australian-champion

The moment we all have been waiting for! 

Roger Federer is the 2017 Australian Open champion.

Bel18ve = Ach18ve

With only four days until the FIG World Cup kicks off in Melbourne here is a preview of the top 8 WAG gymnasts:

Georgia Godwin: (Floor)

  • 2 x Senior (2014 & 2015) and Junior (2011 & 2012) Australian All Around Champion 
  • 2013 Australian Floor Champion and 2015 Beam Champion
  • World Team Member (2015
  • Nadia Comaneci Invitational AA Champion (2015)

Luo Huan: (Bars, Beam and Floor)

  • 1st Team Australian Youth Olympic Festival
  • Junior Pacific Rim Uneven Bars Champion (2014)
  • 2014 Individual Nationals All Around and Uneven Bars Champion

Emma Nedov: (Beam)

  • 2014 World Team Member
  • 2013 Australian Beam Champion
  • 2016 Pacific Rim Team Bronze Medalist
  • First Reserve World Beam Event Final (2014)

Wang Yan: (Vault and Floor)

  • 2016 Olympic Team Bronze Medalist
  • 2015 World Team Silver Medalist
  • 2014 Youth Olympic Champion (Vault and Beam)
  • 2015 Asian Champion (Vault and Floor)

Sanne Wevers: (Beam)

  • 2016 Olympic Balance Beam Champion
  • 2015 World Balance Beam Silver Medalist
  • 2015 European Uneven Bars Bronze Medalist.

Emily Little: (Vault, Beam and Floor)

  • 2010 Commonwealth Games Team Champion
  • 2010 Commonwealth Games Silver All Around
  • 2012 Olympian

Georgia Rose Brown (Bars):

  • 2011 World Team Member
  • 2012 Olympic Alternate
  • 2014 Glasgow Team Silver Medalist

Liu Tingting (Bars and Beam)

  • 2015 Junior All Around Champion
  • 2016 All Around Bronze Medalist
  • 5 x Junior National Champion
  • Member of the 2016 Olympic Team

It’s hard to realise the enormity of history when we’re in the moment when it’s happening, but there was a neat little twist to Serena Williams’ record-breaking 23rd Grand Slam singles title of the Open era. For the presentation ceremony, she donned some specially-made shoes with a big number – 23 – on them made by her clothing supplier. But the shoes aren’t new – they were made five months ago in expectation that the younger Williams would win her 23rd major at the US Open. She seemed a shoo-in to break Steffi Graf’s record of 22 at Flushing Meadows, but lost to Karolina Pliskova in the semifinals. “Those shoes have a lot of air miles on them, they’re like platinum members,” she said. “They flew all the way to the [US] Open and all the way here. I had no idea it was happening, so I guess they’ve been waiting for this moment for a while.”

Photo by: Ben Solomon/Tennis Australia

Federer helps Team Europe win inaugural Laver Cup in Prague

Like many others I was a little skeptical about the Laver Cup before the event, but along with most of the doubters I was proved very wrong as a thrilling three days of tennis culminated in Europe beating the Rest of the World 15-9 to claim the inaugural cup. Roger more than played his part in Europe’s success, winning three matches out of three including that historic and quite magnificent doubles match alongside Rafael Nadal which will be covered in this recap. 

ROGER BEATS QUERREY 6-4 6-2

After an opening day of cheerleading Europe to a 3-1 lead, Roger was in action first up on day two and he put in a great performance to ease past Wimbledon semi finalist Sam Querrey 6-4 6-2 and drive home his team’s advantage. He saved a break point in his opening service game with an ace, but once the initial nerves had settled he quickly hit his stride and a forehand from the American was blazed long to hand Roger a break in the fifth game. There were break points flying around all over the place, with both guys missing opportunities and eventually Roger served out the set comfortably enough to take control of the match. Querrey went long again to hand Roger an early break in the second, and a couple of magnificent passing shots saw the single break become a double as the Fed Express started to run away with things. There was still time for a SABR to set up a winning point, and shortly after that the match was done and dusted as Roger served out to love to get another point on the board for Europe.

ROGER AND RAFA BEAT QUERREY AND SOCK 6-4 1-6 10-5

Later that day came the moment almost everyone had been waiting for, as Roger teamed up with Rafa in the doubles for the very first time and unsurprisingly everyone on Twitter went absolutely crazy for it on a memorable night. Not every day you see two players with 35 grand slam singles titles between them on the same side of the net, and it may never happen again so it was a real treat for everyone and the match itself didn’t disappoint. A break in the seventh game was followed by a lengthy game on the Nadal serve which he eventually held after saving three break points, one courtesy of the biggest mishit drop volley you’ll ever see from Roger. The Maestro served out the opening set, but the momentum changed drastically as the American duo won five games on the spin to race through the second set and take it to a match tiebreak. Fedal raced into an 8-1 lead with some assured play at the net, and although Querrey and Sock won four of the next five points to retain a glimmer of hope they were never really in it and the men who currently hold all four grand slam titles between them wrapped up a famous win.

ROGER BEATS KYRGIOS 4-6 7-6(6) 11-9

Roger had the chance to clinch the Laver Cup for Europe on day three of the competition as he took on Nick Kyrgios, but it looked as though it could be set for a doubles decider as the Australian broke early on with a crunching backhand winner and fended off a host of break points from Roger to seal the opening set despite some flashes of magic from the Australian Open and Wimbledon champion. The tide looked to be turning in the second set as Fed finally converted a break point to go 3-1 up, but some huge hitting from Kyrgios and a horrific shank off a short backhand saw the set go immediately back on serve. From there the set went quickly to a tiebreak, and some superb tennis saw Roger move into a 6-3 lead and earn three set points. All three were saved though, the third thanks to a stunning backhand from Kyrgios, but Roger kept his nerve to get himself a fourth chance to force a match tiebreak and this time he took it with a forehand pass after a perfectly constructed point, much to the delight of the European bench which erupted as the set was secured. Two double faults early in the deciding tiebreak helped gift Kyrgios an 8-5 lead and leave him just two points from the win, but Roger fought back valiantly to level it up and then save a match point before getting one of his own. Kyrgios netted a forehand to give Europe the first Laver Cup, sparking scenes of jubilation from Roger and the rest of the European team especially a super pumped up Nadal who basically acted as chief motivator for both Roger and the crowd throughout the match. Unforgettable scenes.

THOUGHTS ON THE LAVER CUP

Consider me well and truly won over! I didn’t think it would resemble much more than a slightly glorified exhibition, but you could see what it meant to every player on both sides and the level of tennis on show was absolutely brilliant for the most part. As far as first time events go I don’t think they could have asked for any more from it, if you were to write a script for it you could hardly come up with anything better in terms of drama. Will it have the same impact years down the line as it did this time around? I’m not too sure, but if this is anything to go by then I hope it becomes a fixture in the calendar for many more years to come. The Ryder Cup is my favourite tournament on the golf circuit by an absolute mile, and this was right up there in terms of passion and just feeling like a genuinely big occasion which I don’t think many tennis fans were expecting. The Davis Cup has felt like it’s run its race for a while now as the top players prioritise seemingly everything else over it, but with so many of the world’s very best players teaming up and still wanting to win the Laver Cup so badly maybe the sport has found a long-term successor to the ailing international competition. It needs a couple more years like this before it can be truly considered as an important and meaningful part of the calendar, but it very much feels like the foundations have been set for that to happen.

That’s all from what turned out to be an unexpectedly exciting weekend in Prague. The event is being held in Chicago next year, and if this year is anything to go by then I honestly can’t wait. Back to the main tour next up for Roger in Shanghai, see you all then. 

7

APRIL 27 - BILLIE JEAN KING

In 1961, Billie Jean King and Karen Hantze Susman made sports headlines by becoming the youngest pair to win the Wimbledon women’s doubles titles. Throughout her tennis career, she went on to win 39 Grand Slam titles, including 12 singles, 16 women’s doubles and 11 mixed doubles titles.

She was adamant about fighting for equal pay for women within the tennis world. In 1973, she founded the Women’s Tennis Association, and while at the height of her career, she threatened to boycott the U.S. Open if the pay inequality was not addressed. This led to the 1973 U.S. Open becoming the first tournament to offer equal cash prizes for both women and men.

Later that year, she competed against Bobby Riggs in a historic “Battle of The Sexes” match. In a practically cartoonish gesture of male chauvinism, the 1939 Wimbledon champion insisted that the women’s tennis game was so inferior that, even at 55 years old, he could beat the top female players. After Riggs easily defeated Australian champion Margaret Court, King accepted his challenge and proceeded to defeat him in front of an estimated television audience of 50 million viewers.

King’s influence extended beyond the court when, in 1981, a lawsuit filed by her former lover and personal assistant Marilyn Barnett outed her to the public. Though she may not have been prepared to discuss her sexuality at the time, she became the first prominent female professional athlete to openly acknowledge that she is a lesbian.

After divorcing her husband in 1987, King settled in with her life partner Ilana Kloss, and they remain together to this day. She has been very involved with the Women’s Sports Foundation and the Elton John AIDS Foundation, and in 2009, President Barack Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her work advocating for women and the LGBT community.

youtube

This is really, really long but it would mean the world to me if you took some time to watch this video! Or maybe even read the post. Thank you so much guys.

Hey guys!  I’m Lucy. I’m fifteen from Canberra, Australia. Cheesecake is my life even though my body doesn’t agree with it. I love Taylor Swift, sunsets, nature walks, the smell of wood, fresh stationery and binge watching things on the internet.

Most of all , I freaking love music. I love performing, I love songwriting. So much that I’ve decided to pursue a career in it. People call me crazy and naive but hey, it’s what my heart and mind are set on and nothing can stop me trying. 

In September of last year, I got to play at the Canberra TEDx Conference at the Canberra Theatre. IT WAS INSANE AND ONE OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF MY LIFE. You can listen to it in the video above! It was an amazing day, and all the speakers and other performers inspired me so much. I got to play 3 songs I’d written that I was really proud of and talk about them in front of a sold out crowd of 600 (ok, it’s no 76,000 but it was THE BEST FEELING). Afterwards, people told me that the songs made them feel something. They said they laughed, cried and felt inspired. That is the goal for me, I want my songs to make people feel something. I was so honoured that people took to the songs I’d written and the whole day was such an incredible blur.

Walking off the stage after I sung was one of those ‘holy crap, that was a thing I just did’ moment. I got real deep inside my mind and realised it would’ve never happened without Taylor.

Let me explain. 

In late 2008, I heard Love Story from my friend’s MP3 player. My mind was blown. I then went onto discover the entire Fearless album. My mind was blown even more. This girl called Taylor Swift was writing and making music as well as performing for a living. Seeing a young girl do that made me realise I could maybe do that too. The reason I started this whole music thing was because of how inspired I was by Taylor. The she holds herself on stage, in person, in interviews and as a songwriter is so inspiring. Taylor is true to herself, her art and just writes how she’s feeling and writes the truth. That’s the greatest thing to me and something I hope to emulate one day.

I started out by going busking in the city as a 9 year old who could play 4 chords on the guitar. Now, I’ve done so many things I never thought I’d do and. I played at a TEDx Conference. I released an EP. I sold out my EP launch. I became an Australian National Busking Champion. I I grew as a person. I finally found a group of awesome people to hang out with. And most of all, I found my passion. I went from someone who wouldn’t talk and was too scared to go into shops to buy things to someone who was confident in themselves and proud of who they are. 

For these past 8 years, Taylor has been by my side. Her hardwork, growth, humour, talent, honesty, intelligence, selflessness, confidence and most importantly kindness inspires me every single day. Taylor’s journey has inspired me to work hard at my dreams and to never ever give up. And I’ve seen so many other girls my age doing music and slaying life after being inspired by her. Taylor’s lyrics and beautiful songs have made me laugh, cry, lie down on the floor to reflect on life and dance. I’m so incredibly proud that Taylor Swift is my role model. 

So yeah, the video on this post is my TEDx performance. I’m really proud of it! The first song is about my dreams, the second about my life and the third about the world. I’m so grateful for the opportunity and I can’t believe my life is turning out in such an awesome way. 

Thank you for taking time out of your day to read all of this! It really means a lot to me. I’m like 110% there for meeting new people on tumblr so feel free to send me a message to talk about life. I love life chats.

Love from,

Lucy

PS. Taylor, if by some magical chance you’re reading this: thank you for everything. Thank you for giving me the chance to feel that rush you get when you finish a song you’re proud of and when you’re playing your songs in front of people. Thank you for being so wonderful to all of us and for standing strong when they build you up to knock you down. I love you so much.

2017 Skate Canada Preview - Ladies: Osmond Leads Open Field

Skate Canada starts this weekend! This is the first of the previews/predictions, and as always, I am starting with the men! An interesting field this week. Below are the competitors, a bit about them, and my predictions for the event. Everything below the cut!

This is such a tough, open field. It’ll be interesting to see how it turns out.

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I thought I’d share one more picture from this extraordinary collection that will soon be featured in an exhibition in London. I think some of these fabulous vintage Black people, like boxing champion Peter Jackson, are worthy of their own movie. Where are you Idris Elba? Jamie Foxx? From The Guardian:

“Peter Jackson, December 2, 1889. Born in 1860 in St Croix, then the Danish West Indies, Jackson was a boxing champion who spent long periods of time touring Europe. In England, he staged the famous fight against Jem Smith at the Pelican Club in 1889. In 1888 he claimed the title of Australian heavyweight champion. Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images.