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‘This is really happening’: Serena reaches Wimbledon semis

first_img“It’s pretty unreal for me,” said Goerges, who reached her first major semifinal at a tournament where she exited in the first round each of the past five years.The other semifinal is No. 11 seed Angelique Kerber of Germany vs. No. 12 Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia.Kerber is a former No. 1 who owns two Grand Slam titles and was the runner-up to Williams at Wimbledon two years ago. Ostapenko won last year’s French Open.Kerber needed seven match points to close out No. 14 Daria Kasatkina of Russia 6-3, 7-5 at Centre Court, while Ostapenko defeated 2014 Australian Open runner-up Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia 7-5, 6-4 at a windy No. 1 Court.After a series of upsets made this edition of Wimbledon the first since it began seeding players in the 1920s that none of the top 10 women reached the quarterfinals, Nos. 11, 12 and 13 are still around. And so is No. 25, Williams.The All England Club seeded her there as a nod to all of her past success at the grass-court major, including titles the last two times she entered, in 2015 and 2016. She missed Wimbledon a year ago because she was pregnant, going about 16 months between Grand Slam tournaments, so her ranking is just outside the top 180.That is going to change now.Told she is guaranteed of rising to 51st next week — and higher if she reaches the final or wins the championship — Williams joked: “Got to keep trekking on, though. Serena Williams, 51? Eh, it doesn’t have that same ring to it. The ‘1’ part does, but not the ‘5.’”Williams is 3-0 against Goerges, winning in straight sets each time.“Every match starts from zero,” Goerges said. “Everybody has the same chances to win that match, and I’m looking forward to it.” And after Williams came up with a comeback to beat 52nd-ranked Camila Giorgi of Italy 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 on Tuesday, she headed off Centre Court with her right index finger aloft. Yes, no matter what the rankings or seedings say, no matter how long she was away, Williams still looks capable of playing like someone who’s No. 1, just about 10 months after having a baby.“Everything right now is a little bit of a surprise. To be here. To be in the semifinals. I mean, I always say I plan on it, I would like to be there, have these goals,” Williams said. “But when it actually happens, it still is, like, ‘Wow, this is really happening.’”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’So what if she’s still getting her game in gear?So what if Giorgi wouldn’t seem to miss while moving out to that early lead? Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs 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 Report: Disney dropping the ‘Fox’ from movie studio names MOST READ Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Williams never was worried about losing.“It’s weird. Sometimes I feel, ‘Man, I’m in trouble.’ Sometimes I feel, ‘I can fight.’ For whatever reason, today I was so calm,” said 36-year-old American, who has been wearing compression leggings as a precaution after a blood-clot scare following her daughter’s birth. “Even when I was down the first set, I thought, ‘Well, she’s playing great. I’m doing a lot of the right things.’”Asked whether that might represent a new way of looking at things, Williams smiled.“No. Just to be clear, that was just today. I mean, I’m hoping this is, like, a new thing,” she said. “Honestly, I highly doubt it.”Next up for Williams as she tries to earn her eighth title at the All England Club and 24th Grand Slam trophy overall will be a match Thursday against No. 13 seed Julia Goerges of Germany, a 3-6, 7-5, 6-1 winner against No. 20 Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands.ADVERTISEMENT View comments ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. center_img After their most recent meeting, in the French Open’s third round last month, Williams pulled out of that tournament, citing a chest muscle injury that made it too painful to serve.She went a couple of weeks without practicing serves, and the rest did wonders. She hit one at 122 mph against Giorgi, delivered six of her seven aces in the final set, and won 44 of the last 54 points she served.“I messed up too much on my returns,” said Giorgi, questioning her decision to stand inside the baseline to receive serve.Rare is the player who can produce Williams’ sort of pace on serves — Giorgi’s average speeds were actually faster on first and second serves, and she delivered the match’s first three aces — and mirror her power in groundstroke exchanges at the baseline.But Giorgi plays with nary a trace of subtlety and more than a bit of abandon, taking risky, flat chops at the ball with serves, returns, forehands and backhands. She harbors no compunction about striving for a point-ending winner with every stroke. When she’s calibrating properly, it all can be tough for opponents to handle.Even Williams.Well, for a set, anyway.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Serena Williams of the United States celebrates winning her women’s singles quarterfinals match against Italy’s Camila Giorgi, at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, in London, Tuesday July 10, 2018.(AP Photo/Ben Curtis)LONDON — There are moments in which nothing at all seems different about Serena Williams, moments such as when she unleashed a 109 mph service winner to even her Wimbledon quarterfinal at a set apiece, leaned forward and yelled, loudly as can be, “Cooome ooon!”Or when, about 10 minutes later, she stretched for a lunging backhand winner to break at love and take control of the third set, then raised a fist, figuring a berth in her 11th semifinal at the All England Club was close at hand.ADVERTISEMENT Trump assembles a made-for-TV impeachment defense team Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Ronaldo leaving Real Madrid to join Italian club Juventus Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil LATEST STORIES Putin’s, Xi’s ruler-for-life moves pose challenges to Westlast_img read more

