Stakes win for Bridgmohan

first_imgNEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (CMC):Jamaican jockey Shaun Bridgmohan made virtually all the running aboard favourite Cash Control to capture the US$60,000 Tiffany Lass Stakes at Fair Grounds here last Saturday.Cash Control grabbed the lead outside the five-eighths pole after fighting Bridgmohan made her running along the rails before easily fending off her challengers in the stretch to reach the wire 2-1/2 lengths clear in a time of one minute, 43.07 seconds. The victory was her third straight but first added money score.Bridgmohan said he realised the four-year-old bay filly wanted the lead from the break and he complied.”She was very determined wanting to go, so I dropped my hands and let her do her thing,” he said.Bridgmohan narrowly missed out on another stakes triumph when he finished second by a nose aboard favourite Twirling Cinnamon as 5-1 chance Taylors Angiel won the $60,000 Sugar Bowl Stakes.last_img read more

Former Test opener eyes career in baseball

first_imgMIAMI, United States (CMC):Enigmatic former West Indies opener Kieran Powell looks set to turn his back on cricket, if his foray into the world of baseball is successful.The 25-year-old is currently in Florida ahead of a trial at the IMG Academy on January 13, as he seeks to land a contract with a Major League Baseball team, media reports have said.”An opportunity came about after a few discrepancies with the West Indies Cricket Board. I decided to take some time off from cricket and some footage of me playing cricket was seen by the LA Dodgers,” Powell said.”I’ve had some training out here in the US for a few months.”Powell was one of the brightest sparks in West Indies cricket before he bizarrely walked away from the game a year and a half ago.He played in the first match of the three-Test series against touring New Zealand last year June but subsequently bowed out of action and never returned.The Nevisian has also not played for Leeward Islands Hurricanes in any format of the West Indies domestic championship.Powell, who has played 21 Tests and 28 one-day internationals, said he was looking forward to his new career.”[Baseball is] really fun, it’s an interesting game, I’ve loved every minute of it so far, and I hope to continue doing it for the rest of my career,” he said.”It’s a unique opportunity, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing. This is what dreams are made of as I said earlier. I’m just so excited about it, like everyone’s so excited about it.”While Powell has a modest average of 27 in Tests, he was good enough to score a hundred in both innings of a Test against Bangladesh three years ago.last_img read more

