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    Sports - MAY

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    Abhishek

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    Re: Sports - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Fri May 06, 2011 6:35 pm

    Saina advances

    India's Saina Nehwal got the better of Jiayuan Chen of Singapore 21-16, 21-12 to enter the second round of the women's singles in the Malaysia Open Grand Prix Gold at Alor Setar on Wednesday.
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    Re: Sports - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Fri May 06, 2011 6:36 pm

    Faheem memorial snooker from today

    The second edition of the S.A. Faheem memorial invitation snooker tournament will be held from May 5 to 12 at Crucible (T. Nagar) under the auspices of TNBSA.

    The round-robin-cum-knockout competition will have 16 players divided into groups of four. The top eight cueists of Tamil Nadu, including State champion J. Varun Kumar and Rafath Habib, former Asian Games gold medallist, will take part.

    The tournament, first held in 2007, will also see the participation of eight invitees including former National champion Sidharth Rao and junior State champion Peter Paul.

    The tournament will have round-robin and quarterfinal matches of best-of-seven frames and a best-of-nine frames semifinals and final.

    The The competition is being held in the memory of former State junior champion S.A. Faheem who died in 2006.
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    Re: Sports - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Fri May 06, 2011 6:36 pm

    Indian team for Asian Cup

    The Indian Boxing Federation (IBF) has fielded a strong six-member team for the first women's Asian Cup to be held in Haikou, China, from May 5-9. Around 40 elite boxers from 12 countries are expected to participate in the tournament.
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    Re: Sports - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Fri May 06, 2011 6:37 pm

    Narain sets sights on Turkish GP

    After successfully completing the race at the Chinese Grand Prix, Hipania's Indian driver Narain Karthikeyan has now set his sight on the upcoming Turkish GP and said the Spanish team will look to better its record at the Istanbul Park Circuit this weekend.

    Hispania cars, which missed all the pre-season tests and failed to qualify for the season opening Australian GP, completed the 56-lap race at the Shanghai Circuit last month without any technical issues with Karthikeyan finishing 23rd, while his Italian teammate Vitantonio Liuzzi crossed the chequered flag a spot ahead of the Indian.

    Hispania had earlier failed to finish the race in Malaysia due to reliability issues and India's only F-1 driver said the team is heading in the right direction after experiencing disappointments in the season's first few races. “I hope to continue from where I left off in Shanghai by finishing the race, gathering valuable data and getting closer to optimising the potential of the F111 (Hispania's new car), which I know has a lot more to give.

    “We are moving in a good direction ever since our first race in Malaysia, so I am sure that with the upgrades due on the car for Turkey, we will take another step forward towards challenging the teams who are just in front of us,” said Narain ahead of the race.

    The Coimbatore-based driver said with new aerodynamic upgrades in the offing, they hope to find a good balance on the challenging medium-to-high-downforce Istanbul track.

    “We hope with the new aerodynamic upgrades on the car, we will be able to find a good balance on the car. The circuit has a great variation of corners and stringing together a perfect lap will be a real challenge,” Narain said.“The stand out corner is obviously Turn Eight, which requires a great amount of precision from both car and driver in order to get it right,” he added.
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    Re: Sports - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Sat May 07, 2011 12:24 am

    CSA to conduct external audit

    Cricket South Africa (CSA) will conduct an external independent probe into funds received from the Indian Premier League (IPL) after the series was played in South Africa following security concerns in India two years ago.

    The CSA decision came after reinstated CSA President Mtutuzeli Nyoka and chief executive Gerald Majola smoked the peace pipe on Wednesday.

    The two had been at loggerheads over the alleged undeclared payments of huge bonuses to Majola and other CSA management and staff. At one stage, Nyoka publicly accused Majola of having lied to him about the IPL bonuses. Nyoka called for an external inquiry into the bonuses, but CSA held an internal one, which cleared Majola.

    Nyoka was removed from his position in February after a majority vote of provincial cricket affiliate bosses, but took the dismissal to court, challenging it as unfair. CSA initially said it would appeal the court decision last month that Nyoka should be reinstated, but after an extraordinary meeting of the CSA Board of Directors, the board said Nyoka would take up his position again and the external inquiry he had requested would indeed take place.
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    Re: Sports - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Sat May 07, 2011 12:24 am

    Goerges beats Wozniacki again; Nadal and Federer advance

    Julia Goerges defeated World No.1 Caroline Wozniacki for the second time in little more than a week, sending the women's top seed out of the ATP-WTA Madrid Masters with a 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 in the third round on Thursday.

    On the men's side, top seed Rafael Nadal advanced without having to step on court for a much-anticipated third round match against Juan Martin del Potro as the Argentine withdrew with a hip injury, and No. 2 Novak Djokovic had passage almost as easy, beating Guillermo Garcia Lopez 6-1, 6-2.

    With this win, Djokovic took his 2011 record to 29-0, equalling Ivan Lendl's mark set in 1986.

