Rafael Nadal wins record-breaking 10th French Open

Rafael Nadal coasted to a record 10th French Open title on Sunday, demolishing Stan Wawrinka in a brutally one-sided final which also earned the Spaniard a 15th Grand Slam crown.

Nadal, 31, triumphed 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 to become the first man in history to win the same major 10 times.

His collection of Slams now stands just three behind great rival Roger Federer, a staggering statistic coming just a year after he quit Roland Garros with a wrist injury.

Playing in his 22nd Grand Slam final, Nadal triumphed in Paris without dropping a set for a third time.

He also lost just 35 games in total and only six in the final, his most comprehensive victory since allowing Roger Federer four games in the 2008 final.

“It’s really incredible. To win La Decima is very, very special,” said Nadal.

“I am very emotional. The feeling I have is impossible to describe.

“It’s difficult to compare with other tournaments but the nerves and adrenaline I feel, it’s like no other place.”

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Once Hollywood A-lister Nicole Kidman had helped unbox the Coupe des Mousquetaires to a crowd already wilting in 30-degree heat, the final was underway.

It was the 22nd Slam finale for Nadal; just the fourth for Wawrinka, the oldest man in the championship match in 44 years.

Sunday was also the first time since 1969 that the Roland Garros final had featured two men over 30.

Despite having spent more than five hours on court getting to the final, 2015 champion Wawrinka had the first break point in the third game.

The 32-year-old couldn’t take it and it proved to be the only break point he earned all afternoon.

From there, it was all downhill.

Nadal was unable to convert four break points in the fourth game.

No matter as he broke through for 4-2 and then went to set point in the eighth game after a relentless forehand barrage sapped the will out of Wawrinka.

A backhand which sailed long gave Nadal the first set with the Spaniard having crunched 10 winners to Wawrinka’s four while committing half the unforced errors.

Nadal forced Wawrinka into another forehand error to break for 2-0 in the second set before the Swiss halted a run of seven games lost with a hold for 1-3.

But the song remained the same, Nadal taking the set in the ninth game, just moments after Wawrinka, who knocked out world number one Andy Murray in the semis, had destroyed a racquet in utter frustration.

First game of the third set and Nadal broke again as the man who stunned him in the 2014 Australian Open final suffered further damage.

Nadal was soon a double break to the good for 4-1, held for 5-1 and then claimed a huge slice of history when Wawrinka limply dropped a backhand into the net.

Source – TheJakartaPost

Andy Murray downed longtime rival Juan Martin del Potro to reach the Roland Garros

PARIS, Andy Murray downed longtime rival Juan Martin del Potro to reach the Roland Garros last 16 Saturday while French hopes were overshadowed by a bitter feud between two of their top stars.

World number one Murray triumphed 7-6 (10/8), 7-5, 6-0 for his seventh win in 10 meetings with Del Potro whose challenge fizzled out after squandering four set points in the 87-minute opener.

Murray, the runner-up to Novak Djokovic in 2016, will next face either John Isner of the United States or Russia’s Karen Khachanov.

That match was one of six still to be completed when rain halted play at 1705 local time (1505 GMT).

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“I expected a very tough match. Whoever won that first set would have the momentum as it would have been very difficult to come back in these heavy, slow conditions,” said Murray.

“He was playing much better than me in the first set. He had chances in the first set, he double faulted on set point.”

In a titanic first set, Del Potro wasted four set points then saved two before Murray pounced when the Argentine star narrowly miscued.

The 28-year-old slumped over the net and stayed that way during most of the changeover to catch his breath.

Del Potro, playing in Paris for the first time in five years after a series of wrist injuries, was quickly a break down in the second set.

He retrieved it when Murray served for the set in the 10th game before handing the advantage straight back.

Murray seized his lifeline, a fourth ace giving him a two-set lead.

– Weary Del Potro –

===================

Weary Del Potro, who had already summoned the doctor early in the second set, knew his challenge was over and he managed just 11 points in the third set.

“Andy proved he is a real No. 1,” said Del Potro. “He is one of the smartest guys on the circuit.”

Third seed Stan Wawrinka saved four set points in the opener before running away with 16 of the last 19 games to beat Italy’s Fabio Fognini 7-6 (7/2), 6-0, 6-2.

Former US Open champion Marin Cilic continued his smooth progress seeing off Feliciano Lopez, who was limited by a neck injury, 6-1, 6-3, 6-3.

Croatian seventh seed Cilic will next meet South Africa’s Kevin Anderson who matched his best run with a five-set win over Britain’s Kyle Edmund.

Anderson twice recovered from a set down to advance 6-7 (6/8), 7-6 (7/4), 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 in just under four hours in a duel between two players born in Johannesburg.

In the women’s event, France have three women in the last 16 for the first time in 23 years.

