Serena on top of the world
Losses really motivate me a lot: Williams
Focus back on gritty Yuvraj Singh
4 lakh respond within hours as Tendulkar joins Facebook
We’ll win T20 World Cup: Srikkanth
Collingwood: England better than my T20 heroes
Proteas win against England a ‘big boost’: De Villiers
Davis Cup: Men at work, please adjust
Jr grapplers fail at World C’ship
Haryana’s Ritu Rani to lead Indian hockey team
Prakhar makes it to junior India team
New York, September 10
In the first three-set final at the US Open since 1995, American fourth seed Williams joined her sister Venus and Steffi Graf as the only women to win Wimbledon, the Olympics and the US Open in the same year. Pushed to her limit for the only time in the Flushing Meadows fortnight, Williams was down a break twice in the third set but battled back to win after two hours and 18 minutes when Azarenka swatted a backhand long.
"I honestly can't believe I won," Williams said. "I was preparing my runner-up speech. I'm so shocked. It's remarkable." Williams, who turns 31 on September 26, became the second-oldest US Open women's champion in the Open era. Australian Margaret Court was one month past her 31st birthday when she won the 1973 title. Not since Martina Navratilova in 1987 had a woman won the US Open title past her 30th birthday.
Taking home a top prize of $1.9 million, Williams won her 45th career title after finishing second to Australia's Samantha Stosur in 2011 following a year of health problems that included blood clots on her lungs.. Williams won prior US Open titles in 1999, 2002 and 2008 and added Grand Slam crowns at the 2002 French Open, the 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2010 Australian Opens and Wimbledon in 2002, 2003, 2009, 2010 and 2012.
Olympic bronze medalist Azaranka, whose 1-9 record against Williams in prior matches included losses in this year's Olympic and Wimbledon semi-finals, won her first Grand Slam title at this year's Australian Open. But no women's top seed has won a US Open title since Justine Henin in 2007 and none has won a Grand Slam title since Serena Williams in 2010 at Wimbledon.
"Serena deserves to win. She showed how true a champion she is," Azarenka said. "I definitely gave it all today. Stepping off this court I will have no regrets." Williams, in a third set at the US Open for the first time since 2006, exchanged early breaks with Azarenka in the final set.
Azarenka, unbeaten in 12 prior three-set matches this year, broke Williams at love for a 4-3 lead, but was broken back when she served for the match in the 10th game, netting a forehand to pull Williams level at 5-5.
The American held serve and then watched as Azarenka twice hit errant shots when she was a point from forcing the first third-set tie-breaker in a US Open women's final since 1985. Williams then won on her first match-point chance.
The 13-year gap between Williams winning her first Slam title at age 17 at the US Open and now marks the longest span between first and most recent titles in US Open history and for any Grand Slam in the Open era that began in 1968.
No US Open women's final had gone to a third set since Steffi Graf went the distance to defeat Monica Seles 7-6 (8/6), 0-6, 6-3 some 17 years ago.
Williams stretched her match-win streak against World No. 1 players to five in a row, last losing to a rankings leader in 2007 when Justine Henin beat her, and 15 for her career, three shy of Navratilova's all-time record.
It was the fourth time Williams defeated a World No. 1 in a Grand Slam final after Martina Hingis in the 1999 US Open, Venus Williams in 2002 Wimbledon and Lindsay Davenport in the 2005 Australian Open. — Agencies
New York, September 10
The 30-year-old American's win over World No 1 Victoria Azarenka marked Williams' 15th Grand Slam title and capped off the most successful summer of her career.
"It really is amazing," she said. "I knew it was going to be a long summer but I knew I could do well if I just put my mind to it. I knew I could just be a good player and a champion this summer but I never expected to win all these titles."
Speaking about her early exit from Roland Garros where she was beaten by World No 111 Virginie Razzano, she said: "Losses really motivate me. I was miserable after that loss in Paris. I have never been so miserable after a loss."I don't know if that helped me, the loss in Paris. I like to believe it did, because I just wanted to do more. I wanted to do more and more and more."
