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Angelique Kerber wins 8th match in a row, into Sydney final

SYDNEY --- Angelique Kerber won her eighth consecutive match of the new season, coming from 3-1 down in the final set to beat qualifier Camila Giorgi 6-2, 6-3 to reach the Sydney International final on Friday. Kerber, a former No. 1 and the 2016 Australian Open champion, won all four singles at the Hopman Cup and now all four in Sydney en route to the final. She will face Ashleigh Barty, who beat Australian compatriot Daria Gavrilova 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 in the other semifinal. In a match that included 11 breaks of serve, Barty needed just one in the third set. "It's nice getting a bit of confidence going into our biggest tournament for us," Barty said of next week's Australian...Keep on reading: Angelique Kerber wins 8th match in a row, into Sydney final.....»»

Category: newsSource: inquirer inquirerJan 12th, 2018

Angelique Kerber wins 8th match in a row, into Sydney final

SYDNEY --- Angelique Kerber won her eighth consecutive match of the new season, coming from 3-1 down in the final set to beat qualifier Camila Giorgi 6-2, 6-3 to reach the Sydney International final on Friday. Kerber, a former No. 1 and the 2016 Australian Open champion, won all four singles at the Hopman Cup and now all four in Sydney en route to the final. She will face Ashleigh Barty, who beat Australian compatriot Daria Gavrilova 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 in the other semifinal. In a match that included 11 breaks of serve, Barty needed just one in the third set. "It's nice getting a bit of confidence going into our biggest tournament for us," Barty said of next week's Australian...Keep on reading: Angelique Kerber wins 8th match in a row, into Sydney final.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 12th, 2018

Wozniacki wins 1st major title at Aussie Open

JOHN PYE, AP Sports Writer MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — It took Caroline Wozniacki 43 majors and two failed attempts in finals before finally claiming her first Grand Slam singles title. One of the first things she did as a champion was apologize to top-seeded Simona Halep following her 7-6 (2), 3-6, 6-4 win in the Australian Open final on Saturday night. "I'm sorry, I'm just taking a second to hug Daphne," Wozniacki said as she clutched the winner's trophy in the on-court ceremony. "I dreamt of this moment so many years, to be here now it's a dream come true." More than seven years after appearing in her first Grand Slam final at the 2009 U.S. Open, Wozniacki can finally erase the "but never won a major" footnote that has long been attached to her resume. "I'm never going to get the question again about being a world No. 1 without a Slam," she said after leaving the court. Wozniacki will regain the top ranking next week for the first time in six years — beating Serena Williams' record of 5 years, 29 days between stints at No. 1 on the women's tour — in another benefit of beating the top-seeded Halep. Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" played over the stadium speakers as the 27-year-old Danish player carried the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup around Rod Laver Arena. Wozniacki lost two U.S. Open finals — in 2009 and 2014 — and Halep lost two French Open finals before their meeting at Melbourne Park. It was the first time in the Open era that players ranked No. 1 and 2 were meeting in a major final without either having won a Grand Slam title. So the pressure was on. It was the first time in the Open era that both Australian Open finalists had saved match points before reaching the final, also, so in some ways the pressure was off. In Halep's case, she was the first player who had saved match points in multiple matches to have reached the final. She saved triple match point and rallied in the third set to beat Laura Davis 15-13 in the third set of her third-round match, and also needed to save match points in her semifinal against Angelique Kerber. Wozniacki saved match points in her second-round win over Jana Fett and later said she was relaxed because for the rest of the tournament she was "playing with the house money." So both players rolled the dice in the 2-hour, 49-minute final, which featured some long, absorbing rallies and 10 service breaks — including six in an eight-game run in the third set. "I know that today is a tough day," Wozniacki said to Halep. "I'm sorry I had to win today but I'm sure we'll have many matches in the future. Incredible match, incredible fight. And again, I'm sorry." Halep, who was playing with an injured left ankle and had rallied from a break down in the third set to lead 4-3 when Wozniacki took a medical time out to have her left knee taped, just ran out of steam. "It's not easy to talk now, she played amazing," Halep said. "It's been a great tournament for me. I started not very well with the ankle injury. I just wanted to give my best every match, which I did. Of course I'm sad I couldn't win today but Caroline was better than me. "Sad that I couldn't make it the third time, maybe the fourth time will be with luck." Wozniacki is the third first-time major winner in the four Grand Slam tournaments since Serena Williams won the 2017 Australian Open for her record 23rd Grand Slam title. Serena Williams, who beat her older sister, Venus, in last year's final, took time out for her pregnancy and the birth of her first child in September, and is preparing to return to competition next month......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 27th, 2018