More sports in brief

first_img Maxwell’s 96 guides Australia to series win MELBOURNE, Australia (AP): Glenn Maxwell scored 96 runs from 83 balls to guide Australia to a series-clinching three-wicket win over India yesterday in the third of five limited-overs internationals. Maxwell hit a six and a boundary at the start of the 49th over to tie the scores, but was out trying to hit a six to raise triple figures, leaving James Faulkner (20 not out) to hit the winning single with seven balls to spare. The win gave Australia a winning 3-0 lead in the five-match series following an opening five-wicket win in Perth and a seven-wicket in Brisbane. India, batting first for the third game in a row, posted 295-6, with Virat Kohli scoring 117 – his 24th ODI century – and sharing partnerships of 119 for the second wicket with Shikhar Dhawan (68) and 109 with Ajinkya Rahane (50). John Hastings led the Australian attack with 4-58 from 10 overs. Australia chased down 300-plus targets in Perth and Brisbane and were in a comfortable position chasing 296, with opener Shaun Marsh scoring 62 in partnerships of 48 with Aaron Finch (21) and 64 with Steve Smith (41) for the first two wickets. Sinclair fifth in Bermuda 10K HAMILTON, Bermuda (CMC): Jamaican Kenia Sinclair followed up her runner’s-up spot in Friday night’s elite women’s mile race with a creditable fifth-place finish in the women’s division of Saturday’s Bermuda Marathon Weekend 10-kilometre event held in wet and windy conditions. Sinclair, 35, was 14th overall in a time of 37 minutes and 42 seconds – around two minutes behind the British female winner, Faye Fullerton. The 31-year-old Fullerton was clocked in 35:48, ahead of compatriot Charlotte Arter in 35:48. Finishing third in 36:22 was Heather Kampf of the United States, who beat Sinclair into second place in the mile race. The overall 10K winner was Zambia’s Jordan Chipangama, who stormed to an emphatic victory over the undulating course – his fourth in Bermuda. Chipangama won the 10K event in 2014 and back-to-back half-marathon titles in 2013 and 2014. He also holds the half-marathon race record, which stands at one hour, 4:21 minutes, which he achieved in 2014. Coe: IAAF will probe bribery claims against Qatar LONDON (AP): IAAF President Sebastian Coe says claims of bribery by Qatar in the bidding process for the 2017 World Athletics Championship are being investigated. Ed Warner, chairman of UK Athletics, said yesterday his bid team was told “brown envelopes” were being handed to members of the IAAF Council the night before the vote in 2011 between London and Qatari capital Doha, which London won. Warner also said his team agreed to spend $7.2 million to cover prize money, having been warned they were unlikely to succeed if they did not. Speaking on BBC Radio alongside Warner, Coe said he was unaware of the claims and promised to look into them. Qatar has denied any wrongdoing in its bids for either the 2017 championship or the 2019 championship, which it will host.center_img NZ beat Pakistan by 10 wickets HAMILTON, New Zealand (AP): Martin Guptill made 87 and Kane Williamson 72 in an unbroken record partnership of 171 that steered New Zealand to a 10-wicket win over Pakistan in the second Twenty20 cricket international yesterday, levelling the three match series at 1-1. New Zealand took four leg byes from the fourth ball of the 18th over to win the match with eight balls to spare. In doing so, Guptill and Williamson passed the Twenty20 record partnership for all wickets against all nations that had been held for South Africa by Graeme Smith and Loots Bosman at 170. Pakistan seemed to have posted a sufficient total when they came in after batting on winning the toss with 168-7, just short of their winning tally in the opening match.last_img read more

‘Frog’ ready to jump all over US teen

first_imgJamaica’s Richard ‘Frog’ Holmes, 28, one of the leading boxers on the Caribbean team, will take on 19-year-old Xzaviar Ford from North Carolina, USA, in the opening salvo of the Wray & Nephew Contender 2016 boxing series, at the Chinese Benevolent Association auditorium, Old Hope Road, tonight.The made-for-television series will be broadcast live, starting at 9 p.m. by Television Jamaica.Now in its sixth season, the series has proven to be very popular in Jamaica and the Caribbean, and this year it will be eight boxers from Jamaica (five), Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Guyana (one each), going up against eight boxers from the USA (seven) and the Bahamas. Competition this year will be in the welterweight division.Holmes goes into the ring with a record of 10 wins and five losses and it is of note that he was the runner-up last year – when it was a middleweight contest – with the upper weight limit being 160 pounds. He lost to Kemahl ‘Hitman’ Russell.LOSING WEIGHTWhen asked about his weight by The Gleaner yesterday, Holmes said he has had no problem moving down to the welterweight division – where the limit is 147 pounds – because his normal weight is in the region of 152 pounds.He confessed to not being “100 per cent ready at this time” because he has only been in high level training for about a month. He is confident that he will do well tonight, however, and warned that his opponent had “better be ready for some fireworks”.HOLMES’ OPPONENTFord, his opponent, has only four fights, with one victory and three defeats. He said his plan is to use his speed to good advantage against Holmes.The American’s trainer, Chris Joy, was also confident that his boxer would be able to hold his own and give a good performance.The bout will be over five rounds, a change from previous years when the preliminaries were fought over six rounds.There were some controversies with drawn fights last year, so the promoters, after discussions with the Jamaica Boxing Board, made it an uneven number of rounds this year to guarantee a clear winner. The semi-finals will be over seven rounds, but the final will remain a 10-rounder.The winner of the series will take home $2 million, runner-up $500,000, third place $250,000, and fourth place $200,000.last_img read more

