Monday, 29 June 2015

Ten great Wimbledon champions!

With the dominance of the "Big Four" showing signs of fraying in men's tennis, this year's Wimbledon could be the most unpredictable in years.

Only Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray have won on the grass of southwest London since 2002.

For many, winning Wimbledon is the pinnacle of the sport. Very few of the greats have not triumphed at the All England Club, perhaps only Ivan Lendl in the modern era. 

Spencer Gore, who won the inaugural Wimbledon in 1877, was the man who supposedly introduced the serve-and-volley. His three-set victory over William Marshall took only 48 minutes.

British players, notably seven-time winner William Renshaw, won the first 30 titles.

New Zealand's Anthony Wilding later won four straight titles from 1910-13.

After World War I, Wimbledon's international reach was evident, most notably with the success of French players in the 1920s, such as Rene Lacoste (in picture), Jean Borotra and Henri Cochet.
 

In this July 3, 1936 file photo, Fred Perry of Britain is shown in action in Wimbledon's Men's Singles at the All England Club in Wimbledon, London.
When Perry won his third straight Wimbledon in 1936, it's unlikely that he would have thought it would take another 77 years before another British player would triumph next.

But that's exactly what happened _ Andy Murray ending the drought in 2013. Perry's name, like Lacoste's before him, lives on in the fashion label that launched at Wimbledon in 1952.

In 1938, Don Budge of the United States became the first player, male or female, to win the Grand Slam of all four major titles. But Australians soon took over as the ones to beat after World War II. 
Between 1956 and 1971, Australian players won the Wimbledon title 13 times. Perhaps the best of them was Rod Laver, who won his third Wimbledon title in 1968 as the Open era started — six years after he turned professional and wasn't allowed to compete in Grand Slam tournaments.  
In this July 5, 1975 file photo, Arthur Ashe holds the men's singles trophy after defeating fellow American Jimmy Conners in the final of the men's singles championship at the All England Lawn Tennis Championship in Wimbledon, London.
Ashe became the first, and only, black man to win Wimbledon when he defeated Connors in the 1975 final.

Since then, Wimbledon has had colorful characters and great rivalries, such as Bjorn Borg's battles with John McEnroe in the early 1980s, the athletic prowess of the Boris Becker-Stefan Edberg duels and Pete Sampras' dominance of the 1990s.  
In this July 4, 1981 file photo, John McEnroe celebrates his victory after defeating Bjorn Borg to take the men's singles title at the All-England Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon, London.
A year after losing to Borg, in one of the greatest matches ever played, McEnroe got his revenge ending Borg's 5 year domination of Wimbledon.

The serve-and-volley tactics of McEnroe, who had caused some controversy earlier in the tournament with a couple of foul-mouthed tirades, proved too much for Borg, who lost in four sets.

McEnroe would win another two Wimbledons. Borg never graced the tournament again.

In this July 1, 1985 file photo, Boris Becker, of West Germany, dives to make a return to his opponent Joakim Nystrom, of Sweden, in the men's singles third round play at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon, London.

Becker notched up a series of records when he won his first Wimbledon in 1985. At 17 years and 227 days, he became the youngest-ever Grand Slam champion.

He was also the first German to win Wimbledon and the first unseeded player to lift the trophy.
Becker would remain a feature of Wimbledon finals over the coming years. He competed in seven finals in total, winning three

Sampras won seven titles, equaling the mark that Renshaw had set back in 1889. 
Federer joined them in 2012 and is still looking for No. 8.


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Sunday, 28 June 2015

Jwala Gutta-Ashwini Ponnappa pair wins Canada Open!


Indian shuttlers Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa won the Canada Open women's doubles title after upstaging the top-seeded Dutch pair of Eefje Muskens and Selena Piek in the summit clash here.

The third-seeded Indian pair triumphed 21-19 21-16 in the contest which lasted 35 minutes.

In a closely-contested opening game, Jwala and Ashwini broke away from the 19-19 and converted the lone game point opportunity to grab the initiative. 

