Egypt announce Javier Aguirre as their new boss

Javier Aguirre has been tasked with making the Egypt football team exciting after the dour style of Hector Cuper. AFP
Updated 01 August 2018
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Egypt announce Javier Aguirre as their new boss

  • Mexican replaces Hector Cuper after the Pharaohs' World Cup woe
  • Aguirre has managed Mexico and Japan as well as Atletico Madrid

Egypt have announced that Javier Aguirre is to be their new coach taking over from Hector Cuper.
The Mexican was the favorite to replace the Argentine and has signed a four-year, $1.4 million contract, taking him to the next World Cup.
Aguirre was on a shortlist of four which included Spaniard Quique Sanchez Flores, Colombian Jorge Luis Pinto, and Bosnian Vahid Halilhodzic.
It is thought that his Middle Eastern experience — he was last at the helm of the UAE’s Al-Wahda — was the crucial factor in his appointment.
Flores lacked national team experience and Pinto has never coached outside South or Central America. Also in the 59-year-old’s favor was that Halilhodzic was in demand elsewhere. South Korea are interested in the coach sacked by Japan in April, as are his former team Algeria.
“Aguirre ticks all the boxes with the experience and success he has had and also the way his teams usually play football,” an official at the Egyptian Football Association told Arab News earlier this week.
After the Pharaohs’ World Cup woe — they lost all three matches in Russia — the pressure is on Aguirre to justify his big pay packet. His first task is to qualify for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, and then lead the side deep into the tournament.
On top of that he will be tasked with improving the style of play. There was a lot of criticism of Cuper’s tactics, which were seen as overly cautious and defensive. As result the EFA was keen to have not only a new face but also a fresh approach.


Petra Kvitova positive ahead of Dubai final against Belinda Bencic

Updated 22 February 2019
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Petra Kvitova positive ahead of Dubai final against Belinda Bencic

  • World No. 4 wins third three-setter of the week beat Hsieh Su-wei and claim place in the final.
  • Swiss star Bencic deals a forehand smash to Svitolina's chances of unprecedented hat-trick.

LONDON: If Petra Kvitova does get her hands on the Dubai trophy against Belinda Bencic on Saturday, she will be quick to admit she did it the hard way.
The two-time Wimbledon champion was once again made to toil at the Aviation Club as she finally overcame Hsieh Su-Wei 3-6, 6-2, 6-4. It was her third three-setter in four days and came about as much through sheer grit and determination as any superior groundstrokes or serves.
“Yeah, it was (tough),” the Czech said.
“It was a tough one, for sure. She really didn’t give me anything for free.
“It was a tough first set. I’m glad that I was able to came back in the second. Anyway I didn’t play great at the end of the first.”
Coming into the event the world No. 4 admitted she was undercooked and in need of some game time. While, in hindsight, the three-setters against Katerina Siniakova and Jennifer Brady in the first two rounds probably did her some good, another match that went the distance was probably not in the ideal script for the 2013 Dubai champion.
But Hsieh is a tricky opponent and she proved it once again on Centre Court. The world No. 31 hits two-handed shots off both sides and was trying to beat her fourth top-10 seed of the week. That included wins over Angelique Kerber in the third round and Karolina Pliskova in the quarterfinals.

Bencic will try to upset Kvitova in Saturday's final at the Aviation Club (AFP) 


She started off in much the same vein as she had finished against Kerber and Pliskova, hurrying Kvitova around the court and making life as uncomfortable as possible under the hot Dubai sun.
“She’s very tricky,” Kvitova said about Hsieh, who grabbed five games in a row to take the opening set and go up 1-0 in the second.
“I didn’t really play the best at the end of the first set. But I calmed down afterwards a little bit,” Kvitova said.
“With Hsieh, I need to be a little bit patient. ... It’s not really that easy to make those winners against her.”
While she has 
not consistently displayed her A-game this week it should come as no shock that Kvitova has made today’s final. It was the second seed’s 17th victory of 2019 — a feat bettered by no one — and it will be her third final of the season and 35th of her career. She revealed that her presence in the showdown is thanks to her mental toughness and she admitted that after a long week she will have to draw on that a lot today.
“I think I’m pleased with my kind of mental focus after losing the first set, that I was more calmer when I came back and played from the beginning of the second set,” Kvitova said.
“I still kind of felt that I can do that somehow — it was something weird.
“I’m a bit tired right now, to be honest. I have a final, so I don’t know how I going to recover. Hopefully I have a few hours to do something with me.”
Of her sparkling form so far this year she said: “It’s a bit weird, to be honest. I didn’t really expect anything like that. Well, to be honest, I didn’t expect anything, which I already achieved this year. For me, everything is just bonus.
“As I mentioned, the tennis, it’s a bit like escape this week. This is unbelievable to be in the final when I’m escaping from something. Yeah, very interesting.”
In the other semifinal Bencic once again upset the odds to overcome world No. 6 Elina Svitolina 6-2, 6-3, 7-6. The Swiss went into the clash as the underdog, but from the off the world No. 45 was aggressive and deservedly won.
In doing so she ended Svitolina’s 12-match winning streak in Dubai and ended the two-time defending champion’s hopes of becoming the first woman to win three Dubai titles in a row.