World Championships Fact

first_imgCzech Jarmila Kratochvilova has the only records still standing from the inaugural IAAF World Athletics Championships in 1983. She won the women’s 400m in 47.99 seconds and 800m in 1:54.68.last_img

India win despite Mathews century

first_imgCOLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP):Ravichandran Ashwin took four wickets yesterday to propel India to their first Test series win in Sri Lanka in 22 years, defeating the hosts by 117 runs in the third Test.Chasing 386 to win, Sri Lanka slumped to 107 for five in their second innings, but captain Angelo Mathews scored a fighting 110 and shared 135 runs for the sixth wicket with Kusal Perera (70), giving Sri Lanka a chance to save the Test.However, Perera’s dismissal shortly before tea exposed the tail and the hosts lost their remaining wickets in five overs after the break.Fast bowler Ishant Sharma took the three important wickets of Upul Tharanga (0), Dinesh Chandimal (18) and Mathews in the second innings and collected eight wickets in the match.India hadn’t won a Test series in Sri Lanka since 1993 under captain Mohammad Azharuddin.Sri Lanka won the first Test in Galle by 63 runs and India won the second match by 278 runs.India captain Virat Kohli said that at no stage during the big partnership did he think that the match was slipping away.”In Test cricket on a fifth day even if you get a 100-run partnership you will have that one opportunity to get someone out and you have to make sure you grab that,” Kohli said. “It was a case of concentrating more in that situation.”Mathews said poor batting caused his team’s downfall.”On this wicket we had our chances to win. If not for the collapse in the top order, we could have won the game. Unfortunately we didn’t. We’ll try to rectify those mistakes in the future,” he said.India’s Cheteshwar Pujara, who carried his bat through the first innings for an unbeaten 145 in his comeback Test match, was named Man of the Match.Ashwin, who bagged 21 wickets in the three Tests, was adjudged player of the series.Sri Lanka lost their first three wickets for 21 runs on the fourth evening, leaving Mathews and Kaushal Silva to rebuild the innings.Meanwhile, the International Cricket Council charged India bowler Sharma and Sri Lanka’s Dhammika Prasad, Dinesh Chandimal and Thirimanne with breaching the code of conduct for their angry confrontations on Monday.The players were involved in a series of arguments during India’s second innings after Prasad directed several bouncers at tail-end batsman Sharma.The details of the charges are expected to be announced later today.last_img read more

Dr Paul Wright: Who is accountable?

