Blossoming star Osaka keeping things fun on court

first_img KEYWORDS “Every time I’m learning,” she said Sunday at Ariake Tennis Forest Park in Tokyo. “Each occasion is a bit different, but I’ve kind of adjusted slowly.“In the Australian Open I played on Rod Laver (center court) and I was extremely nervous. And in the French, I played on Suzanne Lenglen, and I was kind of OK. It’s a big, big court, but I wasn’t nervous. On Arthur Ashe I was completely fine.”Part of that might have been all her time watching tennis there as a youngster. So despite blowing a huge opportunity in the biggest match of her life, she remained positive.“It was really fun, because when I was little I watched the U.S. Open there and all the players in the world play on that court — especially there, because I had physically watched matches there. That was a great memory.”The 180-cm Osaka is known for her hard serves but said her current focus is getting those serves in rather than firing aces.“I just want to place it well at a decent speed,” she said. “It’s never supposed to be a bomb. For the other girl to give me a short return, it (the serve) is just a setup shot. I don’t go out there trying to rip my arm off and hit a very fast serve.“If it could consistently be very fast while the percentage is good, that would be great, but it’s not really a big goal of mine. My goal right now is to make my first-service percentage go up. If I have to lower my serve speed, I’ll do it.”After finishing 2015 ranked 203rd, she’s climbed to No. 66 and has reached the third round of all three Grand Slams she’s played in, having missed making her Wimbledon debut due to a right-knee strain. Asked what has been the biggest thing she’s needed in order to play her game against top opponents, Osaka said it was experience.“I’ve just had to play a lot of matches and get a lot of experience (this year) because this is my first full season: getting experience and getting confidence in myself and the belief that I am able to play with these girls,” she said.Her third-round, third-set, U.S. Open collapse was, she said, a lesson.“I wasn’t used to that occasion, being up by such a big margin against a top 10 player,” Osaka said. “I think I just panicked a little. I feel if I get into that situation again, I’ve already learned from it, so I should just deal with it.”Osaka’s favorite player is former world No. 1 Serena Williams, but she is also a fan of Switzerland’s Roger Federer.“It was a lot of fun watching them, seeing how different their styles were,” Osaka said.“I don’t remember what match made me start thinking that she (Williams) was my role model, but I do remember in second or third grade I had to do a school report on someone and I picked her. I basically wrote an essay about how she was my favorite tennis player. And from then on, I sort of committed to making her my role model.”But life is not all about tennis for Osaka, who moved to the United States at the age of three with her Haitian father and Japanese mother.There’s no mistaking where Osaka’s heart is and who she looks to for inspiration.“The biggest one would be my mom because she’s the backbone of everything I do,” Osaka said. “I always want to make her proud. As a role model, she’s it. She’s such a hard worker and she doesn’t really complain. She doesn’t care so much what happens to her, but cares about other people.” RELATED PHOTOS Serena Williams, Roger Federer, Pan-Pacific Open, Naomi Osaka GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMEScenter_img On a day when Naomi Osaka reminded a group of young tennis players from northeastern Japan to remember that tennis is a game and should be fun, she spoke about her experiences as she climbed the rankings this summer.In her U.S. Open debut earlier this month, Osaka reached the third round, where she blew a 5-1 lead in the third set against world No. 9 Madison Keys of the United States. Afterward, Osaka called her disappointment at Arthur Ashe Stadium, the tournament’s center court, “fun.” Naomi Osaka reached the third round of all three Grand Slam events she participated in this year. | AFP-JIJI IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5last_img read more

