Tag Archives: resumption

Borussia Dortmund use artificial lights to repair pitch during Bundesliga winter break

Does this shed light on Dortmund's success 'Artificial sun' repair lamps pitch them above rivals in Bundesliga

By
Adam Shergold

PUBLISHED:

13:25 GMT, 8 January 2013

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UPDATED:

15:58 GMT, 8 January 2013

Bathed in an eerie yellow glow in keeping with the club's colours, the pitch at Borussia Dortmund's Signal Iduna Park receives some tender loving care ahead of the resumption of the Bundesliga season.

The strange light, made all the more pronounced by the darkened stands, is the result of a hi-tech 'artificial sun' lighting system used by the German champions to keep their pitch in pristine condition.

With the stadium capacity a massive 80,645 for league matches – including nearly 25,000 on the famous Sudtribune terrace – the tall stands block out natural sunlight, meaning the pitch can easily become dry and patchy.

Eerie: Borussia Dortmund's Signal Iduna Park is bathed in a yellow glow as artificial lighting keeps the pitch in pristine condition during the Bundesliga winter break

Eerie: Borussia Dortmund's Signal Iduna Park is bathed in a yellow glow as artificial lighting keeps the pitch in pristine condition during the Bundesliga winter break

Eerie: Borussia Dortmund's Signal Iduna Park is bathed in a yellow glow as artificial lighting keeps the pitch in pristine condition during the Bundesliga winter break

So for the past two years, Dortmund have hired Dutch company Stadium Grow Lighting (SGL) to construct a portable grid of powerful lamps above the turf in between matches to ensure the grass gets all the necessary nutrients.

It has created a pristine surface which perfectly suits Dortmund's free-flowing style of play and has helped deliver the last two Bundesliga titles.

With German football pausing for a winter break, and natural sunlight at a premium, the lights have been warming the pitch round the clock in recent weeks.

It's a similar situation at many of the 80-odd football clubs across Europe that use SGL's technology, with pitches today representing a vast improvement on a decade or two ago.

Yellow wall: The tall stands at the 80,000 capacity Signal Iduna Park mean natural sunlight is at a premium

Yellow wall: The tall stands at the 80,000 capacity Signal Iduna Park mean natural sunlight is at a premium

Success: The pristine pitch created by the lights has been a factor in Dortmund's recent success, including two consecutive Bundesliga titles

Success: The pristine pitch created by the lights has been a factor in Dortmund's recent success, including two consecutive Bundesliga titles

Dortmund resume their defence of the title with a trip to Werder Bremen on January 19, with the first game back at the Signal Iduna on January 25 against Nuremberg.

But they have plenty to do if they're to overhaul runaway leaders Bayern Munich, who have a nine point lead over Bayer Leverkusen and 12 over Dortmund.

Pitches have come a long way from the days of Harris, Hunter and Best…

Mudbath: Manchester United's George Best gets a shot away under challenge from Chelsea's Ron 'Chopper' Harris on a less-than-pristine playing surface in 1971

Mudbath: Manchester United's George Best gets a shot away under challenge from Chelsea's Ron 'Chopper' Harris on a less-than-pristine playing surface in 1971

Night of misery: A despondent Norman Hunter of England on a very cut up pitch in Chorzow after losing to Poland in the 1974 World Cup qualifiers

Night of misery: A despondent Norman Hunter of England on a very cut up pitch in Chorzow after losing to Poland in the 1974 World Cup qualifiers

Robin van Persie joins Wayne Rooney on injured list for international friendlies

Injury worry for United as Van Persie joins Rooney on crocked list for international friendlies

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UPDATED:

14:16 GMT, 12 November 2012

Robin van Persie has pulled out the Holland squad which was preparing to face Germany, because of a thigh strain.

The Manchester United striker joins team-mate Wayne Rooney in pulling out of the midweek international friendlies.

The league leaders will be hoping their star centre-forward pairing can make a swift recovery in time for resumption of domestic duties.

