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French Open: Paes, Bopanna enter men’s doubles quarters, Sania-Martina ousted

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Paris, May 29 : India’s tennis stars Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna stormed into the quarter-finals of their respective men’s doubles events while Sania Mirza and her Swiss partner Martina Hingis were knocked out of the women’s doubles in the French Open here on Sunday.

The 16th-seeded Paes and his Polish partner Marcin Matkowski stunned fourth seeds England’s Jamie Murray and Brazil’s Bruno Soares 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4) in one hour and 43 minutes in the third round to enter the last eight stage.

Bopanna and his men’s doubles partner Romanian Florin Mergea outclassed the US’ Brian Baker and New Zealand’s Marcus Daniell 6-2, 6-7 (4), 6-1 in one hour and 48 minutes in the third round to enter the last eight stage.

Sania-Martina

Saina and her women’s doubles partner Martina Hingis were defeated by Czech duo Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova with a 3-6, 2-6 win in one hour and eight minutes in the third round, while Bopanna and his mixed doubles partner Russia’s Alla Kudryavtseva were beaten by top seeds England’s Jamie Murray and Chinese Taipei’s Hao-Ching Chan 6-2, 3-6, 8-10 in 59 minutes in the second round.

In the men’s doubles, the sixth-seeded Bopanna and Mergea got their match off to a positive start, taking an important 4-2 lead over their opponent and from there on, the duo broke Baker-Daniell’s serve twice to win the first set comfortably by a healthy 6-2 margin.

In the second set, both the sides displayed their best on the court, winning each game to make it 6-6 and take the set to a tie-breaker.

Baker-Daniell were the dominant side in the tie-breaker as the duo played sensibly to edge past Bopanna-Mergea 7-4 to win the second set and level things up 1-1.

In third and final set, the sixth-seeded pair broke their opponents twice to take a handy 5-1 lead and from there on served brilliantly to win the last game and the set 6-1.

On the other hand, the 16th seeded pairing of Paes and Matkowski gave a tough fight to their opponents but Murray-Soares held their nerves to make it 6-6 and forced the set to go into a tie-breaker.

But the first set tie-breaker also saw a close encounter which was eventually won by Paes-Matkowski 7-5 to take a vital 1-0 lead in the tie.

The second set also saw a nail-biting clash between the two sides as both kept winning individual serves to take the set to 6-6 and force yet another tie-breaker.

The Indian and his Polish partner eventually won the tie-breaker 7-4 to storm into the quarter-finals.

Later on, Sania and her partner Martina struggled at the start of their match as Barbora-Katerina broke their opponent twice to take an important 4-1 lead. The Czechs broke the top seeded pair yet again for the third time in the set to comfortably win it 6-3.

In the second set it was just the same story like the first one as Barbora-Katerina broke Sania-Martina twice to be on the lead yet again at 4-0. There was no looking back for the Czech duo as they made it look easy to stun the top seed and win the set 6-2 to grab a place in the quarters.

Bopanna and his mixed doubles partner Kudryavtseva got the match off to a positive start by breaking their opponent twice to take the opening set 6-2 but Murray and Hao-Ching came back strongly in the second set by breaking them twice to win the second set 6-3 and level things up.

With two sides winning one set each, the match went into the super tie-breaker. To seeds Murray and Hao-Ching won the super tri-break 10-8 to enter the quarter-finals.

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Madrid Masters tennis tournament cancelled: organisers

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The Madrid Open that was scheduled to take place from Sept. 12-20 has been cancelled due to the rise of COVID-19 cases in the Spanish Capital, Organisers said on Thursday.

“As an act of responsibility in view of the current situation caused by COVID-19 and having thoroughly evaluated the circumstance that the pandemic continues to generate… it has been decided that 2020 Muta Madrid Open will not take place this year,” organisers said in a satatement.

The tounament, which was to feature both men’s and women’s draws, was seen as an important event for players to prepare for the Frech Open which begins on Sept. 27.

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BCCI issues SOP; players must sign consent form before resuming training

BCCI is responsible for ensuring the resumption of cricketing activity in India to help secure employment of all its workforce and also provide a source of entertainment to the fans at the earliest.

