Serena chases record 24th Slam as Osaka, Halep eye US Open

first_img“Last year I lost three matches in a row before I came here, so I just wanted to get one match. Then it just kept building on from that,” she said.“This year I went to two quarter-finals back to back and I feel very confident about how I am right now.”While it’s Osaka’s first time defending a Slam, she had her first taste of defending a title this year at Indian Wells.“Going to Indian Wells and learning how defending champion pressure feels, I think it definitely helped me out going into this tournament,” Osaka said. “Because I just feel more loose and comfortable here.“I’m not sure if it’s because the last couple of months have been kind of turbulent but definitely I feel really comfortable and I know that, despite everything, I play well here every year. So I’m not too worried about that.”And she’s much better after pulling out in Cincinnati with a left knee injury.“It’s getting better. I’ve been playing more, longer every day,” she said. “Luckily I’m a fast healer so I think it’s looking good.”– Halep’s confidence high –Halep, who has crashed out of the US Open in the first round the past two years, enters with confidence after beating Williams at Wimbledon.“It cannot be worse than the last two years, to lose in the first round,” Halep said. “I’m really good. I’m feeling healthy. I’m feeling fresh.“The pressure of doing something special, it’s off. Now what comes, comes as a bonus. I’m still working, I’m still motivated to win titles. I’ve started to feel more and more that I’m capable to do that so my confidence is very high.”Barty says “nothing has really changed for me” since her title at Roland Garros.“I just come here to play and do the best that I can,” Barty said. “I’m focused on my first round on Monday and that’s all I’m worried about for the moment.”Share on: WhatsApp Eighth-seeded Serena Williams will be commanding the first day of US Open as she faces Maria Sharapova in the first round.New York, United States | AFP |  Serena Williams has the US Open spotlight as she chases tennis history, but a host of Grand Slam winners and high-ranked rivals are also taking aim at the title.The 37-year-old American will be the focus of attention when the Flushing Meadows fortnight begins Monday with her first-round night match against Russian Maria Sharapova the most anticipated of the women’s openers.“Of course I’m going to watch it,” said top-seeded defending champion Naomi Osaka, who beat Williams in last year’s US Open final. “I think everyone in New York is going to watch it.“I’m not that surprised that that happened, because at every Grand Slam there’s always some sort of drama. Like a first round. Like, Oh my God. So this match just happens to be that for this tournament.”Williams will try to capture her 24th Grand Slam singles title to match the all-time record set by Margaret Court.Eighth-seeded Williams, who could meet second-seeded French Open champion Ashleigh Barty of Australia in the quarter-finals, has not won a Slam since the 2017 Australian Open when she was pregnant, losing the US Open final to Osaka last year amid controversy and the past two Wimbledon finals — including last month to Romania’s Simona Halep.Barty, Osaka, Halep and Czech third seed Karolina Pliskova, seeking her first Slam title, are among the foes trying to deny Williams yet again in a quest she insists doesn’t dominate her thoughts.“I think it’s definitely meaningful, but at this point in my career, I just try to think of different things and even bigger goals — so it’s just like 24 is just a thing,” Williams said earlier this month.“There are so much more important things in my life. And obviously tennis is super important to me… but yeah there are always other things in life, I feel, that are really big on my plate too.”Williams has not played since retiring from the WTA Toronto final with back spasms, handing Canada’s Bianca Andreescu the title.“Definitely if she manages physically, then I think she can do really well here,” Andreescu said.“She’ll do great, as she always does,” added 2017 US Open winner Sloane Stephens.– Osaka ‘very confident’ –Osaka won last year’s final after Williams was given a game penalty by umpire Carlos Ramos, who US Open officials have decided will not work on any match with Serena or Venus Williams at this year’s US Open.This time, Osaka has had a better run-up to the Open despite a first-round Wimbledon crash out.last_img read more

