Australian Open: Serena Williams knocks Halep out, progresses to semis - The Daily Guardian
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Australian Open: Serena Williams knocks Halep out, progresses to semis

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Melbourne [Australia], February 16 (ANI): American tennis player Serena Williams on Tuesday progressed to the semi-finals of the ongoing Australian Open.
Serena defeated Romania’s Simona Halep 6-3, 6-3 in the quarter-finals at the Rod Laver Arena and as a result, the American has her dream intact of registering her 24th Grand Slam win.
The 39-year-old Serena was in an emphatic mood in the first set and she did not give Halep any chance and as a result, the American star won the first set 6-3. Serena hit 14 winners to win the opening set.
In the second set, Halep gained a 3-1 lead, but Serena managed to come back to bring the scoreline level at 3-3. Carrying on her with her momentum, Serena made the winning charge and as a result, she ended up winning the match in straight sets.
The 39-year-old Serena needs one more major win to equal Margaret Court’s record Grand Slam tally. She has not added to her Grand Slam tally since beating her sister Venus in the Australian Open final in 2017.
Earlier in the day, Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka advanced to the semi-finals of the ongoing Australian Open after overpowering Taiwan’s Su-Wei Hsieh on Tuesday.
The three-time Grand Slam champion Osaka defeated Hsieh in two consecutive sets and sealed a comfortable victory in 66 minutes at Rod Laver Arena. The world number three smashed seven aces in her dominating victory to extend the winning streak to 19 matches. (ANI)

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Ravi Shastri gets first dose of COVID-19 vaccine

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Ahmedabad, [India], March 2 (ANI): Team India head coach Ravi Shastri on Tuesday morning received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Shastri, 58, got the jab at the Apollo Hospital here.
“Got the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Thank you to the amazing medical professionals & scientists for empowering India against the pandemic,” Shastri tweeted along with a picture of him receiving the jab.
“Extremely impressed with the professionalism shown by Kantaben & her team at Apollo, Ahmedabad in dealing with COVID-19 vaccination,” he added.
The second phase of Covid-19 vaccination — for those above 60 years of age, and people between 45 and 59 years of age with specific comorbidities — began on Monday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with other political leaders, got vaccinated on the first day.
Shastri is currently with the Indian cricket team participating in a four-match Test series against England.
Virat Kohli’s men are 2-1 up in the series, having won the third Test, played with the pink ball, by 10 wickets at the Narendra Modi Stadium here last week.
The fourth and final Test of the series is slated to begin on Thursday.
India require only a draw in that game in order to seal their berth in the final of the inaugural ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final, scheduled to be played at the Lord’s, London from June 18-22. New Zealand have already secured their spot in the WTC final. (ANI)

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Premier League: Would be a dream to finish in top four, says Everton’s Ancelotti

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London [UK], March 2 (ANI): Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti has said that his club is dreaming of a finish in the top four of the Premier League 2020-21 standings.
Everton defeated Southampton on Monday after Richarlison got on the scoring sheets and as a result, the side is now just two points of the top-four with a game in hand.
If Everton manages to finish in the top four, then the club will attain qualification for the Champions League.
“We have a great opportunity to be in the top four and we would like to touch that position. We have to put all our effort into the game on Thursday to try to be there, it is a real possibility,” Ancelotti told Everton’s official website.
“It doesn’t matter how long we can be there, but just to see how we feel if we are there. There will be a big fight until the end of the season and we have to be pleased we can fight for that position. It will be a dream to be in the top four, we are quite close… but the season is long,” he added.
Everton has won eight of their 12 games away from home. However, of 13 games played at their home turf, the side has won five and lost six.
“To fight for the European places, we need to improve the home. It was not good and this performance and victory can help us have a better run at home,” said Ancelotti.
Everton is currently at the seventh spot with 43 points from 25 matches. The club will next take on West Brom on Thursday. (ANI)

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NZ vs Aus: Crowd to be allowed for fifth T20I if Wellington’s alert level status is relaxed