Kerber pulls through a surprising challenge, faces Keys next

By John Pye, Associated Press MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Angelique Kerber remains the only Grand Slam singles winner in the Australian Open women's draw after surviving a frustrating fourth-round match. For a while, though, it appeared Kerber's progression may have unraveled against No. 88 Hsieh Su-wei, a former top-ranked doubles player with a double-handed grip on both sides. With a mix of slice and chips, lobs and bunts, whippy half-volleys and wristy crosscourt ground strokes off both wings, Hsieh pushed Kerber to the extremes and unsettled her rhythm. Former No. 1-ranked Kerber finally got a succession of breaks to take the second set and dominate the third in a 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 victory on Monday afternoon. "Credit to her. She played an unbelievable match," said Kerber, who won the Australian and U.S. Open titles and reached No. 1 in 2016. "I was feeling I was running everywhere. She was playing a lot of corners and drop shots. I was bringing a lot of balls back." After holding it together to improve her 2018 winning streak to 13, Kerber faces U.S. Open quarterfinalist Madison Keys in the quarterfinals. Keys returned to the quarterfinals here for the first time in three years with a 6-3, 6-2 win over No. 8-seeded Caroline Garcia. She has yet to drop a set at Melbourne Park and is averaging a brisk 62.5 minutes on court through her first four rounds. Going into the fourth round, Keys had only dropped 14 games — the second fewest among the women through three rounds, just behind Kerber's 13 games. Keys, the only American woman to reach the fourth round, said she feels like she's playing without pressure since returning from her wrist injury that forced her out of last year's Australian Open. "I definitely realize how much l love it and how much pressure I put on myself," in the past, she said. "Just being really happy to be back out here and not at home in a cast." Hsieh certainly made the most of her time back in the spotlight, returning to the fourth round at a major for the first round in a decade. She took out one major winner — Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza — in the second round, and took a set off an almost dumbfounded Kerber to open the fourth. Kerber, returning from a form slump that saw her ranking drop into the 20s in 2017, had to produce some of her best tennis. She finished a 14-shot rally early in the second set by racing to the net and reaching at full stretch to track down a drop shot and send a forehand winner over the net post. The 30-year-old German player had to serve to stay in the match in the ninth game of the second set. Then, after winning four straight points and converting a break-point chance with a sliding forehand winner down the line, Kerber crouched and screamed to celebrate the point. She served out the set at love and then got critical service breaks in the first and fifth games of the final set as Hseih began to tire and started to miss the lines. Hsieh has won two Grand Slam doubles titles, and was ranked No. 1 in doubles in 2014 but had a career-high singles ranking of 23. At age 32, she was oldest woman still in the singles draw. Recent work with former doubles champion — and Australian Open tournament director — Paul McNamee paid off with her singles ranking expected to rise again. She'll likely also attract more attention from sponsors after going through the singles in an unadorned white tank top and black skirt. On the men's side, Tomas Berdych returned to the Australian Open quarterfinals for the seventh time after a 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 win over Fabio Fognini. Berdych has been this far at Melbourne Park for seven of the last eight years. The only time he's failed to reach at least the quarters was last year when he lost in the third round to Roger Federer. He could meet Federer again in the next round, if second-ranked Federer wins his fourth-round match against Marton Fucsovics later Monday......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 22nd, 2018

Federer joins Djokovic, Sharapova in 2nd round in Australia

By John Pye, Associated Press MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Roger Federer picked up where he left off at the last Australian Open on a day when Maria Sharapova, Angelique Kerber and Novak Djokovic ensured there were all kinds of successful comebacks. Defending champion Federer beating Aljaz Bedene 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 in a night match, his first on Rod Laver Arena since clinching a career-reviving title here last year. He's been met on court after wins here previously by tennis greats Laver, John McEnroe and Jim Courier. On Tuesday night, he got something different. Comedian Will Ferrell stepped out of the crowd and, slipping into character as Ron Burgundy from the movie Anchorman, conducted the post-match interview. Six-time champion Djokovic and 2014 Australian Open winner Stan Wawrinka stuck to business, returning from long injury layoffs with victories in their first matches since Wimbledon. Sharapova barely missed a beat in her first match in Melbourne since a failed doping test in 2016 resulted in a 15-month ban from tennis. One of just two former champions in the women's draw, Sharapova recovered from an early break in the second set and closed out her 6-1, 6-4 victory over Tatjana Maria with an ace at Margaret Court Arena. She celebrated by twirling, waving and blowing kisses to the crowd. "It's been a couple of years since I've been back here — obviously I wanted to enjoy the moment," the 2008 Australian Open champion and three-time runner-up said in an on-court TV interview. Former No. 1-ranked Kerber, the 2016 Australian Open winner, continued her resurgent run with a 6-0, 6-4 victory over Anna-Lena Friedsam to extend her streak to 10 consecutive wins. Her ranking slid into the 20s in 2017, but she's coming back into the kind of form that won her a title in Sydney last week and makes her a strong contender at Melbourne Park. "Something is going on with Australia and me," Kerber said. "I enjoy my stay, play my best tennis." Djokovic tweaked his service motion while recovering from an injured right elbow, and used it to good effect in a 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 win over Donald Young. Djokovic lost in the second round here last year, but won five of the previous six Australian Open titles. "Obviously I wanted to start with the right intensity, which I have," Djokovic said. "I played perfect tennis, like I never stopped." Wawrinka, who had six months out after surgery on his left knee, beat Ricardas Berankis 6-3, 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (2). No. 4-ranked 4-Alexander Zverev and No. 7 David Goffin advanced, but No. 20 Roberto Bautista Agut lost to Fernando Verdasco, a semifinalist here in 2009, and former Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic lost 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-4, 7-6 (4) to Lukas Lacko. No. 13 Sam Querrey restored some order for the U.S. men with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 win over Feliciano Lopez. Two other U.S. contenders, No. 8 Jack Sock and No. 16 John Isner, were out on opening day. Madison Keys also reversed a trend, becoming the only one of the four American women who contested the U.S. Open semifinals last September to reach the second round in Australia. Sloane Stephens, Venus Williams and CoCo Vandeweghe were all eliminated on Monday. No. 17-seeded Keys, the runner-up at the U.S. Open, had a 6-1, 7-5 win over Wang Qiang. No. 9 Johanna Konta beat Madison Brengle 6-3, 6-1 and will meet another American, Bernarda Pera in the second round. The U.S. women had four wins and 14 losses in round one. No. 1-ranked Simona Halep was in serious trouble twice — having to save set points at 5-2 down in the first set, and badly twisting her left ankle early in the second — before beating 17-year-old Australian wild-card entry Destanee Aiava 7-6 (5), 6-1. Halep, who lost back-to-back first-round matches here in the previous two years, will next play Eugenie Bouchard, the 2014 Wimbledon finalist who beat Oceane Dodin 6-3, 7-6 (5). "It's always really cool to go up against the best in the world," Bouchard said. "You use it as a measuring stick. I want to try to play my game and go out there and do some damage." Other seeded players advancing included Wimbledon champion Garbine Mugurza, No. 6 Karolina Pliskova, No. 8 Caroline Garcia, No. 16 Elena Vesnina, and No. 29 Lucie Safarova. Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova lost 6-3, 4-6, 10-8 to Andrea Petkovic. Sharapova was banned for after testing positive for the drug meldonium here in 2016, when she reached the quarterfinals, and finished last year ranked No. 60. The five-time major winner will next play No. 14-seeded Anastasija Sevastova, who beat her at the U.S. Open last year in her return to a Grand Slam to tournament. After returning in New York, Sharapova is confident she's prepared again for a major. "I felt like I have got a lot of things out of the way physically and emotionally and mentally last year with — there was a lot of firsts again for me, playing the first tournament, first Grand Slam, and just different feelings and what it would be routinely," she said. "But it felt pretty routine today.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 16th, 2018

