Sania-Ram pair moves into Australian Open mixed doubles second round
Melbourne, Jan 20 (Tennis News) Sania Mirza and her American partner Rajeev Ram moved into the mixed doubles second round of the Australian Open with a confident straight-set win over the Serbian team of Aleksandra Krunic and Nikola Cacic, here on Thursday.
Ram came out serving big and also stayed like a rock at the net as he anchored the 6-3 7-6(3) win in the opening round that lasted 69 minutes. Ram is a defending champion in the event. He had won the mixed title here with Czech partner Barbora Krejcikova in 2021.
Mirza, who will retire after the 2022 season, also served well in the contest.
They had a chance to go up as early as in the second game but Mirza buried a forehand into the net on the deciding point.
The team got another chance on the serve of Krunic but that chance also went abegging when Mirza could not finish the point with a volley. However, they got the break on the deciding point.
Ram then served out the next game at love for a 4-1 lead.
Mirza too made a lot of first serves as the team cruised towards a first-set lead. Ram's solid serving and Mirza's smooth volleys sealed the set for the Indo-American team.
Mirza unleashed her big forehand to Krunic on a weak return from Cacic to earn the first break chance of the second set. But the Indian hit the forehand long on the deciding point.
A stunning cross court winner by Mirza earned the team two break points on Krunic's serve in the sixth game.
But the Serbians held the game as Krunic served wide and Mirza's return was dispatched for a volley winner by Cacic.
At 5-5, Krunic came out serving big for a crucial hold and now Mirza had to serve under pressure to stretch it to a tie-breaker. But the Indian made no mistake and served out the game at love.
Both Krunic and Cacic lost a point each on their serves to hand the Indo-American duo three match points. An error in return of serve by Cacic sealed it for Mirza and Ram.
Rohan Bopanna is also in fray in the mixed doubles event. He has paired up with Croatia's Darija Jurak Schreiber and will be in action on Saturday.
Also Read : Hurkacz and Bencic fall in second round of of Australian Open
News Source : PTI
NBA: Lakers lose their third successive match in a row as Warriors also lose
(Basketball news) The Los Angeles Lakers suffered their successive loss as they lost 133-96 to the Denver Nuggets. For the Nuggets Hyland followed up a 17-point game against Portland with career highs of 27 points and 10 rebounds as Nikola Jokic had 17 points, 13 assists and 12 rebounds for his eighth triple-double of the season, while Jeff Green scored a season-high 26 points in Denver's second straight blowout victory. All five Nuggets starters scored in double figures. For the Lakers LeBron James had 24 points and nine rebounds, but made just 9 of 23 field goals. Russell Westbrook, who was just 15 for 59 in the previous four games, had 19 points on 7-of-15 shooting.With this result the Lakers fell below 500 with their record currently at 21-22, on the other hand the Nuggets leapfrogged into 6th in the standings as their stands at 22-20.
''It meant a lot to me. It took some stress off my shoulders and made me relax more and it also made me more comfortable knowing me and Coach have that connection,'' Hyland said
''We've just got to make a decision we're going to play hard,'' Westbrook said. ''Sometimes, the schemes and how you play, it doesn't really matter. You've just got to play hard sometimes. Teams are playing harder than us, so it's as simple as that.''
'Nikola gets a triple-double in 28 minutes, Bones gets his first career double-double, the bench was great, the starters were great,'' Malone said
''We've got to get back to the drawing board and get our defense right,'' Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. ''We haven't performed well enough in the last two games on that side of the ball.''
The Golden State Warriors lost their second game in a row as they lost 119-99 to the Minnesota Timberwolves. For the Timberwolves Karl-Anthony Towns had 26 points and 11 rebounds, Jaylen Nowell scored 17 points and Malik Beasley added in 16 with five second-half 3-pointers on an especially productive night for the reserves for the Timberwolves. Jordan Poole scored 20 points and Jonathan Kuminga had 19 points for the Warriors, who lost for the fifth time in seven games. They missed 16 straight shots over one stretch in the second half as they played without Steph Curry and Draymond Green on Sunday night. With this result the Timberwolves improved their record to 21-22 and jumped into 7th in the Western Conference standings
''We're really close. We like to see each other succeed. That right there is one of the hardest things to find in teams, I feel like,'' Nowell said. ''None of us on the team are selfish.''
''We don't just want be in the play-in game. We want to be set in the playoffs. We're trying to figure out how to get a nice little win streak to get us above the hump,'' Beasley said.
'Got some and-ones, got some layups, utilized my finishing ability. For this team to grow, I have to grow as well,'' Towns said
''You can't trust what I say, because I say I can play 40 minutes, but I'm not a sports scientist,'' Thompson said. ''That's what our training staff is for. I trust them, and I don't want to get over eager in just my fourth game in. I want to peak come playoff time”
The other results were:
- Bucks 96 - 103 Raptors
- Wizards 110 - 115 Trail Blazers
- Nets 120 - 105 Pelicans
- Hawks 108 - 117 Knicks
- Thunder 102 - 107 Cavaliers
- Heat 98 - 109 76ers
- Celtics 114 - 112 Bulls
- Spurs 101 - 94 Clippers
- Mavericks 108 - 92 Magic
- Pistons 108 - 135 Suns
- Kings 112 - 118 Rockets
Tomorrow's fixtures are:
- Wizards vs 76ers
- Cavaliers vs Nets
- Grizzlies vs Bulls
- Clippers vs Pacers
- Hawks vs Bucks
- Magic vs Trail Blazers
- Heat vs Raptors
- Spurs vs Suns
- Mavericks vs Thunder
- Lakers vs Jazz
Arthur Rinderknech makes his first ATP tour final at Adelaide
(Tennis news) Arthur Rinderknech made his first ATP final since making his debut on tour two years ago. It was an all French semi final as Rinderknech was against Corentin Moutet who was aiming to go into the final stage for the second time. The world number 58 was powerful with his returns as Moutet's serves were slowing down as the match went ahead. Moutet’s average 1st serve speed was 169 km/ hour which was just ahead of Rinderknech’s second serve average of 159 km/hour.
The world number 115 lost more than half of his service points which allowed his fellow country mate to complete the match without much sweat. Rinderknech was also winning short and long rallies as he was on the front on all aspects of the game; he also won 21 of his 25 net points as it was overall just what he wanted. Rinderknech defeated Moutet 6-1, 6-3.
"It was a tough match inside our heads. I'm sure everybody knows what a home-country duel match is about," Rinderknech said. "There was a little bit of tension but I was happy to get the win with a pretty short time on court.
"It's a great achievement. I'm really happy to be in the final. It's a new step again. I made the semi-finals in Kitzbuehel last summer. Now the final here for my first tournament of the year.”
In the fourth quarterfinal of the event it was a battle of the wildcards. Two 25 year old Australians fighting for a spot in the semifinal at home, Thanasi Kokkinakis and Aleksandar Vukic were facing each other for the first time. Kokkinakis had his chances in the first set, 9 breakpoints to be exact and could not win any of them as the world number 160 took the set in a tiebreak.
In the second set, Kokkinakis hit heavy winners off his forehand as he broke Vukic’s serve in the 8th game which gave him the lead and on the set in half an hour. In the decider, Kokkinakis broke Vukic’s serve twice in the first five games and only dropped two points of serve on his own serve. The world no 145 now has reached the last four in the first two events of the year, he will face Marin Cilic for a place in the final against Rinderknech. Kokkinakis defeated Vukic 6-7, 6-3, 6-2.
In doubles, the first semi final was between second and third seed as Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski beat Marcelo Melo and Ivan Dodig. Melo and Dodig were the top seeds left in the event and had reached the final at the Adelaide International 1 but could not make it two in two. Koolhof and Skupski are in line for a second consecutive title as they had won in Melbourne. Koolhof and Skupski defeated Marcelo and Ivan 6-4, 6-1.
Ariel Behar and Gonzalo Escobar have been a rising pair in the doubles as they made five finals last year and are into their first championship match of the 2022 season. In the second semifinal, Behar and Escobar defeated Tomislav Brkic and Nikola Cacic 6-4, 6-7(5-7), 10-6.
NBA: Grizzlies beat the Warriors as the Bulls thump the Pistons
(Basketball news) The Memphis Grizzlies continued their amazing form by beating the number 1 seed Golden Warriors 116-108. For the Grizzlies, Morant scored 29 points, including five in the final minute to extend their winning streak to 10 games and made them the most in form team currently. Along with Morant, Ziaire Williams and Tyus Jones had 17 points each. For the Warriors, Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 27 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for his second triple-double of the season. Klay Thompson finished with 14 points. Andrew Wiggins and Gary Payton II scored 13 each. With this result Memphis Grizzlies improved their record to 29-14 as they currently are 4th in the Western Conference.
''I just like having that pressure,'' Morant said of his scoring down the stretch. ''I feel like that's when I shine the most. I like to be the one taking that shot, hit or miss.''
''I thought Tyus Jones shooting 3s broke the game open. That was the key,'' Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.
'He did a really good job,'' Rajakovic said of Williams' defense. ''He followed the game plan. Obviously, Steph Curry is an amazing scorer and shooter. (Williams) did a really good job of chasing him to get him inside the 3-point line.''
The new Eastern Conference leaders Chicago Bulls thumped the Detroit Pistons 133-87. For the Bulls, Nikola Vučević scored 22 points, DeMar DeRozan had 20 points and 12 rebounds as they made it 9 victories out of the last 10 matches. For the Pistons, Josh Jackson scored 16 points and Saddiq Bey added 14 for the Pistons. Along with their top scores Lonzo Ball added 18 points and Zach LaVine had 10 points and nine rebounds as Chicago picked up its ninth straight home win. With this result they improved their record to 27-11 as they comfortably sit on the top of the Eastern Conference standings.
“In the second half, we came out how we should’ve started the game,” DeRozan said.
“He’s a guy that can course-correct. He just kind of figures things out,” coach Billy Donovan said. “In the third quarter you kind of saw his whole package.”
“You do your job right, you get a raise,” DeRozan said of the growing attention. “You have to put yourself in a position where you need to be seen. I feel like that’s where we’re at.”
“I think it was a false positive,” said Pistons coach Casey, who added he’s received all the recommended vaccinations and takes special precautions due to his asthma. “I tell everyone, get vaccinated and get boosted.”
The other results were:
- Wizards 122 - 118 Thunder
- Raptors 95 - 99 Suns
- Pelicans 128 - 125 Timberwolves
- Clippers 87 - 85 Nuggets
Tomorrow's fixtures are:
- 76ers vs Hornets
- Pacers vs Celtics
- Wizards vs Magic
- Hawks vs Heat
- Knicks vs Mavericks
- Spurs vs Rockets
- Jazz vs Cavaliers
- Kings vs Lakers
- Bulls vs Nets
Poland and Spain end group stage with victories at ATP Cup
(Tennis news) Day 5 of the ATP Cup saw Spain and Poland finish on top of their respective groups. It was the last group stage match for a few teams as the weekend is nearing and the finals will take place in three days. Poland, Spain and Russia are so far the only teams to have won all their ties at the event this time as Russia will play their final group stage match today.
Poland defeated Argentina 3-0
It was curtains down for Argentina as they lost the bid in the final match. Poland saved it’s best performance at the end as both the teams had won their previous two matches and the winner would get a place in the last four. Kamil Majchrzak was the first one to break the Argentine spirits when he beat Federico Delbonis, Hubert Hurkacz closed out the tie as he took some time in understanding Diego Schwartzman’s defense. Szymon Walkow and Jan Zielinski then made it a perfect score of 3-0 with their straight set win.
Majchrzak defeated Delbonis 6-3, 7-6(7-3), Hurkacz defeated Schwartzman 6-1, 6-4, Walkow and Zielinski defeated Maximo Gonzalez and Andres Molteni 7-6(7-4), 7-6(7-5).
Spain defeated Serbia 2-1
In a repeat of the 2020 finals, Spain were on top this time as they along with Poland became the second team to record three victories in the group stage. Pablo Carreno Busta delivered the early blow as he hammered 30 winners in his win against Filip Krajinovic. Roberto Bautista Agut continued his great form to beat Dusan Lajovic to confirm the top finish in Group A. The Serbian pair of Nikola Cacic and Matej Sabanov Pedro Martinez won their last match of the event as Spain proceeded to the semifinals.
Pablo defeated Krajinovic 6-3, 6-4 , Roberto defeated Lajovic 6-1, 6-4, Cacic and Sabanov defeated Pedro Martinez and Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-7(5-7), 6-3, 10-5.
Greece defeated Georgia 2-1
It was a battle of bottom placed teams as Greece faced Georgia. Both of them had lost the first two matches as Greece managed to end their campaign with a victory. Michail Pervolarakis recorded his first tour level victory by beating Aleksandre Metreveli in an hour for the advantage. 30 minutes into the second match, Stefanos Tsitsipas gave them the first victory for the team this year as Nikoloz Basilashvili retired early due to breathing problems. In the doubles, Aleksandre Bakshi and Aleksandre Metreveli survived three matchpoints in the final set and managed a consolation win.
Pervolarakis defeated Metreveli 6-3, 6-2, Tsitsipas defeated Basilashvili 4-1 Retired, Bakshi and Metreveli defeated Pervolarakis and Tsitsipas 4-6, 6-3, 16-14.
Chile defeated Norway 2-1
Norway ended their campaign at the event without a win as they lost to Chile to join Georgia with three defeats. Alejandro Tablio was the MVP in the Chilean side as he overcame Viktor Durasovic in the first match, Casper Ruud brought Norway back into the court with a one sided performance over Cristian Garin. In the final match, Tablio and Tomas Barrios Vera made sure the farewell theme would be favouring them as they even bageled the Norwegian pair in the first set.
Tablio defeated Durasovic 6-1, 6-7(5-7), 6-1, Ruud defeated Cristian Garin 6-4, 6-1, Tablio and Tomas Barrios Vera defeated Leyton Rivera and Andreja Petrovic 6-0, 6-4.
Argentina and Spain closing in on top finish at the ATP Cup
(Tennis news) Day 3 of the ATP Cup saw Argentina and Spain maintain their perfect record for the second time. The teams will be looking to win matches in the next two days as the bottom placed teams will be eliminated and won’t proceed to the knockout stages later in the week. There were two matches in Group A and two in Group D as Norway along with Greece lost their second consecutive tie.
Chile defeated Serbia 2-1
Chile secured their first victory in the event with a long fought victory over Serbia. The three matches altogether spanned for over 6 hours as Chile is now second placed behind Spain in Group A. Cristian Garin had a bumpy start against Dusan Lajovic as the Serbian took the first set even though there were many chances of breaking the serve for both the players. In the later stages of the second set, Lajovic started getting cramps which brought down his game and finally losing the set and retiring midway of the match.
Filip Krajinovic had stalled Chile for a period of time as he secured the first point for Serbia with a win over Alejandro Tabilo. Krajinovic held on to every bit of hope he could in the final set as it was won over a tie break. In the doubles, the young Chilean pair of Tomas Barrios Vera and Alejandro Tabilo confirmed the win in an hour and 20 mins as the tie finally came to an end.
Garin defeated Lajovic 4-6, 6-4, 3-0, Krajinovic defeated Tabilo 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(7-5), Tomas and Alejandro defeated Nikola Cacic and Matej Sabanov 6-4, 3-6, 10-7.
Poland defeated Georgia 3-0
Poland recorded their second victory in as many matches as they are one win away from making the semifinal stage. Kamil Majchrzak demolished Aleksandre Bakshi as he won under an hour to give Poland a satisfying victory and then in the second match there was a little hope from the Georgia camp. Hubert Hurkacz played Aleksandre Metreveli instead of Nikoloz Basilashvili and was taken aback losing the first set in a tie break. Hurkacz then re-energised and sealed the tie for Poland.
In the doubles, Szymon Walkow and Jan Zieliński completed a full sweep with a win over Aleksandre Bakshi and Aleksandre Metreveli.
Majchrzak defeated Bakshi 6-1, 6-1, Hurkacz defeated Metreveli 6-7(5-7), 6-3, 6-1, Walkow and Zieliński defeated Zieliński and Metreveli 6-7(2-7), 6-2, 10-6.
Spain defeated Norway 3-0
Spain maintained their winning record as they did not lose a single set in three of the ties against Norway. Pablo Carreno Busta got off to a flying start as he had no trouble against Viktor Durasovic in the opening match and Roberto Bautista Agut continued his fine form by beating Casper Ruud for victory. The young Spaniards Davidovich Fokina and Pedro Martinez once again laid down the final touches by beating Lukas Hellum-Lilleengen and Andreja Petrovic in the doubles match.
Pablo defeated Viktor 6-3, 6-3, Roberto defeated Ruud 6-4, 7-6(7-4), Fokina and Martinez defeated Andreja and Lukas 6-4, 6-1.
Argentina defeated Greece 3-0
Federico Delbonis gave the early positive news for Argentina with a smooth victory over Michail Pervolarakis. The second match gave a classic lesson on defense and tackling high balls with ease as Diego Schwartzman toppled Greek god Stefanos Tsitsipas to confirm their second win. In the final match, Maximo Gonzalez and Andres Molteni beat Markos Kalovelonis and Petros Tsitsipas in a close encounter for a clean slate.
Delbonis defeated Pervolarakis 7-6(7-5) ,6-1, Schwartzman defeated Tsitsipas 6-7(5-7), 6-3, 6-3, Gonzalez and Molteni defeated Kalovelonis and Petros 6-3, 4-6, 11-9
Salah's penalty miss leads to Liverpool loss at Leicester; Spurs held by Saints
(Football news) The festive season of the Premier League is living up to its expectations of drama despite being plagued by Covid. Manchester City are currently well ahead in the title as they are 6 points clear of Chelsea and Liverpool.
3 first half goals were enough for Crystal Palace to get 3 points against Norwich. New signing Odsonne Edward was involved in all 3 goals as he slotted home a penalty in the 8th minute before setting up Jean-Philippe Mateta and Jeffrey Schlupp to make it 3-0 at half time. Norwich City came close quite a few times but couldn't finish them off which is a prominent reason why they are rock bottom in the Premier League. Palace's next game is at home against West Ham while Norwich City travel to Leicester City.
10-man Southampton held the in-form Tottenham Hotspur at home. James Ward-Prowse gave the Saints an early lead after a long throw. Tottenham came back into the game when Mohammed Salisu brought down Son Heung-min in the penalty and picked up a 2nd yellow card in the process. Harry Kane fired in the penalty meaning that he had scored in 3 consecutive Premier League games after a tough start to the season. Despite playing with a man down for over 60 minutes the hosts held on to a draw. Harry Kane had a goal ruled out by VAR for a tight offside call in the 53rd minute. Tottenham didn't convert their chances and bottled the chance of going above West Ham in 5th place. Their next game is away against relegation threatened Wattford. Southampton on the other hand host Newcastle.
West Ham came from a goal down to win 4-1 at Watford. Emmanuel Dennis scored the opener in the 4th minute with a great strike from 15 yards out. Jarrod Bowen set up Thomas Soucek for the equaliser 23 minutes later. Said Benrahma gave the Hammers the lead 2 minutes later. Bowen scored a goal in the 2nd half which was eventually ruled out for a foul in the build up after consultation with VAR. Moments later Bowen won a penalty which captain Mark Noble buried. In injury time Bowen once again gave an assist this time to Nikola Vlasic. West Ham won a game after 5 winless games in all competitions. They have an away trip to Crystal Palace next up. Watford on the other hand host Tottenham Hotspur.
Liverpool lost ground on the title race as they lost 1-0 to Leicester City at the King Power stadium. Salah won a penalty in the 16th minute but the spot kick was saved by Kasper Schmeichel. Ademola Lookman came on as a sub in the 56th minute and broke the deadlock 3 minutes later. The goal was enough to secure 3 very important points for the Foxes who are now 9th on the table and will host Norwich City next. Liverpool now find themselves 6 points behind league leaders Manchester City. They have a very important away game against Chelsea on Sunday who are level with them on points.
World Rapid Chess: Humpy in joint second spot
Warsaw (Poland), Dec 28 (Chess News) Defending champion Koneru Humpy bounced back in style after a slow start, posting three wins and a draw to jump to joint second spot with six points in the women's section of the FIDE World Rapid Chess Championship 2021 here.
With three victories in a row and a draw against Polina Shuvalova in the eighth round, Humpy has reached the top board and will be facing leader Alexandra Kosteniuk on the final day of the rapid event.
The Indian chess ace beat Julia Movsesian (Czech Republic), Marta Michna (Germany) and Ekaterini Pavlidou (Greece) in rounds five, six and seven respectively late on Monday.
Young WGM R Vaishali is the next best Indian in the 12th spot with 5.5 points, while Padmini Rout is 23rd having garnered five points so far.
While Vaishali got the better of Ukraine's Inna Gopanenko in round eight, Rout defeated Russia's Baira Kovanova.
Kosteniuk is on 7.5 points, one and a half (points) ahead of the rest of the field after eight rounds, with the last four to be played later on Tuesday.
In the Open event, world number one Magnus Carlsen has 7.5 points after nine rounds, half a point ahead of everyone else. He is chased by three players, all on seven points -- Russia's Alexander Grischuk and Ian Nepomniachtchi and the big surprise of the tournament, 17-year-old Nodirbek Abdusattorov of Uzbekistan.