    The overall record for a winning start to a season is 42 matches, set by John McEnroe in 1984, with Bjorn Borg, who had 33 straight wins in 1980, in second spot.

    Less than 24 hours after surviving a second-round scare against Feliciano Lopez, third seed Roger Federer also moved into the last eight with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Xavier Malisse. He had beaten Lopez 7-6(13), 6-7(1), 7-6(7) in his opener at Madrid.

    The unseeded del Potro had been bothered by the problem since winning an Estoril semifinal last weekend.

    The 2009 US Open champion is making a recovery this season after missing more than eight months of play in 2010 after wrist surgery.

    “I have experience with injuries, and I decided not to play,” del Potro said as he prepared to fly home to Buenos Aires for medical checks.

    The Argentine will not play the Rome Masters starting on Sunday and could be in doubt for Roland Garros starting on May 22.

    “The pain was very strong,” said the Argentine.

    The 27th-ranked Goerges had stunned Wozniacki 11 days ago to win the title in Stuttgart, and produced another winning performance to send the Dane packing.

    Wozniacki is now into her 29th week as No.1 but will need to lift her game next week in Rome, and in time for Roland Garros, to justify her ranking the validity of which has increasingly been questioned. The Dane has reached the final at five of eight events and owns three titles this season, the most on the WTA.

    Goerges, only the second German to win Stuttgart, is making a solid Madrid debut. She won in just over two hours despite needing treatment on a foot in the final set.

    Goerges broke Wozniacki for 5-3 in the closing stages and served out the match on the first of three match points.

    “I'm quite proud of the last three weeks, I was able to play more aggressively today. I didn't give her any rhythm,” said Goerges. “I've been working hard on my fitness over the last 18 months and I think it's starting to show results.”

    Sania-Vesnina bow out

    Sania Mirza and Elena Vesnina fell to second-seeded Kveta Peschke of Czech Republic and Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia in the doubles quarterfinals on Thursday.

    The unseeded Indo-Russian pair lost 5-7, 5-7 after battling for one hour and 40 minutes.

    Sania and Elena had their chances but could not cash in on the breakpoint opportunities, squandering four chances in the first set and five in the second.

    Sania and Vesnina had registered a 6-3, 7-5 win over Nadia Petrova and Anastasia Rodionova in the second round.
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    Re: Sports - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Sat May 07, 2011 12:25 am

    Garvit steers India into World Group

    Garvit Batra won the decisive second singles 6-2, 6-4 against the Thai No.1 Kittinut Chittpornsan as India qualified for the World Group in style with a 3-0 victory over the sixth-seeded Thailand in the quarterfinals of the Asia-Oceania World Junior under-14 tennis tournament at the Sarawak Centre, Kuching, Malaysia, on Thursday.

    Though Garvit missed four matchpoints, he had the tenacity to scotch Chittpornsan's hopes in an energy sapping contest that spanned two hours.

    Sahil Deshmukh had earlier recovered from a sedate start to record a memorable 1-6, 6-0, 6-0 victory over Thanapol Chaingam in the first singles. The Indian boys also swept the doubles without much fuss.

    India will play the top-seeded Korea in the semifinals on Friday.

    Japan and China were the other two teams to make the semifinals and thus entered the world group competition to be staged in Prostejov, Czech Republic, in August.
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    Re: Sports - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Sat May 07, 2011 12:28 am

    India lets Korea post win

    India squandered a 2-0 lead and succumbed to Korea 3-2 in the Azlan Shah hockey tournament here on Thursday. India and Korea were the joint winners in the last edition.

    It was anguishing to witness the new-look squad, led by Arjun Halappa, blown away like leaves in a gale against the pace, precision and pugnacity of the Koreans. The Indian team's inadequacy in defence was embarrassingly exposed.

    True, there were phases when the Indians held dominance early in the first half — Gurbaj, Chandi and Halappa held the team together — but there was an utter lack of strategy to guard the lead, leave alone any effort to enlarge it.

    A penalty corner by Diwakar Ram, after Mahadik failed to stop the ball well, evoked spontaneous cheer as did the brilliant finish by Danish Mujtaba for the second goal late in the first half. But the Koreans were demanding and delivered a series of quick sallies.

    They even hinted at one stage of walking out, protesting against a decision from the Britain's umpire Marin Badden when trailing 1-2.

    It resulted from a penalty corner hit by Jang Jong. The team members argued, rather unsuccessfully, and resorted to an ugly demonstration in front of the crowd arguing that the ball had clipped through the netting. Unable to persuade the umpire to change the ruling there was a threat of a walk-out (going by the gestures of the players) until the table officials and the TD intervened.

    The Koreans roared back to level at 2-2 when Yoon Suk Hoon scored after the break. Pressing hard, Korea then snatched victory in the final minutes from a penalty stroke which surfaced after Vikram Pillay obstructed Yoon Sung Hoon. Jang Jong made no mistake with the stroke, a blinding push that gave Adrian no chance.

