Tag Archives: semi

Anne Keothavong misses out on first WTA title in Brazil as Venus Williams also suffers defeat

Keothavong misses out on doubles title in Brazil as Venus also suffers defeat

PUBLISHED:

12:57 GMT, 2 March 2013

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UPDATED:

12:57 GMT, 2 March 2013

Anne Keothavong's attempt to win a first WTA title ended in disappointment when the Brit and her doubles partner Valeria Savinykh were defeated in the final of the Brazil Tennis Cup.

The pair lost 6-0, 6-4 to number one seeds Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain and Kazakhstan's Yaroslava Shvedova.

Defeat: Anne Keothavong missed out on her first WTA title

Defeat: Anne Keothavong missed out on her first WTA title

In the singles event, Venus Williams looked tired as she slumped to a 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 loss to world number 109 Olga Puchkova in the tournament's semi-finals.

Puchkova, 25, will face Romanian Monica Niculescu in the final, after breaking Williams's serve late in the second and third sets to win the match in two hours and 31 minutes.

Surprise: Venus Williams was eliminated from the Brazil Tennis Cup by Olga Puchkova

Surprise: Venus Williams was eliminated from the Brazil Tennis Cup by Olga Puchkova

‘I gave my best but just couldn’t play consistent enough today,’ Williams said. ‘She played so well, it was hard.’

LIVE: Novak Djokovic v Roger Federer: Score from ATP World Tour finals at O2 Arena

Novak Djokovic v Roger Federer: Latest score from the ATP World Tour Finals showpiece at the O2 Arena

PUBLISHED:

17:50 GMT, 12 November 2012

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UPDATED:

17:50 GMT, 12 November 2012

Follow the action as Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer battle it out to win the ATP World Tour Finals at London's O2 Arena from 8pm on Monday night.

The pair, world Nos 1 and 2 respectively, have won 22 Grand Slams between them and saw off Juan Martin Del Potro and home favourite Andy Murray in the semi-finals.

The final gets under way at 8pm.

CLICK HERE FOR THE LIVE SCORE

Top two: World No 1 Novak Djokovic (above) and world No 2 Roger Federer (below)

Top two: World No 1 Novak Djokovic (above) and world No 2 Roger Federer (below)

Top two: World No 1 Novak Djokovic (above) and world No 2 Roger Federer (below)

Judd Trump, Peter Ebdon, Neil Roberton and Shaun Murphy in Chengdu semis

Trump and Ebdon to face off in Chengdu semis, with Robertson and Murphy in the other

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UPDATED:

19:12 GMT, 1 November 2012

Judd Trump booked a semi-final against Peter Ebdon after edging out Mark Allen in a thrilling 6-5 victory at the International Championship in Chengdu.

Trump was on the brink of victory at 5-3 up before Allen hit back to level at 5-5 forcing the world No 2 to compose himself and see out the final frame.

Ebdon, in contrast, had a far more straightforward passage into the final with a 6-0 win over Ricky Walden.

Trump has not won a ranking title since York last December but he is now just two matches away from the 125,000 top prize but it was Allen who won the first frame with a break of 83.

Marching on: Judd Trump will play Peter Ebdon in the Chengdu semi-finals

Marching on: Judd Trump will play Peter Ebdon in the Chengdu semi-finals

Trump levelled with a 70 and then moved 2-1 ahead. Allen's run of 98 saw him make it 2-2 but breaks of 75 and 107 put Trump 4-2 ahead.

Allen pulled one back with 121 but Trump took a 5-3 lead to move to within sight of victory.

A run of 104 from Allen closed the gap and he came from 41-0 down in the next to make it 5-5. Trump made 60 before failing to land on a red when splitting the pack.

Allen was 61 points down but still had five reds left, but after Trump played a snooker behind the black, Allen left a red to a centre pocket and his opponent potted it to seal victory.

'It was a good game, we both played well,' Trump told www.worldsnooker.com. 'I had a good lead then I was just trying to finish it off. I kept going into the pack and landing on nothing so I was getting frustrated. But I just had to try to stay patient and wait for a chance.

