Tag Archives: storms

WTA Sony Open – Miami: Serena Williams beats Maria Sharapova 4-6 6-3 6-0 in the final

Serena storms back to sink Sharapova in three sets and lift Sony Open title in Miami

By
Steven Donaldson

PUBLISHED:

20:14 GMT, 30 March 2013

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UPDATED:

20:39 GMT, 30 March 2013

Serena Williams lifted her sixth Sony Open title after magnificently bouncing back to see off Maria Sharapova in the final in Miami.

The world No 1 was edged out in a tight first set but lost three games thereafter as she stormed to a 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 victory and her 11th straight win over Sharapova.

The American has passed Steffi Graf's number of titles in this competition and became the oldest female champion at the tournament, while Sharapova has now been defeated in every one of her five final appearances in Miami.

Champion: Serena Williams holds the Sony Open trophy aloft in Miami

Champion: Serena Williams holds the Sony Open trophy aloft in Miami

Serena Williams

Serena Williams

History: The world No 1 became the oldest female winner of the tournament

Dominant: Williams beat Maria Sharapova (left) for the 11th time in a row

Dominant: Williams beat Maria Sharapova (left) for the 11th time in a row

After playing flawless tennis for an hour, Sharapova began to miss with her serve, and Williams dominated rallies with her power.

Sharapova built her lead by keeping Williams on the defensive, and she kissed the line with a winner on consecutive points to break for a 3-2 advantage in the second set.

But then came the turnaround. Williams began to capitalise on Sharapova's tentative second serve and broke back to love before taking advantage of two double faults by Sharapova to break again for a 5-3 lead.

Strong start: Sharapova edged ahead after winning a tight first set 6-4

Strong start: Sharapova edged ahead after winning a tight first set 6-4

Rampant: The American lost only 10 points in the final set to beat her Russian opponent

Rampant: The American lost only 10 points in the final set to beat her Russian opponent

Repeat: Williams became the first No 1 seed to lift the women's title in Miami since she won nine years ago

Repeat: Williams became the first No 1 seed to lift the women's title in Miami since she won nine years ago

Williams lost only 10 points in the final set and closed out the victory with a service winner.

'Maria definitely pushed me – she did a really great job today,' Williams said after he win.

'I look forward to our next matches – it's going to be really fun for the fans and for us and for everyone.'

Williams became the first No 1 seed to win the women's title since she was champion nine years ago.

Sharapova, who won the title in Indian Wells at the beginning of March, said: 'It's obviously been a really nice month.

'It's disappointing to end it like this but Serena played a great match and I'm sure we'll play a few more times this year.'

Mario Balotelli snubs manager Roberto Mancini as he is replaced in Manchester derby

Mancini blasts Balotelli as striker storms off after being replaced in Manchester derby (…and fans then mob his camouflaged car!)

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UPDATED:

19:50 GMT, 9 December 2012

Roberto Mancini has ordered Mario Balotelli to 'start thinking about his job' after the Italians stormed down the tunnel after being replaced just minutes into the second half of the Manchester derby.

The Manchester City boss gambled on his mercurial striker, handing him a start over the in-form Carlos Tevez at the Etihad Stadium.

But his decision backfired as United stormed into a two goal lead before Tevez came off the bench to help launch a comeback, only for Robin van Persie to steal all three points in the dying seconds.

And Balotelli's day didn't get any better after the final whistle – as he tried to escape the ground in his camouflaged Bentley Continental GT, he was mobbed by Man United fans.

Frosty: Mario Balotelli shot this disapproving glance at Roberto Mancini after being substituted

Frosty: Mario Balotelli shot this disapproving glance at Roberto Mancini after being substituted

Frosty: Mario Balotelli shot this disapproving glance at Roberto Mancini after being substituted

Mobbed! Balotelli tries to escape in his camouflaged Bentley Continental GT after the match but is rumbled by Man United fans

Mobbed! Balotelli tries to escape in his camouflaged Bentley Continental GT after the match but is rumbled by Man United fans

'I love Mario but it is important for him to start to think about his job,' said Mancini.

'He has everything to play well but he can't continue to play like today. We wanted more from him.

'When you have a player that has Mario's quality, you cannot understand why he continues to throw it out of the window. It is incredible.

'I have seen players in my life with fantastic quality. But in the end, they did nothing.

