APNU/AFC missing in action as violence against women escalates into a national crisis

first_imgDear Editor,Even as we agonise over the gruesome murder of Zaila Sugrim by her intimate partner this past weekend, news came out of Essequibo of another woman cruelly stabbed to death by her husband. None of these incidents is the direct fault of the President or his Government. But Violence Against Women (VAW), including Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), has further escalated in Guyana and is getting worse every day. Intimate Partner Violence and deaths are a genuine national crisis, demanding urgent action by the Government.As early as 2006, I called attention to this matter as a global public health challenge. In 2008, Minister Priya Manikchand made the fight against VAW a priority national programme. Exactly one year ago, I wrote about this national crisis and urged our Government to act with a sense of urgency. It is distasteful and completely unacceptable that any of us must still urge our Government to lead a vigorous fight against VAW. There are many voices calling for action. But without the leadership of our Government, we will lose the battle to combat VAW and IPV. The sad truth is that this APNU/AFC Government is MIA, missing in action, as VAW in Guyana has become a runaway train, leaving too many lives in tatters.The death of young Zaila Sugrim this past week is, at the same time, a grim reminder that we are losing the battle against VAW and an urgent call for action. Zaila Sugrim, a beautiful young woman and a mother of five children, is the newest victim of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) in Guyana, but too many have already preceded her. If her story does not prick our collective conscience, we are not humans. This week, Zaila’s life of domestic violence came to an end, not because she was able to escape her abuser, even though she desperately tried to, but because she was brutally murdered by her abuser-husband. Zaila was mercilessly beaten, shot in the head, burnt and buried in a shallow grave behind her husband’s business. Meanwhile, her children were excitedly waiting for her to celebrate one of their birthdays. Now these innocent children have become orphaned.Like many thousands in our country and many millions around the world, Zaila was a victim of the Violence Against Women (VAW) pandemic. About one in three women in the world suffer from violence by their own partners. Dozens of these victims in Guyana will end their lives of terror and misery only by death, just as more than 40,000 women around the world this year. Of the 87,000 women globally murdered, about 40,000 of them are killed by a partner. Zaila Sugrim is now one of them. So too is Farida Khayum of Essequibo, the newest Guyanese victim, who has left three of the newest orphans in Guyana.The nation is genuinely shocked and many of our citizens are demanding action. There has been no word from the Minister of Public Security. He is too busy thinking about men who frequent places where sex workers hang out, while conspiring to replace Moses Nagamootoo as Prime Minister. There has been no word from the Minister of Social Protection, under whom women affairs fall. She is too busy politicking. The Minister of Public Health is similarly silent, also too busy with politics and desperately trying to stop Basil Williams from emerging as a presidential candidate. The Prime Minister, desperately trying to stop Ramjattan from replacing him, is too concerned about dual citizens to even bother about the senseless killing of a woman. The President, as usual, seems too busy doing nothing to even care. The truth is that the President and his Government are missing in action, MIA, as VAW continues to escalate and the national crisis heightens.Not so long ago, a man pumped bullets into the head of his wife in a busy Georgetown street. Less than a month ago, a young man drove his car back and forth over his wife. Now, there are the sad and fatal stories of Zaila Sugrim and Farida Khayum. But such brutal attacks on women by their partners are occurring nearly every week in Guyana. These stories prick our conscience too often. Each time, we are shocked and our conscience tells us enough is enough. But our country moves on, little action is taken, the Government chooses to be MIA, and we await the next death to prick our conscience a little more. The problem is our leaders seem to be numb by the frequency and the increasing brutality of these murders, that they treat them as just another unfortunate event in the daily grind of life in Guyana.I heard today on a TV programme, Ms Gail Teixeira raising the issue and calling on Government to lead the fight against VAW and IPV. Ms Teixeira, who led Guyana’s team to the International Conference on Population and Development  (ICPD) in Cairo in 1994 has been relentless in demanding more action against VAW. Ms Priya Manickchand has been an ardent advocate, urging a vigorous national effort to combat VAW. Many women and NGOs have been actively working on their own to stem the tsunami of VAW in Guyana. But our present Government continues to behave as if VAW is not a matter for concern. Since 2015, the APNU/AFC Government has been either silent or extremely stingy in acknowledging Guyana has a VAW problem and that IPV is epidemic in our country. We are not alone. Both VAW and IPV are pandemics, public health crises, in every country in the world. But our Government cannot excuse itself because VAW happens to be a global problem. Guyana needs action now and the President must step up to the plate.Sincerely,Dr Leslie Ramsammylast_img read more

