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Rafael Nadal defeats Stan Wawrinka in straight sets to win French Open 2017

Posted on 11 June 2017 by admin

 

• Rampant Spaniard wins final at Roland Garros 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 
• Title victory is Nadal’s 10th in Paris, breaking his own record

 

Spain’s Rafael Nadal surged past Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka to win the French Open at Roland Garros.  

Spain’s Rafael Nadal surged past Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka to win the French Open at Roland Garros. Photograph: Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters.

 at Roland Garros – Courtesy: The Guardian.

Rafael Nadal won the French Open for the 10th time, shrugging off the weight of history and the best but weakened efforts of Stan Wawrinka over three sets to become the oldest champion at Roland Garros in the Open Era on a baking Sunday afternoon in his favourite arena. It is more likely the Seine will dry up than anyone will match the Spaniard’s La Decima.

Nadal, who was 19 when he won for the first time and turned 31 eight days ago, crushed the dregs of resistance from his exhausted Swiss rival, who is 32, in two hours and five minutes to win 6-2, 6-3, 6-1. In seven matches, Nadal had dropped only 35 games. That is dominance on a grand scale.

It was not a great final; indeed it was an anti-climax after a fortnight of almost daily drama. But the occasion was adorned by a great champion, and a stout if outclassed challenger.

The world No 1, Andy Murray, fell to Wawrinka in more than four-and-four-and-a-half hours over five sets on Friday; and the world No 2 Novak Djokovic collapsed worryingly in the quarter-finals to Dominic Thiem, who in turn could not give Nadal a decent fight in their semi-final.

So Nadal and Wawrinka were obviously worthy finalists – the first since 1969 to both be 30 or older – but the event did not live up to the billing or the expectations. Wawrinka’s compatriot, Roger Federer, is waiting for all of them, refreshed and confident, at Wimbledon in a few weeks time. What a summer it has been.

Wawrinka wore his sponsor’s wrist watch, like a good Swiss. But his time was up long before he’d had a chance to get properly into the match.

It was the hottest day for at least a week, in a tournament where stormy weather has intruded only occasionally. White shirts and hats made for a bright backdrop as nearly 15,000 patrons crammed on to the main court, their paper fans fluttering feverishly for a windless couple of hours.

Sport has always been a mirror of troubles elsewhere, of which Paris and other cities have had their share. So it wasn’t difficult to spot the hardcore security muscle: who wears a dark suit, arms folded with eyes behind the darkest of sunglasses trained on the crowd, on a boiling day like this?

The tension on court, meanwhile, was more innocent. Each had break chances and blew them inside the first quarter of an hour, thwarted by bursts of powerful counter-punching. An epic struggle beckoned.

But the mood shifted mid-set. Wawrinka survived a brutal examination of his serve to hold in a long fourth game, Nadal held quickly with an ace for 3-2, then broke to 15 just past the half-hour. The exertions of beating Murray looked to have drained Wawrinka of his legendary stamina at just the wrong moment.

Nadal, who had spent five fewer hours getting to the final, was now full of bounce and vim, charging the net and ripping his famous forehand. When Wawrinka planted a lazy forehand long, the first set belonged to Nadal.

Wawrinka chomped down on a ball with his teeth after Nadal stuck another wicked crosscourt into the unattended deuce corner for an early break in the second. Frustration painted his weary face.

In the space of maybe 20 minutes, the final had swung from a fair fight to a mugging. Rumours that Wawrinka was carrying a minor arm injury were given substance as backhands that had dazzled Murray two days earlier now found a home in the net or out of court. Those that reached Nadal were dispatched imperiously.

Wawrinka needed to get his game back immediately to avoid a defeat on a par with that of David Ferrer against Nadal here in 2013. There was resistance, but it flickered rather than bursting into a sustainable flame. When Nadal went 2-0 up in the third, Wawrinka’s challenge was to avoid embarrassment.

He kept punching his ground strokes, chasing down lost causes, but Nadal was pushing him so deep he could not find sharp enough angles to get into the points. He forced Nadal to deuce in the fourth game, but could not cash in.

Wawrinka was in touch, but not for long. After fighting through deuce, he struck a forehand long to hand Nadal his fifth break of the match at 1-4 in the third. Two games from the championship, Nadal held without hindrance. Wawrinka served like a condemned man, shaking his head between points before dumping a final backhand. Nadal fell to his beloved clay, got up to shake the loser’s hand, then soaked up the acclaim of his Parisian faithful.

