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What s not to like? Instagram s trial to hide the number of likes could save users self-esteem

Instagram is running a social media experiment in Australia and elsewhere to see what happens when it hides the number of likes on photos and other posts . If you have an Instagram account, you’ll get to see the numbers but your followers won’t – at least, not automatically. They will be able to click and see who ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: News12 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

Lowry, Holmes share Open lead as McIlroy leaves with cheers

By Doug Ferguson, Associated Press PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland (AP) — Everyone in the massive grandstand rose to cheer and celebrate a bold performance by Rory McIlroy, who longed for such support and affection on his walk toward his final hole at Royal Portrush in the British Open. Except this was Friday. And now McIlroy can only watch on the weekend as one of his best friends, Shane Lowry of Ireland, goes after the claret jug. Lowry birdied four of his opening five holes on his way to a 4-under 67 and shared the 36-hole lead with J.B. Holmes, who had a 68. Lee Westwood and Tommy Fleetwood were one shot behind. Brooks Koepka and Jordan Spieth were three back. That can wait. This day was all about McIlroy, who kept the sellout crowd on edge as he tried to make the cut after opening with a 79. The roars had the intensity of a final round as McIlroy ran off five birdies in seven holes to brighten a gloomy sky over the North Atlantic. Needing one last birdie, his approach took a wrong turn along the humps left of the 18th green. He made par for a 65. "It's a moment I envisaged for the last few years," McIlroy said. "It just happened two days early." He was disappointed. He was proud of his play. Mostly, though, he said he was "full of gratitude toward every single one of the people that followed me to the very end and was willing me on." "As much as I came here at the start of the week saying I wanted to do it for me, by the end of the round there today I was doing it just as much for them," he said. Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson won't be around, either. It was the first time in 77 majors they have played as professionals that both missed the cut in the same major. Darren Clarke, who honed his game on the Dunluce Links as a junior and now calls Portrush home, missed the cut in a most cruel fashion with a triple bogey on his final hole. And now the first British Open in Northern Ireland since 1951 moves on without them, still with the promise of a great show. Lowry was so nervous he was shaking on the tee when the tournament began Thursday, swept up in the emotion of an Open on the Emerald Isle, and on a course he knows. He gave fans plenty to cheer when he opened his second round with three straight birdies, added a birdie on the fifth and holed a 40-foot birdie putt on No. 10 to reach 10 under, making him the only player this week to reach double figures under par. The cheers were as loud as he has heard. "Just incredible," Lowry said. "You can't but smile, but can't but laugh how it is. There's no point trying to shy away from it. It's an incredible feeling getting applauded on every green, every tee box. I'm out there giving my best, trying to do my best for everyone." He three-putted the 14th, saved par on the next three holes with his deft touch around the greens, and closed with a bogey to fall back into a tie with Holmes, who played earlier in the day and was the first to post at 8-under 134. Holmes won at Riviera earlier this year, and then failed to make the cut in eight of his next 12 tournaments as he battled a two-way miss off the tee and felt so bad that he never thought he'd recover. But he did enough in Detroit three weeks ago to regain some confidence, and he has been in a groove at Portrush. "You can have that great round and that day where everything goes right. But it's nice to get two rounds in a row," Holmes said. "It shows a little consistency. And two days in a row I've hit the ball really well and putted well." Fleetwood and Westwood, two Englishmen at different stages in their careers, each had a 67 and will play in the group ahead of Lowry and Holmes. Westwood is 46 and can make a case as the best active player without a major considering his status — a former No. 1 in the world and on the European Tour — and the number of near misses in the majors, such as Muirfield and Turnberry at the Open, Torrey Pines in the U.S. Open and Augusta National when Mickelson out played him in 2010. Is it too late? Westwood wasn't willing to look that far ahead. "There's too much ground to cover before Sunday night," Westwood said. "There's a long way to go in this tournament. I've never felt under that much pressure, to be honest. You lads write about it. I've always gone out and done my best. If it's going to happen, it's going to happen, and if it doesn't, it doesn't." The experience of winning majors was behind them. Justin Rose had a 67 and was two shots behind, along with Cameron Smith of Australia and Justin Harding of South Africa. Another shot back was a group that included Koepka, who has won three of the last six majors. He was in a tie for eighth, the 16th time in his last 17 rounds at the majors he has ended a round in the top 10. Koepka wasn't happy with much about his 2-under 69, calling it "a little bit disappointing," perhaps because he played in dry weather and only a mild wind. "But at the same time, I'm close enough where I play a good weekend, I'll be in good shape," he said. Spieth hasn't quite figured out how to get the ball in play more often — too many bunkers on Thursday, too much high grass on Friday. But that putter is not a problem, and it carried him to a collection of mid-range birdie and par putts for a 67. "I'm in contention. I feel good," Spieth said, winless since his Open title at Royal Birkdale two years ago. "I feel like if I can continue to improve each day, hit the ball better tomorrow than I did today, and better on Sunday than Saturday, then I should have a chance with how I feel on and around the greens." Graeme McDowell, born and raised in Portrush, played well enough to make the weekend. He finished with four straight pars for a 70 to make the cut on the number at 1-over 143, and felt the pressure of sticking around for the home crowd. Woods, meanwhile, began this major championship season as the Masters champion, ended it as a mystery. He missed the cut in two of the next three majors, and never seemed fully fit or engaged at the British Open. He was 3 under for his round through 11 holes with hopes of making it to the weekend, but he had no more birdies and finished with two bogeys for a 70 to miss by five shots. "I'm going to have my hot weeks. I'm going to be there in contention with a chance to win, and I will win tournaments," Woods said, facing the reality of a 43-year-old who has gone through eight surgeries on his knee and back. "But there are times when I'm just not going to be there.".....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports20 hr. 7 min. ago Related News

