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Defying age and illness, Venus reaches 39th Slam quarter-final


Venus Williams of the United States returns a shot during her women’s singles fourth round match against Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain on Day Seven of the 2017 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 3, 2017 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.

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Defying an energy-sapping disease, Venus Williams has pushed herself farther than she ever imagined at age 37 to reach her 39th career Grand Slam quarter-final at the US Open.

US ninth seed Williams, seeking her eighth Grand Slam title and third US Open crown, defeated Spain’s 35th-ranked Carla Suarez Navarro 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 Sunday.

She booked a Tuesday fight for a semi-final spot against Czech 13th seed Petra Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon winner who defeated Spanish third seed and reigning Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza 7-6 (7/3), 6-3.

Williams, this year’s Wimbledon and Australian Open runner-up and the oldest woman in this year’s US Open draw, is only 1-4 against Kvitova, but she has grown accustomed to overcoming the odds.

In 2011, Williams was diagnosed with Sjogren’s disease, which leaves her weakened and pushed her into a vegan diet to stay competitive and combat the illness.“Over time I’ve learned that I can push myself a lot further than I thought I could,” Williams said. “I do have to push myself a lot. I think that’s the biggest thing that I’ve learned.

“In the beginning, when everything is easy, you’re healthy, it’s easy to play when you don’t have those odds against you. But when you have the odds against you, it’s hard to find that in yourself every day.” Williams, 19-3 in majors this year, said she wasn’t sure how she was able to stay competitive over rivals sometimes half her age.

“I love the pressure and I need a challenge,” Williams said. “I don’t know (how I sustain it). If I could do it I would put it in a box and sell it.” Williams said health, fitness, skill and love for the competition all play a role.

“You do have to have a love because it’s a lot of work,” she said. “There are sacrifices you make with your family, your loved ones — just doing normal things like sitting on your own couch that are taken for granted. You have to have the love to deal with the pressure as well.” Playing for 20 years at the US Open and winning five Wimbledon crowns has made her a target the moment she steps on the court.

“It’s never easy to win a Slam. Now I’ll play players who I’ve never seen or know their name and you can’t let up one point,” Williams said.“Players come out with a lot more confidence now. Every time I step out on the court, that person is coming for me. It doesn’t matter if I played for a year, not even if I’m ranked 100 or number whatever, they’re coming for me. When I get to these majors, I know that’s what it is.

“They’re playing well. They’re not going to give you any matches. In the case if they do, I will accept it as well if they don’t play as well as they want. I’m accepting all major credit cards and unforced errors.” Williams could return to the world top five for the first time since January 2011 if she beats Kvitova and reach world number two if she takes the title, although she hasn’t played three Slam finals in a year since 2002.

Her win also kept alive host-nation hopes for an all-American US Open women’s semis, with Sloane Stephens, Jennifer Brady and Madison Keys also in contention.

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Football

Jordan Ayew tops English Premier League sprint chart after 16 matches

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Ghana forward Jordan Ayew has been rated as the player with most sprints in the English Premier League after 16 round of games.

The Swansea City attacker has always been faced with criticisms for his lack of work ethos when playing for the Ghana’s senior national team.

But the former Olympique Marseille man appears to have had the best statistics in arguably the world’s best championship in terms of a player that has made the most sprints in the league after 16 matches

The 25-year-old heads the list of the 10 players ahead of speedsters including Hector Bellerin of Arsenal, Delle Alli of Tottenham and Richarlison of Watford.

According to the Express.co.uk, with their high intensity and counter-attacking football, Manchester City have wracked up the most sprints so far this season with a whopping 6198.

However, relegation-threatened West Ham have managed a measly 4942.

Surprisingly, Manchester United only have the 15th highest amount of sprints with 5210.

Even though Manchester City have wracked up the most sprints as a team, no individual star of Pep Guardiola’s side makes the top 10.

So which Premier League ace has sprinted the most times?

1. Jordan Ayew (Swansea) – 796 sprints

2. Delle Alli (Tottenham) – 742 sprints

3. Jay Rodriguez (Burnley) – 715 sprints

4. Hector Bellerin (Arsenal)- 695 sprints

5. Tom Cleverley (Watford) – 695 sprints

6. Tom Ince (Huddersfield) – 683 sprints

7. Abdoulaye Doucore (Watford) – 682 sprints

8. Richarlison (Watford) – 677 sprints

9. Erik Pieters (Stoke) – 669 sprints

10. Pascal Gross (Brighton) – 662 sprints

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Football

Pots announced for Final Draw

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With Peru completing the line-up of 32 teams for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, we now know the seeding pots for the Final Draw on 1 December.

It was confirmed in September, by the Organising Committee for FIFA Competitions, that all teams will be allocated to (eight-team) pots 1 to 4 based on sporting principles. The October 2017 edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be used to allocate all qualified teams to the four pots according to their ranking in descending order, after hosts Russia who take the top seeding spot.

With those factors in mind, here are the final pots for the Final Draw:

POT 1 Russia, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland, France
POT 2 Spain, Peru, Switzerland, England, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, Croatia
POT 3 Denmark, Iceland, Costa Rica, Sweden, Tunisia, Egypt, Senegal, Iran
POT 4 Serbia, Nigeria, Australia, Japan, Morocco, Panama, Korea Republic, Saudi Arabia

It is worth remembering that the principle of drawing the teams into the groups will remain unchanged. This means that no teams from the same confederation, with the exception of UEFA, which could have up to two teams in the same group, will be drawn into the same group.

The Final Draw will take place on Friday 1 December at Moscow’s State Kremlin Palace.

fifa.com

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Football

« We do not want him at Real Madrid anymore »

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Real Madrid are in a bad situation in the league, the club of Casa Blanca is currently third in Liga behind Valencia and Barça, the Catalans have taken a big lead, and this could definitely make them lose the championship in the winter. And a Madrid club player is highlighted in these poor results.

101 million euros for his transfer, 23 injuries since, 73 matches missed or 55% of the matches of his team. Statistics that would drive any coach and / or leaders crazy. You have it ?

These are the figures of Gareth Bale since his arrival at Real Madrid in the summer of 2013 from Tottenham. Whoever has played only nine games in the year 2017/2018 seems to have seriously undermined the patience of its leaders. Just back from a calf injury, he was summoned by the Welsh side to face France in a friendly last Friday, but made the choice to stay in Madrid to prepare for the derby against Atletico Madrid. But, the blow, the Welsh injured during training last Thursday and will be absent about a month.

What continue to fuel the rumors of transfers but especially what cause irritation of the board leader. The latter, tired of not being able to align their triplet « BBC », have made a decision that should be irrevocable, according to the Madrid newspaper AS: It must leave this summer. And the Spanish media also explains that the president of the Madrilenian club, Florentino Perez, added:

« We do not want him at Real Madrid anymore »
Yet strongly criticized last season, Bale had managed to avoid a departure last summer, claiming to want to win at Real Madrid. This year, his start to the season does not plead in his favor and he seems to have exhausted all his jokers in the Spanish capital. The departure of the Welsh international therefore seems to have been recorded.

The rumor of a return to the Premier League, Manchester United in particular, has been reactivated but the number of contenders could quickly evolve in view of the quality of the player. Be careful though, the Welsh is signed until 2022, and Florentino Perez is determined not to sell his player.

Unless a return to its best level, it is difficult to see how the Welsh international could reverse the situation. Zinedine Zidane even found his replacement for 100 million euros.

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