‘Serena will be back’: Australian Open director says Williams will defend title

first_img Since you’re here… … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on Facebook news Share on Pinterest Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley has said Serena Williams, who gave birth to a daughter in September, will return to Melbourne to defend her title in January.“Serena will be back,” Tiley said. “We look forward to welcoming her and again go on that journey of breaking the all-time record for the most number of grand slams.” Reuse this content US sports Share on WhatsApp Share on Twitter Australian Open Australia sportcenter_img Lleyton Hewitt implores struggling Bernard Tomic to ‘work harder’ Topics Read more Share on LinkedIn Serena Williams Tennis Support The Guardian Share via Email Share on Messenger Williams announced after giving birth that the initials of her daughter’s name – Alexis Olympia Ohanian – were a nod to the Australian Open. The seven-times Australian Open champion was eight weeks pregnant when she defeated her sister Venus to win the 2017 tournament. In 2018, both the men’s and women’s winners will collect a $4m cheque, up from $3.7m in 2017, while the entire prize money pool has increased by 10% to $55m.Tiley said the winners’ prizemoney had broken a barrier. “It’s the first time ever that both the women and the men’s winner will receive $4m each – that has not been done by any other grand slam or any other event,” he said.Serena’s sister Venus, the world No5, will make an appearance at the Sydney International in preparation for the Australian Open, 20 years after the 37-year-old last featured in Sydney. “The Australian summer is always a favourite of mine,” said Venus Williams. “I really love the atmosphere the crowds bring and I’m confident my preparation over the next few months to put on a good show for the Australian fans.”Venus is in career-best form, achieving her highest ranking since January 2011 after she finished runner-up to Serena at both Wimbledon and the Australian Open. “I have been playing some really great tennis this year and I feel I’m in a strong position, both physically and mentally, in the lead up to Sydney,” she said.The women’s trophy will be presented by US great Billie Jean King, 50 years after she won her first Australian Open title.In the men’s field Tiley confirmed six-time winner Novak Djokovic and fellow former world No1 Andy Murray, who have both battled injury this year, would play in Melbourne.last_img read more

a day agoSpurs, Man Utd target Denis Zakaria: I’ll keep my feet on the ground

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Spurs, Man Utd target Denis Zakaria: I’ll keep my feet on the groundby Paul Vegasa day agoSend to a friendShare the loveBorussia Monchengladbach midfielder Denis Zakaria is staying grounded over growing transfer interest.Switzerland international Zakaria has the likes of Inter Milan, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United all keen.And Gladbach have intimated a willingness to sell for €50m.But the youngster says: “I’m happy with Borussia and I want to play a big season with Gladbach if possible. “The important thing is that I keep my feet on the ground and do not worry about the other things.” last_img

Shaq Lawson: “We’re Going To Show Dalvin Cook Why He Should Have Come To Clemson”

first_imgShaq Lawson interviewed ahead of FSU game.shaq lawson clemson dalvin cook florida stateClemson and Florida State are set to tangle this Saturday, and more than likely, the contest will decide which team wins the Atlantic division in the ACC. Despite losing the last three matchups to the Seminoles, at least one Tigers player is confident about how his team will perform. Junior defensive end Shaq Lawson talked a bit of trash Monday, telling reporters that he believes that the Tigers will “show Dalvin Cook why he should have come to Clemson” by the time the game is over. Cook, at one point, was committed to play for the Tigers before flipping and attending FSU [email protected]_Lawson90 “We’re going to show Dalvin Cook why he should have come to Clemson by the end of the night.” pic.twitter.com/X0tZSNpkXP— CUTigers.com (@CUTigers_com) November 2, 2015#Clemson DE Shaq Lawson talks trash: “We’re going to show Dalvin Cook why he should have come to Clemson by the end of the night.” #FSU— Tom D’Angelo (@tomdangelo44) November 2, 2015Tigernet.com has video of the press conference, if you’re interested.Cook has become a star this year, rushing for over 1,000 yards in just seven games. If Clemson is actually able to shut him down (provided he plays), it’ll have a much easier time leaving Memorial Stadium victorious.last_img read more

