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Ferguson ‘had to go out a winner’

By on September 21, 2020

first_imgSir Alex Ferguson admits he was desperate “to go out a winner” after being beaten to the Barclays Premier League title by rivals Manchester City last year. He added: “We had a terrific points lead. The problem is when you have a lead and you start to lose a point. When we lost to City in the Monday night game you start to think ‘Christ, you can’t throw this away’.” That need to end on a high note extends to the final game of the Ferguson era at West Bromwich Albion on Sunday too. The silverware may have been sewn up already, but Ferguson has no interest in signing off with defeat. “We need to win the game on Sunday,” he added. “We won the last home game (against Swansea) and I don’t want to lose my last game, that’s for sure.” Ferguson was instrumental in the decision to appoint Everton manager David Moyes as his successor and he explained why he felt his fellow Scot was the man for the job. United may have known plenty of success in recent seasons, but Ferguson feels the ability to deal with adversity could be crucial for Moyes. “What I know of David is he’s hard working, there’s an integrity about him, he’s got a work ethic about him and he’s a serious football man,” Ferguson said. “These are qualities he’s going to need. If you look at what he’s done at Everton for instance. “Eleven years without real financial backing, but he persevered and created some decent teams in the last few years.” The Manchester United manager, who retires after 26 years of unprecedented success at Old Trafford, explained how important it was to him to leave his post with the club back on top of the pile. Speaking on stage at the club’s end of season awards ceremony, Ferguson told MUTV: “That was an issue when (wife) Cathy and I chatted about this at Christmas. At that point we had a five-point lead and I thought we had a great chance. I said ‘I really need to go out a winner. We need to win something’. After the disappointment of last season we couldn’t take a second one. I was hopeful we’d win it and we did.” center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

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Harrison: Giggs can be top coach

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first_img “Whether you are a player or a coach you need confidence and you could understand it if he was a little bit daunted.” Given his background, it is hardly a surprise Harrison’s skills are in demand. In his work for McDonalds, the 75-year-old tries to improve coaching at the grassroots of the game, with children a particular priority given the manner in which he revolutionised the youth system at Old Trafford. “The manager is obviously the most important person at any football club but without good coaches they would be absolutely nothing,” said Harrison. “And I might be biased but one of the most important coaches at any club is the youth coach. “They are just as important as the players because they are responsible for bringing the next generation through.” Evidently, that was Harrison’s forte, having decided something had to be done to improve the standard of coaching from his own playing days. “I started at Halifax Town and then went across the lower leagues,” he said. “In all my career; 550 games over 17 years, not one coach or manager took me to one side and said they would work with me to improve certain aspects of my game. “I was scared to say anything but I didn’t think it was right. “I resolved that if I ever got a job coaching, I would make sure the players got coached properly. “I hope that attitude has rubbed off on the United lads and is why they want to go from being top-class players to hopefully being top-class coaches.” :: Eric Harrison was speaking at the 2013 FA and McDonald’s Community Awards. The annual awards recognise and celebrate the thousands of volunteers who dedicate their time to grassroots football each year – everyone from coaches and officials to groundsmen. Visit mcdonalds.co.uk/awards for more information. Former Manchester United youth-team manager Eric Harrison has no doubt Ryan Giggs will be a success in his new coaching role at Old Trafford. Giggs has been appointed to David Moyes’ backroom team along with another member of the famed ‘Class of 92’ which Harrison was responsible for bringing through the ranks, Phil Neville. Although Giggs will be eased in gradually, having entered his 24th top-flight campaign as a United player, it is clear that is the direction he is heading, with some already speculating he will end up as Red Devils boss at some stage in the future. Speaking at the annual McDonald’s Community Awards, Harrison said: “Without doubt Ryan will be a success. “He is a football nut. I am glad he is doing what he is doing. “It would have been a tragedy if he had said ‘right, I am going to play golf every day’. He gets bored after five minutes if it is not football.” Nevertheless, as coaches Giggs and Neville have to prove themselves in a manner they did such a long time ago as players. And the major difference is, they are not entirely in charge of their own destiny given results are determined by the performances of others. Given those results during pre-season have not entirely gone to plan, Harrison has resolved to have a chat with the pair, plus reserve team coach Nicky Butt, later this week, to ensure they have the confidence required heading into a new campaign so full of uncertainty following the exit of Sir Alex Ferguson. “It’s not often but occasionally I will sit down and have a word with them,” said Harrison. “I am going to do with Phil for instance because he might be a little bit nervous. Press Associationlast_img read more