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Inter Milan Sack Spalletti as Former Chelsea Boss Antonio Conte Takes Charge

first_imgInter Milan manager Luciano Spalletti has been sacked after two years at the club.Former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is set to replace the 60-year-old at the San Siro.Spalletti guided the Serie A side to fourth place and the final Champions League spot ahead of rivals AC Milan but they finished 21 points behind champions Juventus and were knocked out of the Champions League during the group stages last season.A club statement on Twitter on Thursday read: “FC Internazionale Milano can confirm that Luciano Spalletti is no longer head coach of the first team.  “The club wishes to thank Spalletti for his work and the results achieved together.”The former Roma boss guided Inter to fourth place during his first season in charge, which ended a seven-year exile from the Champions League.However, Spalletti stripped the captaincy from top goalscorer Mauro Icardi, who did not play for nearly two months as a result of their falling out, and the club failed to mount a meaningful challenge in either Europe or the Coppa Italia.Sportsmail reported on Wednesday that Inter Milan have yet to make a formal bid for Romelu Lukaku but they want to make the Manchester United striker Conte’s first signing.RelatedSpalletti Signs Contract Extension At InterAugust 14, 2018In “Europe”Victor Moses Hopes To Reward Antonio Conte With Europa League TitleAugust 21, 2020In “Europa League”Former Inter Supremo Lauds Spalletti Appointment; Surprised With Rivals Milan’s Transfer SplurgeJuly 16, 2017In “Europe”last_img read more

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‘Everyone was exceptional’ – Oxtoby

first_imgEbony Salmon came back to haunt her old side as her 34th minute opener was enough to give the Robins their first Barclays FAWSl victory of the season and kickstart 2020 with a bang.“I’m really pleased for the girls, the effort they put in and the discipline they showed to execute what we asked of them.We were compact and made sure they couldn’t play through the half spaces and looked to counter effectively, everyone was exceptional, said Oxtoby. “We rode our luck a bit at times but we spoke about that in the week, earning our luck and I thought we did that because we defended exceptionally well.“I said to the staff on the sideline with five minutes or so to go that I feel like I’m going to be sick. We just want the best for the players and they really deserve a result like that after what they’ve been through this season, so for them to get the three points is great.“It’s tough for us at the minute, we are bare bones through injury. We picked up another one today early on and we’re thread bare in midfield as it is and with Jas playing in the middle and although it’s not ideal for us she was superb.“There were some brilliant performances across the pitch and you look at some of the save Baggers has made this afternoon and how effective Ebony is on the counter, you can see why we set up to play that way.“She gives us an opportunity to get in front, as we did today and then sit in and make it difficult for the opposition, which is frustrating for the crowd and the opposition but you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do to get three points.”Bristol City Women travel away to face Chelsea at Kingsmeadow on Sunday, January 12th before welcoming Liverpool to the SGS College Stoke Gifford Stadium the following weekend on Sunday, January 19th (3pm).Supporters can purchase their tickets for the fixture against Liverpool below.SECURE YOUR TICKETSlast_img read more

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Tray Matthews named A-Day Defensive MVP

first_imgAUBURN — Tray Matthews made his presence felt in his debut performance before a friendly Auburn crowd.The former Georgia safety made five tackles, forced a fumble and had an interception in the end zone for the first teammers on Team Auburn on A-Day.“Felt great,” Matthews said. “Felt like a relief, felt great to be back out there.”Matthews was limited earlier in the week due to an undisclosed injury, but he said there was “no way” he was going to miss a chance to play in front of the announced crowd of 62,143.“When you have a little minor injury, you just suck it up,” he said. “In a big-time game like this, you got to go ahead and play.”Matthews helped the first-team defense keep the second-team offense in check during the first half as Team Tigers managed just 129 yards on 34 plays, with one score.“(Defensive coordinator Will) Muschamp, before the game he said we need a shutout,” Matthews said. “He wants everything done his way. He wants the defense done his way. He wants every technique done his way. If we buy into what he got going on, we’re going to be all right. We went out there and played hard.”last_img read more

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Yager serves as gracious host of Chamber Coffee

first_imgIt was an impressive turnout this morning at Hack Ayers’ Red Barn for the December Campbell County Chamber of Commerce “Chamber Coffee.”  Senator Ken Yager hosted the Chamber Coffee.Yager is pictured with Christie Elkins (L) and Cindi Reynolds (R).  Elkins is the chamber director while Reynolds is the tourism director(WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/20/2018-8:45AM)Share this:FacebookTwitterlast_img

