Huge win has Red V well placed

first_img‌Scoring points had been an issue for Paul McGregor’s side in recent weeks with the Red V managing to post 20 or more points just once since their Round 12 bye. However, they turned that around with their highest score since they smashed the Raiders 58-16 in 2007 to keep their finals hopes alive. The damage was done in the first half with the Dragons racing in five unanswered tries before Manly mounted a stirring second-stanza comeback, only for the Red V to respond with the final four tries of the afternoon.The win leaves the Dragons in eighth spot on 24 competition points – a win clear of the ninth-placed Panthers – with five of their final six matches against sides currently in the bottom half of the ladder. “We won the first half quite comfortably and we drew the second, so as I said to the boys, our best is the best and our worst is the worst so we’ve just got to close that gap in between,” coach Paul McGregor said after his side’s best performance of 2017. “The most pleasing thing to come out of the game today was the score. To put 50 points on any team in the NRL is exceptional and I thought our kicking game from our halves was the best it’s been. That goes a long way to get the result that we did. “The amount of pressure we placed on them with our kicking game in the first 40 minutes was exceptional.”There were signs last week that the Dragons were on the improve as they went down in golden point to the Raiders, and according to McGregor, Sunday’s result is all part of the process as they continue to build towards September.  “I know no one understands the word ‘process’ and everyone wants results, but we had an eight-week block that started last week in Canberra. We got beaten in extra-time but we did enough to win that night but we didn’t get the win,” he said. “We improved today in certain areas and we got a good, solid win so it’s certainly a step in the right direction. “I’m just excited about winning again. We said last week that we wanted to start building on our performances going to the backend of the year with everyone back like we had at the start of the year. With everyone back and working hard and preparing well and playing well, that was a great sign today.”last_img read more

Alvino Hotel Resurrected

first_imgLBDI president John B. S. Davies cutting the ribbon, marking the opening of the new Alvino HotelFollowing arson attack in 2015, leading hotel in Ganta back in business, better than everAfter years of devastation, the Alvino Hotel in Ganta has now reopened to the public, with new design and with modern facilities.Opening ceremony, which was held on Saturday, September 22, 2018, brought together some high profile bankers and business executives of Liberia, including president of the Liberian Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI), John B. S. Davies and his predecessor, Mr. Francis A. Dennis; as well as the President of Liberia Business Association, among others.In his opening remark, the proprietor of the Alvino Hotel, Prince Howard, explained his ordeal about how his hotel was destroyed and the resilience it took to have the hotel restored.He praised LBDI for assisting him the process of reconstructing the building.“With resilience, I championed the cost of reconstructing the facility to restore hope to those who rely on the investment for employment,” he said. “With the invaluable assistance of the LBDI, I was able to work, not just to restore the existing structure and facility, but improve it to international standard.”The Alvino Hotel suffered an arson attack by an angry mob on September 30, 2015, when they linked Howard to the death of a motorcyclist who was found brutally murdered in Ganta. The mob ransacked the hotel, burnt down his private residence and even destroyed the three-storey minimart, speculating that he was behind the killing for ritual purposes.He condemned the act and considered the perpetrators as “limited in life”, saying, “blood does not make money, so we should stop deadly envy and invest in infrastructure.”“Liberians, let us invest in ourselves and the LBDI, our Liberian bank, because it through the LBDI that I was able to build the first Alvino and now this new one,” he said.Partial view of the new Alvino Hotel in GantaLBDI president Davies said he was disappointed and frustrated when heard people say that Alvino was built with blood money, in spite of the fact that LBDI had loaned Mr. Howard US$100,000 for the first construction. He said all of this happened because the state failed to protect taxpayers against violence.Mr. Davies explained that following the attack, they tried by all means to get the state to pay for the damaged properties, but their efforts failed.He said the LBDI will not allow the investment of its entrepreneurs go into