According to the latest data released by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), India has retained top spot on Dubai’s list of source markets for inbound tourism, with 1,478,000 Indian tourists arriving in the city between January and September, registering a significant 20 per cent rise over the same period in 2016.This increase affirmed the effectiveness of various innovative promotional activities driven by Dubai Tourism in the market, including highly successful influencer-led collaborations with Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, a statement said.Saudi Arabia and the UK also retained their positions as Dubai’s second and third largest feeder markets.“The sustained growth ahead of the global average that we have witnessed so far this year is indicative of the positive impact yielded by our consolidated strategy across regulatory measures, promotional efforts, trade initiatives and partner programs. Even as we continually work to ensure Dubai’s proposition remains stellar and globally competitive, drawing on the concerted cross-industry efforts of all stakeholders, our priority remains the delivery of the highest levels of visitor satisfaction.“Ultimately, our aim is to make every satisfied Dubai visitor our customer for life and our strongest advocate, in order to drive not only higher repeat traffic but also acquire newer audiences most efficiently, as we strive towards our 20 million target by 2020,” Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, Dubai Tourism, said in a statement.Dubai’s hotel sector also saw significant growth, with the city’s total number of hotel and hotel apartment keys standing at 106,167 at the end of the third quarter of 2017. A total of 11.58 million international overnight visitors arrived in Dubai during the first nine months of 2017, reflecting a 7.5 per cent increase over the same period last year.And, in line with the 10X Agenda set by Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, “we are focused on continuously innovating, harnessing the power of data, redefining the customer journey and amplifying the voice of the traveller, to ensure that Dubai is a decade ahead of any other global city from a travel and tourism perspective,” Almarri added.The performance in the first three quarters of 2017 indicates that the emirate is making sustained progress towards its Tourism Vision 2020 goals of welcoming 20 million visitors per year by 2020 and increasing the tourism sector’s contribution to GDP, the statement said. — (IANS) Related ItemsDubai tourismHelal Saeed Almarri Dubai TourismIndia outbound tourismIndian touristsIndian travellersIndians DubaiUAE travel
Indian television has found a new script. After a staple diet of cinema-based programs, family entertainment and reality shows, viewers are now getting a taste of channels dedicated solely to food.In the past few months, three dedicated food channels have launched; each with the premise of offering entertainment centered on all things edible. “Given that India is a nation of three billion-plus meals a day, it is a foregone conclusion that food is a center-stage item in the country and deserves the kind of coverage it is getting,” notes Harish Bijoor, a brand strategy specialist and visiting professor at the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad.Ritu Dalmia, a celebrity chef who hosts her own show, Pressure Cooker, on NDTV Good Times, a lifestyle channel launched in 2007, points out that food shows are among the most popular in India and the world over. “There is a ready audience of homemakers that wants to watch these channels,” she says.According to Prashant Agarwal, joint managing director at Wazir Consultants, a retail consultancy firm, the audience for food TV is much wider. “Conversations among executives who travel around the world inevitably include snatches of who ate what and where, (creating) an opportunity for food channels to offer the experience of the internationally-acclaimed chefs to the local populace.”Indian television is no stranger to food-centric programming. Among the first really popular series was Khana Khazana (loosely translated, a treasure or treasury of food) introduced 17 years ago by Zee TV. Hosted by chef Sanjeev Kapoor, the show became a great hit. Riding on the popularity of the show, Kapoor went on to become the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. Kapoor now has a food channel of his own.But why has it taken so long for dedicated food channels to find their way to Indian audiences? “The onset of digital television and direct-to-home television is now rapidly changing the way TV is being consumed in the country,” notes Rajiv Bakshi, vice-president of marketing for India at Discovery Networks, which started airing cuisine-based shows on Indian television in 2004. “The cost of technology is declining for consumers, so it makes it possible for broadcasters to serve audiences niche channels at a cost-effective rate.”There are socio-economic reasons, too. With rising affluence in India, there is growing aspiration for a better lifestyle. Food, which has always been central in Indian society, is finding newer expressions. This is reflected in myriad ways: new products from food and beverage companies; an increasing number of restaurants, including a slew of global food chains; high-end grocery stores offering a premium shopping experience and wider availability of exotic foreign food.“Food is now more than just a basic item or a processed, packaged and aggressively branded product or service (in restaurants). It has gone beyond (that),” Bijoor says. “Many of us eat more with our eyes than with our mouths. It is this socio-physical reality that is spurring food channels forward. A big chunk of people who watch these channels are of an older age profile. The point is simple: If you cannot eat it all anymore, salivate and watch it being made and eaten.”The first dedicated food channel has come from the Zee stable. Going by the same name as the country’s most popular food show, Khana Khazana, the channel was launched in December 2010. “Being the undisputed leader in the food genre for the past 17 years (we felt) it was high time to take a step ahead and therefore we launched India’s first 24-hour food channel,” notes Anurag Bedi, business head of Zee Khana Khazana.What’s on the Menu?Apart from the reruns of Khana Khazana episodes and original Indian content, Zee’s food channel airs international shows like The Hairy Bikers’ Cookbook, Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is, Ching’s Kitchen and Chopping Block.But Khana Khazana wasn’t alone on the table for long. Barely a month later, in January 2011, chef Kapoor launched his own food