Novak Djokovic leads the way into Eastbourne ATP semi-finals

first_imgNovak Djokovic continued his Wimbledon preparations by beating American Donald Young 6-2 7-6(9) on Thursday to reach the semi-finals of the Aegon International tournament at Eastbourne.The three times Wimbledon champion survived two set points, one with Young serving at 5-4 and the other on his own serve in the tiebreak at 5-6, before clinching victory with his fourth match point after the American double-faulted.The Serbian world number four will now play either fourth seeded American Steve Johnson or Russian Daniil Medvedev on Friday for a place in the final of the south coast grass tournament.Top seed Djokovic – the highest ranked male player to compete at Eastbourne since 1999 – was the first through to the semis after an hour and 35 minutes on court.”I enjoyed it, especially in the second set,” he said. “The first set went my way and I played well. I felt good on the court and had some break point opportunities early in the second set.”He served for the set, had a set point and then had set point in the tie-break … Obviously, it could have gone easily his way. But it hasn’t, and I’m just glad the way I kind of held my composure, my nerves.”This is the kind of match situation that I was looking forward to having, and I’m glad it happened today and I managed to overcome that.”Second seed Gael Monfils earlier beat British wild card Cameron Norrie 6-3 6-2 to reach the quarter-finals in a match that resumed after being halted by rain on Wednesday with the score at 6-3 2-1.advertisementThe Frenchman’s next opponent is Australian Bernard Tomic, who upset German sixth seed Mischa Zverev 6-3 6-2 in 51 minutes.Seventh seed Richard Gasquet saved three break points on his way to beating South African Kevin Anderson 6-4 6-4 to set up a clash with third seeded American John Isner.last_img read more

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Worlds largest parrot dwarfs its modern cousins

first_imgMelbourne: Scientists have discovered fossils of the world’s largest parrot, standing up to one metre tall and weighing seven kilogrammes (kg) with a massive beak able to crack most food sources. The new bird, described in the journal Biology Letters, has been named Heracles inexpectatus to reflect its Herculean myth-like size and strength — and the unexpected nature of the discovery. “New Zealand is well known for its giant birds,” said Trevor Worthy, Associate Professor at Flinders University in Australia. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US”Not only moa dominated avifaunas, but giant geese and adzebills shared the forest floor, while a giant eagle ruled the skies. However, until now, no-one has ever found an extinct giant parrot — anywhere,” Worthy said. The fossil is about the size of the giant ‘dodo’ pigeon of the Mascarenes and twice the size of the critically endangered flightless New Zealand kakapo, previously the largest known parrot. Like the kakapo, it was a member of an ancient New Zealand group of parrots that appear to be more primitive than parrots that thrive today on Australia and other continents, researchers said. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsExperts from Flinders University, University of New South Wales is an Australian (UNSW) and Canterbury Museum in New Zealand estimate Heracles to be one metre tall, weighing about seven kg.The new parrot was found in fossils up to 19 million years old from near St Bathans in Central Otago, New Zealand, in an area well known for a rich assemblage of fossil birds from the Miocene period. “We have been excavating these fossil deposits for 20 years, and each year reveals new birds and other animals,” said Worthy. “While Heracles is one of the most spectacular birds we have found, no doubt there are many more unexpected species yet to be discovered in this most interesting deposit,” he said. “Heracles, as the largest parrot ever, no doubt with a massive parrot beak that could crack wide open anything it fancied, may well have dined on more than conventional parrot foods, perhaps even other parrots,” said Professor Mike Archer, from the UNSW Sydney Palaeontology. “Its rarity in the deposit is something we might expect if it was feeding higher up in the food chain,” he said, adding parrots “in general are very resourceful birds in terms of culinary interests.” “New Zealand keas, for example, have even developed a taste for sheep since these were introduced by European settlers in 1773,” Archer said. Birds have repeatedly evolved giant species on islands. As well as the dodo, there has been another giant pigeon found on Fiji, a giant stork on Flores, giant ducks in Hawaii, giant megapodes in New Caledonia and Fiji, giant owls and other raptors in the Caribbean.Heracles lived in a diverse subtropical forest where many species of laurels and palms grew with podocarp trees. “Undoubtedly, these provided a rich harvest of fruit important in the diet of Heracles and the parrots and pigeons it lived with. But on the forest floor Heracles competed with adzebills and the forerunners of moa,” said Professor Suzanne Hand, also from UNSW Sydney. “The St Bathans fauna provides the only insight into the terrestrial birds and other animals that lived in New Zealand since dinosaurs roamed the land more than 66 million years ago,” said Paul Scofield, Senior Curator at Canterbury Museum.last_img read more

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