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Jan 30, 2013 12:18am
Medium lingzi 1454 posts

Major League Baseballs playoffs will expand from eight to 10 teams starting this
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1995 with the addition of a second wild card team from each league. The winner
of a one-game playoff between the two wild card teams will face the team with
the leagues best record in the Division Series. Had the scenario been played out
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. Louis Blues on Tuesday night. At one end of the ice, the Canadiens fans
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Keselowski had fuel to spare for a couple of victory burnouts. Frank Gore Super bowl Jersey . The Toronto
Marlies scored four times in the first period and never looked back as they
thumped the Hamilton Bulldogs 6-1 on Saturday in American Hockey League action.
WIMBLEDON, England—A Grand Slam title drought did indeed end in Sundays
historic and riveting Wimbledon final, only it was Roger Federers
lengthy-for-him gap between trophies that came to a close, rather than Britains
76-year wait for a homegrown mens champion. Making sure everyone knows he is
still as capable as ever of brilliance on a tennis court—particularly one
made of grass, and with a roof overhead—Federer came back to beat Andy Murray
4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 indoors on Centre Court for a record-tying seventh
championship at the All England Club. “It feels nice,” Federer said, clutching
the gold trophy only Pete Sampras has held as many times in the modern era. “Its
like it never left me.” The victory also increased Federers record total to 17
major titles after being stuck on No. 16 for 2 1/2 years, and clinched a return
to the top of the ATP rankings, overtaking Novak Djokovic, after an absence of a
little more than two years. Federers 286th week at No. 1 ties Sampras for the
most in history. “He doesnt want to stop now. He knows hes going to continue to
play well and try to break seven, and he could very well end up with eight or
nine Wimbledons,” Sampras said in a telephone interview. “I just think hes that
much better than the other guys on grass, and he loves the court the way I loved
that court. Hes a great champion, a classy champion, and Im really happy for
him.” After a record seven consecutive Wimbledon finals from 2003-09, winning
the first six, Federer lost in the quarterfinals in 2010 and 2011, then wasted
two match points and a two-set lead against Djokovic in the U.S. Open semifinals
last year, raising questions about whether he might be slipping. “A couple tough
moments for me the last couple years, I guess,” Federer said. “So I really
almost didnt try to picture myself with the trophy or try to think too far
ahead, really.” After losing in the semifinals each of the previous three years,
Murray was the first British man to reach the final at Wimbledon since Bunny
Austin in 1938, and was trying to become the hosts first male title winner since
Fred Perry in 1936. Alas, Murray dropped to 0-4 in Grand Slam finals, three
against Federer. Only one other man lost the first four major title matches of
his career: Ivan Lendl, who is coaching Murray now and sat in his guest box with
chin planted on left palm, as expressionless as he was during his playing
career. While Lendl never did win Wimbledon, perhaps Murray can take solace from
knowing his coach did end up with eight Grand Slam titles. “Im getting closer,”
Murray told the crowd afterward, his voice cracking and tears flowing.
“Everybody always talks about the pressure of playing at Wimbledon, how tough it
is,” he said. “Its not the people watching; they make it so much easier to play.
The support has been incredible, so thank you.” The Scotland native was urged on
by 15,000 or so of his closest friends in person, along with thousands more
watching on a large video screen a short walk away across the ground—not to
mention the millions watching the broadcast on the BBC. The afternoons first
roar from those in attendance came when Murray jogged to the baseline for the
prematch warmup; there even were cheers when his first practice stroke clipped
the top of the net and went over. Any omen would do. The British, tennis
enthusiasts and otherwise, searched for signs everywhere. Murray turned 25 in
May, just as Perry had turned 25 in May 1934, shortly before he won his first of
three consecutive Wimbledon titles; 2012 is Queen Elizabeth IIs Diamond Jubilee,
celebrating her 60-year reign, just as 1977, when Virginia Wade won the
Wimbledon womens championship, was the Silver Jubilee, marking 25 years on the
throne; on Saturday night, Jonathan Marray (paired with Frederik Nielsen of
Denmark) became the first Brit to win a mens doubles title at Wimbledon since—
yes, thats right—1936. Royalty—real and of a celebrity nature—began
arriving more than a half-hour beforehand: Prince Williams wife, Kate, and her
sister, Pippa Middleton; British Prime Minister David Cameron; soccer star David
Beckham and his wife, former Spice Girl Victoria. Also present in the Royal Box:
Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, who wants Scotland to break away from
Britain. Early on, every point Murray won earned cheers as though the ultimate
outcome had been decided. Every miss, even a first-serve fault, drew moans of
“Awwwwwww,” as though their lad had lost any chance. Murray got off to a
glorious start. Federer, appearing in his 24th Grand Slam final, appeared the
tenser of the two, amazingly enough, and when he sailed a swinging forehand
volley long to get broken in the opening game, spectators rose to their feet and
waved their Scottish and Union Jack flags. Isaac Sopoaga Jersey. That said, they do
appreciate greatness here, and so Federers best offerings drew applause, too.
