We Are Tennis by BNP Paribas brings you the best of the past week, on and off the courts, day after day. A week where Aslan Karatsev won the first title of his career, where Lorenzo Musetti entered the top 100, and where zombie cicadas had everyone talking in the US.

Monday, March 15th

Who has never dreamt of starting the week as the world number 2? For Daniil Medvedev, it’s no longer a utopia, but a reality, as the Russian kicked off his week sitting on the second spot of the ATP Ranking, between the irreplaceable Novak Djokovic, and Rafael Nadal. An immense performance as since July 18th 2005, only four players (Djokovic, Nadal, Federer and Murray) had shared this world number 2 status. On his side, Alexander Zverev, the world number 7, took the opportunity to criticize the current ranking system which has been disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, with some of the points being "frozen", a situation which Roger Federer, for instance, has benefited from : "I played a Grand Slam final, a final at a Masters, I won two tournaments…I should be the world number 4 or 5 with the normal system, but I’m not with this one. Honestly, this ranking is a disaster, and as long as we’ll have the current system, it won’t be important to me. Roger, for instance, hasn’t played in a year, and he’s still ranked above me…" In lighter news, a dish of Sausage Rougail violently hit the windshield of a car on the A7 motorway, in France, and got the headlines of local newspapers. Yes, it was Sausage Rougail. 

 

Tuesday, March 16th

Let’s get back to tennis, with the first surprises of the week: in Dubai, Dominic Thiem lost his first-round match against Lloys Harris, who went through the qualifying rounds, while in Acapulco, Diego Schwartzman lost against the latest sensation of the circuit. The 19-year old daring Italian he already faced in Rome last year, Lorenzo Musetti. We’ll keep a close eye on him. Still in Mexico, Benoît Paire was defeated by Stefanos Tsitsipas and looked angry and depressed. To apologize for his behavior, he wrote a letter to the French Tennis Federation. In the list of crazy scenarios which could happen in the US in 2021, a potential invasion of zombie cicadas had everyone talking. What a time to be alive! 

 

Wednesday, March 17th

Here’s Karatsev again! After becoming the sensation of the latest Australian Open, the Russian is still going strong and made the most of his wild card in Dubai to have a great time on the court. At 27 years old, and after going through a lot of hard times, it’s better late than never. In Poland, another model of perseverance was in the spotlight this week: a man failed his driving test for the 192nd time! Odwaga

 

Thursday, March 18th

"I get there, I earn a bit of money, and then leave for the next tournament : I’m doing my job. (…) If you win an ATP 250, you now only earn 30 000$. I’m earning 10 000 each time I lose in the first round. Why bother making the effort ?" There are many things which Benoît Paire can be criticized on, but at least, he’s honest. Just like you can’t blame Aryna Sabalenka for trying a new haircut, which is a nice tribute to the eighties. In Dubai, the journey continued for Aslan Karatsev who defeated Jannik Sinner to qualify for the semi-finals. In other news, the Monte-Carlo Masters dropped a bomb as it announced the presence of 9 members of the current Top 10 for its 2021 edition, with only Roger Federer missing out. Of course, we can’t wait to watch them set fire to the clay. 

 

Friday, March 19th

According to a recent scientific study, cat owners have a wilder sexual life than others. We’re not entirely sure that we see the link between the two, but why not? We also want to believe the organizers of Wimbledon who stated that the next edition of the tournament, which is meant to begin on June 28th, will be played in front of spectators, even if it’s a limited amount. The return to normal life could come soon, but Lorenzo Musetti carried on with his dream week in Acapulco as he defeated Dimitrov and qualified for the first semi-final of his career on the ATP circuit. If he ended up being defeated by Tsitsipas, the Italian nevertheless earned his spot in the Top 100 of the ATP ranking. In the other semi-final, Zverev and Koepfer saw the court move because of a small earthquake : nothing to worry about, Zverev rushed to the final. 

 

Saturday, March 20th

After studying cats, scientists should focus on Aslan Karatsev’s career. In Dubai, the Russian, who heroically defeated Rublev in the semi-finals, crushed Lloyd Harris in the final to win the first ATP tournament of his career. Still with huge performances, the French Rugby team defeated Wales, ending their dreams of achieving a Grand Slam in the Six Nations. Too bad. 

 

Sunday, March 21st

And in the end, Zverev wins: in the heat of Acapulco, the German defeated Tsitsipas and won the fourteenth title of his career, the first in 2021, which remains the best way to overtake Federer at the ATP Ranking. In the other final of the day, in women’s tennis this time, Daria Kasatkina made the most of Margarita Gasparyan’s withdrawal to win the Saint-Petersburg Open. We’ve got some bad news to finish with : Novak Djokovic announced his forfeit for the Miami Open, which follows similar announcements made by Nadal, Federer, or Thiem… A good opportunity for the younger generation to enjoy the Florida sun.