The best of the preparation week before the US Open, on and off the courts, day after day, only for the readers of We Are Tennis by BNP Paribas. With a Sharapova making her come-back, a reassuring Bautista Agut, some nice records and some funny animals.
Monday, August 21st
You truly are in 2017 : Rafael Nadal is the world number one and the top seed at the US Open. A Grand Slam tournament in which Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and other players sponsors by the famous brand with the three stripes will play wearing outfits designed by Pharrell Williams. Classy ? In any case, it’s classier than the licence plate GRO5 CON (‘Big jerk’ in french, editor’s note) on a car driven by an English tourist who was on holiday in France, and which was seen close to the city of Lyon…Also classier than this Parisian nightclub offering free shots to any lady flashing her breasts…A deal which Magdalena Frech and Amina Anshba didn’t really enjoy, as they decided to break the record for the longest rally at the Leipzig tournament : 140 never-ending strokes which ended when Anshba finally walked up to the net. So, girls, what were you waiting for ?
Tuesday, August 22nd
There had been rumors for a while, but its now official according to the president of the French Tennis Federation : Rafael Nadal will have his own statue at Roland-Garros. In Germany, Boris Becker is back in the game, after becoming the new boss of men’s german tennis. On the other side of the Atlantic, Roger Federer has announced his arrival in New york, while Yulia Putintseva humiliated her coach by screaming at him in the middle of a match. For which result ? A 0-6 0-6 defeat in the first round of the Connecticut Open…The solar eclipse, which Donald Trump watched without wearing glasses, can’t be blamed for that, but neither can this 25 year-old Argentine who spent 40 000 dollars in plastic surgery to look like…an elf ! We are living in a funny era, aren’t we ?
Wednesday, August 23rd
Milos Raonic won’t take part in the US Open, after withdrawing because of an injury. Another man who will probably miss the tournament is Andy Murray, who prefers to carry on defending women’s tennis in the columns of an English magazine, in which he mentions the ambiant male chauvinism and notably the critics his ex-coach Amélie Mauresmo had to face. Otherwise, this 23rd of August is a day marked by different records : the record for the biggest ever win in the American loterie with 758 million dollars for a single winner ; a record of inheritance for two cats in New-York, Troy and Tiger, who are now the owners of a property valued at 300 000 dollars ; and the record of the biggest samossa ever cooked in London, which weighs 153 kilos. A whole Guinness book.
Thursday, August 24th
« Everyone can be a fan of Roger but I see myself as a groupie. » Anna Wintour is an absolute fan of King Roger. Lucas Pouille, on his side, prefers to be Rafael Nadal’s sparring partner a few days before the start of the US Open. A tournament in which we won’t see Patty Schnyder, who lost in the second qualifying round. The 38 year-old Swiss, who was already playing in New-York in 1997, has already said that she will be back in 2018. The rest of the news on this 24th of August is controversial, with French president Macron’s « makeup gate » (26 000 euros spent to look good during the three first months of his mandate), the band Allah-Lahs cancelling their show in Amsterdam after a terrorist threat, and the South-African state authorizing the trade of rhinoceros’ horns.
Friday, August 25th
Friday saw the draw of the US Open. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal were placed in the same part of the table and could face each other in the semi-finals. Novak Djokovic, on his side, won’t be there as he withdrew from the tournament. So he took his time off to declare his love to his wife Jelena in an…advert for a wine brand ! We prefer the real love which has developed between a macaque who adopted a chicken in an Israeli zoo, or this other love story between a cat named Calinou, who found its owner in Paris after missing for nine years. Calinou, really ?
Saturday, August 26th
The withdrawals carry on with Andy Murray making his absence at the US Open official. On his side, Roger Federer « feels really well » before the start of the tournament, but prefers to put pressure on his main opponent by saying that « the current boss is Nadal ». Clever, but not as amazing as the match point won by Bautista Agut in the semi-finals in Winston-Salem against the German Struff. The sporting news of the week on this Saturday, August 26th is marked by the boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Connor McGregor, which was considered less catastrophic than predicted, but looked like a mascarade destined to make both fighters richer…We truly are living in strange times.
Sunday, August 27th
In Winston-Salem, Bautista Agut confirmed and won the sixth title of his career (the second of the season) after dominating Dzumhur in the final. In women’s tennis, Gavrilova defeated Cibulkova at the Cincinnati Open. It’s the Australian’s first win on the WTA circuit, in three finals played. And while storm Harvey is flooding Texas, bookmakers are having a great time before this US Open which sounds…amazingly open. The verdict ? Federer is deemed as the favorite in front of Nadal, Zverev, Cilic, and Dimitrov, while in the women’s table, Pliskova is judged as the favorite in front of Muguruza, Konta, Halep and Svitolina. But the real winner of the day is Fréderic Hervé, who won the competition of the man who can eat the most melons, which is held in the centre of France.
By Régis Delanoë