Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Venus reaches Autralian Open semis after 14 years as the oldest!

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Venus Williams continued her astonishing late-career revival by felling Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4 7-6(3) on Tuesday to reach her first Australian Open semi-final in 14 years and become the oldest woman to reach the last four at Melbourne Park in the professional era.
The quarter-final will hardly be remembered as a classic, with both Venus and the 24th-ranked Russian surrendering serve with alarming regularity despite perfect conditions for tennis at Rod Laver Arena.
In the end it was 36-year-old Venus' experience that proved decisive when the pressure rose, and Pavlyuchenkova crumbled with a double-fault on match point to boost the American's hopes of a maiden title at Melbourne Park.
"Oh my gosh I'm so excited," said the seven-times grand slam champion after closing out the one hour and 48-minute tussle. "I want to go further. I'm not happy just with this.
"I'm just so excited that I have another opportunity to play again."
Following her run at Wimbledon, 13th seed Venus has now made the semi-finals at two of the last three grand slams.
She was 22 when she last made the semi-finals at Melbourne, during a run to the 2003 final where she was beaten by younger sister Serena, the current world number two, in three sets.
Venus will play an all-American semi-final against Coco Vandeweghe, who thrashed former French Open champion Garbine Muguruza 6-4 6-0 in the following quarter-final at Rod Laver Arena.
The mouthwatering prospect of a repeat of the 2003 final against Serena beckons if the second seed can get there as well.
Venus has stormed through the Melbourne Park draw without losing a set and was never truly threatened by Pavlyuchenkova who let herself down with nine double-faults.
Both players struggled to hold serve but Pavlyuchenkova buckled at the bigger moments.
When serving at 5-4 to stay in the first set, she double-faulted and butchered a forehand to offer three set points.
Venus needed only one, hammering a backhand return down the line and giving a yelp in triumph.
There was no more resilience on serve in the second set, with both players trading breaks to move to 4-4.
Pavlyuchenkova double-faulted to fall back to 0-30 at 6-5, two points from elimination, but bravely rallied to take Williams into a tiebreak.
The Russian led 3-1 before it all fell apart.
She double-faulted to allow Venus to draw level and the American spanked a huge return down the line to edge ahead.
Venus hammered a forehand winner to bring up three match points and Pavlyuchenkova surrendered the match meekly with her ninth double-fault.

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Sunday, 22 January 2017

Meet the Trumps: a look at America's new first family!

