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discontent player

US Open at risk amid player discontent and stakeholder division – The Guardian

  • Tournament in doubt ahead of Monday decision deadline
  • Djokovic, Halep, Nadal and Kyrgios among the doubtful stars




US Open organisers have until Monday’s deadline to find agreement on hosting this year’s Flushing Meadows tournament.







US Open organisers have until Monday’s deadline to find agreement on hosting this year’s Flushing Meadows tournament.
Photograph: Justin Lane/EPA

The US Open will join Wimbledon on the 2020 tennis scrapheap unless key players and other stakeholders can be persuaded over the weekend that it will be safe to travel to New York in late August, when the tournament is scheduled to begin. It does not look promising.

Video-conference talks this week between the tournament’s organisers, the United States Tennis Association, and more than 400 players across the rankings spectrum, as well as coaches and representatives of the ATP and WTA, have revealed serious divisions before Monday’s deadline.

For many leading players – notably Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Simona Halep and Nick Kyrgios – the threat of the coronavirus pandemic and severe restrictions on their movement and preparation override career or financial concerns, while the cash-strapped USTA is desperate to hold the event. The men’s and women’s organising bodies are supportive but sceptical.

The USTA president, Patrick Galbraith, told the international web-connected meeting on Wednesday: “We have less than a week to go, so we need to finalise what we will do.” The plan, which Djokovic has railed against most strongly, is to create a “bubble” for players and all tournament participants in airport hotels, while limiting their entourage to a single assistant.

If Galbraith and his team fail to persuade enough star players to agree to strict conditions, the USTA will explore the possibility of moving the championships out of state, but options are seriously limited. Speculation that Indian Wells might host the tournament has evaporated after news of a fresh Covid-19 surge in California.

The Australian Open, where Djokovic won his 17th major, might yet be the season’s only major after the cancellation of this month’s Wimbledon and with a cloud still hanging over the US and French Opens. The bold unilateral move by Roland Garros to switch from May to September looks to have created the best chance of another major going ahead before the Australian Open in January – when Roger Federer hopes to return after abandoning his 2020 schedule to recover from a second knee operation.

In New York, meanwhile, negotiations grow more fevered. Leaks from Wednesday’s meeting – which went ahead with scant notice for the tennis media – suggest little unanimity. There is concern among fringe players about plans to scrap the qualifying tournament and cut the doubles list from 64 to 24 pairs.

According to the Spanish newspaper Marca, a WhatsApp group of the top 100

players revealed no enthusiasm for “travelling to New York and being locked up for a month”.

Halep, No 2 in the women’s rankings, told the New York Times: “It’s important to understand that everyone has individual needs and circumstances, and we should do what’s best for our personal health and also think long term about our career.”

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Stacey Allaster, who this week was installed as the first female chief executive of the USTA, has been lumbered with a financial nightmare. One of the game’s most influential voices, Billie Jean King – the 12-time slam winner after whom the venue is named – told the Radio 4 Today programme on Thursday she expects the tournament to go ahead, along with the Cincinnati Open, which would be held on the same site (the total bill for which would be $30m) but “probably with no people watching”. She added: “They have been working on this diligently, as have the ATP and the WTA. You cannot believe the work they’ve all done to make this happen … hopefully.”

Hope would seem to be all that organisers have at this point. The dilemma for the USTA is it must commit to a decision on Monday without knowing how conditions will change over the next six weeks. Wimbledon opted for caution in similar circumstances. We should know soon if the Americans do likewise, or gamble.

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player Realme

The Realme X50 Pro Player Edition (aka “Blade Runner”) is official, will launch on May 25, 2020 – Notebookcheck.net

A new promo for the Realme 'Blade Runner'. (Source: Weibo)
A new promo for the Realme ‘Blade Runner’. (Source: Weibo)

Recently, a new Realme phone this OEM had dubbed “Blade Runner” surfaced in some official leaks. Other rumors pointed to its being called the X50 Pro Player Edition on its launch. Its maker has confirmed that this is the case, and that it will be one of several new devices that will make their debut soon.

For some time, Realme has been projected to have 3 new phones in the works: the RMX2142, RMX2086, and RMX2072. It was possible that this last model number corresponded to a new X3 Pro model. However, it is now much more likely to be the X50 Pro Player Edition.

The OEM has just confirmed that this phone does in fact exist, and is one of the products to launch during a May 25, 2020 event. This phone (presuming it really is the RMX2072) has also reportedly been certified by the Chinese bodies TENAA and MIIT, showing that, like the rest of the X50 series, it is to be a 5G phone.

