Radwanska marches into Seoul semis
Radwanska marches into Seoul semis
The world number four will meet Spain’s Lara Arruabarrena, who broke local hearts by ending the run of wildcard entry Jang Su-Jeong 6-0, 6-4.
The third quarterfinal also saw the end of an impressive run by veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm of Japan, who will celebrate her 43rd birthday later this month.
Krumm, who had claimed the scalp of second-seed Maria Kirilenko to reach the quarter-final stage, took that form into her match with Italy’s Francesca Schiavone, winning the first set 6-4.
But the former French Open champion hit back to take the next two sets 6-4, 6-4.
“It was very tough,” Schiavone said. “Date was really strong and she deserved to win the first set, but fortunately I managed to get back in the match.” The Italian will meet third seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the semis after the Russian comfortably saw off Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania 6-2, 6-2.
Qualifier in final
In Beijing, qualifier Vania King of the United States will play in-form wildcard Zhang Shuai in Saturday’s final of the $500,000 WTA Guangzhou Open in southern China.
King, ranked a lowly 124 in the world, recovered from a slow start to see off home hope Zheng Jie — ranked 58 — 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 in just over two-and-a-half hours on Friday.
The American will face China’s 112-ranked Zhang in the showpiece final after Zhang — roared on by the home support — emphatically defeated Yvonne Meusburger of Austria 6-1, 6-1 in just over an hour.
All the seeds were out the tournament by the semifinal stage.
Simon in last 8
In Metz, France, American Sam Querrey lost to Frenchman Gilles Simon 6-4, 7-6 (1) Friday in the quarterfinals of the Moselle Open.
Simon took control of the tiebreaker by hitting a forehand passer down the line to open up a 3-1 lead.
He then forced an error at the net from Querrey, who swiped his racket in frustration after losing the next point. Simon hit a crisp forehand winner that set up five match points and he converted the first when Querrey’s shot sank into the net.
Simon, who did not face a single break point, will play Nicolas Mahut. He beat Germany’s Benjamin Becker 6-2, 6-4.
Juan Antonio Pizzi is still the right man to lead Saudi Arabia, says former Green Falcons boss
- Saudi Arabia's 1996 Asian Cup-winning coach Nelo Vingada backs Pizzi to lead side into next year's Asian Cup.
- Green Falcons face Egypt on Monday with both looking to land their first point in Russia.
MOSCOW: Saudi Arabia’s 1996 Asian Cup-winning boss Nelo Vingada has called on the country’s football authorities to keep faith with head coach Juan Antonio Pizzi despite a disappointing showing in Russia.
The Green Falcons still have to face Egypt in the final match of Group A, but have already been eliminated following a 5-0 defeat at the hands of Russia in the opening game on June 14 in Moscow and a 1-0 loss to Uruguay five days later in Rostov.
“I was expecting a little more from Saudi Arabia to be honest,” Vingada told Arab News.
“In the first game they were disappointing but a first game of the World Cup is always hard and especially when it is the first game and everyone is watching. Plenty of teams at the World Cup did not play well in the first game.
“But playing Russia in Russia and to lose is what you would normally expect from Saudi Arabia and while it was far from positive, people should not get carried away.
“The game with Uruguay was much improved in terms of organization and defense and it showed more of the character of the Saudi Arabia team.”
In the past, coaches have been axed following disappointing World Cup campaigns but with the 2019 Asian Cup just seven months away, the Portuguese tactician would prefer to see some stability rather than yet another new man in the dugout.
“The Asian Cup is in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia will be one of the contenders,” Vingada said. “It is better to stay with the same coach. He has a vision of how he wants the team to play and he now knows the players and the players know him.”
Constant changing has not helped Saudi Arabia in the past and Pizzi himself has been in the job just seven months.
“The problem is not the coach. He should not be changed, that has happened before but results did not improve, but the mentality has to change.”
Despite that Vingada, who has coached Egyptian club giants Zamalek and the country’s Under-23 team, believes that the Pharaohs, also eliminated, will prevail when the two regional rivals meet on Monday in Volgograd.
“This is an important game for pride, the players and the countries. It is still the World Cup. Egypt have a little more quality I think and have Mohamed Salah too.”
The Liverpool striker has been recovering from a shoulder injury sustained in the Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid in late May and missed the opening game 1-0 loss to Uruguay. He played in the second game, a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Russia, scoring from the spot late in the match to earn a consolation.
“Any coach would take Salah because he can win you games but overall Egypt have been a little disappointing and a little unlucky.”
The bad luck came when conceding a last-minute goal to Uruguay and a fluke own goal to get Russia off the mark. “Uruguay are a tough team and it is no shame to lose 3-1 to a Russia team at home who are playing to qualify for the next round. It showed that European and South American teams still have a little more quality.”
“Egypt just made some mistakes at the wrong time but this is football and without mistakes there are no goals.”
Ahead of the clash against Egypt Pizzi confirmed his intention to stay as Saudi Arabia boss, looking to build on the seven months he has had to imprint his ideas on the team ahead of the Asian Cup.