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2014 Australian Open: Nadal, Federer, Murray, Proceed Into Third Round.



World number one Rafael Nadal and 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer eased into the third-round of the Australian Open with straight set victories.

Wimbledon champion Andy Murray came back from 5-1 down in the decider against Frenchman Vincent Millot in Day Four’s final match.

Fifth seed Juan Martin Del Potro was eliminated by Bautista Agut in five sets 4-6 6-3 5-7 6-4 7-5.

Andy Murray Eases Past Frenchman Vincent Millot On Day Four of the Australian Open. © Ben Solomon for Tennis Australia.

Andy Murray Eases Past Frenchman Vincent Millot On Day Four of the Australian Open. © Ben Solomon for Tennis Australia.

Frenchman Benoit Paire sealed a 6-7, 6-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 win over Greece-Australian, Nicholas Kyrgios, in a match lasting over 3 hrs.

Second-seed Victoria Azarenka saw off Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of Czech Republic to advance into the third round.

Soon to be Mrs. McLlroy, Caroline Wozniacki (10), beat Stephanie McHale 6-0, 1-6, 6-2.

Rod Laver Arena

Rafael Nadal (1) beat Kokkinakis (570) 6-2, 6-4, 6-2

Spaniard Rafael Nadal overcame the stern challenge of Australian teenager Thanasi Kokkinakis to reach round three on Day Three of the first Grand Slam of 2014.

Kokkinakis, who is the lowest-ranked player in the tournament, was, aside from being broken early in each set impressive against the 12-time Grand Slam champion.

Nadal saved three break points in the second set before finishing off the contest. He next meets Frenchman Gael Monfils (25), who beat jack Sock of America 7-6 (7-2), 7-5, 6-2.

Azarenka (2) beat Z-Strycova 6-1, 6-4

Belarusian Azarenka, who has won the women’s singles tournament in the last two years, came through a tough challenge in the deciding set to see off Zahlavova Strycova into round three.

After and easy first set win, Azarenka raced into a 3-1 lead in the second but was broken twice as her Czech opponent leveled at 4-4.

The defending champion then broke again and then served out the match.

“The second set was really competitive,” Azarenka said. “She was defending so well but I feel I was playing pretty good and I’m glad I c ould close it out in two sets.”

Federer (6) beat Kavcic 6-2, 6-1, 7-6 (7-4)

2010 champion Federer came up against a rather tough challenge against Slovakian Blaz Kavcic in the third set of their second round match, after racing through the first two sets.

The Swiss was pegged back at 3-0 in a third-set tie-break but had to battle back to seal victory.

Federer will play Spain’s Fernando Verdasco or Teymuraz Gabashvili of Russia.

Murray beats Millot 6-2, 6-2, 7-5

Scotsman Murray overcame 267th ranked Millot in three straight sets to reach round three.

On another day of extreme temperature, Murray had the benefit of starting his match late in the night (22:00 local time) with the temperature at 28C, although an earlier rain shower increased the humidity and conditions remained testing.

Murray admitted before the match he knew little about the left-handed qualifier, who had his first Grand Slam win in round one.

The Briton raced into a comfortable two-set lead before Millot, determined to leave his mark, held serve and a spell of flashing winners earned the 5ft 8in tall French player two breaks and a 5-1 lead in the third set.

Poised not to entertain a prolonged encounter, Murray reeled off an amazing 23 unanswered points and six games to secure the win.

“I wanted to win the match. I’m glad I finished it there, because it was very, very hard conditions. Even in the evening it was so humid.”

“I needed to raise my intensity a little bit. I didn’t really respond as quick as I would have liked to him playing that well.

“And then once I got that break back and then the crowd started to get into it, then I raised my intensity a bit. I focused more. Obviously managed to turn it around at that point.”

“I didn’t really care about winning 23 points in a row,” Murray said, admitting that he’d had no idea until someone shouted out that he was on 19.

“I wanted to win the match. I’m glad I finished it there, because very, very hard conditions.”

Up next for the fourth seed is a game against 26th seed Feliciano Lopez of Spain on Saturday.

“I am through to the third round and I haven’t lost a set yet,” Murray added.

“I don’t know what else could have been expected of me. I wasn’t expecting to play perfect tennis and play great straight away,” he added.


Talented Nigerian Players of the NFL



The NFL is quickly becoming one of the most popular leagues for Nigerian athletes. Over the last few years, we have seen some immensely talented players from Nigeria, or with Nigerian ancestry, come into the league and take over. While all positions in the sport of American football have benefited, notably there has been a focus on defensive positions from these athletes, with linebackers and defensive ends rising to prominence. Here are some of the most talented Nigerian athletes in the NFL that you need to know.