first_imgThe ‘Diamond Mile’, the richest race in the history of horseracing in the English-speaking Caribbean, was completed at Caymanas Park last Saturday. The day saw 14 races being completed with record attendance, a record handle (money bet on the races), great dividends, and exciting finishes. Sponsors were there in their numbers; no money was spared in the preparation of the in-field for special guests; and a good time should have been had by all. Wrong. Whereas all the above is in fact true, the regulators had to have their now mandatory stab at “spoiling the party”. In the 10th race of the day, the betting favourite was horse number two, Silver Cloud. After being loaded into the starting gate, the horse squatted/fell in the gate, throwing the jockey head over heels (a poop-a-lick) backwards on to the surface. Luckily, the jockey was not hurt and quickly picked himself up and did some checks to make sure that he was all right. absolute shock To the absolute shock of racing fans, the horse was not removed from the gate for inspection by the veterinarian on duty at the gate. Our shock turned into dismay as the horse staggered out of the gate and trailed the field home, obviously feeling some effect of the fall. In every other racing jurisdiction where the safety of the participants (horse and rider) is the priority of paid individuals, that horse would have been examined out of the starting gate BEFORE the horse was allowed to start! But this is racing in Jamaica. who cares? If the horse is seriously injured and falls during the race, injuring the rider and possibly any of the other participants, oops, who won? Can this sport be allowed to continue like this? Apparently, YES. No one cares. No one is accountable. The day was an economic and sponsors success. So what? Divestment IS the only answer. However, with a somnolent Divestment Committee “waiting on Godot”, nothing even close to an announcement will come until a few days before the election, which has now been pushed back to “one day soon”. HELP! privileged positions The much-anticipated and longed-for meeting of the West Indies Cricket Board and the CARICOM subcommittee on cricket was held last Friday. After a three-hour meeting, the recommended dissolution of the board was not discussed as the reports out of the meeting suggest that the board has no intention of giving up its privileged positions. They have agreed to meet again on December 13, and, hopefully, the anxious West Indian fans will hear something from Mr Pybus and ‘President Dave’ about the recent revelation from reinstated coach Phil Simmons. Simmons had mentioned, before a failed attempt to silence him, that there was outside interference in the selection of the West Indies team. Fans of West Indies cricket (the “few” of us left) know that the only hope for the resurrection of cricket in the region rests solely on the removal of a group of men described by one of their own (Baldath Mahabir) as “unprofessional, tardy, or lax in many instances”. As our ancestors have taught us, “If fish come from river bottom and say that shark down there, believe him”. Administrators of sports worldwide will not give up their privileged position no matter what. FIFA continues trying to run football as the majority of that body’s executive is arrested on numerous charges. Sports can be saved. We the people have to insist on transparency and integrity of those who “volunteer” to run sports. We have to!last_img read more

