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Nadal on cloud nine after soaring new heights

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Nadal on cloud nine after soaring new heights | The Thaiger

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– World news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Nadal on cloud nine after soaring new heights
Reuters / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: One man’s despair was another man’s ecstasy as the most inopportune of double faults propelled a world-beating Rafa Nadal into a nine-times French Open champion on Sunday.

Waiting to launch into a second serve on match point down, a yell from the stands, followed by another, left a distracted Novak Djokovic to fire down the most costly of double faults and see his hopes of completing a career grand slam pounded into the red dust.

While Djokovic was left utterly dejected and with a strange sense of deja vu, having also surrendered the 2012 final with a double fault, he could only watch on in wonder as Nadal sunk to his knees in triumph following a 3-6 7-5 6-2 6-4 victory.

“In matches like this every moment is crucial. Playing against Novak is always a big challenge as I had lost against him the last four times,” Nadal told the crowd before being handed over the trophy by Swedish great Bjorn Borg.

“For me it’s amazing and emotional, I lost the final at Australia this year where I had a problem with my back and that was a hard moment. Today tennis gave back to me what happened in Australia.”

Overcome with the emotion of cradling the Musketeers’ Cup for a record-extending ninth time, the world number one burst into tears.

His win was also accompanied by a deluge of eye-watering statistics.

He became the first man to win five successive Roland Garros titles.

His record in French Open finals stands at 9-0.

He has won a record 35 successive matches at the claycourt major.

He has won 90 of his 91 best-of-five-set matches on clay.

He owns a 66-1 win-loss record at Roland Garros.

Over the years grand slam champions in the calibre of Roger Federer, Djokovic, Andy Murray, Lleyton Hewitt, Juan Martin del Potro and Carlos Moya have all tried – and failed miserably – to conquer the claycourt phenomenon at a tournament one person suggested should now be renamed “Nadal Garros”.

SECOND BEST

Djokovic, who had come off second best to Nadal in five previous Parisian tussles, did not even come close to ending that losing run on Sunday.

“It was a very emotional day and I gave everything. The trophy was a bit too far out of reach this year but I will come back again and again until I win it,” a teary-eyed Djokovic told the crowd after being given a prolonged standing ovation by 15,000 hollering fans.

It seems there is nothing that Nadal cannot control at his beloved Roland Garros.

He had stated 48 hours earlier that he “cannot command the sun” but after Sunday’s forecast of thunderstorms failed to materialise, it seems that the Spaniard’s powers of persuasion also stretch to the weather Gods.

The hot weather meant the left-hander could count on his forehand being “very fast and very powerful” which in turn would allow to him add an extra zing to his already fearsome topspin.

Despite the conditions being to his liking, Nadal was strangely flat and restless for a set and a half and raised hopes in the Djokovic camp, which included coach Boris Becker, that perhaps his day of reckoning had come.

The world number one scorched those aspirations when he fired a blazing forehand winner to break and take the second set 7-5.

It left Nadal roaring into the skies and the crowd jumping to their feet in the hope that the duo who have battled through numerous five-set thrillers would turn their 42nd meeting into another heart-pumping display of skill and endurance.

It was not to be.

Djokovic was left feeling the heat, literally, as he slumped 0-3 down in the third and appeared dazed and confused for a second when he slid off his chair during the changeover.

Dousing his head and arms with cold water and wrapping an iced towel around his neck allowed the Serbian second seed to get back on his feet but four games later his anger boiled over.

RACKET SLAMMED

Following a backhand error, he slammed his racket so hard it lifted off the ground and spun around 13 times before dropping back down to the red earth again.

But wondrous shots, and not acts of petulance, win matches and it was from only one man’s racket such balls were flying off.

A looping forehand long from Djokovic on break point down handed Nadal the third set and from then on there was a sense of doom circling over the Djokovic camp.

“Luckily for me it was over in four sets because after that it was heart attack for me,” the champion’s coach and uncle Toni Nadal said after his nephew took his overall grand slam tally to 14.

“He told me when he took me in his arms to call the doctor because he had cramps in his calf. We were lucky it ended in four sets.”

There was nothing lucky about Djokovic’s day.

A double fault on match point summed up the type of afternoon it had been for a man playing in what turned out to be an unlucky 13th grand slam final.

Having declared before the final that “Nadal’s not unbeatable” Djokovic was asked if he was any closer to working out how to beat the claycourt king on his favourite stomping ground.

