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Jeson Patrombon, Marian Capadocia cop PPS Brookside Open titles

Jeson Patrombon missed slugging it out with fellow Davis Cup mainstay Johnny Arcilla but got the job done just the same, overwhelming Vicente Anasta, 6-0, 6-3, in the men’s singles finals while Marian Capadocia snared the women’s crown in the PPS-PEPP Brookside Hills Open Tennis Championships in Cainta, Rizal last Sunday......»»

Category: sportsSource: philstar philstarApr 17th, 2018

Jeson, Marian target No. 3 in PPS Pinamalayan Open

Jeson Patrombon and Marian Capadocia seek to sustain their win run as they gun for a third straight victory in the PPS-PEPP Pinamalayan Open Tennis Championships which got under way yesterday at the Bahaghari Tennis Club in Oriental Mindoro......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 6th, 2018

Patrombon, Capadocia cop Crankit crowns

Jeson Patrombon and Marian Capadocia pulled off a pair of three-set thrillers over their respective top-seeded rivals to share top honors in the PPS-PEPP MAC’s Crankit Open Tennis Championships at the PCA courts in Paco, Manila last Sunday......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsApr 30th, 2018

ASIAN GAMES: 2 poomsae bronze medals on Day 1 for Philippines

JAKARTA—The Philippine men’s and women’s taekwondo poomsae teams settled for bronze medals after yielding to traditional powerhouses during their semifinal matches at the start of the taekwondo competitions in the 18th Asian Games at the Jakarta Convention Center (JCC) Assembly Hall here on Sunday. An opening for the gold medal match presented itself for the men’s troika of Dustin Jacob Mella, Jeordan Dominguez and Rodolfo Reyes Jr. after they defeated Iran in the quarterfinals, 8.339 vs 8.100. But the trio rammed into the Great Wall, losing in the semifinals to China’s Zhu Yuxiang, Hu Mingda and Deng Tingfeng, 7.830 - 8.180, to settle for the first bronze medal of the Philippine delegation. The same fate befell the triumvirate of Juvenile Faye Crisostomo, Rinna Babanto and Janna Dominique Oliva, who failed to make it to the championship round after bowing to Unifed Korea’s Gwak Yeowon, Choi Dongah, Park Jaeun, 7.110-8.020, also in the semifinals. “Hard luck. We lost in the semifinals, but we are very proud of the teams,” said Philippine Taekwondo Association national head coach Igor Mella. The men’s team began their ascent to the semifinals after defeating Saudi Arabia in the Round of 16, 8.180-7.640 before securing the quarterfinal win over the Iranians. The women’s team won over host Indonesia in the quarterfinals, 8.070-8.040, after edging Hong Kong, China in the round of 16, 8.000-7.490. Other Philippine bets in the individual poomsae were not as lucky as Reyes and Jocelyn Ninobla both failed to advance. Reyes was eliminated by Thailand's Pongporn Suvittayarak, 8.08-8.32, in the quarterfinals after he advanced to the last eight by eliminating Ruslan Manaspayev 8.08-7.08 in the round of 16. Ninobla fell by the wayside in the round of 16 to Vietnam's Tuyet Van Chau, 7.89-8.11. The men’s team’s semifinal tormentor China went on to settle for the silver after bowing to Unified Korea’s Han Yeonghun, Kim Seonho and Kang Wanjin, even as the Koreans’ female side was upset by Thailand’s Chomchuen Kotchawan, Phaisankiattikun Phenkanya and Sirisahakit Omawee, 8.200 to 8.210. The women’s volleyball team, meanwhile, got waylaid by powerhouse Thailand, 22-25, 12-25, 15-24, at the Gelura Bung Karno Volleyball Hall—a score line that did not actually reflect the Thais’ superiority in the event. Hagen Topacio, on the other hand, overcame a shaky start but came storming back to score 71 points and wind up in a tie for third with six others after the first three rounds of shooting’s trap event at the Jakabaring Sports City range here on a bright and sunny Sunday.   Also in Palembang, the country’s top junior player Jeson Patrombon was in vintage form on Sunday, starring in the country’s twin victories at the Jakabaring Sports City courts.Patrombon opened the country’s campaign in the men’s singles with a 6-1, 6-0 rout of Timor Leste’s Nazario Fernandez Gusmao then teamed up with Francis Casey Alcantara in the afternoon in dispatching Qatar’s Jabar Al Mutawa and Mubarak Zayid, 6-4, 6-2, in doubles play. But the first-time partnership of Alberto Lim Jr. and Marian Jade Capadocia suffered a stinging 4-6, 4-6 loss to the seventh-seeded Indian tandem of Khamran Kaur Thandi and Divij Sharan in the mixed doubles. Two Filipino riders will vie in the downhill event of cycling’s mountain bike event on Monday but they may end up using only one bike. The Trek MTB bike of John Derick Farr--and also that of women’s cross country top bet Ariana Thea Patrice Dormitorio—remained in transit because of the mess at the NAIA caused by a Xiamen Airways Boeing plane that belly-landed last Friday. “If worse comes to worst, Derick could be borrowing Lea’s [women’s entry Lea Denise Belgira] bicycle for the downhill race tomorrow [Monday],” Oscar “Boying” Rodriguez, the PhilCycling’s MTM commission chairman, said. The Travel Department of the Philippine Sports Commission burned the wires since Saturday afternoon to determine the whereabouts of the bicycles......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 19th, 2018

