Chelsea breathe sigh of relief as Eden Hazard rules out January move to Real Madrid

Hazard has been in sparkling form all year and is a strong contender to win the Ballon d'Or. (AFP)
Updated 11 October 2018
0

Chelsea breathe sigh of relief as Eden Hazard rules out January move to Real Madrid

LONDON: Eden Hazard pledged his immediate future to Chelsea ruling out a move to Real Madrid in the January transfer window.
Earlier this week the Belgian playmaker said it remained his dream to play for the Spanish giants. That came after a summer where speculation was rife that the 27-year-old would move to the Bernabeu.
But that, for now at least, has been put on the back burner.
It was put to Hazard that to win the Ballon d’Or — as the world’s best player — he would have to play in Spain.
“That’s why I want to go, maybe,” Hazard said.
Asked if that move might happen in January, he replied: “No.”
Hazard has been instrumental in Chelsea’s unbeaten start under Maurizio Sarri, scoring eight goals in all competitions.
The Belgian was selected the second best player at the World Cup and, after leading his country to third place in Russia, said it “might be time” for a fresh challenge, with Madrid his preferred destination.
Speaking after Chelsea’s 3-0 victory at Southampton on Sunday, he said: “Real Madrid are the best club in the world. I don’t want to lie today. It is my dream since I was a kid. I was dreaming about this club.
“We will see. I don’t want to talk about this every day. I don’t have time but we will talk about my future soon.”
Hazard, whose Chelsea contract runs until June 2020, was asked yesterday whether he is the world’s best player on form and he answered with an unequivocal “yes.” AN


Jabeur becomes first Tunisian woman to make WTA final

Updated 19 October 2018
0

Jabeur becomes first Tunisian woman to make WTA final

  • Jabeur, ranked 101st in the world and who came through qualifying, prevailed over Anastasija Sevastova 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
  • In Saturday’s final, Jabeur will face sixth-seeded Daria Kasatkina of Russia, last year’s runner-up, who put out Britain’s Johanna Konta 6-4, 6-3.

MOSCOW: Ons Jabeur made history on Friday when she became the first Tunisian woman to reach a WTA final by seeing off Latvian fifth seed Anastasija Sevastova 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow.
Jabeur, ranked 101st in the world and who came through qualifying, prevailed in one hour 37 minutes.
“This is really amazing and I’m really happy. I gave it all today, and it wasn’t easy because she plays really good,” said 24-year-old Jabeur, who unleashed 45 winners on her way to victory.
“Maybe I was too relaxed in the second set. At the end, I stayed calm. It was a little bit frustrating because I missed some easy balls, but I said I was just going to play my game, and if it goes, it goes.”
In Saturday’s final, Jabeur will face sixth-seeded Daria Kasatkina of Russia, last year’s runner-up, who put out Britain’s Johanna Konta 6-4, 6-3.
“They’re both playing good, so I hope they fight for four hours,” Jabeur had said. “The best win is that there is a Tunisian in the final.”
Jabeur lost her only career meeting against Kasatkina at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
“She (Jabeur) plays interesting tennis with plenty of drop shots, often advances to the net,” Kasatkina said.
“Everything is possible in tomorrow’s final and I will just come onto the court and try to play my best.”
In the ATP event, France’s Adrian Mannarino ended Egor Gerasimov’s run beating the Belarus qualifier 7-6 (7/3), 6-3 to set up a semifinal with Italy’s Andreas Seppi, who ousted fourth seeded Serb Filip Krajinovic 6-4, 7-6 (7/2).
Second seed Daniil Medvedev of Russia beat last year’s runner-up Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 will face third-seeded compatriot Karen Khachanov, who saw off Mirza Basic of Bosnia 6-2, 7-6 (7/5).