They say the last mile of a race is the hardest. Those words ring true when you look at Serena’s quest for Grand Slam immortality. Williams fell 6-1 3-6 3-6 to former finalist Azarenka. Nice hitting from both ladies with Serena dominating the first. Azarenka broke in the 6th game of the second to take it to a decider. In the last action of the third set Azarenka hit a serve that looked wide at first glance. Williams appealed but hawkeye confirmed Azarenka’s passage to the final against Naomi Osaka of Japan
I was driving in my home town,right in the city centre to meet up with a family friend who I hadn’t seen in a while. In the back were my two daughters who insisted they come alone for a ride. All of a sudden a uniformed figure appeared to block my way down the particular lane the I was in. Walking confidently towards my driver side,he smiled and said afternoon sir. I cordially replied afternoon officer. “Do you know you are in a one way lane” said the officer to my obvious dismay. “Bollocks I said,this ain’t no one way street” I muttered back. He smiled and pointed at a direction towards a post covered by some bushes at the side of the road. I said”Look how was I supposed to have seen that one way sign in the midst of that mess”. Now laughing he said” I dont give a damn you are under arrest for reckless driving,please step out of the car”.
I have tried to stay away from the Novak Djokovic wars with match officials as the eagle is all about action on the court. But i couldn’t help but laugh at his misery and compare it with my experience with another kind of official. As the old saying goes in legal circles, there is no such thing as an accident, but recklessness. Novak knew the rules of tennis when he hit the line judge with a shanked hit. Just as I was culpable for breaking the driving code by driving in a restricted street. I like the US Open and how they run their tournament. They have a zero tolerance on match official abuse(Serena Vs Osaka 2018). This makes sure the respectability of the officials remain intact and ensures fairness in making crucial calls. There are no sacred cows under tennis law🎾.
Japan’s Naomi Osaka faced American Shelby Rogers in the quarter finals of the US Open. Naomi looked razor sharp despite spotting a strapped up left knee(Serena fans,I see you,wipe that goofy grin off your faces 😃). Her first serve was awesome, coupled with some decent ground strokes she was able to dismiss the fighting American 6-3 6-4.
Former Next Gen star Sasha Zverev dispatched surprise quarter finalist Borna Coric. First set was a one sides affair 6-1 to the Croat.The next 2 were anything but. Zverev battled from a break down in the second to win on a tie break. The third went the distance again with Sasha winning it again. Both served well decent winners.Zverev eventually took the last set 6-3.
In the UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE,Germany traveled to Switzerland. It seems Die Mannschaft can’t win to save their balls in this competition. They bossed the first half though with Sane threatening on the wing and duly took the lead from a cooly stroked in Ilkay Gundogan goal. The Swiss came alive in the second half equalising from Widmer on 57 mins. Germany finished the game on the backfoot with Switzerland bossing the game to the finish. Message to Here Joachim Loew, why don’t you put your stupid pride aside and call back Muller and Boateng(I know he is injured at least half of him is better than Rudiger).
Now to game 3 of Lakers Vs Rockets. Lakers take a 2-1 lead. Harden leading the points line with 38 with Antony Davis outpointing the King 39-38.
Lance Armstrong is a polarising figure in the world of sports. On the one hand we have this hero of the fight against cancer and an example of never to give up when odds are against you. On the other we have this villain whose deceit became known as one of the biggest frauds in sports history. I have decided to delve deeper into this saga to try to find a balanced view from atop my eagle’s perch.
Lance Armstrong is a former professional triathlete turned cyclist born in Texas,USA in 1971. He began his cycling career with the motorola team in 1992 participating in world championship,and winning various stages of the TOUR DE FRANCE. For those who are lost here,the TOUR DE FRANCE is gruelling a 23 day, 21 stage cycling course ,each stage happening on a particular day. It covers 3500 kilometres over the 23 days. Now back to Lancey here. In 1996 he got diagnosed with advanced testicular cancer and decided to put his career on hold to fight the disease. After entering remission ,he returned in 1998 this time with the US postal team. He went on to win the Tour de France 7 times in a row from 1998 to 2005 and Olympic bronze at Sydney 2000. Doping allegations surfaced as early as 1999 which of course Armstrong dismissed.
However in 2012,the United States Anti doping Agency implicated Armstrong as the ring leader in a professional and sophisticated doping program(they made him out to be Al Capone and the postal team the Chicago Outfit🙄 seriously). Lifetime bans followed from World Anti Doping Code and upheld by the International Cycling Union. Lance maned up in January 2013 and shocked the world.
But there are two sides to a coin. Armstrong’s doping may have deeper psychological causes than people may realise. Cancer survivors are who are hospitalised are 5 percent more likely to abuse drugs and 5 to 15 percent alcohol according to http://www.cancernetwork.com. Maybe the guy had an inferiority complex,not feeling like he is physically able to compete with other alpha male athletes. Whichever the case it doesn’t excuse cutting the corners in any part of life let alone sport. Indeed sports psychology is just as good as training.
By the way, Lance Armstrong was stripped of all 7 tour de france titles and no one else was declared the winner.
At the US Open,Serena continued her March towards a record 24th Grand Slam with a rather labored win over little known Maria Sakkari from Greece, 6-3 6-7 6-3. A second successive 3 game match for Williams showing proving she still has stamina to stand toe to toe with younger opponents.
In the men’s draw, my most anticipated match was between two champions of the future,Dominic Them of Austria and Felix Auger-Aliassime. Dominic who is best placed to cause Djokovic problems these year,was taken all the way in the first set by Felix before eventually winning the tie breaker. He routed the Canadian in the next 2 sets to win 7-6 6-1 6-1.
American Frances Tiafoe succumbed to Russia’s Daniil Medvedev 4-6 1-6 0-6. I am made to believe professional tennis players have fitness trainers right? Taifoe get the memo PLEASE.
The pick of the UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE ties was the Netherlands against Italy. The Italians very worthy winners through a Barella header. Time and time again the Italians were allowed to cross from the left wing and they duly punished a static Dutch defence
Unless you been living under a rock,you should know that John S played for only the Utah Jazz over his legendary 19 season career. Karl Malone was his most assisted player. He holds the all time record for assists(15806).