Sports

Top Ten Reasons Making Wimbledon Special

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Lawn tennis is a glamorous sport with its magnificent history. All the tennis players enjoy the stardom due to this sophisticated sport. Well! All those players who hone their talent at every hour of their life have a desire to play and win on Wimbledon’s Centre Court. Wimbledon is unique from its name to its character, and hence, this tournament has gained popularity all over the world.
Herein, we present some reasons making this tournament unique and special not only to the tennis stars but also to the viewers:-
1. Wimbledon is regarded as the oldest tennis tournament on the planet earth which is constantly played since 1877. Due to the elegance and an old foundation, it is regarded to be the symbol of prestige like all the other three Grand Slams but it is always given a higher rank.
2. Wimbledon tournament, has safely protected its authenticity and originality because it is now also played on grass thereby, protecting the name of the sport Lawn tennis unlike, the Australian Open, US Open and French Court which have now switched over to hard court, hard court and clay court respectively.
3. According to the strict rules and regulations of the tournament, the players are required to wear all cloth accessories even, hats, socks and shoes in white color. In the case the rule is not followed, the player stands disqualified. Even Roger Federer was once disqualified for wearing shoes highlighting orange soles.
4. Both the audience and players relish over the strawberries and cream, which serves as the typical stand food during the tournament. According to the librarian at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum that this tradition remains the same, right from the beginning since 1877 and strawberries and tennis are regarded as the signal informing that summers have arrived.
5. In this tournament, the players are referred to Mr, Miss and Mrs according to the marital status for the women. Though, the flexibility during the match is reported when the chair umpires address the male players with their names. However, the usage of Miss is still prevalent.
6. During the tournament of Wimbledon, the ball boys and girls who are called as BBGs have a significant role in the conduction of this elegant tournament. Ironically, the BBGs are ought to hide and not appear publically. They are supposed to fulfill their duties silently. From 2005, the BBGs are six in number at each court wherein, two of them serve at the net, and four are at the corners. These BBGs’ teams undergo rotation with one hour at the court followed by a rest for another hour.
7. The Wimbledon Centre Court tragically suffered destruction during the World War II. Accommodation section which catered to 1200 audience was destructed and the tournament was also suspended for some years. The roof of the new court is good enough to prevent hindrance in matches due to rains.
8. Wimbledon is symbol of prestige and idol of elegance. After all, it is the only Grand Slam having a distinction to get patronage from the Royal Family of Britain. The Royal Family has reserved accommodation in the Royal Box. It was a tradition previously that the players had to pay courtesy to all the royal family-members however, in 2003, this practice was halted by the Duke of Kent, the President of the All England Club and now players ought to pay courtesy to only Prince of Wales and monarch.
9. This tournament which lasts for a fortnight consumes several tennis balls which are ought to be rendered as a waste afterwards. However, the Wimbledon authorities never dispose them directly rather they are sent to serve as a ready-made home for harvest mouse, a threatened species of mice. The slit is cut in the outer surface of the balls and they are ready to serve as a shelter for the little creatures.
10. Wimbledon tournament has maintained its elegance and uniqueness throughout. It represents royalty and prestige. It is the only tournament wherein the sponsors do not advertise their products thus, originality of the tournament is not violated by the commercial strategies.
So, due to these known and unknown facts, Wimbledon tournament is special and unique telling its known story never influenced by any kind of circumstance.

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Premier League: Liverpool face Tottenham Hotspur test in quest for title

