The grass season starts and it’s a moment Andy Murray is always looking forward to : the occasion of playing at home, with prestigious supporters like the Beckhams (father and son) and Ivan Lendl, who came back as his coach. The Scot is first in our offbeat ranking of the week in front of a finally smiling Serena Williams and a Novak Djokovic on holiday.
1- Andy Murray (+2).
The unlucky finalist at Roland-Garros has no time for regrets : like every other player on the circuit, he has already started the (short) grass season, which seems to be fine by him.
To prepare for the Queen’s at home, he faced an unusual sparring partner, Romeo Beckham, who came with daddy David to support the British champion and hit a few balls with him.
These last few days, we’ve also learned that Murray, who has been without a coach since he parted ways with Amélie Mauresmo, has decided to call back Ivan Lendl in his staff, the man behind his two most prestigious titles, the Olympic gold medal in 2012, and Wimbledon in 2013.
Otherwise, just before leaving Paris, the Scot tried playing boules with the ex-Gunner and French international, Robert Pires.
2- Serena Williams (+3).
We had left Serena devastated in the weekend of the finals at Roland Garros : she had lost hers, leaving a doubt remaining on a possible retirement, and had seen the passing of one of her idols, Muhammad Ali. To wipe her tears, there’s nothing better than going on holiday in the sun, and have some fortunate encounters, like the Barcelona-player Neymar, for example.
Another method to train her mental skills and prepare for the rest of the season : attack the sexist clichés on women’s tennis.
A video directed by Glamour. Who also invited the world number one to a session : « Play it like Tina Turner ».
The verdict ? Acceptable, but at least, it enabled her to unwind !
3- Novak Djokovic (+1).
With Roland-Garros in his pocket, Novak Djokovic deserved to spend a few days on holiday, with his wife and kid. Aren’t Djoko and Djoko junior cute ?
While waiting to get back in the season with his next big goal in Wimbledon, the Serb also to make time in his busy schedule to attend one of his friend’s wedding.
Djoko did some classic Djoko : he lit up the atmosphere by singing with the missus.
4- Fabio Fognini (NE).
It’s truly the wedding season as last weekend, the union of Fabio Fognini and Flavia Pennetta was also celebrated. Congratulations to them !
Before slipping the ring on his wife’s finger, the charismatic Italian has had a pretty nice week : Moto GP grand prix to congratulate his fellow countryman and friend Valentino Rossi…
…and then a few days off with Flavia and friends, in the son, relaxing.
5- Garbine Muguruza (-4).
The Roland Garros winner and rising star of women’s tennis has also had a few days off. Well deserved. A good opportunity to renew her stock of personal pictures.
But as she will now have to live with her new status of being the world number 2, Muguruza quickly went back to training to start the grass season.
With joy, it seems.
6- Maria Sharapova (+8).
Still in women’s tennis, but less positive news : Maria Sharapova has been hit with a suspension from the international tennis federation for illegally taking a prohibited product. The verdict : two years without any competition starting on the day of her positive test, which takes her off the courts until January 2018. A decision which she quickly contested on her Facebook page.
If the Russian has decided to launch an appeal to prove her innocence, she has also decided to carry on training, posting some pretty surreal pictures of herself during the effort on Instagram.
For once, she’s not smiling anymore.
7- Kristina Mladenovic (NE).
Back on the courts with one of the most on form girls of the moment : Kristina Mladenovic, winner of the doubles at the French Internationals with her fellow countrywoman Caroline Garcia, who has quickly made the transition for her first tournament on grass by defeating her good friend Belinda Bencic in the semi-final at s’-Hertogenbosch.
However, the French was defeated 5/7 5/7 by Coco Vandeweghe in the final. The experience still remains largely positive as she started the tournament in Holland without having the time to train for a proper transition between clay and grass.
8- Coco Vandeweghe (NE).
The women’s tournament of s-Hertogenbosch has been won by Coco Vandeweghe. The American is going to have to pay for an excess baggage if she wants to bring home the trophy…
In fact, maybe she’s already at home in the Netherlands ? In fact, the fairly unknown Vandeweghe has won her second title on the WTA circuit. The first had been won two years ago and it was already in ’s-Hertogenbosch. In theory, Coco and her team know how to perform on grass.
9- Dominic Thiem (-2).
Where will he stop ? Dominic Thiem has won his fourth tournament of the season on Monday. After Buenos Aires, Munich and Nice, the Austrian added the Stuttgart tournament to his record, his first title on grass.
Thiem has had to battle to defeat Roger Federer (3-6, 7-6, 6-4) in the semi-final…
…before beating Kohlschreiber (6/7 6/4 6/4) in the final, a match played over two days because of the rain.
His girlfriend should be happy of her man’s success, as he’s definitely become the rising star of world tennis.
10- Roger Federer (NE).
Dominated by Thiem in the semi-final in Stuttgart, Roger Federer hasn’t completely had a successful come-back, even if it was promising, with a level of play which should enable him to perform in his garden of Wimbledon, if the injuries leave him alone.
In any case, the Swiss was the big star of the german tournament. He attended, for a sponsor’s needs, a nice exhibition match on the roof of a Stuttgart building.
11- Angelique Kerber (NE).
On a quest to take back her place as the number 2 of the WTA ranking, Angelique Kerber will start her grass season in Mallorca, in Spain. There, she met up with her friend, Ana Ivanovic.
The German also had the opportunity to drive a big flashy car.
Before the start of the football European championships, she’s also faced the other girls of the circuit in a match of keepy-uppy. The verdict ? Kerber’s not too bad, and at least much better than Serena Williams !
12- Caroline Wozniacki (NE).
Stop everything you’re doing ! Wozniacki has restarted playing tennis ! Even better : she has won a match, in the first round of the Nottingham tournament against the Turkish Büyükakçay (7/5 6/3).
The joy was however short as she lost in the second round against the Estonian Kontaveit. The Dane found comfort in the arms of a visibly tired mascot.
To get her spirits up, nothing better than a shopping spree, and even better when it’s in her sponsor’s shop, where everything is free…
13- Karolina Pliskova (NE).
Speaking about Nottingham, the victory was Karolina Pliskova’s who’s battled to defeat the American Alison Riske in the final (7/6 7/5).
It’s the Czech’s 5th title in the singles. The last was won in May 2015, at home, in the Prague tournament.
14- Milos Raonic (NE).
Another one who seems to take the grass season preparation very seriously is Milos Raonic. We wouldn’t want to be the one returning his incredibly powerful serves…
Before taking part in the Queen’s tournament, the Canadian had the privilege to visit the famous palace of Westminster.
We hope that he hadn’t forgot to take his disposable camera to keep memories of his visit.
15- Nicolas Mahut (NE).
Hat-trick for Mahut ! After having won the ’s-Hertogenbosch tournament in 2013 and 2015, the Frenchman won his third edition by defeating the Luxembourger Gilles Müller (6/4 6/4) in a final played on monday morning in front of a very small crowd due to the rain which had fallen over the Netherlands the previous day.
Let’s hope that this title inspire les Bleus. In any case, Mahut, like Mladenovic, are fully supporting the French national football team.
Wawrinka, Fritz, Bertens, McEnroe, Stosur, Radwanska, Kyrgios, Paire, Haase