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June 4-H Fairs Across Indiana Fall Victim to Social Distancing

first_img By Andy Eubank – Apr 16, 2020 Previous articlePerdue: There is Enough Food to Feed American PeopleNext articleJune 4-H Fairs Across Indiana Fall Victim to Social Distancing and Rain and Snow in the Forecast on the HAT Friday Morning Edition Andy Eubank COVID-hits-June-FairsA “Dear 4-H’ers” letter this week from Purdue Extension to Indiana 4-H families and volunteers was profoundly sad and unprecedented, but it wasn’t unexpected. The letter announced the current ban on face to face events is extended through the end of June, and that effectively sets the stage for “alternate plans” for 4-H fairs held in June.Among those saddened by the news is Indiana State Department of Agriculture director Bruce Kettler.“To me, especially in Indiana, the significance of 4-H and the 4-H fairs for our youth, it’s so prevalent,” he said. “That’s what makes me sad, that we may have some youth that don’t get the opportunity to be able to show what they done. I know they’ve spent time on those projects. And in our rural communities in a lot of cases the county fair is a great gathering of rural folks and a celebration of what rural Indiana is about.”State 4-H staff and county 4-H educators are examining ways to still deliver 4-H programming in June, but in-person 4-H events, camps, activities, and experiences through the end of June will be postponed or converted to non-face-to-face experiences.No determination has been made for July 2020 events, and then August brings the Indiana State Fair. Kettler said options for that huge event are being explored.“I know that Cindy Hoye and team are continuing to work like the state fair will go through, but I also know that they’re working on different plans and alternate plans about what they may need to do,” he told HAT. “If they need to shut it down, obviously that would be worse-case scenario and don’t want that to happen, but they are working on alternative plans about how they may need to adjust and what could be adjusted at the fair to be able to still make it happen. It’s too early to say exactly what that would look like, other than I know they’re working on alternate plans.Over 20 county fairs are impacted by the extension, some running in June and some crossing over into July.Here’s the letter from Purdue Extension:Dear 4-H’ers, Families and Volunteers,Due to the continued spread of COVID-19 and the important need to slow this spread, this week Purdue University and Purdue Extension announced the decision to extend the existing ban on face-to-face events through June 30, 2020.During an outbreak such as COVID-19, the CDC recommends cancelling large meetings and events. The state 4-H staff in collaboration with county 4-H educators are exploring alternative delivery of our 4-H programming for the month of June. For the health and well-being of our 4-H families, volunteers, and professionals all in-person 4-H events, camps, activities, and experiences that were scheduled to take place before July 1, 2020 will be postponed or converted to non-face-to-face experiences. This includes in person events and activities led by local 4-H volunteers.Virtual 4-H programming will be created and offered at no cost to families to replace the following statewide face-to-face 4-H events that were scheduled to take place in June of 2020:– 4-H Academy @ Purdue– Indiana 4-H Round-Up– State 4-H Junior Leader Conference– State 4-H Band and State 4-H ChorusOur 4-H Youth Development Extension educators and state specialists will continue their incredible efforts to create and adapt learning opportunities to meet 4-H families where they are and fit the social distancing guidelines we must abide by. Visit purdue.ag/4hhomeactivities for a collection of at-home activities for kids created by Purdue Extension and 4-H programs across the nation. We would especially like to highlight:– World Changers Online Hackathon April 20-22– Animal Science Web Series every Tuesday since March 31st (recordings available)– Live, Virtual Cake Decorating Workshop April 16 at 7:00 p.m. EDTLikewise, if your county fair falls within the dates affected by this decision your local Purdue Extension office will be in touch with you regarding alternate plans for your 4-H fair or the 4-H events at your county’s fair. Please know county Extension educators are working in partnership with local fair boards and the state 4-H office to provide alternate opportunities for youth to showcase and celebrate their 4-H achievements. Please exercise patience and give your local Extension office the time they need to communicate the plans to you.We do not take this decision lightly. The health and well-being of our 4-H’ers, families, volunteers, employees, and communities is our top priority. Our hearts break in your disappointment. Right now, and always, 4-H Youth Development will continue to provide opportunities for youth to learn, grow, develop skills, and showcase and celebrate their achievements. We will try new things and relate to each other in innovative ways. We will harness the resilience and determination 4-H has taught us, and we will stand in awe of the individuals and communities 4-H has built.Jason Henderson, Director of Purdue ExtensionCasey Mull, Assistant Director and 4-H Program Leader Home Indiana Agriculture News June 4-H Fairs Across Indiana Fall Victim to Social Distancing June 4-H Fairs Across Indiana Fall Victim to Social Distancing SHARE Facebook Twitter SHARE Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

