SPORTS DAY: ‘I’m such a fighter, I just never give up’
Your roundup of the sporting news of the day
Serena muscles past top seed Halep
Serena Williams subdued a stubborn fightback from world No 1 Simona Halep to take her quest for a record-equalling 24th major into the Australian Open quarterfinals on Monday. And men’s world No 1 Novak Djokovic dropped a set for the second match running but downed 15th seed Daniil Medvedev 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-2, 6-3. Williams, 37, beat the Romanian top seed 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 in an epic three-setter to line up a last eight clash with Czech eighth seed Karolina Pliskova. “She’s the No.1 player in the world and there’s a reason why ... [but] I’m such a fighter, I just never give up.” Williams won her 23rd Grand Slam Down Under two years ago while two months pregnant.
Zverev found tantrum useful
Alexander Zverev says he found his tantrum duing his 1-6 1-6 6-7 (5-7) loss to Milos Raonic pretty useful. “Yeah, it made me feel better. I was very angry, so I let my anger out.” And Pablo Carreno Busta apologised after he stormed off court and angrily threw his kit bag after losing a five-hour, five-set epic to Japan’s Kei Nishikori. The Spanish 23rd seed said he was “so sorry” after being booed off when his emotions boiled over following a disputed call in the dying moments of the match.
In a pickle? Drink some juice
Are you cramping up in a long five-setter? Arms feeling heavy, legs just can’t go on? Fear not, the Australian Open’s merry band of physios and trainers have the answer: pickle juice! Frances Tiafoe was the latest to benefit from the miracle cure as he continued his dream run into the quarterfinals. “Yeah, third set, I had the break, but started to feel my body,” he revealed after knocking out Grigor Dimitrov in four attritional sets. “After that I was trying to stay alive. I was downing pickle juice like Kool-Aid. It was lucky for me.” What? Literally pickle juice? “I’m talking straight up. Just downing it. Tasted terrible,” he smiled.
‘SA will be tough to beat at World Cup’
The Proteas will be a tough side at the World Cup in Liverpool in July, New Zealand coach Noeline Taurua predicted after her side eked out a narrow 62-60 golden goals win in the Quad Series on Sunday. “[Coach] Norma Plummer has done wonders with this team and they will be a force to be reckoned with. A few years ago we were beating them by 30 goals and more.” SA beat England by four goals and lost to Australia by three in the competition in London.
Ellis to reshuffle Banyana for Sweden
Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis is to shuffle her pack and give a chance to her broader squad in the Albertina Sisulu Centenary Challenge clash against Sweden at the Cape Town Stadium on Tuesday night. Ellis is hoping to test more players ahead of the Fifa Women’s World Cup in France in June and will likely ring the changes from Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to the Netherlands at the same venue‚ where Banyana overcame a slow start to impress against the European champions.
Masinga mourners focus on life after football
The crippling uncertainty and the financial difficulties that SA players often face after their playing days are over once again came under the spotlight at the memorial service of Bafana Bafana legend Phil “Chippa” Masinga in Soweto on Monday. Several speakers at the Grace Bible Church in Pimville‚ Soweto‚ called on former players to unite and start working on programmes to help them live comfortably at the end of their playing careers.
Pakistan thrive in Durban
Pakistan beat SA in Port Elizabeth on a ground where they they have not lost any of their five ODIs. Tuesday’s second match will be played at Kingsmead‚ another slowish pitch where the Pakistanis won five of their eight ODIs – including four out of six against SA. “Tomorrow will be a big game for us‚” SA’s Reeza Hendricks said. “We’re definitely looking to improve and bounce back from our last game in PE.”
Brady heads to another Super Bowl
New England and 41-year-old quarterback Tom Brady will be going to their third consecutive Super Bowl after they beat the Kansas City Chiefs 37-31 in overtime on Sunday. Their opponents, the Rams, secured their berth after a controversial 26-23 overtime win over the New Orleans Saints. The teams will meet in the Super Bowl in Atlanta, Georgia on February 3.
Wine run matures
Hundreds of runners competed in a 10km race in the world’s largest wine cellar on Sunday, navigating by the light of headlamps as they hurtled through dark limestone caves that stretch some 200km underground near the capital of Moldova. Part of the race took place on slippery paths outside in the snow, but most of it was below ground, with runners galloping past giant oak barrels of wine. After crossing the finish line at the state-owned Milestii Mici winery, they were greeted with a glass of wine, of course.
Two gored to death in India
At least two spectators were gored to death at a bull-wrestling festival in India that animal activists say is cruel and want banned, police said on Monday.
- AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE