Monday, August 22, 2022

Weekend Tennis Roundup

The tennis gods must have heard me singing "Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want" yesterday, because Borna Coric WON the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, marking the first time a non-Djokovic final has turned out the way I wanted it to in forever! Full details -- Caroline Garcia captured the women's title -- plus a look at the hunks in Borna's box -- BELOW.

Borna's back, baby!

Before I get to the Balkan beef, let's talk about the women and the men's doubles. Although I am a big fan of Petra Kvitova's, I couldn't help but be thrilled to see Caroline Garcia win, beating the Czech sweetheart 6-2, 6-4 in the Western & Southern Open final Sunday. It was the Frenchwoman's third title of the year, a remarkable run that includes wins on clay, grass and now hardcourts! I suspected in 2017 that the big-serving Garcia could be a potential post-Serena major winner one day, so it's nice to see her regain her form. 

For Petra, it was a great week despite the loss -- marking her 40th WTA career final! (I think she's won a remarkable 30 of them.) 

Top seeds Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram capped their impressive run at the Western & Southern Open with a 7-6(4), 7-6(5) win over Tim Puetz and Michael Venus in the men's doubles final to achieve their second ATP Masters 1000 trophy of the season.

After the win, Big Joe said: “We had a while off from playing together after Wimbledon and lost first round last week, so it’s great to get the win this week and feeling good going into the U.S. Open."

And in what was obviously the most exciting news, Borna Coric crowned a remarkable injury comeback Sunday, overcoming Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6(0)(!), 6-2 in the Western & Southern Open final. The cutie-pie Croatian, who was competing in his first tour-level final since 2020, defeated five seeds and a recent ATP titlist -- Lorenzo Musetti, de facto World No. 1 Rafael Nadal, Cam Norrie, Félix Auger-Aliassime, Roberto Bautista-Agut plus the Greek punching bag -- to capture his first ATP Masters 1000 title. 

Coric’s stunning week sees him surge 123 places to No. 29 in the ATP rankings, a move that comes just in time for him to be seeded at the final major of the year, beginning next week in Queens.

It's no secret that Borna -- dubbed "Little Djokovic" when he broke into the ranks as a teenager -- is good. But for him to return with a bigger serve and better head after undergoing potentially career-ending shoulder surgery was staggering to watch. 

(Nadal had to feel a lot better about his loss -- he wound up being the only player to get a set off him!) 

What is a secret is what's going on in Borna's personal life. One rumor is that he could be dating fellow Croatian Donna Vekic, who has been famously passed around the ATP ranks. (I say that with envy!) I'm not convinced, with my curiosity more focused on the two men in his players box: physio Yianni Louizos (in black) and coach Mate Delic. 

Although Borna's been questioned before about his chummy relationship with Delic, with whom he has worked for a number of years, I know Delic married a woman in 2018.  

But I was more interested in Yianni anyway, so I went to work. 

I came across his fairly benign Twitter account plus his SoundCloud.

But a deep dive led me to The Big One's Instagram, where I found this photo of him with a fellow shirtless Borna in Rio in 2020. 

Borna with his winning team 

I don't know if I've mentioned this, but I was commissioned by a tennis publication to write a piece about Borna's gay-friendly social-media presence. (Is he gay-baiting or actually gay was the question.) No sooner did I turn it in, the pandemic hit -- and Borna's career went in the crapper due to his shoulder injury and subsequent surgery and rehab. 

I'm not sure if it will ever run -- or if a complete rewrite is warranted given his recent reversal of fortune. But it's certainly clear that I'm not the only one who thinks he might have been BORN(A) THIS WAY. Although it seems unlikely, how great would it be if Yanni -- or any man -- turned out to be his better half? Overnight, men's tennis would become the best thing to happen to LGBT sports visibility in history! 

A note from Novak:

Bravo king! Fully deserved, all the effort and patience paid off. Go forward and good luck

Elsewhere around the net ...

Because he's too stubborn to try to win another major, Novak Djokovic decided to hang out with some hot men instead. First he made a blond friend mountain-climbing 

Then he got handsy with Luka Doncic during a Slovenia vs. Serbia game

Yugo bros

And to top it off, he turned up at a Serbian water polo match 

Well done, Nole! 

