Rod Laver Arena | 11 p.m. TuesdayAndrey Rublev vs. Daniil MedvedevAndrey Rubley and Daniil Medvedev secured the ATP Cup for Russia earlier this month, with neither player losing a singles match throughout. In their three meetings on the ATP Tour, Medvedev has come out on top each time, including in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open in September.This may be Rublev’s chance to finally overcome his friendly rival. He has looked particularly dominant, not dropping a set throughout the tournament. His match against Casper Ruud ended after only two sets when the Norwegian withdrew with an injury. Going into the quarterfinals, Rublev has led the field in both percentage of first service points won and second service points won, a sign of how hard it has been for opponents to break his serve.Medvedev has also been playing well, aside from a chaotic, disorganized third round match against Filip Krajinovic. He has now won 18 matches in a row, with his last loss coming in October at a tournament in Vienna. Although the fast surface fits Medvedev’s flat baseline shots, Rublev’s open stance is well suited in defense, and we’re sure to see many dynamic, aggressive point.Rod Laver Arena | 3:30 a.m. WednesdayRafael Nadal vs. Stefanos TsitsipasRafael Nadal, the No. 2 seed, has moved smoothly through the first four rounds, no surprise for a player with 20 Grand Slam titles. Although Nadal won his only Australian Open title over a decade ago, he has reached the finals on four other occasions since, and is a clear favorite in his half of the draw to do so again. Nadal’s powerful topspin shots are well-suited to clay courts where he can drag opponents around with tightly angled shots. Nadal’s ability to exploit his opponent’s weaknesses with relentless pressure can break most players on their best days.Stefanos Tsitsipas, the ATP finals winner in 2019, is a study in unpredictability. The fifth seed has a capable all-court game, but lacks the consistency to execute match after match. The 22-year-old has worked to improve this aspect of his game, but needed five sets to push back unseeded Thanasi Kokkinakis in the second round. After receiving a walkover in the round of 16, Tsitsipas will be well rested and hoping for an advantage against one of the most mentally tough players on tour.
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It has been more than a year of inaction for Roger Federer now. He last played at the Australian Open 2020, where the Swiss maestro saw a straight-set loss against the Serbian Novak Djokovic. It was a tough series for him where he had to test his physical limits in 2 five-setters. The 20-time grand slam champion later in the same year underwent double knee surgeries. All of this kept him away from the tennis court even after various countries lifted lockdown and the sport made a much-awaited return. However, the latest news is a big positive for the Federer camp. Martina Navratilova reflected on the comeback of Roger Federer The Swiss great will make his return to the ATP Tour at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha. Also, the latest development suggests that he can then play an ATP 500 tournament in nearby Dubai. In a recent interview, a jovial Martina Navratilova learned the news and reacted with some humor. The 18-time women’s Grand Slam champion expressed, “I think he just wants to stay in Burj Al Arab again, but amazing! “It’s great to see Roger back, it’s about time for him sitting for over a year. So I’m glad he’s healthy and playing again.” That he is coming back with an ATP 250 will ensure that he does not have to put too much pressure on himself for advancing deeper in the event. Prior to this, there were headlines that alleged Roger was fit enough to return for Australian Open 2021 and that he decided against it because of family reasons. Can the Ninjafed make a successful return? Roger Federer gestures to the spectators before hitting signed tennis balls into the stands during the 2019 Hopman Cup. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)Well, it might be an ATP 250, but it has participation from some of the best ATP players. The 2020 US Open champion Dominic Thiem, the ATP Cup 2021 hero Andrey Rublev, and of course King Roger himself will stay in the highlight of the event. Apart from these names, there are six players from the Top-20 that’ll make the competition juicier. From Roger’s Swiss companion Stan Wawrinka to Roberto Bautista Agut, Gael Monfils, and others, it will not be an easy draw for the legendary 39-YO. However, the rusty Federer is also the mighty Federer, and he has always dominated all the aforementioned names with his stinging play. Also notably, his participation in the Dubai event will depend on how his body reacts to the Qatar event. The event will kick off on March 8th and the world will cheer for the arguable GOAT. READ MORE- Why is Roger Federer Considered the GOAT?
