The best of the past week on We Are Tennis by BNP Paribas: every Tuesday, we summarize the tennis news of the past week, and mix them with news of the real world. Here’s a first week which has been marked by Roger Federer of course, but also problems on a plane, and orcas speaking a human language.
Monday, February 12th
« I’d love to get back to the number one spot this week. It would be incredible to reconquer the spot. » At the very start of the week, Roger Federer showed his ambitions. In order to dethrone Rafael Nadal and get back to the top of the ATP ranking, the Swiss had to reach the semi-finals in Rotterdam. It looked like he had to hit as hard as the member of the French national rugby team, who got involved in a brawl in a nightclub after their defeat against Scotland. On her side, Maria Sharapova crumbled against Monica Niculescu (4-6, 6-4, 6-3), who had been through the qualifying rounds, in the first round in Doha. A day which was also marked by Mirza Basic’s first ATP title, after defeating Marius Copil in Sofia (7-6, 6-7, 6-4). Now, let’s quickly get back to Roger.
Tuesday, February 13th
And who better than John McEnroe to speak about him in these beautiful terms? « He plays at such a high level and is moving around better than when he was 28 years old. Maybe not like when he was 25 or 26 but I don’t understand how he does it. It’s truly incredible to watch, said an impressed American about the star of yesterday, today and tomorrow. It’s one of the craziest things that I have seen after more than 25 years of commentating the game. I’m also counting the fifteen other years I spent playing it. » Stan Wawrinka, who’s also visibly impressed, got confused and lost against Tallon Griekspoor (4-6, 6-3, 6-2). In other news, a Belgian man received a 2000 billion euros bank transfer on his account. For a few seconds, he was the richest man in the world. Now, let’s quickly get back to Roger.
Wednesday, February 14th
And what’s better than crushing your first opponent to get your fans to dream? Against Ruben Bemelmans, Federer spread his wings (6-1, 6-2). A lot more easier than this Air Algérie aircraft which forgot a wheel at the Toulouse airport during takeoff, or this United Airlines aircraft which lost a big part of one of its engines mid-flight. In other news, Kei Nishikori defeated Noah Rubin in New York (7-5, 6-3) for his return on the ATP circuit after his injury. Now, let’s immediately get back to Roger.
Thursday, February 15th
Roger, who carried on with his mission with a hard time against Philipp Kohlschreiber (7-6, 7-5). But who won, and that’s the most important thing. Another player who is having a hard time is Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who had to withdraw for the Marseille Open, and will leave the top 30 of the ATP ranking for the first time in ten years. In other news, a Chinese went inside an X-ray machine at the Dongguan train station after refusing to let go of her handbag. Now, we’d rather get back to Roger.
Friday, February 16th
It doesn’t matter if Gaël Monfils danced the tango before hitting the ball against Leonardo Mayer (6-4, 3-6, 6-3), that Tomas Berdych fell ill before facing David Goffin in the other half of the table, or that a skier who had disappeared in New York was found six days later in California without knowing how he got there… The only thing that matters is that the great Federer will be officially the best player in the world and the number 1 at the ATP ranking next Monday. The man who won 20 Grand Slam tournaments triumphed against Robin Haase (4-6, 6-1, 6-1), and his presence in the semi-finals was enough to guarantee his place on the throne. Until now, no one had ever sat on it at the age of 36 - the oldest world number one was Andre Agassi, 33 and four months in 2003. The rest? Nothing important.
Saturday, February 17th
Federer knows how to meet the expectations. So the new world number 1 honored his status by qualifying for the final after defeating Andreas Seppi (6-3, 7-6). In the final, he’ll face Grigor Dimitrov, who qualified after Goffin injured…his own eye ! By missing a backhand volley, the Belgian let the ball hit his retina. That won’t help the police officers in Marseille who are looking for the family of a man who wrote a letter during the First World War. The letter was found during a police raid. Why not ask Roger? After all, nothing scares him.
Sunday, February 18th
How could we end the week? With our friends, the orcas, who could possibly reproduce the human language, according to a scientific study? With Dominic Thiem, who won the Buenos Aires Open (6-2, 6-4 against Aljaz Bedene) ? With Kevin Anderson, who defeated Sam Querrey in the final in New-York (4-6, 6-3, 7-6)? Of course not. Sunday is reserved for Gods: Roger Federer won another title in Rotterdam - his 97th! - after easily crushing Dimitrov (6-2, 6-2). QED.
By Florian Cadu