‘I do the running, he does the thinking’ — Roger Federer hailed Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates as an ideal doubles partner

Alan Dawson, provided by Published 1:41 pm, Wednesday, March 7, 2018 Associated Press Top-ranked tennis player Roger Federer teamed-up with Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates for a charity game in California earlier this week. Gates is a good partner as he knowns numbers so well he does not make mistakes keeping score, according to Federer. What do you get when you cross the second-richest billionaire on the planet with the world's best male tennis player? Recommended Video: Now Playing: Microsoft founder Bill Gates swings his racket next to tennis legend and current world #1 Roger Federer in San Jose's SAP Center, part of a benefit that raised $2.5 million for Africa. Federer dazzled the crowd with a mix of humorous antics and athletic power. Media: Ted Andersen, San Francisco Chronicle It is a question that was solved on Monday, when tennis number one Roger Federer teamed up with Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates for an exhibition tennis match. The unlikely pair took on top-ranked American tennis player Jack Sock and NBC's "Today" show co-anchor Savannah Guthrie for a charity game in California. Federer touted Gates as an ideal tennis partner when he was interviewed on the sidelines before the match. This is because the business magnate, worth $91 billion according to Forbes, "knows numbers" and would "never make mistakes with the scores." Federer added: "I'll do the running and Bill does the thinking." When the game got underway, Federer could be heard shouting "that's mine" to the billionaire as he looked to take control. At one point, Federer even won a point while playing on his kneecaps. Associated Press However, Associated Press said Gates, dressed in a bright pink polo shirt, also contributed with his own "hustle" and "shot-making." The strategy Federer and Gates used clearly worked as they defeated Sock and Guthrie by a 6-3 score. After the win, Gates joked: "I think I'm good at picking partners." Approximately 15,000 tickets were Continue Reading

Swing and Sway starts, closes fast

HOT SPRINGS -- In every sport -- horse racing included -- game plans can get tossed out right from the start. Going into the $125,000 6-furlong American Beauty Stakes at Oaklawn Park on Saturday, Swing and Sway's connections thought their 4-year-old filly would run off the pace as the race developed in front. Instead, she dashed out of the gate and immediately into the lead, and jockey David Cabrera said he never looked back. There would have been no point. "A lot of us outguessed ourselves," Swing and Sway's trainer Ron Moquett said. "I had this thing laid out in my mind where we were going to be sitting third or wherever, but when they broke the way they did, the rider did what he's paid to do. He made a decision that would benefit us based on the circumstances right then." Swing and Sway, by Maclean's Music, pulled away from Chanteline, the even-money favorite trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen and ridden by Ricardo Santana Jr., to lead by 1 1/2 length through a quarter mile in 22.36, and by 2 lengths through a half in 46.00. Off at 11-1, Swing and Sway seemed to gain momentum with every stride and pulled away to win by 7 3/4 lengths over Summer House in 1:10.68. Barbary Hall was third, a length behind that. Chanteline showed no late bid and dropped back to finish fourth over a sloppy track in the field of six before an announced crowd of 10,000. Swing and Sway had not taken a lead from the gate since six races back, when she finished last of eight in the Grade III, 1-mile-and-1/16 Iowa Oaks at Prairie Meadows on July 6. "I think a lot of riders thought there would be more speed, and whenever she broke so well, [Cabrera] just let her go," Moquett said. "She's temperamental, and she likes things her way, and he just let her have it." "She popped out of there so hard, that I thought, 'Why not just let her take it while she's doing it this easy?' '' Cabrera said. "She did it easy all the way around there. I really like this filly. She's a nice horse." As Continue Reading

