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Pliskova slays Serena to set up Osaka semi-final

Published January 23, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/sports/30362780

Czech Republic's Karolina Pliskova reacts after a point against Serena Williams.
Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova reacts after a point against Serena Williams.

Pliskova slays Serena to set up Osaka semi-final

sports January 23, 2019 11:55

By AFP

Serena Williams’s bid to equal Margaret Court’s record 24 Grand Slam titles was brought to a shuddering halt in sensational style Wednesday by Karolina Pliskova, who will face Naomi Osaka in the Australian Open semi-finals.

The American great had beaten world number one Simona Halep in the fourth round but folded against the big-serving Czech seventh seed, who saved four match points before winning 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 under the hot Melbourne sun.

It was a gut-wrenching defeat for the 37-year-old, who battled back from a set down and was leading 5-1 in the third and serving for the match, only to throw it away with some poor serving and wild shots as frustrations bubbled to the surface.

Since returning last year from giving birth, Williams has made four unsuccessful attempts to match Court’s record, and the wait continues with the French Open in May her next chance.

“She was playing very well. Especially at the end of the second set she went for her shots and she was aggressive,” said Pliskova after depriving Williams of a US Open final rematch with Osaka.

“I played too passive. I was almost in the locker-room but now I am standing here as a winner. It is a very good feeling.”

For Pliskova, it is only her third semi-final at a major.

She made the last four at Roland Garros in 2017 and the US Open a year earlier, where she beat Williams before losing the final to Angelique Kerber.

A focused Osaka brutally swept past Ukraine’s Svitolina, who was troubled by neck and shoulder problems, in her attempt to win back-to-back Grand Slams.

The Ukrainian needed a similar medical timeout during her third round match, but it was nevertheless a serious statement from the steely-eyed Osaka, who was playing the sort of tennis which drove her to the US Open title.

“I tried to be consistent, it’s unfortunate that she got injured but playing against her even when she was injured was still really tough,” said the usually bubbly 21-year-old, who was completely focused on court.

“I just had one goal, to try as hard I can and not get angry. I didn’t do that really well in the last two rounds and I did that today so I’m really happy with the way I played.”

The win ensured she became the first Japanese woman in the final four at Melbourne Park since Kimiko Date in 1994.

 

– Only positives –

 

Svitolina, who has failed to go further than the quarter-finals now four times at Grand Slams, said she had been feeling her injury throughout the tournament, but didn’t want to use it as an excuse.

“Unfortunately I couldn’t produce 100 percent the game that I wanted. But in the end, she was just playing better today,” she said.

Svitolina, who said her goal was to reach number one and win a Slam this year, added: “I don’t want to get down on myself. It’s only positives from here.”

Unseeded American Danielle Collins or two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova play the other semi-final.

Novak Djokovic resumes his quest for a record seventh Australian Open title later against Japanese marathon man Kei Nishikori.

The Serbian world number one admitted he “didn’t feel so great” after surviving a stiff four-set test in the last 16, and knows he has his work cut out against the Japanese star who has battled through three hard five-setters so far.

“He’s a very talented player. One of the quickest players on the tour. You know, hard worker. I have lots of respect for him,” said the Serbian world number one.

The winner will play big-serving Canadian 16th seed Milos Raonic or France’s 28th seed Lucas Pouille, who is now coached by former Australian Open champion Amelie Mauresmo.

Stefanos Tsitsipas and Rafael Nadal have already secured their berths in the last four.

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Latest : Cardiff striker Sala ‘concerned about plane’ in final audio message

Published January 23, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/sports/30362770

  • FC Nantes football club supporters gather in Nantes after it was announced that the plane Argentinian forward Emiliano Sala was flying on vanished during a flight from Nantes in western France to Cardiff in Wales, on January 22.//AFP
  • FC Nantes football club supporters gather in Nantes after it was announced that the plane Argentinian forward Emiliano Sala was flying on vanished during a flight from Nantes in western France to Cardiff in Wales, on January 22.//AFP

Latest : Cardiff striker Sala ‘concerned about plane’ in final audio message

sports January 23, 2019 09:12

By AFP

Nantes, France – Cardiff City’s record new signing Emiliano Sala expressed concern about his plane shortly before the light aircraft disappeared over the Channel, according to an audio message sent to friends and relatives.

