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Archive for January 20th, 2010|Daily archive page

Australian Open: Giantkiller Kirilenko marches on

In Vietnam Sports on January 20, 2010 at 10:44 am

Maria Kirilenko plays a backhand return during her women’s singles match against Austrian opponent Yvonne Meusberger on the third day of play at the Australian Open in Melbourne on January 20, 2010 (AFP photo)

MELBOURNE, Jan 20, 2010 (AFP) – Russian giantkiller Maria Kirilenko, who ended Maria Sharapova’s Australian Open, continued her winning ways by beating Austria’s Yvonne Meusburger in the second round Wednesday.

The glamorous world number 58 had her hands full with the cagey and experienced Austrian, but the 6-3, 6-1 win put her within sight of equalling her best ever Grand Slam performance.

The 22-year-old, who has been as high as 18th in the world, reached the fourth round here in 2008, and faces either 63rd-ranked Italian Roberta Vinci or 79th-ranked American Vania King next up.

Speaking after the win, Kirilenko said it was hard to compare her form against Meusburger with that against Sharapova on Monday, when she won a marathon three set match.

However, with last year’s knee problems behind her, Kirilenko’s confidence is on the rise.

“I am playing good tennis now,” she said. “I feel physically ready to play three sets like I did against Maria.

“I am just trying to do my best and take it step by step.”

Although the scoreline suggested an easy win for the Russian, the match lasted one hour and 40 minutes, and there were some long games as the Austrian defended stoutly.

“I can’t say the game was easy for me,” she said.

“The score is easy, but it was quite a long match, two sets and almost two hours.

“It was a very difficult match and I have to fight for every point, she always gets the ball back.”

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Nadal, Clijsters march on in Melbourne

In Vietnam Sports on January 20, 2010 at 10:43 am

MELBOURNE, Jan 20, 2010 (AFP) – Defending champion Rafael Nadal pounded his way into the Australian Open third round on Wednesday alongside Kim Clijsters who showed nerves of steel to come through a tough test.

Nadal of Spain hits a return against Peter Luczak of Australia in their men’s singles first round match on day one of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 18, 2010. AFP photo)

Other top names also showed their mettle including Andy Roddick and Svetlana Kuznetsova, while Caroline Wozniacki and Victoria Azarenka made the second round as rain-delayed matches held over from Tuesday were cleared.

Spanish second seed Nadal was in rip-roaring form as he smashed hapless Slovak Lukas Lacko 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 to stay on track for a potential quarter-final against Andy Murray, who plays later.

Clijsters found the going harder.

She only conceded four games against her first round oppenent but she was given a more thorough examination by Thai veteran Tamarine Tanasugarn.

The 26-year-old Belgian, who won the lead-up Brisbane International, eventually triumphed 6-3, 6-3, but it was harder than the score suggested for the 15th seed, now back full time after a break to start a family.

Her serve was broken in each set before she dug deep to dispose of the Thai, playing in her 51st Grand Slam.

“Physically, I feel good,” she said.

“I feel like I’m good enough on the day to beat my opponents. It’s not with my best tennis yet, but hopefully I can save that when it’s really necessary.”

Clijsters could meet fellow comeback queen Justine Henin in the quarter-finals, although Henin has a major hurdle to clear in fifth seed Elena Dementieva on Rod Laver Arena later Wednesday.

Unlike the high-profile Clijsters and Henin, Russian third seed Kuznetsova is flying under the radar and looked impressive in her 6-2, 6-2 defeat of countrywoman Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

The French Open champion, whose best effort here has been the quarter-finals, said she had prepared well in the off-season and was ready to make an impact.

“I think I’ve done a good pre-season, I’ve worked hard and I’ve enjoyed it,” she said.

“I mean, I’m feeling good. I worked on new things.”

Fourth seed Wozniacki downed Canada’s Aleksandra Wozniak 6-4, 6-2 to get her campaign off to a winning start.

The Dane, who enjoyed a breakthrough year in 2009, winning three titles and finishing runner-up to Clijsters at the US Open, edged a tight first set but overpowered her opponent in the second.

“I had a tough opponent, so I was really happy to get through,” she said.

“I was feeling confident on the court and comfortable.”

“I’m really happy about the way things are going and I’ve been practising hard, so I’m really pleased about the way I’m playing.”

Belarussian seventh seed Victoria Azarenka blasted her way into the second round by crushing France’s Stephanie Cohen-Aloro 6-2, 6-0, while China’s 16th seed Li coasted past New Zealand’s Marina Erakovic in straight sets.

