Net gain: Serena Williams reaches her 9th US Open final

first_imgJapeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew A year ago, Williams missed the U.S. Open because she gave birth to her daughter, Olympia, during the tournament. She then dealt with complications related to blood clots.The American returned to the tour in February and to Grand Slam action at the French Open in May, when she had to withdraw from the field with an injured chest muscle. At her second major back, Wimbledon, she was the runner-up.Now comes a chance to take a title and become, a few weeks shy of turning 37, the oldest woman to win a Slam in singles.“It’s honestly really incredible. A year ago, I was fighting for, literally, my life at the hospital after I had the baby,” Williams said, her voice wavering. “So every day I step out on this court, I am so grateful that I have an opportunity to play this sport, you know? So no matter what happens in any match — semis, finals — I just feel like I’ve already won.”On Saturday, Williams will face 2017 runner-up Madison Keys, the No. 14 seed, or 20th-seeded Naomi Osaka of Japan, who were scheduled to play each other in the second semifinal.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Neither Keys, who is 23, nor Osaka, 20, has won a Grand Slam title.Sevastova was participating in a major semi for the first time at age 28. While she began the evening well enough in Arthur Ashe Stadium by turning in two error-free games for a quick 2-0 lead, that all soon changed.The roof was closed hours earlier because of a forecast calling for rain and strong wind, and so the screams and applause reverberated through the place whenever spectators roared for Williams, during the pre-match introductions, when she stepped to the baseline to serve in the opening game, and then after nearly every point she won.And there were plenty of those.Total winners? Williams led 31-10 in that category. And Sevastova’s penchant for drop shots did not pay off: She lost three points in the first set alone with miscues that landed on the wrong side of the net.“She got a little bit lucky, I think, on some breaks in the first set. Then she started feeling better. When she’s in front, it’s tough to play,” said Sevastova, who retired from tennis in 2013, then returned to the tour in 2015. “She stayed focused in the second set.”The key for Williams, really, was something of a new wrinkle: moving forward as much as possible.Sevastova changes speeds and angles a lot, which helped her eliminate defending champion Sloane Stephens in the quarterfinals. In order to avoid too many lengthy exchanges from the baseline, Williams and her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, thought it made more sense to press Sevastova.It worked. And how.Williams won 24 of the 28 points when she went to the net. Add that to her usual powerful baseline game and always superb serve, which reached 120 mph (194 kph), and this really was no contest at all. Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Serena Williams reacts after winning a point against Anastasija Sevastova, of Latvia, during the semifinals of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)NEW YORK — Serena Williams was a bit shaky at the start of her U.S. Open semifinal.For all of six minutes.ADVERTISEMENT Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA titlecenter_img Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown “To come this far, so fast,” Williams told the fans afterward, “I’m just beginning, you guys.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Garnett sues accountant over $77M lost to wealth manager That’s how long it took her to drop the opening two games. Williams spent the next hour playing flawlessly, particularly up at the net, grabbing 12 of 13 games to beat No. 19 seed Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia 6-3, 6-0 and reach her ninth final at Flushing Meadows and 31st at all Grand Slam tournaments.“I’ve been working hard on my volleys. I have won a few doubles championships, so I know how to volley,” Williams said with a laugh, before adding this punch line: “I just usually come in only to shake hands.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’With one more victory, Williams will earn her seventh U.S. Open championship and her 24th major singles trophy, equaling Margaret Court for the most in tennis history. Williams already owns the mark for the most in the half-century professional era; Court won some of hers against amateur competition.Williams had lost in the semifinals in her previous two trips to New York — against Roberta Vinci in 2015 while bidding for a calendar-year Grand Slam, and against Karolina Pliskova in 2016. Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

