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Sania-Martina claim 29th direct win, in Sydney final

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Top notion Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis bear a scare to win their 29th consecutive match as a pair to set a record for most consecutive wins in women’s doubles here on Thursday.

The Indo-Swiss pair won a rain-interrupted semi-final 4-6, 6-3, 10-8 against Romanian Raluca Olaru and Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan on Court 1 to enter the final of the Sydney International.

They veil the record set by Gigi Fernandez and Natasha Zvereva, who won 28 consecutive matches in 1994.

Equalling the record for the most wins on Wednesday, the Indo-Swiss combination had overcome the Chinese pair of Chen Liang and Shuai Peng 6-2, 6-3 to enter the semi-finals.

They are eyeing their second win of the year together after leading in the Brisbane International last week.

They claimed nine titles last year en route to being the top ranked women’s doubles team, the highlight being wins at Wimbledon and US Open.

On Thursday, the top pair, dubbed “SanTina” by their fans, were trailing by a set, lost 4-6, and were down 1-2 in the second set when rain intervened.

That helped them turn the tables upon resumption as they fought back to overturn the deficit and claim the second set 6-3 and utilized their experience to claim the decider narrowly 10-8.

The win was viewed by the ecstatic pair as an ideal preparation for their Australian Open ambitions, starting next week, which will be their straight Grand Slam triumph if they win it.

They have not lost a match since the Western and Southern Open late last year.

“It’s good to have a strong test like this, this going into a Grand Slam. We don’t always play super tennis but we come out, find a solution and now we’re the best doubles pair in the world,” Hingis said after the match.

“It seems like a long time since we lost! One of us helps (the) other all the time. Even when we want to break a racquet, we have to shake it off,” Sania said.

In the men’s doubles, Rohan Bopanna and Romanian Florin Mergea defeated Australians Sam Groth and John Peers 6-2,6-4 to enter the final of the tournament.

wefornews bureau

 

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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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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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Lewis Hamilton wins British Grand Prix for a record seventh time

LEWIS HAMILTON survived an almighty late scare to win his seventh British Grand Prix in dramatic style.

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Lewis Hamilton,

The Brit’s tyres completely gave way on the final lap at Silverstone, and he just about nursed the car home in a heart-stopping finale.

Bottas got off the line better than Hamilton and threatened to take the lead, but the Brit held off his attempt into turn one.

And that seemed to be as close as anyone came all day to denying Hamilton a remarkable seventh win at Silverstone – two more than Jim Clark and Alain Prost.

But then tyre drama struck both Mercedes drivers in the final few laps.

Bottas looked to be cruising to second place before a puncture just three laps from home ruined his afternoon.

Max Verstappen pounced to take second place while Charles Leclerc was third in his Ferrari.

Bottas dropped all the way to 12th place after his puncture just two laps from home in a nightmare finish.

And Hamilton’s tyres gave way, too, on the final lap, but he just had enough of an advantage to hold off Verstappen and win his third race in a row.

Daniel Ricciardo came home fourth in his Renault ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris and Esteban Ocon in 6th.

Valtteri Bottas (left) got away better off the line than Lewis Hamilton and threatened to take the lead
Valtteri Bottas (left) got away better off the line than Lewis Hamilton and threatened to take the leadCredit: Reuters
Lewis Hamilton held off his team-mate into turn one
Lewis Hamilton held off his team-mate into turn oneCredit: AFP
Kevin Magnussen crashed out in his Haas early on
Kevin Magnussen crashed out in his Haas early onCredit: Reuters
The safety car came out after Magnussen's crash - which is virtually a British Grand Prix tradition
The safety car came out after Magnussen’s crash – which is virtually a British Grand Prix traditionCredit: AFP
Daniil Kvyat lost control of his AlphaTauri in a nasty crash
Daniil Kvyat lost control of his AlphaTauri in a nasty crashCredit: AFP
The Russian driver walked away unscathed - but his car was in pieces
The Russian driver walked away unscathed – but his car was in piecesCredit: AFP

There was heartbreak before the race for late replacement Nico Hulkenburg when his car failed to start.

The German was drafted in at the last minute by Racing Point after Sergio Perez tested positive for Covid-19.

But he failed to start the race and ended up becoming one of few spectators watching the action when there would normally be more than 100,000 fans in attendance.

Lewis Hamilton had a lonely race up front with no challengers on track and no British fans this weekend - until the late drama
Lewis Hamilton had a lonely race up front with no challengers on track and no British fans this weekend – until the late dramaCredit: AP:Associated Press
Max Verstappen finished second with Charles Leclerc third
Max Verstappen finished second with Charles Leclerc thirdCredit: AP:Associated Press
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