'It will be a different challenge against Peter tomorrow. I'll just have to play my own game, try to get in front and try to dominate the match.'

Ebdon's match, although seemingly straightforward, took 50 minutes longer than Trump's match with a top break of 81 helping China Open champion Ebdon stay on course for his second ranking title in China in 2012.

Ebdon said: 'It was a scrappy match, one for the connoisseur. But I'm really looking forward to the semi-final against Judd and playing a best-of-17 match in our joint-second most important ranking event.

'Every match is different so you have to play it as it comes.'

Neil Robertson will tackle his fellow former world champion Shaun Murphy in the other semi-final.

Australian left-handed cueman Robertson put a halt to 14-year-old Chinese potter Lu Haotian's run, recovering from 2-1 behind to win through 6-2 against a player who knocked out Dominic Dale in the second round.

'It was strange playing someone so young,' said 30-year-old Robertson, Crucible champion in 2010. 'It made me feel really old.

'I had to use all of my experience, especially in the close frames. I won two on the black otherwise it could have been different. Lu has got a tremendous future.'

Murphy, world champion in 2005, was 3-1 behind against Marco Fu, but won through 6-4 with a best break of 129. The Englishman halted his Hong Kong opponent, but refused to get carried away about being in the last four.

'Stephen Hendry used to say that when he got to the semi-finals he was only halfway there, so there's still a long way to go,' Murphy said. 'Neil and I have had some great matches in the past and we'll have more in the future.'

Wayne Rooney"s Everton career might not be over – Dominic King

Once a Blue… once more a Blue Rooney's Everton career might not be over

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UPDATED:

12:28 GMT, 19 October 2012

Secrets don't keep where football is concerned. Early in 2002, there were rumblings that a young player was emerging at Goodison Park who was something out of the ordinary.

Before an FA Youth Cup tie that February, the then Manchester City Academy Director Jim Cassell had expressed his confidence that his side would make it through to the semi-finals but his outlook was tempered by reports he had received back from Merseyside.

'There is a kid called Rooney who plays for Everton who has big reputation already,' Cassell said. 'Keep an eye on him.'

United front: Rooney has now spent eight successful years at Old Trafford

United front: Rooney has now spent eight successful years at Old Trafford

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Sure enough, his prediction came true. City did indeed acquit themselves well, scoring two very good goals. The only problem for them was that Wayne Rooney was operating on a different level that evening, scoring two of his own and setting another two up as Everton won 4-2.

It was apparent then that Rooney would go on to play at the highest and within six months he had made his senior debut; 10 years ago, of course, he scored his first ever Barclays Premier League goal, bending a wonderful effort past Arsenal's David Seaman to announce his arrival.

Rooney's emergence a decade ago came at a time when Everton were emerging from a spell in the doldrums and he was seen as the shining light who would lead them into a brave new era. That moved on within two years to Manchester United still leaves many Evertonians with a bitter taste.

He could have been spoken about in the same reverential terms that are reserved for Sharp, Gray and Steven, Kendall, Ball and Harvey, as he had a talent to span the ages. Rooney was destined to play for one of Europe's superpowers but it is argued he could have stayed a Blue a little longer.

Without Rooney, Everton's development has not been checked. In the eight years since he left for Old Trafford, David Moyes and Bill Kenwright have worked in tandem to take the club forward and this year they are dark horses to push for a Champions League spot.

Magic moment: Rooney burst onto the scene with that memorable goal against Arsenal

Magic moment: Rooney burst onto the scene with that memorable goal against Arsenal

Wayne's world: Rooney celebrates victory over the Gunners

Wayne's world: Rooney celebrates victory over the Gunners

Rooney, meanwhile, has collected a haul
of medals that his talent deserve and he is still young enough to become
England's all-time leading scorer. He is a fantastic player and will
continue to play an integral role for United.

But what happens a couple of years down the line Would there ever be a time in the future when Rooney pulls on a Royal Blue shirt again He wanted to this summer but a pre-season friendly with United against Barcelona prevented him playing in Tony Hibber's testimonial.

