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Nadal back in bullring for season-defining Davis Cup duty

first_imgNadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil He is on a 22-match winning streak in singles with his only loss coming on debut for five-time champions Spain back in 2004.However, it’s recent history which now concerns Nadal.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownHe may be back at world number one, but Nadal is far from fully recovered from the hip problem which forced him to sit out the Indian Wells and Miami Masters.“It’s been a tough few months,” admitted Nadal, ahead of a Davis Cup tie which will see him go toe-to-toe with Germany’s Alexander Zverev, the world number four widely seen as heir apparent to the great Spaniard. “But I am excited to be back — hopefully it will be a positive week for me.”Coach and long-time friend Carlos Moya urged fans to be patient as Nadal plots his European spring campaign which, if all goes to script, will see him clinch an 11th French Open in June.“He is not at 100% yet, but if he can win a match or two, it can help him,” said Moya.Spain boast three top 20 players in their line-up — Nadal, number 12 Pablo Carreno Busta and 17th-ranked Roberto Bautista Agut.Germany, bidding to make the semi-finals for the first time in 11 years, will rely for singles points on Zverev, playing just his fourth Davis Cup tie, and veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber.ADVERTISEMENT (FILES) In this file photo taken on August 16, 2017 Rafael Nadal of Spain returns a shot to Richard Gasquet of France during day 5 of the Western & Southern Open at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio. / AFP PHOTO / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / MATTHEW STOCKMANRafael Nadal faces a potentially season-defining Davis Cup weekend as the 16-time Grand Slam champion returns for his first appearance since hobbling out of the Australian Open in January with a crippling hip injury.The 31-year-old Nadal leads Spain into a home quarter-final against Germany at Valencia’s iconic Plaza de Toros bullring, boasting a remarkable record in the tournament.ADVERTISEMENT The plans, still to be fully ratified, have split the sport.“The end of the Davis Cup. What sadness,” tweeted France captain Yannick Noah.“They have sold the soul of an historic event. Sorry mister Davis.”In Nashville, meanwhile, 32-time champions the United States will hope Miami champion John Isner, now at nine in the world, can take them into the semi-finals for the first time in six years.The US tackle last year’s runners-up Belgium who are without world number 10 David Goffin after he suffered a freak eye injury in Rotterdam in February.While the Americans can boast Isner, 14th-ranked Sam Querrey as well as number 16 Jack Sock, the luckless Belgians will pin hopes on Ruben Bemelmans, the world 110 and 319th-ranked Joris de Loore.The winner of that tie will face either 2005 champions Croatia or Kazakhstan for a place in the final.World number three Marin Cilic and 28th-ranked Borna Coric spearhead the Croatian challenge in Varazdin against a Kazakh team whose top player is Mikhail Kukushkin at 92 in the world. Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Conor McGregor seeks to emerge from controversy in UFC comeback D-League: Gamboa-St. Clare claims 5th seed, downs AMA by 46 Cabuyao City rising above the ashes through volunteerism Spain also have form on their side — they have won 26 straight home ties, with their last defeat on Spanish soil coming against Brazil in 1999. Defending champions France go to Genoa to tackle Italy who are contesting their 250th Davis Cup tie.France, the 10-time winners, have two top 30 players in Lucas Pouille, ranked at 11, and Adrian Mannarino, the world 25.But the French are missing injured Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gael Monfils while Italy, champions way back in 1976, can count on the combustible Fabio Fognini for his dedication to the flag.‘Sold Davis Cup soul’Fognini spent over 11 hours on court in the 3-1 victory over Japan in the first round.He has also competed for his nation every year since 2008.Fognini may have a lighter Davis Cup schedule in 2019 when the 118-year-old tournament is expected to undergo its most radical revamp.Instead of being played over four weekends, it will be rebranded as the World Cup of Tennis Finals and crammed into a week at the end of November or early December.Eighteen nations would take part and feature a round-robin system with a best-of-three-set format, two singles and a doubles rubber and held in a neutral venue. Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ MOST READ Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina In Liverpool, Man United sees the pain and path to recovery Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Scarlett Johansson, Sterling K. Brown among SAG Awards presenters LATEST STORIES Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Recto seeks to establish Taal rehab body to aid community, eruption victims Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View commentslast_img read more

