Friday, October 22, 2021

February 12, 2021  MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Novak Djokovic said he tore a muscle during a fall in his five-set victory in the Australian Open’s third round and might need to pull out of the tournament. His opponent, American Taylor Fritz, wasn’t so sure. He figured Djokovic definitely will be back out there Sunday to continue his pursuit of a ninth championship at Melbourne Park and 18th Grand Slam title overall.

“If he can play like he played in the fifth, I don’t see why he wouldn’t play,” Fritz said. “He’ll beat pretty much anyone.”

The No. 1-ranked Djokovic seemed to be cruising along with a two-set lead Friday night when his left foot gave out from under him as he tried to change directions and he slipped awkwardly on the white “MELBOURNE” lettering at the back of the blue court. He took a medical timeout for treatment on his side and later was helped more by a trainer. Fritz got back into the match, before Djokovic eventually won 7-6 (1), 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-2.

When it ended, Djokovic puffed his chest, held his arms out wide and bellowed, his voice echoing through an empty and otherwise silent Rod Laver Arena. The match began with spectators present, but they were forced to leave a little past 11:30 p.m. — about an hour before Djokovic wrapped up his win — because a local COVID-19 lockdown began at midnight.

During an on-court interview, he was subdued.

And pessimistic.

“I know it’s a tear, definitely, of the muscle. So I don’t know if I’ll manage to recover from that in less than two days. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know if I’m going to step out onto the court or not,” said Djokovic, who is supposed to face 2016 Wimbledon runner-up Milos Raonic with a quarterfinal berth on the line.

“I am just very proud of this achievement tonight,” Djokovic said. “Let’s see what happens tomorrow.”

The only man in the draw with more Grand Slam trophies than Djokovic, No. 2 Rafael Nadal, has been complaining about a bad back since last week. Nadal’s bid for his men’s-record 21st major title — breaking a tie with Roger Federer — continues Saturday in the third round against Cameron Norrie.

Others in third-round action Saturday include No. 4 Daniil Medvedev, No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas, No. 7 Andrey Rublev, No. 9 Matteo Berrettini and the last American man in the tournament, unseeded McKenzie McDonald.

In addition to Djokovic-Raonic, the fourth-round matchups slated for Sunday are No. 3 Dominic Thiem vs. No. 18 Grigor Dimitrov, No. 6 Alexander Zverev vs. No. 23 Dusan Lajovic, and No. 20 Felix Auger-Aliassime vs. Aslan Karatsev, a Russian qualifier who is ranked 114th and making his Grand Slam debut.

On Friday, Djokovic’s match was halted for about 10 minutes while the crowd was cleared out, which bothered Fritz.

“I mean, to be honest — like, completely honest — it’s absolutely ridiculous that at a Grand Slam match, we’re asked to leave the court for 10 minutes in the middle of the match,” said Fritz, a 23-year-old from California who was seeded 27th. “That shouldn’t be a thing at a Grand Slam. ... We shouldn’t have played tonight if we weren’t going to finish the match on time.”

No fans will be allowed at the tournament for at least five days.

“In a way, it’s unfortunate for the crowd that we didn’t finish the match with them seeing the end. They were enjoying it, certainly,” said Djokovic, the champion in Australia each of the past two years. “On the other hand, you know, for me regardless of the crowd in the stands or not, I was just trying to focus on what’s going on with an injury and just praying and hoping that somehow it would get better.”

After his movement and usually strong returns were clearly hampered in the third and fourth sets, Djokovic began to assert himself more in the fifth.

Things swung suddenly back in his favor with a break to 4-2.

“Looked like he was struggling in the third and the fourth, and he didn’t really look like he was struggling in the fifth,” Fritz said. “He looked fine in the fifth. Let’s be honest.”

This setback dropped Fritz’s career record in third-round matches at Grand Slam tournaments to 0-6.

“I make (the) third round literally every single Slam. I just want to make it to the fourth round,” Fritz said. “Like, it’s so tough. I fought so hard and wanted it so bad, and it’s just really tough to go out like that.”

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Entertainment

September 7, 2021  NEW YORK (AP) — Actor Michael K. Williams, who as the rogue robber of drug dealers Omar Little on “The Wire” created one of the most beloved and enduring characters in a prime era of television, died Monday. Williams was found dead Monday afternoon by family members in his Brooklyn penthouse apartment, New York City police said. He was 54. His death was being investigated as a possible drug overdose, the NYPD said. The medical examiner was investigating the cause of death. Little, a “stick-up boy” based on real figures from Baltimore, was probably the most popular character among the devoted fans of “The Wire,” the HBO show that ran from 2002 to 2008 and is re-watched constantly in streaming.

