10 months agoSolskjaer settles debate on Man Utd captaincy

first_imgAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Solskjaer settles debate on Man Utd captaincyby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveOle Gunnar Solskjaer insists Antonio Valencia will remain as captain of Manchester United. The Ecuadorian fall out of favour under Jose Mourinho this season, having made just four Premier League appearances.But Solskjaer says the veteran will be an important part of his team once he returns to full fitness.He said: “Antonio is the captain. When he is properly fit and playing, he will wear the armband.”He’s going through a couple of tough sessions to get him ready for the busy period. There are not many better right backs going forward.” last_img read more

9 months agoWest Ham demand huge money to sell Arnautovic with replacement identified

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say West Ham demand huge money to sell Arnautovic with replacement identifiedby Paul Vegas9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveWest Ham are demanding huge money to sell Marko Arnautovic this month.The Mirror says West Ham will hold out for as much as £50million if Arnautovic still wants out – to try and finance a move for Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson.The club are fighting to keep 29-year-old Arnautovic, despite his insistence last week that he wants to join Chinese Super League club Shanghai SiPG. Bournemouth in turn are desperate to hold on to 26-year-old Wilson, who has netted 11 times this season – including once for England. If Arnautovic downs tools as Dimitri Payet did two years ago to force a move to Marseille, then West Ham would have no option but to cut their losses. last_img read more

9 months agoMan Utd fullback Darmian Serie A return hopes shutdown

first_imgMan Utd fullback Darmian Serie A return hopes shutdownby Carlos Volcano9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United fullback Matteo Darmian has seen plans of returning to Italy this month stall.The Italy international is eager to return to Serie A after being limited to a bit-part role at United this season.TMW says Darmian’s agents have made fresh attempts to open talks with both Juventus and Inter Milan, but the response has been ‘cold’.While both giants regard Darmian highly, the word is they’re not interested in a deal for the defender in January. TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

a month agoWatford manager Sanchez Flores likes new position for Sarr

first_imgWatford manager Sanchez Flores likes new position for Sarrby Ansser Sadiqa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveWatford boss Quique Sanchez Flores thinks Ismalia Sarr is suited to play as a striker.The Senegalese was deployed as a lone forward against Arsenal on Sunday, having previously been deployed primarily as a winger.”I think the best quality of Sarr is of course his skill,” Sanchez Flores said.”The velocity is something very pure and very interesting for us. This kind of player is giving us a break in lines – you put one as a striker, a good striker with big velocity between defence and midfielders.”He will run, separate the lines and find space. He’s there really to run. He’s very young, so it’s very interesting when he’s playing because at the start he was a little bit shy, but then little by little he was more relaxed, more confident and to see the progress was really good and good for him.” About the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

a month agoSanchez Flores positive about Watford squad: The mindset is amazing

first_imgSanchez Flores positive about Watford squad: The mindset is amazingby Freddie Taylora month agoSend to a friendShare the loveWatford head coach Quique Sanchez Flores has commended his players upon his return to the club.The Hornets fought back from 2-0 down at home to Arsenal last Sunday to gain just their second Premier League point this season in Flores’ first game in charge.He said: “I think when you are in the bottom of the table, of course, the mentality is a struggle, but we need time.”I think the behaviour and the performance of the players on the training ground is amazing, they look really positive. The way they understand everything and the way they played the last match, of course every single match is different, but very positive.”I feel they’re happy, I feel they’re positive, I feel they’re confident in the way they train and the energy they are using. They look fit and after the last match I think they’ve got a lot confidence for the next match.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

23 days agoBayern Munich goalkeeper Neuer offers sympathy to Tottenham counterpart Lloris

first_imgBayern Munich goalkeeper Neuer offers sympathy to Tottenham counterpart Llorisby Paul Vegas23 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveBayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer offered some sympathy to Tottenham counterpart Hugo Lloris after last night’s defeat.Bayern thrashed their Champions League opponents 7-2 in London last night.”What more can one say? He (Serge Gnabry) has done everything superbly,” said Neuer. “I’m a little sorry for Hugo Lloris. He could do nothing and conceded seven home goals. “It’s bitter.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

