HOBART, Australia -- Sam Stosur beat Victoria Kan 6-2 6-3 Sunday to give Australia a winning 3-0 lead over Russia in their Fed Cup World Group tie, lifting the Australians into the semifinals for the first time in 20 years. Stosur, the world No. 16 and former US Open champion, had too much power for 158th-ranked Kan, winning 24 of 25 points on first serve. Russia altered its lineup to send the 18-year-old Kan into action in the reverse singles but wasnt able to break Australias grip on the tie. Stosur and Casey Dellacqua had given Australia a 2-0 lead Saturday when they comfortably won their opening singles. Australia last played in a Fed Cup semifinal in 1993 on its way to the final against Spain. Russia, who made the final last year, are without their 13 top-ranked players. Casey Dellacqua and Ashleigh Barty later combined to beat Irina Khromacheva and Valeria Solovyeva 6-1, 6-3 in the doubles. The second reverse singles was not played. Travis Frederick Jersey
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. That time around, the cage is as much a part of baseballs daily routine as a beer and a hotdog is to a fan in the stands. Coaches, scouts, broadcasters and other media hover, tossing verbal barbs, telling stories and sharing laughs. Occasionally, especially in spring when the atmosphere is relatively laid back, the list of invited guests expands and on this day, Gibbons welcomed two men strongly influential in his life.Some said he was lucky to get the job. After all he wasn’t the first choice. For a short time. It is a year to the day that the Vancouver Whitecaps officially announced they had settled on Carl Robinson to become their newest head coach. It had been a long and thorough search to find Martin Rennie’s successor yet after searching the world for the right guy the Whitecaps found him right under their nose. Robinson, who had been brought to Vancouver by Rennie as an assistant, had been kept around for a reason. He had ties to the past management system, but upper management at the Whitecaps had seen past that and knew they wanted to interview him. It was a precarious time for the Welshman. A footballer knows only too well never to fall in love with one place. It is part of what makes them so committed to their profession because it is one of the few things in their lives that remain consistent. The sport ensures they must never fully commit to a home, a city, a car and even a circle of friends in one place. When Rennie was let go it looked like Robinson, along with his wife and two children, would be on the move again. Only this time there was a small part of him that was never quite convinced. He moved out of his rented home and lived in a hotel while he waited and waited for the decision. He had felt he interviewed well the numerous times he had been questioned but he, like the world, knew Bob Bradley had been the team’s number one choice. Once the former US boss turned them down the list of candidates got shorter. There were days that he would wake up and feel like he could get the job and then others that saw doubts creep in. Eventually Robinson was offered the position. Throughout the process it was all anyone within the walls of the Whitecaps confines could talk about. This clearly helped Robinson who had done what he always does with people he comes across, by making mark on people’s lives. The staff loved him and rooted for him to be appointed and that included the players. Former striker Camilo, before Rennie had even left, went out of his way on national television to praise Robinson the moment he secured the scoring title at the end of the 2013 season. When the story began to leak out that he had indeed been appointed Robinson’s phone battery died as he watched his son play that night. He had been overwhelmed by messages of support. Three days later the team made it official. Russell Teibert summed up what all the players felt, saying: “There isn’t a better man for the job.” The Whitecaps weren’t so sure as they started the offseason but by the time it ended they knew Teibert was right. Nigel Reo-Coker said at the time: ““He’s very honest and I think players respect that. It’s nothing ever personal with him, its just football. It’s about making players becoming better players.” “First and foremost Carl Robinson is a great man,” Teibert added. Great can often be thrown around too much in sports but those eight words uttered by Teibert laid the foundation for the Whitecaps this past season. Of course, Robinson can coach and what he accomplished during the regular season was nothing short of remarkable seeing that there were notable gaps in talent in particular key areas of the squad but above all of that it was how he treated people that made Robinson’s first year in charge such a success. Before the team had kicked a competitive ball in anger, the new boss faced enormous hurdles that were unusual for his job. Top of that agenda was the walkout of Camilo to Mexico. While the public reaction to the story was aggressive and feisty, privately Robinson never lost his cool and even used his relationships inside the league to help him facilitate a trip to personally speak with the player in Mexico. That was important to him. He knew he had lost the Brazilian but he had to look him in the eyes and see it for himself. On the flight home he already made mental plans about what to do with the