Monday, June 13, 2022

Weekend Tennis Roundup

Nice grass-court wins for Matteo Berrettini, Ekaterina Alexandrova and Beatriz Haddad Maia -- plus a shocking victory for qualifier Tim Van Rijthoven in the Netherlands. All of this and more BELOW

Matteo Berrettini capped his return to Tour by winning his first title of the season Sunday, overcoming former World No. 1 Andy Murray 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 in the Boss Open final. The Italian missed the clay season after undergoing a minor operation on his right hand in late March, but has played like he has never been away in Stuttgart, improving to 28-6 on grass. (See how it's done, Borna and Dom?)

Murray was playing in his first tour-level singles final on grass since he lifted the trophy at Wimbledon in 2016. The Scot, who upset World No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas en route to his 10th tour-level championship match on grass, is up to No. 47 in the ATP Live Rankings.

In doubles, Hubert Hurkacz and Mate Pavic ended their debut week as a team in style Sunday, overcoming Tim Puetz and Michael Venus 7-6(3), 7-6(5) to capture the title in Stuttgart. 

(Apparently the Croat's normal partner, Nikola Mektic, had to withdraw at the 11th hour.)

Tim Van Rijthoven completed a dream week at the Libema Open in ‘s-Hertogenbosch on Sunday, when the World No. 205 raced to a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Daniil Medvedev to clinch a first ATP Tour title. The Dutch wild card was playing in a maiden championship match on just his second appearance in a tour-level main draw. However, he showed no sign of nerves in front of an ecstatic home crowd on his way to a 65-minute victory over the Russian who will reclaim the No. 1 spot in the ATP rankings on Monday.

Suffice to say, the 25-year-old Dutchman made an impression that will probably last long beyond his one-hit wonder ...

Even if the internet still can't understand that tennis players keep tennis balls in their pockets ...

Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski are proving hard to stop in 2022. The second-seeded duo dug deep to clinch a 4-6, 7-5, 10-6 victory over Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell in the final in ‘s-Hertogenbosch on Sunday.

Best hair?

  Ekaterina Alexandrova captured her second career title on the Hologic WTA Tour on Sunday, defeating top seed Aryna Sabalenka 7-5, 6-0 to win the Libema Open. The World No.30 rallied from a break down in the opening set to win 11 of the last 12 games to seal her first title of the season. Sabalenka's underwhelming performance will definitely make her not being allowed to play Wimbledon less likely to put an asterisk next to the winner's name.

Beatriz Haddad Maia achieved another milestone this season. The No.7 seed from Brazil defeated No.6 seed Alison Riske of the United States 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 in the Rothesay Open final to capture her first Hologic WTA Tour singles title. The win makes her the first Brazilian woman to win a tournament on grass since Maria Bueno won the 1968 Manchester-on-Sea event.

Around the net ... 

Need any help, boys?

Marcos Giron is 100% pure beef 

Christian Harrison before 

And with glasses and a straight beard 

Dreamy Bart Stevens reached a Challenger doubles final last week (while looking like this) 

Dominic Thiem contemplates his future

When your parents watch too much reality TV

J.J. Wolf and another one of his hot friends

I wonder if this helps shorten his refractory period 

Goodbye presents for the great Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 

I don't mean to be Ruud about Casper's grammar, but ... 

Oh, Daddy: Javi Pulgar

Borna Coric reached a Challenger quarterfinal last week and has entered another this week. 

But it's his ice-cream-eating method that I find most intriguing!

In case you'd forgotten how pretty Lloyd Glasspool is 

Although I must admit I was disappointed by his lack of Speedo

Simona Halep and Holger Rune attend the Mouratoglou Academy graduation for the Class of 2022, Although it was already clear, I didn't realize Patrick had officially ended his relationship with Serena Williams. It sounds like they reached the agreement once she was unable to commit to trying to play the French this year. 

Another week, another reminder that I want to hang out with Marko Andrejic

I can see why Tommy Paul wants to adopt Thanasi Kokkinakis for Team USA 

Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! 

Holger in flight 

Jay Clarke needs to nail down Bachelor No 1 (Patrick Frandji)

Cute couple alert: Diego Schwartzman and Leandro Paredes

Alexander Zverev ascends to No. 2 in the world while lying in a hospital bed

How do I board David Vega Hernandez?

Talk about product placement! 

It's nice to have the Italian Stallion back

Anyone else notice that Radu Albot has a hot little body? 

Marcelo Arévalo González is riding high on his French Open doubles win!

The guy in gray certainly looks like a champion! 

Happy birthday to Irishman James McGee

Jack Draper -- seen here with strength and conditioning coach Charlie Faulkner -- stunned Taylor Fritz at Queen's Club today 

The 20-year-old Brit looked quite fit during the 6-3, 6-2 drubbing 

And then put on quite a show after ...

Vasek Pospisil reels another one in 

Ken "the other white Skupski" and Jonny O'Mara captured the Nottingham Challenger title

Benjamin Lock made some kid's wet dream come true

Stefano Travaglia knows what he's doing 

Juan Betancourt looks like this and he knows how to play? 

Laslo Djere makes a spectacle of himself 

You can't say Medvedev's fitness coach is to blame ... for anything 

And last but not least: Try to guess if this was somehow controversial on Twitter. (Sigh.) The race for most majors is very close, and was undoubtedly tainted by the pandemic. (Remember that Novak Djokovic wasn't allowed to defend his Wimbledon title in 2020 whereas the French Open -- which actually falls sooner on the calendar -- moved to the fall, allowing Rafael Nadal another crack at Paris .. which is to say nothing of the Australian government reneging on a medical exemption it granted Djokovic in 2022 or the inconsistent application of the rule that got him defaulted from the 2020 U.S. Open while others played on.) But the reason Djokovic will likely be viewed as the GOAT by people who actually know something about tennis is because of his longevity at the top of the game, which seems unlikely to ever be matched. Nadal, who could wind up with the most majors, not only lags behind Djokovic and Roger Federer in weeks at No. 1, but also Pete Sampras, Ivan Lendl and Jimmy Connors. That he's never won the yearend championships -- to Djokovic's five and Federer's six -- is another strike against him, although his singles gold medal is a plus in some people's minds. (To me, the Olympics is not really tennis. Leading your country to the Davis Cup is.)

As things stand now, Djokovic also will not be able to play the U.S. Open 

(With wire services.) 

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