Soccer: U.S. Women's National Team World Cup Media Day
May 24, 2019; New York, NY, USA; Carli Lloyd , Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe take questions during the U.S. Women’s National Team World Cup media day at Twitter NYC. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

May 24, 2019

By Amy Tennery

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The 1999 U.S. women’s team may defy comparison in the eyes of many soccer fans but, 20 years after their famous World Cup triumph, the challenges they faced are all too familiar with pay and conditions still at the top of the agenda.

Soccer’s world governing body FIFA has boosted the prize money for this year’s women’s World Cup to $30 million but that figure is dwarfed by the roughly $448 million on offer at the men’s tournament in Russia last year.

“For the resources and for the ability that FIFA has to implement that change (more investment), they’re not doing nearly enough,” co-captain Megan Rapinoe said on Friday. “I hope that it’s just so much better (in 20 years) than it is now.”

The success of the 1999 team, playing in front of huge home crowds, turned players like Mia Hamm into household names and inspired a generation of girls and female athletes, even if the promise of widespread gender parity in sports remains elusive.

In March, the U.S. women’s squad sued U.S. Soccer for gender discrimination, saying the sport’s national organizing body paid them less than the men’s team despite their superior performance and provided them with sub-standard facilities.

Julie Foudy, a midfielder on the 1999 team, told Reuters earlier this week that she was “frustrated” there was still a need to pursue the dispute.

“It’s exhausting to keep fighting that fight and especially (for them) to do it right before a World Cup,” Foudy said.

All 23 members of this year’s squad spoke to the media ahead of Sunday’s friendly against Mexico, part of a farewell series of friendlies ahead of next month’s tournament in France where they will be defending the title they won in 2015.

“I think it’s pretty clear women in sport have not been treated with the same care and financing that men’s sports has,” said Rapinoe.

Despite the frustration over the progress made by the women’s game since the U.S. beat China 5-4 on penalties to win the 1999 World Cup, that triumph continues to resonate.

Co-captain Alex Morgan, who has drawn comparisons to Hamm, said the 1999 team were very influential in her development.

“The ’99ers had a huge impact on me and growing my passion to want to play, and being good friends with a lot of them now, I still draw a lot of inspiration from them,” she said.

The U.S. launch their title defense against Thailand on June 11 in Group F which also features Sweden and Chile.

(Reporting by Amy Tennery; Editing by Ken Ferris)

Source: OANN

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — John Pinto, a Navajo Code Talker in World War II who became one of the nation’s longest serving Native American elected officials as a New Mexico state senator, has died. He was 94.

Senate colleague Michael Padilla confirmed Pinto’s death in Gallup on Friday after years of suffering from various illnesses that rarely kept him from his duties.

After serving as a Marine, Pinto was selected to the Senate in 1976 and represented a district that included the Navajo Nation for more than four decades. The region is one of the poorest in the country.

Born in Lupton, Arizona, on the Navajo Nation to a family of sheep herders, Pinto didn’t start formal schooling until he was nearly a teenager.

“At the age of 12, I was in kindergarten,” Pinto told the Albuquerque Journal in a 2007 interview. “I guess I did all right.”

After serving as a Navajo Code Talker — a group of radio men translating American coordinates and messages into an indecipherable code based on the Navajo language — Pinto had to take an English test four times before he was finally admitted into the University of New Mexico’s College of Education. He graduated with a bachelor’s in elementary education at 39 and eventually earned his master’s.

Like many returning Native American veterans, Pinto delved into politics to address the needs of impoverished indigenous populations. The Democrat won a seat in state Senate in 1976 as one of the state’s first Native American senators.

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Photo Credit: Morgan Lee/AP File

Source: The Washington Pundit

Did you hear the story about the crooked banker who tried to get himself a Cabinet job by cutting a sweetheart loan to Paul Manafort?

We hope President Trump did.

Trump occasionally needs a reminder that Manafort, his former campaign chairman, was a self-dealing crook who saw Trump not as his client but as his product. The federal indictment announced Thursday alleges a bribery scheme that bears this out. Manafort, who was not exactly very creditworthy, got a $6.5 million bank loan at a too-low interest rate. The banker, Stephen Calk, allegedly approved this loan in exchange for an administration job, such as a Cabinet slot or an ambassadorship.

