Expert says Nishikori’s rise to elite due to self-belief

first_img RELATED PHOTOS KEYWORDS Kei Nishikori, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Barry Flatman Cool confidence: Kei Nishikori’s improvement over the last two years is due in large part to an increased comfort level with himself, says a longtime observer of the ATP Tour. | AP Madrid, where Nishikori had to retire with a back injury last year while seemingly on the way to victory over Rafael Nadal, will provide a tougher test with Djokovic the only player in the world’s top 10 missing from the field.The tournament in the Spanish capital may well be a defining moment for Nadal this time around. He got lucky last year when Nishikori came up lame, but his poor showing in Barcelona, where he lost in the third round to Italy’s Fabio in straight sets, has many wondering whether he still has the game to win a 10th French Open.After missing several weeks last season due to injury, analysts now are identifying a lack of power in Nadal’s forehand as a key concern ahead of the year’s second Grand Slam. Despite ultimately winning Roland Garros last season after his uneven play on clay, his recent form make the questions about his game legitimate.Meanwhile, with each passing week it seems that Nishikori is garnering greater recognition around the globe for his play. Match Point asked Barry Flatman of the London Sunday Times, one of the most prominent tennis writers in the world, for his thoughts on Nishikori’s climb up the ladder in rankings and respect.“Patience has been necessary but I think we are now entering the period where Nishikori can truly legitimize all the potential he has unquestionably possessed since he first emerged on the world scene,” stated Flatman, who has covered the ATP Tour since 1992.“He is now stronger, both mentally and physically, and the boost in self-belief he gained from reaching the U.S. Open final last year is now there for all to see,” Flatman said. “A lot of people thought he could be a very good player, now were are seeing confirmation of those claims.”Flatman, never one to pull a punch, breaks down Nishikori’s game succinctly.“Nishikori’s strengths are his ball striking, very hard and accurate, his technical expertise and his ability to wear down the opposition,” Flatman noted. “His weaknesses are still a question mark over his physical durability (resilience against injury) and the fact his concentration can still wander at times.”Flatman, who was the inaugural president of the International Tennis Writers Association, puts a great deal of the 25-year-old Nishikori’s development to his personal growth.“The great improvement over the last two years is basically down to maturity and the fact he is now more comfortable in his own skin,” commented Flatman. “Before he was something of a novelty and seemed to be very much aware of all the hype centered around him. Now he seems to have accepted all the interest and is no longer distracted by it. Plus, of course, the presence of Michael Chang in his support team has been a massive positive influence.”Flatman claims that Nishikori, currently ranked No. 5 in the world, has earned the respect of his fellow members in the top 10 with his play.“The top players are not really saying too much about him and there is good reason for that; they now see him as a massive rival,” Flatman said. “There is of course utterances of respect and acknowledgement that Nishikori, by virtue of defending his Barcelona title, must now be viewed as a contender on clay.”There was skepticism about Nishikori’s game up until last summer’s U.S. Open, according to Flatman.“The world’s media were not really sure about Nishikori until New York last year, but he built on that reputation, did well at the ATP Finals in London, and now for the first time is being viewed as a contender for the French, although of course it is still largely perceived as a two-horse race between Djokovic and Nadal,” Flatman stated.With clay courts almost tailor-made for Nishikori’s combination of skill and athleticism, Flatman has him contending for the title at Roland Garros starting later this month.“I see Nishikori as somebody who can go a long way at Roland Garros,” Flatman said. “His draw will obviously be a massive factor but I see him as a potential semifinalist. However do I see him winning? No.“Why? Because I am convinced this is Djokovic’s year to win the one Grand Slam title that has always evaded him.”Book giveaway contest: The Japan Times is offering several readers the chance to win a copy of the recently released Japanese book “The Road to Top” about Kei Nishikori and his rise to become one of the best tennis players in the world.The autobiography traces Nishikori’s life from his days as a youngster playing in Shimane Prefecture to his appearance in last year’s U.S. Open final.The book covers the many challenges the superstar encountered along the way, including the surgery on his right elbow that sidelined him for most of the 2009 season.The 370-page tome, which quickly became a best seller, was written with veteran tennis writer Hidehiro Akiyama and published by Bungeishunju.Several pages of color photos are included showing Nishikori at various stages of his career.To enter the drawing for the books, please send an email with your name and address to: sports@japantimes.co.jp with “The Road to Top” entered in the subject line.The contest is open to both domestic and overseas readers.Making progress: Taro Daniel won the first Challenger title of his career last month on clay in Vercelli, Italy. The Japanese-American beat Italian Filippo Volandri 6-3, 1-6, 6-4.Daniel, whose father is American and mother is Japanese, was born in New York but lived in Nagoya as a youngster. He now resides in Valencia, Spain, where he is coached by Jose Altur.The 22-year-old Daniel, who stands 190 cm, is currently ranked 169th in the world. He was on Japan’s Davis Cup team for last year’s World Group quarterfinal tie with the Czech Republic. Latest feat: Kei Nishikori lifts the winner’s trophy after claiming the Barcelona Open singles title on April 26. | AP Kei Nishikori’s impressive performance in winning the Barcelona Open for the second straight year and the withdrawal of world No. 1 Novak Djokovic have made the Shimane native the favorite at this week’s Madrid Open.Nishikori tore up the field in Barcelona last month, losing just one set in five matches on the way to the title. Despite not playing his best against Spain’s Pablo Andujar in the final, Nishikori still prevailed in straight sets 6-4, 6-4. GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5last_img read more

