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The tennis news (but not only) of the week: a first for Thiem and a record cheese platter
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The tennis news (but not only) of the week: a first for Thiem and a record cheese platter

Monday, September 7th

Start of the second week of the US Open, the day after the shock disqualification of the world number one and big favourite, Novak Djokovic. The cards are reshuffled at the men’s table with the certainty of a new tounament Grand Slam winner, the first time since Marin Cilic in 2014. Thiem, Zverev (who expresses his lucid opinions on football) and Medvedev figure among the favourites whilst, on the ladies’ side, Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka appear in the top eight. During this time, in Paris, two items of news: the organisers of Roland-Garros confirm that the tournament will take place in the presence of the public (with strictly limited numbers) and the pursuit of the anti-mask brigade intensifies. For proof we have a local man sent to the police station because he was eating a chocolate roll with his face mask lowered.
 


 

Tuesday, September 8th

A new proof of a hardening of Covid control, this time in Spain: a lady surfer on the beach is arrested whilst wearing a cosmonaut costume for non-respect of the Covid lockdown. One imagines that Benoit Paire has a relevant comment to make on this item of news... Roland-Garros in any case will most probably play with spectators present but without the title holder, Ashleigh Barty, who prefers to stay in the heat at home in Australia. Speaking of heat, climate change was confirmed by the citizens of Denver where the population witnessed a temperature difference of more than 30 degrees in 24 hours, from 33 degrees to 2! A blast of cold air as well for Shapovalov, beaten by Carreno Busta, and for Coric, dominated by Zverev during the first quarter finals of the US Open. On the women’s side, Brady and Osaka go through.
 


 

Wednesday, September 9th

Quarter finals, following on and completed: Azarenka slaughters Mertens and Serena Williams ends the hopes of Pironkova to bring about an « old school » semi-final. Medvedev and Thiem join Carreno Busta and Zverev on the men’s side to make a 100 per cent European line-up for this final four. The Djokovic affair, in any case, continues to cause controversy in the ranks at Flushing Meadows. For example, the informed opinion of the ex-player Daniela Hantuchova, nowadays a TV pundit, « One has the impression that his anger has become uncontrollable. I hope that he will learn from this episode which has come at the worst time for him ». It is certain that 2020 is a troublesome time for the Serb.
 


 

Thursday, September 10th

Two records tumble on the 10th of September: that of the smallest restaurant in the world- one client per service, in Sweden- and that of the biggest platter of cheese in the world, 111 types of cheese taking up a length of 30 metres, this time in France, of course. No record for Serena  Williams on the other hand, dominated by Azarenka in three tough sets. The Belorussian will  dispute a first final in seven years and will be opposed on Saturday by Naomi Osaka. In Europe Rafa Nadal prepares his return to clay in Rome and the top seed of the Kitzbuhel tournament, Fabio Fognini, goes out early, despite his much vaunted preparations.
 


 

 

 

Friday, September 11th

The day of the US Open semi-finals: Alexander Zverev conquers with difficulty against Pablo Carreno Busta in five sets and Dominic Thiem proves implacable in the course of three sets against the 2019 finalist, Daniil Medvedev. Which of the two great hopefuls, German and Austrian will  grab his first major trophy? Suspense! Suspense too in the NBA where the holders of the title, Toronto, are finally eliminated in the semi-finals of the conference by the Boston Celtics. In the West, the Lakers, dear to the heart of Nick Kyrgios, have become the clear favourites. 



 

Saturday, September 12th

In the end, it is Naomi Osaka who wins: the American-Japanese triumphs in a third Grand Slam victory -after the Australian Open in 2019 and already the US Open in the previous season. Result of this triumph: she climbs six places in the WTA rankings and mounts the podium behind Barty and Halep. A very good move also for the finalist Victoria Azarenka who climbs to 14th in the world rankings, gaining thirteen places. Smiles for Osaka and Azarenka, a grimace for Serena Williams, injured and out of the tournament in Rome.
 

 

 

 

Sunday, September 13th

Footnote of the 2020 US Open, truly unlike any other, Dominic Thiem finally wins his first Grand Slam tournament in turning round the situation when faced with Alexander Zverev, who was up by two sets to love! The Austrian has lifted the Indian sign after having lost his three previous  tournament finals: twice at Roland-Garros in 2018 and 2019 then in Melbourne at the start of the season. For Zverev another wait: after all it was his first experience in a final but certainly not the last. On to the clay courts in Rome then very quickly to the French Open!
 

 
By Régis Delanoë