Following a draw in round six with Baadur Jobava, Carlsen demolished the challenge of world number two, Alireza Firouzja, the 18-year old.
Carlsen finished the day on a high, with a win over the fast-rising Pole Jan-Krzysztof Duda.
Among Indians, Mitrabha Guha and D Gukesh, both have six points after nine rounds and are placed 22nd and 23rd respectively.
Gukesh posted wins over Nikolas Theodorou of Greece and Tigran Petrosian of Armenia in the eighth and ninth rounds, while Guha beat Russia's Alexandr Predke in the eighth before drawing against former world championship challenger Sergey Karjakin in the subsequent round.
GM Abhimanyu Puranik (5.5 points) lies in 48th spot while the highest rated Indian in the fray -- P Harikrishna (seeded 18th) languishes at 122nd position with four points.
Young GM Harish Bharathakoti, who started well, has dropped to 29th spot with 5.5 points.
Also Read : Indian GM Bharathakoti holds higher-rated Paravyan in World Rapid Championship
News Source : PTI
Mohammedan SC beat Sudeva Delhi FC 2-1
Kolkata, Dec 27 (Football News) Mohammedan SC defeated Sudeva Delhi FC 2-1 in an I-League match here on Monday to log home its first points.
The Black Panthers maintained the ball possession in the opening play and started to create chances early on. Sudeva looked solid on the other side but the pressure was piling on.
Sudeva Delhi were broken early on as SK Faiaz opened the scoring for Mohammedan in the 13th minute. He got on the end of a wonderful cross from captain Nikola Stojanović to take the lead in the first 15 minutes.
Goalscorer Faiaz received a yellow card in the 20th minute for simulation.
The second half began in the same manner, as Mohammedan pressing high while Sudeva Delhi being under the pump.
Another goal came for the Black Panthers in the 53rd minute as midfielder Brandon Vanlalremidka lifted it forward for Joseph who played it to Mallick.
Mallick, in turn, passed it back to Joseph whose thunderbolt from the edge of the box to score a fantastic goal in the top-left corner for the Black Panthers, extending the lead to 2-0.
Abhijit Sarkar pulled one back in the dying moments of the match.
Also Read : Tiago Adan's brace propels Real Kashmir to 3-2 win over Aizawl FC
News Source : PTI
Neeraj Chopra grows into a colossus with elusive track and field Olympic gold
New Delhi, Dec 25 (Sports News) Neeraj Chopra heralded a new era in Indian athletics with his colossal Tokyo Olympics gold that acquired him a super star status in the country which had waited for such spectacular success in track and field events for more than a century.
Son of a farmer, a strapping Neeraj, who turned 24 on Friday, immortalised his name in Indian sports history with his gold-winning throw of 87.58m on August 7, the penultimate day of the showpiece.
It was not even his personal best effort but it did not matter as Chopra became only the second Indian to win an individual gold medal in the Olympics after shooter Abhinav Bindra.
Short of top-class competition in the run-up to the Olympics, Chopra was not even a sure-shot medal contender but he out-performed the field by some distance to enter Indian sporting folklore.
Brimming with confidence, hardly showing any nerves, Chopra literally owned the field with his bossy throw, which was listed one of the 10 magical moments of track and field in Tokyo Games by World Athletics.
Who would have thought that a plump kid who took to athletics to lose weight would end up being India's first track-and-field Olympic gold-medallist.
It was India's first gold in 13 years and second after 1980 Moscow Games.
"It feels unbelievable. It's a proud moment for me and my country. This moment will live with me forever," Chopra said after winning the historic gold.
While Chopra's golden moment is a new beginning in Indian athletics, but the year also witnessed the end of an era with the demise of legendary Milkha Singh -- one of independent India's greatest sporting icons who missed an Olympic 400m bronze by a whisker in the 1960 Rome Games.
Aged 91, the 'Flying Sikh' died in Chandigarh, just a couple of months before Chopra's historic feat.
Chopra dedicated his inspirational achievement to Milkha who had dreamt of seeing an Indian winning an Olympic gold in athletics before his death.
"Milkha Singh wanted to hear the national anthem in a stadium. He is no longer with us but his dream has been fulfilled," Chopra said.
It was also redemption time for Indian athletics, mired into doping controversies for long. The sport finally shed the tag to prove that it can win medals beyond the Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games.
Discus thrower Kamalpreet Singh was also in the limelight briefly after she finished second in the qualifying round. She eventually ended in sixth position in the final.
The 25-year-old made rapid progress in recent years as she improved more than 4m to set a national record (65.06m) in Patiala before the Olympics.
The men's 4x400m relay team shattered the Asian record but still failed to make it to the final, underlining how tough competition is in the Olympics.
Avinash Sable was the other Indian who bettered his national record in the men's 3000m steeplechase but could not make the cut for the final while the likes of sprinter Dutee Chand disppointed. Hima Das did not even qualify for the Games.
The sporting world thrown haywire by the COVID-19 pandemic, no one was certain about a medal in the men's javelin throw event except for supremely confident -- rather over confident as it turned out to be -- Johannes Vetter of Germany who came into the Olympics after having seven 90m-plus monstrous throws.
In contrast, Chopra competed in just three international events. The two of them were minor events with local competitors in Europe and Vetter had famously claimed that it would be tough for the Indian to beat him.
But Chopra had the last laugh as he topped the qualification round easily while Vetter struggled to even make it to the final round.
Vetter was eliminated after three throws in the finals while a confident and calm Chopra scooped the gold with a second round attempt.
Such was the frenzy in the country in the felicitation events lined up for him that Chopra had to leave a one such function midway due to exhaustion. His social media following shot up to millions overnight and his brand value skyrocketed. He finally joined camp two months after his Olympics exploits and left for the United States for off-season training.
The year also saw Indian youngsters doing well at the World Junior Championships in Kenya with long jumper Shaili Singh, a protege of Anju Bobby George, and 10,000m race walker Amit Khatri winning a silver each.
Belarusian middle and long distance coach Nikolai Snesarev died at the NIS Patiala hours before a competition while another former athlete, 1951 Asiad medallist and 1952 Olympics marathoner Surat Singh Mathur died of COVID-19.
Legendary coach O.M Nambiar, who nurtured sprint legend P T Usha into a world class athlete, also passed away after he was bestowed with Padma Shree early in the year.
Also Read : PKL: Naveen Kumar stars in Dabang Delhi KC's win over U Mumba
News Source : PTI
Lakers lose successive matches as Warriors continued their winning streak
(Basketball news) The Golden State Warriors won 113-98 against the Sacramento Kings. For the Warriors, Draymond Green notched his franchise-leading 31st career triple-double with 16 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists, Stephen Curry scored 30 points as the Warriors celebrated him for the 3-point record in his first home game since breaking Ray Allen's mark. For the Kings, Tyrese Haliburton had 24 points and 11 assists to lead Sacramento as Harrison Barnes scored 19 points against his former Warriors team and Hield wound up with 18. With this victory the Warriors improved their record to 25-6 as they moved to the top of the Western Conference.
'This organization is amazing to allow him ... to sit there and help,'' Green said. ''You miss doing this job and those are the moments where it's all worth it. For him to have that experience, it's special. I don't take that for granted.''
“The bench was great. Every guy who came off the bench played well for us,'' coach Steve Kerr said. ''Gary was everywhere defensively and on the boards, three steals, doing what Gary does.'
The Lakers slumped to their second successive loss as they lost 115-110 to the Chicago Bulls. For the Bulls, DeMar DeRozan scored 38 points after missing two weeks in the NBA's health and safety protocols, Nikola Vucevic had 19 points and 13 rebounds, and Lonzo Ball added 19 points as the Bulls snapped a two-game losing streak. For the Lakers, LeBron James had 31 points, Carmelo Anthony added 21 and Russell Westbrook 20 as Los Angeles lost their second straight game. The Lakers haven't had any games postponed, they currently have six players - Kent Bazemore, Avery Bradley, Talen Horton-Tucker. Dwight Howard, Malik Monk and Austin Reaves - and coach Frank Vogel in the health and safety protocols. With this result the Lakers record fell to 16-15 as they are currently 7th in the Western Conference standings.
The Bulls turned to DeRozan in crunch time and he delivered. ''It's an honor to be trusted in those moments,'' he said. ''I never take it for granted. It's an adrenaline rush that you can't duplicate, so you try to make the most of it every time you're put in that position. There's nothing like it. You've got to take the good with the bad, and I'm willing to take both.''
''Obviously we're doing things on the fly, figuring out how to play with the lineups we have and the people we have available,'' Westbrook said. ''New guys are stepping in here, so we've got to do what we can. That's it. You've just gotta play hard and let the rest take care of itself.''
''Just pretty amazing what he did being out, missing games and having two days off,'' Bulls coach Billy Donovan said. ''His mental toughness and his competitive spirit are pretty amazing. Just his shot-making ability when we needed buckets.''
The Phoenix Suns increased their winning run to 8 wins from 10 as they beat the Charlotte Hornets 137-106. The Suns had eight players score in double figures as Booker scored 16 points in his return from a hamstring injury and the NBA-leading Suns set a season-scoring high. They dominated the paint behind Deandre Ayton, who had 15 points and 15 rebounds, and Javale McGee, who led Phoenix with 19 points in 16 minutes off the bench. McGee made 9 of 10 shots, Mikal Bridges had 16 points, Landry Shamet 15 and Jae Crowder and Chris Paul had 14 apiece, Cam Johnson scored 12 and Cameron Payne had 11 for the Suns. E Elias Sports Bureau is the Suns had nine players score in double figures for the first time since April 21, 1991. For the Hornets, Miles Bridges had 26 points for Charlotte, and former Sun Kelly Oubre Jr. had 16. LaMelo Ball had nine points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. With this result the Suns improved their record to 24-5 as they have the best record in the NBA currently.
“I learned some things from the sideline that I tried to implement today,'' said Booker, who was 4 of 8 from 3-point range. ''The machine keeps moving even in games we had people out. Somebody steps up and jumps right into that role.'
''The best backup center I have ever had,'' Ayton said. ''I feel so comfortable coming out of the game knowing that this man is a presence at both ends of the floor. The same thing I am doing. It is like I didn't leave.''
''We have a `we score' mentality,'' Suns coach Monty Williams said. ''We score, we defend and I think when you play that way, it creates a lot of opportunity to shoot the ball from range or attack the paint.''
The other results were:
- Celtics 103 - 108 76ers
- Bulls 133 - 118 Rockets
- Grizzlies 99 - 102 Thunder
- Jazz 112 - 102 Hornets
- Clippers 92 - 116 Spurs
The fixtures for tomorrow are:
- Knicks vs Pistons
- Heat vs Pacers
- Pelicans vs Trail Blazers
- Mavericks vs Timberwolves
- Lakers vs Suns
AC Milan lose to Napoli as it gives Inter a comfortable lead at the top of table
(Football news) AC Milan lost 1-0 to a depleted Napoli squad as VAR took centre stage again. Eljif Elmas glanced a header home at the near post from a Zielinski corner to stun the Rossenari’s and edge in front in the fifth minute. Zlatan Ibrahimovic looked most likely to find an equaliser after going close midway through the first half and just when the second half started but in the 90th minute, as Milan looked out of ideas, Franck Kessie appeared to have snatched a point only for VAR to rule it out for offside against Olivier Giroud as he lay on the ground in the penalty box.
Kessie's effort was a bit scrappy but Milan did not care, with Pioli even also running over to join in the celebrations. Referee Davide Massa was asked by the VAR to have another look at the goal on the pitch side monitor, and ruled that substitute Giroud was on the pitch lying in an offside position when attempting to get involved in the build-up. With this result Milan and Napoli are level on points with 39 points as they are 4 points away from Inter, who extended their lead.
“What really made me happy was we didn't get too deep until the final five minutes, we kept the balance right even after taking the lead. It became difficult in the final minutes when Olivier Giroud added his presence to the physicality of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. But we had chances to go 2-0 up and we played like a great team against a great opponent." Napoli coach Luciano Spalletti said.
Stefan Pioli after the VAR controversy said "I know they will say the rules were applied, but how can a player who is lying on the floor possibly damage the opponent? There is no way he is obstructing [defender] Juan Jesus. Giroud's legs are wide, he is trying everything to get out of the way."
Inter Milan notched up their fifth consecutive victory over Salernitana as they thrashed them 5-0. The reigning champions are on a run of good form as they have won their last five games without conceding a goal and going ten matches without defeat. Ivan Perisic headed in the first goal before Denzel Dumfries scored a second before the break, this also meant that it was the first time in Inter's history that they have reached 100 Serie A goals in a single calendar year. Alexis Sanchez scored in a third before substitutes Lautaro Martinez and Roberto Gagliardini completed the rout to leave Salernitana bottom of the table. With this result Inter moved to 43 points as they opened up a 4 point lead over their nearest rivals.
Atalanta couldn’t capitalize on AC Milan dropping points as they lost 4-1 to a spirited AS Roma who in turn snapped Atalanta’s winning streak. Tammy Abraham opened the scoring inside the opening minute with a deflected strike and Nicolo Zaniolo doubled their lead by finishing off a quick counter attack for his first goal of the season. Gasperini was quick to make a change as he brought on Luis Muriel after 34 minutes and the move paid off as his shot cannoned off Roma's Bryan Cristante for an own goal that got them back into the match. On the brink of half time, Mourinho's team scored a third four minutes later when Chris Smalling volleyed home his second goal in two games and for the first time in Serie A history that two different English players had scored in the same game. Abraham scored his second goal with eight minutes remaining to take his tally for the season to six goals in Serie A. With this result Atalanta stayed fourth with 37 points as Roma moved to 31 points and cut the deficit to 6 points to Atalanta.
Mourinho said when asked if it was the best Roma have played this season.”Yes, I think so, We showed fantastic spirit. The players knew that we couldn't be in control for 90 minutes against Atalanta. They were strong in every aspect."
The other results were:
- Bologna 0 - 2 Juventus (Morata, Cuadrado)
- Lazio 3 (Pedro, Acerbi, Zaccagni) - 1 Genoa (Melegoni)
- Fiorentina 2 (Vlahovic, Torreira) - 2 Sassuolo (Scamacca, Frattesi)
- Cagliari 0 - 4 Udinese (Makengo, Deulofeu x2, Molina)
- Spezia 1 (Marchizza)(og) - 1 Empoli (Nikolaou)(og)
- Torino 1 (Pobega) - 0 Hellas Verona
- Sampdoria 1 (Gabbiadini) - 1 Venezia (Henry)
Russian team looking stronger than ever with third Davis Cup title
(Tennis news) The Russian team completed a sweep of team title wins with the Davis Cup victory over Croatia in the finals. It had earlier won the ATP Cup in January and tasted success on the WTA tour last month when they won the Billie Jean King Cup for the fifth time. Russia proved why they are now one of the strongest teams in the field as they have four players who are in the top 30 and two in the top five. Croatia could not create tension on the singles tie as they were hoping to catch up in the doubles match but could not hold on for that long.
Andrey Rublev had the momentum from the start of the match against Borna Gojo and got his first break in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead. The rallies were purely defensive play as there were only a few net points by both players, Borna Gojo looked to come back in the second set as he had won his last three matches and all of them were 200 places above him in rankings. However, this time Borna’s skill just didn’t click against Rublev’s power and his serve, Rublev did not want the match to go into the decider as he had played three of them in the last four matches.
The second set saw both the players holding their serves till the end which invited the tie breaker. Borna started with a double fault as the pressure was getting on his nerves, but he made it 4-4 all after coming down from 4-2 and then hit an ace to make it 5-4 as he was now points away from taking the set. Rublev then hit an outstretched forehand passing shot and then hit another huge forehand to bring matchpoint, a backhand error from Borna gave Russia its firstpoint in the final.
In the second match, Daniil Medvedev was playing Marin Cilic for the second time this year as Medvedev had defeated him in five sets in the 3rd round at Wimbledon. Prior to that they had met at Washington in the quarterfinals which also Medvedev won that too in straight sets. There were a lot of similarities between the two players, both were standing tall at 6 foot 6 inches, their first Grand Slam came at the US Open and also runner up finish at the Australian Open. Although Medvedev did them both this year, Cilic had won the US Open in 2014 and reached the final of the Australian Open in 2018.
Medvedev was the clear favourite as he had won the previous four matches while not dropping a set while Cilic was on a three match losing streak. Cilic had surprisingly lost to world number 283 Zsombor Piros in the second match of the round robin stage and now was facing a must win situation. Medvedev was put in a tense situation as Cilic played his heart out in the opening set, both players held their serve and the tiebreaker saw Cilic taking a 4-2 lead. Medvedev fought back with stupendous defense and had set point at 6-5 which Cilic dismissed by a smash which if missed by a few centimetres would have cost him the set. Medvedev had another set point at 7-6 but a double fault made it 7 all, Medvedev then won the next two points to finally win the set.
In the second set, Medvedev broke Cilic early to take a 4-1 lead as Russia was almost there even though Cilic won the next game by pushing his limits. Medvedev then increased his winners tally as Cilic began hitting continuous unforced errors as Russia took the Davis Cup after a 15 year wait.
Russia defeated Croatia 2-0
Rublev defeated Borna 6-4, 7-6 (7-5), Medvedev defeated Cilic 7-6 (9-7), 6-2.
Aslan Karatsev is the latest addition to the Russian powerhouse
(Tennis news) Aslan Karatsev had three tour level victories before playing this year and now he has ended with 37 career wins. He started the season at No. 112 in the rankings and is currently ranked 18. The 28-year-old Russian created a sensation by reaching the semifinals of the Australian Open as a qualifier, becoming the first man in the open era to reach the last four in a Grand Slam debut. He defeated Diego Schwartzman, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Grigor Dimitrov on his way to the semifinal where he lost to Novak Djokovic.
Karatsev is a right hander with a two handed backhand, his aggressive style makes him lethal in hardcourts. Since he is a risk taker in most of the matches the unforced errors are winners are more. Karatsev hits the ball flat but hard down the court and at times finishes with a well set up volley. He takes the ball on the rise and does not give the opponent much time to move around the court. Karatsev is not the fastest mover on the court but has groundstrokes from both the ends which can give him winners.
While winning the title in Dubai, Karatsev earned his second top 10 win when he defeated Andrey Rublev in the semifinals. His biggest win came at Belgrade where he defeated Novak Djokovic to reach the final and lost in the final to Matteo Berrettini. He also beat Daniil Medvedev in their only career meeting at Rome Masters 1000 in the third round, Karatsev had a 16-3 win/loss record on hard courts in the first quarter of the season. In the next 12 events, he failed to reach the quarterfinals until at San Diego where lost to Dimitorv in the last eight and then won at Moscow defeating Marin Cilic in the final.
Karatsev is nominated in the most improved player of the year along with Carlos Alcaraz, Cameron Norrie and Casper Ruud. Karatsev is the oldest of the four as he is 28 but along with two singles titles and a runner up, he also won one doubles title at Doha along with a runner up finish in Indian Wells all with Andrey Rublev. The ATP cup was also won by Russia where Karatsev played in the doubles but lost all the three matches he played.
Karatsev is currently playing doubles at the Davis Cup for Russia and has won all the three matches he has played so far with Rublev. Russia will be playing against Germany today in the semifinals of the Davis Cup and will look to win a third title. It has been a great year for Russian tennis fans as there are two players in the top five and a total of four players in the top 30.
Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic steer Croatia into the final of the Davis Cup
(Tennis news) Croatia entered the final with a win over Serbia as the doubles pair of Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic won the final match for the team at Davis Cup. Borna Gojo won the first tie against Dusan Lajovic for his third victory in as many matches to give Croatia the first point of the match. In the second match, Novak Djokovic annihilated Marin Cilic for his 18th win over the Croatian in 20 matches as the semifinal was back on track. In the final match, Mektic and Pavic were just too good for Djokovic and Filip Krajinovic as Serbia’s run came to an end.
Borna Gojo was once again the hero of the match as he continued playing above his standards. Borna had leads at the start of all the three sets against Lajovic, in the first set Borna was leading 4-2, 40-0 until Lajovic came back into the match like a madman to take the first set. Overcoming heartbreak, Borna gave life to the Croatian supporters as he took the second set and then went on to do the same in the final set as it was 1-0 for Croatia.
In the second match, Novak was playing like he had played all year, something only few players could handle as Cilic found no way out as he lost in an hour to give Serbia the point and make it 1-1. The doubles match started with Pavic and Mektic as favourites as they have been the top doubles this pair and were against Djokovic and Krajinovic. The favourites did not give the Serbian supporters a ray of hope as they demolished the pair to win the final match and reach the final which will take place on Sunday.
Croatia defeated Serbia 2-1
Borna Gojo defeated Dusan Lajovic 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, Djokovic defeated Cilic 6-4, 6-2, Mektic and Pavic defeated Djokovic and Krajinovic 7-5, 6-1.
Russia will face Germany in the second semi final which will take place today. The Russians are the clear favourites as in the last match, they took only three hours to beat Sweden while Germany had to play all the three matches against Great Britain. Andrey Rublev’s victory in the first match will help them seal the tie as Daniil Medvedev is in great form, if Rublev is defeated then the doubles match will be in favour of Germany as Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz have won their last three matches.
Aslan Karatsev and Rublev played twice in the group stage against Spain and Ecuador and even though the pair won in three setters, it will be difficult against the Germans. Rublev’s all three matches have gone till the third set, there will be pressure on him but is expected to win the tie for the team. Germany can win the tie which is unlikely if they win the first tie against Rublev and then win the doubles match. Prediction Russia 2-0, 2-1.
