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Roger Federer’s strong showing helps Switzerland beat Russia in Hopman Cup

first_imgRoger Federer overcame a tricky Karen Khachanov in straight sets while Belinda Bencic got one over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova as Switzerland blanked Russia 3-0 in the Hopman Cup on Tuesday.Ahead of the Australian Open, Federer once more got momentum on his side with a 6-3, 7-6(8) win over Khachanov of Russia in front of a record crowd of 13,943 at the Perth Arena.After a comfortable first set victory, Federer was pushed to the brink before topping the 21-year-old Russian.Khachanov began the match with a little inhibition but the power in his shots meant he broke Federer early on.However, it did not take much out of Federer as the Swiss quickly got into his zone and wrapped up the opening set in 29 minutes.ALSO WATCHKhachanov held Federer on the ropes in the second, not letting his foot off the gas. However, the 19-time Grand Slam champion brought all his experience to play and dug out the tie breaker to clinch the match on his third match point.”It was nice to see him free swinging the entire match, which isn’t easy to do,” Federer said of his opponent.”I remember those days, match point down, you go for it, you don’t care. That is what you have to remind yourselves sometimes when you’re older, to go for it. He mixed up the play well, so it was a tough match for me.”The tiebreak was close, it was good to play that early on in the season, to play those nervy situations with the pulse up high, you’re sweating loads. The match had a bit of everything, so I’m very happy with the performance.”advertisementBencic, on the other hand, had to dig deep to bring up the victory for Switzerland.In what was a close contest, Bencic outlasted world No.15 Pavlyuchenkova 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.Bencic later pair up with Federer in the mixed doubles dead rubber to win the match.Earlier, the United States scored a 2-1 win over Japan after Naomi Osaka was too ill to participate. Osaka’s withdrawal gave CoCo Vandeweghe a 6-0, 6-0 victory in their singles match.Japan drew level after Jack Sock retired while trailing against Yuichi Sugita but Osaka’s absence meant the Americans were awarded a 4-0, 4-0 win in the deciding mixed doubles rubber.(With inputs from Reuters)last_img read more

Wall-less Wizards Wallop Nets, 121-103

first_imgTweetPinShare0 Shares WASHINGTON — With John Wall sidelined by a sore and swollen right knee, Ramon Sessions stepped in to help the Washington Wizards prolong their playoff hopes for at least another game.Sessions scored 18 points and had a season-high 13 assists in his first start of the season as the Wizards defeat the Brooklyn Nets 121-103 on April 6.“Just going out there from (the) jumpstart knowing John is down, I’ve just got to pick up the minutes,” said Sessions, who learned he would be starting an hour before tipoff. “I was just trying to keep pushing the pace and just play my game.”Bradley Beal scored 25 points, and Marcin Gortat had 16 points and 12 rebounds as Washington clung to life in the Eastern Conference playoff hunt.With Detroit defeating Orlando, the 10th-place Wizards (38-40) need to win out, have the Pistons (42-37) lose out and overcome ninth-place Chicago (39-39) to make the playoffs.To make that happen, Washington will likely need Wall to return from an ailment that forced him to miss his first game since last year’s Eastern Conference semifinals.“He had some swelling in (the knee) unlike it had had this year,” coach Randy Wittman said of his All-Star point guard. “I didn’t think he wasn’t going to play, because he’s played 77 games. But I had an idea. And then we came in here and it wasn’t much better than it was this morning, we said shut it down.”Washington visits Detroit on April 8.Thomas Robinson scored 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Nets, who have lost six straight games by an average of 19.3 points.Sean Kilpatrick added 15 points off the bench as Brooklyn sent out its 20th starting lineup of the season. The Nets were outrebounded 53-38 after it was announced center Brook Lopez and forward Thaddeus Young would be rested for the remainder of the season.“We knew there was going to be a discrepancy on the boards,” interim coach Tony Brown said. “I’ll give them that, but there are still a lot more things we could’ve done.”Wall has been the one sure thing in Washington’s inconsistent season, averaging a career-best 19.9 points and 10.2 assists.But in his first start of the year, Sessions picked up the slack and had 10 of his assists by halftime, helping the Wizards to a two-point lead at the break. After halftime, he marshaled an offense that turned it over only twice while the defense forced Brooklyn into eight giveaways.“Ramon played great,” Wittman said. “I thought he kept a good pace to the game, and for us as a team to have 36 assists on 48 baskets, it doesn’t get much better than that.”(IAN QUILLEN)last_img read more

Hope Solo settles grievance with US Soccer after controversial six-month ban

first_imgHope Solo has settled her grievance with the US Soccer Federation after she had her contract terminated last year for calling the Swedish team “a bunch of cowards”, it has been reported.In a statement to the San Francisco Chronicle, the controversial goalkeeper said that she and US Soccer “have amicably resolved the matter and are moving forward in a positive way”.Solo, 36, was suspended for six months by US Soccer last August for her disparaging remarks about Sweden’s defensive tactics after the US women’s team were knocked out on penalties of the Rio Olympics at the quarter-final stage.“I thought we played a courageous game. I thought we had many opportunities on goal,” Solo said afterwards, creating global headlines. “I think we showed a lot of heart. We came back from a goal down, I’m very proud of this team. And I also think we played a bunch of cowards. The best team did not win today, I strongly, firmly believe that.”This led to a stern rebuke from the US Soccer president, Sunil Gulati, who said Solo’s comments were “unacceptable and do not meet the standard of conduct we require from our national team players”.After Solo – who underwent shoulder replacement surgery in September 2016 – was banned and had her contract terminated, the US Women’s National Team players’ association filed a grievance on her behalf. It has now been settled to avoid arbitration.Solo added: “I want to reiterate my regret for the comments I made after our loss to Sweden at the Rio Games. As I expressed in my apology to the Swedish captain immediately following the match, I have tremendous respect for the Swedish team, and in describing the style of play, I used a choice of words that was both offensive and not at all what I had intended to convey.”At the time of her ban, Rich Nicholls, the general counsel for the women’s national team’s players’ association, called Solo’s suspension “excessive, unprecedented, disproportionate, and a violation of Ms Solo’s first amendment rights”.Meanwhile, US international Carli Lloyd is in the running to be named Fifa Women’s Player of the Year. The Houston Dash midfielder, who had a loan spell with Manchester City last season, is up against Venezuelan teenager Deyna Castellaños and Lieke Martens, part of Holland’s successful Euro 2017 side. Share on Facebook Share via Email Share on Pinterest news Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Messenger USA women’s football team Topics Share on WhatsApp US sports Reuse this contentlast_img read more