'It says everything about Wayne that he was willing to do that,' said Hibbert at the time. 'He probably would have got a bad reception but he is not fazed about that. He loves Everton. Deep down he is still an Evertonian. I know for a fact the still goes to (Everton) games.

'He will do anything for Everton. It was a great honour for me that he wanted to play in the game. I was surprised when he asked whether he could play and if I would like him to. I jumped at the chance but obviously he has other commitments.

When asked whether finishing his career at Goodison was possible, Hibbert said: 'I think it is. If Wayne says it, then I think the club would be stupid not to welcome him back. I think there would be a few moans but for us to get a player like Wayne Rooney would be massive.'

There has been a noticeable softening
towards Rooney from some Evertonians in recent years and his every
touch when he returns to Goodison does not generate the same growling as
it did in the seasons that followed his departure. He is also far more
diplomatic when celebrating United goals.

Never say never: Rooney's links with the blue half of Liverpool run deep - a bedroom window at his old house was adorned with Toffees memorabilia

Never say never: Rooney's links with the blue half of Liverpool run deep – a bedroom window at his old house was adorned with Toffees memorabilia

Never say never: Rooney's links with the blue half of Liverpool run deep - a bedroom window at his old house was adorned with Toffees memorabilia

So
here is the question: could there ever be a reunion It will not happen
any time soon but, if the prospect were to arise in the future, it is
something both parties would certainly explore.

To adapt the line from that famous t-shirt: Once a Blue… once more a Blue

Pakistan spinner Abdur Rehman fails drug test

Pakistan spinner Rehman failed drug test during Somerset stint

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UPDATED:

21:29 GMT, 2 October 2012


Cannabis test: Pakistan bowler Abdur Rehman

Cannabis test: Pakistan bowler Abdur Rehman

Pakistan's Abdur Rehman faces a ban from cricket after testing positive for cannabis during his recent stint with Somerset.

Sportsmail understands that left-arm spinner Rehman has admitted the offence and any suspension will be at the lower end of the scale – between two and four months – as cannabis does not enhance performance.

The 32-year-old was expected to be at a Sialkot Stallions training camp this week to prepare for their Champions League campaign but failed to turn up.

He is not in the Pakistan squad which qualified for the Twenty20 World Cup semi-finals.

Pakistan beat Australia by 32 runs to pip India on a better scoring rate and face Sri Lanka on Thursday. West Indies play Australia on Friday.

World Twenty20 2012: Nasser Hussain – England must not slog or bust against Sri Lanka

This is not a game for slog or bust… England expects

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UPDATED:

21:00 GMT, 30 September 2012

Where New Zealand were very orthodox, Sri Lanka will be the opposite with the ball.

Lasith Malinga will bowl everything at England except length while Ajantha Mendis is a devilishly difficult proposition in his home conditions, particularly against batsmen who haven’t faced him much before.

England must not rely on slog or bust. It’s so hard when you are not sure which way the ball is turning.

Dangerman: Malinga is a threat to England's batsmen

Dangerman: Malinga is a threat to England's batsmen

Test at the top

England can take encouragement from the fact that Sri Lanka are a top-heavy team with the bat.

Tillekeratne Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara are a fantastic top three. But if England can make early breakthroughs, particularly through the excellent Steven Finn, they have a brittle middle order.

The drop off to Jeevan Mendis is huge.

Top performers: Jayawardene (left) and Sangakkara (right)

Top performers: Jayawardene (left) and Sangakkara (right)

Be prepared

England have played in front of small, quiet crowds up to now but that is about to change.

Pallekele will be a real cauldron and England must not be overwhelmed by the intensity of the occasion.

Come through this and it would stand them in good stead for the semi-finals.

World Tenty20 2012: Don"t write England off, says England captain Stuart Broad

Don't write England off! Broad delighted as T20 holders find form at last

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UPDATED:

16:58 GMT, 29 September 2012

England captain Stuart Broad was a happy man as England kept their ICC World Twenty20 hopes alive with victory over New Zealand.