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Three blunders of social media marketing

first_img 30SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading » Hopefully your bank or credit union has a healthy social media marketing outreach. More and more consumers are connecting with brands (like your bank or credit union) via social media rather than traditional communication methods. Recent statistics indicate 2.8 billion people globally are now active social media users, 83% of Americans have at least one social media account and mobile social media use continues to skyrocket.Handling the social media outreach for your bank or credit union is a big responsibility. Following are three important social media marketing blunders to avoid:Not responding to comments and messages in a timely manner. They call it social media for a reason. It’s all about interaction. If your consumers are commenting on your various social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) and you aren’t replying, that’s a problem. Reach out to your consumers (even the upset ones) to show that your bank or credit union has a human personality behind its social media platforms. A good rule of thumb on social media response is within one business day.last_img read more

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Alicia Ren̩e (Graves) Luna, 41, formerly of Wellington: June 12, 1974 РAug. 12, 2015

first_imgAlicia LunaAlicia Renѐe (Graves) Luna, died on Wednesday, August 12, 2015 at her home in Park City at the age of 41.Alicia was born the daughter of David and Jeanette (Hartman) Graves on Wednesday, June 12, 1974 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She attended schools in Wellington and graduated from Wellington High School in 1992. She later graduated from Wichita State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. Alicia was a Surgical Nurse at Wesley Medical Center. On January 3, 2009, Alicia and Andy Luna were united in marriage at their home in Park City. Together they celebrated six years of marriage.Survivors include her husband Andy Luna; 4 sons: Spencer Martin, Colby Martin, Preston Luna and Landon Luna all of Park City; parents, David and Jeanette Graves of Jenks, Oklahoma; sister, Kimberly Sterling and her husband Rob of Tulsa, Oklahoma along with several nieces and nephews: Elexa Yessen, Skylar Cunningham, Reese Sterling, Luke Sterling, Matt Sterling, Madison Sterling, Hunter Graves, Ellis Fellin, Hughes Fellin and Percy Fellin. She was preceded in death by her brother, Jeremy Graves and grandparents: Clyde and Andrea Hartman and Bill and Delora Graves.Visitation will be held at the funeral home from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m, Sunday, August 16, 2015.Recitation of the Holy Rosary will begin at 7 p.m., Sunday evening in the chapel of Cornejo|Day Funeral Home, Wellington.Funeral Mass for Alicia will be held at 10:30 a.m., Monday, August 17, 2015 at St. Anthony – St. Rose Catholic Church, Wellington.Interment will follow in Sumner Memorial Gardens, Wellington.A memorial fund has been established in her loving memory to the Sedgwick County Zoo. Contributions may be mailed or left with the funeral home.To share a memory or leave condolences, please visit www.cornejodayfuneralhome.comArrangements are by Cornejo|Day Funeral Home & Crematory, 1030 Mission Road, Wellington.last_img read more

