Thursday, May 19, 2022

Weekend Tennis Roundup

If I had written this on Monday as planned, I'd have been gushing about how we were going into the French Open exactly how I'd hoped. Novak Djokovic finally found his form. Stefanos Tsitsipas is good, but not good enough to beat Nole. And Iga Swiatek kept her streak alive. (I just want her to win in Paris so her inherited ranking isn't in vain.) But instead I saw how the draw played out at Roland Garros today and I'm suddenly shaking my head all over again. Keep reading BELOW.

Novak Djokovic looked sharp beating Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-0 7-6 (7-5) in the final of the Italian Open, the Serb's first tournament victory of the year. But now comes word that he would play Rafael Nadal in the quarters and Carlos Alcaraz in the semis in Paris, thanks to the French Open's idiotic refusal to seed players accordingly, a la Wimbledon. As a result, Daniil Medvedev -- who returned from hernia surgery this week losing to Richard Gasquet(!), who has never won a tournament on clay and who publicly announced that he has no chance of winning in Paris -- is seeded second while Nadal is fifth. At the risk of sounding disingenuous, I really think it's enormously unfair to Nadal -- why should the 13-time champ have to play the No. 1 seed in the round of eight???? -- and just makes for a needlessly lopsided draw. (Alexander Zverev is also in the Novak-Nadal half. Dumb, dumb, dumb.)

Iga Swiatek continued her reign of terror, overwhelming Ons Jabeur 6-2, 6-2 to defend her Italian Open title Sunday and extend her winning streak to 28 matches. If someone can stop the Pole in Paris she will have truly earned it. 

P.S. My poor Nadal-loving husband isn't sleeping well with news that Novak's son, Stefan, won his first tournament over the weekend

And in doubles, Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic are finally back in the winners’ circle. The defending Italian champions edged mixed-height darlings John Isner and Diego Schwartzman in Rome, clinching their fourth ATP Masters 1000 title together with a 6-2, 6-7(6) 12-10 championship match victory. 

Once unbeatable, Mektic and Pavic earned nine tour-level titles last season on their way to finishing 2021 as the year-end No. 1 team. But after Damian and I saw them get upset early at the U.S. Open, they have been fragile, having won no titles in 2022 prior to arriving in Rome. Congrats, boys! 

With the Soviet Union getting back together, can Yugoslavia be far behind? 

In other GOAT news: Djokovic became just the fifth man in history to reach 1,000 Tour wins as he defeated Norway's Casper Ruud 6-4, 6-3 in the Italian Open semifinals. Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl are the only other men to have reached the historic milestone. Djokovic reached his 1,000th win in 1,203 matches, making him the fourth fastest to achieve the feat, according to ATP stats, as well as the oldest. (He turns 35 in a few days!) Here's hoping the cake was gluten-free.

Elsewhere around the net ...

Daniil Medvedev and Denis Shapovalov 

Stan Wawrinka takes Damien Wenger under his wing

Christian Harrison reels in another one

Crew-sing Kevin Krawietz 

Cristian Garin is a swinger 

I love their abusive relationship!

John Millman in salmon

Musetti manspread 

Hugo Boss is getting every penny out of its contract with Matteo Berrettini

David Vegas Hernandez and Rafael Matos claim another Challenger crown

Filip Krajinovic flaunts it

Borna Coric still can't win a match ...

But he can still do THIS

Pretty boy Bart Stevens & Co. reach another Challenger final

The Lock bros. picked up a 25K title

Towering over the competition 

No one looks better in defeat than Quentin Halys

Ooh la la: Fabien Reboul

et Hugo Nys

Daddy time with Javi Pulgar

25 candles for Tommy Paul

Stefanos in flight 

Juan Betancourt in action

Retired Irish pro James McGee is pretty in pink

Federico Coria

Tommy and Reilly

... and Botic van de Zandschulp and Emil Ruusuvuori enjoy the sights in Rome

French kiss: Jonathan Eysseric

Marko Andrejic and friend

Will the German boys pick up a third French Open?

If I were rich, I would sponsor Franko Skugor

Holger Rune followed up his win in Bavaria by losing in the Rome qualies. But he's still SMILING.

Cam Norrie is on time

Jonny O'Mara 

Another multilevel marketing deal for Vasek Pospisil? 

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