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Rafael Nadal Wins 12th French Open Championship Title

(PARIS) — For a few, fleeting moments Sunday, Rafael Nadal found his French Open supremacy seemingly threatened by Dominic Thiem, a younger, talented opponent challenging him in the final for the second consecutive year.

A poor game from Nadal allowed Thiem to break him and even things at a set apiece. That development brought fans to their feet in Court Philippe Chatrier, roaring and clapping and, above all, wondering: Was this, now, a real contest? Could Thiem push Nadal more? Could he make this surge last? Would Nadal falter?

That the questions arose at all was significant. The answers arrived swiftly. Nadal reasserted himself, as he usually does at Roland Garros, by grabbing 16 of the next 17 points and 12 of the remaining 14 games, pulling away to beat Thiem 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 for his record-extending 12th championship at the French Open.

“I gave everything I had,” Thiem said. “It’s amazing: 12 times here. It’s unreal.”

No one in tennis ever has won any major tournament that many times. Then again, no one ever has been as suited for success on any of the sport’s surfaces as this 33-year-old Spaniard is on red clay: Nadal is 93-2 for his career at Roland Garros, winning four in a row from 2005-08, five in a row from 2010-14, and now three in a row.

“I can’t explain my emotions,” said the No. 2-seeded Nadal, who dropped to his back after the final point, getting that rust-colored dirt all over his neon yellow shirt, then wiped away tears during the trophy ceremony.

Looking at the bigger picture, he is now up to 18 Grand Slam trophies, moving within two of Roger Federer’s men’s record of 20.

Thiem, a 25-year-old Austrian who was seeded No. 4 and upset No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the semifinals, was eyeing his first major title in this rematch of the 2018 final in Paris. But again, he couldn’t solve Nadal.

“First thing that I want to say is congrats to Dominic. I feel sorry, because he deserves it here, too,” Nadal said. “He has an unbelievable intensity.”

So, of course, does Nadal. This had been, by his lofty standards, a rough season, from the most lopsided Grand Slam final loss of his career — against Djokovic at the Australian Open — to entering May without a title for the first year since 2004.

He started to right himself by taking the title on clay in Rome last month, then found himself in a familiar position in Paris: playing in the final, and winning it.

This one began on a cloudy afternoon, with the temperature in the low 60s (mid-teens Celsius) and only a slight breeze. In the initial game — interrupted briefly by a baby wailing in the stands, drawing a laugh from other spectators and prompting Nadal to back away from the baseline between serves — three of the five points lasted at least 11 strokes.

And, thereby, a pattern was established: By the end of the 3-hour, 1-minute match, a total of 46 points went 10 strokes or more. Each man claimed half.

Both would station themselves along the baseline and sprint, scramble, slide, stretch to somehow reach just about every ball, not merely putting a racket on it but conjuring a booming reply. It was an impressive display of athleticism, skill and will, with Thiem managing to give just as good as he got, particularly with his ferocious backhand.

From the get-go, it was such a physical grind that Nadal was soaked with sweat and changed neon yellow shirts after seven games and 45 minutes, eliciting catcalls from the stands.

Early on, there were no signs of fatigue for Thiem, even though he was competing for a fourth straight day, because of rain that jumbled the schedule. Nadal, meanwhile, entered Sunday having played just once in the previous four days.

Not only that, but while Nadal dismissed Federer with relative ease in a straight-set semifinal that concluded Friday, Thiem was forced to work overtime, eliminating Djokovic in a five-setter that wrapped up less than 24 hours before the final began.

Thiem showed he can play defense. Showed he can flip to offense in a blink. Showed power off both sides. Showed precision, too, making only three of the match’s first 12 unforced errors.

Indeed, it was Thiem who nosed ahead first, closing a 12-stroke exchange by ripping a forehand to earn the first break point of the final, then converting it with an overhead to cap a 20-stroke point for a 3-2 edge. He turned with a clenched right hand to face his guest box, where all of his supporters were yelling and shaking fists, too, including his girlfriend, French tennis player Kristina Mladenovic, who won the women’s doubles championship earlier in the day.

Nadal immediately responded. He grabbed the next four games with elan, using a drop shot to help break for a 5-3 lead, then a serve-and-volley to help hold for the set.

That must have been demoralizing for Thiem. But at the ensuing changeover, he didn’t whack a ball toward the stands, as Federer memorably did during his semifinal loss. He didn’t spike a racket or kick a ball. He casually sat in his gray sideline seat, bounced his legs and chewed on an energy bar, furtively glancing to his left at Nadal.

Thiem bounced back, if only briefly. Talk about a stunning shift: Nadal won 25 of 26 points on his serve before — with spectators trading between-point chants of nicknames, “Ra-fa!” and “Do-mi!” — he got broken to cede the second set. That was the only set he’d managed to steal from Nadal in four career meetings at Roland Garros.

Maybe this was going to be a long one.

But Thiem, put simply, wilted a bit. He made three unforced errors in the next set’s opening game to get broken at love, creating an opening that Nadal barged through. By now, Nadal was creating magic at the net, and he won the point on 23 of 27 times he went forward. One drop volley was spun so marvelously that it landed on Thiem’s side, then bounced back toward the net. All Thiem could do was watch — and offer an appreciative thumbs-up.

