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Public nuisance charge against All Blacks security guard dropped

ABC Sport - Fri, 18/08/2017 - 4:56pm

All Blacks security guard Adrian Gard has a charge of public mischief dismissed in a Sydney Court, but is found guilty of a second charge relating to carrying out a security operation without a licence.

Australian rugby needs the Wallabies to win the Bledisloe Cup

ABC Sport - Fri, 18/08/2017 - 3:37pm

With Australian rugby at a low ebb, there would never be a better time for the Wallabies to break their Bledisloe Cup drought, writes Jennifer Browning.

How Schwartzman Became The Return Giant In 2017

ATP news - Fri, 18/08/2017 - 1:18pm

Since 2008, the best returner in the game has either been Novak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal.

Those two players have finished atop the Infosys ATP Return Games Won LEADERBOARD every year for the past nine seasons, but neither of them are currently first in 2017.

The surprise package who is dominating on the return side of the equation so far this year is Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman.

Schwartzman, 24, boasts his career best Emirates ATP Ranking of No. 33 this week, primarily driven by winning a tour-leading 36 per cent (192/532) of his return games. Nadal is in second place winning 34 per cent (212/626), while Djokovic is in fourth place, winning 31 per cent (141/461).

At 5’7”, 141 lbs, Schwartzman plays a big game when returning serve, being ranked in the leading five players in all four of the Infosys Return Ratings. He is ranked just 61st this season on tour with Service Games Won, at 68 per cent (358/523).

2017 Infosys Return Ratings

  Total Ranking
Return Games Won
36% 1st
2nd Serve Return Points Won
56% 1st
1st Serve Return Points Won
45% 2nd
Break Points Converted
45%
5th

Schwartzman has a 24-20 record so far in 2017, scoring his biggest win last week in Montreal, taking out No. 7 ranked Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-7(7), 7-5 in the Round of 32. Thiem only won 29 per cent (16/56) of his second serve points for the match, being broken six times.

When Schwartzman is receiving this season with the opponent serving with new balls, he is winning an impressive 40 per cent (20/50) of those games. Nadal, by comparison, is only winning 26 per cent (18/68) against new balls.

Schwartzman does slightly better breaking serve in the Ad court, winning 46 per cent (150/324) of his break points there, and 42 per cent (42/100) in the Deuce court.

When he barely gets ahead 0/15 in his opponent’s service games this season, the Argentine is actually favoured to win the game, winning a remarkable 57 per cent (127/224). At 15/30, the percentage chance to break elevates to 60 per cent (93/154), and at 0/30 it jumps all the way up to a 79 per cent (74/94) possibility to break.

The Buenos Aires native has just 10 Emirates ATP Rankings points to defend from the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Cincinnati and the upcoming US Open, so look for him to keep setting personal bests in the coming weeks.

Rojer & Tecau Claim Upset To Reach Cincy QF

ATP news - Fri, 18/08/2017 - 12:13pm

Last year's doubles finalists Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau continued their strong run of form at the Western & Southern Open, securing their spot in the quarter-finals.

Rojer and Tecau, the 2015 Nitto ATP Finals champs, have not dropped a set through two matches this week in Cincinnati, completing a 7-5, 6-3 upset of sixth seeds Raven Klaasen and Rajeev Ram on Thursday. The Dutch-Romanian duo, who finished runners-up to Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo in last year's final, are bidding for their second ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title as a team (Madrid 2016). They will next face third seeds Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares for a spot in the last four.

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In other action, Montreal champs Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut kicked off their quest for back-to-back Masters 1000 crowns with a 3-6, 7-6(5), 10-5 comeback win over countrymen Fabrice Martin and Edouard Roger-Vasselin. The last time a doubles team completed the Canada-Cincinnati double was just one year ago when Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo claimed both titles. Herbert and Mahut will battle five-time champs Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan next.

Also moving into the quarter-finals on Thursday were seventh seeds and Montreal finalists Rohan Bopanna and Ivan Dodig. They overcame a set deficit to defeat Juan Sebastian Cabal and Fabio Fognini 5-7, 7-5, 10-8. The Indian-Croatian tandem will battle second seeds Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo on Friday.

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Official plucks ballboy from danger as Croatian football fans storm English pitch

ABC Sport - Fri, 18/08/2017 - 12:09pm

Everton's Europa League clash with Hajduk Split stops temporarily after the Croatian team's fans spill onto the Goodison Park pitch and launch projectiles onto the turf.

Sugita Storming Into The Spotlight In Cincy

ATP news - Fri, 18/08/2017 - 11:00am
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A maiden ATP World Tour title, first Grand Slam match win, career-high Emirates ATP Ranking and now a first Masters 1000 quarter-final. If you ask Yuichi Sugita if he's playing the best tennis of his career, the answer is a resounding 'yes'.

Japanese tennis has been on the rise over the past decade, thanks in large part to Kei Nishikori's Top 5 breakthrough and statement as one of the game's most formidable threats. The nation has also experienced a surge of Top 100 stalwarts, including Yoshihito Nishioka, Taro Daniel, Go Soeda and Tatsuma Ito, but none of Nishikori's countrymen have experienced the success that 28-year-old Sugita is enjoying in 2017.

"Many players are having their good results after 28 or even 30," Sugita told ATPWorldTour.com. "Actually I'm not so surprised about this, because tennis takes more time to reach your top level. I kept trying and I'm going to keep going.

"[My ranking] is big news for Japan, but we have Kei, so actually it's not as big news as him! But it's good. And he's a good player. He's the revolution for Japan. I'm really just trying to do the best I can. His results have helped me a lot to improve my ranking."

