He’s obviously the main target at the moment : Novak Djokovic has prepared all week for the start of the clay season but has also took the time to open a restaurant. He’s back at the top of our offbeat ranking in front of Roger Federer, who he could meet in the semi-final in Monaco, and Dominica Cibulkova, who took out her sniper to shoot Sharapova…
1- Novak Djokovic (+1).
How is the world number 1 feeling ? Very well, thank you. After an umpteenth triumph during the american tour, he came back to Europe to start the clay season. With a a few official meetings before the start of the tournament in Monaco.
Novak still managed to train, with a special sparring partner : his son !
Journalists came out in number to record his impressions before his come-back on clay.
On Sunday, just before the start of his tournament, Djokovic and his wife have launched their first restaurant, Eqvita, in Monaco. Not the type of place to serve fish and chips…
2- Roger Federer (NE).
« I’m happy to say that I’ve recovered well from the virus in Miami. At first, I was concerned that it might be something that would last a while, but I was feeling better three days later. I arrived in Monte Carlo nine or 10 days ago and I’ve been training on center court for the past eight or nine days. I’ve played a lot of practice sets ! » Roger’s happy to be finally back. Relieved and happy to start playing again.
Also happy to be in Monaco and being able to enjoy the pleasures of the Mediterranean sea. Notably its beaches and big pebbles.
Better than the fine sandy beaches in Miami, right ? However, someone will have some explaining to do with the fashion police. The sports blazer with the old tie deserves a 10/10 for originality, but we’re not sure whether or not he gets the overall passing mark.
3- Dominika Cibulkova (NE).
Great victory for Dominika Cibulkova, who won the fifth trophy in her career in Katowice, the first in more than two years. Her last win in a final was at the Mexican Open, in March 2014.
The Slovakian dominated the Italian Camila Giorgi in the final, on the expeditious score of 6/4 6/0. Thank you, and goodbye. Enough to please her staff…
…and her fans, especially the younger ones.
Cibulkova also distinguished herself by vividly criticizing Maria Sharapova, who has been off the courts for a few weeks now. « I will only say that I don’t feel sorry at all for Sharapova and I don’t miss her on the tour. She’s a totally unlikeable person. Arrogant, conceited and cold. When I sit beside her in the locker room, she won’t even say hello. » At least, it’s clear !
4- Tomas Berdych (NE).
In Monaco, Tomas Berdych is at home.
When he’s not eating on his terrasse, it’s Novak Djokovic who serves him.
Him and his wife are like fish in the sea on the Monegasque rock.
You’d almost forget that he has a big tournament to prepare for.
Calmly, Berdych also dismissed the suspicions surrounding him in the « Panama Papers » affair, with a press release. His presence on the list of the people suspected of tax fraud would only be a mistake…Case closed.
5- Serena Williams (NE).
Would you like to see a picture of Serena Williams, from the side, against the light, facing the sea ? Here you go.
Always more proud of her body and her curves, the world number 1 made the most of an « off » week, to give a video lesson on how to twerk. We’ll let you enjoy the private lesson…
6- Rafael Nadal (/).
Whatever happens, clay will always rhyme with Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard remains one of world tennis’ headlines, especially on the ochre surface, and the front display of his sponsor.
He’s also one of the players who’s most followed by the press before this Monte-Carlo tournament, which he has won 8 times consecutively between 2005 and 2012.
Nadal also featured among the sportsmen to pay hommage to Kobe Bryant, who will be retiring at the end of this year’s NBA regular season.
Farewell, Black Mamba !
7- Gaël Monfils (+3).
The world number 16 and third french player of the moment (behind Tsonga, 9th, and Gasquet, 10th), will be one of the players to follow in Monte Carlo. He knows that he will be expected, so he’s working on his looks.
He has also worked on his « public relations » by answering positively to Novak Djokovic’s invite to take part in the opening of his first restaurant.
As for the training, it was quite relaxed, with a game of boules improvized with his coach.
Earlier this week, « Monf’ » attended the Parc des Princes to watch the quarter-final between Paris Saint-Germain, which he supports, and Manchester City. There, he met with the ex-pro Gaston Gaudio, who fell in love with Paris since his victory at the French Open in 2004.
8- Ana Ivanovic (NE).
This week, Ana Ivanovic did yoga on a practice court…
She ate healthy foods…
And she also went back to training on clay, and looked quite happy to see her socks turn orange.
9- Sloane Stephens (NE).
Fourth final on the circuit for Sloane Stephens and fourth win ! This time, Miss 100% triumphed in Charleston against the Russian Elena Vesnina, 7/6 6/2.
She has not only won the trophy and the cheque which comes with it, but also a car from the car manufacturer which sponsored the tournament. A car which was even brought onto the court during the post-match ceremony.
Sloane Stephens is the rising star of women’s american tennis. In Charleston, she was playing at home and obviously had the support of the crowd.
10- Juan Monaco (NE).
The 32 year-old Argentine hadn’t won anything on the circuit since 2013. It’s now done with the 9th title of his career, won in Houston after dominating the local boy Jack Sock, 3/6 6/3 7/5, in the final.
A good youth therapy to start the clay season with confidence.
Eight of his nine titles were won on this surface.
11- Federico Delbonis (NE).
Another Argentine who distinguished himself this week : Federico Delbonis, who defeated Borna Coric (6/2 6/4) in the final of the Grand Prix Hassan II in Marrakech.
As soon as clay comes back on the program, the Argentines are here, racquet in hand, ready to take part in marathon-like matches from the baseline.
12- Nick Kyrgios (-).
Small event in Australian tennis : the rebel Nick Kyrgios is now the best-ranked Aussie at the ATP race : 20th, one spot ahead of Bernard Tomic.
Kyrgios who enjoyed the film Batman vs Superman. Which din’t seem to be the case for his girlfriend, the pro tennis woman Ajla Tomljanovic…
13- Grigor Dimitrov (-2).
Apparently, Grigor Dimitrov has been training hard to take part in his first tournament of the season on clay.
He also had fun, trying Parkour tricks, to show his physique on Instagram…
14- Garbine Muguruza (NE).
The funniest photo of the week in the world of tennis is undoubtedly Garbine Muguraza’s with her very special way of peeling onions…
Yes, it’s the same person we see here without the protection mask !
For the world number 4 just like for everybody else right now, the training sessions on clay are mandatory.
15- Maria Sharapova (-6).
« Maria Sharapova has always isolated herself from the rest of the tennis world, from the players. She’s made that known, she can’t be friends with the players. Her friendships are outside of the tennis world, she’s isolated herself. » The very true analysis is from Chris Evert. Little by little, Maria Sharapova is disappearing the tennis radars. Meanwhile, she carries on training, as shown on her Twitter account.
A Twitter account which regularly retweets messages of support, as if the Russian needed to reassure herself of her popularity.
Still on the social networks, a photo of a very cute Maria Sharapova with bunches has reappeared in these last few days.
Azarenka, Bacsinszky, Nishikori, Kuznetsova, Obama, Goffin, Herbert, Bouchard, Sidorenko