Federer deflects attention to Nadal, Djokovic in Australia

By John Pye, Associated Press MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Roger Federer prefers to think of Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic as the favorites for the Australian Open title, despite entering as defending champion and coming off a worry-free preparation. "I play down my chances just because I don't think a 36-year-old should be a favorite of a tournament," Federer said Sunday on the eve of the year's first Grand Slam tournament, "It should not be the case. "That's why I see things more relaxed, you know, at a later stage of my career." The 19-time major winner can afford to relax slightly longer, given the half of the draw that he shares with Djokovic doesn't start until day two. Top-ranked Nadal will get under way Monday night against Victor Estrella Burgos on Rod Laver Arena, where he lost the final in five sets to Federer last year. All four singles finalists were 30 or older here last year in what became a tournament for the ages, and three of them are back. Serena Williams beat her older sister Venus Williams in the final to capture an Open era-record 23rd major here last year but decided against defending her title because she didn't have enough time to recover from health issues after a complicated childbirth in September. Venus Williams is seeded fifth and is second match scheduled on center court to get her 77th major under way with a challenging opener against Belinda Bencic. She's 4-0 in career head-to-heads against 20-year-old Bencic — who reached a career-high No. 7 ranking in 2016 and who helped Federer win the Hopman Cup title for Switzerland earlier this month — but is coming off an abbreviated preparation that included a loss in the second round to eventual champion Angelique Kerber at the Sydney International last week. At 37, Venus Williams among the top contenders at Melbourne Park. Others in action on Monday include seventh-seeded Jelena Ostapenko, who meets Francesca Schiavone in a match featuring current vs. former French Open champions, No. 2-ranked Caroline Wozniacki, who opens against Mihaela Buzarnescu, and U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens against Zhang Shuai. Simona Halep is the No. 1 seed in the women's draw, and one of six women who can hold the No. 1 ranking at the end of the Australian Open. Halep, who has had back-to-back first-round exits on her last two trips to Melbourne Park, opens on day two against Australian wild-card entry Destanee Aiava. Only two men can hold the top ranking in the first week of February — Nadal or Federer — regardless of what No. 3 Grigor Dimitrov or No. 4 Alexander Zverev or anybody else does in Melbourne. Federer returns in contrasting circumstances to his appearance in 2017, when he was coming off a six-month break for an injured left knee and had low expectations about ending a Grand Slam title drought that dated to Wimbledon in 2012. "This year I hope to win the first few rounds and get rolling hopefully, whereas last year I was just hoping to win," a match, Federer told his pre-tournament news conference Sunday. "It was more of a 'let's see what happens' kind of tournament, maybe similar to what Novak or Stan (Wawrinka) or others are going through this year." Six-time Australian Open winner Djokovic has been sidelined for six months with an injured right elbow, returning with a remodeled service motion, and 2014 champion Wawrinka has also been out of the game since Wimbledon after surgery on his knee. Nadal, who won the French and U.S. Open titles last year, has also had a limited preparation restricted to couple of exhibition matches last week as he recovers from a sore knee. None of that makes them any less of a threat to Federer. "Rafa, with the year that he's had, and Novak with the six titles he's had here, even if it's unknown how he's feeling, they could very well be the favorites, too," Federer said. "If you're in the draw, you give yourself a chance. That's what happened for me last year — all ended up way better than I thought it would, as you know.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 14th, 2018