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Badminton News Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu all-praise for P V Sindhu

By on September 19, 2020

first_imgHyderabad: Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu Monday said every child should be encouraged to take to some form of sports from the early days and that sports should be an essential element of education.  He said this after interacting with badminton player P VSindhu and her family who called on him here.Naidu congratulated Sindhu on her recent victory which helped her script history by becoming the first Indian to win the Badminton World Federation finals.“She made us all proud,” he said and appreciated her for being consistent with her performance thereby making her a role model for youngsters. The youth must draw inspiration from her dedication, hardwork, and passion for the game, he added.The Vice-President appreciated Sindhus parents for supporting her career throughout, the release added. Also, he complimented badminton coach Pullela Gopichand and all those training the sports talent in the country and lauded their efforts in mentoring the sportsmen and athletes. For all the Latest Sports News News, Badminton News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more

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Seeds salad chef came to ’SC during recession

By on September 17, 2020

first_imgPaul Linaman was working as a barista at Peet’s Coffee and Tea when the company began making changes that included firing some of its best employees at a time when unemployment rates were soaring.“It was a company that had been going through all these transitions,” Linaman said. “The transition was very rough. I was really upset at the time, but [being fired] turned out to be a really good thing.”Lettuce talk · Salad chef Paul Linaman (right) chats with Soon Gon Kim (left), a sophomore majoring in fine arts, outside of Seeds Marketplace. – Ani Kolangian | Daily TrojanLinaman, now a salad chef at Seeds Marketplace, took the job loss as an opportunity to improve his culinary skills. At the time, his mother was the associate director of St. Joseph’s Center, a service center for poor and homeless families, which acquired an unused restaurant as a donation. The donated location served two functions: providing free restaurant-style meals for the homeless and providing what Linaman calls “crash-course culinary training” for chefs of varying skill levels.“It was a wide variety of people,” Linaman said. “It was people who were just out of college, like one young woman who, her whole life, had worked with her mom’s catering business, but now wanted to get a job at a restaurant. It was people who had been laid off, usually people in the industry who wanted a little extra training in order to get their careers going again.”After the course, Linaman worked at the Hard Rock Cafe in Hollywood but said he lost his position when the franchise laid off about two-thirds of its chefs. He once again refused to let the loss of a job he loved discourage him, so after a few weeks off, he applied for a job with USC Hospitality in 2010.During a kitchen test, Linaman made pasta primavera but had to turn to improvisation when he ran out of time to cook the noodles after finishing the meat and vegetables.“I called it ‘Paleolithic primavera’ because I noticed that sometimes on Top Chef, when they mean to make something but run out of time, they sometimes make up stories and the judges usually love it,” Linaman said. “My story was that it’s part of the trend of being on the Paleolithic diet, where you eat as if you’re a hunter-gatherer.”Linaman was already familiar with this audition-like application process and had previously developed his improvisation skills after growing up in Los Feliz, where he became involved in performing arts at a young age.“As soon as there was any theater available to be involved in, I was,” Linaman said. “As soon as I was in junior high and they had drama class, I started taking that. I was really involved in play production in high school.”After attending Santa Monica College, he transferred to New York University to study theater, where he participated in many student productions. His favorite was a play about the last days of the Trojan prophet Cassandra.“It was interesting because it was an original play, and [the professor] was rewriting it while we were working on it,” Linaman said. “The author was right there so we could ask her questions. I could tell that she was rewriting based on what she saw.”After college, Linaman moved back to Los Feliz. He said that, despite his love for theater, he did not want to enter into the competitive world of Broadway. He has not been involved in any formal productions since his return to California but is interested in returning when the opportunity arises. He has found, however, that some theater school lessons apply to other aspects of his life.“When I’m making salads, the physical structure of it is kind of a choreographic narrative,” Linaman said. “Being able to focus on that is very theatrical. It’s the capacity to put yourself in structures, and live within the structures in a particular way.”Linaman’s theatrical experiences also led to an interest in psychoanalysis, something he is now interested in pursuing in graduate school.“There’s a few professors who I want to meet but haven’t quite had the courage to just walk into their offices,” Linaman said. “I didn’t even realize they taught here when I first started reading [their books].”He has been considering USC for a master’s degree in comparative literature, a program that would not only allow him to further his education but perhaps give him the chance to meet some of his favorite writers.last_img read more

