Serena to play fewer tournaments to aid grand slam quest

first_imgBy Simon cambersMELBOURNE,(Reuters)-Serena Williams plans to play fewer tournaments in the future to aid her quest to win more grand slam titles, according to her coach Patrick Mouratoglou.The 35-year-old American won her 23rd grand slam title on Saturday at the Australian Open, breaking the open-era record she held jointly with Germany’s Steffi Graf.Serena will now manage her schedule as she chases down the all-time leader Margaret Court, the Australian whose record of 24 grand slam titles straddled the amateur and professional eras.“Mentally she has to stay fresh and mentally excited when the grand slams start, because they are the goal,” Mouratoglou told a group of reporters after Serena’s 6-4, 6-4 victory over her sister Venus Williams gave her a seventh Australian Open title.“So we have a lighter schedule – not lighter than last year, which would be difficult (when she played just eight events and did not play after September) – but lighter than the year before (11 events).”At one stage in 2016, Serena held the world number one ranking based only on seven events over a 52-week period.Germany’s Angelique Kerber overtook her when she won the U.S. Open last September but Serena will return to top spot when the rankings are updated today.Serena has traditionally played fewer tournaments than most top players, but since she usually reaches the final, she is able to pick and choose.From the start of 2012 to the end of 2016, Serena won 288 matches, second only to Poland’s Agnieska Radwanska, who won 289.But while Radwanska lost 107 matches in that period, Serena lost just 29.Mouratoglou said Indian Wells, in March, would be Serena’s next stop but didn’t expect to see her at too many events before the next grand slam, the French Open, which begins on May 29.“We’ve already done the schedule for the whole year,” Mouratoglou said. “It doesn’t mean that the schedule is not going to change, it’s meant to adapt to situations. But generally speaking it’s already set for the whole season.”Mouratoglou said numbers alone were not the main factor behind Serena’s continuing hunger, even in her 20th year on tour.“She was not motivated by 22, she was motivated to win grand slams,” he said.That’s her motivation. This won’t change until she maybe one day wakes up and is not motivated to win grand slams, but for now she is. That’s enough. The record is not the thing that makes her play.”And Mouratoglou said Serena would not obsess over the record of 24 held by Court.“With all the respect for Margaret Court, it was another era, the draws were like 16 players and they were not professionals,” he said.“Of course the record is here and we definitely want to beat it, but there was a professional era and the record was Steffi Graf.”last_img read more

Syracuse field hockey’s Laura Hurff attempts to fill void of ‘legend’ Alyssa Manley

first_imgAlyssa Manley is a Syracuse legend, according to SU field hockey midfielder/forward Serra Degnan, and there are statistics to back that statement up.Manley was the only player on the entire 2016 Olympic field hockey roster for the United States in Rio de Janiero — a tournament in which the U.S. finished fifth — whose last appearance was at a collegiate level. Before Rio, she led the Orange to its first-ever national championship in 2015 and was awarded the Honda Sports Award for field hockey, an award given to the best field hockey player in the NCAA.But after expiring her eligibility last season, Manley’s loss has left a giant hole in No. 2 Syracuse’s (2-0) midfield. It’s a hole that Syracuse head coach Ange Bradley agreed is one of the largest she’s ever had to fill, going on to say that even though it’s a hole that might require multiple players to patch. Junior midfielder/forward Laura Hurff has stepped up into Manley’s role and started to fill it exceptionally well.In 2015, Hurff improved from her freshman season. She took on a bigger role, starting all 22 games and scoring two game-winning goals on the season. The season prior, she played in every game but didn’t start all of them. She was named an National Field Hockey Coaches Association first-team All-American, and a second-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference honoree. But Hurff’s strong sophomore campaign came with Manley on the field alongside her, attracting most of the attention from opposing teams. This season, it’s up to Hurff to step up in Manley’s absence and prove that she can become the primary workhorse of the midfield herself. A good place to begin, Hurff said, is to adjust her mentality on the field.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Alyssa just has this calmness to her when she plays, even when she mis-traps (the ball), she stays calm,” Hurff said. “So I’m trying to work to get that calmness in my play.”Hurff has already garnered accolades in 2016, starring on the USA U-21 National Team this summer at the Junior Pan-American games in Trinidad and Tobago and winning the silver medal. She was also named as a preseason All-ACC selection for the 2016 season, an honor that Manley received in 2015.In Friday’s 2016 season opener at Temple, Hurff was relatively quiet in the midfield, posting no assists or goals. Manley’s first game of the 2015 season went similarly, an away contest at No. 6 Stanford where she also failed to post any goals or assists. In Sunday’s game at No. 6 Maryland, Hurff fired three shots, all on goal. In Manley’s second game of the 2015 season against University of California Davis, she too launched three shots, scoring one goal.The similarities between the two go deeper than statistics. Hurff is so talented, Degnan said, that she will likely be the next SU star to see time on the U.S. national team, just like Manley. And after her summer performance with the U-21 national team, Hurff is already beginning to emerge as a strong candidate in the conversation surrounding the 2020 Olympic Games.“I think we’ll see her in Tokyo in 2020, definitely,” Degnan said. “She is unbelievable.”But regardless of her future, Hurff is focused solely on herself and her impact on the 2016 team right now. She’s been working on improving her game, and though she knows she may never be able to live up to Manley’s legacy, she’s trying to get as close as possible.“(Manley) was an amazing player, and nobody is really gonna fulfill her spot,” Hurff said. “I’m doing the best that I can right now, and trying to help the team any way I can.” Comments Published on August 29, 2016 at 9:59 pm Contact Matt: mjfel100@syr.edu Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Fall Arts Walk Maps Available Now

first_imgFacebook1Tweet0Pin0Submitted by the City of OlympiaGrab your guide to the 2016 Fall Arts Walk in downtown Olympia – October 7 and 8! Arts Walk maps are available at participating downtown businesses, The Olympia Center (222 Columbia St NW), and City Hall (601 4th Ave E). The Arts Walk app can be found here and digital maps can be found at online here.As part of your planning for festival-going, consider your transportation options. Area residents have the option to bus, bike, or walk to the event. Transit information as well as individualized trip planning for bus, bike and walk routes is available at www.intercitytransit.com.Arts Walk is sponsored by the City of Olympia Parks, Arts & Recreation Department and Olympia Arts Commission, with support provided by Art House Designs, Capital Heating and Cooling, Capitol City Press, Mixx 96 FM, Oly Arts and the Washington State Employees Credit Union. For more information, contact Olympia Parks, Arts & Recreation at 360.753.8380.last_img read more