Nadal aiming to fight for big-three’s record in US Open semi-finals

first_imgRelatedPosts Djokovic clinches fifth Italian Open title Djokovic zooms to 10th Italian Open final Live stream Premier League, La Liga, Serie A on Showmax Pro this weekend Rafael Nadal faces Matteo Berrettini in the US Open semi-finals, aiming to stay alive in his quest for a fourth title. But the three-time champion will also be defending the honour of the big-three in men’s tennis. Nadal is the favourite on paper as an upset-filled US Open reaches the semi-final stage where the honour of the big three in men’s tennis is also at stake. Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Nadal are the trio which has dominated the game ever since Federer won his maiden Wimbledon title 16 years ago. So stark has been their dominance that there have been only five of the 65 Grand Slam finals since that 2003 match in which none of the three has featured. The last was in the 2016 Wimbledon final in which Andy Murray beat Milos Raonic. With Djokovic retiring injured in the last 16 and Federer ousted in the quarter-finals, Nadal is the last one standing as he heads into Friday’s semi-final against Italy’s Matteo Berrettini. In-form Daniil Medvedev and Grigor Dimitrov are contesting the other match. The second-seeded Nadal advanced into his 33rd semi-final at the majors and eighth at Flushing Meadows against Diego Schwartzman. He did waste big leads in the first (4-0) and second (5-1) sets before succeeding in straight sets. “I need to play my best, and today I think I make a step forward, even if I lost my serve a couple of times,” Nadal said afterwards. The winner of 18 Grand Slams will not underestimate the 23-year-old Berrettini who is in his first major semi-final after enjoying a splendid year with titles in Budapest and Stuttgart. He was also in two further finals and was the 24th seed in New York. “Berrettini is having a great year. He’s in semi-finals winning a lot of good matches. You can’t expect an easy opponent. You can’t expect an easy match,” Nadal said.Tags: Matteo BerrettiniNovak DjokovicRafael NadalRoger FedererUS Openlast_img read more

EPL: Chelsea pip Newcastle, move third place

first_imgRelatedPosts Lampard: I still have confidence in Tomori Mane double eases Liverpool to win over 10-man Chelsea EPL: Chelsea, Liverpool in cagey duel Chelsea have climbed into the top four of the Premier League table courtesy of a hardfought 1-0 victory over Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge.After an even opening 45 minutes, the Blues dominated the second half but had to wait until the 73rd minute for their breakthrough, which arrived courtesy of Marcos Alonso’s low strike.Newcastle rarely looked like threatening Chelsea’s second clean sheet of the season as the hosts picked up their fifth successive win across all competitions – the best run of form in Frank Lampard’s fledging managerial career.The Magpies held their own throughout a relatively uneventful first half, offering sporadic threats on the break and largely keeping Chelsea at bay despite the hosts enjoying the lion’s share of possession.The best chances did fall to Lampard’s side, though, and Willian should have done better with the first of those when he was picked out by Callum Hudson-Odoi only to get his header all wrong and steer it off target.Martin Dubravka was forced into his first save of the contest shortly afterwards when Jorginho and Hudson-Odoi combined to tee up Mason Mount, whose shot on the turn was too close to the Newcastle keeper.Steve Bruce’s side were limited to half-chances at the other end, with Allan Saint-Maximin and Joelinton both missing the target – the first with a half-volley from 25 yards and the second with a header while stretching for the ball.Chelsea did not look much more likely to score themselves, though, with Willian dragging an effort wide of the near post and Marcos Alonso sending a tame looping header into the arms of Dubravka.There was further frustration for the hosts shortly before half time when Ross Barkley was forced off with a minor injury, being replaced by Mateo Kovacic, who himself had been an injury doubt heading into the match.Lampard’s side did impose a more prolonged period of control in the second half as they began to dominate possession and territory to an even greater extent, denying Newcastle any opportunity to relieve the growing pressure.A string of corners eventually led to Chelsea coming as close as they had all game when Tammy Abraham climbed highest in the box and crashed a thunderous header against the crossbar, with Dubravka beaten.The home side did not relent either, and Abraham came close from another corner shortly after the hour mark when he once again rose above the defence only to this time put his header over the top.Newcastle may have begun to believe that it would be their day when another glorious chance went begging for the hosts moments later, with Hudson-Odoi’s blocked shot deflecting into the path of Christian Pulisic, who was thwarted by a fine one-on-one save from Dubravka.Dubravka then denied Willian from a tight angle before the breakthrough did finally arrive for Chelsea with 17 minutes of normal time remaining.Hudson-Odoi had been the most dangerous player throughout the 90 minutes and it was no surprise to see him involved as he collected a pass with his back to goal inside the box before laying it into the path of Marcos Alonso, who drilled a low first-time strike into the bottom corner.A loose pass from Andy Carroll almost gifted Hudson-Odoi the chance to get his own name on the scoresheet minutes later, but his finish was tame and easy for Dubravka to gather.Chelsea did look certain to add a second goal 10 minutes from time when Jorginho slid the ball through for Pulisic, who found himself in a two-on-one scenario with Abraham and the keeper. Pulisic duly slid the ball to Abraham, who looked to have a simple tap-in until DeAndre Yedlin produced a stunning last-ditch block to deny a certain goal.The visitors never really looked capable of making that goal-saving interception truly count, though, with their only half-chance in the closing stages seeing Ciaran Clark steer the ball off target with a difficult header.Tags: ChelseaEPLFrank LampardMarcos AlonsoNewcastlelast_img read more

