Tag Archives: opponent

Laura Robson draws GB level in Argentina

Robson draws GB level in Argentina after Konta loses opener

By
Mark Staniforth, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

17:05 GMT, 20 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:05 GMT, 20 April 2013

Laura Robson kept Great Britain's hopes of returning to the Fed Cup World Group alive with an emphatic victory over Florencia Molinero in Buenos Aires today.

The world number 38 brushed aside her inexperienced opponent 6-1 6-1 to pull Great Britain level at 1-1 against Argentina after Johanna Konta lost the opening rubber to Paula Ormaechea.

Robson will be strongly fancied to defeat Ormaechea in the reverse singles tomorrow, with Konta due to face Molinero and a potentially decisive doubles rubber also to come.

Roar: Laura Robson clenches her fist in delight during her win over Florencia Molinero

Roar: Laura Robson clenches her fist in delight during her win over Florencia Molinero

Coach well pleased: Judy Murray expresses her happiness over Robson's performance

Coach well pleased: Judy Murray expresses her happiness over Robson's performance

Robson had plenty of pressure on her shoulders heading into the tie at Parque Roca, with Great Britain banking on her to lead them back into World Group II after an absence of 20 years.

But the 19-year-old showed few signs of nerves as she raced through the first set and went 5-0 ahead in the second.

Despite being broken when she served for the match, she recovered to close it out on Molinero's serve in the next game and kept plenty in reserve.

Whipping it away: With Heather Watson out of the tie, Robson was under pressure to perform

Whipping it away: With Heather Watson out of the tie, Robson was under pressure to perform

Quick and easy: She completed a straight forward 6-1 6-1 win over her opponent from Argentina

Quick and easy: She completed a straight forward 6-1 6-1 win over her opponent from Argentina

Earlier world number 146 Konta had found the going tough against Ormachea and fell to a 6-3 6-2 defeat.

Konta, selected in the absence of Heather Watson due to illness, never recovered from a bad start as she fell 4-0 behind to a player ranked 21 places higher at 143 in the world.

Going behind: Johanna Konta had a harder day at the office losing to Paula Ormaechea

Going behind: Johanna Konta had a harder day at the office losing to Paula Ormaechea

Konta made a stronger start to the second set but was broken in the fourth game and when she was broken for a second time in her next service game, she was consigned to defeat.

After the two reverse singles, Robson will team up with veteran Anne Keothavong for the doubles, should they be required, against Maria Irigoyen and Mailen Auroux.

Team effort: Murray tries to impart some of her wisdom to get Konta back on track

Team effort: Murray tries to impart some of her wisdom to get Konta back on track

David Haye posts a fearsome photo from his gym as he prepares for his comeback fight

Beware the Hayemaker! Boxing star posts fearsome photo from the gym as he prepares for comeback fight

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

16:42 GMT, 8 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:42 GMT, 8 April 2013

It is only two days to go until David Haye announces his next heavyweight opponent — but he is already looking the part.

The former heavyweight champion is fighting again on June 29 in Manchester and posted a picture on his twitter feed of him in fighting fit shape.

He has previously revealed he began plotting his ring return when alone with his thoughts in the jungle on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.

Hayemaker: There's no denying David Haye is taking his comeback seriously after this photo posted on twitter

Hayemaker: There's no denying David Haye is taking his comeback seriously after this photo posted on twitter

The fighter’s trainer and manager Adam Booth said earlier this month he was in discussions with five heavyweights ranked within the world’s top 15 – four of which remain unbeaten – in his pursuit of an opponent for Haye’s comeback fight on June 29 as the former champion bids to gain mandatory-challenger status to either Vitali or Wladimir Klitschko.

Since his fifth-round knockout victory over Dereck Chisora in July, Haye has lived a life far from that of the customary prizefighter over a period in which his celebrity status significantly grew but insists it was this that persuaded him he wanted to return to fight for the status of world heavyweight champion.

