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Twice champion Kvitova set for Wimbledon after stabbing

first_imgBy Simon Cambers in LondonTWICE champion Petra Kvitova is set to play at Wimbledon this summer, less than seven months after she was stabbed by an intruder in her home, a member of her support team told Reuters yesterday.The Czech, who required four hours of surgery to her left, playing hand after the December attack at home in her home city of Prostejov, has made a faster than expected recovery and could even be ready to play in the French Open, which begins in Paris on Sunday.“She is on track for Wimbledon,” Katie Spellman, Kvitova’s publicity manager, told Reuters. “She will make a last-minute decision this week about Roland Garros.”Kvitova, who won Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014, will be included on the official entry list for this year’s Championships, which will be released today.“The AELTC is always pleased to welcome former champions back to Wimbledon, and would be delighted if Petra Kvitova is able to compete in the Championships this year,” Wimbledon said in a statement to Reuters.“We wish her well with her ongoing preparations to return to competition.”ATTACKED AT HOMEKvitova was attacked at around 08:30hrs on December 20 by a man who gained access to her apartment block by posing as a utilities man, before holding a knife to her throat.In pulling the knife away, Kvitova sustained injuries to tendons in all four fingers and the thumb on her left hand. She said she was “shaken, but fortunate to be alive”.Doctors had said at the time the “best-case scenario” was that Kvitova could be playing tennis again within six months.Throughout her recovery, the 27-year-old has amazed everyone in her team with her positivity and belief that she would be back on Tour, and sooner rather than later.Last month, Kvitova said she had left her name on the entry list for the French Open, in part to ensure she had a positive mind-set as she continued her recovery.Earlier this month, she posted a photo of herself practising in Monte Carlo.The draw for the French Open is due to be made at Roland Garros on Friday.Given the physicality required to play on clay, and the stress of a grand slam, it would still be a surprise if she does take her place in the draw at Roland Garros.If she decides not to play, Kvitova is likely to look to play a warm-up event on grass before Wimbledon, the venue where she has achieved most success.One of the cleanest ball-strikers on the Tour, she won her first grand slam title there in 2011, when she upset Maria Sharapova in the final.In 2014, she won the title again with a crushing 6-3, 6-0 victory over Eugenie Bouchard in what is remembered as one of the best performances ever produced in the final.Her return would also be a welcome boost for the women’s Tour, especially with Serena Williams on maternity leave.Kvitova, who last played in the Fed Cup final against France on November 12, is ranked 16th.last_img read more

Angels, catcher Jason Castro agree to 1-year deal

first_img Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone Defensively, Castro ranked 24th out of 64 catchers who caught at least 1,000 pitches in pitch framing last season. Stassi ranked third.Castro threw out seven of 36 runners trying to steal, a percentage slightly below the major league average.The Angels now have essentially completed their lineup for 2020. In the infield, they have Albert Pujols at first, Andrelton Simmons at shortstop and Anthony Rendon at third, with David Fletcher, Tommy La Stella and Luís Rengifo to compete at second base. Matt Thaiss and Jared Walsh could also see time at first.In the outfield, they have Justin Upton, Mike Trout and Brian Goodwin, with top prospect Jo Adell presumably to take over in right field at some point during the season.Shohei Ohtani and Pujols will split time at designated hitter. The Angels filled the final hole in their everyday lineup by agreeing to terms with catcher Jason Castro on a one-year, $6.85 million deal, a source confirmed on Thursday night.Castro, 32, spent the past three years with the Minnesota Twins, including hitting .232 with a .767 OPS and 13 homers in 79 games in 2019.The Angels had Max Stassi and Anthony Bemboom as their only two catchers on the 40-man roster, and Stassi is questionable to be ready for Opening Day after undergoing hip surgery.Castro, who began his career with the Houston Astros, is a career .231 hitter with a .703 OPS. Angels catchers last season combined to hit .221 with a .638 OPS. The left-handed-hitting Castro has dramatic splits at the plate. He slashed .254/.354/.497 with 22 extra-base hits in 197 at-bats against right-handers last season, but just .125/.222/.125 with no extra-base hits in 40 at-bats against lefties. His career slash splits are .243/.329/.421 vs. right-handers and .195/.260/.293 against lefties. The Angels still could be in the market for another pitcher, either through trade or free agency. The addition of Castro brings their payroll to around $177 million. Their payroll for purposes of the luxury tax calculation is about $188 million. The threshold is $208 million.Related Articles Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Gold Coast overlooked as Schoolies go to Bali

first_imgSchool graduates are turning away from traditional Schoolies celebrations in the Gold Coast and opting for international destinations. A report released by Student Flights highlighted an increase in bookings by teens for holiday packages to tropical beach destinations including Fiji and Bali, News.com reported. While the Sunshine state remains the ‘it’ place for Schoolies, affordability and close proximity of destinations like Bali are giving graduates a reason to celebrate abroad. According to the news source, resorts in Bali and Fiji have spent several years catering to Schoolies celebrations with DJs, themed parties and increased security.      Student Flights also announced that from next year they will offer Schoolies trips to Vanuatu. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more