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Goodbye, tennis: Sharapova announces retirement

first_imgSharapova burst onto the scene as a supremely gifted teenager and won her Grand Slams before serving a 15-month ban for failing a drugs test at the 2016 Australian Open.The Russian former world number one’s ranking is currently 373rd.Sharapova has hardly played in the past year because of long-standing shoulder problems.When she did play she lost as many matches as she won and was dumped out in the first rounds at Wimbledon, the US Open and, most recently, the Australian Open in Melbourne. Sharapova shot to fame as a giggly 17-year-old Wimbledon winner in 2004, the third-youngest player to conquer the All England Club’s hallowed grass courts. ‘Tennis gave me life’ She became world number one in 2005 and won the US Open the next year.”One of the keys to my success was that I never looked back and I never looked forward,” Sharapova said on Wednesday.”I believed that if I kept grinding and grinding, I could push myself to an incredible place.”But in 2007 Sharapova began her long on-off battle with shoulder trouble.She would win the 2008 Australian Open before a second shoulder injury kept her off tour for the second half of the season, missing the US Open and Beijing Olympics.In 2012, the Siberian-born Sharapova captured the French Open to become the 10th woman to complete a career Grand Slam. She added Olympic silver to her resume that year.Her 2014 French Open title was another high after a dispiriting injury low.More fitness troubles followed before the bombshell announcement of her positive test for the banned heart drug meldonium.Always a fighter — the seven-year-old Maria and father Yuri left for the US in 1994 with just a borrowed $700 to their names — Sharapova returned to the sport in 2017.”In giving my life to tennis, tennis gave me a life,” Sharapova said in her retirement missive.”I’ll miss it everyday. I’ll miss the training and my daily routine: Waking up at dawn, lacing my left shoe before my right, and closing the court’s gate before I hit my first ball of the day.”I’ll miss my team, my coaches. I’ll miss the moments sitting with my father on the practice court bench. The handshakes — win or lose — and the athletes, whether they knew it or not, who pushed me to be my best.”Looking back now, I realize that tennis has been my mountain. My path has been filled with valleys and detours, but the views from its peak were incredible.”Topics : Five-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova, one of the world’s most recognisable sportswomen, on Wednesday announced her retirement at the age of 32.”Tennis — I’m saying goodbye,” Sharapova said in an article for Vogue and Vanity Fair magazines.”After 28 years and five Grand Slam titles, though, I’m ready to scale another mountain — to compete on a different type of terrain.”last_img read more

Tennis: Sharapova beats Wozniacki

first_imgDefending champion Maria Sharapova moved into the semi-finals of the Madrid Open for a third consecutive year with a 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 win over Caroline Wozniacki on Thursday.The Russian showed no ill effects early on from her marathon win over Caroline Garcia on Wednesday as she raced through the first set.Sharapova broke again in the first game of the second set, but a host of errors handed the momentum back to the world number five and Wozniacki served out to take the match into a deciding set.The third set followed a similar pattern, except this time it was Wozniacki who failed to build on an early break as Sharapova’s power from the baseline proved too much for the Dane.And after breaking in the penultimate game, Sharapova rounded off victory in just over two hours on court to set up a semi-final meeting with either Lucie Safarova or Svetlana Kuznetsova.last_img read more

