So after a break due to travel schedules and recovery from a 2012 that was decidedly Hotness-challenged, I’m thrilled to tell you the ATP Hotness Rankings are back and hotter than ever! For starters, we’ve convened the entire Hotness Council for this one — that’s right; Joe, Sarah, and Quinn are all joining me for an orgy of ogling across the Atlantic. The other bit of news is that we’ve shaken up the format a bit — it’s mostly the same as before, but the new wrinkle is that each member of the Council gets a Hotness Peremptory Challenge. That enables us each to knock out one Hotness-challenged entrant and replace him with someone in his section of the draw, which gives us recourse when someone’s boring, overexposed, or plain not hot enough to the point where we Just Can’t With That. Also, it elevates the general Hotness level — at least in theory, right Quinn? (In fairness, we kind of needed someone to fill the basement void left by Andy Murray’s withdrawal.) With the format tweak, I’m not going to list previous Hotness Rankings, as they don’t completely apply, but you can see them all here: 2011 Wimbledon, 2011 US Open, 2012 Australian Open, 2012 French Open, 2012 Wimbledon, and 2012 US Open. Here we go!
01 – Novak Djokovic
ATP Rank: 1
John: What can I say – the man may be from Serbia, but he’s cornered the market on French positives like élan, savoir-faire, and in the last two years, sang-froid. He’s on the verge of making history – again, some more – and with photos like this one, he’s got gluten absolutely cowering in fear. Always No. 1 in my heart; this time my No. 1 in Hotness. [Side note: Rooting for him extra hard after the passing of his first coach, which you can read about here and here. — John]
Sarah: Is getting handsomer, somehow — and I wager he’s one of those who maintains a Cloonily consistent handsomeness until he’s like 78 years old. Yes, I know, “the hair,” but my current theory with that is that he CAN’T fix it or he’ll be TOO foxy and we’ll all die. Like a sunspot.
Joe: As always, success looks best on him. Okay, pilates or whatever he’s doing look BEST on him, not to mention the Uniqlo sponsorship, but Djokovic only gets hotter the more his personality gets to shine. Gangnam Style with Ana Ivanovic? Yes.
Quinn: I’d be the meat in the sandwich between him and Papa Djokovic. What?
02 – Viktor Troicki
ATP Rank: 57
Joe: I’ll admit that Viktor’s Italian Open breakdown/tantrum was a boner-shrinker, But honestly, how far can this little biscuit realistically fall? He’s our Serbian Jesse Pinkman!
Quinn: Shirtless? Oh hell yes. So what if he sometimes looks like a delayed Aaron Paul.
Sarah: Do you know how many pictures there are on the internet of Troicki and Djoko giving each other titty twisters? There are a lot. And every time you look at one, an angel gets its wings. Troicki is my cross-eyed Serbian-Pinkman boyfriend — even with the beard, which needs to go, but I’ll wait. [Insert beard joke here — John]
John: Will never do anything wrong by me (which is lucky for him, as Joe mentions), and seems funny enough that the juxtaposition of the tennis balls next to the contents of those shorts could be deliberate for the shot. As rarely happens, it works on levels both straight and ironic.
03 – Rafael Nadal
ATP Rank: 4
Sarah: The coif holds up better on-court than off-, but Rafa’s enduring commitment to adorably Gumbyish presser face-pulling is duly noted. Have we ever seen him and Shawn Hatosy together? Just asking. (Not really asking. We’d have heard John hitting the floor in a dead faint if that had ever happened.)
Joe: So, so happy that the comeback from injury has been as successful as it has. It’s been a long, cold winter without Rafa in these rankings.
John: In keeping with Sarah’s entry, I found the Hatosiest shot of Nadal available. [thunk]
Quinn: The King. No one can touch him. That ass, that ass, my kingdom for that ass. The ass that launched a thousand ships. Gets sexier with age. The pissed-off ‘tude he exudes on the court is hotter with each passing tournament. The only reason I’d kick him out of bed is so he could do me on the floor.
04 – Gilles Simon
ATP Rank: 18
Quinn: Rocks the stubble look to perfection; he should teach an online course in it.