The Indians dominated the second game and raced to a 5-0 lead before going from 10-6 to 15-6 up.

However, Muskens and Piek fought back to win nine points straight and tie the game at 15-15. But Jwala and Ashwini did not let the advantage slip and won 6 of the next 7 points to clinch the title.

This was Jwala and Ashwini's first title since their reunion after the 2012 London Olympics.

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Saturday, 27 June 2015

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Paraguay beat Brazil on penalties to reach Copa América semi-finals!


Despite Brazil’s lacklustre form in the tournament, Paraguay’s victory on penalties in the last eight still stands as the shock of the tournament so far – particularly given the manner in which the South American minnows saw off their illustrious rivals for the second Copa América in a row to advance to a semi-final against Argentina on Tuesday.

It was the first time since 1953 that Brazil have lost to their South American neighbours after taking the lead. Paraguay had scored in only three of the last nine matches they had played against them. There were dreadful misses in the shootout from Everton Ribeiro and Douglas Costa, leaving Derlis González to score the penalty that sent Paraguay through.

Without the injured Neymar and not looking particularly impressive, Brazil took the lead through the former Manchester City striker Robinho midway through the first half. The ball was worked down the right wing and when the cross came in from Dani Alves, Roberto Firmino flicked the ball on to Robinho, who prodded it into the corner.

It turned out to be the only time a Brazil player touched the ball in the opposing penalty area in the first half. But Paraguay were always in the game and enjoyed plenty of possession without creating many clearcut chances before the break.

When play restarted, a surging run from Willian down the right was brought to a shuddering halt by Pablo César Aguilar, who was lucky not to be shown the yellow card. Twenty minutes before the end, Paraguay got the break they needed when Thiago Silva was rightly adjudged to have handled in the box as he challenged Roque Santa Cruz for a header.

González stepped up to stroke the penalty home and put Paraguay level. That left the teams heading for shootout and Brazil, who have been below form throughout the tournament, never looked like winning it.

Fernandinho scored the first penalty for Brazil but it was all downhill from there, with Ribeiro missing the target altogether, and Costa skying the ball into the crowd.

Foods that burn belly fat!

Other than exercising, eating the right food at the right time is the key to a flat tummy. So, include those foods in your diet that are rich in proteins, help reduce water retention and speed up your metabolism. They will not only give you a flat abdomen, but will also improve your digestion. Here is list of a few food items you must include in your diet to get a flat stomach.

Tomatoes are one the best foods to get rid of fat around your belly. They not only taste good, but are packed with antioxidants, too. Tomatoes reduce water retention in the body, and also help in the production of leptin (a type of protein), which is responsible for regulating your appetite as well as your metabolism.

 

 

 A watermelon contains almost 91 per cent of water. This makes it a great low-calorie option. Watermelon helps in removal of excess fluids from the body. It is these fuids which cause excess belly fat. The only remedy to cure water retention in the body is to increase fluid intake in your diet. And, this fruit is one of the the richest sources of water.

 

 Papaya is one the best fruits for digestion. It contains papain (an enzyme), which helps to break down food faster, flattens your belly and reduces bloating.

 

 

 

 Mushrooms prevent us from snacking throughout the day. They leave you satisfied for a longer time, thus curbing your appetite. Other than this, the dietary fibre in mushrooms promotes good bowel movement.

 

 

 

 Many people harbor the misconception that fats should be completely avoided when you are trying to lose some extra pounds. But, olive oil contains a chemical called oleic acid, which breaks down excessive fat in the body. Also, monounsaturated fats found in olive oil help in controlling your blood sugar levels.

 

 

 A research conducted by University of Purdue has found that though almonds are rich in calories, they do not contribute to belly fat. They contain vitamin E, which is good for your skin. Also, they are high in fibre and protein content. As proteins are filling, they contribute in killing your untimely hunger pangs. And, fibre rich diet improves the digestion process, leading to a flat stomach.

