Australian Open: Serena Williams Through To Fourth Round

Serena Williams, Australian OpenSerena Williams has beaten fellow American Nicole Gibbs to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open in Melbourne.

The world number two won 6-1 6-3 in 63 minutes on Saturday.

She is chasing a 23rd Grand Slam singles title.

The 35-year-old six-time champion will play Czech’s Barbora Strycova, who also beat France’s Caroline Garcia 6-2 7-5.

Meanwhile, Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova came through a dramatic match to beat Slovakia’s Dominika Cibulkova 6-2 6-7 (3-7) 6-3.

She goes on to face Britain’s Johanna Konta, who trashed Caroline Wozniaki 6-3 6-1.

Croatia’s Mirjana Lucic-Baroni also advanced to the last 16 for the first time with a 3-6 6-2 6-3 win over Greece’s Maria Sakkari.

Euro 2016: Croatia Draw Czech Despite Crowd Violence

Euro 2016 Croatia, Czech Croatia have drawn Czech Republic 2 – 2 in the ongoing Euro 2016 championship in France, despite the violence that erupted from the Croatian end.

The crisis could be in reaction to Czech’s fightback goal, after being down by two goals to the Croatians.

This comes just as a French court jails three Russian fans for two years for their role in the violence in Marseille before the England-Russia opening match.

The watershed started in the 86th minute when some Croatians threw several flares on to the pitch after Tomas Necid replaced Jaroslav Plasil.Euro 2016 Crowd Violence

The referee, Mark Clattenburg, stopped the play when another flare was fired at an official’s direction, as fights also broke out in a section behind Petr Cech’s goal post.

The Croatians’ dream was subsequently truncated just as Clattenburg awarded a penalty in favour of Czech Republic.

Substitute Necid took advantage of the penalty to give Czech an equaliser, as they remain third in Group D while Croatia sit at the top of the group.

The crisis took place on Friday at the Stade Geoffroy Guichard in Saint-Etienne.

Petr Cech Named Czech Republic Player Of The Year

Petr CechArsenal goalkeeper, Petr Cech, has been named Czech player of the year for the eighth time.

The award was announced on Monday after votes by coaches, players and club officials. Football federation officials and journalists also participated in the poll.

Sparta Prague striker David Lafata, finished second while Hertha Berlin midfielder Vladimir Darida came third.

The 33-year-old Arsenal player has been capped 118 times since making his international debut in 2002.

Cech joined Arsenal from Premier League champions Chelsea last June after making over 400 appearances in 11 years at Stamford Bridge.

Petr Cech has helped Czech Republic qualify for Euro 2016 in France where they play Spain, Croatia and Turkey in Group D.

However, a calf muscle injury he sustained earlier in March has ruled him out of the forthcoming international matches against Scotland and Sweden.

National team coach Pavel Vrba was voted best coach for the sixth straight year.

Aruna Quadri To End 2015 As World Number 50

quadriNigeria’s Aruna Quadri will end 2015 as the world number 50 tennis player.

This is according to the latest ranking released by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF).

In 2015, Quadri featured in more than five ITTF World Circuits, with his best being the Lagos Open, where he played in the final against Assar.

In Europe, he took part in the German, Spanish, Polish, Croatian and Swedish Opens.

Quadri was also in the Kuwait and Qatar Opens where he managed to make it to the last 32 in some of the tournaments.

His best outing in Europe was at the Croatian Open where he made it to the last 16.

Under-17 World Cup: Mali Joins Nigeria In Semi-Final

Under-17The Malian Under-17 have joined their fellow Africans, Nigeria in qualifying for the semi-final of the 2015 Under-17 World Cup.

Mali’s miserly defence continued in their 1-0 victory over Croatia, with Les Aigles stretching their impressive run without conceding to almost five hours.

Sekou Koita’s first-half effort was enough to see off the Europeans, despite a booking for captain Abdoul Dante meaning their leader and defensive organiser would miss the historic semi-final.

This is their first FIFA U-17 World Cup semi-final.

Nigeria had earlier on Sunday night punished Brazil’s profligacy and strolled into the last-four with a 3-0 victory.

With eight semi-finals for holders Nigeria, they have now set a FIFA U-17 World Cup record, after surpassing Brazil by beating them in the Chile 2015 quarter-final.

Nadal Beats Dimitrov 6-4 4-6 6-3 As Wawrinka Crashes Out

nadalSpain’s Rafael Nadal has advanced to the quarter-finals of the Basel International, with a 6-4 4-6 6-3 victory over Grigor Dimitrov.

Nadal who had earlier beaten Lukas Rosol in the first round, dug deep to defeat his Bulgarian opponent, despite dropping the second set.

Second seed, Stan Wawrinka, won the first set against big serving Croatian, Ivo karlovic, but was beaten 3-6 7-6 6-4 as Karlovic used his combination of aces and powerful forehands against the Swiss.

Wawrinka could not rely on his trademark, backhand, to save him, with Karlovic winning the tiebreak in the second set to level the score and go on to win the third set 6-4 with three straight aces to finish.

Migrant Crisis: EU Member Countries Hold Emergency Talks

migrantEuropean Union (EU) member countries have held an emergency meeting to determine a common response to the migrant crisis.

Ten EU and three non-EU states were present at the meeting, but Turkey’s absence seems suspicious.

A draft statement has been put together, calling on countries to stop waving through migrants, without their neighbours agreeing.

