Tag Archives: dubai

Laura Robson loses to Yulia Putintseva

Robson crashes out in Dubai after defeat to Kazakh teen Putintseva

By
Steven Donaldson

PUBLISHED:

20:55 GMT, 18 February 2013

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UPDATED:

20:55 GMT, 18 February 2013

Laura Robson was beaten by Kazakhstan's Yulia Putintseva in the first round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Monday.

Robson, the world No 45, lost 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (8/6) in two hours 21 minutes to her 18-year-old opponent.

Out: Robson was beaten in three sets by Putintseva (below)

Out: Robson was beaten in three sets by Putintseva (below)

Out: Robson was beaten in three sets by Putintseva (below)

The British No 2 started well by racing into a 2-0 lead in the first set, but was immediately pegged back as Putintseva took the opener.

Robson responded well in the second set, but Putintseva held her nerve in the tie-break to book her place in the next round.

Boxer Steve Collins returns to the ring aged 48 for Roy Jones Jr fight

Former world champion Collins to come out of retirement to settle grudge with legend Jones

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

00:34 GMT, 16 January 2013

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UPDATED:

02:40 GMT, 16 January 2013

Ireland's former WBO middleweight and super middleweight champion Steve Collins has announced plans to make a return to the ring at the age of 48.

Collins, who last fought in 1997 and includes Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank among the fighters he has beaten, claims he will take on Roy Jones Jr, 43, the American he was frustrated never to fight during his heyday.

Collins told talkSPORT: 'It's not a comeback as such, at my age I'm too old for that, but it will be the end of a 15-year grudge.

Don't call it a comeback: Steve Collins will return for one fight only

Don't call it a comeback: Steve Collins will return for one fight only

'It's a fight Roy Jones needs. He claims to be one of the greatest pound-for-pound fighters around but he refused to fight me.

'I was very happy with my career, but the one fight I wanted was Roy Jones, and when that didn't happen I retired.

'To me he was afraid of me. I don't think he's a coward, but at the time he was!

On the deck: Collins standing over Chris Eubank after beating him in 1995

On the deck: Collins standing over Chris Eubank after beating him in 1995

'But now it's happening. I spoke to Roy and we're going to get it on. He wants one more fight before he retires and this is the one he wants.

'If we get a good offer we'll split it down the middle and get it on.'

Collins, who says he will only fight if doctors pass him fit to do so, added: 'I wouldn't even consider fighting a guy 15 or 20 years younger than me, because that's not a match.

Grudge: Collins never had the chance to fight Roy Jones Jnr before he retired

Grudge: Collins never had the chance to fight Roy Jones Jnr before he retired

'But we're the same age and this is a fair match. It won't be any different to how it would have been 15 years ago.

'I'd love the fight to be in the UK but there is interest from Dubai, Russia, China.

'Dubai looks the favourite, but we'll have to see where the offers come from.'

Leeds United takeover – fans happy with GFH Capital

Happy Leeds fans hail new era as GFH finally complete Elland Road takeover

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UPDATED:

22:16 GMT, 21 December 2012

The chairman of the Leeds United Supporters Trust claims the club are ready for the start of a new era after GFH Capital completed their takeover.

GFH, a private equity firm based in Dubai, finally bought Leeds from Ken Bates on Friday and are ready to invest in Neil Warnock’s team to mount a promotion challenge this season.

All smiles: (left to right) David Haigh, Shaun Harvey and Salem Patel

All smiles: (left to right) David Haigh, Shaun Harvey and Salem Patel

Lifelong Leeds fan David Haigh and Salem Patel opened talks last May with Bates, who will remain as chairman until the end of the season.

They finalised the takeover after completing the Football League’s owners and directors test on Monday.

Gary Cooper, who formed LUST in 2010, said: ‘We were told to live the dream in the mid-1990s and that nearly sent the club out of existence.

‘What we need now is a board with sensible plans and commitment to making Leeds United great again.

All white on the night: Leeds celebrate taking the lead against Chelsea

All white on the night: Leeds celebrate taking the lead against Chelsea

‘We hope GFH are able to do that and everything they have said points to them being able to do so.