More Ships with Sick Passengers Seek to Dock at Port Everglades

first_imgOther ships with pending arrivals reportedly include Princess Cruises’ Coral Princess, which is carrying a “higher-than-normal” number of passengers with flu-like symptoms, according to the cruise line. It is scheduled to arrive at Port Everglades on Saturday.Princess Cruises adds that many of its sick passengers have tested positive for regular flu, adding that due to the concern over the coronavirus, “guests have been asked to self-isolate in their staterooms and all meals will now be delivered by room service.” In addition, crew members who are not on shift will remain in their staterooms.UPDATED: Cruise Ship with 4 Dead of Coronavirus Cleared to Pass through Panama Canal to Port Everglades Two more cruise ships with sick people aboard are on their way to South Florida.The Celebrity Silhouette and Caribbean Princess have some crew members who are experiencing flu-like symptoms.Four of the Silhouette’s crew members are sick but in stable condition. They have been placed in isolation, but have not been tested for the coronavirus.The Caribbean Princess also has at least one crew member in isolation because of a flu-like illness.Meanwhile, a debate has ensued in recent days about whether ships with sick people should be allowed to dock at Port Everglades.Some say ships docking could spread disease and overcrowd the region’s hospitals, while those in favor of allowing ships to dock mention compassion for the sick.Broward County commissioners are still reviewing whether to allow two Holland America cruise ships to dock at the port.One of those ships, the Zaandam, had four people die, in addition to nearly 200 who became sick.The commissioners’ decision is still pending. A meeting is being considered for Thursday morning before the ships are scheduled to arrive.Celebrity Silhouette and Caribbean Princess, neither of which have passengers aboard, planned to enter Port Everglades later Wednesday, according to Glenn Wiltshire, acting port director.The Coast Guard had initially denied the Celebrity Silhouette’s request to enter American waters, but later cleared the ship for entry when the Coast Guard adequate safety measures would be taken. In addition, only healthy crew members will be taken directly to Miami International Airport for international flights.However, the Caribbean Princess still must provide more information before receiving permission to enter the U.S.The Unified Command, which is comprised of the Broward Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Border Patrol and U.S. Coast Guard, plans to meet by conference call late Wednesday to review any additional information submitted by the Princess. In the meantime, the vessel will remain offshore until a plan acceptable to the Unified Command is submitted and approved,” reads a statement from officials.last_img read more

Suffolk on top again thanks to the Bury boys

first_img Bury St Edmunds County Upper 1 became the second team in four years from Suffolk to win the English Schools Team Championship at Woodhall Spa.With the best two scores from three to count, their line-up of Ben Aves, Ali Reid and Alex Earle compiled 77 Stableford points to finish one ahead of Carr Hill High and Sixth Form College from Lancashire with Northampton School and Tudor Grange from Worcestershire sharing third spot on 73.In extremely windy conditions over the Bracken Course, fifteen-year-old Aves returned 39 points off a handicap of seven, backed by 38 from Reid, off 20, while 19-handicap Earle posted 30.“This is wonderful because it is a national competition and there were a lot of good players here,” said Reid. “It was also very windy, much different to our practice round, and I found the greens hard to read.”The trio (image © Leaderboard Photography) , all members of Bury St Edmunds Golf Club, enjoyed chip-ins to boost their tallies. Aves holed from off the green at the fifth for par, a hole he eagled in the practice round, Earle sank a 50-yard approach to the sixth for par, while Reid benefited by a 30-yard chip-in for birdie at the fourth. However, Earle found the Bracken’s water hazards troublesome and fell foul of them on several occasions.Jim Neale, a representative of the school travelling with the team said, “It is a huge honour to win such a prestigious competition and the school is rightly very proud of each of the lads. The team is young and  eligible to return for at least the next two years – hopefully!”However, the team’s 77 points paled into insignificance compared to their 88 point tally when they qualified at Rushmere in Ipswich.Aves, whose handicap has descended from 11 at the start of the year, also won the newly instigated individual prize, The Tom Ward Cup, his 39 points being one more than four other returns.This has been inaugurated in memory of Tom Ward, England Golf and the National Schools Golf Association’s official photographer, who sadly passed away just over a year ago.There to present the cup was Tom’s widow Elizabeth, who travelled down from her home in Yorkshire to hand over the new trophy.For more information, visit the championship webpage. 9 Jul 2014 Suffolk on top again thanks to the Bury boys last_img read more