Azarenka, who has lost to Williams at Wimbledon, the Olympics and the US Open this season, hailed the American as "the greatest" after the latest defeat.
She said: "For me she's the greatest player of all time. She took the game to the next level. "She makes me always make sure that I'm taking my game, my personality, my physical aspect to the next level.
"Today I was close. I'm going to have, for sure, another opportunity to make something better. That's what I'm looking for." The 23-year-old added: "At the moment it's tough, but Serena deserved to win. She showed how true a champion she is. I'm just honoured standing with such a champion here."
No regrets: Azarenka
For Victoria Azarenka, there were no regrets, just satisfaction that she had produced her best in her gallant U.S. Open final loss to Serena Williams, a player she described as the greatest of all
time. At 5-3, 30-30 in the final set of her first final at Flushing Meadows, the world number one stood two points away from winning Sunday's title only to fall victim to yet another of Williams's great escapes as she went down 6-2 2-6
7-5. "I have no regrets," the Belarusian said. "I felt like I gave it all there. Could it have gone my way? Probably, yes. But it
didn't. "It really, really hurts. Those emotions come out and you feel sad, but it's time to really realise what happened today. It was a great match. It was close, but not for
me." Outplayed in the first set, Australian Open champion Azarenka raised her game in the second, extending the rallies and forcing uncharacteristic mistakes from Williams, who looked more tense by the
point. But as she has done so many times in her career, the 30-year-old pulled herself together when she needed to and reeled off four straight games to win her fourth U.S. Open and her 15th grand slam singles
title. "For me she's the greatest player of all time," Azarenka said. "She took the game to the next
level. "She makes me always make sure that I'm taking my game, my personality, my physical aspect to the next
level. "Today I was close. I'm going to have, for sure, another opportunity to make something better. That's what I'm looking
for." Azarenka said she was proud of how she fought back into the match, having been blown off court by the power of Williams in the first
set. "I felt like I came up to do something different to provoke those opportunities," she said. "I wasn't (thinking that) she will start to miss because that will never
happen." "I felt like I provoked her and I was just trying to stay in that moment to make sure that I keep it
rolling." Azarenka said she was proud of her ability to produce her best form on the biggest
stages. "I feel like when the task is more difficult for me it's more exciting," she said. "(When) that fear, the adrenaline is coming, something that you never experienced before, you have to stand tall and just face it." — Agencies
For Victoria Azarenka, there were no regrets, just satisfaction that she had produced her best in her gallant U.S. Open final loss to Serena Williams, a player she described as the greatest of all time.
At 5-3, 30-30 in the final set of her first final at Flushing Meadows, the world number one stood two points away from winning Sunday's title only to fall victim to yet another of Williams's great escapes as she went down 6-2 2-6 7-5.
"I have no regrets," the Belarusian said. "I felt like I gave it all there. Could it have gone my way? Probably, yes. But it didn't.
"It really, really hurts. Those emotions come out and you feel sad, but it's time to really realise what happened today. It was a great match. It was close, but not for me."
Outplayed in the first set, Australian Open champion Azarenka raised her game in the second, extending the rallies and forcing uncharacteristic mistakes from Williams, who looked more tense by the point.
But as she has done so many times in her career, the 30-year-old pulled herself together when she needed to and reeled off four straight games to win her fourth U.S. Open and her 15th grand slam singles title.
"For me she's the greatest player of all time," Azarenka said. "She took the game to the next level.
"She makes me always make sure that I'm taking my game, my personality, my physical aspect to the next level.
"Today I was close. I'm going to have, for sure, another opportunity to make something better. That's what I'm looking for."
Azarenka said she was proud of how she fought back into the match, having been blown off court by the power of Williams in the first set.
"I felt like I came up to do something different to provoke those opportunities," she said. "I wasn't (thinking that) she will start to miss because that will never happen."
"I felt like I provoked her and I was just trying to stay in that moment to make sure that I keep it rolling."