No ‘Third Farce’ again!

first_imgDear Editor,The Alliance for Change has once again embarked on a journey of lies and deceit since election is once again in the air. We must recall that during the Local Government Elections campaign they spun their web of deceit and lies as they did in 2015, but this time the masses are ready since many have awoken from their self-inflicted slumber.The AFC was given a sound thrashing at the LGE polls after Granger wilfully threw them to face the gauntlet. Guyanese have now become wary of these political mercenaries!The lure for power and pecuniary gains will always rule paramount for third parties, which was evidenced in 1964 and again in 2015 by both the UF and the AFC. The pretenders and the pretensions of these third parties are well documented.In fact, those in the AFC have squandered the opportunity to be patriots who can bring about the necessary changes to propel this country towards socio-economic growth. Where have the progressives gone? Without an iota of doubt, they have been utterly consumed by the PNC because of their greed and lust for power. Another third party just dissipated!However, it is now evidenced also that the AFC leaders’ main thrust and objective were to “get rid of the PPP”. The subversive tactics they used in Parliament bear testimony. It was never about putting Guyana first but rather to get rid of their arch enemy and loot the Treasury.At no point in time was the AFC honest about tackling the socio-economic problems facing this country. They made the country ungovernable which led to a vote of no-confidence tabled by Nagamootoo, the dissolution of Parliament and the calling of an early election in 2015.It must also be recalled that at its formation, the founding leaders had vowed never to coalesce with either the PPP or the PNC since they claimed that both had destroyed this country. They had vowed to remain independent but the grand entry of the genuine pretender, Moses Nagamootoo, just before the 2011 elections, changed all of that with his guile and innate ability to manipulate and achieve his selfish objectives.Now after nearly a year of the successful No-Confidence Motion against the coalition and the CCJ’s emphatic pronouncements, we have seen that the political mercenaries are hovering to plunder what opportunities are available due to the Herculean efforts of Jagdeo and the PPP. Like the hyenas who cannot hunt their own preys, they are willing to dine on the leftovers, even if it means being subservient like the AFC!There are political parties all over and one has the make great efforts to remember their names or hilarious acronyms. One even echoed the mental state of Guyanese with regards to political parties – FED-UP. A new political party took a premature birth even though it may have been conceived a long time ago.Some said that it was birthed three and a half years ago but due to its feebleness, it was nurtured in an incubator awaiting an opportunity to be piggybacked into the Guyanese political arena. It could not have ventured on its own, it had to ride on the success of the No-Confidence Motion. This party, A New United Guyana, founded by Ralph, suddenly emerged in the arena spewing similar rhetoric like the now-defunct AFC.But where were these ‘saviours’ over three and a half years ago when the APNU/AFC coalition was wreaking havoc in our country? Mr Ramkarran hid behind his “conversation tree” with articles which failed to directly confront the plethora of ills and wrongdoings meted out to the Guyanese people. What did these ‘saviors’ say or do about the massive corruption, the gross mismanagement of the economy, the callous closures of the sugar estates and the vindictive dismissal of over 7000 sugar workers and thousands of others, the endless stream of wastage and extravagance, the cronyism, the debilitating burden of increased taxation and worsening standard of living, the catapulting of numerous communities into poverty, the completely visionless annual budgets, the destruction of all the productive sectors, the increasingly huge deficits of the public enterprises, the voracious appetite for borrowing , and the ignoring of the old, the young and the vulnerable groups?Yet now these fledgeling parties like ANUG, FED-UP and the Liberty and Justice Party are seeing these atrocities for the first time! The Rip Van Winkles of politics! Where were these “true progressives and patriots”, who will now stand for what is right, even in the face of death? Where was the FED-UP leader? Where was the LJP leadership? These pretenders and hypocrites have shamelessly come out not to save Guyana but to fulfil their own political ambitions.The pertinent question is: Where will we find a third party which possesses “that higher purpose which resonates with the Guyanese people?” That has now become a myth. Third parties have proven themselves to be the means by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of Government.Third parties have only made lives for Guyanese increasingly worse as is evidenced by the “dead meat” AFC and the long-dead United Force. Third parties have become synonymous with dictatorship in this country. These third parties are willing to sacrifice their principles in order to make a short cut into Government and plunder the nation.The only unwavering and unflinching constant in the political arena is the People’s Progressive Party and it is this party that has fought ceaselessly to bring not only democracy but socio-economic development to this nation from bankruptcy and it is this party which has once again risen up to tirelessly and successfully fight another PNC dictatorship under Granger in its bid to restore progress. Guyanese cannot be fooled again! No ‘third farce’ again!Yours sincerely,Haseef Yusuflast_img read more

