In a remarkable victory, 13-time champion Rafael Nadal has beaten world number 1 Novak Djokovic 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 to enter the semi-finals of the French Open.
Nadal has beaten Djokovic 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 to secure a place in the semi-finals. The 13-time Roland Garros champion will meet Germany’s Alexander Zverev for a place in Sunday’s final. Spaniard Nadal led the first set while Djokovic stormed back to the second set. Knowing this development, Nadal managed to reassert himself with a dominant third set. It was the World No. 1 who started strongest in the fourth, but Nadal denied his attempt to serve out the set and powered to victory in a one-sided tie-break.
Notably, Djokovic was looking to increase his Grand Slam tally to 21. He currently has 20 as much as Roger Federer. Nadal already has 21, that is the most by anyone. Also, Djokovic had beaten Nadal last year to win the French Open.
Nadal is known as the king of clay–he has won the French open maximum no of times (13) and has only lost thrice in the French (to Djokovic incidentally on two of 3 occasions). Nadal lost to Djokovic in semi-final last year in 4 sets.
Also, Nadal won the Australian Open this year. Had Djokovic won the French Open 2022, he would have become the first man in the Open Era to complete 3 career Grand Slams- beating his own record. Djokovic completed his second career Grand Slam in French Open 2021. Nadal also completed his second career Grand Slam in Australian Open 2022.
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Attacking attitude of bowlers required to win the fifth test
The last test match played in Birmingham is very important for Team India or let’s say it will be a big challenge as Indian players are playing test match in England after a long time. By the way, this is only the remaining Test of the last series where Team India was successful in taking a 2-1 lead. Team India’s top order needs to get the good practice before this Test match to be held from July 1. If these batsmen play to their full potential, then I am sure that Team India’s playing XI will also be very strong.
By the way, Team India does not have much time. The ongoing practice match against Leicestershire can also play a big role. The sooner the team decides on its eleven players, the better it will be for it because, if we talk about England, this team is currently playing a three-match Test series against New Zealand. In such a situation, they are well prepared before the match against India, so it is expected from Team India that by practising as much as possible, they get rid of their basic shortcomings because in the first match on the tour of England, usually Asian teams have to face lot of problems. These problems with hard practise can be solved.
It is quite possible that Team India will field five bowlers in the playing XI for this match. These five bowlers should be attacking bowlers who can take wickets on the first day or in the first innings itself. In this sense, as a spinner, Ravichandran Ashwin could be a good option for India before Ravindra Jadeja, as he has variation and good grip along with being a finger spinner. He played against New Zealand in India.
In the last series he played, he bowled well. The team will have to take a very smart decision in the selection of spin bowlers. This move could prove to be decisive for the team.
The writer has been a national selector apart from being a former player of Team India.
1983 WORLD CUP CREATED HISTORY, IT WAS A TEAM EFFORT: MADAN LAL
The Daily Guardian spoke to the renowned Indian legendary cricketer Madan Lal. He was a member of the 1983 Cricket World Cup winning Indian squad.
On the esteemed anniversary of the historic 1983 World Cup, the Indian cricket fans have all eyes and ears for candid talks with the players, talk shows, in nut shell infotainment full on with a motive to keep readers excited and enticed The Daily Guardian spoke to the renowned Indian legendary cricketer Madan Lal. He was Indian cricketer from 1974 to 1987 and Indian national cricket coach. He was a member of the 1983 Cricket World Cup winning Indian squad.
Q. Sir, what is more important IPL or World Cup?
A. No definitely you can’t compare IPL with the World Cup. It’s a world cup because that is for the country this is a different cricket all together IPL is 20-20 match and world cup is 50 over match. It’s a World Cup therefore much bigger than IPL.
Q. In 83 Hardy Sandhu the Punjabi pop singer and actor played your character in the film. What do you think did he reach closer enough to live your character?
A. Hardy Sandhu has done a very good job overall and as you know you cannot emulate the person entirely. Out of ten he can get 8 marks as he has done a great job and the other thing was he was a cricketer before and he took the coaching from me in NCA. So, that’s why it wasn’t difficult for him to catch my action.
Q. Do you think the scene was recreated well where Hardy Sandhu aka Madan Lal is requesting Ranveer Singh aka the Captain Kapil Dev for the next over to oust Desmond Haynes and then Viv Richards. Would you like to share the incident which created history, the decision that made history?
