Confederations Cup: Russian coach names home-based squad for competition

Russia's coach Stanislav Cherchesov chose five players from newly-crowned champions Spartak Moscow for his Confederations Cup squad

Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov on Wednesday named an entirely home-based 23-man squad for the Confederations Cup, which the country will host from June 17.

Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov on Wednesday named an entirely home-based 23-man squad for the Confederations Cup, which the country will host from June 17.

Cherchesov chose five players from newly-crowned champions Spartak Moscow, although full back Roman Zobnin is not amongst them as he is sidelined with a knee injury sustained in Monday’s 3-0 friendly win over Hungary.

He has joined CSKA Moscow duo Mario Fernandes and Alan Dzagoev and Zenit St Petersburg striker Artem Dzyuba on the treatment table.

Russia, who are in Group A, will face New Zealand in the event-opening match in St Petersburg, European champions Portugal on June 21 in Moscow and Mexico on June 24 in Kazan.

World Cup holders Germany will clash with Australia, Cameroon and Chile in Group B.

Russian Squad

Goalkeepers: Igor Akinfeev (CSKA Moscow), Vladimir Gabulov (Arsenal Tula), Marinato Guilherme (Lokomotiv Moscow)

Defenders: Roman Shishkin (Krasnodar), Viktor Vasin (CSKA Moscow), Georgy Dzhikia, Ilya Kutepov (both Spartak Moscow), Fedor Kudryashov (Rostov), Ruslan Kambolov (Rubin Kazan)

Midfielders: Igor Smolnikov, Yury Zhirkov (both Zenit St Petersburg), Yury Gazinsky (Krasnodar), Denis Glushakov, Alexander Samedov, Dmitry Kombarov (all Spartak Moscow), Alexander Golovin (CSKA Moscow), Alexei Miranchuk, Dmitry Tarasov (both Lokomotiv Moscow), Alexander Yerokhin (Rostov)

Forwards: Dmitry Poloz, Alexander Bukharov (both Rostov), Fedor Smolov (Krasnodar), Maxim Kanunnikov (Rubin Kazan)

posted by ConnectMe

Strategy: ‘Prime is the gateway drug’: Amazon’s most puzzling move yet could be one of its most brilliant (AMZN)

Amazon is going after Walmart's shoppers.
Amazon's decision to go after low-income customers with a discounted Prime membership has puzzled some industry experts, but it could turn out to be a brilliant strategy.
Critics point out that shoppers on government assistance — which Amazon is targeting with its new discount — are generally less active online and have limited access to broadband internet, smartphones, and credit cards.
The discount slashes the cost of Amazon's monthly Prime membership nearly in half, to $5.99 a month, for customers who have an electronic benefit transfer card, which is used for government assistance like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as food stamps.
“These consumers have always indexed lower in online transactions, and their living circumstances are often not well-suited to package delivery, and many of these consumers don't have vehicles to drive to a location to pick up packages,” internet consultant Sucharita Mulpuru-Kodali told the Associated Press. “Of the long list of businesses that Amazon could target, this doesn't seem like the biggest one.”
But Amazon doesn't necessarily need a huge swell of lower-income shoppers to join Prime for the effort to pay off.
Even if Amazon gets a tiny fraction of these shoppers hooked on Prime, which offers free two-day shipping on millions of items, it could pay off in the long run because Prime customers are highly loyal, according to Doug Stephens, a retail-industry consultant.
“Prime is the gateway drug for the heroin that is Amazon,” Stephens told Business Insider. “If this can get new people into the Amazon ecosystem, it's very sticky.”
null

Prime customers spend 2.7 times more on Amazon than non-Prime members, according to Greg Melich, an analyst at research firm Evercore. And the service has an astonishingly high renewal rate of roughly 96% — meaning that's how many customers renew their memberships after paying for the service for two years.
Amazon has been highly effective in getting upper-income shoppers hooked on Prime.
The service claims 51% of US households, including more than 70% of upper-income households — those earning more than $112,000 a year — as members.
By comparison, customers qualifying for food stamps earn less than $15,444 a year.
Less than 25% of households making less than $25,000 subscribe to Amazon Prime, while 60% of consumers making the same income regularly shop Walmart.

But Amazon has nearly tapped out its penetration in upper-income markets, so it makes sense that it would be looking for other routes of growth.
About 20% of the US population receives government assistance, and most of those customers are loyal to Amazon's retail rival, Walmart.
Nearly $1 out of every $5 in SNAP benefits was spent at Walmart last year, according to Morningstar.
So Amazon's strategy of going after lower-income shoppers isn't only meant to tap into a new market — it's also meant to send a message to Walmart, which has been trying to lure Amazon's customers lately.
“Amazon is sending a message to Walmart saying, 'Ok you want to try and chase our core customer? Then we can play that game too,'” Stephens said.
posted by ConnectMe

Tech: Here’s where Amazon’s first 21 employees are now (AMZN)

An old photo of Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos.

Meet the people who built Amazon.

When Jeff Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie, started driving northwest from Texas in 1994, they were setting off on a journey to create one of the biggest e-commerce sites in the United States, based in Seattle.

Although they took that first long road trip alone, it didn’t take Bezos — with his grand vision and boisterous laugh — long to start pulling in talent.

Brad Stone’s book “The Everything Store” plus a conversation with early employees Tom Schonhoff and Mike Hanlon helped us figure out the names of some of Amazon’s first critical employees. (The first 10 employees are listed in the order they were hired, though the others are not. If you know someone else who was there in the earliest days, let us know).

Some early Amazon employees have since become entrepreneurs. Others went on to other major companies. A few are happily retired. Here’s what they’re all doing now, more than two decades after Amazon got its start.

Jillian D’Onfro contributed to an earlier version of this story.

Eric Benson and his wife, Susan, joined Amazon together.

Date worked for Amazon: 1996 — 2001

Most recent Amazon title: Engineer

What he’s doing now: Benson is now retired.

Benson joined the company as an engineer. He and Susan, his wife, would always bring their dog Rufus to work with them because of the long hours. The corgi fast became something of a fixture at the company.

One of the many things Benson worked on was the site’s “Similarities” system, which recommended books based on what users had already read. He completed the preliminary version in only two weeks.

The Bensons are still together today, living in Washington.

Date worked for Amazon: 1996 — 2001

What she’s doing now: Susan Benson served as a board member at Town Hall Seattle, a nonprofit devoted to arts and education, until 2016.

Benson was part of Amazon’s editorial staff (employees wrote all the first reviews) and she would eventually win the title of editor in chief. She told Stone that, in the early days, the assumption was that employees wouldn’t even take a weekend day off of work.

She and the rest of the editorial team were responsible for crafting witty messages for site visitors, recommending new products that they might be interested in, a job that became nearly obsolete when Amazon built an algorithm called Amabot that automatically generated recommendations in a standard format.

According to Amazon’s first employee, Shel Kaphan, Benson was the one who got Amazon on Netscape’s “What’s New’ and “What’s Cool” pages when she worked there.

“…because the name started with an A, it was above the fold so lots of people saw it,” Kaphan said in an interview with the Y Combinator blog. “That was, in my opinion, a super important connection for us. It might have happened without the personal connection, but who knows, maybe not.”

Nick Strauss did a little bit of everything at Amazon.

Date worked for Amazon: July 1996 — 2001

Most recent Amazon title: Catalog specialist

What he’s doing now: Strauss is a business intelligence training developer at T-Mobile.

Strauss had a variety of jobs at Amazon, including answering customer service calls, writing code, packing books, giving presentations, and “anything else you can imagine.”

Eric Knapp is retired and living in Oregon.

Date worked for Amazon: 1996 — at least 2001

Most recent Amazon title: Warehouse

What he’s doing now: Knapp is now retired.

Doug McDonald now teaches language arts.

Date worked for Amazon: 1996 — 2001

Most recent Amazon title: Editor, Books division

What he’s doing now: McDonald works as a high school teacher in Oregon.

Barrie Trinkle was a National Spelling Bee champion before she joined the company in 1996.

Date worked for Amazon: 1996 — 2001

Most recent Amazon title: Site merchandiser/editor

What she’s doing now: Trinkle is a writer, editor, investor, and volunteer.

Trinkle won the National Spelling Bee in 1973 with the word “vouchesafe” and has served on the Bee’s Word Panel since 1996, the same year she joined Amazon. After graduating from MIT, she spent more than a decade at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab before joining Amazon.

Rebecca Allen was an early Amazon engineer. She’s now a writer living on the East Coast.

