Dubai (AFP) – World number one Serena Williams’ comeback trail endured further feisty moments with Jelena Jankovic, the former world number one from Serbia, On Thursday before she reached the semi-finals of the Dubai Open.
The two have exchanged testy words on several occasions, the last time in October when Jankovic appeared to question Serena’s sportsmanship at the WTA Championships in Istanbul. Read more
Doha (AFP) – Venus Williams, without a title in 16 months and beaten here as early as the second round, believes she still has what it takes to succeed at the highest level – and has the desire to prove it.
The seven times Grand Slam champion cut a defiant figure despite her depressingly persistent fitness issues and missing a match point on Wednesday against Petra Kvitova, the world number six from the Czech Republic. Read more
Gerardo Martino revealed he wanted midfield “control” after reaching the Copa del Rey final following Barcelona’s 1-1 semifinal second-leg draw away to Real Sociedad.
Lionel Messi continued his return to form with the opening goal of the game on 26 minutes before his strike was cancelled out by Antoine Griezmann’s second half stunner. Read more
Sain Petersburg (United States) (AFP) – World number one Serena Williams has withdrawn from next month’s WTA tournament at Indian Wells, an event which she entered last month after boycotting it since 2001.
The move came only a few hours after the 17-time Grand Slam singles champion withdrew from next week’s $2.4 million WTA event in Doha, Qatar, due to a back injury she suffered at the Australian Open. Read more
MADRID (AP) — Real Madrid and Barcelona had comfortable victories in the first legs of their Copa del Rey semifinals on Wednesday night.
Real beat defending champion Atletico Madrid 3-0 to extend its unbeaten streak to 22 games and end Atletico’s unbeaten run at 23 matches.
Pepe scored in the 17th minute, Jese Rodriguez in the 57th and Angel Di Maria in the 73rd at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. Read more
COMMENTARY | He was getting smoked, there’s no better way to describe it.
Stanislas Wawrinka was crushing everything that was coming at him and it seemed like the world’s best male tennis player, Rafael Nadal, wasn’t going to find any answers. He was down a set and a break, and then it happened.
Nadal missed a return, doubled over, grabbed at his bank and winced. A game later, he was on his way to the locker room for treatment. When he came back, there was next to nothing on his serves. Read more
The much-hyped deadline day in Europe’s January transfer window passed with a flurry of late deals but few signings of note on Friday, with the richest teams opting to sit tight ahead of the last few months of the season.
The likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and the two Manchester giants decided not to dip into the market, while there were no headline-grabbing moves to match that of Fernando Torres to Chelsea in 2011 and David Beckham to Paris Saint-Germain last year. Read more
Whenever the Daily Mail pens an article “according to reports in the Spanish media” and then fails to name or cite those reports, one can be doubly (if not triply) sure there is some level of falsity to it.
Still, I’m a sucker for crappy reality television and juicy, if not baseless, transfer rumors. And this one’s a doozy: Come next summer Atletico Madrid and Chelsea will swap striker Diego Costa for netminder Thibaut Courtois. Read more
Roberto Martinez admitted he ‘couldn’t be happier’ with Everton’s performance but rued their lack of ruthlessness after a 1-1 draw with Arsenal.
Everton were exceptional at times against the Premier League leaders and enjoyed the majority of possession in an exciting game at Emirates Stadium.
However, it looked like they might leave empty-handed after Mesut Ozil opened the scoring for Arsenal with just 10 minutes remaining. Read more
Macclesfield manager John Askey was pleased with his side’s home draw against Sheffield Wednesday in the third round of the FA Cup.
The Skrill Premier team defeated Cardiff City at Moss Rose at the same stage last season before losing 1-0 at home to eventual winners Wigan in the fourth round.
The tie against managerless Wednesday, who are 21st in the Championship, gives the Silkmen a chance to earn some much needed cash in order to pay off their debts with the winner’s receiving £67,000. Read more