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Liverpool beat Bayern to reach UCL quarters

first_img0Shares0000Mane scored twice as Liverpool eased past Bayern© AFP GUENTER SCHIFFMANNMUNICH, Germany, March 14 – Sadio Mane scored twice to steer Liverpool into the Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday after a 3-1 win at Bayern Munich dumped out the German champions.Having missed the goalless first leg at Anfield three weeks ago through suspension, Virgil van Dijk’s long pass led to Mane’s superb first-half goal at the Allianz Arena. Dutch centre-back Van Dijk then headed Liverpool into a 2-1 lead from a James Milner corner on 69 minutes after Joel Matip’s own goal had handed Bayern a first-half equaliser.Mane made absolutely sure of Liverpool’s place in the quarter-final draw by nodded in six minutes from time.Liverpool’s 3-1 aggregate victory means they join Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and Manchester United in the quarter-finals, completing a clean sweep of English sides reaching the last eight for the first time since 2008/09.It is a bleaker picture in Germany as Bayern’s exit leaves no Bundesliga club in the quarters for the first time since 2005/06, as Borussia Dortmund and Schalke also bowed out in the last 16 — to Tottenham and Man City respectively.This is the first time since 2011 that Bayern have failed to make the quarter-finals.Milner was preferred to Fabinho in Liverpool’s midfield, but Jurgen Klopp was forced into an early change when captain Jordan Henderson hobbled off on 12 minutes.Brazilian Fabinho made an early entrance and Milner took the skipper’s armband.Klopp had urged his side to “be brave on the ball” and it was that, combined with an amazing piece of skill by Mane, which gave them the lead.Van Dijk headed home the crucial goal which put Liverpool 2-1 ahead© AFP Christof StacheVan Dijk’s pin-point pass over 40 metres found Mane in the Bayern box with goalkeeper Manuel Neuer off his line.Mane spun away and looped his shot inside the far post to give the visitors a valuable away goal in the 26th minute.The bravery Klopp wanted flowed through the Liverpool ranks and Milner, winning the midfield battle, set Firmino free in the box, but the Brazilian blasted his shot at Neuer.However, the hosts drew level six minutes before the break when Serge Gnabry slipped his marker Andrew Robertson and hit a cross intended for Robert Lewandowski.The ball went in off Matip, who was focused on marking the Polish striker, to the despair of the Liverpool centre-back and the delight of the home crowd.The tempo of the game dropped sharply after the restart, but Bayern wasted a chance on the hour mark when Gnabry fired in a cross, only for Lewandowski to mistime his slide.Liverpool were heading for the quarter-finals when Milner swung in the second of two corners in quick succession and Van Dijk powered a header past Neuer.Mane scored his second when Mohamed Salah’s chip found him at the far post to head home as Liverpool’s travelling fans started singing “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, while the Bayern supporters began to slip away.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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Nation is with ISRO scientists Mamata

first_imgKolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday said the ISRO scientists worked hard for Chandrayaan-2 mission and the nation is with them.The lunar mission’s lander ‘Vikram’ lost contact with the ground station minutes before its planned soft landing on moon surface.”We are proud of our scientists. The @isro team worked hard for #Chandrayaan2. A befitting tribute to our founding fathers who envisioned India’s place in the league of scientifically advanced nations far ahead of their times,” she tweeted.She congratulated the ISRO scientists and said the nation is with them.”A testimony to the scientific temper they ingrained in us, and their unmatched caliber and dedication. My sincere gratitude and congratulations to @isro. We are all with you.May you continue to make us proud,” she added.last_img read more

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