Simona Halep Scream and Shout After Winning: Paris (AFP) – Veteran Pauline Parmentier defeated a hobbling Irina-Camelia Begu 6-3, 2-6, 6-2 to pull France level at 2-2 in their Fed Cup semi-final with Romania on Sunday.
The result sent the tie in the northern city of Rouen into a deciding doubles after world number two Simona Halep had earlier battled back from a set down to defeat Caroline Garcia 6-7 (6/8), 6-3, 6-4, putting Romania within touching distance of a first Fed Cup final appearance since 1973.
The eventual winners will face Australia in November’s final.
For late call-up Parmentier, victory represented a rare singles success.
The world number 53 had won just one of her last eight Fed Cup singles clashes, suffering back-to-back losses in the 2018 semi-final defeat against the United States.
Her victory push was aided, however, by a late ankle injury suffered by Begu, the world number 83 who had originally been scheduled to play only doubles.
Instead Halep was selected for the make-or-break doubles alongside Monica Niculescu with two-time champions France opting for Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic.
French Open champion Halep gave Romania a winning lead on Saturday by seeing off Mladenovic 6-3, 6-1 before Garcia swept past Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-3, 6-3 to level the tie.
“I knew it would be more difficult than yesterday,” Halep told fedcup.com on Sunday after registering a ninth successive singles win in the tournament that Romania have yet to win.
“It felt like playing at home, that was how I was able to fight to the end. I won it for the fans who came here.”
Halep’s win over Garcia, her sixth in seven meetings, took almost three hours to complete with the crucial break in the final set coming in the eighth game when the French number one served up back-to-back double faults.
“It’s never over until it’s over,” said Halep who required treatment on her left thigh midway through the second set.
Seven-time champions Australia made the championship match for the first time in 26 years by seeing off Belarus 3-2 in Brisbane when Ashleigh Barty and Samantha Stosur battled past Victoria Azarenka and Aryna Sabalenka 7-5, 3-6, 6-2.
The tie was sent into the crucial doubles match after two-time Australian Open champion Azarenka crushed Stosur 6-1, 6-1 in the reverse singles, following Barty sweeping past Sabalenka 6-2, 6-2.
“I could not have picked two more perfect athletes to compete. Ash and Sam are superstars,” said captain Alicia Molik who will look to inspire a first title since 1974 for Australia in the final.
Barty called making the final “unbelievable” while Stosur said it was “super exciting”.
“We knew it was going to be a tough one and we just so happy with how we played,” added Stosur. “All the girls have worked so hard throughout the year and we really stick together.”
Vanessa Bryant expressed her feelings after Kobe’s death “It Feels Wrong”
Vanessa Bryant with her 13-year-old daughter, Gianna opens up for the first time after husband Kobe Bryant‘s helicopter crash that she is experiencing following the tragic deaths of her husband.
This is the first time that Vanessa has expressed her personal feelings after a helicopter crash took the lives of her loved ones. Although Vanessa has been active on social media over the past week, she explains that she has been “reluctant” to “put [her] feelings into words.”
As with many people who are forced to grieve a spouse or a child, Vanessa is experiencing the heartache along with the rollercoaster of emotions that grief tends to bring along with it. She shared those feelings in a candid Instagram post on Monday afternoon. The caption, pasted below, accompanied a sweet video showing highlights of Gianna Bryant’s basketball career with some sweet moments of Kobe mixed in.
“I’ve been reluctant to put my feelings into words. My brain refuses to accept that both Kobe and Gigi are gone. I can’t process both at the same time. It’s like I’m trying to process Kobe being gone but my body refuses to accept my Gigi will never come back to me. It feels wrong. Why should I be able to wake up another day when my baby girl isn’t being able to have that opportunity?! I’m so mad. She had so much life to live. Then I realize I need to be strong and be here for my 3 daughters. Mad I’m not with Kobe and Gigi but thankful I’m here with Natalia, Bianka, and Capri. I know what I’m feeling is normal. It’s part of the grieving process. I just wanted to share in case there’s anyone out there that’s experienced a loss like this. God I wish they were here and this nightmare would be over. Praying for all of the victims of this horrible tragedy. Please continue to pray for all.”
View this post on Instagram
I’ve been reluctant to put my feelings into words. My brain refuses to accept that both Kobe and Gigi are gone. I can’t process both at the same time. It’s like I’m trying to process Kobe being gone but my body refuses to accept my Gigi will never come back to me. It feels wrong. Why should I be able to wake up another day when my baby girl isn’t being able to have that opportunity?! I’m so mad. She had so much life to live. Then I realize I need to be strong and be here for my 3 daughters. Mad I’m not with Kobe and Gigi but thankful I’m here with Natalia, Bianka and Capri. I know what I’m feeling is normal. It’s part of the grieving process. I just wanted to share in case there’s anyone out there that’s experienced a loss like this. God I wish they were here and this nightmare would be over. Praying for all of the victims of this horrible tragedy. Please continue to pray for all.
