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By Joshua SchneyerNEW YORK,(Reuters)-Karolina Pliskova suffered a narrow U.S. Open defeat at the hands of Angelique Kerber on Saturday, but the Czech 10th seed also proved her mettle as one of the most dangerous attacking players in women’s tennis.The 6-foot 1-inch (185 cm) Pliskova fought back from a set down at Arthur Ashe Stadium to give Kerber, one of the best defensive players in history, a major scare in the grand slam final. Kerber finally prevailed 6-3 4-6 6-4.Kerber will move to the number one world ranking on Monday.That in part is due to 24-year-old Pliskova’s previous win. She felled top seeded American Serena Williams in straight sets in the semi-finals, and took down sister Venus Williams earlier in the tournament.For Pliskova, making the final was the best showing of her five year professional career. Ranked No. 11 in the world, she had not previously advanced beyond the third round of a grand slam.Kerber’s win ended an 11-match winning streak for the big-serving Pliskova, who had beaten the German just three weeks earlier in the Cincinnati final.Pliskova said she hopes it will be the first of many slams finals.“I found out I can play my best tennis on these big courts,” she told reporters. “I believe I can win matches like this next time.”Though Pliskova prefers blistering ground strokes to the serve-and-volley game that defined past Czech champions such as Martina Navratilova and Helena Sukova, her serve remains her biggest weapon.She has crushed more aces than any other player on the WTA tour this year, but on Saturday that weapon was not quite enough.In the muggy air at Flushing Meadows, the average speed of her first serve, 102 miles-per-hour (164 kph), was her slowest of the tournament.Although Pliskova won 80 percent of her serve and volley points, she deployed the tactic only ten times.Against the fierce counter-punching German, Pliskova said she had to try everything in her toolbox to take control of points.She made 47 unforced errors, against just 17 for Kerber, but on the other side of the equation hit nearly twice as many winners, 40 to the German’s 21.“You know, it’s never easy for the player who is attacking and is doing more mistakes,” Pliskova said.The Czech player could become a constant threat to other top women, said Mary Jo Fernandez, a former world number four and a well known tennis commentator.“She’s really grown as a player,“ Fernandez said. “I don’t think Serena’s going anywhere but it gets more difficult as the younger players come up.” read more
Pre-Game Meal: Mid-day – spaghetti meal, pre-game – saladBiggest accomplishment in hockey: Won BC Cup U16 Championship 2013School: L.V. RogersGrade: 11Nickname: PercyFacebook or Twitter: TwitterOther interests: Soccer in summer, golf, biking, anything outdoorsThe Nelson Daily: Being 16, what convinced you to play for Leafs instead of Major Midget with Kootenay Ice?Nolan Percival: I got to say playing for the Leafs, with the team hosting the Cyclone Taylor Cup, is a pretty big deal. So I put the work this summer so I could make this team and being able to make the team as a 16-year-old, I was pretty excited. But what convinced me was I thought this was a better choice for my family and I.TND: How big is it to play for a team you grew up watching and cheering for?NP: It’s pretty weird, for sure. Some of these players I grew up watching. I was 12-13 years old I grew up watching them and now I’m playing with them, so it’s pretty cool.TND: Half way through the season, with the ice time your receiving, do you still agree with your decision to play for the Leafs?NP: What it comes down to is everyone has a role on this team. So to make a team win, you’ve got to play your role to the best of your ability . . . . The scorers are going to score, the hitters are going to hit and what it comes down to is I’m learning a different way to play the game which is going to make me a better hockey player in the end.TND: What’s it like to be a teammate of a player with the ability of KIJHL veteran Jamie Vlanich?NP: Just the way Jamie conducts himself on the ice he just makes it look so easy. Jamie works hard both on and off the ice and just watching him play make me just want to get better.TND: Nelson is host team for the 2014 Cyclone Taylor Cup. How important is it for this team want to win its way into the tournament?NP: We know we’re host team and we get a bye into the tournament but that doesn’t mean much to us. We really want to make it there on our own. That means a lot to every player on this team.TND: What are your goals for next year?NP: I want to try our for Junior A and see what happens there but the main thing is I want to keep all my options open.TND: In five years?NP: I definitely want to be playing for a college team. So if I could pull off a college scholarship that would be the dream.TND: In 10 years?NP: Playing hockey and loving life. When Nolan Percival heard Nelson won the right to host the 2014 Cyclone Taylor Cup, his eyes lit up.What better way to showcase his talents for scouts than at the B.C. Junior B Hockey Championship.So the Nelson native took to the workout routine to prepare himself for the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League training camp of the Green and White.The rest, as they say, is history as Percival earned a spot on the roster as one of the two 16-year-olds.As the Leafs build toward the April tournament, The Nelson Daily.com, in conjunction with Nelson Home Building Centre presents the Leafs Player Profile of the Week.This week we take a look at Nelson Minor Hockey grad Nolan Percival.The shifty Percival has played in all but one of the Leafs 31 games, scoring four goals while adding four assists.Percival will be front and center when Nelson meets Castlegar in a home-and-home series beginning Thursday in the Sunflower City.The teams return to the NDCC Arena Friday for game two of the set.Nelson Home Building Centre Leafs Player Profile of the WeekName: Nolan PercivalAge: 16Born: Nelson, BCHeight: 5’8”Weight: 150 poundsYears in Hockey: 12Hometown: Nelson, BCFavorite NHL Player: Matt Duchene, Colorado AvalancheFavorite NHL Team: Vancouver CanucksFavorite Music: All music read more
[dropcap]W[/dropcap]elcome to Starters Orders. Our daily midday update from the trading room at Star Sports with our key market movers for the day across all sports.Thursday 11 JuneRACING2.00 NottinghamFreeze Style 7/2 > 9/42.20 NewburyViscount Barfield 25/1 > 16/13.15 WorcesterMont Choisy 5/2 > 6/4(All prices subject to fluctuation) What’s your view?CALL STAR SPORTS ON 08000 521 321