Six rounds, sixty-four competitors, and five-million votes later, one supermodel stands alone atop the (fake) podium in Esquire’s readers’-choice tournament. Revisit her many shining moments after the slow-motion replay below.
BROOKLYN, New York —
The most beautiful tennis trophy ever is taking home the first-ever Sexiest Woman Alive Madness trophy.
Twenty-three-year-old Brooklyn Decker dominated the veteran Heidi Klum on her home court here this past week in the finals of Esquire’s upset-laden, fan-favorite bracket. The blond captured 89 percent of the vote for a championship run nobody — with the possible exception of Seal, who was home taking care of Klum’s newborn baby — really saw coming.
“I was very surprised to make it this far in the tournament,” Decker said in a courtside interview before the last game. (She rushed off the court with head coach Andy Roddick immediately after the buzzer and delayed her victory speech.) “I mean, did you see the picture of me picking my nose? I’ve had a very lucky year with the Sports Illustrated cover, the new movie, and now this. Let’s hope good things come in threes.”
They certainly do, as the swimsuit model proved she wasn’t the only superstar in a gold uniform capable of a triple-double this June: Decker busted out 32, 24, and 34 in the kind of performance not seen since February, when she scored big in Sports Illustrated‘s Maldives Invitational. After hustling out to an early lead, the Ohio native got aggressive with Klum, employing her signature cartwheel move — which led to huge mid-round victories over three Victoria’s Secret models — in maneuvering through the key for easy buckets in the first half.
“I think my general physical prowess, whether it’s cartwheels or being able to stand in cold water for long periods of time, could only serve me well,” Decker said.
Klum recovered well after giving birth at halftime, but despite her intimidating presence — “It’s not normal to look that good with three full-time jobs and four children,” Decker admitted — the former SI cover model relinquished another crown to someone cooler under the pressure of public judging.
Indeed, Decker overcame early accusations of tampering, which were quickly dismissed by a commissioner’s office that had its hands busy all spring with Olivia Munn’s cheating fans, Megan Fox’s mind-blowing loss, and, of course, Lane Kiffin’s inspiring performance.