Wozniacki to meet Halep at Australian Open finale

MELBOURNE — World number one Simona Halep quelled a tenacious Angelique Kerber fightback and saved two match points to reach her first Australian Open final with a 6-3 4-6 9-7 victory in a compelling scrap on Rod Laver Arena on Thursday. A wildly unpredictable match veered one way, then the other, before Halep finally broke […] The post Wozniacki to meet Halep at Australian Open finale appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: financeSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsJan 25th, 2018

Kerber positive after narrow semifinal loss to Halep

MELBOURNE, Australia --- No shame. It's the simple summary of Angelique Kerber's bid for a second Australian Open women's singles title. Kerber's competitive qualities almost compensated for that sinking feeling after succumbing 6-3, 4-6, 9-7 to top-seeded Simona Halep in a gripping semifinal struggle. The 2016 champion didn't lose the match --- she forced Halep to win it after a gritty comeback so nearly launched the German lefthander into another Saturday night final at Melbourne Park. And this comeback after being down a set and a break wasn't manufactured against some ranking underling. It was a sustained counter-offensive against the No. 1-player seemingly in total con...Keep on reading: Kerber positive after narrow semifinal loss to Halep.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 25th, 2018

Radwanska ends Konta s Sydney International defense

SYDNEY (AP) — Former champion Agnieszka Radwanska ended Johanna Konta's Sydney International defense with a 6-3, 7-5 win Tuesday to advance to the second round. The fourth-seeded Konta was playing her first match since retiring from her Brisbane International quarterfinal last week with a hip injury. Third-seeded and French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, No. 5-seeded Kristina Mladenovic, sixth-seeded U.S. Open winner Sloane Stephens and No. 8-seeded Anastasija Sevastova also lost their first-round matches. Angelique Kerber was scheduled to play second-seeded Venus Williams later Tuesday. Former U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur won her first-round match, beating Carina Witthoeft 4-6, 7-5, 6-3. In men's first-round play, Leonardo Mayer had a 7-5, 6-3 upset win over eighth-seeded Mischa Zverev.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 9th, 2018

For Adidas and rivals, sponsorships are good business

em>By David McHugh, Associated Press /em> FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Multi-million dollar sponsorship deals of the kind between Adidas and the University of Louisville — in focus after a scandal over alleged bribes paid to high school athletes — are not just an effort to burnish the image of sports gear makers. They can be a cost-efficient way to boost sales against tough competition, marketing experts say. Whether in U.S. college sports or European soccer, Adidas and its major rivals Nike and Under Armour reach potential customers more effectively by getting their brands used in the biggest events, say marketing experts. Criminal charges brought last week against an Adidas marketing executive and 9 others drew renewed public attention to the perfectly legal practice of paying university sports programs to wear branded goods. Gatto and others are accused of funneling $100,000 to the family of a high school athlete to gain his commitment to play at Louisville and to sign with Adidas once he became a professional. Louisville and Adidas announced at 10-year, $160 million extension of their sponsorship deal over the summer. That deal is just one among increasingly expensive arrangements. The top recipients this academic year are UCLA with $16.5 million from Baltimore-based Under Armour, followed by University of Texas with almost $12 million and University of Michigan with $9.8 million, both from Nike, according to the Center for Research in Intercollegiate Athletics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Payments have risen as the big three competitors bid for exposure that, marketing experts say, can often be more effective and targeted than expensive television advertising. Universities in the top five leagues, or 'conferences' in U.S. sports speak, are in line to get over $200 million this school year, up from around $100 million just five years ago, according to the center's figures. 'Increased investment by Under Armour starting in the 2014-15 academic year, along with continued investment by Adidas, have led to a re-investment by Nike in the intercollegiate athletics space to retain national powers such as Ohio State and Texas, and bring Michigan back into the fold from Adidas,' the center noted in its latest report. George Belch, chair of the marketing department at San Diego State University's College of Business Administration, put it this way: 'It's expensive, but if you want to sit at the table and play the game, you have to ante up.' How much is too much to spend on endorsements? Academics have been trying to figure out what the returns on investment are and marketing experts say the companies surely have their own internal metrics. But 'only they know exactly what the return is,' said Belch. Jonathan Jensen, assistant professor in the sports administration program at North Carolina, notes that the value of sponsorship deals measure the truckloads of equipment given to the schools at retail price, which is far more than the cost to the company to have them produced. 'When you see $250 million, it's not actually $250 million, it's more like $75 million,' he said. And based on what a 30-second commercial costs, having a team wear the company's gear can far outweighs the investment in terms of valuable exposure. That can be money well spent in an era where people can use digital technology to skim past television commercials. 'They don't need to buy airtime,' Jensen said, 'because they are literally part of the event.' On top of that, favorable licensing deals on merchandise mean that the company can earn back much of its sponsorship money solely from fans buying the jerseys. 'The schools themselves are really just in the past two, three or four years getting smart about negotiating and forcing the brands, especially Nike and Under Armour, to pay what they should be,' said Jensen. Similar calculation applies to sponsorship deals outside the United States. Gerd Nufer, director of the German Institute for Sports Marketing in Reutlingen, attempted to figure out how many jerseys companies would have to sell to repay their endorsement deals with national sports teams at the soccer World Cup. He says Adidas needed to see sales of 1.9 million German national team jerseys retailing for around 80 euros in order to make back its 28 million euros-per year sponsorship deal; when Germany won the cup for the fourth time in 2014, 2 million had been sold even before the final match. By contrast, it is unlikely Nike recouped its full $40 million sponsorship with France through direct sales. But it's unlikely that Nike minded much, as its exposure helped its image building more broadly. 'The fact is that building the image of the overall brand and positive halo effects on all branded products of the company is the most important thing,' Nufer wrote in an analysis. That logic was reflected by Nike in its annual financial reports, which indicate it had contractual obligations to pay $1.1 billion in endorsement contracts in 2017. The company, based in Beaverton, Oregon, noted that the costs of sponsorships had risen as competition from rivals had grown. By losing key partnership deals, it said, 'we could lose the on-field authenticity associated with our products, and we may be required to modify and substantially increase our marketing investments.' 'As a result, our brands, net revenues, expenses and profitability could be harmed. ' Adidas says it spent 1.98 billion euros in 2016 on marketing investments, about half of which went for partnerships. That includes events like the World Cup, UEFA's Euro soccer tournament, and the French Open in tennis. And also sponsorships of national federations including Germany, Spain and Argentina plus deals with high profile individuals: soccer stars Lionel Messi, Paul Pogba, and Gareth Bale; basketball stars James Harden and Derrick Rose; U.S. football players Aaron Rodgers and Von Miller, and tennis players Angelique Kerber and Simona Halep. Adidas, based in Herzogenaurach, German, said it was unaware of misconduct in the Gatto case and vowed to fully cooperate with authorities. The company immediately didn't respond to an email inquiry about its sponsorship spending. The company had a good second quarter, with sales beating predictions and growing 27 percent in North America. 'Adidas has been going gangbusters,' said San Diego State professor Belch. 'They are gaining market share on Nike, they have taken away market share from Under Armour in the U.S. market, and particularly in North America they made a tremendous turnaround.' 'So they didn't need this,' he said, referring to the Louisville scandal. 'That's what's really amazing about this.' .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 5th, 2017

