Rudy Gobert gets traded and Dejounte Murray also moves
(Basketball news) Rudy Gobert gets traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves as the Utah Jazz agreed to trade center in what was a blockbuster deal that will pair him with fellow All-Star big man Karl-Anthony Towns. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the Timberwolves sent Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Leandro Bolmaro and their No. 22 pick Walker Kessler along with four first-round picks to the Jazz. Utah will now acquire the unprotected picks in 2023, 2025 and 2027 and a top-five-protected pick in 2029, in what was Danny Ainge's first franchise-altering move since taking over as the Jazz's CEO this midseason.The Jazz have now gathered a total of six first-round picks in a span of 24hrs as they plan to retool the roster around their 25-year-old All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell. .
Gobert at the age of 30 has spent his entire nine-year NBA career in Utah, developing from a lanky boy who was drafted with the No. 27 pick in 2013 into a perennial All-Star who has become a franchise cornerstone for a team that has made six consecutive playoff appearances. The 7-foot Frenchman is one of the most decorated players in Utah Jazz history, he went on to win three Defensive Player of the Year awards, along with three All-Star appearances, four All-NBA selections and six first-team All-Defensive selections.
Gobert is subsequently entering the second season of a massive five-year contract of $205 million. This free agency Karl Anthony Towns also agreed to a four-year, $224 million supermax extension on Friday. The moment he was eligible he had a total commitment of $295 million over six years. Now with Gobert by his side, especially someone who averaged 15.6 points, a league-leading 14.7 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game in 2021-22 will certainly form a towering line up. When a tumultuous Jazz season ended with a first-round exit at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks, Danny Ainge went into full rebuild mode.
Gobert wrote in a tweet, saying he "felt embraced and supported since day one. I've grown as a man and as a player before your very eyes and I'm thankful [for] every single moment. Utah and its community will always have a special place in my heart. Thank you! The journey continues..."
In another massive trade, San Antonio Spurs pushed their rebuild into full swing as they traded for All-Star guard Dejounte Murray to the Atlanta Hawks for forward Danilo Gallinari and a trio of first-round picks. The full deal was announced by the teams as Hawks received Dejounte Murray, Jock Landale whereas the Spurs received Danilo Gallinari, 2023 first-round pick (via Charlotte from New York, protected), 2025 first-round pick, 2026 pick swap, 2027 first-round pick. According to Wojnarowski, Spurs are expected to waive Gallinari who has since go onto sign with the Boston Celtics in free agency
For Atlanta, the goal of strengthening a backcourt already led by All-NBA guard Trae Young, who last season finished sixth in the league in scoring charts when he averaged 28.4 points per game, have now added a dynamic young point guard who is coming off his best season as a pro. The 29th pick of the 2016 NBA Draft, Murray, earned his first All-Star appearance in 2021-22, when went on to average a career-high 21.1 points to go with 9.2 assists, 8.3 rebounds and 2.0 steals. The six-year veteran instantly upgrades Atlanta’s backcourt on the defensive end as the rangy point guard earned a place in the NBA All-Defensive 2nd Team honors in just his second season (2017-18).
Nikola Jokic has signed the biggest contract in NBA history
(Basketball news) Denver Nuggets have extended the reigning MVP Nikola Jokic’s contract for five years on a contract which makes the Serbian recipient of the largest and most expensive contract in the history of the NBA. The team signed Nikola Jokic on a five-year extension worth $264 million. His contract begins in the 2023-24 NBA season and will continue through 2027-28 when Jokic has the option where he could earn roughly $60 million. The Serbian star has undergone a meteoric rise in his seven NBA seasons with the Nuggets.
He came into the league in 2012 and became an All-Star in his fourth season and since then he has stayed at that level. He has gone on to win the MVP trophy in each of the last two seasons after averaging 26.4 points in 2020-21 and 27.1 points this past season. This season he won MVP votes that haven't exactly been close; Jokic was atop roughly 75% of the ballots cast for that award over the last two seasons. The 27-year-old is coming off one of his finest seasons and created a new category as he became the first NBA player to eclipse 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 500 assists in a season. Jokic also averaged 13.8 rebounds and 7.9 assists for a Denver team that was missing two stars in Jamal Murray (ACL recovery) and Michael Porter Jr. (back).
Jokic helped the Nuggets to a 48-34 record and the No. 6 seed in the West, where they eventually lost to the NBA champion Golden State Warriors in the first round. The organization has undergone extensive changes since the end of the season, with the departure of the president of basketball operations, Tim Connelly, to the Timberwolves. Nuggets general manager Calvin Booth, who orchestrated a trade that sent guards Will Barton and Monte Morris to the Wizards for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Ish Smith. The team also traded away JaMychal Green and a 2027 protected first-round Draft pick to Oklahoma City for Peyton Watson and two future second-round picks. Provided everyone’s healthy, it means a starting five of Murray, Caldwell-Pope, Jokic, Aaron Gordon and Porter could well be on the cards.
Inter Milan reject PSG’s latest offer for Milan Skriniar
(Football news) Newly appointed Paris Saint-Germain football director Luis Campos is on the hunt for a veteran centre-back to bolster the team’s defence. He has turned his attention to Inter’s Milan Skriniar, and his latest bid to sign him came up quite short. PSG’s latest offer was centred on a €60 million transfer fee and midfielder Julian Draxler. The reigning Coppa Italia champions turned down the offer as they are aiming to get a massive transfer fee only.
According to reports, the Serie A side would consider parting ways with Skriniar if PSG table a €70 million offer for him. Inter Milan has been adamant from the start about not taking in a player in a deal centering on Skriniar. Earlier in the month, PSG had offered Thilo Kehrer to the Serie A side in an attempt to lower the price tag for Skriniar as Inter Milan officials turned down such an offer from the French Champions. PSG don’t need a centre-back in the summer transfer window, but Campos is looking to tighten up the defence and add some depth within the group. If Skriniar joins PSG they can form a formidable defensive trio of Kimpembe, Marquinhos.
Milan Skriniar is a powerful, athletic and wholeheartedly committed defender. He has been at the centre of Inter's recent renaissance, and played a crucial part when they were crowned Italian champions in 2021. This year also he went on to win two more trophies as the Slovakian international has been a paragon of stability in the Nerazzurri back three alongside regular colleagues Alessandro Bastoni and Stefan de Vrij and has faced down Europe's best forwards in the Champions League. Luis Campos rates him quite highly and feels he could be the one big signing that change PSG’s fortune
Inter Milan on the other hand are reportedly closer to signing Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic. The Serbian defender will cost the San Siro side €15m as Spurs were interested in both the Fiorentina defender and Skriniar, with Fabio Paratici trying to sign a centre-back since last summer. Inter’s financial problems means that they most likely need to sell off Skriniar as it will be a huge boom to the club’s books. Milenkovic is a cost-effective replacement who has over the years proven to be an excellent defender in Serie A, with Newcastle United and West Ham previously linked with the Serbian international.
Magic pick Pablo Banchero as the no 1 pick in the NBA Draft 2022
(Basketball news) The NBA welcomed its newest rookies to the league on Thursday night during the 2022 draft from Barclays Center in Brooklyn. There were some surprising selections with Orlando Magic acquiring Paolo Banchero as the top pick. While Jabari Smith of Auburn, who was widely expected to go as the first pick, but he was picked up at No. 3 spot by the Houston Rockets.
Draft night also experienced some trades as the Oklahoma City Thunder made a trade with the New York Knicks for the No. 11 pick and Ousmane Dieng for three future conditional first-round picks. In another draft-day trade, it saw the Detroit Pistons acquire No. 13 pick Jalen Duren and Knicks veteran point guard Kemba Walker in what was a three-team deal. The 76ers reportedly moved Danny Green and the No. 23 pick to the Grizzlies as part of a trade to acquire De’Anthony Melton, which indirectly strengthened their back court
1. Orlando Magic: Paolo Banchero, Duke
The Magic need some help on the offensive end, their team finished last season 28th in field goal percentage, 28th in free throws, 27th in offensive rebounding percentage and 23rd in turnovers. Paolo Banchero is a player who brings all these skills to the table and he can add versatility to the Magic’s offense with his physical attributes. He can pass, handle the ball, drive to the basket and finish with some solid footwork. In this draft he was easily the most NBA-ready player among the top five projected picks. Banchero stands at 6ft 10, he averaged 17.2 points on 47.8% shooting from the field, in addition to 7.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.1 steals in his only season at Duke and was coached by the legendary Mike Krzyzewski’ in his final season in charge..
2. Oklahoma City Thunder: Chet Holmgren, Gonzaga
Holmgren has immense potential to become an NBA All star with an impressive all-around skill set for a modern NBA big man nowadays. With his elite rim protection and shot-blocking, he fills an immediate deficiency in the Thunder squad; he acts as an interior defender. He has a versatile offensive game and has shown the NBA scouts that he can handle the ball pretty well, and also shoot from the three point line. Holmgren will need to add strength to reach his peak on offense, but the Thunder can give him time to develop behind their franchise players Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey.
3. Houston Rockets: Jabari Smith, Auburn
Jabari Smith was widely expected to be the No. 1 pick but instead was selected by the Houston Rockets at 3. He had only worked out for the Magic and the Oklahoma City Thunder in the recent tryouts. This season at the NCAA tournament, Smith averaged 42% on his 3-pointers (5.5 attempts), which could make him at the Rockets. At his size, he is difficult to defend and was subsequently the best defender at Auburn this season.
4. Sacramento Kings: Keegan Murray, Iowa
With the Sacramento Kings already having a point guard in place with De’Aaron Fox, the Kings bypassed Jaden Ivey and picked up Keegan Murray as he is an efficient wing scorer. Murray, who improved significantly from his freshman to sophomore seasons, averaged 23.6 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game while shooting 55% from the field and 39.8% on 3-pointers. Murray at the age of 21, is the oldest player to get drafted this year and could have an immediate impact for Sacramento be off the bench or in the playing 5. Like Banchero, Murray is also a NBA-ready player
5. Detroit Pistons: Jaden Ivey, Purdue
Jaden Ivey only worked out for the Pistons and Magic in the tryouts. He uses his speed to get past the defenders, any NBA defender will have a hard time slowing Ivey down in transition. He can explode into the lane similar to Ja Morant and has a similar playing style like him. He is the son of Niele Ivey, the women’s basketball coach at Notre Dame and a former women’s college champion herself.
The list of first rounds picks are:
1. Magic: Paolo Banchero
2. Thunder: Chet Holmgren
3. Rockets: Jabari Smith Jr.
4. Kings: Keegan Murray
5. Pistons: Jaden Ivey
6. Pacers: Benedict Mathurin
7. Trail Blazers: Shaedon Sharpe
8. Pelicans (from Lakers): Dyson Daniels
9. Spurs: Jeremy Sochan
10. Wizards: Johnny Davis
11. Thunder (from Knicks): Ousmane Dieng
12. Thunder (from Clippers): Jalen Williams
13. Pistons (from Hornets): Jalen Duren
14. Cavaliers: Ochai Agbaji
15. Hornets (from Pelicans): Mark Williams
16. Hawks: AJ Griffin
17. Rockets (from Nets): Tari Eason
18. Bulls: Dalen Terry
19. Grizzlies (from Timberwolves): Jake LaRavia
20. Spurs (from Raptors): Malaki Branham
21. Nuggets: Christian Braun
22. Timberwolves (from Grizzlies): Walker Kessler
23. Grizzlies (from 76ers): David Roddy
24. Bucks: MarJon Beauchamp
25. Spurs (from Celtics): Blake Wesley
26. Timberwolves (from Mavericks): Wendell Moore Jr.
27. Heat: Nikola Jović
28. Warriors: Patrick Baldwin Jr.
29. Rockets (from Grizzlies): TyTy Washington Jr.
30. Nuggets (from Suns): Peyton Watson
NBA: Lakers appoint Darwin Ham as the new head coach
(Basketball news) It looks like the Los Angeles Lakers have found their next head coach in former Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach Darvin Ham. It has been reported that the two parties have agreed to a four-year deal.The Lakers fired Frank Vogel last season after a miserable 33-49 run for the team in which they failed to make the playoffs. Vogel spent three seasons as the head coach and guided them to the NBA title in 2020 inside the Orlando bubble. Darvin Ham has now been assigned with the work to turn around their fortunes and make them title contenders again
The 48-year-old does not have any prior head coaching experience but has plenty of experience in the league having been an NBA assistant coach for the past 11 seasons, including two seasons with the Lakers in 2011 and 2013. He was with the defending champions Bucks from 2018 but ultimately left them to take the head coach job for the Lakers. Darvin Ham and the Lakers have plenty of problems in a number of different ways including figuring out how to get the best out of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Rusell Westbrook that is if Rob Pelinka decides to trade him. The trio have failed to live up to the hype as Lebron and Davis spent most of the time on the treatment table.
James this season only played in 56 of the Lakers’ 82 games, while Davis played just 40 in another season where he has been plagued with injuries. The Lakers also do not have a Draft pick in next month’s NBA Draft. They had traded their first-round pick to the New Orleans Pelicans in the deal which saw Davis become a Laker; their second-round pick also belongs to the San Antonio Spurs. Darvis Ham now has to sort all of these problems out as the Lakers have better aspirations than making the play-off games given they have previously won 17 NBA titles, 19 conference titles, and 33 division titles.
Ham was a player himself, having played eight seasons in the NBA. He made his debut with the Denver Nuggets in the 1996-97 season after he went undrafted in the NBA draft. He averaged 2.7 points and 2.3 rebounds in 417 career games for the Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, Washington Wizards, Bucks, Atlanta Hawks, and Detroit Pistons.
Ham, 48, in his press conference went on to explain that he once got shot in the face by a stray bullet when he was 14-years-old. He said "I grew up in Saginaw, Michigan," Ham said. "I was shot in the face by accident, April 5, 1988. You go through something like that, it's going to do one of two things: It's going to make you fearful or fearless. It made me fearless. I don't feel any pressure. It's basketball."
Bopanna makes first Grand Slam semifinal since 2015 Wimbledon
Paris, May 31 (Tennis News) India's Rohan Bopanna reached his first Grand Slam semifinal in seven years after he and his Dutch partner Matwe Middelkoop rallied to beat Lloyd Glasspool and Henri Heliovaara in the men's doubles quarterfinals of the French Open, here.
The Indo-Dutch pair eked out a 4-6 6-4 7-6 (3) win over the British-Finnish combination in a hard-fought contest on Monday night.
Bopanna last reached the semifinals of a tennis Major at the 2015 Wimbledon Championships when he had teamed up with Romania's Florin Mergea and lost in a gruelling five-setter to Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau.
Bopanna, 42, and Middelkoop, 38, will face 12th seeds Marcelo Arevalo and Jean-Julien Roger on Thursday in the last four.
The Bopanna and Middelkoop squandered the opening set but dished out a superb fightback to win the next two as emerge victories.
In the decider, the Indo-Dutch pair showed tremendous mental fortitude to fightback from 3-5 down to take the match to a super tiebreak.
They were again 0-3 behind but won 10 straight points to come up trumps.
Bopanna and Middelkoop had saved five match points to knock out Mate Pavic and Nikola Mektic, the reigning Wimbledon champions, from the Roland Garros, on Saturday.
Also Read : Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas knocked out of the French Open
News Source : PTI
Warriors win against Mavericks in the Western conference finals
(Basketball news) The Golden State Warriors produced an empathic performance to beat the Dallas Mavericks 112-87 in game 1 of the Western Conference finals. For the Warriors, Curry had 21 points and a game-high 12 rebounds as Wiggins added 19 points, making six of his first eight shots on the way to shooting 8 for 17. Jordan Poole also scored 19 off the bench and Thompson scored all of his 15 points after halftime.. For the Mavericks, Doncic scored 20 points but shot just 6 for 18 and 3 of 10 from deep as Jalen Brunson scored 14 points but missed all five of his 3s. With this result the Warriors take the lead in a best of seven series as they now face them on 20th May in the Chase Arena in San Francisco.
The Warriors reached five straight NBA Finals from 2015-19 but missed the playoffs the past two years before this run as they look ever determined to get to the NBA finals this year. Luka Doncic appeared to be nursing some kind of injury which he might have sustained during the intense 7 game series against the Phoenix Suns. Doncic, who was averaging 31.5 points in the playoffs, was a tall task for the Warriors defence to manage him but they were up for the task as they had already handled two-time reigning MVP Nikola Jokic of Denver in the first round, then Ja Morant early last series before his knee injury. The Mavericks need Luka Doncic fit and firing as their first final since 2011 rests on his shoulders.
''Just make him work, that was the main thing,'' Wiggins said.
''A great job. That's it,'' Doncic said. ''They did a great job.''
''They did a really good job. Wiggins picked him up full court,'' Mavs coach Jason Kidd said. ''They went box-and-one, they went zone. We understood coming into the series that we were going to see that. We'll go back and look at the video and see what we can do better.''
''I thought Wiggs was fantastic,'' coach Steve Kerr said. ''Doncic is as difficult a cover as there is in this league. ... It's important to make him work. He's so good. Any great player in the league you're trying to limit the damage that they do.''
''It is how we play,'' Curry said. ''When you have that ability to create separation like we did in the third quarter, it's a fun way to play.''
''I didn't have a field goal in the first half but that will never discourage me,'' Thompson said. ''I will always hunt my shot.''
''It was great to be back. I missed being out there with the guys,'' Kerr said. ''Amazing atmosphere here at Chase and we're excited to keep going.''
''We would like to play our pace but the Warriors have a unique pace, they're going to get out and put a lot of pressure on your defence in transition,'' Kidd said. ''We have to be cautious of that. We don't want a track meet.''
NBA: Miami Heat draws first blood in the Eastern Conference final
(Basketball news) Miami Heat drew first blood against Boston Celtics in the first game as they beat 118-107. For the Heat, Butler scored 27 of his 41 points in the second half as Tyler Herro scored 18 and Gabe Vincent added 17 points while Max Strus scored 11 and Bam Adebayo added 10. For the Celtics, Jayson Tatum led the scoring with 29, they were without starters Marcus Smart (foot) and Al Horford (health and safety protocols). Jaylen Brown added 24 for Boston, which got 18 apiece from Robert Williams III and Payton Pritchard. They will play the next game on 19th May in the FTX Arena in Miami.
''Jimmy Butler is an elite competitor,'' Spoelstra said. ''There's a lot of guys in this league that are playing basketball. He's competing to win. That's a totally different thing and he does that as well as anybody in this league.''
''We won three quarters other than that, but obviously that one is going to stand out,'' Celtics coach Ime Udoka said. ''We semi-bounced back in the fourth and started to play well again and matched their physicality, but 39-14 on 2-for-15 is tough to overcome.''
''I continued to play basketball the right way: Shoot the ball when I'm open, attack, hit the open guy,'' Butler said. ''Honestly, it was a team effort.''
''It wasn't anything different that they did,'' Udoka said. ''They just came out and imposed their will.''
''Our energy shifted,'' Adebayo said. ''That was the biggest key.''
''Other than the third quarter, I think we won every other quarter,'' Pritchard said. ''Obviously, we try not to let that happen next time.''
Nikola Jokic wins the MVP while Monty Williams won Coach of the year
(Basketball news) The Serbian center becomes the 13th player selected as Kia MVP in consecutive seasons. Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokić was named the 2021-22 Kia NBA Most Valuable Player. This is his second Kia NBA MVP Award for Jokić, who also won it last season. He becomes the 13th player to win the award in consecutive seasons, and joining some legendary players like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain, Stephen Curry, Tim Duncan, LeBron James, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Moses Malone, Steve Nash and Bill Russell.
Jokić received a total of 875 points (65 first-place votes) from a global panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters. 76ers center Joel Embiid finished in second place with 706 points (26 first-place votes) and Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo came third with 595 points (nine first-place votes), followed by Suns guard Devin Booker in fourth place with 216 points Mavericks guard Luka Dončić in fifth place with 146 points. Players received 10 points for each first-place vote, seven points for a second-place vote, five points for third-place, three points for each fourth-place vote and one point for each fifth-place vote.
This was the first time in NBA history that the top four out of the top five finishers in MVP race were international players, with Jokić from Serbia, Embiid from Cameroon and Antetokounmpo from Greece as they comprised the top three and Dončić from Slovenia joined them in the top five. Jokić is only the second European player to win the award twice, joining Giannis Antetokounmpo, who won the MVP in the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons.
In his seventh NBA season, Jokić this season averaged 27.1 points, 13.8 rebounds, 7.9 assists, 1.47 steals and 0.85 blocks per game, setting career highs in each category except assists . Jokić had played 74 games and averaged 33.5 minutes, he ranked sixth in the NBA in points, second in rebounds, eighth in assists, 12th for steals and 33rd in blocks per game. He led the league in total rebounds (1,019) and total defensive rebounds (813) in this remarkable season. He set a career-high in field goal percentage with 58.3. Jokić also became the first player in NBA history to record at least 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 500 assists in a season and the first player to average at least 25.0 points, 13.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists in a season. He led the NBA this year in triple-doubles with 19 and double-doubles with 66, both were single-season records for a Nuggets player.
Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams won the Red Auerbach Trophy as the 2021-22 NBA Coach of the Year. Monty Williams wins his first NBA coach of the year as he joins Cotton Fitzsimmons (1988-89) and Mike D’Antoni (2004-05) as the head coaches of Suns to earn this award. Williams received 458 points (81 first-place votes) from a global panel as Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins finished in second place with 270 points (17 first-place votes) and Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra finished in third place with 72 points. Williams guided the Suns to the best NBA record this season with a 64-18 record, his team had the most victories and the highest winning percentage (.780) in a season in franchise history. The Suns had an identical at home as well on the road (32-9). The Suns tied for the third-most wins on the road and fifth-best road winning percentage (.780) in a season in NBA history.
Premier League: City aim to extend lead with win over West Ham
(Football news) Manchester City will hope to extend their lead on top of the Premier League table to six points with a win over West Ham on Sunday. The reigning champions won 5-1 against Wolves while West Ham overcame Norwich City 4-0. David Moyes’ team might not have qualified for the Europa League so far, but his team are currently in-form with Said Benrahma scoring a brace while Manuel Lanzini and Michail Antonio also getting a goal each in the last match.
Seventh place West Ham could go level on points with Manchester United with a win over City and with their superior goal difference, they would leapfrog the Red Devils for qualification in the Europa League. West Ham are currently winless at the London Stadium in their last four games and the Hammers have scored in all their Premier League home games, which means they might employ an attacking approach in the match. As for City, they have won five consecutive Premier League matches but they will be wary of West Ham who defeated Pep Guardiola’s team in the EFL Cup earlier this season.
In team news for West Ham, Craig Dawson and Antonio could feature in the team after suffering from knocks against Norwich but Angelo Ogbonna is a long-term absentee. Ben Johnson, Andriy Yarmolenko and Nikola Vlasic could be called upon by David Moyes while Issa Diop will also return to the matchday squad.
As for City, Kyle Walker, John Stones and Ruben Dias are out for the season while Aymeric Laporte and Fernandinho also suffered knee and hamstring injuries respectively. However, there is good news for the reigning champions as Nathan Ake has recovered from an ankle injury and he could partner with Rodri unless Guardiola selects CJ Egan-Riley or Luke Mbete. With the stakes in the match, City are expected to secure all three points and consolidate their lead at the top of the table.
NBA: Warriors prevail to the next round as the Bucks overcome the Bulls
(Basketball news) The Golden State Warriors progressed to the next round after they won the series 4-1 when they defeated the Denver Nuggets 102-98 in game 5. For the Warriors, Curry scored 30 points in his return to the starting five as Draymond Green had 11 points and six assists. Klay Thompson and Gary Payton added 15 points. For the Nuggets, Jokic scored 12 of his 30 points in the final 3:46 and finished with 19 rebounds and eight assists as DeMarcus Cousins contributed 19 points off the bench against his former Golden State team, and Aaron Gordon added 15 points and nine rebounds. With this result the Warriors progressed to the semifinals where they will face the winners of Grizzlies vs Timberwolves.
''Tonight was just a weird feeling because we hadn't been there in a while,'' said Curry, last season's NBA scoring champion. ''We wanted it so bad, it kind of made it a lot more difficult on ourselves. But we still remember how to do it, which is a good feeling.''
''I was a witness, letting him cook and creating plays for him. Try to get him open looks and after that, you know what he does,'' Warriors guard Gary Payton II said.
''He was incredible, both ends of the floor, big shots, big plays,'' teammate Draymond Green said.
''That guy is a warrior. I just don't understand the people that find a way to criticize Nikola Jokic. Is he perfect? No, I'm not saying he is,'' Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. ''But the guy is the definition of a warrior - competitive, consistent. He impacts the game in so many ways. Hell of a season. Hopefully he'll win the MVP again. I think rightfully he deserves it.''He's our leader, our longest-tenured player, our MVP,'' Thompson said of his Splash Brother, ''and without him, life is difficult. Steph Curry is one of a kind, and will continue to do the spectacular and make it look effortless.''
''He's our leader, our longest-tenured player, our MVP,'' Thompson said of his Splash Brother, ''and without him, life is difficult. Steph Curry is one of a kind, and will continue to do the spectacular and make it look effortless.''
The Milwaukee Bucks progressed to the next round as they beat the Chicago Bulls 116-110 and took the series 4-1. For the Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo had 33 points and nine rebounds as Pat Connaughton went 6 of 9 on 3-point attempts and scored 20 points, Bobby Portis added 14 points and a career-high 17 rebounds. For the Bulls, DeRozan was held to 11 points while shooting 5 of 10 as Patrick Williams scored 23 points, Nikola Vucevic 19 and Coby White 17 for the Bulls. Vucevic also had 16 rebounds and six assists. With this result the Bucks now face the in-form Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinal playoffs.
“After Game 2, we kind of talked about how we knew what the deal was,'' Antetokounmpo said. ''The team knew what the deal was. We knew what we had to do. We had to be desperate. We had to go out there and compete at a high level, pay attention to detail as much as possible, and help one another defensively. We've got to do it as a team.''
''We've been talking about the depth of the roster, the quality of the roster a lot this season,'' Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. ''Other guys have gotten opportunities and played well. Our defense has tightened up, and we've learned hard from these three games. We've got depth. We've got a good group.''
''This was a lot of our guys' first rodeo, just understanding what it's like to compete in a playoff series,'' Chicago's DeMar DeRozan said. ''There's so much you can learn from that experience, especially going against the defending champs.''
''It was pretty obvious they were going to load up on DeMar,'' Bulls coach Billy Donovan said. ''I thought he played a great game. I thought he generated good shots. He didn't have a high assist total because we really didn't shoot the ball particularly well, but he would have had an enormous amount of assists if we had shot the ball better.''
NBA: Nuggets make a comeback as Pelicans level the series
(Basketball news) The Denver Nuggets avoided a sweep against the Golden State Warriors as they won game 4, 126-121. For the Nuggets, Jokic scored 37 points as Morris finished with 24 points. He hit five 3-pointers in the third quarter, the most in a quarter by any player in these NBA playoffs, Aaron Gordon chipped in 21 points. For the Warriors, Steph Curry led the Warriors with 33 points despite missing 13 of 23 shots, going 3 for 11 from long range and missing four free throws for the first time in his career, as Klay Thompson scored 22 of his 32 points. With this result the series is now at 3-1 but both the teams head to the Chase Arena in San Francisco in game 5
''Can I say we want them right where we want them? No, but we're alive,'' Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. ''We live to fight another day.''
''The odds are against us,'' said MVP favorite Nikola Jokic. ''But we've beaten the odds a couple of times, so why not?''
''We felt like it could have been 2-2 if we didn't drop that last game,'' said Rivers, who noted the Nuggets finally matched the Warriors' physicality, especially down the stretch.
''It's the worst feeling in the world, missing free throws,'' Curry said. ''It's what I do really well.''
''We needed that,'' Kerr said. ''I felt like we got completely away from the game plan tonight in the first half, because I think we were almost too anxious to win the series.
''We got to go with the attitude like 'All right, it's a must-win,'' Thompson said. ''We'd like to have some rest before the next series.''
The New Orleans Pelicans made a magnificent comeback against the best team in the NBA as they beat the Phoenix Suns 118-103 to tie the series 2-2. For the Pelicans, Brandon Ingram scored 16 of his 30 points in the third quarter as Jonas Valanciunas reasserted himself in the middle with 26 points and 15 rebounds but it was the defence of guard Herb Jones and Jose Alvardo that ultimately won them the game. For the Suns, Deandre Ayton led the scoring with 23 points and eight rebounds, and fellow centre JaVale McGee had 14 points. With this result the series is finely poised at 2-2 as both the teams head to Phoenix for the 5th game of the series on Tuesday.
''Brandon is playing some of his best basketball of the season, and he's doing it on the biggest stage, and it's great to see,'' said New Orleans coach Willie Green, a rookie head coach who kept his young team together in the midst of its early season struggles and now has forced a best-of-three playoff match with the top-seeded Suns. ''I'm just trying to move out of the way and let him do his thing.''
''We've worked so hard throughout the year to become a better team,'' Ingram said. ''My teammates put me in the right spots and are making me look good.''
''It was like the old NBA,'' said Paul, who was picked up in the back court by Jones nearly the entire game. ''I told the refs, `Are we playing the old NBA or the new NBA?' I was fortunate enough to play in both. Regardless, whatever it is, you've to adjust early in the game and figure it out.''
''We can't worry about that,'' Williams said. ''The guys who are on the floor just did it (win) the other day when we played hard and didn't shoot the 3-ball well but still won the game. (The Pelicans) played much harder.''
The Miami Heats are now a win away from going into the next round of playoffs as they beat the Atlanta Hawks 110-86. For the Heats, Butler scored 13 of his 36 points in a dominant second quarter as Gabe Vincent had 11 points while sinking three 3-pointers, P.J. Tucker had 14 points and eight rebounds while Bam Adebayo also had 14 points and eight rebounds. For the Hawks, DeAndre Hunter top scored with 24 points as Trae Young had an off night scoring 9 points only. With this result the Heat's head to Miami knowing a win will take through to the next round.
''Everybody is in my ear about staying aggressive, taking more shots,'' Butler said. ''Tonight was a good one. We've got another one we've got to get.''
''They're doing a great job of showing help and not letting me get to the paint,'' Young said. ''You've got to give them credit. We've got to do a better job of figuring out how to get open looks so I can create for my teammates and myself, too.''
Barcelona lose 3rd consecutive home game to surrender La Liga title
(Football news) Rayo Vallecano defeated Barcelona 1-0 at the Camp Nou to do Real Madrid a massive favour. The result means that Real Madrid are just 1 point away from the titl. Los Blancos need a draw or a win over Espanyol on Saturday to clinch their 35th La Liga title. If Madrid do manage to get a result next weekend at the Bernabéu, then not only will they secure the title at home with 4 games to spare but they could also be given a guard of honour by arch rivals Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano.
Rayo Vallecano scored from their very first attack of the game in the 8th minute as Isi Palazon set up Alvaro Garcia. Gavi had a brilliant chance to equalise right before half time but could only hit the woodwork. After falling behind 38 year old Dani Alves in the pecking order, Sergino Dest got a chance to start but was substituted at half time which is some sort of statement by Xavi. Barcelona's best chance came in the 70th minute when Ousmane Dembele's shot was cleared off the line by Nikola Maras. Barcelona had at the most 2 clear cut chances to equalise. The absence of Pedri is clearly felt in the midfield as the Catalan club are just not creating enough chances.
It was yet again a lethargic and lacklustre display by the Blaugrana who have now lost 3 consecutive home games in all competitions. The loss increases the gap between Barcelona and Real Madrid to 15 points. The gap was 12 points when Ronald Koeman was sacked in October. Problems at the Camp Nou with fans boycotting the games is definitely a factor in all the losses. The loss against Frankfurt has definitely taken a toll on the Barcelona squad. Xavi needs to get things back on track as the Catalan club cannot afford to drop out of the top 4.
Steph magic again sinks the Nuggets, Mavericks take the series lead
(Basketball news) The Golden State Warriors took a 3-0 lead in the playoff series after getting 118-113 victory over the Denver Nuggets. For the Warriors, Stephen Curry and Jordan Poole scored 27 points each, Klay Thompson made six 3-pointers on his way to 26 points as the trio have been too hot to handle for the Denver defence during the course of the entire playoff series. For the Nuggets, Aaron Gordon added 18 points for the Nuggets and Nikola had 37 points but this was their seventh straight loss in the postseason as the other six losses were by an average of 16 points. With this result the Warriors have the chance to wrap up the series on Sunday.
''We played great down the stretch on both'' ends of the court, Thompson said.
''For Draymond to battle him all night and to make that play in the end was just a huge part of the win,'' Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.
''I love how we fought tonight,'' said Malone, who challenged his team to replicate that effort Sunday: ''Are we going to roll over? Are we going to fight like hell and send this back to Golden State?''
''I've been a fighter my whole life. I know how I'm approaching it,'' Cousins said. ''And I expect everyone else in that locker room to do the same. ... I'm a fighter, I'll go out swinging.''
''It was a lovely environment,'' Curry said. ''I love the way we responded.''
The Dallas Mavericks took the series lead by winning 126-118 against the Utah Jazz. For the Mavericks, Brunson scored 31 points playing with a bruised back as they were without their talisman Luka Doncic as Spencer Dinwiddie scored 10 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter for them, Maxi Kleber had 17 points and Dorian Finney-Smith added 14 points. For the Jazz, Donovan Mitchell scored 28 of his 32 points in the second half as Bojan Bogdanovic added 24 and Mike Conley had 21. With this result the Mavericks have taken a 2-1 lead in the playoff series as they play the fourth game on Saturday.
''I saw how hard the team was playing when I was laying back there,'' Brunson said. ''It gave me a little mojo to come back out there and do my thing.''
''We're all on the same page,'' Brunson said. ''We're all clicking. We're all talking and communicating.''
''I just told the guys we haven't done anything,'' Kidd said. ''They won at our place and now we won here. We need to put this game behind us and figure out what we need to do better.''
''His shot-creating and shot-making has been amazing all season, but the determination he has coming down the stretch to hit those big shots and the confidence he has is just fun to watch,'' Kleber said.
''He's unique in his physical strength and his ability to kind of keep his dribble alive in the lane where he really uses his body. He's able to play with his feet on the floor, so if you do try to come over and help, he has the ability to find people and spray the ball out,'' Utah coach Quin Snyder said.
The Memphis Grizzlies made a 26 point comeback to win 105-96 against the Minnesota Timberwolves and also taking the lead in the playoff series. For the Grizzlies, Desmond Bane made seven 3-pointers and had 26 points as Brandon Clarke scored 16 of his 20 points in the second half for Memphis, which closed the game on a staggering 50-16 run over the final 15:10 and Ja Morant recorded his first triple double in the postseason with 16 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. For the Timberwolves, D'Angelo Russell had 22 points and eight assists as last year’s number 1 pick Anthony Edwards finished with 19 points. With this result the Grizzlies take 2-1 series lead as the 4th game will be on Friday at Minnesota.
''We found a way to get some stops. Our offence started clicking a little bit more,'' Bane said, ''and the rest is history.''
''That's why we're really the deepest team in the league,'' said Ja Morant,
“No one said it was going to be easy. We don't want it to be easy. We want it to be extremely hard, and it was,'' said Patrick Beverley,
''When we get too high, it comes back and it haunts us,'' said D'Angelo Russell,
“It's really tough. We've got to regroup,'' said Towns
NBA: Celtics win again while Bulls make a comeback against the Bucks
(Basketball news) The Boston Celtics took a 2-0 lead in the playoff series as they beat the Brooklyn Nets 114-107. For the Celtics, Jaylen Brown scored 22 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter as Jayson Tatum added 19 points for Boston, which held Durant without a basket in the second half. Al Horford had 16 points, Daniel Theis scored 15 and Payton Pritchard had eight of his 10 in the final period. For the Nets, Durant finished with 27 points but struggled from the field for the second straight game, shooting 4 of 17 as Irving had just 10 points on 4-of-13 shooting a day after being fined $50,000 for directing obscene gestures and profane language. Bruce Brown finished with 23 points and Seth Curry added 16. With this result the Celtics will travel to Brooklyn to face the Nets twice in the Barclays Arena.
''This was old-fashioned. old-school playoff game,'' Tatum said. ''You just have to grind it out. That's what we did... we just just stuck with it. Proud of the guys and how we kept responding all game.''
“They're doing a good job trying to cut off my scoring, limit my shot making,'' Durant said. ''It's on me to figure it out.''
''They took the lead and they never looked back in that fourth quarter,'' Irving said. ''We don't really have time to be disappointed, to hold our heads. This is part of playoff basketball.''
“I think we did that,'' Udoka said. ''We want to make him work defensively and offensively, have bodies on him the whole time and try to wear him down.''
''I think our intensity dropped a little bit in the second half. We also didn't convert,'' Nets coach Steve Nash said. ''We had opportunities, we didn't convert.''
The Chicago Bulls made a staggering comeback against the third seed Milwaukee Bucks as they beat them 114-110. For the Bulls, DeRozan scored a career playoff-high 41 points as Nikola Vucevic added 24 points and 13 rebounds, while Zach LaVine had 20 points as the sixth-seeded Bulls beat the third-seeded Bucks for just the second time in their last 19 meetings. For the Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo led the scoring with 33 points, 18 rebounds and nine assists. Antetokounmpo increased his career postseason point total to 1,715 to overtake Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1,692) for the most in Bucks history as Brook Lopez had 25 points for the Bucks. Middleton scored 18 and Holiday 15. With this result the Bucks travel to Chicago for two games as the series is finally poised at 1-1.
''No matter what you did in the regular season, this is a brand new start and new mindset,'' DeRozan said. ''You could see it in all the guys. It doesn't matter if we've lost 20 times to those guys. This is an opportunity for us to compete. We've got to take advantage of it.''
''He's always been positive and he knows the type of team that we are and how resilient we are,'' Bucks guard Jrue Holiday said. ''We just want him to get back as quickly as possible and be healthy so he can come out here and help us win games.''
''We expected those guys to make a run,'' Vucevic said. ''They're a championship team for a reason. They've been there before, so we expected them to make a run.''
''I do think that playing some of these higher-level teams at the end of the year has maybe kind of hardened us, helped us grow,'' Bulls coach Billy Donovan said. ''It's helped us get better. It's helped us be able to have that kind of mentality that we've got to move on to the next play. I think at times this year when we played against good teams, when it started to go a little bit the other direction, we didn't have enough in us to get it back going in our direction.''
The Philadelphia 76ers have one step in the second round of the playoffs after their overtime 104-101 victory over the Toronto Raptors. For the Sixers, Embiid made a 3-pointer with 0.8 seconds left in overtime to give the 76ers their third straight victory as he scored 33 points and 13 rebounds. James Harden had 19 points and 10 assists before fouling out in the closing seconds of regulation as Tyrese Maxey scored 19 points and Tobias Harris had 11 points and 12 rebounds. For the Raptors, Anunoby scored 26 points, Gary Trent Jr. had a playoff-high 24, and Precious Achiuwa had 20 as Pascal Siakam and VanVleet each had 12 points. VanVleet shot 3 for 13, going 2 for 10 from 3-point range. Now the Sixers have a chance to wrap the series on Saturday in Toronto after taking a 3-0 lead in the series.
“Great play call,'' Embiid said. ''Tobias set an amazing screen, Danny threw a great pass. All I had to do was finish, and I'm glad I did.
''For him, that's a high-percentage shot, especially on that wing,'' Harris said of Embiid's decisive basket. ''We got the ball to our best player, somebody who makes plays, makes shots.''
''We've been watching his skill set all year long and how great he's been,'' Harden said. ''Tonight was no different. He did all the right things, and when it was time for him to finish the game off, he did that.''
''There's no room to look around and feel sorry for ourselves,'' VanVleet said. ''We did a lot of good things tonight, we played a lot of minutes of great basketball and we're going to have to do it again.''
76ers beat the Raptors again, Steph runs the show against the Nuggets
(Basketball news) The Philadelphia 76ers beat the Toronto Raptors 112-97 in the second game of the 1st round NBA playoffs to take a 2-0 series lead. For the Sixers, Embiid took his lumps and powered his way to 31 points and 11 rebounds as Maxey had 23 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, Tobias Harris had 20 points and 10 rebounds and James Harden scored 14. For the Raptors, OG Anunoby led the scoring with 26 points as Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet each had 20. With this result the 76ers won both the games at home as they get ready to travel to Toronto in the third game of the series tomorrow,
''They put me on the floor a few times and to me, this is where it gets interesting,'' Embiid said. ''I'm like, cool. I'm going to come back with more power and make you foul me.''
That's what we need from the Big Fella,'' Maxey said
''I didn't really want them to set that tone,'' Embiid said. ''I wanted myself and us to set that tone. That's why I picked up that early technical foul.''
''They wanted to muck the game up and play physical, Rivers said. ''I just told our guys to just play through it.''
The Golden State Warriors on the back of a magical Steph Curry performance won 126-106 against the Denver Nuggets to take a 2-0 series lead in the first round of the NBA playoffs in the Western Conference. For the Warriors, Curry came off the bench for a second straight game following a month-long absence with a foot injury, scoring 34 points as no player in the shot clock era had scored as many as 30 points in 23 or fewer minutes in a playoff game. Klay Thompson added 21 points, Curry shot 12 for 17 with five 3s while Jordan Poole scored 29 points to complete a rout. For the Nuggets, Nikola Jokic had 26 points and 11 rebounds before being ejected with 7 minutes left as Austin Rivers managed 17 points off the bench. Now the Warriors travel to Denver on Thursday to play the third game.
