Monday, February 26, 2024

Weekend Tennis Roundup


Titles for Khachanov, Thompson, Baez and Paolini. My full report plus all the ATP beef that's fit to post BELOW.

Karen Khachanov captured the Qatar ExxonMobil Open on Saturday, his sixth tour-level crown and first of the season. In a heavy-hitting battle, the 27-year-old outlasted #NextGenATP Czech Jakub Mensik 7-6(12), 6-4 at the ATP 250, where Khachanov did not drop a set all week. 

Although he came up short in the final, the 18-year-old took out Murray, Rublev and Monfils en route to the final and has quickly become one of my favorite new players

Mensik reminds me of Holger Rune -- tree-trunk legs creating incredible power off both wings -- only with a more handsome face and far better disposition 

It also helps that his coach -- whose name I've yet to figure out -- isn't Patrick Mouratoglou and looks like this

Jordan Thompson clinched his first ATP Tour title by upsetting Casper Ruud to lift the trophy in Los Cabos, Mexico. After 11 years on tour, the 29-year-old Australian overcame 12th-ranked Norwegian in straight sets 6-3 7-6 (7-4). 

Thompson entered the event ranked a career-high No 40 in the world, and is set to rise as high as No 32 after winning the decider. Not sure what's going on here, but between the new beard and the new body of death -- and new coaching arrangement with Ryan Harrison -- Thompson is slowly becoming a force to be reckoned with.

He also snagged the doubles title with Max Purcell, defeating Aleksandr Nedovyesov and Gonzalo Escobar 7-5 7-6 (2)

Sebastian Baez won the biggest title of his career Sunday at the Rio Open. The Argentine ended the dream run of countryman Mariano Navone, a qualifier, 6-2, 6-1 in the ATP 500 final. It is the fifth seed’s first title above ATP 250-level and the fifth tour-level trophy of his career.

Navone may have ended up with the runner-up trophy, but he sure looked like a winner to me!

Jamie Murray and Michael Venus collected their first title of the season in Qatar, defeating Italians Lorenzo Musetti and Lorenzo Sonego 7-6(0), 2-6, 10-8 in the final before posing for this oddly provocative photo

And in WTA action: Jasmine Paolini earned her biggest title by defeating Anna Kalinskaya 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 in the Dubai Championships final on Saturday. While I was happy for the Little Person Italiana, I was upset at myself for falling in love with Kalinskaya, who had taken out Coco Gauff and Iga Swiatek en route to the final. It's bad enough that I'm already soft on Medvedev, Khachanov, Rublev and Rybakina, now I like yet another Russia? lol


Tim van Rijthoven sure looks like ...

he's recovered from whatever was ailing him 

New crush Zach Svajda

6-4 Frenchman Terence Atmane was thrilled to qualify for this week's Mexico Open

Sound advice from Dr. Grant Pitman 

Big Bret Waltz in white

I can think of something ...

On a related note: I have so many questions 

New sponsor, who dis?

Borna Coric 

Novak Djokovic had some fun watching L.A. Galaxy and Inter Miami CF in action, only blew it by referring to it as "American football"

First partner Rohan Bopanna rose to No. 1, now Matt Ebden sits atop the doubles rankings

Love the murse and T-shirt! 

I wonder why Ebden is so eager to post photos shot from behind 

Big Joe takes aim

As does Borna Gojo

Christian Harrison and Brandon Nakashima picked up a doubles Challenger crown 

German engineering: Andreas Mies 

Sightseeing with David O'Hare, Rajeev Ram, Joe Salisbury and Chris Eaton 

Robert Cardenas can't put it away 

I see Andy Seppi's hair hasn't retired

Hubert Hurkacz gets some pointers from Adrian Meronk

Pedro Martinez and the boys invade Santiago 

Andrea Pellegrino and birthday boy Auguri Mauri 

Mate Pavic (top) and Borna Coric (bottom) make quite a pair

Juan Betancourt keeps sucking me back in 

Fabien Reboul

Brazilian Joao Fonseca made quite a splash in Rio 

And just out of curiosity, does anyone know what the age of consent is down there? 

Jack Draper in his finest '90s wear 

Hugo Nys looking kinky 

Who's Pellegro's thicc friend? 

I recently had an epiphany ...

Maybe straight white men do deserve to have unfettered access to the best of everything -- best jobs, best schools, higher pay, a free pass on sexual harassment -- in exchange for living the most boring lives on earth. (And now they have to f** women who don't even look like human beings.) 

This makes me think content creation is Matteo Berrettini's Plan B 

Pecs appeal: Guido Andreozzi

Miles Bugby's pretty hair 

My favorite Karen

Adam Jones takes Miami

Jonathan Eysseric strikes a pose 

Imagine walking around ...

Janko Tipsarevic is daddy 

Tallon Griekspoor sure knows how to sell granola bars!

Casper was always cute ...

But he's definitely even more handsome now that he's growing up

Can't even remember whose box this was

And last but not least: Quentin Halys is pretty in peach ...

Damian to me: Did he win a beauty contest? 

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