Four years on, another World Cup ends in agony for Neymar and Brazil

first_img0Shares0000Neymar could not rescue Brazil against Belgium as his team bowed out in the World Cup quarter-finals © AFP / Luis AcostaKAZAN, Russian Federation, Jul 7 – Four years after the psychodrama of Neymar’s injury and a humiliating World Cup semi-final defeat as hosts, Brazil are forced to come to terms with the crushing disappointment of a failed mission in Russia.It was not meant to be like this, Tite’s side dumped out of the tournament in the quarter-finals at the hands of Belgium, losing 2-1 in Kazan. They had come to the World Cup determined to confirm their revival following the 7-1 humiliation at the hands of Germany in Belo Horizonte, and there were plenty of reasons for optimism.With Germany, Spain and Argentina out, and Italy not even at the party, the path looked to be clearing for Brazil to go and win their sixth title.But instead, Tite’s side came a cropper the first time they faced another of the contenders and it is Belgium who advance to a semi-final against France.In the four World Cups since the Selecao won the 2002 tournament in Japan and South Korea, they have been eliminated three times in the quarter-finals.Tite turned Brazil around after being appointed in 2016, but he was unable to lead the team to glory in Russia © AFP / Luis AcostaThe run to the semis last time around as hosts is the exception, but fans had been desperate for their team to make up for their disastrous collapse in 2014.When Neymar was cut down in the quarter-final win over Colombia in the Brazilian city of Fortaleza and stretchered off with a fractured vertebrae, the outlook was not good for Luiz Felipe Scolari’s side.Yet nobody could have predicted exactly what would follow, with a stricken Neymar absent as Brazil dramatically capitulated to the eventual winners.They consoled themselves with the thought that, four years later, a fit Neymar would be at his peak to lead a new assault for the title on Russian soil.Now 26 and the world’s most expensive player, Neymar was fit here, but only just. Brazil’s build-up to the tournament was dominated by his battle to recover from an operation on a broken bone in his foot.He goes home after scoring just two goals, his greatest impact on this World Cup being his tears against Costa Rica and, above all, his theatrics.Neymar’s response to supposed rough treatment from opposition defenders has been met with ridicule in certain quarters, and sympathy may be in short supply.That even applies back home — “Sublime genius or pathetic farce?” read one headline, in weekly magazine Epoca.He goes the way of fellow superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, although he will still be just 30 by the time the next World Cup comes around in Qatar in 2022.– Tite falls short –In four years it may be a very different Brazil — after all, Neymar was one of only six survivors in the squad from 2014.A Brazil supporter in tears after their World Cup quarter-final defeat against Belgium © AFP / Manan VATSYAYANAAnd what of Tite? Such an impressive figure, his record since taking over following the disastrous showing at the 2016 Copa America should not simply be forgotten now.Under Dunga, Brazil had been knocked out on penalties by Paraguay at the quarter-final stage of the 2015 Copa America, then eliminated in the group stage the following year in the United States.It is scarcely an exaggeration to say they might not even have qualified for this World Cup had Tite not been appointed.Even before the tournament began, it was being reported that the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) were keen to tie Tite down for the next four years, through to the World Cup in Qatar.For now all that matters, for Neymar and the whole of a football-obsessed country, is the agony of another World Cup failure.Soon enough they may turn their thoughts to next year’s Copa America on home soil, but nothing compares to a World Cup for the Brazilians, and another one has just slipped away.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Liverpool line-up v Everton: Gerrard to start in his final Merseyside derby

