Tag Archives: dumps

Kell Brook world title fight with Devon Alexander pencilled in for February or March

Brook world title fight back on: Alexander showdown pencilled in for February or March

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UPDATED:

22:08 GMT, 13 December 2012

Rising British star Kell Brook has been given a provisional New Year date for a big world title fight in America.

Golden Boy promotions are pencilling in either February 23 or March 2 as the rescheduled date for the injured Brook’s challenge to welterweight champion Devon Alexander in Los Angeles.

Date with destiny: The Sheffield boxer will get his world title shot in February or March

Date with destiny: The Sheffield boxer will get his world title shot in February or March

Unbeaten: Brook has won all 29 of his professional fights with 19 knockouts

Unbeaten: Brook has won all 29 of his professional fights with 19 knockouts

Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn told BBC 5 Live: ‘Kell could have fought as planned next month but would only have been about 60 per cent fit after injury his ankle and missing road running.

'He is a little down in the dumps but in order to do himself justice, he can't fight on that day.

'I didn't want hundreds or thousands of Brits booking their flights to America and losing out.

'There's no way after all the work we've done, we can let a 60 per cent Kell Brook go into what is a 50/50 fight.

'It's not a terrible injury; he
turned it in Fuerteventura and he can't exert himself as well as the
strength and science guys want him to.'

Hearn continued: ‘We would prefer March 2 to give him more time to be 100 per cent for a fight as tough and important as this one.

'If it was up to Kell Brook, he'd fight but I have to intervene and listen to the experts.You cannot go out to America if you have any doubts in your mind.

'New York comes back into play and they're also talking about Detroit. We don't mind where we go but what does matter is that Kell is ready for the biggest fight of his life.'

US Open 2012: Laura Robson beats Li Na

Stunning! Robson dumps world No 8 Li out to reach US Open fourth round

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UPDATED:

18:43 GMT, 31 August 2012

Laura Robson continued her giant-killing run at the US Open with a brilliant victory over ninth seed Li Na to reach the fourth round.

The 18-year-old had pulled off one of the results of the tournament in the second round by beating three-time champion Kim Clijsters, sending the Belgian into retirement, but this was even better.

In the final set in particular, Robson outplayed one of the form players of the tour and last year's French Open champion to clinch a 6-4 6-7 (5/7) 6-2 victory.

Giant killer: Laura Robson will face Sam Stosur in the fourth round at the US Open

Giant killer: Laura Robson will face Sam Stosur in the fourth round at the US Open

Impressive: Laura Robson took the game to Li Na

Impressive: Laura Robson took the game to Li Na

She becomes the first British woman
to make the fourth round at a grand slam since Sam Smith at Wimbledon in
1998 and the first in New York since Jo Durie 21 years ago.Afterwards,
Robson revealed her plan had just been to take on her shots.

'I knew if I kept sticking with her and playing my shots it might pay off and it did,' she told Sky Sports 3.

'I had a few break points early on and I gave them up with average returning, so when I got a chance I knew I had to go for it.

'She's a great hitter so knew I had to go for it, I`m going to go back to the gym and try to recover for the next match.'

Robson also put her stunning tournament so far down to her fitness levels.

'I've been injured loads in the past
and this is my first time injury free. That`s the biggest improvement
and difference,' she added.

Against Clijsters, Robson had taken
her time to settle but she was firing from the off on Friday, breaking her
opponent's serve with a crunching return to lead 2-0.

Li hit back immediately but the
Chinese player was making far more mistakes than usual and a forehand
long handed Robson another break to lead 4-2.

She missed her chance serving for the
set three games later but Li was helping her opponent out and another
error gave Robson the set on her second opportunity.

Outclassed: Li Na could not get going in the contest

Outclassed: Li Na could not get going in the contest

The quality was nothing like that of the Clijsters encounter, with both players making a lot more mistakes than they would have liked, but it was costing the ninth seed more.

Robson dropped serve for a third time at the start of the second set but again responded straight away, nailing a cross-court backhand that had too much power for her opponent.