September 8, 2021 LOS ANGELES (AP) — Britney Spears’ father filed Tuesday to end the court conservatorship that has controlled the singer’s life and money for 13 years. James Spears filed his petition to terminate the conservatorship in Los Angeles Superior Court. “As Mr. Spears has said, again and again, all he wants is what is best for his daughter,” the document says. “If Ms. Spears wants to terminate the conservatorship and believes that she can handle her own life, Mr. Spears believes that she should get that chance.” Judge Brenda Penny, who oversees the case, will need to approve the move. Britney Spears attorney Matthew Rosengart said in an email the filing “represents another legal victory for Britney Spears — a massive one — as well as vindication for Ms. Spears.”

September 8, 2021  NEW YORK (AP) — With Katie Holmes and Lil’ Kim on his front row and singer Marina on the mic high above his runway, Christian Siriano helped kicked off New York Fashion Week’s first big pandemic round of in-person shows Tuesday with a flurry of neon and lace-inspired in part by all the Italian women in his life. From ornate Gotham Hall, beneath a stained-glass skylight 70 feet up, Siriano’s commitment to size inclusivity was never stronger as he opened and closed the show with plus-size breakout model Precious Lee. She first walked in a stunning yellow trouser suit with wide loose pants and an asymmetrical jacket, a matching crossover bralette underneath.

September 7, 2021  VENICE, Italy (AP) — Paul Schrader knows he has a limited number of films left, so whatever he does from here on out is going to be for himself. At 75 years old, the writer of “Taxi Driver” and “Raging Bull” and director of “American Gigolo” and “Mishima” was even somewhat prepared to call it a day after his 2018 film “First Reformed,” for which he got his first Oscar nomination. He didn’t want to. He just knew it might be the reality. “I thought I would go back to this character again for about the fifth time,” Schrader said in a recent interview. By “this character” he means “the man in the room.” It’s Travis Bickle. It’s John LeTour. It’s Julian Kay. And it’s a formula he’s been working with for 45 years.

Business News

September 8, 2021  -Stocks were mostly lower in Asia on Wednesday after a lackluster session on Wall Street, where weak jobs data and pandemic concerns weighed on sentiment. Shares rose in Tokyo after economic growth for the April-June quarter was revised upward to an annualized 1.9% from an earlier estimate of 1.3%. “Any feel-good factor was ignored, though, given the climb was less than half of the 4.20% fall in Q1,” Jeffrey Halley of Oanda said in a commentary. “Japan will be lucky to break even this year as the current Covid-19 wave will almost certainly have weighed on domestic consumption,” he said.

September 8, 2021 NEW YORK (AP) — There will be something missing at two Whole Foods stores opening next year: the rows of cashiers. Amazon, which owns the grocery chain, said Wednesday that it will bring its cashier-less technology to two Whole Foods stores for the first time, letting shoppers grab what they need and leave without having to open their wallets. Cameras and sensors track what’s taken off shelves. Items are charged to an Amazon account after customers leave the store with them. But there will be an option for those who want to shop the old-fashioned way: Self-checkout lanes will be available that take cash, gift cards and other types of payment. Amazon first unveiled the cashier-less technology in 2018 at an Amazon Go convenience store and has expanded it to larger Amazon supermarkets. But it will be the first time it has appeared at Whole Foods, a chain of more than 500 grocery stores Amazon bought four years ago.

September 8, 2021  BEIJING (AP) — An avalanche of changes launched by China’s ruling Communist Party has jolted everyone from tech billionaires to school kids. Behind them: President Xi Jinping’s vision of making a more powerful, prosperous country by reviving revolutionary ideals, with more economic equality and tighter party control over society and entrepreneurs. Since taking power in 2012, Xi has called for the party to return to its “original mission” as China’s economic, social and cultural leader and carry out the “ rejuvenation of the great Chinese nation.” The party has spent the decade since then silencing dissent and tightening political control. Now, after 40 years of growth that transformed China into the world’s factory but left a gulf between a wealthy elite and the poor majority, the party is promising to spread prosperity more evenly and is pressing private companies to pay for social welfare and back Beijing’s ambition to become a global technology competitor.

Fashion News

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