Sports

Tennis: Nadal on track for Federer showdown as Sock downed

MIAMI (AFP) – Rafael Nadal took a step closer to a possible final against long-time rival Roger Federer in the Miami Open after a straight sets win over American Jack Sock on Wednesday at Key Biscayne. Nadal’s 6-2, 6-3 win over the 13th-seeded Sock sets up a semi-final meeting with unseeded Italian Fabio Fognini who upset second ranked Kei Nishikori 6-4, 6-2 earlier in the day. The Spaniard’s forehand was ominous as he neutralised Sock in one hour and 22 minutes. Nadal was able to save six of seven break points earned by Sock as he kept control of the…
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International Tennis federation to reduce number of pro players

  LONDON (AFP) - The International Tennis Federation (ITF) will restructure the lower levels of the sport in a bid to significantly reduce the number of professional players. A three-year review by the governing body of professional and junior tennis found not enough players are making a living from the game and that the age of those players is increasing. Around 14,000 players currently compete in professional events, almost half of whom do not earn any prize money. The ITF would like to reduce this to no more than 750 men and 750 women and the reforms, which have been…
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Tennis: Fognini crushes struggling Nishikori

MIAMI (AFP) - Italian Fabio Fognini, ranked 40th in the world, upset second seed Kei Nishikori 6-4, 6-2 in the quarter-finals of the Miami Open on Wednesday. The 29-year-old from Sanremo was the only unseeded player in the last eight but showed no serves as he took the game to his Japanese opponent. It was the Italian s first victory in three attempts over Nishikori and his first Masters series quarter-final win since 2013, when he reached the last four in Monte-Carlo. Fognini will play the winner of Wednesday s other quarter-final between Spain s Rafael Nadal and American Jack…
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Football: Okazaki fires 50th for Japan in 4-0 Thai rout

Japan brushed aside Thailand 4-0 to edge closer to a sixth successive World Cup. Shinji Kagawa gave the hosts the lead in their Asian Group B qualifier with a sharp finish after eight minutes, before Okazaki thundered home a diving header to bring up his half-century in swashbuckling style. Okazaki s landmark goal, on his 108th Japan appearance, came on 19 minutes in Saitama and effectively killed the contest. Yuya Kubo and Maya Yoshida added further goals for the Blue Samurai after the break, and Eiji Kawashima saved a late penalty to deny rock-bottom Thailand a consolation. Japan, who won…
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Football: Messi-less Argentina slump to Bolivia loss

2-0 defeat against Bolivia on Tuesday, dealing a fresh blow to their 2018 World Cup qualification campaign. Goals from Juan Carlos Arce and Marcelo Martins secured a deserved win for Bolivia, who retain a slender hope of qualification for next year s finals despite remaining second from bottom of the table. Argentina had been rocked just hours before kick-off after confirmation Messi had been hit with a four-match ban following a ruling from disciplinary chiefs at world governing body FIFA in Zurich. The Barcelona superstar was stunned after being suspended for four of Argentina s five remaining World Cup qualification…
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Australia routs Pakistan 6-1 in first hockey test

LAHORE (APP) – Pakistan opened its tour of Australia on a demoralizing note suffering 1-6 defeat at the hand of the home side at the Marrara hockey stadium in Darwin, the capital city of Australia’s Northern Territory on Tuesday. It was the first encounter of the 4-test hockey series between world’s top side Australia and the 14th ranked Pakistan, said the information made available to APP here. The gulf in the rankings showed in the game as the Aussies dominated the proceedings most of the time and defeated Pakistan by the tennis score after leading 2-0 at half time. Kookaburras…
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Tennis: Top-seeded Wawrinka toppled at Miami

MIAMI (AFP) - Top seed Stan Wawrinka crashed out of the Miami Open on Tuesday falling 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 to German young gun Alexander Zverev. Zverev s win earned him his first place in a Masters 1000 quarter-final and he will face the winner of Tuesday s late game between Australian Nick Kyrgios and Belgian David Goffin. Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Kei Nishikori advanced to the quarter-finals on cue. Swiss Wawrinka, beaten by Federer in the final of Indian Wells earlier this month, looked weary as he struggled through the third set of his match. "I had one bad game to…
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فیفا نے میسی پر 4 میچز کی پابندی لگادی

زیورخ:  معاون ریفری کی بے عزتی کرنے کی پاداش میں ارجنٹائنی اسٹار فٹبالر لیونل میسی پر فیفا کی جانب سے 4 میچز کی پابندی عائد کردی گئی۔ لیونل میسی کے خلاف سزا کا اعلان منگل کو کیا گیا، یہ واقعہ گزشتہ جمعرات کو ٹیم کے چلی سے ورلڈ کپ کوالیفائر میچ کے دوران پیش آیا تھا، انہیں ریفری سے بدزبانی اور ان کی بے عزتی کرنے پر قصور وار قرار دیتے ہوئے سزا دی گئی۔
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Football: Ronaldo tops Messi in earnings: report

PARIS (AFP) - Real Madrid s Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo was the best paid footballer in 2016-17, with million euros ($) in earnings, ahead of his Argentinian rival at Barcelona, Lionel Messi (), according to figures to appear in Tuesday s edition of France Football. Messi s Brazilian teammate Neymar is third with million euros ahead of Real Madrid s Welsh forward Gareth Bale (41m) and Argentina s Ezequiel Lavezzi (), who plays for Hebei Fortune in the Chinese Super League. Manchester United s Jose Mourinho is the best paid coach, with income of 28 million euros, the magazine said. France Football said it based its…
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Football: Manchester City fined pound 35,000 over Liverpool protest

LONDON (AFP) - Manchester City have been fined pound 35,000 ($44,000, 40,000 euros) by the Football Association (FA) for a failure to control their players against Liverpool earlier this month. City pleaded guilty to a misconduct charge last week after several players were seen protesting against the award of a penalty to Liverpool in a Premier League match at Eastlands on March 19. They continued to complain even after James Milner had scored from the spot to give visitors Liverpool the lead in a match that ended in a 1-1 draw. "Following an independent regulatory commission hearing, Manchester City have…
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