The Argentine striker, signed on Saturday from French club Nantes for a reported fee of 17 million euros ($19.3 million), was flying to Cardiff aboard the plane that disappeared from radar around 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of the island of Guernsey on Monday night.

“I’m on a plane that looks like it’s going to fall apart, and I’m leaving for Cardiff,” Sala said in a WhatsApp audio message carried by Argentine media.

“If in an hour and a half you have no news from me, I don’t know if they will send people to look for me, because they will not find me, you know. Dad, I’m so scared,” he added.

Sala is missing presumed dead after the single-engine Piper PA-46 Malibu aircraft disappeared.

A 15-hour search Tuesday covering a 1,155 square-mile (3,000 square-kilometre) area in the Channel spotted “a number of floating objects in the water”, Guernsey police said.

“We have found no signs of those on board. If they did land on the water, the chances of survival are at this stage, unfortunately, slim,” police said.

The search was set to resume at sunrise Wednesday.

French civil aviation authorities had confirmed that 28-year-old Sala “was on board the plane”. It is thought there was one other passenger on the aircraft.

Police on Guernsey, which sits just off the north coast of France, said the pilot had requested to lower his altitude shortly before air traffic control in neighbouring Jersey lost contact with the plane.

– ‘Fearing the worst’ –

One of the rescuers searching for the missing plane earlier admitted they were “fearing the worst”, thoughts echoed by Sala’s father Horacio.

“Sadly we are fearing the worst… the sea temperature is so cold at the moment,” John Fitzgerald, chief officer of Channel Islands Air Search, told AFP.

A tearful Horacio Sala told the press in Progreso, where the player’s family lives, that as “the hours go by and I don’t know anything, it makes me fear the worst”.

“I don’t know anything. Nobody spoke to me, not a call from the embassy, the club, nobody,” he said. “All I want is for you to find him.”

The player’s mother, Mercedes, claimed in an interview with Argentine television channel C5N that the plane belonged to Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman.

Sala, who had been at Nantes since 2015 and had scored 13 goals in all competitions this season, had signed a three-and-a-half-year contract with relegation-threatened Cardiff subject to receiving international clearance.

“We were very shocked upon hearing the news that the plane had gone missing. We expected Emiliano to arrive last night into Cardiff and today was due to be his first day with the team,” the Premier League club’s executive director Ken Choo said in a statement.

“We continue to pray for positive news.”

Argentine football legend Diego Maradona expressed sadness but said he was hoping the plane had simply gone astray.

“I hope it went to the wrong airport and we find him alive, that’s all,” he said in an audio message on the Instagram account of journalist Martin Arevalo.

“It’s a terrible misfortune when such things happen.”

Cardiff called off a training session planned for Tuesday, and stunned supporters gathered outside the club’s ground to lay flowers and scarves.

With his former teammates in shock, Nantes had their French Cup tie against third-tier side Entente Sannois Saint-Gratien postponed from Wednesday until Sunday.

– Fans hold vigil –

Meanwhile, hundreds of fans of his former team gathered for a vigil in the western French city on Tuesday evening, placing flowers, scarves and flags on the water fountain and chanting the striker’s name at Place Royale.

“I still have hope, he is a fighter,” said Nantes president Waldemar Kita in a tweet published by the Ligue 1 club.

When he put pen to paper at relegation-threatened Cardiff on Saturday, Sala, who also has Italian nationality, said in a statement: “I’m very happy to be here. It gives me great pleasure and I can’t wait to start training, meet my new team-mates and get down to work.

“For me it feels special (to be the club’s record signing). I have come here wanting to work and to help my team-mates and the club.”

Sala’s last post on Instagram showed him surrounded by players from Nantes. “La ultima ciao (the last goodbye),” he wrote.

Sala began his footballing career at French club Bordeaux, who he joined in 2010, and had loan spells at other French clubs including Orleans, Niort and Caen.

He joined Nantes in 2015 for one million euros and had scored 42 Ligue 1 goals in three and a half seasons at the Stade de la Beaujoire.