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Mandela bridge to boost E Cape tourism

first_img13 July 2012 The Nelson Mandela Legacy Bridge currently under construction at Nelson Mandela’s birthplace, Mvezo village in the Eastern Cape, is set to attract tourists while improving access to basic services in the area, says Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti. Nkwinti, who accompanied President Jacob Zuma to the official launch of the Nelson Mandela Legacy Bridge at the Mbashe River, said the name of the bridge would be a drawcard for tourists. When complete, the bridge will link the Mvezo and Ludondolo villages – near to Mthatha in the Eastern Cape province – and the N2 highway. It is a R123-million infrastructure project which forms part of the government’s Comprehensive Rural Development Programme, as well as the countrywide infrastructure drive announced by President Jacob Zuma in his State of the Nation address in February this year. The project was launched in July 2010, and construction on the 140-metre long and 12-metre wide bridge is expected to be completed in March next year.Addressing government priority areas “There will be interest among tourists to learn about Nelson Mandela’s birthplace,” Nkwinti said. “The bridge will also attract more schools to visit the area as more schools are keen to learn about Madiba’s birthplace.” Mvezo Museum is already operational, but it is not easily accessible. Nkwinti said once the bridge was completed, tourists would have access to the museum, which displays Mandela’s legacy. Schools would also have a chance to initiate activities such as cultural dances, arts and crafts, which could be sold to tourists. “Stimulation of tourism in the area is likely to result in the creation of businesses in the tourism sector locally and in the province as a whole,” Nkwinti said. “There will be restoration of self-esteem to both Mvezo and Ludondolo residents as they will no longer be subjected to an embarrassing and inconveniencing situation of removing their clothes whenever they need to cross the Mbashe River in their attempt to access basic services such as schools and clinics.” Government priority areas such as job creation, access to education, health services and local economic development would also be addressed through construction of the bridge, he said. Transport would be positively affected too, as the taxi industry agreed to extend their services to the villages of Ludondolo and Mvezo once the tarred road and bridge were complete. President Zuma said the distance to Qunu village, where Madiba now lives, would be radically shortened thanks to the bridge. “Many visitors, both from our country and abroad, who wish to visit the birthplace of this world icon, will be able to do so by branching off from the national road and travelling a relatively short distance on a new road, thus turning Mvezo potentially into a major tourist attraction,” Zuma said. There are also plans for the construction of the Nelson Mandela Science and Technology High School in Mvezo.‘Creating a more employable workforce’ The construction of the bridge has resulted in the improvement of job creation and skills development in the area as workers have been trained in steel fixing, bricklaying, paving and carpentry – skills that Zuma said would make them employable in future. “I have no doubt that the skills acquired during the bridge and road building process will enable these workers to become more employable in the future, and to access jobs elsewhere even after the completion of the project, and these workers will themselves have easier access to nearby towns,” said Zuma. The Rural Development and Land Reform Department has purchased a brick-making machine which is being used to manufacture bricks during the construction of the bridge. Once the bridge and road construction projects are completed, the department will hand over the brick-making machine to the trained workers to set up a brick-making enterprise. Source: SANews.gov.zalast_img read more

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Resilient Design is a Money-Maker

