Stephens, Venus advance to Miami Open quarterfinals

first_imgLights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Venus Williams reacts after defeating Johanna Konta of Germany 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 during the Miami Open tennis tournament, Monday, March 26, 2018, in Key Biscayne, Fla. (AP Photo/Joe Skipper)KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. — Sloane Stephens’ loudest fan kept shouting advice and encouragement from the upper deck Monday, perhaps providing the nudge she needed to shake a post-U.S. Open slump.Stephens earned her biggest victory since winning last year’s Open, beating No. 3-ranked Garbine Muguruza 6-3, 6-4 Monday to reach the quarterfinals at the Miami Open.ADVERTISEMENT Cabuyao City rising above the ashes through volunteerism History made as PH Azkals advance to 2019 AFC Asian Cup after beating Tajiks Alexander Zverev stopped David Ferrer 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 and Frances Tiafoe led Tomas Berdych 6-7 (2), 6-2, 5-4 before the match was suspended at 2:13 a.m. because of rain.The winner will play Kevin Anderson later on Tuesday.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Scarlett Johansson, Sterling K. Brown among SAG Awards presenters Conor McGregor seeks to emerge from controversy in UFC comeback Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil “I’m not bad at playing tennis,” the 37-year-old Williams said, “so why not keep going?”Victoria Azarenka, another three-time champion, swept 2012 champ Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2, 6-2.Stephens claimed her first major title in New York in September and is ranked 12th, but she arrived at Key Biscayne with a record of only 3-4 this year.“After winning a Grand Slam, it’s not easy to come back right out and keep playing,” Stephens said. “I was so excited after winning the U.S. Open, I was living my life to the fullest. Now I’m back to my day job. It’s a little bit difficult. It takes a little bit of confidence and a lot of hard work.”On the men’s side, qualifier Thanasi Kokkinakis lost in the follow-up to his upset of Roger Federer in the second round. Fernando Verdasco rallied from two mini-breaks down in the decisive tiebreaker and beat Kokkinakis 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (4).ADVERTISEMENT “Keep it in the court, girl — that’s all you’ve got to do!” the spectator hollered, and Stephens did. During a post-match on-court interview, Stephens thanked the fan, who has attended her past two matches.“I have no idea who that is,” she said later. “Day before yesterday was the first time I’d ever seen him. But it’s entertaining. Obviously he knows tennis — he was shouting all the right things.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownThe fan might have picked a good time to jump on the Stephens bandwagon. She’ll next face Angelique Kerber with a shot at reaching the Miami Open semifinals for the first time.Also advancing was three-time champion Venus Williams, who came from behind for the second day in a row and beat defending champion Johanna Konta 5-7, 6-1, 6-2. The victory was Williams’ 64th on Key Biscayne.center_img LATEST STORIES Recto seeks to establish Taal rehab body to aid community, eruption victims MOST READ Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Kerber advanced by rallying past qualifier Yafan Wang 6-7 (1), 7-6 (5), 6-3.Stephens won with typically dogged defense, and by attacking Muguruza’s weak second serve. The Spaniard has been battling a slump herself, falling to 8-6 in 2018.“I missed too many shots, a couple of mistakes I shouldn’t have done in important moments,” said Muguruza, the 2017 Wimbledon champion. “My serve in general could be better. It was not a big difference, but in the end a few details went to her side.”Stephens started the year by losing her opening match in consecutive tournaments, including the Australian Open. She then spent more than a month away from the tour, but said she was no longer celebrating her U.S. Open title.“After Australia I really took time to get myself together,” she said. “If you put in the work, you’re able to get results.”More than one fan is applauding her success at the Miami Open, the hometown tournament for Stephens, a South Florida native.Next year the event will move 18 miles north to the Miami Dolphins stadium. Stephens, who first came to Key Biscayne for juniors matches more than a decade ago, said she is sad about the switch — and not just because of tennis memories.“I’ll miss Sir Pizza,” she said. “I’ve been going there since I was 12. The same people still work there, and it’s such a gem. I’m definitely going to miss that place.”Other winners included American Danielle Collins defeating Monica Puig of Puerto Rico 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 and Jelena Ostapenko topping Petra Kvitova 7-6 (4), 6-3.Denis Shapovalov edged Sam Querrey 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 and Nick Kyrgios defeated Fabio Fognini 6-3, 6-3. Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ In Liverpool, Man United sees the pain and path to recovery Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more


