Serena ends silence, praises US Open runs of Keys, Stephens

first_img“There are NO words to describe how proud and how happy I am for @Madison_Keys keys and @SloaneStephens for making the US open finals,” Williams tweeted.“These amazing women continue to change the game and bring excellence, power, finesse and change to tennis.“What a joy it will be to watch this- hopefully first of many finals. Let’s go ladies!”In Thursday’s semi-finals, Stephens ousted Serena’s older sister Venus, a seven-time Grand Slam champion who had been seeking her third US Open crown and first since 2001. Share on: WhatsApp New York, United States | AFP | Former world number one and 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams made her first public comments since giving birth to a daughter one week ago, tweeting praise Friday to the US Open women’s finalists.Williams was pregnant when she won the Australian Open in January, moving within one Slam singles crown of Margaret Court’s all-time record, and revealed in April on Twitter she was having a baby and would not play again this year.The six-time US Open champion was excited for fellow Americans Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys, whose Saturday showdown for the title at Arthur Ashe Stadium will be the first Grand Slam final for each of them.last_img read more

The Bundesliga is back, so can Dortmund catch Bayern?

first_imgShare on: WhatsApp Can Bayern Munich see off the chasing pack to claim an eighth straight title as the Bundesliga returns behind closed doors?Berlin, Germany | AFP |  Bayern Munich are in pole position to win an eighth straight title, but Borussia Dortmund lead the chasing pack and are spearheaded by Erling Braut Haaland as the Bundesliga comes out of its coronavirus-enforced hibernation this weekend.AFP Sport takes a look at what is at stake on the field when the German top flight ends a two-month shutdown to play out its final nine matchdays.– Some things stay the same… –Teams have undergone testing and been forced into quarantine training camps because of the virus, and all matches will be played behind closed doors in the league with the highest attendances in world football.So this will not be the Bundesliga as we know it, but something else may be just as before — Bayern, the country’s most successful club, are on track to win another title, which would be their eighth in a row.They had put a patchy start to the season under Niko Kovac behind them before the shutdown, with Hansi Flick coming in as coach and Bayern winning 10 and drawing one of their last 11 league games.The Bavarians are four points clear of Dortmund at the top and have been busy since their last game, with Flick signing a new contract until 2023.Key players Thomas Mueller and Alphonso Davies followed suit by penning extensions of their own, while former striker Miroslav Klose has joined as assistant coach.With Robert Lewandowski scoring 25 goals in 23 games, Bayern are formidable. They still have to visit Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen, although it remains to be seen how much home advantage will matter without fans.– Watch out for Haaland –It could still just about be a four-horse title race, with Borussia Moenchengladbach six points off the pace in fourth, but Dortmund are best-placed to stop Bayern.Lucien Favre’s side were last seen going out of the Champions League to Paris Saint-Germain, but before that were in thrilling form led by young stars Haaland and Jadon Sancho.They won seven out of eight league games after 19-year-old Norwegian powerhouse Haaland arrived from Red Bull Salzburg. He scored nine goals in that run.Dortmund, though, will not be able to rely on their fans who usually pack the 81,000-capacity Signal Iduna Park and their next two home games — against Ruhr rivals Schalke on Saturday and then Bayern — will lose much of their edge as a result.“Having to play behind closed doors is an enormous challenge, especially for a club like BVB, which draws a lot of strength from the passion of its supporters,” admitted Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke. Dortmund also must still visit Leipzig, who reached the Champions League quarter-finals before the suspension but whose patchy league form after the winter break saw them fall off the pace.In Timo Werner, they have their own fearsome striker. And in Julian Nagelsmann, 32, they have one of Europe’s most exciting young coaches, so anything is possible.Gladbach were the last team to beat Bayern in the league but would now settle for holding off fifth-placed Leverkusen to secure Champions League qualification.There are two points between those sides, who are due to meet next weekend.Beneath them, in the fight for one Europa League spot, Schalke, Wolfsburg, Freiburg and Hoffenheim are all within two points.– Bremen in danger –At the bottom Paderborn prop up the division but the plight of Werder Bremen is more striking.The four-time champions are four points adrift of Fortuna Dusseldorf in the relegation play-off place and eight points from outright safety.They have a game in hand, but are in danger of following the path of Hamburg and Stuttgart, two giants to have been relegated in recent seasons.“We all know how precarious our league position is. That’s motivation enough,” said sporting director Frank Baumann when asked about playing home games without fans.Elsewhere, Hertha Berlin seem far enough clear of relegation trouble but it has been a chaotic campaign in the capital.Bruno Labbadia has become the club’s fourth coach this season since the shutdown began, with Jurgen Klinsmann’s short-lived time in charge ending.last_img read more