Manafort allegedly procured a job interview for Calk, without telling Trump’s transition team that Calk was his sweetheart lender. Thankfully, Calk never got a Trump administration job, but Manafort appears to have secretly used his proximity to Trump to enrich himself. Trump shouldn’t forget how much Manafort tried to use him.

But there’s a second lesson here involving not Manafort’s pursuit of profit, but Trump’s.

The lesson is this: When you have power, people will be willing to enrich you personally, expecting you will use that power to help them. Even if you don’t help them, it corrupts the system to let that expectation persist.

Trump operates dozens of hotels and resorts around the U.S. and around the world. When people, companies, and governments spend money at those Trump properties, they are enriching Trump personally. Undoubtedly, many foreign government officials who drop thousands of dollars at the Trump Hotel believe that this ought to earn them some favor with the Trump administration.

It is dangerous and corrupting if these foreign leaders believe they are owed something because they enriched Trump. It is also bad if businessmen, foreign or domestic, spend money at Trump properties expecting something in exchange.

There is also the risk they will get something in exchange. We’re not positing that Trump would do a naked quid pro quo, but we know how Trump carries warm feelings towards those who do business with him in a way he finds profitable.

“Saudi Arabia,” he said on the campaign trail, “I get along with all of them. They buy apartments from me. They spend $40 million, $50 million. Am I supposed to dislike them? I like them very much.”

Even if Trump isn’t inclined to give a policy gift to his benefactors, he surely feels tempted to look away from their misdeeds, it seems.

Also, a lower-level U.S. official may be bullied by a businessmen or government official who is certain the Trump administration owes him something in exchange for the money he gave Trump.

This is why, since he won the election, we implored Trump to unload his properties, empowering an independent agent to sell the properties, at fair market value, in a sale in which Trump has no role.

Such a forced sale would be suboptimal for Trump’s wealth, but that’s the sort of sacrifice the presidency demands. Power rightly comes not with riches, but with constraints and sacrifice.

FILE PHOTO: An employee of a bank counts US dollar notes at a branch in Hanoi
FILE PHOTO: An employee of a bank counts US dollar notes at a branch in Hanoi, Vietnam May 16, 2016. REUTERS/Kham/File Photo

May 24, 2019

By Daniel Leussink

TOKYO (Reuters) – The dollar held steady on Friday, having come off two-year highs on lower U.S. yields in the previous session amid fears that a trade war with China will hurt the U.S. economy more than previously thought.

The greenback was not helped by rising expectations for an interest rate cut by the U.S. Federal Reserve later this year to help boost the world’s biggest economy.

Against a basket of key rival currencies, the dollar was largely unchanged at 97.906, having fallen from a two-year high of 98.371 overnight. The index is still up 1.8% for the year.

“Global risk aversion stemming from the intensifying U.S.-China trade tension is causing the stronger yen,” said Masafumi Yamamoto, chief currency strategist at Mizuho Securities.

“Markets are pricing in the potential negative impact on the U.S. economy and the U.S. equity markets,” he said, referring to U.S.-China trade tensions.

On Thursday, President Donald Trump said U.S. complaints against Huawei Technologies Co Ltd might be resolved within the framework of a U.S.-China trade deal, while at the same time calling the Chinese telecommunications giant “very dangerous.”

The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note yield was last up slightly at 2.3309%.

Overnight, it fell to its lowest since October 2017 after an early read on U.S. manufacturing activity for May posted its weakest pace of growth in almost a decade, suggesting a sharp slowdown in economic growth was underway.

There was only a 38.2% expectation on Thursday that U.S. interest rates will be at current levels in October of this year, compared to 58.3% a month ago, according to the CME Group’s FedWatch tool.

Against the yen, the dollar edged up to 109.695 yen, having giving up two-thirds of a percent overnight to record its steepest drop in a single session in two months.

The greenback is still 0.6% above a three-month trough of 109.02 yen touched on May 13.

The Australian dollar held steady at $0.6904, putting it on track to finish the week with a 0.5% gain, its first positive weekly performance in six weeks.

Elsewhere in the foreign exchange market, the euro was flat at $1.1183, having bounced from a two-year low of $1.11055 during the previous session.

The single currency came under pressure after a private survey showed activity in Germany’s services and manufacturing sectors fell in May, aggravating fears about the effect of unresolved trade disputes on Europe’s largest economy.