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Radwanska advances, Osaka ousted at Pan Pacific Open

first_img KEYWORDS RELATED PHOTOS IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5 GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES The Pole had won her previous two meetings with Vandeweghe, most recently this summer in New Haven.“We just played a few weeks ago and I knew what to expect,” Radwanska told the WTA’s website.“I think it was a really good match — much closer than New Haven. There were a lot of tight games, and that long one in the second set really helped me through.”Radwanska will face the winner of an all-Ukrainian match on Tuesday between Olga Savchuk and Elina Svitolina.Osaka was handed a straight-sets defeat by Barbora Strycova, going down 7-5, 6-2 to her Czech opponent.Strycova will next face Spanish third seed Garbine Muguruza, who has a first-round bye. center_img Naomi Osaka plays a shot during her first-round defeat to Barbora Strycova at the Pan Pacific Open on Monday. | AP Agnieszka Radwanska, Pan-Pacific Open, Naomi Osaka Seventh seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland beat American Coco Vandeweghe to advance to the second round of the Pan Pacific Open on Monday, but there was an early exit for Japanese wild card Naomi Osaka.Radwanska showed the kind of form that helped her win this tournament four years ago, taking just under 90 minutes to register a 6-3, 6-3 victory in the $1,000,000 event at Ariake Tennis Forest Park in Tokyo.last_img read more

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Economic and Demographic Data Being Compiled For Kenai Peninsula

first_imgDillon: “How many times have you all seen a report where it talks about what’s going on in the Lower 48, what’s going on in the state of Alaska and what’s going on in Anchorage, and you’d love to know, well what does that mean for us down on the Kenai Peninsula?” Dillon says the data will be compiled on a quarterly basis, helping local residents, businesses, and people considering a move to the Kenai Peninsula better understand local trends. FacebookTwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Until recently, most of Alaska’s economic and demographic data had to be based on Anchorage statistics, since few of those numbers are collected outside of the state’s major metro areas. Tim Dillon with the Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District says that is changing…last_img read more

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Governor Dunleavy Calls $1,606 Dividend A ‘Partial PFD’

first_imgFacebookTwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Governor Mike Dunleavy’s administration announced Friday that nearly every Alaskan will receive $1,606 for this years Permanent Fund Dividend. Beginning Thursday, October 3, an estimated 631,000 Alaskans will receive their 2019 Permanent Fund Dividend in the amount of $1,606. The total distribution for this year’s dividend is approximately $1,013,000,000. During an online press conference the governor referred to this amount as a ‘partial PFD’: “We are still looking at a special session to complete that dividend, because right now we are looking at this as a partial dividend.”  Alaskans who filed for the dividend online and chose direct deposit will see the funds in their bank accounts on or shortly after October 3. Alaskans who applied with a paper application and/or chose a paper check will receive payment starting on October 24. Dunleavy:“This has been an ongoing discussion all year long as to what that amount would be. My office believes, as well as many Alaskans, that that amount should reflect the statues on the books. That statute would have determined a dividend of approximately $2,910, but the legislature only appropriated enough for a $1,606 dividend. This left $1,304 on the table.”  Alaskans are encouraged to use the state’s website MyPFD to check the status of their PFD application. Under Governor Dunleavy’s PFD proposal, and the statutory formula passed by the Alaska Legislature into law in 1982, the 2019 dividend should be $2,910.00, according to a release from the Department of Revenue.last_img read more