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Lionel Messi leads the Team of the Week in La Liga after his outstanding performance for Barcelona in the 5-1 win against Alaves.After being rested for the previous league match against Betis, Messi (10) was restored to the starting XI for league action versus Alaves, and he looked dangerous from pretty much the opening whistle.He would score two and set-up another in the game, with his first coming via a whipped strike in off the post from 25 yards.It would have taken a lot to better his opening goal, but he managed it, with an absolutely beautiful curled effort into the top left corner from around the same distance.Messi’s assist would be for Francisco Trincao, but he also played a huge part in the fifth and final goal, too, as it was his delightful scooped pass over the top of the Alaves defence which was met by Antoine Griezmann to assist Junior Firpo.Trincao (8.8) makes the Team of the Week too after his first ever double for the Blaugrana.Leading the line is Celta’s Santi Mina (8.7) who scored two to end his team’s run of six without a win with victory versus Elche.Making up the front four is Alex Berenguer (9.1), who also scored two goals, this time for Athletic Bilbao in an impressive 4-0 away win at Cadiz.Toni Kroos (9.5) kept things ticking over in midfield for Real Madrid as he usually, does, completing 101/107 passes and enjoying 115 touches of the ball. He did, however, also play a part in both goals in the 2-0 win against Valencia with a goal of his own plus an assist.Sergio Canales (8.3) joins him in midfield following a solid outing for Betis.Firpo (7.7) makes it in at left-back following his goal for Barcelona, while he also misplaced just four out of 57 attempted passes.Nobody had more touches of the ball or completed more passes this weekend than Clement Lenglet (7.5) with tallies of 121 and 106.Lucas Vazquez (8.2) is the only substitute in the Team of the Week, as he replaced Dani Carvajal in the first half for Real Madrid to go on and earn himself an assist for Kroos.Diego Carlos (7.6) makes up the back four.Osasuna earned a potentially vital 1-0 win away at Levante, and have goalkeeper Sergio Herrera (8.4) to thank after his four saves to earn his clean sheet.LA LIGA TEAM OF THE WEEK
Karachi: Lahore Qalandars captain Sohail Akhtar has said that they will try to manage Pakistan’s leading pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi’s workload during the Pakistan Super League (PSL) season six.
While talking to media in a pre-tournament presser, Sohail revealed that the star pacer won’t be overburdened and will be provided rest when needed.
“He is an asset for Pakistan and we will try to manage his workload properly by giving him rest whenever it is needed and possible by the team,” he said.
Sohail emphasized that in the last season, their spin attack was weak and after Rashid Khan’s arrival in the side, the attack is now strengthened.
“Rashid Khan is the top bowler of the world. With his arrival our spin attack has also got some much-needed experience and it has made our bowling attack a top class one,” Akhtar said.
Meanwhile, Sohail is confident of doing well this season too as they were the runners-up in PSL 2020. “We played good cricket last year. We came so near to the title but couldn’t finish well. This year, we will try to overcome our all shortcomings and give our best. the Qalandars are positive and focused about the upcoming tournament.”
Read: Lahore Qalandars appoint Shaheen Shah as vice-captain for PSL 6
Previous articleLahore Qalandars appoint Shaheen Shah as vice-captain for PSL 6
IPL 2021: As part of its commitment to harnessing potential, and grooming young talent across India, Rajasthan Royals, in partnership with the Assam Cricket Association, today announced the launch of the State Cricket Academy, Assam powered by Rajasthan Royals in Guwahati. The IPL franchise has announced their first academy in the North East, which is in line with their vision of discovering, nurturing, promoting and providing a platform to young talent.