John: I have long been privy to the knowledge (via photos, pervs, Lord) that underneath the cute face and sometimes-too-languid attitude lurk abs that could get in a fight with Ferrer’s and win on a good day. Today, the world learns this as well; this is the work we do here at the Hotness Council.
Joe: I’m still in the process or forgetting about that dust-up over male/female equality in the sport, so Gilles will have to linger in my own personal purgatory for a smidge, but much like with Troicki, how far can I realistically expect him to fall?
Sarah: If Michael Cera were le hot. (Hope that didn’t ruin it for anyone.)
05 – Jeremy Chardy (subbed for Jo-Wilfried Tsonga by Sarah)
ATP Rank: 27
John: Haaaay, Jeremy! He may have a ways to go to be France’s top player, but he’s got a lot of good stuff going on here — hair he’s managed to tame while keeping its personality, a mille-watt smile, and that just-right amount of chest hair that keeps it masculine without causing you unconsciously to reach for the Norelco. Great intra-country sub here for Jo-Wilfried Zzzzzzonga.
Sarah: Positive changes on the hair front lately; probably cuter clean-shaven, but if his thinking is that he’s too cutesy without some scruff, I can hang.
Quinn: If Ashton and Keanu had a baby and that baby grew up to be a hot French tennis player, he’d be Chardy.
Joe: Put him in the category with Seppi under the header “Adorable Scruffsters.” Bummed he couldn’t make another deep Slam run this time around, but I have a feeling we won’t need to Challenge him in for future HR installments.
06 – David Ferrer
ATP Rank: 5
John: This profile pose says it all; up top, there are fixes warranted for the hair and occasional chin pubes, but when your eyes move down to the abs, all is forgow#lsdajea*rewajr;iowajeirroj&.
Joe: If I were a reality show judge and these rankings were a week-to-week competition (AS THEY SHOULD BE), I would say that David has been showing us a lot of the same look. Which…he’s also playing some of the best tennis of his career — and finally getting a sliver of mainstream recognition thanks to that epic U.S. Open match with Tipsarevic — so it’s not like he needs to mess with success. But the headbands? Maybe switch up the headbands.
Quinn: Can someone who is close to him just take him aside and tell him to do something about THE HAIR? Can we try a tight-cropped cut for one season and see how it goes?
Sarah: Has all the tools (and by “tools,” I mean “abs” — what is he up to now, a 22-pack?), but the refusal to commit on the hair is hurting his numbers. Just cut it all off, Davidito; it’s not like you don’t have the face for it.
07 (tie) – Tommy Robredo
ATP Rank: 34
Joe: I may have ranked him a smidge too high, but I’m just so happy to see him back in a grand-slam round of 16 again. More importantly, the Hotness Rankings needed him. Thank God for Spain, you guys. They grow them so well out there. And even among Spaniard standards, Tommy’s hair is head and shoulders (sorry) above the rest. [Also, Joe, I know you loved Black Swan, so check this out. — John]
John: Eeeee! Although the Council is bitterly divided on Robredo’s assets (there will be a foam-rubber-bat fight at Hotness Council HQ later to settle the matter), I’ve always been a staunch supporter of his fresh-faced looks. Also, there’s this. Also also, although it may not be obvious, his parents gave him a showy name – they were big fans of The Who, don’t you know – and he still turned out awesome. His former coach called him Jack Bauer! Your argument is invalid!
Sarah: El Perdido Mapother. No, thank you.
Quinn: Continues the fine tradition of hot Spanish players who know how to use a clay court. Just please keep the use of the ridiculous sunglasses to a minimum.
07 (tie) – Stanislas Wawrinka
ATP Rank: 10
Sarah: You know that scene in Tootsie where the director played by Dabney Coleman tells Camera One to zoom in on “Dorothy” and the entire control room yells, “NOT TOO CLOSE”? …This. Very cute in a medium shot; otherwise, no bueno. That said, he’s one of the few facial-hair wearers on the tour who DOESN’T look like his beard was shot out of a potato gun onto his face.