Luke Wright and Steven Finn starred in a much-improved all-round performance as England won by six wickets to put the defence of their ICC World Twenty20 crown back on track.

After Wright's runs and Finn's wickets at Pallekele, Stuart Broad's team are likely to need another success against hosts Sri Lanka when they return on Monday if they are to book a trip back to Colombo for the semi-finals.

Bowled over: England were impressive in the Super Eight victory over New Zealand

Bowled over: England were impressive in the Super Eight victory over New Zealand

Broad said: 'It was really important to get a win tonight. I thought Steven Finn set the tone fantastically with the new ball and Luke and Eoin (Morgan) batted really well.

'The pitch was a lot drier, we knew that from ball one – and we're obviously delighted to have won. Now we've got a huge game coming up on Monday. We've got a job to do then and hopefully we can build on the positives from tonight.

'We'll have a meeting over the next day or so and come back stronger on Monday.'

Wright, voted man of the match for his 76 from 43 balls, told the post-match presentation ceremony: 'I'm very chuffed as it was a very important win for us. It was disappointing the other day (the defeat against West Indies) so it's nice to come back and get some runs.

Three of the best: Finn was in the wickets as England restricted the Kiwis to 148

Three of the best: Finn was in the wickets as England restricted the Kiwis to 148

Three of the best: Finn was in the wickets as England restricted the Kiwis to 148

'It was all about getting going really. We kept talking about having a batsman in at the end and luckily that was me today.

'There are a lot of positives to come out of the game. Personally I think Steven Finn should be here (receiving the man of the match award) for the way he bowled – he was outstanding.'

New Zealand captain Ross Taylor is relying on Sri Lanka beating West Indies and England to keep alive the Black Caps' hopes of progress.

He said: 'I think 140 was about a par score. It was hard to start on that wicket and James Franklin was outstanding to get us there but the total just wasn't enough.

'The spinners bowled very well – we were probably only five off a par score. We had our moments but weren't able to capitalise when we were on top. Good luck to Sri Lanka in the next two games!'

Wright stuff: A stunning 76 helped England on to victory

Wright stuff: A stunning 76 helped England on to victory

World Twenty20 2012: Stuart Broad: England will keep Eoin Morgan up our sleeve

We'll keep trump card Morgan up our sleeve, insists Broad despite England batting slump

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UPDATED:

20:17 GMT, 28 September 2012

If England are to overcome the odds and reach the World Twenty20 semi-finals they will need Eoin Morgan at the crease for as long as possible. Yet their trump card will again be held back in the must-win game against New Zealand.

Morgan was back to his brilliant best in Thursday's defeat by West Indies after a lean year but only had half of England's innings to attempt an improbable rescue act which fell tantalisingly short of a famous victory.

Now, with England all but out if they lose again, they will stick to the same policy of keeping Morgan up their sleeves even if they again lose early wickets against a New Zealand team who also lost their Super Eights opener.

In vain: Eoin Morgan starred against West Indies but England still lost

In vain: Eoin Morgan starred against West Indies but England still lost

The problem, England insist, lies more with the fact that either Alex Hales or Craig Kieswetter has fallen too early in their last two games rather than not giving the Irishman enough time to weave his magic.

'Morgs has this amazing ability to find the boundaries when fielders are back which not everyone has,' said England captain Stuart Broad. 'He's not especially suited to piercing the infield when everyone is in. So the risk-reward for someone so valuable to our team might be too high for him to try to do that.

'Certainly if you lose him in those first six – and you're three down – you're in big trouble. So it was decided his skills would be best used in the middle overs. He showed how dangerous he can be but we just didn't quite set it up for him.'

It was Jonny Bairstow who came in ahead of Morgan against West Indies after Kieswetter and Luke Wright had fallen in the first over and it would be unfair to criticise a batsman who had to rebuild from nought for two.

But his innings of 18 from 29 balls, ended by a brilliant catch from Kieron Pollard when Bairstow looked as though he had struck his first six, left England with too much to do in their pursuit of 180 to win. Morgan was duly left high and dry on 71 from 36 balls with England 15 short of their target but if he had come in just one over earlier there is every chance England would have won.