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New Delhi, Aug 2 : The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Sunday issued the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to the state associations for the resumption of cricket. While these will help the state bodies restart cricketing activities, all players will have to sign consent forms before getting back to training.

In the 100-page SOP, accessed by IANS, the BCCI has touched on principles while returning to training, ground and practice facilities preparation with an eye on the pandemic, gymnasium protocols, physiotherapy and medical protocols as well as protocols to manage a suspected COVID-19 case.

It also has the consent form where the players have to acknowledge that there is risk associated with resuming training and that the player has been informed about the protocols in place and the precautions taken by the association.

The player also needs to acknowledge that the association can’t guarantee complete elimination of risk despite taking necessary precautions and that the player is willing to resume training.

With an eye on the whole situation with regards to the coronavirus pandemic, the BCCI has shared its views with the state bodies with regards to resumption of cricket.

“The BCCI as the governing body for the sport of cricket in India is responsible for ensuring that appropriate protocols are put in place to protect the health and safety of players, staff and all stakeholders. Covid-19, an infectious disease primarily affecting the lungs, poses a serious threat to the health of individuals as is evident from its spread to almost all countries around the world with more than 17.5 million infections and over 0.6 million deaths as on 1st August 2020. As the world grapples with Covid-19, cricketing activity has come to a standstill and players confined to the four walls within their homes.

“It is said that cricket is a religion in India and the fanfare and fervor that cricket commands are far greater than any other sport or event in the country. Besides, it also helps generate tremendous revenue and employs players and staff across 38 State teams, both in the men and women category. BCCI is responsible for ensuring the resumption of cricketing activity in India to help secure employment of all its workforce and also provide a source of entertainment to the fans at the earliest.

“However, the BCCI is concerned about the high infectivity rate of SARS CoV-2 and in the interest of health and safety of all players, staff and stakeholders, the BCCI would not like to compromise on the preventive measures by resuming too soon,” the SOP read.

“The purpose of these protocols is to ensure the safe resumption of cricket activities and the below guidelines may be amended from time to time as may be required depending on the existing Covid-19 situation in the country and the guidelines issued by the Government of India at appropriate times. These guidelines have been prepared by the BCCI Medical Team.

“All BCCI affiliated State Cricket Associations will adhere to these guidelines and take additional measures as may be necessary to prevent the spread of Covid-19 infection. Approvals must also be sought from local administration and health authorities before commencing any cricket activity. The health and safety of players, staff and stakeholders will be the sole responsibility of respective State Cricket Associations.”

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Thank you all for the lovely wishes for our baby boy: Hardik Pandya

After Hardik revealed to the world that he had become a father, wishes poured for him from all quarters. His Instagram post had read: “We are blessed with our baby boy.” It was posted with the picture of the baby’s hand.

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baby boy Hardik Pandya

New Delhi, Aug 2 : India all-rounder Hardik Pandya on Sunday expressed his gratitude to everyone who wished him and his family after the birth of his first child.

Hardik had earlier announced on his social media handle on Thursday that he and Natasa Stankovic were blessed with a baby boy.

Hardik thanked everyone for their wishes and wrote on his Twitter handle: “Thank you all for the lovely wishes for our baby boy. It meansAa lot to us.”

After Hardik revealed to the world that he had become a father, wishes poured for him from all quarters. His Instagram post had read: “We are blessed with our baby boy.” It was posted with the picture of the baby’s hand.

Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar wrote on his Twitter handle:”Many congratulations to the proud new parents! May the little one tiptoe with love into your hearts & stay there forever!”

India’s Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane also sent his wishes via Twitter and his post read: “Congratulations to you both!!”

“Many congratulations to you both, have a great time being a parent. God bless the lil Champ,” said batsman Suresh Raina.

“Congratulations Brotherman @hardikpandya7,” said spinner Yuzvendra Chahal.

Apart from the players, Hardik’s Indian Premier League (IPL) team Mumbai Indians (MI) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) also sent their wishes on Twitter.

“Welcome to #OneFamily Congratulations, @hardikpandya7 and Natasa,” tweeted MI.

“Congratulations to the couple and a warm welcome to Pandya Jr.,” said the BCCI on their Twitter handle.

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