sábado, 9 de febrero de 2013

Nadal back in swing with victory


Rafael Nadal made his long-awaited comeback in a singles match on Wednesday in Viña del Mar and more than the result, the world number five, who has been sidelined since Wimbledon last July, was happy with the way his knee responded to a competitive match.
“For now the most important thing is to spend as much time as possible on court. This victory allows me to play at least two more matches, singles and doubles. To practice is one thing but to play is totally different. In a real match you can’t control your body as you do in training,” said the French Open champion after a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Federico Delbonis.
There was a touch of rust in Nadal’s play as he dropped the first two games but the Spaniard swiftly found his range and movement to rattle off 10 of the next 11 before his Argentinean opponent recovered to claim a couple of games in a one-sided, 38-minute second set.
Nadal was scheduled to play again on Thursday in the doubles competition with partner Juan Mónaco, the world number 12 who was surprisingly dumped out of the singles draw by Guillaume Rufin. The unseeded but potent pairing was up against Rufin and Filippo Volandri.
In the singles Nadal awaits the winner of an all-Spain clash between Albert Montañés and Daniel Gimeno-Traver in Friday’s quarterfinals.
Of his long return to fitness and prospects for the year, Nadal was both optimistic and belligerent. “I want to get back to the player I was before and, genuinely, I believe I can do it,” he said. “If my knee is okay, what reason is there for me not to do it? I’ve been in the top two for eight years. I dare to say that in eight months I haven’t forgotten how to play tennis. It’s true I won’t be the favorite in Paris, but I don’t need to be the favorite to win it.”
Nadal also challenged the concept that a new Grand Slam final rivalry to replace his lengthy duel with Roger Federer was taking shape between Andy Murray and world number one Novak Djokovic. “I’m only a year older than them. I don’t think it’s the time to bury me right now. Eight months ago I was in a good position to be world number one. We forget very quickly. Now I have to try to get myself into the Djokovic-Murray era.”
Nadal attributed the Serbian’s excellent form to his physical durability: “He can do what he wants and he never gets injured. Give me two years without injury, and...”
Responding to comments made by Belgian former player Christophe Rochus earlier this month — in which he essentially accused Nadal and Robin Söderling of using their layoffs to cover for doping — the Mallorcan replied: “They’ve tested me nine times while I was sidelined; not bad for someone who wasn’t playing.”

And the winner is… Alcorcón!


And the winner is… Alcorcón! The Madrid dormitory town on Friday was officially named as the site for US billionaire Sheldon Adelson’s controversial 750-hectare Eurovegas mega-casino complex.
Sheldon’s Las Vegas Sands chose Madrid over Barcelona for the project in September, but the actual area where it was to be built had not been decided on. Alcorcón, to the south of the capital, was preferred over the other suburban locations of Valdecarros, Torrejón de Ardoz and Paracuellos del Jarama.
Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands group will begin work on the first of three phases of the project this year, with the second to begin 18 months after the completion of the first. The whole project is due to be finished in 2017 at an investment of 6.75 billion euros, of which the US firm will put up between 35 and 45 percent. The rest will be funded by banks, of which at least one is expected to be Spanish.

The announcement was made at a news conference by Madrid regional premier Ignacio González with directors of Las Vegas Sands. González said a tender to acquire the land for the project would be opened in the spring. The land earmarked for the project currently does not have the necessary zoning category, but the Madrid administration is sure it can overcome that problem, the premier added.

The first phase alone will create 40,000 direct jobs and 80,000, while the whole project could generate about a quarter of a million direct and indirect jobs, according to the regional government.

Las Vegas Sands’ chief operating officer and president, Michael Leven, said the first phase would involve the construction of four resorts, each with 3,000 rooms, as well as commercial, convention and leisure centers. He said the company hires 10,000 people directly at its Singapore complex. The vast majority of employees at the Eurovegas complex will be Spanish, he added.

Leven said that Adelson, who did not attend the news conference, had been dreaming of making this project in Madrid a reality for the past 12 years.

“This is a special and very important day for Madrid and Spain,” González told reporters. “This is an exciting and extraordinary project, the objective of which is to make Madrid the chief center for conventions in southern Europe.”

The Madrid assembly passed a special law in October of last year in order to meet a series of demands from Adelson, particularly in terms of tax treatment. The tax rate on winnings from gaming was reduced from 40 percent to 10 percent for the project, while there will be no limit on the height of the towers to be built on the site.
“From the tax point of view almost everything has been resolved apart from a few changes on the part of the central government,” González said. The premier said minors would continue to be barred from gambling, the proceeds from which he calculated would represent only 17 percent of the estimated revenues generated by the project.
Adelson has also asked for Spain’s blanket ban on smoking in public places to be lifted on the casino site. “The smoking issue is also the responsibility of the central government,” González said. “It will be working on the issue, which will be resolved in the next few months,” he said.