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Tennis Tsonga Tames Shapovalov In Five-set Classic

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MELBOURNE – Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga required all his years of experience to tame Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov and reach the third round of the Australian Open on Wednesday.

The 32-year-old former runner-up was staring at a second successive grand slam defeat to the 18-year-old tyro when he trailed 5-2 in the decider but as Shapovalov’s youth betrayed him for the first time, Tsonga roared back to rattle off the last four games for a 3-6 6-3 1-6 7-6(4) 7-5 victory.

“I‘m tired but really happy,” the popular Frenchman, who has been troubled by a calf injury in the build-up to the tournament, said on Margaret Court Arena.

“I did a big fight today. It’s not easy to play the young guns, they play great and go for everything so it’s difficult to defend. I suffered physically but I continued to fight.”

Melbourne debutant Shapovalov, who won in straight sets in their U.S. Open second round clash, crunched 60 winners throughout the three hour 37 minute firefight in soaring temperatures, but ultimately fell just short.

Tennis – Australian Open – Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne, Australia, January 17, 2018. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France hits a shot against Denis Shapovalov of Canada. REUTERS/David Gray

The straggly-haired world number 50’s explosive shot-making helped him take the opener in style after breaking the 15th seed’s serve in the fourth game of the match.

Tsonga, popular Down Under after his final appearance against Novak Djokovic 10 years ago, found some extra zip on his shots to level the match but the fearless Shapovalov continued to let rip at every opportunity to race through the third set in 26 minutes.

Slideshow (5 Images)

It was tight in the fourth as 32-year-old former world number five Tsonga used all his experience and physical presence to stay ahead on serve and take the teenager into a tiebreak which he dominated to win 7-4.

Shapovalov had only gone to a fifth set once before but broke in the second game and even had a chance to make it 4-0.

Tsonga dug in though and it was Shapovalov who crumbled when serving for the match at 5-3, misfiring two backhands and double-faulting to allow Tsonga to break.

The momentum was now with the older man and he played three faultless games to claim a 16th five-set victory and set up a possible clash with home favorite Nick Kyrgios who was due to play his second round later.

Reporting by Martyn Herman;

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Irish Pm Calls For Urgent Restoration Of Northern Ireland Government

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DUBLIN – Ireland’s Prime Minister called for the urgent restoration of Northern Ireland’s power-sharing government on Monday after talks to end a year-long political stalemate broke down yet again last week.

Both the British and Irish governments have said they want to get the talks back on track but neither have suggested when Irish nationalists Sinn Fein and the pro-British Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) should return to the negotiating table.

The British province has been without a devolved executive for over a year since Sinn Fein withdrew from the compulsory coalition with their arch-rivals that has been central to a 1998 peace deal that ended three decades of violence there.

“The (Irish) government will continue to engage with the parties in Northern Ireland and the British government to support the urgent formation of a new executive,” Varadkar said in a statement after meeting with Sinn Fein and speaking to British Prime Minister Theresa May by phone.

Before meeting Varadkar, Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald said there should be no delay in resuming talks that she and both governments believe were close to a successful outcome before the DUP pulled out over a disagreement on additional rights for Irish-language speakers.

DUP leader Arlene Foster reiterated her call for London to take further financial control of the region, saying her party remained committed to devolution “but not at any price”.

Britain has already had to take steps toward governing the region directly for the first time in a decade and many fear a return to full British direct rule would further destabilize a delicate balance between nationalists and unionists.

Britain has said it is absolutely committed to restoring the power-sharing administration and Varadkar repeated on Monday that his government did not want to see the introduction of direct rule across the border.

Reporting by Padraic Halpin;

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Sylvester Stallone Dead Hoax – Rocky Actor Tells Fans He’s ‘alive And Well’ After Rumours Of His Death Sweep Social Media

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SYLVESTER STALLONE has put the bizarre rumour he is dead to bed as he tweeted declaring he is “still punching” this evening.

The Rocky star told fans to “ignore this stupidity” and confirmed he is “alive and well” after the rumour swept the internet.

The actor confirmed to fans he is still alive after a rumour of his death took off today

He added: “Remember to always grab LIFE by the throat and do not let go until you succeed.”

This isn’t the first time he has had to bat of rumours of an early demise – Facebook users reported seeing a fraudulent message in September 2016 claiming Stallone had been found dead at his LA home.

It was later exposed as a hoax after it emerged it was linked to a website known for creating and sharing celebrity death hoaxes.

But the rumour has now returned to social media a year-and-a-half later.

He added on an inspirational message as he said he is still ‘alive and well’

AP:Associated Press Wild online rumours are claiming Sylvester Stallone is dead again

The return of the hoax appeared to have been sparked by him sharing a fan poster for Creed II – the next instalment in the Rocky film series.

After seeing Sly’s face on the advert, some people on social media – still convinced that he was dead from the last hoax – reacted with confusion.

RIP messages began to circulate online, with some claiming Sly had died from prostate cancer.

The rumour was fuelled by fake news articles being shared online

Twitter users were seen asking each other if the Rocky star had really passed away as the Chinese whispers spread like wildfire.

One wrote: “Is Sylvester Stallone dead or is Facebook lying again?”

Another wrote: “Omg I thought Sylvester Stallone was dead!! I hate the Internet”

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Starving Lion Chews Off Its Own Tail In Hellhole Chinese Zoo

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A STARVING lion was forced to chew off its own tail after it froze in a Chinese zoo’s water hole.

Tourists visiting Taiyuan Zoo, in Shanxi Province, during the Lunar New Year holidays spotted the malnourished animal pacing around in circles.

A starving lion in Taiyuan Zoo, in Shanxi Province, is believed to have chewed off its own tail

The emaciated beast was kept inside the cage with a lioness who looked equally hungry.

Visitors accused the zoo of abuse and demanded to know why the lion was missing half of its tail.

A Taiyuan Zoo spokesman explained that the lion fell asleep with its tail inside an artificial drinking hole, which frozen in the cold temperatures.

The tail suffered tissue damage and bled, so the lion “bit it off”, the spokesman added.

AsiaWire Visitors became deeply concerned when they saw the emaciated lion pacing around its room

The staff member said employees discovered the injury and the lion was put on a course of medication to help stop its bleeding.

However, the zoo did not respond to accusations that the two lions were underfed and malnourished.

Social media users on China’s Twitter-like microblogging service Sina Weibo said the lions looked “depressed”, pacing around their tiny enclosure.

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