Timer: Haye knocked out Dereck Chisora in the fifth round of his last fight

Timer: Haye knocked out Dereck Chisora in the fifth round of his last fight

Top of the tree: Haye wants to prove that he is still the best heavyweight in the country

Top of the tree: Haye wants to prove that he is still the best heavyweight in the country

Ready and waiting: Haye has been promoting his next fight recently which will take place on June 29

Ready and waiting: Haye has been promoting his next fight recently which will take place on June 29

Meanwhile, Tony Bellew’s rematch with Isaac Chilemba has been added to the undercard of Carl Froch’s super-middleweight unification clash with Mikkel Kessler at the O2 Arena on May 25.

Bellew and Chilemba fought out a lifeless draw in Liverpool on March 30 in their final eliminator for a shot at the WBC light-heavyweight title with both claiming they should have been given the verdict.

Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn insists the successful fighter will still be in line to meet Chad Dawson if the American successfully defends his WBC belt against Adonis Stevenson on June 8.

Back in the ring: England's Tony Bellew and Isaac Chilemba of South Africa will fight again on the under-card of the re-match between Carl Froch and Mikkel Kessler

Back in the ring: England's Tony Bellew and Isaac Chilemba of South Africa will fight again on the under-card of the re-match between Carl Froch and Mikkel Kessler

Tony Bellew v Isaac Chilemba rematch Carl Froch undercard May 25

Bellew to get second shot at Chilemba as rematch is arranged for Froch undercard

By
Martin Domin

PUBLISHED:

13:38 GMT, 8 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:14 GMT, 8 April 2013

Tony Bellew's rematch with Isaac Chilemba will be held on May 25 at the O2 Arena on the undercard of Carl Froch's world title unification fight with Mikkel Kessler.

The Liverpool light heavyweight was devastated when the original meeting was scored a draw last month.

The winner of the second bout will earn a shot at the winner of WBC champion Chad Dawson's clash with Adonis Stevenson on June 8.

Gutted: Tony Bellew felt he deserved to win his first fight with Isaac Chilemba

Gutted: Tony Bellew felt he deserved to win his first fight with Isaac Chilemba

Promoter Eddie Hearn revealed both men were keen to have the rematch as soon as possible.

'There was no winner, so we need to find one,' he said.

'Many people thought Tony won, some thought Chilemba won. It's a fight both need to get off their back.'

Draw: Bellew took his foot off the gas after the opening rounds

Draw: Bellew took his foot off the gas after the opening rounds

The winner of the rematch will likely challenge for the world title in September.

Meanwhile, George Groves' opponent for the same night, along with further details of the undercard, will be announced this week.

WTA Sony Open – Miami: Serena Williams beats Maria Sharapova 4-6 6-3 6-0 in the final

Serena storms back to sink Sharapova in three sets and lift Sony Open title in Miami

By
Steven Donaldson

PUBLISHED:

20:14 GMT, 30 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

20:39 GMT, 30 March 2013

Serena Williams lifted her sixth Sony Open title after magnificently bouncing back to see off Maria Sharapova in the final in Miami.

The world No 1 was edged out in a tight first set but lost three games thereafter as she stormed to a 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 victory and her 11th straight win over Sharapova.

The American has passed Steffi Graf's number of titles in this competition and became the oldest female champion at the tournament, while Sharapova has now been defeated in every one of her five final appearances in Miami.

Champion: Serena Williams holds the Sony Open trophy aloft in Miami

Champion: Serena Williams holds the Sony Open trophy aloft in Miami

Serena Williams

Serena Williams

History: The world No 1 became the oldest female winner of the tournament

Dominant: Williams beat Maria Sharapova (left) for the 11th time in a row

Dominant: Williams beat Maria Sharapova (left) for the 11th time in a row

After playing flawless tennis for an hour, Sharapova began to miss with her serve, and Williams dominated rallies with her power.