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UKGC wipes ‘disproportionate’ Royal Ascot fines for on-course bookies

By on August 30, 2020

first_img Related Articles Spotlight ups matchday commentary reach and capacity for new EPL Season  August 21, 2020 Gambling.com maintains momentum against COVID-19 impacts August 19, 2020 Submit Share StumbleUpon Share In light of the challenges facing on-course bookmakers as a result of the coronavirus crisis, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has confirmed that it will review the fines issued to seven bookmakers at last year’s Royal Ascot.The seven bookmakers had reportedly allowed a 16-year old to place a £5 bet at the Royal Ascot festival. Initially, the UKGC ordered the bookmakers to pay a fine which amounted to 2.5% of gross gambling yield, the amount retained by a bookmaker after payment of winnings but before deduction of any expenses.Due to the cancellation of the UK racing calendar from 17 March, the UKGC has confirmed that it will be issuing the bookmakers with ‘advice to conduct’ letters or warnings.Reported on the Racing Post, a Gambling Commission spokesperson said: “Protecting children and young people from gambling harm is a priority for the commission.“Due to the impact of the exceptional commercial challenges and current uncertainty for on-course bookmakers, we have taken the decision to review the initial sanctions placed on these seven operators.“We will continue to monitor their standards very closely. If future failings are identified we will not hesitate to take action.”Chris Hudson, the president of the British Racecourse Bookmakers Association, explained that he was pleased by the news and that they will contact the UKGC to establish how on-course bookies can ‘work more closely together’ with the regulator.He said: “We will again attempt to reach out to the Gambling Commission officers responsible to better understand how we can work more closely together, as protecting the young and vulnerable is a key objective of the Gambling Act and is supported by all racecourse bookmakers.” Spotlight delivers Racing Post translated services for Pari-Engineering Russia August 26, 2020last_img read more

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Clippers come up short against Rockets again, 109-105

