Sharapova Wins French Open
Russian tennis ace Maria Sharapova claimed her second Frnch Open by annihilating Romanian fourth seed Simona Haep 6-4, 7-7(5), 6-4.
Halep came into the Grand Final a favourite after not dropping a set throughout the tournament. However she had no answer to Sharapova’s thunderbolt forehands; with the Romanian was forced to watch Sharapova’s cross court shots rocket by, time and again, just out of reach.
The first set was a spirited fight with the two women treating the Roland Garros crowd to superb tennis. Halep got out to an early two set lead. Sharpaova clawed back to make it two all.
The crowd were chanting ‘Simona, Simona’ as it seemed Halep would find some answer to Sharapova’s forehand. The two battled to 4-4 in the first set with Sharapova fending off two break points.
But it wasn’t to be.
Sharapova’s dominance wore Halep down. And while she won the hearts of tennis fans around the world for her never-say-die fighting spirit, there was little Halep could do to hold back the tide of ferocious forehands that pounded her court from all angles.
In the third set Sharapova broke Halep to love and fell to her knees in celebration.
Halep too was very emotional after the game, “Its’ my first grand slam page, emotionally it’s difficult. I hope there will be many more, but this one will be special for me all my life. Congrat’s Maria, you’re a great champion.”
The East Burwood Rams Football Club is under investigation for forcing its players to run nude around the oval as punishment for poor on-field performances.
The incident is said to have occurred Thursday May 22, with players as young as 17 said to have been forced to bare all to the Melbourne chill. The Eastern Football League is investigating the incident after a slew of complaints from outraged parents. “Once the investigation is complete,” said Chief Executive Phil Murton of the Eastern Football League, “the details will be assessed and any penalties or sanctions will be delivered based on the findings and in accordance with [league] procedures and rules.”
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The hapless Rams are winless since the first round of the season and seem to have the wooden spoon wrapped up.
To add insult to injury it seems the punishment run did nothing to benefit the team. Two days after the alleged incident Doncaster East put a 61 point hiding on them.
Club President Sue Bailey refused to comment on the incident.
Steve Ballmer is set to take over as new owner of the Los Angeles Clippers.
On Friday the NBA released a statement announcing a resolution with Shelly Sterling, Donald
Steve Ballmer set to take over as L.A. Clippers new owner
Sterling’s wife. In this resolution Shelly Sterling has agreed to not sue the NBA and ‘indemnify the NBA against lawsuits from others, including her husband, Donald Sterling.’ This opens the way for the NBA Board of Governors to rescind the Sterling Family’s ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers and vote to approve Steve Ballmer’s takeover. The agreement with Shelley Sterling effectively protects the NBA from any potential financial losses suffered at the hands of her husband.
The NBA must be heaving a huge sigh of relief at this resolution as it comes only days after Donald Sterling filed a $1 billion lawsuit against the NBA for damages issuing from the lifetime ban handed to him by the NBA and his termination of ownership. This comes on the heels of a TMZ audio recording of Sterling telling his girlfriend he didn’t approve of her bringing African-Americans to the Clippers’ games.
A hearing convened with the owners of the league’s other 29 franchises was set for Tuesday. However Donald Sterling agreed to allow Shelley to negotiate the sale of the team.
Shelley Sterling took Steve Ballmer’s $2 billion dollar bid over other reported offers of $1.6 billion (David Geffen and the Guggenheim Group – owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers) and $1.2 billion (from a group including former NBA player Grant Hill and Lost Angeles tycoons Tony Ressler and Bruce Karsh).
Once Shelley accepted Ballmer’s bid, however, Donald Sterling’s attorneys claimed he had since changed his mind and refused to sell the team. He then began exploring legal avenues to prevent Ballmer taking over the team.
Asked the strength of Donald Sterling’s case against Ballmer’s takeover, one source close to the sales process remarked ‘It’s over, Sterling is totally boxed in.’
Mawalian born Mwai Kumwenda has signed to stay with the Christchurch-based franchise to the relief of players, staff, and fans.
The 1.93 meter tall shooter has almost single-handedly saved the Tactix from a near certain wooden spoon. In a team struggling on paper she has surged to become one of the most prolific scorers in the league, with a total of 498 goals and a staggering 91.5% accuracy.
Tactix Chief Executive Brigit Hearn appears to be trying to rebuild the team around her ace shooter. Already combinations with Captain and goal attack Anna Thompson are beginning to appear. Their fast attacks and slick goal positioning can only keep getting better with time.
Mwai was quoted as saying she enjoys life in Christchurch and is relishing the chance to stay. “I have a wonderful host family, and it was a very easy decision to come back to my Mainland home next season.”
Origin 1 NSW 12, QLD 8
Reversing what seemed a shaky start, the Maroons crossed in the first five minutes. Darius Boyd took advantage of a slip from Josh Morris to post the first four points in the left corner. Thruston was unable to add the extras.
The Blues took the setback for what it was – a simple misfooting and began to pressure the Queenslanders with repeat sets and big yardage gains. A
fter 30 minutes the Maroons hadn’t made an error but were still trailing because of their lack of possession. And with the constant defence came the first signs of a Game One upset.
Queensland lynchpin Cooper Cronk left the field with a broken arm. Daly Cherry-Evans rushed on to replace him – and played manfully. But the structure of the Queensland spine was broken and the fluency of their attack never recovered.
Soon after the break the Blues had an 8 point margin and had settled into a yard eating rhythm. Queensland was finding some success down the left hand side of the field. But they were turned away, again and again, from the try line with desperate NSW defence.
At the 50 minute mark Queensland ramped up their defence and pinned NSW in their own 20. The tackling was brutal, energy sapping, and thrilled the parochial supporters. Gang tackles of 3 and 4 men revealed an urgency in their play that reflected their mounting concern with the scoreboard..
It was Jarrod Hayne who turned the tables: Taking Billy Slater in a man-on-man tackle and pinching out a potential equalizer. Just as, later, Josh Morris showed Darius Boyd the sideline and bundled him into touch when Boyd attempted to pass him.
The Blues weren’t fooled by decoy runners and had an answer for everything the Maroons threw at them. When Aiden Guerra and Chris McQueen were used as dummy runners to raid the NSW line the Blues didn’t fall for it – Instead staying straight on their men and thus allowing Morris to number up on Boyd.
National health insurance giant HIF has signed on as a Diamond Partner with the Perth Wildcats for the next two seasons. This is a perfect fit for several reasons.
I was discussing the new sponsorship deal with a Wildcats club insider. Everyone is thrilled with the merger.
“First,” my informant told me, “is the little known fact that HIF was originally a Perth based company.” I didn’t know this. “Yes, they’re huge now. But they have their roots in Western Australia, so it’s a nice kind of symmetry to have them supporting our club.
“Second, is the alignment in values.” My informant looked at me. “Let’s be honest, it’s in any insurance company’s interests for individuals to take out insurance and never need to use it.” He looked at me hard. “But let’s be equally honest and admit it’s in the individuals interest also.”
And of course he’s right. Insurance is there for the unavoidable mishaps of life. Everyone benefits from avoiding the preventable ones.
“And this is where the Wildcats and HIF really see eye to eye,” he continued. “We are both very strong on our commitment to the community and healthy lifestyles. We play the basketball game, HIF play the insurance game, the winners – if we play it right – is everyone.