Tag Archives: slumps

Worst free-kick ever: Sam Corcoran"s botched attempt for Chelmsford City

It's hardly Beckham, Carlos or Ronaldo, so is this the worst free-kick you have ever seen

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UPDATED:

14:34 GMT, 23 November 2012

From David Beckham to Roberto Carlos and Cristiano Ronaldo, the world appreciates a good free-kick. But they also love a botched one.

And no-one has ever managed to make a mess of a set-piece quite like Sam Corcoran.

The Chelmsford City man was preparing to float one into the area when – much like Beckham had done against Turkey from 12 yards in 2003 – he slipped at the vital moment.

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Unlike the former England skipper, though, Corcoran fell on top of the ball, nudging it forward merely a few feet and into the path of the charging Hayes and Yeading defence.

With his team-mates having flooded the box in anticipation of his delivery, Chelmsford were hopelessly exposed and from the resulting counter-attack, Hayes scored.

Video footage shows Corcoran's frantic dash back to prevent the goal is in vain, and he slumps to the ground, head in hands. One can only assume that was from embarrassment as much as it was frustration.

Chelmsford lost the Blue Square South match 3-0.

Ronnie O"Sullivan slumps to defeat to world No 76 Simon Bedford in first match since winning worlds

O'Sullivan slumps to defeat to world No 76 Bedford in first match since winning worlds

By
Sportsmail Reporter

PUBLISHED:

13:16 GMT, 8 September 2012

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UPDATED:

13:17 GMT, 8 September 2012

Ronnie O'Sullivan was beaten by world No 76 Simon Bedford as he returned to the snooker tour four months after winning the World Championship.

Back in action at the Players Tour
Championship event at the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester,
O'Sullivan led 2-0 and 3-2 but Bradford left-hander Bedford forced a
deciding frame and took it with a fine break of 98 to claim a terrific
4-3 victory.

O'Sullivan, having paid 100 to enter, leaves with no prize money as a loser in the last-128 stage.

The 36-year-old said after his fourth Crucible triumph in May that he would be taking six months out of the sport, and then he initially refused to sign the contract players must return to World Snooker before being eligible to compete.

Appearance money was a factor behind O'Sullivan's delay, but talks with World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn eventually saw him sign.

Defeat: Ronnie O'Sullivan

Defeat: Ronnie O'Sullivan

O'Sullivan took the first two rather scrappy frames to leave Bedford, also aged 36, needing to win four of the next five.

Remarkably he managed to do so, taking advantage of O'Sullivan errors initially by picking off points in several visits to take the third frame.

Bedford levelled the match but then a run of 47 from O'Sullivan saw him inch ahead again.

Once more, Bedford hauled himself level, and then with the pressure on showed no sign of nerves as he almost finished off with a century.

Bedford qualified for the World Championship in 1998 but has not been back since. He won just 10,013 in prize money over the last two seasons and supplements his playing income by coaching in his home city.

O'Sullivan signed his playing contract too late to be eligible for the Shanghai Masters, which begins on September 17, and having pulled out of the Premier League may have little competitive match practice before the International Championship in Chengdu, China.

That new event begins on October 28 and offers a top prize of 125,000, ensuring the world's leading players will make the trip.

By way of comparison, this week's event in Gloucester pays 10,000 to the winner.

He complained last year that he felt he was being 'raped' and 'blackmailed' when competing in the PTC events, which despite the low prize money on offer carry valuable world ranking points. O'Sullivan later apologised for the comments.

US Open 2012: Roger Federer beaten by Tomas Berdych

Murray set for Berdych semi after Federer slumps to shock loss at Flushing Meadows

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UPDATED:

05:38 GMT, 6 September 2012

Roger Federer cut a disconsolate figure as he tried to come to terms with his shock quarter-final exit against an inspired Tomas Berdych at the US Open.

Not since 2003 had Federer lost before the semi-final stage at Flushing Meadows, winning five titles in that time, and he went into the tournament on a high after a stellar summer.

But Berdych had not read the script and he produced a performance of devastating power to stun the world No 1 7-6 (7/1) 6-4 3-6 6-3 and set up a semi-final clash with Andy Murray on Saturday.

Czech mate: Tomas Berdych celebrates victory over Roger Federer in New York

Czech mate: Tomas Berdych celebrates victory over Roger Federer in New York

Federer clearly had not seen this coming and mostly he was disappointed with himself for making too many errors, especially in the first two sets.