However, that success is overshadowed by a bitter feud between compatriots Alize Cornet and Caroline Garcia who will clash for a place in the quarter-finals.

Cornet reached the last 16 for just the second time with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Polish ninth seed Agnieszka Radwanska who lost all her seven service games.

Garcia, seeded 28, made the fourth round of a Slam for the first time with a 6-4, 4-6, 9-7 win over Taiwan’s world number 109 Hsieh Su-Wei.

Those wins guaranteed the home nation will have at least one quarter-finalist in Paris for the first time since Marion Bartoli in 2011.

However, Cornet admitted that her relationship with Garcia has virtually broken down.

“I think that the relationship is not very good,” said 27-year-old Cornet. “I think she may have a grudge against us.”

Garcia fell out with her teammates earlier this year after she pulled out of a Fed Cup tie.

Romanian third seed and 2014 runner-up Simona Halep sealed her place in the fourth round with a 6-0, 7-5 win over Russia’s Daria Kasatkina.

Halep, 25, will face Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro for a place in the quarter-finals.

Suarez Navarro, the 21st seed and a two-time quarter-finalist, made the fourth round for the fifth time.

She eased past Russian 14th seed Elena Vesnina 6-4, 6-4 in a match which featured a 17-minute service game, punctuated by 11 deuces, for the Russian in the second set.

Source – TheNation

Champions League Final in Cardiff

JUVENTUS 1-4 REAL MADRID

Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice as holders Real Madrid were crowned champions of Europe for a record 12th time after outclassing 10-man Juventus in a high-quality Champions League final in Cardiff.

Ronaldo put Real ahead with a first-time finish from 16 yards before Mario Mandzukic equalised from just inside the area with a sensational overhead kick beyond Keylor Navas.

Real took control after the interval, Brazilian midfielder Casemiro’s deflected shot restoring the lead before Ronaldo sealed victory for Zinedine Zidane’s side after poking home from close range following Luka Modric’s cross.

Juventus played the last six minutes with 10 men after substitute Juan Cuadrado was booked twice inside 18 minutes, before substitute Marco Asensio hit the fourth after Marcelo’s fine pass.

Zidane has now won back-to-back Champions Leagues – as well as this season’s La Liga title – since he took charge of Real in January 2016.

Italian champions Juventus have lost five Champions League finals since they last won the competition in 1996.

Real forward Gareth Bale came on as a 77th-minute substitute in his home city after recovering from a calf injury.

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”GOALS”

Cristiano Ronaldo 20′ – 0-1 (Real Madrid)
Mario Mandžukic 27′ – 1-1 (Juventus)
Casemiro 61′ – 1-2 (Real Madrid)
Cristiano Ronaldo 64′ – 1-3 (Real Madrid)
Marco Asensio 90′ – 1-4 (Real Madrid)

 

 

 

Kimi Raikkonen surprised with pole, Max Verstappen started fourth in Monaco

Raikkonen takes first pole for nine years, Hamilton starts midfield in Monaco

Kimi Raikkonen stormed to his first pole position since 2008 by beating Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas by less than half a tenth after Lewis Hamilton was eliminated in Q2.

A thrilling and competitive qualifying session saw Ferrari lock out the front row for the second race weekend in three races. Valtteri Bottas only just missed out on second by two-thousandths of a second, with Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo starting fourth and fifth respectively.

Lewis Hamilton was caught out by a late yellow flag in Q2 after struggle to find grip in his Mercedes, he will start 13th on the grid for the Monaco Grand Prix.

Track temperatures topped 50 degrees as qualifying began in Monaco. There was a rush of cars who took to the circuit, with the Ferraris, Red Bulls and Mercedes all out straight away on ultra soft tyres.

As in final practice, it was the second timed lap that was proving the quickest. Ferrari set the early pace with Vettel posting a 1’13.289, with Mercedes only managing high 1’13s, until Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen lowered the quickest times in the Red Bulls.

After crashing in final practice, Esteban Ocon took to the circuit with ten minutes in the session after Force India successfully repaired the Frenchman’s car.

Romain Grosjean spun his Haas at Mirabeau, leaving him vulnerable in the drop zone. As time expired, there was a straight fight between the two Frenchmen of Ocon and Grosjean to make it through into Q2, with Grosjean able to improve enough on his last lap to eliminate the Force India driver.

Jolyon Palmer was also eliminated in P17, almost a second off Nico Hulkenberg’s pace, with Lance Stroll failing to make it through the first session after a suspected hydraulic leak on his Williams.

The two Saubers of Pascal Wehrlein and Marcus Ericsson were the slowest in the session, with Ericsson clipping the inside barrier at the chicane forcing him out with a broken left-rear wheel.

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#Indonesia to promote golf tourism in South Korea.

