Roger Federer feeling good in chase for another Australian Open title

It was yet another win for the Swiss maestro in Melbourne. (AFP)
Updated 16 January 2019
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Roger Federer feeling good in chase for another Australian Open title

  • Fed-Express storms into third round of year's first Grand Slam.
  • Wins also for Wozniacki, Kerber and Nadal.

LONDON: Roger Federer revealed he is feeling in the sort of form that will see him add to his 20 Grand Slams.
The Swiss maestro was speaking after he made it to the third round of the Australian Open with a hard-fought 7-6, 7-6, 6-3 win over British qualifier Dan Evans. Federer has won the past two Slams in Melbourne and is looking for a record seventh title Down Under, and having seen of Evans he said he was in the form to add to the record books.
“I mean, look, I think we know how to win Slams, Novak, Rafa, myself,” Federer said when asked about likely Grand Slam winners this year.
“Novak is always a favorite on the hard courts, basically any court of his feeling if he plays like last year.
“Maybe just because of my amount of titles I have at Wimbledon and other places, maybe you also have to put me in the mix every time, as well … We’ll see.”
Elsewhere, women’s defending champion Caroline Wozniacki steamrolled Sweden’s Johanna Larsson 6-1, 6-3 as she bids to become the first woman to defend the title since Victoria Azarenka in 2013.
It set up a potential glamor clash next with Maria Sharapova.
“I thought I started pretty well, started aggressively, but she started making (fewer) errors and I was just trying to stay consistent,” Wozniacki said.
On a busy third day of the year’s first Grand Slam there were also wins for Rafael Nadal and Angelique Kerber.
Nadal outclassed local hope Matthew Ebden 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.
The Spaniard is bidding for his own slice of history by becoming the first man in the Open era, and only the third in history along with Emerson and Rod Laver, to win each Grand Slam on two or more occasions.
“I played a solid match, I was happy with the way I served. I did a few things very well,” said Nadal, who next plays Australian Alex de Minaur. “It is an honor to play here. Was a great atmosphere.”
Meanwhile three-tiem Sam champion Kerber beat Beatriz Haddad Maia 6-2, 6-3.


Jurgen Klopp tells Liverpool to beware Bayern Munich ahead of Champions League clash

Updated 18 February 2019
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Jurgen Klopp tells Liverpool to beware Bayern Munich ahead of Champions League clash

  • Reds boss worried about resurgent German giants ahead of second-round first-leg clash.
  • Bayern defender Joshua Kimmich claims Liverpool are the favorites.

LONDON: Jurgen Klopp has warned his Liverpool side they will have to be at their very best if they are to beat Bayern Munich.
The Reds head into the Champions League clash as slight favorites after months at the top of the Premier League. But having drawn the German giants in the second round, Klopp has told his players they have to keep their feet on the ground worthy could end up out of the competition before it really gets going.
“It’ll be very tough,” there Liverpool manager said.
“(Bayern are) only two points off Dortmund in the domestic league and have been consistent finalists and semifinalists.
“They’re a world class team but at the same time we’re confident we can cause them problems.
“They’ve got world class players so we know how difficult it will be.
“Everyone has to be at 100 percent otherwise we’ll get nothing from the game.
“Having said that we have confidence we have the ability to hurt them, and it’s up to us to show that.”

After a tough start to the season Bayern are up to second in the Bundesliga. 


Liverpool went al the way to the final last year, before losing to Real Madrid. But the momentum created by that surprise run has been maintained in the Premier League and another trip to the Champions League knockout stages.
Bayern currently lie second in the Bundesliga and are starting to look like their old levels agains after a tough start to the season. For Klopp, who managed Dortmund before arriving at Anfield, that could spell trouble for the Reds.
“After six years of pretty much dominating the league it was clear this year was going to be a tougher situation.
“It’s actually still the same, being at the top of the league and still in the last-16 of the Champions League.
“It’s a normal situation with a high quality team.
“Munich’s situation, from my point of view, makes them even more dangerous and even more of a threat from my point of view.
“This is a competition, in Europe, where they always do well.”
For the Germans the role of underdogs suits them perfectly. At least that is according to Joshua Kimmich.
The defender said: “Liverpool are the favorites.
“They have lost one league game all season and have let in only 15 goals. But when you look at us, we are not as consistent as before.”
Before a ball has been kicked Bayern did receive some good news. Winger Franck Ribery was originally left out of the squad to play at Anfield and did not fly with his teammates. But after becoming a father, the Frenchman has now decided to join up with the squad and will be available for selection. One man who definitely will not make the pitch is Jerome Boateng. The central defender is suffering from a stomach virus.
The Bavarians will also have to wait until Tuesdays to determine whether winger Kingsley Coman will be able to play after picking up an ankle injury on Friday.
The Frenchman scored twice but was injured in the final stages of their 3-2 win at Augsburg.

KEY MAN — ROBERTO FIRMINO 

Of Liverpool’s brilliant attacking trio the Brazilian is perhaps the most underrated and important. When he plays well the Reds usually do likewise. He links up the play well, settling up as many goals as he scores. Liverpool will be hoping he turns up with his A-game tonight, because if he does Bayern Munich could be in for a  long night. 

ARAB NEWS PREDICTS

For once Bayern are not having it all their own way in the Bundesliga. But they are improving and giving Borussia Dortmund something to think about in the race for the title. But home advantage will be key and a resurgent Reds will prove too strong for a Bayern defence that has, on occasions this campaign, looked less than watertight. The only question is can Liverpool get a decisive lead and put the tie to bed before the second leg?