9 days agoChelsea striker Giroud wanted by Conte’s Inter Milan

first_imgChelsea striker Giroud wanted by Conte’s Inter Milanby Paul Vegas9 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea striker Olivier Giroud is being linked with Inter Milan.Inter coach Antonio Conte is considering bolstering his attacking ranks with the acquisition of veteran Giroud, says Calciomercato.com.Giroud was brought to Stamford Bridge by Conte in January 2018.And the former Blues boss could sign him for a second time as he looks to provide competition for Romelu Lukaku and cover for the injured Alexis Sanchez at the San Siro.Giroud is off contract at Chelsea in June. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Wisconsin Releases Depth Chart For Season Opener Vs. LSU

first_imgWisconsin quarterback throws during practice.Wisconsin Depth ChartThe official Wisconsin depth chart for the season-opening game against LSU has been released.One week from tomorrow, Wisconsin will take on LSU at Lambeau Field to open the 2016 season. This afternoon, the official Wisconsin depth chart for the game was released.Here’s your first look at the #Badgers’ depth chart for the season opener vs. LSU: pic.twitter.com/w8FmPsosQl— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) August 26, 2016One of the big names on there is Bart Houston, who was named the starting quarterback yesterday. Badgers fans have to be excited to see Corey Clement back at first-string running back after he battled injuries last year. Several true freshmen also appear, including former four-star defensive tackle prospect Garrett Rand.Wisconsin and LSU will kickoff at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC next Saturday.last_img read more

‘Arsenal making a mistake with magic Ramsey’

first_imgArsenal are making “a mistake” in allowing Aaron Ramsey’s contract to run down, says Jack Collison, with the Gunners preparing to part with one of few players on their books with “magic” qualities.With a previous extension offer having been taken off the table, the Wales international is heading towards free agency.As revealed by Goal, with a medical process underway and terms on the table, Serie A giants Juventus are closing in on Ramsey’s signature. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? A former colleague on national team duty can see why such a switch would appeal to the 28-year-old, but he is bemused as to why Arsenal have put themselves in this situation.Collison told BBC Radio 5 Live: “He’s had a lot of success in England and maybe he feels it’s a new challenge, something that he needs.“It’s fresh, it will be tough out there but Juventus are a good side, they’re going to be challenging for cups, they’re there or thereabouts in the league every season.“It’s a new culture and a new challenge, and probably something that he’s really looking forward to.“Is it a mistake for Arsenal to let him go? Yes, quite simply, yes.Aaron Ramsey Arsenal“You look at their last few games, even against West Ham, they’ve really struggled for that magic man to link the play, to play between the lines, to recognise where the spaces are on the pitch.“He’s not just a person who will play in one position, he’s very bright, very clever and he’s often that man who finds that key pass, will find the goal and especially when they’re struggling and teams will sit back, teams will try and defend, he’s often the man to produce that bit of magic.“Especially now, Arsenal started off so well, it seemed [Unai] Emery could do no wrong but a couple of tough results, a few draws, a few losses here and there, and all of a sudden it’s looking like a totally different prospect at Arsenal.”Since the last international break in November, Ramsey has started just two Premier League games for Arsenal – and he was hauled off at half-time during a 2-2 draw with Manchester United in December.He has been a regular on the bench, but Emery has sought to put his trust in those who will form part of his long-term plans.Ramsey, though, has two goals and six assists to his name this season and may need to play a more prominent role if the Gunners are to force themselves back into the Premier League’s top four.They will get another chance to close on the Champions League spots this weekend as Chelsea, the side sat directly above them in the table, are due to pay a visit to Emirates Stadium on Saturday. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

