He changed his mind and he was right: back in the Swiss Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Team, Roger Federer can dream of going far in the competition, along with the new hype of world tennis, his compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka. Meanwhile, Nadal and Djokovic were conspicuous by their absence...
The Big 4
Fell to the 8th place in the ATP rankings, Roger Federer dried his tears by making a successful comeback in the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas. He gave the first point to Switzerland on Friday by winning against the Serbian Ilija Bozoljac (6/4, 7/5, 6/2). His association with Stanislas Wawrinka made of Switzerland the thorn on the side of the most prestigious international team competitions.
Rankings of the week
Behind the untouchables Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, the ATP rankings showed a new kid on the podium. He's from Switzerland, has won a Grand Slam and no, it's not Roger Federer, you'll have to get use to it. For the second consecutive week, Stanislas Wawrinka occupies the third place, beating Juan Martin Del Potro and David Ferrer. Federer is only in eighth position (the former ranking of his compatriot "Stan the Man”...). Also note the dramatic rise of the implausible Lleyton Hewitt, current 40th in the world, his highest ranking since October 2010. Come on Lleyton!
News of the week
If Andrea Petkovic lost in the quarterfinals of the GDF Suez Open in Paris against Alizee Cornet, she got the scalp of a French player anyway in the previous round: Kristina Mladenovic, disgusted by the malice of the German, including this remarkable inspiration back to the net to conclude the point.
Tourists of the week
"Novak is tired and made it clear that he needed to rest before a season that promises to be busy." Bogdan Obradovic, the captain of the Serbian Davis Cup by BNP Paribas team, is not of the vindictive kind. He could however be the a bit angry since his team, deprived of its leader Novak Djokovic, has logically lost this weekend against Switzerland. The official version of this absence, was then fatigue. In truth, the world number two really wanted to show his mates how good a skier he is. These pictures posted on his Twitter prove that he was successful.
Controversy of the week
Li Na in a down jacket, sad face, holding in hands a big check of 800,000 Yuan (80,000 £), accompanied by Wang Guosheng, Governor of the Province of Hubei, where the champion was born. The picture is not very beautiful, the symbol even less. Back home after her victorious Australian campaign, the Chinese agreed to receive this generous donation that she didn’t really need. According to the magazine People with money, her 2013 revenues are estimated at over 58 million, making her the highest paid female tennis player in the world. Her original speech in Melbourne, where she insisted to thank her agent - "he made me rich, thank you very much" - had already sparked controversy. This time, it was too much for many of her compatriots, who criticized her on social networks. And it is true that this public money could be used for better causes... In any case, this barrage of criticism proves if need be that China has decidedly changed a lot.
Statistics of the week
The bumpy ride continues for American men's tennis, with 6 seats lost by Sam Querrey in the latest the ATP rankings. The Las Vegas native falls to the 55th place, leaving John Isner, currently number 13, as the only American in the top 50...
Top 5: they made the week
- James Ward: Britain's hero this weekend in Davis Cup by BNP Paribas is an anonymous that is almost 27 years old and barely 156th in the world. James Ward perfectly accompanied the two logical victories of Andy Murray by taking the best of American Sam Querrey, after a match in 5 sets (1/6, 7/6, 3/6, 6/4, 6/1). Britain qualifies and will face Italy in the next round.
- Kei Nishikori: thanks to two victories in singles and one in doubles (with Yasutaka Uchiyama) of its leader, Japan eliminated a Canadian team diminished by the absence of Milos Raonic. Kei Nishikori and his compatriots will play against Czech Republic in the quarterfinals of the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas.
- Ekaterina Makarova: She's neither the most famous nor the most talented Russian player but Ekaterina Makarova stood out this week by winning the Pattaya Open in Thailand. This is only her second singles title, after the Eastbourne tournament 4 years ago.
- Andrey Golubev: the marathon victory of the week is signed by the Kazakh, which defeated the Belgian David Goffin on Friday in Davis Cup by BNP Paribas: 7/6, 3/6, 4/6, 6/2, 12/10! And on Sunday, the same Golubev offered the third decisive point by beating much more easily this time Ruben Bemelmans 6/2, 6/3, 6/1. #AStatueforGolubev
- Maria Sharapova: eliminated by her compatriot Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the semi-finals of the GDF Suez tournament in Paris, the Russian should take leave of the courts until the beginning of March and the BNP Paribas Open, the time to attend the Winter Olympics at her home in Sochi.
They said it:
- "He texted me and called me after. He was ecstatic, really happy for me." Stanislas Wawrinka was happy to be congratulated by Federer after his victory in Melbourne. King Roger doesn’t seem to be jealous of his compatriot's success!
- "This idea crossed my mind." By this simple statement, Serena Williams said that she could end a boycott long of 13 years. Asked about her presence at the next BNP Paribas Open, the American responded (almost) favourably. An announcement confirmed by the tournament director. It was in 2001 that the controversy was born, the Williams sisters had then been really annoyed by the Californian public boos.
- "I am the Boca Juniors of tennis!" Juan Martin Del Potro has granted a long interview to the FIFA website, in which he spoke of his passion for football in general and of the team Boca Juniors in particular. "In some of my matches, he continued, I have to win "the Boca way", in other words with the guts." It's called la grinta.
Indiscretion of the week
While Sochi Olympics begin on the 7th of February, 52 international athletes and former athletes have given their support to a petition asking the Russian authorities to withdraw the anti-gay law that prohibits "any homosexual propaganda." Among the signatories, the American Martina Navratilova, Andy Roddick, James Blake and Mardy Fish. Vladimir Putin must be scared...
Birthday of the week
On the 2nd of February 2004, exactly 10 years ago, Roger Federer became world number one for the first time. A position he would hold for 237 weeks, only to lose it in August 2008 in favour of a young player called Rafael Nadal...