Monday, October 14th
Let’s start the week with some very good news: Roger Federer confirmed that he is willing to take part in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Some other good news: Andy Murray and his wife Kim Sears are expecting a third child, congratulations to them. Corri Gauff was also smiling, as she is now the world number 71, after winning her first title the day before in Austria. In the men’s ranking, Daniil Medvedev is now the world number 4, behind the fantastic three. Not less fantastic, the city of Liège, in Belgium, organised the first farting world championship and a deceased Irish man made his close friends and relatives laugh during his funeral thanks to a tape which he recorded shortly before his death. Life is sometimes beautiful, even when it is sad.
Tuesday, October 15th
Three ATP tournaments were on the menu this week: Moscow (without Medvedev, who withdrew from the tournament at the last minute), Stockholm and the Antwerp European Open. The women, on their side, faced each other in Moscow and in the BGL BNP Paribas Luxembourg Open. Not far from there, the Belgian Kim Clijsters is training very hard to make her return to competition at the start of next year. Nishikori, on his side, no longer has a coach, after parting ways with Dante Bottini, after working with him for nine years. After divorces, come weddings: Rafael Nadal’s and Maria Francisca Perello’s will take place on Saturday, and with no smartphones allowed, to preserve the intimacy of the ceremony. But it will include a few celebrities, of course, with among them Cristiano Ronaldo and Enrique Iglesias. Meanwhile, in the Netherlands, a family which shut away in a house during nine years, while waiting for the end of the world, finally stepped out of the house. It’ll be strange for them to find out that Federer, Nadal and Djokovic are still dominating the world of tennis...
Wednesday, October 16th
It was a quick return to reality for Cori Gauff, who was defeated in the first round of the BGL BNP Paribas Luxembourg Open. Here are the other important results of the day: Stan Wawrinka qualified in the Antwerp European Open, and Sam Querrey defeated the number 2 seed, Grigor Dimitrov, in Stockholm. Meanwhile, the teaser of the new version of the Davis Cup was unveiled, and Roger Federer is still making official announcements on his 2020 season. On the menu: the Olympics, but also Roland-Garros. He will however skip the tournaments of the start of the season, including the Australian Open. Novak Djokovic, on his side, took a break, before getting ready for the last tournaments of the season. We also deserve a nice nostalgic break with this picture of the whole cast of the cult sitcom Friends, posted by Jennifer Aniston on Instagram.
Thursday, October 17th
Andy Murray is well and truly back! You were doubting him? The Scot produced the performance of the day, by knocking out Pablo Cuevas to qualify for the quarter-finals in the Antwerp European Open. Ugo Humbert also deserves to be congratulated, as he defeated the local David Goffin in the same tournament. Things didn’t go well however for the seeded Gaël Monfils, who was knocked out by the Italian Jannick Sinner and who sees his chances of taking part in the Masters slowly fade away. On his side, the future dad Marin Cilic won the 500th match of his career on the ATP circuit after dominating his fellow countryman Karlovic in Moscow, as he became the tenth active “veteran” to reach this milestone (after Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Murray, Berdych, Verdasco, Gasquet, Robredo and Wawrinka). And because you always have to move with the time, the Vatican is selling a connected e-Rosary for 99 euros. Welcome to the 2.0 religion.
Friday, October 18th
« I’d like to teach tennis to young kids, and I’d like to do it with the Rafael Nadal foundation. » Roger Federer dropped a small bomb at the end of this week. While speaking of coaches, Lucas Pouille has found his: it will be Loïc Courteau. And while speaking of Federer, the new prodigy Daniil Medvedev announced that he wished to face him on Moscow’s Red Square one day. The Russian capital where Kristina Mladenovic produced one of the performances of the day by knocking out the number 2 seed of the tournament, Kiki Bertens. The other great performance of the day was produced by Jannik Sinner, as he became the first player born in 2001 to ever qualify for the semi-finals of an ATP tournament in the Antwerp European Open. Outside of tennis, the demonstrations of catalan separatists lead to the clasico Barça-Real being postponed, while Lady Gaga got a good fright after falling down from a two-meter stage during her show.
Saturday, October 19th
Rafael Nadal said yes! And Maria Francisca Perello as well, during a very discreet ceremony, as it was expected (no smartphones allowed, remember) but where the former king of Spain, Juan Carlos, was present. Congratulations to the newlyweds. And congratulations to Belinda Benci too, who, by qualifying for the final in Moscow, earned the eighth and last ticket to play at the Masters. In terms of sad news, however, our thoughts go to Alexander Volkov’s family, as the 93 US Open semi-finalist, who mentored Marat Safin, passed away at the age of 52. In much less serious and more unusual news, an Instagrammer was forced off a Royal Carribean cruise ship for breaching the security rules after suspending herself from her balcony to produce an original selfie. Good job!
Sunday, October 20th
Sunday is… the day of finals! Except in Rugby, as it is only the quarter-finals of the World Cup today. Are we really sure that the competition will end before Christmas? But let’s get back to tennis, with the results of the day: in women’s tennis, Bencic won the title in Moscow (what an amazing end of the season for her) and Ostapenko triumphed in the BGL BNP Paribas Luxembourg Open (the Baroli effect?). In men’s tennis, Rublev won at home, in Moscow, Shapovalov lifted the trophy in Stockholm (his first-ever title) and, more importantly, the incredible Andy Murray, who defeated Stan Wawrinka, triumphed in the Antwerp European Open after a mind-blowing final! The Scot won his 46th title (960 days after his last) and ended the match in tears. After falling at the 839th spot in the ATP ranking a year ago, he will be the world number 127 tomorrow morning. An incredible rebirth. Congrats, legend.
By Régis Delanoë