Connect with us

Sports

Federer eases into Rogers Cup semis

Published

on

roger-federer-wefornews
File Photo

Montreal, Aug 12 : Second-seeded Swiss Roger Federer coasted into the semi-finals of the Rogers Cup in Montreal with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Spain’s Roberto Bautista-Agut here.

Although the 12th-seeded Spaniard managed to make the score of both sets respectable, Federer was much sharper than in his Thursday round-of-16 match against Spain’s David Ferrer and never appeared threatened throughout the one-hour, eight-minute contest on Friday, reports Efe.

The 36-year-old, whose titles at the Australian Open and Wimbledon — the 18th and 19th of his legendary career — have made him the story of the 2017 tennis season, squandered a service-break lead early in the second set when he was broken for the lone time in the match.

But he broke Bautista-Agut’s serve in the ensuing game and never looked back.

“I struggled against Ferrer early on, so today was better. I was more committed and a step further in, adjusting my position slightly realizing the ball does fly a lot,” Federer was quoted as saying on the ATP World Tour’s Web site.

Next up for Federer on Saturday will be surprise semi-finalist Robin Haase of the Netherlands, who rallied to defeat diminutive Argentine Diego Schwartzman 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 in a battle of unseeded players.

In another round-of-16 action, 18-year-old Canadian rising star Denis Shapovalov stunned world No. 2 Rafael Nadal 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) and stymied the Spaniard’s hopes of regaining the No.1 ranking this week.

Either Nadal or the third-ranked Federer will take over the top spot in the rankings from Scotland’s Andy Murray on August 21, following the conclusion of next week’s hard-court event in Cincinnati.

Murray has withdrawn from Cincinnati with a lingering hip injury.

Both the Rogers Cup and the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati are tune-up events for the final Grand Slam tournament on the tennis calendar, the US Open, which gets under way on August 28.

(IANS)

Sports

FIFA World Cup: Spirited Switzerland hold off-colour Brazil

Published

on

Rostov (Russia), June 18: Switzerland came up with a gritty, fighting performance to hold title contenders Brazil 1-1 in a Group E match of the FIFA World Cup here on Sunday.

Both teams now have one point each.

Serbia are at the top of the group with three points, thanks to their victory over Costa Rica earlier in the day.

Brazil’s laboured efforts in their campaign opener continued this World Cup’s trend of big teams struggling to overcome lesser rated opponents.

Fellow title contenders Germany, Argentina and Spain have also failed to win their respective opening matches.

Even though former champions Uruguay and France enjoyed winning starts, they were forced to struggle before eking out narrow wins over relatively weaker opponents.

Brazil dominated the early stages of Sunday’s match but the talented Swiss team gradually found their rhythm and started to create moves off the counter.

Philippe Coutinho handed Brazil the lead with an in-swinging, dipping free-kick in the 20th minute.

Switzerland made a strong comeback after the break with Steven Zuber exploiting some loose marking to head in the equalizer off a corner in the 50th minute.

The goal seemed to rejuvenate the Europeans and they put the five-time world champions on to the back foot with some excellent attacking play.

The South Americans gradually regained their attacking rhythm but were repeatedly let down by the poor quality of their final pass.

The Swiss defence was extremely well organised and allowed very little space to the Brazil forwards.

The Europeans employed tight marking and some tough, physical defending to thwart the repeated Brazilian attacks.

The Swiss defenders were guilty of committing numerous cynical fouls on Brazil’s star forward Neymar throughout the game.

Brazil’s attacking talisman, who struggled to recover from a foot injury before the tournament, did his level best, but was left battered by repeated fouls.

The Swiss players tried everything — pulling Neymar’s jersey, body checks and even the good old boot to the leg — to stop the Brazil star.

The rest of the Brazil forward line also struggled to penetrate the well organised Swiss defence.

Although they did create several half chances, Brazil were let down by poor finishing on those occasions.

