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Read Now: Serena stuns world No.2 as fairytale run continues – 101 Latest News



#Serena #stuns #world #No2 #fairytale #run #continues

Serena Williams has advanced to the third round of the US Open amid growing critcism of the tournaments organisers for the timing of their on-court tributes to the former world No.1.

Facing No.2 seed, Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit, the American turned back the clock to come up with big plays when she needed it to win 7-6, 2-6, 6-2.

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Williams dominated a decisive third set to extend what is most certainly the final tournament of her career.

However, there were several moments that could have gone either way in the decider but with the vocal New York crowd behind her, she came up big, displaying the type of form most fans were accustomed to seeing during her younger years.

Huge roar as Serena clinches first set

Williams had played only one three-set match this season, falling to Harmony Tan at Wimbledon in the first round after returning from a one-year absence.

She hit serves at up to 190km/h, stayed with Kontaveit during lengthy exchanges of big swings from the baselines and conjured up some of her trademark brilliance at the right time.

“I’m not in any rush here (to leave),” Williams said during her on-court interview.

“I’m loving this crowd, and there’s still a little left in me. We’ll see.

“This is what I do best, I haven’t played many matches but I have been practicing really well.

When asked whether she was surprised at her play this week, Williams replied: “I’m just Serena, you know?

“I’m just looking at it as a bonus, I have nothing to prove … I have nothing to lose.

“I haven’t been able to play like this since 1998, I’ve had an X on my back since 1999.

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After pulling out a tight first set, then faltering a bit in the second, Williams headed to the locker room for a bit of a break before the third.

Something had to give, someone had to blink.

When they resumed, it was Williams who lifted her level and emerged as the better player, taking two match points to finish off the job.

Just as she’s done, so many times on so many stages, with so much at stake.

The six-time champion at Flushing Meadows will play Saturday AEST for a spot in the fourth round.

Her opponent will be Aussie Ajla Tomljanovic, who defeated Evgeniya Rodina 1-6, 6-2, 7-5.

Tomljanović broke the 11th game of the deciding set to set up victory in two and a half hours.

Earlier, pundits were quick to criticise tournament organisers for their repeat decision to introduce Williams’ opponent, Kontaveit, and then make her wait courtside while a montage of Williams’ career played.

Ahead of both Williams’ first and second-round matches her opponents were introduced to the screaming crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium before a video message honouring Williams was displayed on the big screen.

The 23-time grand slam winner previously announced that this tournament would likely be her last, facilitating a farewell tour alongside her campaign at Flushing Meadows.

With the video two minutes in duration, many have raised the psychological effect the montage could have on the focus, preparation and performance of Williams’ challengers, including Kontaveit.

Slipping to world No.413 after playing limited matches, The Times’ tennis correspondent Stuart Fraser suggested Williams be announced and celebrated before her higher-ranked opponent even starts their journey down the race.

With AP

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Read Now: Lions star whacked over 'contact to eye region' – 101 Latest News



#Lions #star #whacked #039contact #eye #region039

Brisbane veteran Dayne Zorko has copped a one-match ban after appearing to make contact with a players’ eye in the aftermath of a dangerous tackle.

The incident occurred in the first quarter of the Lions’ loss to Adelaide on Sunday, when Zorko wrapped up Crows youngster Luke Pedlar in the Crows’ forward line.

After catching Pedlar high, Zorko appeared to rub his right hand in the region of Pedlar’s eye, with the incident catching the attention of the match review officer.

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The MRO assessed the incident as intentional conduct with low impact and high contact, giving Zorko a one-match suspension as a result.

Zorko was not the only star to be given a ban in the wake of Sunday’s thriller, with Crows midfielder Rory Laird handed a one match-ban for a tackle on Lachie Neale.

Laird’s tackle was assessed as careless conduct with medium impact and high contact after he appeared to sling Neale’s head into the turf.

If the two players choose not to contest the bans at the tribunal on Tuesday, Zorko will miss Brisbane’s clash against Hawthorn in round 13, with the Lions having a bye in round 12, while Laird will miss the round 12 clash against the Suns.

Richmond star Dustin Martin was the other player to be charged by the MRO, with the Tigers star copping a $3000 fine for striking Port Adelaide’s Dan Houston.

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Read Now: Kylian Mbappe confirms plan for next season amid Real Madrid interest – 101 Latest News



Kylian Mbappe confirms plan for next season amid Real Madrid interest

#Kylian #Mbappe #confirms #plan #season #Real #Madrid #interest

Kylian Mbappe has confirmed that he will stay at Paris Saint-Germain this summer despite interest from Real Madrid.

