Wednesday, 20 January 2010
DEFENDING champion Rafael Nadal secured his second straight-sets win to progress to the third round of the Australian Open.
The Spanish second seed needed one hour and 53 minutes to brush aside Slovakia's Lukas Lacko 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 on Rod Laver Arena.
It was a convincing display from Nadal, who showed no signs of the early nerves from his first-round match against Peter Luczak.
"I think I played the match that I needed to play," said Nadal. "I played more relaxed. The second round always is easier to play. I think I improved a little bit, but I can still play a little bit longer."
Nadal will meet a seed for the first time in the next round after Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber (27) defeated Wayne Odesnik 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Seventh seed Andy Roddick cruised past Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 and next in his way is Feliciano Lopez after the Spaniard beat 2003 finalist Rainer Schuettler 6-3, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Roddick continued his clashes with officialdom when he questioned an umpiring decision on match point. The seventh seed had clashed with a line umpire in his first round match. Yesterday, Roddick held match point at 40-15 when a ball from Bellucci was adjudged to be in after review by the Hawk-Eye replay system.
The big-serving American then produced what he thought was an ace to seal the victory, only for Bellucci to challenge the call. Hawk-Eye determined the ball to be 'out', forcing Roddick to make a second serve. However, Bellucci belted a forehand long in the subsequent rally to finally hand Roddick the 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win.
The victor then argued with chair umpire Fergus Murphy afterwards. "There was just a disagreement about a rule I guess on a continuation of a call," Roddick explained.
"To be fair, I didn't come in here until I watched the video of it. I was more wrong than I thought I was out on court. That being said, it was very close."
In the last match of the day, 14th seed Marin Cilic was taken the distance by Australian teenager Bernard Tomic 6-7 (6/8), 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, with play not finishing until after 2am local time.
Ana Ivanovic isn’t exactly Maria Sharapova on the court, but she isn’t Anna Kournikova either. In other words, she’s won things, like the 2008 French Open, for example. The Serbian tennis star, who stands 6’ in height, is currently ranked No. 22 in the world and still manages to study finance at the university level in Belgrade between matches. Although 2009 proved to be one of the least successful years of her career thus far, we’d like to mention that she’s only 22 years old. What had Anna Kournikova accomplished at that age, besides a ridiculous amount of endorsements?
Why Is She Famous?
In 2007, Ana Ivanovic was ranked in the top five female tennis players worldwide by the WTA, and in '08, she became the first Serbian female player to win a Grand Slam singles title after she won the French Open.
Ana Ivanovic is sexy, from her smile to her fun demeanor, and she says she can't wait to meet Mr. Right, even if her schedule is jam-packed. "When that happens, and if he feels the same way about me, I'm sure we can make it work," she says.
You could call Ana Ivanovic the Serbian girl-next-door. Just like many girls next door, she loves music, especially the R&B variety, and makes a point of attending concerts between matches. She even attended the Princess Diana Memorial Concert on a break from Wimbledon in July 2007.
Ana Ivanovic is fast on her feet and covers the court well, which makes her height an asset rather than a disadvantage. She plays point-by-point without letting mistakes bother her. With a serve that reaches up to 125 miles per hour, she's one of the fastest out there, and she's won two Tier I contests and a pair of Tier II contests, with most of her wins being on hard surfaces. As of 2008, she was ranked No. 2
on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour and was the No. 1 ranked Serbian tennis player. Her win at the 2008 French Open helped clinch this.
"I am pretty happy. But there are so many things I have to still improve."
- Ana Ivanovic
Ana Ivanovic was born in Belgrade, Serbia, on November 8, 1987. She thanks her parents, Dragana and Miroslav, for supporting her tennis dreams for her entire life. Even though she's the famous athletic name in the family, Ana's relatives have also done their fair share of sports. Her younger brother, Milos, plays basketball and her uncle is a former football player.
