For Years The Road To Grand Slam Greatness Ran Through Mario Ancic

Mario Ancic never won a Grand Slam tournament; he never even reached a final. He peaked at No. 7 in the world, with a Davis Cup win and an Olympic bronze medal, before illness and injury cut his tennis career short. This week, the 30-year-old Croatian started his final year at Columbia Law School, where he’s preparing for his next career — even as his old friends and rivals gather elsewhere in New York City to compete for the U.S. Open title.But Ancic earned one distinction that ranks him among only a few boldface names in tennis history: On the sport’s biggest stages, he almost always lost to the very best.In his seven years of Grand Slam play, Ancic lost 21 matches. The list of players who eliminated him is a partial who’s who of tennis greats over the last two decades, with just a few interlopers. Of the 25 men who have been No. 1 in the world in the 41 years of ATP World Tour rankings, seven beat Ancic at a Grand Slam. Andy Roddick beat Ancic twice at Grand Slams. Roger Federer did it four times in a little over two years.Even the 10 non-No. 1s who knocked off Ancic were a pretty impressive bunch. They include four other Grand Slam finalists, plus two others who were ranked in the Top 10 when they knocked him out of a major.The quality of a player’s conquerors is a product both of luck and of the player’s own abilities. Some players are so consistently good that they either win the big tournaments they enter or beat all but the very best. Others suffer from poor luck of the draw — like Ryan Harrison of the U.S., or Amer Delic of Bosnia, who faced one-time No. 1s in five of his 10 Grand Slam losses despite never advancing past the third round. Every time the guy thought he was going to get to kick the football, a Lucy — or Novak — yanked it away. Unlike, say, the orderly NCAA tournament bracket, tennis tournaments distribute their entrants randomly, within the constraints of rules preventing the best players from facing each other too early.A handful of other players have lost mostly to the very best, but for slightly different reasons than Ancic did. Only four men with more than 10 Grand Slam losses were facing former, current or future No. 1s in at least half of the losses, according to data provided by Jeff Sackmann, proprietor of the website Tennis Abstract: Ancic, Novak Djokovic, Juan Martin del Potro and Andre Agassi.Djokovic and del Potro are recent Grand Slam champions who have had the misfortune of playing during the reign of Federer and Rafael Nadal, one-time No. 1s who consistently reach the later stages of majors. Neither Djokovic nor del Potro has lost to as many different No. 1s as Ancic did, despite already having longer careers. Agassi is one of the all-time greats and usually was ranked in the Top 10 when he headed into Grand Slam events, so it’s not surprising that it usually took a top player to knock him out of big tournaments.Ancic’s story is quirkier. He was never ranked above 10th in the world heading into any Grand Slam tournament. But he often rolled in the early rounds, as his aggressive serve-and-volley style overwhelmed opponents. He combined that with a knack for drawing tough opponents in later rounds, and usually losing to them; he was 3-11 at Grand Slams against players who at one point were ranked No. 1. Sometimes he had to play them before their prime: As teenagers ranked outside the Top 75, both Nadal and Djokovic beat Ancic at Grand Slam tournaments. Sometimes he had to play them earlier in the tournament than he could have expected to: Ancic had a 25 percent chance of ending up in Federer’s quarter at any given event, yet he did so in four of five Grand Slams he played between 2006 and 2008. Federer was ranked No. 1 in the world each time. Ancic didn’t win a set in any of the matches.Ancic, who has a law degree from the University of Split in Croatia, sees no injustice in his tough Grand Slam record. He just wishes he could have reaped the benefits of his early losses by reversing some of those results once he reached what should have been his prime.“I saw those losses as a challenge — to improve my game, to improve the things I needed to do,” he said in a telephone interview. “That’s part of the fun of being an athlete: challenging yourself against the best of the world. I was never in despair — ‘Oh my God, if I didn’t play Roger in the quarters, if I had a better draw, maybe I’d play in the final of a Slam.’”Ancic felt he was learning from his losses. But then, when he was 22 years old, he battled mononucleosis and other health problems. He came back, several times, but other than one six-month stretch and a later five-month stretch in which he appeared in at least one event each month, his career was stop-and-go. Right when he thought he should be peaking, he was watching his career end. A back injury that would have kept him sidelined for a year convinced him to retire in 2011. Now he occasionally hits with the Columbia team and feels much better physically.Ancic is glad to be at Columbia and creating a new life, but he regrets not realizing his potential. “I’m sure I never achieved my top,” he said. “I still felt my peak was coming later.” He added, “I don’t like to think what would have happened if things were different.”If Ancic really had kept getting better, even more of his losses would have come against top players. And there’s lots of evidence that he was on pace to be one of the best of his generation. He led the under-20 rankings at the end of 2002 and the under-21s in 2004, and was second to Nadal among under-23s in 2006. And more tennis players stay competitive into their late 20s and early 30s these days. Six of the eight U.S. Open men’s quarterfinalists this week were 27 or older; Ancic is 30. Ancic faced each of those quarterfinalists during his career, beating six of them at least once — four at Wimbledon, his best tournament.Ancic remains close to the sport. At his invitation, Djokovic spoke to Columbia law students when in town for an exhibition in March. Ancic attended the U.S. Open on Monday as the tournament’s guest, where he caught up with some old friends who remain on tour. He also continues to follow the game keenly. He predicts Djokovic and Federer will meet in the final this year. If that matchup materializes and Federer wins, Djokovic will have the booby prize of increasing his percentage of Slam losses to one-time No. 1s.Ancic lost to both men at Grand Slams but also beat them both, at Wimbledon — no easy accomplishment against two all-time greats who together have won nine of the last 12 Wimbledons. “We are talking here about a couple of guys who are among the best ever,” Ancic said of Djokovic, Federer and Nadal. “It’s an honor to compete with them.” read more