The Busine$$ of Football: Monday Money Matters

First, as a former very unsuccessful professional tennis player, I have to pay homage to Roger Federer. Federer is brilliant in all phases of the game and has an elegance and grace that few in any sport possess. Like one of my heroes, Arthur Ashe, Federer exudes the highest classification of cool by his unassuming and modest excellence. Now, having conquered Paris and the French Open, he takes his place at the head table of greatest tennis players of all time. With he and Rafa Nadal ruling the sport, we are right smack in the sport's golden age. There are few athletes in any sport who truly make one stop and stare – Tiger and Kobe, two other winners Sunday, are among a handful of others. As Carly Simon sings, "These are the good old days." On to Monday Money Matters…. A new era has begun in diplomatic relations between NFL players past and present.  After a court judgment in the fall of $28M against the NFL Players Association for the withholding of potential licensing revenue from retired players, the NFLPA appealed and launched into the usual rhetoric about the opinion of the court being in error and the decision changing on appeal, etc. The verdict, as I said during the case, was predictable, as a jury weighed the merits of rewarding a union representing hearty, healthy and wealthy active players against rewarding retired older players with assorted physical and mental ailments and far, far less income from their playing days than the current players. In the time from the verdict until now, a little change happened along the way. In what is still resonating as a major surprise, NFL player reps selected an unknown commodity in DeMaurice Smith to lead their union and replace the late Gene Upshaw. And Smith made it a priority to reach out to retired players, a group that Upshaw claimed he did not represent. When Smith reached out during a recent speaking engagement in San Francisco, players were pleased but skeptical. Now he has put his money Continue Reading

10 years after U.S. Open breakthrough, Williams sisters continue to fire aces

Lara Blackman is a 16-year-old from Randolph, N.J., who likes photography and writing, and being original. One day four years ago, she was mulling her Halloween options and decided she wanted to do something different. So she got an Arthur Ashe Kids Day T-shirt, a pair of sneakers and a tennis racket. She did her trick-or-treating that night as Venus Ebony Starr Williams, accompanied by a close friend who went as Serena Williams. Her choice was met with great  amusement by Lara's aunt, Billie Jean King, but not with complete surprise. "Venus has the 'It' factor, and so does Serena," Billie Jean King says. "They have stage presence. When they walk out on the court you just look at them and say, 'Wow.' Everything is branding now, and let me tell you, they are a terrific brand." When the city's annual fortnight of tennis tumult - and the year's last Grand Slam - begins tomorrow in Flushing Meadows, it will mark not only the 10th anniversary of Serena Williams' first U.S. Open title, but the beginning of an era almost as unimaginable as, say, an African-American man becoming President of the United States. The life arc of Venus and Serena Williams, born 15 months apart and raised in one of the worst ghettoes in the country, is so much an urban legend by now that its familiarity can sometimes undercut its power. It's worth revisiting, if only to remind us that what has happened over the last decade is as real as the stadium that is named for Arthur Ashe, their tennis forbearer. The two best female players in the world really did learn to play tennis - a quintessential country-club sport - amid the crime and grime of Compton, Calif. They really were taught by an eccentric father who fed them well-worn balls from a beaten-up shopping cart on cracked public courts, and predicted they would become the greatest players on earth. They really were dismissed and denigrated by many in the tennis establishment, and once taunted by neighborhood kids, who Continue Reading

City keeps (Stadium) gate open: Yanks fans’ plan for memorial still in game

There's a loose collection of Yankee fans who are taking Yogi Berra's "It ain't over 'til it's over" to heart and still swinging away in their fight to save a gate from the old Yankee Stadium from oblivion. The Parks Department's plans for commemorative items at Heritage Field - the park that will replace the old stadium - failed to win preliminary approval from the New York City Design Commission at an Oct. 26 meeting. Gate 2 had not been in Parks' plans. "It's not a victory, but it shows we're still in the game," said crusading fan John Trush, of Washington, N.J. The Parks Department gained preliminary approval last May for Heritage Field plans from the Design Commission, which must approve all permanent works of art, architecture and landscape architecture on or over city property. A Parks spokesman said the department was working closely with the commission to address concerns and expected the park to be completed on schedule. The Gate 2 supporters group, formed over the Internet, has presented its plans to a number of city officials. They envision the gate as a grand entrance to the future park, costing as little as $1 million. It could also be a Bronx "Arc de Triomphe," the fans argue, luring tourists and paying homage to Yankee lore. But some Bronx residents appear fed up with waiting for the old stadium's demolition, and with the Gate 2 crusade. "These people are coming in after the fact," said Geoffrey Croft, president of the nonprofit New York City Park Advocates. "If they wanted to save it, they should have been in touch three years ago when plans were being made." The Bronx was promised Heritage Field as a replacement for parkland swallowed up three years ago by the construction of the new Yankee Stadium. While the new stadium was completed on schedule, Heritage Field's construction has been long delayed. Croft argues that the gate will take away from park space. City officials critical of keeping the gate question its historical value, noting it Continue Reading

