Aussie Open: Zverev sweeps past Wawrinka to make first Grand Slam semi

first_imgGerman young gun Alexander Zverev stormed into his first Grand Slam semi-final on Wednesday, rallying from a set down to shatter the dreams of veteran Stan Wawrinka at the Australian Open.Advertisement The seventh seed was thumped in the first set but recovered to grind down the 2014 champion 1-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 in hot sun on Rod Laver Arena. He will face either world number one Rafael Nadal or Austrian fifth seed Dominic Thiem in the last four, with a final beckoning against Novak Djokovic or Roger Federer.“It feels awesome,” said Zverev who has been donating $10,000 for each win at Melbourne Park to Australian bushfire relief, and will even hand over the Aus$4.12 million ($2.78 million) winner’s cheque if he clinches the title.“I’ve done well at other tournaments and in other matches but could never break that barrier in Grand Slams. You can’t imagine what this means to me.“It hope it will be the first of many.”Big things have been tipped for Zverev since he burst into the top 10 in 2017, but until now the 22-year-old has not fully delivered, slipping down the rankings last year to seven from four at the start of the season.But after a poor build-up to the year’s opening Major at the ATP Cup, where he lost all three matches, he worked hard on the practice court and has been in fine touch to finally make a Grand Slam last four at his 19th attempt.His serve, a key focus of his extended practices, was a weapon once again against 34-year-old three-time Grand Slam champion Wawrinka.He fired 13 aces against just one double fault, with a first-serve percentage of 80 percent.– Crunching groundstrokes –It was Wawrinka who came out of the blocks firing, putting immediate pressure on the Zverev serve, getting his returns back to break straight away when the German netted a half-volley.Zverev won just four points in the opening three games as he struggled to get the measure of Wawrinka, and he was broken again when he shanked a forehand high into the crowd.The German finally held to get himself on the scoreboard but the Swiss was moving and serving well, unleashing some crunching groundstrokes to take the set in just 24 minutes.Zverev needed to hold his opening serve in the second set to halt the Wawrinka juggernaut and he rose to the occasion, with his court coverage and groundstrokes raising a level. Loading… center_img Read Also: Aussie Open: Injured Federer saves seven match points in stunning comebackIt went with serve until game eight when Wawrinka drilled a forehand into the net and Zverev screamed ‘C’mon’ after his first break of the match, serving out for the set.A resurgent Zverev rammed home his advantage with an early break in the third set before the wily Swiss hit back. But a poorly executed drop shot again handed the 22-year-old another break and he raced to a two sets to one lead.Wawrinka, who beat Rafael Nadal in the 2014 Melbourne final, was out of fight and Zverev had him dancing to his tune as he raced to victory, ending the popular Swiss star’s bid for a first Slam semi since Roland Garros in 2017.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Promoted ContentWho Earns More Than Ronaldo?The Best Cars Of All TimeIt Looks Like An Ordinary Doughnut, But It Glows In The Dark!7 Mind-Boggling Facts About Black Holes10 Phones That Can Work For Weeks Without RechargingA Hurricane Can Be As Powerful As 10 Atomic Bombs6 Incredibly Strange Facts About Hurricanes5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parks6 Interesting Ways To Make Money With A DroneEver Thought Of Sleeping Next To Celebs? This Guy Will Show YouWhat Are The Most Delicious Foods Out There?10 Risky Jobs Some Women Dolast_img read more

FH : International players lead SU into NCAA tournament

first_img Comments Martina Loncarica clenched her fists and let out a roar in celebration.The senior midfielder had just given Syracuse a 3-0 lead over Connecticut in the first half of Sunday’s Big East championship game, smacking a penalty stroke into the bottom right corner of the goal.Turning around, she sprinted out of the shooting circle, and upon reaching the top of the arc, she flung her stick toward midfield and leapt into the arms of Amy Kee.‘It’s just the way I react when I score. I might get in trouble sometimes for doing that, but it’s OK,’ Loncarica said jokingly.This unhindered passion originates from Loncarica’s childhood in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She and fellow Argentine Stephanie Hussey bear the traditional strengths of players from their homeland: strong dribbling ability and individual flair.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBut the Argentines are just two of seven international players on No. 3 Syracuse (18-3, 5-1 Big East). Five different countries are represented on SU’s roster, and players from each of those nations bring unique skill sets that stem from their cultural backgrounds.The diverse group of players has bonded into a cohesive unit that not only won the conference tournament, but earned the No. 3 overall seed in the NCAA tournament. In Saturday’s opening-round game in College Park, Md., the Orange faces Richmond (16-6, 5-1 Atlantic-10) at 11:30 a.m.‘Everyone has a little bit of something that they bring from their countries,’ Loncarica said Nov. 2. ‘ … I use my skills, which is typical from Argentina, to just dribble, and I’ll find the passes after.’Over the course of the season, the senior midfielder has showcased a series of on-ball maneuvers, sometimes flicking the ball into the air and juggling past a defender.In the opening minutes of SU’s Big East tournament semifinal victory over Villanova, Loncarica received a pass on the left side of the shooting circle roughly 15 feet from the goal. Facing away from the net, she turned her stick and popped the ball backward through her legs. The shot missed just wide left, but it was an attempt few would try.Loncarica credits these abilities to juggling sessions and pickup games with friends growing up. Now at SU, though, she is tactful in implementing those tricks.‘Of course, you have to have fun, but be efficient for the team,’ Loncarica said.‘ … But yeah, if we’re controlling the game, at some points if you can do some things to enjoy what you’re doing, then why not?’In contrast to Loncarica and Hussey, senior midfielder Liz McInerney, who is from Dublin, Ireland, excels on defense. She displays excellent vision and structure on the field, frequently filling lanes to intercept passes.In comparison, sophomore midfielder Leonie Geyer and sophomore back Laura Hahnefeldt, or ‘the Germans,’ as Kee called them, bring a comprehensive understanding of the game and a mastery of the basics: pushing, hitting and blocking.‘They’re smart, they’re skillful and very gifted intellectually, both of them,’ Bradley said.Like Geyer and Hahnefeldt, junior backs Kee, from Hertford, England, and Iona Holloway, from Glasgow, Scotland, were also taught the fundamentals at an early age — something that has helped them playing out of the back, Holloway said.After first being taught to push the ball, Holloway soon learned how to ‘drag.’ But it wasn’t until six months after she first picked up a stick that she learned to actually strike the ball, and it was another year before she played a game.The success of that training is easy to see, especially on the defensive end.Holloway has shut down opposing forwards all season long. She repeatedly lowers herself toward the ground, squares her stick to the turf and knocks the ball off the opponent’s stick.On Friday against Villanova, she actually flipped a Wildcats player after taking the ball away.Together, the seven international players have helped lead the Orange to its fourth NCAA tournament in as many years. But four victories remain between SU and its ultimate goal of becoming the national champion.On Saturday, Syracuse can take the next step against the Spiders.‘I’m very happy and very proud of what we’ve accomplished, and we still have one more thing to accomplish,’ Loncarica Published on November 9, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Stephen: | @Stephen_Bailey1center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Dallas’ Rajon Rondo downplays interest playing with Lakers’ Kobe Bryant

