Without putting in too much effort, Stan Wawrinka and his now classic traditionally colorful outfit have won the most popular tournament of the week, in Dubaï. Enough to occupy the first spot of our ranking against the defeated champion, Novak Djokovic, victim of an eye infection. At the third spot, the world number 1 Serena Williams is already taking care of her reconversion, while waiting for the next tennis-linked deadlines.
1- Stanislas Wawrinka (NE).
Thirteenth title in his career, the first in Dubaï : this is the Stan Wawrinka’s record at the outcome of this week where he gradually improved his level of play until the final where he defeated the surprise guest, Marcos Baghdatis (6/4 7/6).
The Swiss was the most prominent player of the week in Dubaï, and not only because of his outfit which resembled one of those heat-killing sorbets.
On a culinary level, Stan the man seems to be sticking to a champion’s diet which seems a little less colorful.
As for trips, he seems to have enjoyed his stay in Dubaï.
In retrospect, it is during the first round against Stakhovsky that Wawrinka had the most difficult time, with a tight victory in 3 sets, and a few beautiful shots…
…but also a bit of annoyance. His racquet can testify…
2- Novak Djokovic (+7).
Everything had started well in Dubaï for the world number 1, who celebrated his 700th victory on the ATP circuit.
An easy win against Jaziri (6/1 6/2) and a traditional autograph signing session with the fans.
Djoko was even seen trying to belly-dance at a party…
And finally, against all odds, things went wrong and he had to withdraw from his quarter final against Feliciano Lopez, just after the Spaniard had won the first set (6/3). Walking out under the boos, which the Serb didn’t seem to like…
…he then had to justify himself, explaining he had an eye infection. Which also explained the black shades.
So there hasn’t been an 18th consecutive tournament won by Nole. Too bad, that would have let him equal Ivan Lendl’s record.
3- Serena Williams (NE).
No tennis on the program for Serena Williams but rest…
…the promotion of her clothing brand, with Serena herself as a model…
… good food…
… profound thoughts in the air…
… and a new haircut.
Other than that, Serena has started her 158th consecutive week at the top of the WTA ranking. She is know chasing Steffi Graf’s record with 186 weeks.
4- Roger Federer (NE).
A week full of emotions for Roger Federer, very happy to be back at training, racquet in hand…
and…tights on his legs.
Another big joy for him, as a big supporter of FC Basel, was seeing the Swiss team qualifying in the last seconds for the round of 16 of the Europa League, after defeating AS Saint-Étienne.
And finally, the downer : he announced himself on Friday that he was withdrawing from the BNP Paribas Indian Wells Open as well as the Miami tournament as he hadn’t fully recovered from his knee operation. To see him back on the courts, we’ll probably have to wait until Monte-Carlo, mid-April. For his public come-back, that happened on Sunday evening at the Oscars, the Swiss having been invited by Leonardo DiCaprio…
…who he brought luck to.
5- Grigor Dimitrov (NE).
Dimitrov seemed very happy to be one of the headliners at the Acapulco Mexican Open.
Unlucky for him, his journey was ended prematurely in the quarter-finals, with a broken racquet on top of everything.
To console himself, the Bulgarian could however count on his new partner and first support as of now, the singer Nicole Scherzinger, ex-Pussycat Doll as well as Lewis Hamilton’s ex-girlfriend.
We’ve seen worst fans…
6- Sloane Stephens (NE).
She’s one of the good surprises in this start of the season on the WTA circuit : Sloane Stephens lifted the trophy in Acapulco after struggling to dominate the Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova in the final (6/4 4/6 7/6).
It’s already the second title of the season for the American, after having won in Auckland in January, and who seemed to have fun this week in Mexico, taking care of the show for the crowd.
7- Carla Suarez Navarro (NE).
The other big winner of the week on the women’s table is Carla Suarez Navarro. The Spaniard overturned a compromised situation to win it in the final in Dubaï against Jelena Ostapenko (1/6 6/4 6/4).
Suarez Navarro has won the most prestigious title of her career, and will be one of the women to watch during the clay season. Judging by her moves on the court, it’s hard to do better than that…
8- Dominic Thiem (NE).
In the men’s circuit, the latest hit is named Dominic Thiem, winner in Acapulco (7/6 4/6 6/3 in the final against Bernard Tomic) after having won in Buenos Aires two weeks earlier. As a reward, he got a big hat, a football shirt and a funny looking trophy.
We’ll rather remember the few nice shots hit by the Austrian on the court, and notably this one.
9- Pablo Cuevas (-1).
To complete the table of the tournament winners of the week, we need to highlight Pablo Cuevas’ second victory in a row in Brazil : only one week after lifting the trophy in Rio, he triumphs in Sao Paulo this time, after defeating the Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta in the final (7/6 6/3).
The support of his fans who came from the neighboring Uruguay seem to have done Cuevas a world of good, as he now counts five trophies won on the circuit, all on clay.
10- Nick Kyrgios (-8).
Nick Kyrgios is more than ever the rising star of world tennis. His asset : a strong character which expresses himself on the courts but also on the web, where he doesn’t hesitate to enter verbal fights with his haters.
Very active on the social networks, the Australian gave his support to the Boston Celtics, who are battling on the road to the NBA play-offs.
As for tennis, things ha kicked off well in Dubaï…
…until an unlucky withdrawal in the semi-final against Stan Wawrinka (6/4 3/0). The physio couldn’t do much do relieve him from his back pains. His BNP Paribas Davis Cup captain, Lleyton Hewitt, must of watched that with a lot of concern…
11- Fernando Verdasco (NE).
The Spaniard seems to be in shape. And he doesn’t hesitate to show it.
His secret must be this detox breakfast. Only healthy food on this table !
In any case, it is his winning formula for this week of training in Marbella, with the next deadlines in sight, as he hasn’t won a tournament in the singles in almost two years.
12- Jack Sock (NE).
One of the spearheads of the US BNP Paribas Davis Cup team is pumped up before facing Australia away. You don’t mess around with American patriotism…
The whole team has complied to it to show how united it is in this mission. Let us recall that the Americans haven’t managed to lift the trophy since 2007.
The same team for a more recognizable family photo.
13- Agnieszka Radwanska (NE).
Three top-seeded players are on a boat, two fall overboard, who remains ? Radwanska, the only of the three who managed to qualify for the semi-finals in Dubaï.
The Pole seemed to be on good form…
…but she ended up completely missing out on her semi-final against Carla Suarez Navarro, the future winner of the tournament (6/2 6/0).
14- Andy Murray (-3).
Small information from the gossip column in Great-Britain : the local press revealed that Andy Murray was a good friend of Thibaut Courtois, Chelsea and the Belgian national team’s goalkeeper.
Competing with the elite players must bring people together.
15- Kate Middleton (NE).
Still in the gossip column, still in the UK : Kate Middleton was seen racquet in hand this week, having a great time during a lesson provided by Judy Murray, Andy and Jamie’s mother.
This operation, organized in Edinburgh, was part of a project shown in schools to promote Scottish champions.
According to the Daily Mail, the Duchess of Cambridge was wearing a 278 euros tracksuit. We’re going to have to start saving up, to look like a princess.
Del Potro, Wozniacki, Paire, Querrey, Errani, Schiavone, Stakhovsky, Sharapova, Brown, Sears, Konta