Wish Lists Fill Santa’s Mailbox in Ocean City

first_imgBy MADDY VITALEOcean City has a direct line to Santa Claus … well, a mailbox at least, where kids may write to Saint Nick to tell him what they wish for under the tree.Santa’s Mailbox is at Ninth Street and Asbury Avenue in the downtown and its presence is a tradition that began decades ago by the retail merchants and then was passed onto Santa’s helpers — the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce. “Santa’s Mailbox in Ocean City is for children from all over the region who visit Ocean City during the holiday season,” explained Michele Gillian, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce.Old-fashioned decorations and carolers in Victorian-era attire add to the downtown’s nostalgic Christmas atmosphere.Over the years, there have been some interesting requests on the kids’ Christmas wish lists, Gillian noted.“We’ve been told so many funny stories about what children would like,” she said.There are the games and toy requests that are not out of the ordinary. Kids often ask for their favorite Barbie dolls, Legos or games.But then there are these requests: Game nights at home with no fightsSpa days in New York CityTickets to concertsAs Christmas nears, more and more children and their families will be stopping by Santa’s Mailbox to slip in a letter with Christmas wishes — destination North Pole, of course.Across from City Hall, on the sidewalk next to Mark Soifer Park, is the special white mailbox with red and green trim and the words “Santa’s Mailbox” painted on it to hold the letters and children’s lists.Santa’s Mailbox is located at the corner of Ninth Street and Asbury Avenue, across from City Hall.Gillian noted that the old-fashioned letter writing offers nostalgia for some and serves as a reminder that tradition is very important in the family friendly resort.While some of the kids’ requests are humorous, there are others that warm Gillian’s heart, she said.“What is always surprising are the kind words they use with Santa and the promises to always do the best they can,” Gillian said.She then responded to a letter writer’s question: “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus in Ocean City!” For even more Christmas fun with Saint Nick, there will be photos with Santa on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 7 and Dec. 8, from noon to 3 p.m. at the Ocean City Music Pier.The cost is $10 per photo. For more information, call 1-800-BEACH-NJ. There is also “Breakfast With Santa” at local restaurants.For more information about Ocean City and the Chamber of Commerce, visit www.oceancityvacation.com. Countdown to Christmas means it is time for children to slip their wish lists into Santa’s Mailbox.last_img read more

North East Bakery seeks retail growth for Nichols

first_imgNorth East Bakery is on the look-out for more stores to grow its Nichols brand.The company has 13 shops in the north-east and will add two more before Christmas. “There are huge opportunities to get into primary retail locations in the region, which means we don’t incur greater distribution costs,” said MD Greg Phillips.The company’s portfolio includes seven Nichols shops – five of which were rebranded following its purchase of Milligans Bakery and a 20,000sq ft bakery two years ago – and six Chapel Bakery stores.The current North East Young Business Person of the Year, Phillips said the chain focused on hand-crafted products and locally sourced ingredients, which gave it a point of difference to rivals such as Greggs. It also runs promotions for store openings, such as the most recent in Newcastle: “We go into the street with samples and almost drag people in for product tastings – if we can get them through the door, the feedback is always good.”Nichols’ best-sellers in its stores are made-to-order breakfast stotties, hot carvery sandwiches, luxury sandwiches and pies, while recent NPD includes noodles, pasta, fruit and vegetable sticks to make the offer more rounded. “Bakery is at the core, but office workers don’t want a sandwich and cake every single day,” said Phillips.It is now working for BRC accreditation to grow the wholesale business, which makes up 30% of sales, to restaurants, sandwich shops, catering groups and foodservice distributors. “We’re getting more volume and are ready to move up a league,” said Phillips. “There is more capacity in our bakery that we can use.”The company, which was founded five years ago from the buy-out of the Chapel Bakery and Patisserie, has a workforce of more than 140, with a turnover of £3.4m a year.last_img read more

New Area Football Coaches

first_imgYesterday I reported that Purdue has found their new football coach.  IU was forced to promote one of their assistants to the head position because their current head coach was relieved of his duties due to allegations that he mistreated football players.  Some injured football players reported that they were forced to lift weights before they were cleared by the doctors to resume any physical activity.  When their starting quarterback said he would quit football before playing for Coach Wilson, the University acted swiftly in relieving Wilson of his job.The University of Cincinnati is also looking for a new coach because Tommy Tubberville apparently lost control of the program some time last year.  Even though Tubberville had a winning record over his tenure, the inability to win this year cost him his job.  Like most college situations, he resigned before he was fired.It will be interesting to see how these 3 programs respond next year.  Stay tuned.last_img read more