When you talk about weight loss, most people would suggest you to avoid bananas as they are fattening. But, here is a twist. Bananas contain high levels of potassium that helps to reduce water retention in the body. They are also rich in fibre, which keeps you satiated for a longer time, thus curbing your cravings.
Apple cider vinegar is known for its detoxifying properties. It aids digestion and kills the harmful bacteria in your intestine. It also reduces water retention in your stomach and flushes out toxins.
Eating oats is one of the best ways to kick start your day. Oats are not only filling, but they also provide your body with energy that is released slowly throughout the day. They make you feel full, contain very few calories, and lower your cholesterol too.

Eat these fat reducing foods and you will have a flatter stomach in a matter of weeks.
Yogurt is magic for the tum. Nutritionists recommend yogurt, “The probiotic bacteria in most yogurts help keep your digestive system healthy, which translates into a lower incidence of gas, bloating, and constipation, which can keep your tummy looking flat." Ideally go for the plain-flavoured yogurts, that don’t contain added sugars.
Red bell peppers: "This beautifully colored vegetable is bursting with antioxidants (especially vitamin C and beta-carotene) to help your body fight off infections," says Margaux J. Rathbun, a certified nutritional therapy practitioner and creator of nutrition website Authentic Self Wellness. "They are also stimulating for the digestive system and have been shown to be metabolism-boosters, helping you to lose unwanted pounds. They are perfect for dieters when eaten raw or prepared in a juice concoction." 
Peppermint: "Peppermint works to reduce bloating and indigestion and soothe the GI tract all around," says Rachel Berman, registered dietitian and Director of Nutrition for CalorieCount.com. Try mixing up some iced peppermint tea or add a few mint leaves to your water.
Leafy greens: "Not only are leafy greens a great way to add volume to your meals without the calories, but they are chock full of nutrients (vitamins A, C, K, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and fiber) and easy to incorporate into your day," says Mary Dinehart-Perry, a registered dietitian and clinical trials director for Zone Labs, Inc. She recommends swapping out iceberg for spinach in your salads, adding mustard greens or collards to your soups, or dishing up a side of sautéed kale to fill up, fight disease, and look fab in your bikini.
Switch to whole grain. The body shows a decreased insulin response to whole grain as compared to refined carbohydrate like rice and white bread. So replace those meals of white rice and milk bread with whole grains like lentils, brown rice, and whole wheat bread for a trimmer waistline. 
Stock up on cruciferous veggies like broccoli, brussels sprouts, asparagus, peppers, and yellow beans. They contain folate, beta-carotene, calcium, magnesium, and fiber, and are rich in vitamins A, C, and K.
Green tea contains certain chemicals called polyphenols and catechins that boost metabolism and help burn fat. Including 2-3 cups of green tea in your diet will help reduce that waistline, as well as provide a host of other health benefits.
Apples are one of the most popular negative calorie foods. This means that an apple burns more calories that it adds to the body, while being digested, making for a great, tasty snack that does nothing to add to body fat.
Eggs are a great source of protein and contain essential amino acids that the body needs to build everything from muscle fibres to brain chemicals. It is the perfect breakfast food, and ensures you feel less hungry during the day and reduces that urge to snack.
Salmon, tuna and mackerel, in addition to being a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, also improve metabolism and help burn fat faster by improving the body’s glucose-insulin response.

Sharapova, Ivanovic lead the glamour show at pre-Wimbledon party!


The Wimbledon Championships will ace off on Monday and the girls on the circuit are already having a ball in London.

Most of the top stars and former Grand Slam champions including Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams, Ana Ivanovic and Petra Kvitova were in attendance at the pre-Wimbledon party.

The total prize money is 26.75 million pounds (about $42.3 million), with 1.88 million pounds (nearly $3 million) each to the men's and women's singles champions. But the girls, each one them, looked like a million dollars at the party thrown for the competitors.

Maria Sharapova was wearing an embellished mini-dress and didn't miss the opportunity to show off her tennis-toned legs to full effect.

Sabine Lisciki was stunning in her red outfit, while Ana Ivanovic looked elegant in her long blue dress.

