Spain’s Nadal secures comeback win to set up ATP Cup final against Djokovic-led Serbia

first_imgRafael Nadal secured a come-back victory against Australia’s Alex De Minaur at the ATP Cup in Sydney on Saturday, propelling Spain into the final of the inaugural event to play the Novak Djokovic-led Serbian team.The world’s top ranked player was ambushed early by the young Australian, who threatened to run away with the match, before the Spaniard recovered to win 4-6 7-5 6-1.Earlier in the evening, Roberto Bautista Agut played a near flawless match to defeat a misfiring Nick Kyrgios 6-1 6-4, giving Spain an unassailable lead going into the doubles match.The top 20-ranked De Minaur, who had previously not won a set against the Spaniard, threw his wiry frame at every shot, breaking Nadal’s serve in the first game of the match before going on to take the set.The 20-year-old hopped into his backhands, such was his determination to throw himself forward, and launched into the air to hit his punishing forehands.Nadal, one of the most dangerous players to serve against, remarkably did not earn a break point on the Australian’s serve until late in the second set, which he converted despite enjoying little momentum up until that point.“He had a lot of energy, he plays with a lot of passion, sometimes a little too much,” Nadal said.Spain has had a punishing schedule leading into the match, which included finishing the previous tie against Belgium in the early hours of Saturday morning.Nadal reeled off four straight games at the start of the third to set up the victory as De Minaur’s error count rose, and the Spaniard found his range.LONG RIVALRYIn the other semi-final, Djokovic played strong tactical tennis to overcome the enigmatic Russian Daniil Medvedev, to secure Serbia’s spot in the final.The Serbian won the contest 6-1 5-7 6-4 after he found success pushing the 198cm (6.5 ft) tall Russian around the court, forcing Medvedev to constantly scrape shots off his shoe laces.Less than two weeks out from the Australian Open, Djokovic gave the world’s top players a possible blueprint on how to beat the 23-year-old Russian who has been regularly toppling the game’s elite.While Medvedev’s slapping forehand, flat backhand and big serve have proven hard to counter, Djokovic used dropshots and low slicing backhands to pull the world number five into awkward places.Earlier, Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic beat his more highly ranked opponent, Russia’s Karen Khachanov, giving Serbia an unassailable 2-0 lead going into the doubles match.Spain will have an opportunity in Sunday’s final against Serbia to confirm it has the world’s best men’s tennis team, having recently won the revamped Davis Cup and boasting two top 10 players in its ATP Cup side.But Nadal will likely first need to reverse the momentum in his long rivalry with Djokovic, who has not lost to the Spaniard on hardcourts, like the court surface in Sydney, since 2013.Nadal said late on Saturday he had not yet formed a game plan.“No idea yet, I’m just happy for now, tonight, to be where we are,” Nadal said.Djokovic leads Nadal 28-26 in their head-to-head which dates back to 2006.last_img read more


first_imgWe love you always, Al Duque. It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of a Varsity Blue alumni, Alejandro Duque, on Sunday, September 9th. Al played with the Varsity Blues Men’s Lacrosse team from 2011-2015 and also dedicated himself to the team post-grad as an assistant coach.  Al was very involved in the lacrosse community around Toronto, both at U of T and outside, and was a committed teammate through and through. He was highly respected and loved deeply among the lacrosse community.  Alejandro excelled on the lacrosse field, in the classroom and in his friendships. As a disciplined student-athlete, he balanced his academic and athletic responsibilities with leadership while serving as a mentor to incoming varsity athletes. He dreamt of curing cancer and only wanted to help others around him with his selfless heart. His intelligence and ambition are two of his most respected qualities, among an extensive list of others. He always made time for his friends, to call or check in with, and he was always their biggest supporter. His words of encouragement and support were some of the things that made him the incredible friend that he was.  As an avid traveller, some of the most memorable experiences shared by Al’s loved ones came from their trips around the world together. With friends and family in the United States, Europe and Australia, to say that Al was loved across the globe is almost an understatement. It’s truly a reflection of who he was as a person that he was able to leave his mark on so many people, as there have been condolences pouring in from all over the world. Message of love, respect and admiration are among the most common impressions he left on everyone he encountered in his 25 years.  Story Links It is a heartbreaking tragedy to have lost a friend like Alejandro Duque. We are grateful to have had him as a part of our Varsity Blues Lacrosse family for so many years, and will cherish the time spent with him. He will be sincerely missed, but never forgotten. .Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