A niche market that the Tourism Ministry is currently promoting is golf tourism.

After a successful promotional event showcasing Indonesian golf courses at the Jinghua Golf Club in Beijing on April 6, the ministry is going to hold the second stage of its Sales Mission Golf in East Asia on May 24 in Seoul, South Korea.

This mission will connect Indonesian operators in golf tourism with 50 to 80 buyers from South Korea.

According to I Gde Pitana, the ministry’s deputy for overseas promotion, the first event in Beijing featured three Indonesian tourist operators.

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“Golfers usually spend an average of $6,000 per visit, six times higher than the amount spent by regular foreign tourists,” explained Pitana.

“Golf is a popular sport among South Koreans, especially the elite. In South Korea, the sport isn’t dominated by men only. Women also love to golf,” added the ministry’s deputy assistant for Asia Pacific tourism promotion, Vinsensius Jemadu.

“Golf courses in Indonesia are unique. There are 114 international-standard golf courses located across Indonesia, each with its own unique challenges. They all offer stunning panoramic views,” Vinsensius said.

Source – TheJakartaPost

Bottas seeks to double up in Barcelona

Valtteri Bottas seeks to prove his maiden Formula One success at Sochi was no fluke by repeating the feat for champions Mercedes in this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.

The unflappable Finn, who has emerged as a serious threat not only to his more celebrated team-mate Lewis Hamilton, but also Ferrari’s championship leader Sebastian Vettel, believes his determination, form and speed justify his optimism.

“Getting that win has definitely given me a lot of confidence that I can do it – because I always thought that I had the ability.

“And now it’s done all I want to do is to go and win again and again,” said Bottas.

Another Bottas win would not be a surprise at a venue that has a habit of producing more different winners than anywhere else – if he is successful, he will be the 11th different winner in as many years.

The Circuit de Catalunya, a track drivers and teams know intimately from days of pre-season testing, is capable of throwing up the most unexpected and unpredictable results.

That was demonstrated last year by Dutch teenager Max Verstappen’s win on his debut for Red Bull.

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Bottas’ recent bright form – pole position in Bahrain and victory at Sochi – has confirmed him as a worthy successor to retired 2016 world champion Nico Rosberg at Mercedes where, temporarily, he has managed to put three-time world champion Hamilton in the shade.

But that does not mean much as the teams, all with upgraded packages, begin the European season with Ferrari likely to set the pace if the weather conditions put the onus on tyre management.

– marginal –

The Italian team has a car that is less demanding on its rubber and operates well across a wider range of temperatures than the Mercedes.

For Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, it is a concern, but not yet a serious worry.

“I don’t think there is a particular pattern yet,” he said. “It is all very marginal with tyre compounds, interaction with the track, the surface of the track and the track temperature itself.

“But, one thing is for sure — we have a very fast race car and a fast qualifying car. We just need to tune it and this is an exciting exercise.”

Tyre suppliers Pirelli will take their harder tyres, not greatly loved by Mercedes on the evidence so far this year, to Barcelona this weekend.

“I think it will be close – in fact more than very close,” added Wolff.

“Ferrari came out of the winter with a good car and it seems to suit Sebastian a lot. So, we just need to stretch ourselves to perform as good as we can and, if we do like we did in Russia with Valtteri, we are able to compete.”

He said the team had no immediate explanation for Hamilton’s uninspired form in Sochi where he struggled with the car.

“Lewis had a difficult weekend in both qualifying and the race,” said Wolff.

“We’ve since been unpicking what happened to understand why we couldn’t get the car in the right window so he could feel comfortable with it.”

Hamilton said he was mystified by his lack of pace as he finished fourth to fall 13 points adrift of Vettel after four rounds of the championship.

“We must give him the tools he needs to do the job in the next races and that will be a big focus for us,” added Wolff.

“Barcelona will be interesting as our pre-season was not spectacular in Spain. It’s a very different track to Sochi and we’ll be running with harder tyres. So, we are taking this season one race at a time…”

Ferrari and Mercedes may be the front-runners again, but Red Bull expect to be close in pursuit with a heavily-updated car while local hero Fernando Alonso has more modest hopes.

After failing to start in Russia, he is just hoping his revised McLaren will be on the grid to take part in his home race this Sunday.

Source – TheJakartaPost

Atlético Madrid 2-1 Real Madrid

Real Madrid defeated Atletico Madrid 4-2 on aggregate in the UEFA Champions League semifinals after a 1-2 loss in the second leg to set up a final clash against Juventus.Get highlights of Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid here.

