2014/04/17

Monaco Captures Inaugural Power Horse Cup

JuanMonaco-600x450

(May 25, 2013) Juan Monaco beat Jarkko Nieminen 6-4, 6-3 on Saturday to win the inaugural Power Horse Cup in Duesseldorf for his first ATP Tour title of the year. It’s the Argentine’s eighth career title.

The Duesseldorf ATP event, replaced the World Team Cup.

For Monaco, this was a good warm up for the French Open which begins on Sunday.

“It’s the best preparation,” Monaco said. I’ve had a great week here, playing a couple of good matches. Especially today I played really well. So I will look forward to keep playing this way in Paris.

“It’s like playing at home in Tandil. I played club tennis here in 2006 and 2007, then I played the World Team Cup two times and we were champions and finalists. There must be something here! I feel very good every time I go on centre court, I feel something special. With this victory today, it’s even more special.”

“We both played pretty well,” Nieminen said. I felt I played my best match of the week, but it wasn’t enough today. I had some chances: he was serving for the [first] set and I had 0/30, I lost a 40/15 lead in the first game of the second set and in the last two games I had chances. He was always there to take his chances. Unfortunately, he played really well today.

“It would have been nice to win the whole thing here, but I made a final on clay for the first time in 10 years. That’s pretty cool for me. My body feels good going into Paris.”

Monaco is the third Argentine winner on the ATP World Tour this year, joining Juan Martin del Potro who captured Rotterdam and Horacio Zeballos who topped Rafael Nadal for the Vina del Mar crown.

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Djokovic Advances, Nadal Cruises, Murray, Berdych and Del Potro Upset in Monte-Carlo

 

Rafael Nadal photo by William Lucas/Inovafoto

Rafael Nadal photo by William Lucas/Inovafoto

(April 18, 2013) Eight-time defending  Monte-Carlo Masters champion Rafael Nadal extended his winning streak at the tournament to 44 matches, while No. 1 Novak Djoovic had to rally from a set down for a second straight day to move into the quarterfinals. No. 2 seed Andy Murray was not so fortunate falling to No. 13  Stanislas Wawrinka 6-1, 6-2.

Novak Djokovic still nursing a twisted right ankle rallied past Juan Monaco 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 on Thursday.

“It was very difficult for me today,” Djokovic said to media. “Another tough match. I am trying to take things day by day. I didn’t know what to expect today and I’m really glad that I won.”

“It’s another big test obviously, again a two-hour match,” the No. 1 continued. “Obviously I’m not physically out there feeling my best. Somehow feels that I always miss that half a step. But I’m trying. I’m fighting. After I lost the first set today, I tried to find that inner strength. I found it again. So that’s a positive thing. Every day brings a new challenge and we’ll see what happens tomorrow.”

Djokovic will face Jarkko Nieminen in the quarterfinals. Nieminen stunned No. 5 seed Juan Martin Del Potro 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(4).

The left-hander Finn is into his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 quarterfinal since 2006 Paris.

It was another easy win For Nadal on Thursday as the 8-time Monte-Carlo champion stopped Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-2, 6-4. Nadal will take on Grigor Dimitrov in the quarterfinals.

“He’s playing well,” Nadal said of Bulgaria’s Dimitrov. “He’s able to play very well, very aggressive, very good technique. He’s (a) complete player.”

For No. 2 seed Andy Murray, it’s a match he’ll want to forget. In less than an hour the Brit fell to Stanislas Warwinka 6-1, 6-2.

“Just looked at the stats … 24 unforced errors is far too many,“ said a disappointed Murray. “That’s a set’s worth. That’s where half the points went. “I hope that’s not going to be the case over the next five, six weeks. I’ve had tough losses on the clay before and I’ve come back well from them. Hopefully today will be the same.”

“He’s an amazing player. He’s always tough to beat,” said Wawrinka to media. “Therefore, to beat Andy that easy was a big surprise, for sure. I’m playing really good, really strong, really confident with my game. I know what he’s looking for in his game. He’s playing slow, he’s playing from the baseline, he’s not putting so much pressure. For me on clay, it’s perfect.”

