Beatriz Haddad Maia Defeats Iga Swiatek to Notch First Win vs. Top-Ranked Player

Beatriz Haddad Maia has taken down the World No. 1…

The 26-year-old Brazilian tennis player defeated top-ranked Iga Swiatek of Poland 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 in windy conditions on Thursday to reach the National Bank Open quarterfinals.

Beatriz Haddad Maia Haddad Maia beat a top-ranked player for the first time to become the first Brazilian woman to advance to the quarterfinal of a WTA 1000 tournament.

A back-to-back champion on the grass in Nottingham and Birmingham, she came to Toronto at a career-high 24th in the world.

“I had a lot of tough moments in my career,” Haddad Maia said. “I have already had four surgeries and I’m only 26 years old. So when I have special moments I try to enjoy. ”

Swiatek had nine double faults to one for Haddad Maia.

“Right now it’s hard to say if it was more her game or the wind that really messed up my first set,” Swiatek said. “I think she just used the conditions better than me. When she was playing with the wind she was playing really strong balls and sometimes I was late for them.”

Haddad Maia will face Belinda Bencic of Switzerland in the quarterfinals. Bencic followed her victory over Serena Williams on Wednesday night by beating eighth-seeded Garbine Muguruza of Spain 6-1, 6-3 in the late match.

Rafael Nadal Surpasses Martina Navratilova on All-Time Grand Slam Match Victories List

Rafael Nadal is moving on up…

The 36-year-old Spanish professional tennis player has advanced to the third round of Wimbledon for the 11th time after defeating Ricardas Berankis 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 on Thursday.

Rafael NadalIt was Nadal’s 307th Grand Slam match win, advancing him past Martina Navratilova in fourth place on the all-time list, behind Roger Federer (369), Serena Williams (365) and Novak Djokovic (330).

“Not the best start honestly,” Nadal said of Thursday’s victory. “I finished playing well. The fourth set has been the level of tennis for me, important improvement. The rest of the things, I have room to improve.”

Nadal is looking for a record-extending 23rd Grand Slam title, and third Wimbledon trophy.

Caroline Garcia Outlasts Bianca Andreescu at Bad Homburg Open to Win First WTA Title in Three Years

Caroline Garcia is back in the winner’s circle…

The 28-year-old half-Spanish French tennis player outlasted 2019 U.S. Open champion Bianca Andreescu 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-4 on Saturday in the final of the Bad Homburg Open, giving her a first tour title in three years.

Caroline GarciaGarcia had to come back from a set and a break down to beat her opponent.

Garcia took a medical timeout for what seemed to be a shoulder problem early in the second set. She then went 4-2 down before winning 10 of the next 14 games to seal the match ahead of the start of Wimbledon on Monday.

“It was a fight [for] every point from the first to the last one,” Garcia said.

Caroline GarciaGarcia is 8-3 in career finals but her last title was almost exactly three years ago in Nottingham in the build-up to the 2019 Wimbledon tournament.

Andreescu was looking for her first title since beating Serena Williams in the 2019 final at Flushing Meadows before injuries forced her to miss the entire 2020 season.

Rachel Zegler to Serve as Presenter During This Weekend’s Academy Awards Show

Rachel Zegler has a date with the Oscars after all…

The 20-year-old half-Colombian American actress/singer, who won a Golden Globe for her performance in West Side Story, will serve as a presenter for the 94th annual Academy Awards on Sunday.

Rachel Zegler,Over the weekend, Zegler reported on social media that she did not receive an invite to the Oscars, but that changed two days later when her production schedule in London on the Disney movie Snow White loosened up.

But, Zegler isn’t the only Latinx talent set to present on Hollywood’s Biggest Night.

Jacob Elordi, the 24-year-old Spanish-Australian star of Netflix‘s The Kissing Booth teen film franchise and the HBO series Euphoria, has also been added to the list of presenters, alongside Josh BrolinJake GyllenhaalJason MomoaJill ScottJ.K. SimmonsSerena Williams and Venus Williams.

Previously announced Latinx presenters include Stephanie Beatriz, John Leguizamo and Rosie Perez.

