Capital investment to drive growth

first_img22 February 2012Amid an uncertain global economic outlook, South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on Wednesday presented a circumspect yet upbeat Budget speech detailing how the infrastructure projects highlighted by President Jacob Zuma earlier this month would be funded.Gordhan also called on South Africans – including the country’s corporate sector, which has millions locked up in savings – to take advantage of new opportunities in emerging markets and on the continent.Revenue for 2012/13 is forecast at R904.8-billion – 27.4% of gross domestic product (GDP) – and expenditure at R1.058-trillion, resulting in a budget deficit of 4.6% of GDP for the 2012 financial year.Finances ‘remain in good health’But Gordhan said the country’s finances remained in good health, and pointed out that the deficit would be brought down to three percent of GDP by 2014/15.Government borrowing is also expected to moderate as the economy recovers and as fiscal consolidation proceeds, with public debt peaking at 38.5% by 2014 – up from 36% in the next financial year.He also noted that while 365 000 jobs were added in the year to December 2011, unemployment remained high at 23.9%.Over the next three years, imports are projected to grow quicker than exports, such that the deficit on the current account is expected to widen from 3.3% in 2011 to 4.4% in 2014.Inflation is expected to rise from five percent in 2011 to 6.2% this year before tapering off to 5.1% in 2014.South Africa’s projected inflation this year, however, is lower than the average expected for sub-Saharan Africa (8.3%) and in line with that of emerging economies (6.2%).Gordhan also announced R9.5-billion in personal income tax relief; revealed further measures to increase tax compliance; announced tax credits for medical-aid scheme contributions; and proposed measures to get households to save more.He said changes to procurement policies and practices would be made and tough enforcement introduced to tackle fraud and corruption.Financial management in the public sector would also be strengthened to ensure that taxpayers’ money was used effectively.Education, health and social assistanceThe bulk of the government’s R1.058-trillion budget would, as in previous years, be spent on education, health and social assistance.Much of this is helped by the additional R55.9-billion the government has collected, to spend over the next three years.This includes an additional R9.5-billion for an economic competitiveness and support package – with R2.3-billion of this going to special economic zones – R6.2-billion for job creation, and R3-billion to fund the equalisation of subsidies to no-fee schools and the expansion of access to grade R.R1-billion would also be allocated under this new amount for national health insurance (NHI) pilots projects.Other significant amounts include R4.7-billion to be spent on solar water geysers, R4-billion for passenger rail coaches, R3.9-billion to upgrade informal settlements, R1.8-billion for municipal water infrastructure, R1.4-billion for early childhood development, and R1-billion for rail signalling and depot infrastructure.Government spending is expected to reach R1.1-trillion next year – double what the government spent in 2002/03 in real terms.Gordhan said the state would have about R4.5-trillion in consolidated resources available over the next three years, which would help fund its key infrastructure projects.Tax revenue for the 2011/12 year has been revised up by R2.9-billion to R738.7-billion, and the National Treasury expected to collect R828.7-billion in 2012/13.Revenue from tax would stabilise at about 25% of GDP, while public sector borrowing is expected to decline from 7.1% of GDP in 2011/12 to five percent in 2014/15.Seizing emerging market opportunitiesGordhan said South Africa had to seize the opportunities presented by the changing world – which has seen massive economic growth in emerging countries, particularly India and China, while growth in advanced economies remains lacklustre.He said that in the last five years, the Chinese economy had expanded by 60% and India by 45%, but that advanced economies had barely shown positive growth.