Juan Martin del Potro’s place in tennis history may not be what he thought it would be after he won the US Open in 2009.
Instead of it being a victory propelling him to the top of the game, he became the only man in the last 29 grand slam tournaments to have won who is not named Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer or Novak Djokovic.
This week, Nadal won his seventh French Open in eight years stopping Djokovic’s streak of three straight majors.
Federer has not won a slam title since 2010 but he remains in the hunt winning the year-end championships the past two years and the prestigious Indian Wells tournament in March. He also briefly reclaimed the number two ranking last month before Nadal overtook him the week before the French Open.
Wimbledon, which begins in two weeks, will no doubt be won by one of the big 3. Djokovic is the defending champion while Nadal has won there twice and reached the finals three other times. Federer has been the most successful with six Wimbledon crowns and is keen to add to his record haul of 16 grand slam titles.
There have been comparisons to a previous golden age of men’s tennis from more than 30 years ago when Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe were competing for tennis’s big titles and had Jimmy Connors breathing down their necks at every turn. All three are considered among the greatest players in history.
”They are doing something to one another that hasn’t been done before,” three-time French Open champion Mats Wilander tells the Associated Press. ”Borg made (John) McEnroe a better player, but Borg quit. And Federer made Nadal a better player, and Federer didn’t quit. And Djokovic has beaten the hell out of Nadal, and Nadal didn’t quit. So I think they’re a very special three players that are not afraid of one another. They’re not mentally really disturbed by one another. They just tactically, technically can’t handle the other guy. It’s very interesting.”
Steffi Graf, whose rivals during her career included rivalries with such all-time greats as Martina Navratilova, Monica Seles and Chris Evert, said in the same AP article: ”To just watch these top players push each other, I don’t think there’s any much further to push. ‘Men’s tennis, definitely, is at the highest it has ever been.”
My two-cents is this: These three are not only superb athletes who are great at playing tennis, they are also complete professionals show up each time ready to play and who have appealing and contrasting personalities. Most of all, they have all kids of courage and heart out there on the tennis court.
I love how the AP article concludes: Like musketeers, they’re even more glorious as a trio. By building this golden era of tennis together, they share in its glitter. … To beat each other, they have to lift their game to the highest of standards. All three have been made bigger and stronger by their rivalry, not diminished by it.
Well, well, imagine this: a Pride festival in West Hollywood and men with their shirts off!
In this batch of pics, I’m the only dude with his shirt on (trust me, this is a good thing!) and I’m only in it because I’m standing next to a man with such a glorious six pack, Wilson Cruz (or is that an 8-pack???)
The rest of the guys are some of the many studs I saw during the festivities and had the presence of mind to take a photo of. Believe it or not, my main priority is taking shots of celebs and public figures!
I hope the shot of the guy on the Mickey’s float isn’t too shocking!
Rafael Nadal made history in Paris earlier today when he beat archrival Novak Djokovic in the finals of the French Open.
Nadal, winning for the seventh time, broke a tie with Bjorn Borg for the most French crowns ever won by a man. (Chris Evert holds the women’s record with seven titles).
Nadal also tied Borg and Rod Laver on the all-time list for overall grand slam titles with 11. Only Roy Emerson (12), Pete Sampras (14) and all-time leader Roger Federer (16) have more.
Djokovic was playing to become the first man since Laver in 1969 to win four consecutive grand slam tournaments. He had beaten Nadal in the finals of Wimbledon, the US Open and Australian Open but the Spaniard was finally able to turn the tables.
Nadal improved his astonishing record at the French Open to 52-1.
”I don’t know if I am the best or not,” Nadal said after the match. ” I am not the right one to say that. The only thing is, I have probably one of the best results ever, probably in this kind of surface, and for me (that) is great.”
Said a gracious Djokovic: ”He’s definitely the best player in history on this surface and the results are showing that he’s one of the best-ever players to play this game.”
The sport now turns its attention to grass courts for Wimbledon and the Olympics. Federer, a six-time Wimbledon champion, will be a bigger threat on grass than clay. Nadal has won Wimbledon twice.
It’s so nice when good things happen to good people.