Instagram hides ‘likes’ from more users

SYDNEY: Instagram started hiding “likes” on its platform in Australia, Brazil and several other major markets Thursday, saying it wanted to ease pressure on users, following criticism about its impacts…READ The post Instagram hides ‘likes’ from more users appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Source: Manilatimes_net Manilatimes_netCategory: NewsJul 18th, 2019Related News

11-year-old Pinoy finishes second in World Cube Championship in Australia

With an average solving time of 6.78 seconds, the 11-year-old bested more than 800 opponents in the competition, many of which were older and more experienced......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: SportsJul 18th, 2019Related News

Australia announces P140-M add’l aid for Marawi

THE AUSTRALIAN Embassy in Manila on Tuesday announced an additional PHP140 million humanitarian assistance to support the people affected by […].....»»

Source: Mindanaoexaminer MindanaoexaminerCategory: NewsJul 17th, 2019Related News

Ramirez calls for more women coaches

Over 150 sports women leaders, coaches, and local government representatives all over the country attended the opening of the four-day seminar with PSC Commissioner Celia Kiram and Australia-based coach Patricia Puzon as resource speakers......»»

Source: Tempo TempoCategory: NewsJul 17th, 2019Related News

DIGITAL GADGETS MASAMA SA KALUSUGAN NG MGA BATA

Ano nga ba ang saktong sakit na makukuha ng isang bata sa sobrang paggamit sa paglalaro ng mga gadget gaya ng smartphone, tablet, iPad, computer at marami pang iba’t ibang technology gadget. Alam kaya ng mga bata na ang paglalaro ng mga digital gadget ay mapanganib sa kanilang kalusugan?  Sa ginawang pag-aaral sa Southeast England, […] The post DIGITAL GADGETS MASAMA SA KALUSUGAN NG MGA BATA appeared first on REMATE ONLINE......»»

Source: Remate RemateCategory: NewsJul 16th, 2019Related News

UK s new banknote to feature mathematician Alan Turing

LONDON, United Kingdom – The Bank of England on Monday, July 15, said World War II code-breaker Alan Turing had been chosen to feature on the back of Britain's new £50 banknote ($63 or 56 euros). "Alan Turing was an outstanding mathematician whose work has had an ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsJul 15th, 2019Related News

Aussie kids take stolen car on a 1,000-km road trip

SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) – Four children took a stolen four-wheel drive on a 1,000-kilometer road trip across the Australian outback before being nabbed by police, officials said yesterday. A 14-year-old boy, two 13-year-old boys, and a 10-year-old girl began their epic journey on Saturday when they took cash and packed fishing rods in a vehicle […].....»»

