Melbourne [Australia], February 3 (ANI): Daniil Medvedev confirmed Russia’s position in the ATP Cup semi-finals on Wednesday with a 6-2, 6-4 victory against Kei Nishikori.
The World No. 4 struck 19 winners and won all six net points he played to improve to 6-1 in ATP Cup singles matches. Medvedev, who closed his 2020 campaign with back-to-back titles at the Rolex Paris Masters and Nitto ATP Finals has won 12 straight matches on the ATP Tour.
Medvedev’s victory moved Russia to 2-0 in its tie against Japan. Earlier in the day, Rublev cruised past Yoshihito Nishioka 6-1, 6-3. Russia is through to the ATP Cup semi-finals for the second straight year.
At last year’s event, Russia advanced to the semi-finals with an unbeaten 4-0 tie record. Medvedev pushed Novak Djokovic to a third set, but fell short in his attempt to force the tie to a deciding doubles match. Russia will face the winner of Group A in Friday’s semi-finals. Two teams remain in contention for that spot: Serbia and Germany.
Medvedev achieved consistent success on Nishikori’s serve in the first set, as he created a break-point in each of his four return games. The reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion rushed his opponent into errors in extended baseline rallies to establish a 4-2 lead before Nishikori attempted to shorten points by coming to the net. That tactic proved unsuccessful, as Medvedev found his targets to place Nishikori in uncomfortable positions.
The second set proved to be far more competitive, with neither player able to reach break-point in the opening eight games. But Medvedev pounced at the perfect moment to move one game from victory. The World No. 4 played with aggression and showcased great court coverage to turn rallies in his favour and claimed victory with a powerful serve out wide.
In the opening match of the tie, Rublev produced his second dominant performance in as many days to earn Russia a 1-0 tie advantage. The World No. 8 converted five of his eight break points to overcome Nishioka in 64 minutes.
Rublev has lost just seven games across his two singles encounters at this year’s event. On Tuesday, the Russian No. 2 defeated Guido Pella 6-1, 6-2 in one hour.
“I played really well today… I’m happy the way I’m playing. I’m happy that I’m feeling confident in my shots, that I’m trying to go big and in the end, I feel that I will make it” Rublev said in a statement. “I was missing this feeling, I was missing competing and the first two matches went really well so we’ll see what’s going to happen next.”
From 40/0 in the opening game of the match, Rublev dropped five consecutive points to lose his serve. It was the only mistake he made in an impressive first set. The Russian responded with six straight games, as he took the ball early and ripped multiple inside-out forehand winners.
Rublev continued to place pressure on Nishioka’s serve in the second set and he earned two further breaks to clinch his first victory in two ATP Head2Head clashes against the Japanese. Nishioka won the pair’s opening clash 6-3, 6-1 in Sydney two years ago.
Action from the ATP Cup will continue Live on Eurosport and Eurosport HD on Thursday, with session 1 starting at 4:00 AM IST with a Group A tie between Serbia and Germany followed by session 2 from 11:30 AM IST with the Group B tie between Spain and Greece. (ANI)
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DISCUS THROWER KAMALPREET KAUR PUTS UP SPIRITED SHOW, FINISHES 6TH IN FINAL
India discus thrower Kamalpreet Kaur put up a spirited display on her debut Olympic campaign, but couldn’t win a medal as she finished at the sixth spot in the final with a best throw of 63.70m at the Tokyo Games on Monday.
Kamalpreet had made it into the top eight with the throw of 63.70m. This was her third attempt, but the athlete failed to make the top three as two of her remaining three attempts were flagged (disqualified). Kamalpreet Kaur started off with a throw of 61.62m and was in sixth place before dropping to seventh.
Kamalpreet’s second attempt was a foul which saw her moving down after a good start. The event then came to a halt due to rain. American discus thrower Valarie Allman started off after the resumption of the event but ended up with a foul throw.
In her 3rd attempt, Kamalpreet registered a throw of 63.70m which kept her in the contest and helped her move again to the sixth spot. In her fourth attempt, she again recorded a foul throw. Kamalpreet fired a throw of 61.37m in the fifth attempt before again registering a foul throw with her last attempt.
She might have missed out on a medal, but she clearly showed she belongs to the big stage and if she keeps progressing like she has, Kamalpreet could be a sureshot contender for a medal in the next Games.
Olympics: Indian equestrian Fouaad Mirza finishes 23rd in individual final
Indian equestrian Fouaad Mirza and his horse Seigneur Medicott finished 23rd in the individual eventing jumping and missed out on a medal in the ongoing Tokyo Olympics on Monday.
