Womens Tennis Is Finally Getting Young Again

This represents a sharp downturn from most of the previous decade. The average age of WTA winners floated between 25.8 and 26.1 between 2013 and 2016. But it also serves as a return to normalcy for women’s tennis, which had long been dominated by youth: The average age of WTA tour players in 1990 was 20.9, as 21-year-old Steffi Graf and 17-year-old Monica Seles finished the season ranked first and second. That average age would not rise above 23.5 for nearly two decades.The amount of young talent is enormous again. And impatient. Since Serena Williams won her last major at the Australian Open in 2017, only one other Slam winner has been at least 30 years old: Angelique Kerber, who won Wimbledon at age 30 last year. The winners of the other seven majors: Osaka, who won the 2018 U.S. Open at age 20 and the 2019 Australian at 21; Jelena Ostapenko, who won the 2017 French at 20; Garbiñe Muguruza, age 23 when she won the 2017 Wimbledon;1Muguruza also won the 2016 French Open. Sloane Stephens, who won the U.S. Open at 24; Simona Halep, who won the French Open last year at age 26; and Caroline Wozniacki, the 2018 Australia Open winner at age 27.Part of this may be cyclical. As clusters of young, talented players emerge, a generation of older players who exceeded the normal life expectancy of a tennis career is nearing its end — and we aren’t just talking about the Williams sisters, who are now 37 and 38 years old. Francesca Schiavone, 38, won the French Open in 2010 but retired last September. Roberta Vinci, 36, shocked the world at the 2015 U.S. Open when she beat Serena Williams, who was two wins away from a golden Slam, but Vinci retired in May 2018. Agnieszka Radwanska, 30, who lost the Wimbledon final in 2012, called it quits in November.Other players might not last that long, either. Samantha Stosur, 35, is in great shape and is an expert in doubles, but she struggles in singles. After next year’s Olympics, 30-year-old Dominika Cibulkova could decide to leave the game, too. Maria Sharapova, 32, has missed most of this season with injury. Victoria Azarenka, 29, is back after struggling since she had a child, but she might never be as powerful as she was in 2013.After she lost a doubles match this year in Paris, Lucie Safarova announced she had retired from tennis. Now age 32, Safarova had played in Slams since 2005. She never won a major singles title, but she came close at the 2015 French Open, when she lost to Serena Williams in three entertaining sets. Safarova also won five doubles majors with Bethanie Mattek-Sands, including two in Roland-Garros.“I think that it’s great that the competition is so strong,” Safarova said. “And we have, I think, at least 100 players now are amazing competitors. And you just have to be strong and play your 100 percent to be able to be here.”On Saturday, Barty and Vondroušová will likely be nervous, as is usually the case for players in a Grand Slam final. But their youth — and their passion — is what this age of tennis is all about. In the French Open final, 19-year-old Markéta Vondroušová, who dazzles with drop shots, will face off with Ashleigh Barty, 23, who is crafty and quick with a ton of energy. Amanda Anisimova, 17, reached the semis by hitting smooth strokes and bullets all day long. And world No. 1 Naomi Osaka lost early in Paris but claimed two Grand Slam titles by the age of 21.Women’s tennis is, at long last, getting young.The average age of players who have won at least one WTA title this year is 23.6 years old. That’s the lowest age since 2008 — and it will drop even further after Saturday. At the French Open this year, the final eight women in the event were no older than 28. read more

