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d the game ball to the pitchers mound

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MELBOURNE, Australia - There is a big difference between the Venus Williams of, say, the year 2000 and the Venus of 2015.The Venus of today says she might not be at the top of her game but she is more strategic, she understands the game better and she has learned to not be afraid.Thats one of the beauties of continuing to play as you get a lot of the years under your belt, said Venus, who at the age of 34 is one of the oldest players in the draw but enjoying what some have called a career renaissance.Williams prefers not to see it that way.Im just doing the best I can, she said with a laugh. I think as long as Im doing my best something good will come out of it.On Thursday, Williams advanced to the third round of the Australian Open, beating fellow American Lauren Davis, 6-2, 6-3. She now faces Camila Giorgi of Italy for a spot in the fourth round, an accomplishment she hasnt achieved at a major since Wimbledon 2011.When Williams played her first Grand Slams back in 1997 — or 18 years ago — her latest opponent, the 21-year-old Davis, was just a toddler. Williams went on to hold the No. 1 ranking, win seven Grand Slam singles titles and was also a runner-up seven times — losing to her younger sister, Serena, on six of those occasions.No. 1-ranked Serena, who also won her second-round match Thursday, is a favourite to win her 19th Grand Slam title.As recently as 2010, Venus made it all the way to the U.S. Open semifinals. Then health problems stalled her career.She finished 2011 outside the top 100, and announced she was suffering from an auto-immune condition called Sjogrens syndrome, which can cause joint pain and sap energy. She took seven months off from tennis, and by the end of 2012 had climbed to No. 24.She is now ranked 18th and won her 46th career title in Auckland earlier this year.Williams says her health problems have given her a new perspective on life.More than anything, Im appreciative of all the opportunities Ive had in my life, Williams said. Im appreciative for good health and just to be able to feel good every day.When things are out of your control, its easy to be afraid and fear can really hold you back, she added. So, I think you have to just conquer that fear. Thats, I think, something Ive learned as well, just not to be afraid.That perspective combined with her experience has also helped her tennis.Honestly, I think I understand the game a lot more. Even when Im not playing as well, I think Im able to tactically be more strategic than even, lets say, Venus of 2000. So I think there is a big difference, she said.Williams describes her state of mind as always pretty happy, an assessment that Serena agrees with and says her big sister is in a good place both on and off the court.Serena says her sister has always coped well with pressure and in the early years, there was lots of it.She came in as a new face, a black woman that was shaking up the world. She had all this pressure on her shoulders, said Serena, who faces No. 26 Elina Svitolina of Ukraine in the fourth round. I came in behind her. You know, just snuck in there. There was no pressure on me at all. She dealt with it so amazing.She is really motivating. She is playing so well, Serena said. For our whole careers, weve kind of motivated each other. We hopefully continue to do that. 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Next years tournament is also within sight for Bosnia-Herzegovina, which has never played in a World Cup, but Cristiano Ronaldo looks destined for the playoffs with Portugal after a night when the qualifying picture in the nine groups became much clearer.BOSTON -- Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons knows his team keeps digging a deeper hole with each loss. Soon, he knows, theyll run out of time. Clay Buchholz had his third straight solid start and the Boston Red Sox beat Toronto 4-3 Saturday night, damaging the Blue Jays fading playoff hopes. "We cant lose too many more, thats for sure," Gibbons said. "But theyre all different. Every days a new day." Colby Rasmus had a pinch-hit, two-run homer in the seventh for the Blue Jays, who began the day five games behind Seattle for the ALs second wild card. "Were still in this thing. Were hanging on by a thread," Gibbons said. "Theyve been two close ballgames, they could have gone either way, but we just came up short." J.A. Happ (9-9) gave up four runs -- single ones in the first four innings -- on seven hits in six innings. "They did a good job of putting the bat on the ball," he said of the early innings. "Maybe I need to rethink the game plan going in." Buchholz (7-Cool gave up two runs and four hits in 6 1-3 innings to help Boston get its second straight win against Toronto. He struck out five and walked two. Edward Mujica, Bostons fourth reliever, got the final two outs for his fourth save. The Red Sox scored single runs in the first four innings off Happ after the Blue Jays jumped ahead 1-0 on Dioner Navarros RBI double. Dustin Pedroias run-scoring grounder tied it in the first and Boston moved ahead on Will Middlebrooks RBI single in the second. Yoenis Cespedes had an RBI double in the third and Christian Vazquez added an RBI double. Buchholz left with a 4-1 lead in the seventh before Craig Breslow gave up Rasmus homer that hooked around the right-field foul pole. In his last start, Buchholz shut out Tampa Bay with a three-hitter on Sunday. On Aug. 25 in Toronto, he held Toronto scoreless over eight innings before leaving with the bases loaded in the ninth. The bullpen allowed all three runners to score before Boston pulled out a 4-3 win in extra innings. Mookie Betts made a running catch, gooing to his knees to snag a bloop in short centre to save a run, ending the eighth.dddddddddddd Buchholz gave up two hits in the first two innings then retired the 11 straight batters before Jose Bautistas leadoff double in the sixth. After walking the next batter, Buchholz helped himself by grabbing Adam Linds grounder to the mound and firing to second, starting a 1-6-3 double play. Navarro then lined out to centre. NICE GRAB Bautista made a nice running grab, adding in a slight leap just in front of the right-field wall to take away extra base hits from Middlebroooks. HOT NAVARRO Navarro went 2-for-4 and drove in a run. Hes hit safely in 9 of his last 10, going 13 for 30 with four doubles, two homers and eight RBIs. TRAINERS ROOM Blue Jays: Kevin Pillar started in left field a day after Melky Cabrera was lost for the season with a fractured right pinkie finger. Cabrera, a big part of the lineup, was second in the majors with 171 hits when he was injured, batting .301 with 19 homers and 73 RBIs. Red Sox: INF/OF and leadoff hitter Brock Holt, who left Fridays win early with dizziness, was out of the lineup, but manager John Farrell said he was available to play. Farrell said he decided to get an extra right-handed batter in the lineup against left-handed starter Happ. First baseman Mike Napoli left because an illness after the second inning. UP NEXT Blue Jays: Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (11-12, 3.94 ERA) is scheduled to start Sunday in the series finale. He has won two of his last three starts, going seven strong innings, allowing just two runs and two hits in his last one on Sept. 2. Red Sox: Rubby De La Rosa (4-5, 3.89) is slated to get the start. Hes winless in his last four starts. NICE DELIVERY The three children of a Kevin Houston, a Navy SEAL from Cape Cod that was killed in Afghanistan in early August, delivered the game ball to the pitchers mound before the start. They received a standing ovation. DELAYED START The start was delayed 72 minutes by a thunderstorm that didnt bring much rain, but had a lot of thunder and lightning. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '
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