    But it must be admitted that Adrian made a few good saves in the match, especially in the dying moments when the defence was reduced to smithereens by a Korean attack taking advantage of the injury to Mahadik. The contrast could not be more telling than in the penalty corners — six for Korea against one for India.

    Notwithstanding the spells of ennui, forged by the inconsistent mid-field and poor capitalisation of penalty corners, Pakistan earned more than a flattering victory over the Kiwis. Scoring within three minutes through Rizwan (Sr), Pakistan struggled midway through against the New Zealanders who forced six penalty corners of which one resulted in a goal by Andrew Hayward.
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    Re: Sports - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Sat May 07, 2011 12:29 am

    [center]Manchester United cruises into final

    Manchester United has a chance to avenge its comprehensive loss to Barcelona in the 2009 Champions League final after a makeshift side crushed Schalke on Wednesday to record the biggest semifinal win in 22 years.

    Anderson's rare double after goals from Antonio Valencia and Darron Gibson clinched a 4-1 victory to send United through to its third final in four years, 6-1 on aggregate.

    “Barcelona play extremely good football, it's going to be difficult,” said United keeper Edwin van der Sar, likely to play his last game in the final before retiring.

    “We have to make sure we learned our lesson (from two years ago), be better prepared and deal with them in a different way. Hopefully it'll be a better outcome,” he said.

    The United side for the May 28 final at Wembley is unlikely to resemble the side that Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola watched at Old Trafford.

    Key players rested

    Manager Alex Ferguson retained just three players from the side that lost at Arsenal in the Premier League as the leader prepares for Sunday's match against second-place Chelsea.

    The Arsenal setback means it is vital to United's quest for a record 19th English title not to lose to Chelsea or the leader will be toppled by the second-place London club.

    Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand were left out completely, while Ryan Giggs, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra sat on the bench.

    “I didn't sleep last night thinking about it,” Ferguson said of his team selection. “They did me proud.”

    United only had one brief scare when Jose Manuel Jurado scored for Schalke. By then, though, United had already stormed into a 2-goal lead on the night.

    “Wembley here we come,” Rooney wrote on Twitter. “Looking forward to Sunday now. Big result needed.”

    Darron Gibson was among those brought into the United side and he sprayed the ball forward to Valencia with pinpoint precision before the winger clipped the ball past Manuel Neuer in the 26th minute.

    Gibson was on the scoresheet himself five minutes later after a blunder that defied Neuer's current standing as one of Europe's most sought-after goalkeepers. Neuer allowed Gibson's strike from the edge of the penalty area to slip through his gloves into the net.

    Just when United was cruising, though, a sloppy pass from Chris Smalling gave the visitor a lifeline, with Jose Manuel Jurado scoring for Schalke.

    There was a brief delay in the match as attention was averted to the high seating behind the opposite goal where Schalke fans clashed with the United stewards, let off flares and ripped up netting.

    But the situation soon calmed down as United was completely in the ascendancy in one of the easiest matches it has played all season.

    Anderson was first denied by Neuer's fingertip save but he ended the night by taking his United tally to four since arriving in 2007, having only scored twice in 125 appearances before Wednesday.

    Nani darted down the right and cut the ball back to the Brazilian, who resisted Atsuto Uchida's challenge and wriggled into space to net in the 72nd. Again the right flank was the weak point, with Berbatov surging forward and squaring to the feet of Anderson, who tapped into the net.

    It gave United the biggest victory in a European Cup semifinal since AC Milan beat Real Madrid 6-1 over two legs in the 1988-89 season.

    The result: Manchester United 4 (Valencia 26, Gibson 31, Anderson 72 & 76) bt Schalke 04 1 (Jurado 35). Manchester United wins 6-1 on aggregate .
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    Re: Sports - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Sat May 07, 2011 12:29 am

    Man United meets Chelsea in likely title decider

    Manchester United hosts Chelsea on Sunday in a match likely to decide the outcome of the English Premier League title, with the league leader in inconsistent form and the defending champion on a roll.

    United could effectively clinch a record 19th English championship with a victory but manager Alex Ferguson must decide whether to revert to the line-up that lost 1-0 at third-place Arsenal last weekend or trust in the players that reached the Champions League final on Wednesday.

    A team showing eight changes outclassed Schalke 04 4-1 to reach a third Champions League final in four seasons, but Ferguson is still likely to give his first-choice players a chance to show that defeat to Arsenal was an aberration rather than a turning point in the title race.

    Arsenal is at Stoke on Sunday and still has an outside chance of winning the title if United fails to win.

    United is unbeaten at Old Trafford this season and beat Chelsea home and away in the Champions League quarterfinals but the Blues have momentum after a dismal midseason spell that seemed to have ended their hopes of retaining the title.

    The same weekend United lost to Arsenal, Chelsea won a fifth straight Premier League match and could now move ahead of United on goal difference with two games remaining.