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Wellington [New Zealand], March 2 (ANI): New Zealand Cricket (NZC) on Tuesday announced that the order of Sunday’s T20I double-header at Wellington’s Sky Stadium has been reversed.
As a result, New Zealand’s men’s team will be taking on Australia in the early game and New Zealand’s women’s team (White Ferns) will be squaring off against England later in the afternoon.
“The decision follows discussions between New Zealand Cricket and Cricket Australia and will allow the Australia squad to catch a charter flight home immediately after the game – and avoid having to transit through Auckland,” NZC said in an official statement.
“Should Wellington’s Alert Level status be relaxed ahead of Sunday’s doubleheader, a crowd will be allowed inside the venue,” it added.
On Monday, NZC had announced that the final T20I of the five-match series between New Zealand and Australia has been shifted to Wellington from Bay Oval.
The final T20I of the three-match series between New Zealand women (White Ferns) and England women will also be played in Wellington.
Earlier, it was confirmed that the upcoming third and fourth T20Is between New Zealand and Australia will be played behind closed doors. The first and second T20I between New Zealand Women (White Ferns) and England Women will also be played behind closed doors following the change to New Zealand’s alert levels with an eye on the Covid-19 pandemic.
On Saturday, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that Auckland would return to level 3 for seven days. As a result, no sport can be held at level 3, reported stuff.co.nz.
The fourth T20I between New Zealand-Australia and White Ferns-England was to be played in Auckland, but as per the new guidelines, the matches were relocated to Wellington.
The rest of the country has moved to alert level 2 and the restrictions will last for a period of seven days. While announcing the new restrictions, Ardern said that the lockdown was needed due to there being no immediate transmission link between the new mystery case and the latest Auckland cluster. (ANI)

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MARCUS TRESCOTHICK NAMED AS ENGLAND’S BATTING COACH

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LONDON : Former opener Marcus Trescothick has been appointed as England’s new elite batting coach, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced on Monday. In the bowling department, Jon Lewis and Jeetan Patel have been named as England’s pace and spin bowling coaches respectively.

Trescothick will take up the new role in the middle of March. He will step down from his role as assistant coach at Somerset County Cricket Club. Current Young Lions head coach Lewis has been promoted to the role of Elite Pace Bowling Coach. The former England seamer has held numerous roles within the pathway set up after a successful playing career primarily with Gloucestershire but also including stints at Surrey and Sussex.

In addition, Jeetan has been appointed as a permanent elite spin bowling coach. Jeetan, the former New Zealand and Warwickshire spinner, joins the group permanently after several short-term spells working with the men’s team.

“Following an extensive recruitment process, I’m really excited about the calibre of the individuals that we’ve appointed into these specialist roles. Marcus, Jon and Jeetan have demonstrated their ability at the highest level and also show huge potential for the future. ” said England Wales and Cricket Board’s (ECB) Performance Director Mo Bobat in an official statement.

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KOHLI HAS INSTILLED A STURDY BELIEF IN TEAM, SAYS WAUGH

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Steve Waugh

MUMBAI: Former Australia skipper Steve Waugh feels India captain Virat Kohli’s “new attitude” has instilled in his team the habit of taking on every hurdle and then getting over it rather than being intimidating by the opposite team.

Waugh made these comments on his latest documentary “Capturing Cricket: Steve Waugh in India” which captures the very essence and undying love for the game in India. In the documentary, Waugh recollected his initial perception of India. “Landing in Bombay or Mumbai, as it is now, was a total culture shock, there were just people everywhere, there were cars and bikes and animals and rats and cats running along the footpath and it was just like, where am I? I am in a different world which was just a total shock and a bombardment of the senses,” Waugh said in the documentary on discovery+.

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SHARDUL HITS 92 AS MUMBAI BEAT HIMACHAL BY 200 RUNS

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Fast bowler Shardul Thakur put on a batting master-class to smash 92 runs off 57 balls — also his maiden half-century in List A cricket — in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy against Himachal Pradesh on Monday as Mumbai registered a comprehensive 200-run win.

Opening batsmen Yashasvi Jaiswal, Prithvi Shaw, and skipper Shreyas Iyer all were back in the hut inside four overs. With in-form batsmen not living up to the expectations, Shardul, who came into bat when Mumbai was 148/5, creamed six sixes and as many fours to steer his side to 321/9 in the allotted 50 overs. Shardul, who has been named in the T20I squad for the England series, hit his half-century in 39 balls and then unleashed the beast within. The pacer smashed 42 runs in his last 17 balls to power Mumbai to 321.

Suryakumar Yadav and Aditya Tare also smashed their respective half-centuries to help Mumbai go past the 300-run mark. Suryakumar recently earned his maiden call-up to the national squad and since then hasn’t left a stone unturned in proving his mettle.

Mumbai thrashed Himachal Pradesh by 200 runs to continue their unbeaten streak in the ongoing tournament. Shams Mulani picked three while Prashant Solanki scalped four wickets to wrap up an easy win for Mumbai.

Last week, Shreyas smashed 11 fours and three sixes on his way to a 103-ball 116 to power Mumbai to a total of 317 in the allotted 50 overs.

Following his not-so-good outing in Australia, Shreyas ensured he made the most of the Vijay Hazare games to get into the groove ahead of the T20I series against England.

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