Sidelined: Both Van Persie and Rooney will miss the midweek action

Sidelined: Both Van Persie and Rooney will miss the midweek action

Sidelined: Both Van Persie and Rooney will miss the midweek action

United have a packed schedule with four games in 11 days on the way, including Champions League action away to Galatasaray.

Van Persie's absence clears the path for Klaas Jan Huntelaar to start in his place up front.

The Holland striker played a key part in United's stunning comeback at Aston Villa on Saturday.

His cross was headed home by Javier Hernandez to complete the 3-2 victory after they had trailed 2-0.

And his compatriots are sure to miss his influence in the clash with European neighbours Germany.

He has a record of 31 goals in 71 internationals – but his likely replacement Huntelaar has 34 goals in 59 matches.

Holland take on Germany at the Amsterdam Arena on Wednesday night.

Dutch delight: Van Persie has made a flying start to life at Old Trafford

Dutch delight: Van Persie has made a flying start to life at Old Trafford

US Open 2012: Maria Sharapova beats Marion Bartoli

Sharapova books US Open semi-final clash with Azarenka after digging deep to beat Bartoli

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UPDATED:

19:59 GMT, 5 September 2012

Maria Sharapova maintained her remarkable record in deciding sets to defeat Marion Bartoli and reach the US Open semi-finals for the first time since winning the title six years ago.

Not since her third-round loss to Flavia Pennetta here 12 months ago has Sharapova lost a three-set match, winning 12 out of 12 this season.

She was pushed to the limit by Bartoli, who had led 4-0 when rain forced the match to be postponed yesterday, but eventually came through 3-6 6-3 6-4 to set up a meeting with world number one Victoria Azarenka.

Job done! Maria Sharapova had to dig deep to beat Marion Bartoli

Job done! Maria Sharapova had to dig deep to beat Marion Bartoli

Rain had come to Sharapova's aid in her fourth-round match against Nadia Petrova when she had looked in trouble early in the deciding set, and the Russian certainly would not have been disappointed by yesterday's abrupt halt.

Bartoli had completely outplayed her rival for four games but the question was whether she would be able to maintain it.

The initial signs were not good for the Frenchwoman as Sharapova won the first two games on the resumption, which was again twice delayed by more heavy showers.

But Bartoli held on to her advantage from there and served out the set, letting out a loud yell of 'allez' as Sharapova netted a forehand return.

It was the first set 11th seed Bartoli had won against the Russian in five matches, although this was only their second meeting in five years.

Relief: Sharapova booked a spot in the semi-final against Victoria Azarenka

Relief: Sharapova booked a spot in the semi-final against Victoria Azarenka

Relief: Sharapova booked a spot in the semi-final against Victoria Azarenka

Both players were struggling on serve and, after exchanging breaks at the start of the second set, their combined tally of double faults was up to 12, seven of them to Sharapova.

The Russian came under severe pressure again in the third game of the set but saved four break points, and it was a key moment as she gradually began to take control.

The third seed broke again to lead 5-3 with a forehand winner drilled down the line and levelled the match with her fifth ace.

Sharapova really had the bit between her teeth and she broke the Bartoli serve to lead 2-1 in the decider only for the Frenchwoman to hit back.

It was an epic struggle but Sharapova struck a major blow in the ninth game with another break, leaving her serving for a place in the last four.

And she did not falter, keeping alive her hopes of a second grand slam title of the year after completing her career slam at the French Open in June.

Sharapova said: 'The rain break gave me a few hours to think about things. I came out so flat yesterday. She's so tough and she was on fire.

'I'm so happy to get back to the semi-finals.'

Tough cookie: Bartoli provided a real challenge for the Russian to overcome

Tough cookie: Bartoli provided a real challenge for the Russian to overcome

Enjoying it US basketball star Tyson Chandler turned up to watch the match at Flushing Meadows

Enjoying it US basketball star Tyson Chandler turned up to watch the match at Flushing Meadows

US Open 2012: Johanna Konta beaten by Olga Govortsova 2-6, 6-2, 7-5

Injury costs Konta as she crashes out to Govortsova in three sets

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UPDATED:

01:20 GMT, 31 August 2012

Great Britain's Johanna Konta blew a 5-2 lead in the third set to tumble out of the US Open in the second round with a 2-6 6-2 7-5 defeat to Olga Govortsova of Belarus.