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Rox Ride Big 5th Inning in 4-2 Win Over Rochester

first_imgThe St. Cloud Rox were able to improve their record to 12-10 after a 4-2 win over the Rochester Honkers in St. Cloud on Thursday night. The Rox did all of their damage in the 5th inning, which was enough to pick up the victory. Nick Marinconz got the scoring started with a 2 run double, Jack Kelly added a run with a sacrifice fly right after that and Collin Montez added another insurance run with another double a few batters later.Picking up the win was starter Luke Albright, who pitched 5 innings of 1 run ball to earn his first win of the year. Blake Stelzer picked up his 4th save with a scoreless 9th inning. 360p Visit Advertiser website GO TO PAGE Skip St. Cloud will stay home this weekend, hosting Willmar on Friday night. First pitch is at 7:05 PM with the pregame starting at 6:35 PM. Catch the action on AM 1390 Granite City Sports. 1080p HD 720p HDcenter_img Auto (360p) About Connatix V56490 About Connatix V56490 1/1last_img read more

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BOE meets for first time in new fiscal year

first_imgJACKSBORO, TN (WLAF) – The Campbell County Board of Education meets in its regular session Tuesday evening at 6 pm at the courthouse at Jacksboro.     It marks the first meeting of the new fiscal year.  CLICK HERE to see the agenda and minutes from the June meeting along with a budget review.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 07/09/2019-6AM)Share this:FacebookTwitterlast_img

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Emrit confirmed for Golden Republic T20 bash

first_imgFormer West Indies and Guyana Amazon Warriors all-rounder, Rayad Emrit will turn out for the Golden Republic T20 Bash on Friday. Emrit’s participation was confirmed by Secretary of the Guyana Cricket Board, Anand Sanasie who added that the 38-year-old Trinidadian will turn out for Rutherford Renegades who battle Hetmyer Hurricanes in a T20 showdown.Emrit brings a wealth of experience with 136 T20s under his belt coming with 149 wickets and a strike rate of 115. In the past, he has led Amazon Warriors in the Caribbean Premier League and turned out for other teams such as St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots and Barbados Tridents.It was also disclosed the possibility of having other regional stars including Chadwick Walton and former West Indies T20 captain, Carlos Brathwaite have been discussed but are yet to be finalized. The two sides led by Sherfane Rutherford and Shimron Hetmyer will battle at 18.00 hours for One Million Dollars in recognition of Guyana’s 50th Republic Anniversary as a collaboration between the Ministry of Social Cohesion and Guyana Cricket Board.According to Sanasie, the best T20 players available in Guyana will be on show but while the two teams are yet to be finalized, it is expected that the likes of Trevon Griffith, Christopher Barnwell, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Raymon Reifer, Steven Jaccobs, Anthony Bramble, Kevin Sinclair and a host of national players and cricketers from the Cricket Guy Inc. Academy will be on display.Prior to the match, there will be a softball contest between Regal All-Stars and Ariel Speed Boat, all of which will be broadcasted live with commentary through the National Communications Network. Entrance to the ground is set at $2000 for stand and is available at the Guyana Cricket Board’s Bourda office.last_img read more

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Hewitt hauls home Arlington hardware

first_imgKarl Hewitt Jr. was the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock winner Saturday at Arlington Raceway. (Photo by Sarah Moriarty)ARLINGTON, Minn. (July 21) – Karl Hewitt Jr. clinched the Eckblad Trucking IMCA Hobby Stock feature Saturday at Arlington Raceway as he led from start to finish.Hewitt was challenged by Cory Probst for 11 of the 12 laps but on lap 10, Probst dived into turn one and spun himself around causing a caution flag. He restarted at the tail and in the following two laps was able to move up to fifth.That caution gave Brad Becker a little breathing room as he challenged Hewitt for the next two laps but had to settle for second ahead of Mike Christensen.Brandon Beckendorf was the MN 93 IMCA Modified winner and Trevor Serbus topped the IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Car feature by a straightaway.Rick Mees has gotten back and dirt and got his first B&B Racing Chassis IMCA Stock Car victory of the season. Matt Looft scored the Unhinged Pizza IMCA Northern SportMod victory and Scott Porter paced the Coors Light IMCA Sport Compact main.last_img read more