Here is the full list of presenters, in alphabetical order, set for the Oscars, which will air live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood at 5:00 pm PT/8:00 pm ET and in 200-plus territories around the world:

Halle Bailey
Stephanie Beatriz
Josh Brolin
Ruth E. Carter
Sean “Diddy” Combs
Kevin Costner
Jamie Lee Curtis
DJ Khaled
Jacob Elordi
Jennifer Garner
Jake Gyllenhaal
Woody Harrelson
H.E.R.
Tiffany Haddish
Tony Hawk
Anthony Hopkins
Daniel Kaluuya
Samuel L. Jackson
Lady Gaga
Lily James
Zoë Kravitz
Mila Kunis
John Leguizamo

Simu Liu
Rami Malek
Shawn Mendes
Jason Momoa
Bill Murray
Lupita Nyong’o
Elliot Page
Rosie Perez

Chris Rock
Jill Scott
Naomi Scott
Tyler Perry
Tracee Ellis Ross
J.K. Simmons
Kelly Slater
Wesley Snipes
Uma Thurman
John Travolta
Shaun White
Serena Williams
Venus Williams
Yuh-Jung Youn
Rachel Zegler

Paula Badosa Edges Past Victoria Azarenka to Win First-Ever WTA 1000 Title at Indian Wells Masters

It’s a debut for books for Paula Badosa

The 23-year-old Spanish tennis player outlasted former World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka 7-6 (5), 2-6, 7-6 (2) at the BNP Paribas Open, becoming just the third woman to win in her Indian Wells Masters debut and the tournament’s first Spanish champion.

Paula BadosaIn claiming her first WTA 1000 title, Badosa earned $1.2 million.

Badosa joined Bianca Andreescu in 2019 and Serena Williams in 1999 in winning the title in her first appearance. It was Badosa’s second title of her career, having won in Belgrade earlier this year.

Badosa and Azarenka struggled for more than three hours, trading back-to-back service breaks five times. The last time Azarenka broke for a 5-4 lead in the third, and Badosa broke right back for a 5-all tie.

Paula Badosa

“We were both going for our shots, really pushing each other to the max,” Azarenka said.

Badosa missed a backhand that allowed Azarenka to hold at 6-all.

Badosa dominated the tiebreaker, racing to a 6-2 lead. Azarenka dumped a forehand into the net to give Badosa match point.

Paula Badosa

Badosa cracked a forehand winner, then collapsed at the baseline. She lay face down, crying and shaking, before getting up. Azarenka came around the net and hugged the 23-year-old Spaniard.

Azarenka, the two-time major champion and former top-ranked player, was seeking just her second title since 2016. She last won in 2020 at Cincinnati. The 32-year-old from Belarus came up short in her bid to become the first woman to win Indian Wells three times, having taken the title in 2012 and 2016.

Azarenka’s season was interrupted by injuries and she made early exits in the Grand Slam events. Her best result was making the fourth round at the French Open.

“This year has been challenging a bit,” she said, “but finishing on a strong note, not necessarily with the result I wanted but with the progress I wanted to seek, that’s really positive.”

In the first-set tiebreaker, Badosa had leads of 4-0 and 5-3. Azarenka tied it 5-all on Badosa’s netted forehand. Azarenka missed a backhand to give Badosa a set point and the Spaniard cashed in with a backhand winner to take the set.

She beat fifth-seeded Barbora Krejcikova in the fourth round, No. 15 Angelique Kerber in the quarterfinals and No. 14 Ons Jabeur in the semifinals — all in straight sets — to reach the final.

“The first thing I learned this week is that nothing is impossible,” Badosa said.

Badosa earned $1.2 million, more than her previous prize money for the year of just over $1 million.

She came into the tournament ranked 27th in the world; a year ago, she was 87th. Badosa is projected to rise to a career-best 13th in Monday’s WTA Tour rankings.

The combined ATP and WTA tour event was one of the first major sporting events canceled in March 2020 when the coronavirus took hold in the U.S. It will return to its usual March slot next year.

Fat Joe to Appear on the Upcoming “MDA Kevin Hart Kids Telethon”

Fat Joe’s got hart… And, he’s ready to share it with the world.

The 50-year-old Puerto Rican and Cuban American rapper, whose real name Joseph Antonio Cartagena, will take part in the MDA Kevin Hart Kids Telethon, the upcoming two-hour special hosted by Hart that reimagines the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s annual variety show fundraiser.

Fat-Joe

Fat Joe joins a lineup of talent additions that includes Don Cheadle, Common, Cindy Crawford, Whitney Cummings, Stephen Curry, Zachary Levi and Kelly Rowland.