Source: Tempo TempoCategory: NewsJul 15th, 2019Related News

Federer comes so close to 9th Wimbledon title before losing

By Howard Fendrich, Associated Press WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Roger Federer won more points than Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon final. Federer was the first of the pair to come within a point of taking the championship Sunday, too. Had two such chances in the fifth set, even. Indeed, Federer dominated the historic match in nearly every statistical way. More than twice as many aces. More than twice as many breaks of serve. Nearly twice as many total winners. And yet, in the only category that matters, the final score, Federer barely came up on the short end, losing 7-6 (5), 1-6, 7-6 (4), 4-6, 13-12 (3) to defending champion Djokovic. By ceding all three sets that went to a tiebreaker, including — for the first time at Wimbledon — the fifth, Federer was denied a ninth title at the All England Club and 21st Grand Slam trophy overall, which both would have extended men's records he already holds. "For now it hurts, and it should, like every loss does here at Wimbledon," said Federer, who is now 8-4 in finals at the grass-court major, with three of those losses against Djokovic, including in 2014 and 2015. As for how he will go about bouncing back from this sort of a heartbreaking defeat, Federer replied: "I think it's a mindset. I'm very strong at being able to move on, because I don't want to be depressed about actually an amazing tennis match." That is was. They played for nearly five hours, making it the longest final at Wimbledon, where they've been holding this tournament since the 1870s. It surpassed the old mark established by the 2008 final, which Federer also lost in a fifth set, that one against Rafael Nadal. One key difference with this one: The All England Club changed its rules to adopt deciding-set tiebreakers for the first time at 12-all. "I'm the loser both times," Federer said, "so that's the only similarity I see." He wound up with 218 points to Djokovic's 204. Federer also led in aces, 25-10; service breaks, 7-3; total winners, 94-54. Did a lot of damage at the net, too, winning 13 of 15 serve-and-volley points and 51 of 65 when he moved forward at all. "Most of the match, I was on the back foot, actually. I was defending. He was dictating the play," Djokovic said. "I just tried to fight and find a way when it mattered the most, which is what happened." After Federer went up a break at 8-7 in the last set, he served for the victory. He held two championship points at 40-15 and didn't convert either one. The match would go on for another 45 minutes and Federer would never get that close to winning again. "Definitely tough," Federer said, "to have those chances." On top of everything else, Federer also was stopped from becoming, less than a month away from his 38th birthday, the oldest man to win a major championship in the professional era. "I hope I give some other people a chance to believe that, at 37, it's not over yet," Federer said......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 15th, 2019Related News

Report: Ben Simmons doubtful for FIBA World Cup

NBA.com staff report Ben Simmons, who teased a run with Australia at the FIBA World Cup, has become "doubtful" to play in the upcoming tournament, per a report by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Get your first look at the NBA’s top Rookies during NBA Summer League LIVE on NBA League Pass! The move will clear Simmons to prep fully for his upcoming season with the Philadelphia 76ers, who are expected to be a leading contender in the East. Their run to the conference semifinals last season ended in a Game 7 defeat on Kawhi Leonard's four-bounce buzzer-beater, and Jimmy Butler was ultimately swapped for Josh Richardson in a sign-and-trade that cleared space for the acquisition of erstwhile rival Al Horford. Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons is "doubtful" to play for Australia in the FIBA World Cup this summer, his agent Rich Paul tells ESPN. Simmons is more likely now to spend his full offseason preparing only for the Sixers season -- free of national team responsibilities. — Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 13, 2019 In 2018-19, Simmons averaged 16.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 7.7 assists as a 6-foot-10 point guard, earning his first All-Star appearance after a Kia Rookie of the Year-winning campaign. Yet his lacking outside shot -- 0-for-17 from three-point range across two seasons -- limited his playmaking ability during the playoffs, and improving there provides the obvious lane for an even more significant leap heading into Year Three......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 15th, 2019Related News

