Djokovic, Williams post Australian Open wins

first_imgMELBOURNE, Australia (AP):The record will show that six-time Australian Open champions Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic each had straight-set wins.It may seem straightforward, but it was not routine. Newly-engaged Williams, aiming for an Open-era record 23rd major title, and Djokovic, bidding to become the first man to win seven Australian titles, confronted former top-10 players in the first round at Melbourne Park.And so there was no chance for the No. 2-ranked players, in the recently unaccustomed position at the foot of the draw, to feel their way into the season’s first major.Djokovic faced Fernando Verdasco, who beat Rafael Nadal in the first round last year and who had five match points in their last head-to-head encounter – only 10 days earlier.A GAMBLEDjokovic held off the Spanish left-hander in a 71-minute, momentum-swinging second set before winning 6-1, 7-6 (4), 6-2 yesterday. The first and third sets were great, he said, but the second was “a gamble.””I’m very pleased with the first round, considering I had one of the toughest first-round draws, definitely considering his form,” Djokovic said. “He’s a quality player. He’s a big match, big-time player.”The 33-year-old Verdasco peaked at No. 7 in the rankings in 2009, not long after he pushed eventual champion Nadal in five sets in one of the best and latest-finishing semi-finals ever at the Australian Open.”From one perspective it was good that I got to have the very tough first-round match, because it made me prepare better and kind of approach the tournament with the right intensity, right from the first point,” Djokovic said.Williams, on the comeback after a stint on the sidelines following a U.S. Open semi-final loss, took a 5-0 lead in the second set against Belinda Bencic.But Bencic has been ranked in the top 10, and was seeded 12th in Melbourne last year. She applied pressure on Williams, who made mistakes on key points – including a double-fault to give Bencic a break point, and another on her first match point – before recovering to win 6-4, 6-3.Williams became engaged to Alexis Ohanian during the holiday break, and the Reddit co-founder was in the crowd at Rod Laver Arena. She has been asked repeatedly about her wedding plans since arriving in Australia, but only gave a time frame for that discussion after her opening match.”February I’ll start looking at the bigger picture of my life,” she said. “Right now, I’m just so focused that this is kind of all I can think about.”Nadal, also returning from a couple of months on the sidelines following the U.S. Open with an injured left wrist, has already improved on 2016.”I’m happy to do an interview with you – last year, I didn’t have the chance!” Nadal said in his on-court interview after a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win over Florian Mayer.As usual at Melbourne Park, the heat was a factor. The thermostat reached almost 38 degrees Celsius on a day when Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic beat Dustin Brown.last_img read more

L.A. city-county unit to fight piracy

first_imgA study by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp. estimates that pirated goods resulted in the loss of about 106,000 direct and indirect jobs in the county in 2005. It also estimated that it deprived state and local governments of more than $400 million in tax revenue that year. The panel will seek to develop a comprehensive approach to reducing piracy, including penalties and how to allocate more money for police and prosecutors. “We also think that we need to develop an educational campaign for judges so that when we do convict these people they are given more than a slap on the wrist,” Greuel said. Councilwoman Jan Perry, whose district includes “Santee Alley,” where pirated goods are often openly sold, said it is more than a minor problem. Perry said a recent shooting near an elementary school in her district was sparked by a turf battle among counterfeiters. “And this is also the gateway to crime,” Perry said. “These pirates often use young people to serve as their mules to sell the CDs and DVDs because they know they will get lighter sentences.” Villaraigosa said the issue is so important that he discussed it with Chinese officials during his recent trip to Asia. “When I was in China, I had high-level discussions on the impact of piracy in Los Angeles,” he said. “This is the epicenter of the entertainment industry and when you look at the numbers we’re talking about, it has to be an effort on the state and federal level, as well.” rick.orlov@dailynews.com (213) 978-0390160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Saying pirated goods cost Los Angeles County firms $5.3 billion a year, Los Angeles city and county officials announced on Friday the creation of a task force to develop strategies to stem the counterfeit trade. “Los Angeles is the creative capital of the nation,” Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said at a news conference in the Staples Center plaza where tables of pirated products – watches, wallets, designer jeans, CDs and DVDs – were on display. “Every dollar lost to piracy represents a dollar lost to the hard-working families that make Los Angeles the envy of the world.” The task force will be chaired by City Councilwoman Wendy Greuel and will include city and county officials as well as industry representatives. last_img read more

American Idol: We miss you already, Sanjaya

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The day had to come. Sanjaya Malakar, the least-talented American Idol finalist in years, couldn’t stay on the show forever. Still, we know we’ll miss him. With him went the chance of any more off-the-wall Idol fun, according to Fred Shuster, the Daily News’ resident Idol expert. What do you think? Which will you miss more, Sanjaya or his hair? Surf over to Idol Chatter, our American Idol blog, and let us know.last_img

