A Williams hides another. In the shadow of her little sister Serena for many years, Venus excelled this week in China and goes straight to the top spot of our ranking. Behind, Novak Djokovic made (a little) show in Thailand and Benoit Paire ate a lot. Really a lot.
1- Venus Williams (NE).
Granny is resisting. At 35, Venus Williams won the 47th tournament of her career, the first since January. At Muhan in China, the American took advantage of Garbine Muguruza's withdrawal in final. After injuring her left ankle in the semi-finals, the Spaniard gave up while she was led 6-3, 3-0.
Happy, Venus Williams shared her victory with her Chinese fans.
This week, the elder Williams hasn't only won a new cup, she also avenged her sister, Serena, by beating in the semi-finals the Italian Roberta Vinci, who had broken her Grand Slam dream at the US Open. A high voltage victory. On the match point, Vinci, annoyed by the time it was taking for her opponent to get ready, she asked her: "Do you want tea or coffee maybe?" The handshake that followed was cold to say the least.
Serena then congratulated Venus on Instagram.
Note that Venus Williams topped the 700 victories on the professional tour. She’s only the ninth player in the Open era to achieve such a performance.
2- Novak Djokovic (+3).
Novak Djokovic was in Thailand this week to play an exhibition match against Rafael Nadal. A generally disappointing game. In just one hour, the Serb dominated the Spanish (6-4, 6-2) with still some beautiful points.
But when you consider that both players received a million dollars each for this event (and the promotion of Thai tennis), the organizers certainly expected more. Still, the world number one appears to have enjoyed the experience, and Thai culture, that he discovered on the occasion.
A trip all the more enjoyable since he did it in family, with his brothers.
As wherever he goes, Nole was welcomed by many fans.
3- Benoît Paire (+10).
Benoit Paire didn't play this week. However, he ate. Burgers at Big Fernand, chocolate breads, croissants and M&M'S.
An amazing diet that seems effective since the French is in the best shape of his career. He will also have to be at his best to beat the Bulgarian Dimitrov in the first round of the Tokyo tournament, where he arrived this week.
He obviously picked his favourite activity. But in a healthier version this time.
4- Maria Sharapova (+2).
Busy week for Maria Sharapova. The Russian first had to withdraw from the Beijing tournament, where she was defending champion, due to an injury to her left forearm. A concern which had already forced her to give up during the first round of the Wuhan tournament. However, at the time of leaving China, where she was preparing, the 28-year-old player congratulated the volunteers of Wuhan tournament.
Who obviously made her smile.
Upon her return to Europe, specifically in Germany, Sharapova had a scare when, on Friday at 7am, she was controlled by the police. But the two agents only wanted to take a picture with her…
5- Adrian Mannarino (NE).
A session of physio and a withdrawal. Adrian Mannarino has been really unlucky this week in Shenzhen, China. After a doubles match Wednesday, the French went to the massage area, where the ATP physio actually hurt him. "He took my ankle and pulled hard on my leg while I wasn’t expecting it," he told L'Equipe. "I felt like he was tearing my leg apart. I couldn't walk out of the room." If he still won the next day against the Chinese Bai Yan, Mannarino had to give up on Friday before his quarterfinal against the Spaniard Guillermo Garcia Lopez. He was clearly upset on Twitter.
Mannarino consoled himself by going to Beijing for a few drinks with his friend Lucas Pouille.
6- Roger Federer (-5).
Roger Federer celebrated a very special anniversary this week. On the 30th of September 1998, at 17, the Swiss won his first match on the professional tour, against the French Guillaume Raoux in Toulouse (6-2, 6-2). He was then 878th player in the world.
Since then, Federer became the greatest player in the history of the sport, and a role model for many players, including Nick Kyrgios. "When I was younger, I went on YouTube and I looked at videos of him," he explained in an interview with the Post Rakyat. "I think that he's the best of all time. He's my one and only inspiration. An example on and off the courts too, with the way he behaves, how he helps others. "
7- Rafael Nadal (NE).