Robert Smith Claims He Was The First Ohio State NFL Player To Say “The”

first_imgTwo analysts talk on one of the Big Ten network's shows.BTN.You’ve heard it a lot over the years.A former Ohio State football player introduces himself during an NFL broadcast and concludes his introduction with an emphatic, “The Ohio State University.”Who started that tradition?Apparently, it was former Buckeye running back Robert Smith.“It is true,” Smith said on the Big Ten Network earlier this week. “It was the official name of the university and they made a point in around 1994 to emphasize it.”It was Robert Smith who started saying THE Ohio State University in the NFL introductions! pic.twitter.com/F6h7BF4dYb— Buckeye Videos+ (@BuckeyeVideos) September 1, 2016Smith played at Ohio State in the early 1990s before going on to star in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings. He played in the NFL from 1993-2000.So, when you hear that first “The Ohio State University” this fall, you’ll know who started it.last_img read more

‘Sorry to every single Arsenal fan around the world’

first_imgArsenal defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos has apologised to Gunners fans after his side were beaten 4-1 by Chelsea in Wednesday’s Europa League final in Baku.After a promising opening 45 minutes, a lame showing in the second half saw Arsenal picked apart, with Alex Iwobi’s stunning half-volley only a consolation.The result meant Arsenal missed out on qualification for next year’s Champions League, leading the 30-year-old Greek international to tweet his apologies and vow to put things right next season. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Sokratis said: “You all deserved better and I’m sorry that we couldn’t give you what we all wanted. For every single Arsenal fan who was in Baku and around the world, we are sorry. We’ll work to get stronger for next season to give this club the success it deserves.”The controversial choice of venue for the final meant that most supporters watched the game from home, with only around 5,000 fans making the journey of almost 3000 miles (4800km) from London to the Azerbaijani capital.Arsenal’s second-half capitulation – with goals from Eden Hazard, Pedro and former Gunners man Olivier Giroud – was nonetheless watched by millions around the world, and their performance has raised questions about the progress made in Unai Emery’s first season in charge.Despite some bright spots – most notably the partnership between top goalscorers Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette – it has been an inconsistent campaign for Arsenal.The Gunners were among the sides who could have secured Champions League football via their place in the Premier League with a strong finish to the season, but stumbled in the final month of the campaign.Arsenal took just seven points in their last seven games to finish two points back of Chelsea in third and one point back of Tottenham in fourth. That fifth-place Premier League finish and Europa League failure extended their absence from the top table of European football, with their last Champions League tie a 10-2 humbling at the hands of Bayern Munich in early 2017.Despite the immediate disappointment, Emery has appealed for patience as he continues his rebuilding work in the post-Wenger era, though Arsenal’s transfer plans are likely to be negatively affected by missing the Champions League. Gunners fans may be forced to endure another difficult moment as well on Saturday, should local rivals Spurs upset Liverpool in the Champions League final in Madrid.last_img read more