GPSU accuses Minister Henry of disrespect

first_imgSweeper/cleaners’ issues…says court action is last resortBy Lakhram BhagiratVice President of the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU), Mortimer Livan, said the Union is dissatisfied with the steps taken by Education Minister Nicolette Henry, in relation to addressing the sweeper/cleaner issue that has been plaguing the education system for some time. He noted that the Union got involved in the matter when the sweeper/cleaners appealed to them in August after they were informed that they would receive less pay than they worked for. Livan said this prompted a series of protests from the sweeper/cleaners calling for their work to be regularised. The Ministry with Union reps held a meeting and a set of recommendations were adopted. That included regularisation of work and an increase in wages, coupled with provisions for National Insurance Scheme payments and leave.Those recommendations were submitted to Minister Henry for consideration and a meeting was scheduled with the GPSU but was later cancelled.“The GPSU wrote the Honourable Minister of Education on September 7, 2017 for a meeting to bring some clarity to the situation. The Secretary of the Minister through a telephone call informed that the Minister will not be meeting with the GPSU since the matter was discussed with the Minister of Social Protection,” Livan said.“It was very disturbing when on Thursday September 28, 2017, we were visited by a group of disgruntled sweeper/cleaners who were summoned to a meeting by the Honourable Minister of Education and was advised by the Honourable Minister that she will not meet with a third party, be it the GPSU or the media. The GPSU condemns that type of behaviour from a senior Government functionary. It is very highhanded and disrespectful,” he added.He further stated that the GPSU entered into negotiations on behalf of the sweeper/cleaners with the Education Ministry and that all communication should have been done through the Union. According to him, the Minister’s comment is “a blatant disregard” of the Agreement for the Avoidance and Settlement of Disputes between the Government of Guyana and the GPSU.“It is not the view of the Union that the Government is behaving with the requisite haste and sense of urgency in the matter of alleviating the suffering of the sweeper/cleaners. Their circumstances continue to give eloquent expression to the concept of the working poor. We wish to state categorically that the plight of the sweeper/cleaners remains decidedly unresolved,” he said.Livan said the Union was very happy when they saw that Cabinet approved a recommendation for the regularisation of the sweeper/cleaner’s appointment. However, he noted that to date, the Union is yet to be informed of the details of the regularisation. In addition, the sweeper/cleaners said they are yet to be informed of the new details of their regularisation and are still receiving the same pay, despite working eight hours per day.The Union indicated that they would consider legal action against the Government as a last resort.last_img read more

Fort Nelson First Nation joins Major Projects Coalition

first_imgFORT NELSON, B.C. – A community in northeastern British Columbia is joining a group advocating for First Nations’ opportunities and influence in resource projects.The Fort Nelson First Nation says it will formally participate in the First Nations Major Projects Coalition.Acting Chief Sharleen Gale says they see value in working with other First Nations to advance their economic and environmental interests in projects on their territories.- Advertisement -There are now 28 elected and hereditary First Nations in the coalition, but a news release on the announcement says that the Fort Nelson First Nation is the first from Northeastern B.C.Coalition chair Chief Joe Bevan says the new member unites First Nations’ business interests from the north coast to the province’s northeast.The B.C. government has said the Horn River Basin near Fort Nelson is one of the world’s most promising areas for liquefied natural gas extraction.Advertisementlast_img read more