The French superstar has been consistently linked with a blockbuster move to Los Blancos over the last 12 months, with reports emanating from Spain recently suggesting that the club were keen to make another approach for Mbappe this summer.

Despite said interest, during Sunday evening’s UNFP awards – in which Mbappe won Ligue 1 Player of the Year for a fourth time – the striker confirmed that he intends to stay at Paris Saint-Germain for the 2023/24 season.

“I am here to talk about the trophy,” he responded to a question about his future. “Next season I’ll be playing at PSG. I have one year left on my contract and I’m going to honour my contract.”

Read the latest PSG news here

Mbappe’s current contract was signed last season at a time when it seemed that the forward was all-set to join Real Madrid. Since signing the contract, PSG have continued to dominate Ligue 1 but also continued to struggle in the UEFA Champions League.

Despite tying down Mbappe and signing Lionel Messi, Les Parisiens have failed to go beyond the round of 16 in the competition since 2021.

Likely with a new manager at the helm, as Christophe Galtier looks set to leave the club this summer, and without Messi, who looks destined to return to Barcelona, Mbappe and PSG will be hoping to finally win the Champions League for the first time next season.

Galtier, however, has stressed that he has earned the chance to stay at PSG and try challenge in Europe, telling reporters: “I deserve a second season at Paris Saint-Germain!

“I repeat it once again because no one wants to hear it but it was a very special season. We had to stay the course even when we thought everyone had their heads under water. I pay tribute to my players who have not given up. I am very happy and I don’t want us to trivialise [this title win]!”


On this week’s edition of Talking Transfers, part of the 90min podcast network, Scott Saunders is joined by Toby Cudworth and Graeme Bailey to discuss all the latest transfer news. On the agenda: Tottenham’s pursuit of Feyenoord manager Arne Slot, Bayern Munich’s interest in Declan Rice, Joshua Kimmich, Neymar & more!

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Read Now: Latrell ruled out, Cleary in doubt for Origin opener – 101 Latest News



#Latrell #ruled #Cleary #doubt #Origin #opener

Latrell Mitchell is out of the State of Origin series opener at the Adelaide Oval on Wednesday night with a calf strain.

And it may yet get worse for the Blues, with star half Nathan Cleary also in doubt with a wisdom tooth issue.

Nine’s Danny Weidler reports Nicho Hynes has been told to prepare to play at No.7, and Matt Burton — already on his way to Adelaide as 18th man — would move onto the bench should Cleary be ruled out.

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But Weidler said NSW is currently still expecting Cleary to play.

Mitchell was picked to play in the centres, but has been ruled out after scans revealed the extent of the strain.

He will not travel to Adelaide with the rest of the Blues squad on Monday morning, and has been replaced in the side by Stephen Crichton.

“This is huge … he had build that combination on the left side wth Hudson Young, they had worked out how they were going to play so now Stephen Crichton goes there [and] they’ve got to tweak things,” Andrew Johns said on Wide World of Sports’ Immortal Behaviour.

Watch the 2023 State of Origin series LIVE and exclusive on Channel 9 and 9Now.

“Stephen Crichton is a world-class player, but [Mitchell] is a big loss this close to the game.

“I think it’s only a small strain, but you just cannot risk an outside back.”

The new combination will have just the captains run on Tuesday to gel, before the match on Wednesday night.

Mitchell didn’t finish training on Sunday night, and joked with the Sydney Morning Herald he was “a bit cold”.

‘It’s a big loss’: Latrell Mitchell out of Origin Game I with calf injury

“I thought I’d give Nicho [Hynes] and Critta [Stephen Crichton] a run out there,” he said.

It wasn’t until later in the evening the extent of the injury became apparent.

The injury is believed to be only minor, and his fitness for game two on June 21 is not in doubt.

For Crichton, it’s the second Origin promotion in the space of a week. Having originally been left out of the squad, the Panthers centre was made 18th man after Campbell Graham was withdrawn with a sternum injury.

In a statement the Blues confirmed Bulldogs half Matt Burton would travel to Adelaide on Monday afternoon as the new 18th man.

It’s the second injury scare to rip through Brad Fittler’s camp after Payne Haas spent much of Friday’s training session in the grandstand at Coogee Oval with an ankle injury.

He completed Sunday’s training session, and is not believed to be in doubt for the series-opener.

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