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Monday, January 13, 2014
Stockcar soccer was the feature
at Greeestone Speedway yesterday,
where the soccer ball was a
Nissan car donated by Williams
e stockcars had to push the
wreck around the track to the
finish line. Kevin Hayman ran out
Stock cars: 11GM Graham
Nelson, 22 points, 1; 12C Corey
McQuillam, 12 points, 2; 82GM
Dwayne Honey, 82 points, 3.
Ministocks: 18GM Sarah Bellis,
12 points, 1; 7C William Pilcher/
Glen Redmond, 10 points, 2;
9GM Vinny Spafford Parsons,
47 GM Kurt Browning, 8 points,
Youth ministocks: 33GM
Summer Tasker, 8 points, 1;
27 GM Alesha Tomasi, 7 points
2; 34 GM Georgia Tomasi, 3
Production saloons: 25GM
Tyler Stanton, 8 points, 1; 88GM
John Hope 7 points, 2; 33 GM
Ross Brown, 2 points, 3.
Street stocks: 19GM Kieran
Wisdom, 48GM Reece Atkinson
4 points, 1 equal.
e next meeting, on February
1, will be the Youth Ministock
King of the Coast and Mainland
PICTURE: Stephanie Bellis
Logan Tomlin (white), along with Graham Nelson (blue) and Corey McQuillam (green) after the first
hit of stockcar soccer at Greenstone Park yesterday.
PICTURE: Paul McBride
Lamaze and rider Samantha Wynne, (blue and black silks) have just passed the winning post after the running of the Alex Hayward-Noel Wafer POW Memorial 1810m, race six on the card at Kumara on Saturday.
e Tarsha and Michael Stokes-
trained Captain Todd was first past
the post in the $20,000 Vernon
and Vazey Truck Parts Kumara
Gold Nuggets on Saturday, with
apprentice jockey Mathew Cropp
producing the copybook ride.
Captain Todd was ridden handy
to the pace, sitting two back on
the outside, while the free-going
DR Dee Bee dictated terms out in
Cropp let the Stokes runner
slide forward to challenge for the
lead turning into the straight, and
fought hard in the run home to
hold out the fast finishing favourite
Our Alchemist in second place.
Captain Todd had finished a
disappointing seventh in the
Timaru Cup prior to Kumara,
but was on song for the Nuggets.
However, the horse had some
issues in transit, says Cropp.
"He wasn t on his game at
Timaru but handled the track
conditions good today, though he
wasn t taking the corners and was
rolling out a bit," Cropp said. "I
was basically sitting in the one one
and he was travelling so good I let
him improve from the 500. It was
a very good win."
Captain Todd will bypass the
Wellington Cup meeting, the
Stokes training partnership instead
looking at a Dunedin campaign
with the six-year-old Captain Rio
"It was a great ride by our
apprentice today," Michael Stokes
" e horse just wasn t right last
time out but the extra distance
today helped, he is a year older and
needed a little bit more ground.
e Kumara Nuggets was always
the target for us this year and we
planned the horse s preparation for
that. We went to Wellington last
year and it didn t work out but we
will now be looking at Dunedin."
Our Alchemist was a slashing
second in the feature, finding
the line with a rush after being
pocketed back in the field until late
in the run home. Schockemohle
finished up a sound third.
e most destructive weapon in tennis
took John Isner to a second Heineken Open
title on Saturday --- and may carry him back
to the top 10 in the world.
As had been the case all week, Isner was
imperious from the service line, with regular
220kph bullets helping him negotiate any
Across more than 100 minutes of tennis,
the American gave Yen-Hsun Lu only
one break-point opportunity --- in his first
service game --- which he defended with
ease. ere were some tight moments in the
second set tie-break, as Isner trailed 0-3 at
one point, but a series of unreturnable serves
got him out of trouble.
Lu was gallant, and played some
extraordinary tennis to save 10 break points,
but was left in awe of Isner s serve, which he
labelled the best in the world.