Vanessa’s post received more than two million likes in the first hour that it was uploaded. Hundreds of people have commented, sending love and support to Vanessa and her family, especially her three girls, Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months. Several celebrities have also commented on the post, including Kyle Richards, Brandy Norwood, and Courtney Lopez.
Kobe and Gianna Bryant were killed along with seven others when the helicopter they were riding in crashed in Calabasas, California, on January 26. A public memorial for Kobe and Gianna will be held at the Staples Center on February 24, at 10 a.m. local time.
Kobe Bryant Could Have Been Saved If Had Gotten A Few Seconds, Shows Reports
The helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant was just seconds away from making it through thick fog and entering clear skies at the time it crashed, a new report shows.
The Los Angeles Lakers star was killed in the crash along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven other people. The New York Post reported that pilot Ara Zobayan was mere feet away from rising above the heavy cloud cover that surrounded a Calabasas hillside where the helicopter ultimately crashed.
As air safety consultant Kipp Lau told the news outlet, the evidence shows that those on board could have lived if Zobayan had made it past the thick clouds.
“If you exit the bottom of the clouds at 4,000 feet per minute at that high speed, you’ve certainly lost control of the aircraft,” Lau said. “Once you break out of the clouds it’s clear. Everything lines up with the body.”
Another expert said they believed that Zobayan was attempting to clear the clouds by moving the helicopter quickly up and forward, but instead lurched to the left and crashed into a hillside.
The NTSB report showed that there was no evidence of engine failure, suggesting that the helicopter may not have crashed if it had made it just a few seconds longer.
Witnesses who saw the helicopter in the final moments before the crash noted that the helicopter appeared to be totally covered in clouds and headed toward the hillside. As one of those witnesses appeared to have seen the moment of the crash itself.
“I just heard a helicopter go over me, approximately from Lost Hills Road on south to easterly sweep. It went over my head, it’s thick in clouds, and then I heard a pop, and it immediately stopped… I can’t see it,” read a transcript in one of the 911 calls.
On the day of the crash, police said that the helicopter crashed onto a hillside in rugged terrain, making it difficult to respond to the scene. They believe that all of those on board died on impact.
(Story from Inquisitr)
Marshawn Lynch Gift his Opponent in Green Bay’s Locker Room
Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch and his former Cal teammate and current Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers quietly swapped jerseys after the NFC divisional playoff game on Sunday. After the Packers 28-23 win at Lambeau Field, Lynch walked into Green Bay’s locker room with a gift for his opponent and Rodgers gave his No. 12 jersey in return. Lynch signed his No. 24 jersey, hugged Rodgers and the two had a private conversation in a separate room after the swap.
The two stars were teammates at the University of California in 2004 and have remained friends and held respect for each other ever since.
The NFC Championship-bound quarterback had high praise for Beast Mode.
“He is one of my all-time favorite teammates, and I only had to play one year with him. But he has just an incredible personality and charisma, and he’s just so fun to be around … But I just have a ton of respect for him in his career. He’s one of those transcendent players that is so likable and so respected by so many people, and I’m just fortunate to have gotten to play with him for a year.”
In late December, Lynch decided to give it one more go with the Seahawks and came out of retirement to try and make a playoff run with his former team. The Seahawks fell short, and it could be the last time fans see Lynch in an NFL uniform, Seattle or otherwise, though in true Lynch fashion he did not give much insight to his future after the game.
With there being a decent chance that this was the last time Lynch and Rodgers will share a field for an NFL game, it was nice they were able to have a moment to catch up and reminisce on old times.
Rodgers spoke to their relationship and gave a little insight to what they discussed.
“So we were just catching up, talking about some silly stuff that happened back in the day and seeing where he’s at. He’s a lot of fun to be around, and it’s fun to see him,” Rodgers said.
Back in 2010, the two were nearly reunited on the same team when the Bills, who Lynch was playing for at the time, were discussing a potential trade with the Packers. The reunion never happened, but Rodgers still thinks about how great it would have been if it did. “There was, obviously, conversation years ago about picking him up in a trade that fell through that would’ve been a lot of fun to play some more years together,” he said.
Lynch had two touchdowns in the loss and after the game called his four touchdowns in three games “pretty solid.”
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