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Two changes for Harlequins against Bristol

first_img Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook Harlequins boss Paul Gustard has made only two changes to the starting XV that beat Exeter last weekend, to face Bristol on Sunday.Luke Northmore makes his first Gallagher Premiership appearance since picking up an injury in the middle of January and will be hoping to continue his impressive form from earlier in the season, starting on the wing.Winger Chris Ashton, who joined the club this week, has not yet recovered from a small knock but is expected to be available in the coming weeks.AdChoices广告Gustard said: “It was great to get an important win against Exeter, who have yet again this season showed consistency in performance and strength in all aspects of their game.“Last week is, however, last week and it’s crucial that our entire focus and effort has been directed to this Sunday’s opponents. I was delighted with the team’s critical reflection from Exeter on Monday, which once again demonstrated the mental and emotional growth we are making.“We look forward to the challenge at Ashton Gate against a Bristol side that are well organised with a highly talented squad including some world class talent in their team.“Marcus Smith has been unable to train with the team yet this week after a heavy knock in the fixture against Exeter Chiefs. Marcus has undergone, and now passed all HIA protocols, and we are excited with the impact he can make when he takes the field with his electric feet and running game.“So, Brett Herron will start at ten. During training this week he has controlled things beautifully in mixed weather and deserves the opportunity.”Harlequins Starting XV:1 Mark Lambert2 Scott Baldwin3 Simon Kerrod4 Glen Young5 Matt Symons6 James Chisholm7 Chris Robshaw8 Alex Dombrandt9 Danny Care10 Brett Herron11 Gabriel Ibitoye12 Paul Lasike13 Tom Penny14 Luke Northmore15 Aaron MorrisReplacements:16 Jack Musk17 Nick Auterac18 Will Collier19 Tevita Cavubati20 Will Evans21 Niall Saunders22 Marcus Smith23 Francis Saili[scriptless] Embed from Getty Imageslast_img read more

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Another divorce; Elise Perry and Tomway split up! |…

first_imgNew Delhi ∙ Another divorce news from the sports world shocked the fans. One of the number one all-rounders in women’s cricket, Australia’s Ellis Perry and Australian rugby player Matt Tomway have parted ways. The couple decided to separate after five years of marriage. Although there have been rumors that Perry and Matt Tomway have been at loggerheads for some time, they have denied the allegations. This is followed by the news of the divorce.The couple divorced earlier this year, according to a joint statement issued on Saturday. “We decided to divorce earlier this year with the utmost respect and esteem,” the statement said.‘In our present life it seems appropriate for both of us to separate from each other. This is a mutually agreed decision that has been in place for a few months. Our married life has always been driven entirely privately. We urge you to respect our privacy even in this difficult moment in your life ‘- both of them demanded in the statement. Rumors of a feud between the two first surfaced when it was noticed that Ellis Perry did not wear a wedding ring at the Australian Cricket Awards in February this year. For the third year in a row, Perry never mentioned her husband, Matt Tomway, in his speech at the Belinda Clark Awards for Best Female Actress in Australia. With this, the rumors intensified.However, the two had made it clear in public that they were not separated. Perry did not wear a wedding ring at the cricket awards ceremony because of a finger injury. An advertisement was issued in this regard. A picture of Tomwa embracing Perry was released during the Twenty20 World Cup in Australia when he was ruled out due to injury. Perry posted a picture of the two exercising together on Instagram in May. This was followed by a joint statement earlier this year stating that they had decided to end the relationship.Elise Perry or ‘Wonder Child’!Elise Perry is the only female athlete to have played in both the Cricket World Cup and the Football World Cup. Ellis Perry was part of the team that won the recent Twenty20 Women’s World Cup. However, he missed the semi-finals and final due to injury during the tournament. Perry suffered a hamstring injury in the group stage match against New Zealand by 4 runs.Ellis Perry, 29, is a two-time ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year. He has played in eight Tests, 112 ODIs and 120 Twenty20 Internationals in his decade-long career. He scored 624 runs and took 31 wickets in Tests at an average of 78.00. He took 3022 runs and 152 wickets at an average of 52.10 in ODIs and 1218 runs and 114 wickets at an average of 28.32 in T20I. Perry is ranked No. 1 in ODIs and No. 2 in Twenty20 rankings in the ICC rankings.Ellis, the central defender in football, is credited with helping Australia reach the quarter-finals of the 2011 World Cup. A beautiful goal in the pre-quarter against Sweden was born out of that boot. He is not currently active in football as he places more emphasis on cricket.English Summary: Ellyse Perry and Matt Toomua split after almost five years of marriagelast_img read more

