Rafael Nadal admits Australian Open exit was tough to take

A glum-looking Rafael Nadal after he was forced to retire from his quarterfinal against Marin Cilic. (REUTERS)
Updated 23 January 2018
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Rafael Nadal admits Australian Open exit was tough to take

LONDON: Rafal Nadal revealed being forced to retire from his Australian Open last-eight clash against Marin Cilic was hard to accept.
The world No. 1 walked off the court while trailing 2-0 in the fifth and final set to gift the Croatian a spot in the semifinals. Nadal had won the first set 6-3 before Cilic came back to take the second by the same scoreline. It was during the third set, which he won in a tiebreak, that Nadal said he felt a pain in his thigh. Cilic won the fourth set 6-2 before the Spaniard called it quits.
And the 16-time Grand Slam champion found the result tough to take.
“Tough moments — not (for) the first time here,” Nadal said.
“I’m a positive person, but today is an opportunity lost to be in a semifinal for a Grand Slam and fight for an important title for me.
“It’s really tough to accept.”
The 31-year-old said he would have medical scans on Wednesday to determine the exact location and extent of the injury, which he could only describe as being high on his right leg but not in the hip.
“Unbelievable performance from both of us and really unfortunate for Rafa,” Cilic said.
“He’s such an unbelievable competitor. He always gives his best, it’s very unfortunate for him to finish this way.”
Cilic now faces surprise package Kyle Edmund in the last four, and of his next opponent he said: “He had an amazing run and a great match today. I have to keep going with my own game. Kyle is also a big hitter so I have to take things into my own hands and deal with my own court in the best way possible.”


Qatar in talks to buy stake in Leeds United

Updated 26 May 2019
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Qatar in talks to buy stake in Leeds United

  • QSI’s chief Nasser Al-Khelaifi was charged with corruption in connection with the bidding process for this year’s world athletics championships in Doha
  • Leeds United plays in the second tier of English professional football, the Championship, and will be Qatar Sports Investment’s (QSI) first venture into British football

DUBAI: Qatar is in talks to buy a stake in UK football club Leeds United, the Financial Times reported.

Leeds United plays in the second tier of English professional football, the Championship, and will be Qatar Sports Investment’s (QSI) first venture into British football. It currently controls France’s Paris Saint-Germain.

“Qatar Sports Investments will be entering English Football, and Leeds is the club of their choice,” a person familiar with the talks told FT. “Qatar has been looking into the prospects of entering English Football for the past two years.”

QSI’s chief Nasser Al-Khelaifi was charged with corruption in connection with the bidding process for this year’s world athletics championships in Doha, judicial sources said.

Al-Khelaifi, who is also the boss of Qatari television channel BeIN Sports, has been under investigation since March in a probe of the bidding process for the 2017 and the 2019 world championships.

French prosecutors are looking specifically at two payments of $3.5 million in 2011 by Oryx Qatar Sports Investment, a company jointly owned by Al-Khelaifi and his brother Khalid, to a sports marketing firm run by Papa Massata Diack.

Diack’s father Lamine Diack was president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) from 1999 to 2015 and a member of the International Olympic Committee.

As well as probing the world athletics championships the French investigation is also examining circumstances in which the Olympic Games were awarded to Rio de Janeiro for 2016 and Tokyo for 2020.

Prior to the decision to charge him, Al-Khelaifi had been questioned in March as “person of interest” in the case revolving around the 2011 payments by Oryx which were made at a time when Doha was seeking to host the 2017 world athletics championship and the 2020 Olympics.

Investigators were seeking to determine whether, in return for the payments, Lamine Diack used his influence to gain votes for Doha among IAAF members and also to obtain a date change for the competitions to avoid the heat of the Qatar summer.

(With AFP)