The tennis news (but not only) of the week : Novak, Naomi and a tractor

Sep 11, 2018, 4:09:42 PM

The tennis news of the past week, mixed with news from the real world. A second week marked by a first Japanese triumph in a Grand Slam tournament, our thoughts going to Pete Sampras, but also free pizzas and a badly parked tractor.

Monday, September 3rd
Here we go with a second week at the US Open! And it started off brilliantly, with a duel between the big servers Milos Raonic and John Isner, which was won by the American (3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2) in the fourth round. Juan Martin Del Potro and Novak Djokovic, on their side, respectively defeated Borna Coric (6-4, 6-3, 6-1) and Joao Sousa (6-3, 6-4, 6-3), while the title-holder Sloane Stephens crushed Elise Mertens (6-3, 6-3). An American show which draws all sorts of crowds. Even cats, apparently, as the retirement home of Parigné-l’Évêque (France), had to settle for robotic cats. At least they won’t need dry food.

Tuesday, September 4th
Tuesday started off in high spirits. Well, mainly for the inhabitants of Haute-Savoie, in France: after drawing a huge heart in the sky of Annecy with his plane, a pilot who specializes in skywriting wrote the world “smile” next to the clouds. Enough to set a good mood in the whole region… except for Andy Murray’s fans, as the Scot withdrew from the Davis Cup, but also for Roger Federer’s fans, as the King was surprisingly defeated by John Millman (6-3, 5-7, 6-7, 6-7). “I felt guilty today because he didn’t have a great day. I’m well aware of that. I surely needed that to defeat him, and to have a great day personally”, admitted the one who had never defeated a member of the Top 10 beforehand. Maria Sharapova’s admirers also cried, as she was crushed by Carla Suarez-Navarro (4-6, 3-6). Later, the same thing happened to Sloane Stephens’ fans, as she lost against Anastasija Sevastova (2-6, 3-6), who qualified for a Grand Slam semi-final for the first time in her career. However, Del Potro didn’t get a bad surprise, as he was very solid against Isner (6-7, 6-3, 7-6, 6-2).


Wednesday, September 5th
Wake up!" That’s the order given to himself by Rafael Nadal, and to which he complied after losing the first set 0-6 against Dominic Thiem. In the end, the Spaniard used his mental strength to win (0-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-7, 7-6) and joined Del Potro in the semis (a 29th Grand Slam semi-final for the current world number one, one more than Ivan Lendl but he remains behind Federer, Djokovic, and Jimmy Connors). We’ll also see Serena Williams in the semis, as she defeated Karolina Pliskova (6-4, 6-3). On her side, Francesca Schiavone won’t be seen in a Grand Slam tournament again: at 38 years old, the winner of Roland-Garros 2010 announced her retirement. If she feels like it, she could become a lawyer, and defend this farmer from Biollet, France, who received a fine after parking his huge tractor in the narrow streets of Paris. We’re sure she could win.


Thursday, September 6th
Great, we finally received news from the mascot of the movie theater of Toiles du Lac (Aix-les-Bains, France), a cat named Gypsie! The animal, which was lost almost a year ago was found… in Switzerland! The cat is as resistant as Kei Nishikori, who defeated Marin Cilic after a marathon-like match (2-6, 6-4, 7-6, 4-6, 6-4). And after Djokovic’s qualification against Millman (6-3, 6-4, 6-4), a fun fact was revealed: the four players who have qualified for the semis had already played a US Open final. We had to wait for 27 Grand Slam tournaments to be played to witness this situation again.


Friday, September 7th
If he hadn’t passed away so young, Freddie Mercury would have turned 72 today. To honor him, the luggage handlers of the London-Heathrow airport produced a great choreography, wearing leather jackets and fake moustaches. Meanwhile, Serena Williams reached her ninth final in New York after destroying Anastasija Sevastova (6-3, 6-0), and Naomi Osaka qualified for her first Grand Slam final after defeating Madison Keys (6-2, 6-4). Here’s a great fight to look forward to. 


Saturday, September 8th
Williams lost. Osaka won. But more than the Japanese’s first Grand Slam title (6-1, 6-4), we’ll remember the tears and anger of the American. As she received a 17000 dollar-fine for her behavior during a final which saw her receive a one-game penalty for illegal coaching, and verbal abuse toward the umpire, Serena still couldn’t cope with the sanctions: “There are men out here that do a lot worse. I'm here fighting for women's rights and for women's equality and for all kinds of stuff. For me to say 'thief' and for him to take a game, it made me feel like it was a sexist remark. He's never taken a game from a man because they said ‘thief.’ I don’t get it.” In the men’s draw, Djokovic destroyed Nishikori (6-3, 6-4, 6-2) and Del Potro joined him in the final, nine years after winning the US Open, after Nadal’s withdrawal. Nadal sustained a knee injury, and will also miss out on the Davis Cup semi-finals. A worst news than the one of this American Airlines flight being rerouted. The pilot offered the passengers forty pizzas to apologize. Yummy.


Sunday, September 9th
Fourteen. Here’s the number of Grand Slam tournaments won by Novak Djokovic after his triumph against Juan Martin Del Potro (6-3, 7-6, 6-3). Just like the emblematic Pete Sampras. Only Nadal (17) and Federer (20) have won more. In other news, the owner of the winning Euromillions ticket bought in the Hautes-Pyrénées, France, is invited to get himself to an office of the French lottery to earn one million euros. Last call: September 15th.


By Florian Cadu