Purple haze: Maria Sharapova stretches for a shot during her 6-2, 7-6 (7-5) win over Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic at the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo on Wednesday. | AP Sharapova, making her seventh appearance here with titles in 2005 and 2009, rolled out to a 3-0 lead in the second set, but Safarova bounced back and broke the Russian former world No. 1 at triple breakpoint in the fifth game.The pair played a see-saw battle, tying it twice at 4-4 and 5-5, and Safarova broke Sharapova again in the 11th game before her serve deserted her in the next game to force the extras.“After winning the first set, and going up 3-0 in the second, I think I became a little frustrated. I thought I had the momentum,” said Sharapova, adding that she struggled against the lefty’s serve.“The spin comes from a different direction (than right-handers), and it takes a little longer to get used to. When her serve is on, it can become quite tricky,” she said.Sharapova took a 3-0 lead in the tiebreak, but Safarova rallied to tie it at 4-4. The Russian pulled ahead and served out the match with an ace on the final point to finish in 1 hour, 43 minutes. Sharapova will next face Australian No. 8 seed Samantha Stosur, a 6-4, 7-5 winner over Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova in another third-round match.Asked her prospects on facing Stosur in the quarterfinals on Thursday, Sharapova said, “I have a good record against her. But she is certainly a solid player; uses a lot of spin. It will be important to keep improving and play at a higher level against her.”Stosur, ranked ninth in the world and making her sixth appearance here, improved to 3-0 for her career against the world 13th-ranked Cibulkova, who played for the fourth time in Tokyo. Stosur broke her opponent three times and saved four out of five break points.Italy’s Sara Errani, the No. 6 seed, took advantage of France’s Marion Bartoli’s errant service game to rally in a 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 win. Ninth-seed Bartoli shot herself down with 12 double faults.“It was a different environment than I’m used to and a faster surface, so it was harder to play my game. I didn’t start well, but from the second set after the first three games, she was more tired and I played a little better,” said Errani.Russian Nadia Petrova, the 17th seed, outlasted Croat Petra Martic 7-6 (7-2), 6-7 (1-7), 6-4 to reach the final eight. World No. 2 Maria Sharapova staved off a strong challenge from Lucie Safarova to beat her Czech opponent in a straight sets 6-2, 7-6 (7-5) victory on Wednesday to reach the quarterfinals of the Pan Pacific Open.The career Gram Slam titleholder dominated the first set, but the world 17th-ranked player dug deep in her energy reserves to force a tiebreaker in the second on a balmy day on center court at Ariake Tennis Forest Park. RELATED PHOTOS GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5
Dean-Andre Thomas netted twice in the first half and Andre McFarlane scored early in the second as Dunbeholden grabbed all three points against Molynes United in the Red Stripe Premier league at the Constant Spring Field yesterday. Molynes equalised twice through two penalties in each half by captain Jeremy Nelson but were not able to build from their win at Waterhouse last Monday, which broke a string of seven straight defeats. Molynes chairman Eurado Cornwall said that the lack of preparation after the Christmas period allowed rustiness to creep into the side, with the team having trained only once since the Monday night game at the Drewsland Stadium. “With this game, I came in with an open mind because of the long holiday, I don’t think the team put in enough work physically for this game,” he told The Gleaner. “From the Waterhouse Game, Saturday was the first time we trained. I think it took a toll on them coming into this game.” He said that the players have no excuses in terms of their preparedness, emphasising that the onus is on them to ensure that they take their jobs as professionals seriously. “I think the team is drained,” he said. “This is what Jamaican football is lacking. When they get a break, they must remember that they are playing professional football. When you are on break, do your homework. Do not wait until you come on training today to put in the work. They had a duty and a responsibility also. So this is what’s showing, the tardiness of your players, they are not disciplined.”Thomas opened the scoring for Dunbeholden in the ninth minute, slotting home pass Leon Taylor after a brilliant pass put him through. After Fakibi Farquharson was fouled in the penalty area, Nelson calmly placed his spot kick past Dunbeholden goalkeeper Giovanni Smith to restore parity in the 25th minute. But the scoreline would remain tied for four minutes before Thomas capitalised on some greater inter play between Nickoy Christian and McFarlane to bury his league leading 12th goal of the season. Perfect start Molynes carved the perfect start to the second half, equalising again in the 48th minute after referee Okelo Hamilton pointed to the spot for the second time when a Molynes player was fouled by Smith. Nelson dispatched his second penalty of the afternoon for the hosts to draw level once more. But Dunbeholden