Eustaquio and Moraes Face Off at One: Hero’s Ascent Presser

Published January 23, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/sports/30362769

 Geje Eustaquio, Sityodtong, Chairman and CEO of ONE Championship and Adriano Moraes.
Geje Eustaquio, Sityodtong, Chairman and CEO of ONE Championship and Adriano Moraes.

Eustaquio and Moraes Face Off at One: Hero’s Ascent Presser

sports January 23, 2019 07:52

By Agencies

ONE Championship™ (ONE), in cooperation with City of Dreams Manila, held the ONE: HERO’S ASCENT Official Kick-Off Press Conference in Manila yesterday.

In attendance was Mr. Chatri Sityodtong, Chairman and CEO of ONE Championship, Mr. Michael Ziemer, Vice President for Hotels and Food and Beverage at City of Dreams Manila, reigning ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje Eustaquio, and former ONE Flyweight World Champion Adriano Moraes.

Also in attendance were some of the athletes set to compete at ONE: HERO’S ASCENT, which emanates from the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila on Friday, 25 January. Athletes included Honorio “The Rock” Banario, Lowen Tynanes, Danny “The King” Kingad, Tatsumitsu “The Sweeper” Wada, Fahdi “The Gladiator” Khaled, and Rodtang “Iron Man” Jitmuangnon.

Chatri Sityodtong, Chairman and CEO of ONE Championship, stated: 

“ONE Championship was built by a martial artist, for martial artists. I understand the athletes and what they go through each andeveryday. I am very proud to be standing here alongside them as their CEO and Chairman. When I look at this card and these incredible athletes, I am so fired up. This is going to be an amazing evening. As the world’s largest stage of martial arts competition, all ONE Championship wants to do is showcase the very best. See you all at the Mall of Asia Arena this Friday night.”

Geje Eustaquio, ONE Flyweight World Champion, stated:

“15 years ago I made the biggest decision of my life to pursue martial arts. No one believed that I would be standing here in front you all as a World Champion. But now, I have learned throughout my career and my training that the word impossible doesn’t exist. With the help of my coach and my team, we have achieved success. If I listened to those who were saying I wouldn’t make it, I would not be standing here in front of you all today. This Friday night, me and Adriano [Moraes] will make history in the first ever trilogy bout in ONE Championship. I invite you all to come and watch.”

Adriano Moraes, former ONE Flyweight World Champion, stated:

“I would like to say first thank you to ONE Championship for the opportunity. The Adriano that fought Geje in the last match, I can say with confidence that it wasn’t me. I wasn’t myself in that bout. This time, I have prepared very well for this third bout. Whatever happens, I am ready to give my best. This is going to be a good fight. I am looking forward to it.”

War Elephants return home

Published January 23, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/sports/30362768

Interim coach Sirisak Yodyardthai gives an interview with Thai media.
Interim coach Sirisak Yodyardthai gives an interview with Thai media.

War Elephants return home

sports January 23, 2019 07:10

By The Nation

Thailand’s national football team returned home on Tuesday after reaching the knockout stage of the Asian Cup in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates.

The team led by interim coach Sirisak Yodyadthai arrived at the Suvarnabhumi Airport in the evening and were welcomed by the army of media.

Sirisak said he was proud to make Thai people happy after the War Elephants started the Cup in disappointment by losing to India before recovering to finish second in group A following a win over Bahrain and a draw with UAE.

The team hit their target by reaching the round of 16 but their journey finnally came to an end, losing to China 1-2.

“I was a bit under pressure in the last three games as I was appointed to coach the team in th middle of the tournament. But the players have done pretty well as the 3-5-2 formation suits them and allows them to maximise their abilities,” said Sirisak.

The acting coach also said he still had no idea about his future with the team. “The Football Association of Thailand will call for a meeting on this subject later.”

Urgent : Cardiff striker Sala missing after suspected plane crash

Published January 23, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/sports/30362752

  • File photo : Emiliano Sala (L) //AFP
  • File photo : Emiliano Sala//EPA-EFE

Urgent : Cardiff striker Sala missing after suspected plane crash

sports January 22, 2019 20:41

By AFP

Nantes, France – Premier League club Cardiff City’s record new signing, Argentine striker Emiliano Sala, was missing on Tuesday after a light aircraft he was travelling in disappeared over the English Channel.

Sala, signed on Saturday from French club Nantes for a reported fee of 17 million euros ($19.3 million), was flying to Cardiff aboard a small plane that disappeared from radars around 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of Guernsey on Monday night.

French civil aviation authorities confirmed that 28-year-old Sala “was on board the plane”.

A statement from police on Guernsey, a British island just off the coast of France, said the pilot had requested to lower his altitude shortly before air traffic control in neighbouring Jersey lost contact with the plane.

After a search was called off on Monday because of high winds, two helicopters, two planes and a lifeboat joined renewed efforts on Tuesday morning to find the single-propeller plane.

“So far over 1,000 square miles have been searched by a total of five aircraft and two lifeboats,” Guernsey police said at 1145 GMT.

“There has been no trace of the aircraft. The search is continuing.”

It is thought Sala was one of two passengers on board, but French civil aviation authorities were unable to confirm that.

Sala, who had been at Nantes since 2015 and had scored 13 goals in all competitions this season, had signed a three-and-a-half-year contract with relegation-threatened Cardiff subject to receiving international clearance.

Neither club has commented publicly on the disappearance, but Nantes have postponed their French Cup match against third-tier side Entente SSG on Wednesday as a mark of respect.

When he put pen to paper at Cardiff on Saturday, Sala, who also has Italian nationality, said in a statement: “I’m very happy to be here. It gives me great pleasure and I can’t wait to start training, meet my new team-mates and get down to work.

“For me it feels special (to be the club’s record signing). I have come here wanting to work and to help my team-mates and the club.”

Sala’s last post on Instagram showed him surrounded by players from Nantes. “La ultima ciao (the last goodbye),” he wrote.

Cardiff, who currently sit third from bottom of the English Premier League with 19 points, said they were “very concerned”.

“We are awaiting confirmation before we can say anything further. We are very concerned for the safety of Emiliano Sala,” the club said in a statement.

The accident, if confirmed, comes only three months after the Thai billionaire owner of Leicester City football club died in a helicopter crash that shocked the club and supporters around the world.

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four others died on October 28 shortly after taking off from the pitch of the club’s stadium in central England.

Disconnected cockpit pedals, which are used to control the rotor on the helicopter’s tail, were found to be the cause of the accident by investigators.

 

– ‘Likeable lad’ –

 

Sala began his footballing career at French club Bordeaux, who he joined in 2010, and spent loan spells at other French clubs including Orleans, Niort and Caen.

He joined Nantes in 2015 for one million euros and appeared to be peaking as a player in recent seasons, overcoming technical shortcomings that had held him back earlier in his career.

He was tipped for a move to Turkish giants Galatasaray last summer.

“He’s a very likeable lad, very hard working,” his coach at Nantes, Vahid Halilhodzic, said of him recently.

Djokovic concerned about Open’s ‘Big Brother’ cameras

Published January 23, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/sports/30362717

Serbia's Novak Djokovic
Serbia’s Novak Djokovic

Djokovic concerned about Open’s ‘Big Brother’ cameras

sports January 22, 2019 16:24

By AFP

World number one Novak Djokovic has expressed concern about “Big Brother” surveillance cameras that capture behind-the-scenes footage of players at the Australian Open, making the season-opening Grand Slam resemble a reality television show.

The cameras dotted around Melbourne Park, which show players walking the corridors and making their way to the courts, were introduced this year and are not seen at any other major.

Many of the candid clips have gone viral, with social media users amused when security guards asked high-profile players such as Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova for identification.

Others have been more personal, including Croatian 31st seed Petra Martic slumping to the floor and breaking down in tears after her third-round elimination.

Djokovic, who is chairman of the men’s player council, said he had privacy concerns, particularly for women players who were moving between the recovery centre and the locker rooms.

But the Serb said if that issue was fixed he had to reluctantly accept the intrusion.

“That’s the only thing I mind a little bit, you know. But other than that, you know, we live in Big Brother society. I guess you just have to accept it,” he said.

Federer said tennis stars were now used to having their every moment captured on camera, although he did not appreciate intrusions on his down time.

“Now it’s just like everywhere all the time. It’s hard to find the corner where you can actually sort of relax a bit, but I can deal with it. It’s no problem,” he said.

Serena Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou was a strong supporter of the cameras, saying showing the human side of players helped draw in a new generation of fans.

