Tennis: behind the Australian Open, will the 2023 season be a game-changer?

The Australian Open, the first Grand Slam tournament of the year, which began on Monday January 16, gave the start of a new tennis season that is enticing from all points of view.

In men, a radiant youth

Who to succeed the famous “Big 3”, made up of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, in the ATP ranking of the best players in the world? The question has agitated fans of the little yellow ball for years. If the first is officially retired since September, the other two continue to write a little more the legend of this sport. In Melbourne, Rafael Nadal is already eliminated. Novak Djokovic has already won there nine times and is almost invincible. The simple fact of returning to it, after having been forfeited last year, because not vaccinated against the Covid, reinforces his desire to pulverize all records. The Serb aims to widen the gap in Grand Slam victories a little more (27) against his arch rivals (26 for Federer, 23 for Nadal).

Behind, a host of promising players dream of overthrowing the trio that has become a duo. In 2022, the Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz has already shaken up the hierarchy. Titled at the Masters 1000 in Miami and Madrid where he offered himself the luxury of consecutively beating the two behemoths, he then became the youngest world number one in the history of tennis, at only 19 years and 4 months. by lifting his first Grand Slam trophy at the US Open. A ranking that he will be keen to keep, despite his withdrawal from Melbourne at the start of the year.

His irresistible rise is to be compared with that of a golden generation called to dominate the discipline and embodied by new faces such as the German Alexander Zverev, the Greek Stéfanos Tsitsipás or the Canadian Félix Auger-Aliassime. The return to the fore of the Austrian Dominic Thiem or the frustrating epic of the Norwegian Casper Ruud, double Grand Slam finalist still in search of a first major trophy, are all reasons to be enthusiastic.

In women, a race after Swiatek

Once again, the tricolor chances will be more to be found on the women’s side. After a sparkling 2022 season, rewarded with a victory at the WTA Masters in Fort Worth, Caroline Garcia will aim for a first victory in a Grand Slam tournament, ten years after the coronation of Marion Bartoli at Wimbledon.

For this, the French will have to challenge an Iga Swiatek at the top of her game. With eight titles in 2022, including two Grand Slams, and the longest series of victories of the century (37), the Pole is the woman to beat in the WTA rankings, where she is nearly 6,000 points ahead of her runner-up, So Jabeur.

The Tunisian has the particularity of occupying the second rank without having ever won a major tournament. ” I’m doing everything I can to win a Grand Slam, I just have to get there! (…)We have worked very hard to improve a lot of things. I feel like this year is going to be very special for me “, she predicted at the end of the last tournament in Adelaide, a few days before the Australian Open.

Behind, the American Jessica Pegula, three times unfortunate Grand Slam quarter-finalist in 2022, will want to break the curse. His compatriot Coco Gauff also dreams of a first major trophy. At only 18 years old, the latter can boast of having been in the final, in singles and doubles, of the last Roland-Garros.

Break Point, a series behind the scenes of tennis

Fans will therefore follow this season with appetite. With, as a bonus, an audiovisual event: the arrival on Netflix of the documentary break point. Posted on the platform on Friday January 13, this documentary offers an immersion in the world of tennis, on the model of the successful series Formula 1: Drivers of their destiny which offered an unprecedented dive into the world of Formula 1.

In ten episodes, the series plunges the viewer into the daily life of the best athletes, to the rhythm of major world tournaments. In the cast: Félix Auger-Aliassime, Stéfanos Tsitsipás, Casper Ruud, Iga Swiatek or even the Spaniard Paula Badosa. But no Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, or Novak Djokovic. Proof of the ongoing change?



Le Graët, Laporte… How to change the governance of sports federations?

► “The rather conservative world of sport is difficult to move”

William Gaspariniprofessor of sociology and sports sciences at the University of Strasbourg, specialist in sports governance

“The difficulties experienced by Presidents Noël Le Graët and Bernard Laporte in their football and rugby federations obviously raise the question of the evolution of governance within these institutions. But it is a cyclic questioning. In 2021, the renewal of presidents after the pandemic had already been the subject of a debate on the age of leaders and feminization… which had not prevented the broad re-election of Noël Le Graët, at 79 years old. The average age of sports leaders is still 64, although some federations have experienced a slight rejuvenation. In the end, there are only two women presidents out of 36 Olympic federations.

The question of the opacity of decision-making also comes up often, as does the absence of a limit to the number of terms served by the same president. These managerial techniques from another age appear to be out of step with the needs of more modern governance. The methods of internal appointment are also to be reviewed, because the elections often reveal a formal democracy, theoretical more than real. The cooptation system generally lacks transparency. In a general assembly of a departmental or regional committee, elected by the clubs, we often always find the same people, those who have time and are retired, out of step with the mass of young graduates. But without them, often volunteers, it must also be emphasized that the associative movement would not work.

