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Phuket Sports: Laying odds for French Open; Murray ruled out

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Phuket Sports: Laying odds for French Open; Murray ruled out | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: If I were a gambling man, which thank the Lord I’m not, then a punt on Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal would seem an obvious bet for the French Open.

But even linked together as a double, the odds would be prohibitively short. Why? Just look at their 2013 records. Rafa, back after a seven month lay-off, has reached eight finals in eight tournaments – and won six of them. Before the climax of the Italian Open in Rome, he declared with his usual modesty: “These are emotional moments for me … after many months of doubt, I am able to play at a level I would not have dreamed of four months ago.” He then went on court to dismiss Roger Federer while only losing four games.

Serena Williams has also been playing with enormous authority and conviction. At the women’s final in Rome, she made relatively short work of Victoria Azarenka, herself a world number one not so long ago. It was the American’s fourth consecutive tournament victory and the score of 6-1, 6-3 reflects her dominance, despite some spirited early resistance.

Even more telling is her tally of wins: Fourteen to the Belarusian’s two. Williams dropped only fourteen games in five matches during the Rome tournament, and at thirty one, when most players are beginning to feel their age, she is going from strength to strength. To the most powerful shots off the ground and the heaviest serve in women’s tennis, she has added mental resolve, conviction and, above all, consistency. As she declared after the win, much to the chagrin of her competitors: “I feel great. Never felt better.”

Sharapova, who defends her French crown at Roland Garros, pulled out of her quarter-final match in Rome against Sara Errani due to a recurring sickness, but in the previous tournament had already lost to the American. Azarenka got it right when she said of her opponent: “She’s been playing her best tennis for the past year and a half or so.”

What of other men’s chances in the first Grand Slam of the summer? Djokovic, beaten by Berdych in Rome, seems to have lost a little of his luster. Although he has been number one for what seems like an age; he can never be discounted. Moreover, his record against Nadal is impressive.

Murray, still the world number two, has a lower back injury and is not even sure that he will make the starting blocks. His confidence is on the wane and, frankly, he has not played enough competitive tennis this year.

Federer, despite his wonderfully consistent record in reaching tournament finals, is not the irresistible force he once was, and his record on clay against Nadal – eleven losses out of thirteen – speaks volumes. Of the other contenders, only big hitting Del Potro and Berdych have a game that is conceivably powerful enough to trouble the favorites.

Fortunately, things rarely go entirely according to plan in tennis. Let’s hope the cavernous amphitheater of Roland Garros generates its share of high drama.

The French Open starts today and concludes June 9.

Andy Murray ruled out of Roland Garros

World number two Andy Murray has pulled out of the French Open after failing to recover from a lower back injury which he aggravated at the Italian Open last week.

“It’s a really tough decision and I love playing in Paris, but after seeking medical advice, I am not fit to compete,” Murray said in a statement released by his management company.

“Apologies to the organizers and thanks to everyone for the messages of support. Now my complete focus is on getting back on the court as soon as possible.”

Murray retired injured in the Italian Open second round in Rome on his 26th birthday last Wednesday after leveling his match with Spaniard Marcel Granollers by winning the
second set.

“I’d be very surprised if I were playing in Paris,” he said after having treatment on court. “I want to make sure that it’s something that I can sort out. It’s not enjoyable to play now.”

The French Open, which starts today at Roland Garros, will be the first grand slam Murray has missed since Wimbledon in 2007 when he had a wrist injury.

He will now focus on preparing for the grass court season and set his sights on being ready to play at Queen’s Club, the warm-up event for Wimbledon starting on June 10.

Keep checking our online Phuket Sports pages, join our Facebook fan page or follow us on Twitter for the latest local, national and international sporting news.

— Patrick Campbell / Reuters

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Phuket

Police say Phuket school won’t be charged for employing foreign teachers without a work permit

Caitlin Ashworth

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Police say Phuket school won’t be charged for employing foreign teachers without a work permit | The Thaiger
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An international school in Phuket is not facing charges for employing foreign teachers without a work permit, police told the Phuket News. Back in November, 2 British nationals were arrested at the Palm House International School in Rawai in a raid by Phuket Immigration officers, acting on a tip that teachers were working at the school without a work permit.

