Badgers bounce back, defeat Penn State on Senior Day

first_imgNielsen Tennis Stadium was initially filled with disappointment and later celebration this weekend as the Wisconsin men’s tennis team competed in its final regular season home matches of the year.The Badgers got off to a rough start Friday when they were shut out by the Ohio State Buckeyes, but after the intimidating events of Friday, Sunday’s match began with a celebration.It was Senior Day at Nielsen, and the Badgers honored their sole senior captain, Marek Michalicka. Soon after his achievements were recognized, the Badgers began their battle with the Penn State Nittany Lions.Doubles play was bittersweet for UW, as Russell Bader and Eddie Bourchier of PSU upset Michalicka and Billy Bertha, 8-3. The No. 1 pair was forced to cheer its remaining teammates from the sidelines in hopes that they could pick up the slack to pull off the doubles point win.“We came out and expected to win,” Bertha said. “But they came out with a lot of energy and hopped on us early. We couldn’t come back from that slow start.”Fortunately, the Nos. 2 and 3 doubles pairs of Fredrik Ask and Rod Carey and Ricardo Martin and Alexander Teppert held their own, clinching the doubles point for the Badgers and kicking Sunday off to a good start.The Badgers’ good fortunes continued, as they had just one loss in singles play. No. 3 Petr Satral, who did not play in a doubles match, fell to Bader, 6-2, 6-2.After that, Wisconsin couldn’t be stopped. Ask, Carey and Michalicka sealed the win for the Badgers as they grabbed the remaining points needed for a victory. Bertha and Martin were the last matches to finish up, both ending on tie break points. Martin split sets and then dominated 10-6 in a super tiebreaker to secure the fifth Badger point. Both of Bertha’s sets were close, as he won the first 6-4 and the second went to a tiebreaker, where he defeated Jason Lee 7-3. “The doubles loss added some extra motivation for both me and Marek to go out there and win in singles,” Bertha said.Head coach Greg Van Emburgh was pleased with his team’s ability to bounce back from a tough loss Friday and finish up its last home weekend strong.“We responded really well and the guys fought today even though we were down in a couple singles matches,” Van Emburgh said. “They fought back and made a lot of balls. I think that shows their commitment to their games and what they are trying to achieve this season.”The downward spiral began with all three doubles teams losing. First to fall was the pair of Martin and Satral. The Buckeyes’ aggressive net play and strong serve returns resulted in the first Ohio State win of the day. Martin and Satral lost 8-1, holding serve only once late in the match.No. 1 doubles partners Bertha and Michalicka followed shortly thereafter, and the duo was able to stay in the matchup until 4-5. However, they didn’t win a game after that, losing 8-4 to Peter Kobelt and Matt Allare.The freshman pair of Carey and Ask was able to endure the longest, as their match went to a tiebreak. However, Ohio State gained the doubles point when Balazs Novak and Blaz Rola took down Ask and Carey, 8-7.Singles play ended almost as quickly as it had started for some Badgers. Martin was nearly swept in the No. 4 singles position, as he was defeated, 6-0, 6-1, by Novak. Satral was unable to hold his own in the No. 3 spot against Allare and lost, 6-2, 6-4, giving Ohio State three out of the four points it needed to seal yet another conference win. Bertha tallied the Badger loss that gave the Buckeyes the final point they needed for the win. Bertha had his usual strong service game, but he struggled with his backhand ground strokes and fell, 6-4, 7-6, to Rola.Ohio State’s Chase Buchanan spoiled Michalicka’s spotless Big Ten singles record, defeating him 7-5, 6-1. In the first set, things were going well for the senior, as he jumped out to a 4-1 lead. However, Michalicka let Buchanan back in and eventually won at 5-7. “He got mad, which helped me to break his serve,” Michalicka said. “Then I held 4-1. I was up, I had it right there, I just couldn’t do it.”Michalicka was unable to shake the disappointment of that first set loss and was handily defeated 6-1 in the quick second set.“It’s always like that,” Michalicka said. “You shouldn’t let it bother you. I just wasn’t that good at fighting through it today.”last_img read more

Mikel López de Torre: Promoting core values through sponsorship agreements

first_img Andrea Vota – Jdigital’s challenge of Spanish restrictions is led by logic and rationale August 13, 2020 Betway and Dafabet grow La Liga sponsorship portfolios August 14, 2020 Share Related Articles Share Winamax maintains Granada CF sponsorship despite bleak Spanish outlook August 19, 2020 Submit Sponsoring a major sports league such as La Liga can allow betting operators to promote core values such as betting integrity and responsible gambling initiatives.Speaking to Mikel López de Torre, chairman of Jdigital, at September’s Betting on Sports, he explained some of the advantages associated with the Jdigital sponsorship of La Liga, and how events such as the upcoming SBC Summit in Barcelona can help ‘shed light’ on the intricacies of the betting market across Spain.He explained: “Well clearly, when you can associate your brand with one of the major sporting competitions worldwide such as La Liga which is arguably one of the top two competitions in the world of football, that is something that can give you instant status.“Back in 2013, we signed a deal with La Liga, and we have been working together to promote our brand and to promote the core values that we share such as integrity, safer gambling, and the promotion of sports and the emotions associated with sports for our customers.“I think it’s great news that we see an event such as the SBC Summit coming to our home turf. Jdigital is actually based in Barcelona, so it is fantastic news for us and it is great for the country as a whole.“Events such as this help to shed light on the sports betting market, and how sports betting works, the actual dimensions of the industry and the associated advantages that come with having a regulated and thriving market. That, at the very least, will give visibility to the industry and the many benefits.” StumbleUponlast_img read more

Maybe it’s time to lower our expectations for Kobe Bryant

first_img“I give myself an F,” Bryant said when asked to grade himself.That is a harsh piece of self-criticism, to be sure.“I’m insanely critical,” Bryant said. “There’s a bunch of things I messed up on.”An even harsher truth is Bryant still has a long way to go before truly returning.If he ever does at all. LOS ANGELES >> As far as first steps go, it was clearly more of the baby variety than one giant leap for mankind.But then, it would have been a mistake to actually think Kobe Bryant would simply return to the Lakers eight months after rupturing an Achilles tendon and simply pick up right where he left off.No matter how much we wanted to see Bryant soar and glide and cut and pivot and slice up the Toronto Raptors on Sunday, that was about as likely as Dwight Howard winning a free-throw shooting contest.As evidenced by the nine points Bryant scored and the eight turnovers he committed in 28 mostly unsettled minutes. If so it will take a combination of things lining up, first and foremost the Achilles holding up and allowing him be the player he once was but also Bryant being confident enough in the rebuilt tendon to push it as hard as necessary.He admits he isn’t quite there yet mentally,“I’m still not sure exactly what I can do,” Bryant said. “You have to test it out. You have to keep pushing and pushing and then make adjustments and corrections.”None of which should be a surprise, no matter how much we hoped otherwise. He’s coming back from the sort of injury that ends careers, not one that temporarily diverts them.This isn’t the knee pain he’s grimaced through for years or the deformed finger injury he gallantly played through when most mortals would have immediately succumbed.It is the reconstruction of a vital tendon and a rehabilitation process normally timed in a year rather than months. And while the Hollywood crowd that showed up at Staples Center pined for one of those epic blockbusters they’re so accustomed to developing, even they’ll tell you no matter how much heart and soul and money you pour into a project, your chances of dropping a dud on the audience is just as high as delivering a smash hit.That isn’t to say Bryant bombed in his first game back, just that we might need to recalibrate our expectations.The fact he returned to the court as quickly as he did is the real achievement, and how well the Achilles held up after nearly 30 minutes and how good Bryant felt afterward are important markers to build upon.As far as the actual re-birth of the Kobe Bryant we all remember, well, that is going to take some time.If it ever happens at all.Bryant turned actual human on us that night he painfully limped off the court against the Golden State Warriors, the impenetrable shield he forever played with indefinitely suspended by a devastating injury.And Sunday was simply a continuation of that actuality as Bryant remained grounded most of the night while doing more probing and passing than flying, a bit thrown off by the speed of the game and not quite on the same page with the nearly rebuilt team around him.He didn’t take over as much as he tried to blend in.The man who could get off any shot at anytime spent as much time looking for teammates as he did his own shot.The Lakers played better without him than they did with him.And even when he returned to the floor late in the game and the Lakers creeping closer to the Raptors, he was more supporting cast than leading man.It was strange and odd and even a bit disconcerting.We are so used to seeing Bryant own these moments or conquering whatever obstacle is placed in his path. But it’s the new reality for Bryant, at least through this stage of his comeback.The most poignant element is how unsure he seemed of himself and his capabilities.How reluctant he seemed to just unleash.The last time Bryant was uncertain about his own ability?Or apprehensive and tentative?How about never.But get used to it.It was only two days ago Bryant felt comfortable enough to actually play in a game again.It’s going to take weeks before he’s confident enough to push his Achilles to the limit, or the level he needs to be the player we remember.Sunday was not that day, as the 2-for-9 shooting and eight turnovers proved.“This was a complete failure to me,” Bryant said.One he is determined to grow from.“I can’t wait to start watching the film and start criticizing everything,” Bryant said. “But that’s the exciting part. The exciting part is that you have a challenge, you have improvements to make. And you sit and watch them and break them down and get ready for the next game and take it from there.”No matter how much we wished for all that to come together Sunday, that wasn’t realistic.The hope now is that it happens at some point.But even that remains in question.vincent.bonsignore@langnews.com @DailyNewsVinny on Twittercenter_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Patriots owner Robert Kraft reacts to Tom Brady’s departure: ‘I had hoped this day would never come’

first_imgMORE TOM BRADY:Why he left Pats | Bill Belichick’s reactionKraft was the team owner when Brady was selected with the 199th pick of the 2000 NFL Draft, and he said earlier this offseason he hoped Brady would either remain with the Patriots or retire.But Kraft will not get his wish, having spoken with Brady on Monday and being informed of his intentions.”Tommy initiated contact last night and came over,” Kraft explained to ESPN. “We had a positive, respectful discussion. It’s not the way I want it to end, but I want him to do what is in his best personal interest. After 20 years with us, he has earned that right. I love him like a son.” FOREVER A PATRIOT pic.twitter.com/QSBOJBs4uy— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) March 17, 2020 Below is Kraft’s complete statement issued Tuesday:”How do I possibly sum up the depth of my gratitude to Tom Brady for what he’s given us these past 20 years, or the sadness I feel knowing it’s ending? I love Tom like a son and I always will. He has brought so much happiness to me personally and to all of our fans. I had hoped this day would never come, but rather that Tom would end his remarkable career in a Patriots uniform after yet another Super Bowl championship. Unfortunately, the two sides were unable to reach an agreement to allow that dream to become a reality. While sad today, the overwhelming feeling I have is appreciation for his countless contributions to our team and community.”When Tom arrived in New England as an unheralded, sixth-round pick, no one could have imagined the fairytale story that would be written, the records that would be broken or the joy he would bring to an entire region. He leaves 20 years later as the winningest quarterback in NFL history with six Super Bowl victories, nine AFC titles and 17 division championships. He has been an exemplary teammate and leader. There simply will never be another Tom Brady. I now look forward to the day we can bring him back home to New England to celebrate his Patriots career, his endless achievements and his legacy as the greatest of all time. I love him very much.”Brady said he does not “know what my football future holds,” though it is thought the Buccaneers and Chargers will be among those keen to acquire the veteran quarterback in free agency. Robert Kraft on Tuesday revealed his disappointment in Tom Brady’s departure from New England, but the Patriots owner stressed the long-serving quarterback has “earned that right” to decide to move on.Brady, 42, confirmed that his “football journey will take place elsewhere,” bringing an end to a glorious, two-decade run in New England that included six Super Bowl titles.last_img read more