Tennis first became a dream for Ana Ivanovic when she watched it on TV at a young age, with her favorite player being Monica Seles. At the age of 4, Ana memorized the phone number for a local tennis club that advertised on TV. She persuaded her parents to call and the rest is history. A year later, she was playing and one of her friends was Novak Djokovic, who became the third-ranked player in the world. A steady player at 5, Ana Ivanovic had already decided that tennis was for her.
The last time Roger Federer played at Rod Laver Arena, he left in tears after losing the Australian Open final to Rafael Nadal a year ago.
There were no such waterworks Tuesday, just a few tense moments for the Swiss star seeking his 16th Grand Slam title in a 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7-2), 6-0 win over Igor Andreev of Russia in the first round at Melbourne, Australia.
Federer lost the first set after leading by a break, then saved three set points in the 12th game of the third set before winning the tiebreaker and dominating the fourth set.
Last year, Federer shed tears after having missed his first chance to equal Pete Sampras' 14 Grand Slam titles -- a feat he later achieved and surpassed with wins at the French Open and Wimbledon.
No. 7 Andy Roddick had a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win over Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci.
In women's matches, sixth-seeded Venus Williams beat Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic, 6-2, 6-2, and Melanie Oudin, the 18-year-old American who made a surprising run to last year's U.S. Open quarterfinals, lost her first-round match, 2-6, 7-5, 7-5, to Alla Kudryavtseva of Russia. Svetlana Kuznetsova became the first player into the third round with a 6-2, 6-2 win today over fellow Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
Auto racing: Tony George's separation from the management of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is complete. George, ousted as CEO in June, resigned from the board of directors that oversees the speedway and the family business, Hulman & Co. The move was announced in a statement by George's mother, Mari Hulman George, who chairs the board. The Hulman-George family has run the speedway, home of the Indy 500, for six decades. George, who was the speedway's president for 20 years and formed the IRL in 1994, was removed last year amid job cuts and concerns about his spending on upgrades at the speedway.
Tuesday, 19 January 2010
Yelena Gadzhievna Isinbaeva (born 3 June 1982) is a Russian pole vaulter. She is a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist (2004 and 2008), was named Female Athlete of the Year by the IAAF in 2004, 2005 and 2008, and World Sportswoman of the Year by Laureus in 2007 and 2009. Prince of Asturias Award for Sports in 2009. As a result of her accomplishments, many consider her to be the greatest female pole-vaulter of all time.
On 22 July 2005 she became the first woman to clear the historic 5.00 metre barrier in the pole vault.
At the age of 27 Isinbayeva has been a nine-time major champion (Olympic, World outdoor and indoor champion and European outdoor and indoor champion).
Isinbaeva's current world records are 5.06 m outdoors, a record Isinbayeva set in Zurich on August 28, 2009, and 5.00 m indoors, a record set at the Donetsk indoor meeting on 15 February 2009. The former was Isinbayeva's twenty-seventh world record.
Reasons for success
Setting 27 world records (15 outdoor and 12 indoor), staying virtually unbeaten between 2004 and 2009 (winning nine straight gold medals in indoor and outdoor championships) and being elected IAAF World Athlete of the Year in 2004, 2005 and 2008, Isinbayeva has established herself as one of the most successful athletes of her generation.
In August 2005, top UK pole vault coach Steve Rippon said to the BBC that "she [Isinbayeva] is one of the few female pole vaulters I look at and think her technique is as good as the men's. In fact, the second part of her jump is probably better than any male pole vaulter currently competing. She has a fantastic technique, she's quite tall (almost 5ft 9in) and she runs extremely well."
These statements are confirmed by close observation of her jumps; in detail, Isinbayeva's high level of body control (courtesy of her gymnastics background) especially pays off in the so-called "L-Phase", where it is vital to use the pole's rebound to convert horizontal speed into height. Common mistakes are getting rebounded away in an angle (rather than vertically up) or inability to keep the limbs stiff, both resulting in loss of vertical speed and therefore less height. In Isinbayeva's case, her L-Phase is exemplary.