Plenty to ponder: England captain Stuart Broad must re-energise his batsmen

Plenty to ponder: England captain Stuart Broad must re-energise his batsmen

The problem will not occur, according to
Broad, if England's openers do their job against a far from fearsome
New Zealand attack. 'Whoever takes the responsibility of going out there
and facing that new ball it's important they get through the first
over,' said Broad. 'It's about the realisation of players accepting we
can't lose wickets that early.

'Last night we watched the best striker of the ball in the world in Chris Gayle and he never goes from ball one, does he He has a little look, assesses the wicket, then explodes. I think we haven't got that quite right yet but it's important we do get that right against New Zealand.'

Kieswetter may have been England's man of the series against South Africa just ahead of their arrival here but clearly he is under some pressure to get it right now. He still seems to either block or go for bust with big shots and must find a 'get off the strike' option, as Broad put it earlier in this tournament. The way he got out to his second ball on Thursday with a wild slog was criminal.

The Kiwis may have taken Sri Lanka to a 'super over' after their tie at Pallekele in the first match in England's group but they really should not hold too much fear for England even if, in Brendon McCullum, they have one of the most successful and explosive batsmen in international Twenty20 cricket.

Kyle Mills and Jacob Oram have seen better days while even Dan Vettori, who has been a thorn in England's side since 1997, is not quite the force of old. There is no mystery about New Zealand and England simply must ensure they do not slip up against them otherwise they will need a near miracle to progress and this defence of their World Twenty20 crown will go down as another setback in a year that has had too many of them.

Judd Trump holds off Mark Williams to clinch final spot in Shanghai Masters

Trump holds off Williams to set up final against Higgins in Shanghai Masters

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UPDATED:

16:53 GMT, 22 September 2012

Judd Trump has suffered at the hands
of John Higgins before but believes he can topple the Scot to win the
Bank of Communication Shanghai Masters title.

Both won tricky semi-finals, Trump fending off Mark Williams to win 6-4 and Higgins overcoming Shaun Murphy 6-3.

Final chance: Trump

Final chance: Trump

And 23-year-old Trump, who as a qualifier lost to Higgins in the 2011 World Championship final, rates his chances of reversing that result.

'John's a great player and one of the best to ever play so it'll be tough, but I'm here to win it and I fancy my chances in the final,' Trump said.

Trump was relieved to withstand a gutsy fightback from Williams in the first semi-final.

The world No 2 was at one stage 5-1 ahead and on a break of 53, looking as though he would record a straightforward victory.

The match turned when Trump missed a red, Williams punished him and soon threatened to force a deciding frame.

But UK champion Trump kept his composure and strung together a tidy 58 when a chance came his way in the 10th frame.

Trump, who had earlier breaks of 62, 82, 53, 76, 62 and 82, said: 'I felt I played a lot better and I dominated the match to go 5-1 up. Then Mark turned things around and every time I thought I had him in trouble, he got out of it.

'It was getting tense at 5-4 so I was really pleased to get over the line.'

Four-time world champion Higgins fell 3-2 behind against Murphy, but the 37-year-old recovered and had breaks of 70, 94 and 135, the highest of the tournament so far.

Laura Robson beats Peng Shuai

Robson continues fine form with hard-fought win over seventh seed Peng

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UPDATED:

15:02 GMT, 20 September 2012

Laura Robson came through an epic contest against seventh seed Peng Shuai to claim her place in the last four of the Guangzhou International Open.

The Briton broke her Chinese opponent three times, including a telling break in game 12, on the way to taking a tight opening set but then lost an equally combative second set to send the match into a decider.

However, Robson registered three more breaks in a more straightforward third set to seal a 7-5 5-7 6-2 victory after three hours on court.

Brit special: Laura Robson has been in impressive form of late

Brit special: Laura Robson has been in impressive form of late

The win continues Robson's remarkable recent success against Chinese opposition, having ousted Li Na in the US Open and second seed Zheng Zi here in Guangzhou.

She will now face third seed Sorana Cirstea of Romania in the semi-finals.