Like every Monday, find the good and bad points awarded by the sports editorial staff of Le Figaro after the weekend rich in emotions and twists. In the spotlight – or not – Djokovic and the Australian Open, Dan Carter or even the French biathlon.
By Gilles Festor, Jean-Julien Ezvan, Arnaud Coudry and Teddy Vadeevaloo
Djokovic and the Australian Open
Qualifying tournaments (in Doha and Dubai), quarantine, limited spectator gauge then behind closed doors, before the spectators return at the end of the program, the Australian Open will not forget the 2021 edition. The meeting was crucial for the tennis world. The organizers have never hidden the magnitude of the task. They were able to adapt, resist the hostility manifested at the start of the tournament to succeed in their bet, deliver a tournament made up of intense matches, surprises, celebrating prestigious winners: Novak Djokovic (9th title in Melbourne) and Naomi Osaka ( 4th Grand Slam title). The finals did not give rise to the hoped-for fireworks, but the one-sided encounters reminded us that the Serbian and the Japanese knew how to sublimate themselves in major meetings. Melbourne was one of them. Novak Djokovic summed up the general feeling when the cup was handed over: “This tournament was a success. We have to thank the Australian federation for the organization, it was really not easy. It was a big challenge. They can be proud. ”
Dan Carter, maestro All Black hangs up
One of the best rugby players of all time, New Zealander Dan Carter, announced his retirement at the age of 38. A legendary opening half, 112 selections with the All Blacks for 99 victories, two world championship titles (2011 and 2015), three titles of best player in the world, a record as long as the arm. Carter is also 1,598 points scored on the international scene, a record to beat. The magician All Black also raised the shield of Brennus twice, in 2009 with Perpignan then with Racing 92 in 2016. A genius of the oval ball who has always shone by his humility and his availability. A giant of this sport has bowed out.
Dan Carter, an exceptional career in pictures
Royal Monaco at the Park
We can say that Niko Kovac has perfectly prepared for this meeting with his players. Coming in a hybrid system with a large density in the axis, the ASM perfectly thwarted the Parisian plans. By exerting a big pressure in the midfield, the Monegasques extinguished their opponents by cutting the preferential circuits, in particular coming from Paredes. Danger number one, Mbappé did not exist thanks to a well executed plan, the Frenchman often being surrounded by two, even three opposing players. A coherent and solid block from start to finish which achieved a great performance at the Parc and obtained a deserved success (0-2).
Haaland, blaster of tusks
The distance match between Kylian Mbappé and the Norwegian continued this weekend. Author of a double in the Champions League against Sevilla (3-2) when Mbappé saw triple against Barça at the same time, the Scandinavian offered two new goals in the league during Dortmund’s victory at Schalke (0- 4) Saturday to bring his total Bundesliga goals to 17. The Norwegian is considering an extension in the Ruhr, but on his terms: 1.5 million euros per month over the next five seasons.
Clément Noël, skiing and blue biathlon
Alexis Pinturault, disappointing during the World Ski Championships Panoramic
After the disappointment of the Giant, Alexis Pinturault fell at the end of the World Championships in Cortina d’Ampezzo his fourth and last card. His versatility was not rewarded, the leader of the World Cup had to be content with 7th place (in a race won by the Norwegian Sebastian Foss-Solevaag). The Courchevel skier leaves the World Championships with 2 medals (bronze and Super G and silver in the combined) and a mixed feeling when others have touched gold (Mathieu Faivre in parallel slalom and in Giant). The race for the big globe will help him get back into the rest of the season to erase the disappointment. Clément Noël, who was eagerly awaited on the slalom, which had left a mistake on the second track, saw his hopes soar. A painful closing weekend for the Blues. As in biathlon where the French teams missed the podium in relay (men ranking 4th, women 8th). An observation softened by the bronze medal Quentin Fillon Maillet on the mass start, at the end of the Pokljuka Worlds.
Agen, the sad historical series
SU Agen is going through a real ordeal this season in Top 14. Beaten on Saturday 39-19 by Montpellier, the Lot-et-Garonnais club, historic bastion of French rugby, suffered a sixteenth consecutive defeat of the season, the worst start to the championship in the history of the Top 14. Agen, who has still not won this season, is logically red lantern in the standings with only two small points. The Agenais sadly make history by overtaking Perpignan, which had 15 losses during the 2018-2019 season. The club’s last victory dates back to February 22, 2020 and a 30-20 success in Brive.
Rafael Alves’ record performance is five kilos too much on the scales
Rafael Alves may apologize by joining both hands in begging forgiveness, his sad record on the scales will leave a bitter taste to UFC promoters. At the weigh-in preceding his fight against Patrick Sabatini, the Brazilian presented himself with an excess … of five kilos compared to the limit authorized in the featherweight category. Never seen in the history of this sport. The shock obviously did not happen and Alves had to report to the organizers. “I ate salmon and got sick. I had vomiting and diarrhea. The doctor told me I had to treat him with water. I only had 4.4 pounds to lose (2.2 kg) but when I drank water, I regained weight, ”explained the South American who only has to pray hoping that the organizers do not remove him from his title.