There was plenty of clapping and yelling to go around for both men, who produced
extremely high-quality play, filled with lengthy exchanges, superb shotmaking
and deft volleying—all befitting the setting and the stakes. Murrays second
break helped him take the opening set, and things were even as could be for much
of the second, until deuce at 5-5. From there, Federer stepped up, in large part
by winning 43 of the 57 points on his serve the rest of the way. He saved all
five break points he faced after the first set. After holding for 6-5 in the
second, Federer broke. At 30-all, he won a 17-stroke point with a drop volley
that Murray got to but sailed a lob attempt long. And then Federer carved—
caressed, really—another drop volley, this one bouncing to the side after it
landed for a winner, impossible to reach, closing a 20-stroke exchange. “Roger
did a good job in the second set, turning the momentum around, and really
changing things a lot,” said his coach, Paul Annacone, who also worked with
Sampras. A real key switch happened at 1-all in the third, when a drizzle
transformed into heavy showers, causing a 40-minute delay while the retractable
cover was moved over the court. The roof was installed before the 2009
tournament; this was its first use for a singles final. Until then, Federer had
won 86 points, Murray 85. Under the roof—with no wind to alter trajectories,
allowing the third-seeded Swiss star to make pure, explosive contact with the
ball—Federer won 65 points, Murray 52. “The way the court plays is a bit
different,” the fourth-seeded Murray said. “I think he served very well when the
roof closed. He served better.” The most monumental game, though, came with
Murray serving and trailing 3-2 in the third. It was chock-full: 10 deuces, six
break points for Federer, three falls to the turf by Murray, all spread over
roughly 20 gloriously intense minutes. Murray went up 40-love, then began to
crack as Federer walloped two backhand returns to 40-30. On the next point,
Federer conjured up another beautiful drop shot and Murray tumbled
head-over-heels while giving chase; both Federer and the chair umpire went over
to check on him. A few points later, Murray did a somersault at the baseline
when he slipped going after a lob. And on it went. At the 10th deuce, Federer
sent another lob over Murray, who hit the deck yet again, but got up in time to
see the ball plop on the baseline. This set up Federers sixth break point, the
last he would need—in the game and the set, certainly, but also in the match
and the tournament, it seemed. He converted it with an inside-out forehand that
landed in a corner, and Murray could only push his reply into the net. There
would be no more shifts of control, no reasons for Federer to doubt—or for
Murray and his legion of backers to believe. The final break for Federer made it
3-2 in the fourth, when he flicked a cross-court backhand passing winner that
was powerful and perfect. Federer made a rare show of strong emotion, shaking
his right fist and bellowing. That, essentially, was that, no matter how many
times the fans were going to sing their choruses of “An-dy! An-dy!” and
“Mur-ray! Mur-ray!” Federer only needed to hold serve three more times, and he
did, then crumbled to the court when Murray sailed one last forehand wide. “This
is, I guess, how you want to win Wimbledon—by going after your shots,
believing you can do it,” Federer said, “and thats what I was able to do today.”
He most definitely is back to being the best at what he does. Federer turns 31
on Aug. 8, and is the first thirtysomething man to win Wimbledon since Arthur
Ashe in 1975. No matter. He and Sampras—and, by now, plenty of others—see
no reason why Federer cant keep adding to all of his records. “Im so happy Im at
the age I am right now, because I had such a great run and I know theres still
more possible. To enjoy it right now, its very different than when I was 20 or
25,” said Federer, whose twin daughters, wearing matching black-and-white
dresses and frilly socks, applauded from his guest box during the trophy
ceremony. “Im at a much more stable place in my life. I wouldnt want anything to
change,” he added. “So this is very, very special right now.” ’ ’ ’ 

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