Soon enough, it was over. The King of Clay, as Nadal is known, still reigns.

Sports – TIME

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‘My Next Opponent Is Not Too Bad.’ Roger Federer to Play Rafael Nadal in French Open Semifinal

(PARIS) — Roger Federer kept accumulating break points and then frittering them away against Stan Wawrinka in the French Open quarterfinals, failing to convert 16 of his initial 17 chances.

Then, after a 75-minute rain delay Tuesday, Federer got his 18th opportunity to try to break — and he made it count. Soon enough, in his first trip to Roland Garros since 2015, Federer would be wrapping up a 7-6 (4), 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4 victory over Wawrinka, his friend and Swiss Olympic and Davis Cup teammate, to make his way to the semifinals.

And what a semifinal it will be: On Friday, Federer will meet old rival Rafael Nadal, the 11-time French Open champion. It will be their 39th career meeting and their sixth in Paris. Nadal is 5-0 against Federer at the Grand Slam tournament he has dominated and leads 23-15 head-to-head overall.

“My next opponent is not too bad. He can play on clay, unfortunately,” a smiling Federer joked to the crowd at Court Suzanne Lenglen. “What a pleasure, actually. If I decided to come back to play on clay, it was maybe to play Rafa.”

There was very little drama in Nadal’s quarterfinal, a 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 stroll against No. 7 Kei Nishikori.

Federer vs. Wawrinka, meanwhile, lived up to the billing, a 3½-hour tussle between a couple of guys who go way back. Coming in, Federer held a 22-3 edge in their career meetings, but Wawrinka knew this: All three of his victories had come on red clay, including four years ago in the same round and on this same court at Roland Garros. That was the last time Federer entered the French Open; he missed it with a bad back in 2016, then sat out the full clay portion of the schedule the next two years to prepare for grass and hard courts.

Now he’s back and has dropped only one set so far. At 37, Federer is the oldest semifinalist at the French Open since 40-year-old Pancho Gonzalez in 1968.

Federer and Wawrinka were locked in a taut fourth set when the clouds overhead grew thick and charcoal-colored. Thunder rumbled nearby. It was tough to see, and there are no artificial lights. A couple of rain drops began to fall. Shortly after play was suspended, a real storm arrived. But it didn’t last long.

When action resumed, Federer needed only 10 minutes to take control, getting his second break of the match by smacking a big cross-court forehand to a corner that Wawrinka couldn’t handle. It was 5-4, and Federer only needed to hold serve once to end it.

That turned out to be a tad complicated. He double-faulted for the only two times in the entire match, once on his second match point. He was forced to deflect a break point for Wawrinka, doing so with a serve-and-volley winner. And then, finally, on his third match point, Federer closed it out with a volley, then hugged Wawrinka at the net.

The quarterfinals on the other half of the men’s draw are Wednesday: No. 1 Novak Djokovic vs. No. 5 Alexander Zverev, and No. 4 Dominic Thiem vs. No. 10 Karen Khachanov.

In the women’s quarterfinals, 26th-seeded Johanna Konta eliminated 2018 runner-up Sloane Stephens 6-1, 6-4, grabbing 21 of the last 22 points she served.

Konta is the first British woman in the French Open’s final four since Jo Durie in 1983 — and, based on her previous track record, quite a surprise to make it this far in Paris.

Until this year, Konta had entered the clay-court major four times, losing in the first round each time. So she has gone from 0-4 before to 5-0 in 2019.

“I have never doubted my ability to play on the surface,” said Konta, also a semifinalist at the Australian Open and Wimbledon but yet to make it to a Slam final.

She improved to 3-0 against 2017 U.S. Open champion Stephens, all this season.

In the semifinals, Konta will play either No. 31 Petra Martic of Croatia or 19-year-old Marketa Vondrousova.

“I’ve always said that whenever I step out onto the court, I’m always going to have a chance. I’m always going to have a shot,” Konta said. “I don’t think any player on tour can go on court against me and feel like they’ve definitely got it.”

Sports – TIME

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Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka Defeated in Third Round of French Open

PARIS — Maybe it was the daunting deficit Serena Williams faced in the French Open’s third round. Maybe it was the way her 20-year-old American opponent, Sofia Kenin, was questioning line calls.

Either way, as Williams attempted to start a comeback Saturday with a three-ace game, she followed those big serves with some serious staredowns.

Whether it was meant to get herself going or intimidate Kenin, it didn’t work. Outplayed from start to finish, Williams lost 6-2, 7-5 to the 35th-ranked Kenin, ending her latest bid for a 24th Grand Slam title with her earliest loss at a major tournament in five years.

“In that first set in particular, she hit pretty much inches from the line, and I haven’t played anyone like that in a long time,” the 37-year-old Williams said. “I just saw a player that was playing unbelievable.”

It was the second significant surprise in a matter of hours: Earlier in the day, No. 1 seed Naomi Osaka was eliminated 6-4, 6-2 by 42nd-ranked Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic. That ended Osaka’s 16-match Grand Slam winning streak, which included titles at the U.S. Open final in September — when she beat Williams in the final — and at the Australian Open in January.

