From our vault of Cincinnati Open 2012 photos, we bring you Philipp Kohlschreiber, practicing shirtless. I also bring a confession. I did not recognize him. Twice. Since J.D. and I had fun mocking the comments we overheard at the tourney by both infuriatingly and amusingly misinformed attendees, I offer up my own doofus moments for you to snicker over.
As you can imagine, seeing a shirtless player tends to draw the eye. I moved into the spectator area between two practice courts for a bit of a closer look at this mysterious, half-naked player. J.D. suggested it was Kohlschreiber.
I peered into the glaring sunlight and said: “He’s too young to be Kohli.”
Let me explain. At 28, some might say Kohlschreiber is on the back end of his tennis career, Tommy Haas notwithstanding, but of course he’s not old. Perhaps it’s the German stoicism, the languorous movement, the big baggy shirts, I don’t know–to me he just has a mature, elder veteran kind of aura about him. So when I saw a creamy-skinned, slender, shirtless boy with slightly tousled hair and a tattoo, all I was thinking was: Who is this young hottie?
Then he hit a one-handed backhand.
“Oh shit, it’s Kohli!” I sputtered in a totally dignified manner, sidling up to the fence and getting the camera ready. There was actually no one else there at the time, which made it a bit tough to be unobtrusive.
And let me tell you, tennis players have different personalities when it comes to practicing shirtless. Rafa knows you’re looking and he likes it. Tommy does not understand why you don’t have anything better to do than look at him with his shirt off, but hey, knock yourself out, babe. Kohli is wondering why are you looking at me, and I know what you’re thinking, and are you almost done looking at me? and please go away now.
If you want me to go away, put your damn shirt back on, Old Man! Which of course, I did not say. We got some pics and video to hopefully bring you all some joy, and then we left Herr Kohlschreiber to his practice.
Later in the week, we were eating at one of our favorite restaurants, the oasis in a sea of fast food, the Cracker Barrel. Not far from the tourney, we weren’t surprised to see tennis fans wearing RF hats and Rafa-theBull logo shirts in the dining room.
I idly noted that day that a large, well-built guy had on a T-shirt emblazoned with a tennis website address. He was sitting one table over from us, and as I sipped my tea, I realized there was a “.de” at the end of the web address. Not something you see every day in the U.S., and as the wheels slowly ground together in my sleep-deprived, tennis-overloaded brain, I decided to look at the much slighter dude sitting next to him.
Yeah, you guessed it. It was damn Kohlschreiber again. I swear he’s got that perception filter from “Doctor Who.” He doesn’t want you to see him.
What I really didn’t want to see was the fact that he and his crew were eating toast at breakfast. TOAST. Cracker Barrel is all about the biscuits and corn bread, people. Maybe it’s dietary restrictions, maybe just preferences, but DUDE. You don’t order TOAST in Cracker Barrel!
Ahem. Anyway, speaking of dietary restrictions, check out that tiny waist…
We’ll end on a classy black & white note:And here it is, a blissful minute of Philipp Kohlschreiber practicing. Available in 1080p. Forgive the occasional wobble of the camera. YouTube’s steadying software couldn’t be used because it degrades the quality, and we do not want anything to diminish the fine details of a shirtless Kohli.
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PHOTOS & VIDEO: c2012 Valerie David. Philipp Kohlschreiber practice at Western and Southern Open, Cincinnati Masters 2012.