The special, which will benefit the MDA and Help From the Hart Charity, streams live on Saturday from 8:00 – 10:00 p.m. ET on Hart’s LOL Network and its digital platforms YouTube and Pluto TV, as well as on TikTok, Triller and Twitch.

SiriusXM will air an encore of the show on its Laugh Out Loud Radio channel on October 26 at 4:00 pm ET and again the next day at 10:00 am ET.

The telethon will feature entertainment, comedy, musical performances and MDA’s Let’s Play For a Cure gaming elements, a gaming stream hosted by Zedd running simultaneously. A Telethon Showcase to celebrate the members of the neuromuscular community and hosted by Nancy O’Dell and Jann Carl will follow the two-hour main show. It will stream on the MDA’s Facebook page.

As a warmup, an MDA-hosted online auction on CharityBuzz featuring items from Serena Williams, Curry and others launches Friday at mda.org/telethon.

The latest talent additions to the lineup join previously announced guests including Garcelle Beauvais, Aloe Blacc, Jack Black, Usain Bolt, Bryan Cranston, Adam Devine, Josh Gad, Liz Gillies, Aldis Hodge, Edwin Hodge, Michael B. Jordan, DJ Khaled, Daniel Levy, Loni Love, Leslie Mann, Jillian Mercado, Robin Thicke, Gabrielle Union Wade and John David Washington.

Jonathan Krisel is directing.

 

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Among the Real-Life Heroes Celebrated in DC Comics’ “Wonder Women of History” Graphic Novel Anthology

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is getting illustrated

DC Comics has unveiled the new young adult graphic novel anthology Wonder Women of History, which celebrates real-life heroes, including the 30-year-old Bronx-born Puerto Rican politician who currently serving as the U.S. Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Ocasio-Cortez, or simply AOC, as she’s known, drew national recognition when she won the Democratic Party‘s primary election for New York’s 14th congressional district in June 2018, defeating Democratic Caucus chair Joe Crowley, a 10-term incumbent, in what was widely seen as the biggest upset victory in the 2018 midterm election primaries. She defeated Republican opponent Anthony Pappas in the November general election.

Taking office at age 29, Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest woman ever to serve in the United States Congress. She has been noted for her substantial social media presence relative to her fellow members of Congress

Female and non-binary writers and artists tell 17 stories of those “who take up Wonder Woman‘s iconic mantle” in their respective fields of science, sports, entertainment, politics, social justice and more, according to the DC Comics blog. 

New York Times bestselling author Laurie Halse Anderson edited the collection after recently writing the original graphic novel Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed.

In addition to Ocasio-Cortez, Wonder Women of History also spotlights singer-actress Janelle Monáe, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Iskwew Air CEO and Founder Teara Fraser, LGBTQ+ rights activist Edith Windsor, transgender activist and Stonewall uprising figure Marsha P. Johnson, Parkland shooting survivor and gun control advocate Emma Gonzalez, disability rights activist Judith HeumannNASA‘s first Hispanic female astronaut Ellen Ochoa, deputy director of Wuhan Institute of Virology and China’s “Bat Woman” Dr. Shi Zhengli, 23-time Grand Slam winning tennis player Serena Williams, stand-up comic Tig Notaro, actress Keiko Agena, and the first African American gymnast to win an individual Olympic medal Dominique Dawes.

The graphic novel will officially hit bookstore shelves everywhere on December 1. The anthology will also include portraits of illustrators Weshoyot Alvitre, Colleen Doran, Agnes Garbowska, Bex Glendining, Ashley A. Woods, and Safiya Zerrougui.

Wonder Women of History is already available for pre-order here.

Rafael Nadal Pledges AUD $250,000 for Australia Bushfire Relief Efforts During Rally for Relief

Rafael Nadal is swinging for a cause…

The 33-year-old Spanish tennis star was among some of tennis’ biggest names gathered in Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday to raise funds for Australia’s ongoing bushfire crisis.

Rafael Nadal Rally for Relief

Raising nearly 5 million Australian dollars ($3.5 million), Nadal, Serena WilliamsNovak DjokovicRoger FedererCaroline Wozniacki and a number of up-and-coming stars at the Rally for Relief gave the capacity crowd of more than 15,000 fans the opportunity to see the lighter side of the competitive sport.

Nadal and the gang volunteered their time for the cause. On several occasions, volunteer fire personnel took to the court to play against the tennis stars.