first_imgRebuilding America and the ‘New Normal’ of ResilienceResilience: Designing Homes for More Intense StormsCalifornia Needs to Rethink Urban Fire RiskIs It Time to Move Our Cities? A similar study in 2005 showed a 4-for-1 return on mitigation grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The new findings show a benefit-to-cost ratio that’s 50% higher than that, but the new study also included spending by the U.S. Economic Development Administration and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in addition to FEMA grants.The 6-to-1 is an aggregate, with spending to prevent some types of damage coming with a better payoff than others. Federally funded measures to lessen damages from river flooding would save $7 for every $1 spent, for example, while earthquake and wildfire grants showed a 3-to-1 benefit-to-cost ratio. Likewise, some states would benefit more than others.Looking at costs and benefits over a 23-year period, researchers said that total grant costs were $27.4 billion while savings amounted to $157.9 billion.Steps to help new houses exceed code minimums included building homes higher above base flood elevations than required, making sure that houses comply with hurricane standards published by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, and requiring that new buildings comply with the 2015 version of the International Wildland Urban Interface Code. A new report from the National Institute of Building Sciences says that federal hazard mitigation grants that make buildings more resistant to natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, and wildfires will save the country $6 for every $1 that’s invested.Further, designing new buildings so that they exceed requirements of 2015 codes developed by the International Code Council can save $4 for every $1 that’s spent, the report said.Over time, these twin strategies would prevent 600 deaths, 1 million injuries, and 4,000 cases of post-traumatic stress disorder. Designing better-than-code buildings also would result in 87,000 new jobs.The report was released earlier this month as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that weather and climate disasters in 2017 were the most expensive on record. There were 16 separate events during the year that racked up at least $1 billion in losses, while the total overall was $306 billion — three times the record losses in 2005.Researchers came to their conclusions after looking at the results of 23 years of federal mitigation grants administered through three federal agencies. Steps included buying or demolishing buildings in flood-prone areas, adding hurricane shutters and tornado safe rooms to houses in risky areas, strengthening buildings for earthquake resistance, and replacing roofs and clearing vegetation around houses in wildfire areas.center_img RELATED ARTICLES last_img read more

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DU Admission 2019: 24,536 registrations done in first 90 minutes

first_imgDU Admission 2019: Delhi University has start the admission process to Delhi University’s undergraduate courses for the academic session 2019-2020 today i.e. May 30, 2019. Registration link will get activated at 8 pm today, and within the first 90 minutes 24,536 registrations were done on the University portal, reported news agency Press Trust of India (PTI). A total of 1,762 payments were made during this time.Last year, a total of 2,78,544 candidates had registered for admission to undergraduate courses.Candidates who haven’t applied yet can apply through the online forms on Delhi University’s official website– du.ac.in. The online registration process will be open till June 14.”The admission portal has been made mobile-friendly and will even work on 2G network. This has been done because it has been seen that students mostly use their phones to access the portal,” said the varsity.DU Application form 2019: How to applyVisit Delhi University’s official website– du.ac.inRegister yourself first, click the tab DU Application Form 2019’Enter all you necessary detailsSelect your course and its admission procedure. Check if it is merit or entrance-based’ process of admissionUpload the required documents, photograph, and signatureSubmit the application feeDownload a soft copy and take a print out of the filled-in DU Application Form 2019READ:Delhi University admissions 2019: 12 sports including Yoga removed from sports quotaList of documents required for Delhi University admissionsPassport size photographScanned signature of the applicantSelf attested copy of Class X Board CertificateSelf attested Class XII Marks-Sheet, if result is announced. (In case Mark-Sheet is not issued by the Board then the self attested copy of the Mark-Sheet downloaded from the respective boards’ website should be uploaded)Self attested copy of SC/ST/OBC/PwD/KM/CW Certificate, if applicableSelf attested copy of income certificate (for OBC non-creamy layer) Certificate, if applicableSelf attested copy of Sport Certificate(s) for last three years, if applicableSelf attested copy of Extra Curricular Activities Certificate(s), if applicableadvertisementDU Admission 2019: Post graduate courseThe registration for postgraduate (PG) programmes, postgraduate Diploma in Cyber Security and Law and for M.Phil and PhD programmes will begin on June 3.READ: NTA NEET UG Result 2019 expected to be declared on this date: Check NTA NEET scores @ ntaneet.nic.inlast_img read more

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Japan new defence plan bolsters fighter capability budget

first_imgTOKYO — Japan has adopted new defence guidelines that include plans for its first aircraft carrier and increases in defence spending and arms capability in coming years, citing the need to counter potential threats from North Korea and China.The defence plan was approved Tuesday by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet along with a record 27 trillion yen ($240 billion) five-year defence spending from April 2019.The plans call for refitting an existing helicopter carrier into a ship that can deploy F-35B stealth fighters.Defence officials say Japan needs higher deterrence and increased missile defence and fighter capability to cope with potential threats amid regional tensions.Critics say possession of an aircraft carrier would give Japan a strike capability in violation to the country’s pacifist constitution.Mari Yamaguchi, The Associated Presslast_img read more

