London, Nov 14 (AP/UNB) — Sometimes no practice makes perfect — for Roger Federer anyway.
After cancelling his training session a day earlier, Federer produced a much-improved performance to get his campaign for a seventh ATP Finals title back on track with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Dominic Thiem on Tuesday.
Having lost his opening round-robin match to Kei Nishikori, the 20-time Grand Slam champion was still some way from his fluent best but dropped just six points on serve and took advantage of a wayward display from Thiem to break twice in both sets.
"(It) was not about my forehand or my backhand or my serve or anything," Federer said. "I guess it was my head. For that sometimes you need a break."
With a 1-1 record in round-robin play, Federer will likely need to defeat Kevin Anderson on Thursday to improve his 14-1 record of reaching the semifinals at the season-ending tournament.
It will be a repeat of a dramatic Wimbledon quarterfinal earlier this season, in which Anderson came from match point down in the third set to win in five on his route to the final.
"I'm happy I'm getting a chance to play him again and have a rematch," Federer said. "Hopefully I can take my revenge. It was a great match but obviously one that hurt."
Anderson thrashed Nishikori 6-0, 6-1 earlier Tuesday to move to 2-0, with the lopsided scoreline all but assuring the South African debutant's place in the last four.
Thiem is facing an opening-round exit at the O2 Arena for a third straight season and will need to defeat Nishikori in straight sets to have any chance of progressing.
"I really want to play a good match," Thiem said. "Doesn't matter if it's the last one here or not."
As had been the case in both players' opening-match losses on Sunday, unforced errors flowed early on. While Federer was able to compensate with his serve, Thiem was left exposed.
The Austrian's forehand gifted Federer a break for a 2-1 lead and then his volley came up short to help the Swiss star extend that advantage to 5-2.
Federer, who is chasing a 100th ATP Tour title, started to play more relaxed and seemed content with simply keeping the ball in play and waiting for mistakes. It worked, as another forehand mistake from Thiem put Federer in complete control in the second set.
A Federer backhand up the line set up match point and Thiem's 34th unforced error — another volley into the net — ended the day's second one-sided contest.
"I didn't feel good out there," Thiem said. "I was playing very, very bad. Many unusual mistakes."
The 32-year-old Anderson, who lost just eight points on serve, was on the verge of completing just the second whitewash in the competition's history until Nishikori won the penultimate game.
"Among the best I've played," Anderson said. "I think I did a really good job constantly applying the pressure and not letting up."
Anchorage, Nov 14 (AP/UNB) — A former University of Alaska Anchorage runner who lost both of his feet to frostbite in 2011 ran his first marathon and became an American citizen last week.
Marko Cheseto, 35, finished 613th overall out of nearly 53,000 runners at the New York City Marathon, the Anchorage Daily News reported Sunday. Two days later, he became a U.S. citizen.
Cheseto, who is from Kenya, went to Anchorage in 2008 on an athletic scholarship, quickly earning honors in track and cross country.
Grieving the death of another Anchorage runner from Kenya, Cheseto disappeared in the woods near campus in November 2011 — his senior year of school. Temperatures dipped to single digits, and it snowed more than a foot.
On the third day he was missing, Cheseto stumbled back with his shoes frozen to his feet, resulting in amputations.
Fitted with a pair of running blades, Cheseto began running again 18 months later. He graduated from the university, got married and had three children. He remained in Anchorage until his move to Orlando, Florida, earlier this year to work and train at Prosthetic & Orthotic Associates.
Cheseto finished the marathon last week in 2 hours, 52 minutes, 33 seconds — about 10 minutes off the world record for a double-leg amputee.
"I was happy with my time," Cheseto said. "My biggest challenge was going over the bridges, and sharp inclines. (It) is not an easy course running with blades, the last 0.2 was the hardest, after crossing Mile 26 mark, I was so ready to be done, and I couldn't see the finish line."
Cheseto said one of his goals "is to run with elites in one of the major marathons." He's also aiming for marathon time under two hours and 10 minutes.
Stan Patterson, the head prosthetist at Prosthetic & Orthotic Associates, said he believes the goal is achievable.
"The ultimate goal is to break the overall world record and finish a marathon in less than 2 hours. We believe that Marko is the man to do it," Patterson said.
London, Nov 14 (AP/UNB) — The English Premier League hired broadcasting executive Susanna Dinnage as chief executive on Tuesday, making her the most powerful female executive in global sports.
