After victories at Wimbledon, Serena Williams, pictured, and Rafael Nadal are the royalty of the court.
After victories at Wimbledon, Serena Williams, pictured, and Rafael Nadal are the royalty of the court.

Wimbledon's champions in need of rivals



LONDON // Wimbledon began with questions being asked about how durable the dual dominance of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer would prove to be, and how much longer the sister act of Serena and Venus Williams would reign supreme over the rest of the world's best women. A fortnight later those questions appear to be half answered. Federer and Venus Williams can no longer claim to be king and queen of the Centre Court, despite being crowned there on six and five occasions, respectively.

Nadal and Serena Williams, however, look more powerful than ever. Providing that these two world No 1s remain fit and committed - and they are big provisos because Nadal is plagued by injury doubts and Williams is frequently distracted by off-court interests - they both seem destined for places among the greatest in the game. Federer is now universally acknowledged as the finest men's player ever, having completed a career Grand Slam last year and gone on to establish his cherished record of 16 major titles. Now, however, he now seems powerless to restrict Nadal in the Spaniard's relentless pursuit of further accolades. The manner of Federer's comprehensive defeat by Tomas Berdych in the quarter-finals of his favourite tournament, and the way he succumbed to Robin Soderling at the same stage of the French Open, suggests that the Swiss maestro's best days are now behind him.

Federer is now down to No 3 in the ATP rankings, the first time since 2003 that he has been outside the top two, although it would be foolish to disregard him for the US Open, which is only seven weeks away. Similar dismissive comments were being made about Nadal a year ago after he, too, was denied victory at Roland Garros by Soderling, and then failed to appear to defend his hard-earned first Wimbledon title because of chronic knee tendinitis.

Those who chose to write off Nadal as a spent force when he was only 23 were justified at the time in making those observations. How foolish those comments look now, though, as Nadal danced around for two mesmerising weeks in a grass-court environment that was once alien to him. The ruthless way the Spaniard dealt with a terrific challenge from Britain's Andy Murray was the highlight of the tournament for most purists. If Murray continues to improve - the British No 1 is still only 23 - he can get closer to Nadal. It was Federer, however, who nominated the man who could prove to be the most serious threat to Nadal. Federer is a big fan of Juan Martin del Potro, the tall Argentine who beat him last year in the US Open final, but he will not be fit enough to defend that honour because of a wrist injury.

If Del Potro does what Nadal has done and returns healthier and stronger from his career-threatening fitness problems, then he may stop Nadal from mopping up of the most sought-after prizes. The record total for women's singles grand slam titles stands at a remarkable 24 established when the Australian Margaret Court won the US Open for the fifth time in 1973. Serena Williams has the ability and physical strength to challenge that, but at 28 and with interests elsewhere, it is doubtful she will have the hunger to pursue it. One woman who fleetingly looked like she could stop the American juggernaut at Wimbledon was Maria Sharapova, who did just that in the 2004 final, and looks to be getting back to her best after having corrective surgery on her shoulder.

It was a pity the Russian was in the same section of the draw as Williams. Their fourth-round encounter, which hinged on her failure to take set points in a pivotal first-set tie-breaker, was probably the best match of the women's tournament - better than the intriguing all-Belgian clash between the "comeback queens" Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin, which was played on the same day. Henin injured her elbow on the way to defeat in that match and will not be fit to take her place alongside the champion Clijsters at Flushing Meadows. The injury will also prevent her from playing in Brussels on Thursday, in front of what has been billed as the largest crowd for a tennis match. Henin was scheduled to take on Clijsters in an exhibition which has generated more ticket sales than the "Battle of the Sexes" match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs 37 years ago. But, the 40,000-seat show must go on, though, and who better to put on the other side of the net to Clijsters than Serena Williams?

