Djokovic, Serena win ITF award

Updated 11 December 2012

Djokovic, Serena win ITF award

LONDON: Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams are the International Tennis Federation’s world champions for 2012.
Djokovic won the men’s award yesterday for the second straight year, while Williams took the honor for the third time in her career.
Djokovic won the Australian Open and was runner-up at the French Open and US Open. He finished the season No. 1 in the ATP rankings with six tour titles.
Williams won Wimbledon, the US Open and the Olympic gold medal. She had a tour-best 58-4 record and seven titles.
American twins Bob and Mike Bryan were named men’s doubles world champions for the ninth time in 10 years, while Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci of Italy took the women’s doubles award.
Filip Peliwo of Canada and Taylor Townsend of the US were named junior world champions.
Esther Vergeer of Netherlands won the women’s wheelchair tennis award for the 13th consecutive year. Stephane Houde of France was named the men’s winner.

Nadal to play in UAE

World No. 4 Rafa Nadal has confirmed he will return to competitive action at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi at the end of December after six months out with a knee injury.
The 11-times grand-slam singles champion has not competed since a shock defeat to Czech Lukas Rosol in the second round at Wimbledon in June.
The Spaniard was later diagnosed with a partial tear of the patella tendon and an inflammation in his left knee and was unable to defend his Olympic title at the London Games.

He also missed the US Open and the season-ending World Tour championships before returning to the practice court on Nov. 20.
“Can’t wait to get back on court in Abu Dhabi at the end of the month,” the 26-year-old wrote on his Facebook page on Tuesday.
“I won the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in 2010 and 2011,” he added. “Would love to get my hands on the trophy again this year!” Nadal is due to play either world number three Andy Murray of Britain or ninth-seeded Serbian Janko Tipsarevic on Dec. 28 at the event in Abu Dhabi, which is not part of the ATP Tour.
World number one Novak Djokovic of Serbia, fifth-ranked Spaniard David Ferrer and No. 6 Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic are also taking part.
Nadal said this month he was hoping to be back to full fitness in time for the clay season, when he will be chasing an eighth French Open title on his favored surface after winning a record seventh Roland Garros crown in May.

Juan Antonio Pizzi picks little-known striker in search of more Saudi Arabia firepower

Updated 25 April 2018

Juan Antonio Pizzi picks little-known striker in search of more Saudi Arabia firepower

  • Haroun Kamara has only played seven times for his club side
  • Green Falcons to play Algeria and Greece next month

Al-Qadisiyah’s 20-year-old striker Haroun Kamara has been given an opportunity to stake an unlikely claim for a World Cup spot after being surprisingly named in Juan Antonio Pizzi’s squad for a three-week training camp in Spain.
Kamara, who was born in Jeddah to Guinean parents, has only made seven league appearances for lowly Al-Qadisiyah, scoring four goals and claiming two assists, but he has been given the chance to shine in friendlies against Algeria on May 9 and Greece six days later and book a seat on the plane to Russia.
The youngster follows in the footsteps of the likes of Somalian-British Mukhtar Ali and Egyptian Ahmed Al-Fiqi as the Saudi Football Federation look to harness the pool of players born in the Kingdom to expats and increase the depth of the Green Falcons’ squad.
Pizzi has turned to Kamara having struggled to find options in attack. Hazza Al-Hazza and Mujahid Al-Mania, who were both given their debuts over the past six months, have failed to convince upfront, while Mohannad Assiri has just one goal for his country in more than seven years. Mohammed Al-Sahlawi, who has 26 goals in 33 internationals, is favorite to lead the line, but Pizzi needs more options in attack.
In goal, Yasir Al-Mosaileem, Mohammed Al-Owais and Fawaz Al-Qarni retain their place in the squad, while Al-Nassr’s Waleed Abdullah, who featured in the last squad, made way for Al-Hilal’s Abdullah Al-Mayouf. Only three goalkeepers will be selected for the final 23-man squad.
In defense, Ali Al-Bulayhi is in line for a debut, having established himself as a key player at the heart of Al-Hilal defense, while Mohammed Al-Burayk’s performances at right-back for the Blues earned him a recall to the squad for the first time under Pizzi, replacing Hassan Muath.
The three Hawsawis — Osama, Omar and Motaz — retain their places as do full-backs Yasir Al-Shahrani, Mansour Al-Harbi and Saeed Al-Muwallad. The backline is edging closer to taking shape as Mohammed Jahfali, who was first brought into the squad in March’s friendlies against Ukraine and Belgium, looks to have done enough to convince Pizzi to hand him a second opportunity.
There were no real surprises in midfield as the team is boosted by the recovery of two high-profile names. Nawaf Al-Abed makes his long-awaited return to the national team set-up, having suffered an injury in November’s ill-fated Portugal camp under the now departed coach Edgardo Bauza. Al-Abed’s Al-Hilal teammate, Salman Al-Faraj, is also back in the squad after recovering from a three-month injury lay-off.
Spain-based trio Fahad Al-Muwallad, Yahya Al-Shehri and Salem Al-Dawsari miss out due to club commitments.


Saudi Arabia squad for games against Algeria (May 9) and Greece (May 15)

Goalkeepers: Yasir Al-Mosaileem, Mohammed Al-Owais, Fawaz Al-Qarni, Abdullah Al-Mayouf.
Defenders: Osama Hawsawi, Motaz Hawsawi, Omar Hawsawi, Mohammed Jahfal, Ali Al-Bulayhi, Mohammed Al-Burayk, Saeed Al-Muwallad, Yasir Al-Shahrani, Mansour Al-Harbi.
Midfielders: Abdulmalik Al-Khaibari, Abdllah Al-Khaibari, Ibrahim Ghaleb, Abdullah Otayf, Taisir Al-Jassim, Hussein Al-Moqahwi, Salman Al-Faraj, Nawaf Al-Abed, Mohammad Kanno, Mohammed Al-Kuwaikbi, Hattan Bahebri.
Forwards: Mohammed Al-Sahlawi, Mohannad Assiri, Haroun Kamara