Ben Simmons doubtful for Aussie World Cup campaign

      LOS ANGELES, USA – Philadelphia 76ers ace Ben Simmons is set to skip Australia's World Cup campaign in favor of preseason preparations, ESPN reported on Saturday, July 13. The Melbourne-born star's agent, Rich Paul, told ESPN he was "doubtful" to play for Australia in the FIBA World Cup, which tips off ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsJul 14th, 2019Related News

Halep wins Wimbledon, stops Williams bid for 24th Slam

By Howard Fendrich, Associated Press WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Clutching her trophy 20 minutes after becoming Wimbledon's champion, Simona Halep checked out the board inside Centre Court that lists tournament winners. Below all of the mentions of Serena Williams, her opponent in Saturday's final, there already was inscribed: "Miss S. Halep." Halep was not concerned with preventing Williams from winning a 24th Grand Slam title. All Halep cared about was winning her first at the All England Club. And she played pretty much perfectly. On top of her game right from start to finish, Halep overwhelmed Williams 6-2, 6-2 in stunning fashion for her second major championship. The whole thing took less than an hour as Williams lost her third Slam final in a row as she tries to equal Margaret Court's record for most major trophies in tennis history. "She literally played out of her mind. Congratulations, Simona. It was a little bit 'a deer in the headlights' for me," Williams said. "So, I mean, whenever a player plays that amazing, you just kind of have to take your hat off and give them a nod of the head." How good was the No. 7-seeded Halep? She made a mere three unforced errors, a remarkably low total and 23 fewer than Williams. Not bad for someone who has been frank about how jittery she has gotten in past big matches and began the day having lost nine of 10 matchups against Williams. But after losing each of her first three major finals, Halep now has won two straight, including at last year's French Open. "Well, I had nerves. My stomach was not very well before the match," said Halep, a 27-year-old Romanian, "but I knew there is no time for emotions. I just came on court and I gave my best." Couldn't have been any better, really. Williams also lost in straight sets against Angelique Kerber in the Wimbledon final a year ago, and against Naomi Osaka at the U.S. Open last September. The 37-year-old American hasn't won a tournament since the 2017 Australian Open, when she set the professional-era record of 23 Grand Slam championships (Court won 13 of her titles against amateur competition). Williams was pregnant when she won in Australia and then took more than a year off the tour; her daughter, Olympia, was born in September 2017. Since returning to tennis, Williams has dealt with injuries but still managed to remain among the game's elite. In part because of a bad left knee, she only had played 12 matches all season until Wimbledon. "Just got to keep fighting," Williams said, "and just keep trying." Didn't take long on Saturday for Halep to demonstrate this was not going to be easy for Williams. Not by any means. Showing off the talents and traits that once lifted her to No. 1 in the rankings, Halep never really gave Williams a chance to get into the match. Halep tracked down everything, as is her wont. She didn't merely play defense, though, managing to go from retrieving an apparent point-ending stroke by Williams to lashing a winner of her own in a blink. Her returns were exceptional, repeatedly getting back serves that left Williams' racket at 115 mph or more. On this cloudy, cool afternoon, with the temperature in the low 70s (low 20s Celsius), Halep began with a pair of service breaks and even delivered the match's first ace, at 106 mph, which put her out front 4-0 after 11 astonishing minutes. Halep won 14 of the first 18 points, with many in the crowd roaring for each of the rare ones that went Williams' way. Halep produced eight winners before a single unforced error, avoiding a miscue until the seventh game. Williams, in stark contrast, came out looking a bit tight, short-arming shots and accumulating nine unforced errors before conjuring up a single winner. She spoke after her semifinal victory about trying to remain calm on court, and that she did, even in the face of a player who was at her very best. Williams would place a hand on her hip. Or put a palm up and look at her guest box, as if thinking, "What can I do?" Williams' greatest show of emotion came after she stretched for a forehand volley winner on the second set's second point. She leaned forward and yelled, "Come on!" But the comeback never came. Halep broke to lead 3-2 in that set when Williams pushed a backhand long, and there wasn't much left from there. Halep only had been as far as the semifinals once at Wimbledon until now. But she was determined to change that and said she told the locker-room attendants at the beginning of the tournament she wanted to grab a title to earn lifetime membership in the All England Club. "So here I am," she said Saturday, the fortnight done, her trophy won. "It was one of my motivations before this tournament. So now I am happy.".....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 14th, 2019Related News

