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‘US Open is worth much less with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer missing,’ says Dominic Thiem

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Dominic Thiem says the US Open will be ‘worth much less’ this year given the absence of players such as Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer,

 

 

World number two Nadal, who is the defending champion in New York, has already withdrawn on safety grounds, while Federer is also missing with a knee injury.

It will be the first Gand Slam in over 20 years that hasn’t featured at least one of those two stars, while Novak Djokovic is still to commit.

Former champions Stan Wawrinka and Juan Martin del Potro are also missing from the draw.

“The expectations for me are quite high,” Dominic Thiem said in an interview with the Standard.

“All of us will have a completely new experience. There will be no spectators, a very small team, staying only in the hotel.

“You have to be honest and keep in mind that many top players will not attend the tournament.

 

Roger Federer embroiled in controversy after alleged sneaky promotion

 

That means going far in this tournament it would be worth much less than normal compared to the Australian Open this year.

“Despite that, I am looking forward to playing.”

There has been much debate over whether or not the US Open should be going ahead given the coronavirus situation, but Thiem has backed the decision, saying it’s time for tennis to get itself going again.

“When the tour resumes, I will be ready. I see in a neutral way.

“Tennis is one of the biggest sports in the world, and others like Formula 1 and basketball have already returned.

“It’s time for tennis to continue this trend”

Thiem has played in three Grand Slam finals so far, losing all three to Rafael Nadal (twice) and Novak Djokovic.

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Wike signs Executive Order proscribing IPOB in Rivers

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Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers has signed an executive order to reinforce the ban on the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) and its activities in the State.

He made this known in a statement by Mr Kelvin Ebiri, Special Assistant (Media) to the Governor.

Ebiri stated that the governor, in a broadcast on Wednesday night in Port Harcourt, maintained that Rivers remains the home to all tribes and ethnic nationalities.

He said that the government acknowledges and appreciates the enormous contributions from non-indigenes to the political, social and economic development of the State.

According to the statement, the State Government will neither accept nor allow any individual or group from within and outside to violate the peace, endanger lives and property under any guise.

It stated “the State government is opposed to the presence and activities of the legally-proscribed and anarchic IPOB and whatever it stands for in Rivers State.

“And so, let it be understood that we have nothing against all or any specific tribe and will continue to live in peace with people of all other tribal extractions residing or doing business in Rivers State.

“But we have everything against the presence and activities of the legally-proscribed IPOB and whatever that group stands for in Rivers State,” the governor warned.

This is clearly a terrorist group which existence, creed, mission and activities are strongly denounced even by the Government and peoples of South-Eastern States of the country.

“I have, therefore, signed the executive order to reinforce the total ban on IPOB and its activities in Rivers State or any part thereof and nothing will stop us from enforcing this ban in its entirety,’’ he said.

The statement also added that Wike also “directed security agencies and the Chairmen of Local Government Areas to fish out and resolutely deal with any member of IPOB found in any community following the executive order and other legal instruments’’.

The governor also announced the lifting of existing curfew on Mile 1; Mile 2; Iloabuchi; Emenike; and Ikokwu areas of Port Harcourt as well as Rumukurushi in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area.

He, however, said that the curfew in Oyigbo Local Government Area will remain in force until further notice while the entire Ikokwu motor spare parts market will remain closed until further notice

In the quest to restore sanity and enhance free traffic flow in roads in the State, the governor said he will constitute a task force to enforce the ban on illegal street trading and the emergence of motor parks along public roads.

He also stated that, in the interim, he has approved the ban on the operations of tricycles, also known as `Keke NAPEP’, on all major roads in Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas.

The major roads are Aggrey road; Dame Patience Jonathan road; Eastern Bypass road; Ikwerre road; Aba road; Agip road; Ada George road; Olu Obasanjo road; Rumuokwuta – Rumuola road; and Rumuepirikom – Rumuolumeni (leading to Ignatius Ajuru University of Education) road.

Others are: Rumuokwuta – Choba road; Chief G.U. Eke road; Peter Odili road; Ken Saro-Wiwa road; Nkpogu road; Trans-Amadi road; Elekahia – Rumuomasi road; Yakubu Gowon road; and Woji – Elelenwo road.

Wike also directed the State Civil Service Commission to take immediate steps to employ 5,000 youths into teaching and other career positions in the State’s Civil Service.

He said such steps should be taken as an immediate measure to reduce the level of youth unemployment.

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