COVID-19

Coronavirus, COVID-19, Japan, Latest Sports Stories, Olympics, pandemic, Tokyo Olympics

Over half of Japan firms want Olympics canceled or postponed – survey

This picture taken on January 19, 2021 shows detail on the forehead of Miraitowa, the mascot for the coronavirus-delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympics, at the office of the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo. – When the Tokyo Olympics were postponed last year, officials promised they would open in 2021 as proof of humankind’s triumph over the coronavirus. But six months before the delayed start, victory over the virus remains distant, and fears are growing rapidly that the Games of the 32nd Olympiad may not happen at all. (Photo by Philip FONG / AFP) / TO GO WITH AFP STORY OLY-2020-2021-JAPAN-VIRUS-HEALTH BY ANDREW MCKIRDY
TOKYO – Over half of Japanese firms believe the Tokyo Olympic Games should be canceled or postponed, a survey by think tank Tokyo Shoko Research showed on Monday, casting further doubt over the fate of the troubled Games.
Japan is struggling to contain the coronavirus and lags behind western countries in rolling out vaccines, even as Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga vowed to get conditions in place to host the once-postponed Summer Olympics from July 23.
The survey, conducted online on Feb. 1-8, showed 56.0% of the companies polled feel Japan should cancel or postpone the Games, up from 53.6% in the previous survey in August.
Only 7.7% of the firms surveyed said the Games should proceed in full form as scheduled this year, down from 22.5% in the previous survey.
Nearly 20% said the Games should be held with a limited number of spectators, while another 17% said it should proceed with no spectators, the survey showed.
Over 70% firms said cancelling or postponing the Games will barely have any impact on their earnings.
The survey, which covered over 11,000 firms, was conducted before Friday’s resignation of Tokyo 2020 Olympics chief Yoshiro Mori over sexist remarks that left the Olympics searching for a chief five months from the opening ceremony.

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Basketball, COVID-19, Latest Sports Stories, Miami Heat, NBA, Tyler Herro

Heat’s Tyler Herro cleared from Covid-19 protocols

FILE PHOTO: Alec Burks #18 of the New York Knicks defends against Tyler Herro #14 of the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden on February 07, 2021 in New York City. Mandatory Credit: Mike Stobe/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports
Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro was cleared Friday to return to the lineup after he missed one game because of COVID-19 protocols.
Herro missed the Heat’s 101-94 win at the Houston Rockets on Thursday, but flew with the team to Salt Lake City after the game. The Heat are scheduled to face the Utah Jazz on Saturday.
The Heat found out just before game time that Herro wouldn’t be available Thursday because he was flagged after a test result. Subsequent negative tests for the virus cleared him for travel and basketball activities.
The 21-year-old is third on the Heat with a scoring average of 17.0 points per game. He also averages 6.1 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game.

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COVID-19, Durant, Golden State, Latest Sports Stories, NBA, Nets, WARRIORS