‘The board needs to reconnect with the people of Leeds and its supporters and they will come back in their thousands.

‘Attendances have dipped in recent years, but we saw against Chelsea on Wednesday we still have a huge fanbase.’

Graeme McDowell suffers freak hand injury at HSBC Champions

I had an argument with a door… McDowell suffers freak injury at hotel in China

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UPDATED:

16:11 GMT, 2 November 2012

Graeme McDowell's season looked to have reached a painful and premature end after the former US Open champion slammed his hand in a hotel door in China.

But the Ulsterman has revealed he still hopes to play in the third round of the HSBC Champions at Mission Hills despite suffering bad bruising in the accident. The Ryder Cup hero of Celtic Manor will undergo medical tests on Saturday to determine whether he can carry on.

McDowell played through the pain and completed his second round at the prestigious World Golf Championship event, but dropped out of contention after he could only shoot a 75, which left him well down the field at the halfway stage.

Ouch: Graeme McDowell tees off on the seventh hole at Mission Hills - with strapping clearly visible on his right hand

Ouch: McDowell tees off on the seventh hole at Mission Hills – with strapping clearly visible on his right hand

Later on Friday he tweeted: 'Busted up my hand a bit last night. Had an argument with a door. Nothing broken. Just bruised and swollen. I should be okay for tomorrow.'

McDowell's manager, Conor Ridge, had feared the Portrush man could be forced to sit out the remaining two rounds in Dongguan and, even worse, his final three tournaments of the year.

He is due to play in the World
Tour Championship – the European Tour's season-ending extravanganza in
Dubai where the money list winner will be crowned – the Australian
Masters and the World Challenge in California – Tiger Woods' tournament,
which McDowell won in 2010.

Out of contention: McDowell is well down the field after two rounds at the HSBC Champions

Out of contention: McDowell is well down the field after two rounds at the HSBC Champions

Out of contention: McDowell is well down the field after two rounds at the HSBC Champions

'He got it treated this morning. It was
obviously quite sore because he said it feels like it's broken,' said
Ridge. 'They've confirmed since that it's not broken, it's just bruised.

'He did it this morning before he left the hotel room, literally when he was on his way down here so we're going to see what it's like in the morning.'

Ridge added: 'He's not going to want to miss any of them (his last events). He's looking forward to going to Australia, he hasn't played there for a long time.

Can't catch me: Leader Louis Oosthuizen (left) chats with McDowell during the second round in China

Can't catch me: Leader Louis Oosthuizen (left) chats with McDowell during the second round in China

'He's certainly not winding down. He won't want to miss the last two rounds here either, let's be honest. Hopefully he's OK but knowing him he'd have to be pretty bad not to play.'

McDowell sits in 56th place at the HSBC Champions on two over par after adding to his opening round of 71, and sits fully 18 shots behind leader Louis Oosthuizen.

The 2010 Open champion is five shots in front of Adam Scott and Ernie Els on 16 under par after carding a course-record 63.

Kevin Pietersen has positive talks with England captain Alastair Cook

Pietersen flies back to South Africa following positive talks with England captain Cook

By
Lawrence Booth

PUBLISHED:

21:00 GMT, 17 October 2012

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UPDATED:

21:00 GMT, 17 October 2012

Back in the fold: Pietersen

Back in the fold: Pietersen

Kevin Pietersen flew back to South Africa after a positive meeting with Alastair Cook which is expected to pave the way for his return to the international fold and the tour of India.

The board will discuss Pietersen’s ‘reintegration’ today following his discussion with the England captain in Oxford and face to face chats with other senior players, with an announcement imminent.

‘The process is well on its way,’ said Cook, speaking at the launch of next year’s ICC Champions Trophy in England. We do need to draw a line in the sand for the sake of English cricket, but it’s a very important decision that we’ve got to get right.

‘We need to move forward as a team. We've got an amazing 18 months ahead of us and we need to move together. We want all our world-class players playing for England.’