Tampa Bay Bucs Sign Paralyzed Rutgers Football Player

In a heart-felt gesture, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed to a contract Rutgers’ Eric LeGrand, who was paralyzed when he broke two vertebrae and suffered a serious spinal cord injury on Oct. 16, 2010, during a kickoff return against Army.It was the act of new Bucs coach Greg Schiano, who was LeGrand’s coach at the time of his injury.‘It came out of nowhere,” LeGrand said Wednesday to the Associated Press. Schiano called it a ”small gesture” that recognizes LeGrand’s ”character, spirit and perseverance.””It’s a symbolic gesture,” LeGrand added. “They can’t give me any money with the salary cap and all that kind of stuff. It’s symbolic, something Coach wanted to do and I appreciate that. It just shows the man that he is.”LeGrand remains in rehab. He fought hard to be able to stand upright with the help of a metal frame.When Chiano told his former player of his intentions, LeGrand was stunned. ”I said, ‘Are you serious? You want to do this?’ He said: ‘It’s the least we could do,”’ LeGrand said during a conference call from the apartment he shares with his mother in New Jersey. ”I said, ‘I don’t even know what to say to you right now, Coach. This is amazing.”’Part of this gesture is a No. 52 Bucs jersey, Bucs helmet and contract.”It’s something I always dreamed about, go to the NFL and retire and become a sportscaster,” LeGrand said. ”Dreams do come true if you really believe. You do the right things in life, good things happen to you. He really just did this out of the kindness of his heart. It’s really what he wanted to do. I had no idea this was going to happen.” read more

Ohio State running backs battle for playing time

Redshirt-senior running back Jordan Hall (2) uses the referee as a blocker during a game against Florida A&M Sept. 21 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 76-0.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorThe Ohio State football team (4-0) faces a considerable issue at the running back position this season: It has too many of them.With the return of senior Carlos Hyde from a three-game suspension, OSU now has eight active running backs on its roster. Among those including redshirt-senior H-back Jordan Hall one of seven whom participated in the Buckeyes’ 76-0 win over Florida A&M.Hyde, Hall, redshirt-junior Rod Smith, redshirt-freshman Warren Ball, freshmen Ezekiel Elliott and Devonte Butler all recorded at least three rushes. Freshman Dontre Wilson also played, but lined up as a receiver, tallying three catches for 12 yards.The only running back on the team that did not play was sophomore Bri’onte Dunn, who has yet to play this season and is likely to be redshirted.Elliott was the leading rusher on the day, gaining 162 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries. It was the first significant playing time for the freshman, who only had seven total carries in the first three games.The St. Louis native said his big take away from Saturday was an opportunity to get onto the field during a game.“I’ve gotten a little bit from earlier this season, but just a little more game experience,” Elliott said. “Just getting out there and running the ball.”Despite the big performance from Elliott in the second half, coach Urban Meyer said he is not included in the top tier of running backs for the Buckeyes.“I think you have three that are above the others right now. You have Jordan Hall, Rod Smith and Carlos Hyde (who) are the top three backs,” Meyer said. “I think Warren Ball ran hard and I think Ezekiel Elliott’s got an incredible future here. I wanted to reward him a little bit; he’s involved in special teams now.”Even though a lot of running backs received playing time against the Rattlers Saturday, Elliott said it is a constant battle to earn carries at OSU.“It’s hard to get a spot and even hold the spot,” Elliott said. “The guy in front of you is great and the guy behind you is great so every day we out and compete and go hard.”Hall, the team leader in rushing yards with 422 on the season, saw his workload decreased with the return of Hyde, only carrying the ball four times against Florida A&M.“It’s tough, (there is) only one football,” Hall said. “When you come to Ohio State… there’s competition everywhere, so a lot of backs in the backfield, that makes us go hard in practice every day and I think that’s helped us in a way.”Meyer said the return of Hyde changes things in the Buckeye backfield, with both Hyde and Hall offering different skill sets to the team.“Jordan Hall gives you flexibility, too, I’m evaluating what to do with him, because I know he’s a heck of a tailback as well,” Meyer said.Meyer said he thought Hall should have seen more of the field with how he has played so far this season, but said that in a blowout it is hard for the starters to play a lot.“Jordan Hall deserved more carries than he got, but you just can’t do that. I’ve been on the other end of those, so I try to do the best we could, just run the ball every snap and let guys earn an opportunity to get on the field,” Meyer said. “Thing is, if you get depth on your field, you tell Ezekiel Elliott not to run hard, he’ll look at you like, ‘I’m running hard, because I have to get more carries.’”Hyde marked his return from suspension with a five-carry, 41-yard performance and a one-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter.Redshirt-senior quarterback Kenny Guiton said Hyde’s return helped boost the team’s energy and motivated them to keep playing hard.“It was nice,” Guiton said. “The standing ovation they gave him, that made me get some juice in my body and just some tingling went through my body and I told him, ‘Let’s go man, you got to go get this first (down) now.’”For the younger guys, having Hyde back helped with their nerves as they received more playing time than normal, with Elliott calling him a “great leader.”One of Hyde’s blockers, junior tight end Jeff Heuerman, said it was nice to have Hyde back because of his leadership and influence on the field.“Seeing him back out there was good. That’s definitely a player that carries a big load with us, and having him back was good,” Heuerman said.Hall said he enjoyed having Hyde back because it was a new experience for players who “are like brothers.”“It was fun because me and Carlos, we came in the same time but we never really got to play with each other at the same time,” Hall said. “So we’re excited about that and we got a lot of good backs, it’s going to be tough.”The running backs will have their next opportunity to separate themselves from the rest when the Buckeyes host No. 23 Wisconsin (3-1) Saturday at 8:00 p.m. read more