The loss means that Murray will fall to No. 3 in the rankings next week, surpassed by Roger Federer.

Italy’s Fabio Fognini recorded the biggest upset of his career as he knocked out fourth seed Tomas Berdych 6-4, 6-2. It’s his second career win over a top ten player.

RESULTS – THURSDAY, 18 APRIL, 2013

Singles – Third Round
[1] N Djokovic (SRB) d [14] J Monaco (ARG) 46 62 62
[13] S Wawrinka (SUI) d [2] A Murray (GBR) 61 62
[3] R Nadal (ESP) d [16] P Kohlschreiber (GER) 62 64
F Fognini (ITA) d [4] T Berdych (CZE) 64 62
J Nieminen (FIN) d [5] [WC] J del Potro (ARG) 64 46 76(4)
[6] J Tsonga (FRA) d J Melzer (AUT) 63 60
[7] R Gasquet (FRA) d [9] M Cilic (CRO) 75 64
G Dimitrov (BUL) d F Mayer (GER) 62 64

Doubles – Quarter-finals
M Raonic (CAN) / B Tomic (AUS) d [3] R Lindstedt (SWE) / D Nestor (CAN) 76(7) 63

Doubles – Second Round
[4] A Qureshi (PAK) / J Rojer (NED) d C Fleming (GBR) / J Marray (GBR) 64 61
[5] M Mirnyi (BLR) / H Tecau (ROU) d I Dodig (CRO) / R Stepanek (CZE) 62 62
J Melzer (AUT) / L Paes (IND) d [6] M Bhupathi (IND) / R Bopanna (IND) 62 63
J Benneteau (FRA) / N Zimonjic (SRB) d [7] A Peya (AUT) / B Soares (BRA) 76(7) 64

SCHEDULE – FRIDAY, 19 APRIL, 2013

COURT CENTRAL start 10:30 am
[6] J Tsonga (FRA) vs [13] S Wawrinka (SUI)
G Dimitrov (BUL) vs [3] R Nadal (ESP)
F Fognini (ITA) vs [7] R Gasquet (FRA)
[1] N Djokovic (SRB) vs J Nieminen (FIN)

COURT DES PRINCES start 10:30 am
[5] M Mirnyi (BLR) / H Tecau (ROU) vs D Marrero (ESP) / F Verdasco (ESP)
J Benneteau (FRA) / N Zimonjic (SRB) vs [4] A Qureshi (PAK) / J Rojer (NED)
[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) vs J Melzer (AUT) / L Paes (IND)

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Monaco to Defend US Men’s Clay Court Championship

houston

(February 14, 2013) HOUSTONArgentina’s Juan Monaco will defend his US Men’s Clay Court Championship title when the tournament returns to River Oaks Country Club April 8-14, and he will be accompanied in the field by American Sam Querrey and Frenchman Gael Monfils.

These three players join the previously announced commitments from top-ranked American John Isner and Spaniards Nicolas Almagro and Fernando Verdasco in the singles field and American twins Bob and Mike Bryan in the doubles field.

These singles entries put five players from the Top 25 of the current ATP World Tour rankings into the field for the tournament at River Oaks. As of Monday, Almagro was No. 11, Monaco No. 15, Isner No. 16, Querry No. 20 and Verdasco No. 24.

“We always take pride in exposing our fans to new players, so it is with great pleasure we can have guys like Monfils, Almagro and Verdasco making their River Oaks debut this year,” said Tournament Director Van Barry. “We are also happy to welcome back familiar faces. Juan Monaco was a popular champion last year, and the group of Americans we have returning have long been fan favorites here in Houston.”

Monaco will try to be the first repeat champion of the event since the recently retired Andy Roddick won back-to-back titles in 2001-02. The win at River Oaks last year was one of his career-high four titles in 2012. He has reached at least one clay court final in seven of the past eight seasons, and six of Monaco’s seven career titles have come on clay.

