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16.04.2018 15:57
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PARIS -- Always so avant-garde, Serena Williams started this years French Open fashion of addressing the Court Philippe Chatrier spectators in their language. Rafael Nadal followed suit after his first-round victory, as did Roger Federer, whos done it for years. And Novak Djokovic also got in on a ritual thats become de rigueur, telling fans in French at the end of a rain-disrupted Day 3 at the clay-court tournament, "The ambiance was awesome." Thats certainly one way to endear oneself to the locals. "I really wanted to finish tonight," Djokovic said after wrapping up his match shortly before 9 p.m. Tuesday, "although I know the crowd wanted to watch a little longer." Because of the wet weather, there was not much tennis to see -- only two of the four matches originally scheduled for Tuesday in the main stadium actually began. So Djokovic spent much of the afternoon wondering when he would wind up taking the court for what turned out to be a 7-6 (5), 6-4, 7-5 victory over David Goffin in the first round of the only Grand Slam tournament the Serb has yet to win. "It was a difficult day, because we have been waiting for hours and hours. I think I warmed up five or six times today," Djokovic said. "In these conditions ... you need to adjust your game and tactics, because its quite different than comparing to the conditions when its dry and sunny." Unlike Wimbledon and the Australian Open, Roland Garros does not have a roof at any court. Unlike the U.S. Open, though, at least there is a definitive timeline to build one. French Open officials said last weekend they would proceed with plans to put a retractable roof over centre court despite a judicial ruling in March that put the project on hold. The roof would be completed in 2018 as part of a $440 million renovation. Last years final between champion Nadal and runner-up Djokovic was halted in the fourth set Sunday because of rain, and they resumed Monday, the first time since 1973 the French Open didnt finish on time. Djokovic was pleased to learn that a cover is coming to the main court in Paris, and he also is eager for them to install artificial lights. Both of those improvements would have contributed to a more stress-free evening Tuesday for the man ranked and seeded No. 1. He and the 58th-ranked Goffin, a Belgian who was one of the revelations at Roland Garros a year ago, did not begin until after 6:30 p.m., even though theirs was the second match of the day. They finished as light was fading. "It was a long day," Djokovic said. At least he got to play. Because of showers that began in the morning, there was a delay of more than 2 1/2 hours at the start. Then, after only 1 1/2 hours of action, another stop of more than an hour came. In the end, 26 of 40 scheduled singles matches were completed, three were suspended in progress, and 11 were postponed entirely. That means players such as Victoria Azarenka, the reigning Australian Open champion, was slated for first-round action Wednesday, the fourth day of the tournament (when, by the way, the forecast called for more rain). That sets up a situation where Azarenka, for example, would need to win seven matches across 11 days to take home the trophy, while 2002 champion Williams -- who got to begin the tournament Sunday and was scheduled to play in the second round Wednesday -- would have her seven matches spread over 14 days if she goes the distance. Also among those who had yet to play a real point heading into Wednesday was 2011 Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova. The Day 4 program featured second-round matches for 2009 champion Federer and 2012 runner-up Sara Errani. Tuesdays winners included 2010 French Open runner-up and 2011 U.S. Open champion Sam Stosur, who beat 42-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm of Japan 6-0, 6-2. "It was spitting a little bit when we went out there," Stosur said. "You think, Oh, are we going to start or are we not? Lucky for me, I was able to finish the match before this last downpour came." Another Australian, Bernard Tomic -- whose father was barred from Roland Garros after being accused this month of head-butting Tomics hitting partner -- stopped because of a torn right hamstring while trailing Victor Hanescu 7-5, 7-6 (8), 2-1. Three other men retired during matches: No. 28 Florian Mayer (right thigh), Alejandro Falla (stomach problems), Simone Bolelli (right wrist). No. 9 Stanislas Wawrinka, No. 12 Tommy Haas and No. 16 Philipp Kohlschreiber and No. 26 Grigor Dimitrov advanced, along with 20-year-old American Jack Sock in his French Open debut. If Dimitrov -- he and Maria Sharapova are an item, so he was asked Tuesday about dealing with paparazzi -- reaches the third round, he could face Djokovic. That would be an intriguing matchup, given that Dimitrov defeated Djokovic on clay at Madrid three weeks ago. "This is the kind of matches Id always want to play in," Dimitrov said. "I feel good on the big courts and playing against good players." Djokovic found Goffin in possession of that same attitude. In 2012, Goffin got into the French Open field as a "lucky loser" -- someone who loses in qualifying but is put in the main draw because another player withdrew -- and made it all the way to the fourth round. Thats when Goffin got to face Federer, his idol, and even took a set off the owner of the most career major titles before losing the match. "He has a good chance to have a good future," Djokovic said. "He likes playing here, obviously. He likes playing on a big stage." Perhaps. But Tuesdays key moment came in the first-set tiebreaker, with Goffin serving at 5-all. After he faulted once, a fan yelled, "Allez, David!" The 22-year-old Goffin then proceeded to miss his second serve, too, for a double-fault that gave Djokovic a set point. Goffin looked in the direction of the offending shout with palms up, as if to say, "What did you do that for?!" "Thats what happens sometimes. When you play in