Monthly Archives:July 2019

Djokovic targets year-end tennis hat-trick ( admin posted on July 17th, 2019 )

Paris Masters champion Novak Djokovic is braced for a triple quickfire challenge of winning the ATP World Tour Finals, the Davis Cup and finishing the year as world No.

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The 26-year-old produced some of his best tennis to beat Spain’s David Ferrer 7-5 7-5 in Sunday’s Paris final, winning his third straight ATP title and extending his winning streak to 17 matches.

Djokovic claimed his 40th title in his eighth final of the year during which he won more than 60 matches to be back on Rafael Nadal’s heels to reclaim the top ranking.

He became just the 15th player to reach the 40-title milestone.

“I am definitely playing the best tennis this year, including the start of the year with the Australian Open and Dubai that I had a great run.

“You know, summer was up and down, and now again I’m playing on a very high level and have lots of confidence in myself, in my game,” said Djokovic, after wins in Dubai, Monte Carlo, Beijing and Shanghai and reaching the Wimbledon and US Open finals.

“You know, physically it’s very demanding, but it’s not just me that is tired and has played many matches. All of the top players have had long seasons, and you just have to try to find the strength, find a way to recuperate, recover.”

Djokovic paid tribute to Ferrer for his attitude.

“He is the defending champion, and obviously he enjoys playing on this surface in these conditions. I knew that coming into the match I’m going to have to work for my points.

“He’s a great competitor, one of the most respected guys on tour because he works hard and he’s very humble and he’s a very nice person.

“The opening four or five games … he was a better player. He was … running me around the court.”

Ferrer was dignified in defeat after missing a second Masters title after winning Paris last year.

“With 5-5 in the second, I didn’t serve so good. With Nole, if I don’t take the chances, it’s impossible to beat him.”

“With Nole (Djokovic) or Rafa (Nadal) or Roger (Federer) or Andy Murray, I don’t have these breaks, not in important moments.”

Six-time grand slam winner Djokovic is pooled with Federer, Juan Martin del Potro and Richard Gasquet at the London World Tour Finals, but has only 48 hours to recover before his opener against the Swiss.

Djokovic, who reached three grand slam finals in the same year for the third straight season, has London on his mind but also the Davis Cup final against the Czech Republic and the world No.1 spot which Nadal took back last month.

“I’m at the good spot at this moment. I enjoy tennis. I enjoy competing. I have a right schedule, even though, you know, it’s going to be three weeks now in a row for me: Paris, London and the Davis Cup final.”

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Election court battles can take months ( admin posted on July 17th, 2019 )

The West Australian Senate election debacle could extend well into 2014 before it’s resolved, if events from Queensland’s electoral past are anything to go by.

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At the Queensland state election on July 15, 1995, the opposition Liberal-National coalition raised concerns about the way the poll in the seat of Mundingburra was conducted.

Then-Labor minister Ken Davies won the north Queensland seat by 16 votes, which allowed the embattled Goss government to retain power by just one seat.

But Liberal candidate Frank Tanti claimed voters had been impersonated and some voters had cast more than one vote.

Six weeks later, a Queensland Supreme Court judge ruled the Liberal party petition challenging the win should be allowed to proceed.

It wasn’t until December 8 that Justice Ambrose, sitting in the Court of Disputed Returns, declared there should be a by-election in the seat.

Justice Ambrose found a total of 39 votes that weren’t counted should have been, and seven votes that were counted shouldn’t have been.

The by-election – which was scrutinised around the nation – didn’t take place until February 3, 1996.

Mr Tanti was declared the winner two days later.

Conservative independent MP Liz Cunningham then sided with the coalition, the Goss government fell and the Liberals’ Rob Borbidge was made premier.

State parliament did not sit until February 21, 1996 – just over seven months from the time the voting anomalies were first discovered.

Sorting out legal questions over the WA Senate election across an entire state could take much longer, potentially pushing the final result into the middle of 2014.

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Roar young guns ready to fire in A-League ( admin posted on July 17th, 2019 )

They might have put their hand up for Brisbane but the Roar’s young brigade must be prepared to get them dirty against Central Coast on Sunday and “whack them back” if it gets physical, captain Matt Smith says.

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Impressed by the way the likes of youngsters Kwame Yeboah, Brandon Borrello and Corey Brown have slotted in for a depleted Brisbane, Smith has encouraged stars Besart Berisha, Shane Stefanutto and Liam Miller not to rush back from injury.

The young trio chimed into Brisbane’s 3-0 win over lowly Melbourne Heart on Sunday that moved the Roar back to the top of the A-League ladder.

However, Smith warned a stern test loomed for his Roar cubs on Sunday against defending champions Central Coast at Gosford.