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Liverpool face arguably the toughest challenge remaining in their quest to end nearly three decades without a Premier League title when a Tottenham side with their own desperate need for points visit Anfield on Sunday.
Jurgen Klopp’s men hold a two-point lead over Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table but have played one game more meaning they need the champions to slip up at some point in their remaining eight games.
However, City face a brutal April schedule as they bid to complete a historic quadruple of trophies and still have to travel to local rivals Manchester United, as well as hosting Tottenham themselves Tricky trips to Southampton, Cardiff, and Newcastle, who are all battling for survival, await Liverpool but the majority of their seven remaining games are at fortress Anfield, where they have dropped just four points all season.
“They are unbeaten in the Premier League at Anfield, it is going to be a massive challenge,” admitted Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino. “We respect them, they are doing a good job.” Just a few weeks ago, Spurs could have circled Sunday’s visit as a chance to claw back ground in the title race themselves.
However, a run of just one point from their last four Premier League games has left Pochettino’s men, now 15 points adrift of Liverpool in third, scrambling just to protect their place in the top four.
Three weeks have passed since their last outing for Pochettino to stew over a 2-1 defeat at Southampton and the Argentine wants a reaction at Anfield.
“We are in a very good position in the Premier League and the Champions League, but of course it is not enough” added Pochettino.
“I feel little disappointed because in some periods during the season we were really good and some, like now, we are not showing our real quality.” A trip north kicks off a momentous week for Spurs as they will finally begin life in the club’s new 62,000 capacity stadium on Wednesday against Crystal Palace after months of delays.
Pochettino hailed the venue as “the best stadium in the world”, but its unveiling at a reported cost of 1 billion has only emphasised the need for Spurs to make sure it hosts Champions League football next season.
However, Klopp believes Tottenham will be buoyed just by the experience of training in their new home this week.
“I think these are exciting times for Tottenham. I saw only pictures of it and it looks pretty impressive,” he added.
“Tottenham played their last game three weeks ago, I don’t think anybody feels any defeat from three weeks ago.
“We expect the strongest Tottenham you can expect because I heard nothing about any injury problems or whatever. They had a few over the season but not in the moment, so there will be a strong side here. A world-class team will be here.” Indeed, Harry Kane continued his strong comeback from an ankle injury by scoring in both England’s comprehensive victories over the Czech Republic and Montenegro.
Kane’s streak of 12 goals in 13 matches for club and country has seen him move level with Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane on 17 Premier League goals, just one behind Man City’s Sergio Aguero in the race for the Golden Boot.
Salah pipped Kane to the award last season, but the Egyptian has scored just once in the last 10 games, while Mane has shouldered the goalscoring burden with 11 in as many games “I’m sure all the players up there will be looking to get that award,” said Kane.
“But it’s just a bonus. As a striker, I’ll be trying to help my team as much as possible.”

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Bahrain GP: Valtteri Bottas looking to repeat Albert Park performance

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Formula One’s Australian season-opener left Valtteri Bottas with a winning feeling that the Finn is determined to hang on to in Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
The 29-year-old Mercedes driver, who started the year in meaner and more aggressive mood, took a crushing victory in Melbourne two weeks ago to finish more than 20 seconds clear of teammate Lewis Hamilton.
The result handed him the maximum 25 points for the win plus an extra point for setting the fastest lap.
Buoyed by the margin and finding himself heading the championship standings for the first time, albeit with 20 races remaining, Bottas must try to stay ahead at Bahrain’s Sakhir circuit.
“When you feel you are performing at your best is a beautiful feeling,” the four times race winner told reporters on Thursday. “I now just need to keep the momentum and feel that again soon.”
Bahrain has been one of Bottas’s stronger venues in the past.

The Finn scored his first Formula One pole position around the 5.4-km layout and came within a second of snatching victory from Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel last year.
He is aware, however, that he could face a far tougher challenge on Sunday from Briton Hamilton and a resurgent Ferrari than he did in Australia.
“We were all positively surprised on the performance we had in Melbourne but… it is a bit of a funny circuit,” said the Finn.

“I would say here this weekend and (at the next race in) China, we’re going to get a much better picture of the real performance at this point of the year.”

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appointed as Manchester United manager

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Manchester United has confIrmed caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær as the club’s full time manager. He has been given a contract for three years. Ole took over United in December last year when the team’s fortune was virtually down in the dumps. From there, Ole has scripted an amazing turnaround with United winning 14 matches out of 19, with two draws.

United also won the first eight games under Ole at a stretch which was a much needed moral booster for the players still scathed from the Mourinho experience.

Ole is also a former United player with 366 caps in over a decade-long career with the club. Reacting to the announcement, he said, “From the first day I arrived, I felt at home at this special club,” said Solskjær. “It was an honour to be a Manchester United player, and then to start my coaching career here. The last few months have been a fantastic experience and I want to thank all of the coaches, players and staff for the work we’ve done so far. This is the job that I always dreamed of doing and I’m beyond excited to have the chance to lead the club long-term and hopefully deliver the continued success that our amazing fans deserve.”

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Captains had earlier decided against Mankading: Rajeev Shukla

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Indian Premier League Chairman Rajeev Shukla has claimed that IPL captains, including Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, had decided against ‘Mankading’ during a meeting held before one of the editions of the event.

Kings XI Punjab captain Ravichandaran Ashwin kicked up a storm on Monday after running out Rajasthan Royals’ Jos Buttler at the non-strikers’ end on his delivery stride, a legally permissible but controversial form of dismissal popularly called ‘Mankading’, in an IPL match in Jaipur.

Ashwin’s action was heavily criticised by RR’s brand ambassador Shane Warne, who also questioned those who found nothing wrong with it.Weighing into the matter, Shukla said a call had been taken to avoid such dismissals in a meeting of captains and match referees in which Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Kohli and Chennai Super Kings skipper Dhoni were also present.

“If I remember in one of the meetings of captains & match referee where I was also present as chairman it had been decided that if non striking batsman steps out bowler as a courtesy will not run him out @IPL @BCCI,” he tweeted.”Most probably this meeting was in Kolkata on the eve of one of the editions of ipl where Dhoni & Virat both were present @BCCI @IPL,” he added without specifying the exact edition before which this decision was made.Ashwin’s run out of Buttler is the first case of ‘Mankading’ in the 12 editions of the IPL.

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UEFA fines Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo for Atletico celebration

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Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo was fined 20,000 euros ($22,712) by UEFA for a gesture he made while celebrating in their Champions League victory over Atletico Madrid last week, European soccer’s governing body said on Thursday.

Ronaldo escaped a ban and will, therefore, be free to face Ajax Amsterdam in the quarter-finals, with the first leg to be played in the Netherlands on April 10.

Ronaldo, who scored a hat-trick as the Italian champions overturned a 2-0 deficit from the first leg to win 3-2 on aggregate against Atletico, gestured towards his groin with two hands.

Atletico coach Diego Simeone had celebrated in a similar way after his team’s opening goal in the first leg in the Spanish capital.

The Argentine coach was fined the same amount by UEFA’s Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Committee.

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Cricket

Basil Thampi reveals how IPL has taken his game to the next level

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Young Kerala pacer Basil Thampi feels the IPL has given him the confidence to bowl at just about any batsman in the world as the tournament is more challenging for the bowlers.

The 25-year-old uncapped pacer will be turning up for the Sunrisers Hyderabad this year after two seasons with the now dissolved Gujarat Lions.

“It is very challenging to bowl in the IPL because it is a batsmen’s game and we all know that. We should have confidence to bowl, that is the key. So, in the last three years I got the confidence to bowl at everyone. Whenever I get the ball, I want to deliver my best,” Thampi told PTI in an interaction.

The IPL season 12 commences on March 23.

Thampi is part of an impressive bowling line-up that also includes experienced swing bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sandeep Sharma, Siddharth Kaul and left-arm seamer Khaleel Ahmed.

“This coming season I want to do well. The most important thing is if I get a chance, I want to do well for the team. From the last experience, I learnt a lot for this team,” Thampi said.

The youngster said he will mostly stick to his stock delivery, which is the yorker.

“Because I have good yorkers, I guess, and I want to stick to it and, with that, some variations,” the right-arm medium pacer said.

According to Thampi, the most important thing which he learnt from the senior pacers was how to prepare his body.

Thampi said he shares a good rapport with his co-pacers.

“We know each other. Khaleel, Sandeep and Siddharth Kaul, we have played together in India A matches. We are (always) sharing our thoughts on and off the field,” he said.

Sunrisers will begin their IPL campaign against Kolkata Knight Riders on March 24 at the Eden Gardens. PTI NRB SSR GK

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PCB to pay $1.6 million to BCCI after losing legal dispute

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The Pakistan Cricket Board has paid the BCCI approximately USD 1.6 million as compensation after losing the case in the ICC’s Dispute Resolution Committee, PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani claimed on Monday.

“We incurred costs of around USD 2.2 million on the compensation case which we lost,” Mani said.

He insisted that besides the amount paid to India to cover the costs of the case the other expenses were related to legal fees and travelling.

The PCB had filed a compensation case against the BCCI last year before the ICC’s Dispute Resolution Committee for an amount of around USD 70 million.

PCB had sought a huge amount from BCCI for not honouring a MoU signed between the two boards. According to the MoU, India and Pakistan were supposed to play six bilateral series between 2015 and 2023, which the BCCI failed to honour.

The Indian cricket board said they were unable to play against Pakistan as the Indian government did not give them permission. India also dismissed the Pakistan board’s claims as legally binding.

“The ICC committee did accept that Pakistan had a case and that is why the damages/cost we had to pay to the Indian board was around USD 1.6 million,” Mani said.

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Angel Di Maria shines at home ground as PSG punish Marseille

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Angel Di Maria delivered a near-perfect performance, scoring two and setting up another as runaway leaders Paris St Germain beat 10-man Olympique de Marseille 3-1 at home on Sunday.

The Argentine forward tormented the visitors’ defence throughout, adding to Kylian Mbappe’s opener to put PSG on 77 points from 28 games.

PSG’s bitter rivals Marseille, who equalised through Valere Germain seconds into the second half, are fourth on 47 points from 29 matches.

OM keeper Steve Mandanda was sent off after 62 minutes for handling outside the area.

Earlier on Sunday, third-placed Olympique Lyonnais claimed a 3-2 home win against Montpellier to move within four points of Lille, who slumped to a 1-0 home defeat by Monaco on Friday and are now 20 points behind PSG having played one more game.

At the Parc des Princes, part of the Auteuil stand was left empty just before kickoff as fans protested against PSG’s elimination from the Champions League against Manchester United earlier this month.

“We do not forget,” a banner read.

But with Marseille having scored at least one goal in their last 13 league outings and PSG having found the back of the net in each of their previous 27 matches in Ligue 1, the fans expected goals.