Antsy flier arrested at JFK after trying to yank open emergency exit door on plane

A stir-crazy Scottish passenger trapped on a JFK Airport tarmac for 2-1/2 hours tried to make a break for it by yanking open the emergency exit door, prosecutors said.Robert McDonald, 60, of Glasgow, apparently had enough of the wait inside Delta's Flight 149 to Las Vegas on Sunday night when he went for the escape hatch, prosecutors said. He had just completed the transatlantic leg of his journey and had to change planes at JFK, prosecutors said. The flight crew grabbed him before he could swing the door fully open and deploy the inflatable chute, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. McDonald's flight left the gate a little after 5p.m., but was stuck on the taxiway until 7:45 p.m. because of bad weather, prosecutors said. He was arrested by Port Authority police officers and was expected to be arraigned at Queens Criminal Court last night on charges of reckless endangerment and criminal tampering. He faces up to a year behind bars if convicted. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Bombers fans turn Camden Yards into Yankee Stadium South

BALTIMORE - The gates swing open, and thousands immediately rush inside. They dart across the landscape like a swarm of blue and white locusts, brashly making themselves at home in a place they don’t belong. They are fans of the Yankees, converting Camden Yards into their own version of Yankee Stadium. Through Wednesday, nearly half the crowd at the home of the Baltimore Orioles will be wearing Yankees hats and jerseys while cheering the visitors. It’s not a subtle invasion, either. The invaders sing for the Yankees, jeer the Orioles and give the impression they’d prop their feet on the coffee table if one were available. “We definitely feel it,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “It’s nice to have your fans travel wherever you go. It’s great. You hear the chants.” For many, the approximate 3 1/2-hour drive down I-95 from New York to Camden Yards is a sound economic decision — even if it means staying at a hotel, eating at restaurants and paying ticket-scalper prices to get in the ballpark. John Trush came from New Jersey with his wife, daughter and her boyfriend to see Monday’s afternoon game. Trush paid $150 each for tickets marked at $48 and considered it a bargain. “It’s worth it. I’m in the 10th row behind the Yankees dugout,” Trush crowed. “Same ticket at Yankee Stadium is $600, and next year it’s going to be $850. So trust me, I’m not complaining about the price here.” The Yankees’ official Web site lists the top ticket price this year at $400, but those seats are rarely available on game days. Next year, when the team moves into a new $1.3 billion ballpark, the Yankees will charge $500 to $2,500 for seats near home plate in the first five to eight rows. So it seems highly likely that the Yankee Invasion of Camden Yards will continue into 2009 and beyond. “Why not? The concessions are cheaper here, too. Plus, it Continue Reading

A look at memorable Yankee openers

Nearly 60 years later, Jerry Coleman still feels the same awe he experienced as a raw, 24-year-old rookie. His spikes were firmly planted in the infield dirt as the Yankees took grounders before the 1949 home opener, Coleman's first at Yankee Stadium, but he felt transported. April 18, 1923: Probably the most famous opener in sports history — an announced crowd of 74,200 showed up to see the game's blossoming phenomenon, Babe Ruth, and many thousands of other, disappointed fans stood outside the Stadium after the fire department ordered the gates closed. Ruth did not disappoint.Red Sox.James Crusinberry's account of the game in the next day's edition of the Daily News. Of Ruth's homer, Crusinberry wrote, "It was one of his very best. It was a terrific drive to right field. It was never over thirty feet from earth and yet it cleared the screen in front of the right-field bleachers and went crashing into a throng of fans."  April 20, 1937: A touch-up is unveiled at the House that Ruth Built — the right-field stands were expanded to three decks, which allowed for upper-deck homers on both sides of the field. Concrete bleachers replaced the wooden benches in center and a homer there is now a much more manageable — sarcasm! — 461 feet instead of 490. April 17, 1951: This opener is notable for the debuts of two Yankee icons, Mickey Mantle and Bob Sheppard, the PA announcer. The Mick was 1-for-4.Vic Raschi was throwing a six-hit shutout against the Red Sox, Sheppard first unleashed a voice both "subtle and beautiful," according to Coleman, the Yankee second baseman. "I know his voice; it's quiet, full of etiquette. It is so different from the other PA announcers who are adding syllables here or there. I love the dignity of his work."Dom DiMaggio, whose brother was in center for the Yankees — Mantle played right. It's the only Opening Day that Joe DiMaggio and Mantle played in the same outfield. April 14, 1967: Imagine the glee Continue Reading