Compounding these worries, European parliamentary elections began on Thursday with eurosceptic parties expected to do well, raising concerns about the single currency’s stability.

(Graphic: World FX rates in 2019 –

(Reporting by Daniel Leussink; editing by Darren Schuettler)

Source: OANN

IndyCar: 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500-Practice
May 16, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; NTT IndyCar series driver Marco Andretti stands in his pit box during practice for the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

May 23, 2019

By Steve Keating

INDIANAPOLIS (Reuters) – One family’s curse can be another family’s blessing but for the Andretti clan they are one and the same when it comes to the Indianapolis 500.

For more than five decades the Andrettis, starting with family patriarch Mario, have had a complicated relationship with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS).

American motor racing royalty, the Andrettis have ruled over open wheel racing in the United States with a string of victories that have connected generations — father, to son, to grandson.

But for all their success at circuits around the world, Mario Andretti’s Indy 500 victory in 1969 stands alone.

That win 50 years ago this weekend was expected to be the first of many for Mario at the Brickyard.

He had already won a Daytona 500 and in 1978 would claim the Formula One drivers’ title but he would never again roll on to Victory Lane at IMS.

His son Michael, a five-times winner of the Indy 500 as a team owner, tried 16 times as a driver but never chugged from the winner’s quart of milk.

Neither has Mario’s youngest son Jeff, nephew John or grandson Marco, who will carry the family flag into Sunday’s race.

Such has been their cruel misfortune that the thinking is there could be no other explanation for the Andretti heartbreak than a curse.

Exactly what it was that so angered the racing gods, however, is uncertain.

Folklore has it that in 1970 Mario got in the middle of a feud between team owners Andy Granatelli and Clint Brawner. When Andretti sided with Granatelli, Brawner’s wife put a hex on the family promising no Andretti would win the Indianapolis 500 again.

“I never took it seriously, as a matter of fact I don’t endorse it (a curse) whatsoever,” Andretti told Reuters. “When I look at the big picture of what Indy has meant to us, what we have been able to do there, ok we were not able to control certain things that were out of our control but the fact that we led so many laps, between Michael and I especially, they knew we were there.

“Between Michael, Marco and myself we have 16 podiums,” he added. “Indy has done a lot for us so, no not a curse. I say a blessing.”

If the Andrettis are infatuated with the Indy 500 it is because the race has been a shameless flirt.


Certainly the Andrettis have plenty of reasons to feel jilted with Michael and Marco both having posted runner-up results.

Mario reflects on his own bad luck with an “it is what it is” shrug until the controversial 1981 race enters the discussion.

That year, Andretti crossed second but was declared the winner when Bobby Unser was disqualified for an illegal pit stop. Five months later on an appeal Unser was fined $40,000 and reinstated as the winner.

“By the rule book I won that race,” Andretti said. “I would have paid $40,000 all day to cheat 11 cars and cross the finish line first. “

At 79-years-old Andretti, who still takes passengers for two-seater rides around the Brickyard at close to 200 mph, remains the most popular and best known racing driver in the United States.

Fifty years on, his victory still resonate with race fans.

Museums have set up displays to mark the anniversary, a commemorative bronze pin has been stamped and Andretti merchandise is flying off the shelves of specially set up Mario merchandise stores.

Marco Andretti will pay tribute to his grandfather on Sunday by driving a car with the same day-glow red livery Mario used for his memorable 1969 victory.

The only detail yet to be worked out is an Andretti win on Sunday which would be a fairytale bookend to a family dynasty.

“There is something about that place that is so special,” Andretti said. “You would hear my screams wherever you are if Marco wins, I guarantee it.

“This would be the sweetest moment. For what it means and the amount of time that we have devoted to that (the Indy 500) would be the ultimate reward.”

(Editing by Ed Osmond)

Source: OANN

Miwa Moriya cries while she speaks during an interview with Reuters at her house in Yokohama
Miwa Moriya cries while she speaks during an interview with Reuters at her house in Yokohama, Japan, April 24, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-hoon

May 23, 2019

By Chang-Ran Kim

TOKYO (Reuters) – Miwa Moriya was 6 when social workers told her she was going to a Christmas party, but instead moved her into a group home for about 60 children in a small city in western Japan.

The “party” turned into more than eight years of living away from her mother, and the beginning of a long battle with loneliness, bullying, and trauma.

She never knew exactly why she was sent to the home – only that the state thought she would be better off there than with her family.