''The first half a little pep in my step and the body felt good, I was able to kind of get to some spots,'' Curry said. ''When you make certain shots it feels a little different, it feels a little bit more normal and more emotion kind of comes out, especially with that layoff, so it was a nice feeling.''
''It didn't surprise me because we've been watching this for a long time with Steph,'' coach Steve Kerr said. ''You never really are surprised when he has an outburst like that. It's great to see.''
''If you feel like you're getting under their skin you press up a little more,'' Green said. ''If you don't feel like you're getting under their skin, you press up a little more.''
The Dallas Mavericks made a comeback against the Utah Jazz to win 110-104 as they now tied up the playoff series 1-1. The Mavericks were without their star Luka Doncic but the likes of Brunson scored a career-high 41 points, Maxi Kleber had 25 with eight of their playoff-record 22 made 3-pointers.Brunson was the starting point guard in place of Doncic as he became the fifth Dallas player to score 40 points in a playoff game. He is the first Mavericks player to do that without committing a turnover. The other 40-point scorers were Doncic, Dirk Nowitzki, Rolando Blackman and Nick Van Exel. For the Jazz, Donovan Mitchell had 34 points for Utah, while Bojan Bogdanovic had 25 and Jordan Clarkson 21 as Rudy Gobert had eight points and 17 rebounds. The Mavericks go to Utah on Thursday with the series finely poised.
''I started this morning, I was talking to (Dorian Finney-Smith) and I told him, `Doe, I'm going to let 10 3s fly tonight.' And he said, `That's my dog.' And that kind of set the tone for the day,'' Kleber said. ''The mindset is we know they're going to leave certain guys open to shoot. We've just got to let it fly.''
''We did what we had to do, which was win tonight. But we were only focused on tonight,'' Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said. ''We understand what's in front of us, what's coming. It's going to be a hostile environment.''
''We tried to go out there and take both (games). Didn't happen. You know we're not going to overreact. We're going to go home, and we've got to take care of business. Simple as that,'' Mitchell said. ''At the end of the day, we're happy we took a game and go back and take care of business.''
''The telltale is we can't have Brunson have the night he had and also be able to kick the ball out for those looks,'' Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. ''And when those passes are kicked out, I thought we weren't as sharp mentally in our ability to rotate. And that's something that we've done before.''
''I'm just playing how the defense is giving me, just seeing how they're defending certain things. Just stepping into certain shots,'' Brunson said. ''Yeah, the 5-of-5 start is great, but I had the same mentality when I was 0 for 5 last game, or whatever. ... You can't fluctuate whenever, not even when (Doncic) is in or out. Because you need guys to make plays.'
NBA: Celtics win the first match as Suns prevail over the Pelicans
(Basketball news) The Boston Celtics won their first match 115 - 114 against the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the NBA playoffs. For the Celtics, Tatum scored 31 points, the last two on the first buzzer-beater of his career as it was Boston's first buzzer beater in the postseason since Paul Pierce in 2010 against the Heat. Brown added 23 points as Horford had 20 points and 15 rebounds, and Smart finished with 20 points, including four 3-pointers. For the Nets, Kyrie Irving finished with 39 points, including 18 in the fourth quarter as Durant added 23 points but shot just 9 of 24. With this result the Celtics take a 1-0 lead in the series as they play their next match on Wednesday.
''When he took that dribble we just kind of made eye contact. He made a great pass,'' Tatum said. ''It doesn't get any better than that. A buzzer-beater in a playoff game at home.''
I've always been told you have more time than you realise you have,'' Smart said. ''I was about to throw it to Al (Horford) off the dribble and I saw JT cut at the last minute.''
''I think that's kind of a microcosm for our season, guys moving the ball being unselfish,'' coach Ime Udoka said.
“They did a good job of forcing me away, then helping in the paint. I just got to be more fundamental in my moves,'' said Durant . ''I feel like some shots went in and out for me.''
The top seed in the Western Conference, the Phoenix Suns made easy work of the New Orleans Pelicans as they won 110-99. For the Suns, Paul scored 19 of his 30 points during a brilliant fourth-quarter scoring display as Deandre Ayton was particularly dominant on the defensive end with four blocks, and had 21 points and nine rebounds and Booker finished with 25 points. For the Pelicans, CJ McCollum led the scoring with 25 points, but struggled with his shooting much of the night as he finished 9 of 25 from the field. Valanciunas added 18 points and 25 rebounds as Brandon Ingram scored 18 points. With this result the Suns take the lead in the series as they play their second in Phoenix tomorrow.
''Classic Chris,'' Suns coach Monty Williams said.
''It's just reading the game,'' Paul said. ''We watch games all day, every day. We got to watch all the games yesterday. We watched the games today. We know in the playoffs, teams aren't going to lay down.''
''That man's a true competitor, a true winner,'' Suns guard Devin Booker said. ''He wants it that bad. You can see it in his demeanour, you can see it in his walk. It shouldn't surprise anybody. He's built for these moments.''
''We figured out a way to play,'' Pelicans forward Larry Nance Jr. said. ''This is the playoffs and there are going to be ebbs and flows, ups and downs. We are in a chess match now.''
The Milwaukee Bucks started their title defence in emphatic fashion as they won 93-86 against the Chicago Bulls. For the Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo had 27 points and 16 rebounds as Brook Lopez scored 18 points, Holiday had 15, Khris Middleton had 11 and Bobby Portis added 10. Portis also had 12 rebounds. For the Bulls, DeMar DeRozan scored 18 points but shot 6 of 25 as Vucevic had 24 points and 17 rebounds but shot 9 of 27. LaVine had 18 points and 10 rebounds while shooting 6 of 19. With this result the Bucks took a 1-0 lead in the series as they both will face each other on Wednesday in Milwaukee.
''We've got to win the ugly games,'' said Jrue Holiday, whose 3-pointer with 5:03 left put the Bucks ahead for good. ''I feel like today was ugly. It was a battle and it was tough, but it was an ugly one.''
''I thought it was a good shot,'' LaVine said. ''We were down three. I got a really clean look.''
''Every shot I took tonight felt good,'' said DeMar DeRozan, ''I guarantee you that me, Zach and Vooch (Nikola Vucevic) aren't going to miss that many shots again.''
''The whole team was kind of out of rhythm,'' said Antetokounmpo, who didn't score in the fourth quarter while dealing with foul trouble. ''We weren't able to find one another as easy as we usually find one another and make shots. We missed a bunch of open shots today. Usually we make those and we get energy.''
Serie A: Inter take on Spezia while AC Milan face Genoa
(Football news) Inter Milan are back in the title race and take on Thiago Motta’s Spezia in a crucial encounter in bid to keep up with AC Milan at the top of the Serie A table. The Nerazzurri have won three of their last five league games at the San Siro without conceding a single goal, while Spezia are unbeaten in each of their last 10 matches away from home. Spezia boss Thiago Motta will face his former club Inter, where he played 55 times in Serie A between August 2009 and January 2012. Inter over the recent weeks have secured maximum points against Juventus and Hellas Verona which has indirectly put them back in the Scudetto race. Over the recent weeks Inter have boasted the highest points-per-game average (2.6) against Serie A teams currently in the bottom half of the table, claiming a total of 36 points in 14 games. Victory for Inzaghi's men against Spezia would see them move to the top of the table, but if Milan were to beat Genoa then they would go second but they will still have that one match in hand.
Spezia possible starting lineup:
Provedel; Amian, Erlic, Nikolaou, Reca; Maggiore, Kiwior, Bastoni; Agudelo, Manaj, Gyasi
Inter Milan possible starting lineup:
Handanovic; De Vrij, Skriniar, Bastoni; Dumfries, Barella, Brozovic, Calhanoglu, Gosens; Martinez, Dzeko
AC Milan will be looking to get back to winning ways when they face Genoa after two successive 0-0 draws have somewhat derailed their first title challenge since 2011. The Rossoneri have only won two of their last six league matches at the San Siro. Stefano Pioli's men had 47 shots on goal between these two matches, but they were unable to find the net and dropped four crucial points against the opposition in the bottom half of the table. The Rossoneri, who are trying to win their first Serie A title since 2011, will be rueing their chances of extending their lead after city rivals Inter Milan claimed back-to-back league wins to move to within two points from the top of table with a game in hand. Milan will be confident of getting back to winning ways and hopefully finding their form in front of goal when they face Genoa, as they have won seven of their last 10 league games against them and subsequently scored two or more goals on six of those occasions.
AC Milan possible starting lineup:
Maignan; Calabria, Kalulu, Tomori, Hernandez; Tonali, Kessie; Saelemaekers, Diaz, Leao; Giroud
Genoa possible starting lineup:
Perin; Hefti, Maksimovic, Ostigard, Vasquez; Badelj, Galdames; Melegoni, Amiri, Portanova; Ekuban
The other matches are:
- Cagliari vs Sassuolo
- Udinese vs Empoli
- Sampdoria vs Salernitana
- Fiorentina vs Venezia
- Juventus vs Bologna
- Lazio vs Torino
- Napoli vs Roma
- Atalanta vs Verona
NBA: Nuggets sealed the last playoff place as Bucks beat the Celtics
(Basketball news) Denver Nuggets sealed the last playoff place as they beat the Memphis Grizzlies 122-109. For the Nuggets, Jokic became the first player in NBA history with 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 500 assists in a season as he finished the night with 35 points, 16 rebounds, six assists and five steals and Aaron Gordon added 22 points. For the Grizzlies, Desmond Bane had 14 points as both Dillon Brooks and Zaire Williams finished with 12 points each. With this result, the Denver Nuggets clinched a fourth consecutive playoff berth as their current record stands at 48-33 and clinched the last playoff berth in 6th in the Western Conference standings.
“Dude is really great at basketball,'' teammate Bones Hyland said
''The MVP isn't even a competition,'' Nuggets coach Michael Malone declared afterward. ''There's other great players. I'm not saying they're not great players. But what Nikola Jokic has done this year - with this team - everything we've had to go through, is just incredible.
''I think we've been playing good basketball, even the other night against Utah. Tonight, we just didn't have it,'' Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said.
''We threw a lot at him,'' Jenkins said. ''He's the MVP for a reason. He's nearly impossible to guard. He's going to beat you from inside, outside, playmaking. He played at a really high level tonight.''
''My first thought was Steve Nash in that playoff series and they couldn't stop the bleeding,'' Malone said. ''And I'm saying, `Of all games, Nikola gets a very non-malicious elbow, an inadvertent elbow to the head and he's bleeding.'
''Like, get a staple gun out here,'' Malone said. ''And it finally stopped and Nikola put on another MVP performance.''
The Milwaukee Bucks sealed second place in the Eastern Conference standings as they beat the in-form Boston Celtics 127-121. For the Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday each scored 29 points as Khris Middleton had 22 points, nine assists and eight rebounds and Bobby Portis scored 17 points and Brook Lopez had 15. For the Celtics, Jaylen Brown had a triple double with 22 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds as Marcus Smart shot 7 of 12 on 3-point attempts and scored 29 points, while Daniel Theis had 22 points and Derrick White added 19 points. With this result, The Bucks (50-30) moved a half-game ahead of the Celtics (50-31) and a full game ahead of the Philadelphia 76ers (49-31), who lost their recent match as Miami Heat sealed top spot in the Eastern Conference standings.
''It would be a lot easier if we don't wait until the last quarter or last couple of minutes to get stops, but it happens,'' said Milwaukee's Khris Middleton ''No matter how the game's going, I just love the way we keep competing.''
''We've seen that growth from (Brown) this year,'' Celtics coach Ime Udoka said. ''With certain guys out, he had the ball more and had to make those plays.''
''I guess I just got lucky, really,'' Holiday said. ''I left it short and it came back to me
''Surgery can be season-ending, so you don't want to do that,'' Hill said after the Bucks' Thursday morning shootaround. ''You want to figure out how I can manage to get back out with the guys. It feels a lot better now. I'm just trying to give it everything I have.''
The other results are:
- Hornets 128 - 101 Magic
- Raptors 119 - 114 76ers
- Pelicans 127 - 94 Trail Blazers
- Timberwolves 127 - 121 Spurs
- Warriors 128 - 112 Lakers
Tomorrow’s fixtures are:
- Wizards vs Knicks
- Pistons vs Bucks
- Nets vs Cavs
- Raptors vs Rockets
- Bulls vs Hornets
- Heat vs Hawks
- Mavericks vs Trail Blazers
- Jazz vs Suns
- Lakers vs Thunder
- 76ers vs Pacers
Mohammedan Sporting see off Rajasthan United, reclaim top spot
Kalyani, (WB), Apr 6 (Football News) Mohammedan SC saw off a strong challenge from Rajasthan United FC to emerge 2–1 winners in the I-League here on Wednesday.
Two first half goals, courtesy Azharuddin Malick (16th) and Nikola Stojanovic (40th) set Mohammedan SC on their way. A stunning free kick from Julian Omar Ramos (70th) in the second half set up a nervy final showdown, but Mohammedan SC held their nerve to see out the game and reclaim the top spot in the league.
In Naihati, RoundGlass Punjab FC recorded their second successive victory as they defeated Indian Arrows 3-1.
In the day's third match, Kingslee Fernandes (90th) netted the winning goal for Churchill Brothers FC Goa in the dying moments as the Goans edged past Real Kashmir FC 1-0 to record their fourth victory of the season.
With this, RoundGlass have moved to the fourth spot on the table. They are now on par with Sreenidi Deccan FC with one game in hand.
Kurtis Guthrie (51st), Maheson Singh Tongbram (54th) and Rupert Nongrum (86th) were on target for RoundGlass while the Indian Arrows saw the margin of defeat reduced through a Jaspreet Singh own goal (90+7).
RoundGlass Punjab FC made a strong start to the game, pressing high and looking to generate chances right away. The Indian Arrows' youngsters dug deep as they planned to counterattack their opponents.
Kurtis Guthrie attempted a header in the 12th minute after Shankar Sampingiraj set him up with a corner kick, but his shot went over the bar.
Joseba Beita's free kick in the 16th minute gave them another chance, but the Spanish playmaker's cross ended up in no man's land. Guthrie attempted another shot in the 20th minute but failed in putting it past Indian Arrows goalie Syed Zahid Hussain Bukhari.