Quinn: He obviously needs to go out and buy a Vitamix Blender and start juicing organic kale and beets, and supplement his diet with fish oils and talk to Dr. Perricone, but who cares? He’s so damn hot, and that backhand is a thing of beauty. I’d French him so hard.
Joe: My beloved crater-face. Much like Ferrer, he’s playing the best tennis of his career, and the success looks good on him. Plus, as a bonus, he’s the rare player who manages to look passably hot while striking a ball.
John: Again, how does a man who stands six feet tall come across as so elven? More importantly, how does he pull it off? I might remove my contacts to get safely into makeout range, but I might not, because any private shit-talk he’d give me about Federer would be the best foreplay in existence. Still, Stan, you’re stepping into the overachieving-veteran phase of your career, which means a lot more camera time. The beard’s a step forward; exfoliating will be even better.
09 (tie) – Benoit Paire (subbed for Kei Nishikori by Joe)
ATP Rank: 26
Joe: So long as I have it in my power to right historical wrongs, I’m reversing this third-round result and placing Paire in our rankings over Kei Nishikori. Who seems like a great kid, but how many times can we say “Call me when you’ve passed Pre-Algebra”? Benoit, however, is just the kind of French-accented dreaminess we need in these rankings. At least we know in the real world that Benoit can spend the rest of the week hanging at the beach.
Quinn: He’s more sophisticated-cute than hot, like he’d sit around all day talking Camus with you and showing you his poetry until eventually you’d make out with him just to shut him up.
John: Aside from the fact that, thanks to Sterling Archer, I can’t say his name without adding “balls,” I think I like the idea of Paire more than the man himself; this photo makes him look like he’d be fun to wingman for at a gay beach, but also kind of makes him look like a Craigslist serial killer? His on-court temper trends toward the latter, and I’m not sure why he’s so committed to the beard, either – without it, I feel like he’d have a striking resemblance to a particular hot actor, but I’m not going to be able to figure out who it is until he invests in a razor. (For his face; don’t want a Sweeney Todd sitch here.)
Sarah: Enh. Others on the tour do the Sinews O’Beardigan look better — and he might channel some of his on-court fire into preventing his neckbeard from fornicating with his chest hair. Also looks like he feels ways about jazz.
09 (tie) – Andreas Seppi (subbed for Nicolas Almagro by John)
ATP Rank: 22
John: If Fabio Fognini is the Italian who could step off the court right onto a Milan runway, Seppi’s the fratty dude who actually drinks Peroni instead of vino and hangs out at construction sites when he’s not in training like he’s the Italian Jurgen Melzer. If it sounds like I’m being disparaging, I’m telling it wrong. Don’t change a thing, [Italian for “brah”].
Sarah: As relieved as I am that a peremptory challenge replaced Alfugro with this bro, there’s something SO cheesy about the Sepster, like when aging “rockers” finally cut off that ’80s scraggle, but then it’s replaced with a dysfunctional dude version of the Lisa Rinna (see: Bon Jovi, Jon; Sixx, Nikki).
Joe: My little Italian scruffster. He’s like the epitome of who I’d have pined for in high school.
Quinn: Remember when Kim Clijsters and Lleyton Hewitt were dating that time and it looked kinda serious and you were all, “Mmm, I don’t know, you guys. Should that be allowed? What if they had a kid? What would it look like?” Answer: Seppi.
11 – Tommy Haas
ATP Rank: 14
Sarah: Smartly wearing a hat these days, the better to disguise that floppy buttcrack thing it does in the front when he’s sweaty. Not sure how I feel about the resemblance to Josh Brolin.
John: It’s always seemed to me that people have been gaga over Haas, and I have to admit I’ve never really gotten it. Like Sarah says, the hat has always seemed like a triage solution than an aesthetic choice, and his face looks like it was chiseled from stone — by a sculptor’s apprentice who soon after decided to become a dentist like his mother always advised. But points for being the oldest player to crack our Halls of Hotness thus far.
Quinn: Oh, Tommy, if only you’d done what you were supposed to do against Federer at Roland Garros a few years ago you’d be ranked higher on goodwill alone. But…dude is aging nicely. He’s got a Rob Lowe crossed with Guy Pearce thing going on and that is absolutely fine.
