The Kyrgios of the year: Australia
He’s regularly blamed for his attitude on the court, or his punchlines aimed at his colleagues, who he condemned for playing during the coronavirus health crisis, for instance. So it’s only fair to applaud him when he deserves it. The bad boy of tennis was moved to tears when he mentioned the bushfires which were destroying his country during the ATP Cup. « In my birth-town, in Canberra, we have the most toxic air in the world and that’s really sad. All these families, all these animals who lose their home and die…That’s the reality. And it’s much more important than tennis, » he sobbed, after announcing that he would make a 200 dollar-donation for every ace he managed to produce on the court. A round of applause.
The childbirth of the year: Anna Kournikova
That’s what you call timing. On February 14th, while the late ones are still looking for an open flower shop or a restaurant that isn’t fully booked, Anna Kournikova gave Enrique Iglesias the most beautiful present one could give: a third child, a little girl called Mary, to be precise. However, the two lovers have « cheated » a little, as only the official announcement was made on Valentine’s day. The birth itself happened very discreetly on January 30th. Secretive little things!
The urge to pee of the year: Ilya Ivashka
A wee, and a huge fit. No, we’re not talking about a temperamental child, but of Ilya Ivashka. Who went mad during his first-round match at the Saint-Petersburg Open, after receiving a game penalty. The umpire hadn’t understood that the Belarusian had asked for a medical timeout in order to… urgently go to the loo. The only problem? The incontinent player had already gone to the loo during his warm-up, for the same reason, and wasn’t authorized to go twice for the same motive. Next time, just hold it in!
The phone call of the year: Ashleigh Barty
Stéfanos Tsitsipás who leaked Kyrgios’ phone number on the social networks, ok. Maria Sharapova who gave hers on the social networks to speak about her retirement with her fans, why not? But the award goes to Ashleigh Barty, who picked up a journalist’s phone - which he was using as a dictaphone - in the middle of a press conference. With a smile, and in a great atmosphere.
The sanction of the year: Petra Kvitová
An eleven-year jail sentence. This is the sanction which was given to Petra Kvitova’s attacker, after the Czech justice communicated its decision in January. A heavier penalty than what was given previously. The man who had pretended to be a heating engineer to enter the player’s home, before attacking her with a knife, injuring her hand and forcing her off the courts for five months, had previously received a seven-year jail sentence, in 2019.
The failure of the year: Ekaterina Alexandrova
Careful, this could be the tightest survey of the year 2020. Here’s the question: what’s the worse, between being incapable of producing a tweener even though you’re a professional player, or mistaking Roger Federer for Novak Djokovic, while announcing the winner of a game, when you’re an umpire and the Swiss isn’t even taking part in the match? For us, it’s the first answer.
The anti-Covid solution of the year: Lucas Pouille
Zero match played in 365 days on the ATP circuit, for Lucas Pouille. Because of his elbow injury? Not only: in reality, the Frenchman spent his time creating a brand named Hygy, which creates distributors of hydroalcoholic gel. The least we can say is that his activity has had quite a lot of success… and remains a better idea than Marcelo Rios’ who openly supported the Filipino president Rodrigo Duerte’s proposal to shoot people who didn’t comply with lockdown rules with real bullets. Otherwise, there are always the Tsitsipas masks.
The activist of the year: Naomi Osaka
At the US Open (which she won), she wore a black mask during each of her seven matches, bearing the name of a different victim of police brutality. In Cincinnati, she refused to play her semi-final, to protest against Jacob Blake’s death (who died under the bullets of the authorities), and forced the organizers to reprogram a whole day of tennis. And that’s without mentioning the times she spoke out, or her presence on social networks.
The security guard of the year: Pierre-Hugues Herbert
He’s not really built for the job, but Pierre-Hugues Herbert doesn’t care. During a doubles match played at Roland-Garros, PHB traded his tennis shorts for a security guard suit to defend… Jack Sock’s coach, his opponent’s coach, as he was about to get kicked out of the court for no apparent reason. « He didn’t do anything, sir ! You know that it’s my opponent’s player ? You can talk calmly with him when we change sides, but you can’t kick him out like that. » And fair-play won that day.
The server of the year: Sergiy Stakhovsky
Two very different environments. Last February, Sergiy Stakhovsky won a qualifying round-match in Rotterdam by winning 34 points out of 34 played with his first serve. One month later, at the Pau Challenger, it was very different: visibly upset after the umpire signaled a foot fault, the Ukrainian decided to serve while standing… three meters behind his baseline! A double fault, obviously, and a double frustration.
More information about