American legend Serena Williams, winner of 23 Grand Slam titles, announced her retirement from tennis on Tuesday, saying she is “evolving away” from the sport. The 40-year-old tennis star said that the best word to describe what she is up to is “evolution” and that she wants to grow her family. “I have never liked the word retirement. It doesn’t feel like a modern word to me. I’ve been thinking of this as a transition, but I want to be sensitive about how I use that word, which means something very specific and important to a community of people,” Serena said in an article for Vogue magazine. Earlier this year, she was knocked out at Wimbledon in her first singles match. However, she has now set her eyes on the US Open in what could prove her farewell tournament.
“Unfortunately I wasn’t ready to win Wimbledon this year. And I don’t know if I will be ready to win New York. But I’m going to try. And the lead-up tournaments will be fun,” she said in the Vogue interview. She has been ranked singles world number one by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) for 319 weeks, including a joint-record 186 consecutive weeks.
She also finished as the year-end number one five times. Serena has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, the most by any player in the open era, and the second-most of all time, only behind Margaret Court’s 24.
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South Africa get consolation win, India take series 2-1
India lost in another high-scoring match as South Africa won the series finale to prevent their hosts from sweeping the other teams. India’s streak of 16 consecutive home victories in T20I chases came to an end as they were dismissed for 178 in their pursuit of 228 runs. Temba Bavuma, the captain of South Africa, was out early on in the fifth over after Rohit Sharma choose to bowl first. After that, traffic was only going one way. The South African batters enjoyed themselves by taking advantage of the Holkar Cricket Stadium’s shorter boundaries, with Rilee Rossouw pulling off his first T20I century after recording two consecutive ducks. Quinton de Kock, who scored his second straight fifty with 68 off 43, and David Miller, who scored 19* off 5, provided outstanding support for his 100 off 48. A massive 227/3 was posted by South Africa.
As a response, India’s Rohit Sharma went down for a two-ball duck, while No. 3 Shreyas Iyer made one before being LBW-trapped. India had lost their top five for 86 runs by the eighth over. And it appeared like South Africa was making a strong move toward victory. Deepak Chahar (31) and Umesh Yadav (20) made significant contributions, though, to drive them to 178 all out in 18.3 Overs.
Maharashtra emerge as champions in roller skating at National games
Maharashtra emerged as the champions in the roller sports, bagging 5 Gold medals in 36th National games. Tamil Nadu emerged as the runners-up with 3 Gold as the games drew to a close at picturesque Sabarmati Riverfront.
The real heroes, however, emerged to be skateboarders Chingngbam Ranju Singh (Manipur) and Shraddha Gaikwad (Maharashtra), who took hard routes to success.
The men’s gold medal winner, Ranju Singh, got hooked on the sport five years ago. He had to find innovative ways to continue with the sport. Every day, he wakes up well before dawn in Manipur before the city wakes up.
On the empty streets, he learned the basics of the sport and later mastered it. He became good enough to get selected for his state and went on to find his glory by winning in the national games. He did several odd jobs as well to fund his training. “I took up several part-time jobs, including whitewashing, to fund my training,” Ranju Singh said.
Shraddha Gaikwad, too, had humble beginnings. The daughter of a security guard, her father shifted from Beed to Pune in search of a job. He found one at an international sports goods shop.
One day, Shraddha came to deliver lunch for her father and saw an interesting sight. “I saw people skateboarding at the store and tried my hand at it. The store manager, Abu Sheikh, saw me practising and gifted me a pair of shoes and a skateboard. I began training and I soon became pretty good at it,” the 16-year-old said.
Her story also became a documentary called Skater Girl, released by Netflix.
Both champions are now hoping that their success will provide avenues for more support as they look to qualify for the Asian Games next year.
India’s Mumtaz Khan conferred with FIH Rising star of the year award
The International hockey federation conferred India’s young sensation, Mumtaz Khan, with the FIH Rising Star of the Year 2021-22 award in the women’s category. The award in the men’s category was conferred on Timothee Clement of France.
