The best of the past week, on and off the courts, day after day. On the menu today : tournaments in Asia, top-seeds going down in women’s tennis, Serena the role model, rebellious French players, Andy Murray crashing down and Tiger Woods as well.

Monday, September 24th

A great start of the week for this young Indonesian man who was rescued by a panamanian vessel after drifting for 49 days. It was a worst Monday for the directors of the Italian football club Vicenza, who were severely criticized for dressing their underaged female ball girls with mini-shorts in their latest home game. On his side, Gilles Simon had a great day as he started the week ten spots higher at the ATP ranking, after winning a title on Sunday. He’s now the world number 29. The worst fall was for Dzumhur, who’s now the world number 39 and who fell down eleven spots. Ouch. A bad day as well for Tsonga, who had to withdraw from the Challenger tournament where he was meant to make his comeback. Finally, the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas final will be played in Lille, just like last year, and on clay. No grass, no Mbappé, or Griezmann. Croatia might win this time.


Tuesday, September 25th

The British tabloids are stating that Meghan Markle is getting bored in her new life, far from her american family. At the United Nations General Assembly, in New York, Donald Trump made everyone laugh while bragging about his achievements. In other news, there was tennis being played this week. And it was all happening in Asia: in Chengdu, where Fognini was the top seed, and in Shenzen, where Goffin was defending his title. In Tashkent, there was a women’s tournament, with no member of the top 20 in the draw, and in Wuhan, where there was many big names on the menu (Halep, Wozniacki, Kerber, Garcia, Kvitova, etc.). The race for the Masters at the end of the year is officially on. 


Wednesday, September 26th

Incredible: the fifteen best-ranked players at the Wuhan women’s tournament lost before the quarter-finals! A week where women’s tennis was being played for nothing, or almost, as the money time of the season is approaching. In men’s tennis, the top-seeds didn’t have it easy either, with Tsitsipas losing early on in Shenzhen, where he was defeated by Herbert. The quote of the week came from Carlos Sainz Jr, who payed a beautiful hommage to one of his good friends: « Rafael Nadal should be a subject studied at university (…), everyone of us should learn from him. » The History of his career? Medical studies around the numerous injuries suffered by the Spaniard along his career? Maths and finance to calculate all of his earnings? Manuel Valls, on his side, chose to study Catalan and Spanish. The ex-French prime minister is currently running for Barcelona Mayor. 


Thursday, September 27th

Happy birthday Simona Halep! The world number 1 is celebrating her 27th birthday today. Another player is also turning 27 today: Andy Murray, who displayed a convincing performance in Shenzhen, as he defeated David Goffin. On his side, Fognini is carrying on with his journey in Chengdu. Otherwise, it’s now official: the 2.0 Davis Cup will be played in Madrid for the next two seasons. Finally, the shirt worn by Zinédine Zidane during the 1998 World Cup final against Brazil will soon be put up for auction. The auctioneer explained that there are still sweat stains on the shirt. Here’s the real Turin Shroud!


Friday, September 28th

At the Ryder Cup, the American team dominated the first morning session, but Team Europe reacted in the afternoon by winning 4-0, and take the lead at the end of the first day. But let’s head back to the courts, with Murray’s defeat in the quarter-finals in Shenzhen. The hype around the Scotsman was a short one, as he announced straight after the match that he was putting an end to his season. Serena Williams is also on holidays as she withdrew from the Beijing Open and confirmed that her season was over. In other news, French players are whining on this September 28th. Alizé Cornet complained about an early-morning doping test and Richard Gasquet got angry at the new format of the Davis Cup: « Who’s going to go to Shanghai to watch France-Russia? No one! It’s great to see Gerard Piqué putting money into tennis, but this is nonsense, he said. When the institution is weak, you end up paying the price. »


Saturday, September 29th

Ryder Cup, Day 2: Europe confirmed its good form against jet-lagged Americans, such as Tiger Woods who didn’t have a great day. As for tennis, everything was still happening in Asia with the Beijing Open kicking off for women. And the first big result quickly came in, as Georges defeated Konta. Meanwhile, the two other tournaments of the week ended with Margarita Gasparyan’s triumph in Tashkent and Aryna Sabalenka’s victory in Wuhan. But the two real champions of the day are Martina Hingis, who announced her maternity, and Serena Williams, who posed naked to raise breast cancer awareness. 



Sunday, September 30th

It was a huge Sunday for every sports fan. Tiger Woods lost his fifth match in five played at the Ryder Cup and Europe confirmed its triumph. In the world of cycling, abnegation payed off for the Spaniard Alejandro Valverde, who won his first World Championships. In Formula 1, Lewis Hamilton won the Russian Grand Prix, and can thank the strategies imagined by his team. In basketball, the Americans won the Women’s World Cup against Australia, while Poland won the Volleyball World Championship against Brazil. In the middle of all that, tennis was quite discreet: Bernard Tomic defeated Fabio Fognini in the final in Chengdu (the Australian won his fourth title, the first in more than 3 years!), and Yoshihito Nishioka triumphed over Pierre-Hugues Herbert in Shenzhen (the Japanese won his first title). In Beijing, Simona Halep had to withdraw in his first game and confirmed her stroke of bad luck. And finally, Macedonia is now named « North Macedonia », which puts an end to the ongoing conflict with its Greek neighbor. Revise your atlases!


By Régis Delanoë