Besides this, not much is known about “Blade Runner’s” specs. However, it is abundantly clear from its name that it is to be a gaming-focused variant of the original X50 Pro. Therefore, goodies such as a high display refresh rate, top-end RAM and fast flash storage may be in the offing for this device.

Realme has stoked this line of speculation by announcing (through the medium of Google Translate, at least) that the X50 Pro Player Edition is set to be a “speed king” and a “performance leapfrog“. Then again, a new leak asserts it will have more or less the same specs as the existing model, 90 hertz refresh rate included.

It is also apparently to start at 3299 yuan (~US$465) for an 8GB RAM/128GB internal storage SKU, despite the fact the X50 Pro has a 12GB RAM option. This leak also points to a depreciated 48+8+2+2MP rear camera set-up in the Player Edition. It will, at least, get a new and shiny metallic silver back panel, rather than the atypical and muted shades of red or green found in its template.

This new version of the X50 Pro is set to launch alongside a raft of accessories that may range from wireless earbuds to TVs.

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player Thomas

NFL player Earl Thomas of Ravens was held at gunpoint by wife after alleged affair, police say – Fox News

The wife of Baltimore Ravens free safety Earl Thomas III is accused of having briefly held a loaded gun to her husband’s head last month after she allegedly caught him cheating on her, according to police in Texas.

Nina Thomas allegedly held a loaded pistol “less than a foot” from the head of the seven-time Pro Bowler after using Snapchat to track him to a rental home in Austin — where she found him in bed with another woman, according to court documents obtained by TMZ.

Earl Thomas, who turns 31 Thursday, reportedly had managed to grab the gun away from her before police arrived.

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The NFL player posted a video on Instagram on Wednesday to address the report, saying he wanted to get ahead of the story.

“Stuff like this happens, bro,” he said. “We’re trying to live the best life we possibly can but sometimes it doesn’t go as planned.”

He asked his followers on social media for prayers. In the video, he didn’t appear to deny that something happened during the alleged domestic dispute.

When Austin police arrived at the home around 3:41 a.m. April 13, they “observed that a black female wearing an orange sweater with a knife in her hand, later identified as Nina Thomas, was chasing a shirtless black male, later identified as Earl Thomas, with a pistol in his hand around a vehicle,” the TMZ report said.

Officers drew their weapons, ordering both husband and wife to the ground, and they complied without incident, according to the website. Police added that Thomas had taken the gun away from Nina before any shots were fired.

The two had reportedly been in an argument earlier at their home, which prompted Thomas to leave with his brother, Seth. After tracking them down, Nina took her husband’s 9mm Beretta pistol and arrived at the Airbnb with two other women with the intention of scaring him, according to TMZ.

Nina later admitted “that she took out the magazine thinking that the gun could not fire,” but cops said there was a “round in the chamber” of the gun, the report said.

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One of the women who was at the home with Thomas and his brother told police she heard Nina yelling: “I got something for all you hoes,” according to the report.

Nina Thomas’ attorney, Jonathan Goins, denied the allegations in remarks to TMZ.

“I am here to declare that my client unequivocally and categorically denies these allegations and we look forward to our day in court where we can clear her good name,” he said.

Nina Thomas was arrested for investigation of burglary of a residence with intent to commit aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. She was later released on bond, while Thomas wasn’t arrested, according to the report.

Thomas, a key member of the Seattle Seahawks’ famed “Legion of Boom” defense, won a Super Bowl with the team following the 2013 season.

Earl Thomas (No. 29) of the Baltimore Ravens reacts after a play against the New England Patriots during a game in Baltimore, Nov. 3, 2src19. He was held at gunpoint by his wife last month after she allegedly caught him cheating on her, police say. (Getty Images)

Earl Thomas (No. 29) of the Baltimore Ravens reacts after a play against the New England Patriots during a game in Baltimore, Nov. 3, 2019. He was held at gunpoint by his wife last month after she allegedly caught him cheating on her, police say. (Getty Images)

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He was drafted by the Seahawks in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft out of the University of Texas, playing for the club until being traded to Baltimore in 2019. Thomas has netted 713 tackles and 30 interceptions during his NFL career and was voted to 2010’s All-Decade Team.

The Ravens are seen as one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl this upcoming season. They had the best record in the NFL last season before being upset in the divisional round of the postseason by the Tennessee Titans.

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