“As a major mining economy, we should be benefiting more from the continued buoyancy in commodity markets internationally. We also need to take advantage of rising demand for agricultural and manufacturing goods.”He pointed out that about 85-million manufacturing jobs in China were expected to shift to other countries over the next few years.“Do we have the right policies, conditions and boldness to enable South African businesses to gain from these intense shifts in the patterns of production and trade?”The African continent presented another growing opportunity for South Africa.Gordhan pointed out that Africa was expected to be the second-fastest growing region in the world – with sub-Saharan Africa growing at 5.5% this year compared to Asia’s 7.3%.“As well as developing South African business interests in the continent, we should use the strength and sophistication of our financial system to turn our country into a true gateway for investment into, and development of, Africa.”Partnership with the governmentGordhan called for a more dynamic partnership between the government, the private sector and civil society to take advantage of opportunities across Africa and the globe.Gordhan also touched on Vision 2030, outlined in the National Development Plan, which is now receiving comments from the public before it goes before President Jacob Zuma around the middle of this year.Among other things, Vision 2030 calls for lowering costs for households and businesses, increasing public infrastructure spending, growing the manufacturing and agricultural sectors, raising mining output, raising competitiveness and exports, and improving the labour market.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Geocaching in 2015: A Year in Review

first_img2015 was an epic year in the world of geocaching. There were many laughs, plenty of new geocaches hidden, and a lot of “Found it” logs.  As we start to plan for the new year ahead,  it’s fun to reflect on many of the amazing things that happened in 2015. Here are 15 of them. 8) GeoTours expanded.19 new GeoTours were launched this year, bringing the GeoTour grand total at 61 tours worldwide. The average number of geocaches per tour is 44, and their geocaches tend to have more favorite points than the average geocache. 10) Geocachers celebrated Pi. And puzzles. And ate pie.While some folks celebrated Pi Day on March 14 (3.14) with a slice of pi pie, we celebrated this year’s Pi Day with two new souvenirs…and pie. The first souvenir was earned by 37,000 geocachers who attended an event on that day. The second souvenir celebrated the mystery of pi—to earn it, geocachers had to log a “Found It” on a Mystery Cache. Kudos to the 50,000 geocachers who took on that head scratching challenge. 123456<> GIFF weekend! A mouth watering and well-themed buffet at one of the GIFF events. At GC62QRQ in the Netherlands. This was a short film made by the event hosts, featuring the event attendees…which was incorporated into a new Puzzle cache. At GC64R4K, a GIFF Weekend event in Hong Kong. Sparkler after-GIFF-party at GC64KHQ in the United Kingdom. HurricaneJuan, creator of the film “Saturday” at GC5VCFG in Florida. A theater full of geocachers at GC62MTK in Slovenia. An outdoor GIFF event in Texas. GC65G3T, a GIFF event in a Burger King in Moscow. A very real, giant GIFF chocolate bar at GC64NMA in Lanvénégen, France. Geocachers at a very cozy GIFF event in Tel-Aviv. <> A group of kids hides a geocache in Nepal. The ultimate “found it” face. Image by lividity at GC40JXW. 13) Geocachers watched 16 creative geocaching films at GIFF Weekend.The GIFF (Geocaching International Film Festival) Weekend 2015 souvenir was awarded to over 14,000 geocachers who attended 449 GIFF events in 46 countries. That’s amazing. But what’s even more amazing is the sheer number of special and wonderful moments that happened at all the movie nights. 