Rafael Nadal ends Novak Djokovic hoodoo

Rafael Nadal ended a seven-match losing streak against Novak Djokovic in emphatic fashion by thrashing the world No.

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2 to reach the final of the Madrid Open and move within a step of a third consecutive claycourt title.

The Spaniard, who won 6-2 6-4 on Saturday, will be aiming for a fifth Madrid title when he meets Austrian Dominic Thiem in Sunday’s showpiece.

World No.9 Thiem beat Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas 6-4 6-4 in the other semi-final.

Nadal made a dream start in the 50th meeting between the great rivals, winning every point in the first game to break Djokovic, with the home crowd wildly celebrating his first point – a potent return which the Serbian could only hit into the ground.

Djokovic won the last meeting between the pair in the quarter-finals of the Rome Masters a year ago, and Nadal had not beaten the 12-times grand slam winner since the 2014 French Open final.

“The circumstances nowadays are completely different compared to those seven matches that occurred before. The last two years perhaps haven’t been my best two years. They were really good years for Novak,” Nadal told a news conference.

However, the Spaniard added: “It’s one more match. What’s important to me is to make it to another final.

“As years go by, depending on the type of victories, (they) can fulfil you a little bit more or less. The most important thing is the titles, not the opponents that you have beaten.”

Defending champion Djokovic, who cut ties with long-time coach Marian Vajda and his staff the week before the tournament in a bid to reverse his downward trajectory of results, surrendered his serve again in the third game, and Nadal held to go 4-0 up.

Real Madrid greats Raul and Cristiano Ronaldo were among those watching in the stands in the Caja Majica on a scorching day in the Spanish capital as Nadal continued his rampant start to the year.

The Spaniard finished off the first set in 40 minutes and again broke the struggling Djokovic in the opening game of the second.

The world No.2 broke back in the fourth to tie the set at 2-2 and celebrated by punching the air.

It proved to be a brief respite for the Serbian, however, as Nadal broke him again in the next game and held to restore his two-game lead.

He missed two match points on his serve and then had to save a break point before taking the contest at the third time of asking to reach the Madrid final for the eighth time.

On Sunday, Nadal will look to add to his recent triumphs in the Monte Carlo Masters and the Barcelona Open.

Djokovic said he was encouraged by his performance.

“It was a positive week, a positive experience. I take, as I say, more positives than negatives into the next week in Rome,” he said.

Superb Saracens retain European title

Saracens have delivered another superb display of rugby skill and mental resilience to eventually overcome the challenge of Clermont Auvergne 28-17 and retain the European Champions Cup after a gripping final at Murrayfield.

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The London club started strongly with two tries in the first 22 minutes and looked as they were going to cruise to victory but Clermont fought back to ensure there was only a point in it going into the last 10 minutes.

Saracens, however, as they have so many times before, held their nerve under pressure in a superb atmosphere as Alex Goode broke through for the killer third try in the 73rd minute which Owen Farrell converted from the touchline.

The victory made Saracens the fourth team to retain Europe’s premier club title after Leicester, Leinster and Toulon while perennial bridesmaids Clermont, who have lost 11 of their 12 French championship finals, became the first to play in three finals and lose them all.

“The win felt different to last year, it’s a relief. There was a lot of satisfaction from this,” said Saracens halfback Richard Wigglesworth.

“We could easily have lost our heads being so dominant and not scoring but we didn’t. We want to keep building but we’ve put down a marker now.”

Saracens, now unbeaten in two full seasons in the competition, will now turn their attention to the double – they face Exeter away in the Premiership semi-finals next week.

Clermont, beaten by Toulon in the 2013 and 2015 finals, will have to regather for another assault on the French championship, where they currently lie second.

“We gave it our all out there – we might have left it a bit late in the first half to start playing but we had a good fightback in the second half and we’re proud of that effort,” Clermont fullback Scott Spedding said.

“We are absolutely gutted. We don’t know what we’re missing but hopefully one day it turns our way.”

Labor unsure how to split $22b for schools

Labor has promised to give schools an extra $22 billion should it win government but won’t detail how the money will be divvied up until it’s talked to everyone in the sector.

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Opposition Leader Bill Shorten used his budget reply speech to confirm the party would find the $22 billion it says the government has stripped out of education funding over the next decade.

Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen said on Sunday there were still more announcements to come.

“We’ve announced the funding envelope over the decade,” he told Sky News.

“In terms of sectoral approach and the funding profile, we have consultations to do with the states, with the Catholic education office, with educators, P&Cs, more broadly.”

However, the government looks likely to be able to enshrine its new funding approach in legislation after the Greens indicated they intend to seize the opportunity to create a fairer system.

The commonwealth will increase its schools funding from $17.5 billion in 2017 to $30.6 billion in 2027.