I will be most excited person if I win 2021 AFCON for Nigeria – Rohr

first_imgRelatedPosts Rohr lists Musa, Ekong, 23 others for Cote d’Ivoire, Tunisia friendlies Rohr: Osimhen’ll join a big club Rohr holds virtual meeting with Super Eagles Assistants Super Eagles’ head coach Gernot Rohr on Wednesday said winning the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations for Nigeria would make him the most excited person.Rohr who spoke at a post-match conference in Uyo after his team came from behind to defeat the Squirrels of Benin Republic 2-1 said winning AFCON 2021 was a huge desire.“It will be exciting for me to win the 2021 AFCON title with Nigeria. That’s my desire, and I will be the most excited.“So, winning today (Wednesday) is just the beginning. I can’t be excited until we win the title in 2021,” he said.The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Nigeria versus Benin game was a 2021 AFCON Qualifier and it took place at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo.Rohr, who said Benin Republic have a good team, also noted that the Nigerian side had a good game in the second half.He said: “The Super Eagles had a lot of scoring opportunities, but they failed to convert all of them.”He however pointed out that the game’s opening goal, scored by the Squirrels’ captain, Stephane Sessegnon, in the match’s second minute, was a big shock.He said: “In the second half, we played a very good match, ‘one-touch two-touch’, and we have good wingers. We had a lot of opportunities, and with the changes we made, we did very well. It is good for us.”Rohr also said he could not use home-based players for now in the Nigerian team due to specific reasons“At the moment, the quality we have from abroad is higher than what we have in the home league (Nigeria Professional Football League).”Speaking also, the Super Eagles’ team captain, Ahmed Musa, said the match was “a tough game for our team, even though we won”.He added that the Nigerian side gave their best to prevail over the visitors.On his part, the Head Coach of Benin, Michelle Dussuyer, noted that his team played very well in the first half.He however pointed out that the 45th minute penalty kick his team conceded gave more confidence to the Super Eagles.Also, Sessegnon acknowledged that while the game was not a bad one for his team, the Nigerian side played better.NAN reports that in the game the Squirrels drew  the first blood, while the Super Eagles, through Victor Osimhen, equalised from the penalty kick spot in the 45th minute.Although Nigeria had several scoring chances thwarted by the Benin goalkeeper in the second half, the winning goal came in the 62nd minute through a solo effort by Samuel Kalu.Alex Iwobi, Joe Aribo, Samuel Chukwueze and Ola Aina also shone for Nigeria in the match where the Super Eagles confined the Squirrels to their own half throughout the second half. Tags: Gernot Rohrlast_img read more

Hazard returns to Real training

first_imgRelatedPosts Bale completes Tottenham return from Real Madrid Tottenham sign £25m Sergio Reguilon Tottenham re-signs Bale on loan Eden Hazard is closing in on a return to first-team duty for Real Madrid after taking part in training on Thursday. The Belgian has been on the sidelines since injury his ankle against PSG in the Champions League back in November. He was pictured doing exercises with a ball at his feet at Real’s Valdebebas training base. Zinedine Zidane’s squad were beginning their preparations for Sunday’s trip to Real Valladolid. However, Hazard is unlikely to be risked at this early stage of his return to training. He has scored just once in 13 appearances since his £150million arrival from Chelsea last summer.— Tags: Champions LeagueEden HazardPSGReal Madridlast_img read more