Garth Brooks lives up to ’90s lore on opening night

Garth Brooks conquered Nashville in the 1990s by playing flashy concerts for frenzied fans who knew the "Friends in Low Places" singer lived to please an audience.Two decades later, including a span from 2000 to 2009 when Brooks largely gave up music to spend more time with his three daughters, the formula still clicks.I had never attended a Brooks concert before Thursday night, which opened a five-show, four-day stand at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The second performance is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday.As a first-time audience member, I brought three preconceived notions to the show: 1. The cheering crowds in Brooks' old NBC specials couldn't be that loud without artificial enhancement. 2. Purists believed Brooks' over-the-top performances harmed country music. 3. His commitment to customer service is legendary, including the time he signed autographs for nearly 8,000 fans after a 1991 show at Deer Creek Music Center. Tweeting Garth: Fans share their Garth Brooks Indianapolis concert experience on social  Thursday's performance debunked the first idea, introduced new information to the second and confirmed the third.The capacity crowd seemed to release 21 years' worth of screaming praise for Brooks, who last appeared in Indianapolis at Market Square Arena in 1996. The cheers were loud, sustained and reminiscent of what I heard when covering 'N Sync at Backstreet Boys shows around the time Brooks decided to "retire."On the topic of showmanship, it's true Brooks embraced arena-rock bells and whistles while wearing boots and a cowboy hat back in the day. What's lost in that narrative is the wealth of authentic country music he sang through a "Madonna mic" while flying in a Peter Pan harness above his fans.Brooks came out of the gate strong Thursday night, pairing nothing-but-country tunes "Two of a Kind, Workin' on a Full House" and "The Beaches of Cheyenne" early in the show. The essentials: What Continue Reading

Still swinging

That's when a man burst into the room to ask what his kid brother was doing with a sheet over his head. "Well, he's not going to make it," he was told. A police connection here, some greased palms there and soon they were on ritzy Upper Mountain Ave., knocking on the door of a doctor who would perform the operation to save the man's life. Suffice it to say that Jerry DeRosa is making the most of his second chance since brother Charlie came to his rescue. At 93, going on 39, this little gem of a man, the longtime coach at Montclair State College, is the oldest active head professional in the PGA of America. "Gola, Gola . . . sure, I remember you. You're no spring chicken," he said, answering his phone at Riverbend Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla., where he still teaches his beloved game as the resident head pro. "Jerry," I replied. "How can I be a spring chicken? I was in your golf class in college." DeRosa laughed at himself. Humor is one of the secrets to his longevity, although he'll say it's more the spinach in his diet. Never grumpy, his stories come with his lessons at no extra charge, as priceless as they may be. "My doctor told me I've got a good seven years to go," DeRosa informs me with the cadence of a comedian. "I said, 'What do you mean seven? I want more than that.' Do you know how many centegenerians there are in this country? Thirty-six thousand. Age is just a number." DeRosa can still shoot his number. Although he's down to 150 yards off the tee since pernicious anemia began to sap his strength six years ago, his craftiness suits him well enough to post an 18-handicap. DeRosa, still weighs about 160 pounds ("the same weight I was in the Navy," he says), hits balls for two hours every day ("beginning at 5:30 when it's cool," he says) and plays twice a week with the South Florida PGA's Southeast Chapter and the Bunker Club, a local group of senior pros. The competition is by age groups. There's only one other guy in the Continue Reading