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Novak Djokovic enters French Open semi-finals but faces fitness battle

Video: Serena pulls out of French Open with Achilles injury (Reuters)

Serena pulls out of French Open with Achilles injury

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Novak Djokovic is still in the French Open – but only after a drawn-out struggle in four sets on Wednesday night against Pablo Carreño Busta, the Spaniard who cashed in at the US Open when the world No 1 was disqualified for striking a line official with a spare ball. It was not a joyous reunion.



Novak Djokovic is swinging a racket at a ball: Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

A month after their shared New York drama, Carreño Busta had notions of winning on his own merits after taking the first set of the second quarter-final on day 11, but Djokovic ignored nagging pain in his upper left arm and his neck as he cobbled together a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 win in 3hr 10min under the lights on Court Philippe Chatrier. He has two days to recover before playing Stefanos Tsitsipas on Friday, and he will need every waking hour of them.



Novak Djokovic is swinging a racket at a ball: Novak Djokovic plays a forehand during his French Open quarter-final victory against Pablo Carreño Busta of Spain.


© Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Novak Djokovic plays a forehand during his French Open quarter-final victory against Pablo Carreño Busta of Spain.

Related: Rafael Nadal weathers cold and Jannik Sinner to reach French Open semi-final

If the 2016 champion is to win the title again he has to beat injury, an in-form Tsitsipas and, probably, the 12-time champion, Rafael Nadal, who plays Diego Schwartzman in the other semi-final. It is the sort of mountain Djokovic loves climbing, but the question remains: is he fit and strong enough to reach the summit?

Djokovic was cleared to play in Rome, where he beat Schwartzman in the final, and in Paris after testing positive for coronavirus on his Balkans exhibition tour earlier in the summer – but he looked a physical mess in the first set. Sweating and anxious, he grimaced, tugged at his arm and bandaged neck and tried to bang life into his upper legs with his racket as his opponent waited for his chances.

The tournament physio massaged Djokovic’s arm during the break and the player told him: “It feels better now.” Yet he did not look remotely comfortable, even when he got his serve working and levelled at a set apiece. The trainer returned between the third and fourth games, and it seemed to lift Djokovic’s spirits. Just when he looked as if he was slipping into a confused state again, he bounced back to level at a set apiece.

Related: Petra Kvitova sets up French Open semi-final meeting with Sofia Kenin

He broke early in the third, overcame a blip when Carreño Busta broke back for 2-3, then hit hard again to go a set up. But he looked far from commanding. Carreño Busta dug his heels into the Roland Garros clay in the fourth, and Djokovic had to fight for every point. Carreño Busta chose a woeful option to hand him the break for 3-4, Djokovic saved break point to hold through deuce

Connecticut enters 3rd reopening phase Thursday

HARTFORD, Conn. — Connecticut’s third reopening phase is set to begin Thursday, a milestone during the coronavirus pandemic that is getting a lukewarm reception from some business owners and arts aficionados.

A number of restaurant owners say they won’t be able to reach the new 75% capacity limit for indoor dining because they don’t have the space, primarily due to the requirement that tables be at least 6 feet apart. The indoor capacity maximum is being increased from 50%.

Indoor performing arts venues will be allowed to open beginning Thursday at 50% capacity, while outdoor event venues will be allowed to increase their capacity from 25% to 50%, with required masks and social distancing at all locations. But many theaters and concert venues have decided not to open this week, as shows already have been canceled and many say they can’t make money with half-full facilities.

The Phase 3 reopening comes as Connecticut has seen a slight uptick in coronavirus cases. Nearly 140 people were hospitalized as of Wednesday, up from 50 from a month ago and the highest number since late June.


The positive test rate for the virus was less than 1% over most of the summer, but has edged up to around 1.5% recently.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— President Trump’s doctor says he’s been symptom-free for 24 hours

— What do we know about superspreader events in the pandemic?

— Gov. Cuomo issues restrictions in parts of New York

— Eli Lilly and Company has asked the U.S. government to allow emergency use of an experimental antibody therapy.

— Ethics experts say the special treatment Trump received to access an experimental COVID-19 drug raises fairness issues and public’s right to know about his condition.

— Tennessee will not be returning to the team’s facility after two more players tested positive and New England Patriots have canceled practice through Thursday amid reports that a third player has tested positive for the coronavirus.

— Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

ORLANDO, Fla. — About 8,800 part-time union workers at Walt Disney World in Florida will be part of the 28,000 layoffs in Disney’s parks division in California and Florida, union officials said Wednesday.

The addition of the union workers to the almost 6,500 nonunion layoff already announced brings the Disney-related job losses in Florida to more than 15,000 workers.

Disney officials announced last week that it was laying off 28,000 workers because of the coronavirus pandemic. Two-thirds of the planned layoffs involved part-time workers and they ranged from salaried employees to hourly workers.

Disney’s parks closed last spring as the pandemic began spreading in the U.S. The Florida parks reopened this summer, but the California parks have yet to reopen as the company awaits guidance from the state of California.

In a letter to employees, Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks, Experience and Product, said California’s “unwillingness to lift restrictions that would allow

Trump enters ‘uncharted territory,’ returning to White House at fraught moment in his recovery

The president returns to the White House at a fraught moment in his recovery — before he has seemingly escaped a period when some patients are known to crash.

“The problem with covid-19 is that people’s condition can deteriorate rapidly, even after days of stability,” said Harlan Krumholz, a cardiologist and health-care researcher at Yale University and Yale New Haven Hospital. “And so we are more accustomed to be cautious with people with high risk.”

The president has received care accessible to few other Americans. He was given a brew of laboratory-made antibodies that fewer than 10 other patients have received outside of clinical trials. And for him, returning home means arriving at a place that can be adapted to cater to his needs, Krumholz and others said.

Jonathan Reiner, a George Washington University Hospital cardiologist, said that in an emergency, the White House medical unit “can do what an emergency room can do in the first 15 minutes” — someone could be resuscitated and stabilized during a heart attack, for example, and then transferred to a hospital. Still for ongoing treatment, he said, it would be wise for Trump to remain hospitalized.

“It makes zero sense to move him from Walter Reed,” Reiner said.

At a Monday news conference, White House physician Sean P. Conley said doctors were “cautiously optimistic and on guard” about Trump’s discharge. But he said the benefits of returning to the White House outweighed the risks.

“Every day a patient stays in the hospital unnecessarily is a risk to themselves,” Conley said. “And right now there’s nothing that’s being done upstairs here that we can’t safely conduct down home.”

But Conley acknowledged that the medical team is in “uncharted territory” with the mix of medications the president has been given and that the dangerous period for the infection is not over. He’s “looking to this weekend” for assurance that Trump has cleared rough waters.

“If we can get through to Monday” of next week, he said, doctors will “take that final deep sigh of relief.”

Conley declined for the third briefing in a row to answer additional questions about X-rays and other images taken of Trump’s lungs, and about other key data, such as when he last received a negative coronavirus test before falling ill. Instead, Conley emphasized symptoms the president was not experiencing: A “slight cough” was gone. There were never complaints of muscle aches. And fever-reducing drugs had not been deployed for at least 72 hours.

“He’s up and back to his old self, predominantly,” Conley said.

In the White House, Trump’s doctors will be vigilant for sudden changes, specialists predicted.

“You would want to be prepared to take care of any sudden unanticipated or very concerning event,” said Jeanne Marrazzo, an infectious-diseases expert at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The biggest risk, she said, would be the sudden onset of acute respiratory distress syndrome, which sometimes occurs with covid-19. Patients’ lungs fill with fluid, and they can’t breathe on their own.

Ontario premier issues stern warning on second ‘wave or tsunami,’ Quebec enters red alert

COVID-19 In Canada
COVID-19 In Canada

Montreal, Quebec City and Chaudière-Appalaches move into the red alert level

Quebec Premier François Legault announced Monday that the regions of Montreal, Quebec City and Chaudière-Appalaches are moving into the red alert level, the most critical alert level in the province.

From Oct. 2 to Oct. 28, only people living at the same address can be inside a home at the same time, with an exception for a single caregiver.

Dining rooms in restaurants will be closed, but take-out services will be allowed, and other public spaces like bars, theatres, casinos and cinemas must shut down operations.

Places of worship can operate with a maximum of 25 people. Everyone must stay two metres apart outside and they must where a mask when that is not possible.

“We also need to reduce our contacts everywhere in Quebec,” Legault said. “We cannot wait for the red alert.”

“The number of cases is rising, if we don’t want our hospitals to be submerged, if we want to limit the number of deaths we must act strongly right now.”