wjohnson@thenational.ae

1. Rafael Nadal (ESP) 10,745 2. Novak Djokovic (SRB) 6,905 3. Roger Federer (SUI) 6,885 4. Andy Murray (GBR) 5,155 5. Robin Soderling (SWE) 4,935 6. Nikolay Davydenko (RUS) 4,740 7. JM del Potro (ARG) 4,350 8. Tomas Berdych (CZE) 3,845 9. Andy Roddick (USA) 3,490 10. Fernando Verdasco (ESP) 3,475

1. Serena Williams (USA) 8,475 2. Jelena Jankovic (SRB) 5,900 3. Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) 5,630 4. Venus Williams (USA) 5,606 5. Samantha Stosur (AUS) 4,890 6. Elena Dementieva (RUS) 4,670 7. Kim Clijsters (BEL) 4,510 8. Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 4,425 9. Vera Zvonareva (RUS) 3,965 10. Li Na (CHI) 3,756

Your rights as an employee

The government has taken an increasingly tough line against companies that fail to pay employees on time. Three years ago, the Cabinet passed a decree allowing the government to halt the granting of work permits to companies with wage backlogs.

The new measures passed by the Cabinet in 2016 were an update to the Wage Protection System, which is in place to track whether a company pays its employees on time or not.

If wages are 10 days late, the new measures kick in and the company is alerted it is in breach of labour rules. If wages remain unpaid for a total of 16 days, the authorities can cancel work permits, effectively shutting off operations. Fines of up to Dh5,000 per unpaid employee follow after 60 days.

Despite those measures, late payments remain an issue, particularly in the construction sector. Smaller contractors, such as electrical, plumbing and fit-out businesses, often blame the bigger companies that hire them for wages being late.

The authorities have urged employees to report their companies at the labour ministry or Tawafuq service centres — there are 15 in Abu Dhabi.

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: PlanRadar
Started: 2013
Co-founders: Ibrahim Imam, Sander van de Rijdt, Constantin Köck, Clemens Hammerl, Domagoj Dolinsek
Based: Vienna, Austria
Sector: Construction and real estate
Current number of staff: 400+
Investment stage: Series B
Investors: Headline, Berliner Volksbank Ventures, aws Gründerfonds, Cavalry Ventures, Proptech1, Russmedia, GR Capital

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

The specs: Macan Turbo

Engine: Dual synchronous electric motors
Power: 639hp
Torque: 1,130Nm
Transmission: Single-speed automatic
Touring range: 591km
Price: From Dh412,500
On sale: Deliveries start in October

A QUIET PLACE

Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

Spider-Man 2

Developer: Insomniac Games
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Console: PlayStation 5
Rating: 5/5

Important questions to consider

1. Where on the plane does my pet travel?

There are different types of travel available for pets:

  • Manifest cargo
  • Excess luggage in the hold
  • Excess luggage in the cabin

Each option is safe. The feasibility of each option is based on the size and breed of your pet, the airline they are traveling on and country they are travelling to.

 

2. What is the difference between my pet traveling as manifest cargo or as excess luggage?

If traveling as manifest cargo, your pet is traveling in the front hold of the plane and can travel with or without you being on the same plane. The cost of your pets travel is based on volumetric weight, in other words, the size of their travel crate.

If traveling as excess luggage, your pet will be in the rear hold of the plane and must be traveling under the ticket of a human passenger. The cost of your pets travel is based on the actual (combined) weight of your pet in their crate.

 

3. What happens when my pet arrives in the country they are traveling to?

As soon as the flight arrives, your pet will be taken from the plane straight to the airport terminal.

If your pet is traveling as excess luggage, they will taken to the oversized luggage area in the arrival hall. Once you clear passport control, you will be able to collect them at the same time as your normal luggage. As you exit the airport via the ‘something to declare’ customs channel you will be asked to present your pets travel paperwork to the customs official and / or the vet on duty. 

If your pet is traveling as manifest cargo, they will be taken to the Animal Reception Centre. There, their documentation will be reviewed by the staff of the ARC to ensure all is in order. At the same time, relevant customs formalities will be completed by staff based at the arriving airport. 