The case was handed over to the Chalong Police. The department was also requested to investigate the school for suspected illegal hiring practices. When pressed by Phuket News reporters, the Chalong Police Chief Sarawut Chuprasit said the school officials are not facing any charges for employing the teachers illegally, without a work permit, and referred reporters to the provincial prosecutor.

“I have no reason to press any charge against the school at all. It is not right to accuse the school.”

Many schools in Thailand, especially international schools, obtain work permits for foreign teachers and even pay the fees. It’s also fairly common for foreign teachers to work without the proper documents, especially during the pandemic where travel restrictions make border runs nearly impossible.

Phuket News say police will not release the names of the 2 British teachers and will not give any additional information. They add that the provincial prosecutor’s office will also not release information without a police case number or suspects’ names. In a previous report, Phuket Immigration Deputy Chief also declined to identify the British nationals by name or age.

“Their visa status does not allow them to work or perform any form of business. They were arrested as they are suspected of working without a work permit.”

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Phuket

Phuket health chief urges “red zone” travellers to abide by quarantine measures

Caitlin Ashworth

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Phuket health chief urges “red zone” travellers to abide by quarantine measures | The Thaiger
PHOTO: National News Bureau of Thailand

With Phuket’s new disease control measures requiring those travelling from high risk areas to quarantine, the province’s public health chief is now saying those at alternative state quarantine hotels won’t be locked up in their rooms throughout their 14 day stay in isolation. He says guests can wander through certain areas of the hotel to have meals and do other activities.

Those travelling from “red zone” provinces are required to self-quarantine at a hotel or at their home for 14 days. People from areas classified as the “highest risk,” including Samut Sakhon, Chonburi, Rayong, Chanthaburi and Trat, must quarantine and undergo a Covid-19 swab test.

The public health chief Thanit Sermkaew says there will be harsh penalties for anyone who violates the new measures and urges travellers to stay at their quarantine location, home or hotel, for 14 days. People who violate the order can be punished under the Disease Control Act, either under Section 51, which carries a fine up to 20,000 baht, or under Section 52, which carries up to a year in jail and a fine up to 100,000 baht.

“It would be great if visitors from the ‘red zone’ areas stay in their hotels, so we are asking for their cooperation. They do not need to stay only in their room. They are able to do activities within the hotel, such as having meals, swimming, yoga and other activities… Please do not go outside the hotel. That would be a good preventative measure in Phuket province.”

Phuket Vice Governor Pichet Panaphong says hotels should “request” that their guests stay inside the hotel.

“Phuket officials have asked for the cooperation from operators to record the travel moments of guests before they arrived at the hotel and to request that their guests stay within the hotel area only, not to go outside of the hotel area.”

People who completed quarantine in Bangkok and tested negative for Covid-19 do not need to quarantine in Phuket as long as they travel directly to the island immediately after being released.

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Phuket

Screening measures to enter Phuket, travellers from “red zone” provinces to self-quarantine

Caitlin Ashworth

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Screening measures to enter Phuket, travellers from “red zone” provinces to self-quarantine | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Siangtai

Phuket authorities have announced screening measures for those entering the island province, which includes requiring those travelling from 20 “red zone” provinces to self-quarantine for 14 days. Those travelling from “hotspot” and “high risk” areas are required to do a swab test. While measures were put into effect over the weekend, some people say nothing has changed.

The “required” self-quarantine, which is apparently monitored by the Mor Chana tracking app, might be more of a guideline than a requirement. Arrivees on flights from Bangkok to Phuket Sunday morning, just 24 hours after the new screening measures were imposed, were not required to self-quarantine.

The minimum required for all individuals travelling to Phuket is to 1) download the “Mor Chana” app on their smartphones and display them when the officer calls for inspection, and 2) register online through the website www.gophuget.com to inform officials of the travel details to Phuket.

Screening measures to enter Phuket, travellers from

Screening measures to enter Phuket, travellers fromScreening measures to enter Phuket, travellers from

Screening measures to enter Phuket, travellers from

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