Buckeyes fend off comeback attempts defeat Ohio 7969

Junior forward, Sam Thompson (12), dunks the ball for Ohio State. OSU won against Ohio, 79-69, Nov. 12 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Ritika Shah / Asst. photo editor Following a 19-year hiatus, the Ohio State men’s basketball team held on to beat in-state rival Ohio University Tuesday, 79-69.The Buckeyes (2-0, 0-0) started fast, scoring the first nine points of the game and making their first three shots. The Bobcats did not get on the board until junior guard Stevie Taylor connected on a jumper more than five minutes into the game.A total of 55 fouls were called over the course of the game, causing play to be disjointed at times. OSU finished 38 of 51 from the free throw line on the night, attempting seven more free throws than field goal attempts. The 38 made free throws tied a school record, set in 1968.The heavy amount of foul calls could be the result of a new rule implemented for the 2013-14 season by the NCAA Men’s Basketball Rules Committee, who voted to pass a new stipulation banning any hand or forearm contact by a defensive player. OSU coach Thad Matta said the change is something his team needs to continue to adjust to.“I (said) at the beginning of the season it was going to be a little bit different and I think we got to continue to adjust,” Matta said after the win.Senior guard Aaron Craft agreed, and said it was tough to get into a flow in the game.“We kind of came into this year having an understanding, that’s how games are going to be called … a lot of fouls, a lot of stoppage in play,” Craft said. “It really just makes you focus. You have to refocus every time the ball stops.”Four Buckeyes scored in double figures, led by Craft with 18. Junior center Amir Williams recorded his first double-double of his career, scoring 14 points and snatching 10 rebounds. Junior forward Sam Thompson scored 12 points, and junior forward LaQuinton Ross added 10.The Buckeyes led, 40-28, at halftime, partly because they shot 15 of 20 from the free throw line.While the Buckeyes’ lead swelled to 17 in the first half, the Bobcats cut it to five after junior forward Maurice Ndour put back a miss with just less than four minutes to go.Senior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. hit a 3-pointer from the corner, though, with 1:55 on the clock to extend OSU’s lead to 10. The Bobcats (1-1, 0-0) fired right back, as senior guard Nick Kellogg answered with a three of his own, keeping the Bobcat fans into the game. Kellogg and Taylor finished with 21 points each.“We’ve been in tight situations before. They had momentum, they had courage. They thought they were going to win the game,” Smith Jr. said. “For some teams, they might have panicked, but for us, I wouldn’t expect us to panic at all. We’ve been at every spectrum of the basketball game. We’ve been in tight situations.”Playing a team who would not back down like Ohio is an experience Smith Jr. said will help the team later in the season, including Saturday when the Buckeyes travel to Marquette to battle the No. 17 Golden Eagles.“It’s definitely going to keep us on our toes. Marquette is a very good basketball team,” Smith Jr. said. “(It’s) another humbling experience, no matter who you play, you gotta show up every game now, if you want to win games at this level.”Craft found the ball in his hands as the game clock wound down, making enough free throws to seal the victory for the Buckeyes.“Having them come back the way they did, making big play after big play down the stretch, and us having to come back and make a big play on our own, that’s something that’s really going to help us later on,” Craft said. “It’s games like this that really help us later on.”Matta agreed with Craft, adding that his players had “a little bit of a dazed look” in their eyes in the second half while facing the relentless Bobcats. The Buckeyes responded well though, which Matta said is a positive moving forward.“We weren’t as sharp as we needed to be, and maybe it was a little too easy early (on),” Matta said. “But I thought down the the stretch we made some big plays.”OSU travels to Milwaukee Saturday to take on the Golden Eagles. Tip off is scheduled for 1 p.m. read more