allocation money he’d receive from the sale. Robinson spent hours on the phone with his agent and his representatives around the world working deals to recruit players. This is nothing new for a football manager but the difference is when Robinson calls these people they listen. They talk about things much more than just football. They are friends, they have spent hours together off the field, know each other’s family, and its those relationships, carved out over a successful playing career, that help him now in his new role. It helped him secure the services of his assistant Martyn Pert, who joined hiim on the bench with Gordon Forrest.dddddddddddd Robinson knew he needed men around him that he wanted to learn from and immediately the three clicked. Throughout the season the Welshman would go to a pre-match meeting with the pair and often think about playing or dropping a certain player but would sometimes leave having been talked out of it. He empowered his assistants while still managing to set the tone around the club that he was, without question, the man in charge. In training sessions he would join in scrimmages, call players by their nicknames and regularly was apart of jokes only that group would understand. He had created a vibe amongst the team that was infectious and there was no room for sulking amongst any of the players. Such an environment meant he often could leave the squad to police itself. Anyone not happy or bringing down the energy would be called out. Sometimes, though, that wasn’t enough and more than once a player would go the extra mile during the season to call Robinson and personally apologize for their mood that day. Of course they cared what the coach felt of them but, unlike other clubs, there was no friction in the dressing room where a clique was turning against the man in charge, so it forced the players to look at themselves and get back with the plan. All the players knew where they stood with Robinson, whether they were starting or a substitute. Confident in himself, as a coach and a man, he never ducked taking responsibility and having difficult conversations with anyone. There are many stories of such incidents throughout the season. One came in April in Los Angeles, after breakfast in the team hotel on the day of the game; he sat with his old friend Kenny Miller for over an hour and explained why he wasn’t starting the game that night. Once that discussion ended the two finally talked about the possibility that Miller might leave during the season. Robinson didn’t want to lose his star striker and friend but he knew it was probably in the best interests of both parties if they separated. Time since has proved how right he was and the two still talk often as friends. The 38-year-old’s handling of young players has impressed many. Not only is he not afraid to give them opportunities, he welcomes such situations and the challenges it presents verbally afterwards. Never afraid to give a player the riot act, if required, the Welshman showed many other sides, throughout the year, of sensitivity towards the many young Whitecaps and, even, their own support groups. After losing a tight game in Dallas during the season there was no time for feeling sorry for himself. Instead, at the hotel he sat down for over an hour with Kekuta Manneh’s adopted parents, LaRhonda and Eric, and answered all sorts of questions about the young forward. In a scene reminiscent of a parent, teacher night at school, Manneh spent much of the time reading about Premier League teams on the internet while his loved ones spoke privately to the head coach. Just another role Robinson excelled in. He would, of course, return to Dallas for one more trip later in the year. A trip that would turn out to be the last this current version of the squad would ever take together. We know now how that story ended, with the Whitecaps being knocked out of the playoffs after a disputed penalty decision. Afterwards, with players crying inside, outside the dressing room the head coach kept his cool. Deep down he was absolutely crushed for his team to be knocked out in that manner but, as he briefly addressed some friends and the team’s upper management, he made his way to the end of the hall to talk at length to a senior member of the MLS Competition Department, in Dallas to oversee the match. The conversation went on for some time and only two men will truly know what was said yet those in the vicinity of it couldn’t help but be impressed with the composure he maintained throughout. Even in the lowest of moments he had represented the Whitecaps with class. A year on from the hire, the jury is in on Robinson and his ability to run a club and the overwhelming evidence, of which a minority was highlighted in this article, on show is sure to have convinced the Whitecaps to offer him a longer term than they did last December. It was Frank Sinatra who once said: “Luck is only important in so far as getting the chance to sell yourself at the right moment. After that, you’ve got to have talent and know how to use it.” Robinson is no longer the lucky one. The Whitecaps have discovered a real gem. Cheap Jerseys Wholesale Cheap Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Wholesale Jerseys China Jerseys NFL Cheap China Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys From China
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