Cheptegei emulates John Akii-Bua with world best time

first_img10 km (road)26:44Leonard Patrick Komon KEN26 Sep 2010SingelloopUtrecht 100 m9.58Usain Bolt JAM16 Aug 2009World ChampionshipsBerlin 20 km (road)55:21Zersenay Tadese ERI21 Mar 2010Lisbon Half MarathonLisbon Mile3:43.13Hicham El Guerrouj MAR7 Jul 1999Golden GalaRome 58:18Abraham Kiptum KEN28 Oct 2018Valencia Half MarathonValencia 200 m19.19Usain Bolt JAM20 Aug 2009World ChampionshipsBerlin 800 m1:40.91David Rudisha KEN9 Aug 2012Olympic GamesLondon 20,000 m (track)56:25.98Haile Gebrselassie ETH27 Jun 2007Golden Spike OstravaOstrava 400 m43.03Wayde van Niekerk RSA14 Aug 2016Olympic GamesRio de Janeiro Cheptegei set a 15km road run world record. PHOTO @NNRunningTeamCheptegei pockets Ug sh213 million for world recordKampala, Uganda | LOUIS JADWONG | Joshua Cheptegei became only the second Ugandan athlete after legend John Akii-Bua to set a world best time, with his stunning run Sunday at the 15km NN Zevenheuvelenloop (Seven Hills Race) in Nijmegen, The Netherlands.The 22-year-old Ugandan World Championships 10,000m silver medalist continued his rise in long distance athletics by running the world’s fastest 15k in 41.05 minutes, taking 8 seconds off the previous mark set in 2010.It is his fourth win in the event, and this time pocketed a bonus 50,000 Euros (Sh213 million) prize for the record. The Nijmegen race is a favourite for Cheptegei, who as a nineteen, twenty and 21-year-old, won the 32nd, 33rd and 34 editions before in 42.39, 42.12 and 41.13.The Seven Hills Race Zevenheuvelenloop is considered the fastest course in the world, and the best time held before Sunday was by Leonard Komon of Kenya who ran a time of 41:13 in 2010.In the foot-steps of Akii BuaCheptegei’s feat Sunday puts him in the league of world beaters, first achieved by Uganda’s most famous athlete, hurdler John Akii-Bua in 1972. Interestingly, like Akii-Bua, Cheptegei runs for Police.Akii-Bua’s feat will live in memory. Not only did he brake the world record, he also became the first ever to run under 48 seconds in what is considered a highly technical discipline, the 400m hurdles.He clocked 47.82 in that Munich Olympics final in Germany to take a phenomenal 0.3 seconds off the record set by the then greatest hurdler David Hemery four years earlier. More remarkable, was he run that final from the inside lane – considered the least favorite position in the one lap race.After finishing fourth in the 1970 Commonwealth Games and running the fastest time of 1971, he was still not a big favourite for that 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, having limited competitive experience.He missed the 1976 Olympics and a showdown with United States rival Edwin Moses because of the boycott by Uganda and other African nations. Edwin Moses went on to set a new world record in 1976 and to reign until Kevin Young became the first man to run under 47 seconds in 1992. Akii Bua died an unhappy man in 1997, a lesson for many of today’s Ugandan athletes who have now invested heavily in their future, and life after sports.Akii-Bua was one of the geniuses among athletes, according to his British coach Malcom ArnoldHow Cheptegei won the NN Seven Hills Race Cheptegei took the lead in the beginning of the race and he saw his pacers drop off early so he had to run the second part of the race alone. Cheptegei managed to hold his pace and continued to race towards the finish line. After having won:“After 10km I was above the schedule of the world record so I decided to accelerate at 12km. The last kilometer was hard but I really enjoyed. I am very proud of my achievement and want to thank the organization and my team,”Cheptegei said shortly after crossing the finish line.Cheptegei is a member of the NN Running team, that has world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge and Uganda’s only other Olympic Gold medalist Stephen Kiprotich, in their ranks.According to an NN statement after the race, they said they started tracking Cheptegei when he became World Junior Champion in Eugene, Oregon in 2014 ( gold in 10,000m, 4th in the 5,000m).In 2015, Joshua won the 10,000m at the African Championships, and was 9th in Beijing World Champs 10,000m. In 2016, Joshua was 6th in the 10,000m and 8th in the 5,000m in Rio Olympics.In 2017, the young Ugandan athlete took silver battling Mo Farah in the London 10,000m, in what many believe was the finest 10,000m race in decades. Joshua started 2018 with brilliant wins over 10,000m and 5,000m at the Commonwealth Games.On the roads this season,  Cheptegai ran 45:15 for 10 miles in Amsterdam Dam to Damloop on 23 September. He followed that up with 27:16 on October 23 at the Durban 10k in South Africa. His WR today is a fitting end to his 2018 season.On the women’s side in the Netherlands success, it was double success for Uganda as Stella Chesang, the Commonwealth Champion on the 10,000m won the race in a fast time of 47:19.Selected word records 1500 m3:26.00Hicham El Guerrouj MAR14 Jul 1998Golden GalaRome 10,000 m (track)26:17.53Kenenisa Bekele ETH26 Aug 2005Memorial Van DammeBrussels 1000 m2:11.96Noah Ngeny KEN5 Sep 1999Rieti MeetingRieti 2000 m4:44.79Hicham El Guerrouj MAR7 Sep 1999ISTAFBerlin 15 km (road)41:05Joshua Cheptegei UGA18 Nov 2018ZevenheuvelenloopNijmegen 3000 m7:20.67Daniel Komen KEN1 Sep 1996Rieti MeetingRieti Half marathon58:23Zersenay Tadese ERI21 Mar 2010Lisbon Half MarathonLisbon EventPerf.Athlete(s)Nat.DateMeetingLocation 5000 m12:37.35Kenenisa Bekele ETH31 May 2004Fanny Blankers-Koen GamesHengelo Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more