'I don't want Mario to finish like these players. It would be bad for him.'

Early bath: Balotelli headed straight for the changing room after being replaced

Early bath: Balotelli headed straight for the changing room after being replaced

Watching on: City fans and the Man United bench, including Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes, watch on as the Italian walks down the tunnel

Watching on: City fans and the Man United bench, including Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes, watch on as the Italian walks down the tunnel

Don't look back in anger: Balotelli continued to stare at Mancini as he walked past

Don't look back in anger: Balotelli continued to stare at Mancini as he walked past

He did later return to the bench to watch the remainder of the game, in which a City side energised by Tevez's introduction did manage to fight back to 2-2 before succumbing 3-2.

Balotelli has scored just three times this season for City and once for Italy and today's tantrum will only heighten speculation that Balotelli may look for a move away from City in January.

Ineffective: Balotelli was marked out of the game by United's defenders during his 50 minutes on the field

Ineffective: Balotelli was marked out of the game by United's defenders during his 50 minutes on the field

Confrontation: Balotelli did find time to argue with United defender Rio Ferdinand however

US Open women"s final postponed because of storms

It's a wash-out! US Open women's singles final postponed with more storms ahead

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UPDATED:

17:56 GMT, 8 September 2012

The threat of further bad weather in New York has prompted US Open officials to move the women's singles final from Saturday to Sunday.

Victoria Azarenka and Serena Williams were due on Arthur Ashe in the evening, but the forecasted storms have brought about a rethink.

No go: The women's singles final has been postponed

No go: The women's singles final has been postponed

The weather has already played havoc with the schedule, with Andy Murray and Tomas Berdych`s semi-final delayed following heavy rainfall, although they did eventually start in sunlight.

Novak Djokovic and David Ferrer are due to play their semi-final later on Saturday, although no decision has been made on that game yet.

Unplayable: Horrible conditions at Arthur Ashe

Unplayable: Horrible conditions at Arthur Ashe

Protection: Fans clutch umbrellas in the rain

Protection: Fans clutch umbrellas in the rain

Usain Bolt wins 200m – London 2012 Olympics

Lightning Bolt strikes twice: Usain storms to 200m to leave Blake trailing in Olympics showdown

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UPDATED:

20:03 GMT, 9 August 2012

How they finished…

1 Usain Bolt GOLD

2 Yohan Blake SILVER

3 Warren Weir BRONZE

Usain Bolt beat his Jamaican training partner Yohan Blake once again to add the 200metres gold medal to his 100m title in London.

Bolt became the only man to have ever defended the Olympic 200m title by winning in 19.32 secs.

Blake took the silver medal while Warren Weir won bronze to complete a Jamaican clean sweep.

Champion: Usain Bolt stormed to victory in the 200m at the Olympics Stadium on Thursday night

Champion: Usain Bolt stormed to victory in the 200m at the Olympics Stadium on Thursday night

More to follow…

London 2012 Olympics: Taoufik Makhloufi wins 1500m

Riddle of 'injured' Makhloufi’s 1500m gold as Algerian storms to glory

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UPDATED:

21:36 GMT, 7 August 2012

Algerian Taoufik Makhloufi was crowned 1500m champion — just 24 hours after he was thrown out of the Games and reinstated in controversial circumstances.

The 24-year-old was ejected from the Olympics on Monday after officials ruled he had not tried in the 800m heats, but was reinstated after Algerian officials produced a document from a LOCOG medic showing he had been suffering from a knee condition.

His suspect knee did not prevent Makhloufi from racing to gold in a time of 3min 34.08sec, with a blistering final lap.

Shock: Algeria's Taoufik Makhloufi (right) celebrates winning the 1500m

Shock: Algeria's Taoufik Makhloufi (right) celebrates winning the 1500m

He broke the field running a back-straight 100m in 12.6sec and the last bend in 12.5.

His performance caused BBC commentator Steve Cram, who had queried the runner’s performance in the semi-finals on Sunday, to say: ‘Where on earth did he get that from He’s never done anything like that before in his career.’

Makhloufi won his 1500m semi-final in 3:42.24, surprisingly beating Olympic and world champion Asbel Kiprop.

