias of Portugal 6-3, 6-4.

Despite the score, it's clear who was the big winner that afternoon

Andreas Seppi is even more of a daddy now

Hot couple alert: Marko Andrejic and Jérôme Kym

Cam Norrie: Sex on a beach


Márton Fucsovics took out Lloyd Harris in the first round in Monte Carlo. Next up? Diego Schwartzman, a three-set winner of Karen Khachanov 

In the Challenger in Mexico City, Marc-Andrea Huesler of Switzerland upset No. 2 seed Tomas Martin Etcheverry of Argentina 6-4, 6-2 in Saturday’s singles final.

And in doubles, I couldn't help but notice what a hunky foursome reached the final. 

Nicolas Jarry of Chile and Matheus Pucinelli de Almeida from Brazil defeated Frenchman Jonathan Eysseric and Artem Sitak of New Zealand 6-2, 6-3, although I'd hardly call these two losers

Tommy Haas and his daughters 

Oscar Otte got into the main draw as a lucky loser in Monte Carlo, where he'll play Emil Ruusuvuori tomorrow

Target practice with Pablo Andujar

You have to be pretty self-confident to allow Vasek Pospisil on the premises when you're getting married!

I wonder if the Canadian hunk -- who is out for six to seven weeks doing elbow rehab -- was trying any of his multilevel-marketing tricks on the guests ...

Not sure how Fabio Fognini can concentrate with doubles partner and pal Simone Bolelli in the stands 

Poor Borna Coric drew Jannik Sinner in the first round of Monte Carlo and came up short again. Might be time to play some Challengers so he can get more than one match under his belt at a time.

View to a thrill ...

Model perfect Benoit Paire

Casper Ruud lost a fourth of his wisdom 

Dusan Lajovic's lower body powered through the Monte Carlo qualies. He'll take on Grigor Dimitrov in the main draw tomorrow. 

Doggy style with Ryan Harrison

Andy Murray and Liam Broady need to get a room

... before Liam runs off with this one

Men's tennis in Britain is in good hands if Jack Draper and Luca Pow, above, are any indication

Mr. Paula Badosa can't put it away ... thank god

Tennis T&A: Denis Shapovalov has the A ...

And his friend in blue has the T

Tea time with Lloyd Glasspool

CoCo Vandeweghe's box was nearly as macho as she is

Expect to see a Tennis Tuesday post featuring Hungarian Anna Bondar's coach/boyfriend

Luca Mark is my favorite thing about the Gulf South Conference, whatever that is

Happy 33th to the Pulgar twins!

Weird week for J.J. Wolf. He scored the biggest win of his career -- knocking out Jenson Brooksby in straight sets -- before getting killed by a local qualifier in the next round.

Is Thanasi Kokkinakis trying to make Nick Kyrgios jealous?

Matt Ebden's modeling career kicks into high gear

Say hello to Bart Stevens

Only Matteo Berrettini could look this good letting us know his entire clay-court season has been destroyed by injury 

Can you imagine if Novak Djokovic had gotten brother Djordje's looks, too? 

And last but not least: Having grown up religiously watching the Family Circle Cup -- whose TV broadcast began each year with James Taylor's "Carolina in My Mind" -- it was moving to see a bunch of past champions on hand for the Charleston Open's 50th anniversary. 

The 1979 and 1980 champion Tracy Austin. I remember her later reaching the 1983 final -- after another injury-plagued year in 1982 -- and taking the first set off Martina Navratilova before losing 12 of the next 13 games. It was the last tournament she ever played where it seemed like there still may be hope. Watch her 1992 induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame HERE.

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