He said: 'I really expected myself to play better tonight. Especially at night, I have had such a great record.

'I felt good. It's such an amazing summer I had. I really thought I was going to come out and play a solid match. I didn't do that tonight. Obviously there is a bit of a letdown now.'

Federer had never lost in 23 night-session matches at the US Open while Berdych had never played one until Wednesday night, but the conditions were certainly to his liking.

First time for everything: Federer faces up to his only ever defeat in a night-session at the US Open

First time for everything: Federer faces up to his only ever defeat in a night-session at the US Open

It seemed like it would be business as usual when Federer began brilliantly and broke serve in the first game, but Berdych was also playing at a high level and, when the top seed's dropped, the Czech capitalised.

The first-set tie-break was a bit of a horror show from Federer and he was in huge trouble at two breaks down in the second set.

He retrieved one but Berdych did not waver serving out the set and then went a break up in the third, to the disbelief of the huge crowd, who were firmly behind Federer.

Finally the 31-year-old stirred, reeling off five games in a row to get one set back, but in a fourth set of supreme quality it was Berdych who struck first in the eighth game and four huge serves finished off the job.

Star attraction: Pippa Middleton (right) watches the men's singles quarter-final at Flushing Meadows

Star attraction: Pippa Middleton (right) watches the men's singles quarter-final at Flushing Meadows

Tense: Berdych's girlfriend Ester Satorova

Tense: Berdych's girlfriend Ester Satorova

Federer did not feel the walkover he had in the previous round courtesy of Mardy Fish's withdrawal had been a factor and had hoped winning the third set would prove the turning point.

He said: 'I still was down two sets to one, so I wasn't celebrating too much.

'It was good. The momentum switch no doubt gave me a chance, put the score back to zero, put him further away from winning, and made the match go longer, make it more physical, more mental.

'Obviously I was excited winning the third, but the problem was the first couple of sets, particularly the first one.'

It was Berdych's second consecutive win over Federer at a grand slam after he also beat him at the same stage of Wimbledon in 2010 before going on to reach the final.

Addressing the crowd afterwards, Berdych said: 'It couldn't be better. There is no better feeling than to play my first night session against Roger and be able to beat him. There is no better moment than this.'

It was even more of a shock because the world No 7 has had a poor summer, losing in the first round of both Wimbledon and the Olympics.

Showdown: Berdych will now face Andy Murray on Saturday for a place in the US Open final

Showdown: Berdych will now face Andy Murray on Saturday for a place in the US Open final

Ready and waiting: British No 1 Murray is closing in on another grand slam semi-final

Ready and waiting: British No 1 Murray is closing in on another grand slam semi-final

He said: 'Probably everything was just right today. I lost the third set. But I cannot think I'm going to be beating Roger in straight sets and not to get in any trouble.

'So I was always careful that anything could happen. He came back strongly. But I'm even more happy with the way that I was able to hold his pressure and then add something extra for the fourth set.'

Federer is guaranteed still to be No 1 at the end of the tournament because Novak Djokovic is the defending champion and cannot gain points, but the Swiss player's brilliant indoor season last year means he faces a battle to finish 2012 on top.

He said: 'I've got to go back to the drawing board from here and see what's really the priority, if that's a priority for the end of the year.

'We'll see where I go from now and if I go to Davis Cup or not, what's to come for the remainder for the season.

'No 1 has another a role to play, but this obviously is a setback. But the season is not over. I hope to finish strong at the end and particularly in the indoor season.'

Roger Federer and Tiger Woods: Who"s better?

Federer and Woods: Two greats who have dominated their sports, but who's better

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UPDATED:

10:33 GMT, 22 July 2012

The weather may drive us to distraction in this country, but we are still blessed that our sporting heritage sees us host an array of events that means regular visits from the world's greatest athletes.

So when Tiger Woods teed up at Lytham it came only eleven days after Roger Federer had simultaneously scintillated and broken the hearts of Wimbledon’s Centre Court crowd.

The two biggest stars of two global individual sports are uncannily comparable, and it is a privilege to be able to see them in the flesh, especially when you remember that Woods’s attendance at the Open is, in some years, the only time he actually sets foot in Europe.

Two of the best: Woods and Federer have dominated their sports

Two of the best: Woods and Federer have dominated their sports

Two of the best: Woods and Federer have dominated their sports

While Federer's first Wimbledon was in 1999 Woods's first Major in Britain was three years previously at Lytham, as an amateur.