NBA: Phoenix Suns extend their winning run to 18 wins as Memphis Grizzlies create NBA history
(Football news) Phoenix Suns defeated the Detroit Pistons 114-103 as they went onto win their 18 consecutive victory. Cam Johnson and Cameron Payne both scored 19 points to lead the Phoenix Suns to victory as the Suns bench finished with 48 points, Deandre Ayton had 17 points and 12 rebounds and Chris Paul finished with 12 points and 12 assists as Phoenix improved to 19-3 for the season. For the Pistons, Jerami Grant had 34 points which fell to 2-10 on the road. Cunningham, No. 1 overall draft pick, scored 19 points on 8-of-15 shooting. The Suns still haven’t lost since Oct. 27, when Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes hit a 3-pointer as time ran out for a 110-107 victory.
“It is hard to win in this league and we are not satisfied but it is special,'' Williams said. ''To do it in front of our fan base, in a special city like this with the history of this franchise is pretty cool and I want our guys to enjoy it.''
''I haven't talked about streaks of any kind just because we have been so focused on improving,'' Suns coach Monty Williams said of the run that's lasted more than a month. ''But it is really cool to be a part of something like that.''
The Memphis Grizzlies created some NBA history as they defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder by 73 points as the final score was 152-79. Their 152-79 win over the Thunder shattered the NBA record for the largest margin of victory. The 73-point margin easily topped the previous mark, which was Cleveland's 68-point win over Miami. The Cavaliers topped the Heat 148-80 on Dec. 17, 1991. Memphis used 12 players and nine of them reached double figures in scoring, with Jaren Jackson Jr. leading the scoring with 27 points for the Grizzlies. Memphis was also without its injured guard and best player Ja Morant. The Grizzlies set a franchise record for shooting, making 62.5% of their shots. De'Anthony Melton scored 19 points, Santi Aldama scored 18 and John Konchar scored 17 for the Grizzlies and none of those three players even started. With this result the Grizzlies improved their record to 12-10 as they moved to 5th in the Western Conference.
“Franchise records are obviously great. Obviously proud of our guys that they don't think about that,'' Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said. ''We're just motivated by what our standards are every single night. Tonight was on pretty full display both offensively and defensively.''
''Obviously, it was a combination of things,'' Daigneault said. ''They played with great force and pace. They made some shots. We didn't shoot it well early and just really couldn't get a grip on the game. Any part of the game
The Chicago Bulls won 119-115 against the New York Knicks as it was a close encounter. DeRozan scored 34 points, Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic each added 27. For the Knicks, Julius Randle had 30 points, 12 rebounds and six assists but missed two free throws in the end as the Knicks (11-11) fell to .500 for the first time this season after starting 5-1, Alec Burks, Evan Fournier and Derrick Rose all had 16 points for the Knicks. With this result the Bulls improved their record to 15-8 as they moved up to 2nd in the Eastern Conference.
''It's fun when we go out there and compete. We face adversity at times and it felt good when we come out of that on top,'' DeRozan said.
“It helps our team tremendously, especially if we're frantic,'' LaVine said. ''I think it just gives the whole team a sense of, like, a deep breath.''
“We started slowly. I thought there was frustration and so it's hard to play when you're playing frustrated and we can't get wrapped up with that,'' Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. ''Sometimes there's tough calls that go against you and that's just the way it is.''
The other results were:
- Raptors 97 - 93 Bucks
- Spurs 114 - 83 Trail Blazers
The fixtures for tomorrow are:
- Heat vs Pacers
- Cavaliers vs Wizards
- 76ers vs Hawks
- Timberwolves vs Nets
- Magic vs Rockets
- Pelicans vs Mavericks]
- Celtics vs Jazz
- Suns vs Warriors
- Clippers vs Lakers
Ralf Rangnick set to lead Man Utd against Crystal Palace while Chelsea, Liverpool and City face tough tests on the road
(Football news) Premier League leaders Chelsea will visit West Ham with the intention of extending their lead to four points at the London Stadium. The Blues defeated Watford 2-1 on Wednesday while fourth placed West Ham had to settle for a 1-1 draw against Brighton. The Hammers have been a force to be reckoned with this season, winning seven, drawing three and losing four of their last 14 matches in the Premier League and will look to be in the mix for a Champions League spot next season.
David Moyes will be without the services of Angelo Ogbonna due to a long term knee injury but Aaron Cresswell is expected to be in contention for a spot in the starting XI which means Vladimir Coufal could be on the bench. Considering the stakes of the match, Moyes is expected to not shuffle his side too much and Michail Antonio is expected to be supported by Pablo Fornals, Said Benrahma and Jarrod Bowen. The London based side also have options to choose from with the likes of Nikola Vlasic, Arthur Masuaku and Manuel Lanzini available should Moyes look to make some changes from the bench.
For Chelsea, Mateo Kovacic and Ben Chilwell will be unavailable for selection while Trevor Chalobah is also doubtful after suffering a hamstring injury against Watford. Tuchel is expected to make a number of changes with the likes of Thiago Silva, Romelu Lukaku and Jorginho expected to start the match. Reece James and N’Golo Kante are also doubts for the match which means Cesar Azpilicueta could start at right back while Ruben Loftus-Cheek is expected to feature in central midfield.
Wolverhampton Wanderers will be welcoming Liverpool to the Molineux Stadium on Saturday, desperately hoping to stop the Reds’ lethal attacking prowess that scored four past Everton in the Merseyside derby midweek. Wolves manager Bruno Lage will welcome the return of Reuben Neves from suspension but Daniel Podence remains doubtful for the fixture. The hosts have a long injury list with the likes of Willy Boly, Jonny, Hugo Bueno, Yerson Mosquera and Pedro Neto unavailable for the match while Fernando Marcal is currently recovering from COVID-19. With the return of Neves, Leander Dendoncker is expected to be benched alongside Francisco Trincao as Lage might go for Adama Traore’s pace to cause Andrew Robertson difficulties.
For Liverpool, Naby Keita and Joe Gomez will not be available in time as Saturday’s fixture comes too early and are set to return next week. Roberto Firmino, Harvey Elliott and Curtis Jones remain sidelined and Klopp is expected to feature his full strength team considering that the next match is an inconsequential Champions League fixture against AC Milan. Either one of James Milner or Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are expected to replace Thiago Alcantara who has enjoyed a run of fixtures recently but might be rested to prevent injuries.
Reigning champions Manchester City will look to secure three points against Watford at Vicarage Road to keep pace with league leaders Chelsea. Claudio Ranieri’s team have all to play for as the hosts are currently 17th, just three points above the relegation zone despite having played a game more than 18th place Burnley and desperately need points to ensure survival in the Premier League. However, it doesn’t look good for the home team who have already shipped 14 goals in the season so far with only Newcastle United conceding more and are now set to face in-form Manchester City.
Danny Rose is expected to start for Watford in the place of Adam Masina but Ismaila Sarr, Kwadwo Baah, Ben Foster, Nicolas N'Koulou and Peter Etebo are expected to be out for the remainder of the year. For Manchester City, Phil Foden and Jack Grealish are expected to be in the starting lineup but Ilkay Gundogan, John Stones and Kyle Walker remain doubts. Ferran Torres is a long-term absentee for Pep Guardiola’s team while Kevin De Bruyne has recovered from COVID-19 but needs to regain match fitness. Aymeric Laporte is expected to start after returning from suspension and bolster City’s backline.
All eyes will be on Old Trafford on Sunday as Manchester United welcome Crystal Palace in Ralf Rangnick’s first game as interim manager. The Red Devils are coming off the back of a 3-2 win against Arsenal while Crystal Palace lost their second match in a row against Leeds United. For Rangnick, Paul Pogba, Luke Shaw, Edinson Cavani and Raphael Varane will be unavailable for selection while Aaron Wan Bissaka and Nemanja Matic remain doubtful as they missed the Arsenal match due to injuries. There will be pressure on the German to produce instant results as Manchester United are currently 7th in the Premier League and failure to qualify for the Champions League next season will be disastrous to say the least.
Russia seals semifinal spot with victory over Sweden in Davis Cup
(Tennis news) Russia seems to be having no trouble as of now as they only needed 3 hours to beat Sweden for a place in the semifinal of the Davis Cup. Russia didn’t have to play the third rubber as the doubles team can get the maximum rest, Andrey Rublev looked a bit out of form in the second and third set in the opening match as he was stretched by Elias Ymer who is 166 places below him. In the second match, Daniil Medvedev beat Mikael Ymer in just over an hour as Mikael even broke the World number 2 a couple of times but did not pose a major issue.
The results were as expected in both the matches but Rublev survived a scare in the second and third set. In the first set, Elias was aided by huge forehands as he took a 2-1 lead but an unforced error in the 4th game prevented him from breaking Rublev who seized the opportunity with 5 consecutive games to take the set. In the second set, Rublev was down 0-2 as Elias played like a top 50 player with quality groundstrokes to keep the Russian camp at bay.
Rublev leveled the scores with powerful serves and even went on to take a 5-3 lead as victory was just a game away but Elias took the next four games to take the set. Elias even hit service return winners as Rublev had no answer in the last few rallies of the set, Elias tested Rublev even more in the final set as both players held their serves which called for a tie breaker. In the tie break it was Rublev who had a good start and kept the momentum going his ball striking made Elias exhausted. With a backhand unforced error, it was the end of the first tie as Rublev secured victory as Russia got its first point of the match.
In the second match Medvedev faced Mikael who has been quite a player this year with a runner up finish at Winston Salem and had defeated Frances Tiafoe, Albert Ramos Vinolas on the way. Mikael also defeated Carlos Alcaraz twice this year and reached the third round at French Open and Australian Open. But in the tie against Medvedev, Mikael was down 1-3 in the first set until he won the next three games to take a one game lead over him. Medevedev took the next game to seal the first set and in the second set saw Mikael down with a 0-3 lead. Mikael fought back with two back to back games with frequent visits to the net which worked well and in the end Medvedev raced for a third straight win at the event.
Russia defeated Sweden 2-0
Rublev defeated Elias 6-2, 5-7, 7-6(7-3), Medvedev defeated Mikael 6-4, 6-4.
The first semi final will take place today between Serbia and Croatia. Serbia had to play all the three matches against Kazakhstan in the quarterfinal as Novak Djokovic won the singles and doubles to confirm the semi final place. Miomir Kecmanović will play a major part as his victory will give the team enough confidence as Djokovic showed his supremacy in the previous match and will be able to do it again. As for Croatia, their doubles team of Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic have won the last three matches but will need Marin Cilic to be in form and Borna Gojo will have to play like how he played against Italy. Predicted score is 2-0 or 2-1 for Serbia.
Also read: Novak Djokovic wins back to back matches to push Serbia into the semifinals at Davis Cup, Russia faces Sweden in quarterfinals
Novak Djokovic wins back to back matches to push Serbia into the semifinals at Davis Cup, Russia faces Sweden in quarterfinals
(Tennis news) World number one Novak Djokovic made it two in two as Serbia made its way into the semifinal of the Davis Cup where they will face Croatia. Kazakhstan made a winning start to the tie as Mikhail Kukushkin overcame Miomir Kecmanović in a three hour battle to give the first point for the team, in the second match Djokovic secured the first point in an hour. In the final match, the pair of Nikola Cacic and Novak Djokovic confirmed their place into the last four as they beat Andrey Golubev and Aleksandr Nedovyesov.
Mikhail Kukushkin gave slight hopes in the beginning as the 33 year old took the opening set in a tiebreaker which lasted 59 minutes. In the second set, Kecmanović came back to make it 1-1 and in the decider Kukushkin rose on top, even saving four match points to give the team a chance to reach the semifinals for the first time. Novak Djokovic played as expected, to beat Alexander Bublik as Bublik could only take 7 games and the tie was back into contention.
"I'm proud of my fighting spirit. We had a little drop energetically in the second set, but we managed to bounce back. The start of the third set was crucial, the first couple of games to hold our nerves, try to switch the momentum to our side and that's what we managed. I'm proud of Nikola, proud of this team and I think we deserve to be in the semi-finals." Djokovic said in his on-court interview
Nikola Cacic and Novak Djokovic took the first set against Golubev and Nedovyesov to again take the lead but it was soon over as they lost the second set. The tie was into its last set as Serbia cemented their place by taking the final set to set up a clash against Croatia.
The last quarterfinal match will be between Russia and Sweden which will take place today. Russia had won the title 2002 and 2006, Sweden on the other hand have won the title seven times. Russia will be the favorites to win as Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev, Karen Khachanov and Aslan Karatsev head the field. Mikael Ymer and Elias Ymer have been very successful for the Swedish team but the Ymer brothers will have to expect strong competition from their opponents.
The expected score is 3-0 for Russia or 2-1 as Sweden has a minute chance of winning the tie. The winner of the quarterfinal will face Germany in the second semifinal on 4th december. The first semi final is on 3rd december as Serbia will take on Croatia.
Also read: Germany into the semifinals after beating 10 time champion Britain at Davis Cup
Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic hoping for a good start to 2022 season
(Tennis news) Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic dominated the doubles season with nine titles this season. They played together for the first time from january and found success right from the start.
They played 74 matches this year while winning 61 of them and also are the current world number one. They last played at the Nitto ATP Finals and lost in the semifinals to Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury. They are currently playing at the Davis Cup for Croatia and will play a crucial factor in the semifinal as they will be up against higher ranked teams in the singles tie.
Mektic and Pavic won 56 of their first 61 matches in 2021, including titles at Wimbledon, the Tokyo Olympics and three Masters 1000 events. Mektic has won 17 ATP doubles titles with seven different partners including six Masters 1000s and last year's ATP Finals with Wesley Koolhof. Pavic won the Australian Open with Oliver Marach three years back and the United States Open with Bruno Soares last year.
“I think it would have been just a matter of time if it didn’t happen at the beginning of this year. In the future, I’m pretty sure one day we would have eventually played together,” Pavic said. “It happened at the end of last year and now we’re here.”
“We are ready for it. We are ready to lose,” Mektic said. “We just keep playing our games and try to keep our heads down and do what we do. If somebody’s better, if somebody deserves to win that day, we say ‘well done’ and we keep on going.”
Doubles requires extreme hand eye coordination, quick reflexes and volley skills as rallies are usually short. A good one necessitates regular dialogue, flexibility, awareness, and the ability to work under crisis. Magic happens when it works, Mektic and Pavic started their partnership by winning the first 12 matches before losing in the Australian Open semifinals. From June to August, they went on an 18 match winning streak.
Only Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan have won at least ten tour-level titles in a single season over the past two decades. They did it four times, with their best season coming in 2010 where they won 12 titles. Apart from Mektic and Pavic, Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic in 2009 were the only other team to win nine trophies as they had nine in 2009. Mektic and Pavic will now look to go beyond the Bryan brothers next season as there are 50 more days for the Australian Open to begin.
NBA: Utah Jazz moved up to third in the Western Conference as Denver Nuggets breeze past the Miami Heat
(Basketball news) Utah Jazz beat the Portland Trail Blazers 129-107 as Mitchell scored 30 points, Rudy Gobert had 21 points and 16 rebounds, Jordan Clarkson added 22 points for Utah, which used quick passes and spacing to make 19 3-pointers and shot 53% from the field a game after making a season-high 20 3s. The Jazz matched their season high with 46 made field goals. Anfernee Simons scored a season-high 24 points and Jusuf Nurkic also had 24 as the Trail Blazers fell to 1-10 on the road this season. After making two of his first three shots, Lillard only made two more buckets on nine attempts. Lillard has gone 16 for 45 over his last three games. Utah's defensive plan centered on getting the ball out of Lillard's hands to make someone other than him or CJ McCollum make shots. With this result Utah improved their record to 14-7 as they moved up to 3rd in the Western Conference.
“Aggressive decision making,'' Mitchell said. ''When you start to think too much, that's when the turnovers and the mistakes come in.''
“Our guys were unselfish and got off the ball when they needed to. As you spread it out and make some shots, all of the sudden lanes to the basket open up, too,'' Utah coach Quin Snyder said.
'We're such a different ball club on the road,'' Portland coach Chauncy Billups said. ''We play with this casualness a lot of times, with no urgency. That's dangerous. And at home, you can do that and a team can make a run and you get your crowd behind you and you can overcome a lot of times at home. On the road, you can't do that.''
Denver Nuggets breezed past Miami Heat 120-111 as they were short handed with injuries. Nikola Jokic returned and scored 24 points, Aaron Gordon added 20 and the Nuggets snapped their longest losing streak in nearly six years, Bones Hyland returned from injury to score 19 and Will Barton added 14 for the Nuggets, who had dropped six straight. Jokic hadn't played in the last four of those because of a wrist injury but finished with 15 rebounds and seven assists. Bam Adebayo finished with 24 points and 13 rebounds, Max Strus scored 19 points and Caleb Martin added 18 for the Heat, they got 17 points and 14 assists from Kyle Lowry, which was without its two leading scorers Jimmy Butler who was out with a bruised tailbone and Tyler Herro missed the game with what the Heat called general body soreness. With this result when under .500 as they improved their record to 10-10, the Nuggets moved up to 9th in the Western Conference.
''That's behind us,'' Jokic said. ''We need to move on to the future. We won the game and that's the most important thing.
“Our defense is better than that,'' Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. ''I think they played extremely well. And in those pivotal moments in the course of the game, it seemed like they made every shot, every play”.
The Chicago Bulls went back to winning ways as they won 133-119 against the Charlotte Hornets. Chicago shot a season-high 59.6% from the field and had five players score in double figures. Vucevic had a season-best 30 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. DeMar DeRozan scored 28 points, and Zach LaVine, a game-time decision because of an illness, finished with 25. Lonzo Ball helped the Bulls get back on track after dropping three of four. He had 16 points and eight assists and LaMelo Ball had 18 points and 13 assists as both the brothers went head to head for the third time. For the Hornets, Terry Rozier scored 31 points and Gordon Hayward had 22 for the Hornets, who dropped to 0-2 on their four-game trip. With this result Bulls improved their record to 14-8 as they reclaimed their second place in the Eastern Conference.
“I mean we've been talking about the NBA since we were little boys,'' LaMelo said. ''Just going out there and playing against him, always a dream come true, for real.''
''Obviously we are brothers and it's all love off the court,'' Lonzo Ball said. ''But on the court, like I said, he got a job he got to do, I got a job I got to do.
“I felt like I was getting my rhythm, and then I got COVID and then I had to sit out,'' Vucevic said. ''But obviously tonight was a good game for me. Felt great to make some shots.''
The other results were:
- 76ers 101 - 96 Magic
- Rockets 102 - 89 Thunder
- Timberwolves 100 - 98 Pacers
- Spurs 116 - 99 Wizards
- Mavericks 96 - 114 Cavaliers
- Clippers 104 - 123 Pelicans
The fixtures for tomorrow are:
- Raptors vs Grizzlies
- Nets vs Knicks
- Kings vs Lakers
- Trail Blazers vs Pistons
- Suns vs Warriors
Croatia cruises into semifinals at Davis Cup, Britain to face Germany for semi final berth
(Tennis news) Croatia became the first team this year to qualify for the semifinals of the Davis Cup as they beat Italy in a highly tense quarterfinal. Italy was expected to go through the last four but found trouble from the start as world number 279 Borna Gojo got the first point for Croatia with a win over Lorenzo Sonego who is ranked almost 250 places above him. Jannik Sinner kept the team alive with a three set win over Marin Cilic as the youngster played through the pressure and proved how much he has grown over the past few months.
In the final match, Croatia had the advantage as their doubles pair were the best in the world and they did what they were supposed to do. Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic won the tie for Croatia and did not even face a breakpoint in the match. The loss in the first tie against Borna proved to be too costly for the Italians as their singles players were all top ranked and experienced. Croatia had the doubles tie sorted as it was the singles which were a concern but Borna turned it all round for the team. Croatia were the first unseeded nation to win the Davis Cup when they defeated Slovakia in 2005. Their second title came in 2018 when they defeated France and now they have a chance to win a third one.
Croatia defeated Italy 2-1
Borna Gojo defeated Lorenzo Sonego 7-6(7-2), 2-6, 6-2, Sinner defeated Cilic 3-6, 7-6(7-4), 6-3, Mektic and Pavic defeated Sinner and Fabio Fognini 6-3, 6-4,
Great Britain will face Germany in the next quarterfinals today. 10 time champions Britain are the favourites to progress into the semifinals as they have higher ranked singles and doubles players. Cameron Norrie and Daniel Evans will spearhead the singles team for Britain as Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski will be looking to win the doubles tie. For the Germans, they have won the title three times and had lost at the same stage to the same team in 2018. Jan-Lennard Struff is leading the singles tie along with Dominik Koepfer but their doubles pair did the trick against Austria as they won the final tie. The pair of Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz will once again try to push the team when they are up against a spirited opponent.
The expected score will be 3-0 or 2-1 for Britain but will be an upset if Germany scrapes through. Norrie is the highest ranked player in both the teams and his win will provide a good chance as their doubles pair are also the favourites. With Croatia's result against Italy now an upset in the singles will be a huge motivating factor for Krawietz and Puetz as Jan-Lennard or Dominik will have to pull off something sensational for the team to enter the last four.
Also read: Russia end hopes for defending champion Spain in Davis Cup, Kazakhstan reaches quarterfinals
Russia end hopes for defending champion Spain in Davis Cup, Kazakhstan reaches quarterfinals
(Tennis news) Defending champions Spain’s run came to an end as powerhouse Russia sealed their place into the Davis Cup quarterfinals. Russia had won the title back in 2002, 2006 and are now in contention for a third title; they had lost the semifinals in 2019 to Canada. Feliciano Lopez did inspire the team in the opening tie as he beat world number five Andrey Rublev in the opening tie but it proved to be insufficient as Daniil Medvedev beat Pablo Carreno Busta to bring back the game for Russia. In the final match, Rublev and Aslan Karatsev beat Feliciano Lopez and Marcel Granollers to progress into the last eight. Lopez had played the singles in both their ties and won both of them even though he did not expect to win especially against Rublev.
“This is above any expectations to be honest,” Lopez said. “For me, it is just amazing to be representing my country at 40 years old. I did not expect to play singles, but we had some issues, so I took that role. Today, playing against Andrey, World No. 5, at this stage in my career in my hometown, is above my expectations.”
Russia defeated Spain 2-1
Lopez defeated Rublev 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, Medevedev defeated Carreno Busta 6-2, 7-6(7-3), Rublev and Karatsev defeated Lopez and Granollers 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.
Kazakhstan reached the quarterfinals for the first time since 2018 as it won all of its matches against Canada. Mikhail Kukushkin started the tie with a win over Brayden Schnur as trick shot enthusiast Alexander Bublik confirmed the victory when he won his match against Vasek Pospisil. In the final doubles match, Andrey Golubev and Aleksandr Nedovyesov made it three out of three as they beat Peter Polansky and Brayden.
Kazakhstan defeated Canada 3-0
Kukushkin defeated Brayden 6-3, 6-7 (5-7) , 7-5, Bublik defeated Pospisil 6-2, 7-6 (8-6), Golubev and Nedovyesov defeated Polansky and Brayden 6-4, 6-7 (8-6), 6-1.
Croatia also secured their place into the quarterfinals with a hard fought victory over Hungary. Nino Serdarusic gave the team a good start by winning the first tie but Zsombor Piros played one of the best matches this year to upset Marin Cilic to take the second one. In the final match, the pair of Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic proved they are the world number one as they beat Fabian Marozsan and Peter Nagy to march into the quarterfinals.
Croatia defeated Hungary 2-1
Serdarusic defeated Marozsan 6-4, 6-4, Zsombor defeated Cilic 4-6, 7-5, 6-4, Mektic and Pavic defeated Marozsan and Nagy 7-6(8-6), 6-2.
Russia vs Sweden, Britain vs Germany, Italy vs Croatia, Serbia vs Kazakhstan
Feliciano Lopez and Carreno Busta deliver as Spain begins title defence with victory at Davis Cup
(Tennis news) Spain had lost three crucial players before the start of the match at the Davis Cup but 40 year old Feliciano Lopez gave Spain exactly what it needed as he put the first point on the scoreboard when he beat Roberto Quiroz in straight sets. Next, it was the turn of Tokyo Olympics Singles bronze medalist Pablo Carreno Busta who had a tougher battle than his team mate, he lost the first set and could not end the match early onto the third set as a tiebreaker brought things to a conclusion.
In the doubles, Busta and Marcel Granollers gave them their third and final victory in a match which lasted for almost 3 hours as it also had two tiebreaks. Spain is up against a tough Russian team on 28th November.
Spain defeated Ecuador 3-0
Lopez defeated Quiroz 6-3, 6-3, Busta defeated Emilio Gomez 5-7, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5), Busta and Marcel Granollers defeated Gonzalo Escobar and Diego Hidalgo 6-4, 6-7(5-7), 7-6(7-2).
Italy’s youngsters were on fire as they won both their singles rubber to confirm victory over USA. The first match was a clash between world number 26 Reily Opelka and world number 27 Lorenzo Sonego but it was the Italian who gave the perfect start as he defeated Opelka in straight sets. In the second match, Jannik Sinner had played at the Nitto ATP Finals a few days earlier and paid no heed to size as John Isner was bageled in the second set to confirm victory for the Italians.
In the doubles match, US Open winner Rajeev Ram paired with former US Open winner Jack Sock as they got a consolation point by defeating Fabio Fognini and Lorenzo Musetti. Italy will next play against Colombia today.
Italy defeated USA 2-1
Sonego defeated Opelka 6-3, 7-6 (7-4), Sinner defeated Isner 6-2, 6-0, Rajeev and Jack defeated Fognini and Musetti 7-6 (7-5), 6-2.
Captain Viktor Trovicki would not have expected any other result from Serbia as they won all the three matches against Austria. Austria was missing the company of injured Dominic Thiem who went out the season early and it did reflect on the team. Dusan Lajovic played a long match against Gerlad Melzer as two of the sets needed an hour to settle when he finally gave Serbia its first point. In the second match, Novak Djokovic did the complete opposite as he closed out two sets under an hour to confirm victory for Serbia and in the doubles the pair of Nikola Cacic and Filip Krajinovic added the finishing touches. Serbia is up against Germany today.
Serbia defeated Austria 3-0
Lajovic defeated Melzer 7-6(7-5), 3-6, 7-5, Djokovic defeated Dennis Novak 6-3, 6-2, Cacic and Krajinovic defeated Oliver Marach and Philipp Oswald 7-6(7-4), 4-6, 6-3.
Croatia blanks Australia in Davis Cup opener, Spain in trouble as Carlos Alcaraz tests positive
(Tennis news) Marin Cilic led the Croatian team as he took out Alex De Minaur to give a major boost to their victory as they secured their points with a 3-0 victory. Croatia got off to a flying start as world number 276 Borna Gojo beat Alexei Popyrin who was 200 places above him and defeated him in straight sets. It was then followed by Cilic handing out a three set defeat to Minaur as the youngster had a poor run since July. The top doubles pair of Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic completed a white wash as they beat Minaur and John Peers. Croatia is up against Hungary in their next match.
Croatia defeated Australia (3-0)
Borna Gojo defeated Alexei Popyrin 7-6, 7-5, Marin Cilic defeated Alex de Minaur 6-1, 5-7, 6-4, Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic defeated Minaur and John Peers 6-3, 6-1.
Sweden too had a good start as they too won all the three matches against Canada. Brothers Mikael Ymer and Elias Ymer won their singles matches to give Sweden the lead. The doubles pair of Robert Lindstedt and Andre Goransson completed the final bout as they ended the match with a sweet victory, Sweden can enter the quarterfinals if they beat Kazakhstan in their next match.
Sweden defeated Canada (3-0)
Elias defeated Steven Diez 6-4, 6-2, Mikael defeated Vasek Pospisil 6-4, 6-4, Lindstedt and Goransson defeated Pospisil and Brayden Schnur 7-6 (7-5), 6-4.
France had a shocking start but managed to record victory over Czech Republic in their opening match. Richard Gasquet suffered a straight set loss to debutant Tomas Machac as Czech gained an early lead. Adrian Mannarino put the 10 time champion back on track as he beat Jiri Vesely to make the scores level and the Nitto ATP Finals champions Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut overcame a set deficit to complete the win. France will next face Great Britain on 27th November.
France defeated Czech Republic (2-1)
Machac defeated Gasquet 7-6 (7-3), 6-2, Mannarino defeated Vesely 6-7(1-7), 6-4, 6-2, Herbert and Mahut defeated Machac and Jiri Lehecka 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.
Defending champions Spain took another hit at their title defence as Carlos Alcaraz tested positive resulting in his withdrawal. He is the third player to withdraw as he joins Rafael Nadal and Roberto Bautista Agut. World number 60 Pedro Martinez Portero will be the replacement for Carlos as Spain will take on Ecuador in their opening tie.
UEFA Europa League: Leicester move on top of the Group after Napoli lose to Spartak Moscow, West Ham qualify for the last 16
(Football news) Leicester City defeated Legia Warsaw 3-1 which saw them leapfrog Napoli in Group C to the top of the table and put themselves in pole position to reach the knockout stages. The Foxes began the day at the bottom of the table but in the first half, Paston Daka got the hosts off to a quick start, he smartly finished after an aggressive run from Harvey Barnes which saw the ball deflect into the Zambian’s path, then Maddison added a quick second after he was allowed time to turn in the box and pick his spot. Legia sparked an unlikely comeback after they won a penalty which was missed by Mladenovic but the rebound was scored by Emerli. Wilfred Ndidi, whose handball gave away the penalty made amends by scoring a header from Maddisons corner and that pretty much put the game beyond the visitors. With this result Leicester moved to 8 points from 5 matches.
Brendan Rodgers after the match said "We had a big job to do tonight, we knew we had to win the game and to play as well as we did in the first half was equally as important. Positioning on the pitch was much better. Going into the last game, if we said that we would be top before we kicked off we would have taken that. You see the quality of the teams in the group, we are in control of where we finish. Our objective at the beginning was to qualify and that is in our hands."
Leicester midfielder James Maddison said "We knew after the result last night, we go into the game bottom and a win takes us top. All the teams have been up and down in the group but it was a convincing performance, three goals at home and we can be happy. We are in pole position. Ademola Lookman had good awareness and cut it back for me. There were bodies in front of me and I am comfortable with my left or right, I knew if I shifted it with a Cruyff turn I could finish it. I don't think I had a point to prove. I am hungry, I want to do well for my team, fans, family and the manager. I want to get back to my best and tonight I showed that. A goal and assist, affecting the team going forward. When you come away with the stats, it feels good."
Spartak Moscow caused a major upset as they beat Napoli 2-1 to move above them in the table. Napoli were missing a lot of players from the squad as they failed to get into any kind of rhythm, which was taken advantage of by Spartak Moscow. Russian international Sobolev gave Sparta the lead within the first three minutes after scoring a penalty before netting again at the half hour mark. Eljif Elmas pulled one back for the visitors in the second half, but Napoli could not find an equaliser. After a fast start to the season, Napoli is now winless in three games in all competitions. With this result Spartak moved to second with 7 points as they have a superior goal difference compared to Napoli.
West Ham secured their place in the last 16 after a 2-0 victory over Rapid Wien in a match played behind closed doors in Austria. In the first half, Andriy Yarmolenko put the Hammers ahead at the half hour mark after he headed Nikola Vlasic’s pinpoint cross, minutes later Yarmolenko was fouled in the penalty box and captain Mark Noble fired the penalty into the top corner to double their lead. David Moyes' side are now guaranteed to win Group H with a game to spare. West Ham won the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1965 and lost in the 1976 final. Their run in this season's Europa League is already their best performance in European competition since 1980-81.
Moyes after the match said: "A really good, professional job, not just tonight, how we've done in the group and great credit to the whole squad. We've used them all and taken some risks at times, but overall it has worked.At the start of the tournament I was unsure how it would be. It was relatively new to the players, but they've done such a great job. We thoroughly deserve to win the group and are looking forward to European football in March - and don't have to play in February which helps with the congestion.We should've been in front before we did score, but there was no doubt we deserved to be in front and no doubt we deserved to win.
Moyes added "It's a good sign when we won, but I don't think we played that well. The players that have come in have really done well. I really think the players have come a long way but there's more to go."I've tried to chop and change a little bit and keep everyone involved. We can play far better and need to do that in the games coming up. We can put this away and focus on the league now."
AS Monaco confirmed their position in the last 16 after a hard fought 2-1 victory over Real Sociedad. First half goals from Kevin Volland and Fofana were enough to secure the three points for the Monaquese side. Bayer Leverkusen defeated Celtics 3-2 as Moussa Diaby's late winner leaves Celtic unable to progress to the Europa League knockout stages, Robert Andrich heads hosts in front before Josip Juranovic and Jota turned the game in Celtic's favour but late goals from Andrich and Diaby helped them win the group for Bayer Leverkusen.
Also read:Premier League: Chelsea to face Man Utd at Stamford Bridge while Arsenal, Liverpool and City expected to secure three points
The other significant results were:
- Lokomotiv Moscow 0 - 3 Lazio (Immobile x2(pen), Pedro)
- Real Betis 2 (Tello, Canales) - 0 Ferencvaros
- Galatasaray 4 (Cicaldau, Caleta Car(og), Feghouli, Babel) - 2 Marseille (Milik x2)
- Olympiakos 1 (Tiquinho) - 0 Fenerbahce
- PSV 2 (C.V(pen), Bruma) - 0 SK Sturm Graz
- Rangers 2 (Morelos x2) - 0 Sparta Prague
Indian Super League partners with OneFootball to expand its global footprint
Mumbai, Nov 25 (Football news) Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) on Thursday announced a partnership with German football media company OneFootball to broadcast the Indian Super League to over 200 countries across the globe.
Starting season 2021-22, fans will be able to catch the action of India's premier football league with live matches and highlights being made available, free-to-air, on the OneFootball platform, accessed by upwards of 100 million monthly active users internationally.
All live and on-demand match action will be available on smartphone and tablet via the OneFootball App (iOS/Android, incl. Apple AirPlay and Google Chromecast) as well as on desktop via the OneFootball Website.
An ISL spokesperson said, "We are pleased to partner with OneFootball bringing another power-packed season of Hero ISL to fans worldwide. Hero Indian Super League has consistently engaged with the young audience, creating an intrigued base of fans across the globe." "Through our partnership with OneFootball, ISL will be able to continue its endeavour to appeal to the youth and globalise Indian football." Nikolaus von Doetinchem, VP OTT & Media Rights OneFootball said: "The Hero Indian Super League is a young and rapidly growing competition. OneFootball will be the place for Indian football fans around the world to watch their teams from back home and for a larger international audience to discover ISL for the first time.
"At OneFootball we are committed to bringing fans closer to the action than ever before and with the ISL we have another amazing competition for football fans to experience."
Also Read : Odisha FC beat Bengaluru FC 3-1 in historic win
News Source : PTI
NBA: Lakers lose to Celtics as they fall under .500, Bulls continue their fine start to the season with a victory over the Denver Nuggets
(Basketball news) Lakers fell under .500 as they lost 130-108 against the Celtics, Jayson Tatum who grew up idolising Kobe Bryant scored 37 points. With LeBron James coming into the line up after missing eight games the Lakers still looked very sloppy. Anthony Davis led Los Angeles with 31 points and James finished with 23 in 32 minutes. They each had six rebounds and two assists.Marcus Smart had 22 points and Dennis Schroder 21 for Boston (8-8), which climbed back to .500. Tatum had 11 rebounds and Al Horford added 18 points. With this result the Lakers record slump to 8-9 as they dropped down to 9th.
It's a surreal moment, obviously, Bill Russell and the impact he had on the Celtics and the NBA,'' Tatum said. ''Having someone like Paul come to the game and someone I have a relationship with.''I remember watching him play,'' Tatum said, breaking into a smile. ''Now he's watching me play, that's crazy
''I felt OK,'' James said. ''Obviously being out 2 1/2 weeks, I felt kind of like a rookie again, just being away from the game. Excited. Felt good enough that I could trust my body.''
'We stress making quick decisions,'' Boston coach Ime Udoka said. ''When he holds it, the crowds get to him. He was extremely aggressive.''
The Golden State Warriors won 105-102 against the Detroit Pistons. Poole scored 22 of his season-high 32 points in the first half and Wiggins had 27, as both made the most of their opportunity to step up as scorers in Stephen Curry's absence.The NBA-leading Warriors sat out Curry with a bruised hip, a night after the two-time MVP and the league's leading scorer had 20 of his 40 points in a fourth-quarter comeback victory at Cleveland. They also also without Draymond Green because of a bruised thigh after he had 14 assists in 29 minutes against the CavaliersDetroit's Cade Cunningham, the No. 1 overall pick, had 19 points, six rebounds and six assists. Jackson scored a season-high 27 points, Grant had 19 and Hamidou Diallo added 10 points.
I'm really proud of Jordan,'' coach Steve Kerr said. ''He struggled the last few games. He was locked in right at the beginning.''
'We competed and fought to get back,'' Casey said. ''Those guys are heartbroken because they put themselves in a position to win and just couldn't get that last shot to go in.'
The Chicago Bulls defeated the Denver Nuggets by 114-108. Zach LaVine took over the night as he scored 36 points,LaVine scored 12 of his 36 points in a pivotal stretch of the fourth quarter, DeRozan hit eight straight late free throws and the Bulls won in Denver for the first time since 2006.DeRozan finished with 26 points, including a 12-for-12 performance at the line. LaVine and DeRozan were sizzling in helping the Bulls win. Aaron Gordon had a season-high 28 points for the Nuggets, who've dropped three straight. He was 10 of 12 from the field and had nine boards as they were without the reigning MVP Nikola Jokic. LaVine has now scored 20-plus points 15 times this season, tied with Kevin Durant of Brooklyn for most in the league
''They've got to pick either me or him,'' LaVine said of the tandem with DeRozan. ''One of us is going to get a good look or create a play.''''I haven't heard that in my tenure here,'' he said. ''Hearing the fans and having them travel and be supportive on the road is incredible.''
'They were making big shots. We were making big shots,'' LaVine said. ''Obviously, if the ball is in me and DeMar's hands, we're going to make the right play, I think, pretty much every time.''
'It's remarkable to watch him,'' Bulls coach Billy Donovan said. ''He's one of the best tough-shot makers in this league.''
The other results were:
- Hornets 121 - 118 Pacers
- Nets 115 - 113 Magic
- Pelicans 94 - 81 Clippers
- Bucks 96 - 89 Thunder
- Suns 112 - 104 Mavericks
- Kings 89 - 108 Raptors
The fixtures for tomorrow are:
- Knicks vs Rockets
- Wizards vs Heat
- Pacers vs Pelicans
- Celtics vs Thunder
- Hawks vs Hornets
- Bucks vs Magic
- Trail Blazers vs 76ers
- Kings vs Jazz
Casper Ruud and Andrey Rublev battle for semifinal spot at Nitto ATP Finals, Daniil Medvedev makes it three out of three
(Tennis news) Daniil Medvedev kept proving why he is a mental giant as he beat Jannik Sinner at the Nitto ATP Finals. Medvedev kept his foot on the gas and managed to break him twice as Sinner was still rusty to give him a 3-0 lead in just 11 minutes of play. It turned out to be a triple break which gave Medvedev a 5-0 lead then comfortably served for a bagel in the first set which showed the scale of Sinner's challenge against the Russian.
Much to the delight of the home crowd, Sinner won his first game after 33 minutes to enter the scoreboard at the start of the second set, but took the opportunity to build some momentum and took a 3-1 lead. Sinner went on to take the set as he held his serve and in the tiebreaker pulled out a few quick groundstrokes. In the final set, Sinner had two match points in the tie breaker but Medvedev managed to save them both and take the match with a powerful backhand winner. Medvedev defeated Sinner 6-0, 6-7(5-7), 7-6(10-8).
Alexander Zverev booked the third spot in the semifinals as he beat Hubert Hurkacz in their final group stage match. Zverev started with a 5-1 lead in just 17 minutes in the first set when winless Hurkacz was broken two times and Zverev quickly found his first serve. Hurkacz couldn't get control over the match as Zverev secured the opening set in 19 minutes but Hurkacz took advantage of a lucky net rope and pinned him down to keep at least one more game in the first set. Zverev had only missed his first serve twice in the set.
Hurkacz's serve improved a bit in the second set which allowed him to stabilize for the start of the second set, but couple of misfired forehands allowed Zverev to break him in the 9th game for a 5-4 lead as he won the final service game to win in straight sets. Zverev defeated Hurkacz 6-2, 6-4.
Andrey Rublev will face Casper Ruud in their final group match as the winner will face Novak Djokovic in the semifinal. Rublev has won all of their four meetings against Ruud and will be facing him for the third time this year. Ruud has managed to take a single set in the four meetings, he took the opening set when they met for the first time at Hamburg in 2019.
In doubles, top seeds Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic booked the semifinal spot with a win over Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek. Mektic and Pavic defeated Dodig and Polasek 6-4, 7-6(8-6). The pair of Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballo who had first secured the semifinal spot lost their final group stage match to Horia Tecau and Kevin Krawietz. Granollers and Zeballo defeated Tecau and Krawietz 6-3, 6-7(1-7), 10-6.
Serie A: Juventus face a tough test away to Lazio as both Napoli and AC Milan will look to maintain their unbeaten start to the season
(Football news) With the international fixtures all done and dusted, Italian football is back with some mouthwatering fixtures. Juventus will hope that the international break acts like a blessing in disguise as they will want to go on a string of positive results but it won’t be easy as they face their former manager Maurizio Sarri’s Lazio. The fight at the summit of the table is intensifying, with both Napoli and AC Milan are level on points and just separated on goal difference.
Juventus face Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico with both teams sitting outside the top four as it will be an intriguing watch to see which manager comes out on top. While the fifth-placed hosts have been undermined by inconsistency, Juve trail Lazio by three points and three places in the standings after a miserable first 12 matches of the domestic campaign. For Lazio, their talisman Ciro Immobile will be sidelined for this crucial encounter as he has got a calf injury, while Pedro also might be out after spraining his ankle. For Juventus they have to be without Rodrigo Bentancur and Giorgio Chiellini, but one positive for the Juve fans is that Paulo Dybala’s injury does not seem to be serious as he can start off the bench.
