Sunday, December 21, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

US OPEN SCENE: Fireworks rock opening ceremony

By
August 27, 2014 |

NEW YORK — Fireworks, strobe lights, thumping music and gyrating dancers on the court of Arthur Ashe Stadium. It can only mean one thing: the official start of the U.S. Open.

John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova, singles champions from three decades ago, slammed tennis balls into the stands before Monday night’s matches to ceremonially light the Empire State Building in U.S. Open court blue.

And first-year New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio officially welcomed the 700,000 fans to the two-week tournament, saying “the U.S. Open is where it’s at!”

That was all a prelude to pounding rock tunes from the band Fitz and the Tantrums, accompanied by boomingfireworks, flashing strobe lights and a team of dancers gyrating on the court over projected images of the game’s biggest stars.

— By James Martinez — www.twitter.com/jfmartinez

___

THINKING OF UKRAINE: For Ukraine’s Sergiy Stakhovsky, just keeping his mind on tennis these days is a challenge.

Stakhovsky, who lost a first-round U.S. Open match to Andreas Seppi of Italy 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 on Monday, acknowledged the current political unrest in Eastern Ukraine is a distraction.

“Two weeks ago I was there and not very far from what is happening,” Stakhovsky said, adding that he preferred not to “disclose” exactly where he was. “It all gets under your skin and it’s kind of hard to live without information about what is going on and if there’s any updates.”

Despite the instability in his country, Stakhovsky believes there was no reason for the upcoming Davis Cup matches between Ukraine and Belgium, scheduled from Sept. 12-14, to be moved out of Kiev to the neutral venue of Talinn, Estonia.

On Aug. 7, the Davis Cup committee came to a non-unanimous decision that it would be safe for Ukraine-Belgium to go ahead as planned and play in Kiev.

The Belgian Tennis Federation appealed that decision. On Aug. 12, the ITF Board of Directors upheld Belgium’s appeal and advised the Ukrainian Tennis Federation to select a neutral site. The winning country will clinch a spot in the main draw of next year’s Davis Cup.

“The Ukraine national football team is playing Portugal and Slovakia next week in Ukraine and 80,000 people will be at the stadium and that’s no threat to security,” Stakhovsky said. “And then we have a Davis Cup tie, in which there’ll be a maximum of 5,000 people in a closed venue, and it’s a breach of security.”

To make his point that it’s absurd for Ukraine to lose its right to home matches that would have been held far away from the strife, Stakhovsky noted the 1,000 miles between recent riots that took place in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York City.

“What — should we cancel the U.S. Open?” Stakhovsky said. “It’s the same topic and the same in Kiev.”

— By Sandra Harwitt

___

STRICTLY NOT WATCHING: Andy Murray isn’t one for reality TV — even if his mother is starring on it.

British Fed Cup captain Judy Murray is set to compete this season on the BBC’s “Strictly Come Dancing,” the show that inspired “Dancing with the Stars” in the U.S.

“If it makes her happy, then I will support her. I’m not really into those shows, but she loves it,” her two-time major champion son said Saturday as he prepared for the U.S. Open.

“I mean, she watches it all of the time, talks about it all the time,” he added with a grin.

Not that he plans to tune in.

“Probably not, no,” Murray conceded.

His mother must be an avid dancer, right?

“I don’t believe I have ever seen her dance, to be honest,” Murray said. “It will be interesting.”

What Murray is a fan of is the NBA, and with an offseason home in Miami, he has Heat season tickets. The Scot didn’t appreciate the implication that he might give them up now that LeBron James has left town.

“We don’t do that,” Murray shot back. “In the U.K., you don’t change teams when someone leaves.”

Murray took a day off from practicing Friday for a busy slate of spectator sports. He followed Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy at The Barclays in New Jersey, then attended the USA Basketball exhibition at Madison Square Garden at night. It was the first time he’d observed professional golf live.

“It’s like pretty much any sport,” Murray said. “When you watch them up close, it’s impressive.”

— By Rachel Cohen — www.twitter.com/RachelCohenAP

___

BEATING THE SPREAD: Victoria Azarenka’s greatest athletic accomplishments: Winning the Australian Open twice. Reaching the No. 1 ranking. Spreading her toes?