B.C. government urging residents to be prepared for ‘the next’ natural disaster

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The B.C. government is asking its residents to consider looking at making an emergency plan in the event of a natural disaster.After an “unprecedented” wildfire season in B.C. which forced more than 65,000 British Columbians from their homes, many of which were without identification, medications and had no way to contact loved ones. Buildings were gutted, while more than 1.2 million hectares of land were incinerated.“The past summer taught me that disasters disproportionately affect those who already inhabit the socio-economic margins including the elderly, First Nations communities, single-parent households and other vulnerable populations,” said Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness Jennifer Rice. “During that time, I met with British Columbians who escaped their homes with little more than clothes on their back.”- Advertisement -Natural disasters took 2017 by storm as there were floods in Asia, Europe and here in B.C. In Mexico and Iran, residents experienced record earthquakes. Record heat waves and prolonged droughts were all over the globe, something scientists warn will become the new normal heading into the coming decades.“The best way to cope with mother nature is to develop a household emergency plan and share it with family, friends and neighbours,” added Rice. Assemble an emergency kit that can sustain you and your household for seven days. Retrofit your house to minimize damage following an earthquake. If you own a business, develop a continuity plan to ensure that if one of you is injured, or worse, another can take over. This can make the difference between whether your business collapses or survives.”For more information read more

Cirque du Soleil wings it at special soiree

first_imgFunds are raised by golfers securing pledges, and event organizers selling sponsorships, (this year’s sponsor, Fremont Investment & Loan, was joined by 40 other sponsors, a record for the event) as well as raffle tickets for a golf ball drop. For the past three years, Commander Chuck Street, KIIS-FM and KTLA-TV traffic reporter, has piloted his helicopter from which numbered golf balls are dropped near a pre-selected hole on the course on tournament day. The lucky ticket holder whose ball lands closest to the hole wins a cash prize. Since its inception in 1996, the Longest Day of Golf has raised approximately $1.8 million to send Hathaway-Sycamores youngsters to summer camp and to fund other specialized children’s programs throughout the year. AUTISM: THE MUSICAL Most of us have known someone affected by autism. The statistics are staggering. One in 150 children is diagnosed with the puzzling disability that afflicts four times more boys than girls. More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than with AIDS, diabetes and cancer combined. So far, little is known about it and there is no medical detection or cure for it. Those depressing facts and her long friendship with producer Janet Grillo, the mother of an autistic child, were the incentives for director Tricia Regan to tackle the subject of autism in a new film documentary, “Autism: the Musical,” which has been receiving praise from critics since its premiere at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival in April. Regan was in Pasadena last week for a weeklong run of the film at One Colorado, where I caught up with her at a pre-screening reception hosted by Autism Speaks at Il Fornaio. When first approached about the subject, Regan admitted she was a hard sell. “I told them, `No one wants to sit through an hour-and-a-half movie on autism,”‘ she said. “I think you want to make a movie about people and autism is the obstacle in the way of their accomplishing something else, which is a very basic three-act movie structure.” That’s how she was introduced to Elaine Hall, the driving force behind the Miracle Project, a live musical production featuring autistic children. Hall is one of the parents in the film along with musician Steven Sills and his wife Kristen, and Roseann Katon Walden, Playboy Magazine’s first African-American Playmate of the Month (1978). Shot entirely in Los Angeles, the film chronicles several children and their families, over a six-month period, as they create, rehearse and perform a live musical on stage, led by Hall, the determined coach. “I was blown away by the evolution of the kids during the project,” said Hall. “There are some who started out who could not walk into the room. They ended up being front and center on the day of the show!” “Autism: the Musical” will continue to play around the country in order to qualify for an Academy Award nomination with a portion of the proceeds earmarked for Autism Speaks. Regan said she was delighted with the Pasadena run. “We had a marvelous response – filling the house all week long – with absolutely no advertising dollars; relying only on word of mouth and an e-mail campaign. There is obviously a big need for this movie and a big audience.” HBO has acquired the film for an April broadcast premiere. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The invitational soiree after the opening performance of Cirque du Soleil’s Corteo was almost as surreal as the show itself. Following the final curtain call, a bevy of leggy “angels” in diaphanous gowns and marabou wings shepherded the crowd from the Grand Chapiteau (Big Top) over to the Forum. Inside, the seats were completely swathed in sky blue cloth. A winged harpist serenaded guests as they descended the steps to a fantasy heaven on the arena floor, where blue-tattooed seraphim in mini-tutus served Bombay Sapphire cocktails and cotton candy. The Little Door caterers manned food stations that included a chiffon-draped gurney, where a scantily clad angel languished among an array of shrimp canap s. Why all this heavenly hokum? The party scheme was a spin-off of the show’s theme. Corteo, which means “cortege” in Italian, is a tumultuous procession, imagined in a clown’s dreams. He envisions his own funeral taking place in a Brechtian celestial circus – somewhere between heaven and earth – watched over by soaring angels and a ringmaster who whistles Mozart. Lots of celebs were on the red carpet for the Aug. 23 opener. Among those spotted: Florence Henderson, Sharon Lawrence, Rosemarie, Michele Lee, Gina Gershon, Rikki Lake, Camryn Manheim, Doris Roberts, Donna Mills, Paula Abdul, Lindsay Wagner, Sara Ramirez, Bill Fitchner, Ross “the intern” Matthews, Carl Weathers, Ray Liotta, Criss Angel and Allison Arngrim. This production is an incredible theatrical experience, which brings together 61 artists – some are former Olympians – from 16 countries. It’s ensconced in its trademark blue and yellow tent-village in Inglewood through Oct. 14. Tickets are $55 – $90 for adults. Caveat: Bring cash. Self-parking is $22 and the popcorn is pricey too. DRIVERS FOR DOLLARS Celebrating this year’s Longest Day of Golf, the 11th annual fundraiser for Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services, participants gathered at the La Canada Flintridge home of Julie and David Battaglia for an evening garden party catered by Lawry’s Prime Rib. Jennifer Leal Gowen and Jack MacKenzie, co-chairmen of the tournament, played at Pasadena’s Brookside Golf Course, reported that 356 golfers who played 2,335 holes in one day – or an average of 64 holes of golf each – raised nearly $180,000 . last_img

Transfer rumours and paper review – Tuesday, June 9

first_imgHere’s the top transfer-related stories in Tuesday’s newspapers…Arsene Wenger is ready launch a move for Porto’s Jackson Martinez. The Arsenal boss plans to offload Lukas Podolski, Yaya Sanogo and Joel Campbell this summer to free up cash for a £25m swoop for the Colombian striker. (Daily Mirror)Chelsea are eyeing a move for Napoli’s Gonzalo Higuain and are ready to splash out £30m on the Argentine striker. (The Sun)Chelsea have slapped a £10million price tag on young striker Patrick Bamford’s head. The 21-year-old, who spent last season on loan at Middlesbrough, is wanted by Newcastle, Sunderland and West Brom. (Daily Express)Real Madrid believe they have won their battle with Manchester United for David De Gea. Club president Florentino Perez is set to meet De Gea’s agent Jorge Mendes this week as they close in on the deal. Real will then make a formal approach to United to begin negotiating his fee. (Daily Mirror)Juventus are plotting a £10m swoop for Manchester United striker Robin van Persie. The Champions League runners-up are bracing themselves for the loss of Carlos Tevez and want Van Persie to replace him. (Daily Star)Aston Villa captain Ron Vlaar admits he wants to play for a bigger club after receiving a new contract offer. A move to Manchester United could be on the cards for the Dutchman. (Daily Express)Tottenham will open talks this week with Monaco for £18.2million-rated forward Anthony Martial. The 19-year-old was part of the side that knocked the north Londoners’ bitter rivals Arsenal out of the Champions League in March. (Daily Mirror)And here’s the latest headlines…PSG star’s agent rubbishes £11m Arsenal linksNo Tottenham move for Miroslav Klose as veteran striker signs new Lazio dealFabio Borini set for talks over future as Liverpool push for permanent move awayAndrea Pirlo set to leave Champions League finalists Juventus and link up with Frank Lampard in New YorkTottenham close in on French teen sensationLiverpool to lose out in battle to land Real Madrid winger?Crystal Palace eye move for former Chelsea and Newcastle strikerBayern Munich eyeing double swoop for Manchester United targetsChelsea’s Juan Cuadrado closing in on loan move to Inter MilanManchester City consider bid for Colombian internationallast_img read more

