Monday, June 27, 2011

ATP Summer Hotness Rankings: Week 1 (Wimbledon)

John Ramos and I have been threatening to do this for literally years, and we finally got our act together just as Wimbledon had settled down on its middle Sunday before resuming with the Round of 16. So here's how this works: John and I are starting with a pool of the 16 men's tennis players still alive at Wimbledon and ranking them by hotness (quake with fear at the Low Res sports coverage, Grantland!). Ideally, as the season goes on, we'll re-rank depending on a combination of who's doing well in the summer tournaments and ... still hotness. Hopefully, it'll all culminate at the U.S. open, the greatest, most sleeveless-T-shirt Open of them all!

The innaugural Tennis Hotness Rankings are as follows:

01 - Novak Djokovic
Country: Serbia
ATP Rank: 2
Previous Hotness Rank: n/a
John: It doesn't hurt that he's my favorite player, but he's got great features, body, and a sense of style that a lot of players lack. Plus, there's this little tidbit at 1:03. I could go on but I'm trying not to embarrass myself straight out of the gate.

Joe: The epitome of skinny, Euro athleticism, but with a personality thrown in where there might usually be cold aloofness. That personality has not always gotten the crowds on his side, both at the U.S. and French Opens, but you know what? Fuck those guys if they can't appreciate a guy who moves gracefully on the court and the runway.

02 - Rafael Nadal
Country: Spain
ATP Rank: 1
Previous Hotness Rank: n/a
Joe: At this point, it feels boring to talk about the physical perfection of Rafael Nadal. Actually, scratch that, because "perfection" isn't exactly the right word. The man is all ass, arms, and legs -- if you're a chest man or are overly concerned with perfect faces, you're probably going to go home unsatisfied. But the fact that Rafa specializes in some physical areas over others -- an ironic contrast to his all-court game -- just endears him more to me.

John: His face can come off a bit rodent-like while he's competing, which with the Elvis-like twisted lip is not always my thing, but it's hard to find anything else to knock. Shakira doesn't cast ugly in her videos, for sure. And those guns!

03 - David Ferrer
Country: Spain
ATP Rank: 6
Previous Hotness Rank: n/a
John: Possibly the most classically pretty face on the tour. He's a little stocky and as such lacks the elan of certain other players, but I could look at him all day.

Joe: You have to feel kind of bad for any of this era's bumper crop of Spaniards for having to spend their entire careers in Rafael Nadal's shadow. That goes doubly so for a guy like Ferrer, who has pretty much all the dreamboat goods -- hair! face! abs! -- but can't get arrested every time Rafa puts on a pair of white capris.

04 - Feliciano Lopez
Country: Spain
ATP Rank: 44
Previous Hotness Rank: n/a
John: If anyone could snatch the Prettiest Face award from Ferrer, it's Lopez -- beautiful features and eyes like ice. Plus, in the interests of complete reporting, I must tell you that I saw him playing a match at the US Open years ago on a very hot day, and he was wearing the same white capris that Nadal used to favor, which if you'll remember were excellent for sweatily showcasing one certain aft feature of the anatomy. And it was good.

Joe: I should note that Lopez might have ranked higher for me had he not shown up for Wimbledon with an unruly beard situation and a half-assed haircut that he seems to have stopped washing. This man once had the finest head of hair in tennis, bar none, and the Ritchie Tenenbaum headband he kept it in was a signature look! Wimbledon is no place to mess with that. Seriously, though, this man is otherworldly beautiful.

05 - Richard Gasquet
Country: France
ATP Rank: 13
Previous Hotness Rank: n/a
Joe: Everything about Gasquet screams "preppy jock," from his clean-cut features to his backwards ballcap to his 2009 suspension for testing positive for cocaine, to the fact that he said he accidentally consumed the coke from kissing a woman who'd done a line. And yet he doesn't come across as sleazy on the court at all! In fact, his one-handed backhand cuts one of the more graceful figures in tennis.

John: I still think of him as cute instead of hot, even though he's been around a good long while now, but that's not a bad thing. I mean, there are bunnies I find less adorable.

06 - Roger Federer
Country: Switzerland
ATP Rank: 3
Previous Hotness Rank: n/a
Joe: Oh, Roger. I've never been a fan of his, per se, but my levels of like/dislike have ebbed and flowed over the years. Enjoyed him getting the better of Sampras (someone had to). Hated the teeny ponytail. Loved the newer cut that let loose his luxuriously full hair. Loved the Anna Wintour friendship. Hated the cardigans. Hate the private jet commercials. But I have to admit: the man has got it going on a little bit.