Rafael Nadal was therefore also in Thailand. Where he trained hard, despite his defeat against Djokovic in an exhibition match.
This week, the Spaniard was also on French television. Rafa hosted the cameras of French channel TF1 at his home in Majorca, for a tour of his future tennis academy, currently in construction. A feature during which we learned that Nadal is a pretty talented fisherman.
8- Johanna Konta (NE).
What a week for Johanna Konta Muhan in China! The 24 years old British player defeated several renowned players. First, the German Andrea Petkovic, then the Belarusian Victoria Azarenka , but mostly the Romanian and world number 2, Simona Halep. A feat all the more sensational since Konta was led 5-1 in the third set, before reversing the situation for a victory 7-5!
The beautiful journey of Konta ended in the quarterfinals after a disputed and ultimately lost match against the future winner of the tournament, Venus Williams (6-4, 3-6, 7-5). Despite a match point saved in a pretty nice way in the third set.
9- Nick Kyrgios (NE).
For his return to action after a month of absence, Nick Kyrgios proved that he had not lost his power. The Colombian Santiago Giraldo paid the price in the first round of the Kuala Lumpur tournament.
If the 20-year-old Australian finally lost in the semi-finals, defeated by the Spanish Feliciano Lopez (7-6, 7-6), he won something else, at Fantasy Football, where he easily defeated his manager John Morris with the Belgian player Romelu Lukaku.
10- Ana Ivanovic (-1).
Ana Ivanovic was born on the 6th of November 1987. But the Serb likes to celebrate her birthday in October. To enjoy it as long as possible. Smart move.
Defeated in the third round of the Wuhan tournament by the Spanish player Garbine Muguruza (4-6, 6-1, 6-0), Ivanovic remained in China to prepare for the Beijing tournament. Where the courts are blue. Very blue. Too blue?
11- Tomas Berdych (NE).
Tomas Berdych was in Shenzhen, China, this week. There, he won his first tournament of the season after three consecutive defeats in final. The Czech defeated Garcia Lopez in final (6-3, 7-6). Berdych managed to win despite the humidity that bothered him. He wore a cap to protect from sweat.
Before winning the tournament, Berdych visited Shenzhen. And he liked it.
12- Caroline Wozniacki (+2).
No success for Caroline Wozniacki in Wuhan. The Dane was eliminated in her opening match, defeated by the Russian Schmiedlova (1-6, 6-4, 7-6). The day before, she was posing alongside her German friend Angelique Kerber.
Caroline Wozniacki that should probably not have eaten so much chocolate...
This week, the former world number one hasn't only enjoyed cocoa tablets, she also supported the association "62 million girls", which defends the right of women to go to school.
13- David Ferrer (NE).
What a week for David Ferrer. The Spaniard won the Kuala Lumpur tournament by defeating his compatriot Feliciano Lopez in final (7-5, 7-5).
It’s his fourth title this season. In four matches, Ferrer only lost a single set.
14- Sekou Bangoura (NE).
A reflex volley under debate. In the first round of the Tiburon challenger, the American Sekou Bangoura won against the German Dustin Brown (6-2 7-5). At the beginning of the match, a point stirred a controversy when Bangoura hit a reflex volley at chest level. Beaten, Brown protested, telling the umpire that he had hit the ball with his chest. Hard to be sure, even with the help of slow motion.
15- Denis Kudla (NE).
Challenger tournaments sometimes offer a better show than the main tour. This was the case in the second round of the Tiburon tournament between the American Denis Kudla and the Dane Henri Laaksonen, with an anthological point eventually won by the latter.
But it’s Kudla who eventually won the match.
Serena Williams, Stan Wawrinka, Agnieszka Radwanska, Lucas Pouille, Yannick Noah, Gilles Simon, Ryan Harrison et Quentin Halys, Monica Niculescu, Flavia Pennetta.
By Quentin Moynet