The Academy is based in Guwahati’s Barsapara stadium and will cater to young cricketers (men and women) across Assam and other north-eastern states. The Royals, through this academy will also help develop an elite group of Assam Cricketers through a complete training and education programme including both on and off the pitch essentials, ensuring their all-round development. The academy will also see knowledge and training imparted by the RR expert coaching team to the coaches of the Assam Cricket Association to aid them in improving the overall value chain of coaching.
Commenting on the partnership and the opportunities it brings to all parties, Rajasthan Royals Chairman Ranjit Barthakur said: “Development has always been the essence of the Royals’ Cricketing operations and this partnership with the ACA is yet another step in the right direction. After having successfully launched and run youth programmes in Jaipur, setting up academies across the country was something that was always on the cards for us. I’m delighted to start our North East journey by setting up this academy in Guwahati. With our partnership with ACA, we aim to keep the whole of the North-east in mind, wherein we aim to bring in around 1000 cricketers through the system, who will be capable of playing at the highest level with inputs from the RR team.”
The Assam Cricket Association have expressed their delight at this partnership, Shri Romen Dutta, President, Assam Cricket Association said that the prized partnership would go a long way in producing quality cricketers from Assam. He also shed light on the various ambitious infrastructural projects being taken up by the Assam Cricket Association across the State for the development of Cricket in the region.
Speaking at the launch, Rajasthan Royals Riyan Parag said, “I’m absolutely delighted about the launch of this cricket academy in Guwahati. I have witnessed first-hand the passion and talent that exists in the region and I have no doubt that the academy kids will benefit greatly from the Royals brand of cricket coaching. The academy will be fantastic for the budding cricketers in the region.”
The Royals, through this partnership, will create a detailed plan and layout of the academy functioning – providing quality control and support for the players and the coaching staff. The academy will be the nucleus for cricket development in the entire North East. The plan will then move on to be implemented in the further academies to be set up across India including one to be launched in the near future in Rajasthan.
The Jaipur-based franchise will set-up development pathways for elite players through participation opportunities in matches against the RR youth sides and through involvement in the RR practice sessions. The top elite players will also have the opportunity to be part of the Rajasthan Royals trials ahead of the next auction.
The Assam Cricket Association will be in charge of the day-to-day operations including the management of the resources. The ACA will also build the infrastructure for the academy which will include the ground and the other requisite facilities.
The Assam Cricket Association have expressed their delight at this partnership, Devajit Saikia, Secretary Assam Cricket Association said “ACA-RR tie up is going to boost our skill development programme for budding as well as frontline cricketers of Assam as RR’s youth development and talent search programme is a success story. Hope boys of Assam and the entire North East will reap major benefits from this endeavour of ACA.”
India is not going to participate in the ISSF (International Shooting Sports Federation) World Cup in Changwon, due to South Korea’s mandatory 14-day quarantine rule. India is also set to host a World Cup later on, from March 18 to 29, at the Dr. Karni Shooting Range, in Delhi.Shooting has been India’s forte in multi-sport events in recent times, and the country is expecting a few medals from the discipline in the upcoming 2021 Tokyo Olympics as well. With few months left for the mega event to kick-off, the shooters are in a race against time to prepare for it, while the upcoming ISSF World Cup was a major part of it. But, as per the recent reports, India will not take part in the meet in Changwon, due to South Korea’s mandatory 14-day quarantine rule, which will not allow the athletes to train during that period.”Our shooters are not going to be participating in the World Cup in Korea as there is a 14-day mandatory quarantine. That means they will not be able to train for that period,” said a top official of the (NRAI) National Rifle Association of India, as reported by PTI.The ISSF World Cup, in Changwon, which is scheduled to be held from April 16 to 27, is a combined tournament, featuring shooters from rifle, pistol, and shotgun events competing for medals. The organisers have clearly stated that they are not going to exempt the shooters from the mandatory 14-day quarantine rule. India is also set to host a World Cup, from March 18 to 29, at the Dr. Karni Shooting in Delhi.Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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Chennai: India captain Virat Kohli said Tuesday his side showed more “grit” and “determination” to thrash England in the second Test, playing down complaints about the difficult pitch.