Australian’s Nick Kyrgiosplayed a role in kick-starting the wave of relief. His Twitterpledge of $200 per ace throughout the Australian summer inspired colleagues into action, prompting Tennis Australiato announce the Rally for Relief evening.

During the event, Federerand Nadal announced they’d contribute 250,000 Australian dollars to the cause.

Kyrgios said he “got goose bumps” when the figure was announced after his one-set match with Federer on the night.

“It’s been an emotional couple of weeks. I just wanted to send a message. … I was eating dinner and wrote a tweet … and it kind of exploded,” he said on court after the event. “When I was back home in Canberra, I couldn’t even go outside [due to the smoke].”

Federer said he and other players were only too happy to help out a nation in which he spends nearly one month of the year.

“It’s been hard to watch,” Federer said. “As you get it through the news, you don’t know how bad it is, but then you get here and speak to the people affected, it’s difficult. I’m always happy to help and lend my money and do my fair share.”

Rafael Nadal to Take Part in ‘Rally for Relief’ Charity Event to Raise Funds for Australian Bushfire Relief

Rafael Nadalis ready to swing his racquet for a good cause…

The 33-year-old Spanish professional tennis player, currently ranked No. 1 in the world, will take part in a charity event ahead of the Australian Open that will have a new air quality policy as organizers grapple with issues related to the bushfire crisis.

Rafael Nadal

Tennis Australia chief Craig Tiley announced on Wednesday that the Rally for Relief will be held onRod Laver Arena on the evening of January 15 with proceeds going to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal.

Nadal will take part alongside Roger FedererSerena WilliamsNick KyrgiosNaomi OsakaCaroline Wozniaki and Stefanos Tsitsipas.

“For a period of about two-and-a-half hours we’re going to be showcasing the game, but also coming together as a community to play our part in the relief effort,” Tiley said

“I’m really proud of the playing group because the number of calls and emails I’ve got with everyone stepping forward and either giving money or making themselves available.

“The format is going to be pretty cool … it’s going to be a combination of fun and seriousness.

“We’ll see some doubles, we’ll see some singles, some target hitting and opportunities to raise more money on the night.

“We’ll see the players having a lot of fun.”

Tickets are available from Ticketmaster with all proceeds going to bushfire disaster relief charities.

Tiley also confirmed the Open will go ahead as scheduled with an air quality policy in place after concerns had been raised about the potential for smoke from bushfires burning in Victoria’s east to affect the health of players and fans.

“This is a new experience for not only us but across the world in this sport,” Tiley said.

“But we lead the world with the extreme heat policy and we expect to do the same around air quality.

“We do have three stadiums with roofs so play will always continue.

“But what will be new is that we will have some real-time (air quality) monitoring on-site … and we’ll use that analysis to make some decisions around the safety and well-being of players and fans.

“… I think the players understand that this is not something that we can do anything about and they’ve been gracious and very cooperative.

“They want to play.”

Jennifer Lopez Named GQ’s “Icon of the Year” & Graces the Magazine’s Men of the Year Issue Cover

There’s no doubt Jennifer Lopezis an icon… And now she’s been officially granted the title.

The 50-year-old Puerto Rican superstar graces the cover of GQ’s Men of the Year issue on and has been honored as the magazine’s Icon of the Year

“As a movie icon, a global pop icon, and an internet-melting fashion icon, nobody owned 2019 quite like Jennifer Lopez,” reads the cover story on Lopez, who has earned Oscar buzz this year for her performance in Hustlers.

Lopez, who has continues her music career with new music in 2019, will co-headline the Super Bowl Halftime Show with Shakira in February.

J.Lois the eighth woman to be featured on the cover of GQ’s Men of the Year issue. She joins a roster of women that includes Serena Williams,Gal GadotShailene WoodleyRihanna, Mila KunisScarlett Johansson and Jennifer Aniston.

The Hustlers star spoke with Jessica Pressler, the New York magazine writer who wrote the original story that Hustlersis based on, about her prolific career.

“There is no reason to ever be ashamed of where you’re at. Not when you’re doing your best. Not when you’re in your best moment,” Lopez told Pressler. “There’s always gonna be people to tell you no. Or ‘You can’t.’ Or ‘You shouldn’t.’ It’s gonna happen. No matter what anybody says, you just have to still be like, ‘I’m still doing this. I’m still gonna succeed. I’m still gonna do my best.’ Defy the odds. Why not?”