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Stefanos Tsitsipas reveals secret behind recent success, saying: ‘I was inspired by it’

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Stefanos Tsitsipas says a new-found appreciation of Buddhism and breathing lies behind his excellent start to the season.

 

 

The Greek ace won his first Masters title in Monte-Carlo last week, and he has also reached the final of the Acapulco and the semi-finals of the Australian Open this year.

It is evidence of a new level of consistency for Tsitsipas, and he thinks he knows what has made the difference.

“I was a little inspired by Buddhism,” Stefanos Tsitsipas said after the Monte-Carlo final.

“There are certain values and certain elements that one can apply in his life. I think it makes your life better, happier, more fulfilling.”

Tsitsipas also explained that he had started leaning more on his long-term psychologist, and he believes he has opened up a new dimension to his game.

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“I have been working on breathing for the last few months with my psychologist,” the 22-year-old explained.

“I find breathing very important. When I play, the breath helps me control myself and what I’m doing.

“I’ve worked on it a lot in the last few weeks, I’ve done it every day, after every game.

“I also meditate a bit with him a few times. We have been working together since I was 12. We know each other well. My father went to college with him.

“It (breathing) is very important for me. When you breathe well, your game can reach the top.

“If you don’t breathe well, it’s twice as difficult to play well.”

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Exclusive 2022: Now that’s how you do it! Kate shows up for Queen as Duchess dazzles in new pictures

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Kate and Prince William headed to the Foundling Museum on Wednesday morning. There, they learned more about the care sector and met representatives from across the system.

The Duchess appeared in high spirits as she returned to public duties, and dazzled wearing an elegant outfit including dark trousers, a high-neck jumper and a vibrant blue coat.

Prince William also looked smart wearing a dark-coloured jumper and trousers on top of a baby blue buttoned-up shirt.

Kate headed to this museum in London as its patron, a role she has been covering since 2019.

Kate Middleton news pictures Duchess of Cambridge royal visit today latest Royal Family

Kate Middleton news pictures Duchess of Cambridge royal visit today latest Royal Family

It tells the history of the Foundling Hospital, established in 1739 as a home for children who could not be cared for by their mothers.

This visit confirms the Duchess’ commitment to deepening the understanding the British society has of the early years and how experiences completed during the first five years of life can impact adult development.

This area has been of interest to Kate since she joined the Royal Family in April 2011.

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The Duchess has spent years working behind the scenes to develop her knowledge on early childhood and enter into a collaboration with relevant organisations.

Kate Middleton news pictures Duchess of Cambridge royal visit today latest Royal Family

Prince Harry ‘running out of toys to throw out of pram’
Her work on the issue became apparent in 2018, when she launched a steering group including experts to look at how cross-sector collaboration could bring about lasting change.

In early 2020, she launched a nationwide survey interrogating Britons on their views and understanding of the importance of the early years.

Findings from this questionnaire and the following research were unveiled in November that year, during the Royal Foundation’s first virtual forum on early childhood.

Months later, in June 2021, the Duchess officially launched the Royal Foundation Cente for the Early Childhood, with the aim to drive awareness of and action on the extraordinary impact of the early years in order to transform society for generations to come.

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It wasn’t supposed to go down like that “Will Smith and Aunjanue Ellis on their ‘cozy’ moment in ‘…………..'”

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It wasn’t supposed to go down in the kitchen.

That was the one room in the Chatsworth home doubling as the Williams family Florida residence in “King Richard” that was off-limits to the filmmakers because the appliances and cabinet hardware hadn’t been switched out to reflect the movie’s mid-’90s period.

So naturally, Will Smith and Aunjanue Ellis, the actors playing Richard Williams and Oracene Price, parents of tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams, went straight to the kitchen when it came time to rehearse a crucial scene in the film. Where else would they go? Think about your own home and where people gravitate during parties, where family and friends hold late-night conversations and where loaded confrontations like the one in “King Richard” transpire.

“It is always the kitchen!” Smith says, punctuating the pronouncement, as he often does, with a booming clap of laughter.

“King Richard” takes its title from Williams, the demanding and loving father and tennis coach, the man who wrote a 78-page plan that detailed how his two daughters would become tennis champions. He came up with this blueprint before Venus and Serena were even born, meaning that he needed more than a little help from his wife to realize it.

As Ellis puts it: “He had to convince her to use her body for 18 months to create the vessels for this dream. And she was, ‘OK. Bet.’ They were both crazy. They were co-conspirators in crazy.”

Adds Smith: “There has to be a little bit of crazy, because you have to believe something that there’s no evidence for, and then you have to devote your life to something that is not only invisible, but highly unlikely and potentially impossible. But you believe it wholeheartedly because you can’t achieve it if you don’t believe it wholeheartedly. So, yeah, there’s a sliding scale of naiveté to full insanity, and somewhere in there is the sweet spot for dream manifestation.”

But there’s crazy, and then there’s a selfish lack of awareness as to how other people feel. And, in the movie, that led to a confrontation between the parents over Williams’ refusal to consider letting Venus turn pro at age 14. It’s a conversation that takes place 90 minutes into the movie, providing Price with the opportunity to finally call out her husband’s ego and stubbornness in the ways he controlled his family’s life, not to mention his penchant for walking away from failed businesses and children he had with other women.

The scene was shot after production had been halted in March 2020 by a pandemic lockdown, a break that offered Smith and Ellis time to, as Smith puts it, “marinate in their characters.”

“When it came to this Ali-Frazier moment,” Ellis says, comparing the encounter to the famous heavyweight boxing matches between Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali in the 1970s, “we felt we had lived enough with these characters to say how we felt without really even needing a script.”