ASIAN GAMES: Pinoy netters out to end an 8-year medal drought

PALEMBANG -- Head coach Chris Cuarto is banking on a favorable draw for the Filipino athletes to boost their medal prospects as the 18th Asian Games tennis tournament unfolds on Monday with the singles competitions at the Jakabaring Sports City courts here. “First of all, we will be trying for a good draw, which is our No. 1 goal,” said Cuarto, who has been at the helm of the PHL squad since the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games. “The Asian Games field is very high so having a favorable draw helps.” Seeing action in men’s singles are Jeson Patrombon, Francis Casey “Nino” Alcantara, Alberto Lim Jr. while Fil-German Katharina Lehnart and Marian Jade Capadocia are competing in the women’s division, and whose draws or pairings are to be held on Sunday. Also kicking off on Monday is the mixed doubles round-of-32 with Alcantara partnering with Lehnart and Capadocia teaming up with either Lim or Patrombon. “I think we have a good chance at medal in the mixed doubles with the tandem of Alcantra and Lehnart,” Cuarto said, “although I would be happy if any of our players or teams reach the semifinals.” The last time that the country won in the Asian Games tennis tournament was in the 2010 Guangzho Asiad when Fil-Am Cecil Mamiit took the men’s singles bronze then teamed up with fellow Fil-Am Eric Taino in bagging another bronze in the men’s doubles......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 18th, 2018

Johnny Arcilla, Jeson Patrombon stay on Brookside Hills Open collision course

Johnny Arcilla and Jeson Patrombon toppled their respective rivals in straight-set fashion to roll into the semifinal round and stay on track for a title face-off in the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala Brookside Hills Open Tennis Championships at the Brookside Hills Tennis Club in Cainta, Rizal yesterday......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsApr 14th, 2018

Patrombon, Rogan bag PPS Suarez Cup titles

MANILA, Philippines — Jeson Patrombon and Aileen Rogan came away with a pair of straight-set victories over their respective top-seeded rivals to capture the.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 21st, 2018

Jeson Patrombon, Khim Iglupas share PPS Dagitab Open honors

MANILA, Philippines — Khim Iglupas cranked up her game midway in the second set then dominated Shaira Rivera in the decider to fashion out a 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 vi.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 22nd, 2017

Coric upsets Federer, facing Djokovic in Shanghai final

By Sandra Harwitt, Associated Press SHANGHAI (AP) — Borna Coric upset defending champion Roger Federer to face Novak Djokovic in the Shanghai Masters final on Sunday. Coric earned passage to the final by taking down the top-seeded Federer 6-4, 6-4 in the semifinals on Saturday. "It was one of the best matches of my life," Coric said. Coric said neck pain almost caused him to skip playing in Shanghai. "Today, really, I just came on the court with absolutely no pressure. I basically didn't care, and that's why I played so good." The Croatian gave himself a third career shot at Djokovic. In their previous meetings, Coric failed to take a set off of Djokovic. The soon-to-be-No. 2-ranked Djokovic booked a final appointment after crushing No. 5 Alexander Zverev 6-2, 6-1. Coric finished off Federer in style with the final two points an ace and a sizzling forehand crosscourt winner. Coric didn't offer Federer a break point opportunity, while managing to break Federer's serve in the opening game of both sets. In all, Federer presented Coric with seven beak point possibilities. "He had more punch on the ball. He served better," Federer said. "I got off to a bad start in both sets. That combination is plenty here in Shanghai with fast conditions." Federer has won three titles this year - the Australian Open, Rotterdam, Stuttgart - but all of them were earned before the start of Wimbledon in July. Federer was asked several times on Saturday about his schedule for the remainder of the year, as well as for next year. He said he couldn't offer any specifics but did offer a guarantee regarding 2019. "I wish I could tell you all these answers, but I really don't know. But I will play tennis next year, yes," he said. Coric, who is 2-2 against Federer, also beat the 20-time Grand Slam champion in their last outing at Halle in June. "Against that kind of player, you need something to hold on to," he said. "I was holding on to that thought that I beat him the last time." Djokovic's win over Zverev and Federer's demise guaranteed Djokovic will move up from No. 3 to No. 2 in the world rankings on Monday, which has him swapping positions with Federer, but still trailing Rafael Nadal. Djokovic's serve has not been broken this week in 37 service games. He never offered Zverev a break point opportunity, and broke the German's serve on four of six offerings. By the time Zverev was 6-2, 3-1 down, his emotions got the better of him after he hit a routine backhand into the net. He banged his racket on the court, then gave it another swipe before tossing the mangled implement into the crowd. Djokovic posted only nine unforced errors to 24 for Zverev. "I did everything I intended to do on my end," Djokovic said. "It's all working and it's been a couple of perfect matches." Djokovic is targeting his 72nd career title here on Sunday. He has won all three of his previous finals in Shanghai. Djokovic played his 1,000th career match against Zverev, and holds an impressive 827-173 win-loss record. "I wouldn't be so dedicated to this sport if I didn't believe that I can achieve great heights," Djokovic said. "But you always have to kind of pinch yourself, particularly at this stage of my career, and be grateful, because I have had an awesome career so far." He is on a 17-match winning streak and is 26-1 in matches played since the start of Wimbledon. A win on Sunday would deliver a fourth title of the season to Djokovic, beside Wimbledon and the U.S. Open......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 14th, 2018