It also proposes to bolster EU patrols at Greece’s borders and to send 400 extra guards to Slovenia.

Last week, Hungary closed its border with Croatia, causing a backlog of migrants seeking another route, though Slovenia.

The Slovenian Government on the other hand, has accused Croatia of deliberately dumping thousands of migrants on the border.

Earlier, front line countries in the middle of the migrant crisis have threatened to close their borders, to avoid becoming buffer zones for new arrivals.

Migrant Crisis: Balkan States Threaten Border Closures

migrant crisisFront line countries in the middle of the migrant crisis have threatened to close their borders, to avoid becoming buffer zones for new arrivals.

Bulgaria Romania and Serbia said they would act if states further north, which migrants hope to reach, close their doors.

The threat came ahead of talks between Balkan states and European Union (EU) members.

Slovenia’s President, Borut Pahor, said his country would “act on its own before it is too late,” if no solution was reached.

Prime Minister, Miro Cerar, had previously refused to rule out building a fence along its border with Croatia.

The International Organization for Migration said that more than 9,000 migrants arrived in Greece everyday last week – the highest rate so far in 2015.

Most of the migrants – including many refugees from the conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan – want to claim asylum in Germany.

Migrants Crisis: Tensions Rise In Balkans As Numbers Increase

migrants-4Tempers are rising among thousands of migrants heading north through Balkan States as their route to western Europe is stalled by new controls.

Croatia had asked its northern neighbour Slovenia to accept 5,000 migrants daily, but Slovenia said it would only take half that number.

The move had led to a build-up of people on Croatia’s border with Serbia.

Hungary, citing security concerns, had closed its borders with Serbia and Croatia, forcing migrants to switch to a slower route via Slovenia.

Buses crammed with people were backed up in Serbia on Sunday, and tempers flared between frustrated migrants and overstretched police officers.

Thousands of asylum seekers travelled north through the Balkans, with most aimed to reach Austria, Germany and other EU States.

Explaining Slovenia’s new restrictions on Sunday, Interior Ministry State Secretary, Bostjan Sefic, said that its northern neighbour, Austria was only accepting a maximum of 1,500 people a day.

He said that Slovenia “cannot accept unlimited numbers of migrants if we know that they cannot continue their journey”.

Migrant Crisis: Slovenia Braces After Hungary Border Closure

Migrant Crisis: Slovenia Braces After Hungary Border ClosureDesperate migrants have begun arriving in Slovenia by bus from Croatia, after Hungary shut its border with Croatia to try to stem the numbers arriving en route to Western Europe.

Hungary closed its border, reinforced with a razor-wire fence, at Friday midnight, but many of the migrants aimed to continue north to Austria and Germany.

European Union leaders had earlier failed to agree on a plan backed by Hungary to send a force to prevent migrants reaching Greece.

Hungary’s closure of its border with Croatia comes just a month after it shut its frontier with Serbia, which was another transit route to Western Europe.

According to BBC, Hungarian Foreign Minister, Peter Szijjarto, noted that border controls with Slovenia would be temporarily reinstated to safeguard Hungary from a “mass wave of unidentified, uncontrolled migrants.”

Hungary and Slovenia are both part of the passport-free Schengen zone, but Croatia is not.

‘Bring Under-17 FIFA World Cup Home’ Buhari Tells Golden Eaglets

U-17-world-cupPresident Muhammadu Buhari has urged the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria who are in Chile to participate in this year’s under-17 FIFA World Cup Tournament to bring back the world cup, as a perfect end-of-the-year gift for soccer-loving Nigerians.

The President made the demand on Friday while extending his best wishes for a triumphant outing to the Golden Eaglets.

A statement by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, said President Buhari urged the Golden Eaglets to do their utmost best, as the tournament opens on Saturday, to match the outstanding performance of their victorious predecessors who have won the competition four times including the inaugural edition in 1985 and the last tournament in 2013.

The President assured the Golden Eaglets and their handlers of the full support of the Federal Government and all Nigerians, as they strive to bring more sporting glory to their fatherland by outplaying all their opponents in Chile and winning the Under-17 World Cup for a record fifth time.

“President Buhari will follow the team’s progress through the tournament in Chile with keen interest and high expectation in the belief that the boys have the skills, dedication and determination required to make Nigeria world champions at the youth level once again,” the statement further read.

He called on the players to stay focused, avoid all distractions and put their globally acknowledged skills, ability and doggedness on display against the USA on Saturday, Chile on October 20, Croatia on October 23 and in all their subsequent matches to win the tournament and “give millions of soccer-loving Nigerians the perfect end-of-the-year gift”.

FIFA U-17 World Cup: Golden Eaglets Leave For Chile

Golden Eaglets To Leave For ChileUnder-17 world champions, the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria would leave for Santiago in Chile on Tuesday evening.

The world champions’ arrival on the South American continent is ahead of the FIFA U-17 World Cup which would hold from October 17 to November 8.

The team on Monday, rounded off their tour of Argentina with a convincing 2-1 win over the U-20 side of racing club of Buenos Aires, as Victor Osimhen and Funso Bamgboye scored the goals for the Eaglets.

Golden Eaglets coach, Emmanuel Amuneke, described the impressive performance of team as very encouraging, adding that the pre-World Cup camping in Buenos Aires had added value to the team’s preparation ahead of Chile 2015.

The world champions have been drawn against USA, Croatia and hosts, Chile in Group A of the World Cup tournament.