ashes. Therefore, after their efforts to get the government for the damage failed, the LBDI decided to loan Howard another US$300,000 to rebuild the hotel.He said that LBDI will continue to support the hotel until every aspect or condition is improved.Senator Oscar Cooper thanked the LBDI for the support given Prince Howard for the second time. “It is the private sector that will support this country,” he said, calling on the government to do more to help businesses.He urged the management of new Alvino to insure the property and encouraged Liberians to be strong in business and stop relying on government.Francis Dennis, former president of LBDI and of the Liberia Chamber of Commerce, encouraged Howard to keep on, saying, “A setback is a set up for comeback.”The new Alvino Hotel is one of the leading hotels in Ganta, with electronic doors, a modern conference room with wireless projector, modern bar and restaurant and two presidential suites.Meanwhile, Howard has named the night club “9/30”, in memory of the event that devastated his properties.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more


first_imgA man charged with dangerous driving causing the deaths of eight men has had his case adjourned until April.Shaun Kelly, 23, Hill Road, Ballymagan, Buncrana did not appear in cout.Barrister Peter Nolan said the case was not ready to go ahead and would probably not be ready for the next circuit court sitting in April either. However Judge John O’Hagan said he would schedule the case for the next scheduled sitting.Mr Nolan is seeking to have a number of reports compiled on the crash.The men who died in the crash on July 11th, 2010 were Eamon McDaid, 22 of Ballymagan, Buncrana, Hugh Friel (66), Urris, Clonmany; Mark McLaughlin (21) of Ballinahone, Fahan; Paul Doherty (19), of Ardagh, Ballyliffin; Ciaran Sweeney (19), of Ballyliffin; PJ McLaughlin (21), of Rockstown, Burnfoot; James McEleney (23), of Meenaduff, Clonmany and Damien McLaughlin (21), of Umricam, Buncrana.The horrific crash happened at Meenaduff between Buncrana and Clonmany.An earlier hearing was told that the book of evidence contained more than 200 witness statements and numerous exhibits including photographs, maps and video.Mr Kelly is currently on bail.INISHOWEN DEATH CRASH CASE ADJOURNED was last modified: January 29th, 2013 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:barrister Peter NolanbuncranaclonmanycrashInishowenShaun Kellylast_img read more


first_imgWhat has been a really successful season for the young brigade at the Finn Valley club came to a memorable conclusion at Tullamore at National Childrens Games on Saturday. With eight sets of medals captured in turbo, relay ,60m, 500m, long jump.The present progress is a credit to parents and coaches. This younger group will now take a well earned rest before returning with school opening in September.  PICTURE SPECIAL: FINN VALLEY ATHLETES CAP OFF WONDERFUL SEASON IN TULLAMORE was last modified: June 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:athleticsFinn Valley ACNoticesSportlast_img read more

South Africa’s 2009 sports highlights

first_img24 December 2009 The Indian Premier League, hosted at short notice, proved to be a massive successive with jam-packed crowds throughout despite the 59-match schedule. Combining show business and cricket, with many of the owners having links to Bollywood, it was cricket with a funky twist and South African cricket lovers lapped it up. CyclingIt was a good year for South African cyclists and cycling events. CricketSouth Africa could make a strong claim as having been the focus of world cricket in 2009. The country hosted the ICC Champions Trophy, the Indian Premier League, and series featuring the Proteas against Australia at the start of the year and England at the end of the year. AthleticsSouth Africa produced two gold medallists at the World Championships in Berlin, with Caster Semenya and Mbulaeni Mulaudzi winning the women’s and men’s 800 metres respectively. Jordy Smith tasted victory at the end of March in the O’Neill Cold Water Classic in Marrawah, Tasmania. He finished 2009 in 11th place on the elite ASP World Tour. Greg Emslie placed 31st and David Weare 43rd. In the must-win situation of the playoffs, the Bulls produced their best rugby to capture the Super 14 title for the second time. They beat the Crusaders 36-23 in the semi-finals, behind four drop goals by Morne Steyn, and followed that up with a sublime performance against the Chiefs in the final. At the end of the year, losses to France and Ireland, either side of a win over Italy, by a tired-looking team took some gloss off of the Springboks’ achievements, but the fact that they had won the two toughest challenges outside of the World Cup in the same year ensured they were named the IRB Team of the Year. Cameron van der Burgh, South Africa’s swimmer of the year, proved himself to be the fastest breaststroke swimmer in the world. In August, at the World Championships in Rome, he finished third in the 100 metres, but followed that up with victory in the 50 metres in a world record-setting time of 26.67 seconds. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material New Zealand had three teams in the top four, with the Crusaders, who would be the Bulls’ opponents in the semi-finals, finishing in fourth place, ahead of the Waratahs on points’ difference. The Sharks finished in sixth. SpringboksThe Springboks were crowned the IRB Team of the Year in 2009 despite a remarkably difficult season, which was possibly the toughest in their history: three matches against the British and Irish Lions, three matches against New Zealand, three matches against Australia, and end-of-year tour outings against France, Italy, and Ireland. SevensSouth Africa captured the IRB World Sevens Series overall title for the first time in the 2008/09 season. Michelle Eray, who won all eight races she entered in the World Series, went unbeaten and was named the Paddler of the Year. While not as well supported as the MTB World Cup, the BMX World Cup went off smoothly, but the stakes will be much higher in 2010 and the crowds, no doubt, far larger when Pietermaritzburg hosts the World Championships. TennisSouth Africa’s tennis team enjoyed a good run in the Davis Cup. After 5-0 whitewashes of Belarus and Macedonia, they had won 10 ties in succession, which set them up for a shot at playing in the prestigious World Group in 2010, if they could beat India in a promotion/relegation tie. Other South African winners during the course of the World Cup included George du Rand, Darian Townsend, and Kathryn Meaklim, who all set world records, as well as Gerhard Zandberg and Chad le Clos. It was an up-and-down year for the national team, which completed a South African record run of five successive wins in January, but then went on to lose eight of nine games later in the year, which cost coach Joel Santana his job. That led to the return of the Brazilian’s predecessor Carlos Alberto Parreira. Super 14A late season collapse by the Sharks saw South Africa miss out on having two teams in the Super 14 semi-finals. The Bulls finished strongly, however, to take top spot on the table, just ahead of the Chiefs and the Hurricanes. Later in the year, he finished as the overall winner of the Fina World Cup for the second year in succession. During the course of the five-stop series, he set world short course records in the 50 metres in 25.25 seconds, and the 100 metres in 55.61. He received the Billabong XXL Biggest Wave award for a ride on a wave measured at 20 metres (61-feet) at Tafelberg Reef near Hout Bay in Cape Town in August 2008. In addition, he collected the Surfline Best Overall Performance award for his dedication in pursuing huge surf and competing in big wave events all over the world. Jonathan Kaplan made history in March when he became the first man to referee 50 test matches. The women’s victory went to Latvia’s Anastasia Sevastova, who romped to an easy 6-2, 6-2 victory over Eva Hrdinova of the Czech Republic in the final to claim the first title of her career. SwimmingSouth African swimmers excelled in 2009 after failing to win a medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. The final outcome of the event was very surprising as the Deccan Chargers, last in 2008, claimed the title after a six-run win over the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the final. He had missed four cuts in succession, when he entered September’s Mercedes-Benz Championships at Golf Club Gut Larchenhof in Cologne, Germany. After a back-and-forth final round, during which the lead changed hands numerous times, Kingston and Anders Hansen (who would go on to top the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit) met in a playoff. Kingston clinched the title on the first extra hole and bolstered his bank balance by about R3.5-million. South African rugby teams finished the year as holders of the World Cup title, the Tri-Nations title, the Super 14 crown, and the IRB Sevens World Series title. That makes rugby the place to begin a look-back on the year that was… In the new Investec Mauritius Ocean Classic, McGregor and Eray added further victories to their impressive list of successes. In late September, South Africa played host to the biggest ICC event of the year, the Champions Trophy. It didn’t go well for the Proteas, who entered the event ranked number one in the world in the 50 overs a side game, but for Australia, whitewashed by England in England just before the Champions Trophy, it was a chance at redemption that they seized with both hands as they claimed the honours. After