Govt unsure of funding for expansion of Fire Service

first_imgUpgraded Disciplined ServicesAs part of Government’s efforts to improve effectiveness of the Guyana Fire Service’s (GFC’s) reach and first responder capacity, there are plans to construct a fire station on the West Coast of Berbice.Whether funds for such an undertaking will be made available in 2019 is another matter. According to Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan at a recent press conference, the cost to construct a fire station may be a prohibitive factor.Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan“The nature of things as they evolve in Guyana means that that which was planned about ten years ago may not be able to be done now. Yes, we want to set infrastructure in places that had not gotten it…We want West Coast Berbice to have fire stations….That, of course depends on the budgetary allocation that we will get in 2019. I’ve made the case for it all over the place, but of course the Finance Ministry will want (to exercise) fiscal prudence and say all cannot be gotten in one year,” Ramjattan declared.Throwing his support behind such a stance, Ramjattan pointed to previous constructions and the drain they have had on finances. He pointed to the fact that several fire stations have been constructed recently from monies allocated in the 2018 budget.The first of three initial consultations on the disciplined services was held at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC) only a few days ago, and attracted various stakeholders.Ramjattan also told the gathering that Government is cognisant of the situation and is working to improve all agencies under purview of the Ministry of Public Security. He explained that improvements have already begun to the Prison Service, Fire Service and Police Force. The need to boost skills and capacity was also noted.Chief Fire Officer Marlon Gentle later explained that consultations would ensure that all are apprised of the state of the proposed plans, and the way forward. Gentle also explained that the Strategic Management Plan, initiated in 2014 and ratified in 2016, has had the Government’s full support.These plans will see construction of five more fire stations and procurement of more equipment, including a fire fighting boat, to service the developments along the banks of the Demerara River.last_img read more