Edmund Shing Predictions for George Osbornes Budget 2015 tax cuts but no

first_imgClose That man of the people, Chancellor George Osborne, is sure to mimic Mr Robertson in giving us all some jam in the Budget on 18 March. After all, we are merely two months away from a May general election and the Conservative Party is sure to want to play its usual low tax card.I would also wager that the Blues will attempt to sway the grey vote their way with further presents for pensioners, in the form of the granting of further pension freedoms. After all, it is clear Ukip have had particular success in appealing to the fiftysomething-plus Saga generation, which has traditionally been the core of Tory support over the post-war decades.Higher personal allowance on the cardsSo lets start with the most obvious tax-oriented measures – the raising of the threshold for the paying of income tax in the form of the personal income tax allowance, currently £10,000 per person per tax year. Firstly, this is one measure the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats continue to agree on. Secondly, the strength of the UK economy allows Osborne to relax his fiscal shackles a little and give back to UK households.I would pitch for an immediate increase in the personal allowance up to perhaps £12,000 per year (saving all taxpayers £200 per year), with a further pledge to continue raising this threshold if the Conservatives are returned to power.Of course, some of this largesse is likely to be clawed back via indirect taxes such as higher petrol duty, given how oil prices have collapsed over the last six months or so, allowing UK motorists to buy unleaded petrol today 18% cheaper than it was back in July 2014 (Figure 2).Benefits for savers – via IsasSecondly, Gorgeous George will want to help savers, given the paltry interest rates now on offer from high street banks and building societies.The current Individual Savings Account (Isa) limit has already been raised substantially to £15,000 for the current tax year (from £11,520 previously), and is set to rise to £15,240 under existing government commitments. However, it could go further and perhaps round this amount up to a more generous £16,000, allowing savers to shield earned more interest, dividends and capital gains from income and capital gains tax.Targeting pensioners – via pension bondsRemember Pension Freedom Day is approaching with the new tax year, on 6 April.This allows those holding private pensions to liberate them once aged 55 or older, effectively offering a far wider set of financial alternatives for current or those fast approaching retirement. However, this is likely to prove very complicated for the man on the Clapham omnibus, given pensions were an impenetrable subject even before the announcement of these welcome changes.One set of pensioners who are likely to be targeted by the current government are those who have already used their private pensions to buy an annuity (a product that provides a guaranteed level of income for the remainder of ones life). The potential to trade in an existing annuity for a lump sum instead could well be a new measure introduced in this Budget, extending the liberalisation of private pensions.A second measure benefiting pensioners could be the extension of the popular Pension Bonds offered by the government-run National Savings and Investments. Currently, pensioners are limited to investing a maximum of £10,000 in each of a 1-year 2.8% bond and a 3-year 4% bond. The government could well increase the amount of these bonds on offer to pensioners to allow more to benefit from these market-beating interest rates, or to increase the amount that a pensioner can invest in each bond.Caveat voter: All budget commitments could be unwound come MayBut you would do well to remember any pre-election giveaways from the chancellor can be unwound following the May general election by any eventual winner. So it would pay not to get too excited by and long-term measures announced during the Budget.Thus far, the one fact that I can safely state is that there is a record level of uncertainty over the result of this upcoming election, with the two main parties polling less than two-thirds of the total UK vote, a post-war low (Figure 3).Greatest certainty: Another hung parliamentTaking these average poll results and translating them into parliamentary seat swing predictions, no combination of two parties (apart from Conservatives and Labour) looks capable at present of forming a majority coalition government (Figure 4).Even a putative Labour and SNP coalition would not yield the necessary minimum Parliamentary majority of 326 seats, falling short by eight MPs.So what can we conclude from all this? Firstly, any tax giveaways will be limited by the coalition nature of the government, with the Liberal Democrats putting the dampers on any excessive Tory tax cuts.Secondly, tax-free saving and pensioners should get a boost. And thirdly, the chance of an inconclusive May election is at present running very high, with the risk of even needing a second election soon after the first…There remain two months for the main parties to sway current voting intentions their way but they had better get on with it. In the meantime, make sure to use up your current ISA allowance of £15,000 by 5 April (perhaps buying exposure to the current UK and global stock market rally), or else it will be too late.Edmund Shing is the author of The Idle Investor (Harriman House), an expert columnist and a global equity fund manager at BCS AM. He holds a PhD in Artificial Intelligence.last_img read more

Genius Kane Williamson takes his team to a memorable win

first_imgTwitter/Cricket World CupMost people believe that Kane Williamson will end up as the greatest New Zealand batsman of all time. For those, who didn’t, his match-winning hundred against South Africa in ICC World Cup would force a rethink. In an innings that showed his true quality, Williamson tackled difficult batting conditions to see his team through to a successful chase of 242-run target. The reason why this average looking score turned out to be so difficult was the nature of the wicket. With the ball not coming on and holding up, timing was difficult and most batsmen struggled to get going. A great helping hand came from Colin de Grandhomme who dashed his way to a brilliant half-century at more than run-a-ball, thanks to some unnecessary and counter-productive short-pitch bowling from South Africa.  But when de Grandhomme was dismissed, New Zealand were still not home. They needed 14 off 10 on a surface where hitting sixes and fours was looking very tough. The South Africans decided to bowl good-length cutters to ensure that timing the ball was very difficult. With 12 needed of 7 deliveries, Williamson was on strike. Facing him was an in-out field which made it difficult for him to attempt a big stroke or look for a quick single. His response was to masterfully guide the ball through the empty slip region, fine enough to beat the short third man fielder for four. This shot reflected the prowess of Kane as he managed to time a slow delivery, a very difficult task, to perfection. With 8 needed of the last over, Mitchell Santner was on strike. He got a single off the first ball to bring his captain back on strike. Once again, there was an in out field and a slower delivery coming his way. Williamson decided that time has come for a decisive blow. He went down on one knee and smashed the delivery from Andile Phehlukwayo for six over midwicket to level the score and bring up his hundred. The timing again, was absolutely precise. The next ball was guided away between short third man and backward point to seal the victory. Williamson once again showed he is a true genius.last_img read more

