Mertens reaches semifinals on debut at Australian Open

first_img“If you believe in yourself, then anything can happen,” she said. “But of course semis is, ‘Wow.’”She’s the first Belgian since Kim Clijsters in 2012 to reach the semifinals in Australia, and knew she had plenty of support at home.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“Kim, thanks for watching, I knew you sent me a message before the match — don’t be too stressy,” said Mertens, who trains at Clijsters’ academy. “I’m trying to be in your footsteps this week.”The No. 37-ranked Mertens successfully defended her Hobart International title — she decided last year to target that title instead of entering Open qualifying — two weeks ago, and has now won five matches at Melbourne Park. 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His fine of $45,000 nearly equals his first-round prize money of 60,000 Australian dollars ($47,900).Zverev’s fine was the largest ever assessed to a player for an on-site Grand Slam offense. Other players have been fined larger amounts following a Grand Slam tournament, such as Serena Williams’ $82,500 fine in 2009 for her tirade at a U.S. Open line judge.Italian player Fabio Fognini was fined $96,000 last year after insulting a chair umpire at the U.S. Open, an amount that could be reduced to $48,000 if he doesn’t have any further offences over the next two years.The new rule came in response to a rash of first-round retirements at Wimbledon last year. View comments 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Mertens dominated against Svitolina, who also entered her first quarterfinal in Australia on a nine-match winning roll after winning the Brisbane International two week ago.Svitolina had won their only previous tour-level match, but had no answers on Rod Laver Arena and later said hip trouble had been bothering her all year.“She played great from the beginning of the year,” Svitolina said. “But, you know, when I give her opportunities to play and to play a good level, then of course she’s going to play. She’s going to go for shots.“Now she’s in semifinal. Now she’s not just a player that’s up and down. She’s quite consistent, and we can see this.”Mertens raced out to a 5-2 in the first set before Svitolina got her only service break. The second set was no contest. Mertens won a 27-point rally while holding serve in the fourth game, then hit a backhand winner into the open corner to break Svitolina in the next game for a 5-0 lead.ADVERTISEMENT Belgium’s Elise Mertens celebrates after defeating Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina in their quarterfinal at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)MELBOURNE, Australia — A year after opting out of qualifying for the Australian Open, Elise Mertens has reached the semifinals in her debut at the season-opening Grand Slam.Mertens upset fourth-seeded Elina Svitolina 6-4, 6-0 on Tuesday to extend her winning streak to 10 matches and be the first woman through to the semifinals at Melbourne Park.ADVERTISEMENT NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencerslast_img read more

Germany and Poland play out first 0-0 draw of Euro 2016

first_imgPoland held Germany to the first 0-0 draw of Euro 2016 on Thursday as the world champions struggled to break down dogged opponents who will be satisfied with a point.The result means both sides, who won their opening games, need a point in their final Group C matches against Ukraine and Northern Ireland respectively on Tuesday to guarantee reaching the last 16.Ukraine, who have yet to get a point, cannot progress and will finish bottom of the section.Germany were playing their first game at the Stade de France since the deadly November attacks in Paris.They came out zipping the ball around early on, poking and prodding at the Poles but, with focal point Mario Goetze consistently dropping off, they lacked conviction in the final third.The two neighbours, who last met at a European Championship in a feisty game in 2008, failed to conjure a shot on target in the first half in front of a packed and boisterous crowd.The only notable chances fell to Goetze, who drifted a header over the bar in the fourth minute, and Toni Kroos, with a toe-poke in the 15th minute that went wide.The Germans, eyeing a fourth European title, were clearly frustrated. Sami Khedira and Mesut Ozil were booked needlessly after fouls in the midfield in the first half before Jerome Boateng joined them in the referee’s notebook after 67 minutes.FASTER TEMPOThe second period had to have a faster tempo and it proved to be the case. The Poles came out firing on all cylinders and almost took the lead just after the break.advertisementKamil Grosicki’s cross found Arkadiusz Milik, who appeared to only have to guide the ball into the net, but he barely connected and it went agonisingly wide in front of the passionate Polish supporters.Seconds later Poland keeper Lukasz Fabianski held on to a Goetze shot in the box, the first on target in the game.Poland began to take the ascendancy and had the better chances with Milik shooting wide after striker Robert Lewandowski had tapped a free-kick to him after 57 minutes.The Bayern Munich forward then saw his club colleague Boateng block a shot destined for the goal.With the game finally opening up, Ozil’s shot was tipped over the bar spectacularly by Fabianski in the 68th. The midfielder then turned provider, putting in substitute Andre Schuerrle who shot straight at Fabianski.But, despite a string of half chances in the final 20 minutes, neither side looked like finding the breakthrough.last_img read more

Boxing Day Test: Virat Kohli shares dressing room photos after crushing Australia

first_imgCelebrations continued for Team India inside the dressing room after they hammered Australia by 137 runs in the third Test in Melbourne on Sunday.India, denied victory on day four by the tail-end resistance of Pat Cummins, were forced to wait nearly two-and-a-half hours for play to begin due to rain at the Melbourne Cricket Ground but when the weather cleared their bowlers wrapped up Australia’s innings for 261 in 22 minutes.In his second over, seamer Jasprit Bumrah had Cummins edge to Cheteshwar Pujara, who took a sharp, low catch in the slips to remove the bowler for a personal high score of 63.Paceman Ishant Sharma then sealed the result when he had Nathan Lyon edge behind to wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant for seven when attempting to slog the ball.The wicket triggered bear hugs and backslaps among the Indian players as travelling fans in the sparse crowd roared with joy.After the game, India captain Kohli shared a series of pictures on his Instagram account in which the team could be seen celebrating the win.”What a win!! Proud to be part of this unit . Onto Sydney now. Jai hind,” Kohli wrote on the post.Head coach Ravi Shastri and bowling coach Bharat Arun were seen enjoying the victory with beer bottles in hand.Having dominated with bat and ball throughout the one-sided Boxing Day clash, Kohli’s men will now head to the Sydney Cricket Ground with a genuine belief they can become the first Indian team to win a series Down Under.advertisementThe win also saw them retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy contested between the nations after claiming last year’s series 2-1 at home.”We’re not going to stop here, this has only given us more confidence to go out in Sydney and play even more positive cricket. The job is not done yet … We want to win the last Test as well.The Indian skipper is full of praise for star quick Jasprit Bumrah! #AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/LRwUY1Fswlcricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 30, 2018″It’s all about taking pride in the roles we were given and executing them,” Kohli said at the trophy presentation.last_img read more