And most of the girls took to twitter to post their photos. Here's a look at a few:

Ana Ivanovic - http://twitter.com/AnaIvanovic/status/614222971834646528/photo/1

Katerina - http://twitter.com/SharpKaterina/status/614287062821404676/photo/1

Petra Kvitova - http://twitter.com/Petra_Kvitova/status/614138649073070081/photo/1 http://twitter.com/Petra_Kvitova/status/614148758213951489/photo/1

Sabine Lisicki Plus - http://twitter.com/SLisickiPlus/status/614363018663755776/photo/1

Serena Williams - http://twitter.com/WTA/status/614153755332870144/photo/1

Genie Army Spain - http://twitter.com/GenieArmySpain/status/614361982758686721/photo/1

Anne Keothavong - http://twitter.com/annekeothavong/status/614131639891951616/photo/1

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Friday, 26 June 2015

Satnam Singh becomes first Indian to be drafted in NBA!


Satnam Singh Bhamara Friday became the first Indian basketball player to be drafted in the National Basketball Association (NBA) after being picked by Dallas Mavericks here.

The 19-year-old, who hails from a remote village in Punjab and stands 7 feet 2 inches tall, was the 52nd pick in the NBA Draft. 

Satnam Singh was selected amongst the 60 young men who will play basketball in the NBA next season.

Gursimran "Sim" Bhullar was the first player of Indian origin to play in the NBA when he turned out for the Kings in three games in April. Since their inaugural 1980-81 season, The Dallas Mavericks have won three division titles (1987, 2007, 2010), two conference championships (2006, 2011), and one NBA Championship (2011).

Speaking earlier this month, the 19-year-old was fully aware of the pressure that comes with being the most promising NBA prospect from India.

"The pressure is really a lot on both my shoulders. One shoulder is my family and the other is India. I am here because of India. My coaches, family, friends and fans back home always motivate me to do something great here," Satnam said.

The Kings' Indian connection has been handy for Satnam, who comes from a small village named Ballo Ke, in the Barnala district of Punjab. Since taking over as the principal owner of the Kings, Ranadive has been vocal about his desire to make the team a global brand, particularly in India.
In April, the team signed 7'5 Sim Bhullar, who became the first player of Indian origin to play in the NBA. Canada-born Bhullar played in three games for the Kings and was released after his 10-day contract.

Singh had taken part in training sessions of top teams — Sacramento Kings and Boston Celtics — in the first week of June.

Scouts at Sacramento Kings see the glimpses of Chinese legend Yao Ming in the Indian youngster. Ming is a retired Chinese professional basketball player who played for Houston Rockets, becoming the first Chinese player to play in NBA. 

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Thursday, 25 June 2015

HWL: India thump Poland 3-0 for second win!


India registered their second consecutive victory in the Hockey World League (HWL) Semi-Final defeating Poland 3-0 in a pool A contest at the Brasschaat Municipal Park here on Tuesday.

For India, Yuvraj Walmiki (23rd minute), skipper Sardar Singh (42nd) and Devindar Walmiki (52nd) scored to give them the second back-to-back win after Saturday's 3-2 win over France.

World No.9 India started on an aggressive not as they made circle penetration at least seven times but without any results in the first quarter. The 2014 Asian Games champions attacked from both the flanks with Birendra Lakra, Gurbaj Singh, Dharamvir Singh, Nikkin Thimmiah, centre-half Sardar and Walmiki on the forefront of the strategy. Akashdeep Singh got two good opportunities to tap in. 

World No.17 Poland got their moment and came close to scoring off a penalty corner in the 21st minute. Pawel Bratkowski flicked the ball high and Indian custodian P.R. Sreejesh was up for the challenge, thrusting his right shoulder to ward off the danger.

After several moments that saw Indian forwards lacking finishing touches, they scored in the 23rd minute. Lakra drove the ball inside the circle, only to be deflected by a defender. Yuvraj, lurking in front of goalkeeper Arkadiusz Matuszak, pounced on it, lifting the ball into the net to make it 1-0.
In the dying moments before the half-time, India were rewarded with a penalty corner but Manpreet Singh's strike was palmed away by Matuszak.