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Trudeau says he and Saskatchewan premier talking despite carbon tax differences

first_imgSaskatchewan released regulations Wednesday that will require industry to reduce methane emissions by 4.5 million tonnes annually by 2025.The regulations include penalties for non-compliance. “The prime minister has been gracious with his time when I’ve requested the opportunity to speak with him by telephone or in person and I’m appreciative of that,” he said.The premier has previously suggested the federal carbon tax is one of the biggest economic headwinds facing Saskatchewan.Moe has asked the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal to rule on whether the federal government’s plan to impose a carbon tax on the province is constitutional.The province argues its own climate change plan, which doesn’t include a carbon levy, is enough to reduce emissions. The two did not meet when Trudeau was in Regina earlier this month, but the prime minister said it was good to meet the premier in La Loche.“We are going to continue to work on issues that matter to folks in Saskatchewan,” he said.Moe, who indicated they only talked briefly, said they discussed supports both governments are providing to communities.Trudeau went on to highlight the work by both governments that helped lead to the creation of 11,000 new jobs in the province.“That is something that governments can facilitate when we invest in the right kinds of things together, but it’s a tremendous credit to people and businesses here in Saskatchewan,” he said.Moe said he had already planned to spend time with his wife when Trudeau was in Regina and that’s why the two leaders couldn’t meet.center_img LA LOCHE, Sask. – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he continues to work with Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe despite their differences over the federal carbon tax.Trudeau was asked at a funding announcement in La Loche on Wednesday whether he would try to persuade Moe, who was also there, about the tax.Trudeau said he and Moe have had “many great conversations” on things they agree and disagree on.last_img read more