first_imgMuch of the pre-match talk this week centred on how much Donegal would put into winning this league semi final fixture – would it be beneficial to go all the way to a league final only five weeks out from championship Sunday on May 17th?Cathal MacSuibhneby Cathal MacSuibhneFor long spells at Headquarters, Rory’s troops played some sumptuous attacking football and looked as if they meant business. However, once Cork realised that the back door protecting the Donegal defence had been left ajar and was missing its normal padlock, they put this game to bed. Usually, a forward line as potent and as talented as Brian Hurley and Colm O’Neill would not be given anywhere near as much space as they got today but in a very open game, lacking any sort of intensity, they were afforded free rein.The full back line had very little protection throughout the match, the McGee brothers and Paddy McGrath having trouble dealing with their direct opponents. It was strange to see a team cut through Donegal’s centre on so many occasions; regardless of the importance or otherwise attached to the game, conceding four goals is worrying – you can be sure Tyrone will see no such room in five weeks time.Michael Murphy returned to the team after watching from the stand in MacHale Park seven days ago. The break didn’t do the maestro any harm as he posted a wonderful 0-8 comprised of three frees, two 45s and three points from play.Michael’s return meant all three of the team’s danger men started and it was interesting to see Colm McFadden playing the deeper of the trio with the captain and Patrick McBrearty staying inside for much of the day. It’s a role that means a lot of work and effort but will be a big help in bringing McFadden’s fitness and match sharpness to where it needs to be. The Creeslough sharpshooter is still a long way short of his peak scoring form, a number of wides and a missed goal chance in the first half evidence of this. Two fine long range points though showed what he is capable of and they will have helped his confidence and no doubt he will be busting a gut over the coming weeks to try to secure a starting spot for the championship opener. It was a disappointing week for the U21 contingent in the squad following their defeat against Tyrone on Wednesday night. Three of those lads started today – the McHughs, Ryan and Eoin, along with Hugh McFadden.McFadden put in a big shift around the middle and has become a vital cog in Donegal’s turnover ploys. He twice won the ball back for his side early in the second half, the first from a block down at midfield which eventually led to a point from Murphy and the other a tackle that sent a Corkman over the line and gave Donegal a sideline kick.Competition for starting places is fierce at present and it may well be that we won’t see both McFaddens in the line up in Ballybofey next month but Hugh has given himself a great chance to get a jersey.Eoin McHugh got his first senior start at Croke Park and similar to his cousin Ryan two years ago he looks very nimble and light but has bags of ability. There is some bulking up to go through before he’ll fully settle in at senior level but even this summer he could be an effective weapon in Donegal’s arsenal.While Donegal’s defence wasn’t what it normally is today, the forward unit can take a lot of positives from their exploits. Nineteen points is a great tally to post and will win most matches. The shooting was accurate, the interchange slick and the kick passing in particular into the full forward line was of the highest standard. Rory was of course a brilliant forward in his day and it’s clear he is having an effect in this regard on the training field. Despite the massed defences of nowadays, a precise kick pass can still give a forward a chance to collect, turn and shoot in one movement and it is very hard to defend against. We saw examples of such passes today from Karl Lacey and Odhran MacNiallais while in the second game Conor McManus ran riot for Monaghan on such ball.In contrast Cork, despite winning an All-Ireland in 2010, have taken quite a bit of criticism over the years over their hesitancy in getting ball into their myriad of deadly score-getters. Many of their attacks traditionally involved lateral hand passing and so many of their players were fond of soloing laboriously up the field even when passes were on. There has been a big improvement since Brian Cuthbert has taken the reins and much of their good play today came from direct ball carrying. They still though need to add a longer dimension to their game plan. Donegal didn’t play with an out and out sweeper today and there were times where McGrath and one of the McGees were two on two against Hurley and O’Neill – in this situation the ball must go in. Donegal carry the ball quite a bit and always have done but when they sense an opening inside the ball is delivered.The absence of Neil Gallagher was acutely felt last week in Castlebar with Mayo’s Barry Moran enjoying a free run of the park and lording the middle third. With Gallagher again missing today, it was the turn of Fintan Goold to put in a big scoring performance from midfield; the Marcoom native finishing with 0-4 to his name.On each occasion that Donegal looked to be getting back into the game and had a chance to reel in the Rebels, they conceded another major and the gap always remained. Goals have never been as important as they are these days; they’re much harder to get and are precious commodities in big games. Last year’s All-Ireland semi final and final involving Donegal are a case in point, so too the last few meetings between today’s other semi-finalists. In the quarter final meeting in August, Monaghan were well in the game until Bernard Brogan raised a green flag but after that they fell away. They conceded early again in last week’s meeting in Clones but today there was no goal concession and the Farney men were unlucky to lose by the minimum after a great display. Giving away four goals to top tier opposition like Donegal did only leads to one thing – defeat. All in all though, both teams will be relatively happy with today and happy with their league campaigns. Cork have a final against Dublin in a fortnight’s time to bridge the gap to their inevitable annual joust with Kerry on Munster final day while Donegal have now no distractions and eyes only for Tyrone.This league has seen newcomers make their bows for Donegal; some fringe players have pushed their way into the manager’s thoughts while the stalwarts are all, by and large, in good knick and the team as a whole looks like it means business in Championship 2015. Bring it on.RUTHLESS REBELS SEND DONEGAL PACKING – CATHAL MacSUIBHNE’S GAA DIARY was last modified: April 12th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Cathal MacSuibhneGAA diarylast_img read more