Konta looked on course for another fine victory after recovering from a shaky second set, but the 21-year-old wobbled at just the wrong time and lost the last five games.

After success for Andy Murray and Laura Robson on Wednesday, Konta was aiming to make it three British players in the third round in New York for the first time since 1981, but it was not to be.

Early lead: Konta won the first set but could not hold on

Early lead: Konta won the first set but could not hold on

Konta has enjoyed a superb run at Flushing Meadows, winning three rounds in her first experience of grand slam qualifying to reach the main draw and then beating Hungary's Timea Babos, a player ranked nearly 150 places higher, in round one.

At 67 in the world, Govortsova is also considerably higher ranked than Konta (203rd), but it was the British player who flew out of the blocks, racing into a 4-0 lead.

Konta comfortably took the first set but Govortsova had steadied the ship and began to put a lot of pressure on her opponent's serve at the start of the second.

The British number five, born in Australia to Hungarian parents, started to miscue and, after taking a medical timeout to have her left thigh strapped, found herself 5-1 down.

Injury: Konta receives medical attention

Injury: Konta receives medical attention

Konta had fought back from that position against Babos and retrieved one break as Govortsova tightened up, but was then broken again to lose the set.

Konta took the chance to have a bathroom break, as Govortsova had at the end of the first set, and on the resumption she found her best form again.

Two more shocking double faults from Govortsova helped Konta to a 3-0 lead, but still the match lay in the balance.

Going through: Olga Govortsova won in three sets

Going through: Olga Govortsova won in three sets

The Belarusian clawed her way back to 3-2 but Konta held and then broke once more to leave herself serving for the match.

However, she could not get over the line and was broken twice in a row before suddenly finding herself serving to stay in the match.

She saved one match point but blazed a forehand over the baseline on the second and threw her racquet away in disgust.

Wimbledon 2012: Andy Murray to face David Ferrer on Centre Court after Marin Cilic win

No hassle for Murray, now for the hustle as British No 1 faces up to the in-form Ferrer

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UPDATED:

21:31 GMT, 3 July 2012

Andy Murray will be welcomed back on to Centre Court on Wednesday like the Prodigal Son, having served his time out in rain and windswept exile on Court No 1.

He survived the ordeal impressively. Facing a powerful man like Marin Cilic in a stop-start fourth round could have been a nasty excursion, but he handled it adroitly, running out a 7-5, 6-2, 6-3 winner before the elements had a chance to do their worst.

Job done: Andy Murray beat Marin Cilic to reach the quarter-finals at Wimbledon

Job done: Andy Murray beat Marin Cilic to reach the quarter-finals at Wimbledon

And now, again, for something
completely different. As in previous rounds, Murray's opponent bears no
relation to what has gone immediately before, with the tall and languid
Cilic replaced with the ultimate little hustler in David Ferrer.

The two men have emerged from the
toughest quarter of the draw to reach the last eight and if Murray has
done well to get this far without any major mishaps then Ferrer has been
even more convincing.

He is like those skilful Spanish
footballers who run and pass the opposition into oblivion, seemingly
incapable of feeling fatigue. Is he, as he maintained yesterday, not as a
good a player as Murray

Not again! The umbrellas went up soon after the resumption of Murray's match on Tuesday afternoon

Not again! The umbrellas went up soon after the resumption of Murray's match on Tuesday afternoon

Blown away: No 16 seed Cilic was no match for the impressive Murray on Court 16

Blown away: No 16 seed Cilic was no match for the impressive Murray on Court No 1

The 12-month rankings agree, although
the arguably more reliable season's 'race' does not. While Murray is
listed one place above Ferrer at four, the positions are switched when
2012 is looked at in isolation, with the Spaniard having a points
advantage of 3,395 to 2,600.

His immediate form is also superior,
having won the ATP event in Holland on grass the week before Wimbledon
and compiling a winning streak of eight matches on the turf. No wonder
Murray laughed when he was described to him as a 'clay-court
specialist'.

