The best of the past week, on and off the courts, day after day, only for the readers of We Are Tennis by BNP Paribas. With a Federer still at the top of his form, French players rebelling, and a Wozniacki crowned queen of the WTA ; Spain tearing itself apart, a farting contest and an inflatable doll saved from drowning by firemen.
Monday, October 23rd
France is scared. Especially the north of France, where people cook with butter every day. As a consequence of the milk shortage and a rise of butter consumption worldwide, it has become a rarity in French supermarkets. On his side, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga doesn’t need butter to perform : he’s back in the top 15 of the ATP, while his fellow countrywoman Caroline Garcia lost her first match at the Singapore BNP Paribas WTA Finals against Simona Halep. In Switzerland, the men’s tournament in Basel started with a huge emotion : the last ever professional match of the local Marco Chiundelli, who was defeated by Robin Haase under the teary gaze of Roger Federer. Just imagine how emotional his retirement will be…
Tuesday, October 24th
“Roger is my idol”, says Denis Shapovalov. Except that the Canadian lost in the second round of the Basel Open and it’s his opponent of the day, Adrian Mannarino, who had the honor of facing the idol in the quarter-finals. Still in the ATP, some good news : Novak Djokovic and Stanislas Wawrinka should make their return on the courts during the Abu Dhabi exhibition tournament, at the end of December. Wawrinka, who made his break up with his coach Magnus Norman official. In women’s tennis, Lindsay Davenport gave her forecast for the BNP Paribas WTA Finals : a victory for Garbine Muguruza, an « impressive player » according to the ex-world number 1. A forecast which ended up being far from the truth as the Spaniard finished last of her group…but the true hero of the day was this Montrealer who received a 149 dollar fine for noise pollution. He sang the hit ‘Everybody dance now’, which was on the radio, a little too loud. At least, he’s got good taste in music.
Wednesday, October 25th
While the women’s BNP Paribas WTA Finals carried on in Singapore, its equivalent for men is preparing. Marin Cilic and Grigor Dimitrov will both take part in it, on November 13th, in London. This Wednesday, October 27th was also marked by a few moments of madness. First act : in Germany, a motorway was entirely blocked by 30 000 beer bottles, after a lorry crashed on the road. Second act : in Japan, a TV channel organized the first ever farting contest. Butterfly effect, or not, Roger Federer won his first match in Basel, to the relief of the organizers of the tournament…
Thursday, October 26th
“It’s no longer a secret, I think there were already rumors spreading. It’s not a decision that I’ve taken overnight (…) I believe that it’s the perfect moment to stop. It’s what athletes look for, finding the best moment to retire and I think this is the perfect moment for me. I hope that I can end on a high note. » These words were pronounced by Martina Hingis, who, at 37, decided to retire at the end of the BNP Paribas WTA Finals She made her return to competition four years ago, only playing doubles. In the singles, Venus Williams qualified for the semi-finals after defeating Muguruza. In the men’s Federer carried on his walk in the park by defeating Benoit Paire. But the amazing feat of the day came from Tom Morgan, a South-African man who managed to fly for 25 kilometers, at an altitude of 8000 feet, sat on a chair attached to 100 balloons. Up, the computer-animated film, has finally got a real-life adaptation.
Friday, October 27th
Oh Carolina, sang Shaggy in 1993. Twenty-four years later, Caroline Garcia qualified for the semi-finals of the BNP Paribas WTA Finals by defeating Caroline Wozniacki. Next year, Garcia and his friends from the WTA circuit will have a new date to mark on their 2018 calendars, with the Moscow Open replacing the Bastad Open. But the true heroes of this day are this 94 year-old Frenchwoman who decided to skydive for the first time and these two American women found alive in the Pacific Ocean after drifting for five months. In men’s tennis, while Tsonga managed to defeat Alexander Zverer, the top-seed at the Vienna Open, Nicolas Almagro got angry against Catalonia’s self-proclaimed independence. « Shame on Puigdemont(president of the government of Catalonia, editor’s note) and his clan, for destroying the country’s unity. A small, bag clean underwear, and off to jail ! », said the tennis player on Twitter. A great atmosphere, for sure.
Saturday, October 28th
This time, it’s over for Martina Hingis, who lost, alongside her doubles partner Chan Yung-Jan, in the semi-finals of the BNP Paribas WTA Finals against Timea Babos and Andrea Hlachackova. It was also the end of the tournament for Caroline Garcia, as she was defeated by Venus Williams in the semi-finals. In Basel, Roger Federer produced a great performance to knock out one of the favorites, David Goffin. « A match like this one is always positive », said the icon. But for the real great decision of the day was found in Guyana, where Emmanuel Macron was for an official trip. « There are some of you who don’t just smoke cigarettes », the French president said, amused. Another successful french comedy ?
Sunday, October 30th
Surprise : Federer won, in the final of the Basel Open against Juan Martin Del Potro, and clinched the 95th ATP title of his career. That’s 91 more than Lucas Pouille, who defeated his fellow countryman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the final of the Vienna Open. The two Frenchmen will be at the Paris Masters 1000, unlike the Swiss who decided to rest and prepare for the London Masters, the last big meeting of the season. In Singapore, Caroline Wozniacki ended her perfect tournament by defeating Venus Williams in the final. It’s her first win at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals, seven years after having lost a final against Kim Clijsters. In other news, firemen in the south of France have saved an inflatable doll which was « drowning » in a river, a female human-looking robot named Sophia became a Saudi citizen and Carles Puigdemont could leave for Belgium if the legal proceedings launched against him after Catalonia’s declaration of independence, deemed illegal by the national authorities, carry on. Will he be in Lille on November 20th to support his host country against France in the final of the BNP Paribas Davis Cup ? Who knows ?
By Régis Delanoë