Injury: Taoufik Makhloufi was reportedly hurt before blitzing the field

Injury: Taoufik Makhloufi was reportedly hurt before blitzing the field

He lined up again in the 800m heats on Monday but went off very slowly before giving up after barely half a lap and wandering off the track. Organisers initially threw him out of the Games for failing to provide ‘a bona fide effort’, but reversed their decision.

Makhloufi was reportedly forced to race in the 800m after Algeria failed to withdraw him from the event before Sunday’s deadline.

London 2012 Olympics: Dai Greene fourth in 400m hurdles as Felix Sanchez wins

No medal for Greene as veteran Sanchez storms to hurdles gold

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UPDATED:

06:36 GMT, 7 August 2012

Olympics 2012

After a valiant but belated charge, Dai Greene was slumped on the stadium floor, leaning on his hands, surveying his broken dream.

He had come fourth, beaten by men who for 300 metres of the 400m hurdles final were simply in another race.

The title went to the Dominican Republic’s Felix Sanchez, the 2004 gold medallist, with a season’s best 47.63sec. That is faster than Greene has ever run.

Sinking feeling: Greene (left) could not win a medal

Sinking feeling: Greene (left) could not win a medal

This was a dose of harsh reality after
the euphoria of the glory that had gone before. Nobody could think that
Super Saturday with its three track and field gold medals could be
repeated. That was a one-off. People spend whole lifetimes waiting for
that.

But, still, Greene’s defeat was a blow for the British contingent
because he is a talisman: champion of Europe, champion of the world and
champion of the Commonwealth. He is also the team captain, a defiant
figure who prides himself on leading from the front.

Intermittently this season he had said he was fresh and always believed
himself to be the strongest finisher. Yet America’s Michael Tinsley was
second with Puerto Rico’s Javier Culson, who was previously unbeaten all
year, third. Greene had to dip for the line to pip Angelo Taylor to the
first non-medal place.

On the line: Sanchez (third left) celebrates as he crosses the line

On the line: Sanchez (third left) celebrates as he finishes

‘I’m just bitterly disappointed,’ said Greene. ‘I missed a lot of
training at the start of the year because of injury. I’ve run a personal
best this year but I guess when it comes to dealing with qualification
rounds in a championship it can be tough and that’s when it finds you
out. It may have cost me the two-10ths of a second I needed to get a
medal.

‘But I’m happy with the way the last few months have gone. I couldn’t have done any more. I gave 110 per cent tonight.

‘The crowd was fantastic. All my family were here somewhere. I hope, in
my role as captain, that everyone saw I gave 110 per cent. It’s been a
brilliant Olympics and I am proud to be part of it.’

Not to be: Greene reflects on a missed opportunity

Not to be: Greene reflects on a missed opportunity

Not to be: Greene reflects on a missed opportunity

The shaven-headed Greene has been described by Lord Coe as looking as if
he has just come out of solitary confinement when he steps on to the
track. He would not have been distracted by the myriad flashbulbs that
recorded Usain Bolt’s medal ceremony as the seconds ticked by to his
race.

He prowled along his lane, hands on hips. He was announced to the crowd.
He normally waves to them but this time he just swigged water and
stared ahead. It was business time. But, as he later admitted, he had
felt ‘tired in the warm-up area’.

The grey cloudy sky was turning black, the white triangles of the
stadium lights piercing ever stronger, as Greene settled into his blocks
in lane three. He was sandwiched by Americans – double world champion
Kerron Clement inside him and Taylor outside. The tall Culson, with that
languid stride, was in lane five.

Greene was slow starting – he is never the fastest – and was lying last
as they went round the bend. He surely had too much to do to get on
terms.

Second coming: Sanchez won the title in Athens in 2004

Second coming: Sanchez won the title in Athens in 2004

In truth, we knew he would struggle after watching him finish fourth in
his semi-final on Saturday night. He scraped through as one of the
fastest losers but his dejected state told of his deep fears about a
serious absence of winning form.

After that, how could we have expected more than he delivered last
night Disappointingly, he ran slower in the final, 48.24sec, than in
the semi, 48.18sec. He could not match Sanchez, who at 34 – yes, 34 –
ran the same time that won him the Olympic title eight years ago, before
breaking down in floods of tears on the podium.

Really, the road ran out for Greene long ago, except that he rightly
refused to accept the fact. He had surgery on his left knee last
December, though news of it remained a secret for months because he did
not want his rivals to know about his problems.