Querrey teamed with James Blake to win the 2012 doubles title at River Oaks. He’s also enjoyed singles success, reaching the final in 2010. He has won seven titles while appearing in 12 finals in his career, and earlier this month helped the US reach the Davis Cup quarterfinal with a pair of singles wins against Brazil.

Monfils has finished in the Top 20 in the World in four of the past five seasons. He has reached 17 career ATP finals, winning four titles. He was a finalist twice early in 2012 before a knee injury forced him to miss nearly four months. He already has reached one semifinal and another quarterfinal early in 2013.

In last year’s final, Monaco defeated Isner, who in 2012 reached the Top 10 for the first time. Almagro has led the ATP in clay court match wins three times in the past five seasons and is one of only four players with over 200 career clay court wins. Verdasco has reached 10 career clay court finals and finished in the Top 25 in five straight seasons.

The Bryan Brothers are the World No. 1 doubles team and four-time champions at the US Men’s Clay Court Championship. They own the record for Grand Slam titles with 13 together as well as total career titles together with 84.

Additional player commitments as well as a full schedule of special events will be announced in the weeks leading up to the 2013 US Men’s Clay Court Championship.

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Nadal and Monaco Reach Doubles Semifinal in Vina del Mar

 

Monaco Nadal

(February 7, 2013) Rafael Nadal and Juan Monaco are in the doubles semifinals at the VTR Open after a 6-2, 7-6 (4) win over Guillaume Ruffin and Filippo Volandri on Thursday. Nadal has played three straight days since returning to the ATP World Tour after a seven month injury hiatus.

Nadal plays singles on Friday versus Daniel Gimeno-Traver.

“He is worrying about his knees, he’s worried about his health. He’s worried about getting back to a good competitive level,” Nadal’s spokesman Benito Perez-Barbadillo said to media.

“He’s not worried in a negative way,” he added. “What he cares about is to be healthy and be ready to be competitive at every level he plays and to be at the same level as he was playing before.”

RESULTS – THURSDAY, 7 FEBRUARY, 2013

Singles – Second Round
[3] J Chardy (FRA) d [WC] C Garin (CHI) 46 63 62
H Zeballos (ARG) d [4] P Andujar (ESP) 63 63
[5] A Ramos (ESP) d F Volandri (ITA) 67(5) 63 75
[6] P Lorenzi (ITA) d T Robredo (ESP) 64 64
[7] D Gimeno-Traver (ESP) d A Montanes (ESP) 64 64

Doubles – Quarter-finals
C Berlocq (ARG) / L Mayer (ARG) d [4] O Marach (AUT) / H Zeballos (ARG) 62 64
A Kuznetsov (RUS) / A Sa (BRA) d [PR] R Ramirez Hidalgo (ESP) / T Robredo (ESP) 63 62
P Lorenzi (ITA) / P Starace (ITA) d P Andujar (ESP) / P Riba (ESP) 64 63
J Monaco (ARG) / R Nadal (ESP) d G Rufin (FRA) / F Volandri (ITA) 62 76(4)

 

SCHEDULE – FRIDAY, 8 FEBRUARY, 2013

CENTRAL start 2:30 pm
[8] C Berlocq (ARG) vs G Rufin (FRA)

Not Before 6:00 PM
[1] [WC] R Nadal (ESP) vs [7] D Gimeno-Traver (ESP)
[3] J Chardy (FRA) vs [6] P Lorenzi (ITA)

Not Before 10:00 PM
C Berlocq (ARG) / L Mayer (ARG) vs J Monaco (ARG) / R Nadal (ESP)

COURT 1 start 3:30 pm
[5] A Ramos (ESP) vs H Zeballos (ARG)

Not Before 10:00 PM
A Kuznetsov (RUS) / A Sa (BRA) vs P Lorenzi (ITA) / P Starace (ITA)

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Oz and Ends – Day One at the 2013 Australian Open

Melbourne park grounds

Oz and ends  and bits of news from the Australian Open for January 14, 2013

 

Bagels and breadsticks

Maria Sharapova won her first match of the Australian Open 6-0, 6-0 in 55 minutes over fellow Russian Olga Puchkova. It was her third career “double bagel” in a major tournament. She only needs a double bagel at Wimbledon to complete a “double bagel slam.”

