Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Russia’s Maria Sharapova celebrates winning her second round match of the French Open tennis tournament against Croatia’s Donna Vekic in two sets 7-5, 6-4, at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, Thursday, May 31, 2018. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)PARIS — The topic was the location of Maria Sharapova’s upcoming third-round match at the French Open, and a reporter noted it likely will be at one of the tournament’s main arenas, given that it involves 2016 U.S. Open runner-up Karolina Pliskova.“Well,” came the rejoinder, “there is also Sharapova.”ADVERTISEMENT China population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate falls And she wasn’t at all shy about sizing things up against Sharapova, saying: “I believe I have (a) better serve than she (does), so I think that can be the deciding key.”Then there was this remark: “She can do a lot of mistakes … a lot of free points from double-faults.”After her 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory over 2015 French Open runner-up Lucie Safarova on Wednesday, Pliskova acknowledged she has been thinking about taking on Sharapova since the draw was done a week ago.“For me, it was the goal to play her in the third round,” Pliskova said, adding a few moments later: “I believe I have a good chance to win.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Dave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operations LATEST STORIES Winfrey details her decision to withdraw from Simmons film Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial When on-target, her strokes are among the best in the game. So is her grit.Those could both be tested Saturday against Pliskova, who is seeded No. 6 and was a semifinalist in Paris last year.Her top skill is her serve, which Sharapova knows will provide a test.“I don’t expect extremely long rallies against an opponent like that. But sometimes (that’s) not what it takes to win a match, and I think you have to kind of take care of your service games, and I have to serve better than I have been,” Sharapova said. “And take care of the return. But that side of the game, I feel, has improved in the last few months.”Pliskova is on pace to lead the WTA in aces for the fourth consecutive season.ADVERTISEMENT View comments MOST READ This was delivered with Sharapova’s chin resting on her right hand and was followed by a bit of a staredown, as if to say: Let’s not forget who you’re talking to here. The 31-year-old Russian has, after all, been ranked No. 1. She does, after all, own five major titles. And that total does, after all, include a pair from Roland Garros.She is playing in the clay-court Grand Slam tournament for the first time since 2015, though, and she advanced Wednesday by beating 50th-ranked Donna Vekic of Croatia 7-5, 6-4 to improve to 13-0 in the second round.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown“I don’t think there is ever, like, a perfect way to go into a match. I think you always have to feel that you’re improving and there are things that you’re working on, because that will always make you better,” the 28th-seeded Sharapova said. “There are a lot of things I feel I could have done better (in) the last two matches and I hope I will.”She missed the 2016 French Open while serving a doping suspension, then was denied a wild-card entry by the French tennis federation last year, when her ranking was too low to earn automatic entry. Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Call it a comeback: Serena Williams to 3rd Rd at French Open Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’
Football fans around the globe are getting excited for the new Fantasy Premier League season.When your team isn’t quite hitting the heights, it’s our love for FPL which helps you through until the end of the year.The 2017/2018 competition will open up next week, along with an eagerly anticipated draft mode, but to get players in the mood they have already begun releasing some of next year’s pricing.So who’s value do we know so far? Click the right arrow above to find out… 14 Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal) – £10.5million – Click the right arrow above to find out the latest Fantasy Premier League pricing… – He might cost the Gunners up to £52m in real life, but in the fantasy world hes been handed a big tag. The Frenchman wont be the most expensive player this season, but will take a big chunk of your budget. 14 Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) – £9million – Listed as a midfielder, we think a number of FPL managers will plump for the Egyptian star this season. Joshua King (Bournemouth) – £7.5million – Were sorry to report the FPL have seen the error of their ways and now made King a forward, having listed him as a midfielder last year. His price has been boosted, but is it a little too much? Tom Ince (Huddersfield) – £6million – A new signing from Derby County, Ince is goalscoring midfielder and at this price could well be on many players radar. 14 Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea) – £7million – He may have only started 13 Premier League games last year, but that didnt stop the Spaniard scoring five goals and making 12 assists. He could be an interesting gamble. Harry Maguire (Leicester City) – £5million – The ex-Sheffield United centre-back was a top performer for Hull City last season, despite their relegation. The Foxes have snapped him up this summer and he looks a smart addition, but will he make your team? 14 14 14 Tom Heaton (Burnley) – £5million – The England international was a firm favourite for FPL players last year and this year has seen his price rise by £0.5m. Anthony Knockaert (Brighton and Hove Albion) – £6million – A huge part of the Seagulls promotion season, the Frenchman hit 15 goals and made eight others, and given hes been listed a midfielder might be an interesting option for FPL players. Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace) – £8million – The Belgian striker bounced back from his tough spell at Liverpool with 136 points last season with the Eagles as he hit 15 goals and made two assists, so this price seems good to us. 14 14 Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur) – £9.5million – Impossible to ignore, Alli is now an elite Premier League star and this is reflected in his big value. Nathan Redmond (Southampton) – £6.5million – Fresh from the European Under-21 Championship this summer, Redmond will be looking to take things up a notch and challenge for a spot in Gareth Southgates England squad at next summers World Cup in Russia. Dwight Gayle (Newcastle United) – £6.5million – Ex-Crystal Palace striker Gayle hit 23 goals in the Championship last year and could be an intriguing cheap option for your team. 14 14 Joe Allen (Stoke City) – £5.5million – A low priced midfielder capable of goals and assists, Allen is an acquisition to ponder. 14 14 14 14 Leroy Sane (Manchester City) – £8.5million – Depending on how master tactician Pep Guardiola chooses to field his team next year, £8.5m for Sane could be a great bit of business.