Jan-Michael Gambill and his partner, Malek Alqadi, don't miss too many workouts 

Borna keeps his ass on the ball 

Whereas James McGee will kick your ass

Cesar Ramirez and Christian Harrison were part of a large group to visit Nick Bollettieri over the weekend 

I don't know if there's anything specifically wrong with the legendary tennis coach. But at 91, it's never a bad idea to spend some time with someone you care about

I can do better than that, big boy 

Am I the only one who wants to take Cristian Garin's Ferrari out for a spin? 

Marcelo Arevalo and Jean-Julien Rojer are all legs

I hope Tommy Paul is better and nailing other holes

Benjamin Lock hits the gym

Bangkok brothers

Thomas Fabbiano continues to recover 

German engineering: Daniel Masur and Maximilian Marterer

Ruben De Poza, Oscar Otte and Max hit the practice courts in Flushing Meadows  

Oscar gets some hardcore training 

Mats Moraing gets comfortable 

Nobody looks better playing tennis in a bathing suit

... than Thanasi Kokkinakis

Not sure how I feel about Lorenzo Musetti looking for investors in his career. Couldn't he just turn tricks like a normal hunk? 

Kevin and Andy: The German boys are ready to take Manhattan

Veronika Kudermetova's groomer turned hubby keeps a watchful eye

Vasek Pospisil looked like he had a great time playing in the Challenger in his hometown of Vancouver, British Columbia

No comment on what obscene things I might do with one of these 

Liam Broady seemed to enjoy B.C. as well

Ryan Harrison does his thing

MAGA boys gone wild!

More proof that Tobe Simon is a brickhouse

Just need 30 minutes with David Vegas Hernandez ... will settle for 15

Cristian Garin shows some leg

Masked man Janko Tipsarevic 

Matteo Berrettini makes 19-year-old Francesco Maestrelli's wet dream come true

Denis Kudla prepares at Wake Forest 

Hot couple alert: Emilio Gomez and Yannick Hanfmann

J.J. Wolf takes on Dominic Thiem this evening in Winston-Salem 

Hungry like the Wolf

Will Dom be a sub? 

Joachim Bjerke and Casper Ruud star in "White Guys Love Golf"

Stefanos puts his best feature backward

It's maybe not that weird that Borna writes with his left hand, but he's also a south paw at PING-PONG!

Nino Serdarusic is ready for action

Matt Ebden is playing with Jamie Murray this week in Winston-Salem

The Borna bump 

Leggy Marius Copil

Tommy Paul and Reilly Opelka living the glamorous life 

Kyle Edmund, Borna Gojo and the luckiest woman on God's green earth  

The other Borna's pretty eyes 

I'm too obsessed with Adam Jones to not post every (quasi-obscene) photo from his hotel tour

My compliments to the photog 

Where's Lily Tomlin?

Adam knows pretty hair when he sees it

I sure hope Federico Coria is getting what he wants from Luciano Tacchi

Mischa Zverev gets physical

Czech cutie Tomas Machac wins his fourth Challenger title

Who's your friend, Matteo?

Robert Farah being Robert Farah

In case you want to stalk Cam in NYC

Was surprised to hear Reilly Opelka pulled out of the U.S. Open

Did he cite bitterness as the reason? 

At least he'll have more time to work for gal pal Venus Williams's plant-based food company 

Time to buy tickets to the U.S. Open

See what I mean? 


martini421 said...

That pose was so adorable at the end and then the big smile! I've been a big fan of Borna for years! Those close-ups on his face during the award ceremony - so handsome! Look forward to your tennis recap, as always.

John said...

What an outstanding week for Coric.

Typically when a long shot breaks through to win a tourney, it’s due to maybe one solid win, a hobbled opponent or two, and the draw opening up.

That’s not the story of his week. A stunning result but incredibly well earned.

You could see his discomfort with the spotlight after the match. It’s going to take getting used to, but I think he could more consistently become a force.

sgollis said...

I'm just waiting to see Borna and Carlitos Alcaraz together. Oh, and yes, for tennis. :-)

Steve G