Joe: What a great French it’s been for comebacking oldsters named Tommy! Truth time: During the very early peak of Haas’s career, he rivaled only Patrick Rafter in terms of my hormonal esteem. It seems crazy that he would fall out of my own personal top 8 here, but it’s an uncommonly strong field.
12 – Mikael Youzhny
ATP Rank: 31
Joe: Five pounds of face in a ten-pound bag.
Quinn: I like a bit of rough, and he balances being gorgeous and threatening with just the right attitude. If he’s that powerful on the court, Lord knows what he can do off it. Know what I mean?
Sarah: Absolutely must keep his lips closed while celebrating; seldom does so. Ranked high by this commentator last time for a certain fratty élan, but his finish this time is weighted…literally. Small salad, Mickey. Get the knack.
John: “Second prize is two stills of Youzhny’s face!” (Special delivery for Sarah D. Bunting.)
13 – Roger Federer
ATP Rank: 3
Quinn: Crying like a millennial who doesn’t want to stay late to work on the executive report because it means missing yoga class; when he loses is just tired at this point.
Joe: I mean, here’s the thing: with a different personality, I’d be willing (eager, even) to look past the Madame stuff. But he has this personality. The one he’s using right now. And once you see that puppet face, you really can’t un-see it.
Sarah: He finally got the shorter, more age-appropriate crop I agitated for for years, and it is a HUGE improvement; it actually matches his face now. Alas, we now have no choice but to acknowledge that said face belongs to a 53-year-old former Interpol poobah who was cashiered for bonking his superior’s nanny at a dinner party. Of course, that’s about a hundred times more interesting than anything Federer would do in real life.
John: Absolutely agree with Sarah that the hair is the most flattering I’ve ever seen it; also would say that even Federer’s trademark brand of self-aggrandizement disguised as “sportsmanship” has gone from hateful to soporific. I can reluctantly admit there was a time I would have hate-fucked him, but now if he tapped me on the shoulder after a midnight twins feeding, I’d pretend to be asleep. Perhaps he’ll learn a lesson about life at some point; you can only wish so for someone who resembles Pinocchio more every day.
14 – Richard Gasquet
ATP Rank: 9
Quinn: Don’t blow a Gasquet. No seriously, don’t.
John: This, again? I guess I’m kind of gratified that we on the Hotness Council have tracked the demise of his looks so accurately, but his face didn’t jump the shark; it missed.
Sarah: Not much more to say about Toobrownedict Seniorbatch. His hair is vanishing, his serve face is HORRIFYING, and it’s time for a bronzer intervention. Could still turn it around — a sleeveless-shirt requirement would help his cause — but he’d better do it fast before he turns into an actual walnut.
15 – Phillipp Kohlschreiber
ATP Rank: 19
Quinn: Is losing hotness, fast. Put a paper bag over his head and… haayyy that body. Take the bag off because you need it for groceries and… not so much anymore.
John: The man was lucky to avoid one of the Council’s Hotness Peremptory Challenges; he wasn’t so lucky that I happened across this image. But it’s representative of my reaction to him crashing the Hotness Party yet again while not being quite objectionable enough to be weeded out. We’re better off without you, mein Herr.
Sarah: Still rocking the tan, but more inoffensive than cute, and gives the impression of not having genitals.
Joe: In a less-competitive field, ol’ narrow-eyes wouldn’t be all that close to the bottom of my rankings. But a lot of the fug got pruned, one way or the other, and here we are.
16 – Milos Raonic (subbed for Kevin Anderson by Paul)
ATP Rank: 16
Sarah: Once you see it…you can’t unsee it.
Joe: He seems like a darling boy. (…who would be your sister’s, like, sixth choice for prom date, but things got weird and she panicked.)
Quinn: Oh man, this is my fault he’s on the list. I’m sorry, you guys, but it was either he or Kevin Anderson and I just couldn’t with Anderson. Look I’m sure Ranoic’s a nice guy and has a great personality… it’s just the face. And the facial expressions on court. No.
John: Quinn did it. (Not that that, ew.)
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