falling behind 7-0 early on, the Bulls swamped the New Zealanders, running in eight tries to two, as they won by a record margin for the final of 61-17. Umpire Rudi Koertzen became the first man in history to stand in 200 one-day internationals, and only the second man to take charge of 100 tests and 100 ODIs. Soweto hosted two events, the Soweto Men’s Open and the Soweto Women’s Open, and there was another French win in the men’s event with veteran Fabrice Santoro beating South Africa’s Rik de Voest 7-5, 6-4 in the title-decider. SurfingSouth African big wave charger Grant “Twiggy” Baker was recognised at the Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards – the ‘Oscars’ of the sport – with victories in two major categories. James Kingston, the winner of the South African Open in 2008, an event co-sanctioned by the PGA European Tour and Sunshine Tour, claimed his first European Tour win on European soil. FootballPride of place on the South African football front in 2009 went to the Fifa Confederations Cup. The precursor to the 2010 World Cup went off without a hitch in June and the national team, Bafana Bafana, rose to the occasion by reaching the semi-finals where they lost to eventual champions Brazil through an 88th minute goal. Later, in the playoffs for third and fourth, South Africa went down 3-2 to Spain in a extra time thriller. The series against Australia was round two of an away and home face-off. After winning Down Under for the first time, and handing the Aussies their first series loss on home soil in 16 years, the tables were turned in South Africa, with Australia winning the series 2-1 for a 3-3 share of the spoils. There was some consolation for the Proteas in the final test; they thrashed the visitors by an innings and 20 runs to hand Australia its first innings defeat since 1998.center_img Earlier in the year, Barry Richards and Graeme Pollock became the first South Africans to be inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame. For the first time ever, two South African women qualified for the World Tour; following the 2009 Dream Tour, Rosanne Hodge and Nikita Robb secured their places on the 2010 Tour. Hodge was the star of South Africa’s team at the World Surfing Games, winning a silver medal as SA placed fifth overall. Moroka Swallows, without silverware since their win in the Absa Cup in 2004, won the same title, now named the Nedbank Cup, in 2009. Lamontville Golden Arrows, who first entered the PSL in the 2000/01 season, won the first title in the club’s history when they captured the MTN 8 with a stunning 6-0 demolition of Ajax Cape Town in the final. Chad Ho became the first South African to win an open water medal at the World Championships when he placed third in the five-kilometres. GolfRetief Goosen, after a gradual slide down the Official World Golf Rankings, found his game again in 2009, winning two titles, one in the USA and one in South Africa. Greg Minnaar was runner-up in the downhill at the World Championships, second by only five-hundredths of a second to his team-mate and friend Steve Peat. Apart from in Pietermaritzburg, Minnaar also won World Cup events in Fort William, Scotland and Bromont, Canada. He finished second in the overall standings. In the Tri-Nations, South Africa won five of their six matches. They beat New Zealand three times in succession for the first time since 1949 – 28-19, 31-19, and 32-29 – and defeated Australia 29-17 and 32-25, before losing 6-21 in Brisbane. The South African Tennis Open continued its revival when it drew a strong field to the 2009 event, which took place at Montecasino in Johannesburg. France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga claimed the title with a 6-4, 7-6 win over his fellow countryman Jeremy Chardy. Surf skiingSouth African surf skiers excelled on the world stage in 2009. Hank McGregor powered to victory in the Molokai Challenge, the unofficial world championship of surf skiing, to become the fourth South African winner of the famous race after Oscar Chalupsky, Herman Chalupsky, and Clint Pretorius. Although Australian Tim Jacobs won the Dubai Shamaal, the world’s richest surf ski race, South Africans filled 10 of the top 20 places to underline the country’s strength in the sport. They led the standings from the start to the finish of the season after a strong start to it, which included a victory in Dubai followed by a first ever title on home soil in George. Those titles proved to be the springboard to the overall crown. There was good news for the sport in October when the International Olympic Committee announced that Sevens and golf would be part of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro; South Africa is strong in both sports. For Burry Stander, it was a year to remember. After finishing third in the