got their winner three minutes later when McFarlane headed home from close range for his fourth goal of the season. Although he was frustrated at the performance, Cornwall said that he has seen a change in the atmosphere of the locker room since hiring Calvert Fitzgerald as head coach, following the resignation of Lijasu Simms on November 28. He says that though yesterday’s loss was an opportunity missed, he hopes that he sees an improvement in their readiness for the next set of fixtures. “I see a lot of imwprovement,” he said. “We lost the changing room [but] the discipline has come back into the team. “Any team in the position that we are in would love a back-to-back victory. It’s just one of those days. We have to reprogramme and come again and prepare for the next game. And I hope that we have enough time in the coming week to put in some work.” firstname.lastname@example.org
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New Delhi: Sourav Ganguly has been on a philanthropic spree ever since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in India. On Saturday, Sourav Ganguly extended a helping hand to ISKCON’s Kolkata centre, enabling them to feed 20,000 people, affected by the coronavirus pandemic everyday. The Kolkata ISKCON was feeding 10,000 people daily before. Wearing all protective gears such as mask and gloves, Sourav Ganguly visited the ISKCON city centre and promised support.”From ISKCON Kolkata, we were cooking food for 10,000 people daily. Our dear Sourav Da has come forward and extended all his support and has donated, which enables us to double our capacity to 20,000 people every day. As we all know that the corona-crisis has created an unprecedented challenges before humanity. One of the very important battles in this hour of crisis is being fought by those who have lost their daily earnings. Under his captaincy, the monks of ISKCON Kolkata are enthused to play this long Test match and fight together the battle against hunger for many families here in Kolkata. I am a great fan of Sourav Ganguly and have watched many of his innings on the cricket ground. But his innings of feeding 10,000 people everyday is the best one. ISKCON expresses its immense gratitude to Sourav Ganguly,” Radharaman Das spokesperson and vice-president of ISKCON, Kolkata centre said.A big thank you to Shri #SouravGanguly ji for donating to support food for 10,000 people daily here in Kolkata. Under his captaincy, the monks of ISKCON are confident to fight the battle of hunger for many families. This is the best innings played by Dada.Thank you pic.twitter.com/7k5AE3vKKF— Radharamn Das (@RadharamnDas) April 4, 2020Ganguly had earlier donated 20,000 kilograms rice at the Belur Math, the headquarters of the Ramkrishna Mission. ISKCON is distributing food to four lakh people daily across the country. Ganguly is going all the way to ensure India and West Bengal fight the coronavirus pandemic that has decimated sporting events and has led to the death of close to 22,000 people in the world. After offering the Eden Gardens as a temporary quarantine facility to the Mamata Banerjee government, Ganguly has now gone one step ahead and pledged to donate Rs 50 lakh of rice to the needy people in order to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.Sourav Ganguly has been in philanthropy ever since the coronavirus pandemic. (Image credit: Twitter)In a statement released by Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), it said, “#Sourav to provide Free Rice to the Needy. Ganguly, along with Lal Baba Rice has come forward to provide free rice worth Rs 50 lacs to the needy people who have been put in government schools for safety and security. Hope this initiative of Sourav Ganguly would encourage other citizens of the state to take up similar initiatives to serve the people of our state.” Cricket Association of Bengal President Avishek Dalmiya has also lent support to the needy people as he donated Rs 5 lakh to the Government’s Emergency Relief Fund.Coronavirus In West BengalSpeaking to PTI, Ganguly said the BCCI was ready to help both the state and central governments in order to combat the coronavirus pandemic as they offered the Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal to set up temporary quarantine facilities in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. “If government asks us, we will certainly hand over the facility. Anything that is need of the hour, we will do it. There is absolutely no problem. I think this is the best option at the current moment. Certain things are beyond anybody’s control. Whatever directives that the government and ministry of health gives us, we have to follow. That’s the case all over the world,” Ganguly said.Also Read | Sourav Ganguly Offers Eden Gardens To West Bengal Govt For Temporary Coronavirus Quarantine FacilitiesThe West Bengal government announced that Kolkata and all other municipal and district towns under a complete lockdown from 5 PM on Monday till midnight of March 31 and it was given under the West Bengal Epidemic Disease COVID-19 regulations, 2020, framed according to relevant sections of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897. However, the lockdown of India has been extended to April 14. For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.
