Author Archive: Charlie Barnett

Novak Djokovic out of the US Open after retiring in match

Novak Djokovic got left shoulder pain and his chances faded in the fourth round against Stan Wawrinka. Then, soon enough, the defending champion and No. 1 seed of the U.S. Open was out of the tournament and left to a chorus of boos.

The Serbian superstar shook his head while walking over to the chair umpire to say that he was retiring from the match due to that shoulder ache while trailing 6-4, 7-5, 2-1 and being outplayed thoroughly Sunday night.

Novak Djokovic got left shoulder pain

Perhaps some spectators confused by the sudden turn of the tournament, and likely disappointed in the brevity of the show that they got to watch for their expensive tickets, they jeered when Djokovic walked off the court in Arthur Ashe Stadium to move to the locker room with his two equipment bags over his right shoulder. He responded with a thumbs-up.

The 32-year-old tennis player explained that he had been taking different stuff to instantly kill the pain but sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t.

Novak Djokovic had won up to 36 of his past 37 Grand Slam matches, and 4 of the last 5 major titles, in one of the most dominant stretches that the sport has seen. That pushed his total of Slam trophy to 16, moving within 4 of Roger Federer‘s record 20, and within 2 of Rafael Nadal’s 18.

When the match was over, Wawrinka gave Djokovic a hug. The No. 23 seed also said that it had never been the way you want to finish the match and he felt sorry for Novak. He will face No. 5-seeded Daniil Medvedev in the quarterfinals of the tournament.

This was the 13th mid-match retirement of Novak Djokovic’s career and his sixth at a Grand Slam tournament, according to the ATP.

This result scuttles the discussed possibility of a semifinal in New York between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, which would have been a rematch of their Wimbledon final in last July when Djokovic won in an unprecedented fifth-set tiebreaker after nearly five hours.

If you’ve been experiencing withdrawals as the Women’s World Cup ended last month, there is some good news: The 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo are only less than one year away with four brand new sports. While swimming, track and field, and gymnastics usually steal the show, there are even more events to watch in 2020.

Karate

Fittingly, karate is a martial art which originated in Okinawa during the Ryukyu Dynasty. Karate will make its Olympic debut in Tokyo, joining taekwondo, judo, and wrestling. It consists of both men and women disciplines: kata (forms) and kumite (sparring).

Skateboarding

Skateboarding is a sport that is relegated to the streets of southern California and mostly niche competitions. It is making its Olympic debut, bringing a dash of street culture to the 2020 Summer Olympic Games. Olympic skateboarding will include two events: park and street.

Sport Climbing

In the Olympics, the sport climbing of men and women will include three disciplines: bouldering, speed climbing, and lead climbing.

Although climbers compete in these three disciplines separately in World Cup competition, each Olympic climber will have to participate in each one and final rankings will be determined by combined scores.

Surfing

Men and women shortboard competitors will hit Shidashita Beach on Pacific coast of Japan in 2020. Four athletes will compete at a time, with each heat lasting about 20 to 25 minutes, depending on the waves’ quality. During that period of time, each wave can only have one rider. The athletes are judged on the difficulty of the maneuvers that they perform instead of being judged on how many waves they catch. And masterful execution on large waves will bring the highest scores. An athlete’s 2 highest scores count, with the 2 surfers at the top of the rankings moving on to the next round.

Besides these four brand new sports, two sports, including men’s baseball and women’s softball, will return to the Summer Olympics in 2020 in Tokyo after being absent from the last two Summer Olympics.

The Hungarian Grand Prix results: the Winners and Losers

Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton gave us a memorable race with a thrilling battle for victory at the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix 2019 – the Hungaroring. And they will head into the summer break on a high while the other racers will hope to use the time off to regroup after a tricky weekend. Here we pick out of the winners and losers of this tournament.

Winner: Lewis Hamilton

Max Verstappen well summed it up, “Lewis was on fire.” After his disappointing F1 performances in Germany, Lewis Hamilton hit back by working hard. He was straight out in FP1 and completed 41 laps of running in a way much better than he normally does and more comfortably than anyone else.

Loser: Max Verstappen

Early on, the Hungarian F1 Grand Prix victory seemed to be heading the way of Max Verstappen and Red Bull, the Dutchman that controlled the race had led away from pole position.

However, he and his boss Christian Horner later admitted that they weren’t quick enough to hold off a faster Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes and weren’t able to third win in four races.

Winner: Max Verstappen

Finally, Max Verstappen is also in the list of the winners, thanks to his second-place as well as the bonus point for fastest lap helping him become the top scorer in the last four races.

