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Her nearest and dearest
thought she was “too nice to
play tennis” but Petra Kvitova
proved that when she walks out
on court, she is “not that nice” as
she handed Eugenie Bouchard
a right royal thumping in the
Kvitova was so brutal and so
lethal yesterday that it will be
a long time before Bouchard,
tipped as a Wimbledon-queen-
in-waiting, forgets the 6-3, 6-0
execution she suffered at the
hands of the Czech sixth seed.
It was not the final that 15,000
fans, including members of the
British royal family, had flocked
Kvitova did not care.
After just 55 mind-blowing
minutes, she was flat on her back
in celebration while spectators
such as nine-times champion
Martina Navratilova stood up
to hail a majestic centre court
“After three years to be
back here with the trophy is
absolutely amazing. It’s amazing
time for me,” a teary-eyed
Kvitova told the crowd with a
quivering voice after hoisting
the Rosewater Dish for the
second time in four years.
“It will be good ... to have a
second trophy at home. I still
match how many Martina has.
So I will work very hard for
It was an astonishing
performance for a woman whose
career has gone south since her
breakthrough win here three
Kvitova hit rip-roaring winners
left, right and centre to win the
most one-sided final since Steffi
Graf also dropped only three
games against Monica Seles in
“ When I was younger,
everyone said I was too nice
to play tennis but when I
stand there on court, I’m not
that nice,” Kvitova said with a
Much had been made of
Bouchard’s raw power and
determination to triumph in
what she calls the ‘temple of
tennis’ but the 20-year-old was
unable to cope with sixth seed
Kvitova’s more varied attacking
Bouchard was watched from
the Royal Box by her namesake
Princess Eugenie, grand-
daughter of Queen Elizabeth
but the occasion of playing in
her first major final appeared to
over whelm the 13th seed.
She dropped ser ve in the
third game after Kvitova hit
a crosscourt winner to end an
entertaining rally that had sent
both players scampering around
The Czech’s laser-like shots
were again on target when she
broke again in the seventh game,
leaving Bouchard time and again
stranded on the wrong side of
the court with the sheer force of
Kvitova’s only blip during the
demolition job was when she
attempted to ser ve out the set at
5-2. She dropped her ser ve but
then broke her rival in the next
game with a thumping return.
The crowd tried to lift
Bouchard’s sagging spirits with
cries of “come on Genie” but
left-hander Kvitova simply went
into overdrive in the second,
winning it in 22 blistering
minutes, and ended her victim’s
ordeal with a sizzling backhand
“It was just amazing. You
always dream as a player to play
your best tennis on the biggest
stage and that was a thing
of beauty,” summed up 1999
Wimbledon champion Lindsay
“ You can’t even blame
Bouchard because she didn’t play
badly but she just didn’t get the
chance to play because Kvitova
didn’t allow her to. I don’t think
anyone would have been able to
play her today.
“Bouchard tried everything but
Kvitova didn’t miss anything.”
As if the on-court humiliation
was not painful enough,
Bouchard was then left to face
exactly what she had missed out
With the players briefly taken
off centre court while the roof
was closed for the presentation
ceremony, she found herself in
the one place she would rather
“ It was a little odd. I sat down.
I put my jacket on. Just reflected.
I was in the engraver’s room,
so I was watching them work,
wishing one day, dreaming
that he’ ll write my name
somewhere,” Bouchard said
after her hopes of becoming the
first Canadian to win a grand
slam title were pounded into the
It was the quickest final since
Navratilova took 54 minutes to
wallop American Andrea Jaeger
6-0, 6-3, in 1983. — Reuters
After almost four hours of mental torture,
Novak Djokovic sank to his knees, crouched
over the hallowed Wimbledon turf, plucked
a blade of grass and put it in his mouth —
never before had victory tasted so good.
It was a victory that he should have been
celebrating almost an hour earlier, it was
a victory that almost slipped through his
sweaty fingers, it was a victory he had been
craving for three years.
At 6.07pm local time, the Serb’s agony
finally turned into ecstasy when Roger
Federer whipped a backhand into the net to
end one of the greatest finals seen at the All
England Club and to elevate Djokovic to a
double Wimbledon champion with a 6-7 (7),
6-4, 7-6 (4), 5-7, 6-4 victory.
Fifty two minutes earlier the Serb had also
stood one point away from victory at 5-4 in
the fourth set — only to watch Hawkeye
deliver the cruellest of blows.
The technology that had left Federer
seething in the 2007 final, when he yelled
“God it’s killing me”, came to his rescue at
match point down by ruling the Swiss’s ser ve
had in fact kissed the line after the line judge
had called it out.
