Melbourne [Australia], February 9 (ANI): Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal on Tuesday stormed into the second round of the ongoing Australian Open.
Nadal progressed ahead in the Grand Slam as he defeated Serbia’s Laslo Dere 6-3, 6-4, 6-1 in the first-round match at the Rod Laver Arena.
World number two Nadal was comprehensive right from the very start and he was seen exhibiting his natural style of play in the first set, and this saw Nadal wrapping up the first set in no time.
Nadal continued his form in the second and third set as well, and in the end, he had no difficulty in wrapping up the match.
Before coming into this match, Nadal had missed few ATP Cup matches due to back soreness, but there was no casual gameplay from Nadal in the first round of the Australian Open as he exhibited no mercy.
Nadal will now be in action in the second-round match on Thursday in the ongoing Australian Open. In 2020’s Australian Open, Nadal had managed to reach the finals, but he suffered a loss to world number one Novak Djokovic.
Earlier in the day, Daniel Medvedev also stormed into the second round of the Australian Open as he defeated Vasek Pospisil 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 in the first round.
On Monday, Dominic Thiem and Djokovic had registered wins in their respective first-round matches of the Australian Open.
Serena Williams, Venus Williams, and Naomi Osaka also progressed ahead in the women singles in the ongoing Australian Open. (ANI)
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Champions League: Liverpool, RB Leipzig to play second-leg tie in Budapest
Liverpool [UK], March 4 (ANI): Liverpool on Thursday announced that the club’s Champions League last-16 second-leg match against RB Leipzig will be played in Budapest.
Puskas Arena in the Hungarian capital will host the fixture, the same venue where the teams contested the first-leg on February 17.
“Liverpool can confirm the Champions League last-16, second-leg tie with RB Leipzig will be played in Budapest,” Liverpool said in a statement.
The Premier League side said that the COVID-19 regulations in Germany have prevented Leipzig from traveling to the United Kingdom to play the match at Anfield as planned. The Reds, who hold a 2-0 lead from the first leg thanks to goals from Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, will be classed as the ‘home’ club for the game.
RB Leipzig also made an announcement in this regard. “The second leg of our @ChampionsLeague last 16 tie against @LFC will also take place at the Puskas Arena in Budapest,” the German club tweeted.
The match between Liverpool and RB Leipzig will be played on March 11 (local time). (ANI)
Ind vs Eng, 4th Test: Axar, Ashwin shine to bundle out visitors for 205
Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], March 4 (ANI): All-rounder Axar Patel once again hogged the limelight with his four-wicket haul while Ravichandran Ashwin scalped three as England were bundled out for 205 on the first day of the fourth and final Test against India at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Thursday.
While it was Mohammed Siraj who picked the all-important wicket of Joe Root in the first session, Ravichandran Ashwin broke the deadlock in the third session as he dismissed Ollie Pope. Pope’s wicket sparked a collapse from which England couldn’t really recover. The visitors went down from 166/5 to 205 all out within 14.3 overs, losing half of their side for 39 runs as Axar struck twice in one over.
Ashwin dismissed Pope a few minutes into the third session. Pope got unlucky as the inside edge hit the back pad and popped to short-leg fielder Shubman Gill.
India’s senior off-spinner then dismissed Ben Foakes in the 66th over to reduce the visitors to 170/7. Minutes later Axar dismissed Daniel Lawrence and Dominic Bess to leave England reeling at 189/9.
It looked as the visiting side would get bundled out soon, but Jack Leach and James Anderson took England over the 200-run mark for the first time since their marathon total of 578 in the opening Test in Chennai. But Ashwin ended Leach’s stint shortly after England went past the 200-run mark to pick his third scalp of the innings.
In the second session, Pope and Dan Lawrence took England to tea at 144/5. The English batsmen showed grit and determination but the hosts managed to take two wickets post-lunch to stay on top. The likes of Bairstow and Stokes showed fight and did not succumb to the constant pressure from the Indian bowlers. But Bairstow and Stokes both fell against the run of play and the duo of Pope and Lawrence then showed that they are here to compete and make the hosts bowling attack earn their wickets. Earlier, in the first session, the hosts made a quick start, reducing England to 30/3.
Brief Scores: England 205 (Ben Stokes 55; Axar Patel 4-68, Ravichandran Ashwin 3-47) vs India (ANI)
Ind vs Eng, 4th Test: Archer not playing due to ongoing right elbow issue, says ECB
Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], March 4 (ANI): England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Thursday said that Jofra Archer was not included in the playing XI for the fourth Test against India due to the pacer’s ongoing elbow issue.
“Jofra Archer is not playing in this Test match due to his ongoing right elbow issue. The ECB medical team will provide an update in due course,” ECB said in a media statement.
In the fourth and final Test against India, England made two changes to their lineup as they brought in Dominic Bess and Dan Lawrence in place of Stuart Broad and Archer.
ECB also said that Ben Stokes has had an upset stomach. “Ben Stokes has had an upset stomach, the same issue that has affected other members (in) the touring party. It is not expected to keep him off the field,” the statement read.
England performed better with the bat in the fourth Test, compared to the third Test, in which they were beaten by India within two days. However, India is still looking in control of the match as they ended the visitors’ first innings on 205. Having won the toss and batted first, the visitors failed to ride home the advantage even as quite a few in the top-order did the hard yards, but failed to convert the starts into a big score.