The last time they met was on the
dirt four weeks ago at the same stage of the French Open, with Ferrer
winning in four sets, but while he would choose that environment for a
duel the 25-year-old Scot would probably opt for grass.

Brit of alright: Murray stretches for a ball on Court No 1 on Tuesday afternoon

Brit of alright: Murray stretches for a ball on Court No 1 on Tuesday afternoon

Andy's girls: Murray's mum, Judy, and girlfriend, Kim Sears, in the stands at the All England Club

Andy's girls: Murray's mum, Judy, and girlfriend, Kim Sears, in the stands at the All England Club

Those who witnessed Ferrer's
surprise demolition of Juan Martin del Potro yesterday marvelled at just
how well he played, but the way Murray dealt with Cilic suggested he is
equipped for the task.

When Murray met Ferrer in Paris the
features of the match were the British player's inability to hold serve
after securing a break and the vulnerability of his forehand when moved
wide to his right.

Against Cilic, though, his serve was
impressive and his movement on to the forehand is superior on grass to
the slightly awkward way he slides on the clay.

Up next: Murray will face the in-form Ferrer for a place in the Wimbledon semi-final

Up next: Murray will face the in-form Ferrer for a place in the Wimbledon semi-final

Coach Ivan Lendl has made it a
priority to beef up Murray's second serve and it looks to be paying off,
with 71 per cent of points won against the Croat.

There were also 16 aces delivered
against a player with a massive wingspan so, even though Ferrer is an
outstanding returner, there is some encouragement for what is going to
be a key battleground. In the end it mattered little that they did not
come out until noon yesterday as the match was completed, although one
of the scheduling puzzles at this year's Championships was the decision
not to get under way at 11.30am, like the other outside courts.

Pop star: The Saturdays' member Molly King (right) watched Murray's impressive win over Cilic

Pop star: The Saturdays' member Molly King (right) watched Murray's impressive win over Cilic

What's going on Murray speaks to the umpire as rain starts to fall again on Tuesday

What's going on Murray speaks to the umpire as rain starts to fall again on Tuesday

After Rafael Nadal, the most missed
man at this year's event might be former chief executive Ian Ritchie,
recently departed to rugby, with his wealth of Wimbledon experience. It
has been a baptism of fire (or rainwater) for his successor Richard
Lewis, who has relatively little 'live' event experience.

At least they were on court very
promptly, unlike, say, at the rain-threatened French Open final, when
Nadal and Novak Djokovic did not start until 20 minutes past the
allotted hour.

Murray, resuming at 7-5, 3-1, kept
his focus either side of the rain delays, highlighting his supreme ease
of movement on the turf for someone 6ft 3in, running like a gazelle and
not once slipping over despite the greasy surface.

All the shots: British No 1 Murray hits a backhand during his demolition of the Croatian

All the shots: British No 1 Murray hits a backhand during his demolition of the Croatian

Great Scot: Murray looked comfortable despite all of the stoppages due to persistent rain

Great Scot: Murray looked comfortable despite all of the stoppages due to persistent rain

He added to the existing break when
he took the second set, Cilic reluctant to get up from his chair
afterwards in the steady drizzle. Strangely that was a precursor to the
most awkward game that Murray faced, with Cilic, the 16th seed, forcing
four break points at the start of the third.

There are certain signs you pick up
that tell you Murray is feeling good about himself, and one was the way
he pulled out excellent first serves, including two aces, when faced
with going behind.

Danger lurking: The Scotsman could face Tsonga in the last four

Danger lurking: The Scotsman could face Tsonga in the last four

Another was his willingness to keep
trying the drop shot which, while not working every time, succeeded
often enough to keep his opponent guessing. The decisive break came for
3-1 and he romped home after that, the business done by 2.10pm.

Now for Spain's Mighty Mouse, with
the winner to face either No 6 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga or German
outsider Philipp Kohlschreiber. One thing we know for certain is that
between them they will produce a first-time Wimbledon finalist.