Can the state reform this governance? We see it with the Le Graët case, he can actually demand accountability, since it is the State which delegates public service to the federations. But the latter are also very attentive to their autonomy and the State cannot interfere too much in their affairs. Above all, he cannot afford a general crisis with the sports movement within two years of the Olympic Games. In the case of football, the ministry is therefore calling on the authorities to move, in this case the executive committee of the federation, but I do not believe that the government is ready to go further.

He knows, however, that France is also watched with the organization of the Rugby World Cup in 2023 and the Games in Paris in 2024, and therefore he cannot let the image of sport continue to deteriorate. But the ridge line is hard to find. The rather conservative sports world is difficult to move. Ideally, the reform should come from the base, from athletes and clubs. But sport is not the sector of commitment and activism. So I don’t really believe it. »

► “The State cannot intervene in the internal management of a federation”

Bernard FoucherDoctor of Laws and President of the Federal Ethics Committee for French Rugby

“You have to keep in mind that the federations are associations under the 1901 law. The French Football Federation has its statutes, its members, like any association. The difficulty is that sport is a public service, which therefore comes under state management. The latter delegates its power to the federations, but retains a right of inspection, a power of supervision. The whole ambiguity is knowing how to combine the autonomy of associations and the powers that the state has. I believe that the difficulty lies in this duality.

The State officially recognizes associations and federations through approvals and delegations. It can impose a common framework so that the statutes of the federations conform to a standard statute. And, to obtain the delegation and the approval, it is necessary that the statutes are in conformity with the standard statute which the State imposes. The only thing that the State can do is therefore withdraw the approval and consider that the federation it wishes to sanction is no longer recognized as the depository of the right conferred on it by the State. But doing that is the atomic bomb assured. Furthermore, the State cannot intervene in the internal management of a federation. Only members of the federation can.

The law of March 2, 2022, aimed at democratizing sport in France, sought to impose more democratic governance on federations through these standard statutes. In particular with a limitation of mandates, the creation of ethics committees or the prevention of conflicts of interest. The federations are brought, if they want to preserve their approval, to be always in conformity with their statute.

Furthermore, each federation can adopt its own provisions without waiting for the law. There are systems that preceded what the law of 2022 imposed in terms of prevention. In the event of a problem, the ethics committee could intervene, but it all depends on how it works, which is specific to each federation. Regarding the rugby ethics committee, we do not have the possibility of making binding decisions. What we can do is give opinions, recommendations, injunctions, like asking someone to step back. You can also go to the Disciplinary Committee.

This is a real subject and it is an object of reflection with the State and the Minister of Sports: how to improve the functioning and the role of the ethics committees? The law made these mandatory in 2022, but how are they made? Are they really independent, with a minimum of power? It varies a lot from one federation to another. »



CO-WIN app will now get on-the-spot registration facility, Health Ministry changes registration rules

In view of the people’s hesitance to get the Corona vaccine, the Health Ministry has made some changes in the regulations issued for it. Now on-the-spot registration facility has also been given to the states to get the vaccine. However, already registered health workers will be given priority in this.

Changes to the CO-WIN app

Prior to this, the CO-WIN app did not have an on-the-spot registration. Now, in view of less crowd of health workers in hospitals and health centers, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has made changes in this app. States have now been given the facility of on-the-spot registration in it. Dr. RS, President of Empowered Group of Kovid-19 Vaccination. According to Sharma, “On an average, 100 people have been vaccinated every day at every center. But very few people are coming for vaccination at some centers. Keeping this in mind, we made some changes in the app. Now, health workers registered to get the vaccine on other dates will also be able to enter their names on the same day to get the vaccine on-the-spot. “

Wastage of resources will stop

Dr. R.S. Sharma said, “This change is a better step. A lot of employees and other resources are being used to apply the vaccine. If people do not come to the vaccine as expected, these resources will be wasted. The fixed number has to be vaccinated daily. So it is our priority to prevent these resources from being wasted. However, only those health workers who have been registered for that day will be vaccinated first. “

What is CoWIN Application

Soon the vaccination campaign will be started across India to avoid the Corona epidemic. In such a situation, the CoWIN app will be launched by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Through this app, Kovid will be able to register for the 19 vaccine for free. The Co-Win app will be available free on the Google Play Store. At the same time, after taking a vaccine through this app, any possible side effects will be closely monitored. Actually, the Drug Controller General of India has approved the use of two vaccines for the treatment of Kovid-19. Which include covishield and covaxine.

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