 

4. How long does the travel paperwork and other travel preparations take?

This depends entirely on the location that your pet is traveling to. Your pet relocation compnay will provide you with an accurate timeline of how long the relevant preparations will take and at what point in the process the various steps must be taken.

In some cases they can get your pet ‘travel ready’ in a few days. In others it can be up to six months or more.

 

5. What vaccinations does my pet need to travel?

Regardless of where your pet is traveling, they will need certain vaccinations. The exact vaccinations they need are entirely dependent on the location they are traveling to. The one vaccination that is mandatory for every country your pet may travel to is a rabies vaccination.

Other vaccinations may also be necessary. These will be advised to you as relevant. In every situation, it is essential to keep your vaccinations current and to not miss a due date, even by one day. To do so could severely hinder your pets travel plans.

Source: Pawsome Pets UAE

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Haltia.ai
Started: 2023
Co-founders: Arto Bendiken and Talal Thabet
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: AI
Number of employees: 41
Funding: About $1.7 million
Investors: Self, family and friends

Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

MATCH INFO

Uefa Champions League, semi-final result:

Liverpool 4-0 Barcelona

Liverpool win 4-3 on aggregate

Champions Legaue final: June 1, Madrid

MATCH INFO

Serie A

Juventus v Fiorentina, Saturday, 8pm (UAE)

Match is on BeIN Sports

The specs

Engine: 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6
Transmission: 8-speed auto
Power: 536hp (including 138hp e-motor)
Torque: 750Nm (including 400Nm e-motor)
Price: From Dh1,380,000
On sale: now

PULITZER PRIZE 2020 WINNERS

JOURNALISM 

Public Service
Anchorage Daily News in collaboration with ProPublica

Breaking News Reporting
Staff of The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Ky.

Investigative Reporting
Brian M. Rosenthal of The New York Times

Explanatory Reporting
Staff of The Washington Post

Local Reporting  
Staff of The Baltimore Sun

National Reporting
T. Christian Miller, Megan Rose and Robert Faturechi of ProPublica

and    

Dominic Gates, Steve Miletich, Mike Baker and Lewis Kamb of The Seattle Times

International Reporting
Staff of The New York Times

Feature Writing
Ben Taub of The New Yorker

Commentary
Nikole Hannah-Jones of The New York Times

Criticism
Christopher Knight of the Los Angeles Times

Editorial Writing
Jeffery Gerritt of the Palestine (Tx.) Herald-Press

Editorial Cartooning
Barry Blitt, contributor, The New Yorker

Breaking News Photography
Photography Staff of Reuters

Feature Photography
Channi Anand, Mukhtar Khan and Dar Yasin of the Associated Press

Audio Reporting
Staff of This American Life with Molly O’Toole of the Los Angeles Times and Emily Green, freelancer, Vice News for “The Out Crowd”

LETTERS AND DRAMA

Fiction
"The Nickel Boys" by Colson Whitehead (Doubleday)

Drama
"A Strange Loop" by Michael R. Jackson

History
"Sweet Taste of Liberty: A True Story of Slavery and Restitution in America" by W. Caleb McDaniel (Oxford University Press)

Biography
"Sontag: Her Life and Work" by Benjamin Moser (Ecco/HarperCollins)

Poetry
"The Tradition" by Jericho Brown (Copper Canyon Press)

General Nonfiction
"The Undying: Pain, Vulnerability, Mortality, Medicine, Art, Time, Dreams, Data, Exhaustion, Cancer, and Care" by Anne Boyer (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

and

"The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America" by Greg Grandin (Metropolitan Books)

Music
"The Central Park Five" by Anthony Davis, premiered by Long Beach Opera on June 15, 2019

Special Citation
Ida B. Wells

 

ROUTE TO TITLE

Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

The specs: 2018 Nissan 370Z Nismo

The specs: 2018 Nissan 370Z Nismo
Price, base / as tested: Dh182,178
Engine: 3.7-litre V6
Power: 350hp @ 7,400rpm
Torque: 374Nm @ 5,200rpm
Transmission: Seven-speed automatic
​​​​​​​Fuel consumption, combined: 10.5L / 100km

FFP EXPLAINED

What is Financial Fair Play?
Introduced in 2011 by Uefa, European football’s governing body, it demands that clubs live within their means. Chiefly, spend within their income and not make substantial losses.