Nadal said courtside: “I’m very emotional. It’s very bad, in this moment, I know. I play my best in all events but the feeling I have here is impossible to describe and difficult to compare to others. The nerves and adrenaline is impossible to compare. This the most important event in my career, without a doubt.”

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BRADBY SHIELD: Full-time: Royal 13 – Trinity 08 (agg: RC 35 – TCK 25)

Posted on 03 June 2017 by admin

A well-constructed team effort, helped by some sage defensive work saw the newly crowned league champions, Royal College claim their most valued prize, the coveted Bradby shield in the second leg worked off at the Royal complex.

Torrential downpour earlier in the day, meant the fierce battle had to be settled with muddy conditions underfoot, but the hosts who came into the 2nd leg with a five-point lead showcased a fine team performance to hold the dangerous Trinitians at bay to claim the shield for the 3rdconsecutive year with an aggregate score of 35-25.

It was the visitors who took the upper hand from the first whistle, as Trinity saw themselves inside Royal’s 22 on a few occasions early on, but were unable to breach the defenses. The pressure exerted however was enough to earn themselves a penalty in proximity to the goal posts in just the 4th minute which Fly half Lashan Wijesooriya had little trouble slotting in to hand his side an early lead.  (RC 00 – TCK 03).

The league champs however, were the better team on the day, adapting to the conditions using their big forwards in close range with “pick and goes”, which helped Royal earn a few penalties, which they decided to kick to touch and set up their piece-de-resistance, the rolling maul. Trinity however, having done their homework, succeeded in repelling the hosts attacks time and again.

Unfortunately for Trinity despite holding off Royal initially, they lost possession one times too many eventually conceding a penalty within kicking range which Full back Mohomed Shakir knocked over from 22 meters out with pin point accuracy levelling the scores. (RC 03 – TCK 03)

The resulting re-start by Wijesooriya saw Royal making a careless error letting the ball go into touch inside their red zone, a few phases later Trinity turned down a penalty within kickable range, opting for the lineout which they botched. Royal in return went on the attack all the way up to half time but were also unable to breach a valiant Trinity defense.

Half time: Royal 03 – Trinity 03

The visitors strode into the field with a new set of playing jerseys, with hopes of overcoming the 5 point deficit carried in from the first leg. All that optimism was soon ground out by the Royalists who scored 2 tries within first ten minutes of the 2nd half.

Having won a penalty inside their half, Royal showed no hesitation in kicking to touch, to set up the rolling maul. Even though not being able to gain much ground, Royal’s forwards were quick to react and switch to their powerful close-range pick and drives. It took less than 5 phases for the champions to leave the back pedaling Trinity defense in tatters as second rower Sasitha Karunarathne barged over from close range. Shakir’s conversion attempt drifted wide albeit from a difficult angle.

Royal soon doubled their advantage through another trademark forwards try by Prop Himantha Hirushan. This time it was the rolling maul that did the damage as Royal ground their way forward and when the maul eventually came to a halt it took less than 5 phases once again for the Royalists to barge over. Shakir’s conversion attempt ricocheted off the posts keeping Royals aggregate lead to 15. (RC 13 – TCK 03).

With atrocious conditions underfoot, and a 15-point lead to overcome, Trinity’s chances looked bleak, and with unforced errors from key players at key moments, things kept going from bad to worse. Despite the uphill task the Trinitians piled on the pressure which their opponents defended, as they choked Trinity into committing mistakes.

The Lions, however finally managed to register a consolation try when prop Avishka Priyankara powered his way over from close range with less than 3 minutes remaining.

Full-time: Royal 13 – Trinity 08 (agg: RC 35 – TCK 25)

Referee: Rohan Fernando

Score breakdown

Royal College: 13 (03)
Tries: Sasitha Karunarathne, Himantha Hirushan
Penalties: Mohomed Shaqir (1)

Trinity College: 08 (03)
Tries: Avishka Priyankara
Penalties: Lashane Wijesooriya (1)

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French Tennis Open 2017 prize money: how much will Roland Garros winners earn?

Posted on 28 May 2017 by admin

French Open 2017 prize money: how much will Roland Garros winners earn? 

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Indian Premier League auctions to be held on February 20: Big bucks on offer

Posted on 05 February 2017 by admin

 

After much delay and speculations, the auction for the 2017 season of the Indian Premier League will be held on February 20, with a maximum of 76 players going under the hammer.

Feb 03, 2017 20:29 IST

HT Correspondent

HT Correspondent 
Hindustan Times

Indian Premier League

The Indian Premier League auction for the 2017 season will be held on February 20 in Bengaluru.(BCCI)​

The 2017 Indian Premier League auction will be held in Bengaluru on February 20. The decision was taken in an internal meeting of the Board of Control for Cricket in India officials here on Friday.

As per the procedure, on the eve of the auction there will be a franchisees meeting. On February 21, a workshop will be conducted for the franchisees.

In their next step, the BCCI will circulate a list of all the players who have registered for the auction to the clubs. Friday was the deadline for registration. A final list for the auction will then be prepared depending on the interest shown by the franchises.

The IPL franchises will go into the player auction with a maximum of Rs 143.33 crores purse for 2017 season.

The teams can have a maximum of 27 players including nine overseas players. A maximum of 76 players, including 28 overseas, can be bought at the auction.

Heading into the auction, Kings XI Punjab, who finished in last position in the 2016 IPL, have the maximum balance of 23.35 crore rupees, followed by Delhi Daredevils with 23.1 crore rupees and defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad with rupees 20.1 crore rupees.

Out of all the franchisees, Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore have the least balance, with Mumbai the lowest with 11.5 crore rupees followed by RCB with 12.82 crore rupees.

Among the number of players, both MI and RCB have the largest number of total players with 20, with RCB having the most overseas players with eight. The team that will benefit the most will be two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders, who just have 14 players and four overseas players. With Andre Russell banned for one year due to a doping whereabouts violation, the hunt for a new foreign player will be the key for KKR in this auction.

It is not a full-fledged auction as most of the teams have retained their core group of players. Despite their flop show in the final Twenty20 game of the series against India, the main attraction of the auction is expected to be the England players.

The players who have been released will be also be up for sale.

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Will Canada’s Milos Raonic Challenge For Tennis No. 1 in 2017?

Posted on 06 January 2017 by admin

 

ATP

ATP Staff.

  •  

World No. 3 takes in sights before opening round match.

Milos Raonic has arrived at the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp and is ready to make a statement in his first tournament of 2017.

But before he takes the court for his first match of the season, the top seed and defending champion made time to take in the sights of this world-class city. Raonic boarded a CityCat cruise around the Brisbane River on Tuesday and met Adrian Schrinner, the city’s Deputy Mayor.

“It's great to be back here. This is the most ideal way for us, as tennis players, to start off an Australian summer,” said Raonic. “Having five of the Top 10 players here is of great significance. It’s obviously a great show not only of the kind of support that we have here in Brisbane, but also the quality of the tournament and the fact that players believe this is the most ideal way to start. They feel the comfort of being here many years over and over again.”

Having received a first-round bye, the World No. 3 will play the winner between Sam Querrey and Diego Schwartzman. Raonic is even with Querrey in their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry at 2-2, but has won their past two matches.

Raonic cut his year-end Emirates ATP Ranking from No. 14 to No. 3 last year, and in his final event of the year, the ATP World Tour Finals, he pushed World No. 2 Novak Djokovic to 7-6, 7-6 and held match point against World No. 1 Andy Murray.

Asked if he could join Murray and Djokovic in the battle for No. 1 in 2017, Raonic said, "I hope so, that's the goal. It's about going out there every single week trying to give myself physically and mentally the best possibility to win and compete against these guys in the biggest events.

"They have a consistency that has been unmatched over the past few seasons; hopefully I can step up and show that consistency as well."

Talking about his decision to add former Wimbledon champion Richard Krajicek to his coaching team, Raonic said, “It was about the intentions he believes I need to do with my game to take the next step forward, especially against the top guys. We’re looking for a bit more aggression, a bit more progress forward to the net to keep the guys off balance and take it to them.”

The Canadian has thrived in Brisbane throughout his career, posting a 7-2 career record in his three appearances. He also finished runner-up at this event in 2015 (l. Federer).

This will be Raonic’s first match with 1996 Wimbledon champion Richard Krajicek as part of his coaching team. The Dutchman will also work alongside Riccardo Piatti, who has been with the Canadian since 2014. 

