TORONTO (AP):Top-ranked Serena Wil-liams rebounded to beat Italy’s Flavia Pennetta 2-6, 6-3, 6-0 yesterday in the first round of the WTA Tour’s Rogers Cup.The 21-time Grand Slam winner won a day after sister Venus Williams was eliminated in straight sets by Germany’s Sabine Lisicki.Also yesterday, France’s Alize Cornet upset ninth-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain 6-3,6-7 (2), 6-4, qualifier Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia beat 10th-seeded Karolina Pliskova 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-2, and No. 11 Ekaterina Makarova of Russia topped American qualifier Anna Tatishvili 6-3, 6-3.Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka beat Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina 6-1, 6-4 and Germany’s Angelique Kerber beat Japanese qualifier Misaki Doi 6-0, 6-1.After waiting out a lengthy rain delay, Germany’s Sabine Lisicki defeated Venus Williams 6-0, 6-3 in their first-round match.”I really had an off day,” Venus Williams said. “It was definitely a long wait and tough to not warm up. My opponent and I were under the same conditions, and she played really well.”Rain washed out most of the matches scheduled in the women’s half of the draw and Venus Williams and Lisicki didn’t take the court until after 10 p.m. local time.When they did, the 14th-seeded Venus Williams was not sharp, giving away more than a half-dozen points on double faults. Lisicki was strong in her service game and rarely made the kind of mistakes that cost her opponent.Fans who waited out the rain tried to encourage Williams during her struggles.”Against Venus, you have to play well to be able to beat her,” Lisicki said. “You have to be ready and fight for every point, and I’m very pleased with my performance.”rain-delay ritualLisicki looked at the draw and knew she had to be prepared from the start of the tournament. She did not know she would have to wait more than three hours from the scheduled start time to get going. Instead of her usual rain-delay ritual of pingpong, the 24th-ranked player in the world played a game of UNO. After being so dominant against Venus Williams, Lisicki might have to try that again.During the match, some fans cheered on Lisicki, but many tried to encourage Venus Williams as she struggled.”It’s hard to just, first round, play a player who doesn’t give you any rhythm,” Venus Williams said. “Just a tough draw and bad luck.”
After winning a point in the US Open final and bent on proving a point, Novak Djokovic leaped and roared and threw an uppercut then glared at some of the thousands of spectators pulling for Roger Federer.Following another point in that game, Djokovic nodded as he smiled towards the stands. And moments later, Djokovic shook his right arm, bloodied by an early fall, and screamed, “Yes! Yes!” to celebrate a missed forehand by Federer.Djokovic appeared to be all alone out there in the Arthur Ashe Stadium, trying to solve Federer while also dealing with a crowd loudly supporting the 17-time major champion proclaimed “arguably the greatest player in the history of the sport” during pre-match introductions.In the end, Djokovic handled everything in a thrill-a-minute final on a frenetic night. Thwarting Federer with his relentless defence and unparalleled returning, Djokovic took control late and held on for a 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 victory on Sunday to earn his second US Open title, third major championship of the year, and 10th Grand Slam trophy in all.”We pushed each other to the limit,” the No. 1-ranked Djokovic said, “as we always do.”Djokovic, who is 63-5 in 2015, including 27-1 at majors, said he understood why the crowd backed Federer – but hopes to someday get that sort of support.”You do let sometimes certain things to distract you,” Djokovic said about interacting with the fans. “But it’s important to get back on the course and go back to basics and why you are there and what you need to do.”He certainly was able to do that.unreachable shotsContorting his body this way and that, sneakers squeaking loudly as he changed directions or scraping like sandpaper as he slid to reach unreachable shots, Djokovic forced the 34-year-old Federer to put the ball into the tiniest of spaces. Federer wound up with 54 unforced errors, 17 more than Djokovic.Another key statistic: Djokovic won 10 of the first 12 points that lasted at least 10 strokes.Perhaps the most pivotal of all: Djokovic saved 19 of the 23 break points he faced, while winning six of Federer’s service games.”Some of them, I could have done better, should have done better,” the second-ranked Federer said.From late in the third set to 5-2 in the fourth, Djokovic took control against a wilting Federer by claiming eight of 10 games. Federer made one last stand, breaking to get within 5-3 and holding for 5-4, but a forehand return that flew long left Djokovic as the champion, pointing to his heart.- AP
