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Rafael Nadal beats Andy Murray in gripping Italian Open quarter-final





Guardian UK: This was the match Andy Murray said he wanted before the French Open, a resumption of his war with Rafael Nadal after two and a half years without a shot being fired. What the Scot did not need were a handful of ill-timed lapses that allowed the Spaniard to ruin his otherwise encouraging effort and win for the 14th time in their 19th contest to claim a place in the semi-finals of the Rome Masters, a tournament his rival has won seven times.

After being blown away in the first half-hour the world No1 held his nerve at 2-4 in the third set to win 1-6, 6-3, 7-5 in two hours and 40 minutes, his third three-setter of the week and a victory to calm his own recent jitters under intense if fitful pressure.

He plays Grigor Dimitrov in the evening semi-final for the privilege of contesting Sunday’s final with the winner of the afternoon match between Novak Djokovic and Milos Raonic.

Murray was disappointed but not shattered.

“Obviously I am disappointed losing from 4-2 in the third. It was a poor game. But tactically I did pretty well for the majority of the match. You don’t get many chances to beat Rafa on clay. He was a little bit stronger than me at the end.

“I feel like my game is getting there but I don’t think people sometimes respect the severity of the back surgery [that he underwent last September]. I’m getting close to where I want to be, though. That was probably the best I have hit the ball on clay for a while and the best I have felt physically since the surgery. To win against Rafa on clay is one of the toughest things in our sport.”

The other three quarter-finals on Friday did not match the intensity of the night fixture, played out under spitting skies and a full house on the Campo Centrale, Murray setting the tone in a lightning start.

He demoralised Nadal in the first set, on the back of a ramped-up serve that brought him five aces and a stream of nagging shots to the Spaniard’s backhand.

The world No8 hit the spot, wide, deep
or short according to need and there was little Nadal could do about it, apart from a nine-minute barrage in the middle of the set on Murray’s serve.

Not many players have won 11 games in a row against Nadal but, after half an hour, that was the astonishing number next to Murray’s name, given he was 5-0 up to go with the bagel he inflicted on the Spaniard to conclude his win in Tokyo the last time they met, in October 2011.

Nadal becomes almost indignant when he is being treated like this and, after saving a service game, resumed, “playing angry”, with extra bite on his
forehand and more spring in his movement.

When Nadal saved break point with a swinging ace to hold in the second set, the tone of the contest changed and soon. he was 3-0 up, threatening to run
away with the match. He served out the set to love and, after an hour and a half, we had the potential for a memorable finish – but a loose forehand and Murray’s third double fault handed Nadal a break at the start of the third.

A miracle save for deuce – from a foot behind him in the tram lines and in reverse gear – and a succession of high-grade exchanges got Murray back on level terms at the third attempt. He pinned Nadal deep for four break points in the sixth, cracking the deadlock
with a wicked forehand return off his second serve for 4-2 – then handed him the advantage back when failing to put away a regulation smash, two break
points down.

The final shot of an enthralling and strangely uneven battle was Murray’s forehand, drifting harmlessly long. On the first day after his 27th birthday he could at least celebrate stretching Nadal to the limit.

Dimitrov got two birthday presents earlier in the day: a 6-1 retirement win against Tommy Haas, whose shoulder went on him again – and a strawberry cake shoved in his face by his eccentric Australian coach, Roger Rasheed. If he beats Nadal on Saturday and wins the final here on Sunday, Dimitrov, the
youngest player in the ATP world top 20 at 23, could move up four places into the top 10.

“Very tasty,” is how he later described his slapstick moment. “It definitely was one of the most memorable days of my life. It was a bit unfortunate the way it ended up [not the cake-throwing; Haas
quitting with a shoulder injury after 36 minutes and losing the only set 1-6]. But I’m just a happy birthday boy today.”

He added: “All the so-to-speak young guys, we are all fighting to come on court in big matches and challenge in tournaments. It’s a step of progress for
us but, at the same time,everyone is pushing his own way. Everyone wants to get to the top. It’s a battle.”

The other semi-final is between Raonic, the second 23-year-old prodigy left standing, who took just over two hours to account for Jérémy Chardy 6-3, 5-7, 6-2,
and Djokovic, who had a much tougher time of it against David Ferrer, outlasting the Spanish strongman 7-5, 4-6, 6-3.


Football Legend, Diego Maradona Dies At 60 Following Heart Attack



BREAKING: Football Legend, Diego Maradona Dies At 60 Following Heart Attack

Diego Maradona

Argentina and Napoli legend, Diego Maradona has passed away at the age of 60 following a heart attack.

The Gimnasia coach had been hospitalised at the start of November, days after celebrating the landmark birthday, after complaining of low spirits and fatigue.

Recall that some weeks ago, it was reported that the football legend had a blood clot on the brain, which doctors later revealed was operated on successfully.

