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Eagles’ inspired run at the state title ends in semifinals

first_imgBY DOUG McKENZIE Staff Writer BY DOUG McKENZIEStaff Writer While many people around the state may have been surprised to see Middletown South in the NJSIAA Public School semifinals on Sunday, South head coach Stanley Gutt was not once of them. “We expected to be where we were,” he said. “We couldn’t always put it all together all the time, and that made for what was really an up-and-down season. But it certainly ended on a high note.” While the Eagles dropped their state semifinal to Randolph, 5-1, on Sunday at Continental Airlines Arena, Gutt is quick to point out how well his team performed down the stretch. “We had a great year,” he said. On Sunday, things went south for the Eagles early on, as Randolph took control of the game from opening face-off, and got a quick score just 48 seconds into the game. “Basically, we were a little intimidated by to be playing in the Meadowlands,” Gutt said. “They weren’t, and they came out flying and got that early goal.” The coach added that the goal, which was scored by Eddie Keenan, set the tone for the first period. “You don’t want your goalie [R.J. Herring] to get scored on the first shot he sees, but that’s what happened,” Gutt said. “He was in a tough spot, and was kind of fighting with the puck after that.” Keenan then made it 2-0 with his second goal at the 2:12 mark of the first period, and the Eagles found themselves in an early hole. Once the second period began, however, the tide appeared to be turning, with the Eagles showing some aggressive play early on. “We began to settle down toward the end of the first period, and had lots of scoring chances in the second,” Gutt said. However, it was Randolph that struck first in the second period with a third goal at the 2:04 mark. South was finally able to get on the board about six minutes later when Chris Danish scored off a pass from Mike B. Johnson. But the Eagles’ offense ended there, despite numerous scoring chances. “We had a number of scoring opportunities, and probably should have tied the game, but we just didn’t capitalize on some empty-net situations,” Gutt said. “That was really the difference in the game, because the kids were kind of demoralized at that point.” Keenan completed the hat trick at the 3:53 mark of the third period, before notching his fourth and final goal on a power play at the 9:43 mark. For South (16-11-2), this marked the first trip to the state’s Final Four, though Gutt believes his team will make a return sooner rather than later. “We have 10 seniors, but we also have a very good group of guys coming back,” he said. “We’ll return four defenseman and seven forwards with varsity ice time, plus we’ve got a few good jayvee guys ready to come up.” While the entire team played well through the state tournament run, Gutt was especially pleased with the play of senior defenseman Ryan Davies, senior forward Brendan Keelan and junior forward Chris Kirchner. “After the game we thanked the seniors for a job well done,” Gutt said. “And we told the underclassmen that this is what we shoot for, to get back to the Meadowlands. Now we know what it takes to get here.”last_img read more

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Strathmore swimmers ready for county meet

first_imgThe Strathmore Bath & Tennis Club’s swim team finished its regular season with a spiffy 6-1 mark and is now preparing for the Monmouth County championships, which will be held Saturday at the Holmdel Swim Club. Co-coach Lindsay Ginsberg said her team’s success is a combination of hard work, dedication and good team spirit. “We’ve worked hard to try and make this fun for the kids,” said Ginsberg, who runs the team along with Dan Dunphy, Lauren Sohn and Vincent Tupper. “They’ve responded to that. Some of the kids come to both of our daily practices. As a result, almost everyone has improved their technique and their times. It’s really good to see.” Ginsberg also noted that Justin Daconceicao, Megan Dougherty and Deanna and Kristin Politte are examples of swimmers who are steadily improving. Strathmore has scored victories against Candlewood, Hazlet, Holmdel, Monmouth Heights, Middletown and Marlboro. The lone loss came against the Freehold Area YMCA. Strathmore’s top swimmers (8U) include: Josh Atienza Melanie Cohen, Kyle Foley, Kasey McFadden, Isaac Mercado, Cassie Orzechowski and Emily Weinberger; (9-10): Abigail Buckley, James Buhse, Courtney Foley, Jeremy Hall, Nick Markwell, Gayle Reingold and Andrew Tupper. (11-12): Jodiann Atienza, Joe Buckley, Sean Dunne, Arielle Hall, Drew Orzechowski, Stephanie Radu and Rachel Scher; (13-14): Amelia Buckley, Matt Cohen, Joe Connors, Katie Connors, Kathleen Cogland, Katelyn Cutting, Meghan Foley, Peter Nelson, Alyssa Scher, and Charles Wu; (15-18): Megan Bock, David Cherofsky, Lauren Cohen, Grant Eberbach, Harris Eberbach, Tim Koch, Eric Mahler, Kelly Markwell, Victoria Maurer, Heather Olson, Lianne Politte and Nick Tupper. “We’re fortunate to have a great group of kids,” Ginsberg said. “They really help and look out for each other. I’m proud of their overall sportsmanship and our team spirit is incredible. Best of all, is they’re having a lot of fun. That makes things a lot easier for the coaches.” – Warren Rappleyealast_img read more

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Americans make history on ice, fog forces delays in mountains

first_imgBy Mike Collett-WhiteAmericans Meryl Davis and Charlie White skated into the history books at the Sochi Winter Olympics on Monday when they won the ice dance gold, but thick fog in the mountains forced organisers to postpone two events and warned of more delays to come.Belarus maintained their remarkable medal charge, picking up two more titles including gold for Darya Domracheva, who is now the only woman to have won three biathlon titles at the same Games after her 12.5km mass start victory.In the biggest contest of the day at the Feb. 7-23 Olympics, another record fell.Davis and White became the first Americans to win the Olympic ice dance title with a spellbinding performance to the music of Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade”.While their dazzling display thrilled the crowd packed into the Iceberg Skating Palace, spectators in the mountains were disappointed by the postponement of the men’s biathlon 15km mass start and men’s snowboard cross competitions until Tuesday.“We’re so excited we’re kind of in shock a little. I’m not sure what we’re feeling,” a beaming Davis told reporters after improving on their silver medal finish from four years ago.White added: “To come away with a gold medal is amazing … And 17 years of hard work was justified.”Weather delays may extend further into the final week of the Games, officials have warned, with the women’s giant slalom possibly turning into a two-day affair.Safety was organisers’ main concern after a series of injuries at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, as fog and drizzle replaced a week of uninterrupted sunshine in the Caucasus peaks high above Sochi.The worst accident involved Russian ski cross athlete Maria Komissarova, who was flown to a specialist clinic in Germany on Sunday for a second operation after having had lengthy surgery to attach a metal plate in her spine.After a series of weather-related delays, Domracheva won the first title of the day at around 7:30 p.m.The 27-year-old said support from Russians in the crowd meant it was almost like skiing at home.“I am thankful to the people who support me. Without their support it’d be harder,” she told a news conference. “I was hearing ‘Dasha, Dasha’ from the tribune.“Russian family, Belarussian family. All these nations, Russians, Belarussians, we are like brothers and sisters. For me, I feel this country is really native for me,” she added.Hours later, compatriot Anton Kushnir won the men’s freestyle skiing aerials competition to take Belarus to seventh in the medals table with five golds – one more than Canada.Russia moved up to second in the rankings, with gold in the two-man bobsleigh.Alexander Zubkov secured the Olympic title he came out of retirement to win, as Russia’s flagbearer at the Games’ opening ceremony proved uncatchable on home ice.Germany leads the world with six days of competition to go, securing an eighth Olympic title with the last event of the day – the men’s team ski jumping.The Games lost one of its top athletes when Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal decided to leave without competing in his final two races after failing to win a medal. Expectations had been high after he showed great form this season.Komissarova’s injury and weather disruptions have been the biggest blights so far onRussia’s first Winter Olympics, where thrilling action and futuristic venues have dispelled some of the doubts that marred the buildup to the Games.President Vladimir Putin has joined the crowds at the Olympic Park in Sochi and up in the mountains, engaged in cosy chats with teams and Olympic officials and even turned up at Komissarova’s bedside to offer support.This is the “new” Putin on show. Pictures of him in action – riding horses bare-chested or shooting a tiger with a tranquiliser dart – have at least for now been carefully put to one side.The Russia that Putin wants to portray at the Games is a caring country that has come a long way since the austere days of the Soviet Union. The leader he wants to portray is a man with whom the West can do business.In one of only a few isolated incidents of dissent so far in Sochi, a transgender former member of Italy’s parliament was detained by Russian police for the second time in 24 hours on Monday for trying to stage a gay rights protest at the Olympics.Vladimir Luxuria said she was led away by two men in plain clothes on Sunday when she held up a sign saying “Gay is OK” in Russian in the Olympic Park and was held for about three hours.She was allowed into the park again on Monday but barred from watching an ice hockey match because she was wearing a rainbow headdress – the colours of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender movement – and had a gay pride flag.Luxuria was protesting against Russian legislation banning homosexual propaganda among minors, which caused international outcry leading up to the Olympics. Critics say it discriminates against gays and has fuelled violence against homosexuals.International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams told reporters: “We hope that the Games will not be used as a platform for demonstrations.”Separately, a Russian man was detained in Sochi for demonstrating against the jailing of an environmentalist angered by the effects of huge Olympic construction projects.A regional court last week rejected Yevgeny Vitishko’s appeal against a three-year prison sentence on charges of damaging the regional governor’s property, which he denies.Vitishko’s supporters say he is being punished for publicising environmental problems caused by the Olympics, and say the case was politically motivated.He has begun a hunger strike in protest at his treatment, said his organisation Environmental Watch on the North Caucasus.Putin has dismissed criticism of environmental damage, his stance on gay rights and the high costs of the Games, which some estimates put at $51 billion. That would make Sochi the most expensive Olympics ever, although the figure is disputed.last_img read more

