With 11th French Open, Nadal not obsessed with Federer’s 20 Grand Slams

first_imgWinfrey details her decision to withdraw from Simmons film “Of course I would love to have 20, like Roger, in the future — or even more,” Nadal said Sunday evening after beating Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 in the final at Roland Garros, “but being honest, (it’s) something that is not in my mind.”He added that it’s not an “obsession.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown“Let me enjoy this title,” Nadal said. “I can’t be always thinking of more. Of course, I have ambition. Of course, I have passion for what I am doing. But I never have been crazy about all this kind of stuff. No, you can’t be frustrated always if somebody has more money than you, if somebody have a bigger house than you, if somebody have more Grand Slams than you. You can’t live with that feeling, no?”Nadal’s uncle, Toni, who used to also be his coach, attended Sunday’s match and was asked afterward whether Rafael can pull even with Federer. After losing her first three Grand Slam finals, Simona Halep added major championship No. 1 to her No. 1 ranking by coming back to defeat Sloane Stephens in three sets. Halep kept insisting she needed to do it, and could do it — and she was correct. “Now she can relax, go out there, let her game go,” said her coach, Darren Cahill.SERENA STILL SUPERBAt her first major in 16 months, and first as a mother, Serena Williams showed with three victories that she still has the game and the grit to go far and — even at age 36 — could be a threat to add to her 23 major titles. She withdrew from the field before her much-anticipated fourth-rounder against Maria Sharapova, citing a chest muscle injury, so it’s not clear whether Williams will be someone to watch at Wimbledon.NOT THEIR TIME YETRunner-up Thiem, a 24-year-old from Austria, might very well be the second-best player on clay in the world, but there’s still a large gap, at least at Roland Garros, where he is 0-3 against Nadal. Thiem and the man he beat in the quarterfinals, 21-year-old Alexander Zverev of Germany, are the two most well-rounded rising stars in the game. The question is when each will be ready for the next step.AMERICAN WOMENBefore her loss to Halep, Stephens, 25, eliminated Madison Keys, 23, in the first all-American semifinal at the French Open since 2002, when Williams defeated Jennifer Capriati. “All in all,” Stephens said, “I don’t think anyone can complain.” It was also a rematch of last year’s U.S. Open final, in which Stephens topped Keys. For all the hand-wringing in years past over what would happen to U.S. women’s tennis after the Williams sisters, they seem to be in pretty good shape. Plus, consider this: Coco Gauff, a 14-year-old from Florida, beat Caty McNally, a 16-year-old from Ohio, in the junior final, the fourth time at the last five Grand Slam tournaments that two Americans played each other for the girls’ title.DON’T LEAVE!One important lesson from this French Open: If you fail to make it out of qualifying, do not skip town. Thanks to a new rule that awards some prize money to players making late injury withdrawals, more than a half-dozen men got into the draw as a “lucky loser” to replace those who pulled out. None of the beneficiaries was more celebrated than 190th-ranked Marco Trungelliti. He headed home to Barcelona after being beaten in qualifying, then learned he could sign up for a spot in the field. So he made the 10-hour drive back to Paris with his 88-year-old grandmother, mother and younger brother in a rental car, then went out and won in the first round. LATEST STORIES Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial Spain’s Rafael Nadal poses with ball girls and boys as he celebrates winning the men’s final match of the French Open tennis tournament against Austria’s Dominic Thiem in three sets 6-4, 6-3, 6-2, at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, Sunday, June 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)PARIS — Rafael Nadal’s 11th French Open title raised his Grand Slam trophy count to 17, three away from the men’s record held by Roger Federer.That doesn’t necessarily mean Nadal is fixated on catching his rival.ADVERTISEMENT 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 View comments MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anewcenter_img Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours DepEd’s Taal challenge: 30K students displaced Animam calls for ‘consistent support’ for PH women’s basketball team Dave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operations “I want to think that is possible,” Toni said. “But I know (that) maybe in one month, Federer will win again Wimbledon.”Federer, of course, sat out the French Open to rest and prepare for the grass-court season. He did the same a year ago, and then went on to claim his record eighth championship at the All England Club, where play begins July 2.The only man with more titles at a single major is Nadal in Paris. He is now 86-2 at the French Open — and, by the looks of things, as good as ever at the place.Here are other things we learned at the 2018 French Open:HALEP CAN WIN THE BIG ONEADVERTISEMENT China population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate falls Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’last_img read more