Donald Trump, who is responsible for many of the world’s most recognized developments, will soon become familiar with some new real estate.
With 132 rooms and 35 bathrooms sprawling over 55,000-square feet, the White House is undoubtedly big enough to accommodate Trump’s large family. We saw them on the election campaign trail and by all means, they appear to be a very tight-knit clan. In fact, Trump’s children are his closest confidants.
And the family’s connection has not gone unnoticed by others. When asked at the second presidential debate to name one positive thing about Trump, Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton said, “I respect his children. His children are incredibly able and devoted, and I think that says a lot about Donald.”
But unlike the Obama family – Barack, Michelle, Malia and Sasha – who the world has come to know very well over the years, not everyone is familiar with the members of Trump’s large family tree. So who exactly is America’s new first family?
The Family Tree of the 45th U.S. President
Melania
The new first lady grew up in the former Yugoslavia and speaks five languages: Slovene, English, French, Serbian and German. She became Trump’s third wife after the couple married in 2005 and gave birth to their son, Barron, the following year.
During the Republican’s election campaign, she chose to keep a fairly low profile. That is until her disastrous speech at the Republican National Convention, which was found to be partially plagiarized from Michelle Obama.
Throughout the campaign, the former model was referred to as a “trophy spouse” and slut-shamed for posing nude in a men’s magazine before she met Trump. But she stood firm about making no apologies for the photos, telling CNN, “I’m not ashamed of my body…and it was done as art, as a celebration of [the] female body.”
Melania will be the first presidential wife in more than 200 years not to move into the White House on Inauguration Day. Instead, she will be traveling between New York and Washington until at least June, when Barron finishes school.
Pressed in 1999 by The New York Times on what her role would be should she and Trump ever make it to the White House, she responded, “I would be very traditional. Like Betty Ford or Jackie Kennedy.”
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Donald Jr.
Also known as Don, he is Trump’s eldest son with first wife Ivana. Donald Jr. blamed his father for his parents’ bitter divorce, which was splashed across the front pages of tabloids for months. He didn’t speak with his father for a year before patching things up.
He credits his father for his strong work ethic and says he taught him the value of a dollar. “Even in college, we were very fiscally responsible,” he told New York Magazine. “I had 300 bucks a month; anything I wanted beyond that, I had to work for.”
During the election campaign, Donald Jr. drew criticism when he tweeted a picture comparing Syrian refugees to poisoned Skittles, suggesting America should not accept any.
Today Donald Jr. works in the family business. He and his brother have now been handed the reins to Trump Sr.’s business empire while he occupies the White House. And also like his father, Don married a model. The couple has five children, including a son named Donald III.
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Ivanka
Like her brothers, Ivanka was groomed to be a model employee for the family business — disciplined, hardworking and loyal. “We were sort of bred to be competitive,” she told New York Magazine. “Dad encourages it. I remember skiing with him and we were racing. I was ahead, and he reached his ski pole out and pulled me back.”
That competitive fire led to Ivanka launching successful business ventures of her own: a jewelry collection and eponymous fashion label. However, she recently announced that she would be distancing herself from her company and stepping down from the Trump Organization.
Ivanka, whom her father regularly calls his “favourite,” converted to Judaism in 2009 to marry Jared Kushner. The couple has packed up their belongings in New York to move to Washington, where Kushner will take a top job in his father-in-law’s administration. Ivanka has said her first priority will be getting her three children settled into their new home and schools.
A profile in Vanity Fair described Ivanka as Trump’s “proxy wife,” largely due to Melania eschewing the conventions of a “campaign spouse.” During the election campaign, Ivanka called for affordable childcare and equal pay — traditionally Democratic Party causes. And while her role in the nation’s capital remains to be seen, Ivanka has been described as the shining star of the Trump family ensemble. Her profile is only set to grow with her father as president.
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Jared Kushner
Ivanka’s husband, a property developer and owner of the New York Observer newspaper, will be the quiet voice in Trump’s ear. Although Kushner has no prior experience in government or politics, he will serve as a senior advisor to Trump in the White House.
Jared is already one of the most influential people in his father-in-law’s circle, credited with masterminding the election campaign’s social media operation. He was also the only family member among the small group of advisers that Trump brought with him to the White House after the election.
Both he and Trump inherited vast property empires from their fathers at a relatively young age, and their apparent bond may be based in part at least on similar experiences. However, unlike his father-in-law, Kushner is intensely private. He rarely gives interviews and has no social media presence other than a Twitter account that has zero tweets. Compare that to Trump.
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Eric
The youngest child from Trump’s first marriage broke family tradition when he attended Georgetown instead the University of Pennsylvania like his father, brother and sister.
He is close to his siblings. Like Donald Jr., he also seems to have an almost cult-like reverence for the family business and will now be at the helm of the ship alongside his brother. But Eric has said he has a special bond with Ivanka, following his parents’ divorce. “She took me under her wing and raised me,” he told New York Magazine. “She took me shopping, tried to make me cool.”
Eric appeared regularly on his father’s show, The Apprentice. And his wife, Lara Yunaska, is no stranger to television, having been a producer on Inside Edition.
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Tiffany
Tiffany is Trump’s daughter from his second marriage to Marla Maples, who raised her in California. She is reportedly named after Tiffany & Co. — the jewelry store next door to Trump Tower in New York.
Despite his older children’s regular appearances on the election campaign, Tiffany largely shunned the spotlight. That is until she addressed the Republican national convention in July, when her father became the party’s official nominee for president.
Like her father and two older half-siblings, Tiffany graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. “She’s got all As at Penn, we’re so proud of her,” Donald told People Magazine. Tiffany is reportedly considering law school next.
Interestingly enough, her boyfriend is a registered Democrat who expressed support for Trump’s rival Hillary Clinton during the election campaign.
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Barron
The youngest of Donald’s five children, he has been nicknamed Little Donald by his mother Melania. She has said the 10-year-old doesn’t like sweatpants and prefers to wear suits like his father.
Barron was thrust into the media spotlight during his father’s presidential campaign. Most people will remember him struggling to keep his eyes open during his dad’s victory speech on election night.
Barron will not immediately move to Washington, instead staying in New York to finish the school year. He probably isn’t eager to leave anytime soon, considering he has an entire floor to himself in the Trump penthouse in Manhattan. But when he does pack his bags, he will become the first president’s son to live in the White House since John F. Kennedy Jr. in 1963.

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