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03.09.2018 15:37
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NEW YORK -- At heart, Caroline Wozniacki is a marathoner. The two-time US Open finalist was one long before she ran the 2014 New York City marathon on a lark and finished in an outstanding 3:27. The 26-year-old Dane runs, runs, then runs some more, retrieving and returning shots most of her rivals in tennis can only watch fly by.Madison Keys, a gifted 21-year-old, is a different breed of player and athlete. She has more of a sprinters game, based on short bursts of brilliant shot-making with interludes of ordinary and sometimes even poor play.Here at the US Open, No. 8 Keys had tiptoed along the edge of disaster, rebounding from threatening deficits in two of her three previous matches. On Sunday, Wozniacki jogged up alongside Keys and shoved her into the abyss, winning their fourth-round clash in just an hour and 18 minutes, 6-3, 6-4.Count this one as another major step in Wozniackis comeback from an ankle injury that helped drive her ranking down to its current No. 74. Wozniacki is taking her comeback one step at a time. Like a veteran distance runner, she isnt craning her neck, trying to spot the finish line. She knows that a full-on renaissance calls for stamina and patience.To be honest, at this point, Im very much like I dont care [what my ranking is], the beaming winner said after she won. Because if Im not in the top five, I feel like its not where I want to be. So at that point, whether Im 20 in the world or 100 in the world, it doesnt matter. Im going to play the same people anyway.She also professed that she has self-belief, and said its all that matters, boldly adding, I think it just sucks for some of the other players who have to play me early.A rueful Keys agreed. Surprisingly, this was their first meeting, and it worked in Wozniackis favor: Its different playing and seeing it on TV, Keys said. [I was] feeling how deep shes hitting the ball and feeling that I cant get on the offense right away.This was the fifth consecutive major championship in which Keys, who is often touted as the heir apparent to Venus?and Serena Williams, faltered in the fourth round. But unlike a few of those losses, this was neither shocking nor complicated.Wozniacki was the year-end No. 1 for two consecutive years, starting in 2010. She is fourth among active players with 23 singles titles and owns the dubious record of having the most career singles titles without having won a Grand Slam event. But shes still just 26.The ankle injury that interrupted Wozniackis career this spring (and caused her to miss a Grand Slam tournament for the first time) provided her with an unplanned opportunity to hit the reset button. Wozniacki has a reputation as the fun-loving BFF of Serena Williams, but as Wozniackis marathon adventure suggests, she has always been driven. The recent break left her feeling a little more mellow.Before it was all about, OK, I have to win this; I have to do that, Wozniacki said. Now Im like, I dont have to do anything. You know, whatever is meant to be, its going to be, and Im just going to give myself the best shot out there. And I think Im enjoying the whole atmosphere and everything else so much more.While reveling in the atmosphere, Wozniacki also provided the young American with a multidimensional lesson with one working premise: Be aggressive but keep the ball in the court. Keys has Part A down pat; its the consistency that flummoxes her.It was a very fine line between being patient, consistent and also trying to be aggressive and not step too far behind the baseline, Wozniacki said of her strategy. My main thing was to just go for my shots. Dont hold back.The barrage unnerved Keys. I feel like I was making mistakes and then getting behind in the score and trying to hit winners just to kind of quickly get back into games, she said. I dont think I played very well. I dont think I played smart, which I think is the biggest thing. I kind of let the panic set in and tried to go too quick.Keys had just one break point. Her unforced errors exceeded Wozniackis by more than a multiple of four (33-7). Keys serve is already one of the most feared weapons in tennis; it rivals Serenas own. But heres the key stat: Wozniacki put 81 percent of her serve returns into play (57 of 70). Meanwhile, Keys managed to return just 66 percent (31 of 47) of Wozniackis deliveries.True, Wozniackis serve is improved. But the theory that all Keys still needs to break through is more Grand Slam experience and a greater ability to win when she doesnt have her A-game is wearing thin.The one thing all great players bring to the table almost every day is a baseline level of consistency. Wozniacki still hasnt won a major, but she has that fundamental ability to keep the ball between the stripes. She may never have the firepower of a Keys or even a Petra Kvitova, but Woz is young enough to win a major. She may finally win one next Sunday if she can continue to successfully marry consistency and aggression.Its tempting to think that Wozniackis biggest opportunities have passed her by. But this is a woman who can run and run. Shes a marathoner. She may catch up with them yet. NFL Jerseys Free Shipping . Ronaldo produced a spectacular individual performance on Tuesday, scoring all three goals and guiding Portugal into the next years World Cup in Brazil with a 3-2 victory in Sweden. The Real Madrid forward has scored 66 goals in 2013, but the last three may be the boost he needs to upstage Messi after FIFA unexpectedly extended the voting period for the Ballon dOr to Nov. China NFL Jerseys Online . 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THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands -- Josh Hawkinson scored a career-high 29 points and added 14 rebounds, as Washington State downed Montana 87-63 Saturday in a consolation-round game at the Paradise Jam tournament.Conor Clifford added 12 points, Malachi Flynn had 11 and Charles Callison 10 for the Cougars (3-1), who went up 41-20 by the halftime break and led by as many as 28 points in the second half.After taking a tough loss last night (to No. 22 Creighton), we knew we had to bounce back, Hawkinson said. Its hard to double two big guys inside. With Conor being the inside presence that he is, he allows me to get open shots.Jared Samuelson had 14 points and Ahmaad Rorie 10 for the Grizzlies (0-4), who shot just 34.8 percent from the field (23 of 66) and made 7 of 27 3-pointers.We were just flat, a letdown from last night (a loss to N.C. State), Montana coach Travis DeCuire said. We just didnt make shots. Thats been an issue for us this year. We have to get the ball going through the basket again.Hawkinson had a double-double in the first half, scoring 17 points and grabbing 100 rebounds.dddddddddddd That, and a 14-3 run over a six-minute span early in the first half, staked Washington State to a double-digit lead it would never relinquish.The Cougars took their biggest lead in the final two minutes, with Vionte Daniels 3-pointer with 1:34 remaining giving Washington State an 87-59 lead.BIG PICTUREWashington State: Even with the win, the work of rebuilding the Cougars continues in their third season with Ernie Kent as coach. Last year, WSU opened with four straight wins, and was 8-4 heading into its Pac-12 schedule. But the Cougars went 1-17 in conference play, and finished the year 9-21.Montana: The Grizzlies are off to first 0-4 start since the 1971-72 season under then-coach Jud Heathcote. 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