Smith, who played Ali in the 2001 Michael Mann movie, was asked if he felt like Ali or Frazier in the kitchen scene.

“Well, it depends which fight,” he replies, laughing. (Frazier won their initial bout; Ali prevailed in the two rematches.)

Our conversations — the first with the two actors together around the November AFI Fest and then subsequent talks individually in the new year — would often circle back to this defining scene, during which Price tells her husband in no uncertain terms about the sacrifices she made to help their daughters achieve their tennis dreams. (The couple married in 1980 and divorced in 2002.)

“I carried them inside me and on my back,” Ellis, as Price, says at the beginning of this five-minute confrontation. “And I carried you too, working two shifts so I could put food on your table. I’ve been here dreaming and believing. Just like you. You just don’t want to see me.”

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Since they weren’t supposed to shoot in the kitchen, director Reinaldo Marcus Green grabbed a loaf of bread and some peanut butter from the craft services table, along with a carton of orange juice the home’s owners had left in the fridge. Ellis now had some props to use. “The whole thing was one happy accident,” Green says by phone.

Among its many notable accomplishments, “King Richard” makes a convincing case for Price’s crucial role in the development of the Williams sisters’ careers, both as a parent and as a coach. Smith remembers an early meeting at Serena Williams’ home when everyone was still sizing each other up and deciding if they’d make the movie. Price sat quietly for most of the afternoon, then after some coaxing, offered her thoughts.

“She’s so quiet,” Smith says. “She doesn’t feel a necessity to prove or defend herself. So when she speaks, it’s a powerful thing.”

“The thing I thought about that day,” Ellis says of the kitchen scene, “was what would Miss Oracene Price want the world to know about her experience? People see her in the stands, but they don’t know her. Nobody knows that she was their coach … but she was. So I just wanted to speak as well as I could for her and feel OK about it when I was done.”

Like Price, Ellis is a soft-spoken woman, modest and deeply caring. She didn’t talk with Price before playing her but did meet her during a press day before “King Richard” was released.

“She said, ‘Great job,'” Ellis recalls, laughing. “Just two words. But that was enough for me.”

Smith has been receiving praise too since “King Richard” simultaneously opened in theaters and premiered on HBO Max on Nov. 19. Though the film’s theatrical box office total has been disappointing (the movie’s worldwide gross is under $30 million), Smith says he has never experienced a more enthusiastic reaction to a film.

“I had resigned myself in my life that, as an artist, I would never make a film better than ‘The Pursuit of Happyness,'” Smith says, referring to the 2006 drama that co-starred his son Jaden and earned him an Oscar nomination. “That was the high-water mark. I figured I had reached my artistic pinnacle.”

“And then we made ‘King Richard,’ and the amount of people — family, friends, foes, celebrities, politicians, athletes — who have been inspired to make it a point to get in touch with me to tell me that they enjoyed it has been overwhelming.”

What resonated with all these people? Smith, who has never encountered a subject he couldn’t bullet-point, says there are two things: The film’s story of a family triumph, specifically a Black family’s triumph, has been a needed source of uplift during a pandemic that has gone on nearly two years. And people have also commented on the “girl dad” relationships in the movie, what Smith calls a “delicious and uncommon thing to see depicted in cinema.”

“That was one of the things about Richard that I wanted to be able to capture,” Smith says, “that, as wild as he was and as much as he could rage, it was always in defense and protection of his daughters. And they knew it. They knew he would die for them and would kill for them. For all his faults, Richard Williams is one of the greatest girl dads that America has ever seen. To this day, those girls love that man. And that’s as much his legacy as all those tennis titles.”

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HELL OF A FIGHT – Kell Brook claims Floyd Mayweather wants to fight winner of his clash with Amir Khan as Brit talks down retirement

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Brook and Khan are finally set to fight on February 19 in a bitter clash several years in the making.

Amir Khan and Kell Brook ahead of their February 19 fight
Kell Brook claimed Floyd Mayweather wants to face the winner of his fight with Amir Khan

Defeat for either of the 35-year-old pair could leave them starring retirement in the face.
But Brook talked down leaving the sport, citing Mayweather, 44, and rising British star Conor Benn, 25, as future opponents if he beats Khan.

He told iFL TV: “I think a lot of people want me to say I’m going to retire and what’s happening after.

“Conor Benn’s been mentioned, Mayweather’s been saying that he wants the winner, Danny Garcia’s been saying that he wants the winner, Keith Thurman’s getting active again.

“My mojo is back sat here right now speaking with you. I still feel young, I still feel fresh. I fell good. But obviously this fight is on my mind.

“A fighter, many fighters with experience in this game overlook fighters and to look for next fights after what’s in front of them.

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“I’m just focused on Khan for this fight. Am I going to retire? Let’s see how I feel.”

But he has returned twice since, both in exhibitions, starting with a one round demolition job over featherweight kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa, 23.

More recently, in June the American legend was taken the distance over eight rounds by YouTuber Logan Paul, 26, who weighed TWO STONE more.

But Mayweather – now in talks with 20-year-old YouTuber ‘Money Kicks’ – has previously ruled out ever coming back to traditional boxing.

Meaning Brook is unlikely to convince Mayweather into a fight, but he sent out a fierce warning to rival Khan.

He said: : “I don’t know if I hate him – that’s a strong word – but I’m close to the hate side.

“I really dislike the man and I really can’t wait to punch his face in.

“I can’t wait to get my knuckles to the nearest point of the gloves and drill it straight into his face.”

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