Tag Archives: florian

Newcastle United target Bastia"s Florian Thauvin

Newcastle look to French teen Thauvin to kick start disappointing season

By
Simon Jones

PUBLISHED:

22:50 GMT, 6 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

00:14 GMT, 7 January 2013

Newcastle are considering a move for Bastia’s attacking midfielder Florian Thauvin.

The 19-year-old has appeared 16 times for his club this season, scoring twice, while he has also represented his country at Under-20 level.

Thauvin has 18 months remaining on his contract with the struggling club.

Reinforcements needed: Florian Thauvin (right) is a target for struggling Newcastle

Reinforcements needed: Florian Thauvin (right) is a target for struggling Newcastle

Toulouse 30 Ospreys 14

Toulouse 30 Ospreys 14: French side destroy Welsh opposition to lead Pool Two

PUBLISHED:

17:58 GMT, 8 December 2012

|

UPDATED:

17:58 GMT, 8 December 2012

Toulouse put the Ospreys to the sword with a rampant second-half performance to take control of Pool Two in the Heineken Cup.

The four-time winners led just 12-7 at the interval thanks to quick-fire tries from Florian Fritz and Yannick Nyanga.

The Ospreys hit back with a try from Kahn Fotuali'i but the second half was a one-team affair as Vincent Clerc, Census Johnson, Yoann Huget all crossed over.

Touching down: Toulouse's winger Vincent Clerc scores a try

Touching down: Toulouse's winger Vincent Clerc scores a try

The visitors again responded with a try, this time from Ryan Bevington, but it was too little too late.

The victory sees the French giants stretch their lead at the top of the group to eight points with Leicester set to face Benetton Treviso tomorrow.

Luke McAlister fired an early penalty wide but Toulouse quickly established a lead thanks to Fritz.

The French hosts looked to launch an attack from the top of a lineout which broke down, but Fritz pounced on the loose ball and sliced through the Ospreys' defence.

McAlister slotted the conversion and seven minutes later they doubled their advantage.

Again, Toulouse were fortunate to capitalise on disarray at the lineout. Gary Botha overthrew and James King flapped the ball towards the Ospreys but it fell straight to Nyanga, who raced home.

But the Welsh region fought back, with ever-present Kahn Fotuali'i and Ashley Beck leading the charge.

And it was the in-form duo that manufactured the Ospreys' opening score. Beck put his side on the front foot with a strong charge that earned a penalty, Fotuali'i caught Toulouse off guard with a quick tap to race clear.

The Welsh region continued to pile on the pressure but Toulouse weathered the storm to go into the break leading 12-7.

Cheers: Yoann Huguet (centre) is congratulated by teammates after scoring a try

Cheers: Yoann Huguet (centre) is congratulated by teammates after scoring a try

But the French side came out firing following the break and their giant pack steamrolled the Ospreys.

They could have hit back within minutes of the restart as Toulouse flooded forward while chasing a McAlister chip but Fotuali'i intervened.

Toulouse continued to dominate and could have been awarded a penalty try following a succession of scrums, but the Ospreys survived and Justin Tipuric snatched a vital turnover.

But Toulouse were relentless and they came close once again after Medard collected McAlister's cross kick.

They were eventually rewarded for their hard work as Picamoles broke from the back of scrum.

The giant number eight charged towards the Ospreys before releasing Burgess with an offload. Clerc received the ball out wide with plenty of work to do, but he rounded Eli Walker to squeeze in the corner.

McAlister failed to add the conversion but Toulouse did not let up with Picamoles continuing to run riot.

Just the ticket: Florian Fritz scores a try for the French side

Just the ticket: Florian Fritz scores a try for the French side

After receiving the ball from Albacete he drew in three defenders before sending Johnson over in the same corner.

Doussain faired no better than McAlister from the touchline but the try had sealed the bonus point and established a commanding 22-7 lead.

And there was still time for a fifth try with Doussain and Medard combining for Huget to dance through the Ospreys defence.

To their credit the Welsh region refused to throw in the towel and they hit back with a score of their own as Bevington and Tipuric combined with a football style one-two for the prop to crash over.

Matthew Morgan converted but the try was merely a consolation and Toulouse rubbed salt into their wounds with a Doussain penalty at the death.

Jonny Marray ready for ATP World Tour Finals at London 02 Arena

Here's Jonny! British doubles star Marray ready for rare taste of the high life in London

|

UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 30 October 2012


No place like home: Marray roars with delight on his way to winning the Wimbledon doubles title last summer

No place like home: Marray roars with delight on his way to winning the Wimbledon doubles last summer

The Ford Fiesta is still parked in the garage and the 130,000 prize is still in the bank – becoming the most unlikely Wimbledon champion in years has yet to prove a material life-changer for Jonny Marray.

