2-time French Open champ reminds: ‘There is also Sharapova’

first_imgLights 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’last_img read more

Govt ‘powerless’ to terminate CHEC Suriname stone imports

first_imgCJIA 0M Expansion ProjectGovernment is ‘powerless’ to stop the stone imports from Suriname by the contractor undertaking the single largest project under its command; it has since opted to blame its predecessors—a position adopted despite the fact it had halted the project and amended the Contract, after taking office in May 2015.GMSA President Eon CaesarBusiness Minister Dominic GaskinAccording to Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin, “Under the terms of the (amended) contract I don’t think that the Government of Guyana can tell them that they can’t procure stone from outside of Guyana.”This blunt position was adumbrated on Friday when he was asked to respond to the fact that local suppliers have essentially been sidelined in preference for a Surinamese-based company.The coalition A Partnership for National Unity, Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government after taking office in May 2015, proceeded to halt, then amend, the US$150 million contract for the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) Expansion Project, on the grounds that the contract was ‘unfavourable’ to Guyana.It has now found itself in a position where the contractor—China Harbour Engineering Corporation (CHEC)—decided to bypass local suppliers and inked a US$7.5 million contract with a Surinamese-based company.Gaskin has since claimed that the arrangement under which CHEC has begun importing stone is a private one and Government cannot reverse or terminate that contract.He was at the time addressing the media at the AFC’s Kitty Headquarters and was speaking on national issues and the party’s perspective.Sand v stoneAccording to Minister Gaskin, “The procurer of the stone was the company that got the contract to build the airport—CHEC—it wasn’t the government of Guyana.”Asked why the local suppliers—two of whom have lodged formal complaints—have been sidelined, Minister Gaskin referred questions to the previous administration, which had in fact inked the original contract for the airport expansion programme.He told the media that, “That very contract did specify that the sand to be used must be procured from within a certain radius of the facility, however that was not done for the stone.”He suggested that the previous administration might not have anticipated CHEC importing stones for the project from overseas, “or they did not think it was a priority.”APNU/AFC amendmentThe Minister’s answers were however challenged by Guyana Times over the fact that the current APNU/AFC administration did in fact amend the contract but he deferred, saying he is unclear as to the scope of the amendments that had been effected.He opted instead to say, “I don’t want to get into that, I am just saying the main contract was done some time ago and therefore it was clearly not considered and not included in the contract, the effect of that is now taking place.”He suggested too that despite the current Government having already amended the contract, it was still somehow being blamed for an arrangement that had been put in place by the previous administration.Asked if the current Government would allow the contract to be fulfilled to the end, Gaskin said, “I don’t think that this particular issue warrants the contract being terminated or anything like that…but certainly as Minister of Business I do feel strongly that wherever possible we should promote our local businesses.”He did suggest that there is nothing to prevent a re-examination of the issue, “to see why a foreign company was contracted to supply the stone…that will certainly help us to understand what are some of the challenges facing local businesses.”He spoke directly about the lax capacity of some local operations and queried if local suppliers had been sidelined as a result of pricing constraints as well.The Business Minister said he does not believe that CHEC would have procured from “outside of Guyana unless it was to their benefit to do so.”He said Government will have to ascertain what the reasons were that caused CHEC to source its building material from overseas so that the administration would be able in future seek to address some of the local hurdles, “faced by our businesses that are perhaps making them less competitive, then we need to look at that also.”GMSA positionAt least two local stone suppliers have since lodged formal complaints with the Guyana Manufacturers and Services Association (GMSA).This was confirmed by GMSA president, Eon Caesar, who also called for greater protection by government with respect to local manufacturers and suppliers.CHEC has inked a US$7.5 million contract with Suriname’s state-owned mining company Grassalco, to supply some 300,000 tons of crushed stone over a 12 month period for the CJIA Expansion project—currently being done by CHEC.Caesar had told Guyana Times that while CHEC is a private company that makes its own decisions with regards to completing its project within its timeframe and specifications, the project is being funded by tax-payers’ dollars and as such it is imperative for Government to do more to protect local content.Speaking on the complaint lodged by the two local suppliers, Caesar said even if it is a case that one of the companies could not meet the demands with regard to the amount requeired, at least both companies together could have met the quota.According to International reports, Surinamese Grassalco and Zhong Da International Engineering Company will deliver the material in partnership to the client, China Harbour Engineering Company in Guyana.The contracts were reportedly signed by Grassalco’s Chief Executive Officer, Sergio Akiemboto; Wu Qiong, General Manager of Zhong Da International Engineering Company; and Sun Wei, project-manager of China Harbour Engineering Company. The Guyana CHECH contract is reportedly the largest contract the state-owned company has signed with a foreign contractor.last_img read more