Robson screamed when she conceded a break point in the seventh game only to save it with an ace. The 18-year-old was serving more double faults than she would have liked, seven in total, but, when she got her first serve in, it was causing big problems for Li.

Twice the British number three held to force Li to serve to stay in the match, but the 30-year-old was playing much better now and did not waver.

The tie-break was as tight as they come and, although Robson did little wrong, it was Li who took it on her first set point with a backhand that landed on the back of the baseline.

Coming-of-age: Robson has now beaten Kim Clijsters and Li on her way to the last 16

Coming-of-age: Robson has now beaten Kim Clijsters and Li on her way to the last 16

It was a blow for the British player but, far from letting it affect her, she redoubled her efforts, showing the improved movement that has been such a feature of her run here.

Li saved three break points in the third game but she could not hold off Robson two games later.

It looked like the ninth seed had been handed a reprieve when a poor line call denied Robson but that only spurred her on even more and the teenager's prodigious ball striking drew the error from Li.

It really was a remarkable performance from Robson, who was playing better and better, and she broke through again to lead 5-2 and leave herself serving for the match.

A double fault hinted at nerves but that was a minor blip and Robson took her first match point with another big serve that Li could only scramble back long.

It does not get any easier for the 18-year-old, though, with defending champion Sam Stosur up next.

Ian Holloway blasts chairman over his players" wages following play-off heartbreak

Holloway blasts chairman over his players' wages following play-off heartbreak

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UPDATED:

23:01 GMT, 19 May 2012

Blackpool manager Ian Holloway could not hide his pain, and that of his players, after their last gasp play-off defeat by West Ham before taking a scathing sideswipe at club chairman Karl Oyston.

Down in the dumps: Ian Holloway after the play-off defeat

Down in the dumps: Ian Holloway after the play-off defeat

Parrying questions about his own future after losing 2-1, the outspoken Holloway said: 'Ready for another challenge I don't feel like that at the moment.

'The players did us proud. Unfortunately, some things in life are a little bit harsh. It feels that way just now.

'What I am gutted about is that the players deserve better money than they are on. They deserve that [promotion] bonus to make up their money, but unfortunately they didn't get it.

'They have played way above what their wages represent, and they needed that bonus.

'Life isn't fair sometimes. But, as I say, financially that's the Championship and other people have a lot worse problems, health-wise, health issues.

'So I think the players are a lucky group. It has been fantastic to work them and I have just told them that.'

Steven Finn backs Andrew Strauss as England captain

Finn supports Strauss to battle through dip in form and stay as England captain

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UPDATED:

18:29 GMT, 26 April 2012

Steven Finn retains supreme faith in his club-and-country team-mate Andrew Strauss as England captain.

Dual Ashes-winning Test captain Strauss' position has become a fevered topic as he has endured a vain quest to date for his 20th Test century, since his 19th came in a famous Brisbane draw 17 months ago.

England will nonetheless begin the first Investec Test against West Indies at Lord's next month as the world's No 1 team.

Down in the dumps: Andrew Strauss is enduring a poor run with the bat

Down in the dumps: Andrew Strauss is enduring a poor run with the bat

Strauss has led from the front in England's rise from unpromising beginnings, since becoming permanent captain in 2009.

Fast bowler Finn said: 'He is England captain for a reason. He deals with these situations very well.'

Finn was present last week when opener Strauss' hopes of morale-boosting runs for Middlesex against Durham at Lord's realised just six in two attempts – bowled in both innings by Graham Onions.

'It won't have bothered him too much that he didn't get any runs in that first match,' he added. 'He is not out of nick.'

While Strauss' travails, or otherwise, are sure to dominate cricket headlines up to and including that first match of three against the Windies at least, Finn knows his priority is to get his own house in order.

Enjoying the early season: Steven Finn

Enjoying the early season: Steven Finn

He has done that to significant effect, with few opportunities, over the winter – having been able to add just one Test cap, in the series-levelling draw against Sri Lanka in Colombo this month, to one last year too.

The 23-year-old continues nonetheless to be depicted as one of the world's premier emerging fast-bowling talents thanks to his exploits with the white ball in limited-overs formats.

