Nadal advances to second round in Mexican Open

Updated 27 February 2013
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Nadal advances to second round in Mexican Open

ACAPULCO, Mexico: Rafael Nadal needed just over an hour to beat Diego Schwartzman of Argentina 6-2, 6-2 on Tuesday to advance to the second round of the Mexican Open.
The seven-time French Open winner is making a comeback after being away from the tour for more than seven months with a left-knee injury.
Nadal made the final of the VTR Open earlier this month in Chile before losing to Argentine Horacio Zeballos. A week later he reached the final of the Brazil Open and defeated David Nalbandian to secure the title.
He is seeded No. 2 in the clay court tournament at Mexico, behind fellow Spaniard David Ferrer.
Ferrer also won his first-round match on Tuesday, defeating Antonio Veic 6-0, 6-3. Ferrer is the three-time defending champion and won last week in Buenos Aires, his second title of the season.
No. 3 seed Nicolas Almagro of Spain defeated Cesar Ramirez of Mexico 6-0, 6-1.
Nadal rested last week, giving his left knee a chance to heal. He has said the knee still hurts and has been told he has to live with it until the pain slowly goes away.
No. 4 seed Stanislas Wawrinka was upset by Fabio Fognini 6-2, 7-6 (3).
On the women’s side of the combined ATP-WTA tournament, top-seeded and defending champion Sara Errani of Italy defeated Alexandra Cadantu of Romania 6-3, 6-2.


'We want to make Saudi Arabia proud': Pizzi promises better showing against Egypt

Updated 21 June 2018
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'We want to make Saudi Arabia proud': Pizzi promises better showing against Egypt

  • Saudi Arabia cannot progress from Group A even if they defeat Egypt in their final game on Monday
  • Wednesday’s overall performance was much improved, yet a lack of penetrative passing was obvious

ROSTOV-ON-DON: “Keeping possession of the ball seems to be the absolute and most important thing, but then when you sometimes find issues in getting the ball into your opponent’s half, you have to find other movements and ways of doing that,” said Oscar Tabarez after watching his lackluster Uruguay rely on a solitary Luis Suarez goal to eliminate Saudi Arabia from the World Cup. 
Tabarez was talking about his own team’s struggles, yet the assessment is considerably more applicable to the Green Falcons, who dominated possession and retained the ball with ease in midfield, yet for the second match running looked absolutely bereft of ideas in the final third. With Uruguay and Russia now on six points, Saudi Arabia cannot progress from Group A even if they defeat Egypt in their final game on Monday.
The Green Falcons coach Juan Antonio Pizzi confirmed he intends to stay at the helm of the side for the long-haul, yet is only too aware that the potential of this team is being hamstrung by its inability to score. He called it “our weakness”, adding that his side enjoyed “good ball possession, but no effectiveness”. They, he said, did not have the sufficient “weapons or tools” to equalize.
Pizzi’s side have found the net now just twice in their past five games and against Uruguay managed only three shots on target in 90 minutes — two of which came in added time and were so tame they would hardly have troubled the opposition goalkeeper Fernando Muslera had he been relaxing at his far post sipping a drink. In the 5-0 defeat to Russia last week, they failed to muster a single shot on target. 
Wednesday’s overall performance was much improved, yet a lack of penetrative passing was obvious. One passage of play in the opening exchanges saw Saudi Arabia complete 16 passes untroubled without the ball entering the opposition penalty box. When Uruguay finally won possession, they required only four quick exchanges to find Edinson Cavani on the left wing drilling the ball across the front of goal. 
“I don’t share that assessment,” said Pizzi, when it was put to him that his team was too slow to attack. “We played at the speed that was necessary. We need to be accurate, but if you step up the speed you lose accuracy with your passes. We had control of the game and that was why.”
Striker Mohammed Al-Sahlawi had been the focal point of much criticism from Turki Al-Sheikh, the head of Saudi’s General Sports Authority, after the Russia “fiasco” and was dropped from the side against Uruguay. So too was goalkeeper Abdullah Al-Mayouf, another who Al-Sheikh name-checked as having been at fault.
Pizzi, asked whether the scathing assessment from his bosses had forced his hand when it came to team selection, calmly dismissed the suggestion. He also ruled out the notion that administrative issues between the players and the country’s football federation had caused unrest in his squad.
“I have a list of 23 players here and they are all available to play. We are here together and pushing in the same direction. 
“I wanted — and still want — to make the Saudi Arabian people feel proud of our energy and the desire we show in matches. Unfortunately we were unable to do that against Russia and will be playing our next match without any hope of progressing. I hope now they will feel a little more proud even though we are out of the World Cup,” he said.