Harnessing Cellular Machines for Humans

first_imgThe cell is loaded with molecular machines, so why reinvent the wheel?  or the whole truck?  Martin G. L. van den Heuvel and Cees Dekker wrote in Science that engineers ought to put the existing technology to work.1 The biological cell is equipped with a variety of molecular machines that perform complex mechanical tasks such as cell division or intracellular transport.  One can envision employing these biological motors in artificial environments.  We review the progress that has been made in using motor proteins for powering or manipulating nanoscale components.  In particular, kinesin and myosin biomotors that move along linear biofilaments have been widely explored as active components.  Currently realized applications are merely proof-of-principle demonstrations.  Yet, the sheer availability of an entire ready-to-use toolbox of nanosized biological motors is a great opportunity that calls for exploration.It’s time to put these ready and willing workhorses to work.  Their illustration shows diagrams of ATP synthase and a bacterial flagellum, kinesin, dynein, myosin and RNA polymerase.  Of the flagellum, they said, “This powerful motor, assembled from more than 20 different proteins, is driven by an inward proton flux that is converted by several torque-generating stators into a rotary motion of the cylindrical rings and central shaft.”    They reviewed the various motors and experiments to date to harness and control them.  Some day we might use cellular motors to sort, assemble, concentrate or manufacture materials on demand.  Or, we might try to copy them from scratch with our own building blocks.  But why do that?  “The small size and force-exerting capabilities of motor proteins and the range of opportunities for specific engineering give them unique advantages over current human-made motors,” they said.  The sky is the limit; the field seems limited only by our own imaginations.  “Upon studying and using biomotors, we will gather a lot of knowledge that is of interest to biology, material science, and chemistry, and it is reasonable to expect spin-offs for medicine, sensors, electronics, or engineering,” they concluded.  “The exploration of biomotors in technology will thus remain an interdisciplinary playground for many years to come.”    Oh, one other thing.  They did make a quick comment about where these machines came from.  Here is paragraph two of their article:A huge amount of biological research in recent decades has spurred the realization that the living cell can be viewed as a miniature factory that contains a large collection of dedicated protein machines (1)2.  Consider the complicated tasks that a single cell can perform: It can create a full copy of itself in less than an hour; it can proofread and repair errors in its own DNA, sense its environment and respond to it, change its shape and morphology, and obtain energy from photosynthesis or metabolism, using principles that are similar to solar cells or batteries.  All this functionality derives from thousands of sophisticated proteins, optimized by billions of years of evolution.  At the moment, we can only dream of constructing machines of similar size that possess just a fraction of the functionality of these natural wonders.While we’re on the subject, let’s look at a cellular device that recently got more praise: the cilium.  This little rod-like projection on most cells is doing more work than previously thought.  “Appreciation is now growing for primary cilia,” said Christenson and Ott in Science,3 primary cilia being “the nonmotile counterparts, present as a single copy on the surface of most cell types in our body.”    If primary cilia don’t beat and wave like the moving kind, what do they do?  Well, for one thing, “they function as unique antenna-like structures, probing the extracellular environment for molecules that are recognized by the receptors they bear.  This sensory function allows primary cilia to coordinate numerous intercellular signaling pathways that regulate growth, survival, and differentiation of cells during embryonic development and maintenance of healthy tissues.”  New research shows that a suite of molecules move in a coordinated fashion in and out of the cilium, creating a powerful switch by which cells can turn on and off a set of signaling pathways.  That’s pretty cool for an complex antenna previously thought to be nothing more than a little bitty hair on a tiny cell.41Martin G. L. van den Heuvel and Cees Dekker, “Motor Proteins at Work for Nanotechnology,” Nature 20 July 2007: Vol. 317. no. 5836, pp. 333-336, DOI: 10.1126/science.1139570.2This reference was to Bruce Alberts’ 1998 paper that made a similar statement, calling the study of molecular machines the “biology of the future” (see 01/09/2002).3Søren Tvorup Christensen and Carolyn Marie Ott, “Cell Signaling: A Ciliary Signaling Switch,” Science, 20 July 2007: Vol. 317. no. 5836, pp. 330-331, DOI: 10.1126/science.1146180.4The ones that move are way cool: see 12/19/2005, 03/12/2001.So, “thousands of sophisticated proteins, optimized by billions of years of evolution.”  Gimme a BREAK!(Visited 37 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Selling when a rally is unlikely