Because we worked together on his Sportsmail column, he told me on the
condition that I did not breathe a word. I did not. Nor did he. Malcolm
Arnold, his legendary coach, finally let the secret out. ‘I’m pleased in
a way,’ said Greene of Arnold’s revelation. ‘Malcolm would only have
said that in the press if he thought I was doing well.’ Up to a point,
it seems.

Tall order: Greene left himself with a lot to do in the final 200m

Tall order: Greene left himself with a lot to do in the final 200m

Arnold’s admiration for Greene is shared by his head coach. Charles van
Commenee said, when he made him captain: ‘Dai is everything you want. He
is a brilliant athlete, has a cast-iron mindset and a good sense of
humour.’

The laughter was in short supply last night but he is still a fierce competitor.

Greene, 26, immediately turned his attention to the future. ‘I’m not
ready to retire,’ he said emphatically. ‘It’s my first Olympics.

‘Four years ago, when I was watching Usain Bolt win in Beijing, I was
running 49.5sec. Look at the ages of the guys who have beaten me
tonight. I will go on to Brazil, definitely. I will come back stronger
from this.’

So on to Rio 2016 and redemption.

Jack Green writes instructions "chin down, flat back" on his arm for 400m race

On your marks, get set… then look down at your arm for instructions

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UPDATED:

19:45 GMT, 14 July 2012

Britain's Jack Green had to remind himself that he was not jumping over any obstacles when he won the 400m at Crystal Palace on Saturday.

The 20-year-old from Kent, who will compete alongside Dai Greene in the 400m hurdles at the Olympics, wrote 'chin down, flat back' on his arm.

Jack Green of Great Britain in his blocks with a message printed on the inside of his wrist

On your marks… James Green makes a last-minute check

Jack Green of Great Britain in his blocks with a message printed on the inside of his wrist

Get set… Green follows his instructions to a tee

He followed the instructions to perfection, though, as he won the national final in a personal best 45.99sec.

Jack Green of Great Britain in his blocks with a message printed on the inside of his wrist

Go… and it works as Green storms to victory

Usain Bolt storms to win in Rome and clocks fastest time this year

Bolt strikes again! Usain storms to win in Rome and clocks fastest time this year

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UPDATED:

20:26 GMT, 31 May 2012

Triple Olympic champion Usain Bolt has banished the memories of his go-slow in Ostrava with a commanding victory in Rome.

Bolt had struggled to victory in a time of 10.04 seconds on Friday, the first time since a rainswept night in Toronto in 2009 that he had failed to break 10 seconds outside a heat or semi-final.

The Jamaican shrugged off the race as an off-day, prescribing himself more food and sleep after arriving in Italy in a bid to regain power in his legs.

Making his point: Usain Bolt wins the 100m at the Diamond League meeting in Rome

Making his point: Usain Bolt wins the 100m at the Diamond League meeting in Rome

And that appeared to have been the recipe for success as the 25-year-old overcame another sluggish start to power to victory in 9.76secs, the fastest time in the world this year and a meeting record.

Former world record holder Asafa Powell was second in 9.91s, with European champion Christopher Lemaitre third in 10.04.

No catching him: Bolt (second right) clocked the fastest time in the world this year at the Stadio Olimpico

No catching him: Bolt (second right) clocked the fastest time in the world this year at the Stadio Olimpico

Asked if he was relieved after that performance, Bolt said: 'I would say yes, slightly.

'I knew I could do it but since I've been in Europe I've not been sleeping regularly so after Ostrava I decided that I would make sure I start going to bed early. I felt extememly well, extremely great today, so it's coming back and I feel good.'

As for the pressure on his shoulders leading up to the defence of his Olympic titles in London, he added: 'People expect me to do well at all times and I expect that of myself also, so it's not really a question for me, it's just one of fun and enjoyment.

Familiar sight: Bolt strikes his famous celebratory pose after impressing in Italy

Familiar sight: Bolt strikes his famous celebratory pose after impressing in Italy

'I came out here tonight not to prove anything to the world, but tell myself that I've still got it and I'm working my way from here.'

The performance of the night from a British perspective came from Robbie Grabarz, who won the high jump with a new personal best of 2.33m which takes him top of the world rankings in 2012.