Unlike most developed countries, which place the majority of children who are abused, neglected, or can’t live with their parents for other reasons in foster homes, Japan puts more than 80% of the 38,000 such children in residential-care facilities, according to government figures.

Once there, about one in seven stay for more than a decade, data show – despite UN guidelines that say children should grow up in a family setting.

The government has made the issue a legislative priority after several high-profile child-abuse deaths and a sharp rise in overall abuse cases. Local authorities have been given a deadline of next March to draw up a plan to improve the situation.

Last summer, the Japanese government said it wanted at least three-quarters of preschoolers in need of state care to live in foster homes within seven years, and the number of adoptions to double to at least 1,000 within five.

Hundreds of care facilities were set up after World War Two to shelter orphaned street children, and state care has largely been relegated to them since then. About 600 are operating today.

Such facilities – most of which house 20 or more children – have helped many, but are a poor alternative to a healthy family setting, experts say. A government investigation last month found sexual violence among children was widespread at institutions.

“Everyone here says, ‘Children are important,’ but that’s bogus,” Yasuhisa Shiozaki, an influential lawmaker who has led efforts to improve children’s welfare in recent years, told Reuters. “Children have always taken a back seat to adults’ interests in Japan. That has to change.”


Miwa, now 23, said that when she first got to the institution, called Kobato Gakuen, in Wakayama Prefecture, she cried at night for days, pining for her mother.

But once Miwa realized that crying wasn’t going to bring her home, she gave up and stopped.

“That made the staff think the children had adapted, but that’s a big mistake,” she said.

Some of the staff were nice, she said. But caretakers came and went without warning. Children lived in fear of the bullies and the strict, chastising adults, she said.

“There’s no escape when you live with your adversaries,” Miwa said.

In such scenarios, and without nurturing attention, institutionalized children can develop what specialists call Developmental Trauma Disorder, said Satoru Nishizawa, a clinical psychologist who has worked with children in state care for nearly 40 years.

“The child doesn’t feel protected and safe,” he said. The disorder can hinder self-control, triggering fits of rage over seemingly petty things. “To calm those tendencies, a person might turn to self-injury, and relationships often go haywire.”


Miwa has many of those symptoms. Every so often, she changes her phone number to sever ties with acquaintances, she said, or is driven to smash things around the flat. The scars on her wrist are a reminder of self-harm.

Still, at Kobato, Miwa considered herself lucky. Unlike the others, she eventually started spending weekends and long breaks with her mother. Many kids rarely, if ever, saw their parents.

She said she never knew why she was living at Kobato, and never thought to ask. It was only in the past six months that she started to wonder.

Her mother told her that welfare workers convinced her Miwa would be better off at a group home, noting she had failed to complete paperwork for Miwa to enter primary school.

In February, Miwa requested the release of her casework to learn more. The 276-page file paints a picture of a struggling mother who needed someone to look after Miwa while searching for work or a place to live away from her partners, including Miwa’s father.

The file shows social workers were in no rush to reunite Miwa and her mother. Miwa doesn’t recall a caseworker ever visiting her when she was little – a fact the records corroborate.

It’s a case in point for critics of the system, who argue that child welfare workers are too busy and may lack the training and expertise to make informed decisions for children.

Shiozaki, the lawmaker, is still trying to push through changes that would boost the number of child welfare workers and require state-level certification, but opposition has been fierce, with critics citing a lack of both people and money. 

Miwa’s psychological state also isn’t discussed much in the records until she was a teenager.

In 2008, she began having trouble sleeping at night. Soon after, doctors diagnosed Miwa with Pervasive Developmental Disorder, characterized by delays in socialization skills. A year later, they prescribed Paxil for depression, the files show.

By the time the welfare office sent Miwa back to her mother, she was 15.

Kobato Gakuen and Wakayama prefecture declined to discuss Miwa’s case with Reuters, citing privacy policies.


Government surveys show that when children leave state care and enter the “real world” at age 18, they struggle most with loneliness and financial strife. Only a third enter university, versus 80% of high-school graduates nationwide.

With few options, about a tenth end up in work that provides housing. Many can’t hold down a job; a tenth end up on welfare, and some become homeless.

As social costs mount, Japan has asked local governments to draw up by next March a roadmap to base alternative care around family scenarios. That includes recruiting foster and adoptive parents, and turning large group homes into family-sized units.

