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The tennis news (but not only) of the week: Croatia's revenge
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The tennis news (but not only) of the week: Croatia's revenge

Monday, November 19th

Before going on holidays on a camel, Alexander Zverev took the time to take a look at the new ATP ranking, where he’s now at the 4th spot behind Djokovic, Nadal and Federer but in front of Del Potro. The German’s win at the Masters is a good omen for 2019. While waiting for the next season to start, there is a last big tennis event: the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas final, the last one to be played in the current format. If the French, despite playing at home, are far from being the favorites against Croatia, they can count on Mbappe and all the French football world champions’ support. Last summer, the French football squad had defeated… Croatia, in the final. In women’s tennis, Eugenie Bouchard and all the other girls playing in the WTA circuit are already on holiday. And as for the rest of the news, the most striking information of the day is Carlos Ghosn’s arrest in Japan. The CEO of Renault-Nissan is accused of having hid a big part of his earnings. As Zverev would put it: « You played, you lost. »

 

 

 

Tuesday, November 20th

After Bouchard, it’s Wozniacki’s turn to give news to her fans. She was at the Madison Square Garden with her boyfriend, to watch the Knicks lose once again against Portland in the NBA. If the Dane brought the Knicks bad luck, it’s good news for the French to know that she won’t be in the stands this weekend to watch the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas final. At the Stade Pierre-Mauroy, in Lille, a huge transformation took place to replace the grass football pitch with a tennis court made of clay, as Yannick Noah and his men had wished.

 

 

Wednesday, November 21st

While the Croatian and French players are settling in Lille, the French captain Yannick Noah gave a big interview to the French sports daily L’Equipe. On the menu: lots of punchlines, good anecdotes, digs taken at Jimmy Connors, respectful comments for Mats Wilander, memories of Bjorn Borg’s exceptional level of tennis and amazing parties with Vitas Gerluaitis. Ah, tennis in the eighties… Even Djokovic and Del Potro seem to feel nostalgic, as they both posted a similar picture on Instagram, of themselves, looking pensive, in front of the sea. The two champions are currently on well deserved holidays. Unlike the Italian Daniel Bracciali, who has been banned for life for match-fixing. And not just one match!

 

 

Thursday, November 22nd

The end of the season is also a time to say our goodbyes. So let’s take our hats off to Patty Schnyder, who, at almost 40, has announced her retirement for the second time. The first time was in 2011, before coming back (in a pretty anonymous way) four years later. A « small death » for the Swiss, but a real death for John Chau, a young American who has been killed by an isolated tribe on an Indian island, which he had planned to evangelize… Not the best of ideas. Yannick Noah, on his side, had the idea of picking Jérémy Chardy and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to play the first two single matches of the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas final. They will respectively play against Borna Coric and Marin Cilic, who were logically picked by the Croatian captain Zeljko Krajan, who didn’t face a dilemma like his French counterpart. Meanwhile, Americans celebrated Thanksgiving and Donald Trump was corrected by a high-school student on Twitter. Everything’s fine. 

 

 

 

 

Friday, November 23rd

This time, it’s really happening: the very last match of the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas final in its current format. A last match played at home for France, who has a huge history with this competition, with, for the last time, the emblematic Yannick Noah, who was already there in 1991, sitting on the captain’s chair… A lot of emotions in Lille, but the Croatian decided to spoil the mood very quickly by winning the first two single matches and lead 2-0 at the end of the first day, without losing a single set. Coric and Cilic logically defeated Chardy, who looks a little limited at that level, and Tsonga, who wasn’t in optimal shape. A true « Black Friday » for French tennis, against a Croatian team who is looking for a second triumph in the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas, after a first title won against Slovakia in 2005.

 

 

Saturday, November 24th

While the UK is finalizing its divorce with the European Union, in France, the « Yellow jackets » are protesting for a second consecutive week against the rise of fuel prices and the drop in purchasing power. Yellow is also the color of the ball which is being hit on the clay in Lille for the second day of the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas final. Up against the wall, the French managed to give their fans a bit of hope after winning in the doubles thanks to the pair formed by Mahut and Herbert, in an exceptional atmosphere. Far, very far, from the cold grey autumn sky.

 

 

Sunday, November 25th

There were no miracles for the French team in the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas, as they were logically defeated by a better team, despite the crowd’s support. Unbeatable, Marin Cilic scored the third decisive point against Lucas Pouille, who announced straight after the match that he won’t be playing the competition in its new format next season, just like Nicolas Mahut. We wish Amelie Mauresmo a lot of luck, as she will be the new captain next season as she will replace Yannick Noah, who said his final goodbyes to the world of tennis. On its side, Croatia can enjoy its second title. With Cilic’s victory, all the Grand Slam winners currently playing on the circuit have won at least one Davis Cup by BNP Paribas.