Medvedev to face Tsitsipas, Nadal challenge on way to Indian Wells final
Russian tennis player, the newly-crowned world No. 1 Daniil Medvedev, has got a challenging draw at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, as the 26-year-old top seed could play Spanish stalwart Rafael Nadal in a blockbuster semifinal, with fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece in his quarterfinals.
If Medvedev and Nadal make it to the last-four, they will clash for the third time in less than two months. The 35-year-old legendary left-hander has won both of their meetings this year, rallying from two sets down for a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title at the Australian Open before defeating Medvedev again at the Mexican Open at Acapulco in straight sets.
The 26-year-old Medvedev will be chasing his first title in the California desert, where he owns a 5-4 record. Last year, he reached the Round of 16 before losing a tough three-setter in the Round of 16 against 2017 ATP Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov. Medvedev, who is 12-3 on the season, has excelled at ATP Masters 1000s, where he has won four of his 13 tour-level trophies. He has triumphed at least once at this level in each of the past three seasons.
The world No. 1 will open his run against Australian Alexei Popyrin or a qualifier. Medvedev could meet 26th seed Gael Monfils of France in the third round, reigning Next Gen ATP Finals champion Carlos Alcaraz of Spain in the fourth round and fifth seed Tsitsipas in the quarterfinals.
Defending champion Cameron Norrie of Great Britain is also in the top quarter of the draw. The 12th-seeded will open his title defence against Spaniard Pedro Martinez or a qualifier, with a potential rematch against 2021 Indian Wells finalist Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia in the third round, according to atptour.com.
Nobody arrives at Indian Wells in better form than Nadal, who has enjoyed a career-best 15-0 start to the season. The fourth seed is a three-time champion at this event, where he is set to compete for the first time since 2019.
Nadal made at least the semi-finals in eight consecutive appearances at Indian Wells from 2006-13. The lefty has tallied a 54-10 record at the Masters 1000 event, and the 35-year-old will try to claim a record-tying 37th crown at this level.
The Spaniard might face a familiar foe in the second round, if Sebastian Korda defeats a qualifier. The American looked up to Nadal and they trained together on Tuesday morning. Nadal defeated Korda in the fourth round of Roland Garros in 2020.
Eighth seed Casper Ruud is the next highest-ranked player in Nadal’s quarter, which also features 10th seed Jannik Sinner, 13th seed Denis Shapovalov and big-serving American Reilly Opelka. Crafty Briton Daniel Evans is the first seeded opponent Rafa could play.
Wild card Nick Kyrgios is also in Nadal’s quarter, but on the opposite half. The Australian begins his American swing against Argentine Sebastian Baez, who competed in Milan last year.
Second seed Novak Djokovic was drawn to face 2017 ATP Finals runner-up David Goffin of Belgium or Australian Jordan Thompson in the second round. The Serbian began his season in Dubai, where he lost in the quarterfinals against Czech lefty Jiri Vesely.
Former World No. 1 Andy Murray, who received a wild card, will play a qualifier in the first round for the right to challenge Alexander Bublik, the 31st seed from Kazakhstan. Third seed Alexander Zverev of Germany will face Dimitrov or American Tommy Paul in the second round.
‘I’m happy here’: Cristiano Ronaldo pledges to continue at Al Nassr in Saudi Pro League
Portugese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo has vowed to continue at Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia despite walking away empty handed in this season. The 38-year-old has earmarked the tournament to be among the top five in the world.
Ronaldo, who signed a two and a half year contract with Al Nassr, scored 14 goals in 16 games in the season, with his side standing second behind Al Ittihad in the Saudi Pro league. However, there were speculations about how long will he stay as reports of swap deal with Saudi-owned Newcastle United emerged, who have now qualified for next season’s Champions league.
In an official Saudi Pro League interview, the star footballer revealed:
“I’m happy here, I want to continue here, I will continue here. And in my opinion, if they continue to do the work that they want to do here, for the next five years, I think the Saudi league can be a top five league in the world. I expected to win something this year, but we didn’t, but next year I’m really positive, but next year I’m really positive and confident that things will change and we go in a better way.”
Cristiano Ronaldo suggests he is still adjusting to strange training timings in Saudi Arabia:
Ronaldo also revealed how contrasting the training timings in Europe and Saudi Arabia are, elaborating:
“In Europe, we train more in the morning, but here we train in the afternoon or evening and in Ramadan, we train at 10 at night. So this is strange but as I tell you, these situations are part of an experience, memories. I like to live these moments because you learn with these things.”
With 837 goals in 512 games, Ronaldo is the combined highest goal scorer in history.
Lionel Messi to leave PSG at the end of the season, confirms club manager Christophe Galtier
Paris Saint Germain superstar Lionel Messi will leave the club at the end of the current season, manager Christophe Galtier confirmed on Thursday. Messi made 74 appearances for PSG in which he scored 32 goals and made 35 assists. In Ligue 1, Paris Saint-Germain has played 37 matches out of which they have won 27, lost six and drew four.
PSG had acquired Messi’s services two years ago in a record transfer deal after he left FC Barcelona in 2021.
Messi, who’s contract with PSG ends this season, is now being linked with with a move to Saudi Arabia while talk of a return to the Nou Camp has picked up in Spain in recent weeks.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner will play his final match for PSG against Clermont Foot on Saturday.
“I had the privilege of coaching the best player in the history of football,” Galtier said on Thursday. “This will be his last match at the Parc des Princes, and I hope that he will receive the warmest of welcomes.”
Messi’s envious record
In the Spanish La Liga football competition, Lionel Messi has scored 474 goals in 520 matches. In the French Ligue 1, Messi has scored 22 goals in 57 matches.
The 35-year-old while playing for Football Club Barcelona has scored 672 goals in 778 games. While playing for Paris Saint-Germain he has scored 32 goals in 74 matches.
No plan to bring Messi back: Barca president
FC Barcelona President Joan Laporta recently said that the club has re-established good relationships with Argentine legend Lionel Messi, but it would not pay any price to bring him back to the Camp Nou Stadium.
“I have spoken with Leo to somehow redirect the situation that occurred when I had to put the institution ahead of everything, including him, the best player in the world,” said Laporta in a Monday morning TV show.
Mark Zuckerberg strikes gold against jiu jitsu fighters, posts pictures on Instagram
In the past, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has appeared helpless in front of the US Congress where he has been slapped by fines, and fired 11,000 vulnerable employees after being hit by falling revenues. But outside the business arena where Meta is facing tough competition from TikTok and other rivals, Zuckerberg is a huge mixed martial arts fan.
Contrary to setbacks in the tech sector, the Facebook founder has tasted victory in jiu jitsu.
Striking gold, but in a different arena
- The billionaire who has trained with UFC fighters, posted pictures after winning jiu jitsu matches for the first time.
- The billionaire who tried his hand at martial arts, revealed that he won a gold medal in the Gi categroy and a silver medal in the No-GI category.
- His post on Instagram received comments from UFC featherweight and bantamweight category champions, as well as jiu jitsu hall of fame member Bernardo Faria.
Competitive or short tempered?
- The entrepreneur turned sportsperson, who also enjoys surfing, was seen getting into a heated argument after losing a contest during the tournament in California as well.
- On the work front, Zuckerberg’s firm Meta also surprised the markets by bouncing back with strong earnings, after struggling with loss of ad revenue.
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