Underrate us at your own peril, Mbao warn

first_imgHead coach Ally Bushiri believes that the victory over Gor has boosted their morale and will be in a better position to challenge Sharks for a place in the final of the tournament in their debut year.“I have seen how Sharks play and they are a very good team. But, in this competition, there is no underdog. Before, it was thought we were underdogs and people talked so many bad things but we have proved we can make it. No one will now underrate us,” the tactician stated.“I respect every team in this competition and I will go into any match knowing that I am facing a tough team,” he added.Mbao FC players celebrate after dumping defending champions Gor Mahia out of the 2019 Sportpesa Super Cup. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluMbao who are placed fifth in the Tanzanian Vodacom Premier League came from a goal down to level scores against Gor on Wednesday before finishing the job in the shoot-oit.Bushuri has revealed that he had a strict pre-match tactical plan that he says his players executed to the latter. His plan was simple, deny Gor time on the ball and defend with numbers.“Tactical discipline helped us. When you are playing against such a big team with exposure and experience, you can’t keep playing attacking football. We wanted to possess and keep muc of the ball and the hit on the counter when we have the right moment,” the tactician oted.He added; “We prepared well for them. We knew we are playing against of the giants in East African football and we had to prepare psychologically and physically. That preparation really helped us. I am proud of the players and their performance.”Mbao FC players line up before their SportPesa Cup first round match against Gor Mahia at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam on January 24, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluOn whether his side can go all the way to the final and get the coveted trophy and a chance to play English Premier League side Everton in July, Bushiri is not leaving anything to chance.“In football anything can happen. This was a good start for my boys to beat Gor Mahia and build their confidence. We go into the semis knowing that we have beaten the defending champions and giants in East African football,” the tactician stated.Mbao who reached the final of the domestic cup here in Tanzania last season are in some decent form having lost once over their last five league assignments, winning two and drawing a similar number.Their only loss was against Keshi La Kujenga Taifa (JKT) on Sunday where they went down by a solitary goal.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Mbao players line up tensed during their penalty shoot-out against Gor Mahia in the SportPesa Cup first round match at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam on January 24, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluDAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania, Jan 24 – After slaying the giants in defending champions Gor Mahia, Mbao FC have warned their SportPesa Cup semi-final opponents Kariobangi Sharks to underrate them at their own peril, saying their confidence has been hugely boosted and are motivated.Mbao came into the tournament as underdogs, but surprised all and sundry much to the joy of the Tanzanians after beating Gor Mahia 4-3 on post-match penalties.last_img read more

Arsene Wenger predicts robot managers and social media deciding substitutions

first_img Forbes list reveals how much Mayweather, Ronaldo and Messi earned this decade Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade Wenger spent 1235 games in charge of Arsenal Wenger, who spent 22 years in charge of the Gunners before his exit last summer, fears for the future of management and says he would not accept such radical changes.“I’ve said many times, you could imagine the next chairman who says that the social networks can make a change in the second half,” Wenger told beIN Sports.“That will become more and more entrenched. It will happen. I personally, would not accept it. I’m from the old school in that respect. But we’re going in that direction.“If you imagine the power of social networks. What is even worse, it’s not the majority, the minority is the most extreme, it’s a bit like the problem with democracy, it’s a dictatorship of the minorities. REVEALED Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won huge blow MONEY no dice 2 Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? 2 Latest Football News ADVICE BEST OF Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move Wenger during the beIN Sports interview Arsene Wenger reckons robots will be football managers in 20 years’ time, while Twitter polls could be used to determine substitutions.The former Arsenal boss made the staggering prediction amid the growing influence of data and statistics in football. Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions “It’s not for me, there’s something I call intuition, I grew up and used my own eyes.“You can as well imagine that in 20 years, a robot will sit in front of you.”Arsenal have a powerful online presence: their Twitter account is the fourth-most followed of any football team in the world with 13.8million followers. Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury RANKED REVEALED Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card Wenger did, however, admit that a robot would have less trouble zipping up a coat than he did.“In fact, I improved in that,” he joked.“I was conscious of that, they are too long and sometimes the zip didn’t work and I struggled that.“People were showing it so I was conscious that I was being watched.”last_img read more