Wozniacki beats Pavlyuchenkova to retain Pan Pacific title

TOKYO (AP) — Caroline Wozniacki overwhelmed Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-0, 7-5 to retain her Pan Pacific Open title on Sunday. The victory gives Wozniacki, also champion in Tokyo in 2010, her first title of the year. The Dane had lost all six of her previous finals in 2017. 'This was my seventh final of the year — it gets harder to get that last win,' said world No. 6 Wozniacki, who has now won at least one title every year since 2008. 'I've been putting myself in a position to win all year. It was really important for me to stay focused and positive.' Wozniacki had crushed world No.1 Garbine Muguruza 6-2, 6-0 in the semifinals and a similar score looked on the cards here Sunday. 'The court suits my game. She plays powerfully so it was important for me to make her move around early on. In the first set everything was going my way. In the second set she served better, so it was tricky for me to break.' The first set lasted only 20 minutes as Pavlyuchenkova struggled to get a foothold. 'I was really disappointed in the first three games,' said the Russian. 'I felt I was a bit unlucky and really believe if I had turned those points round and won the games, it may have been a different match. I was a little down on myself and missed more than I should.' The Russian fought harder in a second set that went with serve until the 12th and final game. Yet she failed to earn a break point in the match and appeared outclassed in her first Premier-level final since Moscow in 2015. Semifinal opponent Angelique Kerber was the only seed she faced this week before third-seeded Wozniacki. 'It's disappointing to lose no matter which round it is, even more disappointing in the final,' said Pavlyuchenkova, who needed three sets to win all four of her matches en route to the final. 'I felt a little flat due to the previous matches. I didn't have so much energy left.' .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 24th, 2017

Top seed Kerber crashes out in Sydney

SYDNEY – Top-ranked Angelique Kerber lost her opening match at the Sydney International on Tuesday, upset, 7-6 (5), 6-2, by Darya Kasatkina in a setback ahea.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 10th, 2017

New number one Kerber into US Open final

German Angelique Kerber will have a chance to celebrate her new number one ranking with a US Open title after downing Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 6-3 to reach the championship match......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsSep 9th, 2016

UAAP Season 80 Men’s Football: Semis-bound UST defeats NU in final eliminations match

University of Santo Tomas finished the elimination round of the UAAP Season 80 Men’s Football tournament with a 2-0 win over National University, Sunday afternoon at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium. Stephen Anotado opened the scoring for the Growling Tigers with a 28th-minute conversion, giving UST the advantage heading into halftime. Later in the second half, the Taft-based side doubled their lead courtesy of a breakaway goal from Marvin Bricenio in the 77th minute, to ultimately seal the deal for UST. “Nung first half, na-halfcourt kami ni NU, pero naka-goal kami. Medyo lugi kami physically in the first half, pero after that, nakapag-adjust kami in the second half and lumabas yung laro nung boys,” said UST Assistant Coach Carlos Santiago. “They played physically, tumapat sila sa NU and ayun, nakuha yung second goal.” The focus shifts now to the Final Four for UST, where they’ll be taking on either defending champions Ateneo de Manila or current top seed University of the Philippines. “Mag-aadjust kami tactically, yun nga, marami kaming lapses in defense, pero titignan namin yung key players nila, and we will make our adjustments based on UP or Ateneo’s lineup. With the win, UST finishes with seven wins, four draws and three losses, good for 25 points and the third seed. NU ends their season at sixth place with five wins, one draw, and eight losses......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 15th, 2018