ROYAL Challengers Bangalore (RCB) stopped the rot with a 14-run Indian Premier League (IPL) victory over Mumbai Indians despite an excellent all-round display from Hardik Pandya.RCB had lost two consecutive matches to give themselves plenty of work to do in their quest for a top-four finish, but they claimed only a third win of the tournament at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium yesterday.Manan Vohra top-scored with 45 on a dry pitch, but the RCB lost their way, Brendon McCullum (37) and captain Virat Kohli (32) failing to go on after getting starts, posting 167-7.Pandya took 3-28 and made 50 off only 42 balls, but the RCB bowlers were much improved and raised their game in the field to claim an important victory.Defeat for defending champions Mumbai leaves them facing a major battle to reach the semi-finals.Vohra made his presence felt in only his third appearance of the tournament, smashing four sixes at the top of the order.JP Duminy suffered at the hands of the opener, who hit two sixes and two fours in four balls during a fourth over which went for 22.Pandya made a nightmare start, conceding seven runs off one ball when McCullum (37 from 25) hit a delivery above waist height over the ropes before taking full advantage of the free hit with a ramp for six to take 13 off one legal ball.Pandya was in no mood to feel sorry for himself, running former New Zealand captain McCullum out with a superb direct hit to leave RCB 121-3 in the 15th over.The India star also saw the back of Mandeep Singh and Washington Sundar as the RCB lost five wickets for 22 runs in the space of four overs.Colin de Grandhomme flexed his muscles in the final over with what proved to be a key contribution, emulating McCullum by hitting a full toss from fellow Black Cap Mitchell McClenaghan for six off what would have been the last ball and doing the same again with the free hit.de Grandhomme had already smashed the fourth delivery off the final over – which cost 24 – for a maximum to finish unbeaten on 23 off 10.The RCB bowlers have come in for some flak, but delivered under pressure on this occasion.Mumbai slumped to 84-5 when Umesh Yadav produced a great piece of fielding to send Duminy on his way and also finished with figures of 2-29.Tim Southee (2-25) and Mohammed Siraj (2-28) also made an impact, the former dismissing Pandya in the final over to all but end the contest. (Yahoo Sport)
A round-up of the latest transfer speculation – and some actual news – involving the area’s clubs. This page is updated throughout the day.• QPR must be patient with transfers, Hasselbaink tells West London Sport• Fulham linked with Man Utd’s Wilson• United expected to sign Brentford youngster• Loan move for Chelsea’s KiwomyaAdChoices广告 Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
Les Ferdinand told West London Sport on Thursday morning that QPR have no plans to replace Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink as manager and are not considering Tony Pulis as a possible successor.After West Bromwich Albion boss Pulis was seen sitting alongside Ferdinand during Rangers’ 6-0 hammering by Newcastle this week, The Times suggested the former Stoke manager could end up at Loftus Road if he leaves Albion.AdChoices广告But QPR director of football Ferdinand has insisted that the club have no intention of changing manager.Speculation that Pulis could take over at Rangers brought a mixed reaction from fans on Twitter.Meanwhile, swelling around James Perch’s injured knee means Rangers have had to wait for news on the extent of the problem.Perch was stretchered off against NewcastleAntonio Conte has confirmed that David Luiz will start for Chelsea against Liverpool on Friday – and is adamant he has full confidence in the Brazilian.Conte has also responded to ongoing speculation about Cesc Fabregas’ future by insisting the midfielder is in his plans and the club are not planning to sell him.And the Blues boss has indicated that recent signing Marcos Alonso will make his debut in Tuesday’s EFL Cup tie at Leicester.AC Milan are among the clubs lined with FabregasFulham winger Floyd Ayite has been ruled out for the next few games with an ankle injury.Brentford boss Dean Smith has revealed that a tactical change was behind their second-half dominance in the 1-1 draw at Aston Villa.And in cricket, Middlesex will go into next week’s County Championship title showdown with Yorkshire nine points clear at the top after a draw with Lancashire at Old Trafford. Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