cross-country in Pietermaritzburg, he successfully defended his under-23 World Championship title in Canberra in early September. A week later, he scored the first World Cup win of his career in Champery, Switzerland. On the road, South Africa dominated the African Championships in Namibia, Daryl Impey earned a prestigious invite to join Lance Armstrong’s newly-formed Team Radioshack for 2010, while the country’s juniors enjoyed international success in Europe in a manner never before achieved by South African cyclists. The MTB World Cup especially proved to be a huge success, both from the point of view of spectator support and from the point of view of results for South African competitors. Three-time overall World Cup champion Greg Minnaar, competing in his home town, thrilled the big crowds by taking a spectacular victory in the downhill. Burry Stander scored what was at that time a career-best third place in the cross-country. Terence Parkin, the winner of a silver medal in the 2000 Olympic Games, dominated the Deaflympics, winning seven gold medals in Taipei to take his career total to an astounding 29 in four Deaflympics. It was not to be, however, as the Indians won 4-1 in Johannesburg, but the defeat should not detract from the long run of success enjoyed by South Africa in the competition. BoxingBrian Mitchell, who lost only one bout in his 49-fight boxing career, defended his WBA junior-lightweight title a world record 12 times between 1986 and 1991 when he retired. His excellence was recognised by the International Boxing Hall of Fame when he was inducted into it in June 2009. At the Global Games, which drew intellectually-impaired athletes from over 40 countries, South Africa finished third on the athletics medal table, picking up three gold, two silver and three bronze medals. Khanti Mncedi was the most successful of South Africa’s athletes, with an individual haul of two gold medals and one silver medal. Pietermaritzburg was the place to be for events, with the city hosting the UCI Mountain Bike (MTB) World Cup in April and the UCI BMX World Cup in August. The two biggest challenges were the series against the British and Irish Lions, who had beaten the Springboks 12 years previously in 1997, and the Tri-Nations, which featured the teams holding down the top three places in the International Rugby Board rankings. South Africa won both. At home, SA paddlers dominated the Durban Surf Ski World Cup. Clint Pretorius won the men’s race as South Africans claimed the top five places. Michele Eray led the women home as South Africa again supplied the top five finishers. Fourie du Preez and Francois Steyn earned nominations as the IRB International Player of the Year. Later in the season, SA successfully defended the Adelaide Sevens title. They also finished runners-up at the Hong Kong Sevens and the Edinburgh Sevens. South Africa picked up a third medal at the World Championships when Candice Neethling claimed third place in the junior cross country. There was further good news for golf in general when it was announced that the sport would be included in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Considering the country’s fine pedigree in the golf, it is good news for South Africa’s Olympic medal prospects. He captured the Transitions Championship for his first win on the PGA Tour since 2005. He also took the honours in the Africa Open in East London. And speaking of the Africa Open, it has become the latest South African event to be included on the PGA European Tour; the first co-sanctioned tournament takes place in early January 2010. Without the advantage of facing a second tier nation before taking on the Lions, it was a difficult start to the international season, but the Boks scored 26-21 and 28-25 victories in the first two tests to ensure a series victory. A decision to make 10 changes to the Springbok line-up for the third test, with the series already won, backfired badly as the Lions romped to a 28-9 victory. It was an excellent event for South Africans. De Villiers’ Volkswagen Touareg was first across the finishing line, with the second placed Tourareg including SA navigator Ralph Pithcford. Two Nissan Navara pick-ups, purpose built by Nissan Motorsport in South Africa for the rally, finished in fourth and fifth. Dakar RallyGiniel de Villiers, together with his German navigator, won the Dakar Rally – raced in Argentina and Chile!!- in January. Wheelchair racingWheelchair racer Ernst van Dyk continued his remarkable record in the Boston Marathon when he won the world famous event, which attracts the world’s leading wheelchair athletes, for the eighth time in nine years. The Boston Herald headlined its story on the South African star, “Van Dyk an eighth wonder”. He shares the record for most wins with Irishwoman Jean Driscoll, but will go for a ninth victory in 2010. Roland Schoeman finished second to Van der Burgh in the World Cup overall standings and also swam the 50 metres freestyle faster than any man in history at the South African Short Course Championships in Pietermariztburg, clocking an astounding time of 20.30 seconds. SuperSport United showed their first PSL title, won in the 2007/08 season, was no fluke as they repeated as league champions. It was tight, however. They won their first title by only two points, but the second one was even tighter with United edging out Orlando Pirates on goal difference after both team finished with 55 points.last_img read more

