Tomljanovic ‘too desperate’ at US Open

Ajla Tomljanovic conceded she “wanted it too much” after being consigned to another early grand slam exit at the US Open.


Tomljanovic lamented being unable to convert after taking the opening set in a 6-7 (1-7) 6-2 6-4 first-round loss to Italian Karin Knapp on Tuesday.

The defeat rounded out a disappointing season at the majors for Tomljanovic, who won only three matches at the four big ones after bursting to prominence with a charge to the final 16 at last year’s French Open.

The 22-year-old admitted her desperation to deliver at the slams muddled her mind.

“I really wanted the win, maybe a bit too much and paid the price for it,” Tomljanovic said.

“Your mind is not clear. You just want to win. You don’t think about the process, just taking one point at a time.

“It’s all about the score, the score, the score and it never has good results – and I tend to not learn from these mistakes.”

Believing she’s hitting the ball as well as ever on the practice court is further frustrating Tomljanovic, who feels one breakout tournament could spark a revival.

“Feeling confident is such a big factor in winning matches and going deep in tournaments,” said the world No.62.

“Honestly in slams anything can happen. As we’ve seen yesterday, there’s so many upsets.

“Coming in everyone has a chance.

“If I had maybe won this today, and scrapped it out, and won the next match, you never know.

“That’s how I made it to the fourth round of the French. I never thought I’m going to be in the second week.

“You literally have to take it one match at a time and your confidence goes up without you even noticing.”

Despite the latest setback, the Croatian-born talent – who is also desperately awaiting her Australian passport – is trying to remain upbeat after fighting the doldrums for much of 2015.

After flying solo at Wimbledon following her split from coach David Taylor, Samantha Stosur’s long-time mentor, Tomljanovic has hired South African John-Laffnie de Jager.

“I was a bit iffy, but I need someone,” she said.

“I couldn’t be on my own. I tried that at Wimbledon.

“Now that it’s the end of the year, I think I’m in good spirits considering everything.”


Hewitt extends U.S. Open farewell with a win

Playing on a small outside court in the shadow of the massive Arthur Ashe Stadium that provided the stage 14 years earlier for the brash Australian’s win over Pete Sampras in the U.


S. Open final, Hewitt typically appeared up for a fight.

“Obviously everyone has to call ‘time’ at some stage,” offered a philosophical Hewitt. “I’m very comfortable with how it’s all panning out at the moment.”

Set to retire after next year’s Australian Open, Hewitt may have lost a step and his groundstrokes are not quite as ferocious but the 34-year-old showed he has lost none of his combativeness, particularly in a ruthless first set that ended with Nedovyesov calling for the trainer to treat his shoulder.

With his wounded opponent on the ropes, Hewitt showed the Kazak no mercy and forced the second set to a tiebreak which he easily won 7-2. After the Australian grabbed a 1-0 lead in the third, Nedovyesov threw his racquet towards his chair and waved the white flag.

In many ways, it was a typical performance from the battling Australian who constructed a career around a relentless fighting spirit that became one of his calling cards.

An Australian Rules player growing up before he focussed on tennis, Hewitt has brought the same rugged, take-no-prisoners approach of his nation’s indigenous football game to the court.

Dressed mostly in black with his trademark baseball cap slung low over his brow, Hewitt had the small crowd cheering as he chased down balls and gave the spectators full value for the price of admission.

It was also a trip down Memory Lane for the former world number one, who cemented his reputation as a blue collar brawler on the Flushing Meadows hardcourts.

“Pete Sampras, in the (2001) final, in his home grand slam,” replied Hewitt, when asked about his greatest U.S. Open memories. “The semi-final and final I felt invincible out there. Didn’t feel like I could miss a ball.

“Pete hadn’t dropped serve for something ridiculous going into the final. I remember sitting right here, everyone saying, ‘You can’t beat him, you can’t break his serve.’ I just tried and I broke him first game. That gave me a lot of confidence.

“For me it was a surreal feeling, but it gave me confidence for the rest of my career going out there and being able to play well in those situations and not be in awe of the situation.”

(Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes)


West Brom’s Berahino angry as dream move joins failed deals

England under-21 striker Berahino was the subject of four failed bids from the London club and reacted angrily on Twitter, saying he would not play for the Midlands outfit again under chairman Jeremy Peace.


“Sad how I can’t say exactly how the club has treated me, but I can officially say I will never play (for) Jeremy Peace,” he said.

While Peace responded by saying he made it clear to Spurs that West Brom would not accept a bid for Berahino so late in the window, he admitted the player had been unsettled by what he called Tottenham’s “antics”.

The World Game: All the Deadline Day deals and news that matter

Berahino’s was among a number of high-profile deals that failed to get over the finish line, including goalkeeper David De Gea’s transfer from Manchester United to Real Madrid and Everton defender John Stones’ proposed move to Chelsea.

The breakdown in De Gea’s deal has led both teams to blame each other for a bureaucratic failure to file all the documents in time for the transfer to be processed.

Stones put in a transfer request and was the subject of three bids of 20, 26 and finally 30 million pounds ($45.91 million), which were all rejected by Everton who held firm and insisted that the player was not for sale.

Stoke City’s Jon Walters and Southampton’s Victor Wanyama also have bridges to build with their clubs after both asked to leave but failed to force through moves.

Wanyama, who was linked with Tottenham, was left out of Sunday’s 3-0 home win over Norwich City for not being “mentally and physically good enough to play”, according to Southampton manager Ronald Koeman.

Koeman, however, would not agree to any transfer, according to media reports, having earmarked the midfielder as a key player after losing Morgan Schneiderlin to Manchester United earlier in the transfer window.

Walters submitted a transfer request to smooth the wheels of an exit from Stoke, with Leicester City and Norwich City in a deadline-day race to secure his signature.

But his club were not prepared to sanction his sale without bringing in a replacement and Walters’ departure was quashed when Stoke’s move for Crystal Palace’s Mile Jedinak broke down.


Salt intake linked to obesity

A high salt intake may be linked to obesity, regardless of how many calories are consumed, experts have suggested.


Writing in the journal Hypertension, UK researchers say there is a suggested link between how much salt people eat and their weight, regardless of other factors.

But other professionals have urged caution, saying the findings are unreliable because people in the study self-reported how much they ate.

The new research used data for more than 450 children and 780 adults from the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey 2008/2009 to 2011/2012.

Experts analysed urine samples over 24 hours and calculated calorie intake from a four-day diary.

The results showed that salt intake in urine was higher in people who were overweight or obese, with an extra gram of salt a day leading to a more than 20 per cent increase in the chance of being heavy.

“These results suggest that salt intake is a potential risk factor for obesity independent of energy intake,” the authors said.

Susan Jebb, professor of diet and population health at the University of Oxford, said “there is no way to be confident” in the findings.

“Salt reduction is important to reduce cardiovascular risk but the combination of a weak study design and lack of any strong mechanistic basis for the association between salt and fatness means that this study should not detract from the main cause of weight gain which is consuming too many calories,” she said.

“I would not want to see the public misled by the publicity around this paper into thinking that cutting salt alone will reduce their risk of obesity or help them to lose weight.”

Graham MacGregor, professor of cardiovascular medicine at Queen Mary University of London and chairman of Consensus Action on Salt and Health, said: “The food we eat is now the biggest cause of ill health through its high salt, fat and sugar content added by the food industry.

“High blood pressure and obesity both lead to the development of cardiovascular disease, stroke, heart attacks and heart failure, which are the commonest causes of death and disability in the UK.”


49ers coach denies Hayne roster report

San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Tomsula says reports in Australia that Jarryd Hayne has been assured of a place on the NFL team’s final 53-man roster are premature.


It was claimed this week that Hayne had told family and friends he’s avoided being cut ahead of the opening game of the regular season against Minnesota on September 14.

“I don’t know what the rules are in the media in Australia, but you might want to fact check,” Tomsula said in an interview on San Francisco’s KNBR radio station on Tuesday.

“The 53 is not set.”

The former Parramatta fullback is expected to be named in the 53 after impressing in exhibition games against the Houston Texans, Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos.

He will be again put under the microscope again on Thursday in the final pre-season hit out against the San Diego Chargers at the 49ers’ home field, Levi’s Stadium.

