Paulo Fonseca becomes the new manager of Lille
(Football news) LOSC Lille have confirmed that they have appointed former AS Roma boss Paulo Fonseca as their new manager on a two year contract. This comes after the club and Jocelyn Gourvennec agreed to part ways two weeks ago, after less than a year since they had appointed him.
Following their 2020/21 Ligue 1 title win under Christophe Galtier, a lot was expected from LOSC Lille this season but due to their financial issues combined with the fact that they had to sell players saw the club really struggle in Ligue 1. Not only that, their title winning coach Galtier left for OGC Nice and his replacement Jocelyn Gourvennec, struggled to keep up with the club’s expectations. So much so, that the defending Ligue 1 champions failed to finish even in the European spots, finishing in tenth place on the table. Off the field issues saw Gourvennec leave the club earlier this month and Lille since then have moved and replaced him with former AS Roma boss Paulo Fonseca. The club confirmed that Fonseca has signed a two year contract with the club and is bringing three new coaches to the club with him.
Fonseca was a former central defender who began his career as a player in his native country, for fourteen years, before hanging up his boots in 2005. Since then, his coaching career has been taken notice of. After starting out coaching the youth team of Estrela Amadora, he managed a number of lesser Portuguese teams. Before that he achieved a marvellous feat during the 2012-2013 season with Pacos Ferreira, finishing 3rd in the Portuguese league ahead of the likes of Sporting and Braga. He subsequently helped his club qualify for the Champions League for the first time in Pacos Ferreira’s history. After a failed coaching stint in Porto, he bounced back with Braga to win the Portuguese Cup.
In 2016, he joined Shakhtar Donetsk and built a squad with many Brazilians which was an added benefit as he is Portuguese. He was a profitable choice for both parties. The Ukrainian club achieved the league and cup double during his three seasons in charge of the team, while he mostly made a name for himself on the European scene at the same time. In Rome, Fonseca had a mixed record as in his first season, the Giallorossi finished in fifth place in the Serie A. The following season (2021) they were eliminated in the semi-finals of the Europa League by Manchester United but he was sacked for a poor finish in the league.
A statement released by the club read “LOSC today formalises the arrival of Paulo Fonseca as head coach. The Portuguese technician (49), who worked for FC Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk and AS Roma, signed a two-year contract today with the Lille club. LOSC are pleased to be able to begin their collaboration with their new coach, who arrives accompanied by Tiago Leal (assistant coach), Paulo Mourão (assistant coach in charge of physical preparation) and António Ferreira (assistant coach in charge of goalkeepers). Already present at the club, Jorge Maciel also composes the staff of Paulo Fonseca, as assistant coach. A new page is being written. We wish it long and full of success.”
Fernandinho rejoins Brazilian club Athletico Paranaense
(Football news) Former Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho has rejoined Brazilian club Athletico Paranaense on Monday on a free transfer. The 37-year-old said that he will retire when his current deal expires at the end of 2024. He will be eligible to play in the Brazilian league after July 18, when Brazil's transfer window officially reopens. Athletico coach and former Brazilian coach Luiz Felipe Scolari pushed for his signing. Fernandinho’s last match for City was on May 22, which they won 3-2 against Aston Villa as he went on to win his fifth English Premier League title since he joined the club in 2013.
Fernandinho played for Athletico from 2002-05 before he left for Shakhtar Donetsk, where he was one of the Brazilian stars of the team for eight seasons. His best days came at Man City, where he was one of the most trusted players of coach Pep Guardiola. Fernandinho has also played for Brazil in two World Cups, both ending in disappointment for him. He was one of the most criticized players in the 7-1 hammering by Germany in the 2014 semifinals and then went on to score an own goal in the 2-1 quarterfinals loss to Belgium in 2019. The only major trophy he has won was the Copa America in 2019.
Athletico is currently fourth in the Brazilian championship after 14 matches. The team is also in the knockout stage of the Copa Libertadores. Fernandinho was born in Curitiba, as he began his career at Athletico as a teenager in 2002 before he moved to Ukraine to join Shaktar in 2005. In Donetsk he won six Ukrainian league titles, four Ukrainian cups and the UEFA Cup in 2009. Fernandinho caught the eye of a lot of scouts as City brought him to the club in 2013. By then he was already a Brazil international and currently has gone on to win more than 50 caps for Brazil. When he was at City he won five Premier League titles, the FA Cup, six League Cups.
In April he shocked his manager Pep Guardiola when he announced he is leaving Man City during a pre-match press conference ahead of the Champions League quarter-final second leg against Atletico Madrid. He had said he was desperate for his children to see him play in his native country. Guardiola supported his decision and then described Fernandinho as "an incredible player." Athletico are currently fourth in the Brazilian league and are through to the last 16 of the Copa Libertadores, where they will play Paraguay's Libertad as he hopes to win South America’s most prestigious tournament for his boyhood club
"No doubt this is a personal wish, wearing the Athletico shirt again. I will finish my career having played for three clubs only; two in Europe and one in Brazil," Fernandinho said at a news conference in Curitiba.
Kristóf Milák retains 200m butterfly crown by smashing the world record
(Swimming news) Hungarian swimmer Kristóf Milák broke his own 200m butterfly record at the World Aquatics Championship in Budapest. The 22 year old’s time of one minute 50.34 seconds was 0.39 seconds faster than the record he set in July 2019. France's Leon Marchand finished second, three seconds behind Milák while Tomoru Honda of Japan took third. Speaking afterwards, Milák said “This is my home, the pool belongs to me, lane four belongs to me. I have 4,000 amazing people here to watch me and I couldn't let them down."
In other results, Freya Anderson from Great Britain was fastest into the 200m freestyle final but finished fourth while China's Yang Junxuan secured the gold medal. Bobby Finke from the USA won the men's 800m freestyle ahead of Germany's Florian Wellbrock and Ukrainian Mykhailo Romanchuk. Speaking after the event, Finke said “I knew I just had to just stick with them and stay with what I am good at, the finish. I knew the 50 length was going to hurt but it was worth it.”
One of the most awaited aspects of today’s event is the meeting between American Olympic and world champion Caeleb Dressel and 17 year old Romanian prodigy David Popovici. Popovici won the 200m freestyle final on Monday after being more than a second ahead while Dressel withdrew from the 100m freestyle semi-finals with a medical issue. A statement issued by the United States team on Dressel said “The team will determine his participation in the events later in the week.”
US Open to allow Russian and Belarusian players to compete
(Tennis news) The United States Tennis Association (USTA) announced on Tuesday that the US Open will permit Russian and Belarusian players to compete at the event under a neutral flag. This means that World Number 1 Daniil Medvedev will have the chance to defend his title and consolidate his lead at the top of his rankings. It can be said that the USTA’s decision to not follow Wimbledon may have something to do with the fact that the ATP and WTA removed the ranking points from the prestigious grass court event, an outcome that the US Open has chosen to avoid.
A statement from the United States Tennis Association read: "The USTA will allow individual athletes from Russia and Belarus to compete in the 2022 US Open, but only under a neutral flag. Alongside the other Grand Slams, the ITF, the ATP and the WTA, the USTA, which owns and operates the US Open, has previously condemned, and continues to condemn, the unprovoked and unjust invasion of Ukraine by Russia. The USTA, standing with these other tennis entities, supported the banning of the Russian and Belarusian Tennis Federations from the ITF, and therefore all international team competitions, and the directive for players from those countries to play under a neutral flag when competing outside of international team competitions.
"We recognise that each organisation has had to deal with unique circumstances that affect their decisions. Based on our own circumstances, the USTA will allow all eligible players, regardless of nationality, to compete at the 2022 US Open. The USTA will work with the players and both Tours to use the US Open as a platform to further the humanitarian effort of the 'Tennis Plays for Peace' program. In addition, the USTA will introduce a broad, comprehensive set of initiatives to amplify existing Ukrainian humanitarian efforts, including committing to significant financial support, for which details will be announced soon."
Mike McNulty, USTA Chairman of the Board and President, said: "Tennis has done much through Tennis Plays for Peace for humanitarian support of Ukraine. Unfortunately, the need for help only continues to grow. The USTA will be responding very soon with a broad set of initiatives that will include significant financial assistance and other programs to further support humanitarian relief and the people of Ukraine."
Manor Solomon joins Fulham from Shakhtar Donetsk
(Football news) Fulham are close to making their first major signing this transfer window as Manor Solomon from Shakhtar Donetsk is close to joining them. The club have been in talks with the 22-year-old winger for quite some time and the move hit an impasse in recent weeks. However, according to reports the talks have now progressed again, with Solomon very close to joining newly-promoted side Fulham for a fee around €7 million (£5.98 million).
The Israel international had attracted interest from multiple clubs around the world, including Torino and Club Bruges, but his first choice was always Fulham. Solomon has ampel Champions League experience, he has also has 30 appearances for Israel, scoring six goals. This season he scored four times for Shakhtar in 16 league appearances before the Ukrainian Premier League was stopped by the Russian invasion. In 2020-21, Solomon came into the limelight when he scored twice in the Champions League in two group stage games against Real Madrid, while in 2019 he scored against Manchester City to earn his side a well deserved 1-1 draw at the same stage.
Solomon is poised to become Fulham's first signing of the summer after their deal with Thomas Strakosha failed because of his high wage demands. Losing Fabio Carvalho to Liverpool was the main reason behind recruiting Solomon to replace him, who will have been of the utmost importance at Craven Cottage next season. The bid to sign Solomon is certainly a step in the right direction and an ideal replacement for Carvalho as he can play in behind the striker as a number 10 or out on the left-wing. Fulham fans will be hoping that he can adjust to English football quickly and hit the ground running for Silva’s side.
Solomon may not be quite as much of a goal threat as Carvalho with a record of 22 goals in 106 games. However, he has plenty of experience playing against big oppositions at the top level, having sustained his place in the Israel squad since earning his first call-up in 2018 and has played a number of games in the Champions League for Shakhtar. Not only that, but the fact that he is only 22 makes the deal even better for Fulham. The Championship winners are reportedly in talks to sign Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno who has fallen down the pecking order at the Emirates. Fulham are in the market for a striker and are battling West Ham United for the signing of Watford’s Emmanuel Dennis.
Shuttlers Manashi Joshi, Manisha Ramadass bag gold at Canada Int'l Para Tournament
Ottawa (Canada), Jun 13 (Badminton News) Indian para shuttlers continued their great run of form as they clinched nine medals including two gold by Manasi Joshi and Manisha Ramadass at the Canada International Para Badminton here.
Joshi, the reigning world champion, produced a fine performance winning all her round robin matches over fellow Indian Parul Parmar, France's Coraline Bergeron, Noriko Ito of Japan and Ukrainian Oksana Kozyna.
In the final, Joshi rallied from a game down to take the second game and fought it out till the end before winning 21-18, 15-21, 22-20 against her Ukrainian opponent. This is Joshi's fourth title win in the women's singles event this season.
"Extremely delighted to be winning Gold in Singles & Bronze in Mixed Doubles with @RUTHICK_INDIA at Canada para-badminton international. With this my one month tour to the Middle East & North America ends," tweeted Joshi, who also claimed the mixed doubles SL3-SU5 bronze with Ruthick Ragupathi.
Ramadass too followed her Fazza Dubai 2022 International title triumph by winning the women's singles SU5 gold medal. The 17-year-old from Chennai kept her composure and fought it out to pull off a 27-25, 21-9 victory over Japan's Akiko Sugino in the final. This is her fourth women's singles gold in the SU5 category this season.
However, Paralympic gold medallist Pramod Bhagat had to settle for the silver going down fighting against his arch rival Daniel Bethell 14-21, 21-9, 15-21. This is Bhagat's second defeat to England's Paralympic silver medallist since the Tokyo 2020 Games.
Also Read : Sindhu, Sen eye consistency as focus shifts to Indonesia Open
News Source : PTI
Iga Swiatek wins her second French Open title after defeating Coco Gauff
(Tennis news) World number 1 Iga Swiatek secured her second Roland Garros title in three years with a 6-1 6-3 win over Coco Gauff in an hour and eight minutes on Court Philippe Chatrier. Having taken over the top spot in WTA rankings following Ashleigh Barty’s shock retirement, Swiatek has been in unstoppable form, matching Venus Williams’ 35 game winning streak, becoming the ninth woman to win multiple Roland Garros titles in the Open era and becoming the fifth No 1 seed to win the French Open in 25 years.
Upon receiving the Suzanne-Lenglen cup, Swiatek said: "First I want to congratulate you [Gauff] because you are doing an amazing job. You are progressing all the time. You will find it and you will be there, I am pretty sure of that. I want to thank my team, you guys, I mean, oh my god, without you I wouldn't be here, I'm sure of that. I'm glad every piece has come together and we can do this. We deserve to be here. Thanks for your full support all the time no matter what. Also to my Dad, I wouldn't be here without him, so I have to thank him for everything. Everyone who is in my box, thank you all."