Jeremiah Attaochu

Jeremiah Attaochu is a 6’3”( 1.91m) outside linebacker who is currently playing for the Denver Broncos. He was a member of the 2014 draft, selected in the 2nd round as pick #50 overall. Attaochu played briefly for several teams like the 49ers and the Jets as he gradually tried to find the perfect fit. Recently, Attaochu has been re-signed by the Broncos on a one-year $1.5 million contract. Clearly, the Broncos liked what he brought to their defensive line.

Since Peyton Manning left the Broncos, the squad has been testing new offensive schemes, but their defense remains very strong. All-star player Von Miller has recently been placed on the injury list, so Attaochu will be called on to perform his best. With his aggressive tackling and limitless gas tank, Attaochu certainly helps bring the Broncos favorable American football odds. The team’s main division rivals are the Kansas City Chiefs who have one of the strongest offenses in the league. Heading into the 2020 season, defense is a priority for the Broncos.

Jeff Okudah

Okudah was born in Texas, USA in 1999 to Nigerian parents, making him one of the youngest players on this list. In the most recent NFL draft, Okudah was one of the most in-demand athletes and was selected #3 overall by the Detroit Lions. In the buildup to his NFL debut he quickly became known as the best cornerback in the entire country, and has proven to be yet another exceptional Nigerian athlete to gr3aduate from Texas universities.

This is excellent news for the Lions, who certainly need all the help they can get on defense. Okudah made his NFL debut this past Sunday, playing against the Green Bay Packers and MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers. All things considered, Okudah played well and showed that he can perform at the professional level.

Emmanuel Ogbah

Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Ogbah has come a long way on his journey to becoming the standout outside linebacker that he is. He was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 2016 as the #32 overall pick. After two years with the squad, he was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs, where he really came into his own as a linebacker.

Ogbah played a big role in the Chief’s 12-4 record while he was active during the 2019 season. His standout performance was during week 3 versus the Baltimore Ravens, when Ogbah sacked quarterback Lamar Jackson 1.5 times. Unfortunately, a pectoral injury ended his exceptional season at game 10, but his efforts ultimately helped the Chiefs get to the playoffs and win the Super Bowl. Afterwards, Ogbah signed a two-year $15 million dollar contract with the Miami Dolphins, where he currently helps round out their defense.

Noah Igbinoghene

This young athlete is an exceptionally talented cornerback. He was recently drafted in the first round as #30 overall by the Miami Dolphins. Though he was born in the US, he is of Nigerian descent and lived in the country for part of his life in his earlier years.

Notably, both of his parents were talented athletes in their own right. Igbinoghene’s father not only competed in the Men’s Triple Jump in the 1996 Olympics, but also won a bronze medal at the 1990 Commonwealth games. His mother was a track and field star, and was part of the relay team that won a bronze medal for Nigeria at the 1992 Olympics.

NFL analysts gave the Dolphin’s an A+ for the Igbinoghene pick, saying that he was the right player for their team and helped the Dolphins patch up a weakness on defense. He played well against the Buffalo Bills this past weekend, ultimately blocking many passes that came his way.

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Barcelona Sell Luis Suarez To Atletico Madrid



Barcelona have sold striker Luis Suarez to La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid.

The transfer was confirmed on Wednesday evening, with Suarez reportedly crying as he left Barcelona’s training grounds for the last time the same day.

“FC Barcelona would like to publicly express their gratitude to Luis Suarez for his commitment and dedication and wishes him all the best for the future,” the statement said.

The club said a “farewell event” would take place for Suarez on Thursday before a press conference.

Suarez leaves Barcelona after six successful years. He scored 198 goals – making him Barcelona’s third top scorer, and won 13 titles.

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Messi and Ronaldo miss out on UEFA Men’s Player of the Year nominations



No Messi or Ronaldo in UEFA Men’s Player of the Year nominations for first time in 10 years as De Bruyne & Lewandowski battle it out.

Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is also in the running for the award, with a new winner set to be announced at the start of October.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have been left off the final shortlist for the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award for first time in 10 years, with Kevin De Bruyne and Robert Lewandowski set to battle it out for the individual prize.

Ronaldo, who currently plies his trade in Italy with Juventus, has picked up the accolade on three occasions and also has a total of nine nominations to his name, while Barcelona superstar Messi has won it two times and made the final shortlist in six of the last 10 seasons.

Both men have stood out as the best players of their generation for well over a decade, but as they continue to advance into their thirties, an inevitable changing of the guard is beginning to take shape.

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