Azarenka said she was proud of her ability to produce her best form on the biggest stages.
"I feel like when the task is more difficult for me it's more exciting," she said. "(When) that fear, the adrenaline is coming, something that you never experienced before, you have to stand tall and just face it." — Agencies
Focus back on gritty Yuvraj Singh
Chennai, September 10
The first T20 in Visakhapatnam was called off without a ball being bowled, leaving the thousands who had thronged the stadium to watch Yuvraj's much-anticipated return from a successful battle against a rare germ cell cancer, disappointed as rain had the final say.
Yuvraj was diagnosed with the ailment between his lungs within months of winning the Man of the Tournament award in the 2011 World Cup. His career looked in jeopardy when the diagnosis was first revealed but the flamboyant all-rounder fought back after undergoing three cycles of chemotherapy in USA.
After a satisfactory rehabilation programme at the NCA, the 30-year-old left-hander will be donning the Team India jersey for the first time post-treatment, and he will surely look to make a statement at the MA Chidambaram stadium.
His last International appearance was the Kolkata Test against the West Indies in November last year, while it was more than a year ago when he last played a T20 (against South Africa on January 9, 2011). Besides Yuvraj, the match will also mark Harbhajan Singh's return to the squad after a long layoff. The off-spinner had gone out of favour after being blanked 0-4 in the disastrous England tour in July-August last year.
However, with his immediate challenger Ravichandran Ashwin in great form, having taken wickets by the bagful in recent times, chances of Harbhajan being included in the playing XI does not look too bright. It will be interesting to see if the think-tank goes for an all-offspin attack. The brief two-match series assumes significance as it is being looked upon as the start of India's countdown for the World Twenty20 that will get underway in Sri Lanka on September 18.
And with the first match being washed out, the Men in Blue will look to utilise tomorrow's encounter to the fullest, though inclement weather can play spoilsport again.
The visitors may hold an edge statistically having won all their three T20 ties against India, but the hosts will still start as favourites after their 2-0 sweep in the Test series.
While Yuvraj and Harbhajan's presence have added to their strengths, India's mainstay in batting in recent months has undoubtedly been Virat Kohli. The youngster from Delhi has been going through a purple patch of sorts, having scored runs in every format of the game and against almost every opposition.
The hosts also have, in the ranks, Suresh Raina, who have always excelled in this format. Having played here in four out of the last five editions of the Indian Premier League, the Chennai Super Kings knows the conditions like back of his hand.
Add to it the explosive opening pair of Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, and the batting line-up looks formidable. Sehwag has not been in the best of form of late, but one can never take him lightly.
Last but not the least is the calm influence of skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, one of the hardest hitters in world cricket. In the middle-order Rohit Sharma will have to prove his worth soon enough or the struggling batsman might end up losing his spot to the talented Manoj Tiwary, who has been waiting in the wings. As far as bowling is concerned, Ashwin will be the man to look out for as he flummoxed the Kiwis by picking up 18 wickets in the Test series. The local boy would be keen to continue the dream run in front of his home crowd. The resurgence of seamer Irfan Pathan in the last ODI series in Sri Lanka is another positive for India. — PTI
India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (c), Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Irfan Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Ravichandran Ashwin, Zaheer Khan, Laxmipathy Balaji, Ashok Dinda, Piyush Chawla and Manoj Tiwary
New Zealand: Ross Taylor (c), Brendon McCullum (wk), Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson, James Franklin, Rob Nicol, Jacob Oram, Doug Bracewell, Daniel Vettori, Tim Southee, Adam Milne, Nathan McCullum, Ronnie Hira, Kyle Mills and BJ Watling.
New Delhi, September 10
"I'll like to welcome you to my facebook family. As a child, I always dreamt of playing cricket for India and I chased my dream of winning the World Cup for 22 years. It wouldn't have been possible without your support," Tendulkar wrote on his official Facebook page.
"I wanna take this opportunity to thank all of you for having prayed for me and wish well for me. I look forward to sharing my experience with you, join me on my facebook so that we both can share this experience and go through this journey together," he wrote.
