Murray, Kerber start Australian Open at top

first_imgIt’s new and exciting for Andy Murray and Angelique Kerber, entering a Grand Slam tournament with the No. 1 in front of their names.Both reached the top of the rankings for the first time near the end of 2016, ending long reigns by Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams.And so they’ll open their Australian Open campaigns on Rod Laver Arena on day one – both against Ukrainians.Murray, a five-time runner-up, opens his pursuit of a first Australian title against Illya Marchenko in the last-day match on the main show court. Kerber opens the night session against Lesia Tsurenko. She’ll be followed on court by Roger Federer, who is returning from six months on the sidelines.The ‘one-round-at-a-time’ clichÈ is well worn in tennis. For Kerber, though, it’s pertinent. Seeded seventh last year, the left-handed German had to save a match point in the first round against Misaki Doi. Spurred on by that, she went on to beat Serena Williams in the final and claim her first Grand Slam title. She added a second major at the US Open and ascended to the No. 1 ranking.”I think this point where I was match point down, that was the important point for my career,” Kerber said yesterday, speaking of her first-round escape against Doi. “You never know (if) I lost the match, what would have happened.”WITHOUT PRESSUREIt gave her the freedom to play without pressure, and that made all the difference.”When I’m looking back, I was feeling that I got a second chance to stay in the tournament,” she said. “I was playing since then without expectation … just enjoying everything.”Kerber can hang on to the top ranking by reaching to the final here, but she’s already feeling there’s more to defend than her title.”It’s a new challenge for me, for sure,” she said, but we are starting from zero here. I have to be ready from the first round again.”I will try to not put too much expectation and pressure on myself. I mean, I will try to do it like last year – that was the way I had my success.”Record-chasing, six-time champions Djokovic and Williams, seeded No. 2 and anchoring the bottom half of the men’s and women’s draws, won’t be in action until day two. Djokovic is aiming to be the first man to win seven Australian titles. Serena Williams is chasing an Open-era record 23rd major title.last_img read more

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The Macabre Connection Between Jimi Hendrix Judy Garland and Winston Churchill

first_imgDesmond Charles Henley O.B.E., was a remarkable man.  After finishing school, he went to work for James H. Kenyon, Ltd., funeral directors, in 1941, part way through WWII, according to the blog at Safe Hands. The Kenyon firm, established in 1880 in London, was the undertaker to the British royal family and in that capacity had been involved over the years in a number of royal funerals.Henley worked there for several years before passing his theoretical and practical embalming examinations in 1948, according to his son, Christopher.Mary in tiara and gown wearing a choker necklace and a string of pearls.In 1952, just a few years after becoming fully qualified, Henley proved himself through his work and was named Kenyon’s chief embalmer.That same year, he carried out the embalming of King George VI at Sandringham House, in Norfolk. He presided over Queen Mary’s just a year later. This was the beginning of a 51-year career, which carried Henley to some unusual places.King George VI of England.In addition to preparing bodies for burial in England, Desmond Henley also trained in disaster management and was the head of Kenyon’s emergency services mortuary team. He often worked across international lines, beginning in 1952, when he was sent to Nigeria to repatriate the bodies of two people who were part of the Kano air disaster.Over the course of his career, especially in the ‘60s and ‘70s, he worked a great deal performing embalmings in various countries in Africa and the Middle East, including Bahrain, Qatar, Melawi, and Saudi Arabia, among others. Words you will NEVER hear the Royal Family sayHe also continued to repatriate bodies that had been in disasters such as the Kano disaster, the Zeebrugge ferry disaster in 1987, and the bombing in Lockerbie. Even after Henley stopped traveling so extensively for his work, he continued his efforts in an advisory capacity.Zeebrugge ferry disaster: MS Herald of Free Enterprise towed into the harbour at Vlissingen after salvage, May 1987. Photo by Archief Ranter CC BY-SA 1.0In recognition of his work in disaster recovery, he was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.) in 1997 “for services in the aftermath of disasters involving the loss of human life.”Embalming Kit. Photo by Concord CC BY-SA 3.0In addition to his disaster management work, Henley also was involved in some notable funerals. As well as performing the embalming for the King and Queen already mentioned, Henley embalmed Sir Winston Churchill in 1965.Winston Churchill giving his famous ‘V’ sign, May 1943.Churchill’s embalming was carried out in the same room where he died, and when it was complete, he was dressed in silk pajamas and his dressing gown and put back in his bed at home for some time before his body was taken by the Kenyon staff for the three days of public viewing prior to his funeral.Henley also was the embalmer for Sir Edward Mutesa II, in 1969. Mutesa was King of Buganda from 1939 until his death, as well as the first President of Uganda from 1963 to 1966, according to the New World Encyclopedia.Mutesa II of Buganda.When then-President of Uganda, Idi Amin, requested that Mutesa’s body be returned to Uganda for a state funeral in 1971, Desmond Henley was requested to accompany it, which he did.Aristotle Onassis asked Henley to come to Greece to embalm Onassis’ son, Alexander, in 1973.Publicity photo of Judy Garland.He also embalmed Judy Garland in 1969, Jimi Hendrix in 1970, Field Marshal Lord Montgomery in ’76, Earl Mountbatten of Burma in ’79, Bon Scott from the band AC/DC in ’80, and British singer/songwriter Billy Fury in ‘83.Jimi Hendrix in 1967. Photo by A. Vente CC BY-SA 3.0In the course of his career, Desmond Henley also became an Examiner for the British Institute of Embalmers in 1961 and was elected a fellow of that same institution in 1987. He continued his work both in England and abroad until he retired in 1992.Read another story from us:  Post-mortem photos were the only family portrait for some families in Victorian EnglandAfter his retirement, he helped his son, Christopher, form his own firm of undertakers specializing in repatriation and international work. Henley died in 2005, having left behind an impressive legacy both at home and abroad, contributing to his craft as a whole, and touching countless lives with his dedication and service.last_img read more

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