first_imgThere is a phenomenon at Wimbledon that we might call Federer Face: that collective glow spread across the chops of spectators as they leave the show courts having finally seen the 17-time Grand Slam champion in the smooth-moving flesh.It’s a tiny claim on his greatness, the pleasure in being somehow part of his sporting story; a tale to tell the grandkids, the sharing in a communal homage to probably the greatest there has ever been.With all Federer has done at Wimbledon, and the style with which he has done it, you can understand the reaction. What makes less logical sense is that the same does not happen to Serena Williams.There is admiration, of course, and great respect for what she has achieved. But even after her 25th Grand Slam final, there does not seem to be the same desperation to have seen her powers in person. And that, by any reckoning, needs to be put right.For Serena, arguably, is the most dominant single athlete in sport over the past 15 years.On Saturday she beat Spain’s Garbine Muguruza to win Wimbledon for the sixth time and complete the ‘Serena Slam’ of holding all four major titles. In reaching 28 Grand Slam semi-finals she has lost just three. Of those 25 Slam finals, she has won five times as many as she has lost.She is the oldest player, male or female, to ever be world number one; 16 years on from her first Slam triumph, aged just 17, she has won the first three of the year with her 34th birthday just eight weeks away.To put that into context, there were 12 years between Martina Navratilova’s first Grand Slam win and her last. It was the same for Steffi Graf. Margaret Court stretched her peak out to 13, yet she never won another beyond 31 years old.Federer? He won his first Grand Slam event in 2003 and his last, thus far, in 2012 – a span six years shorter than Serena’s. Born within a month of each other, in the last four-and-a-half years, Federer has won one Slam, Serena nine. That Maria Sharapova has earned more money than Williams despite having been beaten 18 times in their 20 meetings is a sorry reflection both on the calculation of a sportswoman’s commercial worth and our own appreciation of what makes a true champion.”Serena has shown that you can be tough, you can be fearless, you can be courageous, you can be a competitor and you can still be a woman,” says former world number one and three-time Grand Slam champion Lindsay Davenport, who spent much of her career battling Williams.”She was the most intimidating opponent I ever faced. With some players you would be intimidated by their record or their game, like with Steffi Graf. But with Serena you were scared by absolutely everything – her passion, her attitude, how she serves, the power she has, her athleticism.”She plays tennis at a different level. She is better than any player on tour even if she is only at 80% – and I think she would still win a ton of matches at just 50%.”There is the physical strength of Williams to admire: a serve not only of unprecedented speed but flawless technique, impervious to pressure or occasion. There are groundstrokes whose power gets all the headlines but with a depth and placement that is equally destructive. Then there is the immense mental fortitude: the three Grand Slam singles titles won after being match point down; coming through the depression and loss of form in 2006 that saw her slip to 95 in the world, coming back from the pulmonary embolism in 2010 that could have ended her career.Martina Hingis is only a year older and yet is reduced to playing occasional doubles, her body wrecked by injury and her love of the game sapped long ago. Justine Henin, a year younger, retired for the second time in 2011. Kim Clijsters, younger again, retired three years ago.To keep going as Serena has is one miracle. To keep going at the very top is quite another.”In the middle part of her career, when she went through a real lull, there was a lot for her to overcome,” says Davenport, who was beaten by Serena in the final of the 2005 Australian Open. “Somewhere along the line she was able to flip the switch and get more into how good she actually is. She started to buy into it, but it came at a much later age than it did for some of the other previous champions we’ve seen.”During that period when she had eight to 14 Grand Slams she was in no-man’s land. I know that sounds ridiculous, but she needed goals and the motivation to break records.”Once she got past 14 Grand Slam titles, she was like, ‘Wait a second here, I’m getting closer to the mark of Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova of 18 and even closer to Steffi Graf’s all-time record [in the Open Era].'”In a weird way it helped too having Federer around, who is still so committed and was still winning Slams and not going anywhere. All of a sudden it became OK to want to compete in your 30s and be able to dominate.”Federer inspires devotion like few other players. It is impossible to imagine him behaving as Serena did in losing the US Open final in 2009 on a foot-fault and penalty point, telling a line judge that she would shove a ball in a place where it is not ordinarily found. Federer is all control, at least until the point of victory, when ice breaks and the tears flow. Serena is at least three contradictory characters in one – the warrior player, the handbag-designing girlie girl, the insecure body-conscious woman.She even has names for them: Summer, who is all smiles and thank-you notes; Psycho Serena, the on-court competitor, and then Taquanda, the US Open one, the one you really wouldn’t want to be around, tennis ball to hand or not.Pretentious? Hard to warm to? This is a woman so lacking confidence that she refuses to lift weights because she is worried about making her arms look too big (she uses resistance bands instead), who grew up in the shadow of a more successful elder sister and then had to learn to beat her, who grew up in an area where no-one had ever gone where she was aiming.”I was never the one that was supposed to be good,” she has said of her relationship with Venus, “but I was determined not to be a statistic.”It is the complexity of Serena’s character, the thing that seems to put distance between her and some fans, that should instead underscore her achievements. So perfectionist is she about her tennis that she refuses to play a game in practice in case she loses, and instead insists on playing a succession of unrelated points.”It’s hard and lonely at the top,” she has said. “Everyone wants to beat you. Everyone talks behind your back. God forbid I lose. It’s like, ‘Why?’ Well, I am human.”There are any number of reasons she could have escaped all that. She has won enough, earned enough, proved herself superior to Venus and all those other great rivals who have come and now gone.And yet she keeps going, keeps winning, keeps driving.”It’s remarkable what she has been able to achieve in the last three to four years,” says Davenport, at Wimbledon as an analyst for BBC Sport.”You have to give a lot of credit to her coach Patrick Mouratoglou. She was exclusively coached by her parents for so long and wasn’t sure that she would ever respect or understand another person’s voice, but she let somebody else in and he has got through to her.”Who knows why? Who knows how? Nobody knows the intricacies of their relationship, but he has got her to believe in herself and to buy into the mantra of, ‘You are the greatest player, but you’ve got to still prove it’.”Their record is amazing. You can’t deny that he has got her to completely invest herself emotionally in just about every tournament she enters. He channels her in the right direction.”That dominance. Take it outside tennis, and who can match her? Tiger Woods won his first major in 1997 and his last in 2008. Cristiano Ronaldo was a 14-year-old kid in Madeira when Serena began her reign, Leo Messi a frail 12-year-old boy.Kobe Bryant has five NBA rings, but perhaps only Floyd Mayweather, 48 fights unbeaten since his professional debut in 1996, can truly compare. And that is against underdogs and outsiders as well as true contenders. To remain the best, Serena has had to repeatedly beat the best. No easy match-ups, no easy years, no easy titles.Tough. Fearless. Courageous. A competitor, and still a woman. That is Serena, and that is why we should celebrate her, even as she appears unstoppable, even as she appears forever.–last_img read more

first_imgMiralem Pjanic is a midfielder of AS Roma. He was born on 2 April 1990 in the city of Tuzla, current Bosnia and Herzegovina.Miralem began his youth career in 1997 entering the academy of FC Schifflange 95. The young footballer spent seven years in the club’s academy until he agreed to joinFC Metz youth academy in France. By the year 2007 Pjanic had been through with studying, starting his professional football career.In 2007 Miralem Pjanic signed a professional contract with the French Metz becoming its apprentice for three years. The young Bosnian made a promising start in the 2007/08 season netting 3 goals in 32 appearances.The next season Pjanic was linked with Olympique Lyonnais, which he finally joined. In the summer of 2008 Miralem agreed to the contract with Lyon, tying him to the club for the next three years. During this period Pjanic established himself as a key attacking midfielder making appearances with the first team almost in every match. The head coach gave Pjanic an opportunity to play 90 games with Lyon, where the young Bosnian scored 10 goals.In 2011 Miralem didn’t stop at what had been accomplished. When the footballer was offered to join the first team of the Italian Roma, he was happy to agree to the contract. Pjanic wanted to start a new era in his career and the Roman club appropriately suited for such an occasion. Miralem didn’t regret moving to the Italian club, since he became the first team regular being a key midfielder in the team.From 2006 through 2007 Miralem Pjanic was called up to Luxembourg U-17 and U-19 teams scoring 6 goals in 7 matches. Since 2008 he has played 31 matches and netted 4 goals for Bosnia and Herzegovina national team.last_img read more

first_imgPhoto: Billy Reimer and Wendy Pollock started the “Pink Ribbon Breast Cancer Foundation” to help support local cancer patients – Christine Rumleskie/Energeticcity.caTwo survivors are giving local cancer patients the opportunity they never had.Wendy Pollock is a breast cancer survivor, and Billy Reimer battled leukemia. Pollock says was put on medication that cost $5,000, to help boost her white blood cell count. She quit her job, which left her husband’s paycheck the only source of income for her family.- Advertisement -She says she worried about money, which caused unnecessary stress during her recovery.[asset|aid=2230|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=75d142a267a52b52f63100bb399409c0-Wendy Pollock 1_1_Pub.mp3]Billy Reimer had just started a new job when he was diagnosed, so he didn’t qualify for extended medical coverage.He says he sold his home, among other things, to afford his treatments.Advertisement Reimer notes that it’s not just medical bills that cancer patients face. He says it’s the monthly costs like rent or mortgage payments.With Christmas approaching, the foundation has begun selling tickets in advance, for its first-ever dinner, auction, and dance gala.There are 350 tickets available, and are $50.00 each. The event is at the Pomeroy Hotel on January 16th, 2010. Reimer and Pollock hope to raise $20,000.Tickets are available at the Pomeroy Hotel and the Moose FM radio station. To volunteer your time, donate an auction item, or to apply for financial assistance call Billy Reimer at 250-262-8883. [asset|aid=2231|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=75d142a267a52b52f63100bb399409c0-Billy Reimer 1_1_Pub.mp3]Both Reimer and Pollock searched for financial assistance, but to no avail.The pair decided at that point that a foundation needs to be in place to help those who are vulnerable. Two months ago, the local branch of the Pink Ribbon Breast Cancer Foundation began.[asset|aid=2232|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=75d142a267a52b52f63100bb399409c0-Billy Reimer 2_1_Pub.mp3]Advertisementlast_img read more