Tomsula said he knew Hayne had the talent and skill to be a punt returner, with his catching of high balls and open field running developed while playing in the NRL.

What the coach needs to see is more of Hayne’s ability in NFL specialist roles as a back-up running back and contributing in other areas of special teams.

“I will say he’s busting his tail in those other areas,” Tomsula said.

“Guys, we didn’t teach Jarryd Hayne how to catch that ball. OK? He came here with that ability.

“We knew that.”

Tomsula also didn’t rule out recruiting more league and union players.

The coach has more experience in the NFL than most at assessing athletes from non-NFL sports after spending years as a coach in NFL Europe where teams widely recruited.

“I’ve got a lot of time doing that,” Tomsula said.

He said league and union players, with their ability to run in open spaces, are suited to playing as running backs, returners and open-field tackling positions.

In specialist positions like quarterback and offensive lineman, the skill sets don’t match up.

“But if you look at the position Jarryd plays, those things translate,” Tomsula said.

“Now, playing in tight spaces and pass protections, he is improving, he is improving big time.”


Berto ‘on a mission’ to unseat Mayweather

Berto, 31, he has blinkered himself from all the hype and hoopla that usually surrounds the build-up to a Mayweather bout and claims he has never been fitter as he prepares to step into the ring at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sept.



“I’ve had a tremendous training camp, a long camp but a tremendous camp,” twice former welterweight world champion Berto told reporters on a conference call on Tuesday. “I’ve never run harder. I’m definitely in the best shape that I’ve ever been in.

“I’ve worked with a lot of different sparring partners. Floyd is a very skilled fighter but I think I bring a combination of speed and power to the table. I think I have a better athletic ability. I can keep up with Floyd.”

Mayweather, widely regarded as one of the best defensive fighters ever, will put his unbeaten record on the line against Berto, a man who has lost three of his last six fights and is viewed by some as an easy opponent for their welterweight clash.

Should five-division world champion Mayweather win the WBC and WBA welterweight title bout as expected, in what he has said will be the final fight of his career, he would match the 49-0 record of former heavyweight great Rocky Marciano.

“It would be something huge, not just for me but for the sport,” Berto said, when asked how much value he would place on a surprise victory over Mayweather.

“Floyd has been an icon for quite some time now and he’s on his way to try to match a record. So for me, being the gym-hungry fighter coming in to take that away from him, that would be huge.”

Mayweather, who improved to 48-0 by beating Manny Pacquiao in a ‘mega-fight’ in May that took five years to finalise and became the richest bout in boxing, is known for his trash talking and his flamboyant approach to life outside the ring.

Berto, however, prefers to leave all the hype to others while preparing for fights.

“I don’t get caught up in all that,” said the American, who has a 30-3 record with 23 knockouts. “I don’t get caught up in all the hoopla and all the crazy shit.

“I don’t want to get caught up and caught off guard. I’m on a mission.”

(Editing by John O’Brien)


‘World’s first’ contactless payment jacket

Contactless payment technology has been applied to fashion to create the “world’s first” contactless jacket.


Barclaycard and its contactless bPay technology has partnered with fashion brand Lyle & Scott to create a jacket that can be used to make contactless payments in the same way consumers would use a contactless card – by tapping the sleeve against pay points.

The jacket – which is going on-sale online and in the brand’s Carnaby Street store in London – has space in the cuff for a contactless payment chip, like those found in debit and credit cards.

Technology is being increasingly embraced by fashion, as smartwatches and other wearable technology become more widely available.

Last year, before it launched, the Apple Watch appeared on the cover of the Chinese edition of Vogue.

Lyle & Scott has created an innovation team to launch “ground-breaking products” designed to fit this growing trend, of which the jacket will be the first.

“We are a brand that embraces our heritage, however we understand that it is extremely important to stay in touch with the needs of our modern customers,” said the firm’s innovation project manager, Jonathan Briggs.

“Innovation is key to realising this, and so we are proud to partner with bPay to launch the world’s first contactless payment jacket.”

According to statistics from the UK Cards Association the number of contactless payments in the UK rose by 331 per cent in 2014.