But that boost is about $22 billion less than what Labor planned to give schools over the same decade when it was in power – although it’s more than the coalition has indicated in any of its budgets since 2014.

Labor’s pledge to restore the funding is over the same timeframe as the government’s plan, up to 2027.

But with the next federal election not due until early 2019, it’s unclear what would happen to the $3.6 billion difference between the government’s plan and Labor’s in 2018 and 2019.

Greens education spokeswoman Sarah Hanson-Young said it was time for Labor to get real about the state of funding.

“Gonski years five and six (in 2018 and 2019) are already gone. It was wrong for the Liberals to cut them but the Senate can’t bring them back, they’re not in legislation,” she told Fairfax Media.

She indicated the Greens want more money to go to the neediest schools faster.

The legislation before parliament outlines the government’s intention for the commonwealth to pay 20 per cent of a base per-student funding level, plus loadings for disadvantage, to public schools and 80 per cent to private schools.

It says it’s up to the states to make up the rest, and the legislation will force state governments to sign on to a new agreement on schooling.

No future increase in bank levy: Morrison

Scott Morrison says the bank levy announced in last week’s budget is permanent but he has no plans to raise it any further in the future.

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The 0.06 per cent tax on the big four banks and Australia’s largest investment bank, Macquarie, will raise just over $6 billion to help towards budget repair and was the biggest surprise in the treasurer’s annual statement.

The UK has a similar tax on banks but has raised it several times since its introduction.

“We have no plans to do that whatsoever,” Mr Morrison told ABC television on Sunday.

“We have set it at the levy we think is appropriate and we think is fair.”

The bank chiefs are furious and are threatening to pass on the cost of the levy to their customers and shareholders.

But Mr Morrison insists the banks can absorb the impost.

“If banks think the way to build shareholder value is to fleece their customers then I don’t think that is a very sound business strategy,” he said.

He said the levy was small when compared to the 25 basis-point changes in the cash rate made by the Reserve Bank and at a time at a time when they are enjoying a 20-40 basis point advantage over smaller banks when they raise money in the financial market.

“To suggest this is somehow the end of financial civilisation as we know it is one of the biggest overreaches in a whinge about a tax I have ever seen,” Mr Morrison said.

But shadow treasurer Chris Bowen does not believe the levy is about competition, given the government has only just sought a review on the issue through the Productivity Commission two years after it was recommended in the Murray review of the financial system.

However, Labor does support the levy and, like the government, would make it permanent.

But Mr Bowen believes it was a last minute decision to drop it into the budget because the government was short on cash.

He said the government had not consulted the sector nor taken advice from the Council of Financial Regulators about its impact.

“It was a desperate measure because they were short of cash so they said I know what we’ll do, we’ll dump a bank levy in,” Mr Bowen told Sky News.

Australian and Indonesian designers strengthen ties through fashion

Australian designer Jenny Kee is an 80s fashion icon.

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Decades later she’s still creating bold prints, but this time she’s got her eyes set on the market of Australia’s northern neighbour.

Ms Kee told SBS World News: “My clothes are about colour and joy and love of all the Australian imagery that can be used in subtle or non-subtle ways.”

Watch: Jenny Kee see similarities between her and Indonesian fashion

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Meanwhile, Indonesian fashion designer Tuty Adib wants to sell her creations to Australia.

Ms Tuty designs modest fashion, which she hopes has a universal appeal.

“My fashion is not just for Muslims or Muslim women, it’s for everyone who wants to wear modest fashion.”

The designers featured their collections at the ‘Indonesia Beautiful’ fashion show organised by the Consulate General of Indonesia in Sydney.

Watch: Tuty Adib believes her modest fashion has a universal appeal

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It follows a discussion this year between the two countries’ leaders about the importance of collaborating in the creative industries.

In February, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Indonesian President Joko Widodo agreed to explore the economic potential of the fashion industry.

Consul General Yayan Ganda Hayat Mulyana told SBS World News “the creative sector is booming and becoming the pillars of both countries”.

Watch: Indonesian Consul General supports fashion ties

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Australia’s creative industries are worth $90.19 billion in turnover to the national economy and employ more than 600,000 Australians. The fashion industry constitutes $12 billion.

Indonesia is the 12th largest textile exporter to Australia, valued at US$500 million. But that has the potential to change.

According to a 2016 McKinsey report, the global fashion market at US$2.4 trillion is projected to accelerate by up to 3.5 per cent in 2017.

“I would like to bring Australia and Indonesian designers to collaborate to tap into the potential of the global market,” Mr Yayan said.

“We [Indonesia] have creation, we have motifs, we are rich with cultural motifs, Australia has technology, and management skills.”

In June, Indonesia and Australia will enter the seventh round of negotiations towards the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which promises to open new markets and business opportunities.  

Watch: Introducing heritage-listed batik to Australia

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