Three women have completed the “double bagel slam” – they are Hall of Famers Chris Evert, Steffi Graf and Monica Seles.

Venus Williams added to the bagel set count with a 6-1, 6-0 demolishing of Kazakhstan’s Galina Voskoboeva.

 

Win streak continues

Agnieszka Radwanska has extended her 2013 win streak to 10 by defeating Australian wild card entry Bojana Bobusic of 7-5, 6-0 on Monday.
Twitter News

Maria Sharapova has officially joined twitterverse. Follow her at @MariaSharapova

[tweet https://twitter.com/MariaSharapova/status/290778598774829058]

 

Tweets of the day

 

 

Lucky Loser is a winner
Tim Smyczek is lucky loser was a winner on Monday with a 6-4, 7-6, 7-5 victory over Ivo Karlovic. The American it into the draw thanks to housemate John Isner who pulled out of the tournament with a right knee injury.

 

Tough day for Aussies

Matthew Ebden, Ashleigh Barty, Olivia Rogowska, Sasha Jones,  John Millman, Lleyton, Hewitt and Casey Dellacqua all exited on day one of Australian Open. Sam Stosur was the only victorious Australian on Monday.

 

Two seeds falls

The 11th seed Juan Monaco was the only seeded played not to win on Monday. The Argentine who withdrew from last week’s Kooyong Classic exhibition tournament with a hand injury was clearly stuggling clearly struggling on the court in his straight set loss to Alex Kuznentsov, was applauded by spectators for not retiring from the match.

Monaco told Reuters: “My leg tightened up at the start of the second set and it was very tough for me,” pointing to his right leg.

On the women’s side Ksenia Pervak  stopped 32nd seed Mona Barthel 7-5, 2-6, 6-4.

Federer out of Davis Cup

Roger Federer will not participate in Switzerland’s first round Davis Cup tie versus the reigning champions, the Czech Republic

 

Five set marathons

[22] Fernando Verdasco def. David Goffin 6-3, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
[10] Nicolas Almagro def Steve Johnson 7-5, 6-7, 6-2, 6-7, 6-2
Edouard Rogers-Vasselin def. Ruben Bemelmans 6-3, 6-7, 2-6, 7-5, 11-9
Daniel Gimeno-Traver def. Lukasz Kubot 6-7, 6-4, 6-0, 4-6, 6-4
[23] Mikhail Youzhny def. Matt Ebden 4-6, 6-7, 6-2, 7-6, 6-3
[28] Marcos Baghdatis def. Albert Ramos 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
Roberto Bautista Agut def. Fabio Fognini 6-0, 2-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1
[31] Radek Stepanek def. Viktor Troicki 5-7, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 7-5;
Brian Baker def. Alex Bogomolov 7-6, 6-3, 6-7, 3-6, 6-2.

 

Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama News

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Clash of the Continents to Feature Tipsarevic, Fish, Nishikori and Monaco

(November 8, 2012) The Clash of Continents  will take place at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on November 24th and 25th featuring four tennis stars representing the continents of Asia, Europe, North America and South America.

 

Participating will be World No.9 Janko Tipsarevic, representing Europe, Japan’s Kei Nishikori representing Asia, Mardy Fish playing for North American while Juan Monaco will carry the flag for South America.
With prize money of US$520,000, the continental round-robin format will have the players compete over two days and battle for “Pride, Honor & Glory”.

In addition to the competition between the men, Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia will battle China’s Peng Shuai on Sunday.

 

Alongside the event is the addition of a Tennis Festival at the Kallang Tennis Centre that aims to encourage communities from all walks of life to learn tennis and to lead a healthy active lifestyle through sport.

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Monaco Wins Malaysian Open for Fourth Tournament Win of the Year

 

Argentina’s Juan Monaco captured his fourth tournament of the year by winning a hard fought match against Julien Benneteau of France 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 in for the Malaysian Open title.