Passion and pride on show at alternative World Football Cup

first_imgFans of Tibet and Abkhazia streamed to the Queen Elizabeth II Stadium in north London.It may have a majestic name, but the 3,000-capacity 1950s athletics ground on Donkey Lane, the home of seventh-tier club Enfield Town, epitomises semi-professional English football — with a burger stand, an ice cream van and a tiny club shop selling programmes through a hatch.However, for the 300-odd fans who turned up, it was the biggest sporting stage they could hope to see their homelands on.– Hopes for recognition –“I’m not a football fan. I’ve hardly ever been to a match in my entire life but this is something that shows us in a positive light,” said Abkhaz expat Chkotua Atakan, 43, a product designer living in Britain since 1986.“This is the only kind of opportunity we get,” he told AFP.“We are a normal country. The only difference is recognition.”On the Black Sea, Abkhazia is considered by Georgia as a Russian-occupied part of its territory.Dancing around, bellowing his support and waving a large Abkhaz flag, Serdar Agirbay, 55, said: “We’re having a great time.“The whole world should know Abkhazia — where it is, who we are.”The Tibet fans stood a few metres away, belting out their own songs.Phuntsok Dalu, 42, an information technology support worker, said there were around 800 Tibetan exiles in Britain, including 400 in London.As there were around 150 people cheering on Tibet, the match brought out a significant proportion of the expat population.“This is the biggest stage that we have, ever,” said Dalu.“Normally, people don’t consider Tibet as a country. This is a place where we can show our identity.“It’s about us being a free country, not just football.”Karehung Tenzin, 41, a nurse, said the match result was irrelevant.“We can support them emotionally and spiritually,” she said.“If we lose, its OK: at least Tibet is out here.”– Cattle battle –On the pitch, reigning champions Abkhazia were on top throughout and beat wild cards Tibet 3-0.The Tibet side are based in the exile community in Dharamshala in northern India, where they practice on a muddy field and often have cows interrupting play.“To play on this grass was a little tough for our boys,” Tibet coach Penpa Tsering told AFP.“The Dalai Lama said we should play football, but be good people and play in a gentle way, not rowdy.“I think we can do better in the next game. The boys are very spirited for the sake of our country.”CONIFA director Paul Watson had the team’s anthems on a memory stick in his jeans pocket and was lugging packs of bottled water around.“We’re a very tiny organisation. We really are just a handful of very passionate volunteers. We love what we do and we really believe in it,” he said.“It’s grassroots, amateur and people who play for the love of it. In a way, that’s the beauty of it.“While FIFA covers a vast amount of the world, there are people slipping through the cracks. There will always be a need for a more flexible model of identity.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Tibet fans wave flags during the Confederation of Independent Football Association’s 2018 World Football Cup match between Abkhazia and Tibet in north London, joined by other partially-recognized states © AFP / BEN STANSALLLONDON, United Kingdom, Jun 1 – With drums thundering and flags swirling, fans at the 2018 CONIFA World Football Cup revelled in the rare chance to see their often-disputed homelands take their place on the international stage.The tournament, being contested in London by 16 sovereign nations, partially-recognised states, minorites and peoples outside the auspices of football’s official governing body FIFA, got off to a raucous start Thursday.last_img read more

DDTV: MICHAEL MURPHY’S STUNNING NINE-POINTER FOR DCU IN SIGERSON CUP

first_imgDDTV: DONEGAL captain Michael Murphy was in scintillating form for his college DCU in the Sigerson Cup.The Glenswilly man hit nine points in the 0-17 to 0-09 victory over Queens in round one of the competition.You can see some of those points in this video.And watch interviews after the game including one with Michael who says he hopes his team can improve! Click Play to Watch DDTV: MICHAEL MURPHY’S STUNNING NINE-POINTER FOR DCU IN SIGERSON CUP was last modified: February 7th, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:DDTV: MICHAEL MURPHY’S STUNNING NINE-POINTER FOR DCU IN SIGERSON CUPlast_img read more