123456<> 11) Five new countries received their own geocaching souvenirs.Time to update your bucket lists, geocachers. Cheers to Thailand, Turkey, Estonia, Lithuania, and Slovenia who were added to the growing list of country souvenirs this year! What was your favorite geocaching moment from 2015?Share with your Friends:More A group of community volunteer reviewers from around the world answers questions at this year’s Block Party panel. Four U.S. community volunteer reviewers having a good time at the event. Geocaching HQ’er Heather visits with a group of Swedish reviewers. A group of community volunteer reviewers from around the world answers questions at this year’s Block Party panel. A community volunteer translator from Slovenia explores the Italian mountainside. A group of German community volunteer reviewers. The group attempting the infamous gum wall cache in Seattle. <> 5) The game’s 453 community volunteers made the game better for everyone through their contributions as reviewers, moderators, and translators. Restoration CITO event. Beautiful area for CITO-ing in the Czech Republic. This little geocacher smiles as she picks up trash around a park. CITO in Costa Dorada, Spain. CITO event in France that involved restoring this old walking bridge. This CITO event was a huge success. Can you tell? Germany’s Frühjahrsputz am Kemnader See 2015 CITO group photo. HQ’er Alex smiles as she planted a new plant at a local park. CITO essentials. <> 1234567<> Geocaching in Cambodia. Four geocachers explore old ruins while geocaching in Albania. Geocachers from the German Mudmen geocaching group conquer the Alps. Geocaching family at GCQMX8 in Santiago, Chile . Geocacher Diegeocrasher at GC20FAE in South Africa. Antartic geocaching at GC115ZX. 6) Geocachers joined in the global CITO (Cache In, Trash Out) movement and gave back to our lovely planet. Over 19,000 geocachers collected garbage, restored natural areas, and worked on community improvement projects during CITO weekend in April. If each person picked up one 5 lb (2.26 kg) bag of trash, that’s over 40 metric tons of garbage collected. That’s (approximately) 7.4 elephants, or 7 elephants and two cows. This impressive number does not include the hundreds of additional CITO events that took place throughout the rest of year. A wonderful summer full of geocaching adventures. Road Trip! Instagram #geocaching photo contest winner @aventyrsmobilen. Every road tripper needs a trusty co-pilot. Many geocachers joined in the fun. Instagram #geocaching photo contest finalist @skaubystine. Instagram #geocaching photo contest finalist @yeseniascenter_img 9) Over 52,000 geocachers around the world went on a Geocaching Road Trip.During the summer months, geocachers had the opportunity to complete five geocaching quests, each of which earned them a special souvenir for their geocaching profile. By completing all missions, they earned an extra special 6th souvenir. The theme was “Geocaching Road Trip”, and the adventures were epic. A group of kiddos search for the code word at the last ever Geocaching Block Party Mega-Event in Seattle. Tree climbing event GC66NYX in France. A geocacher signs the giant blow-up “15” logbook at the last ever Geocaching Block Party Mega-Event in Seattle. A very unique logbook at a small Meet & Greet. Geocachers blew bubbles at this event in Europe. Signal at the 2015 GeoWoodstock. Yummy geocaching events all day long! 2015 Pi Day Event Logbook. Eating pie at a “Pi Day” geocaching event. Thailand Souvenir. Estonia Souvenir. Turkey Souvenir. Lithuania Souvenir. Slovenia Souvenir. 7) 4 incredible trackable branded promotions took place, including the super cute Mountain Warehouse promo.With nearly 500 photos entered into the Mountain Warehouse photo contest, geocachers showed clever photography skills while shooting Meryl Sheep trackable tags all over the British countryside and beyond. One particular trackable, Wooliam the Sheep, has already traveled 32,000+ miles (51,499 km). “GeoWoodstock” –the 1st Geocaching Mega-Event– held in Texas May 2006. Every year since, GeoWoodstock keeps movin’ and groovin’ to new locations. The first Geocoin ever created by Moun10bike in 2001. Back in 2001, geocachers Eoghan and Pumpkin Princess decided to throw a little gathering in Austin, Texas with their geo-buddies. This was the first recorded instance of a geocaching get-together, now known today as an Event Cache. The plaque marks the exact location of the first geocache ever placed. “GCF” (and its can of beans) was hidden by David Ulmer on May 3, 2000. Co-Founder & CEO Jeremy Irish placed the first Geocoin in a cache in 2001. Take a little trip down memory lane –and pick up some trash along the way– to the first ever CITO event held on April 26th, 2003. At one point in time, there was a colony of Signals. ‪This was the first Signal Doll shipment at Geocaching HQ. The three founders of Geocaching.com at their then new office in downtown Seattle. The first image of the geocaching mascot Signal the Frog was revealed on a t-shirt in August 2003. ‪ The oldest active geocache –GC30 Mingo– was hidden in Kansas on May 11, 2000. 