Put it there: The two competitors shake hands at the end of the three-set match

Put it there: The two competitors shake hands at the end of the three-set match

Wimbledon 2012: Andy Murray beats Marin Cilic

Murray forgets frustration of rain delays to blow Cilic away and reach quarter-finals

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UPDATED:

13:46 GMT, 3 July 2012

Andy Murray beat the rain and Marin Cilic to book his place in the quarter-finals of Wimbledon for a fifth successive year.

The pair had been forced off yesterday with the fourth seed leading 7-5 3-1 and endured more disruption today before Murray clinched a 7-5 6-2 6-3 victory under leaden skies on Court One.

The Scot had looked nervy at the start on Monday but was much more fluent on resumption of play and moved smoothly through to a last-eight meeting with David Ferrer –

Job done: Andy Murray beat Marin Cilic to reach the quarter-finals at Wimbledon

Job done: Andy Murray beat Marin Cilic to reach the quarter-finals at Wimbledon

Murray's absence from Centre Court had
caused some controversy yesterday but the 25-year-old did not feel he
had been unfairly treated.

He said: 'I don't care which court I
play on. It makes no difference. Any player would rather play on Centre
because it's got the roof so you'll get your match in.

'But I don't deserve to play every
match on Centre, I just wish the weather was a bit better. I think I'll
probably play on Centre.'

The players returned to Court One as
scheduled at midday but it began to spit with rain just as umpire Carlos
Bernardes called time.

Not again! The umbrellas went up soon after the resumption of Murray's match on Tuesday afternoon

Not again! The umbrellas went up soon after the resumption of Murray's match on Tuesday afternoon

Blown away: No 16 seed Cilic was no match for the impressive Murray on Court 16

Blown away: No 16 seed Cilic was no match for the impressive Murray on Court 16

There was a brief delay before it was decided they could begin, and Murray needed only one point to move into a 4-1 lead.

Cilic then held serve before Bernardes
decided the rain was too persistent and they went off court again after
barely five minutes of play and only six points.

The rain did not last long but there
were plenty of showers around and it was not until 1.05pm that the
players returned to court.

It began to spit again as they warmed
up but there were no further delays and Murray easily held his serve to
love to move 5-2 in front.

Brit of alright: Murray stretches for a ball on Court No 1 on Tuesday afternoon

Brit of alright: Murray stretches for a ball on Court No 1 on Tuesday afternoon

Andy's girls: Murray's mum, Judy, and girlfriend, Kim Sears, in the stands at the All England Club

Andy's girls: Murray's mum, Judy, and girlfriend, Kim Sears, in the stands at the All England Club

The Scot looked confident and was
hitting much more freely than yesterday, and a combination of backhand
and forehand winners took him to set point on the Cilic serve.

With the rain falling again he took it
with another backhand return right at the feet of Cilic that the
Croatian could only paddle into the net.

The world number four lost his
concentration a touch at the start of the third set and four times found
himself break point down, but each time a big serve got him out of
trouble and he held on.

It was raining increasingly heavily
and the players had an extended sit in their chairs at the change of
ends, but they did not leave the court and were soon under way again.

Pop star: The Saturdays' member Molly King (right) watched Murray's impressive win over Cilic

Pop star: The Saturdays' member Molly King (right) watched Murray's impressive win over Cilic

What's going on Murray speaks to the umpire as rain starts to fall again on Tuesday

What's going on Murray speaks to the umpire as rain starts to fall again on Tuesday

Murray was so confident he finished
the third game with a second serve ace and then promptly broke again, a
running forehand pass banging another nail in Cilic's coffin.

Cilic, the 16th seed, had gone into
the clash on an eight-match winning streak on grass after lifting the
AEGON Championships trophy at Queen's Club but he looked to have little
appetite for a fightback.

He did save four break points in the
sixth game to deny Murray a 5-1 lead, but it was only a temporary
reprieve and the Scot clinched an impressive victory after two hours and
10 minutes when Cilic netted a backhand.

