Miami Gardens, Mar 23 (AP/UNB) — Facing the setting sun, Serena Williams tried to shield her eyes with her left hand as she hit a shot, lost the point and then waved in frustration at the bothersome glare.
Later, after a seesaw victory in her first match at the Miami Open's new site, she was able to joke about the unwanted spotlight.
"A lot of photographers came," Williams said. "I thought, 'This must be good light.' I thought about taking a selfie, but you've got to stay in the moment."
Williams played poorly for a stretch and was broken three times but steadied her game in the final set to beat Rebecca Peterson 6-3, 1-6, 6-1. She avoided a repeat of last year, when she was eliminated in the first round by Naomi Osaka.
That was Williams' farewell to Key Biscayne, where she won eight titles. Only Martina Navratilova and Steffi Graf have won any women's tournament more times.
Six-time men's champion Novak Djokovic won his opening match under the lights, beating Bernard Tomic 7-6 (2), 6-2.
With the Miami Open's move to the Dolphins' stadium complex, players are adjusting to the unfamiliar setting. The No. 1-ranked Osaka beat qualifier Yanina Wickmayer 6-0, 6-7 (3), 6-1, but she and Williams both found the mix of sun and shadows in the cavernous stadium a challenge.
"It was interesting," Williams said. "First it was dark out there, which was really odd. The shadows were so intense it was dark, and then ... there was light."
She chuckled and said, "Whatever. I need to focus on playing better or not being in the tournament much longer."
Osaka agreed that any issues with visibility weren't worth complaining about. She hit 14 aces and overcame a ragged stretch in the second set, when she became so frustrated she threw her racket.
"I had a bit of a dip," Osaka said. "It was really hard for me, I think, emotionally in the second set, because I just started thinking about winning, not exactly the things I could do in order to win."
Williams' match followed a similar pattern, but she regrouped after a flurry of errors in the second set.
"I said, 'Serena, you can play a lot better than that,'" she said.
While the outer courts were crowded on a mild, cloudless afternoon, there were only a few thousand spectators for Williams' match in the 13,800-seat stadium, with temporary stands on three sides and a net replacing the 50-yard line.
"It was a different court, but it was a beautiful court," said Williams, who happens to own a small share of the Dolphins. "It's so different from anything I've played on in my entire career, so I was super excited."
The mood was mostly subdued, although when Williams whacked a backhand winner with a grunt that echoed in the upper deck, the fans added their own roar to hers.
The match victory was the 76th for Williams in the tournament, but she hasn't won a Miami Open title since 2015. She hasn't won any tournament since the 2017 Australian Open, before she took a break of more than a year to become a mom.
The match was her first since she retired at Indian Wells two weeks ago because of a viral illness.
On the men's side, defending champion John Isner hit 20 aces, lost only 11 points on his serve and beat qualifier Lorenzo Sonego 7-6 (2), 7-6 (7). No. 3-seeded Dominic Thiem, coming off the biggest title of his career Sunday at Indian Wells, lost his opening match to Hubert Hurkacz 6-4, 6-4.
No. 5 Kei Nishikori was upset by Dusan Lajovic 2-6, 6-2, 6-3. Lajovic improved to 3-14 against top-10 players.
In other women's play, Canadian 18-year-old Bianca Andreescu, who overcame a match point to win her opening match, reached the third round by beating No. 32 Sofia Kenin 6-3, 6-3. Andreescu won her first career title last week at Indian Wells.
Defending Miami Open champion Sloane Stephens beat Ons Jabeur 6-2, 6-3. Three-time champion Venus Williams overcame a wobbly start to beat No. 24 Carla Suarez Navarro 7-6 (4), 6-1.
Dhaka, Mar 22 (UNB) — Prime Bank Cricket Club beat Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League (DPDCL) defending champions Abahani by 16 runs on Friday riding on Anamul Haque’s century.
Abahani tasted the first loss of the season coming into the fifth round of the league. But they are still at number one on the points table with four wins in five matches.
Prime Bank also won four matches in five games and are at number two on the points table because of lower run rate.
In the day’s match, the defending champions won the toss and decided to bowl first at Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium. Prime Bank posted 302/5 in 50 overs, riding on Anamul’s 102 – his third consecutive century in the league.
Abhimanyu Easwaran (85) and Ariful Haque (51) played some quality cricket to help the team post a big total.
For Abahani, Rubel Hossain, Mosaddek Hossain Saikat, Nazmul Islam, Soumya Sarkar and Sunzamul Islam bagged one wicket each.
The champions tumbled for 286 in 48.5 overs despite some good efforts from Wasim Jaffer (94), Najmul Islam Shanto (73) and Mosaddek Hossain (52).