Federer wins record 8th Wimbledon as Cilic bid ends in tears

first_imgEthel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Chot asks fans to give Kobe time: ‘He’s just 19’ MOST READ Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim However, the Swiss superstar’s 11th Wimbledon final, and 29th at the majors, will also be remembered for the moving sight of the popular Cilic breaking down in tears after slipping 3-0 behind in the second set.The seventh seeded Croatian, the 2014 US Open champion, sobbed inconsolably and buried his head in his towel as his title dream slipped away.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsHe had his left foot taped at the end of the second set but it was in vain as Federer became the first player since Bjorn Borg in 1976 to win Wimbledon without dropping a set in the entire tournament.“He’s a hero,” Federer said of his opponent. Federer won his 18th Slam in Australia in January on his return to the tour before adding the Indian Wells and Miami Masters back-to-back and a ninth Halle grasscourt title.He also skipped the entire claycourt season.“I’ve got to take more time off,” joked Federer, playing in just his seventh event of the year.“I’ll be gone again for the next six months! I don’t know if it will work as well again.”Cilic, who had spent four and a half hours more than Federer getting to the final, said retiring with his injury was never an option.“I never give up in a match. I gave it my best — it’s all I can do,” said Cilic who was still emotional at the trophy presentation.“I had an amazing journey here. I played the best tennis of my life. I really want to thank my team — they gave so much strength to me.”Beneath a star-studded Royal Box where Prince William and wife Kate rubbed shoulders with actors Hugh Grant and Bradley Cooper, Cilic had his first break point in the fourth game.It was saved by Federer and it was to be Cilic’s only glimmer of hope.Nasty fall FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress LATEST STORIEScenter_img Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet Switzerland’s Roger Federer kisses the trophy after defeating Croatia’s Marin Cilic to win the Men’s Singles final match on day thirteen at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London Sunday, July 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)Roger Federer won a record eighth Wimbledon title and became the tournament’s oldest champion Sunday with a straight-sets victory over injury-hit Marin Cilic who dramatically broke down in tears midway through the final.Federer claimed his 19th Grand Slam title 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 and at 35 is Wimbledon’s oldest men’s winner of the modern era, succeeding Arthur Ashe, who was almost 32 when he won in 1976.ADVERTISEMENT View comments El Nido residents told to vacate beach homes Federer broke in the next game when his opponent suffered a nasty fall on the worn surface which was to ultimately undermine his challenge.Federer then served up two love service games before claiming the opener 6-3 off a Cilic double fault, the Croatian’s second of the final.The Swiss superstar swept into a 3-0 lead in the second set and at the changeover, Cilic slumped in his courtside chair in tears and in obvious pain.The trainer and doctor were summoned before Cilic hid his head in his towel in a desperate attempt to compose himself.The 28-year-old held serve on the resumption but the lethal barrage continued, Federer stretching his lead over his friend to 4-1.Cilic dropped the set 6-1 and called a medical timeout to have his left foot bandaged and take a painkiller.His discomfort was reflected in his statistics.By the end of the second set, he had served just two aces compared to the 130 he had fired past bamboozled opponents in his previous six rounds.Federer pounced again with a break for 4-3 and wrapped up the one-sided final with a second serve ace to complete his coronation after just 41 minutes.Fittingly, he too wept at the end./rga Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Twelve months ago, Federer was defeated in five sets in the semi-finals by Milos Raonic and promptly shut down his season to rest a knee injury.“It’s disbelief I can achieve such heights. I wasn’t sure I would ever be here in another final after last year,” said Federer, who turns 36 in three weeks’ time and who has now broken the tie for seven Wimbledon titles he shared with Pete Sampras and William Renshaw.“I had some tough ones in the finals, losing two against Novak (Djokovic).“But I always believed. I kept on believing and dreaming I could get back.“Here am I today with the eighth. It’s fantastic, if you keep believing you can go far in your life.”ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