Juventus Vice-President Pavel Nedved said, “it was time to rejuvenate the squad’ at the Allianz Stadium. We aim to be competitive in Italy and Europe. We won for many years, and it was time to rejuvenate the squad – Juventus. With the right mix of experienced players like [Gianluigi] Buffon, [Giorgio Chiellini] and [Leonardo] Bonucci, and young players like Chiesa and De Ligt.We have tried to build the present and the future of the club, with the aim of being competitive in Italy and in Europe, to continue winning.”
Fiorentina host AC Milan at the Artemio Franchi as Dusan Vlahovic comes up against his idol Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Rossoneri have won 10 of their 12 league games following a Milan derby draw, while Fiorentina have been inconsistent as they have both won and lost half of their fixtures. Milan could become the second team in Serie A history to win 16 away games in a single calendar year after Napoli racked up 18 away wins four years ago. They are also one of just two sides yet to lose a single point from a winning position in Serie A so far this term. For Fiorentina, they will be without their star defender Nikola Milenkovic as he picked up a red card against Juventus, Lorenzo Venuti and Gaetano Castrovilli are the injury concerns for La Viola. For Milan Samu Castillejo, Junior Messies and Mike Maignan are long term injuries as Theo Hernandez also looks doubtful for the clash.
Vlahovic told the broadcaster, “I certainly like Ibra more for his character and the desire to never give up . He never allowed anyone to command him, then the monstrous plays… Let’s leave it. When we lost 3-2 in Florence, I took advantage of the fact that he might not be very angry and asked him for the shirt. He signed it for me, we took a photo and wrote the dedication in our language. He told me to continue and never give up. I’m not very good at speaking when I meet an idol.”
Current Serie A leader Napoli face their tough test this season as they face Inter at the San Siro. In 34 head-to-head encounters between the two sides, the record is fairly even. Inter Milan have won 12 games, lost 13 and drawn nine. For Simone Inzaghi’s side this is an opportunity to close the gap between the runaway leaders as they can cut down the lead to 4 points if they win the fixture. For Inter they are going through a mini injury crisis with Edin Dzeko among those who looked to be out but who should be at least be available in the matchday squad, they will missing centre back Stefan De Vrij as he will be replaced by Alessandro Bastoni who apparently has recovered from his muscle injury, Lautaro Martinez is another doubt for this fixture. For Napoli, they will have Kalidou Koulibaly back following his suspension for a red card as Luciano Spaletti will have a full squad to choose from.
The other fixtures are:
- Atalanta vs Spezia
- Verona vs Empoli
- Genoa vs Roma
- Bologna vs Venezia
- Sassuolo vs Cagliari
- Torino vs Udinese
Alexander Zverev and Andrey Rublev eyeing last two semifinal spots at Nitto ATP Finals
(Tennis news) Novak Djokovic was in compelling form again as he advanced to his 10th semi-final in the Nitto ATP Finals after a straight-set victory over Andrey Rublev in Turin. The Serbian didn't have everything he wanted for much of the first set as Rublev's thunderous forehand posed a lot of problems, but that all changed in 8th game as Djokovic made the most of rublev's backhand error and rushed inside to nail a cross pass and gained a crucial break. The five-time champion then served while not giving a single point to take the lead in 36 minutes before going ahead with another break to lead 2-1 early in the second set.
Djokovic's characteristic elasticity in defensive positions was once again the key as he produced a devastating pass down the stretch to outclass the world No.5 and ensure a win. Djokovic defeated Rublev 6-3, 6-2.
Cameron Norrie couldn't bring out the first set as his ATP Finals debut ended in a three set loss to Casper Ruud. Norrie has become the fourth British player to play singles in the history of the event, he has come in to replace Stefanos Tsitsipas after the Greek player pulled out of the tournament with a right elbow injury but failed to win in his debut. Norrie was eager to make the most of his opportunity and got off to a strong start and was rarely put to the test until he served for the set while defending a breakpoint before finishing the job in just 33 minutes.
In the second set, both players served strong as Norrie was the first to falter with a few unforced errors on the forehand and a failed volley which allowed the world number eight to grab the crucial breakpoint and go ahead for a final set. Ruud started to hit faster groundstrokes which put stress on Norrie's serve and paid huge dividends in the fifth game when a double fault on a third breakpoint gave the advantage to the Norwegian. Chances of victory stayed solid with Ruud from that point on as he once again got the better of the Briton by serving a tough battle in one hour and 52 minutes on his fourth match point to secure his first victory in the tournament. Ruud defeated Norrie 1-6 6-3, 6-4.
In doubles, Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah beat Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares as they will try to reach the semifinals for a third time when they face Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury in the final group match. Juan and Farah defeated Jamie and Bruno 6-4, 7-5.
US Open champions Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury were almost out of the event as they saved two match points to beat Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut. The final set saw the pair saving a matchpoint at 9-8 and at 10-9 as they will need to win their final match to stand a chance to enter the semi finals. Rajeev and Joe defeated Herbert and Mahut. 6-7(7-9), 6-0, 13-11.
Also read: Jannik Sinner makes dream debut at Nitto ATP finals, Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic suffer shock defeat
Jannik Sinner makes dream debut at Nitto ATP finals, Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic suffer shock defeat
(Tennis news) Jannik Sinner made his dream debut at the the Nitto ATP Finals with a straight set victory over Hubert Hurkacz. The 20 year old was expected to qualify for the event over a month ago but fell short of qualifying and was the first alternate for the event. He is the youngest player at the event since Juan Martin del Potro in 2008 who was at the same age when he played at Shanghai. Matteo Berrettini had to withdraw from the event which brought in another young Italian as Sinner lit up the court and was charged up by the spectators. Sinner has a chance of becoming the first alternate to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals semi-finals if he manages a win against Daniil Medvedev and if Alexander Zverev loses against Hurkacz.
Sinner was out of form in the last two events he played but was in his own world when he took over Hurkacz. Sinner broke him early on the first set and his retrieval skills also put on a show which Hurkacz couldn't decode. Sinner battled from the baseline as his groundstrokes were too powerful for Hurkacz to handle, the second set saw nothing change as Sinner continued his rampage to mark his first victory at the event. Sinner defeated Hurkacz 6-2, 6-2.
“At the moment I’m just happy about today's match. Tomorrow I will go on court to practise, and then we’ll see what’s coming,” Sinner said. “Of course, you want to go on to the semi-finals, you’re trying to do your best but on the other hand, these are the best eight players in the world. And with me, nine. Everyone is tough to beat here, so let’s see what’s coming.”
Daniil Medvedev booked his place in the semifinal with a fifth consecutive victory over Alexander Zverev. The match saw Medevedev meddling with Zverev’s defense as both of them did not want to slow down at any point. Medvedev looked for the winners as Zverev tried blocking them which made Medvedev come at the net to set things in order. The first set did not involve much hassle as Medvedev came strong from the opening game.
The second set was filled with breathtaking rallies and shots as Zverev also made few successful appearances at the net and even saved a break point in the seventh game with an overhead smash. The scores were level at 6 all as a tiebreak and Medvedev sarcastically clapped towards the crowd when he lost a point at 3-5 which gave Zverev the set point then went on to win the set. In the final set, both the players held their serve as Medvedev came back from 2-4 in the tie breaker and had two match points at 6-4 until it was Zverev’s turn to come back. Medvedev then got his third matchpoint at 7-6 as he won the set and will face alternate Jannik Sinner in the final round robin match for both. Medvedev defeated Zverev 6-3, 6-7(3-7), 7-6(8-6).
“Definitely one of the matches to remember,” Medvedev said. “When you win 8/6 in the tie-break in the third, it was 4/2 for him so I was like okay, he serves a few aces it’s done. I made it 6/4 and I was like okay, that’s my moment now. It’s back to 6/6, you get really tight, because I wanted to make a brave move on the 6/5 second serve and volley, but it didn't work out at all.
In doubles, the top seeded pair of Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic were beaten by Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos. The pair had lost to the top seeds in the final of Wimbledon a few months ago and have now booked their place in the semifinals. Zeballos denied the second set for Pavic and Mektic with two powerful serves as they will have to win the next match to stand a chance to qualify for the semifinals. Marcel and Horacio defeated Pavic and Mektic 6-4, 7-6(7-4).
Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek kept their semifinal chances afloat as they beat Kevin Krawietz and Horia Tecau who have now lost both their opening matches. Dodig and Polasek combined strong serves and quick but precise returns as they will now face the top seeds Nikola and Mate for a place in the semifinals. Dodig and Polasek defeated Kevin and Horia 7-6(7-2), 7-5.
NBA: Lakers lose to the spirited Bulls as Washington Wizards continued their fine form with a victory over the Pelicans
(Basketball news) Lakers continued their poor form as they suffered their seventh loss of the season, DeMar DeRozan scored a season-high 38 points and Zach LaVine had added 26 in the Chicago Bulls' 121-103 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers. Former Laker Lonzo Ball put in a statement performance with a season high 27 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists as the promising Bulls made it four wins out of five. For the Lakers, Talen Horton Tucker had a career high scoring 28 points against his hometown team, Anthony Davis scored 20 points before getting ejected in the third quarter after an altercation with the referee, Westbrook scored 25 out of which he scored 19 points in the first half. For the Lakers, who wrapped up a five-game, eight-day homestand with three narrow wins and two embarrassing defeats.
With this result the Bulls improve their record to 10-4 and occupy the second position in the Eastern Conference, for the Lakers their record stands at 8-7, currently in 7th place in the Western Conference. Ball said,” I think we are one of the top teams in the NBA. We've still got a lot to improve on and a long way to go, but I think we're moving in the right direction.''
“Every night you've got to find some type of extra motivation, We've got a couple of guys that played here, (others who are) from here. Just having that extra juice, that energy to go out there and compete, is always beneficial”. said DeRozan.
Talen Horton-Tucker, who had a career-high 28 points said, “Coming out with (James) out, you always know you've got to play hard and make up the slack for a big piece of our team,''against his hometown team. We've all got to bring our games up to another level”
The Washington Wizards continued their fine start to the season as they 105-100 against the Pelicans, with this victory it also meant that the Wizards extended their best start in 47 years. Spencer Dinwiddie scored 19 of his 27 points in the second half, and the Wizards erased a 19-point deficit to beat the New Orleans Pelicans for their fifth consecutive victory, The Wizards were without Bradley Beal, who missed a second consecutive game mourning the death of his grandmother but without Beal they are 3-0 this season. With this result the Wizards improve their record to 10-3 and lead the Eastern Conference also.
We never want to be without Brad. 'No one wants to be without their best player. But the fact that we can withstand some stretches is great.'' said first-year coach Wes Unseld Jr
We just woke up - I think we flipped a switch,'' said forward Deni Avdija, who scored 11 and contained New Orleans' Brandon Ingram in the fourth quarter. ''When we play together and we have that right energy, it's very hard to stop us.''
The Dallas Mavericks slowly but steadily are going about their business with a 111-101 victory over the Denver Nuggets. Kristaps Porzingis had 29 points and 11 rebounds and Tim Hardway scored 13 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter and the Dallas Mavericks rallied behind a small-ball lineup to get their fifth victory in six games. Luka Doncic added 23 points and 11 assists and Jalen Brunson added 17 points off the bench to rally them to a well deserved victory. For the Nuggets Nikola Jokic tried his best to get a victory as he scored a season high 35 points and 16 rebounds which had their five match winning run snapped. With this result the Mavericks improve their record to 9-4 as they stand 3rd in the Western Conference
''We felt that was a lineup that could get going, give us some energy, some physicality,'' Kidd said. ''And that's what they brought
'I think it was funky,'' Hardaway said. ''We knew going into the fourth we wanted to get the pace going real high.''.
The other results were:
- Cavaliers 92 - 98 Celtics
- Knicks 92 - Pacers
- Hawks 129 - 111 Magic
- Thunder 90 - 103 Heat
- Timberwolves 96 - 99 Suns
- Trail Blazers 118 - 113 Raptors
- Grizzlies 136 - 102 Rockets
Tomorrow's fixtures are:
- Nets vs Warriors
- Jazz vs 76 ers
- Clippers vs Spurs
Daniil Medvedev battles past Hubert Hurkacz in Nitto ATP finals, Matteo Berrettini withdraws midway due to injury
(Tennis news) Daniil Medvedev began his title defense with a three set victory over Hubert Hurkacz on the first day of Nitto ATP Finals. Medvedev had to use his all wits to tackle Hurkacz’s volleys as the first set went to the tie breaker as Hurkacz took the set in a dream debut. Medvedev made sure that was the last hope for Hurkacz as he made no mistakes in the second set, in the final set Medvedev was determined to take the match and did what he had in mind. Medvedev joined Stefanos Tsitsipas for the second most wins this season with 55 as Alexander Zverev has 56. Medvedev defeated Hurkacz 6-7(5-7), 6-3, 6-4.
“I had zero break points to save, so in a way I was never under pressure," Medvedev said in his on-court interview. "I had only two games on Hubert’s serve where I had breakpoints. Super happy to make this work and that I managed to get both breaks.”
Alexander Zverev looked like a man on a mission as the crowd broke the sound barrier against Matteo Berrettini. The Italian found great support from the crowd as Zverev saved a matchpoint at 5-6, Zverev took it to tiebreak and took the set on the first chance. In the second set, Berrettini appeared to be in tears when he dropped the racquet after hitting a forehand into the net. A medical time out was called as the physio came in and checked his abdomen, Berrettini played one more point but he could not go play any longer. Zverev came across the net to hug Berretini as he was visibly broken and the crowd too encouraged the Italian who was making his second appearance at the event. If Berrettini is unable to play the next two matches, the second alternate Jannik Sinner will be called in for the remaining matches. Zverev defeated 7-6(9-7), 1-0.
“It is mentally really tough for me because I used to have an injury close to the same area, so it is tough to play," Berrettini said. "Also, I don’t know what it is. I have to figure out what it is and then if it is nothing really big, maybe I can play. Tomorrow with my team and the doctor I will do some checks and I hope it won’t be something that won’t let me play the next two matches.
In doubles, US Open champions Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram had a good start as they won against Bruno Soares and Jamie Murray in straight sets. Joe and Rajeev defeated Bruno and Jamie 6-1, 7-6(7-5). This season’s top doubles pair of Mate Pavić and Nikola Mektić recorded their 60th victory of the year as they defeated Horia Tecău and Kevin Krawietz 6-4, 6-4.
Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos recorded the first upset of the event as they defeated Ivan Dodig and Filip Polášek 4-6, 7-6(12-10), 10-6.
NBA: Lakers loss to the Timberwolves as Warriors improved their record to 11 wins after a victory over the Chicago Bulls
(Basketball news) Lakers suffered an embarrassing loss against Timberwolves as Karl Anthony Towns scored 18 of his 29 points during Timberwolves dominant third quarter and they snapped their six match losing streak with a 107- 83 victory at the staples centre. D’Angelo Russell had 22 points against his former team as the Timberwolves outscored the Lakers 40-12 in the third quarter. Anthony Davis had 22 points and eight rebounds as the Lakers dropped to 2-3 with LeBron James sidelined by a strained abdominal muscle, Russell Westbrook scored 20 points on his 33rd birthday but it completely disintegrated after the second half as the Wolves went on 29-4. With this result the Lakers record stands at 7-6 as they move to 7th in the Western Conference
Davis said, “We're not going to win a championship the way we're playing, we have to be better. We've got to decide who we want to be. A championship team? That's not us right now.”
Minnesota coach Chris Finch said, “Desperately needed this one, In this situation, the more desperate team usually wins in the NBA on any given night. We've been playing well. We just haven't been playing well often enough. Felt good to watch some shots go in finally.''
Golden State Warriors beat the in-form Chicago Bulls 119-83 as Steph Curry again lit Chase Centre. The reigning NBA scoring champion piled up 40 points with nine three pointers, Draymond Green delivered an all around performance to guide them to their 7th consecutive win. It was also a historical night for Curry as he passed Ray Allen for the most 3 pointers made in NBA history. Zach LaVine scored 23 points and DeMar DeRozan had 18 to lead the Bulls, who missed star Nikola Vucevic during his absence with COVID-19 as the Bulls had no answer to Curry’s brilliance. With this result Warriors improve their record to 11-1 and sit on top of the Western Conference.
Coach Steve Kerr said, “In general, the high point is establishing our home floor, that this is going to be a tough place to come and win a game. And a lot of that is the way we're playing, a lot of that is our fans, the energy in the building, there's a really good vibe about the team, the fans feel it. Great way to start the year but now we've got to go out on the road and it's going to get a lot tougher. We obviously are very happy to be where we are.''
Curry said of performing for Davidson coach Bob McKillop, “It's special. The schedule gods worked out somewhat in terms of they got to come to the game. Obviously, we're going to Charlotte tomorrow so I'll miss the Davidson-USF game, but to have Coach in the building ... it always gets me going reminding me of the journey to get here and all that went into making me the player and person I am now.''
Brooklyn Nets got back to winning ways after getting 120-112 victory over New Orleans Pelicans. With James Harden and Kevin Durant both hitting clutch shots, the Brooklyn Nets were able to get away with blowing a 21-point second-half lead on the road. Harden highlighted a 39-point, 12-assist performance and also scored a game-sealing 27-foot 3-pointer with 29 seconds left. Durant scored 28 points as Joe Harris heavily contributed with 24 points to get back to winning ways. Valanciunas and Nickeil Alexander Walker added 36 points together but it wasn’t enough for them. With this result Nets move to 2nd in the Eastern Conference with 9-4 record.
Durant said, “We were able to take that nice little haymaker and keep pushing, I think they found something that was working more so than us just playing down to their record.”
Also read: NBA: Clippers beat Miami Heat to win their 6th match on a row as the 76ers lose against the Raptors
The other results were:
- Celtics 122- 113 Bucks
- Hornets 104 - 96 Knicks
- Cavaliers 98 - 78 Pistons
- Rockets 92 - 104 Trail Blazers
- Thunder 105 - 103 Kings
- Grizzlies 94 - 119 Suns
- Spurs 109 - 123 Mavericks
- Nuggets 105 - 96 Hawks
Tomorrow's fixtures are:
- Jazz vs Heat
- Pelicans vs Grizzlies
- Magic vs Wizards
- Pacers vs 76ers
- Raptors vs Pistons
- Cavaliers vs Celtics
- Clippers vs Timberwolves
Mitrabha Guha becomes India's 72nd Grand Master
Chennai, Nov 9 (Chess News) Kolkata-based player Mitrabha Guha has become India's 72nd chess Grand Master by bagging his third and final GM norm during a tournament in Serbia.
The 20-year old Guha achieved the GM title after securing the final norm at the ongoing GM Third Saturday Mix 220 tourney in Novi Sad, Serbia.
The Indian, who beat GM Nikola Sedlak of Serbia in the ninth round on Monday, has so far scored seven points with six wins, two draws and a loss to Russian GM Vladimir Zakhartsov in the seventh round.
The Kolkata player had scored his second GM norm at the Sheikh Russel GM tournament in Bangladesh a fortnight ago and had also crossed the 2500 Elo barrier in the second round of the tournament.
To become a GM, a player has to secure three GM norms and cross the live rating of 2,500 Elo points.
The All India Chess Federation congratulated Guha on becoming a GM.
"Kolkata-based International Master Mitrabha Guha becomes the 72nd Grandmaster of the country after completing the requirement by securing his third and final GM norm at GM Third Saturday Mix 220 – Novi Sad, Serbia," the AICF said on its website.
Former world champion and chess legend Viswanathan Anand also congratulated Guha.
"Congrats to Mitrabha! Two GMs in two days… 100 th Gm soon!," he tweeted on Tuesday.
Guha achieved the GM title just two days after Sankalp Gupta did so during an event in Arandjelovac, Serbia to become the country's 71st GM.
Also Read : Sankalp Gupta becomes India's 71st GM, maestro Anand congratulates
News Source : PTI
Serie A: AC Milan hold on for a draw against Inter as Napoli also drop points against Hellas Verona
(Football news) Although AC Milan and Napoli dropped points, they are still at the top of the table as Atalanta moved into the top four with a victory over Cagliari. AS Roma suffered an embarrassing loss to Venezia as Jose Mourinho’s side looked under pressure to perform.
AC Milan somehow managed to hold off a rampant Inter to a 1-1 draw against Inter Milan, Stefan Poli’s side lacked the cutting edge display that we have been accustomed to. In the first half Inter were the dominant side from the get go and go off to the best possible start, when Franck Kessie tangled with Calhanoglu in the penalty box to concede a penalty, which was coolly converted by the former AC Milan player. Inter’s lead didn't last for too long as Stefan De Vrij headed Sandro Tonali’s free kick into his own net in 17th minute, Inter’s constant pressure resulted in Fode Ballo Toure bring down Matteo Darmian but this time Lautaro Martinez stepped up and it brilliantly saved by Tatarusanu.
In the second half AC Milan restored some parity as they created some opportunities, Zlatan was omnipresent on the field for the entire match but almost won the match in the end after he almost curled the ball just past the top far corner and also had a fierce free kick saved by Samir Handanovic. With this result AC Milan stay level on points with Napoli on top of the table with 32 points, for Inter they stay third with 25 points.
Inter coach Inzaghi said. “For us the glass is half empty, we missed so many chances and a penalty, and we deserved more. But we faced a great team that is top because it deserves to be. And we’re continuing to improve ... Milan and Napoli are going at an incredible rate but there are many games left and there’s time and space.