Date worked for Amazon: 1996 — 1998

Most recent Amazon title: Software engineer

What she’s doing now: Often writing about tech on her blog.

Software engineer Ellen Ratajak worked on Amazon’s early IT.

Date worked for Amazon: 1996 — 2001

Most recent Amazon title: Director of IT

What she’s doing now: She’s a board member of Organically Grown Company, an organic produce wholesaler, and an independent IT consultant.

She and Shel Kaphan, Amazon’s first employee, shared an office and would sometimes blast rockabilly music as they hacked away on the site, even late on Friday nights.

She’s admitted that Bezos could be a “royal a**hole” with “irrational stubbornness,” but that it all came from his unrelenting desire to delight customers.

Scott Northrop was Amazon’s “Unix Shaman.”

Date worked for Amazon: 1995 — 2000

Most recent Amazon title: Unix Shaman

What he’s doing now: Owner of Stark Raving Foods, which makes gluten-free frozen pizza.

When Northrop joined Amazon way back in 1995, employees were allowed to put whatever they wanted on their business cards, so he chose Shaman.

“‘Wizard'” was way too old school, ‘Jedi’ wasn’t yet in vogue,” he jokes on LinkedIn. He wrote the code that did the automatic layout of Amazon’s packing slips and built the site’s payment system, which he notes scaled from “300 sales on a big day” to $1 billion a year while he worked on it.

Tod Nelson now mentors student entrepreneurs.

Date worked for Amazon: 1995 — 2001

Most recent Amazon title: Editor, Music and Video

What he’s doing now: Nelson now serves as executive director of CalPoly’s Center of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

In the early days, Nelson used to be in charge of churning out book reviews for Amazon.com. He also worked as operations manager and eventually helped launch Amazon’s German site.

Jonathan Kochmer now works for a nonprofit and plays in a band called Two Loons For Tea.

Date worked for Amazon: 1995 — 2000

Most recent Amazon title: Information architect

What he’s doing now: Director of research and development at nonprofit Earth Economics. He’s also in a band called Two Loons For Tea.

While at Amazon, Kochmer helped develop the browse system for books and worked within the teams that developed the company-wide data infrastructures. He also did “stealth online promotion” and vendor negotiation.

Knute Sears and Fred Eiden were Amazon’s ninth and tenth employees.

According to Mike Hanlon, Amazon’s seventh employee, Knute Sears and Fred Eiden were Amazon’s ninth and tenth employees, hired in 1995. Eiden was a software developer until 2000 and now designs customer furniture, a craft he took up after he left Amazon.

Amazon’s eighth employee, Laurel Canan, gave up coffee when he joined Amazon.

Date worked for Amazon: 1995 to at least 1998 (we weren’t able to find further information on Canan)

First job at Amazon: Operations

What he’s doing now: Unknown

Laurel Canan, Amazon’s eighth employee, was a 24-year-old carpenter who planned to return to school to become a Chaucer scholar. Instead, he joined Amazon, taking over operations in the company’s warehouse.

He completely gave up coffee soon after. “You can’t do a job like that on caffeine. You have to do it on carbs,” he told Brad Stone for Stone’s book on Amazon, “The Everything Store.”

Laurel Canan eventually married another early employee, Sara Jinks. She was Amazon’s receptionist.

Mike Hanlon brought his girlfriend to the warehouse and Bezos made her sign an NDA.

Date worked for Amazon: 1995 — 2001

Most recent Amazon title: Operations/Business development/Software development

What he’s doing now: Hanlon cofounded a company called Abett that uses data to help you make stressful decisions. The company’s first product identifies outfits from the clothes in users’ closets. He and his wife, Molly, now run The Hanlon Foundation.

Hanlon was Amazon’s seventh employee. According to his LinkedIn, Hanlon managed real estate operations and administrated UNIX and telecom systems from 1995 to 1997. From 1998 to 2001, he worked as a software engineer, developing finance and customer service applications at Amazon.

He shared this fun anecdote via email:

During Christmas 1995, the site really took off. Everyone was working long hours, and my girlfriend (now wife) Molly would come hang out in the warehouse in the evenings to help us pack up shipments. That was really the only chance that Molly and I had to see each other, and her help enabled us to get home earlier than we would have otherwise.

