The Spaniard reclaimed his throne as ATP ranking leader in Beijing, between two sightseeing tours. Meanwhile, Serena Williams smashed a racquet, Azarenka got mail and Roddick remembered the day he came close to fighting Djokovic.
The figure: 1
After Tomas Berdych retired with a back injury during their China Open semi-final on Saturday, Rafael Nadal was assured, whatever the outcome of the final against Djokovic, to be world No. 1 at the expense of the Serb. One year ago, the Spaniard was in the cellar. Twelve months later, he's back on top. Respect.
In Beijing, Rafa didn't just play tennis. He took the opportunity to go sightseeing and visit the Summer Palace. And took many pictures "Say Cheeseee."
Babolat is riding the wave
Rafael Nadal is world number one again, the kind of announcement that pleases his sponsor, Babolat. But it seems that the French racquets manufacturer had anticipated this.
Rafa almost missed his plane
But Rafael Nadal could have never arrived in China. It was close, since the Spaniard almost missed his plane. The delay was even filmed. But not stressed at all, the player even took the time to do a little interview. Easy.
Meanwhile, in the rest of the world…
The day Roddick wanted to decapitate Djokovic
Andy Roddick ended his tennis career a while ago but is still a consultant on Fox Sports. Recently, the American revealed that he came close to fighting Novak Djokovic. The altercation came after their quarterfinal at the 2008 US Open, an encounter filled with tension after Roddick had previously accused Djokovic of faking injuries. Of course the match didn't go well, especially since Roddick lost:
«I was talking trash, and he came out and beat the pants off me, as he would, but then kind of chirped afterward. So he comes straight in, I went right up to him, had him up against the locker. But then I realised his trainer was a little bit bigger than Donovan [McNabb, an NFL player also on Fox Sports Live, ed] and I kind of checked myself»
Serena Williams is slightly upset
Serena and Venus Williams have been playing together for a while. And sometimes it just doesn’t work. That's what happened during their first match in Beijing, where the two sisters were eliminated in three sets, which obviously annoyed Serena. The crowd then witnessed a strange moment. Indeed, the younger of the Williams sisters took revenge on her racquet. Badly.
The French are blacklisted
The former youngest gold badge tennis umpire, Adel Aref, gave an interview to the website Sport 360. Inside, there are many things to learn, including the existence of blacklists:
« Definitely. We have a blacklist. Before a tournament you’d send your blacklist and you would put the names of the players that you don’t want to umpire. Murray was on my blacklist. You don’t want to create problems with the same player all the time. I had Arnaud Clement for a while. The French guys when you speak French with them they take it as an advantage then they nag about everything. Why is the temperature so high, why is the ball kid there, why is the towel not white? They would find excuses all the time.»
But seriously a towel that’s not white?
Olivier Rochus’s memories
By year-end, the Belgian Olivier Rochus will definitely store his racquets. In the meantime, he's still having fun, even if he's starting to feel nostalgic. Thus, in an interview with the Belgian newspaper La Derniere Heure, the player went back on his best memory:
« I remember that the only time that my parents came to Wimbledon, they had to attend a first round match between me and my brother Christopher. A real torture session. I won in four sets before beating Marat Safin, world No. 2, in the next round. But as they were only there for four days, they were already gone.»
Pat Cash exposes Cameron
Former glory of Wimbledon, the spirited Pat Cash has never stopped playing with the little yellow ball. And when he's doing it at the All England Lawn and Tennis Club, the player doesn't hesitate to expose the guys who play next to him on Twitter:
« It's not everyday that I go on a court and see the Prime Minister David Cameron hit the ball with Andrew Castle (former player and famous presenter in the UK, ed.)»
Azarenka received a letter from a fan
Victoria Azarenka is a very simple athlete. Obviously she’s very popular with the girls of the modern world. One of them even sent her a lovely homemade card. Look at the details. So cute.
Richard Gasquet challenged on the radio
While a study suggests that athletes don't brush their teeth enough, the French radio station Europe 1, or rather its host, Cyril Hanouna, has attempted to verify the information with Richard Gasquet. Live from Beijing, Gasquet said that "he was brushing his teeth at least twice a day and never had a cavity in his life." But Hanouna, who wanted more, decided to challenge the player: to mime brushing his teeth during the last change of the side of his match against Bernard Tomic. Since Gasquet won, he must have forgotten his bet...
Kvitova's debrief at the restaurant
After winning against the Chinese Li Na in Beijing, Petra Kvitova discussed the match with her coach in the evening. But not just anyhow. The coach insisted on doing it at the restaurant. On the table with cutlery and Coca-Cola. The Czech didn't miss the opportunity to immortalize the moment on Twitter.
Novak Djokovic is eagerly awaited
When Nole arrives in China, he's eagerly awaited. And his fans do things well. There's even a big banner with a heart. Just like in secondary school.