The Swiss were having finishing problems of their own at the other end of the pitch and failed to take advantage even though the Brazil defence allowed them time and space on several occasions.

One of Brazil’s best chances fell to Miranda a couple of minutes into second-half injury time.

But the defender fired his close range attempt narrowly wide of the post with Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer well and truly beaten.

Neymar had another chance to redeem a rather forgettable performance in the closing seconds when Brazil were awarded a free-kick just outside the Swiss penalty box.

But the former FC Barcelona star came up with yet another poor effort as the Swiss enjoyed an excellent start to their campaign.

IANS

Continue Reading

Sports

FIFA World Cup: Croatia beat Nigeria 2-0

Published

on

Kaliningrad (Russia), June 17 :Croatia went to the top of Group D in the FIFA World Cup following their 2-0 easy victory over Nigeria at the Kaliningrad Stadium here on Saturday.

Veteran striker Mario Mandzukic played his part in both the goals from Croatia, who now have three points. The other teams in the group, Argentina and Iceland, played a 1-1 draw earlier in the day in Kazan.

Croatia, playing with a 4-2-3-1 formation, expectedly controlled the game from the beginning. Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic, playing in a two-man midfield, had their say in everything, making critical forward passes and stopping Nigeria’s mobility towards Croatian goal.

Croatian left winger Ivan Perisic had the first shot on goal as Mandzukic teed off a counter-attack but the Inter Milan man’s shot from outside of the box sailed over the cross-bar in the 13th minute.

Couple of minutes later, Andrej Kramaric then had his moment but he fired wide of the left post after being fed by Modric.

Croatia were mounting pressure with each passing time while Nigeria struggled to get into the box, let alone making a shot on goal.

Chelsea right winger Victor Moses was impressive but Croatia’s left-back Ivan Strinic, who plays for Italian club Sampdoria, controlled him well.

The first goal for Croatia resulted after Nigerian midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo deflected in a diving header from Mandzukic at the left post into his own net following a corner kick from Luka Modric in the 32nd minute.

Till the first-half end, Nigeria failed to create anything and hardly looked like getting an equaliser.

At the beginning of the second-half, Nigeria tried to push for an equaliser. They earned multiple corners but Mandzukic and his teammates showed their hard work to deny the Africans.

Then off a quick switch of play, Modric played a through ball to Perisic on the left and the latter fired in a swinging cross inside the box but Croatian right winger Ante Rebic’s right foot put a heavy touch for the ball to fly over.

Later, Nigeria tried to infuse attacking firepower by throwing in attackers Ahmed Musa and Kelechi Iheanacho. But Croatia were tight in their markings and cut down the spaces efficiently to keep Nigeria at bay.

The European team got its cushion goal in the 71st minute when William Ekong brought down Juventus star Mandzukic inside the box while defending a corner, leading to a penalty from which captain Luka Modric scored.

Afterwards, Croatia withdrew some of ther attackers to make it a heavy midfield and successfully defend their two-goal advantage for the convincing victory in the opening match.

Continue Reading

Sports

FIFA World Cup 2018: France beat Australia 2-1 in Group C match

Published

on

FIFA World cup australia france

Kazan, June 16: Midfielder Paul Pogba scored the winning goal for France, who overcame Australia 2-1 in a FIFA World Cup Group C contest here on Saturday.

Pogba’s 80th-minute strike, a chip which kissed the cross-bar before moving in, gave France the 2-1 lead after Mile Jedinak’s 62nd-minute penalty had cancelled Antoine Griezmann’s conversion from the penalty spot four minutes earlier.

Griezmann converted a penalty which was awarded after Joshua Risdon fouled the Atletico Madrid forward inside the box in the 56th minute.

A few minutes later, Samuel Umtiti raised his hand to a free-kick from the right, resulting in a penalty. Jedinak stepped up to successfully convert the penalty and pull Australia level 1-1.

IANS

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Most Popular