Should his selection be confirmed for the four-Test series, starting on November 15, Pietersen could miss the three-day training camp in Dubai if Delhi Daredevils – his IPL team – reach the final of the Champions Trophy, scheduled for October 28 in Johannesburg.

Pietersen tweeted: ‘Short & sweet London. Bye bye!’

Dimitri Mascarenhas says Danny Briggs will shine for England at T20

Brilliant Briggs 'will bowl over the world's best' says Mascarenhas

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UPDATED:

21:49 GMT, 26 August 2012

Hampshire captain Dimitri Mascarenhas has backed Danny Briggs to shine for England in next month’s World Twenty20 title defence in Sri Lanka after his starring role in Saturday’s thrilling Friends Life t20 triumph at Cardiff.

Briggs, a 21-year-old slow left-armer, kept his nerve superbly as Yorkshire’s South African import David Miller threatened to steal the trophy with some monstrous end-of-innings hitting.

Briggs’s performance left Mascarenhas to enthuse: ‘He’s amazing — he can pitch it wherever he wants.’

England expects: Danny Briggs starred for Hampshire and is tipped to do well during the world Twenty20

England expects: Danny Briggs starred for Hampshire and is tipped to do well during the world Twenty20

Miller, who finished unbeaten on 72 from 46 balls but could not prevent Hampshire completing a 10-run win to lift the cup for the second time in three years, had smashed five straight sixes by the time Briggs began the penultimate over of the match, with Yorkshire needing 21 from 12 balls.

But Briggs, one of three spinners in England’s 15-man squad for Sri Lanka, conceded only seven — including a leg-bye — before 22-year-old seamer Chris Wood claimed three wickets for three runs in an equally impressive final over to secure Hampshire the winner’s cheque of 200,000.

Both Hampshire and Yorkshire will now take part in October’s lucrative Champions League in South Africa, where the victors will walk off with 1.5million.

Diving to victory: Simon Katich is run out by Jonny Bairstow but Hampshire go onto win

Diving to victory: Simon Katich is run out by Jonny Bairstow but Hampshire go onto win

But first, Briggs is hoping to get the chance to build on an impressive England debut earlier this year, when he took two for 39 in a one-day international against Pakistan in Dubai.

Mascarenhas told Sportsmail: ‘He’s well ahead of his time in terms of the way he thinks about the game. He’s only a baby really, but he’s got the head of a 40-year-old. He just knows how to bowl.

'He told me before his last over that he was going to try to whack the ball into the pitch, to try to stop Miller from hitting straight. And it worked — it’s the reason he bowls at the death for us and the reason it works more often than not.

'The wickets in Sri Lanka will suit him and he’ll be able to use his variations. He’s not a big turner of the ball but he nails his yorker and he’s got amazing control. He can pitch it wherever he wants.’

Hampshire, who had comfortably seen off perennial bridesmaids Somerset in the semi-finals, felt the result was no more than they deserved after Neil McKenzie claimed what looked like a fair catch low down at midwicket when Miller had only seven.

Winning feeling: The Hampshire team celebrate winning the Friends Life T20 Final against Yorkshire

Winning feeling: The Hampshire team celebrate winning the Friends Life T20 Final against Yorkshire

But third umpire Nick Cook decided replays were inconclusive and in the next over Miller thrashed Sean Ervine for three sixes — two of them out of the ground towards the River Taff — to kick-start Yorkshire’s fightback on a desperately sluggish Swalec Stadium track.

'I’m dead sure I caught it,’ said McKenzie. ‘I pride myself on being one of the more honest guys around, and I was sweating bullets for a couple of overs after that as Miller got going.’

Mascarenhas, who has played 34 times for England at one-day and Twenty20 level and famously hit India’s Yuvraj Singh for five successive sixes at The Oval in 2007, described Hampshire’s win as one of the two highlights of his career — along with the Friends Provident Trophy triumph of 2009. And there was no getting away from the financial significance of the success.