And Judith Light is one helluva good person.
This beloved ally of the LGBT community won the Tony Award last night for featured actress in a play for her performance in Other Desert Cities.
She has done so much for so long in the fight against AIDS, has long fought for LGBT equality and appeared in and supported television shows and films about the LGBT experience.
She adds the Tony to the two Daytime Emmys she won as Karen Woleck on One Life to Live. She was also nominated several times for the Emmy for her performance on Ugly Betty and was nominated for her first Tony last year for Lombardi.
Here is the acceptance speech of a woman who is always filled with love and gratitude:
Congratulations to today’s Morning Man Christopher Gattelli who won his first Tony Award last night for his choreography of the musical Newsies.
His other Broadway credits include Godspell, South Pacific (Tony & Outer Critics Circle Nominations ) Women on the Verge…, Sunday In The Park With George, The Ritz, Martin Short-Fame Becomes Me, 13, and High Fidelity.
Christopher is also a performer who was in the casts of Cats and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.
Gatelli’s career also includes a very unique position: he was the resident choreographer for The Rosie O’Donnell Show back in the 90s!
Country music has not exactly been gay friendly (just ask Chely Wright!).
But Carrie Underwood has just shown to the world that one of the industry’s biggest stars can be in favor of LGBT equality.
“As a married person myself, I don’t know what it’s like to be told I can’t marry somebody I love, and want to marry,” she tells the UK paper The Independent. “I can’t imagine how that must feel. I definitely think we should all have the right to love, and love publicly, the people that we want to love.”
Underwood, whose hits include the single Jesus Take the Wheel, does not believe her pro-gay views are inconsistent with her Christian faith.
“Our church is gay friendly,” she said. “Above all, God wanted us to love others. It’s not about setting rules, or [saying] ‘everyone has to be like me’. No. We’re all different. That’s what makes us special. We have to love each other and get on with each other. It’s not up to me to judge anybody.”
It seems fitting that Nick Adams is celebrating his birthday on Tony Awards Sunday.
He has become a very bright star on Broadway.
The openly gay Nick is currently one of the stars of the musical Priscilla: Queen of the Desert.
He has previously appeared in La Cage Aux Folles, Guys and Dolls and A Chorus Line.
Priscilla will end its year-plus run on June 24.
Nick reflects on the experience on his blog: “It’s been an incredible journey and I am forever grateful for this unbelievable opportunity. This musical has touched so many and I am humbled and blessed to have been a part of it.”
I read on Facebook that Dustin Lance Black is celebrating his birthday in San Francisco this weekend.
This still-boyish Oscar winning screenwriter turns 38 today.
He’s accomplished so much writing the feature films Milk, J. Edgar, and Virginia (which he also directed) and the TV film Pedro. He was also a writer for HBO’s Big Love.
Then there is this: In 2011, Black wrote the play 8which portrays the actual events in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger trial and the testimony which led to the overturn of California’s Proposition 8.
Lance uses his gifts to advance the fight for marriage equality, is one of the co-founders of American Foundation of Equal Rights (AFER) and is most eloquent and articulate when talking about our civil rights.
Our beloved gay icon was born 90 years ago today in Grand Rapids, Minnesota and left us far too soon just 47 years later.
Whether she was Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, Esther in A Star is Born, in a movie with Mickey Rooney or singing Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas to Margaret O’Brien in Meet Me in St. Louis, she mesmerized us.
She continued to dazzle in the 60s with her legendary concerts and the glorious one-season run of The Judy Garland Show on CBS.
Miss Garland always had a large base of fans in the gay community and there is a widespread belief that there is connection between her death and funeral on June 27, 1969 and the Stonewall riots, the flashpoint of the modern Gay Liberation movement which started in the early hours of June 28.
In the first video below, Miss Garland is interviewed by Irv Kupcinet in September 1967 and expresses a disdain for attacks that were made against homosexuals, especially her audience.
Then enjoy a few of her classic numbers that live on forever including one with her equally great daughter Liza Minnelli.
TCM screened Rebel Without a Cause the other night and it was the first time I’d seen it in ages.