“If they root for a player or they hate a player, that’s great, because they feel emotion when they watch tennis,” he said.

“They need to know the players. All those behind the scenes (clips) that show the personalities of the players… it’s great to show they are human and they are not machines and they have emotions. They have good emotions, they have bad emotions.”

Mouratoglou said tennis was a conservative sport but needed to move with the times to stay relevant and appeal to fans.

Cool Tsitsipas flies into ‘fairytale’ first Slam semi-final

Published January 23, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/sports/30362711

Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas reacts after a point against Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut.
Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas reacts after a point against Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut.

Cool Tsitsipas flies into ‘fairytale’ first Slam semi-final

sports January 22, 2019 14:21

By AFP

Greek sensation Stefanos Tsitsipas showed resilience and maturity to power into a fairytale Australian Open semi-final Tuesday after sweeping past Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut.

Roger Federer’s conqueror had to contend with dropping his serve early in each of the first three sets to the 22nd seed before coming through 7-5, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/2) in 3hr 15min.

“It all feels like a fairytale almost,” said the 20-year-old after holding his head in his hands in disbelief and sinking to the floor on Rod Laver Arena.

“I’m just living the dream, living what I’ve been working hard for,” Tsitsipas added.

“I feel a bit emotional but not too much -– I know I really worked hard to get here, playing in semis of a Grand Slam.

“I was asked my goals this year and said semis Grand Slam. And when I was answering this question, I thought I was crazy. But it is real. It just happened.”

Tsitsipas, who broke through in 2018 with his first ATP Tour title and won the NextGen finals, will face either world number two Rafael Nadal or unseeded Frances Tiafoe for a place in the final.

For the 30-year-old Bautista Agut, who won the Doha warm-up event and was in his first quarter-final at this level, the wait for a maiden Grand Slam semi-final goes on.

After encountering the gifted Greek at close quarters for the first time he still tipped either Nadal or Novak Djokovic to lift the famous Norman Brookes trophy.

“He’s playing very good tennis. Of course, he has a lot of time to improve, a lot of time to get enough experience to be in the finals of these tournaments,” the Spanish world number 24 told reporters of Tsitsipas.

“But here I think Rafa and Novak are my favourites.”

 

– No panic –

 

Federer did not win any of 12 break points in a four-set defeat against 14th seed Tsitsipas in round four, but Bautista Agut managed it on his first in the opening game of the match.

There was no panic from the 20-year-old from Athens and he broke back before stealing the set 7-5 with a second break created by a rasping forehand winner that flat-footed the Spaniard.

Bautista Agut went 2-1 up in the second set with another early break as the Tsitsipas first serve momentarily deserted him.

This time the Spaniard stayed on top and levelled the match 6-4.

Another break for Bautista Agut came in the fifth game of the third set.

But with the crowd beginning to get more involved, Tsitsipas outlasted the Spaniard in a gruelling game to level at 4-4.

And when another break followed the Athenian artist had his nose back in front and the Spaniard could see the match slipping away.

“When I lost the third set, I knew I had to do really good effort to try to win the match,” said Bautista Agut.

“Well, I continue fighting till the end, but it was not enough.”

There were no early breaks in the fourth set as Tsitsipas, crucially serving first, began to find consistency on his first serve.

The gutsy Spaniard successfully served to stay in the match for the first time at 4-5.

He then showed incredible resilience at 5-6, 30-40 to repel a first match point after a 21-shot baseline rally.

But Tsitsipas jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the subsequent tiebreak and secured the match on the first of four more match points.

ONE CHAMPIONSHIP HOLDS ONE: A NEW ERA OPEN SEMINAR & MEET AND GREET FEATURING JOHNSON, ALVAREZ, AND LEE

Published January 22, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/sports/30362696

ONE CHAMPIONSHIP HOLDS ONE: A NEW ERA OPEN SEMINAR & MEET AND GREET FEATURING JOHNSON, ALVAREZ, AND LEE

sports January 22, 2019 10:00

By Agencies

ONE Championship™ (ONE) recently held the official ONE: A NEW ERA Open Seminar & Meet and Greet featuring ONE Championship superstars Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez, and Angela “Unstoppable” Lee.