Hamilton denied Brit GP pole by Bottas, takes on negativity

By Rob Harris, Associated Press SILVERSTONE, England (AP) — By only six milliseconds — 0.006 — Lewis Hamilton was left in an unusual position on Saturday: Missing out on pole for the British Grand Prix. The pause was a lot longer when the Formula One leader was later surprised to be asked why "people question your Britishness" in the post-qualifying news conference. Look around Silverstone at the flags and banners and there is little doubt who the home crowd of more than 100,000 wants to win on Sunday. But after being outpaced by Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, Hamilton will not start from the front of the grid at the British GP for the first time since 2014. "It wasn't the best of qualifying sessions," Hamilton said, "but it is a long race tomorrow." It is a race Hamilton is trying to win for a record sixth time, further cementing the racing excellence of Britain's five-time world champion. But Hamilton still has to shake off some negativity. Hamilton was quizzed by a reporter from Britain's Guardian newspaper on why there is a "contention because people say you live in Monaco and your accent isn't maybe as British as others because you spend a lot of time in the U.S." "I don't have a good answer for that," Hamilton replied. "It is crazy because I remember growing up and watching Jenson Button and all the youngsters coming through and everyone migrated to Monaco. Nobody ever said anything about it. But, of course, when I did, they had something to say. "No matter how often that you go abroad or elsewhere in the world you come back to the U.K., see the countryside, and this great history of Formula One and motorsport and I see all my family who are also here and this feels where my heart is. I am fully British." The Silverstone circuit is also bedecked with Hamilton banners and Union Jack flags featuring his name. "Whilst there will be negative views, I feel every day there is an opportunity to turn those who have a negative view," Hamilton said. "I guess over time I will do more and more positive things for the country. I go to all these races and I lift the British flag proudly, and there is no one else in this sport that has raised it so high. At the moment it is not enough. I will keep looking for what else I can do." Having a 31-point lead in the drivers' standings shows Hamilton is on the right track. Escaping the F1 bubble by heading to California last week helped Hamilton. But Nico Rosberg, who had a four-year rivalry with Hamilton as Mercedes teammates, said such an approach wouldn't have worked for him. "Lewis is partying in Los Angeles and is the best driver in the world," Rosberg said at the central England circuit. "If I had been travelling the way he does, I would be 10th on the grid for Mercedes." But the German won the world championship only once, in 2016, before retiring. "I do have five world titles and they didn't come on their own," Hamilton said. "Valtteri parties way more than me. When I started doing the travel and focusing on these other things there was always the issue and comments and the pressure of having to arrive and deliver the same. "It took time to break that mold and I have done it time and time and time again. My preparation comes first and I have felt fantastic all weekend. The pressure is high being that it is a home grand prix and I don't look at that lightly. I prepare the best way I can ... and that is what led me to five world titles." And also victories in six of the nine races this season after shaking off the challenge from Bottas, who won two of the first four events. Bottas is back on pole for the first time since the fifth grand prix in Spain in May. Behind the Mercedes duo on the grid on Sunday will be Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, who qualified in third, and Max Verstappen of Red Bull......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 14th, 2019Related News