The Polish tennis player also extended her support for Ukraine by saying “I would like to say something about Ukraine. Stay strong, the war is still there. Since my first speech in Doha [in February] basically I was hoping when I am doing the next one the situation will be better. But I still have hopes and try to support so thank you guys.” The 21 year old has been seen with a ribbon in Ukrainian colours pinned on her cap throughout the tournament and was watched over by Polish football player Robert Lewandowski as she lifted her title.
Swiatek raced through the opening set against Gauff as the 18 year old made a nervous start with a double fault in the opening game. However, the American saved four breakpoints in her next service game and finally began to give Swiatek a run for her money. Despite her best efforts, Gauff simply couldn’t keep up against her Polish opponent and eventually succumbed to a straight set defeat at the hands of Swiatek. In the post match interview, a tearful Gauff said “Congratulations Iga, what you have done these past few months has been amazing. Hopefully we can play many finals and I can get a win on you one of these days. I'd like to thank my team. I'm sorry I wasn't able to get this one today."
Ukraine outplay Scotland to reach the World Cup playoffs final
(Football news) Ukraine defeated Scotland 3-1 at Hampden Park to book their place in the World Cup playoffs final against Wales. Scotland will be extremely disappointed by their performance as it is now the 6 consecutive World Cup which will not feature a Scottish team. The Ukrainian team have given their countrymen something to cheer about in these difficult times. Ukraine have only qualified for the World Cup finals once when they reached the Quarter finals in 2006. They will have a chance to make their 2nd appearance with only Gareth Bale's Wales team standing in between.
Scotland lined up with Billy Gilmour in midfield while Scott McTominay was played on the right side of a 3 man defence. The tension and pressure on the game was clearly visible as there were some hard tackling and clumsy fouls from the very beginning. The referee handed out two yellow cards in the very first 11 minutes both to Ukraine. Ruslan Malinovskyi who came very close to scoring in the 9th minute but his shot was saved by Craig Gordon. Ukraine broke the deadlock in the 33rd minute as Andriy Yarmolenko chipped the goalkeeper from 12 yards.
4 minutes into the 2nd half the visitors doubled their lead after Roman Yaremchuk headed Alexander Karavaev's cross into the net. John McGinn had an incredible opportunity to pull one goal back when he had a free header inside the 6 yard box in the 67th minute. The Aston Villa midfielder missed the target completely as Hampden screamed in agony. The hosts did eventually pull a goal back with 12 minutes left via Callum McGregor. The stadium was absolutely buzzing after the goal as Scotland got a lifeline to keep their World Cup dreams alive. In the end it was too little too late as Ukraine negotiated the game really well and even got a third goal via Artem Dovbyk.
Ukraine now have the momentum to take to the Cardiff City stadium where they will take on Wales. Scotland in the end were outplayed at home in what was a complete lacklustre display. Captain Andy Robertson looked like a shadow of the player he was this season. Playing so many games for Liverpool has definitely taken a toll on him. Scotland now have 3 UEFA Nations League matches to focus on where they will look to give their fans something to cheer about.
Nadal and Djokovic win at the French Open while Osaka crashes out
(Tennis news) Rafael Nadal comfortably defeated Jordan Thompson 6-2 6-2 6-2 in the opening round of the French Open. The Spaniard has suffered from a chronic foot injury in the season so far but will hope to secure the Roland Garros title at a venue he has traditionally excelled in throughout his career. The victory against Thompson was his 106th at the French Open, the most wins at a single Grand Slam (Roger Federer is in 2nd place with 105 wins at Wimbledon).
Speaking after the match, Nadal said “Of course the confidence is higher when you win in Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid, or Rome. Without a doubt, things are easy in this world to understand, no? When you are winning more matches and more tournaments you have better confidence. When this is not the case, things are different. But I never expected to be winning 15 Monte Carlos and Romes, so that's the situation today.
“I got injured, and that's it. What happened is past and here we are. We are in Roland Garros. I am here to try my best. And how is my level of confidence? How the things would be or if I didn't get injured, I don't know. We never know. So I'm not a big fan of thinking about the things that could happen if... 'if' is a dangerous word. And then it's the moment to accept the situation and to have the confidence to put all my effort into every single day, to get better and better. Let's see how far I can keep going."
Speaking about Wimbledon, Nadal said “In the end, I understand both sides. I respect and I understand Wimbledon's position, without a doubt, but on the other hand, I understand and I respect too that the ATP is protecting its members. That's it. Is not that one is doing a negative thing and the other one is doing the good thing. Everyone is half. In my personal opinion, (they) have good reasons to make the decisions that they make today. Hopefully ATP and Wimbledon can be together and sit together and negotiate a better future for both sides."
In other results, World Number 1 Novak Djokovic defeated Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka 6-3 6-1 6-0. The in-form Serbian, who recently won in Rome, dropped just four games against Nishioka to seal his passage into the second round by wrapping up the match in just under two hours. Speaking after the match, Djokovic shared his thoughts about Wimbledon as the Grand Slam will not be a ranked event due to the actions taken by the ATP, WTA and ITF. He said “I think collectively I'm glad that players got together with ATP, the governing body of the men's tennis, and showed to the Grand Slam that when there is a mistake happening, and there was from the Wimbledon side, then we have to show that there is going to be some consequences."
Meanwhile, Naomi Osaka crashed out of the first round of the French Open after losing to Amanda Anisimova 7-5 6-4. The Japanese tennis player had withdrawn from the 2021 French Open due to her mental health and raised her doubts about playing in Wimbledon next month. She said “I would say like the decision is kind of affecting, like, my mentality going into grass, like I'm not 100 percent sure if I'm going to go there. I would love to go just to get some experience on the grass court, but at the same time, for me, it's kind of like - I don't want to say pointless, no pun intended, but I'm the type of player that gets motivated by... seeing my ranking go up.”
In other results, defending champion Barbora Krejcikova lost to French teenager Diane Parry 1-6 6-2 6-3 while Iga Swiatek extended her unbeaten run to 29 with a win against Ukrainian qualifier Lesia Tsurenko 6-2 6-0. Britain's Harriet Dart narrowly lost to Italy's Martina Trevisan 6-0 6-2 while Emma Raducanu overcame Czech qualifier Linda Noskova 6-7 (4-7) 7-5 6-1. The British number 1 said after the match “I mean it was an absolute battle. I have to say Linda is playing some amazing tennis and she really came out there firing.
“As soon as I dropped my ball speed, she was all over me and killing me from the end of the first set. So, it was definitely really challenging in the second set to hold on and keep holding my serve and break back a couple of times. I am really proud of the way I fought but all props to Linda as she played an amazing match. Honestly, I have no expectations of myself. You know I am really happy to be able to compete here after Rome. I really fought hard to be here in this second round and I am looking forward to trying to stay as long as possible."
Real Madrid to replace loan-bound Andriy Lunin with David Ospina
(Football news) Real Madrid on Sunday drew 1-1 away at Cadiz in La Liga. With the title already in the bag, Carlo Ancelotti deployed a 2nd string team as Thibaut Courtois, Karim Benzema, Vinicius Jr and Luka Modric didn't even travel with the team. Shot stopper Andriy Lunin got his 2nd league appearance of the season with the other one being a week before against Atletico Madrid. Despite conceding a goal Lunin was named Man of the Match for his incredible performance. He saved one penalty and 5 other shots to secure 1 point for Los Blancos.
The Ukrainian started the first two rounds of the Copa del Rey but Ancelotti decided to bring back Courtois for the quarter finals. Real Madrid signed a 19 year old Lunin for €8.5 million plus 5 million in ad-ons from Ukrainian club Zorya Luhansk. Since then, Lunin has had a few unsuccessful loan spells and his only appearance for Real Madrid before this season was in a 2-1 loss to Alcoyano in the 2020–21 Copa del Rey. In the game against Cadiz, the goalkeeper showed his true quality and proved that he needs to be a first choice keeper at another club as getting ahead of Thibaut Courtois wouldn't be possible. According to reports, Real Madrid are extremely happy with Lunin who is considered to be one of the most hard working players at the club. Reports in Spain suggest that Real Madrid understand that Lunin will want a move away from the club which will most probably be a loan or a permanent move with a buy-back clause.
It is understood that Real Madrid will allow Lunin to leave but they will be delighted if he chooses to stay. Los Blancos have identified Colombian goalkeeper David Ospina as the replacement. Ospina, who is currently Napoli's first choice keeper is reportedly ready to be Courtois' back up in Madrid. Even though Lunin has much more potential and is likely to be the future of the club, Ospina isn't a bad replacement. At the age of 33, Ospina has a lot of experience at big clubs playing in big matches. He can certainly be trusted in the games where Courtois is rested which will most probably be the first 2-3 rounds of the Copa del Rey. Ospina's Napoli contract expires at the end of the season which means that he will be available for free.
Also read: Juventus and PSG to fight for Pogba after the player rejects Man City
Real Madrid, Atletico and Barcelona all draw their penultimate games
(Football news) It was a rather interesting matchday in the La Liga as all of the big 3 dropped points. The results confirmed Barcelona and Real Madrid as the top two meaning that both will be in next year's Spanish Super Cup along with Real Betis and Valencia. Deportivo Alaves were confirmed as the 2nd team after Levante to get relegated. One of Cadiz, Mallorca and Granada will be relegated on the final matchday which is in a week's time.
Real Madrid travelled away to Cadiz in what was a very crucial fixture for the home side. The game presented a rare occurrence as brothers Alex Fernandez and Nacho Fernandez were the two captains. The reverse fixture ended in a goalless draw where Cadiz parked the bus like never before. This time, The Pirates brought the game to Los Blancos and showed intent from the very first minute. With Karim Benzema, Thibaut Courtois, Vinicius Jr and Luka Modric; Real Madrid were considerably weaker which was good news for Cadiz. Their early dominance ended when Rodrygo, playing on the left, stepped on the gas and went past several players before setting up Mariano who scored his first goal of the season. The hosts who were playing for survival found themselves behind after just 5 minutes.
Cadiz didn't drop their heads and continued to trouble the Real Madrid defence. They finally got their reward in the 37th minute as Ruben Sobrino equalised. In the 60th minute, Alvaro Negredo was brought down in the box by keeper Andriy Lunin and the referee pointed to the spot. Lunin redeemed himself by saving Negredo's shot, much to the dismay of the home fans. Cadiz had a lot of big chances to take the lead but couldn't find the back of the net. In absence of Courtois, Lunin put in an excellent performance for which he was awarded the man of the match award. The Ukrainian made 6 saves including the match deciding penalty save. Mallorca scored a 92nd minute winner against Rayo Vallecano to go ahead of Cadiz into safety. Now to survive the drop not only do Cadiz need to win their game against the already relegated Deportivo Alaves away from home, they also need Mallorca to drop points away at Osasuna.
Sevilla managed to hold Atletico Madrid to a draw as they secured their place in the UEFA Champions League next season. Luis Suarez started his last home game as an Atletico Madrid player alongside Antoine Griezmann. The game was pretty even at the start as both teams were a little cautious. The deadlock was broken in the 30th minute as Jose Gimenez leaped highest to head home Yannick Carrasco's corner. Sevilla had a few chances to equalise but none clear cut until the 74th minute after which Youssef En-Nesyri had two great chances to score with his head. The first header hit the side netting while the second one hit the crossbar. The Moroccan finally scored in the 85th minute which guaranteed Sevilla's top 4 spot. Had Sevilla not managed to get the draw their next game against Real Betis would've been a 'winner takes UCL spot' match.
Barcelona were held to a goalless stalemate away at Getafe. Riqui Puig started for the first time since 3rd January. Neither team had any clear cut chances. Memphis Depay who had just about reached full fitness after a long absence had to go off injured once again. It was another poor outing for Ferran Torres who after a good start has been underwhelming. The lacklustre performance is not good for the club even though their 2nd place has been secured. The Blaugrana need a few new signings but going by the rumours their dire financial situation will make it very difficult.
Also read: Vinicius Jr's drastic growth into the deadliest winger in the world
World Boxing Championships: Nikhat, Parveen, Manisha register comprehensive wins
New Delhi, May 11 (Boxing News) Indian boxers Nikhat Zareen (52kg), Parveen (63kg) and Manisha (57kg) advanced to the second and third rounds of the IBA Women's World Boxing Championships in Istanbul after clinching impressive wins in their respective bouts on Wednesday.
Zareen outpunched Mexico's Herrera Alvarez 5-0, while Parveen defeated Ukraine's Mariia Bova by a similar margin.
Manisha, who received a bye in the opening round, too prevailed by unanimous decision against Kala Thapa of Nepal to make her way into the third round.
Zareen, who won the gold at the prestigious Strandja Memorial earlier this year, continued her winning run as she dispatched Alvarez without breaking a sweat.
The 2019 Asian Championships bronze medallist was in complete control throughout the bout, making use of her long reach. She attacked with some sharp and precise punches in her opening bout.
The 25-year-old Telangana boxer will square off against 2021 Asian Championships bronze medallist Mongolia's Lutsaikhany Altantsetseg next.
Parveen, the 22-year-old from Haryana, won by an unanimous decision against the much more experienced Ukranian boxer, who is 12 years her senior, in the light welter division to set the tone for the Indian boxers.
Although the 2017 youth national winner began on an aggressive note, she was edged out by Bova in the opening round, who matched Parveen's energy.
But the Indian showed amazing tenacity as she upped the ante in the second round. She attacked the 34-year-old Ukrainian, landing a flurry of punches to eventually seal the tie in her favour.
After an impressive start to her campaign, Parveen will be up against the former Youth Olympics champion Jajaira Gonzalez of USA in the pre-quarter finals on Sunday.
Manisha, like Zareen and Parveen, didn't have to dig deep as she too eked out an easy win against Thapa.
The tournament features 310 boxers from 73 countries across the world.
On Thursday, 2021 Asian Championships bronze medallist Jaismine (60kg), Anamika (50kg) and Shiksha (54kg) will start their campaigns in the round of 32.
Jaismine will face a challenge from the two-time Youth Asian Champion Porntip Buapa of Thailand in the 60kg category, while Anamika will fight against Romania's Eugenia Anghel.
Shiksha, who was handed a bye in the opening round, will play Argentina's Herrera Milagros Rosario in the 54kg match.
In the last edition of the tournament, held in Russia in 2019, Indian boxers secured one silver and three bronze medals.
Also Read : World Boxing Championships: Nitu sparkles on debut, cruises to second round
News Source : PTI
Anhelina Kalinina knocks out Emma Raducanu from the Madrid Open
(Tennis news) Despite a spirited comeback, Emma Raducanu was knocked out of the Madrid Open’s third round by Ukraine’s Anhelina Kalinina. The first set lasted just 35 minutes as Raducanu couldn’t keep up with the demands and was forced to leave the court for a medical timeout, clutching her back on multiple occasions.
Raducanu put up a valiant fight and took the third round match to a decider but Kalinina displayed nerves of steel to win 6-2 2-6 6-4. Speaking after the match, Kalinina said “I want to give credit to Emma because I think we both played very good quality tennis, the match was great in my opinion. I appreciate in this moment I was maybe luckier and I did better in the decisive points. I am happy I won this match."
The match lasted for a total of two hours and 19 minutes with the last set going on for a mammoth 63 minutes. It was a one sided first set for Kalinina who has only lost three games when she defeated former French Open and Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza earlier this week. Raducanu had no answer to Kalinina’s groundstrokes despite putting up a much improved performance in the second set. As the match progressed, Kalinina couldn’t maintain her intensity which allowed Raducanu to mount a spirited comeback.
When Kalinina found her range again, Raducanu refused to concede and the pair competed hard for the points with the Ukrainian fighting back from 3-1 to win three games in a row. Fatigue ended up creeping in for both the players, Kalinina managed to get a decisive break with a magnificent backhand and eventually won the match when Raducanu volleyed wide. It will be the Ukrainian’s first WTA 1000 quarter-final of her career and she will face Switzerland’s Jil Teichmann.
Raducanu defeats Kostyuk to progress into third round of Madrid Open
(Tennis news) Emma Raducanu displayed a sublime performance to defeat Marta Kostyuk 6-2 6-1 to progress into the third round of the Madrid Open. It was perhaps her best performance since winning the US Open and the 19 year old looks to be in good form, having won 11 out of the last 12 games to defeat Tereza Martincova in the opening round despite a poor start and then defeating fellow teenager Kostyuk.
Speaking after the match, Raducanu said “I'm definitely very happy with my performance today. Marta is a great opponent, we played several times in the juniors and then once last year. I knew it was always going to be a really tough battle so I went out there trying to be really aggressive and it definitely paid off." The pair are almost the same age but Kostyuk has been in the professional tennis circuit since she was 15 years old while Raducanu has been a full-time professional for less than a year.
The pair faced each other last year with Kostyuk winning with an identical scoreline although Raducanu was unwell but the British tennis star made amends this time around, starting on the frontfoot and the 19 year old on her own delivery during the match. The ninth seed will face another Ukrainian in Anhelina Kalinina who defeated Garbine Muguruza convincingly. Meanwhile, Naomi Osaka lost 6-3 6-1 to Sara Sorribes Tormo, who will now face Daria Kasatkina.
In other results, unseeded Bianca Andreescu overcame Danielle Collins 6-1 6-1 and will now face Jessica Pegula who defeated Kaia Kanepi. After the match, Andreescu said “I did not expect for it to go like that at all, but I stuck to my game plan and it worked so I'm very happy.” Jack Draper also defeated World Number 27 Lorenzo Sonego 6-4 6-3 and will face Andrey Rublev in the next match. Having lost six of his last seven matches, Dan Evans enjoyed a morale boosting 6-3 6-4 win over Argentina’s Federico Delbonis.
Indian archers make quarterfinal exits in season-opening World Cup Stage 1
Antalya, Apr 21 (Archery News) The new-look Indian archery teams without some big names produced disappointing performances to get eliminated in the quarterfinals in the season-opening World Cup Stage 1 here on Thursday.
The men's recurve trio of Tarundeep Rai, Sachin Gupta and Jayanta Talukdar got the top billings in the qualifying but the team failed to live up to expectations, going down to their rivals from the war-ravaged Ukraine 1-5 (58-58, 53-56, 55-58) in a lop-sided contest.
The Indians started off with a solid shot of 58/60, but they slipped to 53/60 in the second set, hitting thrice in the red ring (8-8-8) to fall 1-3 behind.
Their 55/60 in the third set was not enough as the Ukrainian trio of Artem Ovchynnikov, Usach Mykhailo and Oleksii Hunbin sealed the issue with a 58/60.
There was worse in store from the fourth-seeded women's trio of Ridhi Phor, Ankita Bhakat and Simranjeet Kaur who capped poor scores of 52/60 twice to lose to lower-rung Italy 2-6 (52-57, 55-46, 52-53, 54-55) and get eliminated.
The only set the Indians won was when their Italian rivals shot a below-par 46.
It remains to be seen how the Indian recurve archers fare in the mixed pair and individual events that will get underway on Friday.
In the compound section, Priya Gurjar and Rajat Chauhan were the best finishers with quarterfinal exits.
Priya lost to Chen Yi-Hsuan of Chinese Taipei 136-143, while Chauhan was ousted by Jean Philippe Boulch of Luxembourg 146-149.
Former Asian Games gold medallist Abhishek Verma lost in the second round in a tight shoot-off finish (9-10) against Frenchman Quentin Baraer after being locked 146-all.
So far, India have assured one medal in the compound men's team event by advancing to the final where they will take on France on Saturday.
India had some big upsets in the selection trials last month as three of the four Tokyo Olympics-returned archers -- including the star couple of Atanu Das and Deepika Kumari -- failed to make the cut.
The only Tokyo Olympian to make the cut was veteran Army man Tarundeep Rai who was joined by another old warhorse in Jayanta Talukdar, who made an International comeback after six years.
The recurve women's team, on the other hand, are mostly youngsters.
The compound team is also without four-time World Championships silver medallist Jyothi Surekha Vennam.
Also Read : Indian compound archers in final of team event, assure of medal in World Cup Stage 1
News Source : PTI
IBA launches new website as part of rebranding campaign
(Boxing news) The International Boxing Association has launched its new website after a rebranding where a new acronym and visual identity were revealed at the Extraordinary Congress in December 2021. The redesigned website offers visitors easy access to information about IBA’s reform process, management team and the Board of Directors as well as technical information, the latest news and upcoming events on the calendar.
The new website also reflects IBA's ongoing commitment to widespread reform, based on three main priorities: governance reform, sporting integrity and financial integrity. By making information clearly available regarding IBA’s governance, policies and finances, the website also contributes to IBA’s significant steps forward in terms of transparency.
IBA President Umar Kremlev commented: “For the last year IBA has demonstrated its determination to deliver positive change by taking big steps towards stability, transparency and integrity. We are doing much more than just making big improvements in individual parts of IBA. We are changing our whole culture in a progressive and lasting way. The new IBA is ready to serve the boxers of today and tomorrow, together with all those who support them.”
The launch of the new website is the first of a two-phase process. For the next phase, IBA will provide ongoing support to the Continental Confederations and National Federations in creating and updating their own websites.
Real Madrid close in on Shakhtar Donetsk right-back Vinicius Tobias
(Football news) Real Madrid are closing in on 18-year old Brazilian Vinicius Tobias. He is currently under contract with Shakhtar Donetsk and plays right back. According to FIFA rules about players playing for Ukrainian clubs, Tobias can join Real Madrid for free and straight away. The player wouldn't have to wait until next season to join the club.
The right back situation is very interesting at Real Madrid. Dani Carvajal, the first choice right back, is injury prone and inconsistent. Lucas Vazquez is good to cover for him but is a natural winger. Nacho is another player who can play there but is often required to cover at left back. Carvajal has been a legend at Real Madrid and despite recent tough times the club has decided to back him. Real Madrid have been linked with right backs like Pedro Porro and Reece James but selling Carvajal has never even been rumoured.
Vinicius Tobias will most likely play for the Castilla team and will be asked to train with the first team once in a while. Alvaro Odriozola will be returning to Madrid after his loan period to add to the mix. If Tobias does impress in Madrid, he may be asked to stay and may even be called up for some games. The likelihood is that Los Blancos will send him on loan next season and then potentially get some money to make profit out of him. The Brazilian is one to look for the future but at the current stage at Real Madrid there looks to be no place for him. Even next season 2 of Real Madrid's 3 available right backs will have to be sold for him to be promoted to the first team.
With support from boxing family, Ukrainian athletes win at EUBC U22
(Boxing news) The Ukrainian team has won medals at this year’s EUBC U22 European Boxing Championship in Croatia thanks to the support of European boxing stakeholders.
The men’s Ukrainian boxing team won six medals in total including two bronze medals, three silver medals along with Yuriy Zakharieiev winning gold in the men’s light middleweight category. The women’s team also won medals with three bronze medals and Karolina Makhno winning gold in the middleweight category.
IBA remains proud of the boxing community and how it has come together to support the Ukrainian boxing team in their attempt to continue to compete. IBA wishes to acknowledge the support of the German Boxing Association (DBV), The German Olympic Committee (DOSB) and the city of Heidelberg for accommodating the Ukrainian boxing team and providing training facilities. Some of the Ukrainian team has returned to Heidelberg to train, some have carried on to Assisi and others to Bulgaria, as they turn their attention toward the EUBC Youth European Boxing Championship in Sofia, Bulgaria on April 10-22.
The Polish Boxing Association (PZB), the European Boxing Confederation (EUBC), the German government, the City of Heidelberg, the Croatian Boxing Federation, the Italian Boxing Federation and the Bulgarian Boxing Federations have all been involved in providing support for the Ukrainian team. Support has been offered both financially and logistically, offering accommodation, travel and training facilities among others. Many team members were at a training camp in Heidelberg before travelling to Croatia to compete at this year’s EUBC U22 European Boxing Championship, while others were provided with dedicated transport from the border between Ukraine and Poland.
IBA is continuing to look for solutions to help support the Ukrainian boxing team in the short and long term as its boxers aim to compete in numerous competitions throughout 2022. IBA is also committed to providing displaced and refugee athletes with opportunities to compete through the IBA Fair Chance team.
Also read: In the ring you face your opponent just like facing problems in life - Indian boxer Akashdeep Singh
Lahiri begins with 1-over 73 in Palmer Invitational; McIlroy opens with 65
Orlando, Mar 4 (Golf News) India's Anirban Lahiri had yet another disappointing start as he carded a 1-over 73 in the first round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament here.
Lahiri, who has missed the cut in his last three starts, had two birdies against three bogeys. The Indian was lying tied-63rd and would need to get a better score to ensure weekend action.
Rory McIlroy, the 2016 and 2019 FedExCup champion, holds a two-stroke lead after a sizzling 65 which included a 41-foot eagle at the par-5 16th. It was the longest eagle putt of his PGA TOUR career.
McIlroy’s lowest start at Bay Hill gave him a two-shot lead over Billy Horschel, Beau Hossler and J.J. Spaun. Adam Scott, Graeme McDowell and Ian Poulter, who dressed in Ukrainian colours, were in the group which was three shots behind at 68.
Lahiri hit eight of the 18 greens in regulation. Starting on the 400-yard par-4 10th, he had a bogey after hitting the green in three and missed a par from just over six feet.
