Kerber's belated Qatar Open start ends in defeat

Angelique Kerber
Updated 16 February 2017
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Kerber's belated Qatar Open start ends in defeat

DOHA: World No. 2 Angelique Kerber finally got to play her first match at the rain-affected Qatar Open on Thursday and promptly crashed out of the tournament.
She lost 6-4, 0-6, 6-4 to Russian teenager Daria Kasatkina in a second round match, after Kerber received a first round bye.
It is the second time this year that the 19-year-old has won against the former Australian Open champion after beating her at the Sydney International last month, 7-6, 6-2.
"Of course it's always tough to play the first matches after a longer break," said the former number one afterwards.
"But I was not feeling the best today. I'm trying to find my rhythm. But she plays good.
"I think it was, for sure, not my day. I was not feeling the best today."
The tournament had started on Monday, but Kerber had faced a frustrating wait to get out on court.
The defeat caps a miserable start to 2017 for Kerber who lost in the fourth round in Melbourne as she sought to defend her Australian Open title.
To make things worse, the eventual winner Serena Williams then reclaimed Kerber's No. 1 world ranking.
Kasatkina next plays Olympic champion Monica Puig in a last eight clash later on Thursday as organizers desperately try to catch up in a tournament blighted by rain, which has led to the postponement of many matches, as Qatar has suffered some of its wettest weather in years.
Another seed who lost on Thursday was Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska, beaten by close friend Caroline Wozniacki 7-5, 6-3.
"We always have great matches," said the Dane afterwards. "It was a tough match but I was pleased."
Wozniacki was also set to go back out on court later on Thursday, weather permitting, to play American qualifier Lauren Davis.
No.2 seed Karolina Pliskova from the Czech Republic has made it through to the last eight, however, beating France's Caroline Garcia 7-5, 6-4.
She was to play China's Shuai Zhang later on Thursday.


The world's eyes are on Mohamed Salah as hopeful Egypt take on Russia

Updated 19 June 2018
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The world's eyes are on Mohamed Salah as hopeful Egypt take on Russia

  • Egypt are counting on the return of Mohamed Salah on Tuesday as they face Russia
  • The Liverpool wizard missed his team’s 1-0 defeat to Uruguay on Friday

SAINT PETERSBURG: Egypt are counting on the return of Mohamed Salah on Tuesday as they try to salvage their World Cup against a Russian side who know a win could seal a place in the last 16.
Liverpool wizard Salah missed his team’s 1-0 defeat to Uruguay on Friday as he struggles to recover from the shoulder injury he sustained during last month’s Champions League Final.
Salah’s shoulder has continued to cause him problems in Russia, and at the weekend he needed the help of three team-mates to put a shirt on during a training session in Grozny.
Egypt’s Argentine coach Hector Cuper said on Monday Salah was fit to play but will undergo a test before kick-off in Saint Petersburg.
“I hope he will be fit to play, I’m sure he will be able to play. He is a central piece in our team,” Cuper said.
If Egypt lose, it will likely end their competitive involvement in their first World Cup since 1990, so 96 million Egyptians are willing him to be on the pitch.
Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov was bullish that his team can rein in the explosive striker, who scored 44 goals in a remarkable debut season at Liverpool.
“We know how to play against him,” he said. “We are ready to stop Salah and we will.”
Russia got their World Cup off to the perfect start on Thursday with a 5-0 thrashing of Saudi Arabia, but are under no illusions that the seven-time African champions pose a far tougher test — providing Salah plays.
“Egypt’s game with Salah is different from the one they play without him,” forward Alexei Miranchuk said.