Former wrestlers reportedly pressured by coach to support Jim Jordan

Richard Strauss in his Ohio State College of Medicine photograph. Credit: Courtesy of Ohio StateFormer Ohio State wrestlers were pressured by their former head coach Russ Hellickson to make statements clearing Rep. Jim Jordan of any guilt relating to allegations against Richard Strauss, a report by NBC News said.Jordan, who is in the midst of a bid to be the next Speaker of the House, was the assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State from 1987-1995. He has come under fire for allegedly knowing about abuse by Strauss and saying nothing.According to the wrestlers and texts they showed NBC News, Hellickson asked them to make a statement clearing Jordan of wrongdoing a day after they publicly accused him of knowing about it. NBC News’ report also said the wrestlers say it was made clear to them by Hellickson that he was under pressure from Jordan to convince the wrestlers to clear Jordan’s name.“I’m sorry you got caught up in the media train,” Hellickson wrote in a text to a former wrestler that was shared with NBC News. “If you think the story got told wrong about Jim, you could probably write a statement for release that tells your story and corrects what you feel bad about. I can put you in contact with someone who would release it.”In response to the report Jordan’s spokesman, Ian Fury, released a statement saying they encourage the truth.“Seven coaches have said exactly what the Congressman said. Many wrestlers have echoed those comments and support for the Congressman,” the statement said. “Why are they all saying the same thing? Because it’s the truth. Of course we encouraged folks to speak the truth.” read more

Bridge collapse Traffic snarls continue in city

first_imgKolkata: Closure of a part of arterial Diamond Harbour Road owing to collapse of a section of Majerhat bridge caused huge traffic snarls since morning on Thursday, leading to delays and frayed nerves of commuters. Police said apart from diversion of traffic owing to the collapse, a political programme at Esplanade in the heart of the city and another at Howrah bridge also affected traffic movement in the city during the day. Long queues of vehicles were seen in many roads in the southern and western parts of the city, as also in the Kolkata-bound stretch of Kona Expressway connecting national highways to Mumbai and Delhi. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life People going to work, schools and colleges were stuck in public and private vehicles, which took more than double the time taken usually to reach their destinations. Traffic were at a standstill or moving at a snail’s pace on roads through which these were diverted owing to the closure of DH Road at Majerhat area. Sahapur Road, Hide Road, Alipore Road and many other avenues connecting the south-western parts of the city and vast areas of South 24 Parganas district took most of the diverted traffic load, police said. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed The Kona Expressway connecting national highways 6 (Mumbai Road) and 2 (Delhi Road) with the city through Vidyasagar Setu over the river Hooghly was also crammed with heavy goods vehicles which were entering the city’s port and trading hubs through the night. With goods traffic entry to port and other places in the south having been restricted since Tuesday’s bridge collapse, a huge number of heavy vehicles were entering the city last night leading to the jam, police said. A political programme at Esplanade that was attended by hundreds of people coming from districts and a protest programme on high petrol and diesel prices by the Congress on Howrah bridge also affected traffic movement in the city, police said. “It takes an hour for me to reach the IT hub at Salt Lake Sector V where I work from my residence at Behala, but now it is taking nearly double the time,” said Subho Ganguly, a commuter. A student who used to reach his school at Kidderpore in just over 15 minutes from Behala, the worst affected area in south-west Kolkata owing to the bridge collapse, Thursday reached in nearly an hour, his father Kallol Nag said. “It is going to be a nightmare for people living in Behala with the Durga Puja approaching,” said Ratri Banerjee, a school teacher who resides at Sakherbazar area of Behala. Traffic restrictions are imposed to ensure smooth movement of vehicles during the Durga Puja when a large number of people came on the road for pandal hopping.last_img read more