Azarenka missed the French Open and most of the spring because of a left foot injury. The runner-up to Serena Williams the last two years at the U.S. Open, she’s seeded just 16th this time because of the layoff.

Part of her rehab was seemingly the simplest of physical actions.

“The big thing that I had to learn (was) how to spread my toes,” she explained Saturday. “That’s not a joke. It’s for real. Because, you know, spending so much time in the shoes, some people cannot really spread their toes. I could not do it on my left foot. I had to learn that, and it took me about two weeks, because it was constant, mental thing. It wouldn’t move.”

When it finally happened, she recalled with a smile, “I ran and I screamed in the hallway, like I don’t know — I never been so happy in my life.”

— By Rachel Cohen — www.twitter.com/RachelCohenAP

___

U.S. Open Scene follows tennis’ hard-court Grand Slam tournament in New York as seen by journalists from The Associated Press. It will be updated throughout the day.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Blue Christmas service offers reflection, hope

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1

 
Shining bright for all to see: Locals deck out yards, homes

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1 | Gallery

The Salvation Army serves 1,000-plus across 2 days

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Time for annual Solano County quiz

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

Discovery Kingdom upgrades animal, marine mammal facilities

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
State Fair scholarship applications available

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Bevy of holiday activities at Western Railway Museum

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Get tested, know your status

By Morgan Westfall | From Page: C4

 
 
New development fees start Jan. 1 in Vacaville

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

Free New Year’s celebration slated

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

 
A word of warning for Senator Warren

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: B7, 1 Comment

 
New technology chief will join McNaughton Newspapers

By Tanya Perez | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: Dec. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Suisun City police log: Dec. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Sky-high price has VA rationing hep C drug

By Tom Philpott | From Page: B10

.

US / World

Air Force admits nuke flaws, but will fixes work?

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
AP sources: Cops’ killer angry at chokehold death

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

 
Officials: Missing dog was dyed to deceive

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Immigrants build document trails to remain in US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

California officer kills teen after machete attack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
4 teens die in fiery head-on crash in Pennsylvania

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

2 dozen injured in southern Indiana bus crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Police brutality protesters rally at Mall of America

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Texas ranchers seeking alternative incomes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
North Korea proposes joint probe over Sony hacking

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

2 car bombs rock southern Sweden’s city of Malmo

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Bombings kill 12 in Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

US sends 4 Afghans back home from Guantanamo

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Panama’s Noriega in prison 25 years post-invasion

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Burying the dead after Pakistan’s school massacre

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
A chance to breach divide for young in Cuba and US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

.

Opinion

Editorial Cartoon: Dec. 21, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
New school finance strategy lacks accountability

By Dan Walters | From Page: A8

Season’s greetings from the Obamas

By Alexandra Petri | From Page: A8

 
Sound off for Dec. 21, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Today in History: Dec. 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Why celebrate Christmas?

By Noel Reese | From Page: C3

Vatican offers olive branch to US nuns

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
Horoscopes: Dec. 21, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

Should I ask grandson why we weren’t included in wedding photos?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

 
.

Entertainment

Review: ‘Five’ by Ursula Archer is intriguing

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

Publisher hopes to sell books through Twitter

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
Chris Colfer has multi-book deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

Jerry Lee Lewis: Sustained by brief blaze of glory

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

.

Sports

Interim coaching jobs present challenges in bowls

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
49ers squander 21-point lead in 4th straight loss

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

New Giants 3B McGehee eager to play back home

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Eagles near elimination, fall 27-24 to Redskins

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Raiders place cornerback Brown on injured reserve

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
No. 11 Lady Vols trounce No. 7 Stanford 59-40

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Big moves bring big hope for Chicago baseball

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
US skier Nyman wins Gardena downhill for 3rd time

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Vonn wins women’s World Cup downhill in France

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
This date in sports history for Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
.

Business

Your info has been hacked. Now what do you do?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
On the money: 4 ways to hold on to your cash when renting a car

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Recalls this week: Bean bag chairs, toy monkeys

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Scarecrows outnumber people in dying Japan town

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

.

Obituaries

Dominic C. Scolaro

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Barbara Jean Bidstrup Braker

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Perry Michael Smetts

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Luzdivina B. Banks

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Arnold Howard Evans

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Anthony Hanson Elder

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Marian Kay Zutz

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Bart Ferro

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics