Fed­erer eyes 100th crown in Lon­don

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - - HTSPORTSMAX - Agence France­presse

LON­DON: Roger Fed­erer is aim­ing to com­plete a cen­tury of ti­tles at the ATP Fi­nals but will likely have to find a way past the ir­re­press­ible No­vak Djokovic, who is look­ing to round off his as­ton­ish­ing sea­son in style.

The two men, with 34 Grand Slams be­tween them, are the twin ti­tans at the sea­son-end­ing event at Lon­don’s O2 arena.

But the tour­na­ment, which starts on Sun­day, lacks an el­e­ment of star power with­out the in­jured Rafael Nadal and Juan Martin del Potro, both of whom were forced to pull out of the sea­son fi­nale.

For­mer cham­pion Andy Murray, still mak­ing his way back from in­jury, and de­fend­ing cham­pion Grigor Dim­itrov are other star names miss­ing.

The ti­tle is con­tested by the eight play­ers who have ac­cu­mu­lated the most rank­ing points over the sea­son and is in a roundrobin for­mat, with the best four play­ers reach­ing the knock­out semi-fi­nals stage.

Fed­erer is ex­pected to emerge from Group Lley­ton He­witt, also fea­tur­ing Kevin An­der­son, Do­minic Thiem and Kei Nishikori, while Djokovic is highly fan­cied to top Group Guga Kuerten, which also in­cludes Alexan­der Zverev, Marin Cilic and John Is­ner. Af­ter a stun­ning 2017 sea­son which saw the Swiss cap­ture seven ti­tles, in­clud­ing Grand Slam crowns at the Aus­tralian Open and Wim­ble­don, Fed­erer was clear that his 2018 sea­son has been a suc­cess de­spite a mixed run of results in re­cent months.

HALEP, COACH SPLIT

PARIS: Dar­ren Cahill, the coach of world num­ber one and French Open cham­pion Si­mona Halep, said Fri­day he will take a break from ten­nis in 2019 for fam­ily rea­sons.

The 53-year-old Aus­tralian helped Ro­ma­nian star Halep to a maiden Grand Slam tri­umph at Roland Gar­ros in June as well as a year-end­ing world top spot ro crown their four-year partnership. He had pre­vi­ously coached Lley­ton He­witt and An­dre Agassi. “I would like to an­nounce that Si­mona and I will not be con­tin­u­ing our partnership in 2019 purely for fam­ily rea­sons on my part,” Cahill wrote on In­sta­gram.

HOCKEY CORE GROUP

NEWDELHI: Hockey In­dia on Satur­day named a 33-mem­ber core group for the women’s na­tional camp be­gin­ning in Ben­galuru on Mon­day.the camp, to be con­ducted un­der the watch­ful eyes of chief coach Sjo­erd Mar­i­jne, will con­clude on November 30.

“We have brought in a few younger play­ers who have shown good per­for­mances in the do­mes­tic events ,” said coach Mar­i­jne.

IN­DIA FACE B’DESH

YANGON (MYAN­MAR): The In­dian women’s na­tional team will take on Bangladesh in their sec­ond match of the first round of the 2020 AFC Women’s Olympic Qual­i­fy­ing Tour­na­ment, which will be held at the Thuwunna Sta­dium in Yangon on Sun­day.

Af­ter 1-1 draw against Nepal in their first match, team In­dia will be eye­ing full three points against Bangladesh.

GHOSAL IN FI­NAL

KOLKATA: World No. 11 and top seed Sau­rav Ghosal en­tered the fi­nal of the Kolkata In­ter­na­tional squash tour­na­ment here on Satur­day. He beat Todd Har­rity, seeded fourth, of the USA 11-4 11-7 11-3 in 41 min­utes. Ghosal will meet sec­ond seed Za­hed Salem of Egypt, who de­feated Car­los Cornes Ribadas of Spain 11-7 11-3 11-9, in the fi­nal on Sun­day.

PATNA PI­RATES WIN

MUM­BAI: Patna Pi­rates proved too strong for Ben­gal War­riors and romped to a 50-30 win in an en­thralling Pro Kabaddi League match here on Satur­day.

The Patna team, which was more ef­fec­tive in both raids and de­fence, in­flicted an all-out, to ex­tend their lead to 16-8, with six min­utes re­main­ing for the end of the first half at the NSCI com­plex in Worli.

Such was Pat­nas dom­i­nance that they in­flicted three all-outs in the game to come out tri­umphant.

For Patna, Deepak Nar­wal (13 points) emerged hero and was ably sup­ported by 21-year-old cap­tain Pardeep Nar­wal (11 points) and Jaideep (5 points).

SATHIYAN BOWS OUT

NEW DELHI: G Sathiyan’s daz­zling run in the pres­ti­gious 2018 ITTF World Tour Plat­inum Aus­trian Open in Linz came to an end as he went down fight­ing to World No. 2 Xin Xu of China on Fri­day .

Sathiyan, who up­set World No. 17 Sangeun Jeong of Korea and World No. 14 Mar­cos Fre­itas of Por­tu­gal to earn a berth in the Round of 16, lost 1-4. The In­dian ta­ble ten­nis star went down 11-1, 11-7, 7-11, 11-2, 11-4.

PRAJNESH FOURTH SEED

BEN­GALURU: Prajnesh Gunneswaran was seeded fourth at the $150,000 Ben­galuru Open ATP Chal­lenger ten­nis that be­gins on Sun­day.

He will open his cam­paign against Rus­sia’s Ivan Nedelko. The left-handed In­dian Davis Cup­per is ranked 141st while Nedelko is ranked 123 places be­low him.

Radu Al­bot of Moldova, who is ranked No. 100, will be the top seed. In an in­ter­est­ing first round con­test, the fi­nal­ists of the pre­vi­ous edi­tion, de­fend­ing cham­pion Su­mit Na­gal and sev­enth seed Jay Clarke will face each other in their first match.

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