A. It’s not only about Viv Richards wicket. World cup has created the history, it was a team effort. Not only Madan Lal or any other player you name should get the credit. Kapil Dev, Mohindar Amarnath or Sunil Gavaskar or Srikanth or so believe in Sandip Patil but they are all contributors for the win but yes I asked for the over and Kapil Dev gave me the over and after then it was a history.
Q. 1983 the first World Cup of India though the flick has been made but we would like to listen to the stories from the man himself who turned out to be the highest impact bowler of 1983.
A. Well, when you have been given the role and you have to do it. You will try your best and if something good happens and things go ur way. In English conditions it becomes a little bit easy as the ball comes and moves around, you can get the wicket as well. So this thing happened with us. Also you know the ball was moving, the condition was different and I got the important wicket in the beginning of the inning. So that’s the reason I thing you can say the impact but definitely I must say that’s the team effort.
Q. Indian fans profoundly call you us Maddad Laal. Also is that only reason that you have often extricated Indian team from the tricky situations or in general life also you give Maddad to all?
A. No I give maddad to all. It’s my job to help other people like that’s my nature you know in cricket I always use to look for opportunity to contribute for the team to win the game that’s what I do. So you know sometimes you click and sometimes you don’t but still in crucial stages in crunch matches I have done well. So that’s the reason they called me Maddad Lal.
Q. Your most memorable match other than 83 and why?
A. Yeah I played test match in Bombay where I got 5-23 that was one of the best match I had played so any match which you win for the country that’s anyhow always going to be memorable match.
Q. Your bonding with the winning squad of 83?
A. Yeah! definitely we have what’s app group and we share our ups and down or horrible days and all these things and we are still in touch with most of the players.
ENGLAND SWEEP ODI SERIES AGAINST NETHERLANDS
Top knocks by Jason Roy and Jos Buttler powered England to a eight-wicket win as they also clean swept the three-match ODI series against Netherlands on Wednesday.
An unbeaten ton by Roy and an unbeaten knock of 86 runs by Buttler helped England chase the target of 245 runs in just 30.1 overs and at a loss of only two wickets, here at the VRA Cricket Ground, Amstelveen. With this win, England white-washed the three-match ODI series with a lead of 3-0. Put to bat first, Netherlands had a pathetic start to their innings as they lost the wicket of the opener, Vikramjit Singh, in the fifth over, with only 16 runs on the board. The batter was caught by Dawid Malan on David Willey’s delivery. Tom Cooper joined hands with opener Max ODowd and the duo anchored the innings for some time. Cooper scored 33 runs off 37 balls before being caught by Liam Livingstone on Brydon Carse’s delivery in the 18th over, leaving the team’s total at 88/2. Max ODowd also departed in the 25th over, after claiming his half-century off 69 balls.
Bas de Leede and skipper Scott Edwards came to the crease and changed the momentum of the game. The duo stitched an 84-run partnership and gave Netherlands a strong hand. But it was England, who had the last laugh as Brydon Carse struck against and dismissed de Leede in 40th over after scoring 56 runs off 78 balls.
Teja Nidamanuru came to the crease but could not stand for long as he was stumped by Buttler on Adil Rashid’s delivery. In the very next over by Willey, Logan van Beek also departed without scoring a single run and left Netherlands struggling at 216/6. In the 47th over, Tim Pringle was run out by Malan and departed after scoring only 6 runs. In the next over, Aryan Dutt fell prey to Willey’s spell and went back without opening his account.
INDIA U-17 WOMEN’S TEAM LOSE TO ITALY
India U-17 women’s team suffered a 0-7 defeat against Italy in Grandisco D’lsonzo in the Female Football Tournament on Wednesday. India started off the match just like the way Thomas Dennerby would have wanted, by trying to press the opposition high up the pitch and trying to bring out mistakes from them.
Tackles were flying in from both sides and Italy were awarded a free kick in the 4th minute. Beatrice curled the free-kick but she narrowly missed the target. Italy almost took the lead in the 10th minute as Dragoni was one-vs-one against Indian goalkeeper Monalisa but the latter stretched and produced a wonderful save to deny the Italian. However, India’s resistance would be broken soon as just one minute later, Maria Rossi put the ball into the back of the net.