Mumtaz had exploded onto the international hockey scene in the FIH Junior Women’s World Cup 2022.She thrilled the fans with her incredible game style and an uncanny eye for scoring goals. She was the best performer in her team, scoring 6 out of 8 goals.
She finished in third place in the list of top scorers in the World Cup, while India missed out on the bronze medal by a whisker. She failed to score in just in one game throughout the tournament, against the Netherlands. Mumtaz scored both the goals for India in the crucial 2-2 tie in the bronze medal match against England, but the team couldn’t get over the line in the ensuing shoot-out.
Hailing from the city of Lucknow, Mumtaz started her career in track and field. This can be seen in her game, as when she finds any semblance of space behind the opposition’s defence, she is impossible to catch.
Most of her goals in the World Cup came in a similar fashion, as counters by the Indian team helped Mumtaz to get through the goal. Mumtaz was also a part of the Indian team that played in the Hero FIH Hockey5s Lausanne 2022 and showcased her skills by scoring 5 goals in 4 games. She performed in very different conditions that limited her ability to exploit open spaces, as she instead relied on her shooting skills to find the back of the goal.
The field was closely packed for the FIH Rising Star of the Year category, as Mumtaz edged Belgium’s Charlotte Englebert by a margin of just 3 points. Mumtaz finished with a total of 32.9 points, with Englebert coming in second with 29.9 points. Luna Fokke from the Netherlands finished third with 16.9 points.
Timothee Clement, who won the award in the men’s category, had a stunning breakout season over the past year, emerging as the new hockey superstar with breath-taking performances in the FIH Odisha Men’s Junior Hockey World Cup 2021 as well as the FIH Hockey Pro League 2021-22, that led to many impressive wins for France, and continues to impress with each passing event.
Clement dominated the voting in the FIH Rising Star of the Year (men) category, scoring 38.8 points. Sanjay from India finished second with 23.7 points, and Miles Bukkens of the Netherlands finished third with 19.1 points.
Jemimah Rodrigues’ unbeaten 75 helps IND-W beat UAE-W by 104 runs in Asia cup
In the Women’s T20 Asia Cup, Jemimah Rodrigues was at her ruthless best, smashing an unbeaten 75 off 45 balls as India out-batted an inexperienced United Arab Emirates by 104 runs in Sylhet on Tuesday. Then, Jemimah and Deepti Sharma (64 off 49 balls) added 128 runs in 13.3 overs after the UAE had briefly sent some shivers down the Indians’ spine, reducing the tournament favorites to 20 for 3 inside the fifth over. However, the gulf in class between the two teams became more and more evident, with India posting a challenging 178 for 5 in 20 overs.
The women in blue now lead the points table with a third consecutive win. The UAE team, which is also represented by 11 players of Indian origin, never even bothered to be competitive in its chase, finishing the quota of 20 overs at 74 for 4.
Moeen Ali closes the door on England Test return
England all-rounder Moeen Ali said he has closed the door on a return to test cricket after having an “honest” conversation with Coach Brendon McCullum.
Moeen made his test debut in 2014 and went on to score 2,914 runs in 64 tests at an average of 28.29, picking up 195 wickets.
The 35-year-old announced his retirement from the longest format of the game in September last year, but in June said McCullum had sounded him out about a potential red-ball return.
England’s Test side next play a three-match series against Pakistan in Rawalpindi, Multan and Karachi in December but Moeen said he would not be with them.
Moeen captained England’s Twenty20 side in their 4-3 series win over Pakistan in the absence of the injured Jos Buttler, and will be a key player for the team in this month’s T20 World Cup in Australia.
Igor Stimac signs contract extension till AFC Asian Cup 2023
The men’s football team’s head coach, Igor Stimac, on Tuesday signed an extension of his contract till the end of next year’s AFC Asian Cup.
The decision to extend the contract was recommended by the All India Football Federation’s technical committee last month and was subsequently ratified by the executive committee in their respective meetings in Kolkata last month.
The executive committee also accepted the recommendation of the technical committee that, should India make it to the quarterfinals of the Asian Cup, the coach’s contract should be automatically renewed.
“I am extremely happy that the AIFF has placed trust in the process that we have put in,” said Stimac.
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