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Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Lydia Ko has returned to her career-
high spot of No 2 in the women’s golf
Following her tie for second place at the
Arkansas Championship on Monday,
the 17-year-old has leapfrogged Inbee
Park in the standings, while American
Stacy Lewis, who won the Arkansas
event by one stroke, has retained her
place at the top of the rankings.
Ko’s strong finish in Arkansas
helped her move from sixth to third
on the LPGA’s Race to the CME
Globe standings, behind US Women’s
Open champion Michelle Wie and
Ko moves up rankings
This time there was no escape for world No 1
For the fourth match in a row at this year’s
Wimbledon he got his fingers burned when
losing the first set — only this time he was
engulfed by player with dynamite in his strings.
How the tournament organisers must be
slapping themselves on the back for handing
Australian upstart Nick Kyrgios a wildcard.
Today the 19-year-old world No 144 took his
dream Wimbledon debut to dizzy new heights
with a spellbinding display on centre court to
outplay the twice champion using a barrage of
aces and crunching baseline winners.
His 7-6 (5), 5-7, 7-6 (5), 6-3 win was the first
by a player ranked outside the top 100 over a
world No 1 at a grand slam since Jim Courier
lost to Andrei Olhovsky in 1992.
Olhovsky never did much else but Kyrgios’s
victory, sealed with a 37th ace, felt as though it
could be a seminal moment in the evolution of
men’s tennis — a warning shot to the big-four.
Yes, Lukas Rosol and Steve Darcis, also ranked
outside the world’s top 100, ended Nadal’s
previous two Wimbledon campaigns, but they
played probably the matches of their careers to
Kyrgios’s career is just beginning and the way
he over whelmed Nadal with a fearless brand of
tennis, who knows where his first Wimbledon
adventure could end up?
“He is acting to me, like he can win the whole
tournament,” three-times Wimbledon champion
John McEnroe said after witnessing a match
that will enter Wimbledon folklore.
“The last guy that I saw like that was Boris
Becker, a teenager who just believed that he
would beat everything that was put in his way.”
While magnanimous in defeat, Nadal offered a
few words of caution.
“It ’s easier when you are arriving. Everything is
new, nothing to lose. Everything is good. We’ ll
see if he’s able to improve and play at a very high
level for a long period of time, but I wish him all
Nadal won the French Open aged 19 and has
gone on to capture 13 more grand slam titles.
Kyrgios described himself as “just a normal
19-year-old kid” today but said some pre-match
comments from his mother Norlaila that Nadal
would be a match too far for her son had fired
him up for the biggest day of his life.
“I was actually reading a comment that she
thought Rafa was too good for me,” he said. “It
actually made me a bit angry. I’ll just text her a
Kyrgios’s exploits topped what had already
been a dramatic eighth day of the championships
including defeat for Maria Sharapova and the
sight of distressed world No 1 Serena Williams
ser ving a game of double faults in a third-round
doubles match with sister Venus, before retiring
with an illness.
Roger Federer’s vintage Wimbledon continued,
though, as he glided past Spain’s Tommy
Robredo 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals
of the grasscourt slam for a 12th time.
The 32-year-old, yet to drop a set in four
rounds, dazzled the court one crowd with his
artistry, making the game look ludicrously easy
against the 22nd best player in the world.
“I feel physically in tip top shape,” Federer,
who now faces an all-Swiss quarter-final against
Davis Cup team-mate Stanislas Wawrinka, told
reporters, although his mood may have been
soured later as Switzerland lost to Argentina at
the World Cup.
While Federer is facing an unusually busy
schedule at Wimbledon because of weather
interruptions, Wawrinka will be playing a third
match in three days tomorrow.
Australian Open champion Wawrinka beat
Feliciano L opez 7-6 (5), 7-6 (7), 6-3 without any
major alarms although the match ended with the
players in a heated argument at the net.
Big-serving Milos Raonic celebrated Canada
Day by becoming the first man from his country
to reach the quarter-finals at Wimbledon in the
professional era, beating Japan’s 10th seed Kei
Nishikori 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (4), 6-3.
Wimbledon’s second Tuesday is usually
reserved for the women’s quarter-finals, but with
the schedulers playing catch-up after this year’s
rain delays, only two took place.
Czechs dominated the bottom half of the
women’s draw where Lucie Safarova’s 6-3, 6-1
defeat of Ekaterina Makarova set up a semi-
final clash with compatriot and 2011 champion
Petra Kvitova who defeated unseeded Barbora
Zahlavova Strycova 6-1, 7-5 .
