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Jol unfazed by poor start

first_img Scott Parker will make a welcome return to Fulham’s midfield should he be fit, while Dimitar Berbatov is expected to line up having used the international break to get over the knock he picked up against Stoke. But even with a stronger squad, Jol knows his side cannot travel to Selhurst Park believing the three points are guaranteed. “They (Crystal Palace) need the points as well and it’s the Barclays Premier League, so it will be difficult,” he said. “It’s not easy to go away from home to play against these teams. But I think we’ve got the players and the quality to get the result.” Iranian international Ashkan Dejagah won’t be rushed back in to the squad, though, despite playing more than an hour for his country against Thailand earlier in the week. “I’ve got, as I said before, a few options on the flank, especially on that flank, so first he must be 100 per cent fit,” Jol said. “As soon as he’s fit, and he wasn’t until now because he had a big injury, then he’ll be back in the squad.” “Even when you’re in the bottom three at Christmas it doesn’t mean you will go down,” he said, ahead of Monday’s clash between the two teams at Selhurst Park. “I remember Ian Holloway doing an unbelievable job at Blackpool. I think he was in the top eight at one stage four or five years ago and they still got relegated after Christmas. “He played a different system, a very progressive 4-3-3 and he did it again with Crystal Palace. So I still feel that the man is doing a good job, but the results are not going for them. “And hopefully Monday will be the same.” Of his own squad, Jol denied speculation morale is dipping in the dressing room. “We’ve got a great team spirit, we’ve got new players in, I’ve got all these players, 80 per cent of the players are my players and the other players are here for at least two years, so there’s no problem,” he said. “The only problem we have is we had an indifferent result against Cardiff, but Cardiff beat Manchester City as well. So they’re all strong these teams. “West Brom you know, we should have beaten them, they scored in the 93rd minute, they scored the equaliser and a week later they beat Man United away from home. I spoke to my friends and to other managers, and they all know that it’s not easy to get results in the Premier League.” Fulham boss Martin Jol has offered encouraging words to his fans and those at Crystal Palace after both sides’ poor start to the Barclays Premier League season. The Cottagers are outside the relegation zone on goal difference only, while Ian Holloway’s men have just four points from their first seven games. Jol, however, believes early-season form is no indication of how a club will finish. Press Associationlast_img read more


Behind Miranda Ramirez’s 1-handed backhand

first_imgAround the age of 10, Miranda Ramirez asked her coach to switch to a one-handed backhand because it looked “so much prettier.” Her coach at the time had prior experience converting other players’ backhands, and Ramirez said he knew the technique really well. Before she even attempted her new stroke, they worked to strengthen her rotator cuff, shoulder and other parts of her arm, preventing potential injuries. From there, they took baby steps working on her technique and not caring where the ball went or how hard she hit it, Ramirez said.“At some point, I just felt fully confident in it, and I didn’t perceive it as a weakness myself, no matter what my opponents thought,” Ramirez said. “So from there, I could just play normally.”Now a junior at Syracuse, the one-handed backhand is her “money shot,” Ramirez’s former coach, Thomas Finck said. Ramirez allowed opponents to attack her one-handed backhand when she was younger, letting them think it was a weakness of hers. After improving it with repetition, it’s become one of her favorite shots. Ramirez is the only No. 10 Syracuse (4-4, 0-2 Atlantic Coast) player to use the technique and it’s helped her rise to a No. 67 ranking this season playing at third singles. Ramirez’s opponents still tend to attack her backhand, she said. Rarely do they stick with that plan, though, because of her variety with the shot. Ramirez said she can control it just as well as any player with a two-handed backhand. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textShe can change the pace of the rally by using slices and keeping the ball lower with her unique form, while matching her opponent’s power if needed. Against Virginia’s Chloe Gullickson, she proved it. In the third singles match, Gullickson used strong ground strokes to overpower Ramirez on the backhand side. To combat that, Ramirez played “smart tennis,” knowing she couldn’t always match Gullickson’s velocity. Ramirez let Gullickson make unforced errors and used slices off her backhand to vary the pace of the match. But at 5-1, serving for the set, Ramirez took a power shot, placing it in the corner where Gullickson couldn’t reach.“All of it can come together, and I can pull from that toolbox whenever I need, and in any match situation,” Ramirez said. “So that’s also a really good confidence boost for me, just knowing that I can trust in the four or five different variations of my backhand that I can use.”Ramirez rallies primarily with her forehand in doubles with Gabriela Knutson, so she doesn’t get many backhand opportunities. Knutson said Ramirez’s forehand is an incredible shot, and Knutson’s backhand is her best shot, so they play to their strengths. Sometimes, they’ll run an I formation or switch sides, and Ramirez’s variety gives opponents a new look with a different spin on the ball. “I can’t hit it at all,” Knutson said of Ramirez’s one-handed backhand. “A one-handed backhand is a thing that unless you’ve started doing it since you were five, you can’t. As soon as you start doing one thing, you can’t do it differently.”While Ramirez’s original intentions to change her backhand were to improve its aesthetic, it’s helped her become a versatile hitter.“It’s my shot, it’s how I play,” Ramirez said. “I love it.” Comments Published on February 12, 2019 at 11:34 pm Contact Arabdho: armajumd@syr.edu | @aromajumder center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more


Kawhi Leonard free agency rumors: Knicks expected to ‘push hard’ to sign star

first_img NBA trade rumors: Lakers, Knicks among teams expected to pursue Marcus Morris There will be plenty of teams interested in Kawhi Leonard this summer.The Knicks are “expected to push hard for Leonard when free agency begins on June 30 at 6 p.m.,” according to a report from Newsday, which cites an unidentified source with knowledge of the team’s plan. Kyrie Irving free agency rumors: Nets clear cap space, are ‘serious contender’ to sign star 🖐️ @kawhileonard’s (30 PTS, 7 REB, 6 AST) 13th 30+ point game this postseason guides the @Raptors to victory in Game 3! #WeTheNorth #NBAFinalsGame 4: Friday (6/7), 9pm/et, ABC & TSN pic.twitter.com/ex6sN91l1H— NBA (@NBA) June 6, 2019“I just want to play and just let people remember that I played hard at both ends of the floor, I was a winner, and that’s basically it,” Leonard told reporters Thursday. “I’m just here enjoying my dream, having fun. I mean, legacy is going to be opinionated by each person, but I’m just playing right about myself really and what I feel, what makes me happy.”The Clippers will pursue Leonard this offseason and rival executives believe he “likes” the team, according to an earlier report from Bleacher Report. He also will consider re-signing with the Raptors, according to ESPN, and he has reportedly purchased property in Toronto.The Knicks, meanwhile, have continually been linked to Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, although the guard is reportedly “serious” about potentially signing with the Nets, according to ESPN. They also hold the No. 3 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.“We’re excited about where we are,’’ Knicks president Steve Mills said last month, via the New York Post. “We know we’ll get a good player at three. So, it’s something we’re excited about and look forward to. “We want to build this team the right way. We’ve always said we’re going to continue to work hard during the draft process. We believe we’re a team that can draft well and this is all part of our plan and growing our team.”The Knicks finished the season with a 17-65 record. They last made the playoffs in 2012-13. The 27-year-old star led the Raptors to their first Finals appearance in franchise history with a fantastic playoff run. He’s averaging 30.9 points and 9.0 rebounds in 21 postseason games so far.Toronto leads the Warriors 2-1 in the series entering Game 4 on Friday. Related News NBA free agency rumors: Kawhi Leonard has bought a property in Torontolast_img read more