Novak Djokovic ends his 'losing streak'



LONDON // Novak Djokovic beat Jeremy Chardy of France 6-4, 6-1, 6-1 at Wimbledon, Djokovic's first time on court since his 43-match winning streak ended in the French Open semi-finals two weeks ago.

"When this streak ended in Paris, it was kind of a relief as well, because it's been a very, very successful five, six months for me, but very long as well and exhausting," Djokovic said. "I've played so many matches. So I needed some time to relax."

Djokovic did not play any grass-court tune-up tournaments after Roland Garros, but he did not show any sign of rust against the 54th-ranked Chardy.

Djokovic dropped just two points on serve in the first set and 11 in the entire match. He saved the only break point he faced.

Now he is 42-1 in 2011, heading into the second round against Kevin Anderson or Illya Marchenko, whose match was suspended because of darkness yesterday.

Djokovic is a two-time Australian Open champion and a two-time Wimbledon semi-finalist. He said Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal — winners of the past eight Wimbledon titles — are the favourites at the All England Club this year, but considers himself a contender.

"It's true there is a different approach to this year's Wimbledon from my side because I'm playing, I think, best tennis of my life in the last six months," Djokovic said. "That's why confidence-wise, I believe in myself much more on the court and I know I can perform well, equally well, on this surface as I do on the other ones."

Niland's support boost

Forget Centre Court, the most sought-after ticket at Wimbledon on Tuesday was for Court 17.

With a raucous Irish contingent behind him, Conor Niland came close to being the first Irishman to win a men's singles match at Wimbledon in the Open era.

By the time the fifth set came around against Adrian Mannarino of France, Niland's supporters were climbing onto adjacent walls and standing on tiptoes to try to see over the barriers and catch a glimpse of the 29-year-old Limerick resident.

Every point Niland won was greeted by a huge roar that could be heard over on Court One. One group of fans wore green Team Niland T-shirts. Another spectator was wrapped in an Ireland flag. Two more were - bizarrely - dressed like the Where's Wally character.

Niland, who came through qualifying to become the first Irishman to play at Wimbledon in 27 years, led 4-1 in the final set but lost 4-6, 6-4, 7-6, 4-6, 6-4.

James Blake is not thinking of retirement

James Blake is not ready for retirement just yet. At 31, Blake is on the comeback trail after knee, shoulder and elbow injuries have taken their toll on his body the past year.

Once ranked as high as No 4, Blake understands he is in the twilight of his career. Nevertheless, even a 6-4, 6-2, 6-7, 4-6, 6-4 first-round loss to Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus did not leave Blake thinking it is time to leave tennis behind.

"That's going to be a decision that's going to take longer than one match, and I wouldn't want to make it within an hour, two hours, or even a day of a loss, especially because your head isn't where it's supposed to be at that time," said Blake, who is 4-14 in five-set matches.

"I've lost over the years, probably, about a couple of hundred matches, and I'd say out of 200, about 198 of them I probably thought I should retire right after those losses," said Blake, who actually is 338-220. "But I'd come back the next day ready to play and ready to get better. I'm thinking this one will be the same."

Sharapova is Russian to the core

Even after spending most of her life in the United States, Maria Sharapova is decidedly Russian.

The No 5 seed Sharapova spoke about her Russian roots after beating former Fed Cup teammate Anna Chakvetadze 6-2, 6-1 in the first round at Wimbledon.

"I'm really proud of it, of my Siberian roots, moving to Sochi," the 2004 Wimbledon champion said. "Apart from my parents, all my family lives there. It's all about Russian culture. I speak to my parents in Russian, eat Russian food, all of that."

The 24-year-old Sharapova moved to the United States when she was nine to start training in Florida.

"There was a point in my career where I got a lot of questions living in the United States for such a long time, leaving when I was young from my country, why I never chose to change citizenships," Sharapova said. "One of the reasons is because deep down inside of me, I know where I'm born."

Mirza feels the pain

India's Sania Mirza was battling agonising pain as a nasty knee injury left her bid to win Wimbledon doubles glory resting on an ultrasound scan.

Mirza was already carrying a niggling left knee problem but tweaked it within minutes of starting her Wimbledon singles first round match against France's Virginie Razzano on Tuesday.

The world No 60 battled on and even won the second set despite being unable to change direction in her 7-6, 2-6, 6-3 first round defeat.

"I've had the same injury since just before the French Open. I've been playing a lot on it," Mirza said. "It will get worse if I keep playing on it. At 3-0 I tweaked it in the first set. I served and fell on the leg, tried to change direction and jerked it. I was already on painkillers but immediately the pain level went up 10 times.

"I have to see the doctor and get an ultrasound scan. "It is very, very painful. I can still serve but I can't move and change direction. I'm hurting to go up and down stairs and even to walk."

Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

DUNE: PART TWO

Director: Denis Villeneuve

Starring: Timothee Chamalet, Zendaya, Austin Butler

Rating: 5/5

World Food Day

Celebrated on October 16, to coincide with the founding date of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, World Food Day aims to tackle issues such as hunger, food security, food waste and the environmental impact of food production.

The Specs

Engine: 1.6-litre 4-cylinder petrol
Power: 118hp
Torque: 149Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Price: From Dh61,500
On sale: Now

The Super Mario Bros Movie

Directors: Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic
Stars: Chris Pratt, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Day, Jack Black, Seth Rogen and Keegan-Michael Key
Rating: 1/5

The Boy and the Heron

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Starring: Soma Santoki, Masaki Suda, Ko Shibasaki

Rating: 5/5

The years Ramadan fell in May

1987

1954

1921

1888

EMIRATES'S REVISED A350 DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE

Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8

Results

5pm: Maiden (PA) Dh 80,000 (Turf) 1,400m. Winner: Al Ajeeb W’Rsan, Pat Dobbs (jockey), Jaci Wickham (trainer).

5.30pm: Maiden (PA) Dh 80,000 (T) 1,400m racing. Winner: Mujeeb, Fabrice Veron, Eric Lemartinel.

6pm: Handicap (PA) Dh 90,000 (T) 2,200m. Winner: Onward, Connor Beasley, Abdallah Al Hammadi.

6.30pm: Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown Prep Rated Conditions (PA) Dh 125,000 (T) 2,200m. Winner: Somoud, Richard Mullen, Jean de Roualle.

7pm: Wathba Stallions Cup Handicap (PA) Dh 70,000 (T) 1,600m. Winner: AF Arrab, Tadhg O’Shea, Ernst Oertel.

7.30pm: Handicap (TB) Dh 90,000 (T) 1,400m. Winner: Irish Freedom, Richard Mullen, Satish Seemar.

MEDIEVIL (1998)

Developer: SCE Studio Cambridge
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Console: PlayStation, PlayStation 4 and 5
Rating: 3.5/5

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1st Test England win by 211 runs at Lord's, London

2nd Test South Africa win by 340 runs at Trent Bridge, Nottingham

3rd Test July 27-31 at The Oval, London

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