All the shots: British No 1 Murray hits a backhand during his demolition of the Croatian

All the shots: British No 1 Murray hits a backhand during his demolition of the Croatian

Great Scot: Murray looked comfortable despite all of the stoppages due to persistent rain

Great Scot: Murray looked comfortable despite all of the stoppages due to persistent rain

Put it there: The two competitors shake hands at the end of the three-set match

Put it there: The two competitors shake hands at the end of the three-set match

Wimbledon 2012: Johanna Konta beaten by Christina McHale

Konta heartbreak on SW19 bow as McHale edges epic encounter

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UPDATED:

16:54 GMT, 26 June 2012

Johanna Konta could not cause an upset on her Wimbledon debut as she lost to 30th seed Christina McHale in a marathon encounter on Court 17.

Konta, who was born in Australia but received British citizenship last month, won the first set on a tie-break but lost the second and play was suspended at 7-7 in the decider at 9pm on Monday night.

Konta, ranked 187 places below her opponent, had her serve broken in the third game when they resumed, and despite then setting up three break points of her own the Briton lost 6-7 (7/4), 6-2, 10-8.

Out: Johanna Konta could not get beyond the first round at Wimbledon

Out: Johanna Konta could not get beyond the first round at Wimbledon

Konta, 21, is the third British woman to be knocked out in the first round after Laura Robson joined Naomi Broady in falling by the wayside.

Britain's No 5 started the day well, winning her first service game, but a rain delay then forced the players off for just over an hour.

When they returned McHale held well and then had four break points, but Konta remained calm, firing off some solid returns to take the game back to deuce.

When she offered her opponent at fifth break point, however, McHale jumped at the opportunity, firing at Konta's feet, and she could not return over the net.

Done it: Christina McHale celebrates her victory over Konta

Done it: Christina McHale celebrates her victory over Konta

Konta mustered enough spirit to take McHale to 0-40 in the following game, but she wasted all three break points, her last effort a forehand that went way over the baseline.

A wayward backhand from Konta then sealed the win for McHale, who will now face Mathilde Johansson in the second round.

On Monday Konta came back from the brink of defeat in the third set when McHale was serving for the match at 5-4 up, but her comeback ultimately proved short-lived after the resumption.

Rain leaves West Indies and Australia heading for a draw

Rain washes away hopes of result as Windies and Australia head for draw

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 18 April 2012

Rain on the fourth day left the second Test between the West Indies and Australia at Port-of-Spain seemingly heading for a draw.

The hosts' innings was wrapped up swiftly this morning at 257, giving Australia a lead of 54.

They reached 73 for three, 127 ahead, before the second heavy downpour of the day brought an early close with only 30.4 overs having been bowled in the day.

Washout: Rain falls over the Queen's Park Oval in Port of Spain, Trinidad

Washout: Rain falls over the Queen's Park Oval in Port of Spain, Trinidad

The hosts resumed this morning at 252 for nine and added just five before wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh was trapped lbw by Michael Beer for 31, a decision only given after a DRS review as Baugh missed a sweep at the fourth ball of the day.

Australia openers Ed Cowan and David Warner extended their side's lead to 80 – although the former was dropped at slip by Windies captain Darren Sammy before he had scored.

Kemar Roach then struck twice in his first over, coming round the wicket to the left-handed Warner, who nicked the paceman's second delivery to slip for 17, Darren Bravo taking the low catch.

Quick single: Australia batsman Ed Cowan (front) takes a run in Port of Spain

Quick single: Australia batsman Ed Cowan (front) takes a run in Port of Spain

And new man Shane Watson lasted only three balls before misjudging and losing his off stump without troubling the scorers.

Ricky Ponting was fortunate to escape a run-out attempt when on nought, Fidel Edwards missing the stumps, and was then dropped by Adrian Barath off spinner Shane Shillingford on four.

A persistent shower forced an early lunch with Cowan on 14 and Ponting eight in a total of 40 for two.

Cowan should have been run out by Baugh shortly after the resumption before a Ponting boundary brought up Australia's half-century.

Timber: Kemar Roach (right) celebrates the wicket of Shane Watson (left)

Timber: Kemar Roach (right) celebrates the wicket of Shane Watson (left)

Roach failed with a hopelessly optimistic review after Ponting was given not out, but a second lbw appeal later in the same over accounted for Cowan, for 20, and with him the first Australian review.