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Hanoi Of timeless charm

first_imgHanoi, the historic capital city of Vietnam, the oldest capital in Southeast Asia, founded in 1010 CE, is seductively charming – approachable and aloof at the same time. The cradle of Vietnamese civilisation is a tangle of the ancient and modern, a quaint blend of enchanting Europe and chaotic Asia. Nestled in a great bend of the Red River, Hanoi, a city with a dozen lakes and narrow congested streets, still carries the flavour of its colonialists, with its tree-lined French-style boulevards and amber villas. We are overwhelmed by the timelessness of the place as we walk its catacomb of bustling streets and feel ourselves passing through millennia-old history, tangible in its environment and sights. Its saga of struggle against the various forces – Russians, French, Chinese and Americans at various periods – is palpably ingrained in its character. Vietnam’s turbulent past and the vivacity of its present are inimitably reflected in Hanoi, the city which the French imperialists held as the capital of all of Indochina from 1902 to 1953. We take a leisurely cycle ride through ribbon-broad labyrinthine streets. The alleyways and narrow streets of its Old Quarter are still named for the crafts and trade that migrants from villages once practiced. It was here, in the Red River Delta, that several traditional arts and crafts including lacquer ware and silk crafts flourished. ‘Tube-houses’ with narrow fronts flank the streets that sell everything from eats to inexpensive souvenirs and merchandise. While we see well-to-do locals relax in trendy restaurants and coffee shops that dot the Old Quarter, the city’s pavements or sidewalks, we observe, are the happening places in Hanoi. They double up as kitchens and living rooms where cooking and entertaining happen routinely. People huddle together in low seats at street corners and engage in leisurely banter over steaming bowls of ‘pho’, the local noodle soup. The traffic scene in Hanoi is mind-boggling as it swarms with zig-zagging two-wheelers and the popular mobile taxis or ‘xe om’ as they are locally called. Vietnamese women donning conical hats, hawking flowers, fruits, vegetables and cooked food from deftly balanced shoulder poles, worm their way through this chaotic maze of vehicles. My heart skips several beats as we stand at the swarming intersections to cross over. However, I am forced to admire the manner in which the motorists adjust their course to pedestrians crossing the roads as long as they continue to walk slowly and calmly, unruffled by the gaggles of motor scooters. A few hundred metres away from the Old Quarter, we come upon Hồ Hoàn Kiếm, the ‘Lake of the Restored Sword’, the centre of downtown Hanoi, it is a spiritual and sociocultural hub, a tourists’ and shoppers’ paradise. If it throbs with joggers and exercise buffs in the early hours of dawn, its verdant precincts attract tourists and local picnickers during the day. According to legend, Le Loi, a 15th century emperor, received a sword from a magic turtle at the lake’s edge which he later used to drive away the Chinese from Vietnam. A little away, a red-hued wooden bridge brings us to the majestic Ngoc Son Temple. The trademark Vietnamese Water Puppet Show in the evening, serves as grand finale to our first day in Hanoi that sees us explore the Old Quarter. The Thang Long Water Puppet show with its characters, resplendent in colorful traditional attires, encapsulates Vietnamese life in an interesting way. The performance is done on an underwater stage, accompanied by native music. The spellbinding show narrates the origins of Vietnamese people, beginning with the marriage of Lac Long Quan, the dragon King, and the fairy Au Co. Compelled by curiosity, we head first to the city’s Presidential Palace area in Ba Dinh district, on the second day of our stay in Hanoi. The broad square is dominated by an imposing granite edifice where the legendary “Bac Ho” or “Uncle Ho” as Ho Chi Minh was fondly referred to, lies embalmed. We take our place in the serpentine queue to see in flesh, the national hero who led communist Vietnam’s fight against the US forces. He is on display in a glass sarcophagus at this mausoleum. It is evident that he is idolised by his people, venerated next only to God. The One Pillar Pagoda built on a lake in the Presidential Palace area, catches our attention as we see hordes of tourists proceed towards it. Considered the most unique pagoda in Asia, the structure, designed to resemble an open lotus, symbolising purity, was built in the 11th century CE by the then emperor, Ly Thai Tong. According to legend, the heirless emperor dreamt of being handed over a male infant by the Goddess of Mercy. When he did beget a male child, he built the pagoda as an act of gratitude. The original shrine, built of wood on a single stone pillar, was destroyed by the French in 1954. It was rebuilt by the Vietnamese government. The political and cultural capital of Vietnam, often termed as the city of poets, Hanoi is very much viewed as a bastion of Confucian values and Communist doctrines. Perhaps, nowhere is this better reflected than in the 1,000-year old Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s oldest university. Built in 1070 CE, dedicated to Confucius, the Temple of Literature was constructed as a place of learning rather than religion. While the university closed in 1779, it still contains vestiges of the eras gone by. It is a fine example of traditional Vietnamese architecture, set in lush and picturesque environs. It is laid out in a sequence of five courtyards and spanned by a trio of pathways that run the length of the Temple. Expansive gardens with a plethora of foliaceous trees, topiary animal sculptures and small ponds attract visitors to it. We wind our Hanoi trip with a visit to its infamous Hoa Lo Prison, also called Maison Centrale. Only a fraction of the sprawling complex which was originally built by the French in 1896, is now preserved as a museum. Nothing prepares us for what we see at this French-built hell-hole, Hoa Lo, literally meaning “stove”, and sardonically named Hanoi Hilton by the American POWs. We are overwhelmed by a sense of revulsion as we see the dank cells where Vietnamese revolutionaries were held captive and subsequently guillotined, various grisly exhibits showing acts of gore and the torturous suffering of prisoners. Swathes of the city witnessed complete destruction, especially during the US bombing rom 1965 to 1973. Scars of embittered wars doubtlessly remain, poignant, yet well-masked as Hanoi continues to develop and forges ahead with economic reconstruction. Tourists throng the city, the multicultural fabric of which points towards its openness as people from diverse cultures, religions and nationalities coexist in harmony.last_img read more

