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Home » Culture and Criticism

Order Of The Shallows: French Open 2016

Submitted by on May 30, 2016 – 10:44 PM3 Comments


Welcome back to the tennis hotness rankings — now known to those with the secret handshake (yeah: that’s you) as Order Of The Shallows!

Poobahs John Ramos, Joe Reid, and I welcome you to the 2016 French Open Round Of 16 Shallows rankings. We’re joined this time by Shallows novitiate Zach Wilcha, who can be seen living and working in Philadelphia but can be found lurking and judging full-time on Twitter at @itsonlyzach; Poobah Reid is in the midst of a house move but will rejoin us for Wimbledon 2016.

What does our minor rebranding mean? N…ot a whole lot, except that we’re going to rank all kinds of foxy moving forward: tennis, baseball, Emmy supporting actors, presidents, you name it. Got a suggestion for a Shallows hotness ranking? Leave it in the comments!

Until then, on to the 2016 French, which…shit got weird, there’s no other way to put it. Ugly weather and ugly play led to, well, Granollers. Join me, John, Zach, and Paul Quinn as we try to make sense of a Rafa-less fourth round.

(Wondering about previous rankings? Enjoy the 2014 Wimbledon, 2013 French Open, and 2012 U.S. Open discussions.)


1 (tie) Novak Djokovic
ATP Rank: 1
Previous Hotness Ranks: 2, 1, 1

John: This half of Serbia’s (I want to go to there) exacta is no surprise; Djokovic’s lithe body and feline grace makes me think there’s definitely something to the theory that gluten and hotness are enemies. (Plus, I’ve heard he’s so flexible he does a split cold every morning when he gets up. Think about what you could do with that.)

Q: I’m rolling my eyes at the opinion pieces about how boring tennis is because Novak keeps winning everything. But it is getting a tad tedious how good he looks. With Nadal out of Paris (first the knees, now the wrist; what the hell are you up to, Rafa, and why aren’t you up to it with me?) there’s limited competition in the Genuine Hotness dept., and that’s the real crime.

Sarah: I have mounting concerns that his chin and his nose are determined to meet, Federer-style…but his serious petanque face is everything.

Zach: It’s no secret that my feelings for Nole don’t match the thirst-magnitude of others, but in this bleak quarterfinal landscape, he lands near the top. He’s not even in my top three tennis pros to come out of the former Yugoslav republics, but his body is pretty on-point, and his hair is under control. I could be back on board much more if he fell off the No-Wheat Wagon.


1 (tie) Victor Troicki
ATP Rank: 24
Previous Hotness Ranks: n/a, 2, n/a

Q: I’m digging the facial hair; it suits him, and he doesn’t look like he was held back three grades and still can’t pass math.

Sarah: Disagree with Q here; I used to love Serbian Jesse Pinkman but it’s not aging well for me. That said, if historically cute entrants need to have a weak showing, this is the draw to do it in.

Zach: Vik is the hottest Serb on the tour, and don’t let anyone tell you different. He can wrap both arms around me anytime, even though one is significantly larger than the other.

John: Never before did a he-said/she-said situation cause the Shallows world so much distress. Troicki’s worked hard to get back into the game’s elite, but all he had to do to get back to my Hotness peak was smile.

3 David Ferrer
ATP Rank: 11
Previous Hotness Ranks: n/a, 6, 6

Sarah: I still would, but when did he start looking like Journey’s Steve Perry?

Zach: Someday when I retire, David Ferrer will still be making it to the quarterfinals of tournaments through sheer sexy will. Points deducted because I don’t trust Spaniards without body hair.

John: In this field, Ferrer needs no explanation, but I’m heartened to see, in the below photo with his now-wife, that he’s figured out the hair, at least off court.


A glass of wine and that? Yes please.

Q: Solid. I admire the commitment to not giving a fuck about the hair; it’s a perennial mess, and he clearly doesn’t listen to a word we say. Fine. He still cute.

4 Stan Wawrinka
ATP Rank: 4
Previous Hotness Ranks: 5, 7 (tie), 4

Zach: I wish I found Stan more attractive, since by all account he seems pretty awesome. Alas, I don’t. That said, I do hope he will punch Nick Kyrgios in the face someday.

John: It may be too late for Stan’s craggy face on the Proactiv front, but there’s still something about him that’s just so darn adorable; plus he’s got the added cachet of a second Grand Slam win since the last time we did this. (Also there’s this article discussing his physicality in a way that’s pretty thirsty for The New York Times but is still quite accurate.)

Q: If his skin improved, he’d actually be less hot — I’ve seen his airbrushed magazine shots and it’s just…not. The one thing that would make him slightly hotter is if he were a little less magnanimous after winning a Slam. You earned that shit, who cares how Djokovic feels? And thank you for those basket-enhancing shorts you won in last year. What pattern?


Sarah: Grown into it at last.