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest This week several unknowns caused market volatility.Concern over the biofuel mandate and potential legal challenges regarding blender credits caused bean prices to drop.Uncertainty over Argentina’s agricultural policy now with the new government in power.Will export taxes be completely lifted on corn and wheat in Argentina?How fast will the Argentinean bean export tax reduction be implemented?Will the U.S. Fed raise interest rates on the 16th?This week an analyst in Chicago suggested that U.S bean carryout won’t shrink much this year, and with normal yields around 45bu/ac in 2016, a rally is unlikely. Basically saying there is substantial downside risk left in the bean market.After a 10 cent trading range this week, corn finished similar to last week.  Everyone wants to know how many acres farmers will plant next year.  USDA estimates 90.5 million acres.  Generally speaking, without a weather-related issue corn isn’t expected to be bullish long-term.The latest El Nino update from NOAA suggests the switch to La Nina is slow, meaning the chance for widespread drought next summer is low.  As always the market will continue to monitor this situation closely and respond accordingly.Market ActionWith uncertainty in the market and the general perception that it could be some time before we see any significant rally I choose to sell the following options:sold 1 – Feb 3.80 corn call for 8 cents premium (expires Jan 22nd)sold 1 – Mar 3.90 corn call for 8 cents premium (expires Feb 19th)sold 1 – May 4.00 corn call for 10 cents premium (expires April 22nd)sold 1 – July 4.30 corn call for 10 cents premium (expires June 23rd)By selling calls, I collect the premium upfront.  The strike price listed on each call is the price I’m happy to sell my grain for in that month.  However, if the price is below the price listed for the next futures month nothing happens with the call.  For instance, if March corn futures on Jan 22nd is below $3.80 (or below $3.90 on Feb 19) nothing happens with either call. If May corn is below $4.00 on April 22nd again nothing happens with that call and if July corn is below $4.30 on June 23rd nothing happens with that call.If corn is above any of the strike prices on the dates above then I’m automatically selling a futures at each of those strikes.  But I also get to keep the premium no matter what happens.  As I’m sold for the 2015 crop year I will then choose to roll these contracts to Dec 2016 futures.  Right now there is a 20 cent premium to roll March to Dec, a 15 cent premium to roll May to Dec and a 10 cent premium to roll July to Dec.So I could end up selling the following (against just less than 5% of my production for each call):3.80 + .08 + .20 = 4.083.90 + .08 + .20 = 4.184.00 + .10 + .15 = 4.254.30 + .10 + .10 = 4.50Right now I only have  25% of my 2016 crop sold, but I want to be at 66% by planting time, if possible.  I would like for all of these prices to be hit. Even if just the first 3 hit, I will have a 4.18 average against Dec futures sold. This meets profit goals for my farm operations.Why sell calls instead of buying calls?I know many farmers prefer to buy calls in their hedge account hoping for a big bounce in the futures price.  However, when I look at the price of options and the potential of the market going higher, the thought of buying calls makes me uneasy..I view the purchase of calls on the 2015 crop at this point a gamble.  Where can futures really go right now?  With March basically at $3.80 and knowing many farmers will sell at $4, why would I want to own values above where conventional wisdom says farmers are a seller?  In my opinion it will be difficult to gain much profit in the ownership of calls.  Maybe I could double my call’s value if I bought one, but that would mean that I need the market to move more than 20 cents.  Recent history tells me that in the near-term that is unlikely.I caution farmers to first examine the risk vs reward of buying a call.  Because as a farmer you are naturally long grain and you should to be a seller, not a buyer of grain.Jon grew up raising corn and soybeans on a farm near Beatrice, NE. Upon graduation from The University of Nebraska in Lincoln, he became a grain merchandiser and has been trading corn, soybeans and other grains for the last 18 years, building relationships with end-users in the process. After successfully marketing his father’s grain and getting his MBA, 10 years ago he started helping farmer clients market their grain based upon his principals of farmer education, reducing risk, understanding storage potential and using basis strategy to maximize individual farm operation profits. A big believer in farmer education of futures trading, Jon writes a weekly commentary to farmers interested in learning more and growing their farm operations.Trading of futures, options, swaps and other derivatives is risky and is not suitable for all persons. All of these investment products are leveraged, and you can lose more than your initial deposit. Each investment product is offered only to and from jurisdictions where solicitation and sale are lawful, and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations in such jurisdiction. The information provided here should not be relied upon as a substitute for independent research before making your investment decisions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC is merely providing this information for your general information and the information does not take into account any particular individual’s investment objectives, financial situation, or needs. All investors should obtain advice based on their unique situation before making any investment decision. The contents of this communication and any attachments are for informational purposes only and under no circumstances should they be construed as an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation to buy or sell any future, option, swap or other derivative. The sources for the information and any opinions in this communication are believed to be reliable, but Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy of such information or opinions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC and its principals and employees may take positions different from any positions described in this communication. Past results are not necessarily indicative of future results. He can be contacted at [email protected]last_img read more