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Montreal offers Hamilton an antidote for Monaco

first_imgBy Alan BaldwinLewis Hamilton has the perfect opportunity to get back on the winning track in Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix after going astonishingly awry in Monaco.Montreal is a favourite race for the double Formula One world champion, a fast track where he celebrated his first pole position and victory in his stellar 2007 debut season with McLaren.Since then, the Mercedes driver has won twice more in Canada.“I think everything that needs to be said about Monaco has already been said. Obviously, it was a huge disappointment for me and also for the team,” the Briton said before heading to Montreal.“But we’ll learn from it and move forwards together like we always do. I just want to get back out there and bounce back – and I could hardly ask for a better place to do that than Montreal. This is always one of my favourite weekends.”Hamilton has suffered disappointments too at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, with its 300kph blasts and the ‘Wall of Champions’ at the treacherous final corner, and has yet to win there for Mercedes.But when he has finished, it has been on the podium and his track record eclipses that of team-mate and title rival Nico Rosberg.Three-nil on wins, 4-1 on podium appearances, 3-1 on poles and 6-1 on front row starts, the statistics all point to Hamilton.“The racing is fantastic, the city is a lot of fun and the crowds are really enthusiastic…and it’s given me some great memories, including my first win,” said the Briton.“I know I’ve got the car underneath me and the team behind me to do it again, so I’m aiming for nothing less.”Rosberg, who became only the fourth driver to win Monaco three times in a row after Mercedes blew a surefire victory for Hamilton by calling him in for a needless pitstop while leading, is not to be under-estimated however.The German, now only 10 points adrift of his championship-leading team-mate after six races, qualified on pole in Montreal last year and is aiming for a hat-trick of wins for the season.Both Mercedes drivers have new power units, having completed six race weekends on the previous ones, while rivals Ferrari may have upgrades to theirs.Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, a first time winner in Montreal last year, can only dream of such reliability but the race – traditionally hard on brakes and engines – can throw up surprises.The Australian is on his fourth and final penalty-free engine already, with the team leaving Monaco mulling whether to take a hit and use a fifth in Canada.Ferrari, who have not won since 2004 at a circuit named after their late local hero, will be hoping four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel can at least finish on the podium for the sixth time in seven races.Williams are confident too of a much better showing after failing to score in Monaco while McLaren’s Fernando Alonso aims to open his account for the season two weeks after Jenson Button did the same.last_img read more

