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#1 2016-11-17 02:00:54


which begs the question

PARIS -- Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova is making up for lost time at the age of 22. The Russian looked like a safe bet to become a top 10 player when she cracked the top 50 in 2008 and broke into the top 20 two years later. Since reaching a career-high No. 13 ranking in July 2011, Pavlyuchenkova has struggled to fulfil her potential. She might have put her career back on track by defeating third-seeded Sara Errani of Italy 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 Sunday in the final of the Open GDF Suez for her sixth career title. "Definitely, now I feel more mature," Pavlyuchenkova said. "My mentality is a little bit different. Last year or a few years ago, I would lose here in the first round, for sure." Pavlyuchenkova captured her first title of the season and her first since winning the Portugal Open in May 2013. The unseeded Russian dictated the points, making 48 winners to 18 for Errani. Errani won seven straight games to rally from a 3-1 deficit in the first set and lead 2-0 in the second. But Pavlyuchenkova responded by also winning seven straight games to even the match and lead 1-0 in the third. In the final set, Pavlyuchenkova hit a backhand return winner to break for a 5-3 lead and sealed the victory with a forehand winner. "That was a very mental match," Pavlyuchenkova said. "That gives me a bit of confidence. But I still need to work harder. That was a fantastic week, but I have to keep it going. I hope my level will be a bit more consistent and that I will keep this level." Pavlyuchenkova won all her matches at this tournament in three sets. She was coached for a brief period last year by Martina Hingis before resuming her partnership with her dad, Sergey. "He was my first coach, so he taught me everything Im doing now," Pavlyuchenkova said. "And he was always there for me, even when I had other coaches. He never let me down." Pavlyuchenkova got off to a good start by breaking Errani in the third game. But she made numerous unforced errors to squander that advantage, dropping serve at 3-2 with a wide backhand and at 4-3 with a forehand into the net. Errani hit a backhand drop shot to take the opening set. "I had a lot of emotions going on," Pavlyuchenkova said. "I was just stressing out because I was missing some shots. She was very strong today, so that was frustrating." Errani broke Pavlyuchenkova in the opening game of the second set with a forehand pass. Pavlyuchenkova saved a break point at 2-0 to stay in the match and the momentum suddenly changed. "From 2-0 in the second set, I thought I had a blackout," Errani said. "The ball was heavier. For me, it was difficult. I had some very bad games." Pavlyuchenkova slapped forehand return winners to break serve at 2-1 and 3-2 in the second set before Errani sent a forehand long to lose the set. In the decider, Errani capitalized on a backhand error from Pavlyuchenkova to break for a 2-1 lead. However, Pavlyuchenkova broke back in the sixth game when Erranis backhand sailed long. Pavlyuchenkova has defeated three top 10 players in the same tournament for the first time in her career. She beat Maria Sharapova of Russia in the semifinals and Angelique Kerber of Germany in the quarterfinals. Errani lost in the final of the Paris tournament for the second straight time. Los Angeles Dodgers Kirk Gibson Jersey . The turf is scheduled to give way to actual grass that is bright green, so we dont have to complain any more—we just have to wait a few years. Instead, do feel free to complain if the roof is closed for any reason other than to allow a game to be played. Chicago Cubs Jon Lester Jersey . The Thornhill, Ont., native, who is ranked 11th in the world, said hed hoped he would be ready when Canada begins its World Group first-round tie against Japan in Tokyo on Friday. … al-Jersey/ . - The Minnesota Vikings have ruled Christian Ponder out for Sundays game at Baltimore, because the quarterback has not yet passed all of his post-concussion tests. St. Louis Cardinals Tim McCarver Jersey .Do you have to be that close? Federer snapped at a TV cameraman hovering nearby as he received medical advice after losing a set on Wednesday.For Nadal and Sharapova, the nuisance was coming from the lowly-ranked qualifiers across the net. Baltimore Orioles Frank Robinson Jersey . The Maple Leafs handed their embattled head coach a two-year contract extension on Thursday, while at the same time announcing that assistants Dave Farrish, Greg Cronin and Scott Gordon will not be back.4) Another sad note, on a more personal side, if you dont mind? Condolences to the family of former NHLer Murray Oliver, who also died on Sunday. And thanks to "Muzz" for great memories of fun times in the Twin Cities, too long ago. (Incidentally--Jan. 7, 1980. The Minnesota North Stars, whose assistant coach was Murray Oliver, snapped the 35-game streak of Pat Quinns Flyers