With local hero Ravichandran Ashwin claiming eight wickets in the match and scoring 106 in the second innings, India completed a 317-run victory inside four days in Chennai.
Left-arm spinner Axar Patel claimed a five-wicket haul on his Test debut as England were out for 164 while chasing an unlikely 482 on day four.
Some said the Chennai pitch, which crumbled from nearly the first day, was not fit for a Test.
But England made no public complaint and Kohli rejected the criticism and said his side played a “perfect game”.
“I think our application with the bat was outstanding,” said the India captain.
“The conditions were challenging for both sides but we showed more application and grit and determination to battle it out.
“We didn’t panic out there looking at the hard turn and bounce on that pitch.”
Kohli highlighted that India scored 600 runs over two innings despite the conditions, and winning the toss made no difference.
“So if you put up that kind of batting performance and you string in those important batting partnerships then we know that our bowlers are going to do the job.”
England captain Joe Root conceded that his side were “outplayed in all three departments this week” and had to learn quickly before the third Test in Ahmedabad.
But he added: “I would say it was a challenging wicket. I do think that it was an important toss to win.”
England, he said, now have to be “honest” and learn quickly to adapt to conditions in India.
England, struggling since the opening day, kept losing wickets after resuming on 53-3 on day four.
Root departed for 33 soon after lunch, falling to Patel.
Left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav joined in to finish off the innings, taking Moeen Ali after he smashed 43 off 18 balls.
The last wicket partnership of 38 between Ali and Stuart Broad, unbeaten on five, was England’s highest of the match.
England, who have been resting and rotating players, said Ali would be returning home after the Test.
Ali had coronavirus in Sri Lanka but recovered to take a total of eight wickets in the second Test against India.
Ashwin’s five wickets to help bowl out England for 134 in the first innings in response to India’s 329 set the tone for the host’s dominance.
England conceded a lead of 195 and then struggled on a pitch that offered turn from day one.
“This wicket was very different to the one we played on in the first game,” Ashwin conceded, but he added that the wickets had not fallen from the balls he expected.
“It was the mind of the batsmen that got us wickets.”
Opener Rohit Sharma hit an attacking 161 to set up India’s big innings after they won the toss and elected to bat first.
Sharma’s seventh Test century and his first against England raised the pitch of the returning Indian crowd — present in a stadium for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic.
Kohli made 62 in the second innings, putting on a key 96-run seventh-wicket partnership with Ashwin on day three.
Both sides need to win the series to take the second place in the World Test Championship final against New Zealand later this year.
The third Test — a day-night match — will begin in Ahmedabad on February 24.
Authorities have not said if fans will be allowed into the world’s biggest cricket stadium — with a 100,000-plus capacity — for the game.
Read: England thrashes India by 227 runs in first Chennai Test
Johnathan Thurston says he’ll strongly consider joining Queensland’s State of Origin coaching staff if offered a role for the 2021 series.The Maroons legend, who made 37 Origin appearances is widely tipped to serve as an assistant under newly appointed Queensland coach Paul Green.”Once you’re in it it’s very consuming, I love the Maroon jersey everything about it, so yeah if I get asked yeah I’d certainly consider it,” Thurston said.JT toasts the aggression reignited into Origin: JT’s Roast and Toast”I’ve got to talk to the boss first because four young kids at home, eight, six, four and two this year they are. The eight-year-old is going on 18 so it’s tough times for the wife.”Thurston and Green combined as captain and coach to deliver the Cowboys’ first NRL premiership in 2015 and JT believes his former mentor will make a seamless transition into Origin.”There’s been a lot of talk about his intensity and things like that, but it’s State of Origin, it’s the best players you’re working with,” Thurston said.”It’s about making sure everyone understands their role in the team and that’s what he brought to the Cowboys. “He’s one of the best footy brains going round Greeny, so I’m predicting our boys will go back-to-back with him at the helm.” What Origin means to QueenslandersThurston’s home town of Townsville will host the first major match of the year when the NRL All Stars game kicks off on Saturday and he’s advocating for North Queensland to stage a State of Origin match as well. “Yeah 100 percent. Not only can we hopefully attract an Origin game but hopefully we can attract teams from other codes to come and play because it’s a world class stadium it’s a world class high performance centre … so that’s what we want.”For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!