3 key drivers of Booking.com’s financial innovation

first_imgThe Top 5 Issues Faced by Futurists Ronald van Loon Tags:#Booking.com#corporate innovation#featured#Fintech#Internet of Things#IoT#Priceline#top 6 User-Interface Musts for Personal Finance Apps What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Big data and related technology are transforming the way businesses approach data analysis. While the sheer volume of data from its disparate sources have made data analysis and the process of extracting insights a challenging task for businesses, there are a few data-driven companies that can give us inspiration and direction.Booking.com has always been at the forefront of technology. Owned and operated by the Priceline Group, Booking.com is the world leader in booking accommodations online; it is estimated that each day, over 1.2 million rooms are reserved via the company’s website, and as a result, the company collects and analyzes massive amounts of data daily.See also: What open APIs will mean for the future of mobile paymentsTo get an insight into Booking.com’s finance-related data handling practices and the technologies and tools that it utilizes, I interviewed Venkat Iyer, the director of financial systems for Booking.com, at SAP Netherlands’ recent S/4HANA Adoption Forum.Almost every company on the internet has experienced massive growth in the volume of data generated by various channels, and Booking.com was no exception. Iyer explained that there was a time when they were wondering what would happen if they doubled the amount of properties on their website in the next three years and how the finance back-office would cope with this growth. They analyzed that the investment in more hardware alone would not solve the problem.A comprehensive evaluation made them realize that to support the increasing volume of data, they will require massive scalability, which was not feasible on the existing ERP platform. It became essential for them to invest in a new solution, but this was risky as well. They didn’t want to bottleneck the business and impede finance business support functions. So, Iyer, along with his team, decided that exploring new opportunities was the only solution.Booking.com evaluated the pros and cons of SAP’s S/4HANA solution and decided that this was the solution that could drive speed, scalability, and innovation, and improve the way people work.This particular decision is quite inspirational for entrepreneurs and leaders who are often required to take tough decisions in challenging circumstances. When I asked Iyer about what really made him take this risk, he said, “We have an obligation to dream and realize it, because if we don’t, we don’t move forward.”Approaching challenges in a more fun wayApart from technical details, I believe that it’s important to share the “actual” experience that Iyer and his team had during the initial HANA implementation. Since the deployment of HANA entailed significant risk, Booking.com chose to give themselves 4 months to implement and to go live a day before a Dutch national public holiday. The rationale was if something went wrong, the company had at least one more day to recover from the problem.“You can’t implement projects like these if you don’t have a lot of fun while you are doing it,” he said. “And you have to trust each other.”3 key drivers for successWhen I asked Iyer about the three primary reasons behind a successful implementation, his immediate response was that there were many drivers. There are a lot of things that went right. In addition to teamwork, one major reason why the decision to invest in a new solution proved to be a strategically sound decision for Booking.com was that it facilitated full financial business involvement. The company worked in collaboration with the solution provider throughout the process and their continuous involvement contributed a lot to the final outcome.When Booking.com invested in this new solution, they were things that they knew they could do with it. And on the other hand, there were things that they didn’t know it could do, and that proved to be very exciting. Iyer and his team experimented and innovated new ways of doing everyday tasks in a more efficient manner. This ability to innovate served as a driving force for every function of the finance organization in all imaginable directions.“The fact that you do not know what you can do with something is the most exciting thing in the journey of innovation,” said Iyer. “Don’t be discouraged by failure. It can lead you in new directions.”In just one sentence, Iyer perfectly summarized the approach he adopted when he was met with challenges and constraints during his innovation journey. As I have mentioned earlier, every decision entails its own risks, and Booking.com’s investment decision was no exception.There were several challenges that the company faced during the migration process. Some of these include:There was a huge volume of unclean, unstructured legacy data that was a pain to deal with during the migration process.There was little room for error during migration as it would push back scalability plans by several months.The company experienced an inconsistent migration experience. One of the migration steps that the team had run successfully multiple times, failed during the deployment, and for six hours, they had no solution. Related Posts Iyer made an interesting choice before he made the decision. He organized