with a 7-1 victory.)5) If you think legendary Russian hockey coach Viktor Tikhonov belongs in the Hockey Hall of Fame, you are allowed to ask: Will his death at the age of 84 change the obvious lack of support for his enshrinement? The way it works--probably.6) Can the Montreal Canadiens really be the best team in the NHL? True, theyre in first place and only six of their 23 games have been losses in regulation time, but in those six losses, they have been outscored 30-3.7) Did Odell Beckham Junior make the greatest catch in football history? If I hadnt seen him do it like that while warming up (and kudos to ESPN for capturing that and showing it in timely fashion), I would say "yes". But I did see the pre-game acrobatics, and while it didnt make the touchdown catch routine, it left me thinking that Beckhams catch wasnt one of a kind. David Tyrees balancing act that helped the New York Giants beat New England in the Super Bowl was obviously more meaningful and will never be duplicated.8) In the Grey Cup, will the Calgary Stampeders punt the football to Brandon Banks? I suppose the obvious answer is that they shouldnt. The Montreal Alouettes might well be in the Grey Cup if they hadnt. But the Stampeders are favoured to beat Hamilton, and favourites dont like to concede anything. It will certainly be a "game within the game" whenever Calgary punts.9) Do you miss the TSN Turning Point? Im not sure what happened to it, and lets face it, not every game has one, but Banks 93-yard punt return in the final minute of the first half to give Hamilton a 20-14 lead over Montreal was a TSN Turning Point if Ive ever seen one.10) The latest sensation in Raptorland is Sweet Lou Williams. Does everybody named Lou assume the "Sweet Lou" moniker? Well, we remember Sweet Lou Piniella, Sweet Lou Whitaker, and Lou Nanne is "Sweet Lou from the Sault (Soo?)", but have you ever heard the New Jersey Devils general manager called "Sweet Lou" Lamoriello?11) Where or how in the world did "Sweet Lou" start? You can find references to a 1930s song called "Sweet Lou", a horse named "Sweet Lou" that ran in the 1960s, a mention of "Sweet Lou" in a 19th century poem, for goodness sake.12) Even if you hate them, dont you love the New England Patriots? Jonas Gray rushes for a whopping 201 yards against Inndianapolis, shows up late for practice in advance of Sundays clash with the Detroit Lions and is sent home by coach Bill Belichick.dddddddddddd Gray was in uniform on game day, but he neednt have bothered with the equipment. The Patriots preferred to hand the ball to LaGarrette Blount, fresh from the street after Pittsburgh had banished him for pouting.13) Jay Bouwmeesters NHL ironman streak was stopped at 737 games, which begs the question: Is it likely that the record of 964 games held by Doug Jarvis will last forever? Likely? Yes. But its not the safest NHL record. Because well never again see a goalie play every game of one NHL season, it is ridiculous to contemplate a goalie playing every game of six straight seasons. And then a few more. Glenn Hall played 502 games in a row. His record is safe.14) The winner of the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canadas athlete of the year will be chosen and announced in a couple of weeks. Would a Genie Bouchard-Milos Raonic tie vote be popular, or, if Canadas accomplishments on the tennis tour are to be recognized, must the winner be one or the either?15) And if the previous answer is "yes", how do you decide which one?16) Do you consider yourself a "baseball geek"? Well, youre not if you cant explain what the Pittsburgh Pirates received from the Oakland As when they traded first baseman Ike Davis. They received "international slot money value".17) Should the NFL allow a team with a losing record to make the playoffs, and furthermore, to host a playoff game? Following the New Orleans Saints Monday night loss to the Baltimore Ravens, the NFC South division is led by the Atlanta Falcons with a 4-7 record. A drastic change would be to demand that a division winner have more wins than losses, but more sensibly and more easily, a team with more losses than wins should have to open the playoffs on the road as a bottom seed.18) Fresh from two wins over Pittsburgh and Mondays 1-0 shootout victory over Philadelphia, the New York Islanders are tied for first place in the Metropolitan Division. If youre making a list of the top five NHL teams, are the Islanders on that list? (Two acceptable answers--"yes" or "almost").19) Whats worse for the Carolina Hurricanes--seeing Alexander Semin in the lineup without a goal or seeing him in the press box as a healthy scratch? Either way, theyre paying him $7,000,000.20) How do you think the New York Yankees will react to the headline-grabbing signings of Pablo (Panda) Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez by the Boston Red Sox? 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2016-11-17 02:00:54



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