Umtiti suffers injury in training

first_imgRelatedPosts Italy introduces compulsory virus testing for travellers from France Nigeria records new COVID-19 infections, more deaths as figures rise to 57,242 Vidal lands in Milan to complete move from Barca to Inter France defender Samuel Umtiti has picked up a calf injury in just the second session since Barcelona returned to training from the coronavirus quarantine, the Spanish champions announced on Saturday.Barca said that Umiti picked up an injury to his right calf during Saturday’s training session at the club’s Joan Gamper facility, but did not specify how long the 26-year-old would be out for. Spanish media report that he will be unavailable for two or three weeks, so will likely be back in time for a potential June 20 restart for football in Spain as the country attempts to loosen coronavirus restrictions.The 26-year-old Umtiti joined Barca from Lyon in 2016 after he helped France to the final of Euro 2016.He had further success with France in their successful 2018 World Cup campaign.He played 16 times for the Catalan giants this season before play was suspended in March, and was twice injured earlier in the campaign, causing him to miss 10 matches between September and November last year.Barca returned to training at the club’s facility on Friday after almost two months on lockdown in defence against a virus that has killed over 26,0000 in Spain. Footballers in Spain restarted training following the announcement last week of a government plan that aims to end quarantine for professional players.Individual training sessions are the first step to what La Liga hopes will be a return to action in June that will complete the 2019-20 season behind closed doors.Tags: CoronavirusFC BarcelonaJoan GamperSamuel Umtitilast_img read more

Hertha Berlin, Borussi Dortmund players kneel in tribute to George Floyd

first_imgRelatedPosts COVID-19: NCAA to revoke erring airlines licence over non-compliance Club’s server collapses over ticket demand for first Bundesliga game in 11 years FRSC to Schools: We’ll arrest, prosecute drivers who flout COVID-19 rules Players of Borussia Dortmund and Hertha Berlin went down on one knee ahead of their Bundesliga game on Saturday.Their action was a tribute to George Floyd, an unarmed black man whose death in US police custody has triggered protests around the world. Both teams gathered around the centre circle and knelt ahead of their league game, which was being played in an empty Signal Iduna Park stadium in Dortmund due to the COVID-19 pandemic.The coaches and their staff on the benches also joined in.Earlier this week the German Football Association (DFB) ruled that players were free to show their support for protests over the death of Floyd.Several players last week lifted their shirts to show messages in support of the protests.The DFB said it would take no action against symbols of solidarity with the protests in the US and across the world. The protests have been sparked by the May 25 killing of Floyd in Minneapolis after a white officer detaining him knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes as fellow officers stood by.Reuters/NAN.Tags: Borussi DortmundBundesligaCOVID-19George FloydHertha Berlinlast_img read more

Mayweather mocks McGregor

first_imgRelatedPosts Sexual assault: McGregor awaits physical test, video evidence Sexual assault charge: UFC superstar denies allegation, released without charge Spain legend, Casillas, retires at 39 Floyd Mayweather has questioned Conor McGregor’s latest retirement announcement, insisting he will be “waiting” should the UFC star change his mind.McGregor announced he is retiring from MMA for the third time in four years on Sunday, despite making his long-awaited comeback just in January. “Hey guys I’ve decided to retire from fighting,” he wrote across his social media platforms.“Thank you all for the amazing memories! What a ride it’s been! Here is a picture of myself and my mother in Las Vegas post one of my world title wins! Pick the home of your dreams Mags I love you! Whatever you desire it’s yours.”Mayweather – who claimed a stoppage win against McGregor in a hugely lucrative boxing match in 2017 – also took to social media to mock the Irishman’s latest claim.“If I’m not mistaken, didn’t you tell Mike Tyson you could beat me if we fought a second time?” the retired 50-0 fighter said.“Now you’re quitting! I thought you wanted to beat the best? Well, if you decide to come back, I will be waiting to punish you again.” McGregor has fought twice following his loss to Mayweather, bouncing back with a 40-second knockout win against Donald Cerrone after suffering a devastating loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov in October 2018.The 31-year-old has also spoken of a rematch with Mayweather on numerous occasions, describing the American as “far from retired” and insisting the rematch “will happen at some stage”.Mayweather – who recently offered to cover the costs of the funeral of George Floyd, who was killed in Minneapolis late in May – has not fought professionally since the pair’s bout.The undefeated 43-year-old has since started training lightweight Devin Haney, however.Tags: Conor McGregorFloyd Mayweather JrMockeryRetirementUFClast_img read more