Lahiri then bogeyed the 458-yard par-4 18th, getting on the green in four and one putting.
After a 283 yard drive on the par-5 fourth, Lahiri chipped his third shot to seven feet, which he rolled in for a birdie. On the par-5 sixth, he had a birdie.
Late in the round on the eighth, his 17th hole, Lahiri went into the rough on second but hit to six feet with his third shot. He missed the par putt and finished one-over for the day.
Asia’s best came from Korea’s Sungjae Im, who produced a solid 4-under 68 to match his tournament low score and sit in a share of fifth place.
The 23-year-old Im showed his fondness for Bay Hill Club and Lodge as he took advantage of the par-5s with birdies on each of the four holes on No. 12, 16, 4 and 6, in addition to another birdie on the par-3 14th hole after starting his day from the 10th.
In three previous appearances at the USD 12 million showpiece, which is one of three elevated events on the PGA TOUR, Im finished top-3 in 2019 and 2020 while he came in tied 21st last season.
Countryman Si Woo Kim carded a bogey-free 69 for tied 11th position while K.H. Lee was a stroke back following a 70.
Also Read : Pranavi grabs lead, Hitaashee slips to second spot in 4th leg of Hero WPGT
News Source : PTI
Spurs crash out of the FA Cup while City defeat Peterborough
(Football news) Having already defeated Manchester United in the FA Cup, Middlesbrough caused an upset yet again by dumping Tottenham Hotspur out of the cup competition with teenager Josh Coburn scoring the winning goal in the 107th-minute. Not only did Middlesbrough win the match and progress into the quarter-finals, they were arguably the better side throughout and the result also means that Spurs will be trophyless for yet another season.
Being eliminated from the FA Cup raises a number of questions for Tottenham Hotspur, particularly regarding the future of Antonio Conte and Harry Kane. The results have been very inconsistent of late and at 29 years of age, Kane has no trophies to his name and it’s clear he would like to move to Manchester City in the summer. Only a strong finish in the Premier League with qualification for the Champions League next season can salvage the situation for Spurs but the possibility is looking more unlikely with every passing week.
Speaking after the match, Tottenham boss Antonio Conte said "We lost a good chance to go to the next round and play in the quarter-finals of an important competition like the FA Cup. There is for sure disappointment for the final result. I think this type of game, especially when you play away, against a team that plays in the [Championship] you have to know the difficulty.
"For this reason, we had to try to kill - in a sporting way - the opponent quickly. We have had the chances to score but we didn't take it. And then you give confidence to your opponent and you risk [defeat]. At the end, Middlesbrough won the game and deserved to go to the next round. Today we are talking about a defeat. The last game we won. Two games ago we lost. Three games ago we won. I can't hide the reality. We're having too many ups and downs. This is a problem and maybe it was also in the past. In my opinion, there is only one way to try to improve: to continue to work in every aspect."
Manchester City visited Peterborough United at the Weston Homes Stadium with Oleksandr Zinchenko leading the charge as captain for Pep Guardiola’s side. The decision to award Zinchenko the captaincy was to show support for his home nation of Ukraine with he and Peterborough captain Frankie Kent holding the Ukrainian flag before kick off. Despite the obvious gap in quality, Peterborough proved to be a tough nut to crack for the reigning Champions of England who eventually broke the deadlock through Riyad Mahrez’s trademark left footed strike that went into the back of the net in the 60th minute.
Just seven minutes later, Jack Grealish doubled City’s advantage by capitalising on Foden’s inch-perfect pass that was converted by the 26 year old who scored his first ever FA Cup goal. Despite Peterborough displaying a valiant performance, City’s quality and experience were too great for the Championship side and the six-time FA Cup winners emerged victorious and progressed into the quarterfinals. City will now shift their attention to the local derby as they welcome arch rivals Manchester United to the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League while Peterborough will travel to Huddersfield in the Championship.
Speaking after the match, Jack Grealish spoke in support of Zinchenko by saying “It has been quite emotional. He is such a big character in the squad and has unbelievable quality. He is so underrated as a player. We have had to be there for him. It has been an extremely difficult time for him and for everyone associated with Ukraine. But fair play to him, he came out and captained the side. I think he did brilliantly." City manager Pep Guardiola said “He got not just [support from our fans], but all around the world, the UK, about this insane situation we are living in right now."
FIH bars Russia from taking part in Junior Women's WC for invasion of Ukraine
Lausanne, Mar 1 (Hockey News) The International Hockey Federation on Tuesday barred Russia from taking part in the upcoming FIH Women's Junior World Cup as the global sporting fraternity unitedly continued to boycott the country from international events for its invasion of Ukraine that has evoked worldwide condemnation.
The FIH Junior Women's World Cup is scheduled to be held in Potchefstroom, South Africa from April 1 to 12.
"Following yesterday's recommendation by the IOC to avoid the participation of Russian athletes and officials in international competitions - in order to protect the integrity of global sports competitions and for the safety of all participants – the Executive Board (EB) of FIH has taken the decision to exclude Russia from the upcoming FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup scheduled from 1 to 12 April in Potchefstroom, South Africa," the FIH said in a statement.
The FIH's decision came after it had expressed its full solidarity to the members of Ukraine's hockey community at this terrible time earlier this week.
"FIH is in regular contact with the Hockey Association of Ukraine and is doing its utmost to offer any support it can, in the hope that the Ukrainian team will be able to participate in the upcoming FIH Hockey Women's Junior World Cup," the game's governing body said.
"FIH expresses its strong hope for a peaceful resolution rapidly." Russia's invasion of Ukraine last week triggered global condemnation and the country is being suspended from international sporting events.
Most recently, Russian teams were suspended from all international football, including qualifying matches for the 2022 World Cup.
This was after the IOC Executive Board issued an "urgent recommendation not to organise any sports event in Russia or Belarus." IOC EB also strongly urged International Sports Federations and organisers of events to "do everything in their power to ensure that no athlete or sports official from Russia or Belarus be allowed to take part under the name of Russia or Belarus."
Also Read : Indian men make remarkable comeback to down Spain 5-4 in FIH Pro League
News Source : PTI
Indian chess player Anwesh leaves Kyiv, reaches city closer to Polish border
Chennai, Mar 1 (Chess News) Former Indian national rapid chess champion Anwesh Upadhyaya, who was stranded in Ukraine, has managed to leave the capital city of Kyiv and reach Lviv, close to the Polish border.
The 30-year old, who like several of his compatriots has been stuck in Ukraine amid a Russian invasion, reached the western Ukrainian city of Lviv after undertaking a nearly 10-hour long train journey.
Anwesh said he would look to reach India after resting for a day.
"I will rest for a day and then look at the logistics to reach India," he told PTI from Lviv.
"I am in constant touch with my parents. That will reassure them. I am following whatever advisory the Indian Embassy is providing," he added.
Meanwhile, Anwesh's mother Jayshree said he had managed to board a train out of Kyiv after a long wait and undertook a journey, the most part of which he was a standee.
"We have been anxious over the past few days and thankfully when Anwesh told us that he was in a safe place in Lviv, we felt a little bit relaxed...," she told PTI from Bhubaneshwar, where she and her husband Netaji live.
"We had a video call this morning with Anwesh and spoke just half an hour ago. He is planning to proceed to Poland from there," she added.
Jayshree further said she and her husband were keeping track of the developments in Ukraine through news channels and were waiting for phone calls from Anwesh.
"Though we feel a little bit relaxed after speaking to Anwesh, we are worried about the other Indian students stuck in Ukraine," she said.
Anwesh had moved to Ukraine in 2012 to pursue medicine. He is doing apprenticeship in gastroenterology at a Kyiv hospital. He had planned to return to India in March. But with Russia launching military operations on February 24, flights were suspended, resulting in uncertainty for foreign citizens.
Anwesh had tried to leave Ukraine earlier but could not get flight tickets.
Also Read : Praggnanandhaa stuns world no 1 Carlsen in Airthings Masters chess.
News Source : PTI
Bayern extend their lead after Dortmund drew against Augsburg
(Football news) Bayern Munich extended their lead at the top of the table after they managed a narrow 1-0 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt. Bundesliga top scorer Robert Lewandowski, playing with a blue and yellow armband in the colours of the Ukrainian flag was left frustrated by Frankfurt goalkeeper Kevin Trapp, who also denied Joshua Kimmich and Kingsley Coman with a string of superb saves. Frankfurt had the opportunity to score in the second half when Evan Ndicka headed over the bar from point blank range in the 65th minute. Bayern however were not prepared to end their record scoring run in the league and then grabbed a late winner through Leroy Sane who scored from a perfectly-timed Kimmich through ball which was tucked away comfortably past Kevin Trapp.
“We needed to fight for this win," Kimmich said. "We did it well, had several good chances and should have scored earlier to be more dominant in the end. The way we played was good and this win was really important," he said after Bayern's fifth win in their last six league games. “But it is still a long way to go and there have been cases before when we had a bit of a cushion and then squandered it. We need to protect this advantage until the end."
Dortmund’s week just got worse after they succumbed to a 1-1 draw against Augsburg. Dortmund took the lead in the first half through Thorgan Hazard’s solo effort in the 35th minute but in the second half Augsburg snatched a 78th-minute equaliser through Noah Sarenren Bazee. The result left Dortmund on 50 points in second place, eight behind Bayern and 6 points ahead of Bayer Leverkusen who are third on 44. Dortmund were looking to give something for their fans to cheer for after their midweek Europa League exit to Rangers, Dortmund were still without top striker Erling Haaland and also lost captain Marco Reus ahead of the match because of a knock.
"We tried a lot of things and had a lot of control, but we didn't do everything right," said Dortmund coach Marco Rose, who admitted his team were "losing strength" when Augsburg equalised.
The other results were:
- Hoffenheim 2 (Baumgartner x2) - 1 VFB Stuttgart (Endo)
- Furth 1 (Griesbeck) - 1 Koln (Kainz)
- SC Freiburg (Grifo, Schade, Holer) - 0 Hertha Berlin
- Leverkusen 3 (Alario, Diaby x2) - 0 Arminia
- Monchengladbach 2 (Thuram, Embolo) - 2 Wolfsburg (Wind, Bornauw)
- VFL Bochum 0 - 1 RB Leipzig (Nkunku)
- Union Berlin 3 (Haraguchi, Becker, Awoniyi) - 1 Mainz (Burgzorg)
Strandja Memorial Boxing: Nandini ends with bronze after semifinal loss
New Delhi, Feb 26 (Boxing News) Indian boxer Nandini (+81kg) ended with a bronze medal in the 73rd Strandja Memorial Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria after going down to former world champion Lazzat Kungeibayeva of Kazakhstan in the semifinals.
Nandini lost 0-5 in the bout held late on Friday night.
Former youth world champion Nikhat Zareen (52kg) and Nitu (48kg) are the only Indians left in fray after they advanced to the finals of their respective weight categories.
While Zareen defeated Tokyo Olympics and world championship silver-medallist Buse Naz Cakiroglu, Nitu pummelled her Ukrainian rival Hanna Okhota, who threw in the towel at the end of the second round in bouts held last evening.
The two will fight their final bouts on Sunday.
Nitu will be up against Italy's Erika Prisciandaro, a former youth world championship bronze-medallist.
Zareen will square off against Ukraine's Tetiana Kob, a three-time European Championships medallist, including a gold back in 2009. Zareen had won a gold medal at the Strandja Memorial's 2019 edition.
India won two medals in the last edition with Deepak Kumar and Naveen Boora securing silver and bronze respectively.
The performance of the men's squad was underwhelming this time with none of the seven in fray managing to enter the medal rounds.
In all, the tournament featured over 450 boxers from 36 countries, including traditional powerhouses such as Kazakhstan, Italy, Russia, France and Ukraine, where Russia launched a military operation on Thursday despite global appeal for restraint.
Also Read : Nitu, Anamika through to quarters of Strandja Memorial boxing tourney
News Source : PTI
UEFA moves Champions League final from St. Petersburg to Paris
(Football news) UEFA has announced that the 2022 Champions League final, which was set to be held in St. Petersburg will now take place at the Stade de France in Paris on May 28. A UEFA statement said: "The UEFA Executive Committee today held an extraordinary meeting following the grave escalation of the security situation in Europe.
"The UEFA Executive Committee decided to relocate the final of the 2021/22 UEFA Men's Champions League from Saint Petersburg to Stade de France in Saint-Denis. The game will be played as initially scheduled on Saturday 28 May at 21:00 CET.
"UEFA wishes to express its thanks and appreciation to French Republic President Emmanuel Macron for his personal support and commitment to have European club football's most prestigious game moved to France at a time of unparalleled crisis. Together with the French government, UEFA will fully support multi-stakeholder efforts to ensure the provision of rescue for football players and their families in Ukraine who face dire human suffering, destruction and displacement."
