Max’s Brush With Destiny: Whitlock Still Enjoying London 2012 Glories But Is Aiming For Even More In Rio

John Kerry in London for Iran, Syria talks

A no-show by 17-time Grand Slam champion would be the biggest surprise. “It’s pretty simple: You just keep on working hard, make sure that you get back on winning ways, then you become confident again, sort of get there,” Federer said. Federer’s compatriot Wawrinka advanced 7-6 (7-2), 6-4 over Canada’s Raonic, one of the hottest players this fall with back-to-back final showings in Japan and Thailand, where he won the title. The win moved Wawrinka five points ahead of Federer in the race to London. The U.S. Open semifinalist could not solidify his position further when he lost to Nadal in Friday’s quarterfinals. Also boosting their bids on Thursday were France’s Tsonga and Argentina’s del Potro. Tsonga, currently ninth in the race, defeated Florian Mayer of Germany on Friday to move into the Shanghai semifinals. Tommy Haas, Nicolas Almagro and John Isner have outside shots at making London, but all three would need to post big results this month. They trail Richard Gasquet, who is 10th, by nearly 700 points or more. Among next week’s 250-level events in Stockholm, Moscow and Vienna, only Wawrinka, Gasquet, Tsonga and Haas are entered to play the former two at Moscow and the latter two at Vienna. All the legitimate contenders will lace up the following week at 500-level events at Basel and Valencia, including Federer, who has lost to a player ranked outside the top 40 in four of his last six events. Their final shot to qualify is the Oct. 28 Paris Masters with 1,000 points to the winner.

Kerry flew into London on Sunday from Kabul, at the end of a 10-day trip around Asia. He was due to have lunch with Ashton on Sunday behind closed doors to discuss Iran’s nuclear programme, a State Department official told reporters travelling with Kerry. The lunch comes ahead of fresh talks between world powers and Iran, amid raised hopes of a less hardline approach from the Islamic republic’s new president. The two-day meeting in Geneva, starting Tuesday, will be the first such negotiations since Hassan Rouhani , a reputed moderate, took office in August. There are increased hopes of a diplomatic resolution to the decade-long standoff following Rouhani’s pledges to engage with the major powers in order to secure a lifting of sanctions. Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will negotiate with Ashton and the so-called P5+1 group of the United States, Britain, China, France and Russia plus Germany. The US is sending Wendy Sherman, the under secretary of state for political affairs. On Monday morning, Kerry was to meet Brahimi, the United Nations-Arab League envoy on Syria. They were also due to speak to press, the State Department said. Their talks will likely revolve around preparations for long-stalled so-called “Geneva-2” peace talks aimed at finding a political solution to the conflict in Syria. The United States and Russia have been trying to bring together members of President Bashar al-Assad’s government and rebel representatives for a Geneva conference following the failure of a first round of talks in June.

2013-10-11 roger federer atp finals

Not bad considering it was the hardest routine hed ever used. I competed on a 7.2 start difficulty, which is the highest score I have ever competed at. I wasnt going to use it in the all-round final but I went for it to get some experience, says Whitlock. Impressive: Whitlock helped the British Men’s gymnastics team to their first bronze in 100 years When I go into competitions, I just want to go in there and do clean routines. If I do clean routines then hopefully I can get a good score which brings the results. And bring the results it did. Whitlock came fourth in the all-round final in Antwerp thanks in part to his excellent pommel score and two days later used the same routine to claim a silver medal in the individual event. The more I go out there and compete on that routine, the better, he says. Thats why I have started it early because my main aim is for the Rio Olympics. The peaking age is about 22 or 23 for a male gymnast and Ill be 23 in Rio. Success at the Worlds is ideal progress but Whitlock, who is helped by National Lottery funding and is one of the Daily Mails seven Road to Rio athletes, is still basking in the warm glow of the London games. Most difficult routine: Whitlock won the World Championship silver on the pommel in Antwerp, Belgium VIDEO: WATCH BEHIND-THE-SCENES FOOTAGE FROM THE SHOOT He blushes as he admits he got quite a few marriage proposals on Twitter after Team GBs success. Whitlocks girlfriend Leah, 21, a gymnastics coach, has been very understanding. There is still disbelief in Whitlocks voice when he describes winning his first bronze medal in front of Princes William and Harry, while the momentousness of the way the British team made history does not quite seem to have registered. Marriage proposals: Whitlock has received lots of attention from Twitter admirers since London 2012 Proud: Whitlock shows off the silver medal he won after his pommel horse exercise at the World Championships I love talking about London.

London Mayor Boris Johnson on trade visit to China

Kieron Bryan

Some people ask if this is a good thing. I say yes.” Chinese firms have recently heavily invested in London. ABP has announced a 1bn deal to redevelop the Royal Albert Dock while ZhongRong Group is investing 500m to rebuild The Crystal Palace. ON THIS DAY 1346: On 13 October 1913, the lawyer and statesman Rufus Daniel Isaacs led the procession of King’s Counsels with Sir John Simon, at the opening of the Law Courts in London. He had been appointed the Lord chief justice. LEE RIGBY 1327: Hundreds of people have paid tribute to Fusilier Lee Rigby at a concert held in his memory. The soldier, from Langley, Manchester, was stabbed to death in the street near Woolwich Barracks on 22 May. HOSPITALS’ STRUGGLES 1313: The report also highlights several factors which are putting pressure on hospitals in London. These include more than 130,000 women giving birth in London every year, with the rate increasing by 3% a year; the number of Londoners aged 65 and over is set to increase by 19% by 2020 and 1 in 5 children in London being at risk of obesity. HOSPITALS’ STRUGGLES 1310: London’s hospitals are at “breaking point” and face a 4bn shortfall by 2020, NHS England has warned. The organisation, which works to improve the NHS, says patient care will be harmed unless there is a “radical and urgent overhaul” of the service. It said demands for healthcare will soon outstrip supply due to a rising and ageing population and increasing costs, making the NHS “unsustainable”. WOMAN KILLED 1256: Police said a male driver was arrested at the scene in Tottenham and was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. DORCHESTER HOTEL 1243: Last night, Camilla Kerslake, Blake and the Breast Cancer Choir performed at the Breast Cancer Campaign’s Pink Ribbon Ball at The Dorchester.