14) Geocaching.com added new languages.The Geocaching.com website is now translated into 22 different languages including English. The iPhone and Android Free apps are also available in 19 different languages. More to come!15) There were over 83,000,000 logged geocaches and over 588,000 new geocaches published this year.Great job, geocachers. Great job. 12) New features were added to make your geocaching world a bit better.Message Center? Check.New search? Check. Lots of new features on the free geocaching app? Check.More features to come in 2016! 3) A group of courageous geocachers journeyed to the center of the earth to log an EarthCache. Well, sort of.Need more laughs? Check out all the past geocaching April Fools videos:2012 – Cachers of Steel2013 – T.I.N.Y.2014 – DNF Pride4) The geocaching community grew.In December, the 15 millionth geocaching account was created on Geocaching.com. Considering that many geocaching accounts represent families, couples, teams, and other groups, there are well more than 15 million geocachers worldwide. 123<> 1) We celebrated 15 years of geocaching!It’s hard to believe that the hobby we all love celebrated its 15th birthday this year. During this time of nostalgia, it’s fun to look back at some of the most historic moments in geocaching history. 2) A year of events. Great events. 2 Giga-Events (5,000+ geocachers)45 Mega-Events (500+ geocachers)Over 28,000 geocaching events totalIt’s evident from all the fun gatherings that took place that geocachers enjoyed making new friends and spending time with the old at an average of over 76 geocaching events per day!   SharePrint RelatedConfirmed Geocaching souvenir moments for 2019January 9, 2019In “Community”2020 Geocaching HQ souvenir momentsDecember 10, 2019In “Learn”Geocaching 2 by 2 – Power your Relationships with GeocachingJune 3, 2013In “Geocaching Weekly Newsletter” <> From all of us at Geocaching HQ, thank you for making this year the best geocaching year to date. <> 12345<> Warm waters & lots of signatures. 24 hour trip geocaching in Alaska. This group of kiddos are super excited to find the cache… and its swag. Geocaching in the classroom. How to make the best ammo can cache ever.last_img read more

Smith game-winner lifts TNT past San Miguel for 1-0 lead

first_imgAmer, Jose, Alas relish chance to don PH colors anew, reunite with pals Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Castro had a near triple-double with 14 points, nine rebounds and 10 assists while Pogoy, who is playing in his first game in the finals, showed no signs of first-time jitters with a team-high 27 points on 5-of-9 3-pointers.The Beermen rallied from 10 points down in the fourth quarter with Charles Rhodes tying the score at 99 with 1:35 left and Chris Ross knotting the count again at 102 with 7.6 ticks remaining before Smith’s winner.Rhodes got off to a hot start before cooling off the rest of the way. He had 31 points but 21 of which came in the opening period and went scoreless in the middle quarters.Fajardo added 18 points and 13 rebounds while Chris Ross also posted a double-double with 11 points and 12 assists with seven rebounds to boot.Racela expects de Ocampo and Reyes back for Game 2 on Friday night also at the Big Dome.ADVERTISEMENT What ‘missteps’? “It’s good that Joshua had the presence of mind to attack June Mar. They’re actually denying everyone so he really didn’t have a choice but to go in,” said TNT head coach Nash Racela. “He has a big heart.”“It’s always crucial to get the first win. We wanted to get that first win and we did it tonight without Ranidel and Ryan and that’s something that is very important to us.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSmith, who is still listed as day-to-day, finished with 21 points and nine rebounds in just under 27 minutes.TNT missed the services of its key veterans Ranidel de Ocampo (flu) and Ryan Reyes, whom Racela said is dealing with a “minor injury,” but the KaTropa still had their main man Jayson Castro and a fast-rising star in Roger Pogoy to pick up the slack. View comments Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chickencenter_img World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Joshua Smith vs June Mar Fajardo. PBA IMAGESJoshua Smith came up with the game-winning basket despite playing through a foot injury to lift TNT over San Miguel Beer, 104-102, for a 1-0 headstart in the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals Wednesday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum.Smith, who was noticeably limping, hit a hook shot over the Beermen’s three-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo with 1.6 seconds left to win it for the KaTropa.ADVERTISEMENT 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire LATEST STORIES WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PHlast_img read more