channel in association with Malaysia’s Astro Television. Called Food Food, Kapoor launched the network with much fanfare, even appointing former Bollywood superstar Madhuri Dixit as the channel’s lifestyle ambassador.According to Kapoor, who owns restaurant chains Yellow Chilli, Options and Sanjeev Kapoor’s Khazana, “Food in India is synonymous with entertainment; people meet and bond over food and discussions over places one can go and eat. All our celebrations center on food. My channel therefore offers an ultimate lifestyle destination for Indian foodies who want to make some quick, easy, balanced meals, as well learn about interesting world cuisines. It has been my dream of having a channel like this ever since I started my career.”The third channel in this category is Food First from Real Global Broadcasting, part of the Alva Brothers group of companies. The group includes Miditech, a 17-year-old television and film production company regarded as one of the pioneers of reality TV shows in India. Alva Brothers launched Real TV as a general entertainment channel a couple years ago, but the channel was not successful. The company is now hoping to fare better with its food channel and also plans to launch dedicated channels in other genres.Channel heads claim that their niche food channels have had an enthusiastic response. “Ours is a subscription-based channel available only on digital networks. Despite this, within a month of launch we had over 100,000 subscribers and this number has been increasing steadily,” says Bedi of Zee. Bedi, however, is tight-lipped about the current number of subscribers. Declining to give any numbers, Kapoor, too, says that the response to his channel has been overwhelming.Industry observers, however, point out that these channels will not have it easy. There are around 125 food shows across all the existing 450-plus channels that are also fighting for their piece of the pie. According to TAM (Television Audience Measurement) data collated by Zee TV, the average Indian viewer spends eight minutes per day watching some form of cooking show. Attracting and holding the viewers’ attention will not be a cakewalk.A case in point is the much hyped MasterChef India, a culinary competition series based on the U.K. and Australian formats. The show, hosted by Bollywood mega star Akshay Kumar (who was a chef before his acting career took off), did not live up to its promise. “The show was less about food and more about getting the drama and histrionics right,” chef Dalmia notes. “I believe that’s why it did not connect with the audience.” Others say that the show was a poor copy of the original and simply failed to entertain.With histrionics and Bollywood failing to tickle the palate, what are the ingredients that will hook the viewers? Industry players are betting on the combination of strong content and a generous dose of entertainment. Pointing out that recipes can easily obtained from cookbooks and food magazines, Bakshi says to survive in this genre, “the channel owners will have to come out with entertaining content.”Kapoor believes in following the global trend: “Food channels abroad started off by being focused on food. Now they have veered more toward lifestyle. At Food Food, along with food shows we will also have game shows, travel shows, reality shows and lifestyle shows (based around) food. We will keep making original programs stressing quality of content.”Not Always a Sweet DealUntil now, niche channels have had a mixed run in India. Industry observers say that the most popular among these are the news channels, followed by some religious channels. “The Indian viewer can never be glued to one channel or even one type of channel. Channels dedicated to say, science and technology, are likely to have limited success,” according to Ashesh Jani, a partner at Deloitte Haskins & Sells.Jani, though, is optimistic about the prospects of food channels. He notes that these channels are entering the landscape at a time when the Indian television industry is growing at a strong rate. According to the PricewaterhouseCoopers Indian Entertainment and Media Outlook 2010, the Indian television industry stood at $5.5 billion in 2009 and is expected to grow to $10.1bilion by 2014, a compound annual growth rate of around 13%. Jani notes that if the food channels can whip up an interesting menu of program offerings, they can partake of this growth. “There is more scope for these channels to succeed as opposed to general entertainment channels,” he says.The key for food channels lies in their ability to attract advertisers. Kapoor explains the business model: “Food channels create a category. Then they are monetized via advertisement sales, subscription revenues and sponsorships. Such specialty channels give advertisers a playground to park their funds.”The PricewaterhouseCoopers report notes that the food and beverages category accounts for around 14% of the advertising on television. ISB’s Bijoor points out that in India, there are more than 21,000 brands of foods and beverages. “Therefore, it is obvious that these (food) channels will be able to attract the attention of targeted and focused marketers,” he says. Zee’s Bedi adds that technology has eased the process of cooking and a lot of cooking equipment is available in the market, but lacks visibility. “These channels are a good platform for showcasing the salient features of such products,” Bedi says. “From table salt to the oven, everything is an advertising opportunity here.”The interest of advertisers in a particular channel depends on its popularity with viewers, which drives higher advertisement revenues in terms of volume and rates. While promoters of the food channels are unwilling to share information regarding investment figures and break-even, analysts estimate that the investments required by these channels is in the range of $15-20 million and that they will take around four-five years to achieve break-even.According to Bijoor, the main challenges ahead for food networks “would be the ability to stand out from the clutter of other channels, the ability to create new properties that are unique and the ability to churn up celebrity chefs.” Related Items
