When friends turn into foes and then turn into friends again

Taking a little look at the friendships on the tour.

Yesterday, good pals Stan Wawrinka and Bernoit Paire played each other in the Japan Open final. An hour before the match there was uncertainty about whether Bernoit would be able to play. With his foot in physical pain, unable to walk as he awoke in the morning, he saw the doctor and physiotherapist for some immediate relief. Stan, initially concerned, was reassured by the news that Bernoit would be fit enough to compete and thus when on court all personal feelings were left aside and Stan cruised through the match, winning his fourth title of the year 6-2, 6-4.

Afterwards it was all smiles and familiarity as the two engaged in selfies, their silverware proudly on show as if to say “look what us two achieved today. We are both winners.”

It got us thinking: Aren’t on court friendships the cutest? Yes sport is serious but it’s also fun and sometimes, no matter how much they want to beat their opponent down or stay ‘in the zone’ and be serious, players can’t help but express their enjoyment together.

They are sisters so it’s a different kind of friendship but there was that time when Serena found a mishit from Venus hilarious…

And what about Rafa and Juan Pico Monaco?

Playing against each other could be an odd experience, especially when you see how endearing they are together.
Take that time Pico wrote ‘RAFICO’ (the name given to them by fans) on the camera after a doubles match. Just look at those playful smiles.


We can’t mention Rafael Nadal without mentioning Roger Federer too. One imagines them to be the greatest of friends, the sweetest of couples, Fedal 4eva etc etc and this might be more fantasy than reality but then we see videos like this and think ‘nahh, it’s definitely reality’

Then there are the players such as Caroline Wozniacki and Aga Radwanska who have grown up on the tour together, joked around from when their heads were full of curls to the point where they kind of know each other like newlyweds.

And do you ever wonder how players spend their rain delays? Do they sit in silence, pondering nervously about how the match will pan out when returning to the court? Or bond productively in the form of dancing? For Belinda Bencic and Kristina Mladenovic it’s the latter.

 

What are your favourite friendly on court moments? Share in the comments below!

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