Li Na says Naomi Osaka needs desire to go further

  HONG KONG, China – Chinese tennis great Li Na said US Open champion Naomi Osaka can go on and win multiple Grand Slam titles – if she can find the inner desire to match her physical abilities. Osaka has admitted feeling burdened by expectations after last month's stunning victory in New ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsOct 8th, 2018

Bid to open up Bantayan to land titling, ownership stalls at Senate

BANTAYAN ISLAND, Cebu --- Businesses and lot owners on Bantayan Island will have to wait a little more to get titles. A bill seeking to convert the status of the island from wilderness and protected area to alienable and disposable through legislation was apparently not among the priorities of the Senate. During the Bantayan Island Stakeholders Forum on Saturday, Sen. Cynthia Villar, chair of the Senate committee on environment and natural resources, said her committee would hold a hearing on the bill when Congress goes on a break next week. "Actually, this is the first time I'm hearing such a case," said Villar, the country's richest senator. Reversal She said her com...Keep on reading: Bid to open up Bantayan to land titling, ownership stalls at Senate.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsOct 7th, 2018

CPU, Hua Siong capture new titles in separate leagues

CENTRAL Philippine University (CPU) is raring for the next competitions later this month after winning the crown in the 2nd Brother’s Cup Volleyball League 2018 women’s open category. The Golden Lions volleyball team captured the title after defeating perennial rival Bacolod Tay Tung High School (BTTHS) in three-straight sets, 30-28, 25-20, 25-23, at the University […] The post CPU, Hua Siong capture new titles in separate leagues appeared first on The Daily Guardian......»»

Category: newsSource:  thedailyguardianRelated NewsOct 2nd, 2018

Warriors secure now, but face questions on Cousins, Durant

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com OAKLAND, Calif. -- All is rather calm at the moment with the defending champs, who are idling until they reach two important checkpoints in their gold-bricked road: What happens when DeMarcus Cousins comes back, and what happens if Kevin Durant doesn’t? One carries implications for this season, the other impacts next season and beyond. It’s really that simple for the Warriors, the heavy NBA favorites who once again are threatening to burst everyone else’s balloon for the next seven months and then pop bottles in June. While his new teammates are busy breaking a sweat in Camp Kerr, Cousins is mostly off to the side of the court, on his own schedule, going through the next phase of his rehabilitation from a torn Achilles suffered last spring. There is no timetable on his debut. Still: He represents a bonus for the defending champs, an ace card that doesn’t need to be played until it’s time, perhaps around the All-Star break in February, before for the playoffs. It’s quite a luxury to have, for a team that has everything: A big man with skills who averaged 25 points, 13 rebounds and 1.6 blocks last season with the Pelicans and is only 28. Assuming a full recovery, which isn’t a slam dunk by any means, Cousins would still be in his prime once he suits up and makes life complicated for teams trying to game plan for Golden State. And then there’s the elephant in the gym. Durant remains on a year-to-year contract. Initially, this was done mainly to ensure the Warriors wiggle room under the salary cap to re-sign Andre Iguodala and keep the core of a three-time champion. Yet Durant chose the same financial strategy this summer during free agency and therefore will be back on the market in 2019. You ask, and he says only: “Just keeping my options open.” It’s a rather sound, if rare, strategy that’s afforded by only few, as in, just Durant and until this summer, LeBron James. For the superstar who has already banked in excess of $100 million on the court and pulls that much and perhaps more in endorsements, there’s no financial incentive or urgency to lock in long-term. LeBron did so with the Lakers last July only because it was finally the right time: He turns 34 this year. Going year-to-year allows Durant, 30, to stay unchained in case something happens that causes him to sour on the Warriors and/or fall in love with another team. He’s an MVP contender in his prime and so a long-term deal will always await, no matter if he stays or goes. The only risk is a career-threatening injury, and in such an unlikely yet worst-case scenario. Durant is already wealthy times ten. Flexibility, right now, is more valuable than long-term money. The bigger issue is how this hovers above the Warriors, and there’s no sign that it’s causing sleepless nights. For one: Durant is in the fold for this season and the Warriors remain loaded; therefore their sights are fixated on June, when the championship will be decided, not July, when free agent starts. And two: The organization seems secure in itself and believes at the moment of truth, Golden State will be his best option. The evidence is pretty compelling. Next season the Warriors move into a state-of-the-art arena in San Francisco; ownership is laughing at the luxury tax, which could approach over $150 million in two seasons depending on the payroll; and in case you haven’t noticed, the Warriors are on a championship roll. Finally: Durant enjoys his surroundings. “We’re selfless, care about each other, that’s what the Warriors do,” he said. “My cup is full here knowing that you can walk in here and be yourself, no judgment, just all love. The championship is just the cherry on top.” It’s hard to imagine Durant going to a more talented team. The Warriors are still in their prime, at least the core. Steph Curry is 30 and Durant joins him on Saturday. Cousins, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green are 28. It’s rare for a professional sports team to have three titles in the bag with stars in their prime as they chase No. 4; usually, one or two of the main pieces are old and in decline. Extensions are due for Thompson and Cousins next summer along with Durant, and Green in two years. The conventional thinking is a team can’t pay everyone, and perhaps not. But the Warriors will generate millions in their new building, enough to keep a payroll approaching $300 million (and cope with high luxury taxes) if they chose to do so. The goal is to keep the championship train running, until it can’t, because dynasties are hard to build and trickier to maintain. The Warriors have the opportunity to see this through, and so they’ll try. “We’re not looking at this as the final dance,” said coach Steve Kerr. “Like I said, we want to have some fun and enjoy what we have this year and move on from there. Our focus is to really enjoy it while it lasts. And nothing lasts forever, so we know that. We want to go out this year and enjoy every step of the way." Thompson repeated Thursday how much he “loves” living in the Bay Area and “I’d be crazy not to” think about the amount of in-prime talent he’d leave behind if he signs elsewhere. Green said he imagines himself a Warrior “for a long time.” Durant? We’ll see. In the meantime, the Warriors, like Durant, will take it year-by-year. It’s the only way to do business in the modern NBA. This year promises big returns, once again, on the floor. The last team to reach the Finals five straight years was the Bill Russell Celtics. And the Warriors, who swept the Cavaliers last June, who bring Durant and Curry and Thompson and Green back, finally have a center-piece this time. When Cousins returns, this team will be built to make history. And then, come free agency next summer, when the bill comes due, we’ll find out if they’re built to last. Veteran NBA writer Shaun Powell has worked for newspapers and other publications for more than 25 years. You can e-mail him here or follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 28th, 2018

