By Karolos GrohmannPARIS, France (Reuters) – World number three Stan Wawrinka came out on top in his French Open slugfest with Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov, winning 6-4, 7-6(5), 7-5 yesterday to set up a third-round showdown with Italian maverick Fabio Fognini.The 2015 French Open champion, who has yet to drop a set this week, may have won in three but it was tougher than it looked. The unpredictable Dolgopolov, a former top-20 player, gave him a run for his money.“He pushed me, he pressed me and I had to stay concentrated,” said Wawrinka. “It was a big game and the level was extremely high.“I had to keep pushing back. I served well and that helped so I am satisfied,” said the Swiss, who fired 16 aces compared to the Ukrainian’s six.Wawrinka and Dolgopolov broke each other once early in the first set and both players aggressively looked for quick winners with their rallies lasting an average of 2.8 shots.But the 32-year-old Wawrinka, aiming to become only the third man in the professional era to win three or more slams after turning 30, squeezed in another break to snatch the first set with a fierce backhand down the line.The pair traded blows in a finely balanced second set before taking it into a tiebreak, with Wawrinka again emerging victorious. He sealed the second set with an ace.It was a similar story in the third set with both players pummelling each other until Wawrinka broke Dolgopolov a second time to clinch victory and deny the world number 89 his first third-round spot in Paris since 2011.Mercurial Fognini could be equally tricky and Wawrinka said he was not looking forward to playing him.“He is unpredictable like Dolgopolov,” said the Swiss, one of 30 men over the age of 30 to have made the second round of the claycourt major – a professional era record. “It will be a dangerous match.”Asked if he was looking forward to the third-round encounter, Wawrinka said: “Not really. I don’t know anyone who likes to play that kind of player.”
Published on December 29, 2010 at 12:00 pm Comments NEW YORK — Nathaniel Hackett saw something click in Marcus Sales four weeks ago in practice. Something changed, in his work ethic and preparation.And when he saw Sales standing in the end zone for the third time on the day, with 7:53 remaining, it was clear something did click. After a season in which the junior wide receiver scored just one touchdown, Sales tripled his scoring output in one game.‘It feels real good,’ Sales said. ‘Finally, I got a chance and I just made the plays when they counted.’Behind a strong rushing attack led by Delone Carter and a big-play passing attack led by Sales, the offensive play-caller Hackett and head coach Doug Marrone’s offense opened up Thursday. In a wild inaugural New Era Pinstripe Bowl in Yankee Stadium in front of 38,274, Syracuse (8-5, 4-3 Big East) was able to keep up and win a 36-34 shootout over Kansas State (7-6, 3-5 Big 12).The win gave SU its first bowl victory since the 2001 Insight.com Bowl — also against Kansas State.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘They made a young kid from the Bronx’s dream come true,’ Marrone said of his players while accepting the Pinstripe Bowl trophy. ‘And win this trophy at Yankee Stadium!’The Orange defense bent but did not break late in the fourth quarter, which sealed the victory. With 1:13 remaining, KSU quarterback Carson Coffman tossed a 30-yard touchdown strike to Adrian Hilburn, who flashed a celebratory salute after scoring. The officials issued a personal foul for excessive celebration. Down by two, the Wildcats couldn’t convert the two-point conversion from 18 yards out.When asked about the penalty after the game, Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder paused four seconds before saying, ‘I can’t comment on that.’Though the Syracuse defense ultimately preserved the win, it was the SU’s offense that uncharacteristically brought the team to that point.Carter and the combination of quarterback Ryan Nassib and Sales carried Syracuse throughout the game. Twenty-seven carries, a career-high 198 yards and two touchdowns for the senior running back Carter in his swan song for the Orange.Five catches, 172 yards and three touchdowns all added up to a career game for the once-forgotten Sales. Nassib was happy to feed him the ball, as 172 of Nassib’s 239 passing yards and all three of his touchdowns went to Sales.Marrone singled Sales out in Wednesday’s pre-Pinstripe Bowl meeting with his team, reflecting upon the progress he saw in Sales.‘I pointed out Marcus Sales and how well he’s worked and the practices he’s had,’ Marrone said of that meeting. ‘And he came out and had a big game.’An SU offense that had only one play go more than 50 yards all year long would double that total Thursday.The first of those plays that came late in the first quarter. The Orange marched close to the 50-yard line, Hackett’s target point to open up the offense. And as Hackett looked at the KSU coverage, he knew the safety would bite.So as Antwon Bailey ran up the middle for what looked like a simple, straight-ahead running play, Hackett broke out the trickery. Bailey flung the ball back to Nassib on a flea flicker, and Nassib hung a perfect spiraling throw 52 yards to Sales to tie the game at 7-7.‘We practiced it all week,’ Sales said. ‘I knew it had a chance to come to me when the safety came down. So I just put my head down and ran, and looked for the ball when it came. And I caught it.’Behind another long Sales touchdown catch — this time from 36 yards out — SU went into the half tied at 14-14. The second half quickly turned into a shootout, with Syracuse and Kansas State trading offensive blows. Carter barreled in for two touchdowns, but the Wildcats answered with two touchdown scores of their own.The Orange found itself trailing by a point with 11 minutes left when Sales’ number was called again on the game-changing drive. First, he caught a crucial 18-yard pass to extend Syracuse’s drive on third down.And his second act came with the Orange on the KSU 44-yard line. Sales’ defender slipped, setting him wide open down the field, and Nassib found him again for the long touchdown score that gave SU the lead for good.The receiver who wasn’t on the depth chart at the beginning of SU’s season carried the team and program to its biggest victory in a decade.Flashing an uncharacteristic grin that was reminiscent of the boy from the Bronx, Marrone thought it was a fitting resemblance for where his program has come in just two short years.‘It’s about creating challenges and goals for your players,’ Marrone said. ‘And they responded.’email@example.com Facebook Twitter Google+
Scrum-half Will Genia starts, as does Israel Folau and star openside flankers Michael Hooper and David Pocock.The former Leinster boss says it’s important his whole squad gets involvement in the tournament early on. Robbie Henshaw should be fit for the game having missed out against the Canadians.Meanwhile Australia head coach Michael Cheika plans to use all of his players in their opening two group games – before matches against England and Wales.He’s named a strong side to face Fiji on Wednesday.
