Flavia Pennetta has reached her first Grand Slam final at age 33.The Italian routed second-seeded Simona Halep 6-1, 6-3 at the U.S. Open on Friday. While Pennetta looked calm and moved freely, Halep, a decade her junior, seemed tense and drained.The Romanian, who made last year’s French Open final, had 23 unforced errors to 10 winners.Also read: Djokovic, Federer face tough tests to making finals of US Open Pennetta trailed 3-1 in the second set before winning 15 straight points to move within a game of victory. She broke Halep’s serve to clinch the win, burying her face in her hands in stunned joy after hitting her 23rd winner on match point.The 26th-seeeded Pennetta faces Serena Williams or Roberta Vinci in Saturday’s final.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been the highest individual tax-payer in Jharkhand for the financial year of 2017-18, said an income tax official on Monday.Dhoni paid Rs 12.17 crore for the last fiscal year.”Dhoni had paid Rs 10.93 crore as income tax in 2016-17 but he was not the highest taxpayer in that fiscal,” said chief commissioner of Income Tax, Jharkhand region, V Mahalingam.However, he has refrained from disclosing the name of highest individual tax payer in 2016-17.Dhoni, who is currently contracted in the Grade A category by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), earns Rs 5 crore from his central contract. He endorses 23 brands and remains one of the most sought after players despite playing only limited-overs cricket for India and the Indian Premier League.However, after Dhoni’s recent form, questions have been raised regarding his future in limited-overs cricket. Under pressure, he has remained unperturbed, calm and composed. He has never allowed his players to abuse the opposition and is unfazed by criticism on his recent performances. In fact, for the first time in his illustrious career, Dhoni was booed during India’s second ODI against England at Lord’s. He played another slow innings in the third ODI against England as India lost the series 2-1.Also read – MS Dhoni’s bathroom video at friend’s wedding goes viralFollowing that, a video of MS Dhoni surfaced on social media, where he was seen asking for the match ball from umpires and that send social media abuzz about him retiring from international cricket. However, Team India coach Ravi Shastri came out and cleared the air, saying that MS Dhoni is going nowhere.advertisement”MS wanted to show the ball to Bharat Arun. He wanted to show him the wear and tear the ball had endured, to get a general idea of what the conditions were like,” Shastri was quoted as saying by the Times of India.Also read – When MS Dhoni asked his men not to publicly celebrate ODI win vs Australia”That’s rubbish. MS is not going anywhere,” Shastri said.However, as India embark on a month-and-a-half long Test journey in England, where Virat Kohli’s men play five Tests, Dhoni will have time to reflect on his game and work on it before India play limited-overs cricket again in the Asia Cup, which is likely to be played in September.
Paris, Dec 14 (AFP) Olympiakos dumped AC Milan out of the Europa League on Thursday after beating the seven-time European champions 3-1 in a pulsating clash in Greece, while Eintracht Frankfurt fans ran riot during the German side’s win at Lazio and Celtic made the knockout stages despite losing to Salzburg at Celtic Park.Captain Kostas Fortounis’ penalty nine minutes from time saw the Greeks move into second place in Group F ahead of Gennaro Gattuso’s Milan, who thought they had squeaked through when Cristian Zapata had pulled a goal back less than two minutes after putting the hosts 2-0 up with a comical own goal.Olympiakos finished level on 10 points with Milan but qualified ahead of the Italians thanks to their superior goal difference following Milan’s 3-1 win over the Greeks in October, and they end the group stage two points behind group winners Real Betis, who drew 0-0 at Dudelange.Five Eintracht Frankfurt fans had been arrested in clashes with police in Rome ahead of their dead-rubber Group H match against Lazio as nearly 9,000 Germans swamped the Stadio Olimpico.Eintracht had already comfortably taken top spot in the group thanks to winning all five of their previous games, while Lazio were also in the last 32 regardless of the result of the match, won 2-1 by the away side as they came back from a goal down thanks to second-half strikes from Mijat Gacinovic and Sebastien Haller.However, German fans charged the pitch after Joaquin Correa’s 56th-minute opener, and subsequently threw smoke bombs and flares at both Lazio fans and the police.advertisementLast year’s runners-up Marseille finished bottom of that group after losing 3-1 at home to Apollon Limassol and ending the group stage with just a single point.- Celtic get one over on Rangers -==================================Celtic looked to be following Old Firm rivals Rangers out of the competition after Steven Gerrard’s side fell 1-0 at Rapid Vienna earlier on Thursday, but Tore Reginiussen’s equaliser four minutes from time for Rosenborg at RB Leipzig allowed Brendan Rodgers’s side to qualify second from Group B, two points ahead of the Bundesliga outfit.Second-half goals from Munas Dabbur and Fredrik Gulbrandsen meant that Salzburg topped the group with a 100 percent record after a 2-1 win, while Olivier Ntcham’s stoppage-time penalty meant nothing for the result nor the final standings.Earlier Rangers, who had to win at Rapid Vienna in their final group game in order to qualify for the last 32, finished third in Group G after losing 1-0 to group winners Rapid, Dejan Ljubicic sealing the points in the 84th minute.The Austrians are through to the knockout stages, level on 10 points with group winners Villarreal.Slavia Prague ensured qualification ahead of Bordeaux by beating Group C winners Zenit St Petersburg 2-0, a result which made the French side’s 1-0 win at FC Copenhagen irrelevant.Chelsea, who had already won Group L, looked to be on their way to a perfect sixth win from six, but could only scrape a point at eliminated Vidi thanks to substitute Olivier Giroud’s late free-kick, after an Ethan Ampadu own goal and Loic Nego’s sumptuous volley had put the hosts a goal ahead.BATE Borisov qualified alongside Chelsea after winning 3-1 at rock-bottom PAOK.Alexandre Lacazette confirmed Arsenal’s dominance of Group E with the only goal of a low-key 1-0 win over bottom side Qarabag, while second-placed Sporting Lisbon cruised past Vorskla Poltava 3-0.Malmo are in the knockout stages after snatching a 1-0 win at Besiktas that saw the Swedes leapfrog their Turkish hosts in the extremely tight Group I.All four teams in the group were in contention for qualification on Thursday, but Genk managed to hold on to first place after hammering Sarpsborg 4-0.Sevilla took top spot in Group J from Krasnodar thanks to a 3-0 win, while Rennes pipped Astana to the knockout rounds with a 2-0 victory.Bayer Leverkusen ensured first place in Group A with a 5-1 hammering of Larnaca, while Zurich drew 1-1 at Ludogorets. (AFP) APAAPA