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A match more than two years ago is keeping Atletico Madrid hopeful of a comeback against Real Madrid in the Champions League semifinals. Atletico Madrid need to overturn a 3-0 loss from the first leg tonight, but it wasn’t too long ago that fans at the Vicente Calderon Stadium witnessed the type of feat that can put Atletico in the final. It was on a Saturday afternoon in February 2015 that Atletico had one of its greatest victories over Madrid, a 4-0 rout in the Spanish league. Get live score and live football commentary of Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid here.

Diego Simeone ‘convinced’ Atletico can pull off Real miracle

Atletico Madrid’s Argentinian coach Diego Simeone (L) gestures on the sideline with Real Madrid’s French coach Zinedine Zidane in background during the UEFA Champions League semifinal first leg football match Real Madrid CF vs Club Atletico de Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, on May 2, 2017. (AFP/Gerard Julien)

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone believes overturning a 3-0 Champions League semi-final first-leg deficit against Real Madrid would be “impossible” for others, but not for his side.

Simeone’s men must pull off a remarkable comeback in Wednesday’s second leg to avoid being dumped out of the Champions League for a fourth straight season by their cross-city rivals.

“On Wednesday we have a very difficult game. For some impossible, but not for us,” said Simeone after Atletico secured a top-four finish in La Liga for a fifth straight season with a 1-0 win over Eibar on Saturday.

“I’ve told the players it is very difficult, that we are facing the best team in the world, who score goals in every game, but that it is possible.

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“I am convinced of it. If I wasn’t I wouldn’t say it. If we are united and understand that it is a semi-final at home we have a chance.”

Wednesday’s clash is likely to be the final European game at Atletico’s Vicente Calderon as they move to the new 67,000-capacity Wanda Metropolitano next season.

Atletico were given a rousing reception throughout at the Calderon on Saturday despite the disappointment of their 3-0 first-leg capitulation to Real in midweek.

And Saul Niguez’s winner 21 minutes from time ensured they now need just one more point from their final two games to guarantee third place in La Liga ahead of Sevilla and avoid a Champions League qualifier in August.

“They have been nearly six marvellous years. The fans are grateful and the players continue to give their all, to fight and raise themselves after they’ve been knocked down,” added Simeone, who took over as coach in 2011.

“We had big difficulties at the start of the season and situations that meant we lost our consistency that this team has always had.

“With two games to go we are in a strong position and we hope to be able to finish it off in the next game.”

Source – TheJakartaPost

Real Madrid 3-0 Atlético Madrid

MADRID (AP) — Another impressive performance by Cristiano Ronaldo has left Real Madrid on the verge of another Champions League final.

Ronaldo scored a hat trick to reach 400 goals with Madrid and lead the defending champions to a commanding 3-0 win over city rival Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal on Tuesday.

He scored with a header in the 10th minute, with a strike into the top corner in the 73rd and a close-range shot in the 86th to give Madrid a comfortable lead going into next week’s second leg at Atletico’s Vicente Calderon Stadium.

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“We played a great match,” Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said. “It’s not easy to score three times against such a difficult opponent and keep a clean sheet.”

The result left Atletico close to yet another disappointing elimination against the crosstown rival, following defeats in the Champions League in the last three seasons.

“We’re going to try and do something practically impossible next week,” Atletico coach Diego Simeone said. “We’re Atletico Madrid and maybe, just maybe, we can do it.”

Madrid, which is looking to reach its third final in four seasons, was in control from the start at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium and took advantage of Ronaldo’s impressive form. He had scored five in the two legs of the quarterfinals against Bayern Munich, including a hat trick in the second leg at the Bernabeu.

 

Monaco hosts Juventus in the first leg of the other semifinal on Wednesday.

#Sanchez sends Arsenal into FA Cup final

Alexis Sanchez ensured Arsenal’s stormy season will end with an FA Cup final after securing a 2-1 victory over Manchester City in extra time at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

Arsenal will play Chelsea on May 27 in its third FA Cup final in four seasons. The competition has provided a comfort blanket for Arsene Wenger as he has failed to deliver the Premier League trophy since 2004.

But with Arsenal languishing in seventh place in the Premier League, and set to miss out on the Champions League, the heat remains on the manager whose contract expires at the end of the season.

Pep Guardiola’s first season in charge of City will end without silverware. That’s not what City was expecting when it hired the serial winner who had won titles in every campaign with Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

City had led against Arsenal in north London, with Sergio Aguero completing a second-half counterattack after Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey gave the ball away in the opposition half. But Arsenal displayed the resolve lacking so often this year to turn the semifinal around, with defender Nacho Monreal producing a rare goal.

And Sanchez came through for Arsenal in extra time, just as he did for the joint-record 12-time FA Cup winners in the 2015 semifinal, producing a winner in the 101st minute. Mesut Ozil’s free kick was headed down by Rob Holding, Danny Welbeck missed his attempt but Sanchez demonstrated his poacher’s instinct to nudge the ball over the line.

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Source – TheJakartaPost