OBITUARY Americo R Rulli 87

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Americo R. Rulli, of Danvers and a former longtime resident of Wilmington passed away peacefully, February 4, 2018. He was 87 years of age. Americo was the beloved husband of the late Antonina (Lauria) Rulli. Born in Boston he was one of seven children of the late Antonio and Domenica (DeMeis) Rulli.Americo was raised and attended school in Medford. He was a decorated United States Army Veteran of the Korean War honorably serving from 1952 to 1954. Americo worked for a number of years as an Engine Cleaner at Conrail freight yard in Allston. He also worked for many years prior to his retirement as a self-employed interior painter. Very talented with his hands, Americo enjoyed wood crafting and spending time tending to his garden. He also enjoyed horse racing, traveling and vacations in Maine. However, his greatest joy was his family and nothing made him happier than to spend time with his children and grandson. He will be greatly missed.In addition to his late wife and parents, Americo is sadly predeceased by his sisters, Viola Rulli, Mary Gifun, and Josephine DeFasio.He is survived by his children, Anthony Rulli and his wife Kimberly of Billerica, Diane Toomey and her husband Richard of Danvers. He was the loving grandfather of Richard J. Toomey of Methuen. Brother of Helen Cahill of Illinois, Hilda Cara and Anthony Rulli, both of Burlington.Family and friends are respectfully invited to gather at the Dello Russo Family Funeral Home, 374 Main St., WILMINGTON, Thursday, February 7th, at 9 a.m. followed by a funeral Mass celebrated in St. Thomas of Villanova Church, 126 Middlesex Ave, Wilmington, at 10 a.m. Services will conclude with Military Honors and burial at Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington. It has been requested that in lieu of flowers contributions may be made in Americo’s memory to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105-1942 or Care Dimensions Hospice, 75 Sylvan St., Suite B-102, Danvers, MA 01923.Americo R. Rulli(NOTE: The above obituary is from Dello Russo Funeral Home.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedOBITUARY: Thomas F. Connolly, 86In “Obituaries”OBITUARY: Paul L. D’Eon, 83In “Obituaries”OBITUARY: William J. “Bill” Wolfe, 75In “Obituaries”last_img read more

Will Kasautii Zindagii Kay 2 actress Erica aka Prerna appear on another

first_imgKasautii Zindagiii Kay 2 actress Erica FernandesinstagramErica Fernandes has emerged as one of the most sought after actresses of the telly world in recent times. While the actress enjoys a massive fan following, her fanbase multiplied two-fold after she played Prerna in Ekta Kapoor’s popular show Kasautii Zindagii Kay 2. Her striking chemistry with lead actor Parth Samthaan aka Anurag Basu is another factor for the show being loved by millions.Although Erica has a hectic work schedule, she recently managed to take some time out to shoot for another show. Yes, Erica will soon be seen in Colors’ show Khatra Khatra Khatra with Bharti Singh and Haarsh Limbachiyaa.Erica shot for the show on July 24 and will be seen performing fun tasks on the show, PinkVilla reported. She is one among the many celebrities who have appeared on Khatra Khatra Khatra.The gorgeous actress must have been paid a whopping amount to appear on Khatra Khatra Khatra given that Erica’s show runs on a rival channel.Earlier, Parth had participated in Colors Kitchen Champions and was rumoured to be the highest-paid celebrity contestant to appear on the show. Besides his crazy fan following, it was said that one of the primary reasons for the fat paycheque was apparently because Parth’s show airs on a rival channel.Meanwhile, angry fans of Kasautii Zindagii Kay 2 are blasting the makers for not uniting Prerna and Anurag. As per the recent development on the show, Prerna married Mr Bajaj (Karan Singh Grover), ditching her love Anurag. Such is the craze for Anurag and Prerna that fans started trending #WeWantAnuPreOnly on social media despite knowing that Mr Bajaj’s entry will change the equation between Anurag-Prerna. Kasautii Zindagii Kay 2 stars Erica Fernandes and Parth Samthaan in Switzerlandinstagramlast_img read more