Life as a member of the Nelson Leafs ‘couldn’t be better’ says head coach

first_img“We’re always looking for a new piece, but we’re not going to change anything drastically right now. We like what we’ve got. The key thing is we have a good off-ice group and a good on-ice so we don’t want to disrupt it too much but if there’s something that makes sense to help we’ll certainly add the piece.”You said the Leafs need to land a goal scorer. Where are you hoping to find any new players?“It could be in our league, the KI, it could be in the BC Hockey League or other junior leagues we’re looking. I’m making sure I’m contacting people on the regular basis to let them know what we’re looking for and if they have a player whose fallen through the cracks at the high level. And there’s still a potential at the Western Hockey League player coming in our direction as well.”Tuesday, against Grand Forks the Leafs jumped to a 3-0 lead early in the first period, but were unable to close. What happened?“It was one of those games where we maybe let it get away from us . . .  up 3-0 right away. Junior players sometimes lose their focus of what we were trying to do. Give Grand Forks credit, they battled back to get themselves back into the game. . .. Their two goals were a result of our mistakes, bad decisions of pinching on the puck . . . but ultimately we won the game, which was mainly our focus. Anytime you can win at this level, it’s good.What makes you the most happy about the Leafs?“I really like the camaraderie of the team and we’re close to one of the best defensive teams in the league, which always has been a focus of mine. I want us to be good from our own zone, out. And I’m really happy with that aspect of our team and our hard work overall, in practice and in games. Work ethic, as coaches, is something we’re pushing . . . we want to out work our opposition and we’re happy with that so far.”Any disapointing factors?“Consistency, mainly. We strive to have our players really push forward on systems play. Players are not all the time sure of what we’re asking, so once we get more consistent, and understand, especially our forecheck . . . we’ve been hemming teams in for a long time when our forecheck works but when it doesn’t we get two goals scored against the flow of the play like we did against Grand Forks.”Back to work Friday for a two-game weekend home stand. What do you expect?“I like that we’re seeing teams coming to play us here at the top of the standings. I expect Kimberley and Sicamous to provide some solid opposition for us. Early in the year, for us as coaches, we want to play against tough teams so we can see what we need to improve on and work through.”LEAF NOTES: Kimberley arrives in Nelson undefeated in three games and one point behind Eddie Mountain leader Golden Rockets. Meanwhile, Sicamous is tied for second in the Doug Birks Division, one point in back of Revelstoke Grizzlies. Game time Friday is 7 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. start time Sunday. . . .Nelson is tied with Osoyoos Coyotes and Princeton Posse for allowing the least amount of goals in the entire KIJHL, with 13. . . . Surprisingly, that solid defence is leading the team in offensive stats as defencemen Robson Cramer (4 goals, 3 assists), Patrick Croome (3 goals, 2 assists) and Darnel St. Pierrie (1 goal, four assists) sit tied for first and tied for second, respectively, in Leaf scoring. Rayce Miller (4 goals, 3 assists) and Nelson Minor Hockey product Nolan Percival (2 goals, 3 assists) are the forwards in the top mix. Leaf coach Dave McLellan continues to work his magic with the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League franchise.The Green and White currently hold down top spot in the Murdoch Division with a 3-0-1-1 record — one point in front of the surprising Spokane Braves.However, before the PR department starts organizing any championship parade down Baker Street, let’s realize this is September and not April.And make sure everyone realizes the fact Nelson has played four of the five games this season at home in the friendly confines of the NDCC Arena.So four weeks in the season, how does coach Dave McLellan rate the club?“If you would have told me during training camp this far into the season we were in first place in the division, I’d would have been surprise so it couldn’t be better.”Are there any changes pending on the horizon?“No changes, but I’m actively looking at improving the team all the time. I’m currently in the process of acquiring a player right now . . . but it’s early in the process so we’ll see what happens.”So is the game plan to keep the team the same until a player or two comes down the pipeline?last_img read more

