Rafael Nadal’s victory at Rolex Paris Masters ensures Diego Schwartzman qualification for ATP Finals | Tennis News

first_imgRafael Nadal’s win means Diego Schwartzman is the eighth and final player to qualify for the season-ending tournament at London’s O2 Arena, joining Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Dominic Thiem, Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev and fellow debutant Andrey Rublev Last Updated: 07/11/20 10:46am Rafael Nadal defeated Pablo Carreno Busta in the quarter-finals of the Rolex Paris Masters Diego Schwartzman has qualified for the ATP Finals in London Diego Schwartzman has qualified for the ATP Finals in London

Barkley embodies Trojan spirit

first_imgIf you’re a parent on the USC campus this weekend, junior quarterback Matt Barkley is the kind of guy you’d love your daughter to date or your son to be close friends with.Unquestioned leader · Junior quarterback Matt Barkley remains one of the top signal callers in the nation this season with 19 touchdown passes and four interceptions. On Saturday, he will lead USC into battle looking to upend No. 4 Stanford, led by quarterback Andrew Luck. – Carlo Acenas | Daily TrojanHe’s genial, mature beyond his years, has a million-dollar right arm and a Hallmark smile to go along with it. More importantly, Barkley possesses a rare blend of heart and character that gets lost in the negativity that envelops today’s world of college athletics.“This position is as good as it gets in college football,” Barkley said. “Playing at a high school where two former Heisman Trophy winners [John Huarte and Matt Leinart] had gone previously, I was used to this kind of attention. But I knew that the spotlight would only get magnified playing the position at USC. But who wouldn’t want this? It’s a dream.”Ordinarily, you’d expect the face of a university’s athletic program to be overwhelmed the week before the biggest game of his season. Not Barkley.Instead, the blond, blue-eyed quarterback from Orange County has been roaming throughout Heritage Hall this week looking for anyone he can find to serenade with his acoustic versions of the Doobie Brothers and Jason Mraz.For most college students, a life filled with more interviews and film sessions than midterms would be a burden, but for Barkley, it’s a blessing.“I’m a third-year starter who has been in almost every situation you could ask for,” Barkley said. “So, there is nothing that gets me jittery. I have always been a calm person off the field, and that certainly translates between the white lines.”Tomorrow’s opponent, No. 4 Stanford, might be the most dynamic team on both sides of the football — 48.6 points per game to 12.6 points allowed per game — the junior has faced, but during his time at USC, Barkley doesn’t bat an eye.“I’ve been forced to handle more circumstances than the average college quarterback because of the media in Los Angeles, the sanctions and the limelight that comes with lining up under center at this university,” Barkley said. “Every game for us is a bowl game, and this is just one opportunity of 12. It’s going to be a big atmosphere, with all of the hype, but it’s also a chance for us to go in as underdogs, with no pressure at all, and shock the world.”With this week’s matchup pitting Barkley against the Cardinal’s consensus NFL No. 1 overall pick, quarterback Andrew Luck, the natural inclination is to drudge up old questions of whether Barkley will join the NFL draft class of 2012.But for a guy who would rather spend his winter break working with underprivileged kids and prisoners in Nigeria — as Barkley did last year — than on the sun-soaked, 70-degree beaches of Southern California, the future can wait. He’s living in the moment and loving every minute of it.“This experience has been everything and more,” Barkley said. “Regardless of what’s happened in the past, this has all been a dream come true for me. Being able to wear cardinal and gold, to play for this university, it’s something that’s hard to describe. I couldn’t have asked for a better college experience. I’ve loved every second of it.”Though the charismatic 21-year-old has done virtually everything the program could ask of him as its unofficial poster child, the lasting question regarding Barkley’s tenure at USC will come down to what he does on the grass of the Coliseum. It’s a question that through seven games (6-1 record with 2,006 yards passing, 19 touchdowns and four interceptions) Barkley has certainly worked toward answering.“This year I feel completely comfortable with the offense and taking control of the game,” said Barkley, who broke a single-game school record against Arizona with 468 passing yards. “I’m not really looking for video game numbers, as long as we are winning in clean fashion. That means dedicating myself to the game when no one else is watching, constantly looking for deficiencies in my game, whether it’s how I’m holding the football, footwork or my grasp of the overall offensive scheme.”Regardless of the season statistics, bowl victories and revenue dollars he generates, when all is said and done — whether that’s in two months or in 14 — Barkley’s name and impact will resonate at the university long after he leaves.He might be closer to becoming a Davey O’Brien Award finalist than a Heisman Trophy winner. He might take part in more Emerald Bowl celebrations than Rose Parades. He might stay three years instead of four.But none of that will matter.Because, during one of the darkest hours in the athletic program’s history, it was Barkley, as much with his poise as his performance, who let the USC faithful realize that this time would only be temporary.In the big picture, that will be worth much more than a game-winning touchdown pass or a mouth full of roses.“At the end of the day, I hope people just remember my character, those attributes of a Trojan that have made me who I am today,” Barkley said. “That I love this school, love playing football, love walking through campus, love the people here. This is a truly special place and I’m definitely ready for what lies ahead because of it.”last_img read more