The best of the past week, on and off the courts, day after day…with the Rome Masters, the death of the writer Tom Wolfe and a future documentary on Martina Navratilova.
Monday, May 14th
If Roger Federer has decided to skip the clay season, he is still back at the world number 1 spot, after Rafael Nadal’s faux-pas in Madrid. Nadal who trained with Maria Sharapova in Rome, and who will kick off the next edition of The 24 Hours of Le Mans, on June 16th. With an 11th Roland-Garros in his pocket ? In Paris, the Spaniard is already sure that he won’t face Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who withdrew from the tournament…French tennis is in a pretty bad shape, as Gaël Monfils, Adrian Mannarino and Richard Gasquet all lost in the first round at the Rome Masters. Where, in women’s tennis, Roberta Vinci played - and lost - the last match of her career. In front of her crowd…beautiful. Much more beautiful than what is happening in the Middle-East, with a very deadly day in Gaza. Too much to take in for the writer Tom Wolfe, who passed away at 88 years old, at home, in Manhattan. RIP.
Tuesday, May 15th
Djoko is back ! In any case, he’s playing better and better, as his battle won against Dolgopolov proves, with some beautiful points along the way to please the crowd. Let’s remember, the Serb is now the world number 18, and hasn’t won a single tournament since Eastbourne last July. Marion Bartoli is also trying to come back, but the return to competition of the ex-Wimbledon winner has been pushed back once again. This time, she’s not supposed to be back on the courts before August, at least…The Frenchwoman could then face her fellow countrywoman Alizé Cornet who has been proved innocent after missing a few doping tests. Meanwhile, in Sotheby’s, the checkbook was out : the painting Red Nude, painted by Amedeo Modigliani in 1917 has been sold for 157,2 millions dollars. 1 Modigilani = 0,7 Neymar Jr.
Wednesday, May 16th
A defeat can piss anyone off. Especially when you’re one of the top seeds in the tournament (Rome) and that you lose in the first round against an unknown opponent, the Greek Maria Sakkari. As a result, Karolina Pliskova smashed her racket against the umpire’s chair…The tournament of the Italian capital is making Djokovic much happier : the Serb won a secon match in a row against Basilashvili and seemed to slowly get back to his best level. As for Lucas Pouille, he was knocked out by Kyle Edmund, and left Benoît Paire as the only one to defend a pretty sad French tennis. In France, the main focus of the day, on this Wednesday, May 16th was on Olympique de Marseille, who played in the final of a European cup for the first time in 14 years. But Atletico Madrid was just more experienced and powerful and ended up, logically, winninf this Europa League. Jean-Michel Aulas likes this.
Thursday, May 17th
Some good news to begin with : Caroline Garcia qualified for the quarter-finals in Rome ! In the men’s draw, Benoît Paire was however knocked out by Marin Cilic; the Croatian qualified for the quarter finals along with Nishikori, Djokovic, Nadal or Fognini but without Del Potro, who was knocked out by David Goffin. In England, some numbers surrounding Saturday’s royal wedding have started to leak in the press : 50 million pints of beer are expected to be drank in the country to celebrate Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s union. In France, we found out the names of the 23 players who will take part in this summer’s World Cup in Russia. But the real world champion of the day is this rapper who ended up in custody after some police officers spotted a burning stolen car in one of his videos. Thug Life.
Friday, May 18th
Novak Djokovic and Maria Sharapova qualified for the semi-finals in Rome. What about the others ? Rafael Nadal defeated an aging Fognini, just like Zverev, Cilic, Svitolina, Kontaveit and Simona Halep who defeated Caroline Garcia. But let’s leave Italy and go to the US : the court number 2 of the US Open, which has been named Louis Armstrong, is almost finished, as we can see with a picture posted on social networks ; Gina Haspel became the first woman to be named director of the CIA, and a new high school shooting ended up with eight victims in Santa Fe (Texas). RIP, again.
Saturday, May 19th
« Today, I played against one of the best players of this sport », said Nadal after his win against Djokovic, and before meeting up with Zverev in the final. In the women’s draw, Svitolina will face Halep. But this Saturday is mainly the big day for Harry and Meghan who married in Windsor in a fairytale atmosphere, with numerous prestigious guests, including a stunning Serena Williams, who came with her family. With a friend like Harry…
Sunday, May 20th
In Rome, ladies first : Svitolina easily won against Halep, the world number 1, to clinch the third title of her season after Brisbane and Dubaï. In the men’s, Alexander Zverev won a set against Rafael Nadal but that’s about it : the Majorcan won his eighth title on the Italian clay - his first since 2013. He’ll more than ever be the huge favorite at Roland-Garros, where we won’t see Milos Raonic, who announced his withdrawal. However, Serena Williams should be there : the day after the royal wedding, the queen of tennis trained in Paris to make sure she’ll be ready for her big return to competition. A last information before we go : Reese Witherspoon is apparently working on a documentary based on the ex-champion Martina Navratilova.