Pioli said “The glass is half full. It’s clear that you always play to win, especially when it’s a derby match. We suffered a bit in the first 20 minutes of the second half but then we got back on top again. On the whole, I’m happy because we played well against very strong opponents
Napoli couldn’t take advantage of AC Milan’s slip up as they drew 1-1 against Hellas Verona, Luciano Spalletti’s side was boosted by the unexpected return of Insigne and Osimhen. In the first half Napoli got off to a lackluster start as Giovanni Simeone scored his seventh goal in four matches to give Verona an early lead but the lead lasted for only five minutes as Giovanni Di Lorenzo’s low drilling shot leveled it up. In the second half Verona finished the game with nine men after substitutes Daniel Bessa and Nikola Kalinic were both shown second yellow cards in the dying minute. With this result it leaves Verona in 10th with 16 points and Napoli move to 32 points as well.
Juventus dramatically won 1-0 against Fiorentina, it was Allegri’s 200th win as Juventus manager. A goal from substitute Juan Cuadrado in stoppage time ended their three game winless streak in Serie A, it was enough for them to get three points. Although Juve barely deserved to win as they didn't even have a shot on target until Cuadrado scored, they got the added impetus to attack when Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic was sent off in the 73rd minute following two yellow cards in quick succession. With this result Juventus moved level on points with Fiorentina in seventh place with 18 points.
Allegri after the match said, “I am especially satisfied because we held on mentally. This should make us satisfied with today’s victory but also very angry at the points given up against Sassuolo, Empoli, Udinese or Hellas Verona. Today, against a good team, we had a lot of chances in the second half but also in the first half: but we missed the final pass on three or four attacks, we have to take better advantage of these opportunities.
The other results were:
- Cagliari 1 (J.Pedro) - 2 Atalanta (Pasalic, Zapata)
- Venezia 3 (Caldara, Aramu(pen), Okereke) - 2 Roma (Shomurodov, Abraham)
- Lazio 3 (Immobile, Pedro, Alberto) - 0 Salernitana
- Udinese 3 (Deulofeu, Frattesi(og), Beto) - 2 Sassuolo (Berardi, Frattesi)
- Sampdoria 1 (Thorsby) - 2 Bologna (Svanberg, Arnautovic)
Hugo Gaston manages incredible comeback at Paris, Casper Ruud qualifies for year end finals
(Tennis news) Hugo Gaston made every shot count against Carlos Alcaraz Garfia in a match of the tournament so far at Paris. The Frenchmen was making his debut in the main draw this year as he pulled off an unbelievable comeback in the fourth round, Alcaraz was on the way to win the second set as he opened up a 5-0 lead but things went in a downward spiral aftermath. Gaston won 20 of the next 21 points to level up and then went on to win the match giving the home crowd what it wanted. The qualifier will next face Daniil Medvedev in the quarterfinals, Gaston defeated Carlos 6-4, 7-5.
“The atmosphere was incredible”, Gaston said. “Honestly, I have been playing tennis for this. It was actually incredible. It was really wonderful to live this match with them. I actually won because they supported me from beginning to the end even when I had a letdown during the first or the second set, they were always cheering me. It's incredible to have such a great public.”
Casper Ruud qualified for the Nitto ATP finals with an emphatic victory over Marcos Giron in the fourth round of the Paris Masters. Ruud has become the seventh player this year to qualify as there is one more position left for the season finale, Ruud won five consecutive games in the second set to secure the match in an hour and will face Alexander Zverev in the quarterfinals. There is one more spot left in the ATP finals as Hubert Hurkacz needs to win his quarterfinal matchup against James Duckworth to qualify for the event. Ruud will be making his debut at the season ending event this year, Ruud defeated Giron 6-2, 6-1.
"It's been an unbelievable year that will have the perfect end to the season," said Ruud. "It's been a stressful couple of weeks and months, because it’s been such a tight FedEx ATP Race to Turin. It’s been fun at the same time and so exciting to watch as a tennis fan."
Alexander Zverev recorded a third consecutive win over Grigor Dimitrov as the pair met five years after their previous meeting at Rome. Zverev took the first set in a tight tie breaker and had two match points in the second set which Dimitrov saved on his way to level the score. In the final set Zverev saved three break points in the sixth game which involved a quick backhand volley at the net to deny Dimitrov a 4-2 lead. To make things worse for the Bulgarian, Zverev broke him in the very next game and went to win the dramatic encounter. Zverev defeated Dimitrov 7-6(7-4), 7-6(3-7), 6-3.
Taylor Fritz struck a huge blow to Cameron Norrie’s hopes of qualifying for the year end finals with a straight victory. Fritz had defeated Andrey Rublev in the previous round and now beat the left hander to proceed to his second consecutive quarter final at a Masters 1000 event. Fritz wrapped up the first set in no time as Norrie battled hard to take the second one as he also had two set points which Fritz saved and went on to win the set in a tie breaker. Fritz defeated Norrie 6-3, 7-6(7-3).
In men’s doubles, the top two seeds tumbled at Paris as Joran Vliegen and Sander Gillé tasted sweet revenge when they defeated top seeds Mate Pavić and Nikola Mektić 6-3, 7-6(8-6).
Michael Venus and Tim Pütz staged the second shocking win of the day as they defeated second seeded Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury in a marathon two set tie breaker. Venus and Tim defeated Rajeev and Joe 7-6(14-12), 7-6(8-6).
Novak Djokovic starts off with a victory at Paris, Gael Monfils steals the show in opening round
(Tennis news) Novak Djokovic made a winning return on tour with a three set win over Márton Fucsovics at the Paris Masters. Djokovic took no time to take an early lead as his strokes were looking strong as he took the first set, in the second set it was Marton’s chance to take the lead as he took some brave shots to take the set. In the final set, Djokovic broke early with a loud roar towards the crowd and broke him again as he won the match. The Serbian defeated Fucsovics 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.
“It was great to be back on the court after almost two months without competition,” Djokovic said. “I did not expect anything but I knew this was not going to be an easy match. Marton is a very talented player, he has a lot of quality. It was a great fight. I couldn’t break his serve, he was playing with a lot of precision and we pushed each other to the limit. It was a great opening match for me. I am very pleased.”
Casper Ruud shook off a rusty start in the opening set to beat this season’s ace leader Alexander Bublik. Ruud got a breakpoint in the fourth game with a well played defense as Bublik attempts went in vain but saved the breakpoint to win the game. Ruud took seven consecutive games to take the second set under half an hour and keep his chances of qualifying for the season finale alive. Ruud defeated Bublik 6-4, 6-0.
Gael Monfils' forehand was the winner in his match against Miomir Kecmanović as he kept firing winners which kept increasing by each set. Monfils hit a humongous forehand on his serve which was timed at 190km/ hour and in the match he hit a total of 54 winners as compared to 13 by Miomir Kecmanović. Monfils had a slow start but in the final two sets he simply swung the racquet as hard as he could to march on to the next round. Monfils defeated Kecmanović 4-6, 7-5, 6-3.
Carlos Alcaraz Garfia once again made good use of his endurance as he rallied on to beat Pierre-Hugues Herbert in a 39 game three set match. Both the players took at least five games in each set as two tie breaks were needed to settle the scores, Herbert used his serve and volley to win points as Carlos depended upon his baseline play. Carlos also showed off his quick reflex skills at the net as he had to come forward multiple times in the match and found answers to Herbert’s angled serves mixed with excellent half volleys. Carlos defeated Herbert 6-7(4-7), 7-6(7-2), 7-5.
“It’s not easy to play against a home player,” said Alcaraz. “I think we played at a good level and it was a great match, so I am happy to win. He has a great serve, so I had to return better and remain focused. I think that was the key. I am playing at a good level and I want to finish the year strong.
In men’s doubles, Joran Vliegen and Sander Gillé scored a straight victory over Máximo González and Simone Bolelli in their opening match at Paris. Joran and Sander defeated Maximo and Simone 7-6(7-2), 6-4. Joran and Sander had won the title at Singapore in the beginning of the season and were runners up at the BMW Open. They will next face top seeds Mate Pavić and Nikola Mektić in the round of 16, the pair had met them last time in the semifinals at Madrid where the top seeds won in straight sets.
Arthur Rinderknech and Benjamin Bonzi also recorded straight victories over Stefanos Tsitispas and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi. Qureshi had reached the quarterfinals in Moscow while partnering with Rohan Bopanna but this time he had to depart early. Arthur and Benjamin defeated Stefanos and Qureshi 7-6(7-3), 6-4.
NBA: Last years finalist Phoenix Suns lose to Denver Nuggets as both the Bulls and Knicks win
(Basketball news) The match between the Suns and Nuggets was a story of two halves, ultimately the Denver Nuggets came out on top as they used lockdown defence and clutch 3 point shots to start off their campaign with a 110-98 victory. Last year's MVP Nikola Jokic started off the campaign with 27 points and 13 rebounds on 13 of 22 shooting from the field as he was too much for the Suns defence to handle, on the other hand Mikal Bridges top scored with 16 points as Chris Paul and co couldn’t get themselves in a groove in the second half
Knicks edged out Celtics 138-134 after playing two overtimes, in what was an enthralling game between these two historical franchises. Evan Fournier in his first match for the New York Knicks scored a career high with 32 points and also hit the game winning three pointer with 56 seconds left in the second overtime. Earlier Jaylen Brown scored 46 points to inspire his team to make a comeback in the fourth quarter as they were down by 11 points, subsequently Brown broke the franchise record for the highest number of points scored on the opening night but ultimately his efforts went in vain as they lost by 4 points in the end. Last year’s most improved player Julius Randle top scored for the Knicks with 35 points, 9 assist and 8 rebounds to help inspire them to a historic victory.
The Chicago Bulls won 94-88 against the Detroit Pistons, this season the Bulls have made significant changes to their roster adding the likes of DeMar DeRozan and Lonzo Ball. These players made their debut and did not disappoint as they scored 17 and 12 points respectively but all the headlines were grabbed by their franchise cornerstone for years Zach Lavine who top scored with 34 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assist. Jerami Grant did his best to inspire a comeback but his 24 points wasn’t enough for them as the Bulls defeated the Pistons for the eight consecutive time.
In tomorrow's matches, the two next generation superstars Trae Young and Luka Doncic go head to head as Hawks take on the Mavericks. Last year's surprise package Hawks will be looking to continue from where they left off from last season as they made it to the Eastern Conference finals under coach Nate McMillan in his first full season. For the Mavericks they will be heading into a new era as coach Rick Carlisle will not be in there for the first time since the 2007-08 season as they have appointed former Dallas player Jason Kidd as their new head coach.
The Miami Heat will play their first match against defending champions Milwaukee Bucks. The Heat will have a renewed vigour and passion to make this year's final after a disappointing season last year, this season Miami have added some extra firepower in the form of former NBA champion Kyle Lowry and also Victor Oldapio who was added to their roster last season will come back from a recurring injury. Miami mainstays Jimmy Butler and along with Bam Adebayo will be hoping that they inspire them to go all the way and win a NBA championship together. This season the Heats have been portrayed as the dark horse for the Championship by the former players and experts.
Last year's Western Conference Finalist LA Clippers will take on Steph Curry’s Golden State Warriors. The Warriors are coming off good form after beating the Lakers and will hope to repeat the same against their city rivals. For Clippers, the task in hand will be difficult as their talisman Kawhi Leonard will be out for quite some time as he suffered an ACL injury in the Western Conference Finals. All the onus will be on Paul George to lead the franchise before Kawhi Leonard comes back.
The other significant results were:
- Trail Blazers 121 - 124 Kings
- Jazz 107 - 86 Thunder
- Spurs 123 - 97 Magic
- Grizzlies 132 - 121 Cavaliers
- Pelicans 97 - 117 76ers
- Raptors 83 - 98 Wizards
- Hornets 123 - 122 Pacers
- Timberwolves 124 - 106 Rockets
NBA: Lakers and Nets both lose their first match of the season as Giannis and Steph Curry both shine on the opening day.
(Basketball news) Steph Curry lit up the night with his first triple double since January 2016 as he scored 21 points 10 rebounds and 10 assists for Golden State Warriors who came back from 10 points to stun Lebron James and the new Los Angeles Lakers by 121-114 in the season opener.
The Lakers were dominant all throughout the first three quarters as LeBron James and Anthony Davis showed the world why they are the best duo in the league, James scored 34 points and 11 rebounds while Davis had 30 points and 11 rebounds. Ultimately it was the fourth quarter that proved to be decisive as they got out scored 38-29, no other Laker players even scored in double figures as Frank Vogel and his coaching team will try to get the best out of this roster. Newly added star player Russell Westbrook couldn’t make a big impression as he shot 4 of 13 for 8 points in his Lakers debut.
Giannis and the Milwaukee Bucks didn’t let their first title in their history distract them from their title defence as they breezed past the Nets in the opening night. Although Kevin Durant and Patty Mills scored 32 and 21 points respectively, the bucks were too strong in the end as they won 127-104. Although Bucks won the game, it came at a cost as their star player Jrue Holiday got injured with a bruised right heel and subsequently sat out the second half of the game.
Nets were missing star guard Kyrie Irving after his refusal to take the Covid-19 vaccine, James Harden had to step up but couldn’t deliver up to his expectations as he scored 20 points making 6 of 16 shots. On the other hand after Holiday’s injury, Khris Middleton and Pat Connaughton stepped up their game and each scored 20 points to secure a comprehensive victory over the Brooklyn Nets.
“We can’t give a team 20 more shots than us. Imagine coming to a game and saying, here, take the ball 20 times on offense before we get an offensive position. This is one game out of 82 of them. We’ll look at it that way. Every team will look at it that way. The Bucks won today, but they are still trying to fine-tune what they do, too. I think every team in the league is going to look at their first few games, first few weeks and see where their team is going and then make adjustments” said Kevin Durant after the loss to the bucks.
Antetokounmpo said. ''I'm excited. But now it's over with. We've got to focus on building good habits, keep moving forward and keep playing good basketball and hopefully we can repeat this again this year, next year and all the years that we're going to be here down the road.''
Brooklyn coach Steve Nash said. ''We weren't very good, If you're not playing at a high level against the champs, you're not going to win.''
In tomorrow’s matches we will see last year’s finalist Phoenix Sun take on Denver Nuggets as just one of the marquee fixtures tomorrow. The Nuggets will most likely be without last year's MVP Nikola Jokic as he is recovering from an ankle injury as they will have to heavily rely on Aaron Gordon to score the majority of the points to get a win over the rampant Suns who will head into the match with a fully fit squad. The New York Knicks take on the Boston Celtics in their opening fixtures, the Knicks last season were a surprise package making the playoffs after 10 years but this season after the acquisition of Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier they will be hoping to make the conference final at least. As for the Celtics they are going through a transition period as they will heavily rely on their young players Jason Tatum and Jaylen Brown to produce the goods.
The other fixtures for tomorrow are:
- Hornets vs Pacers
- Pistons vs Bulls
- Raptors vs Wizards
- Timberwolves vs Rockets
- Pelicans vs 76ers
- Grizzlies vs Cavaliers
- Jazz vs Thunder
- Trail Blazers vs Kings
- Spurs vs Magic
Everything to know about the 75th NBA season as Lakers and Nets start as favourites for the Championship
(Basketball news) The 75th NBA season is starting with the new trend of super teams in fashion as the likes of Lakers and Nets just added more superstars to become outright favourites to go all the way to the final. This year, teams will be back to playing a full 82 game season with full capacity stadiums as 30 teams will be participating, divided into the Western and Eastern Conferences.
A lot of historical records can be broken this season as Golden State Warriors star player Stephen Curry is set to become NBA’s all time leading three point shooter, he needs only 143 threes to overtake the legendary Ray Allen. Gregg Popvich, the manager of San Antonio Spurs begins his 26th year as a coach, needing only 26 wins to pass Don Nelson for the most victories in NBA history. LeBron James keeps on breaking records as he is going to start in his 19th season, with a total of 35,367 points as he's on the cusp of breaking Karl Malone (36,928) to become the second highest scorer in NBA history.
The Eastern Conference this season is packed with talent and will be an interesting watch to see how teams will adjust to their relatively new roster. Last season's champions Milwaukee Bucks will again win the Conference as well as the Championship this season but their task won't be easy especially teams like Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat all having improved significantly this season. Some of the dark horses from last year like the Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks also added all star calibre players in their roster to make the Eastern Conference even more competitive than last season.
The Western Conference was full of surprises last season as the Phoenix Suns made the NBA playoffs after 11 years and shocked everyone when they reached the finals. This gives an indication on how tough the Eastern Conference is, at least 12 teams are eyeing the 8 spots in the NBA playoffs. This season again Lakers will be favourites to come out of the Western Conference as they probably have the best roster on paper but the likes of LA Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Golden State Warriors, Portland Trailblazers, Dallas Mavericks can cause an upset and go to the NBA final. The unpredictability and the world class players present in the Western Conference tends to be more in the limelight and this season with each roster stacked the competition is going to be tougher.
The race for this year's MVP will be an intriguing watch as last year's winner Nikola Jokic will be looking to make it 4 consecutive MVPs for players from Europe. The likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Steph Curry and LeBron James will all be looking to retain the trophy this season. Some new aged superstars like Luka Doncic, Trae Young and Ja Morant can also be in the MVP reckoning as they have consistently been their franchise cornerstone in the recent years.
The 75th NBA season tips off tomorrow with two mouthwatering fixtures between Brooklyn Nets vs Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers vs Golden State Warriors at 5 am and 7.30 am respectively. The two championship favourites will battle it out with two former champions is quite a first day matchup for basketball fans. Brooklyn Nets arguably have the best offensive players in Kevin Durant and James Harden in their ranks and will be looking to avenge their loss they had in the Eastern Conference final last season. For the Milwaukee Bucks, their roster remains the same and will be looking to repeat last year's feat by beating the mighty Brooklyn Nets as Ginnas and Khris Middleton will be the key players to look out for if they are to cause an upset.
The LA Lakers are coming off a pretty terrible preseason having lost all their six matches as they will be looking to start the season fresh with their new big three of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook who will be playing for the first time together against the Golden State Warriors. As for GSW all eyes will be on Steph Curry as he will have to wait 2 or more months for his partner in crime Klay Thompson to return to the court after a 2 year long injury. Lakers have mostly got their 2020 winning squad back as LeBron looks to equal Michaell Jordan's six championship rings.
Grigor Dimitrov takes out top seed Daniil Medvedev at Indian Wells
(Tennis news) In men’s singles, Grigor Dimitrov reached the quarterfinals at Indian Wells as the oldest player left on the draw with a timely win over world number 2 Daniil Medvedev. Dimitrov was lately struggling with his form but delivered an all round performance on court as his volley, backhand and forehand were shaped to perfection. After losing the first set, Dimitrov turned back the match by being the better player compared to Medvedev. Dimitrov defeated Medvedev 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.
Stefanos Tsitsipas rallied hard to secure his fourth victory this year against Alex de Minaur. The first was a battle of loud celebrations as both of them were expressing their emotions along with the crowd. Alex's defense game is on the rise as he somehow recovered the ball from his end no matter how well it was placed by the Greek god. The first two games needed tiebreakers but the final game saw Tsitsipas taking the lead early and finishing with a let's go celebration in the end. Tsitsipas defeated Alex 6-7 (3-7), 7-6 (7-3), 6-2.
Alexander Zverev halted a three match losing streak to Gael Monfils with a dominating win which came in an hour. Zverev looked calm and steady as he played against a tired Monfils who could not produce his earlier form against Kevin Anderson. Zverev took the first four games of the opening set under 25 minutes and in the second set there was mild resistance from Monfils as he was smiling at the net when the match ended. Zverev defeated Monfils 6-1, 6-3.
In women’s singles, Jeļena Ostapenko managed a miraculous comeback in the final set to win against Shelby Rogers at the Indian Wells quarterfinal match. Jelena took the first set with sliced forehands and clean dropshots as Rogers took the second set with her powerful forehand. Rogers hit two winners of Jelena’s serve in the third game as the match went till the decider, in the final set Rogers had a 3-1 lead and was about to take the fifth game as she was up 40-0 until Jelena made a comeback by winning five consecutive games. Jelena defeated Rogers 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.
Victoria Azarenka is still on course for a third title as she beat Jessica Pegula in straight sets. Azarenka won the first set in 46 minutes as she denied a late comeback by Jessica, the rallies were long in the match as experienced Azarenka had to hang in there to overcome Jessica. In the second set there was a long opening game as Azarenka broke Jessica’s serve and Jessica broke Azarenka’s serve in the next game. Jessica took the next game which was her last as Azarenka took the next five games for victory. Azarenka defeated Jessica 6-4, 6-2.
In men’s doubles, top seeds Mate Pavić and Nikola Mektić were upset by Filip Polášek and John Peers. Filip and John converted their three breakpoints as Mate and Filip failed to convert any in the match. Filip and John defeated Pavic and Mektic.
Michael Venus and Tim Pütz joined Filip and John as they won their match against 5th seeds Horia Tecău and Kevin Krawietz. Michael and Venus defeated Horia and Kevin 6-4, 6-2.
In women’s doubles, Elena Rybakina and Veronika Kudermetova beat Lucie Hradecká and Marie Bouzková in a three set contest. The first two sets had identical scores as both of them slammed each other but in the final set Elena and Veronika gained the upper hand to take the match. Elena and Veronika defeated Marie and Lucie 1-6, 6-1, 10-3.