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Haitian-American Lawyer Becomes First Black Woman to Serve on New Jersey…

first_imgAt the time of her nomination, she described the historic moment as the “honor of a lifetime.” Earlier in the week, the Democratic-led New Jersey Senate Judiciary Committee had also voted unanimously to advance Fabiana Pierre-Louis’s nomination. Fabiana Pierre-Louis and her sons at a June event announcing her nomination to the New Jersey Supreme Court.Credit…Pool photo by Chris Pedota (NY Times) “Their work ethic is something I’ve always looked up to,” Pierre-Louis said. Pierre-Louis, 39 – a former prosecutor, who moved, with her parents, from Brownsville, Brooklyn, when she was 8, to Irvington, New Jersey – succeeds Justice Walter Timpone, who reaches the mandatory retirement age of 70 in November, on the New Jersey Supreme Court. She said her father was a taxi driver New York City, while her mother worked for 20 years at the then St. Vincent’s Hospital in Manhattan. “I know how important it is for young people to see people who look like them, or come from similar neighborhoods as them, or similar backgrounds, to see those people in positions of leadership,” Pierre-Louis said. Currently a partner in the New Jersey law firm of Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads, LLP, Pierre-Louis is just over 20 years younger than the next-youngest member of the New Jersey Supreme Court, Chief Justice Stuart Rabner, who is 60.center_img A New York-born Haitian American lawyer has created history by becoming the first Black woman to serve on New Jersey’s Supreme Court after the full Senate voted unanimously to confirm her last week. Pierre-Louis lauded her Haitian-born parents, who, she said, made sacrifices so she could attend law school. “They worked extremely hard coming to a country, where they didn’t speak the language, didn’t know many people and really established themselves.” With her nomination, Pierre-Louis becomes the youngest person to serve as Justice on New Jersey’s highest court. She could sit on the court for up to 30 years before reaching the mandatory retirement age. “Fabiana is an exceptionally talented attorney, and will now have the historic distinction of becoming the first Black woman to be seated on our state’s highest court,” said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, who had nominated Pierre-Louis, the daughter of Haitian immigrants, on June 5, in a statement. CMClast_img read more

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MLS Star Fanendo Adi Open To NPFL Swansong (AUDIO)

first_imgColumbus Crew star forward Fanendo Adi has welcomed the idea of retiring in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) if the opportunity arises.The 29-year-old former AS Trencin striker says he would love to play in the NPFL ‘even if it is just one or two games’ before hanging his boots.However, the former Super Eagles and U-23 invitee disclosed that he won’t be involved in the long-distant journeys NPFL clubs usually embark on during away matches if he is to play in the domestic topflight.“I follow the local league in Nigeria a little bit, especially Lobi Stars, because, as you know, I have watched them a few times when I was on holiday and when they played continental, and all of that,” he said while reacting to questions on NSM WhatsApp Group at the weekend.Audio Playerhttps://www.busybuddiesng.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Fanendo-June-1.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Download Audio“I never got the opportunity to play in Nigeria because I left very early, And to retire there? Yes, it’s something possible, even if it’s just a game. I want to play in the Nigerian league even if it is just one or two games, I just wanna see what it feels like. You know the environment, obviously, I’m not going to be travelling from one place to another.“But it is something that I don’t mind doing. I don’t mind playing for a team there (Nigeria) even for a week or for just a month, and then, retire.”In March 2016, Adi was also called up to the Super Eagles squad to face Egypt in a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier, but he was not used by then head coach Samson Siasia.Before moving to the Major League Soccer (MLS) in 2014, Adi had spells in Ukraine with the likes of Dynamo Kyiv and Metalurh Donetsk, Slovakian side AS Trencin and FC Copenhagen of Denmark.Relatedlast_img read more

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Deery Series, IMCA Hawkeye Dirt Tour at West Liberty for June 14 twinbill