Osaka was trying to become the first woman to win three consecutive major trophies since Williams grabbed four in a row in 2014-15, a run that was preceded by a second-round loss at Roland Garros and a third-round loss at Wimbledon.

Since those early-for-her defeats, Williams had won six of the 14 majors she entered to surpass Steffi Graf’s professional-era record of 22 Grand Slam singles championships. With 23, Williams stands one away from Margaret Court’s mark for the most in tennis history; Court played in both the professional and amateur eras.

“Serena is such a tough player. I’m still trying to process what just happened,” Kenin said, about an hour after the match ended with her covering her face with both hands. “She’s a true champion and an inspiration.”

Kenin was born in Moscow and is fluent in Russian. Her family moved to New York when she was a baby, and she now is based in Florida.

“I’m proud to be an American,” said Kenin, who wore a blue U.S. Fed Cup cap to her news conference. “I think it’s great we moved to America for a better life for me.”

She is appearing in the ninth major of her career and now is headed to her initial trip to the round of 16, where she’ll meet No. 8 seed Ash Barty. Other women’s fourth-round matchups established Saturday: defending champion Simona Halep vs. 18-year-old Iga Swiatek of Poland; No. 14 Madison Keys of the U.S. vs. Sinikiakova; 17-year-old Amanda Anisimova of the U.S. vs. qualifier Aliona Bolsova of Spain.

Williams sat out four Slams in 2017-18 while she was off the tour to have a baby. Her first major back was last year’s French Open, where she withdrew before a fourth-round match because of a chest muscle injury. She went on to reach the finals of Wimbledon and the U.S. Open before wasting match points during a quarterfinal loss at the Australian Open this January.

Williams came to Paris having played only four matches since then — she withdrew from two tournaments because of an injured left knee and another because of illness.

And she had said she considered not entering the French Open at all.

“I’m glad I came, at the end of the day,” she said, “but it’s been a really grueling season for me.”

Asked whether a third-round appearance was satisfactory, given her issues, Williams not surprisingly said it was not.

“I wouldn’t expect to have gotten only to the third round,” she replied.

Said her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou: “All I know is, she was not ready. And it was obvious, I think.”

Williams couldn’t control her shots, compiling 34 unforced errors, twice as many as Kenin’s 17. Another key statistic: Kenin won four of Williams’ 10 service games.

Kenin also was composed as can be, never getting rattled by Williams or by a Court Philippe Chatrier crowd that whistled and jeered her for repeatedly eyeing ball marks to see whether calls were correct.

“I didn’t care at that point,” Kenin said. “I was like, ‘I’m going to check the mark.’”

After Williams showed fight by going from 3-1 down to 4-3 ahead in the second set, Kenin hung in there. At 5-all, she got the last break she’d need with a forehand return winner off a 102 mph (164 kph) serve.

She ran to her sideline seat and pressed a towel against her face.

There was one last pivotal moment: Serving for the victory, Kenin faced a break point, but Williams’ miscue let it go by. One last error by Williams — a backhand that sailed long — ended things.

Kenin dealt so well with the stakes, the scene, the setting.

She’d never shared a court with Williams before, although Kenin did try to set up a practice session during the offseason by texting Mouratoglou.

Didn’t work out.

“Yeah, I tried to hit with her. It wasn’t possible, but I’ll take that,” Kenin said with a smile. “I’ll take the win over the hitting.”

Sports – TIME

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French Open Midterm Grades: Top Marks for Big Three, Americans of Russian Extraction

The 2019 French Open has seen a familiar group of contenders on the men’s side advance, Americans by Russian extraction thrive and Court Simonne Mathieu shine. Here are the midterm grades from Roland Garros. 

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Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka Defeated in Third Round of French Open

PARIS — Maybe it was the daunting deficit Serena Williams faced in the French Open’s third round. Maybe it was the way her 20-year-old American opponent, Sofia Kenin, was questioning line calls.

Either way, as Williams attempted to start a comeback Saturday with a three-ace game, she followed those big serves with some serious staredowns.

Whether it was meant to get herself going or intimidate Kenin, it didn’t work. Outplayed from start to finish, Williams lost 6-2, 7-5 to the 35th-ranked Kenin, ending her latest bid for a 24th Grand Slam title with her earliest loss at a major tournament in five years.

“In that first set in particular, she hit pretty much inches from the line, and I haven’t played anyone like that in a long time,” the 37-year-old Williams said. “I just saw a player that was playing unbelievable.”

It was the second significant surprise in a matter of hours: Earlier in the day, No. 1 seed Naomi Osaka was eliminated 6-4, 6-2 by 42nd-ranked Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic. That ended Osaka’s 16-match Grand Slam winning streak, which included titles at the U.S. Open final in September — when she beat Williams in the final — and at the Australian Open in January.

Osaka was trying to become the first woman to win three consecutive major trophies since Williams grabbed four in a row in 2014-15, a run that was preceded by a second-round loss at Roland Garros and a third-round loss at Wimbledon.

Since those early-for-her defeats, Williams had won six of the 14 majors she entered to surpass Steffi Graf’s professional-era record of 22 Grand Slam singles championships. With 23, Williams stands one away from Margaret Court’s mark for the most in tennis history; Court played in both the professional and amateur eras.

