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love of the game never diminished, a

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    November 23, 2018 10:15 PM PST

    Sue Alberti played Australian football as a girl, but around 15 years of age her father decided it was too dangerous for her. NHL Jerseys Outlet Store . In any event, she was quickly running out of places to play. It is a story that is all too familiar.Albertis love of the game never diminished, and she became a central figure within the push for more womens football. Success in business followed, and there is a story of her attending a womens game, learning the clubs finances were threadbare, and writing a cheque for $Aus250,000 on the spot. Needless to say, the players and staff were stunned; like so many they had belted their heads against the brick wall of indifference about womens footy for so long.She became vice-president of Western Bulldogs in the AFL, not to mention her roles as managing director of the Dansu Group, chair of her own medical research foundation, and director of various other organisations. It is for people such as Alberti for whom this weekend, devoid of AFL finals as the league trials a post-season bye, is important.Thats because Melbourne and the Bulldogs are playing an exhibition womens game at Whitten Oval on Saturday night that is the teaser before the AFLs brand new national womens league starts in March, 2017. The teams are not relevant -- both Melbourne and the Bulldogs have drawn in some of the best players from around the country in an all-star concept -- but the Demons and Dogs have been front-runners in the push for a national womens league.Channel Seven, the AFLs broadcast partner, is showing the game live and it will be live-streamed, too, which will provide another sample of the publics appetite for the womens game. Previous experience suggests there is substantial interest: When Seven showed last years exhibition game between the same teams it out-rated the Adelaide vs. Essendon AFL match shown the previous day, with about 300,000 viewers nationally. It was the first ever live broadcast of a womens match but certainly not the last.Within a few months, the likes of Alberti were at the MCG to hail the announcement of the new national league to start next year, including teams from Adelaide, Brisbane Lions, Carlton, Collingwood, Fremantle, Greater Western Sydney, Melbourne and Western Bulldogs. The AFL has the financial muscle to make it work, of course, and other sports with many women participants ought to be fearful; already there are indications of young, athletic women crossing over to the indigenous game. The fact there will be payment of players and in particular, two marquee players for each club, only adds to that feeling.Interestingly it is a fix done from the top, rather than beneath. The AFL is starting the project by building a high-level league for players to aspire to play in; yet surely there needs to be much work done at the grassroots to offer opportunities for players in the first place. This is a work in progress.But in a short time the momentum has gathered, and the likes of Daisy Pearce, Melbournes brilliant on-ball player, and Moana Hope, the champion full-forward from St Kilda Sharks who kicked more than a century of goals this season and recently signed to play with Collingwood in the national league, have grown profiles. The new league will only add to this.Fifty percent of AFL crowds are women and girls. Plainly the game has been loved by females for as long as it has been played. The formation of a high-end national league is not only welcome but overdue; frankly, it makes you wonder why it took so long to happen. Adidas NHL Jerseys Wholesale . Instead of dwelling on the negative, Oates focused on what was good about the clubs recent play. It worked. Cheap Adidas NHL Jerseys . The showiest items on Calgarys lot were forwards Mike Cammalleri and Lee Stempniak. Both will be unrestricted free agents this summer. . Collaros, 25, was solid last season, posting a 5-2 record as the starter while incumbent Ricky Ray was injured. Collaros also started Torontos 23-20 regular-season finale loss to Montreal — Ray didnt dress because the Argos had already clinched first in the East Division — but was one of three quarterbacks to play that day. Back in the early 1980s, Ernesto Escobedo Jr. dreamed of becoming a professional tennis player.But I did not have any talent, he explained last week from Las Vegas. No, no, no. I wasnt really a tennis player.As a teenager, he played events in Mexico and found his way to small-money tournaments in Holland, France, Italy and Spain. But after a few years of scuffling -- his career-high doubles ranking was No. 727 -- he returned to Mexico.I loved everything about tennis, he said, laughing. But when I hit 20, I started to realize it wasnt my future. I always had the feeling that I was going against the water, the ocean.In Mexico, where most of his family was, he met his future wife, Cristina. In 1986, they moved to Los Angeles, Ernesto Jr.s birthplace.A decade later, Ernesto III appeared, and although his father tried to steer him