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SPORTS DAY: Has Nadal got a complex about Djokovic?


SPORTS DAY: Has Nadal got a complex about Djokovic?

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

Sports reporter

Nadal braced for Djokovic
Rafael Nadal described long-time rival Novak Djokovic as “one of the more complex” players he’s ever met as they prepare to clash for the 52nd time on Friday with a Wimbledon final spot at stake. World No.1 Nadal, the 2008 and 2010 champion at the All England Club, trails Djokovic, the 2011, 2014 and 2015 winner, 26-25 in a rivalry which began at Roland Garros 12 years ago. “It’s always a big challenge to face Novak,” said 32-year-old Nadal. Friday’s other semifinal pitches Anderson, the eighth seed who lost to Nadal in last year’s US Open final, against ninth-seeded American John Isner.
Mum’s the word: Serena to face Kerber in final 
Seven-time champion Serena Williams reached the Wimbledon final for the 10th time on Thursday and will face Germany’s Angelique Kerber for the title. The 25th seeded American downed German 13th seed Julia Goerges 6-2, 6-4 to book her place in her 30th Grand Slam final. The 36-year-old, who will be in her first final at the majors since giving birth to daughter Olympia last year, can equal Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Slam titles if she beats Kerber in what will be a repeat of the 2016 final. Kerber proved too solid for error-strewn Latvian Jelena Ostapenko with a 6-3 6-3 victory.
Snyman to lead Bulls against LionsInjury has forced Bulls coach John Mitchell to change his side’s captaincy ahead of the trip to the Lions in their final Super Rugby match of the season at Ellis Park on Saturday. Mitchell was forced to name Springboks lock RG Snyman as leader for the short trip across the Jukskei River after his national team-mate and flyhalf Handrè Pollard failed to respond well to treatment on a back injury.
Hurricanes coach fires parting shot at format
Outgoing Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd added his voice to criticism of Super Rugby’s unloved conference system as his side face a playoff showdown with the Chiefs. Echoing All Blacks skipper Kieran Read, Boyd said he would prefer a round-robin system where all teams play each other once, rather than splitting the competition into New Zealand, South African and Australian conferences. Because conference winners are guaranteed the top three playoff spaces, the Hurricanes can finish no higher than fourth, even though they have more points than the Waratahs and the Lions.
France out to rectify Euro 2016 mistakes
France are determined not to make the same mistakes they did two years ago in losing the Euro 2016 final when they take on Croatia for the biggest prize in football, midfielder Paul Pogba said on Thursday. The French beat Germany in the Euro 2016 semifinal setting up an encounter in Paris against then-underdogs Portugal, who stunned them 1-0 in extra time to win the continental title. “We are conscious of the situation, we do not want to make the same mistakes like two years ago. We want to work for it, to give everything we have to take this Cup home,” Pogba told reporters. “I think at the Euro we thought it was already a done deal, the mentality was not the same as now.”
Eiffel Tower to close for open-air broadcast 
The Eiffel Tower will be shut on Sunday as part of security measures being taken for a big-screen broadcast of the World Cup final at the adjacent Champ de Mars park. Tens of thousands of people are expected to watch the game between France and Croatia in the shadow of one of the country’s most visited sites.
Kenyans call foul after MPs go to World Cup
Kenyans voiced outrage on Thursday as it emerged that a group of lawmakers had gone to the World Cup at the taxpayers’ expense, even though the country had failed to qualify for the tournament. The scandal erupted after some of the legislators posted selfies on social media of themselves enjoying matches in Russia.
Over 540 arrested for online football gambling
China has cracked down on online football gambling during the World Cup, arresting more than 540 suspected of participating in schemes involving more than $1.5-billion, state media said. The suspects were “associated with more than 20 gangs”.
Chelsea sack Conte as manager — reportsChelsea have sacked Italian Antonio Conte as manager, media in Britain and Italy reported on Thursday. Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis had said on Wednesday that the Premier League side were close to securing a deal for former Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri to replace Conte. There was no immediate confirmation from Chelsea, who won the Premier League title with Conte in his first season after joining in 2016 and also the FA Cup in his latest campaign.
Rangers transfer spree to continue
Rangers are aiming to recruit more players to create a strong and well-balanced squad that can excel on both domestic and European fronts, manager Steven Gerrard has said. The Scottish club have signed nine new players, including defender Connor Goldson and winger Jamie Murphy from Premier League side Brighton and Hove Albion.
Pedrosa announces imminent retirement
Spain’s Dani Pedrosa, three-times a world MotoGP championship runner-up, announced Thursday he will retire at the end of the season. The 32-year-old Honda pilot, who won the 125cc category in 2003 and 250cc in 2004 and 2005, currently sits in 12th spot of the MotoGP standings.
Fury to be unleashed on Italian
Francesco Pianeta, who has challenged twice for the world heavyweight title, will be former world titleholder Tyson Fury’s next opponent in Belfast on August 18 promoter Frank Warren announced Thursday.
AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE

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