Hands on the trophy: Hampshire's captain Dimitri Mascarenhas lifts the T20 Trophy

Hands on the trophy: Hampshire's captain Dimitri Mascarenhas lifts the T20 Trophy

'Making it into the Champions League is a bit of a payday,’ he said. ‘We’ve been struggling a bit on that front recently. Last year we lost eight players and didn’t sign anyone to replace them, so we’ve not been in the best shape financially. Hopefully the cricket will keep going well.’

Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale, who has the consolation of a crack at the Champions League, later revealed on Twitter he had been the subject of abuse from a so-called fan ahead of finals day.

'Gutted to lose in the final, but proud of everyone of the players,’ he tweeted. ‘We give it our all. And for the numpty who sent letters to all the players before the game abusing me, how sad can you get!!’

Meanwhile, Yorkshire are hopeful Miller will be released by his South African franchise, the Sunfoil Dolphins, to represent them in the Champions League.

Bumble's best bits

London 2012 Olympics: Chris Mears finishes 9th in 3m springboard

A personal best – just being alive…. British diver Mears finishes 9th in 3m springboard

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UPDATED:

19:40 GMT, 7 August 2012

Chris Mears had a five per cent chance. Of living, that is. Nothing to do with diving. A five per cent chance of surviving an emergency operation on a ruptured spleen in a training hospital in Sydney.

Impressive then that on Tuesday night, three years on, the 19-year-old was competing in an Olympic final. Especially as he wasn't supposed to get past the preliminary stage anyway.

He finished a respectable 9th in the 3m springboard, some way off Russian winner Ilya Zakharov, but 9th in the world isn't too bad when you've been through what he's been through.

Feel the force: Mears, 19, finished a respectable 9th in Tuesday night's final

Feel the force: Mears, 19, finished a respectable 9th in Tuesday night's final

'I had glandular fever and the glands in my stomach and my spleen swelled up,' said Mears. 'It caused a rupture. I didn't have any symptoms of having glandular fever, so the doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong with me, which caused me to lose about five pints of blood. In theatre they cut me open and gave me a five per cent chance of surviving the operation.'

As Mears, who is good friends with fellow divers Tom Daley and Tonia Couch, was hurried into surgery, his parents Katie and Paul rushed to the airport and the other side of the world.

'Katie was at home and I was in Dubai with work,' said Paul, Katie adding: 'It was one o'clock in the morning when I got the call and we both went straight to the airport.'

Everybody loves Chris: Tom Daley, Tonia Couch and Sarah Barrow cheer on Mears

Everybody loves Chris: Tom Daley, Tonia Couch and Sarah Barrow cheer on Mears

Paul said: 'It was the morning of the Youth Olympic Games in Sydney and he was on his way to the competition. He collapsed after breakfast and things went from bad to worse. Luckily the hospital was just round the corner and their best people were on duty. If they hadn't been, he probably would not have made it. Now he's an Olympic finalist.'

Surviving the operation was just the start of the drama, as Mears explained. 'I went into intensive care for a week. But then two days after I was released I had a seizure for seven hours and went into a coma for a couple of days.'

He recovered slowly because having his spleen removed meant he picked up a lot of infections. He needed at least 10 hours of sleep each day – he still needs a lot now – but decided to return to diving a more determined young man.

'It's definitely made me work harder in the gym and the pool to become a better diver,' said Mears, whose final dive in the semi-final – a risky forward four-and-a-half somersault – scored him 91.2 points and an overall personal best of 461pts.

'My parents have seen me at my lowest and that must have hurt them pretty badly. But for them to see me now makes them very happy. This morning was without a doubt the best performance of my life, the best dive of my life. And it happened when it mattered and made me an Olympic finalist. I can't quite believe what has happened. I saw my parents on the screen going wild. I could hear them before every dive, too.'

They were indeed going wild, waving homemade scoring cards with '10' on them and wearing 'Go Chris' T-shirts alongside their other children, Natalie, 24, and Charlie, 12. 'Making the final feels like winning a medal,' said Katie.

Diego Maradona sacked by Al Wasl

Maradona finally shown the door in Dubai as Al Wasl sack hapless manager

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UPDATED:

18:54 GMT, 10 July 2012

Diego Maradona has been sacked as manager of Al Wasl.

