Djokovic hails ‘ wolf’ men­tor

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - LEO SCH­LINK

KATHER­INE Kirk drained a 12foot putt to save par on the clos­ing hole as she fired a 65 yes­ter­day to grab a four- shot lead af­ter the third round of the Thorn­berry Creek LPGA Clas­sic.

The 35- year- old Aus­tralian was at 20- un­der 196 as she aimed for her third ca­reer LPGA ti­tle in the fi­nal test be­fore next week’s US Women’s Open.

“I know I can putt well, but I think I’m like push­ing the lim­its right now,” said Kirk, who hasn’t won on the Tour since 2010. “It’s fun. I mean, I made, I think, a 19- footer on 17 and a 19- footer there for par. It’s un­ex­pected, but you cer­tainly take them when you can.”

Kirk, of Bris­bane, held a solid lead over South Africa’s Ash­leigh Buhai, who also shot a seven- un­der 65 in the third round.

Ja­pan’s Ayako Ue­hara and Jodi Ewart Shad­off of Eng­land were tied for third af­ter shoot­ing 65 and 66 re­spec­tively. Suzann Pet­tersen ( 66) and Cristie Kerr ( 67) head­lined a group of seven golfers at 12- un­der 204, eight shots be­hind Kirk.

Kirk was safely in the club­house with a sec­ond- round 63 be­fore storms halted play. AUS­TRALIAN women led the way on the sec­ond day of the Row­ing World Cup in Lucerne with a gold medal in the light­weight quadru­ple scull — and a World Cup record.

Amy James, Alice Arch, Ge­or­gia Miansarow and Ge­or­gia Nes­bitt beat Great Bri­tain and Ja­pan in their match- up as they raced off with the gold in a time of 6.26.32.

This broke the pre­vi­ous best World Cup mark set in 2008 by two sec­onds.

“It was a good race, we had a good start and then we held and lis­tened to the calls,” Miansarow said.

Aus­tralia’s sec­ond medal of the day came in the men’s coxed pair.

Ben Coombs, Nathan Bow­den and cox James Rook fin­ished be­hind Germany with Spain third.

“There was re­ally great com­mu­ni­ca­tion through the guys to­day,” said Rook. “We threw the kitchen sink at it and re­ally went for it.”

The Aus­tralians were hop­ing for more medals with crews in six fi­nals overnight. NO­VAK Djokovic calls him the Wolf Of Wall Street.

Un­like Jor­dan Belfort, the dis­graced for­mer stock­bro­ker famed by Leonardo DiCaprio, Mario An­cic is no fraud.

In fact, Djokovic be­lieves An­cic holds the key to a fourth Wim­ble­don crown af­ter lur­ing the for­mer Croat star away from his ca­reer as a lawyer in New York.

“Ever since Mario ended his ca­reer, he went a dif­fer­ent di­rec­tion, went into the fi­nan­cial world,” Djokovic said ahead of a fourth- round clash with Adrian Man­nar­ino. “He’s very suc­cess­ful. He’s very smart. “He was one of the very few play­ers and ath­letes, as a mat­ter of fact, that have been suc­cess­ful and dur­ing their ac­tive ca­reer stud­ied, which is not an easy thing.

“So I al­ways had that ad­mi­ra­tion, re­spect for him, but mostly that friend­ship that we car­ried on even af­ter his ca­reer ended.

“We were al­ways in touch, seen each other while I was in New York.

“I asked him if he would like to spend a time with Andre ( Agassi) and I dur­ing Wim­ble­don. So he ac­cepted.”

Since hook­ing up with Agassi and Djokovic, 2004 Wim­ble­don semi- fi­nal­ist An­cic has been cred­ited with re­build­ing Djokovic’s crum­bling self- be­lief.

“Mario has been my friend for very long time. I feel very re­laxed next to him,” he said.

Djokovic surged into the round of 16 with a 6- 4 6- 1 7- 6 ( 7- 2) dis­missal of Lat­vian Ernests Gulbis. He was joined by a string of no­ta­bles, in­clud­ing Roger Fed­erer, Mi­los Raonic, Grigor Dim­itrov, Do­minic Thiem, Alexan­der Zverev and To­mas Berdych.

VERY SMART: Ten­nis su­per­star No­vak Djokovic ( main) and for­mer star Mario An­cic ( in­set).

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