The UEFA executive committee has also decided that Russian and Ukrainian clubs as well as national teams that are competing in UEFA tournaments will be required to play their home matches at neutral venues until further notice. This means Spartak Moscow, Russia and Ukraine will be unable to play their upcoming fixtures in the Europa League and the UEFA Nations League at their home stadiums.
FIFA is yet to announce their decision regarding the upcoming World Cup play-off matches. Russia is scheduled to play against Poland on March 24th in a play-off semi final and the winner will take on one of Sweden or Czech Republic from the other semi-final. FIFA President Gianni Infantino has reiterated that his organisation is looking into the matter with absolute urgency and expressed his hopes that the situation would be resolved in a month.
More to follow as the story progresses.
Ajax draw with Benfica as Sebastien Haller creates Champions League history
(Football news) Ajax drew 2-2 with Benfica after Sebastian Haller became the third player to score in 7 straight games after Cristiano Ronaldo, Robert Lewandowski and Ruud van Nistlrooy who have scored in more consecutive Champions League matches, Ronaldo holds the record to have scored in 11 straight games from 2017 to 2018. Roman Yaremchuk headed home from close range to secure a very hard fought draw for Benfica leaving the tie finely poised for the second leg in Amsterdam.
Yaremchuk rescued the match for the Portuguese team as he reacted quickest after Ajax goalkeeper Remko Pasveer saved a fierce shot from Gonçalo Ramos and the Ukraine international pounced on his mistake to slot the ball in the net, he subsequently received a yellow card for taking his shirt off during his goal celebrations. Yaremchuk was wearing the Ukrainian coat of arms under his Benfica kit and his support in the ongoing dispute. Sebastien Haller on the other hand created Champions league history by scoring in every Champions League game he has played this season but in the first half he put the ball in his own goal and then made up for his mistake and found the net at the right end in a five-minute spell.
Dusan Tadic had scored the opening goal of the game when he fired a fierce volley to put Ajax in front in the first 20 minutes, after playing a brilliant one-two with Noussair Mazraoui, the Serbia international struck a crisp shot into the goal from 12 yards out. Benfica then came out strong after conceding early as they equalised on 25 minutes when Vertonghen’s misjudged shot deflected of Haller who completely misjudged his clearance and put the ball in his own net, but the Ivorian striker put made up for his previous mistake moments later when he easily beat Jan Vertonghen and had drawn a very good save from Odisseas Vlachodimos but he could only parry the ball back to the 27-year-old who just tapped in the rebound from eight yards for his 11 goal in the Champions League. Ajax had a penalty appeal turned down which in turn led to Benfica counter-attack, leading to Yaremchuk's goal.
"We are a bit frustrated. We could and should have done better and we are a bit disappointed to leave here having drawn 2-2," Haller after the match.
Halep suffers earliest exit in 5 years at Doha, Svitolina falls to Martincova
(Tennis news) Simona Halep had to return without a win at the Qatar TotalEnergies Open, Doha. Halep had lost in the opening round in 2016 to Elena Vesnina which was her only first round exit at the event, the Romanian was playing for the 7th year after making her debut in 2012. The former world number 1 had reached the final in 2019 and won the title in 2014 but this time she was beaten by Caroline Garcia.
The pair was meeting for the 9th time on tour, Garcia only had a single victory against Halep which came at Beijing in 2014. Halep’s form and her record should have taken her through but the 28 year old saved 9 breakpoints while converting 2 of her own to take the lead in both the sets. The world number 76 had a much more aggressive forehand and at the same time used dropshots which landed perfectly at the other end of the court. Garcia defeated Halep 6-4, 6-3.
Elina Svitolina was the next high profile player to make an early exit at Doha. Svitolina fell in the first round for the third time in 8 appearances, although it took 3 hours for Tereza Martincova to avenge her defeat at the Indian Wells last year. The Ukrainian had the edge in the shorter rallies in the opening set and in the tiebreak played breathtaking tennis to take the lead.
In the second set, Martincova’s backhand was no match for her opponent as it did the trick during breakpoints. While the 10th seed finished points at the net and the baseline for the world number 42, it was the baseline that helped her take the second set. In the decider, the 16 tour winner took a 5-3 lead and began playing more aggressively. In the 9th game, after an excellent defensive battle the Czech player hit a forehand pass shot which gave her the break and it was the turning point of the match.
In the tiebreak, the former world number 40 maintained her good record at tie breaks by changing the direction of the ball during the rallies. Martincova did not allow Svitolina to rest for one moment as the rallies were becoming more physical for the world number 15 and it took a toll on her in the end. Svitolina saved 12 of the 22 breakpoints she faced as Martincova saved 1 out of 10, both players could not do justice to their service but were successful while returning serve. Martincova defeated Svitolina 6-7(2-7), 7-5, 7-6(7-5).
Jelena Ostapenko bounces back to beat Petra Kvitova at Dubai
(Tennis news) Jelena Ostapenko survived a matchpoint scare in her quarterfinal match against Petra Kvitova at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship. Ostapenko had beaten Sofia Kenin, Iga Swiatek in the previous rounds and had to spend almost 3 hours against Kvitova. The Latvian had a match winning start by taking a 4-1 lead and was only a point away from serving the set until the 31 year old swung the momentum back to her favour as her service returns steered her comeback.
In the second set, the Czech player took a 4-2 lead and was two points away from winning the match at 5-4 but Ostapenko went out of her way to get back into the match. The 24 year old was again a game away from losing the match but sabotaged the serves to force a tiebreaker. In the tiebreak, the youngster had three match points in which one went down due to a forehand return which made her look at Kvitova in disbelief. The former world number 2 also had a match point but an almost perfect backhand denied her the opportunity and a forehand down the line gave the world number 21 a semifinal matchup against Simona Halep. Ostapenko will be facing a former Grand Slam winner for the fourth consecutive match as she looks to stay for 2 more days at Dubai. Ostapenko defeated Kvitova 5-7, 7-5, 7-6(11-9).
For the third time in her career, Veronika Kudermetova made the last four at a WTA 500 event. Kudermetova had beaten Victoria Azarenka and defending champion Garbine Muguruza in the last two matches. The Russian was facing Jil Teichmann for the third time and had a 2-0 record against her with the previous 2 matches going till the decider. This time again it was Kudermetova who kept the record intact with the blend of strong strokes at the baseline and delicate touches at the net. Teichmann did win points from a losing cause as her reflexes off her forehand and backhand put pressure onto her opponent. Kudermetova defeated Teichmann 6-2, 5-7, 6-4.
Marketa Vondrousova is only a win away from becoming the first qualifier to reach the championship match in the event. Vondrousova had a powerful start to every game in the opening set but somehow could not play to the extent of winning the game as Dayana Yastremska took a 5-3 lead. The 22 year old put up a clutch performance to turn around the match and take the first set. In the second set, the world number 38 could troubleshoot and resolve the issues from the set as the Ukrainian was put to the test. A couple of dropshots did give Vondrousova the advantage in the set and her defence too was a level higher later in the match. Vondrousova defeated Yastremska 7-5, 6-4.
Kadhe, Rawat go down fighting; Myneni-Ramkumar in doubles semifinals
Bengaluru, Feb 17 (Tennis News) Indian campaign in the men's singles event of the Bengaluru Open ATP Challenger ended on Thursday after wildcard entrants Arjun Kadhe and Sidharth Rawat went down fighting in their respective second round matches here.
While Kadhe lost to third seed Enzo Couacaud of France 6-7 (7), 5-7, Rawat suffered 4-6, 6-2, 4-6 defeat to Swiss rival Antoine Bellier.
However, two Indian pairs entered the semifinals in the doubles event.
Saketh Myneni and Ramkumar Ramanathan got past Ukrainian-German pair of Vladyslav Orlov and Kai Wehnelt 6-4, 7-6 (3), N Sriram Balaji and Vishnu Vardhan beat the duo of Markos Kalovelonis (Great Britain) and Toshihide Matsui (Japan) 6-3, 4-6, 11-9.
Kadhe compensated his singles loss by pairing up with Alexander Erler of Austria and defeated the Indian duo of SD Prajwal Dev and Niki Kaliyanda Poonacha 6-1, 3-6, 10-6 to make it to the last four.
In the singles match, Kadhe did not show any kind of jitters in his match against Enzo. Despite being broken in the opening game and the fifth game to trail 1-4, he fought back by breaking Enzo’s serve in the sixth and 10th games to restore parity.
As the issue was being settled via a tie-break, Kadhe, with just a point to win the set 6-2, squandered away the opportunity, losing the tie-break 7-9, thanks to his own mistakes that gave his opponent an edge.
The second set saw both the players holding their serves until the fifth game before they broke each other for the next four games.
Despite the 11 double faults by Enzo against four by Kadhe, the Indian could not take advantage of his opponent’s mistakes as he was broken once again in the 12th game to lose the set and the match.
Rawat, meanwhile, traded blow for blow in his pre-quarterfinal match against Bellier until the 10th game where he made two double faults to lose serve and the set.
The Indian played some flawless tennis in the second set, which he won with two breaks in the fifth and seventh games.
The final set was an exact replica of the opening set, only this time, Bellier was brilliant with his ground strokes and broke Rawat’s serve in the 10th game to grab a spot in the quarterfinals.
Also Read : Sania-Hradecka pair enters semifinals of Dubai Tennis Championships
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Yastrameska and Kvitova take out top seeds at Dubai
(Tennis news) Day 6 of the Dubai Duty Free Championships saw 5 seeded players end their run at the event as Ons Jabeur was the only seeded player to survive. Aryna Sabalenka had reached the quarterfinals in the past two years but was beaten by 2013 winner Petra Kvitova. The top seed could not handle the serve of Kvtiova who had also reached the final three years ago and did not need much of her ferocious forehands as her service was creating chaos.
Sabalenka committed 6 double faults in the first set which completely threw her off rhythm, in next she did have a break but the score was levelled immediately. The 31 year old broke serve for the second time in the set to set sail for the next round. Kvitova defeated Sabalenka 6-4, 6-4.
Garbine Muguruza got off the right foot against Veronika Kudermetova, the defending champion managed to take a 4-2 lead in the first set as Kudermetova’s powerful groundstrokes were guided to the right corners of the court. From the second set, the Russian started taking risks even though she was behind and had strong service games which were mostly 3 shot rallies and with quick hand skills at the net it was 1 set each.
In the final set, there was no break of serve until the final game as the defending champion extended the rallies but could not add the finishing touches. The 24 year ended a three match losing streak against the Spaniard who hit 3 double faults to end her title defence. Kudermetova defeated Muguruza 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.
Barbora Krejcikova had a dream debut at the event last year, she made the finals without dropping a set before losing to Muguruza. This year there was no place for the runner up after the round of 16 as she got ousted in straight sets by Dayana Yastremska. Dayana got her first victory at the event a few days ago in her third appearance and viciously attacked the ball to enter the quarterfinals. Krejcikova had trouble with deep shots into her backhand as the world number 146 consistently returned serves to the backhand baseline which worked out till the end.
In the second set, the 2nd seed had few final shots which saw her come close to taking the set. The world number 3 was out of breath to cover the court as her returns were treated severely which led to the tie breaker. In the tiebreaker, the Ukrainian started with lightwork to prevent her from levelling the score and finished the last two points with speeding inside out backhands. Dayana defeated Krejcikova 6-3, 7-6 (7-3).
Ruse secures first top 10 victory at Dubai, Azarenka exits early
(Tennis news) Elena-Gabriela Ruse was making her debut at the Dubai Duty Free Championship along with Paula Badosa. Ruse was making her presence felt from the baseline as Badosa had fast serves but found it difficult to cut short the rallies, a handful of winners helped the Spaniard to level the score in the second set.
In the final set, the 3rd seed was leading 4-1 but the qualifier was yet to give up as she took the last five games for a first the biggest win in her career. The 24 year old was brave enough to go for the winners in the final few games even though she had a lot to cover for. Ruse defeated Badosa 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.
Victoria Azarenka was playing at Dubai after a 11 year absence. Azarenka had reached the finals back in 2010 where she lost to Venus Williams, this time it was Veronika Kudermetova who handed an opening round loss to the former finalist. Kudermetova was surging ahead in the match as she did not allow the 32 year old to take the lead in both sets. The world number 31 is into the round of 16 for the first time at the event and will face Garbine Muguruza for a place in the quarterfinals. Kudermetova defeated Azarenka 6-3, 6-4.
Elina Svitolina showed how familiar she is with the courts when she played against Mayar Sherif in the opening round. Svitolina had won the titles here in 17,18 and reached the semifinals in 16,19 but had faced first round defeats in her last two appearances. The Ukrainian showed consistency in the match as she had few unforced errors and was hitting solid winners.
