It takes a lot of logistics to take half of a retractable-roofed soccer stadium and turn it into a venue for 27,000 tennis fans.
But that’s what they’ve done with Stade Pierre-Mauroy in Lille, France, just over the border from Belgium.
They did it for the Davis Cup semi-finals against Serbia, for which a clay court was used. For the final, it’s a hard court.
The stadium’s not heated; temperatures aren’t expected to break 50F over the weekend.
France and Belgium will square off in perhaps the last, true shot for France to win the coveted chalice again.
It’s the Daily Mail, so take it as a “watch this space” more than a definite “save the date”.
But the British newspaper appears to have an impressive amount of details about a wedding on Thursday in New Orleans between Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian.
(If you can’t trust a guy named “Sebastian Shakespeare”, who can you trust?)
The Daily Mail had a scoop last month about Williams and Ohanian making a quick trip to New Orleans to scout wedding locations, and leaving by private jet. (They left the baby at home, but brought Chip).
Among the secret details of the reported Thursday nuptials:
*Wedding guests will include Beyoncé, Jay-Z and Kris Jenner (mother of the Kardashians)
*It’s all so top secret that the guests won’t even know where the wedding will take place until the day, although the Daily Mail says it has the venue nailed down.
*Williams signed an exclusive deal with Vogue’s Anna Wintour to run the wedding photos. So no cell phones allowed.
Lots more minute details in the newspaper’s exclusive, here.
Williams fierce in NYC
Meanwhile, Williams was in New York Monday night for the Glamour Women of the Year Awards.
And she looked amazing.
Kyle Edmund is a likeable lad. He’s a good tennis player.
But he’s also currently ranked No. 50, just from No. 63 after reaching the semifinals in Vienna last week.
No matter. The No. 3 Brit is raking in the endorsements.
The Daily Mail reports Edmund has signed on for four more years with Nike, to the tune of more than $2.5 million US. And he also has landed a Jaguar sponsorship in recent months.
Edmund made an agency change, from IMG to Starwing Sports (which represents Stan Wawrinka). He also has added two coaches for 2018.
He can afford it.
The London media is on the Boris Becker bankruptcy story like a loan shark on a late payer.
The latest bit is that the 49-year-old, who lives in Wimbledon part-time, took out a $2.6 million US loan from a British billionaire – three years ago.
Per The Telegraph, via the Times of London, Richard Caudwell’s daughter worked in Becker’s London office.
But here’s the eye-opening part: the interest rate on Caudwell’s loan was a reported 25 per cent. The Telegraph said it was repaid, albeit behind schedule.
This weekend, Becker is playing in a poker tournament in Vienna.
Velvet-voiced chair umpire Kader Nouni has been around forever.
But for some reason this Wimbledon, he’s turning into a sex symbol on the basis of a speaking voice that evokes baritone soul singer Barry White.
The Daily Mail writes an breathless tribute to the 46-year-old Frenchman, complete with Tweets from starstruck online tennis fans enraptured by Nouni’s … score calling.
“To describe his voice, think drowning in a vat of chocolate, golden syrup and fine brandy,” one fan Tweeted. ‘I want Kader Nouni to umpire/narrate my life,” Tweeted another.