Lyceum backs up hype, slays San Beda for 2-0 start

first_imgEl Nido residents told to vacate beach homes FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ The Red Lions still had chances to close in on the Pirates, but AC Soberano and Robert Bolick botched point-blank shots in the final 20 seconds.It was Lyceum’s first win over San Beda since NCAA Season 89, still under coach Bonnie Tan.Robert Bolick paced San Beda with 21 points, eight rebounds, and six assists, while Clint Doliguez added 19 markers and seven boards.The Scores:LYCEUM 96 – Perez 24, Nzeusseu 18, Caduyac 16, Jc. Marcelino 14, Baltazar 9, Jv. Marcelino 7, Ayaay 4, Tansingco 2, Liwag 2, Santos 0, Ibanez 0, Pretta 0, Cinco 0.SAN BEDA 91 – Bolick 21, Doliguez 19, Soberano 12, Mocon 10, Noah 9, Presbitero 8, Potts 4, Bahio 4, Adamos 2, Tankoua 2, Carino 0, Tongco 0, Abuda 0.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Reymar Caduyac also fired 16 markers, five of which coming in the last 1:48 to hold off the Red Lions. He also netted seven assists and three boards in the win.“To play against San Beda, it’s gonna take a lot of grit, a lot of perseverance, and never giving up,” said coach Topex Robinson. “But it’s not about me, but it’s about the players. We just kept on playing and we just kept on grinding.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsMike Nzeusseu chipped in a double-double with his 18 points and 13 rebounds, while rookie Jaycee Marcelino nabbed 14 markers, six boards, two dimes, and two steals.Lyceum’s defensive stance in the end game did the trick as it held San Beda without a field goal for the last 2:47 to break off from an 89-all deadlock before Javee Mocon drilled two freebies with 56.7 seconds remaining. Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congresscenter_img LATEST STORIES Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netLyceum welcomed the challenge and proved the hype was real, toppling San Beda, 96-91, in the NCAA Season 93 men’s basketball tournament Friday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.CJ Perez steered early season shocker, dropping seven of his 24 points in the fourth quarter while registering four rebounds, one assist, one steal, and one block.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant Teodoro rises to Meneses challenge after disappointing opener MOST READ Quarters: 24-18, 50-46, 73-75, 96-91.last_img read more

How To Keep In Touch During The 2011 World Cup

first_imgThe www.austouch.com.au website will be updated regularly throughout the event, so be sure to be visiting this website through the event. The TFA ‘2011 World Cup’ website is also a place to visit, with profiles (Open, Senior and Referees), World Cup diaries, photos and all of the latest news uploaded to this site as well. To view this page, please click on the ‘2011 World Cup’ section on the top menu of the TFA website. Touch Football Australia’s Facebook and Twitter pages will also be updated regularly, so make sure you are following all of the latest World Cup news by clicking on these links:www.twitter.com/touchfootyaushttp://www.facebook.com/pages/Touch-Football-Australia/384949403384 TFA’s YouTube page will also have highlights from Australia’s campaign uploaded throughout the event. Highlights from the Australian Farewell Function have also been uploaded. To view, please click on the following link:www.youtube.com/touchfootballaus Don’t forget to send in your messages of support for the Australian contingent in the lead up to the event in the following ways:Email: [email protected] – www.facebook.com/pages/Touch-Football-Australia/384949403384 Twitter – www.twitter.com/touchfootyauslast_img read more

2017 NTL Results