Also Read: Manchester City Could Offer Barcelona Star, Lionel Messi A Pre-contract In January

Two weeks after being discharged from the hospital and recovering at home, he reportedly suffered a cardiac arrest on Wednesday morning.

The Argentine national team’s official Twitter account confirmed the news on Wednesday.



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The Contribution of Sports Betting to the Economy of Nigeria



Most of us have grown up with gambling lore that left us petrified to our core. Gambling ruins lives, gives rise to financial and legal problems.

This is all that we have grown up learning. However, this is only partly true and must not be taken too seriously. Sure, gambling has its disadvantages and evils.

However, the activity, in its entirety, is not addictive. It is what humans make out of it. Human beings give up self-control and spiral into a bottomless pit of despair due to that.

Gambling, when indulged in appropriately, does no harm. In fact, it is one of the biggest industries and contributes significantly to the global economy.

The moot point of this article is to have a look at the betting industry of Nigeria. While we do that, we shall also examine how much the industry contributes to the economy of the nation.

Therefore, let us now have a look at the industry and venture a few important points throughout
the article.

How Does the Betting Industry of Nigeria Look Like?

The gambling industry of Nigeria resides in the areas of gray. One cannot look at it in either black or white.

Gambling activities are considered illegal in Nigeria, with the exception of a few. And betting on sports happens to be one of those exceptions.

Online gambling in Nigeria is allowed only on offshore-owned and operated casinos. Locally operated casinos are not allowed to function in the land.

Now speaking of betting, one must note that the betting industry happens to be a key player in Nigeria’s economy. There are over fifty functional and legal betting sites in Nigeria.

As we mentioned before, betting is entirely legal, unlike online gambling. All those who want to gamble on sites like can do so with the use of VPNs.

Nigerians are incredibly passionate as a people about their sports. That is why the idea of making money by betting on their favorite sports has a lot of appeal.

With about 200 million people in the country, the betting industry has found a solid footing in the market. It has been estimated that over the last few decades, Nigeria has grown to become the second-largest betting market in South Africa.

Over 60 million people find entertainment through online betting sites in South Africa. Therefore, one can understand, going by the statistics that Nigeria has evolved over the last few years when it comes to betting.

Reasons for this Massive Growth in the Popularity of Online Betting:

One of the primary reasons for this massive popularity in online betting is the increase in technological innovations.

Nigeria, over the past few years, has seen technological expansion and super-fast connectivity. Almost everyone has access to smartphones now.

This is what makes it so easy for people of every age group to bet online. The constraints that the nation had in technology and connectivity are no longer an issue.

It is estimated that in the next few years, the country shall see more such innovations and expansion. This will, therefore, act further as a catalyst to the growth of the online betting industry.

The Government is Now Tightening the Noose around Online Betting to Raise Revenue:

As we already mentioned a few times before that Nigeria had strict laws related to online gambling.

The government also did not pay much attention to the betting industry. However, things have changed now and shall change further down the line.

The Nigerian government is now formulating some strict laws so that it could pull the revenue from betting into the coffers.

This is also one of the most significant reasons for the growth in Nigeria’s economy. Online betting is a lucrative industry, and we can already deduce that from we discussed.

With the government paying more attention to the industry, crime rates can be reduced, and better revenue can be raised.

If anything, the involvement of the Nigerian government shall only serve as a fresh change. Plus, with a better structure in the betting industry, more people can find jobs and livelihood.

Wrapping It Up:

We can see how the online betting industry of Nigeria has become one of the chief contributors
to its economy.

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Betting – The Ultimate App For Sports Fans!



For all those sports fans out there who are tired of following sports news that you do not find relevant, Sporty Group has come out with the perfect solution to this problem – is the ultimate sports app for all sports fans! Sporty gives access to the world’s best sports content with zero cost and zero ads. The app is available on the Google Play Store for free. Fans around the world can access the latest sports news on their handheld devices anytime and get live updates on matches. offers a lot of features that can be leveraged by those who are sports enthusiasts. Here are the standout features of the newly launched application that has access to the world’s best sports content. 

  • Latest Sports News (SportyNews)

Get access to all the hot articles and video news in the world of sport at the tip of your fingers through Sporty. This news can be completely customized as per one’s liking. Pick your favourite sports, leagues and teams, all in one place, to be the first to know everything or just pick the option of “Popular” news. 

  • Live Scores and Exclusive Videos (SportyTV) provides live scores of all the sports around the world, including an additional choice where one can filter out scores of just their favourites, whether it would be league scores or team scores. 

  • Game Stats (SportyLive)

Analyze every game in detail through this feature on Sporty. Get the most comprehensive data on any match through the app with match facts, team line-ups, minute-by-minute analysis and tracking, competition trees, live league tables and formations.

  • Chat System (SportyChat)

Chat and share sports talk on Sporty with other users and friends! An incredibly unique feature on offer indeed, which can help you stay updated and also share banter with friends on the go.

Get Sporty, Live Sporty as you Follow, Like, Share, Watch & Chat on!

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