Mayar had her moments in the match, her dropshots were too good as the 10th seed failed to get most of them. After 2 set points in the first set, Svitolina finally won the game which lasted for 10 mins and in the next set the wildcard was down 4-1. The Egyptian still took points from the net but it was enough for the world number 15 advancing to the next round. Svitolina defeated Mayar 6-2, 6-3.
Ons Jabeur hit over 42 winners in her return to tour after a month due to a back injury. Jabeur had to give everything against Vera Zvonareva as she entered the round of 16 for the third year running. The Tunisian’s forehand was strong and found its way across Zvonareva in the opening set, in the second set the veteran took a 4-0 lead with vintage defensive tactics. In the final set, there were service breaks by both players but the 37 year old lost control of her serve to give the lead in the 11th game. At 6-5, the former world number 2 had three breakpoints but Jabeur’s forehand made sure the match ended before the tie breaker. Jabeur defeated Zvonareva 6-2, 2-6, 7-5.
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.
Mirza-Kichenok to open against Zidansek-Juvan in Australian Open
Melbourne, Jan 16 (Tennis News) Veteran Indian tennis player Sania Mirza and her Ukrainian partner Nadiia Kichenok have been seeded 12th in the women's doubles event of the Australian Open and have been pitted against Slovenia's strong singles players Kaja Juvan and Tamara Zidansek.
Sania and Kichekon have entered the first Grand Slam of the season after reaching the semifinals of the first Adelaide WTA event and making a first round exit from the second.
Zidansek is ranked 29th in the world in the singles chart while Juvan is also a top-100 player at number 89.
In the men's doubles, 41-year-old Rohan Bopanna and his French partner Edouard Roger-Vasselin have been placed in the bottom half of the draw where they will play against wild card pair of Indonesia's Christopher Rungkat and Philippines' Treat Huey in their first round match.
The mixed doubles draw has not been made as yet and it is highly unlikely that Bopanna and Mirza would enter together since their combined ranking won't be enough to enter the event as a team.
No Indian player could make the singles main draw with Yuki Bhambri, Ramkumar Ramanathan, Prajnesh Gunneswaran and Ankita Rain falling in the qualifiers.
Also Read : Tie break thrillers continue to take the spotlight in Australia
News Source : PTI
Yuki goes down in Australian Open qualifiers, no Indian in singles main draw
Melbourne, Jan 13 (Tennis News) Indian tennis player Yuki Bhambri suffered a straight sets defeat to Czech Republic's Tomas Machac in the Australian Open qualifiers here on Thursday, meaning the year's first Grand Slam will have no Indian participation in the singles main draw.
Bhambri lost his second round qualifying match 1-6 3-6.
Machac has a career high ATP singles ranking of 131 achieved on November 8 2021. He also has a career high doubles ranking of 470 achieved on November 1 2021.
On Tuesday, comeback man Bhambri had impressed with his attacking net play in a straight sets win but Ramkumar Ramanathan's 23rd attempt at cracking the singles main draw of a grand slam had ended in a first round defeat at the Australian Open qualifiers.
In the women's singles, Ankita Raina, ranked 203, was blown away by 120th ranked Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko 6-1, 6-0 in just 50 minutes.
Also Read : Emma Raducanu falls in opening match at Sydney Tennis Classic
News Source : PTI
Last week's performers, Bopanna and Sania bite dust in Adelaide-2 event
Adelaide, Jan 11 (Tennis News) Veteran Indian tennis players Sania Mirza and Rohan Boapnna, who enjoyed good runs on the Pro circuit last week, bowed out of the second Adelaide ATP and WTA events after first round defeats with their respective partners, here on Tuesday.
Sania and Ukrainian Nadiia Kichenok, the second seeds, lost the opening round of the WTA 250 event 3-6 3-6 to Czech pair of Tereza Martincova and Marketa Vondrousova in 61 minutes.
They had reached the semifinals last week.
At the men's event, Bopanna and his French partner Edouard Roger-Vasselin lost their first round 4-6 6-3 3-10 in 69 minutes to Americans Steve Johnson and Austin Krajicek, who served extremely well and handled returns smartly.
Bopanna had won the men's doubles with compatriot Ramkumar Ramanathan.
Bopanna made too many errors in the Super Tie-Breaker, in which they fell behind 1-6 from where it was extremely tough to make a comeback.
Both Bopanna and Sania will now play at the season's first Grand Slam, the Australian Open.
Also Read : Goffin and Fognini celebrate comeback with victories at Sydney
News Source : PTI
Bopanna-Ramkumar enter semis with straight set win in Adelaide
Adelaide, Jan 7 (Tennis News) India's Rohan Bopanna and Ramkumar Ramanathan registered a resounding straight-set win to cruise into the semifinals of the Adelaide International 1 ATP tournament here on Friday.
Bopanna and Ramkumar trounced the French-Monegasque duo of Benjamin Bonzi and Hugo Nys 6-1 6-3 in the doubles quarterfinals of the ATP 250 men's event.
The unseeded Indian pair will clash with the fourth seeded Bosnian-Mexican duo of Tomislav Brkić and Santiago Gonzalez for a spot in the final.
The two Indians are pairing up for the first time on the ATP tour.
Should Bopanna and Ramkumar continue their good show the two may pair up for India's Davis Cup tie against Denmark scheduled to be played in New Delhi in March.
Later in the day, India's Sania Mirza and her Ukrainian partner Nadiia Kichenok will take on local favourites Ashleigh Barty and Storm Sanders in the semifinals of the Adelaide International 1 WTA 500 event.
The Adelaide event is a tune up tournament for the Australian Open, starting January 17 in Melbourne.
Also Read : Iga Swiatek continues stern title defence at Adelaide International 1
News Source : PTI
Sania-Nadiia pair enter semifinals of Adelaide International
Adelaide, Jan 6 (Tennis News) India's Sania Mirza and her Ukrainian partner Nadiia Kichenok entered the women's doubles semifinals of the Adelaide International 1 WTA event after beating American Shelby Rogers and Heather Watson of Great Britain in a hard-fought contest here on Thursday.
Sania and Nadiia got the better of their rivals 6-0 1-6 10-5 in a quarterfinal tie that lasted 55 minutes.
The Indo-Ukranian duo will now face Australia combination of Ashleigh Barty and Storm Sanders in the last-four round of the WTA 500 event.
Sania and Nadiia had earlier knocked out second seeds Gabriella Dabrowski and Giuliana Olmos 1-6 6-3 10-8 in the first round.
The Adelaide event is a tune up tournament for the Australian Open, starting January 17 in Melbourne.
Also Read : Novak Djokovic moved to quarantine hotel after being denied entry into Australia
News Source : PTI
Ramkumar-Bopanna enter quarterfinals in Adelaide
Adelaide, Jan 5 (Tennis News) India's Ramkumar Ramanathan and Rohan Bopanna entered the men's doubles quarterfinals of the Adelaide International 1 ATP tournament with a hard fought win over their rivals here on Wednesday.
In the ATP 250 men's event, the Indian combination of Ramkumar and veteran Bopanna, pairing up together for the first time on the ATP tour, had to dig deep to stun the eighth seed American duo of Nathaniel Lammons and Jackson Withrow 6-7(4) 7-6(3) 10-4 in a super tie-breaker in the second round.
The Indians had earlier trounced American Jamie Cerretani and Brazilian Fernando Romboli 6-2 6-1 in the opening round on Tuesday.
They will face the winner of another pre-quarterfinal match between the French-Monegasque duo of Benjamin Bonzi and Hugo Nys and the Belgian combination of Sander Gille Joran Vliegen.
In the women's WTA 500 event here, India's Sania Mirza and her Ukrainian partner Nadiia Kichenok overcame a first-set thrashing to knock out second seeds Gabriella Dabrowski and Giuliana Olmos 1-6 6-3 10-8 on Tuesday.
They now await the winner of the match between Australian duo of Priscilla Hon and Charlotte Kempenaers-Pocz and American-British pair of Shelby Rogers and Heather Watson in the women's doubles quarterfinals.
The Adelaide event is a tune up tournament for the Australian Open, starting January 17 in Melbourne.
Also Read : Novak Djokovic confirms participation in 2022 Australian Open
News Source : PTI
Everton sign Vitaliy Mykolenko and Nathan Patterson
(Football news) Everton this season are struggling as they lie 15th in the table and are only eight points above the relegation zone after their 3-2 loss against Brighton at home. Rafa Benitez has identified and rectified the two full back positions by purchasing both Mykolenko and Nathan Patterson for a combined fee of 29 million pounds.
The 20 year old from Scotland Nathan Patterson signed a five-and-a-half-year contract after Rangers accepted a deal worth about £11m. The right back was pursued in the summer after Evertin had two summer bids rejected, having been identified as a prime young target to challenge and ultimately succeed the 33-year-old Séamus Coleman, the selfless captain who continues to carry a substantial workload as well as heavy responsibility for a dysfunctional team is coming to his twilight of his career and has subsequently lost a touch pace. A younger and fresher full back is what the Evertonian fans as well as the manager wanted.
Nathan Patterson after signing for Everton said, “It was an easy choice to sign. This is a massive club with a huge history and a tremendous fan base. Obviously we aren’t in the place where we want to be right now but we can definitely get there with the talent in the changing room and staff here, and I have full belief we can do that. It was also great for me knowing the manager really wanted me here and that made my decision. When a club really wants you, it makes your mind up early on. I wanted to come here from the very start.”
Everton also signed Vitaliy Mykolenko from Dynamo Kiev for a reported fee of 17.9 million pounds, the Ukraine international has agreed on a four-and-a-half-year deal until the end of June 2026. Mykolenko, 22, comes into the club as a direct replacement for Lucas Digne, who after falling out with Benitez might leave the club. Mykolenko has impressed at both club and international level in recent years as he’s Ukraine’s premier left-back along with that he has won 21 caps for his country and was an integral part of the team which reached the quarter-finals of Euro 2020. Mykolenko has featured regularly in the last two Champions League campaigns and was a key part in his side’s domestic league title triumph in 2020/21. He has also won two Ukrainian Cups with Dynamo.
Mykolenko said: “Moving to Everton is a big and important step in my life. I have always dreamed of playing in the Premier League. English football is where the game was born and I think that it will suit my game very well. I am 22 but I don’t feel like a youngster. I have experience of playing at European level and hope I will continue to improve as a player. I am excited about the opportunity of playing in front of our supporters at Everton. I have seen the last few games at Goodison Park and they were unbelievable. They are incredible fans to whom I feel great responsibility.”
Everton this season have had their worst start as they are on the back of a dreadful run of eight defeats and one win from their past 11 Premier League games. A return of 19 points from 18 league games is the club’s lowest haul since 2005-06. Benítez wanted to strengthen both full-back positions and midfield this month, having spent £1.7m during his first window as Everton had to navigate the Premier League profits and sustainability rules. A fallout over tactics is believed to be behind Digne’s ostracism from the squad, with the manager wanting the creative him to concentrate more on his defending attributes rather than attacking all the time. Digne has now become a sellable asset at a club as Benítez prefers full-back who are tall. Mykolenko and Patterson may not be mountainous but they bring more height to a weak backline than 5ft 9in Digne and 5ft 8in Coleman compared to being 6ft 1in and 5ft 9in respectively.
Sania-Kichenok, Ramkumar-Bopanna advance in Adelaide
Adelaide, Jan 4 (Tennis News) On an all-win day for Indian tennis players, Sania Mirza and the pair of Ramkumar Ramanathan and Rohan Bopanna emerged victorious in their respective first round matches, albeit in contrasting fashion, in the ATP and WTA tournaments, here on Tuesday.
Sania and her Ukrainian partner Nadiia Kichenok overcame a first-set thrashing to knock out second seeds Gabriella Dabrowski and Giuliana Olmos 1-6 6-3 10-8 in the WTA 500 event.
In the ATP 250 men's event, the Indian combination of Ramkumar and veteran Bopanna, pairing up together for the first time on the ATP tour, had an easy day out.
They trounced American Jamie Cerretani and Brazilian Fernando Romboli 6-2 6-1 to set up the pre-quarterfinal with eighth seed American pair of Nathaniel Lammons and Jackson Withrow.
"We had a good match. Both of us served And returned well. We combined well and stuck to the plan," Ramkumar told PTI.
"We had practiced once with the same team before the draw which helped us.
"I am always happy to play with Bops (Bopanna), who is so experienced and is someone who has always been of good support and helps me with my tennis with all the experience he has," he added.
Since India will host Denmark on grass courts in New Delhi in their next Davis Cup tie in March, it is a possibility that Bopanna and Ramkumar, who has developed a fantastic serve and volley game, may pair up for the doubles.
This tournament will give them that opportunity to find out what works for them, if at all the captain decides to field them as a team.