Indian Arrows were handed a blow in the 32nd minute when Velanco Rodrigues replaced an injured Suhail Ahmad Bhat, who was lifted off the ground following a collision with an opposition player.
RoundGlass' best chance of the first half came in the 36th minute when Maheson Singh Tongbram's spectacular effort was palmed away by Zahid. Three minutes later, Zahid denied his rivals once again by blocking Guthrie's attempt.
Three extra minutes were added at the end of the first half's regulation time, but nothing transpired.
However, the Punjab outfit struck thrice after the change of ends to ensure full points from the match.
Also Read : RoundGlass Punjab FC beat Indian Arrows 3-1 (I-League)
News Source : PTI
NBA: Lakers lose their 6th straight game, 76ers clinch playoff place
(Basketball news) The Los Angeles season went from bad to worse as they lost 129-118 against the Denver Nuggets, a loss which has ultimately seen them drop out of the play in position as well. For the Nuggets, Nikola Jokic had 38 points, 18 rebounds and six assists as Will Barton scored 25 points and Aaron Gordon added 24 points and eight rebounds. For the Lakers, Anthony Davis had 28 points, nine rebounds and eight assists as Russell Westbrook added 27 points and Carmelo Anthony had 17. LeBron James was out of this match with a sprained left ankle. With this result the Nuggets have almost sealed their playoff berth as their record stands at 47-32 and currently are 5th in the Western Conference standings.
''Very satisfying, knowing the situation, four games to go (when) you've got people right behind you, pushing you,'' Denver coach Michael Malone said. ''This was an important road win. We've been a great road team all regular season long. ... When it mattered most, we were able to get stops.''
''I think it's a really important win for us,'' Jokic said. ''I'm just glad that we're winning. If we're playing bad and we're winning, that's the most important thing. I think it was really collective play that we did together, but hopefully we can keep it up to separate further and be even better.''
''We don't worry about the math,'' coach Frank Vogel said. ''We worry about the next game. Learn the lessons from this game, take them to the next game and hopefully get a win against Phoenix (on Tuesday).''
''We didn't expect to only have 21 games together, but that's been all year,'' Davis said. ''The times we were together, we looked good. . That being said, we still have enough (players) to play a basketball game. We will continue to fight this way, give ourselves a chance and see what happens.''
The Philadelphia 76ers secured a playoff position as they won 112-108 against the Cleveland Cavaliers. For the Sixers, Embiid scored 44 points and made 20 trips to the free throw line and added 17 rebounds and James Harden had 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in his second triple-double with Philadelphia. For the Cavs, Darius Garland scored 23 and Caris LeVert and Lamar Stevens had 18 apiece. With this result the Sixers improved their record to 48-30 and currently stand 4th in the Western Conference and as for the Cavs they stayed in 7th with a record of 43-36.
''That game was taken from us,'' Bickerstaff said. ''We deserved to win it.''
''If it happens, great,'' he said of winning his first MVP. ''If it doesn't, I don't know what I have to do. I'll feel like they hate me. I feel like the standard for guys in Philly or for me is different than everyone else.''
''The one thing you can't defend is the free throw line and that's absurd,'' Bickerstaff said, referring to the Sixers' 42 attempted foul shots. ''Our guys deserved way better than they got tonight.
''They're great players and they understand how to play through the rules,'' he said of Philly's All-Stars. ''They know how to manipulate the rules. This is no knock or disrespect to those guys. But the game has to be consistent on both ends of the floor. We were searching for that consistency and we never found it.''
''I get to witness his greatness every night,'' Harden said. ''Obviously, his offensive numbers tonight are self-explanatory. Defensively, he was very active blocking shots, changing shots and clogging the paint up was key.''
The other results were:
- Pacers 117 - 121 Pistons
- Magic 88 - 118 Knicks
- Raptors 109 - 114 Heat
- Thunder 117 - 96 Suns
- Spurs 113 - 92 Trail Blazers
- Rockets 132 - 139 Timberwolves
- Kings 90 - 109 Warriors
- Clippers 119 - 100 Pelicans
Tomorrow’s fixtures are:
- Pacers vs 76ers
- Magic vs Cavs
- Raptors vs Hawks
- Heat vs Hornets
- Nets vs Rockets
- Thunder vs Trail Blazers
- Bulls vs Bucks
- Timberwolves vs Wizards
- Nuggets vs Spurs
- Jazz vs Grizzlies
- Kings vs Pelicans
- Suns vs Lakers
Miami Open: Bopana-Shapovalov pair ousted after quarterfinal loss
Miami, Mar 30 (Tennis News) India's Rohan Bopanna and his Canadian partner Denis Shapovalov were knocked out of the Miami Open men's doubles event after a straight set quarterfinal loss here.
Frequent partners since 2019, the Indo-Candian duo went down 2-6 1-6 to sixth seeds Wesley Koolhof of Netherlands and Great Britain's Neal Skupski, failing to advance to the semifinal on Tuesday.
The unseeded pair of Bopanna and Shapovalov had stunned the top seeded Croatian duo of Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic in straight sets in the previous round.
Also Read : Osaka progresses to the quarters of the Miami Open with win over Riske
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Rohan Bopanna-Denis Shapovalov pair enters Miami Open quarterfinals
Miami (US), Mar 28 (Tennis News) India's Rohan Bopanna and his Canadian partner Denis Shapovalov stunned top seeded Croatian pair of Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic in straight sets to enter men's doubles quarterfinals at the Miami Open tennis tournament here.
The unseeded Indo-Canadian pair surprised Mektic and Pavic 6-3 7-6(3) in a second round doubles match on Sunday.
Bopanna and Shapovalov will now face the sixth seeded pair of Wesley Koolhof of Netherlands and Great Britain's Neal Skupski for a place in the semifinals.
Koolhof and Skupski defeated Spanish-Italian combination of Pedro Martinez and Lorenzo Sonego 6-3 7-6(8) in the second round.
Bopanna and Shapovalov earlier registered a fighting 6-7(5) 6-2 10-3 win over Marceloa Avrevalo of El Salvador and Jean-Juien Rojer of Netherlands in the opening round of the ATP Masters 1000 event.
Also Read : Murray set to face Medvedev in the second round of the Miami Open
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NBA: The Bucks overcome the Bulls while Warriors lose
(Basketball news) The Milwaukee Bucks beat the Chicago Bulls quite comprehensively as Giannis and Jrue Holiday inspired a 126-98 victory. For the Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo had 25 points and 17 rebounds in his return to action Jrue Holiday had a game-high 27 points to go along with seven assists and no turnovers as the Bucks won for the 15th time in their last 16 meetings with the Bulls, including all three matchups this season. For the Bulls, Nikola Vucevic had 22 points as DeMar DeRozan and LaVine added 21 points each as the Bulls lost for the ninth time in 12 games. With this result the Bucks improved their record to 45-27 and moved second in the Eastern Conference standings.
'He took a fall in the Minnesota game, and it was pretty sore and stiff, so we've had it looked at,'' Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said before the game. ''We feel like it's short term, but we'll see how he feels the next day or two.''
''Jrue was being Jrue,'' Antetokounmpo said. ''Jrue was being aggressive, making good decisions, getting downhill, getting everybody involved, guarding Zach (LaVine). Everybody was doing their job. Obviously we knew that Khris wasn't playing, and Khris is a big part of our team and what we do here, but at the end of the day, even with the team that we have, we're a great team.''
''Shots we would want them to take, they made,'' Bulls coach Billy Donovan said. ''It was a night where they really, really had it going. Credit to them. And it was a night we just didn't shoot the ball particularly well.''
''At some point, we've got to get tired of getting our butt kicked like this and flip that switch of understanding, all right, enough is enough,'' DeRozan said. ''Now it's time to turn it around and show that desperation.''
The Golden State Warriors suffered a shocking defeat to the Orlando Magic 94-90. For the Magic, Wendell Carter Jr. led them with 19 points and Wagner had 18 points and a big finish as did Cole Anthony, who had 14 points and five assists. For the Warriors, Jordan Poole scored 26 points, shot 40% for the game and had seven turnovers in the fourth quarter on the way to their third straight loss as Klay Thompson added 15 points and Otto Porter Jr. had 14 points and 15 rebounds. With this result they slipped down to third in the Western Conference standings behind the Memphis Grizzlies as the Magic improved their record to 20-53.
''Franz can play, man,'' said Magic guard Cole Anthony, who had 14 points and five assists. ''He can hoop. I saw it here first hand tonight.''
''I think we're playing soft, I think we're playing stupid,'' Warriors forward Draymond Green said. ''We're just not playing good basketball. We're getting punked, and we're losing a lot of fourth quarters. No disrespect to the Orlando Magic, but they're one of the worst teams in the league.''
“No, Steph's not going to bring a level of physicality to the game,'' he said. ''That's not his job.'
''We have to look at our lineup, we have to address everything,'' Kerr said. '' ... It's like a domino effect. You saw me searching for lineups tonight. But I was really disappointed in the fourth quarter. We did not execute at all in the fourth quarter.''
''But we stayed engaged in the game,'' Anthony said. ''We realized there's four quarters to a game, and we're not going to lose in one moment like that.''
''Fouling 3-point shooters has killed us in the last two games,'' Kerr said. ''I love these guys, but we have to learn how to win. Right now, we don't know how to win.''
The other results were:
- Knicks 111 - 117 Hawks
- Nuggets 127 - 115 Clippers
Tomorrow’s fixtures are:
- Pistons vs Hawks
- Pacers vs Kings
- Hornets vs Knicks
- Grizzlies vs Nets
- Heat vs Warriors
- Celtics vs Jazz
- Timberwolves vs Suns
- Thunder vs Magic
- Lakers vs 76ers
- Trail Blazers vs Spurs
Punjab FC parts ways with Westwood, appoints Ed Engelkes as new coach
Kolkata, Mar 23 (Football News) I-League club RoundGlass Punjab FC has appointed Dutch Ed Engelkes as the team's new head coach with immediate effect after mutually parting ways with Englishman Ashley Westwood.
The development was confirmed by the club on Wednesday.
The 58-year-old Englelkes brings with him rich experience of working with big Dutch football clubs like AFC Ajax and AZ Alkmaar, and the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) over a number of years.
He was also involved with various footballing institutions across multiple levels.
"The club would like to thank Ashley for his immense contribution and efforts, and wish him all the very best for the future," RoundGlass Punjab FC Football Director, Nikolaos Topoliatis said in a release.
"With Ed, we have a highly-experienced coach, who is already well-versed with our vision and objectives. We hope to continue building on our start in the I-League and move forward."
Also Read : European Champions Italy face North Macedonia in World Cup qualifier
News Source : PTI
NBA: Lakers snap their losing streak as Suns continue winning
(Basketball news) Lakers snapped out of their losing streak as they beat the Toronto Raptors in overtime 128-123. For the Lakers, LeBron James scored 19 of his 36 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, Russell Westbrook had 22 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists as the likes of Wenyen Gabriel scored 17 points, Bradley had 14 and Austin Reaves had 10 points. For the Raptors, Barnes set career-highs with 31 points and 17 rebounds, Gary Trent Jr. scored 23 points and Fred Van Vleet 20. With this victory the Lakers snapped out of their 11 game losing streak away from home as they improved their record to 30-40 and are currently in 9th in the Western Conference standings.
“To be able to come into a very hostile environment and win a basketball game, and the way we won it, was big for our team,'' James said. ''We needed literally every minute, all 53 of them, to accomplish that.''
''I thought we did a great job of just sticking to our principles, grinding the game out,'' Westbrook said. ''This was a grind-out game.''
''That's part of what makes him the greatest is his ability to just make whatever play is necessary, whatever side of the floor,'' Lakers coach Frank Vogel said.
''We just didn't make one little play there to get the ball in bounds,'' Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. ''We got it in and got a tough pass complete, and then gave it up.''
''He really competed,'' Vogel said. ''I thought tonight he did a great job of really leading the team in terms of organizing our action, not just making plays himself but getting our group organized.''
The Phoenix Suns beat the Chicago Bulls quite comprehensively 129-102 for their 4th straight victory. For the Suns, Ayton scored 20 points he was 8 of 11 from the field as Devin Booker led the scoring with 28 points and Cameron Payne scored 15 points, Torrey Craig, Landry Shamet had 14 each, JaVale McGee 12 and Mikael Bridges 11. For the Bulls, DeMar DeRozan scored 19 points, Nikola Vucevic added 16 points. Coby White had 14, Zach LaVine 12 and Tristan Thompson 11 as they are fifth in the Eastern Conference with a record of 41-29. The Suns improved their record to 57-14 and moved closer to clinching the NBA's best regular-season record this season.
''He is aggressive in the post. I didn't see a ton of finesse,'' Suns coach Monty Williams said
“We don't want to be `Chris and Book' dimensional,'' Williams said. ''We want to be comfortable to go to other guys so that in those key moments it is not something new to them.''
“To get the lead that we got and sustain it, then maintain it throughout the second half was pretty impressive,'' Craig said.
''I don't want to take anything away from Phoenix or teams we've played against, but we've got to be able to have a better response when shots aren't going in,'' Chicago coach Billy Donovan said. ''I thought some of the (Suns') offensive rebounds in the second quarter really hurt us, and then we started missing shots. We gotta develop a resilience when it's not going well.''
DeRozan said the team is dealing with some new adversity after a solid season. ''We're at that time of the year where nothing is a secret,'' he said. ''We've played great basketball and now teams are coming after us no matter who we play. Once we figure it out, we'll be fine.''
The other results were:
- 76ers 111 - 101 Mavericks
- Nets 128 - 123 Trail Blazers
- Knicks 100 - 97 Wizards
- Cavaliers 119 - 116 Nuggets
- Hawks 120 - 105 Grizzlies
- Heat 120 - 108 Thunder
- Rockets 118 - 121 Pacers
- Spurs 91 - 124 Pelicans
- Jazz 121 - 92 Clippers
- Kings 97 - 126 Celtics
Tomorrow’s fixtures are:
- Timberwolves vs Bucks
- Hornets vs Mavericks
- Wizards vs Lakers
- Cavs vs Pistons
Churchill Brothers hand Mohammedan Sporting first defeat of season
Kalyani, Mar 16 (Football News) Churchill Brothers brought the Mohammedan Sporting juggernaut to a halt with a 2-1 victory while Rajasthan United and Indian Arrows played out a goal-less draw in I-League matches on Wednesday.