What the rules dictate? 
The second phase of its implementation limits losses to €30 million (Dh136m) over three seasons. Extra expenditure is permitted for investment in sustainable areas (youth academies, stadium development, etc). Money provided by owners is not viewed as income. Revenue from “related parties” to those owners is assessed by Uefa's “financial control body” to be sure it is a fair value, or in line with market prices.

What are the penalties? 
There are a number of punishments, including fines, a loss of prize money or having to reduce squad size for European competition – as happened to PSG in 2014. There is even the threat of a competition ban, which could in theory lead to PSG’s suspension from the Uefa Champions League.

Other must-tries

Tomato and walnut salad

A lesson in simple, seasonal eating. Wedges of tomato, chunks of cucumber, thinly sliced red onion, coriander or parsley leaves, and perhaps some fresh dill are drizzled with a crushed walnut and garlic dressing. Do consider yourself warned: if you eat this salad in Georgia during the summer months, the tomatoes will be so ripe and flavourful that every tomato you eat from that day forth will taste lacklustre in comparison.

Badrijani nigvzit

A delicious vegetarian snack or starter. It consists of thinly sliced, fried then cooled aubergine smothered with a thick and creamy walnut sauce and folded or rolled. Take note, even though it seems like you should be able to pick these morsels up with your hands, they’re not as durable as they look. A knife and fork is the way to go.

Pkhali

This healthy little dish (a nice antidote to the khachapuri) is usually made with steamed then chopped cabbage, spinach, beetroot or green beans, combined with walnuts, garlic and herbs to make a vegetable pâté or paste. The mix is then often formed into rounds, chilled in the fridge and topped with pomegranate seeds before being served.

HAEMOGLOBIN DISORDERS EXPLAINED

Thalassaemia is part of a family of genetic conditions affecting the blood known as haemoglobin disorders.

Haemoglobin is a substance in the red blood cells that carries oxygen and a lack of it triggers anemia, leaving patients very weak, short of breath and pale.

The most severe type of the condition is typically inherited when both parents are carriers. Those patients often require regular blood transfusions - about 450 of the UAE's 2,000 thalassaemia patients - though frequent transfusions can lead to too much iron in the body and heart and liver problems.

The condition mainly affects people of Mediterranean, South Asian, South-East Asian and Middle Eastern origin. Saudi Arabia recorded 45,892 cases of carriers between 2004 and 2014.

A World Health Organisation study estimated that globally there are at least 950,000 'new carrier couples' every year and annually there are 1.33 million at-risk pregnancies.

TECH SPECS: APPLE WATCH SERIES 8

Display: 41mm, 352 x 430; 45mm, 396 x 484; Retina LTPO OLED, up to 1000 nits, always-on; Ion-X glass

Processor: Apple S8, W3 wireless, U1 ultra-wideband

Capacity: 32GB

Memory: 1GB

Platform: watchOS 9

Health metrics: 3rd-gen heart rate sensor, temperature sensing, ECG, blood oxygen, workouts, fall/crash detection; emergency SOS, international emergency calling

Connectivity: GPS/GPS + cellular; Wi-Fi, LTE, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC (Apple Pay)

Durability: IP6X, water resistant up to 50m, dust resistant

Battery: 308mAh Li-ion, up to 18h, wireless charging

Cards: eSIM

Finishes: Aluminium – midnight, Product Red, silver, starlight; stainless steel – gold, graphite, silver

In the box: Watch Series 8, magnetic-to-USB-C charging cable, band/loop

Price: Starts at Dh1,599 (41mm) / Dh1,999 (45mm)

MATCH INFO

Everton 0

Manchester City 2 (Laporte 45+2', Jesus 90+7')


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