An Indian-origin man based in the United Kingdom has been sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of his ex-wife. Ashwin Daudia, 51, was seen in a CCTV footage, dragging the suitcase that contained the remains of Kiran Daudia’s body.He strangled her before putting her body into the suitcase. He later dumped it in an alley located behind trash bins, the BBC reported.Daudia was said to be a controlling resentful husband and the couple had been divorced for three years, after being together for 26 years. Kiran, a mother of two, was an employee of a retail firm and the couple were going to sell their property to Kiran’s sister Preti Jethwa, according to media reports. Though they were divorced, Daudia continued to live with Kiran in the same house at North Evington, Leicester.On Jan. 16 last year, the day when the sale was supposed to take place, Kiran was reported missing by her family when she did not come back from work. After police started investigating her disappearance, the officers received a call from one of their neighbors the next morning who had discovered an abandoned suitcase in their backyard. The police later found a CCTV footage that showed Daudia dragging the suitcase.Daudia admitted to killing his ex-wife out of rage and said he lost control as he would be rendered homeless and that she was seeing other men. “In my judgment you were arrogant, bullying and bent upon maintaining control. In short, I’m quite satisfied the course of destruction of your family was a course charted by you. Your selfish pride fueled your anger,” Judge Timothy Spencer QC said while sentencing him, the BBC report added.According to the prosecution, an argument and a struggle had ensued between the two. Daudia is suspected to have strangled Kiran with her own scarf. “Had this been some sort of domestic incident which had got out of hand and the defendant immediately regretted what had happened, one might have expected him to have raised the alarm and called for an ambulance or the police,” said William Harbage QC, the prosecutor.He added that Daudia did nothing of that kind. In fact, he tried to cover up his act and was quite cool.Kiran’s family in a statement has said that she was full of dreams and was the backbone of the family, the Mirror reported.“Through his own selfish, cowardly actions Daudia has ripped this family apart, leaving two doting sons without a mother and other family members distraught and struggling to get over the pain and heartache he has caused,” said detective Sergeant Mark Wesley, who was part of the investigation team, according to reports. Related ItemsBritainBritish IndianUnited Kingdom
The Konkan Railway has geared itself ahead of the onset of monsoon season in Konkan region to provide safe travel for its passengers.All its planned safety works on its route from Kolad to Thokur have been completed, said a public relation officer of the Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL) on Friday. Monsoon time table will come into effect from June 10 to October 31. Passengers who have been issued journey tickets prior to the announcement of the monsoon time table are requested to check the timings of their train well in advance as the departure timing of some trains will be revised. Passengers may monitor their train online by visiting www.konkanrailway.com or using KRCL app. The large scale safety works executed along the railway line in the last 13 years have significantly reduced the incidences of boulder fall and soil slip, thus ensuring the safe running of trains. No major disruption to train services has occurred on account of boulder fall during monsoons in the last six years.Konkan Railway will conduct monsoon patrolling as per the provisions of Indian Railway Permanent Way Manual to ensure the safe running of trains. About 630 personnel will be patrolling the Konkan Railway route during the monsoon. Vulnerable locations will be patrolled round the clock and stationary watchmen will be deployed for 24 hours at critical locations. Speed restrictions will be imposed at vulnerable locations. BRN mounted excavators have been kept ready at all nominated points for quick movement in case of an emergency.Instructions have also been issued to the loco drivers to run the trains at a reduced speed of 40 kmph in case of heavy rainfall when visibility is limited. Self-propelled ARMVs (Accident Relief Medical Van), with the provision of an operation theatre and providing emergency medical aid, are kept ready at Ratnagiri and Verna (Goa) along with ART (Accident Relief Train).Mobile phones have been provided to all safety category staff to contact central control in an emergency. Both Loco Pilots and Guards of trains have been provided with walkie-talkie sets as well as every station on Konkan Railway is equipped with 25 Watt VHF base station. This enables wireless communication between the train crew as well as train crew and Station Master. Emergency Communication (EMC) sockets have been provided at a distance of average 1km along the Konkan Railway route that enables the watchmen, Loco Pilots, and other field maintenance staff to contact Station Master and train controllers during any emergency situations in train operations. Satellite phone communication has been provided in ARMV (Accident Relief Medical Van) for emergency contact when ARMV is ordered in service. All main signal aspects on Konkan Railway are now replaced with LED for improving signal visibility, said the public relation official. Three Control rooms at Belapur, Ratnagiri, and Madgaon, will work 24 x 7 during this period for ensuring the safe running of the train. Konkan Railway this year is running 50 more trips as compared to the 146 summer special trips run in Summer 2018. Furthermore, 166 trips of special trains have already been announced for devotees of Lord Ganesha on the occasion of Ganapati Festival 2019.
With Manipur facing an overdraft of over ₹300 crore, the RBI has stopped honouring all government bills and cheques from Wednesday onwards. The order issued by Anita Kumari, Assistant General Manager, however does not say how long the ban will be in force.In a confidential letter to the RBI Chairman, she said the RBI order should be followed by all bank branches and offices. Deputy Chief Minister Yumnam Joykumar of the National People’s Party, who holds the Finance portfolio, said recently at a function the “financial position is not comfortable”.Some Opposition MLAs recalled that the BJP had in their election campaign said the State would not be cash strapped since there were BJP governments in Manipur and at the Centre. Chief Minister N. Biren, who left for Delhi to attend the NITI Aayog meeting, will plead for a bail out by pumping in additional funds, sources say. Meanwhile, the government issued an office memorandum banning all forms of recruitment including regular posts with immediate effect.The government has been unable to pay salaries and honorariums to certain sections of employees including the Village Defence Force. The VDF personnel have been assisting the police all these years.Despite oft repeated assurances, the government has also been unable to hike the pension of retired journalists from ₹4,000 a month to ₹10,000.
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Khursheed Alam was released on a parole for just three hours on Wednesday to attend the last rites of his younger brother Shahnawaz Alam, who died of lung cancer on Tuesday evening.An official said the former employees union leader who joined the PDP a few years ago, was shifted from the Centaur Lake View hotel, a designated sub-jail, on Wednesday morning to attend the last rites here.“Mr. Alam was escorted by a posse of security personnel to Khanyar and was again whisked away after the burial. We expected the State government to release him for at least four days so that he could participate in all the congregational prayers to be offered,” a relative said on the condition of anonymity.A police official said the agencies were “weighing the options to release him again to attend the congregational prayers”.Mr. Alam was among 179 political leaders arrested in the crackdown launched on the mainstream leaders in J&K before the Centre revoked J&K’s special status.
Emerging from his absence in the public sphere, senior Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan made an appearance in Rampur on Monday. The Rampur MP, who was last seen in Rampur during Id celebrations in August, presented himself before the Special Investigation Team (SIT) official Dinesh Gaur in the Mahila police station. He was accompanied by his wife, Rajya Sabha MP Tanzeen Fatima and son Abdullah Azam, who is an MLA from the neighbouring Suar constituency.The Uttar Pradesh police have declared Mr. Khan a “land mafia” and has lodged FIRs against him in more than four dozen cases. On September 25, the Allahabad High Court had granted stay in 27 of these cases.The SIT had asked him to appear before it on September 30. Mr. Khan spent almost 45 minutes at the station. Later addressing the party workers, he said he would need four to five days to respond to the “long list of charges”.He described the administration’s behaviour towards him and his family “vindictive” and added that they were following the orders of their “political masters”.Before presenting himself in front of the SIT, Mr. Khan accompanied Ms. Fatima to file her nomination papers, on an SP ticket, for the upcoming bypolls for the Rampur seat. Mr. Khan has represented the seat nine times. The seat fell vacant when he was elected to the Lok Sabha earlier this year.Earlier in the day, Ms. Fatima deposited the bill and penalty of ₹30 lakh in the electricity department. She was charged with power theft at her Humsafar resort.
Two groups of followers of a Dalit sect had a fight on Tuesday on the possible effects of National Register of Citizens (NRC) in West Bengal, resulting in many injuries. This is for first time that the two sects of Matua Mahasangha, a socio-religious body of a predominantly Dalit refugee sect, the Matuas, fought publicly, “tarnishing” the image of the apolitical body, followers said.About 40-45 lakh Matua voters are spread over nearly 50 of the 294 Assembly segments in West Bengal. On Tuesday, one section of the Matuas, headed by the Matua Mahasangha’s chairperson Mamatabala Thakur, convened a meeting in its headquarters at Thakurnagar in North 24 Paraganas, about 70 km north of Kolkata. Ms. Thakur is a former MP of TMC, defeated by her brother-in-law’s son Shantanu Thakur of the BJP in the recent Lok Sabha election.“Our objective was to make people aware of the possible impact of NRC on people who came from Bangladesh. We also invited Muslims,” a disciple close to Ms. Thakur’s faction said. Mr. Thakur’s faction opposed it and campaigned in the area over the last few days against this meeting that was held to “build up resistance against the NRC”.Mr. Thakur’s faction allegedly attacked Ms. Thakur’s meeting, which took “a communal turn” as many Muslims were present. “They started shouting Jai Sri Ram and asked why Muslims are allowed to come inside Thakurbari [the headquarters],” the disciple said. They alleged that their leader Sukriti Ranjan Biswas was also beaten up. The other faction, led by Mr. Thakur, denied the allegation.“They [Ms. Thakur’s faction] held the meeting in the venue even though we were scheduled to hold a meeting there. Moreover, they got Muslims to enter Thakurbari.” said another disciple who is close to Mr. Thakur. He also added that Ms. Thakur’s faction was “spreading false news” about NRC despite BJP president Amit Shah’s statement.“Mr. Shah said that there won’t be any NRC in Bengal and they [Ms. Thakur’s faction] were insisting that the BJP will push people out of the country, so we had to protest,” the disciple said.The scuffle deeply disturbed the followers of the sect and one of the religious chiefs of a group, among the multiple bodies of Matuas, regretted the incident. “Matua Mahasangha was founded on basis of equality to all. We believe that people should not discriminate and fight on basis of religious or political ideology… There should not be a BJP versus TMC division among the Matuas, or else that philosophy is breached,” the chief said.