5 Ernests Gulbis
ATP Rank: 80
Previous Hotness Ranks: n/a, n/a, n/a

John: This is a pretty tepid pick, and I’m certainly not going to defend The Overbite That Ate Pittsburgh. But perhaps you’ll enjoy the below?

gulbQ: A more handsome Murray (which is really damning with faint praise) but is an even bigger tool than the Scot on the court. Christ, this list sucks.

Sarah: I’m not proud of this assessment, but he looks like he’d do anything to please. …Anything. Though, let’s face it, all he had to do to please in this OotS ranking was not look like a tween or Granollers.

Zach: So, he’s never going to win Feminist Of The Year, but he’s got an effortless, rugged handsomeness that works. Google searches indicate that he looks damn good shirtless.

6 Kei Nishikori
ATP Rank: 6
Previous Hotness Ranks: 11 (tie), n/a, n/a

Q: Cute when he’s staring intensely at something; less cute when he’s all gums. I’d still make out with him.


Sarah: Well, he finally looks older than 14? Except by “older,” I mean “17,” and he always looks like a bee just flew up his shorts. Pass-ola.

Zach: Kei is super-handsome and awkward, especially when smiling with his mouth closed. He wears the hell out of Uniqlo shorts, looks great in a suit, and has calf muscles for days. He’s adorkable.

John: He’s been around long enough that it no longer would feel like stat rape, even if it still looks it.

7 Dominic Thiem
ATP Rank: 15
Previous Hotness Ranks: n/a, n/a, n/a

Sarah: Sometimes he looks like my friend Caro’s tennis-playing older brother who I had a crush on back in the day. Other times he looks like Erik Menendez.

Zach: Dom is maturing nicely. He looks like the villain in a WW2 movie that makes you feel guilty when you respond to his Teutonic rigor. Bonus points: his shirts are often very wet.

thiemJohn: You guys, my face is oily enough to be responsible for current plummeting gas prices, so believe me, I understand about acne. That said, this is what Thiem looked like a couple years ago, so I’m REALLY glad he waited until now to make his Shallows debut, because the skin has cleared up sufficiently to reveal a product whose hotness is on almost as steep a rise as his ranking. (Maybe Caroline Wozniacki finally told him about Proactiv?)

Q: Has he finished puberty yet? He looks like he barely survived that fire with Kelly and Alison on 90210. Stan’s successor in the skin department, without the sexiness.

8 Milos Raonic
ATP Rank: 9
Previous Hotness Ranks: 11 (tie), 16, 15

Zach: Listen, things are headed in the right direction, but he’s still Canada’s Chief Wiggum. Using that sleeve as a distraction from this fact is a clever tactic.

John: #nevermilos


Q: I’m ranking him higher on the news that he’s bringing McEnroe back to Wimbledon. When I was a kid growing up in Ireland, a family home had at minimum a framed picture of one of the following: Pope John Paul II (or, if it was your granny’s house, Pope Paul VI), JFK, or John McEnroe. All of this is me skirting around saying anything bad about Raonic’s looks. When he’s perfectly still, he’s almost come around to kissable. Almost.

Sarah: What else can we say at this point? Chic hair, grunty as fuck, will do in a pinch.


9 John Isner
ATP Rank: 17
Previous Hotness Ranks: n/a, n/a, n/a

John: Speaking of derp-y…

Q: Let’s take his playing style out of this and rate him solely on his looks. …UGH.

Sarah: I…just don’t care, except for the mild interest generated by his apparently not understanding how to operate a six-foot-ten body at age 31? Beyond that, it’s like a focus group extruded an American tennis seat-filler: lanky, inoffensive, out by the quarters.

Zach: The BFG of the ATP is goofy-looking, but cute in a wholesome way. I appreciate that he’s a tall drink of water, but bros with Southern charm were never my thing. Would bring home to mom.


10 (tie)Tomas Berdych
ATP Rank: 8
Previous Hotness Ranks: n/a, n/a, 11

Q: This mofo. Jesus. I can’t.

Sarah: The hair recently is a plus, but the resulting Hitler Youth Bill Irwin effect is deeply unsettling.

Zach: Like a Bel Ami model stretched out to industrial size, this lipless wonder is occasionally quite fetching at the right angles. Good for him for taking it all off for ESPN magazine, even if other asses would have proven more worthy.

John: Everyone knows he’s the worst, but I can’t wrap my mind around how someone with the most predictably fascist hair can perpetually wear such tragically loud and over-designed clothes. Also: overbite.

10 (tie) Richard Gasquet
ATP Rank: 12
Previous Hotness Ranks: n/a, 14, 12

Sarah: Honeybaked Cumberfrance is trolling us, right? Right?!

Zach: Gosh, his backhand is pretty, but he’s just not. A little scrunchy, no? Could not look more French if he were a mime eating fries.


John: Congratulations to him for getting to (at least) the Roland Garros quarterfinals for the first time in thirteen tries. Unfortunately every single one of those tries is etched on his face.

