Sunday 17 December 2017

In brief: Djokovic leads Serbian charge

Serbia had Novak Djokovic to thank after he brought them level with France (1-1) on day one of the Davis Cup final, thanks to a straight-sets win over Gilles Simon in Belgrade.

World No 3 Djokovic thrilled the majority of the 16,000 fans with a 6-3 6-1 7-5 win, after Gael Monfils had beaten Janko Tipsarevic 6-1 7-6 (7-4) 6-0. Serbia are attempting to win the Davis Cup for the first time against nine-time champions France.

Viktor Troicki is due to partner Nenad Zimonjic against Michael Llodra and Arnaud Clement in today's doubles, however Djokovic has not ruled out playing in the match. Serbian captain Bogdan Obradovic is allowed to change his selections up to an hour before the start and could yet team Djokovic with doubles specialist Zimonjic.

In the remaining singles rubbers tomorrow, Djokovic takes on Monfils while Tipsarevic faces Simon.


Timo Glock has confirmed he is staying at Virgin for the 2011 Formula One season.

The 28-year-old German cut a frustrated figure at times this year as the team suffered a multitude of teething problems, leading to speculation he would be leaving before next season -- but he confirmed yesterday he would honour the second year of his two-year contract.

"There has been a lot of speculation about me wanting to leave the team, but it is not about leaving a team, it is about wanting to do better and keep moving forward," he said.

"It is not just 99.9pc certain that I will stay, as has been reported -- it is 100pc certain that I am staying."

The future of Glock's 2010 team-mate, Lucas di Grassi, looks bleak though, after a difficult maiden F1 season and reports he has lost his funding.


Mark Allen believes it is just a matter of time before he claims his first ranking title, as he prepares to start his challenge for the UK Championship at the International Centre in Telford today.

The 24-year-old from Antrim has reached four ranking semi-finals, including last year's World Championship when he ended Ronnie O'Sullivan's hopes only to go out against John Higgins.

"If I play the way I know I can and keep knocking on the door, then I will start getting to finals and winning titles," the world No 11 said. "People keep reminding me that I've been in four semis and never a final but I don't get down about it, I know the finals will come soon enough."

Allen faces Tom Ford in the first round today, with either Ding Junhui, the defending champion, or Matthew Stevens waiting in the second round, and O'Sullivan a possible quarter-final opponent.

Ken Doherty gets his campagin under way against former world No 1 Stephen Maguire today while the tie of the round sees Stephen Hendry take on Jimmy White tomorrow.

Irish Independent

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