FRAN’S VALENTINE STAKES QUOTES – SATURDAY MAY 28, 2016

first_imgSEAN MCCARTHY, BERT’S MELODY, WINNER: “I feel fantastic. With this particular situation it’s an advantage. She has speed, obviously. You know you’re going to go into a race where there’s going to be a lot of speed and good speed on top of that. So, sometimes when you run a longer distance before a race like this, it will cause them to settle and relax a little bit, which is exactly what we did today.“I knew that Art’s [Sherman] filly was pretty fast and that she was going to be up on the front end and we certainly didn’t want to get into a battle with each other. We were lucky enough that ‘Bert’ is starting to mature quite well and she’s settling down. This is the second race she’s settled like that in so today it worked out super.” JOHN BARR, OWNER/BREEDER, BERT’S MELODY, WINNER: “You get all kinds of emotions when you watch them win. Brice rides her very well, Sean trains her beautifully and she’s got some talent so, today was the day!“Well the California incentive program is an outstanding program, probably the best in the nation for an individual state and I’m very proud to have been a director on the CTBA board for a number of years and this is one of the rewards!” JOCKEY QUOTESBRICE BLANC, RIDER OF BERT’S MELODY, WINNER: “Sean’s really done a great job with her. She ran great the other day, but she got a little tired going a mile and one eighth and it set us up for a big race today. She’s relaxing better now and she’s getting a little older and a little smarter.” TRAINER QUOTES             NOTES: The winning Owner/Breeder is John Barr of Oakcrest Stable who resides in Orange, CA.last_img read more

Proudly SA investing pays off

first_img3 April 2007Investing in South African equities is “a paying proposition by a huge margin,” says a local unit trust marketer, but South Africans seem to be missing the boat.Stanlib, the country’s largest unit trust marketer, says not enough South Africans think domestic investments pay off, leading to locals missing out on lucrative investment opportunities, and never more so than in the past three years.Foreigners, says Paul Hansen, Stanlib’s director of retail investing, have been quick to seize these opportunities at the expense of less confident locals.Stanlib’s figures indicate that in the first eight weeks of 2007 alone, foreigners accumulated a net R20-billion in South African shares, while in the three years to the end of 2006, foreign buyers acquired R155-billion in JSE stock.Over this period – a strong equity bull run, despite the 18% market dip in June 2006 – foreigners saw continued value in the JSE and used short-term corrections as buying opportunities.Total returns on the JSE’s All-Share Index, including dividends, are up 281% since April 2003.“It has to be a concern that in the last three years and two months our own people have tossed away R175-billion in JSE shares, willingly selling them to foreigners in the middle of one of our great bull markets and during one of our best periods of economic growth,” Hansen told BuaNews recently.“In effect, local equity investors have been selling South Africa short at a time when there is no justification for it.”According to Hansen, recent history shows that a strategy of “buy and hold” by South African investors would have made much more sense.Too close to see the big picture?Hansen believes South Africans fail to spot positives because they are too close to day-by-day negatives.“Take a situation like regular power failures,” he said. “For a South African, this is proof of shortcomings by the authorities and poor planning. For a foreigner, the power failures confirm that the economy is growing faster than even the most optimistic national planners expected.“The fact that the country’s power grid can’t keep up with huge increases in demand is a sign of success; that our economy is going like a train and that confident consumers are pumping new-found wealth into household appliances and new homes.“Foreigners see indicators like this and draw positive conclusions,” Hansen said. “We see the same indicators but fail to spot the silver lining.”According to the Department of Trade and Industry, there are many lucrative possibilities arising from South Africa’s wealth of natural resources and almost unlimited export and import opportunities.In terms of mineral resources alone, the country has 80% of the world’s reserves of manganese ore, 88% of platinum group mineral reserves, 45% of global gold reserves and 73% of the world’s chromium reserves.At the same time, foreign buying tends to be spread across various sectors – nor is it linked solely to the government’s infrastructure spending and 2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa initiatives. South Africa’s retail and banking sectors have also benefited from offshore interest.“Black entrants to the South African middle class grew by 421 000 or 30% in 2005,” Hansen notes.“This is part of the big, positive story that is currently unfolding in this country and one of the reasons why foreigners have bought billions in equity in South Africa Incorporated.“A broader perspective pays off. Perhaps it’s time we South Africans took a step back and looked at the big picture.”Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

10 months agoCardiff attacker Aron Gunnarsson: We’re in good position

first_imgCardiff attacker Aron Gunnarsson: We’re in good positionby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveCardiff City attacker Aron Gunnarsson insists they can recover from their home thrashing by Manchester United.It promises to be a difficult season for Cardiff as they fight relegation but Gunnarsson says they must take the positives and the biggest one of that they are not in the drop zone for Christmas despite the United defeat.Gunnarsson said: “Especially away from home, we need to start picking up points away from home. We’ve obviously been good here at home apart from today.“We need to keep going but looking at the table, at Christmas time, we’d have taken the position at the moment but we need to build on that and stick together even though this loss was tough to take.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

a month agoCoady furious after Wolves loss: We must be better!