The Japanese pair of Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara set up a semifinal clash with second seeds Elise Mertens and Hsieh Su-wei as they defeated Makoto Ninomiya and Sabrina Santamaria in straight sets. In the first set, the third seeds proved no match for Makoto and Sabrina but in the second set a tie break was needed as it looked like they were on course for a decisive set. In the tiebreak, Shuko and Ena raced off from the start to take the match. Shuko and Ena defeated Makoto and Sabrina 6-1, 7-6 (7-2).
Alexander Zverev reaches round of 16 for the first time in five years at Indian Wells, Leylah Fernandez falls to Shelby Rogers
(Tennis news) In men’s singles, Alexander Zverev beat Andy Murray in a highly anticipated clash which lived up to its potential. Zverev was down to 1-4 in the first set until he took the next five games to disrupt Murray’s form and in the next set there were certain rallies where Murray was clearly the better player. A tiebreaker was needed where Zverev pulled ahead of Murray and there was a nerve wrecking volley competition at the net in which Zverev secured victory as Murray threw his racquet which showed the intensity of the match. Zverev defeated Murray 6-4, 7-6 (7-4).
Stefanos Tsitsipas is enjoying his best performance at the Indian Wells in his third appearance at the event. Tsitsipas beat Fabio Fognini for the third time in as many matches as the Italian took a set off Tsitsipas for the first time. Fognini took advantage in the first set as the Greek player was playing with too many unforced errors but in the next two sets, Tsitsipas improved his game as he held up his fist multiple times in celebration. Tsitsipas defeated Fognini 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Gael Monfils is slowly finding his form as he beat Kevin Anderson for the 6th time in 7 meetings. Monfils was hitting powerful forehands as Anderson could only marvel at the Frenchman's physical supremacy. Monfils won the first set in an hour and then took the second one in 39 minutes to enter the fourth round at Indian Wells. Monfils defeated Anderson 6-4, 6-2.
In women’s singles, Shelby Rogers could not play any better as she stormed into the quarterfinals for the first time at Indian Wells by beating Leylah Annie Fernandez in a nail biting three setter. Leylah took the first set as she displayed strength and consistency in the rallies but in the next two sets Rogers just played better than Leylah, Leylah even saved a matchpoint in the second set but Rogers delivered a masterclass performance. Rogers defeated Leylah 2-6. 6-1, 7-6 (7-4).
Paula Badosa defeated French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova in straight sets to enter the last eight. Paula took the first set without much trouble but in the second set Barbora saved a matchpoint but that was not enough as Paula won the match to record her second victory over Barbora in their second meeting. Paula defeated Barbora 6-1, 7-5.
Victoria Azarenka put an end to Aliaksandra Sasnovich's fairytale run at the Indian Wells with a thumping win. Aliaksandra had defeated Simona Halep and Emma Raducanu in her previous two matches but had no chance against the former champion. Azarenka won the match at the expense of seven games as Aliaksandra had not dropped a set yet but could not win more than four games in a set against Azarenka. Azarenka defeated Aliaksandra 6-3, 6-4.
In men’s doubles, Rohan Bopanna and Denis Shapovalov won their fourth round encounter against the German pair of Alexander Zverev and Jan-Lennard Struff in straight sets. Bopanna and Shapovalov defeated 7-5, 6-3. Top seeds Mate Pavić and Nikola Mektić took no time in entering the quarterfinals as they defeated Matwé Middelkoop and Marcelo Arévalo 6-1, 6-3.
In women’s doubles, top seeds Kateřina Siniaková and Barbora Krejcikova lost to Lyudmyla Kichenok and Jeļena Ostapenko in a close encounter. Both pairs took a set each in commanding fashion but in the third set Jeļena and Kichenok played well under pressure. Lyudmyla and Jeļena defeated Kateřina and Barbora 2-6, 6-4, 10-8.
Cori Gauff and Leylah Fernandez’s run came to an end as they could not overcome second seeded Hsieh Su-wei and Elise Mertens. Hsieh and Elise defeated Cori and Leylah 7-5, 6-4.
Andy Murray downs Carlos Alcaraz at Indian Wells, Aliaksandra Sasnovich takes out Simona Halep
(Tennis news) In men’s singles, Andy Murray produced moments of magic as he took out Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz in a three set extravaganza. Murray had a fiery start as he was holding a 4-1 lead in the first set but Carlos with his hard hitting came back to level the score and take the set to surprise the veteran.
In the second set, Murray served an underarm to win the third game as the crowd went wild in celebration. In addition to that, the rallies were dominated by Carlos’s strokes as he was much faster than Murray and also had quick cour coverage. Murray held on and took the second set and in the final set Murray played smart as he volleyed and made Carlos run for every point. At the end, Murray praised the young player and praised him as they greeted each other at the net. Murray defeated Carlos 5-7, 6-3, 6-2.
Alexander Zverev set up a third round clash with Murray as he dispatched Jenson Brooksby in his opening match at Indian Wells. Zverev was at his best as he powered his way to win the first set and in the second set it was Brooksby who stole the show with winners from his forehand and backhand. In the final set, Zverev hit two booming backhands while breaking Brooksby’s serve as he took a 4-0 lead and won the match as Brooksby had to concede to the German’s all round performance. Zverev defeated Brooksby 6-4, 3-6, 6-1.
Stefanos Tsitsipas was for sure troubled by Pedro Martínez in his opening match at Indian Wells. Pedro Martínez had beautiful shots to rule the highlights but could not convert it into something big as he lost some crucial points in the second set to end the match in the Greek God’s favour. Tsitsipas will face Fabio Fognini in his next match after defeating Martinez 6-2, 6-4.
Albert Ramos-Vinolas has knocked out two future prospects of the game in his two matches at Indian Wells. In the opening round he beat Lorenzo Musetti and this time he went for the big kill when he knocked out Felix Auger Aliassime in the second round. The 33 year old is reaching the third round for the fifth time and has not gone beyond that stage and with the current form he might have a chance to have a career best performance. Albert defeated Felix 6-4, 6-2.
In women’s singles, 2016 champion Victoria Azarenka defeated fellow compatriot Petra Kvitová in the third round. Azarenka relied on her serve as she had a total of 9 aces and 25 winners in the match to outplay Kvitová, Azarenka took the last few games in both the sets to win for a fourth time against Kvitová in nine meetings. Azarenka defeated Kvitová 7-5, 6-4.
2015 champion Simona Halep was beaten by Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the third round. Sasnovich had beaten Emma Raducanu in the previous match and will face Azarenka in the next round. Sasnovich played with power and precision to mark her first victory against Halep in only their second meeting as they had earlier met at Wimbledon two years ago where Halep won in two sets. Sasnovich defeated Simona 7-5, 6-4.
Leylah Fernandez came back from a set down and a two game deficit in the second set to win against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Fernandez will next face Shelby Rogers in the fourth round as the 19 year old is looking to be the player to beat in her debut outing at Indian Wells. Fernandez is playing for the first time after her US Open runner up finish.
In men’s doubles, Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić conceded only four games against Mackenzie McDonald and Brandon Nakashima in their third round match up. Nikola and Pavić defeated Mackenzie and Brandon 6-2, 6-2. Aslan Karatsev and Andrey Rublev defeated Simone Bolelli and Máximo González 6-3, 5-7, 10-3 as the Russian pair had earlier defeated Reily Opelka and Alex de Minaur in their previous match.
In women’s doubles, Cori Gauff and Fernandez beat fifth seeds Demi Schuurs and Nicole Melichar-Martinez to go into the quarterfinals. Gauff and Fernandez defeated Demi and Nicole 6-3, 6-2. Simona Halep and Elena-Gabriela Ruse run came to an end as they were beaten by Lucie Hradecká and Marie Bouzková in the fourth round. Lucie and Marie defeated Simona and Ruse 6-2, 5-7, 10-5.
Also read: Emma Raducanu falls in opening match at Indian Wells, Leylah Fernandez marches on
On this day 20 years ago David Beckham scored that injury time free-kick to take England into the World Cup final
(Football news) The England team of this generation has reached new heights having played the World Cup semifinal in 2018 and Euro final in 2021. There was a period of time when England was never the team to look out for. The famous 'Golden Generation' of English football that included the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Gary Neville, John Terry, Ashley Cole, Paul Scholes, Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney and the captain David Beckham never found success in big tournaments.
In 2001, England were pitted in a 2002 World Cup qualifiers group with arch rivals Germany. According to the format back then only the top team of the 5 team group would achieve direct qualification while the 2nd placed team had to play a playoff in order to qualify. Before their last game against Greece on 6th October 2001, England were on 16 points while Germany were top of the group with 17 points. Thanks to their superior goal difference England needed just 1 point from the game to qualify for the World Cup.
England conceded in the 36th minute and had to chase the game from there. Teddy Sheringham's 68th minute equaliser was almost immediately cut out by Demis Nikolaidis. Trailing 2-1 England got a free-kick in David Beckham's range around the 3rd minute of extra time. The England captain left Old Trafford in a frenzy when he launched the free-kick into the top left corner leaving the goalkeeper with no chance.
England ended up qualifying for the World Cup. Although Germany had to go through a playoff game against Ukraine, they did qualify for the World Cup and won the silver medal as well. In hindsight if Beckham hadn't scored the goal there is a high chance that England would've still made it to South Korea and Japan for the tournament.
20 years later the goal is still fresh in the memory of football fans not just in England but all around the World. In the quarter finals, England were defeated by the eventual champions Brazil. Had it not been for David Beckham's magical right foot, there may have been a World Cup played without England.
Mohammedan Sporting bank on home advantage, aim for third title
Kolkata, Oct 2 (Football news) Local side Mohammedan Sporting will look to exploit the home conditions when they face a depleted FC Goa in the Durand Cup summit clash at the Saltlake Stadium here on Sunday.
The Black Panthers, who were the first civilian side to win the Asia's oldest football tournament way back in 1940, last won the title in 2013.
Being the only team from Kolkata, they would be keen to clinch a third title with a strong support behind them.
Mohammedan Sporting had a convincing 4-2 victory against FC Bengaluru United on their way to the final.
All eyes will be on Marcus Joseph, Brandon Vanlalremdika and Nikola Stojanovic who have been exceptional throughout this tournament and will look to make their side cross the last hurdle.
The Gaurs, on the other hand, sneaked into their maiden Durand Cup final after a 7-6 sudden-death win over Bengaluru FC.
They have remained unbeaten in this tournament so far.
However, FC Goa will miss important players like Brandon Fernandez, Glan Martins and Sertion Fernandez who are all on India duty for the SAFF Championships in Maldives.
Muhammed Nemil and Devendra Murgaokar will be the key players. Murgaokar is also in the race with Mohamedan's Joseph to be the top goal scorer in this tournament. Both of them have five goals each to their kitty.
"I am happy because we are playing the final of this tournament but for me, it is a good opportunity and good experience," FC Goa coach Juan Ferrando said.
The Black Panthers' head coach Andrey Chernyshov said the Gaurs are one of the best teams in India.
"It's going to be a big game. We look forward to the supporters, it will be a nice game.
"We respect this team but we are not afraid because we know we are strong. We had a hard way to the final but now we have only one target -- to win this match," he signed off.
Match Starts at 6pm IST.
Also Read : Despite India's 'little bit of superiority', every SAFF C'ships match is 'war to fight': Chhetri
News Source : PTI
Hubert Hurkacz looking to make it two in two at the Moselle Open
(Tennis News) The 18th edition of Moselle Open is now left with two former champions in the last four. There have been a total of 6 players outside France to win the Moselle Masters 250 title from its inaugural edition in 2003, the top seed Hubert Hurkacz is in the semifinals in singles and doubles.
Gael Monfils, the winner in 2009 will face Tokyo Olympics Singles Bronze Medallist Pablo Carreno Busta in the semifinals. Monfils defeated Nikoloz Basilashvili as it proved to be a one sided contest as the Frenchmen served 11 aces to edge out the eighth seed in straight sets. Monfils defeated Basilashvili 6-3, 6-3.
Pablo Carreno Busta showed his experience and skill against Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune to outclass the 18 year old in the quarterfinals. Holger had taken a set off Novak Djokovic at the US Open and did the same against Pablo when he took the second set. Pablo then broke Holger in the eighth game as Holger was visibly frustrated as he lost the last two games. Pablo defeated Holger 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.
Monfils is leading the head to head against Pablo with three victories, their last meeting came a year ago in Austria when Monfils retired mid match. This will be their sixth meeting with Pablo looking the favourite but when in form Monfils can overcome any player with no doubt.
Hubert had a physically enduring first set against Andy Murray as he displayed a bit of old Murray magic. Murray was able to chase down balls without much difficulty as he is aiming to come back into the top four rankings. The Wimbledon semi finalist this year played some great net shots against Murray to take the second set comfortably and progress into the semifinals. Hubert defeated Murray 7-6(7-4), 6-3.
Peter Gojowczyk, the champion here in 2017 hung in till the end to beat Marcos Giron in a quick three set quarterfinal match. Giron had defeated fourth seed Alex de Minaur in the previous match and was in search of a second upset of the tournament but the former champion took the next two sets to advance into the semifinals. Peter will next face Hubert in the semifinals. Peter defeated Marcos Giron 3-6, 6-1, 6-3.
Peter and Hubert will be facing each other for the second time as they had met at last year’s US Open where Hubert won in straight sets. The world number 13 is the favourite to progress into the finals against Peter who will be prepared for volleys and strong serves.
In Men’s Doubles, Arthur Rinderknech and Hugo Nys went into the finals with a shocking victory over second seeds Nikola Ćaćić and Tomislav Brkić. The second set went till tiebreak but Arthur and Hugo did not let the pressure get to them. Arthur and Hugo defeated Nikola and Tomislav 6-3, 7-6(7-3).
Top seeds Henri Kontinen and Ben McLachlan played a nail biting final set to beat Lucas Pouille and Grégoire Barrère. Lucas had won the singles title five years ago and with his partner Grégoire were halfway there when took the first set while conceding a single game but the top seeds took the next two sets to shut the door for the French pair. Henri and Ben will next face the Polish pair of Jan Zieliński and Hubert in the semifinals. Henri and Ben defeated Lucas and Grégoire 1-6, 7-5, 10-7.
Also read: US Open champion Emma Raducanu splits from coach Andrew Richardson
Memphis and Haaland were on fire as Denmark ran riot
(Football news) As the final stretch of international matches are taking place, there have been plenty of moments to keep the audience engrossed in matchweek 6. The French finally broke off their winless streak and Portugal also maintained their winning run without Ronaldo.
Netherlands won 6-1 against Turkey in what was a rampant performance from the Dutch. Louis Van Gaal's first home match after returning back couldn’t have gone much better as his side completely dominated them. The dutch were ahead after just 54 seconds after Davy Klaassen scored but the show stopper was Memphis Depay who scored a brilliant hattrick. Later on, the substitutes Guus Til and Donyell Malen completed the rout .The only blip in the performance would be the injury concern for Virgil Van Dijk as Liverpool fans will be hopeful that it isn’t serious. With this result Netherlands leapfrog Turkey to take the lead in Group G as they have 13 points from 6 matches.
Norway beat Gibraltar 5-1 to go level on top with the Dutch in Group G. The Norwegian looked at their rampant best as Erling Haaland continued his early goal scoring form by scoring a wonderful hat-trick, the performance was rounded off by Alexander Sorloth and Kristian Thorstvedt to put the Norwegians in a comfortable position to qualify for the World Cup next year. With this win it takes Norway to 13 points from 6 matches in Group G.
France won 2-0 against Finland to end their 5 match winless streak, Dider Deschamps side finally looked like the World Champions as they completely dominated the Fins from the kick off. France broke the deadlock through Antoine Griezmann after beautifully curling the ball in the corner, it was Griezmann again who doubled the lead for Les Bleus’ to put the final nail in the coffin for Finland. After this victory, France extended their lead in Group D as they have 12 points from 6 matches.
Also read: England and Denmark win to put one foot in Qatar next year but France and Italy both stutter
Portugal won 3-0 against Azerbaijan as their talisman Cristiano Ronaldo was suspended for this match. Fernando Santos' side stamped their authority from the get go as Bernado Silva scored a wonderful goal from a Bruno Fernandes cross to give them a much deserved lead. The performance was rounded off by Andre Silva and Diego Jota who helped Portugal reach 13 points from 6 matches to take a two point lead over the Serbians in Group A
Denmark won 5-0 against Israel to maintain a perfect record in the World cup qualifiers. At this moment Denmark are the best side in the qualifiers as they have scored 20 goals and not conceded a single goal in 6 matches. Denmark have just continued their magnificent form from the Euros, they ran riot over the Israelis as goals from Poulsen, Kjaer, Skov Olsen, Delaney and Cornelius have almost guaranteed them a place in the World Cup next year. With this win the Danish have 18 points from 6 matches in Group F
The other notable results were:
Ireland 1 (Nikola Milenkovic(OG) - 1 Serbia (Sergej Milinkovic Savic)
Austria 0 - 1 Scotland (Dykes)
Croatia 3 (Livaja, Pasalic, Vlasic) - 0 Slovenia
Russia 2 (Smolov, Bakaev) - 0 Malta
Carlos Alcaraz and Leylah Fernandez lead with huge victories at the US Open
(Tennis news): In Men’s Singles, 18 year old Carlos Alcaraz Garfia reported a major casualty when he beat World number 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas in the third round of the US Open. Alcaraz covered over 9 kms during the four hour battle, he even came back from 2-5 in the third set as Tsitsipas simply couldn’t get the ball past him. In the fourth set, Tsitsipas came back roaring with 6 consecutive games to take the match into the decider. Alcaraz played like a true warrior against the Greek god to go into the fourth round. Alcaraz defeated Tsitsipas 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(7-2), 0-6, 7-6(7-5).
World no seven Andrey Rublev was also knocked out by Frances Tiafoe in another five setter as two top ten players have already crashed out of the US Open. Rublev started well taking the first set but Tiafoe immediately answered as he took the next one. In the third set Rublev had a set point in the tie break but Tifaoe managed to sabotage it and went on to win the set. Things were never smooth for Rublev as he could never carry the momentum in the match as Tiafoe constantly troubled his rhythm to take the match. Tifaoe defeated Rublev 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(8-6), 4-6, 6-1.
The third five setter match saw Felix Auger Aliassime continue his good run at the Grand Slams as he recorded a victory against Roberto Bautista Agut in the third round. Felix had earlier reached the quarterfinals in Wimbledon for the first time, he was on course for a straight set victory by taking the first two sets comfortably until Roberto fought back taking the next two. The match was suddenly even and both of them had equal chances. Felix showed tremendous stamina to come out firing in the final set for a well deserved win. Felix defeated Roberto 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-3.
In Women’s Singles, 18 year old Leylah Annie Fernandez caused the biggest upset of this year’s US Open so far as she ended the campaign of defending champion Naomi Osaka in the third round. Osaka took the first set and was almost close to taking the next one too until Leylah found hope at the right time. Osaka was serving for the match 6-5 in the second set when Lelyah had other ideas and won the set in the tiebreaker. The final set saw Leylah winning 18 of her 19 first serves and had enough energy left in the tank to blast winners as she grew with confidence in the last few games. Leylah defeated Osaka 5-7, 7-6(7-2), 6-4.
Garbine Muguruza, a two time Grand Slam champion was up against another two time Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka. Muguruza started off on a bright note as she took the first set and the duel was bound to go to the third set when Azarenka took the second set with equal ease. In the third set Azarenka lost control of her serve and groundstrokes as Muguruza won the match. Muguruza defeated Azarenka 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.
Two former US Open champions collided in another exciting contest, Angelique Kerber won here 5 years ago and Sloane Stephens had won 4 years ago. Stephens took the first as she looked more comfortable on court than Kerber, but the next two sets saw Kerber walk all over her opponent. Kerber was striking the ball so well and finished the last two sets in jiffy. Kerber defeated Stephens 5-7, 6-2, 6-3.
In Men’s Doubles, Rohan Bopanna and Ivan Dodig took the last two sets to win their opening match against the pair of James Duckworth and Jordan Thompson. Bopanna and Ivan Dodig defeated Duckworth and Thompson 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(7-1). Third seeds Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert needed three sets which involved two tie breakers to see off Marcelo Demoliner and Marcus Daniell. Mahut and Herbert defeated Demoliner and Daniell 6-3, 7-6(7-3), 7-6(7-1).
In Women’s Doubles, Desirae Krawczyk and Alexa Guarachi had an easy outing against Rebecca Peterson and Danka Kovinić, Krawczyk and Guarachi just gave four games as they are into the third round. Krawczyk and Guarachi defeated Peterson and Kovinić 6-3, 6-1. Samantha Stosur and Zhang Shuai continued their good run as they defeated Miyu Kato and Sabrina Santamaria 6-2, 6-4.
In Mixed Doubles, Rajeev Ram and Sania Mirza lost their opening match to Dayana Yastremska and Max Purcell as they couldn’t turn things around in the final set tiebreaker. Dayana and Max defeated Rajeev and Sania 6-3, 3-6, 10-7. Joe Salisbury and Desirae Krawczyk had a tough opening match as they defeated Mitchell Krueger and Jamie Loeb 5-7, 6-3, 10-8.
