Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 14th 2017 Contents LOS ANGELES---Russell Westbrook
won best male athlete at The ESPYS,
while Olympic gymnast Simone Biles
earned best female athlete honours on
The 25th annual show honouring the past
year's top athletes and sports moments was
hosted by Peyton Manning, who humour-
ously mocked his reputation as a control
Friday, July 14, 2017 guardian.co.tt
Venus into 9th Wimbledon
final; will face Muguruza
LONDON---Venus Williams reached her
ninth Wimbledon final and first since
2009, turning in her latest display of
gutsy serving to beat Johanna Konta
6-4, 6-2 yesterday.
At 37, Williams is the oldest finalist at the
All England Club since Martina Navratilova
was the 1994 runner-up at that age.
She also stopped Konta's bid to become
the first woman from Britain in 40 years to
Williams will be seeking her sixth Wim-
bledon championship and eighth Grand
Slam singles trophy overall. Her most re-
cent came in 2008, when she defeated her
younger sister, Serena, for the title. A year
later, she lost to Serena.
In the time since, Williams revealed that
she was diagnosed with Sjogren's syndrome,
which can sap energy and cause joint pain.
As time went on, there were questions about
whether she might retire, especially after a
half-dozen first-round losses at major tour-
naments. But she kept on going, and lately
has returned to winning.
Her resurgence began in earnest at Wim-
bledon a year ago, when she made it to the
semifinals before losing. Then, at the Aus-
tralian Open this January, Williams appeared
in the final, where she lost to her sister.
Tomorrow, the 10th-seeded American will
participate in her second Grand Slam final
of the season, this time against 14th-seeded
Garbine Muguruza of Spain.
In yesterday's opening semifinal, Mugu-
ruza overwhelmed 87th-ranked Magdalena
Rybarikova of Slovakia 6-1, 6-1 in just over
Williams' semifinal was more competitive,
at least at the outset. Indeed, it was Konta
standing a point
from serving from
the opening set when
it was 4-all and Williams
was serving down 15-40.
Williams erased the first break
point with a backhand winner
down the line, and the second
with a 106 mph (171 kph) second
serve that went right at Konta's
body. It was a risky strategy,
going for so much pace on a
second serve, but it worked.
That opened a run in which
Williams collected 12 of 13
points and seized control.
By the finish, Konta had pro-
duced more winners, 20 to 19,
each greeted by roars from the
Centre Court crowd.
Williams, though, has so much
more experience in these circum-
stances, and it showed down the
stretch. This was her 10th semifi-
nal in 20 Wimbledon appearanc-
es; Konta had never been past the
second round at the grass-court
tournament before this year.
There was also a meaningful gap
in the track records of the other
semifinals, and it made a differ-
ence right away. Muguruza won 15
of the first 20 points en route to a
5-0 lead, before Rybarikova at last
managed to win a solitary game, 26
minutes into the match.
Even though Rybarikova entered
having won 18 of her past 19 grass-
court matches, mostly at lower-level
tournaments, she suddenly looked
a lot more like someone whose ca-
reer record at Wimbledon before last
week was 2-9.
A lot of that certainly had to do
with Muguruza, who was terrif-
ic. Her serves came swiftly and
at hard-to-handle angles. Her
groundstrokes were flat and pow-
erful. Her net approaches were well-
timed, her volleys on-target.
She faced only one break point, saving
it. She earned 12 on Rybarikova's serve,
converting five. She won the point on 19 of
25 trips to the net. And she accumulated
a 22-8 edge in winners.
That earned the 23-year-old Mugu-
ruza a berth in her third career Grand
Slam final, second at the All England
Club. She lost to Serena Williams with
the title on the line at Wimbledon in
2015, then beat her for the trophy
at the French Open last year.
Venus Williams celebrates after
beating Britain's Johanna Konta
in their Women's Singles
semifinal match at the
Championships in London
yesterday PHOTO: KIRSTY
Froome loses Tour lead to
Aru, Bardet wins 12th stage
PEYRAGUDES---Chris Froome cracked in the final
stages of a grueling climb to the finish and lost the
overall lead in the Tour de France to Fabio Aru yester-
day, after a demanding stage won by Romain Bardet.
