Melbourne [Australia], February 10 (ANI): Serbian tennis star and world number one, Novak Djokovic on Wednesday progressed to the third round of the ongoing Australian Open.
Djokovic outclassed America’s Frances Tiafoe 6-3, 6-7, 7-6(2), 6-3 to win the second-round match at the Rod Laver Arena.
The world number one got off to a good start and went on to take an early 4-1 lead in the first set, but Tiafoe made a comeback of sorts and brought the scoreline to 4-3. However, the Serbian maintained his composure and took the first set 6-3.
The second set was a close affair and both Djokovic and Tiafoe went back and forth to bring the scoreline to 5-5. Tiafoe then managed to pile on the pressure and won 7-6.
Tiafoe also gave Djokovic a tough fight in the third set which also went down to the tie-breaker, but Djokovic managed to win it in the end. The Serbian was now just one set away from progressing to the third round.
Djokovic went for the kill in the final set and his efforts were rewarded as he ended up winning the match.
Earlier in the day, Stan Wawrinka bowed out of the Australian Open in the second round as he lost a five-set marathon against Marton Fucsovics.
Fucsovics pulled off a second-round stunner as he saved three match points before sending 2014 champion Stan Wawrinka out 7-5, 6-1, 4-6, 2-6, 7-6(11). Fucsovics claimed the first two sets before Wawrinka came from behind and won the next two sets.
With his two-set lead erased, Fucsovics approached the fifth set swinging freely and once again met Wawrinka blow for blow. The set went the tie-breaker and it was Fucsovics, who emerged victorious.
Dominic Thiem also progressed to the third round of the Australian Open with an easy win over Germany’s Dominik Koepfer in the second-round. The Austrian outclassed his opponent in three straight sets 6-4, 6-0, 6-2 in one hour and 39 minutes. (ANI)
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Swiss Open: Satwiksairaj-Ashwini, Ajay Jayaram crash out from tournament
Basel [Switzerland], March 5 (ANI): Indian mixed doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa’s fine run in the ongoing Swiss Open came to a disappointing end after a defeat in the quarter-finals on Friday.
Satwiksairaj and Ashwini showed top-notch fighting spirit before going down to World No 13 and No 5 pair -Tan Kian Meng and Lai Pei Jing of Malaysia in three sets 17-21, 21-16, 18-21.
Satwiksairaj and Ashwini had staged the comeback after being losing the first set but the Malaysian duo diffused the Indian attack to seal a place in the semi-finals.
In the singles match, Ajay Jayaram’s fine run at the Swiss Open Super 300 came to an end with the defeat against Thai badminton player Kunlavut Vitidsarn.
The shuttler from Thailand thrashed the India badminton player in two straight sets 21-9, 21-6. Ajay had displayed some sensational performances in the ongoing showpiece event but wasn’t able to recreate the show on Friday.
Earlier, ace Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal and Parupalli Kashyap had a disappointing start as they crashed out of the Swiss Open in the first round on Wednesday.
Olympic medalist Nehwal lost in a tough-fought clash against Thailand’s Phittayaporn Chaiwan 16-21, 21-17, 21-23 that lasted for 58 minutes, while Nehwal’s husband Kashyap lost to lower-ranked Pablo Abian of Spain 15-21, 10-21 in straight games. (ANI)
Sri Lanka’s Dasun Shanaka cleared to travel to West Indies, will join team during ODI series
Colombo [Sri Lanka], March 5 (ANI): Sri Lanka all-rounder Dasun Shanaka, who miss the flight to West Indies due to an issue related to securing his visa, will now travel on Sunday to join his teammates.
Shanaka, who was named in the ‘White Ball Squad’ for West Indies series, did not travel with the team due to a visa issue he confronted, pursuant to the loss of his previous passport, which had a valid visa for the USA stamped on it.
Sri Lanka Cricket on Friday said that the all-rounder will now travel to West Indies via France and is expected to join the national team during the ODI segment of the tour.
“Sri Lanka Cricket wishes to announce that Dasun Shanaka will travel to West Indies on Sunday, 07th March 2021,” the SLC said in an official statement.
Meanwhile, West Indies defeated Sri Lanka in the first T20I on Wednesday (local time). Kieron Pollard’s six 6s in an over stole the show the hosts registered a comprehensive four-wicket victory.
Chasing 132, the hosts got off to a blazing start as the openers Evin Lewis and Lendl Simmons put on 52 runs in the very first three overs. However, Sri Lanka staged an emphatic comeback as spinner Akila Dananjaya took a hat-trick in the fourth over to send back Lewis (28), Chris Gayle (0), and Nicholas Pooran (0).
But Pollard hit Dananjaya for six 6s in the sixth over to gain the upper hand. He departed after playing a knock of 38 off just 11 balls, but in the end, Jason Holder (29) and Dwayne Bravo (4) guided Windies to a four-wicket win with 41 balls to spare.
With this win, the hosts have gained a 1-0 lead in the series. Both the teams would now lock horns in the second T20I on Friday (local time).
After the T20I series, West Indies will shift focus towards the 50-over format. The first ODI between Sri Lanka and West Indies will be played on March 10. (ANI)
David de Gea to miss match against Man City, confirms Solskjaer
Manchester [UK], March 5 (ANI): Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Friday confirmed that David de Gea will be missing the team’s upcoming match against Manchester City.
