Osaka lives to fight another day, Djokovic cruising at French Open

first_imgBy Martyn HermanPARIS, France (Reuters) – Naomi Osaka stayed on course for a third successive Grand Slam title and Novak Djokovic a fourth at the French Open yesterday but their paths to the third round could not be more different.For the second match in a row Osaka had to battle back from a shocking start, this time losing the first four games against former world number one Victoria Azarenka before winning a titanic tussle 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 in just under three hours.The Japanese top seed struck 52 winners as she stretched her winning run in the Grand Slams to 16 matches.“I have this mindset that I feel like I can win if it gets down to the wire, like, if I have to break a person. I feel like I have the ability to do that,” Osaka, who next plays Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic, said. Djokovic, bidding to hold all four Grand Slams simultaneously for the second time in his career, had no such dramas as he followed Osaka on to Court Suzanne Lenglen.The Serb was in cruise control as he beat Swiss lucky loser Henri Laaksonen, the world number 104, 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 to set up a third-round clash with Italian qualifier Salvatore Caruso.“He has nothing to lose. I’m sure he’s going to be very motivated to play his best,” Djokovic, who won the title to complete his first ‘Nole Slam’ in 2016, told reporters. Serena Williams moved smoothly through to the third round with a 6-3, 6-2 defeat of Japanese qualifier Kurumi Nara, setting up an all-American tussle with Sofia Kenin who benefitted from the withdrawal of 22nd seed Bianca Andreescu through injury.Williams is trying again to match Margaret Court’s 24 Grand Slam titles, having fallen twice in finals last year on her comeback from maternity leave. Defending champion and third seed Simona Halep did not have things all her own way against Poland’s Magda Linette but came through a tough battle 6-4, 5-7, 6-3.Dominic Thiem, beaten in last year’s final by Rafael Nadal, also had some trouble against Alexander Bublik.He had to save two set points in the fourth set to avoid a decider and was relieved to win 6-3, 6-7(6), 6-3, 7-5. He will play unseeded Pablo Cuevas next.Fifth seed Alexander Zverev, ninth seed Fabio Fognini and 13th seed Borna Coric all progressed with ease although Juan Martin del Potro, the eighth seed, needed five sets to subdue Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka. Several Frenchmen survive in the draw, including Gael Monfils who will face a second successive all-French clash in the third round when he plays wildcard Antoine Hoang.Hoang enjoyed a memorable win on Court One “Bullring” against Spain’s experienced 23rd seed Fernando Verdasco.No French women have reached the third round for the first time since 1986 after Caroline Garcia lost 1-6, 6-4, 6-4 to Russian qualifier Anna Blinkova.last_img read more

Read More »

High school football preview: Altmar-Parish-Williamstown

first_imgStanard: “Lot of outside runs. Everybody’s gonna try to get to that edge with their speedy guy because of less players.” Altmar-Parish-Williamstown struggled late in games during the 2017 season. They didn’t have depth. By the season finale, the Rebels dressed just 20 players. That was “the writing on the wall” to move from 11-man to eight-man football this season, A-P-W head coach Scott Stanard said. After a 2-6 season, the Rebels hope their added depth allows them to keep up.Here’s The Daily Orange’s preview of Altmar-Parish-Williamstown’s first season in eight-man football. 2017 record: 2-6 (in 11-man football, now transitioning to eight-man)Head Coach: Scott Stanard, entering fourth season as head coachDriving distance from SU: 32.6 milesAdvertisementThis is placeholder textNotable returners:Jonathan Comstock, QB, 6’1”, 185 lbs; 2017 stats: 546 yards passing, eight passing TDs, one rushing TDKody Roe, LB, 5’10”, 190 lbs; 2017 stats: 73 total tackles, 51 solo, 9 tackles per gameOpening game: Sept. 14 at Tupper Lake High SchoolKey Storylines:The transition from 11-man football to the eight-man gameMaintaining fitness late in games with more backups relative to years past since less players will be on the fieldWhat they’re saying:Head coach Scott Stanard: “With the returning kids that we have, with our core coming back, we’re pretty excited about getting to compete with schools that are our size. We’re hoping each week that we can come out and put on a show and have some fun.” Stanard: “I can’t say whether we’re gonna come in and win a bunch or be worried that we’re gonna lose. I think it just gives us a much better level playing field going up against teams that we know are pretty much the same caliber as we are.” Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Comments QB Jonathan Comstock: “I think it’ll be a little different for us since we haven’t played eight-man football in a game setting before. But after the first game, I feel like we’ll shake all those jitters out, and we’ll know what we’re doing.” Published on August 17, 2018 at 12:45 pm Contact Billy: [email protected] | @Wheyen3last_img read more

Read More »