first_imgBrendan Rodgers takes his Liverpool side to Everton in what is set to be Steven Gerrard’s final Merseyside derby, live on talkSPORT, Saturday from 5pm.The Reds skipper will join MLS side LA Galaxy this summer and barring a loan move next January, this is likely to be the midfielder’s final trip to Goodison Park.Gerrard reached 700 career games for Liverpool midweek and with just two defeats in 18 games in all competitions, confidence is high amongst the Red half of Merseyside.Liverpool go into the game with less recovery time following their FA Cup replay victory at Bolton, but the atmosphere and intensity of the derby should ensure they’re ready to go at full strength again.Daniel Sturridge marked his return to first-team action last weekend after five months out with a goal, but will the England international make his first start? talkSPORT takes a look…Possible Liverpool line-up v Everton:GoalkeeperSimon Mignolet followed up his impressive display at Chelsea with solid performances against West Ham and Bolton and that should fill the Belgian with confidence following recent criticism.DefenceEmre Can, Martin Skrtel, and Mamadou Sakho have developed a strong partnership as part of Liverpool’s back-three.The trio are expected to retain their places and it will be interesting to see how they deal with the threat of Romelu Lukaku.MidfieldLiverpool look fluid in their 3-4-3 system, and that should see Alberto Moreno and Lazar Markovic continue to operate on the flanks.Gerrard is set for his final appearance against Everton, and despite playing the full 90 minutes on Wednesday at Bolton, will start.Philippe Coutinho continues to impress and the Brazilian’s injury-time winner at the Macron Stadium will likely give him the nod ahead of Adam Lallana.AttackRodgers hinted Sturridge could start, but given the Englishman has been out for five months, the Northern Irishman will likely act with caution and place him on the bench.That should see Raheem Sterling continue to lead the attack, where the 20-year-old has excelled in recent weeks, including the equaliser at Bolton.Liverpool fans, how do you think you’ll line-up against Everton? Comment below… Brendan Rodgers takes his Liverpool side to Everton tomorrow in what is set to be Steven Gerrard’s final Merseyside derby. 1last_img read more

Huddersfield set to sign Monaco striker – reports

first_imgHuddersfield are close to completing the signing of Monaco striker Adama Diakhaby, according to reports in France.The 22-year-old, who made 30 appearances for Monaco in Ligue 1 last season, has impressed many potential suitors and a big-money move has been mooted. 1 LATEST LATEST TRANSFER NEWS moving on Diakhaby looks set to join the Terriers Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ RANKED targets REVEALED David Wagner is keen to strengthen his attacking options at Huddersfield in order to build on last season’s 16th-place finish.And, according to L’Equipe, a deal worth in the region of £8m for Diakhaby will be completed imminently.Diakhaby will link up with former Monaco team-mate Terence Kongolo at the John Smith’s Stadium once the deal has gone through. Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade LIVING THE DREAM targets Tony Cascarino backs Everton to sign two strikers for Carlo Ancelotti The biggest market value losers in 2019, including Bale and ex-Liverpool star Where every Premier League club needs to strengthen in January Kevin De Bruyne ‘loves Man City and wants to keep winning’, reveals father Man United joined by three other clubs in race for Erling Haaland IN DEMAND Cavani ‘agrees’ to join new club and will complete free transfer next summerlast_img read more

