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Serena Williams rolls into Wimbledon final with win over Julia Goerges

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Serena Williams

Serena Williams was expecting to take “baby steps” on her return to tennis as a mum but after reaching the Wimbledon final wants to make giant strides.

The former world number one will be seeking a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title when she faces Angelique Kerber in Saturday’s showpiece.

Despite being only four tournaments into her return, she has been many people’s favourite for an eighth title.

“This is not inevitable for me,” said Williams, who gave birth in September.

“It’s no secret I had a super tough delivery. I lost count after, like, four surgeries because I was in so many surgeries. There was a time I could barely walk to my mailbox.

“It’s like, come on guys, this is pretty awesome. To hear people say, ‘Oh, she’s a favourite’ – the last 16 months, I’ve played four tournaments and was carrying another human half that time. It’s interesting.”

Serena Williams, 36, arrived at the All England Club ranked 181 in the world and seeded 25th but these numbers have been fooling no-one.

Although her 6-2 6-4 victory over German 13th seed Julia Gorges on Thursday was her first match against a top-50 player at these championships, she has shown enough power, desire and stamina here to answer any questions over the shape she is in.

Against Gorges she appeared to conserve energy by not running for the balls she was unlikely to make but then occasionally charged forward to the net to finish off a point and show she could still move around the court well.

She has dropped just one set at this Wimbledon, against Camila Giorgi in the quarter-finals, and has served the second fastest serve at 122mph – just behind sister Venus’ 123mph delivery.

It has all meant that Serena Williams, who will be watched on Saturday from the Royal Box on Centre Court by her good friend the Duchess of Sussex, is the favourite for a title that will make her the fourth Grand Slam-winning mum of the Open era.

It will be a rematch of 2016 final, which Serena Williams won, and the American says she will need to be at her best to beat the German 11th seed again.

“She’s playing so well. I think she’s incredibly confident,” she said. “I have to be ready for the match of my life.”

It seems her progress since her return – which included reaching the fourth round at the French Open last month but withdrawing through injury – has surprised her.

“I was expecting a few more baby steps myself,” she said. “Again, I’ve said it all week, this is only my fourth tournament back.

Every time I go out there, I want to I guess take a giant step forward, keep taking giant steps, but keep improving.”

Serena Williams seems to have taken the lead from her 10-month daughter in her approach to her comeback that has taken her to a 10th Wimbledon final.

“She’s walking, maybe a little too fast,” she said. “She’s trying to go faster than her body will allow her to go. She’s moving those feet. She kicks her little feet really

hard. I’ve been learning a lot from her.”
BBC

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NEWS

Peter Chingoka dies

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Peter Chingoka

THE International Cricket Council described yesterday as a sad day for the game around the world after former Zimbabwe Cricket chairman, Peter Chingoka, died in Harare.

He was 65 and is survived by wife Shirley, two children Farai and Dambudzo, and one grandchild.

Mourners are gathered at 36 Sandringham Drive Alexandria Park.

“The International Cricket Council (ICC) was today saddened to learn of the death of Peter Chingoka,” the ICC said in a statement.

“Chingoka had a long career as a cricket administrator, including as the president of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union (as Zimbabwe Cricket was called then) from 1992 to 2014, where he assumed the title of chairman in 2001 and significantly contributed to the game’s development across Africa.

“He also was a member of the ICC Board during that time.”

ICC Chief executive, Manu Sawhney, said the global cricket family was mourning.

“The death of Mr Chingoka is sad news for the cricket world. He was widely acknowledged as an important leader in cricket in Zimbabwe and was a respected member of the ICC Board.

“It was with great sadness that we learnt of his death. On behalf of the ICC, I would like to offer our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.”

Chingoka died yesterday morning at the Avenues Clinic.

According to a family spokesperson, Patrick Chingoka, his younger brother, the late administrator was in and out of the hospital and suffered from a combination of hypertension and kidney problems.

ZC chairman, Tavengwa Mukuhlani, described him as a humble and dedicated person

“It’s sad for cricket. It’s a sad day for sport. He served over 20 years on the ZC board and served in the cricket council. He was there when we got our Test cricket status. I served under him as vice-chairman.

“We will greatly miss Peter. He was very humble and approachable. He weathered the storm for cricket locally and internationally.

“He will be missed by many,” said Mukuhlani.

The Sport and Recreation Committee also paid tribute to Chingoka.

“The Sports and Recreation Commission has received with a deep sense of sorrow and sadness the news of the passing on of Peter Chingoka a revered and long-serving cricket administrator.

“Peter’s commitment to sport in general and cricket, in particular, was unquestionable as evidenced by his immeasurable and invaluable contribution to the growth and development of cricket.

“Though Peter had retired from the active administration of Cricket, he still remained a vital cog and a repository of cricket knowledge in the country which could be called upon to give wise counsel at any time.

