We knew Brooklyn Decker was serious when she blew out George Clooney’s pal in the first round of Sexiest Woman Alive Madness 2010. But then, despite wearing her trademark yellow uniform, came a move no one expected — a play so well designed we’re surprised Phil Jackson hasn’t broken it out in those other finals: Decker unveiled the bikini cartwheel, and swiftly defeated not one, not two, but three Victoria’s Secret models. No wonder she traded water and sand for new teammates Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler in the upcoming film Just Go with It, reportedly based on her tournament battle cry. We caught up with her in the middle of what seems, according to her Twitter feed, like a very distracting road schedule. Not that we were really taking her seriously. —Matt Sullivan
ESQUIRE: Were you surprised to make it this far in our little tournament?
BROOKLYN DECKER: I was very surprised to make it this far in the tournament. 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.
ESQ: Speaking of good things, do you think that cartwheel move helped you power through to the finals?
BD: 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.
ESQ: What’s harder — winning this tournament or landing the SI swimsuit cover?
BD: The Sports Illustrated cover took five years to get, so I’m going to have to go with the cover. I’ve had some pretty fierce competition for the tournament, though, so I’m not discounting that.
ESQ: What’s harder — winning this tournament or beating Roger Federer?
BD: Are you asking me if I think I could beat Roger Federer in this tournament? If so, I think it really depends on the Esquire readers’ penchant for chest hair.
ESQ: What’s your game plan for the last round?
BD: Perhaps more cartwheels?
ESQ: Your opponent, Heidi Klum, is a veteran. Does she intimidate you?
BD: Absolutely! It’s not normal to look that good with three full-time jobs and four children. She’s Superwoman. You can’t beat Superwoman.
ESQ: Who’s a better coach in playoff crunch time — Andy Reid, or Andy Roddick?
BD: Definitely the love of my life… Andy Reid.