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‘Betrayed’ Mourinho abandons hope of top-four finish

first_imgBy Simon Jennings and Justin PalmerLeicester City’s 2-1 Premier League victory over Chelsea has killed manager Jose Mourinho’s hopes of finishing in the top four this season.Goals from Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez consigned Chelsea to their ninth league defeat of the season on Monday night, leaving the London club a point above the relegation zone and 14 adrift of the Champions League places.“The top four is gone – clearly,” Mourinho said.“To turn things around, I know only one way – working at the top level.”The Portuguese turned on his players after the defeat, saying he felt “betrayed” and frustrated, but insisted he would not seek to buy the team out of trouble by signing fresh faces in the January transfer window.“Day by day in training I have no complaints with them. But is it frustrating to see what they are doing in training and what they do in matches? Clearly yes,” he said.“I don’t think it is right I go to the board and say these players are not good and we need to spend 50 or 100 (million pounds) or whatever.“We have these players and it is with these players we have to go, and the players that are not performing well must feel attacked in their pride, in their self-esteem and they have to do everything to get results in a humble way.”Eden Hazard left the pitch in the first half after a challenge from Vardy and Mourinho said the midfielder had taken the decision not to continue.“I don’t know what is wrong. He made the decision in a few seconds,” the manager said.“His first reaction was ‘I can’t continue’, his second reaction was ‘I want to try’, but after his first step back on the pitch he said he couldn’t. He’s injured clearly.”The win sent Leicester back to the top of the table, two points clear of second-placed Arsenal. Lecister’s dynamic duo Vardy and Mahrez are not for sale at any price, manager Claudio Ranieri asserted after the match.Genuine title challengers? Ranieri, with a wry smile, still takes such talk with a pinch of salt but after this latest win the Italian will find it hard to keep a lid on the clamour for much longer.With Vardy and Mahrez in such outstanding form – at this rate who will be able to split them for Player of the Season? – surprise package Leicester have the belief and momentum to continue to ruffle feathers.Vardy’s 15th goal of a season which he knows is more the stuff of schoolboy dreams and a sublime strike from Mahrez, who has scored 11 and created another seven, kept Leicester rolling.Asked if he feared losing both or either to bigger and richer clubs in January, the Italian coach was unequivocal.“No,” he replied. “Why? Nobody can buy them. They don’t have the money.” Asked to put a value on Vardy, Ranieri politely declined.Having set a three-year target to bring European football to the Midlands side, the club’s Thai billionaire owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha is likely to fend off the vultures for now.Ranieri is happy to lavish praise on his star men but again hailed the players in Leicester’s engine room that help to make the side tick.“Vardy and Mahrez were fantastic but they are only the pinnacle of the iceberg,” Ranieri said. “Behind them is big spirit, a team that works hard for each other.”He has consistently maintained that it would be a “miracle” if Leicester could finish in the top four and secure Champions League qualification come May.No team with 35 plus points after the first 16 games of a Premier League season has finished outside the top four. Achieving the 40-point mark may change his mind.“Yes, we are top of the league and our fans can dream. For my players, we need another five points.”Faced with questioning looks from a packed press room, Ranieri again allowed himself a wry smile.“It’s true,” he insisted. “I want another five points. I don’t know when we can achieve this. Everton and Liverpool away, Manchester City at home, then Bournemouth… four tough matches.“Let me achieve 40 points and then I’ll think of our next goal. Until 40, I will think only of that.”last_img read more

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Smalling wants Man United to show fight at Shrewsbury

first_imgMisfiring Manchester United must show some fighting spirit against third-tier Shrewsbury Town in the FA Cup on Monday night (9.45pm) if they want to avoid a second successive season without a trophy, defender Chris Smalling has said.The 20-time English champions sit six points off the top four in the Premier League, with their last two outings ending in damaging defeats that have cranked up the pressure on manager Louis van Gaal amid angry chanting from the stands.They lost to relegation-threatened Sunderland before Thursday’s 2-1 Europa League defeat by Danish club Midtjylland and Smalling wants a positive reaction from his team-mates.“The aggression that you start the game with is something you need to match with the other team, something I don’t think we have done recently,” he told the club’s website (www.manutd.com).Van Gaal, heavily tipped by British media to be replaced by former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, said his team needed a reaction in the fifth round cup match against Shrewsbury.“We have to make them fear again,” he said. “You cannot continue with losing games and the question is how we lift ourselves.”last_img read more