Her father, Gadzhi Gadzhiyevich Isinbaev, is a plumber and a member of a small (130,000-people strong) ethnic group of Tabasarans who mostly live in Dagestan. Her mother, a shop assistant, is an ethnic Russian. Isinbaeva also has a sister named Inna. Isinbayeva came from humble beginnings and remembers that her parents had to make many financial sacrifices in her early career.
She has both a Bachelor's and Master's Degree after graduating from the Volgograd State Academy of Physical Culture. Currently she is continuing her post-graduate studies there and also studying at the Donetsk National Technical University.
In the Russian club competitions she represents the railroad military team; she is formally an officer in the Russian army, and on 4 August 2005 she was given military rank of senior lieutenant. On 19 August 2008 she was promoted to the military rank of Captain.
Michael Phelps wrapped up his first meet of 2010 with a pair of medals Monday night.
The Baltimore native won the 100-yard butterfly final at the Southern California Grand Prix in Long Beach, and followed that with a bronze medal in the 100y backstroke. Phelps also competed in the 100y breaststroke final, in which he placed fifth.
Phelps swam the 100y butterfly in 48.09 seconds during his preliminary swim on Monday, but shaved over two seconds off that time in the finals en route to a 45.68 finish. The 100y backstroke, a relatively new race for Phelps, also yielded some improvement in his time. His finals finish of 46.67 was quicker than his prelim time of 48.37.
Matt Grevers, who won two races on Saturday and two more on Sunday, claimed victory in Monday's 100y backstroke after touching the wall in 45.97. Grevers finished third in the 100y butterfly.
Phelps also dropped nearly two seconds off his prelim time in the 100y breaststroke, but his result of 54.25 did not earn him a medal. Kosuke Kitajima of Japan took gold in that event after stopping the clock in 52.17.
Japan's Hidemasa Sano won the men's 200y individual medley in 1:43.79, while Zane Grothe took the men's 1650y freestyle title (15:11.89).Phelps won the 400y IM on Sunday and the 500y freestyle Saturday.
Monday, 18 January 2010
Pelé is the first soccer player to achieve massive international acclaim. His name is regularly mentioned today, more than a quarter century after his retirement.
Apart from his popularity, Pelé's life story is the ultimate soccer dream. He began as a poor boy from the slums in Tres Coracoes, Brazil but earned fame and fortune through his talent on the pitch. Pelé's father, Dondinho, was very influential in his son's success. Dondinho was a former footballer and made sure to pass over his knowlege to young Pelé. This paid off and by the age of 15, Pelé was signed by Santos. His international debut followed just a year after on the 7th of July 1957 against Argentina at the legendary Maracanã stadium. Merely at the age of 17, Pelé was recruited to Brazil's World Cup squad. At World Cup 1958 in Sweden, he first gained attention after his goal against Wales which clinched Brazil to the next round. Pelé proved that he wasn't a fluke in the following match, scoring three goals on France. By the tournament's final, Brazilian coach Vicente Feola was confident in the talented 17-year old. His two goals at the 1958 World Cup final ascertained his status as a soccer superstar.
Thanks to Pelé's sensational scoring, his club Santos earned the Intercontinental Cup in 1962 and 1963.
At the 1962 World Cup in Chile, Pelé missed out most of the tournament due to an injury. Brazil still managed to win the trophy. At World Cup 1966, Pele was once again was forced to permanently leave the pitch after being ferociously tackled.
After England 1966, many began to doubt the Brazilian soccer player and his superstar status. He made a triumphant return at Mexico 1970 by dazzling audiences worldwide. This was the first World Cup broadcast in color and was shown across an unprecedented number of countries. In front of over 100,000 spectators at Azteca Stadium and millions of TV viewers, Pelé scored the first goal of the 1970 World Cup final. That opened the floodgates to Brazil's crushing 4-1 victory and reclaimed Pele as the "King of Soccer".