Interestingly, Ramkumar got a chance to play with Denmark's top singles player Holger Rune in the singles Qualifiers and lost 4-6 6-7(7) in a close first round match.
Rune, ranked 103, eventually qualified for the main draw.
The match must have given him a fair idea of what to expect from Rune when he lands in Delhi for the Davis Cup.
"It was a good match. I think, I started off a bit slow where I got broken in the first game. But After that it was an extremely close and hard fought match "I was just a bit unlucky to not have converted those set points. He played good on a few of them and he is quick, so all credit to him. Hopefully I can get him back on grass," Ramkumar said.
The Adelaide event is a tune up tournament for the Australian Open, starting January 17 in Melbourne.
Also Read : Australia overpower Italy as Humbert puts up a show against Russia in ATP Cup
News Source : PTI
Ashleigh Barty, Maria Sakkari leading the charge at Adelaide International 1
(Tennis news) The first WTA event of the season has started and all the top players are lined up for a tight start. This is the second year that the Adelaide International 1 has been held as the inaugural edition was in 2020. The WTA 500 event will help the players for the 2022 Australian Open as they get used to the hardcourts in Australia. Leylah Fernandez had been a machine on wheels at the US Open and will get the pedal going from the start of the season. Here are the top four players to watch out for in the event.
The world number one and the defending champion Ashleigh Barty is the favourite to take the title again as the winds are blowing in her favour. The 25 year old had a great season in 2021 and will look to start the year with a deep run in the opening week. The hardcourts will make sure the Australian feels right at home and prep her up for the major. Barty has chances of playing Cori Gauff in the next round and has a bit of dirt in her parth.
Sakkari has already started her season campaign with a win in the opening round. The third seed had lost in the fourth round to Donna Vekic the last time she played here but this time she is much more determined to make it to the peak. Sakkari has grown a lot in the past 12 months and with her powerful groundstrokes can break new grounds. She can face Shelby Rogers in the next round and has a smooth passage next.
The Spaniard is new to the top 10 but not new in beating top ranked players. She will look to start 2022 with a victory and has already proven herself in bigger tournaments. Badosa has a tough opening match against Victoria Azarenka and even if she overcomes her will mostly face Petra Kvitova. Two important victories in the opening matches will give her the confidence for the final rounds. Badosa played 32 events which was the most by a top 20 player and can take heavy load without breaking down.
Svitolina is one of the most experienced players at the event. The 27 year old has been one of the top ranked players over the past few years and needs to have a breakthrough in the start of the season to keep the flow running for the next few months. Svitolina is playing at the event for the first time, the Ukrainian needs 13 more victories for 400 career victories and will get her form running against Anastasia Gasanova in the opening round tomorrow.
Jurgen Melzer, Viktor Troicki bid farewell to the sport this year
(Tennis news) The 2021 season saw many players saying goodbye to the sport and they won’t be seen once the 2022 season begins. Although only few players are left who have been playing since the early 2000’s, most of them have been affected with injuries and exited the top 100 while some of them are still in the top 50. Let's look at some players who have retired this year.
Melzer has been playing on the tour since 1999 and turned 40 this year. The left hander had 350 wins in his singles and doubles career although he last played a singles match in 2018 at Vienna. His last Grand Slam match was in the 2017 Australian Open against Roger Federer in the first round, Melzer will be remembered for his two set comeback win against Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals of the 2010 Roland Garros. That was the only instance a player beat the Serbian from two sets down, Melzer had also beaten Rafael Nadal at the Shanghai Masters 1000 that year. Melzer reached the fourth round in all the slams and the 2010 Roland Garros Semifinal was his best result.
In the doubles event, Melzer won the Wimbledon and US Open title with Philipp Petzschner. The former world number 8 also has five singles titles and retired from the singles tour in 2018.
Dolgopolov last played a match in 2018 at Rome when he suffered a wrist injury. The Ukrainian last won a title in 2017 at Buenos Aires defeating the then world number 5 Kei Nishikori in the final. Dolgopolov was known for his unconventional strokes as his forehand and backhand were unorthodox but quite effective as it was not predictable. The 6 time tour finalist had a rock solid backhand drop shot which had a huge amount of spin that made even players like Rafael Nadal and Grigor Dimitrov give up the chase.
Dolgopolov’s biggest moment came at the 2011 Australian Open where he reached the quarterfinals defeating Robin Soderling in the fourth round in a five setter match. 3 years later at Indian Wells he took out World number one Nadal in the opening round and went on to reach the semifinals where he lost to Roger Federer. In 2015, the former world number 13 reached the semifinals at Cincinnati as a qualifier.
Troicki was last seen playing a few months in the grass courts at the Cinch Championships where he reached the fourth round. The 35 year old had won three titles in the singles tour and last won a title at Sydney five years back. Troicki, Janko Tipsarevic and Djokovic were Serbia’s leasing singles players on tour until Tipsarevic retired two years back and now Troicki joined his fellow countryman. The 2020 ATP Cup saw Serbia winning the title as Troicki teamed up with Djokovic in the final doubles rubber against Spain and in the doubles he only lost one match against Chile. Troicki was the world number 11 a decade ago and is hanging up the racquets after being on the tour for 15 years.
Paolo has been on tour since 2003 although his first and only title came in 2016 making him the oldest first time singles champion since 1990. The Italian played two main tour matches this year and was one of the most hard working professionals on tour. The 40 year old cracked the top 35 in 2017 after two runner up finishes and a fourth round appearance at the US Open.
“I would like them to remember me as a player who was trying his best every time on court and was fighting until the end,” Lorenzi said. “This was the best journey of my life. I really enjoyed every moment. Every time I was on court, it was a dream that came true.”
Bajrang splits with coach Shako Bentinidis, may tie up with Andriy Stadnik
New Delhi, Nov 22 (Wrestling news) Star Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia has decided to split with Georgian coach Shako Bentinidis and may hire Beijing Olympics bronze medallist Andriy Stadnik if talks with the Ukranian succeed.
Under the guidance of Bentinidis, the 27-year-old Bajrang won an Olympic bronze medal in Tokyo, 2018 Asian Games gold and a bronze medal at the 2019 world championship.
However, there has not been much improvement on his perennial weak leg defence.
"Yes, I am looking for a new coach for the new Olympic cycle," Bajrang told PTI.
"There is nothing wrong with Shako, I learnt a lot from him but a new coach can be tried for better results," he said.
However, according to Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) sources, Bajrang was, of late, not happy with the way Bentinidis carried out his job.
"We have learnt that Shako did not attend to him properly when he suffered an injury in Russia before the Tokyo Olympics. So a change was expected," said the source.
Stadnik is the husband of Maria, a four-time Olympic medallist and two-time world champion.
It has been learnt that Bajrang has approached Stadnik and he is also keen to work with the elite Indian athlete.
"Andriy is in running for the Ukrainian Federation elections. If he wins, then it will be tough for him to tie up with Bajrang. Let's see," said a source.
WFI may also replace Russian coach Kamal Malikov, attached with Ravi Dahiya, the Tokyo Games silver medallist.
Also Read : Wrestling singlet under a burqa: The story of Tahera's struggles
News Source : PTI
Grand Swiss chess: Harika finishes 5th, qualifies for next GP cycle
Riga (Latvia), Nov 8 (Chess News) Indian chess ace Dronavalli Harika held top-seed Mariya Muzychuk of Ukraine to a draw in the 11th and final round of the FIDE Women's Grand Swiss chess tournament here to finish fifth and qualify for the next women's Grand Prix cycle.
Harika, who started the event as the fourth seed, shared a point with Muzychuk in 31 moves late on Sunday to end with seven points and remained undefeated in the tournament.
She was tied for joint third spot with the Ukrainian but eventually settled for fifth place on the basis of the tie-break score.
Meanwhile, 19-year old Vantika Agrawal, who recently became a Woman Grandmaster, finished a creditable 14th with 6.5 points, which included three wins, seven draws and one loss.
In the Open event, Indian GM Nihal Sarin had the best finish, taking 18th place with 6.5 points. Compatriots P Harikrishna and K Sasikiran finished a distant 30th and 31st respectively with six points from 11 rounds.
Sarin, who remained unbeaten in the event, drew his final round match against the talented Russian Daniil Dubov while Harikrishna signed peace with Yuriy Kuzubov of Ukraine.
Sasikiran, who had done well to be among the joint leaders for a while, lost to Ukraine's Anton Korobov to finish with six points. GM Raunak Sadhwani drew with Hans Moke Niemann of USA in the final round to secure 5.5 points and finished 57th.
In all-Indian clash, D Gukesh and R Praggnanandhaa drew in 34 moves. Both finished the event with five points. Praggnanandhaa took the 72nd spot while Gukesh ended up three spots lower.
In the women's event, only Vantika Agrwal apart from Harika managed a draw while the others -- R Vaishali, Divya Deshmukh and Padmini Rout -- lost their final round games.
Alireza Firouzja and Lei Tingjie emerged winners in the Open and women's events respectively.
Naturalised Frenchman Fioruzja scored eight points from 11 rounds after a draw with Grigoriy Oparin and finished half a point ahead of the field. World no 2 Fabiano Caruana took the second place with 7.5 points.
Tingjie dominated and finished on top with nine points, 1.5 points ahead of the rest. The second and third places were shared by Elisabeth Paehtz of Germany, who also secured her final GM norm and Zhu Jiner of China, both with 7.5 points.
Final placings of Indian players: Open: Nihal Sarin (6.5 points, 18th place), P Harikrishna (6.5 points, 30th), K Sasikiran (6 points, 31st), Raunak Sadhwani (5.5 points, 57th), Arjun Erigaisi (5.5 points, 58th), R Praggnanandhaa (5 points, 75th), D Gukesh (5 points, 75th), S P Sethuraman (4.5 points, 83rd), Surya Shekhar Ganguly (4.5, 88th), B Adhiban (4.5 points, 90th).
Women: D Harika (7 points, 5th), Vantika Agrawal (6.5 points, 14th), R Vaishali (5.5 points, 29th), Padmini Rout (4 points, 44th) and Divya Deshmukh (4 points, 46th).
Also Read : Grand Swiss chess: Harika draws with Paehtz, in joint third place
News Source : PTI
Oleksandr Usyk out punched Anthony Joshua to become the Unified Heavyweight champion of the world
(Boxing news) The Ukrainian heavyweight boxer defeated Anthony Joshua via unanimous decision at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday to win the WBO,WBA,IBF and IBO heavyweight titles. Usyk completely out boxed Joshua and won the contest by scores of 117-112, 116-112 and 115-113 in front of 67,000 people. With this result, Usyk became only the third boxer after Evander Holyfield and David Haye to win world titles at cruiserweight and heavyweight.
Usyk's awkward stance and movement caused the British boxer a problem from the get go as the Ukrainian won the first four rounds comfortably to take the score to 40-36, but Josuha with all his experience and power came back in the next two with some crisp body shots and face blows on Usyk as Joshua reduced the deficit to 58-56. After those rounds Usyk just completely dominated the fight, a barrage of power from the Ukrainian almost knocked down the 6’5 British boxer in the final round. In the end Osyk landed 148 punches compared to Joshua’s 123 across the fight as this resulted in only Anthony Joshua’s second defeat in his whole career. With this victory Oleksandr Usyk improved his professional boxing record to 19-0 with 13 KOs and somewhat avenged Wladimir Klitschko’s defeat 4 years ago.
The defeat meant that his possibility of fighting Tyson Fury, which could have been the biggest boxing spectacle in the UK next year fighting for all world heavyweight titles ended. Anthony Joshua has a rematch clause in his contract which could mean a rematch against Oleksandr Usyk in Kiev might be a possibility. Whereas Tyson Fury will try to defend his heavyweight title against Deontay Wilder in the trilogy fight on 9th October.
After the match Usyk said, “This means a lot to me. The fight went exactly the way I expected it to go, there were times when Anthony pushed me hard, but nothing special. I had no objective to knock him out. My corner pushed me not to do that.”
When asked if he will fight Joshua in a London rematch, he says: “I've been working so hard since January. It took me some half a year. I miss my children and I want to go home. I'm not thinking about the rematch. You didn't see the best Usyk. I can be much better.”
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Anthony Joshua after the match said, "I couldn't see in the ninth round, couldn't see anything really because my eye was shut. It was a good experience because, in adversity, you've just got to learn to control yourself, stay on top of things, so when I couldn't see anything - it's the first time that it's happened in a fight. I never tend to look at the opponent. I just tend to look at myself and realise where I went wrong. So it's not so much what he did, it's the opportunities that I gave him. It's not so much him. I'm just going to go back and look at myself and correct my wrongs.”
England and Denmark win to put one foot in Qatar next year but France and Italy both stutter
(Football news) After a scintillating matchweek 4, the World Cup qualifiers were in full flow, with victories for England and Denmark they maintained their perfect record in the qualifiers to put one step in Qatar next year. World Champions France and European Champions Italy are still yet to find their mojo in these ongoing qualifiers.