India will defeat Australia 3-1 in Test series, says VVS Laxman

first_imgLegendary batsman VVS Laxman has predicted India to win the four-match Test series in Australia 3-1. The much-awaited Test series starts from December 6 in Adelaide.India have never won a Test series in Australia and Laxman believes Virat Kohli’s team has the potential to create history this time.”I expect the series to close 3-1 in India’s favour. I don’t see any draws in Australian conditions. I don’t think India would have a better opportunity. And I am not saying so because there is no Steve Smith and Dave Warner. I am saying this because they have the potential. I got it totally wrong in England when I thought India will win 4-1. But I think they have the ability,” Laxman told Aajtak in an interview.India have one of the strongest bowling attacks in world cricket and the absence of Steve Smith and David Warner has weakened the Aussie batting line-up. Both Smith and Warner are serving their one-year bans handed to them for their involvement in the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa in March.”There is no doubt about it. I have been playing in Australia since 1999. At home I first played a Test against them in 1996. They were legendary players. Ones who could go out and win matches not just at home but away too. The character of those teams was they would not give up so easily. They believed in their abilities. I can’t see that in this Australian team.”Also Read – Virat Kohli will have another imperious outing in Australia Tests: Adam Gilchristadvertisement”Justin Langer became their coach and he showed through his career that he may not have such talent but he would maximise his potential through hard work. That’s the attitude I would like to see of this Australian team. But I agree this is the weakest Australian team I have seen in my career,” said Laxman, who was a thorn in the flesh for Australian bowlers throughout his playing days.India’s biggest strength stems from their star batsman and captain Virat Kohli, topping the run scoring charts. Laxman has no doubt, Kohli will score runs again.Also Read – Less verbals but more bouncers from Australia: Ian Chappell warns Virat Kohli’s IndiaLaxman also backed the other Team India batsmen to trust their abilities.”Virat makes a big difference. If you look at the past four or five years, he has been batting at another level and creating new records consistently. When you are committed to something and all you are thinking is how to better yourself, results reflect automatically and this is something one notices in Virat Kohli’s career.”And if you look at it this year, he had a wonderful tour of England. This after he had a horrible tour in 2014. The way he prepared himself in areas that troubled him and now to make it his strong point. He now knows all about his off stump and all this through patience and determination.”So look Virat will score. Whether others can score close to or like him in Australia, one will have to wait and see. I think the team has class and potential. I think they need to trust their ability. If they do that this team will do well in Australia,” he said.Also Read – Aaron Finch says Australia are feeling good for Tests after drawn T20I seriesLaxman tipped Team India to not repeat the mistakes it did in South Africa and England earlier this year.”It’s a very important tour not just for Virat the captain but for this side. Because it’s a team that has the ability to go and win away. Batsmen have the experience. Bowlers are fantastic. They even have three quality spinners; so there are options.”In Test cricket overseas, you need to capitalise when you get opportunities. You need to win the big moments something India did not do in South Africa and England.”Another thing they need to do is to post big first innings totals. That’s when you can dictate terms. If you perform below par in the first innings than you will be playing catch up and get into a defensive mindset. If you can deliver above par scores in the first innings, not just at par, your bowlers will compliment you with 20 wickets,” he said.Read – Virat Kohli is still a work in progress as captain: VVS Laxman to India Todaylast_img read more