Sharapova built her lead by keeping Williams on the defensive, and she kissed the line with a winner on consecutive points to break for a 3-2 advantage in the second set.

But then came the turnaround. Williams began to capitalise on Sharapova's tentative second serve and broke back to love before taking advantage of two double faults by Sharapova to break again for a 5-3 lead.

Strong start: Sharapova edged ahead after winning a tight first set 6-4

Strong start: Sharapova edged ahead after winning a tight first set 6-4

Rampant: The American lost only 10 points in the final set to beat her Russian opponent

Rampant: The American lost only 10 points in the final set to beat her Russian opponent

Repeat: Williams became the first No 1 seed to lift the women's title in Miami since she won nine years ago

Repeat: Williams became the first No 1 seed to lift the women's title in Miami since she won nine years ago

Williams lost only 10 points in the final set and closed out the victory with a service winner.

'Maria definitely pushed me – she did a really great job today,' Williams said after he win.

'I look forward to our next matches – it's going to be really fun for the fans and for us and for everyone.'

Williams became the first No 1 seed to win the women's title since she was champion nine years ago.

Sharapova, who won the title in Indian Wells at the beginning of March, said: 'It's obviously been a really nice month.

'It's disappointing to end it like this but Serena played a great match and I'm sure we'll play a few more times this year.'

Andy Murray beats Carlos Berlocq in straight sets to march into Indian Wells quarter-finals

Murray silences Berlocq with straight sets victory to march into Indian Wells last eight

By
Mike Dickson

PUBLISHED:

02:22 GMT, 14 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

06:07 GMT, 14 March 2013

Andy Murray fought out a niggly battle that did little to enhance relations between Britain and Argentina as he struggled to overcome the grunting Carlos Berlocq to reach the last eight of the BNP Paribas Open.

Amid accusations of deliberate stalling across the net and complaints to the umpire about the South American’s varied volume of lingering growl Murray eventually got the better of him in an ill-tempered affair, winning through 7-6 6-4 in an hour and 55 minutes.

He now meets another Argentinian in his fellow US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro, and will be relieved that he does not have to listen the ghastly soundtrack of Berlocq, which he described as ‘the worst I’ve ever heard on the men’s tour.'

On a run: Andy Murray sailed past Carlos Berlocq and into the quarter-finals

On a run: Andy Murray sailed past Carlos Berlocq and into the quarter-finals

Murray was particularly aggrieved that he was being warned about time violations between points while having to put up baritone groan of his muscular opponent.

'I’ve never experienced before when I’ve had to speak to an umpire about it,' he said. 'I’ve never found it to be that off-putting. But if it’s going to be suggested that I’m using gamesmanship by taking too long between points then you can’t be making noises like that on court. He was still making a noise when I was hitting the ball, it’s annoying. There was silence and then it was extremely loud, that’s off-putting.'

You wish other players would speak up against the habit, which is more associated with the women’s tour, but they rarely do.

As Murray admitted afterwards, he will have to play better if he is to progress further. 'It wasn’t the prettiest match and I’ve got to improve on it, but conditions were quite tough,' he said. 'When we went out there it was bright and in the 90s and the ball was bouncing very high, but as it got cooler and the sun went down my timing got better.'

Hot streak: Murray is enjoying his best run of results at Indian Wells

Hot streak: Murray is enjoying his best run of results at Indian Wells

Certainly you would not have expected Berlocq – happiest on clay, ranked 85 and never having been past the second round of a Grand Slam – to mount such a challenge, but he went for broke and hit some glorious winners to discomfort his opponent.

Having had six weeks off after the Australian Open Murray is yet to look entirely into his rhtythm at this tournament, where he has struggled before, although the fact is he is through to the last eight for the loss of just one set.

The only thing that will linger about the match was the bad blood that developed between the players from early in the first set onwards. Murray usually only gets cross with himself and rarely falls out with opponents, but he did not enjoy the way the barrel-chested Berlocq played the game and did not hide his feelings.