By on August 26, 2020

first_imgThere was a game-tying 3-pointer, a controversial call and the key to the team sitting on the bench, injured. The last time these two teams played one another, it was in the postseason. But while this game had all the drama of a playoff game, the Clippers didn’t play like it was one. It was a fight to the finish, but ultimately, in the Clippers’ quest for vengeance against the Houston Rockets, they finished just short in a 109-105 loss Saturday night at Staples Center. “I don’t think we played very well,” said Clippers coach Doc Rivers. “I didn’t think we had a great sense of urgency. So that’s why we lost the game.”Facing Houston (4-3) for the first time since the devastating Game 7 loss in the 2015 Western Conference semifinals and down by three with only 49.9 seconds left, James Harden, who up until the final 50 seconds had been the hero for the Rockets with a season-high 46 points, was charged with an offensive foul after a collision with DeAndre Jordan. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “That’s not why we lost the game,” Rivers said. The Clippers (4-2) lost the game because they couldn’t contain Harden and they failed to adjust properly without point guard Chris Paul. Harden torched L.A., his second straight game with more than 40 points, adding four rebounds and two assists to his stat line. There was no containing the Rockets’ leading scorer, who went 14 of 26 from the field, including 5 of 10 on 3-pointers. Doc Rivers shouldered the blame, saying he didn’t have a good enough game plan in place against Harden. “He had 46 points tonight so, clearly, we didn’t do our job,” Rivers said. “That one is more on me, the way I look at it. We wanted to single-cover him for most of the game and send him different places. He just caught fire early and I knew I should have adjusted.” But even with Harden on the bench, L.A. had problems defending Howard, who pulled down seven offensive boards and 13 rebounds total, and Marcus Thornton, who scored 16 points. Before the game, the Clippers announced that Paul would sit out with a sore right groin. Austin Rivers, who had a breakout game against Rockets in Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals, was confident that he could that he could step in for Paul. While the play of Austin Rivers and Pablo Prigioni drew high praise from teammates, the offensive rhythm was disrupted, Without Paul, the Clippers couldn’t get back into it. “With Chris being out, the rotations were really different,” said guard J.J. Redick. “Chris has just such a command of the game. We definitely missed him.”Doc Rivers doesn’t want to use Paul’s absence as an excuse. He said the Clippers simply played a lackluster game. “When you don’t play with Chris, who moves the ball and plays in a completely different way, it’s going to be different,” Doc Rivers said. “Chris is great at getting us back into rhythm. I don’t think we were very organized, which is on me. I don’t think we executed very well and thought a lot of that was not the point guard. It was just the way we played.”Griffin kept the Clippers alive until the final buzzer, leading L.A. with 35 points, 11 rebounds and five assists. Redick had 19 and Jordan doubled up with 11 points and 14 rebounds. Josh Smith also scored 10 points against his former team.center_img Nine seconds later, with the ball back in the hands of the Clippers, Blake Griffin kicked it outside to Pierce for a corner 3-pointer to tie the game at 105-105. But after Harden hit two free throws and Griffin missed a layup and a putback, the ball was knocked out of bounds by Dwight Howard and the Clippers cried for a goaltending call. In fact, they’re still crying goaltending. But the call was reviewed and the ball went back to the Rockets.“I actually watched it already. I couldn’t wait until I got home,” Griffin said. “I watched it several times. That’s textbook goaltending. But they can’t go back and look at it if there wasn’t a call on that actual goaltend, or non-goaltend, or whatever you want to call it.”However, coach Doc Rivers maintained that the Clippers had chances before the final minute, leading by as much as 10 points in the second quarter.last_img read more

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Started the Sale of the Tickets for the Game BiH – USA

By on August 16, 2020

first_imgToday has started the sale of the tickets for a friendly match of the football team of B&H and USA, which will be played at the stadium, “Asim Ferhatović–Hase” in Sarajevo on 14thAugust at 20:35pm.“The sale of the tickets will be done ​​through an authorized partner agency “Centrotrans” and the ticket price is15 KM(for the tribune ‘West‘ and ‘East’), or 10 KM (for the tribune ‘north‘ and ‘south’). 24.000tickets are for sale“, was announced by the Football Federation of  B&H.(Source: Fena)last_img read more

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Basketball news: Wellington scores, Argonia beats CV-Dexter, other Sumner scores