“We have the laws and policies in place,” said Shiozaki, who as a cabinet minister helped revise the Child Welfare Law in 2016 to state that children – not just parents – have rights. “Now the problem is implementation, and making sure things actually change.”

Many experienced caretakers say it won’t be easy.

A ten-fold rise in child-abuse cases in the past two decades raises the question of whether Japanese society has what it takes to properly care for its most vulnerable young members, they say.

“Personally, I want to know what took the government so long,” said Norihisa Kuwahara, who heads a group home in western Japan and is chairman of the national council of children’s residential-care facilities.

Kuwahara says he has no objections to family-based care. But as someone who has worked at the same facility for more than 50 years, he said he knows first-hand the difficulty of caring for a growing number of abused children with increasingly complex psychological scars.

“Now, when the family unit has become so fragile and child-rearing so dysfunctional, rushing through these changes is the wrong approach.”

(Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by Gerry Doyle)

Source: OANN

72nd Cannes Film Festival - The amfAR's Cinema Against AIDS 2019 event
72nd Cannes Film Festival – The amfAR’s Cinema Against AIDS 2019 event – Antibes, France, May 23, 2019. Dua Lipa poses. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

May 23, 2019

By Sarah White and Johnny Cotton

CAP D’ANTIBES, France (Reuters) – From Pamela Anderson to Dua Lipa, the great and good of the movie and music world mingled at the Cannes Film Festival’s most glamorous fixture on Thursday night, a fundraiser for AIDS research where stars including Mariah Carey were set to perform.

Reality TV star and model Kendall Jenner, actors Antonio Banderas and Andie MacDowell, and designer Tommy Hilfiger were among guests at the swanky AmfAR dinner on the French Riviera, put on by the U.S.-based Foundation for AIDS Research.

Attendees and AmfAR representatives said this year’s event, also set to feature a performance by crooner Tom Jones, was particularly poignant, following medical breakthroughs in trying to find a cure for AIDS.

An HIV-positive man in Britain became the second known adult worldwide to be cleared of the AIDS virus after he received a bone marrow transplant from an HIV-resistant donor, his doctors said in March.

“As optimistic as we are going forward, this disease is nowhere near finishing,” AmfAR board Chairman William Roedy told journalists ahead of the party on the grounds of the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, an exclusive hotel on the Cap d’Antibes, which juts out into the Mediterranean along the coast from Cannes.

“We have to keep our foot on the pedal,” he said.

Australian actress Rebel Wilson presented one of the items on auction at the event, a marble Mickey Mouse statue, which sold for 450,000 euros ($503,235) after bids started at 50,000 euros.

A stay on a private island off Tanzania went for 100,000 euros.

A painting by Andy Warhol, a motorbike and a collection of designer dresses were also up for auction, as well as a stay in London that included a chance to meet Prince Charles and participate in events linked to his charitable foundation.

Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein used to be a staple of the AmfAR event in Cannes. Last year’s dinner was the first in his absence after he was embroiled in a scandal when more than 70 women accused him of sexual misconduct.

($1 = 0.8942 euros)

(Reporting by Sarah White and Johnny Cotton; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: An aerial photo shows several Boeing 737 MAX airplanes grounded at Boeing Field in Seattle
FILE PHOTO: An aerial photo shows several Boeing 737 MAX airplanes grounded at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington, U.S. March 21, 2019. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson/File Photo

May 23, 2019

By Allison Lampert

MONTREAL (Reuters) – U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) representatives told members of the United Nations’ aviation agency they expect approval of Boeing Co’s 737 MAX jets to fly in the United States as early as late June, three people with knowledge of the matter said, although there is no firm timetable for the move. FAA and Boeing representatives briefed members of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) governing council in Montreal on Thursday on efforts to return the plane to service. The three people spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private briefing.

The MAX was grounded worldwide in March following two crashes involving the model that killed a combined 346 people.

FAA officials who briefed the council said they expected the ungrounding would take place in the United States as early as late June, but it was not clear when other countries would clear the flights, said two of the sources.

Canada and Europe said on Wednesday they would bring back the grounded aircraft on their own terms.

The FAA declined to comment on Thursday, referring to acting administrator Dan Elwell’s statement on Wednesday that he does not have a timetable for making a decision.

“It’s taking as long as it takes to be right,” he said. “I’m not tied to a timetable.”

