Guardiola signs new deal to remain at Man City until 2021

Manchester City’s Spanish manager Pep Guardiola celebrates winning the 2018 Premier League title with players and fans. If he completes five years at the Abu Dhabi-owned club, for which he has signed a contract extension, it would represent his longest tenure in a coaching job. (AFP)
Updated 17 May 2018
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Guardiola signs new deal to remain at Man City until 2021

  • Guardiola moved to Manchester in 2016 and endured criticism through a trophyless first season but he completed his second campaign at City this month as a double winner.
  • He spent four years at Barcelona, winning three Spanish league titles and the Champions League twice among 13 honors.

LONDON: Pep Guardiola, fresh from winning the Premier League title, has signed a new Manchester City contract through 2021 to make the strongest long-term commitment of his managerial career.
Completing five years at the Abu Dhabi-owned club would represent Guardiola’s longest tenure in a coaching job.
He spent four years at Barcelona, winning three Spanish league titles and the Champions League twice among 13 honors.
After taking a sabbatical, Guardiola took charge of Bayern Munich and won the Bundesliga in each of his three years in Germany.
Guardiola moved onto Manchester in 2016 and endured criticism through a trophyless first season but he completed his second campaign at City this month as a double winner.
After collecting the League Cup in February, City sealed the Premier League with five games to spare.

“I am so happy and excited. It’s a pleasure to be able to work here,” Guardiola said Thursday. “I enjoy working with our players every day and we will try to do our best together in the coming years.
“As a manager, you have to feel good to be with the players — and I feel good.”
Guardiola’s principle target at City is to deliver the club’s first Champions League title.
“I will focus on the desire of my players to become a better team and every day that’s what I will try to do — to improve on the pitch and improve our players,” the 47-year-old Guardiola said.
“We have a young squad with an average age of 23 and we want to keep taking steps forward and maintain the levels we’ve achieved this season.”
City appears to have found stability after a decade under Abu Dhabi ownership, with a manager aiming to cement the team’s dominance after winning three titles since 2012.
“In his two seasons with us, he has fostered an incredible spirit within the squad and significantly contributed to our progress both on and off the field,” City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said.
“In doing so he has embodied the passion and commitment we all have for the club. I am very much looking forward to the continued impact of his work and to fulfilling our shared ambitions in the coming seasons.”


Maria Sharapova looks back to her best as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal show no signs of slowing down

Updated 18 January 2019
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Maria Sharapova looks back to her best as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal show no signs of slowing down

  • Sharapova dumps out defending champion Caroline Wozniacki.
  • Rafa and Roger brush aside young guns in straight sets victories.

LONDON: It is coming up to the end of the first week of the Australian Open, so we thought we would take a look and see how some of the big names fared on day five of the year’s first Grand Slam.

MARIA SHARAPOVA

Maria Sharapova warned she is in the sort of form to win the Australian Open after she dumped Carolina Wozniacki out with an impressive 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 win. It was the Russian’s best win since her return from a drugs ban and she looked like a winner-in-waiting.
“I thought the level was quite high. I knew I’d get a tough match — she (Wozniacki) is the defending champion,” the five-time Slam champion said.
“I haven’t played many matches in the last year against top players so it was really rewarding to win that last set. These are the kinds of matches I train for.”



ROGER FEDERER

Ageless Roger Federer marked his 100th Rod Laver Arena match Friday by storming past Taylor Fritz, then looked forward to a “high quality” last-16 clash against another young gun, Stefanos Tsitsipas.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion continued his quest for a record seventh Australian Open title with a 6-2, 7-5, 6-2 third-round demolition of 21-year-old American Fritz in just 88 minutes of flawless tennis.
Next up is 14th seed Tsitsipas. And the 37-year-old Federer is looking forward to taking on the fiery young Greek, who is 17 years his junior.
Federer played him in the recent mixed teams Hopman Cup, winning a closely contested singles 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/4), and said he was impressed.
“I think he played really well there. I actually did too. I thought it was really high quality tennis,” Federer said.
“This is obviously a different type of match, it being best of five, it being a fourth round of a Slam.”



RAFAEL NADAL

Rafael Nadal declared “everything is a step forward” after brutally brushing aside Alex de Minaur at the Australian Open Friday in just the Spaniard’s third match since the US Open.
The world No. 2 was in ominous form as he continued his quest for an 18th Grand Slam by punishing the Australian teenager in a third-round tennis masterclass 6-1, 6-2, 6-4.
“In general terms, everything is a step forward. So that’s positive news for me,” said the man who won the Aussie Open in 2009.
“I’m very happy for the victory against someone who had won seven matches in a row, winning a tournament.”
On his fitness Nadal added: “Probably 10 years ago it would have been difficult not playing much tennis in the build-up but now I have been in this situation many times with the injuries I have had.
“I have to deal with the ups and downs of my body but I try to enjoy any moment on the court.”



MARIN CILIC

The former US Open champions was made to work for his place in the last 16 as he struggled to beat Fernando Verdasco 4-6, 3-6, 6-1, 7-6, 6-3. Verdasco showed glimpses of the form that once made him a top-10 player and had a match point, one he frittered away with a double fault.
I was just slightly luckier in those crucial moments,” the sixth-seeded Cilic said.
“(It is) unbelievable. Emotions were up and down,” Cilic said.
“When I was down two sets to none, it was a big hill to climb.”
It’s the seventh time in Cilic’s career that he has emerged to win a match after dropping the opening two sets.



ANGELIQUE KERBER

Second seed Kerber received a gift ride into the Australian Open fourth round for her 31st birthday when she overpowered local wildcard Kimberly Birrell 6-1, 6-0.
The Wimbledon champion swept world No. 240 Birrell aside in just 58 minutes to set up a last-16 clash with unseeded American Danielle Collins.
Kerber, a winner at Melbourne Park in 2016, said she was used to celebrating her birthday on the road at the season-opening Grand Slam.
“I think it’s the 12th time in a row,” she said. “I’m getting older but I have the best time here and I’ll never forget my birthdays here in Australia.”
Kerber reached the semifinals last year but lost to Simona Halep in a tight three-setter.