first_img“I don’t think there’s not one coach I played with that I didn’t get into it,” Rondo said. “So I think our relationships are fine. I still talk to Doc (Rivers). I still talk to Brad (Stevens). I talk to (Doug) Bibby and Tubby Smith. I like to test where the coach is at and I think they like to test me.”Injury updateThe outlook Lakers coach Byron Scott shared on Nick Young’s recovery on his swollen left knee no longer seems as positive.“It might take another week, or two or three,” said Scott, who also did not rule out Young would miss all of the Lakers’ 20 remaining games. “We’re not in a hurry. He still has some pain in there.”Young sat out in Sunday’s game against Dallas, marking the seventh consecutive game he missed because of his current injury. But Young maintained, “I’ll be all right.” Young also chuckled about flying to Germany to treat his left knee, something Bryant has done in past seasons. “Then I’ll be able to fly!” Young said, laughing.Scott found added importance that Young returns this season, even if he plays only a handful of games.Young has averaged 13.4 points on a career-low 36.6 shooting percent clip this season, a mark that dipped in January (32.2 percent) and February (32.4 percent). “It would help his confidence,” Scott said. “He might not admit it but he’s not the ‘Swaggy P’ that we all know and love.”Scott predicted correctly. “I’m going to feel good, regardless,” Young said. “It’s basketball. I have some good seasons and bad seasons. It’s a merry-go-round.” Rondo sounded flattered Bryant would consider himself one of those pieces.“When he speaks, it speaks volumes,” Rondo said of Bryant. “It’s an honor and compliment he’d want to play with a guy like me. But right now I’m focused on winning a championship with the Dallas Mavericks.”But would Rondo want to play with Bryant?“It’s impossible to play with Kobe right now,” Rondo said. “I’m focused on playing with Dirk (Nowitzki), Monte (Ellis), Tyson (Chandler), J.J. Barea and playing for [coach] Rick Carlisle. That’s my team right now.” Funny Rondo brought up Carlisle. The two recently had a heated exchange on the sideline that led to Rondo’s benching and subsequent one-game suspsension, something Rondo called a “media blowup.” The two competitors and close friends apparently scheduled to have breakfast again. But then Lakers guard Kobe Bryant stood up Mavericks guard Rajon Rondo.“A–hole,” Rondo joked, referring to the nickname they have for each other.Bryant and Rondo dined together in Boston last December when Rondo played for the Celtics. Even if Boston since traded him to Dallas, the implications are the same. Rondo will represent one of the stars the Lakers will pursue once he becomes a free agent in July.“I stay in touch with him. I stay in touch with some other guys, too,” Bryant told the Los Angeles Newspaper Group, though he said the two did not interact before, during or after the Lakers’ 100-93 loss to Dallas on Sunday at Staples Center. “I’ll look around and talk with management. We’ll look at what we can do and should do. Hopefully we’ll then have a more competitive team.”center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

NHL playoffs 2019: Mikko Rantanen ties, wins game for Avalanche, who lead Flames 3-1 in series

first_imgRantanen now has six points (three goals, three assists) in the series.The teams will head back to Calgary for Game 5 on Friday (10 p.m. ET). The Flames are in danger of going the way of the East’s No. 1 seed, the Tampa Bay Lightning, who were swept by the Columbus Blue Jackets. A Calgary loss would mark the first time the regular season champions of both conferences fail to win a playoff series. The Flames took a 2-0 lead seven minutes into the final period and seemed poised to tie the series on the strength of goaltender Mike Smith’s play. Smith stopped 49 shots, but 50 turned out to be the magic number for a victory as the Avalanche put two shots past him in the ensuing 10 minutes to force overtime.Calgary came within inches of winning in OT on a point-blank shot by Mikael Backlund, but Colorado netminder Philipp Grubauer got his left leg into Backlund’s shooting lane just in time.  This doesn’t seem to be the year for top-seeded teams in the Stanley Cup playoffs.The Calgary Flames are down 3-1 to the Colorado Avalanche in the first round after Colorado’s Mikko Rantanen drilled the game-tying goal in the third period and the game-winning goal in overtime to complete a three-goal comeback and secure a 3-2 victory.last_img read more