Kevin Durant จาก Nets อนุญาตให้กลับมาอีกครั้งกับ Warriors After Virus

เควินดูแรนต์กองหน้าบรู๊คลินเน็ตส์ (7) ยิงบอลกับโรงไฟฟ้าโตรอนโตแร็พเตอร์ปาสคาลเซียคัม (43) ในควอเตอร์ที่สองที่บาร์เคลย์เซ็นเตอร์ (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports / file) เควินดูแรนท์ได้รับอนุญาตให้กลับไปที่บรู๊คลินเน็ตส์ได้ทันเวลาสำหรับการแข่งขันนัดแรกกับทีมโกลเด้นสเตทวอร์ริเออร์ส ดูแรนท์ซึ่งพลาดเกมสามเกมเนื่องจากโปรโตคอล COVID-19 กลับไปฝึกซ้อมในวันศุกร์เป็นครั้งแรกนับตั้งแต่เขาถูกดึงออกจากเกม Nets กับ Toronto Raptors เมื่อวันที่ 5 กุมภาพันธ์ “ กลับไปที่ Golden State ฉันดู ฉันหวังว่าจะได้เล่นอีกครั้งและอยู่ที่นั่นกับทีมเพื่อพยายามสร้างเคมี นี่คือเป้าหมายหลักของฉัน “ดูแรนต์ซึ่งเล่นสามฤดูกาลกับ Warriors และคว้าแชมป์ NBA ร่วมกับพวกเขาในปี 2017 และ 2018 กล่าว” ฉันมีช่วงเวลาที่ยอดเยี่ยมที่ Golden State ฉันหวังว่าจะได้กลับไปที่อ่าว แต่มัน ไม่ใช่ทั้งหมด มันเป็นเรื่องน่าเสียดายที่แฟน ๆ จะไม่อยู่ที่นั่น ” Durant วัย 32 ปีถูกคิดว่าใกล้ชิดกับพนักงานของ Nets ที่ทดสอบไวรัสในเชิงบวกเมื่อถูกดึงออกจากการเล่นกับ Raptors ภายในหนึ่งสัปดาห์เขาทดสอบเชิงลบ “ มันเป็นเพียงสถานการณ์ที่โชคร้าย” ดูแรนท์กล่าว “ ผมรอคอยเกมนั้นในคืนนั้น เมื่อฉันได้รับแจ้งก่อนสัญญาณว่าฉันต้องรอสักครู่เพื่อทดสอบมันทำให้จังหวะของฉันช้าลงเล็กน้อยเพราะฉันต้องการออกไปเล่น “ แต่ฉันหมายความว่าฉันกลับมาแล้วนี่คือสิ่งที่เป็นอยู่ฉันรู้สึกเสียใจเล็กน้อยระหว่างและหลังเกม แต่ตอนนี้ฉันสบายดี ผมพร้อมที่จะเล่น ” การดำรงตำแหน่งของดูแรนท์ที่ Golden State สิ้นสุดลงเมื่อเขาฉีกเอ็น Achilles ในเกมที่ห้าของรอบชิงชนะเลิศ NBA 2019 ซึ่ง Warriors แพ้หกเกมให้กับ Raptors เขาออกจาก Nets ในฐานะตัวแทนอิสระโดยเซ็นสัญญาสี่ปีมูลค่า 164 ล้านดอลลาร์ เขาพลาดทั้งฤดูกาล 2019-20 ที่หายจากอาการบาดเจ็บ ใน 18 เกมในฤดูกาลนี้แชมป์ NBA 4 สมัยทำคะแนนเฉลี่ย 29.5 คะแนนและ 7.4 รีบาวน์ต่อเกม gsg หากต้องการเรียนรู้เพิ่มเติมเกี่ยวกับไวรัสโคโรนาสายพันธุ์ใหม่คลิกที่นี่ สิ่งที่คุณต้องรู้เกี่ยวกับโคโรนาไวรัส สำหรับข้อมูลเพิ่มเติมเกี่ยวกับ COVID-19 โทรสายด่วน DOH: (02) 86517800 ท้องถิ่น 1149/1150 มูลนิธิอินไควเรอร์สนับสนุนผู้บุกเบิกด้านการดูแลสุขภาพของเราและยังคงรับบริจาคเป็นเงินสดซึ่งสามารถโอนไปยังบัญชีกระแสรายวัน Banco de Oro (BDO) # 007960018860 หรือผ่าน PayMaya โดยใช้ลิงก์นี้ อ่านเพิ่มเติมอย่าพลาดข่าวสารและข้อมูลล่าสุด ลงชื่อสมัครใช้ INQUIRER PLUS เพื่อเข้าถึง The Philippine Daily Inquirer และชื่อเรื่องอื่น ๆ อีกกว่า 70 รายการแชร์แกดเจ็ตได้สูงสุด 5 ชิ้นฟังข่าวดาวน์โหลดเร็วที่สุดตั้งแต่ตี 4 และแชร์บทความบนโซเชียลมีเดีย โทร 896 6000 ติดต่อเราสำหรับข้อเสนอแนะข้อร้องเรียนหรือสอบถามข้อมูล