    Still, Ferguson can recall the likes of Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic to face Chelsea. Ferguson said that fullback Patrice Evra has recovered from a blow he took as a second-half substitute in Wednesday's win over Schalke, while Rooney will be fit after sitting out the match to rest a tight hamstring.
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    Re: Sports - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Sat May 07, 2011 12:30 am

    Seema Verma loses in quarterfinals


    Except for the newcomer to the senior team, Seema Verma, the rest of the Indian archers were disgraced in the recurve elimination round on the second day of the World Cup (Stage I) archery competition at Porec (Croatia) on Wednesday.

    Seema was the lone Indian to reach the quarterfinals where she lost to Korean second seed Ki Bo Bae 0-6.

    Tarun through

    Among the men, Asian Games silver medallist Tarundeep Rai managed to enter the pre-quarterfinals where he also lost to top seed Korean Oh Jin Hyek 3-7.

    Of the other Indians, National champion Viswash was the worst culprit losing in the first round to unknown Tim Freriks of The Netherlands 0-6. National women's champion Deepika Kumari, ranked fifth, lost 4-6 to Katrina Lipiarska of Poland ranked 32 places below her.

    Commonwealth Games gold medallist Rahul Banerjee lost to 57th-ranked Hugh MacDonald of Canada 2-6 in the second round.

    Gold medallist at Porec in 2006 and 2009, Jayanta Talukdar, despite being in 19th place, fell to 99th-ranked Bulgarian Vencislav Velikov 4-6.

    Eleventh-ranked L. Bombayla Devi was defeated by 22nd-ranked Maja Buskbjerg Jager of Denmark 3-7 in the third round and Rimil Buruily, qualifying in 51st place, lost to 62nd-ranked veteran Alison Williamson of Great Britain, silver medallist at the Delhi Games, 2-6.

    Three records set

    American compound archers set three world records. Men's individual champion Reo Wilde improved on his own World record of 708 set in April with 711 points. The men's team set a new World record with 2116 points (2112 set in April).

    With a total of 2083 points the compound women's team eclipsed the World record set by Italy at the European Grand Prix in Antalya in April (2044).

    Chinna Raju Srither and National Champion Namita Yadav were the best among the Indians.

    Srither took the 36th place with a total of 692 points. Namita was 19th with 675.

    Chittibomma Jignas (687), Isaiah Rajender Sanam (685) and Ritul Chatterjee (679) took the 57th, 60th and 71st berths respectively.

    The Indian team was ranked 12th with a total of 2064. Jhano Hansdah was the second best Indian woman occupying 20th spot with 675. Gagandeep Kaur was 26th with 673 and Bheighyabati Chanu was 55th with 646.

    India ended sixth in the ranking with a total of 2023.

    The Indian mixed pair of Srither and Namita was placed 12th with 1367.
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    Re: Sports - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Sat May 07, 2011 12:31 am

    Saina in quarterfinals

    India's Saina Nehwal registered a comprehensive victory over Ayane Kurihara of Japan to storm into the quarterfinals of the Malaysia Open Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament at Alor Setar on Thursday.

    Top seed Saina, who is the only Indian left in the fray, had an easy outing as she got the better of her Japanese opponent 21-14, 21-17. The Indian girl will now take on Chinese qualifier Wang Lin, who upset another Japanese, seeded sixth Eriko Hirose, 21-11, 21-15.

    Saina had a forgettable last week as she was handed a shock first-round defeat in the India Open Super Series.
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    Re: Sports - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Sat May 07, 2011 12:41 am

    London Olympic organizers to begin test events

    London Olympic organizers begin a series of test events this month for next year's Summer Games, with international athletes invited to get their first experience of many venues.

    The local organizing committee says its 42-event test program begins May 30 with an invitational road race to test the marathon and walk routes, which include a stretch along The Mall in central London.

    A total of 150,000 tickets will be on sale across several events to help test out ticketing technology, although many will be free for the public.

    London 2012 chief executive Paul Deighton says "this is a dress rehearsal for us but the public of course will see the rehearsal not the dress. It will look and feel quite different (to the Olympics)."
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    Re: Sports - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Sat May 07, 2011 12:42 am

    Rupinder Pal hat-trick lifts India to 3-1 victory over Britain

    Rookie drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh fired in a hat-trick as India made amends of their first match loss with a convincing 3-1 victory over Britain in the Azlan Shah hockey tournament here on Friday.

    Young Rupinder, who was included in the squad due to the absence of penalty corner specialist Sandeep Singh, struck in the 10th, 54th and 57th minutes to give depending champions India the upper hand against a strong Britain who had come here with a nearly full-strength side.

    With the win on Friday, India, who had come here without at least half a dozen senior players, bounced back into the tournament in style after going down to South Korea 2-3 in their campaign opener.

    India junior team regular member Rupinder, who had featured in a few internationals with the senior side last year, sent three low drag-flicks to sound the board of the opposition goal.

    India, who dominated the midfield, converted three of the five penalty corners they earned in the match and led 3-0 before Britain pulled one goal back through James Tindall in the 62nd minute.

