Saville eyes new start with Open wildcard

Saville eyes new start with Open wildcard

Luke Saville is looking to play his way into the n Open with a wildcard win.Luke Saville is looking for a fresh start, with an appearance in the n Open the ideal way to reignite his tennis career.
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Saville will take on James Duckworth in Sunday's n Open wildcard playoff final at Melbourne Park, with both players keen to rediscover some winning form.

The victor will be rewarded with direct entry into the main singles draw of the January tournament.

Still just 24, Saville's world ranking has tumbled from a career-high 152 in 2015 to 476 and he has failed to feature in a grand-slam main draw since 2012.

A former junior world No.1, the winner of the Wimbledon and n Open junior titles has struggled with the transition to the senior field.

The South n said he felt he'd found some good form this week during the invitational tournament.

"I've been pretty happy with my game and have been playing well," Saville told Tennis .

"I've done some good work leading into this tournament and I'm happy to be playing off for a wildcard.

"It's a massive prize on offer."

Ranked 244, Duckworth has also had his struggles, undergoing five rounds of surgery on his foot, shoulder and elbow over 12 months.

The 26-year-old Sydneysider made six consecutive n Open main-draw appearances from 2012-17 and reached a career-high world No. 82 before the injury run.

"We know each other's games so well and James is a quality player - he's been top 100," Saville said.

"A few injuries have put him back outside but he's obviously a very good player."

Saville said Duckworth would start favourite for the final but he was happy just to be in with a chance.

"I'll go in as the underdog but I don't mind that tag.

"I just want to go out there and dig in, play another good match, serve well and I think I'll give myself the best chance if I do that."

India 3-172 in Perth, trail Aussies by 154

India 3-172 in Perth, trail Aussies by 154

Virat Kohli (R) and Ajinkya Rahane 50s have guided India after a shaky start in the 2nd Test.Virat Kohli has provided predictably composed resistance in the second Test, classily conquering some quality bowling as India reached 3-172 and trimmed 's lead to 154 runs at stumps on day two in Perth.
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The four-Test series was almost billed as a battle between and Kohli, such were the headlines and hype about the world's best batsman with an outstanding record in this country.

Kohli scored three and 34 during India's series-opening victory at Adelaide Oval, a reminder the world No.1 Test side boasted plenty of other threats.

But at Optus Stadium on Saturday there was no underplaying the importance of one individual, whose ongoing attritional battle with arguably the world's best attack has the potential to decide the contest.

Kohli finished 82 not out, steadying superbly after Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood rattled stumps, removed openers and reduced India to 2-8.

"We feel pretty confident whenever he is batting," Ishant Sharma said.

"We finished the day in a strong position.

"It's equal right now, hopefully we'll win the first session tomorrow and turn the game in our favour."

Usman Khawaja insisted hadn't lost the upper hand.

"We're still ahead of the game in a lot of respects," Khawaja said.

"Virat's a good batsman. He respects good balls and tries to put away bad ones.

"It took them 70 overs to get 170, so I still think one or two wickets hopefully in the first session on Sunday will be pretty big for us."

Kohli, metaphorically and literally on the front foot given he was batting well outside his crease despite the pace and threat posed by Starc and Hazlewood in their opening spells, required just nine balls to stroke four well-timed boundaries and deliver the latest reminder of his immense talent.

The hosts won the next round. There wasn't a single boundary in the next 21 overs and the captain's strike-rate dipped.

's quicks beat the superstar's bat semi-regularly, a couple of edges fell short of fielders, while Kohli boldly shouldered arms to a Nathan Lyon offspinner that turned sharply and almost kissed the top of off stump.

Kolhi twice required treatment in Saturday's final session, after a blow to the elbow then a scrape resulting from a dive necessitated by a mix-up between the wickets with Ajinkya Rahane.

The right-hander shooed physio Patrick Farhart away with disdain both times then reasserted his dominance by putting away a couple of the few loose balls provided.

Kohli and Rahane's stand is already worth 90 and has the potential to become match-winning on Sunday, when the second new ball is available in 11 overs.

Rahane, unbeaten on 51 after a painful blow to the right thumb inflicted by Hazlewood, and Cheteshwar Pujara, who fell tamely on 24, helped Kohli nudge India closer to first-innings parity.

Earlier, lost 4-16 to finish all out for 326 in their first innings.

Sharma removed Starc and Hazlewood to finish with 4-41, his best Test haul in .

Yeo emerges as potential Panthers skipper

Yeo emerges as potential Panthers skipper

Isaah Yeo has earned a reputation among the Penrith hierarchy as a long-term leader.He might not be considered a superstar but no-frills back-rower Isaah Yeo has emerged as a surprise contender to skipper Penrith next year.
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Ivan Cleary has yet to announce his leadership group for the 2019 NRL season and James Maloney isn't assured of retaining the job as the Panthers' new coach gets set to put his own mark on the side.