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Hampton gets hurt in in the cage

first_imgHampton was taking batting practice Wednesday at the Braves’ complex while the team was playing the Detroit Tigers in nearby Lakeland. He fell to the ground in pain after a swing, prompting fears that he broke a rib. X-rays were negative and team doctors determined that he strained his left oblique, still a serious injury for a pitcher. Major League Baseball announced its $700 million, seven-year agreement with DirecTV and said the deal contains a provision that allows its “Extra Innings” package of out-of-market games to remain on cable television if the other incumbent providers agree to match the terms. Around the horn Frank Thomas made his first appearance for the Toronto Blue Jays, going 1-for-3 with an RBI in a “B” game against the Phillies. “I prefer to start late like this because you know what you’re doing out there,” said Thomas, who signed an $18.12 million, two-year contract. “You’ve had enough BP, enough cage work to know what you’re doing out there.” Mike Hampton’s comeback took a major blow. And, no, it has nothing to do with his reconstructed elbow. The Atlanta Braves left-hander injured his left side during batting practice, of all things, and won’t be ready for the start of the regular season. Hampton, starting the seventh season of a $121 million, eight-year contract, will miss the rest of spring training and could be out as long as two months. The Braves had been counting on him to bolster a rotation that includes John Smoltz, Tim Hudson and Chuck James. “I think I pulled it pretty bad,” Hampton said Thursday. “There’s nothing you can do about it now except try to get it healed up and get it better.” center_img Outfielder Jody Gerut was released by the Pittsburgh Pirates after nearly two years of inactivity due to a knee injury. St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Josh Kinney needs elbow ligament-replacement surgery and will likely miss the entire season. Kinney was a top candidate for setup relief pitcher this year. He first tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching forearm one year ago. Team physician Dr. George Paletta said Thursday the torn ligament has grown increasingly worse. The torn ligament in Kinney’s right arm should be surgically replaced with a tendon from his left wrist, Paletta said. Kinney’s recovery should take about 10 months. 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

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WCup brings no lasting cheer for Russian beer

first_img0Shares0000For many football fans, no game is complete without a beer © AFP / Vasily MAXIMOVMOSCOW, Russian Federation, Jun 20 – Football fans from around the world are flocking to Russia’s bars, beer gardens and craft beer pubs to quench their thirst as the World Cup heats up.But the surge in sales will not have a lasting impact on Russia’s beer industry, where consumption has been losing fizz for years — ever since it lost its classification as a soft drink. Russia ranks 14th in terms of annual alcohol consumption per capita, according to the World Health Organization.But with spirits — chiefly vodka — traditionally playing a stronger role in social life, Russia ranks far lower at 32nd in terms of beer consumption, according to a 2016 survey by Japanese beermaker Kirin.Part of the reason why Russians are drinking less beer now than they were in the early 2000s is because of moves to restrict sales and advertising.Higher taxes on beer and declining consumer spending power have also contributed to the decline.The real turning point came in 2011, when beer was classified as an alcoholic drink rather than as a soft drink.Since then, nighttime sales have been banned, as have sales at street kiosks and in particularly large volumes.– ‘Compromise’ needed –Since 2013, with a major economic crisis in full swing, the market has contracted more than 24 percent and is set to lose another 11 percent by 2023, according to an estimate by Euromonitor.“Between 2007 and 2017, tax on beer grew almost tenfold,” said Pavel Yerankevich, senior development director at Baltika, Russia’s number one beer brand, which now belongs to Denmark’s Carlsberg group.Football fans in Russia are giving a boost to the local beer market © AFP / Vasily MAXIMOV“All that together with the unfavourable macroeconomic situation has of course influenced the state of the market,” he added.Yerankevich thinks Russia risks going too far with measures designed to prevent alcohol abuse, even as he acknowledges the problem is widespread and needs to be tackled.“We need to find a compromise: on the one hand to put into action the government’s reasonable goals of lowering alcohol abuse and reducing the sales share of strong spirits, but on the other hand, not to put up artificial obstacles to business development,” he said.The World Cup may be a “driver of growth” in beer sales, he said.“But in this case, the increased demand will only affect this period without changing the overall annual trend,” he added.Yury Antonov, who heads the Ochakovo beer factory in a Moscow suburb, says sales to bars and consumers have risen ahead of the World Cup but he is downbeat about the longer term.“We don’t think that the market will stabilise any time soon. We think that the market will continue falling,” he said.– Anyone for a craft beer? –All-American lager Budweiser, as the official sponsor of the World Cup, may be the only beer likely to see a strong benefit.Budweiser, made by Belgium-based AB Inbev, is the only beer allowed in stadiums and fan zones.Alcoholic beverage sales are banned in a two-kilometre (1.2-mile) radius around the stadiums.The Budweiser brand has ensured its logo is highly visible at numerous spin-off events as well.A spokesperson for Budweiser said it does not disclose specific sales figures, but described the World Cup as a “great opportunity” for the brand.Some other beermakers are also performing better than usual, including alcohol-free brands.In 2017, alcohol-free beer sales saw “solid growth” thanks to “aggressive marketing” by major brands, Euromonitor said in a report.Big brands like to focus on advertising their alcohol-free beer partly because it dodges tough restrictions.However there is a genuine “rising consumer interest and demand” as Russians become more health-conscious, the market research provider said.A surge in beer sales is unlikely to live out the World Cup © AFP / Vasily MAXIMOVThe other type of beer to buck the trend is craft beer, with specialised bars and shops popping up all over Russia’s larger cities.For the moment, craft beer is being produced only by small and medium-sized breweries.But Euromonitor analysts expect that “larger brewers will also increasingly focus on craft beer so as to help offset losses in the lager category.”Artyom Zimakov, who owns Beermood, a craft beer bar in central Moscow, said he is delighted to see his bar packed every day so far in the World Cup.The market for his type of product is “very dynamic and it’s growing,” he said.“It’s going to grow fast.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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