    Britain, who are fine-tuning their team for next year's Olympic Games at home, had defeated Malaysia 3-1 yesterday.

    After a couple of initial forays into rival territories by both teams, Rupinder opened the scoring for India in the 10th minute with a grounder that surprised Britain goalkeeper James Fair to sound the board.

    At the other end, Indian goalkeeper Bharat Chhetri padded away three penalty corner shots as the defenders rushed out to narrow the angle for the British strikers.

    Just before the breather, Indian striker Roshan Minz broke into the rival circle from the left flank, but found no support from other forwards.

    India increased the lead midway through the second session when Rupinder found the mark with a low push into the goal past the outstretched pads of the custodian in the 55th minute.

    Two minutes later Rupinder completed his hat-trick, this time directing the drag-flick into the right side of the board as the goalkeeper moved to the other corner in anticipation of the shot.

    India then went into the defensive to hold the lead, allowing Britain mid-field space. Britain had a couple of cracks at the Indian citadel.

    Tindall found the target in the 62nd minute off a cross from the right. He also got another chance but shot wide past the bewildered Indian goalkeeper.

    In the earlier match of the day, Asian Games gold medallists Pakistan asserted their strength by scoring thrice in the final 10 minutes to edge past defending champions South Korea 4-2.

    Trailing 1-2 until the 60th minute, Pakistan went all out into the attack to create several openings and succeeded in breaching the Korean defence thrice for their second victory in the tournament.

    Pakistan had defeated New Zealand by a similar margin in the tournament-opener yesterday.

    Hyun Hye-Sung converted two penalty corners in the 13th and 46th minutes for South Korea, while Rehan Butt scored an opportunistic goal for Pakistan in the 21st minute.

    Pakistan's rally began in the 61st minute when penalty corner ace Sohail Abbas scored his first goal of the tournament with a drag flick to restore 2-2 parity.

    Abdul Haseem Khan capitalised on the confusion in the Korean defence when he managed to take a second strike in open play after picking up a long diagonal ball in the 63rd minute to put Pakistan in the lead for the first time in the game.

    Continuing to assert themselves, Pakistan's strikers opened up a couple of more openings in the last two minutes and Waqas Akbar picked up Muhammad Zubair's pass to sound the boards with eight seconds to go for the hooter.
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    Post  Abhishek on Sat May 07, 2011 6:51 pm

    Goerges moves into semifinals

    Julia Goerges booked the first of the semifinal spots in the ATP-WTA Madrid Masters tennis on Friday, defeating Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4, 6-2.

    The No. 27 winner, who is set for a move into the top-25 in the women's ranking on Monday, took just under 90 minutes to clock her ninth straight victory, a run which began when she claimed the Stuttgart title a fortnight ago.

    Goerges, 22, was the first German to lift home honours in Stuttgart since Anke Huber in 1994. Along the way, she accounted for World No.1 Caroline Wozniacki, her third-round victim this week in Madrid as well.

    Goerges saved six break points against Pavlyuchenkova and broke the Russian three times, going through on the first of three match points. She next faces fourth-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus who defeated Czech Lucie Safarova 6-3, 2-6, 6-2.

    Goerges, an Auckland semifinalist in January, improved to 22-9 this season.

    Nadal advances

    Holder Rafael Nadal marched into the semifinals, snuffing out Frenchman Michael Llodra's challenge 6-2, 6-2 in little more than an hour.

    The French Open champion, chasing his third title of the spring on clay, will next face either old rival Roger Federer or Robin Soderling for a place in the final.

    Nadal's victory was his 36th in succession on clay with his last loss coming in the fourth round to Soderling at Roland Garros in 2009.

    The top seed has charged through another clay campaign with titles in April at Monte Carlo and Barcelona so far.

    The World number one did not lose a point on serve until his third game and was never under pressure from Llodra who saved two match points before Nadal secured the victory after 74 minutes without facing a break point.

    Tomaz Bellucci became the first Brazilian to reach the last four of a Masters since three-time Roland Garros champion Gustavo Kuerten in 2003, thanks to a 7-6(2), 6-3 defeat of Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych.

    The results: Men: Quarterfinals: Rafael Nadal bt Michael Llodra 6-2, 6-2; Thomaz Bellucci bt Tomas Berdych 7-6(2), 6-3. Third round: Berdych bt Juan Monaco 7-5, 6-3; Belluci bt Andy Murray 6-4, 6-2; David Ferrer bt Sergiy Stakhovsky 6-3, 7-6(3); Michael Llodra bt Daniel Gimeno-Traver 1-6, 6-4, 7-6(4); Robin Soderling bt Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6(Cool, 7-5.

    Women: Singles: Quarterfinals: Julia Goerges bt Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4, 6-2; Victoria Azarenka bt Lucie Safarova 6-3, 3-6, 6-2; Li Na bt Bethanie Mattek Sands 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 .
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    Re: Sports - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Sat May 07, 2011 6:51 pm

    Korea stops Indian boys' run

    The fine run of the Indian boys came to a stop as top-seeded Korea won 2-1 in the semifianls of the Asia-Oceania World under-14 tennis tournament at the Sarawak Centre, Kuching, Malaysia, on Friday.