By on August 14, 2020

first_imgGirls: Argonia 36 Cedar Vale-Dexter 27The Red Raiders did it! Argonia beat Cedar Vale-Dexter to become the front runner in the South Central Border League. Argonia opened with a 6-5 first quarter lead and held an 18-12 advantage  at the half. Hessman led all scorers with 11 points. Douglass17141221—64 Belle Plaine4122418—58 Belle Plaine: B. Happy 16, A. Johnson 15, G. Schnieder 12, B. Gooch 9, Harvey 4, T. Balsters 2Douglass: C. Holthaus 32, C. Banister 18, J. Gardner 7, H. Roberts 4, A. Titus 2, D. Chadic 1M. Lodge 44, Conway 42 Conway814119—42 Sumner County games:  C team girls: Winfield 48 Wellington 32WHS  C-Team                      7                   5                11               9                 32Winfield C-Team                  10                   18               8               12                48Scoring: Taylor Zimmerman 9, Dieatra Sober 8, Kennedy Hackerott 7, Peyton Witham 4, Noelle Wright 2, Maggie Fink 1. Argonia612711—36 Med. Lodge1081511—44 Central11131215—51 CV-Dexter57510—27 CV-Dexter1011820—49 Cedar Vale-Dexter: Berkley 1, Kuntz 6, Rhodd 6, Stone 2, Artherton d6, Clapp 6. Totals 10 (0) 7-18 27.Argonia: Fitch 7, Gaddie 10, Drouihard 6, Hessman 11, Allen 2. Totals 15 (3) 5-17 36.South Haven 75 Elk Valley 36South Haven:  19  24  23  09—75Elk Valley:  12  10  11  07—36South Haven scoring:  Barlow 14, P. Turek 14, Jacobs 11, K. Tanner 9, Ralls 8, B. Tanner 7, Harris 5, Lathers 3, Wilkey 2, Parks 2Oxford 42, West Elk 27West Elk: Harrod 2, M. Silvey 11, Hines 2, M. Silvey 4, James 3, La pson 5.Oxford: Lerback 1, Norris 14, Payne 7, Metz 10, Whitlock 10.Caldwell 61, Central Burden 16 Junior varsity boys: Winfield 56 Wellington 54Scoring: Phelps 14, Gilmore 1, Daugherty 5, Baker 6, Nance 7, Reichenberger 6, Dunn 2, Blue 2, Albright 11. Conway Springs: B. May 11, A. Smith 9, S. Echelberry 9, C. Ebenkamp 7, Jones 6, H. Koester 2M. Lodge: K. Theis 9, C. Stimpert 6, A. Roe 6, M. Shinliver 4, K. Inslee 3, S. Eck 2Boys:South Haven 80 Elk Valley 27South Haven:  29  20  23  08—80Elk Valley:  05  08  14  00—27South Haven scoring:  Ray 15, Cully 13, Upton 10, Lowe 9, Schuster 7, Byers 6, Moreland 6, Showman 5, Harris 4. Culp 3, Hawkins 2CV-Dexter 49, Argonia 41 West Elk6121412—44 Central5065—16 CV-Dexter: Boatman 11, Ames 22, Rose ;2, Hollingshead 8, Helpinstine 6. Totals 21 (2) 5-6 49.Argonia: Koerner 1, Gaddie 6, Dickerson 1, Tracy 2, Dolley 2, Swart 1, Thompson 17, Harsh 11. Totals 12 (1) 16-32 41.Oxford 51, West Elk 44 Conway Springs: T. Echelberry 11, D. Murphy 8, R. Rasmussen 8, D. Murphy 8, N. Oswald 6, T. Wood 2Medicine Lodge: S. Angell 18, L. Liebst 9, D. Hrencher 9, S. Beecher 4, B. Wornkey 2, N. Leibham 2 Argonia681413—41 West Elk: Smith 14, Wilson 6, Justin Englebrecht 5, Jennings 2, Louidermilk 17.Oxford: Williams 8, Burkes 24, Norris 7, Jones 9, Kennedy 3.Central-Burden 51, Caldwell 47 Oxford1510719—51 Central: Hopper 2, Magner 2, Wham 1, Koppelmann 14, Loewer 7, Mettling 12, Fischer 13. Totals 17 (3) 14-29 51.Caldwell: Halling 9, Ward 20, Kendrick 2, Webster 6, York 7, Whaley 3. Totals 17 (8) 5-7 47.Douglass 64, Belle Plaine 58 Central: Bannister 3, Moore 7, Beavers 2, Liebau 2, Loewer 2. Totals 6 (0) 3-8 16.Caldwell: Ty. Isaacs 9, Te. Isaacs 2, Rice 8, Bardsley 6, Ward 2, S. York 8, K. York 14, Lebada 2, Arnold 10. Totals 25 (6) 5-11 61.Conway Springs 44, M. Lodge 30 Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. There are no comments posted yet. Be the first one! Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments M. Lodge51627—30 Caldwell15211411—61 Conway188810—44 Caldwell916814—47 by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The following are results of the Sumner County area basketball games from Friday night other than the Wellington varsity basketball games with Winfield which highlights are below:Wellington vs. WinfieldFreshman boys: Wellington 60 Winfield 40Scoring: Phelps 8, Gilmore 25, Blue 19, Pettegrew 8. JV girls: Wellington 53 Winfield 45WHS JV                                 8                    16                14                15                       53Winfield JV                            11                    14                12                8                        45Carlie McComb 15, Halynn Page 14, Kelsey Whaley 7, Holly Wright 6, Jaedyn Ledesma 4, Avery Lewellen 4, Dietra Sober 2, Tyanna Hughes 1.last_img read more