By scoring his first pole position, the Dutchman ticked another box on Saturday and became the fourth-youngest driver to do so. And once again he showed that he has the talent to get big results although he doesn’t have the class-leading car.

Loser: Pierre Gasly

While one Red Bull of Max Verstappen is starring, the other of Pierre Gasly is struggling. Pierre Gasly was not doing an awful job by having scored in seven of the last eight races.

He’s unlucky that he’s racing alongside a driver with the talent that you only see once in a generation; however, those are the cards which he’s been dealt.

His total points are only a third of Verstappen’s. The Frenchman needs to start delivering as fast as possible.

Mercedes to run one-off livery for German Grand Prix

It is Mercedes AMG team’s second home race in a row when they depart their UK base at Brackley to head to the Hockenheim, not far from Mercedes-Benz’s global home in Stuttgart, for the German Grand Prix.

This week marks the 125th anniversary of the world’s very first motor race, that was held between Paris & Rouen in 1894. Moreover, with a ‘Benz’ taking part in the race, it also marks the origins of the involvement in motorsport of Mercedes and Wolff, the Mercedes boss, has confirmed that the dominant 2019 F1 team will mark this anniversary: “The world’s first car race was held from Paris to Rouen in 1894, and the winning machine had an engine manufactured to the design of Gottlieb Daimler at its heart. It’s the start of a great motorsport tradition which continues to this day and we are incredibly proud of writing the next chapter in this legacy. We’ll run a commemorative livery to pay tribute to our heritage.”

Though the team has tweeted out a picture of an old brand logo in order to mark the anniversary week, there have no details of what this livery might entail.

Wolff continued, “2019’s race is a very special event as we are the title sponsor of the Mercedes-Benz Großer Preis von Deutschland and it will also mark the 200th start for Mercedes in F1.”.

While having claimed a dominant 1-2 last time out at Silverstone, Wolff praised his team for their fair and dramatic fight in the British Grand Prix’s opening laps: “It’s a spectacular race and also a great showcase for our sport. It is great to see our team battle on track in the opening stint; our drivers fought hard but always fair. It was good to bounce back from the poor performance in Austria with a strong finish. ”

He added that although the weather forecast predicts high temperatures and Hockenheim is also a relatively short circuit, they will stay humble and work hard to achieve the best result.

Federer beats Nadal to reach Wimbledon 2019 final

The Swiss superstar Roger Federer booked a place at The Championships final and will attempt to lift a record-extending ninth trophy after a masterclass against World No. 2 Rafael Nadal, a two-time former titlist, on last Friday at Wimbledon.

Federer played at his best on return of serve and in long rallies to beat Nadal 7-6(3), 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 in their three hours and two minutes semi-final on Centre Court, seizing the momentum in his 40th FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting against his long-time rival Nadal with a break of serve at 3-1 in the third set and, despite an early break in the fourth set, kept Nadal at bay before converting his fifth match point chance. This was the first grass-court clash of the two superstars since their legendary Wimbledon final in 2008 when Nadal won 9-7 in the fifth set.

Roger Federer (37 years old) becomes the Open Era’s third oldest man to reach a Grand Slam championship final and is going to challenge World No. 1, the defending champion and four-time winner, Novak Djokovic, on Sunday at the All England Club. Serbian tennis superstar Djokovic, who beat No. 23 seed Roberto Bautista Agut in the semi-finals earlier on last Friday, leads Federer 25-22 in their career history, including his victories in the Wimbledon finals of 2014 and 2015.

World No. 3 Federer, having registered his 100th Wimbledon match win over Kei Nishikori from Japan in the quarter-finals on Wednesday, is now attempting to capture the 21st major championship crown in his 31st final. He won the Wimbledon title in 2003-07, 2009, 2012, and 2017.

The 33-year-old tennis player Nadal, having captured his 12th Roland Garros trophy last month, is now 37-6 on this year, also including a ninth title of Internazionali BNL d’Italia. He had been trying his best to win his third Wimbledon/Roland Garros title double this fortnight (also 2008, 2010). He is also the first player to qualify for the 2019 Nitto ATP Finals, which is going to be held at The O2 in London from 10-17 November.

The list of Wimbledon Championships 2019 Seeds

Wimbledon Championships 2019 gentlemen and ladies seeds were unveiled after Roger Federer, the Swiss World Number three, earned his second seed badge in Halle on June 23 after defeating David Goffin in the finals and after Ashleigh Barty became World Number one by getting the Nature Valley Classic title in Birmingham.