“Serena is such a tough player. I’m still trying to process what just happened,” Kenin said, about an hour after the match ended with her covering her face with both hands. “She’s a true champion and an inspiration.”

Kenin was born in Moscow and is fluent in Russian. Her family moved to New York when she was a baby, and she now is based in Florida.

“I’m proud to be an American,” said Kenin, who wore a blue U.S. Fed Cup cap to her news conference. “I think it’s great we moved to America for a better life for me.”

She is appearing in the ninth major of her career and now is headed to her initial trip to the round of 16, where she’ll meet No. 8 seed Ash Barty. Other women’s fourth-round matchups established Saturday: defending champion Simona Halep vs. 18-year-old Iga Swiatek of Poland; No. 14 Madison Keys of the U.S. vs. Sinikiakova; 17-year-old Amanda Anisimova of the U.S. vs. qualifier Aliona Bolsova of Spain.

Williams sat out four Slams in 2017-18 while she was off the tour to have a baby. Her first major back was last year’s French Open, where she withdrew before a fourth-round match because of a chest muscle injury. She went on to reach the finals of Wimbledon and the U.S. Open before wasting match points during a quarterfinal loss at the Australian Open this January.

Williams came to Paris having played only four matches since then — she withdrew from two tournaments because of an injured left knee and another because of illness.

And she had said she considered not entering the French Open at all.

“I’m glad I came, at the end of the day,” she said, “but it’s been a really grueling season for me.”

Asked whether a third-round appearance was satisfactory, given her issues, Williams not surprisingly said it was not.

“I wouldn’t expect to have gotten only to the third round,” she replied.

Said her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou: “All I know is, she was not ready. And it was obvious, I think.”

Williams couldn’t control her shots, compiling 34 unforced errors, twice as many as Kenin’s 17. Another key statistic: Kenin won four of Williams’ 10 service games.

Kenin also was composed as can be, never getting rattled by Williams or by a Court Philippe Chatrier crowd that whistled and jeered her for repeatedly eyeing ball marks to see whether calls were correct.

“I didn’t care at that point,” Kenin said. “I was like, ‘I’m going to check the mark.’”

After Williams showed fight by going from 3-1 down to 4-3 ahead in the second set, Kenin hung in there. At 5-all, she got the last break she’d need with a forehand return winner off a 102 mph (164 kph) serve.

She ran to her sideline seat and pressed a towel against her face.

There was one last pivotal moment: Serving for the victory, Kenin faced a break point, but Williams’ miscue let it go by. One last error by Williams — a backhand that sailed long — ended things.

Kenin dealt so well with the stakes, the scene, the setting.

She’d never shared a court with Williams before, although Kenin did try to set up a practice session during the offseason by texting Mouratoglou.

Didn’t work out.

“Yeah, I tried to hit with her. It wasn’t possible, but I’ll take that,” Kenin said with a smile. “I’ll take the win over the hitting.”

Sports – TIME

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‘Roh-zher! Roh-zher!’ Fans Welcome Roger Federer Back to French Open After 4-Year Absence

(PARIS) — Roger Federer entered a refurbished Court Philippe Chatrier for his first French Open match since 2015, greeted by the sun peeking through the clouds and the full-throated support of spectators in their designer sunglasses, straw hats and sweaters tied over their shoulders.

Were it permitted, perhaps some ticket-holders would have embraced Federer right then and there, delivering a kiss on each cheek, as if reunited with an old friend at a sidewalk cafe.

Alas, the welcome was limited to wild applause and enthusiastic chants of his first name — “Roh-zher! Roh-zher!” — before and during a 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 victory against Lorenzo Sonego of Italy on Sunday. The match lasted a mere 101 minutes yet Federer found enough time and space to sprinkle in some tremendous shot-making.

“The reception I got today was crazy. Was really nice to see a full stadium for a first round like this,” Federer said, comparing the atmosphere to that of a final.

“I feel,” he said, “that the public missed me. And I missed them, as well.”

His presence at the year’s second Grand Slam tournament was the highlight of Day 1, which included losses by multiple major winners Venus Williams, Angelique Kerber and Svetlana Kuznetsova, along with victories for Sloane Stephens, Garbiñe Muguruza, Marin Cilic and Kei Nishikori.

Kerber has been dealing with an injured foot and was beaten 6-4, 6-2 by Anastasia Potapova. That was the opening match in the largely rebuilt main stadium, a structure of concrete and glass that is expected to have a retractable roof by the 2020 French Open and now features padded beige seats instead of plastic green ones.

Across the way, 2016 champion Muguruza inaugurated the new 5,290-seat Court Simonne Mathieu, which is surrounded by greenhouses displaying tropical plants, with a 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 victory over Taylor Townsend of the U.S.

Later in that same spot, the 38-year-old Williams, a seven-time Grand Slam titlist and the 2002 runner-up in Paris, exited in the first round for the fourth time in the past seven years at Roland Garros. She was broken in seven of her nine service games during a 6-3, 6-3 loss to No. 9 seed Elina Svitolina.

Federer, the owner of 20 Grand Slam titles, will turn 38 in August and, frankly, who knows how many more of these he has left?