Serena Williams loses her 3rd consecutive Grand Slam final

By Howard Fendrich, Associated Press WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — The Centre Court crowd kept roaring whenever Serena Williams would win a point in the Wimbledon final, seemingly trying to will her to make things interesting against Simona Halep. Never happened. Instead of earning an eighth title at Wimbledon and record-equaling 24th overall at Grand Slam tournaments, Williams fell one victory short yet again, beaten with surprising ease by Halep 6-2, 6-2 Saturday. Williams has now lost her past three appearances in major finals — and five of her last seven. There's no shame in repeatedly making it to championship matches, of course, but it used to be rather unusual to see her come up just short like this: Williams won 21 of the first 25 Slam finals of her career. "I'm always expected to win," Williams said. That is true. Still, it was the seventh-seeded Halep who grabbed ahold of this match and never let go, finishing with three unforced errors to Williams' 26. Halep created problems by repeatedly tracking down Williams' shots and forcing the 37-year-old American to hit another one and another one and another one to win a point. "I definitely knew that she was just playing her heart out. I felt like, 'OK, what do I need to do to get to that level?'" Williams said. "I don't know if there's anything I could have done differently." After entering the final with a tournament-high 45 aces, Williams only managed two on Saturday. She was broken in half of her eight service games. Halep had a lot to do with that. "I feel like I'm still incredibly competitive or else I wouldn't really be out here, per se," Williams said. "For the most part, I feel like I'm on the right track. I'm just going in the right direction in terms of getting back to where I need to be." She hasn't won a title of any sort since the 2017 Australian Open, when she was pregnant. That was Slam trophy No. 23, breaking a tie with Steffi Graf for the most in the professional era. It also moved Williams within one of Margaret Court's total, although Court won 13 of her 24 major titles before professionals were admitted to Grand Slam tournaments, while all 23 of Williams' major titles have come in the Open era, which began in 1968. Since returning to the tour last season after her daughter was born on Sept. 1, 2017, Williams has reached the finals at three of six major tournaments she entered, defeated in straight sets each time. A year ago, she was the runner-up at Wimbledon to Angelique Kerber, and then the runner-up at the U.S. Open to Naomi Osaka in a final that descended into chaos when Williams was penalized a game for arguing with the chair umpire. Williams recently revealed that she saw a therapist after that episode and sent Osaka a written apology. She's also dealt with a series of injuries and arrived in England having contested only 12 tour-level matches in all of 2019. Just four of the other 127 women in the Wimbledon field had fewer; 105 had at least twice as many. After losing to 20-year-old American Sofia Kenin in the third round of the French Open, Williams stuck around in Paris for medical treatment on her left knee. By the time she began preparing in earnest for Wimbledon, about 1½ weeks before the start of play, she was pain-free. "I feel like I'm just really on this journey of just doing the best that I can," Williams said Saturday, "playing the best that I can when I can." According to the WTA's website, women's tennis pioneer Billie Jean King said recently that she would like to see what Williams could do on the court if she were to put "everything else aside" and "focus on what's necessary" for her tennis. King added: "If she's happy doing it this way, then that's fine. It's whatever makes her happy — it's not about us." The last question of Williams' post-match news conference referenced those comments and asked for a reaction. "The day I stop fighting for equality and for people that look like you and me," Williams said, "will be the day I'm in my grave.".....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 14th, 2019Related News

Federer downs Nadal to set up Djokovic duel for Wimbledon title

    LONDON, United Kingdom – Roger Federer reached his 12th Wimbledon final on Friday, July 12 (Saturday, July 13, Philippine time) defeating old rival Rafael Nadal, 11 years after the Spaniard triumphed in their epic 2008 title showdown at the All England Club, a match widely regarded as the greatest ever ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsJul 13th, 2019Related News

Federer feels strange returning to Wimbledon final with Serena

      LONDON, United Kingdom – Roger Federer admitted that it felt "strange" he and Serena Williams will compete for Wimbledon titles this weekend, 16 years after he made his Grand Slam breakthrough. The 37-year-old Swiss reached his 12th final at the All England Club with a 7-6 (7/3), 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsJul 13th, 2019Related News

Sad Nadal sees chances of third Wimbledon title slipping

  LONDON, United Kingdom – Rafael Nadal rued missing out on the Wimbledon final after losing to great rival Roger Federer and admitted his chances of adding a third title on the grass of the All England Club are receding. The 33-year-old Spaniard, who remains two off Federer's Grand Slam record title haul of 20, ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsJul 13th, 2019Related News

