Tag Archives: slovakian

Andy Murray beats Ivo Karlovic at Japan Open

Murray starts off where he finished at US Open with victory over Karlovic in Japan

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UPDATED:

09:45 GMT, 2 October 2012

Andy Murray reached the second round of the Japan Open with a straight-sets victory over Ivo Karlovic in his first match since winning the US Open.

Karlovic entered the tournament as a lucky loser after Murray's scheduled first-round opponent Gael Monfils withdrew due to injury.

Go for the the Croat: Andy Murray had enough to get beyond Ivo Karlovic

Go for the the Croat: Andy Murray had enough to get beyond Ivo Karlovic

Defending champion Murray had won all four of his previous
meetings with the giant Croatian, most recently in four sets at
Wimbledon this summer, and was rarely troubled as he made it five from
five.

The Scot failed to take any of his three break points in the first set but eventually prevailed in a tie-break.

Tall order: Karlovic towers over Murray as the pair shake hands at the end of their match

Tall order: Karlovic towers over Murray as the pair shake hands at the end of their match

The second set was progressing in a similarly serve-dominated manner until the 10th game, when Murray went up 0-40 to set up three match points.

Karlovic saved two, the first with a second-serve ace, but Murray took the third to wrap up a 7-6 (9/7), 6-4 win having not faced a single break point in the match.

He will face Lukas Lacko in the second round after the Slovakian hammered Spain's Albert Ramos 6-0, 6-2.

He's done it: Murray celebrates winning a point in his victory over Karlovic

He's done it: Murray celebrates winning a point in his victory over Karlovic

Scott Harrison beats Joe Elfidh in Glasgow

Harrison fails to impress after being forced to go the distance by inexperienced Elfidh

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UPDATED:

22:29 GMT, 22 September 2012

Scott Harrison laboured to a points victory over Joe Elfidh after making surprisingly hard work of his inexperienced opponent.

The former two-time world champion was making his second appearance since finally putting his problems with alcohol and depression behind him, having stopped Gyorgy Mizsei in June.

But despite dropping Elfidh in the first round, Harrison was unable to finish him off inside the scheduled six rounds.

Work to do: Scott Harrison (left) laboured to victory against Joe Elfidh (right)

Work to do: Scott Harrison (left) laboured to victory against Joe Elfidh (right)

Harrison, who was out of the ring for seven years having been stripped of his WBO featherweight title, claims he has been promised a fight with Ricky Burns, who was hugely impressive in defending his world title against Kevin Mitchell, but on this evidence he should set his expectations significantly lower for the time being.

Now fighting at lightweight, the 35-year-old took the fight to Elfidh from the first bell and a hard right followed by a flurry of punches sent Elfidh crashing to the canvas. He beat the count however and survived the remainder of the round.

Harrison continued to control the centre of the ring in the second stanza but his English opponent was proving no pushover and landed several telling blows of his own as the fight reached the midway point. The remaining rounds continued in a similar vein and, despite chasing Elfidh around the ring, Harrison was forced to settle for 60-53 decision.

Evasive action: Elfidh dodges a left hook from Harrison at the SECC in Glasgow

Evasive action: Elfidh dodges a left hook from Harrison at the SECC in Glasgow

Earlier in the evening, Bradley Saunders stopped Ivan Godor in the third round after the Slovakian was dropped three times in the stanza.

Saunders moved to four without defeat while Stephen Simmons made it six straight successes against Tayar Mehmed and John Thain was given a tough time by Lee Noble before coming through to win by decision.

John Simpson was a popular winner against Dai Davies for the Celtic super-featherweight championship, knocking the Welshman out with a crushing right hook in the second round.

Taken the full distance: Harrison celebrates his victory over Elfidh after six rounds

Taken the full distance: Harrison celebrates his victory over Elfidh after six rounds

US Open 2012: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga knocked out

Fifth seed Tsonga dumped out of US Open as draw opens up for Murray

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UPDATED:

20:52 GMT, 30 August 2012

Unheralded Slovakian Martin Klizan caused the shock of the tournament as he knocked out fifth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the second round of the US Open.

The Frenchman, who had been seeded to meet Olympic champion Andy Murray in the quarter-finals, was horribly out of sorts and crashed out 6-4 1-6 6-1 6-3.

Tsonga, a quarter-finalist here last
year and a semi-finalist at Wimbledon last month, looked like he had
turned things around in the second set but instead Klizan pulled away
again in the third.

Shock: Martin Klizan stunned Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the US Open

Shock: Martin Klizan stunned Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the US Open

The Slovakian then opened up a 4-0 lead in the fourth set and, although Tsonga responded to reduce the deficit to 4-3, it was not good enough.

Klizan, ranked 52nd in the world, has
had a good season but had never beaten anyone close to the calibre of
Tsonga before and lost to Britain's Dan Evans in the Davis Cup earlier
this year.

Eleventh seed
Nicolas Almagro had to fight back from two sets to one down to defeat
German Philipp Petzschner 6-3 5-7 5-7 6-4 6-4 while 17th seed Kei
Nishikori beat Tim Smyczek of the US 6-2 6-2 6-4.

It was Tsonga's earliest exit at a
grand slam since the Australian Open in 2007, and he did not have much
of an explanation for his poor performance.

The Frenchman said: 'In the second
set I played well. But at the beginning of the second set also it was
dangerous for me, and finally I came back.

'Today I was not in good shape. I
didn't play good tennis. It seemed like I couldn't hit the ball hard
enough to put my opponent out of position. I don't really know why it
was like this today, but sometimes it happens with me.

Struggles: Tsonga had been seeded to play Britain's Andy Murray later in the tournament

Struggles: Tsonga had been seeded to play Britain's Andy Murray later in the tournament

'I'm disappointed but it's tennis. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Of course, it's always sad when you lose but I will wait for another good moment. I will forget it.'

Tsonga denied he was carrying any injuries, although fatigue is clearly taking its toll on a lot of players, while he admitted the dominance of the top four in men's tennis can be dispiriting.

He said: 'We have to play every week. I'm not a machine. Sometimes I'm tired, sometimes not. Sometimes in good shape, sometimes not. That's it.

'I work hard every week. I give a lot of myself every day. I never get rewards. That's why sometimes it's tough.'

Klizan, who is likely to face another Frenchman, 32nd seed Jeremy Chardy, in the next round, was understandably thrilled with his breakthrough victory.

The 23-year-old said: “He's number six in the world and I beat him.

Comeback: Mardy Fish fought back well to beat Nikolay Davydenko

Comeback: Mardy Fish fought back well to beat Nikolay Davydenko

'I feel great. I'm very happy. I think it's my best result in my career and I'm looking forward to playing Saturday in the third round. There is a chance to win again.'

American Mardy Fish, the 23rd seed, became the 10th player to recover from two sets down to win against Russia's Nikolay Davydenko, a new record for the US Open.

Fish proved the tougher in sweltering conditions on Arthur Ashe Stadium to win 4-6 6-7 (4/7) 6-2 6-1 6-2 while 30th seed Feliciano Lopez narrowly avoided the same fate, beating fellow Spaniard Pablo Andujar 6-4 6-1 6-7 (5/7) 3-6 7-5.

Almagro, meanwhile, will meet American teenager Jack Sock after he reached round three at a grand slam for the first time with a 6-2 6-2 6-4 victory over Flavio Cipolla of Italy.

Martin Skrtel set to turn down Manchester City

Skrtel willing to turn down Man City if Liverpool can match his ambitions

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UPDATED:

09:48 GMT, 23 June 2012

Target: Skrtel is wanted by Man City

Target: Skrtel is wanted by Man City

Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel is ready to ignore an approach for his services from Premier League champions Manchester City.

City are keen to bolster their defensive options, with manager Roberto Mancini not convinced by Stefan Savic's credentials as back-up to first choice pairing Vincent Kompany and Joleon Lescott.

And while Mancini also has the services of Kolo Toure at his disposal, he is keen to a centre-back with top flight experience to his squad.

But the agent of Skrtel – who won Liverpool's player of the year last season – has insisted that the 27-year-old is keen to discuss his future with new Reds boss Brendan Rodgers.