Past the finishing post

first_imgTrack: Good Weather: FineDYE JOB SPRINTRace 1 1200 M (Purse $850,000) NB&IMP2-Y-O RESTRICTED STAKES1. BUBBLING KITTEN WHenry*2. BLUE DIXIE OWalker 53.0 6 1/2L3. KIMMY’S TRAIN OWhite 50.0 2 1/2L4. RALLY BABY PFrancis 50.0 1 1/4LWIN: $217.00PLACE: $50.00.50.00, $%0.00Final Time : 1:13.1Winner : 2yo dk b/br filly – BLUE PEPSI LODGE – SHANDA DTrainer : PHILIP FEANNY Owner : HAMARK FARMSQu $165.00 Ex: $686.00Trifecta: $413.00Race 2 1820 M (Purse $560,000) 3-Y-O & UP CLM($350,0-$300,0)/NB5YO(NW3)ANTHONY FERGUSON1. ABOVE THE RADAR AChatrie 53.0 5/12. LEGENDARY PLEASURE LSteadman3 53.0 6 1/2L3. BATIDOR DE MUNDO AOPowell4 53.0 1 1/2L4. SHADE OF BEAUTY MWard4 48.0 1 1/2LWIN: $303.00PLACE: $86.00, $115.00, $74.00Final Time : 2:00.3Winner : 6yo ch horse – TRACKING – SUZIE’S GIFTTrainer : VICTOR WILLIAMS, Owner : VICTOR G WILLIAMSQu: $929.00 Ex: $2,694.00D/E: $2,640.00Superfecta : (6-8-4-2) $10,293.00Race 3 1500 M (Purse $555,000) 3-Y-O MAIDEN CLAIMING($500,0-$450,0)PILOT FRANCIS1. DREAM ADMIRAL RMitchell 52.0*2. LAZZA SMuir 52.0 5L3. MINY LEE RHalledeen 52.5 Neck4. ARTHUR JJackson 54.0 9LWIN: $253.00PLACE: $58.00, $54.00, $55.00Final Time: 1:36.3Winner : 3yo ch colt – SEEKING THE GLORY – PURE MUDTrainer : HARRY PARSARD Owner : P. J. K TEAMQu: $247.00 Ex: $566.00D/E: $2,718.00Superfecta: $1,723.00Rolling Triple: $35,149.00Race 4 1000 M (S) (Purse $620,000) 3-Y-O & UP CLM($550,0-$500,0)/NB4YO(NW4)COLIN FERGUSON1. DIFERENTGENERATION DDawkins4 50.02. SUNLIGHT EXPRESS LSteadman3 53.0 1L*3. FORCE DE JOUR HLewis 57.0 2 1/2L4. HOLOGRAM SHADOW AChatrie 54.0 1L5. AGAKHAN RLunan 54.0 3/4LWIN: $202.00PLACE: $69.00, $73.00, $67.00Final Time : 0:58.2 Splits : 22.3, 45.0Winner : 6yo b horse – CONGAREE – COTTA’S JEWELTrainer :PHILLIIP LEE Owner : INTEL DIPLOBred by Y.S. (1955) LTD.Qu: $674.00 Ex: $1,292.00D/E: $1,472.00Trifecta: $881.00Hi-5: $6,187.00Rolling Triple: $15,185.00ANDREW H.B. AGUILAR MEMORIAL CUPRace 5 1600 M (Purse $800,000) NB2-Y-O MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT*1. BIGDADDYKOOL SEllis 53.0 70.00 54.002. GOLDEN GLORY AChatrie 52.0 3/1 4 60.003. MISTER BONES RWilson 53.5 7/1 3 69.004. THE PROMISE LAND WHenry 53.0 9/2 2WIN: $70.00PLACE: $54.00, $60.00, $69.00Final Time : 1:41.4 Splits : 24.2, 48.0, 1:14.3,Winner : 2yo b colt – SORRENTINO – BEWARE BABYTrainer :ANTHONY NUNES Owner : STEPHAN A NARINESINGHQu: $130.00 Ex: $181.00D/E: $220.00Superfecta: $304.00Rolling Triple: $2,925.00Race 6 1500 M (Purse $560,000) NB4-Y-O & UP RESTRICTED ALLOWANCE IV(NW3)CLIFFORD ATKINSON SR.1. STAN ROY DaneNelson 54.02. NATASHADONTPLAY LSteadman3 52.0 1 1/4L*3. NO MONEY FRIEND WHenry 55.0 1 1/2L4. CHEERS AndrePowell4 56.0 2 3/4L5. SUPER HERITAGE RMitchell 54.0 2L6. ROVING STAR OEdwards3 48.5 1 1/4LWIN: $256.00PLACE: $116.00, $95.00, $88.00Final