Runner won’t be underestimated

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week He grouped Hannes Prescher, who moved to the area from New York in July, with Oak Park’s slowest runners for that opening jog. His training partners’ deliberate pace quickly frustrated Prescher, who kept running after his teammates headed home in order to get a suitable workout. Smith was about to notify park rangers of his runner’s disappearance when he spotted Prescher. “When I saw him walk toward me (before practice) with that tilted gait, up on his toes, I quickly assessed him as any coach would,” said Smith, whose team is ranked sixth in Southern Section Div. III. “I quickly had to reassess him.” Prescher finished 47th of 162 runners at the season-opening Seaside Invitational senior boys’ race, posting Oak Park’s seventh-best time. He was 11th overall, and sixth on the team, at last month’s Oak Park Invitational. Prescher’s knees are webbed. The extra skin keeps them permanently bent at about a 25-degree angle. Scars from two operations on each leg peek out from under his socks. OAK PARK – Hannes Prescher describes himself as a straight-A student and strong athlete who runs for one of the area’s best prep cross country teams. The Oak Park High senior knows others don’t always see those qualities first. They see the birth defects on his legs and face that have forced him to undergo repeated operations. “It’s just because of his legs that no one expects him to run fast …,” says his mother, Doerte Prescher, “but he’s just a strong athlete, so it comes easily to him.” Oak Park head coach Kevin Smith was sent on a frantic, hour-long search for making that common mistake at the team’s first practice this summer. center_img The bend in his legs lifts his heels off the ground, forcing him to walk, and run, on the balls of his feet. Running actually keeps his legs from becoming more bent, though that’s not why he does it. He’s also had several surgeries to correct a cleft palate that slightly affects his speech. Although Prescher’s legs look different, the muscles and bones have developed normally. “People underestimate me all the time,” Prescher said. “In a way, it bothers me, of course, because they judge me. On the other hand, I can laugh when I prove them wrong.” Prescher ran one of his best high-school races after a competitor shook everyone’s hand but his before the start; he used the slight as inspiration. In eighth grade, his first year of competitive running, he broke his middle school’s 3,000-meter record. His mother had tried to dissuade him from pursuing the goal, afraid he was setting himself up for frustration. Prescher, who also will play soccer and run track for Oak Park, defers questions about his birth defects to his parents. He never bothered to learn the details. “I have so many other strengths and skills that other people don’t have that kind of compensate for whatever disabilities I may have,” he said. “I never looked at myself as different than anyone else.” Prescher has never received a grade below A in high school, despite taking a course load that includes five Advanced Placement classes this semester. In New York – he lived in Suffolk County on Long Island – Prescher was a member of a county-champion cross country team and a starter on his club soccer team. His Oak Park teammates were unaware of that, of course, when they met him. Like Smith, they were surprised by his speed. He’s quickly become one of the team’s most popular members. He received the loudest cheers at the Oak Park Invitational when he chased down an opposing runner in the final 100 yards. About 40 members of the Eagles’ junior-varsity team lined up to high-five him after the race. “He’s always positive and really fun to be around,” Oak Park teammate Anthony Pondella said. “He’s an amazing athlete. He’s pretty much an inspiration to the team.” Sean Martin, (818) 713-3607 sean.martin@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

DONEGAL SPORTS STAR AWARD TICKETS NOW ON SALE

first_imgTickets for the Donegal Sports Star Awards on Friday, January 31st are available now from the Mount Errigal Hotel.For further details ring the hotel on 9106700. Follow us also on donegalsportsstarawards.ie or on Facebook at at Donegalsports Starawards.DONEGAL SPORTS STAR AWARD TICKETS NOW ON SALE was last modified: January 10th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:DONEGAL SPORTS STAR AWARDSlast_img read more

THE TIP O’NEILL IRISH DIASPORA AWARD WINNER TO BE ANNOUNCED TUESDAY

first_imgThe recipient of the Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Award will be announced in the Inishowen Gateway Hotel on Tuesday next, 29 April 2014.Tip O’NeillThe Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Award was initiated in 2012 to mark the centenary of the birth of Thomas P. (Tip) O’Neill Speaker of the US House of Representatives and a key contributor to the Irish Peace Process.The Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Award is awarded on an annual basis to a selected member of the broad Irish diaspora in recognition of achievements in their own field and of the contribution they have made to Ireland and it’s diaspora. Previous recipients of the award were Niall O’Dowd, Editor of the Irish Voice and Irish Central in 2012 and Govenor Brian Schweitzer of Montana in 2013. THE TIP O’NEILL IRISH DIASPORA AWARD WINNER TO BE ANNOUNCED TUESDAY was last modified: April 24th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalTip O’Neill Awardlast_img read more

SISTER SARA’S TO HOST 40TH BIRTHDAY BASH FOR MARK AND KEVIN MCLEAN

first_imgIt’s going to another cracking weekend at Letterkenny Super-pub Sister Sara’s.Tomorrow night, we’ve got Mark and Kevin McLean’s 40th birthday bash, which promises to be a terrific night’s entertainment.Music will be performed by Eldorado, Hugo McLaughlin, The Confederates and Hugo McLean. On Saturday it’s the super-pub disco with our resident DJ Marty Curran, he’ll lay all your club and chart favourites to get you in the party mood.On Sunday you can watch all the premiership action on any of the large HD Plasma TV’s located throughout the bar.So if you’re heading out this weekend, make sure and drop in to Letterkenny’s No.1 super-pub Sister Sara’s.SISTER SARA’S TO HOST 40TH BIRTHDAY BASH FOR MARK AND KEVIN MCLEAN was last modified: September 11th, 2014 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:EntertainmentFeaturesnewsSister Sara’sWEEKEND LINE-UPlast_img read more