Monday, April 24, 2023

Weekend Tennis Roundup

Titles for Iga, Carlos, Holger and Dusan(!), plus all the ATP beef that's fit to post BELOW.

World No.1 Iga Swiatek successfully defended her Porsche Tennis Grand Prix title on Sunday, finishing up her week by defeating No.2 Aryna Sabalenka 6-3, 6-4. In a rematch of last year’s final on the indoor clay of Stuttgart, Swiatek captured her 13th career singles title after the 1-hour, 50-minute hard-hitting battle.

Carlos Alcaraz capped a perfect week at the Barcelona Open on Sunday by (again) outplaying Stefanos Tsitsipas with a high-quality championship-match display at the ATP 500. The home favorite was in irresistible touch on Pista Rafa Nadal, where he combined fierce ballstriking and deft forehand drop shots with inspired defence to wrap a 6-3, 6-4 victory and claim his ninth tour-level crown. (Stefanos will be having nightmares about drop shots for weeks to come!)

Holger Rune produced one of the most remarkable comeback wins of the 2023 season so far on Sunday at the BMW Open, where the top seed battled physical issues and a daunting deficit to beat Botic van de Zandschulp 6-4, 1-6, 7-6(3) in Munich. Struggling with an upper right arm issue in the latter stages, Rune trailed 2-5, 40/15 on the Van de Zandschulp serve in the third set. Yet he forged an inspired turnaround on the Bavarian clay, ultimately saving four championship points and recovering from twisting his ankle in the 10th game of the decider to dominate the tie-break.

Definitely felt for the handsome Dutchman, but Holger was nearly up 5-1 last week in the Monte Carlo final against Rublev only to lose so it feels like the tennis gods were just trying to be fair

Although you'd never guess it from this photo, Dusan Lajovic capped a dream week at the Srpska Open on Sunday when he clinched his second tour-level title in Banja Luka. The Serbian overcame Andrey Rublev 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 in two hours and 32 minutes to snap the second seed’s eight-match winning streak. The 32-year-old also took out Novak Djokovic earlier in the week in a tournament run by the world No. 1's cute little brother! 

Maximo Gonzalez and Andres Molteni continued their impressive season on Sunday when they captured their third tour-level title of the year as qualifiers at the Barcelona Open. In a tight clash, the Argentines recovered from squandering one championship point in the second to eventually defeat top seeds Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski 6-3, 6-7(8), 10-4.

Jamie Murray and Michael Venus claimed their second ATP Tour title as a team with a 7-5, 6-2 win against Francisco Cabral and Aleksandr Nedovyesov in Saturday's Srpska Open final. The British-Kiwi pair, which has exclusively played together this season, did not face a break point in the title match behind an 82 per cent win rate on both first and second serve.

Hubba hubba

Alexander Erler and Lucas Miedler defeated the defending champion Kevin Krawietz and his partner Tim Pütz in the final, 6–3, 6–4 to win the doubles tennis title at the 2023 Bavarian International Tennis Championships

Elsewhere around the net: Bad news from Matteo Berrettini 

David Vega Hernandez, large and in charge

Oscar Otte reached the round of 16 on his home turf

Damir Džumhur reached the quarters at his home tournament 

And his son got to hang out with Nole!

The hot Zverev brother

How do I get a job training Sean Hodkin? 

Training with Tommy

Getting pumped with Fabien Reboul

Hot team: Marcelo Demoliner and Andrea Vavassori 

Jan-Michael Gambill inducted into the USTA Pacific Northwest Tennis Hall of Fame

You betcha! 

Ben Lock and Rubin Statham looking like winners after losing the Challenger doubles final in Morelos, Mexico

Monsieur Handsome Quentin Halys

Rising Austrian Filip Misolic

Who is Marton Fucsovics's hot friend in blue????

The closest we've seen Dusan Lajovic smiling

Big boy James Duckworth reached the final Morelos

But he came up short against Thiago Agustin Tirante

Congrats to the Argentine cutie 

Daniil Medvedev and his child's godfather(s)

Tommy Robredo makes a sexy spokesman 

With Medvedev back in the Top 3, the men's rankings are starting to make more sense. Mind you that Novak is missing 2,000 points from Wimbledon despite missing the Sunshine Double and barely winning any points these past couple weeks on clay. He's pulled out of Madrid too, citing an elbow injury

I can live with this. Iga is a strong No. 1, but the No. 2 spot had been a somewhat embarrassing revolving door for a while (remember when Anett Kontaveit ascended to it?). Would obviously make even more sense if Rybakina had her 2,000 Wimbledon points, which would put her at a solid No. 3 where she belongs 

No Novak or Nadal for the first time in ages. Who wins in their absence?

And last but not least, the tabloids have revisited Princess Diana's affair with Serbian tennis player Slobodan Zivojinovic ... because he's selling his apartment.

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