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On the heels of a first ATP World Tour title in Antalya and an impressive three ATP Challenger Tour crowns, in Yokohama, Shenzhen and Surbiton, the Sendai native is breaking new ground in rising to a career-high No. 43 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. It is the second-highest position of any Japanese player in history, behind only Nishikori.

In beating Adrian Mannarino for the Antalya Open title, Sugita also became just the third player from Japan to ever win on the ATP World Tour, alongside Nishikori and Shuzo Matsuoka. He describes the moment as a huge honour.

"This year I won three Challengers in Japan, China and England," added Sugita. "After that I was really confident to play tournaments. It all happened so soon. After one Challenger in England, I went straight to Antalya and it's been a big change. It didn't feel like a big wall to make the Top 50. I'm happy.

"Antalya was a great week for me. It was my first semi-final and then I won the tournament. It was a great opportunity to play many good players. It was big news for Japan, because I'm the third player to win a title.

"So I'm very proud that I won my first title. For sure it was the most emotional moment in my career. I remember a lot of things. I'd played lower level tournaments for 10 years and I was just so happy to win an ATP title. When I go back to Japan, a lot of media come to the tennis court and ask a lot of things. I'm happy about that."

I got it !!!!! This is my 3rd title of the year !!!

芝での初タイトル!!!
現在会場からアムステルダムに向かってます‼
次はATP250 !!
引き続きよろしくお願い致します。 pic.twitter.com/A65h63e0iL

— 杉田祐一 / Yuichi SUGITA (@sugitayuichi88) June 11, 2017

Sugita isn't finished climbing in 2017 and he's proving that his game translates to all surfaces. All three ATP World Tour quarter-finals this year have come on different surfaces. In addition to a quarter-final finish on the clay of Barcelona and title on the lawns of Antalya, he has battled into the last eight this week at the Western & Southern Open - his best result at a Masters 1000 event.

A first-round upset of 13th seed Jack Sock - his biggest career victory - has been followed by impressive comeback wins over Joao Sousa and Karen Khachanov. Next up: seventh seed Grigor Dimitrov on Friday.

"Every match is a great opportunity here for me in Cincinnati. It means a higher ranking for me and I'm just happy to stay on the tennis court. I'm trying to enjoy it and I'm really excited to play great players."

What does Sugita say is the difference in 2017? What is his formula for success? The Japanese believes it has been an all-around balance, with changes in mindset proving to be most critical.

"[When I started playing] I needed to try a new game style for a small player. For me, I don't have a big serve, so I needed to make a lot of returns and have quick reactions. Those are the most important things for me.

"Most of the changes were mental. Now I can keep the same level throughout three sets and the match... In general it is definitely a great year for me. I've tried to be positive and I've been careful with injuries. I have a good balance now: physically, mentally and technically. I feel good and I'm positive."

Dimitrov Pleased With Performance Cincinnati 2017

ATP news - Fri, 18/08/2017 - 10:50am
Grigor Dimitrov relfects on his third-round win over Juan Martin del Potro and talks strategy for his upcoming quarter-final match against Yuichi Sugit in Cincinnati. Watch live matches at tennistv.com.

Wozniacki brings Ash Barty back down to earth in Cincinnati

ABC Tennis news - Fri, 18/08/2017 - 10:45am

Ash Barty's Cincinnati Open campaign comes to an end after she loses in straight sets to former world number one Caroline Wozniacki.

Wozniacki brings Ash Barty back down to earth in Cincinnati

ABC Sport - Fri, 18/08/2017 - 10:45am

Ash Barty's Cincinnati Open campaign comes to an end after she loses in straight sets to former world number one Caroline Wozniacki.

Australia captain Meg Lanning ruled out of Women's Ashes

ABC Sport - Fri, 18/08/2017 - 10:09am

Surgery on an injured shoulder forces Southern Stars skipper Meg Lanning out of this year's multi-format Women's Ashes series, starting in October.

Azarenka may miss US Open over child custody issue

ABC Tennis news - Fri, 18/08/2017 - 9:40am

Former world number one Victoria Azarenka may withdraw from the US Open because she is unwilling to part with her son during legal proceedings to separate from her former partner.

Azarenka may miss US Open over child custody issue

ABC Sport - Fri, 18/08/2017 - 9:40am

Former world number one Victoria Azarenka may withdraw from the US Open because she is unwilling to part with her son during legal proceedings to separate from her former partner.

Apple Reports Third Quarter Results

Apple News - Fri, 18/08/2017 - 8:02am
Apple reported its third quarter financial results for the fiscal year after the market close on Tuesday, August 1, 2017.

Apple Design Awards celebrate innovation and creativity

Apple News - Fri, 18/08/2017 - 8:02am
Apple acknowledges the talent and creativity of developers who set the standard for how apps should be designed at the Apple Design Awards.

Deirdre O’Brien named Apple’s vice president of People

Apple News - Fri, 18/08/2017 - 8:02am
Apple today announced that Deirdre O’Brien, vice president of Worldwide Sales and Operations, has been named vice president of People.

Isabel Ge Mahe Named Apple’s Managing Director of Greater China

Apple News - Fri, 18/08/2017 - 8:02am
Isabel Ge Mahe, Apple’s vice president of Wireless Technologies, is named vice president and managing director of Greater China.

Clips now features Disney and Pixar characters

Apple News - Fri, 18/08/2017 - 8:02am
Clips, Apple’s video creation app for iOS, is updated to include dozens of new graphic overlays and posters as well as usability improvements.

Apple launches app development curriculum for high school and community college students

Apple News - Fri, 18/08/2017 - 8:02am
New full-year program available for free from Apple’s iBooks Store for community college and high school students.

Apple previews new emoji coming later this year

Apple News - Fri, 18/08/2017 - 8:02am
In celebration of World Emoji Day, Apple is sharing some of the new emoji coming to iOS, macOS and watchOS later this year.