Tennis: Nadal Pulls Out Of US Open With Injury

nadalWorld Number One, Rafael Nadal, has pulled out of the US Open the US Open because of an injury to his right wrist.

Nadal suffered an injury to his right wrist at home in Mallorca on July 29 whilst practicing for the US hard court season and he was advised by doctors to wear a cast for two to three weeks but the problem forced him to miss the Rogers Cup in Toronto and the Cincinnati Open.

The defending champion had hoped to recover in time before August 25, when the US Open gets underway at Flushing Meadows but announced on his Facebook page that he would not defend his title due to the injury.

Nadal said: “I am very sorry to announce I won’t be able to play at this year’s US Open, a tournament in which I’ve played in three consecutive finals.

“I am sure you understand that it is a very tough moment for me since it is a tournament I love and where I have great memories from fans, the night matches, so many things.

“Not much more I can do right now, other than accept the situation and, as always in my case, work hard in order to be able to compete at the highest level once I am back.”

The problem is a new one for Nadal to deal with after long-running battles with his knees. Though he plays left-handed, he has a double-handed backhand.

Nadal has not competed since he was beaten by Australian teenager, Nick Kyrgios, in the fourth round at Wimbledon on July 1.

He announced late last month that he would not be defending either his Rogers Cup title in Toronto or his Western & Southern Open crown in Cincinnati.

The World Number One has reached the final in his last three appearances at Flushing Meadows and on each occasion, he played Novak Djokovic.

He beat the Serbian in 2010 and 2013, and lost to him in 2011. Nadal missed the 2012 US Open because of a knee injury which kept him on the sidelines for nine months.

He won his 14th Grand Slam title on the clay of Roland Garros in May this year, but his pursuit of Roger Federer’s record 17 trophies will go on hold until the Australian Open in January, at least.

It is only the fourth time in the Open era, which began in 1968, that the reigning US Open men’s champion has been unable to defend his title.

Nadal’s absence means in-form world No 3, Roger Federer, who won the Cincinnati Masters on Sunday,would be seeded second behind Djokovic.

 

Novak Djokovic Defeats Roger Federer To Win Wimbledon Final

novak-djokovicNovak Djokovic has beaten Roger Federer 6-7, 6-4, 7-6, 5-7, 6-4, to win his second Wimbledon title.

The game stated with both players being at each other’s’ throats and they managed to tie the first set 6-6, after Djokovic nets a forehand. Down to a tie-breaker and Federer, targeting his 8th Wimbledon won the tie-breaker 9-7 to take the first set.

Djokovic drew level after some blistering shots, although Federer did threaten to break in the last game but the Serb was assured of his range of strokes and took the game away from his senior rival, taking the second set 6-4.

Djokovic relied heavily on his forehand against Federer and after some relentless rallying, sealed the third set tie-breaker after a poor backhand from Federer to lead two sets to one.

After Djokovic took a mammoth 5-2 lead in the fourth set, Federer recorded a remarkable comeback, playing some sensational tennis as the Swiss steamed away to win the fourth set 7-5.

The World Number 2 went on to seal the victory with a 6-4 win in the final set, after some nervy display that saw him race away to a 15-30 lead, only to concede the game 4-4 to Federer after a tricky series of deuces.

Roger Federer was aiming to become the oldest Wimbledon champion in the Open era on Sunday as he targeted a record eighth All England Club title in his 35th career meeting with Novak Djokovic.

Federer, 32, won the first of his 17 majors at Wimbledon in 2003 and the most recent in 2012 but his failure to return to a Grand Slam final since has had his critics penning his career obituary.

The only time Federer and Djokovic met at a slam final was in the 2007 US Open, which Federer won.

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic have now faced each other 35 times, with Federer still leading 18-17 against the Serb.

Wimbledon Open: Djokovic And Federer In The Semis As Murray Crashes Out

federerTop seeds Novak Djokovic and seven times champion Roger Federer had to fight back to win their respective games  to claim their place in the Wimbledon semi-finals.

Djokovic was  trailing  two-sets-to-one against  26th-seeded Marin Cilic  before  turning things  around for  a 6-1, 3-6, 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 6-2 decision on the No. 1 Court.

The Serb snuck past Cilic  in 3 hours, 38 minutes with the help of a seven service breaks  and  six double faults by  his Croatian counterpart.

He will meet Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, who beat defending champion Andy Murray 6-1, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 in the semi final.

Federer, on the other hand lost the opening set of his quarter-final game to Australian Open champion and compatriot, Stanilas Wawrinka before coming through 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 6-4 on Centre Court.

This will be the ninth Wimbledon semi finals of the the 17 – time grand slam winner and his 35th career major semis.