Mobile and contactless payments are becoming increasingly accessible to consumers, with Barclaycard also offering bPay contactless wristbands and key fobs into which contactless chips can be inserted.

Apple Pay is now also live in the UK, enabling iPhone 6 and Apple Watch users to pay using contactless.

Both Samsung and Android are also set to launch their own versions of this technology for smartphones later this year.


Govt must act on indigenous suicide: Calma

It’s not us, it’s you.


That’s the message from indigenous service providers to the government, University of Canberra Chancellor and Indigenous leader Tom Calma says.

As joint head of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Evaluation Project (ATSISPEP), Professor Calma is urging the government to develop a multi-party platform to end decades of limited progress for indigenous affairs, particularly around high suicide rates.

Prof Calma said the government has been treading water on indigenous affairs, and that grassroots organisations who had been “getting steam up” and seeing results were then “cut off at the knees”.

Prof Calma said the government has quarantined $17.8 million set aside for indigenous suicide prevention programs until ATSISPEP provides it with a report on the situation.

Indigenous people cannot afford the government parking such important programs, and is urging it to take notice of suicide rates in the way it did when it launched a royal commission into deaths in custody, Prof Calma said.

It took 99 indigenous people to die in Australian jails before a royal commission was announced, while today 130 indigenous lives are lost to suicide each year, he said.

Prof Calma wants the government to engage with indigenous experts and heed their advice, rather than commission reports that sit forgotten on a shelf.

“For too long we as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have been blamed for the inactivity and lack of progress when report after report, people after people tell the government ‘it’s not us, it’s you, the way you develop policy, the way you change policies and programs at the drop of a hat, the total inconsistency in your approach; that’s what’s causing the problems’,” Prof Calma said.

“Until we can get confidence back up and people can see governments are genuine then we (won’t) see change.”

Indigenous Mental Health Commissioner Pat Dudgeon wants a national inquiry into the crisis as World Suicide Prevention Day nears on September 10.

“This is a crisis situation, strong and immediate action is needed,” she said in a statement.

“However, a national inquiry or royal commission should not pause or delay initiatives that are already in place or are about to be put in place.”


* About 130 people ended their lives each year over the last five years, marking a 30 per cent increase on the ten preceding years.

* Leading cause of death for people aged 15-35, responsible for one in three deaths.

* Northern Australia has among the world’s highest self-harm and suicide rates.

* This translates to high incarceration rates, with up to one in six indigenous people having been to jail.

(SOURCE: ATSISPEP, September 2, 2015)


Has feminism lost the plot?

“[Women] can’t make it on their own.


Who do you think said that about the modern workplace? Some Victorian-era throwback of a bloke, who still hasn’t got used to seeing women doing actual jobs? Or maybe some other sexist, the kind who cleaves, by the whites of his fingertips, to the archaic view of women as the fair sex, not cut out for the gruff and tumble of work?

Actually it was Georgina Dent, professional feminist. Yes, like a turkey voting for Christmas, or a black man wondering if black people really deserve a choice of seat on the bus, Ms Dent thinks women can’t make it on their own and instead require bureaucrats to hold their hands as they negotiate public life.

Ms Dent made the comments in response to an article that Annabel Crabb wrote in response to my appearance on Q&A. (It’s all very meta. And now this is a response to the response to the response. Kill me.) On Q&A, we talked about quotas for women in politics, to boost the female presence in Parliament. I argued against them, because “women will never know for sure whether they were selected on the basis of merit or on the basis of their biology”.

What’s more, quotas are patronising. They imply that women need officialdom to act as a great, Dickensian benefactor, walking them through public life. Women are “autonomous adults”, I said, and we should “let them run on their own and they will make it on their own”.

For saying this, I was called sexist. Perhaps next I’ll be called racist for having once belonged to a group called Workers Against Racism.

Annabel Crabb’s response contained the contradiction that lurks at the heart of all pro-quota commentary: it claimed women suffer deep, structural oppression at the hands of political and business elites, before calling on those very elites to solve the problem by building yet more structures to give women a leg-up.