“Not getting any younger,” he noted.

The guy certainly appeared delighted to make his return to a tournament he won a decade ago, completing a career Grand Slam, but sat out each of the past three years. In 2016, he was sidelined by a back problem, ending his then-record streak of 65 consecutive appearances at majors. Federer then skipped the entire clay-court circuit in each of the past two seasons to focus on preparing for grass and hard courts.

Not since a quarterfinal loss to Stan Wawrinka four years ago had Federer competed at Roland Garros, which is why he described himself Sunday as “quite tense at the start.”

Didn’t seem that way, though. More like someone who never went away. He led the 73rd-ranked Sonego, who was making his French Open debut, 4-0 after less than 15 minutes, then went up a set and 4-0 in the second after 40.

“There are times when you recognize that he makes the difficult things look easy. It’s incredible,” Sonego said. “All you can do is hope he messes up now and then, because otherwise, it’s really hard.”

Federer gave the folks what they wanted, providing a live-and-in-person highlight reel of his full and considerable repertoire. There was the ace at 121 mph (195 kph) to begin his first service game, and the ace at 110 mph (178 kph) to conclude it. The drop-volley winner on the run. The serve-and-volley putaway. The sprint for an up-the-line winner off a delicate drop shot by Sonego that was so good, and so apparently hard to reach, that an Italian fan gushed, “Bravo! Bravo!” in praise of her countryman before Federer got to the ball.

“In the important moments, he raises his level and turns into a computer,” Sonego said. “He never makes the wrong choice.”

Really, the lone blip for Federer came when he double-faulted to get broken for the only time, eliciting an admonishing slap of racket strings from him — and a collective “Awwwww” of dismay from his thousands of admirers. That was part of a three-game, dozen-minute surge for Sonego, who got within 4-3 in the second set before ceding it.

By the end, Federer had won the point on 25 of 30 trips to the net and put together a ratio of 36 winners to 15 unforced errors.

While so much of the title speculation is focused on Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic — both play Monday — Federer enjoys the unusual-for-him position of lowered expectations.

“It’s nice to be an outsider,” he said with an almost imperceptible shrug. “That’s how I feel, anyhow. Just see how it goes, you know. … This is not a show I’m putting on; this is the truth: I really don’t know how far I can go in this event.”

Sports – TIME

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‘Champion,’ ‘Queen,’ ‘Goddess,’ ‘Mother’: Serena Williams’ Powerful Message at The French Open

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It did not matter that the three-piece Virgil Abloh x Nike outfit Serena Williams posted on Instagram before the French Open looked entirely impractical to play tennis in. The athlete’s fans agreed: it was a winner.

Before earning her 800th tour-level win on May 27, Williams put on a tiered maxi skirt, long robe, and sports bra. Printed onto her zebra printed ensemble were the words “Champion,” “Queen,” “Goddess,” “Mother.”

The Nike ambassador matched her floor-grazing skirt with chunky sneakers, as she did at this year’s Met Gala and her 2017 wedding to Alexis Ohanian.

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Serena Williams Storms Back to Win French Open Match After Losing First Set

(PARIS) — This was one mistake too far for Serena Williams.

Sure, the bad backhand put her behind only 15-30 at the outset of the second set of her opening match at Roland Garros on Monday. What made the miscue so bothersome? She’d already dropped the first set against 83rd-ranked Vitalia Diatchenko — and Williams’ unforced error total already was at 15 on a windy evening.

So she reacted by throwing her head back and letting out a scream. Then she stepped to the baseline to serve and stomped her right foot. And simple as that, Williams righted herself: She won 11 of the next 13 points, and 12 of 13 games the rest of the way, to come back for a disappointing-to-dominant 2-6, 6-1, 6-0 victory at the French Open.

“I just was so frustrated at that point, because I have been training well. The past week and a half has been really good, and, God, it was, like, ‘This isn’t the Serena I have been practicing with — or that I see every day,” Williams said afterward. “I just let out this roar, and here I am. Yeah, so maybe that helped.”

She arrived on court with a black-and-white jacket bearing words such as “champion,” “queen,” “goddess” and “mother” in French.

“Those are things that mean a lot to me and reminders for me — and for everyone that wants to wear it,” Williams explained. “Just remind everyone that they can be champions and are queens.”

A reporter told Williams those four words are “a lot to carry,” to which the 37-year-old American replied: “It is a lot to carry, but so is being Serena Williams.”

She made her return to Grand Slam competition in Paris a year ago after missing five majors because of the birth of her first child. Williams pulled out before the fourth round because of an injured chest muscle, then was the runner-up at both Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.

Williams came to Paris this time having withdrawn from each of her past two tournaments because of a balky left knee, and the one before that because of illness. She had played only nine matches all season, and so her pursuit of a record-tying 24th Grand Slam title — fourth at Roland Garros — seemed no sure thing.

That goal seemed even further from her grasp with the way things began in Court Philippe Chatrier against Diatchenko, a Russian who hits two-fisted shots off both sides and upset Maria Sharapova at Wimbledon last year.

“I just got nervous out there and I stopped moving my feet. And (it) was, like, concrete blocks on my feet. I was like, ‘You got to do something,’” Williams said. “I was just off, basically. And then instead of correcting it, I just kept getting worse.”