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Rai Coast school introduced to Kung Fu

first_imgIn fact most had not seen the Chinese martial art performed in real life,but love to see actors like late Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan or Jet Li performing their’ stunts.On Thursday,March  31  pupils at Mindre elementary school in the far-flung corner of Rai Coast district were privileged to be introduced to some of the basic body exercises associated with the Chinese martial art of Kung Fu.Ramu NiCo (MCC) Basamuk Refinery  Medical Superintendent, Dr. Ming Meng demonstrated of some of the basic forms of Kung Fu aerobic to the delight of the pupils, teachers  and members of the Mindre village community who gathered.Meng and his medical team visited Mindre elementary school as part of the company’s health and safety outreach to the neighboring villages to the refinery during the National Mining Safety Week. A number of pupils also volunteered to do the Kung Fu exercise demonstration with Meng.”A regular aerobic or physical exercises increase the body’s immune function,” he encouraged. Meng also explained that in Chinese, the term Kung Fu  refers to any skill that is acquired through learning or practice. It is a compound word composed of the words gong meaning “work”, “achievement”, or “merit”, and fu which is a particle.After the demonstration nursing officer Paul Konare gave pep talk to the students on personal hygiene such as washing their body every day with soap, combing their hair, brushing their teeth and having breakfast every morning and drinking water before going to school.The purpose of the visit as part of Ramu NiCo’s outreach to the neighbouring community during NMSW is to encourage the school children to be healthy,to prevent disease and to enjoy a better life.Vice President of Ramu NiCo Management (MCC), Xu Jian, who also accompanied the medical and Health Safety and Environment (HSE) team told the pupils that he was happy to be among the pupils to conduct safety awareness and share safety information. “Seeing your smiling faces, I can’t help remembering my old days. When I was young, I was full of life and energy just like you, “Therefore, from now on, you have to study very hard, be it PNG language or Chinese culture. “I firmly believe that, future is all yours and Ramu’s future is all yours,” Xu said.The visit also saw Ramu NiCo present gifts to the elementary school pupils and conducted free medical checks for the villagers and distributed treated mosquito nets.Picture: Dr. Ming Meng demonstrate basic kung fu exercises to Mindre elementary school pupils.last_img read more

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Pakistan beat England in final ODI

first_imgChasing 303, Pakistan slipped to 77-3 before Sarfraz Ahmed (90) and Shoaib Malik (77) shared 163.Despite a late wobble, the tourists got home with 10 balls to spare.England’s 302-9 came via 87 from Jason Roy and Ben Stokes’ 75, but they took only 42 runs off the last eight overs in a slide of five wickets for 64.They were stifled by some impressive pace bowling from Hasan Ali, who took 4-60, and Mohammad Amir (3-50).Eoin Morgan’s men also gifted wickets as a result of their desire to attack whatever the situation – a new approach to one-day cricket that has brought a dramatic improvement and spectacular results since the 2015 World Cup, including the record-breaking total of 444-3 in the third ODI.England end the series as 4-1 winners, missing out on a first 5-0 home whitewash, and complete their summer with a T20 at Old Trafford on Wednesday.Sarfraz and Shoaib salvage Pakistan pridePakistan, outplayed throughout the series, were firmly on the back foot when the extra pace of Mark Wood bowled Babar Azam and had Azhar Ali caught behind in the same over.But Sarfraz and Malik combined to compile the highest Pakistan fourth-wicket partnership in an ODI against England.When on nine, Malik offered a difficult chance to a diving Joe Root at short cover but, apart from that, the England attack had few answers.Sarfraz, favouring the leg side, dished out some particularly brutal treatment to debutant left-arm spinner Liam Dawson.Malik played the supporting role, but followed Sarfraz in needlessly holing out off Dawson and, when a Jonny Bairstow direct hit ran out Mohammad Nawaz, Pakistan had lost three wickets for 26 runs.With 37 still required, Mohammad Rizwan and Wales-born Imad Wasim absorbed the pressure and ensured there was no further drama, delighting a large contingent of raucous Pakistan supporters in the crowd.Rest and rotation leaves England shortEngland once again shuffled their side, leaving out spinners Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali partly because of the grey conditions in Cardiff and also to look at Hampshire’s Dawson before the winter tours to Bangladesh and India.If the amount of turn in the surface showed selecting only one spinner to be a mistake – Pakistan left-armer Imad was particularly effective for figures of 1-33 – then the visiting batsmen ensured Dawson endured a mixed debut.Sarfraz swept and used his feet to hit through the leg side, while Malik lofted two huge sixes.Although Dawson would eventually remove both men, he and the recalled Chris Jordan went for a combined 122 from 15.2 overs.Loss of momentum costs EnglandStill, it was posting a score that was no more than par that ultimately led to England’s defeat.While Roy sparkled off his pads and down the ground, and Stokes peppered the boundary after a slow start – the first 32 deliveries of his 76-ball stay yielded only 12 runs – the imposing total that looked likely at 170-4 from 30 overs did not materialise.Bairstow pulled Umar Gul to deep square leg, Stokes lapped Hasan to short fine leg, Chris Woakes played on off the same bowler, Dawson miscued Amir to mid-wicket and David Willey was caught in the deep on the leg side.With Hasan and Amir cleverly bowling the ball into the pitch, England were left to bat out the overs, falling short of a score good enough to complete the clean sweep.’No regrets’ – what they saidEngland captain Eoin Morgan: “There are no regrets – it was an opportunity to get Liam Dawson onto the international stage. It was important looking ahead to the winter in case we go to three spinners. I’m very proud of this group of players, they’ve been exceptional over the summer.”Man of the series Joe Root: “We’ve still got areas where we can improve going into this winter and then the Champions Trophy. You want the guys to go out, express themselves and play their natural way. The more they can do that, the better.”Pakistan skipper Azhar Ali: “We wanted to finish on a high, we’ve had a tough tour. We didn’t bowl well to start with but we held it back to a total that was reachable. There are a lot of positive signs, we just need to play good cricket consistently.”last_img read more