Boeing did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Its shares pared earlier losses to close down 0.6% at $350.55.

The ICAO gathering comes as the FAA is meeting with international air regulators in Texas to discuss what steps are needed to return the 737 MAX to service, while the International Air Transport Association (IATA) is hosting MAX airline operators from across the world in Montreal.

Montreal-based ICAO cannot impose binding rules on governments, but wields clout through its safety and security standards which are approved by its 193 member states.

(Reporting by Allison Lampert in Montreal; Additional reporting by Tracy Rucinski in Chicago, David Shepardson in Fort Worth, Texas and Eric Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Matthew Lewis and Bill Rigby)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO - Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro attends a ceremony of consecration of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia
FILE PHOTO – Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro attends a ceremony of consecration of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil May 21, 2019. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

May 23, 2019

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s lower house of Congress has rebuffed President Jair Bolsonaro’s move to put decisions on indigenous land claims in the hands of the Ministry of Agriculture.

The chamber voted late on Wednesday to restore land delineation decisions to the National Indigenous Affairs agency Funai, which will also be placed under the Ministry of Justice again. The reversal still must be voted on by the Senate.

The right-wing president had alarmed anthropologists and environmentalists by planning to assimilate Brazil’s 800,000 indigenous people into Brazilian society and open reservation lands to commercial agriculture and mining, even in the Amazon rainforest.

Bolsonaro’s first decree reorganizing the executive branch the day he took office in January put Funai under a newly created Women, Family and Human Rights Ministry headed by an evangelical pastor who wants to Christianize indigenous people.

Land decisions were moved to the Agriculture Ministry, led by farm representatives that believe Brazilian tribes have too much land, with indigenous people who account for less than 1% of the country’s population living on 13% of its territory.

Brazil’s main indigenous organization APIB called Wednesday’s vote a historic victory against the government’s plan to open up tribal lands to agribusiness.

Bolsonaro has said the tribes live in poverty and should not be held inside reservations “like animals in a zoo” but be allowed to engage in commercial activity and charge royalties from mining companies.

Tribal leaders protested that without their ancestral lands, indigenous languages, cultures and ways of life would die.

“Our relation with the land is about sustainability and respect for Mother Nature,” APIB said in a statement.

Environmentalists have defended the reservations as the best way to stop deforestation of the Amazon rainforest, considered by many as nature’s best defense against global warming, with its trees absorbing huge amounts of carbon dioxide.

(Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Bernadette Baum and James Dalgleish)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: ATP 1000 - Italian Open
FILE PHOTO: Tennis – ATP 1000 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – May 16, 2019 Taylor Fritz of the U.S. in action during his second round match against Japan’s Kei Nishikori REUTERS/Matteo Ciambelli

May 23, 2019

American Taylor Fritz advanced to his first semifinal of the year, upsetting second-seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut 6-7 (6), 6-3, 6-4 on Thursday in Lyon, France.

The top four seeds all made the quarterfinals of the Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Lyon, but only two of them moved on.

Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili, the No. 1 seed, posted a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, reversing a result from the 2017 Lyon semifinals.

Fourth-seeded Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada topped the United States’ Steve Johnson 6-4, 2-6, 6-4, but third-seeded Denis Shapovalov of Canada lost 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (4) to France’s Benoit Paire.

Fritz, a 21-year-old California native ranked 46th in the world, is still looking for his first career ATP Tour title. He hit 16 aces against Bautista Agut without a double fault.

Fritz will oppose Paire in the semifinals while Auger-Aliassime will square off with Basilashvili.

Banque Eric Sturdza Geneva

Top-seeded German Alexander Zverev saved a set point in the first set, then went on to pull out a 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 quarterfinal win over Bolivia’s Hugo Dellien in Geneva, Switzerland.

Dellien served for the opening set at 5-3 and was up 40-30 before Zverev began a rally that saw him take that game and the next three. Zverev wound up winning the match in 2 hours, 24 minutes.

Next up for Zverev is Argentina’s Federico Delbonis, who defeated Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas 7-6 (5), 7-5.

The other semifinal will feature fifth-seeded Radu Albot of Moldova, who beat Bosnian qualifier Damir Dzumhur 6-3, 7-5, and Nicolas Jarry of Chile, who eliminated Japan’s Taro Daniel 6-1, 7-5.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

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