Could the nearly impossible happen? Could Williams lose in the first round of a major? She’d only done so once before in 70 Slam appearances — and that happened at the French Open, in 2012.

But once Williams recalibrated everything, she took charge.

One of her good friends, and another former No. 1-ranked player, Caroline Wozniacki, went in the opposite direction Monday, going from playing a perfect set to quickly fading away against an opponent who never previously had won a Grand Slam match.

In a performance emblematic of a difficult season, last year’s Australian Open champion bowed out in the first round 0-6, 6-3, 6-3 to 68th-ranked Veronika Kudermetova of Russia.

“Definitely wasn’t the best match I’ve ever played,” said the 13th-seeded Wozniacki, who had only 15 winners to Kudermetova’s 40.

The way-up-then-way-down showing by Wozniacki stretched her losing streak to four matches.

Other seeded players exiting on Day 2 included No. 12 Daniil Medvedev, No. 15 Nikoloz Basilashvili, No. 20 Denis Shapovalov and No. 32 Frances Tiafoe on the men’s side, along with No. 18 Julia Goerges on the women’s.

Tiafoe, a quarterfinalist at the Australian Open in January, threw up a couple of times and his game came apart late in a 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-0 loss to Filip Krajinovic of Serbia.

“Obviously very depleted and had nothing really in me,” said Tiafoe, now 0-4 at Roland Garros.

Before Williams took over the main stadium, Rafael Nadal began his bid for a record 12th championship in Paris and Novak Djokovic got started on his quest for a fourth consecutive major trophy. Both won in straight sets.

When it was Williams’ turn, she needed a bit to get going.

After 14 unforced errors in the first set alone, she had six in the second, four in the third. Her winner count went the other way: from five in the first set to nine in the second to 11 in the third. After dealing with five break points in the first set, Williams never faced another.

Diatchenko sat at changeovers with a towel covering her head, as if embarrassed to be seen there.

At the beginning of the match, Diatchenko said, “I was No. 1 between us.”

But as things progressed, a better version of Williams emerged.

“With Serena, you have to play not 100%. You have to play 150,” Diatchenko said. “Always.”

After committing 14 unforced errors in the first set, Williams had a total of 10 in the second and third sets.

Afterward, Williams seemed more relieved than pleased at avoiding what would have been only the second loss of her career in the first round of a Grand Slam tournament — after her defeat to Virginie Razzano at Roland Garros in 2012.

Sports – TIME

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The decades-old mystery of Garfield phones on French beaches has finally been solved

garfield phone beach

It’s been over three decades since beachgoers in France began finding bright orange Garfield-themed phones on their shores. The phones, often disintegrating and obviously no longer functional, just wouldn’t stop washing up, and while beach cleaners believed they originated in a lost shipping container they had no way of knowing where that box might be.

Now, a man who spotted the container decades ago has helped environmentalists locate the source, and a whole bunch of old orange phones that came along with it. However, getting to the lost container was quite a challenge, and a few questions about its origins remain.

Continue reading…

Trending Right Now:

  1. The decades-old mystery of Garfield phones on French beaches has finally been solved

The decades-old mystery of Garfield phones on French beaches has finally been solved originally appeared on BGR.com on Fri, 29 Mar 2019 at 18:00:09 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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Agnès Varda, Leading Light of French New Wave, Dies at 90

Agnès Varda, a leading light of the French New Wave who directed such films as “Cleo From 5 to 7,” “Vagabond” and “Faces Places,” has died. She was 90. Varda’s death from breast cancer at her Paris home was confirmed Friday by her family. “The filmmaker and artist Agnès Varda died from a cancer at […]

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Samuel French Donates Over 11,500 Scripts From Sunset Boulevard Store To LA Theatres, Schools, and More!

Following the announcement that Samuel French wouldclose its bookstore on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, CA, BroadwayWorld reportedthat the location hadbeen the target of a serious act of vandalism and threats and wouldnot reopen its doors. Now Samuel French has announced it has donated11,500 scripts to30 theaters, educational institutions, amp foundations in the LA area.
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French tycoon on trial over $450 million arbitration deal

French tycoon Bernard Tapie is facing a criminal trial over a fraudulent 404 million-euro ($ 450 million today) arbitration package linked to his sale of sportswear company Adidas in the 1990s.
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Wearing French Cuffs on Shirts: How, When, & Why

Before we get into the specifics of French cuffs, let’s do a brief overview of shirt cuff styles.

Shirt Cuff Styles

Barrel Cuffs

First, button cuffs also called barrel cuffs. They’ve got buttonholes on one side of the cuff and buttons on the other. Anywhere from 1 to 3 buttons or sometimes more. Although one to two buttons is standard just so the fit of the cuff can be adjusted.

Barrel cuffs are the everyday choice for most men. And with a variety of button styles and cuff shapes they provide some versatile options while still being practical.

Link Cuffs

Link cuffs have holes on both sides of the cuff and as you might imagine are meant to be closed with links as opposed to buttons.

Two Principal Types Of Link Cuffs

Single Cuffs

Single cuffs which are just one layer of fabric fastened together with a link are standard for the white tie dress code and are also acceptable for black-tie if not necessarily standard at this point in time.