first_imgCongratulations to all of the winners at the 2017 National Touch League in Coffs Harbour.Men’s OpenQueensland Cowboys 6 defeated Queensland Titans 3 Women’s OpenNew South Wales Scorpions 8 defeated Queensland Broncos 5Mixed OpenSydney Rebels 10 defeated South Queensland Sharks 7 Men’s T LeagueCentral Queensland Bulls A 6 defeated South Queensland Sharks 5Women’s T LeagueSouth West Swans 6 defeated Sydney Scorpions A 1Women’s 27’s  Brisbane City Cobras 4 defeated Victoria Storm 3Men’s 30’sSouth Queensland Sharks 8 defeated Sydney Scorpions 6Women’s 35’sHunter Western Hornets 5 defeated Victoria Storm 1 Men’s 40’sACT Raiders 6 defeated Brisbane City Cobras 5Women’s 40’sHunter Western Hornets 4 defeated South Queensland Sharks 3Men’s 45’sSouth Queensland Sharks 10 defeated ACT Raiders 6Women’s 45’s Sydney Scorpions 1 defeated Hunter Western Hornets 0Men’s 50’sSydney Scorpions 5 defeated South Queensland Sharks 3Men’s 55’sSydney Scorpions 7 defeated Sydney Mets 2Senior MixedSouthern Suns 11 defeated South Queensland Sharks 7 Related LinksNTL Results To view photos from the event, please visit the TFA Facebook pageTo view all of the live streamed games and results from the event, please visit the NTL websitelast_img read more

Rafael Nadal Is Playing Mind Games With You

It’s a smart and subtle way to serve in the situation, and his success rate suggests that his opponent, potentially predisposed to Nadal’s T serve, does not see it coming.Granted, it’s also a bit of a “tell” for anyone lucky enough to find himself with a pair of break points against Nadal — those guys should look for the out wide serve. But more than that, it reveals a mental game-within-the-game orchestrated by Nadal.He turns balls hit to his backhand side into forehand winnersNadal’s forehand is his biggest weapon. Opponents try to dodge it at all costs, which means avoiding hitting the ball to the ad court as much as possible against the southpaw. A good way to understand the baseline is to divide it into four vertical zones — two in the deuce court and two in the ad court. In tennis, these zones are sometimes labeled A, B, C and D, with A being the out wide in the deuce court, all the way to the D zone, which is the out wide in the ad court.If you’re Nadal’s opponent and you’re trying to avoid his forehand, you would hit to zones A and B (the ad court). And that’s where he gets you.The King of Clay is also the King of Running Around His Backhand to Hit Forehand. He’s an expert at it. Indeed, he loves to run around his backhand to hit forehand so much that in some matches, he has hit about the same number of winners from what would be his natural backhand side of the court — zones A and B — than from his normal, left-handed forehand side of the court — zones C and D. Through five rounds at this year’s French Open, 54 percent of Nadal’s forehand winners (46/85) have been hit as run-around forehands from zones A and B, according to officially recorded statistics from Roland Garros.By comparison, consider the right-handed Djokovic, the number one player in the world. Through the first four rounds at Roland Garros this year, 42 percent of Djokovic’s forehand winners have been run-around forehands (14/33).Nadal is like a spider looking to snare a rally ball, and players would be ill-advised to hit toward Nadal’s backhand unless they can be sure he’ll only be able to use his backhand. At the same time, better not hit too far out wide or the errors will flow.Just when you think you know Nadal, think again. He will bend your mind more than he bends the ball. When you think of Rafael Nadal, you might think of a player who hits balls with hellacious topspin and grinds out points on clay. His RPMs and his sweat grab the glory. But the 11-time French Open champion uses a few insidious tricks that go beyond the obvious strokes and traditional tactics.All of Rafa’s ways and means traveled to Roland Garros in 2019 — the energy, the rituals, the patterns of play — it’s all been put to use in another run to the semifinals, this time at age 33. He’ll need every tactic at his disposal, the conspicuous and the cunning, as he takes on Roger Federer and potentially Novak Djokovic after that.Here are three examples of the subtle mental maneuvers that Nadal makes against his opponents.He makes them waitStrictly from a length-of-match standpoint, Nadal is one of the slowest tennis