Tennis news (but not only) of the past week: Paul's hazing and a crocodile attack

Nov 16, 2021, 6:00:00 AM | by Regis Delanoe

Tommy Paul
We Are Tennis by BNP Paribas brings you the best of the past week, on and off the courts, day after day. A week in where a newbie blew champagne in Stockholm, where a 15-year-old French prodigy was brilliant and a crocodile attack turned out well.

Monday November 8th

+36: the progression of the week is beautiful and is obviously signed by Hugo Gaston, hero of the last Bercy and now 67th player in the world. As a bonus, the Frenchman receives a last minute invitation to play in the Next Gen Masters in Milan. Other tournaments scheduled this week: Stockholm for the boys, Linz for the women, but above all the Masters for the latter, scheduled in Mexico. Showtime! 


Tuesday November 9th

Showtime, again: after six months on board the International Space Station, Thomas Pesquet and his Crew-2 comrades ditch off the coast of Florida, thus ending the most incredible photo report and the longest saxophone concert in history. Was it enough to topple Jean-Jacques Goldman from the top of the French people's favourite list? Benoit Paire is far from it and his elimination in the first round of the Roanne Challenger by Jelle Sels will not help his case... On the other hand, the young Gabriel Debru, 15 years and 10 months old and not ranked on the ATP, put in a great performance at the same tournament, becoming the fourth youngest player since 2000 to win a match on the Challenger circuit. The record of Felix Auger-Aliassime, winner in 2015 in Granby when he was 14 years and 11 months old, is still intact. 


Wednesday November 10th

The ISS, the Atlantic, Florida and Cologne, Germany, all in just a few hours. Such a journey would give anyone a huge jetlag, but not Thomas Pesquet, who is as fresh as a daisy when he gives his first impressions to journalists. The world is not fair. In the game of warriors, let's also salute Andy Murray, winner of Jannik Sinner in Stockholm. In Mexico City, hostilities began with the first wins of Anett Kontaveit and Karolina Pliskova against Barbora Krejcikova and Garbine Muguruza respectively. The hero of the rematch, however, is an Australian: the survivor of a crocodile attack, who managed to escape his prey thanks to a small penknife attached to his belt. 


Thursday November 11th

The record attendance for a tennis match dates back to February 2020 and a gala match held in Cape Town, South Africa, between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer (51,954 spectators). Florentino Perez, the president of Real Madrid, wants to do even better and has announced that he wants to organise a summit between the two veterans for the opening of the new Santiago Bernabeu stadium in 2022. Meanwhile, Auger-Aliassime has qualified for the last four in Stockholm with Frances Tiafoe, Tommy Paul and Denis Shapovalov. Stan Wawrinka is not desperate to get back to that level and says: "I really want to get back to the tour, back to the emotions that tennis gives me, to the stadium, to the fans. I miss that life terribly." Strength, Stan.


Friday November 12th

In Austria, we don't have oil, but we have ideas. In Dominic Thiem's country, a brothel called Funpalast offers 30 minutes of "massage" to clients who agree to be vaccinated. Perhaps this is the motivation Novak Djokovic needed to get his health passport validated? In the meantime, the Serbian is playing with the seven other finalists of the Masters in Turin, as long as the Next Gen gives birth to an Alcaraz-Korda final. In Linz, Alinson Riske clinches the third WTA Tour title of her career by defeating Jacqueline Christian in three sets.


Saturday 13 November

And one, and two, and 8-0! At the Parc des Princes, the French team plays its football against Kazakhstan and ensures its qualification for the 2022 World Cup. A South African fan was also delighted to receive an autograph on his pants and a slap on the buttocks in the middle of the match from the Springboks' rugby captain Siya Kolisi. In Milan, Carlos Alcaraz won the match, while in Stockholm, Tommy Paul won his first ATP title by beating Shapovalov. The opportunity to confirm that the Swedes do not skimp on the size of the trophies...


Sunday 14 November

Where are we at in the Guadalajara Women's Masters? The outcome is already close, with the first three qualifiers for the semi-finals: Kontaveit, who is finishing the season on a high, and Muguruza and Paula Badosa, who will battle for a place in the final. In Turin, Daniil Medvedev started off with a hard-fought victory over Hubert Hurkacz, while Matteo Berrettini was forced to retire from the tournament due to an abdominal injury to Sascha Zverev. Jannik Sinner will have to take off his substitute's suit. Novak Djokovic, on the other hand, is preparing himself: "Being more aggressive is one of the goals I have set myself at this stage of my career." It's going to be bloody!