Double Cuffs

Double cuffs, are twice as long and are worn folded back upon themselves. They’re the standard choice these days for the Black Tie dress code and are also a staple of business wear. If you haven’t guessed it yet, double cuffs are more commonly known as French cuffs.

Other Kinds Of Cuffs

There are also a few other kinds of cuffs such as convertible cuffs which can be closed with either a button or a link depending on how you’d like to wear them.

And finally, you may also sometimes see a buttoned cuff that has excess fabric that can be turned back upon itself. This is known as a turn back cuff, cocktail cuff or sometimes a James Bond cuff.

French Cuffs Construction

As we already mentioned, French cuffs feature a length of fabric that is folded back upon itself and then fastened together with cufflinks, There are holes on both sides of the cuff going through all the layers of fabric. In other words, most French cuffs will typically have four holes in total to a cuff. Some manufacturers however will include more holes on the inner portion of the cuff for a total of six. This was originally done so that if there was wear or staining on the edge of a cuff a man could adjust it in the middle of the day without having to worry about looking at that staining.

One such manufacturer to offer these six holed French cuffs is the British retailer Charles Tyrwhitt. As I’m a frequent wearer of their shirts and many of them are in my closet I’ll use these adjustable cuffs on jackets that I have where the sleeves aren’t quite as long. That way the cuffs won’t come out from beneath the sleeves of the jacket when I’m moving my arms around. Some shirt makers may also include a button on the inside of the French cuff to make things more secure and to make inserting links a little bit easier. This button on the inside of the cuff isn’t to be confused however with a gauntlet button which is featured on some shirts a little bit further up the sleeve.

French cuffs can come in a number of shapes as can other cuff styles. Straight edges are most common for French cuffs but you’ll also see rounded edges, angled edges or mitered edges.

Why Are They Called French Cuffs?

To answer that question, we have to touch on the history of the double cuff. Since at least the 16th century, upper-class individuals used elegant ribbons to prevent the ruffled ends of their shirt sleeves from coming open. This practice of adorning the wrists with some sort of decoration continued throughout the centuries. By the early 19th century, when the modern style of shirt was coming into its own, the ruffles had been replaced with cuffs that were secured with links.

Napoleon Bonaparte

As an example, Alexandre Dumas 1844 novel, The Count of Monte Cristo, features the character of Baron Danglars, a banker who wears ornate cufflinks with his double cuffed shirts. One apocryphal story also claims that French cuffs got their start when Napoleon ordered extra long sleeves for the shirts of the soldiers in his armies so that they could wipe their noses on the ends of their sleeve and then fold their cuffs back. There isn’t any historical evidence to support this theory however so it’s really just more of a fun story.

Whatever the case, the term French cuff didn’t really come into popular usage until the style immigrated to America. In other words, it may just be that calling it a French cuff made it sound a little bit more exotic and special to American consumers. And from then on the term stuck and it’s the one that’s most commonly used today.

Style Guidelines For Wearing French Cuffs

The traditional view on this subject is that French cuffs should really only be worn in more formal scenarios, such as if you’re wearing black tie or if you’re wearing a conventional business suit and necktie. Some will even argue that wearing French cuffs with a blazer or sport coat is a stretch.

However, as standards of everyday dress have become more relaxed over the last half century and within the last 10 to 15 years, we’ve seen a resurgence in the interest in menswear. Some of these old style rules are able to be more freely bent now. So even though some traditionalists might give you a little bit of a questioning look, we believe that you can definitely pull off French cuffed shirts in more casual environments than just black tie or white collar business suits.

Sven Raphael Schneider wearing French Cuffs with Fort Belvedere accessories

As just a few examples of this, fashion designer Tom Ford has worn French cuffs without a tie for a number of years now. And here at the Gentleman’s Gazette, our founder Sven Raphael Schneider, estimates that he wears French cuffed shirts around 75% of the time. Also, I personally am a big fan of smart casual styled French cuffed shirts and almost all of my everyday shirts have French cuffs.

Typical ensemble for Preston Schlueter

I believe that wearing them with some fun cufflinks to provide a breezy vibe is a great way to show off a little bit of personal expression without being overpowering. In fact, a typical everyday ensemble for me is a French cuff shirt worn without anything over the top of it in addition to a pair of slacks and shoes and so on.

If you wanted to really go to the nth degree with this you could even emulate Italians who go for the sprezzatura style of dressing. They’ll wear French cuffed shirts unfastened over the ends of their jacket sleeves. This is a little bit of an extreme look of course but we just wanted to make you aware that the look is out there, so French cuffs are definitely more versatile than they used to be.

Tips On Wearing French Cuffs

First of all, it’s always a good idea to show at least a little bit of cuff at the end of whatever you’re wearing. Be that a suit jacket, a blazer, a sport coat or even a sweater. You could shoot for keeping a quarter to a half inch of shirt sleeve visible at all times under these types of garments just to make sure that people know that you intentionally wore French cuffs. Keep in mind though, that if you’re wearing something with more constricted sleeves such as a sweater you may want to orient the cuffs a little bit differently.

