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Wimbledon 2018: Clinical Novak Djokovic keen to take Centre stage

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Being scheduled to play last on Court One on ‘Manic Monday’ is something Novak Djokovic is getting rather used to – and also getting rather fed up with.
A year after his 2017 fourth round match was postponed by 24 hours into what is a designated ‘rest day’ for the men, he narrowly avoided suffering the same fate again.
With South African Kevin Anderson taking almost 3-1/2 hours to tame French showman Gael Monfils in a four-set thriller in the previous match, Djokovic was left with about two hours of daylight to complete his match against Karen Khachanov if wanted to avoid coming back on Tuesday again.
It was not until he walked off court after booking his place in the quarter-finals that he heard how close he had come to being bumped off Monday’s schedule. “Post-match I heard that the organisers were planning to cancel my match if Monfils and Anderson went to a fifth. Luckily for me it didn’t happen,” Djokovic said after he romped to a 6-4 6-2 6-2 win to reach the last eight for a 10th time.
“The last couple of games I couldn’t really see the ball very clearly, it was getting very dark… so I had to hang in there.” Djokovic was kept waiting in the wings till after 7pm local time before he could start swinging his racket against the Russian but there was no stopping the Serb once he got on court.
Although he was broken twice in the opening set, Djokovic was rattling through the games at supersonic speed. With the light fading fast, the 12th seed timed the conclusion to perfection, sealing victory at 8.50pm on his third match point after Khachanov dumped a tired backhand into the net to end a 20-stroke rally. But it was the organisers’ decision not to move his match to Centre Court, where the three scheduled singles matches had already finished long before Anderson and Monfils came off court, that irked Djokovic.
A year ago, officials refused to move Djokovic’s match with Adrian Mannarino on to Centre even though the court sat empty, while on Monday they opted to give priority to a mixed doubles encounter once Roger Federer, Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal had all swiftly booked their quarter-final berths. Asked if he had expected to be switched to Centre, where matches can go on till 11pm underfloodlights, the three-times Wimbledon champion said: “Of course, it’s always an option.
“It’s what I wished for. Like last year, I received the information that they can’t reschedule my match on the other court because of the tickets that are presold. I guess there are other factors that play in.” Being made to play his fourth round and quarter-final matches on successive days cost Djokovic dear last July as he not only ended up retiring hurt from in his last-eight contest but also had to call time on his 2017 season.


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Dhoni could be ‘exposed’ by Yuvraj’s dad after World Cup

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Mumbai: Father of recently retired former Indian all-rounder Yuvraj Singh, Yograj has struck again, and all the signs point toward former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

While the cricketer is busy preparing for India’s next clash against Pakistan on Sunday after rain played spoilsport on the much-hyped India-New Zealand clash, a recent video of Yograj has surfaced where he speaks about an ‘un-named’ player who is responsible for the ‘dirty politics’ in the Indian cricket team.

Yograj further goes on to state that this player is the reason that many players like Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, VVS Laxman, and his own son Yuvraj Singh were not included in the Indian team at crucial points in time.

 

While Yograj didn’t reveal much about the player he talks about, he did mention that he’d make the complete revelations after the currently ongoing 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup. Based on earlier allegations by Yograj, who was also a former pace bowler, towards then Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, It seems pretty evident that he is speaking of ‘Captain Cool’.

“I don’t want to take his name but he has been playing these dirty politics from the last 15 years. He has made lives difficult for Indian cricketers. I will make this revelation after the World Cup gets over. He will remember this for life that someone said something about him,” said Yograj.

“I don’t want to speak about him at this point in time because I don’t want the team to get affected during the World Cup,” he added.

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FIFA Rankings: India unmoved at 101

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London: The Indian national team remain unmoved in the June 2019 edition of the FIFA Rankings released.

Following India’s exit from the 2019 AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Asian Cup, India have had a change in coach with Igor Stimac replacing Stephen Constantine.

Under Stimac, India recently participated in the King’s Cup 2019 in Thailand where a 3-1 defeat against Curacao (79) was backed by a 1-0 win over hosts Thailand (116) in the third-place play-off.

 

GFX India FIFA Rankings June 2019

The Blue Tigers are set to face Tajikistan (120), DPR Korea (122) and Syria (85) in the upcoming Intercontinental Cup 2019 next. India enter the tournament as defending champions.

Meanwhile, in the global standings, Belgium continue to lead at the top having bettered their advantage over second-placed France who also stay put in their position, the same as Brazil and England at third and fourth spots respectively.

2019 UEFA Nations League champions Portugal have displaced Croatia to stand fifth while Spain (7) has gained two places. Germany (11 – tied with Argentina), Italy and Netherlands (both at 14) have also moved two places up.

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Coutinho brace helps Brazil forget Neymar in winning Copa start

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Sao Paulo: A brace from Philippe Coutinho handed hosts Brazil a winning start to the Copa America in a 3-0 victory over Bolivia as the absence of superstar Neymar was quickly forgotten.

Barcelona’s Coutinho scored from the penalty spot early in the second half and added a close-range header three minutes later.

Substitute Everton netted a sensational third five minutes from time to clinch a Group A victory for coach Tite’s tournament favorites in Sao Paul.

 

The build-up to the competition had been dominated by Neymar’s woes, firstly when he was accused of rape by a Brazilian model, and then when he damaged ankle ligaments in a friendly last week, forcing him out of the Copa.

If Brazil’s first-half performance was anything to go by, the Paris Saint-Germain star was sorely missed, but Coutinho’s brace at least silenced the jeers that met the team at half-time.

“Whistles are part of the game, the fans want us to win and play well, so that’s why they jeer,” said the match-winner, whose goals papered over the cracks of an at times disjointed performance.

“We always want their support but we’re focused on the objective, which is the match,” Coutinho told Brazil’s SportTV.

“Whistles or cheers, the important thing is to stay focused and get the win.” Brazil made a bright start and predictably dominated the early possession and chances
But surprisingly their greatest threat came from set-pieces with Coutinho’s corner delivery causing panic in the Bolivian backline.

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