13 Aug

From pain to pleasure: Djokovic’s rocky road to magnificent seven

first_imgFILE PHOTO: Novak DjokovicMelbourne, Australia | AFP | Twelve months after exiting the Australian Open with fitness, form and career doubts swirling, Novak Djokovic on Sunday struggled to keep his emotions from reducing him to tears.The Serb world number one had just lifted the Norman Brookes trophy for a record seventh time, after completing a Wimbledon, Flushing Meadows and Melbourne Park hat-trick that would have seemed scarcely possible this time last year.His 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 rout of Rafael Nadal saw him stretch his lead at the top of the world rankings, just a few months after he plummeted outside the top 20 for the first time in 12 years.“I’m just trying to contemplate on the journey in the last 12 months,” said an emotional Djokovic, pausing for breath to compose himself and not become tearful.“To be standing now here in front of you today and managing to win this title and three out of four Slams, this is amazing. I am speechless.”After missing the 2017 US Open with a bothersome elbow and losing in the last 16 at the Australian Open in January 2018, Djokovic underwent surgery to fix the nagging problem.His return was not smooth, his form tanked and when he lost in the quarter-finals at Roland Garros in 2018 he slumped to 22nd in the rankings and even briefly threatened to pull out of Wimbledon.Now Djokovic heads to the next major, at Roland Garros, aiming to hold all four Grand Slam titles concurrently for a second time in his career — he first achieved it when winning the French Open in 2016 — despite only managing to be competitive for the second half of 2018.He opted to play on the grass after all and romped to a fourth Wimbledon crown, a 32nd Masters title in Cincinnati and then a third triumph at the US Open in September.Despite a 22-match winning streak ending with defeat to young tyro Karen Khachanov in Paris, followed by a loss to another NextGen force, Alexander Zverev, at the ATP Finals in London, he finished the year on top of the world.“Reflecting on what I’ve been through in the last year, it’s quite a phenomenal achievement,” said Djokovic after knocking Nadal from the top spot in November.“I’m very, very happy and proud about it. Five months ago, it was highly improbable considering my ranking and the way I played and felt on the court.” – Heart-breaking –Djokovic is now just two behind Nadal’s total of 17 Grand Slams and five shy of Roger Federer’s record of 20.Djokovic’s ability to thrive among the greats has never been in doubt, but the size of his heart often led to questions in his early days.At Wimbledon in 2007, he retired with a back injury in the third set of his semi-final against Nadal.He also quit at the 2006 and 2007 French Opens at the third round and quarter-final stages respectively, while at the 2009 Australian Open, where he was defending champion, he pulled out of his quarter-final with Andy Roddick citing heat exhaustion.But nobody could question his courage at the 2012 Australian Open, when he beat Nadal in the longest Grand Slam final of all time, a draining 5hr 53min epic.Djokovic captured the first of his majors in Melbourne in 2008, beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, but it was three years before he added his second.Two more Australian Opens followed in 2012 and 2013, although three heartbreaking final defeats kept the French Open frustratingly out of reach until 2016, when his breakthrough win at Roland Garros allowed him to complete a career and first calendar Slam.Off court, Djokovic married long-time girlfriend Jelena Ristic in July 2014.They have two children, a son Stefan and daughter Tara.Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