Kissing Style

Where French cuffs are usually worn in the so-called kissing style with the inside portions of both sides of the cuff together, they can also be configured more similarly to a barrel style and this is a convenient way to do it if you’re wearing something like a sweater. And of course, there are a wide variety of different kinds of cufflinks to go with your French cuff shirts to suit the occasion. You should aim for a balance between your own sense of personal style and the formality of the environment you’ll be in. There are all kinds of metal cufflinks of course, in materials like gold, silver, platinum and so on. And at the other end of the spectrum there are simple fabric knot styles of cufflinks also called silk knots that are definitely more casual.

CONCLUSION

To answer the question of when it’s appropriate to wear French cuff shirts? The short and simple answer is almost whenever you want with a few key exceptions. As we said, just make sure that the French cuffs and their accompanying cufflinks don’t overpower or dominate the outfit you’re wearing. Use a little bit of discretion and you’ll have a wide variety of situations where cufflinks and French cuff shirts are appropriate.

What’s your personal opinion of French cuff shirts and how often do you wear them? Do you have any other styling tips related to French cuffs?

Be sure to let us know in the comment section below.


Gentleman’s Gazette

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French Sexist Cyberbully Journalists Exposed After a Decade of Disgusting Misogyny

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast

PARIS, France — In this country often painted as a churlish holdout against political correctness, there is something about the recently exposed online “Ligue du LOL” that is particularly insidious and particularly French.

The LOL (Laugh Out Loud) League, as it would be called in English, was a band of toxic bros who first came together as a private Facebook group in 2009 and used Twitter to conduct a campaign of harassment and cyberbullying with what was for years complete impunity. The Ligue targeted mostly women, but also gay men and ethnic minorities. Its members? Young journalists at the forefront of France’s brave new digital media world.

The profiles of these men didn’t fit with what we’ve come to expect from people who behave badly online. They weren’t too young to know better and they weren’t friendless losers venting their anonymous anger in the only forum open to them. These were increasingly successful men who ran Twitter accounts under different names, but had the arrogance to render some easily identifiable, unable to keep from bragging about their associations and successes in their Twitter bios. All the while, they selected their targets and tailored their attacks for maximum psychological destruction.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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This 1987 Ferrari F40 LM in French Racing Blue Is up for Auction

The latest automobile to hit RM Sotheby’s auction house is a very special 1987 Ferrari F40 LM. While the F40 is already a remarkable race car, this particular variant combines racing pedigree with historical significance.

Hard to miss, this F40 LM comes wrapped in French Racing Blue, with decals that tell of its involvement with the Pilot-Aldix racing team. This LM version takes the stock numbers of the twin-turbo engine (471-bhp, 201-mph), and cranks it up to over 700-bhp thanks to the enlarged IHI turbocharger, Weber-Marelli fuel injectors, and intercooler setup. The F40 has also be stripped of weight, sitting at just 1,050 kg. The cars chassis has also been stiffened, and the drivetrain has been matched with a race-ready transmission.

The purchaser may want to hold off on throwing this around on the track as it does hold historic significance in the racing world – participating twice in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1995 and 1996, and it is also the winner of the 1995 Anderstorp 4 Hours.

Set to go under the hammer on February 6, this one of 19 Competizione-spec Ferrari F40 LM is estimated to fetch somewhere between €4,500,000 EUR – €5,500,000 EUR (approximately $ 5,160,000 USD – $ 6,300,000 USD).

In other automotive news, AAPE joins Suzuki for an exclusive camouflage Jimmy SUV.

Click here to view full gallery at HYPEBEAST




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Cardiff City’s Sala was on board missing plane: French sources

Premier League soccer player Emiliano Sala was on board a single-engine light aircraft that lost radar contact while flying over the English Channel late on Monday evening, a French police official and a second source said.


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EU tax on big digital companies could be struck by March: French minister

A European Union-wide tax on the world’s top digital companies could be reached by the end of March, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said in an interview published on Sunday.


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A French blogger brought down by his own tweets wants a second chance

At just 24, Mehdi Meklat was a star blogger for the French newspaper Libération, a frequent guest on national radio programs and the co-author of a critically acclaimed novel. Then journalists uncovered anti-Semitic and homophobic tweets, and his meteoric rise was overshadowed by a staggering fall.
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A festive outing to a fairytale French château: a day at Vaux-le-Vicomte

Like Versailles but more manageable, this château turns into a winter wonderland at Christmas – perfect for a family day trip from Paris

For most of its long and inglorious history, Vaux-le-Vicomte has been ignored. Shunned by the royal court after a jealous and vengeful king left its owner to rot in jail, overshadowed by its neighbour Fontainebleau, Vaux-le-Vicomte has hidden for centuries in plain sight, less than an hour by car or train from Paris.

Many of those driving south en route to the Burgundy vineyards, Alps or winter warmth of the Côte d’Azur won’t even know it’s there. This is a pity at any time of the year, but especially at Christmas when for five weeks the 17th-century baroque château is transformed into something of an enchanted palace.

Continue reading…
Travel | The Guardian

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WATCH: World News 12/11/18: Deadly Terror Attack At A French Christmas Market

The Oval Office showdown between Trump and Schumer, Pelosi; IN high school football player confesses to killing pregnant cheerleader
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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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