Froome's Sky teammates perfectly controlled
the race until the final kilometer leading to the ski
station of Peyragudes, but the three-time champion
was dropped in a final section that featured slopes
with a 20 percent gradient.
Bardet won Stage 12 ahead of Rigoberto Uran
and Aru, who seized the race lead from Froome by
six seconds. Bardet is third overall, 25 seconds off
Team Sky had dominated the stage until the final
500 meters, when Aru made his move. Froome was
only able to follow his Italian rival for a few meters
and looked glued to the road.
Bardet was the strongest in the brutal incline and
described his third stage win on the Tour as "an
He said he had visited the ski station with his
parents to scout out the final climb.
"I knew it could suit me," he said. "I was patient.
I made the difference on the final hill, there was
not much to do before that with the wind and the
Aru had trailed Froome by 18 seconds at the start
of the stage. AP
Westbrook, Biles win athlete of year honours at The ESPYS
Under: (Last Thursday)
10.30 am......................... 11-10
1 pm ...................................14-9
4 pm ................... .............16-35
6.30 pm............ ................ 30-9
PICK TWO SELECTIONS
1-8-13-15-20 Mx: 2
13 (Crapaud) 10.30 am
24 (Queen) 4 pm
20 (Dog) 6.30 pm
TODAY'S STAR BETS
4 (Dead Man)
18 (Water Boat)
LAST DRAW: THURSDAY
WHEN DE MARK BUSS FRIDAY, JULY 14, 2017
19 (Horse) 1 pm
Times played this year
10.30am 1pm 4pm 6.30pmTotal
02 OLD LADY
04 DEAD MAN
05PARSONMAN 3 7 8 4 22
15SICKWOMAN3 6 2 2 13
18WATERBOAT 7 5 5 4 21
Times played this year
10.30am 1pm 4pm 6.30pmTotal
27 LITTLESNAKE 4 7 1 6 18
28 RED FISH
29OPIUMMAN 5 6 3 6 20
30HOUSECAT 5 4 5 0 14
31PARSONWIFE4 64 6 20
34 BLIND MAN
35 BIG SNAKE
35 (Big Snake)
freak and an overexposed commercial pitchman in
the retired NFL quarterback's opening monologue.
Westbrook was the NBA MVP, led the league in
scoring and set a record for most triple-doubles in
a season with 42. The Oklahoma City Thunder star
won the trophy over Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs,
Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Olym-
pic swimmer Michael Phelps.
"It's been an unbelievable journey for me," said
Westbrook, a fashion fiend who adjusted his black
shirt and green pants with wide white stripes before
he spoke. "I want to make sure I look good first."
Biles became the most decorated US Olympic
gymnast at the Rio de Janeiro Games, winning five
medals, including four golds and a bronze. She beat
out Olympic swimmer Katie Ledecky, WNBA star
Candace Parker and Serena Williams for the honour.
"Ever since Rio it has been an amazing year," Biles
said. "I want to thank you all for believing in me."
She was one of three double winners. Biles also
won best female Olympic athlete.
Phelps won record-setting performance for ex-
tending his record Olympic medal haul and as best
male Olympic athlete.
Aaron Rodgers won best NFL player and shared
best play with then-Green Bay Packers teammate
Jared Cook. Another Packer, Jordy Nelson, earned
best comeback honours.
The biggest ovation of the night belonged to for-
mer first lady Michelle Obama, who posthumously
honoured Eunice Kennedy Shriver with the Arthur
Ashe Courage Award for championing the rights and
acceptance of people with intellectual disabilities
through her founding of Special Olympics. AP
Former first lady Michelle Obama and athletes
present the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the
ESPYS at the Microsoft Theater on Wednesday
in Los Angeles. PHOTO: CHRIS PIZZELLO
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