    Fifth-seeded India lost both the singles and was trailing by a set in the doubles as well before the Koreans conceded owing to an injury to one of their players.

    Sahil Deshmukh got off to a good start in the first singles as he broke Seong Chan Hong in the first game, but he failed to win another game in the match though he had a few chances.

    In the second singles, Sumit Nagal matched Ku Keon Kang, but at the crunch he tended to wilt, as he got broken in the 10th game of the first set and the 12th game of the second set.

    India will meet fourth-seeded China in the match for third place on the morrow.

    The results (semifinals): Korea bt India 2-1 (Seong Chan Hong bt Sahil Deshmukh 6-1, 6-0; Ku Keon Kang bt Sumit Nagal 6-4, 7-5; Seong Chan Hong and Duck Hee Lee lost to Garvit Batra, Sahil Deshmukh 6-3 (retired)).

    Japan bt China 3-0. — Special Correspondent
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    Post  Abhishek on Sat May 07, 2011 6:53 pm

    Rupinder's hat-trick helps India sink Great Britain

    With a display that was as stunning as it was scintillating, India subdued the tournament favourite, Great Britain, riding on the crest of a hat-trick by the gangling 23-year-old Rupinder Pal Singh in the Azlan Shah hockey tournament on Friday. India won 3-1 and led 1-0 at half-time.

    Shrugging off the blues arising from the reverse against Korea on Thursday, the Indians were a picture of confidence from the start.

    Prompted well by the mid-field, where Halappa and Gurbaj were proficient as ever, the frontline featuring Ravipal, Chandi and Roshan Minz wove intricate patterns to push the redoubtable British defenders into errors.

    Nothing testifies to it better than the five penalty corners — three in the second half, two of which resulted in goals.

    Perfect penalty corners

    Indisputably, it was the three perfect penalty corner hits by Rupinder Pal Singh that brought Great Britain down. Heartening was the confidence level of the combination.

    None symbolised this as much as Rupinder, with Mahadik and goalkeeper Chetri playing stellar roles in equal measure.

    Chetri kept the tempo at a high pitch, effecting a couple of lovely saves from James Tindell, who was also guilty of flunking a couple of chances just yards from the post.

    No terror

    Even Richard Mantel's scorching shots held no terror for Chetri who padded them away with beaming nonchalance.

    The team blended impressively, especially in the mid-field and in the attack.

    The role of the deep defenders cannot be appreciated in the same breath for they created a few tense moments for themselves, at least in the final stages when they conceded a goal to James Tindell.

    Quite predictably, chief coach, Harendra Singh, was elated.

    He was happy that Rupinder Pal Singh is shaping well. “We lost the fitness and not a hockey match,” remarked Jason Lee, GB's coach.

    Pakistan downs Korea

    Korea tumbled out from a position of advantage after having enjoyed the lead twice to Pakistan. There were two stages when the game swung Pakistan's way.

    First was the goal with charm written all over it by Rehan Butt that fetched the equaliser in the first-half.

    The second was the bewitching penalty corner drive by Sohail Abbas for restoring parity 2-2.

    The Korean goalkeeper was flummoxed by the velocity of the shot. That happened seven minutes before the final whistle.

    Then Haseem Khan took credit for the lead and Waqas Akbar increased it on the stroke of full time.

    Zubair provided an element of danger every time he wove in earned the recognition for his hard work as Man-of-the-match.

    The Koreans for whom, Jong Jang Hyun was the pillar of strength, helped Hyun Hye Sung net both the goals in penalty corners.

    Faisal Saari flunked a penalty stroke six minutes before close for Malaysia but Australia snatched the match 35 seconds from the hooter when Jason Wilson pumped in from a penalty corner sequence for a 2-1 victory.

    Saturday is a rest day.

    The results: Pakistan 4 (Rehan Butt, Sohail Abbas, Haseem Khan, Waqas Akbar) bt Korea 2 (Hyun Hye Sung 2); India 3 (Rupinder Pal Singh 3) bt Great Britain 1 (James Tindell); Australia 2 (Simon Orchard, Jason Wilson) bt Malaysia 1 (Tajuddin) .
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    Post  Abhishek on Sun May 08, 2011 7:31 pm

    Nadal enters final

    Rafael Nadal overcame Roger Federer 5-7, 6-1, 6-3 to reach the Madrid Masters final on Saturday on an emotional rollercoaster of a day which had started with a tearful, emotional tribute to Seve Ballesteros.

    World No. 1 Nadal stood side-by-side with old rival Federer in a minute's silence at the Caja Magica before a show reel of Ballesteros's greatest moments played out on the giant screens.

    Bad start

    The Swiss World No. 3 started the match poorly, losing his first service game which was marred by a double-fault and an over-hit forehand.