What should have led to a second ser ve
from Federer had now turned into an ace,
producing another twist in the gripping
drama that had 15,000 people sitting on the
edge of their seats and Djokovic tied up in
“This win has a special importance to me
mentally. Because I managed to not just win
against my opponent but win against myself
as well and find that inner strength that got
me the trophy today,” an emotional Djokovic
said, who had lost five of his previous six
grand slam finals.
“I could have easily lost my concentration
in the fifth and just handed him the win. It ’s
the most special grand slam final I’ve played.
At the time of my career for this grand slam
trophy to arrive is crucial, especially after
losing several grand slam finals in a row.
Started doubting a little bit.
“I needed this win a lot,” Djokovic added,
whose Wednesday wedding with long-time
girlfriend Jelena Ristic, has now turned into a
The triumph handed Djokovic a seventh
grand slam title — surpassing the total won
by his coach Boris Becker — and halted
Federer’s bid to become the oldest men’s
champion at the All England Club for more
than half a century.
“It was a great final. I can’t believe I made it
to five, it wasn’t looking good for a while,” the
32-year-old Federer said after missing out on
an 18th grand slam title.
“I thought it had everything for fans to like.
The swing of momentum in the first set, him
coming back in the second, staying even in
the third, all the back and forth in the fourth
set ... when things got a bit crazy, and then
the drama of the fifth.
“I kept believing ... and kept trying to play
offensive tennis, I’m very disappointed not
being rewarded with victory. I was very sad
walking off the court not with the winner’s
“I already have seven. It’s not like I need
another one. But it would have been awfully
nice to have it,” added the Swiss, who was
consoled by Prince William and his wife
the D uchess of Cambridge after walking
off court a beaten man. It was a contest in
which Federer fired down 29 screaming aces,
including four in one game, produced 75
winners, and won 180 points in total — just
six fewer than the champion.
While Federer was disappointed at coming
off second best in another five-set final
thriller, six years after being beaten by Rafael
Nadal in what is dubbed the ‘greatest match
ever’, losing was not even an option for
It was therefore little surprise that the
man whose tennis had been rather wayward
this past fortnight, brought out the heavy
artillery today. From the off, 20-shot rallies
were followed by 22-stroke exchanges as
the two gladiators went toe-to-toe, both
showing astonishing levels of athleticism as
they chased down anything the other threw
Dropshots were turned into rasping angled
winners, lobs were chased down and flicked
away for audacious winners, and volleys
flowed off racket strings like liquid gold.
“This has been the best quality grand slam
final that I’ve ever been part of. Q uality-wise
from the first to last point, this is definitely
the best match,” Djokovic said.
The absence of break points in the first set
led the battling duo into a tiebreak, Djokovic
car ving out the first set point at 6-5 only
to see it vanish seconds later when he hit a
Four points later Federer had his usually
unflappable coach, Stefan Edberg, leaping
to his feet and shouting “Yes” and “C ’mon”
from the front row of the player’s box when
his charge nabbed the first set thanks to a
Djokovic backhand error.
With the showdown also billed as the
‘ battle of the super-coaches’, Edberg
having beaten Becker in two of the three
Wimbledon finals they had contested from
1988 to 1990, the clearly agitated German
slumped back into his seat.
The hollering crowd, however, were ecstatic.
As they rose to salute the man many call
“a tennis god”, the Serb looked up to the
heavens, holding his racket grip between
pressed palms, praying for some divine
He did not need any help from outside
forces when he broke Federer, who had won
99% of his service games during his run to
the final, for a 2-1 second-set lead with a
blazing crosscourt passing shot.
That was enough to give the top seed the
set and when he took the third 7-4 in the
tiebreak, it seemed there would be no way
back for the crowd favourite.
Federer loves the feeling of ball on racket,
he loves creating magic — and that is exactly
what his ageing limbs and battle-weary mind
produced in the fourth set when he stormed
back from 5-2 down, saved match point,
thanked Hawkeye, and left Djokovic stunned
and deflated. The cheering crowd wanted
more, Djokovic did not.
Holding his arms wide and he gestured
skywards, perhaps questioning: “what more
do I have to do to beat this man?”
After Federer saved three ner ve-jangling
break points in the eighth game, Djokovic’s
prayers were finally and thankfully answered
two games, allowing him to enjoy “a nice bite”
“I thought that there was less grass today
than it was a few years ago, so I had a little bit
of soil, as well. It tastes like the best meal that
I ever had in my life.” — Reuters
Monday, July 7, 2014
A try to Marist wing Liam Hewlett on
Saturday was the defining moment for the
2014 rugby season for both his team and South
Westland, who were both jostling on the points
Had the try not been scored Marist and South
Westland would have been tied on points but
the southerners would have earned a semi-final
spot by virtue of a better for and against record.