Chelsea’s 2019-20 Premier League fixtures

first_imgChelsea enjoyed a third-place finish and won the Europa League last season, but a cloud lingers over the club ahead of the 2019-20 campaign.Bereft of talisman Eden Hazard, who left to join Real Madrid in a big-money move, they are facing into a FIFA-imposed transfer ban and doubts swirl over the future of Maurizio Sarri at the club.They will have to put all that to one side though as they kick off the new season with an away game against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United on August 11. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Despite the stern test to commence the campaign, the fixture list has been relatively kind to the Blues in the early stages, with games against Leicester City, Norwich City, Sheffield United and Wolves completing the first five weeks.A home clash against Liverpool awaits on September 21, with a trip to Manchester City in store on November 23.A series of London derbies are scheduled for the end of the year, with away clashes against Tottenham and Arsenal set for December 21 and December 28 respectively.The Blues’ full 2019-20 Premier League fixture list can be found below.Chelsea Premier League 2019-20 fixtures Date Time Match 11/08/2019 16:30 Manchester United v Chelsea 17/08/2019 15:00 Chelsea v Leicester City 24/08/2019 15:00 Norwich City v Chelsea 31/08/2019 15:00 Chelsea v Sheffield United 14/09/2019 15:00 Wolverhampton v Chelsea 21/09/2019 15:00 Chelsea v Liverpool 28/09/2019 15:00 Chelsea v Brighton 05/10/2019 15:00 Southampton v Chelsea 19/10/2019 15:00 Chelsea v Newcastle United 26/10/2019 15:00 Burnley v Chelsea 02/11/2019 15:00 Watford v Chelsea 09/11/2019 15:00 Chelsea v Crystal Palace 23/11/2019 15:00 Manchester City v Chelsea 30/11/2019 15:00 Chelsea v West Ham United 04/12/2019 19:45 Chelsea v Aston Villa 07/12/2019 15:00 Everton v Chelsea 14/12/2019 15:00 Chelsea v A.F.C. Bournemouth 21/12/2019 15:00 Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea 26/12/2019 15:00 Chelsea v Southampton 28/12/2019 15:00 Arsenal v Chelsea 01/01/2020 15:00 Brighton v Chelsea 11/01/2020 15:00 Chelsea v Burnley 18/01/2020 15:00 Newcastle United v Chelsea 22/01/2020 19:45 Chelsea v Arsenal 01/02/2020 15:00 Leicester City v Chelsea 08/02/2020 15:00 Chelsea v Manchester United 22/02/2020 15:00 Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur 29/02/2020 15:00 A.F.C. Bournemouth v Chelsea 07/03/2020 15:00 Chelsea v Everton 14/03/2020 15:00 Aston Villa v Chelsea 21/03/2020 15:00 Chelsea v Manchester City 04/04/2020 15:00 West Ham United v Chelsea 11/04/2020 15:00 Chelsea v Watford 18/04/2020 15:00 Crystal Palace v Chelsea 25/04/2020 15:00 Sheffield United v Chelsea 02/05/2020 15:00 Chelsea v Norwich City 09/05/2020 15:00 Liverpool v Chelsea 17/05/2020 15:00 Chelsea v Wolverhampton Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

AP’s Ralph D. Russo Reveals His CFB Playoff Picks

first_imgA pylon at the CFP National Championship game.ATLANTA, GA – JANUARY 08: A detailed view of the ESPN Pylon Cam during the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Alabama Crimson Tide at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)With college football getting underway this weekend, writers are unveiling their preseason predictions right before the games get started. Ralph Russo is the latest to do so.Russo, the AP’s national college football writer, released a full season preview today. He picked conference champions, a Heisman winner and of course his college football playoff choices.Three of Russo’s picks are popular ones: Alabama, Clemson and Washington. His fourth team is Michigan, which certainly has the talent to make the playoff, but must endure a brutal schedule.Russo seems to be a Harbaugh believer. He has Michigan topping Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game and finally getting to the playoff.Russo also likes Dabo Swinney to take down his alma mater in the title game for the second time in three seasons.Cotton Bowl: Alabama (1) vs. Washington (4).Orange Bowl: Michigan (2) vs. Clemson (3).National title: Clemson over Alabama.We’d certainly sign up for Alabama-Clemson IV, with the national championship at stake no less.You can read the rest of Russo’s picks and award selections here.last_img read more

2 ESPN Analysts Are Predicting A Huge Upset Today

first_imgA general view of Colorado's football field during a game.BOULDER, CO – NOVEMBER 03: A general view of the stadium as the Stanford Cardinal face the Colorado Buffaloes at Folsom Field on November 3, 2012 in Boulder, Colorado. The Cardinal defeated the Buffaloes 48-0. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)Week 11 is here.The eleventh week of the 2018 college football season features several notable contests, including some that have people thinking “upset.”A couple of ESPN analysts have unveiled a major Week 11 upset pick.The pick: Colorado over No. 8 Washington State.ESPN’s Edward Aschoff and David M. Hale are both predicting Colorado to topple Washington State this weekend. This would all-but eliminate the Pac-12 from College Football Playoff contention.Colorado and Washington State are set to kick off at 3:30 p.m. E.T.The game will be on ESPN.You can view ESPN’s full picks here.last_img read more