Q: He looks like a bad French porn version of Daniel Day-Lewis. And who would want to see him in Last Of The Blowhicans? Not me. He did dispense Kyrgios, which saved me from having to write a thesis about THAT spectacle de merde, so that’s something.


12 Roberto Bautista Agut
ATP Rank: 16
Previous Hotness Ranks: n/a, n/a, n/a

Zach: Inoffensive. Since I couldn’t pick him out of a lineup, I’m just going to start naming other hotter tennis players from Spain that you can stop and think about for a moment before reading on: Rafael Nadal, Fernando Verdasco, Feliciano Lopez, Marc Lopez, Pablo Andujar, etc.

John: I hate to rank new blood so low, but I can’t. And why such a flat face? It looks like it got hit by a safe! I just can’t.

Q: If Cumberbatch and Karen Carpenter had a baby and, to steal a read from Kim Chi, that baby did drag and looked like Nicole Paige Brooks.

Sarah: If he had a comic-book secret identity, it would be The Rictus. No thanks.


13 Andy Murray
ATP Rank: 2
Previous Hotness Ranks: 13 (tie), n/a, 16

John: You know it’s a lean draw when Murray’s in SINGLE DIGITS in my personal ranking. He’s got a pretty nice smile when he allows it to bust out/controls it sufficiently to cover his teeth situation, but there’s still way too much of this. With that body, though, I would if I could put a bag over his head. (A Novak Djokovic Celebrity Party Mask would work too.)

Q: It never gets better, does it? The shade thrown by Amelie over his on-court demeanor suggests that, just like the rest of us, she cannot either.

Sarah: I had my doubts about ranking him this high. You know what dispels those? A pic with Andeh in the same frame as Stepanek.



Zach: I hate to use the term “butterface,” but if the tennis shoe fits… His facial expressions are profoundly upsetting, and his hair belongs on a flustered professor.

14 (tie) Marcel Granollers
ATP Rank: 56
Previous Hotness Ranks: n/a, n/a, n/a

Q: Proves you can be from Spain and not be hot. Girl! Look out!


Sarah: Must he always have that “three relative-humidity percentage points away from coating a ballboy in vom” facial expression?

Zach: The best case for having a beard outside of Scientology.

John: Another Spanish player who’s alternatively gruff and derp-y — but I have to say the beard is a big improvement; it makes him look more like a man and less like a Dramatic Chipmunk impression. (That said, this improvement is probably not big enough to placate certain Order of the Shallowsers who live for Rafa, though, given he’s the beneficiary of Nadal’s withdrawal.)


14 (tie) Albert Ramos-Viñolas
ATP Rank: 55
Previous Hotness Ranks: n/a, n/a, n/a

Sarah: The Vincent Schiavelli store called. They’re out of you.

Zach: Love him on Silicon Valley. Not as familiar with his work in tennis.

John: I can’t wrap my head around what’s going on with my partial namesake here. There’s no feature that’s really wrong, it seems to me, but he’s got resting bitchface to an Ivan Lendl-like degree, and when he smiles it looks like he bleached his dentures and popped them in right before the photo was taken. Maybe the face would be less severe after an eyebrow plucking? I’m so confused.

Q: I’m not saying he looks like a serial killer, but we might want to check his basement for dress patterns, pits, and lotions.


16 David Goffin
ATP Rank: 13
Previous Hotness Ranks: n/a, n/a, n/a

Zach: Boy-Henin looks like he could qualify for a spot on Cobra Kai after he hits puberty. Stay tuned.

Q: He narrowly lost out on the role of Joffrey in Game Of Thrones, so he took up tennis instead, and still looks like he’s been poisoned.

John: I was going to rank him higher until I saw a mention of Game Of Thrones and got it in my head that he looks like the love child of Alfie Allen and Peter Dinklage. Can’t unsee it.

Sarah: I’ve seen daguerreotypes out of Andersonville prison more fuckable than this kid.




  • cayenne says:

    Ferrer is 2″ of hair and a questionable shirt choice away from being Fabio.

    Such an uninspiring lot this year in the tennis world. With UEFA Euro Cup coming up soon, I suggest it as the next perv-along sport. Please and thank you.

  • Elena says:

    Australian Rules Football. AFL boys have legs like soccer players, shoulders like swimmers, and the low-key bad boy untrustworthiness of your better Jordan Catalanos. For examples, please see Easton Wood, Luke Dahlhaus, and Jake ‘The Package’ (really) Stringer from my beloved Western Bulldogs.

    I’d suggest rugby too, but there’s no way you’ll ever find better than the New Zealand All Blacks. For proof, please see the 2015 World Cup-winning squad, including Ma’a Nonu, Ritchie McCaw, and ***Sonny Bill Williams***, who despite the name might be the world’s most perfect make specimen. For bonus points, check out any of the many videos of their pre-match Hakas.

  • Jenjen says:

    @elena. Sonny Bill Williams – oh my! But yes seriously, the Euros and then the Olympics, some serious pretty on display

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