early in the figh

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early in the figh
« le: 08 mars 2019, 05:17:44 »
PARIS – Eugenie Bouchard grew up admiring Maria Sharapova. "First, I noticed her cute dresses and things like that when I was young," said the 20-year-old Canadian, who met Sharapova when she was just eight-years-old at a tournament in Miami. "As a child, I looked up to her and I remember watching her in the finals of Wimbledon and thought what she was doing was so cool and I wanted to do the same thing." Bouchard and Sharapova will play on Thursday in the French Open semi-finals. It is the second straight year that the two have met at Roland Garros with the Russian prevailing in straight sets in the second round a year ago. "For sure I respect her," said Bouchard. "But now were in the semis of a Grand Slam, so Im going to respect her but not put her too high on a pedestal and really just battle. Thats what its going to be." Sharapova may be seeded seventh, but she has been widely considered the favourite to win the title since the top three seeds – Serena Williams, Li Na and Agnieszka Radwanska – all lost in the first three rounds. And Sharapova is favoured to beat Bouchard (-325, 4/13 per BoDog) for the same reason she is expected to hoist the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen on Saturday: she has the experience. She made the finals here a year ago. She won the whole thing just two years ago. At the age of 27, she has already won the career slam and has an Olympic silver medal on her resume.  "Achieving what she has, she is of course very strong mentally," said Bouchard. "It is one of her strengths. Im going to be ready for another battle. You know, the semis of a Grand Slam, thats what you have to expect. "Im just looking forward to the challenge." Bouchard is earning her own reputation for poise under pressure. She overcame a 2-5 deficit (two breaks) and a set point to win the opening frame against clay-court specialist Carla Suarez Navarro in the quarterfinals on Tuesday. Then, after dropping the second set 2-6, Bouchard dug out of a 1-4 hole in the deciding set by winning 12 straight points. She then served to stay in the match at 4-5, holding easily.  "At the end of the day, whether I win or lose, I want to at least leave it all out there and try and at least battle. Im proud of the way I did that in both the first and third. Shes a great player and a really good clay courter, as well. I knew it was a tough battle, and thats exactly what it was today. Im just proud of the way I stayed in there." Bouchard appeared to show some nerves after wasting a match point, serving at 6-5, with a double fault. She was asked if that was a sign she is, after all, human. "I show Im human all the time," Bouchard noted with a smile. "Yeah, you know, its one of those things. I didnt really worry about it. I think thats the most important thing: I didnt see it as a big deal, and I just regrouped for the next point, which allowed me to just give me a chance to get in a position to have a match point again. "Even on the second match point I missed a ball, but I was trying to go for it, so I didnt worry too much, either. "I think that was a bit the theme the whole match: even if I was down 5-2 or 4-1 in the third, not to worry too much, keep going, keep going, keep going, and it paid off in the end." Bouchards mental toughness and aggressive play have earned her comparisons to Sharapova. Does she like that? "There are positives and negatives," Bouchard said. "Of course shes a great champion, so to be seen as the next of someone who has won four slams and has been No. 1 in the world, its a compliment. "But at the same time, of course, Im my own person and I just want to be myself on the court, and you know, try and achieve what I want to achieve and just be seen as that." Bouchard is the only womens player to make the semis at both slams this season. She is part of the future of womens tennis and looking to prove the future is now. Bouchard readily admits that back in January when she made that magical run to the Australian Open semis, she suffered from a bit of stage fright at the start of a straight-sets loss to Li Na. "I was maybe a little bit frozen at the beginning of that match," she said. "Ill be much more ready this time." Cheap Under Armour Shoes Australia .com) - The Winnipeg Jets placed defenceman Paul Postma on injured reserve Tuesday. Under Armour Shoes Clearance . City, fielding a depleted team having already qualified, was twice pegged back by the plucky Czech champions but substitute Negredo tapped home in the 78th minute and Dzekos header made sure of victory in the 89th. The result kept City three points behind Bayern Munich ahead of their meeting in Germany in two weeks. http://www.cheapunderarmouraustralia.com/ . The 31-year-old Russian dominated the No. 3-ranked Ferrer throughout, breaking the defending champion and local favourite four times on the indoor hard court. Under Armour Shoes Discount . The Giants chances of winning the division were dealt a serious blow by the three-game sweep at the hands of the lowly Padres. The Giants open a three-game series at Dodger Stadium on Monday night. San Francisco is still in good shape to clinch a wild-card berth, although it dropped into a tie with Pittsburgh in the race for the top spot. Under Armour Sale Australia . Wearing bib No. 1, Maze skied through the gates cleanly to defend her big first-run lead and finish 0.07 seconds ahead of Anna Fenninger of Austria. Defending champion Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany was third, trailing 0.LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Urijah (The California Kid) Faber finds himself in an unaccustomed position Saturday night at UFC 175 — on the preliminary card. Faber, a former WEC champion who has challenged for a UFC championship belt three times, has never lost a non-title bout and was in the main event last time out at UFC 169. But the 35-year-old bantamweight from Sacramento, currently ranked second among 135-pound contenders, find himself topping the televised preliminaries before the pay-per-view portion of the show at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. Middleweight champion Chris Weidman meets former light-heavyweight title-holder Lyoto (The Dragon) Machida of Brazil in the main event while womens bantamweight champion (Rowdy) Ronda Rousey takes on Alexis Davis, a native of Port Colborne, Ont., who fights out of San Jose. Faber faces No. 12 Alex (Bruce Leroy) Caceres in a fight where a win means much more to the up-and-coming Caceres than the veteran Faber. Having an established star like Faber (30-7) lead into the pay-per-view is good for the UFC. Faber has no complaints, knowing the prelim finale will draw plenty of viewers on free TV. A canny businessman, Faber understands the value of keeping his brand in the spotlight. "I feel great," said the five-foot-six fighter with a megawatt smile and dimple in his chin. "Its kind of a strange thing. Ive gotten to the point now where Im one of the veterans of the sport. "Ive had the same lifestyle since I was a little kid — basically do your homework, hang out with your buddies and play your sports. So Im living the same life. To be the crafty old veteran at this point is kind of funny. ... Im 35 now and feeling as fresh as a daisy, ready to rock and roll. Its good position to be in." The matchup was apparently triggered by a fan on social media. The 26-year-old Caceres took up the cause and Faber accepted the bout when the UFC offered it. "Its smart to want to fight me," said Faber. "I mean, the guy doesnt have anything to lose. Im one of the bigger names in the sport." But as UFC president Dana White often says, be careful of what you wish for. Faber is a 15-1 favourite to put Caceres in his place, in the eyes of some oddsmakers. Rather than titles, Faber talks about being the best fighter he can be these days. But he believes the two can come together, even if the championship belt currently belongs to teammate T.J. Dillashaw. "I feel like I still havent had my best performance," Faber said. "When I do, I feel like Ill be the champion." Caceres (10-5 with one no contest) has won four of his last five fights. It could have been five straight but his split decision win over Kyung Ho Kang in March was changed to a no contest after he tested positive for marijuana. That earned him a six-month suspension. Faber is coming off a second defeat at the hands of Brazils Renan Barao, who lost his bantamweight title to Dillashaw one fight later. "I dont like to dwell on such," Faber said of his loss. "As soon as that one was over, it was on to the next one, I cant really change the past, It was really unfortunate because I definitely had more fight in me. Im a guy thats known for being able to push through adversity. I didnt get a chance to show that. It could have been one of my greatest fights ... So its onto the next one. Ill make this next one my greatest fight." Barao knocked Faber out in the first round at UFC 169 in February what some — including White — thought was a premature stoppage. Faber was getting the worst of it on the ground, but gave referee Herb Dean a thumbs up to show he was still on top of things. Dean missedd the gesture and stepped in to stop the fight.dddddddddddd Barao, filling in for the injured Dominick Cruz, won a five-round decision over Faber at UFC 149 in Calgary in July 2012 to win the interim bantamweight title. Faber suffered a broken rib early in the fight. A former featherweight champion in the WEC, Faber was the longtime face of MMAs lighter weight classes. But he lost his 145-pound crown to Mike Brown in November 2008 and was beaten in a rematch seven months later. After dropping an April 2010 decision to champion Jose Aldo, who had dethroned Brown, Faber dropped down to 135 pounds. He has gone 7-3 since (6-3 in the UFC) with wins over Takeya Mizugaki, Eddie Wineland, Brian Bowles, Canadian Ivan Menjivar, Scott Jorgensen, Iuri Alcantara and Michael McDonald and title losses to Dominick Cruz and Barao. Faber, who made his pro debut in November 2003, may have slipped down the bantamweight mountain slightly but he remains active. Saturday marks his sixth fight in a little more than 16 months. "Im pumped to be back," he said. Dillashaw winning the bantamweight title has changed the 135-pound landscape. Especially since the two train together as part of Team Alpha Male at Fabers gym. "I couldnt be more excited about that," Faber said of the Dillashaw win. "It was a big deal for our team and for myself, a guy that I helped bring up. "People have asked about us fighting and I dont really want to do that." Faber talks of "exciting fights," citing Cruz, Barao and Kid Yamamoto. "Just keep winning and putting out my best performance." But he doesnt rule out a Dillashaw clash. "If it comes to a point where we need to cross that bridge, its going to be a discussion that he and I are going to have to have with our bosses Dana and Lorenzo (UFC president Dana White and co-owner Lorenzo Feritta)." Cruz, who has not fought since October 2011 and had to give up his title due to his knee injury layoff, will have problems getting his championship belt back, according to Faber. "I dont think hell do very well against T.J.," said Faber. The California Kid speaks warmly about Caceres, citing his recent win streak and positive if somewhat quirky outlook on life. "I kind of like the guy. But Im going to beat the crap out of him." Away from the cage, Faber has proved to be one of the more successful fighter-entrepreneurs. A graduate of the University of California, Davis, where he was a standout wrestler when not working on a degree in human development, is on his second clothing company (Torque), has written a book ("The Laws of the Rings") and has had several other business ventures, usually drawing in family and friends to help. In addition to his Ultimate Fitness gym in Sacramento, Faber also has a private gym on the California coast. A new project, in conjunction with photographer Sam Hon, is Optical Panacea which combines the imagery of a background photo with a series of action shots in MMA and other sports. Faber is also involved in the MMA Draft combine, which serves as a showcase for amateur athletes who want to get into fighting. The many ribbons to his bow may explain why Faber has no plans to follow Randy (The Natural) Couture and fight into his 40s. "I have no desire to do that," he said. "But could I? Of course I could, if I put my mind to it. But I dont think thats the plan for me" NOTES — Faber will have veteran fighter Martin (The Hitman) Kampmann in his corner as coach. Former coach Duane (Bang) Ludwig is taking advantage of his successful run at Team Alpha Male to open his own gym. Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter ' ' '