WWE star Rusev says he wants Chelsea star Eden Hazard

first_img Hazard has been linked with a move to Madrid “I would really like Hazard from Chelsea, go after him and see how that goes,” the Bulgarian Brute told talkSPORT. “I know a lot of fans will say Neymar, but I think it’s too soon for him and his stock is a little bit down after his forty minute rolls at the World Cup. Hazard wants to come, so go get him!”With the transfer window now closed in England, Chelsea would be reluctant to sell the Belgian captain, however, the man behind ‘Rusev Day’ does see a potential heir to Ronaldo’s throne in the current Madrid squad.“Let’s not forget we have Marco Asensio, who’s one of the best players in the world and is only 24. I’d be just as happy to put faith in him and not sign anyone.”Whether it’s Hazard or Asensio stepping into Ronaldo’s almighty shoes this season, Rusev believes that it was still the right time to cash in on Real Madrid’s all-time record goal-scorer – calling it the best news he had all summer.“I’m glad the big transfer finally happened.  It’s a great sale for us, people have been texting me since he left and saying ‘sorry’, but I’m like no this is a good thing. We have made £105 million on a 33-year-old player – it’s the best news we could have got in the off-season.” Rusev wants Hazard 2 2 Real Madrid fans are never shy in voicing their opinion on who should be the next Bernabeu star, but Florentino Perez may want to listen to the demand of one of the club’s ‘biggest’ fans: WWE Superstar Rusev.The former United States Champion and current star of SmackDown Live is a massive Madrid supporter and has made no secret about who he thinks should replace Cristiano Ronaldo as Real’s latest big money signing. Rusev’s favourite football club won’t be the only ones busy for the remainder of the summer, the 32 year-old has his own business to attend to as he prepares for SummerSlam at the end of the month.WWE’s annual event is of the biggest shows on the calendar, second only to WrestleMania, and although he is yet to be announced on the card, the Bulgarian is pitching for a dream match of his own involving some WWE legends.“On the current roster all the guys are all good. Daniel Bryan is amazing, Samoa Joe is amazing, Seth Rollins is probably the best in the business, but I’d want to face Hulk Hogan or Kurt Angle.  That’s it for me.”last_img read more

Kraemer Ties Program Record To Lead Bulldogs Past Moundbuilders

first_imgStory Links Box Score (HTML) Sophomore Mitch McFarlane led the young receiving corps with seven catch for 152 yards and three touchdowns. Fellow sophomore Daeonte Calvert caught four passes for 45 yards. Kraemer’s six touchdown passes tied Ira Vandever’s performance against San Deigo in 2002. Kraemer ended up throwing for 313 yards and completed 20-of-27. Junior Danny Donley kept the Bulldogs prefect in the red zone with a pair of field goals, 43 yards and 26 yards, respectively. The second-half was all Drake. The Bulldog defense smothered the Moundbuilders as they didn’t allow a first down and gave up just five yards of total offense. Listen Live Watch Live On the first play of the second-quarter, Kraemer found Devin Cates in the middle of the end zone for his first career touchdown catch and put Drake up 14-0. Fifth-year senior Tanner Evans led the defense with five tackles, two for a loss and a sack. Mack Marrin recorded four stops, including a game-high two sacks.Offensively, Kraemer found McFarlane for the third time in the third-quarter and then completed his sixth touchdown pass to Connor Ostrander early in the fourth. Next Game: Box Score (PDF) The Bulldogs wasted little time to get on top of the Moundbuilders as Kraemer completed 66-yard touchdown pass to McFarlane on the second play of the game. “Grant did a great job. He managed the offense really well, he didn’t force it and that’s what you got to do, especially as a mature quarterback,” said Drake head coach Rick Fox. “We’ve got a nice young group of receivers and it was good for them to have some success tonight and feel that, because we think that group looks pretty good moving forward.” Preview Buy Tickets Live Stats 1350AM ESPN Des Moines The Bulldogs were put in exceptional field position to start the second-quarter because of Cooper Christiano’s first career interception that ended the opening quarter. The Bulldogs’ offense was put in good field position again, but this time courtesy of the special teams. Cates got his hand on SC’s Mario Esparza punt, resulting in a 17-yard punt and putting DU’s offense on Southwestern’s 42-yard line. at South Dakota State 9/16/2017 – 6 p.m. Sophomore Jacob Clay capped off the Bulldog scoring with a one-yard touchdown run in the final minutes of the game for a final score of 55-14. The Moundbuilders managed to get on the broad late in the second-quarter and then took advantage of a Bulldog miscue in the final minute to cut their deficit to 28-14 at halftime. The Bulldogs will begin the road portion of their schedule next week as they travel to No. 4 South Dakota State on Sept. 16. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. Kraemer and company took full advantage of the short field as Kraemer threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to senior Cole Neary to extend Drake’s lead 21-0. On the Bulldogs’ next possession, Kraemer orchestrated six-play 65-yard scoring drive, which was capped off by a 25-yard touchdown pass to McFarlane. Full Schedule Roster DES MOINES, Iowa – Senior quarterback Grant Kraemer tied the program record with six touchdown passes to lead the Drake University football team past Southwestern College (Kan.), 55-14, Saturday night at Drake Stadium.  Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