However the bonus point from Hewlett ’s
touchdown tipped the scales in Marist ’s favour,
with their 29-24 win over Blaketown, and they
will now go on to meet Kiwi in one semi-final
while Grey Valley hosts Blaketown in the other
South Westland came oh so close to deciding
their own future with a victory over Kiwi but
eventually had to be content with a 20-20 draw
while the match between Grey Valley and
Wests was called off early due to a back injury to
West ’s lock Cameron Smith. Grey Valley were
leading 21-6 at the time. West Coast Rugby
Union chief executive, Mike Connors, said that
the decision to call a halt to the match was a
safety precaution, officials being reluctant to
move the injured player until St John arrived
from Reefton. Wests’ coach, Kevin Church
said that Smith had been cleared of lasting
injury but “it will be some time before he’s fully
Church said that the injury came at an
inopportune time because the younger and
fitter Wests side was just assuming dominance
and were finishing strongest.
“The boys were playing out of their skins and,
had the game continued would have had every
show of an upset,” he said. “ They all played well
but Jordan Ross had a top game at halfback and
fullback Logan Ross ran the ball back at them
Kiwi player coach Dan Tauwhare said it was
a real arm-wrestle at Whataroa, the scores also
being tied 13-13 at the break. Wing Brent
McBride (two tries) and centre Jamie Kearns
were Kiwi’s players of the day.
“All our forwards played well, South Westland
were pretty good up front but we matched
South Westland’s coach, Grant Mathieson
said that his players were “gutted ” when the
news filtered through that Marist had beaten
“ We thought that we had done enough (to
earn a semi-final) but it wasn’t to be.”
Mathieson said it was South Westland ’s best
team effort of the season but first five Cory
Deans hogged the points scoring with two
tries, two conversions a penalty and a field goal.
“Hooker Mike Riley led the pack well, he was
all over the place and lock Lucas Symminton
won us a lot of good ball.”
Marist dominated Blaketown up front, their
scrum marching the opposition back at will and
the lineout claiming many of the opposition’s
throws. Meanwhile the green backs, marshalled
by first five Nathan Smith were showing
more cohesion and better ball skills than their
opposites who either kicked or bumbled the ball
into Marist hands.
By the time the Seagulls put the boot away
and started to string phases together it was too
late but the change of attitude was rewarded
with two late tries to narrow the winning
margin to four.
Alan Monk had a busy game in the black pack
but had little support while Marist loosies, Ben
Campbell and Sam Tau were prominent along
with locks Mike Meehan and Gabriel Waipouri.
Smith put the Greens up 7-0 with a long
solo try and subsequent conversion and a Josh
Costello try (again converted by Smith) on the
back of a strong Campbell run, put the home
team up 14-0 after 20 minutes.
Blaketown’s reply was immediate, wing, Beau
Cain snaring the kickoff amid the Marist
for wards and darting along the touchline to
score before Mudu broke free from a maul and
easily side stepped Robert Thomson to score.
Smith again added the extras but but Blaketown
had the final say of the half when Nik Davy
scooted over from a ruck near the Marist line
and Cain popped over the conversion 21-12.
Marist fullback, Hewlett, evading tackles with
ease, scored early in the second half and a Smith
penalty advanced the lead to 29-12 before a late
Blaketown flurry brought tries to Monk and
Brad Houston, one converted by Cain, closed
the gap to 29-24 before the final whistle blew.
Marist 29 (L Hewlett, J Costello, N Smith, M
Mudu tries; Smith 3 cons, pen), Blaketown 24
(N Davy, B Houston, A Monk, B Cain tries;
Cain 2 cons); South Westland 20 (C Deans
2 tries, 2 cons, pen, field goal), Kiwi 20 (B
McBride 2 tries; S McClure 2 cons, 2 pens);
Grey Valley 21 (M Sweeney, D Crouchley, N
Makea tries; T Priest 3 cons), Wests 6 (L Ross
PICTURE: Nicholas McBride
Marist second-five Josh Costello breaks a tackle as he makes a run against Blaketown defenders during their game at the Marist rugby
ground on Saturday.
of the Otago Daily Times
Though they finished a distant second
in their Super 15 match last night, the
Highlanders still look highly likely to
make the play-offs.
The Highlanders lost 44-16 to the
Waratahs in Sydney and failed to take a
competition point from the match.
But results at the weekend mean only
a high-scoring close game between the
Brumbies and the Force in Canberra this
Friday could deny the Highlanders their
first finals action since 2002.
The Highlanders are fourth on the table,
the same position they were in at the start
of the penultimate round.
They could have sealed a play-off spot
with any sort of competition point last
night, but that never looked likely.
The Highlanders are on 42 points,
a point ahead of the fifth-placed
Hurricanes, who have the bye next week
and cannot get any more points.
The Force, Chiefs and the Brumbies are
all on 40 points, meaning they are all still
in with a shout.