into team sports like soccer and basketball, he was happiest with a tennis racket in his hand. This made Ernesto Jr. very unhappy.He didnt want to me to go through what he did, Ernesto III said.The son hit against the wall at school, sometimes joined by his mother. Initially, Ernesto Jr., who drove a truck for UPS, stayed out of it. But when he saw those unnaturally fluid strokes, Ernesto IIIs precocious court sense, he eventually relented.The first tournament, at the age of 8, came at Pacific Palms in Industry Hills, California.I lost first round, Ernesto III said. But it was so much fun. I liked being out there and competing.Gradually, the fathers deferred dream came true -- for the son. And today, the son is succeeding primarily because of his father.On Oct. 15, when Ernesto III won the ATP World Tour Challenger event in Monterrey, Mexico, the first call was to his father.He cried, Ernesto III said. He said he was proud of me.That meant a lot.Escobedo, at 20, is one of the most dynamic young players in this country. Brad Gilbert, former coach of Andre Agassi and Andy Roddick (one of Escobedos idols growing up) sees him as a future top-50 player and maybe better.The title at Monterrey completed a spectacular 53-week cycle that saw his ATP ranking rise from No. 541 to a career-high No. 129. After reaching the semifinals a year ago in Monterrey, Escobedo ripped through the Challenger circuit, reaching the finals in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Cary, North Carolina, and winning in Lexington, Kentucky, beating highly regarded American teenager Francis Tiafoe in the final.At 6-foot-1, 180 pounds, Escobedo hits the ball big off both wings and, according to Gilbert, has a better serve than his modest body would suggest. Gilbert, however, describes his movement as average.When this was relayed to him, Escobedo started laughing.Im not the quickest guy on the court, he said. Its something for me to improve on. Ive been working hard for the past two months on the track with explosive weights, and thats been helping me a lot.Working hard is something he picked up from his father, who like Richard and Oracene Williams started his child on the public courts of southern California.Same thingg, Ernesto Jr. Cheap NHL Jerseys China. explained. I didnt want to get into tennis because I knew how hard it was. I had no resources, no money. So it was the parks, not the clubs. I started hitting with him and, little by little, we got hooked again.I told him then, If youre going to be good one day, its not going to because of the money.Ernesto Jr. cut his job back to part time so he could spend more time on court with his son. Like the Williams parents, he also avoided the conventional junior system, saying he wanted to keep the family together.He started playing Futures tournaments when he was 16, Ernesto Jr. said. When he reached a semifinal, we started practicing harder. My plan was for him to go to college, but he said he wanted to see if he could make it in the pros.He told me, A lot of players dont have this opportunity. I dont want to be regretting this for the rest of my life.I wasnt convinced.But his sons persistence -- and evident happiness -- changed his mind. Ernesto Jr. still wishes he was pursuing a college degree that he said was offered by USC, but hes seeing progress.A year ago when Ernesto III reached the semifinal in Monterrey, he wasnt ready.I couldnt focus at all, Escobedo said. It was too big of a stage for me, and my emotions got in the way.I learned a lot from that match. Ive matured a lot. Im much more comfortable in that situation.His goal is to be in the top 100 pretty soon, which would qualify him automatically into the main draws of Grand Slams. He said he is trying to be a more aggressive player, coming to net more often and serving and volleying. This isnt the conventional baseline style, but Escobedo isnt as big as some of the ATPs other #NextGen players, such fellow American?Taylor Fritz, with whom he shares coach Peter Lucassen, or Alexander Zverev of Germany.This weeks Las Vegas Challenger, where he won his first-round match, was his 28th event in a jammed calendar that included a good mix of Futures, Challengers and ATP tournaments. He won his first ATP-level match after qualifying in Nottingham back in June, beating Diego Schwartzman. Escobedo, a wild card at the US Open, split four sets with Lukas Lacko before winning by retirement. Escobedo will finish up with Challengers in Ecuador and Colombia.With the help of the USTA, Escobedo is getting coaching and support as he travels the world and learns the nuances of the game. His father still insists he play hard and exhibit good body language.Understandably, because of his personal experience, he is cautious.You cant get ahead of yourself, Escobedo Jr. said, speaking more of his son than himself. Im trying not to get too excited. We dont know what lies ahead, two, three years.But, Ive already done my part.What was it like to hear that his son had won an important tournament?Doing what I dreamed of, he said, voice trailing off. Its a beautiful feeling. Beautiful. 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