players of this era. And there are a host of things Nadal does to extend matches — and possibly distract and annoy his opponents in the process.The ultimate creature of habit, Nadal starts managing time with his first step on court. When the chair umpire prepares to toss the coin and the presence of both players is required in the middle of the court before the start of the match, Nadal is typically the second to arrive — after a delay of several seconds while he goes through his routines with water bottles.Once the match is underway, Nadal’s pre-point rituals have been fodder for everything from complaints to comedy routines. Even the typically chilled-out Roger Federer has been critical of the time that Nadal takes between points. By rule, players are limited to 25 seconds between points. Beginning this year at most events, the sport put in formal, visible shot clocks in an attempt to keep servers from abusing the rule.According to an analysis by Melbourne, Australia-based Data Driven Sports Analytics of more than 140 matches each for Nadal, Federer and Djokovic from 2008 through this year, Rafa averaged 26.1 seconds between points when serving — the longest of the so-called “Big 3.”1Djokovic averaged 25.2 seconds, while Federer averaged 18.6. Nadal’s average time between points is over the limit — and that’s just an average, which means that he regularly serves beyond the 25-second rule. Chair umpires can use their discretion in starting the clock, so, clearly, Nadal is getting some wiggle room.Nadal finds a way to play on Rafa time when he’s returning as well, going through a catalog of rituals and often turning his back on the server or lifting his racquet until he’s ready to receive.The overall effect is that Nadal asserts his own pace of play, which can be legitimately discomfiting for opponents.He conditions them like PavlovOne of the hardest things to do in professional tennis is return serves. Speeds regularly top 125 mph, and then there’s the spin. Professional tennis players also excel at “spot serving” — landing serves in precise locations. They most often hit close to the lines of the service box, placing the serve at angles to inflict the most damage. Those most-visited, go-to spots are either up the T, which is the middle of the court, or out wide, which is on the outer edge of the service box. Servers work hard to place their serves effectively on both the deuce side (serving from the right side to the servers’ left and returners’ right), when the game score is usually tied, and on the ad side, when one player is always ahead.Nadal has a curious modus operandi when serving on the deuce side. The effect is Pavlovian: It conditions his opponents for one thing and then kills them with another.Because Nadal is a left-handed server, the natural play for him in this situation is to serve up the T. The ATP Tour has collected serve placement data from 2011 to 2019 for Masters 1000 events, which are just beneath Grand Slams and the Tour Finals in terms of stature, ranking points and prize money. According to that data set, on clay, Nadal’s first serve has been up the T 56.4 percent of the time on the deuce side. His success rate for this location — meaning how often he wins the point — is a healthy 68.5 percent. Much less often — 27 percent of the time — Nadal takes his first serve out wide from the deuce court on clay. And in that spot, his success rate is eye-popping, 74.8 percent. In 2019 alone, it’s up to 79.2 percent.Why would Nadal use a serve that is statistically so successful for him so infrequently? It’s possible that the tactic is about mentally conditioning the returner, greasing the tracks as it were, and then flipping his pattern when he really needs it.Indeed, data from that same set of ATP Masters tournaments reveals this morsel about Nadal on clay: He habitually hits his first serve from the deuce court up the T on nearly all scores. The most notable exception: when he’s down 15-40. When Nadal faces two break points against him, his primary service pattern switches to his secondary, “money” spot — the out wide. At 15-40, he goes T only 39.7 percent of the time, and his primary pattern becomes out-wide, at 44.9 percent.How does the King of Clay perform with that deuce court, out-wide serve down two break points? Put simply, he crushes: 82.9 percent of the time he wins the point. read more