Dinnage will leave her role as global president of Discovery's Animal Planet brand early next year to succeed Richard Scudamore running the world's richest soccer competition.
Scudamore was CEO from 1999 to 2014 when he was promoted to executive chairman. The new structure will see the league have a separate CEO and non-executive chairman again, but the latter position has yet to be filled
"It represents the pinnacle of professional sport and the opportunity to lead such a dynamic and inspirational organization is a great privilege," Dinnage said. "With the support of clubs and the team, I look forward to extending the success of the league for many years to come."
The appointment of Dinnage highlights the league's focus on broadcasting, as most of its revenue comes from selling television rights. She started her career at MTV Networks and spent the last decade at Discovery.
"We had a very strong field, but Susanna was the outstanding choice given her track record in managing complex businesses through transformation and digital disruption," said Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck, who played a role in the appointment. "She is a leading figure in the broadcasting industry, a proven business executive and a great developer of people."
Scudamore has overseen the value of the Premier League's broadcasting rights soaring 12-fold to more than 8 billion pounds ($10 billion), with Comcast-owned British pay-TV operator Sky the league's biggest TV partner.
While running Discovery's British operation last year, Dinnage threatened to remove their portfolio of channels from the Sky platform in a row over costs.
"Pay television needs to be about more than just films and football," Dinnage said. "The consumer can't be expected to fund all of Sky's investments and get less and less choice in return."
Dinnage will not have to negotiate a rights deal with Sky for a couple of years. Sky, which has aired the Premier League since its inception in 1992, signed a new deal in February worth 3.579 billion pounds to show 128 games per season from 2019 to 2022.
Scudamore's longevity highlighted his ability to avoid major rows between the clubs, with 14 out of 20 Premier League teams having to agree on any changes to the rules.
Dinnage has to maintain that same unity between the smaller teams and powerful wealthy clubs, including Liverpool and Manchester rivals City and United, who have been pushing for a greater slice of foreign television revenue.
She will also have to navigate the league through uncertainty as Britain prepares to leave the European Union in March, with there being big question marks about English clubs' access to players from the continent if free movement of labor ends.
"Like many other organizations dependent on a combination of domestic and international talent, we are waiting to better understand what the political and regulatory landscape will be after the UK leaves the European Union," the league said in a separate statement Tuesday. "Access to talented footballers from across Europe has played a key part in the growth of the Premier League, with match attendance and global interest increasing significantly as high quality foreign players have taken their place in the competition with and against the best British and Irish players.
"We have held positive discussions with Government about the importance of access to European players for our clubs, and the many cultural and economic benefits a globally popular Premier League brings to the UK."
Dhaka, Nov 13 (UNB) – Sunamganj DSA made a good start beating Narayanganj DSA by 17-9 goals in The Exim Bank 28th National Men’s Handball Championship at the Shaheed Captain (Retd) M Mansur Ali National Handball Stadium here on the opening day on Tuesday.
The championship was organised by Bangladesh Handball Federation (BHF) where Sunamganj DSA leaded the first half by 10-4 goals in the official opening match in the afternoon, although the competition began in the morning.
Earlier, Secretary General of Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA) Syed Shaheed Reza inaugurated meet in the afternoon.
Director of the meet’s sponsor Exim Bank Nurul Amin Faruq was also present on the occasion as special guest.
A total of 29 district teams, split into eight groups, were initially taking part in the competition.
Dhaka, Nov 13 (UNB) – The Faldo Series Asia- Bangladesh Championship, a regular junior golf tournament of the country under the supervision of Bangladesh Golf Federation and sponsored by Army Golf Club, kicked off on Tuesday at Kurmitola Golf Club in Dhaka Cantonment.
It is a qualifying tournament for the “Faldo Series Asia and Grand Final” scheduled to be held at Laguna Lang Co Golf Club of Vietnam in March next.
Area Commander of Logistic Area and Junior Division President of Bangladesh Golf Federation Major General M Nazrul Islam and Administrtator of Faldo Series for Asia and Europe Rafidi Bin Ramlan inaugurated the three-day meet in the afternoon.
Some 79 junior golfers (boys and girls) from Bangladesh Army, Baagladesh Golf Academy and 10 affiliated clubs are taking part in different age group competitions.
The Faldo series, the largest junior tour, participated by 40 countries acorss the world under the cooperation of highest body of world golf —Royal & Ancient (R&A) and Asian Tour.