Federer’s  next  opponent  will  be  6-foot-5  eighth-seeded Canadian  slugger, Milos Raonic,who ended world number 144 and 19-year-old Australian, Nick Kyrgios giant-killing act with a brutal 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) win

Raonic advanced with a resounding ace on his fourth match point after 2 hours, 22  minutes of big-hitting tennis.

In the women’s category, 3rd seed, Simona Halep will meet Eugenie Bouchard in the Wimbledon semi-finals after both completed straight-sets quarter-final victories.

Halep, who is the highest seed left in the draw, defeated 2013 finalist Sabine Lisicki 6-4 6-0 while Bouchard,who is the 13th seed from Canada, reached her third Grand Slam semi-final of the year with a 6-3 6-4 win over German, Angelique Kerber.

Czech pair, Petra Kvitova and Lucie Safarova will meet in the other semi- final match.

Murray Crashes Out of Wimbledon Open

dimitrov1Defending champion, Andy Murray, crashed out of the Wimbledon Open after a shock defeat to Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov.

Dimitrov came of age as he dismantled Murray 6-1 7-6(4) 6-2 in just a minute over two hours, handing him his first straight-sets defeat at Wimbledon since 2010’s loss to Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals.

The defeat ended Murray’s 17-match winning streak at the All England Club and was his first slam loss to a player ranked outside the top 10 in four years.

Murray lost his first set of the tournament as Dimitrov stormed into an early lead in their Wimbledon quarter-final clash.

The Scot, whose run at the All England Club included his 2012 Olympic gold and last year’s Wimbledon triumph over Novak Djokovic, made a strong start but could not convert a break point in a tight opening game, and Dimitrov grew in confidence from the opening four-minute test.

He had little trouble returning the Murray Serve and, unlike the Briton’s previous opponents, was able to dictate in the longer exchanges.

Dimitrov, who is seeded 11th, had too much with his big serve variety of shots and athletic defence for an off-key Murray, who looked underpowered on serve and made a host of unforced errors.

The Bulgarian, who is unbeaten in 10 matches on grass, has reached his first ever grand slam semi-final, doing so with a destructive display that Murray simply had no answer to throughout.

Wimbledon Open: Li Na Crashes Out, Djokovic Advances Despite Injury Scare

djokovic

Second seed, Li Na, was beaten 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-5) by Barbora Strycova in the third round of the women’s singles.

China’s Li was badly out of sorts against her Czech opponent, who will play 16th seed Caroline Wozniacki next.

Australian Open champion Li, 32, has not advanced beyond the third round in eight appearances at Wimbledon and lost in the first round at this year’s French Open.

Former world number one Caroline Wozniacki reached round four with a 6-3 6-0 defeat of Croatia’s Ana Konjuh.

Romania’s third seed, Simona Halep, runner up at this year’s French Open, reached round three with a 6-3 4-6 6-4 victory over Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko.

Twenty-two year old, Halep will play world number 71 Belinda Bencic next after the Swiss player beat American Victoria Duval 6-4 7-5.

Russian Ekaterina Makarova, seeded 22, also reached the fourth round with a 7-5 6-3 defeat of France’s Caroline Garcia.

In the men category, top seed Novak Djokovic moved into the fourth round of the men’s singles with a comfortable 6-4 6-2 6-4 defeat of Frenchman Gilles Simon despite injury scare.

The world number two will play 14th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga next after the Frenchman beat Jimmy Wang 6-2 6-2 7-5.

Djokovic was leading 3-2 in the third set and seemingly closing in on an uneventful victory when he dived to reach a forehand and appeared to twist his left arm.

The 2011 champion looked in extreme pain but a trainer manipulated his shoulder and the 27-year-old was able to continue.

South Africa’s Kevin Anderson beat 16th seed Fabio Fognini in five sets.

Anderson, the 20th seed, won 4-6 6-4 2-6 6-2 6-1 and will play Britain’s Andy Murray in round four, if the defending champion wins his third-round match against Roberto Bautista Agut.

 

World Tennis Championship: Djokovic Beats Tsonga

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic will face David Ferrer of Spain in Saturday’s (December 28) final of the World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi.

The Serbian defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France 7-6, 6-3 in the second semi-final on Friday.

Third-ranked Ferrer had earlier beaten world number one and Spanish compatriot, Rafael Nadal.

Tsonga used his power to good effect throughout Friday’s match, but world number two, Djokovic varied his shots and pace and never seemed to be working flat out.

The Serbian was watched by new head coach, Boris Becker, who seemed unsurprised by the result.

Djokovic cruises into Shanghai final with Berdych defeat

Novak Djokovic got into the Shanghai final gallantly and can now boast of an ATP Tour-leading 69-11 match record for the season as he secured a break in just the second game of the match to take control of the opening set, before taking it for the loss of just three games.