a design thinking workshop that was facilitated by SAP and three finance teams from Booking.com. There were two themes that emerged during the discussions:People were not willing to wait. They wanted everything in real-time because they lived in the world of now.When people have invested in technology and see its possibilities, they start to re-imagine the future and no longer feel constrained by the things that happen.While the second theme was the primary reason the participants of the workshop asked the right questions, dug deeper, and spoke freely without judgment, the first theme directed to a more in-depth issue. It helped the company realize that if they gave a better user experience for employees and provided them easy access to data they could fundamentally change the way they work and have a wider business impact.Beyond a database, opportunityIyer and his team didn’t see S/4HANA as a mere database. Instead, they perceived it as a platform for innovation, an opportunity to change the way the finance teams work at Booking.com. For them, the implementation was not just about driving speed and innovation and improving the analytics skills of the workforce, it was about helping them understand the value of data and turn into a key driver for decision making.Another thing that Iyer focused on was making the finance operation more agile and user-friendly. The company’s website offered an agile and highly responsive experience to the users, allowing them to change their decisions as fast as they wanted. However, the finance functions didn’t have that luxury. They realized that making finance operations simpler and more agile constituted an opportunity for them. Therefore, they aimed for a consistent, user-friendly experience throughout the value chain, and they achieved it through meticulous preparation, consistent testing, and a successful migration.When someone is faced with a seemingly insurmountable challenge, their attitude matters a lot. When faced with the challenge of a successful implementation of S/4HANA, Iyer asked himself “Are there other opportunities that we are missing? Why are we always looking at it from the point of view of what problem can we solve? Why don’t we look at it from the point of view of what opportunities are out there that we can exploit?”Approaching problems from a positive angle provided the team a new direction. They realized that Booking.com’s limited knowledge was a constraint for the implementation. But they also knew that with SAP’s support and in-depth expertise of the solution, they could resolve the issue and achieve their ultimate objective.“You are not working on your own,” he said. “And for us, we got a lot of support. I must admit we would not have been able to do it if we did not have the collaboration [from SAP] at this point in time.”Using data to predict financial risksAccording to Iyer, the foundation of the HANA database is very critical when it comes to collecting data from different sources with the purpose of generating insights. However, you need to be careful about the kind of data sources you bring in because a solution has the infrastructure to support it, but with time, it may become too costly to maintain all this data and generate something valuable from it.To summarize, your ability to achieve a high return on your database investment depends on:A self-managed environment that’s able to scaleA high-skilled, reliable internal teamBringing the right type of data sourcesHandling the flow of dataBooking.com has always been a data-driven company, but investing in S/4HANA provided the finance functions an opportunity to look at data in a completely different way. Iyer and his team used the solution to innovate with analytics and machine learning. They migrated datasets from several sources to the new database, and the data analysis help them gain a better understanding of financial risks and provided actionable insights to their people at the right time.Start small and trust your teamI realize that many of my readers are aspiring to be an entrepreneur or are ready to drive change in the organizations they work for. Therefore, I asked Iyer to provide his advice to people who are in a similar situation and are required to make an unusual decision.“Start very small. Pick one little use case, start from there,” he said. “If it doesn’t work, you will know. But if it works, you are giving your company an amazing opportunity to march into the future.”The corporate world today is driven by technology, and the finance function of a business is no exception. With information of all types, structured and unstructured, being generated from a spectrum of resources, the long-term financial success of a company depends greatly on its ability to capture data, analyze it, and take immediate and accurate decisions on the basis of insights extracted from data analysis. To meet this needs and expectations, businesses are required to invest in sophisticated tools that can support the data analytics needs of their financial function and help them thrive in today’s technology driven world.“The true value of data becomes apparent when you combine it with the knowledge of your people and the power of technology to make data-driven decisions,” said Iyer.If you would like to read more from Ronald van Loon on the possibilities of Big Data please click “Follow” and connect on LinkedIn and Twitter. The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