While we know James Dean is an all-time dreamboat, the actor who played the ill-fated character of gang leader Buzz Gunderson was awfully cute too!
His name is Corey Allen who, until he died in 2010, was the last surviving cast member.
Post-Rebel, Allen would go on to appear in such films as The Chapman Report, Darby’s Rangers, Juvenile Jungle, PartyGirl, and Sweet Bird of Youth as well as guest appearances on Bonanza, Dr. Kildare and Perry Mason.
He went on to become an Emmy-winning television director working on such shows as Hawaii Five-O, Hill Street Blues, Ironside, Mannix, Murder, She Wrote, Police Woman, The Rockford Files, Star Trek: The Next Generation and The Streets of San Francisco.
He won his Emmy Award in 1984 for directing an episode of Hill Street Blues.
The 2700+ participants in AIDS/LifeCycle 2012, the worlds largest HIV/AIDS fundraising event, completed their 545-mile cycling journey from San Francisco to Los Angeles this afternoon.
There are so many stories to be told by the thousands of participants. Here is one of them:
Erik Walton tested HIV-positive in 1989. On some days his major accomplishment was making it from the bedroom to the kitchen, as he was being killed by the disease that had taken over 300 of his friends. AIDS took the life of his best friend just 4 years ago.
(see video below)
Editor’s Note: This is one in a series of posts this week about AIDS LifeCycle. If you want to ride in next year’s event, you can save $40 on registration by using codes GayStarNews or GIH by Monday, June 11. To register, click HERE.
Every year, I wake up at 6 a.m. to watch the French Open men’s final and hope I get to see the entire match before it’s time to take off to see the Pride parade in West Hollywood.
This year, I have a feeling I’ll have to miss some of one or the other because I have doubt this one is going to be an epic: Rafael Nadal vs. Novak Djokovic.
Whoever wins, history will be made.
Djokovic is one victory from becoming the first man in 43 years to win four consecutive major championships while Nadal is one victory from becoming the only man to win seven titles at Roland Garros.
By reaching the final, they have already made history by becoming the first two men to ever face each other in the championship match in four consecutive grand slam championships.
Djokovic beat Nadal at Wimbledon and the US Open last year then at the Australian Open in January.
These are two men who have huge hearts and fight like true warriors. So this is a really big occasion!
”I have this golden opportunity to make history. This motivates me. It really inspires me. I’m really grateful to be in this position, obviously,” said the 25-year-old Djokovic, who owns five Grand Slam titles to Nadal’s 10. ”And look, I’ll try to prepare for that match and get my hands on that trophy, if I can.”
“There’s a lot on the line. It always is, when you’re playing finals of a Grand Slam,” Djokovic added. ”Considering the matches that we played against each other in last 15 months, we expect another emotional match, another big challenge for both of us, fighting for one of the four biggest titles in our sport.”
Women’s tennis finally has a bona fide superstar as its number one.
She’s Maria Sharapova who not only won the French Open singles trophy on Saturday, she also completed a rare career grand slam.
Sharapova’s 2012 French Open victory follows her wins at the 2004 Wimbledon, 2006 US Open and 2008 Australian Open.
She joins Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert, Billie Jean King, Margaret Court and Serena Williams as winners of the career Slam in the Open era. She’ll return to the No. 1 ranking on Monday for the first time since 2008.
“It probably is the most special moment in my career,” Sharapova told NBC after the match. “When I looked at that trophy today, I never felt this happy. It’s really incredible.”
Being a fan of Josh Hopkins can be a little frustrating.
He consistently lands good roles on good shows like Brothers & Sisters, Private Practice, Vanished, Pepper Dennis and Swingtown but then, for one reason or another, either his character or the show are soon gone.
But I have a feeling that is about to all change for this handsome 38-year-old actor who I met and chatted up over the weekend at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour party for ABC. He is in the cast of the new series Cougar Town that stars the terrific Courtney Cox.
Josh plays her secy neighbor and from the clips I saw, he reminded me a bit of James Denton in that first season of Desperate Housewives. Like Denton was, I’d love to see Josh on all the magazine covers once the show takes off.