The tennis news (but not only) of the week: Nadal’s kiss and a pillow

Jan 28, 2020, 12:00:00 AM

We Are Tennis by BNP Paribas brings you the best of the past week, on and off the courts, day after day. A thrilling first week at the Australian Open with a comforting Rafael Nadal, but also anti-snoring pillows and thousands of phone calls.

Monday, January 20th

And the first unlucky one of this Australian Open is… Denis Shapovalov! After being the first top-seeded player to get knocked out, the Canadian had time to focus on these new alcoholic gummy bears. Which angered Haribo, who didn’t hesitate to sue the Spaniard Ander Mendez as they look exactly like the sweets produced by the German company. However, everything went well for the favorites Serena Williams - who crushed Anastasia Potapova in 58 minutes - and Naomi Osaka - whose father was seen for the first time in the stands of a Grand Slam tournament -. The outsider Kristie Ahn, on her side, was knocked out in the first round and ended up being left alone at her press conference… Were the journalists on strike?


Tuesday, January 21st

« Don’t forget my wedding. » This is the answer that Rafael Nadal gave when he was asked about his best moment of the year 2019, after his latest victory, and the 109th set won 6-0 in his career. Fabio Fognini, on his side, has another specialty: comebacks. The Italian, who turned things around against Reilly Opelka, won yet another match (his eighth!) after losing two sets to none. Something he’s also achieved in every major tournament. On his side, Tatsuma Ito won his first match at the Australian Open since… 2013. Seven years, that could also be the time during which 43 000 dollars were hidden in this second-hand couch bought by a man in Michigan, and found by its lucky new owner. Less lucky, Pauline Parmentier ranted on about Maria Sharapova: « I don’t understand why she’s still here, I’m not a fan of hers. If she had showed another image than the untouchable blond Russian star, she would have been liked more. She’s not interested in us at all! She puts herself above us. You never see her training with another girl, you never see her having a meal with someone else. » End of the punchline. 



Wednesday, January 22nd

As usual, Benoît Paire got a little overexcited, and blamed others. « The Croatian crowd hasn’t been really good, they set up a great atmosphere but I don’t find them fair-play, said the Frenchman, probably upset after his defeat against Marin Cilic. They’re overdoing it, they’ve got their swimming thing over their ears. So, I don’t know if they don’t hear the umpire, but they don’t have to do that. Next time, they’ll stay in their pool. » Before recalling his love for cocktails, which he will now drink in the islands. If he’s scared of making too much noise after a night out, the CES of Las Vegas has just come up with a fantastic innovation: an anti-snoring pillow, named « Motion Pillow ». Zzzz…


Thursday, January 23rd

It was Caroline Wozniacki’s last match, as she has decided to retire at the young age of 29. « It seems logical that my last match is a three set-marathon, and that I ended it with an unforced error, on a forehand stroke, » she said, managing to use humor despite her emotion. Speaking of shocks, a young ballgirl was hit in the head by a tennis ball hit by… Nadal’s left arm. Who comforted her with a kiss, and his legendary smile. In other news, according to a Finnish study, it’s possible to recognize someone by his unique way of dancing. 



Friday, January 24th

30 000 dollars. That’s the (big) price to pay to cycle with Lance Armstrong and George Hincapie, who are offering (expensive) cycling holidays to twelve (rich) volunteers. Roger Federer didn’t have the time to sign up for this (strange) event, as he won his hundredth match at the Australian Open. Unlike Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka or Stefanos Tsitsipas. Who were all knocked out, yes.


Saturday, January 25th

Zero. That’s the (incredible) number of backhand unforced errors produced by Nadal against Pablo Carreno-Busta, who was helpless against his (immense) fellow countryman and his 42 (violent) winners - with no double faults, and no break points conceded -. Andrey Rublev didn’t have the time to watch this (huge) performance, as he won his 15th consecutive match since October 28th. Unlike this man, who was arrested in the region of Lyon, France, for calling his ex-wife more than 3000 times. 3000 phone calls, yes. Just like if you had called the same person during two days and two hours non-stop. 



Sunday, January 26th

A juggling session, for Novak Djokovic. Still in the race to win a 17th Grand Slam tournament, the Serb relaxed outside of the court by showing off some his skills. He’ll need the same kind of focus in the quarter-finals as he will face Milos Raonic, the world number 35, who scored… 35 aces in the fourth round. He’ll also need to display imagination, just like this American driver who placed a fake skeleton on his passenger seat to use a car-share lane. Infinite sadness to end this week: the legend of Lakers, Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven other people died in a helicopter crash, near Los Angeles. RIP Kobe.


By Florian Cadu