Perfection: Cards close regular season 26-0, look to playoffs

first_imgParadise >> The Corning Cardinals needed one more victory Friday night to cap off a perfect regular season at 26-0 and, while they got it, the Paradise Bobcats did everything in their power to tarnish the Cardinals record.In a game in which neither team led by more than 7 in regulation, the Cardinals pulled out a 75-66 win in overtime on the road.“I’ve said this for two years, this group of kids knows how to win,” said coach Kurt Wilkins. “They work hard, they’re committed, they play together …last_img read more

OSU research shows P levels declining in Ohio soils

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Agricultural soil phosphorus levels held steady or trended downward in at least 80% of Ohio counties from 1993 through 2015, according to recent findings from the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.The findings, part of the college’s Field to Faucet initiative, represent good news for Ohioans concerned about protecting surface water quality while maintaining agricultural production, according to college researchers Elizabeth Dayton, Steve Culman and Anthony Fulford.“Soil phosphorus levels are strongly related to runoff water phosphorus levels. Less phosphorus in the soil should result in reduced phosphorus runoff risk,” Dayton said. “These findings show that Ohio farmers are doing a good job of managing soil phosphorus levels.“While there is still room for improvement where soil phosphorus levels are higher than crop needs, the fact that so many counties show soil phosphorus levels trending down indicates Ohio farmers are moving in the right direction.”Phosphorus soil testing is an important tool farmers use to determine if phosphorus fertilizer is needed for crop growth, and if so, how much. In Ohio, crop-specific phosphorus fertilizer recommendations come from the Tri-State Fertility Guidelines.“Farmers are being asked to avoid applying phosphorus fertilizer beyond crop needs,” Culman said. “Maintaining soil phosphorus levels within the appropriate agronomic range minimizes phosphorus runoff risk, while providing sufficient crop nutrition.”For this study, data for more than 2 million phosphorus soil tests from 1993 to 2015 were provided through the cooperation of the three biggest soil-testing laboratories serving Ohio agriculture: A&L Great Lakes of Fort Wayne, Ind.; Brookside Laboratories of New Bremen, Ohio; and Spectrum Analytic of Washington Court House, Ohio.In 2015, the median soil phosphorus level was within the appropriate agronomic range in 87 of 88 Ohio counties, assuming nutrition needs for a typical Ohio crop rotation.“The next step will be to compare trends in county-level phosphorus fertilizer sales and crop yield data with the soil phosphorus information,” Fulford said.last_img read more