The memory of him walking off the eighteenth to happily chat with a few journalists, telling us he was enjoying Blackpool because it reminded him a bit of Las Vegas, seems a lifetime ago.

In the intervening period the two of them have performed astonishing deeds in their respective pursuits, similar to the point where the Swiss, has won 75 tour titles and his golfing counterpart 74.

Both have recovered from comparative slumps to regain position at the head of the herd, Federer officially, Woods only denied by the lag in golf’s more complex ranking system.

Before the motorway pile-up in the American's private life the world's major brands queued up to have them both endorse their products, and they established a friendship, still enduring, when they were both signed up for those epically cheesy razor commercials.

In the thick of it: Woods has battled back following drama in his private life

In the thick of it: Woods has battled back following drama in his private life

While Woods chases Jack Nicklaus's mark of eighteen Majors, Federer is setting his own bar by having just collected his seventeenth, raising the question of who is going to end their career with more.

Although nearly five years his golfing counterpart’s junior just ahead of his 31st birthday, the Wimbledon champion is older in terms of his sport, and has less time to up his tally.

The unknown, however, is how their bodies hold up. Federer's glorious economy of movement still sees him remarkably injury-free despite approaching veteran status, while Woods's knees are increasingly unco-operative.

Who is the greater in pure sporting terms A personal view is that it is Woods, marginally and maybe temporarily, because of the nature of winning Majors in his sport.

While the format of tennis Grand Slams makes them intrinsically harder to win than regular tour events, unlike in golf, the head-to-head nature of knockout competition makes them less subject to uncontrollable performances by others.

Hence fifteen different winners of the last 15 Majors and the utter dominance of three tennis players at the Slams.

Simply the best: Federer has won an incredible 17 major tournaments

Simply the best: Federer has won an incredible 17 major tournaments

In terms of champion behaviour away from the sporting arena, though, it is no contest.

Federer may get teased for his occasional displays of ego but his treatment of others, multilingual manners and good grace bears no resemblance to that of the singular and boorish Woods – and that is before getting on to how they have conducted their private lives.

The American's reception on the first tee on day one told of awe and admiration for his athletic prowess, but he will never enjoy the kind of human embrace Federer gets when he walks out onto Centre Court.

Andy Murray: How Ivan Lendl gets me over bad times

Murray: How new coach Lendl gets me over the bad times

PUBLISHED:

22:15 GMT, 24 March 2012

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UPDATED:

22:26 GMT, 24 March 2012

Andy Murray has credited his new coach Ivan Lendl with helping him get over defeat quicker and forget his bad matches.

The 24-year-old has suffered long slumps in the early part of the past two years after defeats in the Australian Open.

Future's bright: Lendl (right) watches Murray in action at the Sony Ericsson Open

Future's bright: Lendl (right) watches Murray in action at the Sony Ericsson Open

In his last event, in Indian Wells, Murray lost his opener and he admitted such a defeat might have proved difficult to shrug off in the past.

'Now I'm able to deal with a bad loss a lot better,' said Murray, who plays in-form world No 26 Milos Raonic on Sunday in Miami.

'Having Ivan around helps; he's been through many of those experiences.'

A year or two ago there would be a problem or I'd play a bad match and, rather than getting the issue sorted out, it would drag on for a little while and affect my practice.

'As you get more mature you have to deal with it and Ivan knows the right advice to give.

'I obviously ask him questions about what he would have done and how he would deal with certain situations.

Mind games: Murray is better for Lendl's input

Mind games: Murray is better for Lendl's input

'He's asked for advice from other coaches because he's never coached before, and that was something very refreshing: for such a great player to ask for help.'

Murray also revealed the lengths Lendl, an eight-time Grand Slam winner, went to in order to gain an edge on his opponents.

'He used to practise with John McEnroe's and Jimmy Connors' racquets to see how they felt and see what things they could and couldn't do and maybe change some tactics because of that,' said Murray.

'He had a lot of quirks and he was great because of that.'

Keothavong slumps to Malaysian Open first round surrender to qualifier

Keothavong slumps to Malaysian Open first round surrender to qualifier

Anne Keothavong was beaten in the first round of the BMW Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur.

The eighth-seeded Briton went down 6-4, 7-5 to Taiwanese qualifier Hsieh Su-wei.

Keothavong struggled badly with her serve, winning only 37 per cent of points on her first delivery, as she lost in just over an hour and a half.

Out: Keothavong

Out: Keothavong