UAAP VOLLEYBALL: Kailangang trabahuhin ang NU -- Pons

Far Eastern University is already through to the Final Four but the Lady Tamaraws will treat their last 80th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament elimination round game against National University on Sunday as a do-or-die match. At stake in the all-important game is a golden opportunity for FEU to clinch a twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four against Ateneo de Manila University. FEU defeated University of the East 25-17, 25-15, 25-20, Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan to tie the Lady Eagles at 9-4 win-loss record with both teams engaged in a wild race for the semis incentive.       “Sobrang importante pa rin talaga ‘yung NU game namin ‘yun nga sabi nga na nabigyan kami ng opportunity para makuha namin ‘yung no. 2 spot,” said graduating hitter Bernadeth Pons, who had a triple-double performance of 13 points, 13 digs and 13 excellent receptions. “Pero kailangan pa rin namin trabahuin yung natitirang game namin which is yung NU,” she added. “So paghahandaan pa rin namin sila, aaralin namin yung galaw ng kalaban.” The Lady Tamaraws handed the Lady Bulldogs their first loss of the season in four sets. NU bounced back after that loss but FEU’s win exposed the Lady Bulldogs’ weaknesses as the Jaja Santiago-led squad struggled in the second round with five straight losses before bouncing back with a win over the lowly Lady Warriors. “Although bumaba ‘yung standing ng NU ng second round then nakabawi sila ng isa, sa player kasi walang gustong natatalo so andun pa rin yung babawi, magba-bounce back,” Pons stressed. “So kami din ayaw namin na mabawian kami kasi sobrang importante ng game namin so pagtatrabahuan talaga namin.” The Morayta-based squad can clinch the semis advantage with a win over NU and Ateneo loses to the defending two-time champion De La Salle University. In case both the Lady Tams and Lady Eagles drop their last assignments or if FEU falls to NU and Ateneo wins over the Lady Spikers both teams will dispute the semis advantage via playoff.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 11th, 2018

Ceres Negros dominates, Global Cebu draws in 2018 AFC Cup action

Two Filipino clubs saw action in the 2018 AFC Cup Group Stages, Wednesday evening, with both getting favorable results as Ceres Negros FC dominated Cambodia's Boeung Ket Angkor, 4-0, at the Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh, while Global Cebu FC salvaged a 3-3 draw with Vietnam's FLC Thanh Hoa at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila.  Bienve Marañon stole the show over at Phnom Penh as the Spanish striker recorded a hat trick, while Takumi Uesato added a goal of his own to lead the Bacolod-based club to their fourth win in five matches.  Ceres Negros improves to 13 points off four wins and a draw to win Group F and clinch a spot in the Zonal Semifinals.  The Pinoy side wraps up the Group Stage against Singaporean side Home United at the Panaad Park and Stadium in Bacolod on April 25th.  Things were certainly more dramatic over in Manila, as Global Cebu mounted a comeback from two goals down, capped off by a game-saving goal from Darryl Roberts in the final minute of regulation.  The visitors got on the board really early in the match, with Edward Ofere scoring in just the second minute of action.  Rufo responded quickly for Global Cebu with an equalizer just four minutes later.  Thanh Hoa regained the lead in the 25th minute courtesy of Le Thanh Binh, followed by a Dinh Tung conversion in the second half to make it 3-1.  When it looked as if all was lost for the Pinoy side with less than ten minutes to go, Wesley Dos Santos pulled one back in the 82nd minute to cut the lead to just one goal, before Roberts came up with the last-minute equalizer.  With the draw, Global Cebu improves to five points off a win, two draws and two losses. While they've been eliminated from Zonal Semifinals contention, Global Cebu can still finish as runners up in Group G with a Group Stage-closing win over Bali United on April 25th. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 11th, 2018

Bertens powers past Goerges to win Volvo Car Open

By Pete Iacobelli, Associated Press CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Kiki Bertens felt fortunate to escape a tough semifinal match with a victory Sunday morning. She wasn't going to let things get so tight later on in the biggest match of her career. Bertens of the Netherlands overpowered Germany's Julia Goerges to cap a long, chilly Sunday at the Volvo Car Open with a 6-2, 6-1 victory for her fourth career WTA title and third of the past 11 months. Bertens made it to the final by outlasting American Madison Keys as the WTA's first clay-court event of the season had to double up on play after rain Saturday washed out most of the semifinals. Bertens was nearly ousted by Keys, saving a match point in the third set before prevailing in tiebreaker, 6-4, 6-7 (2), 7-6 (5). Preparing for Goerges several hours later, Bertens thought, "OK, you could already have lost this morning, so just give everything and try to go for it," she said. "And yeah, now I'm here with the trophy." Perhaps the most important one of the 26-year-old's career. Bertens, ranked 27th in the world, had won titles last May in Nuremberg, Germany and the Swiss Open against fields not nearly as loaded with top players as here. Bertens had gone 0-15 against top-20 opponents in 2018 entering Sunday before defeating Keys (ranked 14th) and Goerges (ranked 13th) in the space of about eight hours. "I'm just so happy and proud, I think, of myself," Bertens said. "It's a great start of the clay court season, and yeah, hopefully still more to come." Goerges figured to be the fresher finalist, needing only about 25 minutes to finish off her semi with Latvia's Anastasija Sevastova, which was tied at 4-all in the opening set Saturday before the rain came. But it was Bertens, ranked 27th in the world, who showed fire and drive on center court in the finals. She broke Goerges' serve twice to take a 3-1 lead and never let up. When Goerges sailed her shot long on match point, Bertens threw her racquet in the air and held her arms up high in celebration of her latest title. Bertens had in Nuremberg, Germany, last May and the Swiss Open in Gstaad last July. But she had a slow start to 2018 with only four match wins before winning all six of her matches here. Bertens, 26, put things away early as she broke Goerges' serve three times to win the opening set 6-2. Bertens had a run of seven straight games before Goerges, urged on by the crowd that may not have wanted to see the tournament end, took a game to delay the celebration. Among Bertens' prizes was two-year use of one of Volvo's luxury cars. The manufacturer is constructing a new auto plant about 25 miles west of Charleston. She got to design her new vehicle on court during the trophy presentation. "It went so fast," Bertens said about the selection. "It was like, 'Oh, what do I want? Can I still change it?' No, but it was really fun." Goerges, who had played crisply most of the week, figured to be the fresher finalist after finishing her semifinal win over Sevastova. But Goerges was beset by uncharacteristic errors that seemed to give Bertens more energy. "I think that semifinal took a lot of mental effort out of me," Goerges said. In the fourth game, Goerges reached the net in plenty of time for a simple drop shot with Bertens back by the baseline but pushed the shot into to the cord on the way to losing her serve. Down 5-2 and serving, Goerges double faulted twice in a row to get broken a final time in the set. Goerges thought she had done well all week finding answers when pressed by opponents. She came up empty against Bertens, however. "But at the end what's counting is that you find a solution to get, yeah, to get going and to get playing well," Goerges said......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 9th, 2018