Striker Kenneth Ngwoke (2nd and 62nd minutes) scored a brace for Churchill while Marcus Joseph (57th) -- the league's leading scorer -- pulled one back for Mohammedan Sporting at the Kalyani stadium.
This was Mohammedan Sporting's first defeat of the season.
Churchill got off to the best possible start by taking the lead in the second minute of play. A regulation long ball behind the Mohammedan Sporting backline caused mis-communication in their box, as goalkeeper Zothanmawia was deceived by a hesitant touch from his own defender.
Ngwoke was on hand to capitalise on the error and he sent the ball into the empty Mohammedan Sporting goal to put his side in front.
The game was played at a brisk pace for the remainder of the half as the league leaders found themselves chasing a spirited Churchill Brothers side keen to turn their form around in the I-League.
Mohammedan Sporting levelled the score in the 57th minute through their talisman Joseph, who attacked the ball with aggression from a Nikola Stojanovic corner and beat his defender to send a glancing header into the far post.
Ngwoke completed his brace in the 62nd minute. He latched on to the second ball from a clearance and made no mistake from a one-on-one against goalkeeper Zothanmawia to restore the advantage for Churchill Brothers.
Mohammedan Sporting came agonisingly close to an equaliser in the 90th minute when Joseph’s left footed thunderbolt came back off the upright after beating Shilton Paul on his near post.
At the Naihati stadium, both Rajasthan United and Indian Arrows showed defensive solidity in their drawn match.
Rajasthan were dominating the early proceedings with Pedro Manzi in the thick of things. A blunder from the Indian Arrows defence gave him a chance in the 13th and 15th minutes but he wasn't able to convert them into goals. The Spaniard's effort in the 48th minute hit the post.
Also Read : After beating Nepal 7-0, Indian women look to continue form against Bangladesh in SAFF U-18 C'ships
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Indian GM S L Narayanan wins Cattolica International Open chess tourney; Praggnanandhaa finishes second
Cattolica (Italy), Mar 8 (Chess News) Indian Grandmaster S L Narayanan emerged winner in the Grandiscacchi Cattolica International Open here on Tuesday while his compatriot R Praggnanandhaa finished runner-up.
Narayanan and six others, including Praggnanandhaa, finished equal first on 6.5 points after nine rounds. However, Narayanan took the top spot on the basis of a better tie-break score.
The 24-year old Indian GM, the top-seed, remained unbeaten through the nine rounds. He drew against Pier Luigi Basso (Italy) in the ninth and final round on Tuesday.
He posted four wins and secured five draws to score 6.5 points. The wins came against Italian Alex Dobboletta, compatriot Akshat Khamparia, Jobaova Baadur (Georgia) and Belarusian Sergei Azarov. Among his drawn games, one was against Praggnanandhaa.
Praggnanandhaa too finished with four wins and five draws. He scored wins over Sauat Nurgaliyev (Kazakhstan), Nikolas Wachinger (Germany), Dutchman Lucas Van Foreest and Meruert Kamalidenova (Kazakhstan). In the final round, Praggnanandhaa shared the point with Lorenzo Lodici of Italy.
India's Pranav Anand, an International Master, secured ninth spot with six points while another Indian Akshat Khamparia took the 11th place scoring the same number of points.
Also Read : Five most influential female athletes of the past century
News Source : PTI
Gokulam Kerala thrash Real Kashmir 5-1, Mohammedan Sporting beat Sreenidi Deccan 3-1
Kalyani, Mar 7 (Football News) Defending champions Gokulam Kerala thrashed Real Kashmir FC 5-1 while Mohammedan Sporting remained unbeaten with a 3-1 win over Sreenidi Deccan in their I-League matches on Monday.
Luka Majcen (4th, 38th) and Jourdaine Fletcher (5th, 27th) scored a brace each, while Jithin (66th) struck once for Gokulam against a 10-man Real Kashmir, who got their lone goal through Tiago Adan (48th).
Gokulam made a flying start to the match at Kalyani stadium as Prakash Sarkar handled the ball inside the six-yard box in the fourth minute after a deflection from the goalpost and was given a straight red card.
Luka Majcen converted the resultant spot kick to give Gokulam Kerala a 1-0 lead.
In less than a minute, Gokulam doubled their lead, with Jourdaine Fletcher hitting a left-footed shot into the right bottom corner of the goal.
A 10-man Real Kashmir continued to feel the pressure as the defending champions made dangerous moves inside their half. In the 27th minute, Abdul Hakku provided a beautiful pass to Jourdaine Fletcher who netted it once again to make it 3-0 for Gokulam.
Two minutes later, Abhash Thapa denied Fletcher his hat-trick as he cleared the ball from the goal line.
In the 38th minute, Luka Majcen scored his second goal of the match after an error from Real Kashmir's defence saw the ball land on the Slovenian's left foot. Majcen made no mistake and handed his team a four-goal lead with ease.
Just after resumption, Gokulam's Thahir Zaman conceded a penalty and Tiago Adan converted from the spot.
Emil Benny, who was looking very threatening in the defensive third, made a delightful pass to Jithin in the 66th minute, who struck a half-volley on the bottom right corner of the net to add the fifth goal for Gokulam.
At the Naihati stadium, Marcus Joseph (40th, 51st) scored a brace before Andelo Rudovic's 89th minute strike as Mohammedan Sporting came from a goal down to defeat Sreenidi Deccan 3-1.
David Munoz scored the lone goal for Sreenidi Deccan in the 16th minute.
The victory consolidated Mohammedan Sporting's lead at the top of table with three wins from their first three matches.
Sreenidi Deccan gave the first blow on their opponents in the 16th minute, when David Munoz picked up the ball after Mohammedan players gave away possession in their half. The Colombian forward made them pay as he produced a low long range drive which rifled into the bottom corner.
The Black and White Brigade made their way back into the game through striker Marcus Joseph in the 40th minute. Captain Nikola Stojanovic gave the assist for the goal as it was his left footed cross which was met by Joseph's head inside the box as the ball nestled into the bottom right corner of keeper Shibinraj Kunniyil's goal.
With scores level going into the break, it took a moment of magic from Mohammedan Sporting in the 51st minute to turn the contest on its head. Marcus Joseph struck from 30 yards that left goalkeeper Kunniyil hapless as the ball went past him like a bullet into the top corner.
Mohammedan Sporting were awarded a penalty in the 89th minute and Andelo Rudovic, from Montenegro, stepped up to send the ball into the right corner to seal all three points for his side.
Also Read : Chhetri ruled out of India's Bahrain and Belarus friendlies
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Barty to miss Miami and Indian wells, Murray receives wildcard
(Tennis news) Ashleigh Barty has announced her withdrawal from Indian Wells and Miami events this month. Both the WTA 1000 events will be held back to back, Barty is the double defending champion in Miami. She has only played twice at Indian Wells and has not progressed beyond the fourth round. The world number 1 has won 11 matches this season along with two titles, she has only lost a single set so far against Cori Gauff in her opening match of the season at Sydney.
"I wanted to share an update on my schedule for the coming months," Barty said in a statement. "Unfortunately my body has not recovered the way I’d hoped after the Australian Open and I have not been able to adequately prepare for Indian Wells and Miami. I don’t believe I am at the level necessary to win these events and as a result I have decided to withdraw from both tournaments. I love these events and am sad not to be there competing but getting my body right must be my focus”.
The Australian has a healthy lead in the rankings as second place Barbora Krejcikova is almost 3000 points below her. Barty had won her third major at Australia a month back, she became the first from her country to win the title in 4 decades. Australian Open runner up Danielle Collins will also be missing the Indian Wells event due to an injury. Sofia Kenin will be seen in action in Indian Wells for the third time as she received a wildcard entry and will be looking to go beyond the second round for the first time.
In the ATP tour, Andy Murray will be playing at Indian Wells for the 14th time as he will play as a wildcard entry this season. Murray had first played at the tournament in 2006 where he reached the second round and lost to Nikolay Davydenko. The former world number 1 has already played 14 matches this year, he won 8 of them and reached the finals in Sydney.
The Indian Wells continues to remain the only hardcourt Masters 1000 title the right hander has not won. He had reached the finals in 2009 after beating Roger Federer but lost to Rafael Nadal in straight sets to take the runner up trophy. Murray also reached the semifinals in 2007, 2015 and both times it was Novak Djokovic who emerged on the winning side. The 3 time Grand Slam winner hasn’t won a title in 3 years and hasn’t reached a Masters 1000 final in 6 years.
The Heats beat the Bulls and the Bucks steam roll past the Hornets
(Basketball news) The Miami Heats comprehensively beat the Chicago Bulls 112-99. For the Heat, Gabe Vincent and Tyler Herro each scored 20 points as Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo each had 15 points for Miami. Max Strus had all 13 of his points in the fourth quarter for them. For the Bulls, Zach LaVine led the Bulls with 22 points, while Ayo Dosunmu had 18 and Nikola Vucevic added 14 as DeMar DeRozan's streak of 10 consecutive games with at least 30 points ended; he finished with 18. With this result Miami reclaimed the top position in the Western Conference table with their ninth successive win as their record currently stands at 41-21.
''Whatever people want to say about us is cool,'' Herro said.
''I was just playing,'' DeRozan said of the streak. ''Just going out there playing, competing, doing whatever I could. I was just going out there playing. ... I'm glad it's over with so I can stop hearing everything about it.''
''I think the biggest thing for me is we have to get battle-tested in some of these games and we just don't have a lot of guys who have gone into these kinds of experiences,'' Bulls coach Billy Donovan said. ''I think it's really good for us.''
“When the opportunity comes you want to take advantage of it,'' Vincent said. ''We miss Kyle and can't wait to get him back.''
The Milwaukee Bucks steam rolled past the Charlotte Hornets as they beat them 130-106. For the Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo had 26 points and 16 rebounds, Jrue Holiday had 21 points and eight assists, and Bobby Portis added 20 points and 10 rebounds for them. Milwaukee made its first 26 free throws and finished 32 of 37 from the line. Antetokounmpo made all 14 of his free throws. For the Hornets, LaMelo Ball scored 24 points, Terry Rozier finished with 17 points and eight assists. With this result the Bucks improved their record to 37-25 and currently are in 4th place in the Eastern Conference table.
''If we got everybody locked in, giving that effort defensively, who can really score on us at a high level?'' said Jevon Carter, who scored 10 points off the bench. ''And then on the other end, being able to guard us in transition. So, we keep that pace up, sky's the limit.''
''We were in a little bit of an aggressive mindset'' in the second quarter, Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. ''I thought Giannis quarterbacked in some of those situations, whether it was against the press or against the zone and found shooters. Sometimes we were able to play fast against the zone before it could get set, get some corner 3s.''
The other results were:
- Cavs 122 - 127 Timberwolves
- Magic 119 - 103 Pacers
- Nets 97 - 133 Raptors
- Thunder 110 - 131 Kings
- Grizzlies 118 - 105 Spurs
Tomorrow’s fixture are:
- Wizards vs Pistons
- Raptors vs Nets
- Celtics vs Hawks
- Rockets vs Clippers
- Timberwolves vs Warriors
- Lakers vs Mavericks
The NBA All Star week is set to kick off as Team LeBron take on Team Durant
(Basketball news) The NBA All Star week is all set to kick off as Team LeBron take on Team Durant in Cleveland. Like every year the NBA All-Star Weekend will bring fun, frolic as well as new and exciting game events that will enthrall every spectator all over the world. There will be some for Indian fans to cheer for as Ranveer Singh will participate in the celebrity All Star game also.
LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Stephen Curry, DeMar DeRozan, Nikola Jokic, Luka Doncic, Darius Garland, Chris Paul, Jimmy Butler, Donovan Mitchell, Fred VanVleet, James Harden
Joel Embiid, Ja Morant, Jayson Tatum, Trae Young, Andrew Wiggins, Devin Booker, Karl-Anthony Towns, Zach LaVine, DeJounte Murray, Khris Middleton, LaMelo Ball, Rudy Gobert
The 71st NBA All-Star Game is all set to be the star attraction of the NBA All-Star event will be this iconic encounter between Team Durant vs Team Lebron which will take place on the 20th February. The all star game is unlike a traditional game of basketball as the rules of this game will be a bit different. The winning team will have to hit the target score to achieve as there will be no time limit assigned. The target score is assigned on the basis of the team’s performance and also scoring based on the first three-quarters of the game. This system was brought into play in the 2020 season after a lot of criticism was received for the All Star games not being competitive.
Another star attraction every year in the All Star week is the dunk contest as this year Cole Anthony, Juan Toscano-Anderson, Obi Toppin and Jalen Green will compete in the competition. The Dunk contest consists of four competitors who take part in this Slam Dunk contest. Each individual gets the chance of two dunks for the first round as the top two players in terms of with the most points after two dunks move on. Then in the final two finalists will get two dunk each, and ultimately the player with the highest combined dunk score in the final will be adjudged as the winner but the competition continues even if the scores are levelled as a winner is mandatory.
The NBA three point contest also takes place as this year CJ McCollum, Trae Young, Zach LaVine, Desmond Bane, Karl-Anthony Towns, Fred VanVleet, Luke Kennard and Patty Mills will participate. This special event is an individual event. Each player will get the chance to score a maximum of 40 points. In the allotted 70 seconds, a player will have to shoot that 27 balls. The aggregate highest of the three scorers of the rounds will then move ahead into the championship round. Finally, the highest scorer of this round will be judged as the winner of this competition.