Ninth-seeded Russian Vera Zvonareva also pushed on deeper into the tournament, sending Slovakia’s Kristina Kucova packing 6-2, 6-0.

Maria Sharapova remains the highest profile casualty on the women’s side and her Russian conqueror Maria Kirilenko marched into the third round with a 6-3, 6-1 romp against Austria’s Yvonne Meusburger.

In the men’s draw, Roddick ranted at the umpire after completing a straight sets win over Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci.

The American seventh seed had just served out a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win when he continued to argue over a Hawk Eye video review decision which narrowly went against him on the first of his two match points.

Elsewhere, 11th seed Fernando Gonzalez was the first man into the third round with his 6-3, 6-4, 7-5 win over Turkey’s Marsel Ilhan.

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66 technologies win national creativity prize

In Vietnam Science on January 20, 2010 at 10:43 am

The Vietnam Fund for Supporting Technological Creations honored 66 winners of its 10th competition for technical creativity at a function held at the Hanoi Opera House January 19.

The awards ceremony for the 10th technical creativity competition was held at Hanoi’s Opera House January 19.

It gave away six first prizes and 12 second, 18 third, and 30 consolation prizes. The first-prize winners also received certificates of merit awarded by the Prime Minister’s Office.
A total of 441 scientific works were entered in this year’s competition in six areas — information technology-electronics-telecommunications; agriculture-forestry-fisheries-environmental resources; material-chemical-energy; automation -construction-transport; medicine; and education.
At the ceremony, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) also conferred awards on two individuals and a group for their research in industrial production.
Dr. Francis Gurry, the WIPO’s visiting general director, gave away the awards.
At a meeting the same day he told Permanent Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung that Vietnam, with its growth rate, would see a boom in intellectual property as a result of local demand and foreign investment.
So it is necessary to improve its IP-related agencies, he said.

IP has made important contributions to the country’s socioeconomic development, he said.

Vietnam has rightly assessed the importance of protecting IP and made successful efforts in this regard, he said, adding he valued the country’s cooperation with the WIPO.

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Local textile, garment firms cooperate to boost expansion

In Vietnam Economy on January 20, 2010 at 10:42 am

Domestic textile and garment enterprises are joining forces to expand distribution channels and retail store chains in the local market. The move is also aimed at easing the financial burden of renting space to do business as well as coping with global competition pressure by multi-national groups.

Customers choose new designs of Gia Dinh Textile and Garment Corporation (Giditex) and Saigon 2 Garment Joint-Stock Company at their retail store.

The cost of renting shop space has increased at a dizzying pace in Vietnam, with rates now up to US$800-3,000 per month. High rental fees have been one of the main obstacles faced by textile and garment companies in expanding their retail systems.

In the past, only large-scale companies have been able to afford the rates.

According to Ms. Duong Thi Ngoc Dung, director-general of the Nha Be Garment Company, large amounts of money must also be spent on brand name development. Therefore, it has been hard for smaller firms to promote local fashion, she said.

The Nha Be Garment Company has now invested more than VND20 billion (US$1 million) to build and develop its new “NBC” brand name, and expand its distribution channel and retail stores nationwide.

Meanwhile, the Gia Dinh Textile and Garment Corporation (Giditex) and Saigon 2 Garment Joint-Stock Company with its Gidini and Sanding brands, recently joined forces to open new retail stores.

Cooperating with other firms also helps enterprises offer customers a variety of goods with diversified designs for all ages, said Mr. Nguyen Huu Toan, director of the Saigon 2 Garment Joint-Stock Company.

Giditex has plans to collaborate with other garment enterprises like the Phong Phu Corporation and Saigon Garment Manufacturing Trade Joint Stock Company (Garmex Saigon) to open more stores. The merge will target consumers more effectively and directly, added Mr. Le Dong Trieu, director-general of Giditex.

The Vietnamese fashion industry is currently struggling against competitors from China, Thailand and Korea. The ASEAN-China Free Trade Area (ACFTA) began operations January 1 to evaluate and propose solutions for economic cooperation, investment and commercial exchange between China and ASEAN members in the near future.

Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar are set to join the ACFTA in 2015. Domestic garment companies will thus have five more years to promote their fashion products in local markets.

Experts say the countries should focus on four areas including design, marketing, production, and establishing a distribution network.

After building prestigious brands, Vietnamese businesses will stand to earn more money for every unit of clothing sold to exporters. Currently local businesses earn just a few cents per unit while foreign companies purchase inexpensive local products and then mark them up substantially under famous brand names.

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