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Two close friends and two Americans
will square off in today s semi-finals of the
ASB Classic but most will be hoping for
a dream final between two of the biggest
names in women s tennis.
Ana Ivanovic and Kirsten Flipkens,
who played doubles this week together,
will meet in the first semi-final before
Venus Williams takes on compatriot
Jamie Hampton in the late match.
Ivanovic and Williams have been the
faces of the tournament, and it is only
natural considering their standing in the
game. ere has been a degree of relief
the pair made it to the last four, especially
after one of the best fields in recent times
was shorn of five of the eight seeds in
the first round and left with a number
of players unfamiliar to most casual New
Zealand tennis fans.
An Ivanovic-Williams final match-up
is not guaranteed, however, and it is one
that would cost the tournament more in
appearance fees, given Williams payout
for playing in Auckland is more lucrative
the deeper she progresses.
Flipkens beat Ivanovic in their only
meeting to date in Linz 2012 and has the
sort of game to upset a power hitter like
the former world No 1. She mixes things
up with slice backhands, charges to the
net and driving forehands.
"I m not as tall as the other ones who
just try to hit it," the Belgian said. "I try
to mix it up and let them think. It s more
difficult for them to play against my type
of player than someone who is playing
forehand, backhand 200 miles an hour.
I m just trying to do my thing."
e third seed and world No 20 has
done it well so far this week, winning all
of her matches in straight sets, including
yesterday s quarter-final against qualifier
Sachie Ishizu 6-4, 7-5.
Ivanovic has also been relatively
comfortable and has at times played
scintillating tennis. Yesterday she beat
Japan s Kurumi Nara 6-2, 6-3 in a match
that was tougher than the scoreline
Venus Williams has also got better with
each match. e five-time Wimbledon
champion yesterday dispatched promising
Spaniard Garbine Muguruza 6-3, 6-3 in
her most commanding performance of
the week. She even sent down a serve that
topped 202kph, only 5kph off her world
" e ones that top 200 are the ones I m
trying to bring the heat," Williams said.
"It s fun being a big server."
She will meet a gritty opponent in
Hampton, who eventually overcame
hitting partner Lauren Davis 6-2, 4-6,
6-4 in two hours 14 minutes. It was a
match littered with errors --- Hampton
made 76 as she sprayed the ball around
the court --- and 30 break points and 12
breaks of serve.
"I m actually very proud of myself,"
"I was miserable at times out there on
the court. It s hard when you are making
error after error after error. I missed so
many returns today and my first serve
percentage was low but, overall, there are
nothing but positives. I think I competed
really hard and did my best to stay positive
even though things at times in the match
weren t looking that great for me."
She was hoping Williams would win
her quarter-final --- she wants to measure
herself against a player of Williams
quality and standing --- and victory would
also see her go one step further than last
year when she was beaten by eventual
champion Agnieszka Radwanska at the
"She doesn t have to measure herself
against me," Williams said. "She s already
in the top 30 and is a good player. I will
have to play well to win." --- APNZ
of the Bay of Plenty Times
Corey Anderson is still coming
to terms with the international
media attention following his
remarkable world-record innings
on Wednesday against the West
His rollicking ton off 36 balls
beat the 18-year-old milestone
set by Pakistan s Shahid Afridi
and made the cricketing world
collectively say "Corey who?" in
e well grounded 23-year-old,
who has called Tauranga home
for the past 18 months since
moving north from Canterbury,
was still coming to terms with his
achievement and all the attention
he was getting when the Bay of
Plenty Times caught up with
him in Nelson for the next ODI
against the West Indies.
"No I haven t had a chance
to come to terms with what
happened and it hasn t even sunk
in yet," Anderson said.
"But it has been quite exciting
and I don t know when it will sink
in. Hopefully it will eventually."
Anderson did not know he had
broken Afridi s record until the
announcement was made at the
ground after he hit yet another
booming six to bring up his
"I thought maybe I was closing
in on the New Zealand record so
to hear that was pretty cool. I was
just more excited about getting my
first one day hundred.
"I cannot think of too many days
when I have hit it better than this
innings --- it was a very crazy day."
Speculation he may have
earmarked himself for a massive
payday come the IPL auction
in India this year has reached
Anderson but he was reluctant to
go down that path.
Something about keeping his
feet on the ground is one of his
"What happened will stir a few
things up but it is something that
is almost out of your hands really
as you don t have any say in it at
all. I haven t heard much at all
and have just been focusing on
the series back here and obviously
India comes here, plus the
Twenty20 World Cup, so there is a
lot going on.
" at (IPL) thing has not really
got into my head. It is good to get
runs to know you belong at that
level but it is still pretty cut-throat
and you have to keep your form
and not rest on your laurels. One
score does not make a summer
but if I can keep chipping in with
good scored then hopefully I
can have a long career with New
e move north to live in
Tauranga has played a major part
in Anderson s development from
a promising first class player to
a true international with test
match and one day international
centuries to his name.
He moved in to live with Trent
Boult and his family, who he now
refers to as his second family.
"It has been massive for me. It is
a place I love going back to when
we have time off and I am happy
to call it home now.
It has done wonders for me and
I am happy with where I play with
Cadets Cricket Club and playing
for the bay.
"It has been the best thing I have
ever done moving to the bay. It has
taken me to a new level."
Friday, January 3, 2014
Black Cap Corey Anderson celebrates scoring the fastest 100 runs in
history during game three of the one day international series against
the West Indies at the Queenstown Events Centre on Wednesday.
Rugby league great Brad Fittler is
making a comeback --- answering
the Roosters calls to appear in the
inaugural NRL Auckland Nines event
e 41-year-old last played in the
2004 grand final when the Roosters
were defeated by the Bulldogs. But
according to the Sydney Morning
Herald, the Penrith and Roosters
great will take the field at Eden Park
on February 15 and 16.
Fittler won the 1991 premiership
with the Panthers and led the Roosters
to victory over the Warriors in the
2002 grand final.
"I expect to get hammered, Fittler
said. "I ve been training with my
10-year-old, Demi. I ve got a lot of
work to do.
e Roosters have been drawn in
one of the toughest groups on paper
--- alongside the Broncos, Bulldogs
All 16 NRL teams will compete
in the two-day competition, with
many top NRL players on view ---
as opposed to many rugby sevens
tournaments where players are lesser
known. Tournament rules stipulate at
least 12 of each club s top 25 salary-
capped players as well as one top-five
player must take part.
ere is $A2.25 ($NZ2.45) million
prizemoney on offer, with the
winning club receiving $A500,000
($NZ544,624). --- NZ Herald.
Fittler to play at Auckland Nines
Anderson coming to
terms with fastest ton Dream Classic final
still on the cards
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