When Jeff Bezos realized that Molly was helping us in the warehouse, he came down and had her sign a non-disclosure agreement.

Nicholas Lovejoy joined Amazon as its sixth employee.

Date worked for Amazon: 1995 — 1998, September 2016 — Present

First Amazon title: Recruiting and Operations

What he’s doing now: “Principal TPM Middle Mile” at Amazon

Lovejoy worked with Bezos at D.E. Shaw, and was a high school math teacher in Seattle before moving to Amazon. Once he arrived, he made the suggestion to put packing tables in Amazon’s warehouse. To most it would seem obvious, but Bezos, who had suggested buying knee-pads to make packing on the ground easier, praised him for years for the completely “brilliant idea.”

All of Amazon’s desks were subsequently made out of doors.

He left the company in 1998 to go backpacking around the world with his girlfriend, but rejoined Amazon in September 2016 to help build Amazon Transportation Services.

Tom Schonhoff was Amazon’s fifth employee and built the customer service department from scratch.

Date worked for Amazon: 1995 — 2001

Most recent Amazon title: Technical program manager

What he’s doing now: He nows works as a program manager for Microsoft.

Schonhoff, Amazon’s fifth employee, had just earned a computer science degree at the University of Washington when Bezos brought him on board. He ran the whole customer service department for the first several months, working with Bezos to establish Amazon’s famous “it’s all about the customers” attitude.

He told Business Insider that he was often the one personally making sure packages made it to the post office by jamming them into his car to drop off at the end of his long workday.

Paul Davis led the back-end development of Amazon.com.

Date worked for Amazon: Fall 1994 — 1996

First Amazon job title: Developer

What he’s doing now: Founder of Linux Audio Systems.

Davis was Amazon’s fourth employee, joining before the company launched its website and working with Shel Kaphan to make Bezos’ dreams a reality. When he left his job at the University of Washington, his coworkers passed around a coffee can to collect a few dollars for him in case the risky venture failed.

Although he only stayed with Amazon for less than two years, he was absolutely critical to the development of the site, helping to create the entire backend. In his own words:

“I left, despite significant stock and other inducements to remain, because I am a technical person and had little interest in playing a role in the growth of the company. I was intimately involved with many aspects of getting this now-extremely successful company started.”

Shel Kaphan was Amazon’s first employee besides Bezos and his wife.

Date worked for Amazon: Fall 1994 — 1999

First Amazon job title: VP of Research and Development

Most recent Amazon title: CTO

What he’s doing now: Philanthropy at The Kaphan Foundation.

Although he’s not officially considered a cofounder, he and Bezos were discussing the company even before it was incorporated, and Bezos once referred to him as “the most important person ever in the history of Amazon.com.”

He decided to leave after Bezos hired two new tech managers and named him CTO, essentially taking him off the front lines and making him feel helpless to make any real change within the company. Bezos and Kaphan are no longer in touch.

MacKenzie and Jeff met at work.

MacKenzie Tuttle, a D.E. Shaw research associate, married Jeff Bezos in 1993 and the duo founded Amazon together. She became the fledgling company’s first accountant and, according to Brad Stone, was the one “handling the finances, writing the checks, and helping with hiring.”

She’s now a novelist.

Jeff Bezos has been the CEO of Amazon since the very beginning.

Since founding Amazon, Bezos has donated $42 million and part of his land in Texas to the construction of The Clock Of The Long Now, an underground clock designed to work for 10,000 years. In 2012, he donated $2.5 million to defend gay marriage in Washington. In August 2013, Bezos bought The Washington Post for $250 million. He funds a private space company called Blue Origin, which is working on developing technology for private space travel.

Bezos is now one of the most powerful figures in tech, with a net worth of roughly $82 billion.

Learn much more about his life here.

posted by ConnectMe

Aregbesola: Osun Governor promises to bring police killers to justice

Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola

Aregbesola noted that it was not for nothing that the state is rated one of the most crime-free in the country.

The Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has said those responsible for the robbery in Iwo, Osun on Tuesday will not escape justice.

Aregbesola stated this in reaction to the dastardly robbery attack on some banks that took place in Iwo on Tuesday, which left four casualties in its wake. 

The four people killed were men of the Nigeria Police Force, who braved up to stop the activities of the men of the underworld. 