Time : 1:35.4 Splits : 24.1, 47.4, 1:14.4,Winner : 4yo b colt – REGION OF MERIT – TOUCH THE LIGHTTrainer : SPENCER CHUNG, Owner : FREDERICK FOOTE & KENT LYNQu: $1,313.00 Ex: $2,066.00D/E: $477.00Trifecta: $2,315.00Hit-6 carry-over : $44,226.00Rolling Triple: $3,068.00Pick-4: $18,176.00Super-6: $638,905.20 (6 OF 6)Race 7 1400 M (Purse $500,000) NB4-Y-O & UP MAIDEN CONDITION RACEENOS BROWN*1. TWILIGHT ROCKET LSteadman3 54.02. HE’S A DIAMOND RMitchell 55.0 2 3/4L3. QUEEN OF THE TOWN JErwin 54.0 Neck4. PERFECT GIRL RoshJohnson4 51.0 1/2LLate scratch : #10 HOPSCOTCHWIN: $111.00PLACE: $78.00, $151.00, $111.00Final Time : 1:32.3 Splits : 25.1, 50.0, 1:17.2,Winner : 4yo dk b/br colt – TWILIGHT TIME – CLASSIC TUDORTrainer : ANTHONY NUNES Owner : LJM STABLESQu: $802.00 Ex: $1,079.00D/E: $1,209.00 (1-10) $353.00Superfecta: $22,494.00Rolling Triple: $1,311.00Race 8 1700 M (Purse $500,000) 3YO&UP CLM($180,0)-NOT FINISHED 1-2 SINCE AUGUST 12DALTON SIRJUE1. SIRMANDI SMuir 56.02. CUTTER RWilson 54.0 4L3. WINIT OEdwards3 54.0 Sh.Head4. FLAGRANS AChatrie 54.0 1 1/4L5. THE GUMMER PParchment 54.0 NeckLate scratch : #3 RAJ KAPOOR, #4 PREMATUREEWIN: $140.00PLACE: $91.00, $214.00, $264.00Final Time : 1:51.1 Splits : 24.2, 48.2, 1:15.0, 1:43.3Winner : 6yo b horse – GHOST RANSOM – DAME O’ MANDYTrainer : MICHAEL BEECHAM, Owner : OSCAR A BLAIRQu: $712.00 Ex: $1,124.00D/E: $274.00 (3-3) $200.00 (3-4) $87.00Trifecta: $3,987.00Hi-5 carry-over : $59,618.00Rolling Triple: $3,616.00SEYMOUR “FOGGY” MULLINGS MEMORIAL TROPHYRace 9 1600 M (Purse $768,000) IMP3YO&UP(NW3&MDN)/NB3YO-REST.STAKES1. ORIGINAL TRAIN DaneNelson 53.52. SOUTHERN CRUISE JErwin 53.0 1 1/2L*3. BRAWN AChatrie 56.0 2 1/2L4. SHINING LIGHT RMitchell 53.5 3LWIN: $139.00 PLACE: $56.00, $59.00, $61.00Final Time : 1:38.1 Splits : 23.2, 46.0, 1:11.1,Winner : 3yo b colt – IMAGE MAKER – REGINA ROYALETrainer :HARRY PARSARD Owner : HARRY PARSARDQu: $275.00 Ex: $442.00D/E: $436.00Superfecta: $1,441.00Rolling Triple: $991.00JAMAICA RACEHORSE TRAINERS’ ASSOCIATION TROPHYRace 10 1200 M (Purse $768,000) NB3-Y-O RESTRICTED ALLOWANCE II(NW2)1. LITTLEMISSEMMY DDawkins4 49.02. KING WITHIN PFrancis 54.5 6 1/4L3. SWEET DIMENSION SMuir 53.0 1/4L4. FIRE ALARM WHenry 53.0 1/4L5. TROJAN LSteadman3 53.0 NoseWIN: $1,175.00PLACE: $426.00, $350.00, $212.00Final Time : 1:14.1 Splits : 23.1, 47.2, ,Winner : 3yo b filly – WEEKEND CRUISE – GAYE’S EMBLEMTrainer : ANTHONY NUNES Owner : HYDE VALLEY FARMSBred by KARL SAMUDAQu: $16,292.00 Ex: $16,131.00D/E: $7,283.00Trifecta: $59,706.00Hi-5 Carry-over : $291,809.70Rolling Triple : (13-4-3) $45,520.00Pick-4 : (3-13-4-3) $53,444.00 (4 OF 4)Super-6 : (2-1-3-13-4-3) $932,633.00 (6 OF 6)Pick-9: $63,514.50 (8 OF 9); $2,027.00 (7 OF 9) Carry-over : $3,436,668.06PlacePot 8 : Carry-over : $1,041,052.50last_img read more

