Connect with us

Sports

Novak Djokovic toils, will face Rafael Nadal in French semis

Published

on

It took three and half hours, a cut on his hand and a delay to remove fans, but world No. 1 Novak Djokovic defeated Matteo Berrettini in the quarter-finals of the French Open on Wednesday to set up another date with Rafael Nadal.

The top-seeded Serbian defeated the ninth-seeded Italian 6-3, 6-2, 6-7 (5), 7-5 in three hours, 28 minutes in a match that was interrupted when the 5,000 fans at Roland Garros refused to leave Court Philippe Chatrier in adherence of a curfew that was put in place. Djokovic and Berrettini were asked to leave the court in the middle of the fourth set while the fans were cleared.

Djokovic lost his footing and cut his hand after play resumed.

“This match had it all: falls, crowd, break. It was a lot of intensity,” said Djokovic, who let out a roar when the match was completed. “I just felt under tension the entire time. It was just super, super stressful to constantly be under pressure on my service games, because his service games were quite smooth with the big serve.

Berrettini, 25, had 55 winners compared to 44 for Djokovic, but the Italian’s 51 unforced errors were the difference. Djokovic committed only 19.

“I’m really proud of myself, really proud of my team, what we achieved,” Berrettini said. “I’m really happy, but at the same time I don’t want to stop here. I’m still young. This is my second quarter-finals in a Slam. I don’t want to stop here.”

In the first quarter-final, third-seeded Nadal defeated 10th-seeded Diego Schwartzman of Argentina 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-0 in two hours, 45 minutes.

Nadal’s 36-set winning streak came to an end, but the Spaniard made it to his 14th semi-final at Roland Garros.

“I started badly in the second set, then I was able to come back,” Nadal said. “But at 4-4, returning with the wind, I played a bad game and hit a double fault in the next game. I needed to play more aggressively and I did so throughout the rest of the match. I won an important match today against a tough opponent. I was able to find a way to play my best tennis in the moments that I really needed to.”

Nadal won 108 total points compared to 77 for Schwartzman. Nadal converted on seven of 14 break points. Schwartzman was outdone by 39 unforced errors as Nadal committed 29.

Djokovic leads Nadal 29-28 overall, but Nadal is 10-6 vs. Djokovic in Grand Slam events, including a 7-1 mark at Roland Garros. The upcoming match will be their first semi-final meeting since Wimbledon 2018.

“Each time we face each other, there’s this extra tension, expectations and just vibes are different walking on the court with him,” Djokovic said after his match. “That’s why our rivalry has been historic for this sport and I’ve been privileged to play him so many times.

“Rivalries with him and Roger (Federer) have made me a stronger player and allowed me to understand how I need to improve my game to get to the level where they were when I actually started playing professional tennis. I’ll probably pick Raffa as the biggest rival that I’ve ever had in my career. The anticipation for the match against him, any match on any surface on any occasion is always different from any other.”



Sports

Navy men and women record wins at Inter Club rugby matches

Published

on

The men’s and women’s rugby teams of the Navy secured two more wins in their encounters over the Air Force in the Sri Lanka Rugby Nippon Paint Inter Club League Rugby Tournament at the Navy Rugby Ground, Welisara.

Navy men scored a thrilling 32-31 victory over Air Force where T.M. Weerasinghe added points through three conversions and two penalties. Further, S.J.F. Gregory, R.A.N.U. Perera, M.A.F.M. Mushin and G.D.J. Laksara also made a try each.

In the meantime, Navy women recorded a comprehensive 55-0 win over their Air Force counterparts. In this encounter, A.H.S. Madumali scored three tries and collected points through five conversions. In addition, R.S.H. Kumari scored two tries and P. Dilani, M.R. Kumudumalee, G.G. Randunu and W.R.W. Vithana too scored a try each.

Continue Reading

Sports

Dinara, Sajida win first-round matches

Published

on

ITF Junior Circuit Week I Tournament

Dinara de Silva and Sajida Razick won their respective first-round matches of the ITF Junior Circuit Week I tournament which commenced at the Sri Lanka Tennis Association courts on Monday.

De Silva beat Silvia Caliman of Spain 6-4, 6-2 to advance to the second round and Sajida Razick overcame India’s Gagana Mohal with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 win in her match.

The tournament is set to conclude on February 5.

Continue Reading

Sports

St. Anthony’s in command against Ananda

Published

on

Under 19 Cricket

Kaveesha Piyumal and Induwara Galapitage shocked Ananda sharing six wickets between them as St. Anthony’s, Katugastota contained the home team to 56 for eight wickets at stumps after posting a commanding 268 on day one of the Under 19 traditional match at Ananda Mawatha on Monday.

Mohomed Aaqil (73) and Kavindu Shehan (46) gave the hosts an ideal start adding 90 runs for the first wicket after they decided to bat first. Lahiru Abeysinghe, Rayan Anthonyzs and Janith Rathnasiri then made vital contributions for them to reach 268 runs.

In their essay home team were rocked by the visitors as Piyumal grabbed for wickets for 17 runs to rattle the middle order.

Scores:

St. Anthony’s

268 all out in 54 overs (Mohomed Aaqil 73, Kavindu Shehan 46, Lahiru Abeysinghe 47, Rayan Anthonyzs 27, Janith Rathnasiri 36, Charuka Ekanayake 21; Kithma Sithmal 3/86, Ashinsa Nainayake 2/57, Ayesh Shashimal 5/40)

Ananda

56 for 8 in 32 overs (Kaveesha Piyumal 4/17, Induwara Galapitage 2/11) (RF)

Continue Reading

Trending