Abahani suffered a big blow at the start of their innings when Jahurul Islam was removed by Mohor Sheikh. They lost the second wicket on 63 runs.
However, in the third-wicket stand, Wasim Jaffer and Najmul Hossain added 132 runs. But, Mohammad Mithun (2) and Sabbir Rahman (10) disappointed.
Nahidul Islam, Abdur Razzak and Al Amin took three wickets each for Prime Bank.
Dhaka, Mar 22 (UNB) — Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club showed some quality cricket on Friday, beating Mohammedan Sporting Club by two wickets in Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League (DPDCL) in a last-ball thriller.
Sheikh Jamal needed five runs in the last ball when all-rounder Enamul Haque hit a six off Alauddin Babu to seal the match in Savar.
Mohammedan batted first on the batting-friendly pitch but failed to post a big total. They were all out for 240 in 49.1 overs. Only Abdul Mazid (52) hit a half-century. Mohammad Ashraful (44), Chaturanga de Silva (49) and Sohag Gazi (32) played some decent shots.
Sheikh Jamal’s Salahuddin Shakil took three wickets while Asela Gunaratne bagged two.
Chasing the target, Sheikh Jamal lost wickets at regular intervals. Opener Imtiaz Hossain posted 74, the team’s highest individual score.
Tanbir Hyder (39), Nasir Hossain (20), Nurul Hasan (32) and Enamul Haque-2 (28) also pushed their team to the second victory of the season (242/8 in 50 overs).
Right-arm spinner Sohag Gazi took three wickets for Mohammedan while Chaturanga took two.
It was Mohammedan’s second defeat and Sheikh Jamal’s second win in the season.
Rupganj beat Gazi
In the day’s other match, Legends of Rupganj beat Gazi Group Cricketers by eight wickets thanks to the massive 226-run third-wicket stand between Mehedi Maruf and Jaker Ali. Both of them hit centuries.
Rupganj won the toss and decided to bowl first. Gazi posted 259 for nine wickets in 50 overs at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium. Parvez Rasool (86), Imrul Kayes (48) and Rony Talukdar (29) were the best batsmen for Gazi.
For Rupganj, Muktar Ali bagged two wickets while Mohammad Shahid, Rishi Dhawan, Naeem Islam Minhazur Rahman took one each.
While replying, Rupganj lost two wickets in 27 runs. However, in the third wicket stand, Maruf and Jaker posted 226 runs and won the game for their team (253/2 in 45.3 overs).
Dhaka, Mar 22 (UNB) – The Sikder Group Independence Day Golf Cup Tournament 2019 was inaugurated on Friday at Kurmitola Golf Course.
Lieutenant General Md Shafiqur Rahman, Chief of General Staff of Bangladesh Army, inaugurated the three-day tournament as the chief guest.
Chairman of R&R Aviation Ltd and R&R Holdings Ltd (Sikder Group) Rick Haque Sikder, Managing Director of R&R Aviation Ltd and R&R Holdings Ltd Ron Haque Sikder, Director and COO Syed Qamrul Islam Mohon and the Advisor of R&R Aviation Ltd Air Commodore (retd) Sakeb Iqbal Khan Majlis, and Advisor Farid Uddin Khan were also present.
The tee-off was witnessed by Major General Md Enayet Ullah, Vice President of Kurmitola Golf Club, Brigadier General Abidur Reza Khan (retd) Chairman, Tournament Committee of Kurmitola Golf Club, Brigadier General GSM Hamidur Rahman(retd), CEO of Kurmitola Golf Club, Lieutenant Colonel Md Abdul Bari (retd), General Manager, Golf Operations, Kurmitola Golf Club, other civil and military high officials and businessmen.
Sikder Group, a leading business conglomerate, organised the event on the occasion of Independence and National Day for the seventh consecutive year.
Around 650 civil and military high officials, diplomats and businessmen are taking part in the event.
Miami Gardens, Mar 22 (AP/UNB) — Three-time tournament champion Venus Williams won her opening match Thursday at the new site of the Miami Open by beating Dalila Jakupovic 7-5, 6-3.
Williams, making her 20th appearance in the tournament, won the title in 1998, 1999 and 2001 when the event was played on Key Biscayne. It moved this year to the Miami Dolphins' complex, and Williams played in the stadium.
Cori Gauff, a 15-year-old wild card from Delray Beach, Florida, became the youngest player since 2009 to win a WTA Tour match when she beat Catherine McNally 6-3, 6-4.
Whitney Osuigwe, a 16-year-old qualifier from Bradenton, Florida, also earned her first WTA Tour victory. She beat Mari Osaka, 6-2, 6-4. Osaka is the sister of 2018 champion Naomi Osaka.
No. 3-seeded Petra Kvitova won her opening match by beating Maria Sakkari 6-1, 6-4.