Points standing

first_imgPoints standingP W D L GF GA GD Pts1. Leicester City 35 22 10 3 63 33 30 762. Tottenham 34 19 11 4 64 25 39 683. Man City 35 19 7 9 66 34 32 644. Arsenal 35 18 10 7 58 34 24 645. Man United 34 17 8 9 42 30 12 596. West Ham 34 14 14 6 57 43 14 567. Liverpool 34 15 10 9 58 45 13 558. Southampton 35 15 9 11 49 37 12 549. Chelsea 34 12 11 11 53 46 7 4710. Stoke City 35 13 8 14 37 51 -14 4711. Everton 34 9 14 11 53 48 5 4112. Watford 34 11 8 15 33 40 -7 4113. Bournemouth 35 11 8 16 42 61 -19 4114. West Brom 34 10 10 14 31 42 -11 4015.Swansea City 35 10 10 15 34 49 -15 4016. Crystal Palace 35 10 9 16 36 45 -9 3917. Sunderland 34 7 10 17 39 57 -18 3118. Norwich City 34 8 7 19 35 60 -25 3119. Newcastle 35 7 9 19 38 64 -26 3020. Aston Villa 35 3 7 25 25 69 -44 16last_img read more

Murray gets big birthday present in Rome

first_imgROME (AP):Andy Murray celebrated his 29th birthday by beating Novak Djokovic on clay for the first time to win the Italian Open title yesterday in a match that Djokovic argued should have been stopped due to rain.Gaining a measure of revenge for his loss to Djokovic in the Madrid Open final a week ago, the third-ranked Murray defeated the top-ranked Serb 6-3, 6-3.”The finals of a Masters series on clay is something that’s a new experience for me,” Murray said. “It’s nice to still be sort of achieving new things and reaching new goals at this stage of my career.”During the trophy ceremony, Murray was presented with a birthday cake. He dedicated the title to his three-month-old daughter, Sophia Olivia.”I feel like that’s what I’m playing for now, so that in a few years, hopefully, she can be proud of what I have achieved,” Murray said.NINE-MONTH TITLE DROUGHTEarlier, Serena Williams ended a nine-month title drought with a 7-6 (5), 6-3 win over Madison Keys in an all-American women’s final.Williams’ previous title came in Cincinnati in August a month before her attempt at a calendar-year Grand Slam ended with a semi-final loss to Roberta Vinci at the U.S. Open.”It feels great,” Williams said, pointing out that she’s only played four tournaments since Cincinnati. “So it’s not like I was playing every week. That’s kind of how I look at it, but it feels great to win a title, especially on clay.”It’s Murray’s first title in Rome and it comes exactly a week before the French Open begins.”The last couple of years, clay has probably been my most successful surface, which I never expected,” Murray said.The only other British man to win the Italian Open was Pat Hughes in 1931.”It’s mostly great players who have won this event, so I’m very proud to have my name on the trophy,” Murray said.Djokovic had won all four of their previous matches on clay, but had to fight fatigue following draining wins over Rafael Nadal and Kei Nishikori.Djokovic also played with a bandage on his left ankle after bruising himself with his racket a day earlier.”It was a week with a lot of emotions, a lot of hours on the court,” Djokovic said. “It wasn’t easy to be fresh today and have the strength to play with Andy. He was just too good today, and he deserved it.”For much of the men’s final, steady rain fell and fans covered themselves with ponchos and held up umbrellas to keep themselves dry.Djokovic argued several times with chair umpire Damian Steiner over the court conditions, saying it was too slippery.”I don’t want to play anymore,” Djokovic told the umpire late in the second set.”I didn’t ask to postpone the match,” Djokovic explained later. “I asked to have a little break, where we would give a little more time, maybe five more minutes, to people to arrange the court.”For Williams, it was her fourth title in Rome, which puts her in position to defend her title at Roland Garros.”I’m feeling pretty fit, so I’m looking forward to it,” said Williams, who won’t have to answer any questions about a potential calendar-year Grand Slam in Paris this year. “I’m going to definitely go in there and feel more calm and (not) feel stress to have to win.”Williams addressed the crowd in Italian during the post-match ceremony then took a selfie as she posed with the trophy.It was the first time two American women would have met in a final on clay since Serena beat older sister, Venus, in the 2002 French Open.When they met at the net after the match, Serena told the 24th-ranked Keys that she could be No. 1 one day.”Too bad what she says doesn’t just happen,” the 21-year-old Keys said. “But it’s always great to hear that from her. … Hearing that is definitely something that makes me just work harder.”last_img read more