Later in the 1970's, Pelé was signed by the New York Cosmos in the North American Soccer League. He eventually retired as the only player with over 1000 goals in professional football. Pele was the first commercial superstar of non-commercial soccer.
Sir Donald George Bradman, AC (27 August 1908 – 25 February 2001), often referred to as The Don, was an Australian cricketer, widely acknowledged as the greatest batsman of all time. Bradman's career Test batting average of 99.94 has been claimed to be statistically the greatest achievement in any major sport.
The story that the young Bradman practised alone with a cricket stump and a golf ball is part of Australian folklore. Bradman's meteoric rise from bush cricket to the Australian Test team took just over two years. Before his 22nd birthday, he had set many records for high scoring, some of which still stand, and became Australia's sporting idol at the height of the Great Depression.
During a 20-year playing career, Bradman consistently scored at a level that made him, in the words of former Australia captain Bill Woodfull, "worth three batsmen to Australia". A controversial set of tactics, known as Bodyline, was specifically devised by the England team to curb his scoring. As a captain and administrator Bradman was committed to attacking, entertaining cricket; he drew spectators in record numbers. He hated the constant adulation, however, and it affected how he dealt with others. The focus of attention on his individual performances strained relationships with some team-mates, administrators and journalists, who thought him aloof and wary. Following an enforced hiatus, due to the Second World War, he made a dramatic comeback, captaining an Australian team known as "The Invincibles" on a record-breaking unbeaten tour of England.
A complex, highly driven man, not given to close personal relationships, Bradman retained a pre-eminent position in the game by acting as an administrator, selector and writer for three decades following his retirement. Even after he became reclusive in his declining years his opinion was highly sought, and his status as a national icon was still recognised—more than 50 years after his retirement as a Test player, in 2001, the Australian Prime Minister John Howard called him the "greatest living Australian". Bradman's image has appeared on postage stamps and coins, and he was the first living Australian to have a museum dedicated to his life. On the centenary of his birth, 27 August 2008, the Royal Australian Mint issued a $5 commemorative gold coin with his image.
On 19 November 2009, Sir Don Bradman was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.
Bradman's runs and records
Don Bradman played in 52 Test matches for Australia from 1928 to 1948. World War II interrupted his career at its peak.
He batted 80 times against England, the West Indies, South Africa and India for 6996 runs at that average of 99.94.
Bradman made 29 Test hundreds.
Discounting his 10 not outs and his multiple hundreds, this means Bradman exceeded the century more often than every third time he went out to bat.
His nearest contemporary in batting genius, England's Walter Hammond, made only 253 more runs in 33 more Test matches and another 60 innings at an average of 41 less than Bradman. Hammond's 22 hundreds came at a rate greater than every sixth time he went out to bat.
Bradman made 12 Test double-centuries or more, with 334 and 304 against England and 299 not out against South Africa the highest.
In all first-class cricket Don Bradman scored 28,067 runs at an average of 95.14 with 117 centuries and a highest score of 452 not out. He hit 37 double-centuries, six of them over 300.
Compare that with the likes of the modern day masters such as Border, Lara and Tendulkar.
Yet the cricket career of Sir Donald Bradman cannot be measured in mere facts and figures. The Don gave enjoyment not to thousand of people, but to millions.
And he didn't mind enjoying himself, either.
In 1931 he scored 100 runs in three overs! NSW cricketer Wendell Bill was batting at the other end.
So there it is : 99.94. It is six-hundredths of a sharp single short of 100, or one step down the wicket to the slow bowlers.
Some cricket purists are glad Bradman didn't hit that solitary boundary and leave the game with a permanent century against his name.
His failure to do so proves to them that even the greatest in the game isn't as great as the game itself.
In the almost half a century since that day, The Don himself lost no sleep over the most famous "blob" in cricket. The batting feats that preceded it are beyond the reach of any other cricketer.