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Serena returns to Wimbledon seeking eighth title

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London :Four weeks on from her run to the last 16 at the French Open, Serena Williams is back at Wimbledon, having missed last year’s event as she prepared for the birth of her daughter.
Ranked 183 after just three tournaments back, the seven-time champion will go into Wimbledon as the 25th seed, the seeding committee having deviated from the WTA ranking list, an exception because she is coming back after maternity leave.
Having pulled out before her fourth-round match in Paris with a pectoral injury, Williams did not play a warm-up event on grass. Instead she arrived early at Wimbledon and has been practising hard under the eye of her coach Patrick Mouratoglou.
Such is the aura the American brings with her to south west London, British bookmakers make her second favourite for the title, behind the two-time champion, Petra Kvitova.
Three months short of her 37th birthday, it is 16 years since she first won Wimbledon and as she continues to regain full fitness, she knows an eighth title is a big ask.
“Roland Garros was a mountain way steeper than the other mountains I’ve climbed,” she told her documentary, Being Serena, which is being streamed on Eurosport Player.
“And….I can honestly say that I didn’t enjoy all the demands and all the tugging.
“It’s a lot of stress and it’s a lot of pressure. But I have support that I’ve never had before. I have Olympia and I have my husband and it made it a little bit easier.”
Combining being a mum and a professional tennis player presents additional challenges but Williams says motherhood has changed the way she looks at things.
“I’ve been a perfectionist my whole life,” she said. “And I feel like Olympia has made it lesser for me.
“On the court sometimes, when I’m really down, I think about her. I’m like, ‘Serena relax, you can do this’. If anything, she enables me to believe in myself more and relax and realise that there are other things that are more important.”
At the French Open, Williams showed she has lost none of her fighting spirit, with wins over Ashleigh Barty and Julia Goerges particularly impressive.
With such a formidable record at Wimbledon, where she last won the title in 2016, Williams will still be confident she can do well again, though she admits it has been tough to re-programme her post-pregnancy body.
“It wasn’t as tight as I was used to,” she told ABC’s Good Morning America programme. “I’ve played tennis for over 30 years, so I’m so used to (being) incredibly fit.“But I realised every single body is different. Every single experience is different. I honestly didn’t realize that until a month ago.”
But feeling less than superhuman, she said, had actually given her a new lease of life.
“I definitely have a new sense of determination, new sense of expectations,” she told ‘Being Serena’. “I guess it all starts again where I have to be this athlete that I know I can be.”


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TRAU FC qualify for I-League, beat Ozone FC to win second division league

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NEW DELHI: The All India Football Federation (AIFF) lauded Manipur club Tiddim Road Athletic Union FC for winning the Hero 2nd Division League 2018-19, and qualifying to the next edition of Hero I-League.

They are the second club from the state after NEROCA FC, to have qualified for the Hero I-League from the second tier in three years.

TRAU FC defeated Ozone FC 2-1 at the Khuman Lampak Stadium in Imphal to clinch the championship with one match left. The Manipuri side has amassed 15 points from five matches (so far), whereas second-placed Chhinga Veng FC are on 10 points having played an equal number of matches.

 

Sunando Dhar, CEO, I-League said: “Congratulations TRAU FC for the achievement. I’m sure the Hero I-League will be more competitive and challenging next season with their inclusion. I wish them all the best for the next endeavour.”

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I want more responsibility at PSG or elsewhere: Mbappe

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London: Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe has thrown his future at the club into doubt by claiming he has reached what he sees as a “turning point” in his career.

Speaking after accepting the Ligue 1 Player of the Year Award this evening, the 20-year-old French international suggested he would like a bigger role going forward after claiming the Ligue 1 title with PSG this season.

However, Mbappe said that role could come either at PSG or “maybe somewhere else”, casting his future into doubt while hinting that he could leave the club in search of a new challenge.

 

“Of course there were some disappointments [this season] but it’s part of football, we managed to win this league,” he said after accepting the award on Sunday.

“I would like to thank the players, the coach, the club again. It’s important for me because I come to a first or a second turning point in my career.

“I discovered a lot of things here. I feel it’s time to have more responsibility. I hope it may be Paris Saint-Germain, it will be with great pleasure, or it may be elsewhere for a new project, but I would like to say thank you.

Mbappe went on to clarify his comments when asked if he was saying that he wasn’t guaranteed to stay at PSG next season.

“I said what I had to say. When you are in such an occasion you can send messages, I think I have sent mine,” he said.

“If I speak more it will be too much and that is not the message I wish to send.”

Mbappe joined PSG in 2017 from Monaco, having won the league the season prior.

Since joining the club, Mbappe has won the league twice while also claiming a Coupe de France and a Coupe de la Ligue title.

Mbappe, who was a part of France’s World Cup-winning team in 2018, has scored 59 goals in 86 matches for the club while leading the league in scoring this campaign with 32 goals in Ligue 1 play and a total of 38 in all competitions.

Those achievements helped him claim the Ligue 1 Player of the Year award as well as the Young Player of the Year award.

“This is the only trophy I missed,” he said.

“I would first like to dedicate it to the president, Nasser [Al-Khelaifi], who is watching us, I know he had a tragedy this year so I would like to pay tribute to him, he has always been an honest man with me from the first day until today.

“I would also like to thank all the people who are here. It is the fourth year that I am here in this league.

“I have lived a lot many things that are rich in emotion: AS Monaco, where I was trained, where we managed to win the title, then Paris Saint-Germain for a totally different project, where I managed to adapt from the first year, to change positions this year.”

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Asif Ali’s daughter loses battle with cancer

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Islamabad: Pakistan batsman Asif Ali’s daughter, who suffered from stage four cancer, died in a hospital in the United States , Pakistan Super League (PSL) side Islamabad United has said.

Ali is currently on tour with the Pakistan national team in England and played in the 54-run defeat by the hosts in their final one-day international of the series.

“ISLU family pays its deepest condolences to @AasifAli2018 on the tragic loss of his daughter. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Asif & his family,” the PSL franchise said on Twitter on Monday.

 

“Asif is a great example of strength & courage. He is an inspiration to us.”

Dean Jones, who coached Islamabad to the PSL title last year, also sent his condolences to the cricketer’s family. “On behalf of my family and the @IsbUnited players and families… we send our condolences and love to @AasifAli2018 and his family on the passing of his beautiful daughter,” Jones said on Twitter.

Jones had broken down in tears at a media conference in March when talking about Ali and his daughter’s condition.

The 27-year-old Ali was not named in Pakistan’s World Cup squad but made the 17-man group for the series in England where the middle-order batsman hit two half-centuries in four innings.

Former captain and chairman of Pakistan’s selection committee Inzamam-ul-Haq said last month that Ali could be drafted into the side before the World Cup.

Teams have until May 23 to submit their final squads for the tournament which begins on May 30. Pakistan’s first game is against West Indies on May 31.

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