Earlier in the day, De Gea took to Twitter to announce that his girlfriend Edurne has given birth to their daughter. De Gea had also missed the club’s previous game. Dean Henderson will be playing in place of De Gea in Sunday’s Manchester derby.
“It’s a fantastic day for David, of course. When you become a dad it’s possibly the best feeling you can have. Those who are lucky enough to have had that feeling know exactly what David is going through now. We’ll give him the time he needs before he comes back,” the club’s official website quoted Solskjaer as saying.
“He asked to go home and in the old world it’s a day and you go and you’re ready again. With the pandemic and the quarantines, it’s a different world. Still, we felt when David wanted to be there to support his girlfriend that’s not even a decision to make. Dean [Henderson] came in and played well and he’s ready. I’ll give David the time he needs of course,” he added.
Manchester United are currently placed in the second spot on the Premier League table with 51 points, 14 points behind table-toppers Manchester City. (ANI)
Ind vs Eng, 4th Test: You have to premeditate reverse-flicks, says Pant
Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], March 5 (ANI): Rishabh Pant single-handedly put India in command on the second day of the fourth Test against England with his third century in Test cricket. Having started cautiously, Pant took the English bowlers to the cleaners in the final session to take the game away from the visitors at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
Speaking at the end of the day’s action, Pant told the host broadcasters that his initial plan was to observe how the wicket was playing and build a partnership with opener Rohit Sharma.
“The plan was just to build a partnership when I joined Rohit, that was the only thing on my mind. I was thinking I would assess the pitch and then play my shots. If the bowlers are bowling well respect it and take the singles, and that was on my mind,” he said.
Commenting on his style of play, Pant said: “I like to play the situation and I just see the ball and react — that’s the USP (unique selling point) of my game. The team plan was to get to 206, past the England total, and then get as many runs as possible after that.”
His reverse sweep off James Anderson summed up his knock on Friday and throwing light on it, Pant said: “You have to premeditate reverse-flicks, but if luck is going your way you can take the odd chance. I get the license most of the time, but I have to assess the situation and take the game head on. I like to make the team win and if the crowd is entertained by that, I’m happy.”
At stumps, India’s score read 294/7 with Washington Sundar (60) and Axar Patel (11) at the crease — leading the visitors by 89 runs in the first innings. India scored 141 runs in 32 overs in the final session of the second day. (ANI)
Jamal Musiala signs new long-term contract with Bayern Munich
Munich [Germany], March 5 (ANI): Bayern Munich on Friday announced that Jamal Musiala has signed a new contract, committing his future to the club until 2026.
“FC Bayern have handed Jamal Musiala a professional contract until 2026,” the club said in a statement.
The 18-year-old attacker joined the German record champions’ U17 team from Chelsea in summer 2019 and has made rapid progress since then.
Musiala has made 27 appearances for the first team to date, scoring four goals. In the 4-1 win in the Champions League round of 16 first-leg at Lazio last week, he became Bayern’s youngest goalscorer in the competition. He was already listed as the German record champions’ youngest-ever Bundesliga player after featuring in the 3-1 win against SC Freiburg in June.
After putting pen to paper on a new contract, Musiala said he is playing with the best players in the world.
“I’m really pleased to have signed my first professional contract at FC Bayern. I just feel very good at the club and in the team, I’m playing with the best players in the world and I can learn from them every day in training,” the club’s official website quoted Musiala as saying.
“Hansi Flick, Hasan Salihamidzic and Marco Neppe along with the whole club have believed in me and given me the chance very early on. I just want to repay that faith with good performances, keep getting better and win a lot more titles with FC Bayern. My aim is to become an important player for this club,” he added. (ANI)
Ind vs Eng: It’s ‘pretty daunting’ the way Pant scores, says Jeetan Patel
Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], March 5 (ANI): As Rishabh Pant brought his team back in the game with his enthralling century, England’s spin bowling coach Jeetan Patel said it is “pretty daunting” to see the way the India wicket-keeper batsman scores.
“The game is still quite in the balance, I believe. But I think Rishabh Pant and Washinton Sundar’s partnership is huge… He certainly came out and looked to play shots bit more aggressively and it came off from him. When a guy strikes as well as he has been in this series, it is pretty daunting to have him come at 7 (6) and score the way he does,” Patel said while replying to an ANI query during a virtual press conference on Friday.
Reverse sweeping James Anderson to pick a boundary on the second day of a Test match perfectly summed up Pant’s (101) belligerent knock at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Friday. The swashbuckling wicket-keeper batsman single-handedly put India in command on the second day of the fourth Test against England with his third century in Test cricket.
With wickets tumbling around him, Pant took 82 balls to reach his first fifty runs. But the next 50 came off just 33 balls as he decided to send the English bowlers on a leather hunt. The second new ball turned to be a blessing in disguise for the batsman as the ball started coming onto the bat beautifully and Pant was more than happy to bring out the unorthodox shots from the kitty.
Patel said England players gave their 100 percent on the day and that’s why they are a bit “annoyed” with how the things panned out. India were reduced to 146/6 but from there on, Pant and Sundar rebuilt the hosts’ first innings.
“I think the players are very tired. The wicket started off really well and I think it started to flatten out in the middle session and by the end of the day, it started to go the other way. I think the guys put up a lot of efforts, probably 100 per cent of what they got. So, they are a bit tired and maybe a bit annoyed about how the afternoon went because we were in a good position,” Patel said. (ANI)
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