    The 16-time Grand Slam champion also failed to convert any of three break points in a lengthy fourth game, with Nadal eventually stretching his leading margin to 4-2 with a love game. But the Swiss worked his magic to get back to level-pegging, 4-4, and held in dramatic fashion after saving three break points in the 11th game for 6-5.

    A sizzling Federer passing shot to the far reaches gave him a set point, which he finished cleanly with a down-the-line winner, breaking Nadal for the second time and taking the early lead after 64 minutes after winning nine of the last 11 points. But the Swiss suffered a reversal in the first game of the second set, with Nadal breaking on a controversial ball seen good by chair umpire Mohamed Layhani to the dismay of Federer, who argued the point before getting back to work.

    Federer seethed quietly throughout the set as Nadal squared the match.

    In the decider, Federer went down a break 1-3 on a forehand called out by centimetres, then dropped serve in the next game.

    It set the tone for the remainder, with Nadal scraping home on his first match point as Federer netted a backhand.

    Azarenka in final

    In the women's section, Victoria Azarenka moved to within one victory of a third title from her last four WTA events as the Belarus fourth seed ended the hopes of Julia Goerges of Germany 6-4, 6-2 in the semifinals.

    Azarenka, who won back to back WTA titles in Miami and Marbella last month, will play 16th seed Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic, who got the better sixth seed Chinese hope Li Na 6-3, 6-1.

    Bopanna-Qureshi duo out

    Meanwhile, Indian Davis Cupper Rohan Bopanna and his partner from Pakistan Aisam-ul-haq Qureshi, seeded fourth here, were sent packing by the American pair of John Isner and Sam Querrey in a super tie-breaker in the men's doubles quarterfinals.

    The results: Men: Semifinals: Rafael Nadal bt Roger Federer 5-7, 6-1, 6-3. Quarterfinals: Novak Djokovic bt David Ferrer 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.

    Women: Semifinals: Victoria Azarenka bt Julia Goerges 6-4, 6-2; Petra Kvitova bt Li Na 6-3, 6-1.

    Doubles: Quarterfinals: John Isner & Sam Querrey bt Rohan Bopanna & Aisam Qureshi 6-7(6), 6-4, 10-3 . — Agencies
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    Post  Abhishek on Sun May 08, 2011 7:34 pm

    Sahil helps India to bronze


    Sahil Deshmukh won both his singles and doubles matches to help India beat China and secure the third place in the Asia-Oceania World junior under-14 tennis tournament at the Sarawak Centre, Kuching, Malaysia, on Saturday.

    The results (final): Korea bt Japan 2-1 (Hong Seong Chan bt Yusuke Takahashi 6-7(7), 6-0, 6-0; Kang Ku Keon lost to Jumpei Yamasaki 2-6, 3-6; Hong Seong Chan and Lee Duck Hee bt Yusuke Takahashi and Jumpei Yamasaki 6-3, 6-3).

    Third place: India bt China 2-1 (Sahil Deshmukh bt Zhong Su Hao 7-5, 6-3; Sumit Nagal lost to Zhou Xu Fan 1-6, 5-7; Garvit Batra and Sahil Deshmukh bt Zhong Su Haw and Zhou Xu Fan 7-5, 0-6, 7-5).

    Final placings: 1. Korea, 2. Japan, 3. India, 4. China, 5. Australia, 6. Thailand, 7. Chinese Taipei, 8. Hong Kong, 9. Uzbekistan, 10. Indonesia, 11. New Zealand, 12. Yemen, 13. Malaysia, 14. Syria, 15. Singapore, 16. Sri Lanka . — Special Correspondent
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    Post  Abhishek on Sun May 08, 2011 7:41 pm

    Cuddalore in final

    Cuddalore defeated Madurai in the semifinal to set up a summit clash with Chennai in the T.P. Ramaswamy Memorial State-junior football championship, here on Saturday. The contest, which ended 2-2 at the end of regulation time, went to penalties where Cuddalore prevailed 4-3.

    The results: Semifinal: Cuddalore 2 (Hari, Diwakar) drew with Madurai 2 (Sarath Kumar 2); Cuddalore won 4-3 on penalties .
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    Post  Abhishek on Sun May 08, 2011 7:41 pm

    Indian men in final

    India will meet the United States in the final of the World Cup (Stage I) archery meet at Porec (Croatia). The women's team lost to Germany in the bronze medal play-off and finished fourth.

    After three days of disappointment, the men's team struck form to make the final for the second year running.

    The fifth ranked India, comprising Rahul Banerjee, Jayanta Talukdar and Tarundeep Rai, shocked top-seeded Korea (219-217) in the semifinals. India had beaten Canada (216-197) in the opening game and stopped fourth seed Italy (224-217) in the quarterfinals.

    The women's outfit, comprising Deepika Kumari, Laishram Bombayla Devi and Seema Verma, lost to Germany (202-209) in the bronze medal play-off after losing to Russia (191-200) in the semifinals.

