Raonic books semifinal showdown with Del Potro in Indian Wells Masters

Milos Raonic of Canada stretches to return a serve by Sam Query of United States during Day 12 of BNP Paribas Open on March 16, 2018 in Indian Wells, California. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images/AFP)
Updated 17 March 2018
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Raonic books semifinal showdown with Del Potro in Indian Wells Masters

INDIAN WELLSs, US: Milos Raonic, coming off an injury-riddled 2017, booked a semifinal clash with comeback king Juan Martin Del Potro at the ATP Tour’s Indian Wells Masters on Friday.
The 27-year-old Raonic defeated American Sam Querrey 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 to pick up just his fourth match win of the season and is seeking to capture his ninth career ATP Tour title.
He’ll be up against the eighth-ranked player in the world in Argentina’s Del Potro, who beat German Philipp Kohlschreiber 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the day’s other quarter-final.
“I am very happy I was able to put it together today,” Raonic said. “I’m in the semis. I am happy with that. I know I can play better.”
Raonic lost in the final of this event in 2016 and has now made it to the semifinals in his last three appearances.
Raonic didn’t play in Indian Wells last year because of a string of injuries and surgeries that decimated his season.
“It’s been a catastrophe,” he said of the time off due to injuries.
The list of things that have put him in the infirmary in the past year is lengthy and might have sent another person into permanent retirement.
“Let’s go down the list. Right adductor, left glut at the beginning of the year. Then I tore my hamstring at the beginning of February.
“After Wimbledon I had to have wrist surgery. Through the summer I tried to play a few events, tried to treat the issue. That wasn’t possible.
“I had surgery just before the US Open. And then in November I hurt my knee.”
Del Potro can certainly sympathize with Raonic. For Del Potro, reaching the semis is another feather in the cap of his comeback from injuries as he is back in the top 10 for the first time since 2014.
“He has everything to be in the top again,” Del Potro said of Raonic. “His game is so good. His serves are very strong. He’s very good player. So he just needs a couple of weeks to improve his ranking and be where he deserves to be.”
Former US Open champ Del Potro stepped up his bid for a second straight tournament victory with his over two hour quarter-final win.
Del Potro, who won a title earlier this month in Acapulco, Mexico, fended off a stern challenge from Kohlschreiber.
“It wasn’t an easy match as everyone could see,” the 2009 US Open champion said. “I was waiting for my chance to find my game and I did after the first set.”
The 29-year-old Del Potro improved to 15-3 on the season as he is looking to get back into the Indian Wells final for the first time since 2013, when he lost to Rafael Nadal.
Del Potro dropped to No. 1,045 in the world before beginning his comeback from three left wrist surgeries in 2016.
“But thank God I’m here and healthy,” he said. “I’m playing tennis again. I’m in the top 10 again. I have too much love from the crowd, for my fans, and I’m doing this because I love it.”
Del Potro hit five aces, had no double faults and won 75 percent of his first-serve points against world No. 37 Kohlschreiber.
Del Potro said his back is giving him some trouble but he can still play with it.
“All my body feels tight,” he said. “But this is the last effort of the weekend, and I’m in the semifinals, and I’m trying to keep winning.
“It’s going to be a really tough, tough match tomorrow. But after that my body will have a few days to recover and I will need it.”


Floyd Mayweather rematch closer as Manny Pacquiao signs to face ‘top PBC fighters’

Updated 23 October 2018
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Floyd Mayweather rematch closer as Manny Pacquiao signs to face ‘top PBC fighters’

  • Pacquiao said that he was “90 percent” sure a bout with former four-division world champion Adrien Broner would happen in January
  • Unbeaten Mayweather said in September he would come out of retirement to face Pacquiao later this year

MANILA: A potential blockbuster rematch between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather moved a step closer as the Filipino icon confirmed he has signed with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC).
Eight-weight world champion Pacquiao said he would close out his storied career by facing “top PBC fighters” in announcing late Monday the tie-up with influential Mayweather adviser Haymon’s organization.
“My team will work closely with Al Haymon for the remainder of my career to deliver the most anticipated fights with the top PBC fighters,” Pacquiao said in a statement.
“Those are the fights the fans want to see and the ones I want to have to close out my career,” he added.
Pacquiao said last week that he was “90 percent” sure a bout with former four-division world champion Adrien Broner would happen in January, possibly in Las Vegas.
“Pacquiao’s first defense of the World Boxing Association welterweight world title will kick off the new partnership,” Haymon’s PBC said in a statement without giving further details.
“The new alliance will have team Pacquiao and Haymon work together to navigate the remainder of his illustrious career,” it added.
The deal could pave the way for a Pacquiao-Mayweather rematch of the 2015 megafight which generated a record 4.6 million pay-per-view buys earning $600 million and ended with the American winning on points.
Unbeaten Mayweather, who hasn’t fought since knocking out mixed martial artist Conor McGregor last year, said in September he would come out of retirement to face Pacquiao later this year.
The American, 41, has since hinted at taking a warm-up fight first, talking on social media of a “huge boxing event” in Tokyo and then last week said he would be willing to accept a challenge to fight against McGregor’s MMA conqueror Khabib Nurmagomedov.
The deal with Haymon represents a new chapter for the 39-year-old Pacquiao, who has been promoted for the majority of his 20-year professional career by Bob Arum’s Top Rank organization.
“I wish him the best of luck, a tremendous warrior, and whatever he’s doing in the future, he deserves,” Arum said of Pacquiao on Fighthub TV in Las Vegas at the weekend.
Pacquiao pumped new life into his storied career in July when he delivered his first knockout in nine years against Lucas Matthysse of Argentina.
Ahead of the fight against big-punching Matthysse, Pacquiao said he considered himself the “underdog,” but he rolled back the years to register a 60th win and take the Argentine’s WBA welterweight belt.