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#PGAM, #ProblemGambling, #ProblemGamblingAwarenessMonth, #RelationshipProblems, #ValentinesDay, COVID-19, Mental Health, Problem Gambling Awareness, problem gambling awareness month

When Relationships Fall Victim to Problem Gambling

Many celebrate love, romance, and relationships during February and on Valentine’s Day. While no relationship is perfect, some endure significant hardship due to the presence of addiction, and gambling addiction is no exception. Did you know that relationship problems have been the top reported reason for seeking help by contacts to the 888-ADMIT-IT HelpLine for more than a decade?
Contrary to social stigmas, individuals who struggle with problem gambling are not able to simply stop. Gambling addiction rewires the brain much in the same way as substance abuse, yet the symptoms are unseen, leaving loved ones unaware until the gambler hits “rock bottom.” Feelings like shame, guilt, and stress also flood these individuals and leave them hiding the consequences of problem gambling, exacerbating relationship difficulties and preventing them from seeking needed supports. Family members and other loved ones often do not know the extent of the gambler’s behaviors or debt. Over the past year, 76% of 888-ADMIT-IT HelpLine contacts reported the presence of family conflict, and 52% indicated family neglect as a result of problem gambling, with some also experiencing domestic violence and abuse [1]. It is imperative to understand that for every case of problem gambling, an average of 8-10 additional people are affected — often those closest to the gambler. 
Research published in the Asian Journal of Gambling Issues and Public Health found that the negative effects of their partner’s gambling problems centered on four key areas — financial loss, emotional distress, impairment of mental and physical health, and erosion of their relationship [2]. Complicating matters further, the COVID-19 pandemic is causing heightened levels of emotional distress and mental health impacts across the population, leaving those suffering from this hidden addiction even more vulnerable. HelpLine data shows that a large percentage of problem gamblers are experiencing significant anxiety (68%) and depression (67%), with more than one in five admitting to suicidal thoughts (22%) and an appreciable number (13%) reporting neurological disorders. These mental health issues understandably extend to family members and loved ones. 
The good news is that help and hope can be found through the 24/7, Confidential, and Multilingual 888-ADMIT-IT HelpLine for anyone in need, including loved ones. The HelpLine can also be reached by texting 321-978-0555, starting a live chat at gamblinghelp.org, emailing fccg@gamblinghelp.org, and messaging the FCCG on social media. Get connected to the resources that make a difference, including referrals to certified treatment providers!
March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month
March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month (PGAM), a grassroots effort to raise awareness about gambling disorder, classified by the American Psychiatric Association as a behavioral addiction, that impacts millions of Floridians who struggle directly with gambling related difficulties or are adversely affected by a loved one’s gambling problem. This year, our campaign theme is Shine the Light on Problem Gambling: Changing the Game.
During this past year, the world has been forced to grapple with crippling impacts caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic. Many Florida residents, like many Americans, are struggling given the unforeseen consequences resulting from the pandemic. For disordered gamblers and their families, the effects of the virus can exacerbate already serious financial, psychological, legal, and other problems caused by gambling.
Click here to learn more about PGAM and join the movement in raising awareness about the issue of problem gambling and the help and hope available through the 24/7, Confidential, and Multilingual Problem Gambling HelpLine!
[1]  24-Hour Problem Gambling HelpLine Annual Report., 2020 ed., The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling, Inc., 2020, 24-Hour Problem Gambling HelpLine Annual Report.
[2] Abbott, M., DA. Abbott, S., Boyatzis, R., V. Braun, V., EM. Chan, A., Charmaz, K., . . . Volberg, R. (1970, January 01). Impacts of gambling problems on partners: Partners’ interpretations. Retrieved February 11, 2021, from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/2195-3007-3-11