Tendulkar's official Facebook page is being managed by Seven3Rockers. He authenticated his joining of Facebook through a video message posted on his page.
Tendulkar has been on another popular social networking Twitter for some time and he has now linked it up with his facebook account.
"Dear friends, welcome to my facebook page. I hope you had the chance to go through it..... If not join me on http://facebook.com/SachinTendulkar and be a part of this journey with me," he posted on his Twitter account to annouce his foray in Facebook. Immediately, fans posted comments on Twitter with some reading like "Sachin Tendulkar joins Facebook but makes himself unavailable for immediate comments, saying he wants to spend time with family." Another Twitter post says "Sachin Tendulkar joins Facebook. Purportedly to monitor son Arjun's online activities". The Facebook page has a timeline with photos from his birth on April 24, 1973 to his latest comments on Yuvraj Singh and Indian boys winning the Under-19 World Cup.
All the timelines has a photo and his comment with it with a small Tendulkar holding a cricket bat being the first image. The page has depictions of all his milestones like the unbeaten world record partnership with Vinod Kambli while playing school cricket, his debut Test in Karachi, all of his 100 international centuries, his marriage to Anjali, becoming the highest run scorers in Test and ODI. The page also has a photo of him kissing his helmet after scoring his 100th international century at Mirpur, Bangladesh in March.
"In April 2012, I accepted the Rajya Sabha nomination proposed by the President. Thus making me the first active sportsperson and cricketer to have been nominated to the Rajya Sabha. On May 2, I got elected to seat number 103 in the Rajya Sabha and took the oath as a member of the Rajya Sabha on June 4, 2012," he wrote after taking oath as Rajya Sabha Member on June 4. — PTI
Mumbai, September 10
“In eight days' time the T20 World Cup is starting. The Indian team is one of the strongest on paper.
To pick the eleven itself is going to be difficult for the team management. It will be difficult to decide whom to drop. "This team has the potential to win the T20 World Cup. I am pretty confident. The positive energy and prayers of the one billion Indian people will come strongly again like in the 2011 World Cup to give energy to the Indian cricketers to help them win. I would be chairman when the tournament starts but would be ex-chairman when India win," he said.
Srikkanth and three co-selectors - Surendra Bhave, Raja Venkat and Narendra Hirwani - will step down from their posts after completing their term at the Cricket Board's AGM on September 27.
Only Mohinder Amarnath, the fifth member of the selection panel, has a chance to continue if he is re-appointed for another year by the Board's general body. Srikkanth, here to perform his final job as chief selector by choosing the Irani Cup team and India 'A' and 'B'squads for the N K P Salve Challenger Series, said the 2011. World Cup triumph by Mahendra Singh Dhoni's team was easily the high point of the outgoing panel's tenure. "We all had a dream and a goal when we took over (as members of) the selection committee... can we win the 2011 World Cup?
We went getting prepared for the World Cup. "The Indian team played brilliantly and we could win the World Cup which, I would say, was the high point of this particular selection committee... in the sense that we could win the World Cup after 28 years," the former India opener said. Srikkanth, a member of the 1983 World Cup-winning squad led by Kapil Dev, said personally it was more satisfying for him when the Dhoni-led team lifted cricket's showpiece trophy.
“For me personally it was a little bit more of a satisfaction because I was part of the (1983) World Cup winning team and I am chairman of the selection committee which picked the 2011 team," Srikkanth said.
“I should thank my co-selectors in the first three years - Raja Venkat, Surendra Bhave Hirwani and Yashpal Sharma - for their great cooperation. Now I have the opportunity this year of having me alongside a great cricketer like Jimmy Amarnath whose inputs have been valuable."
The former captain was also confident that the country would attain the no. 1 ranking in all forms of the game in a short period of time, but cautioned that patience was required for this to happen. "The other high point was that for 20 long months India was no. 1 in Tests and for a few months no. 1 in one-day cricket. — PTI
London, September 10
Since he expressed this belief as they plummeted to another inglorious defeat against South Africa they ought to listen carefully. Collingwood, a heroically unsung cricketer, remains the only England captain to have led the national team to triumph in a major one-day trophy. The side that he led in the World Twenty20 in the Caribbean in the spring of 2010 won going away from the field.