Mirza came 23rd out of 25 with a final score of 59.60. “The #Equestrian Individual Eventing Jumping final comes to an end @FouaadMirza and #SeigneurMedicott finish 23rd. No medal here, but an inspirational performance from the duo this #Olympics. Great future ahead for them!” SAIMedia tweeted. Meanwhile, Germany’s Julia Krajewski became the first individual female athlete to win Olympic gold in individual eventing with a near-flawless final jump with her Amande de B’Neville.
While individual eventing became a mixed event in Tokyo 1964, no woman had ever won gold in this event – until now, reported Olympics.com After competing in the dressage and cross country over the past three days, it all came down to the jumping section of the eventing competition.
Great Britain’s Tom McEwen and Toledo de Kerser won silver while Australia’s Andrew Hoy and Vassily de Lassos had a flawless jump in the final to clinch bronze in his eighth Olympic Games.
Olympics: Can’t let emotions get better of us in semi-final against Belgium, says Reid
The Indian men’s hockey team coach Graham Reid has sent out a strong message to his players about keeping their emotions in check ahead of their historic semi-final encounter against World Champions Belgium on Tuesday.
While the Australian expressed that he was happy with the 3-1 victory against Great Britain in the quarter-final on Sunday and lauded their fighting spirit, he highlighted that the two green cards and one yellow card in the game is something they ought to avoid against a world-class team like Belgium. “I am very proud of the players. We fought hard and sometimes that is what you have to do in final situations of a crunch game like the quarter-final. You have to fight, bite and scratch. We were very lucky yesterday because they (Great Britain) created more opportunities than us but our PC defence and Sreejesh especially were magnificent last night. They saved us,” Reid said in an official Hockey India release.
“But looking forward, the things we can learn from last night is that there is a difference between passion and emotion. Sometimes, we let our emotions take over. We need to keep 11 players on the pitch. The problem is that we played a lot of our game against Great Britain with 10 men on the pitch. We can’t do that against Belgium and think that we can be victorious. That will be the big message to the team today when we have a meeting,” asserted Reid.
While the team won the crunch quarter-final game with three field goals from Dilpreet Singh (7’), Gurjant Singh (16’) and Hardik Singh (57’), Reid believes there is still some work to be done in ensuring a sustained attack.
“It was great to score field goals against Great Britain. We didn’t get any corners, so of course we also need to be working on a sustained attacking pressure which I always talk about with the players. As I said, against a team like Belgium, it will be very important to keep all 11 players on the pitch the entire duration,” added Reid.
On the cusp of creating history, India will be gunning for a victory on Tuesday and will be riding on their recent experiences against Belgium.
India has tasted success against them in the FIH Hockey Pro League in 2020 where they beat the World Champions 2-1 in their second game and had lost 2-3 in their first of the two double-headers in Bhubaneswar.
“As far as Belgium is concerned, obviously they and Australia have been sharing the World No.1 spot for the last 18-24 months. So, in that sense, Belgium will be a very difficult opponent. But we have played them a fair bit in the past and have the experience of doing well against them too. So, we need to focus on the things that we can do against them and make sure that we are much more disciplined in defence and our structure is much better,” stated Manpreet.
WINNING HERE IN ENGLAND MEANS NOTHING MORE THAN WINNING TEST SERIES ANYWHERE ELSE: KOHLI
NOTTINGHAM: India skipper Virat Kohli has said that winning the Test series in England will just be like winning a Test series anywhere else in the world. India and England will lock horns in a five-match Test series beginning August 4 at Trent Bridge, Nottingham. The series will mark the start of the second cycle of the World Test Championship. “It takes relentless madness and pursuit of excellence every day over a series of five Tests. To tell yourself that I want to do the hard work and I want to get in situations which are tough in every Test match every day. You have to be ready for that workload and that mental load,” said Kohli during a interview to Dinesh Karthik on Sky Sports.
“For me, personally it means nothing more than winning a Test series anywhere in the world. For me, these things are not anecdotes or milestones in my career. For Indian cricket, it will be a huge thing but this culture is more dear to me. I will do everything in my ability, even if we lose a Test match, I want us to go for the win and not surrender and save a Test match. For me, that is not acceptable,” he added. In the first WTC cycle, New Zealand defeated India in the finals to win the Test mace. Lee believes that WTC has brought back the interest in the longest format of the game. India had last won a Test series in 2007 under the leadership of Rahul Dravid and after that, the Men in Blue have struggled to get past the Three Lions on their own backyard.
