TSITSIPAS EDGES PAST ZVEREV IN A TIGHT FIVE-SETTER
22-year-old Stefanos Tstispas defeated fellow youngster Alexander Zverev in a roller-coaster match in the semi-finals of the Rolland Garros championship in Paris on Friday with a scoreline of 6-3 6-3 4-6 4-6 6-3.
Having lost two sets in a row and facing 3 breakpoints in the first game or the decider, it took a lot of grit and determination from the bubbly Greek before he was able to break Zverev and clinch the match.
Earlier it was Zverev who was struggling to find his form as Tsitsipas moved into an early lead and took the first set. In the second, although Zverev was leading 3-0, a remarkable comeback by Tsitstipas enabled him to win off the next six games and bag the set with a 6-3 scoreline. After that, it was a valiant effort from Zverev where he summoned his best tennis to the show and won two sets back to back in phenomenal fashion. In the end, that missed opportunity in the second set turned out to be a crucial factor in the Greek's favor! Tsistipas will be looking forward to making the most of his first grand slam final appearance on Sunday.
-Sujay B M
NADAL HAS EYES SET ON HISTORIC 21st MAJOR!
With the second grand slam of the year, French Open set to start in Paris from today, Spanish giant and 20 time grand slam winner Rafael Nadal approaches the event as the favorite.
With the only two players who have won a record 20 grand slams in tennis, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal playing this event, it could be a chance for both to get past the other and write history. However, 39-year-old Federer who is coming off a year break is out of touch and has written off his chances of winning the title. The major resistance for Nadal is expected from Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem who have been consistent players on Rolland Garros in the past as well although Theim's current form is far from raising hopes.
In the Women's section, Iga Swiatek will be contesting with the hope of becoming the only woman since Serena Williams in 2016 to successfully defend their previous triumph at the same grand slam.
It could also be an opportunity for Japanese Naomi Osaka to prove her worth to Clay.
-Sujay B M
ATHLETE INJURY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju launched an initiative to provide world-class treatment to elite athletes injured during competition or training on Friday.
The Centralised Athlete Injury Management System (CAIMS) aims to provide inputs on prevention, diagnosis, and high-quality treatment and rehabilitation to athletes on time and maintain records for mapping their injury via an Online Athlete Management System.
"I have seen athletes whose careers have been damaged or shortened due to lack of timely and proper treatment of even common injuries".
"For some injuries, treatment is not available in our country and athletes will have to go abroad. So, this is a humble beginning to address that," Rijiju said in an online event.
ONE MORE CHANCE FOR GEN NEXT
While the marquee clash between veterans Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic has claimed the center stage, the other fight for a place in the finals between young stars Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev is noteworthy for another reason.
While one could argue that the Gen-next hasn't lived up to the expectations, it remains to be said that they have consistently been fighting and even beating the top dogs in a few events ( Mainly ATP 1000 or 500 events). While the older Thiem and Medvedev have proven to be a little more consistent with their performances, Tsitsipas and Zverev have also been impressive with their efforts and have consistently maintained themselves in the top 10. With them being the younger 2 of the four promising youngsters, their battle which begins at 6.20 p.m. IST will be watched with keen interest and curiosity by tennis lovers!
-Sujay B M
CLASH OF TITANS, THOUGH NOT FOR ULTIMATE GLORY
World number 1 and top seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia takes on Spanish Giant Rafael Nadal in the 2nd semi-final of the day on Friday in what most connoisseurs of the sport have dubbed as the most anticipated showdown of the tournament.
While it is a little weird for two players who are still widely considered to be the two strongest in the world to be facing off in the semis of a major, it still upholds enormous significance as a win here would put Nadal just a match away from a record 21st grand slam title.
Even for Djokovic, a win in Paris bags the 19th slam and in that case, with him approaching three of the four slams to follow as the defending champion, many would expect him to add a title or two in the process! With so much on the line, most fans would regret missing out on this mouth-watering clash, expected to begin at 9.20 p.m. IST
-Sujay B M
DE VILLIERS AND SIRAJ CARRY RCB HOME IN THE LAST BALL HUMDINGER
Hetmeyer's heroics take DC agonizingly close to the finish line before being stopped by a brilliant 20th over by Siraj.
After losing three wickets in quick succession, Pant and Stoinis steadied the innings before Hetmeyer's blitzkrieg, where he smashed 3 sixes and a four off Kyle Jamieson in the 18th over.
With 14 needed off the last 6 balls, Mohammed Siraj's accurate bowling scripted RCB's 5th win off 6 games in the season thus far.
Earlier, it was once again due to the efforts of the ever-dependable AB de Villiers that RCB reached a total of 171/4 in 20 overs.
As it turned out, each of the 23 runs scored in the final over ended up being of crucial importance for the final outcome!
-Sujay B M
BABAR AZAM: ICC MEN's PLAYER OF THE MONTH
The recognition and celebration of the best performances from both male and female cricketers across all forms of international cricket throughout the year. The International Cricket Council (ICC) today announced the winners of the ICC Player of the Month Awards for April.
Pakistan’s Babar Azam won the ICC Men’s Player of the Month for April 2021. Significant and effective involvement in a game with his consistent and outstanding performances across all formats in the series against South Africa and was chosen as the April winner by fans and the ICC voting academy.
“The world bats in two ways in white-ball cricket. One way is to destroy attacks with muscle and force and then there is the Babar Azam way, like conducting a batting symphony with punch, panache, and flair, and he deserves to win this award” Ramiz Raja ICC Voting Academy said.
-Jyothi S Talawar
JAMES ANDERSON CREATES HISTORY
Fast bowler James Anderson has become the most capped Test player for England. The ongoing England-New Zealand Test match is the 38-year-old pacer's 162nd Test match.
He overtook former England captain Alastair Cook, who retired after playing 161 Test matches. Anderson holds the record for taking the most wickets in Test matches among fast bowlers with 616 wickets so far.
-Jyothi S Talawar