Ever-popular Roger Federer. Picture: AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa
Ever-popular Roger Federer. Picture: AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa

Summer of excitement is building


AUSTRALIA started the summer in awesome fashion belting of Pakistan at the Gabba.

The Aussies were superbly led with the bat by openers Joe Burns and David Warner but Queenslander Marcus Labuschagne really stole the Test with a career-defining 185.

The biggest surprise of the Test was the failure by Steve Smith with the bat. It shows that he is human and finally we can win a Test when he is dismissed cheaply.

Our bowlers also did a tremendous job with Hazlewood, Starc and Cummings all sharing in the wickets.

The Aussies start again today in the 2nd Test in Adelaide before welcoming New Zealand to our shores in December.

Fan favourite

ROGER Federer may be the Greatest of All Time but he sure knows how to play a crowd.

A recent exhibition game against Alexander Zverev in a Mexican bullring attracted a crowd of over 42,000. This attendance figure was the highest for a tennis match anywhere in the world. Federer proves that if you are a nice guy and have sublime skills then people will pay to come and watch you play.

For the record the figure was put at 42,517.

Suns set to shine

THE AFL draft has started and woodenspooners, the Gold Coast Suns, have had first pick of the talent on offer.

The Suns selected two players from the Oakleigh Chargers in Matt Rowell and Noah Anderson. They will be hoping they can transit into the AFL quickly and help pull the Suns off the bottom of the ladder and become more competitive in season 2020.

The Suns also secured Gippsland Power product Sam Flanders with their third pick.

Quick thoughts

SAINTS: 1. Part-owners Geoff and Sue Corrigan, of Melbourne Cup winner Vow and Declare, for their kind donation of $50,000 to Dementia Australia. Now that’s the true Aussie Spirit.

2. He came to Australia to light up the NBL and that’s exactly what 18-year-old LeMelo Ball is doing with the Illawarra Hawks. No wonder he is tipped to go No 1 in the NBA draft next year.

3. The Ipswich Softball Association for their handling of Patriots Day at the One Mile fields last weekend. By all reports the day was a huge success with a heap of juniors getting some expert coaching.

Sinners: 1. Player agents in the NRL have turned the off-season into a joke by offering their clients to other clubs while still having a year to run on their current contracts. It’s about time the NRL put an end to this practice as the fans absolutely loathe seeing their current stars parading at other clubs.

2. The Brisbane Roar were coming off a great win against Melbourne City but couldn’t back it up against cellar-dwellers Wellington Phoenix. They must start getting consistent or the season will slowly slip away.

Did you know? 1. Edwin Flack was Australia’s sole athlete at the 1896 Olympics. He won two gold medals in the 800 metres and 1500 metres respectively.

2. Aussie John Davies was our only swimming gold medallist at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics. He later became an American citizen and was appointed a judge on the US District Court by Ronald Reagan.

3. Jacqueline Freney won an astonishing eight gold medals at the 2012 Summer Paralympics. Six of these were in individual events and two in team events.

Bomber’s best: My three EPL tips didn’t fare too well last week with only table topping-Liverpool tasting success.

This week I am at Ascot races and see a winner in Race 5. The horse is called Forceful.

With champion hoop William Pike aboard, Forceful should be saluting the judge in the Tatts Cup.