Author Archive: Charlie Barnett

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.

 

 

Cities in Central Florida among fastest growing in US

When it came to population growth last year, Central Florida cities were some of the fastest growing in the U.S.

According to the figures which were released last Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau, last year, metro Orlando grew by up to 60,000 residents, as large as the number of people that can fit into the Camping World Stadium of this city – the place where college football bowl teams face off in winter of each year. That gave Orlando the fifth-biggest increase in pure numbers of any U.S metro area.

Meanwhile, last year, the Tampa area grew by 51,000 residents, more than the number of fans that can fit into Tropicana Field, where the Tampa Bay Rays of the city play baseball. This number placed its numeric increase at No. 9

Thanks to their growth from mid-2017 to mid-2018, these two metropolises were propelled into the top tier of the fastest growing metro areas of the whole nation.

It was also released by the U.S. Census Bureau that only Texas grew by more people than Florida last year. Moreover, the addition of tens of thousands of new residents to the cities in central Florida will increase the importance of the Interstate 4 corridor’s next election, already the swingiest part of the biggest swing state of the nation. That explosive growth also offers Florida the chances of getting additional congressional seats as well as presidential electors after the 2020 census.

Among these cities, Orlando had the fifth largest increase of the country for metro areas in pure numbers, surpassed by only Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, and Phoenix. Tampa came in at No. 9.

In Tampa, the population growth was totally driven by new arrivals. If there weren’t this inbound migration, Tampa would have lost population because its deaths outnumbered births by almost 900 people. Mostly new arrivals came from U.S. states.

Republican governor appoints Florida’s first chief science officer

Ron DeSantis, Republican Florida Governor, appointed the first chief science officer on Monday, marking what he called the “commitment to science-based solutions” of the state.

DeSantis appointed the biologist Thomas Frazer, who has been the director of the School of Natural Resources and Environment of University of Florida since 2012 and previously worked as the UF Water Institute’s acting director.

In this new position, he will coordinate Florida’s research and scientific work and make sure that the officials have the scientific analysis which they need to tackle the environmental problems of the state.

Frazer’s research has looked at the effects on water of pollution. He has also worked on research about climate change. He has served as the Climate Science Faculty Committee’s chairman. Therefore, climate change will be a part of his mission.

Frazer said that “We have to look at the facts of what is going on in the environment and can we bring science to bear on those changes happening now and in the future?”

Under the predecessor of DeSantis, fellow Republican Rick Scott, some state employees said that they were discouraged from using the terms “global warming” and “climate change.”

When being asked whether he thought that climate change was a threat to the state, DeSantis said the issue was “politicized” but he considered sea-level rise a serious threat.

“My environmental policy is just to do things that benefit Floridians. And the idea that you’re signing up for some type of agenda — I don’t want to … send a signal that that’s what I’m doing because I’m not doing that,” DeSantis said. “This is what we’re going to do. We’re going to do what works.” DeSantis also said that the appointment kept with his promise to make “sound science” a Florida priority.

And Frazer will have his work cut out for him and said he was honored by the appointment. “Our environment and waterways make Florida unique,” he said. “I look forward to working with the governor and the Department of Environmental Protection on ways we can use sound science and research to improve our state’s water quality and protect the environment.”

Tourism Marketing Agency of Florida needs good marketing to dodge House axe

In the year 2018, there are more than 126 million people visited Florida, that marks the eight years in a row this State saw a record number of tourists.

Visitors spent up to more than $115 billion during their stays in Florida, confirming tourism remains the state’s No. 1 industry and supporting about 1.5 million jobs.

Florida has an agency within Enterprise Florida, Inc., – EFI – a non-profit corporation which was created to act as the state’s economic development organization, which serves as a tourism-marketing agency, named Visit Florida.

Visit Florida was created by the Legislature in 1996. It receives an annual allocation from lawmakers and has to be reauthorized every three years. The state Senate and Gov. Ron DeSantis want to refund and reauthorize Visit Florida, however, the House, apparently, has other ideas.

In 2017, House Republicans attempted to abolish EFI as well as Visit Florida. The agency was under fire due to issuing questionable contracts, including a $2.875 million contract with Visit Florida Racing – an auto racing team, a $1 million promotion contract for rapper Pitbull, and an $11.6 million deal to sponsor a cooking show which was hosted by celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse.

After a contentious debate, legislators revised the agency’s reporting requirements such as imposing new rules which dissolved partnerships with local tourism organizations.

Florida Republican Party Chairman Sen. Joe Gruters said that “What Visit Florida does for our economy as challenges come up in all of our local areas, it’s critically important for our success. And when Florida is at its lowest points, they’re there helping prop us back and letting people know we’re back in business.”

Visit Florida is particularly needed these days when the tourism industry of Southwest Florida attempts to recover from its high-publicized bout of red tide and the Panhandle builds out from the devastation of the Hurricane Michael, he also said.

 

 

Florida’s Best 18 Golf Holes (part 1)

 

Florida has more than 1,000 golf courses and picking the best 18 golf holes is no easy task. And playing them might be even harder!

It is not difficult to construct a course with 18 longest holes in Florida, however, a good golf course must have a balance between good long and short holes – those with tricky doglegs or deep bunkers and those with lots of water. There is the list of Florida’s Best 18 Golf Holes in my opinion.

  1. New Course, Grand Cypress Resort

Jack Nicklaus designed this resort to the famed Old Course of Scotland at St. Andrews. Although it’s difficult to recreate North Sea conditions in the center of Florida, this first hole is a faithful rendition. Wide and short open, it’s the second shot across Swilcan Burn’s local variation which calls for precision.

  1. Belleview Biltmore Golf Club

Designed by Donald Ross, this jewel of a course is a centerpiece of the historic resort. This second hole, narrow, long, and tightly guarded by ponds and trees, set the tone. The tiny crowned green will repel all but the best accurate approach shots.

  1. Wanamaker course at PGA Village

The PGA of America’s excellent golf facility boasts up to three Championship courses by Pete Dye and Tom Fazio at PGA Golf Club. It has a six-hole short course, the PGA Museum of Golf, and the PGA Center for Golf Learning and Performance. Wanamaker course is a classic layout of Florida: rolling terrain with a lot of palms, palmettos, and wetlands. This third hole calls for carrying over water from the tee to a heavily bunkered, rolling green and divided fairway.

  1. Pine Barrens at World Woods

Pine Barrens at World Woods is a great design of Tom Fazio. It utilizes scrubby, sandy waste areas like Pine Valley of New Jersey. This par-five allows a safe route, but golf players who would like to challenge the sandy wasteland can get home in two for an eagle with 2 strong shots.