Medvedev is the hottest player in tennis

When Daniil Medvedev made the Citi Open and the Rogers Cup finals, people thought he’d be out of gas for Cincinnati

And then, he won Cincinnati. Surely he’d have nothing left for the US Open.

And then he took Rafael Nadal the distance in the final.

This fall, the 23-year-old picked right up where he left off.  He won St. Petersburg. In Shanghai, he beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semis and Alexander Zverev to win it.

True, he didn’t have to beat any big-three players to win it. But the man is 59-17 on the season, with four titles. 

Coco Gauff – strength training at 10

Coco Gauff didn’t just suddenly arrive as a tennis player.

All the way back when she was just 10 (five years ago – a blink of an eye, but a full third of her life), she was already doing strength training.

She was working with Jeff Drock, a Boca Raton, Fla.-based trainer and former college player with a Master’s degree in sport behaviour and performance, and a list of credentials as long as your arm.

Drock works mainly with juniors and collegiate players, on footwork and physical conditioning.

It’s crazy how little she’s changed. But everything has changed.

Venus talks about tough Wimbledon loss

Venus Williams now has a YouTube Channel, where she provides links (get her white bustier-inspired snappy dress!) to her EleVen clothing line.

But in the second episode, she gers personal, talking about the tough loss to Coco Gauff at Wimbledon this year.

Williams draws parallels to her first appearance at Wimbledon in 1997, when was ranked No. 59 and she also lost in the first round (to Magdalena Grzybowska of Poland).

“My destiny was not to choke and fall down. My destiny was to rise,” Williams said of that defeat. 

Three years later, she won it.

Badosa overcomes anxiety, depression

When a young player wins a junior Grand Slam – as Paula Badosa did at the 2015 French Open – it starts.

You could see the forces already at work to sell the tall, attractive teenager. And the Spaniard, now 21, struggled to handle the pressure.

She would start matches well, then something would happen – a block, a “shock”.  She suffered from anxiety and depression.

But with new coach Xavier Budó at her side, a man who seems to understand the balance between the mental and the physical, Badosa is at a career high No. 116.

If your Spanish is up to it, they talk about it in this video.

Hero’s welcome for Halep at home

Simona Halep returned to Romania to a hero’s welcome and a big reception at the Arena Națională in Bucharest Wednesday.

Imagine thousands of your countrymen and women chanting your name – just for winning a tennis tournament. It has to be truly heady stuff.

And it speaks to what her accomplishments mean to the people of a country with a population around 20 million.

Two of the foremost names in Romanian tennis – Ilie Nastase and billionaire Ion Tiriac, without whose financial support Halep might not even have had a career, were there to greet her at the airport.

Serena’s grass-bruising fine not unusual

The size of the fine Serena Williams incurred for hurting Wimbledon’s grass  – $10,000 – raised some eyebrows.

But Wimbledon takes its grass seriously – as it should. You can’t patch it overnight.

A Daily Mail photographer caught her in the act (the Tennis.Life pic above was taken a few minutes before). There was video. 

Serena knows. She even wrote an “apology note” – to no avail.

Williams got a similar fine during a win over Christina McHale in 2016 (hilariously, the “official highlights” forgot it).

Heather Watson and Fabio Fognini are among those similarly dinged  – but not before the tournament.

“Strawberry Man” outdoes himself

Chris Fava – the legend known as “Strawberry Man”  finds his own fine self a tough act to follow every year.

But for this year’s Manic Monday at Wimbledon, he put together a fine version of Centre Court – including Hawkeye.

(It’s worth noting that the other side of his … man purse? says “OUT”).

His “Strawberries and Creme” ensemble made it to the Wimbledon museum in 2016. And his “Trophy Man” getup got there a year ago.

Of course, the designer gets a ton of mileage out of this – even has his own website.

“Sir” Andy Murray finally official

Andy Murray has been “Sir Andy Murray” since he was named to the Queen’s “New Year Honours list” in 2016.

But he finally had his investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace Thursday, with the sword of Prince Charles laid on both his shoulders as he (sort of) knelt in humility.

The Prince, looking in splendid form, was in full regalia as the two chatted amiably.

The Royal Family announced this to its nearly four million Twitter followers Thursday.

The ceremony came the day after his 32nd birthday, as Sir Murray works to return from hip surgery.

Madrid tourism advice from the WTA

It’s a standard topic at every Tour stop.

But it remains amusing to see players try to come up with must-sees when they’re asked about a city.

In this case, the WTA asked players for Madrid tourism advice.

Eating food. Drinking coffee. Looking at … things. At least Jelena Ostapenko remembered that time she went to the amusement park.

It’s like everyone forgets it’s a work trip. Even walking the streets saps energy needed on court.

At least the city’s beat is perfect for tennis players – always looking for that late-late night resto.

Monday is Serena time at Met Gala

The tennis world is in Madrid.

But Serena Williams had a prior engagement: co-chair of the Met Gala in Manhattan.

Williams already made an appearance Sunday at a pre-gala party hosted by Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour.

But the big night is Monday.

Maria Sharapova also is on hand.

The birth of the royal baby Monday was a reminder that while the WTA was in the Middle East, Williams also was in New York – hosting a lavish baby shower for friend Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex.

So far, Williams is still on for Rome next week.