Ponting began to find some fluency and threaded a superb on-drive off Shane Shillingford to the boundary, but he was stopped in his tracks when the rain returned to end the day's play.

Ponting was 32 not out with his successor as captain, Michael Clarke, three not out at the other end and Roach having taken three for 27 and eight wickets in the Test, the best match figures of his career.

Hopes of a result will rest on the tourists making quick runs upon the resumption followed by an aggressive declaration from Clarke, but with rain having disrupted the last three days a draw looks the likeliest outcome.

Judd Trump beats Ronnie O"Sullivan at Masters

Trump turns on the style to dump O'Sullivan and storm into Masters semis

Judd Trump saw off crowd favourite Ronnie O'Sullivan to reach the semi-finals of the BGC Masters at Alexandra Palace.

Trump, the game's rising star and reigning UK champion, raced into a 4-0 lead at the mid-session interval in the best-of-11 encounter.

Although O'Sullivan looked better after the resumption – hitting a tournament-best break of 141 – Trump always had plenty in reserve and picked up the remaining frames required for a 6-2 victory.

Final four: Judd Trump was too good for Ronnie O'Sullivan at Ally Pally

Final four: Judd Trump was too good for Ronnie O'Sullivan at Ally Pally

His century break aside, four-time champion O'Sullivan failed to live up to the promise of his first-round win over reigning champion Ding Junhui, but the inexorable rise of Trump continues, and he will play Neil Robertson or Mark Williams in the final four.

The match got off to a scrappy start with neither player able to find their rhythm, but the frame eventually went the way of Trump with a 39.

O'Sullivan's safety play let him down in the next to open the way for Trump to rattle off an assured break that broke down at 66.

O'Sullivan attempted to play on but a missed red spelled the end of his efforts as Trump moved 2-0 ahead.

The Bristolian missed a red early in
the third to clear the way for O'Sullivan to finally put a break
together, reaching 49 before running out of options.

His attempted safety was not aggressive enough, however, and Trump
needed no second invitation to surge back into the frame, a 78 clearance
further extending his lead.

And
Trump picked up where he left off in the next frame, a brilliant break
of 140 – at the time the highest of the tournament so far – handing him a
4-0 lead.

Heading home: O'Sullivan's Masters campaign is over for another year

Heading home: O'Sullivan's Masters campaign is over for another year

O'Sullivan finally got off the mark with a 67 in the first frame after the break, but Trump responded in the next, three modest breaks putting him in charge after O'Sullivan had broken down on 28.

With Trump 55-28 ahead, the frame came down to an exchange of safety shots on the green, but when O'Sullivan left the ball over the hole, Trump had an easy chance to tuck it away and move to within a frame of victory.

O'Sullivan delayed Trump's celebrations with a supreme performance in the next frame, reeling off a break of 141 to stay alive at 5-2.

The 36-year-old looked like he might pull back even closer in the next when he made a good start only to break down on 54, which gave Trump just enough points on the table to clear up and book his place in the semis.

Thirst for success: Trump is the man on form at the BGC Masters

Thirst for success: Trump is the man on form at the BGC Masters

Trump confidently stated after the match that he is now the man for the rest to beat.

I've come into it full of confidence and thinking I can win it, and the players are more under pressure playing me now than I am playing them, and they all really want to beat me now,' he told BBC Sport.

Asked if he felt any apprehension around the table, he replied: 'Not at the moment.

'I've controlled all my games really since maybe the first round in [last month's] UK Championship. Apart from that, I've got in front and I haven't really had to come back against anyone yet.'

To beat O'Sullivan Trump also had to overcome a partisan London crowd, but the 22-year-old insisted he was never fazed by their boisterous support of his opponent.

'It was a brilliant atmosphere out there,' he said. 'Even though Ronnie had a lot of the support, I just go out there and play my game and hopefully they enjoy my game as much as him and come back and watch.

'Ronnie is from London, he's going to have the majority of the support, he's done what few in the game have done, so I look up to him, and I've just got enjoy it out there. If you can't enjoy that there's no point playing.'