After a winter dominated by spin, and with Chris Tremlett out injured, his chance will surely come this summer.

He finished with seven for 98 against Durham – Onions took 10 in the match – but said: 'You can't take anything for granted.

'I enjoyed my winter away, and I feel like I did myself justice.

'My game has come on a fair bit since I played in those Ashes Test matches 14 or 15 months ago.'

Neither Finn, in that one 2011 Test, nor the rest of the England attack were at their best against Sri Lanka at Lord's last year.

'Lord's is a tricky place to bowl if you haven't bowled there for a little while,' he said. 'It can take a bit of getting used to. But the slope is a great asset as well, because it keeps you in the game all the time.

'You're not going to bowl well every single game, and collectively we just didn't really get it right. But we didn't lose that match either.'

Chris Hughton risks backlash after dumping 40 Birmingham top

What a strip-off! Hughton dumps 40 Birmingham top the team have never played in

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UPDATED:

10:52 GMT, 28 March 2012

Birmingham boss Chris Hughton has risked the wrath of fans by ditching the away kit without it ever being worn in a competitive game.

The 40 top was launched last summer but the Blues have not been seen in the strip since pre-season.

Hughton prefers the yellow 'European' kit if colours clash with the opposition and the cobalt blue and black number is now available for 30.

A club insider told the Birmingham Mail: 'Some managers like certain kits for all sorts of reasons and the yellow shirts were the design that the manager wanted to use.

Get your kit on: Birmingham have not worn this top in a competitive game

Get your kit on: Birmingham have not worn this top in a competitive game

'The yellow kit went down a storm in the Europa League, so the team persisted with it. 'These shirts were not manufactured on the same scale as the official home and away kits, so not so many have been available to purchase.

'We can see the fans' point of view.'

John Devlin of football shirt experts TrueColours said: 'My initial thought was that, although it was a smart design, did it really give the club a suitable away option against teams playing in blue

'Clubs are losing sight that the purpose of an away kit is to provide an effective alternative colour option should there be a clash.

'If clubs persist in releasing these unnecessary outfits – with ever increasing price tags – I fear a backlash amongst supporters.'

The shirt has already been consigned to the bin with new plans in place for next season.

A Birmingham fan, who did not wish to be named, said: 'It could be seen as a bit of a rip-off because lots were sold in comparison to the yellow shirt and I can see people being miffed that it's not been worn in a competitive match.

'However, I also think it might attain some sort of trivia or cult value.

'One of the more popular 'old-fashioned' shirts that fans wear is the German flag design, which I believe was worn only twice.'

Heather Watson beats Lucie Safarova, the world No 25

Brit special! Watson dumps Safarova out in Miami with career best performance

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UPDATED:

21:50 GMT, 23 March 2012

British teenager Heather Watson followed up the best comeback of her career with her finest victory to date when she beat world No 25 Lucie Safarova to join Andy Murray in the third round of the Sony Ericsson Open.

Having got through by recovering from 0-5 down in the deciding set of her first match, the 19 year-old Channel Islander dismissed the Czech lefthander, sometimes compared to Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, 6-2 6-1 in steaming humidity.

Reaching for the stars: Heather Watson produced a career best performance in the second round of the Miami Open

Reaching for the stars: Heather Watson produced a career best performance in the second round of the Miami Open

British No 4 Watson, who now has the toughest task in women’s tennis as she faces world No 1 Victoria Azarenka, who has yet to lose this season and is on a 24-match unbeaten streak.

The Guernsey player, an outstanding natural athlete, showed the value of having Florida as a training base by handling the heat far better than the vastly more experienced Safarova.

Having broken into the top 100 last year
Watson had a difficult start to the season which has seen her fall to
129 in the rankings, struggling with an ankle injury caused by playing
football back in December.

Down and out: Lucie Safarova

Down and out: Lucie Safarova

'I found my first match very emotional after the tough year that I’ve had with my ankle, I’m definitely quitting football,' she said. 'It was so hot and in the second set we were both ready to fall over.