Goa welcomes one-year extension for Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal

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Kerber goes from champ to 1st-round loser at rainy US Open

first_imgTyphoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH LATEST STORIES View comments US Open fashion: Crystals, shapes and knee-high socks Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games Kerber’s exit further thins the women’s bracket, which was missing 23-time major champion Serena Williams to begin with because she is expecting a baby. Three of the top seven seeded women were gone before dinnertime on Day 2, with No. 6 Kerber joining Monday’s losers, No. 2 Simona Halep — beaten by Maria Sharapova in her first Grand Slam match since a 15-month doping suspension — and No. 7 Johanna Konta.While Kerber’s quick departure was stunning in and of itself, that Osaka would be the one to do it might not be quite so remarkable, even if she is just 19 and never won before against a top-10 woman.Osaka is comfortable around the grounds at Flushing Meadows, where she has been spending time, and even occasionally practicing, since she was a kid: She was born in Osaka, Japan, so represents that country, but moved to the U.S. when she was 3, has dual citizenship, and used to live on Long Island.“The site,” Osaka said, “feels really familiar to me.”She nearly upended Keys in the U.S. Open’s third round last year, leading 5-1 in the third set before losing in a tiebreaker, a collapse on her mind in the latter stages Tuesday.This time, Osaka held steady, using her powerful baseline game to bully Kerber.Osaka accumulated a 22-9 edge in winners, broke in half of Kerber’s eight service games and saved all four break points she faced.“It was not my day,” Kerber summed up. “Completely not my day.”Hasn’t been her year, either. Angelique Kerber, of Germany, returns a shot from Naomi Osaka, of Japan, during the first round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)NEW YORK — The question was rather simple after Angelique Kerber became only the second defending U.S. Open champion in the professional era to lose in the first round.The surprisingly lopsided 6-3, 6-1 loss to 45th-ranked Naomi Osaka of Japan under the closed roof in Arthur Ashe Stadium at a rainy Flushing Meadows on Tuesday was former No. 1 Kerber’s latest in a long list of disappointing performances in 2017, so she was asked what she thinks went wrong this season.ADVERTISEMENT UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “I know that I’m strong and I know that I will come back stronger, for sure. I know that I will not (be) giving up,” said Kerber, the first defending champion to lose in the U.S. Open’s first round since Svetlana Kuznetsova in 2005.Showers showed up before noon Tuesday and led to the postponements of dozens of matches. The only court used in the afternoon and evening was Ashe, thanks to the retractable cover constructed ahead of last year’s tournament.Pliskova, who is seeded No. 1, easily advanced by beating Magda Linette 6-2, 6-1, French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko got past Lara Arruabarrena 6-2, 1-6, 6-1 in a match that started on Court 17 then was moved indoors at Ashe, and No. 23 Barbora Strycova defeated Misaki Doi 6-1, 6-3. Yet another seeded woman was eliminated when No. 28 Lesia Tsurenko lost to Yanina Wickmayer 6-3, 6-1.At night in Ashe, No. 15 Madison Keys was to face Elise Mertens of Belgium.The only men’s matches completed were at Ashe, where No. 1 Rafael Nadal overcame a first-set hiccup before overpowering Dusan Lajovic of Serbia 7-6 (6), 6-2, 6-2. Nadal’s possible semifinal foe and chief rival for the title, Roger Federer, was to face 19-year-old American Frances Tiafoe at night.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next She sighed, shrugged her shoulders and began to answer: “I don’t know.”Moments later, her eyes darting around the room, she added, “This year is a completely different year.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutTalk about an understatement. In 2016, Kerber broke through to the top of tennis in a spectacular way. A player with only one previous Grand Slam semifinal appearance reached the first three major title matches of her career, winning two of them: She stunned Serena Williams in the Australian Open final, lost to Williams in the Wimbledon final, and then beat Karolina Pliskova in the U.S. Open final to rise atop the WTA rankings for the first time.Her follow-up has been quite a flop. Kerber, a 29-year-old German, hasn’t won any title of any sort this season. She is only 25-18 overall, 0-9 against opponents ranked in the top 20, and Monday’s loss assured her of falling out of the top 10 for the first time since October 2015. At Grand Slam tournaments she is 6-4, including another first-round loss in May at the French Open, where she became that tournament’s first No. 1 seed to lose so early. MOST READ WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s weddinglast_img read more

Ateneo shows character in quick win over UP

first_imgView comments 1 dead, 3 injured in Quezon road crash Hong Kong tunnel reopens, campus siege nears end Ateneo Lady Eagles. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMANILA, Philippines—Ateneo wasn’t leaving its game against University of the Philippines in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament to chance.The Lady Eagles already had a comfortable 2-0 set lead when they entered a turbulent third set against the persistent Lady Maroons, but Ateneo had no plans of playing a fourth set.ADVERTISEMENT HS stars Kai Sotto, Joel Cagulangan build respective teams via draft for NBTC All-Star Game Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:06Palace: Up to MTRCB to ban animated movie Magellan in PH02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES MOST READ “We wanted to finish it,” said Tolentino, who had 12 points against the Fighting Maroons. “We saw a lot of fight in UP and it’s good to see that our team didn’t back down and didn’t let up and continued fighting. It’s just a show of character that we could finish that last set.”Madayag, who finished with a team-high 14 points, said that they had to “win convincingly” against the Lady Maroons and part of that was to end the match as quickly as possible.“Coach O (Oliver Almadro) tells us to win convincingly so this game we showed how convincingly we can win,” said Madayag. “Like what people say that you have to be better than your best.”ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem Trump campaign, GOP groups attack Google’s new ad policy Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Urgent reply from Philippine ‍football chief Going tit-for-tat, Ateneo eventually closed out UP in straight sets, 25-21, 25-15, 28-26.“We didn’t consider that there would be a fourth set,” said Madayag Sunday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesUP held the lead 26-25 in the third, but Ateneo fought back first with Madayag’s block on Maristela Layug before Deanna Wong followed it up with a drop to secure the Lady Eagles’ league-leading 4-1 record.“We really wanted to win, it was a long week for us to prepare and we had composure even though UP came back in the third set.” said Wong. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. P2.5 B shabu seized in Makati sting, Chinese national nabbedlast_img read more