As if to prove the fact, he could be found plying his doubles trade in the converted ice rink that is used as the smallest court inside the tired old Palais de Bercy where, in front of some 150 diehard spectators, he and Paul Hanley reached the second round of the Paris Masters.

It will all be different next week at London’s O2 Arena when he teams up at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals alongside Frederik Nielsen, with whom he created one of the year's great sporting fairytales, even by the standards of the headiest summer.

The 17,000-strong crowds will be bigger than those of the Centre Court which saw them carry off the All England Club title, having barely played together previously and only entered courtesy of a wildcard.

That success has gained the 31-year-old from Sheffield entry to the elite season-end jamboree for the year’s top eight, and it will be only the second time he has set foot inside the old Millennium Dome.

‘Two years ago I had to attend an educational course for ATP players in London and we got taken along to a session at the O2, but that’s my only experience of it. Having felt the atmosphere, I can’t wait,’ he said, after excelling in a 7-5, 6-1 win over top Germans Philipp Kohlschreiber and Florian Mayer.

It will be a rare brush with the high life for the resolutely down-to-earth Marray, who has hardly felt the impact of sudden fame because he has barely been in the UK since July.

Champions: Nielsen and Marray celebrates their memorable victory in SW19

Champions: Nielsen and Marray celebrates their memorable victory in SW19

‘One nice thing was that Freddie
(with whom he shares a passion for Liverpool FC) and I had pieces done
on us in the Anfield programme and official magazine. But I haven’t had a
chance to see them this season because I’ve been away. They are playing
at Chelsea a week on Sunday so depending on how things go we might be
able to get along.

‘I get recognised a bit since Wimbledon but I haven’t been at home much. The money is still in the bank but once this season is over I’ll sit down with someone knowledgeable and decide what to do with it.

‘I haven’t had a financial cushion before with the level I’ve been at in my career so that is all a bit new. As for the Fiesta, I don’t really see much point changing because I don’t get to drive much anyway.’

The most pressing thing on his mind is trying to find a regular partner for next year as Nielsen, whom he first met playing German Bundesliga club tennis in Hamburg, has told him he wants to concentrate on his singles career in 2013.

Net gains: Marray's touch around the net has seen him excel in doubles

Net gains: Marray's touch around the net has seen him excel in doubles

It is the time of year when there is much horsetrading done in the two-player code and Marray, ranked 22, really needs to find someone inside the top 35 to ensure they gain entry to the biggest tournaments. He said: ‘I’ve spoken to a few people and I’m hoping to get something sorted out because next week is the last time I will play with Freddie as a regular partner. I quite understand the decision he has made.’

What Marray’s new team-mate will get is his major attribute of being one of the sweetest volleyers of a tennis ball you will see. His touch around the net was always known within the small parish of British tennis but only this year has it fully flowered.

‘Twelve months ago if you’d told me this was going to happen I’d have been both surprised and very happy,’ he said. ‘It helped seeing a few other British lads doing well in doubles (such as the world’s No 10 pairing Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins) and it made me think I could push on from the level I had been at for so long.’

So next week he will be among the elite, such as his near namesake Andy Murray, although even then a certain apartheid exists with doubles players in a communal dressing room, while the eight singles stars get private quarters.

Murray plays his opening match at the Paris Masters on Wednesday, against France’s world No 64 Paul-Henri Mathieu.

Wimbledon 2012: Novak Djokovic beats Florian Mayer

Djokovic turns up the heat against Mayer to set up sizzling semi with Federer

|

UPDATED:

14:47 GMT, 4 July 2012

Novak Djokovic played the best tennis of his Wimbledon campaign to see off Florian Mayer and set up a mouth-watering semi-final against Roger Federer.

Mayer, ranked 29th in the world, played some excellent tennis, particularly in the first set, but Djokovic's experience, power and superior placement allowed the world No 1 to record a rousing 6-4 6-1 6-3 win on Court One.

On a roll: Novak Djokovic reacts as he breaks the serve of Florian Mayer

On a roll: Novak Djokovic reacts as he breaks the serve of Florian Mayer

Federer, who is looking for his seventh Wimbledon title, has a 14-12 win-loss record against Djokovic, although the Swiss has not beaten the defending champion in 12 months and the two have never met on grass before.

The meeting with Federer will be Djokovic's ninth consecutive grand slam semi-final appearance.
Djokovic, whose last defeat to Federer came in the semi-finals of the French Open last summer, is relishing the prospect of another showdown on a big stage.

'I am looking forward to it,' Djokovic said. 'It's always a pleasure playing him. He is a great champion. He has reached 33 consecutive grand slam quarter-finals.

'He has dominated for so long. He is so consistent and for me it will be the ultimate challenge.

'It was a tricky match. There were quite a few breaks and there was a rain delay and the conditions were quite windy. It could have gone either way but overall I was happy with my performance.'

