Novak Djokovic said on Saturday that the ‘Big Three’ — himself, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal — were organising aid for lower-ranked players who have no income while the sport is suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.“The majority of the players who are ranked between 200, 250 in the world, and the 700th or 1,000th do not have federation support, do not have sponsors. They are completely independent and left alone,” Djokovic said in an Instagram chat with friend and rival Stan Wawrinka.“Guys who are ranked between 200-250, especially to 700… are thinking of leaving tennis right now.”But world number 43 Millman said lower-ranked players should have been paid better in the past.“If the concern is to help players ranked 250-700 in the world why has it taken a global pandemic to realise this?” he tweeted Sunday.“Surely over the many years of top end heavy prizemoney increases we maybe should have maybe distributed the spread a little more…”Brisbane-based Millman, Australia’s number three, said the “unfairness of the lower tours” meant he had always been “uncomfortable” with the “top end heavy sport”.“(I’ve) often referenced the struggle…because I’ve properly lived through the lower levels,” he tweeted.Djokovic said players, the ATP and the four Grand Slams “would all get together and will contribute to a player relief fund that ATP will distribute”.He estimated that between $3 million and $4.5 million could be distributed through the scheme.
LOS ANGELES — If things had worked out differently, Ben Olson might be playing against Utah in the last game of this season rather than the first.However, the 6-foot-5, 225-pound highly touted quarterback will lead the UCLA Bruins against the Utes on Saturday at 5 p.m. MDT at the famed Rose Bowl in the season opener for both teams.Olson was a big deal four years ago, spending a year at BYU after being the top prep recruit in the nation the year before.Soon after the 2002 season ended, Olson left on an LDS mission to Canada. But instead of returning to BYU, where he could possibly be the starter now, Olson transferred to UCLA, where he’ll make his first college start against the Utes in front of a crowd of 70,000-plus.The affable Olson said he is happy with his decision to move to UCLA and claims he has no hard feelings toward BYU. He’s just excited to be making his college debut Saturday afternoon.”Things have been going really well,” he said. “I’ve been preparing myself to be the starter since last year. I’m looking forward to playing Utah.”When he came out of Thousand Oaks, Calif., as the top quarterback recruit in the country and enrolled at BYU, Olson could have gone anywhere he wanted. Everyone was after his services, and after narrowing his choices to Michigan, Tennessee, USC, UCLA and BYU, he decided on BYU.”I felt that was the place for me to go at the time,” Olson said. “They were 12-2, No. 1 in the nation in offense and I’d grown up watching BYU.”Olson came within an eyelash of playing in 2002 and losing a year of eligibility and, who knows, perhaps continuing his career in Provo if he’d finished the season at QB.The Cougars went up to Utah State in early October and fell behind 34-7 at halftime. BYU coaches decided at the half they would let starter Bret Engemann play one more series and then give their freshman a try if things didn’t improve.However, Engemann promptly led his team on a touchdown drive and stayed in the rest of the half as the Cougars rallied to a 35-34 victory. Olson stayed on the bench that night and for the rest of the year. But he harbors no hard feelings toward his former school.”I loved it,” Olson said of his time at BYU. “I have nothing but good things to say about BYU. It’s a great place, a great school.”So why did he leave Provo?Olson said the coaching change had something to do with his decision — Gary Crowton being replaced by Bronco Mendenhall — but that wasn’t the main factor.”I tried to re-evaluate when I came back from my mission,” Olson said. “I grew up watching UCLA and decided UCLA was the place for me.”While he points out that he played in two games last year, throwing four passes, Olson acknowledges, “it’s been awhile” since he played a full season.It was 2001 to be exact, when Olson threw for 2,989 yards and 32 touchdowns for Thousand Oaks High, where he was the CIF IV Offensive Player of the Year, a first-team USA Today all-American and the No. 1-rated prep player in the country.After his redshirt season at BYU, Olson left on his mission, which he calls “such a rewarding experience. I’ll never regret that decision for the rest of my life.”He said he never thought about football on his mission and it wasn’t until returning in November 2004 that he decided to transfer.Last year, as a freshman in Westwood, Olson was battling senior Drew Olson (no relation) for the starting job when a small fracture in his throwing hand sidelined him for the first month of the season. He only played in two games against Oregon State and Arizona, where he completed two of four passes for 11 yards.The big left-hander could surpass those numbers on his first series or at least by the end of the first quarter of Saturday’s game. Olson is eager to perform in the Bruins’ offense.”We’re going to have a pretty balanced attack,” he said. “We’re using the West Coast offense, which is multi-dimensional with a variety of looks.”As for Utah, Olson is expecting a tough game. “We know they’re a well-coached team and they like to bring a lot of pressure,” he said. “We’re not underestimating them in any sense. They’re a very solid team and we have a lot of respect for them.” E-mail: email@example.com
Despite reports of slow growth in Costa Rica’sbusiness sector, those operating under the franchising regime grew by 12.7 percent in 2014, according to the National Franchise Center (CENAF), part of the Costa Rican Chamber of Commerce.A total of 34 new franchises launched operations this year, 22 of them representing international brands. Another 12 are Costa Rican businesses.CENAF currently lists a total of 267 franchises, 34 more than those registered in 2013. Of these, 211 are international and 56 are local.“The franchise sector in the country is estimated to have generated 27,634 direct jobs,” CENAF Projects Manager Susana Chaves Araya said.This week, two international franchisees reported new investment in the country. Coffee giant Starbucks on Monday opened its fifth location in Costa Rica, while U.S. pizza chain Little Caesars on Friday will open its first restaurant here.American Franchise Corporation, owners of Starbucks Costa Rica, on Monday opened a new location west of San José, across the street from the National Stadium in La Sabana Park.Starbucks Costa Rica Manager Mónica Bianchini said in a press release that the country has become an increasingly promising market for them, and the company plans to open three or four more locations in the Greater Metropolitan Area next year.The popular Seattle-based coffee chain began operations in Costa Rica in 2012. Currently they have two stores west of San José at malls Avenida Escazú and District 4, one north of the capital at Lincoln Plaza, and one at Plaza Freses, east of San José.Low-priced pizzaThe first location of U.S. pizza chain Little Caesars will open tomorrow at Paseo de las Flores Mall in the province of Heredia.The opening of this new franchise represents an investment of $500,000 for Danube Investments, a consortium of investors from Costa Rica, the U.S. and other Central American countries. They also operate Popeyes and Dairy Queen.The group said it would open a second location of Little Caesars in early 2015 at Zona Centro Mall in Desamparados, south of the capital, and they currently are “looking for new areas to expand the presence of Little Caesars in Costa Rica,” Marketing Manager Virya Navarro said.The chain is known for offering pizza at affordable prices. Prices here will start at ₡4,500 ($8.50) for a large pizza.At the opening on Friday, the restaurant will grant the first 50 customers a coupon valid for a weekly large pizza for one year.Little Caesars is the fourth largest pizza chain in the U.S. after Pizza Hut, Domino’s Pizza and Papa John’s. In the region the company also has a presence in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Panama. Facebook Comments Related posts:Another fast-food chain closes in Costa Rica Starbucks to sell Tico brand in Costa Rica store Starbucks opens second Costa Rica location on Thursday First Starbucks in Costa Rica opens in Escazú