The bypoll in three Assembly constituencies of western Uttar Pradesh saw a mixed response from the voters on Monday. While Gangoh clocked the highest turnout at 60%, Iglas (reserved) constituency in Aligarh district scored a poor 36.2% and Rampur Sadar saw a voting percentage of 44. Some villages of Iglas boycotted the election for a major part of the day, raising the slogan “vikas nahin, vote nahin” (no development, no vote). Local sources said villagers were asking for all-weather roads in their area.It was only after 3 p.m. that the voters turned up at the booths after repeated assurances from the administration and Hathras MP and former MLA Rajvir Singh Diler of the BJP. The seat got vacant after Mr. Diler was elected to the Lok Sabha.“There was no complete boycott in any of the villages but the voting percentage was very poor in Nawalpur, Kapoor Khera and Udambara villages of Iglas. We have noted their demands and the administration will work towards it,” said Anjani Kumar, Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Iglas. Unlike other constituencies, in Rampur, the BJP is the challenger as it tries to take on Tanzeen Fatima, Rajya Sabha member, and wife of Samajwadi Party heavyweight Azam Khan in Mr. Khan’s pocket borough. The bypoll was necessitated when Mr. Khan got elected to the Lok Sabha earlier this year after defeating his arch-rival Jaya Prada in a volatile contest. Local sources say the poor voting percentage will help the BJP candidate Bharat Bhushan Gupta. “Also, there is a section of Muslims who are voting for the BJP this time,” said Hasnat Ali Khan, a former Samajwadi Party member.Cong.-BJP contestIn Gangoh (Saharanpur), another constituency with a significant Muslim population along with a sizeable Dalit electorate, the contest seems to be between the BJP and the Congress. Here the BJP has fielded Kirat Singh, the general secretary of the local BJP unit against Nauman Masood, chairman of Gangoh Municipal Corporation and brother of firebrand Congress leader Imran Masood.Mr. Masood has a tough task as the BSP’s Mohd Irshad and SP’s Indrasen are expected to cut into Muslim, Jatav and Gujjar votes.
Absconding Uttar Pradesh policewoman Laxmi Singh Chauhan, accused of embezzling ₹70 lakh, surrendered in an anti-corruption court in Meerut on Thursday along with constable Dheeraj Bhardwaj, who was allegedly her accomplice.Ms. Chauhan was on the run for more than a month and according to local sources used every possible ‘connection’ to steer clear of the charges. The surrender came after the Allahabad High Court rejected her appeal for anticipatory bail and the U.P. Police declared an award of ₹25,000 each on her and seven accomplices. The process of attachment of their properties had also started.Hailed as ‘Lady Singham’ for her presence on social media, Ms. Chauhan was posted as SHO at Link Road police station in Ghaziabad when she embezzled ₹70 lakh while solving, ironically, a case of embezzlement. According to the police, on April 22, CMS Info System company lodged an FIR of stealing money meant to be loaded in ATMs across the city against its employee Rajiv Sachan. The company claimed that Mr Sachan stole a sum of ₹75.50 lakhs. During recovery on September 24, when the accused was arrested with an accomplice, the amount was found to be ₹1.15 crore but Ms. Chauhan showed only ₹45,81,500 as the recovered amount. Later, a CCTV footage showed Ms. Chauhan allegedly transferring a ‘bag’ from a government vehicle to her private car. Raid at residenceOn September 27, a team led by the then SP (City), Shlok Kumar, raided her residence and recovered ₹1.12 lakh and a bag of CMS Info System from there. Soon, Sudhir Kumar Singh, Senior Superintendent of Police, Ghaziabad, suspended her and a case under Section 409 of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act was registered against her and seven constables.
“I am in the NCP and shall always be in the NCP and @PawarSpeaks Saheb is our leader. Our BJP-NCP alliance shall provide a stable Government in Maharashtra for the next five years which will work sincerely for the welfare of the State and its people,” Mr. Ajit Pawar’s tweet said. He added: “There is absolutely no need to worry, all is well. However a little patience is required. Thank you very much for all your support.”Sensing that the statement would create confusion among the party ranks and also with the allies Congress and Shiv Sena, the NCP president responded: “There is no question of forming an alliance with @BJP4Maharashtra. NCP has unanimously decided to ally with @ShivSena & @INCMaharashtra to form the government. Shri Ajit Pawar’s statement is false and misleading in order to create confusion and false perception among the people.”Other NCP leaders too jumped in to sort out the confusion. Party’s State unit president Jayant Patil said Mr. Ajit Pawar is the founder member of the NCP and all party leaders have grown under the shadow of Mr. Sharad Pawar. “However Sharad Pawar has decided to not join hands with the BJP which is in the interests of Maharashtra. We expect him [Ajit Pawar] to return respecting the decision,” he said. However, the latter’s return to the NCP mainstream seems highly unlikely after his series of tweets thanking leaders of the BJP for their congratulations on in his role as the deputy CM of Maharashtra, after joining hands with the BJP.Mr. Ajit Pawar went on tweeting spree from thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah to all the Union Ministers. “Thank you Hon. Prime Minister @narendramodi ji. We will ensure a stable government that will work hard for the welfare of the people of Maharashtra,” he tweeted.He also thanked BJP president Union Home Minister Amit Shah, union ministers Nitin Gadkari, Rajnath singh, Smriti Irani, Piyush Goyal along with BJP’s national working president J.P. Nadda.Mr. Pawar’s response to the BJP indicate that all attempts from the NCP to bring him back to the party have failed and he has decided to stay firm with his stand to rebel. Earlier in the day, Mr. Jayant Patil and senior leader Dilip Walse-Patil held a meeting with him at his Mumbai residence. Both the leaders left the house without speaking to the media which was an indication that the meeting was unsuccessful. His nephew and NCP MLA Rohit Pawar too on Sunday morning had written an emotional post on social media site appealing him to come back. A day after he was sworn in as Maharashtra’s Deputy Chief Minister in the wake of his joining hands with the BJP and ditching his Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Ajit Pawar was locked in a Twitter war with his uncle and party president Sharad Pawar on Sunday.The first tweet came from Mr. Ajit Pawar in the evening saying he would always remain with the NCP and sought patience until future developments unfold, calling Mr. Sharad Pawar his leader. He also claimed that the new government will be of the BJP and the NCP.Mr. Sharad Pawar, however, dismissed these claims, saying there was no question of forming a government with the BJP, adding his nephew’s tweet was false and misleading.I am in the NCP and shall always be in the NCP and @PawarSpeaks Saheb is our leader.Our BJP-NCP alliance shall provide a stable Government in Maharashtra for the next five years which will work sincerely for the welfare of the State and its people.— Ajit Pawar (@AjitPawarSpeaks) November 24, 2019 There is absolutely no need to worry, all is well. However a little patience is required. Thank you very much for all your support.— Ajit Pawar (@AjitPawarSpeaks) November 24, 2019