13 Aug

Pinot conquers Tourmalet as ‘weak’ Thomas fades in finale

first_imgFrance’s Thibaut Pinot raises his fist in victory after stage 14Paris, France | AFP | Thibaut Pinot conquered the Pyrenean summit of la Col du Tourmalet on Saturday with Julian Alaphilippe following him across the line to extend his overall Tour de France lead over defending champion Geraint Thomas, who admitted to feeling “weak”.Thomas, in fact, lost time for a second day running.After saying he had overheated when losing time Friday, he dropped another 29 seconds in the overall after being distanced by the lead group at the death.“I just didn’t feel quite on it from the start really to be honest — just quite weak,” said the 33-year-old Ineos man, claiming he had limited his losses. “So I decided to go at my own pace.”For British outfit Ineos, however, their co-captain Egan Bernal can go into the most mountainous culmination of a Tour in years in full confidence after he finished just a few seconds behind the winner at the first of seven summit finishes over 2000 metres.Pinot had vowed to attack this stage after losing time to an Ineos-led attack in a crosswind on the narrow road to Albi on Monday had angered him and his team.Thomas has two Frenchman to worry about and is now two minutes and two seconds behind Alaphilippe in the general classification after he started to suffer with 500 metres to go on Saturday.Alaphilippe was as surprised as anyone at Thomas wilting.“I saw great riders blow up before me and in the end I went for the win, it’s incredible,” said the 27-year-old soldier.French president Emmanuel Macron followed the whole stage from the lead car in the vast caravan and appeared animated as he was flanked on the podium by his two compatriots.“This man has heart,” he said looking at France’s current national hero Alaphilippe.On both the leader and Pinot, he added: “France is proud of them both.”As the 117km stage 14 climbed above the tree-line and above the mist where the oxygen levels were lower, contenders for the overall victory gradually fell by the wayside.By the end there were just five men remaining with Dutch Jumbo Visma captain Steven Kruijswijk third at 6sec, with German Emanuel Buchmann and Bernal another two seconds behind.Not only Ineos, but their rivals too may now switch their attention to young climber Bernal in light of Thomas’s underwhelming show. “Yesterday was one of the worst days of my career,” said the 22-year-old Bernal whose slender frame is unsuited to time-trialling.“Today I feel much better, the ascent was very hard and the best thing about it was managing to be amongst the best riders at the front.”– Pinot gets revenge on Ineos –Few expected the yellow jersey wearer Alaphilippe to thrive on Friday’s time-trial, which he won, and fewer still expected him to survive on the Tourmalet.But Alaphilippe dug deep and when he climbed out of the saddle to win the sprint for second, cheers for him were even louder than those for the popular Pinot.But after 10 stages in the lead, the attention switched from the overall leader to the stage winner.“Since the start of the Tour I’ve been targeting this stage, this is the one I wanted, the mythical Tourmalet,” said Pinot, who is placed sixth overall, 3mins 12sec off Alaphilippe.Pinot has long been thought a potential champion this year with the home nation waiting for its first Tour de France win since 1985.Fans had been weaving up the Tourmalet since dawn and there was a carnival atmosphere with almost as many Basque flags as French ones.Pinot, helped up the hill by young French champion David Gaudu, never faltered on the long final climb and his team boss at FDJ Marc Madiot was ecstatic at the finish.Madiot had been upset by comments from Ineos boss Dave Brailsford on Monday when Pinot dropped down the rankings after getting caught in a crosswind.“It feels good to twist the knife,” Brailsford said Monday.Madiot was seen screaming “yes, yes, yes” at the finish line before racing off to embrace his team leader.Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

27 Dec

GAA: NAOMH BRID GAA CLUB NEWS

first_imgBoth our Seniors and Reserves were defeated away to Malin at the weekend. In the first game, the reserves who were down a few regulars battled hard in the first half and went in at the break 2 points behind.An early second half goal meant the lads went into the lead but the stiff breeze aided Malins challenge and they managed to run out winners on a scoreline of 2-7 to 1-5. In the senior match 2 first half Malin goals left them in the driving seat at half time leading 2-3 to 0-2. Despite missing 4-5 regulars the lads battled hard and fought their way back into the game with a goal bringing them back to within a point of Malin. However Malin managed to get another score on the board and despite their best efforts the lads couldn’t reduce the margin and Malin ran out victors on a scoreline of 2-5 to 1-6. There are no games this weekend for either team.Good luck to David Walsh and Calum Gallagher as they are both part of the Donegal Senior Panel and Minor Panel who take on Cavan this Sunday in Breffni Park in the preliminary round of the Championship. Hard Luck to our u16’s who were defeated by Moville in the county semi-final on Friday last. They can now turn their focus to the championship.Well done to all the boys and girls involved in the u8’s who took part in their first ever blitz on Saturday. It was great to see the huge number of children out and we hope this can continue.The club are hosting a scrap Saturday this Saturday May 19th at Pairc Naomh Brid between 9am and 4pm. For collection of heavy items, old machinery etc or for more information contact Tony Walsh on 0862701856. Items include: Scrap cars, scrap steel, washing machines, gas cookers, copper, brass, stainless steel, aluminium, scaffolding, electric cables, lead acid batteries, old gates, old farm machinery, etc.GAA: NAOMH BRID GAA CLUB NEWS was last modified: May 15th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:GAA: NAOMH BRID GAA CLUB NEWSlast_img read more