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Australian Open, COVID-19, Grand Slam, Latest Sports Stories, MELBOURNE, Tennis

การแข่งขันเทนนิสออสเตรเลียนโอเพ่นถูกระงับโดยแฟน ๆ ถูกกักบริเวณ

แฟน ๆ ผ่อนคลายที่ Rod Laver Arena ใน Melbourne Park มีการประกาศว่าทัวร์นาเมนต์จะจัดขึ้นโดยไม่มีฝูงชนเป็นเวลาห้าวันถัดไปหลังจากที่มีการนำการแยกฉุกเฉินในรัฐวิกตอเรียตั้งแต่วันศุกร์เพื่อป้องกันการระบาดของโรคโคโรนาไวรัส (COVID-19) REUTERS / Asanka Brandon Ratnayake MELBOURNE – การเล่นถูกระงับชั่วคราวที่ Australian Open เมื่อวันศุกร์เนื่องจากแฟน ๆ ได้รับคำสั่งให้ออกจากสนามกีฬาของ Rod Laver เพื่อทำการกักกันใหม่เป็นเวลาห้าวันในเมลเบิร์น โนวัคยอโควิชเป็นผู้นำสูงสุดสองเซ็ตต่อหนึ่งชุด แต่ต้องดิ้นรนกับอาการบาดเจ็บของอเมริกันเทย์เลอร์ฟริตซ์เมื่อการเล่นหยุดลงในเวลา 23:30 น. ตามเวลาท้องถิ่นและแฟน ๆ ถูกขอให้ออกจากสนาม การแยกตัวเป็นเวลา 5 วันซึ่งกำหนดไว้หลังจากการระบาดของ COVID-19 ครั้งใหม่ที่โรงแรมมีกำหนดจะเริ่มในเวลาเที่ยงคืน หลังจากล่าช้าไปครู่หนึ่งในขณะที่แฟน ๆ กำลังมุ่งหน้าไปที่ทางออกเกมก็กลับมาเล่นต่อ หากต้องการเรียนรู้เพิ่มเติมเกี่ยวกับไวรัสโคโรนาสายพันธุ์ใหม่คลิกที่นี่ สิ่งที่คุณต้องรู้เกี่ยวกับโคโรนาไวรัส สำหรับข้อมูลเพิ่มเติมเกี่ยวกับ COVID-19 โทรสายด่วน DOH: (02) 86517800 ท้องถิ่น 1149/1150 มูลนิธิอินไควเรอร์สนับสนุนผู้บุกเบิกด้านการดูแลสุขภาพของเราและยังคงรับบริจาคเป็นเงินสดซึ่งสามารถโอนไปยังบัญชีกระแสรายวัน Banco de Oro (BDO) # 007960018860 หรือผ่าน PayMaya โดยใช้ลิงก์นี้ อ่านเพิ่มเติมอย่าพลาดข่าวสารและข้อมูลล่าสุด ลงชื่อสมัครใช้ INQUIRER PLUS เพื่อเข้าถึง The Philippine Daily Inquirer และชื่อเรื่องอื่น ๆ อีกกว่า 70 รายการแชร์แกดเจ็ตได้สูงสุด 5 ชิ้นฟังข่าวดาวน์โหลดเร็วที่สุดตั้งแต่ตี 4 และแชร์บทความบนโซเชียลมีเดีย โทร 896 6000 ติดต่อเราสำหรับข้อเสนอแนะข้อร้องเรียนหรือสอบถามข้อมูล

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Australian Open, COVID-19, Grand Slam, Latest Sports Stories, Naomi Osaka, Tennis