Mike Tyson sheds five stone in training

first_imgRelatedPosts Joshua: Why I visited Nigeria as non-champion Mike Tyson comeback fight postponed Joshua resumes training for Pulev Mike Tyson has revealed he has lost nearly five stone (69lbs) since beginning to train ahead of a potential return to the boxing ring.The former world heavyweight champion, who turned 54 last month, says he is currently working out at 15.7st (220lbs), less than Anthony Joshua weighed when he defeated Andy Ruiz Jr in December last year. The Briton weighed 16.13st (237lbs) when he stepped on the scales in Saudi Arabia, losing 10lbs in six months following the humiliating defeat by Ruiz Jr in New York.By comparison, Tyson was at the peak of his powers when he fought at 220lbs, holding a version of the heavyweight title from 1986 to 1990 and regaining the WBA belt in 1996.Now, 15 years after his last professional fight ended in an agonising defeat by Kevin McBride, Iron Mike claims to be back at his prime weight.He told FightHype: “We’ve just been training, boxing, and it feels great man.“I come from 289lbs to 220lbs and I feel good.” Despite struggling with drug abuse in the past, the American has expressed his desire to make a boxing comeback in a three-round exhibition match for charity.Fifty-seven-year-old Evander Holyfield would be willing to take on Tyson, his old rival, in a trilogy fight for charity, while Shannon Briggs has also thrown his hat into the ring.Tags: Andy Ruiz JrFightHypemike tysonlast_img read more

Opportunity Knox for Murtagh

first_imgJohnny Murtagh is aiming for a dream start to his training career with Fort Knox in the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh on Saturday. The multiple Group One-winning jockey has been assisting Tommy Carmody for the past couple of seasons, with a string for prominent owner Andrew Tinkler at Murtagh’s Curragh yard. Murtagh has now taken over the reins, but Fort Knox no longer runs in Tinker’s colours as, after an impressive win in a Guineas trial at Leopardstown, he was bought by Sheikh Mohammed and will run in the famous maroon and white silks at the weekend. “It’s a big weekend and we’ve got a few entries. Fort Knox has come out of his last race well and he’s been doing everything nicely. Crucially he’s had no hiccups since then. He’s going nicely at home and I’m really looking forward to it,” said Murtagh. “Sheikh Mohammed’s team were obviously impressed with Fort Knox and I think a lot of it is to do with him being by Dubawi, who is the stallion of the moment. It’s a big confidence boost that they left him with us. “They saw he was being aimed at the Guineas and we train just down the road so they probably thought it was for the best. “It was a tough race at Leopardstown, the ground was soft and there was a real headwind into your face so he showed a good attitude to win as he did. I don’t think better ground will be an issue. It should be beautiful this weekend anyway, as it’s good at the moment with a few showers about. “It will be some start if he can win, nobody can accuse us of not aiming high, anyway!” Tinkler will still be represented in the Classicafter he paid the supplementary entry fee for Ask Dad. Murtagh added: “Andrew was keen to have a runner in the race which is why he’s supplemented Ask Dad. It’s a race that’s been lucky for him in the past and he’s been placed in it before so he said we may as well try to pick up some placed money.” center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Soldado urges Bale to stay at Spurs

first_img However, were Bale to be sold to Real Madrid – who are ready to pay a world-record £85m for the Wales international – then that outlay on new players would be offset entirely, opening up the possibility of a move for Roma’s Argentina forward Erik Lamela. Soldado, though, would relish the chance to link up with Bale, whose 21 Barclays Premier League goals earned him the Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year and Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year accolades, but could not secure a top-four finish. Speaking to reporters at Valencia airport before boarding a flight to London to undergo his medical, the 28-year-old was quoted as saying by Spanish newspaper AS: “Bale is a great footballer and you can see the effort Tottenham are making to prevent him from leaving. Of course I want him to stay.” Soldado, however, also left with a parting shot at Los Che, adding: “I am leaving Valencia because I don’t trust or believe in this project.” The forward impressed at Valencia after joining from Getafe three years ago, plundering 80 goals during his 146 appearances for the Mestalla club. He netted 24 goals in La Liga last season and has become an established member of the Spain national team, helping his country finish as runners-up at this summer’s Confederations Cup. Soldado hails from Valencia, but began his career at Real Madrid, scoring 63 goals in 120 league appearances for the B side, Real Madrid Castilla. He also represented the senior team on 16 occasions. The Spaniard’s impending arrival boosts a Spurs strikeforce that was found light last season, with Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor the first team’s only out-and-out frontmen. Tottenham have also brought in Belgian winger Nacer Chadli from FC Twente, in a deal which is reported to have cost around £7m. Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas has been keen to bring in some attacking reinforcements and has long been an admirer of 28-year-old Soldado, a prolific goalscorer in the Primera Division. The deal, though, is likely to have cost the north London club around £26million – the buy-out clause which last week Valencia president Amadeo Salvo warned would have to be met to prise the striker away. If so, it would see Tottenham break the club transfer record set when they signed Paulinho for £17m from Corinthians earlier in the summer. Roberto Soldado would love nothing more than to forge a strike partnership with Gareth Bale at Tottenham next season, as he travelled to London to complete his move from Valencia.center_img Press Associationlast_img read more