Australian Open 2019: Serena Williams Crashes Out After Losing To Karolina Pliskova


It was a gut-wrenching defeat for the 37-year-old, who battled back from a set down and was leading 5-1 in the third and serving for the match, only to throw it away with some poor serving and wild shots as frustrations bubbled to the surface.

Since returning last year from giving birth, Williams has made four unsuccessful attempts to match Court’s record, and the wait continues with the French Open in May her next chance.

“She was playing very well. Especially at the end of the second set she went for her shots and she was aggressive,” said Pliskova after depriving Williams of a US Open final rematch with Osaka.

“I played too passive. I was almost in the locker-room but now I am standing here as a winner. It is a very good feeling.”

For Pliskova, it is only her third semi-final at a major.

She made the last four at Roland Garros in 2017 and the US Open a year earlier, where she beat Williams before losing the final to Angelique Kerber.

A focused Osaka brutally swept past Ukraine’s Svitolina, who was troubled by neck and shoulder problems, in her attempt to win back-to-back Grand Slams.

The Ukrainian needed a similar medical timeout during her third round match, but it was nevertheless a serious statement from the steely-eyed Osaka, who was playing the sort of tennis which drove her to the US Open title.

“I tried to be consistent, it’s unfortunate that she got injured but playing against her even when she was injured was still really tough,” said the usually bubbly 21-year-old, who was completely focused on court.

“I just had one goal, to try as hard I can and not get angry. I didn’t do that really well in the last two rounds and I did that today so I’m really happy with the way I played.”

The win ensured she became the first Japanese woman in the final four at Melbourne Park since Kimiko Date in 1994.

Only positives

Svitolina, who has failed to go further than the quarter-finals now four times at Grand Slams, said she had been feeling her injury throughout the tournament, but didn’t want to use it as an excuse.

“Unfortunately I couldn’t produce 100 percent the game that I wanted. But in the end, she was just playing better today,” she said.

Svitolina, who said her goal was to reach number one and win a Slam this year, added: “I don’t want to get down on myself. It’s only positives from here.”

Unseeded American Danielle Collins or two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova play the other semi-final.

Novak Djokovic resumes his quest for a record seventh Australian Open title later against Japanese marathon man Kei Nishikori.  

The Serbian world number one admitted he “didn’t feel so great” after surviving a stiff four-set test in the last 16, and knows he has his work cut out against the Japanese star who has battled through three hard five-setters so far.

“He’s a very talented player. One of the quickest players on the tour. You know, hard worker. I have lots of respect for him,” said the Serbian world number one.

The winner will play big-serving Canadian 16th seed Milos Raonic or France’s 28th seed Lucas Pouille, who is now coached by former Australian Open champion Amelie Mauresmo.

Stefanos Tsitsipas and Rafael Nadal have already secured their berths in the last four.



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Australian Open: Rafael Nadal reach in semi final without loosing a set, two wins away from 18th Grand Slam title


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Australian Open: Leander Paes, Samantha Stosur lost in second round


मेलबर्न: भारत के दिग्गज खिलाड़ी लिएंडर पेस और उनकी महिला जोड़ीदार समांथा स्तोसुर की जोड़ी ऑस्ट्रेलियन ओपन (Australian open 2019) के मिक्स्ड डबल्स के दूसरे दौर में ही हार कर बाहर हो गई. 45 साल के लिएंडर पेस (Leander Paes) इस टूर्नामेंट में ऑस्ट्रेलिया की समांथा स्टोसुर (Samantha Stosur) के साथ जोड़ी बनाकर उतरे थे. समांथा स्टोसुर संन्यास एक बार संन्यास ले चुकी हैं. वे वापसी करने के बाद डबल्स मैचों में फोकस कर रही हैं. 

लिएंडर पेस और समांथा स्टोसुर की जोड़ी को मंगलवार (22 जनवरी) को हार का सामना करना पड़ा. जर्मनी की एना ग्रोनेफेल्ड और कोलंबिया की रोबर्ट फराह की जोड़ी ने भारतीय-ऑस्ट्रेलियाई जोड़ी को सीधे सेटों में 4-6, 6-4, (10-8) से मात देते हुए तीसरे दौर में जगह बनाई. लिएंडर पेस-स्टोसुर ने पहले दौर में नीदरलैंड्स के वेस्ले कोलहोफ और चेक गणराज्य की कवेटा पेश्के की जोड़ी को 6-4, 7-5 से हराया था. 

