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Federer reaches Indian Wells last 16 in 58 minutes

With his triumph on Monday, Federer, winner of the 2018 Australian Open (20th Grand Slam title) and the Rotterdam tournament, extends his winning streak this year to 14-0.

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Indian Wells (US), March 13 : World number one Roger Federer of Switzerland reached the round of 16 at the Indian Wells’ Masters 1000 tournament, easily winning against Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic, the 25th seed, in straight sets in 58 minutes.

Federer, five times winner of this tournament and defender of the title, invested less than an hour to win 6-2 and 6-1 against the number 28 in the world, reports Efe.

Federer will meet France’s Jeremy Chardy in the round of 16, who earlier eliminated his compatriot Adrian Mannarino 7-5, 4-6 and 6-1.

With his triumph on Monday, Federer, winner of the 2018 Australian Open (20th Grand Slam title) and the Rotterdam tournament, extends his winning streak this year to 14-0.

In Indian Wells, the Swiss has won five times (2004, 2005, 2006, 2012 and 2017) and was a finalist in 2014 and 2015, both times defeated by Serbian Novak Djokovic.

The only time he was not in the last game of the Californian tournament was in 2013, when he fell in the quarter-finals against Spanish Rafa Nadal. The Swiss has accumulated 97 titles in his career so far.

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FIFA World Cup: Croatia beat Nigeria 2-0

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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.

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

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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

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David Warner to debut in Caribbean Premier League

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St. Lucia, June 16: Caribbean Premier League (CPL) outfit St. Lucia Stars have signed banned Australia batsman David Warner in their squad for the upcoming season beginning August 8, the West Indian club announced on Saturday.

Warner will replace fellow big-hitting Australian D’Arcy Short, who was ruled out of the tournament after being selected in Australia A’s tour of India.

“We are excited to bring David to the Saint Lucia Stars. David is arguably one of the greatest batsman of the modern era and a winning player,” Stars General Manager Mohammad Khan was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.

Warner, who was handed a 12-month ban following his role in the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal, will make a return to competitive cricket in Canada’s inaugural Global T20 tournament for the Winnipeg Hawks later this month alongside his former skipper Steve Smith, who was also handed a 12-month suspension by CA.

The month-long CPL will also feature other Australians like all-rounder Shane Watson and Chris Lynn.

IANS

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