EC to announce Khulna Gazipur polls schedule 31 Mar

first_img.The election commission (EC) will declare the schedule of Gazipur and Khulna city corporation elections on 31 March.The decision was taken at a meeting of the commission on Monday, said EC secretary Helaluddin Ahmed while speaking to journalists.Replying to a question, the EC secretary said the commission would use Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) in different local government elections.Based on the voters’ feedback, they will decide if the EVM will be used in the national election, he added.UNB adds: The five-year tenure of Gazipur City Corporation will end on 4 September while that of Khulna on 25 September.The EC has a legal obligation to complete the election to Gazipur between 8 March and 4 September and that to Khulna between 30 March and 25 September.The EC secretary said the commission meeting discussed elections to five cities — Rajshahi, Khulna, Barisal, Sylhet and Gazipur — and decided to arrange elections to the cities following the dates of the maiden meetings of elected representatives of those cities.He said the EC will declare polls schedules for Gazipur and Khulna cities taking the final decision in this regard on 31 March.Helaluddin, however, said the EC may not announce election schedule for three remaining city corporations — Rajshahi, Barisal and Sylhet — on 31 March.last_img read more

America pays tribute to political icon McCain

first_imgFlowers, signs and photos are seen at a makeshift memorial to US Senator John McCain, in Phoenix, Arizona on 26 August. Photo: AFPAmerica paid tribute Sunday to John McCain, the Vietnam War hero and two-time presidential candidate with a legendary temper whose personal courage and insistence on treating even his foes with respect earned him near-universal admiration.McCain died on Saturday, four days shy of his 82nd birthday, following a yearlong battle with an aggressive form of brain cancer. He is survived by his wife Cindy and seven children, three of them from an earlier marriage.Flags flew at half-mast over the White House and US Capitol in honour of McCain, as organizers announced he will lie in state at the US Capitol Rotunda.That honour has been accorded to only a few notable Americans, including John F Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and civil rights icon Rosa Parks.A memorial service will take place at the massive National Cathedral overlooking Washington on Saturday before McCain is laid to rest according to his wishes at the US Naval Academy in nearby Annapolis, Maryland, on 2 September, his office said.Ahead of the national ceremonies, McCain will lie in state at the Arizona State Capitol Rotunda on Wednesday and a memorial service will take place at the North Phoenix Baptist Church.“This is a rare and distinct occurrence for a truly special man,” said Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, adding: “John McCain is Arizona.”In Phoenix, a succession of ordinary Arizonans left flags or flowers at McCain’s office or a local mortuary to honour the man who represented them in Congress for 35 years.Former presidents George W Bush, a Republican, and Barack Obama, a Democrat-his successful rivals in, respectively, the 2000 and 2008 elections-are set to speak at the national memorial service, according to The New York Times.Media reports earlier this year said the senator had expressly asked that president Donald Trump not be invited. Instead, vice president Mike Pence is expected to attend.Deepest sympathiesAs tributes poured in from the US and abroad, Trump said simply that he sent his “deepest sympathies and respect” to the McCain family.A rare Republican critic of Trump, McCain had accused the president of “naivete,” “egotism” and of sympathizing with autocrats, especially after Trump’s widely criticized appearance in Helsinki alongside Russian president Vladimir Putin.McCain cast a decisive vote last year that killed Republican attempts to repeal Obama’s health care reforms. The repeal was a Trump priority, and the president never forgave McCain.The hawkish McCain was an unrelenting critic of Obama’s foreign policy, saying the Democratic president was weak on Libya, Iraq and Syria.Still, Obama said he and the senator “shared, for all our differences, a fidelity to something higher-the ideals for which generations of Americans and immigrants alike have fought, marched and sacrificed.”Bush, whose tough campaign against McCain in 2000 left both sides bruised, praised the Arizonan as “a man of deep conviction and a patriot of the highest order.”Ordinary Americans also paid tribute, many of them in Phoenix, McCain’s hometown.“I didn’t agree with him all the time,” said Michelle Hasnelle of Phoenix “(but) he was always for the people of Arizona-he was one of us.”McCain spent more than three decades in the Senate, looming large in debates over war and peace and the moral direction of the nation.As chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, he was a powerful advocate for the nation’s veterans.A great statesmanAs a fervent Atlanticist, a persistent critic of authoritarian leaders, and a frequent congressional traveller, he earned respect around the globe.German chancellor Angela Merkel called McCain “one of the great political figures of our time (who) fought tirelessly for a strong transatlantic alliance.” Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau said he was “an inspiration to millions.”McCain “embodied the idea of service over self,” according to British prime minister Theresa May, while French president Emmanuel Macron saluted “a true American hero.”Across the Pacific, the China Daily referred to him as a “titan of American politics.”Sarah Palin, whom McCain plucked from obscurity to become his 2008 White House running mate, described him as “a fighter, never afraid to stand for his beliefs.”McCain drew criticism from the left for giving a platform to Palin’s right-wing views, which contributed to the rise of the conservative Tea Party movement.But he also earned respect from liberals for his steadfast opposition to torture and his push for immigration reform.Top senate Democrat Chuck Schumer said he would seek to rename a Senate building in his honour.Praise for McCain however was not universal: Chinese social media users called him an “enemy of China” for his hawkish foreign policy views.And comments on the US far-right Breitbart website slammed the senator for his key vote against the Obamacare repeal.McCain had been away from the senate floor since December, remaining at his Arizona ranch for treatment of glioblastoma-the same form of brain cancer that took the life of another senate giant, Democrat Ted Kennedy, in 2009.The son and grandson of four-star admirals, McCain will be buried in the cemetery of the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, on a peaceful hillside overlooking the Severn River.As a student at the academy, he had a reputation as a rebel, but with a wit and charm that drew people to him.In 2015, McCain himself revealed the simple epitaph he wanted on his tombstone, which will stand alongside those of naval heroes going back to the 1800s: “He served his country.”last_img read more