PVL Finals: UP makes history, rules Collegiate Conference

University of the Philippines wrote history on a rainy Wednesday night. The championship newbies made the more experienced Far Eastern University crumble under pressure as the Lady Maroons completed a sweet sweep of the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Collegiate Conference Finals series, 25-20, 25-18, 23-25, 20-25, 15-13 to hoist their first major title in 36 years. The sea of maroon’s loud celebration drowned the heavy downpour that relentlessly pounded the roof of the FilOil Flying V Centre as history unfolded before their eyes. The Lady Maroons after squandering a two-set lead flirted with disaster in the fifth, trailing 7-13. But Conference and Finals Most Valuable Player Isa Molde willed her team back with a thrilling 8-0 closing run capped by an ace from Ayel Estranero. The duo scored six of the UP's last eight points in the game. Molde, also the conference 1st Best Open Spiker, finished with 22 points - all from attacks - while Marist Layug and Marian Buitre scored 12 each. Sophomore Roselyn Rosier finished with 10 for the Lady Maroons, who received 40 points off FEU's miscues. Estranero tallied 28 excellent sets to help UP punch in 52 spikes.    "Once we we're 13-13 I expected something to happen because this is volleyball. They (FEU) are more tensed, they were out of timeout just like us. It was the mind strength again, that pushed us through. I think eventually we came out stronger mentally," said UP coach Godrey Okumu.     UP, which took the series opener in a five-set shocker over the UAAP Season 80 runners-up and last year’s second placers, with momentum on their side took the first two sets but encountered tough resistance from the Lady Tams in the third frame. The Lady Maroons opened with a commanding 8-0 lead but saw FEU slowly dismantle their advantage to tie the set at 14. UP even went four points closer to the title but slowly faded away as the Lady Tams stole a frame. FEU again did it in the fourth. But it proved to be a minor delay with the Lady Maroons date with destiny -- a feat that the Diliman-based squad last carved out in the UAAP back in 1982.               In a battle of nerves that decided the wild finish, it was FEU that blinked first allowing the Lady Maroons to end a long championship drought.      Rookie Lycha Ebon led the Lady Tams with 13 markers, Jerrili Malaban posted 12 points while Jeanette Villareal had 10.     ---- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 12th, 2018

Serena storms into finals

NEW YORK, United States — Six time champion Serena Williams swept aside Anastasija Sevastova Thursday to reach a ninth US Open final, where she’ll face Japanese trailblazer Naomi Osaka. Williams, seeded 17th as she seeks to add to her 23 Grand Slam titles for the first time since the birth of her daughter Olympia last […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 7th, 2018

