Serena edges top seed Halep to reach quarters

first_imgSerena Williams staved off a spectacular fightback from world number one Simona Halep to win 6-1 4-6 6-4 and reach the quarter-finals of the Australian Open on Monday.Halep broke Williams’ serve in the first game but that was the only one she managed for the rest of the opening set as the 23-time Grand Slam champion bulldozed her way through the set in 20 minutes, serving it out with an ace.French Open champion Halep fought back in the second set to level the match after breaking Williams a second time before the seven-time Australian Open champion got the crucial break in the seventh game of the decider and sealed the match in an hour and 47 minutes.For a place in the semi-finals, Williams will meet Czech seventh seed Karolina Pliskova, who thrashed twice Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza 6-3 6-1 earlier on Monday.last_img read more

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Uneven Recovery Continues with Home Price Acceleration in May

center_img FNC Home Prices Residential Price Index 2014-07-22 Krista Franks Brock While home prices continue to decelerate on an annual basis after reaching peak speed in February, price gains did pick up slightly from April to May, according to FNC’s latest price index.After rising 0.6 percent over the month in both March and April, national home prices rose 1 percent in May, according to FNC’s data, which excludes the sales of distressed properties.On the other hand, the national annual price gain in May was 8.2 percent, down from 8.5 percent in April and 9.2 percent in March.Among the large metros in FNC’s 30-MSA composite, the fastest annual price appreciation took place in Sacramento (24.0 percent), Riverside, California (22.2 percent), and Miami (20.6 percent).Cincinnati (-0.2 percent), Cleveland (-2.5 percent), and St. Louis (-2.8 percent) registered annual price declines in May, according to FNC.In fact, these three metros, along with Columbus, Ohio, “have not shown any measurable improvements since housing began to recover in the past two and half years,” FNC stated in a press release.St. Louis has shown the smallest improvement, with a price gain of just 1.1 percent since the start of the housing recovery, according to FNC. Price gains in the other three cities range from about 4 to about 6 percent.At the other end of the spectrum, Phoenix’s home prices have risen 58.7 percent since the start of the housing recovery. Sacramento (53.8 percent), Las Vegas (49.5 percent), and San Francisco (48.0 percent) also fall in line at the top of the list of recovering markets.FNC observed “a widening gap in the state of housing recovery nationwide.”In general home prices in the 30 large metros “show[ed] sizable month-to-month price gains” in May, according to FNC, which recorded price increases of at least 2 percent in New York, Washington D.C., Miami, Riverside, and Sacramento.However, Dallas (-1.4 percent) and Nashville (-2.3 percent) posted price declines over the month. FNC chalks these surprising declines up to “short-term volatility in the data,” stating, “there are no obvious signs of weakening housing fundamentals in those cities.”last_img read more

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