Many Sign Up for Girls Circle, Room for More

first_imgFacebook1Tweet0Pin0OLYMPIA – In January the YWCA of Olympia began offering the nationally recognized Girls Circle prevention program across Thurston County.  More than 60 middle-school age girls are now participating.  “We’ve had a good response from girls and parents”, said Kelly Hanson, YWCA Girls Circle staff.  “The program is a safe, positive place for girls during a sometimes tumultuous time in life”.  Girls Circle is held once a week, usually afterschool, over an 8 to 12 week period.  Research shows participating in Girls Circle promotes academic achievement, reduces alcohol use and improves the ability of girls to form healthier bonds with others.Five local school districts and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County signed on to offer the program.  “Being a rural district, it can be hard to access outside resources,” said Charla Dunham, Tenino District School Nurse.  “Girls Circle is a great opportunity for our families.”  YWCA staff provides the program on-site, at no-cost to partner schools and agencies.“We are pleased to be working in the communities of Tenino, Rochester, Olympia, Lacey, Rainier and Tumwater”, said Karmel Shields, YWCA Executive Director.  “That is a great start, but we have room for more.”  The YWCA wants to hear from schools and other youth-serving organizations interested in hosting Girls Circle this Spring.  The program serves girls between the ages of 10 and 14 who live in Thurston County.Girls Circle is made possible through a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women’s Health grant awarded to the Thurston County Public Health & Social Services Department.  The purpose of the grant is to improve health outcomes of local girls.For more information about Girls Circle call the YWCA at 360-352-0593.For information about the grant, visit the Thurston Coalition for Women’s Health webpage at www.co.thurston.wa.us/health or call the Health Department’s Women’s Health Coordinator Kateri Wimsett at 360-867-2516.last_img read more

T20 World Cup to (hopefully) go ahead as planned: Cricket Australia

first_imgImage Courtesy: CA/ICCAdvertisement 1mhibdNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vs6d1mdhWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre Ej03( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) 65fWould you ever consider trying this?😱9y6tkCan your students do this? 🌚9Roller skating! Powered by Firework Not even a month ago, Australia hosted the 2020 ICC WOmen’s T20 World Cup, where they successfully defended the title against the Indian Women’s cricket team in the final. Whilst gearing up for the Men’s T20 World Cup again later this year- the Aussies have come up with a big hurdle- the Coronavirus pandemic. The global outbreak of the COVID-19 virus has caused several major sports tournaments go get cancelled or postponed. However, Cricket Australia, the governing body of the sport in the country, is primarily hopeful on successfully conducting the T20 World Cup.Advertisement Image Courtesy: CA/ICCIt was only a couple of days ago when ICC themselves gave green signal on the Men’s T20WC. In a recent statement, ICC disclosed that there are no change of plans as of now, and the tournament will go ahead as planned.“The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup is scheduled to take place from October 18 – November 15 2020 in seven venues across Australia. We are planning for the event to go ahead as scheduled,” the statement read.Advertisement There has been 438 confirmed Coronavirus cases in Australia in total, and five of the patients have died. Amidst the worrying situation in the country, the ongoing ODI series between Australia and New Zealand was cancelled after the hosts won the first match at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Additionally, all further fixtures of cricket int the season was suspended.However, there has been no update on the upcoming cricket world cup, and on the heels of ICC’s confirmation, Cricket Australia themselves have shown confidence to conduct the tournament as planned, as CA’s chief Kevin Roberts said in an interview on Tuesday.Advertisement “We’re really hoping that all forms of sport can be played again in a few weeks’ or a few months’ time. None of us are experts in this situation obviously, so our hope is that we’re back in very much normal circumstances come October and November when the men’s T20 World Cup is to be played,” Roberts told reporters.“And at this stage we’re planning on November 15, to have a full house at the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground) to inspire the world through men’s cricket as the women’s cricketers did here just last week,” the CA chief added.The seventh edition of the Men’s T20 World CUup will start with Sri Lanka vs Ireland and papua New Guinea vs Oman at the Kardinia Park stadium in Victoria on October 18th 2020.Also read-Sachin compared fight against Coronavirus to Test cricket in plea to publicDespite Coronavirus, here are the sports leagues still going on! Advertisementlast_img read more