With a Czech finalist guaranteed, the top half
of the draw took a further twist when Russian
firebrand Sharapova, despite saving six match
points, had her hopes of celebrating the 10th
anniversary of her sole Wimbledon triumph
with a sequel, rudely ended by dogged German
The screaming fifth seed threw everything in
her formidable arsenal Kerber’s way, but after
recovering from a wasteful opening set tiebreak
to level, she went down 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-4 .
Though not the victory the French Open
champion craved, she showed true champions’
spirit to haul back a 5-2 deficit in a thrilling
finale to a match she might have gone on to win
had she taken a point to level at 5-5.
Instead, despite blowing a 0-40 advantage in
the final nerve-jangling game Kerber sealed
victory when Sharapova flailed a backhand over
“I was a little bit ner vous because I was
thinking, you know, if it ’s now 5-5, everything
starts from zero,” Kerber, who faces 20-year-old
rising star Eugenie Bouchard in the quarter-final
A day after Bouchard became the first
Canadian to reach a Wimbledon quarter-final
in the professional era, compatriot Milos Raonic
underlined the country ’s upward curve with
a four-set victory over Japan’s 10th seed Kei
Not a bad way to celebrate Canada Day,
although Raonic will not be partying with
Kyrgios to face tomorrow.
Last year’s runner-up Sabine Lisicki made sure
there would be two Germans in the women’s
quarters when she overcame a shoulder injury to
beat Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova 6-3, 3-6,
She will face Romania’s Miss Consistency
Simona Halep after the third seed raced to a
6-3, 6-0 win over Kazakhstan’s Zarina Diyas.
Halep reached the French Open final earlier this
month and began the year with a quarter-final
run in Australia. — Reuters
John McEnroe called it “beyond
belief ”, Tim Henman declared it “shot
of the year” while Nick Kyrgios’ mum
said it was “a bit cheeky”.
Every person in Wimbledon’s centre
court applauded in awe.
Australian teenager Kyrgios’ audacious,
between-the-legs winner in his historic
fourth-round win over Rafael Nadal has
gone viral on social media and is the talk
of the tennis world.
With scores locked at 3-3 in the
second set, 19-year-old Kyrgios played
a shot most in his position would never
dare try, let alone pull off.
A powerful Nadal backhand was
struck straight at the Australian, who
duly opened his legs and clipped an
outrageous effort just over the net for a
Kyrgios had tried a few other other
“tweeners” in his previous matches at the
All England Club this week.
This one, at a moment of tension
against the world No 1, stuck.
Kyrgios raised his arms and circled for
the crowd, as if to say “you’re welcome”.
Nadal, in no mood to admire, turned
his back almost immediately.
The shot has drawn comparisons with
Roger Federer’s famous “tweener” at the
2009 US Open, considered by some as
the greatest shot of all time.
In the context of the match, Kyrgios’
winner meant little.
He was 40-0 down at the time and
went on to lose the game and the set.
However, it was a perfect illustration of
the fearless attitude that helped him pull
off one of the biggest upsets in grand
It was one of a stack of spectacular
winners for Kyrgios, who says his
aggressive shot-making is more than a
case of youthful exuberance.
“I love to entertain,” Kyrgios said.
“I think I’m always going to have a
style of game that ’s aggressive. To be
able to play my best tennis, that ’s how
I’m going to have to play. I am going
to have to play free, back myself under
“That ’s going to give me the best
chance to win matches.”
PICTURE: Getty Images
Argentina’s Angel di Maria, middle, scores his team’s only goal past Switzerland’s Diego Benaglio in extra time today at Arena de Sao
Paulo, Sao Paulo.
The luck of champions helped
Lionel Messi’s Argentina scrape
into the World Cup last eight
today past an increasingly daring
Switzerland in their quest for a
third World Cup.
None of the sur viving pre-
tournament favourites have
had an easy passage into the
quarter-finals, with hosts Brazil,
Germany and the Netherlands
also suffering their share of
scares before finally overcoming
Angel Di Maria’s strike for
Argentina two minutes from
the end of extra time in their
last-16 clash secured a 1-0
victory, although the Swiss
almost equalised in the dying
Blerim Dzemaili’s header struck
“ Yesterday Germany, Holland
the day before. Nothing’s easy,
it ’s all hard work. Football has
evolved today and everything’s
very level,” Argentina midfielder
Javier Mascherano said.
“ We had luck on our side,” man
of the match Messi added.
Argentina’s goal came from the
only moment in which Messi,
well marked by a clockwork-
like defence, found the space to
make a telling contribution with
his pass to Di Maria and the
Swiss were for once caught at
least a man short in defence.
It was the one telling moment
in a disappointing performance
by Di Maria, with Argentina
still waiting for him and
Gonzalo Higuain to find their
best form, while Messi clearly
missed having the injured Sergio
Aguero alongside him.