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PNG sports staff say HP training program a success

first_imgThe program currently offers sport administration and generic coaching training materials and is expected to expand to other sport education areas like sport science and medicine, community social sport coaching, team manager and sport management and governance.During the recent training, HPS PNG Staff who attended the were split into two learning groups which were Sport in Community Administrator (SiC) and Community Coaches & Official (CC&O).A female Boxing athlete and sprinter who is now the HPS PNG Marketing and Public Relations officer Raphaela Baki was one of the participants in the SiC course.She shared her experience on the week-long training that the course was one which gave her a good understanding of how to organize sporting events and set up a sport club.“For myself as boxer, I see this course as a very important tool because it will help me as a member of the National Capital District Amateur Boxing Association,” she said.Adding that as a former sprinter but now a boxer,” I took for granted that it was easy to organise such events for me.”“But after having gone through the course, I begin to understand why most events are hard to organize,” she stressed.The training was a success with HPS PNG staffs from Mamose region also attended the course which they also described as a welcome refresher course.Another OSEP course will be held in November this year to re-evaluate the course participants and also award certificate for the participants who receive their training last week.last_img read more

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Federer hoping for Nadal battle in Australian Open final

first_imgThe legends last met on a court playing some playing mini tennis with some juniors and discussed playing a charity match.Instead they may square off in a grand slam decider that many — including themselves — felt was beyond them.The last time the duo battled in the final at Melbourne Park was in 2009, which the Spanish bull won.Federer, 35, is returning from six months out following knee surgery while Nadal, 30, had an injury-ravaged 2016.Federer booked his berth in the final with a gripping 7-5, 6-3, 1-6, 4-6, 6-3 win over Swiss compatriot Stan Wawrinka while Nadal must get past in-form Grigor Dimitrov in Friday night’s semi-final to complete the fairytale.”It would be unreal, both of us would never thought that we would be here potentially playing in the final again,” Federer said after his five-set victory.”I went to open his academy and I told him, ‘I wish we could do a charity match or something’, but I was on one leg and he had a wrist injury and we were playing some mini tennis with some juniors, but it was the best we could do.”A few months later we are maybe going into the final; I think it is very special for both of us.”The Swiss master, who is gunning for his 18th major title, described himself as Nadal’s “number one fan”.”Rafael Nadal has given me the biggest challenge in this game,” Federer said.”I think his game is tremendous, he is an incredible competitor.”Of course it would be unreal as both of us would never thought that we would be here potentially playing in the final again.”AAPlast_img read more

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