“I think we played a great match, with a lot of ups and downs,” Monaco said the over three-hour long match. “I got a little nervous when I had chances, but I never gave up, particularly in the 12th game of the first set. He surprised me a little bit with his comeback in the second set. In the final set, I knew I had to be more aggressive and I am happy the way I finished the match.

“I’d like to relax now and enjoy the victory. It isn’t easy to win tournaments, but I will focus on the next challenge and go to Tokyo tomorrow. It has been nice to be in this city and win the trophy. It feels very good. When I win a title, I think of my family and my team, as they believe in me, they have supported me and we have worked hard to win tournaments.”

“I was very focused on this game, because I wanted to win this final, Benneteau. The fans were great; there was a lot of French in the crowd. It was a nice atmosphere and the game was a good level.”

No. 34 Benneteau was trying to become the first player over 30 to win his first ATP title. It was his 199th career ATP World Tour tournament.

World No. 11 Monaco received $153,440 in prize money for his victory, his seventh career tournament win.

RESULTS – SUNDAY, 30 SEPTEMBER, 2012

Singles – Final
[2] J Monaco (ARG) d [7] J Benneteau (FRA) 75 46 63

Doubles – Final
[3] A Peya (AUT) / B Soares (BRA) d C Fleming (GBR) / R Hutchins (GBR) 57 75 10-7

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Monaco in Top Ten with Hamburg Tournament Victory

Juan Monaco has made his way into the Top Ten as of Monday, thanks to capturing the German Tennis Championships in Hamburg over German veteran Tommy Haas 7-5, 6-4 on Sunday.

“It’s amazing, it’s a dream come true,” Monaco said of breaking into the top ten. “I will always remember this great week because it’s very important for me and my team. It was a big goal we had pre-season when we were practicing very hard.”

The Argentine, who was into his second final in two weeks, won his third clay-court title of the year for his sixth overall tournament win, with all six titles coming on clay.

The 34-year-old Hamburg native coming back from hip and shoulder surgery was trying to win a second title in his home country. Haas beat Roger Federer  to win Halle last month. Haas is projected to move up to around No. 35 in the world.

“He played a tremendous match,” Haas said. All credit to him. He performed really well, especially when it came down to the big points. I tried to play my best; I thought I played really well throughout the match. Having the crowd support really lifted me to another gear, but it just wasn’t enough today.

“I really didn’t know if I was going to be able to get this feeling one more time, especially here in Hamburg. To have experienced another week like this with getting to the final is obviously another dream week for me.”

“I can’t complain about the way I played today, “ not the Argentine. “I was 4-1 down in the first set, but I never gave up. I was fighting every point, very focused and very motivated to win this tournament. I think it was very important to win the first set. In the last two games of the match I think I played very well.”

 

Monaco is bound for the London Olympics next. “To change the courts is not going to be easy for me,” Monaco said,  “but I have five days for practice to be with the guys there. So, let’s see how it goes. This tournament will bring me big confidence and I’m feeling great, no injuries. So, I will try my best in London.”

 

 

Singles – Final
[3] J Monaco (ARG) d [WC] T Haas (GER) 75 64

Doubles – Final
D Marrero (ESP) / F Verdasco (ESP) d [Alt] R Dutra Silva (BRA) / D Munoz-De La Nava (ESP) 64 63

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Tipsarevic wins first tournament of the year at Stuttgart

 

Top-seed and world No. 8 Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia won his first title of the year, besting Juan Monaco of Argentina 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 on Sunday in a rain-delayed Mercedes Cup final in Stuttgart. It’s his first clay-court title.

“I feel great. I honestly still don’t believe I won the title, considering that in almost every match I was hanging to lose,” said the Serb. “There were a lot of ups and downs. I think my mental attitude was the key for me – fighting from the first to the very last point. I think that is one of the reasons why I managed to win the title.

“It wasn’t an easy match to play, considering the balls were flying everywhere. It wasn’t really easy to be aggressive, but I felt I was the better player in the third set. I had a huge chance at 4-0 up in the second set, but instead of being more aggressive, I became passive. Luckily, I managed to come back.”