Also read: Jack Sock and Kei Nishikori turn back the clock at the US Open, Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić exit in the first round in doubles
Jack Sock and Kei Nishikori turn back the clock at the US Open, Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić exit in the first round in doubles
(Tennis news): In Men’s Singles, Jack Sock entered the third round of a Grand Slam after 4 years. Sock defeated Alexander Bublik in an entertaining contest as both the players were engaged in trickshots and super fast forehands. Sock began to win points at the net right from the start whereas Bublik was simply firing aces along with winners, in the end Sock managed to slow down his opponent for an emotional victory. Sock defeated Bublik 7-6(7-3), 6-7(2-7), 6-4, 4-6,6-3.
Kei Nishikori, also on the verge of a comeback defeated Mackenzie McDonald after spending 4 hours on the court. Nishikori was on course for a comfortable straight set victory as he took the first two sets but a sudden surge from Mackenzie forced the match to the decisive set. Nishikori charged ahead early in the final set as Mackenzie failed to outsmart him, Nishikori will face Novak Djokovic in the third round. Nishikori defeated Mackenzie McDonald 7-6(7-3), 6-3, 6-7(5-7), 6-2.
Andreas Seppi reached the third round of the US Open Singles for the fourth time in 18 years and the first since 2015 as he staged an upset over 10th seed Hubert Hurkacz. Seppi was totally beaten by Hubert in the first set but managed to come back without any trouble to take the next two sets. Seppi then showed no signs of slowing down as he won the match by taking the fourth set tiebreaker. Seppi defeated Hubert 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, 7-6( 8-6).
In Women’s Singles, Varvara Gracheva secured her 13th career win as she beat Paula Badosa. Varvara did not show any form of fear or pressure when faced the world number 26, Varvara led the fight early on as it took her only an hour and 14 minutes to send Paula packing. Varvara defeated Paula 6-4, 6-4.
Jil Teichmann continued to struggle in Grand Slams as she lost to Anett Kontaveit in straight sets. Anett played aggressively and used her serve and volley to beat the in-form Teichmann, Anett made Teichmann run all over the court as the second set saw Anett improving her serve game by game. Anett defeated Teichmann 6-4, 6-1.
Tokyo Olympics Singles Gold Medallist, Belinda Bencic dominated her match against Martina Trevisan to enter the third round. Belinda won 12 of her last 13 points to take the 1st set and took the first five games in the second set as Martina found support from the crowd when she won her fourth and last game. Belinda defeated Martina 6-3, 6-1.
In Men’s Doubles, Wimbledon champions Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić were stunned by Nathaniel Lammons and Jackson Withrow in straight sets. The Americans beat the Croatians 6-2, 7-5. Kevin Krawietz and Horia Tecău had an easy outing against Márton Fucsovics and Stefano Travaglia as they beat them 6-3, 6-2.
In Women’s Doubles, Elise Mertens and Su-Wei Hsieh took just 43 minutes to demolish the pair of Yulia Putintseva and Anna Kalinskaya with a 6-0, 6-0 victory. The double bagel will give them the boost for the next round. Sania Mirza and CoCo Vandeweghe lost their opening match to Raluca Olaru and Nadiia Kichenok. Even though Sania and Coco started off well by winning the first set, things didn’t go their way as the pair lost the next two. Raluca and Nadiia defeated Mirza and Coco 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.
In Mixed Doubles, 8th seeded Demi Schuurs and Sander Gillé beat Bruno Kuzuhara and Elvina Kalieva as they relied on their serves to get past their opponents. Demi and Sander defeated Bruno and Elvina 6-4, 6-3. Marcelo Melo and Luisa Stefani were beaten by Gabriela Dabrowski and Marcus Daniell in a three set thriller. The final set saw the pair come heartbreakingly close as Gabriela and Marcus edged them in the finish line.
Also read: Rain takes centre stage in the US Open as matches get delayed, Cori Gauff loses to Sloane Stephens
Recap of all the transfers that happened on deadline day in the Premier League
With the transfer window shut and the likes of Ronaldo, Messi, Varane ,Lukaku etc have all made unexpected moves, a lot of helter skelter was seen on the last day of the transfer window. Let us take a look at the moves that took place in the Premier league:
1. Emerson Royal (Tottenham Hotspurs)
Tottenham Hotspur have signed 22 year old full back on permanent deal for 30 million pounds on a five year contract in a move that sees his former club Real Betis receive 20% of the fee. Barcelona exercised their buy back option at the beginning of the transfer window but due to the cash crunch, Barcelona had to sell off their new right back.
2. Saul Niguez (Chelsea FC)
Saul moved from Atletico Madrid on loan to Chelsea for an initial loan fee of 5 million pounds with an option to buy him permanently next season. Saul was desperate to move away from Madrid as they had already signed Rodrigo De Paul which meant that his playing time would be less. Chelsea have got a bargain deal as this only makes their midfield better and also enhances their chances to win the Premier League.
3. Alex Kral (West Ham)
West Ham bought the young 23 year old from Spartak Moscow for a season long loan with a view to make the move permanent next season for 13 million pounds. He joins a plethora of Czech Republic players in the squad as he can join his international compatriot Tomas Soucek in the midfield.
4. Nikola Vlasic (West Ham)
West Ham were the heavy spenders on the deadline as they bought the Croatian winger Nikola Vlasic for 26 million pounds from CSKA Moscow. Buying Vlasic helps give West Ham the much needed squad depth they need as they will also be competing in the Europa League also.
5. Takehiro Tomiyasu (Arsenal FC)
Arsenal bought Japan international Takehiro Tomiyasu from Bologna for 18 million pounds on the final day of the window. The 22 year old is a versatile player who can play right back and centre back for his team. The signing of him took Arsenal’s spending to 150 million pounds which is most in the Premier League. Arteta would be hoping some of these young defensive signings do justice to their price tag.
Also read: Leeds United sign Daniel James from Manchester United
6. Ademola Lookman (Leicester City)
Young English winger joined Leicester City from RB Leipzig on loan with an option to make the move permanent next season. This brought an end to Brendan Rodgers summer long search for a wide attacker. The move for Lookman also saw Dennis Praet leave for Torino.
7. Marc Cucurella (Brighton)
Brighton have signed Marc Cucurella from Getafe after they triggered their release clause of 18million pound. A product of Espanyol youth system the 23 year old can play left back as well as a wing back bringing the much needed left side cover for Graham Potter's side.
8. Salomon Rondon (Everton FC)
He comes back to the Premier League after spending two years away playing in China for Dalian Professional FC. Rondon joins on free transfer for 2 years with an option of extending for one more year. Rafa Benitez reunites with his former striker as they needed some cover for Dominic Calvert Lewin.
9. Santiago Munoz (Newcastle United)
The Magpies have announced the arrival of Santiago Munoz from Santos Laguna in a peculiar case of peculiar sports fiction that bears a striking similarity to the film ‘Goal’. He signs on a 18 month loan deal with a view to make it permanent when his loan deal finishes, he also adds much needed cover in the forward line for Newcastle.
10. Odsonne Edouard (Crystal Palace)
Crystal Palace signed Edouard from Celtic for around 14 million pounds which could rise upto 18,5million pounds with add ons. The 23 year old brings the much needed goal scoring help that Patrick Vieira’s side was lacking, he comes with a very decent pedigree of goals in the Scottish Premiership.
11. Ozan Kabak (Norwich City)
Norwich City signed Ozan Kabak from Schalke on an initial loan with a view to make it permanent for 11.5 million pounds next season. The former Liverpool man comes into the Norwich defence to stop them from leaking goals and help them stay up in the Premier league this season.
Top four seeds into the last four in Cincinnati, Jil Teichmann upsets Belinda Bencic
Cincinnati (Tennis news): In Men’s Singles, the top four seeds entered the semifinals of the Cincinnati Masters 1000. Andrey Rublev registered his second victory in as many meetings over Benoit Paire. The pair had met in the same stage in the Toronto Open, Rublev with his powerful strokes got off to a good start. Paire later used his defensive skills and trick shots as he took the second set. In the final set Rublev continued to use his hammer forehand and reached his third masters 1000 final of the season. He will face Daniil Medvedev for a place in the final.
Daniil Medvedev also got his second victory over Pablo Carreno Busta after the pair had met in the Toronto Open. Medvedev took just 54 minutes to secure a place in the semifinal, he beat Pablo 6-1, 6-1 with just seven unforced errors and twenty winners. Medvedev played a flawless battle as he was also serving great against the Spaniard. Medvedev seems to be a serious contender in the US Open as he has shown exceptional form over the past two weeks.
Alexander Zverev had a great outing as he beat Casper Ruud 6-1, 6-3 to set up a blockbuster semifinal against Stefanos Tsitsipas. Zverev is also a major contender who can stop Novak Djokovic in the US Open as he showed what he's capable of during the Tokyo Olympics. Casper was also in great form but couldn't withstand Zverev’s attack.
Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Felix Auger Aliassime 6-2, 5-7, 6-1 as he suffered a setback in the second set. He had 2 match points in the second set when Felix suddenly made a glorious comeback and won the next three games to take the set. Stefanos was playing exceptionally level till then but didn't let that affect his game as he stormed in and took the final set.
Also read: Injuries piling up this season as Rafael Nadal becomes latest casualty
In Women’s Singles, Angelique Kerber defeated Petra Kvitová 6-4, 3-3. Kvitova had to retire midway as she was suffering from stomach issues and began struggling in the second set. Kerber will face Ashleigh Barty who defeated Barbora Krejcikova in straight sets. Barty was simply unstoppable in the match as she played calm and rallied hard to take the first set 6-2 and in the second set Barbora was leading 4-2 until Barty took four straight games to take the match. Barty has been too good in the last few matches as her patience paid off in this match.
Karolina Pliskova also proceeded into the semifinals as Paula Badosa had to retire in the second set. Paula had to pull out as she suffered a shoulder injury, injuries are becoming a major concern as the schedule is getting tighter for the players. Pliskova will next face Jil Teichmann who put up an excellent performance against Olympic champion Belinda Bencic. She sent a warning for the semifinal clash with a resounding 6-3, 6-2 victory over Belinda. Belinda simply couldn't match her opponent’s intensity.
In Men’s Doubles, Fabio Fognini and Marcelo Arévalo shocked Toronto champions Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram as they defeated them in straight sets. They will now play against Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballo for a place in the final. Hubert Hurkacz and Jannik Sinner after defeating the top seeds Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić in round 16 couldn't repeat their upset as they lost to American pair of Austin Krajicek and Steve Johnson.
In Women’s Doubles, Zhang Shuai and Samantha Stosur overcame Anna Blinkova and Allaksandra Sasnovich in three sets to book a place in the final. In the second semifinal Gabriela Dabrowski and Luisa Stefani who also had a tough time against Barbora Krejčíková and Kateřina Siniaková. Gabriela Dabrowski and Luisa Stefani are into their second consecutive title match as they captured the Toronto Title last week.
Benoit Paire continues to impress in Cincinnati, Ashleigh Barty shines bright with a stellar performance
Cincinnati (Tennis news): In Men’s Singles, the big three have been missing here in the Cincinnati Masters 1000 but the action continues in the sport. Daniil Medvedev continued his impressive run as he ousted Grigor Dimtrov in straight sets. Daniil beat Dimitrov 6-3, 6-3 as he won 74 percent of his first serves and saved three breakpoints out of four as he looks to win the title here for a second time. Medvedev is looking in great form as it will be interesting to see how things turn out in the US Open.
Benoit Paire barely scraped through in his match against John Isner as he served 20 double faults but smashed 16 aces for victory. The first set saw Paire winning the tiebreak 1-7, in the next the tables turned as Isner took it 7-2 but in the third set the Frenchmen proved why on his best day he just couldn't be beaten as he took it 6-1 for a place in the quarterfinals.
Stefanos Tsitsipas showed why he is the Greek God as he rallied past Lorenzo Sonego to advance to the quarterfinals. Tsitsipas roared as he won the last point, showing how much it meant to him. Sonego played pitch perfect tennis as he hit 15 winners to three unforced errors and won 87 per cent of first serve points. There was hard hitting by both the players as there were 59 winners in total.
Andrey Rublev fiercely fought against Gael Monfils and the Cincinnati heat to advance into the quarterfinals. It was an entertaining match as Rublev showed his power and Monfils displayed his usual coverage of the court. Monfils was not well during the start of the set as threw up in a courtside can. Few words were exchanged as Rublev was not happy with the delay and the calling of physios between the matches.
Also read: Defending champion Dominic Thiem out of the U.S Open due to injury
In Women’s Singles, Ashleigh Barty booked a place in the quarterfinals with a ruthless performance against defending champion Victoria Azarenka. She beat Azarenka 6-0, 6-2 as the two time champion had no answer to Barty who will be looking into bringing this form of play to the US Open.
Naomi Osaka was not in her best form as she lost to Jil Teichmann in the round of 16, she had faced an early exit in the Tokyo Olympics as doubts arose over her form in recent tournaments. Jil Teichmann will certainly celebrate the biggest win of her career yet as she will look to replicate it in her next match.
Karolina Pliskova finally got revenge over Jessica Pegula as she had lost her last four matches against her. Pliskova made two sensational comebacks in the match, one better than the other. In the first set Pliskova was down 4-1 but turned around the game as she won five straight games to steal the set from Pegula. In the second set Pliskova was again in danger as she was down 0-5 and again won five consecutive games but Pegula took the next game and was looking to win the set but Pliskova managed to save that well as she took it to tiebreak and finished the match in over an hour and 24 minutes.
In Men’s Doubles, Juan Sebastián Cabal and Robert Farah defeated Fabrice Martin and Filip Krajinović 7-6(7-3), 6-4 and will face Michael Venus and Tim Pütz in the quarterfinal. Hubert Hurkacz and Jannik Sinner will face top seeds and Toronto finalists Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić in the round of 16. The top seeds will be playing their first match here and will expect to lift the trophy here.
In Women’s Doubles, Zhang Shuai and Samantha Stosur went past Květa Peschke and Ellen Perez in the round of 16. The pair took the first set 6-3 but lost in the second set with a similar score and in the third set they closed it out with a 10-6 victory. Gabriela Dabrowski and Luisa Stefani are into the semifinals as they beat Ena Shibahara and Shuko Aoyama 6-3, 6-3 to remain favourites in the tournament.
Medvedev wins fourth title as unseeded Giorgi captures her first in Toronto
Toronto (Tennis news): In Men’s Singles, Daniil Medvedev received a strong boost ahead of the US Open as he won his fourth Masters 1000 title without much struggle by capturing the National Bank Open. He defeated Reily Opelka 6-4, 6-3 as he captured his 12th tour title. The Russian had earlier defeated John Isner 6-2,6-4 for a second consecutive final in Toronto. Opelka had a tougher passage as he faced Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semi final, the American secured his first victory against a top five player on tour. It wasn't an easy victory as he fought hard for 2 and half hours for a three set over the Greek god. Toronto saw an American finalist after 10 years, the last being Mardy Fish. Opelka had 46 winners and 17 aces that proved to be strong machinery against Tsitsipas.
Also read: Isner and Opelka lead the American dream as Aryna sets up a Wimbledon rematch with Karolina in Toronto
In Women’s Singles, Camila Giorgi captured her first Masters 1000 title with a well deserved victory over fourth seed Karolina Pliskova. This is the third consecutive victory for Giorgi over Pliskova, her last victory came in the third round of the Tokyo Olympic Games. Giorgi has been in fascinating form as he dropped her first set of the tournament in the semifinals against Jessica Pegula. She advanced into her 1st Masters finals by defeating Jessica 6-3, 3-6, 6-1. While the Wimbledon semi final rematch of Karolina Pliskova and Aryna Sabalenka saw Pliskova prevailing for the second time. She beat her opponent 6-3, 6-4 to make it to the finals.
In Men’s Doubles, Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram defeated top seed Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić 6-3, 4-6, 10-3. This was their first Masters 1000 title as a team and had lost their last 4 meetings with the top seed. In the semifinals Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram beat Sander Gillé and Joran Vliegen 6-3,7-5 to progress into the final. The top seeds had to battle hard with Kevin Krawietz and Horia Tecău to earn their place in the final. They needed two tie breaks to earn a place in the final, the scoreline read 7-6(7-3), 7-6(14-12).
In Women’s Doubles, Gabriela Dabrowski and Luisa Stefani won the title by defeating Andreja Klepač and Darija Jurak 6-4, 6-3 in the final. They had secured a comfortable victory against Elena Rybakina and Veronika Kudermetova. In the other semifinal Andreja Klepač and Darija Jura had little trouble in the first as they overcame Bernarda Pera and Magda Linette for a place in the final.
Isner and Opelka lead the American dream as Aryna sets up a Wimbledon rematch with Karolina in Toronto
Toronto (Tennis news): In Men’s Singles, Stefanos Tsitsipas dominated Casper Ruud as he beat him in straight sets to book a semifinal clash with Reilly Opelka. Opelka served his way through Roberto Bautista Agut as he swiftly took the first set but had to struggle in the second as it went till tie break but the American eventually came through. Daniil Medvedev was staring at a quarterfinal exit as he had to pull out every trick in the book against Hubert Hurkacz in a marathon three set battle. After winning the first set 6-2, Hubert was two points away from a semifinal spot in the second set tiebreak as both the players were leveled on 6 points each. The third set also saw both the players take it to the extreme as Medvedev scraped through and got himself a semifinal berth against John Isner. Isner defeated Gael Monfils 7-6(7-5), 6-4 as the first was nothing apart from magic when Monfils came back from a 1-5 deficit in the tie break but the American finished with an ace. Isner improved and took the second set with less trouble as he will face the young Russian for a place in the final.
Also read: Isner Upsets Rublev as Bautista saves three match points for a place in the quarterfinal in Toronto
In Women’s Singles, Ons Jabeur who had earlier defeated the defending champion Bianca Andreescu in the round of 16 lost to Jessica Pegula in a three set thriller quarterfinal. Jessica now has two victories against Jabeur in as many matches. Jabeur had a perfect start as she took the first 6-1, in the second set she was serving for the match at 5-4 but couldn’t finish it off as Jessica came back with a bang by taking the second set in a tiebreak 7-6(7-4). She kept improving as she bageled Jabeur to confirm her place in the semifinals. Top seed Aryna Sabalenka powered her way through to the semifinals when she defeated former world no 1 and two time Grand Slam winner Victoria Azarenka 6-2,6-4. The last time they played was last year in the Ostrava final where Sabalenka prevailed. Sabalenka had 33 winners to help her get past her opponent and will be needing those again when she faces Karolina Pliskova in the semifinals. Pliskova had earlier defeated Sorribes Tormo 6-4, 6-0 for a place in the semifinals, she was troubled by the Spaniard early on into the match as she was down 3-1 in the first set but that was the only setback she had in the whole match. She took 10 games in a row as she trounced her opponent in the second set by bageling her and stamping her place in the semifinals. Teenager Coco Gauff's run was halted by Camila Giorgi who is in terrific form this tournament as she had earlier taken out Elise Mertens and Petra Kvitova. The first set saw Camila leading early on as she took the first set 6-4, the second set saw both players go head to head as Gauff denied Camila twice when serving for the match at 5-4 and 6-5. In the tiebreak Gauff started early by securing a 2-1 lead but Camila took the next 6 points for a well fought victory.
In Men’s Doubles, Ivan Dodig and Rohan Bopanna were defeated in three sets in the quarterfinals by Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram. The winners will next face Sander Gillé and Joran Vliegen in the semifinals. In the second semifinal, Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić will be facing Kevin Krawietz and HoriaTecău.
In Women’s Doubles, Sabalenka and Mertens lost to Gabriela Dabrowski and Luisa Stefani in the quarterfinals. The victors will next face Elena Rybakina and Veronika Kudermetova for a place in the final. Bernarda Pera and Magda Linette will face off Andreja Klepač and Darija Jurak in the first semifinal.
Isner Upsets Rublev as Bautista saves three match points for a place in the quarterfinal in Toronto
Toronto (Tennis news): John Isner was too good for 4th seed Andrey Rublev as he defeated the young explosive Russian in straight sets to set up a mouth watering quarter final clash with Gael Monfils. Monfils booked his place in the quarter finals as he clinched a victory in straight sets against Frances Tiafoe. This is the Frenchman's first quarter final of the year and will be meeting the American for a 13th time on tour. Monfils holds a 7-5 lead over Isner, the last time they faced was 2 years ago in the Beijing Open round of 32 where Isner prevailed in three sets.
Also read: Canadians crash out in Toronto as Medvedev looks to reach second final
Roberto Bautista Agut came back from the brink to save three match points against Diego Schwartzman in the round of 16. He was down 3-5 in the final set and won four games in a row for victory as he will be playing Reilly Opelka who recorded a win over Lloyd Harris. Daniil Medvedev booked himself a quarter final berth as he defeated James Duckworth 6-2,6-4 in the round of 16.
In Women’s Singles, defending champion Bianca Andreescu lost her round of 16 match to Ons Jabeur in three sets. Camila Giorgi is into the quarterfinals after seeing off Petra Kvitová in round of 16, she will be facing 17 year old Coco Gauff for a place in the semifinals.
In Men’s Doubles, top seeds Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić will be facing Luke Saville and Matwe Middelkoop today in the quarterfinals. In the Women’s doubles Ellen Perez and Květa Peschke lost in the quarterfinals to Bernarda Pera and Magda Linette.