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FAU Donors Barry and Carole Kaye Pass Away from COVID-19

By on August 12, 2020

first_imgCarole and Barry were noted philanthropists who donated millions of dollars to various causes in the community, including City of Hope, the Whitney Museum, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Ben-Gurion University and Florida Atlantic University.At FAU, the Carole and Barry Kaye Performing Arts Auditorium, the Carole and Barry Kaye Great Hall in FAU’s alumni center and the Barry Kaye Hall in the College of Business are named in their honor. Barry Kaye was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from FAU in 2005.Because of the coronavirus pandemic, a memorial service for the Kayes was held Tuesday via Zoom. “We appreciate the generosity of Carole and Barry Kaye and their family to the College of Business,” said Daniel Gropper, Ph.D., dean of FAU’s College of Business. “Prior Business Dean Dennis Coates and Barry Kaye were good friends, and I have enjoyed getting to know Howard Kaye and his family. Their support means a great deal. Many of our business faculty have their offices in Barry Kaye Hall, and our students take classes there as well. It is sad that the COVID-19 virus has taken Carole and Barry Kaye and so many others. But as I listened to the memorial ceremony, I could not help but admire their love for each other over a 58-year marriage, as well as their devotion to family and friends. They have left a great family legacy, and they certainly lived a full, adventurous and remarkable life together.”The couple is survived by their children, Howard and his wife, Andrea; Alan and his wife, Michelle; and Fern Tessler and her husband, Lenard; Barry’s son, Rory; 15 grandchildren; and three great grandchildren. The Kayes were predeceased by Barry’s son, Ronald. The coronavirus has claimed the lives of a beloved Boca Raton couple known for their philanthropy. Barry Kaye, a longtime Boca Raton resident died April 21 from complications due to COVID-19. He was 91. Carole Kaye, his wife of 58 years, also succumbed to the disease and passed away five days later. She was 87.Barry and Carole Kaye, prominent Boca Raton philanthropists and benefactors, passed away from COVID-19. https://t.co/JMjAXngGH3— Boca Raton Magazine (@bocamag) May 1, 2020last_img read more

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Sharapova edges Halep for 2nd French Open title