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Jessica Pegula. (Photo by Andy Cheung/Getty Images)Packers: 3 moves Green Bay can make thanks to David Bakhtiari by Rucker Haringey Jessica Pegula continues her magical run at the 2021 Australian Open, knocking off the No. 5 player in the world to get to the quarterfinals.Jessica Pegula is one match away from getting to the 2021 Australian Open semifinals. The daughter of Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula just pulled off an incredible upset in the fourth round on Sunday, defeating the No. 5 player in the world Elina Svitolina 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals. Pegula faces No. 22 Jennifer Brady on Tuesday.This was the 26-year-old’s first victory over a top-10 opponent, as well as her first trip to a Grand Slam quarterfinal. It will be an All-American quarterfinal between Pegula and Brady on Tuesday.“It’s an opportunity for both of us,” said Pegula after defeating Svitolina on Sunday at Rod Laver. “I’m just happy I’m here. She’s been playing some good tennis, solidifying herself as a top player.”Perhaps the Bills’ success will continue to carry over to Pegula in Australia?The Bills are coming off their best season in Pegula’s lifetime. Buffalo had not hosted a playoff game since before she was born. While the Sabres continue to not do much of anything on the NHL side of things, the Bills were one win away from making their fifth trip to the Super Bowl in franchise history. The Bills should be one of the top five teams in the NFL again next season.While Pegula’s remarkable run in Melbourne may be coming to an end soon, being able to knock off the No. 5 player in the sport in such a high-profile event as the Australian Open is a huge accomplishment. Pegula is in her athletic prime and with one more victory over a ranked opponent, she will be one of the last four women’s tennis players remaining in this tournament.Pegula’s run in the 2021 Australian Open has been one of the better stories of the entire event.
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Bienve Maranon and Angelo Kouame near naturalization. FILE PHOTOS
MANILA, Philippines — Athletes Angelo Kouame and Bienvenido Marañon’s naturalization bids have hurdled the House of Representatives, bringing them another step closer to gaining Filipino citizenship.
During its Tuesday session, the lower chamber approved on third and final reading House Bill No. 8632 and 8631 which grants Filipino citizenship to Ateneo Blue Eagles’ Ivorian basketball star Kouame and United City FC’s Spanish football striker Marañon, respectively.
Naturalization is a step required for the athletes to compete under the Philippine flag.
Once a naturalization bid hurdles the House, it will be passed to the Senate before its submission to the Office of the President.
Kouame was included in the 16-man lineup of Gilas Pilipinas for the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifiers in Manama, Bahrain, but was not able to suit up due to his pending naturalization.
The center from Ateneo was named UAAP Rookie of the Year in 2018.
During the hearing of the House committee on justice back in December 2020, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) President Al Panlilio said that the Philippines eyes to progress in the international basketball ranking by excelling in different tournaments.
“Almost every team has a naturalized player especially in our region because the Europeans are very big,” Panlilio said.
“We are hoping with Ange here–He’s been here for four years. And I think it is an investment for the national team program of the SBP with Ange to be with us maybe for the next 10 to 15 years,” he added.
Meanwhile, Manila Rep. Manuel Luis Lopez, who filed the bill for Maranon’s citizenship, said that Marañon “has shown exceptional skills complemented by commendable work ethics.”
“He is known as one of the most prolific scorers in Southeast Asia,” Lopez said.
“If granted the opportunity to play for the Philippines, Maranon will undoubtedly be an invaluable asset to the national football team, the Azkals, and bring pride and honor to our country,” he added.
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