AfDB President Adesina Visits Liberia Today

first_img– Advertisement – Dr. Akinwumi Adesina The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, will visit Liberia from Wednesday, July 24-26, 2019 at the invitation of President George Weah, a release issued on Tuesday said.According to the itinerary of Dr. Adesina’s visit, he will hold bilateral talks and join statesmen and other high-level dignitaries in celebrations to mark Liberia’s 172nd Independence Day on July 26. He will also attend the official opening of new airport facilities at Roberts International Airport (RIA) in Harbel, Margibi County and the new government Ministerial complex in Monrovia.“The Bank has been a strong and strategic partner for Liberia in the transport, energy and agriculture sectors, with a primary focus on road construction, electricity generation and distribution and improving food and nutrition security,” Adesina said.The AFDB said it recognizes the need for continued support to Liberia and is committed to assisting the nation work through its challenges. In particular, it will assist the government in economic policy initiatives and in providing technical advice to the leadership.In Liberia, for example, the Bank is currently financing three energy operations, and a fourth project scheduled for board presentation in September this year, all aimed at addressing the severe power shortage and the high cost of electricity in the country. An additional operation is in the pipeline for 2021, the Bank’s statement said.The West Africa Power Pool (Cote D’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea — CLSG) interconnection is to provide a 1,360 km of high voltage transmission line to enable Cote d’Ivoire to export 400MW of power to the other three Mano River Union (MRU) member states (Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea). The CLSG Rural Electrification is intended to electrify about 130 communities located along the CLSG interconnection power line, and supply electric power to schools, health centers, small handicrafts, commercial and industrial businesses.The Liberia Energy Efficiency and Access Project (LEEAP) project is for the construction of 46.1 km transmission line and 280 km of distribution lines in the corridors of the RIA and Pleebo-Fish Town in River Gee County, respectively. About 200,000 persons living in communities along the project area, including schools, and health centers are expected to benefit from the connection.Accordingly, the bank is currently financing three operations in the road transport sector and indicatively would consider two more, AfDB says. Of the three operations ongoing, the first is the project to pave the Fish Town to Harper Road, upgrading a total of 50km of road from gravel to bitumen standard between the towns of Harper to Karloken, and an additional 80km section of road maintained from Karloken to Fish Town. The second project is the MRU Road Development and Transport Facilitation Program Phase 1 to upgrade a total of 80km from gravel to bitumen standard from Karloken to Fish Town, including Harper Junction – Cavalla Customs (16km) and the construction of a bridge over the Cavalla River. The third project is the MRU Phase 2 approved in 2018, which will upgrade a total of 67.1km from gravel to pavement surface from Fish Town to Kelipo (20 km) and Sanniquellie to Loguatuo (47.1 km).Also, the Bank has financed a number of operations aimed at improving people’s lives in Liberia. These include the Ebola Fight Back Budget Support Program approved in 2014, the Economic Governance and Competitiveness Budget Support Project (EGCSP) approved in 2018, the Integrated Public Financial Management Reform Project (IPFMRP): Phase II approved in 2017; the Youth Entrepreneurship and Employment Program (YEEP) approved in 2016. “Implementation of these operations is on-going and progressing well,” the Bank says.In 2018, the AfDB Board approved a US$20 million (UA14.4 million) Trade Finance Package for three Liberian commercial banks. The facility will provide liquidity support to Liberian SMEs; and guarantees to enable international banks to provide clean confirmation lines for Liberian SMEs trade finance needs. These facilities are currently under negotiation.In the Agriculture and forestry Sector, the Bank is financing three operations: The Smallholder Agricultural Productivity and Commercialization (SAPEC), a study to identify areas of need in the Agricultural value chain and a Support to the Forestry Authority to Scale up the participation of SMEs in secondary wood processing. The SAPEC Project, which is co-financed with the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP), is on-going despite having suffered from start-up delays and negatively impacted by the Ebola Crisis. To date, according to the Bank, the SAPEC project has amongst others: (i) reached 22,380 farming households (30% of them headed by females) with advisory services on the use of improved rice seeds and cassava cultivar varieties; (ii) registered 321,766 farmers across the 15 counties of Liberia on the E-Platform for effective agro-input distribution, and (iii) 58 students have been trained at bachelors and graduate levels in agriculture with 51 graduated already from 9 universities. Within the framework of a Special Economic Zone, the bank is preparing financing for a Staple Crop Processing Zone (SCPZ) scheduled for Board approval in 2020.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more