Berdych was always behind in the match, and he was unable to match the world number two in the second set as Djokovic closed it out efficiently to improve his head-to-head record over the Czech to 10-1 while securing his place in the final.

Djokovic will next take on the winner of two-time defending champion Andy Murray’s semi-final clash with world number one Roger Federer in the Shanghai showpiece.

Messi wins Excellence Sports Award

Barcelona striker Lionel Messi has won the Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Award (ESPY) for Best International Athlete.

The diminutive Barcelona star ended the 2011-12 season with a club record 73 goals, and helped his side to victories in the Spanish Supercopa, European Super Cup, the Club World Cup and the Copa del Rey.

The Argentinean skipper was fit throughout the season and that is the reason why he has managed to give out 63 appearances for both club and country. During these appearances, the Argentinean star has managed to score 80 goals and gave out 25 assists as well.

He played almost all the matches during this season and furthermore took part in the World Cup qualifying matches and the friendly games which the Argentinean national team played.

He also won the European golden boot, scoring 72 goals for the Spanish giants, Barcelona.

Though Messi could not help Barcelona win the Champions League or the Spanish La Liga, he was still the top scorer in both competitions. He was able to score 50 goals in the league, and scored 14 in the Champions League to be crowned as the golden boot for both tournaments.

Messi won the award for ‘Excellence in Sports Performance’, an award which was started back in the year 1993 after fans voted him of ahead of Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo and reigning US and Australian Open tennis champion Novak Djokovic and female golfer Yani Tseng to the prestigious honour, presented by sports broadcaster ESPN

Messi is the latest in a long line of sporting greats to receive the ward, including the likes of Roger Federer, Maria Sharapova and Usain Bolt.

Wimbledon: Federer beats Djokovic to reach final

Six-time champion Roger Federer produced a vintage display to beat defending champion Novak Djokovic 6-3 3-6 6-4 6-3 in the Wimbledon semi-final on Friday.

The Swiss maintained his record of never losing a Wimbledon semi-final to reach a record eighth showpiece match at the All England Club with a dominant performance under the closed Centre Court roof.

After the first two sets were shared in less than an hour, the match came alive in the third set.

Serving at 4-5 Djokovic blazed a smash long at 15-30 to give Federer two set points. Djokovic saved the first with a forehand but Federer seized his chance, winning a sensational 20-stroke rally with a smash to move within a set of the final.

Djokovic could not recover and dropped serve early in the fourth set as Federer rolled to his first final at the grasscourt slam since he beat Andy Roddick in 2009.

Federer held his nerve when he served for the match, sealing it after two hours and 19 minutes of high-octane action when Djokovic netted a forehand return.

“I’m ecstatic, I’m so happy,” Federer said immediately after walking off court to huge applause.

“I played a great match today and it’s been a tough tournament for me really. But I was able to play some fantastic tennis today and I thought Novak played good too.

“The first two sets went really quickly and then the third set was really key and I managed to step it up and maybe get a bit lucky because he also had break points near the end of the third. It was a lot of fun out there today.”

Looking ahead to a final against either Briton Andy Murray or Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who he lost to in the quarter-finals last year, the 30-year-old said: “I lost to Jo here last year and Andy’s beaten me more than I’ve beaten him I think.

“I have a tough task ahead of me, there’s a lot on the line because I can get all-time grand slam record and world number one so I have pressure but I’m excited about it.”

Federer will return to the top of the world rankings if he equals Pete Sampras’s seven Wimbledon titles on Sunday.

It would also mean he matches the American’s 286 weeks spent as world No.1.

REUTERS

Nadal beats Djokovic to win record seventh French Open

Spain’s Rafa Nadal beat Serbia’s Novak Djokovic 6-4 6-3 2-6 7-5 to win a record seventh French Open title on Monday.

The number two seed overtook Sweden’s Bjorn Borg, who won six Roland Garros titles, and ended Djokovic’s hopes of becoming the third man to win four consecutive grand slams.

Play had been suspended on Sunday because of rain with the Spaniard a break down in the fourth set, but he broke back in the first game on Monday.

The match was heading towards a fourth-set tiebreak but the number two seed set up a break point in the 12th game and Djokovic’s dream ended with a double fault.

Murray Dumped As Djokovic Progresses At The Indian Wells

Andy Murray

World No 1 Novak Djokovic eased into the third round of the Indian Wells ATP tournament on Saturday while fourth-seeded Andy Murray made a premature exit.

Djokovic, champion here in 2008 and last year, handed out a 6-3 6-2 thrashing to Kazakhstan qualifier Andrey Golubev, breaking his opponent’s serve twice in each set to triumph in one hour 20 minutes.

