March 28, 2019
Roger Federer is through to the Miami Open quarterfinals, having little trouble on the way to a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Daniil Medvedev - needing only 61 minutes to prevail in a match where he committed eight unforced errors.
Miami Open: Roger Federer reaches quarters, Simona Halep eyes No. 1 ranking
Roger Federer will face a hectic few days if he’s going to win another Miami Open. He’s off to a good start.
Federer is through to the quarterfinals, having little trouble on the way to a 6-4, 6-2 victory over 13th-seeded Daniil Medvedev on Wednesday – needing only 61 minutes to prevail in a match where he committed a mere eight unforced errors. The match was supposed to be Tuesday and was pushed back a day because of rain.
So now, to win what would be his fourth Miami title, Federer will have to prevail four times in a five-day span. Next up for the No. 4 seed is a quarterfinal Thursday against No. 6 seed Kevin Anderson – a match between the two highest seeds left on the men’s side, and the biggest test yet for Anderson since his return from an elbow issue.
“I’m feeling really good,” Federer said. “Today’s match, I can be really happy with so I hope it’s going to give me some confidence for tomorrow.”
Federer and Medvedev split the first eight games, and then things turned quickly. Federer broke Medvedev for a 5-4 lead in the first set, fought off three break points to close out the set in the next game, and got another break to open the second set. He cruised home from there.
“When you want to go deep in tournaments, sometimes you need those 15 minutes that go your way and you’re able to pull away with the score too,” Federer said of the break and then the rally from 0-40 down to serve out the opening set. “Margins are super-slim and you need a bit of help sometimes from your opponent.”
Federer leads the head-to-head against Anderson 5-1, the loss coming last year in the Wimbledon quarterfinals – Anderson winning 13-11 in the fifth set.
“If you beat me at Wimbledon, you’ve got my attention,” Federer said.
Miami Open: Roger Federer reaches quarters, Simona Halep eyes No. 1 ranking
Meanwhile, second-seeded Simona Halep also finished her match Wednesday with a flourish.
And a return to the world’s No. 1 ranking could be her reward.
Halep beat 18th-seeded Qiang Wang 6-4, 7-5 in the quarterfinals. Halep won the final six games against Qiang and would return to No. 1 in the world if she wins her semifinal match Thursday night against fifth-seeded Karolina Pliskova – a 6-3, 6-4 winner over unseeded Marketa Vondrousova in an all-Czech Republic quarterfinal.
“I just found out from my coach that I need one more match to be No. 1 again,” Halep said. “It’s pretty much in my head and I’m happy that I’m in this position again.”
Pliskova fought off two break points in the final game, then prevailed when Vondrousova sent a forehand long on match point.
“Night, it’s perfect for me,” Pliskova said.
Pliskova is 2-7 head-to-head against Halep. They are the two highest seeds left in the women’s draw; the other women’s semi, set for Thursday afternoon, has 12th-seeded Ashleigh Barty against 21st-seeded Anett Kontaveit.
“It’s going to be, I think, a good match,” Pliskova said of the looming matchup with Halep. “With her the quality of the tennis is always good and the intensity is always good.”
Halep has been No. 1 twice before, including most of 2018. She surrendered the ranking to Naomi Osaka in January, and didn’t think she would have a chance to grab it back again this quickly.
“It would mean a lot,” Halep said.
While Federer is just getting into the quarters, defending Miami champion John Isner of the U.S. became the first man in the field to reach the semifinals and did it in what’s become his customary fashion. The seventh-seeded Isner ousted 22nd-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 (1), 7-6 (5).
Isner has won 10 straight matches at the tournament and hasn’t dropped a set yet in this year’s edition at Hard Rock Stadium – 8-0 in sets, 7-0 in tiebreakers. All but one of his sets have been 7-6 wins, the other being a 7-5 triumph. He had 24 aces Wednesday and faced only one break point.
In his seven tournaments this year, Isner has played 47 sets – 24 of those going to tiebreaks. He’ll face Canadian 18-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime in the semifinals, after the teen topped 11th-seeded Borna Coric 7-6 (3), 6-2 on Wednesday night.
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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