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World’s highest-paid female athletes of 2016

Posted on 25 July 2016 by admin

The top 10 female athletes earned $124 million over the last 12 months, flat from the prior year. Tennis players dominate the action with eight entries. It is a global group with women representing eight different countries. Our figures cover salaries, prize money, bonuses, endorsements, appearances fees and licensing income between June 1, 2015 and June 1, 2016.
— Forbes

Here is the order of earnings:

10. Eugenie Bouchard – $6.2 Million.

9. Victoria Azarenka – $6.6 Million.

8. Ana Ivanovic – $7.4 Million.

7. Garbine Muguruza – $7.6 Million.

6. Caroline Wozniacki – $8.0 Million.

5. Agnieszka Radwanska – $10.2 Million.

4. Dancia Patrick – $13.9 Million.

3. Ronda Rousey 0 $14 Million.

2. Maria Sharapova – $21.9 Million.

1. Serena Williams – $28.9 Million.

World's highest-paid female athletes of 2016

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Iceland stuns England to reach Euro quarterfinal

Posted on 29 June 2016 by admin

 

England dealt a humiliating 2-1 defeat by minnows Iceland.

AFP | PTI  |  Nice (France) June 28, 2016.

Euro 2016

Iceland's Kolbeinn Sigthorsson celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the Euro 2016 round of 16 soccer match between England and Iceland, at the Allianz Riviera stadium in Nice, France. Photo: AP/PTI.

England dealt a humiliating 2-1 defeat by minnows Icelandas Roy Hodgson's side crashed out of Euro 2016 in one of the most stunning upsets in the history of the game.

Ragnar Sigurdsson cancelled out Wayne Rooney's fourth-minute opener before Kolbeinn Sigthorsson's tame shot squirmed past England goalkeeper Joe Hart for an 18th-minute winner.
Three days on from Britain's vote to leave the European Union, England followed the country's lead by exiting Europe, their quest for a first title since the 1966 World Cup doomed to continue.

It ranked alongside their 1-0 loss to the part-timers of the United States at the 1950 World Cup and sent Iceland, appearing at their first major tournament, into a glamour quarter-final with hosts France.

England manager Roy Hodgson is now almost certain to lose his job, with Football Association chairman Greg Dyke having said recently that the team would have to "do well" in France for him to be offered a new contract.

Ironically, Hodgson's fate was sealed by his former protege Lars Lagerback — Iceland's joint coach alongside Heimir Hallgrimsson — who began his coaching career under the Englishman's tutelage in Sweden in the late 1970s.

As expected, Hodgson made six changes to his starting XI at a muggy Stade de Nice, which included a recall for Raheem Sterling.

The Manchester City forward was criticised for some insipid group-stage displays, but he made an excellent start, racing onto Daniel Sturridge's fine pass and drawing a foul from Iceland goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson.

Rooney planted the penalty into the bottom-left corner to crown his 115th England appearance — which tied David Beckham's record for an outfield player — with a 53rd international goal.

Remarkably, his side's lead was to last only 34 seconds.

Hodgson had warned of the dangers of Aron Gunnarsson's long throw-ins prior to the game, but from the Iceland captain's right-wing missile, Kari Arnason headed the ball on and Sigurdsson charged in behind a dosing Kyle Walker to volley home from close range.

It drew a roar from the blue-shirted fans in the Iceland end and after Dele Alli and Harry Kane had fired narrowly over for England, they were screaming with disbelief in the 18th minute.
Gylfi Sigurdsson and Jon Dadi Bodvarsson worked the ball

to Sigthorsson and with England's defenders standing off, the Nantes striker rolled a shot goal-wards that Hart could only palm into his bottom-left corner.

Having also allowed a Gareth Bale free-kick to squirm past him in the 2-1 win over Wales, it was the City goalkeeper's second major blunder of the tournament.

Kane threatened to provide an immediate riposte with a stinging volley that was brilliantly palmed over by Halldorsson, but in the main Hodgson's men were reduced to long-range potshots.

Hodgson made two attacking changes — Jack Wilshere replacing Eric Dier at half-time, Jamie Vardy taking Sterling's place on the hour — but despite their firepower, there was no craft whatsoever to England's approach play.

Had Ragnar Sigurdsson's overhead bicycle kick not flown straight at Hart early in the second half, meanwhile, England would have had a mountain to climb.

But Sigthorsson's goal was to prove enough, with Alli hooking over and Kane heading straight at Halldorsson before the final whistle brought England's players to their knees and sent the Iceland bench tearing onto the pitch in celebratio

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