The 115th U.S. Open is on, so you’re probably wearing your Labor Day tennis shorts and your Labor Day tennis bracelet in honor of the occasion. You are also planning your commute from Manhattan or Greenpoint to Fire Island or the Hamptons around the matches; for 10 days or so in September, Flushing, Queens is at the center of the tennis universe, New York social life, and your last summer weekend, literally. You are elated and sad at the same time. You are complicated. You are probably tan.
For 2015, record-breaking Serena Williams is the Open’s big draw (the women’s final sold out before the men’s for the first time ever), while the usual suspects — Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray — battle for the cup won last year by Marin Cilic.
Rest assured, none of those guys are gay, according to their ladies and Ukranian player Sergiy Stakhovsky, who’s ranked 49th in the world and claims there is no homo in the sport’s top 100, except for the lesbians: “On the WTA tour, almost every other player is a lesbian,” Stakhovsky tells Ukranian sports site XSport.ua. “Can you imagine—half of them. So I for sure won’t send my daughter to play tennis.”
Which means he should send his gay boy to play tennis. Right?
Sergiy may be appalled to learn that there is, or was, at least one gay in the men’s 100, if Jason Collins has his way. Or five. The out basketballer confides he’s friends with a gay former tennis pro, whom Collins is encouraging to come out. “I’m friends with a former player and trying to get him to publicly come out,’ Collins told a panel at Outfest following a screening of sports doc Out to Win. “He’s on his own path and I think ultimately he will.”
In the meantime, there’s the tennis, with the Open’s high proportion of attractive men in their prime playing the shit out of that signature fast-and-gritty blue court. Here are several favorite ranked players for end-of-summer last looks. As usual, Spain dominates, which you’re okay with because, c’mon, he’s Rafa.
#34 Leonardo Mayer ARG
Leonardo is 6’3″, 180 lbs and wants to show you his new racquets.
#71 Thanasi Kokkinakis AUS
19 year-old Thanasi is 6’5″ and 181 lbs of teen potential. He made a big impression at his first Australian Open in January.
— Jesse (@JesseImaan) July 20, 2015
#37 Nick Kyrgios AUS
Will you wear his Bonds home?
#20 Dominic Thiem AUT
It’s Austrian Dominic’s birthday September 3. He’ll be 22 and adorable.
#107 Ruben Bemelmans BEL
If you like your tennis pros lithe, Ruben is 6′ and weighs just 130 lbs. Hear him speak French.
#30 Thomaz Bellucci BRA
The Brazilian demonstrates he’s a lefty.
#17 Grigor Dimitrov BUL
Grigor is big and from Bulgaria. He just split with GF Maria Sharapova, who took this shot, so he’ll need some consoling.
#45 Vasek Pospisil CAN
Canadian Vasek lives in the Bahamas, has a big appetite.
#59 Santiago Giraldo COL
28 year-old plays with his right hand and your heart.
#6 Tomas Berdych CZE
Blue-eyed Czech Berdych gets drilled, is 6’5”, 200 lbs.
#87 Lukas Rosol CZE
Czech Lukas enjoys a continental breakfast before practice. Won’t you join him?
#19 Feliciano Lopez ESP
#8 Rafael Nadal ESP
Rafa: simply the best.
#32 Fabio Fognini ITA
Fabio is from Sanremo, Italy, where the Ricardos and Mertzes set out on their bicycle trip to France and Lucy forgot her passport! And he’s smokin’.
#67 Ernests Gulbis LAT
That could be you he’s looking longingly at.
#61 Jerzy Janowicz POL
At 6’8”, Polish Jerzy is one big kielbasa. This big.
#46 Joao Sousa POR
Professional tennis takes Joao all over the world, including Shanghai. Would you like to share the Bund with him?
#198 Andrey Rublev RUS
17 year-old Andrey’s hobbies are boxing, music, basketball and melancholy self-portraits.
#22 Viktor Troicki SRB
Follow the treasure trail.
#36 Martin Klizan SVK
He’s thinking about an answer to your fascinating question.
#57Aljaz Bedene UK
Slovenian serves for the UK, pulled his groin. Will you nurse him?
#13 John Isner USA
Isner won the longest match in tennis history, maybe because he’s 6’10”, 238 lbs.
#75 Denis Kudla USA
Blonde Ukranian Kudla (no relation to Stakhovsky, we hope) works hard and plays hard. Watch him while he sleeps.
#68 Donald Young USA
Donald got to the 4th Round at Flushing in 2011 by staying hydrated. Will you help him hold his juice?