Two minutes into stoppage time in the first half, they got their reward.

Di Maria, who had an early goal disallowed for offside after a VAR review, beat three OM players just outside the area to launch a sharp counter attack.

The Argentine released Mbappe to his left for the France striker to coolly slot the ball past Mandanda for his 26th goal from 23 games in Ligue 1 this season.

Mbappe however missed a penalty in injury time.

PSG were ahead but had already lost fullbacks Dani Alves and Thomas Meunier through injuries.

Germain levelled with a low crossed shot from Lucas Ocampos’s pass in the area, but Di Maria quickly restored the advantage.

He broke down the right flank, cut back into the area and netted into the far corner in the 55th minute.

Six minutes later, as Di Maria led another counter attack, Mandanda, who had rushed out of his box, handled the ball that the Argentine had just released.

The keeper was sent off and Di Maria’s exquisite 30-metre free kick went into the top corner, beating replacement keeper Yohann Pele who had not yet touched the ball.

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Mexico Shotgun World Cup: Indian shooters to aim for 8 Tokyo Olympics spots

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A 12-member Indian shooting contingent will vie for a total of eight Tokyo Olympics quota places when it open its campaign at the ISSF Shotgun World Cup to be held in Acapulco, Mexico from March 19 to 26.

There are two quota places each on offer in women’s Trap, men’s Trap, women’s Skeet and men’s Skeet disciplines. However, there are no quota places at the mixed Trap event.

A total of five events are scheduled at this year’s first Shotgun World Cup, beginning with the qualification rounds of the women’s Trap event.

The Indian contingent includes former world champion Manavjit Singh Sandhu in the men’s Trap and current finals world record holder in the men’s Skeet Angad Vir Singh Bajwa.

India have won a total of three Tokyo Olympic quotas in shooting so far, among the top five quota winning countries in the world. However, all of them have been in the Rifle and Pistol disciplines.

Besides 12 competitors across five medal events, Zoravar Singh Sandhu will also compete in the MQS (Minimum Qualification Score) category in the men’s Trap.

A total of 351 athletes from 61 nations will be seen in action in the tournament.

Indian team:

Men’s Trap: Manavjit Singh Sandhu, Kynan Chenai, Prithiviraj Tondaiman.

Women’s Trap: Shagun Chowdhary, Rajeshwari Kumari, Varsha Varman.

Men’s Skeet: Mairaj Ahmed Khan, Sheeraz Sheikh, Angad Vir Singh Bajwa.

Women’s Skeet: Rashmmi Rathore, Simranpreet Kaur, Maheshwari Chauhan.

Mixed Trap: Kynan Chenai, Shagun Chowdhary, Prithviraj Tondaiman, Rajeshwari Kumari.

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Choosing World C’ship over Asian was part of Mary Kom’s 2020 Olympics plan

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Indian boxing star M C Mary Kom says her decision to skip the Asian Championships is part of a larger plan to enhance her chances of Olympic qualification at a time when the competition in her weight category has become significantly “difficult”.

Mary Kom, who claimed her sixth world title last year in Delhi, will be looking to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in the World Championships in Yekaterinburg, Russia. The Asian Championship is scheduled to be held next month in Thailand.

“This year is very important for me. Qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics is my main aim. Without competing in any competition I cannot qualify for the Olympics. It would be difficult. I have to know all the opponents in my category (51kg) and judge how strong they are compared to me,” Mary Kom, who has signed up with the sports goods manufacturing giant ‘PUMA’, told PTI in New Delhi.

“I have to first compete in the India Open and then slowly choose my tournaments in the 51kg category. I am looking to qualify for the Olympics at the Worlds and that is why I have decided to skip the Asian Championships to prepare myself best for the Worlds.

“Without proper planning I cannot qualify for the Olympics. India Open is also very important for me. So I have decided to choose some important tournaments to qualify for the Olympics,” added the 2012 London Olympics bronze-medallist, The 2019 AIBA World Boxing Championships will be held from September 7 to 21.

Mary Kom would be competing in the 51kg category after her preferred 48kg divisions did not make the Olympic programme. The Manipuri had competed in the 51kg category in Germany during a training stint earlier this month and came back undefeated.

“I have already been competing in the 51kg category in the last one year. I now know the areas where I will have to work upon but fitness wise there are no issues. I just have to work upon my strength, power and stamina,” she said.

Asked about her plans after she decides to hang her gloves, the 36-year-old mother of three said she wants to give back to the sport which made her a household name.

“That is something which was always in my plans. But right now I am concentrating on my upcoming competitions. I have my own academy in Manipur. I have that passion for full-time coaching after retirement,” she said.

“If the Boxing Federation of India or the government needs my services in improving the standards of Indian women’s boxing, I am always there.”

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