This strikes me as odd. Feminists often claim we live in a rapaciously anti-women climate. Yet their proposed solution is not, as one might expect it to be if we truly lived in such a foul society, a revolution to sweep away the horrendous hatred. No, it’s to plead with the very architects of our allegedly screwed-up society to employ a few more female directors. The disparity between the violent language feminists use to describe society and their achingly middle-class, painfully polite proposals for fixing it is vast.

But Ms Dent’s piece was most striking. She was disturbed by my suggestion that women can make it on their own. “It’s clear that, to date, they can’t”, she said. Sure, she followed this up with Guardianista, Gramscian talk about “the system” holding women back. Yet she called on that same system to help women, further boosting the belief that they need “the system” to rescue them.

Feminism is losing the plot. A movement that once talked up the capacities of women now draws attention to the alleged fragility of women, their vulnerability in the workplace, on campus, on the streets.

So the feminists agitating for the removal of lads’ magazines from supermarkets claim they “contribute to mental-health problems in young women and girls”. Those who called for US rapper Tyler, the Creator to be banned said “women and girls are harmed by this toxic [hip-hop] culture”. (Notice that many feminists use the phrase “women and girls”. How infantilising! Is there no difference between women — independent grown-ups — and children?) At a University of Sydney debate on political correctness, I was told by feminist students that campuses are scary places for women.

And on it goes. The new feminism resuscitates the Victorian view of women as hapless creatures, offended by gruff words and culture, and not really cut out for getting ahead in work or at university. Women are constantly depicted as less capable than men of negotiating street spaces, seeing saucy images, hearing shocking things. Why? Because they’re fairer than men, apparently. What an outdated idea. That it’s being brought back to life by feminists is alarming.

Men’s right activists claim feminism is a war on men. Grow up, boys. Stop blaming feminism for your troubles. Today’s feminism does down women far more than men, through questioning their very ability to “make it on their own”. I trust women, which is why I don’t like the new feminism.

Brendan O’Neill is the editor of Spiked Online.


Clarke pulls out of BBL deal

Michael Clarke has pulled out of his Big Bash League deal with the Melbourne Stars, saying he’s taking an indefinite break from all forms of cricket and hopes he can rediscover his love and passion for the game.


Despite announcing in April he’d signed a two-year contract with the Stars as president Eddie McGuire’s marquee and captain, Clarke said he needed to “press pause” in order to finally consider his goals outside of cricket.

He also cited his long-term degenerative back problem and the continued psychological impact of friend and teammate Phillip Hughes’ death as factors in his decision.

“Right now for me, I just think my body and my mind need some time away from the game of cricket … and just see what that’s like to be without it,” Clarke told Triple M radio from London on Wednesday.

“I don’t want to keep going forward and forward and forward and chasing that next thing, chasing that next thing, without actually just slowing down for a little bit.

“For the first time in my career, I’ve been able to press pause and turn around and look at what I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of.”

Clarke said his retirement from international cricket last month prompted him to consider his wider playing future, as his pregnant wife Kyly prepares to give birth to the couple’s first baby in January.

“I just think with how cricket has been that common denominator for such a long period, it’s just the right time right now to find something else,” he said.

“I’m really hopeful that love and passion that I’ve always had for the game will come back.”

The batting great conceded Hughes’ untimely death last November had also played a role.

“I guess that’s part of it as well. How big a part? Right now I’m unsure,” he said.

“I just need this time to allow myself to go through whatever I need to go through to be able to move forward.”

Clarke did not rule out playing the second year of his contract with the Stars, for whom controversial English star Kevin Pietersen will also play this summer.

He said the franchise had been understanding of his situation as McGuire, who conducted the interview, told the 34-year-old to enjoy the break.

“I’ve got a two-year deal at the moment, so hopefully it all turns out ok and I come back and play next year,” Clarke said.

“But even if they decide they don’t want me to play, I’m hopeful I’ll be able to help the club have success in another way.”

Clarke retired from international cricket after Australia conceded the Ashes in England, bidding farewell in the convincing fifth-Test victory at The Oval.

With the batting great also reconsidering playing in the Indian Premier League next year, it may have marked the final time fans see him in action.

Clarke played 115 Tests during his 11-year career, but persistently battled his back injury and struggled to regain form with the bat since returning from hamstring surgery in the summer.

McGuire said the Stars had already lined up a replacement captain and additional player.