by Bill NealFor New Pittsburgh Courier:10 There’s a first time for everything so here we go. I’ve never started the countdown with a Locker Room inductee, but this lady deserves it. Ms. Racele Watson is living up in the Hill District and raising her sons, one of whom is “Denier.” Denier is holding it down at Central Catholic High School. (You know the school Penn Hills kicks around like a rented mule?) Anyway, Racele, you, Denier and whatever the other kid’s name is (oops my bad), you’re all “In the Locker Room!”:09 I don’t know why you’re all having such a hard time understanding what’s going on with Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o and this way off the hook story about a girlfriend that really doesn’t exist. The—boy’s —a—freak! Ya know it and I know it and don’t act like you don’t recognize it. Every one of you has a cousin just like him that talks to people that ain’t there every day. Yes you do… yes you do… yes—you—do!!!:08 I’m telling you right now “Kobe” and the Lakers will beat Lebron and the Heat Thursday night, so by the time you read this, you will have missed your chance to take it to the bank.:07 New year, same problems. Please “instruct” your young African-American men to pull their pants up. I mean, come on, this is getting to be just stupid and while you’re at it, can you start getting our “young ladies” to clean up their language. Some of these girls’ attitudes and the words coming out of their mouths make some of these boys look like angels!:06 Yeah, hockey is back. No, really, I am excited and happy. No, I really am. Doesn’t mean I know any more about it. No shut-up about it. Go Pens!:05 Want to be reminded of some good old school music? Pull out your Stephanie Mills classics. Man, that woman had pipes on her… I mean, she really did and while up in the flash-back machine, if anybody out there has any of the “Sinbad Summer Jamz” tapes or CD’s, please call me so I can get a copy. Oh, don’t worry, I’ll pay for it mmmaaannn!!:04 For my money, the NFL Rookie of the Year is not Andrew Luck or RGIII, but it’s Russell Wilson of the Seahawks. Oh, by the way, have you heard… he’s a brother.:03 All I can tell ya is this… If you’re Serena Williams’ boyfriend and she says it’s time to go… you best be about the business of going… and right now! Did you see the arms on that woman? That said, she’s bad, and I mean in a good way!:02 Why was the ESPN sports commentator making such a big deal about Katherine Webb, the girlfriend of Alabama quarterback A.J. “Johnny Football” McCarron? Because—she—is—fine, that’s why! Brent’s old, but he ain’t dead.:01 At the Buzzer, 2013 Style. Here we Go!•Coach Harvey Smith and Coach Quinten Johns will bring financial security to ya, for ya! January 27 is the official coming out showcase for Organo Gold Coffee Gourmet. If you want to change your financial life, as well as your children and your grandchildren, you don’t want to miss this event; 3-6 p.m. at 3 Lakes Golf Course, 6700 Saltsburg Rd. Call “Q” at 412-628-7947 for information. •There’s only one Super Bowl party to be at! The Champions Super Bowl party Feb. 3 at 3 Lakes Golf Course in Penn Hills. (Where else?!?!) Doors open at 5:30, kickoff at 6:30. Fun, prizes and surprises, 50/50, and special guest, former Pittsburgh Steeler West Lyons. Wear your black and gold anyway. We ain’t done yet!•“Ultimate Force” karate and boxing showing coming at you real soon, saluting Master Jacquet Basemore, Rayco “War” Saunders and others. It’s going to be a-mazing!! More information soon.•Champions High School All-Star Basketball Classic, featuring Western Pa’s top seniors, back on track, Saturday the 6th. Seniors… it’s your time… get ready!•Get out and support your local high school basketball teams. Do it, do it now! High school basketball. It’s FAN-TAS-TIC!~ GAME OVER ~ BILL NEAL