Reed wins first major title, holding off Fowler at Masters

By Doug Ferguson, Associated Press AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Patrick Reed became famous playing for his country. He won for himself on Sunday at the Masters. Rory McIlroy came after him early. Jordan Spieth briefly tied him for the lead. Rickie Fowler birdied the last hole to leave him no room for error. Reed never flinched through it all on a raucous afternoon at Augusta National, calmly rolling in a 3-foot par putt for a 1-under 71 and a one-shot victory. Captain America is now the Masters champion. Even as the loudest cheers were for everyone else, Reed earned all the respect with two big birdie putts on the back nine, one key par and plenty of grit. The 27-year-old Texan becomes the fourth straight Masters champion to win his first major. Fowler holed an 8-foot birdie putt on the final hole for a 67. He had to settle for his third runner-up finish in a major. He left the scoring cabin when Reed two-putted for par down the slippery slope on the 18th green and waited for a chance to greet Reed. "Glad I at least made the last one, make him earn it," Fowler said with a grin. "You had to do it didn't you?" Reed told him as they exchanged a hug. "You had to birdie the last." Spieth put up the most unlikely fight and was on the verge of the greatest comeback in Masters history. He started nine shots behind going into the final round, and was inches away on two shots from a chance at another green jacket. His tee shot on the 18th clipped the last branch in his way, dropping his ball some 267 yards from the green. His 8-foot par putt for a record-tying 63 narrowly missed on the right. He had to settle for a 64. Reed won for the sixth time in his PGA Tour career, though he was best known for the trophies he shared at the Ryder Cup. He is ferocious in match play, especially the team variety, and his singles victory over McIlroy at Hazeltine in 2016 led to the nickname of Captain America. McIlroy, meanwhile, will have to wait another year for a shot at the career Grand Slam. Trailing by three shots to start the final round, he closed to within one shot after two holes. That was as close as he came. McIlroy's putter betrayed him, and he was never a factor on the back nine. He closed with a 74 and tied for fifth......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 9th, 2018