FRENCH OPEN 2019: Serena Williams tries again for 24th major

first_imgPDEA chief backs Robredo in revealing ‘discoveries’ on drug war MOST READ 2019 Match Record: 19-52019 Singles Titles: 1Career Singles Titles: 3Grand Slam Singles Titles: 2 — Australian Open (2019), U.S. Open (2018)Last 5 French Opens: 2018-Lost in 3rd Round, 2017-1st, 2016-3rd, 2015-Did Not Play, 2014-DNPADVERTISEMENT Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. FILE – In this June 2, 2018, file photo, Serena Williams of the United States, returns a shot against Germany’s Julia Georges during their third round match at the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, File)Women to watch at the French Open, where play begins Sunday:___ADVERTISEMENT Age: 292019 Match Record: 28-82019 Singles Titles: 2Career Singles Titles: 27Grand Slam Singles Titles: 2 — Wimbledon (2011, 2014)Last 5 French Opens: 2018-3rd, 2017-2nd, 2016-3rd, 2015-4th, 2014-3rdAces: Pulled out of Rome with a left calf issue. … Is third on tour in aces this year, but also has hit by far the most double-faults.Topspin: Since getting to the 2012 semifinals at Roland Garros, only has been past the third round once. Her strong lefty strokes and recent form on clay could mean that changes this year.___SLOANE STEPHENS Grand Slam Singles Titles: 1 — French Open (2018)Last 5 French Opens: 2018-Won Championship, 2017-Runner-Up, 2016-4th, 2015-2nd, 2014-RUAces: Among the WTA’s top 10 in break points converted and first-serve percentage in 2019. … Pulled out of Italian Open with hamstring problem, but said she was sure she’d be OK for Paris.Topspin: Tries to defend a Grand Slam title for the first time. Her movement and defense-to-offense skills have carried her to three of the past five finals at Roland Garros.___KIKI BERTENSRanked: 4Country: NetherlandsAge: 272019 Match Record: 26-10 Aces: After going 1-6 against top-10 opponents in 2018, she is 6-4 in those matches in 2019. … Played cricket while away from the tour for nearly two years after the 2014 U.S. Open.Topspin: After major breakthroughs at the Australian Open in January and when she collected the title at the Miami Open in March, seems poised to show big improvement on her 2-5 career record at the French Open.___SERENA WILLIAMSRanked: 10Country: United StatesAge: 372019 Match Record: 7-22019 Singles Titles: 0Career Singles Titles: 72Grand Slam Singles Titles: 23 — French Open (2002, 2013, 2015), Australian Open (2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2015, 2017), Wimbledon (2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016), U.S. Open (1999, 2002, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014)Last 5 French Opens: 2018-4th, 2017-DNP, 2016-RU, 2015-W, 2014-2ndAces: Back in the top 10 this year after dropping out of the top 400 while away from the tour to have a baby. … After missing about 1½ years of majors, reached two Grand Slam finals in 2018. … Pulled out of last two tournaments because of injured left knee.Topspin: Comes to Paris with only one clay-court match since last year’s French Open. There’s also uncertainty about the status of her knee. So while she’s always considered a favorite, no matter the site or surface, when she is healthy, it is hard to know what to expect from her this time around.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next 2019 Singles Titles: 2Career Singles Titles: 9Grand Slam Singles Titles: 0 — Best: SF, French Open (2016)Last 5 French Opens: 2018-3rd, 2017-2nd, 2016-SF, 2015-1st, 2014-4thAces: Ranks in the tour’s top two in aces and service points won this season. … Hit 20 aces in one match. … At past three clay events, went semifinals-title-semifinals.Topspin: Has the game and the confidence to go far in Paris. Many in tennis think she is ready to play well deep into the second week at a major tournament.___PETRA KVITOVARanked: 6Country: Czech Republic Japanese sumo vs Trump’s WWE: big differences in clash of big men Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport ___ASH BARTYRanked: 8Country: AustraliaAge: 232019 Match Record: 24-52019 Singles Titles: 1Career Singles Titles: 4Grand Slam Singles Titles: 0 — Best: QF, Australian Open (2019)Last 5 French Opens: 2018-2nd, 2017-1st, 2016-DNP, 2015-DNP, 2014-1stcenter_img DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting View comments Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony PLAY LIST 00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP NAOMI OSAKARanked: 1FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsCountry: JapanAge: 21 Aces: After going only 5-4 on clay last year, heads to Paris with a 7-1 mark on the surface in 2019. … Withdrew with injuries from tournaments in Stuttgart (abdominal muscle) and Rome (thumb).Topspin: Big hitting carried her to two Grand Slam titles in a row on hard courts. Clay presents different challenges.___SIMONA HALEPRanked: 3Country: RomaniaAge: 272019 Match Record: 23-82019 Singles Titles: 0Career Singles Titles: 18 Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too LATEST STORIES Ranked: 7Country: United StatesAge: 262019 Match Record: 14-92019 Singles Titles: 0Career Singles Titles: 6Grand Slam Singles Titles: 1 — U.S. Open (2017)Last 5 French Opens: 2018-RU, 2017-DNP, 2016-3rd, 2015-4th, 2014-4thAces: Recently hired coach Sven Groeneveld, who has worked with such past French Open champions as Maria Sharapova and Ana Ivanovic.Topspin: Run to last year’s final in Paris showed that Stephens is capable of winning a Grand Slam championship on clay to go with her hard-court title from the U.S. Open.last_img read more