We Are Tennis by BNP Paribas brings you the best of the past week, on and off the courts, day after day. A week marked by aggressive bears, very long scoubidous, Monfils’ triumph in Rotterdam and Mertens’ win in Doha.

Monday, February 11th


The first important news of the week is that Naomi Osaka has officially parted ways with her coach, Sacha Bajin. A strange decision to make when you’re the world number one… The second important news this week is Juan Ignacio Lodero’s first ATP title won against Guido Pella in Cordoba (3-6, 7-5, 6-1). The third one is that the archipelago of Novaya Zemlya (North-East of Russia) has declared a state of emergency after a mass invasion of aggressive polar bears who have been attacking the locals and entering their homes seeking for food. Finally, the last important news of the day is that Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has jumped 70 spots up the ATP ranking… but is only the world number 140. Let’s go, one more push! 




Tuesday, February 12th


How brave! In a high-school in the South-West of France, a few kids have launched themselves in a crazy challenge: making a two-kilometer-long scoubidou, the longest in the world. To help them out, they can probably count on Caroline Wozniacki and Caroline Garcia, who didn’t trick anyone when they both withdrew - officially because of injuries - from the Doha Open. How ever, Gaël Monfils won’t be able to help, as he started his tournament at the Rotterdam Open with a win against David Goffin (7-6, 7-5). Taking part in this record-breaking attempt should be one of his priorities, shouldn’t it?




Wednesday, February 13th


The Doha Open is unlucky this year: After Wozniacki and Garcia, Karolina Plíšková made her withdrawal official after feeling « super tired. » On her side, Maria Sharapova and her fragile right shoulder decided to withdraw from the BNP Paribas Indian Wells Open. Everything is going well, however, for Angelique Kerber, who defeated Anett Kontaveit (6-1, 7-6) in Qatar, and for Simona Halep, who knocked out Lesia Tsurenko (6-2, 6-3). In men’s tennis, Stan Wawrinka defeated Milos Raonic in the Netherlands (6-4, 7-6), where Stéfanos Tsitsipás lost in the first round against Damir Džumhur (4-6, 6-1, 5-7). But as it was the night before Valentine’s day, the Greek had other things on his mind: « I don’t have the time to be in a relationship. It’s the last thing on my mind, at the moment. But if a girl is interested, she can send me a private message on Instagram! » Here’s a Public Service Announcement to finish with. The doctor of the White House has announced Donald Trump’s weight: 243 pounds, for the 6-foot-3 tall president. Number which translate into a body mass index of 30,5 making him, technically, clinically obese.




Thursday, February 14th


« I hope that the draw will be favorable to Roger Federer. Because if he reaches the final and manages to win, it will be his eighth title in Dubai, and the hundredth of his career. It could be a magical moment. » No, these words weren’t pronounced by one of the Swiss’ fans, but by the director of the tournament, Salah Tahlak. Meanwhile, we know the names of the semi-finalists in Doha: we’ll see Kerber, Elina Svitolina, Halep and Elise Mertens. Also, because we mentioned Trump yesterday, please know that the American president is looking to requisition eight billion dollars to build his wall on the Mexican border, by declaring a… state of emergency.



Friday, February 15th


Thankfully, ridicule never did anyone any real harm. Otherwise, this American couple selling a captor informing your partner of your sexual desire wouldn’t have much long to live. Now onto the serious stuff: in the semi-finals of the Doha Open, Mertens defeated Kerber (6-4, 2-6, 6-1) while Halep turned things around against Svitolina, by winning the five last games of the match 6-3, 3-6, 6-4). On his side, Wawrinka carried on with his good run by knocking out Denis Shapovalov (6-4, 7-6) in the quarter-finals. Now let’s see what the weekend holds for us. 




Saturday, February 16th


An airline sued one of its passengers who didn’t show up for boarding during a stopover in Frankfurt. A non-valid accusation, according to the Berlin Courthouse. Phew. Crazy is also the word to describe Stan Wawrinka’s performance in Rotterdam, after he crushed Kei Nishikori (6-2, 4-6, 6-4) to join Gaël Monfils in the final, as the Frenchman managed to defeat Daniil Medvedev (4-6, 6-3, 6-4). Both of them will try to imitate Mertens, who lifted the trophy in Doha after her win against Halep (3-6, 6-4, 6-3).



Sunday, February 17th


The « Peppa Pig syndrome » is shaking the USA. This syndrome describes the transformation of children’s accents, who are speaking in British accents after binge-watching the famous cartoon. No syndrome for Halep, who parted ways with her Belgian coach, Thierry Van Cleemput. « It didn’t work well between us », said the Romanian champion, who is now training alone, before the Dubai Open. In men’s tennis, the big winners of the week are Gaël Monfils, who defeated Wawrinka in the final in Rotterdam (6-3, 1-6, 6-2), Marco Cecchinato, who destroyed Diego Schwartzmann in Buenos Aires (6-1, 6-2), and Reilly Opelka, who won his first trophy ever in New York after a hard-fought battle against Brayden Schnur (6-1, 6-7, 7-6).



By Florian Cadu