Wimbledon Championships 2019 Seeds: Gentlemen’s Singles

Novak Djokovic, 2018’s 12th seed and the reigning champion of the grass-court major, will be top-seeded for the 6th time at Wimbledon and this year, he was also top-seeded at the other majors.

Federer will not play the number one, Djokovic before the finals. Rafael Nadal, the semifinalist of 2018 and the two-time Wimbledon champion, is seeded after Federer and Djokovic.

The World Number three, Nadal adds 855 points (determined from his performance at Wimbledon in the last two years) to his ATP Ranking points, summing his total point up to be 8,800 while the Federer’s tally aggregates to 8,980 points.

Besides the three biggest ones, Kevin Anderson, World Number eight and Wimbledon 2018 finalist, is seeded fourth.

  1. Novak Djokovic
  2. Roger Federer
  3. Rafael Nadal
  4. Kevin Anderson
  5. Dominic Thiem
  6. Alexander Zverev
  7. Stefanos Tsitsipas
  8. Kei Nishikori
  9. John Isner
  10. Karen Khachanov
  11. Daniil Medvedev
  12. Fabio Fognini
  13. Marin Cilic
  14. Borna Coric
  15. Milos Raonic
  16. Gael Monfils

Wimbledon Championships 2019 Seeds: Ladies’ Singles

Ashleigh Barty, the new World Number one on the WTA record, reserved her top-seeded spot for this year’s Wimbledon Championships after her victory in Birmingham on June 23. She replaced Naomi Osaka and the Japanese will be the second seed at Wimbledon 2019. Angelique Kerber, the reigning champion, takes the fifth spot and Serena Williams, the seven-time champion and the reigning finalist, is seeded 11th.

  1. Ashleigh Barty
  2. Naomi Osaka
  3. Karolina Plisokva
  4. Kiki Bertens
  5. Angelique Kerber
  6. Petra Kvitova
  7. Simona Halep
  8. Elina Svitolina
  9. Sloane Stephens
  10. Aryna Sabalenka
  11. Serena Williams 
  12. Anastasija Sevastova
  13. Belinda Bencic
  14. Caroline Wozniacki
  15. Wang Qiang
  16. Marketa Vondrousova

Everything you need to know about the Copa America 2019

This summer, the South American grass fields will be exciting with fire matches and the pinnacle of the Copa America 2019. Let’s have a look at the interesting things of this tournament.

What is the Copa America 2019?

Copa America, also known as the South American Football Championship, is the official international football tournament for national teams in South America. The tournament is held every 4 years on odd years and this year 2019 is the 46th tournament to be held.

Where will the Copa America 2019 take place?

Brazil is the host country of the Copa America 2019. This will be the 5th time of this country to have had the honor to be chosen as the host of Copa America, previously in 1919, 1922, 1949, and 1989.

There will be 6 stadiums in five cities of Brazil organizing the 2019 Copa America matches:

  • Rio de Janeiro – Estádio do Maracanã
  • Belo Horizonte – Estádio Mineirão
  • Sao Paulo – Estádio do Morumbi
  • Sao Paulo – Arena Corinthians
  • Porto Alegre – Arena do Grêmio
  • Salvador – Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova

When will the Copa America 2019 take place?

According to the 2019 Copa America schedule, the tournament will start on June 14, 2019 and the final will take place on July 7, 2019.

Which teams will be taking part in the Copa America 2019?

The ten nations including Brazil, Venezuela, Peru, Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia, Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador and Chile, which form the South American Football Federation (CONMEBOL) plus Qatar and Japan from Asia. The last two have been invited by CONMEBOL to be the guest teams as a tradition since 1993.

When is the next tournament organized?

2019 will be the last time that this tournament will be held in odd years. From 2020 onwards, the Copa America will be held on the same year as the UEFA Euro Championship.

The Copa America 2020 is planned to be held in Argentina and Colombia between June 12 and July 12, 2020.

UEFA Champions League final attracts Northeast Florida fans to European soccer’s showpiece event

Is the UEFA Champions League final the Super Bowl? In the US that will likely never be the case. But in fact, the UEFA Champions League final has a greater global appeal than its American football counterpart.

Because soccer has become more and more popular in the US, and the hottest leagues and matches are easier to get access on television and the internet, more and more viewers are drawn to its showpiece events. The UEFA Champions League final between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool on Saturday will not be an exception.

The two local men Ian Bradley and James Cullen have supported their favorite football clubs for decades and will be doing so with baited breathe on Saturday afternoon.