Having started in awkward conditions of glaring sun and mixed shadows across the court, he complained to his box – that contained his regular celebrity supporter Kevin Spacey – that 'I can’t see the ball!' as breaks were exchanged.

Outgunned: Argentine Berlocq was swatted aside by the world No 3

Outgunned: Argentine Berlocq was swatted aside by the world No 3

In the tenth game the two players swapped accusations that they were deliberately stalling, umpire Steve Ulrich taking Murray’s side. Playing very conservatively he was broken, but broke back in the next game and gave a huge ‘C’mon!’ and fist pump in Berlocq’s face at the net.

The tiebreak was a tense affair, settled at 6-4 when a scrambling Murray sent up a high lob and the Argentinian blasted an overhead long.

By now the 25 year-old Scot was getting very frustrated with Berlocq’s grunt/growl, as offensive as anything you hear in the women’s game. He complained early in the second set to Ulrich, saying it was ‘outrageous.’

Murray, whose forehand never fired and whose serve was more tentative than usual, could not hold on to an early break as Berlocq continued to hit out with massive, heavily spun groundstrokes.

Finally he got ahead with a backhand lob to break for 4-3, and from there just about managed to serve it out, although not before he had to save another break point at 5-3.

No, it was not pretty, but it got the job done.

Carl Froch becomes the God of War for Mikkel Kessler rematch

Froch reinvents himself in preparation for Kessler – world champion bids for immortality as boxing's God of War

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

17:08 GMT, 11 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

19:49 GMT, 11 March 2013

There are those who understandably already believe Mikkel Kessler is in for the fight of his life when he meets Carl Froch in a rematch at The O2 Arena on May 25.

That as a tough, established and fearless world champion, Froch already represented the hardest opponent he could have dreamed of and that he was already in some ways taking the form of Kessler's worst nightmare.

Not so. Froch, it seems, has reinvented himself, and no longer is he the toughest of people – he is now an immortal warrior.

Intimidating: Carl Froch, dressed as God of War, already represents a considerable challenge to Mikkel Kessler

Intimidating: Carl Froch, dressed as God of War, already represents a considerable challenge to Mikkel Kessler

The super middleweight has been transformed into Kratos, the leading character from PlayStation game God of War, a transformation Kessler best hope is only temporary.

'They described our first fight as “brutal” and if I was to forecast one word that will probably describe our rematch, then it will likely be “savage”, said Froch when the rematch for their April 2010 fight – which Kessler narrowly edged on points – was announced at the start of February.

Kessler at the time appeared unconcerned, promising 'two warriors going at it from the first bell until the very end, it will be pure action and adrenaline', but this latest appearance from Froch may yet make him feel otherwise.

Weapons at the ready: But Froch will prepare to use little more than his fists in May

Weapons at the ready: But Froch will prepare to use little more than his fists in May

God of War Surely even the 'Viking Warrior' will be no match for Froch

God of War Surely even the 'Viking Warrior' will be no match for Froch

Froch, meanwhile, has insisted he will cement his
reputation as a throwback fighter by claiming revenge Kessler when they clash.

The Nottingham fighter believes the era of unbeaten
champions who reign with padded records must be rendered a thing of the
past if boxing is to re-assert its importance in today's sporting
climate.

He said: 'A lot of people over the
years have built up protected records and taken 35 fights before
fighting good opponents, but that way of promoting fighters is finished.

Carl Froch

Carl Froch

Soft side A smiling Froch greets his two-year-old son, Rocco, with a kiss

'I have fought top opponents fight after
fight. I have not won them all but my name is massive and everyone
respects what I do. People see me as the one who is putting boxing back
on the map.

'You can't con the public by fighting
bums any more. You've got to be involved in 50-50 fights that you could
win or lose. These are fights I want because they give me respect and
honour.'

Froch was speaking at an event to promote the God Of
War: Ascension video game.

