Monday, January 28th
Naomi Osaka’s reign at the top of the WTA ranking, day 1. The Japanese is now in front of Petra Kvitova and Simona Halep, the ex-world number 1. In the men’s ranking, Djokovic confirmed his number 1 spot, in front of Nadal and Zverev, while Federer is now the world number six. Gaël Monfils may only be the world number 33, but he’s the number 1 in Svitolina’s heart, as the most glamorous current tennis couple has decided to create a joint-Instagram account named G.E.M.S (after Gaël Elina Monfils Svitolina). Cute. As we’re getting ready for a pretty quiet week of tennis, some players have chosen to go on holiday, like Wozniacki. Sharapova is back in Russia, but she’s there to play the Saint-Petersburg Open. The rest of the news is clearly centered around the United States : a child in NorthCarolina claims he was rescued by a bear after running away for three days, a cleaning lady in New York was found in an elevator after being stuck there for the whole weekend and a couple in Michigan won 26 million dollars after finding a loophole in the rules and regulations of their local lottery. Jackpot !
Tuesday, January 29th
While a big part of the northern hemisphere is freezing - with temperatures falling at -40 °C in the American Midwest -, Andy Murray is nice and cozy in his hospital room, as he’s recovering from yet another hip operation. The picture of his x-ray revealed the most intimate part of his anatomy, and provoked thousands of fan reactions. On the court, Victoria Azarenka produced the performance of the day, as she made the most of her wildcard to qualify for the fourth round in Saint-Petersburg. In the other women’s tournament of the week, in Thailand, it’s already over for the seed number 2 Caroline Garcia…Meanwhile, the actor Jeff Bridges is back in his most famous role, as the hero of the film The Big Lebowski, for the needs of an advert for a famous brand of Belgian beer. Sacrilege ! The Dude only drinks White Russians.
Wednesday, January 30th
« Baldy » : it’s the nickname chosen by Kate Middleton to make fun of her husband, Prince William’s balding head. Rafael Nadal’s hairline has also been receding lately, but the tennis star has officially asked his long-term girlfriend Xisca Perello to marry him, and she said yes ! Congratulations ! Meanwhile, it’s with his fellow countryman and cycling champion Alejandro Valverde that he posed for a picture. In Saint-Petersburg, Azarenka’s journey was ended by Petra Kvitova, and Sharapova had to withdraw from the tournament because of a shoulder injury.
Thursday, January 31st
The new version of the BNP Paribas Davis Cup is starting tomorrow, while the ex-French captain Yannick Noah, is on holiday for an unlimited time. No holidays but it's a recovering process which has started for Andy Murray, with his new hospital roommate, a giant teddy bear which was offered to him by Stan Wawrinka and Donna Vekic. We also wish this American child a speedy recovery, after he was prescribed Marijuana cookies by his doctor… A relaxing method which Ysaline Bonaventure could have used, as the Belgian player was accused of calling Kiki Bertens a « baby » and a « crybaby » in Saint-Petersburg. Meanwhile, the Dutch managed to qualify for the quarter-finals of the tournament.
Friday, February 1st
Friday is the day when all the top-seeds get knocked out : Petra Kvitova and Garbine Muguruza both lost in the quarter-finals, respectively in Saint-Petersburg and Hua Hin, in Thailand. The two champions will have many opportunites of making up for these disappointing performances, as the calendar of the WTA has slightly changed : New Heaven, Gstaad and Moscow are replaced by Zhengzhou, Lausanne and Jurmala, in Latvia. In men’s tennis, Serbia, Australia, Italy, Germany, Russia, Kazakhstan and Colombia are the leading nations after the first day of the qualifying round of the BNP Paribas Davis Cup. The sporting headlines of the day included Qatar’s first international title, as they defeated Japan in the final of the Asian Cup. Hats off to the young Belgians who marched in the streets of their cities for the climate. Power to the Millennials !
Saturday, February 2nd
Belgium, Serbia, Australia, Italy, Germany, Russia, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Colombia, Chile, Canada and Japan are the nations who managed to win in the qualifying round of the BNP Paribas Davis Cup. They joined the four semi-finalists of the previous edition (Croatia, France, Spain, United States) and two wild-cards (Great-Britain and Argentina), who had already qualified for the final round, which will be played next November. Even though it was knocked out by Russia, the Swiss team made a good impression, with the young hope Jérôme Kym, only 15 years-old, winning the doubles alongside Henri Laaksonen. In other news, on this February 2nd, the day of the marmot, a baby leopard was found alive in a piece of hand luggage in the airport of Chennai, India, a cat was hired by an Icelandic hotel to chase mice, a woman from Québec found her dog which she had lost four months ago, and an elephant in a zoo in Utah predicted that the Patriots would win the Super Bowl.
Sunday, February 3rd
New England Patriots 13, Los Angeles Rams 3, Maroon 5 : here is the outcome of this very disappointing Super Bowl, which was nicknamed the Boring Bowl by the American press. A round of applause nevertheless for the psychic elephant, and for Tom Brady who won his sixth title, with Milos Raonic watching from the stands. It was a quiet Sunday in tennis also, with the finals of the Hua Hin Open - second title for Dayayna Yastremska after her win in Hong-Kong last season - and of the Saint-Petersburg Open - which saw Kiki Bertens defeat Donna Vekic. While relaxing, Serena Williams was surprised to see her 17-month old daughter already answering the phone. Novak Djokovic also spent some quality family time dressing up with his young son. Doting parents !
By Régis Delanoë