Teenager Alcaraz sets up Indian Wells semifinal against Nadal
World No. 19 Carlos Alcaraz secured a high-quality and intense 6-4, 6-3 victory over Cameron Norrie of the United Kingdom to set up an all-Spanish semifinal against Rafael Nadal for the first time in the history of BNP Paribas Open on Friday (IST).
This will be Alcaraz’s second career meeting with world No. 4 and winner of 21 Grand Slams Nadal.
Already the youngest BNP Paribas Open men’s quarterfinalist since a 17-year-old Michael Chang in 1989, Alcaraz is now the second-youngest semifinalist in tournament history behind only American Andre Agassi, also 17, in 1988, according to atptour.com.
Alcaraz, seeded 18th here, hit 31 winners to just 14 unforced errors to knock off the in-form Briton.
“It’s so special to be able to play my first semifinal in a Masters1000 here in Indian Wells, in Tennis Paradise,” Alcaraz said. “I’m enjoying every single second. I have no words to describe my feelings right now.”
Nadal overcame a gritty comeback attempt from Australian Nick Kyrgios 7-6(0), 5-7, 6-4 to secure a last-four berth. Nadal has extended his perfect season to 19-0 and improves his ATP head-to-head record against Kyrgios to 6-3, including wins in their past three meetings. A three-time champion in Indian Wells, Nadal returns to the semifinals for the 11th time.
Alcaraz, 18, said he feels ready to give the 36-time Masters 1000 champion Nadal a tough challenge in the semis.
“I think this time I trained with him a couple of times, I know more how to play against him. I think now it’s going to be a little bit different this match. Obviously he can destroy me again, but I don’t know what is going to happen,” said Alcaraz elaborating on their previous meeting where Nadal won 6-1, 6-2 in Madrid last spring.
Alcaraz and Nadal are a combined 31-1 in 2022, with Alcaraz at 12-1 and Nadal a perfect 19-0. The younger Spaniard won the Rio de Janeiro title in February, while Nadal has won three tour-level titles, including the Australian Open.
Alcaraz and Nadal are the first Spanish pair to reach the Indian Wells semifinals in the event’s 46-year history.
“It’s tough to play against Rafa but at the same time I will enjoy the moment, I will enjoy the match,” Alcaraz said. “It’s not every day you play against your idol. I’m going to be happy even if I lose that match. But I am focused right now to play my best against Rafa and be able to take my chances.”
‘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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