A tournament that began
with an exciting group phase
full of goals and shock results,
has reverted to tight matches,
with two going to penalties and
another three decided by a single
goal before the final match of
the first knockout round.
The Swiss, like the other
surprise teams in Brazil, gave
Argentina a hard time, blocking
their path to goal with Messi,
unable to score after netting
four goals in the three group
matches, becoming increasingly
More than that they played a
big part in a match that could
have gone either way, their
breaks down the flanks troubling
the Argentine defence. Like
Chile and Mexico before them,
the Swiss would not have been
out of place in the last eight.
organisation similar to that
displayed by Costa Rica who
enjoyed a surprise run through
their group with upset wins over
Uruguay and Italy, or Algeria in
breaking into the last 16 from
members of the 2009 under-17
World Cup winners in their
side, owed their second place in
group E to the awareness and
concentration they showed in
stealing an opening 2-1 win over
Ecuador from an added time
Messi’s equivalent in the Brazil
team, Neymar, has also cut a
frustrated figure at times for the
hosts whose tortuous path to the
last eight also owed a lot to luck
as they held out against Chile at
the Maracana before winning on
Organised underdogs look
sure to continue to frustrate
opponents as the tournament
moves towards the final on July
13. Who will win? Lady Luck
could decide. — Reuters
Extra-time goals from Kevin De
Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku sealed a
thrilling 2-1 victory for Belgium over a
spirited United States today and set up
a World Cup quarter-final clash with
After dominating normal time and
being frustrated by an inspired Tim
Howard in the US goal, De Bruyne
struck in the 93rd minute, collecting
a loose ball before turning and firing
home an angled shot from 7m.
In a pulsating extra-time, substitute
striker Lukaku powered home a second
on 105 minutes after a clever De Bruyne
pass before Julian Green’s neat volley
ensured a tense finish in which Clint
Dempsey almost sneaked an equaliser.
It could have been very different for
the Belgians had US substitute Chris
Wondolowski not horribly skewed
wide from 5m in the dying seconds of
normal time to seal what would have
been a smash and grab victory.
“ It was heart-breaking. We left it all
out there but we lost to a really good
“ It hurts but hats off to Belgium
they were fantastic,” Howard said in a
televised inter view.
“Sometimes when you give your best
it doesn’t come off. We put them under
real pressure at the end and fell short
but it was an unbelievable night and we
have an incredible group of players.”
Belgium enjoyed nearly all the
possession and looked the more
dangerous side throughout as the US
were forced to set up camp outside their
own penalty area and look to attack on
On his first start in Brazil, Belgium
striker Divock Origi was in on goal
inside 40 seconds but his low drive was
parried away for a corner by Howard,
while the lively De Bruyne should have
done better after 23 minutes having
found space in the box.
Dempsey’s tame volley represented
the best chance for the Americans in
the first half and they were forced to
dig deep again after the inter val to cope
with another Belgian onslaught.
Dries Mertens and Jan Vertonghen
tested Howard before Origi went close
with a header that hit the crossbar.
Howard was again on hand to repel
Kevin Mirallas and he dealt with
two more stinging Origi shots and a
Vincent Kompany effort.
With extra time moments away,
United States’ Wondolowski missed a
glorious chance that they would come
All Belgium’s goals in Brazil had come
after the 70th- minute mark and their
persistence finally paid off in extra
time when De Bruyne fired home after
Lukaku raced down the right wing and
De Bruyne returned the favour on
105 minutes, teeing up the frontman to
power home a second which sparked a
Roared on by deafening chants
of ‘USA’, Juergen Klinsmann’s side
summoned the energy to raise
Midfielder Green met a chipped
Michael Bradley pass to volley home
two minutes later and Dempsey almost
forced penalties, only for his clever
set-piece effort to be foiled by Thibaut
The win was Belgium’s fourth in four
games in Brazil and sealed their first
World Cup quarter-final appearance
since 1986. They will play Argentina on
Sunday. — Reuters
Mal Meninga wants Queensland
to take a leaf out of Cooper Cronk’s
book after stressing the Maroons
must cope better with adversity to
prevent a State of Origin clean sweep.
Cronk was yesterday named to
make a near-miracle comeback in
Wednesday week’s dead rubber, just
six weeks after breaking his forearm
in the series opener.
The Melbourne halfback revealed
he vowed at full-time to make it back
for game three, and has since left no
stone unturned to play at Suncorp
“I just said I would do everything
possible to get ready,” Cronk said.
“I did everything in my power and
in my capacity to do that and here I
am with the help of other people.”