first_img0Shares0000AFC Leopards defender Robinson Kamura flies in on a tackle on Kariobangi Sharks striker Duke Abuya during their Kenyan Premier League match on April 24, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluNAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 24 – George Abege headed home in added time as 10-man Kariobangi Sharks came from a goal down to hold AFC Leopards to a 1-1 draw in a Kenyan Premier League match at the Kasarani Stadium on Wednesday evening.Whyvonne Isuza had scored perhaps the quickest goal in Kenyan Premier League history, tapping home after just 20 seconds to give AFC Leopards the lead. However, Abege stepped off the bench to head home a freekick in the last minute of the match to see the sides share spoils.Sharks were reduced to 10 men in the 63rd minute after youthful defender Ian Taifa was sent off for a second yellow card. But, the never say die attitude of William Muluya’s men saw them go off with at least a point.Isuza broke the deadlock with the easiest of tasks guiding home the ball into a gaping goalmouth after being put through by the sensational Paul Were who was making his second appearance for Ingwe since returning to the den.Were did the donkey work on the left skipping past his markers before drawing keeper John Oyemba to his near post and cutting back for Isuza to tap home simply into an empty net.This was the second consecutive assist for Were in as many matches and this was a replica of the third goal they scored against Posta Rangers last week. From kick off, David Ochieng picked the ball in midfield, sprayed it to Were who did the rest.AFC were buoyed by the early goal and had another chance off a set piece in the eighth minute but skipper Robinson Kamura’s curling effort from 30 yards out flew straight into keeper Oyemba’s arms.AFC Leopards defender David ‘Cheche’ Ochieng rises to clear a cross from Kariobangi Sharks striker Sidney Lokale during their Kenyan Premier League tie on April 24, 2019 at the Kasarani Stadium. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluAll this time, Sharks were yet to settle into the game but had momentum sway their way in the 25th minute when a move from the right saw Taifa break into the box but went down under a challenge from Isaac Kipyegon, but the shouts for a penalty were downed by the referee.Two minutes later, they were almost gifted a chance when Ochieng lost the ball in midfield and in an effort to recover floored Sidney Lokale at the edge of the box.However, Nixon Omondi lifted the ball over from the resultant set-piece which was placed in good scoring range.With Harambee Stars head coach Sebastien Migne and his assistant up in the stands scouting for a team for the African Cup of Nations in June, onus was on the players down on the pitch to put up a performance worth remembering.Pressure was on two; Ochieng and Were, who returned back home from stints in Europe with the sole purpose of earning valuable playing time to audition for a place in the AFCON team.And if there was a day to prove their worth, then on a smooth playing surface at the Kasarani Stadium was the right auditorium to play the orchestra. Ochieng put in a defensive midfield role put in a shift while Were was pulling the strings on the wing.But even as the contest on the ball grew, so did the emotions of the game. In more than one occasion the referee had to come in between flying fists and at one time Isuza and Sharks skipper Patillah Omotto almost came into blows after the former flew in poorly into a tackle on the latter.AFC Leopards defender Robinson Kamura tracks down Kariobangi Sharks striker Eric Kapaito during their Kenyan Premier League tie on April 24, 2019 at the Kasarani Stadium. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluIn the second half, the tempo increased, AFC looking for a second goal to seal some comfort while Sharks who were chasing the game needed a catalyst for a comeback.Six minutes after the restart, AFC had a chance when right back Yusuf Mainge took a confident chance from the wing, cutting into a good shooting position but his grass cutter went inches off target.Sharks were reduced to 10 men in the 63rd minute when Taifa was sent off for a second bookable offense after a kung-fu like tackle on Kipyegon.But even with their numerical advantage, AFC still chased the game with Sharks doubling their effort. Ingwe however had a chance in the 70th minute when a well diced cross from Brian Marita found an onrushing Isuza, but this time keeper Oyemba raced off his line to make a superb block.AFC had another chance when some beautiful display from Paul Were on the left once again saw him skip over three markers before cutting back a cross but substitute Ivan Sekazza could not connect into an empty net.As the clock ticked, so did Sharks’ industry as they sought to get a goal back in the match. They came close when Abuya cut into some good shooting space from the left but his curling effort went inches wide.They got the reward they needed much at the stroke of full time when Abege towered above the defense to nod home a freekick from another substitute James Mazembe to break Ingwe hearts.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more