“If I was left hander maybe I would win the tournament,” he quipped.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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People

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people

Nattha Thepbamrung

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‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | The Thaiger

On October 18, the ‘Always Smile Journey’ group and its partners will host an exhibition with plenty of fun activities at the Yak Yai Market, near Chalong Circle, in Phuket. This event was designed to raise funds to provide free English classes for underprivileged people on the island of Phuket on Saturdays and Sundays. The group does not accept donations but aims to raise money through the sales of the products available at the event.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

From 2 pm to 8 pm, there will be a number of artists, musicians and performers who will keep the attendees entertained along the way. There will be a short film about His Majesty King Rama 9 as well as fun activities and games for kids and families, which are all free of charge.

The big bike crew is also a part of this event. They will ride a parade from Rawai Beach heading to the market and showcase their gorgeous two-wheel buddies.

One of the highlights of the Always Smile Journey exhibition is the ‘Happening’ artists group, who will draw and paint a picture of the His Majesty King Rama 9 under the name ‘Street Art King Bhumibol’ on a 4×10 meter sign live at the event so the guests will experience this large-scale art in action. The Happening will also offer portrait sketching for the participants.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

One of the works created by the Happening team; a painting of HM the King Rama 9 on a huge wall (Photo credit: Chawat Chumpasan)

There will also be some western menus available at the event which will be donated to underprivileged children.

This free English class project has over seven years of experience through its cooperation working with individuals and other charity organizations. Throughout the years, the group visited several areas such as Ban Laem Hoy School, Ban Bopud School and Ban Angthong School in Samui, Surat Thani province, Ban Bueng Ao Oun School and Ban Kakoh Rayong, in Surin province, Jalae Village of Lahu (Muser) in Chiang Rai province, as well as community education centers in Siem Reap, Cambodia and in Luang Prabang, in Laos.

This event is a cooperation between several groups, including Happening, Yak Yai Market and Arrow Media, Tattoo artist group, Thonburi Art School Alumni, International School of Tourism, Suratthani Rajabhat University, big bike group from Phuket, artists/performers/musicians from many provinces as well as several businesses across Phuket.

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Bangkok

The world’s fastest growing tourist destinations

The Thaiger

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The world’s fastest growing tourist destinations | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Hello Phuket – destined for huge tourist growth in the next six years – fodors.com

In 2018, international tourist arrival traffic grew by 6% to reach a total of 1.4 billion world tourists, according to research by UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. And there’s a lot more to come with international travel predicted to increase by a massive 35% over the next six years to 2025.

But where is all that extra traffic going to go? Which destinations are quiet now that might be swarming with tourists in the years to come? Two destinations in Thailand are set for a prosperous future, according to the data. Whilst almost all the growth is excepted to be to Asian destinations, an under-visited resource for world tourism so far.

Euromonitor data has been used to simulate tourist growth models and reveal the fastest growing projected visitor arrivals in major cities and destinations around the world for 2025, compared to arrival figures in 2018.

In Thailand, Phuket’s tourist traffic is poised to increase up to 85% in the next six years, from nearly 12 million arrivals in 2018 to over 22 million in 2025. Bangkok is predicted to see the 8th most prolific rise in tourist traffic, with arrivals in Bangkok set to swell an additional 68% during the same period. Doha, the capital of Qatar, is set to explode with 104% increase in traffic over the next six years.

The data also predicts that both Bangkok and Phuket will rebound big time in 2020, Phuket in particular with a growth of around 20% for the next year, accord to the data from TravelSupermarket.com.

By 2025 the data predicts that Bangkok will be the world’s #1 tourist destination, a position it’s held before in recent years. The Thai capital will be followed by Singapore, Dubai, Phuket and Kuala Lumpur, making South East Asia the world’s emerging tourism hotspot.

Some of the world’s favourites – New York, Paris, London – will continue to grow their tourist numbers but not at the rate of most Asian destinations.

You can read the full list HERE.

The world's fastest growing tourist destinations | News by The Thaiger

Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com

The world's fastest growing tourist destinations | News by The Thaiger

Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com

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Phuket

Rawai beachfront water shut-off tomorrow for mains works

The Thaiger

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Rawai beachfront water shut-off tomorrow for mains works | The Thaiger

The Phuket Provincial Waterworks Authority says Rawai’s mains water supply will be shut off tomorrow (Tuesday, October 15) as new water pipes are fitted in front of The Title Beach Front condo resort complex on the town’s beachfront.

The mains water supply will be shut off from 9am until 4:30pm along the beachfront strip.

The PWA says the areas affected will be along Wiset Road along the Rawai beachfront road, as well as Soi Yanui and Soi Ruafaed.

Residents and businesses are being urged to collect water for use during the day today, before tomorrow morning’s shut-off.

As usual, the PWA say…“We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

Contact the Phuket Provincial Waterworks Authority on 076 319173 or 082 7901634 for more details.

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