Five days after Craig Bellamy
rubbished suggestions his Storm
playmaker would be fit, the
Melbourne coach admitted he had
been using “potions and lotions” and
altering his diet to ensure his fracture
Cronk, who will wear a cast,
declined to detail the degree of his
radical measures, but he also admitted
there were more boxes to tick in his
preparations to ensure he will be ready
to aim up against a NSW outfit set to
target him, despite no game time in
“ I can’t tell you that everything is
going to be fine,” Cronk said. “I know
I’m going to find it tough at some
stage, it ’s been five weeks. I will do
everything possible this week to make
sure I have my mind and body ready
to combat it on Wednesday night.”
Queensland coach Meninga has no
fears about his “ultimate professional”
playmaker, who was sorely missed for
the last 70 minutes of game one plus
all of game two.
Meninga predicted they would be
a more cohesive unit for game three
with Cronk back and all troops
training after a number were rested
for preparations to the two preceding
What he mostly wanted was his
team to roll with the punches better,
like losing the No 7 in game one and
Matt Scott (cheekbone) and Brent
Tate (knee) in the 6-4 game two loss.
“ We haven’t been able to handle
that adversity when we have been
confronted with it,” Meninga said. “In
the past we have been able to handle
it but NSW are playing a lot better
than they were seven, six, five years
Cronk’s return has seen Daly
Cherry-Evans relegated to the bench,
while Jacob Lillyman will take Scott ’s
place in the front-row.
The selectors declined to add a
new prop, with in-form Bronco Josh
McGuire named 18th man, but
Meninga said the return of Corey
Parker (eye socket) adds to the stocks
in the middle. Parker returns to the
back-row with Chris McQueen
(ankle) ruled out, while Will
Chambers will make his debut on the
wing after replacing Tate.
Billy Slater, Darius
Boyd, Greg Inglis, Justin Hodges,
Will Chambers, Johnathan Thurston,
Cooper Cronk, Jacob Lillyman,
Cameron Smith (capt), Nate Myles,
Aidan Guerra, Sam Thaiday, Corey
Parker. Interchange: Daly Cherry-
Evans, Ben Te’o, Matt Gillett, Dave
Taylor. Reser ves: Josh McGuire,
Michael Morgan. — A AP
NSW coach Laurie Daley says if there was
such thing as a State of Origin dead rubber,
Cooper Cronk and Josh Morris would not be
pushing their bodies so hard to come back from
Daley admitted he was surprised Cronk was
included in the Q ueensland side after the
halfback fractured his arm in Origin I. However,
he said the Blues have their own medical miracle
to inspire them in Morris, who is also set to play
in next Wednesday ’s Origin III without a NRL
game under his belt since damaging his knee in
the Origin opener in May.
NSW made three forced changes to their
squad that will attempt to come away with the
first clean sweep for a Blues side since 2000 and
the first time since 1996 the state has won two
matches in Q ueensland.
Newcastle winger James McManus has
been recalled for the injured Will Hopoate,
Sydney Roosters forward Boyd Cordner for the
suspended Anthony Watmough and Morris for
wounded centre Michael Jennings.
Daley said Morris’ heroics to play on with a
serious knee injury in game one and fight his
way back for game three would set the tone for
how the Blues would play in the future.
“Some of the courageous things our players
have done will be on tape forever and will be
shown forever,” he said. “People, when they pull
on the Blue shirt, that ’s what the expectation is
going to be. He’s enormous for us. He’s a real
leader in our team — a real experienced player.
To show the courage and commitment he did in
game one was phenomenal.
“I think you can see what it means to
Queensland, given Cooper Cronk had six weeks
out with a broken arm and, first game back, he
wants to play for Queensland again. I would
hope that ’s the attitude our players have and ...
and we have that in a bloke like Josh Morris.”
Daley admitted McManus had not had
his greatest season but had been shown faith
because he had done the job for NSW in the
past. The coach, who was involved in the last
time NSW won two games in Brisbane, says
he is undecided about whether he wants to
be a long-term statesman for the Blues in the
same mould as Mal Meninga has been for
NSW: Jarryd Hayne, James McManus,
Josh D ugan, Josh Morris, Daniel Tupou, Josh
Reynolds, Trent Hodkinson, Paul Gallen (capt),
Robbie Farah, Aaron Woods, Beau Scott,
Ryan Hoffman, Greg Bird. Interchange: Trent
Merrin, Boyd Cordner, James Tamou, Luke
Lewis. — A AP
PICTURE: Getty Images
Nick Kyrgios celebrates his victory over Rafael Nadal today at Wimbledon.
WORLD CUP FOOTBALL
Last gasp winner advances Argentina
Kyrgios pulls off
‘shot of the year’
WORLD CUP FOOTBALL
off in extra time
STATE OF ORIGIN
Cronk returns for Origin III
STATE OF ORIGIN
Morris courage sets NSW tone
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