Australian Open: Day three review

Caroline Wozniacki pulled off a remarkable escape in her match with Jana Fett where she won 3-6, 6-2, 7-5 after being 5-1 down in the third set. (AP)
Updated 17 January 2018
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Australian Open: Day three review

LONDON: Arab News takes a look at how all the other big names did on day one in Melbourne — who lived to fight another day and who has already been forced to pack their bags?

GREGOR DIMITORV (3) STAYING: The Bulgarian was pushed all the way in five sets before finally beating No. 186-ranked Mackenzie McDonald, who had never won a tour-level match before qualifying for the Australian Open, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, 0-6, 8-6. Dimitrov is highly fancied but will have to improve a lot if he is to go all the way.

NICK KYRGIOS (17) STAYING: The explosive Aussie was always in control of his match against Viktor Troicki 7-5, 6-4, 7-6. We are only two matches in but there is a focus about the home hope that he has rarely shown before. He has all the talent in the world, could this be his year?

MARIN CILIC (6) STAYING: Last year’s Wimbledon finalist was in dominant form as he downed Joao Sousa 6-1, 7-5, 6-2. It was the kind of big-serving showing that if the Croatian can repeat and repeat should see him go deep in Melbourne.


JO-WILFRED TSONGA () STAYING: The Frenchman rallied from 5-2 in the fifth set to overcome rising star Denis Shapovalov 3-6, 6-3, 1-6, 7-6, 7-5 in an absorbing three-hour, 37-minute contest. He will now face Kyrgios in the next round in what promises to be a fascinating clash.

ELINA SVITOLINA (4) STAYING: The Ukrainian rallied to reach the third round with a gutsy 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 win over Katerina Siniakova. Svitolina was 0 for 6 on break-point chances in the first set, but recovered to break Siniakova six times over the rest of the match.

JELENA OSTAPENKO (7) STAYING: The French Open champion is through to the third round having seen off the challenge of Duan Yingying 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 on the Margaret Court Arena. The Latvian is definitely one to watch the longer the tournament goes on.

JULIA GOERGES (12) PACKING HER BAGS: The German was on a 15-match unbeaten streak and strongly tipped to do well in Melbourne. But she leaves trophyleess in week one having been beaten 6-4, 6-3 by world No.42 Alize Cornet.


Premier League set to use VAR from next season

Updated 15 November 2018
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Premier League set to use VAR from next season

LONDON: The Premier League is set to use the Video Assistant Referee system from next season after clubs “agreed in principle” to the move on Thursday.
During a meeting attended by key members of all 20 Premier League clubs, officials were presented with an update on the non-live VAR trials taking place.
They were also given “key learnings” from VAR’s use in the FA Cup and League Cup this season.
VAR was used at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, where 335 incidents were checked by VAR officials, and is already underway in some other European leagues.
A formal Premier League request will now be made to the International Football Association Board and FIFA, the world governing body.
A statement from the Premier League said its testing program would continue for the rest of the season, “with a continued emphasis on those Saturday afternoons which have several matches being played concurrently.”
How VAR decisions are communicated to fans in the stadium will be addressed, with the development of a “clear protocol” to be established.
In April, Premier League clubs voted against the introduction of VAR for the 2018-19 season.
But there have been growing calls from managers and players for VAR to be introduced into the English top-flight for several years.
On Saturday, Southampton forward Charlie Austin called for VAR after he was denied a goal for offside against Watford, a decision he called a “joke.”
Also last weekend, Slavisa Jokanovic, since sacked as Fulham manager, was furious after Aleksandar Mitrovic was denied a goal by a controversial offside decision, with Liverpool going straight down the other end to take the lead.
VAR is used to check goals, penalties — both awarded and not, direct red cards and cases of mistaken identity when a player is wrongly booked or sent off.
The referee has the information relayed through his earpiece by the VAR team.
For some incidents, he can review the footage on a pitch-side television monitor before deciding whether to change his initial call.