2 killed in alleged gunfights

first_imgGunfight IllustrationTwo people were killed in what the law enforcement called gunfights in Meherpur and Cox’s Bazar districts early Saturday.The person killed in the Cox’s Bazar was an drug trader while the person killed in Meherpur was a rape accused, claimed the police.In Cox’s Bazar, Dudu Mia, 38, son of a certain late Sultan Ahmed from Nazirpara in Teknaf upazila was killed in a “gunfight” in Mundal Dail area of Marine Drive in Teknaf around 12:30am, Teknaf police station officer-in-charge Pradip Kumar Das told Prothom Alo.He said Dudu Mia was a listed yaba trader. He was accused in nine lawsuits filed with Dhaka, Cox’s Bazar and Teknaf police stations, Pradip Kumar Das added.The OC said acting on tip off police arrested Dudu Mia from Nazirpara area around 9:30pm on Friday and grilled him.Later police went to recover arms and yaba pills in Mundal Dail area. Sensing presence of the law enforcement, his cohorts opened fire on the police, prompting them to shoot back triggering the gunfight, he said.Dudu Mia “came in the line of fire and sustained bullet injuries”. He was taken to Teknaf upazila health complex where a physician of the emergency section declared him dead.Assistant sub-inspectors Sanjib Dutta and Nizam Uddin and constable Mohammad Ibrahim also sustained injuries in the gunfight, Pradip added.Teknaf upazila health complex physician Shahidul Alam said to Prothom Alo, “Dudu Mia died before being brought to the hospital. He bore three marks of bullet injuries. Three policemen are being treated.”Policemen recovered five local firearms, 13 rounds of bullet and 4,000 yaba pills from the spot, OC Pradip said.In Meherpur, a rape accused was killed in a reported gunfight with police at Garadob village in Gangni upazila.The deceased is Yakub Ali Kajal, 23, son of a certain Jalal Uddin Habu, a resident of the village, reports UNB.Sajedul Islam, inspector (investigation) of Gangni police station, said Kajal was the prime accused in a case filed over the gang rape of a schoolgirl in the village on 20 December 2018.“Since then, he remained absconding and took shelter at his relative’s house in Dhola village. He used to disturb a housewife there.”“As the woman did not respond to his illicit proposal, he threw acid on her on Thursday. She is now undergoing treatment at Gangni hospital.”Police arrested Kajal from the village when he confessed to his involvement in the rape and acid attack incidents, said Sajedul Islam.He also informed police that several young men of Garadob village are involved in criminal activities and they had arms.Following his information, a team of police conducted a drive at the village to recover arms.Sensing the presence of police members, some miscreants opened fire on them, forcing them to fire back, triggering the gunfight that left Kajal dead, he said.Four policemen were also injured during the exchange of gunfire.The law enforcement began anti-drugs drive across the country on 4 May 2018. Since then, 98 people, including 19 Rohingyas, were killed in alleged gunfights with RAB, police and BGB members.According to the human rights organisation, Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), at least 421 people were killed in alleged gunfights, crossfire or shootouts with the law enforcement agencies in 2018.In January and February of 2019, the number of such killings was at least 50, the rights body said on its website.last_img read more

Tonight AFROs First Edition with Sean Yoes Monday September 14

first_imgListen at WEAA Live Stream: http://amber.streamguys.com.4020/live.m3uNational politics with Byrd and Breeze, that is political commentators Catalina Byrd and Sean Breeze on Donald Trump and Ben Carson pulling away from the rest of the GOP field and Hillary Clinton’s collapsing poll numbers. Also, in local politics we focus on Pastor Jamal Bryant’s campaign to unseat Seventh District Congressman Elijah Cummings and other races. It’s all coming up this evening on AFRO’s First Edition with Sean Yoes.last_img read more