Monday, January 6th
While the comedian Ricky Gervais broke the internet with his monologue on Hollywood’s wonderful world, as he was presenting the Golden Globes, the wonderful world of tennis competed at the ATP Cup. A new competition which seemed to please the players, well, especially the winners, in this case Austria, Croatia, Spain, Japan, South Africa, and Djoko’s Serbia this Monday. In women’s tennis, three tournaments were on the menu this week: Shenzhen, Brisbane and Auckland, with, as guest stars, the prodigy Cory Gauff and the revenant Eugenie Bouchard. Naomi Osaka, on here side, wasn’t too upset to see her holidays end, as she admitted having almost died during a recent trip on a paddle. In happier news, finally, a British woman gave birth to her 22nd child, at the age of 44. Two complete football teams.
Tuesday, January 7th
While Roger Federer should soon enter the very private circle of billionaire sportsmen, alongside Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan or Floyd Mayweather, a weather channel based in Florida announced that iguanas were falling from the sky. Enough to be surprised, and to make you think, just like the prediction which came from Rafael Nadal: according to him, the Big 3, in which he is alongside Djoko and Federer, will have trouble winning the four Grand Slam tournaments this year. Meanwhile, the ATP Cup unveiled four of its quarter-finalists: Great-Britain, Belgium, Russia and Australia.
Wednesday, January 8th
There was one ticket left for the quarter-finals of the ATP Cup, and Canada managed to clinch it, as they made the most of France’s defeat against South Africa. Having already qualified with Serbia, Djoko was so delighted with this new tournament that he encouraged the organizers to set up a version for women, which could be made official next year. Meanwhile, Ashleigh Barty had a poor start of the season as she lost in her first-round match in Brisbane. In other news, but still in women’s tennis: Bacsinszky postponed her return to competition, Kvitova’s attacker was sentenced to 11 years in jail, and Serena Williams qualified for the quarter-finals in Auckland.
Thursday, January 9th
Gossip alert: a spat has occurred inside the British royal family, as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, one of Serena’s great friends, have expressed their desire to live in North America for part of the year, while being financially independent. As for other great new year’s resolutions, Dominic Thiem hired Thomas Muster to be part of his staff, Tsitsipas is thinking of becoming a sea rescuer and Osaka and Medvedev promised to say hi to each other next time they meet. In other news, Russia and Australia were the first two countries for the semi-finals of the ATP Cup.
Friday, January 10th
It was Serbia and Spain’s turn to qualify for the semi-finals of the ATP Cup in Sydney and to join the Russians and the Australians. The Belgians almost stunned the Spaniards, as David Goffin won the clash of the day against Rafa Nadal, but the Majorcan ended up winning the decisive doubles match alongside Carreno Busta. Not far from there, in Melbourne, Roger Federer was seen already training, as he prepared to make his return at the Australian Open. The first big meeting of the season which Richard Gasquet, who is injured, will miss. After also withdrawing from the tournament, Juan Martin Del Potro has postponed his return on the courts. As for women’s tennis, Caroline Wozniacki, for her last season before retirement, has managed to qualify for the semi-finals in Auckland, but ended up losing against the surprise of the tournament, the American Jessica Pegula.
Saturday, January 11th
The manufacturer of cardboard beds which will be installed in the rooms of the olympic village, next summer in Tokyo, has issued a warning: whatever the activity, only two people can lay in one bed, maximum. Speaking of duos: Nadal and Djokovic both scored the qualifying point for Spain and Serbia respectively, to reach the final of the ATP Cup, after defeating Australia and Russia. The first winner of the year on the WTA circuit? The eternal Serena Williams, who defeated her fellow coutrywoman Pegula in the final. And finally, in Doha, Andrey Rublev defeated the young Frenchman Corentin Moutet.
Sunday, January 12th
A small revolution in the field of health: according to American scientists, the human body has switched, during the last decades, from an average temperature of 37°C to 36,5°C, essentially because of the decrease of chronic illnesses and the efficiency of vaccines. Looking to be in great form, Novak Djokovic won his clash against Nadal, before scoring the decisive point in the doubles alongside Troicki, to enable Serbia to win this first edition of this thrilling ATP Cup. The other winners of the day? Karolina Pliskova and Ekaterina Alexandrova, who respectively won the Brisbane Open and the Shenzhen Open. Congratulations, girls!
By Régis Delanoë