यह भी पढ़ें: Australian open: 20 साल के सितसिपास सेमीफाइनल में, राफेल नडाल से होगा मुकाबला

एना ग्रोनेफेल्ड और कोलंबिया की रोबर्ट फराह की जोड़ी का तीसरे दौर में चेक गणराज्य की बारबोरा क्रेजसिकोवा और अमेरिका के राजीव राम की जोड़ी से सामना होगा. क्रेजसिकोवा-राजीव राम ने दूसरे दौर में पोलैंड की इगा स्वियाटेक और लुकास कुबोट की जोड़ी को 6-3, 4-6, (10-5) से मात दी. लिएंडर पेस की हार के साथ ही साल के इस पहले ग्रैंड स्लैम में भारतीय चुनौती समाप्त हो गई है. मिक्स्ड डबल्स में रोहन बोपन्ना, द्विज शरण और पुरुष सिंगल्स में प्रजनेश गुणेश्वरन पहले ही हार चुके हैं. 

स्पेन के राफेल नडाल और ग्रीस के स्टाफांसो सितसिपास ने ऑस्ट्रेलियन ओपन के सेमीफाइनल में प्रवेश कर लिया है. नडाल ने क्वार्टर फाइनल में अमेरिका के फ्रांसेस टिफोए को सीधे सेटों में 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 से मात दी. स्टाफांसो सितसिपास ने स्पेन के रॉबर्ट बातिस्ता अगुट को 7-5, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-2) से हराया. 

महिला सिंगल्स में चेक रिपब्लिक की पेत्रा क्वितोवा और अमेरिका की डेनियला कॉलिंस सेमी फाइनल में पहुंच गई हैं. पेत्रा क्वितोवा ने ऑस्ट्रेलिया की एश्ले बार्टी को हराया. अब उनका सामना अमेरिका की डेनियला कॉलिंस से होगा. डेनियला कॉलिंस ने रूस की अनास्तासिया पाव्लुचेंकोवा को मात दी.





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Party Open For Alliance, Says AIADMK Leader D Jayakumar


D Jayakumar indicated that a clearer picture would emerge as the elections approach.

Chennai: 

Senior AIADMK leader D Jayakumar Tuesday said its doors were open for an alliance and indicated that any decision on a poll pact would emerge only ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

He said the AIADMK was not involved in any alliance talks right now.

His remarks came amidst speculation of the regional party possibly tying up with the BJP for the coming Parliamentary elections.

Matters like electoral alliances were decided not by individuals, but party committees like the parliamentary board, general council and the executive, he told reporters.

“We have not closed our doors for alliance. The doors are very much open. But who is to be included, who is not required, these decisions cannot be made by an individual,” Mr Jayakumar said.

He indicated that a clearer picture would emerge as the elections approach.

Mr Jayakumar, the Tamil Nadu fisheries minister, however, exuded confidence that his party was capable of winning all 40 Lok Sabha seats– 39 in Tamil Nadu and one in Puducherry– besides putting up a good show in the bypolls to 20 assembly segments.

To a question on popular cinema star Ajith Kumar ruling out taking the political plunge, MR Jayakumar lauded the actor for making his stand clear on the subject.

He praised the actor for devotion to his work and for his grit. He recalled Ajith Kumar had complained to then chief minister M Karunanidhi, at a cinema event, that actors were being forced to take a stand on sensitive political issues, like the Cauvery dispute and the plight of Sri Lankan Tamils.





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Australian Open 2019: Rafael Nadal Relentlessly Marches On As Emotional Petra Kvitova Makes Semi-Finals


Tiafoe had announced himself by beating fifth seed Kevin Anderson, but was no match for a player at the peak of his powers as he attempts to become only the third man to win all four Slams twice and the first to do so in the Open era. “I had some trouble at this event all my career, so I’m very happy with the way I played tonight,” said the Spaniard, who faces another young gun Tsitsipas in the semi-finals.

“I feel lucky to be where I am.”

Greek sensation Tsitsipas powered into the last four with a measured 7-5, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/2) win over Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut. The 20-year-old, who ended Swiss great Roger Federer’s tournament, became the youngest man to reach the semis at Melbourne Park since Andy Roddick in 2003 and the first player from Greece — man or woman — to get so far at Grand Slam.  

“I’m just living the dream, living what I’ve been working hard for,” said the 14th seed, who lives in Cyprus but trains at the academy of Serena Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou in France.

“I feel a bit emotional but not too much -– I know I really worked hard to get here, playing in semis of a Grand Slam.” Czech Kvitova had not gone past the last eight at a major since a burglar slashed her left hand in December 2016, forcing her out of the game for six months and leaving her with lasting nerve damage in the fingers of her racquet hand.

But the eighth seed has bounced back and is on a sensational 10-match unbeaten streak after claiming the Sydney International warm-up title. She proved too much for Ashleigh Barty, crushing the local hope 6-1, 6-4, and was in tears afterwards as she reflected on her long journey back to the top.

“Really, I didn’t imagine to be back on this great stadium and play with the best,” the two-time Wimbledon champion said.

“I’m calling it as my second career. So it’s the first semi-final of the second career. I’m really enjoying it.” Kvitova will face unseeded American Collins in the semi-final on Thursday and she desperately wants to reach Saturday’s decider. “I want it bad, that’s right,” she said.

Collins, the world number 35, had never won a Grand Slam match before entering this year’s tournament but she stunned three-time major champion and second seed Angelique Kerber in round four.

And the 25-year-old from Florida continued her Cinderella run by bouncing back spectacularly to down Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 2-6, 7-5, 6-1 in the quarter-finals.

Collins, who has spent long stretches of her career playing small tournaments to build up her ranking points, was in big trouble after losing the first set to the world number 44.

But she fearlessly battled back into the match to again stamp her mark on the tournament.

“This has all been a really incredible experience,” she said.

“This time last year I was playing a challenger (tournament) in Newport Beach. But, yeah, I think I’m really embracing it. It makes it a lot easier when you play in front of great fans and really good energy.”



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Leander Paes, 45, Leaves Twitter In Awe With Acrobatics At Australian Open. Watch


Leander Paes suffered a second-round exit at the Australian Open 2019 on Tuesday after he along with his Australian partner Samantha Stosur lost 6-4, 4-6 (8-10) to Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Robert Farah in the mixed doubles. With this, India’s campaign concluded in Melbourne. Despite the loss, 45-year-old Leander Paes didn’t fail to impress the tennis fans from across the globe with some jaw-dropping acrobatics on court. Sharing a video of him in action, Paes said on Twitter: “What an unbelievable sport we play! Great match and thank you to @bambamsam30 @CraigTiley @AustralianOpen Live your dreams everyday #AusOpen.”

Paes and Stosur had won the first set 6-4 but lost the momentum in the subsequent set and lost to the fifth seeds with a similar scoreline. Groenefeld and Farah then clinched the tie-breaker with a scoreline of 8-10.

The Indian-Australian wildcards had started their Australian Open campaign with a 6-4, 7-5 win against Wesley Koolhof and Kveta Peschke on Saturday.

As Paes shared the video of an enthralling rally in which he saved a point with remarkable fitness, fans on social media were left astonished.

“@Leander Great effort & salute to Level of your fitness Sir extremely inspirational for youngsters,” a user replied on the tweet.

Another one joined in, saying: “Legend .. do you have a nickname yet ? Like Flash or Lightning McPace.”

A fan called him young and requested him to “keep flying”, while another used a GOAT emoticon to term him ‘greatest of all time’.

Earlier in the day, Petra Kvitova swept into her first Grand Slam semi-final since a terrifying knife attack almost ended her career and the fairy-tale runs of Stefanos Tsitsipas and Danielle Collins continued at the Australian Open.





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2019 Maruti Suzuki Baleno Bookings Open





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The 2019 Maruti Suzuki Baleno will be launched with updated safety features to meet the safety norms.

Bookings for the 2019 Maruti Suzuki Baleno facelift has officially commenced in India for an initial token of ₹ 11,000.  Set to receive its mid-life update after almost three-and-a-half years, the new 2019 Baleno is expected to come with several cosmetic and features updates. The company claims that the new Baleno will come with a bolder attitude, stylish design, and premium interiors. In fact, it was just recently that we shared spy photos of an uncamouflaged 2019 Baleno, where we go to see a bunch of visual changes on the exterior front.

Also Read: 2019 Maruti Suzuki Baleno Facelift Spotted Sans Camouflage

Maruti Suzuki Baleno

Mentioning some of the visual updates, the company says that the new Maruti Suzuki Baleno facelift will come with a new and aggressive face, which based on the spy photos we know now comes with restyled grille and headlamps with a new bumper as well. The facelifted Baleno will come with a revised cabin with refreshed and more premium interior elements. Other visual updates will include new alloy wheels, revised taillamps and rear bumper among others.

dq64j308The 2019 Maruti Suzuki Baleno has been recently spotted without camouflage. 

Maruti has also confirmed that the car will now come with improved safety features like speed alert system, co-driver seat belt reminder and rear parking assist sensors. On the other hand, the standard safety bits will include – dual airbags, child seat restrain system (ISOFIX), Pre-tensioner and force limiter seat belts and ABS with EBD.

While the company hasn’t mentioned details about the engine, it’s very much likely that the 2019 Maruti Suzuki Baleno facelift will continue to feature the existing petrol and diesel engines. The 1.2-litre K-Series engine offers 83 bhp and 115 Nm of peak torque, while the oil burner offers 74 bhp and 190 Nm of peak torque. Transmission duties are carried out by a 5-speed manual gearbox and an optional CVT automatic transmission for the petrol unit. Maruti Suzuki also offers a performance-spec Baleno RS which get the 1.0-litre boosterjet turbo petrol engine that makes 100 bhp and 150 Nm of peak torque and gets only a 5-speed manual gearbox. However, whether the RS version will also be updated or not is yet to be known.

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The Maruti Suzuki Baleno was launch in Indian in October 2015, and since then the carmaker has sold over 5 lakh units of the car. In fact, in the first nine months of the current 2018-19 fiscal year alone, the Baleno saw a 14 per cent growth in the Indian market.

For the latest auto news and reviews, follow CarAndBike on Twitter, Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.





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Australian Open: Novak Djokovic Survives Examination To Reach Quarters


Australian Open: Novak Djokovic Survives Examination To Reach Quarters

Novak Djokovic won 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-2, 6-3 and will face Japan’s eighth seed Kei Nishikori next. © AFP


Novak Djokovic dropped a set for the second match running but survived a tough examination by 15th seed Daniil Medvedev on Monday to reach the Australian Open quarter-finals. The world number one won 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-2, 6-3 and will face Japan’s eighth seed Kei Nishikori for a place in the semi-finals. Djokovic and Medvedev both needed attention from the trainer during a draining 3hr 15min match liberally sprinkled with punishing rallies of 30 shots or more, and one of 42 strokes. “That was a physical battle,” said a relieved Djokovic, who crucially saved three break points from 2-1, 0-40 in the pivotal third set to break the tenacious 22-year-old’s resolve.

“Daniil played some great tennis. He has a great backhand and doesn’t make any unforced errors on that side. It was hard to find another way to get through him. In these kinds of matches you just have to hang in there.”

Djokovic stayed on course for a record seventh Australian Open title but will next have to conquer marathon man Nishikori.

The Japanese number one endured a third five-setter in four matches to get past Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta.

“Since I guess my next opponent is watching, I’m feeling fantastic. I have never felt fresher in my life,” Djokovic joked on court.

When told it was eighth seed Nishikori he added: “Thanks for the great news. I was hoping you were going to say the other guy won but well done Kei, amazing.

“I look forward to it. He’s one of the quickest players on tour.”




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Australian Open: Drained Novak Djokovic “Not Feeling So Great” After Grind Past Daniil Medvedev


“I didn’t feel so great, you know, in the last 20 minutes of the match,” Djokovic told reporters.

“So we’ll see tomorrow how the body reacts, but I’m confident I can recover and I can be ready for next one,” he said.

“It was just, you know, a little bit of fatigue, a little bit of back. Nothing major. But there are a couple of things that have surfaced,” said the 14-time Grand Slam champion.

“It was kind of a cat-and-a-mouse game for most of the match.

“We had rallies of 40, 45 exchanges. That’s why I think it was physically exhausting.