Ontario could see thousands of COVID-19 cases a day in second wave

Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, explained that there are two models for the future of the province’s second wave, one that would lead to thousands of new cases a day.

The “most concerning” model is the “penultimate or the tsunami-type wave” where there is rapid exponential growth in cases that impacts the whole province.

“We would be up and having anywhere from three to four to five thousand new cases a day,” Dr. Williams said at a press conference on Monday.

The second model is identified by “undulating waves” and would continue into 2021, but modellers have not identified how big each of these shorter waves would be.

“This is a wakeup call for us, we have to pay attention to this in a serious way,” the Ontario’s chief medical officer of health said.

Dr. Williams added that considerations are still being brought forward to the public health measures table related to moving all of Ontario, or certain areas of the province, back to Stage 2 of Ontario’s reopening plan. He added that the core difference between the COVID-19 situation now and when restrictions were initially put in is that virus was all over the province, instead of mainly being identified in more urban areas of Ontario. Dr. Williams confirmed that some of the recommendations being put forward are “pan-Ontario” measures and restrictions.

The province’s chief medical officer of health asked the public to be cautious about who they interact with, particularly individuals who are not taking the COVID-19 pandemic seriously.

“We’re getting some people out there who are basically saying, we don’t really care about the rules and we’re going to be cavalier about it,” Dr. Williams explained. “I would avoid contact with those people…because you have no idea, and they have no idea, if they’ve been exposed or not at this stage.”

PJ SOLOMON Enters Healthcare Investment Banking with Hiring of Ryan Stewart

Mr. Stewart to lead Healthcare Technology & Tech-Enabled Services franchise with over 25 years of experience as an investment banker, equity research analyst and industry operator

Ryan Stewart Headshot

Ryan Stewart Headshot
Ryan Stewart Headshot
Ryan Stewart Headshot

NEW YORK, Sept. 30, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — PJ SOLOMON, a leading financial advisory firm and independently operated affiliate of Natixis, has entered into healthcare investment banking with the hiring of Ryan Stewart as a Managing Director to build and lead its new Healthcare Technology & Tech-Enabled Services subsector.

Mr. Stewart specializes in advising healthcare technology & tech-enabled services companies, as well as financial sponsors that invest across the sector. At PJ SOLOMON he will continue to focus on core end-markets including: payer-tech & outsourcing, tech-enabled managed care, provider-tech, virtual care & remote patient monitoring and pharma-tech & real-world evidence. He brings more than 25 years of industry experience and expertise, having worked and advised in the healthcare technology and managed care sector as an investment banker, equity research analyst, management consultant and operating executive.

“Healthcare technology and tech-enabled services is a natural extension of PJ SOLOMON’s push into high-growth verticals and one which Ryan, with his deep industry expertise and success in building and scaling investment banking practices, is uniquely suited to lead,” said Marc Cooper, CEO of PJ SOLOMON. “Ryan’s hiring comes shortly after we brought on Syed Husain to lead our Pharmacy subsector and together, they mark our first concerted effort into healthcare investment banking. We are excited to welcome Ryan during this period of sustained growth and look forward to building out our overall healthcare offering to better serve our clients.”

“With an unrivaled depth of experience, some of the strongest client relationships in the industry and a continuous growth mindset, PJ SOLOMON is a natural next step in my career,” said Mr. Stewart. “The number of new verticals the firm has added over such a short period of time is truly a testament to PJ SOLOMON’s commitment to expand and diversify its platform to better serve the firm’s clients. I am excited to contribute by building out the healthcare technology & tech-enabled services subsector into a competitive offering that augments the best-in-class platform PJ SOLOMON has developed, especially at a time of unprecedented innovation, growth and digital transformation across the healthcare-tech space.”

Mr. Stewart most recently served as a Managing Director at SVB Leerink where he spent the past five years building and leading the firm’s Healthcare Technology Investment Banking franchise. Prior to SVB Leerink, Mr. Stewart spent six years as a Managing Director and Partner at TripleTree.

Over the past decade, Mr. Stewart advised on several key sector transactions worth a total of $8B. These include, among others, iHealth Technologies’ sale to Advent International-backed Connolly LLC, Altegra Health’s $910M sale to Change Healthcare, KEPRO’s sale to Apax Partners, New Century Health’s sale to Evolent Health, Orion Health’s Rhapsody spin-out to Hg Capital, the concurrent sale of Healthscape Advisors and Pareto Intelligence to New Mountain Capital’s Convey Health