England won comfortably 4-0 against lower ranked opponents Andorra. Gareth Southgate completely changed his playing eleven as he handed out full international debuts to Patrick Bamford and Sam Johnstone. The star of the show was Jesse Lingard as he bagged two goals and an assist for Saka who scored his first goal for England on his birthday. Harry Kane put the finishing touches by scoring a penalty on a dominant performance for the Three Lions. With this result, England have 5 wins out of 5 matches and lead Group I with 15 points.
The World champions France drew 1-1 to Ukraine in what was their fifth consecutive draw. Dider Deschamps made changes to the starting line up by deploying out of favour Manchester United striker Anthony Martial who only scored his second goal for Les Bleus. Ukrainians under new management showed a good account of themselves as they put the French under the back foot in the first half which resulted in them scoring through Mykola Shaparenko. With this draw, France still lead Group D with 9 points from 5 matches.
European Champions Italy were held to a dull 0-0 against Switzerland, Robert Mancini’s side couldn’t break the resolute defence of the Swiss as they had majority of the possession and more shots on goals. The Italians won a penalty in the 53rd minute which was taken by Jorginho but it was brilliantly saved by Yan Sommer who was arguably the man of the match as he kept the Swiss in the game. With two draws the Italians now have 11 points from 5 matches in Group C but have played two more games then Switzerland.
Also read: Rampant Belgium and England win comfortably but European Champions held at home
Germany won 6-0 against Armenia in a resounding performance, this was Hansi Flick’s first home match and they were rampant in the first half as two goals from Serge Gnabry, Marco Reus and Timo Werner put the contest to an end in the first half itself. The story of the second half was of the debutants as goals from Jonas Hoffman and Karim Adeyemi helped put the Germans top of Group J as they have 12 points from 5 matches.
The Dutch won 4-0 against Montenegro as two goals from Depay helped them consolidate their 2nd position in a tough group G consisting of Turkey and Norway. Spain won 4-0 against Georgia as goals from Jose Gaya, Carlos Soler, Ferran Torres and Pablo Sarabia helped them reclaim top spot in Group B but have played two matches more than Sweden. Belgium continued their winning run as they won 3-0 against Czech Republic as goals from Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard and Saelemaekers helped the Red Devils to 13 points from 5 matches to lead Group E from the Czech’s.
The other notable results were:
Denmark 1 (Jonas Wind) - 0 Faroe Islands
Belarus 2 (Lisakovich, Sedko) - 3 Wales ( Gareth Bale x3)
Slovakia 0 - 1 Croatia (Brozovic)
Gibraltar 0 - 3 Turkey (Dervisoglu, Calhanoglu, Karaman)
Latvia 0 - 2 Norway ( Haaland, Elyounoussi)
Chennaiyin FC rope in Vladimir Koman to complete their foreign signings
(Football news) Two-time Indian Super League (ISL) champions Chennaiyin FC (CFC) have signed the Hungarian midfielder Vladimir Koman,who will be their 6th and final signing of the se
Vladimir has played for Hungary 36 times since making his debut for the senior national team in 2010, he went on to score 7 goals for them as well. He was one of their main players in the country’s third-place finish in the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup as he scored 5 goals for and was the tournament's second highest scorer. He also helped the U-19 Hungarian side to the semi-finals at the 2008 UEFA European Championship.
“Vladimir is the perfect end to our foreign signings. He’s an experienced player who has represented Hungary and turned out in top leagues,” CFC co-owner Vita Dani commented on the club’s new signing.
The Ukrainian-born footballer began his career in 2006 with UC Sampdoria in the Italian league, Serie A. His career spanned over 15 years, the attacking midfielder made 300-plus club appearances, including scoring 22 goals and assisting 23 times.
“I’m happy to join Chennaiyin, because it’s a completely new atmosphere for me and a new experience. I would like to do my best to help the team to be successful and make the fans proud and happy,” Vladimir expressed his excitement on joining CFC.
Also read: Chennaiyin FC sign Polish striker Łukasz Gikiewicz
The experienced campaigner has also played in the Asian countries such as Iran and the United Arab Emirates and is now set to make his ISL debut. Vladimir’s presence will help the CFC’s squad ahead of the upcoming season as they have already signed Rafael Crivellaro, Mirlan Murzaev, Slavko Damjanovic, Ariel Borysiuk and Łukasz Gikiewicz..
“Anything to say about Vladimir is superfluous. His career says it all about him as a player and as a character,” said CFC head coach Bozidar Bandovic.
In 2010-11, Vladimir also featured in the six Europa League matches for UC Sampdoria before moving to the French club AS Monaco, followed by stints in Russia and Turkey as well.
Mary Kom slams IOC Boxing Task Force for 'poor judging', says can't believe I've lost
New Delhi, Jul 29 (Olympics news) Six-time world champion M C Mary Kom on Thursday slammed the International Olympic Committee's Boxing Task Force for "poor judging" in her flyweight (51kg) pre-quarterfinal at the Tokyo Games which she lost despite winning two of the three rounds.
The Task Force is conducting the boxing competition in Tokyo after the International Boxing Association (AIBA) was suspended by the IOC for alleged misgovernance and financial wrongdoing.
"I don't know and understand this decision, what's wrong with the Task Force? What's wrong with the IOC?" she asked in a telephonic interview to PTI after the 2-3 loss to Colombian Ingrit Valencia in the pre-quarters in Tokyo.
"I was also a member of the Task Force. I was even giving them suggestions and supporting them in ensuring a clean competition. But what have they done with me?" she said.
The 38-year-old, multiple-time Asian champions who was eyeing her second Olympic medal after the bronze at the 2012 London Games, said this evening's loss did not sink in even after she had gone for her dope test.
"I was happy inside the ring, when I came out, I was happy because in my mind I knew I had won. When they took me for doping, I was still happy. Only when I saw the social media and my coach (Chhote Lal Yadav repeated it to me), it sunk in that I have lost," she said.
"I had beaten this girl twice in the past. I couldn't believe that her hand was raised by the referee. I swear, it hadn't struck me that I lost, I was so sure," she added.
The Indian trailed 4-1 in the opening round with four of the five judges scoring it 10-9 in favour of Valencia. In the next two rounds, Mary Kom got three of the five judges to rule in her favour but the overall score-line was still in favour of Valencia.
The Manipuri needed a 4-1 verdict in the final round to swing the bout for her.
"The worst part is that there is no review or protest. Honestly I am sure the world must have seen, this is too much what they have done," she said.
"I should have got the second round unanimously, how was it 3-2? What happened was totally unpredictable," she reasoned.
The IOC's Boxing Task Force had promised a more transparent judging system after amateur boxing's credibility took a hit during the 2016 Rio Olympics judging fiasco which led to suspension of 36 officials.
Mary Kom is part of the BTF's 10-member athletes ambassadors group.
She represents the Asian bloc in the panel, which also comprises the likes of Ukrainian legend Vasyl Lamachenko (Europe), a two-time Olympic and world gold-medallist who now plies his trade in the professional circuit, and five-time world champion and 2016 Olympic gold-winner Julio Cesar La Cruz (Americas) among others.
"...in a minute or in a second everything gone for an athlete. This is unfortunate what has happened. I am disappointed by the judging," she said.
But the veteran is in no mood to quit despite her Olympic journey coming to an end with the Tokyo edition. At present, boxers above 40 are not eligible to compete at the Games.
Also read : Indian boxer Simranjit Kaur loses to Sudaporn Seesondee of Thailand in the Round of 16 clash
"I will take a break after coming back, spend time with family. But I am not quitting. If there is any competition, I will continue and try my luck," she said.
The AIBA is trying to regain IOC recognition by ringing in several changes in the administrative set-up under new President Umar Kremlev, which includes the introduction of the bout review system to ensure that boxers' grievances are addressed.
"You can't do that here. I would have definitely protested otherwise," Mary Kom said.
News source: PTI
Indian tennis players need miracle to go deep in draws
Tokyo, Jul 23 (Tennis news) Indian tennis players need no less than a miraculous performance to get close to the medal rounds as an under-prepared team of Sania Mirza and debutant Ankita Raina faces a tough Ukrainian challenge in the opener while Sumit Nagal has got a tough draw in the singles competition starting Saturday. Mirza, who is making a record fourth Olympic appearance, and debutant Raina are going into the Olympics without playing a single competitive match together this year, which is far from ideal preparation for the biggest sporting event on earth.
The last time Mirza and Raina shared the court was in March 2020 during the Billie Jean King Cup.
They will open their campaign against Ukraine's twin sisters Nadiia and Lyudmyla Kichenok.
"Every match is going to be a challenge and we will take one match at a time. Because Of pandemic and quarantine rules we were playing different tournaments. So after Fed Cup we didn’t get a chance to play together," Raina told PTI.
However, Mirza has tons of experience and she is playing with a player who is known to punch above her weight while representing the nation.
Raina has a big heart for fight but it will all depend on the performance of Mirza, who has not been in the best of form with her serve being an issue.
During the recent Wimbledon championships, Mirza gradually upped her game from the baseline but her feeble serve was easily tackled by the rivals.
Interestingly, when Mirza returned to competitive tennis after the COVID-19 induced break in March this year, she and her Sloveinan partner Andreja Klepac had faced the same Ukrainian sister pair and had prevailed. Ranked as low as 137 post maternity break, 34-year-old Mirza has played only eight matches this season with a 4-4 win-loss record.
Also read: Deemed 'extreme risk' nation, India denied entry into ITF World Junior Finals
The 28-year-old Raina, ranked 100, has just one singles main draw victory to show since the beginning of the 2021 season.
In the doubles, she grabbed her first ever WTA title with partner Kamila Rakhimova at the Phillip Island Trophy in Melbourne in February and broke into doubles top-100 but suffered five straight first round defeats after that.
Had it not been for Mirza's Protected Ranking of nine, India would not have a women's doubles team at the Games.
In complete contrast, Nadiia, ranked 44, had played eight WTA Tour events with her sister Lyudmyla Kichenok, ranked 48, in 2020 and one this year.
Together they did not enjoy much success but Nadiia otherwise had decent results with Romania's Raluca Olaru in 2021.
They won the won St Petersburg (WTA 500) in March and reached the semifinals in Stuttgart (WTA 500) in April and ended runners-up in Bad Homburg last month.
If Mirza and Raina win their opener, they could face American eighth seeds Nicole Melichar (doubles world number 9) and Alison Riske (singles world number 36) in the next round.
In the men's singles, Nagal is extremely lucky to get an entry into the Olympics as with a rank of 144 on the cut-off date of June 14, he was far away from making the cut.
However, a spate of withdrawals pushed him inside.
Nagal's recent performances do not inspire confidence though at the start of the season he had pulled off the biggest victory of his career when he beat then world number 22 Cristian Garin.
However, after that he has managed only two quarterfinal appearances at the Challenger level, struggling badly on the Tour.
Nagal had hinted that he was struggling with some health issues and that was the reason for him not getting the desired results.
He faces Asian Games champion Denis Istomin in his first round. The Uzbekistan veteran had won the quota from the 2018 Jakarta Games by taking the men's singles title.
The grinder that Nagal is, there is a possibility of him getting past the 34-year-old Uzbek but the Indian may next face world number two and Australian Open runner-up Danill Medvedev from Russia and that could be end of the road for him.
News source: PTI
Indian GM Nihal Sarin wins Serbia Open chess
Belgrade, Jul 8 (Sports news) Young Indian Grandmaster Nihal Sarin on Thursday emerged champion in the Masters' section of the Serbia Open Chess Championship here.
This is the second consecutive tournament victory for sixteen-year old Sarin after he claimed the title in Silver Lake Open.
The GM from Thrissur, Kerala, on Thursday, played out a draw with GM Vladimir Fedoseev of Russia to finish with 7.5 points out of a possible nine to finish clear first in the 289-player field in the nine-round tourney.
Sarin, who became a Grandmaster in 2018 at the age of 14, won six games and drew three, to remain unbeaten. Sarin, who started the Serbia Open with wins in the first two rounds, ended the tournament with three successive wins and a draw in the final round, finishing a clear half point ahead of the field.
The Silver Lake Open was his first over-the-board event after the COVID-19 pandemic break.
Sarin's compatriot Arjun Erigaisi finished seventh with seven points.
The 14-year-old Indian IM Aditya Mittal also ended up with 7 points and took the 10th spot. He also earned his maiden Grandmaster norm in the process.
Chennai was V Pranav, 15, earned his first GM norm and became an International Master. He lost the ninth and final round game to Ukrainian Kiril Shevchenko and ended with 6 points.
Also read: Croatia Grand Chess Tour event: Anand held to a draw in sixth round
News source: PTI