“The void that Peter has left will undoubtedly be very difficult to fill.

“On behalf of the Sports and Recreation Commission, we will like to convey our deepest sympathies and condolences to his family and the cricket fraternity for the sad loss of a beloved one and a colleague.’’

His death comes a year after his brother Paul, a former Tennis Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe Olympic Committee president, also passed away.

Chingoka was one of the first black Zimbabweans to establish themselves in cricket where he started as a player and then an administrator.

A local cricket fan, Columbus Makumbe, also offered his condolences.

“With deep sorrow, I learnt about the death of one of the best cricket administrators in this country.

“As a devout fan of the Chevrons, I will remember Peter Chingoka as a highly experienced administrator, outstanding personality endowed with unique human properties,’’ Makumbe said.

Chingoka was made honorary life president of ZC just three months after he stepped down as chairman.

During his playing days, he was a seamer and quite a handy lower-order batsman and played in the Gillette Cup knockout competition in 1975-76 and 1976-77.

One of his most notable scalps was South African legend, Barry Richards.

“Peter Chingoka was the first black Zimbabwean to make his name in cricket,’’ the authoritative Cricinfo said.

“A seam bowler and useful lower-order batsman, his greatest cricketing achievement was his appointment as captain of the South African African XI that played in the Gillette Cup knockout competition in 1975-76 and 1976-77.

“He was able to play multiracial club cricket for Universals, but was not a major figure and pursued cricket administration.

“He was appointed vice-president of the ZCU in 1990 and took over as president at the resignation of David Ellman-Brown in 1992, shortly after Zimbabwe gained Test status.’’The Chronicle

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NEWS

Zimbabwe Cricket governing board to be reinstated following court order

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ZIMBABWE CRICKET TEAM

Zimbabwe’s Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) has decided to reinstate Zimbabwe Cricket’s suspended governing board, which it had replaced by an interim committee last month.

The move led to the cricket board’s suspension by the ICC, which deemed it as “political interference”. ZC was given an October 8 deadline to “unconditionally reinstate” the governing board led by Tavengwa Mukuhlani.

“Accordingly, and pursuant to the said court order, the SRC hereby lifts the suspension of the directors of ZC, including that of the acting managing director [Givemore Makoni], with immediate effect,” read the statement released by SRC on August 8. “The interim committee accordingly ceases to administer the affairs of Zimbabwe Cricket forthwith.”

The decision by SRC follows a court order that came about after the suspended directors of ZC appealed the decision in the administrative court of Zimbabwe. The reinstatement of Mukuhlani and others paves the way for Zimbabwe’s inclusion back into the international fold. The ICC will convene for its next meeting on October 12, four days after the deadline for Zimbabwe ends.

In a July 24 letter, the ICC had warned about a possible termination if Zimbabwe Cricket fails to find a way back to the democratically elected board.

“Should the ICC not receive a satisfactory response from you on the above terms, within the stipulated time frame, the ICC reserves its right to take such further action as it deems appropriate including to proceed by way of termination of your membership as provided for in the Articles of Association,” the ICC letter read.

Zimbabwe, with their full member rights suspended, have already lost on berths in the upcoming World T20 qualifiers. Nigeria replaced them in the Men’s qualifiers whereas Namibia replaced them in the Women’s qualifiers.

Besides that, Zimbabwe’s domestic competitions were also put on hold due to frozen funds but the news of their participation in the triangular series in Bangladesh, which earlier looked doubtful, came as a huge boost. Cricbuzz

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Marvelous Nakamba’s dad happy after son’s move to Aston Villa

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Marvelous Nakamba Aston Villa FC

Marvelous Nakamba’s father is a proud man after his son joined English Premier League side Aston Villa.

Nakamba completed the move to Villa after several seasons with Club Brugge in Belgium. The 25-year-old player’s father Anthony Nakamba revealed what his son’s latest venture means for the family.

“We are so happy as a family,” Anthony Nakamba told ZBC.

Nakamba, who has previously played in France and The Netherlands, has lead his father to reveal that his son has been responsible for showing the family around several parts of Europe.

“We don’t know how to express it. We have waited for this for a very long time. Marvelous’ football career has opened doors to the Nakambas — and they’re now a world away from the one-bedroom house in Njube they used to live in,” continued the father.

“I’m so happy with his move. We have managed to see Europe, which we never dreamt of.”

‘’We managed to stay in the Netherlands for two months. I did not know Europe, but thanks to my son, I ended up getting to know Germany and Switzerland. I am so happy for my son because I know many parts of Europe thanks to him,” concluded Nakamba senior.

The Warriors international may make his English Premier League debut this Saturday when Villa take on Tottenham Hotspur in London at 18:30.

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