Tate Martell’s First Miami Hurricanes Highlight Is Going Viral

first_imgtate martell holds a football during a campCORONADO, CA – MAY 27: Tate Martell of Ohio State University attends Steve Clarkson’s 13th Annual Quarterback Retreat on May 27, 2017 in Coronado, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)We have Tate Martell’s first viral moment as a member of the Miami Hurricanes’ football program. It’s going to be tough to top, too.Martell, the former top quarterback recruit, transferred into Miami’s football program after spending two seasons at Ohio State. The Las Vegas, Nevada native considered a couple of major programs before deciding on The U.It’s unclear if Martell will be made eligible for the 2019 season, but the quarterback is putting in some serious work regardless.Martell was trying to work on some routes inside the facility earlier this week, but something got in the way. A dog.Martell was then able to show off his running ability.Check it out:Live look at @TheTateMartell out running the NCAA ??? #CanesCartel pic.twitter.com/WyUGM16I4k— Canes Cartel ?⏰ (@CanesCartel) February 12, 2019Martell tweeted the following:“I wanted to throw routes… the dog wanted to work on zone read. So we worked on zone read,” he wrote.I wanted to throw routes… the dog wanted to work on zone read.So we worked on zone read ? https://t.co/Elh4nm6t8J— TATE MARTELL (@TheTateMartell) February 12, 2019That’s the kind of quickness that should have Miami fans excited about the future.As far as Martell’s eligibility for 2019 goes, the NCAA’s decision on former Georgia quarterback Justin Fields could be viewed as good news for the Miami quarterback. Fields transferred out of the Bulldogs’ program and into Ohio State. While the circumstances surrounding their transfers weren’t exactly the same, Martell could look to Fields’ case to help his own.last_img read more

Alabama Freshman WR John Metchie Reportedly Dominated Scrimmage

first_imgA general view of Bryant-Denny Stadium during the game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Tennessee Volunteers.TUSCALOOSA, AL – OCTOBER 24: A general view of Bryant-Denny Stadium during the game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Tennessee Volunteers on October 24, 2015 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)Alabama is locked and loaded for another run toward the national championship. Most of the pressure will fall on Tua Tagovailoa, but he’ll certainly have assistance from his skill position players.The Crimson Tide finished their first spring scrimmage over the weekend. Apparently one rising freshman caught the attention of his coaching staff.It turns out that four-star wideout John Metchie was dominant for the Crimson Tide. He enters Alabama as the No. 6 recruit from New Jersey, per 247Sports.According to Alabama reporter Matt Zenitz, the freshman wide receiver caught two touchdowns during the scrimmage.Takeaways from first Alabama spring scrimmage https://t.co/XqOPG7GhYp— Matt Zenitz (@mzenitz) April 1, 2019Metchie only took two visit during his recruitment process and received 22 offers from various programs.The leading receiver for Alabama in 2018 was Jerry Jeudy, who finished with 1,315 yards and 14 touchdowns. He won the Biletnikoff Award this past season, which is given to the most outstanding receiver in college football.The odds of Metchie cracking the rotation in his first year will be tough. Alabama has its top three pass catchers returning for next season. Nonetheless, Nick Saban might have to expand the freshman’s role if he continues to dominate on the gridiron.Other standouts from the previous scrimmage includes backup quarterback Mac Jones, tight end Cameron Latu, and running back Najee Harris.last_img read more

Georgia Officially Makes Change To Sanford Stadium Name

first_imgA general view of Georgia's football stadium.ATHENS, GA – NOVEMBER 24: A general view of Sanford Stadium during the game between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on November 24, 2018 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)For decades the Georgia Bulldogs have played their games at Sanford Stadium, expanding the historic stadium over the course of 90 years. They will continue to play games at the famous venue, but it will now have a slightly different name moving forward.According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Georgia Board of Regents announced on Tuesday that the stadium would be adjusted to Vince Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium. The name is in tribute to former Georgia head coach and athletic director Vince Dooley.From 1964 to 1988, Dooley led the Bulldogs to six SEC titles, eight bowl wins, and an undefeated national title win in 1980. He served as athletic director from 1979 until 2004, during which the Bulldogs won another SEC title and nine more bowl games.Per the report, the Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium will be officially dedicated on September 7 prior to Georgia’s home opener against Murray State. Official: ‘Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium’The Georgia Board of Regents approved a proposal today to name the University of Georgia’s football field after former head coach and athletics director Vince Dooley. pic.twitter.com/altmsy7iln— 960 The Ref (@960theref) May 14, 2019Sanford Stadium first opened in October 1929, and had a capacity of 30,000 at the time.The expanding popularity of football and the Georgia Bulldogs over the years has led to no fewer than eight expansions over the years.The stadium now seats a whopping 92,746 people – making it the tenth largest stadium in the United States.It was also one of the host sites for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.[Atlanta Journal-Constitution]last_img read more