The event was held on Monday, 21 January at Gold’s Gym South Tokyo Annex with media and students in attendance to take part in the activities. Johnson, Alvarez, and Lee each gave a martial arts demonstration featuring their favorite techniques. It was followed up by a warm-up pad session and then by a Question & Answer portion.

Women’s mixed martial arts sensation “Unstoppable” Angela Lee is the reigning ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion.

Lee made her professional mixed martial arts debut with ONE Championship in May 2015 and has since been on an absolute tear, railing off nine straight victories, seven of which have come by spectacular finishes. At ONE: A NEW ERA, set for 31 March at the Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Lee moves up a weight class to challenge ONE Women’s Strawweight World Champion “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan for a chance to become a simultaneous two-division ONE World Champion.

Multiple-time mixed martial arts World Champion Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez and pound-for-pound greatDemetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson are ready to make their highly-anticipated ONE Championship debuts.

Alvarez is a mixed martial arts legend who has competed for the world’s top mixed martial arts promotions. The experience he has gathered over a stellar 15-year professional career so far is beyond impressive, with wins over some of the biggest names in the sport. Alvarez’ most notable victories have come against the likes of Roger Huerta, Shinya Aoki, Gilbert Melendez, Anthony Pettis, Rafael Dos Anjos, and most recently Justin Gaethje. Recognized for his well-rounded skills and unwavering will to win, Alvarez will make his ONE Championship debut at ONE: A NEW ERA against Russia’s Timofey Nastyukhin.

Johnson, on the other hand, is a mixed martial artist considered one of the greatest of all time in the history of the sport. With a highly-technical style and world-class skills, Johnson has dominated his division for the past six years. During this span, Johnson captured the flyweight World Title and ran up a win streak of 13 bouts since 2012. Today, he is widely considered the best mixed martial artist in the world pound-for-pound. Johnson will make his ONE Championship debut at ONE: A NEW ERA against Japan’s Yuya “Little Piranha” Wakamatsu.

ONE: A NEW ERA is set for 31 March at the Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo. It is ONE Championship’s first ever live event in Japan and the most exciting card of the year. In the main event, reigning ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang of the Philippines defends his title against Japanese martial arts legend Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki.

Rise of Tsitsipas and Tiafoe — new era or false dawn?

Published January 22, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/sports/30362654

Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas celebrates his victory against Switzerland's Roger Federer.
Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas celebrates his victory against Switzerland’s Roger Federer.

Rise of Tsitsipas and Tiafoe — new era or false dawn?

sports January 22, 2019 07:00

By AFP

At the start of every year the talk at the Australian Open is of the “new kids on the block”, the “NextGen”, the “young guns”.

And every 12 months as the first Grand Slam heralds a fresh season they come… and they go.

Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic’s stranglehold on the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup has been interrupted just twice since the Swiss master first lifted it in Melbourne in 2004.

Marat Safin (2005) and Stan Wawrinka (2014) managed to interlope into the trio’s private sanctum — and they were 25 and 28 years old respectively at the time, hardly fresh-faced youths.

But this year seems different.

The simple truth is the big three cannot halt Old Father Time and one day soon will retire from slugging it out around the world. We may have already seen the last of stricken Andy Murray.

So when young Stefanos Tsitsipas sent third seed Federer packing Sunday at the tender age of 20, after giant-killer Frances Tiafoe also reached the last eight, it seemed the tennis world may at last be shifting on its axis.

Frances Tiafoe of the US celebrates his victory against Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov.

 

– Fed’s not going away –

 

Trouble is, to do it at least one of them will need to find a way to stop the raging bull that is Nadal if they are to win a maiden Grand Slam with the American up first against the Spanish giant in a quarter-final on Tuesday.

Tiafoe — who at the age of 20 had already caused the shock of the first round in stunning fifth seed Kevin Anderson — registered a second notable scalp on his 21st birthday.

This time it was against Grigor Dimitrov, now 27, who was nicknamed “Baby Fed” in his early twenties and himself tipped as the next big thing.

But “Daddy Fed”, Roger himself, is tired of the constant chatter “about a changing of the old guard”.

“I’ve heard that story the last 10 years. From that standpoint, nothing new there,” Federer said.

And the great man signalled that, at the age of 37, he was not going away by announcing he would play on clay at the French Open this year for the first time since 2015.