Was literally blank when I won final point in bronze medal match, says Sindhu
After winning a bronze medal at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics in the women’s singles event, India shuttler PV Sindhu on Monday revealed she was left blank after winning the final point and it took her five-six seconds to realise what she had achieved.
Sindhu on Sunday became the first Indian woman to win two Olympic medals. Sindhu defeated China’s He Bing Jiao in the bronze medal match. “Well, I am very happy and of course, getting a medal for the country is a proud moment. That too, back-to-back, in Rio, it was silver and now it is bronze, so I am very happy,” said Sindhu during a virtual press conference organised by the Badminton Association of India (BAI) on Monday.
“Well, during the bronze medal match, initially after the semifinals, I was a little sad. My coach and physio told me that it is not over yet. There were mixed emotions after the semi-final, should I be sad or should I be happy that I have another chance? On the day of the bronze medal match, I woke up and thought to myself that I need to give my best. Getting a medal for the country at the Olympics is a very big thing,” she added.
While replying to an ANI query on the conversations between her and the coach Park Tae-sang before the bronze medal match, Sindhu said: “Well, I was sad after the semifinal. We were all in tears, that was the time we had to control and be strong. My coach Park and physio motivated me and supported me. They told me that there is one more match to go and they told me that I cannot be sad as I have one more opportunity. They kept saying that I need to keep on preparing and coach Park told me that there is a big difference between the bronze medal and the fourth position. The next day I was like I need to do my best.”
“Well, BAI has really helped me a lot. I am thankful to them, whatever needed and whenever needed, they have always been there. Whenever I needed something, it was done immediately. All my needs were taken care of, I am thankful to them. Their role is a lot, I also dedicate this medal to them,” she added.
Sindhu defeated Bing Jiao 21-13, 21-15 in the bronze medal match that lasted for 52 minutes. Sindhu had earlier returned with a silver medal at the Rio Olympics 2016.
“Until the last point, we decided that it was not over yet even though I was leading. After the final point was over, I was literally blank. It is a big moment, I hugged my coach after the match was over, he has had a bring contribution. After 5-6 seconds, I shouted,” said Sindhu.
“There is time for Paris Olympics, just want to enjoy this moment right now. I will dedicate this medal to my family and fans, I missed all of them here. I am sure virtually, everybody has been showing me the love and blessing me with their wishes,” added the 26-year-old.
Before the Olympics, PV Sindhu during an interaction with Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that she would have ice cream after returning from the Games. When asked whether she has decided which flavour ice-cream she will have, Sindhu, said: “I haven’t decided what ice-cream I will have, but I will indeed have it.”
The 26-year-old Sindhu is now just the second Indian athlete to win two individual Olympic medals. Wrestler Sushil Kumar also has two medals as he returned with a bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics 2008 and a silver at the London Olympics 2012.
Women’s hockey team make history, beat Australia to reach first-ever Olympic semi-final
Gurjit Kaur scored the lone goal for India through a penalty corner.
The Indian women’s hockey team created history on Monday here at Oi Hockey Stadium — North Pitch as they qualified for the semi-finals of Olympics for the very first time after defeating Australia 1-0.
In what comes as a historic day and possibly the greatest moment for women’s hockey in India, Gurjit Kaur scored the lone goal in the match during the first half through a penalty corner in a very tightly contested match. The Indian players looked to give it their all as they ensured Gurjit’s effort didn’t go in vain.
The Australians threw it their all, but the Indian women refused to buckle even though the Aussies kept piling the pressure with each passing minute. The first quarter started in great pace as both teams put their foot on the accelerator and the forwards from both teams came very close to finding the back of the net. But none succeeded in scoring after the first fifteen minutes.
After saving a penalty corner on another end, India soon got the second PC of the match in the second quarter. India’s star drag-flicker Gurjit made sure that she made the opportunity count as she gave the Women in Blue a crucial lead against the mighty Aussies. Indians went for a direct PC and after hitting the legs, the ball hit a stick and found a way into the goal. Notably, Australia had conceded just one goal in the tournament so far.
In the second half, Hockeyroos as expected came in waves as they looked for the goal. But India goalie Savita and the defense stood firm. The Indian team made sure they did not give any space to the Aussies as chances became rarer and rarer for their forwards as the game progressed. India again kept Australia at bay with some smart defence in the last quarter as they made sure they didn’t let Hockeyroos spoil the dream of making it to the semi-final.
Earlier, the Indian men’s hockey team reached the last four of the Olympics for the first time in 41 years as the team defeated Great Britain 3-1. The last four berth had eluded the Indian men’s hockey team since the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games where the team led by V Baskaran won the eighth Gold medal for India.
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