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first_imgRussia’s Maria Sharapova screams after scoring a point during final of the French Open tennis tournament against Romania’s Simona Halep at the Roland Garros stadium, in Paris, France, Saturday, June 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)PARIS (AP) — Nothing came easily for Maria Sharapova in the French Open final.Serves hit by her surgically repaired shoulder often missed the mark, resulting in 12 double-faults. Shots that would be winners against most opponents were retrieved by Simona Halep and sent right back. Leads that usually hold up vanished in a blink. On a muggy afternoon, with the temperature in the high 70s (20s Celsius), points were lung-searing struggles.Sharapova was up to the task. In an entertaining and undulating championship match — the first women’s final at Roland Garros in 13 years to go three sets — Sharapova showed that she’s as tough as they come, particularly on the red clay that used to flummox her. She edged Halep 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-4 Saturday to win a second French Open title in three years.“This is the toughest Grand Slam final I’ve ever played,” Sharapova said.It is her fifth major trophy in all. Remarkably, Sharapova owns twice as many from Paris as the one each she won at Wimbledon in 2004, the U.S. Open in 2006, and the Australian Open in 2008.“I never thought seven, eight years ago, that I would win more Roland Garroses when I was 27 years old than any other Grand Slam,” Sharapova said after the 3-hour, 2-minute tangle that featured terrific defense and shotmaking by both women.“It’s a tournament, when I was young and growing up, I wanted to win,” Sharapova added. “To think that I’ve won it two times is, I don’t know — so emotional right now, I can’t even talk.”Not bad for someone who once famously described herself as feeling like a “cow on ice” when it came to playing on clay, a slow, demanding surface that requires excellent footwork. Now she knows how to move on clay, and can stretch points when needed. Since the start of 2012, Sharapova is 54-4 with seven titles on clay. She’s also won 20 consecutive clay three-setters, including four in a row this week.Russia’s Maria Sharapova reacts after defeating Romania’s Simona Halep in their final match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, in Paris, France, Saturday, June 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)“I will not forget this match,” said Halep, who wiped away tears afterward.Sharapova broke into a huge smile while hoisting the trophy overhead, then shaking it with both hands and scanning a stadium that, improbably, has become hers. This was her third final in a row in Paris: She won the 2012 title to complete a career Grand Slam, then lost to Serena Williams in 2013.Sharapova is 20-1 the last three years at Roland Garros — which is nothing compared to Rafael Nadal’s 65-1 career French Open mark heading into Sunday’s final Sunday against Novak Djokovic, but certainly quite impressive.Plus, Sharapova had an operation on her right shoulder, the one she uses to swing her racket, in October 2008. That joint troubled her again in 2013, when she played one match from July to December.She now travels with a physiotherapist, Jerome Bianchi, and told him during the post-match ceremony, “Thank you for keeping me healthy.”This was the ninth Grand Slam final for the No. 7-seeded Sharapova, and the first for Halep, a 22-year-old Romanian seeded fourth. Supported by a dozen folks in her guest box wearing red T-shirts saying “Allez Simona,” and fans that chanted her first name, Halep acquitted herself well, showing off the scrambling baseline style that carried her to six straight-set wins until Saturday.Each time it appeared Sharapova was ready to pull away, she was forced to do extra work.At 4-3 in the second set, Sharapova held two break points, but Halep saved both with gutsy groundstrokes. In the tiebreaker, Sharapova got within two points of victory at 5-3, but Halep took the next four to claim the set.That’s when Sharapova left for the locker room, taking an 8-minute break during which she changed out of her sweat-soaked outfit — and let Halep stew for a bit. Sharapova went ahead 4-2, but Halep broke back to 4-all.It turned out that was her last stand, though. Sharapova wouldn’t lose another point, gritting her teeth and shaking her fists after breaking at love for 5-4 with a backhand winner, then holding at love by forcing a backhand error from Halep on match point.When it ended, Sharapova dropped to her knees, caking her shins with clay, and folded her body forward, burying her face in her hands.“I had good tactics today. I opened the angles. Also, I was hitting the ball strong,” Halep said.But Sharapova, Halep continued, “hit the balls very strong” and “was moving really well.”Cow on ice?More like Queen of Clay.___Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrichlast_img read more

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