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France aim for top spot, Argentina follow Messi’s lead

first_imgBy William Schomberg, David Ljunggren and Angus MacSwanFrance seek to extend their rampant start to the World Cup on Wednesday when they need a point against Ecuador to secure top spot in Group E and further banish the memories of their implosion four years ago.However, second-placed Ecuador will be desperate to pull off a shock win over the resurgent former world champions as they seek to book their own spot in the knockout stages ahead of Switzerland, who trail them on goal difference, and Honduras.France lead the group with six points, followed by Ecuador and Switzerland on three points with Honduras bottom with no points after two defeats.A win or draw for France would mean they will probably avoid meeting Argentina in their first knockout round match.France coach Didier Deschamps has transformed the national team from the bad boys of the 2010 tournament in South Africa into a side drawing comparisons with the World Cup-winning side of 1998 on home soil.In contrast to the lack of discipline four years ago, when the players went on strike and France were knocked out in the first stage, Deschamps has stamped his authority on the team, leaving top players on the bench when he sees the need.The match at the Maracana will showcase some of the most eye-catching attacking footballers at the World Cup.France, with eight goals in their first two games, are joint top scorers at the tournament so far along with the Netherlands.France’s Karim Benzema and Ecuador’s Enner Valencia are among the individual joint top scorers of the tournament with three goals each in two games.Switzerland meanwhile meet Honduras seeking to banish bad memories of 2010, when they scraped a goalless draw against the same opponents and crashed out early.Switzerland manager Ottmar Hitzfeld, trying to repair his team’s spirit after their 5-2 thumping against France in the previous game, dismissed questions about the parallels with four years ago.Just as in 2010, the two sides are meeting in their final group game. Four years ago a Swiss win by a two-goal margin would have taken them into the second round.Hitzfeld said it was no use making comparisons “because we are going to win. It’s as simple as that. The team today has more offensive potential”.After underwhelming early performances, traditional Latin American top dogs Argentina and reigning African champions Nigeria have something to prove when they meet in their final World Cup Group F match on Wednesday.Argentina were among the favourites going in to the tournament but despite a much-vaunted front four, they have yet to come alive, with the exception of some moments of match-winning magic from Lionel Messi.Nigeria, representing Africa’s richest and most populous nation, have also laboured to convince as a team.Nonetheless, Argentina sit atop Group F with six points thanks to their less-than-emphatic wins over Bosnia and Iran.The Sky Blues have already qualified for the Round of 16 but will still want finish first to ensure an easier opponent – in principle at least – in the next stage.Nigeria have four points following a dull draw with Iran and a win over first-timers Bosnia. A draw would be enough to ensure qualification but a loss to Argentina could put them in trouble.Iran, who surprised many with their tenacious, bold play against Argentina, could still seize second place if they beat Bosnia and rack up a better goal difference.So a game that could see as much anxiety as adventure is on the cards.Messi’s sublime strike against Iran in stoppage time in Belo Horizonte only highlighted the danger of Argentina relying on the Barcelona man too much. It wasn’t supposed to be like that.He and his fellow strikers Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain and Angel Di Maria form what should have been one of the most formidable attack forces in the tournament, but so far it has been rather blunt.The defence has also looked shaky, with central defender Ezekiel Garay repeatedly caught off guard against Iran.“We have a few causes for concern,” head coach Alejandro Sabella admitted after the close-shave against Iran.Argentina will be able to count on fervent support – tens of thousands of fans are expected to flood over the border into the southern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, a region which shares its gaucho culture but harbours an intense football rivalry.Nigeria may take heart from the fact that they made a slow start in the African Nations Cup before going on to take the title last year.The Super Eagles cannot afford to give anything away at the back but will need to hunt for goals if they are to be sure of qualifying for the Round of 16 for the first time since 1998.Playing in their fifth World Cup, Nigeria’s performance against Bosnia was an improvement on the Iran game, when they look bereft of ideas. But their defensive frailties were exposed on several occasions and that could prove fatal with a hungry wolf like Messi on the prowl.last_img read more

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