Traders cheer Sebis new guidelines for equity derivatives and cash segments

first_imgTraders hope the ease of doing business will improve drastically with the new uniform guidelines for membership structure in equity derivatives and cash segments, a report says.The norms that trading regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has framed will become applicable from April 1 to a trading member, self-clearing member, clearing member and professional clearing member.”Unification of membership structure across equity cash and derivatives segments of stock exchanges is vital to improving ease of doing business,” the Sebi circular says.A stockbroker in the cash segment who is already registered as a self-clearing member or a clearing member in the derivatives segment would “automatically” have the same status in the cash segment from April 1, it said.On the other hand, the professional clearing members would be treated the same in both the segments.Stockbrokers in the cash segment now act as both trading as well as self-clearing members, but in the derivatives segment they act as separate entities, the report said.Stockbrokers, not yet registered as a self-clearing member or clearing member, in the derivatives segment, can discharge the same work in the cash segment subject to certain conditions.Such entities would have to comply with net-worth requirements on or before September 30, according to the circular.The entities failing to meet the requirement would continue as a trading member in cash segment subject to conditions. They would have to tie up with a clearing member or professional clearing member on or before September 30 to clear and settle their trades.”The existing PCMs (professional clearing members) in derivatives segment shall become PCMs in cash segment with effect from April 1.”However, the existing Custodian Clearing Member in the cash segment shall continue to act as Custodian Clearing Member in cash segment only,” Sebi says.The Sebi board decided In June last year to discard the category of sub-brokers as market intermediaries taking into account the growth of online platforms that made their role redundant to a large extent.last_img read more

Kashmiri journalist detained by Indian troops

first_imgIndian security force personnel keep guard alongside a road during restrictions after the government scrapped the special constitutional status for Kashmir, in Srinagar 15 August, 2019. Photo: ReutersIndian troops detained a Kashmiri reporter working for a local newspaper in an overnight raid at his house in the Tral area of Southern Pulwama district, his family said on Thursday.Irfan Ahmad Malik, 28, works for Greater Kashmir, the largest circulation daily newspaper in the Kashmir valley. It was not immediately clear why he had been detained.The arrest comes as the Kashmir region remains under a clampdown by the Indian army and police, including the blacking out of phone and internet connections, in lockstep with the Indian government’s announcement on Aug. 5 that it was taking away special status from Jammu and Kashmir state.”The troops jumped over the compound wall of our house last night at around 11:30 p.m.,” said Malik’s father, Mohammad Amin Malik, 57.”We were asleep, they knocked at the door. We opened the door and troops asked for Irfan. He was taken along. We asked for reasons behind his arrest, they decline to say anything,” he said.A spokesman for the Jammu and Kashmir government, Rohit Kansal, told Reuters that he would seek information about the arrest.“I just heard about the incident. We are trying to verify it. We will collect details and look into it. As of now we have no information,” he said.More than 500 local leaders and activists have been detained in the past 12 days of the crackdown.Malik had worked for the paper for the past three years in the restive town of Tral, which is a hotbed of militancy in a decades-old Kashmiri separatist movement.Malik’s father said he was told by an officer at the Awantipora police station on Thursday morning that there were “orders from the top” to arrest his son but the local police did not know the reason. They declined to release him.Wiping away her tears, Malik’s mother, Haseena, told Reuters: “We curse the day he chose to become a journalist.”Both parents spoke to Reuters in Srinagar, where they were hoping to see officials to plead for their son’s release.India’s move this month tightened New Delhi’s grasp over the country’s only Muslim-majority region. It means that non-residents will no longer be banned from buying property in the state and state government jobs will no longer be reserved for residents.last_img read more

The Woodlands Symphony Continues Its Resurrection

first_img Share X Listen St.John FlynnConcertmaster Carlo Mauricio (l) and Artistic Director Darryl Bayer (r) of The Woodlands Symphony OrchestraThe Woodlands Symphony Orchestra was originally founded in the early 1990s but was disbanded in 2008.  But now the orchestra has been put back together again and is concluding its Resurrection Season this weekend with a concert, Sunday, May 1st, 7 p.m. at The Woodlands United Methodist Church. It includes Igor Stravinsky‘s Firebird Suite and music from the 25th Anniversary Edition of Zelda, Final Fantasy VII and a suite of selections from Video Games Live. Conducted by Clifton Evans, formerly of Houston’s HSPVA and now director of orchestras at UT Arlington, Sunday’s concert will also include the members of the new Woodlands Area Youth Symphony performing side-by-side with the orchestra for the second half.The orchestra’s artistic director Darryl Bayer and concertmaster Carlo Mauricio talk with Houston Public Media’s St.John Flynn about the Woodlands Symphony rebirth and this weekend’s concert. 00:00 /11:18 To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:last_img read more