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.


Embiid returns to help 76ers beat Nets for 3-1 lead

Updated 21 April 2019
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Embiid returns to help 76ers beat Nets for 3-1 lead

  • The 76ers seized a 3-1 lead in the first-round series against the Nets

NEW YORK: Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid returned from injury to score a game-high 31 points and grab 16 rebounds, powering the 76ers to a 112-108 NBA playoff victory at Brooklyn on Saturday.
Despite a third-quarter incident that saw two players ejected, the 76ers seized a 3-1 lead in the first-round series against the Nets and could advance in the Eastern Conference best-of-seven matchup with a home victory Tuesday.
In the other Eastern Conference game, Khris Middleton finished with 20 points and nine rebounds as the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks put the Detroit Pistons on the brink of elimination with a 119-103 win. The victory give the Bucks a 3-0 lead and they can wrap up the series with a win on the road in the Motor City on Monday.
Philadelphia, down by 10 points early in the third quarter, battled back most of the second half before taking the lead on a run of eight points by Embiid, who missed game three with a sore left knee.
A slam dunk and layup by Embiid gave the 76ers their first late lead at 102-101 but, after an exchange of layups and three-pointers as well as turnovers, fell behind 108-107 on a basket by Brooklyn’s Joe Harris with 25 seconds remaining.
On the next 76er possession, Embiid flipped the last of his seven assists to Mike Scott, whose corner three-pointer put Philadelphia ahead to stay 110-108 with 19 seconds remaining.
Australian Ben Simmons — who added 15 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for the 76ers — stole the ball from Brooklyn’s Jarett Allen and Tobias Harris sank two free throws for the last of his 24 points to clinch the triumph.
Caris LeVert led the Nets with 25 points while Brooklyn had 21 points each from Allen and D’Angelo Russell.
Cameroon star center Embiid was issued a flagrant foul in touching off an altercation 4:18 into the third quarter that saw Philadelphia’s Jimmy Butler Brooklyn’s Jared Dudley ejected. Embiid, who had elbowed Allen in the face in game two, was whistled for a hard foul on Allen that prompted Dudley to rush at Embiid, taking down the Sixers big man. Butler swung his left arm at Dudley, who wound up in the front row seats with Simmons at one stage, to earn his ejection.
In Detroit, Brook Lopez tallied 19 points and had seven rebounds and five blocked shots and Eric Bledsoe scored 19 points for the Bucks.
Giannis Antetokounmpo delivered 14 points and 10 rebounds for his third straight double-double in the series and Nikola Mirotic chipped in 12 points.
Detroit’s hobbled star Blake Griffin had 27 points in 31 minutes after he missed the first two games of the series with a sore knee.
Griffin was cleared with his leg heavily wrapped but it didn’t change the outcome.
The Pistons have now lost 13 straight playoff games dating back to 2008. In the Western Conference, the Denver Nuggets — led by game highs of 29 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists from Serbian playmaker Nikola Jokic — pulled level with San Antonio at 2-2 in their opening series with a 117-103 road triumph over the Spurs.