NBA: Lakers come from behind to beat the Jazz and the Warriors lose
(Basketball news) The Los Angeles Lakers came from behind to beat the Utah Jazz 106-101. For the Lakers, James scored 15 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter, as Davis had 17 points in 17 minutes when he was injured. He was down on the court for several minutes before being helped off, Russell Westbrook had 17 points and seven rebounds while Malik Monk added 13 points. For the Jazz, Donovan Mitchell led them with 37 points, including five 3-pointers, Bojan Bogdanovic scored 15 points and Jordan Clarkson had 13 off the bench. With this result the Lakers still remained 9th in the Western Conference standings but improved their record to 27-31.
''I just tried to take the inspiration of what he was able to accomplish over the past couple days,'' said James of Donald. ''He's the greatest defensive player I have ever seen play the sport. For him to take time out of his day and watch us play after the parade was amazing.''
''What we saw LeBron do, it's just remarkable,'' coach Frank Vogel said. ''What he continues to do at this point of his career, to take over a game in the fourth quarter the way that he did with his energy, will and determination, it was really something special.''
''Obviously, it took the sails out of us for quite a while when AD went out, especially with the game he was having up until that point,'' James said. ''It took us a minute to kind of recalibrate and get us some bounce back after that, but we closed the third quarter out in good fashion and was able to turn around in the fourth.''
“The game tightens up and go to LeBron, and he makes plays,'' Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. ''But we had plenty of chances to make plays too. We just didn't, but we put ourselves in that position. It can't be that easy to give up a 13-point lead. We got to make teams work to come back, and grind. It was too easy.''
The Warriors suffered their second loss in succession as they lost to the Denver Nuggets 117-116. For the Nuggets, Jokic had 35 points and 17 rebounds - 11 and 8 after the first quarter as Bryn Forbes scored 22 points and Morris finished with 13 points and six assists. For the Warriors, Klay Thompson scored 16 points and Jordan Poole added 15 off the bench as Steph Curry top scored with 25 points. With this result the Nuggets improved their record to 33-25 as they currently 6th in the Western Conference table.
''Monte made a clutch bucket,'' Curry said. ''The last thing you can do in that situation is give up a 3.''
''I told the guys if we continue to play with that kind of fight and connection then we're going to be in good shape after the break,'' Kerr said.
''I just wanted to go in the middle of the paint and shoot a hook shot,'' he said. ''I just saw Steph and he was helping a little bit and Monte was wide open so I just passed the ball.''
“He's the reigning MVP. He was down there scoring at will in the fourth quarter at the rim,'' Kerr said. ''... Our defense was much, much better, Jokic just took over the game.''
The other results were:
- Magic 109 - 130 Hawks
- Knicks 106 - 111 Nets
- Pacers 113 - 108 Wizards
- Celtics 111 - 112 Pistons
- Grizzlies 119 - 123 Trail Blazers
- Thunder 106 - 114 Spurs
- Timberwolves 91 - 103 Raptors
- Bulls 125 - 118 Kings
- Suns 124 - 121 Rockets
Tomorrow’s fixtures are:
- Hornets vs Heat
- Nets vs Wizards
- Pelicans vs Mavericks
- Bucks vs 76ers
- Clippers vs Rockets
Formula 1 managing director Ross Brawn expects action packed 2022 season
(Motorsport) The upcoming 2022 Formula 1 season is arguably the most exciting one in years with revamped technical regulations, the biggest change in Formula 1 for 40 years. The regulations are aimed to promote wheel-to-wheel racing with bigger teams having fewer advantages throughout the grid. In an interview, Ross Brawn, Managing Director of Formula 1 said “It'll take a little while but I think we're going to be in a far better place going forward with the type of car that we have. Lots of optimism for the season and I think we'll see some interesting results."
With the number of changes for the upcoming season, Ross Brawn was joined by FIA chiefs Nikolas Tombazis and Jason Sommervile to explain everything that can be expected. "Every decision has been made to not dumb down the sport, but to make it more achievable for more of the teams and to get a closer competition going on, while still leaving meritocracies so the best teams still win," stated Brawn. "I think there will be a bit of disparity at the beginning, but we're not expecting a huge disparity. I'm confident that these rules will lead to much better racing, and we're not stopping here. As soon as the cars start to appear, we can analyse how they achieve their performance, we can evolve it, we can tune the regulations to keep it going in the right direction."
In the last few years, Formula 1 cars have lost around half of their downforce while following another car closely which made overtaking difficult but the 2022 cars are expected to circumnavigate the issue due to a carefully thought out design. "We're so massively ahead of where we were because the [previous] cars were dreadful," said Brawn. "So even if we're five per cent worse [than we hoped], we'll still be a long way ahead of what the old cars are. I don't think we ever made a performance prediction," he claimed. "We said let's target a couple of seconds less than where we are now because that's what the teams will make up when they get hold of them. But it was really as simple as that. Knowing the progress teams make, I'm not surprised by what's happened and personally I'm not concerned."
The 2022 cars will provide a fresh slate to every manufacturer, which means that it’s quite possible that more teams and drivers can fight for wins on race weekends. It’s evident that some manufacturers will get it right and others won’t, which means there could be some surprise podium finishes in the upcoming season. "We only really had two drivers in the world championship and two teams in the world championship," Brawn said. "It was a great season from the point of view of entertainment and battles, but we really would like to see more teams in that battle."
All said and done, it’s unlikely that things will change too dramatically in the overall pecking order and the top teams are still expected to dominate over the course of the season. Brawn said “I don't think the regulations will change the regular order of things dramatically. I don't think we're going to see Mick Schumacher dominate this year. I think we'll see some of the midfield teams challenging so I think we'll have a bigger group of competitive teams. Last year, we either expected a Mercedes or a Red Bull to win unless something different happened.
"We're blessed with a number of great drivers in Formula 1 today. Lando Norris, the Ferrari drivers [Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz], we've got George Russell in the Mercedes. I think there's any number of combinations of drivers that give us a fantastic season and if there's three or four of them mixing it up, that's even better. I'm optimistic about the coming season. I think the good teams will do a good job, they've got the equities and the experience."
Andreas Pereira joins Flamengo on a permanent transfer from Manchester United
(Football news) Andreas Pereira leaves Manchester United to join Brazilian club Flamengo as the club has reportedly agreed a deal to sell Andreas Pereira to Flamengo for £12million. The 26 year old has been on loan at Flamengo since last August, and has since made 25 appearances while scoring five goals. He is now set to permanently depart Old Trafford which is going to subsequently put an end to an 11-year spell with the Red Devils.
Manchester United will receive bonuses for 75% of Pereira’s rights on top of the £12million transfer fee. Flamengo have always been keen to secure the permanent signing of the 26-year-old despite his error in the Copa Libertadores final which cost them the trophy against Palmeiras. Despite Pereira’s mistake in the Copa Libertadores final where his heavy touch in extra-time allowed Deyverson to snatch possession and slot the ball past Diego Alves, making it 2-1 in the dying minutes. He joined United at the tender age of 15 and made his senior debut in a League Cup match where they suffered a humiliating 4-0 defeat to MK Dons in August 2014. After his mildly successful loan spells in La Liga with Granada and Valencia, in the 2018-19 season he started becoming a more regular fixture at Old Trafford.
Pereira had also won the club’s goal of the season award that year for his goal against Southampton, having scored from outside of the box. In total, he has one-cap for Brazil and has made 75 appearances for United in all competitions, he went on to make 75 appearances across eight seasons at the club and briefly looked like he might become an important part of the squad under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, making 40 appearances in all competitions in the 2019-20 season. When Ole just took over he became a regular in the starting line up and played in his favoured number 10 position but ever since the arrival of Bruno Fernandes he fell down the pecking order.
Andreas will be hoping that a new start in Brazil can uplift his career as this season he already has 25 plus appearances for Flamengo and has become an integral clog in the team. Pereira can take inspiration from his club teammate Gabriel Barbosa who had the same career trajectory as him but after his failed move to Inter he came back to Brazil and now has become a regular in the Brazilian national team. He was a standout player at academy level and quickly caught the eye of United fans. After making his debut under Louis van Gaal, he was sent out on loan by Jose Mourinho to Granada and then Valencia as his best moments in a United shirt came over the years largely came in pre-season, but he did start in the famous win away at PSG.
According to Fabrizo Romano’s tweet, Andreas Pereira permanent deal will cost around €10.5m to Flamengo - including a 25% sell on clause, confirmed per Manchester United are ready to accept. Red circleFlag of Brazil. Deal at final stages, new contacts in the coming hours to prepare paperworks.
Nikolas Süle joins rivals Dortmund from Bayern on a free transfer
(Football news) Nikolas Sule has joined Borussia Dortmund on a free transfer from Bayern and he will join the club when the current season finishes. Sule spent the last four-and-a-half years at Bayern after completing an £18million move from Hoffenheim in 2017 and was quite successful in his tenure. However, he will now join Marco Rose's side in June after leaving Bayern, winning four Bundesliga titles, two DFB-Pokals and the Champions League during his 158 appearances in all competitions.
Sule's contract is going to expire in the summer of 2022 as he was unable to negotiate fresh terms with Bayern and other clubs during the January transfer window. Sule spoke to several clubs about leaving Bayern on a free transfer after failing to reach an agreement with the reigning champions over a contract extension. The 26-year-old had been linked with moves to Chelsea, Newcastle and Barcelona during the transfer window but Dortmund were able to fight off the other interested parties to secure Sule's services ahead of the 2022-2023 season. The Bundesliga giants have reportedly agreed on a four-year deal with the defender. The German international also got 37 caps and featured in five of Germany’s World Cup qualifiers last year, and might play a very important role in this year’s World Cup.
The move makes a lot of sense for Dortmund but it is a surprise on the player’s behalf as he was scouted by the likes of Chelsea, Barcelona and Newcastle but he wanted to stay in Germany and help Dortmund win the league after the 2011-12 season. Usually it's the other way round as Bayern are mostly poaching Dortmund players but after just days after turning his contract extension he signed with Dortmund, this will mostly likely make him the main center back for Dortmund next season and also with the possibility of Manuel Akanji leaving in the summer Sule can actually reach his potential of becoming a world class center back
The club's sporting director Michael Zorc confirmed the news by saying: 'We are pleased that we were able to sign a German national player in Niklas Sule and retain him for four years.'
Sebastian Kehl - who will succeed director Zorc in the summer - also shared his excitement about Sule's arrival at the club and said: 'Niklas has shown us in personal discussions that he is very interested in Borussia Dortmund. He has a lot of experience, calmness in the build-up game and the necessary physique to take the next step with us from the summer.'
Chicago Bulls win against the Pacers and the Nets lost against the Jazz
(Basketball news) The Chicago Bulls won the Indiana Pacers 122-115 as Nikola Vucevic inspired them to a very good victory. For the Bulls, Vucevic came up big with a season-high 36 points and 17 rebounds, to which DeMar DeRozan added 31 points, Vucevic went 16 of 21 from the field, and had four assists and three blocks. For the Pacers, Caris LeVert had 42 points as he also had eight assists and five rebounds, the recently signed Terry Taylor finished with 21 points, 14 rebounds and five assists. With this result they moved up to top of the Eastern Conference table as they improved to 33-19.
''It's like people think he has this huge size advantage but I'm not really used to playing against smaller guys like that,'' said Vucevic, the 6-foot-11 veteran who only faced one defender taller than 6-7. ''There were a lot of seals in the post so a lot of my points were easy. It's just a different look and different for me.''
“I was really, really impressed with what he did at the rim tonight,'' Donovan said. ''He had a couple of really good blocks and he made some guys miss some shots as well.''
'It's a disappointing result but there's plenty of good things going on,'' coach Rick Carlisle said. ''We've just got to stay in the fight while we're undermanned.''
''He cut me from my last NBA team and offered me my first coaching job - in the same phone call,'' Carlisle said. ''Anytime someone sees you and believes you and gives you that first opportunity, that's very special.''
The Nets lost their seventh consecutive match, after being defeated by the Utah Jazz 125-102 as Donovan Mitchell made his return - and the Utah Jazz suddenly looked like the NBA's best offense again. For the Jazz, Mitchell scored 27 points after missing eight games because of a concussion, Bojan Bogdanovic added 19 points and 11 rebounds as Eric Paschall scored 16 points, Hassan Whiteside had 15 points and Mike Conley 14 for the Jazz, who have won twice after losing seven of eight injury-riddled games. For the Nets, Kyrie Irving, the only Nets star to play, scored 15 points on 20 shots as Brooklyn rookie Cam Thomas posted a career-high 30 points just four games after setting his previous best of 25 last week. With this result the Jazz improved their record to 32-21 as they stayed 4th in the Western Conference.
''There's so much focus other teams have on him that it frees up other guys offensively -- he's Donovan Mitchell and makes life a lot easier for everybody,'' said Alex Jensen, who was Utah's acting coach with Quin Snyder in the COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
''He was unbelievable,'' Udoka Azubuike said. ''It looked like a video game. There was one time I had to catch myself in the moment because I was just watching him. Every shot was going in. Don is a star.''
''I was just happy to be playing basketball,'' Mitchell said. ''I was joking before the game that I didn't care if the ball went in. I was just happy to be out there running around, guarding, thinking the game and playing with my teammates.''
''We're going through a tough stretch,'' Brooklyn coach Steve Nash said. ''We're undermanned and we're asking guys to do more. We played against an excellent offensive team. ... I just keep telling the guys that it's about staying together through this.''
Also read: Lakers snapped out of their losing streak and the Nets lose 6 in a row
The other results were:
- Hornets 101 - 102 Cavaliers
- Pistons 93 - 102 Celtics
- Raptors 125 - 114 Hawks
- Spurs 131 - 106 Rockets
- Nuggets 105 - 113 Pelicans
- Mavericks 107 - 98 76ers
- Trail Blazers 93 - 96 Thunder
Tomorrow’s fixtures are:
- Magic vs Grizzlies
- Wizards vs Suns
- Hornets vs Heat
- Lakers vs Knicks
- Trail Blazers vs Bucks
- Kings vs Thunder
Fans vote for the 2022 NBA All-Star game starters
(Basketball news) The NBA All Star is just around the corner and the fans have voted LeBron James as the captain of the Western Conference and Kevin Durant as the Eastern Conference captain. James and Durant, as the leading vote-getters in each conference, will be the captains who draft players for the rosters for the Feb. 20 game in Cleveland. LeBron James began his NBA career with the Cavaliers in 2003 and led them to the 2016 championship during his second stint there and was subsequently chosen as an All-Star for the 18th straight time. He has also been a captain every year since the league went away from the East vs. West format. As for Durant’s availability for the game is in doubt because of a sprained knee ligament. He was voted a starter for the 10th time.
