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Nov 7, 2012 10:14pm
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PARIS —If it seems Roger Federer breaks one record or another every time he
wins a match, thats because he does these days. Maurkice Pouncey Jersey . Then again, good as
Federer is, he cant top this: His next opponent at the French Open, Belgiums
David Goffin, is unbeaten in Grand Slam main-draw matches. (OK, so the kids only
3-0, but still.) Yes, before Federer can take on Novak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal
at Roland Garros this year, hell need to defeat Goffin, the first “lucky loser”
—a player beaten in qualifying who sneaks into the field via someones
withdrawal—to reach the fourth round at any Grand Slam tournament in 17
years, and only the seventh to make it that far. “Now Im playing against Roger,”
the 109th-ranked Goffin said after beating Lukasz Kubot of Poland 7-6 (4), 7-5,
6-1 on Friday, “and I cant believe it.” A fresh-faced 21-year-old whose voice
was barely a whisper and whose hands fidgeted during an extended interview
session with reporters, the slender, 1.80-meter (5-foot-11) Goffin
matter-of-factly discussed displaying photos and posters of 16-time Grand Slam
champion Federer in his bedroom as a child. “Since I was little, Ive watched
Roger play on TV. To me, he plays almost perfect tennis. His technique is
perfect. I also like him at the human level; hes a very good person on and off
the court,” said Goffin, who was able to make his Grand Slam debut because Gael
Monfils pulled out with a knee injury. “I expect a very tough match on Sunday,
of course. I dont really know how Ill prepare for it, but Ill try to have fun.”
Informed that his next opponent is an unabashed fan, Federer grinned and
replied, “Not the first time it happens.” Probably so. After all, the
30-year-old Federer has been winning major titles since 2003, when Goffin was
12. Hes been winning Grand Slam matches since 2000, and Fridays 6-3, 4-6, 6-2,
7-5 victory over Nicolas Mahut was Federers 235th, adding to his Open era
record. Federer happened to catch a bit of Goffins second-round matchup against
Arnaud Clement, the 2001 Australian Open runner-up who said this would be his
final French Open. The condensed scouting report? “Nice game. Smooth
ball-striker. And talented, obviously,” Federer said. “Otherwise, he wouldnt be
coming that far in this tournament.” That match against Clement went five sets,
as did Goffins first-round victory over 23rd-seeded Radek Stepanek—the only
five-setters of his career. Against Kubot at intimate, 1,559-seat Court 7,
Goffin was raucously cheered by flag-waving, chorus-singing supporters who made
the short trip from Belgium. “It gave me wings,” Goffin said. “I felt as if I
was playing at home.” Coincidentally, the last “lucky loser” to make it this far
at a major tournament was also Belgian, Dick Norman, who did it at Wimbledon in
1995. Now comes by far the toughest test of Goffins young career. Or, looked at
another way, a “bonus,” as he put it: the thrill of standing across the net from
his favourite player and seeing how he stacks up. Asked whether he believes he
can defeat Federer, Goffin said, “If I say yes, it might sound pretentious. And
if I say no, it will look like a lack of ambition. Well see. Ill prepare like I
do for other matches. Ill try to go for my shots and have fun on a big court.”
Ben Roethlisberger Jersey . With 10 teams
finishing the regular season north of the 100-point plateau, the playoff field
has never been more competitive. Ben Roethlisberger Womens Jersey . “Every
time he pitches, we expect that from him,” Prado said. “He was so fired up, it
was sort of contagious.” Hudson gave up only four hits and no earned runs in 7
1-3 innings to remain unbeaten in his career against Houston, and the Braves
stayed hot with a 4-1 win Friday night that left the Astros with their worst
32-game stretch in franchise history. http://www.nikepittsburghsteelersjerseyssale.com/heath-miller-jerseys
. —Heather Nedohin knows its coming. Isaac Redman Jersey . This time, they were
for the guys leaving the game. Lin had 19 points and 13 assists and
Carmelo Anthony scored 22, but the New York Knicks turned around this one with
their reserves to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 120-103 on Wednesday night. Lawrence Timmons Jersey . The question is, is
there depth chart any better than the one that finished with a .348 winning
percentage? Over the next three days well take a look at the guards, the wings
and the bigs to see whats changed and if the club is better off year over year.
MINNEAPOLIS —For the second time in four years, Michael Beasley is on the
move, hoping another team will be willing to overlook his inconsistency on the
court and try to harness the considerable talent that has intrigued and
frustrated so many for so long. The Minnesota Timberwolves declined to make
qualifying offers to Beasley and Anthony Randolph on Saturday, making them both
unrestricted free agents. As the No. 2 overall pick in the 2008 draft, Beasley
had a hefty qualifying offer of $8.1 million to retain his rights. In two
seasons with the Wolves, he showed flashes of the scoring ability that made him
such a promising prospect at Kansas State. But a multitude of injuries and an
inability to prove to coaches that he could be relied upon on a nightly basis
has him looking for a new home again. Beasley came to the Timberwolves on July
12, 2010 that helped the Miami Heat clear enough room to sign LeBron James and
Chris Bosh. Wolves President David Kahns investment was minimal—a pair of
second-round draft picks—for a versatile forward with the ability to score
inside and out. The trade had the makings of a steal early in Beasleys stint
with the Wolves, averaging 31.3 points over a six-game stretch in October and
scoring almost 23 points a game in his first two months with the team. But ankle
injuries slowed his first season in Minnesota and he averaged a career-low 11.5
points while dealing with a multitude of injuries last year under Rick Adelman.
“Hes one of the best young talents that we have in this game, but he has the
potential to be a great player,” Miami guard Dwyane Wade said during the season.
“If he wants it or not, thats what we always told him in Miami. Well see.” Thats
always been the question with Beasley, and Adelman and the Timberwolves appear
to have grown impatient waiting to find out the answer. He was moved to a sixth
man role that took some time for him to get adjusted to, but Beasley was never
able to put it all together last seeason. Troy Polamalu Jersey. “This year, I dont know
why, but his offensive game wasnt there at the start but I at least thought he
was trying defensively and just applying himself with more rigour than he had
the year before with the previous staff,” Kahn said in April. “And I was at
least hopeful that maybe there is something here, and he got hurt again, and
again. He was very popular with teammates and never a problem in the locker
room, but Beasley was cited for marijuana possession in June 2011. Still just 23
years old, he should have some suitors when free agency opens on Sunday, but not
at the high salary he initially may have hoped for. Beasley became the second
player in the top three picks of the 2008 draft—joining Memphis guard
O.J. Mayo—to be allowed to become restricted free agents when their teams did
not make qualifying offers. Randolph was the 14th overall pick by Golden State
in that draft, and has bounced around even more than Beasley. He played
sporadically last season for the Wolves, averaging 7.4 points and 3.6 rebounds
and sometimes frustrating the coaching staff with his work ethic. But several
members of the staff are intrigued by his athleticism, and Randolph could return
to the team if he is willing to accept a salary much lower than his $4 million
qualifying figure. The Timberwolves also extended the deadline to reach buyout
agreements with veterans Martell Webster and Brad Miller on Saturday. The
extensions allow the team to continue trying to package them in trade deals to
land a big man or a shooting guard, the teams two biggest needs. Miller said at
the end of the season that he will retire, but he is still on the books for $5.1
million next season. The deal could be bought out for much less, which makes him
an attractive trade chip. The same goes for Webster, who has been hampered by
back injuries the last two seasons. He is due to make $5.7 million next season,
but any team with his contract can buy him out for about $600,000. ’ ’ ’ 

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