“It was a good start,” the top-seeded Serb said in a courtside interview after sealing the win with a powerful first serve that forced a wild backhand error by his 145th-ranked opponent.

“We didn’t play a beautiful match and there were a lot of unforced errors but look, it’s the opening match of the tournament for me and I am still getting used to the conditions and adjusting to the court.

“Hopefully the next match will be better,” added the Serb, who won his fifth grand slam crown at the Australian Open in January.

Djokovic, who beat Spaniard Rafa Nadal in last year’s final, will next face South African Kevin Anderson, who benefited from a walkover when Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber withdrew due to an unspecified illness.

World No 4 Murray, runner-up at Indian Wells in 2009, was upset 6-4 6-2 by 92nd-ranked Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, the second year in a row the Briton was eliminated in his opening match at Indian Wells.

“My return let me down and he hardly missed the ball,” Murray said after being broken once in the opening set and twice in the second. “I hit my backhand poorly tonight, no question.

“With the level of tennis nowadays you get no easy first round matches and you play a poor match, that’s what happens.”

Earlier, Czech Tomas Berdych advanced with a 6-7 6-3 6-4 win over Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky while AmericanAndy Roddick clawed his way back to beat Poland’s Lukasz Kubot 4-6 7-6 6-3.

Roddick, a break down and trailing 4-5 in the second set, was in danger of losing the match when he suddenly found form with his service returns to take control.

“That was all the difference,” said Roddick, whose world ranking of 31st is his worst since August 2001. “I had to have hit 10 winner returns from that point from being down in the second (set).

“I started putting pressure on every service game he had and broke like four times from then from not breaking at all for the first hour and 45 (minutes) I was out there.

“It was like a line in the sand. It went from terrible to good, for whatever reason. In the first two sets I couldn’t have hit a return into the ocean from the beach, much less on a tennis court.”

Former world No 1 Roddick will take on Berdych in the third round.

“We know each other pretty well,” he said of the Czech. “We’ve played a lot over the last couple of years. I think I’ve gotten him more than he’s gotten me.”

 

Murray beats Djokovic to reach Dubai final

British number one, Andy Murray beat world number one Novak Djokovic 6-2 7-5 in the semi-finals of the Dubai Tennis Championships on Friday, the duo’s first meeting since the Serb triumphed in a five-set epic at January’s Australian Open.

Djokovic started strongly, holding his opening two service games to love but from 2-2 a pumped-up Murray then won seven games in a row to claim the first set and go 3-0 up in the second on a balmy evening in Dubai.

Murray served for the match at 5-3 and nerves got the better of the world number four, double-faulting as Djokovic, 24, earned two break points.

A netted backhand from the Briton then enabled Djokovic to pull it back to 5-4 and the set appeared to be heading for a tiebreak. However, Murray roused himself to break again and seal victory after the Serb clubbed a forehand into the net.

Murray, 24, will now play the winner of Friday’s other semi-final between 16-times grand slam winner Roger Federer and Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro.

Only four points were dropped in the opening five service games, all by Murray, with the Serb seemingly assured as he sought to extend a 7-4 winning record against the Briton.

After appearing impregnable, Djokovic then made three errors in successive points while on serve, two from backhands that went wide and one forehand slugged into the net to give Murray a first break point.

Both players were cautious, scared of making an error on the match’s first big point, with Murray in particular seeking to take the pace out of the rally with some sliced backhands.

Djokovic eventually lost patience and a wild forehand gave Murray the first break and a 4-2 lead.

Djokovic, seeking a fourth straight Dubai title, rallied and went 15-40 up in the next game but Murray saved both break points, the first at the net with a backhand drop shot and the second with a fierce drive to Djokovic’s feet.

He eventually held for 5-2 and it was to get better for the Briton, Djokovic making more errors to slump to 0-40 down for three set points to Murray.

The three-times grand slam finalist took the second, a short Djokovic shot inviting Murray forward to send a backhand winner into the left corner for the first set.

Murray broke for a third time to go 2-0 ahead in the second set as Djokovic’s errors racked up.

Facing two break points, Djokovic seemed in control of the first by working Murray from side to side as both players hugged the baseline, but the Serb snubbed the chance of a smash winner from deep court and eventually played a forehand long.

The set then went with serve to leave Murray with ball in hand for the match, but five-times grand slam winner Djokovic broke for the first time after forcing two successive errors from his opponent and squared for 5-5.

Yet Murray, who a day earlier said he had only ever lost once or twice after serving for the match, came again for his first victory over the Serb since 2009 – excluding a Djokovic retirement in Cincinnati last year.