Top 2 seeds set in East and West; everything else TBD

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press A look at where things stand in the NBA playoff picture, with five days remaining in the regular season: ___ EAST UPDATE The top two seeds are locked up: Toronto is No. 1 going into the Eastern Conference playoffs for the first time in franchise history, and Boston will open the playoffs as the No. 2 seed. Everything else is unclear. Philadelphia (49-30) now leads in the race for the No. 3 spot, passing Cleveland (49-31) by beating the Cavaliers 132-130 on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time). The 76ers, who haven’t been a top-three seed in the East since their run to the NBA Finals in 2001, would finish third if they end the season with wins against Dallas, Atlanta and Milwaukee. The Cavaliers have two games left, both against New York. So if Philly slips even once, Cleveland could return to No. 3 by sweeping the Knicks. Indiana (47-33) still has a chance at No. 3; to get there, the Pacers have to win out and have both the Cavaliers and 76ers lose out. That seems unlikely, and Indiana is probably heading for the No. 5 spot. Miami, even after a bad loss in New York, controls its fate in the race for No. 6. Milwaukee is No. 7 for now, and Washington — a loser of four straight, including a head-scratcher against Atlanta on Friday (Saturday, PHL time) — has slipped to No. 8. ___ WEST UPDATE Five days left, five spots left to clinch, and six seeds left to decide. A frantic finish is coming to the West. Portland controls the race for the No. 3 seed, and Utah knows that if it wins out the worst it can finish is No. 4 — which is astounding, considering it got off to a 19-28 start and was 10½ games out of the fourth spot. New Orleans (45-34) beat Phoenix to jump two spots to No. 5, and Minnesota (45-35) topped the Los Angeles Lakers to remain a half-game ahead of Denver for No. 8. Those two results mean four teams have exactly 45 wins going into Saturday (Sunday, PHL time), with Denver currently at 44 wins and the Los Angeles Clippers still able to get to 45 if they win out. ___ SUNDAY’S GAMES Some clarity might ... finally ... come to the West. — Denver at L.A. Clippers: The Clippers have to win out, or the season ends. Denver must try to match that desperation. — Milwaukee at New York: Milwaukee is 10-12 since the All-Star break. Some momentum might help the playoff cause. — Oklahoma City at Houston: Means nothing to Rockets. Means plenty to Thunder, who still could get home-court. — New Orleans at Golden State: The Warriors embarrassed themselves at Indiana on Thursday (Friday, PHL time). Will this be more of the same? — Portland at San Antonio: The Spurs are trying for a 21st consecutive playoff spot, and the Blazers are trying to lock up the No. 3 seed. — Brooklyn at Chicago has no playoff implication. ___ CURRENT BRACKET First-round matchups if the season ended Friday ... East: 1-Toronto vs. 8-Washington, 2-Boston vs. 7-Milwaukee, 3-Philadelphia vs. 6-Miami, 4-Cleveland vs. 5-Indiana. West: 1-Houston vs. 8-Minnesota, 2-Golden State vs. 7-Oklahoma City, 3-Portland vs. 6-San Antonio, 4-Utah vs. 5-New Orleans. ___ NOTE OF THE DAY Philadelphia has a chance to set an NBA record — the longest winning streak to end a regular season. The 76ers have won 13 straight and have three games left. Win them all, and they would top the 15-game season-ending stretch by the Rochester Royals in 1949-50. The last double-digit streak to end a season was posted by San Antonio in 2011-12, when the Spurs won their final 10 games. Philly coach Brett Brown was an assistant under Gregg Popovich on that Spurs team. ___ QUOTE OF THE DAY “You’ve got to go through whoever it is anyway.” — Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue, asked about the Eastern Conference seeding jumble......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 7th, 2018

UAAP VOLLEYBALL: FEU secures Final Four berth

Far Eastern University banked on the fifth set heroics of graduating hitter Bernadeth Pons and Heather Guino-o as the Lady Tamaraws secured the third Final Four berth in a come-from-behind 25-22, 25-27, 14-25, 25-22, 15-11, win Saturday over Adamson University in the 80th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the MOA Arena. The Lady Tams duo delivered nine points in the fifth frame including the crucial hits in the closing stretch of the match to advance in the semis for the fourth straight year and keep their semis twice-to-beat hopes alive. FEU improved to 8-4 win-loss record while dropping their first round tormentors to 5-7 card. “‘Yun naman talaga ang goal namin na mag-top two kasi hinahabol namin ang twice-to-beat advantage so ‘yun nakuha naming,” said FEU coach George Pascua. The Lady Tams must sweep their last two games against University of the East and National University and hope that either of the grand slam-seeking De La Salle University (9-2) and Ateneo de Manila University (9-3) won't reach 11 wins to force at least a playoff for a semis twice-to-beat.     “Hopefully ‘yung mga susunod na games pa namin mas pagbubutihan namin kasi nabigyan kami ng chance, so ‘yung chance na nabigay sa amin hindi na namin pakakawalan,” said Pascua. Pons had another all-around performance, boosting her stock in for the Most Valuable Player award, scoring 22 points highlighted by 20 attacks while adding 24 excellent receptions and 23 digs for the Morayta-based squad. Celine Domingo dominated the front of the net with six kill blocks in her 18-point explosion while Toni Rose Basas and Guino-o posted 16 and 12 markers, respectively, for FEU.   After clawing their way from a 1-2 match deficit, the  Lady Tam raced to an 8-5 lead capped by Guino-o's hit only to allow the Lady Falcons behind Jema Galanza to overtake them, 10-8, with five straight points. Pons scored four of the Lady Tams' closing 7-1 blitz. Galanza finished with 16 points while Mylene Paat had 15 markers for Adamson. Joy Dacoron and Eli Soyud added 12 and 11 markers, respectively, for the Lady Falcons., who now need to win their last two elims games against two-time defending champion De La Salle and University of Sto. Tomas and hope that National University (6-6) won't reach eight wins to force at least a playoff for the last semis spot.      ---              Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 7th, 2018

UAAP VOLLEYBALL: Ateneo hunts for at least a Final Four twice-to-beat playoff

Ateneo de Manila University and University of the Philippines rekindle the ‘Battle of Katipunan’ with an all-important showdown Saturday in the 80th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the MOA Arena. The duel begins at 4:00 p.m. with the semis-bound Lady Eagles hoping to solidify their bid for a twice-to-beat advantage against a Lady Maroons side fighting for survival. The match will air live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA on SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD on SkyCable Channel 183 and via livestream. A win by Ateneo, which holds a 9-3 win-loss card, will assure the Lady Eagles of at least a playoff for the Final Four incentive. After a slow start in the first round of eliminations, Ateneo is now on na five-game roll including back-to-back five-set victories over Adamson University and University of Sto. Tomas. The Lady Eagles defeated the Lady Maroons in straight sets in their first round meeting. UP sports a 4-8 slate tied with UST and has its back against the wall in the race for a semis spot. To force at least a playoff for a Final Four berth, the Lady Maroons need to sweep their remaining games and hope that Adamson University (5-6) and National University (6-6), which UP swept last Wednesday, won’t reach seven wins.     ---           Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 6th, 2018