Chelsea are weighing up a summer bid to sign Everton duo Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley in a deal that could be worth up to £100m, the Telegraph say.It comes after former Chelsea striker Lukaku rejected a new contract at Goodison Park, where England international Barkley will have just 12 months remaining on his contract this summer if he does not sign a new deal.AdChoices广告Chelsea had offers for Lukaku rejected by Everton last summer and have inevitably been tipped to move for him again, while Barkley continues to be linked with a potential move to Stamford Bridge.The Daily Mirror say Chelsea are confident of re-signing Lukaku, while The Sun say the Blues and Manchester United are preparing bids for him and that there is also interest from Juventus and Real Madrid. Galatasaray linked with Abraham Embed from Getty Images Chelsea have made made an offer for French forward Kingsley Coman, French television has reported.Telefoot say Chelsea and Manchester City have made offers for the 20-year-old, who is currently on loan at Bayern Munich from Juventus.Bayern reportedly have the option of signing him at the end of the season and reports have indicated that the German club plan to do so.However, it is claimed that the two Premier League clubs are also looking to sign Coman, who can play on the wing or through the middle. Wolves’ Costa linked Embed from Getty Images Bournemouth have again been tipped to move for Chelsea’s Nathan Ake in the summer.The Daily Mail say the Cherries are planning to make an offer for the 22-year-old, who impressed while on loan with them during the first half of the season.He was recalled by the Blues but has not featured in a Premier League match since and there continues to be speculation that he could be sold at the end of the campaign. Chelsea make offer for Coman – Telefoot Embed from Getty Images Some of the recent transfer speculation involving Chelsea. Embed from Getty Images Chelsea are hoping to tie up deals to sign youngsters Billy Gilmour and Daishawn Redan, the Mirror have reported.Glasgow Rangers’ 15-year-old midfielder Gilmour has been linked with Chelsea in recent months, while 16-year-old striker Redan (pictured in Dutch orange above) is a Netherlands Under-17 international currently with Ajax.A number of other top European clubs, including Manchester City and Manchester United, are said to be keen on both players. The Sun have picked up on reports in Turkey that Chelsea youngster Tammy Abraham is wanted by Galatasaray.The 19-year-old striker has impressed this season while on loan at Championship side Bristol City.And it is claimed that Galatasaray coach Igor Tudor – a former Juventus team-mate of Antonio Conte – could persuade the Blues boss to loan him Abraham next season.The Sun say Chelsea would want assurances that Abraham’s development would be improved were he to make the move. Cherries plan Ake bid, Mail say Embed from Getty Images Chelsea want Wolves winger Helder Costa, The Sun claimed earlier this week.The newspaper claim Arsenal also want the 23-year-old, who is apparently rated at £20m.Blues boss Antonio Conte is said to have been impressed by Costa when his side played Wolves in the FA Cup.The Sun reckon scouts from both Premier League clubs have been tracking him. Blues tipped to move for young duo Embed from Getty Images Ads by Revcontent Trending Articles Local Area Millionaire Reveals How to Get Rich with Bitcoin, Without Buying Bitcoin x This Video Will Soon Be Banned. Watch Before It’s Deleted. x Easy Way to Generate Extra Income x Last Nights Episode Left Viewers Speechless! x These Twins Were Named ‘Most Beautiful in the World,’ Wait Till You See Them Now x This 70s Star Was Every Guy’s Dream Girl. Try Not to Gasp when You See Her Now! x Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
We’ll have much more to preview Kentucky-Louisville – including a story about how the Wildcats will handle their first true road game and four key matchups for Saturday’s game – but here are three quick takeaways from UK’s interview session before Friday’s practice: 1. Cats preparing for U of L pressure. Kentucky has taken good care of the ball, averaging just 11.3 turnovers per game and a plus-5.7 turnover margin so far, but the Cardinals’ press will provide a serious test. Louisville ranks fourth nationally in steals. “They’re going to try to put pressure on us and we have to be strong with the ball to be successful,” said point guard Andrew Harrison, who had seven assists and just two turnovers in a Sweet 16 win over the Cards last season. “Dominique Hawkins and EJ (Floreal), they’re both as great of athletes as