18 Dec

Press release: Renewing international reputation with help from expatriates

first_imgSouth African expatriates living in Sydney, Australia, are fully behind Brand South Africa’s efforts to renew the country’s reputation as a great place to invest in and do business.Brand South Africa met with expatriates in Sydney, Australia, to garner support in renewing the country’s reputation. (Image: Christopher Chan, Flickr)Johannesburg, Thursday 09 March 2017 – South African expatriates living in Australia have declared their allegiance to promoting their homeland as a place of global goodness and strength during a campaign tour by Brand South Africa this week.The appeal to 200 expatriates was issued by the Brand South Africa delegation at dinners in Sydney and Melbourne this week. The tour is part of South Africa’s mission to boost its international reputation in business, investment and tourism.Brand South Africa’s CEO, Dr Kingsley Makhubela, told the expats that South Africa was moving beyond the challenges of the past and in times of global uncertainty, South Africa should be known for its generosity and goodness.“Our country has spent a lot of time reflecting on our issues and not enough about what is good about South Africa,” he said.“We want to be known around the world for our goodness and competitive strengths, and it is time for all of us to create, inspire, empower, and celebrate our citizenship in South Africa.”Brand South Africa is the custodian of South Africa’s image and reputation and is targetting the 150,000 South African immigrants in Australia to define their own niche and contribute to the promotion of their country as a globally competitive and generous nation.Dr Makhubela was joined on the Australian tour by Brand South Africa’s General Manager Research, Dr Petrus De Kock, General Manager Marketing, Ms Sithembile Ntombela, Strategic Relationship Manager Civil Society, Ms Thoko Modise, and the High Commissioner of the Republic of South Africa, Ms Beryl Sisulu. The Nelson Mandela Foundation is a key stakeholder in Brand South Africa.During the two Australian dinners, Brand South Africa’s General Manager of Research Dr Petrus de Kock, told the expats that South Africa played a pivotal role in the economic revival of the continent.Dr de Kock also said: “Since the dawn of democracy, and regardless of the economic challenges in recent years, South Africa has been making steady progress on the front of human and social development.”His presentation highlighted that research undertaken between 2011 and 2015, showed South Africa’s life expectancy at birth has increased from 54.5 to 57.4 years, and there was a rise in expected years of schooling from 13.3 to 13.6 years.Economically, South Africa now ranks 47th out of 138 global economies, with its strengths in financial market development (11th), market size (30), institutions (40), business sophistication (30), and goods and market efficiency (29).He said South Africa was placed 80th of the freest economies out of 186; 74th of 190 economies in the World Bank 2016/2017 Report on the ‘Ease Doing Business’; and had displayed improvement in technology readiness, innovation, labour market efficiency, health and primary education.The dinner in both major Australian cities achieved strong support from expat South Africans who detailed their pride and patriotism as ambassadors to support the future of South Africa.Follow the conversation on #BrandSADownUnder.last_img read more

12 Dec

FDEI Ask the Expert Vlog: Bilingualism and Assessment in Early Childhood Special Education

first_imgThe Family Development Early Intervention team often gets questions about working with children with disabilities and their families who are also bilingual. Last week we brought you part one in which  Greg Cheatham, PhD, associate professor at the University of Kansas, discussed bilingualism in early childhood special education.  In part two, Dr. Cheatham discusses bilingualism and assessment and gives his tips on working with dual language families.You can find a transcript of this video here.last_img read more