In the 22nd minute, Monalisa was again called into action by Dragoni, but the former again parried the ball out for a corner. India came the closest to scoring at the half-hour mark when Anita tried a long-range effort to catch the Italian defence off-guard but her shot missed the target by a whisker.
The floodgates would open after that though as Anna Longobardi and Giulla Dragoni scored in the 31st and 33rd minutes, respectively, to give the Italians some much-needed cushion. In the 36th minute, Kajol went for the spectacular but she too missed the target by a whisker. The Young Tigresses trailed the Italians by a 0-3 margin at the half-time break. Italy picked up right from where they left off in the first half as Manuela Sciabica scored in the 48th minute. A couple of quick-fire goals followed after that as well and within 15 minutes of the second half, Italy had extended their lead to six goals. Thomas Dennerby made some changes in the 60th minute as Neha, Rejiya, Babina and Pinku came on for Nitu, Lynda, Kajol and Shelja, respectively. Marta Zambomi scored the final goal of the game in the 67th minute as she stretched Italy’s lead to 7 goals.
Rodrigues, Yadav help India defeat Lanka by 34 runs
Two wicket haul of Radha Yadav was backed by Jemimah Rodrigues’s unbeaten 36 powered visitors to a 34-run win over Sri Lanka in the first T20I here at Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium, Dambulla on Thursday. It was a poor day for Sri Lanka’s batting unit as they could not do a lot with the bat on a difficult surface and despite their bowlers dominated the proceedings in the first T20I restricting India to 138/6 in their 20 overs. With this win, India take the series lead with a comprehensive win over Sri Lanka in the three-match T20I series. Vistors were great and did not allow partnerships to prosper for long. For Sri Lanka, Kavisha Dilhari smashed unbeaten 46 runs and was the top scorer for the team. For India, Radha Yadav bagged crucial two wickets while Pooja Vastrakar, Shafali Verma and Deepti Sharma scalped one wicket each.
Chasing 139, Sri Lanka got off to a bad start as they lost their opener Vishmi Gunaratne with one run onboard. This big breakthrough for the Indian team was delivered by Deepti SharmA: Harshitha Madavi then came to bat on the crease and tried to anchor the innings with skipper Chamari Athapaththu.
The Sri Lanka skipper batted aggressively and in the fifth over she smashed back-to-back two fours against Radha Yadav’s delivery. In the seventh, over of the innings, Athapaththu fell prey to Radha Yadav’s brilliant delivery as she tried to go for a four but was caught by Rajeshwari Gayakwad after scoring 16 runs in 19 balls.
Kavisha Dilhari then came to bat. In the same seventh over Yadav strike again and dismissed Madavi, who scored just 10 runs in 17 deliveries. Right-handed batter Nilakshi de Silva then came to bat and joined hands with Dilhari to keep the team’s momentum going. Dilhari and de Silva played cautiously to make sure they don’t lose any more wickets. After the 10 overs, the Sri Lanka team’s score reads 41/3. After the 11 overs hosts needed 93 runs in 54 balls. In the 13th over of the innings, Pooja Vastrakar gave her team a big breakthrough as she dismissed de Silva with Sri Lanks’s score of 54/4 on board.
After the wickets of de Silva, Ama Kanchana then came to the crease. The 14th over of the innings saw Shafali Verma deliver a brilliant spell only conceding 3 runs. At this point of the match, Sri Lanka batters struggled to even take a single run as Indian bowlers were too cheap in the matter conceding runs.
Ama Kanchana later fell prey to Verma’s delivery after scoring 11 runs in 10 balls. Anushka Sanjeewani then came to bat but at that point, it was impossible for the hosts to pull off the remaining 51 runs in 10 balls.
In the last over hosts tried to fight back and smashed two fours, but it was no use. Renuka Singh did not allow Lanka batters to gather many runs in the 20th and restricted them to 104/5 after 20 overs of play. Earlier, Put to bat first, India got off to a poor start, losing opener Smriti Mandhana (1) and Sabbhineni Meghana (0) in two consecutive balls of pacer Oshadi Ranasinghe’s fourth over. SL captain Chamari Athapaththu took two great catches in both the dismissals.
Following both the dismissals, it was in hands of opener Shafali Verma and captain Harmanpreet Kaur to rebuild things for IndiA: At the end of six overs, India stood at 32/2 with Harmanpreet Kaur (10*) and Shafali Verma (18*)
Shafali looked in great touch, smashing four boundaries. She was dismissed by the captain Athapaththu for 31 off 31 balls, after being caught by Nilakshi de Silva at long-on.