The Governor, in a statement by the Director, Bureau of Communications and Strategy, Office of the Governor, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, described the incident as unfortunate. The governor said he has been assured that security men are on the trail of those who invaded the banks.

He said government and the security forces will not abandon it responsibilities as the protector of the people just because of some criminal few, saying “This is unfortunate. However, we remain unbowed by the audacity of these criminals.”

While assuring the general public of their safety and security, Aregbesola noted that it was not for nothing that the state is rated one of the most crime-free in the country, vowing to maintain this record no matter the odds. 

He promised that the long arm of the law will soon catch up with all those who committed the heinous act as no criminal violates the peace of the state and walk away freely. 

The Governor also commiserate with the Commissioner of Police, Osun State command for the loss of his gallant officers in the service to fatherland. 

He sent messages also to those who were caught wounded in the cross fire while the pandemonium lasted. 

The statement read, “On Tuesday, June 6, 2017, some misguided elements violated the peace in Iwo, one of our major cities in the State of Osun; attacking banks located near the Bowen University.

“These armed robbers ended the lives of four promising men of the Nigerian Police Force who attempted to stand up to them. They left sorrow and tears in their trail.

“We commiserate with the Commissioner of Police, the entire Osun Command of the Nigerian Police Force and the families of the fallen heroes, who fought gallantly but sacrificed their lives in the course of performing their duties.

“We equally commiserate with those who were caught and wounded in the cross fires.

“We assure the generality of our people that these criminals will not escape justice. Recent history of our state confirms that no criminal violates our peace and goes away with it.

“We are confident that security men are on the trail of these misguided elements and and in due course, will be brought to justice.

“We use this opportunity to assure the people of Osun of their safety. We invested in security of lives and property as part of our overall objectives of maintaining a peaceful state to be a source of attraction for investments.”

“This is why our state has been rated many times as one of the states with the lowest cases of crime throughout Nigeria.

“We are determined to do everything to sustain this rating. Our citizens are therefore urged to be vigilant; report any suspicious movement and activities to the law enforcement agencies.”

posted by ConnectMe

Customer Care: 10 tips that will take your business to the next level

How do your customers rate you on customer service?

To help you understand and make better customer service an integral part of your business, here are 10 easy to learn tips.

The customer is always right.” That saying is the mantra of customer service all over the world but not surprisingly, many businesses are still losing customers due to poor customer service. 

If you run any kind of business and you do not know the importance of customer service to that business, then maybe you shouldn’t be running that business. 

You shouldn’t be the only that is aware of the importance of customer service to a business either. your employees and anyone in your company that could have any kind of interaction with your customers should too.

 

To help you understand and make better customer service an integral part of your business, here are 10 easy to learn tips for better customer care service: 

  • Always smile when you are talking to a customer in person or on the phone (trust me they can tell when you are)

  • Always be proactive and ask how you can help before they ask for your help. 

  • Never tell a customer about your upcoming work break. 

  • “I don’t know” is never the correct answer to give to a customer. Unless you are going to add “but I can find out for you.”

ALSO READ: Start making money with these 3 awesome business ideas

  • Do not let chatty customers take over your time when there are other waiting. 

  • Always inspect merchandise/goods/food before you package it.

  • Develop your ability to read a customer’s body language. (when you see they need help and come to their aid before they ask for it)

  • Never discuss other customers in front of another customer. They will always wonder what you say about them when they leave. 

  • Always smile and encourage the customer to come back again as you say goodbye. 

  • If a customer’s card is declined, always be discreet by diplomatically asking them if they have another method of payment.

 

Customers are fickle and there will always be those that will be disrespectful or annoying. The key is to always maintain your cool and never ever indulge in a shouting match with a customer. 

If you know any other awesome customer service tips, please feel free to share in the comments section below. Happy hunting!

posted by ConnectMe

French Open: Nadal wary of Thiem’s ‘huge potential’ ahead of semi-final

Dominic Thiem (pictured) will meet Rafael Nadal in the French Open semi-finals

Thiem is the only player to defeat Nadal on clay this season and sealed a return to the last four in Paris

Rafael Nadal warned of the threat presented by Dominic Thiem’s “huge potential” ahead of their clash for a place in Sunday’s French Open final.

The Spaniard qualified for the semi-finals at Roland Garros for the 10th time on Wednesday after compatriot Pablo Carreno Busta retired with an abdominal injury while trailing 6-2, 2-0.