'I told myself that if I’m feeling bad she must be feeling bad as well. I just kept trying to make her play an extra ball. I've got nothing to lose when I play my next match, I can relax.'

Watson's movement is her outstanding feature, so anything that jeopardises that, such as the left ankle problem, will have a major effect.

In the full blast of the afternoon sunshine she always looked more comfortable than the Czech, who is an impressive ball striker but not the same quality of athlete.

Watson served especially well and returned her opponent’s powerful efforts, and demoralised her with the ability to make balls that some others simply cannot reach. It is this, plus her combative attitude, that marks her out as having the potential for a very solid career.

Safarova’s head dropped at the end of both sets, and she could not capitalise on an early break in the second, too often broken down by the younger player’s stalwart defence.

Andy Murray beats Alejandro Falla in Miami

Murray the Master in Miami as British No 1 dumps Falla to reach round three

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UPDATED:

16:59 GMT, 23 March 2012

Andy Murray bounced back from his Indian Wells disappointment with a comfortable straight-sets victory against Alejandro Falla in the second round of the Miami Masters.

The world No 4, who had a first-round bye, forced five breaks of serve against the left-handed Colombian and eased to a 6-2, 6-3 win in one hour and 16 minutes.

A victory at this event was long overdue for Murray after he suffered straight-sets losses at the first hurdle against Mardy Fish in 2010 and the unheralded Alex Bogomolov Jr last year.

Marching on: Andy Murray was too good for Alejandro Fella

Marching on: Andy Murray was too good for Alejandro Fella

And his mindset coming into the tournament would not have been helped by his surprise second-round defeat by Guillermo Garcia-Lopez at Indian Wells on March 11.

However, the presence of coach Ivan Lendl this week has boosted the Scot following his Indian Wells exit, and the 24-year-old was quickly into his stride against the world No 71.

After holding his opening service game Murray forced an instant break of serve to take a 2-0 lead.

Brushed aside: Falla could not cope with Murray

Brushed aside: Falla could not cope with Murray

Although Falla hit back in the next, getting back on serve with a break of his own, his respite was brief as Murray broke again to move ahead 4-2 before a third break wrapped up the opening set.

Murray continued to look in good touch at the start of the second set, moving a break up early on to establish a 3-0 lead.

However, as before Falla found a way to get back on level terms as he broke the Scot for a second time to trail 3-4.

Again, though, Murray's response was swift and decisive, breaking to love in the next to leave himself serving for the match, which duly did to set up a third-round clash against either Canadian 26th-seed Milos Raonic or French qualifier Arnaud Clement.

England should have won, slams Graeme Swann

We're down in the dumps! Swann anger at England's failure to finish off Pakistan

England were on Friday digesting the disappointment of their opening defeat in the three-match Twenty20 series against Pakistan, and planning already how they can come back to win 2-1.

Graeme Swann, whose career-best three for 13 proved in vain as England failed by eight runs to chase 144 for six under the Dubai International Cricket Stadium lights, accepts the tourists ought to have been able to reach that target.

Not smiling inside: Graeme Swann has revealed his disappointment at England's failure to chase down Pakistan's modest total

Not smiling inside: Graeme Swann has revealed his disappointment at England's failure to chase down Pakistan's modest total

But he is confident too that the young guns in England's middle order are capable of much better, very soon.

'It's a little bit downbeat,' Swann said of the mood in the England camp, with the next match scheduled at the same venue on Saturday. 'We got ourselves in a position to win the game.

'But Twenty20 is an exciting game – most games do go down to the wire – and that's why, in my opinion, it's the best form of one-day cricket.'

Playing catch up: England fell just eight runs short of the total

Playing catch up: England fell just eight runs short of the total

Umar Gul (three for 18) was largely responsible for squeezing out Stuart Broad's England – notably with the wicket of top-scorer Ravi Bopara.

'They have world-class bowlers at the death, and we didn't cope with that as well as we should have done,' added Swann. 'Having said that, we got ourselves in a winning position and nine times out of 10 we'd expect ourselves to cross the line.

'It was disappointing not to do that last night. But we've got two games left in the series to make amends.'