Monday, January 18th
The war of numbers. While Rafael Nadal started his 800th consecutive week in the Top 10 of the ATP ranking - a world record, largely in front of Jimmy Connors’ 789 weeks, or Roger Federer’s 734 weeks -, the first cover of Tintin’s Blue Lotus was sold for… 3,2 million euros. Another world record, this time in the world of comics. On their side, Alex de Minaur and Nicolas Mahut couldn’t have a proper training session to prepare for the Australian Open, and had to count the hours as they were forced to quarantine in their hotel rooms. The first one waited in front of the door, sat in… the lotus position, while the second one fell asleep on his racquet. Quiet please, the players are ready!
Tuesday, January 19th
Anikop, a Lyon-based management software publisher, is now giving their employees unlimited holidays? Well, tennis players, on their side, can’t wait to get back to work. While isolated in their hotel rooms, Barbora Strycova and Coco Gauff were looking for ways to avoid boredom while staying in shape: the Czech had an exercise bike delivered and built it with her own hands, while the American hit a few balls between the curtains. Roberto Bautista-Agut, on his side, decided to complain. « It’s like being in prison, but with wifi. These people have no idea what tennis and training is, it’s a total disaster. Tennis Australia isn’t in charge of anything, it’s the government. » Before plainly apologizing: « Times are hard for athletes and for society in general, I thank everyone who is working hard to make the return of tennis possible. » We can’t wait for the competition to start again.
Wednesday, January 20th
Owning millions of dollars in bitcoins, but not being able to retrieve them because you forgot your password. That is actually the current situation for a lot of fake-real millionaires who’ve got their heads in the clouds. To put things into perspective, these people can try out Pablo Cuevas’ methods, as he looks pretty zen in his room, despite being isolated: a facial, or surfing on his bed. Thanks for these tips, dear Pablo.
Thursday, January 21st
First, let’s wish Nico Mahut a happy 39th birthday, as he celebrated the day by crawling with his face painted to fight the situation outside, which he can’t enjoy, as he’s banned from going out of his room most of the time. We also wish Carlos Bernades a speedy recovery, as the Brazilian referee suffered a stroke and was rushed into hospital to avoid the worst. And finally, good luck to Jessia, the young Canadian anonymous girl, who gathered two millions streams on Spotify after simply singing a capella on TikTok. Three very different vibes.
Friday, January 22nd
Improbable. Just like this preparation for a Grand Slam tournament, to be fair. As he wasn’t allowed to leave his room, Novak Djokovic answered the Adelaide journalists’ questions from… his balcony, cellphone in hand. A surprising interview, but not as surreal as this 13-year old boy caught going at 162 km/h in an Alfa Romeo in Somme (North of France). Faster than one of Djokovic’s forehands?
Saturday, January 23rd
If you were born today, you wouldn’t be able to watch a lot of animated films which were essential in your youth. The Jungle Book, Peter Pan, or Aladin, have been blocked for children on Disney, because of scenes deemed racist or sexist. Ons Jabeur has however managed to retain her sense of childlike wonder as she pulled a cute prank on her coach : when he asked her to hit the ball harder to touch a mattress, the Tunisian pretended to mistake the verb « hit » with « eat »… and had a bite in the ball, which was actually made of chocolate. Second serve.
Sunday, January 24th
A million dollars, and not in bitcoins this time. That’s the reward promised by Robert Bigelow, and American billionaire, to whoever can prove that conscious survives death. Another good news, for people who are isolated this time: the WTA announced that there will be a exclusive tournament, which will only be opened to people who have been in contact with a Covid-19 case, and who have to strictly isolate in Melbourne. It will take place at the start of February, at the same time as the other two tournaments. Finally, a bit of justice!
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Roberto Bautista Agut
Alex de Minaur