London :Serbian former world number one Novak Djokovic will be in action at his home club, working under old coach Marian Vajda, — desperately searching for some spark after tumbling down to 13th in the rankings.
Spain’s Rafael Nadal looks on during an interview session on Day 1 of ATP Masters Series Monte Carlo Rolex Master at Monte-Carlo Sporting Club in Monte-Carlo, Monaco.
Rafael Nadal’s build-up to what he hopes will be another French Open triumph begins in earnest this week when the Spaniard returns to one of his favourite old haunts, Monte Carlo.
The Mallorcan world number one has been off the Tour since injuring himself at the Australian Open but looks to have recovered just in time for the European claycourt swing he has dominated throughout his career.
No where more so than Monte Carlo where last year he became the first player to win the same ATP tournament 10 times.
Twelve months ago he went on to win a 10th Barcelona title and then completed La Decima at Roland Garros.
The 31-year-old world number one begins his clay court title-hunting season with few matches in the legs this year though, having taken an extended rest after suffering a hip injury in Melbourne against Croatia’s Marin Cilic who will be seeded two at the Monte Carlo Country Club overlooking the ocean.
Any doubts about Nadal’s physical condition were cast aside, however, when he won both his matches for Spain in last weekend’s Davis Cup quarter-final against Germany.
His display against world number four Alexander Zverev was particularly impressive, winning 6-1, 6-4, 6-4.
“I feel that I’m playing well. I had some good days of practice here, playing some good sets,” Nadal said.
“That helps me. I love this event. I always feel comfortable here. I’m enjoying being here in Monte Carlo in an event that always brings me to the best feelings possible.
“It’s hopefully going to be my first event of the year that I can finish. And I’m excited about that.”
Nadal will be chiefly concerned with arriving in Paris in tip-top shape but also in the back of his mind is the fact that his number one ranking is hanging by a thread.
Unless Nadal wins an 11th Monte Carlo title Roger Federer, who is skipping the claycourt season as he did last year, will return to the top spot without hitting a ball.
Chahal registers best ODI bowling figures by a spinner Down Under
Mumbai :Indian leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal on Friday recorded the best bowling figures by a spinner in an ODI clash in Australia, during the series-decider against the Aussies in Melbourne.
Chahal picked six wickets while conceding just 42 runs at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), registering a dominant performance against the hosts, in a crucial clash. He also became the first spinner to pick six wickets in an ODI in Australia.
The bowler’s excellent performance certainly played a key role in India restricting Australia to a total of just 230.
The 28-year-old cricketer further equalled the best-ever ODI figures registered by any bowler in an ODI clash in Australia, alongside former Indian fast-bowler Ajit Agarkar.
Agarkar had accumulated the same tally as recorded by Chahal, against the hosts at the same venue, back in 2004.
Australian paceman Mitchell Starc enjoys a bowling tally, which trails the figures registered by the duo by a single run, having picked six wickets for 43 runs against India at the MCG, back in 2015.
English fast-bowler Chris Woakes is the fourth name on the list, after accumulating figures of 6/45 against Australia in Brisbane, 2011.
Phogat becomes first Indian nominated for Laureus Awards
Mumbai: Ace Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat has become the first Indian to receive a nomination in the prestigious Laureus World Sports Awards to be held in Monica on 18 February.
The 24-year-old Indian, who made a sensational comeback after battling a long injury lay-off to win a gold medal at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and Jakarta Asian Games in 2018, has been nominated for the Laureus World Comeback of the Year.
The Haryana wrestler, who was stretchered off after dislocating her knee during the quarterfinals of 50kg freestyle event at the 2016 Olympic Games, has been nominated alongside US Tour Championship winner Tiger Woods, who won his first tournament in five years.
Also nominated are four inspirational Winter Olympic athletes; Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu, Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris, US ski racing legend Lindsey Vonn and Dutch Paralympic champion Bibian Mentel-Spee.
The last time an Indian sporting feat made its way to the Laureus World Sports Awards was in 2004 when the Indian cricket team and Pakistan cricket team shared the Laureus Sport for Good Award for playing an International match despite political tensions between the two countries.
Most recently, Magic Bus from India won the Laureus Sport for Good award in 2014. However, Vinesh makes history as the first Indian athlete to be nominated in one of the seven main categories at the Laureus World Sports Awards.
All foreign stars will play PSL ties in Pakistan, says Mani
LAHORE: All star cricketers will come to Pakistan to play in the eight matches of the fourth Pakistan Super League (PSL) scheduled for Karachi and Lahore, chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Ehsan Mani said.
The PSL matches will be staged from Feb 14 to March 17 at three venues — Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi — in the United Arab Emirates before the remaining fixtures move to Pakistan with Karachi staging five games, including the final, and Lahore three.
Talking to media on sidelines of a friendly cricket match between the Sports Journalists Association of Lahore (SJAL) and the UK-based Pakistani journalists at the Gaddafi Stadium, Mani said a good number of star cricketers had signed up in the six PSL franchises.
However, because of security concerns, prominent overseas players have been reluctant to travel to Pakistan. But with the passage of time, the number of prominent cricketers willing to visit Pakistan has risen. In the recent development the ex-South Africa captain A.B. de Villiers has already pledged to play two matches of Lahore Qalandars in Lahore on March 9 and 10.
To a query, Mani said the talks with Cricket Australia are still on to convince them to send their national side to Pakistan for two games of the five-match One-day International series in the UAE in March despite reports of Australia’s expressing their reluctance regarding playing here.
The PCB chief declared that he has persuaded CA to send a security delegation to assess the current situation in Pakistan before taking a final decision, which is expected to be taken before the PSL begins in the second week of February.
Mani further said that talks were on with the cricket boards of South Africa and England to send different age-group teams to Pakistan.