This partnership will also see PUMA working with Powell to design a Sub-10 King line of sportswear and spikes. Speaking about the new partnership with PUMA, Asafa Powell said, “PUMA has played a huge role in Jamaican track and field throughout my career – supporting the high-school programme that fosters young athletes, partnering with the JAAA and Jamaica Olympic Association and elite athletes such as Usain. It’s a brand I’ve been very familiar with throughout my career, and their longstanding commitment to Jamaican athletics is key as we continue to build and work to maintain our recent successes.” “They understand Jamaican culture, history, people and also the sport that this country loves, and I am very happy to be working with them,” Powell added. “Having Asafa as part of our team here at PUMA is great news for us. He has played such an important role in Jamaican track and field for more than a decade, demonstrating a consistently high level of performance throughout his sprinting career, which is a great testament to a great man,” said Pascal Rolling, PUMA’s head of sports marketing for Running. “He inspires those around him, is an excellent role model, and will bring great value to PUMA in the years ahead.” Asafa Powell has run the most sub-10-second 100m sprints in the history of track and field. The Commonwealth, World Championship and Olympic medallist has dipped below the 10-second mark 94 times and was the first Jamaican to win the IAAF Sportsman of the Year. Powell, who clocked the first sub 10 second time of the 2015 track season, was the first Jamaican to ever hold the world record for the 100m dash, with times of 9.77 and 9.74. Sub-10 King line PUMA yesterday announced a new endorsement deal with Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell. The former 100m world record holder who holds the record for the most sub-10-second 100m sprints having dipped below that mark 94 times, joins the Global Sports Brand’s growing portfolio of athletes preparing for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. In addition to the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt, this roster has recently been bolstered by key additions, including NCAA 100m Champion Jenna Prandini, Australian sprint hurdler Michelle Jenneke and French 800m runner Pierra-Ambroise Bosse. Asafa Powell will become an ambassador for the PUMA brand in an Olympic year and beyond. He will feature in both global marketing activations promoting Running Training product lines and brand campaigns in the lead up to to the 2016 Olympics.
It would have taken nothing less than a highly motivated team, with some very inspired players, a great tactical plan and perfect game-time execution for Jamaica College (JC) to turn the tables on St George’s College the way they did in the Manning Cup final. This is the kind of dynamic convergence that generally occurs when a team with superior individual talent gets beaten by a team with less individual quality. It was a lesson in tactical brilliance by coach Miguel Coley and the rest of the JC coaching staff. After getting clobbered by an embarrassing four goals to nil in the FLOW Super Cup final, JC could have easily lost confidence and surrendered the psychological advantage. Instead, their emphatic response was commensurate with their status as champions. I did an interview on radio with Coley on the eve of the final and asked him if he had a specific plan for the St George’s number 11? Coley, I thought, pretended not to hear the question, so I asked him again, do you have a plan for the highly rated Alex Marshall, who basically destroyed JC in the Super Cup final? Coley, this time, was deliberately evasive and expertly stuck to generalities while refusing to answer the question directly. It was obvious from then that a plan was indeed in place. Marshall shut down To nullify a dangerous striker, coaches generally employ one of two approaches: designate a man marker or cut off the supply line to the danger man. JC opted for the latter, and they did it brilliantly. Outside of the overall defensive discipline of the champions, as reflected in their tenacious tackling, marking and pressuring of the ball, the likes of captain Shevon Stewart and Gregory Messam Jr, the season-long supply line for the consistently brilliant Marshall, were rendered ineffective by the high-energy and aggressive JC ball-pressing in midfield, which left Marshall out of service and a mere spectator. At one point in the game, Stewart came over to coach Neville ‘Bertis’ Bell and the television microphone picked up the conversation as the skipper quietly complained to the coach about the effort of some of his teammates. Coach Bell responded by saying, talk to them, but don’t quarrel, just talk to them. Crucially, for the entire 90 minutes, St George’s were unable to conjure up any significant tactical response to the relentless aggression and efficiency of the JC approach. During coach Miguel Coley’s 100 per cent three-peat Manning Cup run at JC, one thing that they have done consistently is to peak and play their best football at the business end of the season. I have been cautiously sending out my warnings all year long that the wagon-filled STGC clan had better be wary of JC. On the STGC side, I did detect an uncharacteristic touch of overconfidence from a couple of the television interviews, and who could blame them really, after St George’s had so emphatically demolished JC two weeks before? Certainly, for the first time that I can remember in his illustrious coaching career, Bell was outcoached in a Manning Cup final. That picture of him kneeling to congratulate Coley said more than a thousand words, as one of the oldest lessons in sport was reinforced in the 2015 Manning Cup final: Never underestimate the heart of a champion.
Western Bureau:Arnett Gardens FC swept into third place in the Red Stripe Premier League, on the back of a Marcelino Blackburn double at the Frome Sports Complex yesterday.The defending champions came from behind to clip Reno 2-1 after Tyshan Hill had fired Reno into the lead in the 21st minute. Blackburn levelled the score with a header in the 47th minute then struck again in added time with a dipping left-footed free kick.The victory takes them to third in the table, joining Humble Lion on 26 points, and left the home team in mid-table with 22 points.”I am very pleased with the win, because we have been having trouble scoring lately. These are two wonderful goals from Blackburn, and the team definitely deserves the win,” stated Arnett Gardens coach Jerome Waite.The result has left Reno coach Michael Graham struggling for words, as he was clearly upset.”This was a game we should have won, but for the lack of concentration in the second half,” Graham said.”After scoring first, we were looking to get all three points but we faltered and they scored an unfortunate goal,” he said.
In a year where several of Jamaica’s male juniors performed with distinction, two athletes, Christopher Taylor of Calabar High and Akeem Bloomfield of Kingston College, stood tall in the 400 metres. Taylor, who gave early signals at development meets early in the year with excellent times in both the 200 and 400 metres, continued his good form at the ISSA-GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Championships, where, in his first year in Class Two, he easily won the one-lap event along with the 200m and ran a brilliant leg in the 4×400 metres as Calabar clocked a record 3:06.76 to wipe out St Jago High’s one-year-old mark of 3:08.31. On the world stage, Taylor produced outstanding times. At the IAAF World Youth Championships in July in Cali, Colombia, he was just brilliant. After posting 45.30 seconds in his semi-final, where many thought he had gone out too fast and would have paid the price in the final, he went even faster in the final as he stopped the clock at an astonishing 45.27 to win the event and become the second-fastest ever at this level. Only American Obi Moore with his 45.14 in Santiago, Chile, in 1995 has gone faster. The 16-year-old Taylor (born October 1, 1999), who went sub 46 seconds four times in the year, was ranked number one on the IAAF Word Youth list and was sixth on the World Junior list for 2015. While Taylor was the talk of the town, Kingston College’s Akeem Bloomfield was not far behind. Competing in his fourth individual 400 metres of his career at the ISSA-GraceKennedy Championships in March, he created history in the one-lap event. Bloomfield (born October 11, 1997) dipped under 45 seconds in winning the Class One 400m in 44.93. In doing so, he became the country’s first junior to go sub-45 and, in the process, he shattered Davian Clarke’s national junior record of 45.21. Bloomfield, with that record-breaking performance, ended the year at number two on the IAAF list. Only Abdelalelah Haroun of Qatar was faster. Haroun, who had the seven-fastest times in the event, topped the list with his 44.27. Following these impressive 400m runs from Taylor and Bloomfield, all attention will now be turned to next year’s IAAF World Junior Championships as Jamaica could do something special in the 4x400m. With the likes of Martin Manley and Jaheel Hyde set to join Taylor and Bloomfield, the world record of 3:01.09 set by the United States in Grossseto, Italy, in 2004 could be in danger. Record-breaking performance
PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC):A wet outfield has caused the abandonment of the penultimate day of the fourth and final Test between West Indies and India at Queen’s Park Oval yesterday.Match officials called off play at 10:25 a.m. after inspecting the ground.The second and third days were also abandoned without a bowl bowled due to an impaired outfield.Play was only possible for 13/4 hours on day one before heavy rains forced the last two sessions to be abandoned.
National Under-17 head coach, Andrew Edwards, is highly confident that this team has enough talent to do well in the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) tournament in Trinidad and Tobago. The team left yesterday for the Under-17 tournament that kicks off tomorrow. Jamaica advanced to the final stage after easily winning Group Four in the previous stage in July. They had wins against Guyana, 4-1; Antigua and Barbuda, 3-1; and the US Virgin Islands 9-0. Now, the Jamaicans are placed in Group A for the final round of qualifiers to the CONCACAF tournament and ultimately the FIFA Under-17 World Cup next year. “We have an absolutely fantastic chance as we have a team that can qualify for the CONCACAF tourney,” Edwards told The Gleaner yesterday. “I think the talent level and discipline in the team are very good. The youngsters play to instruction, and that is very important in moving forward,” he shared. The Jamaicans will play against Bermuda tomorrow, then Haiti on Sunday and finish the group stage when they face hosts Trinidad and Tobago next Tuesday. In Group B, the teams are Cuba, Curacao, Suriname and Guadeloupe. After the completion of the group stage, the top two teams from each group will advance to the semi-finals scheduled for September 23. The final will be on September 25. Also, the top five teams from the CFU tourney will move on to the CONCACAF tournament in Honduras in November. SQUAD: Jeremy Verley (Milton Academy, USA), Tajay Griffiths (Wolmer’s Boys’), Daniel Russell (Holmwood Technical), Nickache Murray (Wolmer’s Boys’), Jamoi Topey (Camperdown High), Kendall Edwards (Park View High, USA), Kimani Gibbons (St Jago High), Jordan Peterkin (Kingston College), Damani Osei (Cosby High School, USA), Cawayne Allen (St James High), Jamari Morrison (KC), Renato Campbell (KC), Horace Ramsey (KC), Blake White (USA), Cobi Atkinson (American Heritage, USA), Chad Letts (YSC Academy, USA), Omar Thompson (KC), Kaheem Parris (Dinthill Technical), Raewin Senior (Excelsior High) and Nickque Daley (Clarendon College).