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Serena Williams Is Some Kind Of Clutch

With Sunday’s U.S. Open victory, 32-year-old Serena Williams gathered her 18th major singles title — tying her with Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova for second on the all-time open-era list, behind only Steffi Graf’s 22. Remarkably, this was only Williams’s 22nd appearance in a final. Graf won her 18th Grand Slam title in her 26th final (at age 26). Navratilova didn’t win her 18th slam title until her 30th final (age 33), and Evert won her 18th (age 31) in her 33rd appearance (though, in fairness, those two had to play each other in 14 finals).Combined with her 22-3 record in semifinals, Williams’s career win rate in the last two rounds of major tournaments stands at 85.1 percent, easily topping the list of women with five or more slam titles:Second and third place go to Margaret Court and Graf, respectively — and then it’s daylight down to Monica Seles.But it’s also clear in the above chart that Williams’s performance prior to the semifinals is less remarkable: She ranks only 10th of 12 on that list in win percentage in the earlier rounds (despite not yet experiencing end-of-career decline). She has more exits in the first four rounds of majors (18) than Navratilova and Evert had, combined (16).In fact, Williams’s early-round performance is fairly similar to that of contemporary Maria Sharapova, particularly after we adjust for relative player strength. Both Williams and Sharapova have a reputation for dropping the occasional early-rounder against lower-ranked opponents. To see how often they lost to what kind of opponent, I broke the following chart down by “degree of mismatch” (techy mumbo-jumbo: the x-axis metric is the difference between the log of Williams’s/Sharapova’s seed and the log of their opponent’s seed. I treated all unseeded players like they had the No. 32 seed. This is just a better way of establishing relative strength than raw ranking difference):Williams does a little bit better, particularly in situations where she’s the lower seed (that’s not surprising considering her volatility), but then she takes a turn for the incredible at the semis:Williams is deadly when she makes it deep, regardless of ranking. Sharapova — the second-winningest player since Wimbledon 2004 — not so much.Of course, that Sharapova has been Williams’s main competition for so long is one of the reasons to be skeptical of Williams’s finishing skills: She hasn’t had to face a Seles or an Evert, as Graf and Navratilova did (or vice versa). So using the data from the 13 women with five or more major wins, I created a model to determine some basic odds of one of these top players beating an opponent based on each player’s ranking (actually, the model ends up using both the relative seeds and the absolute seed of the opponent — apparently, for top players, their own seed is much less important). From that, we can evaluate each player’s performance not just as a percentage, but against expectation considering the relative strength of their opponents.In this case, Williams has an even larger advantage than above when it comes to semifinals and finals, with a nearly 10 percent gap between herself and sister Venus Williams, with Court dropping to third, and Justine Henin taking the No. 4 spot.Yet, prior to the semifinals, Serena Williams is almost exactly at expectation: She’s ahead of it by two one-hundredths of 1 percent.To some degree, this has made me reconsider Williams’s career. Of course, we’ve always known she is brilliant, clearly the class of this generation and quite possibly the greatest female player of all time. But I have always assumed that she was reverse clutch — meaning that she was demonstrating clutchlike performance, but that it was probably a result of playing poorly in less-“clutch” situations (for example, if she didn’t try very hard in earlier rounds).This may still be the case. Or perhaps some other factor explains the findings — for instance, maybe Williams’s form entering Grand Slam events varies wildly, so she either loses early or wins the title. But the longer and more consistently this phenomenon persists, the more I’m forced to consider (at least conceptually) that perhaps Williams is really just a typical great player most of the time, but actually does possess the ability to summon something extra when the pressure is on. read more

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