O'Sullivan, meanwhile, reflected that he was beaten by the better man on the day.

'He scored heavily, potted some fantastic balls and under pressure made some good clearances, so all credit has to go to him,' O'Sullivan told a press conference.

'He's performed better than me on the day and deserved his victory.

'When someone's scoring as well as he is and full of confidence, it's hard to stop them.'

Sri Lanka take command on day two of second Test against South Africa

Wickets tumble for South Africa as Sri Lanka take command on day two

Sri Lanka gained control of the second Test against South Africa at Durban on day two, when 14 wickets fell for 224 runs.

After turning their overnight 289 for seven into 338, Sri Lanka dismissed the hosts for 168 – with Chanaka Welegedara taking five wickets and Rangana Herath four, before reaching seven for one second time around for an overall lead of 177.

An eventful day started with Test debutant Marchant de Lange taking the remaining three wickets to fall to finish with figures of seven wickets for 81 runs.

Taking five: Sri Lanka bowler Chanaka Welegedara celebrates the first of his wickets with team-mates after dismissing South Africa

Taking five: Sri Lanka bowler Chanaka Welegedara celebrates the first of his wickets with team-mates after dismissing South Africa”s Jacques Kallis

The 21-year-old, who took four wickets on the opening day, again posed the chief threat to the home batsmen on day two.

De Lange dismissed Herath for 30 and Welegedara for two before Thilan Samaraweera was the last man out for 102.

The hosts were soon in trouble when they slipped to 27 for three, losing Graeme Smith, Jacques Rudolph and Jacques Kallis cheaply.

Rudolph was the first to fall, pulling a short delivery to Welegedara at long leg and departing for seven with the scoreboard reading 22.

Captain Smith and Kallis had added just five to the total when the former pushed at a Thisara Perera delivery outside off-stump and was caught by wicketkeeper Dinesh Chandimal for 15.

And Kallis was on his way soon after, Mahela Jayawardene reacting sharply at second slip to catch Kallis before he had scored, off the bowling of Welegedara.

Steady the ship: South Africa AB de Villiers carried the team to 100 for 3 at tea

Steady the ship: South Africa AB de Villiers carried the team to 100 for 3 at tea

Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers then steadied things, carrying their team to a score of 100 for three at tea.

Amlawas the more attacking presence, taking three boundaries off the 27th over, bowled by Dilhara Fernando, before reaching his half-century from 69 balls.

However, following the resumption the duo were only able to add three runs to the total before de Villiers was out.

The 27-year-old, who had earlier hit his 5,000th Test run, was caught by Jayawardene for 25, off Welegedara.

That incident ended a fourth-wicket stand of 76 from 147 balls and sparked a slump which saw the tourists lose seven men for 68 runs.

Just three runs later and Amla was on his way for 54, edging to Chandimal to end an 83-run stay which included 10 fours.

Mark Boucher had made just three when he gave Tillakaratne Dilshan a straightforward catch.

Taking aim: Thisara Perera of Sri Lanka bowls during day two of the second test

Taking aim: Thisara Perera of Sri Lanka bowls during day two of the second test

Just one run later Ashwell Prince became another Herath scalp, although there was an element of fortune about the departure as the ball came off the batsman”s back pad and flicked the bat on its way to Jayawardene.

It was 119 for eight five balls later when Morne Morkel was bowled by Herath without scoring.

Dale Steyn and Imran Tahir had put on 26 runs for the ninth wicket when Tahir, just one delivery after hitting Herath for six, was stumped by Chandimal off the slow left-armer.

And South Africa”s innings was over when de Lange got an edge on a Welegedara delivery and Chandimal did the rest, ensuring the pace bowler finished with figures of five for 52 from 16.4 overs. Herath”s four for 49 came off 20.

South Africa, convincing winners of the opening match of the series at Centurion, took a wicket with the ninth ball of Sri Lanka”s second innings.

Steyn – who had earlier finished unbeaten on 29 – tempted Dilshan into a shot which was caught by Smith to leave the tourists on four for one.

Bad light meant the teams left the field four balls and three runs later – and soon after it was stumps.