Osaka enjoys the last of crowds in Australian Open 3rd round win

Japan’s Naomi Osaka in action during her third round match against Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur on February 12, 2021. REUTERS/Jaimi Joy
MELBOURNE—Naomi Osaka swept into the fourth round of the Australian Open on Friday with a 6-3 6-2 victory over Ons Jabeur in front of one of the last crowds allowed before Melbourne Park goes into lockdown.
The Japanese third seed pounded down eight aces as she dominated her first career contest against the Tunisian world number 30 to set up a meeting with Spain’s twice Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza.
“Thanks for coming out, it’s so great to play in front you,” Osaka said to the crowd on John Cain Arena before asking for, and receiving, a rendition of the local sporting chant “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi! Oi! Oi!”.
Such interactions will be impossible for five days from midnight on Friday after the state government announced a strict lockdown to try and contain an outbreak of COVID-19 in Melbourne.
U.S. Open champion Osaka said she had been wary of Jabeur’s drop shot but dealt comfortably enough with her opponent to extend her winning streak to 17 matches.
Osaka, who won her second Grand Slam title in Melbourne in 2019, was forced to pause in the second set when a butterfly fluttered into her face and she moved it to the side of the court with her racket.
She saved six of seven break points she faced and hit winners off both wings, serving out to love to reach the last 16 at Melbourne Park for the third time after 78 minutes.

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Australian Open, Coronavirus Pandemic, COVID-19, Grand Slam, Latest Sports Stories, MELBOURNE, Tennis

Melbourne enters new lockdown, barring Australian Open crowds

FILE PHOTO: Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne, Australia, January 14, 2018. Tennis balls are pictured in front of the Australian Open logo before the tennis tournament. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/File Photo
SYDNEY—Australia’s second-most populous city will enter a five-day snap coronavirus lockdown, authorities said on Friday, barring spectators for much of the Australian Open tennis tournament.
A fresh COVID-19 cluster linked to a quarantine hotel in Melbourne, the capital of Victoria state, reached 13 cases as of Thursday midnight, as authorities rushed to quash the spread of the virus. All of those infections were linked to the highly contagious UK variant.
Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews announced the lockdown for the state, starting at midnight on Friday, calling it a “short, sharp circuit breaker” banning public gatherings, home auctions, weddings and religious gatherings.
“We must assume that there are further cases in the community than we have positive results for, and that it is moving at a velocity that has not been seen anywhere in our country over the course of these last 12 months,” Andrews told reporters, noting the high transmission rate of the UK variant.
Asked about the Australian Open, which runs through Feb. 21, the premier said the Grand Slam tournament, one the biggest events in the country’s sports calendar, was considered a workplace, subject to lockdown restrictions.
“There are no fans. There are no crowds. These people are essentially at their workplace,” he said. “The minimum number of staff for it to be run safely – not just for the virus but other reasons – will be there.”
The event had already been limited to 50% of usual capacity and was dogged by earlier complaints from some international players, who were forced to spend critical preparation time in quarantine.
The tournament will proceed without crowds over the next five days with no fans allowed at the match sites, organizers said. Spectators will be able to attend games scheduled for Friday, while those who had bought tickets to restricted events will get a refund, they said in a statement.
All states and territories, except New South Wales – which includes Sydney and is the nation’s most populous state – closed their borders to Victoria on Friday citing the high risk of transmission.
New South Wales, which on Friday recorded the 26th day with no community cases, said its borders with Victoria will remain open while it monitors the situation.
Victoria endured one of the world’s strictest and longest lockdowns last year after an outbreak that killed more than 800 in the state, the vast majority of the national death toll.
The head of Australia’s business lobby group expressed frustration at the fresh lockdown, calling it a “bitter disappointment for the whole community”.
“This is the second lockdown caused by Victoria’s hotel quarantine system, it must not be as long and destructive as the last,” Business Council Chief Executive Jennifer Westacott said. “We must get hotel quarantine working properly.”
More broadly, Australia has been among the world’s most successful countries in handling the pandemic, largely because of decisive lockdowns and borders sealed to all but a trickle of travelers. The nation has recorded some 22,200 community cases and 909 deaths.
But its quarantine hotels, where all international arrivals have to spend two weeks, have been a weak link in its defenses, with the latest Melbourne cluster another example.
Premier Andrews proposed tightening Australia’s citizen repatriation program to compassionate reasons only, a move that could get some support from other states that have had the UK strain.
Ahead of the lockdown announcement, Prime Minister Scott Morrison offered his government’s full support for Victoria’s decisions on containing the outbreak.