Thais, Austria-Norway rule BVR On Tour Surigao

LIANGA, Surigao del Sur -  Thailand 2's Nasuda Janmong and Saranya Laesood, avenging their lone loss of the competition, captured the women's gold medal with a 21-13, 21-18 victory over BanKo-Perlas 1's Dzi Gervacio and Bea Tan in the Beach Volleyball Republic On Tour Gran Ola, Lianga leg Sunday here. Another international pair, Austria-Norway tandem of Marian Klaffinger and Aleksander Sorum, ruled the men's division following a 21-19, 21-14 win over Air Force's Ranran Abdilla and Jessie Lopez. First time as partners, Klaffinger and Sorum also went perfect in the two-day double gender event, as everything clicked right from the get-go. "It's our first tournament. We spontaneously played this tournament. We had fun," said Klaffinger, who played for Austria with Moritz Fabian Kindi in the FIVB Beach World Tour Manila Open last May. "They (Air Force) played well. It was a tough match but I'm happy that we won it.  We had some relatively easy matches at the beginning so that we could get together well. I'm happy that we played that good in the final," he added. Playing much better in the game that mattered most, the power-hitting pair of Janmong and Laesood made major adjustments in last Saturday's 18-21, 17-21 loss to Gervacio and Tan in pool play to become triumphant.        Janmong and Laesood bested BanKo-Perlas 2's Amanda Villanueva and Roma Doromal, 21-13, 21-18, to arrange a women's championship duel with Gervacio and Tan, who foiled an all-Thailand showdown following a come-from-behind 18-21, 21-18, 15-13 over Kijja Khantarak and Sirinuch Kawfong. Despite the tough loss, Khantarak and Sirinuch Kawfong still has something to celebrate of, as the pair claimed the bronze medal with a 21-16, 21-14 victory over Villanueva and Doromal. In the quarterfinals, Gervacio and Tan rallied from a set down to beat Ateneo's Ponggay Gaston and Jules Samonte, 19-21, 21-12, 15-3, while Villanueva and Doromal won over Lianga's Leah Mae Pontillo and Maria Adabog. Thailand 1's Khantarak and Kawfong overpowered University of the Philippines' Justine Dorog and Abi Goc, 21-12, 21-3, while their compatriots Janmong and Laesood bested National University's Klymince Orilleneda and Antonnete Landicho, 21-16, 21-14. Abdilla and Lopez prevailed over Davao 1's Calvin Sarte and Edmar Flores, 21-19, 21-19, to set up a men's Finals meeting with Klaffinger and Sorum, a 21-16, 21-13 winner over Malaysia's Raja Nazmi Hussin and Mohd Aizzat Zokri. Sarte and Flores outlasted Hussin and Zokri, 22-20, 12-21, 15-12 to clinch third place......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 2nd, 2018

Unfazed Sor Rungvisai aims to unify super fly titles, eyes fights vs Ancajas, Nietes

Srisaket Sor Rungvisai of Thailand, right, and Iran Diaz of Mexico pose for a picture during their open workout at Nakornlound Promotion Gym. Sor Rungvisai will be defending his WBC super flyweight.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsAug 29th, 2018

