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Federer leads Switzerland to third Hopman Cup title

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London : Switzerland won their third Hopman Cup as Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic beat Germany’s Alexander Zverev and Angelique Kerber 4-3(3), 4-2 in the deciding mixed doubles to secure a 2-1 victory in the final at the Perth Arena.

It was Federer’s second Hopman Cup triumph after victory in 2001 alongside then world number one Martina Hingis.
“She (Hingis) had a great career and to have that in a small country like Switzerland is very rare,” world number two Federer said after his country’s latest triumph.

“It made me also believe with hard work and dedication you get really far because I didn’t believe that much at that point when I was younger, I thought it was more all talent.”

 

Federer had earlier roared back from a set down to beat Zverev 6-7(4), 6-0, 6-2 and give the Swiss a 1-0 lead.

Unbeaten in three singles matches in the tournament before the final as he prepares to defend his Australian Open title later this month, the 19-time Grand Slam champion failed to wrap up the first set despite hitting 20 winners.

However, it was only a matter of time before the 36-year-old Federer found his groove as he raced to win the second set 6-0 before sealing victory in the decider with a drop shot.

“I was trying to play as aggressively as possible. I’m maybe better when we’re closer together,” said Federer.

“The court plays fast, so it helps if you approach (the net) and do it the right way. It was working out well, so I thought I’d keep going until I had to fix it. That never happened, so I was able to cruise all the way through.”

The tie went to a mixed doubles decider after Kerber continued her strong start to the campaign under new coach Wim Fissette by beating Bencic 6-4, 6-1 to level the score at 1-1.

World number four Zverev finished with one singles win from four matches in a patchy preparation ahead of the year’s first Grand Slam at Melbourne Park starting on January 15.


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Everything will change after Mosque shootings: BCB President

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Christchurch: Bangladesh`s cricket team left New Zealand on Saturday, less than 24 hours after narrowly avoiding being involved in the worst mass shooting in the country, which now had to accept that sporting events were likely to have been changed forever.

A lone gunman killed 49 people and wounded more than 20 during Friday prayers at two mosques in Christchurch in the country`s worst mass shooting which Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern condemned as “a terrorist attack”.

The Bangladesh team were on a bus that was approaching the Al Noor mosque, where 41 people died, on the eve of the third test at the nearby Hagley Oval when the shooting began.

 

The test match, which had been scheduled to start on Saturday, was cancelled after the shooting and Bangladesh`s tour abandoned.

Violent crime is extremely rare in New Zealand and the Bangladesh Cricket Board said that the attacks had now changed their perception about team security on tours.

“We`ll demand proper security wherever our team goes in the future,” BCB President Nazmul Hassan told reporters in Dhaka on Friday. “If a country provides proper security as per our demand, then we will go otherwise not.”

“I can say that everything will change after this incident.”

Pakistan`s Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari also suggested that the world governing body, the International Cricket Council, should possibly take a harder line against hosting matches in New Zealand.

“ICC should take note & perhaps suspend int cricket in NZ after this act of terrorism?” Mazari said on Twitter.

Pakistan has been unable to host matches at home since 2009 when gunmen attacked the bus carrying the Sri Lankan team to a match in Lahore. Six of the players from the visiting team were wounded and eight locals killed.

New Zealand have not toured Pakistan since 2002 following a suicide bombing outside their hotel in Karachi and instead played their games in the United Arab Emirates.

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India to host Under-17 women’s World Cup in 2020

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Mumbai: India will host the Under-17 women’s World Cup in 2020, FIFA president Gianni Infantino announced.

“We are delighted to announce that India has been confirmed as the host of the FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup in 2020,” Infantino said after the FIFA Council meeting in Miami.

This will be the second FIFA tournament India will be hosting, after the Under-17 men’s World Cup in 2017.

 

Confirming the development, All India Football Federation General Secretary Kushal Das said: “We are thankful to FIFA for giving the right to host the Under-17 Women’s World Cup. This will raise the profile of women’s football in the country.

“We have been giving a lot of emphasis on the development of women’s football in the country. So we bid for the Under-17 Women’s World Cup and now we have got it.”

The bidding process for the tournament started last year. France had also expressed interest to host the tournament.

Das said the venues to host the mega event will be decided soon.

“We have four-five venues in mind and we will finalise them soon.”

As the host country, India automatically qualifies for the 16-team showpiece event. The six continental qualifying tournaments are yet to begin.

Besides the Under-17 Women’s WC, India had also expressed interest in hosting the Under-20 Women’s World Cup.

The Under-17 women’s tournament began in 2008, when New Zealand hosted it. Spain are the current champions and they had beaten Mexico 2-1 in the final in Uruguay last year. The tournament in India will be the seventh edition.

Asian teams are the most successful teams in the tournament, with North Korea (2008 and 2016) having won it twice while Japan (2014) and South Korea (2010) had won it once each.

France (2012) and Spain (2018) are the only non-Asian teams to have won the tournament.

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AIFF asks East Bengal to clear stance on Super Cup and ISL participation

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Mumbai: The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has written to East Bengal over the confusion prevailing over their participation in the Super Cup and potential entry to the Indian Super League (ISL), Goal can confirm.

Kushal Das, General Secretary of the AIFF, wrote a letter on Friday addressing East Bengal President Pranab Dasgupta.

East Bengal had given contradicting statements regarding their participation in the Super Cup. Four of the eight board members of East Bengal are from Quess while the rest are long-serving club members.

 

The Quess officials had stated that the Red and Golds will not participate in the Super Cup in the press release put out while the other faction had said they will participate.

Kushal Das has now asked the club to clear the air over the contradicting stands. In the same mail, Das has also asked the club whether they want to play the ISL next season.

It is worth noting that this is the first time the AIFF is contacting the long-serving club officials over the same since Quess’ investment in the club. It was reported earlier that Quess officials had met with Kushal Das and Reliance Sports CEO Sundar Raman twice to discuss the entry into ISL.

Now, the AIFF has sought an answer from the other group in the East Bengal board as well. The Indian FA now wants a reply within five days from the club.

There is a clear lack of understanding among the two factions in the East Bengal board and it remains to be seen what stand they finally adopt over the two pressing issues.

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