Big show: Bolt was driven round the stadium ahead of his race at the Diamond League Meeting in Rome

Big show: Bolt was driven round the stadium ahead of his race at the Diamond League Meeting in Rome

Grabarz lost his lottery funding at the end of a poor season in 2011, but that forced him to rededicate himself to the sport and it paid dividends tonight as he cleared each height at the first attempt until failing to clear 2.35m.

'I achieved what I set out to achieve,' the 24-year-old said. 'I have been jumping very well in training but been trying to keep a lid on it. That's why I started my season so late.'

Giro d"Italia: Geraint Thomas finishes second

Thomas denied in opening stage of Giro as American Phinney storms to victory

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UPDATED:

00:05 GMT, 6 May 2012

American Taylor Phinney won the opening stage of the Giro d'Italia in Denmark, edging out Team Sky's Geraint Thomas over an 8.7 kilometres time-trial course.

BMC Racing rider Phinney, like Thomas a graduate of track cycling, finished in 10 minutes 26 seconds with the Welshman 9secs down over the the course around the streets of Herning in central Jutland.

The 21-year-old American, former Under-23 world time-trial champion, had targeted the opening stage of the 2012 Giro, having described Saturday as a chance to 'potentially change my life'.

Glory days: Taylor Phinney celebrates his stage win

Glory days: Taylor Phinney celebrates his stage win

Phinney will be in pink on Sunday with the Giro remaining in Denmark for a 206km tour through Jutland which takes in long stretches of the road on the west coast when cross-winds are likely to be a factor.On receiving the pink jersey, Phinney said: 'It has been a few months I've been thinking of this jersey, this moment.

Close call: Geraint Thomas

Close call: Geraint Thomas

'From October of last year, we fixed the programme to come here.

'For me it's a dream to have this jersey.'

Thomas was also satisfied with his opening day's work.

He said: 'I think I measured it pretty well. I tried to carry my speed through the corners, one or two I could have gone a bit faster but losing by nine seconds, I can't blame it on a couple of corners.

'Coming from the track, there's a temptation to try and sprint fast out of those corners but that would obviously take a lot out of me so it was all about judging it correctly, which I think I did.

'I definitely tried to keep a bit back for the last 3k and that headwind and then I emptied the tank all the way to the line. It didn't feel amazing but I was obviously going okay and am happy to have been up there.

'There are now another 20 stages to go and at the end of the day it's about the bigger picture – I'll be there in the sprints for Cav (Mark Cavendish) and then hopefully finish this race well which will set me up nicely for the Olympics.'

Louis Oosthuizen claims Malaysia Open lead

Masters runner-up Oosthuizen claims lead at Malaysia Open

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UPDATED:

22:57 GMT, 14 April 2012

South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen held a one-shot advantage at the
Malaysian Open when play was abandoned for the day due to storms.

The
29-year-old former Open champion, who missed out on a second major at
Augusta last weekend when he lost a play-off to American Bubba Watson,
was 13 under par through 10 holes of his third round when the action was
halted.

In the swing: Louis Oosthuizen in third round action

In the swing: Louis Oosthuizen in third round action

Oosthuizen started the day by advancing to 10 under with
birdies at 14 and 15 for a second-round 68, then picked up further shots
at the fourth and fifth holes of his third round. A bogey at the sixth
set him back temporarily but he responded by picking up further shots on
nine and 10 to be three under for the round when the siren sounded.

Scotland's
Stephen Gallacher was also three under for his third round when the
weather intervened and will start on Sunday in second place, 12 under
through 11.

England's Danny Willett, Spain's Rafael Cabrera-Bello
and American David Lipsky were tied for third at the early stages of
their back nines, the former having surged up the leaderboard with five
birdies on a flawless front nine.

In contention: Stephen Gallacher playing on Saturday

In contention: Stephen Gallacher playing on Saturday

Oosthuizen said: 'I got off to a pretty slow start to the third round – I
hit three good putts on the first three holes but didn't birdie one of
them.

'I am probably going for a few more shots than usual in the
third round because I am kind of playing it like it might be the last
round.

'You never know with the weather here so you are trying to
get ahead of the guys just in case all of a sudden it becomes a 54-hole
event.

'I actually don't think that will be the case now, but at that
point on the sixth I was still thinking there was a chance that this
could be the last round.'