1, done: Halep 1st No. 1 to lose 1st Open match; Serena wins

By Howard Fendrich, Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — Some players, like top-ranked Simona Halep, freely acknowledge they don't deal well with the hustle-and-bustle of the U.S. Open and all it entails. Others, like 44th-ranked Kaia Kanepi, take to the Big Apple and its Grand Slam tournament. Put those two types at opposite ends of a court at Flushing Meadows and watch what can happen: Halep made a quick-as-can-be exit Monday, overwhelmed by the power-based game of Kanepi 6-2, 6-4 to become the first No. 1-seeded woman to lose her opening match at the U.S. Open in the half-century of the professional era. On a Day 1 that featured the major tournament debut of 25-second serve clocks, Halep blamed opening-round jitters, a recurring theme throughout her career. The reigning French Open champion has now lost her first match at 12 of 34 career major appearances, a stunningly high rate for such an accomplished player. "It's always about the nerves," said Halep, who was beaten in the first round in New York by five-time major champion Maria Sharapova in 2017. "Even when you are there in the top, you feel the same nerves. You are human." She also offered up an explanation tied to this particular site. "Maybe the noise in the crowd. The city is busy. So everything together," said Halep, who was coming off consecutive runs to the final at hard-court tuneup tournaments at Cincinnati and Montreal. "I'm a quiet person, so maybe I like the smaller places." Her departure means she can't stand in the way of Serena Williams, who could have faced Halep in the fourth round. Williams, the 23-time major champion who missed last year's U.S. Open because she gave birth on Sept. 1, returned with a flourish, following singer Kelly Clarkson's opening night performance in Arthur Ashe Stadium with a 6-4, 6-0 victory over Magda Linette under the lights. "The first set was tight. It was my first back here in New York, so that wasn't the easiest," Williams told the crowd. "Once I got settled, I started doing what I'm trying to do in practice." Williams, a six-time winner at Flushing Meadows, moved a step closer to a possible third-round matchup against her older sister, two-time winner Venus, who defeated 2004 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3, 5-7, 6-3. Others making the second round included defending champion and No. 3 seed Sloane Stephens, two-time finalist Victoria Azarenka, and two-time major champ Garbine Muguruza. Four seeded men lost, including No. 8 Grigor Dimitrov against three-time major champion Stan Wawrinka, who also beat him in the first round of Wimbledon, No. 16 Kyle Edmund and No. 19 Roberto Bautista Agut. Andy Murray, whose three major titles include the 2012 U.S. Open, played his first Grand Slam match in more than a year and won, eliminating James Duckworth 6-7 (5), 6-3, 7-5, 6-3. At night, defending champion Rafael Nadal advanced when the man he beat in the 2013 French Open final, David Ferrer, stopped in the second set because of an injury, while 2009 champ Juan Martin del Potro had no trouble dismissing Donald Young 6-0, 6-3, 6-4. Halep's loss was the first match at the rebuilt Louis Armstrong Stadium, which now has about 14,000 seats and a retractable roof, and what a way to get things started. That cover was not needed to protect from rain on Day 1 at the year's last major tournament — although some protection from the bright sun and its 90-degree (33-degree Celsius) heat might have been in order. "The courts suit my game, and I love being in New York. I like the city," said Kanepi, who is from Estonia and is sharing a coach this week with another player, Andrea Petkovic. "I like the weather: humid and hot." But several players had trouble in the heat, struggling with cramping or simply breathing. Since professionals first were allowed to enter Grand Slam tournaments in 1968, only five times before Monday did women seeded No. 1 lose their opening match at a major — and never at the U.S. Open. It happened twice to Martina Hingis and once to Steffi Graf at Wimbledon, once to Angelique Kerber at the French Open and once to Virginia Ruzici at the Australian Open. Halep got off to a slow start at Roland Garros this year, too, dropping her opening set, also by a 6-2 score, but ended up pulling out the victory there and adding six more to lift the trophy. There would be no such turnaround for her against Kanepi, a big hitter who dictated the points to claim her second career win against a top-ranked player — but first top-20 victory since 2015. Kanepi has shown the occasional ability to grab significant results, including a run to the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows a year ago. On this day, Kanepi took charge of baseline exchanges, compiling a 26-9 edge in winners, 14 on her favored forehand side alone. Wearing two strips of athletic tape on her left shoulder, the right-handed Kanepi also had far more unforced errors, 28-9, but that high-risk, high-reward style ultimately paid off. "I thought, 'I just have to be aggressive and try to stay calm,'" Kanepi said. Early in the second set, on the way to falling behind by two breaks at 3-0, Halep slammed her racket twice, drawing a warning for a code violation from the chair umpire. Eventually, Halep got going a bit, taking advantage of Kanepi's mistakes to break back twice and get to 4-all in that set, getting a lot of support from fans who repeatedly chanted her first name. "I was thinking about that: Why (did) they cheer so much for her? Because normally, they cheer for the underdog," Kanepi said with a smile. "It was a bit annoying for some time, but I got over it." Sure did. She ended a 14-stroke exchange with a cross-court forehand volley winner to break right back for a 5-4 lead, then served out the victory......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 28th, 2018