Indian players organised their attack more purposefully in the third quarter but they messed up a penalty corner variation. However, they recovered and got their second goal as Sardar surged ahead and exercised a reverse hand strike from the top of the circle to gave India the 2-0 comfort in the 42nd minute.

Into the final quarter, Paul van Ass-coached India played with much more freedom and expressed themselves more.

The biggest positive for India was the performance of theirn defenders. Unlike Saturday's show, they were more disciplined, combining well among themselves and they put up a good show in boosting the attack, too. Lakra, Manpreet and Jasjit went few yards ahead, supplying more balls as compared to the first three quarters.

In the 52nd minute, midfielder Chingnelsana Singh blasted the ball at a blistering speed on to the top of the circle. Devindar, who scored on his debut against France on Saturday, deflected the ball in for India's third goal and afterwards Poland hardly troubled the Asian giants.

India next face arch-foes Pakistan on Friday.

In the other match of the day, Great Britain were held 2-2 by neighbours Ireland.

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Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Cockroach robot uses shell to overcome obstacles!



US-based researchers have created a robot that can use its body shape to move through a densely cluttered environment. The team from the University of California, Berkeley based the robot on the humble cockroach and hope their design could be used to inspire future robot designs for use in monitoring the environment and search and rescue operations. 


The Berkeley team, led by postdoctoral researcher Chen Li, designed the shell so it could perform a roll maneuver to slip through gaps between grass-like vertical beam obstacles without the need for additional sensors or motors. 

The initial test results of the robot's performance are published in IOP Publishing's journal Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, released on Tuesday (June 23).

Other terrestrial robots have been developed with the ability to avoid obstacles, but few have been designed to traverse them.

VIDEO: This is one cockroach you don't want to step on.   

Researchers used high-speed cameras to study the movement of Blaberus discoidalis, otherwise known as the discoid cockroach, through an artificial obstacle course containing grass-like vertical beams with small spacing. Living on the floor of tropical rainforests, the Blaberus encounters a wide variety of cluttered obstacles, such as blades of grass, shrubs, leaf litter, tree trunks, and fungi.

After examining the cockroaches the researchers tested their small, rectangular, six-legged robot and observed whether it was able to traverse a similar obstacle course. They found that with a rectangular body the robot could not often traverse the grass-like beams and frequently collided with the obstacles, regularly becoming stuck.

When the robot was fitted with the streamlined shell it was much more likely to successfully move through the obstacle course using a similar roll maneuver to the cockroaches. This adaptive behavior came about with no change to the robot programming, showing that the behavior came from the shell itself.

According to Li, "our next steps will be to study a diversity of terrain and animal shapes to discover more terradynamic shapes, and even morphing shapes. These new concepts will enable terrestrial robots to go through various cluttered environments with minimal sensors and simple controls."

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Tuesday, 23 June 2015

US man claims KFC served fried rat instead of chicken wings!


A US-based man has claimed that fast food chain KFC served him a fried rat instead of chicken wings.

Devorise Dixon, from Watts, California, posted the image of a deep fried 'rat' with KFC toppings on June 12. With what appears to be a tail-like structure, the image of the serving has gone viral on social media.

Dixon claims that the manager of the of the outlet admitted that it was indeed a rat and apologised for the same.

Dixon's Facebook Photo Post

However, on a Facebook post, KFC denied that it served the customer a rat, saying:
 "KFC takes customer claims very seriously, and we are continuing to investigate this matter. Our chicken tenders often vary in size and shape, and we currently have no evidence to support this claim. We are aggressively trying to reach Mr. Dixon, and we request that he return to the restaurant with the product for testing, or call us at 1-800-Call-KFC."

"KFC has made various attempts to contact this customer, but he is refusing to talk to us directly or through an attorney. Our chicken tenders often vary in size and shape, and we currently have no evidence to support this allegation. We have extended the opportunity to have an independent lab evaluate the product at our own expense, but the customer refuses to provide the product in question."

Whether it is a rat or not, seems like bad days are far from over for fast food brands in India and overseas.