It is hard that either team would advance to the final after the first leg of their respective semifinals. Cullen, a fan of Liverpool that won the 2005 UEFA Champions League in Istanbul on penalty kicks, said that his club’s 4-0 win over Barcelona was one of the great matches in his living memory.

“It’s up there. It’s all about margins in football,” Cullen said. “The last kick of the game in Barcelona, when (Osumane Dembele) kicked it in the goalie’s hands, when (Lionel) Messi was to his (left). That would have been 4-nil.”

The 20-year-old fullback for Liverpool Trent Alexander-Arnold provided the semifinal-winning assist. He believes that the best form of defense is attack, so if Liverpool’s Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson can attack, the team will have better position to win their sixth European Cup.

Tottenham Hotspur was the first English team to win a European trophy in 1963. However, there is no English team that has been as successful as Liverpool with five times having won Europe’s biggest club competition and 18 times having won England’s top division.

A win on Saturday afternoon would be one of the biggest in the 136-year history of Tottenham Hotspur. However, whoever wins, both these fans from Florida are hoping for a game which is as pulsating and thrilling as the semifinal victories that propelled both clubs to Madrid.

Florida to get tax holiday on school and hurricane supplies

Back-to-school shoppers and hurricane-tested Floridians will be able to take advantage of sales-tax “holidays” when they prepare for the new school year and the upcoming storm season.

On Wednesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a tax package (HB 7123), featuring the school tax and disaster-preparedness holidays, and relief for business owners that rent storm-impacted farmers and commercial space.

With hurricane season coming on June 1, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the bill as attending the annual Hurricane Conference of Governor in West Palm Beach.

Mentioning the Floridians became hurricane “battled-tested” after hurricanes Michael last year, Irma in 2017, and Matthew in 2016, DeSantis said that they hoped not to have to use that experience this year.

He also said that he has used emergency powers to assist local officials to quickly access a federal program which provides cash advances that can be used to rebuild government buildings, schools, and certain non-profit facilities.

The package of tax was approved early this month when the  legislative session of  2019 ended. While being promoted as providing 121 million dollars in tax breaks, it is projected to decrease state and local revenue by 87 million dollars in the fiscal year of 2019-2020.

The business community backed the package while the amount of tax savings is lower than in prior years.

Gov. Ron DeSantis received the tax package last Tuesday and announced plans to sign the bill, providing a seven-day “holiday” for disaster preparation from May 31, one day before the six-month hurricane season starts.

However, during the tax holiday, sales taxes will not be collected on the items like non-electric food storage coolers which sell for $30 or less; self-powered light sources which cost $20 or less; portable generators that cost $750 or less; and self-powered radios, ground anchor systems, tarpaulins, and weather-band radios which cost $50 or less.

The holiday is projected to save $5.5 million for shoppers in state and local taxes.

 

 

Florida’s Best 18 Golf Holes (part 2)

 

  1. Ocean Links at Amelia Island Plantation

While almost these Bobby Weed-designed course holes look like typical Lowcountry golf, stately live oaks and skirting wild marshes, Ocean Links and four others border the broad Atlantic beachfront. Club selection on this hole is always tricky, open to the breezes.

  1. Championship course, Bay Hill Club and Lodge

Championship course in Bay Hill Club and Lodge is always considered as a highlight hole during the annual stop of PGA Tour on Arnie’s home course, with the long, narrow fairway wrapping around a lake from tee to green. Players here have to decide how much water to cut off for twice.

  1. Blue Monster at the Doral Golf Resort and Spa 

Palm Trees at this dogleg’s right-hand corner left block out drives right or through the fairway which ends up behind them. It is best to play a draw from the tee. The position of the fairway bunkers provides more room for average golfers to drive the ball while the left-fairway bunker with steeper lip is more intimidating for PGA TOUR ones. The left side of the Green slopes down to the left into a chipping area.

  1. Rolling Oaks course at World Woods

If Tom Fazio designed the Pine Barrens golf course to resemble Pine Valley, it is said that he has had Augusta National in his mind at Rolling Oaks. This devilish hole resembles the well-known No. 12 of Augusta – with swirling winds, over water to a narrow green.

  1. Ocean Course at Hammock Resort

Ocean Course is a fairly new course with high profile: Jack Nicklaus designed it as well as the ninth and eighteenth holes all run parallel to the Atlantic Ocean beach. Usually, at the mercy of the wind, this golf hole is extra-tough and requires two hearty blows to get to the sand-protected green.