11 years after epic, Federer tops Nadal in Wimbledon semis

By Howard Fendrich, Associated Press WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — After waiting 11 years to get another shot against Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon, Roger Federer was so, so close to the finish line. One match point slipped away when Federer missed a forehand return. A second came and went on a backhand return. Later, serving for a spot in a record 12th final at the All England Club, Federer shanked a leaping overhead off the top edge of his racket frame, giving Nadal a break point. After Nadal wasted that chance, Federer earned two more match points — and failed to convert those, either, as his wife, Mirka, peeked through the fingers covering her face. Federer knew it wouldn't be easy against his great rival. Never is, really, no matter where they play. Eventually, Nadal pushed a backhand long on match point No. 5, bringing an anticlimactic close to the otherwise classic contest and allowing Federer to win their semifinal 7-6 (3), 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 on Friday. "I'm exhausted. It was tough at the end," Federer said. "I'm just very relieved it's all over." Federer closed in on a ninth championship at the All England Club and 21st Grand Slam trophy in all. To get to those numbers in Sunday's final, Federer must get past Novak Djokovic, who is the defending champion and seeded No. 1. "We all know how good he is anywhere," Djokovic said about Federer, "but especially here." Djokovic isn't too shabby himself. He reached his sixth final at the grass-court major by beating 23rd-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 earlier Friday. Djokovic is eyeing a fifth championship at Wimbledon and 16th major title. As entertaining as that first semifinal was — including a 45-stroke point won by Djokovic — it was merely a tasty appetizer ahead of the day's delectable main course. Not only was this the 40th installment of Federer vs. Nadal, but it also was their first meeting at Wimbledon since the 2008 final. In a match many consider the best in the sport's lengthy annals, Nadal edged Federer 9-7 in a fifth set that ended after 9 p.m., as any trace of daylight disappeared. How excited, then, were the spectators for the rematch? When Federer and Nadal strode out into the sunshine at 4:30 p.m. Friday, they were welcomed by a standing ovation before ever swinging a racket. Quickly, that greeting was justified. These are, of course, two of the greats of all-time — maybe the two greatest — and they lived up to that status for stretches. One key, for Federer, was that his rebuilt backhand, hit strong and flat more frequently than it used to be, held steady against Nadal's bullwhip of a lefty forehand. Another was that Federer was able to withstand Nadal's serve, which has improved a ton over the years. Federer amassed 10 break points, and though he succeeded on just two, that was enough, with the last, vital conversion making it 2-1 in the fourth set. And then there was this: Federer won 25 of the 33 points when he went to the net. "I didn't play well enough," said Nadal, who lost a five-set semifinal to Djokovic a year ago at Wimbledon. There was something of an "Anything you can do, I can do, too" vibe to Friday's proceedings. Federer would kick up chalk with an ace to a corner, and Nadal would do the same in the next game. When Nadal jumped out to a 3-2 lead in the first-set tiebreaker, Federer used sublime returning to reel off five points in a row to claim it. Who else but Federer could strike a serve so well that Nadal's wild reply would be caught by someone in the Royal Box behind him, as happened early in the second set? Who else but Nadal could attack Federer's generally unassailable forehand in such a manner as to draw one so off the mark that it landed in the third row? "I thought probably the biggest points in the match went my way. There were some tight ones and long rallies," Federer said. "He plays with such velocity and spins and everything, you're not always sure you're going to connect the right way." No one ever has managed to reduce Federer to mid-match mediocrity quite the way Nadal can, part of why the Spaniard entered Friday with a 24-15 overall lead head-to-head, including 10-3 at Grand Slam tournaments. This was the second major in a row where they've faced off: Nadal won their windy French Open semifinal last month en route to his 12th championship on the red clay and 18th Slam overall. But Wimbledon is Federer's dominion: He's won 101 matches at the place — more than any other man at any other Slam, even Nadal at Roland Garros — and all of those trophies. Djokovic, meanwhile, leads his series with Federer 25-22, including 9-6 in Grand Slam matches. "I hope I can push him to the brink and hopefully beat him. But it's going to be very difficult, as we know," Federer said. "He's not No. 1 just by chance." On Friday, Djokovic was as animated as ever. When Bautista Agut's shot hit the net tape, popped in the air and slid over for a winner that tied their semifinal at a set apiece, Djokovic motioned to the roaring fans, sarcastically encouraging folks to get louder. When Djokovic ended that 45-stroke point — the longest on record at Wimbledon, where such stats date to 2005 — with a backhand winner, he cupped his ear while glaring into the stands. "I had," Djokovic said, "to dig deep." Even Bautista Agut didn't really expect his visit to the All England Club to last this long: The Spaniard was supposed to meet a half-dozen of his buddies on the island of Ibiza this weekend for his bachelor party. Instead, those pals were sitting in a guest box at Centre Court on Friday. Eventually, Djokovic took control with his enviable ability to return serves, track down balls and go from defense to offense. Now he's Federer's problem......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 12th, 2019Related News

