View comments Almazan vows to comeback stronger after finals heartbreak Zverev was trailing Chung 2-6, 1-4 on the first day when he retired. His fine of $45,000 nearly equals his first-round prize money of 60,000 Australian dollars ($47,900).Zverev’s fine was the largest ever assessed to a player for an on-site Grand Slam offense, although other players have been fined larger amounts following a major tournament.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. NCAA volleyball: Arellano storms back, survives Perpetual Newsome sets focus on helping Bolts open new PBA season on right track Michael Porter Jr. stays patient as playing time increases He checked all those boxes on Rod Laver Arena, setting himself up for a match against either top-ranked Rafael Nadal or No. 6 Marin Cilic for a spot in the final of the season’s first Grand Slam.After breaking Dimitrov’s serve in the ninth game of the fourth set, Edmund set up match point with an ace. Then he had to wait before a video challenge confirmed that Dimitrov’s last shot — a floating backhand — was out.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk“I just held my nerve in that last game and prayed that last ball would be out,” Edmund said. It was out, and so was Dimitrov, who lost a thrilling five-set semifinal here last year to Nadal and had only just beaten Edmund two weeks ago at the Brisbane International.“When you’re on these types of stages, reaching the last stages of the best tournaments in the world, it’s very pleasing. But of course I want to keep going,” Edmund said. Murray reached five Australian Open finals, but has never won the title at Melbourne Park. He’s missing the season-opening major this year after deciding to have surgery on his hip. That leaves Edmund as the center of attention for the tennis-loving British public.“I know what it feels like to be Andy Murray the last eight years,” he said. “It’s probably the first time I’ve done well on my own, so there’s more attention there. Of course you take it in stride.”Elise Mertens is the center of attention in Belgium after reaching the semifinals in her debut at the Australian Open.Mertens upset fourth-seeded Elina Svitolina 6-4, 6-0 to extend her winning streak to 10 matches, and became the first Belgian since Kim Clijsters in 2012 to reach the semifinals here.“If you believe in yourself, then anything can happen,” she said. “But of course semis is, ‘Wow.’”ADVERTISEMENT Nonito Donaire vs Naoya Inoue is BWAA 2019 Fight of the Year OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov falls during his quarterfinal against Britain’s Kyle Edmund at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)MELBOURNE, Australia — There’ll be a British man in the Australian Open semifinals for the seventh time in nine years. This time it’ll be Kyle Edmund, not Andy Murray.Edmund upset No. 3-ranked Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 on Tuesday to reach the semifinals for the first time. Edmund had never played in a major quarterfinal, had never won five consecutive matches at tour level, had lost both of his previous matches against Dimitrov and had never beaten a top five player.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Mertens, who trains at Clijsters’ academy, added: “Kim, thanks for watching, I knew you sent me a message before the match — don’t be too stressy.”“I’m trying to be in your footsteps this week.”Mertens, who was coming off a successful title defense at the Hobart International, dominated against Svitolina, who had also been on a nine-match winning roll after winning the Brisbane International.Svitolina had won their only previous tour-level match, but had no answers on Rod Laver Arena and later said hip trouble had been bothering her all year.“She played great from the beginning of the year,” Svitolina said. “But, you know, when I give her opportunities to play and to play a good level, then of course she’s going to play. She’s going to go for shots.“Now she’s in semifinal. Now she’s not just a player that’s up and down. She’s quite consistent, and we can see this.”The 22-year-old Mertens was one of the biggest movers on the women’s tour in 2017 as she improved her year-end ranking from 120 to 35 and won her first career title.In the semis, she’ll play either second-seeded Caroline Wozniacki or Carla Suarez Navarro.In other news, No 32-seeded Mischa Zverev was fined $45,000 for a poor performance in his first-round match against Hyeon Chung.Zverev was punished under a new rule implemented by the Grand Slam Board in the off-season intended to deter players with pre-existing injuries to start a tournament and retired from their first-round matches. 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…after Cabinet instructs $$$ be handed over to NDIAThe Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) administration has taken a decision to write Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan on its disappointment by moves by the Agriculture Ministry to have the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) take over the agriculture budget for that region.Regional Chairman David ArmoganThe decision was made at a special sitting of the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) on Wednesday.Regional Chairman David Armogan told the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) that it was a Cabinet decision to have the $114 million from the capital budget transferred to the NDIA.The Region has a capital budget of $221 million for agriculture and of that amount $106 million will be spent to purchase a bulldozer.Armogan also noted that a further $108 million, which represents the current budget, is also to be transferred to the NDIA. The entire agriculture budget for the region is $370 million.He said the administration was informed by a letter from the NDIA of the situation. However, there was no memorandum from Cabinet.Councillor Zamal HussainHe explained that the Region has 18 Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) and many could not adequately provide all the needed services for residents and as such, the regional administration would include in its budget projects for those NDCs.“These works would have entailed the continuation of the primary drainage system as well as the sluices and other structures that are related to drainage and irrigation. So it is not only clearing of the primary system, it also has to do with sluices…”Armogan also noted that the regional administration has responsibility for drainage and irrigation, outside the declared NDIA cultivation areas.No consultationAddressing the issue, Councillor Zamal Hussain argued that there was no consultation with the RDC on the issue nor was any approval given by the RDC for its budget to be handed over to the NDIA.“It (RDC) is the second-tier government of the governance of this country. It is being constituted by an election with voters from the Region. The people of this region have mandated the Regional Democratic Council to make decisions for them at any level. In any democracy, there should be respect for an elected council,” he noted.He said the NDIA has not been performing as expected in Region Six, adding that several pieces of equipment have been out of service for several months.“The mini-excavators – they have 12 and only one is working. The large excavators, they have six and most of them are down,” Hussain added.He said if the NDIA is allowed to have the regional agriculture budget, hundreds would lose their jobs. These, he added, are persons in the Region who work on the maintenance of canals utilising funds from the current budget.“It is a political move. The RDC needs to wake up and enforce the law.”Hussain added that the RDC would welcome the NDIA to monitor its work, but it must respect the RDC.Cabinet’s decisionAnother Councillor Haseef Yusuf, weighing in on the issue, pointed out that the National Budget was approved in December 2018 and questioned when Cabinet made such a decision, noting that such a decision was in violation of Article 9 of the Constitution.He also quoted President David Granger, who at the National Congress of Local Democratic Organs in July 2018, said that RDCs and NDCs were bound by the Constitution to provide certain services, which include drainage and irrigation.He called on Cabinet to withdraw its decision.“They are trying to hijack the sovereignty of the people of Region Six,” he said.Prime Minister Regional Representative Gobin Harbhajan, in his capacity as a Regional Councillor, told the RDC that he communicated with the Agriculture Minister and the Head of the NDIA, Frederick Flatts prior to the meeting.He said he was told by Flatts that there was a consultation in the Region with the Regional Executive Officer (REO).“I don’t know how it was done … Minister told me that a committee was set up headed by the Minister of Communities, the Minister of Public Works and (Agriculture) Minister (Noel) Holder.”He said the committee came up with two proposals – 1) to have the RDC take care of the entire D&I system or 2) to have the NDIA and Central Government handle the regional D&I system.Both proposals Harbhajan said were presented to Cabinet.Vice Chairman Dennis DeRoop explained that in 2018, the NDIA was unable to give the two Water Users Associations their subventions and as such, it was the RDC that had to chip in.He also noted that the NDIA did not clear any of the three outfall channels along the Corentyne Coast last year, forcing the Region to utilise its savings to undertake that project.Following the debate, a decision was then taken to first pen a letter to the Communities Minister. The RDC has also agreed to write the Agriculture Minister on the issue.