Down and out: Florian Mayer returns to Djokovic on his way out of Wimbledon

Down and out: Florian Mayer returns to Djokovic on his way out of Wimbledon

The Court One crowd expected Djokovic to steam roller his way through the first set, but the Serb did not seem himself in the opening stages.

Djokovic looked sluggish and a number of unforced errors handed Mayer two break points in the fifth game of the opening set. The German took the first one available to him, forcing Djokovic to hit a backhand long.

The break caused gasps among the crowd, but the champion allayed their fears when he struck back by immediately breaking his opponent when Mayer netted after a bruising rally from the baseline.

A rain delay of 22 minutes affected Djokovic badly, as he lost four straight points to give Mayer three break points. The German should have taken the second one when he came to the net but his volley was too weak.

Eye on the ball: Djokovic was in fine form as he took on Mayer

Eye on the ball: Djokovic was in fine form as he took on Mayer

There was no slow start from Djokovic at the start of the second set. Mayer's desire to win was shown in the third game when he dived into the path of a bullet forehand from Djokovic to return just over the net.

But normal service resumed in the following game, however, as Djokovic broke with a lovely cross-court forehand and the Serb broke again in the sixth game to wrap up the second set in just 25 minutes.

The inevitable opportunity for Djokovic to break in the third set came in the eighth game at 30-40 but the Serbian returned a forehand wide.

The four-time grand slam winner was almost made to pay straight away when Mayer engineered a break point in the following game, but the German returned a forehand long.

Djokovic broke in the ninth and rescued three break points the following game before serving out to earn a place in the last four.

Six Nations 2012: Neil Jenkins says Wales will not underestimate France

Jenkins says Wales will give France full respect as they go in search of the Grand Slam

|

UPDATED:

18:45 GMT, 13 March 2012

Skills coach Neil Jenkins says Wales will not be underestimating France when they go in search of a third RBS 6 Nations Grand Slam in eight seasons on Saturday.

Last weekend's 24-3 victory over Italy in Cardiff has set Wales up for another clean sweep, and they will meet a France side who have seen their own title hopes ended by two poor home performances.

Having won their opening two games France were on course to make the Millennium Stadium clash a winner-takes-all Grand Slam showdown, but a draw with Ireland in Paris followed by England's Stade de France success on Sunday has left them out of the championship picture.

No underestimation: Neil Jenkins says Wales will give France full respect

No underestimation: Neil Jenkins says Wales will give France full respect

Coach Philippe Saint-Andre has responded by making six changes to his squad as Julien Pierre, Fulgence Ouedraogo, Dimitri Yachvili, Alexis Palisson, Florian Fritz and Jean-Marcellin Buttin have all been called up.

But Wales have a poor record against the French, losing 11 of the last 14 meetings between the sides, including the heartbreaking World Cup semi-final reverse in Auckland in October.

And Jenkins says there is no way Wales will be taking their opponents lightly.

He said: 'We are playing a side who we have not beaten since 2008, they are a very good side and were very unlucky not to win the World Cup final.

'They beat us in the semi-final and as I have said we haven't beaten them since the last time we won the slam in 2008.

'We are under no illusions as to what is ahead of us on Saturday. They are a fantastic side with some great players and that defeat on Sunday will have hurt them more, and they will want to prove a lot of people wrong.

Race against time: Wales captain Sam Warburton is hoping to recover from a knee injury in time to be fit to face France

Race against time: Wales captain Sam Warburton is hoping to recover from a knee injury in time to be fit to face France

'He (Saint-Andre) has left a few players out, some sides do that in terms of losing games, sometimes France more than anyone else, but they have huge strength in depth and some of the players coming in are very impressive.

'Any side they put out will be a good side and they will be wanting to come to Cardiff and win on Saturday.'

Wales' main injury concern for this weekend is Sam Warburton. The captain and openside flanker missed the Italy game with a knee injury and is battling to be fit to face the opponents who he was red-carded against in that World Cup meeting.

And Jenkins says the Cardiff Blues back-rower is making good progress.

He said: 'He is going all right. He trained with us yesterday and this morning so fingers crossed he is going pretty well. He will train this afternoon and we will look at him after that.

Standing in their way: Philippe Saint-Andre and France stand between Wales and the Grand Slam

Standing in their way: Philippe Saint-Andre and France stand between Wales and the Grand Slam

'With Sam being captain and as good a player as he is we will probably give him as long as possible but this afternoon's session should be a good indicator of where he is at and we will see from there.'

Should Warburton be fit to play, he will not come up against France wing Vincent Clerc, the man he tip tackled to receive his red card from referee Alain Rolland in Auckland.

Clerc is absent with a shoulder injury, but Jenkins insists Wales have already drawn a line under the events of October.

He said: 'Things happen, and they happened on that day, but from our point of view we need to forget about that and I think we have done, we have moved forward.

'We can't do much about it, that is history as far as we are concerned. We want to move forward and look forward to Saturday's game.'