Djokovic wins longest point ever recorded at Wimbledon

By Mattias Karen, Associated Press WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Going by the number of strokes, it was the longest point ever recorded at Wimbledon. And for Novak Djokovic, it went a long way toward putting him into another final at the All England Club. After exchanging dozens of strokes during the third set of his semifinal match against Roberto Bautista Agut on Friday, Djokovic finally smacked a backhand down the line with the 45th shot of the rally to save a break point. The defending champion held serve to make it 5-2 and went on to win the match 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. According to official statistics, the 45-stroke rally was the longest at Wimbledon since they started tracking point lengths in 2005. But for Djokovic, the important part was the impact it had on what was a very closely-fought duel up until that stage. "At one stage of the match, it could have gone (a) different way. Was very close in the third set," said Djokovic, who faces Roger Federer in Sunday's final as he goes for a fifth Wimbledon title. "Couple of very long games when I broke his serve and he had some break points, a very long rally. I managed to make a winner down the line with a backhand. Obviously winning that game was crucial for me. It gave me more confidence and relief so I could swing more freely in the next games." Aside from the number of strokes, the point itself was perhaps not that memorable. For much of it, both players seemed content with just hitting the ball back over the net and waiting for the other to make a mistake. The last 18 strokes were all crosscourt backhands, with the players remaining in more or less the same position until Djokovic finally switched it up with his shot straight down the line. That was at 30-40, and Bautista Agut had missed a previous break point as well at 15-40, which he said made him a bit more cautious on his second opportunity. "I had an easy forehand (on the first break point). I went too much for it," the Spaniard said. "Then the next point I wanted to play — I didn't want to take a risk on the point, to play long, to play a good rally. Was maybe one of the best points of the match." The previous Wimbledon record was 42 strokes, set in a 2006 match between Jarkko Nieminen and Dmitry Tursunov. The women's record is 39, set in a 2007 match between Nathalie Dechy and Elena Dementieva. Rallies on grass are usually shorter than on clay or hard courts. SECOND CHANCE Barbora Strycova made a Wimbledon final after all — in women's doubles. A day after losing to Serena Williams in the singles semifinals, Strycova teamed up with Hsieh Su-wei to beat top-seeded Timea Bagos and Kristina Mladenovic 7-6 (5), 6-4 and reach her first Grand Slam final. Strycova has 26 doubles titles in her career but lost in the semifinals twice at both the Australian Open and U.S. Open and once at the French Open. Hsieh won the 2013 Wimbledon and 2014 French Open doubles titles. The third-seeded pair will play No. 4 Yifan Xu and Gabriela Dabrowski, who beat Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova 6-1, 3-6, 6-3. JUNIOR FINALS Shintaro Mochizuki became the first Japanese player to reach a junior boys' Grand Slam singles final after outlasting fourth-seeded American Martin Damm 6-1, 0-6, 10-8. The eighth-seeded Mochizuki will play Carlos Gimeno Valero of Spain, who beat Harold Mayot of France 7-6 (5), 6-4. Gimeno Valero will also be playing his first Grand Slam final. In the junior girls' final, Alexa Noel of the United States will face Daria Snigur of Ukraine. Noel beat Diane Parry of France 6-2, 6-1, and Snigur defeated Emma Navarro of the United States 6-3, 6-0......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 12th, 2019Related News