    Indian women began well by ousting 15th ranked Colombia (209-201) and eliminating 10th ranked Denmark (216-210) in the quarterfinals. Russia will face Korea in the final.
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    Post  Abhishek on Sun May 08, 2011 7:42 pm

    Saina Nehwal enters final

    India's Saina Nehwal stormed into the final of the Malaysia Open Grand Prix Gold badminton championship with a 21-14, 21-13 victory over seventh-seeded Ji Hyun Sung of South Korea at Alor Setar on Saturday.

    It was top-seeded Saina's third win over Sung in three matches.

    In the title clash, Saina plays second-seeded Chinese Xin Wang, who defeated fourth-seeded Youn Joo Bae of South Korea 21-6, 21-19.
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    Post  Abhishek on Tue May 10, 2011 12:34 am

    Petra Kvitova wins Madrid women's title

    Petra Kvitova defeated Victoria Azarenka 7-6(3), 6-4 on Sunday to win the ATP-WTA Madrid Masters women's title and earn herself a place in the top 10 in the world rankings.

    The upset victory in one hour and 42 minutes prevented the Belarus player from winning her third title of the spring campaign after winning Miami and Marbella back-to-back.

    Azarenka, ranked fifth, has been one of the form players of recent months, and still stands a respectable 19-3 on the season.

    “I played some of my best tennis today. This has been an amazing tournament for me,” said Kvitova, the only left-hander in the top 10 and ranked 62nd a year ago.

    Her resounding victory further cemented her reputation as a giant killer, with Azarenka her ninth career top 10 victim.

    The Kvitova list of wins also includes successes over Venus Williams (2008 Memphis), Dinara Safina (2009 US Open), Caroline Wozniacki (2010 Wimbledon), Samantha Stosur (2011 Australian Open) and Kim Clijsters (2011 Paris Indoors).

    On Sunday, Kvitova dominated with 40 winners to 10 for Azarenka.

    “Congratulations to Petra. She had a great week and deserved to win today,” said a teary Azarenka at the trophy ceremony.

    Her consolation will be a predicted move to a career-high four in the world in the new rankings on Monday.
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    Post  Abhishek on Tue May 10, 2011 12:35 am

    Indian girls seeded seventh

    The Indian girls have been seeded seventh and clubbed with the second-seeded Japan, Singapore and Philippines in the league stage of the Asia-Oceania World Junior under-14 girls' tennis tournament to be played at the Sarawak Centre, Kuching, Malaysia, from Monday.

    India will start its campaign with the tie against Singapore on the morrow. Australia has been seeded No.1, while Uzbekistan and China have been seeded third and fourth respectively.

    The top two teams from each of four groups will make it to the quarterfinals, and the top four teams from the zone will qualify for the World Group competition to be staged at Prostejov, Czech Republic, in August.

    Meanwhile, the Indian boys who had finished third and qualified for the World Group Final, returned home from Malaysia along with captain Sunil Yajaman on Sunday.
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    Post  Abhishek on Tue May 10, 2011 12:35 am

    AC Milan seals Serie A title

    AC Milan claimed its 18th Serie A title following a 0-0 draw at Roma on Saturday that gave it an unassailable lead at the top of the table with two games to go.

    Milan came into the game knowing it needed only a draw to be sure of winning the Scudetto crown and it never looked in danger of failing to do so.

    The draw pushed its lead over second-placed Inter Milan, which still has three to play, to nine points but with a better head-to-head record, the Rossoneri cannot now be overtaken.

    Ronaldo sizzles

    Ronaldo grabbed four goals to take his season's tally to 34 as Real Madrid crushed Sevilla 6-2 on Saturday to keep its slim hopes of beating Barcelona to the La Liga title alive.

    The results: Italian league: On Saturday: Palermo 2 (Miccoli 40, Bovo 52) bt Bari 1 (Bentivoglio 2); Roma 0 drew with AC Milan 0.

    Spanish league: On Sunday: Real Mallorca 0 Villarreal 0.

    On Saturday: Athletic Bilbao 3 (Toquero 30, David Lopez 47-pen, Llorente 64) bt Levante 2 (Stuani 78, Nano 85); Valencia 3 (Soldado 16, 37, Jonas 25) bt Real Sociedad 0; Getafe 2 (Colunga 5, Rios 53) bt Almeria 0; Sporting Gijon 2 (Ayoze 35-pen, Barral 90+6-pen) drew with Deportivo La Coruna 2 (Lopez 9, 41).

    Hercules 2 (Sendoa 40, Gomes 43) lost to Racing Santander 3 (Dos Santos 14, 41, Henrique 45+1); Atletico Madrid 0 lost to Malaga 3 (Rondon 29, Baptista 35, Maresca 84); Sevilla 2 (Negredo 61, 84) lost to Real Madrid 6 (Sergio Ramos 21, Cristiano Ronaldo 31, 65, 70, 75, Kaka 42).

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