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Coronavirus Pandemic, COVID-19, Latest Sports Stories, Olympics, tokyo 2020, Tokyo Olympics

No hugs or high-fives: Olympic organizers unveil athlete rulebook

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics Games logo is seen in Tokyo on January 28, 2021. (Photo by Charly TRIBALLEAU / AFP)
No socializing, no handshakes and definitely no hugs — that’s what athletes at the coronavirus-postponed Tokyo Olympics can expect this summer, according to a virus rulebook released Tuesday by organizers.
The 33-page document — the last in a series of “playbooks” drawn up in a bid to ensure the Games can go ahead safely — also warns athletes they could be kicked out of their events if they break strict anti-virus rules.
Under the guidelines, athletes will be tested for the virus at least once every four days, and will be barred from competing if they return a confirmed positive test.

The Playbooks are the basis of the collective effort between the IOC, IPC, Tokyo 2020, and the Japanese national authorities to ensure safe and successful Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer.
Click the link for more information: https://t.co/Zhdjis7jXs pic.twitter.com/UAxf8s0DP0
— #Tokyo2020 (@Tokyo2020) February 3, 2021

Their time in Japan will be “minimized to reduce the risk of infection,” and those staying at the Olympic Village will be expected to “avoid unnecessary forms of physical contact.”
Organizers told AFP on Tuesday that they still plan to hand out around 150,000 free condoms to athletes, but the new rulebook urges them to “limit your contact with other people as much as possible.”
“If you have been to the Games before, we know this experience will be different in a number of ways,” the guidebook warns.
“For all Games participants, there will be some conditions and constraints that will require your flexibility and understanding.”
The guide for athletes and team officials is set to be revised in April and again in June, and follows the release of handbooks for sports officials, media and broadcasters last week.
The document lays out further detail on virus testing for athletes, with a negative test required within 72 hours of traveling to Japan and again immediately upon arrival.
There will be no quarantine for athletes, and they will still be allowed to attend training camps in Japan before the Games begin, but all movements must be rigorously logged and the use of public transport is subject to permission.
Athletes “must not visit gyms, tourist areas, shops, restaurants or bars” and can only go to “official Games venues and limited additional locations”.
They are also advised to wear masks at all times except when they are competing, training, eating, sleeping or outside in open space.
The virus rulebooks are being released as organizers, Olympic officials and Japan’s government works to build confidence that the Games can go ahead safely despite a surge in infections globally.
While vaccinations are recommended for athletes, they will not be a requirement to participate in the Games.
Support for hosting the virus-postponed event remains low in Japan, with around 80 percent of Japanese backing cancellation or further postponement — something organizers have ruled out.
The rollout of the virus rules has been overshadowed by a row over sexist comments made by Tokyo 2020 chief Yoshiro Mori, who faces calls to resign after claiming women speak too much in meetings.
So far, he has apologized but declined to step down.
The Games are due to open in Tokyo on July 23.