LIST: Class, gov’t work suspensions during 30th SEA Games Out for more than six months because of a hip injury, Pingris practiced for the first time on Monday as the Hotshots were preparing to slug it out with Phoenix Petroleum in two days, seeking to keep their immaculate elimination round slate intact.But coach Chito Victolero is not about to rush his ace power forward back into action.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“He needs to get his timing back,” Victolero said.“Relatively, he played well (in practice), but we will not rush him. He needs to get his rhythm back and hopefully, he can rejoin us soon.” Pingris went to the United States for rehab and therapy and will definitely be of big use to the Hotshots, who were ousted in painful manners in the Philippine Cup and the Commissioner’s Cup.Star has the tools to go all the way and has been in all pre-conference hypes because of a solid roster that could rival San Miguel, which claimed the Hotshots’ scalps in the Commissioner’s Cup Final Four before winning the championship over TNT KaTropa.With a 3-0 record, Star is the only unbeaten team in the ongoing season-closing conference.ADVERTISEMENT UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games LATEST STORIES Busmen seek repeat over Tajik club Read Next Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief PBA IMAGESStar, the team tipped to give Grand Slam-seeking San Miguel Beer a run for its money in the PBA Governors’ Cup, is about to get a much-needed boost.Marc Pingris, the hard-nosed anchor of the Hotshots’ defense, is set to make a return to active play within the next two games at the soonest as Star tries to crack a championship series for the first time this season.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games: PH’s Alisson Perticheto tops ice skating short program MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games View comments
Read Next Mary Anne Esguerra added 13 points while Necole Ebuen and Reginal Arocha chipped in nine each.Arellano coach Obet Javier said the Lady Chiefs’ experience in the Reinforced and Open Conferences of the league organized by Sports Vision is starting to bear fruit.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“I told them to use their PVL experience and help motivate their younger teammates,” said Javier.Earlier, La Salle and UST hurdled their respective rivals in the men’s side of the season-ending conference. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:00Chief Justice Peralta on upcoming UAAP game: UP has no match against UST01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH CONTRIBUTED PHOTOThe battle between current and past NCAA champions turned one-sided in favor of Arellano, which plastered St. Benilde, 25-20, 25-22, 25-17, Saturday at the start of the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.Jovielyn Prado led the Lady Chiefs with 14 points in the rematch between semifinalists of last NCAA season’s tournament.ADVERTISEMENT LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games WATCH: LeBron James rocks Manila for third time View comments UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension MOST READ LATEST STORIES The Green Spikers fought back from a set down to turn back the St. Benilde Blazers, 25-27, 26-24, 25-23, 25-22, while the Tigers dominated the UP Maroons, 25-17, 25-22, 25-15.Meanwhile, junior volleyball gets a big shot in the arm as the UAAP and Sports Vision joined hands for the tournament that starts Sept. 9.Unlike in previous seasons where the UAAP juniors competitions are held at school gyms, the girls’ and boys’ tournament will now be played at Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan.“In our continuing effort to develop the sport, particularly our young players, we will provide them good playing conditions which will help raise the level of competition,” said Sports Vision president Moying Martelino.The matches will be played in between the men’s and women’s games of the Collegiate Conference every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.ADVERTISEMENT Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses
Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netTNT head coach Nash Racela and Ginebra governor Alfrancis Chua exchanged heated words during the halftime break of Game 3 of the PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals Friday at Smart Araneta Coliseum. Racela had been complaining about the officiating especially when his team got called for five straight fouls in the duration of three minutes at the start of the second period.ADVERTISEMENT BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games PLAY LIST 00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games LATEST STORIES Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients The TNT head coach’s emotions got him checked and received a technical in the second period. Racela and Chua got aggressive with each other for almost three minutes in the back of house area of the Big Dome before PBA Commissioner got in between the two. FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutGinebra head coach Tim Cone also pulled away Chua to help end the scuffle. Racela’s older brother Olsen, an assistant coach for Ginebra, also tried to pacify the situation after Chua had gone to the Gin Kings’ locker. Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Chinese-Taipei club Attack Line welcomes Valdez, Vietnamese star 4T MOST READ LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH View comments Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Read Next
Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Only six of 36 teams in a title series that went 0-2 down have gone on to reverse the outcome, but coach Norman Black said his Bolts are going to take inspiration from one of those teams that made the biggest comeback of all time.“Most of the teams down 0-2 have not won the championship,” Black admitted. “But we saw a team 0-3 down to win the championship. Until they (Gin Kings) win that fourth game, we will go out there fighting.”Black was talking of San Miguel Beer, which rallied against Alaska last season in this same tournament to win the championship by taking the last four games.The Meralco coach is not doubting his players as far as effort is concerned, actually praising them for going all out each game.“These are my players, and I’m sure they are trying their best. They are not performing the way they did in the elimination round, and I am sure [the] Ginebra [defense] has a lot to do with that,” Black said.ADVERTISEMENT Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Read Next Black better find a Pacquiao in his players quick, or, in using a boxing term to describe this series many saw to be close and tipped to go deep, this one would most likely not go the distance. “We took a big punch from them early in the game and survived that,” Cone said. “We managed to make it a possession-by-possession game [in the closing minutes] and had a good closing kick.”The analogy came a few minutes later, just after he praised LA Tenorio and the other Kings for a job well done.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“I’m just glad it wasn’t Manny Pacquiao who gave us that punch there, otherwise, we wouldn’t have gotten up from it,” he said with a smile, noting that Meralco still has a lot of fight left and the best-of-seven title series is far from over.“They still have many punches to give,” said Cone, coaching in his 31st title series. “We should be careful of that. We won two straight games and it only shows that they can also win two straight to tie this thing up. You can’t be pleased with yourself.” MOST READ Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netTim Cone has always been a great copy for reporters, dissecting the game, explaining how it was won or lost, etc.There’s also no one better in the PBA in giving out analogies to describe his games, with the close 86-76 Game 2 victory over Meralco in their PBA Governors’ Cup Finals being no exception.ADVERTISEMENT Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH View comments LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Aid expected to pour in for differently abled athletes Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES
Kyrie Irving of the Boston Celtics reacts to the referees during the game against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on November 6, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images/AFPATLANTA — Kyrie Irving took charge in a fashion only he can.Dribbling and weaving through the lane and around the perimeter, Irving scored from all over and kept his teammates involved all night.ADVERTISEMENT “It would’ve been sweet to win two in a row against those kinds of teams,” Schroder said. “But we ended upshort.”Boston improved to 9-2, best in the NBA, and has its longest winning streak in seven years.Al Horford had 15 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in his best game against the Hawks. Horford spent his first nine seasons in Atlanta before leaving as a free agent ahead of last season and had totals of 20 points and 17 rebounds in three games against his former team.Irving had his first 30-point game as a Celtic on a night packed with highlights. He dribbled between his legs and behind his back before hitting a floater off the glass from the left baseline to put Boston up 46-44. He had two impressive assists late in the third with long, one-handed passes that led to 3s by Marcus Smart and Tatum, the latter giving Boston a 72-71 lead.Irving either scored or assisted on every basket of a 16-2 run in the third that put the Celtics up by seven. He finished with seven assists.ADVERTISEMENT “He’s just very unique,” Horford said. “He has a good sense of how teams are playing him.”The Celtics started to pull away and took their biggest lead at 10 on Semi Ojeleye’s 3 early in the fourth, but the Hawks came back to take a few brief leads in the final period.“To compete the way we did and give ourselves a chance to win, we got better tonight and we can learn from it,” Atlanta coach Mike Budenhozler said.THAT’S A DRAGBoston coach Brad Stevens wasn’t pleased with the ball movement or defense early in the third, storming the floor to call timeout after Atlanta’s Luke Babbit hit a 3 to put the Hawks up 57-54.“You could just tell mentally and physically we were dragging a little bit,” Irving said. “That’s going to happen sometimes considering how hard we play, but we don’t want to make that a habit for us. No excuse.”RAINING DOWNBudenholzer joked before the game that he regretted having his assistants work with the 6-foot-10 Horford a couple of years ago to develop a strong presence beyond the perimeter. Horford, who went just 1 for 5 on 3s, entered the game shooting nearly 52 percent on 33 attempts from the arc.“I think there was just a real push from us and a credit to him that he could do it,” Budenholzer said.“It’s part of the way the game is, and his passing just opens up the court even more for him to drive and attack. He’s such a good player, such a smart player.”TIP-INSCeltics: Irving has scored more points — 245 — than any player in his first 11 games with Boston. … With Marcus Morris getting the night off to rest his sore left knee, Aron Baynes started at center and finished with just two points and three rebounds in 15 minutes. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding LATEST STORIES Read Next Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Kevin Durant, Warriors overcome shooting woes to beat Heat MOST READ “It’s a beautiful game when it’s played the right way,” the four-time All-Star said. “It’s not going to look good every possession, but you’ve got to be able to move onto the next play. I understand that better than most.”Irving scored 35 points, Jayson Tatum added 21 and the Boston Celtics held off the Atlanta Hawks 110-107 Monday night for their ninth straight victory.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutIrving’s 3 from the right wing put the Celtics up 104-103 — the game’s 25th lead change — with 1:37 remaining, and Boston led the rest of the way.Dennis Schroder had 23 points for the rebuilding Hawks, who dropped to 2-9 a night after a surprising two-point win at Cleveland. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Hawks: Malcolm Delaney returned after missing two games with a sprained right ankle and had 13 points. Marco Belinelli scored 19 despite a sore left Achilles.UP NEXTCeltics: Host the Lakers on Wednesday night.Hawks: Off until they visit Detroit on Friday night. Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion View comments
Cayetano dares Lacson, Drilon to take lie-detector test: Wala akong kinita sa SEA Games The four-time NBA MVP, whose team trails the Warriors, 3-1, did it all for the Cavaliers in a jaw-dropping showing and finished with 31 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists. He broke the record previously held by Los Angeles great Magic Johnson, who called James the “King of Triple Doubles for the NBA Finals” in a congratulatory tweet. FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutHe could’ve taken over the record in Game 3 but came up an assist short with 39 points, 11 boards and nine dimes. James also became the third best in the all-time NBA Finals scoring list, eclipsing NBA legend Michael Jordan, in his 44th NBA Finals Game. He only trails Jerry West and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire View comments Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. The hometown hero also set the new record for most career free throws made in the playoffs, also beating Jordan, who is regarded as the greatest of all time.Despite saying that he is “mentally and physically” drained after the close Game 3 loss, James continues to power through for Cleveland along with Kyrie Irving, who has been masterful all-series long.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Cavaliers didn’t want Warriors celebrating in Cleveland MOST READ Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts after a play in the first quarter against the Golden State Warriors in Game 4 of the 2017 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on June 9, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Gregory Shamus/Getty Images/AFPLeBron James continued to break records in the NBA Finals, setting new league bests in Game 4 of the best-of-seven series between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors.According to a report by Dave McMenamin on ESPN, James is now the record-holder for most triple-doubles scored in an NBA Finals series as he notched his ninth in the Cavaliers’ 137-116 win Saturday (Manila time) at home to stay alive in their title defense. ADVERTISEMENT WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage Kevin Durant out with Achilles injury; to undergo MRI on Tuesday PLAY LIST 03:12Kevin Durant out with Achilles injury; to undergo MRI on Tuesday01:43Who are Filipinos rooting for in the NBA Finals?02:25Raptors or Warriors? PBA players take their pick of NBA champ02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games What ‘missteps’?