US OPEN 18: From Sloane & Serena to new roof, what to know

By Howard Fendrich, Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — A little more than a year ago, Sloane Stephens was ranked outside of the top 950 as she tried to work her way back toward the top of tennis after foot surgery. By the time the U.S. Open was over, she was a Grand Slam champion for the first time and soaring up the rankings. On Monday, the No. 3-seeded Stephens will begin the defense of a major title for the first time, facing 80th-ranked Evgeniya Rodina of Russia at the new Louis Armstrong Stadium. "Going back again and knowing that you held the trophy there once before is super-cool. I think that it'll be fun. There will be a lot of different pressure and a lot of excitement and a lot of stress," Stephens said. "Whether I lose first round or win the tournament again, I know I'm going to do my absolute best and that's all I can ask myself." Her success at Flushing Meadows in 2017 is emblematic of the wide-open nature of women's tennis ever since 23-time major champion Serena Williams left the tour for a hiatus while she was pregnant. At four of the past six majors, the titlist was a first-time Grand Slam champ: Jelena Ostapenko at the French Open and Stephens in New York in 2017; Caroline Wozniacki at the Australian Open and Simona Halep in Paris in 2018. Consistency at the majors hasn't exactly been that quartet's hallmark. Current No. 1 Halep lost in the first round at last year's U.S. Open and this year's Australian Open. Ostapenko did the same at Roland Garros this year. Wozniacki exited in the second round at two of the past four Slams. Stephens has been boom or bust lately, too, collecting a pair of runs to finals and a trio of opening-round defeats at the five major tournaments she's entered since the foot operation. "You can't let the lows get you too low," the 25-year-old American said, "and you can't let the highs get you too high." Here is what else to know before play starts on the blue hard courts of the year's last Grand Slam tournament: DON'T CALL IT A COMEBACK Six-time champion Williams returns to the U.S. Open on Monday night in Arthur Ashe Stadium against 68th-ranked Magda Linette of Poland. Williams missed the tournament a year ago because she gave birth on Sept. 1. "I feel like everything is just different, in terms of: I'm living a different life. I'm playing the U.S. Open as a mom," Williams said. "It's just new and it's fresh." She is coming off a runner-up finish at Wimbledon but has lost three of her past four matches. Williams could face her older sister, Venus, in the third round. BIG 4 REUNION For the first time since Wimbledon in June 2017, a tournament will have the entire Big Four in the field: five-time U.S. Open champion Roger Federer , defending champ Rafael Nadal , two-time winner Novak Djokovic and 2012 champion Andy Murray. They have won 49 of the past 54 Slam titles and the last three Olympic singles golds and have been ranked No. 1 every week for the last 14½ years. Djokovic — who could face Federer in the quarterfinals — and Murray sat out the U.S. Open last year because of injuries. Also back is 2016 champion Stan Wawrinka, who couldn't defend his title because of a bad knee. WHOSE TURN IS IT? It's been a question asked for years, yet it still remains without an answer: Which youngster will assert himself and break up the dominance at the top of men's tennis? Alexander Zverev, a 21-year-old German who recently began working with Ivan Lendl, hopes he'll be the one, but there is a crop of up-and-comers worth watching. A SECOND ROOF For so many years, and through so much rain, the U.S. Open operated without any possibility of playing despite bad weather, resulting in a series of Monday men's finals pushed back from Sunday. Now there are two retractable roofs: the one added to Arthur Ashe Stadium that's been in use for the past two years, and the one at the rebuilt 14,069-seat Armstrong arena, which will host night sessions, too. It's the culmination of a five-year, $600 million project that remade the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. SERVE CLOCKS Serve clocks make their debut in the main draw of a Grand Slam tournament, allowing everyone to see the countdown on courtside digital readouts as players get 25 seconds to start a point. Clocks also will time the 7-minute pre-match period, from the players' walk-on through the coin toss and the warmup. Also new at the 2018 U.S. Open: electronic line-calling on every court......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 27th, 2018

US OPEN 18: Federer tries to end decade drought in New York

By Brian Mahoney, Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — Even with all the times Roger Federer held the U.S. Open trophy, he still can't forget the time it slipped through his fingers. He had won five titles in a row in Flushing Meadows and was a game away from a sixth in 2009 when Juan Martin del Potro pulled out a fourth-set tiebreaker, then won the fifth set. "I still wish I could have played that match again," Federer said Friday. He's never been that close to winning the U.S. Open since, just once reaching the final. That would have been hard to imagine then, when Federer would steamroll into New York at the tail end of some of the greatest seasons in tennis history. He was 247-15 from 2004-06, and knew he'd figure things out across seven matches on the hard courts in a city where he is so comfortable. "For a long period I think I was not losing much," Federer said, "and when I came to the Open, I had all the answers for all the guys, all my opponents, all conditions, wind, you know, night, day. I really embraced everything about New York." Still does, which is why — at age 37, and a full decade removed from his last title at the place — Federer believes he can succeed again at the year's final Grand Slam tournament and collect a male-record 21st major when main-draw play begins Monday. A sixth U.S. Open title would break a tie with Jimmy Connors and Pete Sampras for the most in the professional era. "Well, I mean, it would mean the world to me," he said. Novak Djokovic just beat Federer in the final in Cincinnati, and the Wimbledon champion might be the favorite in New York. Defending champion Rafael Nadal is the top seed after taking back the No. 1 ranking that Federer had regained earlier this season for the first time in five years. And del Potro is up to a career-best No. 3 in the world and proved again he could handle Federer at the U.S. Open when he stopped him last year in the quarterfinals. Yet few would count out No. 2 seed Federer, even as erratic as his gifted game looked against Djokovic on Sunday in Ohio. "If you are playing well before, is easier to play well in the Grand Slam, no? No doubt of that," Nadal said. "At the same time it's true that especially a few players are able to increase the level of concentration, the level of tennis, level of intensity in some places. If you have to do it, this is one of the places." Federer hasn't done it in the biggest moments in New York over the last decade. The loss to del Potro was followed by semifinal defeats against Djokovic in both 2010 and 2011, blowing two match points in both. He finally got back to the final again in 2015 but was beaten by Djokovic, then had to miss the 2016 event because of a knee injury. He won the Australian Open and Wimbledon in a resurgent 2017 but tweaked his back while reaching the Montreal final and knew his body and his game weren't in shape by the time he got to New York. "I knew from the get-go it was not going to be possible for me to win," Federer said. "Everything would have had to fall into place." So he was even more cautious in monitoring his schedule this year, sitting out the clay-court season again and pulling out of Toronto, making Cincinnati his only hard-court warmup. That's left him only four tournaments in five months, perhaps explaining some of the shots that once were winners but were sprayed around the court against Djokovic. "It's a fine line of how fit do you need to be and how much tennis can you play to be competitive?" Hall of Famer Rod Laver said. "And if you're not able to go get the match practice, then you've got to rely on being competitive on the other side of the coin, which is how fit can you be. He certainly is fit enough but mentally in the final, I could tell he was sort of down. You could tell he was just frustrated with some of the shots that he played." Federer won't second-guess his scheduling, believing he's made the right decisions for his preparation. Nor will he kick himself over the U.S. Opens lost over the last decade. "I won the U.S. Open five times. So I stand here pretty happy, to be quite honest," Federer said. "It's not like, 'God, the U.S. Open never worked out for me.' It hasn't the last couple years, but it's all good.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 27th, 2018