The Argentine legend has been at the Dubai-based club since 2011, but has struggled to make any impact on or off the field.

He was appointed following a stint as his country's manager during the World Cup in 2010.

More to follow…

Sealed with a kiss: Diego Maradona has been sacked by Al Wasl

Sealed with a kiss: Diego Maradona has been sacked by Al Wasl

Royal Ascot 2012: So You Think wins Prince of Wales"s Stakes

So You Think holds off Queen's Carlton House to win Prince of Wales's Stakes

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UPDATED:

15:45 GMT, 20 June 2012

Aidan O'Brien's So You Think recorded his 10th Group One victory in the 150th Anniversary of Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The former Australian superstar suffered a shock odds-on reverse in this 10-furlong prize 12 months ago, but he got the job done in good style on this occasion.

Always travelling strongly in the hands of the trainer's son, Joseph, the six-year-old (4-5 favourite) looked likely to run out an easy winner when cruising to the front halfway up the home straight.

Too good: Joseph O'Brien and So You Think are led in after winning the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot

Too good: Joseph O'Brien and So You Think are led in after winning the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot

The Queen's Carlton House emerged on the far rail to launch a serious challenge, but So You Think saw him off, asserting close home to score by two and a quarter lengths.

Carlton House just held on to the runner-up spot from Farhh, who finished as well as anything having encountered traffic problems in the straight.

While So You Think may not have taken the European scene by storm quite as anticipated since joining O'Brien last year, this was still his fifth top-level triumph for his current connections.

He had suffered defeats in the Breeders' Cup Classic and the Dubai World Cup on artificial surfaces, but he warmed up for his return to Ascot with a routine victory in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh.

His young rider sat still in the saddle turning for home before unleashing his mount and he eventually ran out a comfortable winner to give O'Brien junior his first ever Royal Ascot triumph.

Catch me if you can: Carlton House can't get up to So You Think despite a late charge

Catch me if you can: Carlton House can't get up to So You Think despite a late charge

A victory for the Queen in Jubilee year was not to be on this occasion, but Carlton House ran a perfectly respectable race given he was keen for the first half of the contest.

Farhh was undoubtedly the eyecatcher for the Godolphin team.
Taking a huge step up in class from winning a Thirsk handicap, the Pivotal colt finished off his race with purpose, leaving the impression he could well have shaken up the winner with a clearer passage.

O'Brien snr said: 'We expected a big run today, we felt like we had him in a place that he was never in before with us, which is incredible.

'I think we've had him a year and a half and it's taken me that long to learn how to train him.

'We went back and listened to what everybody was saying about him, listened to what Bart (Cummings, former trainer) was saying and telling us what to do and what not to do. We listened at the end.

'We felt he was in a place today he's never been in before.

'I was delighted to hear what Bart had to say as he was speaking from the heart and I was probably over-working the horse and galloping the speed out of him instead of letting him be natural.

Star attraction: Injured England midfielder Frank Lampard and Christine Bleakley watch the big race

Star attraction: Injured England midfielder Frank Lampard and Christine Bleakley watch the big race

'Everyone was of the opinion before we got him that he was all speed but I started off on the wrong leg with him and tried to make him stay a mile and a half and did too much with him.

'We knew we only had a few runs left (before retiring to stud), maybe today and Sandown (Eclipse) to get him back, so we listened to them and Joseph and the lads were confident it was going to come.

'It will be the boys decision when he goes to stud, but Sandown is in our head as a cut-off point. We'll be pleading hard now that we have him in this place but it's a business decision.

'We're just delighted to get him back and all I can say is sorry it took me so long to get him back to where everyone in Australia said he was. If he wasn't such a great horse I'd have made a right mess of him.

'He's one of those special horses that can travel and has class. We were delighted with the ride he got, Joseph knew what he wanted to do.'

Winning rider O'Brien jnr said: 'My horse relaxed lovely and quickened up very well.