Eye of the tiger: Froch is almost unrecognisable once the make up has been applied

Eye of the tiger: Froch is almost unrecognisable once the make up has been applied

Kratos from God of War

Carl Froch

Kratos: The God of War character (left) that Froch's look is based upon

He also did not rule out a third
meeting between the pair.

Froch added: 'I think my defence has improved since I first fought him and I don't stand and trade so much.

'People know they will be witnessing a
brutal act between two genuine warriors who refuse to lie down. I'm sure
once I beat him there will be a good chance of doing it a third time
because it is what people want to see.'

Darren Barker beats Simone Rotolo to win IBF Inter-Continental middleweight title

Barker makes light work of Rotolo to take middleweight title at Wembley Arena

By
Declan Warrington

PUBLISHED:

23:10 GMT, 9 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

00:15 GMT, 10 March 2013

Darren Barker secured a routine victory over Simone Rotolo and the vacant IBF Intercontinental title after the Italian was forced to withdraw before the start of the fifth round.

The middleweight, fighting for the second time in a matter of months after a cruel run of injuries, needed to make a statement with his domestic rivals also progressing and would have been underwhelmed that the opportunity to do so was taken away.

Barker is one third of a rivalry with world-title contender Matthew Macklin and next month’s WBC challenger Martin Murray and impressed with a relaxed approach at the start but soon after fought more raggedly.

Strong showing: Darren Barker knocks down Simone Rotolo during their IBF Inter-Continental Middleweight bout

Strong showing: Darren Barker knocks down Simone Rotolo during their IBF Inter-Continental Middleweight bout

Fine fettle: Barker took Rotolo to task with a flurry of punches in the first round

Fine fettle: Barker took Rotolo to task with a flurry of punches in the first round

Rotolo was knocked down after a flurry
of punches towards the end of the first round when caught against the
ropes but instead of stopping his opponent there and then, Barker lost
any real polish and instead messily pursued the knockout which
ultimately never came.

Edging each round if not dominating
them as a more polished Barker perhaps would have done, the middleweight
tested his opponent occasionally if not convincingly and was in the
midst of another flurry of punches when Rotolo significantly backed off,
avoiding the fight and shaking his hand in obvious pain until the end
of the round came and the Italian’s corner announced his withdrawal
almost instantly after.

'Macklin and Murray [who fights WBC
champion Sergio Martinez on 27 April]' are looking busy now, so I’d like
a fight with Andy Lee,' he said afterwards.

He told Sky Sports 2: 'I'm ready to push on now. There's the obvious domestic fights
and world title fights – I'm game, I'll fight any of them. It just takes
two of us to get the ball rolling and it could be rematches, trilogies,
whatever.'

Pushing on: Barker is looking ahead to his future which could involve 'rematches' and 'trilogies'

Pushing on: Barker is looking ahead to his future which could involve 'rematches' and 'trilogies'

George Groves stops Dario Balmaceda in third round

Three and easy! Groves packs far too much power for Balmaceda on Matchroom debut

By
Declan Warrington

PUBLISHED:

22:34 GMT, 9 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

00:12 GMT, 10 March 2013

George Groves needed only three rounds to continue his ascent in the super middleweight division ahead of a potential future fight with domestic rival Carl Froch.

He had originally been scheduled to meet Mohamed Ali Ndiaye next Saturday for the European title and in reality against Balmaceda was in with an underwhelming opponent but if there were any concerns about how seriously he was treating the fight then it instantly became apparent they could be dismissed.

Groves, competing for the first time under the Matchroom banner after this week signing a three-fight deal to be Eddie Hearn’s latest recruit, maintained a high workrate throughout and threatened an early finish from the start.

Easy: George Groves stopped Dario Balmaceda during their International Super Middleweight bout

Easy: George Groves stopped Dario Balmaceda during their International Super Middleweight bout

Debut: Groves was making his Matchroom bow after splitting from Frank Warren

Debut: Groves was making his Matchroom bow after splitting from Frank Warren

Weighing in three pounds over the
super middleweight limit and looking significantly big at the weight,
Groves bullied Balmaceda throughout, hurting the Argentinian with a
right hook as the opening round progressed and having regular success
with that same punch later.