Stokes was the highest run-getter from the team, scoring 55, followed by Dan Lawrence (46). (ANI)
Mission Olympic Cell approves Kushagra’s 3-month training with Kelsheimer in USA
New Delhi [India], March 4 (ANI): The Mission Olympic Cell has approved a three-month training-cum-competition trip in the USA for swimmer Kushagra Rawat who is a part of the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (Development group).
During his three-month stint in the USA, he will train with Dave Kelsheimer who was the assistant open water swimming coach for the 2016 USA Olympic swimming team. He will also be participating in competitions in the USA to achieve the Olympic A cut for direct qualification.
Rawat, in a statement, said: “I trained under this coach in 2020 when I was in Australia. Some of the swimmers whom I trained with, have already achieved the Olympic A cut. I know the coach and his training patterns, which will be beneficial.”
The freestyle swimmer has already made the Olympic B cut in three events, 400m, 800m and 1500m. He is confident that with his stint in the USA, he will achieve an Olympic A cut. He was last week in Bengaluru training under renowned international sports scientist Genadijus Sokolovas, who was on a visit supported by TOPS.
On his stint with Sokolovas, Rawat said: “I learnt a lot about swimming techniques. After all the analysis, I am more aware of myself.”
Kelsheimer is currently the head coach of Team Santa Monica, California and was the USA swimming coach at the 2017 and 2019 World Championships. He has trained a number of Olympians including Jordan Wilimovsky who finished fourth in the 1500 metres and fifth in the 10000 metres open-water marathon at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Secretary-General, Swimming Federation of India, Monal Chokshi has welcomed the decision to allow Rawat to train abroad saying: “We are very glad that Kushagra Rawat’s proposal to train in USA with one of the leading coaches has been approved under the TOPS scheme. Kushagra is aiming for the A qualification standard for Tokyo 2020 having achieved the B qualification in 3 individual events. He is one of the top 5 Indian swimmers in contention for the upcoming Olympics along with Srihari Nataraj and Sajan Prakash who have already achieved the B standard.”
The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has written to the Ministry of External Affairs to expedite the visa process so that there is no delay in him travelling to the USA. (ANI)
Yuvraj, Gibbs welcome Pollard into six 6s club
New Delhi [India], March 4 (ANI): Former cricketers Yuvraj Singh and Herschelle Gibbs on Thursday welcomed all-rounder Kieron Pollard to the 6 sixes club as the West Indies skipper achieved the feat in the first T20I against Sri Lanka.
With these six 6s, Pollard has joined Gibbs and Yuvraj in the elusive list. Pollard hit Sri Lanka’s Akila Dananjaya for six 6s in the sixth over of the innings as the hosts were chasing a target of 132 runs to go 1-0 up in the three-match series.
Taking to Twitter Yuvraj wrote, “Welcome to the club @KieronPollard55 #sixsixes you beauty!!!”
“March a popular month for hitting 6x6s 16/3/2007 and 3/3/2021 congrats @KieronPollard55,” Gibbs tweeted.
The right-handed batsman hit the first ball over the long-on fence, the second ball was dispatched straight down the ground while the third was hit to the long-off fence.
Continuing the carnage, Pollard dispatched the fourth ball to the mid-wicket boundary, the fifth ball was once again hit down the ground and the final ball of the over was hit to mid-wicket.
After hitting the final ball of the over into the stands, Pollard bowed down to acknowledge the roaring reception he was receiving from his team-mates.
Pollard is now the second batsman after Yuvraj to achieve this feat in the shortest format. Yuvraj had hit 6 sixes in an over during the 2007 World Cup against England. While Gibbs achieved the feat against the Netherlands during the 50-over World Cup in 2007. (ANI)
Boxam International: Jasmine marks her arrival with thumping win
New Delhi [India], March 4 (ANI): Young boxing talent Jasmine made a dazzling start to her senior international career and sent star USA boxer Andrea Medina packing 5-0 to enter the 57kg semi-finals on the second day of the Boxam International Tournament in Castellon, Spain.
Haryana girl Jasmine, who was scouted during an open challenge before participating at the national camp last year, showed glimpses of her skillset during her maiden bout at the senior international stage as the lanky boxer blanked silver medallist from recently-concluded Strandja Memorial Tournament Medina to advance into the semi-finals.
Apart from Jasmine, three more women pugilist — six-time world champion Mary Kom (51kg), Simranjit Kaur (60kg) and Pooja Rani (75kg) — also made their way into the last-four stage and assured India of four medals in the women’s category.
Making a comeback into the ring after a year and playing her first tournament since Asian Olympic Qualifiers held in March last year, the Olympic bronze medallist Mary Kom registered a 3-2 victory against Italy’s Giordana Sorrentino. Meanwhile, World Championships bronze medallist Simranjit Kaur and Asian champion Pooja Rani also notched up comfortable 5-0 victories against Spain’s Eugenia Albons and Italy’s Assunta Canfora 5-0 respectively in their quarter-finals.
However, Lovlina Borogohain (69kg), who also played her first tournament after a year, and Manisha Moun (57kg) could not progress into the last-four stage. While Lovlina lost 5-0 to Russia’s Saadat Dalgatova, Manisha Moun also suffered a 5-0 defeat against Italy’s Irma Testa. (ANI)
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