Djokovic sets sights on career Grand Slam

Updated 29 January 2013
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Djokovic sets sights on career Grand Slam

MELBOURNE: Novak Djokovic set his sights on completing the elusive career Grand Slam at this year’s French Open after confirming his mastery of men’s tennis at the Australian Open.
With six Grand Slam titles at the age of 25, the Serbian world No. 1 could be forgiven for taking it easy but immediately after clinching his fourth Melbourne win, his mind was on Roland Garros in May.
Djokovic has gone from the Paris quarterfinals to the semifinals and the title match in successive seasons, falling to seven-time winner Rafael Nadal last year, and now he wants to take the last step.
“I want to go all the way in the French Open. I went to the finals last year and had a great match against Rafa, but he’s always the favorite on that surface and he’s the ultimate player to beat on clay,” Djokovic said.
“But I think if I continue on playing well, stay healthy, I can have a chance.”
It all seemed routine for Djokovic as he beat Andy Murray in four sets, picked up the trophy and $2.5 million winner’s cheque, and then headed straight to the airport, eschewing parties and the usual day-after media commitments.
Djokovic was anxious to hurry home in good time for this week’s Davis Cup tie with Belgium. The surface? Clay.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun next weekend to see how I can adjust to a clay court in indoor conditions, playing away Davis Cup, which is always tricky,” he said.
“But, look, right now my thoughts are on this trophy, enjoying it as much as I can. Hopefully I’m going to have time to recover and get ready for that tie.”
Australian Open victories in 2011 and 2012 proved a springboard for Djokovic, who put together 145 wins against just 18 losses over the two seasons and finished both years as the world number one.
With Nadal’s physical state unknown, following his long break with knee problems, victory in Paris does not look a long shot for Djokovic, who would surely then target the hallowed calendar-year Grand Slam.
Djokovic received the trophy from Andre Agassi, another four-time Australian winner who managed to lift all four Grand Slam titles during his career.
Last week, Agassi said Djokovic had lifted the sport to new heights. But asked whether he was now taking tennis into a new era, the Serb parried.
“I leave you guys to judge about changing the game or not. I’m just trying to play this game with 100 percent of devotion, love, passion, and fun also,” he said.
“I mean, 25 years old and I’ve won six Grand Slams and have a lot of trophies. It’s amazing. You know, I’m just trying to embrace this moment and enjoy it as much as I can and see where tomorrow brings me.”


Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard beat Tunisia and power Belgium to brink of World Cup last 16

Updated 23 June 2018
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Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard beat Tunisia and power Belgium to brink of World Cup last 16

  • Romelu Lukaku drew level with Cristiano Ronaldo at the top of the World Cup goalscoring charts on Saturday
  • Belgium captain Eden Hazard scored in either half, including an early penalty at the Spartak Stadium

MOSCOW: Romelu Lukaku drew level with Cristiano Ronaldo at the top of the World Cup goalscoring charts on Saturday, scoring twice as Belgium moved to the brink of the last 16 after a 5-2 romp against Tunisia.
The victory leaves the Red Devils top of Group G with two wins ahead of their clash on Thursday against England, who play Panama on Sunday.
After also scoring twice in the opening 3-0 win against Panama, Manchester United’s Lukaku showed clinical finishing with two first-half goals in Moscow, matching Ronaldo’s tally in Russia.
Not to be outdone, Belgium captain Eden Hazard scored in either half, including an early penalty at the Spartak Stadium, before substitute Michy Batshuayi added their fifth.
Tunisia’s consolation goals came from defender Dylan Bronn and captain Wahbi Khazri.
The Belgians were criticized by coach Roberto Martinez for starting slowly against Panama in their first group match but flew out of the blocks in Moscow.
Hazard — having been on the receiving end of some bruising tackles in Belgium’s opener — was sent tumbling after just five minutes but converted the penalty to open his Russian account.
Midfielder Ferjani Sassi picked up an early booking for complaining when Tunisia’s appeals for a penalty fell on deaf ears, just before Belgium added their second goal.
Ali Maaloul’s weak pass on the halfway line was collected by Dries Mertens, who sprinted away and put Lukaku clear.
The striker coolly hit his shot inside the far post, just past the outstretched glove of Tunisia keeper Farouk Ben Mustapha, in the 16th minute.
Tunisia responded two minutes later, Bronn leaping highest to head home a free-kick from his skipper Khazri on 18 minutes, only to be later carried off after landing awkwardly following a collision.
With half-time approaching, the Belgians grabbed their third goal.
After earlier squandering two clear chances created by Kevin De Bruyne, Lukaku converted his third opportunity just before the half-time whistle.
Thomas Meunier put him in behind the defense and Lukaku tucked his shot away, celebrating with De Bruyne, who started the move.
The Manchester City midfield maestro turned provider again after the break for Hazard.
The Chelsea star sprinted onto De Bruyne’s lofted pass, held off two defenders, rounded keeper Ben Mustapha and tapped home Belgium’s fourth goal in the 51st minute.
With one eye on the England game, Martinez took off Lukaku, then Hazard as the half wore on and for the final 22 minutes brought on Batshuayi, who could have scored five.
The Borussia Dortmund forward had a chance cleared off the line, was twice denied by Ben Mustapha’s saves and hit the crossbar, finally converting a cross for Belgium’s fifth goal.
Tunisia captain Khazri grabbed their second goal just before the final whistle of their second defeat in Russia.