Thursday 26 April 2018

Djokovic forced to dig deep in Rome


Novak Djokovic stayed on course for his third Rome Masters title although he was forced to dig deep to beat a tenacious David Ferrer 7-5 4-6 6-3 in a high-quality quarter-final.

The Serb looked to be in full control when he led 5-2 in the opening set but Spaniard Ferrer fought back to 5-5 and although he lost the opener the tone was set for an intense duel.

Djokovic eventually prevailed on his second match point having double-faulted on his first, the point in between being a 38-stroke baseline rally of extraordinary quality. The Serb will face Milos Raonic in the semi-finals after the Canadian beat Roger Federer's conqueror Frenchman Jeremy Chardy.

On the other side of the draw Grigor Dimitrov reached his first masters Series semi-final when German veteran Tommy Haas retired from their match with a shoulder injury.

West Brom have announced they have exercised one-year options on captain Chris Brunt and fellow midfielder Graham Dorrans, while defenders Steven Reid and Liam Ridgewell are part of a group of players confirmed as departing.

The summer changes for Albion, who finished their 2013/14 Premier League campaign just three points above the relegation zone in 17th place, had already begun with the news earlier this week that head coach Pepe Mel had left by mutual consent.

AIBA World Junior champion Ciara Ginty has received a wild card entry to the Youth Olympics in China In August.

The Mayo lightweight (Geesala BC) was officially told last night that she will represent Ireland at the Games.

Ginty lost on a split decision Yi-Pei Wu of Chinese Taipei in the box-off for the Youth Olympics at the World Youths in Bulgaria last month.

But Chinese Taipei qualified three female boxers for the Youth Olympics in Bulgaria and they are only allowed bring two and Ginty got the nod as next best boxer.

Ginty, Cork's Christina Desmond and Donegal's Michael Gallagher will now represent Ireland in the boxing event at the 2014 Youth Olympics.

Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake has set his sights on playing cricket for Yorkshire when he hangs up his running spikes.

The 24-year-old Olympic silver medallist over 100 and 200 metres has tentatively pencilled in another five years of athletics before looking to switch sports.

Speaking about his cricketing ability, he joked: "I'm okay, you know – I can make (the) England team. I'm good in the outfield so they would probably pick me for that as well."

Asked was he serious about it, he replied: "Yes, definitely. I've been wanting to play for Yorkshire or in England so, after running, I'll put my mind to that."

Irish Independent

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