first_imgWEST LIBERTY, Iowa (June 10) – The Deery Brothers Summer Series and the Hawkeye Dirt Tour pack another 1-2 Tuesday night punch, this time on June 14 at West Liberty Raceway.While the IMCA Late Model tour has made 13 previous visits to West Liberty, most recently when the 30th annual series opened on April 9, next Tuesday’s event marks the first-ever visit there by the tour for Xtreme Motor Sports IMCA Modifieds.The Deery feature pays $2,000 to win and minimum $300 to start while the Dirt Tour pays $1,000 to win and a minimum of $150 to take the main event green. The Modified feature is also a quali­fier for the 2016 Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot.Pit gates open at 5 p.m. and the grandstand opens at 5:30 p.m. Hot laps are at 6:30 p.m. with racing to follow.Denny Eckrich of Tiffin was the Deery winner on opening night at West Liberty. While Curt Martin of Independence, Scott Fitzpatrick of Wheatland, Joel Callahan of Dubuque and Ray Guss Jr. of Milan, Ill., have followed him to victory lane in the four series events held since, it’s seven-time tour champion Jeff Aikey currently leading the way in the points race.Grundy Center’s Joel Rust won the first two Hawkeye Dirt Tour events and paces the standings for that series. Brian Irvine of Oelwein took the checkers at the most recent HDT event, Thursday at Kossuth County Speedway.More information about next Tuesday’s race program is available by calling 563 744-3620 and at the www.simmonspromotionsinc.com website.Deery Brothers Summer Series top 20 point standings – 1. Jeff Aikey, Cedar Falls, 224; 2. John Emerson, Waterloo, 214; 3. Ryan Dolan, Lisbon, 212; 4. Tyler Bruening, Decorah, 211; 5. Richie Gustin, Gilman, 205; 6. Matt Ryan, Davenport, 198; 7. Joel Callahan, Dubuque, 190; 8. Scott Fitzpatrick, Wheatland, 188; 9. Darrel DeFrance, Marshalltown, 184; 10. Andy Nezworski, Buffalo, 183; 11. Joe Zrostlik, Long Grove, 180; 12. Cayden Carter, Oskaloosa, 176; 13. Chad Holladay, Muscatine, 164; 14. Tyler Droste, Waterloo, 162; 15. Jason Rauen, Farley, 141; 16. Curt Schroeder, Newton, and Gary Webb, Blue Grass, both 134; 18. Rob Toland, Davenport, 133; 19. Ray Guss Jr., Milan, Ill., 129; 20. Denny Eckrich, Tiffin, 122.Hawkeye Dirt Tour top 20 point standings – 1. Joel Rust, Grundy Center, 107; 2. Chris Abel­son, Sioux City, 104; 3. Brian Irvine, Oelwein, and Corey Dripps, Reinbeck, both 100; 5. Kyle Brown, State Center, 91; 6. Richie Gustin, Gilman, 81; 7. Tom Berry Jr., Boone, and Kelly Shryock, Fertile, both 74; 9. Mark Elliott, Webster City, 72; 10. Tim Ward, Harcourt, 69; 11. David Brown, Kellogg, 67; 12. Ryan Maitland, Waterloo, 61; 13. Mike Van Genderen, Newton, 60; 14. Joe Docekal, Dysart, Troy Cordes, Dunkerton, and Nick Roberts, LaCrosse, Wis., each 58; 17. Shane DeMey, Denison, 51; 18. Ronn Lauritzen, Jesup, 48; 19. Brandon Maitland, Waterloo, 40; 20. Todd Shute, Des Moines, 39.last_img read more

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Murray captures IMCA Modified victory at Marshalltown

first_imgMARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (June 24) – Jacob Murray captured his third win in the Xtreme Motor Sports IMCA Modifieds while Donavon Smith picked up another victory in the IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars Friday at Marshalltoewn Speedway.Joey Schaefer won for the first time in the Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod division and Eric Stanton got back on track, winning the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock feature.Murray started ninth in the Modified feature. He put his no. 48J ride to the topside and reeled in the front running cars quickly.  When a yellow flew at lap four, Murray was already sitting in third place behind Jake Strayer and leader Jenae Gustin.When the race restarted, Murray put it to the top again, and passed both Strayer and Gustin and was scored the leader at lap five.  From there on, he shook off all challenges and swept to the win, his third of the season.  Richie Gustin, who did not run his heat race, and had to start dead last in 20th spot, flew through the pack to finish as runner up, and hard charger of the race. Cody Laney, the California racer who is back in the area for some Iowa racing, finished third.By lap four of the Stock Car main, it was the familiar no. 35 of Smith lurking in second.  When a yellow flew at lap eight, Smith was ready for the restart, and made the pass for the lead.  He then kept the rest of the pack at bay the remaining laps to the finish and the win.A good battle brewed in the closing laps between Dave Atcher and eighth place starter Damon Murty, with Murty winning out for the runner-up spot and Atcher going third.After Stanton had his perfect streak ended last week by Gene Nicklas, he got back to victory lane this week by winning the 15-lap Hobby Stock feature.  Stanton started eighth and by lap four had claimed the lead.  He then pulled away to win by a comfortable margin, holding back Jamie Songer in second and 11th starting Chad LeGere en route to his eighth local win of the year.Joey Schaefer took home the trophy in the 18-lap feature event for the Northern SportMods. Shaefer got the lead by lap three and never looked back on his way to victory lane.  A distance behind in second was 17th starting Jared VanDeest and 10th starting Brayton Carter in third. Carter VanDenBerg rallied through the field from starting 21st to take fourth.last_img read more

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