Video: The First Touchdown Of The 2019 College Football Season

first_imgGeneric photo of footballs in an end zone.(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)The 2019 college football season is officially underway.Earlier this morning, ESPN’s College GameDay crew broke down the action before tonight’s huge non-conference contest between Miami and Florida.Kirk Herbstreit and company gave their College Football Playoff picks and revealed which teams might surprise this year.While the show was focused on the FBS programs, it was the FCS level that actually got the party started.Villanova and Colgate faced off in a battle of FCS programs.In the early portion of the games, the Wildcats scored the first touchdown of the 2019 college football season.Dan Smith hit Jalen Jackson for an 18-yard touchdown pass.Check it out.There it is. The FIRST touchdown of the 2019 college football season.Jalen Jackson finds his way into the end zone for @NovaFootball. pic.twitter.com/xMhTX99HnN— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) August 24, 2019That’s a great way to start off the college football season.Villanova extended its lead to 14-0 and looks to be in control of the game.The FBS action gets started tonight at 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN as the Hurricanes take on the Gators.Stay tuned for the latest from college football.last_img read more

India do not have the system in place to produce singles players: Prajnesh Gunneswaran

first_img Reuters MelbourneJanuary 13, 2019UPDATED: January 13, 2019 18:34 IST Prajnesh Gunneswaran is India’s highest-ranked singles player at 112 (Reuters Photo)HIGHLIGHTSPrajnesh Gunneswaran qualified for the Australian Open main drawGunneswaran will meet American 20-year-old Frances Tiafoe in the Australian Open first roundGunneswaran feels India’s search for quality singles players would not end anytime soonPrajnesh Gunneswaran is the lone Indian in the singles main draw at the 2019 Australian Open and the 29-year-old rues the sorry state of the game back home, which he thinks will not improve even if he pulls off a miracle to reach the final in Melbourne.Cricket lords over other sports in India and the country of 1.3 billion has no men or women singles player currently in the top 100 even though it has produced decent doubles players in recent past.Reaching the singles main draw at a Grand Slam in itself is a success in cricket-mad India, which has only seen Yuki Bhambri achieve the feat since Somdev Devvarman played in the 2013 US Open.Gunneswaran is India’s highest-ranked singles player at 112 and will meet American 20-year-old Frances Tiafoe, who is ranked 39, in his opening round on Monday after booking his spot at the year’s first Grand Slam through the qualifiers.”It’s a good thing and a bad thing,” he told Reuters in an interview on Sunday. “It’s good for me personally because obviously I get a bit more coverage and a bit more presence in the media.”But I would also like to see more Indians in this part of the tournament, in the main draw, doing well, making it to the second week like we do in doubles.”He dismissed suggestions that his Australian Open appearance could motivate more players in the world’s second-most populous country.”I don’t think there is any lack of motivation. We don’t have the system in place to produce players so no matter how much motivation is there we will not produce any players even if I make the final,” Gunneswaran said.advertisement”Somdev has been 70 and we had other players in the past who have been top 30 but that didn’t produce another 100 players.”I don’t think me doing something here will make a drastic change. It will change my life but when it comes to Indian tennis I don’t think so.”Gunneswaran feels India’s search for quality singles players would not end anytime soon.”We need an entire system and infrastructure, from coaches to fitness trainers, a centre where the youngsters can go and play and develop and get better,” he said. “We don’t have that kind of a consistent system in India.”Here I am playing a professional event and I have to focus and do everything that I can to do well. Obviously there is a certain amount of expectation that comes with being currently the number one in India. I am going to step on the court and give it my best and hope that I can come out on top.”Gunneswaran had missed out on playing in the French Open main draw last year as a lucky loser as he had left Paris to play a Challenger event.He is coming off a strong 2018 during which he rose to a career-high 104 in November following strong results and two Challenger titles.The Indian did not have much idea about Tiafoe but knew he needed to be at his best to advance.”I don’t know too much about him. I have seen him on TV playing matches,” Gunneswaran said. “I know he’s very good, he’s top 40 for a reason.”I will have to play well to beat him. I will come up with a game plan tomorrow (Monday) and give it all I have got.”Also Watch:For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byJepher Nickels Tags :Follow Prajnesh GunneswaranFollow Australian Open India do not have the system in place to produce singles players: Prajnesh GunneswaranIndia do not have men or women singles player currently in the top 100 even though it has produced decent doubles players in recent past.advertisement Nextlast_img read more