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2021 Australian Open, COVID-19, first round, Jeremy Chardy, Latest Sports Stories, MELBOURNE, Novak Djokovic, Rod Laver Arena, Tennis

Djokovic serves up masterclass on favorite court

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 8, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates winning his first round match against France’s Jeremy Chardy REUTERS/Loren Elliott
MELBOURNE – Novak Djokovic got back to doing what he does best on Monday when he steamrollered Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-3 6-1 6-2 on Rod Laver Arena in the opening round of the Australian Open.
Having come through two weeks of quarantine in Adelaide, and a brief but damaging spat with his hosts about the strict isolation conditions placed on competitors in Melbourne, the world number one let his tennis do the talking as he eased to a 297th Grand Slam victory.
Djokovic has won eight of his 17 major titles on Melbourne Park’s main showcourt and, even with a smaller crowd than usual, the Serbian looked very much at home on the distinctive blue surface.
“There’s an ongoing love affair with me and this court,” he said to cheers from the fans.
“I’ve been lucky to have so much success on this court and hopefully it will continue for many years. It makes my heart full to see so many people in the stadium. This is the most people I’ve seen on a tennis court in 12 months. Thank you.”

.@DjokerNole, the floor is yours 💙#AO2021 | #AusOpen pic.twitter.com/SqWLhhQghQ
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) February 8, 2021

Chardy had never taken a set off his opponent in 13 previous matches and with Djokovic landing three quarters of his first serves, the Frenchman was unable to muster a single break point.
With Djokovic finding the corners with his ranging strokes to rattle up 41 winners, Chardy’s small victories were the occasions when he battled back to hold his serve.
Djokovic brought a definitive end to the one-sided contest with back-to-back aces after 91 minutes and will next play American world number 64 Frances Tiafoe in the second round.
The Serbian said he felt he played a “flawless” match.
“Especially on my service games I was very dominant,” he said. “I went very quick through my service games.
“Just overall I think every shot that I executed tonight was really good and on a high level. I’m very pleased with the way I opened up the Australian Open.
“On days like this where you feel very comfortable, of course, you try to relax and do few more other things.”

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2021 Australian Open, COVID-19, first round, Frederico Ferreira Silva, John Cain Arena, Latest Sports Stories, Nick Kyrgios, pandemic, Tennis

Kyrgios brings the noise to subdued ‘People’s Court’

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 8, 2021 Australia’s Nick Kyrgios during his first round match against Portugal’s Frederico Ferreira Silva REUTERS/Jaimi Joy
MELBOURNE – Nick Kyrgios did his best to create his own atmosphere in a subdued John Cain Arena on Monday as he cruised into the second round of the Australian Open with a 6-4 6-4 6-4 victory over qualifier Frederico Ferreira Silva.
The Australian can usually expect a febrile atmosphere when he plays on his favorite court, but a local coronavirus outbreak and unseasonably cold weather kept many punters away.
Those who did turn up were treated to some vintage Kyrgios moments – a racket thrown across the court, a few choice words toward his box and a few more at the umpire as well as a trademark “tweener”.
Scattered fans in the open air stadium, at best a quarter full, wore puffer jackets and blankets, clearly backing the home favorite with occasional cheers and fist bumps.
“Honestly it was pretty average. I haven’t played a Grand Slam match in over a year. I was very nervous walking out here and I knew I wouldn’t be able to play my best game,” Kyrgios said after the match.
“I was very fortunate that COVID didn’t affect me or my family. I used it as a massive reset and I’m just glad to be back out here.”
Kyrgios, who fronted GQ magazine Australia’s digital cover, is undergoing a rebrand after he put in place new management and looked to reform his bad boy image.
His public support for communities hit hard by Australia’s horrendous bushfires last year endeared him to a wider audience than fans of the game.
Kyrgios certainly played to the local view of top tennis players being divas when he called world number one Novak Djokovic a “tool” when the Serbian, under Australia’s 14-day quarantine, requested houses with tennis courts for players to see out their isolation.
The 25-year-old Australian has always had plenty of tennis talent and the world number 47 had far too much for his Portuguese opponent, who was once a rival in the junior ranks but was making his Grand Slam main draw singles debut.
Kyrgios next plays French 29th seed Ugo Humbert — almost certainly on what he calls the “People’s Court” — as he looks to at least match his run to the quarter-finals here in 2015.

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