At the end of 10 overs, India was at 58/3, with Harmanpreet Kaur (22*) and Jemimah Rodrigues (1*). Soon, captain Kaur was dismissed leg before wicket for 22 by spinner Inoka Ranaweera, sinking India to 58/4. Afterwards, Rodrigues and Richa Ghosh, the wicketkeeper-batter had to rebuild. But the 23-run stand came to an abrupt end after Ranaweera dismissed him with assistance from the safe hands of Anushka Sanjeewani for 11. With this, half of the Indian team was back in the hut for 81.
At the end of 15 overs, the Indian team stood at 85/5, with Pooja Vastrakar (3*) and Jemimah Rodrigues (12*). The duo had a short 25-run partnership, which ended with the dismissal of Vastrakar for 14 after she was bowled by RanaweerA: Jemimah Rodrigues was standing tall all this while, keeping one end steady. India ended their innings at 138/6, with Rodrigues (36*) and Deepti Sharma (17*) Inoka Ranaweera was the pick of the bowlers for Sri Lanka, taking 3/30. Oshadi Ranasinghe also took two wickets while Athapaththu got one.
BRIEF SCORES: India 138/6 in 20 overs (Jemimah Rodrigues 36*, Shafali Verma 31, Inoka Ranaweera 3/30) vs Sri Lanka (Kavisha Dilhari 46*, Chamari Athapaththu 16; Radha Yadav 2-22).
SELF-DOUBT AND CRITICISM COME NATURALLY, BUT WE CAN LEARN HOW TO DEAL WITH THEM, SAYS NAMITA BAL
NEW DELHI: A spine injury curtailed her tennis career as a player in 2015. But Namita Bal is a name who found a way to channelise her energy and stoke her dreams of guiding young players to be champions of the country. The 26 year old daughter of Nandan Bal easily one of the best coaches in the country. Namita has been coaching junior players and has recently been travelling for events in the men’s circuit as well. Excerpts:
Q: Namita, you started coaching in 2015. You have been working at the Nandan Bal Tennis Academy in Pune from 2015 with beginners, intermediate and advanced players. So, what do you feel is the role of a coach in a player’s success?
A: I feel a role changes as a player develops. There we play different roles in different stages of a player’s career. So, for me it’s always been about modelling my coaching style and adapting to what the player needs at that moment and what they are going through even off court. I think there is a lot to do sport as well as on board.
Q: In 2019, you were the captain of the Indian Junior Fed Cup which is now known as the Billie Jean King Cup. How was the experience and whom do you consider the strongest contender amongst the women playing for the Indian team?
A: With the junior team it was with any team event it’s always more exciting. The coach plays a far more active role. Then we do individual tournaments but right there on court and we are allowed to speak to the players between changeovers. So, it’s very interesting because we are always strategizing, we are always, there is always a change of game plans because the other coach is also trying to, you know, outsmart our players. So, it’s a lot of exciting team events. It’s always a different experience to be part of a team. For most of the players it’s the only chance they get in the juniors. That’s one for Under 14 and one for Under 16. So there are only these two tournaments that we have in the juniors to be part of a team and playing for the country is a huge honour in itself. So the experience is great for everybody involved, the players as well as the captains. As far as the juniors are concerned I think Shruti Allah is one of our strongest contenders who could go on to do very well. She has got the brain, she’s got the physique and she has got the versatility in her game to make it to the top.
Q: In India, being a tennis coach is a vocation that is generally reserved for men. So have you ever felt out of place or have people ever made you feel that way? How has it affected you?
A: People have definitely tried to make me feel that way, whether intentionally or not. But I don’t think it’s affected me that much. I know the issue is only visibility. There are more male coaches because people haven’t seen too many female coaches. It’s difficult for them to see a female coach play that role. But there are many more female coaches now than when I started. So it’s definitely getting better. I have not really let it affect me because I have known in my bones that this is what I am meant to do. So, whatever people have said has not fazed me. It’s not let me feel like I don’t belong here because I know that I would.
Q: You are obviously different from most of the counterparts. And that can be intimidating. Have you ever struggled with pressure or self doubt as a result of this?