For his efforts along with a check, Tipsarevic received a new Mercedes-Benz SLK Blue BlueEFFICIENCY car.

“I don’t want to call it a deal, but I have pretty solid car at home, so I don’t need it,” said Tipsarevic. “But my wife [Biljana] and I had our anniversary a couple of days back. She also had her birthday. So I promised her the car, if I won the tournament. The points go to me.”

“I want to play London at the end of the year, I really do. Last year, my goal was to reach the Top 20 [in the South African Airways ATP Rankings]. Instead of that I reached the Top 10 and was reserve in London. You don’t get to play with the Top 8 unless you fight for every point.”

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Nadal Crushes Monaco, Murray Slides Past Gasquet at Roland Garros

Juan Monaco

World No. 2 Rafael Nadal crushed Juan Monaco 6-2, 6-0, 6-0  while Andy Murray recovered from a slow start to take out Richard Gasquet 1-6, 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 on Monday to gain the quarterfinals of the French Open.

Nadal on track to win his seventh Roland Garros was given little resistance by Monaco, facing only two break points in the one hour and 46-minute match.

Nadal spoke about the match: “Well, the first break really helped me considerably.  And, also, I think that today is the day when I served really my best serves.  My percentage was a bit better than any of my previous percentages.  I served faster, as well, which is also something very important.  What else could I add?

“The next thing that’s important is that I didn’t make any mistakes.  I missed not many points.  Pico was starting really hard.  I had to move around quite a lot.

“Then I started attacking more, and I realized that he’s not hurting me any longer.

“At the beginning it was good for him, but in reality it was not really the case, you see.

“One could have the impression that he was an attacker, but I was feeling comfortable.  I was waiting for “the” moment when I knew I could attack him.  You know, when you attack someone and then you counterattack, it’s very difficult.

“I felt, as I said, quite at ease on the court today.  Maybe because it was quite heavy out there.  I mean, the weather was.

“He was attacking, but he couldn’t take control.  He didn’t have the upper hand.  You know, when this happens once, twice, or thrice, I can say, you know, I was a bit lucky.  I was a bit lucky because I could return all of his points.

 

Nadal has lost only 19 games on his way to the quarterfinals. Nadal takes on fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro next.

World No. 4 Andy Murray had to take on Richard Gasquet and a hostile French crowd in his four set win on Chatrier court.

“I wouldn’t say it got too much,” Murray said. “ I mean, yeah, it’s almost like playing a sort of a football match.  And I like football.  I enjoyed  I mean, I enjoyed myself on the court today.

“It’s the most fun I’ve had on the court in a while, so I wasn’t so sort of shying away from the fact that the crowd wanted me to lose.”

In the first set Murray, who has been nursing a back injury the past few weeks, was grabbing his back in the first set and lost it 6-4. As the match progressed Murray gained form and momentum playing without signs of back trouble.

“He obviously started the match well, but, yeah, I started to use the energy from the crowd in a positive way and obviously turned it around and played very well the last few sets,” added Murray.

“He was so lucky during the second set, so many shots, you know, not far away, said Gasquet. “He was so lucky.  But then during the beginning of the third set I made a few mistakes.

“But then when he gains confidence, it’s really difficult, because he’s a fighter, and he’s always present.  He always hits one time more than you, so he’s really into the match, and then he plays well.  He played well during the third and fourth set.  It was difficult for me to have the upper hand.  He was a difficult player to play against.”

 

“For me, a seventh Roland Garros win is not more important than No. 2, No. 3, or No. 4,” Nadal said.  What really is important is what it brings me personally.  If I win this one, and it’s the seventh one, is it more important than 2006 or 2005?  I don’t know.

“It’s a personal feeling, a personal sensation, and, you know, records are all very important.  But that’s when you’ve finished playing tennis.  When you finished that, you’ll think about this.

“But, otherwise, when you’re playing, you think about what you have to do daily.”

 

The fourth seed Murray moves on to the quarterfinals where he’ll play David Ferrer who straight-setted Janko Tipsarevic.

 

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