 

– The next level –

 

Federer did concede that his young conqueror, the exciting Greek who appears to have all the gifts, was beginning to establish himself.

“About Stefanos, I think he’s definitely done a really nice job now the last year and a half,” said the 20-time Grand Slam champion.

“I mean before that, too, obviously. But beating Novak in Toronto, the likes of Anderson and (Alexander) Zverev, now me here. That’s what you need to do to get to the next level. He’s doing that.”

The popular Tiafoe plays with a smile on his face, a roar in his voice and has plenty of admirers too.

“It’s so nice to see somebody new, somebody fresh,” said Dimitrov.

“I mean, everybody in the locker room likes him, everybody is laughing. He’s going to be amazing. He can only get better from now on, for sure.”

But the Bulgarian, who has not yet fulfilled his own huge potential, sounded a cautionary note.

“I know how it is to break grounds on those first tournaments, especially a Slam,” he said.

“He really needs to just stay calm and make sure he follows the right path.

“I mean, one thing is to do well at one tournament, but another thing to do it progressively.”

Ryan shrugs off penalty heroics as Australia make Asian Cup quarters

Published January 22, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/sports/30362697

Australia's goalkeeper Mathew Ryan (L) controls the ball as he is closed Uzbekistan's forward Eldor Shomurodov.
Australia’s goalkeeper Mathew Ryan (L) controls the ball as he is closed Uzbekistan’s forward Eldor Shomurodov.

Ryan shrugs off penalty heroics as Australia make Asian Cup quarters

sports January 22, 2019 06:05

By AFP

Mathew Ryan insisted he was no “mind-reader” after he saved two penalties against Uzbekistan to put Asian Cup  holders Australia into the quarter-finals on Monday.

Australia had the better of a goalless 120 minutes before the Brighton ‘keeper stopped spot-kicks from Islom Tukhtakhujaev and Marat Bikmaev in a tense last-16 shoot-out that the Aussies won 4-2.

Ryan stood up to Tukhtakhujaev’s penalty, which he drilled down the middle, and also guessed correctly when Bikmaev shot low and to his right to keep their title defence alive.

The 26-year-old Premier League stopper said he had studied Uzbekistan’s penalty-takers before the game — but he also claimed that his vital saves were just “luck”.

“I’m not a mind-reader. How would I possibly know?” he said, adding that he was happy to bask in a rare moment as the team’s hero.

“It feels pretty good. As a goalkeeper, it’s obviously the pinnacle for us. I’m just trying to enjoy the moment and all the sacrifices and hard work,” said Ryan.

However, Socceroos coach Graham Arnold said Ryan deserved his success after putting in extra work behind the scenes.

“That’s why he’s in the Premier League and that’s why he’s such a high-class goalkeeper,” said Arnold.

“His two saves in the penalty shoot-out showed what a top goalkeeper he is.

“Maty does a lot of homework himself and when Maty goes into a game he ticks all boxes and he did exceptionally well again tonight.”

 

– Determined Australia –

 

Uzbekistan were on top in the first half but they managed just one shot on target all match — Eldor Shomurodov’s one-on-one which was also instinctively stopped by Ryan.

Javokhir Sidikov fizzed one wide of the upright after Jaloliddin Masharipov all too easily evaded the joint challenge of Rhyan Grant and Awer Mabil.

But Australia seemed determined to mix it up after the break and as they finally clicked, Jamie Maclaren having a shot blocked before Grant twice missed opportunities with his head.

Hertha Berlin forward Mathew Leckie, back from a hamstring injury, was introduced for his first appearance of the tournament and had an immediate impact.

Leckie was part of a move that left Maclaren inches away from the opener, and then after dribbling into the box he was only denied by a smart stop from Ignatiy Nesterov.

Rogic’s sharp shot was turned around the post by Nesterov and after the two teams went into extra time, the influential Celtic man curled another one just past the upright.

However, neither side could get the winner and after Ryan saved Uzbekistan’s second and fourth penalties, it was left to Leckie to hammer in the decisive kick.

The only sour note for the holders was Rogic picking up a harsh yellow card in the first half which will rule him out of the quarter-final against either the host nation United Arab Emirates or Kyrgyzstan.

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