They were a delight. "I think England are in a good place," said Collingwood. "I think they are a lot better than we were two years ago with skill levels and that's even without Kevin Pietersen in the side.
“Steve Finn is at a level we had last time. He is a wicket-taker. I think we have another great chance. One of the biggest things in Twenty20 in a World Cup is the mental state, your confidence levels going in. "Hopefully they will go in with a couple of wins under their belts. Because we had this fresh wave, with players coming in - Craig Kieswetter and Michael Lumb - and it felt like, 'Let's go for it'."
England can hardly be in a confident mental state after their heavy defeat against South Africa on Saturday at the Emirates Durham ICG in the first of three T20s in the NatWest Series, which are effectively warm-ups for the World Twenty20, which starts in Sri Lanka next week. After being put in, they lost a clutch of wickets early and mid-innings and were woefully short of a competitive target at 118 for 7.
Although South Africa lost three early wickets, a fourth wicket stand of 90 between Jacques Kallis and JP Duminy— a record for the fourth wicket by any team against England in Twenty20s — saw them home with an over to spare. England's consolation was that Amla, scourge of their summer, wasn't involved. It was a turn-up bordering on astonishing when England won the title in West Indies. — The Independent
London, September 10
On a generally slow Chester-le-Street pitch taking turn, the kind of surface that may well confront them in the global tournament, the Proteas restricted England to 118 for seven, with spinners Johan Botha and Robin Peterson taking four wickets between them. The win saw South Africa, the world's top-ranked Twenty20 side, take a 1-0 lead in a three-match series ahead of Monday's clash in Manchester. "Definitely, it's very similar to what we are expecting," Sports24 quoted De Villiers, as saying, when asked if victory boded well for the team's World Twenty20 chance. "There was a little bit of turn, it was quite slowish. It was really good preparation. The bowlers had really clear plans and I'm proud of the way they came out. They made my job really easy out there," he added. — Reuters
Davis Cup: Men at work, please adjust
Chandigarh, September 10
The pace of preparations is hectic, given that the event is merely three days away. But a lot is left to be done for the world’s most prestigious tournament for national teams.
Already in city, teams from New Zealand and India came to the venue for practice on Tuesday. While one look at the dusty court made the Kiwis frown in disdain, it merely brought a wry smile on the faces of the Indian contingent.
Playing perfect hosts, the Indian team extended the courtesy of training at the centre court to the visitors, while they themselves calmly moved to the side courts.
Seeing the pace of the preparations, a harried Alok Kumar, Home Secretary, had to summon the concerned UT SDOs and seek a review of the proceedings.
CLTA spokesperson Jagjit Singh said, “The home secretary has issued directions that the stadium be ready, spick and span by September 12 evening. The PMO has not confirmed Prime minister’s presence but the picture will only be clear before 72 hours to the marquee event.” As journalists looked on bemused and photojournalists frantically captured the scene, an organiser spluttered, “Move on, move on guys… nothing is happening here.” Nothing much, except that the newly laid hard-courts, worth Rs 20 lakh, look old and soiled as construction material strewn all over robs them of their sheen. Though rains might leave the court looking spiffy, it will also wash away the Davis Cup action.
Elephant in the room
According to media reports, the last time CLTA organised a major event, they served tea to the Haryana chief minister in crockery brought straight from the toilet. This time around, the chief guest expected for the Davis Cup tie is none other than Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Whether the Coalgate imbroglio allows him to grace the occasion is a matter of speculation, but the hosts are not leaving anything to chance. A giant bullet-proof structure, consuming at least 100 seats and with the best possible view, is being erected passionately by the authorities. So will it be tea or coffee for the PM?
New Delhi, September 10
Indu Chaudhary opened India's account with a bronze in the 44kg weight category in the female section, but after that only Pradeep managed a medal, in the boy's segment.Pradeep (50kg) started with a loss in the freestyle category before clawing his way back in the repechage round to win India its second bronze from the championship.
The 21-year-old was no match for Ruslan Surkhayev, losing the first period 0-1 and then succumbing 2-6 in the next, to hand his Azerbaijan opponent a comfortable victory.
However, Surkhayev's charge to the finals gave Pradeep a chance to compete in the repechage round and the Indian grappler made full use to finish in the medals column. Pradeep beat Germany's Marc Luithle 3-0 before overcoming Muammer Sancak of Turkey in the bronze medal bout. After clinching the first period on a level score of 1-1, the Indian toiled to take the next one 4-3 and eke out a win. It was, however, heartbreak for Baliram Yadav in the 55kg freestyle category as he lost his bronze medal bout 0-3 to Manuel Wolfer, this after registering successive victories against Guk-Hyeon Kim of Korea and Ukraine's Vitaliy Hurskyy. Yadav started off on a positive note, beating Andry Jose Davila Baron of Vietnam 3-1. — PTI
New Delhi, September 10
This will be Indian eves' maiden assignment under chief coach Neil Hawgood and Rani said that her team is eager to compete against the sides, which had taken part in the recent Olympic Games. "We have worked very hard during the camp in Bhopal under the supervision of coach Hawgood and Exercise Physiologist Dr Ben Dascombe. We are confident we will compete hard and do our best against quality oppositions," said the captain. Defender Kirandeep Kaur has been named the vice-captain of the side. Hawgood, who took over the reins as Indian Senior Women's team's coach recently, said he was looking forward to the upcoming tournament. "I have shared my vision of enhancing an already attractive style of hockey that will balance out the attacking ability -- and that is naturally within this group -- and to have a defensive side of the game that is as well respected as our attacking side," Hawgood said. Hockey India Secretary General, Narinder Batra said he was confident of the Indian eves being competitive. "Our Junior women's team recently won Junior Women's Asia Cup silver for the first time and the selectors have included as many as seven players from that team in this squad. "We are sure the team will be very competitive." Besides India, Australia, Belgium, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, United States of America and host Ireland will will competing in the event. Australia, which finished fifth in the Olympics in London last month and is ranked seventh, tops the rankings among the eight teams. South Africa, Belgium and the USA finished 10th, 11th and 12th in the Olympics. India are ranked World No. 12 and are ahead of Spain (13), Belgium (14), Ireland (15) and Scotland (19). The winner of the event will join Argentina, England, Netherlands, Germany and Japan in the Women's Hockey Champions Trophy 2014 to be played in Argentina.
The Indian team: Goalkeepers: Yogita Bali, Savita. Defenders: Jaspreet Kaur, Sushila Chanu, Kirandeep Kaur (vice-captain), Deep Grace Ekka, Deepika, Joydeep Kaur. Mid-fielders: Ritu Rani (captain), Vandana Katariya, Monika Malik, Chanchan Devi, Poonam Rani, MN Ponnamma. Forwards: Roselin Dung Dung, Soundarya Yendala, Lily Chanu, Anupa Barla. — PTI
chandigarh, September 10
The tournament is being organized by Korea Junior Golf Association. The other team members are Aman Raj, Shubankar Sharma and Manu Gundas. The entries are from China, Chinese Taipei, India, Japan, Malaysia, Phillippines, Singapore, Thailand and Korea. This championship will be to select Asian regional representative in the 2013 WJGTC.
Prakhar Asawa, ranked Number 1 golfer in B Category (IGU), shifted base to Chandigarh from Jaipur to hone his skills in search of more competitive environment. The 14-year-old golfer has hit a purple patch by winning three titles in 2012 but is still hungry for some more. He was placed third in the Asia Pacific Junior Golf Championship, held in Myanmar in May 2012.
Prakhar said, “I am really looking forward to the competition. This is a big opportunity for me to showcase my talent and I want to do well there.” — TNS
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