Nikki Valdez rushes self to ER due to respiratory tract infection “Please help me, please, please,” screamed the 32-year-old in scenes so distressing that television cameras panned away from the stricken player.Cirstea said her friend’s knee was “out… and in a very weird position”.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars“I freaked out. I have never seen such an injury before, the knee was really in a bad position. It was like something you see only in the movies,” said Cirstea.“I tried to comfort her but I panicked. I felt useless. All she kept saying was ‘Sorana, help me, help me.” Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucena She questioned why it took the medical services so long to reach a court which is just a stone’s throw away from the famed Centre Court.‘Everyone froze’“I was screaming at the umpire. I told them to bring a stretcher because everyone froze, nobody reacted,” said Cirstea who said only she, her physio and Justin Mattek-Sands initially raced to the player’s assistance.“She went into shock and it took so long for the medical team to arrive. It felt like forever.“What if it was a heart attack? You should look at the video and time how long it took. I was there 10 to 15 minutes and the stretcher had still not arrived.”Safarova had to go and play her second round match just minutes after witnessing her close friend’s turmoil.She lost 6-7 (4/7), 6-4, 6-3 to Shelby Rogers but said that was irrelevant.“It’s been a tough day, just terrible what’s happened. I am so sad for Bethanie,” said Safarova who had been hoping to partner Mattek-Sands to the Wimbledon doubles title and complete the non-calendar Grand Slam.“I have talked to Justin. She’s having more tests but we don’t know how long she will be in hospital.“I will see when I can visit her. I will be there when she needs me.” Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ Horn ready for rematch Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend LATEST STORIES On Thursday, Alison Riske and Kristina Mladenovic had wanted to stop playing on Court 18 with the defeated Frenchwoman claiming there was a hole on the baseline.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera Bethanie Mattek-Sands clings on her knee after hurting it during a Wimbledon match. SCREENGRAB FROM ESPN TWITTER VIDEOAmerica’s Bethanie Mattek-Sands suffered a horror knee injury at Wimbledon on Thursday which left her screaming and crying in pain in the middle of the court.The 32-year-old collapsed to the ground after damaging her right knee as she approached the net in the first game of the deciding set against Romania’s Sorana Cirstea on Court 17.ADVERTISEMENT Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend The All England club defended its medical teams.“The first response to Court 17 was within one minute, by a qualified ambulance technician,” they said in a statement.“The player was kept on court while pain relief was given.“The player was then transferred directly to an ambulance and taken under emergency conditions to a hospital.”Messages of support poured in for Mattek-Sands, well known on the tour for her flamboyant fashion sense and friendly, easy-going nature.“I love you @BMATTEK you are the biggest fighter I know and you will come back stronger than ever,” tweeted India’s Sania Mirza, her former doubles partner.Olympic champion Monica Puig tweeted: “Stay strong @BMATTEK … we love you so much.”Wimbledon courts are no stranger to injury controversies.In 2013, Victoria Azarenka fell heavily, hurting her ankle and blamed the state of the courts.Maria Sharapova said the surface on Court Two where she lost to Michelle Larcher de Brito was “dangerous” after she fell a number of times. “I wish I could have done more. You wouldn’t wish that on your worst enemy.”Mattek-Sands’s husband Justin tried to console his wife before medics arrived, while Cirstea was distraught and in tears.After lying prone on the ground for around 20 minutes, Mattek-Sands was eventually stretchered away and taken to a west London hospital where she was said to have suffered “an acute knee injury”.Mattek-Sands’s doubles partner, Lucie Safarova, with whom she shares the world number one ranking as well as four Grand Slam titles, also arrived at the scene in tears.Cirstea, who had dropped the first set 4-6 but took the second 7-6 (7/4), was declared the winner of the second round match.ADVERTISEMENT View comments