John: I won't catalogue my abiding lack of affinity for the man here, and I think he's in danger of developing a unibrow later in life, but despite his lack of a classic six-pack I find his body really appealing. Plus, he does have a physical grace probably unmatched on the men's tour, and a sense of style that usually works. (It probably goes without saying that I think his Wimbledon clothing line is the exception here.)

07 - Juan Martin Del Potro
Country: Argentina
ATP Rank: 21
Previous Hotness Rank: n/a
Joe: I see why other people find him attractive, but he's just on the side of too tall (or at least too lanky), he pretty much always has facial scruff, and not the good kind, and his shockingly close resemblance to David Annable from Brothers & Sisters really became apparent right around the time that Annable's Justin was becoming insufferable. So no.

John: Sure, that's a lot of limbs, but I think he carries it well for six foot six. Actually, it's weird for someone so tall, but he's another one I just find totally adorable overall. Love.

08 - Tomas Berdych
Country: Czech Republic
ATP Rank: 7
Previous Hotness Rank: n/a
John: Never has such a beautiful combination of features yielded something so bland. It's like, sure, he's pretty, but...what would you do with him, exactly?

Joe: Berdych is tall and lean and Aryan as all get-out, but his on-court brattiness always turned me off.

09 - Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Country: France
ATP Rank: 19
Previous Hotness Rank: n/a
John: Kind of the opposite of Berdych in that I don't particularly find anything to love about his features, but he exudes something that makes you think you wouldn't ever be bored.

Joe: Tsonga's got all the ingredients -- I disagree about the "no good features" thing, because: that broad-shouldered frame! He's just yet to trip my personal wires with his personality. Maybe more big matches in the later stages of Slams will do it. Also: taking his shirt off at gay clubs.

10 - Xavier Malisse
Country: Belgium
ATP Rank: 42
Previous Hotness Rank: n/a
John: I used to drink the Kool-Aid on this one, but honestly now when I look at him all I see is beady eyes and terrible skin. Not that he can help either issue, but he does nothing for me these days.

Joe: I may be slightly overrating Malisse due to my historical fondness of him, dating back to the early 2000s. It seems perverse to think of Xavier as an old man of the game considering he's one month older than me, but I've a fan of his ever since he was rumored to be a "bad influence" boyfriend of Jennifer Capriati's before her comeback. Maybe it was the ponytail back then, I don't know, but I've always got an eye out for him.

11 - Lukasz Kubot
Country: Poland
ATP Rank: 93
Previous Hotness Rank: n/a
Joe: The one player in the Round of 16 of whom I was utterly unfamiliar before the tournament began. I know he's Polish, he's 29 (represent for the old folks!), he seems to be having fun with his career-best Wimbledon run, and he looks like this without a shirt on. Alllll right!

John: I haven't really managed to catch him playing, which makes my ranking suspect, I'll admit, but from pictures he seems to look a lot like Jurgen Melzer, which is not a bad thing from where I'm standing. I look forward to further research.

12 - Bernard Tomic
Country: Australia
ATP Rank: 158
Previous Hotness Rank: n/a
John: It's not just that he's so young, but he's got one of those featureless faces that looks to me like it's not *done* yet. Talk to me in five years, Bernard, for a whole host of reasons.

Joe: New meat! I'm not sure if I've got a full grasp on just what Tomic's face looks like, perhaps because it's still growing into what he'll look like as an adult (jinx!). But he gives me a slight Aaron Krickstein vibe, and grade-school me would tell you that's a very dreamy comparison.

13 - Mardy Fish
Country: USA
ATP Rank: 9
Previous Hotness Rank: n/a
John: I genuinely like him and would like to rank him higher, but I'm hard pressed to find a reason to do so? I don't think that's likely to change.

Joe: Mardy seems more like your brother's cool friend. Not his hot friend, though.

14 - Mikhail Youzhney
Country: Russia
ATP Rank: 17
Previous Hotness Rank: n/a
John: Here's one I find so sour and unlikable on and off the court that I can't really see him objectively. I mean, good body, I guess, and it's not like his face routinely stops clocks, but I just cannot abide him. Ugh.

Joe: He's got a scrunchy face. I like him as a player, but he does.

15 - Michael Llodra
Country: France
ATP Rank: 35
Previous Hotness Rank: n/a
John: The Radek Stepanek of France, which is all you really need to know.

Joe: The Radek Stepanek of France! Seriously, I was totally going to make the Stepanek reference too! Nothing else I need to say.