Move over Neymar: how rugby players hope to change Brazil

first_imgSure, it’s not Twickenham or Eden Park. The pitch in Morro do Castro isn’t even close to the facilities you’d find at schools in Australia, Britain or other traditional rugby playing countries.Players wear a mishmash of shirts, some are barefoot. There are no rugby posts, the grass is patchy and when the ball’s kicked too far, it falls into an open sewer.Should drug traffickers or police start shooting in the favela — a real hazard — kids are trained to take cover under a concrete wall behind the goalposts.But the rugby is serious.Brazilian-British Oxford University graduate Robert Malengreau, founder of the NGO UmRio, teaches rugby to young people from the Morro do Castro favela in Rio de Janeiro, supporting young people in communities affected by crime © AFP / Apu GomesTwo dozen young players sprint over the threadbare turf, spinning the ball between hands in swift, well coordinated drills. And when they perform the haka, New Zealand’s famous Maori war dance, their passion is unmistakable, even if there’s a bit of a samba vibe, with plenty of dabbing for good measure.By the end of training, Lucas Aquino Chagas, a dreadlocked 17-year-old who captains one of the touch rugby teams, sports a big smile.Brazil, with a population of 208 million, only has about 16,000 registered rugby players, compared to the millions in football. It’s fair to say that most teenage boys probably dream of pulling on the national team’s yellow shirt or emulating Neymar’s riches.But Chagas’ dream?“To play for the All Blacks,” he says without hesitation.– Tackling life –The man who brought rugby to this poor, sleepy and occasionally perilous tropical corner is Robert Malengreau.Half-British, half-Brazilian, Malengreau, 28, played at high amateur levels in England, and is an Oxford University graduate.NGO UmRio, teaches rugby to young people from the Morro do Castro favela in Rio de Janeiro, in a bid to provide them with an safe environment where they can learn a new skill © AFP / Apu GomesHe always loved the game, but the tragedy of Brazil’s favelas, which are often under control of drug traffickers and shunned by the rest of society, made him want to try something more ambitious than just coaching.So four years ago he launched an NGO called UmRio, or One Rio, with the idea that introducing something as foreign as rugby might also shake things up beyond the field. Rugby, he says, “is an entry point.”To test his theory, Malengreau partnered with the school in Morro do Castro, a community he describes as “abandoned” by the government, and began teaching sport — and a new way of living.Players from around the world, including from Oxford and Cambridge universities, help with the actual rugby coaching.But just as importantly, local dentists and doctors volunteer for clinics, boosting healthcare in a community of about 6,000 with only one permanent dentist.Going against the grain of macho Brazilian society, girls play touch rugby on equal terms with boys at the NGO UmRio © AFP / Apu GomesEnglish language courses and mentoring by Brazilian and foreign teachers mean that students get as much help with schoolwork as on tackling technique.A key symbolic point is backing from Oxford and Cambridge rugby clubs, which have donated their famous dark and light blue shirts, and the less tangible gift of encouraging favela kids to aspire.“It’s Oxford and Cambridge saying ‘the doors are open for you,’” Malengreau said.About 400 children have participated so far and the message is getting through.As a black boy from a favela, Franklin Cruz, a small, nippy 14 year old, has grown used to people expecting him to wind up a drug trafficker or, at best, a low paid construction worker.The rugby adventure, he says, has emboldened him.“Why not become an architect or a doctor or lawyer?” he asks.– Beach rugby champs –Malengreau says there was a “bit of a shock” when he first showed up in the favela with five enormous Oxford University players and a bag of rugby balls.“I’d never heard of rugby in my life,” Chagas says, remembering how his football-obsessed friends were astonished to be told, “‘No, you’re not meant to kick!’”The learning curve was only starting.Rugby is more of a team sport than football, less prone to relying on individual stars, Malengreau says. There’s also none of football’s culture of yelling back at referees.Going against the grain of macho Brazilian society, girls play touch rugby on equal terms with boys.Players from around the world, including from Oxford and Cambridge universities, help with the actual rugby coaching at Brazilian NGO UmRio © AFP / Apu GomesAnd Malengreau pushes them all out of their comfort zone by encouraging use of English phrases during training, like: “Ready, ready up!” before defending a line.At a recent touch rugby tournament, the favela kids descended in two teams to Niteroi’s wealthy beach area to play other schools on the sand.One of Morro do Castro’s teams, resplendent in striped Cambridge University shirts, was crowned champion, prompting whooping and more dabbing.Janaina Trancoso, mother of a girl in the program, said a bigger victory looms for these children who otherwise might never have imagined escaping the favela’s isolation.“I think a door has opened for them,” Trancoso, 40, said.“With time they will manage to see that the world is big and that there are other possibilities.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Soccer may be king across the land of Pele, but in Morro do Castro, a favela in the hills above Rio suburb Niteroi, rugby and the oval ball rule © AFP / Apu GomesNITEROI, Brazil, Oct 2 – The boys and girls running on the dusty football pitch in a Rio favela could be kids anywhere in Brazil if not for one detail: the oddly shaped ball they’re chasing.Soccer may be king across the land of Pele, but in Morro do Castro, a favela in the hills above Rio suburb Niteroi, rugby and the oval ball rule.last_img read more