The tennis news (but not only) of the week: Azarenka the revenant and Osaka the activist

Sep 1, 2020, 12:00:00 AM

The tennis news (but not only) of the week: Azarenka the revenant and Osaka the activist
We Are Tennis by BNP Paribas brings you the best of the past week, on but mainly off the courts. With Azarenka’s resurrection, Osaka the activist, an omnipresent Djokovic, some flashy outfits and pet food being mixed with diesel.

Monday, August 24th

This week started with the men’s 2020 tennis season finally resuming! The first ATP tournament to be held since the start of the health crisis is played in Cincinnati, with some very special names in the draw: Djokovic, Thiem, Medvedev, Tsitsipas, the good old Murray, or Schwartzman with his multicolored t-shirt. Guido Pella, however, couldn’t be there as he had to withdraw from the tournament after testing positive for Covid… Women also played this week in Cincinnati, to prepare for the US Open, with a superb draw too, even if Simona Halep was missing. 


Tuesday, August 25th

What if Lionel Messi left FC Barcelona, his one and only team? Since the blaugrana’s humiliating defeat in the Champions League, it seems like the Argentine has the desire to play elsewhere. Andy Murray, on his side, could see him join the English Premier League. The Brit made an outstanding return on the courts as he defeating Zverev in Cincinnati. After Schwartzman, it was Grigor Dimitrov’s turn to show off his new flashy outfit, while Benoît Paire’s beard seems to grow longer every day…


Wednesday, August 26th

A big shock in the world of US Sports: the NBA season was put on hold, at the request of the Milwaukee Bucks. With this boycott, the best team of the regular season wished to protest against the police shooting at Jacob Blake in the neighboring town of Kenosha, Wisconsin. Bound to play in Cincinnati, Naomi Osaka also decided to voice her anger by refusing to play. As a consequence, the tournament was put on hold by the organizers. Meanwhile, Juan Martin Del Potro suffered his third knee operation and Roger Federer was seen relaxing, as he has already put an end to his 2020 season. 


Thursday, August 27th

While France is shaken by a dark story involving mutilated horses, and while Germany is reinforcing its health measures, the United States are still profoundly affected by the Jacob Blake case and its consequences, with deadly riots occurring in Kenosha. Naomi Osaka, however, decided to suspend her boycott to play her semi-final against Elise Mertens. In the Men’s draw, Novak Djokovic is still challenging for the title, despite being criticized for organizing the Adria Tour exhibition tournament, which led to multiple cases of Covid at the start of the summer. « When he was meant to show leadership and humility, he disappeared », said the inevitable Nick Kyrgios. Players are still arriving in the US to prepare for the US Open, like Garbine Muguruza, who looks ready to compete. The Bryan brothers, however, won’t be playing: at the age of 42, the twins who won 16 major titles have officially announced their retirement!


Friday, August 28th

« Djokovic doesn’t deserve the level of non-support he gets »: the world number 1 received some prestigious support with Martina Navratilova’s words. The Serb, who, before the start of the US Open, announced the creation of a new committee to represent players. A union which he would co-preside alongside the Canadian Vasek Pospisil. Being absolutely omnipresent, Djoko also managed to qualify for the final in Cincinnati, just like Naomi Osaka in the women’s draw. In France, our friends the animals are being targeted: after the unexplained attacks on horses, charges were pressed against person unknown in the south of the country to investigate the presence of diesel in pet food… A dark story.


Saturday, August 29th

Incredible but true, an anti-mask protest saw tens of thousands of people gather up in Germany… It’s time for this year 2020 to end. What do you mean, there are still four months left?? Thankfully, there are still some beautiful sporting moments to live, and notably Viktoria Azarenka’s resurrection, as she won her first title since April 2016 in Cincinnati! It was a bit unfortunate that she won following Naomi Osaka’s withdrawal, as she couldn’t played because of a strained muscle. In the men’s draw, Novak Djokovic defeated another revenant, Milos Raonic, in three sets. 


Sunday, August 30th

We had a small fright on the day before the start of the US Open with a first case of coronavirus being detected among the players: Benoît Paire. We’re however delighted to see a first Grand Slam tournament being played since the Australian Open at the start of the year, with some great names in the draw, even if Federer and Nadal are missing in the men’s draw. Nadal who met with Sergio Ramos, the Real Madrid defender, a team which Nadal supports. We’ll wrap up the week - the last week of August - with the incredible Yannick Noah who, at the age of 60, is still acting crazy on the beach. Yes, it is possible to age well, and even very well! 


By Régis Delanoë