The 8-5 favourite, LOTTERY TICKET, got up in the nick of time to beat long-time leader LUNAR ROCKET (5-1) by half-a-length in the inaugural running to the Miracle Cure Sprint over 1100 metres at Caymanas Park yesterday.Ridden by leading jockey Omar Walker for 15-time champion trainer Wayne DaCosta and co-owners Elizabeth DaCosta and Bruce Levy, LOTTERY TICKET was kept off the early pace set by LUNAR ROCKET and the chasing BLUE MOON (19-1).Responding to a bustling ride from Walker, a furlong out, LOTTERY TICKET fairly flew over the last 100 metres to catch LUNAR ROCKET within shades of the wire, with her stable-companion BLUE MOON holding on to third in a field of 14 three-year-old fillies.A lightly raced sort, LOTTERY TICKET, by Seeking The Glory out of Just A Flutter, was notching her second win from five starts.Earlier in the afternoon, SOTOMAYOR (5-1), ridden by champion apprentice Linton Steadman for trainer Anthony Nunes, floored the odds on the howling 1-9 favourite HENRY THE SECOND to win the Abbie Grannum Memorial Cup for maiden two-year-olds over 1400 metres by half a length.NOT TO BE DENIEDThe grey colt by Traditional out of Runaway Julie, went by HENRY THE SECOND from early in the straight and although the favourite rallied strongly in the closing stages, SOTOMAYOR was not to be denied.He is co-owned by David Miller and Stephan Narinesingh and provided Steadman with the second of two winners on the card, the other being LEGENDARY PLEASURE at 5-2 in the first race.The best horses will be on show next Saturday for the 38th running of the Burger King Superstakes over 2000 metres for a purse of $4.5 million. Ten entries have been received for the Superstakes, including last year’s winner, FRANFIELD, from the Richard Azan stables, two-time winner TYPEWRITER and the reigning ‘Horse of the Year’, SEEKING MY DREAM.
Tivoli Gardens will look to add to Boys’ Town’s misery when the teams meet in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) today at the Barbican Complex playing field. Match time is 3 p.m.The encounter was originally scheduled for October 23 but was postponed due to a waterlogged Barbican surface.Now the two neighbouring clubs will square off in a derby game.Tivoli are on 14 points from nine games, in sixth position, while Boys’ Town are in last place on four points from nine games.Despite the disparity in terms of points, the game could bring out the best in both teams, as they know each other well.There are players that have represented both clubs as well, while Tivoli’s new coach, Omar Edwards, spent a decade as a coach at Boys’ Town.Edwards says he is expecting a tough encounter this afternoon, but notes that his team will be hunting full points.derby game”It will be a tough game, a very physical one. And it must be noted that it is a derby game,” Edwards told The Gleaner yesterday morning.”We are aware that Boys’ Town are not doing well at this time, and we are in mid-pack, so we will go to Barbican intent on coming away with a win, which would improve our position in the league,” said Edwards, who is also the national Under-17 assistant coach.Tivoli will be missing their captain, Romaine Breakenridge, and striker Mitchily Waul due to red cards picked up in the encounter against Arnett Gardens last Sunday.”We will miss two of our starters due to red cards, but we have players who are ready for the opportunity,” he concluded.Tivoli will rely on veterans Edsel ‘Robbie’ Scott and Jermaine ‘Teddy’ Johnson, as well as former Boys’ Town midfielder Tevin Shaw and Barrington Pryce to lead their charge for victory.Boys’ Town are having a miserable start, with only one win, one draw and seven losses in nine games. However, their long-serving coach Andrew Price is hoping that the derby will be added motivation for his team.”I hope that the west Kingston derby will be a big motivation for us. I believe that a game of this magnitude will bring the best out of the players. We are hopeful that things will change as the players are down because of things outside of the football sphere,” Price reasoned.Boys’ Town will hope that their top striker, Shamar Nicholson, Xavian Virgo, veteran goalkeeper Kirk Porter and Garfield Gillespie report in the right frame of mind.