Malaysian badminton legend Lee Chong Wei aims for April return after nose cancer battle

first_img Next Malaysian badminton legend Lee Chong Wei aims for April return after nose cancer battleBadminton legend Lee Chong Wei was diagnosed with early stage nose cancer in mid 2018 and has been out of action since then. He wants to return to defend his Malaysian Open title in April.advertisement India Today Web Desk Kuala LumpurFebruary 11, 2019UPDATED: February 11, 2019 17:50 IST Lee Chong Wei said he would begin full training after getting a nod from his doctor to prepare for Malaysian Open. (@BA_Malaysia Photo)HIGHLIGHTSLee Chong Wei won the Commonwealth Games 2018 singles title defeating Kidambi SrikanthChong Wei wants to defend his Malaysian Open title in April, a tournament he has won 12 timesChong Wei is yet to return to full training and his check-up next month would determine thatMalaysian badminton legend Lee Chong Wei is planning to return to tour badminton in April this year after recovering from nose cancer. Chong Wei said on Monday that he wants to return in time to defend his Malaysian Open title – that he won last year by defeating the current world No.1 Kento Momota of Japan.Lee Chong Wei’s health took a hit ahead of the World Badminton Championships last year due to which he withdrew from the Worlds and the Asian Games. It was later diagnosed that he had an early stage nose cancer.Ever since, Chong Wei has been out of action. But speaking post his first training session after the Chinese New Year holiday, he said he is yet to intensify his training regime and is waiting for a nod from his doctor in March.Chong Wei explained that his Malaysian Open return and full training will depend on the results of his check-up next month but Badminton Association of Malaysia will submit his name for the tournament.”So far I’m okay on court and at the gym. What is important is to build muscle and my feeling on court and so far everything is okay, maybe in one or two weeks I’ll be back to normal fitness. That is important for me now.”I spent one hour and 15 minutes on court and another hour in the gym. Now I will rest and be back on Wednesday. I must push myself slowly, and when the doctor gives me the green light, I will do my full training,” he said.advertisementIt has been reported that Chong wei was earlier looking to return to the circuit for the All England Championships in March but following his doctor’s advice, he pushed that plan ahead.The 36-year-old former world No.1, however, is itching to defend his Malaysian Open title at home – a tournament he has won a record 12 times.Last month, Chong Wei made an appearance for the men’s singles final presentation ceremony at the Malaysia Masters. He was honoured by Chen Long and Son Wan Ho as they called him up on the podium while posing for a photograph together. Chen and Son made Chong Wei stand in the centre as the three smiled for the shutterbugs, capping a heartwarming moment.Also Read | Cried, slumped on the sofa after hearing I had nose cancer: Lee Chong WeiAlso Read | Cancer-stricken Lee Chong Wei resumes badminton training in MalaysiaFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Tags :Follow Lee Chong WeiFollow Malaysian OpenFollow Badmintonlast_img read more