Maloney's future at the club is up in the air. While contracted for another two seasons, he continues to be linked to a move to the English Super League in 2020.

And after 108 NRL games, Yeo has earned a reputation among the Penrith hierarchy as a long-term leader and is highly regarded by Cleary.

He captained the side against the Warriors in Maloney's absence during the representative period this year.

And the 24-year-old is now in the running to lead the side next year along with Maloney and New Zealand Test skipper Dallin Watene-Zelezniak.

Cleary handed Yeo his debut in his first stint as Panthers coach in round one in 2014 and after returning to Sydney's west a month-and-a-half ago, he said he couldn't have been more impressed with the Dubbo product.

"Isaah definitely has leadership potential and he is one guy that has noticeably matured in my eyes since I've come back," Cleary said.

"He debuted as a fresh-faced 20-year-old and I always thought he had the potential to be a good leader. And he's really growing in that mould."

Cleary admitted he was take aback when Michael Maguire handed Watene-Zelezniak the Kiwis' Test captaincy but said he was a candidate to skipper his club.

"That was probably a little bit of a shock (the Kiwis captaincy) but he loved it," Cleary said.

"Without being there and seeing how he went. He's another guy who was really matured."

Cleary did, however, rule out the prospect of his son and halfback Nathan taking over the captaincy, saying the 21-year-old wasn't ready for the job.

"If the day comes when he should be the captain then he should be," Cleary said.

"I don't think it's at that point yet.

"There's going to be some things in our relationship we don't know exactly how it's going to pan out but we'll just deal with it.

"I believe he's got leadership potential, for sure, but it'll be down the track somewhere."

Carl Williams home sold prior to auction

Carl Williams home sold prior to auction

The former house of underworld figure Carl Williams has been sold before an auction in Melbourne.The family home of murdered drug kingpin Carl Williams was sold on Saturday after his former wife failed in her bid to block the sale.
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The Essendon home was set to go to auction at midday on Saturday as the n Tax Office attempted to claw back money owed by Roberta Williams' former father-in-law George Williams' estate.

But it sold beforehand for an undisclosed amount.

Roberta Williams went to the Supreme Court to stop the sale by the n Taxation Office to pay off a $959,714 tax debt owed by George Williams' estate, linked to money he made importing drugs.

Her daughter with Carl, Dhakota Williams, was bequeathed the house in her grandfathers' will.

Justice Steven Moore on Friday rejected the claim to block the sale, allowing it to go ahead.

The property had a reserve price of $750,000, which he said would fall short of the amount owed to the tax office.

Sold by Nelson Alexander Essendon, the two-storey townhouse in Primrose Street was described as delivering an "outstanding low-maintenance lifestyle opportunity with its spacious floorplan, quality features throughout and private surrounds".

It also included "motorised security shutters all-round".

George Williams was first notified of the debt after he pleaded guilty to trafficking in November 2007.

The original debt proceedings were dropped, but fresh ones were brought in 2011 and in 2013 he agreed to mortgage his Primrose Street, Essendon property to the Commonwealth for $576,000 to cover the debt.

With interest, the figure is now just shy of a million dollars.

Weinstein ‘spoke of Jennifer Lawrence sex’

Weinstein ‘spoke of Jennifer Lawrence sex’

Jennifer Lawrence has denied Harvey Weinstein's alleged claim that the pair had sex.Harvey Weinstein has been hit with a lawsuit from an actress who claims he forced himself on her, and had bragged about having sex with actress Jennifer Lawrence.
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According to the suit, Weinstein pushed her to the ground during a meeting in his office in 2013.

He allegedly removed her underwear, began to perform oral sex and then repeatedly masturbated in front of her, and threatened to harm her career if she objected.

He asked, "Do you even want to be an actress?," as she started to sob in protest, according to the suit.

Weinstein said he was trying to help her and that he was the gateway to her dreams, according to the suit, adding, "I slept with Jennifer Lawrence and look where she is; she just won an Oscar."

Lawrence issued a statement on Friday denying that they had a sexual relationship.

"My heart breaks for all the women who were victimised by Harvey Weinstein," Lawrence said.

"I have never had anything but a professional relationship with him. This is yet another example of the predatory tactics and lies that he engaged in to lure countless women."

The plaintiff, identified in the suit only as Jane Doe, said she first met Weinstein at the Sundance Film Festival in 2013.

She said she went to his suite at the Waldorf Astoria Park City, where Weinstein barged in on her while she was using the bathroom.

She said Weinstein pulled down his pants and masturbated, eventually ejaculating on her skirt.

Weinstein's lawyers have repeatedly denied that he engaged in non-consensual sex, and alleged that his accusers are lying about consensual relations.

Weinstein's representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.