Connect with us
Friday,03-December-2021

International

Murray, Tsitsipas secure third-round berths at Indian Wells

Published

on

Former world No. 1 Andy Murray of Great Britain came back from a set down to win a battle of the generations, seeing off 18-year-old US Open quarterfinalist, Carlos Alcaraz of Spain, at the BNP Paribas Open in three sets on Monday (IST).

The Scot, in his 13th Indian Wells appearance, advanced to the third round of an ATP Masters 1000 for the first time since 2016 with a 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 victory over the Alcaraz. Murray finished with 18 winners to his opponent’s 36, but his 29 unforced errors were 13 fewer.

“He’s obviously got so much potential, so much firepower and these conditions it’s not easy to finish points off quickly, but he’s able to because he has so much pace from the back of the court so I had to fight extremely hard, coming back from a set down,” Murray told atptour.com.

“I felt like in the second set he played maybe better. First set I felt like I had more of the opportunities but didn’t get it so yeah, happy with the way I fought. He’s a top-drawer young player,” added Murray.

“He started returning from further back, so it was even harder to get free points on the serve,” Murray said. “I thought if he’s going to stand that far back and I’m getting no love from the court and the conditions, why not try it and see if I can bring him forward a little bit again. Wasn’t expecting obviously to get an ace out of it,” said the 34-year-old, three-time major champion.

Meanwhile, Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas won his opening match against Pedro Martinez of Spain at the BNP Paribas Open.

In his third appearance, Tsitsipas moved into the third round at Indian Wells for the first time following a 6-2, 6-4 victory over the world No. 61. Tsitsipas needed 93 minutes to prevail as he claimed 63 per cent of first-serve points and 80 per cent on second serves.

The Greek’s 22 winners were four more than his opponent’s but he was far more consistent as he made just 11 unforced errors to the Spaniard’s 21. The win set a third-round clash against 25th seed Fabio Fognini of Italy, a three-set winner over Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany.

“Well it’s been a great night for me. The first time playing a night session here on this court,” Tsitsipas said. “(I’m) pretty happy with the way I fought and found a way to clinch that victory at the end… I’ve played (Fognini) before. I’m looking forward to that match-up.”

Tsitsipas was on the hunt early but took 17 minutes of play to secure a 2-0 advantage at the fourth time of asking. He carried the momentum to take the first set on the back of 11 winners – eight off his forehand – and committed just five unforced errors.

International

IND v NZ, 2nd Test: India reach 111/3 at tea on Day 1

Published

on

By

 India were 111/3 at tea on a truncated opening day of the second Test against New Zealand at the Wankhede Stadium here on Friday.

Opener Mayank Agarwal was batting on 52 while Shreyas Iyer was not out on 7 as the hosts lost their way after a good start.

Ajaz Patel claimed all three wickets in the space of 15 balls as India slumped from 80/1 in the 28th over to 80/3 at the end of the 30th over.

Brief scores: India 111/3 in 37 overs (Mayank Agarwal batting 52, Shubman Gill 44; Ajaz Patel 3/30) vsNew Zealand.

Continue Reading

International

ATP backs WTA, asks China to come clean on tennis player Peng Shuai’s wellbeing

Published

on

By

The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) has thrown its weight behind the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), expressing concern over the well-being of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai, who disappeared from public view for three weeks after accusing a top Chinese government official of sexual assault.

WTA chief Steve Simon recently said that he has “serious doubts” that Peng was “free, safe and not subject to intimidation”. He also announced suspension of all WTA tournaments in China, including Hong Kong, with immediate effect till the country investigates in a full, fair and transparent manner the allegation of sexual assault made against a former senior politician by the 35-year-old doubles player.

Late on Thursday, the ATP, the body which governs men’s international tennis, said, “the situation involving Peng Shuai continues to raise serious”.

ATP chairman, Andrea Gaudenzi, issued a statement, saying, “The situation involving Peng Shuai continues to raise serious concerns within and beyond our sport. The response to those concerns has so far fallen short. We again urge for a line of open direct communication between the player and the WTA in order to establish a clearer picture of her situation.

“We know that sport can have a positive influence on society and generally believe that having a global presence gives us the best chance of creating opportunity and making an impact,” said Gaudenzi.

“We will continue to consult with our members and monitor any developments as this issue evolves.”

WTA administration and players have been in total support of Peng Shuai ever since screenshots of her social media post were shared on Twitter and the WTA has regularly demanded verifiable proof from Chinese government that Peng Shuai is “free, safe and not subject to censorship, coercion, and intimidation”.

Chinese authorities have released videos of her at a restaurant and also arranged for a video call with senior officials of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), but WTA is not convinced, thus resulting in the suspension of all its tournaments in China.

Continue Reading

International

Finally, Test cricket returns to Wankhede and Mumbai is loving it

Published

on

By

Office-goers walking through the ‘D Lane’ in Churchgate area of Mumbai on Friday morning were surprised when a group of people started blowing conch shells, waving India flags and chanting ‘Bharat mata ki jai’ as a bus convoy entered the lane on way to the Wankhede Stadium.

They would have been expecting some activity considering that a Test match was scheduled at the Wankhede, but the reception accorded to the convoy must have come as a surprise to many.

While such enthusiasm was a little unexpected but it was not completely out of place as Mumbai is hosting a Test match after nearly five years, and the small crowd that had gathered since early morning, could not control its emotions as the buses ferrying the Indian team made it to the stadium.

The India versus England game in 2016 was the last time a Test match was played at the Wankhede, and with other cricketing activity not possible because of the suspension of sports activity due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it meant there was a little more enthusiasm among the faithful.

A small group waited patiently for the gates to open so that they could get into the stadium. Hosts Mumbai Cricket Association is allowed to sell only 8000 tickets as the government has authorised only 25 per cent stadium capacity to be filled. With Mumbai police making elaborate arrangements for the Test, Covid protocols are being followed strictly with officials ensuring that people follow the rules.

Though the sparse crowd’s enthusiasm was dampened a bit as the start of the match was delayed due to wet patches on the ground because of the rains, it waited patiently, waving the Indian flags as the players came out for warm-up and light practice.

The crowd erupted in a loud cheer as the New Zealand players, followed by the Indian openers, walked into the field. And the cheers grew louder as Shubman Gill struck two consecutive boundaries off Kyle Jamieson in the second over, with the typical Mumbai chant of “Sachin, Sachin” reaching a crescendo.

More people are expected to come in the next few days as things get interesting.

The last Test played at Wankhede was against England in which skipper Kohli had scored a majestic 235, while Jayant Yadav has smashed a century.

Continue Reading

Trending