first_imgAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Coady furious after Wolves loss: We must be better!by Freddie Taylora month agoSend to a friendShare the loveConor Coady says Wolves must improve to get out of their current form slump.The Premier League club lost to Braga in the first Europa League clash of the campaign on Thursday, making it zero wins from their last three matches.Speaking after the game, Coady said: “It’s disappointing the run we’re on. We need to get out of it as quick as possible. It doesn’t matter what competition we play in we need to get out of it.”It’s everyone playing on the pitch. We all need to rectify it. We all need to come together. We should have scored to be honest.”We should have kept the clean sheet. We need to be better.” last_img read more

Rail joint cracks led to Saskatchewan potash train derailment TSB

first_imgWINNIPEG – An investigation has concluded that cracks in a rail joint ultimately led to the derailment of a freight train carrying potash east of Saskatoon last fall.A Transportation Safety Board report says the cracks made the rail joint weak and it ruptured under the weight of the Canadian Pacific Railway (TSX:CP) train.Some 37 cars derailed just west of the Rural Municipality of Blucher on Sept. 15.The report says many of the derailed cars spilled potash, but no dangerous goods were involved and no one was hurt.About 760 metres of track was damaged or destroyed.The TSB says all required track inspections had been performed, including three in the previous year that showed some minor defects not needing immediate attention under CP maintenance standards.The train had just passed through a switch at Blucher when the crew felt the locomotive dip and heard a banging sound. An engineer applied the brakes to slow the train and four seconds later an automatic emergency brake was activated.Half a rail joint was recovered during cleanup and had “rail-end batter on the east-end rail head and fatigue cracking in the joint bars.”Potash consists of minerals containing potassium and is used as an agricultural fertilizer.last_img read more

Tottenham vs Ajax Champions League semifinal Leg 1

first_imgAfter knocking out both Real Madrid and Juventus, Ajax yet again started on an impressive note in the first leg of the Champions League against Spurs. An excellent build-up play from the visitors resulted in the first goal of the night. A lovely ball from Ziyech inside the penalty area handed Ajax the early lead with Van de Beek slotting the ball into the bottom corner. Very soon, an exquisite series of passes handed de Beek the second opportunity, but, a good stop from Lorris ensured that Ajax didn’t score the second away goal. Also Read – We will push hard for Kabaddi”s inclusion in 2024 Olympics: RijijuSpurs definitely missed the services of their two main players – strikers Harry Kane and the quarter-finals hero, Son Heung-min. The England captain suffered significant damage to his left ankle during their Champions League victory against Manchester City. On the other hand, the South Korean star had to sit out due to suspension. Into the second half, Dele Alli did have a couple of changes, but poor finishes on both instances denied the equalizer to the hosts. Neres went close to double the lead, but the woodwork denied Ajax the second goal. Tottenham did come strong in the second half, but the inability to convert the half-chances had cost them the first-leg. The young Dutch side will now host Tottenham at the Johan Cruijff ArenA on 9th of May for the second leg with a vital away goal advantage.last_img read more

Football Urban Meyer investigation to be completed Sunday

Urban Meyer prepares to lead the Buckeyes out on to the field prior to the Ohio State-Iowa game on Nov. 4. Ohio State lost 55-24. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorThe investigation into Ohio State head football coach Urban Meyer’s knowledge of domestic abuse allegations surrounding a former assistant coach will conclude on time, ending exactly on the 14-day deadline originally proposed by the university, Ohio State announced Friday.The statement went on to say that the investigators will “prepare a report for the working group to be delivered next week.” Once the independent group, chaired by former Ohio House Speaker Jo Ann Davidson, receives the report, they will present it to the Board of Trustees in an executive session to be held next week. University President Michael Drake will announce his decision for any response to the investigation “following deliberations with the board, and appropriate time for consideration.”The exact time and date of that meeting was not released in the statement, but the university is required by law to provide advance public notice of at least 24 hours. Drake told WOSU’s Ann Fisher on Thursday that the investigation would be “finished when it’s finished” without providing an idea of when that might be.Ohio State placed Meyer on paid administrative leave on Aug. 1 shortly after announcing it was going to examine if Meyer knew about and properly handled reports of domestic abuse from former wide receivers coach Zach Smith in 2015. Smith was fired on July 23 after his ex-wife, Courtney, filed a domestic violence civil protection order against him.Ohio State originally gave itself a 14-day deadline to complete the investigation on Aug. 5, which means the university will meet the deadline it self-imposed.The independent group has overseen the efforts of an investigative team led by former Chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Mary Jo White, who also is the senior chair with the law firm Debevoise and Plimpton. read more