‘Draining match’

“His backhand is very, very solid. He didn’t give me much from that side, but, you know, you can’t always play on the forehand.

“You have to open up the court and try to be patient and construct the point.”

The 31-year-old Serb crucially saved three break points at 1-2, 0-40 in the pivotal third set to break the tenacious 22-year-old’s resolve.

“Even though it was three sets to one, it seems like a five-set match, really,” said Djokovic.

“It was draining physically a lot, because, you know, you just could not rely on the one-two punch tactics.”

Djokovic reached his 43rd Grand Slam quarter-final to stay on course for a record seventh Australian Open title, but will next have to conquer marathon man Nishikori.

The Japanese number one was in trouble at two sets down before winning a third five-setter in four matches to get past Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta.

“Congratulations to him for fighting back from two sets to love down and break down. He’s a fighter,” said Djokovic.

“He’s a very talented player. One of the quickest players on the tour. You know, hard worker. I have lots of respect for him.”

The Australian Open is Djokovic’s most successful major and a seventh crown would put him clear of six-times champion Roger Federer, who was eliminated on Sunday, and Australian great Roy Emerson, whose six wins all came before the Open era.

Victory at this year’s Australian Open would be the Serb’s 15th in Grand Slams, putting him third on the all-time winner list — one ahead of American great Pete Sampras, but behind Rafael Nadal’s 17 titles and Federer’s 20.

It would be his third major in a row after winning Wimbledon and the US Open and set him up for a crack at the “Novak Slam”.

The French Open comes next and victory at Roland Garros would mean he holds all four majors.



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Australian Open 2019: Stefanos Tsitsipas, A Greek Tennis God In The Making


But Tsitsipas showed scant regard for the world number three — the double reigning champion in Melbourne — on Sunday, playing the brand of tennis that has propelled him to 15th in the rankings after barely two seasons on tour. 

He will climb yet further following his best performance to date at a Grand Slam, and the Greek intends to continue building on a breakthrough year in 2018. 

His reward for felling Federer is a quarter-final, he is the first Greek ever to reach this stage of a Grand Slam, on Tuesday against Roberto Bautista Agut

Tsitsipas burst onto the scene by reaching his first tour-level final at Barcelona last April and then finishing runner-up to Rafael Nadal at the Rogers Cup in Canada where he claimed four top-10 scalps.

Those impressive runs ultimately led to a maiden title at Stockholm in October, the first-ever for a Greek player on the ATP circuit. 

“I always thought it would take me longer to get there. But I’ve worked hard and it’s not a surprise to me,” a confident Tsitsipas said at the time.

Sporting family

It’s not just the physical prowess of the 1.93m (6ft 4in) Tsitsipas that sets him apart. “Stefanos is in the process of acquiring a great mindset, which is largely down to difficult wins he’s earned,” his father and coach Apostolos Tsitsipas told AFP recently.

While he joined the Mouratoglou Academy, a renowned producer of elite players located on the Cote d’Azur, in 2015, Apostolos has stayed at his son’s side and remains a pivotal figure in his career. 

“A very special connection” links father and son says Stefanos, for whom family provides a welcome respite from the rigours of professional tennis.

Armed with a formidable one-handed backhand and a powerful serve, the Greek’s trajectory has been carefully overseen by his father, a coach at a club in a chic Athens suburb, but also by his mother, a former professional player in the Soviet Union. 

Julia Salnikova is the daughter of an Olympic football gold medallist, and she too is fully integrated into the sporting culture that permeates the Tsitsipas family.

The secret “is to gradually set goals and make the player aware of his responsibilities to make them progress” repeats Apostolos.

#TsitsiFast

Stefanos, the eldest of four siblings, first tasted success in 2016 when he won the Wimbledon boys’ doubles title and rose to the top of the junior rankings.

He is a young man seemingly without limits, personified by the #TsitsiFast hashtag — a favourite of the Greek’s on social media.

The angelic-looking Tsitsipas also runs his own Youtube channel, offering a glimpse into his life behind the scenes while also transporting his fans from tournament to tournament.

His fledgling “A Greek Abroad” podcast gives further insight and Tsitsipas is an aspiring photographer as well. He documents his work as “Steve the Hawk” on Instagram, a username befitting one soaring towards the summit of men’s tennis.



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