'Some changes have been made at the club and he (Martin Skrtel) wants to know what the aims and ambitions are. And of course, we will discuss the issue of Martin’s new contract,' said Karol Cstonto.

Happy to stay: Skrtel wants to discuss a new deal provided the club can match his ambitions

Happy to stay: Skrtel wants to discuss a new deal provided the club can match his ambitions

'Liverpool is a big club and just because they haven’t made the Champions League this year doesn’t mean they would not do it next year.

'There are expectations on both sides, though.'

The Slovakian has two years left on his current Anfield deal and it is thought the club are keen to start negotiating an extension.

Manchester City want Liverpool"s Martin Skrtel as Real Madrid eye David Silva

Manchester City want to poach Liverpool's Skrtel as Real Madrid circle for Silva swoop

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UPDATED:

22:01 GMT, 20 June 2012

Manchester City are to press ahead with interest in Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel.

The Reds are eager to improve Skrtel’s current deal, but the fact he has yet to sign is offering City hope.

Top target: Martin Skrtel could be on the move from Anfield

Top target: Martin Skrtel could be on the move from Anfield

Anzhi Makhachkala are also interested in luring the 27-year-old back to Russia, with the Slovakian joining Liverpool from Zenit St Petersburg in 2008.

Superb season: Skrtel

Superb season: Skrtel

Skrtel was a shining light in Liverpool's turbulent term, winning the club's Player of the Season gong.

However, as Skrtel himself admitted, Liverpool's eighth place finish was a below par season – despite the club winning the Carling Cup and reaching the FA Cup final.

'Everybody knows it wasn't a great season because we finished in eighth position and that's not good,' he said.

'I think we deserved to finish higher than eighth position, but there were too many games in which we didn't get three points – and there were too many games in which we didn't get what we deserved.'

Meanwhile, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has set aside a 55million budget in his bid to sign David Silva from City.

Sources in Spain say Jose Mourinho would offer Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain in any possible deal.

A wanted man: David Silva is attracting interest in his native Spain

A wanted man: David Silva is attracting interest in his native Spain

French Open 2012: Sam Stosur to play Sara Errani in semi-final

Stosur sets up semi with Errani after US Open champion defeats Cibulkova

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UPDATED:

14:13 GMT, 5 June 2012

US Open champion Sam Stosur became the first woman into the French Open semi-finals with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Dominika Cibulkova on Court Philippe Chatrier.

The Australian, who lost to Francesca Schiavone in the final in 2010, was too powerful for 5ft 3in Cibulkova, the conqueror of world number one Victoria Azarenka in the fourth round.

The Slovakian mounted a brief comeback in the opening set, pulling back from 5-2 down to 5-4, and twice she had a chance to level, but Stosur held firm and clinched the game with two massive forehands.

Aussie rules: Sam Stosur (R) shakes hands with Dominika Cibulkova after winning her quarter-final match

Aussie rules: Sam Stosur (R and celebrating below) shakes hands with Dominika Cibulkova after winning her quarter-final match

Aussie rules: Sam Stosur (R) shakes hands with Dominika Cibulkova after winning her quarter-final match

It was a shot that Cibulkova simply had no answer to, and in the second set a relaxed-looking Stosur breezed through, sealing victory at the first opportunity when her opponent netted an attempted drop shot.

The 28-year-old sixth seed has now made the semi-finals here in three of the past four years and will be a hot favourite to reach another final having seen all the other big names in her half of the draw fall away.

In the last four Stosur will play Italy's Sara Errani, who claimed her first victory over a top-10 player in 29 attempts by defeating German 10th seed Angelique Kerber 6-3, 7-6 (7/2).

Errani is enjoying a terrific season and has now bettered her performance at the Australian Open, where she reached the last eight before losing to Petra Kvitova.

Italian job: Sara Errani celebrates her passage through to the last four

Italian job: Sara Errani celebrates her passage through to the last four

The 25-year-old made a great start today and held her advantage throughout the first set, but the second was a topsy-turvy affair featuring eight breaks of serve.