Video: ‘That’s how you take a penalty’ – Hart rubbishes Roma players’ efforts

first_imgA thrilling pre-season friendly saw Man City beat Roma on penalties in Melbourne where Joe Hart was the hero, scoring one spot kick and saving two.Having been beaten by Adem Ljajic’s ‘Panenka’, just as Andrea Pirlo had done to him at Euro 2012, Hart saved Seydou Doumbia’s effort – “a rubbish penalty” – said the England no.1.“I’m fed up with all these people thinking they’re clever and rolling it down the middle. That’s how you take a penalty,” he told Man City’s website after the his thunderous strike.And on his winning save, he credited Samir Nasri, who he says told him where Doumbia would put it.last_img read more

Shooter kills 1, wounds another

first_img“They were just visiting. They weren’t there for long,” said Escalante’s cousin, Yasmin Garcia. “It happened so fast.” She said the people standing on the street were Escalante, Escalante’s brother, another cousin and Escalante’s girlfriend. Her cousin didn’t know his assailants, and he wasn’t even from the area. Escalante was raised in Lakewood and just moved to Fontana, Garcia said. Longtime neighbor Maria Gutierrez, 43, was in her den watching the History Channel with her husband, Robert, and their son when they heard eight shots on Monday. “Continuous shots. Pop. Pop. Pop,” she said. Her husband told her it sounded like gunshots. Seconds later, there was a different sound. “We heard the lady from next door screaming. She was screaming and yelling,” Gutierrez said. “I didn’t know if she knew the people or witnessed it. I felt so terrible, I started praying.” While Gutierrez and her son stayed inside the house, her husband went out to check. She said he saw a man lying in the street. “It was scary. Nothing like that had ever happened so close by here,” Gutierrez said. “Almost on your front step.” Michael Reyes, 53, saw four young people at the corner before the shooting. He said they were just talking. He went inside to use the restroom. “That’s when I heard the gun blasting,” he said. His wife, Elizabeth, 50, went out to help. They saw a girl crouched next to a black Honda Civic. It wasn’t damaged, but a second car next to it, described by Michael Reyes as a Thunderbird, had its back window shot out. There was also a distraught young man who they heard was the wounded man’s brother. The girl told them there was a family gathering across the street and that the wounded man was her boyfriend who came all the way from Pomona to see her. “When I felt him, he was cold. He was still alive. He had a pulse,” Elizabeth Reyes said. She dialed 9-1-1 and was told others had called already. Her sister-in-law gave her a blanket for the victim. Other residents came to assist. “And my neighbor gave me a blanket because he was cold,” she said. “We stood praying for him.” They comforted the girl, offering her a chair and bottled water. Residents stood by until police came. Escalante died at the scene. His funeral services are pending. The body was still at the Coroner’s Office on Tuesday. Anyone with information is asked to call Whittier police at (562) 945-8250. (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3026160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WHITTIER – One man was killed and another wounded when a gunman fired into a group of people Monday night. Coroner’s officials identified the dead man as Salvador Aldana Escalante, 20, of Fontana. An autopsy hasn’t been scheduled yet, said coroner’s spokesman Capt. Ed Winter. The other man, also 20, was taken to a hospital. His wounds weren’t considered life-threatening, said police Officer Diana Salazar. She didn’t know the extent of his wounds or his condition on Tuesday. The motive behind the shooting was still under investigation. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat KingsThe gunman opened fire at 9:30 p.m. on Orange Drive at Redman Avenue. Salazar said a car stopped a short distance away from three men and a woman who were standing in front of a house. A man wearing a dark hooded sweat shirt got out of the car and walked up to the group. “He says something to the group. It’s unknown what was said. He starts shooting,” Salazar said. The shooter fled in a compact car. Salazar said three other men might have been in the getaway vehicle. Relatives said Escalante didn’t know the shooter and had never seen the suspects before. last_img read more