Nothing can stop us now: So You Think heading for home in the Prince of Wales's Stakes

Nothing can stop us now: So You Think heading for home in the Prince of Wales's Stakes

'Ryan (Moore, on Carlton House) got a split on the inside and I just had to come around Johnny (Murtagh, on Big Blue Kitten) but once he could see the horse on his inside he was never going to be beat.

'I just wanted to get him into a rhythm and get him relaxed, he has loads of class and can quicken and when things work out he's an exceptional horse.

'It's been a great season and I'm very lucky to get to ride some exceptional horse. I owe a big thanks to Mr and Mrs Magnier, Mr and Mrs Tabor and Mr and Mrs Smith for giving me some nice opportunities.'

Sir Michael Stoute, trainer of Carlton House, said: 'He couldn't get enough cover as he was a bit off the fence but he was second best, it's as simple as that.

'Ryan gave him a great ride, he had every chance but he just found one too good.'

Saeed bin Suroor said of Farhh: 'We are delighted with him, he had been physically weak which is why he hasn't had many runs, but he's much stronger this year and when he won easily at Thirsk we thought he would be up to running in Group One races.

'He has shown today he is good enough for those races between 10 and 12 furlongs. We might look at the King George for him.'

Alain de Royer-Dupre said of fourth home Reliable Man: 'The horse has now come back to what he was last year. He needs races with lots of pace and we'll go for other top 10-furlong races now – we'll probably go for the Juddmonte at York.'

Euro 2012: Scott Parker will be fit for Championships

England boosted by news that Parker will be fit for European Championships

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UPDATED:

00:07 GMT, 28 May 2012

Scott Parker has spoken of his relief at being fit for England's Euro 2012 campaign after experiencing the disappointment of Tottenham missing out on the Champions League.

Parker was sidelined for the final games of the Barclays Premier League season with an Achilles problem and then saw Chelsea's dramatic win over Bayern Munich in the Champions League final cost Spurs a place in Europe's top domestic competition.

But the midfielder was able to gain some comfort from playing 55 minutes of England's friendly win against Norway in Oslo.

Fitness boost: Scott Parker has recovered in time to play at the Euros

Fitness boost: Scott Parker has recovered in time to play at the Euros

Parker said: 'It was my first game for a while and I'm pleased I've come through it. It felt good and I felt fine.

'I had trained for the previous three days and it's the first time I trained for a while and it felt okay. I was relieved.

'It probably couldn't have come at a worse time really, the injury, for Tottenham as well, coming at the back end of the season after doing so well.

'Obviously I wanted to be part of that and to miss out left the fear I might miss out on the Euros at well. I am glad things have cleared up a little bit and I am ready to go.'

Ready to play: Steven Gerrard and Scott Parker could play together in midfield at the Euros

Ready to play: Steven Gerrard and Scott Parker could play together in midfield at the Euros

Parker was on holiday as he watched events unfold in the Champions League final eight days ago.

He said: 'I was away with the family in Dubai for a few days and I was watching it on my laptop and the screen was tiny!

'I was disappointed. We worked so hard to get to fourth spot in the Premier League.

'Obviously to lose the Champions League spot at that late stage was disappointing.'

Key member: Scott Parker was captain of England for one game before Roy Hodgson was appointed

Key member: Scott Parker was captain of England for one game before Roy Hodgson was appointed

Parker admits the players already have a clear idea of what is expected from them by new England manager Roy Hodgson.

He said: 'It is a different manager with different ideas. You have to adapt as players as quick as possible.

'We are all playing at different clubs and have different styles of play and he has set us up and told us how to play and we tried to do it against Norway.

'It is about being tactically aware and disciplined as a team which you have to be at international level. You could see it with their team. They were very disciplined and hard to break down at times.

No complaints: Parker has trained without any problems in the last few days

No complaints: Parker has trained without any problems in the last few days

'It is very clear what the manager wants and he can get that across very, very well. So that is clear.

'We are always a threat on the break and, as always, if you can have a solid foundation to build on you can hurt teams, and we certainly have the individuals to do that.

'I am sure over the next week to 10 days we will take things from this and we will drill a bit more and have a better idea of things.'