Thiem is the only player to defeat Nadal on clay this season and sealed a return to the last four in Paris with a sensational 7-6 (7/5), 6-3, 6-0 upset of defending champion Novak Djokovic.

Friday’s semi-final will be the fourth meeting between Nadal and Thiem this season, all of which have come on clay.

“Thiem is a tough player. I won in Barcelona, Madrid, and I lost to him in Rome,” said Nadal, who is attempting to become the first man to win 10 titles at a single Grand Slam.

“So either you play well and you advance to the next round or you lose and you’re out.”

Nadal beat the Austrian to lift the trophy in both Madrid and Barcelona, but Thiem exacted a measure of revenge with a 6-4, 6-3 win over the 31-year-old at the Rome Masters.

“In Rome it was not a good day for me. I was not in a position to play well the way I wanted to,” recounted Nadal.

“He put me in a difficult situation, so it’s up to me to avoid being put in uncomfortable situations.”

Thiem downed Djokovic for his first win in six matches against the Serb and is through to just his second semi-final at a major.

“He’s a very good player. He hits the ball very hard. He’s very powerful on both sides. Forehand, backhand, serve. These weapons are quite good,” said Nadal of his upcoming opponent.

“He has a huge potential to tap, and he can hit the ball very hard. He doesn’t give you a lot of options.”

Neither Nadal nor Thiem have dropped a set in reaching the last four, with the Spaniard losing just 22 games through five matches.

Bjorn Borg surrendered just 32 games on his way to the 1978 French Open, but Nadal insisted he has no interest in such records.

“I don’t know how many games I lost this year, but I really don’t care about this. I only care that I am in the semi-finals,” said Nadal.

“My only goal is try to be ready to play my best. The rest of these things, we can always find behind the stones.”

“We’re going to find more and more records, but at the end of the day these kind of things are not important.”

posted by ConnectMe

French Open: Samba enthusiast Ostapenko finds feet

Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko reacts after winning her tennis match against Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki at the Roland Garros 2017 French Open on June 6, 2017 in Paris

The 19-year-old became the first Latvian woman to reach a Grand Slam semi-final at the French Open on Tuesday.

Latvian teenager Jelena Ostapenko credited her passion for ballroom dancing for fuelling her breakthrough performance at the French Open.

The 19-year-old became the first Latvian woman to reach a Grand Slam semi-final at the French Open on Tuesday after stunning Danish 11th seed Caroline Wozniacki 4-6, 6-2, 6-2.

“I’m really happy I still can’t believe it,” said Ostapenko after going one step further than compatriot Anastasija Sevastova at last year’s US Open.

“Of course, when I came here I didn’t expect I’m going to be in the semis, but I was playing better and better every match. So I think if I keep it up, I think anything can happen.”

Ostapenko had never been beyond the third round at a major before arriving in Paris.

She is the first teenager to make the last four at Roland Garros since Ana Ivanovic in 2007.

And the world number 47 believes her use of ballroom dancing as part of her training regime is reaping rewards.

“Of course I think it helped me. And I’m still doing it now just for myself, the dancing. My favourite one is Samba,” said Ostapenko.

The Latvian faces Swiss 30th seed and friend Timea Bacsinszky, through to a second semi-final in three years, for a place in Saturday’s final.

“We are good friends, because we played the doubles in China last year, and that’s how I got to know her,” said Ostapenko.

Thursday’s encounter also falls on the day when Ostapenko turns 20 and Bacsinszky is 28.

“I think maybe this one is one of the best (birthdays). Because to play semi-final of Roland Garros on your birthday, I think it’s really nice,” added Ostapenko.

She is looking to become the first player since Gustavo Kuerten at the 1997 French Open to win their first tour-level title at a major tournament.

Brazilian Kuerten won the first of his three Roland Garros trophies on the same day that Ostapenko was born.

The Latvian has matched Ernests Gulbis‘s run to the 2014 semi-finals in Paris, but the teenager would love to go further and usher in the dawn of a new batch of stars.

“Our year, 1997, is pretty strong because we have a lot of players in top 100 and top 50, as well,” said Ostapenko, joined in that same class by the likes of Ana Konjuh and Daria Kasatkina.

“So I think it’s maybe kind of new generation.”

posted by ConnectMe