2022 NBA All-Star: Eastern Conference starters
Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets)
Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks)
Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers)
Trae Young (Atlanta Hawks)
DeMar DeRozan (Chicago Bulls)
2022 NBA All-Star: Western Conference starters
LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers)
Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets)
Andrew Wiggins (Golden State Warriors)
Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors)
Ja Morant (Memphis Grizzlies)
As for the rest of the players, fan ballots will account for 50% of the vote, with a media panel and current players each accounting for 25%. As for first timers Ja Morant, the No. 2 pick behind Zion Williamson in the 2019 draft, was rewarded for elevating Memphis to a surprising third in the Western Conference. Averaging 25.8 points, 6.9 assists and 5.9 rebounds, he joins Marc Gasol as the only Grizzlies players voted All-Star starters. Wiggins was the most surprising selection. The No. 1 pick of the 2014 draft has blossomed since being traded to Golden State two years ago and is averaging 18.1 points this season for the Warriors who have the league’s second-best record.
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry makes his 8th appearance for the Western Conference, while reigning Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo makes his 6th appearance representing the Milwaukee Bucks’ for the Eastern Conference.Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young returns to the All-Star game in 2022 after making his first appearance in 2020. Chicago Bulls guard DeMar DeRozan has been rewarded for his amazing season he's having as an All-Star starter, his fifth career appearance and first appearance since 2018. Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid also makes his fifth appearance alongside reigning league MVP Nikola Jokic who will play his fourth All-Star game this year.
The bench players for both conferences will be revealed next week on February 3 after a vote from all the coaches in the NBA. Five more players from each conference will be named to complete the team’s out and there will be an additional wild card player for each conference. The game will take place on 20th February 2022 in the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
NBA: The Nets lose their third match in a row and Suns make it 8 straight victories
(Basketball news) The Brooklyn Nets suffered their second consecutive loss in as many days as they lost 124-118 against the Denver Nuggets. For the Nuggets, Austin Rivers, who scored 22 of his 25 points in the second half, and Nikola Jokic's 26 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists as Denver also got 21 points and 10 rebounds from Will Barton and 13 points off the bench from DeMarcus Cousins to win its last three games and eight of 13. For the Nets, they were missing three of their best players, including All-Star guard James Harden as Rookie Cam Thomas scored 25 points and Patty Mills added 21 for Brooklyn, who have lost three consecutive games. With this result the Nets slipped down to third in the Eastern Conference standings,with a record of 29-19. For the Denver Nuggets, they moved up to 6th in the Western Conference table with an improved record of 26-21.
“We haven't played maybe perfect basketball, but we're winning games,'' Malone said. ''Ultimately that's all that matters. A lot of the NBA is like winning the games you're supposed to and that's no disrespect to a team like Detroit or these Brooklyn Nets - obviously all the guys they have out.''
''Just not enough against a very good team,'' Nets coach Steve Nash said. ''We played well for long stretches, but probably didn't take care of enough details to close it out.''
''I'm a scorer. I can score the ball,'' said Rivers, who shot 8 for 11 from the field, including 7 for 10 from long range. ''I really feel like I can do this consistently. But obviously I have my role here. So, I try to come out each and every night and be aggressive and you just look for those opportunities.''
The Phoenix Suns made it eight straight victories after winning 105- 97 against the Utah Jazz. For the Suns, Booker had 43 points and tied a career high with 12 rebounds, Paul scored 15 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter, Booker became the Suns' career leader in games scoring 40 or more points with 16. For the Jazz, Jordan Clarkson, who scored 16 of his team-high 26 points in the fourth quarter. Whiteside had 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Mike Conley also scored 16 points and added 10 assists for the Jazz, who dropped their ninth game in the last 11. With this result the Suns maintained their best record in the NBA as they sit on top of the Western Conference table with an improved record of 38-9.
'It's a good feeling now, but it came with a learning curve,'' Booker said. ''There was a lot of trial and error, but now we've been in enough situations where we know what to expect.''
''You only build that trust by playing together in games, close games like that,'' Paul said
''We're playing without Rudy and Donovan right now. But it doesn't mean we can't run back. ... This is about committing to the things consistently that allow you to (grow),'' Utah coach Quin Snyder said of his team's inconsistent effort.
''Chris can read the game and when Book has it going like that, he typically goes to sets where he can get him in catch-shoot environments,'' Phoenix coach Monty Williams said. ''But when he's in a groove like that, I think our team feeds off it.''
The other results were:
- Magic 102 - 11 1 Clippers
- Pacers 126 - 158 Hornets
- Cavaliers 115 - 89 Bucks
- Heat 110 - 96 Knicks
- Hawks 121 - 104 Kings
- Bulls 111 - 105 Raptors
- Spurs 110 - 118 Grizzlies
- Trail Blazers 112 - 132 Mavericks
Tomorrow’s matches are:
- 76ers vs Lakers
- Warriors vs Timberwolves
NBA: Lakers snap out of their losing streak and Bucks overcome top seed Bulls
(Basketball news) The Lakers got back to winning ways as they beat the Orlando Magic 116-105. For the Lakers, LeBron James scored 29 points and played exclusively at center in the second half as the Los Angeles Lakers rallied from an eight-point halftime deficit as Carmelo Anthony scored 19 of his 23 points in the second half, Russell Westbrook had 18 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists and Stanley Johnson added 11 points off the bench, this was also Carmelo’s 8th 20 point game. For the Magic, Rookie guard Jalen Suggs scored a career-best 22 points for the Magic while Wendell Carter Jr. added 19 points as Mo Bamba had 11 points and eight rebounds. With this result Lakers improved their record to 23-23 as they moved upto 7th in the Western Conference standings.
''He's the most unique player in the history of the game,'' Vogel said of James. ''We won a championship with him playing point guard two years ago, he's been a ball-handling wing throughout his career and he's been playing center for us. It's pretty remarkable, and for him to be doing it at this stage of his career, it's even more remarkable.''
''I was upset about (not finishing Wednesday's game) and I was more upset that we didn't win the game,'' Westbrook said. ''I've been here doing my job since Day 1 and doing everything asked of me. I want to continue to do that for the betterment of the team.''
''We feel like the first game on an East Coast road trip is always the toughest game, and that first half is usually when you're trying to get your legs back coming off a long flight from LA,'' James said. ''We knew we could play a lot better in the second half.''
''They came out with a level of intensity to try and push it back up,'' Magic coach Jamahl Mosley said. ''The same thing happened when we were in Los Angeles.'
The Milwaukee Bucks displayed why they are the defending champions as they beat the Chicago Bulls 94-90. For the Bucks, Antetokounmpo had 30 points and 12 rebounds as Middleton had 16 points and 11 rebounds, while Bobby Portis added 12 points and 13 rebounds. Jrue Holiday scored 13 points. For the Bulls, DeMar DeRozan scored 35 points but missed a 3-pointer that would have put the Bulls ahead with 23 seconds left as Nikola Vucevic had 19 points and 11 rebounds and Matt Thomas added 11 points and went 3 of 5 on 3-point attempts. With this result it meant that the Bulls dropped out of the top spot after the Nets had won their match, which means that the Chicago Bulls have a record of 28-16 sitting second in the Eastern Conference standings. As for the Bucks, they improved their record to 29-19 and sit in 4th place in the standings.
''At the end of the day, a win is a win,'' Antetokounmpo said. ''We did the right things. We created good habits tonight.'
''For Alex to be in the air like that and for (Allen) to take him down like that, he could have ended his career,'' Donovan said. ''(Allen) has a history of this. That, to me, was really dangerous. I really hope the league takes a hard look at something like that because he could have really, really seriously hurt (Caruso).''
''I think Grayson (did) nothing malicious, went to block the shot,'' Budenholzer said. ''I think it's a close call, and they went with flagrant 2. I'm not going to disagree. It's right on the border and that's the direction they went.''
''We talk about versatility in a lot of different ways,'' Budenholzer said. ''And I think you've got to be versatile in the kind of games you can win. I'm very proud of the guys, for them to find a way to win tonight. We had to earn that.''
The Golden State Warriors won a close encounter with the Houston Rockets as they beat them 105-103. Curry nailed a game-winning 20-foot jumper from the top of the key as the clock hit 0.0 and the buzzer blared, scoring 22 points and sending the Warriors past Houston. For the Warriors, Jordan Poole had 20 points as Andrew Wiggins also chipped in with 17 points, Klay Thompson sat out the second game of the back-to-back games. For the Rockets, Christian Wood had 12 of his 19 points in the first quarter and grabbed 15 rebounds and Kevin Porter Jr. scored 17 points for Houston. With this the Warriors stayed 2nd in the Western Conference with a record of 33-13.
''It felt great,'' Curry said. ''The way the whole last 48 hours have been with the way we played grinding out last night, going overtime, losing, the disappointment with that and then coming into this game, the back and forth, just grind-it-out mentality we had, the resilience we showed to give ourselves a chance the second half was impressive
'I was shocked. I just talked to him. It was his first ever walk off game-winner,'' coach Steve Kerr said. ''Obviously he's had plenty in the final seconds. I didn't know that. A fitting end to a grind-out game that we really needed. I think in some ways we had forgotten how hard you have to play to win in this league.
The other results were:
- Spurs 102 - 117 Nets
- Hornets 121 - 98 Thunder
- 76ers 101 - 102 Clippers
- Celtics 105 - 109 Trail Blazers
- Hawks 110 - 108 Heat
- Wizards 105 - 109 Raptors
- Jazz 111 - 101 Pistons
- Nuggets 118 - 122 Grizzlies
Tomorrow’s fixtures are:
- Bucks vs Kings
- Cavaliers vs Thunder
- Suns vs Pacers
- Knicks vs Clippers
Osaka ousted as Kyrgios and Kokkinakis deliver double delight at Australia
(Tennis news) Day 5 of the 2022 Australian Open saw the upsets continue in the women’s draw and a rocky start to the men’s doubles and mixed doubles. Naomi Osaka was only a point away from proceeding to the next round but was not able to taste victory as Amanda Anisimova came back from the dungeons.
It was the perfect gift for the home crowd when the pair of Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis pulled off an incredible win in the men’s doubles. In the mixed doubles, Giuliana Olmos and Marcelo Arévalo showed the exit door for the top seeds.
In women’s singles, two time champion and also the defending one; Osaka had a good start by breaking Anisimova’s serve in the first game as she kept the lead till the end of the first set. In the second set it was again a single break which decided the outcome of the set but this time it was the 20 year old’s turn as she took the set. In the decider, a 5 minute 10th game saw the four time Grand Slam champion lose two match points as it was 5-5 now. In the tiebreak, Osaka fell behind in the start and did not move from there as she lost in the third round for the second time in 2 years. Anisimova defeated Osaka 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (10-5).
Victoria Azarenka recorded her 5th victory over Elina Svitolina as the pair met for the first time at a Grand Slam. Azarenka only conceded 10 points in the first set as she bageled the world number 17 in 25 minutes. Svitolina had 13 unforced errors in both the sets as she lost 8 consecutive games in the match, there was resistance only in the final game of the match which went on for 13 minutes but it was over for the Ukrainian. Azarenka defeated Svitolina 6-0, 6-2.
In men’s doubles, Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić were the best doubles pair in the 2021 season with 9 titles in 12 finals including the Wimbledon and Tokyo Olympics, but all the records did not matter one bit as Kyrgios and Kokkinakis hit 17 aces as compared to 4 by the number one ranked pair in the world. The Australian pair went from surviving the tiebreak to winning it in the first set and seemed to be enjoying their time in the doubles draw. Kyrgios and Kokkinakis defeated 7-6(10-8), 6-3.
In mixed doubles, the top seed of Desire Krawczyk and Joe Salisbury saved multiple set points in the first set tie break and were on their way to victory in the second with a 4-1 lead but Olmos and Arévalo took 6 continuous games to take the set. From there on the pair took the lead in the third set and won it comfortably. Olmos and Arévalo defeated Krawczyk and Salisbury 6-7(7-9), 6-4, 10-5.
In women’s doubles, last year’s US Open finalists Samantha Stosur and Zhang Shuai had to leave early as they were beaten by the younger pair of Bernarda Pera and Magda Linette in the second round. Stosur and Zhang took the first 4 games of the match until they lost the next four but somehow managed to take the lead in the tiebreak. Pera and Linette took the next set in 28 minutes as they took 5 games in a row. The final set saw the last two games stretch for 24 minutes as Pera and Linette defeated Stosur and Zhang 6-7(6-8), 6-1, 7-5.
In men’s singles, there was very little to separate between Carlos Alcaraz and Matteo Berrettini in a four hour third round match. Berrettini was up and away in the first set and it all looked cool in the second as he had a 4-2 lead over the teenager. Alcaraz then picked up a hat trick of games as suddenly he looked on top but could not keep it going as the Italian again raced ahead and in the tie break there was no chance for the Spaniard. In the next two sets, Alcaraz had mid set inspiration which somehow Berrettini could not conquer and it was down the deciding set. Both players were holding serve till the tie break and again it was Berrettini who edged the junior ahead with a 5 point lead to enter the fourth round. 6-2, 7-6(7-3), 4-6, 2-6, 7-6(10-5).
Serbia finally had good news as Miomir Kecmanovic continued his best run at a major by beating Lorenzo Sonego in 4 sets to advance to the round of 16. Kecmanovic had tons of opportunities for a 2-0 set lead but gave it away as Sonego put pressure on the Serbian. The pressure made the 22 year old play even better as he took the third set 6-2. In the fourth set Kecmanovic came back from a 2-4 deficit to climb up and beat the Italian. Kecmanovic defeated Sonego 6-4, 6-7(8-10), 6-2, 7-5.
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.