17 Nov

Paris Masters: Federer sets up semi-final meet with Djokovic after Nishikori win

first_imgRoger Federer defeated Japan’s Kei Nishikori in straight sets to advance to the semi-finals of Paris Masters on Friday, where he will be up against soon-to-be world No.1 Novak Djokovic.Earlier in the day, Novak Djokovic had battled a flu and a formidable challenge in Marin Cilic and rallied from a set down to enter the semi-finals with some infectious intensity. Djokovic extended his winning streak to 21 matches with the quarter-final win.Federer and Djokovic’s matches were contrasting tales as the Swiss forged a smooth 6-4, 6-4 victory over Nishikori — his sixth straight win over the Japanese without dropping his serve.Federer had not been at his best in Swiss Indoors, where he won his 99th ATP title, but has looked solid this week. Federer got a walkover in the first round as Milos Raonic retired but he beat Fabio Fognini 6-4, 6-3 to make it to the quarters.On Friday, Federer, who is bidding for a 100th title on the tour, offered glimpses of his very best — something he will need against Djokovic in their 47th meeting on Saturday..@rogerfederer d. Nishikori 64 64 to reach his fourth @RolexPMasters SF. Next: Novak Djokovic.#ATP #ATPMasters1000 pic.twitter.com/fpo2AnRzVRATP World Tour (@ATPWorldTour) November 2, 2018″I know Novak’s on a hot streak so I think it’s going to be tough. But nevertheless I think I’ve got nothing to lose,” Federer said.”I think I’m ready to do something tomorrow.”DJOKOVIC UNDER THE WEATHERDjokovic not only had to battle the grit and serve of Cilic on Friday but also the flu and the weather. Despite the win, Djokovic said after the match that he was still feeling under the weather.advertisement”I’m still struggling. It’s kind of a flu. But it’s not easy to perform every single day, the energy levels are not as high,” he told reporters.”I try to manage the situation but I’ve had this particular case before so I hope I can progress day by day.”Contrary to Djokovic’s revelations, he did not look troubled as he rallied against Cilic with full intensity as he forged a solid victory against the Croatian. Novak Djokovic is all set to become the world No.1 again next week. (Reuters Photo)Djokovic had his personal best winning sequence of 30 consecutive sets ended as Cilic played almost flawlessly aggressive tennis to draw first blood in a magnificent duel.Yet it only prompted Djokovic to increase his focus and produce some supreme play to turn the tide and prevail 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.It was all the more remarkable as the Serb revealed afterwards that he was still feeling under the weather.KHACHANOV UPSETS ZVEREV, THIEM IN SEMISEarlier, Russian Karen Khachanov pulled off one of the surprises of the tournament when he outplayed top young gun Alexander Zverev 6-1, 6-2 to reach the other semi-final against Dominic Thiem, who beat defending champion Jack Sock 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.Too good from @ThiemDomiYou can watch the @RolexPMasters live on @TennisTV pic.twitter.com/WsPnzUPFzuATP World Tour (@ATPWorldTour) November 2, 2018Khachanov, at 22, took ruthless advantage of the 21-year-old German’s physical struggles as Zverev, battling with shoulder trouble, needed a medical time out in the first set at 4-1 down.The Muscovite deserved all the credit for the quality of his power game, however, as he broke the world number five’s serve six times in 70 minutes.A superb performance from @karenkhachanov and this shot was the best of the lot@TennisTV #RolexParisMasters pic.twitter.com/iPU8uiWwwQATP World Tour (@ATPWorldTour) November 2, 2018The day’s action in Paris ensured that Cilic and Thiem are now guaranteed the last two of eight places on offer for the ATP Finals in London this month.Ninth-placed Nishikori and 10th-placed John Isner have missed the cut but both could yet find a place if Rafa Nadal and Juan Martin del Potro, currently both struggling with injury, pull out.(With Reuters inputs)last_img read more