US OPEN 18: On the clock! 25-second countdown s Slam debut

By Howard Fendrich, Associated Press Any discussion of the serve clocks that will make their Grand Slam debut during the U.S. Open's main draw starting Monday, and could become a regular part of tennis as soon as next year, inevitably turns to Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. They are two of the greatest players in history — and two of the slowest between points. For one thing, Djokovic's incessant bouncing of the ball before a service toss delays things. So do Nadal's habitual mannerisms: the touching of the nose, the tucking of the hair, the grabbing at the shorts, and on it goes. And while neither was a big fan of introducing digital readouts on court to show the 25-second countdown before each first serve, the two men with a combined 30 Grand Slam singles titles seem ready to accept that they must abide by a change intended to add uniformity to their sport. "I just need to go faster," Nadal said, matter-of-factly. Djokovic's take: "I'm pretty comfortable with it." Both got a chance to see what this new, stricter world will look like during a test run at a handful of hard-court tuneup tournaments over the past month. "Some of the guys might think this is targeted to them," said Gayle Bradshaw, the executive vice president for rules and competition on the men's tour. Referring to Nadal and Djokovic, specifically, Bradshaw added: "They'll adjust. And I think for Rafa, it's going to be a benefit: Him wearing down the other guy." The U.S. Tennis Association, ATP and WTA are tracking what competitors, spectators and TV broadcasters make of the new system. Reviews from players so far have mostly been positive or indifferent, although Serena Williams said she's "not a fan of it at all." "You're aware of it. You certainly look at it and notice it. I do think it's a good thing," said Andy Murray, a three-time major champion. "It's one of those things in tennis that is so stupid: The players were sort of expected to sort of be counting to 25 in their head. ... How are you supposed to know how much time you're actually taking?" Wimbledon semifinalist John Isner and others noted they would step to the line to serve and still have plenty of time — sometimes 10 seconds or more — left, enabling them to catch their breath or think about how to approach the next point. "I didn't feel rushed at all, by any means," Isner said. "Maybe it can slow you down." That might have contributed to one unintended consequence during the three men's tournaments where clocks were used for qualifying and main draws: longer matches. It's a small sample size, and, of course, it's dependent on the particulars of individual contests — nearly 30 percent more matches went to 7-5 or a tiebreaker in the third set in 2018 than 2017 at those events. But third sets lasted an average of 5 minutes longer this year than last year. First sets were nearly 1 1/2 minutes longer this year while second sets were a minute shorter. Servers were warned 74 times and returners received nine warnings at the ATP and WTA tournaments with the clocks. It's possible this setup will become more widespread as soon as 2019; the ATP Board could consider that for the men's tour during its U.S. Open meeting. The amount of time taken between points has been a subject of discussion in tennis for quite a while now, just as other sports are concerned about whether events that take too long are losing viewers in this age of short attention spans and competition for eyeballs (take Major League Baseball's limits on mound visits, time between innings and movement toward a pitch clock). "This just makes it a little more transparent, a little more visible," U.S. Open tournament director David Brewer said. "North American fans are used to shot clocks. They actually expect this sort of thing." There already was a time limit in tennis, but it was entirely up to a chair umpire's discretion, because no one — most importantly players, but also folks in the stands and TV viewers — knew exactly how many seconds had elapsed. Now it will be apparent to everyone, much like a shot clock in the NBA and college basketball or a play clock in the NFL and college football. The serve clocks — along with a strict 7-minute period from when players enter a court until a match begins, also shown on digital readouts — were tested during 2017 U.S. Open qualifying. The basics of the serve clock: After announcing the score, chair umpires start the countdown (they have leeway to wait if a particularly long point merits an extra pause). If the 25 seconds expire before the service motion begins on a first serve, the server will receive a warning, then be assessed a fault for each subsequent violation (second serves are supposed to happen without delay, so clocks won't be used). If the returner isn't ready at the end of 25 seconds, first comes a warning, then the loss of a point with every other violation. The basics of the pre-match period: Clocks will count a minute from when players step on court until the coin toss, 5 minutes for the warmup, then another minute until the opening point. Delays can result in fines of up to $20,000, according to USTA spokesman Chris Widmaier. He said players already have been docked as much as $1,500 during recent tournaments. "The intent is not to fine players. The intent is to get players used to this new procedure and also to truly build consistency," Widmaier said, "so the matches start when they're supposed to start for television and for fans.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 26th, 2018