Alex Kay Talks Tennis

Kerber has had a remarkable run, climbing from outside the top 100 last August to 10th in the world, but she could not find the consistency required to defeat a player of Errani's guile on clay.

Twice she served for the second set but on both occasions Errani broke back, and the Italian was the better player in the tie-break.

Reaching the final looks a tough ask, though, with Stosur having won all their previous five meetings, the most recent of which came in Rome last month.

London 2012 Olympics: Canoe team named

Florence leads British canoe team for assault on London Olympics

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UPDATED:

16:22 GMT, 25 April 2012

David Florence, who struck silver in Beijing, will be one of five canoe slalom entrants competing at the London 2012 Olympics.

Florence will compete in the one-man canoe category again and in the two-man canoe (C2) with Richard Hounslow.

Hounslow will also compete in the single kayak event but his inclusion in that event means there is no place for Campbell Walsh, who won silver in Athens eight years ago.

Danger: David Florence will hope to add to his Olympic medal collection

Danger: David Florence will hope to add to his Olympic medal collection

As both Florence and Hounslow compete in singles events, there is an extra spot in the C2 event, which has been awarded to Tim Baillie and Etienne Stott.

Lizzie Neave, 25, takes the only women's place in the single kayak event, after impressing the coaches by winning all three of her selection races earlier this month.

The selection announcement came at the Lee Valley White Water Centre, where the Olympics slalom event will be held.

In the two-man canoe event, the main competition will come from the Slovakian twins, the Hochschorner brothers, who have won gold at the last three Olympic Games.

Hounslow, 30, said he expected the home advantage will count for the UK's top athletes although he admitted the atmosphere was going to be 'pretty intense'.

He said: 'To be selected is even sweeter because I missed out in Beijing, so to have put the effort in over the last four years and for it to have paid off is a dream come true.

Double act: David Florence and Richard Hounslow will team up in London

Double act: David Florence and Richard Hounslow will team up in London

'Initially, when I knew I was selected, I was absolutely delighted, hugs and things all round, but now we are back in to training. You can't rest on your laurels, I am in the team but that is just one box ticked.

'We now have to prepare ourselves mentally and physically for the main event so there is still a lot more work to do and hopefully I can make a few fine adjustments here and there and bring home a medal.'

Florence said trust between him and Hounslow in the two-man event was crucial to success.

He almost retired after the Beijing Olympics in search of a new challenge but the lure of competing in London proved too great.

Florence said: 'I think what holds us together the most is that we want to achieve the same thing ultimately.

'We may not agree day-to-day on the best way to do things but we have never had a falling out which is pretty important for a C2 crew.

Single lady: Lizzie Neave will also represent Great Britain in London

Single lady: Lizzie Neave will also represent Great Britain in London

'It's a difficult sport to get on in because you can make major mistakes every day in training. That's the nature of canoe slalom and it is very easy to blame the other man in the boat but at the end of the day we both want the same thing which is for the boat to go as fast as it can.'

Neave, who at 25 is the youngest member of the squad, described the selection process as tough after she had to see off competition from the Scottish canoeist Fiona Pennie.

She said she was looking forward to competing at the Lee Valley course, near Broxbourne, where the team has been based for the past 18 months.

John Anderson, performance director of the slalom team, said selectors had taken advantage of a rule change which now allowed athletes to compete in two events.

He said it was a narrow field competing at the Games, adding there were a number of athletes disappointed at missing selection.

Anderson said: 'Our collective aspiration for slalom and sprint combined is that the canoeing athletes will win three medals.

'Throughout the whole of our canoeing team we believe we have athletes who are very capable of challenging for the podium so it is not about a particular athlete, it's about a collective responsibility from canoeing generally.'

Aston Villa to sign Marian Kello

Kello set to seal Villa deal after being released by cash-strapped Hearts

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UPDATED:

21:00 GMT, 12 April 2012

Marian Kello is expected to hold talks with Aston Villa this weekend to conclude a pre-contract.

The Slovakian goalkeeper, 29, is a free agent after being released from his contract at Hearts and is wanted as a replacement for Brad Guzan.

Bargain: Kello is available on a free

Bargain: Kello is available on a free