Saturday 24 February 2018

Tennis: Djokovic denies Murray hat-trick

Andy Murray was denied a hat-trick of titles at the Shanghai Masters after losing a three-set thriller to Novak Djokovic.

In their first meeting since Murray's win in the US Open final, Djokovic triumphed 5-7 7-6 (13-11) 6-3.

Murray edged the first set, which had seven breaks of serve, with Djokovic reacting angrily by smashing a racket. Djokovic saved five match points in the second set, before taking the tie-break and breaking Murray twice in the third.


Pembroke Wanderers were given scant reward for their 4-2 win over Annadale in the first round of the Irish Senior Cup when they were handed a daunting second-round assignment, away to national champions Lisnagarvey.

Northern sides took a mauling in cross-border games, with Annadale joined on the cup casualty list by Belfast Harlequins (to UCD), Mossley (to Fingal) and Antrim (to holders Cork Harlequins).

But Kilkeel bucked the trend as they had three to spare against a lacklustre Cork C of I side.

YMCA and Three Rock Rovers won Dublin derbies against Corinthians and Glennane respectively, though both were close-run affairs.


Marion Hughes stepped into Cian O'Connor's hoof prints when winning the FEI World Cup Qualifier at Chengdu in China. This was the third of three qualifiers in the region, after Olympic bronze medallist O'Connor clinched the second.

Kilkenny native Hughes was forced into a last-minute change of mount when her designated ride went lame. She won the class from a field of 14 international riders with a superb clear riding Miguel Bravo's Exillion.

At Oslo in Norway, Dermott Lennon was third with Hallmark Elite and fourth with Newmarket Venture Clover at the Western European World Cup qualifier.

Young Galway man, Alex Duffy (Romeos Child), was runner-up in the Big Tour Two-Phase in Odense, Denmark, while at Chevenez in Switzerland, Ireland's pony riders filled four of the top-eight Grand Prix places.


Carlton Cuff stole the limelight with an impressive 23 points as Neptune and UCC Demons squared off for the first time this season, helping Demons to a 74-72 win at Neptune Stadium.

Dublin Inter came close to making it two wins from two at their new home in the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght before eventually falling 48-65 to a buoyant UCD Marian team.

DCU Saints beat Killester 67-54 in the North Dublin derby, while UL Eagles beat Moycullen 78-62.

In the Nivea Women's Superleague, Meteors got their first win of the campaign with a 39-35 victory over north Dublin rivals Killester.

Meanwhile, UL Basketball Club continued their unbeaten streak with a 61-34 win over a young Singleton Supervalu Brunell team. DCU Mercy thumped a struggling Liffey Celtics side 72-19.

Irish Independent

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