But he backed his youngsters to rise to the daunting challenge even if their arch rivals tried to intimidate them with a more physical approach.

“I hope our young kids whack them back, to be completely honest,” he said.

“I don’t think we are a nasty team. We don’t look to play that way.

“But sometimes you do need to mix it up.

“These (young) guys have been impressing at training and rightly deserve their shot and will only get better for it.

“I expect them to play a key role this season.”

Socceroos defender Jade North (groin) looks set to return against the Mariners but Berisha (hamstring), Miller (calf) and Stefanutto (hamstring) are expected to miss at least another week.

Not that Smith was complaining.

“I have told them not to rush,” he said. “You can’t push them.

“I would rather they miss a couple more weeks then for them to come back early and be out for another month.

“At the moment, I am not expecting them to be involved (on Sunday).”

Smith said the onus was on the entire team – not just his young brigade – to lift against Central Coast after another unsatisfactory effort on Sunday.

Brisbane again suffered a slow start against the winless Heart but pulled out a third win in four games thanks to an Henrique brace.

“Yesterday wasn’t up to scratch,” Smith said.

“You will take a win any day of the week but there is a lot for us to work on.

“We can’t take half an hour to get into games.

“That’s something we are very conscious of going into this week.”

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WA estuary searched for more explosives ( admin posted on July 17th, 2019 )

The West Australian waterway where the deadly chemical explosive TATP was found continues to be scoured for more of the highly volatile substance.

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After a member of the public last week discovered some 3kg of TATP hidden underwater near a jetty at Leschenault Estuary at Australind, a second package was discovered 36 hours later.

Both were blown up in controlled operations.

The second package was detonated by navy divers at the estuary after the first package was mistaken for drug-making chemicals and driven to police headquarters in Perth – prompting the shutdown of streets and evacuation of buildings when officers realised it was a deadly substance.

The mistake has also prompted a review of police protocols when suspicious substances are discovered.

The search for more chemicals continued over the weekend and on Monday, navy divers were assisting police with a broader search of the estuary.

A WA Police spokesman said there was no information to suggest there were more volatile objects in the area.

“Anyone intending on travelling within the estuary area is reminded to exercise caution and follow the directions of police officers at all times,” he said.

Police continue to investigate who hid the chemicals in the estuary and are not ruling out the possibility they had sinister plans, including terrorism.

TATP, which can be manufactured from household ingredients and is known as “Mother of Satan”, was used in the 2005 London bombings.

The discoveries last week coincided with a major gathering of foreign ministers and diplomats in Perth, the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation meetings.

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Melbourne Cup field draws crowd to parade ( admin posted on July 17th, 2019 )

They filed along in an orderly line but on Tuesday they will do everything they can to get a nose in front.

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There were 24 contenders in the parade, and while each horse and jockey will do its best to cross the line first, there’s plenty of talk of whether it will be the year for Gai Waterhouse.

Her horse Fiorente, the runner-up in the 2012 Melbourne Cup, is being widely tipped as the one to watch this year.

 

Jockey Damien Oliver said the horse had been trained specifically for this year’s Melbourne Cup.

“He ran second last year and (Waterhouse) had a full year with the horse now from last year and he’s been trained specifically for this race,” Oliver said.

“He’s had a great preparation.”

WATCH: SBS reporter Glenn Osbourne reports from the Melbourne Cup parade

But for Waterhouse to claim her first Cup win, she will have to overcome last year’s winner Green Moon, whose jockey Brett Prebble is also feeling confident.

Asked if Green Moon could do it again, Prebble simply said “he’s proven”.

However, he is mindful of the close field.

“It’s a very even, very competitive field,” Prebble said.

“There are probably 18 horses that you could make a case for a win.”

Melbourne Cup devotee Tom Blair picked Green Moon to win last year, but the Cowra resident – who has travelled to Melbourne for the race every year for the past 33 years – doesn’t think Green Moon has it in him to do it again.

For 2013 his money will be on Hawkspur.

 

Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle is tipping Seville from Lloyd Williams’ stable.

“My grandad used to say ‘it’s not who owns the Melbourne Cup who surprises you, it’s who doesn’t,” Mr Doyle said.

“There are so many good horses in it that many of them can win.”

Lisa Glasby, who came all the way from Tweed Heads to watch the Melbourne Cup, said the parade was part of the exciting lead-up to the real thing.

“We’ve been a racing family from way back … but it will be my first time at the Cup.”

Television host Matt Preston, who was studying a form guide despite accessorising his sage-coloured suit with a Mount Athos cap, urged punters to use it as an opportunity to improve their betting odds.

“It’s a great chance to get last-minute tips,” Mr Preston said.

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