anybody can have, so they really helped us in practice putting pressure on the ball and stuff like that. They really helped us.” That was likely a part of the prep for Saturday’s game, too. “Two good, strong athletes,” Calipari said, “who get up on you and body you.” Kentucky-Louisville basketball betting line, expert and fan picksThat’s important, as the Cats’ coach said the No. 1 thing he’s worked on with his team since returning from a holiday break is dealing with physical play. “To play through bumps and all those kinds of things,” Calipari said. “To rebound in traffic with bodies on your – nudging you. To be strong with the ball, get open even if there’s bodies on you. Teams are gonna come after us and they’re gonna be physical and they’re gonna – teams don’t surrender.” 2. Undefeated chatter. Buzz is building that if Kentucky can get past Louisville on Saturday, the Cats have a realistic chance of going undefeated. “It’s kind of hard not to listen to it or hear it,” junior Willie Cauley-Stein said, “but it’s just whether you take it in or not. I’ve been in this little game for a long time, it feels like, and the college game is so different. One game you can be really good and another game you can be really bad. It’s just kind of the draw of the night or the draw of the day, but we’ve been playing pretty consistent. … It’s too early to tell. We’re in December still. We got a lot of games ahead of us, and that’s not one thing that we’re thinking of.” Kentucky coach John Calipari previews the top-ranked Wildcats’ game at fourth-ranked U of LCalipari’s thoughts on building talk about a perfect season: “When you have two groups, it’s just different. When you’re trying to play against yourselves, we don’t worry about anybody else. And we know how good teams are. I mean, we’re not the only good basketball team out there, and sometimes you forget we’re not the only team with good players. You got a bunch of other teams, including Louisville, that (have) terrific players. So, let’s focus on us. That’s how I’ve always coached.” 3. Home for the holidays. The Cats got three days off after their 39-point rout of UCLA to visit family for the holidays, which they and their coach believe was important after playing a dozen games in less than six weeks to start the season. “It was good to get away, step away from the game a little bit,” Cauley-Stein said, “and go home and see people you haven’t seen in a while, do stuff in your own community, and then come back here and go back to work on the grind.” Calipari has always given his teams time off around the holidays. “I’m trying to think back: Did I start it because of me or was I really concerned about the players?” Calipari joked. “Probably myself, with my family, and then we just got into the habit of always doing it.”Louisville basketball tries to tune out hype before UK rivalry gamePlayers were back on campus and practicing by Christmas Day, but they stayed in the holiday spirit by hosting an event for local families that night. Cauley-Stein dressed up as Santa. “It was cool just to help out in the community,” he said. “Kind of like taking stuff off us. Doing stuff in the community is really good for us, because we can do so much stuff just (by) having the name on our jersey. It’s just real powerful.” * For instant updates on the Wildcats, follow me on Twitter @KyleTucker_CJ. Email me at email@example.com.
Unbelievable, but a fact. The biggest star in the history of the Spanish giants Barcelona Lionel Messi was named among the reasons for the fiasco of the team in the Champions League and the record loss for the club with 2: 8 from Bayern (Munich).This was revealed by the executive director of the Catalans Eric Abidal after a meeting of the management, at which all sorts of changes were discussed, including a change of coach, elections for a new president and a purge among the players.Winbet – one click away! (18+)Abidal whispered after the meeting that what has been said about Messi in recent years, that he approves the choice of coach, chooses who to play and who does not, influences the transfer policy and keeps his friends in the team from an outgoing transfer, is actually true in the team is ripe for a revolt against the captain, whose actions in recent years have been discussed as the cause of the crisis.Just the day before, Messi was listed as one of the four unsaleable, along with goalkeeper Ter Stegen, defender Clement Langle and midfielder Frankie de Jong, but his advanced age (33 years) and the fact that he commands at all levels of the club, apparently came in more to his colleagues.