A: 400 percent. I wouldn’t say as a result of that but self doubt is something I think everyone faces everyday in some form or the other. There is a lot of conditioning involved. We live in a society where we criticise far more often than we are placed. So, self doubt comes naturally to all of us. Criticism comes naturally to all of us. I think whenever we are going to get rid of our doubts, we are never going to get rid of our fears. But we can learn how to deal with them. We can learn how to convince ourselves that we are good enough and I think that’s what I do.
Q: You have also made forays into the men’s circuit. What has been the experience so far?
A: Initially it was pretty funny because like I said nobody saw too many female coaches especially those travelling with male players. So they work for you know their sister or them just a friend travelling with them. They never imagine that I was a coach. But it’s been great because I learnt how to stand my ground despite that. I was doing what I was meant to do. So it wasn’t an issue then. Initially it was a little weird because I was looked at strangely.
Q: And here emerges in Amita Bal out of her great struggles and of course the experience what is the significance of women role models like you in sports today?
A: For me I think the biggest significance would be like I said initially the visibility. I think it empowers younger girls to take up the sport not just tennis but any sport. It shows them that there is a future beyond what we’ve been conventionally taught that women should or shouldn’t do. Even if you discontinue playing the sport. There are many more avenues. There’s college tennis and you know the world, the world is a roster.
So, visibility is very important. I know that there was a handful of coaches when I started. And even fewer 10 years before that and I know I have a couple of role models in India Thakur from Delhi.
She is one of my role models, one of our first female coaches and I am up to her and I really loved how she taught how she changed herself depending on who she was coaching. And nothing that I don’t think I have even spoken to her about but it really did have a huge impact on me. So just I feel that if she could have that impact on one person I am hoping that the coaches that we have now can have that impact on many other women too or younger girls to pick up a sport and do what they want with their life.
Q: A major issue that women across the world struggle with is obviously body shaming. Have you ever had issues with your body image? And if yes, then how has it affected your life?
A: 100% have had issues and to honest, I still continue to I wouldn’t say struggle but that self doubt is there quite often because I have grown up being a tennis player, I have grown up identifying myself as being fit. So when I stopped playing and started coaching, I was terrified of saying that. I was terrified of losing my fitness, of losing the way I look, of losing my identity. I know a lot of my players where they are termed as too heavy to be playing or not strong enough to be playing. There are so many judgments that are passed but each body is different. It is different and we just got to use what we have. Play to our strengths. And know that we are strong enough. I think the biggest change for me was going from focusing on how I look to focusing on how I feel. And that’s made a huge difference. I am now focusing on how I feel eating a lot better, I am healthier, I am stronger and I still feel fit. I haven’t lost that.
Q: What sort of changes do you think need to be made in order to improve the role of women in sports?
A: I feel there should be a lot more done at the grassroots level, even schools like young, young children should be brought into sport as early as possible. Schools could do that. We see a lot of young boys playing cricket and football on the streets. There are not too many young girls that we see even though there are so many admirable female footballers and cricketers. You don’t see too many of them, too many kids on the street playing. So, getting schools to include that as part of their curriculum and like I said visibility would help with that. You know, just and it is better. It is better today than it was 10 years ago and I am sure 5 years will be even better.
Q: So, like moving on to some personal area of your life. Namita likes to do what if not tennis.
A: If not tennis definitely be outdoors and preferably outdoors with animals.
Q: Are you a movie freak? Do you like watching movies?
A: I do like watching movies but that’s only if I’m too tired to be outdoors. I’d rather be you know swimming or hiking or just like I said outdoors anywhere in nature with my dog.
Q: So who was your inspiration, Namita?
A: Definitely my father. Every player that I have taught has inspired me has taught me something on a daily basis and it could just be the way they handle a situation. It could just be the way they know and they talk to me about certain fears that they have. So whenever I see somebody overcome something, even if it’s for just one minute, it’s inspiring. It’s inspiring to do that because it inspires me to do better. It gives me those thoughts that I can be better and I can do better and also in some way gives me that happiness that I am able to do this, that I have been given the opportunity to do this. That inspires me.
Q: What are the upcoming tournaments that you are gearing up for?
A: So we’ve got the World Junior Tennis Finals coming up that India qualified for after I think eight years. We played in Delhi a couple of months ago. And we’ve qualified along with Korea, Japan and AustraliA: So that’s going to be in Czech Republic in the first week of August.
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