"Right now, yes, I think he s (got) the
best one," Lu said. "He has proved he s the
best server. He just served incredible (and)
I couldn t read his ser ve. Even sometimes I
guessed right but the speed meant I couldn t
really get it back. He s still No 14 in the
world and his ser ve is his main weapon."
Isner sent down 23 aces, including one in
excess of 230kph, and landed 73% of his first
ser ves. Lu won only eight of 59 points when
Isner pulled off his first ser ve.
"It was my best performance all week and,
as always, I relied on my ser ve a lot," Isner
said, who served more aces (979) and saved
more break points (71%) than any other
player on the ATP tour in 2013.
"Against him, even in (your) service game,
(you) have pressure," Lu said. "If you don t
make your first serve, then you are always
under pressure in the second serve because
he will try to smash it. If you can serve like
him, it s a different story."
While yesterday s match had its routine
elements --- Lu fought hard but never
looked like creating an opening --- Isner
has fought the odds, and a persistent ankle
injury, all week. He recovered from a set and
break down in the semi-final and endured a
three-tie-break struggle in the quarter-final.
"I am so happy," reflected Isner. "To say this
was unexpected coming into this tournament
would be a huge understatement."
Saturday was Isner s eighth ATP title but
only his second outside the US (his first was
at this tournament in 2010) and he hopes
it will propel him to a strong Australian
Open performance. "I haven t performed
that well in the Slams in the last few years,"
admitted Isner. " e best Australian Open I
have ever had was after I won this in 2010
(fourth round), so I will go (to Melbourne)
with a lot of confidence. Players will tell you
(confidence) is hard to come by and I have
that ... (as) one of the few players going into
that event on a win streak. I have that on my
side and will use that to my advantage."
Isner also believes he can return to the
top 10 this year, after an injury-interrupted
2013. "I missed the whole Australian swing
last year and didn t do anything until April
so I can only move forward from here, and it
is a very good sign," Isner said. "I don t want
tojustsayIwastop10for a cupofcoffee ,I
want to be there for a bit longer and it is up
to me to get back to that point."
ere were fears that Lu might be
overawed on Saturday --- in his first ATP
final --- but he showed all of the fight that
has characterised his week. Isner took the
first set tie-break with relative ease, opening
up a 5-2 lead with a huge ace and eventually
taking it 7-4. --- APNZ
Roger Federer is the
No 1 target of the
Heineken Open --- and
remain confident the
Swiss legend can be lured
Despite his fall in the
world rankings to No 6,
Federer, rated by many as
the best player in history,
is still seen as the biggest
drawcard in tennis, even
slightly ahead of world
No 1 Rafael Nadal and
well in front of men such
as Novak Djokovic, Andy
Murray and Juan Martin
del Potro in his ability
to bring in crowds and
It might seem a pipe
dream, as Federer
manages his schedule
extremely carefully, is in
huge demand across the
globe and does not come
cheap but Heineken
director Karl Budge
believes a "radical plan"
could get Federer to
the Queen City. "With
Roger, is it not all about
money," Budge told the
Herald. "But we have to
be realistic --- we can t
compete on that level
with other tournaments
and we need to think
outside the square."
Budge has a plan on
several levels. First, he
hopes to involve Federer s
large family of sponsors,
making an appearance in
Auckland an attractive
proposition to them.
Federer s sponsors
include Rolex, Nike and
Wilson. Federer has also
recently became the global
ambassador for Moet
and Chandon (replacing
Scarlett Johansson) and
the champagne company
are keen to see him appear
around the globe.
"We could come up
with a package that
is appealing to them,"
Budge said. "From simple
things like having a Rolex
clock on centre court to
helping them hit media
targets in key markets,
especially Asia." Budge
has also discussed the idea
of a fundraising event ---
perhaps a black tie dinner
with Federer as a guest
speaker --- to raise money
for Federer s foundation.
Stockcar soccer a big hit
chasing Fed express
Big shot serves its purpose for Isner
Big ser ving John Isner.
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