Davis Cup, you see that on every serve, basically," Goffin said. "Anyway, it was up to me to focus my mind. This is the type of thing that can happen, and can happen to anybody. So tough luck." Dan Feeney Jersey . In taking its goal tally to 99 in all competitions already this season, City delivered another demonstration of its lethal firepower at Etihad Stadium to set up a fourth-round match at home to another second-tier team -- Watford. Korey Toomer Jersey . Uniteds eighth defeat of a wretched campaign means Liverpool, which currently occupies the fourth and final Champions League place, could go nine points clear of its fierce rival by beating West Bromwich Albion on Sunday. Charlie Adam scored both of Stokes goals at Britannia Stadium either side of Robin van Persies equalizer, with a miserable day for seventh-place United capped by first-half injuries to centre halves Jonny Evans and Phil Jones that forced them off. http://www.chargersauthenticofficialonline.com/authentic-max-tuerk-jersey.html .2 billion agreement with Rogers Communications for the leagues broadcast and multimedia rights. Kenny Wiggins Jersey . President of baseball operations Larry Beinfest was fired Friday after 12 years with the Marlins. The move came as the team neared the end of its third consecutive last-place season in the NL East. Antonio Gates Jersey . The judges scored it 48-47, 48-47, 49-46 for Jones (19-1). It was the champions closest call. Despite the loss, it was a remarkable show by the confident Swedish challenger, who had the best of the early rounds and then hung on in the fourth and fifth. The 12th-ranked University of Southern California Trojans (8-3, 7-2) wrap up their regular season Saturday against the rival Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the L.A. Coliseum, having completed the conference schedule with seven consecutive victories. One of those wins came against Colorado, which is 7-1 in the league but plays host to a tough Utah team Saturday after the USC game.If the Utes win, the Trojans advance to the conference title game as the Pac-12 South winner because of its head-to-head victory over the Buffaloes.Well be big Utah fans next week, USC coach Clay Helton said after his team beat UCLA 36-14 on Saturday night at the Rose Bowl. Weve set our mark at 7-2, and weve got to see if Colorado can match it.As for what the Trojans can control, they can only continue to play well and hope to position themselves for the biggest bowl possible. Nothing less than a smackdown of struggling Notre Dame (4-7), which coughed up a pair of 17-point leads last week in a 34-31 home loss to Virginia Tech, is expected.The hits kept coming Tuesday when the NCAA ruled that Notre Dame must vacate wins from the 2012 and 2013 seasons due to academic misconduct, stemming from a student athletic trainer completing coursework for football players. The university announced it would appeal the decision.The 2012 season includes a 12-0 run in the regular season.Kelly called it student on student cheating, adding that he felt zero responsibility in the matter.Im proud of our support staff, our academic support staff, he said. Im proud of the people that represented us here at Notre Dame during this time.While the school litigates those old victories, Kelly and the Irish will be trying to pull off an upset to get one more in 2016.Their personnel is fabulous, Helton said of the Irish. I know theyll come to play. A Brian Kelly team always does.Well, USC did win 49-14 when the teams last met in Los Angeles to end the 2014 regular-season.The Trojans enter this meeting in a much better place, thanks in large part to redshirt freshman Sam Darnold. With his arm, smarts and crafty ability to escape pressure, he has positioned himself on some Heisman lists behind Louisvilles Lamar Jackson, even though Darnold has started only eight games.Helton inserted Darnold intto the starting lineup in the fourth game after a 1-2 start with quarterback Max Browne.dddddddddddd The Trojans lost Darnolds first start, when the defense gave up a touchdown in the final seconds to Utah, but havent lost since.USC has scored at least 36 points five times in its seven-game winning streak. Helton says there is a trust level with Darnold that is allowing offensive coordinator Tee Martin to be more aggressive.A lot has to do with Sam. Were able to play with our hair on fire right now, Helton said. Our success on third down ... were gunning on third down. Theres a lot of trust from Game 1 to now.Darnold is eighth nationally with a passing efficiency rating of 162.4.Notre Dame has one of the top NFL quarterback prospects in DeShone Kizer, but USC has two of the nations most athletic cornerbacks in Adoree Jackson and Iman Marshall.The two corners we have right now are doing a tremendous job, Helton said.USC has held the past two opposing starting quarterbacks to under 50 percent passing -- Washingtons Jake Browning (17 of 36) and UCLAs Mike Fafaul (15 of 31).Kizer was 16 of 33 for 235, with two touchdowns, last week against Virginia Tech. The Irish also posted their second consecutive 200-yard rushing day, led by running back Josh Adams. He has three 100-yard rushing games this season.Notre Dame looked good at times on defense, with tackle Jarron Jones and end Isaac Rochell up front, but the Irish are statistically average, ranking 55th nationally by allowing 26.3 points per game.Each of the Irishs seven losses have come by eight points or less, but the Trojans are hot enough to run up the margin.Kelly is still looking for elusive consistency.Some of that is guys growing up, getting more experience, he said. Some of that is better coaching. But, yeah, theres nothing endemic within the program as much as it is a team that has not executed consistently for four quarters.Notre Dame leads this traditional intersectional rivalry 46-35-5, which does not include the Trojans 2005 victory that was later vacated due to NCAA penalty. Including that 2005 vacated game, USC has won 10 of the last 14 meetings. 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