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Monday, 22 June 2015

Sex, lies and debt potentially exposed by US data hack!


Treasure trove for spies

When a retired 51-year-old military man disclosed in a US security clearance application that he had a 20-year affair with his former college roommate's wife, it was supposed to remain a secret between him and the government.

The disclosure last week that hackers had penetrated a database containing such intimate and possibly damaging facts about millions of government and private employees has shaken Washington.

The hacking of the White House Office of Personnel Management (OPM) could provide a treasure trove for foreign spies.

The military man's affair, divulged when he got a job with a defense contractor and applied to upgrade his clearance, is just one example of the extensive potential for disruption, embarrassment and even blackmail arising from the hacking.

The man had kept the affair secret from his wife for two decades before disclosing it on the government's innocuously named Standard Form 86 (SF 86), filled out by millions of Americans seeking security clearances.

His case is described in a judge's ruling, published on the Pentagon website, that he should keep his security clearance because he told the government about the affair. His name is not given in the administrative judge's decision.


The link to China

The disclosure that OPM's data had been hacked sent shivers down the spines of current and former US government officials as they realized their secrets about sex, drugs and money could be in the hands of a foreign government.

The data that may be compromised by the incident, which was first reported by the Associated Press, included the detailed personal information on the SF 86 'QUESTIONNAIRE FOR NATIONAL SECURITY POSITIONS,' according to US officials.

As with another cyberattack on OPM disclosed earlier this month, US officials suspect it was linked to China, though they have less confidence about the origins of the second attack than about the first.

China denies any involvement in hacking US databases.

While the Central Intelligence Agency does its own clearance investigations, agencies such as the State Department, Defense Department and National Security Agency, which eavesdrops on the world, all use OPM's services to some degree.

It was not immediately clear how many Americans' information may have been compromised, nor precisely how many fill out form SF 86. As of October 1, there were 4.51 million people cleared or eligible to receive national security information, according to a report by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
 

 Disastrous consequences

Intelligence veterans said the breach may prove disastrous because China could use it to find relatives of US officials abroad as well as evidence of love affairs or drug use which could be used to blackmail or influence US officials.

An even worse scenario would be the mass unmasking of covert operatives in the field, they said.

'The potential loss here is truly staggering and, by the way, these records are a legitimate foreign intelligence target,' said retired Gen. Michael Hayden, a former CIA and NSA director. 'This isn't shame on China. This is shame on us.'

The SF 86 form, which is 127-pages long, is extraordinarily comprehensive and intrusive.

Among other things, applicants must list where they have lived; contacts with foreign citizens and travel abroad; the names and personal details of relatives; illegal drug use and mental health counseling except in limited circumstances.
 
 Negative information

A review of appeals of security denials published on the web shows the variety of information now in possession of the hackers, including financial troubles, infidelities, psychiatric diagnoses, substance abuse, health issues and arrests.

'It's kind of scary that somebody could know that much about us,' said a former senior US diplomat, pointing out the ability to use such data to impersonate an American official online, obtain passwords and plunder bank accounts.

A US official familiar with security procedures, but who declined to be identified, said some agencies do not use OPM for clearances, meaning their employees' data was at first glance less likely to have been compromised.

However, the former senior diplomat said someone with access to a complete set of SF 86 forms and to the names of officials at US embassies, which are usually public, could compare the two and make educated guesses about who might be a spy.

'Negative information is an indicator just as much as a positive information,' said the former diplomat.
 
 Less vulnerable

The case of the 51-year-old former military man who told the government, but not his wife, about his 20-year affair came to light when he filed an appeal because his effort to upgrade his security clearance ran into trouble.

According to a May 13 decision by an administrative judge who heard his case, the man revealed the affair in the 'Additional Comments' section of SF 86 in January 2012, ended the affair in 2013, and told his wife about it in 2014.

'DOD (Department of Defense) is aware of the affair because Applicant disclosed it on his SF 86; the affair is over; and the key people in Applicant's life are aware of it,' the judge wrote, according to a Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals document posted online.

His access to classified information was approved.

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