16 - Andy Murray
Country: Great Britain
ATP Rank: 4
Previous Hotness Rank: n/a
John: Was it Guy Lodge who recently said on Twitter that Murray is the living example of the old wives' tale about making a face and it sticking that way? Those Big Book Of British Smiles teeth! The hair that looks like it's trying to escape a labyrinth of its own making! The "Is it raining. I hadn't. Noticed." (tm Sarah D. Bunting) quality of his interviews! At the risk of being incredibly mean, keeping a picture of him on hand would be a very marketable cure for sex addiction. Yuck squared.

Joe: Shut up, Andy Murray's face.


Emily said...

I'm with you both on every single point except the first. Djokovic? Really? His eyes are a bit too close together, hairline's too aggressively low, and I don't find him charming in any way. Feh.

Will said...

Tsonga has an unbelievable personality to go along with the ridic bod and adorable smile. Should be #1 no question.

Sarah D. Bunting said...

I would rank Djoko slightly lower because I'm not about that hairstyle. Also, I realize this is probably an attempt to do an end run around my anti-Rafa spluttering, but: "a BIT rodent-like"? Also, his hair is stringy and greezy.

But word to the tenth on Murray. Ew.

homeslaughter said...

Joe, Nadal will never forgive you. I thought he was forever #1 in your heart. Tennis is one of the few sports I can watch without falling asleep. Now, you've given me many reasons to watch

Claire said...

Aw, I like Andy Murray. He's not going to win any beauty contests, but he's the guy who got me into tennis (being in London during Wimbledon has a very brain-washing affect). And any guy who can rap with Djokovic and the Bryans is awesome in my book.

DuchessKitty said...

I am so glad that you guys did this. It's high time that someone fully recognize the hotties representin' in my favorite sport.
As far as your rankings go, I agree with many of them, especially having Novak on top (ahem). I would probably have switched Feliciano Lopez's rank with Rafa's but I definitely agree with having Murray ranked the lowest (fug in every sense of the word).
But y'all can we talk about your crime of having Federer ranked so high at #6? There's no way he deserves to be higher ranked than Tsonga, Kubot, or even Llodra based on looks. Roger Federer is not attractive in any way, shape, or form.
Looking forward fondly to this 2nd week of Wimbledon, and your posts both here and on Twitter.

Couch Baron said...

I am glad to see such strong opinions. Just shows that this is a subject worthy of much study.

Also, the rankings here are an average of Joe's opinion and mine, so I will take credit/blame for Nadal not being #1. Joe's Nadal-love is still as pure as it gets.

rubyneraluna said...

This was a wonderfully entertaining read, thank you. I am not so sure about Djokovic, but I am very satisfied to see my own personal favourite, David Ferrer, ranking so highly.

You are clearly gentlemen with discerning tastes: may I ask your opinions on my second favourite, Tommy Robredo? Where would he fall in this line-up?

James T said...

Love this!

But what is it with all the tennis players? Do they never lose hair (except Agassi) or did you just pick the ones who don't? :p

~jessica said...

I do not watch tennis - could not tell you even one substantive thing about it, probably - and yet this was a fascinating, entertaining read. Well done, guys!

Enrique said...

They ranked Xavier Malisse as #10?! He looks like Peter Sarsgaard in "The Green Lantern", post-alien mutation.. And FYI, Feliciano Lopez (aka "Deliciano") should be at #1.. ;-)

Anonymous said...

So, I had misgivings about Djokovic, but I hadn't seen him in awhile so I thought I'd see what I thought at Wimbledon. I know think you guys have a serious blind spot about him - his terrible square hairline, his eyes so close together, and that gigantic nose. Not only was Nadal way hotter, but Djok wasn't even remotely attractive. He's a great tennis player, and he's earned #1 on the court, but on the hotness scale? You are freakin' crazy to put him at #1.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Emily on Djokovic. His excessive arrogance is not charming in the least.

I miss Marat Safin. None of these guys even come close to his level of hotness!

Anonymous said...

Um, hello? FERNANDO VERDASCO, anyone??? Best looking guy on the tour by a MILE.

Joe Reid said...

Unfortunately, O Nameless One, Verdasco didn't make the 4th round at Wimbledon. Hopefully he does well in the summer tournaments and cracks the rankings to your satisfaction.

grumpygoddess said...

I actually think Andy Murray is really cute. He has a nice face. Grumpy, but nice.

Totally agree with Djokovic as number one. Maybe pictures don't encapsulate the hotness properly, but based on the youtube clips/twitter updates I've seen/read, he is so cute, funny, and charming, it's ridiculous!