Archive for January, 2007

FA Cup fifth round draw

Chelsea v Blackpool / Norwich
Watford v Ipswich
Preston v Man City
Plymouth v Derby County
Man Utd v Reading
Arsenal / Bolton v Blackburn
Bristol City /Middlesbrough v West Bromwich Albion
Fulham v Tottenham

There are two teams mentioned against a single, because a replay has to be played to decide the winner among the two.

Looking at the draw, Chelsea should progress safely. So should Watford and Manchester City on basis of reputation. I’d back Derby to beat Plymouth and I think Bolton can dump both Arsenal and Blackburn out of this. The Bolton Arsenal game is at the Reebok and Arsenal do not like playing there. Recent statistics certainly say so.

Tottenham might just edge out Fulham and Boro should beat Bristol and WBA. That leaves you with United Reading, and I think Steve Coppell’s men can beat United. They will need to play out of their skins, but I think they can do it.

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Federer wins 3rd Australian Open

For close to an hour, I thought Fernando Gonzalez had a chance…the first set was crucial to his chances…If he won the first set, it would be the first time that Federer would have dropped a set in the entire tournament.

The first set was an absolute treat to watch. Both Gonzalez and Federer struggled with their first serves, and there were many errors. You could blame the wind for that :D, but for a while, Fedex did look ”human”. His shots wen’t out instead of coming in, and Gonzalez made him work extremely hard. When he broke Federer on the 9th game and served for the set, the Chilean faithful thought that he had done enough to win the set. But King Roger fought back, and Gonzalez was again fighting to take it into the tie break. 7 deuces, a racket change , a 209 km ace later, the set was at 6-6. Federer’s first shot in the tiebreaker went out according to the authorities. He challenged for it, and the judgement went in his favour and the point was replayed. Thereafter King Fed sped through 7-2 and won an important psychological battle against the 1998 French Open junior champion.

The next two sets weren’t as competitive, but Gonzalez ‘s exhaustion started to show, and Federer simply waited for his opponent to break down. The last two sets showed exactly the same scoreline 6-4, 6-4. Roger became the first man since Bjorn Borg in 1980 to win a major without dropping a set.

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Australian Open- Men’s semifinal draw

Andy Roddick vs Roger Federer.

The person who wins this one is the favourite for the title. And the stakes are against A-Rod, IMO.

Fernando Gonzalez vs Tommy Haas 

Nadal and Davydenko were dumped by them. Both have surprised themselves by reaching this stage and have nothing to lose. They will play their heart out.

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Australian Open- women’s tennis semifinal draw

After my post on Maria Sharapova attracted some attention :D, here are the 4 semifinalists

Maria Sharapova beat Anna Chakvedatze 7-6, 7-5 

Sharapova beats her fellow compatriot in straight sets at the Margaret Court arena to book her spot in the last four. Not an easy game by any standards, even though it was a straight sets win.

Kim Clijsters beat Martina Hingis 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 

This was easily the most awaited round of 8 encounter. The two ladies met at the same stage last year too, and like last time it was the fourth seeded Belgian who booked her spot in the last four.

 Semifinal : Maria Sharapova vs Kim Clijsters

Serena Williams beat Shahar Peer 3-6, 6-2, 8-6. 

It is the first time that no American woman has been seeded at Melbourne since the beginning of the Open era. Unseeded Williams used all her power and experience to battle past her 16th seeded opponent. Williams lost the first set with the scoreline being the same as in the first set of the Clijsters Hingis game. But like that one, the winner was not the person who won the first set.

Nicole Vadisova beat Lucie Safarova 6-1, 6-4 

This was a battle between two lovely women from the Czech Republic- both having surnames with similar endings. 19 year old Safarova had beaten Mauresmo in the earlier rounds, but she couldn’t do the same against her younger, 10th seeded opponent.

Semifinal : Serena Williams vs Nicole Vadisova 

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Maria Sharapova asks men to improve their fashion sense

Did you ever find men’s tennis boring to watch?? Did you ever get bored watching the same few blokes doing battle in an outfit which never seemed to change, in different tournaments. Did you sometimes ever feel that you could do a better job if you were styling them???

Maria Sharapova feels the same about men’s tennis player. The boring white and white hasn’t gone down too well with the Russian star, and she has asked the men to improvise.

Pretty sure that some of our macho dudes wouldn’t mind changing their outfits 😛

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Blackburn Rovers to sign David Dunn

Big Sam has conceded defeat in the race for Birmingham medio David Dunn.  Bolton had arranged a medical for the Birmingham medio and all roads seemed to point to the Reebok, but Blackburn Rovers hijacked with a late bid for their former trainee.

Dunn was discussing personal terms with Bolton and his decision to move to Blackburn will not go down well with Allarydce. The lure of going back home was too much for Dunn, who has had an injury prone career with Birmingham.Blackburn need cover after Steven Reid was injured earlier in the season.  They sold him for 5 and a half million in 2003 and he is now expected to sign for a fee which is reported to be 2 million upto appearances.

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FA Cup Round 3 results-16th January

Boro 4-3 Hull ( Hines, Viduka*2, Yakubu/ Andy Dawson*2, Jon Parkin)
A remarkable second half which saw 6 goals being scored, and Boro edge their way through

Manchester City 2-1 Sheffield Wednesday ( Stephen Ireland, Darius Vassell/ Lee Bullen)
City huff and puff their way past Championship opponents Sheffield and will now play Southampton in round 4.

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