The Chiefs play the Blues and will get
the chance to continue their title defence
if they beat the home side at Eden Park
on Friday night.
The Force take on the Brumbies and
both could qualify if they get two points
each from the game.
If teams finish tied on points, teams
with the most wins go through to the
The Highlanders fall down in this
regard as it has just eight wins, with the
Force and the Brumbies each having
bagged one extra victory.
The Highlanders will have the
advantage of knowing exactly what they
have to do when they play the Crusaders
in Christchurch next Saturday night.
If the men from the south do manage
to beat the Crusaders, with a bonus point,
deny the home team a bonus point, and
the Sharks lose heavily to the Stormers,
the Highlanders could actually finish
second and will have a bye in the first
week of the playoffs.
The Waratahs, who have never won
the competition, confirmed top place
on the ladder with their win over the
Highlanders last night.
of the New Zealand Herald
New Zealand ticked a World
Cup box on the final day of their
West Indian tour.
Key batsman Kane Williamson
captained the New Zealand
side in their second and final
T20 against the West Indies in
The result did not go his way,
the West Indies winning by 39
runs to square the two-game
rubber, but the decision to give
Williamson the leadership
was made at least partly with
next February’s World Cup in
mind. Should regular captain
Brendon McCullum be injured,
Williamson is the logical person
to step in.
“It ’s something if we get to the
World Cup and have an incident
we need to make sure Kane is up
to speed,” coach Mike Hesson
“ Today was an opportunity in
a slightly less pressured situation,
although there was a big crowd
and atmosphere, to give him
McCullum played the game
today, indeed New Zealand
fielded an unchanged XI from
that which won the first T20 by
12 runs under the Duckworth
Lewis method 24 hours earlier.
“Kane will learn a lot from it.
It ’s another of those areas we
need to make sure we have cover
come World Cup time,” Hesson
Hesson admitted the West
Indies were well worth the win
today, having made 165 for six,
then bowling impressively to
restrict New Zealand to 126, the
final wicket falling with five balls
Andre Fletcher’s 62 off 49 balls
put down a foundation for the
hosts and others chipped in. New
Zealand’s bowling was notgood
enough through the middle
stages, although Trent Boult
pulled off another spectacular
one-handed catch in the deep
to dismiss big-hitting Kieron
Apart from Williamson’s 37
off 28 balls, none of the other
batsmen were around long
enough to anchor the chase.
They were reminded of the skills
of finger spinner Sunil Narine,
who once again flummoxed the
batsmen, and might have had
them wondering how much
he might have affected the test
series outcome, had he not been
a victim of West Indies cricket
politics and left out of the squad.
“ We didn’t want to finish on a
loss but overall it’s been a great
tour for us. We came over a couple
of years ago and got turned over.
The fact we won a series away
from home is a big achievement
for us,” Hesson added.
New Zealand have a break from
international cricket until South
Africa come out for three ODIs
in late October, followed by a test
and limited-overs series against
Pakistan in the United Arab
Emirates in November.
Argentina’s Angel Cabrera has claimed
his first non-major victory on United
States soil, winning the US PGA Tour’s
Greenbrier Classic by two strokes.
The 44-year-old tapped in on 18 for his
second-straight six-under 64 to finish at
16-under 264 and win from American
George McNeill who blazed home with
a closing 61 including a hole-in-one at
Cabrera’s two previous wins in the US
were both in major championships — the
2009 Masters and 2007 US Open. He
also came agonisingly close to victory
at last year’s Masters, missing out in
a sudden-death play-off to Australia’s
Cabrera entered today ’s final round at
The Old White Course at the Greenbrier
resort in White Sulphur Springs,
Virginia, two shots adrift of third round
leader Billy Hurley. His round included
an eagle on the par-four 13th and six
birdies. Cabrera has a reputation of doing
well in majors but not regular tour events.
He has just three wins on the European
Tour, with his most recent being the 2005
Webb Simpson shot a seven-under 63
and he ended alone in third at 10-under
270. Bud Cauley had a hole-in-one on
the 18th en route to a six-under 64 and
ended in a share of fourth place at nine
under with Chris Stroud (69), Hurley
(73), and Brendon Todd (66). — Reuters
Marist seals last semi spot with win over Blaketown
on way to crown
Kvitova too powerful for Bouchard
PICTURE: Getty Images
Petra Kvitova with the Venus Rosewater Dish trophy after her
victor y in the singles final match against Eugenie Bouchard
yesterday at Wimbledon.
PICTURE: Getty Images
Novak Djokovic eats some of the centre court grass as he celebrates winning the final
against Roger Federer this morning at Wimbledon.
Williamson takes reins in T20 loss
chances alive despite loss
Cabrera wins on PGA Tour
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