It was a right hook to the body that
sent Balmaceda to the canvas after Groves followed his early success by
dominating through to the end of the second round, yet with the stoppage
appearing imminent the bell was to follow even if serving only to delay
the inevitable.

The finish came 58 seconds into the
third with Balmaceda again backed up onto the ropes, Groves throwing a
right hook to the head from which his opponent, having taken a knee and
clearly out of his depth, would not rise.

Pummeled: Groves put his opponent down in the second and then finished him in the third

Pummeled: Groves put his opponent down in the second and then finished him in the third

For the promising super middleweight
it was a workout nonetheless, but one he would have learned little from
and that will need to be more difficult next time out on the undercard
of the unification fight between Mikkel Kessler and Froch.

Lee Purdy earlier enjoyed a ninth-round victory over Cosme River after the Mexican was stopped because of a cut.

Solid: Groves has a perfect record of 17 wins from 17 bouts

Solid: Groves has a perfect record of 17 wins from 17 bouts

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

|

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.

Roberto Mancini vows to make Manchester City changes

If you're not willing to fight, then you're out! Mancini fires warning to City players after losing ground on United

By
Martin Ziegler, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

11:08 GMT, 11 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:22 GMT, 11 February 2013

Roberto Mancini is ready to wield the axe on his Manchester City squad and has warned his players he will only pick those who are ready to fight every inch of the way for the rest of the season.

Mancini was furious at the limp manner of City's 3-1 defeat at Southampton at the weekend which now leaves the reigning champions 12 points behind leaders Manchester United in the Barclays Premier League with 12 games left.

Mancini said he will make significant changes for the FA Cup fifth-round visit of Leeds on Sunday.

Thumbs up: Roberto Mancini put his disappointment to one side whilst watching Sampdoria take on Roma yesterday

Thumbs up: Roberto Mancini put his disappointment to one side whilst watching Sampdoria take on Roma

He told the Manchester Evening News: 'I am sure we will change that, because I will change players next week.

'I only want players who are ready for the fight in the last 12 games.

'I am very angry with a lot of my players, and very disappointed at the performance, because it is impossible to play the way we did.

Down (and out): Manchester City are now 12 points adrift of United in the race for the Premier League title

Down (and out): Manchester City are now 12 points adrift of United in the race for the Premier League title

'We didn't fight for every ball. We can't always win by playing well – that is normal. Sometimes we play well and win, but you also need to be able to win because you fight for every ball, and fight against an opponent who also wants to win the game.

'Every team that plays against us treats it like a Champions League final, but we should know this, it is normal.

'We now have 12 games left, (we) need to do well in the Premier League, and we have the FA Cup – there are games left and we can do better. We need to finish the season the way we did last year.'

Blow: Joe Hart conceded three goals as City were soundly beaten by Southampton on Saturday

Blow: Joe Hart conceded three goals as City were soundly beaten by Southampton on Saturday

Carlos Tevez is expected to return to City this week after a family problem, and Vincent Kompany should also be available again, as will Matija Nastasic and Kolo Toure who were not risked after late returns from international duty.

Mancini branded the fixture demands caused by the international fixtures 'ridiculous' but did not hold his defenders – including midfielder Javi Garcia in a makeshift centre-back role – responsible for the Southampton defeat.

He added: 'The fixtures are ridiculous sometimes, as we played on Saturday and then had six players who came back on Friday, and five who came back Thursday night.

'Sometimes it is impossible. 'Nastasic came back Friday and Kolo came back three or four days ago – plus the last time Javi Garcia played there, he played really, really well.

'On Saturday we played well in defence, but the problem was that we didn't give the defenders any help. They were left to play alone, and we conceded two goals the like of which I have never seen in my life.'